Fantasy Risers/Fallers…Unbelievable Jeff

In today’s extra length podcast, we take a look at the early risers and fallers in fantasy football drafts to give you a heads up as to what to expect in 6 months time and some common trends as to why players rise and fall in ADP.

PLUS! we have a very special interview with a household name over here on these shores and a surprising thing that he has in common with Lee.

We keep you up to date on the latest news including Franchise Tags, combine fallout and a rant on Jason Witten. Duncan from Gridiron Gents tackles the quiz, looking to be the first one to break the 8 barrier!

 

 

Joy Divisions – AFC West

Before the season starts, myself and good friend of the podcast Lee Wakefield (@wakefield90) will give a summary of each division, how we see it playing out over the season along with some players to target in fantasy in each.

AFC West:

In the words of the Pet Shop Boys – “GO WEST!, life is peaceful there” I think it could be the complete opposite. When has it ever been peaceful in San Diego  Los Angeles?

Perhaps the most intriguing division in the AFC (though the South may have their say) and most people would argue a case for every team in the division actually winning it.

TIM

Los Angeles Chargers:

Let’s start with the Chargers; If you listen to the podcast or read some posts, you’ll know I am a big fan of the Chargers this year to win it all. Injuries are coming thick and fast with Hunter Henry and Jason Verrett going down for the season already (sigh) but the Chargers were already a great defence when Verrett was injured last year. The loss of Henry hurts but there is enough in the pass catching room to spread it around.

Mike Williams needs to step up and should after missing most of his rookie season whilst Tyrell Williams has already shown he is reliable. Both WIlliams’ should be sought after in drafts as they are usually going undrafted and it would be silly not to have a piece of this offence. Keenan Allen isn’t a sure thing to stay healthy either (last season was his first where he played a full 16 game slate). Then there’s Antonio Gates…..

Melvin Gordon is a stud and expect Austin Ekeler to see an uptick in usage in the backfield. Anthony Lynn should be able to get more from this team that ended the season on a hot streak and should have been playing playoff football last year.

Whilst I wouldnt want to see anymore disruption to this team, I think there is something special happening there in Los Angeles (maybe it’s the Rams). Their “home” ground was a bit of a distraction last season and should be more accustomed to playing at the StubHub Centre this year and be able to deal with the lack of home fans there (quite a lot of home games are against teams that don’t travel well too in terms of fanbase).

Key Storyline:  Can the Chargers avoid more injuries which could lead to a derailed season and give Rivers a final push at a deep playoff run?

Denver Broncos: 

Looking forward to seeing how the Broncos start the season, they could be another darkhorse for going deep in the postseason.

Case Keenum will need to hit ground running but has a great compliment of weapons surrounding him. I feel Royce Freeman will beat out Devontae Booker at the running back position but it could be a bit of a committee after the exit of CJ Anderson.

This could be the last hurrah for Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders at wide receiver, with draft picks Courtland Sutton and DeSean Hamilton a year or so away, they could seamlessly take over and will get some snaps this year.

Bradley Chubb, arguably the steal of the draft at pick 5 will be a monster on the other side of Von Miller and will make an immediate impact, but the back end of the defence will have to deal with the loss of Aqib Talib.

I feel as though a .500 season is about where the Broncos will aim for as a foundation and should be getting about 9 or 10 wins with the talent here.

Key Storyline:  Can Case Keenum replicate his form from last season?

Kansas City Chiefs:

Andy Reid made a big statement by trading Alex Smith to the Redskins and putting his faith into 2nd season QB Patrick Mahomes. The passing attack seemingly will be more of a vertical one (though Smith was the best deep passer of last season) which is also supported by the acquisition of Sammy Watkins from the Rams. Sammy really needs to put his stuff together otherwise his talent will go to waste.

Spencer Ware returns after missing the whole of last season and could be a sneaky value late in drafts if getting a bit of this backfield. Kareem Hunt, the leading rusher last year was only able to manage that feat due to Ware’s injury and a near 90% RB market share in terms of touches so it will be intriguing as to the allegiances and loyalties of Andy Reid between him and Ware.

The defence has lost Marcus Peters to the Rams and this could lead to some high scoring games at Arrowhead. The question is can Mahomes lead them to enough victories in his first full season as the signal caller.

Key Storyline: Has Andy Reid made the right call and can Patrick Mahomes lead this team or is it too premature for him?

Oakland Raiders:

Jon Gruden taking over from Jack Del (can of) Rio is one of the main off season stories and also his personnel changes have been somewhat eyebrow raising.

Jordy Nelson, Doug Martin and others are players that have come through the door in the offseason and it seems that this will either be a disaster, or a masterstroke. I will bet on the former if I had to choose and it will be fascinating to see how it plays out in Oakland. Their best offensive player has left for Baltimore in another strange deal and it seems as though they are intent on giving Amari Cooper full responsibility for their WR success this season. Considering his high drop rate and poor production last season, it is going to be high risk and high reward type stuff.

Gruden has said that he wants to run the ball and Marshawn Lynch performed well last year when many people doubted him. He could break down this season and Doug Martin was obviously brought in to help share the load, though he himself is prone to injury.

Regardless of what happens, it should be fun to watch…

Summary:

I think this is all set up for the Chargers this year. I am fully on the bandwagon and tip them to go all the way. The window for Rivers is closing but if it’s gonna be any year, this will be the one. Good value for all of the players in fantasy here in LA so make sure you get a piece.

If they fail, Denver could be a sneaky team at decent odds if Keenum is able to be anywhere near his abilities of last year at Minnesota. Their defence could have the old swagger back but they have enough on offence to win games in shootouts should their defence fail. The Denver players are fairly priced in drafts at the moment and could prove their worth come the end of the season.

Kansas City are the wildcard of the division and their range of outcomes is quite vast. If Mahomes slots in and plays well, they could be thereabouts come December though i feel their defence could let them down. Fantasy wise, Sammy Watkins is a value and must come up trumps soon. All the rest are overpriced and I wont take any part of Hill, Hunt, Kelce or Mahomes. Spencer Ware is a guy to watch in training camp.

Oakland possess a stay well clear sign for me and Gruden may have pulled a masterstroke in signing a 10 year (yes, 10 years potentially) contract for mega bucks ($100m) which could prove a costly investment and the source of laughter for years to come.

Dont be surprised if 2 teams come from this division for the playoffs.

Predictions:

  1. Los Angles Chargers,
  2. Denver Broncos,
  3. Kansas City Chiefs,
  4. Oakland Raiders

LEE

So after going over the best division in the conference last time out, today it’s the AFC West.

Let’s start with last season’s AFC West champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. A lot of people seem to be a lot lower on the Chiefs than last season which I think is slightly unfair. I do think they have lost a little bit of balance as their defense doesn’t look as good but I don’t think they’re going to be much worse.

They’re just going to be different; much more offensive and much more explosive. This is mainly down to the fact it’ll be Patrick Mahomes II under center as opposed to Alex Smith. This means more big plays and more excitement, which should be music to the ears of the likes of Tyreek Hill and new wideout, Sammy Watkins. It may also mean more turnovers due to the higher degree of difficulty and risk factor of of the throws Mahomes is going to be making. Another aspect of it is that even though he wasn’t completely redshirted as a rookie, this will essentially be the former Texas Tech star’s rookie year.

Another question mark is; Will Kareem Hunt suffer of sophomore slump and how will Spencer Ware taking away some of his carries affect the running game? Food for thought for fantasy as well as Andy Reid. The offense also lost Matt Nagy as OC, so how will the Chiefs cope with that?

However, even in the face of these questions the trump card is Andy Reid. Reid is one of the better regular season coaches in the history of the league and they still have a talented roster. Because of that, the Chiefs will still be in playoff contention, even if the defense isn’t as good and if it gets rocky for Mahomes in patches.

Next up, the Raiders…

I’m not really sure what to say here. The Raiders are either going to shock the world and be fantastic and the hire of Jon Gruden is going to look like a masterstroke or they’re going to be awful and look like a team trying to play football from a bygone era.

To give you an idea of why I say that; there have been rumours that Gruden has been using tape from the ‘70’s in meetings with Raiders players. Who does that?

There’s also the issue that Jon Gruden seems to be going about player recruitment like he’s trying to reassemble the team he won his fantasy league with in 2015 with the signings of Jordy Nelson and Doug Martin.

Then we come to the biggest issue, the Khalil Mack saga. Picture this, you’re Jon Gruden and you have one of the best pass rushers in the game and you don’t pay him, even worse, you’ve only been in contact with your star defensive player once since you were hired… you’re out of your mind, right? It’s getting really messy now Mack is missing time and there’s even some people talking about a trade.

Oakland have got some talent on their roster but there’s just too many questions and too many odd things surrounding the team for me to get too positive. They also need rebound seasons from the likes of Derek Carr and Amari Cooper! Waiting for me to get positive? Hmmm… let’s not talk about their draft. Good news? They’ll probably have a pretty high pick in the first round next year!

If I want to talk about a team that did draft well, then I can talk about the Denver Broncos. Annoyingly, as a Chargers fan, Denver had a really good draft and it will stand them in good stead for years to come. You can see the logic in a lot of their picks; Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton can replace Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in a year or two. Royce Freeman can nail down their starting running back spot. Bradley Chubb is the ideal running mate for Von Miller, a steal at 5th overall (if you can have a steal so high). Isaac Yiadom and Josey Jewell add good depth too.

The biggest negative for Denver in the off season was getting beat by Minnesota in the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes. Although it was quite funny to see the front office react like a young guy who just got rejected by a girl he really liked by essentially coming out and saying, “I didn’t fancy her anyway, mate”. They did settle on the slightly less attractive Case Keenum. Who everyone is sort of waiting to turn into a pumpkin again, which I find slightly unfair because he was excellent last year. Keenum is just a system guy who will be hoping that Denver have the right one to fit him and his style. Denver will also he hoping the same as one of Paxton Lynch or Chad Kelly will be backing him up… yikes.

Overall Denver are going to be better, not championship contenders but if they completely click, maybe a wildcard spot is within reach. Fantasy wise, no guys you’re targeting really early but you could do worse than Thomas, Sanders or Freeman for depth, or Hamilton and Sutton for a dynasty stash.

Finally, my team, the Los Angeles Chargers. Now, as any regular reader or listener knows, or if you follow me on Twitter, I’m pretty positive when it comes to the Chargers and you’ve probably heard all my hype so I’ll keep this brief.

I loved the Chargers draft. Derwin James was a steal in the first, then after that they filled out positions of need throughout the rest of the next two days. Much like the Broncos draft, you can see the logic behind every pick. All the buzz and highlights out of training camp this week on the rookies have been really positive too.

On offense the only big negative is Hunter Henry’s injury and the void it leaves for a playmaker at tight end. I feel like the Bolts will give an opportunity to younger players and role with more three and four wide receiver sets. The rest of the offence is pretty complete, watch out for further improvement from Melvin Gordon and potential breakout seasons from Mike Williams and Forrest Lamp.

The defense looks equally complete with top players littering the secondary and the league’s best pass rushing pair up front. The weakness could be the linebackers as there’s no real star but watch out for Kyzir White, who is making the transition from safety to linebacker coming into the pros. He’s a hard hitter and the Chargers will be looking for him to use his coverage skills to good effect over the middle.

Another big plus point for the Chargers is that they kept their entire coaching staff together through the off season hires. Both Co-ordinators and their most talented position coaches such as Ron Milus and Giff Smith, the defensive backs and defensive line coaches, who will surely be being looked at for DC jobs all over the league.

You could say I’m bias but I truly believe the Chargers are the best team in the West and will win the division and they have a chance to go deep in the playoffs. As I’ve said in previous articles, I feel like the road to the Superbowl goes through either Jacksonville or Foxborough in the AFC and those would be tough games for L.A. but by no means impossible.

Fantasy wise; Melvin Gordon is a first round player, ditto Keenan Allen. Rivers is a nice QB to have on your roster, he’ll have the odd down week but he will average a healthy amount of points per week. Deeper sleepers will be Mike Williams and potentially Tyrell Williams. A deeper dive could be Austin Ekeler for deeper leagues.

Prediction, won’t shock anyone but…

  1. Chargers
  2. Chiefs
  3. Broncos
  4. Raiders

Joy Divisions – AFC South

Before the season starts, myself and good friend of the podcast Lee Wakefield (@wakefield90) will give a summary of each division, how we see it playing out over the season along with some players to target in fantasy in each.

The AFC South was ridiculed last season for being weak recently, but could now be one of the stronger divisions in the AFC.

TIM

Jacksonville Jaguars:

Jacksonville may have missed a trick in not taking a cheapish QB either in the draft (Tanner Lee doesn’t count) or in Free Agency. It is obvious they are going to be one of the more run focused teams in 2018 with the signing of Andrew Norwell from Carolina added in Free Agency. Fournette is an outside shot to lead the league in rushing in my opinion, but health is a concern. The WR room is crowded and it’s a case of watching in training camp to see who catches the eye. Moncrief will only be there for the 1 year, allowing draft pick DJ Chark to learn this season. Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook are likely to be the leaders in production, but it’s not going to be a sizeable pie to eat with Bortles at the helm. The window for the defence isn’t getting any longer either and at some point all these elite players need paying so I think there could be a real push by our Jacksonville Jaguars this year.

Key Storyline: Can the Jags learn from their playoff defeat to the Patriots and go one further in 2018?

Tennessee Titans:

Titans have had a bit of an overhaul from top to bottom, with Matt LeFleur coming over from the Rams as well as some intriguing signings. Dion Lewis, Malcolm Butler have joined from the Patriots, which is always a good team to acquire from and have strengthened that defence in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Tennessee shocked Kansas in the playoffs last season and should be able to take that momentum in to the new season.

Mariota, a currently undrafted QB in most fantasy drafts should fare a great deal better in this potential offensive setup and Corey Davis should be a key player for them (which is reflected in his current ADP in fantasy football drafts). Rishard Matthews, Delanie Walker are the seasoned vets and always provide reliability for fantasy GMs whilst the backfield could be a headache but may be able to support both RBs with decent levels of production if firing on all cylinders (take Lewis over Henry). I can see the Titans in the postseason but cannot say for certain if it’s as a division winner or a wildcard, which you can get decent odds for too.

Key Storyline:  Are the Titans finally balanced enough on both sides of the ball to be a dark horse in 2018 and make a deep run in January?

Houston Texans:

The recurring theme for Houston is health. Both defensively and offensively, injuries have been a major problem.

JJ Watt, Jadevon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus, Lamar Miller, D’onta Foreman, DeShaun Watson to name just a few on both sides of the ball have not played consistently for full seasons in the NFL. One thing is for sure, if you guarantee us full seasons for this year for all of those players, these guys make the playoffs. The hype train on Watson is reaching Asian Bullet Train speeds and I will have no part of his early round ADP. One constant throughout the recent years in Houston is DeAndre Hopkins; this guy gets it done no matter who the QB is and is well worth the 1st round pick in fantasy this year.

Their draft was a quiet one due to their trading up for Watson last year so you can be forgiven for knowing nothing about the Texans draft. One name to watch out for is Keke Coutee, a downfield threat at WR.

Not sure their offensive line is a great deal better than last season so that will continue to be a struggle, especially if Watson is limited in his mobility either physically or by play calling.

Overall, there is a wide range of outcomes for Houston this season and it will be interesting to see how it pans out.

Key Storyline:  Can Houston stay healthy?

Indianapolis Colts:

At the time of writing (late July), you have to think that Luck WILL be on the field come week 1.  The question has always been “what type of Luck will we get?” though and we wont know for sure. One thing is for certain – this division is a lot tougher than when he last saw the field. The defences are meaner, the offences are more talented and the coaching is (slightly) better. Even if Luck returns as if he has never been away, their defence will be their shortfall and I think with or without Luck, these guys finish bottom of the South.

Moncrief has gone, replacing him with Baltimore throwaway Ryan Grant and have acquired Eric Ebron from the Lions.

Their draft haul was sizeable, having the luxury of picking up 4 outside linebackers and still being able to pick up 2 running backs (who could play a big part this year) and 2 Wide Receivers in Daurice Fountain and Deon Cain (who is particularly impressing in training camp – surprise surprise).

The good thing for fantasy GMs is that most of these players are all late round dart throws with major upside should Andrew Luck play a full slate of games, but as the Luck status becomes a bit clearer expect their ADPs to rise.

One final thing is the coaching team; Chuck Pagano has departed, to the delight of the fans ad Frank Reich, the OC for reigning Super Bowl champs Philadelphia (*puke*) comes over and could install a dynamic style of play and there will be a few diamonds here on this team..I just dont know who they are. At a guess, I’d take Hines and maybe take a late late flier on Cain.

Key Storyline: How much Luck do the Colts get this season?

Summary:

TM:

This will be an intriguing division this year and will definitely come down to the divisional games in week 17, just like last year.

Jacksonville have the elite defence, Tennessee have the balance whilst Houston have the explosiveness and high octane offence. I think it’s safe to dismiss the Colts but could have a say in the division. I think I’ll take the more balanced team and the best coach from the 3 to just about squeeze through and take the division, especially as some bookmakers make them 3rd favourites.

In fantasy, don’t sleep on the Titans offence (or defence if you grab one late) but do not take DeShaun Watson any earlier than the 7th round, even if you bought a ticket to board his hype train. I fear that injury will cost the Texans a real shot at a divisional title again this season and worst case scenario, JJ Watt could be done for a career (I really hope not). For that reason, I wont be investing in any Texans players but watch out for Keke Coutee in dynasty leagues.

Predictions:

1st – Tennessee Titans,

2nd – Jacksonville Jaguars,

3rd – Houston Texans,

4th – Indianapolis Colts

LEE

The AFC South promises to be one of the best divisions in the whole of football in 2018 as it has three genuine playoff contenders and the other team is set to welcome back a All-Pro calibre quarterback.

Let’s start with that quarterback and Indianapolis. Andrew Luck and his trusty sidearm are back and firing! Andrew Luck is on the field in training camp, throwing the official “Duke” ball and by all accounts is looking pretty good! Of course, it’s training camp and everything is great in training camp, the connection with T.Y. Hilton was always going to be just as good as ever… don’t let my cynical tone fool you, I genuinely want Luck to be back to his best because the NFL is a better place with him in it.

I know I referred to the Colts as a the other team earlier, and they are, they’re still two years away but definitely on the right path.

I say this because whilst I liked what they did in the draft; adding Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith, drafting Darius Leonard as their middle linebacker of the future and adding a pair of promising pass rushers, they are still thin on the ground at wide receiver and at running back. Also, outside of Malik Hooker and Quincy Wilson, the secondary looks very much like it can be attacked. The loss of Johnathan Hankins also means they’re weaker up the gut.

Do you see the holes that I’m talking about? The Colts are asking Luck to be Superman and for T.Y. Hilton be to his Thor and that’s the problem, the offense doesn’t really have any other Avengers (Quenton Nelson is Thanos, for those wondering; he’s going to be that bad ass) so they’re going to need to score 30 a game with that defense to have a chance to win some games.

So yeah, tough sledding for another year in Indy in a tough division until they can reload via the draft some more; the scars of the Ryan Grigson era run deep. Fantasy wise, oddly the only player I like on this team is Nyheim Hines as a late round sleeper (again, check out my most recent appearance on the Full 10 Yards podcast for more thoughts on him).

My favourite team in this division currently is the Titans and not just because of those slick new unis. Great coaching hire in Mike Vrabel, shiny new offensive co-ordinator in Matt LeFleur who is one of the best young OC’s in the game and a roster with players all over the field who are either really good now or feel like they’re on the cusp of a breakout. Oh and they won a playoff game last year when they weren’t as good.

As a draft guy, I definitely have a bias towards a team if I feel like they have had a good draft, not all the time but I feel it’s a really, really important aspect of the game.

Tennessee didn’t have a lot of picks but they used them really well! I loved the picks of Rashaan Evans and Harold Landry, they were two player who I rated very highly coming out. The Titans also added Dion Lewis to give themselves some diversity alongside the more bruising Derrick Henry.

The team already had a good, young QB, a strong offensive line, a good tight end and a wide receiver who was drafted fifth overall. So a pretty well rounded offense that contains a few players who, like I mentioned earlier, are on the cusp of a true breakout… I’m looking at you Marcus Mariota and Corey Davis. Both of whom would come into fantasy consideration from me, ditto the running backs, ditto Delanie Walker… ahh ditto everyone, I’m all in on Tennessee!

The defense is punctuated with established players like Jurrell Casey and Derrick Morgan and supported by budding stars like Adore’e Jackson and Kevin Byard. Without being the best roster in the NFL, I feel like they’re a very complete roster.

Right, before I carry on gushing about the Titans, I’ll move on to the Jaguars.

This is the best team in this division and potentially one of the best in the league. I fully expect a deep playoff run again from the team who was a couple of plays away from beating the Patriots last winter.

The defense speaks for itself, with Jalen Ramsey, I mean that literally, too. Although to be fair to them, the Jags have got a lot to shout about! As everyone knows, their defense is elite, all three levels are flooded with players who at the top of the game and they have so much depth too, especially along the defensive line.

The offense is a little less pretty, it’s not bad but it’s nowhere near the level of the defense. Leonard Fournette is going to be leaned on heavily (maybe too heavily) and he’ll be hoping to improve in 3.9 YPC in year 2. The main issue comes with Blake Bortles and who is going to catch the ball for him… can Nathaniel Hackett paper over the cracks again and keep Bortles relatively error free? With no Allan Hurns and no Allan Robinson, the wide receiver corp looks a little flimsy too, there are names but someone needs to step up and become the guy.

Even with the possible issues on offense, I do believe that the team that represents the AFC in the Superbowl will have to beat Doug Marrone’s squad.

My little Jags fantasy draft tidbit: I’d only take Fournette in the 2nd round (or later if for some reason he’s still on the board). I feel he’ll be facing more than a few loaded boxes, which is tough going for a bell-cow back.

Last bit by no means least are the Houston Texans, another team who many fancy for a play off run and it’s easy to see why as their roster is full of big names and star talent.

To me though, it feels like everyone is waiting on Houston… waiting to see of DeShaun Watson will light it up over a full season, waiting for Nuk Hopkins to repeat his monster 2016 season where he lead the league in touchdowns, waiting to see J.J. Watt back destroying QB’s on a weekly basis. My question is, will they keep everyone waiting or deliver?

The interesting thing is that with this division having three potential play off teams, the likelihood is that at least one of those team will miss out, which is going to make those games between the three teams that little bit more spicy!

I’m also really looking forward to seeing the Honeybadger in a Texans uniform. I think he’ll have an enormous chip on his shoulder after the way he was cut by the Cardinals and he’ll be looking to prove everyone wrong, again. I’ll also be keeping an eye on his probable safety partner, Justin Reid. I am still not sure why he lasted until the third round of the draft, I feel like he’ll prove to be a steal for Houston.

For fantasy you can’t go wrong with Hopkins early if the top 4 running backs and Antonio Brown are gone. Watson should be off the board early too given his rushing ability, so if you want him be sure to get in early to avoid disappointment. Will Fuller has big play ability and may be worth a late round pick in deeper leagues too. I’m not a huge fan of Lamar Miller personally but he is a starting running back on a team that will run the ball A fair amount so I guess he does have some value.

So that’s me on the AFC South. Really good division in my eyes, probably only a couple that I’d have over it and the best one in the AFC.

Prediction:

  1. Jaguars (just)
  2. Titans
  3. Texans
  4. Colts

Joy Divisions – AFC North

Before the season starts, myself and good friend of the podcast Lee Wakefield (@wakefield90) will give a summary of each division, how we see it playing out over the season along with some players to target in fantasy in each.

AFC North:

On first look, it may be a simple one to solve, but the Steelers always make heavy weather of things…

TIM

Pittsburgh Steelers: 

Steelers have kind of owned the division for a while now and I have sneaky suspicions that they will either blow the division away again, or collapse and fall apart (potentially leading to Big Ben retiring, especially if he continues to self destruct when talk of Mason Rudolph surfaces). Whilst I believe it’s more likely of the former, their defence is not going to be as strong without Ryan Shazier and is a far cry from previous Pittsburgh defences.

On the offence, Martavis Bryant has left for Oakland and they have new shiny draft pick James Washington (a great late round pick in dynasty drafts), who could see the field a fair bit as the Steelers like playing 3 WR sets and were one of the teams with the highest % of doing so last season. JuJu Smith-Schuster is being way overdrafted but you cannot deny his talent, but Antonio Brown is also on the team too so JuJu will have more ups and downs than a theme park roller-coaster.

LeVeon Bell is once again playing under the franchise tag and could start off slowly like last season but expect him to be run in to the ground before he finds a new team next season (I am fascinated to see what he produces in a different scheme and setup, I liken it to Lionel Messi in soccer). QB Big Ben has never been in any of my fantasy teams and only offers value in Bestball leagues because I never can trust him and don’t want the headache each week of whether to start him or not but does have a low ADP in drafts this year.

Baltimore Ravens: 

Could be a sneaky playoff team this year and a lot will depend on how many games Joe Flacco plays…and I mean that in a good way.

If Flacco plays 16 games, that means that there are performing well and have a shot at the postseason. anything less than 12 or 13 and you’d expect the Ravens to end up with nothing better than 8-8. I honestly believe that the Lamar Jackson draft selection will prompt Flacco to play some good football because he has been absolutely dire in the last few years (well, ever since he won a Championship ring and got a new contract). Flacco can pretty much be discarded next year and it isn’t far-fetched to say that this could be his last season.

They have decent weapons on offence now though and have acquired Michael Crabtree from Oakland along with point to prove WRs in John Brown and Willie Snead.

I think it’s understated that the Ravens had seemingly a brilliant Draft. They took 2 Tight Ends in Mark Andrews and first round selection Hayden Hurst, both who can catch the ball and should be ready to go. Orlando Brown is a nice addition to the line to help keep that running game going.

Talking of running game, Alex Collins performed admirably at RB last season despite a depleted offensive line and should get a similar workload this year (just beware, Kenneth Dixon is lurking and could be a wildcard) so all things point to potentially an exciting season for Baltimore fans.

Cleveland Browns: 

I feel like everyone outside of the AFC North are rooting for the Browns this year. Whether that’s because they have been nothing short of a joke or whether it’s through sympathy. That said, this year they should be aiming for at least 5 wins.

Another team that has gone a major overhaul on offence. Carlos Hyde joins the running back room along with draft pick Nick Chubb to compensate for Isiah Crowell, who travels to the Jets. At WR, Jarvis Landry got PAID to come over and he joins a talented set of players in Josh Gordon (provided his issues stay away) and Corey Coleman (provided he shows his worth). David Njoku will be stellar in his 2nd season and Tyrod Taylor looks to bring some stability at the QB position, though it’s anyone’s guessat what point they bring in #1 overall draft pick Baker Mayfield. Similar to Baltimore, if Tyrod Taylor plays 16 games this season, it would indicate the Browns are having a good season (hard to fathom that it’s ever an outcome that is in the range of possibility). If Baker starts a handful, it’s because Hue Jackson is in the hotseat and will try and borrow even more time from somewhere.

Denzel Ward, #4 pick in the 2017 draft joins what could be a sneaky defence but it was a surprise that Bradley Chubb was not on this roster.

From a fantasy perspective, it’s hard to know who will produce the most out of this group. Gordon could prove to be a bust should his troubles stay in touch with him, Corey Coleman could end up being cut if Dez Bryant joins the team (his twitter feed is always worth a watch) and Jarvis Landry will need to improve on his 8.8 yards per catch from last year whilst keeping the sky high number of Touchdowns from last season. I think David Njoku is probably the play as a late TE off the board and Tyrod Taylor is a risk with Baker Mayfield lurking but could be a good Bestball player at the end of drafts.

Key Storyline: Can all of these players gel and can they finally win a game?

Cincinnati Bengals:

The Bengals have the players to make a case for wildcard consideration this year but the offensive line needs to hold up, John Ross needs to live up to his billing now back from injury and Marvin Lewis needs to establish the teams identity.

Joe Mixon struggled to get efficiency from his runs last year but could prove a lot better for the experience, though Gio Bernard and draft pick Mark Walton are circling. AJ Green was his usual self (minus the ejection) and should do so again this year. Billy Price should sure up the line a little bit at center for the Bengals, helping Dalton have a bit more time and who knows whether Tyler Eifert will play this season (you could do worse than Tyler Kroft too).

On the defence, Burfict is suspended yet again and will be missed but the defence is a middle of the road type defence and should follow recent trends in terms of efficiency and production. I think it will be a few years until we see the Bengals in the palyoffs unfortunately.

Summary:

TM-

Not going to predict anything too drastic for the division but it would surprise me to see the Ravens get within 1 or 2 wins of the Steelers. Whether that’s because the Steelers implode or the Ravens get the grit between their teeth and improve. The Ravens have a good shot at January this year all things going well and it will certainly be interesting to see how many wins the Browns get (surely 1?!?!). I dont see the Bengals troubling anyone too much but Joe Mixon could be a top 5 running back in fantasy (contrarian hot take).

All the Steelers players you are paying for in drafts due to the high scoring potential, but Vance McDonald could be one to watch out for if you stream Tight End. The Ravens could provide some value by selecting their players in the later rounds (not Flacco though guys, let’s be real). The Browns probably wont return many points this year so would probably avoid most of those

Predictions:

1st – Pittsburgh Steelers,

2nd – Baltimore Ravens,

3rd – Cleveland Browns (!),

4th – Cincinnati Bengals

Lee

The AFC is going to be a really interesting division for the coming season. Every team has some storylines that will be worth keeping an eye an as we work through the season.

The least interesting storyline is that atop of the division is still the Pittsburgh Steelers. They still have the best players and best roster in the North but what’s going on with Le’Veon Bell? It’s pretty clear to see that there’s some bad blood between Bell and the front office and the star running back will most likely be playing his last season in Pittsburgh. How will this affect things? Well, I feel like the Steelers will try to get their money’s worth out of Bell and he’ll be looking at 400+ total touches through the regular season. Now, obviously giving your best players more opportunities means more opportunities for big plays but how much will that wear Bell down? How does it affect the offense overall? Is it putting him in the line of fire in terms of injuries?

Obviously with Bell, Ben, Brown and a top offensive line, the Steelers are going to score some point but can they keep other teams out? The defense doesn’t match up to the other side of the ball but they’re still going to be number 1 in the North. From a fantasy perspective, you can’t go wrong with Brown or Bell. Roethlisberger will stink a few weeks and probably get injured for a short time but a decent streaming option.

Next, a team who I personally find really interesting, the Cleveland Browns. On paper the Browns look like a really competitive team. Looking through their depth chart there are blue chip players throughout the roster. Yes, really. They also have some young players who they have drafted in the past couple of years who could grow into some of the better players at their positions.

I think what a lot of fans struggle to get past in the Browns name and recent history and because of that, they talk Cleveland down. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Browns will be the next best team in the North. Todd Haley and Gregg Williams are top co-ordinators and now that Cleveland have moved away from moneyball, you can treat them as a normal football team again. I’ll come on to the Bengals and the Ravens soon but these team a excite me less than Cleveland at this moment in time. I’m not saying they’ll make the playoffs but they’re going to be better, much better. Fantasy wise; Landry is going to be gobbling up catches, if Josh Gordon has his mind and body in sync he could be a top 10 receiver. The back field is going to be a committee so wait and see who emerges and maybe try to get one off of waivers if you don’t fancy betting on one guy come your draft. My one to watch would be David Njoku, the super athletic tight and will be looking to become a big weapon in year two.

When it comes to the Bengals, I’m looking at that revamped offensive line. I’m seeing if they can help Joe Mixon break out, I’m seeing William Jackson can cement himself as one of the best corners in the game and can John Ross make positive yardage?

I think Mixon has a good chance to breakout and become a top running back. He’s definitely worth targeting in your fantasy drafts, some goes for A.J Green. Both late first to early second round players depending on the size of your league.

One thing that holds the Bengals back, to me is coaching. I was shocked when they kept Marvin Lewis on. He’s been in the job for a long time and really not yielded much success; didn’t Einstein say something about insanity and repeating stuff over and over and expecting different results? Hmmm.

The least interesting team in the division, to me, is the Ravens. Aside from Lamar Jackson, I didn’t like their draft, I don’t feel like they added much or improved very much at all. I feel like we’re just waiting for Lamar Jackson to unseat Joe Flacco and then things may get interesting. Then we’ll all be watching to see how the Baltimore offense evolves from a drab Flacco offense into something potentially really exciting with Jackson at the controls. At this point I feel like Flacco is only in a job because of the respect he’s earned through winning a Superbowl.

Jackson could be a nice pick up for you dynasty league by the way. Aside from him I’m not going anywhere near Ravens players in my drafts. The wide receiver room is awash with “meh” players and none of the tight ends interest me at all. Alex Collins could be a decent pick up but not someone worth targeting in my book.

This could seem pretty wild to some but my prediction is:

  1. Steelers
  2. Browns
  3. Bengals
  4. Ravens

Joy Divisions – AFC East

Before the season starts, myself and good friend of the podcast Lee Wakefield (@wakefield90) will give a summary of each division, how we see it playing out over the season along with some players to target in fantasy in each.

Let’s start with perhaps the easiest division, the AFC East…

Tim

New England Patriots:

Despite the Patriots having some what of a clearout in the summer and reported riffs in the camp, the Patriots will still coast this division. Chris Hogan is a guy you should be circling in drafts and should have a great season, let alone a good first 4 weeks with Edelman out.

Gone are their top performing WR and RB from last season in Cooks and Lewis as well as Malcolm Butler, Nate Solder and Danny Amendola. The broken record of “this is the year the Patriots dynasty falls” returns yet again and for me, I need to see evidence first before committing to jumping on the bandwagon. New England and Bill Belichick have a history of maximising the production from their player pool and even Sir Alex Ferguson would be proud and can’t see many (if any scenarios where New England dont have a bye week in week 1 of the postseason.

Key storyline: Can the dynasty hold off father time for at least one more year?

But where could the challenge come from?

Miami Dolphins:

I would have to say Miami are the most likely contenders and they too have had a clearout (albeit over a longer stretch last year). Adam Gase has gotten rid of the egos, gotten rid of the players that think they’re bigger than the franchise and could finally have “his type” of team. Suh, Cutler, Ajayi, Landry and of course Julius Thomas (I’m not being serious with the last one) all leave gaping holes to fill and there are plenty of question marks surrounding this team. Forget last year, that wasn’t Miami, played 16 straight games with a QB who didn’t overly care and a team that I don’t think bought into the ethos of Gase. Albert Wilson, Danny Amendola, Mike Gesicki and 1st round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick aim to fill those voids and whilst i think they will be a game or two off of the playoffs, hopefully for Dolphins fans, their trajectory could be on the rise, just in time for the Patriots fall. For fantasy, I don’t want any Miami Dolphin except maybe Gesicki in Dynasty (and perhaps a last round pick in redraft) as he could be a ready to explode in year one type of TE and certainly will have opportunity, not something TEs get in their rookie year if we look at the history. Tannehill (remember him?) will have to stay healthy for any success to come Miami’s way, otherwise its another losing season with the Brock Lobster.

Key storyline: Can Adam Gase finally get the players working as a team?

Buffalo Bills:

Last years surprise playoff team have to be Buffalo and boy are they in line for a crash back to earth.

Sneaking in to the postseason after Dalton shocking the Ravens in week 17, the Bills were there to make up the numbers. This year, they could be getting a top 3 pick in next years draft, dont @ me. They lose Richie Incognito in amongst 3 of their 5 starts on the o-Line last year, they have noone to catch the ball and even worse than that, they have noone to throw them the ball. Tyrod Taylor, criminally disrespected by the Bills organisation and fantasy GMs everywhere is now in Cleveland to get the same treatment, leaving AJ McCarron, who will be put to the wolves in a brutal opening schedule. Josh Allen isn’t ready but will no doubt be thrown in at some point, and Nathan Peterman….well, is Nathan Peterman. Their only fantasy worthy player is LeSean McCoy and he too is battling some off the field issues. He is facing father time in the next year or so and will be interested to see how much more tread he has on those tyres.

Their defence is OK and Tremaine Edmunds was a solid draft pick, but man this team are gonna struggle if they can’t run the ball. That said, they have a great coach and basically got to the playoffs last year with the same group. Surely they cant repeat?

Key Storyline: How many wins can Sean McDermott muster from a team deprived of talent?

New York Jets:

That brings us to the Jets. Somewhat gone under the radar this offseason for me.

They have an interesting training camp battle at Quarterback which will probably see Bridgewater traded at some point (seems to be impressing themost judging by reporter’s notes, but that could be smokescreen for said trade). Josh McCown is the favourite to start the season, but likely the underdog to finish it. He will at some point move to the coaching staff and Sam Darnold likely to get some snaps as the season goes on

Similar comments apply to the running back position, where Thomas Rawls and Isiah Crowell enter the fray with Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire (the legend Matt Forte retiring leaving the number 1 back up for grabs). Crowell seems to be the favourite at this early stage for the gig but based on his Cleveland years, are you gonna have him in your fantasy teams and starting him with confidence? Didn’t think so.

Robby Anderson, the WR Alvin Kamara at points last year could be suspended for a little while (unconfirmed at this point) leaving an uninspiring combination of Jermaine Kearse, Quincy Enunwa (another forgotten man) and Terrelle Pryor at Wide receiver and some Joe Schmoes at Tight End (aka Clive Walford) catching passes.

Overall, Todd Bowles will do well to get the team near a playoff berth but their defence is young and battle ready with a year under their belts and could surprise a few teams if they take them for granted.

Key Storyline: At what point will Sam Darnold start?

Summary:

Not a lot of exciting storylines in the AFC East this year, both in NFL and fantasy terms. People will go into the furnace once more on Devante Parker (“This is the year”, etc) and Kenny Stills whilst over in Buffalo and New York, there isn’t a lot that takes my fancy (maybe Anderson if ADP is late and avoids a big suspension). The one standout for me is Chris Hogan, who was great last year when healthy and should get a lot of opportunity and volume in the Patriots passing attack that doesn’t feature Edelman for the 1st 4 games. I’ll never be a drafter of Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski so that pretty much leaves noone else in the division….joys.

In real life terms, there are a couple of subdued storylines that will take a bit of time to develop; the Jets at QB/RB (still, yuk), the assumed demise of the Patriots and which team will step up and challenge in the next few years. In a division where New England have won 14 out of the last 15 AFC East titles, it’s hard to predict change at this point.

Sorry folks, not much to see here.

Predictions:

1st -New England Patriots *YAWN*,

2nd – Miami Dolphins,

3rd – New York Jets,

4th – Buffalo Bills

Lee

The Patriots are in meltdown right? There was some possibly in-fighting last year between the owner, head coach and quarterback, now said superstar QB has skipped voluntary workouts for the first time in forever… oh my god, Julian Edelman is out for four games with a PED’s suspension! There’s even been talk of trading Rob Gronkowski! The tables must be turning in the AFC East right! Right…? Wrong.

The Pats have aired a little more dirty laundry in public than they’d like over the past few months but they’re still the top dogs in this division and still amongst the best teams in the AFC as a whole. They still have Brady, they still have Bill Belichick and the biggest mismatch in the league in Rob Gronkowski. Oh, and they managed to keep Josh McDaniels away from Indy.

It also helps that the rest of the division is average to baaaad.

The rest of the division are going to be fighting towards .500, in my opinion. The Bills are a mess on offense and it’s going to put a lot of pressure on a capable defense. From a fantasy perspective, avoid Bills players like the plague! Even if you’re thinking about drafting Shady in the second… Don’t! Let someone else fall in love with the big name. He’s going to face loaded boxes behind a bad offensive line because none of those QB’s are winning through the air.

The Jets have a few more interesting players but they all come with strings attached… Robby Anderson has legal troubles, Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell take touches off of each other but can both put in good game. Quincy Enunwa could be a waiver wire target in mid season once you’ve lost a guy or two to injury though. The Jets are a little further along in their rebuild and they’ll hope that they have their QB of the future in Sam Darnold now, but I still feel like they’re a year or two away; they still need a couple of good drafts and to develop their budding stars. Maybe once the Belichick era comes to a close they’ll be the best placed to take advantage.

Miami are probably the second best team, currently, in the AFC East but I don’t think they have a great quarterback or their next quarterback in the building right now. Tannehill is ok but he’s nothing special, plus he’s coming back from a major injury. The assessment of “ok but nothing special” applies to a lot of Miami’s roster too, in my book the offensive line is good but they’re the standout unit. From a fantasy perspective it’s also pretty messy; no one is drafting Frank Gore but could he take goal line work away from Kenyan Drake? Kallen Bellage will also be getting some touches. The wide receiver room is crowded too so tough to make a pick amongst them. However, one guy I do like is Mike Gesicki as a late round pick up, especially for dynasty leagues. Super athletic and a bigger red zone target than any of the ‘Fins wideouts. (I mentioned this the last time I appeared on The Full 10 Yards podcast, so give that a listen).

Pretty boring division overall in terms of how it’ll probably play out.

Predictions:

  1. New England Patriots
  2. Miami Dolphins
  3. New York Jets
  4. Buffalo Bills

See you on the Upside…

Upside….Potential….Ceiling….

All words synonymous with fantasy football players we all get excited about each off-season.

We all keep a keen eye on minicamp battles, coaches speak from interviews to try and get that extra edge about players that we want on our teams every year.

Average Draft Position, or ADP, is the average position in drafts that players are taken and the beauty of it is, everyone has an opinion on players that are too high, players that are considered steals.

One thing that we always overpay for is where players have anything which is considered close to those first 3 words at the start of this article.

Fantasy Football GMs love a player with upside or potential. Whether it has come from another player leaving and potentially giving a player a bigger role in their offence. Or a player that has been traded for or drafted in to a team where lots of targets are available or come in to a high scoring offence.

Hype starts to build and in most cases, where we hear nothing from the players or the coaches on these players and their roles, we all board the hype train.

This skyrockets player’s average draft position in mock drafts and in some cases, actualy drafts. We usually find ourselves kicking the wall when these players don’t repay the faith we show in them as Fantasy Football managers.

Here we will look at the candidates where the hype train is full or where we are potentially way over the top on for next season.

Quarterbacks:

DeShaun Watson

There will be a common theme here at the Quarterback position. Small sample size but lots of ability.

After being drafted no.12 overall in the 2017 draft, Watson lit up the NFL in his 6 career starts, despite taking a game or two to get in to the groove.

His 1st season start was a TNF game against Cincinnatti and despite not the greatest of games (although coming away with the W), Watson never looked back.

Watson went in to New England in Week 3 and were seconds away from a massive upset of the Patriots. Week 4, Watson scored a rookie record equalling 5 TDs, battering the Titans with a 50 burger, earning Watson the AFC offensive player of the week. He followed that up with a 5TD performance on MNF vs the Chiefs. Week 6, Watson rolled into Seattle and passed for over 400 yards and 4 Touchdowns.

The rookie was named the AFC player of the month and broke the record for number of touchdown by a rookie in a calendar month.

His season was ended prematurely when tearing his ACL in practice on a non contact drill and still managed to put up 1699 yards, 19 touchdowns and 8 interceptions (including 2 more rushing TDs). He finished 50th on the NFL’s top 100 (polled by their peers).

So this season, Watson is going QB1 in some leagues (yes, over Aaron Rodgers) and even if Watson rediscovers his 2017 form for all 16 games in 2018, this is wayyyy too high. Granted his last 4 starts in 2017, he ended up QB1 and QB2 twice. People are drafting him at his ceiling and it’s no sure thing that we get that Watson back. AN ACL tear could lead to less mobility from Watson and the coaching staff dialling up less plays for Watson to run the ball and scrambling may also be on the downward trend. They are more likely to lean on their run game and their star studded defence in a division that has become a lot tougher.

It is far too risky to take Watson at his current ADP but I can certainly see why people are. I would bet my bottom dollar that Watson will go a few rounds later in 2019 than where he goes next season.

Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy G finished the season as one of the hottest QBs, and it seems the lasting impression has not been forgotten. After being traded from the Patriots for a measly price, Garoppolo wasted no time in the driving seat of the 49ers and the Kyle Shanahan offence. Winning all 5 games to end the season and throwing for over 1500 yards.

However, he did only throw 7TDs and was intercepted 5 times, a lot of people are buying in to what the 49ers offence could be next season and a lot of that probably has to do with Kyle Shanahan. Jimmy G is the 9th Quarterback off the boards, ahead of Stafford, ahead of Matt Ryan, Phil Rivers and Big Ben. That to me sounds crazy for a guy that has only started a handful of games, like DeSahun Watson. I know he was a backup QB in new England for multiple years and let’s face it, one handsome as hell guy! But to be this high in drafts is only going to lead to disappointment.

Kyle Shanhan loves of finding ways to get everyone the ball and is great at getting the most out of his backfields. Jimmy G wont actually need to do too much in this offence. Their defence has improved and the NFC west has probably got a bit weaker with Seattle going backwards. They also have 3 of their first 4 games away from Levi’s stadium against some decent teams, so you may find yourself ruing that 7th round pick of Jimmy Garoppolo if things don’t quite go to plan at the start of the season for the 49ers.

Running Backs:

Jerick McKinnon

I promise I am not a 49ers hater!

Similar to the comments above regarding schedule and the Kyle Shanahan sharing the love type of offence, Jerick McKinnon is seemingly the workhorse over in the bay area this season. I just worry about him being able to handle the workload. He was never given that in Minnesota and Latavius Murray ended up taking over that backfield in the absence of the injured Dalvin Cook. McKinnon has had plenty of chances to be what he is in San Francisco and never really convinced me he is anything mroe than a 3rd Down/Passing down back, which he is actually very efficient and explosive at.

McKinnon was RB33 in standard scoring last year and only finished inside the top 12RBs 4 out of the 16 weeks (0.5pt PPR). He signed a 4 year, $30m deal to join the 49ers and he has very little in the way of competition. Carlos Hyde has gone to Cleveland, leaving only Matt Breida and Joe Williams in the depth chart. Whilst Matt Breida could have a bit of joy in this offence, I am sure not taking a 3rd round pick chance on McKinnon, especially in standard scoring). McKinnon has never topped 160 carries and barely received 200 touches in a whole season. Whilst he has the ideal place to be utilized best with Kyle Shanahan, the same applies to all the players in the offence and I cant see McKinnon justifying a pick that early in what could be a lower than expected scoring team. Let him be someone else’s problem.

Derrick Henry

From Jerick, to Derrick.

Probably a cop out with Henry here, but if people are going to continue to draft him as high as the 3rd Round, he will continue to be labelled as such.

We all know how much of a physical freak Henry is. The bruising, towering powerful former Alabama back is as physically brutal as they come, but Tennessee made the moves to acquire Dion Lewis from New England. Everyone thought Henry would have been unleashed this season after the departure of DeMarco Murray, but the move for Lewis says to me that Tennessee are not entirely convinced with what Henry can over over a season. He isn’t a pass catching back, nor is he great at picking up pass protection. If it’s one thing that kills running backs in the NFL, it’s the lack of pass protecting skills (just ask Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay staff).

Henry did reel off a few long TD runs last season in garbage time and like I’ve said, the potential is there, but people are chasing their losses after last year and you will once again get your fingers burned. 4 top 12 finishes in fantasy last year does not inspire confidence for me with a 3rd round pick. Yuk. Players going in the vicinity of Henry at the moment are Joe Mixon, Christian McCaffrey and Jay Ajayi along with the rookie Guice. 100 times out of 100 I would take all of those over Henry. Always.

 

Wide Receivers

Josh Gordon

May be a bit of a controversial one here. No-one is doubting his talent or his credentials of justifying his 3rd round investment required to acquire him in drafts currently, there are just too many potential things getting in the way for me, his off field issues being top of that list.

Josh Gordon or “Flash” has missed so much time with his off field troubles with substance abuse and hopefully, all that is now behind him. Photos going round showing what kind of shape he is in at the moment look impressive and maybe finally we can see a return of the WR that finished with over 1600 yards (!) and 9TDs in 2013. If you can guarantee me 16 games for Gordon next season and that he has returned to optimum peak conditioning, I could perhaps buy in to his 3rd round investment, but there are also other factors now affecting this too much for me to be comfortable with doing so;

Firstly,  Hue Jackson. Hue Jackson is an awful coach. The Browns have won just won 1 game in 2 seasons and have not won on a Sunday since Dec 13, 2015. Yikes.

The team are perennial low scorers every season and this season looks to be no different.

Change in Quarterback, an influx of players on offence and a QB waiting in the wings in Baker Mayfield mean that there are so many variables surrounding this team that I cannot be confident that Gordon will return any value with his current draft position (or even expected returns for a potential WR1 or 2 for that matter).

Yes, he could quite easily have a season of 10TDs and 1000 yards, but Jarvis Landry being there really could cut into his piece of the pie, helping the team sustain drives and be a go to target for Taylor. Tyrod Taylor is an average, steady Eddie type of QB and although he throws a good long ball, it’s a messy offence and it’s hard to know how well this offence will gel. Added in to that a fairly difficult schedule and the fact he has to prove that he still has it too because he didn’t exactly set the world on fire on his return last year (18 rec , 335 yards and 1 TD in 5 games), I’ll pass.

Tyreek Hill

Hill was very much utilised all over the field last year: Rushing (14 targets behind the line of scrimmage too!), passing (threw an interception) and receiving.

This year, it could all come crashing down.

New quarterback in Patrick Mahomes (some say that will help Hill’s skill set on the nine route) and a new shiny Wide Receiver in Sammy Watkins. We all know what a healthy Sammy Watkins can do and obviously didn’t flash his best but had little time to learn the playbook in LA with the Rams. Watkins could shine brighter than HIll here, and he is going at least 4 rounds later in drafts. Oh, and there’s top tier TE Travis Kelce still there too.

Whilst Hill will be in contention for the most targets and touches in the offence, he could turn out to be very boom or bust next year. End of season stats may return dividends for Hill owners once it’s all said and done, but you may find yourself not playing in the fantasy playoffs because of Hill. Look at last seasons weekly finishes in fantasy (0.5ppr):

3, 47,17 ,59, 32, 3, 58, 5, 20, 36, 1, 37,10, 10 – That’s more ups and downs that a Thorpe Park Roller coaster. You want to commit to this as potentially your WR1? Oh, you do…well good luck to you. Word of Warning: Schedule. Kansas City and Andy Reid are well known for their Regular Season form. They smashed the Patriots on opening night last year so they are not afraid to play the big teams. They travel to the Chargers, Steelers and Broncos in the first 4 weeks and Mahomes will be tested on his mental strength as well as his abilities. One thing in Tyreek’s favour is that the KC defence is a shadow of it’s former self and could lead to a lot of shootouts.

Tight Ends

Trey Burton

You cant spell trendy without the word Trey.

Trey Burton, the former backup tight end in Philadelphia to Zach Ertz, the backup QB to Nick Foles (just kidding, but did you see that throw to Foles in the Super Bowl?) now finds himself in Chicago on a pretty nice deal. After getting pretty much a WR deal (4 year, $32m), it seems the man sharing his name with a UK mens clothing retail chain is line for an interesting workload this coming season. He is the 9th TE off the board and whilst that translates to a late 7th/early 8th round pick, it’s actually not bad value. It could just be that this may be a year too early.

Chicago and Trubisky struggled last year under John Fox (who has now gone) and Matt Nagy has joined the ranks so hopefully play calling wont see Burton’s production suffering. However, there are a lot of mouths to feed in Chi-town. Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and of course, marquee signing Allen Robinson have also joined the offence during the free agency and the draft and you also have Tarik Cohen lurking there in the backfield too. Trubisky will need to step forward to sustain a couple of these in fantasy and Trey Burton may not necessarily be top of the list. He should offer you a service at Tight End, which is hit or miss at the best of times but you may be struggling if it is only him you are relying on. I expect Burton’s ADP to rise going into preseason as the hype in this Chicago team gathers pace, at which point I may look to other options at Tight End. Drafting a tight end in round 6 or 7 but not being certain of being able to lock it and load it week to week isn’t something I am a fan of.