2017 Fantasy Football Player Projecitons Notes

  • Hi Folks, It's getting close to that magical time of the year.  Are you ready for some football?!? Throughout the preseason we'll be discussing Player Projection changes, Camp Developments, Player Box Scores (preseason games), and Fantasy Strategy. The goal is to express our rationale as we update our player projections software program with the most up to date player intelligence. Stay Tuned!  -Anthony

    8/20/2017

    Hunt,Kareem - KCC/RB: Hunt had a productive night against the Bengals on Saturday, rushing eight times for 40 yards and catching three passes for 23 yards. Hunt didnt get much action in the first preseason game, only getting one attempt and one reception. Seeing him used in game two more, when Spencer Ware only had two snaps, is a promising sign that the Chiefs will plan on using Hunt this year. Hunt is worth a pick at his current ADP in the 10th round, as it wouldnt be surprising to see him overtake Spencer Ware at some point this season.  Fantistics Draft Advisory is currently projecting 860 rushing and 240 yards w/ 6 TDs.  We recommend him as a top 30 draft day RB.

    Nine preseason games on Saturday Night means a lot of players to recap...Paxton Lynch struggled, only passing for 39 yards on 9 completions. It looks like Trevor Siemian is close to taking the job in Denver...Derek Carr threw for 100 yards and a two TD with an interception. Hes going in the mid-tier of QB1s...Jared Goff threw for 158 yards and a score against the Raiders. The addition of Watkins and emergence of Kupp could vault Goff into a viable QB2...Christian Hackenberg struggled against the Lions, only passing for 14 yards in about a half of work. He doesnt appear ready to be Week one starter...Cam Newton didnt play but will start throwing in practice this week and may play in the third preseason game against Jacksonville...Rob Gronkowski played his first preseason game in five years, a good sign that he is fully healthy for 2017...Darren McFadden looked good until a fumble in his last snap on the night. Hes an RB2 while Elliott is out but still cant be drafted as anything more than an RB4...Tarik Cohen had 7 carries for 77 yards. He looks to be playing himself into a primary backup for Jordan Howard...Derrick Henry scored twice and caught three passes. A viable handcuff as long as you dont draft him much before the 9th round...Marlon Mack had five carries for 45 yards, looking explosive in those runs. With Frank Gore being 34, Mack has a chance at some playing time if he can beat Robert Turbin out for the #2 RB...Christian McCaffrey had another impressive outing, getting 72 yards and a touchdown on five touches. Hes a great RB2 in PPR leagues...Rex Burkhead rushed for 20 yards, but had three receptions for 50 yards and a score. He looks to be involved, but hard to know how much, considering how much the Patriots interchange their running backs...Kareem Hunt dominated the running back production for the Chiefs, getting 63 total yards. After a quiet week one, Hunt showed that he will be involved in the Chiefs running game this season...Bilal Powell played a week after missing a preseason game due to a sore neck. Hes in position to be the lead back over Matt Forte and is a nice 7th round pick in PPR...Bruce Ellington caught 4 passes for 93 yards against the Patriots. With injuries to Braxton Miller and Will Fuller, Ellingtons performance could give him more opportunities in the short term...Cooper Kupp was Goffs favorite target, catching six passes for 70 yards and a score. The Rams may have a hard time keeping him off the field, even when Tavon Austin comes back...TJ Jones suffered a hamstring injury against the Jets. While he doesnt have any fantasy value, it could increase the value of rookie Kenny Golladay, who is competing with Jones for the WR3 spot in Detroit...Mike Lombardi of The Ringer suggests that Phillip Dorsett is on the trading block. With Chester Rogers getting first team snaps in the slot, the time for Dorsett in Indianapolis looks to be nearing an end.   - Skeeter Robinson  @skeeterrobinson

    Player InjuryJones,TJ - DET/WR: According to Michael Rothstein of ESPN, Jones injured his hamstring in the second quarter of Saturday nights game against the Jets. While Jones isnt on the fantasy radar, he was listed on the Detroit Lions depth chart as the #3 WR. If Jones has to miss any time with this hamstring injury, it would be the chance rookie Kenny Golladay would need to supplant Jones.

    FYIGronkowski,Rob - NEP/TE: For the first time in five years, Rob Gronkowski played in a preseason game on Saturday night. Gronk only played two series and did not have a catch. After an injury marred 2016, seeing Gronkowski on the field was a positive step forward for him and the Patriots. Going in the second round, Gronk is clearly the top tight end in fantasy. His injury risk makes it tough for me to draft, but if he plays 16 games, hes a first round pick. Big IF though.

    Kupp,Cooper - LAR/WR: Kupp continues to impress in his rookie season. On Saturday night against the Raiders, Kupp caught six passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. WIth consecutive good performances in preseason games and an impressive training camp, hes going to make it hard for Sean McVey to keep him off the field when Tavon Austin returns from injury. Hes not draftable yet in except in deep leagues, but hes definitely someone you need to keep an eye on and be ready to get off the waiver wire if he gets regular snaps in the regular season.

    Ellington,Bruce - HOU/WR: Ellington caught all four of his passes for 93 yards on Saturday night against the Patriots. Quite a night for Ellington, who started training camp with the 49ers, was released, signed with the Jets for all of 24 hours before being released from New York. With Will Fuller and Braxton Miller battling injuries, and Jaelen Strong not doing much with his opportunity, Ellington has a chance to stick with the Texans and may see some chances as long as Fuller and Miller are out.

    Dorsett,Phillip - IND/WR: According to Mike Lombardi of The Ringer, the Colts are willing to field offers on Dorsett, and wouldnt need much in return. Dorsett has only had 71 catches for about 750 yards and three touchdowns in his first two seasons, and has seem to lost the slot receiver spot to Chester Rogers. Quite the fall from grace for the former first-round pick from Miami. Dorsett should not be drafted in any format until we know his future.

    Cohen,Tarik - CHI/RB: Cohen looked quite impressive Saturday night in Arizona, rushing for 77 yards on 11 carries. He was breaking tackles, making sharp cuts, and getting good yardage after contact. Cohen isnt going to take the starting job away from Jordan Howard, but is putting himself in position to be the backup running back or third down back with Benny Cunningham. Hes someone to keep in mind if Howard were to miss anytime this season with an injury.

    FYIPowell,Bilal - NYJ/RB: Powell was able to play in Saturday nights preseason game at Detroit after missing the first one with a sore neck. Powell rushed nine times for 32 yards, while adding two catches for 14 yards. He may have been the lone bright spot for the Jets on a night where they only scored six points. Powell should be the lead Jets back over Matt Forte. His current ADP of 7.08 seems a bit off as Ive seen him go in the 6th round or early 7th round in drafts. He makes for a nice low-end RB2 or high-end RB3 in PPR leagues

    Mack,Marlon - IND/RB: Mack is in a battle with Robert Turbin for the #2 RB job in Indianapolis and impressed on Saturday night against the Cowboys. Mack only had five rushes but had 45 yards on those five attempts, while also catching two passes for 14 yards. Michael Waldo has called Mack his sleeper of the year, due to his ability to have explosive plays, which Mack showed on Saturday night. Frank Gore is 34 and will slow at some point. Mack is a deep league, late round selection.

    Hunt,Kareem - KCC/RB: Hunt had a productive night against the Bengals on Saturday, rushing eight times for 40 yards and catching three passes for 23 yards. Hunt didnt get much action in the first preseason game, only getting one attempt and one reception. Seeing him used in game two more, when Spencer Ware only had two snaps, is a promising sign that the Chiefs will plan on using Hunt this year. Hunt is worth a pick at his current ADP in the 10th round, as it wouldnt be surprising to see him overtake Spencer Ware at some point this season.

    McCaffrey,Christian - CAR/RB: McCaffrey continues to show explosiveness on the field, rushing three times for 33 yards and a touchdown, while catching two passes for 39 yards. No one for Carolina got many touches against the Titans but no one had the production that McCaffrey did either. McCaffrey may be going in the mid-third round right now but his ADP will be rising with these performances and is a great RB2 in drafts.

    FYIHenry,Derrick - TEN/RB: The numbers may not have looked impressive: 16 carries for 36 yards. However, Henry did have a 17 yard run and scored twice in Saturdays game against the Panthers. He added three catches for 17 yards and had better runs as the game went on. The primary handcuff to DeMarco Murray, Henry is showing everyone that he can be productive if given the chance. He should be able to improve on his 490 yards; just dont overdraft him in the 6th or 7th round. His 9th round ADP is fair, though I would prefer him a round later.

    Burkhead,Rex - NEP/RB: With Mike Gillislee battling an injury, Burkhead took advantage of his opportunity on Saturday night. He only rushed for 20 yards on seven carries, but showed some versatility in the passing game, catching three passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. Burkhead is a late pick in deeper leagues right now, and while this performance was impressive, its hard to believe he will get this many regular opportunities each week once the season starts.

    McFadden,Darren - DAL/RB: McFadden looked good in his two series against the Colts on Saturday night, rushing the ball nine times for 59 yards. The only negative for McFadden was a fumble on his last play. McFadden certainly looks like a very capable replacement for the suspended Ezekiel Elliott. McFaddens ADP is currently in the 11th round but expect that to rise as we get closer to the season and get a final decision on Elliott. Hes an RB2 while Elliott is out, but should be drafted as a RB4 or RB5 on your fantasy teams.

    Lynch,Paxton - DEN/QB: Lynch continued to struggle on Saturday night against the 49ers. Getting the start, Lynch was only able to complete 9 of 13 passes for 39 yards. He was better on the ground, rushing three times for 27 yards. Trevor Siemian came in and on Simien's first drive, led the Broncos on a touchdown drive. Lynch looks like he will end up being the backup quarterback for Denver, making him undraftable.

    Goff,Jared - LAR/QB: Goff showed signs Saturday night of why he was the #1 overall pick in 2016. Goff was 16 of 20 for 158 yards and a touchdown. He hit seven different receivers, including new WR Sammy Watkins. With the addition of Watkins and possible emergence of rookie WR Cooper Kupp, Goff may be able to turn into a viable fantasy QB in deep leagues. I would only draft him in 2 QB or Superflex leagues.

    FYICarr,Derek - OAK/QB: Carr had an eventful Saturday night against the Rams, completing 7 of 9 passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception. He targeted Amari Cooper four times and Michael Crabtree only once, but that was a touchdown. Hes being drafted as a mid-to late QB 1, as the 8th QB off the board. His 28:6 TD to INT ratio last year was good and an increase in TDs and chance to get over 4000 yards makes him a viable QB after the Top 4 or 5 are off the board.

    Hackenberg,Christian - NYJ/QB: Hackenberg had a night to forget. Hackenberg only completed two passes for 14 yards, while rushing twice for 11 yards Saturday night against the Lions. The Jets had no flow on offense while Hackenberg was on the field, only amassing 43 yards in the first half. This performance will not help Hackenbergs case to start week one for the Jets, and can be ignored in fantasy drafts.

    FYINewton,Cam - CAR/QB: Newton did not play in Saturdays preseason game against the Titans. Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera said that the plan is for Newton to throw in practice this week and play in the third preseason game against Jacksonville. This progress is a good sign for those who are looking to draft Cam, as he is currently being drafted as a mid to late QB1.

     


    8/19/2017

    Cook,Dalvin - MIN/RB: The rookie continued to impress with 40 yards rushing on 7 carries and 10 yards on 1 reception against the Seattle defense Friday night. With Latavius Murray still on the sideline, Cook saw extensive work in the backfield in just part of the first half. While it remains to be seen how they will incorporate Murray into the mix, Cook has clearly shown he can shoulder the main duties. At this point he will probably start to get overdrafted as many forget that Murray is going to be involved out of the backfield, especially in goal-line situations. Cook is currently going anywhere from 15-20th at the RB position.  Fantistics Draft Advisory is currently projecting 870 rushing and 330 yards w/ 6 TDs.  We see him as a top 20 draft day RB.

    Seattle and Minnesota put on a nice show Friday night.  We saw a couple of impressive rookies in the game with Dalvin Cook and Chris Carson impressing.  Cook totaled 50 yards on 8 touches in the game working as the top back for Minnesota.  He continues to rise up draft boards, and while hes primed for a big year, his price tag is going to be pretty high before most drafts get underway.  Russell Wilson enjoyed a nice night against the Vikings defense as he tossed for 206 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Wilson is coming off the board just outside the top 5 at the quarterback position.  Wilson and the Seattle offense did take a big hit in the game when starting LT George Fant was taken down with a knee injury.  He had to be casted and carted off, which likely signifies a serious injury.  In other injury news from Friday, Cam Newton will not play in the Saturday night game.  He continues to improve and throw more in practice, but hes being held out until likely the third preseason game on Thursday against Jacksonville.  Eric Ebron also continues to sit out because of a hamstring issue.  He returned for a practice last week, but was out all week and is looking a little risky after hes missed 8 games over the past three years.  Rookie Juju Smith-Schuster is following in Ebrons footsteps.  He was out because of a concussion last week, returned on Monday, and is once again sidelined with a bone bruise in his shin.  Trying to get the number four receiver role in Pittsburgh, Smith-Schuster cant afford to miss more time this preseason.  Two rookies on the opposite end from Smith-Schuster are Zay Jones and Dede Westbrook.  Jones continued to impress with 3 catches and 42 yards on Thursday night, while he also had a near touchdown called off because he couldnt get a second foot down.  Jones continues to be a value late in drafts.  Westbrook on the other hand remains a risky draft prospect because of a crowded receiving group in Jacksonville, but hes been blowing it up in the preseason.  After a great looking 42-yard touchdown in preseason game 1, Westbrook tallied 6 catches and 131 yards Thursday night.  Hes one to keep an eye on and is a good sleeper in dynasty drafts.  Jameis Winston is another one whos crushing it this preseason.  He completed 21-of-29 passes for 196 yards on Thursday, and after 33 interceptions in his first two seasons, he hasnt thrown any in 42 pass attempts this preseason.    - Jermey McGoldrick

    Top 10 Undervalued Wide Receivers for 2017


    #6 Cameron Meredith | Chicago Bears (Blended ADP 106th Overall WR #40)

    Positives:  Thrust into the number one role out of nowhere last season, Meredith enjoyed a nice run with the Bears.  In just his second season, he recorded four games over 100 yards on his way to 888 yards on the year.  Beginning this season, he knows what is expected as hes the unquestioned number one receiver for Chicago now.  Succeeding with a carousel of QBs last season, Meredith gets a combo of Mike Glennon/Mitch Trubisky this season.  They will be able to load Meredith up with enough to produce strong receiver numbers on his way to 1,000 yards, 70-80 receptions and 6-8 touchdowns.

    Negatives: Merediths sample size is small as we saw him in a starring role for a limited time last season.  Though he recorded some huge games, he also posted some major duds, with five games under 30 yards and nine games with 4 or fewer receptions.  Those inconsistencies make him a scary option to trust each week.

    Final Say: Merediths lack of consistency was not on him as the Bears lacked a consistent passing game all season in 2016.  With some new offensive additions and Jordan Howard pressuring defenses, Meredith has a real shot at finishing in the top 20 at his position.  A more realistic goal would be in the top 30, but coming off the board as the 40th receiver is too far off. He remains a solid value at the current ADP. 

    Fantasy Football Draft Day Dominance!

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    FYISeahawks, Seattle - SEA/OL: Seahawks left tackle George Fant was carted off the field Friday night with a knee injury. This could be a big blow for a Seattle team that was a little shaky to start with on the O-line. Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls continue to look like challenging options this season. Fantistics barely has Lacy inside the top 30 at the position, while Rawls is about 10 spots down from there. C.J. Prosise could be the leader in this backfield this season because of his PPR threat.

    FYIWilson,Russell - SEA/QB: Though he did lose his starting LT, Wilson still looked good against the Vikings throwing for 206 yards on 13 passes along with 2 touchdowns. With Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin on the rise and the backfield stuffed with some big bodies, Wilson should rebound from a down season last year. He ranks as our 8th best QB option in the middle of the second week of preseason action.

    Carson,Chris - SEA/RB: While its Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls battling for the top job in the backfield, its the rookie who continues to impress. He totaled 44 yards on 7 touches Friday night, while also causing a fumble on kickoff coverage. A hard-playing rookie like this is someone to keep a deep eye on as both Lacy and Rawls have some flaws.

    Williams,Kasen - SEA/WR: Our unknown of the night goes to Williams, who has been making a name for himself in the preseason. The third year receiver out of Washington caught 2-of-4 targets for 28 yards and a touchdown on Friday. His catches were both impressive, one being a one-handed grab and the touchdown a fade over the defender in the end zone. While hes got plenty of work to do to get into a regular season role, Williams doesnt have a ton of presence in front of him with Tyler Lockett coming off injury and Paul Richardson and Jermaine Kearse less than exciting. Keep an eye on his progression the rest of the preseason.

    FYILacy,Eddie - SEA/RB: Lacy had a good start to his night Friday with a 9-yard run on his first touch of the game, but he managed just 11 more on 5 other carries, bringing him to 6 rushes for 20 yards on the night. Not a huge threat catching out of the backfield, Lacy did add a reception for 3 yards. After Seattle lost their starting LT for what looks like a while, the RB situation in Seattle remains one to avoid.

    IdeaDiggs,Stefon - MIN/WR: Diggs was targeted 5 times on Friday night, coming down with 4 catches for 65 yards. He looked good on the night and showed good chemistry with his quarterbacks. Diggs should be a PPR gold mine this season, but hell have to increase to a full 16 games this season after missing 3 in each of his first two years. With just 7 receiving scores in the NFL, owners shouldnt expect to get much from him in that category, with Fantistics projecting just 5 scores.

    Cook,Dalvin - MIN/RB: The rookie continued to impress with 40 yards rushing on 7 carries and 10 yards on 1 reception against the Seattle defense Friday night. With Latavius Murray still on the sideline, Cook saw extensive work in the backfield in just part of the first half. While it remains to be seen how they will incorporate Murray into the mix, Cook has clearly shown he can shoulder the main duties. At this point he will probably start to get overdrafted as many forget that Murray is going to be involved out of the backfield, especially in goal-line situations. Cook is currently going anywhere from 15-20th at the RB position.

    IdeaWinston,Jameis - TBB/QB: Winston continued looking sharp in the preseason with a strong showing on Thursday. He connected on 21-of-29 passes for 196 yards with no interceptions. If the Bucs rushing attack can develop some consistency this season and stay healthy, Winston should have no trouble living up to his preseason expectations. Hes currently ranked as high as 5 and as low as 13, so youll have to play your draft, but anywhere near 10th at the position and he should easily outplay his draft spot. Fantistics is projecting 30 touchdowns and 4,500 yards.

    Smith-Schuster,Juju - PIT/WR: The rookie has had a hard time staying healthy in the preseason, as hes currently dealing with a bone bruise in his knee. He had just returned to practice on Monday, so the continued missed time wont help him move up the ladder. Smith-Schuster currently sits behind Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Eli Rogers on the depth chart as he battles for the number 4 spot. Even if he can get healthy, the rookie isnt worthy of a redraft roster spot.

    Jones,Zay - BUF/WR: Its starting to look like Jones could be the real leader in receiving this season for Buffalo. Though Ive been excited about other rookie WRs with an opportunity like this (see Tajae Sharpe 2016), Jones is making plays in the preseason and seeing plenty of action. He finished Thursday with 42 yards on 3 receptions, but nearly toe-touched a nice grab in the end zone for a score. With Tyrod Taylor averaging less than 20 touchdown passes per season the last two years, theres a little hesitation on drafting Buffalo receivers, but with Jones going outside the top 50 at the position, he remains a strong value pick.

    FYIWest,Terrance - BAL/RB: West struggled heavily on Thursday rushing 6 times for negative 2 yards, while also fumbling the ball. The projected lead back this season along with Danny Woodhead, West is going to work his way into a timeshare with a few others if he continues these struggles. With Joe Flacco out though, this offense is going to have some issues moving the ball on the ground as teams dare Ryan Mallett and the other backups to bear them. Javorius Allen lead the team with 40 yards on 10 carries on Thursday.

    FYITaylor,Tyrod - BUF/QB: Despite some concern after Thursdays game, the Bills appear committed to Taylor to start in week one. While Taylor has struggled in preseason so far, Coach Sean McDermott said he has all the confidence in the world in his quarterback. Rookie Nathan Peterman sits behind Taylor on the depth chart along with T.J. Yates. While Taylor can provide some mixed results, he is easily the most dangerous quarterback on their roster. His stock is at an all time low after the trade of Sammy Watkins, being without an injured Jordan Matthews and struggling in the preseason. Hell be a good value add that can be a nice spot starter this season.

    Westbrook,Dede - JAX/WR: Blake Bortles was the main focus of reporting out of the Jacksonville game Thursday night because of his continued poor play, but what about the rookie? Westbrook should be in the news because of his continued positive play. On Thursday he coasted to 131 yards on 6 receptions, which followed his first preseason game where he took his only target for a 42-yard touchdown against the Patriots. Allen Robinson is the clear top option in Jacksonville, but Westbrook could outplay Allen Hurns and Marquise Lee for a chance at some targets.

    FYIPowell,Bilal - NYJ/RB: After sitting out the first preseason contest because of a neck injury, Powell will play tonight against the Lions. With Matt Forte out, Powell should play with the first team, while rookie Elijah McGuire will be the other guy to watch in the backfield. If healthy, Powell is the top Jets running back to own this season after he closed out the 2016 season with a few strong showings.

    FYINewton,Cam - CAR/QB: Newton has been ruled out for the game tonight, but he is expected to see the field in the third preseason game. There have been almost daily updates on Newton throwing more in practice every day, and its looking like he will be all systems go by week 1. Newton went from 13 quality starts in 2015 to just 6 last season, which could end up scaring enough people away from him to help him slip a few picks down. Newton is typically coming off the board in the 8-10 range at the position.

    FYIEbron,Eric - DET/TE: Many in the industry are calling for a breakout season from Ebron this season, but hes been out of practice all but one day of camp. He returned last Friday, but missed this entire week because of the injury. After missing 8 games in three seasons, owners would be wise to have a backup plan ready at TE. Fantistics predicts a slight improvement over last years numbers, with a projected 747 yards and 4 touchdowns.
     

     


    8/18/2017

    Blount,LeGarrette Blount had a monster season in 2016 with ~1200 all purpose yards and 18 TDs. The TDs are obviously going to come down, but he's going to be the man here in 1st-2nd down, and Red Zone situations. One of the better Olines in the League (A-) and a run centric offense. Fantistics Draft Advisory is currently projecting a modest 955 yards and 11 TDs.  Currently being drafted in the Mid 8th round, there is upside.

    Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone said Blake Bortles with have to earn the starting job. Bortles finished 8-13 for 65 yards. He nearly threw multiple interceptions, but he didn?t turn the ball over. Jay Cutler made his Miami Dolphins debut last night. He finished 3-of-6 for 24 yards. After the game he said wide receiver DeVante Parker is a ?faster Alshon.? Cutler was referring to former teammate Alshon Jeffery.  Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor struggled against the Eagles. He finished 8-of-18 for 53 yards and two interceptions. Bills coach Sean McDermott said they were going to ?evaluate everything? and didn?t say Taylor is their starting quarterback for Week 1. Cardinals wide receiver John Brown could be falling out of favor with head coach Bruce Arians. Arians sounds worried about Brown?s recovery time following a hamstring injury he suffered early in training camp. The Seahawks? starting running back job is still up for grabs. Thomas Rawls won?t play tonight because of an ankle injury. That opens the door for Eddie Lacy to get back in the hunt for the starting job. Steelers running back Le?Veon Bell plans to report before Week 1 according to Adam Schefter.  - James Rapien

    John Brown (ARI) ? Brown was one of my favorite bounce-back candidates this season before he injured his hamstring in training camp. Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said Brown?s sickle-cell trait has slowed the healing process. Arians also said Jaron Brown is the team?s number two wide receiver. It sounds like Brown (John) has lost favor with the Cardinals. His ninth round ADP is risky given the recent turn of events.

    Player InjuryThomas Rawls (SEA) ? Rawls has been the starting running back throughout training camp, but he will miss Friday night?s game with a ?minor? ankle issue. Rawls wasn?t effective in 2016 after injuring his ankle at the end of 2015. This injury is worth monitoring.

    FYIEddie Lacy (SEA) ? Lacy clearly fell behind Rawls in the battle for the starting running back job. Friday is a big opportunity to get back in the hunt. Lacy has kept himself in good shape, but only had 71 carries last season due to injury. Can he regain his pro bowl form? Once upon a time he had back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons. If Lacy has a good showing this week, he could win the starting job.

    FYILe?Veon Bell (PIT) ? Bell is my number one running back in PPR leagues. He?s healthy, in a contract season and isn?t getting dinged up in training camp like other players are. The last time Bell played 16 games was in 2014 and he had 1,361 yards rushing and 83 receptions for 854 yards. He was injured in 2015 and served a suspension last season. Bell is a stud and no one should worry about him missing a few preseason games.

    Jay Cutler (MIA) ? Cutler wasn?t shy about throwing the ball downfield in his Dolphins debut. He had a 31-yard completion to DeVante Parker called back because of a penalty. This Miami offense should be a lot more fun to watch with Cutler leading the way. Ryan Tannehill wasn?t a risk taker, but Cutler will take chances. He?s a mid-level QB2 who?s worth drafting in the later rounds.

    FYIDeVante Parker (MIA) ? Is Cutler exactly what Parker needs to become a fantasy star? He had four targets on two drives. There has been plenty of talk about Parker having a breakout season. Cutler could be just the man to help him do that. Parker finished with one reception for 16 yards, but offers plenty of upside. He is currently being drafted at the end of the 8th round. He was on the field for 78 percent of snaps last season and should see that rise in 2017.

    Tyrod Taylor (BUF) ? Taylor?s fantasy value took a hit when the Bills traded wide receiver Sammy Watkins to the Rams last week. He was under a lot of pressure last night against the Eagles. He finished 8-18 for 53 yards and two interceptions. Taylor was a nice fantasy sleeper with his rushing ability, but the departure of Watkins is worrisome. Taylor only had 437 pass attempts last season. It?s hard to imagine that number going up without a true number one wide receiver on the roster.

    FYIBlake Bortles (JAC) ? Bortles is a sneaky bounce-back candidate in 2017. He has plenty of talent around him with Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Marquise Lee and Leonard Fournette. With that said, he struggled mightily on Thursday night. I like his upside. He is currently being drafted in the 14th round. He threw 35 touchdowns in 2015. Yes, he struggled some last season, but his upside makes it worth using a late-round pick on him. His ADP could drop even more if he continues to struggle in the preseason. It is worth noting that Chad Henne did take some reps with the starters last night. Could Bortles? struggles get him benched? Henne doesn?t offer much fantasy value and it?s hard to imagine a scenario where he?s an upgrade from Bortles.

    FYIAllen Robinson (JAC) ? Robinson and Bortles need each other. Their success is reliant on the other one producing as well. The addition of Fournette should take some of the attention from Robinson. He is currently the 20th wide receiver being drafted at the end of the 4th round. I like his upside. If you?re in a two-quarterback league, you might consider stacking Robinson and Bortles. They both have upside and showed how great they could be in 2015.

    IdeaDoug Martin (TB) ? Martin has flashed the playmaking ability we saw from him in 2015 this preseason. He is suspended for the first three games of 2017, but is clearly the most-talented running back the Buccaneers have. He ran for 1,454 yards as a rookie in 2012 and had two down seasons due to injury in 2013-14. He bounced back in 2015 with a career season. Can he do it again after his suspension? He?s being drafted in the middle of round five. I like the value he offers. Defenses will be focused on stopping Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson. Martin should get every chance to be a RB1 when he returns from suspension.

    IdeaJoe Mixon (CIN) ? Mixon is the most-talented running back on the Bengals? roster. He?s bigger than Jeremy Hill and faster than Giovani Bernard. It?s ?when? not ?if? Mixon will lead the backfield in touches. Our Fantistics software has Mixon ranked 16th among running backs. I have him slightly higher. I?ve watched Mixon throughout Bengals training camp and expect him to be an RB1. Marvin Lewis coached Corey Dillon for one season in 2003. Outside of that, he?s never had a running back as talented as Mixon. He?s coached fantasy studs like Rudi Johnson, Cedric Benson and others. Mixon is special and worth picking at the beginning of round four.

    IdeaAdrian Peterson (NO) ? Peterson is 32-years-old, but he?s just one year removed from a 1,400 plus yard rushing season. Can he have success is New Orleans? I believe he can. We?ve said for years that Peterson is a freak of nature. Why should we not buy into him now? He was injured last season, but we?ve seen him bounce back from injury before. He has solid upside and is being drafted at the end of round four. He?s more talented than Mark Ingram and could be worth the risk. He has a solid offensive line and could give the New Orleans offense a tremendous boost if he has anything left.

     


     

    8/16/2017

    DAL RB Ezekiel Elliot had a monster rookie season with 13 Quality Starts, 5.1 YPC, and 29% Red Zone success rate, but with a petitioned 6 game suspension looming...where do you value him in 2017? Here's a look at two differing viewpoints:

    A Look at ADP 2017 by Kyle Elfrink

    This week ... All of the angles involving the Ezekiel Elliott suspension, trade winds blowing through Buffalo and Los Angeles, and whats in store for an un-Luck-y crew of Indy receivers.

     (Note: If there are specific players or positions you would like me to discuss over the coming weeks, just let me know in the Comments section of our facebook page.  Also, for the most part, the thoughts and opinions expressed are in regards to a players PPR value.  Obviously, there are many who play in Non-PPR set-ups, but I find the system much too reliant on TDs - and TDs alone - to be as enjoyable as a point-per-reception league.)

                   Seven Weeks of Zeroes ... We Think

    Thirteen months after the incident in question and many months later than most anyone expected, the NFL finally came down with their ruling on Ezekiel Elliotts (ADP #9 ... and crashing) off-the-field issues and conduct.  And, nearly all of got it wrong.

    Surprisingly, the stud runner got hammered with a 6-game suspension by Roger Goodell and crew.  But, as usual, that only gives us the first direction on a map that could go down a dozen different paths.  Ill try and cut this up into bite-sized, manageable snippets of question and answer ...

            Is it truly a 6-game suspension? ... An appeal was quickly filed and that hearing came on Tuesday of this week.  Elliotts squad of suit-and-ties says the NFL has jumped to a multitude of wrong conclusions, followed bad leads, and made their ruling in the interest of garnering good publicity.  There is always a chance that the suspension could be lowered.  How much so is anybodys guess.  There is also the decent chance that Elliott could lose his appeal (totally or partially) and then choose to take the Tom Brady route by heading to federal court to get things settled.  As we saw with Brady, that means Elliott could actually play every game this season while a lengthy and drawn out court process plays forth.  If youre drafting right now you should plan as if it will truly be a full six game suspension

            If we assume six missed games, then what are we truly missing out on? ... In a world where so little can be guaranteed, it is a guarantee that Elliott will net you a grand total of ZERO fantasy points for a month-and-a-half.  But, wait, theres more!  The Cowboys have their bye in Week 6.  Thus, after the team takes their Sunday off, they will return for a Week 7 tilt ... but, with no Elliott.  So, in reality, you will see the Cowboys ace tailback returning in Week 8 at Washington.  For many of us that would mean Elliott would be a big help down the stretch of the fantasy regular season.  But, that stretch is likely only a six or seven game run before your leagues playoffs begin.  Who knows if youll be there?  If he avoids injury ... if he avoids further off-the-field problems ... then, youre still only guaranteed to get Elliott for under half of the seasons 16-game schedule.

            So what is Zekes value on draft day? ... Personally, Im not interested.  Certain zeros dont play on my squads.  Even before we got the official word on the penalty, Elliott was outside my top-5 in PPR leagues.  Now, I would drop him outside the top-80.  Now, you tell me ... do you really believe theres a league out there that doesnt feature at least one silly Dallas backer or one silly fantasy player just looking to make some noise in the draft room??  Of course not.  Theres always one of those guys in every room.  Even though I would drop Elliott outside the top-80 overall, Im almost certain that each and every draft between now and Week 1 will feature Elliott going in the top-50.  Thats a foolish price to pay for anyone who wont play a game until Halloween.  Obviously, things are much different in dynasty/keeper leagues.  Decisions there are very specific to Elliotts cost, protection rules within the league, and other available protection options on your roster.

    Counter Point on Zeke's Draft Day Value: Fantistics Anthony Perri (our player projections prognosticator) has a differing view on this situation. If you can draft a replacement level RB for the missing Zeke weeks (and most will for bye week purposes), that combination would equate to a top 5-7 running back in total Fantasy Points. Lets consider that Zeke scored 50 points more than the #3 RB last season. This would mean that you will need to draft a better quality backup/bye week RB, but for those planning a playoff run, having a combination such as David Johnson/LeVeon Bell and Zeke Elliot in playoff weeks could/would potentially be dominating.  Consider that the 7th best RB in this year's draft is going early in the 2nd round. Why not consider Zeke if he drops to you in the 3rd round?

            Whos the Cowboy to own during his absence? ... Darren McFadden (ADP #135 ... and climbing) is the easy answer.  But, it might not be so easy.  Dallas has a pair of familiar names behind DMC and both of them could see anywhere from 2-10 touches per week.  Alfred Morris (ADP #209) should figure in for short-yardage and goal line work.  The always-disappointing Ronnie Hillman (ADP n/a) is also lurking and could get a few shots a game.  I think that without Elliott for the start of year Dallas will pile more on the plate of QB Dak Prescott (ADP #92).  His efficiency was insane a year ago, but that came on just 459 passes.  To be a true constant in the world of fantasy football, you need to be closer to 600.  Prescott now has a definitive chance to reach 550 with Elliott out.  What am I getting at?  Even if McFadden were to emerge as the de facto runner for Weeks 1-7, he wont see as much opportunity as Elliott did a year ago.  He can absolutely succeed and be a top-25 RB for the first two months of the year.  If McFaddens ADP were to stay outside the top-100, Id be fine selecting him.  Unfortunately, you can bet that he gets inside the top-60 in a few places.

              Better Weather, but Not a Better Spot

    On the same day that the Elliott suspension was handed down, the NFL also provided a rare training camp trade involving big names.  The Buffalo Bills passed on another year of providing continuous Sammy Watkins (ADP #37) injury updates and sent him packing to the LA Rams.  As we all should know by now, Watkins is a very talented and very banged-up individual.  None of that changes with the move out west.

    The other thing that doesnt change is that Watkins is still partnering with a questionable slinger.  In fact, at this point, Tyrod Taylor (ADP #135) is a doubtless upgrade over Watkins new buddy, Jared Goff (ADP #313). 

    I wouldnt plan on Watkins handling more than a dozen games this year.  His track record would make one foolhardy to predict anything more.  If he gets those 12, he can come up with at least 75 catches.  But, those receptions will come along with boring yardage and boring TD totals.  At best, hes a WR2 on a fantasy roster.  Dont make him your lead guy.

                   More Slots Than Vegas

    While Watkins was heading to the departure gates at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Jordan Matthews (ADP #144) was exiting the arrival terminal.  If you speak to most fantasy players they will tell you that the Vandy product has been a let-down through three seasons.  I believe thats unfair.  He has averaged a line of 75/890/6 in those three seasons.  Thats WR3 production.  You want to see Watkins line through three years?  How about 51/820/6?  Matthews has, of course, played 46 games to Watkins 37 ... but, well, thats kind of the point!

    So, what happens next??  Matthews comes up with a chipped sternum (of all things!) just 15 minutes into his first practice with the Bills!  So, now hes lame and questionable for the start of season.  Hes still worth drafting, but now he looks like a WR5 investment and not a WR3.

    After establishing that Matthews is worthy of your consideration, lets also delve into the situation in Buffalo.  The Bills have Anquan Boldin (ADP #276) and rookie Zay Jones (ADP #168) to still throw passes at.  Both guys, just like Matthews, profile as good reception, low yardage, slot-heavy wide receivers.  But, hey, three slot guys is probably two too many.  Jones is now expected to take a lot of snaps out wide.  Few think hes totally ready for job, but he can make plays (a collegiate FBS record of 158 catches last year) has a wide-open run to playing time.  Boldin is, yet again, an extremely safe pick in PPR leagues.  You can expect that both of their ADPs will start to climb in the coming weeks.  All drafts play out differently, but if I left the draft table with Jones as a WR5 or Boldin as a WR6, Id be plenty happy.

                   No Luck to be Found

    Another ADP article and we still have no insight into Andrew Lucks (ADP #56) shoulder.  The latest is that the Colts dont have preseason expectations for their centerpiece.  Week 1 is still a big question mark, but the team claims they expect him to play at some point in September.  When you understand that hes been babying the shoulder back to health since the end of last year and its still not healthy, you should hesitate to trust the Colts assertions.

    And, if theres no Luck, then theres dwindling excitement surrounding the teams pass-catching options.  T.Y. Hilton (ADP #19), Donte Moncrief (ADP #86), Jack Doyle (ADP #122), and others continue to slip in current drafts.  When the next man up is Scott Tolzein (ADP unnecessary), this all makes a ton of sense.  Considering the round cost of each of these players and the possible pay off as soon as their QB returns to the field (btw, I think Luck will play most of the year, but will not be a top-6 QB), each guy is still a decent target. 

    Id be willing to take Hilton as a WR2, Moncrief as a WR5, and Doyle as a TE2.

    Looking for more ADP data? Fantistics Draft Advisory Software includes 6 ADP sources (updated weekly), that you can choose from to closely match your league sentiment.

    You can hear Kyle each weeknight on The SiriusXM Fantasy Drive from 8-10 ET, Sirius 210, XM 87


    8/15/2017

  • ATL RB Tevin Coleman Last season Coleman was only in on 34% of the team snaps, but still managed 8 Quality Starts. Although he averaged a decent 4.4 YPC, most of his production came in the form of 11 TDs. They will continue to give him red zone looks as long as he can come close to his 24% Red Zone success rate from a season ago. Fantistics is projecting 1000+ all purpose yards/8 TDs. His late 6th round ADP is a value given the upside if he sees more playing time in 2017.

    Devonta Freeman has already been ruled out for Sunday?s game against the Steelers with concussion like symptoms. It was originally thought that Freeman was just suffering from some heat related issues (and as someone who live in Georgia it?s been miserable the past few days) but upon getting him inside with trainers the team discovered he also had some concussion symptoms as well.... Before I start, I know... We hear every year in Atlanta that the team plans to use Julio Jones more in the redzone and then year after year we get nothing for our excitement. We heard it last year and Julio amassed a whopping 11(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) targets in the redzone last season on one of the best offenses in history and an incredible offensive coordinator who knew exactly how to scheme guys open.... Well the Buffalo Bills went trade crazy last week and one of their prime targets is now hurt as Jordan Matthews is suffering from a cracked sternum. He?s being labeled week to week right now but there?s now real timetable for his return at the moment. Matthews has been in  nice decline since his rookie season as his catch% has plummeted since that season and was down to 63% last season.... ? I swear there?s a Mike Williams update every Monday when it?s my turn to write and this Monday was no exception! Williams is looking now like he may make his debut after being supposedly being fine before being rumored to need surgery, to being good again, to then possibly missing the season. He?s being very lowly drafted this year, probably because of all the injury concerns with him and the sheer amount of weapons on the LA offense.... The bad news coming out of Jacksonville lately is that Leonard Fournette is suffering from a foot injury. Fournette dealt with some foot/ankle issues in college and apparently this issue now has been a growing problem for a while according the the Jags coaches. Fournette had a solid debut in the preseason with nine carries for 31 yards and a touchdown... John Ross appeared in action with the Bengals for the first time all training camp. He was able to go ?all-out? in the 11-on-11 drills for the first time after undergoing shoulder surgery shortly after the draft. The Bengals offense is loaded with weapons so getting Ross back on the field is better. He?s currently going as a 15th round pick and I?d expect that now that he?s back on the field we?ll see that continue to rise.... Sammy Watkins wants to be used as a big play option for the Rams offense and I?m really excited to see what Sean McVey works up for him. However, there is the fact that Jared Goff is the QB and I don?t think there?s much of an argument to say that Tyrod Taylor is a better QB than Goff. Watkins is currently going at the end of the 3rd round sandwhiched between Demaryius Thomas and Allen Robinson.... Roberto Aguayo has already been picked up by the Chicago Bears just days after being cut by the Bucs after a horrific career with them. This doesn?t come as much of a surprise as Aguayo was one of the best college kickers ever before being drafted in the second round. He missed 11 field goals last season and got off to a slow start this fall which lead to the release.... Andrew Luck is still being thought of as an unknown for week one and that will likely cause his draft value to plummeted until we find out for certain if he?s going to be active. Luck reportedly hurt the shoulder in week 3 of 2015 and has played through the issue since before finally having shoulder surgery in January... Denzel Perryman is slated to miss 6-to-8 weeks with an ankle injury that will really hurt a Chargers defense that has some upside going into this season. The Chargers are ranked as our #10 defense and they are being drafted as the next to last defense that actually has some sort of ADP in our system.... Kenny Golladay has been the talk of Lions camp thus far and has continued that success into his preseason action, catching a pair of touchdowns from Jake Ruddock this past weekend. He has a couple solid option around him for Matthew Stafford in Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, and Eric Ebron but Golladay may play so well he forces his hand..... Malcolm Mitchell is finally getting healthy and is getting more and more of an increased workload in Patriots camp. He saw a huge workload increase in the second half, notching 319 yards in his final seven games after posting around a 100 yards over his first five games. Bringing in Brandin Cooks may not necessarily help the target share in New England.... Melvin Gordon ran the ball six times for 14 yards in his first preseason action of 2017. The Chargers head coach has said that they want to lean heavily on running game which could mean big things for Gordon, but his numbers that season weren?t overwhelming. Gordon averaged a good but not great 3.9 YPC and almost all of his touchdowns were extremely short yardage..... ? Deshaun Watson is starting to get some looks with the #1s this week and that?s big news for him in terms of fantasy. The Texans offense is drooling with potential offensive weapons that are waiting for someone other than Brock Osweiler to unleash.... Jordan Reed is nearing a return to action from his toe injury. Reed, when healthy, may be the second best tight end in all of fantasy football behind Gronk. The Fantistics software has him pegged as the #4 TE in fantasy and our schedule difficulty has him as the only tight end in the top four with a difficulty better than a C at a B-.... - Josh Sperry

    Contained within our player projections software is a notes column. Here is where we point out some statistical indicators that are relevant to our 2017 projections. This morning we'll take a look at some of the Runningbacks that will be part of your 2017 draft (In no particular order):
     

    Johnson,Duke Highly productive outside of the Red Zone (74/366 4.9 YPC 53/514 rec), but he just doesn't get many Scoring Opportunities. Averaged 5.4 YPC in 3rd down situations last year. Sleeper consideration in deeper leagues.
    Johnson,David
    He's an absolute beast when the rock is in his hands. His 80 receptions from a year ago makes him a triple headed monster (Rush/Rec/TD). His 1.14 Points per Attempt and 26 Fantasy Points Per Game average makes him the undisputed #1 selection in this year's draft.
    Montgomery,Ty
    Quietly posted a huge 5.9 YPC in limited totes (77/457), while catching 79% of the balls thrown to him out of the backfield. The Packers did draft several RBs though, so his role is a bit tenuous.
    Ajayi,Ja
    y Ran extremely well in the first half (4.9 YPC), but slipped a bit in the 2nd half with 4.2 YPC and a meager 1 Quality Start in his final 9 games. Doesn't catch many passes out of the backfield either. Not a big fan given the Schedule (C), suddenly unstable QB situation, and his poor offensive line (D+).
    Rawls,Thomas Didn't run with nearly the same velocity when he came back from injury last season (3.2 YPC). He did improve in the 2nd half, which may mean we'll see an even better version of him in 2017. Still there are 2 in front of him heading into the season.


    8/13/2017

    WR Brandin Cooks NEP: In 2016, Cooks posted a 67% completion rate with outstanding 15.0 YPR, and 12.1 Yards Per Target last season in critical 3rd down situations. Highly productive in just 117 targets last year, but production came in spurts, as evidenced by his 7 quality starts. May lose some red some touches in NE, as that's Gronk and run game territory historically. Tough to crystal ball here...as we've learned before in the Belichick offense. Fantistics is projecting 125 Targets/ 1091 yards/7 TDs. His early 3rd round ADP is a risk play.

    Detroit opened its preseason with a solid victory against an injury depleted Indianapolis team, led by rookie third round draft pick WR Kenny Golladay out of Northern Illinois.  Golladay caught three passes for a team-high 53 yards and two TDs (on four targets) from fellow rookie Jake Rudock.  The impressive youngster is currently listed third on the Lions’ depth chart behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, so even if he continues to have an awesome preseason, his ceiling is limited.  On the Colts side, several starters did not suit up including Andrew Luck but there is slight optimism regarding his status based on GM Chris Ballard saying Luck’s “strength levels” are better right now than they were at any time last season.  He did couch that statement by saying Luck’s availability for the season opener is still up in the air and the team’s first priority is for Luck to have a long career.  Career backup Scott Tolzien looks to be the odds on starter for the team but had a nondescript outing against Detroit, throwing 2 of 5 for 24 yards, zero TDs, zero INTs and was sacked once in limited play.  Chicago was dealt some bad news Sunday when it had to place WR Rueben Randle on IR.  Randle missed the 2016 season after being cut by Philadelphia in training camp last year but figured to aid an unproven cast of WRs in Chicago.  After placing him on IR, the Bears acquired K Roberto Aguayo, the second round flameout who was just cut by Tampa Bay after getting off to a sluggish start in training camp and preseason.  The Bears already have Connor Barth under contract so either they are frustrated with him or just want to give him some competition during the preseason.  Recent Buffalo acquisition Jordan Matthews suffered a chest injury during his first practice with his new team which no doubt will please an already angry Buffalo fanbase that is fuming after trading Sammy Watkins who was drafted so highly (ahead of Odell Beckham and Mike Evans) just a few years ago.  Matthews’ injury does not appear serious but he will miss some practice time.  Fantasy wise, Matthews was going nowhere in Philly following its offseason acquisitions so his value has taken a bump up to solid WR3 in most formats.   Jacksonville WR Marqise Lee injured his leg during practice Sunday and exited with an air cast on his leg which led to tons of speculation regarding his future.  ESPN’s Adam Schefter then noted that the injury is actually not that serious and Lee should return sometime “soon.”  Depending on the official diagnosis, which should come Monday, WR Allen Hurns’ value could increase.  Rookie RB Leonard Fournette injured his foot but the team said it is not serious. The team will manage it carefully as the preseason progresses.  GB TE Richard Rodgers returned to practice Sunday despite having a broken right ring finger.  He practiced with a splint on it as the team feels it should not impede his ability to catch or risk injuring his finger further.  In very positive news, KC TE Travis Kelce returned to practice Sunday after dealing with a left knee injury that kept him out of practice for a week.  The expectation is that he will return for action in KC’s second preseason game but if he doesn’t, the team is just being careful.  Teammate Patrick Mahomes appears to have the inside track on landing the backup QB job in KC after taking over second team snaps in practice Sunday.  He threw a TD pass against San Francisco last Friday and simply looked better than current backup Tyler Bray.  Expect this battle to continue for the next week or two before one emerges.  It is easy to get excited after watching Mahomes’ college clips and his brief preseason success, but his fantasy value is nonexistent (except in keeper leagues) unless Alex Smith gets injured. - Jasbir Singh

    Contained within our player projections software is a notes column. Here is where we point out some statistical indicators that are relevant to our 2017 projections. This morning we'll take a look at some of the Wide Receivers that will be part of your 2017 draft (In no particular order):


    Snead,Willie Moves up as the #2 receiver in Brees led offense. Expect that we'll see a jump in his 64% snap count and 104 targets from a season ago. Production was there with 69% completion rate and 12.4 YPR and 33% Red Zone success rate. Additionally in critical 3rd down situations, he posted an 80% completion rate. Impressive.

    Moncrief,Donte Last season was a big let down with only a 54% completion rate on 10.2 YPR. Only maintained civility for his owners with the 7 TDs (60% Red Zone rate). Favorably he did register a 62% completion rate on 3rd downs. Will need to show cohesion with Luck out of the gate, which makes him a boom or bust pick.

    Lee,Marqise Lee rebounded quite well last season after being left for dead. Posted a 60% completion rate with an above average 13.5 YPR. Still in 3rd down situations he only posted a 54% completion rate.

    Adams,Davante Quietly posted 9 Quality starts and 247 PPR points last season, with 15.4 PPG and 2.04 PPR. In critical 3rd down situations he maintained a 63% completion rate, with an outstanding 18.4 YPR and 56 fantasy points. The only question is maintaining health and maintaining a similar number of targets (120+).

    Benjamin,Kelvin
    Did improve his reception rate slightly in the 2nd half with a 59% completion rate, which does offer a glimmer of hope with his 14.9 YPR. However his 3rd down reception rate of 47% is very concerning. Has big time potential, but came into OTAs out of shape (apparently he has toned down since). Has monster potential in the Red Zone, consider that he had a 35% Red Zone success rate last season despite the issues. Does he have the discipline to get in tune and dominate?

    Cooks,Brandin 67% completion rate with outstanding 15.0 YPR, and 12.1 Yards Per Target last season in critical 3rd down situations. Highly productive in just 117 targets last year, but production came in spurts, as evidenced by his 7 quality starts. May lose some red some touches in NE, as that's Gronk and run game territory historically. Tough to crystal ball here as we've learned before in the Belichick offense.

    Fantasy Football Draft Day Dominance!

    Last season, our software ranked DeMarco Murray 2 rounds ahead of his consensus ADP. Rookie RB Jordan Howard, 6 rounds ahead of his ADP, despite not having a starting job when the season started. Top-20 wide receivers  Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate  2+ rounds ahead of their ADP. Tight Ends Jordan Reed and Travis Kelce, 1 round ahead of their ADP. These are just a few examples of the many calls we made in 2016. (click here for a complete look back at our 2016 projections and our 15+ year track record).

     


    8/14/2017

    CLE/QB DeShone Kiser: Kizer had a bit of a bumpy road in his two seasons at Notre Dame, but the Browns were happy to have him still around at their pick in the 2nd round. While at times he was predicted to go in the first round, the lack of success for the Notre Dame teams he was leading certainly hurt his stock. Kizer is a big-bodied quarterback at 6’4” 233 pounds, with a big arm capable of making any throw, but he has a lot to work on to be successful in the NFL. Kizer lands in a great spot for becoming a starter. He reportedly impressed in the first week of training camp and created some excitement from Coach Hue Jackson. With just Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler to beat out, a starting role doesn’t necessarily mean Kizer will be worth much in the fantasy world however. The battle for the #1 spot will likely go into at least the middle of the preseason in Cleveland.    If he can earn the starting role, and he's trending that way, then Kizer could be used as a spot starter in leagues this season. Still, he won’t be worthy of a draft pick outside of leagues starting 2 QB’s. - Jeremy McGoldrick
    .

    Preseason is in full swing and we begin to have an idea on what teams are going to do. In New York, Christian Hackenberg was 18 of 25 for 127 yards. He will be given every opportunity to win the starting job for the Jets...Marcus Mariota was 2-3 for 15 yards, and rushed for six yards. He looks fully healed from a broken right leg and is a low end QB1...Ryan Tannehill was officially placed on IR, meaning his 2017 season is done...Deshone Kizer is splitting first team reps with Brock Osweiler. Kizer is trending to be starting quickly this season, though the Week 1 starting QB is still up in the air...Joe Flacco will not play in any preseason games but should be available Week 1. The Ravens can’t afford to have Ryan Mallett and his interceptions starting...Drew Stanton looked impressive with his play on Saturday night, completing 11 of 15 passes for 112 yards and a TD. He looks to be leading the backup QB competition in Arizona...Darren McFadden had six carries for 28 yards and added a catch vs the Rams. He projects as a RB2 while Elliott is suspended, but should be drafted in the middle rounds...Todd Gurley didn’t look good, only rushing for 2 yards on 4 carries. The addition of Sammy Watkins should help, but I still prefer Gurley as an RB2 in the third round, though his ADP is currently in the second round...Derrick Henry rushed for 29 yards on eight carries and had one catch versus the Jets. He’s a top handcuff, but should not be overdrafted, as DeMarco Murray has only missed one game the past three years...Cooper Kupp looked good, catching two passes for 35 yards and recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. His role may diminish with Sammy Watkins in town, but Kupp has impressed in the preseason...Taywan Taylor had three catches for 50 yards and nearly had a score. He’s made noise in Tennessee camp and could be viable if the Corey Davis injury lingers...Carlos Henderson suffered a hand injury against the Bears on Thursday night and is out for an unknown time. He was competing for a WR3 or WR4 spot in Denver, which is now on hold pending the injury...Robby Anderson caught three passes for 71 yards against the Titans. He’s the number one receiver for the Jets, and while the offense isn’t exciting, getting a team’s #1 WR at the end of a draft is a good move...Cordarrelle Patterson had two catches against the Cardinals Saturday night, as he continues to fight for the #3 slot role in Oakland, with possible kick returning duties. If he wins the job, he will have some value, especially in leagues where you get points for return yardage...Rico Gathers caught a TD for the second straight game, as part of a 4 catch, 47 yard game. He’s still #4 on the Cowboys depth chart, but with more preseason games like this, he should start rising up the depth chart...Roberto Aguayo was released by the Buccaneers after a tough rookie season and two missed kicks Friday night vs the Bengals. Nick Folk will take over the kicking duties in Tampa Bay- Skeeter Robinson  

    Player InjuryHenderson,Carlos - DEN/WR: Wide Receiver and Kick Returner Carlos Henderson suffered a thumb injury in Thursday’s preseason game against the Bears, according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. The rookie is having surgery and the timetable for his return is unknown at this time. He was listed on the Denver depth chart as the backup kick returner and was competing against Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler, and Jordan Taylor for the 3rd or 4th WR spot. This injury will set him back but is someone still to keep an eye on in dynasty formats.

    Aguayo,Roberto - TBB/K: After missing an extra point and field goal in Friday night’s preseason game against Cincinnati, the Buccaneers released last year’s second round pick, Robert Aguayo. If you remember, Tampa Bay traded up to select Aguayo. He wasn’t a strong fantasy kicker, but with him out of the picture, Nick Folk will step into the kicking role for Tampa Bay.

    Gathers,Rico - DAL/TE: Gathers caught a touchdown for the second straight preseason game Saturday night, to go along with four catches for 47 yards. He’s still behind James Hanna and Geoff Swaim for the TE2 position, but with back to back games where he was productive on offense, and a position held by Jason Witten, who is in his final years, it would make sense for the Cowboys to start thinking about getting Gathers a little more time. Definitely worth keeping an eye on for deep dynasty owners.

    Patterson,Cordarrelle - OAK/WR: Patterson signed with the Raiders in the offseason, after a disappointing stay in Minnesota. The Raiders have plans to use Patterson more in the offense and he currently projects as the slot receiver for Oakland, with possible return duties. On Saturday night, he caught two of three targets for 22 yards. His explosiveness could fit in nicely with the consistency of Michael Crabtree and big play ability of Amari Cooper. Patterson is one to continue to watch through the preseason and the early season to see what his final role will be.

    Kupp,Cooper - LAR/WR: Kupp had two catches for 35 yards on Saturday night, which included a non-traditional touchdown, as he recovered a fumble in the end zone. Kupp had been starting to get drafted in deeper leagues at the end of drafts prior to the Sammy Watkins trade. He was listed as a starter on the Rams depth chart opposite of Tavon Austin and Robert Woods. We will see where he ends up after the Watkins trade but should be no worse than a WR4 for the Rams. He’s definitely someone to look at in deep leagues or dynasty formats, but can be ignored in redraft for now, due to the questions surrounding this Rams offense.

    Taylor,Taywan - TEN/WR: Though the Titans offense didn’t look impressive against the Jets, the lone bright spot was rookie Taywan Taylor. Taylor caught three passes for 50 yards, including a 42 yard catch that was originally thought to be a 67 yard touchdown, but brought back after review. Taylor has gotten some work with the first team in camp and has looked explosive at times. Though Tre McBride is ahead of Taylor on the depth chart, I think it’s only a matter of time until Taylor takes that spot. He may be worth a flyer in deep leagues and is someone dynasty owners need to consider.

    Anderson,Robby - NYJ/WR: Anderson is presumed to be the #1 WR for the Jets after Quincy Enunwa’s season ending injury. He took a good step towards that role on Saturday night, catching three passes on three targets for 71 yards, including a 53 yard reception. No one is excited about the Jets offense, but anyone who is going to be the #1 WR for a team has to be considered as a depth option or last draft pick in fantasy drafts.

    FYIHenry,Derrick - TEN/RB: Henry was not overly productive against the Jets, only rushing for 29 yards on eight carries. He did have one catch but didn’t get any yards. His value is tied to the health of DeMarco Murray or if becomes the goal-line back. Murray has only missed one game the past three years, so there is limited work for Henry. His current 9th round ADP is fair, but I’ve heard of some drafting him in the 5th or 6th round. He may be one of the more talented handcuffs, but the lack of opportunities is what will keep his value to a 9th round ADP.

    FYIGurley,Todd - LAR/RB: Gurley had 2 yards on 4 rushes in his only action Saturday night against the Cowboys. Gurley didn’t have much of a chance to do much as he was swarmed when he got the ball. Acquiring Sammy Watkins should take give Gurley some better chances as he won’t always see 8-man boxes. He’s going in the 2nd round in drafts right now, as owners are banking on an improved 2017. He’s a safe option that I like better as a high-end RB2, but will have limited upside until Jared Goff and the offense show significant improvement.

    McFadden,Darren - DAL/RB: McFadden had six rushes for 28 yards and a catch for eight yards in Saturday’s preseason game against the Rams. As the expected starter with Elliott being suspended, McFadden didn’t disappoint in his limited action. He is a RB2 during the Elliott suspension, but still shouldn’t be drafted as such. A mid-round pick as a handcuff to Elliott or for depth for 4-6 weeks is where you should target McFadden.

    FYIStanton,Drew - ARI/QB: Stanton shined in the first half of the Cardinals preseason game Saturday night against Raiders, completing 11 of 15 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown. Stanton appears to have the advantage over Blaine Gabbert for the backup QB in Arizona, which could see some playing time this season if 37-year old Carson Palmer struggles or is injured. Performances like Saturday night will keep Stanton in the backup role.

    FYIMariota,Marcus - TEN/QB: Mariota saw his first game action since his season-ending injury last year, completing two of three passes for 15 yards, and added a rush for six yards. He played the entire first quarter for the Titans (2 series) before getting the rest of the night off. He had ten quality starts in 2015, where he threw for 3,400 yards and 26 touchdowns, and added 350 rushing yards and two scores. He’s currently going as a low-QB1 in drafts, but does have Top 6-7 upside if he can stay healthy and continue to add rushing yards.

    Kizer,Deshone - CLE/QB: After an impressive first preseason game Thursday night against the Saints, Kizer returned to practice splitting first-team reps with Brock Osweiler, according to Mary Kay Tabot of Cleveland.com. Leading up to Thursday’s game, Osweiler was taking the first team reps, so it looks like Kizer continues to be prepared to start sooner than later. I wouldn’t expect a decision on who the starting QB will be for the Browns much before the end of Preseason, but Kizer is the long-term option here.

    FYIHackenberg,Christian - NYJ/QB: Hackenberg completed 18 of his 25 passes for 127 yards, resulting in an average QB rating of 81.8. The second year quarterback is in competition with Josh McCown and Bryce Petty for the starting QB job. While he did nothing wrong, Hackenberg will have to impress the rest of preseason to get the job. Even if named the starter, he holds little value except in 2 QB leagues.

    FYIFlacco,Joe - BAL/QB: There may finally be some clarity with the Flacco situation, as he is expected to practice in the preseason but will not play any preseason games. The Ravens fully expect Flacco to start week 1. In his 10th year, missing the preseason games isn’t a big deal for Flacco. However, the limited reps with newcomer Jeremy Maclin could hurt Maclin’s value early in the season. As far as Flacco is concerned, he’s a low-end QB2 in drafts.

    Tannehill,Ryan - MIA/QB: The Dolphins made it official on Saturday, placing Tannehill on season-ending IR. A tough break for those with Tannehill in MFL10s or early drafts. Jay Cutler will be the starter with Matt Moore continuing to back him up. Unless you are in dynasty league, there is no reason to hold onto Tannehill.

     


    8/12/2017

    CIN/RB Joe Mixon: The rookie had a nice night in his first action carrying 6 times for 31 yards, a 5.2 yards per carry average, while adding 11 yards on one reception. As expected, he outperformed Jeremy Hill, who posted his usual 3.7 yards per carry on his way to 26 yards on 7 carries. This backfield has been a heated topic in camp as we’ve gone from Mixon taking over to Hill being the starter all season, to a three way split with Gio Bernard also included. Regardless of what keeps floating around, Mixon is very likely to lead this team in yards on the ground this season.  Fantistics is projecting: 890 rush/270rec/9 TDs, 17th overall RB.

    We had an eventful day on Friday before the preseason action even got started.  The league finally ruled on Zeke Elliott, imposing a 6-game ban for violation of the league's personal conduct policy.  He is expected to appeal, but if all goes as it is currently set, we won’t see Elliott on the field until week 8.  Still, there is a lot left to be decided here if he appeals, so keep an eye on this as it progresses.  If Elliott is out, it’s expected that Darren McFadden will fill the major void, which vaults him up draft boards.  While Elliott’s ban was huge, we also had some major trades happen Friday with Sammy Watkins being shipped out of Buffalo to play with Jared Goff in L.A. and Jordan Matthews taking his place in Philadelphia.  The Bills lost a higher caliber receiver to settle on Matthews who was already sliding down the lineup in Philly.  For Watkins, his value takes a small hit, though his value is more tied to his health each year than who is throwing him the ball. In Philadelphia, Nelson Agholor is likely to man the slot role with Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith working the outside.  Agholor has disappointed owners his first two seasons, and though he has a little potential still, he’ll fail to be a consistent producer this season.  We saw just three games on Friday, but there was plenty to watch.  A few notable rookie quarterbacks participated in action, with shakier results than we saw from the top picks on Thursday.  Joshua Dobbs struggled much of the night, though he picked it up a bit near the end of his run.  He’ll need more time and action to overtake Landry Jones for the backup role behind Ben Roethlisberger.  Davis Webb came in across the field with the Giants, but didn’t do much better completing 50 percent of his passes for 67 yards with no interceptions.  In San Francisco, the 49ers went up against first rounder Patrick Mahomes, who played well completing 7-of-9 passes for 49 yards and a touchdown.  Alex Smith also played well, so despite a lot to look forward to from the rookie, this team still belongs to Smith.  A surprising impressive performance came from third rounder C.J. Beathard.  He completed 7-of-11 passes for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions.  With Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley ahead of him on the 49ers roster, if Beathard continues like this he could work into a battle for at least the number two role.  Other rookies and younger players taking the field included Juju Smith-Schuster, Paul Perkins, Joe Mixon, and Joe Williams.  Smith-Schuster caught 1-of-4 targets for 4 yards, but he added a 9-yard rush to his line.  Unfortunately he exited with a concussion, and he’ll be monitored this weekend.  Perkins struggled a bit after a strong first run of the game.  He carried 5 times for 3 yards on the night, being outplayed by Orleans Darkwa, rookie Wayne Gallman and Shane Vereen.  Still, Perkins is in the lead in this backfield and he should be able to hold the starting role into the season.  In the other early game, Jameis Winston and Mike Evans looked like a dangerous combo as usual.  Evans has top receiver potential this season, while Winston is expected to be a top 10 QB option as well.  In Cincinnati, rookie Joe Mixon outplayed Jeremy Hill as he tallied 42 yards on 7 touches.  Though Hill started on the night, both saw action on the first drive.  Regardless of what I hear about Hill being the starter, I believe Mixon is going to own this backfield.  In injury news, Eric Ebron returned to practice Friday after missing 12 days.  Jonathan Williams was cleared to return to practice after suffering a hamstring injury in Thursday’s game and Ryan Tannehill has decided to opt for surgery on his knee, which will sideline him for the entire season, confirming what we already expected.- Jeremy McGoldrick


     

    Fantasy Football Draft Day Dominance!

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    Elliott,Ezekiel - DAL/RB: If you haven’t heard the news about Elliott’s suspension, you’ve likely been asleep the past 24 hours. The league announced on Friday that Elliott will be suspended six games to start the season, unless he files an appeal, which could push things back. If he misses the first six games, Elliott would not see the field until week 8 because of a bye week in week 6. From a fantasy perspective, this will shake some things up. Elliott’s ADP will surely drop a bit, though he’ll still go earlier than most would expect given his situation. The first seven weeks of the season could decide a fantasy season, so this news bumps Elliott down quite a bit. Possibly a top RB pick or at worst top three, Zeke should be outside the top 10 and possibly the top 15 at the position now.

    Watkins,Sammy - LAR/WR: In a surprise move the Bills sent Watkins to the Rams for CB E.J. Gaines and a second-round pick in 2018. Because of his injury risk, Watkins remains a scary option, though his value is only hurt a bit by the trade. Jared Goff has a lot of growth to do this year, and while we haven’t seen a ton of positives, Watkins is quite a talent when healthy. He’ll take over the number one role for the Rams, while his former teammate in Buffalo Robert Woods moves to the second WR spot. Rookie Cooper Kupp, who was looking to have a possible fantasy role in deeper leagues loses value as a result of the addition of Watkins.

    Matthews,Jordan - BUF/WR: There were rumblings this week that Matthews was on the outs in Philadelphia as Nelson Agholor was trending up, but Coach Doug Pederson shot down rumors of a reduced role. Then the Eagles proceeded to trade the fourth year receiver on Friday to the Bills for a third-round pick in 2018 and CB Ronald Darby. For Matthews, the trade is good news as his role in Philly appeared diminished, while he should take over the number one role for the Bills.
    Bourne,Kendrick - SFO/WR: Most people have probably never heard of Bourne, but the rookie put on a nice show Friday with 4 receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown. He also added a stellar two-point conversion catch that looked like something Dez Bryant would do. Bourne is probably a long shot to make the team, but with impressions like this, he could work into something useful for San Fancisco as they lack depth at the receiver position. Coming out of four years with Eastern Washington, Bourne finished 2016 with 79 receptions for 1,201 yards and 7 touchdowns.

    Williams,Joe - SFO/RB: Carlos Hyde started the game but saw just 2 carries, while the rookie came in to lead with 60 yards rushing on 7 carries. While Hyde still seems to be in the driver’s seat despite doubts, Williams is likely to carve a role out for himself with production like this.

    Tannehill,Ryan - MIA/QB: Though we’ve known he will be out for a while, we learned on Friday that Tannehill will indeed have knee surgery and be placed on injured reserve. Tannehill should be ready for camp next year, but for now the Dolphins will move ahead with Jay Cutler and Matt Moore.

    Evans,Mike - TBB/WR: Evans continues to look explosive heading into the 2017 season, and Friday was no different. He grabbed 4-of-7 passes for 58 yards in limited action. While he’s being drafted in the top 5 at his position, Evans looks the part of our 2017 top fantasy receiver. Evans finished with 12 touchdowns last season and he has continued showing dramatic improvements in yards and receptions the past three seasons.

    Winston,Jameis - TBB/QB: Winston started and completed 9-of-13 passes for 99 yards against the Bengals on Friday. With Mike Evans and a couple of new weapons in O.J. Howard, DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin, Winston could make a move into the top 5 this season. He’ll need to avoid throwing interceptions, which has been his major flaw so far in the NFL, but I’m buying on Winston right now.

    Webb,Davis - NYG/QB: Webb completed half of his 16 passes on Friday, going 8-for-16 for 67 yards. He’ll continue to battle through the preseason for a role behind Eli Manning, with Geno Smith and Josh Johnson his competition. Should Manning go down this season, Webb would likely be third in line behind Smith until he throws enough interceptions to make New York move to the rookie. Webb has no redraft value, but remains a dynasty stash with Manning on the way to his 37th birthday at the end of the season.

    Smith-Schuster,Juju - PIT/WR: The rookie was diagnosed with a concussion in Friday’s game. He was targeted four times on the night, catching one pass for 4 yards. He also carried once for 9 yards on and end around. Smith-Schuster has some intrigue this season, but with Martavis Bryant back and Antonio Brown still the best receiver in the league, it’ll be hard to carve out fantasy value.

    Perkins,Paul - NYG/RB: The likely starter in the New York backfield, Perkins had a forgettable start to the preseason rushing five times for 3 yards. He did take his first carry for a nice looking 7-yard pickup, but followed that by losing 4 yards. Perkins should see plenty of action in the New York backfield this season, and he can be had in the later rounds, making him a good value pick. Keep an eye on how the Giants use him and Orleans Darkwa though, as Darkwa is starting to generate a little buzz.

    Dobbs,Joshua - PIT/QB: The rookie didn’t fare as well as the rookie QB’s did on Thursday night. Getting the start with Ben Roethlisberger sitting out, Dobbs connected on 8-of-15 passes for 100 yards, but also threw two ugly interceptions. He picked it up as he started getting warmed up though and connected on two touchdown passes, one which was called back because of a hold. With Roethlisberger missing six games over the past two years, it’s definitely possible we see the rookie on the field this season. Landry Jones will continue to battle Dobbs for second string duties as we move forward.

    Agholor,Nelson - PHI/WR: With the Jordan Matthews trade, Agholor gets a slight bump in value. In his third year, the USC product has failed to live up to expectations with just 59 catches in the NFL. He’ll still be a risky play with Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and Zach Ertz ahead of him in targets, but playing the slot role with a rising QB, keep your eye on Agholor.

    Williams,Jamaal - GBP/RB:
    Though he totaled just 14 yards in his debut on 4 carries, Williams remains an interesting sleeper this year as Ty Montgomery remains the main competition. While Montgomery should get the title of “starter” entering the season, we should see plenty of Williams in a dual role. Montgomery obviously carries the main value because of his receiving work as well, but Williams is going undrafted in most leagues, which makes him a nice bargain as a late round pickup.

    Williams,Jonathan - BUF/RB: Williams was hurt on Thursday night with a hamstring injury, but he was cleared to practice just one day later. Behind LeSean McCoy and boasting a meager 3.5 yards per carry average in 2016, Williams isn’t going to see much love in drafts this year. However, he remains one of the guys who would benefit most as far as backups go. Buffalo is set up to lean on their backfield once again this season.

    Ebron,Eric - DET/TE: Ebron returned to practice on Friday after missing 12 days with a hamstring injury. He’s ranked in the 12-15 range at the tight end position, but if he can prove healthy, Ebron could be a nice deal with a 14th round ADP. Though he played in just 13 games last season, he showed promise, finishing with 14 catches and 154 yards.

    McFadden,Darren - DAL/RB: Though owners will have to know they only get him the first six games of the season before Elliott returns, McFadden makes a huge leap after the suspension news. With Elliott now on a zero tolerance policy essentially, McFadden could even have value later in the season as well. He should jump into the top 30 among backs, with top 10 value as a starter. Before Zeke came to Dallas, McFadden posted 1,089 yards in 16 games.


    8/11/2017

    Sammy Watkins had an impressive preseason debut. He caught three-straight passes on the Bills first drive. Watkins finished with four receptions on five targets and 39 receiving yards. Buffalo quarterback Tyrod Taylor was briefly sidelined with a left leg injury, but he did return.  Taylor completed 5 of 8 passes for 46 yards. Running back Jonathan Williams played well with LeSean McCoy sideline. He ran for 39 yards on four carries and had a long run negated by a holding penalty. Rookie Dalvin Cook carried the load with the Vikings’ first-team offense on Thursday night. Cook finished with 13 yards on five carries. He also hauled in four receptions for 30 yards. Samaje Perine was quiet in his NFL debut. He finished with 15 yards on six carries. Perine worked exclusively with the second string, while Robert Kelley worked with the first-team offense. It was tough sledding for Kelley, who finished with two yards on three carries. Saints running back Alvin Kamara had a productive night with Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson resting. Kamara finished with four carries for 35 yards. He had runs of 22 and 12 yards against the Browns first-team defense. Leonard Fournette didn’t get the start on Thursday night, but he produced for the Jaguars. Fournette entered the game on Jacksonville’s second possession and finished with 31 yards on nine attempts. He also scored a goal line touchdown. LeGarrette Blount had a quiet debut for Philadelphia, finishing with nine yards on four attempts. Terrance West took advantage of Danny Woodhead being out of the lineup. West ran for 23 yards and a touchdown. Most believe Woodhead and West will split the carries in Baltimore. Ravens quarterback Ryan Mallett struggled against the Redskins. He competed nine of his 18 passes for 58 yards. Starter Joe Flacco remains sideline with a back injury. Packers rookie Jamaal Williams played exclusively with the second-team offense. He finished with 14 yards on four carries. Davante Adams had one drop on Thursday, but still finished with two receptions for 26 yards. Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo lit up the Jaguars defense for 235 yards and two touchdowns. Garoppolo played nearly three quarters and completed 22-of-28 pass attempts. Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian had an efficient season debut for the Broncos. He completed 6-of-7 attempts for 51 yards.  The three-man race to be starting quarterback in Cleveland is officially underway. The Browns gave Brock Osweiler the start at quarterback and he completed 6-of-14 attempts for 42 yards. Cody Kessler finished 5-of-10 for 47 yards. Rookie DeShone Kizer finished 11-of-18 for 184 yards and one touchdown. Kizer is clearly the most talented of the three players and will start sooner-than-later...James Rapien

    Rookie Player Profile: Leonard Fournette – JAC (Round 1, Pick 4 – LSU)

    College: Leonard Fournette was a star while he was on the field for LSU.  After leading the SEC in all-puspose yards in his freshman season, earning all-american in his sophomore campaign and still managing to receive all-conference honors in his junior season despite playing hurt, Fournette made the decision to forgo his senior year to enter the draft.   For all the yards he was able to gain on the ground at LSU, he didn’t play much of a factor in the passing attack.  This was partially due by design of the Tigers’ offensive attack, but it does raise questions regarding his ability to pass protect, and consequently, his ability to handle third down situations in the NFL. 

    Redraft Outlook: One look at Leonard Fournette and it’s probably not huge surprise to see why he was a 4th overall pick.  By running back standards, Fournette is huge, standing at 6’ tall and weighing in at 240 pounds.  His size doesn’t cause him to make any sacrifices in the speed department, however, as he clocked an impressive 4.51 40-yard dash at the combine.  He lands in a situation in Jacksonville where he’ll have an opportunity to take the starting job and run away with it from Day 1.  It’s been a revolving door at the position for the team since Maurice Jones-Drew retired after the 2014 season.  Fournette carries the most re-draft value in this year’s rookie class for a couple different reasons.  First, from a physical standpoint, he’s 100% NFL ready.  If you watch film of Fournette from his days at LSU, it’s difficult to find a single clip where he doesn’t break at least one tackle while running the ball.  His big upper body allows him to lower his shoulders against opposing safeties and he’s even able to fend off even the toughest linebackers thanks to his “trucking” ability.  NFL opponents will be substantially more difficult to break through, which may be slightly concerning since Fournette’s running style is very much north-south and pedal to the metal.  He’s not a patient runner, so the Jaguars offensive line is going to need to develop in a hurry, if Fournette is going to find immediate success. 

    Dynasty Outlook: Fournette’s biggest strength from a single-season perspective is nearly the same as his weakness from a dynasty perspective.  Fournette is a big, strong upright runner who isn’t afraid to bulldoze his way into opposing defenders.  While that’s great from a yards after contact stat perspective, it spells trouble from a longterm durability standpoint.  Fournette’s not going to be able to run over opposing defenders as easily in the NFL as he did in college, which means he’s going to need to rely on his field vision and his offensive line to create more beneficial opportunities for him to exploit.  Since he’s never had to develop those skills, his overall field vision seems to just be average and he completely lacks the patience or trust in his offensive line.  If he can make those adjustments in his first year and beyond, he has the potential to be a special player for a very long time.  Many people have assigned comparisons to Adrian Peterson, but that seems a little premature.  If you have an opportunity to acquire Fournette in a dynasty format, you should obviously be thrilled, but he’s also not quite a generational talent without any flaws.  .Michael Waldo

    Fanitistics Projection: 1280 Rush /275 Rec / 9 TDs

    FYISammy Watkins (BUF) – Watkins gave fantasy owners a sneak peak of what the 2017 season could be like if he can stay healthy. He was clearly Tyrod Taylor’s go-to guy and has WR1 potential.  Right now Watkins is being drafted behind Doug Baldwin, Brandin Cooks, Terrelle Pryor and DeAndre Hopkins. If he can stay healthy, I’d expect him to finish ahead of every single one of those players and end up being a top-10 fantasy receiver in 2017.

    FYITyrod Taylor (BUF) – Taylor is an interesting fantasy quarterback. If he has a legitimate number one receiver for sixteen games, he could end up being a low-end QB1. His ability to create big plays with his feet gives him a high ceiling in fantasy. He’s a nice value pick in drafts with an average ADP at the end of the 11th round.

    Player InjuryJonathan Williams (BUF) – Williams had a nice showing on Thursday night and gave fantasy owners reason to buy into his draft stock. Williams is one of the best handcuffs in fantasy football. Starter LeSean McCoy has 2,280 touches in his career and has only played 16 games three times in his career. McCoy is 29-years-old and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him miss significant time in 2017. Williams is valuable and is being drafted in the 13th round. He did leave the game with a hamstring injury. The severity is unknown at this time. WIlliams gained 39 yards on 4 carries on the evening.

    Dalvin Cook (MIN) – Cook could be the forgotten man in this rookie running back class. Christian McCaffrey and Joe Mixon are getting a lot of love, but Cook will probably get the most touches out of the three. He flashed his pass-catching skills on Thursday night and has higher upside than Ty Montgomery, Spencer Ware or Mike Gillislee, who are all being drafted ahead of him. Cook finished the evening with 13 yards on 5 carries, and 30 yards on 4 receptions/targets.

    FYISemaje Perine (WAS) – Perine probably won’t be the starter in Week 1, but he offers fantasy owners plenty of upside. He’s being taken ahead of Rob Kelley, who seems to have a good hold on the starting job. Perine has more upside, but Kelley took all of the first-team reps. Perine also fumbled on Thursday. If he can work himself into a rotation with Kelley over the next few weeks, fantasy owners may feel a lot more comfortable selecting him on draft day.

    FYIAlvin Kamara (NO) – Kamara showed he is capable of running between the tackles. He broke multiple tackles on a 22-yard run. Some have speculated that Kamara would have the same role Travaris Cadet has had in years’ past. If that’s the case, he probably won’t get many carries. Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram have dealt with their fair share of injuries. Kamara would have RB3 value in all formats if either one were to go down. He’s merely a bench-and-stash player at this point.

    Leonard Fournette (JAX) – Fournette may not be the official ‘starter’ for the Jaguars, but Thursday indicates he will get plenty of touches. He had four-straight carries to start Jacksonville’s second possession, and ran for 3 critical first downs on that drive.  Fournette is the tenth running back selected in fantasy drafts. That’s a little rich for my taste, but he will get plenty of touches, which should be a great thing for fantasy owners.

    FYITerrance West (BAL) – West racked up the majority of his yards on one run Thursday night, but he should be the primary power back in Baltimore. He will compete with Danny Woodhead for touches. West is being drafted after Woodhead in standard formats. Woodhead only has one season of 100 or more rushing attempts. West offers a lot of value and is someone worth targeting on draft day, especially in standard leagues.

    JFYIimmy Garoppolo (NE) – Garoppolo had a huge night for New England and gave fantasy owners of what life he was a starting quarterback. He isn’t worth paying attention to now, but he would have QB1 potential in the Patriots’ offense if Tom Brady were to miss time.

    DeShone Kizer (CLE) – Browns head coach Hue Jackson is a smart man. I expect to see Kizer on the field Week 1. He has all of the physical tools necessary to be successful in the NFL. He completed multiple throws downfield, including a 45-yard touchdown to Jordan Payton. The Browns have a good offensive line and solid running game. If Kizer were to start, he would be a QB2 with upside. The pieces are there for him to have success this season.

    FYICorey Coleman (CLE) – Coleman caught two of four targets from Brock Osweiler. After watching Kizer throw downfield, you can’t help but wonder if Coleman could thrive with the rookie quarterback. Kizer completed a 52-yard pass to Richard Mullaney and a 45-yard touchdown to Jordan Payton. Coleman is an intriguing WR3 with upside if Kizer is under center.

    FYIIsaiah Crowell (CLE) – Crowell had six attempts for 15 yards on Thursday night. The Browns will be a run heavy team and Crowell is expected to be the bell cow. He’s the 14th back being selected in fantasy drafts. I’m not sure he offers the upside of players being taken after him, including Christian McCaffrey, Carlos Hyde and Dalvin Cook. He is a safe bet to be a RB2 this season.

    FYITy Montgomery (GB) – The good news is Montgomery took all of the first-team reps. The bad news is he did nothing with them. He finished with three carries for zero yards and one reception for nine yards. Montgomery is being drafted right behind Crowell. He seems to have secured the starting job, now it’s just a matter of determining how valuable he can be to your fantasy team. Will he finish among the top 15 fantasy running backs of 2017? If you say yes, then he’s worth targeting on draft day.

    FYIDavante Adams (GB) – Adams had a drop on Thursday, but he was targeted three times, which is a good sign for fantasy owners. Adams had 12 touchdowns last year, which could be an outlier, but he’ll remain a big part of the Packers’ offense. He’s the 21st wide receiver being taken in fantasy drafts, just ahead of Martavis Bryant and just behind Allen Robinson. That is fair value for Adams who should post solid numbers against this season. 

    Mitchell Trubisky (CHI) – It was a successful NFL debut for Trubisky. He outplayed starter Mike Glennon and completed 18-of-25 pass attempts for 166 yards and one touchdown. If Trubisky’s success continues, he could push for the starting job. He wouldn’t be a top 25-fantasy quarterback, but he could help the fantasy value of Kevin White, Kendall Wright and Marcus Wheaton. 

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    8/09/2017

    A Look at ADP 2017 by Kyle Elfrink

    This week ... A trio of AFC East storylines, Travis Kelce continues his career-long obsession with becoming Gronk-like, and a season of ‘re-run’s’ on the injury list has already begun.

    ·         TV Viewers Say ‘Thank You, Miami’

    In your life and within your circle of friends, do you ever choose to hang with the jerk of the group?  Do you ever find yourself saying, “I wish I got to spend more time with that guy who is always in such a dour and sour mood”?  Have you ever made the wish that you had more opportunities to listen to a mediocre performer as he discusses how someone should be handling their profession?

    If you have ... then Jay Cutler (ADP not yet applicable) in a FOX booth was just for you!  For everyone else ... we can thank the heavens that Ryan Tannehill (ADP #138 ... and falling) is now injured.

    The Miami Dolphins got their comeuppance over the weekend.  After chancing it with a non-surgical option on Tannehill’s bum knee, they quickly suffered the consequences as the vet further injured himself despite not even being touched.  It’s not official, but it appears that the Tannehill is finished for the season.

    Enter the Cutler.

    After leaving the game at the end of last season ... after going through few, if any, workouts in the offseason ... after trending on Twitter with his reality star wife ... after signing up as an announcer with Fox Sports ... and after getting his shoulder repaired less than six months ago ... Cutler is back and I couldn’t be less interested.

    To me, Tannehill would have projected as a top 20 QB this year.  If needed and used, I think that his back-up, Matt Moore, could have performed as a top 25 QB.  Cutler?  I think he’s almost exactly like Moore ... a top 25 QB for 2017.  Before you giggle, please look at the numbers.  Cutler never stays healthy.  He’s never had a 30-TD season.  He’s had ZERO 4,000 yard passing seasons since leaving Denver way back in 2009!  He’s a terrible decision-maker.  He has always trusted a much-overrated arm more than he should (and, now, that arm/shoulder is nicked and damaged).  He’s at best, a very lateral move from Moore and a slight downgrade from Tannehill.

    Rarely do you encounter such a dramatic change at the quarterback position and see less of an effect on all the surrounding options.  For me, DeVante Parker (ADP #108), Jarvis Landry (ADP #43), Kenny Stills (ADP #203), Julius Thomas (ADP #176), and even RB Jay Ajayi (ADP #16) don’t see any notable lift or dip with Cutler taking over.  They are all still working with a very average QB and in an offense that would prefer to play things slow and short.  

    ·         Bold-in Desperate

    It what goes down as the least surprising early camp development, thus far, Buffalo wideout Sammy Watkins (ADP #34) is already limping around at camp.  Sure, all word is that the ankle ailment is ‘minor’ but with a history of multiple foot injuries and multiple missed games, I’ll call it a concern.  You’re foolish if you don’t.

    The Bills also showed their hand a bit.  Less than 24 hours after Watkins started his annual act, the team went out and signed long-time PPR asset, Anquan Boldin (ADP #298).  Soon to turn 37, there was very little interest in Boldin for most of this offseason, but it’s a fact that he can still produce.  Last season, he easily paced the Detroit offense with eight TD receptions.  He has as many scores in his career as the more celebrated Brandon Marshall (ADP #76) ... a man who Boldin also out-produced last year.  And, Boldin is the owner of five consecutive seasons of at least 65 catches.  He’s also been on the field for 202 of a possible 224 games in his 14-year career.  He was a much-needed addition for the constantly over-matched Bills receiving corps.

    For those in PPR set-ups, he’s an excellent 5th or 6th WR for your fantasy roster.  Watkins is no sure bet for even 10 games and rookie Zay Jones (ADP #170) is almost Boldin-lite, but with much less size and experience.  Boldin doesn’t fit in every league set-up (you need to be at least a dozen teams deep and with at least 15 rounds of picks), but don’t sleep on him because of his age, team, or assumed role.  He could actually end up leading Buffalo in pass-catching scores this year and he costs absolutely nothing.

    ·         J-E-T-S ... Mess, Mess, Mess!

    Even before Quincy Enunwa (ADP #88) was ruled out for all of 2017 because of a neck injury, it was difficult to convince fantasy players to take a dive on any Jets’ receiver.  The QB quandary is well-known and well-discussed.  And, even if any of those guys could sling a football more than 10 yards, you would have questions about the assembled crew they’ve be taking aim at.

    Enunwa was easily the most reputable of the options.  Through two so-so seasons, he had provided glimpses of potential with 80 receptions in 19 starts.  What do we have now?  Listen to this crew ... Robby Anderson, ArDarius Stewart, Charone Peake (?!??!), and Chad Hanson.  You’ll notice that I did not even bother to post an ADP mark next to any of those names!

    It’s not out of the question that someone could emerge for 70 catches, plus a handful of scores.  But, when every available option has about a 20% chance of becoming that guy (and the ceiling is that low-scraping), it’s not even worth taking a chance on.

    ·         Becoming Gronk

    Travis Kelce (ADP #39) is just a couple of rungs down the ladder from the much-celebrated Rob Gronkowski (ADP #21).  He is THE major force in the KC passing attack.  He has been knocking on the door of ‘elite’ for a couple of years and finally busted through last year with 85 catches, and over 11-hundred yards.  Off-the-field, he has also tried his hand at pulling a ‘Gronk.’  He had a reality dating show for chissakes.  A couple of weeks back, I’m flipping the channels and I see him lying face-down, naked, and getting a message on ESPN.  He attends red carpet events, he knows every part of the Vidal Sassoon product line, and there’s not an interview he’ll turn down.

    Unfortunately, he’s now taking the Gronk impersonation to additional level. Kelce has been out for nearly a week with swelling in his knee.  On the surface, it wouldn’t matter except for the fact that he has micro-fracture surgery on the same knee just a few years ago.  He’s never had any major injury concerns, so he’s not completely to the level of his positional buddy in New England.  If Kelce returns and makes it through the rest of August, have at him.  If he continues to do battle with his left hinge, drop him down that board.

    The tight end position is not an investible property to me, so any injury issue is just another reason to say ‘no’.  For those with an unhealthy interest in an upper-end guy at that spot, you’re now running out of guys to turn to.  They all seem to be coming up lame!

    ·         More of the Same

    I realize that I come off as Clint Eastwood in ‘Gran Torino’ ... but, all you fantasy players who are willing to invest high-end selections in perennially-injured players need to ... ‘Get ... off ... my ... lawn.’

    Earlier I brought up the never-ending case of Watkins.  There are still others those who are already pulling their usual gig as a ‘sideline statue.’  Jordan Reed’s (ADP #45) toe injury is now as much of a problem as his career-long concussion concerns.  His teammate, Josh Doctson (ADP #158), has yet another lower-body injury (hamstring) after failing to play nearly all of last year with such a problem.  Donte Moncrief (ADP #81) has remarkable talent that is only out-muscled by his propensity to be injured.  Currently, it’s a shoulder keeping him out.  And, let’s not overlook another Alshon Jeffrey (ADP #33) ding (shoulder) and a set-back to the development of rookie Corey Davis (ADP #103) (hamstring).

    Of course, the old adage of predicting injuries is true.  But, you have to understand that there are many players who constantly prove again and again and again and again ... that they are more of a risk than others.  You can’t avoid all of these players on draft day, but you should never invest more than a couple of spots on players who have proven to be weak links.

    You can hear Kyle each weeknight on ‘The SiriusXM Fantasy Drive’ from 8-10 ET, Sirius 210, XM 87.

    Looking for more ADP data? Fantistics Draft Advisory Software includes 6 ADP sources that you can choose from to closely match your league sentiment.


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    Last season, our software ranked DeMarco Murray 2 rounds ahead of his consensus ADP. Rookie RB Jordan Howard, 6 rounds ahead of his ADP, despite not having a starting job when the season started. Top-20 wide receivers  Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate  2+ rounds ahead of their ADP. Tight Ends Jordan Reed and Travis Kelce, 1 round ahead of their ADP. These are just a few examples of the many calls we made in 2016. (click here for a complete look back at our 2016 projections and our 15+ year track record).

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