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.

Fantasy Football- Players we hate

The NFL season is half way over, which means that fantasy playoffs are right around the corner.  If you are a playoff team you probably avoided these players. Let’s list off the top five players we hate (that we drafted).

This list is based on guys that have been playing but not producing.  If they are injured I give them a pass.  If they are LeVeon Bell I refuse to speak his name out loud in public.

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry was suppose to have his coming out party in the playoffs last year.  Damn was I wrong.  The Titans left DeMarco Murray walk in the off season, which meant that Henry would be the guy right?? Nope Dion Lewis has taken over the bulk of the carries in the backfield.  Henry is averaging a staggering 3.3 yards per carry so far in 2018.

Henry also gives you nothing on the receiving end with eight catches the entire season! Henry is trending in the direction of fellow Alabama alumni Trent Richardson, I would look for him to be moved in the off season unless things change drastically. I hate you Derrick Henry!

LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills

McCoy has had a great fantasy career, but currently I have the same amount of Touchdowns as he does this season.  It’s zero in case that wasn’t clear.  I know the Buffalo offense is a joke.  Nathan Peterman is the equivalent of a dumpster fire while on the field, but McCoy is still only averaging 3.1 yards per carry this season.  Chris Ivory has become more relevant out of the backfield.   I really don’t need to say much more than that.  I may not have drafted you in any leagues LeSean but I hate you for those who did.

Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins, Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins

Drake has had his moments this season, especially when I have had to face him.  But overall he has been a bust this season.  The ageless Frank Gore has taken away carries from the 2017-18 fantasy surprise.  Miami has had their issues at Quarterback, starting Brock Osweiler (not sure that’s how you spell it but who cares).  The QB situation has caused problems for the Dolphins but they should still be able to utilize Drake out of the backfield in passing situations but for some reason they refuse to do it consistently.

I added Kenny Stills to this list because I am tired of hearing about his potential.  Stills disappears in games to the point where he literally gets no targets.

Kenyan and Kenny I hate you both equally.

Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Nelson had a great start to the season then the return of Alshon Jeffery made him basically disappear. Agholor had 8 Touchdowns last year, half way through the season he is sitting at one.  He has been so bad that literally the Eagles went out and found a replacement for him at the deadline, adding Golden Tate.

Has Agholor forgotten how to run a route?  Has Carson Wentz forgotten that he is on the team.  Why do you suck now Nelson?  I hate you!

 

 

Biggest Fantasy Draft Questions?

Each year we set up for our drafts the same way.  Do as many mocks as we can fit in on a work day.  Debate with friends and co-workers about who is going to be the biggest sleepers or the most likely busts . It’s time for the top four questions going into your draft.

David Johnson or Antonio Brown at #4

This has been the question I have been asked multiple times by many different people.  After the top three (Elliot, Bell, Gurley) come off the board, who’s next?  ESPN has David Johnson actually ranked ahead of Ezekiel Elliot on their draft boards.  Johnson coming off a season ending injury last year was a unanimous top two pick going into that season.

Johnson has the ability to be the best runningback in the league when healthy but he also has a problem of lack of talent around him.  Sam Bradford is an injury machine and Josh Rosen is a rookie.  Two quarterbacks that give the opposing defense little to worry about.  Antonio Brown on the other hand is the unquestioned #1 wideout on any and all draft boards.  Brown is a part of a high level offense that will be putting up points throughout the season.  Going with Johnson is not going to put you in a bad position but Brown brings you a number one unquestioned top player on your roster.  David Johnson is great but he was only great for one season.  If you can’t get the best of the best at RB1 I say you go for the top receiver.

Who could be a late second round steal?

Getting the first few picks is fun but it also means you have a long wait for the next pick.  Who should you be keeping an eye on for a second rounder with 1st round talent. Davante Adams.

Davante Adams has become the #1 target for the best Quarterback in the league. With the decline of Randall Cobb, departure of Jordy Nelson and lack of overall running game Adams will be target number one for Aaron Rodgers.  Adams emergence into fantasy relevance relevance over the last two seasons has put him in a prime spot to top 3 receiver status.

Adams quietly grabbed 22 touchdowns over the past two seasons.  This season he could propel not only to double digit touchdowns but also break 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.

When do you take a Quarterback after the top 3 are gone? Who do you take?

So you didn’t get Russell Wilson, Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. What do you do?  You wait.  Players like Drew Brees are falling down draft boards faster than Ohio State’s reputation.  Projections are showing Brees being chosen as late as the 11th round. Brees has his issues with age and a movement of assets but to get him with your 11th selection is still a steal.

Keep an eye on the falling Ben Roethlisberger and Pat Mahomes.  Two teams that have dynamic talent around them.  You can load up on high level RBs, WRs and backup tightends.  There is a perception that after the top three the quarterback situation stays the same but it is important to understand the teams style before just plugging in the middle tier players.  If you do plan to wait for a quarterback you need to make sure you add two of the middle tiers guys to play the matchup.

What rookie should I target?

Runningbacks are the obvious choice when looking for rookie fantasy value.  With the injury to Derrius Guice there is a new opening for rookie talent in your fantasy draft. Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons is a player that I plan to take late in drafts. Ridley is coming through as advertised as an ideal complement to Jones with reliable hands, strong routes against single coverage and a nose for the end zone.  Ridley will also have the chance to work against single coverage with Julio Jones and Mohammad Sanu attracting most of the attention.