Three Fantasy Sleepers- Wide Receiver

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers have lost both Adam Humphries and DeSean Jackson in the offseason leaving a huge gap in the wide receiving core of the Buccaneers heading into the season. Godwin had a breakout campaign last season going for 59 catches, 842 yards and 7 touchdowns. Godwin will now step into a starter role for the Buccaneers who have shown an inability to run the ball as well as hold onto leads.  That means they are going to have to throw the ball.  

The Buccaneers have two obvious high valued receivers in Mike Evans and OJ Howard.  Godwin should be able to slip down in drafts; his current ADP is projecting him as a 5thround pick.  Most drafters will not look to him that high, he can be a steal on an up-tempo offense.  

Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals

I was a major believer in Christian Kirk last season, and he had moments where he proved me correct. Kirk will enter the season with a new QB at the helm and a new offensive game plan. Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury will lead to major production for most Cardinals offensive players.  We know Kingsbury will be pass happy with his offense, so Kyler Murray could easily put up north of 500 pass attempts in 2019. 

Kirk is currently projecting as a seventh-round pick. Overall his ranking is as high as the #32 pick in some drafts. In this new offense Kirk will have the chance to be a top receiver on teams especially in PPR.  

Tyrell Williams, Oakland Raiders

Williams has moved out of the shadow of Keenan Allen and entered the shadow of Antonio Brown. Taking over the number two receiver role in Oakland doesn’t sound like a big deal but the history of the second receiver behind Antonio Brown should be something to look in to.  Juju Smith-Schuster and company have built their careers on being the second option opening up the field for single coverage. 

Williams has only had over 100 targets one in his career. In 2016 getting over 100 targets led to major production with 69 catches, 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns.  The Raiders have to replace over 359 targets from last season, if Brown plays then obviously, he will get over 100 but Williams should be second.  The Raiders have a lot of inner turmoil, but Williams speed and upside should make him a target for later rounds.  You can easily get him with one of your last couple picks, he will have the potential be a huge player down the stretch of your fantasy season.

Five Backup Rb’s that could be Fantasy Relevant

Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons

Ito Smith had a nice 2018 season, filling for the injured Devonta Freeman.  Smith was still forced to play second fiddle to Tevin Coleman but was able to average 3.5 yards per carry and add four touchdowns, doing so with just 90 carries on the season. 

With Coleman now in San Francisco Smith should be secured as he #2 behind Devonta Freeman.  The Falcons defense was an atrocity last season.  Constantly playing from behind forced Atlanta to abandon the run game.  Assuming they don’t have the same injury trouble of the defense Atlanta should have a chance to be a good team next season.  Which means they will commit to the run more.  Freeman, the usually durable and versitale back will give up some carries to Smith to avoid injury.  I like Smith’s chances to be a late round selection especially for Freeman handcuffs.

Carlos Hyde, Kansas City Chiefs

The great mystery of Carlos Hyde will continue in Kansas City.  Is Carlos Hyde a legit option as a RB1.  He will split time in KC to start the season behind last season’s end of the year darling Damien Williams.  Williams has never seen more then 13 carries in a game or more then 50 carries in a season. 

Chief running backs are always a target for me in any format as Andy Reid loves to punch it in on the goal line.  The arm of Patrick Mahomes also opens up the middle of the field and the check downs. Hyde has the talent to be a top back if Damien Williams can’t be consistent.

Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams

This one is simple, there is word out that Todd Gurley may not be 100% going into the season. Henderson was a college star at Memphis rushing for 1,909 yards and 22 touchdowns in his final season.  Henderson’s transition to the NFL should be seamless in the Los Angeles system. Last season we saw how CJ Anderson got off his coach and was able to make an impact for the Rams. 

Todd Gurley is the obvious #1 back but if anything happens to Gurley, Henderson will be a steal for anyone that takes him. 

Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals

Once upon a time there was a future star named David Johnson.  Johnson had a tough season; injuries and a rather odd game plan slowed the offense and the fantasy scoring in check.  Edmonds stepped in for the injured Johnson and showed that he can be productive.  With Kliff Kingsbury at the helm everyone on the field becomes fantasy relevant.  Edmonds is a handcuff to start the season but can quickly become a featured back as the season progresses.

David Montgomery, Chicago Bears

The Bears shocked many by moving workhorse back Jordan Howard in the offseason.  Presumably opening it up for their spread offseason and a large amount of Tarick Cohen.  While Cohen will be a must in a PPR format, a sleeper will be 3rdround draft picks out of Iowa State David Montgomery.  

It’s hard to believe that the Bears will just feature Cohen as a solo back. Mike Davis was signed in the offseason to be a bruiser back, but he has been around the block and not found his niche in the NFL and there is no reason to think he will in this system. Look at Montgomery late in case you are not a believer in Cohen.

Isaac Bruce should be in Canton

Isaac Bruce spent 16-years in the NFL as one of the most underrated players of his generation.  When Bruce retired not only was he arguably the best player in the history of the St. Louis Rams but was also second all-time in receiving yards (15,208 yards) behind only the great Jerry Rice. Bruce has been treated the same way as the city of St. Louis has been treated, like an afterthought.

Bruce seems to be penalized for a couple factors:

Bruce played on alongside another Hall of Fame hopeful Torry Holt

It is widely believed that Holt’s presence somehow made Bruce’s accomplishments less impressive. Holt however was drafted in 1999 a whole five years into Bruce’s career.  He was a complement to the greatness of Bruce.  Still, there is a group of people that believe Holt and Bruce are splitting votes.  This notion is absurd, while Holt is worthy of a finalist spot it was always clear who was the alpha dog in the pack of Rams receivers his whole career.

Bruce didn’t make the all-decade team. 

This one seems stupid to me, but I have seen comments about it.  Bruce was never really the best wideout of his time, being overshadowed by greats like Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss.  If Bruce’s number had been from 1990 to 2000 he would have had a better chance of making one of these teams, but he was right in the middle of both of those time periods. 

The Greatest Show on Turf inflated his numbers.  

There is an idea that Bruce was a product of a great offense and not an elite receiver.  The greatness of the 1999 Ram’s offense is obvious, but he had already established himself as an elite receiver.  Isaac’s most productive season came in 1995 with the likes of Mark Rypien and Chris Miller throwing him the ball.  He followed that up with a great 1996 season where the Rams featured the likes of Tony Banks and Steve Walsh.  It was his precise route running and durability that inflated his numbers not an offensive game plan.

Why He should be in.

Selected in the second round of the of the 1994 draft by the Rams, Bruce began his accent to stardom in his second season catching 119 passes, scoring 13 TDs. Continuing his domination in 1996 leading the league in yards with 1338. During his 10-season peak phase, from 1995 through 2004, Bruce led the NFL in receiving yards, was No. 1 in catches of 25+ yards, was third in average yards per game, was third in receiving first downs, ranked fourth in total receptions, fifth in touchdowns and had the most yards at the point of the catch. Bruce was the definition of consistency for the Rams proving his abilities week in and week out.

By the numbers:

6th all time in receiving yards: 15,208

13th in receptions: 1,024

42 career 100+ yard games

4-time Pro-Bowler

Bruce’s story is simple, he has been plagued by the fact that no matter what he will always be connected with the city that the NFL doesn’t want. The support from fans will have to come from the city that has felt abandoned by the league.  It’s important for the fans of the St. Louis area to remember that even though the team and the league have left, Isaac Bruce has not. Bruce still runs his foundation out of the city of St. Louis and he still supports the city in any way that he can. It’s time for the city to do its part to bring him the accolades that he deserves.  We can never forget his iconic moment in Super Bowl XXXIV, Bruce grabbed six receptions for 162 yards (third most in Super Bowl history) and one touchdown. The touchdown was a 73-yard reception that proved to be the game winner with 1:54 remaining in contest.  He is a St. Louis sports icon and deserves to be in Canton.

The Super Bowl: A St. Louis Natives Perspective

Despite the controversy of calls and rules and insanity of the NFC and AFC Championship games, the fact is that we are two weeks away from one of the biggest events in sports.  The Super Bowl is upon us! That would usually excite me, but this year I have a tough decision to make.  As native St. Louisan I have to deal with two teams that have plagued my football life.  Which way should I go? 

First of all, I love football. I grew up watching the greatest show on turf, Faulk, Warner, Holt, Proehl, Hakim and of course the great Isaac Bruce were a show that could capture the attention of the young fans as well as the older fans.  They were a look into the future of the industry, icons to any kid from St. Louis that owned a football. They were stolen from me by a corrupt system that saw my city dragged through the mud so that an owner could move a team to a place that already features about 100 professional teams.  A lot of today’s Rams roster doesn’t understand my heartache over a lost franchise.  They are LA Rams, they have taken on the persona of their young coach and ran with it.  Cocky, arrogant, flashy and talented.  They really do remind of the team that caught my attention so many years ago. But I am bitter, and I am sad that as much as I want to hold on to that memory and tell myself this is my team, they are not.  They are the Los Angeles Rams.  While I can support the success of the players I feel that by supporting this team I would be supporting the corruption that is the NFL.

Now the Patriots.  Most of St. Louis’s hatred before the Rams moved was squarely on the shoulders of the New England Patriots.  The infamous taping of the run through in Super Bowl 36 has tainted a resume that should be historically great.  Even worse it was against my beloved (at the time) St. Louis Rams.  They were blatantly cheating, and no one seemed to really care.  The NFL seemed more worried about deflated footballs then they did the image of a team clearly doing something illegal.  The Patriots have established themselves as the Yankees of football, a cult following that is loved by primarily just their fanbase. Mutually hated by everyone. 

My hate for both of these teams is equally mutual. When Super Bowl Sunday does come, I will be forced to pick a team because what is the point of watching a game if there is no really rooting interest.  After much debate internally, I have decided that the greatness of Tom Brady will overshadow my view of the organization.  I will cheer for him and him alone to succeed over a team that on paper should have the advantage at almost every position other than Quarterback.  The Rams have become an organization that makes me sick to my stomach.  Rooting for them is rooting for Stan Kroenke, no matter what your allegiance is. 

NFL 2018: Five Things I was wrong about

Being wrong sucks, but admitting you were wrong is the sign of growth.  Here are the five things that I was completely wrong about before the start of the season.

Chicago Bears are the third best team in their own division.

When the Bears pulled off what could have been the steal of the century acquiring Khalil Mack from the Raiders I knew it was going to be an impactful move.  But with an offense that featured a second year QB that had not yet proven much on the NFL level and a new head coach that was transitioning his style I wasn’t sold on them as NFC North winners.

I was very wrong.  Matt Nagy has taken Trubisky and the Bears offense to a new level in 2018 while utilizing his Swiss army knife RB Tarik Cohen and many ancillary pieces.  This team is still built around their defense but the surprise for most teams will be Nagy’s offense in the playoffs.  Multiple targets that can step up at any time will be a headache for opposing defensive coordinators. 


Can’t believe I fell for Kirk Cousins.

Le’Veon Bell is going to play in 2018.

I was one of those guys that drafted Bell in his fantasy draft.  I am also one of those guys that refused to trade him despite great offers…actually turning down a trade of Michael Thomas and Andrew Luck. 

Bell stuck to his guns, as did the Steelers, sitting out the entire season.  James Conner and Jaylen Samuels filled in admirably for Bell, but the Steelers are most likely not making the playoffs and whether this was because of Bell or not I was still very wrong about his playing status. I’m not mad at Bell but it really sucked for my fantasy squad.

The Jaguars are a Superbowl favorite in the AFC.

I bought into Jacksonville and Blake Bortles. Shame on me.  Injuries have been a problem for the Jags, Leonard Fournette has a problem with staying healthy and without him this team just has not been able to put together a kind of consistent run. 

After defeating Patriots I thought that maybe I was right about the potential of this team and maybe Blake Bortles is actually good, when you are wrong, you are wrong.

I was wrong.


The Broncos may make the playoffs.

This was an in season change of opinion Phillip Lindsey came out of nowhere to become an elite level RB in the league. Two upset victories over the Chargers and the Steelers made me believe this team was going to make a real run in their division.  Then the real Case Keenum stood up. The one-dimensional offense of the Broncos became very obvious, Lindsey had to face stacked boxes with zero passing ability.  Von Miller and Bradley Chubb are both great players but a team with no real offense and terrible coaching never truly had a chance to succeed.

Baker Mayfield was the best Quarterback in the Draft.

Drafting Baker Mayfield #1 overall last season, seemed like another blunder from the Cleveland front office.  With standouts like Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen presumably ranked ahead of Mayfield it made no sense to go after the controversial Oklahoma QB. Mayfield was held back by the clueless Hue Jackson and when given the opportunity Mayfield immediately made his impact and began to turn around the sorry franchise. Mayfield is the leading candidate to win rookie of the year (in my opnion) and has proven me and all other doubters…cough Colin Cowherd… completely wrong.  Mayfield is a star and will be for a long time.

Take notice of Russell Wilson

Last night Russell Wilson was not great.  10/20 with no touchdowns and an interception are not MVP numbers, but to not consider him as a candidate is just wrong. Pat Mahomes and Drew Brees are throwing out numbers that you can only getting while playing Madden on easy.  They are flashy and dominate offenses, but are they the singular reason their teams are winning?  Not to the level of Russell Wilson.  

He’s set to post career-highs in touchdowns (39), yards per attempt, and passer rating, while only throwing it about 27 times per game. In a season when quarterbacks are shattering records for completion percentage and Patrick Mahomes is virtually a lock to go over 50 touchdowns, Wilson is doing it his own way while still keeping pace with some of those prolific scorers in the league. When the game was on the line last night Wilson made the play that changed the momentum, his 40-yard scramble that led to the 2-yard TD from Chris Carson was a thing of beauty in a game that was dominated by defense. 

The Seahawks have made wholesale changes to their offense.  Jimmy Graham, gone, Darrel Bevell gone, Doug Baldwin injured most of the season.  Wilson has found a way to make a star of Tyler Lockett and relevance to WR David Moore a former 7th round pick  and TE Nick Vannett. These are not premier players, they may not even see the field on most teams that are playoff relevant.  Wilson works with what is around him and makes them play to his level.  

Wilson has the third best passer rating on the road behind the  aforementioned Mahomes and the veteran slinger Phillip Rivers.  He has 21 touchdowns and 2 interceptions against the NFC this season.  He is the reason that the Seahawks are able to score, his ability to move and create allows the running game to develop as it has, becoming the #1 rushing attack in the NFL, averaging an astounding 153 yards per game.  Wilson will most likely not win the MVP but he is by far the single most important player on any playoff team.  

NFL Picks ATS Week 12

Didn’t have time to Podcast my picks this week so here they are.  Picks will be bolded. Season Record 87-67.

Chicago Bears -3 at Detroit Lions

Trubisky injury worries me.  The Kerryon Johnson injury worries me even more for Detroit.  The Lions were finally establishing a run game, they will now have to focus on the passing game which will be tough against the Bears pass rush.  Mack dominates and so do the Bears.

Washington Redskins +7.5 at Dallas Cowboys

The Redskins were not going to win this game because of Alex Smith.  Colt McCoy knows Jay Gruden’s system and the Redskins are to tough to get blown out be an offense that at times does not seem to understand that Zeke is the man. May even look at the ML.

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints -13

Saints are the hottest team in the league, getting a dream matchup versus a struggling Falcons defense.  Kamara and Ingram will feast on turkey day.  13 points is a lot but this Saints team is continually trying to make a statement that they are the best in the NFC and a demolition on national TV is the perfect time to do it.

Jacksonville Jaguars -3 at Buffalo Bills

The Jaguars have to win this game and they have to crush a lesser team.  The Jags showed in the first half last week what this team was supposed to look like.  They will not have Big Ben on the other side to pull off a late comeback.  The Bills are tough but they don’t have the offense to put up anything against Jacksonville.

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals -3

Bengals are desperate for a win.  They will not allow a rookie QB to beat them two weeks in row.  Bengals come out and dominate.  I like what the Browns have been doing with Nick Chubb and the reemergence of Duke Johnson but the Bengals are still a better team and they should prevail at home by at least a touchdown.

New England Patriots -10.5 at New York Jets

Jets may not have Darnold and they just got destroyed by the Buffalo Bills.  The Pats are also off a buy.  Should be fully healthy.  Thats all that needs to be said on this one.

New York Giants +7 at Philadelphia Eagles

The Giants have killed me this season.  The Eagles though enter this game with basically a practice squad secondary.  Look for Barkley and Beckham to dominate the Eagles secondary.  I have little hope for Eli to be dominate but this team is to strong offensively to ignore.  The Eagles can win this game but I think seven points is to much in a division game.

San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3

The Buc’s need to move on from Jameis but for now they are rollin with him.  The 49ers have a lot of heart and play hard but this Buccaneers team has to many weapons for the 49ers to hold them down.  The 49ers will not be able to keep up.  Bet Bucs and collect your money.

Seattle Seahawks +3 at Carolina Panthers

This game should be very fun to watch.  Two underrated QB’s in Cam Newton and Russell Wilson will battled for their playoff lives.  The Panthers have been a thorn in my side while making these picks while Seattle has been a great pick for me all year.  Seattle is underrated and will prove it on Sunday.  I like Seattle to win this game by at least a touchdown.

Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens -12

The Ravens enter this game with a question mark at QB.  Either Lamar Jackson or Joe Flacco will lead them to the promise land though.  The Raiders showed life last week but that was against a Cardinals team that didn’t have much to play for.  The Ravens need this win and will get it by 14 easily.

Arizona Cardinals +13.5 at Los Angeles Chargers

I know the Cardinals lost to the Raiders last week but they have done a much better job of utilizing their best weapon David Johnson since Byron Leftwich took over play calling duties. The Cardinals will run the ball and keep Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon on the sideline.  Chargers will pull out the victory but a late touchdown in garbage time will kill the cover.

Pittsburgh Steelers -3 at Denver Broncos

Steelers are quietly one of the hottest teams in the NFL, winning 7 straight games. The Broncos love to cover spreads, just ask the Rams and the Chargers.  The Steelers though don’t need much to put up a lot of points.  Steelers with utilize their great offensive talent to jump out to an early lead.

Pittsburgh has been getting great pressure on the opposing QB’s leading the league in sacks right now. Case Keenum is going to have a long day.

Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts -10

The announcement that Ryan Tannahill will play immediately took half a point off this spread.  That won’t make a difference against a Colts team that has figured out how to block for their star QB Anrew Luck.  After the beating the Colts gave the Dolphins, I don’t see any way that Miami sticks with them.

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings -3

Its really hard to bet on Kirk Cousins over Aaron Rodgers.  It is however easy to bet against Mike McCarthy.  Two teams that both need wins, I am going with the home team. That is literally the only thing I can say about this game.

Tennesee Titans at Houston Texans Pick’em

Titans don’t know who their starting QB will be on Monday night.  Don’t really care, Houston will win at home.

Thanks for reading and Good Luck