Category Archives: Football

Random Fantasy Football Musings

Highest Overdrafted QB

Falcons QB Matt Ryan

The 2016 MVP was a bust in 2017. 11 games last season with 1 or 0 TD passes last season.  How is that possible with Julio Jones?!? WR Calvin Ridley may be able to help alleviate some of the coverage that gets rolled to Julio.  Its sounds ludicrous to say a passer with 7 consecutive 4,000 yard seasons is overdrafted. I view him closer as a Top 15 QB to a Top 10.

 

Running Back Least Likely To Repeat 2017 Performance

Browns RB Duke Johnson

Finished as a top 12 PPR RB in 2017.  74 catches and 7 combined TD. The Browns passing attack will be much improved in 2018 with the switch from DeShon Kizer to Tyrod Taylor/Baker Mayfield.  The receiving corps has talent with Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon, Antonio Callaway, Corey Coleman, and David Njoku. The rushing attack was addressed in free agency (Carlos Hyde) and the draft (Nick Chubb).  I see Duke Johnson being the 3rd down back, but will lose a lot of targets/touches due to upgraded talent all around him.

 

Biggest Breakout Wide Receiver

Titans WR Corey Davis

I hope to draft Davis in every league this season.  Played in 11 games with just 34 receptions as a rookie.  Ankle Surgery and a hamstring injury limited Davis in training camp.  Then a Hamstring injury in Week 2 cost him 5 full games. Rookie receivers with a full offseason program and training camp can have a tough time adjusting to the NFL.  No surprise Davis looked lost after missing so much work in training camp and the early season. I’m buying the 2 TD performance vs. the Patriots in the playoffs.

 

Tight End Least Likely to Repeat 2017 Performance

Colts TE Jack Doyle

HIghly unlikely to catch 80 balls again.  (See Brandon Myers 2012)  Those numbers are a direct result of Jacoby Brissett playing QB last season.  Andrew Luck will drive the ball down the field and throw outside the numbers much more than Brissett.  T.Y. Hilton should be a big bounce back candidate. Eric Ebron I believe will also cut into Doyle’s workload.  

 

Defense that will come out of nowhere to be fantasy relevant

Cleveland Browns

Last season the offense killed the defense with turnovers. The defense metrics are skewed a bit due to having to play with a short field too much.  The offense should be improved and won’t kill the defense in 2018. Cleveland has amassed a collection of young talent that could take a step forward this season.  Myles Garrett was impressive as a rookie. The linebacking corps with Joe Schobert, Jamie Collins, and Christian Kirksey is solid. Denzel Ward and EJ Gaines should help to improve the secondary.  Start of the season looks tough with the opener vs. the Steelers followed by a road matchup with the Saints. Don’t be surprised if they put up good showings in these games.

Situations To Track In Training Camp

I spend all offseason researching players, situations, and teams in preparation for my drafts. I put together my mid to late round targets then pay attention in training camp and preseason games.  These are a few of the players and situations I’ll pay attention to this summer to finalize the back end of my draft strategery.

Chicago Bears 2nd Yr RB Tarik Cohen

How new Head Coach Matt Nagy plans to utilize Cohen is one of the most interesting storylines I’ll follow in training camp. The previous regime seemed unwilling to use Cohen in a larger role. The reality is a 5-6 181 lb running back isn’t going to be able to handle a between the tackles pounding. PPR scoring has Cohen ranked much higher than in Standard. Trey Burton and Anthony Miller could take away looks form Cohen. In a PPR format could have sneaky middle to late round value.  

 

Dallas Cowboys Rookie WR Michael Gallup and 5th Yr WR Allen Hurns

Replacing Dez Bryant and Jason Witten will be a major storyline entering the 2018 season in Dallas.  Gallup had 21 TD in 2 years at Colorado State. This 3rd rd pick could be stepping into a sizable role out of the gate. Higher value in Dynasty formats than seasonal formats.  Hurns signed to a 2-yr deal after getting released from the Jaguars. Hurns caught 10 TD in 2015, but wasn’t able to replicate that production. The 2015 campaign came as an outside receiver, while Hurns spent more time in the slot last season.  Hurns should be able to play outside in Dallas and provide a bounce-back campaign in 2018. If I had to draft today in a seasonal league my choice would be Hurns over Gallup.

 

Indianapolis Colts RB’s  2nd YR Marlon Mack, Rookies Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins

Mack couldn’t take away the job from Frank Gore in 2017.  Mack had some great runs, but also got stuffed behind the line too much. Mack did play with a torn labrum in his shoulder.  Hines played some slot receiver at NC State. Hines in a PPR format could pop up for some big plays this season.  Wilkins is a bigger back out of Ole Miss that is solid in pass protection. To me this is a battle of Wilkins vs. Mack for the starting job with Hines coming in as a change of pace back.  Robert Turbin is out 4-games due to suspension and serves a complimentary role. This training camp battle is one I’ll keep tabs on. If I drafted today, Wilkins would be my choice.

 

Los Angeles Chargers 2nd Yr WR Mike Williams

Caught 11 balls in 10 games last season coming off a back injury that forced him to miss training camp.  The Chargers didn’t draft Williams 7th overall to have him play behind Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin.  TE Hunter Henry is out for the upcoming season with an ACL tear.  Keenan Allen won’t catch 200 balls a season so someone else will be fantasy relevant in the Chargers offense. I’ll be watching to see if Mike Williams is that player that scored 11 TD in his final season at Clemson.  Could fly up draft boards if healthy.

 

Miami Dolphins Rookie RB Kalen Ballage

As I mentioned in a previous post (Hugh Hefner Approach to RB) Ballage can be viewed as a handcuff for Kenyan Drake.  After hearing Adam Gase comments thru minicamp about Ballage, my viewpoint has changed. I wasn’t planning on going up for Kenyan Drake in drafts, but I now may pass on him.  Ballage is one of my main training camp track targets.

 

New York Jets WR’s3rd Yr Robbie Anderson, 5th Yr Quincy Enunwa,  7th Yr Terrelle Pryor, 7th Yr Jermaine Kearse.

Enunwa led the Jets in receiving yards in 2016 and Anderson in 2017.  Enunwa missed 2017 due to neck injury. Anderson is a speedster that caught 7 TD last season.  Pryor has made an admirable transition from QB to WR, but fell flat in Washington last season. An ankle injury was to blame, but I’m not so sure there wasn’t something else.  If drafting today I’d take Anderson over the field. Enunwa would be my 2nd choice if healthy. Pryor would need a great camp to get on my radar. Kearse is a better NFL player than fantasy player.        

 

Seattle Seahawks 4th Yr WR Tyler Lockett

Lower Body injuries have derailed Lockett’s NFL career.  The player that had 11 TD in his JR and SR years at Kansas State hasn’t shown up in Seattle.  Paul Richardson left in free agency for the Redskins. Brandon Marshall was brought in on a cheap deal.  Lockett is a late round gamble at this stage. I own him in a dynasty league and will be paying close attention to how things go in camp. If the showing isn’t promising, Lockett may be off my roster at draft time.

Tight End Strategery

My plans for TE this season have completely changed with the ACL injury to Chargers TE Hunter Henry.  I planned on drafting him in every league. The situation and draft slot would allow me to select him in the middle rounds and get what I believed to be high-end production. I can’t justify spending a high pick on Gronk due to age and injury concerns.  Since I live in Wisconsin, Jimmy Graham will go earlier than usual. Jordan Reed is always hurt and I can’t take him with a mid-round pick anymore. Evan Engram, Kyle Rudolph, or Delanie Walker will be my starting TE. I also love Dolphins rookie TE Mike Gesicki in a dynasty format. Rookie TE’s often struggle to make an impact due to adjusting route running and blocking schemes.  Gesicki in a seasonal league is a TE2 with upside. The players listed below are guys I will track in camps to see where to slot them on my draft board.

Bears TE Trey Burton

There are $32 million reasons Burton should be on your radar this season. Burton is projected to play the Travis Kelce role in Matt Nagy’s offense.  Just because Burton is playing the Travis Kelce role in the offense doesn’t mean he’s going to produce like Travis Kelce. I’m a fan of Burton, but will certainly have another solid TE on my roster.  Mitchell Trubisky didn’t seem to be able to read the whole field last season. A Jared Goff type jump in Year 2 is possible. I like Burton more as my TE2, than TE 1.

 

Rams TE Gerald Everett

2nd round pick from South Alabama caught just 16 balls for 2 TD in his rookie season. The Rams have weapons in the receiving crops with Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp. Everett offers more size and could emerge as a red zone threat in 2018. I’m targeting him in a dynasty league and as a late round flier in seasonal leagues.

 

49ers TE George Kittle

5th round pick did some damage in Weeks 15 (4-52), 16 (3-42-1), and 17 (4-100). I picked him up late after Hunter Henry was knocked out for the season.  The 49ers with Jimmy G at the helm look to have an emerging offense. Pierre Garcon has never scored more than 6 TD in a season. Marquise Goodwin played well late, but at 179 lbs could struggle in the red zone. I plan to target Kittle in PPR leagues as a TE2.  

 

Cardinals TE Ricky Seals-Jones

Popular waiver wire claim after catching 3-54-2 against the Texans in Week 11.  The following week RSJ dropped 4-72-1 vs. the Jaguars then poof the production was gone.  RSJ is a converted WR from Texas A&M and scored a 27 on the Wonderlic. How much of the workload RSJ, Christian Kirk, and Chad Williams can take is something to track closely in camp.    

 

Lions TE Michael Roberts

Scored 16 TD in his senior season at Toledo.  With Luke Willson and Levine Toilolo as the main competition on the depth chart, Roberts has a chance to carve out a role in the Lions passing attack.  Improvements in blocking will be the key to more playing time.

Week 16 Fantasy Football Circle Of Trust

Jaguars QB Blake Bortles

Played like Trash by throwing 7 TD combined in his last 3 games.  Jadaveon Clowney with quote of the year.  

 

Giants RB Wayne Gallman

13 catches combined in the last 2 weeks. Deep league PPR Flex vs. the Cardinals.

 

Patriots RB Mike Gillislee

Gets dusted off being inactive in the last 6 games. Facing former team wouldn’t surprise me if Hoody and McHoody don’t try to get Gillislee up to speed in case Burkhead can’t return for postseason.

 

Ravens WR Mike Wallace

Scored in double figures in PPR formats for 3 consecutive weeks. Colts have allowed 61 completions of 20 yards and 11 over 40 yards. Deep speed is Wallace calling card.

 

Chargers TE Antonio Gates

3rd on team in red zone targets since Week 10. Future Hall of Famer will dazzle us with his play vs. the Jets. Next Stop Canton.

 

Rams K Sam Ficken

Takes over with Greg Zuerlein going on IR. Titans provided enough of a challenge to stall some drives.  

 

Bears Defense

Home vs. the Browns. DeShon Kizer has thrown for 9 TD 19 INT and a 59.3 Passer rating.

 

Bears LB Lamarr Houston

Best known for tearing his ACL celebrating a sack dance, then getting cut by the Bears. Has returned to the Windy City with 4 sacks in his last 3 games.  

Week 10 Fantasy Basketball Circle Of Trust

Nuggets PF Trey Lyles

4-game week with three road games. Thunder, Wolves, Blazers, Warriors. Lyles is a big that has hit 13 from downtown in his last 4 games.  Also a solid free throw shooter.  Will help with shooting and do enough in the defensive stats meriting the pickup.  The return of Nikola Jokic didn’t cut into Lyles minutes as they shared the floor.  Short term add they should be owned until Paul Millsap returns. Available in 90% of ESPN leagues.

 

Suns SG Isaiah Canaan

15 points 7 assists and 5 boards in his Suns debut.  Injuries are the path to Canaan’s playing time. Daily fantasy owners may want to roll the dice on Canaan while he’s getting minutes. Phoenix is a disaster, but there are fantasy relevant.  Canaan is owned in 1.1% of ESPN leagues. 4-games this week on the road with the Mavericks and Clippers. Then at home with the Grizzlies and Wolves.

 

Jazz C Epke Udoh

4-game this week on the road with the Rockets and Thunder. Returns home for matchups against the Spurs and Thunder. Udoh is a short-term add with Derrick Favors dealing with an eye injury along with being in NBA concussion protocol.  Daily players looking for Blocks and Boards may want to roll with Udoh. Owned in 2.2% of ESPN leagues.  

Week 15 Fantasy Football Circle Of Trust

Eagles QB Nick Foles

Giants have allowed the 2nd most passing yards in all of football. Foles has weapons around him and a solid scheme. Could help owners that lost Wentz or have been playing QB Roulette all season.

 

Packers RB Jamaal Williams

Scored in double digit points in the PPR format in 5 of his last 6 games. Also scored a TD in 3 straight games. Panthers give up just 89.5 yards per game on the ground.  With Aaron Rodgers returning, Williams should still see a solid workload.

 

Packers WR Jordy Nelson

Hasn’t scored a TD since Week 5. Hasn’t had a game over 35 receiving yards with Brett Hundley under center. Those that rode the storm out with Nelson will be rewarded this week.

 

Bonus WR Dede Westbrook

Goes off vs the Texans. Speed kills.

 

Raiders TE Jared Cook

Cowboys allow on average 5 catches and 53 yards per game to opposing TE.

 

49ers K Robbie Gould

9 field goals combined in his last 2 games. 49ers have the semblance of an NFL offense and Gould has reaped the benefits.

 

Vikings Defense

Rebounds in Cincinnati vs. the Bengals banged up offensive line. Big days for Griffin and Hunter off the edge.  

 

Panthers DE Julius Peppers

9.5 sacks this season on a snap count. This Future Hall Of Famer will be amped up  to play his former team and get to A-Rod.  

Week 14 Fantasy Football Circle Of Trust

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

On the road vs. the Texans. Garoppolo made quick decisions and displayed accuracy last week. The Texans have been a disaster vs. the pass since Week 8. Deep league play or DFS worthy.

 

Cowboys RB Alfred Morris

Takes on the G-Men on the road. Big Blue has allowed a league worst 130.7 yards per game on the ground. Ben McAdoo having more time to spend on his Gordon Gekko/ Pat Riley hairdo won’t fix holes in the defense.

 

Browns WR Josh Gordon

11 targets for 4 catches and 85 yards in his return last week. This week faces a Packers defense that has allowed an opponent’s passer rating of 98.2.  Injuries in the secondary won’t help matters for the Packers. I believe Gordon plays a huge role in Cleveland’s first win of the season this week.

 

Bonus

 

49ers WR Marquise Goodwin

Texans have allowed 23 receiving TD this season. Goodwin is a solid flex-play.

 

Jets TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins

The Broncos are 2nd worst in yards allowed to opposing TE. Playing in Denver isn’t what it once was. ASJ will easily outproduce what he has in the last 2 weeks combined. (4 catches 34 yards)

 

Chargers K Travis Coons

Chargers have dazzled me with their play the last 3 weeks scoring 101 points combined.

Redskins are in free fall mode.

 

Patriots Defense

Have intercepted a pass in 8 of 12 games including 5 straight. On the road vs. the Dolphins. Doubtful Jay Cutler ends that streak.

 

Browns LB Joe Schobert

7 games of 10 or more total tackles. Tied for 2nd in the NFL in total tackles with 113.   

 

Week 11 Fantasy Football Circle Of Trust

Dolphins QB Jay Cutler

Looks to stop a 3-game losing streak vs. the Bucs who have allowed a 98.8 opponents passer rating.  Cutler has thrown 5 TD in his last 2 games in garbage time.

 

Falcons RB Tevin Coleman

Tough matchup on Monday Night Football in Seattle, but worth a flex play as Falcons lead back this week.

 

Ravens WR Jeremy Maclin

11 catches for 151 yards and a TD in his last 2 games. Maclin frequently battles soft tissue injuries, but coming off the bye should be in lineups vs. the Packers.

 

Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph

Has 5 or more catches in 5 straight contests.  Rudolph should continue to offer steady production.

 

Redskins K Nick Rose

Should be a high scoring affair with the Saints.

 

Chiefs Defense

I’m much higher on the Chiefs defense than rankers I’ve looked at this week. The Giants are a dead team walking. Kansas City has had clunkers in 2 of their last 3 games.  Coming off the bye I anticipate Kansas City to generate turnovers and do some damage on special teams.

 

Chargers MLB Denzel Perryman

10 total tackles in his return.  The Bills with a rookie QB making his first NFL start will try to run the ball leading to more tackle opportunities for Perryman.

Week 10 Fantasy Football Circle Of Trust

Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

Jets have allowed the most TD passes in the NFL.  Even without Mike Evans, Fitzmagic is a streamer in a revenge game. My bye week fill-in for Carson Wentz.

 

Giants RB Orleans Darkwa

49ers have allowed the most 1st downs on the ground with 72. Darkwa is seeing a majority of the workload and is worth a flex this week.

 

Rams WR Cooper Kupp

Texans pass defense has been a mess.  Kupp leads the team in red-zone targets and finds the end zone this week. I’m playing Kupp over Will Fuller and Josh Doctson.

 

Texans TE CJ Fiedorowicz

Expected to come off the IR this week. Tom Savage doesn’t have the arm to drive the ball down the field. Fiedorowicz could catch quite a few check downs.

 

Steelers K Chris Boswell

Should be busy vs. the Colts.

 

Patriots Defense

Have allowed 17 points or less in last 4 games. The Rocket Scientist should be able to force Brock Osweiler to turn the ball over.

 

Browns DE Myles Garrett

Has played in 3 games and has 4 sacks. Lions have allowed 26 Sacks and Garrett gets to Stafford.