Fantasy: Dynasty Sells

By Andy Goddard (@Godsy1985)

NFL Fantasy – Dynasty Sells

Image credit: Jim Brown – USA Today Sports

Derrick Henry RB – Tennesse Titans


First on my list of dynasty sells is Derrick Henry. Henry drove the Titans to the 2019 playoffs with his powerful running and it appeared that defenders were scared to try and tackle him. In fact, during one run, Henry used Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas as his lead blocker when a devastating stiff arm spun Thomas around! Henry rushed for 1540 yards  and 16 touchdowns in the 2019 regular season, eclipsing his best ever season by nearly 500 yards! He then backed this up with another 446 yards and two touchdowns during the 2019 playoffs. So why does he make the ‘sell’ list?

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In my opinion, Henry has reached the ceiling and with that, his maximum value. I would certainly be putting the feelers out there to see exactly what you can get for him. Henry has been in the league for 4 seasons and whilst he has been improving year on year, he will not eclipse last seasons performances. Before 2019, Henry had a best season of 1059 yards and 12 touchdowns and in the previous 2 seasons hadn’t reached 1000 yards and only managed 5 touchdowns each year.

There is no doubting that Henry is one of the better running backs in the league at this moment in time but when playing dynasty, you need to capitalise on players at their maximum value. I think Henry’s first three seasons are a better representation of what you can expect if you hold onto him. Don’t expect him to clock up over 1500 yards each year. Get the value now as someone is always desperate for a running back and will no doubt overpay for someone like Henry!


(Image credit: Katharine Lotze – Getty Images)

James Conner RB – Pittsburgh Steelers


At the beginning of last season, James Conner started as the 8th running back taken in the draft (on average) and has now fallen to an average draft position (ADP) of running back 22! The main issue here is health. In 2019 Conner played just 10 games and rushed for a measly 464 yards with a longest run of just 25 yards. There was a lot of hype and expectation on Conner when he took over from Le’Veon Bell and he produced a good year in 2018, rushing for 973 yards and adding 497 receiving yards.

James Conner is still rumoured to be the starting running back for the Steelers franchise (according to Steelers GM Kevin Colbert) which means that he will still have value now. If you are of the belief that he won’t regain the form of 2018, then his value will only drop. If you aren’t sold on him I would consider using him as trade bait. If you want to keep him, he is a third running back at best right now.


(Image credit: Matthew Stockman – Getty Images)

Phillip Lindsay RB – Denver Broncos


Phillip Lindsay is one of the most frustrating players in fantasy football. You can watch the highlights and think he is lighting it up every week but if you delve into the stats he just wasn’t consistent enough. Lindsay will get 20+ points one week and 3 the next! He has value though. If you look at the seasonal stats he has amassed over 1000 yards in each of his first two seasons with 1037 and 1011 yards respectively.

In my opinion, he won’t make it to 1000 yards again in 2020 and his value will drop. Going into 2020, Lindsay will now be splitting time with Melvin Gordon and/or Royce Freeman which will limit his opportunities and he needs to make bigger improvements in the receiving game where he did not have 1 single touchdown in 2019. There just aren’t enough upsides to keep Lindsay right now. Whilst you may have lost the value with the Gordon move, still try and move him on to someone that is a bit more bullish about Lindsay.


(Image credit: Aaron Doster – USA Today Sports)

AJ Green WR – Cincinnati Bengals


AJ Green is a stellar wide receiver, there is no doubting his ability. However, he missed the entirety of the 2019 season due to injury and only played 10 games the year before. He is also 31 years old. Whichever way you look at it, the value that you can potentially get for Green is only going to go down. He may still be of value to a team that is looking for a short-term guy to help win a championship in 2020 or 2021. He certainly won’t be an option for a team that is currently in rebuild mode.

This is where you need to know your league and the teams that make it up. If you know that there is another team that may be one receiver short of having a real chance at winning the championship, you may be able to get some value for Green. AJ Green will likely be staying in Cincinnati and he will probably have rookie QB Joe Burrow throwing him the ball. If he can stay healthy, he is still one of the best receivers in the league. Its a risk to trade him but also a risk to trade for him!


(Image credit: Scott Varley – Staff Photographer)

Keenan Allen WR – LA Chargers


In 2017, Keenan Allen finally proved that he could stay healthy and since then he has amassed three seasons where he has averaged over 100 receptions and over 1200 yards. As good as these numbers appear, he hasn’t been able to score more than six touchdowns each year. He is also losing Philip Rivers at QB. No matter who is under centre for the Chargers next year, it won’t be a big upgrade on Rivers. The uncertainty that Allen now faces leaves a little bit of a problem for dynasty owners. He has been producing good numbers but we have no idea who will be throwing to him in 2020.

You can get good value for Allen and replace him with a young receiver from the draft as his name will still carry a lot of weight. If you can manage to get a mid first round pick for him, you can let the new owner deal with the wide range of possible outcomes for Allen in 2020.

Season in Review – New England Patriots

By Andy Goddard (@godsy1985)

The next instalment of our season review articles takes a look at last years world champions, the New England Patriots. Is a 12-4 regular season record really the end of the dynasty?


Entering the season


Going into the 2019 season, the Patriots were once again one of the favourites to lift the Lombardi Trophy in Miami but there were also a lot of question marks against the team. The major concern appeared to be at the wide receiver position, which was very thin, but did still include the reigning Super Bowl MVP in Julian Edelman and the troubled yet talented, Josh Gordon. The other obvious concern was the loss of Rob Gronkowski. ‘Gronk’ had announced his retirement in March 2019 leaving the Pats with an ageing Ben Watson and two unproven players in Ryan Izzo and, the recently acquired, Matt LaCosse.

Preparations for the new season took another hit on 26th August 2019 when it was announced that centre David Andrews had been diagnosed with pulmonary embolism which would eventually result in him being placed on season ending injury reserve (IR) at the end of August 2019. The Patriots 1st round draft pick, N’Keal Harry, also then found himself on IR in September due to an ankle injury.

Before a play had even been called, the Patriots were struggling on offense but the defence had held the high scoring LA Rams to just three points in Super Bowl 53 so there was still optimism that with Brady and Belichick, another trip to the big game was possible.

The AFC East has been looked upon as a little bit of a joke for quite a while now. The New York Jets and Miami Dolphins were both in transition periods and the only challenge for New England looked to be the Buffalo Bills. However, heading into the 2019 season, the Patriots were still expected to win the AFC East and head into the playoffs once more.


During the season


The Patriots started the season with what was regarded as a very weak schedule. The Pats opened the season 8-0 and there was talk from some people in the media that this team could go undefeated. Blow out wins against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets (twice) and the Washington Redskins did not tell the whole story as the second half of their schedule would show.

On September 7th, the Patriots signed Antonio Brown to a one year contract. Suddenly a weak wide receiver unit was now looking very promising with Brown, Gordon and Edelman all lining up alongside Tom Brady. Unfortunately, this lasted just one game (at Miami) before Brown was eventually cut on 20th September due to an ongoing court case and further allegations made against the wide receiver.

David Santiago/AP

Regardless of the Antonio Brown issue, the Patriots were winning, and winning comprehensively. Their defence’s play was historically dominant and was the catalyst for the 8-0 record. Scoring touchdowns on defence and special teams at an astonishing rate covered over the cracks on offense. The Patriots ‘ran over’ teams on their way to winning Super Bowl 53, but this team had to rely more and more on Tom Brady as the running game was non-existent. This may seem strange, having to rely on arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game but Brady was 42 when the season began and (finally) showing signs of his age. To make matters worse, his wide receivers were also struggling. They couldn’t get open, and on the occasions they did, the number of dropped catches was very alarming. The once reliable Julian Edelman, lead the league in dropped catches (9) and Brady no longer had his big tight end, ‘Gronk’. In October, Josh Gordon found himself on IR before being before released and claimed by the Seattle Seahawks. Although Mohamed Sanu was traded to the Patriots on 22nd October, he also struggled and finished the season with just 207 yards.

A week 9 trip to Baltimore brought the Patriots first defeat of the season and although they won the next two games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys it was once again the defence that were the main cause, holding the Eagles and Cowboys to 10 and 9 points respectively.

Notoriously, the Patriots thrive in December and begin to play their best football. The 2019 season was the complete opposite of this as they fell to consecutive defeats against the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs. New England’s offense had looked a little better against the Chiefs but one really bad piece of officiating took points off the board when N’Keal Harry was wrongly adjudge to have stepped out when he had scored a touchdown. They would eventually lose 16-23.

Nancy Lane/ BH

Heading into week 16, the Patriots needed to beat the Buffalo Bills to secure another AFC East title. A 24-17 win meant that not only did they win the AFC East but a victory in their final game, at home to the (4-11) Miami Dolphins, would secure the number 2 seed in the AFC and clinch a first round bye in the playoffs. In week 17, things appeared to be going to plan as Tom Brady drove his Patriots down the field late on to take a 24-20 lead but ‘Fitzmagic’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick) had other ideas as the Dolphins scored with seconds remaining to win the game 27-24. That defeat, coupled with a win by the Kansas City Chiefs, meant that the Patriots would finish as the third seed and have to play in the wild game for the first time in since 2009!

The Patriots hosted the Tennessee Titans in the wild card game. With the Titans leading 14-13 at the half, the Patriots would fail to score another point in the 2019 season as the Titans ran out 20-13 winners and advanced to the divisional round.


Offseason outlook


The big question going into the off season revolves around quarterback Tom Brady, who will be an unrestricted free agent. It’s crazy to think of Brady in another uniform but there is a real possibility this happens. It was well reported that Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, wanted to keep Jimmy Garoppolo before he was eventually traded to San Francisco so we could see a new quarterback under centre for the Patriots. Of course, Brady could very well return for another season but one thing appears certain, Brady does not want to retire just yet.

Adam Hunger /AP

If Brady was to move on, do the Patriots go with back up Jarrett Stidham, draft their new man, or make a trade? I would be very surprised to see Brady sign with someone else and believe that Robert Kraft (New England Patriots Owner) will do everything in his power to keep his QB around and make him a Patriot for life.

In 2019, the defense looked solid against the pass with Stephon Gilmore being the stand out performer and winning Defensive MVP, but they need to improve against the run. This was highlighted in the wild card game against the Titans.

The Patriots also have a long list of players who will hit free agency. Some big name players including Devin McCourty, the impressive Kyle Van Noy, Matthew Slater, Jamie Collins, Joe Thuney and Danny Shelton will be available. Not all of these players will be Patriots next season. Kyle Van Noy and Joe Thuney will get paid big money by another team so will need replacing and the offense still needs improvement at the skill positions. The loss of Gronkowski was huge, not only in the passing game but he also excelled as a blocker. New England has $49 million in cap space and this will probably grow with contracts being restructured.

Heading into the 2020 season, the Patriots need at least 2 wide receivers, a tight end and maybe a quarterback! Added to those positions there is also a need at guard and the linebacker position if Thuney and Van Noy do not sign new deals. This could be the biggest offseason for the Patriots in a long time!


Summary


At the top of the article we asked, ‘is a 12-4 regular season record really the end of the dynasty?’ And for me, the answer is a resounding no! The Patriots actually improved on last seasons regular season record and although their season ended early, they still went 12-4! In fact, there are only a handful of teams that wouldn’t be very happy with that record. There is no arguing, It was a disappointing season but that just highlights the success that the Patriots have had over the past two decades. One teams failure would be seen as a huge success by many other teams in the league. Whilst Belichick is still the head coach, they will always have a chance.

If Tom Brady returns and Belichick can get the right people around him, they will be challenging again next season. The AFC East will be more competitive next year with the Buffalo Bills being the biggest challengers and the Miami Dolphins improving.

Much was made of Brady and the Patriots passing offense, but if you look at the stats, if wasn’t too bad. They finished the season 7th in passing yards per game (253.6 yards) and were also in the top 5 for total number of drops (23). To the dismay of many, I don’t see New England fading away just yet but improvement is needed.


Fun Fact: Heading into week 9 the Patriots were 8-0 but if their offense hadn’t scored a single point, they still would have been 4-2-2!

Trade Targets – Week 12/Dynasty

By Dave Moore (@davieremixed)

We’re at crunch time in Fantasyland.

Did Kyle Allen torch your playoff hopes? Did that San Francisco defensive TD steal a win for you to keep your dreams alive for another week?


This week we’re leaning towards those of you in Dynasty Leagues as you look to build for next season, particularly any of you unlucky enough to have gone all-in on a Goff/Barkley QB/RB tandem this year.


Bring on Board


Courtland Sutton – WR – Denver Broncos

After watching Sutton manhandle Xavier Rhodes and Denzel Ward in his previous two games I think it’s safe to say that Sutton is rapidly approaching a WR1 berth. The matchup against the Bills might be off-putting but if the ball is going anywhere wide, it’s going to Sutton.

However, if Allen doesn’t stay functional and Drew Lock disappears off to the Land of 2016-2019 Broncos QBs then John Elway will likely dip into the open QB market this off-season. Cam Newton? Phillip Rivers? Heck, even Kaep under center would probably be an improvement and with a good QB I can see Sutton having a big year in 2020. He’s crept up to 13th overall for WRs in non-PPR leagues, his upside for the home stretch is decent, his upside for the rest of the year is big.

Finally, the Broncos slate next year features the NFC South, which is arguably about as appetising as it gets for wide-outs.


Austin Ekeler – RB – Los Angeles Chargers

With and without Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler is proving himself a worthy RB1 for Fantasy, currently in the top five of Fantasy RBs he is proving a dual-threat in the same way Alvin Kamara was so effective for the previous two seasons as a pass-catching back.

His price will be high but if Gordon moves on in the off-season then this gives Ekeler a clear run as the main back in Los Angeles.

If you’re really desperate for the end of this season, Ekeler is due to face just one top-five rushing D in the form of the Vikings in Week 15.


D/ST – Los Angeles Rams

This is a play for next year and I’ll keep this short and sweet as we all know how good the Rams D can be.

Their schedule next year includes: Trips to Washington, Miami and possibly Tampa. Home games against both New York teams and possibly a Brady-less Patriots (but that’s another rumour for another day) as well as a visit from The Mitchell Trubisky/Chase Daniels Experience.

You can probably get them quite cheap as their remaining 2019 schedule isn’t too pretty with the Ravens, Seahawks, Cowboys and San Francisco on the card as well as two games against those pesky Cardinals.


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Put on the Block


David Johnson – RB – Arizona Cardinals

Things just haven’t worked out for DJ this year and I think his time in Arizona is up come the offseason.

He was healthy and dressed for Sunday and how many snaps did he take the field for? Nine. How many touches? A big fat zero. That’s five straight weeks where’s he had no impact whatsoever and after the Cardinals traded for Kenyan Drake the writing appears to be on the wall for Johnson.

The question is, where does he go? I’m not sure I see any team where he walks in as the undisputed starter. Maybe, maybe he ends up in Los Angeles backing up Austin Ekeler and gets some plays when Ekeler is out wide?

Get what draft picks you can for him and get him out of there.


Le’Veon Bell – RB – New York Jets

Listen, as long as the Jets have such a porous O-Line I am going to be against having any players from them on my team. Bell has been beaten up all year with the word coming out that Adam Gase will be staying on next season that just leaves me to believe that it’ll be further issues for Bell and his overall health.

He’s hit double figures in the last three weeks, yes. Those teams, however, were the Dolphins, the Giants and the Redskins so all come with huge asterisks.

Of course, this could all change next year if a team makes a trade for him but I’d be surprised if that happened unless Bell really forced the issue.


 Julian Edelman – WR – New England Patriots

As I alluded to earlier, I have a feeling that Brady may not take the field next year which throws up a ton of questions. Does Belichick stay? Do the Patriots look to strip it all down and rebuild? It’s a total crapshoot what might happen but one thing is sure shooting, whether Brady stays or not he isn’t offering up enough opportunities to his WRs this season.

Edelman has been the mainstay, as always, but has only broken into double figures on a handful of occasions with the Jets/Giants/Redskins asterisks being in play here too.

He’s ranked 15th in non-PPR leagues for WRs and I’m not too sure if he can be seen as a WR1 anymore.

The Patriots face the Rams, Seahawks, Broncos, 49ers and almost certainly the Ravens next year as well as two traditionally Buffalo games which doesn’t seem appealing for anyone looking at a Patriots WR so now is probably the time to sell.

Fantasy Waivers: Week 3

By Adil Khan Deshmukh – @dillytoon

Where did the first two weeks of the season go?

We hope you picked up Terry McLaurin and John Ross over the last week as they produced stellar fantasy performances in Week 2. Let’s take a look at the guys that you should be looking to acquire ahead of Week 3.

Josh Allen – Quarterback, Buffalo Bills – owned by 30%

Image Credit: Associated Press (AP)

Week 2 was the demise of a couple of veteran quarterbacks, with Drew Brees tearing ligaments in his hand (6 weeks injury) and Ben Roethlisberger ruled out of the rest of the season with an elbow injury. So if you’re licking your wounds from losing your QB, or you’re in the business of streaming your QB, we have found your guy.

Allen is surprisingly undervalued in fantasy terms, particularly as he was the QB2 for the final 5 games of the 2018 fantasy season (we don’t count wk17). So far after two weeks in the 2019 season, he is QB12 and has come off a decent fantasy performance versus the New York Giants (22.1 points). He has thrown for over 250 yards in both games this season, a feat he didn’t achieve in his rookie year. With Allen’s propensity to scoring rushing TDs (scored in both games this season) and with a plus matchup in their home season debut versus the Bengals, look to him to be your QB going forward. 


Raheem Mostert – Running Back, San Francisco 49ers – owned by 11%

Image Credit: Associated Press

The 49ers have been sneaky good to start the season, with them starting the season 2-0. Jimmy G looks good and the running back duo of Breida and Mostert both are playing well and that’s before we get to the master of vulture Jeff Wilson. 

Mostert in week 2 rushed for 83 yards on 13 carries and had 3 catches for 68 yards and a TD. The Niners face a struggling Pittsburgh side next, who may struggle to keep the offense on the field after their spate of injuries. Mostert will have a lot of flex appeal in week 3, ahead of their week 4 bye so pick him up and reap the rewards.


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DJ Chark – Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars – owned by 22.2%

Image Credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images

Chark over the first two games has performed more than admirably, particularly as they have lost their franchise QB Nick Foles to injury. Week 1 he scored 24.6 points in full-PPR, by way of 4 receptions for 146 yards and a TD, and then followed that up with 7 receptions for 55 yards and a TD in Houston. 

The second week performance was key, as this came with the brilliantly named Gardner Minshew under centre. Now the schedule is not that kind to the Jaguars, with them facing the Titans, Broncos and the Panthers in their next three outings. Pick him up and matchup dependent stick him in your flex.


Demarcus Robinson – Wide Receiver, Kansas City Chiefs – owned by 1.1%

Image Credit: Arizona Daily Star

The human cheat code. Yes, you know who we’re talking about – Patrick Mahomes. He elevates guys on his offense from relative unknowns to fantasy superstars. 

Week 2 was the turn of Demarcus Robinson to ‘ball-out’ with an incredulous 6 catches for 172 yards and 2TDs. Four of the Chiefs receiving corps scored over 10 points in full-PPR and with Tyreek Hill out for an unknown period of time we can expect the targets to remain spread as Mahomes continues to blitz the league. Week 3 brings the matchup against the Ravens, who just let Kyler Murray throw for 349 yards on them. Robinson was on the field for 69% of snaps so look to him to provide your x-factor in the coming weeks.


Greg Olsen – Tight End, Carolina Panthers – owned by 58.7%

Image Credit: JASON E. MICZEK AP

The old man is back to producing fantasy performances! If you are one of those that do not own Kelce, Ertz, Kittle or Andrews; you’re probably scrambling to find the guy who will obtain a reasonable number of points at the TE position. In week 2, Olsen had a stat line of 6 receptions for 110 yards for a massive 17 points in PPR.

This has all happened whilst Cam Newton has been nothing short of disappointing with his inability/refusal to move around the pocket. Next up for the Panthers is a trip to Arizona and their swiss cheese defense in relation to covering the tight end. In the first two weeks, they have given up 131 yards/1TD to Hockensen and 112 yards/1TD to Andrews. Look to Olsen to provide that matchup specific stellar performance when you’re in need.

Deep Deep Deeep Fantasy Sleepers: Part 1 – by Rob Grimwood

How deep? I’m talking Adele level Rolling in the Deep. Actually, even deeper. These sleepers could even be considered Sum 41 level of potentially being In Too Deep.

Yes, welcome to that time of year where us analysts like to breakdown our opinions and try to work out which of the late round picks could potentially be a serviceable piece on your fantasy teams. Two years ago saw Alvin Kamara win titles for owners when being picked up in the latter rounds and last year was Phillip Lindsey’s turn. Tip of the cap to any analysts who went deep to pick him out as a deep sleeper for 2018.

So which players are worth monitoring this off-season and worth either a late round flyer in re-draft leagues or picking up as a taxi squad member/final bench spot in your dynasty leagues? Take a look at these candidates that could be on fantasy radars at some point this season:

Dylan Cantrell – Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Chargers

From a pure talent standpoint, Cantrell was one of the best possession receivers coming out of the 2018 draft and a great under the radar pickup in the 6th round by the Chargers. Unfortunately for him, he fell into a busy depth chart of talented receivers mixed in with a leg injury he sustained during preseason meant he subsequently found himself on the Chargers practice squad for the most of last season before being promoted to the first team roster for the final two weeks.

But after a less than impressive season from Travis Benjamin (186 rec yards and 1 TD) tied in with the loss of Tyrell WIlliams in the free agency, there are definitely productive receiving spots up for grabs in one of the most high powered offenses in the league.

In his last 2 seasons playing for Texas Tech, Cantrell bagged 129 receptions for 1,491 yards and 15 combined touchdowns, but it’s not the stats that blow me away. After watching his highlight tape coming out of college, it is apparent that he possesses an elite set of hands and can make the most difficult catches look easy.

A fair comparison to make for Cantrell would be Vikings star receiver Adam Thielen, not just from a talent standpoint, but from a situational one too. Thielen was a guy very much in the background of the depth chart in Minnesota before being given a chance 2 years after being picked up as a UDFA and has since become one of the leagues best, and most reliable receivers.

We know Mike Williams has tremendous red-zone upside and Keenan Allen is currently one of the best possession receivers in the league, but we also know that these are the type of receiver that Philip Rivers likes to target the most. Considering Allen hasn’t had the cleanest of injury slates and the aforementioned Travis Benjamin regressing in his career, Cantrell could be in a prime spot to gain a bigger role in 2019 and could develop into a “Thielen-type” player over the next couple of seasons.

 

Deon Yelder – Tight End, Kansas City Chiefs

Another under the radar player coming into the league at the beginning of last season as a UDFA was Deon Yelder. Hailing from Western Kentucky, it’s no surprise that he wasn’t picked up in the draft, but how often do we see talented players go ignored on draft day just because they went to a small school?

He was the star of Western Kentucky during his senior year after producing 688 receiving yards from 52 receptions and as a result managed to earn a place in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and a call up to the Senior Bowl where he caught a touchdown.

Photo Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

He started the 2018 season on the New Orleans Saints practice squad before being released in October, but was picked up immediately the next day by the Chiefs in a bid to strengthen the tight end depth chart behind superstar Travis Kelce and was promoted to the first team towards the end of the season, albeit mainly for special team duties.

As with the majority of tight ends coming into the NFL – it almost always takes at least a season for players to get acclimated into the position as it is one of the most versatile positions and therefore hardest to learn in all of football.

With a full year of pro status under his belt and learning from one of the best that’s ever done it in Travis Kelce, Yelder could be primed to step his performances up a notch or two. Tie this is with the uncertainty of what is happening within the offense in Kansas City – the unknown ramifications of Tyreek Hill’s personal issues and the loss of Kareem Hunt in 2018, receiving roles could be up for grabs at Arrowhead this season.

Rookie receiver Mecole Hardman comes with a lot of buzz in tow and will likely see his fair share of targets, but with question marks looming over the rest of the receiving corps, Yelder could be a candidate to share a healthy workload with fellow tight end Kelce and potentially produce fantasy relevant numbers, especially as part of an air raid offense led by the super talented gunslinger, Patrick Mahomes.

Should Kelce go down with an injury too, Yelder ticks a lot of boxes to be a sure fire replacement and a hot commodity pick-up of the waiver wires. Beat the rush, grab him early and stash him away.

 

Chris Conley – Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars

I know Chris Conley hasn’t exactly moved mountains in his time in the NFL so far, but he hasn’t been terrible either. He played out his rookie contract in Kansas City and managed to finish his four years there with 1,238 yards with 6 touchdowns.

It was always going to be an up-hill battle for the former Georgia receiver in Kansas with the emergence of Tyreek Hill and stalwart Travis Kelce always demanding the first reads. Still, he was able to prevail to some degree last season and took advantage of the 52 targets thrown his way by season MVP Patrick Mahomes converting 5 of those for touchdowns.

Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports

It’s his new situation which intrigues me the most. Jacksonville does not have a nailed on WR1 heading into training camp which means it will be a case of “who can impress Nick Foles the most” to see who will win the battle to become the go-to guy.

Dede Westbrook seems to be the favorite among analysts to be the main target, but hasn’t really proved that he can bring superiority to the receiving ranks on the Jag’s depth chart in the two seasons he’s spent in Northern Florida (1,056 receiving yards with 6 TDs).

It’s a similar story for Marqise Lee, he too hasn’t proved he can be the front-runner for the job despite a few eye-catching moments over the last 4 seasons, and of course, is coming back off an ACL tear that cut short his 2018 campaign. Last years’ second round pick D.J Chark barely saw the field last season so is somewhat of an unknown quantity whilst the ‘breakout of Keelan Cole’ in 2017 was about as short-lived as an AAF season.

One thing that attracted Conley to Jacksonville was the long term signing of Nick Foles. The two have previously been teammates during Foles’ stint with the Chiefs in 2016. This could end up being a determining factor for building chemistry and winning camp battles early on in the pre-season process.

In short, Chris Conley has about as much chance as any of these other receivers of being Foles’ main target in 2019. But who knows, the step up in performance after a fairly successful final season in KC may well have been the spark to ignite the fire.

If he’s able to turn heads at training camp and re-kindle a ‘bromance’ with Foles’, the former superbowl MVP certainly has the ability to sustain at least one solid WR2/Flex option in fantasy. Out of all of the receivers vying for that spot, Conley also has speed (4.35 40 dash time at his combine) which is a weapon that the other receivers in Duval may lack, and may well put him a stride ahead of the others in the pecking order.

 

Darren Waller – Tight End, Oakland Raiders

The tight end position in Oakland is polarizing. From barely using the position in 2016, to steadily making it a fringe pick for fantasy rosters in 2017, to completely blowing it out of the water with 1,111 yards and 10 TD’s going to the position in 2018.

So does Derek Carr like targeting tight ends, or was Jared Cook’s performances last season (896 yards, 6 TDs) an outlier for the position? Well, just in case it wasn’t, you might want to consider adding Darren Waller to your fantasy rosters.

Waller started off his NFL career when drafted by the Baltimore Ravens as a wide-receiver in the 2015 draft. He was a practice squad member for the majority of his rookie campaign but switched to tight end in the 2016 off-season to join what has since become the ‘tight end circus’ in Baltimore.

Waller doesn’t come without question marks though. Unfortunately he has a history of suspensions from the league for abusing it’s alcohol and drug policies. He missed the entirety of the 2017 season for a year spent in rehab along before being picked up by the Raiders mid-way through last season where he made brief appearances in the last 4 games.

The off-season training camp in Oakland is buzzing around Waller though after he claims that those dark days are well and truly behind him as he focuses solely on his career as a pro. Coach Gruden, Offensive Coordinator Greg Olsen and Derek Carr have all been singing his praises through OTA’s making Waller a perfect deep sleeper candidate.

In an interview after a recent training camp session he certainly sounded like he is confident with stepping up to have a bigger role in the offense and cited he’s been getting help with blocking duties and also mentioned learning from Cook last year.

The most impressive weapon in his arsenal is his speed. At 6’6 and 255 lbs, Waller is a physical specimen and makes it hard to believe that he recorded a 4.45 40 time at his combine in 2015. Speaking to reporters during OTA’s, Carr was quick to mentioned how impressed he is with Waller’s athleticism stating “I’m really excited about him, Darren Waller is super, super-fast, if I’m being real. And he works his tail off.”

If Waller is indeed all he his cracked up to be and the buzz around Oakland is real, he could be in prime position to soak up some of the 101 targets or 896 yards that Jared Cook has left behind and could be a very nice add for your fantasy teams in a position where after the top tier, anyone can step up to fantasy relevance. Particularly coming from the receiving background that he does, this should automatically boost his fantasy stock.

by Rob Grimwood – @FFBritBaller

Thanks for reading this article, make sure you check back with us next week where I will be discussing 4 other deep deeep sleepers that need to be monitored this off-season in Part 2 of this mini-series.

Podcast 23 – Dynasty Leagues

Frank Scandurro of the Fantasy Football Franchise joins us to gloss over Dynasty Leagues.

He answers questions like what a 2019 1st round pick is worth and what the main thing is that you have to remember with Dynasty Leagues.
We also talk New Orleans Saints and he leaves us with a fiery Premier League hot take!Before that we run through the latest news in the NFL, Johnny Manziel’s debut for the Montreal Alouettes and after we let you know the future plans for the podcast. Frank can be found on Twitter on @Frank_Scandurro.

Please spread the Full10Yards word!

In a Different League

As I have just come to the end of my first dynasty mock draft with pretty much a bunch of people I don’t anything about, I found the draft much more difficult to complete and be happy with my team. There were various reasons for this so I thought I would do a quick post on do’s and dont’s for anyone either new to fantasy football or maybe trying a different format of league. Some handy hints when doing drafts, prepping and general in season guidelines to follow to help you get the most out of your fantasy football.

Rule 1 – No Regrets

I can absolutely guarantee that at some point every season in every league you play in, you’ll have a decision to make (get paid the big bucks, me).

You’ll ponder over a trade decision, you’ll wonder how much FAB to spend on a player on waivers and you’ll definitely weigh up who to play in your flex spots each week.

Sometimes it will keep you (me) up at night trying to figure out what is the best decision to make and more often that not, they become rash decisions and consequently wrong ones.

When mulling over these types of decisions in your leagues, trust your gut instinct. If you don’t, luckily the Internet was invented so that you can go and find some information to try and make a more informed decision.

Whatever decision you make in the end, be happy with it. Have no regrets that the decision you made was the best one you could have made with the information you had available to you. You can have regrets about not having enough information or not researching enough but never have any regrets about making the decision. It’s the best way to learn from the wrong decisions. It stops you hating players further on down the line, it stops you from making subsequent wrong decisions about that player that may have let you down previously (we’ve all been there, right?).

Another good example is your league’s yearly draft:

You are in the middle of Round 4 and you are thinking of reaching for a player (I don’t know, lets say Golden Tate) but you are afraid of the reaction of your league mates or you aren’t sure if it’s the right decision. If your gut says to you you want that player, then select him, but don’t be mad at the decision if it doesn’t turn out to be as fruitful as you’d have hoped. Be mad that you didn’t do enough mock drafts and see that the player you want regularly went a round or 2 later. Be mad that you didn’t go to a website that charts Average Draft Position (ADP) and look at data detailing the player’s trends leading up to the draft. Don’t be mad at the decision when you selected him, because that’s what you wanted to do and felt it was right.

Again, if it turned out to be a bad decision, make sure understand why it was a bad decision and put steps in place to make sure it doesn’t happen in subsequent drafts.

Other examples include trading with league mates:

If you trade CJ Anderson for Odell Beckham Jr, dont be made at the decision to click the accept button (or offer button for that matter), be mad that you didn’t think to explore scenarios that could’ve played out and seen that this was a knee jerk reaction and a rash decision. Don’t be mad at CJ Anderson and Odell Beckham from a fantasy perspective either, it’s not their fault.

At the end of the season, if you can say hand on heart you had no regrets, then you’ll find that even if your season didn’t end with a playoff run, you’ll have a lot more fun with it and be at ease that you sucked.

Rule 2 – Prep, Prep Prep

If you want to trust other peoples opinions and put polls on Twitter to help you with your starting lineup, go right ahead. You’ll regret it (usually), and that breaks the first rule of Fantasy Football (see above). If you cant be bothered to put the time in to look at players match-ups, stats, news throughout the week on injuries and previous game footage to help you make an informed decision about next week’s lineup, you’re destined to fail at some point, usually the playoffs. (unless your opponent has done less of it than you or he forgets to set his team).

For the more casual fan, this is fine. It’s a bit of fun, no money is exchanging hands and bragging rights are not of utmost importance (to which you then go and set your Premier League fantasy team captain…smh). But to most, they are in leagues now where there is a small (to large) monetary buy in to ensure people continue throughout the season and don’t lose interest. If you are in one of these leagues and don’t apply yourself to the rule above, you are a fool.

Now I’m not saying quit your day job and be a full time NFL nerd. But have an app that gives you the latest news, maybe put an hour aside at the weekend to take a look at match-ups, player performances and stats to help you analyse best what team to put out on a Sunday. Trust me, you’ll find rule 1 a lot easier to adhere to.

Rule 3 – Know your league, Know your opponents

This one has multiple aspects to it.

Knowing your league is simply knowing all the different scoring nuances in it.

Do you know what the points system is for your defence and special teams? Do you know how many points your QB gets for a passing touchdown? Do any of your players get extra points for a 100 yard game?

If you don’t know the answer to these questions, your draft can go horribly wrong and you may well be scuppering chances at winning championships before the season has started.  This mainly applies to leagues that are either standard scoring or PPR to be honest, which most of you will know but I bet there are a staggering amount of GMs out there that don’t even know which type of league they are in. The same comments apply for your team. Know how many players at each position are starters and what your flex positions are comprised of. Some leagues go 1 RB, some leagues go 2 QBs, most league will have a flex position, but can vary on what type. If you are in a 3 WR league, the value of WR are going to rise and are going to be taken a lot earlier in drafts. Don’t get caught out by this and leave yourself with a depth of TY Hilton, Emmanuel Sanders, Nelson Agholor and John Ross when you have to play 3 of them each week. It’s not going to end well.

An extension of that is to try and know how your opponents operate and play the game:

What players/teams do your opponents like to have on their teams? Does one person much prefer having running back depth or do they stream QBs?

Knowing these little nuggets can help you get the most out of trade deals and can also help you to “one up” them in your drafts, provided you stick to your principles of course. Don’t go and select someone purely because the person after you in the draft probably wants them. Only select them if they will make a useful addition to your team, or a good trade piece if you are getting great value from the pick.

(Just as an extra note, know that if you are in a dynasty league, GMs usually place a lot more value on youth than in normal redraft/keeper leagues so take advantage by drafting a mixture of the top end talents for the older players as well as youth. You’re welcome)

Rule 4 – Don’t try too hard accounting for bye weeks

Lots of players always worry about bye weeks in squad composition (I use to be one of them) and whilst this definitely applies to BestBall leagues, all other leagues, don’t worry about it so much.

Even after weeks 2 or 3, your team could look a lot different. Either through trading or the waivers, what may have been a sticky situation for week 4 or week 8 may no longer be the case after a few games have been played. Injuries, depth chart clarity (or even lack of clarity) can mould the look of your team from the outset so when drafting, don’t worry too much if your team is quite lopsided. You should never shy away from drafting the best player for your team because of a bye week.

 

These 4 rules should help you become more competitive in leagues but more importantly, enjoy the game more. At the end of the day, it’s all about socialising with friends and having a good back and forth whilst the games are playing. If you aren’t, you’re breaking one of the above rules.

Start the article again.

The Ultimate Fantasy

Whilst doing a podcast with Derek Morrison (which you can find on our blog page or podcast page by the way…), he mentioned to me about an idea he had about a fantasy football league…and it blew my mind.

You have people that like Bestball leagues, you have people that like PPR over standard scoring and some people are crazy for Superflex or dynasty leagues.

But why not have them all as part of one big network of a fantasy league?

Better yet, why not use this to raise funds for good causes?!?!

12 managers, 6 Leagues, all the permutations, all of the different drafting options used. This my friends, could be a thing of beauty.

It would bring together all the different flavours of fantasy football and would no doubt leave the winner, the undisputed fantasy football king.

“How would it work?” I hear you cry…

The 6 leagues would be as follows:

-IDP (Individual Defensive Players)
-Superflex League (2 Quarterbacks in starting lineup)
-Bestball (I have done a recent blog post on Bestball which is also available on my blog page)
-Full PPR
-Standard scoring
-Dynasty League

There would be the 3 drafting options shared out equally amongst those leagues.

Bestball and Dynasty leagues can have the slow/email type of draft, the IDP and PPR can be auction drafts which leaves the Superflex league and Standard scoring leagues with the regular live draft room type of draft (or have it however you want it)

Points are awarded on top 6 finishes in each of the leagues, with slightly more weighting on the more intense leagues. Finishing 6th would give you one point, 5th giving 2 points, 4th place rewarding 3 points, 3rd receiving 4 points and 2nd receiving 5 points. The IDP and Dynasty leagues would have a higher weighting of points for first place than the other leagues. Dynasty League getting 8 points for the winner, IDP receiving 7 points for winning and all other leagues receiving 6 points for 1st.

The manager with the most points from all 6 leagues wins. Simple.

To go one step further and get a full flavour of all the different paltforms, you could even use the whole host of providers to accommodate the different leagues. Fleaflicker would obviously get the dynasty league and a Bestball league can be hosted by draft or MFL. Then it can be dealers choice for the other 4. Using ESPN, Yahoo, NFL and some other providers would also give you a full flavour of the ultimate fantasy experience.

It sounds, on the face of it, absolutely ridiculous and would require even the utmost attention from all fantasy gurus and engrossed fantasy managers but surely it could be one way in determining amongst your friends, who is the ultimate fantasy football GM.

The burden of being the commisioner can also be shared out amongst the GMs because let’s face it, people wanting to do this are likely to be GMs already. A GM can take a league each and administer to help share out that side of fantasy football which would also ensure buy in from the GMs.

The real great thing about this idea is that you can customise any of this to your hearts content. Maybe there is a company out there willing to harness all of the variations fantasy football brings to bring this all together and modernise the fantasy football game even more…

Who’s interested? We currently have 3 out of 12 signed up.

@Tim_Monk85 / @full10Yards (me)

@DerekDecanted

@FFatHomeDad

Get in touch with us on Twitter (@full10yards) or by email full10yards@gmail.com