Author Archives: alladamburnett

Week 2 Fantasy Football Circle Of Trust

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger

The Raiders do not have enough talent in the secondary to match up with the Steelers receivers. Big Ben is a DFS play. 

Colts RB Nyheim Hines

Should be heavily involved in the passing game Carson Wentz may have to get the ball out of his hands in a hurry against the Rams defense. Hines is a PPR flex play.

Saints WR Marquez Callaway

The Panthers gave up 5 pass plays over 20 yards in Week 1. Callaway will be more involved in Week 2. 

Packers TE Robert Tonyan

I see the Lions defense resembling an Oprah giveaway. You get a touchdown and you get a touchdown, and you get a touchdown. Rout on Monday Night. 

 Cowboys K Greg Zuerlein 

Should be busy vs. the Chargers improving defense.

Patriots Defense

I don’t see Zach Wilson lighting up Bill Belichick’s defense in his 2nd NFL start.

IDP

Rams Rover Jalen Ramsey

Ramsey plays a role like Charles Woodson did for the Packers. Ramsey provides big play scoring potential at the Defensive back spot. 

Week 1 Fantasy Football Circle Of Trust

Panthers QB Sam Darnold

I’m not buying the revenge game narrative vs. the Jets. I am however buying that the Jets don’t have the back 7 to match up with the Panthers skill players. Darnold is a cheaper DFS stream.

Patriots RB Damien Harris 

Should be the main bellcow back in New England this season.  Efficient runner gets downhill quickly. I was surprised at his draft cost this season. Standard league flex play vs. the Dolphins.

Colts WR Michael Pittman

The de facto number 1 option for the Colts vs. the Seahawks. The Legion of Boom is gone. Now the defense is the Legion of chunk plays allowed through the air. 

Eagles TE Dallas Goedert

I can see Zach Ertz having a role in this game as well vs. the Falcons.  Atlanta’s defense gives up a lot of fantasy points.  My educated guess is Ertz was showcased in the preseason trying to drum up trade interest.  

Bills K Tyler Bass

Matchup with Pittsburgh should provide plenty of scoring opportunities.  

Rams Defense

I don’t see Andy Dalton and the Bears scoring much in LA.  The Justin Fields clock is starting to tick. 

IDP 

Washington Football Team LB Jamin Davis

Rookie was a thumper at Kentucky and that translates in the NFL. Davis should be free to roam behind a stellar Washington Defensive Line. 

Recapping a 10-Team PPR Snake Draft

This is a 10-team Full point PPR snake draft from the 9th pick.  Having to play 3 Wide Receivers instead of a flex option tends to sway my teams in league to be receiver heavy.  The site gave this one a B plus.  

1.(9)Stefon Diggs (Buf – WR)
2.(12)Nick Chubb (Cle – RB)
3.(29)Terry McLaurin (Was – WR)
4.(32)James Robinson (Jax – RB)
5.(49)Julio Jones (Ten – WR)
6.(52)T.J. Hockenson (Det – TE)
7.(69)Chase Edmonds (Ari – RB)
8.(72)Justin Herbert (LAC – QB)
9.(89)JuJu Smith-Schuster (Pit – WR)
10.(92)Dallas Goedert (Phi – TE)
11.(109)Jaylen Waddle (Mia – WR)
12.(112)Matthew Stafford (LAR – QB)
13.(129)Phillip Lindsay (Hou – RB)
14.(132)Tampa Bay (TB – DEF)
15.(149)Henry Ruggs III (LV – WR)
16.(152)Tyler Bass (Buf – K)
17.(169)Giovani Bernard (TB – RB)
18.(172)Deshaun Watson (Hou – QB)

Looking back at the draft I question if taking Diggs ahead of Travis Kelce was the correct move.  Nick Chubb being there in the 2nd round threw off my draft strategy a bit.  My plan was to reach up for Darren Waller at that point.  My other regret was taking Terry McLaurin ahead of Josh Allen. Justin Herbert with added receiver depth isn’t a bad consolation prize.  I like the overall depth and upside of this team.  Julio Jones looks hungry after a lost year in Atlanta and JuJu as a wide receiver 4 is stealing.  James Robinson and Chase Edmonds should be able to give me stable points through the air and ground each week.  I don’t see Robinson repeating last season, but ¾ of those totals is good to me.  Edmonds was selected ahead of Damien Harris.  James Conner doesn’t scare me as too much of a threat to Edmonds workload.  Goedert is insurance for Hockenson, but also can’t be used against me.  I focus on maintaining the advantage at the Tight End position in fantasy leagues.  It’s a way to keep an opponent’s scoring down.  Stafford hung around too long for this format.  Hopefully Stafford rots on my bench all year or gets traded for an upgrade.  Waddle was my first attempt at throwing a haymaker.  I loved him in the draft process and believe he pops off right away.  Ruggs III is too talented to have a repeat of his rookie season.  Ruggs III in the 15th round is a tremendous lottery ticket.  Lindsay and Bernard are PPR caliber flex plays.  If I had to pick one I’d go with Bernard right now.  Watson was a throw away pick to see if a trade happens or his league situation gets cleared up.  If he gets deactivated, I have a clear cut guy to use for early waiver wire pickups. I’m happy with this team and looking to defend my crown.        

Predraft Fantasy Football Circle Of Trust

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa

Compared to Justin Herbert, Tua’s rookie season was a complete disaster.  The reality is Tua displayed good pocket awareness and made some good plays last year.  His inability to connect on passes down the field was surprising.  With a full offseason to focus on football instead of rehab, I can see Tua stepping forward at a discount to fantasy owners in year 2. 

Buccaneers RB Gio Bernard

Recruited to Tampa by Tom Brady and Bruce Arians.  Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones are not as effective in this offense in pass protection and catching passes out of the backfield.  Last season, Tom Brady’s completion percentage when targeting running backs was 26th in the NFL.  That’s one of the weirdest stats from 2020.  That ranking will change with Bernard in the offense.  I believe he will flirt with deep league flex play numbers in PPR formats.  

Raiders WR Henry Ruggs

The adjustment to the NFL was clearly not as smooth for Ruggs as many of his draft class contemporaries.  With the lack of competition in the receiving corps, Ruggs should be given every opportunity to succeed.  My selection of Ruggs was fast in the 17th round.  Speed kills 11 signs should be hanging in Las Vegas this season.   

Broncos TE Noah Fant 

Has ranked among the elite in his position in run after the catch yards. Teddy 2 Gloves is significantly more accurate than Drew Lock.  Fant getting hit in stride should be able to provide even more explosive plays.  

Bills K Tyler Bass

Was the 4th scoring kicker in football in 2020.  Bass also has a big leg making 4 of 6 from beyond 50 yards. The Bills offense should be explosive again in 2021 giving Bass plenty of scoring opportunities. 

Browns Defense

Their defense has a nice accumulation of early draft choices.  The Browns low sack rate should improve in 2021 with Jadeveon Clowney opposite of Myles Garrett.  John Johnson was added to the secondary along with Troy Hill.  With talent at all 3 levels Cleveland could be a popular early season pickup.  

IDP 

Browns LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

Drafted by Cleveland in the 2nd round will play a rover position in the Browns defense. Owusu-Koramoah was a vicious hitter with great range at Notre Dame, I anticipate him adding some thunder to the Cleveland defense.

Evaluating the Cubs Magic Beans

The great sell off of the 2021 Chicago Cubs is now complete.  Why it happened is not relevant at this point, we can’t change the past.  These are all of the prospects the Cubs acquired in the sell off.  Looking through the group it’s apparent the Cubs acquired more developmental players that are a few years away instead of major league ready players.   I was devastated that out of all the trades, Austin Martin was not part of any deal.  Martin is the 16th overall prospect out of the Top 100 from Toronto that ended up going to Minnesota in the Jose Berrios deal. I’d love to know if Kyle Hendricks could have gotten the same package from the Blue Jays. 

SS Reginald Preciado, SS Yeison Santana, OF Ismael Mena, OF Owen Caissie, 1B Bryce Ball, 1B/OF Greg Deichmann, RHP Daniel Palencia,  LHP Bailey Horn, RHP Alexander Vizcaino, OF Kevin Alcantara, 2B Nick Madrigal, RHP Codi Heuer, OF Alexander Canario, RHP Caleb Killian, OF Pete Crow-Armstrong, RHP Anderson Espinoza.  5 former or current All-Star players were sent away in the sell off and not a single player acquired is on the MLB Top 100 prospects list.  Madrigal and Heuer are the only major league ready players out of the group.  On the surface that doesn’t paint the Cubs front office in a good light.  

The reality is looking into these players, many of them haven’t even played Double A baseball.  I don’t think it’s fair to judge the Cubs front office yet as these were long-term moves.  A lot of faith is being put in the minor league developmental staff to get the most out of these players.  Nick Madrigal is a building block that should be the starting 2B in 2022.  Madrigal is a good contact hitter that gets on base and more importantly doesn’t strike out.  Greg Deichmann has a career .346 minor league OBP and should be a fast track player.  At age 26, why isn’t Deichmann already in the show?  Reginald Preciado is a Shortstop at the moment, but may physically be better suited for the Hot Corner.  Owen Caissie, Kevin Alcantara, and Alexander Canario profile to be power hitting corner outfielders. Pete Crow-Armstrong looks to be your center fielder/leadoff hitter of the future.      

Moving to the pitching prospects, Codi Heuer should have the opportunity to have a high leverage role in the Cub bullpen right away.  Bailey Horn is a power lefty that grades out the back-end of a starting rotation.  Caleb Killian is a college pitcher that grades out as a back-end starter.  Alexander Vizcaino is working as starter in the minors, but could transition to the bullpen if the command doesn’t develop.  Daniel Palencia is a young player that is multiple years away from being major league ready.  Anderson Espinoza is a smaller stature hurler with 2 Tommy John surgeries already on his resume.  

The Cubs will have a long way to go to get back respectability. LHP Brailyn Marquez and OF Brennan Davis are considered the Cubs top 2 prospects.  Both may be up in 2022.  Willson Contreras is in Chicago for now, but when Miguel Amaya is ready does Contreras get sent off for more prospects?  I can see 2022 and 2023 being developmental seasons with stop gap players filling out the major league roster until many of these players are ready for the show.  2024 may be when the Cubs start to show signs of being competitive. A lot can happen between now and then so we’ll see.

Michael Thomas Is Off My Draft Boards

Saints WR Michael Thomas is now off my draft boards.  Ankle surgery in June and has given Thomas a range of outcomes that could put him out as far as Week 8.  Some pre-draft rankings have Thomas still listed ahead of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Odell Beckham Jr, and Brandin Cooks.  There’s no chance I would consider drafting Thomas ahead of those 3 players.  JuJu caught 97 balls last year, Odell is not on the PUP list as training camps are taking place, and Cooks is the WR1 on a horrible Texans team.  Those 3 players will help me to start the season, while Thomas will not.  

One of the many things I’ve learned from playing fantasy sports is that injured players on your bench do not help you win games.  More bad comes than good from stashing injured players on your bench right away.  Many leagues I play in do not have IR spots, in leagues with IR spots you will end up using those soon enough.  Why burn a spot before the season starts? For example, in a fantasy baseball keeper league my friend Dave pissed away draft capital and a roster spot keeping Noah Syndergaard on the IL all season.  He whines about having all injured guys and had to cut some good players in the process.  Syndergaard has not helped him win a game this year.  

Compromising roster flexibility on a player that can’t help you win this week is a recipe for failure.  Late morning Covid deactivations is also another variable to take into account when considering stashing an injured player.  There are so many good players still available where Michael Thomas may be drafted it’s not worth the risk.  Thomas scares me not only because of the ankle injury, but also because of the alleged friction with the New Orleans front office.  I know Thomas has put together video game numbers when healthy, but in fantasy football you can’t live in the past, it’s not 2019 anymore.  Pass on Michael Thomas this year in drafts, let someone else have the headache of trying to work around a wasted roster spot.  

Evaluating Ruggs and Tua In 2021

Henry Ruggs III and Tua Tagovailoa were early first round picks that underperformed in their rookie seasons. Ruggs played in 13 games with 26 catches for 452 yards and 2 TD.  Not exactly what was expected from the first receiver selected in the talented 2020 draft class.  We all know what other receivers in the class did in breaking into the league.  The Raiders receiving corps is centered around Tight End Darren Waller.  Ruggs will compete with John Brown, Bryan Edwards, Willie Snead, and Hunter Renfrow for targets.  Ruggs involvement in the passing game wasn’t as much as many expected.  The learning curve and running the route tree looked to be problems to this uneducated observer.  With a closer to normal offseason, it’s entirely possible Ruggs takes a step forward in Year 2.  

There are so many other proven commodities at the position reaching for Ruggs doesn’t make sense.  Another factor for me is the track record of personnel moves by Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden isn’t that impressive.  Because of that I’m not as high on a Ruggs breakout.  Yes, I do pay attention to the success rate of front offices in factoring my interest in a player. I would draft Ruggs this year with one of my late round lottery ticket selections.  WR5 or WR6 is where I would feel comfortable.

Moving to the other big name rookie that underperformed, Tua looked overmatched and overwhelmed as a rookie.  He was benched twice in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick in late game situations.  Tua played in 10 games and started 9, with a 6-3 record.  Justin Herbert, taken after Tua, looked like Dan Marino.  Yes, I went there. Miami’s surrounding talent helped lead Tua to victory more so than Tua leading the team to victory.  With a full offseason to focus on football instead of rehab, Tua could take a step forward in Year 2.  

Miami upgraded the skill positions adding Jaylen Waddle in the draft while Will Fuller and Malcolm Brown signed in free agency.  I believe Chris Grier and Brian Flores are doing a good job building their program from the ground up.  Because of my belief in their work, I would consider taking a gamble on Tua as my QB2 if I had an elite QB1.         

Looking at WR’s late

The late rounds of fantasy football drafts, I’m typically looking to gamble on lottery tickets with upside. If the lottery ticket busts, I have no emotional attachment and will cut bait for the next big thing.  The end of drafts also provide an opportunity to pick up values, players in which should have gotten selected earlier.  In this post I’m going to highlight a few Wide Receivers I will look to draft late or be prepared to pick up off waivers. 

Texans WR Brandin Cooks is a player I have sworn off drafting. The overall production too frequently doesn’t line up with the draft cost.  Lack of TD’s is a major problem for Cooks as 9 in his 2nd season is a career high. Playing for 4 teams in 7 NFL seasons doesn’t help with building continuity in an offense. In 5 of his 7 seasons Cooks has over 1,000 yards.  2021 is a new year and I’m back on the Brandin Cooks train.  The Texans are my pick to be the worst team in the NFL this season.  I foresee a lot of playing from behind for the Texans this year.  Deshaun Watson’s status for the season is TBD.  Tyrod Taylor is a lower level starting QB, but is good enough to force feed Cooks in garbage time.  Cooks also had the 2022 season of his voided so free agency looms.  I’m a big believer in drafting contract year guys.  Cooks is a player I’d like to get as a WR3/4  

Jets WR Corey Davis was given a three-year-deal after posting career-highs in yards and touchdowns in 2020.  The new look Jets have done a better job  supporting their rookie QB Zach Wilson, than what they did with Sam Darnold.  The Jets have a long way to go to being a competitive team.  Wilson looks like a good NFL prospect, but I would anticipate him turning the ball over a lot as a rookie.  Davis is someone I would consider as a WR 5.   

John “Smoky” Brown was lost in the shuffle in Buffalo last season with just 52 targets in 9 games.  At age 31 Brown is looking to rebound in Las Vegas.  Brown has a pair of 1,000 seasons in his 7-year-career with 2019 the peak 72 catches for 1,060 yards and 6 TD.  Darren Waller and Kenyan Drake are anticipated to be the top 2 targets in the passing game.  Brown will have to fight off Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards, Willie Snead, and Hunter Renfrow for targets.  Ruggs will go earlier in drafts due to name recognition over Brown. Depending on league size it’s entirely possible Brown goes undrafted. I see Brown going undrafted in most 10-team leagues. He could be a popular waiver claim if Ruggs doesn’t take the step forward in 2021.                

The Lions signed Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman to replace Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones.  Detroit is beginning a rebuild under a new administration.  Williams and Perriman could lose targets to Amon-Ra St. Brown as the season progresses.  Jared Goff is a good enough QB to make one of these wideouts fantasy relevant.  I see TJ Hockenson and D’Andre Swift being the Lions top pass catchers this season.  Williams or Perriman could be early season waiver claims for fantasy owners lacking receiver depth.       

At the end of drafts you’re looking for lottery tickets or values.  Cooks and Davis could be garbage time heroes this season.  Brown, Williams, and Perriman possibly could go undrafted this summer, but be early season waiver claims.  

Is OBJ In Your Administration?

Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. is a player I struggle with evaluating for the upcoming fantasy football season.  OBJ is recovering from an ACL tear suffered in Week 7 of last season.  His availability to work with the team in training camp is something I will make a priority to track.  The first 3 seasons were unbelievable (91/1,305/12) (96/1,450/13) (101/1,367/10). The last 4 seasons OBJ has been healthy in just 2 of those.  During that period he has just 16 receiving TD’s.  With OBJ turning 29 in November and having multiple lower body injuries in recent years the question is have we already seen his best? 

I think it’s a tough question to answer as his Giants career began where he was the focal point on a deteriorating team.  Moving to Cleveland now is a different scheme as the offense is more centered around the running game.  There’s too many mouths to feed in Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Jarvis Landry, and Austin Hooper for him to receive the target share of Years 1-3.  The reality is OBJ should  have more team success in 2021 than at any point of his career as maybe personal success takes a back seat. 

In Year 2 of Kevin Stefanski’s offense maybe more is put on Baker Mayfield’s plate and in turn OBJ sees more targets.  Part of the struggle with OBJ is at the spot in the draft you have to select him more stable production options could be available.  In my own rankings I have at least 25 WR’s that I would consider taking ahead of OBJ due to the injury concerns.  OBJ falls into the range with JuJu Smith-Schuster, Brandin Cooks, Brandon Aiyuk, Courtland Sutton, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Robby Anderson, D.J. Chark, Chase Claypool, and Deebo Samuel.       

I would consider taking JuJu, Claypool, Aiyuk, and Chase ahead of OBJ, but would have to spend some of the draft clock thinking about it.  All the other players listed in that grouping I would lean more toward gambling on OBJ.  In leagues with IR spots, OBJ would be more so worth the gamble.  If healthy I can see him catching over 80 balls, over 1,100 yards and over 7 TD.  I don’t see him repeating the beginning of his career, but I think he has more left in the tank than what has been shown the last 4 years.  If I can sneak him through as a WR 4 maybe 3 I’m comfortable taking the gamble. Anything sooner is too rich for my liking. 

Popular DFS Stack in LA

I have regularly drafted Matthew Stafford as my backup QB because he typically throws for a ton of yards in garbage time.  The lack of an overall supporting cast in Detroit is well documented.  Calvin Johnson was an unbelievable talent that helped Stafford put up huge numbers.  He had 8 seasons over 4,000 yards including a 5,038 back in 2011. The career high for passing TD in a season is 41 also back in 2011.  Calvin Johnson had 1,964 receiving yards that season.  The lack of a defense, running game, adn coaching often held the Lions back from being a competitive team.  Reggie Bush with 1,006 yards in 2013 is the only 1,000 rusher Stafford played with in his time with the Lions.  Stafford in Detroit owns a career record of 74-90-1.  To steal a line from Emmitt Smith, Stafford was a diamond in the poo-poo in Detroit.

Moving to Los Angeles is a dream scenario for Stafford and the Rams.  Being the quarterback in Super Genius Sean McVay’s offense makes Stafford my number 1 QB target this year in drafts.  We have heard so much in recent years about McVay having to use a lot of pre-snap motion to help hide Goff’s deficiencies.  Goff was slow reading defenses, struggled with pressure, and didn’t drive the ball down the field.  All of those areas are strengths for Stafford.  I view the McVay-Stafford as a match made in heaven comparable to a lesser extent of Sean Payton-Drew Brees.  

The supporting cast of Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Cam Akers, and Tyler Higbee will help Stafford put up huge fantasy numbers this season.  I believe Stafford’s arrival elevates all these players up the preseason rankings.  The LA defense is set up to play with a lead and rush the passer. With Stafford at the helm the Rams should be playing ahead more in 2021.    

In leagues where points are awarded for completions, Stafford’s value is sky high. For example in that format I would take Stafford over Tom Brady, Jalen Hurts, Ryan Tannehill, and Joe Burrow.

My projection for Stafford if he plays a full season would be around 4,500 yards and over 32 Touchdowns. I’m a huge proponent of stacking QB’s and WR1’s.  Cooper Kupp’s value also goes up significantly in 2021.  In 2019 Kupp had 94 catches and followed that up with 92 in 2020.  The Touchdowns dropped significantly from 10 down to 3. With 92 catches you should find the end zone more than 3 times.  Kupp will have 3 TD within the first month of the season.  A market correction is due for Kupp in 2021.  My projection is 100 plus catches and 10 plus TD for Kupp.