All posts by johndkocur

FANTASY FOOTBALL REVIEW – WEEK 2 WAIVERS AND PLAYER OUTLOOK


We’re through two weeks in the NFL season and what a ride!!!  The world seems topsy-turvy with the Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, and Tampa Bay Bucs at 2-0.  Meanwhile the Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Texans are winless, and we’ve already seen two games end in a tie.  But how crazy has the fantasy season been???

  • QB – The top 3 fantasy scoring QBs are Ryan Fitzpatrick, Patrick Mahomes, and Kirk Cousins
  • RB – Matt Breida leads the NFL in rushing yards
  • WR – DeSean Jackson leads the NFL in receiving yards
  • TE – The top 3 fantasy scoring TEs are Jared Cook, Jesse James, and Will Dissly

Remember, we’re only 2 weeks into the season.  Starting this week, you will see fantasy owners panic and drop good players because they had 2 bad games.  Don’t overreact and try to cash in when other owners do.  After 4 weeks of poor play, then you can assess if a player needs to be cut.

So onto the “Fantasy Smoke & Fire” for week 2, where we read beyond the stat lines to determine player values moving forward.

Here are the four categories of players we look at each week:

  • On Fire – These are players that are exceeding expectations (or ADP), and we expect it to continue. Think waiver wire adds!
  • Smoke (and mirrors) – These are players that have performed well recently, but we do not expect it to continue. Don’t buy into the hype; pass on the waiver wire pickup.  Possibly look to trade them away with the value is high.
  • False Alarm – These are players that are underperforming recently, but we expect them to turn around. Don’t cut bait too early.  Possibly look to acquire them in a trade while the value is low.
  • On Ice – These are players that have not performed well, and we expect a poor season to continue. They should stay on the bench (or be cut depending on the player/circumstances).

On Fire – Obviously all of these players aren’t on waivers, but they have impressed and I expect it to continue.

Fire
Pos Player Comment
QB Patrick Mahomes 23/28 326-6-0.  I doubted Mahomes entering the year.  He’s the real deal and his decision making is quick/sharp. Never been a question of his cannon arm.
QB Kirk Cousins 35/48 425-4-1.  Same old slinging Cousins, just on a new team.
RB Chris Thompson 4-1 (13-92 on 14 targets).  He doesn’t always get the most touches, but I’m finally starting to buy into him.
RB Tevin Coleman 16-107 (4-18 on 4 targets).  Anytime Freeman (or Coleman) is out, the other is a great fantasy play.
RB Phillip Lindsay 14-107 (1-4 on 1 target).  Is Lindsay really the lead back of the Broncos?  We would all like to see them stick with one.
WR Will Fuller 8-113-1 on 9 targets.  Outside of Fuller and Hopkins, nobody else had more than 3 targets.  Fuller is 30-40% of the passing game.
WR Sammy Watkins 6-100 on 7 targets (1-31 rushing).  Looking like a resurgence as long as Mahomes keeps up his game.
WR Juju Smith-Schuster 13-121-1 on 19 targets.  He got more looks than AB.  It’ll continue with so much defensive attention payed to Brown.
WR Nelson Agholor 8-88-1 on 12 targets.  Outside of Ertz, he’s the most heavily involved in the passing game.  Will it continue with Wentz back next week?
WR Quincy Enunwa 7-92 on 11 targets.  Looks like Darnold’s go to guy.
WR Kenny Golladay 6-89-1 on 9 targets.  Just keeps pushing for looks from Stafford.  It will continue, but he’s still the #3 receiver til Marvin Jones falters.
WR Allen Robinson 10-83 on 14 targets.  Trubisky’s certainly looking his way.  I doubted his ADP this year but he may come through.
TE Will Dissly 3-42-1 on 5 targets.  He’s building trust from Wilson and should see looks with Baldwin out.

 

Smoke – They had a good start to the season, but I’m not sold on it continuing.

Smoke
Pos Player Comment
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 27/33 402-4-1.  Fitz-Magic is rolling.  He’s on a hot streak and may keep the QB job from Winston.  But his career proves that he’s certainly not this good.
QB Andy Dalton 24/42 265-4-0.  Week 2 may be the only 4 TD game he has all year.  He’s no more that a low-end QB2 matchup play.
QB Blake Bortles 29/45 377-4-1 (6-35).  Bortles did everything he needed to do to beat the Patriots.  He’s not a fantasy QB that you want to lean on all season.
RB Matt Breida 11-138-1 (3-21 on 4 targets).  He had one great long run; the rest was mediocre.
WR DeSean Jackson 4-129-1 on 4 targets.  Jackson can’t keep this up all season.  He’ll always catch a few long ones, but the week to week consistency isn’t there.
WR Brandon Cooks 7-159 on 9 targets.  Goff spreads the ball around and I don’t expect a top 5 passing attack.  I don’t expect big games consistently.
WR Keelan Cole 7-116-1 on 8 targets.  Everyone will talk about the spectacular 1 handed catch.  That doesn’t get you extra fantasy points; and neither will Bortles.
TE Jesse James 5-138-1 on 5 targets.  Had some big plays, but the Steelers offense uses him as a safety valve more than a playmaker.

 

False Alarm – Don’t overreact to these players just because of a slow start; they’ll be fine moving forward.  If they get cut in your league, be quick to scoop them up.

False Alarm
Pos Player Comment
QB Aaron Rodgers 30/42 281-1-0.  The knee injury will only slightly impact his fantasy production over the next month.  Expect 90% of typical Rodgers.
RB Alex Collins 9-35 (3-55 on 4 targets).  Collins is still the man, but Bal was behind 21-0 early.
RB Adrian Peterson 11-20 (3-30 on 3 targets).  Surprising stat line against a bottom tier Ind def.  I expect a rebound.
RB Kareem Hunt 18-75 (1-5-1 on 1 target).  Don’t panic, but pounce if there’s a worried owner out there.  Also see Dalvin Cook…
RB Kenyan Drake 11-53-1 (4-17 on 4 targets).  I still believe in Drake, but need to see a big game by week 4.
RB Dalvin Cook 10-38 (3-52 on 5 targets).  Don’t panic, but pounce if there’s a worried owner out there. Also see Kareem Hunt…
RB Jordan Howard 14-35 (3-33 on 4 targets).  Still the workhorse; TDs will come.
WR SF Wide Receivers No one targeted more than 4 times.  Goodwin was out week 2.  Someone will step up, but who?
WR Odell Beckham Jr. 4-51 on 9 targets.  Still one of the best in the league.
TE Rob Gronkowski 2-15 on 4 targets.  Just because Jacksonville shut him down, it doesn’t mean other teams can replicate.

 

On Ice – These guys are not performing and I don’t expect it to turnaround any time soon (compared to expectations).

On Ice
Pos Player Comment
QB Andrew Luck 21/31 179-2-2.  I didn’t trust him as a top 5 QB before his shoulder injury in 2016; he’ll be up and down all year.
QB Sam Bradford 17/27 90-0-1.  How pitiful!!!  Is it time for Josh Rosen?
QB Case Keenum 19/35 222-0-1 (3-16-1).  Can any QB be successful in Denver these days?  Not looking good for Keenum
QB Russell Wilson 15/27 139-1-1.  Sacked 6 times in each of the first 2 games.  It’s gonna be tough sledding this year.
RB Derrick Henry 18-56.  Until teams respect the passing game, Henry won’t be a fantasy starter.
RB Dion Lewis 14-42 (1-1 on 1 target).  I like his chances at a rebound more than Henry because of his receiving ability, but the passing game stinks!!!
RB LeSean McCoy 9-39 (4-29 on 4 targets).  Terrible team, cracked ribs, age, nuff said…
RB Jamaal Williams 16-59 (3-12 on 4 targets).  I expected Williams to run with the RB job the first 2 wks.  Didn’t happen and here comes electric Aaron Jones back from suspension.
RB David Johnson 13-48 (1-3 on 2 targets).  That offense is beyond terrible.  DJ won’t improve until Bradford is benched (or turns around his career which is unlikely).
RB Royce Freeman 8-28-1 (1 target).  Overdrafted in many fantasy leagues (I didn’t buy in).  Lindsay looks like the preferred option and was already the 3rd down back.
RB Chris Carson 6-24 (1 target).  The Seattle backfield has been bad for years.  Looks like they’re ready to turn the page and see what their rookie RB has.
WR Robby Anderson 3-27 on 5 targets.  Looks like Enunwa is his go to option.
TE David Njoku 4-20 on 7 targets.  He’s an athletic freak, but hasn’t put it all together yet.

Hit me up on Twitter with any questions/comments @PghJohn36

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Fantasy Football Review – Week 1 Waivers and Player Outlook


Fantasy football season has kicked off and many owners are already faced with tough decisions.  We’re here to read between the stat lines and help you determine the value of players moving forward.  We recommend waiver wire pickups, players you should pass on, and trade targets to exploit.

Here are the four categories of players we’ll look at each week in the “Fantasy Smoke & Fire”:

  • On Fire – These are players that are exceeding expectations (or ADP), and we expect it to continue. Think waiver wire adds!
  • Smoke (and mirrors) – These are players that have performed well recently, but we do not expect it to continue. Don’t buy into the hype; pass on the waiver wire pickup.  Possibly look to trade them away with the value is high.
  • False Alarm – These are players that are underperforming recently, but we expect them to turn around. Don’t cut bait too early.  Possibly look to acquire them in a trade while the value is low.
  • On Ice – These are players that have not performed well, and we expect a poor season to continue. They should stay on the bench (or be cut depending on the player/circumstances).

On Fire – Obviously all of these players aren’t on waivers, but they impressed week 1 and I expect it to continue.

Fire
Pos Player Week 1 Stats / Comment
QB Tom Brady In mid-season form; nuff said!
QB Philip Rivers 34/51 424-3-1:  Usually puts up QB1 stats.
RB James Conner 31-135-2 (5-57 on 6 targets):  Le’Veon who???
RB Adrian Peterson 26-96-1 (2-70):  Use him now and trade mid-season before he wears down.
WR Tyreek Hill 7-169-2 on 8 targets:  Maybe they will utilize him in enough gadget plays to make him useful all year.
WR Emmanuel Sanders 10-135-1:  Expecting a great year and drafted him accordingly
WR Kenny Golladay 7-114 on 12 targets:  He just may break through in year 2; at Marvin Jones expense
TE Jared Cook 9-180 on 12 targets:  Carr couldn’t hit the WR’s at all.  He may be a top 6 TE year; especially with Olsen and Walker injured.
TE George Kittle 5-90 on 9 targets:  See Jared Cook above…
TE Baltimore (3 TE’s) Boyle/Williams/Andrews 13 targets combined for 9-103-0.  How will Hayden Hurst fit in and when will he return?
TE Indianapolis (2 TE’s) Jack Doyle 7-60 on 10 targets, Eric Ebron 4-51-1 on 5 targets

 

Smoke – They had a good first week, but I’m not sold on it continuing.

Smoke
Pos Player Comment
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 21/28 417-4-0 (7 incompletions):  Don’t expect a repeat; but could take job from Winston.
RB Lamar Miller Don’t expect 20 carries and 5 ypc every week.
RB Chris Thompson 5-65 (long of 16) & 6-63-1 on 7 targets:  He’ll get 10-15 touches per game, but I don’t see a consistent 10 yards per touch.
WR Kenny Stills Don’t count on Stills 4-106-2 on 5 targets weekly.  2 TDs on 5 targets isn’t sustainable.  And DeVante Parker is returning soon.
WR DeSean Jackson 5-146-2:  See Stills above…
WR Randall Cobb 9-142-1:  Rodgers spreads the ball around.  I’m not sold that Cobb will be the guy week to week.
TE Will Dissly 3-105-1 on 5 targets:  This guy isn’t a pass catcher and won’t get another 66 yd TD in his career.

 

False Alarm – Don’t overreact to these players just because of a slow start; they’ll be fine moving forward.

False Alarm
Pos Player Comment
QB Ben Roethlisberger 355-1-3 (5 turnovers total):  Tough week against a hungry team. Ben is always good for a few stinkers and plays better at home.
QB Matthew Stafford 27/46 286-1-4:  See Ben above…
RB Alex Collins 7-13-1 (1-6 on 1 target):  The week 1 game was a blowout, Dixon got garbage time, he’ll be just fine.
RB Kareem Hunt 16-49 & 1 target:  He’s a fantasy 1st round pick for a reason.  If he has a tough week 2 @ Pittsburgh, I’d try to buy low from his owner.
RB David Johnson 9-37-1 (5-30 on 9 targets) – The offense is definately suspect, but DJ is too good!  Look for a big bounce back game in week 2.
WR Josh Gordon 1-17-1 on 3 targets – He will win contested balls; he just needs the QB to throw them.
TE Zach Ertz 5-48 on 10 targets:   Wentz will be back soon and Ertz is still the teams receiving crutch.
TE Trey Burton 1-15 on 6 targets:  Better things to come.

 

On Ice – These guys are not performing and I don’t expect it to turnaround any time soon compared to their draft spots.

On Ice
Pos Player Comment
QB Nick Foles 19/34 117-0-1:  Still doesn’t look good and Wentz might be back for week 3.
QB Matt Ryan 21/43 251-0-1:  Overrated for fantasy since his Superbowl season; becoming more of a game manager not a slinger.
QB DeShaun Watson Will he live up to his top 5 QB draft status?  Maybe in a few weeks.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo 15/33 261-1-3:  Played against a tough Minnesota defense, but I think he was overrated going into the season.  He’s a high QB2.
RB LeSean McCoy We all knew it was going to be a tough year.  It may get ugly.
RB Ronald Jones Inactive and can’t block.
RB Duke Johnson 9-37-1 (5-30):  He’ll catch some balls, but it’s Hyde’s backfield.
RB Ezekiel Elliott 15-69-1 (3-17):  Looks like a tough year and that’s what I expected.  He won’t be a top 5 RB, but he’ll still get 1,200+ yards and 10+ TDs.
RB Jamaal Williams 15-47-0 & 2 targets:  I was hoping for more going into the season.  He better turn it around quickly before Aaron Jones steals the job.
WR John Ross 1-3-1 on 2.  Will he show up this year?  Doesn’t look like it as of now.
WR Robby Anderson 1-41-1 on 1:  Probably the best WR on the Jets. He was only targeted once, but it was a 41 yd TD.  Should be Darnold’s bff!
WR Amari Cooper 1-9 on 3:  Another dreadful game.  The team doesn’t look good.
TE Jimmy Graham 2-8 on 4 targets:  Aaron Rodgers didn’t utilize his new target in week 1.  Can’t count on Graham til the chemistry develops.

Hit me up on Twitter with any questions/comments @PghJohn36

Outfield Rankings – Balance Your Team


In most leagues, you are required start 5 outfielders.  While I always want the best player available at each position, sometimes it’s a close call between a few guys and I focus on category needs here.  Your #4/#5 outfielders will not be elite.  I like to utilize those spots to make up for a category deficiency.  If I didn’t secure a Billy Hamilton, Dee Gordon, Jose Altuve, or Trea turner, I’ll probably go after a speed guy in the OF as one of my later picks.  If I’m short on power, I may target a 30+ HR bat that will bat .220 (think Adam Dunn).  With 5 slots to fill, there are plenty of ways to construct an outfield.  On to the rankings…

Scorching Hot (Top Tier)

I have 10 players in my top tier for outfielders.  All of these players except for Mookie Betts projects to hit at least 33 HRs.  They may not all be 5 category studs, but they’re exceptional in the things they do well.  Position rank is in (#).

(1)  Mike Trout – The best player in fantasy baseball.  Nuf said!
(2)  Bryce Harper – Over his 6 yr career, he’s only hit 30 HRs once, scored more than 100 runs once, never had a 100 RBI season, and is a career .285 hitter.  He’s getting over drafted in the top 5 based on potential.
(3)  Giancarlo Stanton – He probably has the biggest home run bat in the MLB and just went to a better home ballpark in New York.  Can he really hit more than the 59 he smashed in 2017?  Gotta stay healthy.
(4)  Charlie Blackmon – In Colorado and expecting a 30/10 season batting above .300.
(5)  Mookie Betts – He just might put up a 25/25 season and lead the AL in runs scored atop the lineup.
(6)  Aaron Judge – Is 50 HRs in his future for 2018?
(7)  George Springer – The reigning World Series champs won’t have a lack of offense, and Springer will be in the heart of it.
(8)  Jose Martinez – Can he deliver a 30/20 season?  It’ll be close and he’ll bat over .300.
(9)
  Cody Bellinger – He had a fantastic rookie campaign, but will he see a sophomore slump?
(10)  Justin Upton – Don’t write him off.  He’s not in an improved Angels lineup and should deliver a 30/10 season and close to 100 Runs and RBIs

 

Fire Bombs (Power Tier expecting 30+ HRs)

There’s plenty of power to be found in the outfield if you are willing to deal with a few shortcomings (usually batting average).  35+ HRs for any of these guys is possible.

Rhys Hoskins – I like Hoskins and expect around 35 HRs, but I typically like to see more of a track record before putting a player in the top tier.  How will the revamped lineup play out in Philly?
Khris Davis – This guy crushes the ball and should hit 40 HRs.  The A’s lineup has improved.
Marcel Ozuna – His 37 HRs last year were a career best by far.  I’m not sure that he’ll match that number, but expect 30+ with the Cardinals.
Jay Bruce – He should have another 30 HR season with the Mets.  He’s done it in 5 of the past 7 years.
Adam Duvall – The outfield in Cincinatti is crowded with Schebler, Hamilton, Duvall, and Winker.  Duvall should reach the 30 HR plateau.
Scott Schebler – See above regarding Adam Duvall.  30 HR possibility.
Kyle Schwarber – His batting average will kill you, but he should get enough playing time to amass 30 HRs.

Lightning (Speed Tier expecting 20+ SBs)

These guys may not provide much power, but they’ll definitely help some in the stolen base category.

Lorenzo Cain – He won’t wow you in any one category, but the SBs and runs can help.
Billy Hamilton – 50+ SBs are almost a lock.  So is a deficiency in RBIs and batting average.
Delino DeShields
– Looks like he’ll be leading off for the Rangers.  I can see 30 SBs and 100 Runs.
Rajai Davis – He’ll get about 30 SBs as the 4th outfielders for Cleveland.
Hernan Perez – We have to see how much playing time he’ll have after the Brewers outfield acquisitions.
Cameron Maybin – Can’t stay healthy, but he runs.
Jarrod Dyson – He will get more playing time with Souza out; expect 30 SBs

Combination Platter (Power/Speed Combo expecting 15/15)

These guys provide a little bit of power and speed to help in both categories with projected HR/SBs.

Andrew Benintendi – 20/20
Tommy Pham – 24/19
Starling Marte – 15/36
A.J. Pollock – 17/26
Eduardo Nunez – 15/28
Chris Taylor – 21/16
Byron Buxton – 20/32
Ian Desmond – 20/19
Gregory Polanco – 20/15
Brett Gardner – 15/20
Bradley Zimmer – 15/26
Michael Taylor – 19/23
Kevin Kiermaier – 18/21
Manuel Margot – 15/22
Carlos Gomez – 16/15
Keon Broxton
  19/25

Remember that my rankings (unless otherwise stated) are based on a standard 5×5 league.  Players qualify at any position where they played 20+ games in 2017.  Make sure you know your specific league’s scoring, roster size, transaction process, and any other important settings.

Shortstop Rankings – Elite 8 or Wait


Elite Eight is what I’m targeting at shortstop.  I feel that the top 8 players at the position are a cut above the rest in terms of production and/or consistency.  I’ll be happy if I can get a player from one of the top two tiers, otherwise I’ll take a chance late in the draft.  When drafting your SS and/or middle infield spots, remember that 20 HRs are what 15 HRs were in the past.  Unless you’re stealing 20+ bases, I don’t want a middle infielder with less than 20.  There’s plenty of guys that can fill the void if you miss out on the best.  On to the rankings…

Scorching Hot (Top Tier)

This is my top tier for shortstops.  There’s a handful of guys that are difference makers, and the rest can be had later in drafts.  Starting your team off with one of these 4 players will have you in a good place, but you’ll likely need to get them by the second or early third round.  Position rank is in (#).

(1)  Trea Turner – I’m a big fan of Turner.  I see 15+ HRs and 50+ SBs hitting atop the potent Nationals lineup.
(2)  Carlos Correa – At only 23 yrs old, he should hit 25+ dingers but fall short of 30.  Batting avg over .300.
(3)  Francisco Lindor – For a kid that supposedly didn’t have power, his 33 HRs in 2017 isn’t too shabby.
(4)  Corey Seager – He’s averaged 95-24-74 over the past two years.  Hopefully he’s over the nagging injuries.
Burning Bright (Second Tier)

This is my second tier for shortstops.  If you miss out on the top 4, I feel that there are 4 other guys that you can count on at shortstop.  Then there’s a drop off to the rest of the bunch that all have questions.

(5)  Alex Bregman – He’ll help in all 5 categories; possibly a 20/20 season.
(6)  Elvis Andrus – Say what you want, but the guy’s on the field and consistent.  Played at least 145 games since 2009!  Look for around 25 SBs but he’s light on power.  Don’t believe in the 20 HRs from 2017.
(7)
  Jean Segura – He should pair up with Dee Gordon atop the Mariners lineup.  Expect 15 HRs / 25 SBs with 90 runs.
(8)  Xander Bogaerts – He’s only 25, but he may never turn out to be a top tier shortstop. He’ll get you runs and a 15/15 season.
Red Embers (Other Options That I Like)

This is a group of players that I like in the late rounds to fill out my middle infield spot…

  • Didi Gregorius – Can he repeat 2017?
  • Trevor Story – He can still hit HRs at Coors Field.
  • Marwin Gonzalez – Eligible at 1B, 2B, SS, and OF.
  • Paul DeJong – Getting drafted too high, but 25 HRs is possible.
  • Orlando Arcia – He should have a 15/15 season with much more upside, especially if he moves up and out of the bottom third of the lineup.
  • Marcus Semien – Consistently underrated; expect a 20/10 season but the batting average will be bad.

Remember that my rankings (unless otherwise stated) are based on a standard 5×5 league.  Players qualify at any position where they played 20+ games in 2017.  Make sure you know your specific league’s scoring, roster size, transaction process, and any other important settings.

Third Base Rankings – Hit or Miss!


Remember that my rankings (unless otherwise stated) are based on a standard 5×5 league.  Players qualify at any position where they played 20+ games in 2017.  Make sure you know your specific league’s scoring, roster size, transaction process, and any other important settings.

Third Base is a position that I feel will be very hit or miss.  Many of the players have question marks and this includes the veterans as well as younger players.  While third base doesn’t have quite the same power products as first base, you still want to target players getting at least 25 HR, preferably 30.  On to the rankings…

Scorching Hot (Top Tier)

This is my top tier for third basemen.  These players are the clear cut studs at the position.  These guys should go 90-30-90 and bat .280+.  Position rank is in (#).

(1)  Nolan Arenado – He’s a consensus top 5 overall pick and a foundation for a fantasy team.
(2)  Kris Bryant – Averages 106-31-91 over the past 3 years, chips in about 10 SBs, and is a career .288 hitter.
(3)  Josh Donaldson – He’s not getting enough love.  Averages 103-37-100 over the past 3 years and should hit .280.
(4)  Jose Ramirez – Can he deliver a 30/20 season?  It’ll be close and he’ll bat over .300.
(5)  Manny Machado – Consistent, young, and one of the best.  He’s so good that he could be the top 3B by years end.

Burning Bright (Second Tier)

This is my second tier for second basemen.  There’s a slight drop from the top, but solid contributors that you can count on.

(6)  Anthony Rendon – He’ll give you all around production, but not quite top tier caliber.
(7)  Rafael Devers – He’s young and expected to bat in the middle of Boston’s lineup.  He could hit 30 dingers, but I’m expecting slightly less.  He has ton’s of upside.
(9)
  Alex Bregman – Another all around player.  He should deliver 80-20-80-15.
(10)  Travis Shaw – He had his first 30 HR season last year with over 500 at bats.  Will he repeat?
(11)
  Jake Lamb – He’s averaged 85-29-98 over the past 2 seasons.  You could do worse.
(12)  Eduardo Nunez – Averaging 32 SBs over the past two years and also in that same Boston lineup.
(13)  Kyle Seager – This guy is consistent, but unspectacular.  He’ll be around 80-28-90 again.
(15)  Adrian Beltre – How much does this guy have left at age 38.  20 HRs -> Maybe?  .300 hitter -> Yes!
(20)  Justin Turner – I’m expecting him to miss the first month of the season which drops him down.

Fire Bombs (Power Tier)

There’s some power to be found at 3B, but these guys may drag you down in batting average.  35+ HRs for any of these guys is possible.

(8)  Miguel Sano – He’s one of the biggest mashers at 3B.  He has yet to top 30 HRs, but has never had over 440 at bats in a season.  The power is for real, but the batting average needs to improve.
(14)  Joey Gallo – If you can stomach his low batting average (career .201), his HRs will make you happy.
(16)  Mike Moustakas – Until last year, he never hit more than 22 dingers in his first 6 seasons.  He busted out with 38 last year.  Don’t look for a repeat, but it’s obvious he’s capable.
(22)  Todd Frazier – This guy has a 40 HR season and averages 34 over the past 3 years.  Batting average killer!
(30)  Matt Chapman – He crushes the ball and his low batting average crushes that category.
(37)  Matt Davidson – See Matt Chapman above…

Hot Lottery Tickets (3B Sleepers)

(17)  Evan Longoria – I can see an 80-25-90 season; not too bad.
(21)  Ryon Healy – He’s locked down the starting 1B job in Seattle coming off of his 25 HR campaign in Oakland.
(23)  Maikel Franco – Can he return to form now that Carlos Santana has taken him under his wing?  This is a make or break season for the Phillie.  Can he reach his 30 HR potential?
(24)  Nick Senzel – This is only minor leaguer that is worth a ticket.  It won’t be long til he’s in the majors.

Second Base Rankings – Deeper Than In The Past, I’ll Wait!


Remember that my rankings (unless otherwise stated) are based on a standard 5×5 league.  Players qualify at any position where they played 20+ games in 2017.  Make sure you know your specific league’s scoring, roster size, transaction process, and any other important settings.

Second Base is a deep position, unlike in the past.  When drafting your 2B and/or middle infield spots, remember that 20 HRs are what 15 HRs were in the past.  Unless you’re stealing 20+ bases, I don’t want a middle infielder with less than 20.  There’s plenty of guys that can fill the void if you miss out on the best.  On to the rankings…

Scorching Hot (Top Tier)

This is my top tier for second basemen.  There’s a handful of guys that are difference makers, and the rest can be had later in drafts.  Starting your team off with one of these 5 players will have you in a good place, if you get them at the right price.  Position rank is in (#).

(1)  Jose Altuve – Frequently a top 2 overall pick, he’s the best at the position (and just got paid!).
(2)  Jose Ramirez – Can he deliver a 30/20 season?  It’ll be close and he’ll bat over .300.
(3)  Brian Dozier – He’s the best power hitter at 2B.  He’s averaged 35 HRs over the past 3 years.
(4)  Dee Gordon – Forget power for a minute.  He should run away with the AL stolen base crown and lead your team a high ranking in that category.
(5)  Jonathan Schoop – He’s averaged 87 runs, 28 HRs, and 93 RBIs over the past two years.  I’m higher on him than most people.

Burning Bright (Second Tier)

This is my second tier for second basemen.  There’s a slight drop from the top, but solid contributors that you can count on.

(6)  Daniel Murphy – He’s 32 and not fully recovered from knee surgery last October.  He’ll miss opening day and I’m not sure when he’ll return to form.  He’s fallen out of the top tier for me.
(7)  Robinson Cano – Since 2009, he’s only had 1 season under 20 HRs, averaging 28 over the past 3 years.  He’s a plus in 4 categories.
(8)  Rougned Odor – He’s basically gone 30 HR / 15 SB in back to back years.
(9)  Whit Merrifield – I’m not as high on Merrifield as others.  He led the AL in stolen bases last year with 34, but don’t expect a repeat of 19 HRs.  Look closer to 15 HRs.

Lightning (Speed Tier)

These guys may not provide much power, but they’ll definitely help some in the stolen base category.

(10)  Eduardo Nunez – Averaging 32 SBs over the past two years and in a potent Boston lineup.
(13)  Ozzie Albies – I think this youngster is going to have a great year and should approach 20 SBs.
(21) 
Jonathan Villar – He’s battling for a starting gig, but he’ll get about 30 stolen bases this year.
(23)  Cesar Hernandez – He should be hitting atop the Phillies lineup for now, but has Scott Kingery breathing down his neck in the minors.  HRs and RBIs are a big deficiency.
(33)  Jose Peraza – He should start at SS and could flirt with 30 SBs if he improves his OBP.

Keep Me Warm (The Rest – That I Like)

This is a group of players that I like in the late rounds to fill out my middle infield spot…

  • Chris Taylor
  • Ian Kinsler
  • Yoan Moncada
  • Ian Happ
  • Marwin Gonzalez
  • Paul DeJong
  • Jason Kipnis
  • Neil Walker

Cold As Ice (The Rest – I Don’t Like)

  • Scooter Gennett
  • Dustin Pedroia
  • Eric Sogard
  • Joe Panik
  • Brad Miller

First Base Rankings – Better Get Your Power Here!


In my first positional ranking article, I want to lay out that all rankings (unless otherwise stated) are based on a standard 5×5 league.  Players qualify at any position where they played 20+ games in 2017.  It’s important that you understand your league’s scoring, roster size, transaction process, and any other important settings.

Whether drafting for fantasy football or baseball, I’ve had the most success building tiers of players by position.  As the draft goes on, I can see by position when a “tier” of players with similar projections are getting thin.  Then a decision is to be made if I pounce on the last one of a tier, or if I need to focus on a larger positional need.  This approach helps you to have a few players to target before your draft pick comes up.  Don’t be that guy at the draft who’s constantly late with their picks and annoying everyone else.  On to the rankings…

First base is a deep position and there are sleepers and value late.  Make sure you get power numbers from this position.  If you don’t, you’ll be behind the league in this day and age of power bats.

Scorching Hot (Top Tier)

This is my top tier for first basemen; and it’s deeeeeep.  I want one of these top 8 guys on my roster.  If I miss out, then I’m going to wait in the draft to find value.  Rhys Hoskins just made the top tier as of this writing.  Position rank is in (#).

(1)  Paul Goldschmidt – He’s at the top, but falling in some drafts to the middle/late 1st round.  Snag him up and don’t worry about the “humidor” effect.
(2)  Joey Votto – Just keeps ticking.
(3)  Freddie Freeman – Looking to be a consensus top 3 1B.  He’ll do fine; even with that Braves lineup.
(4)  Anthony Rizzo – Consistently produces; and I like consistency!
(5)  Cody Bellinger – He had a fantastic rookie campaign, but will he see a sophomore slump?
(6)  Edwin Encarnacion – This guy will be a DH, but still eligible at 1B in many leagues.  He may be 35, but he’s averaged over 38 HRs over the past six years and got 42 twice!
(7)  Jose Abreu – Another consistent producer.  He’s not the biggest masher, but he’ll get you about 30 HRs and is a career .301 hitter which gets overlooked.
(8)  Rhys Hoskins – I like Hoskins and expect around 35 HRs, but I typically like to see more of a track record before putting a player in the top tier.  How will the revamped lineup play out in Philly?

Fire Bombs (Power Tier)

These guys may have deficiencies, but they can flat out mash the ball.  That often comes with a low batting average, but 40+ HRs for any of these guys is possible.

(12)  Matt Olson – This guy is undervalued and should be at the 35 HR range.  Cheap version of Cody Bellinger / Rhys Hoskins.
(13)  Joey Gallo – If you can stomach his low batting average (career .201), his HRs will make you happy.
(16)  Justin Smoak – Was the 38 HRs from 2017 all “smoak” and mirrors?  It was his first year over 30 HRs, but also his first year with 500+ at bats.
(24)  Chris Davis – In the past 5 years, he has seasons of 53, 47, and 38 HRs.  The two other years he only got 450 at bats and blasted only 26 in down years.  He’s averaged 37 over the past 3 years.  For how late you get him, it’s worth a shot.

Warm Embers (Middle Tier)

This group of guys aren’t the most exciting, but they fall outside of the top tier, are veterans, and will provide value.

(9)  Eric Hosmer – He’s not going to get you the HRs you need, but fills out other categories.
(10)  Wil Myers – He may flirt with 30 HRs and he’s one of the few 1B eligible players who will get double digit steals.
(11)  Miguel Cabrera – This perennial first round pick has fallen, probably too far.  Expect a bounce back to about 30 HRs and a .300+ batting average with better health.
(14)  Carlos Santana – The new Philly brings his veteran presence to the young lineup and should flirt with 30 dingers.
(15)  Ryan Zimmerman – He resurrected his career last year, will he repeat after 3 down years?
(17)  Matt Carpenter – Another veteran coming off of a down year.  Don’t let him slip too far.

Lottery Tickets (I Like With Potential)

This is a group of players that I like in the later rounds; let’s see what they can do…

  • Justin Bour
  • Josh Bell
  • Ryan McMahon
  • Trey Mancini
  • Logan Morrison
  • Ryon Healy
  • Greg Bird
  • J. Cron

Cold As Ice (Likely Won’t Draft)

  • Eric Thames
  • Yonder Alonso
  • Brandon Belt
  • Danny Valencia

Fantasy Football Hangover? Here’s Your Cure


Got a Fantasy Football Hangover?  Here’s Why Fantasy Baseball Could Be Your Cure…

It’s time to turn the final page on the 2017 NFL season. The Philadelphia Eagles were triumphant and every other team fell short.  The season had no lack of stories:

  • The Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers never lived up to expectations due to injuries of star players David Johnson and Aaron Rodgers
  • The Minnesota Vikings led by Case Keenum made it to the NFC Championship, and the Jacksonville Jaguars rode their opportunistic defense to the AFC Championship.
  • Rookies Kareem Hunt, Dalvin Cook, Leonard Fournette, Alvin Kamara, and Joe Mixon all showed up for their fantasy teams.

That all made for a great fantasy football season and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2018 MLB!

So it’s finally baseball season. For much of the country, we start to see the warmer weather, shorts come out of the attic or closet, we get more daylight, and there are baseball games on just about every day for 6 months. Personally, my transition to fantasy baseball is easy. Every year on the Monday after the Superbowl, we pick the fantasy baseball draft order in one of my longstanding leagues.  Then instantly, the excitement of draft day, cheat sheets, and sleepers/busts consume me.

Many people out there only play fantasy football, and are hesitant to get into the baseball realm. If you like fantasy football, you should try your luck at fantasy baseball.  This article is meant to go over some basics of the sport and hopefully give newcomers a base knowledge on what to expect.

First, let’s do a quick comparison of Fantasy Football vs Fantasy Baseball, in terms of the types of leagues that are offered, and which is best for you.

Type of League:

  • Football (Head to Head, Points): Most fantasy football leagues are head to head, points leagues and run in a very similar fashion.  You have a draft, fill you’re your roster spots with starters and bench players, and ultimately accumulate points based off of the stats that your team delivers.  In baseball, you have a choice of H2H or Roto.
  • Baseball (Head to Head, Points): This is similar to football.  Know your leagues rules and point values because every scoring system is different.  Do you lose points when your hitter strikes out?  Are stolen bases 2 points?  Do you get points if your hitter draws a walk?  In the Head 2 Head setup, you play a different team each week, the team with more points gets a win, and the team with the best records make the playoffs.  Fairly simple…
  • Baseball (Season Rotisserie): In a rotisserie league, you earn points based on how you perform in each category.  Most “Roto” leagues are 5×5, but this can be customized to any number of categories.  In a typical 5×5 league, the categories are:
    • Hitting (5 cats): Runs, RBIs, HRs, Stolen Bases, and Batting Average
    • Pitching (5 cats): Wins, Saves, Strikeouts, ERA (Earned Run Average), and WHIP (Walks+Hits/Innings Pitched)
    • If there are 10 teams, the team with best statistics over the whole season gets 10 points for that category, 2nd best gets 9 points, etc. The last place in the category will get 1 point.  If a team was tops in all 10 categories, they would have 100 points.  If a team was last in all categories, they would have 10 points.  Every other team falls somewhere in the middle.
  • Pros/Cons:
    • Head to Head Points leagues are most similar to fantasy football, as they have weekly matchups, and you either end the week with a win or loss. This does allow for more luck involved in the outcome.
    • A typical rotisserie league is cumulative over the entire season, which removes some of the week to week luck you may encounter in Head to Head. However, it is also much easier to fall out of contention half way through the baseball season.  Rotisserie leagues typically require a little more strategy than a points league.
    • There are also some leagues that are Head to Head Rotisserie.  This means that the weekly scoring is based on your performance in each category vs your opponent.  If you have more home runs than your opponent, you win that category.  Whoever wins the most categories gets a win for that week.

Time Investment:

Before you join a league, make sure that you understand how often you can change your lineup and how frequently waivers run. When I first started fantasy baseball, I was turned off by the fact of daily transactions.  Unless you are active every single day for 6 months, I would recommend a league with weekly transactions and lineup moves.  You can set your lineup once per week and just enjoy the games.

Drafting, Prospects, and Call Ups:

In the NFL, there are no minor leagues. When you do a fantasy draft, there are 32 NFL teams with starting spots and it’s a pretty finite universe.  When it comes to baseball, you need to know your prospects and when they are expected to contribute.  The player pool in baseball is much larger and provides plenty of players with potential.  That will also impact where you will draft “the next Bryce Harper”.  If you use a high draft pick on a player that doesn’t make the major league roster out of spring training, you may have to wait for a May/June call up.  It’s a balance of risk/reward and baseball has many more moving parts than football. Whether fantasy football or baseball, one thing is consistent with drafting: “You can’t win your league in the first round, but you can certainly lose it!”  I’m a firm believer in this.  You absolutely have to take some chances when drafting, but most of my chances will be after the 6th round or so.  And I will avoid injury prone players the same way because I need my core players on the field.

Make sure to come back and visit The Fantasy Sports Addiction website for position rankings, cheat sheets, and information to help you win your draft and your league.  Good luck to everyone this year!

NFL Week 5 Fantasy Impact


To win a fantasy championship, you need to be active on the waiver wire.  You need to know which players are truly waiver wire gems and which ones are a flash in the pan that you should pass on.  There are a few fundamental questions you should ask yourself before making moves:

  • What are my positional needs?

If you already have 6 RBs on your roster, you probably don’t need to pick up another.  Be aware of your depth.  Look at your players’ upcoming bye weeks so you know how your lineup will shake out in those crucial weeks.

  • What do I need from this player addition?

Obviously, we need that player to perform, but you need to understand if you have a short term or long term need.  If you just need a bye week replacement at QB, Brian Hoyer may be better for Week 6.  If your QB goes down for the year and need someone more steady, you may want to look at Alex Smith.

  • Do I have any dead weight?

If you have players on your roster that aren’t performing, and you don’t expect them to turn it around, then cut them.  Take a flyer on a high potential player, someone coming back from injury in a few weeks, or a backup RB in case of injury.

Here is what I see on the Waiver Wire landscape going into Week 6…

Waiver Wire – Buy or Pass

Buy

Sammie Coates – Coates is usually good for a big play or two, but has problems with drops dating back to college.  He’s a decent add on a potent Steelers passing attack, but he’s not a PPR machine.

Chris Hogan – Now that Tom Brady is back, the whole offense gets an upgrade.  He won’t have big games every week, but in that passing attack you can never count one out.

Jacquizz Rodgers – He went over 100 yards without Doug Martin active and looks to get work whenever Martin is out.  I expect Rodgers to fill Sims role as the receiving back even when Martin plays.

Jeremy Kerley – I’ve never been a Kerley fan, but he’s getting utilized in San Francisco.  Kerley (8-102-1 on 14 targets) has scored in 2 straight games and seems to have decent chemistry with Blaine Gabbert.  The only problem is the 49ers are toying with the idea of bringing Colin Kaepernick back as the starter.

James Starks – Lacy went down with an ankle injury but it’s not believed to be serious.  If you’re a Lacy owner, this should be your reminder that you need to roster Starks no matter what.  When Lacy doesn’t play, Starks always gets the full workload.

Eddie Royal – Alshon Jeffery is struggling and Royal is benefiting.  Royal’s worth a look in PPR leagues.

Tyrell Williams – I like Williams if you need a steady WR4.  He’s had at least 60 yards in 4 of 5 games and 5+ catches in 3 of 5.

Brian Hoyer – Hoyer has been great in his short stint as the starter and Cutler may not get his job back.  I don’t trust Hoyer as my starter for the year, but I like Hoyer if you need a fill-in for a week or two.

Donte Moncrief – He was supposed to be the 2nd receiver on a potent Colts offense, but suffered shoulder injury in Week 2 with the initial prognosis of 4-6 weeks.  He’s now 3 weeks in and could be nearing a return shortly.  If you’re in need at WR and he’s unowned, keep him on your radar because you won’t want to miss out on his production come Week 8 through the fantasy playoffs.

Justin Forsett / Dwayne Washington – The Detroit Lions have Theo Riddick, but they don’t really want to use him as an every down back.  You can take a flyer on Washington hoping that he comes back from injury and takes the lead RB job.  The Lions also just signed veteran Justin Forsett which is intriguing.

Quincy Enunwa – Like Tyrell Williams, he’s a steady WR4.  He’s had at least 50 yards in 4 of 5 games and is averaging nearly 8 targets per game.

Tavon Austin – Austin has big play ability, but the Rams offense is a mess.  He’s seen at least 8 targets in 4 of 5 games and chipped in 20+ yards rushing in 2 of 5.  He’s not a great option, but you could do worse to round out your bench.

Pass

Cameron Meredith – He’ll have a decent game or two, but I’m not wasting my time.  Of everyone on the pass list, he at least has a shot to be decent.

Dontrelle Inman – Week 4’s “one week wonder” fell back to earth with 1 catch in Week 5.

Adam Thielen – And for the surprise of the week, Adam Thielen (7-127-1 on 8 targets) led the Vikings in receiving with Stefon Diggs absent.  Thielen isn’t worth your time; Diggs will be back soon enough.

Oakland RBs (Excluding L. Murray) – In Latavius Murray’s absence, the workload was split and nobody stepped up.  DeAndre Washington (9-23), Jalen Richard (8-31), and Jamize Olawale (6-22-1).  There’s too much uncertainty in this backfield outside of Murray.

Week 5 – Aerial Attack

Tom Brady / Martellus Bennett – Welcome back Tom Brady!  He looked in midseason form on Sunday going 28/40 for 406 yards and 3 TDs with no picks.  Brady loved his TEs in this one as Rob Gronkowski (5-109 on 7 targets) went over 100 yards and Martellus Bennett (6-67-3 on 8 targets) scored 3 TDs.  Chris Hogan (4-114 on 5 targets) also went over 100 yards.

Ben Roethlisberger / Sammie Coates – The weather is getting colder in Pittsburgh so Big Ben pulled out his Coates in this one.  Ben was 34/47 for 380 yards with 4 TDs.  Sammie Coates (6-139-2 on 11 targets) dropped a ton of crucial passes but managed to catch 2 TDs.  He better work on his drops if he wants Roethelisberger to continue to look his way.

Derek Carr / Amari Cooper – Carr (25/40, 317 yards with 2 TDs / 1 Int) went over 300 yards against the Chargers and finally found his #1 WR for a solid game.  This was Amari Cooper’s (6-138-1 on 12 targets) best game of the year with his 1st TD and topping 100 yards for only the 2nd time.  Michael Crabtree (3-47-1 on 7 targets) also scored again.  I said last week to buy low on this guy; this week may be your last chance.

Brian Hoyer / Cameron Meredith – And just like last week, of course everyone expected this…  This time it was Cameron Meredith (9-130-1 on 12 targets), not Eddie Royal (7-43 on 9 targets) who shined for his QB.  Brian Hoyer may have won the QB job outright, even when Jay Cutler comes back from his thumb injury.  Hoyer was 33/43 for 397 yards with 2 TDs and no picks.  Hoyer has thrown for over 300 yards with 2 TDs and no Ints in his last three games!  He has a juicy matchup against Jacksonville this week, but then they are @GB and home against Min before his Week 9 bye.

Philip Rivers / Travis Benjamin / Tyrell Williams – Philip Rivers (21/30 for 359 yards with 4 TDs / 2 Ints) continues to impress and had his 3rd straight 300 yard game and has thrown 4 TDs in 2 of his last 4 games.  Travis Benjamin (7-117-0 on 11 targets) and Tyrell Williams (5-117-1 on 6 targets) both had 117 yards receiving with Williams also snagging a TD.  Rivers will spread the ball around and remain a QB1 for this year.  As for the WRs, you never know which one will put up stats.  Dontrelle Inman (1-3 on 3 targets) disappeared after last week’s 100 yard performance.

Andrew Luck / T.Y. Hilton – Andrew Luck abused the Chicago Bears secondary for 322 yards and 2 TDs.  T.Y. Hilton (10-171-1 on 11 targets) has scored in 3 straight games and received at least 10 targets in each game this year.

Brandon Marshall – Marshall (8-114-1) saw a whopping 15 targets against a subpar Steelers defense and scored a TD.  He’s now scored in back-to-back games and has seen his targets increase each week.  The recent spike is due to Eric Decker being sidelined, but he’s seen at least 8 targets in every game.

Greg Olsen – Greg Olsen (9-181-0 on 13 targets) helped Derek Anderson in the passing attack this week with Cam Newton out.  Olsen is without question a top 3 TE.

Larry Fitzgerald – With Drew Stanton under center, I didn’t expect a big game from Fitzgerald (6-81-2 on 8 targets) and boy was I wrong.  Fitz scored twice and now has 5 on the season.  On the downside, he’s yet to top 100 yards receiving.

Week 5 – Ground Breakers

David Johnson – On Thursday, David Johnson (27-157-2 and 3-28 on 6 targets) showed why he was such a high draft pick.  This was his first 100 yard game, but he does have 5 TDs on the season.

Ezekiel Elliott – This guy seems to be on this list every week!  Elliott (15-134-2 and 3-37) had another big game and now leads the NFL in carries and rushing yards.

Le’Veon Bell – Bell (20-66-0 and 9-88 on 11 targets) had a tough time in the running game, but showed up as a receiver.  Bell gets one of the biggest workloads in the leagues so he’ll always put up stats one way or another.

LeSean McCoy – McCoy (18-150-0 and 2-8) had a big game against a tough Rams defense.  The Bills are now hitting their stride; they have San Francisco at home and are at Miami the next two weeks.

Theo Riddick – Riddick (11-49 and 6-33-2 on 6 targets) was mediocre but did catch 2 TDs and led the team in carries.  Riddick is the only back making a fantasy impact right now, but Zack Zenner (7-9) did steal some carries.

Injury Report (And Replacements)

Trevor Siemian (Shoulder) – Siemian is expected to return for the Broncos Week 6 game at San Diego on Thursday.  I don’t think I can start him this week, but he does have a juicy matchup.

Tony Romo (Back) – Romo is undergoing another MRI on his back and it’s possible that he returns after the Cowboy’s Week 7 bye.  There’s also talk that he may not even get the starting gig back, but Jerry Jones denies those rumors.

Cam Newton (Concussion) – Cam is questionable for Week 6 with a concussion.

Carson Palmer (Concussion) – As of now, Palmer is still listed as questionable for Week 6 with a concussion, but he’s expected to clear the NFL’s concussion protocol on Tuesday.

Eddie Lacy (Ankle) – Lacy was having a good game before he injured his ankle in the 3rd quarter; he’s questionable for Week 6 vs. Dallas.  The injury is not serious, but James Starks is always a must have for Lacy owners.

Jeremy Hill (Chest) – Hill reinjured his shoulder/chest and did not finish the game on Sunday.  He’s questionable for Week 6 at New England but initial reports are that he’s expected to play.  Bump up Giovani Bernard a few spots.

Latavius Murray (Turf Toe) – Murray missed Week 5’s game and the work was split between DeAndre Washington (9-23 and 5-29), Jalen Richard (8-31 and 6-66), and Jamize Olawale (6-22-1).  Murray is questionable for Week 6 vs. Kansas City but the team is hopeful he can play.

Doug Martin (Hamstring) / Charles Sims (IR – Knee) – Both Doug Martin and Charles Sims missed Monday night’s game against Carolina and Sims was placed on IR.  Jacquizz Rodgers (30-101-0 and 5-28 on 6 targets) led the way in Week 6.  Rodgers is the new Sims.

Rashad Jennings (Thumb) – Jennings is still questionable to play this week.  In his absence in Week 5, Orleans Darkwa got 7 carries, Bobby Rainey got 5, and Paul Perkins got 2.  Rainey also caught 6 balls and has become the new Shane Vereen.

Jonathan Stewart (Hamstring) – Questionable for Week 6.  In Week 5, Cameron Artis-Payne (18-85-2) and Fozzy Whittaker (5-45) shared the workload.

Arian Foster (Hamstring) – Questionable for Week 6.

Jeremy Langford (Ankle) – Langford has missed the past 2 weeks and may not have a job when he gets back.  Jordan Howard has back-to-back 100 yard games and has been giving the Bears a chance to win.

Thomas Rawls (Lower Leg) – Rawls is out for Week 6 vs. Atlanta.  Christine Michael will continue to fill in.

Randall Cobb (Neck) – Cobb took a nasty hit to his head/neck on Sunday.  He’s listed as questionable, but appears to be okay and expects to play Week 6 vs. Dallas.

Steve Smith (Ankle) – Smith left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury.  He’s questionable for week 6.

Dez Bryant (Knee) – Bryant is questionable for Week 6, but there’s a good possibility he sits this one out.  Dallas has a Week 7 bye and they do not want to rush back their star receiver.  Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, and Brice Butler will need to fill in if he’s out again.

Eric Decker (Shoulder) – Decker is questionable for Week 6.  Quincy Enunwa would get the start opposite Brandon Marshall.

Stefon Diggs (Groin) – Diggs missed Week 5 but will hopefully be recovered from his groin injury after his Week 6 bye.

Mike Wallace (Undisclosed) – Wallace got crumpled on the last play of the game on Sunday.  He’s questionable for Week 6.

Terrance Williams (Shoulder) – It’s believed that Williams suffered a sprained AC joint.  He’s optimistic that he won’t miss any time, but we’ll have to see how he progresses at practice this week.

Gary Barnidge (Ankle) – Barnidge suffered an ankle injury, but it doesn’t appear to be serious.  He’s questionable for Week 6.

Tyler Eifert (Back) – Eifert is questionable to make his season debut in Week 6 at New England.

Words of Wisdom

When it comes to lineup decisions, play your studs.  You should only utilize matchups and surrounding circumstances when comparing two players on a similar tier.  I’m not starting Terrance West @NYG over Mark Ingram vs. Carolina.  West may still put up better stats at the end of the day, but you drafted Ingram for a reason.  I’d rather lose with my studs than take a chance on a lesser player having a good day because of matchup.

Week 6 is right around the corner with the San Diego Chargers hosting the Denver Broncos on Thursday.  It should be a good one!

NFL Week 4 Fantasy Impact


So what have we learned now that we are a quarter of the way through the NFL season?

  • Passing OffenseMatt Ryan and Drew Brees lead the two most prolific passing offenses in the league, averaging over 300 yards per game. Ben Roethlisberger is tied with Ryan for the league lead in passing TDs with 11 (Brees has 10).
  • Rushing Offense – You can believe that Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL in rushing (412), but Isaiah Crowell is a close #2 with 394 yards and 3 TDs! Melvin Gordon leads the league with 6 rushing TDs.
  • Receiving – It’s not a stretch to see Julio Jones leading the league in receiving yards with 488, but Marvin Jones is a close #2 with 482. A.J. Green leads the league in receptions with 32 and is 3rd in yards with 468.  Five receivers are averaging a TD per game (A.Brown, Nelson, Crabtree, K.Benjamin, A.Robinson).   Greg Olsen and Jordan Reed are top three in receptions and yards for TEs.

Now here’s the rest of the week 4 fantasy recap…

Week 4 Aerial Attack


Matt Ryan / Julio Jones
– What a day!!!  Ryan topped 500 yards passing and Jones topped 300 receiving!  Jones (12-300-1 on 15 targets) put up the first 300 yard receiving day since Calvin Johnson did it in 2013. Matty Ice was 28/37 for 503 yards with 4 TDs and 1 Int.  Matt Ryan is having a career year, but remember it’s only been 4 games.  He won’t keep up this pace, but could be a top 5 QB this year.

Ben Roethlisberger / Antonio Brown – Ben and Brown rebounded well from their blowout loss to the Eagles last week and manhandled the Chiefs.  Ben was an efficient 22/27 for 300 yards and 5 TDs.  Brown (4-64-2 on 5 targets) didn’t have his typical workload, but he made his looks count with 2 TDs.

Derek Carr / Michael Crabtree – Carr is continuing to progress in his 3rd year in the league.  Carr only put up 199 yards passing, but he threw 4 TDs with no Ints and three of them went to Crabtree.  Crabtree (7-88-3 on 12 targets) has been the best WR on the Raiders this year, but I sure am not giving up on Amari Cooper.  If anything, I’m trying to buy low on him.

Brian Hoyer / Eddie Royal – Of course everyone expected this…  Eddie Royal (7-111-1 on 7 targets) led the receivers on this day.  In place of Jay Cutler, Hoyer was 28/36 for 302 yards and 2 TDs.  I like Royal as a waiver wire pickup this week.  Kevin White was placed on IR, the Bears are going to need to throw no matter what, and Alshon Jeffrey is not a poster child of health.

Philip Rivers / Dontrelle Inman – Inman (7-120-1 on 11 targets) was the main cog in the passing game this week.  Rivers was 28/43 for 321yards with 2 TDs and 1 Int.  It appears that any of Inman, Travis Benjamin (4-48-0 on 7 targets), and Tyrell Williams (5-40-0 on 8 targets) can be the go to receiver in any given week.

Andy Dalton / A.J. Green – Green (10-173-1 on 12 targets) put up a monster night on Thursday and won many fantasy games for his owners.  Dalton was 22/31 for 296 yards and a TD.  Right now, A.J. Green is in the top 3 WR conversation, not Odell Beckham.

Russell Wilson / Jimmy Graham – There was a Jimmy Graham (6-113-0 on 8 targets) sighting this week, practically his first since becoming a Seahawk.  Wilson was 23/32 for 309 yards and 3 TDs.  If Graham is healthy and they continue to target him in the passing game, he’ll be a TE1.  I need to see a few more games like this to believe.

John Brown – What a coming out party for John Brown.  Brown (10-144-0) led the team in targets with 16 while Larry Fitzgerald (5-62-0) and Michael Floyd (3-36-1) had 7 each.  Fitzgerald is clearly Carson Palmer’s #1 target, but not so much when Palmer’s not under center.  Brown and Floyd will have a few big games, but a lot of duds too.

Steve Smith – Is this a sign of things to come?  Smith (8-111-1 on 11 targets) showed up in a big way and wants to pick up where he left off in 2015.  He’s a good waiver wire add if available because he’s proven he can be a game-breaker.

Jordan Reed – Reed (9-73-2 on 10 targets) was the man for the Redskins this week and is pushing to be the #1 TE in fantasy football.

Week 4 Ground Breakers


Le’Veon Bell
– Welcome back Bell!  And he paid dividends to his fantasy owners that have waited him out.  Bell (18-144-0 and 5-34 on 6 targets) led the running attack as DeAngelo Williams took more of a reserve role.  Bell’s electric!!!

Ezekiel Elliott – Elliott (23-138-1 and 1 catch for 19 yards) had another big game and it looks like he’ll live up to his potential as a top 5 RB.

DeMarco Murray – Murray (25-95-2 and 2-24) didn’t go over 100 yards but came close and scored 2 TDs.  Murray is showing that he still has something left in the tank and has been a solid RB1 so far this year.

Terrence West – West (21-113-1) was the lead back in week 4 and performed well.  Justin Forsett was inactive for the game and the team has since cut him.  Kenneth Dixon will be returning from injury and it will be interesting to see how this backfield plays out.  West is a low end option because of lack of job security.  Dixon (and Buck Allen) has a lot of hype, but I don’t think I can trust this backfield until the Ravens find a true lead back.

Jordan Howard – Howard (23-111-0 and 3-21 on 4 targets) seems to have filled the role of injured Jeremy Langford pretty well.  Howard got all the rushing load other than 3 carries to recently signed Joique Bell.

Isaiah Crowell – Crowell (15-112-1 and 3-22 receiving on 4 targets) led the browns in rushing again this week.  “The Crow” has had two 100 yard games and scored a TD in 3 of 4.  The Browns stink but somehow Crowell is still putting up stats.

Matt Jones – It was clearly Jones’ backfield in week 4.  Jones (22-117-1 and 2-21) carried the ball 22 times while Chris Thompson and Rob Kelly combined for 4.  I still don’t feel that his job is secure, but it was nice to see Jones have a good day and he keeps the starting gig another day.

Melvin Gordon – This guy is a TD machine in 2016 after not scoring a single one in his rookie year.  Gordon (19-36-2 and 6-43 on 7 targets) wasn’t very efficient with only 36 yards on a big workload, but it was nice to see him also used in the passing game.  He’s a solid RB2.

John Kuhn – Didn’t expect to see him on the list did ya?!?!?  Kuhn had a whopping 3 carries for 5 yards and 2 catches for 7 yards.  Why is he on this list???  He punched in 2 TDs on the ground and one in the air.  Don’t expect a repeat performance this year, but he could cut into Mark Ingram’s short yardage/goal line work moving forward.

Injury Report (And Replacements)


Cam Newton (Concussion)
– Cam is questionable with a concussion he suffered on his short yardage TD run.  If he’s not cleared to play, Derek Anderson will be under center.

Carson Palmer (Concussion) – Palmer suffered a concussion and is already ruled out for week 5.  Drew Stanton will start against the 49ers.  I’m benching Larry Fitzgerald in my lineups where possible, but I think Michael Floyd could put up some stats with Stanton this week.

Latavius Murray (Toe) – It’s doubtful that Murray suits up this week.  Look for DeAndre Washington to lead the backfield against San Diego and he’s a decent bye week replacement.

Doug Martin (Hamstring) – It looks like Doug Martin will be held out of action until after the Tampa Bay’s week 6 bye. Charles Sims will carry the load and Jacquizz Rodgers will also chip in.

Rashad Jennings (Thumb) – Jennings is still 50/50 to play this week.  Orleans Darkwa was the lead back last week, but boy did Paul Perkins look good!  It will be interesting to see how this backfield looks in a few weeks, but I’m staying away for now.

Jonathan Stewart (Hamstring) – Questionable for week 5.

Arian Foster (Hamstring) – Questionable for week 5.

Dez Bryant (Knee) – Bryant is expected to miss week 5 and is week-to-week with a hairline fracture.  Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, and Brice Butler will likely be the WRs for Dallas.

Eric Decker (Shoulder) – Decker is questionable for week 5.  Quincy Enunwa would be the beneficiary if he doesn’t play and is a decent play against a poor Steelers pass defense.

Tyler Eifert (Back) – Just as Eifert was making progress to make his 2016 debut, he came up lame with a back injury at Monday’s practice.  His status for week 5 is up in the air again.  My patience as an Eifert owner is wearing thin!!!

Antonio Gates (Hamstring) – Gates is back at practice and it looks like he has a good shot at playing this week.  TE Hunter Henry will take a hit in his production if Gates returns.

Zach Miller (Ribs) – Questionable for week 5.

Words of Wisdom

We’re almost a third of the way through our fantasy seasons, but now our team depths will come into play with bye weeks coming in full force.  There are four teams on bye in week 5 (Sea, NO, Jax, and KC) and six teams on bye in week 8.  It’s extremely important to bolster your bench depth before you’re players are off.  It’s great to have speculative picks on your team for those boom or bust players, or backups waiting in the wings, but it’s also important to have some depth with players that actually get playing time.  Look for one week injury replacements if possible, like Orleans Darkwa (12-48-1) this week in place of Rashad Jennings.  And sometimes we have to start a team’s #2 RB in our fantasy lineups due to our injuries and bye weeks.  Here are a few #2’s to consider simply because they get some guaranteed volume:

  • Tevin Coleman (Devonta Freeman)
  • Matt Asiata (Jerick McKinnon)
  • Giovani Bernard (Jeremy Hill)
  • Duke Johnson (Isaiah Crowell)
  • Bilal Powell (Matt Forte)
  • Derrick Henry (DeMarco Murray)
  • DeAndre Washington (Latavius Murray)
  • Wendell Smallwood (Ryan Mathews)

Good luck in Week 5!!!