The “Generational” RB – Are there any from the 2020 draft?

by Rob Grimwood – @FFBritBaller

First things first, the term “generational player” seems to get some people’s backs up. If you take the term at it’s literal meaning, then sure, it’s extremely rare to find one, and, almost impossible to predict one to have a hall of fame career. But, if you accept that this overused term is used to describe a player that could end up being in the top tier of elite talents for the majority of their careers, then we can explore the possibility of seeing a potential “generational” player from this years’ draft.


Over the last few decades, we’ve seen many running backs progress through the collegiate ranks and create a buzz within the NFL community when the draft rolls round. Some players have lived up to the hype, Emmitt Smith, Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders, Adrian Peterson and Saquon Barkley to name just a few, and some have developed into upper echelon elite backs when not so hyped coming out of college – Le’veon Bell and Frank Gore come to mind. But, of course there have been those that have failed to progress to the pro-level and have proved complete busts, please stand up Trent Richardson, Ki-Jana Carter and Darren McFadden, with an honourable mention to Leonard Fournette who “some” considered a “generational” talent.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Lennox McLendon

What constitutes a “generational running back” label?

NFL analysts/journalists/reporters or whatever title you want to give someone that discusses this sport with an audience generally speak about their opinion which in most cases is backed up with some kind of statistical data. To me, that’s how a player with this label comes about. It’s a blend of stats from their collegiate careers mixed with what NFL scouts and professional analysts portray their talent level’s to be.

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For me, I think that to be considered “generational”, the player must have a productive college career. I put that number at 1,000 rushing yards season average, and in more recent times, some proven receiving ability. I know that’s not a water-tight system, but when you look at “generational talents” that have had elite-level careers, they all had this level of productiveness at the collegiate level.

It’s only very recent that the new breed of “generational running back” ‘must’ be productive in the passing game as well as on the ground.


Previous “generational” running backs

So by using that logic, I’ve devised a list of former players since the year 2000 that have seen that level of collegiate productiveness, hyped by the media as generational talents, and drafted within the top 50 (indicating NFL scouts also believe in the talent). Productiveness is seen here by using the players’ rush yards, receiving yards and touchdowns per season averages whilst at college.

These 11 players drafted over the last 20 years have had the “generational player” tag linked with them coming out of college football. Judging by the season average stats, you get a good indication of what’s required in order to be projected a great future.


Current potential “generational” running backs

From this year’s prospects, it’s apparent to see that one player fulfills the criteria of being a “generational talent”; Jonathan Taylor. In fact, his rushing yards and TDs per season average are miles ahead of any other running back out of college in the last 20 years.

J.K Dobbins isn’t far behind statistically although he doesn’t meet my particular criteria as he was drafted outside of the top 50. Statistically though, Dobbins too could be considered a generational level player.

D’Andre Swift comes in third and not a million miles away from hitting the criteria having been the most productive in the receiving game out of these selected players.

Cam Akers needed to be more productive in the ground game, whereas ironically, the first RB off the board in this years’ draft Clyde Edwards-Helaire is someway off what I would deem as a “generational” player.

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Predicting their futures

Of course now these players have been drafted into the NFL, lot’s of new variables come into play to determine whether or not they can translate their college production into a pro-level. What’s their new offensive line like? Are they a part of a committee? Do they have proven veterans ahead of them? Are they a part of a run-friendly scheme? Does their new Head Coach like to run the ball frequently? Are they playing in a similar scheme to what they did in college?

You’d like to think the NFL teams and their scouts have done their homework before drafting the players onto their rosters in order to get the best out of their high-capital picks, but some times that doesn’t always work out.

Let’s look at those previously mentioned players and how their NFL careers progressed (some of course are still active) and whether their “generational player” tag rang true in their pro-careers.

It’s been quite a mix bag of success. From the HOF careers of LT and Adrian Peterson to the bust and near bust careers of Ron Dayne and T-Rich.


In Conclusion

Predicting just how the careers of the Class of 2020 is almost impossible, but judging by historical data and recency bias, these prospects will unlikely be busts in their careers.

It’s hard not to love Jonathan Taylor after seeing what he’s done in his college career and ending up behind one of the best offensive lines currently in the NFL with Indianapolis.

D’Andre Swift could potentially see a path to a majority backfield after the Lions clearly signaled that Kerryon Johnson by himself is not the answer, and J.K Dobbins is in a ripe running spot with a run-first team in Baltimore. However, Dobbins may have to wait for Mark Ingram to move on before claiming the backfield for himself.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire has landed on a team coached by a run-favouring HC in Andy Reid and is the most talented RB on that roster, and despite Cam Akers running behind an ageing o-line, Todd Gurley had a very successful rookie contract for the Rams when he was healthy.


Final Opinion and Career projection

Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts – A “Generational talent” who is in the right spot to produce elite numbers over his career

J.K Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens – Borderline “Generational talent” who is on a team that could lead him to produce elite numbers over his career

D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions – Elite college talent that could be elite in the NFL if the right team is built around him and he’s used as a swiss army knife.

Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams – Elite college talent but is likely to put up average numbers unless drastic changes in the future help him progress to the next level.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs – Good college talent helped by one outstanding season. Is in the right spot to be very productive, but will likely only return good, not elite production.

All hail King Henry of Tennessee

By Alex Lewis (@alexlewis226)

Image result for derrick henry crown
Image Credit: Will Newton/Getty

Enforced, beheaded, died, enforced, decleated, taken-for-a-ride.

Derrick Henry, or King Henry as most now know him, is an animal on the field with the ability to physically dominate anybody that goes within touching distance of a football field.

You can stack the box, employ the National Guard, or even put extra-men on the field and ill bet you any money or commodities that he still falls forwards for a seven-yard gain.

Sure, Christian McCaffery will get you 1000 touches a game, and Aaron Jones can get you four touchdowns in Jerry World, but Derrick Henry is the true definition of power back.

His build is totally unique at the position; 6 foot 3 inches, 250 pounds and absolutely rapid in the open field, it’s literally no wonder that defensive backs barely slow him down.

To try and describe it, take the biggest wardrobe you have, have it placed at the top of a steep hill and then wait for it at the bottom with a hard hat on.

That’s what it is like trying to stop King Henry when he’s at top speed, so give Earl Thomas some slack for turning around rather than face a tackle.

Point is, that the running back in Tennessee should be the highest paid in the league for at least four years.


“But Henry isn’t nearly as good in the passing game like Christian McCaffery?”

Image result for derrick henry
Image Credit: Evan Habeeb

The biggest knock on King Henry and his crown as the best running back, is his inability/lack of experience in catching the ball out of the back field as a dual threat.

And to a degree, that’s a relevant point, teams are far less likely to stack the box against someone like Christian McCaffery knowing the damage he can do on a screen play.

Despite Henry’s improvement this year with 200+ receiving yards for the first time, including a 75-yard touchdown, it doesn’t take much to see that Henry is not as much of a threat when the ball is pulled out of his belly.

However, if you put your Bill Belichick hat on for a second, you can quickly see that this lack of action in the passing game is in fact potentially protecting him from Todd Gurley syndrome.

The LA Rams have lost a large chunk of their investment in Gurley as his body has failed to fully live up to the rigours of his second, big contract.

Over the first four years of his career, Henry had a total of 861 touches of the ball during regular season football in Tennessee, in comparison, Todd Gurley racked up nearly 1233 total touches over that same spell.

That lack of touches in his early career wasn’t intended as an attempt to conserve his body, but by chance, and with the touches unlikely to go much higher than this year, Henry might be the back most likely to give you the most of a big, long-term contract.  


“But surely Saquon Barkley deserves a bigger contract when it becomes time?”

Image result for derrick henry
Image Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not so sure about this either.

I absolutely love Barkley, he’s an unbelievable athletic freak, a homerun hitter and all-round generational talent.

But not only does he have some of the risk of too many touches leading to injury like I described earlier (he missed three games through injury this season) but he is also in a up and down franchise.

Henry plays for the Titans who have been well coached, well run and unbelievably consistent with their performance since he arrived.

He has a top-10 O-line, a head-coach who is persistent with the run game and is going to be there for a long time, and a cast of players on the outside who demand coverage and attention.

Saquon Barkley has none of that, and the chaos around the organisation has meant that his rookie season, and any strong performance last year has come from his own herculean efforts.

It’s not his fault – but in his situation, with so miles already on the milometer, Henry still seems a better shout.


“But surely teams will eventually catch onto him game-in and game-out?”

Image result for derrick henry
Image Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

This is the big one.

Can Henry still dominate when teams know exactly what is going to happen next season?

And the answer is yes. 100% yes. Don’t bother asking again, yes.

Ryan Tannehill has been effective in the play-offs but overall pretty ineffective, and yet against the incredible defences of both Bill Belichick and Jon Harbaugh, with the ball only going to one person, Henry still recorded at least 180 yards rushing.

Everyone knew that Henry was getting the ball and yet time and time again he found himself into the second level of the defence.

This is what gives him the edge over LeVeon Bell or Ezekiel Elliot, his ability with his direct style to run through you even with the right call and scheme.

Set up how you like.

Put your biggest linebacker in the A-gap or build a concrete wall between the centre and the guard, it doesn’t matter what you do, this Titans Train is rolling with Henry at the wheel and it isn’t stopping for anybody.

Hype Train Station – Week 14

By James Fotheringham (@NFLHypeTrain)

ALLLLL ABOARD!

Apologies for the lack of a scheduled departures article last week. Those articles have been cancelled until further notice due to a lack of need.

Time for the fantasy play-offs to begin, and with bye weeks gone and most rosters pretty much set, the usual Hype Train Station is basically closed. Rush hour has long gone, and we are left with those late finishers trying to find their way to their final destination (which I hope for you is victory).

Since the landscape has changed, this trip to the Hype Train Station will ignore the waiver wire and ownership levels and concentrate more on which trains to jump on board. A bit of a start/sit, DFS and general information board. Ready to depart?




Devonta Freeman (ATL vsCAR)


Carolina looked like a very good defence at one point, but now it appears to be the Achilles-heel which is preventing a playoff run. Freeman returned from injury last week and it was steady but not spectacular return on Thanksgiving. This week is a much better matchup for Davonta to Run like a  Free man.


Derrick Henry (TEN @OAK)


Another high value player but against Oakland he should continue his hot-streak. There’s not as many gems in the cheaper ranks at RB this week.


Derrius Guice (WAS @GB)


The Packers have given up the 4th most yards to RBs and after his breakout last week against Carolina (who are 5th) he has a chance to go back-to-back. The Guice is definitely right now!



Devante Parker (MIA @NYJ)


The Jets returned to being terrible last week and are still struggling against the pass. The Dolphins meanwhile are enjoying their new found abilities and Parker is living up to about 5 years of failed hype. That train has finally arrived and still has some legs.


Kenny Golladay (DET @MIN)


The Vikings defence is seen as strong, but they have the 4th most yards conceded against WRs. After his promising debut on Thnaksgiving, David Blough can keep the receivers in Detroit relevant and Golladay has a chance to have a day.


Dede Westbrook (JAX vsLAC)


Dede has his mojo back having had a few weeks with Foles and even a return to the Minshew didn’t dent his statline. He’s not going to be overpriced in DFS which makes him a very nice middle-level candidate to allow you to pay up at RB.


AJ Brown (TEN @OAK)


If you want to dig a little deeper than AJ Brown may be your man. The Raiders are in the bottom 8 at defending the pass and Tannehill has really moved the Titans forwards. Brown is starting to hit a purple patch and he’s still on some waiver wires. Make sure you remember this Titan.




Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA @NYJ)


It makes sense that if Parker is a choice, so is Fitzpatrick. The Dolphins have been having some fun over the last few weeks and the freedom and time to gel seems to have made them forget about tanking and take the 3rd or 4th pick in the draft they will probably get. Now that’s what I call FitzMagic.


Kirk Cousins (MIN vsDET)


It’s hard to justify the big numbers of the likes of Mahomes, Rodgers and Jackson when their matchups aren’t fantastic. Kirk Cousins isn’t to their level, but the Lions aren’t up to much defensively and with Adam Thielin potentially returning to the line-up, the yards are there.


Ryan Tannehill (TEN @OAK)


Oakland give up a lot to QB’s and the Tannehill and Titans resurgence make this a nice matchup which you may be able to grab on the cheap. Check your waiver wires as well if your struggling, he will be available on some platforms (pun intended).


Duck Hodges (PIT @ARI)

And finally, if you really want to pay low for a QB to go heavy on RB in DFS then look no further than the QB who is facing the 2nd worst defence against QB’s and who put up a very despicable score against the Browns. It’s Duck season in Pittsburgh and Hodges is hunting for wins to get the Steelers into the playoffs.



Jack Doyle (IND @TB)


No Ebron to take away targets, Brissett at QB able to find him, the 2nd worst team against TE’s and a receiving corps that means the Colts need to use the Tight End… do you need any other reasons? Even with the likes of Kelce and Kittle around, I think Doyle is my number 1 TE this week. The Doyle Express is ready to depart.


Vance McDonald (PIT @ARI)


Tyler Higbee proved last week that no matter how little a TE gets used during the season, when they play Arizona, if they are the pass catching Tight End they will get points. Vance is very much a pass catching TE and if Juju is still out this becomes an even bigger must. Even with the QB change, this McDonalds Farm will benefit from having a Duck in it.


Mike Gesicki (MIA @NYJ)


How has it come to this? 3 Dolphins in my list of players to possible play in DFS and pick up if they are on the wire. How times change. Still, you can’t ignore the hot streak Gesicki is on and the freedom the Dolphins have. I think it may be the Jets that will want to throw a Ge-Sicky.



Vikings (vs DET)


While I am comfortable backing Golladay, the Lions are still going to give up points and it’s also very possible that Blough will come back to earth with a bump.


Colts (@ TB)


For as long as Jameis Winston is throwing the ball to the opposition, defences are going to score against the Bucs. The Colts get that help this week and while they aren’t the best defensive outfit, they may not need to be.


Browns (vs CIN)


At home to a divisional rival (although both are basically out of playoff contention) the Browns will want to make a statement and do something. The Bengals are still looking to lose, although the win last week avoided the goose egg. The Browns aren’t great, but the Bengals are worse.


Ravens (@BUF)


The Ravens are now making their move for the #1 seed which is going to need their defence to keep up with their offence. The matchup against the Bills works well for them and after grinding out the win against the 49ers, they look like they have what it takes to go all the way.

Other potential options include: Chargers (@ JAX), Steelers (@ ARI), Titans (@ OAK), Packers (vs WAS).

Scheduled Departures – Week 12

By James Fotheringham @NFLHypeTrain


The final bye week but with the Chargers, Chiefs, Vikings and Cardinals all taking the week off there’s going to be a lot of fantasy players scrambling for streamers. A lot of benches are reading like an NSYNC song so you’re going to want to keep your eyes peeled for who other players drop as you could grab a steal for the fantasy playoffs if you get ahead of the game.

For this week, here’s a run down of the Sunday games and a small nudge towards some viable options.


Broncos @ Bills

Two decent defences and two hardly potent offences. Josh Allen still has value due to his legs, Singletary should continue to build on his role and John Brown is usually good for points even in a tough matchup.

The Broncos haven’t been much worse under Allen than they were under Flacco, in many ways they are actually better. The lack of potent receivers hurts them and with Phillip Lindsey questionable, Royce Freeman may not be a bad call in a pinch.

Both defences are very good options.


Giants @ Bears

Bad offence vs mediocre defence compared to a mediocre offence against a decent defence. The Bears DST are the best play here and if Saquon is playing he’s obviously a starter.

I can’t decide if the Giants receivers are worth playing since with Shepard back, Tate in the mix and Slayton there’s a lot of uncertainty. Engram and Ellison are out so they have no real TE which means they would all be playable if it wasn’t the Bears.

The Bears themselves are stuck with Trubisky which means only Allen Robinson has receiving value. David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen are startable but not at the top of the pecking order.

The Giants DST is still a legitimate option this week.


Steelers @ Bengals 

I get the sense that last week may light a fire under Mason Rudolph. If only he had some receivers to benefit from it. Juju is out so the load falls on Washington, Johnson and MacDonald. They may well all be relevant, or one could get peppered so it’s a risk, but against the Bengals, I’d be fine with playing any of them and obviously Jaylon Samuels with James Conner out.

The Bengals will struggle against the Steelers defence and I’m even struggling to advise playing Mixon and Boyd unless you really are hamstrung by bye weeks. Steelers DST are a candidate for the #1 DST this week and while many will be advising Cincinnati are a good option, I’m not so sure.


Dolphins @ Browns    

The Browns remembered how to win last week, but with their top defenceman missing, their offence still not fully in sync and competition for touches, I can’t say I have high hopes. There’s talent, but it’s not being realised.

The defence isn’t a sure fire thing against the Dolphins who have resurged a bit under FitzMagic and he should have some relevance once more. There are enough pieces missing for Kalen Ballage to be relevant and Devante Parker should be the main receiving threat.

Those struggling at Tight end might have David Njoku as an option but will definitely have Mike Gesicki as a streaming candidate.


Bucs @ Falcons

If Jameis Winston didn’t turn the ball over so often I’d advise avoiding both defences and playing plenty of offence.

Now that Freeman is doubtful and while Winston is throwing his chance at a future starting spot away, I can’t advise using Brian Hill, but I can give the Atlanta defence some love. They’ve picked it up since beating the Saints and they’re on a little bit of a run. Be aware that Matt Ryan is questionable but if he’s good to go again then Julio and Ridley are musts.

The Bucs may have finally figured out how to use RoJo in the run game and keep Evans and Godwin happy. Outside of those 3 and Jameis, it’s hard to see there being enough production.


Panthers @ Saints

Value to be had on both offences and possible the Saints defence. I like Kyle Allen and his receivers this week as well for the obvious CMC.

The Saints should have Brees, Kamara and Thomas all firing, Jared Cook is starting to get more targets and Ted Ginn is a TD dice throw. This might also be a good game to watch.


Seahawks @ Eagles

Now it gets difficult.

Russell Wilson and Chris Carson are locks for starting places (although the Eagles run defence means if you are stacked at RB, he’s not so critical). After that it depends on how you feel. Metcalf, Hollister, Agholor, Jeffrey and even Ertz aren’t sure fire things. Goedert is eating into Ertz share, Jeffrey still isn’t 100% and Agholor is, well, Agholor. Jordan Howard could be back, but the Seahawks aren’t pushovers and he still has to share with Miles Sanders and potentially Jay Ajayi.

It’s a mess which may have points somewhere but good luck predicting who it will be.


Lions @ Redskins

If Matt Stafford was in at QB I’d be enjoying the idea of Marvin Jones, Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola. As it stands with Jeff Driskel, I like them, but not as much. The RB situation with McKissic and Scarborough will dominate a lot of bye week ruined teams this week and hopefully Scarborough can pull off a similar feat to what Jonathan Williams did for Indy on Thursday night.

The Redskins now have an offensive piece you can consider in Derrius Guice and he and AP are playable against the Lions. McLaurin has got some overhyped projections on some platforms so be careful.


Raiders @ Jets

Oakland are threating a playoff run now. Derek Carr is looking solid, despite the lack of receivers, Darren Waller is a league winner and Josh Jacobs is odds on for ROTY. It’s a mix that will serve them well in Vegas when the move happens, but they may leave Oakland in some style. All of the above are playable, as is Tyrell Williams.

The Jets are a bit of a mess but seem to be on a slight elevation in terms of altitude. The Oakland pass defence is very porous, so the likes of Anderson, Crowder, Griffin and Lev Bell are in the frame. Darnold and Carr are actually good streams this week for those in a pinch.


Jaguars @ Titans

Nick Foles will step up his return this week which could be good news for Dede Westbrook and DJ Chark. Since they have lost 3 starting tight ends the offence has dipped and teams have zeroed in on Fournette and Chark. They are still playable against the Titans but don’t expect a huge haul.

The Titans are better under Tannehill, but Derrick Henry is the only player I’d have confidence in. He does usually dominate the Jags so he could be a very handy DFS option, but beyond that, I quite like both defences here.


Cowboys @ Patriots

Daks back and this time he faces the Patriots defence which has been stellar, although this is the toughest test, they’ve faced not named the Ravens. Dak, Cooper and Gallup are a force, Zeke is Zeke and Jason Witten can pop in when he needs to. It’s potent and it’s effective, the Patriots may struggle to find an answer, much like when they faced Lamar.

The Patriots themselves need Edelman to recover from his shoulder injury otherwise it could be tough sledding.

The Cowboys aren’t the greatest defence, but they are solid enough and the Patriots are not at full strength. They tend to find a way, but Bill doesn’t usually care about your fantasy team anyway.


Packers @ 49ers

The final game sees the Packers and 49ers square off in a matchup between teams who are doing well, but you’re not quite sure how.

Aaron Rodgers is doing enough to win games, despite the lack of receiving talent outside of Davante Adams. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams have picked up the slack but face a tough test in the 49ers defence. If Adams is covered and Jones is prevented from running, it’s going to be a long day.

The 49ers defence is stout, but the offence is not so stable. If Kittle is fit to play then he also improves the prospects for Deebo Samuel, Jimmy Garoppolo and the running backs. As it stands, Tevin Coleman is a strong starting choice, although the Packers defence isn’t one to write off.


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Proceed

QB – Derek Carr (OAK @ NYJ) – I like both QBs in this matchup but again, the Hype Train is advocating using a Carr… scandalous.

RB – Derrick Henry (TEN vs JAX) – Henry tends to hoover up the Jags, I can’t see him sucking this week.

WR – DJ Moore (CAR @ NO) – It’s a tough week for receivers. I tried not to go obvious so I had to think a bit Moore.

TE – Ryan Griffin (NYJ vs OAK) – Again, I like both TE’s in this game, but with Carr at QB in this list I thought I’d put Griffin to the TE slot.

DST – Steelers (PIT @ CIN) – The Bengals are going to caught up against something as hard as Iron and tough as Steel.


Caution

QB – Tom Brady (NE vs DAL) – He will probably find a way to win the game, but Tom terrific isn’t going to be so good for fantasy.

RB – Brian Hill (ATL vs TB) – Freeman may be missing but I don’t think Brian will take them over the Hill this week.

WR – Terry McLaurin (WAS vs DET) – Haskins still isn’t ready, and McLaurin may be fast but he’s more and F1 choice than an A1 choice.

TE – Zach Ertz (PHI vs SEA) – Goedert is eating into his share and it Ertz for his owners.

DST – Panthers (CAR vs NO) – They’ve been good this season and the Saints have been inconsistent, but this is not a week to be cute.


Danger

QB – Daniel Jones (NYG @ CHI) – The Bears might just smother Jones in this one. Danny Dimes may lack a few cents here.

RB – Jordan Howard (PHI vs SEA) – A crowded backfield, a return from injury and a decent opposition. Howard you like that? Not very much.

WR – Courtland Sutton (DEN @ BUF) – Tough sledding, especially with an inexperienced QB. I’d not fancy having him Sutt-on my starting line-up.

TE – Jimmy Graham (GB @ SF) – The 49ers defence should crunch the packers. Graham won’t be a cracker.

DST – Jets (NYJ vs OAK) – IF I like the offensive pieces then it’s obvious I’ll hate on the defensive ones. The Jets DST will likely remain grounded.


That’s it for another week. Apologies for the pun level at the end, some of those were terrible. More of the same next week!

Start ’em, Sit ’em – Week 12

By Adil Khan Deshmukh (@dillytoon)

The Fantasy playoffs are fast approaching and you need a win to get in there. Here are some players to start and sit to help guide you to that all important W…



Quarterback – Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns vs Miami Dolphins

Baker has been difficult to trust this year with his inconsistent play, even suffering the ignominy of a negative scoring week versus the 49ers. This week, that is most definitely the opposite as he faces one of the league’s whipping boys in the Dolphins.

In the past three weeks, Mayfield has scored over 17 points in standard QB scoring and that will most definitely continue this week. Whilst his yardage has hovered around the 230 mark throughout that stretch, there has been a reasonable TD haul (5 passing, 1 rushing).

Baker is a sure-fire start this week and he’s also available in a lot of leagues too!


Running Back – Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Before this season started, you wouldn’t have even considered benching Mixon. He was a player that was being taken in the second and third rounds of many fantasy drafts. Considering the draft capital that many spent on him, he’s been nothing short of a disappointment.

However, with all that doom-and-gloom now seemingly behind Mixon, he has managed to score very well over the last three weeks. In the last three games he has scored over 17 points in full-PPR, and with Finley under centre, the Bengals are committed to running the ball a lot.

This was highlighted in the loss to the Ravens, with Mixon carrying the ball 30 times.


Wide Receiver – Jamison Crowder – New York Jets vs Oakland Raiders

Two weeks ago in week 10, Crowder was marked as a top waiver-wire target and if you picked him up you would have benefited greatly.

For the past three weeks, Crowder has found the endzone and is being targeted at just under 8 targets per game. Jamison will get you that little bit closer to the fantasy playoffs this week with a home bout versus the Raiders.

The Raiders pass rush leaves a lot to be desired, this will allow Darnold to look for his favourite target in the slot. You could well see another performance around the 20 point mark (which he’s been around for the past 3 weeks).

He’s becoming a must-start, particularly with Darnold under centre. 


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Tight End – Jacob Hollister – Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles

To say there aren’t a plethora of options at the Tight End position would be an understatement. Add into that melting pot the teams who have TE superstar Travis Kelce and the serviceable Hunter Henry on bye week, you could well be looking for your streaming option.

This week, that guy will be Jacob Hollister. Hollister has become a serious receiving option for the Seahawks over the past two weeks, accumulating on average 20 points in full-PPR in that time period. The 49ers was supposed to be a relatively tough matchup for him and he busted out an 8 reception for 62 yards and a TD performance.

We saw earlier on in the season Wilson’s usage of Will Dissly and now it’s Hollister time to shine.



Quarterback – Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots

This season Dak has been catapulted into the fantasy stratosphere with consistent performances week on week, failing to hit 20 points in only two weeks.

However, Dak is about to hit an extremely difficult stretch with a trip to Gillette Stadium this week followed by a home bout versus the Bills and then a trip to Soldier Field. The Patriots are the most difficult team to face for a quarterback. To date they concede on average just 8 points to the QB position.

This week may be a fallow one (just like vs the Saints), so leave Dak on your bench.


Running Back – Brian Hill – Atlanta Falcons vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The fantasy hype train that was Brian Hill came crashing down last week as he put up putrid numbers in fantasy.

The thought that he would be a plug and play starter following Devonta Freeman’s injury was a misgiven thought. It’s clear he doesn’t have the pass game capabilities that allowed Freeman to flourish more recently. His opposition this weekend whilst porous against the pass, are extremely stingy against the run.

Leave out Hill from your lineups this week as he’s likely to stink the bed again.


Wide Receiver – Tyler Boyd – Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers

As long as Finley is under centre, Tyler Boyd will not be a viable fantasy starter.

In the two games with Finley as QB, Boyd has averaged just over 7 points per game in PPR format. This combined with the Bengals commitment to running the ball a lot, Boyd cannot be trusted.

Additionally, Boyd was held to just 6.3 points when he faced the Steelers last time around, and that was with the Red Rifle as QB.


Tight End – Noah Fant – Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills

It will be tempting to start Fant this week for many as he’s performed reasonably when compared to other Tight Ends over his past three games; highlighted by his 20 point week over the Browns.

However, this week is one to fade on expectations of him. Fant is facing the no.1 defense versus the TE position and the game is in Buffalo too.

Avoid him this week and look towards other options for your start.

Start ’em, Sit ’em

By Jake Linley-Brown (@JakeLB12)

Week 10 saw the last undefeated team tumble, leaving us with a somewhat open landscape in the NFL. Something else that might be open is that Flex spot or WR2 position in your fantasy line up. If that’s the case, let us try and help.

You’ll get no McCaffrey’s, Cook’s or Jackson’s here – those guys go without saying. What I like to do is pick those players you deliberate about, support the players you might’ve fallen out with (as you’ll see in a minute), and guide you to the players who have potentially gone under your radar.

This week’s bye teams are the Packers, Giants, Seahawks and the Titans.



QUARTERBACK


Jameis Winston (TB) vs Saints

I know what you’re thinking. Remember the bit about ‘the players you might’ve fallen out with’? Just a hunch, but I reckon Jameis has probably burned and agitated more people this season than the ending of Game of Thrones. The dumb mistakes, the lack of awareness, the lot.

So, without further ado, let me make a claim for Winston, this week! First up, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are real weapons of destruction for Tampa Bay, with at least one (Evans more so of late) blowing up each week. Chances are, you probably already knew this. What you might’ve missed is that Saints premier cornerback Marshon Lattimore looks set to sit out this week’s game with injury, which all but opens the floor for the two Bucs’ wideouts. The middling Saints D were also embarrassed last week by the lousy Falcons, so maybe not everything is as it seems.

Ultimately, Winston just loves throwing the football. If you like a gamble and enjoy frantically updating your fantasy app because you’re anxious about the tight-rope nature of your quarterback’s play, this is the pick for you.


Honourable Mentions: Derek Carr (OAK) vs CIN, Josh Allen (BUF) vs MIA


RUNNING BACK


Brian Hill (ATL) @ Panthers

Brian Hill is not the name of the new plumber down the road – he’s the Falcons new running back. The next man up in the ATL looks set to take on a much larger role now both Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith are out with injury. In last weeks duel with the Saints, Hill recorded 21 touches and ended the day with 14.1 fantasy points – impressive when you consider he didn’t start the game.

His first official start (providing Freeman doesn’t make a miraculous recovery) is against the Panthers, who have allowed more total TD’s and more fantasy points to running backs than anybody.

Hill has 2 TD’s in his last 2 outings – look for the hattrick come Sunday.


Honourable Mentions: Josh Jacobs (OAK) vs CIN, Devin Singletary (BUF) @ MIA


WIDE RECEIVER


Courtland Sutton (DEN) @ Vikings

It might not inspire you much when you realise QB Brandon Allen is throwing the ball to our man, Sutton. Nor might the fact the Broncos are on the road this week to a team coming off a big win. It’s times like these when stats are our friend.

Courtland is quietly putting together a decent year, stamping down his place as the number 1 WR in the Broncos passing attack. In his last outing (Week 9), Sutton hauled in 5 for 8, including a TD. Consistency hasn’t really been a problem.

Now, those stats that I told you about. The Vikings, this Sunday’s opponents, have allowed 12 TD’s and the 2nd most fantasy points to receivers lined out wide this season. Significant, why? Ya’ boy, Sutton, has ran 82% of his routes out wide in 2019. I’ll take those odds.

Honourable Mentions: Mohamed Sanu (NE) @ PHI, Deebo Samuel (SF) vs ARI

TIGHT END

Kyle Rudolph (MIN) vs Broncos

Picking TE’s for any article is the bane of my life; I never get it right, and what I’m left to pick with most weeks (outside of the obvious) just makes me weep. For this week’s attempt, I’ll be plumping for the big man in purple.

It’s not going to get you off your seat, but 5 straight games with 3 catches is something to hang your hat on in this apocalyptic, tight end world. Rudolph even caught 2 TD’s and a 2-point conversion last Sunday, and that came from just 4 catches for 14 yards; this pretty much sums up the position, league wide.

It’s a tough matchup on paper this, but with 4 TD’s in his last 4 games, and Vikings Mr. Reliable Adam Thielen still out, there’s a good chance just enough volume comes.


Honourable Mentions: Gerald Everett (LAR) vs CHI, Darren Waller (OAK) vs CIN


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QB – Jared Goff (LAR) vs Bears – The Rams signed Goff to a 4 year, $134M extension in September. That’s tough, just like the stout Bears D who only allow 14.2 points on average to opposing QB’s. Avoid Jared now, and maybe forever.

RB – Jordan Howard (PHI) vs Patriots – Howard was actually playing well before the bye, so I felt kind of bad putting him here. Saying that, New England have allowed just 75.8 rushing yards on average to the RB position, and Bill and the boys are bound to be mad. Fade.

WR – All Arizona WR’s (ARI) @ SF – Cool stat klaxon! Did you know, not including Andy Isabella’s blown coverage breakaway for a TD, the receiving corps of Johnson, Fitzgerald and Kirk combined for 8 catches, 68 yards and 1 TD in the first meeting between these two? Now on the road against the 49ers elite defence, I fear the worst.

TE – Noah Fant (DEN) @ MIN – The Vikings haven’t allowed a single TD to the TE position, and we’ve just finished Week 10. Also, I’ve had Noah twice this season when I’ve been in a tight spot, and he’s wet the bed on both occasions. Just no.  

Good luck this week!

Trade Targets

By Paul Maughan (@morny7)

The end of the Fantasy season is approaching ladies and gents, faster than modern offensive concepts whizz past Jason Garret’s head.  Only a few more weeks of going to bed on a Monday night desperately hoping your tight-end can find a way of scoring 49 points on MNF.

It’ll be no time at all until we’re ignoring our family the week before Christmas whilst we try to guess if we can put OBJ in for the playoffs because “surely to God he has to have a big game eventually!”.

This week’s trade targets have an eye on the next week or two, for those of you still scrapping to secure playoff places. However, for those of you who have already as good as made it (or who are cocky enough to start planning now), there’s a fair consideration for who will be well-matched in weeks 15 and 16.

Obviously, there’s risks associated with picking so far in advance (injury! Suspension! Mono!). But if you’re a gambler –  and let’s face it, if you’re reading this website, you probably are –  then you’ll be excited by the opportunity to play “chess, not checkers”. Be more Bellichek, less Gase.

And for most of you, it’s the last week the trade window is open so you need to make your moves now!


Bring on Board


RB – Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos

Image result for phillip lindsay
Image Credit: AAron Ontiveroz / DP

Very decent running-back, very poor team. He’s also stuck in a time-share with Royce Freeman, and with a catastrophic QB in Joe Flacco which doesn’t help his pass-catching potential.

That said – he’s got a reasonable next four weeks, against two tough run defences (Vikings, Texans) but also two poor run defences (Chargers and the capitulating Bills). However, his two playoff weeks he comes up against the Chiefs and the Lions. It’s nigh-on impossible for running backs to fail against these defences. They’re the worst two teams against fantasy RBs all season and basically they’re running-back heaven.

Go and make a sneaky off for Lindsay in your league, and hope his owner has considered all the first paragraph, and none of the second paragraph. 


WR – Curtis Samuel – Carolina Panthers


Apparently we’re exclusively recommending players with “two first names” this week, but don’t let that put you off. Samuel is an incredibly exciting young player, and one you’ll likely get cheap, but he’s got a very generous next few weeks; two games against the Falcons, a home tie with the Redskins and a playoff week battle with the Seahawks maverick defence.

He’s not a big name but is averaging 14.8 points per game over his last four matches – the one single-digit effort was against the insane 49ers defence. You shouldn’t have to spend big, and he can help you get those last couple of wins to get you into the post-season.


WR – TY Hilton – Indianapolis Colts


You’ll have to (once again) invoke your gambling spirit, this time hoping you’re lucky enough for Hilton to get back from fitness this week – he’s considered day to day right now, which is often a reasonable sign. At the very least you should get him back next week.

Assuming he is fit, he’s a great pick-up  – he’s the clear number one in a good team, with a promising QB with whom he has a great rapport, working under a superb offensive mind and with an upcoming schedule (both pre and during-playoffs) that is very generous to WRs. The Colts are also, suddenly, fighting for a Wild Card spot so will be pulling out all the stops.

Now’s the time to use his fitness issues to get yourself a value TY Hilton and bit extra playoff ammo.


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Put on the Block


RB – Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints

Image result for alvin kamara
Image Credit: Chris Graythen / Getty Images

He’s great, but he’s not been himself this year. And more importantly, neither have the Saints offence – with both Bridgewater and Brees they’ve looked solid in offence without been mind-blowing. Their defence is the real strength, and with the exception of Michael Thomas I’d be clearing out most Saints players. Their schedule, in terms of running-back matchups, is very tricky and he’ll struggle to be at his best.

Kamara is still high-quality of course, and will get you reasonable points, but in some leagues you’ll be able to get rid of him, on name-value alone, for a very impressive bounty. Take that opportunity.


WR – John Brown – Buffalo Bills


In deep leagues, he’s been a bit of a catch this season and has put up great points as Josh Allen’s main deep threat. But the Bills schedule, in terms of WR-friendliness, is incredibly difficult – they’ve got superb pass-defences (Steelers and Patriots) in the playoff weeks, and even ahead of that, the likes of Denver and the Ravens don’t give up points easy. Even the Dolphins have stopped folding each week.

It’s a tough environment for any receiver, but one who is relying on Josh Allen to beat tight coverage and pass well under pressure……get rid of him whilst you can and whilst his stock is somewhat high. 


TE – Mark Andrews – Baltimore Ravens


He’s probably the next tight-end star in the middle of a very impressive season, and he’s got a great connection with the most (justifiably) hyped-up QB going right now. Why on earth would you get rid?

But the devil is in the detail. As has been mentioned everywhere, the Ravens are playing three tight-end sets, meaning he is always going to have players taken some of his workload.

On top of that, their schedule is absolutely horrifying in terms of tight-end fantasy production – they’re playing three of the four stingiest TE defences in the run-in, as well as a few other tricky ones. Also, for all his fantasy numbers are solid (an average of 13.8 over 9 games) they’re fleshed out massively by the first games of the year – against Miami and Arizona teams who were giving up the world defensively.

Take them out and his average is 10.6 – solid, but, after his week last week, now may be the time to try and use him to build your roster elsewhere.

Start ’em, Sit ’em – Week 10

By Dave Moore (@davieremixed)

The fantasy playoffs are just about in the distance, but a loss this week could see you stumble and fall leading to you not even participating in the last few weeks of the fantasy season. Make sure you keep putting one foot in front of the other and successfully negotiate week 10.

Here are some hints on who you should be starting and sitting this week…



Quarterback – Kyler Murray (Cardinals @ Bucs)


It’s hard to see past any other selection this week as the Cardinals face the worst-ranked fantasy defense against QBs and they’ve come off a game against the potent 49ers D where they put up 25 points. They’ve given up the fourth most points in the league and have forced just four turnovers since their big performance against the Rams in Week 4.

Admittedly, prior to that 88 yard play to Isabella last week, Murray was on for a third straight week of pretty average fantasy scoring but against a weak Bucs D, I fancy him to pull of some big chunk plays and maybe even rush for a score.


Running Back – Devin Singletary (Bills @ Browns)


I think we’re finally seeing the decision on who the #1 running back in Buffalo is after Singletary saw more action than Frank Gore (not so great news for one of my fantasy teams!).

The Browns are all over the place and after seeing their season ended by the Broncos last week it would not surprise me if Buffalo ran all over them in the Dawg Pound. Cleveland give up 141 yards per game on the ground, most of those should now go to Singletary after last weeks performances from the Buffalo backfield.

Singletary has made five appearances this season and score double digit points in four out of five with a 23 point barrage coming last week. Expect more from this run-first team.


Wide Receiver – Christian Kirk (Cardinals @ Bucs)


Two Cardinals offensive players in a Start ‘Em?! You’d better believe.

Leave aside Kirk’s performance last week, he was targeted more than any other Cardinals player and was coming off a three week spell out of the side with an ankle injury which seems to have healed.

For the above reasons why you should be starting Murray, this Arizona wide-out has a huge upside this week and I fancy him to get his first score of the season with at least 60+ reception yards.


Tight End – Jonnu Smith – (Titans vs Chiefs)


Slim pickings on the bye week as Ertz, Fells and Fant are all on bye weeks so aside from your usual superstars it’s tough to find the value.

Smith seems like a reasonable shout for a Titans team that has seen an upswing in offensive performance since Ryan Tannehill was brought into the side under center.

Whilst he had a quiet game against Carolina he did finish joint second for targets (five) on the Titans that day and is worth a look if you’ve got some awkward bye week timings.


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Quarterback – Jared Goff (Rams @ Steelers)


Occasions Jared Goff has scored over 20 fantasy points this season? A shootout against a defensively indefensible Bucs, a visit to the terrible Falcons and a Wembley walkover against the winless Bengals.

He’s now lost Brandin Cooks to a concussion for an indefinite period of time and faces a Steelers D that has improved so much since the trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick.

The Steelers are turnover hungry and not even double strength Covonia can help Goff from not coughing the ball up – the only two occasions he hasn’t turned the ball over this season were against the aforementioned Falcons and Bengals so I refuse to believe that Goff is righting the ship and more the opposition were something of an aberration.

Sit. Him. Down.


Running Back – LeSean McCoy (Chiefs @ Titans)


Shady’s going to struggle to get touches for the foreseeable as Damien Williams had a monster game against the Vikings and Mahomes is potentially returning this week. As such it makes him a low value player until he can prove otherwise.

He’s not hit double digit fantasy points since the Week 4 matchup against the Lions and has lost two fumbles since then.


Wide Receiver – Odell Beckham Jr (Browns vs Bills)


A 13-point game against the Broncos doesn’t disguise the fact that OBJ has limited value as a WR1, only one score this season back in Week 2 and facing up against a superb Bills D that will likely double him? It’s a hard pass from me and it should be from you. Even jarvis Landry is out-targeting him at the moment.


Tight End – Jacob Hollister (Seahawks @ 49ers)


This isn’t a slight on Hollister who came up with the game winning catch against the Bucs in OT last week but the 49ers are stingy against Tight Ends as well as in general offense. In my opinion, there are enough streamers out there that will have a better chance of picking up a score than Hollister. Go and find them instead of trying on what Hollister has to offer.