Week 15
December 18, 2017
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Ted Ginn Jr

New Orleans Saints

Must Be Smokin' Snead


Per source with knowledge of the situation, Saints WR Ted Ginn Jr won't play today and will be ruled inactive. Expect WRs TommyLee Lewis and Willie Snead to play a bigger role.

Fantasy Goo: Snead has seen a huge uptick in first team practice snaps this week, he’s been a huge disappointment this season after a break-out year last season. I would not stream Snead for your playoff match-up, the offense is powerful, but unpredictable. Lewis and Brandon Coleman could vulture targets and TD’s at any moment.


12/17/17, 08:59 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Jay Ajayi

Philadelphia Eagles

QB Downgrade Equals RB Upgrade


Ajayi can do more than he has since the Eagles acquired him from the Dolphins on Halloween. And with quarterback Carson Wentz done for the season and Nick Foles tossed into the cauldron, the Eagles will likely need additional carries from the 24-year-old tailback if they are to stoke their chances of securing home field throughout the playoffs.

Fantasy Goo: Ajayi could shred the Giants if he gets the touches, but he hasn’t scored a TD since his 46-yarder against the Bronco’s in his first game with the Eagles. It’s not like the other Eagles backs have been producing TD’s either, Wentz had been that dominant. I have no doubt they will lean on the running game this week, I’m high on Ajayi.


12/16/17, 03:18 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: www.philly.com


Jermaine Gresham

Arizona Cardinals

Ricky Business


The AZ Cardinals have downgraded TE Jermaine Gresham (illness) to OUT for Sunday’s game against Washington.

Fantasy Goo: Seals-Jones is a desperate move if you’re in the semi-finals of your playoffs, he’s only a streaming option if you’ve been streaming all year. He’s had a couple of big games, but there’s no floor. He could end up with 10 targets or he could end up with none.


12/16/17, 03:15 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Giovani Bernard

Cincinnati Bengals

Flying Solo


Joe Mixon did not pass concussion protocol and will not play Sunday against the Vikings.

Fantasy Goo: Bernard will see a solid workload, but it’s going to take a big play for him to have any real fantasy value. Minnesota did give up that big play to Jonathan Stewart last week, but I don’t see that happening again.


12/16/17, 03:12 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Devonta Freeman

Atlanta Falcons

Bell-Cow Workload


Falcons running back Tevin Coleman, who’s in the NFL concussion protocol, was declared out of the Tampa Bay game on Saturday by coach Dan Quinn.

Fantasy Goo: Tampa has been solid against the run at home, but a complete sieve on the road. They are at home this week, but they haven’t faced a RB like Freeman at home this year. Freeman has traditionally been a better performer at home, but I have no doubt he’ll put up RB1 numbers with action in the passing game.


12/16/17, 03:10 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: www.myajc.com


Dion Sims

Chicago Bears

Honorable Mention


Bears TE Adam Shaheen (chest), who is listed as questionable against the Lions, is not expected to play, source said. Chicago goes in a little short-handed.

Fantasy Goo: I like Sims as a streamer if you’re desperate, he always seems to put up numbers when he’s the only option. I rarely start a streamer in the early set of games, there will be safer options tomorrow.


12/16/17, 03:06 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Stefon Diggs

Minnesota Vikings

Diggin' It and Thielen It


The Vikings have played five out of their last six games on the road. They return home this week to face a banged-up Bengals defense and Kyle Rudolph is out. Stefon Diggs has played in four home games this year. He has hit 27.7 and 40.3 on DK in two of them.

Fantasy Goo: Diggs has never played a game without Rudolph in the line-up, so we don’t really know how this will affect his targets. Cincinnati has been without both starting CB’s, but may get Dre Kirkpatrick back this week. I have Diggs as a WR2/Flex this week with Thielen being a solid WR1, must start.


12/15/17, 05:20 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Robert Woods

Los Angeles Rams

Back in Action


Seahawks Weeks 1-9 (With Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman)
Passing success rate allowed: 2nd
Explosive pass rate allowed:19th
Weeks 11-14 (Without Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman)
Passing success rate allowed: 22nd
Explosive pass rate allowed: 24th

Fantasy Goo: Robert Woods comes back this week, so I’m moving Watkins way down. Watkins production went up about 70% across the board with Woods out. Kupp’s production went up with Woods out as well, but even with Woods in the line-up he was second on the team in targets. Woods might need to knock some rust off after being out for three weeks so I have Woods and Kupp in the WR3/Flex range, and feel safe with starting either one.


12/15/17, 05:17 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Leonard Fournette

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jag's Starting JAG's


Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette missed his third straight day of practice today due to his quad injury. No practice all week.

Fantasy Goo: I expect Yeldon and Ivory to split the touches if Fournette doesn’t play, neither seems to be worth starting, but Houston has given up five rushing TD’s in the past three games (one to a QB).


12/15/17, 05:14 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Jordan Howard

Chicago Bears

Here Comes the BOOM!


Detroit is allowing 3.4 offensive touchdowns per game over the past five weeks, the most in the league, they have also allowed a rushing touchdown in eight straight games. Jordan Howard is tied for the most runs of 10 or more yards (30) on the season. Howard has had 12 100-yard rushing games in his first two seasons and he wasn’t even the starter the first four games last year.

Fantasy Goo: Howard is really boom-bust, he has yet to pair together fantasy RB1 weeks this year. He had a huge game last week and his match-up this week is just too sweet to think that he won’t be able to break this trend.


12/15/17, 05:12 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: www.rotoworld.com


Zach Ertz

Philadelphia Eagles

In the Clear


Zach Ertz has cleared the concussion protocol and will play this week.

He’s pretty much ranked as the number three TE across the industry, but I think he lacks the boom upside we might think he has against the Giants. His production with Foles, back in 2013, was only slightly lower than his production this year. In the first nine games the Giants gave up a TD to a TE in every game. In the last four games the Giants have only given up one, to Jason Witten, who has historically torched the Giants, it was his only catch of the game. They even managed to keep Kelce out of the end-zone, I believe a couple of OPI’s were involved there and Kelce did get 109 yards receiving though. I believe Ertz is a prime candidate for 5/50/1, but I don’t expect him to win you your week or be worth paying up for in DFS.


12/15/17, 05:11 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Nick Foles

Philadelphia Eagles

Not Skipping a Beat


Carson Wentz is out for the season, and maybe some of Next season with a torn ACL. Over their first 24 games Foles has more TD’s, fewer INT’s, and more yards that Wentz has in his first 24 games. Foles was a Pro Bowler who threw 27 TD & 2 INT with the Eagles in 2013. The last time Nick Foles faced the Raiders, he threw for 7 TDs.

Fantasy Goo: I’m not saying there won’t be an adjustment period and I’m not trying to say the Eagles are better-off without Wentz, but Foles is a very capable back-up and if he can stir-up that 2013 magic the Eagles should be fine. Normally I’d say wait a week before starting Foles or any of the skill position players on the Eagles, but with it being week 15 and the match-up being a weak Giants defense, I’m starting them all as you usually would.


12/13/17, 03:59 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Lamar Miller

Houston Texans

Miller a Solid Cash Play on DFS


Miller will face the 49'ers, who according to Football Outsiders ranks 30th in Defensive DVOA.

Fantasy Goo: In the last 3 weeks, Miller is 6th in total carries. In cash games, you want opportunity. Considering the 49'ers run one of the fastest paced offenses in the league, his carries, already in the top 10 in recent weeks, should see an increase.


12/10/17, 11:14 AM CST by PyromaniacMo

Source: www.footballoutsiders.com


Giovani Bernard

Cincinnati Bengals

Gio Free Square


Gio is gets the starting role today as there as Mixon is out.

Fantasy Goo: The man is only $3100 on Draft Kings. The Baengals are home and 6 point favorites. The game script could easily favor the ground game, which means Gio should get plenty of touches to surpass 3X value.


12/10/17, 10:57 AM CST by PyromaniacMo

Source: www.pyromaniac.com


Zach Ertz

Philadelphia Eagles

Still in Concussion Protocol


Eagles still want to look at TE Zach Ertz and his concussion on Sunday, but he is considered doubtful for game vs. Rams even though he is listed as questionable.

Fantasy Goo: Trey Burton has been a big name all week, going for 4 receptions for 42 yards after Ertz’s exit last week. Burton is a versatile athlete, but not a premier TE like Ertz. His good numbers came against Denver which is giving up the second most points to the TE position this year. Philly faces the Rams this week who are sixth best in fantasy points allowed. I'm not considering Burton a good stream this week.


12/10/17, 10:19 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Ameer Abdullah

Detroit Lions

Pain in the Neck


Detroit Lions RB Ameer Abdullah (neck, questionable) is not expected to play today, source said, though it's more for play than injury reasons. Detroit is trying other players to improve the run game.

Fantasy Goo: This isn’t surprising given Abdullah’s disappointing performances over the past year and more.
Tion Green led the team with 51 rushing yards in his debut last week, and figures to be the Lions' ball-carrier Sunday in Tampa. Pass-catcher Theo Riddick will see reps as well and I expect that he has a safer floor especially in PPR.


12/10/17, 10:05 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Chris Hogan

New England Patriots

Primed for Monday Return


Hogan has been out the past four weeks and has basically caused me a playoff berth in one of my dynasty leagues. If you’re still in it I’d get him into the line-up. With Gronk out Hogan should see a solid number of targets.


12/10/17, 10:03 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Amari Cooper

Oakland Raiders

It's A Trap


Source says, if Cooper can cut at full speed and start and stop in pregame workout, they will use him on a limited basis or “pitch count.” Calls it a “very dramatic turnaround” from what team was expecting 48 hours ago.

Fantasy Goo: Total decoy move, I’m not starting him even if he is healthy enough to play. Cooper went for 11/210/2 when he faced the Chiefs in Week 7, so it is tempting to put him in, but you’ve got to figure that the Raiders want him in there just so the Chiefs have to play coverage his way and leave Crabtree in single coverage.


12/10/17, 10:01 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Todd Gurley

Los Angeles Rams

Lower Expectations This Week


Todd Gurley has just 1 TD over his last four games, but still has finished as RB6, RB16, RB8, and RB7 in those games. The TD came in the RB16 week. Insane usage AND efficiency from Gurley.

Fantasy Goo: He’s been the most consistent RB1 for the entire season, which is a nice turn-around from a disappointing 2016. He faces the Eagles this week who are second-best in fantasy points allowed to the RB position this year. I think we have to start him, but expectations must be lowered. He’s a fade in DFS this week.


12/09/17, 12:58 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Josh Gordon

Cleveland Browns

Balls Flying Everywhere


Per @rotounderworld, 70% of DeShone Kizer's pass attempts have been catchable balls, the third-lowest rate among quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts this season. Winds expected near 20 mph in Cleveland this week.

Fantasy Goo: I would not consider starting Kizer at any point this year, but the key question here is will he be able to get the ball anywhere near Josh Gordon. He was only able to catch 4 of the 11 balls thrown in his direction last week, but he was going against one of the top corners in the league. He was still able to rack up 85 yards, and had over 200 air-yards, so we can be confident the opportunity will be there. If I had him anywhere I would most likely start him and will probably have him ranked as a mid-range WR2.


12/09/17, 12:53 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Tyreek hill is the cover for X-Factors, Sleepers, Busts and Fades for fantasy football in 2017

X-Factor, Sleepers, Busts & Fade (Pyro Collaborative March 19th, 2017)

Posted by d-Rx on 03/19/17

by   The Archer


@TheArcher


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The Hartbeat

 

X-Factor:  John Brown

One of the biggest disappointment of the 2016 fantasy season was the Arizona Cardinals wide receiving core. Let’s hone in on John “Smoke” Brown. Smoke produced a 1,000 yard season in just his second year as a pro and everyone was ready for John Brown to make the next step as a third year breakout. Smoke was even receiving player comps to Antonio Brown, as they have very similar body types and conceptually type of play. Unfortunately, John Brown was diagnosed with the sickle-cell trait which has a wide range of impacts on players including causing a college football player at Chadron State College to die after collapsing during practice. Now that the Cardinals are aware of this condition and can manage Brown in that perspective, I expect Brown to bust back on to the scene and realize his breakout potential. Larry Fitzgerald will return for the 2017 campaign as will Carson Palmer. Fitz will be 34 years old by the time the season starts, and we have seen how his spectacular career has slowed him down as the past two seasons have worn on. Look for the Cardinals to depend on Fitz out of the gate, but once he starts to slow down again John Brown should be able to jump right in and allow the Cardinals offense to continue producing. Expect John Brown to get back into WR2/Flex territory, while he will be drafted around WR50. Taking this great value on John Brown will make him your 2017 X-factor and propel you into the fantasy playoffs.

 

Sleeper:  Ameer Abdullah 

Ameer Abdullah has been one of the most disappointing fantasy running backs over the last couple seasons. He was famously marked by the Arizona Cardinals for their second round draft pick in Amazon’s ‘All Or Nothing’, when the Lions traded up and nabbed him right before the Cardinals pick. That worked out pretty well for the Cardinals who absolutely stole David Johnson in the following round. Then Ameer enamored the fantasy community when he put the entire Jets defense on skates and shot up to the 4th or 5th round ADP for that season. He left fantasy owners with a salty taste in their mouth after a disappointing sub 600 yard 2TD rushing season. He then came out of the gate fast in 2016 with a 120 scrimmage yards and a score in Week 1. The pursuant week Abdullah sustained a torn ligament in his foot, which put him on IR for the remainder of the season. Abdullah is now bordering the RB30 territory bordering players such as Frank Gore, Jamaal Charles and Matt Forte. The Lions are now looking to unveil Abdullah’s potential by buffing up their OL with Rick Wagner. This will pay huge dividends for Ameer and the Lions who have lacked a consistent running game for the last few years. Abdullah has the potential to be a solid RB2 on your fantasy team. With Abdullah falling down draft boards, he will punish the skeptical owners and be your 2017 sleeper of the year.

 

 

Bust: Rob Gronkowski

Gronk has the highest potential of any tight end in the league without a doubt. For this reason, he has perpetually been in the conversation for first round in fantasy drafts. It’s time for that to change, the fantasy community needs to see how volatile the entire position group is as a whole and properly project the tight end position. After a 2015 season where not only Gronk played 15 regular season games, but Jordan Reed the other supremely talented but perpetually injured tight end also played in 14 regular season and finished 1, 2 for all tight ends. Gronkowski is now rehabbing from a major back surgery, his 3rd on just his back and 9th major surgery since his Arizona Wildcat days. Enough is enough, Gronk isn’t getting any younger and he may never return to the same form. Expect Gronk to be brought back into action very slowly, such as he was in 2013 after his broken forearm (yeah on a field goal versus the Jets) where he only appeared in 7 games, recorded 39 catches and 4 scores. If Gronk is healthy he is the best tight end in the league bar none. Unfortunately, the operative word is “if” and the Patriots have shown that even when healthy they will conservatively work him into the game plan. We need to view Gronk as a high potential guy, but expect 8 games a season from him, rather than 15. Because he will not produce the first or second round value that will be placed on him again, Rob Gronkowski will be the bust of the year in 2017.

 

Fade:  Jay Ajayi

Jay Ajayi busted onto the scene in 2016 after being a Week 1 healthy scratch due to character issues. Ajayi then become fantasy football’s biggest surprise Week 6 and 7 where he became the first player in NFL history to record consecutive 200 yard rushing performances. He rewarded fantasy owners as one of the biggest free agent pickups of the year surpassing 1,200 yards and 8 touchdowns on the season. Ajayi is currently going as a top 10 RB and people need to pump the breaks on him. For starters the Dolphins lost Brandon Albert who held down their left tackle position on an offensive line that ended the season as the 30th in the league. In 2011 Ajayi sustained an injury that severely impacted his meniscus and ACL it has been speculated that it effectively created a bone-on-bone situation. In the fantasy community we are very aware of this injury as it caused Jamaal Charles to require a micro-fracture surgery which caused him to miss practically all of the 2016 season after being cleared by the medical staff. When second and third round picks roll around in August it will be tempting to take Ajayi after his breakout season in Adam Gase’s system, but this buyer beware means fade Ajayi off your teams in 2017.

 

 

Houdini

 

X-Factor: Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz did not set the fantasy world on fire, which is why his current ADP is toward the end of the 13th round in a 12-team league. There is reason to be optimistic heading into his sophomore campaign. Wentz has a full season under his belt, and that comfort will allow Doug Pederson to open up the offense for Carson to do a lot more this year. The front office is also investing in the offense signing Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith to the receiving corps, and giving Wentz a true #1 wide out at the same time. Carson is going to have to do more as well, as Ryan Mathews may not be on the team for long, which would just leave Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner for depth at running back. The Eagles will go as far as Wentz can take them, and now with true weapons in the offense I expect major improvement. His value will far outweigh his ADP.

 

Sleeper: Paul Perkins

Paul Perkins saw a big uptick in his usage over the final quarter of the 2016 season. He saw an average of 15.5 carries per game over that span, and saw his rushing number improve each week: 45, 56, 68 and 102 yards. Perkins did not score a touchdown last season, but he will have a chance to score some this year. The Giants let Rashad Jennings go, and now it is Perkins backfield, with Shane Vereen as the change of pace back. Paul will get extra protection from an improved passing attack with the addition of Brandon Marshall to OBJ and Sterling Shepard that will prevent defenses from stacking the box against him. Perkins has big play ability, and with the amount of touches he should see this year (200-225) he will have a great chance to do a lot of damage. Shane Vereen and Orleans Darkwa make me feel very confident in his touch projection, although I would not be surprised if the Giants draft another running back. The current price tag on him is a mid 8th round pick in a 12-team league, which is a no brianer to me.

 

Bust: LeSean McCoy

LeSean McCoy had a huge bounce back year in 2016, rushing 234 times for 1,267 yards with 13 rushing touchdowns. Shady also caught 50 of 57 targets for 356 yards with another touchdown. The first and biggest concern for me is the touchdown dependency that drove his numbers last season. His yardage was great, but his 14 touchdowns were so vital to his success, but he has only scored more than 10 touchdowns in a season three times in his career. In the two years leading up to last season McCoy only totaled 10 touchdowns. The second concern for me is age; as he is entering his ninth season and has a lot of wear on his tires. When running backs careers come to an end, they come hard and fast, and I would rather not be holding that running back when he does. The current price to get Shady is the 7th overall selection, and I see a lot more remorse with that price tag.

 

Fade: Carlos Hyde

I do not understand where all the love constantly comes for Carlos Hyde. In his first three seasons in the league Carlos has never played in all 16 games. He has never had 1,000 yards rushing, with his 988 yards in 2016 being his career high. Hyde has also never been a major touchdown threat with only 13 career touchdowns, and his best season was 2016 with six scores. Carlos is also not a threat as a receiver with a total of 50 receptions for 284 yards with three scores in his career. Then you think about the team he has around him: Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley fighting it out at quarterback, with Pierre Garcon, Jeremy Kerley, Marquise Goodwin at wide receiver. This is going to be an offense that is playing from behind in just about every game. That is why there is no way in hell I am going anywhere near him and his current ADP of 21st overall.

 

 

Waz

  

X-Factor: Robby Anderson

Last year, when I told people that “Robby Anderson Could Be A Thing,” I stated, “there’s no doubt in my mind that Robby Anderson’s name will find itself in the relevant wide receiver discussion no more than two-to-three years from now.” Well, Anderson jump-started his path towards dynasty relevancy last year when he received 718 snaps and an average of 5.79 looks per game which translated to 1.44 points per look in PPR scoring formats. Now that Brandon Marshall upgraded his NY Football team, the consensus will predictably flock to height-adjusted speed score sweetheart, Quincy Enunwa, as the NY Jets WR2. Although, if you’re looking to receive a more rewarding return on investment, and/or just outright prefer to draft the (in my opinion) better wide receiver, Robby Anderson is your guy.

 

Sleeper: DeSean Jackson

When DeSean Jackson received a 3-year, $35M deal from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I think the Fantasy Football community thought the same thing; what a perfect landing spot. Now, it’s a bit silly to consider Jackson a sleeper when everyone believes his situation to be incredibly favorable, but I have a strong feeling that his ADP will never reach the level of overvaluation. Mike Evans led the NFL last season with a team target share of 29.53%, showing that the Buccaneers are desperate for#2. Adam Humphries held his own and Cameron Brate showed great effectiveness in the red zone, but they aren’t near the talent that DeSean Jackson is. According to FantasyFootballCalculator.com, since being signed by the Buccaneers, DeSean Jackson is being drafted in the 8th round after 36 other WRs. This price will undoubtedly rise, but I believe that Jackson will put up WR2 numbers. I do not expect his ADP to exceed the cost of a WR2 and therefore, the value is there for the taking; even more so now than later.

 

Bust: Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas fell into the perfect situation last season and he made the absolute most out of it. Drew Brees was able to pepper Thomas with targets while Brandin Cooks took the main coverage. As a result, the volume helped Thomas maintain WR1 output. Thomas did so well, that the Saints were cool with trading an elite talent like Brandin Cooks to the Patriots. Honestly, I think it was the worst move that the Saints could have made. I’ve been a bit weary of Thomas from day one so there is some bias with this take but if there’s one thing I’m confident about, it’s that he won’t thrive like he did his rookie season while taking the main coverage. Thomas is a good ball player and he showed us all of that, but I do not think he is elite enough to produce WR1 without Brandin Cooks in town. Willie Snead primed for a career year but Thomas will not give you the value that you’re going to pay for him, which is WR9. Pass on Thomas and focus on someone like Snead at WR48 nine rounds later.

 

Fade: Sammy Watkins

It seems like everyone has fancied the thought of fading Sammy Watkins. In between his Jones fracture surgeries off the field, and lackluster performance while on it, the consensus appears to be getting a bit tiresome of waiting for Watkins to showcase his elite skills. While the Bills kept Tyrod Taylor under center to maintain the tandem’s relationship, Watkins is still desperate for a true WR2 to allow him the chance to make more plays, yet the nagging foot injuries are what worry me the most. The entire world seems to be fading Watkins right now and he is going off the board as a back-end WR2, but don’t confuse that price with value. I do not believe the risk is worth it and I would rather draft Demaryius Thomas or Michael Crabtree, who at times, are going off the board after Watkins.

 

 

The Fantasy Whisperer

 

X-Factor: Martavus Bryant

Part I: I'll start out by saying that I think Bryant has all the tools to become an elite WR. If not this year then very soon, and I'm betting on the breakout in 2017.  We have two parts to Martavus; 1. His upside with no ceiling, 2. His continuous league suspensions. Let's first look at the dynamic abilities of "my boy" Martavus. In 2015 he went for 765 Yds receiving and 6 TD's (including an 88 Yd TD) on 50 receptions in only 11 games. Ding goes the lightbulb in your head, and who can forget his postseason game at Mile High Stadium; basically carrying the team on his shoulders with 9 receptions for 154 Yds, 40 Yds rushing and a 52 Yd scamper that kept this Steeler team alive against a dominating Broncos defense. Now, present day, old reliable Heath Miller has retired, Wheaton has been shipped out, and Pittsburgh has not brought in a #2WR. I'm seeing Bryant's ADP around 7th round and ranked 25-35 among receivers. We're talking about an electric Athlete alongside AB, with Big Ben at the trigger. A guy who holds a career 17.3 yds per catch and has hit pay dirt in 14 of his 21games!!

 

Part II: Let's talk about the need for Bryant to be reinstated. The word on the street is (with pictures to support onInstagram) that Bryant has used his time away from the game well and has a new found passion of both football and becoming a part of the 'Steeler Way'. Long gone are the Hermosa Beach party days in LA, you'll now find Bryant at home in Henderson, NV with his family and hungry work ethic. After 6 weeks of rehab under the care of John Lucas in Houston, Bryant is now clean of the green that landed him in trouble.  With the support of the team, Coach Tomlin, and with Leveon Bell as a role model, the opportunity is now his to own, assuming he is reinstated. In summary, the sky is the limit for this guy and I mean this season.  Bryant is 25 years old, injury free, has proven video game stats and will be playing in the Steelers firework offense. Grab him early in all leagues and enjoy the return.

 

 

Sleeper: Christian McCaffrey

I'll keep his incredible NCAA accolades short and sweet. In 2016, he averaged 6.3 yds/carry for over 1600 yds and 13 TD's. Add to that 37 receptions for 310 yds and 3 TD's, and well that wasn't even his best season going for an NCAA record 3,864 all purpose yards! He proceeded to destroy the recent NFL combine with a 4.48 40yd dash, and a 37.5" vertical leap. Some scouting reports I read tell the tale: Fast, Explosive, Excellent Vision, source of big plays with soft hands and ability to separate (hello David Johnson). There have been questions of his size at 5'11" 202 lbs, however watching Christian run between the tackles, setting up his blocks with patience and his 2nd gear speed will keep him strong enough to be a 3 down back with the right offense.  McCaffrey can play RB or Slot and will also provide return yds. Projected to go mid/late first round in the NFL draft, where he lands will be very important from a fantasy outlook. I would like to see him behind a solid offensive line for immediate success. Phi, Bal, GB, Minn, Car, are all teams that come to mind in need of a RB. You may know him as "Easy" Eddie McCaffreys son, a Bronco legend who became famous for his passion, grit and leadership during his Super Bowl years. I see Christian as a dynasty gem with Jamal Charles type potential, a "New England Guy" dedication with incredible athletic tools.  Take a chance and pick this stud in the late rounds of your draft.

 

 

Fade: Michael Crabtree

To keep it simple, Crabtree now at 30 yrs old has lost his athleticism of his early days. Despite that Crab had a career-high with 89 catches and reached over 1,000 yds for only the 2nd time in his 8 year career. Sounds like a good prospective WR, hold the horses here.  Crabtree also led the league in drops and has a dangerous and capable Amari Cooper to compete with. Looking at last year these guys ran almost identical stats, 89/1003/8 TD's for Crabtree and 83/1153/5 TD's for Cooper. I expect these numbers to sway towards Amari especially considering Coopers 0 Red zone TD's to Crabtree's 6 Red zone TD's. WR's have long memories and you can bet Amari will remind Carr of that fact. This stat will have to change, plain and simple. What we have here are two receivers moving in opposite directions as one gets older and the other gets better.  Crabtree only had 2 TD's over his last 9 games while battling a nagging ankle and injured pinky. Now let's look at his consistency: wk9, 27 yds, wk10, bye wk11, 5 yds, wk13, 74 yds wk14, 21 yds wk 15, 60 yds. Come on Crabtree! Not exactly the kind of numbers I look for in a WR1/WR2. I also think Michael's aggressive style brings out the best in the DB's covering him (see Richard Shermans remarks). In a nutshell, the ceiling has been reached, skills are trending down, and a pro bowl caliber receiver named Amari Cooper is just waiting for those Red Zone TD's. :)

 

 

Not Touching: Jordy Nelson

This should probably read "A WR1 that I'm not touching". Jordy quietly led the league with 14 TD's and was awarded NFL's comeback player of the year. All very impressive and believe me Jordy is one of my favorite guys in the league because of his determination. However, when selecting my #1 WR I'm looking for consistency and little to no injury risk. Consistency to me is not missing 4 games in 2012 to a hamstring injury, 3 games in 2009 to a knee injury and a full lost season of 2015 due to a torn ACL. Jordy is now 32 years old and has reached that mark where receivers tend to lose speed and explosiveness.  When looking at this GB offense, both Cobb and Adams have proven to be solid targets, and now we have newly acquired Marcellus Bennet in the mix. That's a lot of mouths to feed. This is tough for me to write, but fair I think to say that A.Bryant, Beckham, Julio, Evans, Green, Dez, Cooks, Hilton, Hopkins, and Cooper are all better prospective WR1's, pushing Jordy outside the top 10.

 

 

 

ØC

 

X-Factor: Bilial Powell

With only 131 carries last season for the Jets, Powell finished as the 23rd ranked running back in standard formats by total fantasy points. This number laughably compares to Matt Forte’s 87 more carries than Powell and only 14 more FF points to show for it. Powell is the younger and more agile back in his prime as he’s only 28 years old while Forte is pushing 32. Inexplicably, Forte will most likely be the starter come day one, but the real issue is the rest of the team. The Jets (unless free agency says otherwise) will start 2nd year QB Bryce Petty with the departure of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith. This screams a high volume rushing attack is on the horizon. Plus in PPR formats, Bilial had the fourth most receptions with 58 out of the backfield and we all know a young and inconsistent quarterback’s best friend is a pass catching RB. Also, New York wide outs now only include Eric Decker and Quincy Enunwa as Brandon Marshall jumped ship to that other New York team. The lone issue in Powell becoming a 2nd round fantasy draft value is Forte. New York needs to cut the cord if they’re going to find any semblance of success and if Todd Bowles wants to keep his job. In PPR formats, I have no qualms about grabbing Bilial in the 5th round (10 man league).

 

 

Sleeper: Malcolm Mitchell 

Malcolm Mitchell was very successful as the “3rd option” in the Patriots passing attack last season. Of course, this takes into account Gronk’s injury and the new addition of Brandin Cooks to the lineup. No matter, Mitchell is the tallest receiver the Pats have and totaled 400 receiving yards with four touchdowns as a rookie. Add in the fact he racked up 70 yards on six receptions in the Super Bowl and you have a breakout candidate who already proved himself in a big spot, on the best team in football. He will have to battle with Chris Hogan, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Dwayne Allen, the previously mentioned Brandin Cooks, and most of the agile running backs the Pats hoard in the backfield.  The fact remains, Tom Brady is the guy passing the rock and as long as Mitchell learns and follows the system, there will be plenty of opportunities to shine as a breakout fantasy receiver. In standard leagues, he is a great mid-range value (rounds 7-10) right behind Edelman and Cooks and can easily keep up in fantasy points with total touchdowns. He is a prime candidate in your later rounds, especially for keeper leagues.

 

 

Bust: Jordan Howard

Jordan Howard finished the 2016 NFL season with 1,313 rushing yards, 298 receiving yards and seven total touchdowns. It was 2016’s best performance by a Rookie and it landed him as the running back with the tenth most fantasy points on a per-game average. While I usually don’t put too much stock in a shining rookie season, I actually like Howard the way he runs. He didn’t total less than 77 rushing yards from Week 8-17 after the coaching staff decided to stop messing around and name Jordan as the every down starter. My issues come from the rest of the team. New quarterback Mike Glennon joins the fray as an actual starter instead of perennial back-up which will surely mean time is need to become acclimated to the new system. Additionally, teams are more likely to stack the box with an inexperienced QB on a new team without viable outside weapons. With the departure of Alshon Jeffery, the Bears do not have a true WR1. The depth chart of wide outs includes after thoughts like Kendall Wright and Markus Wheaton, and of course you can’t forget 2015 draft bust Kevin White! Howard is the only offensive player on this team with substance and while he can carry the rock for 20-25 times per game, he can’t do it by himself. I’m worried his ADP of late second/early third is way too expensive for a good player on a bad team.

 

 

Fade: Davante Adams 

Adams finished the year as the 7th highest scoring receiver in standard formats. He was the only pass catcher not to reach 1,000 yards out of the top 10 fantasy WRs, he tied for second (behind teammate Jordy Nelson) in receiving touchdowns, and ranked 22nd in total receptions. These three stats scream “one hit wonder”, “touchdown dependent”, “career year beware” etc. Looking at his season numbers, two games stand out as outliers. Weeks 7 and 8, Adams totaled 13 and 12 receptions respectively. His next highest single game reception total: six. These two games inflated his reception average, and without them, his 4.69 catches per game mark sinks to 3.1. Davante also ranked 20th in targets when his quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, had the second most passing attempts and yards out of all QBs who completed at least 400 passes. Martellus Bennett just inked a deal with the Packers and don’t forget about the up and coming Geronimo Allison, who was a major part in Green Bay’s streak for the NFC North crown. Adams will always be a threat to score with Rodgers at the helm, but I can’t help but assume that a 300% increase in total career touchdowns over ONE season will lead to regression. 


 

 

d-Rx®

 

X-Factor: Pierre Garcon

Let’s be honest, Pierre has really only had one great fantasy season, a lot of really mediocre ones and then he out performed his ADP last season. He finished 32nd at the WR position, but that was on a team that had a lot of mouths to feed. His 3 TDs, really brought down his value, but he had his second 1000 yard season in his 9 year career. He’s really never been a WR1 in his life, and he’s become a better player over the course of his career. He just signed with the SF 49ers and he’s top wide receiver on the depth chart. As I type this, Brian Hoyer is the QB for the Niners, not the greatest name on paper, but he’s a great time for fantasy football and locking in on his top wideout. Think DeAndre Hopkins two seasons ago and Josh Gordon when he went nuts a few years back for Cleveland. In 2013, Garcon had 184 targets and hauled in 113 passes for 1,346 yards, that was with Kyle Shannahan in Washington, now Shannahan is the head coach in SF. I’ve got big plans for Garcon this year, and he won’t break the bank as far as draft slot due to his name sake and the figured lousy team situation he is in. 

 

 

Sleeper: Rex Burkhead

Rex has only had 1 amazing fantasy game in his career, but it helps that it was the last game he played, week 17 of 2016 season against the Ravens who were the 7th best team against RBs for scoring fantasy points last season. In that game he put up 26 fantasy points on 27 carries for 119 yards and 2 TDs. I liked him as a sleeper if he stayed on the Bengals, but with the move to the always high scoring backfield of the Patriots, he becomes even better. I love his size, he’s 5’11, 210, he can block, is smart, doesn’t make mistakes and seems to be in the mold of the type of guy Bill Belichick loves to have at his disposal. No doubt, this sleeper pick comes with a lot of what ifs and assumptions, but they usually do. First I’m going to assume that LaGarrette Blount is a goner and that Rex will sit at the top of the goal line back pecking order based on the Pats current depth chart. I’m also gonna assume that Dion Lewis gets injured at some point this season. If those two things happen, both likely - then Burkhead will be a nice jack of all trades mixture of Danny Woodhead and Corey Dillon. I really like James White as well, but he’s more of a 3rd down back, Burkhead’s ADP will come at a value and I promise it will be a solid pick when the games start being played.

 

 

Bust: Brandin Cooks

We had a great discussion about Cooks on the latest Pyro Podcast, a couple of the guys think Cooks will be awesome, I think he’ll be the same as he’s been so far. His routes need to be deep to be effective, he’s a vertical guy and he won’t eat into Edelman’s target share with the type of routes he runs. He’s a deep threat, needs cross routes, but not a ball hawk. Cooks finished 8th last season for WRs, but when you look at his game logs - it was 3 big games, a few ok games and half of his stat lines were total duds. Tom Brady has so many weapons on that team that it’s hard for me to believe that the ex-Saint, current Patriots wideout is going to have a consistent slate of contributions. Brady is also someone that loves to spread it around, Gronk will be back, Malcom Mitchell a season smarter and who knows if Brandin can learn the playbook (remember Ocho Cinco's lack of football smarts while on the Pats)? He’ll have a few big days as he always does, and get some of those long TDs that can help you win your week, that is what he is and what he does... but because of his name and newfound situation, he’s going to be an end of the second round pick, which is too rich for my blood. I'm walking away while most will be running towards this one.

 

 

Fade: DeMarco Murray

Let’s start by saying DeMarco is a good player, and had a chip on his shoulder heading into last season. But let's be honest, and point to the fact that the Titans offensive line is currently the best in the league. Pro Football Focus ranked their 2016 performance #1 out of all 32 teams from 2016. So that for starters is why you love any Titans RB. After a solid first season with the Titans, one that started hotter than it finished, it became pretty obvious that the team has some big plans for beast of a man Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. DeMarco finished with 12 total TDs, almost 1,300 yards and was 5th at RB in fantasy points last season, but I expect regression due to in large part to time-share. Last year spray tan would often bring the team to the red zone and then tap his helmet to come out due to being tired. It was maddening for his owners. You definitely like how often he was used in the passing game, but I think that number comes down with more mature talent at receiver this season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they draft a WR high in the upcoming draft. No one was higher on Murray last season, but his ADP won’t come at a value this year - and as a result, I’m not buying.

 

 

Not touching: Tyreek Hill

The hype train on this second-year speedster is off the charts. He surprised last season, but no way he can match that with teams focusing on him this time around. Ungodly talent, who comes with ungodly expectations. I'm going to take Jeremy Maclin at a value, who will outscore Tyreek this upcoming season, and be smiling about it when he's a great WR3 instead of Tyreek owners who drafted him as a WR2 and he's sitting on their benches.

 

 

 

PK Ripper


X-Factor: Martellus Bennett 

Bennett’s the rare tight end who is reliable and accomplished as a pass catcher and blocker. Since 2012, he has the sixth-most receiving yards among all tight ends. Now in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers, who just made the unreliable Jared Cook look like a top tight end. After Cook returned from an early season injury, he averaged a little over fifty-five yards per game over the last seven games of the regular season and three playoff games which during that time the offense shifted gears as tight end became more involved and at times the focal part of the game plan as the position average jumped to eleven targets per game and also three touchdowns in three post season contests. Bennett is a substantial upgrade in the tight end position in fact he would be the most talented tight end in Green Bay since Jermichael Finley in 2011 the last fantasy relevant tight end to call Lambeau field home, so I expect The Black Unicorn to play a significant role in the Packers offense and finish within the top five fantasy tight end in 2017.


Sleeper: DeAndre Washington 

Latavius Murray is busy doing his free agency tour while leaving Over 1,000 scrimmage yards and 12 rushing touchdowns behind in Oakland. Now barring any unforeseen pickups at the position they have a more than capable back available in DeAndre Washington. After only what can be described as a quiet Rookie season in which DeAndre played mostly as a spell back he will come into 2017 with fresh legs and a chance to leave his mark. In his only game with at least 12 carries last season DeAndre posted 99 yards and 2 touchdowns leaving me to believe that given the workload he can produce the numbers to be fantasy relevant and an excellent ROI as not being high on the radar by most analysts. Washington will benefit from an increased workload, especially being part of an offense that is more than capable of moving the ball. That is why I think of him as a deep sleeper in the upcoming season.


Bust: Devonta Freeman 

I know what you're thinking in what world is Freeman a bust I know that he has been great the last two seasons and in 2016 Devonta was the sixth-ranked fantasy back (PPR),and also ranked seventh in the NFL in yards from scrimmage (1,541), sixth in rushing touchdowns (11) and tied for ninth in yards per carry (4.8). In 2017 the Falcons don’t need to rely on Freeman too heavily. Backup Tevin Coleman is a capable running back with his own unique skills, and he’s been more dependable in his second pro season. Freeman and Coleman complement one another and supplement the offense. The pairing worked particularly well for the Falcons over the final three weeks of the regular season. They had their longest sustained stretch of effective rushing, with 542 yards on 87 attempts 6.3 average yards per carry and 5 touchdowns. In that span the Falcons had seven rushes of 20-plus yards, including three of more than 40 yards (No 3. back Terron Ward had one of those, a 45-yard gain). During that run of games, all Falcons victories, Freeman and Coleman each had huge impacts. Add in the wear and tear from the workload of a deep playoff and SuperBowl run lengthening the season in 2016 and the departure of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's playcalling. I believe going into this season that Atlanta will go even more with a balanced split between both backs thus dropping the value of Devonta Freeman significantly. 


Fade: Doug Baldwin 

Doug Baldwin was as inconsistent as they come in 2016 as he would give you just enough to start him on your fantasy team but then let you down when you did. His numbers as a whole don't look bad from last season 94 receptions 1,128 yards and 7 recieving touchdowns. But looks can be deceiving three of his seven touchdowns came in one game and that was the only multi-touchdown game all season, add in only four ninety plus yard games and four games with double-digit targets. I'm aware that Russell Wilson and the offensive line had their share of injuries during last seasons campaign and that was a factor but now with the addition of running back Eddie Lacy it looks like the Seahawks are going back to the heavy run formula which could mean even more of a roller coaster ride from Sir Douglas Baldwin this upcoming season. Which is why I urge you steer clear let someone else in your league deal with his inconsistent production.

X-Factor: Martellus Bennett 

Bennett’s the rare tight end who is reliable and accomplished as a pass catcher and blocker. Since 2012, he has the sixth-most receiving yards among all tight ends. 

Now in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers, who just made the unreliable Jared Cook look like a top tight end. After Cook returned from an early season injury, he averaged a little over fifty-five yards per game over the last seven games of the regular season and three playoff games which during that time the offense shifted gears as tight end became more involved and at times the focal part of the game plan as the position average jumped to eleven targets per game and also three touchdowns in three post season contests.

Bennett is a substantial upgrade in the tight end position in fact he would be the most talented tight end in Green Bay since Jermichael Finley in 2011 the last fantasy relevant tight end to call Lambeau field home, so I expect The Black Unicorn to play a significant role in the Packers offense and finish within the top five fantasy tight end in 2017.

 

Sleeper: DeAndre Washington 

Latavius Murray is busy doing his free agency tour while leaving Over 1,000 scrimmage yards and 12 rushing touchdowns behind in Oakland. Now barring any unforseen pickups at the position they have a more than capable back available in DeAndre Washington. After only what can be described as a quiet Rookie season in which DeAndre played mostly as a spell back he will come into 2017 with fresh legs and a chance to leave his mark. In his only game with at least 12 carries last season DeAndre posted 99 yards and 2 touchdowns leaving me to believe that given the workload he can produce the numbers to be fantasy relevant and an excellent ROI as not being high on the radar by most analysts. Washington will benefit from an increased workload, especially being part of an offense that is more than capable of moving the ball. That is why I think of him as a deep sleeper in the upcoming season.

 

Bust: Devonta Freeman 

I know what you're thinking in what world is Freeman a bust I know that he has been great the last two seasons and in 2016 Devonta was the sixth ranked fantasy back (PPR),and also ranked seventh in the NFL in yards from scrimmage (1,541), sixth in rushing touchdowns (11) and tied for ninth in yards per carry (4.8). 

In 2017 the Falcons don’t need to rely on Freeman too heavily. Backup Tevin Coleman is a capable running back with his own unique skills, and he’s been more dependable in his second pro season.

Freeman and Coleman complement one another and supplement the offense.

The pairing worked particularly well for the Falcons over the final three weeks of the regular season. They had their longest sustained stretch of effective rushing, with 542 yards on 87 attempts 6.3 average yards per carry and 5 touchdowns. In that span the Falcons had seven rushes of 20-plus yards, including three of more than 40 yards (No 3. back Terron Ward had one of those, a 45-yard gain).

During that run of games, all Falcons victories, Freeman and Coleman each had huge impacts. Add in the wear and tear from the workload of a deep playoff and SuperBowl run lengthening the season in 2016 and the departure of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahans playcalling. I believe going into this season that Atlanta will go even more with a balanced split between both backs thus dropping the value of Devonta Freeman significantly. 

 

Fade: Doug Baldwin 

Doug Baldwin was as inconsistent as they come in 2016 as he would give you just enough to start him on your fantasy team but then let you down when you did. His numbers as a whole don't look bad from last season 94 receptions 1,128 yards and 7 recieving touchdowns.

But looks can be deceiving three of his seven touchdowns came in one game and that was the only multi touchdown game all season, add in only four ninety plus yard games and four games with double-digit targets. 

I'm aware that Russell Wilson and the offensive line had thier share of injuries during last seasons campaign and that was a factor but now with the addition of running back Eddie Lacy it looks like the Seahawks are going back to the heavy run formula which could mean even more of a roller coaster ride from Sir Douglas Baldwin this upcoming season.

Which is why I urge you steer clear let someone else in your league deal with his inconsistent production.