GREAT QB EXCHANGE

Patriots awarded Mahomes in Great QB Exchange

Editor’s Note: This article is the fourth in a series explaining the NFL’s Great Quarterback Exchange, which took place on Friday. For more information, first, see this. For the beginning history of the Exchange, go here. For how it works, go here. To see how the QBs were ranked this year and their draft values, go here.

Editor’s Note II: The placement of the quarterbacks with teams was utterly random. One team was selected from 32 and then one quarterback from the 32 to match. And then one team from the remaining 31 teams and another QB to match, and so on. 

Jackson changes team in AFC North, Packers nab younger superstar

By Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. Sometimes, luck favors the bold. Other times, it favors the six-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. A year after losing Tom Brady in free agency to Tampa Bay, the Patriots were awarded Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Friday night’s NFL Great QB Exchange. 

Mahomes, who lost to Brady and the Bucs in Super Bowl LV, joins a New England team still transitioning from the Brady era. Julian Edelman, 35, tops an offensive skills position group sorely in need of an upgrade. With Mahomes on board, the Patriots likely will be in the market for at least one top free-agent wide receiver, including Allen Robinson and Will Fuller. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers also made out well Friday, acquiring Lamar Jackson from division rival Baltimore, which in turn snagged second-year player Joe Burrow from the Cincinnati Bengals. Green Bay, which lost Aaron Rodgers to Denver, got younger while still ensuring a star QB plays at Lambeau Field when the Packers won Russell Wilson in the Exchange. 

The full list of quarterbacks is below.

Arizona Cardinals: Tom Brady

Atlanta Falcons: Tua Tagovailoa

Baltimore Ravens: Joe Burrow

Buffalo Bills: Dak Prescott 

Carolina Panthers: Jacoby Brissett 

Chicago Bears: Kirk Cousins

Cincinnati Bengals: Justin Herbert 

Cleveland Browns: Jimmy Garoppolo

Dallas Cowboys: Cam Newton

Denver Broncos: Aaron Rodgers 

Detroit Lions: Mitchell Trubisky

Green Bay Packers: Russell Wilson

Houston Texans: Kyler Murray

Indianapolis Colts: Daniel Jones

Jacksonville Jaguars: Sam Darnold

Kansas City Chiefs: Alex Smith

Las Vegas Raiders: Matt Ryan

Los Angeles Chargers: Carson Wentz

Los Angeles Rams: Josh Allen

Miami Dolphins: Jameis Winston

Minnesota Vikings: Deshaun Watson

New England Patriots: Patrick Mahomes

New Orleans Saints: Baker Mayfield

New York Giants: Gardner Minshew II

New York Jets: Teddy Bridgewater

Philadelphia Eagles: Matthew Stafford 

Pittsburgh Steelers: Lamar Jackson

San Francisco 49ers: Ben Roethlisberger

Seattle Seahawks: Jared Goff

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Derek Carr

Tennessee Titans: Drew Lock 

Washington Football Team: Ryan Tannehill 

Stefan Arnold is the Editor of Fantasy Football Observer. He thinks a lot about fantasy football but almost never types those thoughts down. He also co-hosts a Star Wars Podcast, Before The Z-Wing.

GREAT QB EXCHANGE

Great QB Exchange: 2021 QB Rankings

From 1-32, the players changing teams in third QB swap

Editor’s Note: This article is the third in a series explaining the NFL’s Great Quarterback Exchange, which happens for the third time on March 5. For more information, first, see this. For the beginning history of the Exchange, go here. For how it works, go here.

By Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

NEW YORK — The week before the NFL’s Great QB Exchange, the ranking of the players is released. As noted here, a complicated formula ranks the players’ rating, age, salary, and more. 

For each of the four Groups (1-4), two tiers of four players each are separated. Each of those tiers corresponds to draft-pick compensation that each team will receive after losing the player. A combination of the new team’s draft picks, and those of teams obtaining higher-ranked QBs than they lose, if needed, complete the compensation. 

In simpler terms, teams throw draft picks into the Exchange pot. Each team then trades or receives draft picks back depending on the quality of the quarterback they win in the Exchange. 

The 2021 Rankings:

A group of eight quarterbacks in this alternate-reality NFL Great QB Exchange.
Group 1 Quarterbacks
A group of eight quarterbacks in this alternate-reality NFL Great QB Exchange.
Group 2 Quarterbacks
A group of eight quarterbacks in this alternate-reality NFL Great QB Exchange.
Group 3 Quarterbacks
A group of eight quarterbacks in this alternate-reality NFL Great QB Exchange.
Group 4 Quarterbacks

The Great QB Exchange!!!

The 2021 Exchange takes place on Fright night on ESPN and NFL Network (8 p.m., EST). Results posted here when they are announced. 

Comments or complaints?

Some historical facts have been changed for this alternate-reality version of the NFL. But I want to get details wrong intentionally, so if you see something that seems wrong without purpose, let me know here. I may update this article! Thanks! ~ Stefan 

Thanks!

We hope you liked this article. If you wish, you can contribute to this site. It’s just a dollar! All donations go to FFO writers. Thank you! Or find our merchandise (left) under “In Your Reality”!

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Stefan Arnold is the Editor of Fantasy Football Observer. He thinks a lot about fantasy football but almost never types those thoughts down. He also co-hosts a Star Wars Podcast, Before The Z-Wing.

GREAT QB EXCHANGE

Great QB Exchange: The Way it Works

NFL QB swap drives interest, upends playoffs, and, of course, makes money

Editor’s Note: This article is the second in a series explaining the NFL’s Great Quarterback Exchange, which happens for the third time on March 5. For more information, first, see this. For the beginning history of the Exchange, go here.

By Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

NEW YORK — After the idea for Great Quarterback Exchange was proposed by former Miami Dolphins marketing executive Robert Rooks and two others in August 1997, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue was intrigued by the possibilities. 

Tagliabue directed NFL Director of Planning Ben Crawford to investigate how the process would work and any potential benefits. As Crawford and his team constructed an outline of how the Exchange could affect competition, they believed the results could boost offseason interest in the league, help struggling franchises and drive revenue growth. More specifically:

  • Franchise QBs: With the Exchange, up to three fan bases could cheer for a particular star quarterback if that player entered the league a few years before an Exchange season and his career lasted through the following decade’s QB swap. 
  • Team dynamics: Although teams with star QBs would be upset with having to trade the player, over the longer term, each team would benefit by acquiring a better QB during an Exchange than it had before. The arrival of a great QB could dramatically improve teams chasing playoff spots, and the worst teams would have the chance to reverse their fortunes in a single night. 
  • Revenue growth: The broadcast rights to the event could be included in standard television contracts (for a higher fee) or used to promote a possible future partner looking to begin weekly game broadcasts. 
  • Marketing: Fans of teams across the NFL would tune into the event, which would be widely discussed in the months before the swap. The Exchange also would incrementally bump jersey sales and ticket sales/resales. 

“There were a lot of details that needed to be ironed out, but it was quickly decided that the Exchange could really be a way to increase attention to the league, shake up the competition and even gain extra revenue,” Crawford said on a Zoom call this week. “We decided to go ahead and try to nail down some of those details.”

Crawford, who retired in 2008, asked the NFL’s Competition Committee to investigate how the Exchange could function and retain value for the teams that not only lost star QBs but also those who were awarded the players near the bottom of the rankings. 

The committee recommended four main rules that the Exchange should be based upon:

  • Lottery system: No draft-style event could work for the Exchange as the rewards for acquiring a franchise QB were too great, potentially leading to overt actions that allowed a team to draft first. A lottery, where one team and one QB were paired at a time, was deemed equitable over the years, as statistically, teams would be matched with higher-, mid-, and lower-ranked QBs as more Exchange seasons took place. 
  • Rankings formula: The quarterbacks would be divided into four groups (1-4) and two tiers per Group of eight quarterbacks. So each Group was 1A and 1B, 2A and 2B, and so on. The QB rankings formula from 1-31 (before the league expanded with the Houston Texans in 2002) was based on a combination of the quarterback’s rating, quality of the team he played for, the QB’s contract, and his age. The younger, star QBs would be near the top, more expensive yet still productive veterans massed in the middle, and older, unproven, or lower-ranked quarterbacks falling to the end. 
  • Draft pick compensation: Obviously, the teams that had signed top free agents QBs or selected a player near the top of the draft in the years leading up to the Exchange would need to be appropriately paid for losing a star QB. The NFL gave each of the eight tiers in the total of four groupings a draft-pick value. For instance, if Team A were awarded a higher-ranked QB, it would then trade with that quarterbacks’ former team, minus the value of the quarterback it lost in the Exchange. Missing draft picks would be filled in by the teams that lost lower prospects and gained the best quarterbacks, so, after multiple trades, each team would be given draft picks equal to the value of the quarterback it had entering the Exchange. 
  • Salary cap relief: To further level the playing field for teams that acquired a low-level or older QB, each team, in reverse order, would be given extra salary cap room to spend in the two seasons after each Exchange. Hence, the team netting the lowest QB would gain $15.5 million in cap space over the league standard. Each following team would have $500,000 less until the top team received no extra cap room. The millions of dollars in extra cap room for the lower teams would allow them to sign one or two stars or a handful of useful players as the teams saw fit. 

Tagliabue and the NFL owners agreed the Great QB Exchange should move forward and into reality. By that point, it was well into 1998, and the Denver Broncos were the reigning Super Bowl champions. 

Crawford’s team and the Competition Committee met in June, 1998 to hammer out other plan rules, including the timing of the first Exchange. Most of the work had to do with QB contracts since free agency could not be allowed to alter the QB landscape directly before or after the Exchange. Some of the final details: 

  • Team QBs: During the Exchange, teams could pick any quarterback from their matched team. Most teams preferred the starter, while others might choose a young, promising backup to complement their roster.
  • Contracts: Teams would no longer be allowed to have the top two designated QBs on their rosters with deals that ended in a season before the Exchange. Before the first Exchange, which was scheduled for 2001, all quarterbacks whose contracts ended in 2000 were automatically extended. The contract terms were 150% of each quarterback’s 2000-season salary for the 2001 season. Those 31 quarterbacks who changed teams during the Exchange had their wages raised to franchise-tag level for two seasons. A special Exchange fund controlled by the league paid 50% of the difference between the 2000-season salary of the QBs and their new two-year contracts. In effect, each exchanged QB is compensated at the franchise-tag level for two years, after which he is a free agent. Of course, the QB and his new team can sign a longer-term contract if both parties desire. 
  • Rookie QB deals: Quarterbacks drafted in the years before the Exchange had an extra year added to their contracts if the standard rookie contract for their draft round would make them a free agent before the Exchange.
  • Retiring players: Starting QBs (who are in 70% of a team’s plays before an Exchange season) may still retire at any time. Suppose a player retired before the Exchange season starts, his new team would be awarded a 1st-round compensation pick in the subsequent draft and compensation at the end of each round for the draft picks they traded away during the Exchange. 

With such an essential change to NFL rosters, the league wanted to finalize the swap early in the year. After the Super Bowl, there was a slight lull until the popular draft. Eventually, the first Friday in March was agreed upon as the date, and hence, the first Great QB Exchange happened on March 2, 2001, and the second was on March 4, 2011.

Now, thirty years after the first Exchange and a week before the third, most agree that the trading of 32 quarterbacks at one time, unmatched in the sporting world, is a spectacle that increases interest in the league and gives fans more to discuss for an entire offseason.

2021 Great QB Exchange Rankings

Rankings and draft-pick compensation will be live Monday night!

The Great QB Exchange!!!

The 2021 Exchange takes place on Fright night on ESPN and NFL Network (8 p.m., EST). Results posted here when they are announced.

Comments or complaints?

Some historical NFL facts have been changed for this alternate-reality version of the NFL. But I want to get details wrong intentionally, so if you see something that seems wrong without purpose, let me know. I may update this article! Thanks! ~ Stefan

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Thanks!

We hope you liked this article. If you wish, you can contribute to this site. It’s just a dollar! All donations go to FFO writers. Thank you!

$1.00


Stefan Arnold is the Editor of Fantasy Football Observer. He thinks a lot about fantasy football but almost never types those thoughts down. He also co-hosts a Star Wars Podcast, Before The Z-Wing.

Great QB Exchange: 2021 QB Rankings

In simpler terms, teams throw draft picks into the Exchange pot. Each team then trades or receives draft picks back depending on the quality of the quarterback they win in the Exchange.

The History of the Great Quarterback Exchange

Sure, a few teams with premier quarterbacks wouldn’t be happy (to say the least). But every other team would have a shot at the stars. Fans would talk about the possibilities for months.

GREAT QB EXCHANGE

The History of the Great Quarterback Exchange

NFL’s “Decade Dance,” swaps 32 QBs every ten years

Editor’s Note: This article is the first in a series explaining the NFL’s Great Quarterback Exchange, which happens for the third time on March 5. For more information, first see this.

The skinny

By Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer 

MIAMI — Robert Rooks was a mid-level marketing executive for the Miami Dolphins for 31 years. Many people call him Bob, but his friends call him Robby. He doesn’t mind either. 

Rooks, whose retirement in 2000 was overshadowed by those of head coach Jimmy Johnson and legendary quarterback Dan Marino, was best known for the “Fish Fan,” bumper sticker popular in the 1980s. 

“I still see those bumper stickers on old cars once in a while,” Rooks said when reached by the phone this week. “They bring a smile to my face every time.”

He also came up with the Flying Fish Touchdown animation that outlasted him before being replaced by more modern celebrations on the Daktronics video boards the team installed in then-Dolphin stadium in 2006.

As beloved as Rooks was with the team and NFL colleagues, however, he can’t hold a candle to the popularity of his wife, Carol. 

Carol Rooks grew up in Bonita Springs, north of Naples, Florida. She met her husband-to-be on Daytona Beach in 1962, a week before the future NASCAR Hall of Famer Glenn “Fireball” Roberts won that year’s Daytona 500 auto race. 

Ask anyone, and they will tell you, Carol Rooks’ ginger snaps are the best south of Memphis. But significantly fewer people know she’s a big reason the Great Quarterback Exchange, nicknamed the “Decade Dance,” exists.

In March of 1997, the Rooks watched a story on the Kansas City Chiefs’ signing of quarterback Elvis Grbac. Carol Rooks, who knew that Marino was only a few years away from retirement, wondered if other teams’ fans would want to see Marino play for them, the quarterback having spent his entire career with Miami.

“So, out of the blue, she said, ‘What if all the teams just traded quarterbacks every ten years,’ ” Robert Rooks recalled.

Maybe Miami would get Brett Favre from the Green Bay Packers, Carol said. 

“And I answered ‘Sure, honey, why not,’ ” he laughed. “Little did I know.”

As Robert Rooks got to thinking about Carol’s comment, he decided it might be an idea worth considering. Sure, a few teams with premier quarterbacks wouldn’t be happy (to say the least). But every other team would have a shot at the stars. Fans would talk about the possibilities for months. And those teams that lost a great QB could get a star QB the next time.

After Robert Rooks offhandedly mentioned the idea to a friend on the Dolphins, the idea spread through the team offices. At first, the plan was treated like an outlandish thought but then discussed as a fun exercise during workday breaks leading up to the 1997 draft. After the draft, in which Miami selected future Hall of Fame defensive end Jason Taylor in the third round, the quarterback-swap shop talk heated up. 

Rooks, fellow marketing executive Doug Nadeau, and public relations staffer Tom Simmons decided to create and send a formal proposal to NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. 

How did the Great Quarterback Exchange come to be after the proposal landed on Tagliabue’s desk in August 1997? 

Find out in The Way it Works: Great Quarterback Exchange, coming tomorrow. 

Uncategorized

Hello again: Future FFO Plans

Saying goodbye to the ordinary

By Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

Hello all. If you’ve visited recently, you’ve noticed it’s been quite quiet around here. QQ, for the win. Anyway, I’ve been busy both with other passion projects and learning more about how I can be an ally in the fight for racial equality.

To be honest, and I would never lie to you, our most loyal followers, I also struggled with what Fantasy Football Observer is. Is it a place to get waiver recommendations and tips before your fantasy draft? Sure, we had plenty of that. And I’m proud of what Dakota Vanderhoef and I did writing and also with the “100-Yard Coverage,” podcast. But that information can be found in so many other locations.

We need to be different. Well, I want to be different at least. So, I have decided that I’m going to take FFO off the beaten fantasy football path. We will hug the rail of the unusual and zip through the corners of where the NFL, fantasy football, and The Twilight Zone meet. On both this site and on our podcast, our content will require a sideways look, squinting to keep it in focus.

I can’t promise surreal masterpieces every day. Or maybe ever. They won’t be regularly scheduled. But follow me on Twitter for updates. I will do my best to make them entertaining.

Coming soon: A once-a-decade shift in NFL team structures that will melt your face, make you question your life choices, and eviscerate your dynasty teams. Enjoy!

Stefan Arnold is the Editor of Fantasy Football Observer. He thinks a lot about fantasy football but almost never types those thoughts down. He also co-hosts a Star Wars Podcast, Before The Z-Wing, and is trying to get @ListenYear off the ground (Like The Beatles? Give me a follow!).

https://open.spotify.com/user/qzlg5gi2s6wjj8h8w7wcbhns0

Player vs. Player

Vanderhoef’s Week 9 starts: Brees will need to keep up with Brady and Co.

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

Week 9 starts

QB Drew Brees, Saints at Buccaneers: In their first matchup in Week 1, Brees did not perform very well against a Tampa Bay defense that is one of the most intimidating in the league. It has been a slow start for Brees this year. Without Michael Thomas on the field Brees has looked like a shell of his former self, but Thomas is expected to be back this week. Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady, on the other hand, seems to have rejuvenated in the new Florida environment. Brees will be forced to sling the rock trying to keep the ball away from the Bucs’ unforgiving run defense. With all the planets aligning for this to be a shootout, it would be wise to plug Brees back into your lineup. Bold stat line prediction: 26-for-36 for 226 yards and 3 touchdowns, 2 rushing attempts for 9 yards.

RB David Johnson, Texans at Jaguars: Fresh off the bye, Johnson is in a good position to deliver some fantasy points. The Jags have let other teams rush for 142 yards on average. The lion’s share of that enticing rushing pie is expected to go to Johnson as he has 101 attempts to Duke Johnson’s 18. Johnson is also utilized in the passing game, averaging 3.5 targets per game. Johnson has been a consistent RB2 all season, but it’s time to see his upside. Bold stat line prediction: 21 carries for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns, 3 receptions for 36 yards.

RB Antonio Gibson, Football Team vs Giants: The Giants are giving away fantasy points to running backs in the passing game, which happens to be a specialty of Gibson. Gibson sees almost five targets a game. Because of a few big plays Gibson has a YPC of 9.2, and this is a game where Gibson could easily give you that one big splash play. Gibson is an excellent runner as well. Last time Gibson saw the field it was against the hapless Cowboys but, none the less, 128 yards and a touchdown is impressive. This will be a gritty low-scoring game were the running backs are heavily involved. Bold stat line prediction: 16 carries for 84 yards and a touchdown, 5 receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown.

WR Jerry Jeudy, Broncos at Falcons: Every week, it seems like a different Broncos team shows up to play. The better form of the team should be arriving in Atlanta this week though, as Atlanta is allowing over 300 passing yards per game. Denver quarterback Drew Lock has been inconsistent among a rash of injuries, but he should be able to find a rhythm Sunday. His favorite target. Jeudy has been exceptional this year, averaging 15.6 yards per reception. While seeing 6.7 targets per game Jeudy has only visited the endzone one time this year. Look for Jeudy to add onto his touchdown total this week in his very favorable matchup with the Falcons’ secondary. Bold stat line prediction: 9 receptions for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns.

WR Corey Davis, Titans vs Bears: Seeing the same number of targets as A.J. Brown, Davis actually has more receptions and more yards than Brown. Davis has scored only three times to Brown’s five though. It is clear that this situation is more of a 1a, 1b receiver corp. and not a first and second read like we all anticipated at the start of the year. You may see the red CHI next to Davis’s name this week because the Bears are having another good defensive season, however they have been beatable in the passing game. Besides, Ryan Tannehill has had success against tough defenses in the past and shined, leaving no real good excuse to not play Davis this week, or for the rest of the year for that matter. Bold stat line prediction: 7 receptions for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Dakota is a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan and fantasy football junky. You can follow and interact with him on twitter @DaktaVanderhoef, because missing the “o” in Dakota was better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Player vs. Player

Vanderhoef’s Week 8 starts: Ohio stars ready for spotlight

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

Editor’s note: Dakota picked Baker Mayfield and Tyler Lockett in Week 7. If you had those guys, you probably won. Nice work, Dakota!

Week 8 starts

WR Tee Higgins, Bengals vs Titans: The talent that has entered the NFL recently has been incredibly impressive. The Bengals seemed to have snagged two of the most recent emerging stars in the NFL in quarterback Joe Burrow and Higgins. Once Higgins hit the field in Week 2, he has seen 7 targets per game. Higgins could not ask for a much better opponent as it was clear in Week 7 that the Titans continue to struggle against the pass, ranking 27th in pass yards allowed per game. Bold stat line prediction: 8 receptions for 102 yards and 2 touchdowns.

WR Jarvis Landry, Browns vs Raiders: Despite seeing 5.5 targets per game Landry has yet to find the end zone this season. That could change with Odell Beckham Jr. now out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. With 283.8 passing yards per game allowed, the Raiders find themselves with one of the most vulnerable defenses in the league. The Raiders’ run defense is not much better, opening things up in the passing game and benefiting Landry, the Browns’ alpha receiver. Bold stat line prediction: 7 receptions for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns.

QB Ryan Tannehill, Titans at Bengals: At this point it would be impossible to sit Tannehill, as he has been near perfect. In 2020 Tannehill has only thrown two interceptions to his 15 touchdowns. Against one of the most premier defenses in the league, in Week 7 against the Steelers, Tannehill completed 18 of his 30 pass attempts for 220 yards and a pair touchdowns, marking his second worst game of the year. We can expect that this is the floor for Tannehill. This week, the Titans take on the Bengals, who allow 261 passing yards per game on average. You can comfortably play Tannehill against some of his tougher upcoming opponents but definitely take advantage of the favorable matchup this week. Bold stat line prediction: 30-for-39 for 336 yards and 4 touchdowns, 3 rushing attempts for 19 yards.

RB Boston Scott, Eagles vs Cowboys: Even with the return of Cowboys star LB Leighton Vander Esch, the ‘Boys still cannot find their footing against the run. Arizona and Washington both rushed for over 200 yards against the Cowboys, who are ranked last in rushing yards allowed. Scott could have been a fantasy flop last week had it not been for a game-winning reception in the last minute of the game. As it stands though, Scott is the Eagles’ best healthy back on the roster since Miles Sanders suffered an ankle injury in Week 6 that will most likely keep him sidelined into the team’s Week 9 bye. Scott saw 70% of the snaps against the Giants and should expect to see a similar amount against Dallas. He will be more than capable of gashing the Cowboys. Bold stat line prediction: 16 carries for 87 yards and 2 touchdowns, 5 receptions for 46 yards.

RB Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers at Giants: If it were not for his touchdown, Ronald Jones’s 34 rushing yards on 13 carries would have been a major let down. Fournette was clearly the better back in Week 7 and continued to outshine Rojo in the pass game. Fournette caught 6 of his 7 targets for 47 yards.While the Giants rank 7th in rushing yards allowed per game, they do allow the running backs to get open in the passing game. Last week Boston Scott had 46 yards on 3 receptions and the week prior Washington RBs combined for 68 receiving yards on 10 receptions. When Fournette has played he has averaged three receptions and has looked like the far better back when thrown to. His role on the ground could also be increasing as he rushed for 4.5 YPC. Bold stat line prediction: 14 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown, 7 receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown.

TE Noah Fant, Broncos vs Chargers: Fant was seen limping through out the Week 7 game against the Chiefs. The Broncos worked in other tight ends during the game as they tried to keep Fant on a snap count while still making him available in the pass game. While the looks that Fant has seen this season have not resulted in a score since Week 2, he is still seeing almost seven targets per game. All season the Chargers defense has allowed splash plays to the tight end position. Rob Gronkowski and O.J. Howard each had a reception over 25 yards three weeks ago, two weeks ago Jared Cook had a long of 41 yards and last week James O’Shaughnessy had a 22-yard reception. If healthy, Fant will be the next tight end to add his name to that list. Bold stat line prediction: 5 receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown.

Dakota is a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan and fantasy football junky. You can follow and interact with him on twitter @DaktaVanderhoef, because missing the “o” in Dakota was better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Player vs. Player

Vanderhoef’s Week 7 starts: Under-the-radar players could produce big

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

Week 7 Starts

WR Mike Williams, Chargers vs Jaguars: Williams averages two deep shots a game, giving him the third highest average target distance amongst all receivers at 17.6. It is easy to forget that just two weeks ago Williams hauled in 5 receptions for 109 yards and two touchdowns while covered by Marshon Lattimore. Some of Justin Herbert’s success has to do with what Williams is capable of doing on the field. Right now, Herbert is compiling a strong case for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Coming off the bye, Herbert is poised to sling the ball to one of the best emerging deep threats in the league… Mike Williams. Bold stat line prediction: 7 receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown.

WR Tyler Lockett, Seahawks at Cardinals: Before going on bye, Lockett produced a couple of stinkers, back-to-back to be clear. Now you grimace at the thought of plugging Lockett into your starting lineup. Lockett does have an intriguing opportunity this week, which should be more than enough to remove that sour taste in your mouth. Even at the age of 30, Arizona cornerback, Patrick Peterson still retains some of his 4.3 speed, allowing him to keep up with D.K. Metcalf. The Cardinals’ up-and-coming safety, Budda Baker, will also keep a keen eye on Metcalf throughout the contest. With Arizona focused on stopping Metcalf, Lockett could be the Seahawks’ top receiver when it is all said and done. Bold stat line prediction: 11 receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns.

QB Baker Mayfield, Browns at Bengals: After too many hits against Pittsburgh in Week 6, Mayfield got pulled from the game in fear of re-injuring a lingering chest injury from the previous week. Mayfield should be back to form for his divisional game against the Bengals, however. The Bengals’ secondary is weak, allowing 271 passing yards and two scores per game. With Joe Burrow under helm for Cincinnati, the Bengals very likely will push the ball down the field and score points. Mayfield will need to answer with his own offensive production in a fun divisional game. Bold stat line prediction: 25-for-36 for 309 yards and 3 touchdowns, 2 rushing attempts for 13 yards.

RB Ronald Jones, Buccaneers vs Raiders: If you have not caught on by now, the trend has been to stream your running backs against the Raiders. Las Vegas is allowing 127 rushing yards per game, but in particular, running backs are doing their most damage in the passing game. Rojo has strung together three 100-yard rushing games. In those games he has averaged 24 touches per game and five targets. Leonard Fournette is still hampered with an ankle injury leaving the reigns in Jones’ hands in an enticing matchup. Bold Stat line prediction: 19 carries for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns, 2 receptions for 26 yards.

RB D’Andre Swift, Lions at Falcons: Following their bye, the Lions decided to give their rookie a bigger role. Adrian Peterson was inefficient with the 15 carries he saw last week, only rushing for 40 yards. Peterson did score once and had an 18 yard reception, compared to Swift’s 116 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on 14 carries. Peterson may have seen his last 15-carry game as a Lion. As it stands, Swift averages four targets per game. He has turned one reception into a touchdown so far but could be seeing more as his role and confidence grow. Game script will keep Swift involved this week. Bold stat line prediction: 16 carries for 89 yards and a touchdown, 6 receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Dakota is a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan and fantasy football junky. You can follow and interact with him on twitter @DaktaVanderhoef, because missing the “o” in Dakota was better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Player vs. Player

Vanderhoef’s Week 6 starts: Game script could help Lions, Jags

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

Week 6 starts

QB Matthew Stafford, Lions at Jaguars: Before the Lions’ bye week Stafford was beginning to heat up. Now that the team is rested and star receiver Kenny Golladay is fully recovered from his injury, Stafford can continue to light up the competition. The Jaguars passing defense has been beatable and at times has needed to be beaten. Gardner Minshew and the Jags can contest in an offensive bout with the Lions. Stafford could be forced to air it out and take those home run shots he is known for. Bold stat line prediction: 23-for-36 for 282 yards and 3 touchdowns, 1 rushing attempt for 7 yards.

WR Laviska Shenault, Jaguars vs Lions: D.J. Chark pulled up lame last week with an ankle injury which threatens his chances of making an appearance in Week 6. Luckily for Jacksonville, they can slide their electric rookie into his role. Shenault has been targeted 28 times this season in addition to 9 rushing attempts. With Chark now possibly out of the picture Shenault could look to expand on his role. The Lions can go score-for-score with the Jags making Shenault a ripe rookie ready to be thrown into a starting lineup. Bold stat line prediction: 8 receptions for 119 yards and 1 touchdown, 2 rushing attempts for 26 yards.

WR Jamison Crowder, Jets at Dolphins: In the three games that Crowder has played in this year, he has averaged 11 targets, scored twice, and gone over 100 yards each time. He has quietly become a must-start player in a destitute offense. The Jets continued their “rebuild” by releasing Le’Veon Bell, which will free up more opportunity for Crowder. Crowder could be looked at even more with Joe Flacco under center and the possibility of using Crowder on short routes in replace of a run game. Bold stat line prediction: 7 receptions for 92 yards and 2 touchdowns.

RB Kenyan Drake, Cardinals at Cowboys: Chances are you have been burned one too many times this year by Drake, but he is deserving of one more shot. This week he is running up against the hapless Cowboys run defense, a defense allowing 156 rushing yards a game. Drake continues to lead his team in rushing attempts as Chase Edmonds nips at his heels. Drake saw his usual pace of play last week, 18 touches, which should be enough to gash the Cowboys. Bold stat line prediction: 18 carries for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns, 3 receptions for 16 yards.

RB David Montgomery, Bears at Panthers: Although Montgomery has not seen a large volume on the ground, he has seen his targets increase with Nick Foles under center. In the last two games, Montgomery has 10 receptions for 60 yards. The Panthers lack any play makers on the defense and have been susceptible to opposing running backs, allowing 133 rushing yards per game. Controlling the game clock by getting Montgomery involved is the key to a Bears victory this week. Bold stat line prediction: 14 carries for 86 yards and 1 touchdown, 5 receptions for 49 yards and 1 touchdown.

TE Robert Tonyan, Packers at Buccaneers: In his last three appearances Tonyan has scored at least once, including his Week 4 three-touchdown performance. The reason for all the success is because outside of Davante Adams, the pass catchers have either been a disappointment or injured. More importantly Aaron Rodgers personally likes Tonyan (yes, that matters). As good as Aaron Jones has been running the ball, the Bucs are only allowing 58 rushing yards per game. The flow of football follows the path of least resistance, meaning Rodgers will be passing the ball at a higher rate, benefitting his favorite red zone weapon. Bold stat line prediction: 4 receptions for 62 yards and 1 touchdown.

Dakota is a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan and fantasy football junky. You can follow and interact with him on twitter @DaktaVanderhoef, because missing the “o” in Dakota was better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Player vs. Player

Vanderhoef’s Week 5 starts: Cowboys and Panthers, oh my

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

Week 5 Starts

WR D.J. Moore, Panthers at Falcons: Robby Anderson has gotten all the love in this Teddy Bridgewater-led offense. Even with Christian McCaffrey missing time, Moore has been a major let down for fantasy owners, especially with the draft capital he demanded. Atlanta has allowed 13 passing touchdowns in just four games on average of 341 passing yards. The cream will rise to the top. Bridgewater prefers to throw deep to Moore over Anderson because Moore is still the alpha. Both Anderson and Moore can coexist this week, but Moore is the superior athlete and can take advantage of a banged up secondary. Bold stat line prediction: 11 receptions, 146 yards and 1 touchdown.

WR CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys vs Giants: Lamb has been exceptionally consistent for a rookie receiver, hauling in 21 catches in four games. Last week he saw his first two touchdowns, a sign for more to come. While the Giants do not have the firepower that previous opponents have had while facing the Cowboys, they are still a division rival. The Giants have many chinks in their chain defensively so Dak Prescott will be able to force another shootout this week. Lamb looks like the No. 2 for an active offense. Bold stat line prediction: 7 receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown.

QB Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers at Falcons: If you buy into Bridgewater’s best receiver popping off this week, then you should be buying into the man throwing him the ball. Bridgewater has slowly acclimated himself to his new offense but last week he showed a spark of something special. Anderson has been excellent this season. While Moore has left a lot to be desired, he should be able to gash the Falcons secondary as well. Stick with the hot hand in Bridgewater because the Falcons are allowing the most fantasy points to the QB position. Bold stat line prediction: 33-40 for 303 yards and 3 touchdowns, 3 rushing attempts for 24 yards.

RB Mark Ingram, Ravens vs Bengals: It has been difficult to syphon any fantasy points out of this Ravens backfield. Gus Edwards has always been a solid runner but has yet to see a pass come his way in 2020. Rookie J.K. Dobbins has show flashes with his limited touches but has yet to find a footing in the offense. Also, Lamar Jackson is rushing almost 10 times a game, but missed practice this week due to illness and a bum knee. The Bengals are very forgiving to the running back position, allowing 158 yards per game. Ingram is the veteran back on this team and has a skillset that can be lethal. The Ravens can trust Ingram to carry his team to victory. Bold stat line prediction: 16 carries for 107 yards and 1 touchdown, 4 receptions for 62 yards and 1 touchdown.

RB Jerick McKinnon, 49ers vs Dolphins: McKinnon has scored in every outing this year for the 49ers. He has seen a heathy workload through the air as well, averaging 4.5 targets per game. Even while splitting time with Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman and even with Jimmy Garoppolo missing time, Mckinnon has been worthy of a start. The Dolphins are tied with the second most rushing touchdowns allowed this season. The planets have aligned for McKinnon even as Mostert carries a questionable tag for this week. Bold stat line prediction: 19 carries for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns, 3 receptions for 33 yards.

TE Evan Engram, Giants at Cowboys: Although Engram has done little with the decent volume he’s received, he has a chance to return to the mean with some positive regression. QB Daniel Jones has played poor amidst a difficult schedule. However, this is a good matchup for both Engram and Jones to get back into a groove. Engram is the bass line to Jones’s groove, averaging 7.5 targets per game. Dallas was exploited on the ground last week but the Cowboys have also allowed 12 passing touchdowns this year. With the over/under set at 54 points, look for the Giants offense to punch back. Bold stat line prediction: 9 receptions for 92 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Dakota Vanderhoef is a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan and fantasy football junky. You can follow and interact with him on twitter @DaktaVanderhoef, because missing the “o” in Dakota was better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Starts of the Week

Rookies highlight Week 4 players to start

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

Here are my top players for Week 4.

TE Jimmy Graham, Bears vs Colts: Nick Foles stepped in for a poor-performing Mitchell Trubisky after halftime last week in Atlanta. Graham was a big reason why Foles had success last week, catching two touchdowns on six receptions. The 10 targets is more telling though. The Colts defense has been playing lights out as of late, which could prompt benching of any Bears players. However, the enigma of the Bears offense could prove to be more difficult to slow down than originally imagined. Bold stat line prediction: 8 receptions for 84 yards and 1 touchdown.

WR Tyler Boyd, Bengals vs Jaguars: With each passing week, the rapport between rookie quarterback Joe Burrow and Boyd strengthens. The last three weeks the targets for Boyd have increased and in Week 3, he caught 10 of his 13 targets for 125 yards. The game script and opponent could not be more beneficial for Boyd. The wily offenses of both the Bengals and Jaguars compensate for their lack of defensive fortitude. There will be many pieces of this game you will want to get your hands on, but Boyd should be at the top of that list. Bold stat line prediction: 11 receptions for 119 yards and 2 touchdowns.

WR Justin Jefferson, Vikings at Texans: The Vikings finally unleashed their rookie wide receiver against an unexpecting Titans defense. Jefferson outplayed Adam Thielen by a wide margin this week with 7 receptions for 175 yards and a score. Right now, Thielen owners should be getting the heebie-jeebies because Jefferson looks like the real deal. It’s not just that his snap percentage increased 24% from Week 2, it’s that Justin Jefferson was the first read of Kirk Cousins. Bold stat line prediction: 9 receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown.

RB James Robinson, Jaguars at Bengals: Robinson is the second player featured from this game for a reason … points will be scored. The Jaguars have put full faith in Robinson as he continues to take on the bulk of the running back duties and goal line work. Gardner Minshew is showing more faith in him as well, passing to Robinson 6 times for 83 yards. The Bengals defense funnels to the running back position, allowing 181 rushing yards per game. This defense caters to a huge fantasy performance from Robinson this weekend. Bold stat line prediction: 22 carries for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns, 1 reception for 22 yards.

RB Devin Singletary, Bills at Raiders: Singletary has yet to find the end zone this season. That should change this week as the Raiders are another team struggling to slow down the run, allowing 5.6 yards per carry. Zack Moss remains limited in practice, which opens the backfield up for Singletary to take command over. Not only will Singletary be getting it done on the ground, but he is averaging five targets per game, an area in which Josh Allen has improved. Bold Stat line prediction: 18 carries for 94 yards and 1 touchdown, 5 receptions for 49 yards and 1 touchdown.

Dakota Vanderhoef is a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan and fantasy football junky. You can follow and interact with him on Twitter @DaktaVanderhoef, because missing the “o” in Dakota was better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

News and Notes, Starts of the Week

Vanderhoef’s Week 2 starts: Big names at WR bounce back

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

Here are some (mostly) middle-round players that should help your team in Week 2. Good luck this week!

WR D.J. Chark, Jaguars at Titans: Chark only saw three targets last week when the Jags upset the Colts 27-20. He caught all three targets for 25 yards and one touchdown. The run game was surprisingly present last week against Indianapolis, which left fewer opportunities for Chark as QB Gardner Minshew only threw the ball 20 times. If the Jaguars want to continue their success, they will need to move the ball down the field more. Expect Chark to see more targets this week facing off against the Titans, who should hold a lead later in the game, forcing the Jaguars to throw the ball. Bold stat line prediction: 6 receptions for 86 yards and 1 touchdown.

WR Keenan Allen, Chargers vs. Chiefs: Last week Allen was the odd man left out of the offense, which overall struggled against Cincinnati. Allen only had four receptions for 37 yards. The Bolts just paid Allen though, to the tune of $20 million a year. There is no way that a player as talented and expensive as Allen will continue to go unnoticed. A game against the Chiefs, who should pull away early, will give Allen ample opportunity to bounce back as San Diego plays catch-up. Bold stat line prediction: 8 receptions for 107 yards and 1 touchdown.

RB Raheem Mostert, 49ers at Jets: Mostert might be a low hanging fruit when it comes to a start of the week, but he is a smash play in Week 2. Wherever you drafted Mostert, you got him for a value because he could be posting Christian McCaffrey-level numbers this week. The 49ers have four receivers on IR currently and TE George Kittle has a tweaked knee. Mostert saw 15 carries and 5 targets last week, including a 76-yard touchdown reception on a wheel route. This Sunday the 49ers could be serving up a Victory a la Mostert. Bold stat line prediction: 19 carries for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns, 5 receptions for 47 yards and 1 touchdown.

RB Todd Gurley, Falcons at Cowboys: Gurley meandered through Week 1 with a pedestrian 57 total yards on 14 carries and 2 receptions. Gurley rescued his fantasy performance with a touchdown, however. The Falcons excelled in the pass game but came up short against Seattle. The Falcons find themselves in line for another shootout this week in Dallas. Gurley could be leaned on early and often in this game as the Falcons will likely fight for clock management. Bold stat line prediction: 21 carries for 94 yards and 1 touchdown, 3 receptions for 29 yards.

QB Deshaun Watson, Texans vs. Ravens: A rushing touchdown and a soft secondary late in the game aided in Watson’s fantasy performance last week. This week Watson faces off against a stout Ravens defense that looks a lot like their dominant 2019 form. Watson will do everything he can to win and stay competitive in this matchup, including extending drives with his legs. Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson is likely going to be carving up the defense, which may encourage Watson to do the same. Play him with confidence against a strong Ravens defense. Bold stat line prediction: 26-41 for 264 yards and 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 9 rushing attempts for 64 yards and 1 touchdown.

Dakota Vanderhoef is a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan and fantasy football junky. You can follow and interact with him on twitter @DaktaVanderhoef, because missing the “o” in Dakota was better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

News and Notes, Player vs. Player

Week One Fades: Stars that should hit the bench this week

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

WR Odell Beckham Jr, Browns @ Ravens: The key cast members that made the Ravens one of the most feared secondaries in the NFL stand in the way of OBJ this week. Last season, Beckham split targets with Jarvis Landry, who Beckham trailed by five targets on the season. It is likely that Beckham was suffering from a core muscle injury that held him back in 2019. Although his name was once premier in the NFL, OBJ should be watched very carefully and possibly benched in this tough early game. It will not be hard to find a replacement on your bench or on waivers with a better matchup. Bold stat line prediction: 5 receptions for 59 yards.

WR A.J. Green, Bengals vs. Chargers: At age 32, Green returns to football after foot injuries that derailed the past two seasons. This year, the Bengals hope to revitalize Green’s career with this year’s No. 1 draft pick, quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow looks the part of a starting QB but the Chargers will not give him a warm welcome to the NFL. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram will face off with a weak Bengals offensive line while Casey Hayward and company cover the airways. Bold stat line prediction: 3 receptions for 27 yards.

RB Kerryon Johnson, Lions vs. Bears: Johnson could have started the year with a decent workload when rookie D’Andre Swift began to miss valuable time and reps due to an injury in training camp. He still could. However, the Lions backfield became very ambiguous when veteran back Adrian Peterson signed for the season. It would be in your best interest to shelf Johnson in Week 1 to see how the backfield shapes out. Who knows, It could be that the Peterson signing is more of a reflection of the Swift injury. Bold stat line prediction: 11 carries for 55 yards, 2 receptions for 17 yards.

RB Antonio Gibson, Washington vs. Eagles: To be clear, Gibson is not the worst player to find their way into your starting lineup in Week 1, but temper your expectations. Washington just released the aforementioned Peterson to make way for (possibly) Gibson. We are still not completely sure. During drafts, up-in-the-air running games are good values but during the season it is best to avoid these vague backfields until fantasy value is determined. Gibson is running up against a very stout defensive front with a very weak O-line leading the way. Bold stat line prediction: 8 carries for 29 yards, 6 receptions for 49 yards.

QB Carson Wentz, Eagles @ Washington: Although the Washington secondary is amongst the worst in the league Wentz has very little at his disposal to attack it with. DeSean Jackson and Zach Ertz lead the receiving core and Boston Scott is likely to split the backfield with Corey Clement now that Miles Sanders has been ruled out. Wentz will struggle once again to find reliable targets, which could pose detrimental to your fantasy team. Bold stat line prediction: 23-40 for 189 yards and 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 5 rushing attempts for 44 yards.

Dakota Vanderhoef is a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan and fantasy football junky. You can follow and interact with him on twitter @DaktaVanderhoef, because missing the “o” in Dakota was better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

News and Notes

Week One Tough Calls: Middle-round players to start

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

Sure, starting your studs is easy. But some of the deeper plays need more thought. Here are some players who you drafted later that you should think about getting into your lineup in Week 1.

RB Marlon Mack, Colts @ Jaguars: The Indianapolis Colts have an enticing Week 1 matchup against a weak Jacksonville Jaguars team. The Colts are favored to win by 8 points. If Indy leans on a strong defense and efficient run game, Mack should have enough volume to be fantasy worthy. Mack has potential to finish as a RB2 this week as the Colts still phase in rookie Jonathan Taylor. Bold stat line prediction: 13 carries for 79 yards and 1 touchdown, 1 reception for 7 yards.

RB Melvin Gordon, Broncos vs Titans: Another key player down with an injury will give Gordon the chance to show how important he is to this team. Courtland Sutton suffered a sprained AC joint earlier this week in practice and is questionable for Sunday. Fortunately, Gordon is an excellent downhill runner that can effectively be deployed in the passing game. Gordon could see a bigger role the next few weeks and should certainly be leaned on in Week 1. Bold stat line prediction: 18 carries for 94 yards and 1 touchdown, 4 receptions for 37 yards.

WR Stefon Diggs, Bills vs Jets: Diggs is the undeniable No. 1 option for quarterback Josh Allen on a Bills offense lacking playmakers. Diggs has big-play ability and will see plenty of looks against a Jets’ defense that is expected to rank near the bottom this year. Diggs should be comfortably considered a WR2 with WR1 upside this week. Bold stat line prediction: 7 receptions for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

WR Michael Gallup, Cowboys @ Rams: The Week 1 game between the Cowboys and Rams is projected to have the second highest point total. There will be plenty of fantasy points to go around in this game. Amari Cooper is nursing an injury that could limit his usage during the game. Gallup could be the No. 1 read for quarterback Dak Prescott this Sunday. Bold stat line prediction: 9 receptions for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns.

TE Hayden Hurst, Falcons vs Seahawks: Hurst is expected to fill a role in which last season Austin Hooper was frequently posting TE1 numbers. Seattle lacks a strong defense and last season struggled to cover the tight end position. The offensive showdown in Atlanta will give a boost to any pass catcher on either team. Hurst does not demand the coverage that Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley do and could be a mismatch for the opposing defense. Bold stat line prediction: 5 receptions for 67 yards and 1 touchdown.

TE Noah Fant, Broncos vs Titans: The recent injury to Sutton has changed the outlook of the offense for the next few weeks. Fant should be a primary target on this offense even with Sutton playing but even more so with Sutton likely out. Bold stat line prediction: 7 receptions for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns.

QB Jared Goff, Rams vs Cowboys: The secondary for Dallas does not look great this year and with such a powerful offense they are bound to allow some of the most air yards this season as teams play catch-up. Goff is well equipped to duke it out with Dallas though. Both Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods were drafted to be top fantasy receivers this year and Tyler Higbee broke out at the end of last season. Game script and a rotating back field will put the flow of the game in the hands of Goff this week. Bold stat line prediction: 31-48 for 342 yards and 4 touchdowns, 2 rushing attempts for 23 yards.

QB Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers @ Giants: Roethlisberger sat out almost the entirety of 2019. He is back in football shape and ready to take on a weak Giants defense, however. Big Ben himself has been raving about receiver James Washington while JuJu Smith-Schuster is set for a bounce-back season. Plus, star running back James Conner is 100% healthy. It is easy to forget about Roethlisberger since he hardly played last season, but he could be returning to his former self this week. Bold stat line prediction: 22-34 for 276 yards and 3 touchdowns, 1 interception.

DEF: Philladelphia Eagles @ Washington, ESPN ownership 45%: Camp reports say that Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins has been improving but the bar was not set high last season. Even on the road the Eagles are favored by 5.5 points. Aside from a couple of players, neither team looks exciting on offense. In the offseason Philly added Javon Hargrave to an already talented defensive front and reinforced their secondary with Darius Slay Jr. Haskins should not have enough time in the pocket to do any damage in what is expected to be a low-scoring affair.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Draft Details, Player vs. Player

Vanderhoef’s WR Rankings: Deep WR talent allows you to target two studs in drafts

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

  1. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints: The New Orleans Saints signed Thomas to a massive deal worth $100 Million over five years. To show his gratitude, Thomas broke the single season reception record with 149 catches and led the league in receiving yards with 1,725. Some teams have a work horse back, but the Saints move the ball through Thomas. 
  2. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers: Despite missing 4 games due to injury, Adams still saw 22% of the season-long target share. Adams is a target hog! Green Bay passed on drafting a wide receiver in the draft, leaving Adams unchallenged for targets again in 2020. The volume and consistency that Adams brings is hard to pass up in any type of PPR format. 
  3. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons: Jones is one of the most physically dominant players to ever play in the league. Atlanta recognized this and made him the highest paid wide receiver. He was second only to Thomas in yards receiving with 1,394. A porous defense should give Julio and the Falcons ample scoring opportunities and Jones provides the possibility of finishing as the WR1 as maybe even a second-round selection.
  4. Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions: The Lions’ schedule is oozing with fantasy points. They play the NFC South this season, aka the Shooting Gallery. Matthew Stafford was on pace for his best season largely due to Golladay’s production. The Lions had awful quarterback play the last half of the season after Stafford’s season-ending injury but Golladay still led the league in receiving touchdowns with 11 and tacked on 1,190 yards on 65 receptions. The Week 16 fantasy playoff matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is just the cherry on top.
  5. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs: If you like to leave your opponent demoralized after a defeat than Hill is the perfect pick for you. When it comes to boom-or-bust players, Hill is the pinnacle. Hill has Olympic sprinter speed. That’s no joke, look how his high school time compared to Usain Bolt at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Unlike most speed receivers, Hill is a football player first and a sprinter second. Playing for the best offense in the league gives Hill a safe floor to justify his ability to win you a week. 
  6. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals: It shocked everyone when Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien traded away Hopkins. Hopkins has been a mega-producer since his sophomore year in 2014, averaging 1,300 yards a season. It just so happened that Arizona was lacking a dominant No. 1 receiver and Hopkins is the perfect fit. Quarterback Kyler Murray and head coach Kliff Kingsbury are excited to implement their new receiver in a fast-paced system. Whether the news of the training-camp hamstring injury is legitimate or its just leverage for a new contract, it adds risk to his draft capital. 
  7. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The writing was on the wall for Godwin to emerge as a dominant receiver last year. Coach Bruce Arians historically favors the slot receiver in his offensive schemes. And now, Arians added quarterback Tom Brady, who helped Julian Edelman dominate from the slot. Godwin is poised to improve on his highly impressive numbers from last season with Brady under helm. Godwin finished as the WR2 in 0.5 PPR with 86 receptions, 1,333 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
  8. D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers: The Panthers experienced some of the worst QB play in the league last year. Moore overcame the adversity though, posting 1,175 yards on 87 receptions and four touchdowns. Moore is quickly becoming one of the favorite targets for new Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. It’s time to be excited for what the future holds in Moore this season.
  9. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams: When the playoffs were on the line at the end of last season Woods saw a featured role in coach Sean McVay’s offense. The last half of the Rams season was marred with offensive injuries, making Woods a dominant alpha. Weeks 12-17 Woods had a target share of 25.6%. In those six weeks Woods, averaged 7.5 receptions and 95 yards per game. There were only two touchdowns scored by Woods in 2019, leaving plenty of room for improvement. With Brandin Cooks and Todd Gurley now off the team, Woods is expected to see similar production levels.
  10. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings are a run-first offense in Dalvin Cook but with the leading receiver, Stefon Diggs, now in Buffalo, Thielen is in line for huge volume. Thielen missed some time last year and was a bit of a disappointment for fantasy. In 2018, however, while sharing the field with Diggs, Thielen had 153 targets, 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns and finished as the WR7 in 0.5 PPR. Rookie receiver Justin Jefferson has been incapable of supplanting Bisi Johnson for the No. 2 spot in training camp. At age 30, Thielen makes an excellent trade target for any dynasty team on a title run this year.
  11. Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears: There are not many bright spots on the Bears’ offense this season, but Robinson is one of them. With Mitchell Trubisky throwing him the ball, Robinson racked up 1,147 receiving yards on 98 receptions with seven touchdowns. Only Julio Jones and Michael Thomas had more targets than Allen Robinson’s 154.
  12. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs are the only team featured on this list to have two of their players represented in the top-12 echelon. Evans finished as the WR12 in 0.5PPR last season with 1,157 yards receiving and eight touchdowns, averaging 17.3 yards per catch. Tom Brady could easily pick apart a defense with a player as dominant as Evans. It might be reliving the glory days of Brady, but Evans has a legitimate chance of putting up Randy Moss-like numbers this season.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Draft Details, Player vs. Player, Uncategorized

Vanderhoef’s RB Rankings: Mixon tops list after Super Five

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

Note: Ranks based on 0.5 PPR

  1. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers: McCaffrey is set to defend his throne as the No. 1 fantasy asset. The Panthers are predicted to have a weak defense this season, allowing for plenty of offensive opportunity as the Panthers play catch-up. His volume and talent make him the easy pick at the 1.01.
  2. Saquon Barkley, New York Football Giants: Barkley is the only player worthy of challenging McCaffrey for the first overall pick. Like Carolina, the Giants’ offense largely runs through the hands and feet of Barkley. He is a physical specimen and dominates at every level of the position. Barkley saw so much playing time that quarterback Daniel Jones was the team’s second-leading rusher. Barkley was second in team receiving in 2019 and accounted for 35% of the team’s yardage.
  3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys: Last season Elliott never finished lower than RB24 in half-point PPR. He has been paid by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to be the cornerstone of the offense and the Cowboys have one of the easiest schedules in the NFL. Zeke will get plenty of opportunity to eat, even with talented mouths to feed across the offense.
  4. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings: The only factor holding Cook back from the RB3 slot is a possible lingering contract situation. Now that the Vikings lead receiver from 2019, Stefon Diggs, is playing in Buffalo, Cook is poised to get enough volume to rival Barkley and McCaffrey.
  5. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans: Henry led the league in rushing with 1,540 yards and tied for the most touchdowns at 16. He ran through everyone, and the team ran through him. Henry was efficient with the low pass volume he saw which is a positive sign that he could be seeing more production through the air. A small increase from his 24 targets last year can make him a scoring monster, even in PPR formats.
  6. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals: A new four-year contract seemed to cure Mixon’s migraine issue as the team and Mixon are full steam ahead. Mixon has an incredibly high ceiling with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow now under helm. In Weeks 10-16, Mixon posted numbers good enough to be the RB6 in half PPR. Mixon is an unrivaled three-down back who amassed 1,424 yards from scrimmage and 35 receptions last year. Mixon is a late first-round gem waiting to be plucked.
  7. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs: Edwards-Helaire was handpicked by Patrick Mahomes. The explosive running back from LSU could not have found a better landing spot. CEH is expected to be utilized in the passing game, increasing his chances to score in what should be yet another monster year offensively for Kansas City. There is inherent risk when drafting a 5’7” rookie running back in the first round but the Chiefs’ disinterest in Leonard Fournette says that they are all in on CEH. It also helps that 2019 starter Damien Williams opted out of the season, handing even more touches to the rookie.
  8. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns: Just 46 yards shy of Henry with 1,494 rushing yards, Chubb quietly finished second in rushing yards. The Browns utilized Chubb twice as much in the pass game as well. Chubb is the type of downhill runner that gets better the more handoffs he receives. Kareem Hunt limits Chubb’s receiving opportunities but Hunt’s true value to the Browns is on the trade block. Possible addition by subtraction later this season would be extremely beneficial for Chubb as he is deserving of a Derrick Henry-esk role.
  9. Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals: Once Drake made it to the Cardinals after a trade with Miami, he made an huge impact. Drake scored eight times in the eight games he played in the desert last season while amassing 814 yards from scrimmage and 28 receptions. Arizona runs a quick-tempo offense which may keep Drake on the field for extended drives and increased scoring opportunities. He was recently spotted in a precautionary walking boot and may not be 100% ready for the start of the season.
  10. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles: Another player with injury concerns is Sanders. Sanders was electric at the end of last season in his rookie year. He was the RB4 in Weeks 11-16. Sanders should be 100% soon if not by Week 1. You should not be surprised to see Sanders be talked about as one of those players in 2021 that has the entire offense depend on him.
  11. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints: The scuttlebutt on Twitter is that New Orleans is open to trading Kamara after a possible hold out and a new contract stalemate. Drew Brees is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and extremely favorable to the running back position. If Kamara goes to another team, even as a starter, he instantly loses value. If Kamara stays a Saint, he will be a steal if others in your league lets him slip because of his contract situation.
  12. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders: Head coach John Gruden was upset that Jacobs’ 1,150 rushing and 166 receiving yards was not good enough for the title of Offensive Rookie of the Year. Possibly this season Gruden will showcase why he thinks his running back is among the best in the league. Jacobs had spotty use in the pass game last year, only catching 20 passes. Theo Riddick and Jalen Richard both excel in the receiving game and could continue to vulture Jacobs’ pass volume. If Jacobs can manage to see more targets, he has a chance to step into a featured back role early in his career.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Draft Details, News and Notes

Rams’ TE Higbee is Ertz Light … with an (almost) clear path to success in 2020.

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

Today’s NFL tight ends are some of the most freakish athletes on the planet. Typically, they tower over 6 foot tall and weigh over 240 lbs. A good tight end is asked to block like a guard and run routes like a receiver, sometimes during the same play. That is why only a handful of tight ends see enough opportunity to be fantasy dominant each year. 

Because teams’ offensive schemes differ, and tight ends are asked to be incredibly versatile in the modern NFL, there is not just one mold. A variety of types of players can have similar amounts of success in different offensive schemes at the position. At times, the less likely candidate becomes relevant due to their skill set being more useful to the team. 

When looking at drafting the Los Angeles Rams’ Tyler Higbee, the general argument is that he is not athletic enough to dominate the tight end position in 2020. Certainly not with an athletic freak such as Gerald Everett breathing down his neck on the depth chart either. Ironically, Higbee is compared to retired Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek, but, the current Eagles tight end, Zach Ertz, makes an even better comparison. 

Both players are utilized in an offense that use multiple tight end sets above the league average. Higbee stands an inch taller and has a 2-inch reach advantage over Ertz. The players run almost the exact same 40 time. There are not many complaints about Ertz’s athletic profile when he is drafted as the TE4, according to fantasyfootballcalculator.com. There also should be no complaints about Higbee being drafted as the 10th tight end. Because, at the tight end position, opportunity, scheme fit and versatility can be more important than athleticism.

  Higbee broke out at the end of last season, scoring the most points from the tight end position in Weeks 12-17. In those six games, Higbee had 48 receptions, 542 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Higbee saw 24.5% of the target share and 14 red zone targets during the stretch. Compared to Robert Woods’ 25.6% and seven red zone targets and Cooper Kupp’s 15.8% and 10 red zone targets. Higbee was not just operating in head coach Sean McVay’s offense, he was featured in it!

An almost 25% target share is something to drool over when looking at wide receivers, in a tight end it is almost unheard of. The top five tight ends of 2019 commanded a target share of at least 22%, maxing out with Travis Kelce at 23.6%. That volume of targets is unlikely to carry over to this season for Higbee but there is room for positive regression in the form of touchdowns. Simply put, Higbee should have scored more. Last season in 14 games, Higbee was targeted 19 times in the red zone. That is the same amount of red zone targets as Kelce and Ertz and more than George Kittle, Darren Waller and Mark Andrews.  

Higbee was targeted on 33% of his routes during Weeks 1-10 and just 34% in Weeks 12-17 and was able to haul in 77% of his targets in both stretches. But during his hot streak, Higbee witnessed a boost from an average of just more than 10 routes ran a game to 30 and increased his yards per catch from 9.14 to 11.29.

The argument against Higbee in 2020 can be easy to draw up, and there is some validity to it. Everett, who was the No. 1 tight end most of the year, was nursing a hyperextended knee during the six-game stretch. Wide receiver Brandin Cooks was also not the same once he returned from his long stay in the concussion protocol. Cooks saw his snap percentage get cut from 89% in Weeks 1-7 to 63% during Weeks 12-17, the same weeks Higbee was operating. McVay also may have been exploiting the fact that the Rams had one of the most favorable schedules for the tight end position to round out their season. The Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys were all in the bottom three at defending the tight end position, and the Rams played the Cardinals twice.

It would be a lie to say that Everett does not pose a threat to Higbee’s production this year. Everett’s athletic profile is pretty impressive compared to Higbee. Weeks 1-10 Everett saw a 20% higher snap percentage than Higbee and ran 129 more routes. In the first nine games, Everett had 365 yards receiving on 34 receptions and two touchdowns compared to Higbee at 21 receptions for 192 yards and a touchdown.

 In 2018 the Rams used a three wide receiver set featuring a single tailback and tight end (11 personnel) more than any other team in the league. A trend that bled into the 2019 season, Weeks 1-11 were schemed to have 11 personnel on 72% of their offensive plays. Starting in Week 13, however, the Rams deployed offensive sets featuring at least two tight ends on 36% of their snaps. The team’s identity flipped from extremely low tight end opportunity to some of the best in the league almost overnight.

Between Todd Gurley and Cooks, the Rams have vacated 121 targets. Rookie Cam Akers is projected, by some, to take over as the lead back in L.A. but more than likely the running back position will be addressed with a committee approach. Josh Reynolds steps in as the team’s WR3 but is a significant downgrade from Cooks. There is a vacuum of targets on the Rams offense ready to be soaked up by Higbee.

Obviously Higbee will not absorb all that target share. The main beneficiary will most likely be Woods. And now we work our way back to Everett. He seems to be in the way every time Higbee begins to grow on you, right?  

McVay shed a little light on this when he said, “I think Tyler Higbee did a phenomenal job, but I think Gerald Everett’s a guy that I’ve got to do a better job of utilizing his skill set because he’s a difference maker. But that starts with opportunities …” 

Currently, Higbee is listed as the starting tight end and McVay had no problem utilizing his skill set at the end of last season. Higbee was featured on a number of screen passes and designed plays while leading the team in red zone targets. In fact, McVay leaned on Higbee’s production as the Rams were chasing a playoff berth, a solid indicator in the level of trust that the head coach had in his tight end.

Its important to note that Higbee did not participate in the NFL combine and therefore lacks a lot of the required metrics on playerprofiler.com to receive his complete athletic score. There is a lot missing and left to be desired on his profile, but he makes up for it on the field.  If you like Ertz being drafted as the fourth tight end in fantasy, then you should consider Higbee at his current ADP of TE10. 

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Waiver Wire Worksheet

Week 16 Waiver Wire: Injuries open a few opportunities

By Dakota Vanderhoef and Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

A quicker list of waiver wire options this week for the few of you who remain alive in your playoffs. Good luck!

Last week:  We suggested starting A.J. Brown, Raheem Mostert and David Njoku Cleveland tight end. All scored at least one touchdown and Brown had 114 yards receiving as well. For waivers, we said to pick up Chicago’s Anthony Miller, who had 118 yards receiving and a touchdown.

Note: Most of the players below are owned in 50% or less of common leagues. 

Note II: Check out our Week 16 Start/Sits on our podcast. The 100-Yard Coverage Podcast … on your favorite app or at anchor.fm/ffobserver

Quarterbacks

You got to the championship game and still need a quarterback? Well done … well done.

  • Ryan Tannehill (Tennessee, vs. New Orleans): Is available for about 30% of you ….
  • Gardner Minshew (Jacksonville, at Atlanta): is available for the rest of you.

Running Backs

  • Mike Boone (Minnesota, vs. Green Bay): Is the next man up if Dalvin Cook (shoulder) and Alexander Mattison (ankle) can’t go.
  • Boston Scott (Philadelphia, vs. Dallas): If Jordan Howard doesn’t suit up, a decent flyer behind Miles Sanders.

On the pod: We think Washington’s Adrian Peterson has enough left for at least one more decent week. Washington plays the New York Giants. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Wide Receivers

  • Breshad Perriman (Tampa Bay, vs. Houston): A blast from the past rises in part thanks to injuries for the Bucs.
  • Greg Ward (Philadelphia, vs. Dallas): Injuries also have opened up targets for Ward in Philly.
  • Anthony Miller (Chicago, vs. Kansas City): Miller and Bears might need to play catch-up.

On the pod: We want you to start Will Fuller of the Texans, D.J. Moore of the Panthers and Dallas’ Michael Gallup. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Tight ends

On the pod: We want you to start Seattle’s Jacob Hollister, who may be on your waiver wire as well, if he recovers from a concussion. Seattle plays Arizona, which is quite, quite awful against tight ends. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Stefan Arnold is the Editor of FFO. He specializes in DFS and overvaluing Seahawks across fantasy football. He has two dogs and enjoys reading and hanging out with his wife, Palm Springs, California wedding photographer Christine Arnold. Stefan is on Twitter at FFObserver. He also hosts the @B4theZW Star Wars podcast. Listen to our Rise of Skywalker preview episode now!

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Waiver Wire Worksheet

Week 15 Waiver Wire: Some surprising talents remain free for one more Sunday

By Dakota Vanderhoef and Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

In the rarefied air that is the Week 15 waiver wire, some gems remain if you take a long, sideways look at the player list. After all the injuries in Week 14, double check your roster to make sure it is full of players who can contribute. Mike Evans is likely droppable. Seattle running back Rashaad Penny is out for the season as is Raiders TE Foster Moreau. As the fantasy football playoffs continue, make sure to check out your opponent’s lineup and steal a player that he/she may need after injuries. All’s fair in love and playoffs. Good luck this week!

Last week:  We suggested targeting Ryan Tannehill, Raheem Mostert and Robby Anderson, all of whom gave their owners good days and a good shot at playoff victories. From Week 13 MNF, we told you to pick up and start Rashaad Penny (two touchdowns) at RB and Kyle Rudolph (one touchdown) at TE.

Note: Most of the players below are owned in 50% or less of common leagues. 

Note II: Check out our Week 15 Start/Sits on our podcast. The 100-Yard Coverage Podcast … on your favorite app or at anchor.fm/ffobserver

Quarterbacks

Gardner Minshew II, Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars benched Nick Foles in Week 14 in an attempt to continue the team’s success with Minshew. Unfortunately, he faced off against a very good L.A. Chargers pass defense and for the most part, fantasy football owners benched him. The next two games, however, are on the road against porous pass defenses ranked near the bottom of the league. Atlanta allows the 24th most passing yards and Oakland allows the 28th. Minshew most likely will be missing his primary receiver, D.J. Chark, but should still be productive due to a competent receiving core and rushing game. ESPN ownership percentage: 13% Next three games: At Oakland Raiders, at Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts — Dakota Vanderhoef

Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers: Ideally, you already have your quarterback for the week on your roster. But not everyone has that luxury and may be skimming the very dry quarterback waiver wire landscape. Rivers was able to avoid devastating interceptions this week against Jacksonville and generated a good fantasy performance.  The Chargers will be hosting the Minnesota Vikings this week, who have actually been beatable in the passing game. Minnesota is ranked just one spot above the Philadelphia Eagles in passing yards allowed, 16th overall. ESPN ownership percentage: 43% Next three games: Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, at Kansas City — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod:  For our start/sit podcast episode, we talk quickly about Ryan Tannehill (again, guys, pick him up already!) Jacoby Brissett and Sam Darnold.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Running backs

DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders: The rest of the season is unclear for Josh Jacobs after he revealed that he has been dealing with an injured shoulder since October. Washington stepped up in Jacobs’ absence in both phases of the game. Washington had 14 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown and added 43 yards on six receptions against Tennessee. Only the Miami Dolphins and the Cincinnati Bengals are giving up more rushing yards than Oakland’s opponent this week, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Oakland could be saving Josh Jacobs’ health for a possible playoff berth or even for next season. Meaning, Washington could be the lead back for the remainder of the season, and not a bad one at that. ESPN ownership percentage: 9.5% Next three games: Jacksonville Jaguars, at Los Angeles Chargers, at Denver Broncos — Dakota Vanderhoef

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings: Mattison is a high-end handcuff option. Dalvin Cook’s health was a bit questionable before going into this week’s matchup. Mattison saw a slight increase to his workload, which might become more common in the next few weeks. The Chargers deploy one of the nastiest pass defenses in the NFL which might be another piece of this ‘narrative’. Mattison should be rostered in 100% of leagues in the playoffs, either by the Cook owner or yourself. If Cook misses any time, you are stealing a possible RB1 performer away from a possible opponent or insuring your RB1 position. ESPN ownership percentage: 35% Next three games: at Los Angeles Chargers, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We tell you to start Raheem Mostert of the San Francisco 49ers and Phillip Lindsay of the Denver Broncos.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Wide Receivers

Darius Slayton, New York Giants: Slayton torched the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Sure, his floor is on the other side of the planet, but his ceiling should be intriguing for teams in deeper leagues. With Eli Manning likely behind center this week, Slayton is a flex play at best as the Giants face the Miami Dolphins. Miami, who has given up 116+ yards and at least one touchdown to a wide receiver EACH of the past four weeks, is juicier than a ripe orange. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 27% Next three games: Miami Dolphins, at Washington, Philadelphia Eagles — Stefan Arnold

Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears: Miller has been quietly productive as the season nears an end. With a touchdown against Dallas on Thursday night, Miller had had four games in a row of at least decent production (54 yards, 77 yards, 140 yards and 42 yards and a touchdown. Chicago faces Green Bay, which ranks 21st in passing defense. We can never be sure what Mitchell Trubisky will bring to the table, but Miller at least has a shot to grab a snack after Allen Robinson eats. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 20% Next three games: At Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, at Minnesota Vikings — Stefan Arnold

On the pod: We want you to start Christian Kirk of the Arizona Cardinals, Deebo Samuel of the San Francisco 49ers and A.J. Brown of the Tennessee Titans (he’s only 25% owned!).  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Tight ends

Noah Fant, Denver Broncos: Fant was rolling before leaving Sunday’s game against Houston with a foot injury. Fant caught all four targets and had 113 yards receiving and a touchdown. If Fant can shake off the injury and return to face the Chiefs this week, his upside alone propels him past several well-owned options at the position. Fant is also a decent stash for a possible fantasy football championship matchup against the Detroit Lions. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 28% Next three games: At Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders — Stefan Arnold

On the pod: We want you to start David Njoku of the Cleveland Browns, who face the tight end-funnel Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Defense

Seattle (42%, Yahoo!) is coming together on the defensive side of the field and had a pick-6 Sunday night against the Rams. The Seahawks face the Panthers. A thinner play, possibly only for DFS, is the Detroit Lions (14%). The Lions face Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay. Turnovers may lead to a decent day for the Lions even if the Bucs scored some points.

Stefan Arnold is the Editor of FFO. He specializes in DFS and overvaluing Seahawks across fantasy football. He has two dogs and enjoys reading and hanging out with his wife, Palm Springs, California wedding photographer Christine Arnold. Stefan is on Twitter at FFObserver. He also hosts the @B4theZW Star Wars podcast (coming this week!).

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Waiver Wire Worksheet

Week 14 Waiver Wire: Good choices for playoff openers

By Dakota Vanderhoef and Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

Yada yada Thanksgiving … yada yada holidays. Let’s get to it …

Last week: We selected players who ended up scoring touchdowns at every position. Carolina QB Kyle Allen had 278 passing yards and two touchdowns. Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle had 73 receiving yards and a score and Steelers’ rookie running back Benny Snell added 63 rushing yards and a touchdown. Giants WR Sterling Shepard also hit pay dirt.

Monday Night Football: We told you to pick up Rashaad Penny and Kyle Rudolph, but because that is currently in the future, we can’t tell you how they each scored three touchdowns.

Note: Most of the players below are owned in 50% or less of common leagues. 

Note II: Check out our Week 14 Start/Sits on our podcast. The 100-Yard Coverage Podcast … on your favorite app or at anchor.fm/ffobserver

Quarterbacks

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans: Tannehill is the pretty clear choice for quarterbacks that are under 50% owned. After throwing two touchdowns or more in five of the last six games, Tannehill takes on the Raiders in Oakland this week. He may not hit his season highs of 331/3, but he certainly could pass one of those marks against a Raiders team that struggles to dampen opposing passing attacks. We talk more about Tannehill on our podcast. You may be able to find a link for that hidden (like a present!) on this page. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 39% Next three games: at Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints — Stefan Arnold

Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts: The Colts QB has cooled after a hot start to the season but he is still a decent option if you lost a quarterback to injury or have a “Player named Jacoby” rule in your league. Brissett hasn’t thrown for more than one touchdown since Week 7, but on Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may help him get into the scoring column more than once. Brissett is also rated ahead of Giants rookie Daniel Jones this week because the latter has an ankle injury which may hamper him in Week 14. Brissett’s Yahoo! ownership percentage: 38% Next three games: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, at New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers — Stefan Arnold

Grinch pick of the week: If you are in slightly deeper leagues, you may want to stash/steal from your opponent Detroit Lions rookie QB David Blough, who may face Tampa Bay in Week 15 if Matthew Stafford remains out.

On the pod:  We tell you to start Tannehill and Baker Mayfield … and sit a future Hall-of-Famer. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Running backs

Benny Snell, Pittsburgh Steelers: Snell edges Raheem Mostert as the top pickup this week for opponent alone. The Steelers face the Arizona Cardinals (although on the road), while San Francisco travels to New Orleans. Snell will be a fine flex play if starter James Conner remains out with a shoulder injury. Expect Jaylen Samuels to steal some touches from Snell, but Big Benny should enjoy positive gamescript if he’s the man Sunday. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 35% Next three games: at Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, at New York Jets — Stefan Arnold

Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers: Mostert probably has been passed around your league like a plate of holiday cookies, but he finally may be settling as the 49ers’ lead back over Tevin Coleman, who totaled six rushing yards against Baltimore. Mostert, who swept to 146 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, should see more action as long a Matt Breida doesn’t return from an ankle injury to put coal in Mostert’s stocking. Start Mostert if Breida stays sidelined. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 14% Next three games: at New Orleans, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Rams — Stefan Arnold

Darwin Thompson, Kansas City Chiefs: Kansas City is struggling to keep healthy running backs on the field. Damien Williams has a rib issue and the team lost Darrel Williams to a hamstring injury in Week 13. As of now, LeSean McCoy looks to be in line for the majority of the snaps against New England, but don’t count out Thompson, who got some run against Oakland (44/1). Thompson isn’t likely to be the lead back unless McCoy also goes down, but he’s someone to add if you have room on your roster. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 5% Next three games: at New England, Denver, at Chicago — Stefan Arnold

Grinch pick of the week: Derrius Guice is still available in 50% of Yahoo! leagues. How or why is not important. What is important is that you use your higher waiver priority to nab him over Jeff in accounting. Go crying to yo mama, Jeff.

On the pod: We tell you to start Jamaal Williams and Kareem Hunt. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Wide Receivers

Robby Anderson, New York Jets: It could be hard to buy into Anderson after his disappointing season. The last two weeks though, Anderson has seemed to have regained Sam Darnold’s trust. Last week, Anderson had four receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown and this week he was 7-101. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been making big plays and extending drives for Miami and Darnold and the Jets will need to fire back and answer any points scored in this divisional matchup. Anderson has touchdown upside and explosiveness in a matchup that features poor defenses and bold offenses. ESPN ownership percentage: 47% Next three games: Miami Dolphins, at Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers — Dakota Vanderhoef

Albert Wilson, Miami Dolphins: The Miami Dolphins are playing with some spunk. Wilson has been a slowly rising star in the Dolphins’ offense but now may have carved out a solid role for himself. He has caught six and five passes over the last two weeks. The stars are coming into alignment for Wilson as Ryan Fitzpatrick surges and the Miami run game fades in part thanks to an injury to Kalen Ballage. ESPN ownership percentage: 6% Next three games: at New York Jets, at New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We want you to start James Washington and Sterling Shepard over more popular options.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Tight ends

Ryan Griffin, New York Jets: Maybe last week you missed Stefan’s take on Griffin because he has yet to get the respect he deserves. In standard leagues, Griffin is the TE12 … and just sitting right there on your waiver wire. Have I talked enough about this matchup yet? Griffin has been a very reliable target for Darnold, especially in the red zone. With the tight end landscape looking so bleak, Griffin is a fair start with a good possibility of a touchdown. ESPN ownership percentage: 25% Next three games: Miami Dolphins, at Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers — Dakota Vanderhoef

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins: If we were featuring a game of the week, there would be a strong argument for this game. Gesicki has caught a touchdown in his last two games., which is all you really can ask from the position. Gesicki’s upcoming schedule could lend a hand to a championship run as well. ESPN ownership percentage: 10% Next three games: at New York Jets, at New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals — Dakota Vanderhoef

Defense

With our start and sit podcast episode, we didn’t mention defenses. Green Bay (48%) faces a shaky Washington offense, while the Houston Texans (26%) now has some NFL game film of Denver rookie QB Drew Lock.

Stefan Arnold is the Editor of FFO. He specializes in DFS and overvaluing Seahawks across fantasy football. He has two dogs and enjoys reading and hanging out with his wife, Palm Springs, California wedding photographer Christine Arnold. Stefan is on Twitter at FFObserver.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Waiver Wire Worksheet

Week 13 Waiver Wire: Flying high toward the playoffs

By Dakota Vanderhoef and Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

The free agent list thins out at this height, so get your oxygen masks prepared. If the masks are deployed, put yours on first before helping others. That said, there is value to be found at each position. You just have to dig a bit deeper in the seat-back pouch. Hey, you never know, you may find a sweet lost electronic device. Sick of airplane metaphors yet? OK, let’s take off …

Last week:  We suggested picking up Jets QB Sam Darnold and his tight end, Ryan Griffin. Darnold had 315 passing yards and three total touchdowns, including a scoring pass to Griffin. We also told you to grab Jonathan Williams of the Indianapolis Colts, who had 104 rushing yards and a touchdown against Houston on Thursday.

Note: Most of the players below are owned in 50% or less of common leagues. 

Note II: Check out our other waiver wire picks on our podcast. The 100-Yard Coverage Podcast … on your favorite app or at anchor.fm/ffobserver

Quarterbacks

Sam Darnold, New York Jets: Darnold has become the bottomless well at the waiver wire quarterback position, mostly because of his rollercoaster of a year. Darnold underperformed against a revitalized Miami Dolphins team, leading the fantasy community to turn their back to him. The last three weeks, however, Darnold has been ramping up for massive fantasy output. This is a good time to capitalize on Darnold as he rounds out one of the easiest schedules for a team. ESPN ownership percentage: 18% Next three games: At Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, at Baltimore Ravens — Dakota Vanderhoef

Kyle Allen, Carolina Panthers: Last time I called upon Allen, he was a major disappointment. But if you were smart enough to play him against the New Orleans Saints this last week, you would have been happy. Three touchdowns and 256 yards against a proven defense is worth noticing. Next up for Allen is Washington. Washington struggles to slow down both the run and the pass, which should allow Allen to ride the production of Christian McCaffrey. Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore are both reliable targets and, as long as Allen can find a rhythm to get into, he should be able to manage an easy win. ESPN ownership percentage: 15% Next three games: Washington, at Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We talk Nick Foles of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He faces a local high school team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Running backs

Benny Snell Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers: In the absence of James Conner on Sunday against Cincinnati, Snell saw 21 carries, which he turned into 98 yards. During a Week 6 bout with the L.A. Chargers, Snell rushed for 75 yards on 17 carries. Snell has proven to be the better runner between himself and Jaylen Samuel, as Samuel is mostly used on passing downs. If Snell can find the endzone, he will become a fine fantasy play due to his volume and upcoming schedule. If the Steelers were smart, they would rest Conner and see what they have in Snell and Samuel for the rest of the year. ESPN ownership percentage: 2.7% Next three weeks: Cleveland Browns, at Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills — Dakota Vanderhoef

Jonathan Williams, Indianapolis Colts: Williams had himself a day Thursday against Houston with 104 rushing yards and a touchdown. This was following an 116-yard performance on just 13 carries as he filled in for an injured Marlon Mack. If you weren’t certain about picking up Williams last week, there might still be a chance. Mack has an undefined timeline to return while recovering from hand surgery. Likely with the success of Williams, Mack will be able to fully heal for a possible playoff push. Williams is excellent for the remainder of the regular season. ESPN ownership percentage: 29% Next three weeks: Tennessee Titans, at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We discuss McDonald’s-less Rashaad Penny of the Seattle Seahawks.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Wide Receivers

Sterling Shepard, New York Giants: Shepard returned from injury to total a whopping — 15 — yards on nine targets. He’s also slightly over our 50% ownership threshold, but not by a lot. But Shepard should step back into the No. 1 WR spot for a Giants team that is struggling to run the ball. Shepard’s next two games aren’t wonderful matchups, but he makes for a terrific stash for the championship run. Shepard has had nine targets in four of his five games. That will work for a flex play all day. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 54% Next three weeks: Green Bay Packers, at Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, (then at Washington) — Stefan Arnold

Auden Tate, Cincinnati Bengals: Starting in Week 3, Tate had 50 yards receiving or more, or a touchdown, in six consecutive weeks. With quarterback Andy Dalton returning from a benching and A.J. Green unlikely to play or at least getting back to speed in his first game back from injury, Tate returns to the “Hmm,” stage. A rested Dalton and Tate against the New York Jets secondary? Hmmmmm. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 10% Next three weeks: New York Jets, at Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots — Stefan Arnold

Another to consider: Chris Conley (Jacksonville Jaguars) faces the leaky Tampa Bay defense this week alongside Nick Foles and has received seven targets or more the past five games. Other than that, he’s unexciting.

On the pod:  We think N’Keal Harry may be the best choice in a thin field. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Tight ends

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings: Rudolph the Red will be a more appealing option if teammate Adam Thielen does not play on Monday Night Football against the Seattle Seahawks. Thielen is battling a hamstring injury but may play after the Vikings’ bye this past Sunday. Nonetheless, the Seahawks give up the 6th most points to TEs and Seattle’s improving defensive backfield may actually help Rudolph’s case. If the Seahawks can limit deep throws, with the 12th Man’s help, Rudolph could be an attractive option a few more times Monday for Kirk Cousins. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 47% Next three weeks: at Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, at Los Angeles Chargers — Stefan Arnold

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts: With news of Eric Ebron heading to the Injured Reserve, Doyle once again becomes the main cog at tight end for the Colts. Doyle and Ebron split the targets at TE (or within one) seven times this season. With most of those open targets likely headed his way, Doyle is primed to be a useful tight end for those teams with injury issues at the position. Week 13 foe Tennessee gives up the 9th-most fantasy points to tight ends … and then the Colts face the Buccaneers. Doyle has had four useful games this season, including scoring three touchdowns, so he is ready and able to reach his potential down the stretch. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 33% Next three weeks: Tennessee Titans, at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, at New Orleans Saints — Stefan Arnold

On the pod: The New York Jets’ Ryan Griffin has a sweet next two weeks.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Defense

On the pod:  Birds of a feather: We talk Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Stefan Arnold is the Editor of FFO. He specializes in DFS and overvaluing Seahawks across fantasy football. He has two dogs and enjoys reading and hanging out with his wife, Palm Springs, California wedding photographer Christine Arnold. Stefan is on Twitter at FFObserver.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Waiver Wire Worksheet

Week 12 Waiver Wire: Names and no-names top field

By Dakota Vanderhoef and Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

Throughout the course of the season, players usually come in two varieties. Those players who are on rosters and those players who are just not quite the producers that you need for your starting spots. In the Week 12 waiver wire run, some big names and some young players combine to form the best of the rest. It’s late in the season, but some players can still add value on your bench or even as possible flex plays. Grab some coffee, rub those eyes and take a look at the bottom of your rosters. Make sure the players on your teams have a possibility of helping you down the stretch run. If not, get rid of them and add some of the guys below.

Last week:  We talked about San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who threw four touchdowns, as well as Dolphins’ running back Kalen Ballage (touchdown) and Washington running back Derrius Guice, who had a 45-yard touchdown reception.

In our start/sit bonus podcast episode, we told you to start Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons. Ridley notched 143 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Note: Most of the players below are owned in 50% or less of common leagues. 

Note II: Check out our other waiver wire picks on our podcast. The 100-Yard Coverage Podcast … on your favorite app or at anchor.fm/ffobserver

Teams on bye in Week 12: Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Chargers

Quarterbacks

Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts: Brissett returned from injury to face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. While he only passed for 148 yards and a touchdown against the Jags, Brissett torched the Texans in Week 7, with 326 passing yards and four touchdowns. Star wideout T.Y. Hilton is questionable for Thursday’s game in Houston, but even without him, Brissett should be more than serviceable. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 38% Next three games: at Houston Texans (Thursday), Tennessee Titans, at Tampa Bay Buccaneers –Stefan Arnold

If you like danger: Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns. The Browns host Miami.

On the pod: We talked about Sam Darnold of the New York Jets. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Running backs

Derrius Guice, Washington: Guice was coming off injury in Week 11 and is beginning as the backup to Adrian Peterson. Guice will continue to see opportunity after 24 rushing yards and a 45-yard touchdown reception. As he is the backup for now, Guice is a nice player to keep on your bench, although the Week 12 matchup against the Jets may make you want to plug him in. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 48% Next three games: New York Jets, Detroit, at Carolina –Stefan Arnold

On the pod: Jonathan Williams of the Indianapolis Colts may see the majority of the snaps in a injury-riddled backfield.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Wide Receivers

Chris Conley, Jacksonville Jaguars: In recent weeks, Conley has been the staple of consistency at the wide receiver position. In his previous three weeks he attracted seven targets; on Sunday he saw eight. With quarterback Nick Foles back in the fold, Conley saw better production and efficiency. Conley can be stashed as he has a pair of juicy fantasy football playoff matchups with Oakland and Atlanta. ESPN ownership percentage: 17% Next three games: at Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Chargers — Dakota Vanderhoef

Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams: Reynolds has been filling in for a concussed Brandin Cooks in the last three games. This week, Reynolds jumped from the third option to the second due to a Robert Woods’ personal issue. The timetable for the return of Cooks and Woods is still uncertain, leaving Reynolds with a nice opportunity. In the last three weeks, Reynolds has nine receptions for 177 yards and a touchdown. If Reynolds can continue to gain playing time, he has a nice matchup with Arizona in Week 13. ESPN ownership percentage: 7% Next three games: Baltimore Ravens, at Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: The Oakland Raiders’ Hunter Renfrow is the owner of a very surprising target stat.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Don’t let them play you like that, Hunter.

Tight ends

Ryan Griffin, New York Jets: Teammate Chris Herndon was placed on Injured Reserve, leaving Griffin as the team’s top tight end. In Herndon’s absence, Griffin has played about 90% of the team’s snaps and has excelled in his duties. Griffin has 25 receptions for 269 yards and four touchdowns, but most of his production has accrued after Sam Darnold’s return in Week 6. Griffin will become a weekly pick at the position for the Jets, who are facing a soft upcoming schedule. ESPN ownership percentage: 1% Next three games: Oakland Raiders, at Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins — Dakota Vanderhoef

Noah Fant, Denver Broncos: Now that Emmanuel Sanders is no longer with the Broncos, the younger players on this offense have had to step up. Fant, a rookie, has seen a small increase in his workload with over 80% of snaps in the last three games. In those trio of games, Fant has racked up an impressive 24 targets as well. This week’s matchup in Buffalo is not an easy one, meaning the big guy might find himself as a reliable target for struggling quarterback Brandon Allen. Fant should provide fantasy value for the remainer of the season as he acts as the team’s second receiving option behind Courtland Sutton. ESPN ownership percentage: 14% Next three games: at Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Chargers, at Houston Texans — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: New England’s Ben Watson is near the top of a weak free agent TE pool. We also mentioned Jacob Hollister of the Seattle Seahawks.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Defense

On the pod: We go with opposite approaches to opposing offenses and talk about the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Stefan Arnold is the Editor of FFO. He specializes in DFS and overvaluing Seahawks across fantasy football. He has two dogs and enjoys reading and hanging out with his wife, Palm Springs, California wedding photographer Christine Arnold. Stefan is on Twitter at FFObserver.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Waiver Wire Worksheet

Week 11 Waiver Wire: Players still available to replace your trash

By Dakota Vanderhoef and Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

As the season moves along, players can move from the top of the waiver wire list to a team and then suddenly return to free agency, rejected after a poor performance or injury. A few of those players rise once again to the surface this week, including Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy. Will they be good enough to make your roster? Will they impact your playoff run? Only you know … you’re in control. Choose wisely.

Last week:  We told you to pick up players a week or two early for byes, but in case you forgot, Dakota reminded you to select New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who had four touchdowns against the New York Jets on Sunday. On the podcast, Dakota told you to grab Titans QB Ryan Tannehill, who passed for two touchdowns against Kansas City.

Note: Most of the players below are owned in 50% or less of common leagues. 

Note II: Check out our other waiver wire picks on our podcast. The 100-Yard Coverage podcast … on your favorite app or at anchor.fm/ffobserver

Teams on bye in Week 11: Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks

Quarterbacks

Kyle Allen, Carolina Panthers: Sunday, Allen took on the tough secondary of the Green Bay Packers. He impressed with a touchdown and a 28-43-307 stat line, his most yards this year. This week Allen’s opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, is a much easier defense to handle. Both Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore are developing into exciting NFL receivers and of course Christian McCaffrey is available out of the backfield. The Falcons will have their hands full trying to contain this offense under Allen’s command. ESPN ownership percentage: 9% Next three games: Atlanta Falcons, at New Orleans Saints, Washington — Dakota Vanderhoef

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers’ success mostly comes from the run game but last week Garoppolo had his best game of the year against the Arizona Cardinals, with four touchdowns and 317 yards passing. After Monday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers are set to play the Cardinals again in a scheduling oddity. The Cardinals’ defense is amongst the worst, allowing Garoppolo to be more than just a game manager. ESPN ownership percentage: 51% Next three games: Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, at Baltimore Ravens — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We talk about Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders as well Nick Foles of the Jacksonville Jaguars. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Running backs

Kalen Ballage, Miami Dolphins: With the trade of Kenyan Drake and the suspension of Mark Walton, Ballage not only was thrust into the starting spot for an improving Miami team but the workhorse role as well. He only managed 43 rushing yards Sunday against Indianapolis but 20 carries will usually produce more than that. Ballage hasn’t proven himself yet and his upcoming schedule isn’t wonderful, but opportunity (i.e. touches) is king in fantasy football. And he may be as good as Emmitt Smith! Ballage has control of the Dolphins’ backfield for the foreseeable future. That’s enough. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 37% Next three games: Buffalo Bills, At Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles — Stefan Arnold

LeSean McCoy, Kansas City Chiefs: Well … McCoy was inactive Sunday against Tennessee, so he certainly doesn’t jump out as a player who might help you down the stretch. But have you seen McCoy play in the snow? He’s a beast! Snow is coming! A fumble last week and the bench this week are just speed bumps to McCoy once again becoming the lead back in the Kansas City backfield. Sure, it may not happen, but McCoy should be near the top of your choices to fill that last spot on your bench as byes wind down. Find another player to drop or take advantage of someone else’s shortsightedness. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 61% Next three games: at Los Angeles Chargers, BYE, Oakland Raiders, at New England — Stefan Arnold

Just watch the magic.

On the pod: We dish on Derrius Guice from Washington.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Wide Receivers

Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions: Amendola doesn’t have a tremendous amount of upside but he is a decent, safe flex option. Amendola received four of his eight Jeff Driskel targets this weekend against the Chicago Bears for 29 yards. The Lions have been awful in the run game and are relying more on short, quick routes, especially now with Driskel under center. Averaging about five targets per game and with potential to score off those short routes, Amendola becomes a safe play for anyone who is trying to scoop up some easy points in their flex spot. ESPN ownership percentage: 25% Next three games: Dallas Cowboys, at Washington, Chicago Bears — Dakota Vanderhoef

Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons: Gage is the player who replaced Mohamed Sanu on the depth chart for the Falcons. In the two games since Sanu was traded, Gage has caught 11 of 14 targets. Atlanta’s offense has to compensate for the defensive struggles (outside of Sunday against the Saints for some reason), giving Gage more opportunity than originally thought. Gage isn’t an immediate pickup-and-play sort of guy, but, keep your eye on him and stash him if you have the room. ESPN ownership percentage: <1% Next three games: at Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: Talking Cole and the Gang … Cole Beasley from the Buffalo Bills as well as Darius Slayton of the New York Giants. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Tight ends

Chris Herndon, New York Jets: Herndon returned after a suspension and then a hamstring injury. In Week 10, he had two targets and one catch for seven yards … in a game the Jets scored 27 points. Granted, Sam Darnold only had one passing touchdown. But will Herndon be able to warrant enough targets behind Jamison Crowder to realize the potential he showed last year (502 receiving yards and four touchdowns)? Only time will tell. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 31% Next three games: At Washington, Oakland Raiders, at Cincinnati Bengals — Stefan Arnold

Darren Fells, Houston Texans: Fells continues to be a surprising option at the tight end spot. He has had five touchdowns over the last five weeks and in another game he had 69 yards receiving. That’s really all you can ask for in a tight end from the waiver wire now, but Fells is even more than that. He’s a well-used fallback option for a quarterback Deshaun Watson when DeAndre Hopkins or the first look on the play isn’t available. Also, in three games, when the Texans play the New England Patriots, Hopkins may have difficulty getting open, as New England does a better job than most teams of shutting down an opposing team’s best player. I could see Fells doing well there even if the Texans don’t win. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 43% Next three games: At Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots — Stefan Arnold

On the pod: Rookie Noah Fant has emerged for the Denver Broncos.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Defense

On the pod: Miami. Oakland. Get excited.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Stefan Arnold is the Editor of FFO. He specializes in DFS and overvaluing Seahawks across fantasy football. He has two dogs and enjoys reading and hanging out with his wife, Palm Springs, California wedding photographer Christine Arnold. Stefan is on Twitter at FFObserver.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Player vs. Player

Top picks for Week 10 Plays

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

WR Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Ravens (STD45, PPR46) at CIN: Brown began the year with a bang against the Miami Dolphins but has since sputtered out. Quarterback Lamar Jackson dominated the game last week as he continues to defy football logic with his rushing abilities, yet that has left Brown with less opportunities. However, Hollywood is averaging 7.1 targets per game and is clearly the most talented and explosive receiver on this team. This week Baltimore will be able to establish the traditional run game with Mark Ingram and open up Jackson to make more passing attempts. Cincinnati’s defense ranks amongst the worst in the NFL in both rushing and passing, posing no real threat to what the Ravens are capable of. The Ravens will crush the Bengals this weekend and Brown will have a large part to do with it. 0.5PPR projection from the Sleeper app: (9.76) Bold stat line projection: 7-123-2

RB Joe Mixon, Bengals (STD36, PPR36) vs. BAL: I did say that the Bengals will be routed this weekend but not shut out. Moving forward, the Bengals have elected to go with Ryan Finley as their quarterback. This is mostly likely a lateral move but should affect the game flow in a positive way for Mixon. Mixon, who averages three targets a game, should see more looks from his unexperienced quarterback in the passing game this week. The Ravens rank 24th at stopping the run which should alleviate some pressure from Finley and allow Mixon to fall into the end zone. In a week riddled with byes, Mixon becomes a half-way decent play who might save you from cutting another player. 0.5PPR projection from the Sleeper app: (9.88) Bold stat line projection: By ground, 13-76-1 By air, 5-45

QB Drew Brees, Saints (QB34) vs. ATL: Brees looked great in his miraculous early return before the bye, throwing for 373 yards, three touchdowns and a pick. We don’t need to talk Brees up too much, he’s a future Hall-of-Famer. This week, he faces a divisional rival, the Atlanta Falcons, in what seems to be a plus matchup. Atlanta ranks 31st in pass defense. Well rested from the bye, Brees is in line for a monster game at home. 0.5PPR projection from the Sleeper app: (25.92) Bold stat line projection: Passing: 45-55-469-5

Fantasy game of the week- Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints: We are lucky as fantasy owners and as fans of football that the Saints and Falcons face off twice a year. Both teams tote some of the most potent offenses in the NFL. Both teams feature some of the most elite wide receivers the game has to offer. And, throwing them the ball are two of the finest quarterback options in fantasy this week as Falcons’ star Matt Ryan returns from an ankle injury. Set defense aside. This will become an offensive showdown with many dramatic moments. New Orleans is favored by 13 points in the second highest over/under of the week at 51.5 points.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Waiver Wire Worksheet

Week 10 offers steady backups and emerging young players

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

Let’s get straight into it, shall we?

Last week: We told you to play Lamar Jackson and DK Metcalf. We told you to pick up Green Bay running back Jamaal Williams on the podcast.

RUNNING BACKS

Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens: Going into Week 10, you should have a good idea of your chances to make the playoffs or not. Edwards is a name that has been talked about a few times here at the Observer but now it is time to get serious about claiming him. Mark Ingram has been a fundamental asset for your fantasy roster, and it would be awful to lose a running back of that caliber late in the season. Seeing about 40% of snaps this season, Edwards is the insurance that you need for your playoff run. Edwards would jump right into that lead role if Ingram was to miss any time. ESPN ownership percentage: 3% Next three games: at Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, at Los Angeles Rams

Trey Edmunds, Pittsburgh Steelers: Edmunds was able to carve out a decent role this week in a depleted Steelers backfield. Jaylen Samuels has played a unique role for his team this year while Edmunds did a great job at filling in as a traditional back. If James Conner can’t make it out to the field again this week, Edmunds will have another shot at the running back duties. Expect him to get a bigger workload and possibly a few targets next week. ESPN ownership percentage: <1% Next three games: Los Angeles Rams, at Cleveland Browns, at Cincinnati Bengals

WIDE RECEIVERS

Hunter Renfrow, Oakland Raiders: On Sunday against Detroit, Renfrow led the Raiders with seven targets. Last week, he got four looks against the Texans so you can begin to see a trend in the right direction. He has also scored twice in the last two games. Renfrow is a smaller receiver who is finding openings in the soft spots of the defense. More importantly though, Renfrow is used a lot on short-intermediate routes crossing the field. This leaves Renfrow open for many of Derek Carr’s dump-off passes. ESPN ownership percentage: 3% Next three games: Los Angeles Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals, at New York Jets

Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers: Samuel hasn’t received seven targets since Week 2 against Cincinnati. The acquisition of Emmanuel Sanders, however, has had positive reverberations thoughout this offense. Sanders is providing a veteran option for Jimmy Garappolo and diverting the top coverage away from Samuel. Samuel is an interesting prospect for a WR3 or flex option for the remainder of the year. ESPN ownership percentage: 9% Next three games: Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers

TIGHT ENDS

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins: After the Dolphins’ bye, Gesicki has averaged five targets and 39 yards per game. He has yet to find the end zone this season, but with limited options this week at the tight end position, Gesicki might be a fine play, especially in full PPR. Sunday against the Jets, he racked up 95 yards in the Dolphins first victory of the year. With Preston Williams out the rest of the season, Gesicki will continue to have opportunities to have these types of games, and maybe a touchdown. ESPN ownership percentage: 2% Next three games: at Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills, at Cleveland Browns

Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers: Prior to Ben Roethlisberger’s injury, McDonald was hyped to be a premier tight end. With Mason Rudolph under center McDonald has done very little. Rudolph has targeted McDonald more the last two weeks as he has proven to be a reliable receiving option though. McDonald may get leaned on more this week if the wide receivers are struggling to get open against a stingy Rams secondary. ESPN ownership percentage: 45% Next three games: Los Angeles Rams, at Cleveland Browns, at Cincinnati Bengals

QUARTERBACKS

Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders: I understand that I bagged on Carr earlier in this blog when I mentioned that he dumps the ball off often. But, he isn’t turning the ball over (4 Int) and he is doing a fine job at putting the ball in the hands of his playmakers. Josh Jacobs has been punishing defenses and relieving the pressure from Carr, something he hasn’t had in past seasons. Three weeks in a row now Carr has thrown for 285 or more yards and at least two touchdowns. There will be sparks this week as Carr will be taking on their divisional rival, the L.A. Chargers. ESPN ownership percentage: 35% Next three games: Los Angeles Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals, at New York Jets

Daniel Jones, New York Football Giants: What ever Ryan Fitzpatrick can do Daniel Jones can probably also do. The Jets have lost a few key members of their defense, which showed this weekend as they allowed the putrid Dolphins to collect their first victory of the season. Jones should be able to replicate this performance as he has similar traits to Fitzpatrick. Jones can elude pressure and extend plays and is not afraid to run the ball if his options are taken from him. Sterling Shepard may not be back yet, but, Jones has a team around him that can support his success and give him a good fantasy performance. ESPN ownership percentage: 33% Next three games: at New York Jets, Bye, at Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Player vs. Player

Big name and star rookie highlight plays of the week

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

As the best Halloween candy dwindles this weekend and you’re left with the generic lollipops, white chocolate or the worst, something banana flavored, you have choices to make.

Of course, I’m talking about your fantasy football lineups. Here are a few players that may be better than you think in Week 9.

RB Royce Freeman, Broncos (STD27, PPR23) vs. CLE: Freeman has been slightly ahead of Phillip Lindsay in snaps this year but has mostly taken a back seat in fantasy. The Broncos will need to lean on their running game more this week to help delegate offensive duties from now-starting quarterback Brandon Allen. The Cleveland Browns’ defensive line ranks in the bottom 5 of the NFL in Adjusted Line Yards, offering Freeman an enticing matchup. Freeman, who outweighs Lindsay by 45lbs, is more likely to carry the bulk of the ball this week. Freeman has also proven to be serviceable in the passing game, averaging 4 targets per game. If Freeman isn’t on your team, he is a great trade option as he is likely sitting on a bench somewhere. 0.5PPR projection from the Sleeper app: (10.42) Bold stat line projection: By ground: 17-68-1 By air: 6-32

WR D.K. Metcalf, Seahawks (STD23, PPR31) vs. TB: It was tempting to make the Seahawks vs. Buccaneers the “Fantasy Game of the Week” but that game has saturated the fantasy industry. This game heavily favors Metcalf, however. Metcalf caught two touchdowns last week but only netted you 14.80 0.5PPR points on a haunting 13 yards. This week, the Seahawks will struggle to move the ball on the ground as they face the No. 1 defensive line in the NFL. If Seattle wants to move the ball down the field to compete with Tampa Bay, Russel Wilson will need to call upon his receiving options. Metcalf has been great in the red zone this year and is likely to improve on his yardage this week. 0.5PPR projection from the Sleeper app: (10.61) Bold stat line projection: 8-107-1

WR Robby Anderson, Jets (STD66, PPR64) at MIA: Anderson had a rough start to the year. He’s faced tough corners and was missing quarterback Sam Darnold for most of the season. The Jets are in need of a get-right game, priming Anderson for massive positive return. The Dolphins lost star corner Xavien Howard last week, giving Anderson even greater upside. Throw Anderson in your lineup to give your opponent a false sense of confidence this week and watch as your win percentage begins to rise Sunday afternoon. 0.5PPR projection from the Sleeper app: (9.40) Bold stat line projection: 7-79-2

QB Lamar Jackson, Ravens (QB3) vs. N.E.: Jackson has been one of the most fun players to watch this year, especially if he has been racking up points for your fantasy team. This week his matchup will make any fantasy owner’s bones rattle. The New England Patriots have established themselves as one of the NFL’s most elite defensive units. But this week Jackson provides the Pats their toughest challenge of the year. If there are no open receivers down field, Jackson is likely to tuck and run, and, may need to as they will likely be playing from behind. This Sunday night, play Jackson through the tough matchup as you eat your children’s Halloween candy. 0.5PPR projection from the Sleeper app: (21.76) Bold stat line projection: Passing: 32-20-205-1, 1 INT Rushing: 16-113-2

Fantasy game of the week- Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders: We may need to take a little stroll down narrative street for this one, but it is worth looking into. Respectively, the pair of these secondaries rank 3rd and 1st in passing yards allowed per game. While the Raiders do have a decent defensive line, it won’t matter in this matchup as the backups to Kerryon Johnson have not made any significant contributions. The Lions’ defensive line is only slightly better than their secondary and will provide wide lanes for Josh Jacobs to exploit. It isn’t hard to imagine a scenario where the Lions get out to an early lead and force the Raiders to claw their way back. Josh Jacobs and all of the primary receiving options for both teams should interest any type of fantasy player in the second highest over-under of the week at 50.5.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Waiver Wire Worksheet

Week 9 Waiver Wire: Talent still out there

If possible, act a week early for best players during bye-weeks crunch

By Dakota Vanderhoef and Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

As the bye weeks begin to be felt with their full weight of desperation, anxiety and dread, use your waiver picks wisely. At the QB spot especially, make sure you are ready when your guy sits. Now is not the time to take the prospect that you just know will pop in Week 9. Prepare your team to absorb the blow of missing your stars to pick up victories on the way to the playoffs.

Teams on bye in Week 9: Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints

Last week:  We suggested picking up RB Mark Walton of the Miami Dolphins. He’s still a fine pickup after the Kenyan Drake trade. Walton is available in 67% of Yahoo! leagues as of Monday night. We also suggested QB Ryan Tannehill of the Tennessee Titans. Tannehill didn’t have a ton of yards but a fill-in that throws three touchdowns will always work.

Note: Most of the players below are owned in 50% or less of common leagues. 

Note II: Check out our other waiver wire picks on our podcast. The 100-Yard Coverage podcast … on your favorite app or at anchor.fm/ffobserver

Quarterbacks

Sam Darnold, New York Jets: We can’t stop stressing how valuable Darnold is about to become. This week he faces off against a Miami Dolphins defense that is ranked near the bottom in every category. Darnold has some explosive and talented weapons at his disposal and has proven that he can play at a high level in the NFL. The schedule doesn’t get much more difficult after the Dolphins either. Darnold is worth stashing for upcoming bye weeks and even as a possible trade asset once he begins to play well. ESPN ownership percentage: 15% Next three games: at Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Washington — Dakota Vanderhoef

Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Winston is the ultimate gamble at the QB position. When he has a boom game it can be a huge game. Often, though, he’ll give you just as many turnovers as touchdowns. However, his upcoming schedule won’t feature any challenging secondaries and opposing offenses should be able to put Winston in a position where he needs to score as well. Wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin get to face off against the Seattle Seahawks in a game that is being considered for “The Fantasy Game of the Week”. ESPN ownership percentage: 55% Next three games: at Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans Saints — Dakota Vanderhoef

Also consider: Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers. Newton won’t start this week but he will jump to the top of the QB list once he’s ready to go.

On the pod: We talk about the legend, Gardner Minshew of the Jacksonville Jaguars. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Running backs

Chris Thompson, Washington: Thompson has been out with an injury the last couple of weeks, but don’t forget about him. Washington has committed to the run since Thompson’s absence. Game scripts should also benefit Thompson as Washington will be facing some stingy run defenses in the second half of the year. If Washington wants to see any success against these defenses, they will need to call upon Thompson’s abilities and explosiveness in the passing game. ESPN ownership percentage: 40% Next three games: at Buffalo Bills, BYE, New York Jets — Dakota Vanderhoef

Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers: Hopefully you were savvy enough to scoop up Samuels before his game started tonight. However, if he doesn’t play, he won’t be on many people’s radar. Before Samuels went out with a knee injury, he was cutting into James Conner’s snaps and even taking a few from quarterback Mason Rudolph. The Steelers like Samuels and try to find interesting ways to get the ball in his hand. He is a valuable handcuff for a running back prone to injuries. ESPN ownership percentage: 12% Next three games: Miami Dolphins (MNF), Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Rams, at Cleveland Browns — Dakota Vanderhoef

Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers: It would be a disservice to not include Mostert this week. Mostert was relevant in Tevin Coleman’s absence and now has a second chance at relevance with Matt Breida likely to miss this week (ankle). The 49ers are taking on a porous Arizona Cardinals defense on a short week Halloween night. Expect Mostert to be the second back in the committee this week in a plus matchup. He is very fantasy relevant in this rotation and should be considered as a flex option. ESPN ownership percentage: 9% Next three games: At Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We talk about Jamaal Williams of the Green Bay Packers.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Wide Receivers

Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers: Like podcast episode pick Phillip Dorsett, Lazard is a WR2/3 now who will tangle with his teammates for targets every week behind a proven star. In the last three weeks with Davante Adams out, Lazard has been first or second in targets on the team each week as well as having the highest snap percentage each of the past two weeks. Lazard caught 5-of-5 passes on Sunday and will have flex value every week. He won’t hit the jackpot for you each Sunday, but some decent and maybe big games are more than likely with his growing workload. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 14% Next three games: At Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina Panthers, BYE, at San Francisco — Stefan Arnold

Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts: Pascal is looking like the WR2 in Indy. He’s had 53 yards or more receiving in three of the past four weeks and three touchdowns over that span. Pascal was targeted seven times in two of the past three games and should provide a stable return most weeks without the ceiling of some other boom-or-bust receivers. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 10% Next three games: At Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars — Stefan Arnold

On the pod: We discuss New England’s Phillip Dorsett.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Tight ends

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles: Goedert is beginning to muscle his way into more snaps, targets and production for the Eagles. With the Philadelphia secondary still a shaky unit at best, Carson Wentz and Co. should need to throw to stay in most games. Goedert has seen a 71% snap share or more in the last four week and is tied with Zach Ertz for targets in the past two weeks at nine. A trade for a wide receiver would ding his value, but Goedert may be a borderline TE1 for the rest of the season. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 20% Next three games: Chicago Bears, BYE, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks — Stefan Arnold

Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans: With Delanie Walker still hobbled by an ankle injury, Smith has stepped in and provided excellent tight end numbers. Smith had 64 yards receiving two weeks ago and 78 yards and a touchdown Sunday against Tampa Bay. As long as Walker is out, Smith is a fine choice to cover byes or injuries for you. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 19% Next three games: at Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs, BYE, Jacksonville Jaguars — Stefan Arnold

On the pod: We discuss Chris Herndon of the New York Jets.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Defense

Cleveland Browns: The Browns face Denver this week and the Broncos will be missing QB Joe Flacco (neck). Brandon Allen will be making his first NFL start. If you don’t like that, well …

On the pod: We talk New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

The Browns are 24% owned in Yahoo! leagues. After going to Denver, they face Buffalo and Pittsburgh at home.

Stefan Arnold is the Editor of FFO. He specializes in DFS and overvaluing Seahawks across fantasy football. He has two dogs and enjoys reading and hanging out with his wife, Palm Springs, California wedding photographer Christine Arnold. Stefan is on Twitter at FFObserver.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

News and Notes

Gurley could go long in Week 8 game vs. Bengals

Rams RB tops players who could break out

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

This week we wanted to start providing more content that can help you after the waivers have ended. What better way than by telling you which of your borderline players should be called on this Sunday? Here are a few key fringe starters that are worthy of a starting spot this week. 

 RB Todd Gurley, Rams (STD17, PPR18) vs. CIN: Gurley has yet to break off a run longer than 25 yards and no reception has been for longer than 13 yards. Gurley is due for some positive regression when it comes to long plays; the man is just too explosive with the ball. Malcolm Brown, Gurley’s backup, has been missing from practice and is unlikely to play this week, leaving rookie Darrell Henderson as the relief back. The Rams offensive line outmatches the Cincinnati defensive line, so Gurley should have plenty of opportunity to finally break a long gain this week.  0.5PPR projection from the Sleeper App: (14.92) Bold stat line projection: By ground: 18-98-1 By air: 5-66-2

WR John Brown, Bills (STD22, PPR20) vs. PHI: Brown has been very reliable this year in fantasy but you aren’t always in need of reliable, you want upside. Brown is averaging 7.5 targets per game in a matchup where his offense won’t be able to run the ball. The recipe for beating the Eagles is to throw the ball and particularly the deep ball. Targets will be split with Cole Beasley this week, but Brown has proven to be more explosive and possibly more difficult for this Eagles secondary to contain. 0.5PPR projection from the Sleeper App: (12.39) Bold stat line projection: 9-87-2, 1 rushing attempt for 17 yards

RB Josh Jacobs, Raiders (STD12, PPR15) at HOU: Most likely if you own Jacobs, you are in a position where you have to play him. But the Houston defensive line looks intimidating, doesn’t it? There is no need for you to make unnecessary risks elsewhere in your lineup this week, though. FootballOutsiders ranks the Oakland Raiders offensive line as fourth best in the NFL. Guard Richie Incognito has received above-average grades against both the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings. Jacobs needs to be played with confidence every week, even in tough matchups. 0.5PPR projection from the Sleeper App: (12.86) Bold stat line projection: By ground, 22-130-2 By air: 3-22

RB Ty Johnson, Lions (STD76, PPR72) vs. NYG: Last week, Johnson filled in for Johnson, that is Kerryon Johnson, in a tough matchup. His efficiency wasn’t great, but his utilization was enticing. Ty Johnson was used in both phases of the game, receiving four targets for 28 yards and adding another 29 yards on 10 carries. This week, however, the Lions have had a week to prepare with Ty Johnson as the lead back against a weak Giants defense. If you have Ty Johnson on your roster, it means you paid for him. If you have no other choice but to play him, do it with confidence. 0.5PPR projection from the Sleeper App: (11.11) Bold stat line projection: By ground: 14-101-1 By air: 6-73

Fantasy game of the week- Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints: There are many factors about this game to like. First of all, the game will be played in a dome on turf. Even with the return of Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals’ defense is very beatable, especially with the offensive assets that the Saints have. Teddy Bridgewater was our streaming QB of the week. And, need we talk about Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara? The Cardinals, on the other hand, are facing a great defensive line and a weak secondary. Meaning Kyler Murray will be forced to extend plays with his feet (on turf!) and make big plays happen with Larry Fitzgerald. WR Christian Kirk is trending in the right direction as well. Both offenses will be pushing each other as opposing quarterbacks extend drives in what should be an nice offensive matchup, with the over-under at 48.5 points, the fourth-highest this week.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Waiver Wire Worksheet

Week 8 Waiver Wire: Streamers and risers available

Fill-ins abound but others may provide long-term value

By Dakota Vanderhoef and Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

The most important facet of finding waiver wire gems every week is to have as much knowledge as possible about injuries and changing situations. While many fantasy players grab the first name or two on the points list, a deeper look often reveals players who are getting more opportunity but haven’t produced enough points to top the waiver leaderboard. The changing situations at running back in Arizona and at quarterback in Tennessee warrant a closer look this week.

Last week:  We suggested picking up QB Kirk Cousins, who torched Detroit for four touchdowns. We also said to nab RBs Latavius Murray and Chase Edmonds. Sure, you didn’t play Edmonds, but man your bench sure did outscore your opponent’s!

Note: Most of the players below are owned in 50% or less of common leagues. 

Note II: Check out our other waiver wire picks on our podcast. The 100-Yard Coverage podcast … on your favorite app or at anchor.fm/ffobserver

Quarterbacks

Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts: Have you seen enough of Brissett yet? Apparently only half of you got the message, as he is owned in only 48% of Yahoo! leagues. Brissett, who has thrown three touchdowns or more in three of his six games, is a decent start against Denver this week. But his schedule opens up after that, including a game against Miami. If you missed with a late pick or have lost Patrick Mahomes recently, Brissett is an ideal pickup. Don’t delay any further. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 48% Next three games: Denver Broncos, at Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins — Stefan Arnold

On the pod: We talk Teddy Bridgewater of the New Orleans Saints. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Running backs

Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams: Henderson’s numbers aren’t eye-popping. He’s had six carries and then 11 in the past two weeks for a total of 80 yards. But he’s also had three targets in those two weeks, as he scratches the surface of being a complete back. With the Rams continuing to limit Todd Gurley and nominal backup Malcolm Brown fighting through an ankle injury, Henderson is primed to expand his role in the coming weeks. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 31% Next three games: Cincinnati Bengals, BYE, at Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears — Stefan Arnold

Others to consider: Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals (48%); Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns (53%, eligible to return from suspension in Week 10.)

On the pod: We talk Mark Walton of the Miami Dolphins.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Wide Receivers

Antonio Brown, Free Agent: Brown has begun to pique the interest of teams as the NFL investigation continues of off-field conduct. With the midway point of the season looming, interest will only continue to ramp up if and when Brown can clear his name. Brown is one of the most dynamic wide receivers when he is on the field. Don’t forget about Brown because in the next few weeks, he could start working out for teams. As soon as that does happen, he needs to be rostered. ESPN ownership percentage: 40% Next three games: N/A — Dakota Vanderhoef

Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears: Miller has seen an uptick in his target volume over the past two games. Miller had seven targets before the bye and nine Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Miller is not likely to draw opponents’ top coverage as he is not the first option in the passing game. This has worked to the benefit of many teams’ second options and Miller has proven to be explosive. His only setback right now is poor quarterback play. Could a switch to Chase Daniel help Miller out? ESPN ownership percentage: 13% Next three games: Los Angeles Chargers, at Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We discuss A.J. Brown of Tennessee Titans.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Tight ends

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings: Rudolph is usually a disappointment for fantasy purposes, but he had a good game this week. And next week, his matchup is even juicier. Rudolph should see a small boost to his target share with Adam Thielen missing Thursday night against Washington. Kirk Cousins has really opened the passing game up the last two weeks and this week should be no different as his former team visits Minnesota. The opportunity and the matchup both favor Rudolph this week, making him an excellent streaming candidate. ESPN ownership percentage: 18% Next three games: Washington, at Kansas City Chiefs, at Dallas — Dakota Vanderhoef

Josh Hill, New Orleans Saints: Hill caught all three of his targets this week to provide a stat line of 3-43-1. Hill was just a fill in for the injured Jared Cook, however. If Cook misses another game, Hill is primed to have a top-10 tight end performance as the Arizona Cardinals are one of the worst ranked teams covering the tight end position. ESPN ownership percentage: 1% Next three games: Arizona Cardinals, BYE, Atlanta Falcons and at Tampa Bay Buccaneers. — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We discuss Cameron Brate of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Defense

On the pod: We talk Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts.  anchor.fm/ffobserver

Stefan Arnold is the Editor of FFO. He specializes in DFS and overvaluing Seahawks across fantasy football. He has two dogs and enjoys reading and hanging out with his wife, Palm Springs, California wedding photographer Christine Arnold. Stefan is on Twitter at FFObserver.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Waiver Wire Worksheet

Start molding your playoff run with Week 7 waivers

Backups should be ready replacements more than flyers

By Dakota Vanderhoef and Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

As the fantasy football season nears its midway point, your rosters should reflex your intentions. Hopefully, you’re in a spot to make a playoff run. With lottery tickets cashed for the most part this year, your bench should be growing maybe a bit less exciting but more useful, especially in case of injuries. Having a hit-or-miss prospect that is increasingly less likely to work out is not as important as solid extras who could take on a starting role if needed. Don’t ditch all your diamonds-in-the-rough, but be ready with blue-collar players as well.

Last week: Dakota was all over Kirk Cousins at QB. We also talked Chase Edmonds at running back for the Arizona Cardinals and tight end Hunter Henry, who scored two touchdowns for the Chargers in his return from injury.

Note: Most of the players below are owned in 50% or less of common leagues.

Note II: Check out our other waiver wire picks on our podcast. The 100-Yard Coverage podcast … on your favorite app or at anchor.fm/ffobserver.

Quarterbacks

Sam Darnold, New York Jets: Darnold was finally healthy this week and shocked the Cowboys in his first game back. He threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns with a single interception. Although Darnold’s next two opponents look daunting, if you find yourself streaming the quarterback position and have an extra spot on your bench, he might be worth rostering. In two weeks, Darnold and the Jets get one of the juiciest stretches of games this season. To round out fantasy championships they get; at Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, at Washington, Oakland Raiders, at Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, at Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. ESPN ownership percentage: 8% Next three games: New England Patriots, at Jacksonville Jaguars, at Miami Dolphins. — Dakota Vanderhoef

*This same Jets schedule should be applied to wide receiver Robby Anderson and the Jets defense, who should also benefit greatly.*

Joe Flacco, Denver Broncos: Flacco is usually one of those players you only play if you’re a glutton for punishment, but he gets to face off against the Kansas City Chiefs next week. The Denver defense is not quite what it used to be, not that much has slowed down MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs this year anyway. Flacco will need to make big plays this week in the passing game to stay relevant. The receiving options in Denver aren’t bad either. Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton have both been very fantasy relevant while Phillip Lindsay continues to be dynamic out of the backfield. ESPN ownership: 4% Next three games: Kansas City Chiefs, at Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns. — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We talk Daniel Jones of the New York Football Giants. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Running backs

Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints: Murray is one of the better handcuff options on the waivers at this point in the season. The Saints are usually amongst the league leaders in rushing attempts and screen plays. This is no exception even with Drew Brees sidelined. Murray isn’t your prototypical receiving back but he still has good hands and runs hard when called upon. If anything were to happen to Alvin Kamara, Murray would become an instant RB2 at least. ESPN ownership percentage: 47% Next three games: At Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, Bye — Dakota Vanderhoef

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings: Mattison is averaging 9.2 carries and 49 yards per game (excluding the Chicago game) and is the clear-cut backup running back for his team. Similar to the situation that Murray finds himself in, Mattison is one of the premier handcuff options on the market. Despite his lack of work in the passing game, Mattison is the type of handcuff you should be targeting in the second half of the season as you make the playoff push. ESPN ownership percentage: 17% Next three games: at Detroit Lions, Washington, at Kansas City — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We talk Benny Snell of the Pittsburgh Steelers. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Wide Receivers

Auden Tate, Cincinnati Bengals: Tate has burst onto the scene with two games with 10+ targets and 88 or more yards and another with a touchdown. The Bengals’ offense is not a consistent powerhouse to say the least, but with Tyler Boyd taking the best cornerback off the board, Tate has been a favorite of quarterback Andy Dalton. Tate may fade if John Ross and A.J. Green return from injury but the big rookie may help down the stretch run if those two can’t stay healthy. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 19% Next three games: Jacksonville Jaguars, at Los Angeles Rams, Bye, Baltimore Ravens — Stefan Arnold

On the pod: We discuss Jamison Crowder of the New York Jets. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Tight ends

Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills: Knox, a rookie, is emerging as a threat for Buffalo. While his targets will remain low in that offense, he has 58 yards or more receiving in two games and a touchdown as well. Those numbers don’t seem great, and they aren’t, but Knox should be able to grab a few more targets and some more productivity as the season progresses. The upcoming schedule is littered with below-average teams, including Miami twice, that should falter against the Bills’ imposing defense, giving more drives to the Buffalo offense. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 8% Next three games: Miami, Philadelphia, Washington — Stefan Arnold

Others to consider: Chris Herndon, New York Jets (mentioned in this space a few weeks ago); Ricky Seals-Jones, Cleveland Browns; Ben Watson, New England Patriots.

On the pod: We talk Darren Fells of the Houston Texans. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Defense

On the pod: We discuss San Francisco and Tennessee. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Stefan Arnold is the Editor of FFO. He specializes in DFS and overvaluing Seahawks across fantasy football. He has two dogs and enjoys reading and hanging out with his wife, Palm Springs, California wedding photographer Christine Arnold. Stefan is on Twitter at FFObserver.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

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Waiver Wire Worksheet

Week Six Waiver Wire: He’ll do, pig, he’ll do

By Dakota Vanderhoef and Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

Veterans take center stage as we approach the middle of the season. Youngsters are finding their footing (or not). Meanwhile, vets show off their steady play, which can be all you need, especially as injuries rise and byes continue. Let’s see who’s available for Week 6.

Last week: Our players let us down for the most part, although you would have been fine streaming quarterbacks Gardner Minshew of the Jaguars or the Bengals’ Andy Dalton.

Note: Most of the players below are owned in 50% or less of common leagues.

Note II: Check out our other waiver wire picks on our podcast. The 100-Yard Coverage podcast … on your favorite app or at anchor.fm/ffobserver.

Quarterbacks

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings: Dakota and I discussed him on the podcast, with me wary of his ever-looming floor. Dakota reassured me that the Eagles’ strength on the D-line and weakness in the secondary will enable Cousins to have a decent day. If Sam Darnold doesn’t play for the Jets (against Dallas), then Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton is really the only other option. Meh. Buyer beware: Cousins has had more than 233 yards passing or two touchdowns exactly once this season … Sunday against the New York Giants. Cousins’ Yahoo! ownership percentage: 41% Next three games: Philadelphia Eagles, at Detroit Lions, Washington — Stefan Arnold

On the pod: We also discussed the mustache maven, Gardner Minshew of the Jacksonville Jaguars. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Running backs

Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals: With star David Johnson hurting his back Sunday against Cincinnati, Edmonds is the next man up in an offense which just now may be getting warmed up. Johnson hasn’t been ruled out yet from the Cardinals’ Week 6 matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, but Edmonds should find a starting spot in all leagues if Johnson misses time. As a bonus, Atlanta gives up plenty of passes to running backs, an Arizona specialty. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 3% Next three games: Atlanta Falcons, at New York Giants, at New Orleans Saints — Stefan Arnold

Adrian Peterson, Washington: There is some fantasy football player out there, who, through a combination of injuries and byes, is eyeing Peterson as a waiver-wire addition. Here’s hoping that player isn’t you. The good: New Washington coach Bill Callahan wants to run more. The bad: Everything else. Avoid in all but extreme cases. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 47%  Next three games: at Miami Dolphins, San Francisco, at Minnesota Vikings — Stefan Arnold

On the pod: We talk Kenyan Drake of the Miami Dolphins. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Wide Receivers

Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills: Beasley didn’t have the best outing against the Titans this week without Josh Allen under helm and is now going on bye. In the four games played with Allen, however, Beasley, averaged 61.5 yards on six receptions. Better yet, after the bye the Bills begin to face weak secondaries at home, which should benefit Beasley. ESPN ownership percentage: 30% Next three games: Bye, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington — Dakota Vanderhoef

Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers: Johnson has seen his role increase as he has slowly worked his way up the depth chart. In the last three weeks, he’s averaged seven targets per game and scored twice. Johnson looks like the second option in Pittsburgh behind JuJu Smith-Schuster. Quarterback Mason Rudolph was supporting both JuJu and Johnson and should be healthy to play next week once he passes concussion protocol. ESPN ownership percentage: 20% Next three games: At Los Angeles Chargers, Bye, Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts  — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We discuss Mohamed Sanu of the Atlanta Falcons. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Tight ends

Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams: Everett has looked like a great receiving option the last couple of weeks. He has posted lines of 5-44-1 and 7-136 while averaging nine targets. Jared Goff looks more comfortable throwing to Everett than any other tight end on the team and, now, more often than most other receiving options on the field. Everett set up what should have been the game-winning touchdown for his team Sunday. This shows that both head coach Sean McVay and Goff can continue to lean on Everett when needed. ESPN ownership percentage: 3% Next three games: San Francisco 49ers, at Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals — Dakota Vanderhoef

Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers: Henry suffered a leg fracture early in the year and has mostly been written off by fantasy owners this year. While it is still unlikely that he plays this week, he is making strides in his recovery. Henry should be considered for a stash spot as he will likely serve as an integral piece of this banged-up Chargers offense when he returns. ESPN ownership percentage: 46% Next three games: Pittsburgh Steelers, at Tennessee Titans, at Chicago Bears. — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We talk Geoff Swaim of the Jacksonville Jaguars. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Defense

On the pod: We discuss Green Bay and Baltimore. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Stefan Arnold is the Editor of FFO. He specializes in DFS and overvaluing Seahawks across fantasy football. He has two dogs and enjoys reading and hanging out with his wife, Palm Springs, California wedding photographer Christine Arnold. Stefan is on Twitter at FFObserver.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Waiver Wire Worksheet

Week 5 Waiver Wire: Value still there if you look

Check your league for these contributors

By Dakota Vanderhoef and Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

As we dive deeper into the season, true long-term values on the waiver wire becomes more difficult to find. But with personnel changes, injuries and matchup evaluations, a savvy owner can upgrade at least one position almost every week. Let’s take a look.

Last week: We (again) suggested grabbing another piece in that Kansas City offense, this time Darrel Williams, who scored two touchdowns against the Detroit Lions. Other hits last week were running backs Wayne Gallman (duh) and Ronald Jones as well as tight ends Ricky Seals-Jones and Will Dissly.

Note: Most of the players below are owned in 50% or less of common leagues.

Note II: Check out our other waiver wire picks on our podcast. The 100-Yard Coverage podcast … on your favorite app or at anchor.fm/ffobserver.

Quarterbacks

Garner Minshew II, Jacksonville Jaguars: In leagues where passing touchdowns are worth six points, Minshew is averaging nearly 20 points a game. Minshew has played consistent and well against the odds of his sixth-round price tag, even against good defenses. It may be time to start to take Minshew seriously. Minshew only runs if he has to but he has been very successful standing and passing the ball with a 7-1 touchdown to interception ratio. ESPN ownership percentage: 14.5% Next three games: At Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, at Cincinnati Bengals — Dakota Vanderhoef

Daniel Jones, New York Giants: Jones was a hot add last week after he torched the Bucs with four touchdowns, two of which he ran in himself. Well he had some regression this week, but it was expected. The Redskins had seen what happened and planned for him better than Tampa Bay. The Giants’ schedule doesn’t get much easier from here but Jones has shown enough with his legs to become a weekly streaming option. ESPN ownership percentage: 67% (but will likely be cut from a lot of teams) Next three games: Minnesota Vikings, at New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We talk Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Running backs

Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers: Mostert is almost matching Matt Breida in rushing attempts per game and receiving the same amount of targets out of the backfield. Mostert is averaging 5.9 yards per carry on 34 carries and has 68 yards on four catches. Even when Tevin Coleman returns as soon as this week, Mostert has been so efficient that he should continue to generate fantasy points. Mostert is fresh off a bye and a viable flex option with a favorable upcoming schedule. ESPN ownership percentage: 30% Next three games: Cleveland Browns, at Los Angeles Rams, at Washington — Dakota Vanderhoef

Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay Bucanneers: I’m eating my words a little bit, but Jones has started to take over the Bucs’ backfield. Peyton Barber likely will continue to cut into Jones’ work share, as he has served as the primary receiving back, but Jones is surpassing Barber in snaps and rushing attempts, making him the better option. Jones could turn into a three-down back by the end of the year and bolster your running back room. ESPN ownership: 41% Next three games: At New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, BYE, Tennessee Titans — Dakota Vanderhoef

Still available in some leagues: On the podcast, I had mentioned Wayne Gallman of the New York Football Giants only being 69% owned on ESPN. There are a few other running backs worth keeping an eye out for on the waivers that didn’t make the less-than 50% owned threshold but could be significant additions to your team. Both Carlos Hyde (57% owned in ESPN) and Duke Johnson Jr (69% owned) of the Houston Texans have put up fantasy relevant weeks in tandem. Washington’s Chris Thompson has been averaging five receptions on seven targets and is only 63% owned in ESPN. While the O-line and quarterback situation are questionable in Washington, Thompson has shown enough explosiveness with the ball to be viable still. — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We discuss the prospects for Darrel Williams’ continued success in a crowded Kansas City backfield. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Wide Receivers

Golden Tate, New York Giants: Tate just stays alive for our preferred availability restriction … he’s 50% owned in Yahoo! leagues. Coming off a suspension, Tate is fresh but joins a talented receiving group topped by tight end Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard. At his best in space from the slot (where Shepard rules now), Tate can break any short slant for a touchdown. If rookie quarterback Daniel Jones can improve, Tate will have at least a few big games. It may be difficult to start Tate if your roster is healthy but any injuries on the Giants or plus matchups will provide Tate a chance to hit WR2 numbers. Yahoo! ownership: 50% Next three games: Minnesota Vikings, at New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals — Stefan Arnold

Dante Pettis, 49ers: At this point in the season, virtually all of the wide receivers on the wire have some warts. As a bonus, Pettis has added almost nothing in the points column. With eight Yahoo! fantasy points to his name (all in Week 3), the choice of Pettis here is reflective of his history. Starting in Week 10 of last year, Pettis’ rookie campaign, he was targeted at least five times for the rest of the season. In four of those remaining games, Pettis had at least 83 yards receiving or a touchdown, including a 5-129-2 game against Seattle. If he has fully emerged from the strange doghouse he has been in, Pettis could rise to the WR1 in San Francisco, a nice place to be in that offense. Pettis is a stash-and-hold option with WR2 upside. Yahoo! ownership: 21% Next three games: Cleveland Browns, at Los Angeles Rams, at Washington — Stefan Arnold

On the pod: We talk Taylor Gabriel of the Chicago Bears and a bit about A.J. Brown of the Tennessee Titans. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Tight ends

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts: After starting the season a bit below fellow tight end Eric Ebron in targets, Doyle nearly caught up in Weeks 2-3 (seven to eight) before topping Ebron in targets eight to five in Week 4 against Oakland. Beyond targets, Colts reporter Kevin Bowen said on Twitter that Doyle played a season-high 73% of the snaps to Ebron’s 35%. If the target and snap trends continue, Doyle will be the tight end you want in Indy. Yahoo! ownership: 20% Next three games: at Kansas City Chiefs, BYE, Houston Texans, Denver Broncos — Stefan Arnold

Chris Herndon, New York Jets: Herndon has to serve one more game of his suspension because of the Jets’ early bye week. After that, Herndon has the talent to jump into the Top 10 tight ends. If you have room for him week early, he’s a nice add, especially as the position thins out. Yahoo! ownership: 19% Next three games: at Philadelphia Eagles (miss), Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, at Jacksonville — Stefan Arnold

On the pod: Tyler Eifert of the Cincinnati Bengals. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Defense

On this week’s episode of the 100-Yard Coverage podcast, we covered the Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defenses and why we liked playing them this week.

However, other defensive trends have emerged that could affect your team elsewhere. We think of the Chicago Bears as this defensive front lead by Khalil Mack that mauls opposing quarterbacks and eliminates running backs. But, according to teamrankings.com they rank third in rushing yards allowed.  Chicago and three other teams, the Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are allowing 62 or less rushing yards per game.

Aaron Jones of the Green Bay Packers was able to pad his stats with work in the passing game against the Eagles on Thursday, but these teams have been shutting down the opposing running game all year. If there are two things to take away from this, it would be that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense is a legitimate top defense, and, that you should try to avoid playing any one-dimensional running back against these top teams. — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: Yep, we talk Tennessee and Tampa Bay. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Stefan Arnold is the Editor of FFO. He specializes in DFS and overvaluing Seahawks across fantasy football. He has two dogs and enjoys reading and hanging out with his wife, Palm Springs, California wedding photographer Christine Arnold. Stefan is on Twitter at FFObserver.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Waiver Wire Worksheet

Week 4 Waiver Wire: Still time to replace bad picks

Big Apple additions will be highly coveted

By Dakota Vanderhoef and Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

Another exciting week passed in the NFL but the big news from New York (OK, New Jersey, (HELLO, NEW JERSEY)), was that Giants running back Saquon Barkley will miss the next 4-8 weeks with a high ankle sprain. We talked about his replacement on our podcast, but we also have a few choices below.

Last week: We suggested grabbing another piece in that Kansas City offense, Demarcus Robinson, who scored a touchdown against Baltimore. We also suggested grabbing Raheem Mostert of the San Francisco 49ers. If you needed a QB, Dakota was on point with Jacoby Brissett of the Indianapolis Colts, who had 310 yards passing and two touchdowns. At TE and defense, we wanted you to pick up Will Dissly and Green Bay.

Note: The players below are owned in 50% or less of common leagues.

Note II: Check out our other waiver wire picks on our podcast. The 100-Yard Coverage podcast … on your favorite app or at anchor.fm/ffobserver.

Quarterbacks

Case Keenum, Washington: We are posting this before Washington’s Monday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears, but if Keenum emerges unscathed, he may be a decent streamer for at least Week 4, when his team faces the New York Giants. The Giants have allowed 35, 28 and 31 points in the first three weeks, so …

The Giants’ defense is that thing you step over.

Through two games, Keenum has thrown for 601 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions. While Keenum should see success against the Giants, he would face the Patriots in Week 5. Boo. Then the Miami Dolphins. Yea! He’s a low-end choice, but if you are struggling at QB, you could do worse. Yahoo! ownership: 16% Next three games: At New York Giants, New England Patriots, at Miami Dolphins — Stefan Arnold

On the pod: We discuss Daniel Jones, New York Giants anchor.fm/ffobserver

Running backs

Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams, Kansas City Chiefs: With injuries to Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy, Darrel Williams and Thompson could see more action than planned. Sunday against Baltimore, Williams had nine carries for 62 yards and added catches on all five targets for 47 yards. After McCoy left with an ankle injury, Thompson came in and rushed four times for eight yards. If McCoy misses Week 4 and Damien Williams can’t make it back, Darrel Williams and Thompson will be the main cogs in an awesome Chiefs offense. Aim for Darrel Williams for productivity now, Thompson for upside. Yahoo! ownership: Thompson, 32%; Williams 6% Next three games: At Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans — Stefan Arnold

Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Listen, are you ever going to feel comfortable starting Jones, in the next few weeks at least? Uh, no, not likely. But Jones totaled 121 yards in Week 3, and it seems inevitable that he takes the top spot from Peyton Barber sometime soon. He’s a gamble. But if you are looking to add some drama to your otherwise boring existence, well, go eat some outdated chili. Jones isn’t exciting, but he may be an RB3 as the season moves along. Yahoo! ownership: 25% Next three games: At L.A. Rams, At New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers (London) — Stefan Arnold

On the horizon: Begin tracking injury returns such as Tevin Coleman and Derrius Guice. Coleman may be back as early as next week.

On the pod: We discuss Wayne Gallman, New York Giants. We also make a Ronald Jones bet. Somehow, one of us ended up with Miles Sanders. So, there’s that. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Wide Receivers

Devin Smith, Dallas Cowboys: Michael Gallup is out a few more weeks with an injury to his knee, leaving Smith with a role to play in a top-flight Cowboys’ offense. Sunday, Smith only hauled in two of his five targets for 39 yards in a game that was over at halftime. Last week, Smith caught a touchdown on one of his three receptions for 74 yards. Smith will have upside in Gallup’s absence. The Cowboys are moving the ball all over the field with success, leaving Smith with enough opportunity to provide playable upside to aide your team with upcoming byes and current injuries. ESPN ownership percentage: 6% Next three games: At New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, at New York Jets. — Dakota Vanderhoef

Phillip Dorsett, New England Patriots: Now that Antonio Brown is no longer with the team, Dorsett is solidly in the WR3 role for the team. Dorsett caught 6 of 7 targets for 53 yards and a touchdown this week, to total 13-187-3 through three weeks. The Patriots utilize Dorsett in the run game as well and like to design plays to allow him to get into open space. Any WR3 in a Tom Brady offense is worth a look. ESPN ownership percentage: 6% Next Three Games: At Buffalo Bills, at Washington Redskins, New York Football Giants — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We discuss Preston Williams, Miami Dolphins anchor.fm/ffobserver

Tight ends

Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills: Knox secured three of his four targets for 67 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the Bengals. This is the second week now that Knox has gotten four targets, a normal amount for a tight end. Additionally, his touchdown came from within the red zone, indicating that the team will continue to utilize his 6’4” frame on key downs and go-ahead touchdown attempts. The Bills should look to expand Knox’s role as he acclimates to the NFL and his new team. He is a work in progress but still has upside in an offense that is moving the ball well with Josh Allen. ESPN ownership percentage: 0.3% Next three games:  New England Patriots, at Tennessee Titans, BYE, Miami Dolphins — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We discuss Ricky Seals-Jones, Cleveland Browns and Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks anchor.fm/ffobserver

Defense

Last week on the podcast, I recommended the Washington Redskins defense as a streaming option. This week they take on the New York Football Giants that is now without Saquon Barkley. It won’t take much to shut down the Giants run game and force the rookie quarterback Daniel Jones to make big plays in a tough matchup. — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We discuss the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers anchor.fm/ffobserver

Stefan Arnold is the Editor of FFO. He specializes in DFS and overvaluing Seahawks across fantasy football. He has two dogs and enjoys reading and hanging out with his wife, Palm Springs, California wedding photographer Christine Arnold. Stefan is on Twitter at FFObserver.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Trade Targets, Uncategorized

Enticing trade targets to buy or sell for value

Players’ early games may not show true potential

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

After two weeks of football, we are beginning to see patterns form in the NFL. Whether the patterns are exploitable or not is yet to be determined, but fantasy football is a game of chance. And one of the best ways to gain an advantage over leaguemates is by winning trades. To be successful with trades, you will need to know what to do with the hottest players on the trading block, both those you own and those you want.

Buy Low

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers: McCaffrey owners may not be as worried about this guy as they might be about others on this list, but he is worth whatever you pay for him. McCaffrey’s 16 carries for 37 yards and two receptions for 16 yards with no touchdowns was a huge let down for fantasy owners this week. Additionally, the narrative around Carolina is that quarterback Cam Newton is washed, maybe beyond his foot injury that will likely cause him to miss Week 3. Whatever the case may be, it’s evident that the team can no longer rely on Cam to win games. McCaffery has been talked about in the same light as Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk and should be putting this team on his back. Try to get him this week before he ascends into an untouchable stratosphere. Fair trade: Saquon Barkley 

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This year’s version of the Bucs looks different from what we remember in the past. Slot wide receiver Chris Godwin has mostly led the charge on offense, which has made Evans the odd man out. In the last two weeks, Evans has caught six of his 13 targets for 89 yards. You may be able to take advantage of an owner who has endured him this long and wants to cut bait. Sunday, the Bucs play the New York Giants in a plus matchup. Hopefully, Jameis Winston and Evans can regain their chemistry and, if not, at least you low-balled the guy, right? Fair trade: Julian Edelman

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints: Thomas has been great through two weeks, and his stock price dip is no fault of his own. Quarterback Drew Brees is sidelined with a thumb injury on his throwing hand. Fortunately for the Saints (and Thomas), they have a pair of competent backup quarterbacks in Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill. Thomas is one of the best wide receivers in football, and whoever is under center will utilize him. You might need to package a home-team player for Thomas, but he could be a nice upgrade to any team. It might be the move that separates you from the other teams in your league this year. Fair trade: Keenan Allen

Sell High

Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: In the Bucs’ first game, Ronald Jones topped the team in rushing attempts and yards and looked like a much-improved version of himself. Speculation led people to believe that Jones would continue to receive the bulk of the rushing load. Then Week 2 rolled around, and the Bucs went with the hot hand in Barber. Barber had 23 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown, and he also added a 7-yard reception. It will be hard to find consistency in this backfield with two subpar running backs fighting for snaps. Neither Barber nor Jones are worth owning because of this. Look to sell Barber for something with more long-term value. Sell him soon before people begin to realize how frustrating this backfield can be. Ideal trade: Tarik Cohen

Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings: Quarterback Kirk Cousins is the biggest concern regarding Diggs. Diggs is an exceptional wide receiver with big-play ability; he just hasn’t gotten the support he needs from Cousins. Adam Thielen is the alpha of this team, and with limited passes to go around, Diggs has mostly been left out. Fortunately, he was able to secure one of his seven targets this week for a 49-yard touchdown. The score inflated his value just in time for you to get rid of him. Luckily only the name Diggs has some value in fantasy and combined with this week’s touchdown leave him ripe for a trade. The Vikings offense is very worrisome, so try to flip Diggs before he hurts your team anymore. Fair trade: Any Rams’ receiver: Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods or Brandin Cooks

Whenever you send a trade to another manager, it is vital to consider how the deal will benefit their team as well. You also want to keep your team in mind when making trades to ensure that you maintain depth and balance. Getting others to trade can be difficult, but if you are savvy and persistent, trading can be a great way to improve your team and engage with other members of your league. Remember if the trade is fair and makes sense for both parties, then it is more likely to get accepted.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Waiver Wire Worksheet

Week 3 Waiver Wire: Dig deeper to find treasure

By Stefan Arnold and Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

It’s Will Dissly Week! Well, it’s that every week but this week it’s Week 3! Waivers get a bit thinner, opportunity has opened at quarterback and you lost because of the New England Patriots’ defense. It happens.

But let’s talk waiver pickups. There are still players available that can help your team. You may have to go a bit deeper than last week. But they are there … let’s take a look.

Last week: We suggested picking up two rookie wide receivers that have now impressed again in Week 2, Terry McLaurin and D.K. Metcalf. We also told you to pick up that New England defense if available or Green Bay if not. And Carlos Hyde. You picked up Hyde, right? Right?

Note: These players are owned in 50% or less of common leagues.

Note II: Check out our other waiver wire picks on our podcast. The 100-Yard Coverage podcast … on your favorite app or at anchor.fm/ffobserver. Stefan gets excited about Will Dissly and tells you why you should too.

Quarterbacks

Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts: Jacoby Brissett has played exceptional in the wake of the Andrew Luck retirement. He just hasn’t gotten the recognition that he deserves in fantasy football because of his opening matchups with the Titans’ and the Chargers’ defenses. Combined in those two difficult matchups, Brissett has thrown five touchdowns to one interception but with a dismal 336 passing yards. This week, however, Brissett has a chance to continue his passing success and possibly improve on his yards against the Atlanta Falcons. Brissett has 10 rushing attempts already on the year, proving that he can be a mobile threat if he needs to be. His upcoming opponenets are also worth noting as his schedule gets easier. ESPN ownership percentage: 12% Next three games: Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders, at Kansas City Chiefs — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We talk Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions as well as the Week 2 quarterback injuries. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Running backs

Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons: Smith mostly stood out on film this week as he only got four carries and caught two passes. Although he was unable to find the end zone this week, Smith looked explosive with the football. Smith had 32 yards on the ground compared to Devonta Freeman’s 11 carries for 22 yards. Freeman slightly padded his stats with a 28-yard reception. Tevin Coleman had value in this backfield for years, and it is likely that Smith is next in line and worthy of a handcuff at the very least. ESPN ownership percentage: 9% Next three games: At Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, at Houston Texans — Dakota Vanderhoef

Darwin Thompson, Kansas City Chiefs: As of this writing, both LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams are injured to an unknown degree. If either or both players were to miss time next week, Thompson would have an opportunity to get more involved in the offense, particularly in the passing game. Thompson flashed in the preseason, which lead to speculation that he could supersede Williams on the depth chart even before the acquisition of McCoy. This week is a tough matchup against the Baltimore Ravens but if Thompson shows any worth, then he may carve out a deeper role for himself through the course of the year. ESPN ownership percentage: 19% Next three games: Baltimore Ravens, at Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts — Dakota Vanderhoef

On the pod: We talk Raheem Mostert of the San Francisco 49ers. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Wide Receivers

Demarcus Robinson, Kansas City Chiefs: Robinson introduced himself to the football public with six receptions, 172 receiving yards and two touchdowns Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. With Tyreek Hill out with an injury and Sammy Watkins cooling down from a hot Week 1, Robinson and rookie Mecole Hardman took it to the Raiders. But do you see the problem with Robinson? Look at all those names. Not to mention Travis Kelce. Of course, Kansas City will score in bunches. But it may be difficult for Robinson to find consistent production to help your team. If you have a larger roster, Robinson is worth a stash. He’s a WR4 for now. But an exciting one. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 7% Next three games: Baltimore Ravens, at Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts — Stefan Arnold

Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers: San Francisco upped its scoring in Week 2 with a road thrashing of the Cincinnati Bengals. Samuel caught five passes for 87 yards and a touchdown in the 49ers’ 41-17 victory. Samuel likely did enough to stay among the featured wide receivers, even if the 49ers decide they actually want to use Dante Pettis at all this season. Even as a WR2 in what should remain a decent offense, Samuel will be a flex option or bye-week filler with the potential to grow into more. Bonus for this week: the questionable Steeler pass defense. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 14% Next three games: Pittsburgh Steelers, Bye, Cleveland Browns, at L.A. Rams — Stefan Arnold

On the pod: We talk DJ Chark Jr. of the Jacksonville Jaguars. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Tight ends

Chris Herndon, New York Jets: As we get deeper into the season, waiver wires become places to find useful players a few weeks ahead when they are available in return from injury or, in Herndon’s case, suspension. Herndon won’t return until Week 6, but hopefully Sam Darnold will be under center by then and you’ll have a TE1 … just like that. If you need a tight end right now, go get Will Dissly … otherwise, Herndon is a fine stash. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 13% — Stefan Arnold

On the pod: We talk (quite a bit about) Will Dissly of the Seattle Seahawks. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Defenses

On the pod: We talk Washington and the Green Bay Packers. anchor.fm/ffobserver

Good luck in Week 3!

Stefan Arnold is the Editor of FFO. He specializes in DFS and overvaluing Seahawks across fantasy football. He has two dogs and enjoys reading and hanging out with his wife, Palm Springs, California wedding photographer Christine Arnold. Stefan is on Twitter at FFObserver.

Dakota Vanderhoef covers season-long fantasy football and is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.


Waiver Wire Worksheet

Week 2 Waiver Wire: Move with purpose, people!

By Stefan Arnold and Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

Early in the season, excellent waiver wire choices are plentiful as opportunity arises, stars emerge and play-calling trends begin to show themselves. While you need to react to all these changes, do not go overboard. Hopefully, each of your draft picks were chosen with a purpose. But, sometimes, you just miss. Either way … take a look at this list and see if these guys will help clear some driftwood from your rosters.

Last week: We suggested picking up Bills WR John Brown and his QB, Josh Allen. Brown had seven receptions on 10 targets for 123 yards and a touchdown.

Note: Most of these players are owned by about 50% or less in most leagues. You should be able to put in a claim for 1-3 of them and come away with at least one player.

Quarterbacks

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals: Dalton seems to agree with new head coach Zac Taylor’s offensive system. Dalton torched the Seattle Seahawks for 418 passing yards and two touchdowns. While the Seahawks helped with some miscues, especially on a long touchdown pass to John Ross, Dalton was finding Tyler Boyd and Co. open all day. An excellent addition to larger rosters. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 10% Next three games: San Francisco 49ers, at Buffalo Bills, at Pittsburgh Steelers — Stefan Arnold

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills: Allen is a choice this week for his opponent … the New York Football Giants. The Giants allowed Dallas to score 35 points against them and, while home this week, face a very good Bills defense Sunday. Allen was hurt by two lost fumbles. He also threw two interceptions. If you are looking for perfection at quarterback in Orchard Park, pack a lunch, but Allen and his rushing ability may thrive this week. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 32% Next three games: at N.Y. Giants, at Cincinnati, New England — Stefan Arnold

Wide receivers

D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks: Metcalf came down with four of his six targets for 86 yards including a couple of electric, contested catches for big gains against Cincinnati. The rookie looks NFL ready, his routes are crisp and his separation from defenders is better than expected. Metcalf matches up well with teammate Tyler Lockett, who will likely draw the top coverage of opposing teams and was double-teammed Sunday. With Metcalf’s play-making ability and Russell Wilson’s ability to extend plays, it is only a matter of time before this kid finds the end zone. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 38% Next three games: at Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints, at Arizona Cardinals. — Dakota Vanderhoef

Terry McLaurin, Washington: McLaurin burned the Eagles with five receptions on seven targets, 125 yards and a touchdown. Later in the game, McLaurin got open on a similarly designed route but Case Keenum was unable to connect while under pressure. McLaurin not only was explosive down the field, he also looked good in short and intermediate routes. He had an impressive catch on the sideline and also showed he can make a move in open space by breaking a tackle. The seven targets are a positive sign that there is opportunity for McLaurin and, combined with his deep-ball abilities, makes him a great pick up. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 3% Next three games: Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, at New York Giants. — Dakota Vanderhoef

Talking these players and more as well as the incredible Antonio Brown saga.

John Brown, Buffalo Bills: Brown secured seven of his 10 targets for 123 yards and one touchdown. Brown provided quarterback Josh Allen one of the few reliable targets on Sunday as the Buffalo Bills charged back to beat the New York Jets. Brown made big plays with his speed on crossing routes and yards-after-catch ability. Not only that, Brown scored at the most crucial time and won the game for his team. If Brown can continue to get open and make big plays in key situations, he may continue to receive 10 targets a game. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 48% Next three games: at N.Y. Giants, Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots. — Dakota Vanderhoef

John Ross III, Cincinnati Bengals: It feels like a long time coming, but Ross blew up against the Seattle Seahawks. Ross caught seven passes on 12 targets for 158 yards and scored twice. Ross could maintain productivity when A.J. Green returns as well, as Green will pull coverage from safeties. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 9% Next three games: San Francisco 49ers, at Buffalo Bills, at Pittsburgh Steelers. — Dakota Vanderhoef

Running backs

Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals: The waiver wire is a bit thin at running back, at least those taking over for injuries, as starters remained mostly healthy in Week 1. Bernard is an exception, as Joe Mixon left the Seattle game with an ankle injury. If Bernard, who finished with 63 yards total, is the lead back in Week 2 against the 49ers, expect as much as RB2 stats from him. Keep an eye on the Mixon injury to be sure Bernard is valuable this week. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 15% Next three games: San Francisco, 49ers, at Buffalo Bills, at Pittsburgh Steelers — Stefan Arnold

Carlos Hyde, Houston Texans: A favorite of mine at his draft value, Hyde produced 85 total yards Monday night against New Orleans. While he may be a hit-or-miss prospect alongside Duke Johnson, Hyde will be a nice flex option, bye-week filler or RB3 each week. If Johnson goes down, Hyde will have immediate RB2 value in that offense. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 32% Next three games: Jacksonville Jaguars, at L.A. Chargers, Carolina Panthers — Stefan Arnold

Malcolm, Brown, L.A. Rams: Brown had 11 rushes, 53 yards and two touchdowns against Carolina. If the Rams continue to rely on Brown to take some of the load off Todd Gurley’s knees, Brown will be a valuable handcuff and spot starter. He will also be positioned to take over as the top back in a great offense if Gurley misses time. Darrell Henderson owners, drop him immediately and pick up Brown. And look at his next three games … Yahoo! ownership percentage: 14% Next three games: New Orleans Saints, at Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay — Stefan Arnold

Tight ends

T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions: Hockenson was a rare bright spot for the Lions in Week 1, who gave up a big lead to tie the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Hockenson had six receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown. While he face target competition from a decent wide receiver group, Hockenson should be targeted immediately by those owners who drafted tight ends late. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 53% Next three games: L.A. Chargers, at Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs — Stefan Arnold

Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders: The Hard Knocks star who is still with the team, bye Antonio, Waller broke out Monday Night against Denver. Waller finished with seven receptions on eight targets for 70 yards. Waller looks to have the trust of coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr and may often be the first or second read on pass plays. And for Week 2, the Raiders will need to keep up with Kanas City. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 45% Next three games: Kansas City Chiefs, at Minnesota Vikings, at Indianapolis Colts — Stefan Arnold

Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers: Graham caught Aaron Rodgers’, and the game’s, only touchdown in the season opener against the formidable Chicago Bears defense. Graham was targeted six times, for 30 yards and three receptions. His six targets were equal to slot receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling and only Davante Adams had more targets with eight. In a limited waiver wire tight end landscape, a tight end that has chemistry with Rodgers could win championships. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 48% Next three games: Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles. — Dakota Vanderhoef

C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals: Uzomah was unable to find the end zone this weekend but he was utilized in the pass game when Andy Dalton targeted him on five passes. Uzomah came down with four catches for 66 yards. Fellow tight end Tyler Eifert was also used in the passing game but with very little success, four receptions for 27 yards. Uzomah was used more as a receiver downfield and could see more targets against an exploitable San Francisco 49ers’ secondary. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 2% Next three games: San Francisco 49ers, at Buffalo Bills, at Pittsburgh Steelers. — Dakota Vanderhoef

Defenses

Buffalo Bills and New York Giants: The Bills tempered quarterback Sam Darnold to only 175 yards and one touchdown, despite four Bills turnovers in the first half. Next week, the Bills take on the New York Giants. The Giants receiving core is banged up and largely outclassed by cornerback Tre’davious White and friends. Either defense is streamable as this will likely be a low-scoring affair. Buffalo Bills Yahoo! ownership percentage: 45% New York Giants Yahoo! ownership percentage: 1%. — Dakota Vanderhoef

Green Bay Packers: The Packers showed some aggressiveness and coverage skills in their opening game against the Chicago Bears. The additions over the offseason, including rookie safety Darnell Savage, paid off in the opener. If the offense can get on track, the Green Bay defense will be able to hunt down the opposing QB in late-game passing situations. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 7% Next three games: Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles — Stefan Arnold

Less available but keep an eye out for: The New England Patriots have one of the most favorable upcoming schedules. They play at Miami Dolphins, vs. New York Jets, at Buffalo Bills, at Washington Redskins, vs. New York Giants, and at New York Jets. Also, if you played the Dallas Cowboys defense in Week 1 against the Giants, hold onto them for the next two weeks. The Cowboys play Washington next week followed by Miami Dolphins at home. New England Patriots Yahoo! ownership percentage: 80% Dallas Cowboys Yahoo! ownership percentage: 68% — Dakota Vanderhoef

Plan your waiver wire picks carefully and so you can maximize your grabs. Don’t put in claims for guys if you think your league will ignore that player … pick them up later as a free agent.

Good luck in Week 2!

Waiver Wire Worksheet

Week Zero Waiver Wire: Add value to your roster

When looking for a potential contributor to your roster from the waiver wire, it is important to find someone who will provide immediate value. They may be able to save you from injury situations, upcoming bye weeks and maybe, just maybe, poor draft picks. The best scenario? You pick them up for free and trade them to improve your roster.

Note: Players listed below are about 50% or less owned in Yahoo! leagues and should be available in the majority of fantasy leagues.

Quarterbacks

Josh Allen, Bills: Allen scored eight touchdowns rushing last season and his overall game made him the overall QB1 from Weeks 12-17. While he will have up-and-down months amid growing pains, he is a valuable stash in deeper leagues. In shallow leagues, be ready to add him if an injury occurs at QB across your league … he’d be valuable trade bait. If you do have room, Allen’s second year and improved Bills’ offensive talent makes him a nice final-spot roster addition. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 34% Next three games: At New York Jets, At New York Giants, Cincinnati — Stefan Arnold

Running backs

Gus Edwards, Ravens: It will be difficult for rookie running back Justice Hill to jump Edwards on the roster when Edwards earned his role and proved his worth last season.  If the Ravens are looking for a 1-2 punch in Mark Ingram and Edwards, then Edwards can provide value in standard formats and potentially see some goal line carries. Last season, Edwards averaged a reasonable 12.5 carries per game, a 16-game pace of 199 carries and 1,036 yards. The Ravens are improving offensively, providing players like Edwards with more potential upside then one would expect. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is also a threat on the ground but until Hill supercedes him, expect Edwards to offer flex value in deeper leagues and RB3 value if Ingram gets injured. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 3% Next three games: At Miami, Arizona, at Kansas City — Dakota Vanderhoef

Nyheim Hines, Colts: While most pass catchers for Indianapolis took a significant hit with the retirement of quarterback Andrew Luck, running back Nyheim Hines could benefit from Luck’s absence. Hines targets jumped from 3.5 in games won to 7.6 in games that were lost, totaling 63 receptions on 83 targets, making Hines a viable flex option in PPR formats for a Colts’ team that is expected to have 6-7 victories. While a best fit in larger leagues, it is likely that we will discover his true value in Week 1 when the Colts take on the Chargers in L.A. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 47% Next three games: at Los Angeles Chargers, at Tennessee, Atlanta — Dakota Vanderhoef

Wide Receivers

John Brown, Bills: Brown is the WR1 in Buffalo yet he is owned in less than half of Yahoo! leagues. This is unacceptable. His skill set, which is going deep and catching the ball for a touchdowns, is an ideal fit for Bills quarterback Josh Allen. If you have a WR2 or WR3 from a middling to poor team instead of Brown as your WR5 or WR6, you are making a mistake. His first three matchups are icing on the cake. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 49% Next three games: At New York Jets, At New York Giants, Cincinnati — Stefan Arnold

Adam Humphries, Titans: In the limited playing time quarterback Marcus Mariota and Adam Humphries have shared together during the preseason, Humphries has five catches. Those five receptions account for a quarter of Mariota’s attempts and half of his completions.  Last season, Humphries boasted an impressive 72% catch rate on 105 targets and five touchdowns, mostly on short routes as he averaged 10.6 yards per reception in Tampa Bay. If Humphries was able to attract 105 targets on a roster with Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson, it will be interesting to see how many passes come his way when his competition is Corey Davis and Delanie Walker. Of course, there is some risk to rostering Humphries, as Marcus Mariota does not typically support a WR1 on a regular basis. However, the volume and opportunity could be there for Humphries. Now is the perfect time to scoop up your shares of Humphries before you pay up for him later in the year. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 15% Next three games: At Cleveland, Indianapolis, at Jacksonville — Dakota Vanderhoef

Tight ends

Jordan Reed, Washington: Reed, who is in concussion protocol as of Monday night, should be on most rosters if he is cleared to play Sunday against the Eagles. Washington’s receiving corps is one of the most unproven in the league and quarterback Case Keenum may be looking to dump the ball off quickly behind the team’s suspect offensive line. While there are certainly better tight ends to roster if you drafted one in the middle to high rounds, Reed is worth a spot on your bench if he plays. Don’t hold a WR6 instead of him … but be ready to return Reed to the waiver wire if he can’t stay healthy. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 52% Next three games: at Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago — Stefan Arnold

Not every player can be a diamond in the rough but if you focus on winning each week as it comes to you by playing the waiver wire, you’re more likely to score on a player. Remember league-winning players such as Patrick Mahomes, Alvin Kamara and James Conner were all once on a list similar to this.


Uncategorized

Stack underrated Cowboys for maximum domination

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

Let’s face it. We love to play fantasy football because we love to dominate our friends and family with superior football knowledge. There are not many moments in fantasy football quite like dominating your opponent with a QB/WR combo, however. Doubling the points can run up scores and pose an intimidating matchup.

If you were fortunate enough to own Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill last year (or unfortune enough to face them both), then you understand how much of an advantage you can gain.

Mahomes and Hill were effective because of their value from last season’s drafts. Hill had a good ADP value last year as a wide receiver with high upside that paid off. Mahomes was largely undrafted in leagues last year, and we all know how that turned out. Both players finished first at their position in fantasy.

While having a QB/WR stack is not necessary to win championships, having a strong stack can be a lot of fun and win you weeks in the process.

Dak Prescott & Amari Cooper

The first two seasons with the Oakland Raiders were great for Amari Cooper. He had more than 1,000 yards receiving both years, catching six touchdowns as a rookie and another five as a sophomore. But, in 2017, Cooper’s game began to spiral and the drops started happening. In 2017, Cooper had a dreadful 50% catch rate after posting a 62% catch rate the previous year. The targets began to disappear as well. In 2018, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr only passed to Cooper 13% of the time. Eventually, Oakland traded Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys after a Week 6 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Cooper didn’t have much time to get acclimated with the Cowboys’ offense or build a rapport with quarterback Dak Prescott, but he seemed to have a rebirth in Dallas. Cooper commanded 23% of Prescott’s target share by catching 53 passes on 76 targets, good for a 70% catch rate and 12.1 yards per catch. After Week 7, Cooper was the WR11 in half-PPR formats.

Prescott’s numbers improved along with Cooper’s. Before Cooper joined the team, Prescott had a completion rate of 62% and a touchdown percentage rate of 3.9%. After Cooper joined the team, Prescott had a completion rate of 71% and his touchdown rate increased to 4.4%, making Prescott the QB8 after Week 7.

Based off Dak’s pass attempts last season, which have increased every year, Cooper has a 1,000 yard season as a floor. Cooper’s ADP has slipped to the third round due to a foot injury that he should be able to play through. Prescott’s ADP is #121, or the 17th QB taken despite finishing as the QB10 the last two seasons.

There are parallels to be drawn from last year’s Mahomes and Hill combo and the upcoming synergy of Cooper and Prescott. It is unlikely that both, or either, Dak and Cooper will finish first at their position but there is clear value in drafting these two players. Prescott is such a value that taking him that late wouldn’t harm your team, and that third-round area is fine to take a player, like Cooper, who has potential to overachieve.

Hill and Mahomes are the example of the excitement we might see this year in Dallas, a sequel that could disrupt leagues once again this year, hopefully in your favor.

Draft Details, Player vs. Player

Don’t pass on these veteran wide receivers that are ready to produce more this season

With better circumstances for all, these big names can solidify your roster

By Nate Georgy, Fantasy Football Observer

This draft season there is a plethora of startable WRs that you can feel comfortable drafting and rely on for most weeks, including the elite tier at the top, some value guys, and a handful of breakout candidates. 

If you still have WR or flex spots to fill when you’re approaching the middle of your draft, you can find some undervalued wide receivers to plug in and play. They may not have the elite upside of other WRs, but they’re steady, reliable players to fill out your roster. 

Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions: It seems as if everyone has forgotten about Jones this season, probably due to the emergence of his teammate Kenny Golladay. However, don’t neglect Jones this year when you draft. He is going as the WR38 in PPR leagues or the 8.11 (according to Fantasy Football Calculator) in 12-team leagues. 

Last season, Jones appeared in nine games for the Lions before a knee injury shut him down for the final seven contests. He finished the season averaging 12.9 PPR a game, likely a lower avaerage than had he stayed healthy.

Jones is just two years removed from finishing the season as the WR12 in PPR leagues and is 29 years old, an age where WRs still can produce at a high level. 

After Week Eight last season, the Lions traded away their go-to WR target in Golden Tate and trusted what they had in Jones and Golladay. Golladay is a great talent, and many expect him to leap to stardom this season. Nonetheless, Jones will see his share of targets, being at worst the number two receiving threat, potentially number one.

Jones can flirt with WR2 status this season and at worst, he is a higher-end flex play who you should be able to draft as late as the 10th round. 

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals: Throughout his career, Fitzgerald has been one of the most steady and reliable WRs in all of fantasy football. He usually ends the season as a  third- or fourth-round WR value, but after last season’s debacle for the Arizona offense, Fitzgerald is being drafted in the eighth round as the WR35. 

Last season Fitzgerald, like the rest of the offense, struggled. The simplistic offensive scheme from coordinator Mike McCoy and head coach Steve Wilks translated into one of the worst scoring offenses in the last decade and saw Fitzgerald have his worst year as a pro since 2014. 

Fitzgerald is now entering his age-35 season, but in comes Kliff Kingsbury and the air raid offense. Kingsbury’s offensive philosophy is to spread out four WRs, have the quarterback make quick throws, and run a lot of plays. 

The Cardinals also brought in a new QB, drafting Kyler Murray first overall in this year’s draft. While he may not be a star right away,  he should rely on his veteran WR often. If you are excited for a David Johnson rebound season, like many are, then you cannot ignore Fitzgerald’s chance to rebound as well. 

Fitzgerald is still the number one receiving threat ahead of Christian Kirk and the rookies, so he will continue to provide more production during the year than his cost during your draft. 

Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears: Among this list, there is just one player who is still young enough to enter the prime of his career …  Allen Robinson. Robinson turns 26 years old this month even though it feels like a decade ago when he broke onto the scene with 1,400 yards and 14 TDs as a second-year receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015.

He is currently being drafted as the WR31 in the seventh round of fantasy drafts.

It is only right to give Robinson the benefit of the doubt, he tore his ACL two seasons prior and last season he joined a new team and dealt with growing pains at QB with Mitch Trubisky. Robinson dealt with a couple minor injuries along the way, which held him out of two contests. He finished the season averaging 11.9 PPR points a game, and was an extreme boom or bust player. He had a week with 6-133-2, but then he also disappeared often with stat lines such as 1-4-0 and 2-37-0. 

The Bears’ top defensive performance last season actually hindered game scripts benefiting Robinson and the Bears’ passing attack. Chicago ranked 24th in pass attempts, the Bears rarely trailed, and they had the mentality to ground-and-pound and play great defense on the way to a  12-4 record. 

The defense is due for regression this season as they lost defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who took a head coaching job in Denver. History also shows that the number one defense from the year prior regresses, even if just slightly. 

The Bears wild card playoff game loss to Philadelphia was a rare game where they had to come back from behind. Trubisky and the offense had to throw more often and lean on Robinson, which resulted in him putting up 10 receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets. 

Robinson is entering this season as the number one receiving threat as well as the number one red zone threat through the air, on an offense that should not struggle to score with Matt Nagy calling plays. With the likely defensive regression and an improving Trubisky, Robinson is a natural bounce-back candidate and is coming at a value in drafts this season. 

Honorable Mention:

Donte Moncrief, Pittsburgh Steelers: Last season the Steelers threw more than anyone else, which resulted in two wide receivers finishing as WR1s. This season they will still throw a lot and need to fill 168 targets that left town with Antonio Brown. The number two WR spot behind JuJu Smith-Schuster is up for grabs, and early reports indicate that newly acquired Donte Moncrief is first in line. Moncrief should be in line for a lot of targets, while he looks to rebound his career at the still young age of 25. Moncrief is being drafted as the WR51 as the 11.06. Make sure to monitor practice reports and pay attention to the preseason games as James Washington or Diontae Johnson could also play themselves into that role, but as of now, it looks to be Moncrief. 

Nate Georgy covers season-long fantasy football for FFO and is a die-hard Patriots fan from New England who loves evaluating player talent and the analytical side of the game. He prefers re-draft and keeper leagues because drafting is the most fun part of fantasy football. Follow Nate on twitter @KingN8G.

Dynasty

Dynasty ranking have six wide receivers in first round

Giants’ running back Saquon Barkley is No. 1 overall in Superflex list

By Caleb Barnette, Fantasy Football Observer

Here are our Dynasty Superflex rankings, which boost the value of quarterbacks. What do you think? Leave us a comment here or hit me up on Twitter.

Top 200 Dynasty Superflex rankings

Caleb Barnette is a Dolphins fan and Liverpool diehard who loves the analytical side of fantasy football. Most of his dynasty football advice will come through statistics and data analysis. Follow Barnette on Twitter at _CalebBarnette

Draft Details

Older players can provide late draft value – or not

Two veterans are still worth taking to balance your roster


By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

Every offseason the NFL replenishes its stock of players with the draft, pushing existing players further into veteran status. Often older players get overlooked and can provide value to your roster later in your fantasy draft. Let’s take a look at a few players that have journeyed over the hill in 2019 and see whether they are draft worthy or not.

Alshon Jeffery, WR, Eagles: Jeffery is 29 years old as he heads into his eighth NFL season and his third with the Philadelphia Eagles. From a fantasy perspective, Jeffery has been touchdown-dependent, having yet to post a 1,000-yard season with the Eagles. Jeffery currently boasts an average draft position (ADP) of 68.

Touchdowns are almost impossible to predict, and the odds don’t look to be in Jeffery’s favor this season to be a dominant touchdown force. Running back Jordan Howard could see touches in the red zone, as could rookie running back Miles Sanders. Tight end Zach Ertz remains the top target for quarterback Carson Wentz. The Eagles also drafted a potential Jeffery replacement in JJ Arcega-Whiteside.

At his current ADP, Jeffery is too costly for a player who is nearing the end of his career. In 13 games last season, Jeffery averaged about 12 fantasy points per game in half-point per reception leagues, good for the 25th spot at his position, or WR3 numbers.

Jeffery could be playing the role of big brother this year to his replacement. The Eagles were willing to invest a second-round draft pick in reinforcing Jeffery’s talents. If an NFL team spends high draft capital to back up a player, maybe you should reconsider investing too much of your draft capital in that player.

Mark Ingram, RB, Ravens: Ingram has been a fantasy asset since his 2014 emergence while playing for the New Orleans Saints. Even in 2017, Alvin Kamara’s rookie year, Ingram was able to rush for more than 1,000 yards and share the spotlight when both were consistently RB1s. But, in Kamara’s sophomore year, Ingram faded from 301 touches to 165 as Kamara emerged as a superstar.

In 2019, Ingram has changed colors and now plays for the Lamar Jackson-led Baltimore Ravens. Ingram had his two best years in New Orleans in 2016 and 2017 where he rushed for over 1,000 yards each year and averaged 52 receptions.

Ingram gives Jackson another passing option as do rookie wide receivers Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin. Running back Gus Edwards had only two receptions last year despite having 137 rushing attempts. Ingram can help reduce the rushing load from Jackson while also providing a reliable target.

Even though Ingram is 29, he wasn’t a feature back early in his career, so he likely still has some tread on his tires. Ingram is worth his current  ADP at No. 46 as he will be an essential part of his team’s offense and the success of Jackson.

Cam Newton, QB, Panthers: It is strange to think of Newton as a veteran, but at the age of 30 and with nine years of experience, he has certainly earned the status. In 2015, Newton set the league on fire, finishing as fantasy football’s QB1 with 389 points. In 2017, after a poor 2016 season, Cam Newton returned to form as the QB2, behind Russell Wilson.

The 2017 season, however, was a very down year for the quarterback position. With eight quarterbacks scoring over 300 points in 2018, the 299.5 points scored by Newton in 2017 would have only been good for QB9 last year.

Newton looks like an enticing option at quarterback due to his rushing ability and a potent receiving option out of the backfield in Christian McCaffrey. But, with an ADP of #92, the opportunity seems less desirable. Despite his QB12 finish last year, Newton is the ninth quarterback taken off the board in 2019 redraft leagues.

Let’s not forget how Cam finished last season. He missed the final two games due to a shoulder injury, an injury that began to nag him in Week 14. D.J. Moore looks to be a rising talent at receiver, but in his sophomore season, he may not have the experience to bail out an underperforming Newton.

In the modern NFL, it is not hard to find a quarterback with rushing ability. Newton has never been a spectacular passer in the NFL, and with his shoulder diminishing, that is unlikely to change. This season, Newton seems to have more potential downside than upside.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals: Second in all-time receiving yards, and a future Hall of Famer, Fitzgerald has 15 years of experience in the NFL. At the ripe age of 35, Fitzgerald is still the lead wide receiver of his team. Unfortunately for Larry, the play calling for the Arizona Cardinals ranked last in the NFL last year. It was the worst season of Fitzgerald’s career, yardage wise, even worse than his rookie year. He finished just behind Jeffery as the WR26.  

This year the Cardinals have hired a new head coach, Kliff Kingsbury, and drafted Kyler Murray No. 1 overall to be the new quarterback.

Recently, Fitzgerald has commented on the tempo of the offense and how much faster and easier the offense will flow.

Fitzgerald has enticing value due to opportunity not only from the volume but from design. The Kingsbury air raid system is designed to exploit the opposing team’s defense, allowing receivers to make changes to their routes while en route to find soft spots. If you’re more interested in the air raid system, there is an interesting video by Brett Kollmann explaining it more.

If Murray and Fitzgerald can form a rapport this season, Fitzgerald could find himself slipping into open space with the ball often. At a current ADP of 103, Fitzgerald represents an extreme value with tremendous upside. What he lacks in youth, he makes up with experience, guile, and ingenuity. 

It is perfectly fine to accept that better days are behind these players. While some veterans have journeyed too far over the hill, other veterans remain on the side of relevance. Every successful roster needs to balance stability and explosiveness. Adding a veteran player to your team is a great way to gain some consistency at a value.

Dakota Vanderhoef is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His new Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Draft Details

Aging tight ends offer steady play for almost no cost

Picks at the end of your draft can yield TE1 numbers if health permits

By Nate Georgy, Fantasy Football Observer

Much like at the quarterback spot, the tight end position is one that a lot of people tend to draft relatively late in comparison to running backs and wide receivers. If you decide to go the route of waiting on TE, there is still a lot of value to be had in the late rounds, including three veterans who still can produce at the position for you:

Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans: Throughout Walker’s career, he always has been a value, a player who never has been mentioned in the top 3 at his position but has been a steady and reliable producer when on the field. Coming off a gruesome ankle injury in Week 1 last season, Walker is expected to be ready to go for the start of this season.

Walker should be in line for a fair share of targets in an offense that is waiting on young players to develop. Wide receiver Corey Davis is entering his third year and has yet to rise to a WR1. The Titans also spent a second-round pick in the draft on WR A.J. Brown and added Adam Humphries, a complementary piece, from Tampa Bay.

Tennessee headed into the offseason knowing it needed to add weapons for QB Marcus Mariota, who is entering a make-or-break year. However, they did not add anyone who is going to demand a high volume of targets, and throughout Mariota’s career, he has always had a good connection with Walker. In 2017, Walker had a 23.4% target share in games Mariota played in, and in 2016 he had 22.5% target share with Mariota.

Between 2013-2017, Walker ended as a top-12 TE in each season, as well as finishing top six from 2015-2017. He does not miss many games either, playing in at least 14 games every season before last year. Walker is currently going about TE13 off draft boards, and, if ready to go Week 1, should outperform that rank. You will be able to rely on him every week to give you a safe floor, and not have to worry about the position all season.

Jordan Reed, Washington: Trust me, we are all sick of talking about Reed. This year, however, we get to talk about him differently. In years past, Reed was one of the best TEs for fantasy, coming with an early draft cost, but he always was an extreme injury risk (and still is). After 2017’s six-game stint, he had one last chance to prove it to fantasy owners last season … and he underwhelmed.

If you throw out Week 14, in which Reed played seven snaps before exiting due to, you guessed it, an injury, he averaged 10.2 fantasy points in 2018. Despite his disappointing season, Reed is coming into this season at a value at his current ADP as the18th, yes you read that right, the 18th TE tight end drafted (in the 14th round) according to fantasypros.com.

The biggest reason to like Reed for his cost this season is volume. In his first 12 games last season, Reed averaged seven targets a game, which would have ranked fourth, trailing only Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, and George Kittle.

Who does he have to compete with him for targets this season? I wouldn’t blame you if you cannot think of one other pass catcher on that team (Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson).

The quarterback situation also is up in the air, with veteran Case Keenum trying to hold off rookie Dwayne Haskins, but expect both to look Reed’s way often.

Gone are the days of Reed’s potential of being a top-four TE, but he can still provide valuable upside on a week-to-week basis. With a basically free draft pick, why not take the chance on Reed? If he doesn’t work out, just drop him and pick up a free agent.

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Jack Doyle of the Indianapolis Colts (right) runs the ball against Wesley Woodyard of the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 18, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts: Do not forget about Doyle because of the emergence of teammate Eric Ebron. Coming into last season, Doyle was expected to be the lead tight end in town, and for the first two weeks that was the case with a 15 to 9 target share between the pair. Doyle dominated Ebron in snaps as well (77 and 59 to 37 and 17, over the first two weeks, respectively), but then injuries took over and plagued the rest of Doyle’s season.

In the six games Doyle suited up for, he out-snapped and out-targeted Ebron in all but one of those contests. This season, Ebron may push those counts closer to even, but that being said Doyle is currently the 23rd TE being drafted.

Doyle has little chance to break out, with his low TD totals and depth of targets, but he should see a healthy amount of passes in a good offense. He is someone that can be streamed in many weeks, and, especially if he can fall into the end zone, should produce TE1 numbers for that week.

Honorable Mention

Trey Burton, Chicago Bears: Just last offseason, Burton was the potential breakout star at the position for many people, and although he finished eighth at TE in PPR scoring, it was an ugly season for Burton. Extreme inconsistency, with his numbers dropping off as the season progressed, and an underwhelming amount of targets plagued his first season in Chicago. Look for some more consistency from Burton this time around. He is being drafted as TE13, and still has the chance to emerge in that offense as Mitch Trubisky’s favorite target.

Nate Georgy covers season-long fantasy football for FFO and is a die-hard Patriots fan from New England who loves evaluating player talent and the analytical side of the game. He prefers re-draft and keeper leagues because drafting is the most fun part of fantasy football. Follow Nate on twitter @KingN8G.

More value picks at QB, WR and RB below as well as
podcast episodes on those positions as we

Podcasts

100-Yard Coverage Podcast: Dynasty rankings preview

By Stefan Arnold, Fantasy Football Observer

In our latest podcast episode, Dynasty Writer Caleb Barnette and Editor Stefan Arnold talk about the biggest news of the week:

The Top Gun sequel. ‘Nuff sed.

Then the guys talk about two AFC South players they are interested in this season … WRs A.J. Brown from Tennessee and Houston’s Keke Coutee. They also discuss the Cardinals and Rams as training camps loom.

The pair introduce Caleb’s dynasty rankings, which will debut this week, and talk about the QB rankings where Andrew Luck is QB2 and Kyler Murray is QB 10. They also discuss RB David Johnson and WR Odell Beckham Jr.

The podcast homepage is at anchor.fm/ffobserver but you can find it as well on most podcast platforms, including Apple, Google and Spotify. Just search “100-Yard Coverage” Fantasy Football podcast. You can leave a voice message or support our writers on our homepage.

In previous episodes, we talked about the value of RB Carlos Hyde, Super Sophomores and undervalued players.

Check us out. Thanks!

Draft Details

Three top draft picks to have second thoughts about

These stars may work out … or cost you your fantasy football season

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer

Do you ever read an article or listen to a podcast and disagree with what is said? That’s OK … and what you read next may fall into that category. Successful fantasy football players gain as much knowledge as possible to form their own opinions on players. Every year, a few early-round draft picks most likely will not be on my team due to the risk associated with them. Here are three of those players this year.

Nick Chubb, RB, Browns: Chubb showed potential when he ran for 996 yards on 192 carries as a rookie in 2018.

He also has a very talented offensive cast surrounding him this year, which has quickened his rise in average draft position. There also has been a lot of Cleveland Browns hype ever since HBO’s Hard Knocks series featured them before last season. The attention has further fueled Chubb’s climb up the draft board.

Before Week 7, Chubb averaged 2.6 rushing attempts per game. After Week 7 (and after head coach Hue Jackson was fired after Week 8) the Browns found success running the ball with Chubb, and he averaged 17.6 attempts. In those 10 games, Chubb averaged 4.6 yards per carry and rushed for 823 yards, a season-long pace of nearly 1,300 yards. Unfortunately, as is desired in a top pick, Chubb adds very little to the passing game. He caught his first pass in Week 8 and only averaged 2.2 catches per game after that for a total of 149 yards and two touchdowns through the air.

Duke Johnson Jr. is a better receiving option for Cleveland and has been reliable over the years for the Browns. However, Johnson requested a trade this offseason, which is still a possibility. Head coach Freddie Kitchens said that Johnson will have a role this season, which may continue to limit Chubb’s receiving work. In the ground game, Chubb likely will face competition from former Kansas City starter Kareem Hunt, who should return in Week 9 after his suspension.

Chubb performed well in the small sample size display of his talent last year. But it is tough to justify spending an early-round draft pick on him (he’s currently being drafted 20th overall as the RB12). There is enough diverse talent right now for a running-back-by-committee to form, which is fantasy running back limbo. Johnson or second-year player Dontrell Hillard may dominate third-down duties. What is also troubling is that Hunt is a very versatile running back returning with fresh tread on his tires late in the season.

By the time fantasy football playoffs come around, Chubb may not be the lead back. It would be less than ideal to have your second-round pick not even help win your championship.

Would rather have: Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings; JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers; Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers.

Le’Veon Bell, RB, Jets: Bell is no doubt a generational talent at running back. His patient style of running the ball is unmatched in the NFL. But how much of his success was because of the Steelers’ offensive line? Pro Football Focus ranked the Steelers O-line 12th in 2017 in Bell’s final season on the field with the team. PFF has the New York Jets ranked as the 28th-best offensive line in football entering this season.

It isn’t even sure the head coach wants Bell on the team. Jets’ first-year coach Adam Gase had a talented running back in Kenyan Drake last season in Miami that he failed to utilize. Gase also was reportedly upset at Bell’s hefty contract.

Finally, will Bell suffer from holding out in 2018?

Bell isn’t all bad, of course. The team paid a lot of money for Bell to be a part of this offense. Even with GM Mike Maccagnan now out of the picture, a large contract is usually a reliable indicator that a team will utilize a player.

Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold showed some flashes, especially late in the season, as he made the transition into the NFL. Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson both have potential at the wide receiver position as well. So, Bell could still have a very productive year if he is allowed to balance this team.

Unfortunately, at Bell’s ADP of 8th overall, there are too many red flags to take him as my first pick.

Would rather have: Davante Adams, WR, Packers; David Johnson, RB, Cardinals; Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals.

Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants: Despite being the No. 2 running back last year behind the Rams’ Todd Gurley, Barkley should not be looked at as the first player taken off the board. There are a handful of players that should be considered over Barkley in the early-to-mid first round, including DeAndre Hopkins and Melvin Gordon (assuming he reports to training camp).

Yes, Barkley had more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage last year. What is holding back Barkley this year is that he is the first piece to the Giants’ rebuilding their team after agreeing to a surprise trade to send superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland.

Barkley was part of a dreadful team last year. While Beckham Jr. finished as a WR2, quarterback Eli Manning was only good for the 25th QBR rating in the NFL. Beckham is gone this year, and teams have less to fear from Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard.

Shepard has never gone over 1,000 yards in a season and has seen the end zone 14 times in three seasons. Tate looks out of place in New York, duplicating much of what Shepard does well. Add in that quarterback play likely will be an issue with Manning or rookie Daniel Jones, and it is all too real that Barkley will be a fringe RB1 when the season ends just because of the team’s offensive woes as a whole.

Barkley’s health also may be in danger more so than other top picks as his in-season longevity becomes a concern if the Giants rely so heavily on him.

Barkley’s upside is obvious, and it certainly is as high as being the top running back, but it might be safer to wait another season to see how the Giants pan out before drafting Barkley with your No. 1 overall pick.

Would rather have: Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Cowboys; Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers; Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints.

Prior to the fantasy draft season, I accept the fact that I may be wrong about these players, but I cut my losses and move on. I encourage any reader to disagree with me and possibly make a list of players they are OK with skipping this year. It is better to feel confident in your first couple of picks than to try and compensate for that lack of confidence later in the draft.

Dakota Vanderhoef is a life-long Eagles fan from Reno, Nevada. His new Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Draft Details

Select these quarterbacks if your league chases other positions deep into your draft

Overlooked stars can produce QB1 numbers at a low cost

By Nate Georgy, Fantasy Football Observer

Quarterback is probably the most important position in all of sports, but in fantasy football, it can be almost an afterthought. Many fantasy owners do not do enough research on the differences between the passers, and the late-round QB strategy is one of the most common ways to select players.

As with any position, though, it is essential to recognize value, and find out which players can be bargains this season. Here are four quarterbacks that are not being drafted as high as they should be.

*Note: all average draft positions discussed are according to FantasyPros ADP consensus of multiple platforms. Points per Game stats are from Rotowire.

Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers: How can you even begin to talk about undervalued quarterbacks without starting with Mr. Value himself, Philip Rivers. Rivers has been the model of consistency, finishing as a QB1 for eight of the last 10 seasons, averaging more than 21 FPPG in all but one of those seasons and without missing a single start. Fantasy football players are drafting Rivers as the QB14, according to Fantasy Pros, which is far too low.

Rivers is coming off a season where he threw for 4,308 yards and 32 touchdowns, and he is primed for another big year at the helm of one of the best offenses in the league. Rivers has a multitude of weapons, arguably the best supporting cast of his career. Keenan Allen has been one of the league’s best receivers over the last few years and the return of tight end Hunter Henry solidifies that spot. Second-year WR Mike Williams gives Rivers a monster red zone threat and should see more targets after the departure of Tyrell Williams.

Melvin Gordon, one of the best dual-threat running backs in the NFL, only adds to the riches, if he and the team can agree on a contract. Gordon’s agent stated this week that Gordon wants a deal near the top of the position or he will hold out of training camp.

Rivers provides value year after year because he is not that “sexy” pick who could finish as a top-3 QB, but he is a rock-solid weekly starter and provides stability at the position. He is almost penciled in to finish top-12. Draft Rivers in your league and you will not be disappointed, just like the last 10 years.

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings: Last season for Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings was a strange one. In his first season in town, Cousins finished as the QB13, a fringe QB1 while averaging just over 22 FPPG, while accumulating 4,298 passing yards and 31 total TDs. Despite this finish, Cousins is surprisingly going off draft boards this summer as the QB23.

One of the biggest influences on a player’s ADP is how he finished the prior season. If the player finished the final few games on a roll, his ADP is probably a lot higher than it should be. He is often drafted lower than he should if he finishes in a slump, which is exactly what Cousins did. Over the last five weeks of the season, Cousins finished outside the top 20 at QB three times, including ending a week as QB28 and another as QB25.

This weak finish to his first year in Minnesota left a sour taste for many this upcoming season. When you factor in the Vikings saying they want to run the ball more, it’s clear why fantasy owners are hesitant on drafting Cousins.

Do not be deterred from Cousins’ final few games. Despite his finish, he still was a QB1 half of the time and has an impressive track record dating back four years. In 2017, Cousins finished as the 6th-ranked QB, in 2016 he was even better at 5th, and in 2015, his first year as a full-time starter, he finished 8th, all while not missing a single start over that span.

Cousins has almost no chance of losing his job and has a great supporting cast around him in top WRs Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen.

Cousins’ ADP as QB23 is a tremendous value on another very safe bet to outperform his cost.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: How is Aaron Rodgers undervalued? Rodgers’ current ADP has him sitting as the fourth quarterback off the board behind Patrick Mahomes, Andrew Luck, and Deshaun Watson. However, do not be surprised if Rodgers finishes as the QB1 this season.

Over his last eight healthy seasons, Rodgers has finished as QB1 or QB2 in six of those years. The only reason last season was not one of those years once again was that his touchdown percentage was the lowest of his career, at 4.2%, significantly below his career mark of 6.2%. If he hit his career average last season, Rodgers would have had thrown 12 more touchdowns and finished as the QB2 once again.

I am a big late-round QB strategy advocate, but if you can get Rodgers at a low draft cost, make the easy choice and add his name to your roster, as he has a legitimate shot at finishing as the top dog this season.

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers: Newton has been one of the greatest fantasy quarterbacks of recent memory, but this season he is being drafted as the QB9, mainly because of his shoulder injury from last season.

If Newton stays healthy this season, and that injury is behind him (reports say he is a full-go for training camp), then he will once again finish as a top-five QB. In the five seasons where Newton has played 16 games, he finished no lower than the QB4.

Newton provides enormous value with his rushing ability, where you can mark him down for 500 or more yards and five TDs, giving him a very safe floor from week to week. He also has plenty of choices to throw to this season, led by 100-reception running back Christian McCaffrey and two very young and talented WRs in D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel, along with old-reliable tight end Greg Olsen.

If Newton starts to slip in your drafts, do not be afraid to grab him. He can perform with the best quarterbacks in the game, and thanks to his rushing stats, his down weeks do not get as ugly as many others.

Honorable Mention

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals: You likely won’t need to or even want to draft Dalton, but do not be afraid to throw him on your watch list or pick him up early in the season and stream him regularly. New head coach Zac Taylor brings many reasons for optimism in Cincinnati, and with the fantastic targets Dalton has to throw to, he could be a viable starter if you are stacked at the other positions or your quarterback gets injured.

Nate Georgy is a die-hard Patriots fan from New England who loves evaluating player talent and the analytical side of fantasy football. He prefers re-draft and keeper leagues because drafting is the most fun part of Fantasy. Follow Nate on twitter @KingN8G.

Draft Details, Dynasty

These late-round running backs can contribute if given the chance

Backup fantasy football rushers to draft with your final picks

By Caleb Barnette, Fantasy Football Observer

As the final rounds of a start-up draft wind down, it can be difficult to find players who have value and can contribute to a fantasy team. Backup running backs can provide a high return on investment and are one of the best ways to fill out the last few spots on your roster. For a variety of reasons, running backs miss time, and when they do, their backups usually get similar opportunity shares, becoming predictable producers in a lineup.

As setting optimal lineups is one of the most essential aspects in winning fantasy leagues, being able to project an accurate workload is critical. Backup running backs in decent situations can provide clarity on their projected workload and fantasy points.

It is important to identify targets that can be had for relatively cheap prices going into a start-up or season-long draft, and a plan to target them with the last several picks. The backs below are inexpensive but have significant upside because of their situations.

Embed from Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs’ Carlos Hyde: Hyde is washed up, right? Not so fast. Although he didn’t look great in Jacksonville after being traded from Cleveland, he still may have some juice left in the tank. Hyde is backing up one of the riskiest bets at running back, Damien Williams, who currently just happens to be in one of the best situations in all of football.

Williams has played in the NFL for five seasons and never attempted more than 50 rushes. (Hyde has done it five times). While that seems likely to change this year, will Williams succeed with the added workload? Before last year with the Chiefs, where he ran for 5.1 yards per carry, Williams’ career average was less than 3.6 YPC. Hyde’s career average per carry is 4.0. Williams, however, has been more productive as a receiver, a large part of the Kansas City offense.

But simply put, the Chiefs starting running back is going to produce as their offense spreads the ball around and prevents defenses from loading the box. With Patrick Mahomes passing to Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Co., the running back will have room to roam. If Williams fails to reach expectations or gets injured, Hyde, currently being drafted in the 10th round, will be in a prime spot to produce at an RB2 level or higher.

New York Jets’ Elijah McGuire: McGuire won the starting job for the Jets towards the end of last season and was looking to be a real talent in the receiving game, averaging 10.2 yards per reception.

Unfortunately for McGuire, the team added Le’ Veon Bell as a free agent, who obviously projects to be the starter and bellcow. That may not kill as much of McGuire’s value as what is being circulated right now, however.

Bell will obviously command a vast portion of that opportunity share when active, but for one reason or another, Bell often misses large parts of seasons. In the six years since Bell entered the league, he has played a full season only once and been active for only 62 games out of a possible 96 (65%). Although 16 of those were due to the holdout out last season in Pittsburgh, Bell still typically misses a lot of time because of injuries or suspensions.

Another reason to invest in McGuire involves Jets head coach Adam Gase. Gase has a history of not playing people he isn’t happy with, and reports have already come out this spring he would have preferred not to sign Bell. Bell has a reputation as a bit of a “knucklehead,” and if anyone is likely to get on Gase’s wrong side, my money is on Bell.

In whatever way it happens, Bell may not play the full 16 games. If that is the case, look for McGuire to take over the starter’s role and get some solid, predictable production.

New York Giants’ Rod Smith: I know Smith isn’t pretty, but when it comes down to the final pick or two of a draft, don’t look past him so quickly. Choosing Smith is all about the situation and the guy in front of him, as with the other two backs.

Star second-year back Saquon Barkley is clearly an elite talent at the position and has shown no signs of slowing down from last year, but his usage was insane in his first year. 352 touches in a rookie season is a huge workload, and considering how much Penn State used him (a high of 272 carries as a sophomore and 217 more as a junior), injuries may start to be a concern.

With his size and speed, Barkley is a freak athlete. But that’s also the case with another star running back from NFL history. Although Bo Jackson was faster for his size, he may be an excellent comparison to Barkley, and Jackson’s career was unfortunately cut short due to injuries.

If Barkley gets dinged up this season or the Giants decide to use him less in what may be a down year, Barkley’s backup will have value. Smith is competing with Paul Perkins and Wayne Gallman as well, but Gallman has had negative reports (via Rotoworld and nj.com) about his ability to catch the ball in minicamp. Smith is cheaper as well and therefore a perfect final-round draft choice.

Caleb Barnette is a Dolphins fan and Liverpool diehard who loves the analytical side of fantasy football. Most of his dynasty football advice will come through statistics and data analysis. Follow Barnette on Twitter at _CalebBarnette.

Draft Details

Three underappreciated players add late value

Eagles’ Wentz is completely healthy and primed for big season

By Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer contributor

Building a fantasy team is similar to creating an actual roster. You must invest high capital in players who will become cornerstones of your team while also finding stars at a great value. Anyone can draft an Ezekiel Elliot or a DeAndre Hopkins in the first round but to truly dominate your league you must be savvy in the later rounds. Here are three players who are currently undervalued and why you should consider them if they fall too far in your drafts. Rankings and stats are based on half-point per reception leagues.

Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz: In 2017, despite only playing 13 games, Wentz’s efficiency landed him the QB4 spot. The next player on this list with 13 games or fewer was Josh McCown at QB19. In 2018, after returning from his torn ACL, Wentz finished as the QB23 in 11 games. Why was he so much better in 2017 than in 2018 with a similar number of games played?

In 2017, the Eagles acquired veteran wide receiver Torrey Smith. Smith averaged more than 15 yards per reception (YPR) before signing with the Eagles. Although his production wasn’t as significant in Philadelphia (36/430/11.94 YRP), he was still one of the league’s best burners. When a defense is forced to guard against the deep ball, it allows the offense to open up a little more. Players such as tight end Zach Ertz and wide receiver Nelson Agholor feasted over the middle with short and intermediate routes. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery also got less attention from safeties, allowing him to make some big plays of his own.

After the 2017 season, Smith departed the Eagles for the Carolina Panthers. The Eagles attempted to replace Smith with another veteran, Mike Wallace. Unfortunately, Wallace broke his leg in the second game of the season, and Wentz was left with no reliable deep threat. A weak running back group and other injuries also hurt the Eagles.

This season, Philadelphia has added yet another veteran speed receiver. DeSean Jackson returns to the City of Brotherly Love, where his career started. His career average is 17.4 YPR, and he has had five seasons with more than 1,000 yards receiving, three of which came with the Eagles. Expect Wentz to target D-Jax deep this year, opening up the offense similar to what we saw in 2017. Additionally, the Eagles have beefed up their running back room with the additions of former Chicago Bear Jordan Howard and rookie Miles Sanders.

Health is a big concern for people targeting Wentz in redraft leagues. Last year, Wentz rushed to get back on the field, and it showed. You could tell he didn’t fully trust his knee, and he kept his brace on during practice and games. Ultimately, Wentz sat out the end of last season as well.

All reports state that Wentz is 100% this summer. The Eagles showed that they are fully committed to Wentz by giving him a 4-year extension and allowing top backup Nick Foles to sign with Jacksonville. According to the FantasyPro.com Half PPR average draft consensus, Wentz is being drafted as the QB10 at pick 98, or early in the 9th round. If you are an owner who likes to draft quarterbacks early, you should consider waiting for Wentz. Although the 8th or 9th round may still be early for some, a healthy Wentz has proven to be worth it.

Cincinnati Bengals WR Tyler Boyd: Originally I had another Tyler here in Tyler Lockett. I still believe Tyler Lockett is an exceptional value with real WR1 upside. However, Boyd is being drafted up to two rounds later than Lockett, who is currently drafted near the end of the fifth round. Last year, in half PPR, only ten points (and Odell Beckham Jr.) separated Lockett and Boyd. While he was his most potent while sharing the field with A.J. Green, Boyd finished with more games, had more yards receiving and caught more touchdowns than his veteran teammate. Boyd may have had the quietest 1,000-yard season of any wide receiver last year.

For his value, Boyd is amazingly consistent. He logged over 100 yards receiving in three games and in another three games he was 15 yards or less from 100 yards. His seven touchdowns were spread throughout the year as well.

Two things are weighing down Boyd’s average draft position. Well, make that two people. Andy Dalton is no world beater when it comes to quarterbacks and Green has been dinged up recently. Because Boyd was most productive when Green was on the field, it’s good to see that Green is on track to being healthy at the start of the year.

Expect Boyd to have similar, if not better, fantasy production as he did last year. Boyd’s FantasyPros’ consensus ADP for half PPR is 66 overall (WR27) despite finishing 2018 as WR16. Boyd can add depth to your wide receivers while being an extreme value. It would be wise to target Boyd as your flex or WR3 in redraft leagues.

New England Patriots RB James White: It seems that every year people forget about White. Last year he was largely undrafted or considered a late-round flyer. His ADP has risen since last year, but not to the level that he deserves. White always has been able to carve out an important role for New England no matter who he shares playing time with because he is so valuable as a receiver out of the backfield.

Last year, White caught 87 of 123 targets for 751 yards and seven touchdowns. Additionally, he averaged 4.5 yards per carry for 425 rushing yards and five touchdowns, combining for 1,176 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Right now there is a lot of hype surrounding starter Sony Michel because of his big games in the playoffs and in Super Bowl LIII (two 100-yard games and six total touchdowns). Although White took a back seat to Michel, one thing that Michel did not do was catch the ball (one reception for nine yards in the playoffs), which is where White excels.

White finished as the RB8 last season, outscoring players such as Joe Mixon, David Johnson, and Kareem Hunt. White currently is being drafted seven running backs behind Michel at RB28.

Although Michel may cut into White’s rushing attempts this season, it is clear that White will remain the receiving back for the Patriots. Expect White to be a reliable RB2 with the potential to finish as an RB1 again. To have that kind of potential and have a consensus ADP of 61 makes White one of, if not the, best values in 2019 redraft leagues.

Dakota Vanderhoef is a life-long Eagles fan from Anchorage, Alaska. His new Twitter account is @DaktaVanderhoef because missing the “o” in Dakota is better than missing the “f” in Vanderhoef.

Podcasts

Second podcast goes in-depth on sophomore players to know before your drafts

Don’t reach for overhyped rookies ahead of production

By Stefan Arnold, The Fantasy Football Observer

In our second podcast, the 100-Yard Coverage Fantasy Football Podcast, dynasty writer Caleb Barnette and I talk about second-year players that you should be ready to select if they fall too far in your drafts.

Caleb agrees with my love for the Miami Dolphins’ Kalen Ballage and Seattle running back Rashaad Penny. He doesn’t feel the same way about Tampa Bay’s Ronald Jones or Atlanta’s Ito Smith.

We talk about all four players, and the possibilities for playing time and competition. We also compare them to more established players and players close to their ADP.

Our main podcast page is on Anchor, here. You can also find the podcast on your favorite podcast app. More are being added every week. Search “100-Yard Coverage Fantasy Football Podcast.”

Have a listen and let us know which players you like or don’t like.

You can also read the full article about many more sophomores at each position here.