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Le'Veon Bell

Pittsburgh Steelers

Bell Lookin' To Get PAID!


“Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell will report back to team before regular season kicks off, though it remains unclear exactly when.” Bell values himself at about $15mm per year, your move Rooney.

Fantasy Goo: There is no doubt Bell is an elite RB1 when he is active, this hold-out makes me nervous. He might be staying in shape, but there is no way to really simulate game-speed without actually participating with the team. He missed 3 games last year and came in shredding defenses, but that is much different than missing camp completely.


08/18/17, 05:48 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Eddie Lacy

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle's Crowded Backfield


Seattle Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls ankle injury will hold him out of week 2 preseason action on Friday. It’s being called a minor injury and Eddie Lacy is now expected to be the starting tailback for the second preseason game.

Fantasy Goo: When it was first announced that Rawls would get the start I thought nothing of it, teams usually rest their banged-up players week 2 anyway. Week 3 is what we really care about, but if they’re resting Rawls this week that becomes somewhat questionable. We should probably consider this a full blown committee at this point, in which case you can read our “League Winners” article to see who I think is worthy of drafting in this backfield.


08/17/17, 09:24 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Thomas Rawls

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle's Crowded Backfield


Seattle Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls ankle injury will hold him out of week 2 preseason action on Friday. It’s being called a minor injury and Eddie Lacy is now expected to be the starting tailback for the second preseason game.

Fantasy Goo: When it was first announced that Rawls would get the start I thought nothing of it, teams usually rest their banged-up players week 2 anyway. Week 3 is what we really care about, but if they’re resting Rawls this week that becomes somewhat questionable. We should probably consider this a full blown committee at this point, in which case you can read our “League Winners” article to see who I think is worthy of drafting in this backfield.


08/17/17, 09:24 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Andrew Luck

Indianapolis Colts

Indy Needs Some Luck


There has been quite a bit of concern about Andrew Luck’s availability to start the season on the active roster after offseason surgery. Hartbeat points out that, “Colts seem confident in Luck for week 1 as they haven't changed their playbook.” There is a concern about his offensive line though as starting C Ryan Kelly is likely to find himself on the designated IR for return after foot surgery.

Fantasy Goo: Luck put together a 2016 season with a career best 71.2 QBR and a 92.4 PFF grade. If he’s healthy he’s a must start, and his ADP has fallen nearly two rounds since August first. He is now being drafted as the eighth QB off the board. Check out the Draft Kit vol.3 to get the full goo.


08/17/17, 08:57 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Aaron Jones

Green Bay Packers

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08/17/17, 10:10 AM CDT by The Hartbeat

Source: pyromaniac.com


Curtis Samuel

Carolina Panthers

Samuel Back in Pads


Curtis Samuel was back in full pads for today's practice (Wednesday), he has missed almost all of training camp with a hamstring problem that began as a issue in the spring. He's been out for so long that it's hard to see him having a immediate early-season role.

Fantasy Goo: Samuel is the ultimate utility knife if he can get healthy, he can pick up the big plays vacated by Ginn and match anything fellow rookie McCaffrey does in the passing game.


08/16/17, 08:15 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Ty Montgomery

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Rookie's on Display


“Ty Montgomery’s likely absence from Saturday night’s preseason game at Washington will put an even bigger spotlight on the depth-chart battle involving three of Green Bay’s third-day draft picks. Williams is the front-runner in part because he’s shown the best aptitude for pass protection in the backfield. Jones has displayed a different gear in the open field that he’d love to show off in a game if he gets a crease. Mays is the best example of compact power, at 5-10 and 230 pounds.”

Fantasy Goo:Ty performed very well last year with the 3rd best juke rate of 34% and the best yards per contact per touch of all RBs at 2.8. The issue with Montgomery is Jamaal Williams is in line to take away the short yardage work and it’s unclear what type of volume Ty can handle as he rushed double digits in only 1 game.


08/16/17, 07:58 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.packers.com


Jamaal Williams

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Rookie's on Display


“Ty Montgomery’s likely absence from Saturday night’s preseason game at Washington will put an even bigger spotlight on the depth-chart battle involving three of Green Bay’s third-day draft picks. Williams is the front-runner in part because he’s shown the best aptitude for pass protection in the backfield. Jones has displayed a different gear in the open field that he’d love to show off in a game if he gets a crease. Mays is the best example of compact power, at 5-10 and 230 pounds.”

Fantasy Goo:Ty performed very well last year with the 3rd best juke rate of 34% and the best yards per contact per touch of all RBs at 2.8. The issue with Montgomery is Jamaal Williams is in line to take away the short yardage work and it’s unclear what type of volume Ty can handle as he rushed double digits in only 1 game.


08/16/17, 07:58 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.packers.com


Jaron Brown

Arizona Cardinals

Jaron Number Two?


Larry Fitzgerald is the No. 1 wideout. Brown? “He’s No. 2 right now,” Coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday.
“I’ve been here for a while,” Jaron Brown said. “Every camp is different. We obviously have injuries, and that gives me an opportunity. I just try to take advantage.

Fantasy Goo: I could see Jaron shooting up draft boards, and I like him as a last round dart throw, but this just makes that receiving corps all the more crowded. A torn ACL prevented Jaron from possibly breaking-out last year. Yesterday we thought JJ Nelson would emerge, I’m sure we will be re-visiting this regularly.


08/16/17, 04:21 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Cole Beasley

Dallas Cowboys

Beasley Under the Radar


NFL Next Gen Stats have revealed many of their numbers to the public recently. Hartbeat picked this one out on Twitter: Cole Beasley adding another advanced stat that he thrives in, Top 10 in separation among all pass catchers.

Fantasy Goo: Beasley was one of the most efficient weapons in the NFL last year. His Defense-adjusted Yards above Replacement and Defense-adjusted Value over Average ranked as 5th best among WRs. For more on Beasley and others check out the Pyro Pulse podcast episode 6, WR Tiers.


08/15/17, 05:08 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


John Brown

Arizona Cardinals

John Brown’s Health Back in Question


WR John Brown looking like sickle cell IS NOT being managed by the Cardinals. Could be another injury plagued season for Brown. Arians said WR John Brown not practicing full time is a concern (He's been participating in certain drills during practice).

Fantasy Goo: JJ Nelson was the WR11 in PPR scoring weeks 13-17, it appears as though we should be drafting Nelson as one of our late round flyers immediately. If the Brown news continues to be negative we will begin to see Nelson’s stock rise. Jaron Brown and Chad Williams are names we should also keep an eye on, but Arians has complained about their lack of performance publicly.


08/15/17, 04:28 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Maxx Williams

Baltimore Ravens

Maxx Looks Slow, Open Door for Watson


“Tight end Maxx Williams deserves a ton of credit for persevering through a serious knee surgery and getting back onto the field this summer. But in watching him run, it’s still pretty clear that he has a ways to go. He has bulked up and gotten considerably stronger, so it will be interesting to see whether he becomes more of a blocking tight end, assuming he’s on the season-opening roster.”

fantasy Goo: Ben Watson appears to be worth a last round flier. Denis Pitta was the number eight TE overall last year and he only scored 2 TD’s. Watson was the number 6 TE in 2015 with Drew Brees throwing him 6 TD’s.


08/15/17, 03:54 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.baltimoresun.com


Ryan Mathews

Philadelphia Eagles

Ryan Matthews Released


After passing his physical earlier today, The Eagles have informed former starting RB Ryan Mathews that he's been released. This move was completely expected, the Eagles save a bunch of money by releasing him now.

Fantasy Goo: Hartbeat would like to see him land in: IND, SF, MIA or CHI (all backup roles). I think the Giants or Ravens should see what he has left in the tank, even if it’s just a few games Matthews is a talented back, he’s just been drenched with injuries. I don’t think the team that picks him up has to pay much for him.


08/15/17, 03:30 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Devonta Freeman

Atlanta Falcons

Freeman in Concussion Protocol


Coach Quinn says Devonta Freeman is in concussion protocol, will be ruled out for Sunday's game. This really means nothing if he’s back by next week, but if this lingers like Jay Ajayi’s concussion, Coleman might actually be worth his draft value in the sixth round.

Fantasy Goo: Despite being only 206 lbs he had the 3rd most RZ carries with 53. Although Coleman is an extremely strong receiver Freeman was still top 5 in catches among RBs on only a 63% snap share.


08/14/17, 04:34 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Leonard Fournette

Jacksonville Jaguars

Fournette Battling Same Issues


Jaguars rookie RB Leonard Fournette suffered a foot injury and HC Doug Marrone said team intends to be "careful with him." Fournette battled a recurring foot/ankle injury throughout his final season at LSU. It was a real problem most of the year.

Fantasy Goo: Fournette was clocked running 22.9 MPH at LSU last season, for reference Tyreek Hill was the NFLs fastest player at 23.2MPH. It appears as though Jacksonville is being cautious, but rookies need to get on the field and learn the nuances of the NFL, especially pass blocking.


08/14/17, 03:31 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Jordan Matthews

Buffalo Bills

Matthews Must Play With Pain


Bills' WR Jordan Mathews has what team is calling "a chip fracture in his sternum" and is week to week.
The good news is that it’s just a pain tolerance issue. The bad news is that it can be pretty painful.

Fantasy Goo: Matthews move to Buffalo had very little effect on his projections, but with lack of practice with his new team he will almost certainly get off to a slow start. Check the Pyro Pulse Podcast (Ep.5) to get the hot, sticky goo on how this affects the value of the other Bills and Eagles skill players.


08/14/17, 03:29 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Marqise Lee

Jacksonville Jaguars

Lee High Ankle Sprain Opens Door for Hurns, Again


Jaguars WR Marqise Lee suffered a high-ankle sprain, source said. He'll push hard to be ready for Week 1, but caution could push it back.

Fantasy Goo: Lee was the 39th overall pick of the 2014 draft. In 2016 he caught a career-high 63 passes for 851 yards and three touchdowns. He was finally healthy after continuous injuries the last two years. I think many would rank him higher if we could be sure that he has beaten Allen Hurns out for regular targets.


08/14/17, 02:56 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Jordan Reed

Washington Redskins

Reed Has "Special Shoes"


“Redskins tight end Jordan Reed said his new cleats and orthotics have made a difference for his sprained big toe. Reed said, "I'll be out there shortly." He remains on the PUP list.”

Fantasy Goo: Jay Gruden has made it very clear that the offense runs through Jordan Reed, this was never more prominent than when the Redskins let their two best WRs based on production walk this offseason. Reed has obviously red flags when it comes to injuries, he is one dirty hit away from a career ending concussion. When he is healthy, there is no TE that I would rather have, Reed has averaged the most fantasy points per game over the past two seasons and is targeted on a minimum of 15% of his routes.
For more see Hartbeat TE Gold Diggers vol.1


08/13/17, 08:24 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Sterling Shepard

New York Giants

Shepard Back in Practice


“Just 11 days after he was carted off the practice field with an ankle injury fearing the worst, Shepard practiced fully with his teammates on Sunday. There appeared to be very few restrictions on the second-year receiver, who also didn't seem to be favoring his injured ankle at all.”

Fantasy Goo: Shepard finished second among rookie WRs in targets, catches, yards and touchdowns. In general, second year WRs see a jump in fantasy production by 16%, but Sterling is more likely to move in an inverse fashion. With the Giants bringing in Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram, Shepard is the most likely to see a decrease in targets. See Hartbeat, WR Gold Diggers vol.1 for more.


08/13/17, 07:55 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Robby Anderson

New York Jets

Robby With Early Bomb


With Enunwa out for the season the New York Jets will be looking for one of their young receivers to step-up. On their first drive Josh McCown connected with Robby Anderson for a 53 yard gain and finished the drive with a 4-yard TD pass to Charone Peake. Anderson finished the first half with three receptions for 71 yards.

Fantasy Goo: Anderson could be a nice late-round flyer, but this offense doesn’t project for much fire-power. Anderson projects for a 63/830/4 line and Peake is nothing more than a DFS GPP play or possible bye-week flyer.


08/13/17, 08:14 AM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Travis Kelce

Kansas City Chiefs

Kelce to Return Next Week


After the game, Chiefs coach Andy Reid provided an update on a few of those guys, specifically Travis Kelce. “They are close,” Reid noted of those three guys. “(They will) potentially get some work this next week, we’ll just see how it goes. They’ve got a big rehab session (Saturday), so we’ll see.”

Fantasy Goo: Since he fractured his patella in 2013 and missed his entire rookie campaign, Kelce has not missed a game. Kelce led all TEs last season in fantasy points, but he also thrived under advanced metrics, also leading the league in Success Rate on 65% of his plays. – Hartbeat
I five games without Maclin on the field over the past two years Kelce averages 2.76 more PPR points per game even though he did not score a TD in any of them.


08/12/17, 07:56 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Jay Ajayi

Miami Dolphins

Ajayi Still in Concussion Protocol


Running backs coach Danny Barrett believes Kenyan Drake could be an every-down back if Jay Ajayi misses multiple games. He said Drake is “more reliable, more dependable, being where he’s supposed to be – especially in our passing game”

Fantasy Goo: I’m not necessarily buying what they’re selling, but Ajayi out for 10 days so far does concern me. Gase was not happy with Ajayi to start last year and it was a work-ethic issue. A concussion requires medical clearance and cannot be put in the same category, but Gase seems to have the old-school mentality of, “you can’t make the club from the tub.” If Ajayi is out for any amount of time we can expect about a 50/50 split from Drake and Damien Williams, neither is built for work-horse carries.


08/12/17, 06:23 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Kenyan Drake

Miami Dolphins

Ajayi Still in Concussion Protocol


Running backs coach Danny Barrett believes Kenyan Drake could be an every-down back if Jay Ajayi misses multiple games. He said Drake is “more reliable, more dependable, being where he’s supposed to be – especially in our passing game”

Fantasy Goo: I’m not necessarily buying what they’re selling, but Ajayi out for 10 days so far does concern me. Gase was not happy with Ajayi to start last year and it was a work-ethic issue. A concussion requires medical clearance and cannot be put in the same category, but Gase seems to have the old-school mentality of, “you can’t make the club from the tub.” If Ajayi is out for any amount of time we can expect about a 50/50 split from Drake and Damien Williams, neither is built for work-horse carries.


08/12/17, 06:23 PM CDT 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.