Fantasy Draft Rankings 2018: TE

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Drafting a tight end is always a dilemma to me. If you draft one early then that means you are passing on a top QB or a solid RB2/WR2. Is that worth it? For Gronk you have an argument, for anyone else the answer is a little more gray. Let’s break down the position and then revisit that question. Standard rankings. [name – team, bye week]

  1. Rob Gronkowski – NE, 11: Even with his injury concerns, Gronk is by far the best tight end in the game fantasy-wise.
  2. Travis Kelce – KC, 12: Another weapon on what could shape out to be a potent offense.
  3. Zach Ertz – PHI, 9: Great chemistry with Wentz and a very tough matchup for any defense. He does have some competition for redzone targets as Alshon Jeffery is a big able-bodied receiver himself (when healthy; currently in the discussion to start the season on PUP – which means he would miss the first 6 games).
  4. Greg Olsen – CAR, 4: Cam Newton’s favorite target should pick up where he left off before his season-ending injury last year. Norv Turner has also come to town as the new OC which could spell big things as he has utilized the TE position well in previous years.
  5. Jimmy Graham – GB, 7: It would not be a surprise to see Jimmy get 10 TDs this year. He is going to be a huge redzone target for Rodgers who is now without Jordy. Jimmy should step in and have an immediate impact for Green Bay’s offense.
  6. Evan Engram – NYG, 9: This may be too high of a ranking for Engram this year as you can attribute a lot of last year’s production to the decimation of the receiving core in New York. With everyone healthy, Engram will see less targets for sure, but Shurmur’s offense has been generous to Tight Ends in the past which benefits Engram.
  7. Delanie Walker – TEN, 8: Titans just never seem to have an exciting offense. Delanie Walker looks to be the best pass-catcher on this team at the moment though.
  8. Kyle Rudolph – MIN, 10: Not expecting the same level of production as last year with Shurmur gone to the Big Apple.
  9. Jordan Reed – WAS, 4: This could be a boom or bust pick. He is very talented and if he can stay healthy we could see him back in the top 5 TE talk.
  10. Trey Burton – CHI, 5: Bears went out and paid for some offense. Trubisky is no Wentz yet, but take a flier on Trey if you pass on drafting this position until the later rounds.
  11. Jack Doyle – IND, 9: The Eric Ebron signing has me lower on Doyle this year. Ebron is the better athlete and easily could surpass Doyle in targets this year.
  12. O.J. Howard – TB, 5: Another dual TE situation as he battles with Brate. His targets should increase in year 2 and if his go up, Brate’s go down.
  13. Cameron Brate – TB, 5: Speaking of Mr. Brate… As mentioned above, O.J. is going to be stealing some more targets this year. Both could end up being viable and having similar production.
  14. George Kittle – SF, 11: Not a huge fan of Kittle but he did start to show some chemistry with Jimmy G at the end of last season.
  15. David Njoku – CLE, 11: Sneaky upside but he still plays for the Browns and Hue Jackson..
  16. Tyler Eifert – CIN, 9: He was a stud for one year but has been dealing with injuries since. High risk, possibly top 5 reward.
  17. Eric Ebron – IND, 9: Could take over the TE1 spot in Indy eventually. Preseason should give us an idea about how the Colts plan to use their TE combo.
  18. Austin Seferian-Jenkins – JAC, 9: Always has potential but never quite lives up to it. Maybe Bortles can bring the best out of him this season.
  19. Hayden Hurst – BAL, 10: Could be worth a shot if you’re desperate or streaming this position. Looks like a capable pass-catcher and we know the Ravens aren’t shy about dropping Flacco back to pass 40 times a game if they need to.
  20. Charles Clay – BUF, 11: Setting the bar very low for the Bills’ offense this year. Clay could be one of the few bright spots.
  21. Jared Cook – OAK, 7: The game plan is to run the ball. He is capable of making plays, but we’ll see how many opportunities he gets to make them.
  22. Ricky Seals-Jones – ARI, 9: After Gresham returns from injury, there looks to be a TE battle. Ricky is more offensive-minded and should hold on to the starting spot. Sleeper pick with Arizona not having many receiving options outside of Larry Fitzgerald.
  23. Vance McDonald – PIT, 7: One of the last options on a very skilled offense..
  24. Benjamin Watson – NO, 6: Always has a couple big games each year. Trick is knowing which ones and picking him up for those weeks.

Alright, I am not going to continue talking about Tight Ends (insert butt joke here). If you take one of the top 8 then you probably are going to be starting them every week unless someone shoots up the waiver wire. Back to the question..

Is it worth it to pass on a top QB or WR2/RB2 for a Tight End?

If you get a top RB with your first pick then the answer is maybe.. depends who you are passing on to get them. After the top RBs (about 1-12) and the elite WRs (about 1-10) are off the board, then Gronk could be a viable option for you. Ideally you would want to have your RB core drafted before taking a TE. Kelce and Ertz are the only other two I would consider drafting before the 5th round.. everyone else after that starts to drop off talent-wise

 

Good talk and good luck.

 

Photo Credit: Gronk by Brook Ward.
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license

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Fantasy Draft Rankings 2018: WR

23644241059_7678091d80_kTaking a look at the receivers now. Standard rankings below. Again, I will be posting half-PPR and PPR rankings at a later time. [name – team, bye week]

  1. Antonio Brown – PIT, 7: Best receiver in the game right now hands down. He should be a top 5 pick in your league again. If you are superstitious though be wary because he is on the cover of this year’s Madden..
  2. DeAndre Hopkins – HOU, 10: Finally has a QB that can throw and isn’t afraid to. As long as Watson stays healthy you can count on consistent production out of Hopkins.
  3. Odell Beckham Jr. – NYG, 9: Coming back from a season-ending injury to a new coaching staff and revamped offense. We all know what he can do. Expect him to put on a show to set himself up for a huge contract extension.
  4. Julio Jones – ATL, 8: Julio could be a steal in the late first or early second round. Look for him to improve on the 3 TDs of last season as he makes his own case for best wide receiver in the game.
  5. Michael Thomas – NO, 6: Another player whom I expect to improve on their touchdown total of last year. It was 5 by the way.
  6. Keenan Allen – LAC, 8: Keenan was great in the second half of the season after starting out a bit slow. No Gates and no Hunter Henry this year should lead to him having a few more targets.
  7. A.J. Green – CIN, 9: He always seems to end up being a top ten WR. This year should be no different as he tries to keep the Bengals offense relevant.
  8. Davante Adams – GB, 7: The clear number one on an offense that no longer is with Jordy Nelson. Oh, also the guy throwing to him is Aaron Rodgers.
  9. Mike Evans – TB, 5: If I was confident in Jameis taking a positive step forward this year I would be higher on Evans. Still solid no matter who is throwing him the ball.
  10. T.Y. Hilton – IND, 9: T.Y. had a tough season last year without Andrew Luck at the helm. Andrew is back and with that Hilton’s numbers should be too.
  11. Doug Baldwin – SEA, 7: Baldwin should be stepping into increased targets with the departure of Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson this offseason. Look for him to quietly continue putting up solid numbers.
  12. Tyreek Hill – KC, 12: Mahomes will be airing it out a lot more than we saw Alex Smith doing. This should be a positive for Tyreek whose play-making ability is unmatched.
  13. Stefon Diggs – MIN, 10: Kirk should be throwing downfield more than Keenum did last year which is why I give him the edge over his counterpart Thielen.
  14. Amari Cooper – OAK, 7: No more Crabtree and a healthy Carr should bode well for Amari.
  15. Larry Fitzgerald – ARI, 9: Larry doesn’t look to be slowing down yet. He proves every year that he is still one of the best and I expect him to do it again this year.
  16. Adam Thielen – MIN, 10: Adam blew up last year under Shurmur. Expecting some regression this season but still should be a solid WR2/3 this year.
  17. Allen Robinson – CHI, 5: Hard for me to judge Allen Robinson this year. With the contract he signed I would expect him to be featured in this offense. Boom or bust pick in my opinion. Could be worth the gamble in the 5th round.
  18. Jarvis Landry – CLE, 11: Landry should be the focal point of the Browns offense. He has put numbers up on bad teams and this season should be no different.
  19. Alshon Jeffery – PHI, 9: If he can haul in a few more passes this year then he could be great value at this point in the draft.
  20. JuJu Smith-Schuster – PIT, 7: Broke out last year and is now firmly entrenched as the WR2 in Pittsburgh. He doesn’t need many touches to make a difference.
  21. Golden Tate – DET, 6: Never like drafting Tate but he always puts up low-end WR2 numbers. He should do the same this year and even have a few more targets in the middle of the field with Ebron leaving town.
  22. Marvin Jones – DET, 6: Crazy TD numbers last year shot him up the WR rankings. I don’t think he can match those numbers especially with Kenny Golladay vying for targets on the outside too.
  23. Josh Gordon – CLE, 11: Not sure his status for this season as he still hasn’t shown up for training camp at the time of writing this. Arguably is one of the most talented receivers in the game but off field issues keep expectations tempered. Could be a low-end WR1 or solid WR2 if you want to gamble on him.
  24. Michael Crabtree – BAL, 10: This has a Steve Smith type of feel to me. Wouldn’t surprise me if he turned into Flacco’s favorite redzone target.
  25. Demaryius Thomas – DEN, 10: Drafted him once and regretted it. Let someone else deal with Demaryius.
  26. Brandin Cooks – LAR, 12: Cooks is a deep-threat receiver that is taking the place of Sammy Watkins in the Rams offense. I didn’t like Sammy last year so I won’t be taking Cooks this year.
  27. Chris Hogan – NE, 11: He is the number one receiver on this team even when Edelman is healthy. Potential here to put up WR2 numbers this season.
  28. Sammy Watkins – KC, 12: He got paid and now is set to be a part of the KC offense alongside several other playmakers. Could see him fitting in and putting up solid WR2 numbers.
  29. Corey Davis – TEN, 8: Corey, meet Marcus. Corey ended last year on a high note and now comes into this year having had a full off season to build chemistry with Mariota. Look for him to build on last year’s numbers in what could be a potential breakout season as the top wideout in Tennessee.
  30. Pierre Garcon – SF, 11: There are more mouths to feed in San Fran this year but I would expect Pierre to still get 100+ targets and be a viable WR3.
  31. Jamison Crowder – WAS, 4: Sleeper pick for me. Paul Richardson has joined him and should help take pressure off the top to allow Jamison to work in the middle of the field where he is most effective. Alex Smith is a more conservative QB and his style should align with Crowder’s receiving abilities.
  32. Randall Cobb – GB, 7: Rodgers is still throwing to him and without Jordy in town I could see Cobb having a bounce back year.
  33. Emmanuel Sanders – DEN, 10: I’ve been scared to draft Denver receivers ever since Peyton Manning retired. This year is more of the same as they brought in veteran journeyman Case Keenum to run the offense.
  34. Marquise Goodwin – SF, 11: Goodwin was Garapolo’s favorite target at the end of last season. If they can pick up where they left off he could end up having better numbers than Pierre.
  35. Will Fuller – HOU, 10: Boom or bust pick. Deshaun is not shy about throwing it up to him and putting pressure on the defense.
  36. Devante Parker – MIA, 11: No more Landry and the return of Tannehill could be just what Devante needs to break out this year.
  37. Cooper Kupp – LAR, 12: Lots of mouths to feed in this offense so I can’t see him being much more than a WR3 on good weeks.
  38. Devin Funchess – CAR, 4: Olsen is back and that is going to affect his production more than you think.
  39. Robert Woods – LAR, 12: Hesitant to draft for the same reasons as Kupp. Also, Robert is competing with Brandin Cooks on the outside for targets.
  40. Robby Anderson – NYJ, 11: Risky pick as he is under review with the league currently from some off field issues. Has some upside as a number one receiver but he is also on the Jets.

Other notables to keep an eye on are Chris Godwin, Mike Williams, Kelvin Benjamin, Jordy Nelson, Martavius Bryant, and Allen Hurns. They are all on new teams or young and raw with upside. I will be targeting Godwin late in my drafts as a stash candidate or possibly a bit earlier if he has a good preseason and gets on the radar more. Plus he has a great name.

 

Good talk and good luck.

 

 

Photo Credit: Steelers at Ravens 12/27/15 by Keith Allison.
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

 

Fantasy Draft Rankings 2018: RB

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Back at the pre-draft grind. Checking out the running backs today. Standard league rankings shown below. Rankings for half-PPR and PPR will be coming soon. [name – team, bye week]

  1. Le’Veon Bell – PIT, 7: Teams won’t be as quick to stack the box against Big Ben and Antonio Brown as they will be against Goff. Expect him to ball out in another contract year and get the long-term deal he deserves next year.
  2. Todd Gurley – LAR, 12: Has one of the toughest schedules for RBs this year. We’ll see how Goff looks when teams force him to make plays. Barely edged out by Bell because of the aforementioned reasons.
  3. Ezekiel Elliott – DAL, 8: Focal point of the offense. My bet to lead the league in carries this year. He will be fed all game, even against 8 man fronts.
  4. David Johnson – ARI, 9: Missed all last year after his Week 1 wrist injury. He will be rusty out of the gates but I think he will trend back to his 2016 form. Don’t sleep on the Cardinals.
  5. Leonard Fournette – JAC, 9: Slimmed down to his college playing weight so should be even more explosive this year. Jaguars are going to grind teams down by running the ball and playing defense. Leonard will be at the center of it getting every goal line carry he can handle.
  6. Melvin Gordon – LAC, 8: Melvin should get 20+ touches in what should be a higher-powered, more balanced offense than what we saw last year.
  7. Kareem Hunt – KC, 12: Led the NFL is rush yards as he broke out in his rookie season. Now as a sophomore KC should be looking to establish the run game early and often to set Mahomes up for success.
  8. Alvin Kamara – NO, 6: A little lower on him than most people. He is a special player and every time he touches the ball he has a chance for a huge play. That being said, he doesn’t get as many touches with the split backfield and oh yeah, Mark Ingram will be taking most of the goal line work after the first 3 games.
  9. Saquon Barkley – NYG, 9: Another player I am a little lower on than most. Few concerns here that limit my appeal… First, the O-line is better than it was last year but only on the left side. Secondly, are the Giants going to be competitive enough to be able run the ball for 4 quarters or will they be playing catch-up and passing every down in the 2nd half? Lastly, Jonathan Stewart was signed this offseason and will be getting some carries himself.
  10. Dalvin Cook – MIN, 10: Injury limited him last year as he was shaping up to be one of the steals in the draft. New offense as Shurmur moved on to the Giants but I still expect Cook to be a huge part of it.
  11. Jordan Howard – CHI, 5: Borderline sleeper pick here as no one talks about this guy. He’s the clear number one back in an offense that looks to be more balanced with improvements made to the passing game.
  12. Jerick McKinnon – SF, 11: Great fit for the Shanahan offense but I am not completely sold yet. Potential is there to put up RB1 numbers but Breida will be sharing more time than you think.
  13. Devonta Freeman – ATL, 8: Running back by committee pushing him down my draftboard. Should be a solid RB2.
  14. Christian McCaffrey – CAR, 4: Mismatch nightmare no matter where he lines up. Will share some work with C.J. Anderson but look for him to build on the year one performance.
  15. LeSean McCoy – BUF, 11: Shady will be running behind what could be the worst offensive line in the league this year. The offense should still be ran through him but teams are sure to load up against the run to test the quarterbacks.
  16. Joe Mixon – CIN, 9: Giovanni Bernard was the more efficient running back last year in this committee. I’d rather pass on him and take someone who has a clearer path to handling a majority of the carries.
  17. Alex Collins – BAL, 10: Last year, from week 8 and on, Collins was putting up borderline RB1 numbers. The only worry is Kenneth Dixon and if he’ll eventually steal some carries and limit the upside.
  18. Derrius Guice – WAS, 4: **UPDATE** Guice tore his ACL and is done for the season… One of the rookies that look to have a shot to handle most of the backfield work. No real competition with the lack of running game his peers have shown over the last couple years.
  19. Kenyan Drake – MIA, 11: Was higher on him until they signed Frank Gore.. Need to see how the backfield shapes up after his addition. Not worth a 3rd round pick.
  20. Jay Ajayi – PHI, 9: Supposedly they are going to move away from the RB committee and feed Ajayi more. I’ll believe it once I see it. From here out it is more draft and stash picks.
  21. Lamar Miller – HOU, 10: Looked like a cut candidate at one point for the Texans but now may be taking most of the backfield work. His numbers have direct correlation to playing alongside Deshaun; if Watson stays healthy he could put up solid RB2 numbers.
  22. Derrick Henry – TEN, 8: Finally was going to be unleashed… and then they signed Dion Lewis. Probably in the 15-17 touch per game range.
  23. Ronald Jones II – TB, 5: Another rook who has a chance to take control of the backfield. Draft and stash.
  24. Rashaad Penny – SEA, 7: Backfield is too crowded to make me want to draft him any higher. Another draft and stash candidate until we see how it plays out.
  25. Mark Ingram – NO, 6: The suspension pushed him down about ten spots. Good flex candidate who should put up consistent numbers once he’s back.
  26. Marlon Mack – IND, 9: Hearing good things in training camp about this kid. He should be poised for a good year but also has some competition brewing with Hines and Turbin.
  27. Dion Lewis – TEN, 8: Replacing Demarco Murray in the RB committee.. nothing too exciting here.
  28. Carlos Hyde – CLE, 11: Crowded backfield on a shit team. I’ll pass.
  29. Aaron Jones – GB, 7: Suspended for 2 games but then should fight his way back and take over the lead duties in Green Bay. Sleeper pick on a high-powered offense that will need some running back production.
  30. Royce Freeman – DEN, 10: Similar to above. Devontae Booker is actually listed as the starter but I suspect Freeman to take the reins eventually.
  31. Marshawn Lynch – OAK, 7: Lots of mouths to feed. Might not even be the best RB in the Raider backfield this year.
  32. Isaiah Crowell – NYJ, 11: Another shit team with a crowded backfield. Crowell is an average running back but could be a bright spot for the Jets.
  33. Sony Michel – NE, 11: It is running back roulette trying to pick who Belichick chooses to feed on a week to week basis. 4 to choose from this year so be my guest.
  34. Nick Chubb – CLE, 11: Looks like he could be a beast but as mentioned above the Browns are shit and they still have Hyde and Duke Johnson Jr. looking for carries too.

Injuries will shape out some of the crowded backfields but you don’t base your draft picks off of injuries. There are even deeper picks and players we could get into but it just really isn’t worth any of our time. We can get into waiver wire pickups once the dust settles. Until then..

Good luck and good talk.

 

 

Photo Credit: Raiders at Redskins 9/24/17 by Keith Allison.
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

Fantasy Draft Rankings 2018: QB

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No intro needed, let’s jump in. These rankings are for Standard, PPR, and Half-PPR leagues. [name – team, bye week]

  1. Aaron Rodgers – GB, 7: League of his own up here. The only thing stopping him is his collarbone. He’ll be playing with a vengeance and should silence any one left who says he’s not the best QB in the league.
  2. Russell Wilson – SEA, 7: Seahawks are going to rely on him heavily if they plan to compete in games. No LOB or Beastmode, just Wilson scrambles.
  3. Deshaun Watson – HOU, 10: This may be a little high but he has weapons galore and should be able to pick up where he left off.
  4. Cam Newton – CAR, 4: He bounced back last year and now gets Greg Olsen back and Norv calling the plays; he should be in for another solid year.
  5. Tom Brady – NE, 11: I know there are a lot of TB12 fans out here that won’t agree with me putting him this low. This is conservative, but he has to slow down at some point and I think this could be the year. I’ll be avoiding him altogether.
  6. Drew Brees – NO, 6: Brees is neck and neck with TB above. I like this New Orleans offense a bit more but not enough to put him above Brady just yet.
  7. Matthew Stafford – DET, 6: He slings the rock and should be slinging it all game. Ranked him above players like Kirk and Carson because they have solid defenses and will be ahead a lot of games which means more hand-offs. Underrated by most sites; don’t sleep on him.
  8. Ben Roethlisberger – PIT, 7: High powered offense with the best RB and WR in the game. Not much else to say.
  9. Philip Rivers – LAC, 8: No one plays with more fight than this guy. Best QB in his division and he should be poised to have a career year if Mike Williams and Keenan Allen can stay off the IR.
  10. Andrew Luck – IND, 9: Yes, he hasn’t played in awhile but he is a straight stud. Grab a second QB just in case he has a setback but otherwise lock and load as the Colts will have one of the easiest schedules for him this year.
  11. Carson Wentz – PHI, 9: He was super efficient last year to the point that I believe he will regress some. Add that to the fact I mentioned above about being ahead and handing it off more and you get this tempered expectation.
  12. Jimmy Garoppolo – SF, 11: Jimmy G looked like a franchise quarterback once he got his shot at the end of last year. Now he gets Pierre back and an off-season to build rapport with his offense. The potential he has is worth taking a flier on.
  13. Kirk Cousins – MIN, 10: I would argue that for fantasy purposes Captain Kirk was in a better position at Washington. He does have some great weapons here and a stout defense but all that means is he won’t be asked to do as much.
  14. Matt Ryan – ATL, 8: If you had a chance to read my earlier article, Position Valuation, I touched on how I was fine with starting 12-14 quarterbacks. That talent falls off from here so you’ll most likely be streaming if you miss out on the above. Expecting Matty Ice to move back toward his MVP year numbers as Julio nearly triples last years 3 touchdown total.
  15. Marcus Mariota – TEN, 8: This may surprise some with the awful season he had last year but Marcus stands to have a bounce back year with the new coaching regime. He is no longer a part of the smashmouth offense under Mularkey as Tennessee cleared house and brought in Sean McVay’s offensive coordinator, Matt LaFleur. Could be a sneaky pickup after Mariota adjusts to the new offense.
  16. Alex Smith – WAS, 4: Had his best year last year and subsequently was traded away as KC wanted to pass the QB torch and Washington wanted a Kirk-alike quarterback. I can’t see him repeating the success of last year as he adjusts to the Redskins’ schemes but he won’t be terrible. Looks like he could be your bye week guy.
  17. Jared Goff – LAR, 12: I still don’t know if he is any good. Rams fans say so but that isn’t enough for me to waste a bench spot on this kid.
  18. Patrick Mahomes – KC, 12: We are starting to get to the weeds and to the draft and stash guys. Mahomes does have potential and has weapons all around him so he should be set up to succeed right? We’ll see. I’m not hyped up yet, maybe next year.
  19. Derek Carr – OAK, 7: Gruden is back and reports are that he wants to get back to running the ball. If that stands true Derek is not going to have as gaudy numbers as he could have. Mix that with his shitty season last year and my expectations are mediocre at best.
  20. Andy Dalton – CIN, 9: Eifert may be back so that could play to Andy’s favor. He still has one of the top WRs in the game on his side of the ball and the same coach that everyone thought was going to be fired 4 years ago. Nothing is changing here, Andy is still a red head and still mediocre. Sorry, hard to talk about Andy without talking about his hair.
  21. Ryan Tannehill – MIA, 11: Sleeper pick here. Ryan has been out with injuries for a couple years but now is finally healthy and ready for redemption. All these rankings from 15 and on are pretty close and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him start creeping up there.
  22. Case Keenum – DEN, 10: He could be bumped up because I know he does more than what I give him credit for. He is just so average to me.
  23. Dak Prescott – DAL, 8: Dak’s form when handing the ball off to Zeke is pristine. Enough said. He has no weapons after losing Dez and Witten. Won’t shock me if we start hearing cries for Romo to come down out of the booth to gear up once he struggles.
  24. Mitch Trubisky – CHI, 5: Another year of growth needed. Not expecting much from him this year.
  25. Eli Manning – NYG, 9: Eli eli eli. He just always has a confused, scared look on his face. However, the o-line is much improved… on the left side. Don’t get suckered in to picking him up after he has his one good game of the season.
  26. Jameis Winston – TB, 5: The suspension doesn’t help his case for this year and maybe his future as a QB in this league. I am holding out hope for him and think he can right the ship after the rocky start the Bucs are sure to have.
  27. Joe Flacco – BAL, 10: Contract year and all signs are pointing to him stepping up as he competes for his job. Also, the Ravens have a new solid WR core consisting of Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead. Could be a sneaky add.
  28. Tyrod Taylor – CLE, 11: Tyrod isn’t that bad, but Hue is terrible. Add that with the Browns taking a QB number one overall this year and it seems like only a matter of time before Tyrod gets benched.
  29. Blake Bortles – JAC, 9: If I was ranking players on who would be the most fun to grab a drink with, Blake would be up top. Since that isn’t the case, leave him on the waiver wire in your leagues and cheer for him when they face the Pats in playoffs again this year.
  30. Sam Bradford – ARI, 9: Too much injury risk for me to want on my roster and the Cardinals already drafted their QB of the future to replace him when he inevitably goes down.
  31. Josh McCown – NYJ, 11: In a similar position as Bradford and Tyrod with the QB of the future in town already.. He’s only below Bradford because if Sam doesn’t get hurt he’ll probably be the starter until Arizona is out of playoff contention(..if).
  32. AJ McCarron – BUF, 11: He is not going to have much leash before the rookie backup gets a chance. I won’t be paying attention to what’s going on over in Buffalo.
  33. – 40. Consists of all the rookie QBs that will probably get a shot to start, along with Big Dick Nick because you know why. Baker Mayfield to me is the only one moderately worth holding out hope for this year. Even so, there are too many other decent QBs for you to be worried about what’s down here.

 

Good talk and good luck.

 

 

Photo Credit: Lambeau Field by Mike Morbeck.
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

Draft Preview 2018: Position Valuation

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As draft day approaches in your leagues it is smart to formulate some sort of strategy beforehand so we aren’t completely blind going in and just pick whoever pops up as best available. A good way to start is by figuring out what positions are more valuable to you than others. Just so we are all on the same page, this analysis is going to be based on a fairly standard roster makeup that consists of a QB, RB1, RB2, WR1, WR2, Flex (RB/WR/TE), TE, K, D/ST, and 6 Bench spots.

Let’s start by taking a look at each position and talk through who is available as we build our approach.

QB: Quarterback is more valuable in real life than on your fantasy team. If you take a look at the rankings I see about 13-14 quarterbacks that I wouldn’t mind starting on a week to week basis. With most leagues consisting of 10-12 teams you could see why one wouldn’t be as quick to take a quarterback this year. Now if you look at the list of quarterbacks and can’t imagine starting Jimmy G or Matt Ryan then you can adjust your valuation up a notch for this position. Since there are so many viable options here I will be using the earlier rounds to fill out the other skilled positions first. Now it is a balancing act with what your league is doing so don’t wait too long. After a majority of the teams have a QB or when someone drafts a backup you should probably think about grabbing a starter.

RB: A popular strategy has been to draft running backs early and often. That trend will continue this year even though the field of running backs is a lot deeper than previous years. There are at least 10 or so viable RB1s along with another 8-10 viable RB2s. As with anything the draft is a give and take. If you load up on running backs then you are going to be digging through scraps looking for value at other positions. Personally, I am fine with that and am leaning toward rolling with the masses and grabbing my running backs early. This position has the least variance so you can usually count on a consistent level of production that can be the foundation for drafting and building your team.

WR: Wide receiver has the most variance of any position. If you have had Julio on your team you have seen this first hand as one week he may go off for 40 fantasy points and the next get 6. Not sure if there is anything much more frustrating than that excluding injuries. A lot of this variance we see comes from matchups on a weekly basis. There are more teams that have a lockdown corner than there are teams that have a lockdown run game. Outside of Antonio Brown and Deandre Hopkins (if you think Deshaun picks up where he left off), there are very few consistent receivers that produce on a weekly basis. Because of this I am lower on receivers, even the top guys, more so than most other experts.

TE: Top heavy as it has been in recent years, though you could make a case that it is more a big 3 (Gronk, Kelce, Ertz) before the talent drops off to the second tier of another 4-5 solid players (Olsen, Engram, Graham, Rudolph, Walker). Regardless, Gronk is in a league of his own so if I am taking a tight end earlier than everyone else, that is who I’m taking. If I pass on him then I want to make it a priority to snag one of the other 4-5 mentioned above because there is a big gap in potential after they are off the board and you will be throwing darts each week for your Tight End spot. If darts is your thing then you could pass on drafting a tight end altogether and wait to the end to pick up what’s left to stream.

K: Not going to waste much time here. If you are that person who drafts a kicker in round 7 then at least take Gostkowski. One could also argue for Tucker especially if your league gives 5 points for making 50+ yard field goals. Note that I haven’t actually checked kicking stats to see if they back this reasoning up because I don’t care enough about this position. If you feel the same way then just wait and draft a kicker with your last pick like I will be doing. All kickers are going to be close as far as the value you get out of them so don’t stress on this too much. Alright I wrote too much here so let’s move on..

D/ST: Defense and Special Teams is another position I do not like jumping on early. Now this position is not as even across the board as Kickers are so a little more thought should go into it but again not too much. Most teams will keep one D/ST on their roster to start so even if you don’t draft a defense until the last pick you should still be able to get a top 10-15 squad and be able to stream week to week against a rebuilding team. On top of this it is fairly hard to predict what defense is going to be dominant each year before seeing them play a few games as so many factors play a part in their performance. To give an example of this, think about who drafted the Eagles Defense or Jaguars Defense last year. I am fairly sure they were both top 5 fantasy defenses and if your leagues were anything like mine, no one drafted them.

Bench: If you read everything above you should know where I am headed with this. The bench should be used mainly for RBs and WRs that have potential for a breakout season. Gamble on some picks with a rookie that may have a more expanded role instead of keeping a second kicker or defense. If you are streaming a position, i.e. picking up free agents weekly to exploit a matchup or future matchup, then having a second QB, TE, D/ST (if you really want) makes sense too when streaming. Handcuffs as well can be picked up in the later rounds as needed. Personally, I don’t handcuff my players, I hope they stay healthy and adjust as needed at the time if they do get injured.

So by now you should have a feel about how I am planning on handling my drafts. Here’s the Sparknotes version if I bored you…

  • QB – I can wait.
  • RB – loading up here. 3 out of my top 4 picks could be a RB.
  • WR – very few consistent options, no real rush to draft any until the RBs are off the board
  • TE – Focusing on getting a top 8 guy here so I can avoid playing darts with Eifert.
  • K – ha.
  • D/ST – stream and play the matchups.
  • Bench – boom or bust options, streamers, handcuffs

 

Good talk and good luck.

 

 

Photo Credit: Cowboys at Redskins 10/29/17 by Keith Allison 
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license