Fantasy Football- Four late round targets

Value is the key to having a successful fantasy football draft. Finding sleepers is not an easy thing to do.  Injuries and stupidity from your conterparts can sometimes work out in your favor.  Here are a few guys that you can grab late that can end up being in that playoff lineup.  

Javonte WIlliams, RB, Denver Broncos, ADP: 64

Williams put up ridiculous numbers in his final season at North Carolina, finishing the season with 22 touchdowns and averaging 7.3 yards per carry. He was snagged in the second round by the Denver Broncos.  Williams will have to contend with veteran Melvin Gordon for carris but his experience sharing carries in college will prepare him for that role.  He will step onto the field ready to make the most of every touch.

When drafting Williams you may have to wait a few weeks to get the payback but the organization spent a top 35 pick on him which means they want him to play immediately.  Gordon is in his age 28 season and has a history of injury issues, you could likely see a time split early on in the season with Williams ability ultimately winning over the position.  

The Broncos have question marks with Drew Lock but the offensive weapons are still there and can create a lot of scoring opportunities. The solid Broncos defense could also play a factor into games, keeping it close, allowing the offense to play ball control with its two running backs.  Williams ability to break any play will be a great asset for your fantasy team.

Jamal Williams, RB, Detroit Lions, ADP: 125

Another overlooked Williams in the backfield is former Packer Jamaal Williams who inked a deal with the rival Detroit Lions in the offseason.  Williams has already shown the ability to make the most of his touches playing behind fantasy standout Aaron Jones last season.  Getting potentially limited touches behind second year runner De’Andre Swift shouldn’t deter you from taking a chance on the 26-year-old power runner. 

The Lions moving from Mathew Stafford to Jared Goff is a change in the offensive gameplan. Jared Goff’s style of play opens up the run game, utilizing the play action.  Goff has consistently had running backs that have excelled behind him.  The Lions starting RB Deandre Swift has shown an inability to stay on the field, which will mean more carries for Williams who has the ability to be an every down back. 

Corey Davis, WR, New York Jets, ADP: 123

A former first round pick that has become the focal point of a new offense with a dynamic QB at the helm.  That former first round pick is also coming off of the best season of his career and will likely be the deep threat for a team that will be playing from behind a lot during the 2021 season. With a new QB means a new favorite target and Zach Wilson has already made it clear that Davis is going to be his favorite. Wilson has thrown to Davis in 55% of his throws in the preseason. 

The Jets have rebuilt their offensive line in the offseason in order to protect their #2 overall pick. The idea is that Wilson will be allowed to let loose just like he did at BYU and if that is the ase the #1 option will be Corey Davis.  The best part is that you can get a top receiver with your 11th round pick or maybe even later.  

Ja’Mar Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals, ADP: 59

Rookie receivers can come with risks.  It is one of the hardest positions to learn at the next level.  Luckily for Ja’Mar Chase he has a built in chemistry with QB Joe Burrow because of their time at LSU.  Chase has had a tough preseason, three drops on three targets in their most game has a lot of fantasy owners questioning him which could allow you to pick him up late in your drafts.  

The Bengals threw the ball a lot last season, regression is likely but when the game is on the line they will be looking to throw the ball.  The former LSU standout will get a lot of one-on-one coverage due to last year’s emergence of Tee Higgins.  Chase has the ability to be a top ten wide receiver as he progresses throughout the season.  Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor was the mastermind that was able to bring the best out of Jared Goff, utilizing multiple wide receivers over the middle for short passes that eventually could open up the big play.  Joe Burrow is  way ahead of Goff and Chase is the most talented receiver on the team.  He will have an impact on a fantasy championship.

NFL Playoff Saturday – Betting Each Game

Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills have won six straight games and covered in eight straight games.  The Bills offense has set the tone scoring 31 ppg this season, ranking second in the NFL.   Josh Allen has dominating opposing defenses, putting himself in the middle of the MVP conversation. Allen has thrown for 15 touchdown passes in his last five games.  He will be without one of his favorite targets, Cole Beasley, but last week’s return of John Brown should make up for the loss. Stefon Diggs has shown that he is a top ten receiver in the NFL and has become a matchup nightmare for any team.  The Colts are only 20th in the league in yards versus the pass.  The combination of Diggs and Allen is one of the top combinations in the league and will show it on Saturday. 

The Colts have gottent he reputation of being a defensive team this year.  They have one of best defensive players in pro bowl linebacker Darius Leonard and rank second in the league in rush yards against and 10th in ppg given up.  The defense has stood out but while the offense has been on a nice roll all season.  They rank top 11 in both run and pass offense.  Rookie RB Jonathon Taylor has established himself as the lead back, scoring five touchdowns in his last three games, as well as running for 253 yards in their season finale.  QB Phillip Rivers has spread the ball around all season.  TY Hilton, Zac Pascal, Michael Pittman Jr., and Nyheim Hines have all been effective receivers for the Colts and any one of them could be the go-to target on Saturday.  

These two teams have been great to the over all season, combined they are 20-11 to the over.  They both feature top ten scoring offenses in the league.  The Colts have to take the lead early to have a chance against the powerful Bills offense.  While the Colts have the ability to run the ball effectively they don’t have Josh Allen.  Buffalo will give up points but this game is going to be high scoring so I am going with the team that has the better skill position players.

Pick: Over 52, Bills -6.5

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks

Two teams that are very familiar with each other meet on Saturday when the Rams head to Seattle to take on the Seahawks.  Both teams have questions on the offensive side of the ball, the Rams may be without starting QB Jared Goff while Seattle has had issues putting the ball in the endzone.  

The Seahawks started the season dominating on the offensive end averaging over 40 points per game in their first five.  Lately outside of a 40 point effort against the lowly Jets, Seattle has not found the same success.  Over their last 8 games the Seahawks are averaging just 23 ppg.  

The Rams may not have Goff on Saturday but they should have back WR Cooper Kupp who had to sit out the season finale with Arizona due to covid protocols.  Backup QB John Wolford showed some great elusive skills as a runner in his first career start, causing all kinds of problems for the Cardinals linebackers.  His ability to run opened up the pass game in the second half and with the return of Kupp and another week back for Cam Akers the Rams offense should give problems to a Seattle defense that has been great lately but may not have Safety Jamal Adams. 

These two teams have a lot of important injuries that are TBD.  Even if Goff is able to suit up it seems unlikely he can be very effective.  The Rams offense hasn’t been effective at all over the last five weeks, while the Seattle defense has transformed after the addition of Carlos Dunlap.  Even without Jamal Adams the Seattle defense can be effective against the Rams.  Seattle brings more weapons to the offesnive side.  I am going to trust Russell Wilson and the Seattle defense over a litany of uncertainty that the Rams have to deal with. 

Pick: Seattle Seahawks -3.5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team

The Washington Football Team won the NFC East.  They did this with a QB that literally couldn’t walk a year ago and a coach that likely had a lot of other things on his mind. The Football Team is built aroun their stellar defense led by rookie Chase Young.  They have held teams to just 20 ppg and just 190 yards through the air.  They haven’t given up more than 20 points in their last six games. With an offense that has not been able to find a grove the whole season due to many different QB changes, ultimately leading to former first round pick Dwayne Haskins getting released. Veteran Alex Smith will have to do his best to limit turnovers and take advantage of any positive field position. 

The Washington defense will face Tom Brady and the red hot offense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Brady was able to figure out his offensive weapons capabilites against the inferior defenses of Detroit, Minnesota and Atlanta (2) over their last four games.  Tampa Bay has not been able to establish the run consistently, if they are forced to throw consistently on Saturday they will be in trouble against the Washington defensive line.  Chase Young and Montez Sweat bring constant pressure. Brady has had his issues with tough defensive line and that should continue in this matchup.

Tampa Bay’s defense is a great matchup against the Washington offense that has to lean on the run due to lack of talent on the outside. Washington’s run first offense will have a lot of trouble against he leagues #1 overall run defense.  Tampa has basically taken the run away from opposing teams, they have had issues getting pressure on the QB but they won’t have to worry about a lot of downfield plays against Washington.  

Brady will struggle against the pressure, Washington will be able to get pressure with its front four allowing them to double the explosive receivers downfield.  The Bucs offense will struggle early but make adjustments in the second half that will allow them to just score more points than a lackluster opposing offense.  This game will be a chess match that may score the least amount of points of wild card weekend.  Bucs will win but won’t cover. 

Pick: Washington Football Team +9, Under 44.5 

NFL DFS Picks Dec.6 (Main Slate)

*These are just suggestions!

QB: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Rodgers made it look easy last Sunday against the Chicago Bears. He has put up at least 23 fantasy points in each of his last six games.  The Eagles are actually pretty good against QBs this season but they will have to face a red hot Rodgers who should have most of his offensive talent available to him.  He has built chemistry with players other than just Davante Adams.  Robert Tonyan and Allen Lazard have both seen steps forward.  Aaron is priced pretty fairly at just $6,800.  I want to ride the hot hand.

Other QB’s I Love:

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins

RB: Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

RB: Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

Austin Ekeler is back and so is the production.  Ekeler saw an astounding 16 targets out of the backfield last week against Buffalo, he had a total of 25 touches in his first game back and should see similar production against the Patriots.  The Patriots will likely try and lock down Keenan Allen, which will force rookie Justin Herbert to go to his check down Ekeler.  

Jonathan Taylor was activated from the covid list right on time for a juicy matchup with the worst rush defense in the league the Houston Texans. Houston has given up 26 ppg to RBs this season and it should continue this week, as the Colts will look to keep the ball on the ground to manage the clock. Taylor should see a lot of touches this weekend.  His price is the best part at just $5.7K.

Other RB’s I Love:

David Montgomery, Chicago Bear

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (Duh)

WR: Keke Coutee, Houston Texans

WR: Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams

WR: Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

Keke Coutee is just $3.5K.  Coutee was the only receiver other than the suspended Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks to get a snap count above 25% in their last game.  Coutee will be forced into a bigger role without Fuller as the Texans will likely be forced to throw more against the tough Colts. 

Robert Woods has had 27 targets in his last two games.  He did not miss a single snap last week against the Cardinals.  His potential volume at a price under $6,000 makes him a great option in a likely high scoring game. 

Davante Adams- I am a believer that if you start a QB, you should start their #1 target.  Adams is by far the #1 target in Green Bay.  We saw what DK Metcalf did last week to the Eagles, we should see similar production from Adams on Sunday. 

Other WR’s I Love: 

Michael Pittman Jr, Indianapolis Colts

Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears

TE: Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers

Robert Tonyan is way to cheap at $3.7K.  The Eagles will be forced to pay attention to multiple offensive threats which should leave Tonyan with multiple opportunities to hit value.  The return of Lazard has opened up a lot more freedom for Tonyan in the red zone.  He is a serious threat for a TD at a way to low cost. 

Flex: James White, New England Patriots

James White has returned to form over the last two weeks.  The injury to Rex Burkhead has opened up a lot of production for White, he has put up back to back weeks of 14+ points and has a good matchup with the Chargers on Sunday.  White shockingly rushed for two touchdowns last week, getting the red zone carries.  His real value comes from targets out of the backfield but by adding the threat of goal line carries he is way underpriced at just $5,000.  

Defense: Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks have found a pass rush since adding Carlos Dunlap and getting healthier in the secondary.  They get to face the Giants with Colt McCoy under center.  

Fantasy Football Regrets

The fantasy football playoffs are already upon us.  This is the time that we look back and tell ourselves what we did wrong.  You may have been just one pick away from being a champion or being dead last.  I played in a couple leagues this year and here are my biggest regrets. I did not take injuries into account because they can happen at any time and you can’t consider that a mistake. 

AJ Green in the 6th round. Total fantasy points 41.7

Sometimes name value does cloud your judgement.  That was the case when I grabbed AJ Green in the 6th round.  I had already taken two RB’s and two WR’s that I had a ton of confidence in, I always wait on QB’s and I had snagged Darren Waller in the fifth round.  I wanted some depth and a potential flex option.  Green has been a star receiver for most of my fantasy football life.  His last time actually playing in 2018 he was putting up 11 points per game on an offense that didn’t have much depth outside of him. 

While I was sure injuries may have slowed him down he was still only in his ninth season coming off of a year without contact and a QB in Joe Burrow that was ready to throw the ball a lot. The Bengals have thrown the ball a lot ,just rarely goes to AJ Green.  He has three games this season where he was targeted over ten times and his total scores in those games were 8.2, 8.2 and 3.  Green just doesn’t have the same speed and playmaking ability he once had.  On the season he has just 1 TD and that came in week 11.  

With Joe Burrow tearing his ACL, the Bengals season is pretty much done.  Green will have no motivation to even try and make something of himself.  This was a bad call that you just have to live with in the fantasy world sometimes.  

DeAndre Hopkins over DaVante Adams

I played lightly this season, only entering two leagues.  One league was a 12 man league where I picked Davante Adams in the second round.  Another was an 8 team league that I picked DeAndre Hopkins in the second round.  Little did I know that Hopkins was actually going to regress after finally getting away from Bill O’Brien.  

I am not blaming Hopkins.  He is playing with a second year QB that is still trying to handle the adjustments of the superior level defenses.  But still there have been times this season where it appears as if Hopkins isn’t even in the game.  He ranks 12th in fantasy points per game at just 10.8 (Fantasypros.com).  In 2017 and 2018 Hopkins was a TD machine bringing in 11 and 13 each of those seasons.  He currently has just 4 touchdowns on the season and one of those was the miracle hail mary against the Bills.  

The Cardinals offense has leaned more toward the utilization of Kyler’s ability to run the ball on his own rather than target their #1 receiver. Don’t get me wrong, 77 catches for 967 yards is not a scrub season, but Adams is having an elite season despite his injuries.  This one won’t make me lose sleep but I can still curse the name of DeAndre Hopkins.  

Believing Devin Singletary was going to be good. 

I drafted Devin Singletary in my 8 team league in the 9th round, 69th overall.  I shouted to the rooftops last year that I thought a healthy Singletary could easily be a top ten RB in fantasy because of his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.  This thought was stupid.  Josh Allen is the best RB on the team and the Bills really only seem interested in him running the ball and throwing it over the top.  The game plan along with the addition of Zach Moss, who was drafted in the 3rd round out of Utah basically made Singletary and after thought.  

Singletary currently has101 total fantasy points (PPR). He has actually been productive on the ground averaging 4 yards per carry but he has only found the end zone 1 time in 2020 and has seen less and less snaps as the season has gone on. Over his last 7 games he has only hit double digits in fantasy points twice.  It’s not so much that I thought Singletary was going to carry me to the championship but I really thought he would be a solid flex play every single week.  He ended up being my first drop of the year.  

Main Slate Draftkings Lineup

QB: Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans ($7,100)

Watson gets a week of rest ahead of a game with the Jacksonville Jaguars with their horrendous defense.  The Jags give up the 4th most fantasy points to QBs this season and Watson has already roasted them once with 29.86 fantasy points in week five.  Watson is moderately priced at just $7.1K.  What makes him a better choice than Justin Herbert or any other top fives is that his receivers are affordable.  He is easy to match up with Will Fuller, Brandin Cooks and Darren Fells.  

Other QB’s I Love:

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

RB: Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings ($8,200)

RB: James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars ($7,000)

Dalvin Cook is coming off of a monster performance against the Packers.  He will likely be very popular but the matchup is too good to ignore.  The Lions give 32 fantasy points per game this season versus RBs.  The Minnesota offense has very little interest in putting the ball in the hands of Kirk Cousins.  They will continue to feature Cook and he will dominate this matchup. 

James Robinson will have a rookie QB at the helm on Sunday when he faces one of the worst run defenses in the league.  The Jaguars, Texans game has one of the top totals in the league and Robinson will be a big part of that.  Robinson is hot, ride the hot hand. 

Other RB’s I Love:

Deejay Dallas, Seattle Seahawks (If Carson is ruled out)

David Johnson, Houston Texans

WR: Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans ($5,500)

WR: Marvin Jones Jr., Detroit Lions ($5,100)

WR: Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs ($4,800)

Cooks is my choice to pair with Watson.  His cost at $5.5K is a main reason why.  He has three straight games with at least nine targets.  He dominated the Jaguars in his last outing against them going for 33 DK points. 

Jones Jr. may be without Mathew Stafford on Sunday.  Even without Stafford Jones Jr. should still be a great option against the subpar Vikings secondary. The Vikings have given up 15 touchdowns to wide receivers this year.  The Lions won’t have Kenny Golladay on Sunday and may have Chase Daniel under center but they are a team that consistently will lean on the pass.  

You can start nearly any Chief and have a great chance to get points.  Mecole Hardman is coming off a nine target game, his explosiveness is always a touchdown waiting to happen.  His price tag of $4.8K is too intriguing to ignore.  Hardeman has been the clear replacement for Sammy Watkins seeing 68% of the snaps, second on the team to Tyreke Hill.  Find a receiver on an offense this good at a similar price,  go ahead and play him. 

Other WR’s I Love: 

Any Seattle or Buffalo Receivers you can fit.

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears

Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

TE: Noah Fant, Denver Broncos ($4,600)

Tightend has its top options.  Kelce, Waller and Andrews are always great but Noah Fant is beginning to find himself in that category. He is a target monster for a Denver team that doesn’t have a clear #1 receiver. Atlanta has given up the most fantasy points to the position in the league.  

Flex: Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers ($4,900)

Seems like Justin Jackson is now the #1 RB for the Chargers.  Coming off of a game where he got 20 touches and 5 total targets he has established himself in the Chargers backfield.  Jackson gets a great matchup with the Raiders.  He is a starting RB, in a great matchup with a close spread and a high potential total. 

Defense: New York Giants ($2,700)

They are a defense playing a bottom five offense.  Why not. 

Other Defense I Love:

Steelers (Duh)

Washington Football Team

Titans offense is the best in the league.

Are Titans the best offense in the league?

The Titans are 5-0.  Along with the Steelers and the Seahawks they are the only teams in the league with a still undefeated mark.  They have built their team around an offense that has been impossible to stop. Despite not featuring the premier names in the league they have built an offense that has a bit of old school in it while constantly evolving into the trends of the league. 

Tennessee features an offense that can do anything it wants to move the ball.  Ryan Tannahill has broken away from the cesspool that was Adam Gase to finally meet the expectations of a former first round draft pick. Ryan Tannahill since being named starter in 2019 (Week 7) has led the league in touchdown passes (40), and yards per attempt (8.6 YPA). He has the 4th highest QBR of the season (83.3), that puts him in front of Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson, and Kyer Murray.  His ability to throw on the move and develop with the young receivers has made him an unstoppable force in a league that is seeing a boom in athletic quarterback play.  He has made stars of players that most teams had overlooked, AJ Brown and Jonnu Smith have emerged in this dynamic offense because Tannahill has led them to this point.  His trust in his receiving core allows him to make plays that we had not seen early in his career.  Looking at the highlights from Sunday’s victory over the Texans shows a couple of plays that utilizes his mobility (watch 2:19) and his trust of second year star AJ Brown (watch at 13:14). 

Highlights from Texans/Titans:

The Titans offense is built around the bell cow Derrick Henry.  Everyone knows he is going to get the ball but stopping him is another story.  His bruising runs punish opposing defenses to the point where they are forced to sell out to stopping him.  He currently leads the league in rushing yards by 100 more yards than the next ranked player.  He is as dominant as any player we have ever seen in the league.  The Titans added another weapon in the backfield, Jeremy McNichols, the 2017 fifth round pick out of Boise State brings a different tempo to the field when he is in the game.  He has a lot of Dion Lewis/James White in him.  He is a perfect fit to change the pace up when Henry gets a breather.  

The Titans offense is a throwback, built around the run to open up the pass.They have been able to run this efficient offesne despite being held backby multiple Covid-19 issues.  Wide receivers Adam Humphries and Corey Davis have missed time but they will all be healthy soon and this offense will continue to thrive. They are backed up by a coach that has all the confidence in his team that will allow them to go out and take chances.  The Titans are no longer a run first team that can’t be successful without Derrick Henry.  This is a team that can match up with the powerful offesnes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. The Titans are a real threat in the AFC, this offense is going to be tough to stop.

NFL coaches that have to be fired.

Football is always built around overreactions.  The shortest professional sports season means every game is given ample time to critique each and every decision.  Coaching careers can be dictated by their ways of adjusting from week to week.  

Matt Patricia – Detroit Lions

I believed that Matt Patricia was going to finally commit to the run last year. Kerryon Johnson looked like a future star that could take a lot of the pressure off of Mattew Stafford.  Utilizing the run has all but disappeared due to the lack of the ever having an actual lead.  

Patricia’s record is a  dismal 9 – 23 since taking over in 2018.  While win/loss records can have asterisks needed around them due to injuries, notably last year, when Mathew Stafford missed most of the regular season it’s the complete ineptitude of the Lions on the defensive end that has to force the hand of the organization.  Patricia came to Detroit as the former defensive coordinator of the vaunted Patriots.  In his first season with Detroit the Lions ranked 16th in overall team defense.  It was middle of the pack and somewhat acceptable in his first season.  In year number two The Lions declined to 26th in the league.  

The Lions collapse in the 4th quarter of game one of the season was an example of the decline of the organization.  The Lions continually add talent to the team on both ends of the ball but the leadership has not been able to find the right mix to be successful.  The NFC North has been up for the taking over the last few seasons, but the Lions continue to take no steps forward.  

Dan Quinn – Atlanta Falcons

Dan Quinn has been in Atlanta for six years. He took them to a superbowl in 2016 where they infamously blew a lead to Tom Brady and the Patriots. Quinn followed up the superbowl appearance with a 10-6 record in 2017.   Since then the Falcons are 14-18 and have lost games in ways that will make their teams puke.  

Atlanta has wasted one of the best offenses in the league over the last two years.  In 2018 the Falcons actually ranked top ten in the league in total defense but they gave up a staggering 401 yards per game. The defense was way worse in 2019 and has continued to give up yards in the first two games of 2020.  They inexplicably play man to man coverage allowing teams to pick apart the secondary of their choosing.  The lack of defensive adjustments is staggering to watch.  

The Falcons blew a lead to the Dallas Cowboys this weekend due to the stupidity of the coaching staff.  The refusal of Dirk Koetter to lean on the outside zone runs is baffling.  The Cowboys were dealing with multiple injuries that opened up the possibility of running out the clock. 

Quinn is a problem because he refuses to make the changes to coaching concepts.  A team that continually gives up big leads has no other option but to blame the head coach. 

Adam Gase- New York Jets

The New York Jets seem like a cursed franchise.  An organization that has a great history in the league is snake bitten by bad decisions.  The worst of those decisions could be maintaining the services of Adam Gase. 

Gase was the coach in Miami when they drafted Ryan Tannehill.  Tannehill had zero progression in his time with Gase, he actually lost his job and eventually found himself in Tennesee.  Now away from Gase, Tannehill has established himself as an offensive threat.  Gase’s inability to connect with his team and quarterback could not only hurt the organization but waste the talent of Sam Darnold.  Darnold’s numbers on paper aren’t horrible but his decision making seems to continue to be a problem.  That shows a lack of preparation from the coaching staff.  

The Jets picked up Le’Veon Bell last season and instead of focusing the offense on the premier runningback, they focused on Sam Darnold continually throwing the ball.   The Jets offensive approach doesn’t make any sense.  They are going to waste a great talent if they don’t move on from Gase now.  Darnold may not get a second chance like Tannehill.  

Bill O’Brien- Houston Texans

The Houston Texans will likely find a way to win the AFC South.  That’s what they do.  Houston has had a tough start to the season, playing the defending champion Chiefs and the powerful Balitmore Ravens. Excuses will come his way but we can never forget that he has had tons of problems with relationships with his players and a history of stupid decisions.  

No matter what happens this season, he moved DeAndre Hopkins and didn’t even get a first round pick.  Brandin Cooks, Joey Galloway and Percy Harvin are just a few of the wide receivers that all were moved for first round picks.  This is unforgivable. 

Oh and the fake punt last year against the Chiefs.  Just plain stupid.  How does this guy really have a job right now?

Ranking Rookie Fantasy Breakouts.

5) Ke-Shawn Vaughn, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vaughn is going to immediately push the underwhelming Ronald Jones in his first season in Tampa Bay. Despite playing for the often overlooked Vanderbilt Commodores Vaughn put together some great statistical years his final two seasons.  

An explosive back that can break away from any tacklers if given space to work one on one. He will most likely be looked at as a third down back at the very least to help in the pass game.  Early looks would put him in a spot similar to James White in New England. While Bruce Arians has openly said that Ronald Jones will start the season as the number one back but Vaughn has too much big play potential to not make a difference in the league. 

4) Michael Pittman Jr, WR, Indianapolis Colts

The Colt’s dealt with consistent wide receiver injuries during the 2019 season.  The addition of Michael Pittman Jr gives them insurance incase of another potential injury apocalypse.  Pittman has great hands and a great frame for impact in the red zone.  At 6’4” 223 pounds his frame is similar to Mike Williams.  Philip Rivers had an instant connection with Williams in Los Angeles leading to double digit touchdowns in 2018.  

Pittman Jr. is a physical receiver that fits in well with TY Hilton and Paris Campbell who will be able to stretch the field with their speed leaving the middle open.  Pittman Jr.’s size and ability to handle press coverage will make him an immediate producer.  

3) Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams spent their first pick of the draft on a running back.  The obvious is that they believe in the talent of the former Florida State star.  Despite having Malcom Brown and Darrell Henderson I see Cam Akers winning the starting spot.  Akers had great numbers in college behind a subpar offensive line and will now be behind a more improved offensive line heading into next season.  

Akers had 18 touchdowns (14 rush, 4 pass) in his final season as a Seminole, showing he has a nose for the end zone.  His pass catching ability is going to fit in nicely with Sean McVay’s offense.  The most telling part of the story of Akers is he was the first pick of the Rams, meaning they had little faith in their existing backs on the roster.  He will be given the chance to succeed.  Most rookies don’t get that chance right away. 

2) Jerry Juedy, WR, Denver Broncos

I literally jumped out of my seat when Jeudy dropped to the Broncos at 15.  Denver was in need of a second option behind Courtland Sutton.  Jeudy combines deadly deep ball speed with unique acceleration in and out of routes that allows him to keep opposing defenders on their heels at all times.  

While CeeDee Lamb is in a great spot Juedy has the potential to be the first option in Denver.  Jeudy will immediately be in the starting lineup.  He will immediately be given chances to make an impact.  The Broncos will be a much better offense in 2020 and Jeudy will have a chance to be an elite receiver.  I would still take Courtland Sutton before him in a fantasy draft but Juedy will be on my radar in early rounds. 

1) Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

A dynamic dual threat option in an RPO offense.  Kansas City had a running back carousel last season with injuries and lack of production.  They needed a guy that they could rely on.  Edwards-Helaire posted 1,414 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns for the defending National Champions.  He became the only player in SEC history to rush for over 1,000 yards and have 55 catches.  

Before the Patrick Mahomes days Andy Reid was money for fantasy running backs.  Before the release of Kareem Hunt, Reid had 12 straight seasons with a back in the top 10 in fantasy.  No matter who he put on the field they found ways to produce.  The Chiefs have obvious talent all over the field and will now have a serious threat in the backfield.  Edwards-Helaire should be the starting going into camp and if he stays healthy he should be a very high upside second or third round pick. 

My new favorite NFL team had a great draft.

The death of the XFL was close to the near death of my fandom for professional football.  As a St. Louis native I have now seen two professional teams disappear from my city over the last five years.  I had totally bought into the Battlehawks.  I was screaming KaKaw along with my fellow St. Louisans and dreaming of the future of football in my city and it was taken away again.  Now on the hunt for a new team to support once again, I have found myself on the outskirts of the band wagon the Kansas City Chiefs have been pushing around my city.  While the Chiefs may be a Missouri team my inability to connect with a fanbase that is underrated in their obnoxiousness will forever keep me from enjoying their greatness.  I went into the 2020 draft looking for a team and I may have found it.  Maybe…..

The Draft

First Round Pick: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

Second Round Pick: WR KJ Hamler, Penn State

Third Round Pick: CB Michael Ojemudia, Iowa

Fourth Round Pick: TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri

The Broncos look like they have found their franchise quarterback in 2nd year quarterback Drew Lock.  Lock started the season on the bench waiting for the franchise to realize that Joe Flacco was no longer a viable NFL quarterback.  When Lock was finally given the chance he ran with it, cementing himself as the new starting quarterback of the present and future. In his five starts the Broncos went 4-1, throwing for 1,020 yards along with a 64% completion rate.  Immediately a chemistry between Lock and new #1 receiver Courtland Sutton developed.  The offense was lacking further exterior threats other than Sutton leading into the draft.  They were able to find what they were looking for at the #15 pick, grabbing Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.  Jeudy was competing with CeeDee Lamb for the top rated player at their position.  Jeudy has the ability to get separation on the college level averaging 7.8 yards after the catch. His speed will transition to the NFL as well as his ability to make plays from anywhere on the field.  

The Broncos continued to be aggressive in filling needs on the offensive end grabbing KJ Hamler out of Penn State.  Another player with great speed that will fit into the slot receiver role.  He is a little further away from a completed project than the other recievers that were available in the draft.  If he can fit into the slot role he could be a sleeper that makes an impact in big ways during the season. He is an explosive potential playmaker.  

An underrated 4th round pick was the playmaker out of Mizzou,  tight-end Albert Okwuegbhunam.  A very raw prospect that will have time to develop behind Noah Fant.  Okuegbhunam averaged a touchdown every four catches in college, he is a future red zone threat if he can improve on his routes and speed off the line.  He was a high upside pick that won’t be forced into anything right away.  I loved that Denver was willing to take the talent in the later rounds.  

Defensively, Denver’s No. 2 corner position was a revolving door all season last year; it’s possible Michael Ojemudia was selected to be a potential starter sometime in the near future.  He will fit into Vic Fangio’s system which can hide deficiencies of the secondary allowing them to gain experience and progress in the NFL. 

Free Agency

Free Agent addition: RB Melvin Gordon, OL Graham Glasnow

The Broncos quietly had a great offseason before the draft. GM John Elway knew that he needed to protect his new franchise Quarterback.  Adding veteran Graham Glasnow on a 4-year deal from Detroit was a great way to help fill a hole in the line.  

After suring up the line the Broncos went out and made a surprising impact signing.  Adding former Charger Melvin Gordon in free agency has put Denver in the conversation for potentially the best runningback combination in the entire NFL. 

I loved everything Denver did in the draft.  They were clearly trying to build around their young quarterback.  Adding speed and athletes that are NFL ready. This team is a serious contender for a playoff spot in 2021.  John Elway has made some mistakes over the last few years but it is looking like he has found his groove as a GM.  

Wildcard Weekend Picks ATS and SU

Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans -3

This game has upset written all over it.  The Texans are three point favorites mainly due to the home field advantage they will take into this game. Being at home may not actually be an advantage for the Texans.  Houston was 5-3 both home and away in 2019 but has only covered the spread in two of those eight games.  

DeShaun Watson has struggled over his last three games throwing five interceptions in those games. Matching up with a Buffalo defense that is giving up just 16.19 points per game this season. Buffalo is tough to move the ball against and they will need to jump out to an early lead to control the tempo of the game.  Buffalo will have a Tre’Davious White shadowing the DeAndre Hopkings throughout the game which should limit his big play ability. If Watson can utilize his secondary options he will be successful, that has not always been great for Houston though. Watson is in a tough spot, he will have to carry the offense.

Josh Allen and the Bills offense has been inconsistent at times but the emergence of Devin Singletary has given Buffalo a versatile offensive threat that opens up the big play ability  of John Brown. Relying totally on the Bills offense would worry me if they didn’t have such an advantage on the defensive end. 

Pick: Bills ML

Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots -5

A nightmare of a matchup for any team, the Tennessee Titans will enter into a context with the greatest QB of all time as well as arguably the best coach of all time. The Titans have found something in former Miami cast off Ryan Tannahill.  Tannahill has found a way to elevate the entire roster making a star out of rookie AJ Brown. Derrick Henry has thrived with the new addition of a passing game. Henry walked away with the leagues rushing title.  

The Patriots have found trouble moving the ball.  They will have to find a way to establish the running game as the Titans have given up 117 yards per game over their last three.  The Patriots will have to lean a lot on Sony Michel. He and Rex Burkhead helped New England average 151 rush yards over its last three contests. 

The Patriots are struggling on both ends.  They still possess a dominant defense, Stephen Gilmore will most likely be matched up with AJ Brown.  If Gilmore can shut down the rookie that will allow the Pat’s defense to focus on shutting down Henry. The Titans will hang around but the Patriots have enough to pull this one out.  Don’t get wrapped up on the loss to the Dolphins, this is still a capable Patriots team. 

Pick: Pats win, Titans Cover

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints -9

This game is hard to ignore the underlying narrative of the Case Keenum miracle throw to Stefon Diggs just two years ago.  With Kirk Cousins now behind center for Minnesota you immediately have questions about his big game performances of the past.  The Saints are the superior team, but with Dalvin Cook most likely available in this game it seems like nine points is just too much.  

I don’t have much of an opinion on this one, should be the most lopsided game of the day.  Late garbage time touchdown gets the cover for the Vikings.   

Pick: Saints win, Vikings Cover

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles +1.5

A battle of injury riddled playoff teams will come down to which quarterback will be able to overcome those injuries in order to establish their offense.  Carson Wentz has been phenomenal this season becoming the first ever quarterback with 4,000 yards in a season where not one of his wide receivers had over 500 yards.  

Russell Wilson has a legitimate argument for MVP of the National Football League.  The Seahawks lost a lot in week 16 and 17. Most notable they will be without Chris Carson.  Marshawn Lynch and Travis Homer took over the backfield duties last week against the stout 49ers defense.  Even with Carson out the way you beat the Eagles is by throwing the ball. Wilson will have to connect with Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf to open up the running lanes for Beast Mode and company.  Surprisingly the Eagles defense has been great at home and should force pressure on Wilson.  

The biggest question coming into this game will be the health of the last man standing, Eagles Tight End Zach Ertz.  While injuries to Lane Johnson and Miles Sanders are important, Wentz has always relied on Ertz and if he is healthy enough to play he will at the very least be a great decoy to open up one on ones for Greg Ward and Dallas Goedert.  I am least confident in this pick, I am taking Eagles -1.5.

Pick: Eagles -1.5