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Booms and Busts - Starts and Sits for Week 7 Lineups

Week 6 in the NFL brought what may be one of the cleanest weeks of action to begin the season. With no catastrophic injuries affecting teams for the remainder of the year, the play on the field seemed to settle in as the more well-known players performed up to par. With big weeks from Derrick Henry and Julio Jones, along with others, it felt like all was right with the world. Now the question will be can they keep it up, or will we go back to the wild and wacky guessing game that is fantasy football?

Now that we are six weeks into the NFL season the crystal ball is becoming more clear. The cream always rises to the top and talent always finds a way. Which is what we are seeing if you look at positional rankings over the first six weeks. Players like Alvin Kamara and DeAndre Hopkins find themselves in their rightful places. But of course, there are outliers like Josh Allen and Robby Anderson taking full advantage of plus matchups to begin the season and it reflects in their rankings. The guessing game of the early parts of the fantasy season is out the window now and looking at matchups breeds success. Knowing which players are set up for big games while knowing which players are in for tough days and require benching is key for fantasy managers. With several weeks of data at our disposal, sifting through to set optimal lineups should be fairly easy.

Knowing positive and negative matchups is vitally important to a manager's success. That is what we provide for you here with the Woos and Boos of Week 7. I take a look at those under the radar plays that should be considered starting options for the week, while also pointing out the household names that could be in for disappointing weeks based on tough matchups.

 

Week 7 Woos

Matthew Stafford @ Atlanta Falcons

The beneficiary of "Who plays the Falcons?" this week will be Stafford. He has been an up-and-down performer to begin the season and is valued as a QB2 most weeks. But the offense has been without a fully healthy Kenny Golladay and the passing offense was struggling without him. Now with Golladay back, the Lions will be facing the worst defense in fantasy in points allowed to opposing quarterbacks (29.9 FPPG). The defense has continued to play horribly, allowing at least three touchdowns in each game except one (Week 5). Look for that to continue this week as the Stafford/Golladay connection is primed for a big day.

David Johnson vs. Green Bay Packers

I'm usually not one to promote playing David Johnson as I'm not very high on him as a fantasy player. But coming off a solid RB1 week against the Titans he is set up for success yet again in Week 7. He will be facing a Packers Defense that next to last in points allowed to the position (28.0 FPPG) and allows 6.8 FP over the average in scoring. They have had back-to-back weeks allowing multiple touchdowns to opposing RBs and we all saw what Ronald Jones did to this defense. Now the multi-faceted Johnson will get his turn and could turn in yet another RB1 scoring week for fantasy managers.

Tee Higgins vs. Cleveland Browns

Higgins continues to shine each week as the targets have been consistent since Week 3. He seems to be a big play waiting to happen as he is currently top-20 in air yards (525) and deep targets (9). This week he will look to take advantage of a Browns Defense that is near the bottom in points allowed to the position (30.5 FPPG). With the Bengals having plenty of weapons to cover on defense, Higgins should be able to see single coverage all day and I would count on another score in this matchup. I view him as a WR3 going into the week with WR2 upside and should be starting in all lineups.

Logan Thomas vs. Dallas Cowboys

Thomas re-emerged from his vanishing act in Week 6 as he found the end-zone for the first time since Week 1. There could be some sort of rapport between him and Kyle Allen as Thomas recorded a season-high 42 yards on four targets, finishing as TE9 on the week. This week he will look to take advantage of the porous Cowboys Defense, which is currently allowing 9.5 FPPG to the position. Thomas is the perfect candidate to start for managers that like to stream the position.

 

Week 7 Boos

Drew Brees vs. Carolina Panthers

My how the mighty have fallen. What used to be a perennial top-5 QB, Brees has been able to muster only two QB1 finishes on the season. He ranks 20th in passing yards (1,331) and 28th in air yards (1,010), showing that there is an unwillingness to take the shot down the field for the big play. This week could yet again be a struggle facing a Panthers Defense that is one of the best in the league in points allowed to the QB (14.6 FPPG). With Michael Thomas again in question for this offense in Week 7, starting Brees could be a risky proposition for fantasy managers.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire @ Denver Broncos

There are multiple factors here in play as I look at Edwards-Helaire for Week 7. Most fantasy managers will be starting him, or in a position to have to start him. But with Le'Veon Bell set to make his team debut, and facing a very stout Broncos run defense (12.1 FPPG, best in the league), Edwards-Helaire could struggle to find consistency. Sure, he recorded an RB1 finish a week ago (his first since Week 1) and is currently second in rushing yards (505). But he ranks just 16th in yards-per-carry (4.6) and 14th in evaded tackles (25). Look for the sure-tackling Broncos to bring him down early, eliminating his chances to get to the second level. He still will be played by fantasy managers in Week 7, but be sure to temper expectations.

Allen Robinson @ Los Angeles Rams

Robinson, bad quarterback play aside, remains the WR9 on the season. He requires plenty of targets to do his damage in matchups as his ability to get into the end-zone has just not been there (two TDs on the season). He is fourth in the league in receptions (40), third in air yards (674) but just 23rd in scoring. Expecting a quality start from him against a tough Rams secondary (16.3 FPPG, best in fantasy) will be a bit much to ask. He is another player that fantasy managers will be in a position to have to play, but the likelihood that he scores well enough to help you win will be minimal.

Tyler Higbee vs. Chicago Bears

Higbee has been by and large a disappointment for fantasy managers to begin the 2020 season. Aside from his three-score game in Week 2, he has not found the end-zone. The other statistics are not kind to him either. He ranks 21st in targets (21), 26th in routes ran (105), and 25th in red-zone targets (3). All showing a player that is inconsistently used in an offense that ranks 29th in the league in pass plays per game. This week he faces a tough road yet again as the Rams face a Bears Defense that allows just 7.8 FPPG to opposing TEs. With the poor play to begin the season, Higbee could be a player that most fantasy managers should be benching this week and use the waiver wire to stream a better matchup.



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Booms and Busts - Surprise Starts and Sits for Week 6 Lineups

The hits keep on coming during the 2020 season of fantasy football. Each week that passes by seems to bring yet another major talent crashing down due to injury. This past week it was Dak Prescott that was lost for the season with a broken ankle. As much as this injury affects the outlook for the Dallas Cowboys, it is equally devastating for his managers in fantasy. Even with as deep as the quarterback position is viewed, an injury to a player the caliber of Prescott can be a catastrophic loss. The safety of having that spot filled every week is taken away and sends managers scrambling for a replacement. That replacement can come from a trade or most likely via the waiver wire. These types of moves bring strategy into play more for fantasy managers. As decisions now must be made more from a matchup standpoint as opposed to just plugging the player into the starting lineup.

After the first five weeks of the season, managers have a better understanding of good and bad matchups to take advantage of. The better defenses around the league are obvious, which can open the door for those under the radar plays against poor competition. At the beginning of the 2020 season, no one could have predicted the likes of Mike Davis and Travis Fulgham setting the fantasy world on fire, but here we are. It's what can make this game fun, while also make it maddening. The constant battle between who is good enough to be in the lineup and who should be left on the bench for the week. One wrong decision could be the difference between a win or a loss. Ultimately making that decision the difference between making the playoffs or not.

Knowing positive and negative matchups is vitally important to a manager's success. That is what we provide for you here with the Woos and Boos of Week 6. I take a look at those under the radar plays that should be considered starting options for the week, while also pointing out the household names that could be in for disappointing weeks based on tough matchups.

Week 6 Woos

Kirk Cousins vs. Atlanta Falcons

You always have to question yourself when you're high on a QB that has not put up a QB1 performance since the first week of the season. That is where we are with Kirk Cousins. But facing a Falcons Defense that is the worst in points allowed to the position (30.5 FPPG) can do wonders for a player's performance. In fact, the Falcons have surrendered at least four scores to opposing QBs in all but one game. Add in the possibility of Dalvin Cook missing this game and you could see Cousins put together his best game of the season. If you are looking for a QB this week with Russell Wilson and Drew Brees on bye, look no further than Kirk Cousins.

David Montgomery @ Carolina Panthers

Montgomery has struggled to get it going in 2020 with three of his five games finishing outside the top-30 in scoring at the position. But look for that to change in Week 6 as he faces a Panthers Defense that has been run all over to start the season. They are third in the league in points allowed to opposing RBs (27.4 FPPG) giving up at least one score in each game. Even though his rushing totals have been suspect, Montgomery has been picking up the slack in the receiving game (seven receptions in Week 5). If he can put it all together in Week 6, Montgomery is a lock to finish as an RB1.

Preston Williams vs. New York Jets

After weeks of disappointing results, Williams finally put together a solid effort in Week 5 (four receptions for 106 yards and a score). The production has yet to fully click, but he is top-10 in average depth of target (15.8) and inside the top-30 in air yards (348). Something has to give and that should be this week in a plus matchup against a very subpar Jets Defense that is allowing 23.8 FPPG to opposing wideouts. With the Dolphins offense playing well in recent weeks, take a shot with Williams as your WR3 in Week 6.

Austin Hooper @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Hooper started his Browns career very slowly with subpar performances during the first few weeks. But he has picked up the pace with back-to-back games with five receptions each. Even with the slow start, he is top-12 at the position with 17 catches on the year (speaking to how poor the position has been this year). Although the matchup may not be the best in Week 6 against the Steelers (5.7 FPPG allowed), you have to ride the hot hand if you are in need at the position. With the Browns possibly playing from behind in this game, Hooper may find himself as a vital piece to the makeup effort. Managers that like to stream the position could use Hooper as a valuable fill-in for Week 6.

 

Week 6 Boos

Tom Brady vs. Green Bay Packers

Brady's performances have been like clockwork to start the 2020 season. If the matchup is good, he has performed well. In three plus-matchups, he has three QB1 finishes. In two tough matchups, his best finish is QB19. That could be the case in Week 6, facing a Packers Defense that is 20th in the league allowing just 18.6 FPPG to the position. With other QBs out there with better matchups (Cousins, Fitzpatrick), managers may want to look elsewhere in Week 6 to fill this position in their starting lineups.

Joe Mixon @ Indianapolis Colts

Obviously, you will be starting Mixon in your lineups due to the workload he gets on a week-in-week-out basis (first in opportunity share at 85.5% and second in carries with 101). On the season, he has just one RB1 finish (RB1 in Week 4) with all other performances outside the top-24. Facing a stout Colts Defense will not help matters either (only 13.5 FPPG allowed). Managers must adjust expectations for this matchup as he will be likely starting for most due to lack of depth. But expecting an RB1 finish might be a stretch for Week 6.

Robby Anderson vs. Chicago Bears

One of the bright spots early during the 2020 season, Anderson has risen to become a weekly staple in fantasy starting lineups. He has been the most targeted receiver for Teddy Bridgewater, ranking third in the league in receptions (36) and fourth in yardage (490). But what has been hurting him is the lack of scoring (one touchdown back in Week 1). That could be the case yet again this week facing a Bears Defense that has allowed just one touchdown to opposing wideouts on the season (Mike Evans in Week 5). This may be a week for managers to look elsewhere to fill their WR3 role in the starting lineup.

Zach Ertz vs. Baltimore Ravens

Talk about disappointing and you have to look at the performance of Ertz to begin this season. The targets have been there (35) and he is first in routes run at the position (194). But the production has yet to catch up as he is 22nd in yardage (145) and has found the end-zone just once. Don't look for that to change in Week 6 as he faces the tough Ravens Defense that is currently allowing just 7.7 FPPG to the position. Ertz is a player that most owners keep in their lineups because of who he is, but until the production picks up you must continue to temper expectations.



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Week 6 Fantasy Preview- Woos and Boos

RotoBaller fantasy football analyst Brandon Murchison is joined by co-host Nick Hefley in a new episode of WooFantasy! In this episode, the guys talk about the latest in player news and round-up the latest on the injury front. Also, the famed Woos and Boos segment goes through each game and provides you with the name that should be in and out of your lineups.

Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well!

Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210, XM 87) - every weekday morning between 6-7 AM ET, and every weekend morning from 6-8 am ET as well. You can also find new weekly shows on the site under RotoBaller Radio podcasts.

 

Week 6 Fantasy Football Preview

Plenty of things to discuss this week! How will the injury to Dak Prescott affect the Cowboys offense for the remainder of the year? The Chiefs backfield now has Le'Veon Bell in the mix. How will the touches shake out between he and Clyde Edwards-Helaire? Can the players like Mike Davis and Travis Fulgham continue their hot streaks? This and MUCH MORE!

Players discussed in this episode include:

Thanks for listening to today's episode! Be sure to tune in throughout the week, and to also follow RotoBaller on Twitter, YouTube and iTunes for the latest fantasy news and analysis.

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Booms and Busts - Surprise Starts and Sits for Week 5 Lineups

We are a quarter of the way through the NFL season and the major storyline continues to be the mounting injuries across the league. It seems as though each week there are several new injuries to vital producers in fantasy football. This is causing managers to traverse the waiver wire and reconstruct their rosters much sooner than they have in years previous. This has opened the door for some under the radar players to move of the rankings on the season. Players like James Robinson, Jerrick McKinnon, and Robby Anderson all find themselves ranked inside the top-12 at their respective positions. Something that we are seeing quite a bit of as the voids left by injuries must be filled by someone.

As you can imagine, the void left from injuries to studs in fantasy football leaves managers with tougher decisions to be made with start/sits each week. Instead of "sitting and forgetting" the starters, now more forethought must be put into decisions. This means paying closer attention to matchups that can affect a player's potential output. A player could be deemed a no-brainer start most weeks, but with a certain matchup, his value could be diminished, opening the door for a player on your bench. With how frustrating the 2020 season has been thus far, every avenue should be exhausted for fantasy managers to put forth their most optimal lineups.

That is what we are doing here as I bring to you my Woos and Boos for Week 5. Some players that you may not view as typical starters, but have advantageous matchups and should be plugged into lineups. While our Boos are players that are weekly starters with tough matchups and could be destined for letdowns this week.

 

Week 5 Woos

Teddy Bridgewater @ Atlanta Falcons

Yes, that's right. Coming off of his best game of the season (QB4), Teddy "Two Gloves" is primed for another solid effort in Week 5. Facing a Falcons Defense that is currently the worst in the league in points allowed to opposing quarterbacks (33.0 FPPG), Bridgewater should be viewed as a potential QB1 this week. The Falcons have allowed at least three touchdowns in each game played and with the Panthers playing sound football at the moment, I expect to see another multi-touchdown game here. If you are missing Aaron Rodgers this week with the bye, Bridgewater is the perfect candidate as a bye-week fill-in.

Chase Edmonds @ New York Jets

This may perhaps be the most sneaky play of the week. With Kenyan Drake continuing to disappoint, Edmonds is seeing an increased role in the offense. He finished at RB21 in Week 4, and now faces a Jets Defense that is among the worst in points allowed to the position (24.3 FPPG). Edmonds has had multiple receptions in each game and may be a solid Flex option in PPR formats regardless of Drake's performance in this matchup. If the Cardinals get out to a big lead, it is even better for Edmonds value as he will see more snaps late in the game to drive the team to victory.

Golden Tate @ Dallas Cowboys

Although Tate has been the face of mediocrity to begin the 2020 season (14 catches for 103 yards in three games). But Week 5 will be a get-right game for not only Tate but the Giants' offense as a whole. Facing the atrocious Cowboys secondary (36.4 FPPG allowed to the position), Tate should find plenty of open space to operate in all day. He is the perfect option to slide in as a low-end WR3 in PPR formats this week as a five-catch game should be viewed as the floor. Look for him to find the end-zone as well, making him a solid option to start for those managers currently dealing with the injury bug.

Mo Alie-Cox @ Cleveland Browns

In what was viewed as a prime matchup in Week 4, Alie-Cox was somewhat of a disappointment. The one catch performance was bailed out by a trip to the end-zone at the end of the day. He finds himself with another plus matchup in Week 5 as the Colts face a Browns Defense that is bottom five in points allowed to opposing tight ends (12.9 FPPG). The Browns have allowed a touchdown in three of four matchups, meaning good news for managers looking to start Alie-Cox this week. He should be viewed as a solid streaming option this week and should return low-end TE1 numbers in this matchup.

 

Week 5 Boos

Matt Ryan vs. Carolina Panthers

Ryan has been the epitome of Jekyll and Hyde over the first quarter of the season. Over the first two games, he was one of the top tier QBs in fantasy. But since Julio Jones got banged up, Ryan's performances have dropped dramatically (QB27 and QB25 over the last two games). Now he faces a surprisingly tough Panthers Defense in points allowed to the position (30th, 15.5 FPPG). With Jones likely to miss this week's game, Ryan should be viewed as a QB2 in fantasy. Putting most managers in a position to stream at the position for the week.

Miles Sanders @ Pittsburgh Steelers

The workload has been there, but the production has dropped in each of the last two games for Sanders as he has finished as no better than RB22. He may not fare any better in Week 5 as the struggling Eagles offense travels to face the stout Steelers Defense. The Steelers currently rank 31st (11.9 FPPG) in points allowed to the position and with the way the Eagles offensive line has struggled, Sanders could be in for a long day.

A.J. Green @ Baltimore Ravens

The time has come where we no longer view A.J. Green as a consistent starter in fantasy. The targets have been consistent (33 in four games) but the production has been less than stellar (14 receptions for 119 yards). He has yet to find the end-zone and is the third option in the passing game for the Bengals behind Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins. Add that to the tough matchup against a Ravens secondary that is allowing only 20.6 FPPG to opposing wideouts and it equals a sit for Green in Week 5.

Hunter Henry @ New Orleans Saints

Call this one a gut feeling but Henry is primed to disappoint in Week 5. The matchup is a good one against a Saints Defense that is currently one of the worst in points allowed to the position (16.3 FPPG). But without Mike Williams in the starting lineup, the passing attack has been funneled through Keenan Allen as Henry has been somewhat forgotten (just 10 targets over the last two games). Look for the Saints defense to try and stifle Herbert and the passing game with Austin Ekeler out for this game, meaning less operating space for Henry in this matchup.



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Woos and Boos - Starts and Sits for Week 3 Lineups

Through two weeks of fantasy football, it has quickly become apparent that success in 2020 may be about avoiding the massive injury bug as much as having a potent roster. Players seem to be going down at a rapid rate as we have lost some of the superstars in the game early on. With Saquon Barkley now done for the season and Christian McCaffrey missing a good portion, bell-cow backs are getting even thinner. Injuries and surprising play have led to some intriguing names rising up the positional leaderboards. Kareem Hunt, Melvin Gordon, and James Robinson are a few of the names that catching the eye as they provide weekly RB1 numbers. While Gardner Minshew is currently outperforming Lamar Jackson from a statistical standpoint. The 2020 season we knew would be a wild ride, but is it off to an even crazier start than we imagined? It looks to be the case.

With these injuries taking a major toll on roster construction, traversing the waiver wire has been extremely important early on. As you lose players those spots must be taken up by lesser valued talent in the starting lineups. That means taking an even deeper look into matchups to set your roster. With so many question marks like Davante Adams and Michael Thomas, it opens the door for players that although they may not be a stud performer at least they have guaranteed snaps in a game. Two weeks in, fantasy players have a better understanding of which defenses are good and which are bad. This knowledge shapes your decision making. Because most often than not, starting a player that is facing the 32nd ranked defense in points allowed to the position puts you in a better position than your normal starter facing the toughest opponent.

That being said, let's dive into the matchups for Week 3 as I give you my Woos and Boos. These are the plays that may be under the radar but will outperform based on the matchup. While the Boos are your typical starters that could be poised for an underperforming week with a tough matchup ahead of them.

 

Week 3 Woos

Mitchell Trubisky @ Atlanta Falcons

Trubisky has started the season well with multiple touchdowns in each of the first two games (QB14). Although the yardage has not been much to write home about (432 yards), his aDOT (10.1) is among the highest in the league. Trubisky has been and will continue to be game-script dependent in the Week 3 matchup with the Falcons high-octane offense. Facing a Falcons Defense that is currently allowing the most points to opposing QBs (35.8) puts him in a plus matchup. Look for the Bears to be playing from behind in this game, forcing the team into a pass-happy mindset. I expect for Trubisky to turn in another multi-touchdown performance in this one and be a fringe QB1 this week.

Josh Kelley vs. Carolina Panthers

Kelley has all but assumed the Melvin Gordon role for the Chargers rushing attack and has performed well through the first two games of the year (RB23). His yards per attempt have not been the greatest (3.54) and avoiding tackles (only 5) could improve, but the opportunities continue to be there as he ranks inside the top-10 in attempts (35). I expect another solid performance from Kelley in Week 3 as he faces a Panthers Defense that is currently the worst in the NFL in points allowed to the position (36.5). He will hold RB2 value in this matchup and is a good player to fill in for those that are dealing with injuries issues.

Corey Davis @ Minnesota Vikings

With the help of the A.J. Brown injury, the Corey Davis re-emergence is upon us! With 13 targets, 10 catches, and a score over the first two games he has been a solid option as a weekly WR3. With Brown again trending towards being out, Davis gets the honor of taking advantage of a fantastic matchup. The Vikings secondary has been one of the worst in fantasy over the first two weeks (36.6 FPPG allowed to receivers) making Davis an optimal start for those in need of an injury replacement. Consider him to be a low-end WR2/high-end WR3 in this game and a player that should be in your lineups.

Drew Sample @ Philadelphia Eagles

Once C.J. Uzomah exited the game, Sample filled in admirably. With the Bengals trailing, he was targeted nine times, hauling in seven catches for 45 yards. Needless to say, he was highly targeted on the waiver wire this week with a positive matchup ahead. The Eagles are the worst defense in fantasy against opposing tight ends (16.6 FPPG) having surrendered a touchdown in each of the first two games. Look for that to continue in this game, making Sample a solid streamer for fantasy managers.

 

Week 3 Boos

Drew Brees vs. Green Bay Packers

We all saw in Week 2 that Brees looked like a shell of what we have been accustomed to seeing. The loss of Michael Thomas causes major changes in the Saints passing attack and Brees has suffered to a QB24 start. His current aDOT (5.2) is the lowest in the league and it may not get any better in Week 3. The Packers Defense is in the middle of the league in terms of points against (20.0 FPPG), but you can't feel good about Brees for the immediate future.

David Johnson @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Johnson has surprised many with his RB21 start to the season. But most of that damage stems from Week 1 as he came back down to Earth in a more difficult matchup in Week 2 (34 yards rushing and two receptions). Expect much of the same in Week 3 as he faces a tough Steelers Defense that is 29th in points allowed (12.3 FPPG). If you have options behind him with better matchups, I would not hesitate to play them this week.

T.Y. Hilton vs. New York Jets

Many were expecting the tandem of Philip Rivers and T.Y. Hilton to be a successful duo for much of the 2020 season. That has gotten off to a rocky start as Hilton has recorded just seven catches for 81 yards to begin the season. I'm not expecting that to change in Week 3 as he faces a Jets Defense that is 19th in points against (20.3 FPPG). The other factor here may be game-script as the Colts should be ahead for most of this game, limiting the opportunities he will see.

Austin Hooper vs. Washington Football Team

The high-priced free-agent acquisition has been a large letdown for not only the Browns but also fantasy managers to start the season. With only two catches in each of the first two games, Hooper has found himself on the outside looking in in terms of TE1 potential. With minimal aDOT (6.00) and yards per target (6.17) it's hard to see a spike in yardage and scoring coming for Hooper. The matchup is there to take advantage of for Hooper this week as Washington is among the teams at the bottom in points allowed (13.3 FPPG). But with his porous start to the year, it is hard to trust him in a starting lineup.



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Week 3 Fantasy Preview - Woos and Boos

RotoBaller fantasy football analyst Brandon Murchison is joined by co-host Nick Hefley in a new episode of WooFantasy! In this episode, the guys talk about the latest in player news and round-up the latest on the injury front. Also, the famed Woos and Boos segment goes through each game and provides you with the name that should be in and out of your lineups.

Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well!

Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210, XM 87) - every weekday morning between 6-7 AM ET, and every weekend morning from 6-8 am ET as well. You can also find new weekly shows on the site under RotoBaller Radio podcasts.

 

Week 3 Fantasy Football Preview

Injuries continue to be the name of the game with stud running backs Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey going down in Week 2. How will the countless injuries across multiple positions affect your rosters moving forward? We tackle roster-shaping moves you can make and MUCH MORE in this latest episode.

Players discussed in this episode include:

Thanks for listening to today's episode! Be sure to tune in throughout the week, and to also follow RotoBaller on Twitter, YouTube and iTunes for the latest fantasy news and analysis.

Win big with RotoBaller in 2020!

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Woos and Boos - Starts and Sits for Week 2 Lineups

The first week of the 2020 NFL season was definitely a wild ride to begin the season. Things seemed to fall off the rails rather early in the week with player injuries and continued to be a guessing game from that point forward. With upper-echelon fantasy players like Miles Sanders and Kenny Golladay being out of the lineups, it caused fantasy players to dive into the reserves much earlier than they anticipated. This could've swung victories and losses very easily in the fantasy football world. But with the lack of preseason games, many of us were coming into the season wondering just how things would play out. Would snaps be split to prevent injuries early on? Or would we see the bell-cow players that we have been accustomed to seeing for several years?

Well, it seems as though we got our answers with the leaderboards being filled with the household names that we know and love. But there were a few exceptions to this to begin the year. Josh Allen currently is pacing all fantasy QBs in scoring, while we have surprising names such as Nyheim Hines and Robby Anderson inside their respective positions top-10. While teams continue to shake off the rust and find their groove, I expect to continue to see under the radar names score big in certain matchups.
This only prolongs the guessing game for fantasy players and makes lineup decisions even tougher.

With a week under our belts, I take a look at the numbers and give you my Woos and Boos for Week 2. These are the players that you normally would not find in your starting lineups, but with plus matchups, they could prove pivotal as you look to secure wins in Week 2. While the Boos are players that, although you may be starting them, could turn in subpar efforts based on difficult matchups.

 

Week 2 Woos

Philip Rivers vs. Minnesota Vikings

Although he filled the stat sheet with yardage (363 passing yards), the inability for Rivers to find the end-zone led to a QB22 finish in Week 1. Even though he targeted the running backs quite a bit (14), his 7.9 YPA was among the top third in the NFL in the first week. Now heading into Week 2, he faces a Vikings secondary that was torched by Aaron Rodgers (30.56 FP). With the secondary in shambles, look for Rivers to continue the strong play and be a fringe QB1 on the week. He has the weapons to take advantage of the matchup, the hope is that this game is a potential back and forth affair.

Zack Moss @ Miami Dolphins

Week 1 was a very ho-hum effort for Moss (12 touches for 27 yards) that was bailed out by a receiving touchdown. He played 39 snaps (Devin Singletary had 51) but the rushing workload was split right down the middle. The efficiency wasn't there, but all signs are pointing up for Moss as the team continues to work him in. This week, he faces a Dolphins Defense that was gashed by Cam Newton a week ago. With another running QB on the plate this week (Josh Allen), look for the Dolphins to be a bit more conservative on defense, leaving more room to run for Moss in this game. I expect that he scores yet again this week making him a player worth a look as a low-end RB2/Flex in Week 2.

Kendrick Bourne @ New York Jets

Bourne had a quiet Week 1 (five targets, two catches for 34 yards) in a back and forth affair against the Cardinals. But he was on the field for 92% of the snaps (most among 49ers wideouts), meaning that the opportunities were there. In Week 2, the 49ers face a Jets secondary that made Josh Allen and the Bills offense look like one of the most explosive in the league. The defense surrendered the most red-zone targets in the NFL in Week 1 (7), an area that Bourne excels in. With George Kittle looking very iffy in this game, Bourne could be in store for a very good game and is a player worth sliding into the Flex with a plus matchup in Week 2.

Dan Arnold vs. Washington Football Team

Arnold, a trendy deep sleeper heading into the 2020 season, turned in a TE27 game in Week 1 with just two catches. Only on the field for 55% of the Cardinals offensive snaps, his involvement in the offense was low as Kyler Murray funneled most of the targets into DeAndre Hopkins. The opportunities for Arnold should easily go up in Week 2 against a Football Team defense that gave up a whopping 34.90 FP to the position last week. If Arnold can get onto the field for 65-70% of the snaps in this matchup, he could easily turn in a low-end TE1 week for fantasy players. Someone worth putting into your starting lineup if you stream at the position.

 

Week 2 Boos

Deshaun Watson vs. Baltimore Ravens

Even with the QB12 finish against the Chiefs in Week 1, Watson struggled throughout most of the matchup. The offensive line was a major issue as he struggled to get ample time to allow his receivers to get open. That could again be the case in Week 2 against a Ravens Defense that turned in a solid effort against the Browns in Week 1 (9.86 FP). The pass rush could be in Watson's face all day, disrupting his rhythm, and possibly leading to turnovers. Playing from behind could lead to some garbage time points, but Watson could be a player to pivot away from this week.

Melvin Gordon @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 1 was an up and down effort from Gordon in his Denver debut. Although he did score and finished as RB16 on the week, he also fumbled and was losing snaps to Phillip Lindsay before his injury. His six avoided tackles and 67 yards after contact were among the league's best a week ago, but don't expect to see that in Week 2. Gordon and the Broncos go on the road to face the stout Steelers Defense that stifled Saquon Barkley to open the season. Look for Gordon to find the going tough in this matchup, taking him out of the RB2 discussion and placing him into Flex consideration. If you have other options with better matchups, I would look to fill the void for the week.

D.J. Moore @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Moore started the 2020 season with a very subpar effort. The targets were there (9), but the production did not match (four catches for 54 yards). All of his receptions resulted in first downs, but Moore was unable to find open space as indicated by his 2.0 YAC per reception. In Week 2, the going may not be any easier as the Panthers face a tough Buccaneers Defense that allowed just 20.20 FP to the Saints to open the season. If Moore continues to split the target share (26%) with both Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel, the production will falter. The game script could be in his favor this week, but the opportunities may not match up. Look for Moore to fail to live up to WR1 type numbers yet again this week in the difficult matchup.

T.J. Hockenson @ Green Bay Packers

Hockenson came out of the gates hot in Week 1 with a TE4 finish (five receptions for 56 yards and a score). He benefited from the absence of Kenny Golladay last week as he was the red-zone target for the team against the Bears. Although he converted a touchdown, he was still fourth on the team in target share (12%) as Stafford continued to look for his receivers on most pass plays. The matchup in Week 2 will be a tough one as the Lions head to Green Bay to face a Packers Defense that surrendered just 6.90 FP to the position a week ago. I don't expect to see Hockenson repeat TE1 numbers this week and fantasy players could find another option to stream at the position in Week 2.



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Woos and Boos - Starts and Sits for Week 1 Lineups

The time is finally upon us as the 2020 NFL season draws closer. What that means is the time for drafting is done, and the focus shifts towards setting the starting lineups. We spent all offseason long preparing player values and setting rankings as we looked towards the draft. It is that preparation that gives you the jumpstart to setting the most optimal lineup for the season's first week. With all the numbers bouncing around fantasy manager's heads, things can tend to get lost in translation, especially in such a weird year with the pandemic.

In year's past, we would have had preseason games to get an idea of new schemes put in place or how rotations will be set in an offense. That will not be the case headed into the first week. We are all flying blind to a degree without preseason action to get our eyes on. The games may skew more towards the ugly side over the first couple of weeks as teams get acclimated to game action. Also, without the preseason seasoning, we may see teams employ more rotations to keep legs fresh and prevent soft tissue injuries. That will become a headache for fantasy managers to avoid landmines in their starting lineups.

With being said, I give you my Woos and Boos for Week 1. Players that may be flying a little under the radar that you may consider plugging into lineups, and a few names that may need to find a nice home on the bench this week. The most critical mistake that a manager can make at times is to go with the "always start your studs" mentality. Just because you drafted a player higher in the draft, doesn't mean that a situation hasn't changed, leading to a potentially higher scoring week for a bench player.

 

Week 1 Woos

Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Arizona Cardinals

Sure, Garoppolo may be missing a few weapons as the 49ers head into this game with both Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk limited in practice. But he will still have Geroge Kittle at his disposal and facing a Cardinals Defense that he owned in 2019 (741 passing yards and eight scores). I expect to see this game be one of the higher scoring games of the weekend, with Garoppolo poised for a very successful week.

Tarik Cohen @ Detroit Lions

Cohen finds himself in a positive situation to begin the season. With David Montgomery on the mend, Cohen should see lion's share of the snaps in the Bears backfield. In what could become a sneaky high-scoring game, Cohen may see several targets out of the backfield (eight receptions and one score against the Lions in 2019). Drafted as an RB3 in most drafts, Cohen is certainly worth the play as a Flex option this week.

Antonio Gibson vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The hype train for Gibson has gained steam for a couple of weeks now and it's finally time to see what he can bring to the NFL. The Washington coaching staff has continued to rave about his skillset and that should be on display in a game against the Eagles in which the Football Team should be trailing. The Eagles were in the bottom ten in the NFL in receptions allowed to opposing running backs in 2019 (87), a trend that could get off to a rocky start against Gibson. Plug Gibson into your Flex spot and enjoy the spoils.

Marvin Jones vs. Chicago Bears

A player that is perenially undervalued, Jones is trending towards having a solid start to the season. He was a top-20 wideout in fantasy in 2019 before the loss of Matthew Stafford and now with both healthy, expect to see them flourish yet again. The matchup may not be the best against the Bears, but Jones is always a threat to score in any given week. Consider him a strong play as a low-end WR2 this week.

DeSean Jackson @ Washington Football Team

We all remember Week 1 last season right? Nine targets, 154 yards, and two touchdowns. Well, that was also against his opponent this week in Washington. Add in the fact that the Eagles are coming into the game thin at receiver and you have all the makings for another big performance. Plug him into your starting lineups with confidence.

Eric Ebron @ New York Giants

New to Pittsburgh, Ebron has been getting positive reviews in camp for what he brings to the Steelers offense. This week he faces a Giants Defense that was one of the worst in the league in 2019 in touchdowns allowed to the position (8). With a healthy Ben Roethlisberger back under center, the Steelers offense should be ready to click on all cylinders. If you happen to wait on the position in drafts and got Ebron late, this is a game in which you can start him with confidence.

 

Week 1 Boos

Aaron Rodgers @ Minnesota Vikings

Rodgers is no longer the elite talent in fantasy that he once was. He continues to lose weapons and the offense has now become more balanced under HC Matt LaFleur. Rodgers struggled in both matchups against the Vikings in 2019 (425 passing yards and two scores). Expect more of the same in Week 1 as Rodgers should be on your bench to start the year.

Alvin Kamara vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

We all know the struggles of Kamara in 2019 as he played through injuries for most of the year. Now to start 2020, he faces a Buccaneers Defense that was the best in points allowed to the position (15.91 FPPG). Obviously, you will be starting him to begin the season, but temper your expectations in a difficult matchup.

Amari Cooper @ Los Angeles Rams

Cooper is already being nagged by an undisclosed injury in camp and comes into Week 1 with a very tough matchup. Facing the Rams and Jalen Ramsey in Week 15 last year, he was limited to just one catch. That could be much of the same in this game as the Rams will look to lock him down. Not to mention the other options that are present in the Cowboys passing attack. Dak Prescott and company could use Cooper as a decoy in this game, limiting opportunities. I would not shy away from benching Cooper this week if other options had better matchups.

Austin Hooper @ Baltimore Ravens

The newly signed Brown comes into Week 1 with a very tough matchup against a Ravens Defense that was second-best in 2019 against the position (7.49 FPPG). With other options in the passing game that are more involved, expect to see Hooper's opportunities limited in this game. He is firmly a candidate that I would bench in Week 1.

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Week 1 Fantasy Preview- Woos and Boos

RotoBaller fantasy football analyst Brandon Murchison is joined by co-host Nick Hefley in a new episode of WooFantasy! In this episode, the guys talk about the latest in player news and round-up the latest on the injury front. Also, the famed Woos and Boos segment goes through each game and provides you with the name that should be in and out of your lineups.

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Week 1 Fantasy Preview

With so many injuries mounting as we approach the games in Week 1, will we see more split workloads than we were anticipating? Wide receivers (Courtland Sutton, Kenny Golladay) are already experiencing health issues. Are they in or out of your lineups? We answer those questions and so MUCH MORE in this week's episode!

Players discussed in this episode include:

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ADP Showdown: Austin Ekeler vs. Miles Sanders

With drafts right around the corner, it's time to dig in and start the final preparations. One way to do so is by having a good understanding of current ADP data to give you an idea of where players will be coming off the board. This is vital knowledge as you queue players up or having certain individuals in mind as drafts move along because it's always better to get your guy earlier than ADP indicates as opposed to waiting and being sniped at the last second. This strategy will be more important than ever in 2020 as it relates to the running back position. With more teams employing the shared workload backfields, finding the right RB with high upside to fill your roster is a must. While other skill positions seem to be getting deeper, bell-cow running backs continue to be fewer and far between.

Two backs that we are talking about here both have an extreme upside for the 2020 season, Austin Ekeler and Miles Sanders. We have seen Ekeler become a viable fantasy commodity over the last two seasons with what he brings to the table in PPR formats. With Melvin Gordon III now gone to Denver, the talk amongst the community is that he will be able to make that next step to an elite level at the position. Meanwhile, Sanders' rookie season started with inconsistent usage as he played snaps behind Jordan Howard. But as he took hold of the job, Sanders was one of the top backs in all of fantasy during the playoff stretch. That momentum at the end of the season has drawn the praise of many owners as the hype for his potential has reached an all-time high.

Austin Ekeler and Miles Sanders both bring separate skillsets to the table from a fantasy perspective. We are currently seeing both considered at the end of the first round in fantasy drafts and some instances slipping into the second. But the question is in this showdown, who should you prefer when the time comes to make a pick? Let's dive into the numbers to give you a better perspective on who should be the player that joins your roster for 2020.

 

Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

ADP: RB13 (Overall 18) *FFPC ADP

We have seen Ekeler become a name to be reckoned with in fantasy as he has steadily improved his numbers throughout his career, even while splitting time with Melvin Gordon. But with Melvin Gordon off the field to begin the 2019 season, we saw him produce as an RB1 in five of the team's first seven games. His production allowed owners that drafted him, later on, to dominate the standings early on in the season with his flexibility between starting running back or the flex position. What helped his cause was what he was able to get done on the ground while the Chargers relied on him as the lead back. With Ekeler, the reception totals are going to be there (92 in 2019), but his rushing abilities vaulted him of the running back board a year ago.

That is the crossroads we find ourselves at with Ekeler in 2020. Yes, Melvin Gordon is now a Bronco. But the team believes that they have some value in backup Justin Jackson and invested a fourth-round pick in Joshua Kelley. The Chargers have said publicly that they view this backfield as a committee approach with Kelley assuming the departed Gordon role as the rusher. That would indeed put a damper on the expected jump in production for Ekeler in 2020. With a new quarterback starting for the Chargers (either Tyrod Taylor of rookie Justin Herbert), the 92 receptions from 2019 could be hard to match again. If that is the case, Ekeler must offset that dip in production with a rise in value as a runner. But if he does not exceed 200 touches (224 in 2019), Ekeler may find himself mired as an RB2 in 2020 from a fantasy perspective.

 

Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

ADP: RB8 (Overall 10)

As previously mentioned, Sanders' rookie campaign got off to a very murky start as he struggled to take advantage of the touches he got while splitting with Jordan Howard. He had two RB1 weekly finishes (weeks 6 and 8) over the team's first 11 games and in the other weeks he struggled to be worthy of a starting spot in fantasy lineups. But after the team's Week 10 bye, Howard was gone for the season and Sanders would then blossom. From week 13 through the end of the season, Sanders was the RB6 in fantasy and one of the more consistent players at the position (three games over 20 FP). With the Eagles issues at the receiver position due to injuries, the offense went through Sanders and they flourished, coming from behind to earn a playoff berth in the NFC.

As we head into the 2020 season, Sanders continues to see a climb in draft position as the hype swells based on his strong finish last year. The detractors like to point out HC Doug Pederson's propensity to utilize an RBBC approach to his offense. But Pederson has yet to have a back as talented as Sanders and to his credit, the team opted not to bring in a veteran during the offseason. With only Boston Scott to compete with for touches, it's obvious that Sanders will be the main option in this backfield and should be looked at as a potential bell-cow. If he plays the full-time role, his receptions (50) and yardage (509) should see a big spike in 2020 and locking him in as a bonafide RB1 for the season.

 

The Verdict

Earlier in the offseason, these two were much closer in ADP, making the choice a little tougher. But with more information coming out with practices underway and more fantasy draft information being released, we are seeing a separation in ADP between them. In my opinion, rightfully so as I have Sanders (RB10) higher than Ekeler (RB14) in my rankings. I have Sanders as an obvious first-round selection in fantasy drafts, while Ekeler finds himself in the first half of the second round for me. When it comes to this showdown, pull the trigger on Sanders and don't look back!



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ADP Showdown: Josh Jacobs vs. Nick Chubb

With drafts right around the corner, it's time to dig in and start the final preparations. Preparing for drafts means developing a strategy and what you should expect as the time draws closer. One way to do so is by having a good understanding of current ADP data. The current ADP will give fantasy owners an idea of where players will be coming off the board. This is vital knowledge as you queue players up or having certain individuals in mind as drafts move along. Because it's always better to get your guy earlier than ADP indicates as opposed to waiting and being sniped at the last second. This strategy will be more important than ever in 2020 as it relates to the running back position.

With more teams employing the shared workload backfields, finding the right RB with upside to fill your roster is a must. While other skill positions seem to be getting deeper, bell-cow running backs continue to be fewer and far between. Two of those backs that are being widely debated at the moment are Josh Jacobs and Nick Chubb. Both of these players had great 2019 seasons, but heading into the new year we could point out devaluing factors for both players.

Having questions marks about your potential RB1 is never a good way to start a draft. But with both of these players' current ADP having them come off the board at the end of round one, the more good you can find on the player the better you will feel about your decision. Each will be considered to fill RB1 roles in fantasy drafts in 2020, but which should you be leaning on if presented the opportunity to draft them late in the first round? Josh Jacobs and Nick Chubb, even if they have short-comings, are expected to be large contributors in fantasy for the 2020 season. But the question remains, who should you be drafting based on current ADP data? We dive into the numbers and I'll attempt to discern who should come out ahead as you prepare for draft day.

 

Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

ADP: RB8 (10th Overall)

Josh Jacobs' rookie season was considered a massive success. Although he did miss three games towards the end of the year, Jacobs' 1,150 rushing yards and seven scores were good enough to land him a spot as the RB21 at season's end. He showed off the athleticism and elusiveness that had many analysts drooling as he led the league in avoided tackles with 69 on the season. He was seventh in the league in rushing yardage, but most other metrics he landed in the teens in rankings, mostly due to the games missed. But another knock on Jacobs was his involvement in the Raiders passing games. Only bringing in 20 receptions on 26 targets, this was a bit of a dent in his value in PPR formats.

Looking ahead to the 2020 season, many are expecting to see Jacobs' targets to increase. But the moves made by the team would indicate that they are move than fine with his role in the backfield. The team continues to talk up the play of Jalen Richard as the passing-down back (29 receptions on 39 targets) and the selection of Lynn Bowden in the NFL Draft only convolutes the receptions in this backfield even more. So the rushing abilities of Jacobs will continue to be where he makes his money for owners in fantasy scoring.

He will be running behind a Raiders offensive line that was graded out to be the 18th best run-blocking unit in the league in 2019 (per PFF). If the players along the Raiders line continue to progress forward, they could move back into the top-10. Which will make for more room for Jacobs as he looks to avoid the sophomore slump. A 1,600 total yard, eight score season seems within the realm of possibility for Jacobs in 2020 and will put him in the RB1 area easily. But he must show that he can stay on the field and an increase in target share to truly realize his potential.

 

Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

ADP: RB9 (Overall 11th)

Chubb's second NFL season saw a massive increase in production (261.20 FP) on his way to an RB8 finish on the season. He dominated touches in the Browns' backfield (298 attempts) and contributed six RB1 weekly finishes to fantasy owners. Even running behind the 23rd-best offensive line (per PFF), Chubb had 66 avoided tackles on the year with a robust 5.01 YPC.

His YPC on that many touches behind that line is a great indictment on the type of runner that Chubb is and the value he possesses. Although he's not a top option in the Browns' passing attack, his 45 targets and 39 receptions were good enough to give him the added PPR boost. But those targets did fall off once Kareem Hunt made his return from suspension.

The main objective of the Browns during the offseason was to improve the situation with the offensive line. They did just that with the acquisition of Jack Conklin and the selection of Jedrick Wills in the NFL Draft. The hope is that these additions will make the Browns offensive line one of the best in the league, in turn making Chubb's ability as a runner that much more effective. There is a good chance that Chubb leads the league in rushing in 2020, and could push for double-digit scores as well.

For that to happen, he must improve on his goal-to-go rushing (converting only three out of 16 attempts in 2019). If he continues to get the goal-line work over Hunt, Chubb's regular workload should remain the same, making him a highly valuable player across all formats. With new head coach Kevin Stefanski, it is expected that Browns will be a much more high powered offense in 2020 and that will give Chubb more than enough opportunities. Even with the presence of Kareem Hunt in the backfield for the entire season.

 

Verdict

As for what I would do if presented with the chance to draft either one of these players, I will be going with Nick Chubb for the 2020 season. Both Chubb and Jacobs presents massive potential for the season and will be popular RB1 choices for all those owners drafting at the back-end of the first round. But the choice for me is simple.

Both Chubb and Jacobs seem to have similar ceilings when it comes to passing game involvement, but Chubb wins in terms of what he will be able to do as a runner this season. His rushing yardage should be greater than Jacobs's output and he should have more touchdown potential. That's not to mention that I am currently trusting the Browns offense just a bit more than the Raiders as the season gets closer.



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2020 Experts Draft Coverage

RotoBaller fantasy football analyst Brandon Murchison is joined by co-host Nick Hefley in a new episode of WooFantasy! In this episode, the guys take you through the latest information after the NFL cut-downs. Also, all the surprising moves made and their impact on fantasy football. They also give you some insight into those last-minute drafts with coverage of the 2020 Experts League. A 12-team PPR format with some of the brightest minds in the game today.

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NFL Cuts and the Effects on Fantasy Football

Some big names have been moved over the course of the last few days and the after-effects have been felt around the world of fantasy football. Leonard Fournette's new home has many feeling great about his 2020 prospects while the hopes of a Ronald Jones emergence have been dashed. Also, Adrian Peterson's release has set-up Antonio Gibson on a rocket up the draft boards. Can he live up to the hype? All this and MORE!

Players discussed in this episode include:

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Bryan Edwards (WR, LV) - Rookie Wide Receiver Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target Around ~168 Overall

CURRENT ADP: 180+ (Undrafted)

ANALYSIS: Bryan Edwards was an under-the-radar prospect from South Carolina that started gaining steam late in the process. He is a big-bodied receiver that can be very difficult to bring down on initial contact (27 broken tackles in the last two years). Edwards was primarily used in the screen game in college, but much of that was due to the limited abilities of the South Carolina offense. He does have down the field capabilities and has a penchant for making highlight-reel catches. The production for Edwards was steady, even while playing with other good receivers (Deebo Samuel) in a low-octane attack.

Now that he is a Raider, Edwards could find production as early as in his rookie season in 2020. The team was in dire need of a playmaker a year ago and Edwards could fill that void. Derek Carr is the type of QB that is more comfortable working the short to intermediate areas of the field too, something where Edwards thrives.

Edwards played a third of his snaps out of the slot in 2019, but with Hunter Renfrow manning that spot, we could see Edwards out wide more. The Raiders would much rather use a receiver like Tyrell Williams down the field and lessen the targets, giving Edwards the inside track to more work. He could be an intriguing FLEX play in 2020 while getting a lot of targets in this offense, making him a solid PPR target in the last round of your drafts.

 

More Fantasy Football Values and Sleepers

Dallas Goedert (TE, PHI) - Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ROSTERED: 41% of Leagues ANALYSIS: If you consider yourself a good fantasy GM, this post won't surprise you. It made some sense to drop Goedert back in September's end when he fell down injured and was put in IR, but you'd be not very intelligent if you're not targeting... Read More

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Jeremy McNichols (RB, TEN) - Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues ROSTERED: 1% of Leagues ANALYSIS: As a 2017 fifth-round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of Boise State, it was a very slow start to the professional career of running back Jeremy McNichols, taking just two carries for four yards with no targets in the passing game... Read More

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Royce Freeman (RB, DEN) - Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues ROSTERED: 2% of Leagues ANALYSIS: Melvin Gordon is currently dealing with strep-throat (could be worse) and potential discipline from his recent DUI arrest, and while he could return this week, that remains up in the air, which leaves a window of opportunity open for Royce Freeman to build... Read More

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Anthony Firkser (TE, TEN) - Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team PPR Leagues ROSTERED: 0% of Leagues ANALYSIS: Jonnu Smith has been the man at tight end for the top-tier Tennessee Titans squad so far this season, with Anthony Firkser serving as second-fiddle during Smith's breakout season. However, with Smith being held out of the Titans' last contest against the... Read More

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Zach Pascal (WR, IND) - Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues ROSTERED: 6% of Leagues ANALYSIS: Pascal has had an interesting season so far. He has had four games with four or fewer targets, but he has also had a two with seven or more. One of those better performances was last week when he caught four of seven... Read More

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Wing-Clipped: Managing the Eagles Wide Receivers

What seems to be an on-going joke around the NFL in recent seasons is the health status or lack thereof regarding the Philadelphia Eagles receiving corps. One person who isn't laughing: Carson Wentz. The often-injured quarterback has been dealing with a rash of injuries to his playmakers, limiting the weapons at his disposal. You have to go back to the 2017 season for the last time that he dealt with a fully healthy group of receivers, finishing with his best statistical season (33 TD with seven interceptions and a QB7 finish in fantasy). We all can recall the trainwreck that was the 2019 season with every starter being lost to injury, forcing Wentz to suffer through the likes of Greg Ward, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, and Deontay Burnett to finish the season.

The Eagles' front office made the conscious effort to address this problem through the NFL Draft by adding a trio of promising rookies to this group. But it would not be an on-going joke without laughter. The laughter (or tears for Philly fans) is that the Eagles are already dealing with a rash of injuries to the position early in camp. Alshon Jeffery, recovering from Lisfranc surgery, is likely to miss the early portion of the 2020 season. Rookies Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins are both battling injuries and are expected to miss time as well. That leaves the only healthy receivers at the moment as DeSean Jackson (often injured), Greg Ward (slot option), J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (underperformed in 2019), and rookie John Hightower.

We all know that the top option in the passing game will continue to be Zach Ertz, while also mixing in Dallas Goedert in 12 personnel packages. But how can Carson Wentz expect to excel while once again playing with a thin cupboard? I examine the options for Wentz at receiver and how fantasy managers should value them for the upcoming 2020 season.

 

Alshon Jeffery

As previously mentioned, Jeffery is slow to come back from Lisfranc surgery he had last December. The expectation at the moment is that he will miss at least the first game of the season, if not more. One true thing is that Wentz is a better fantasy quarterback with Jeffery on the field. His PPG and passing touchdowns are both higher with Jeffery in the rotation.

With this expected to be his final season with the team, once Jeffery returns he should immediately start once again and give managers a solid WR3/Flex option weekly. With a WR67 ADP currently, he can be a player that you grab at the end of your draft and see how his injury status changes going into the season.

 

DeSean Jackson

Jackson has not played a full 16-game schedule since 2013. Coincidentally enough, that was the last time that he was fantasy viable with a WR12 finish that season. With a top finish of WR23 (2014) since then, Jackson has constantly battled nagging injuries, one after another. Many managers will call back to the points explosion to begin the 2019 season (35.4 FP) as a reason to be excited about what's to come. But don't fall for fool's gold.

Jackson is a player that has more appeal in best-ball formats than in regular season-long. He will pop a big week now and then but become largely invisible for weeks at a time. His WR58 ADP is somewhat inflated due to the crisis befalling this team currently. Let another manager in your league be the person to deal with Jackson on the roster as you select someone with a higher upside.

 

Jalen Reagor

The rookie wideout from TCU that was drawing rave reviews now finds himself on the sidelines with a torn labrum. The injury could cost him the first month of the season, but with the Raiders' Tyrell Williams going on IR with a similar injury, this is cause for concern. The Bears' Anthony Miller has struggled through his first two seasons with a banged-up shoulder as well, so expecting big things from Reagor upon return could be a bit of a stretch.

With him learning multiple positions as a rookie, it is clear the Eagles were expecting him to contribute right away. Now instead of a potential sleeper pickup in drafts, managers must let him slide down the board to potentially pick up as a WR5 and see how the injury shakes out.

 

John Hightower

An intriguing dynasty prospect, Hightower is a name that I have been pushing throughout the summer for rookie drafts. A player with size/speed combo, Hightower projected out to become the replacement for Jeffery in the lineup as early as 2021. Now that timeline has been pushed up with the injury bug hitting this team, will he be a candidate to start right away? No. But he could be mixed in the rotation quite a bit and see some appeal as a waiver pickup early on. He remains a player I would want in dynasty preferably, but could be worth a roster stash in deeper redraft leagues.

 

Greg Ward

Ward is a player that the coaching staff seems to love. But his athletic abilities are somewhat lacking for a guy that is slated to play a majority out of the slot. With most of his 28 receptions coming at the end of the 2019 season, maybe he can carry some of that momentum over into the new season. But once the health of other players becomes clear, Ward is a player that will see his snap share decrease dramatically. He could see some sneaky appeal from a DFS standpoint early in the season, but from a season-long perspective, Ward should be left on the waiver wire.

 

The Rest of the Group

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside - The 2019 rookie was given chances to earn time on the field, especially with the rash of injuries and he still struggled mightily. Only 10 receptions on the season, it is hard to rely on him in 2020 in any format until he shows he belongs.

Quez Watkins - Watkins is a speedster (4.35) with a productive career at Southern Miss. He may be the eventual replacement for DeSean Jackson as the team's deep threat but expecting much from him in 2020 may be a long shot. If injuries continue to take hold of this group he could see more snaps on the field, but he will need seasoning to adjust to the level of play at the NFL. He is more of a dynast stash at the moment but could be a player that pops a week in DFS in 2020 in the right matchup.



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Leonard Fournette Fallout and Latest Player News

RotoBaller fantasy football analyst Brandon Murchison is joined by co-host Nick Hefley in a new episode of WooFantasy! In this episode, the guys recap their latest auction draft that took place this weekend, giving you tips and strategies moving forward. Also, they get into the wild week in player news capped off by the surprising release of Leonard Fournette. Where will he land and how do we value the players left behind on the Jaguars depth chart?

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Leonard Fournette's New Home and Valuing the Jaguars Backfield

With Leonard Fournette being shown the door by the Jaguars, the landscape around fantasy football has changed. Where do we see him suiting up next and what will be his value in the new home? Also, the players left behind in Jaguars backfield have adjusted values. Who should you be rostering and why? Joe Mixon has received a new deal with the Bengals. How will this help his fantasy value moving forward and will it affect the mindset of Alvin Kamara as he searches for an extension? All this and MORE!

Players discussed in this episode include:

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Denzel Mims (WR, NYJ) - Rookie Wide Receiver Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target Around ~168 Overall

CURRENT ADP: 180+ (Undrafted)

ANALYSIS: Mims was a hotly debated player heading into the NFL Draft. His offseason testing caught everyone's eyes and coupled with the steady production he had at Baylor, the full package caused him to rise up boards. His burst off the line is up there with the best in the class, and body control in contested catch situations signals a receiver that is built for the pro game.

The question will be if he can maintain his speed at the pro level while he learns to sharpen his route running and cuts on drops, another potential red flag. Mims slipped a little further than people thought he would, but landing with the Jets may not be a bad thing. The Jets have an out on Jamison Crowder's contract after the season and Breshad Perriman was signed to a one-year deal. So Mims has a track to the WR1 spot as early as 2021 and will need to prove his worth this season in order to give New York a vision of what they are playing with for the future.

The production may be limited this season, but as he grows with Darnold, the two could make a fruitful pair for fantasy owners. It is not that Crowder or Perriman are world-beaters, either, so there is a path to a successful season for Mims in 2020 and a 45+/500+/4+ season is not out of the possible range of outcomes if he clicks soon in the Jets offense. His knack for scoring should translate to a team looking for a playmaker.

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Justin Jefferson (WR, MIN) - Rookie Wide Receiver Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target Around ~102 Overall

CURRENT ADP: ~120

ANALYSIS: What was with former-LSU Tigers rookies entering 2020!? This is what a National Championship does to those who win it, I guess. Jefferson played a majority of his snaps (870) out of the slot in Louisiana last season and was the security blanket at times for Burrow. The massive leap in production (111 receptions and 18 TD) caught the eyes of many scouts and shot him up the draft boards, ultimately turning the receiver in a 22nd-overall pick.

Jefferson attacks balls away from his body, helping his QB, and was the best receiver in the class in contested catch rate. He led the nation in catches from the slot (109) and yardage (1,518) while finishing fourth in missed tackles forced (25).

Going to the Vikings makes Jefferson the immediate replacement for the departed Stefon Diggs. Although Diggs led the team in receptions a year ago (63), the production was down as the team went to a more run-based offense. Even with that, Diggs is leaving all of 94 targets on the table after getting traded to Buffalo, so there will be chances for Jefferson to rack up fantasy points no matter what.

Adam Thielen, now healthy, will again be a big part of the passing attack and the surefire No. 1 receiver, but Jefferson figures to find a nice share of the targets as early as his rookie year (PFF projects the freshman to 75 targets for a nice 15.3% target share in Minny's offense). Jefferson has the ceiling of a player that will provide WR2 production for several years in the league starting in 2020 if he becomes the third most-used player on offense only behind Thielen and Dalvin Cook. That, to my eyes, is much more valuable than what Jefferson's 10th-round ADP currently states.

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2020 SBFFC Main Event

RotoBaller fantasy football analyst Brandon Murchison is joined by co-host Nick Hefley in a new episode of WooFantasy! In this episode, the guys are on location for the SBFFC Main Event. A high stakes fantasy football draft with some of the sharpest minds in the game.

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How Do Player Values Change in High Stakes Drafts?

High stakes drafting can see players being valued from many different perspectives. Some prefer to go very running back heavy in the early portions of the draft, while others like to acquire the upper echelon receivers in a full point PPR format such as the SBFFC. Brandon and Nick give you some insight into these varying draft strategies by looking at their own teams as well as others across other divisions. All in an attempt to better prepare you for any upcoming drafts.

Players discussed in this episode include:

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Adam Trautman (TE, NO) - 2020 Fantasy Football Draft Sleeper

BALLER MOVE: Target Around ~168 Overall

CURRENT ADP: 180+ (Undrafted)

ANALYSIS: It was hard to find a tight end that fell into a great spot following the NFL Draft but Trautman is on the shortlist. He was one of the few complete tight ends in this draft and can do it all very well. His in-line ability as a blocker is adequate but his route running ability may be tops in the class. His productive 2019 season (916 yards and 14 TD) got him noticed and rightfully so. He gets in and out of breaks violently and has some of the best hands (only two drops in 2019) in the class at any position.

Being selected to the Saints is both a good and bad thing. He will have it hard fighting for opportunities against veteran TE Jared Cook, but the team could surprise us by cutting him to save some cap, and it is not that Cook is a lock to play all 16 games entering his age-33 season.

This could mean that after Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, and again assuming Cook is ousted or misses time, the rookie tight end could be the next in line to gather a high usage rate. Trautman has the athleticism to be a force in fantasy. It is hard to pencil him as a league-winner, obviously, but he might be a good play to target late in deep-league drafts.

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Anthony McFarland (RB, PIT) - 2020 Fantasy Football Draft Sleeper

BALLER MOVE: Target Around ~170 Overall

CURRENT ADP: 180+ (Undrafted

ANALYSIS: Maryland's product Anthony McFarland saw a big step back in production in 2019 as he was playing banged up on a high ankle sprain. It caused him to lose a lot of his speed and run more tentatively. But what we saw in 2018 was a back that was one of the hardest runners in the country who rarely would lose his balance, getting to 1,034 yards on 131 rushing attempts (7.9 YPC) to score four touchdowns as a freshman.

The landing spot with the Steelers after they drafted him 124th-overall this past draft is rather intriguing. James Conner is the current starter for the team but he is often injured and also in the final year of his deal. McFarland will have a path to playing time early on in his career if he gets a lucky break with Conner's injury history.

In a featured role, behind Pittsburgh's offensive line, McFarland could produce steady RB2 numbers. We will see where he lands in the passing side of the game, though, with Jaylen Samuels also in the depth chart. It might make sense that McFarland is going mostly undrafted these days, but given Conner's potential health issues and the lack of another true bull-rusher in Pittsburgh make the rookie a good last-round flier and handcuff to target late.

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Joe Burrow (QB, CIN) - 2020 Fantasy Football Draft Sleeper

BALLER MOVE: Target Around ~126 Overall

CURRENT ADP:~148

ANALYSIS: Burrow took what was one of the greatest seasons in college history and turned it into a Heisman trophy and a trip to Cincinnati to become the franchise QB for the Bengals after being drafted first overall in the 2020 NFL draft. Not bad. It was amazing to see the turnaround the Burrow made in one year with Joe Brady at LSU. He made large leaps in every statistical category possible and became a big play waiting to happen.

Now as QB for the Bengals, the questions begin. How much of that was the scheme and weapons around him that led to success, or was it truly Burrow? The cupboard will not be empty for Burrow as he enters the league. Joe Mixon and the running game will do enough to keep defenses honest. While in the passing game, he has incumbents A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, and John Ross all to work within the offense, not to mention the selection of WR Tee Higgins. Burrow will have plenty of weapons to not only lead to success in 2020 but beyond that, accelerating Cincinnati's rebuild.

With the state of the Bengals Defense, it's safe to say that Burrow will have plenty of opportunities to put points on the board. It's not out of the realm of possibility that he could finish as a low-end QB1 in 2020. Checking PFF projections, Burrow profiles as a 260+ fantasy-point player on the year, which would see the rookie finish as the QB17 on the season while he's currently getting off draft boards as the QB19. Even the slightest of improvements on his projections would put in inside the QB1 tier, which for his current ADP of 148 is a true bargain.

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Quarterback Rankings, Tiers, and Analysis

With the influx of talented young prospects, the quarterback position in fantasy football seems to be the deepest it has ever been. Although the overwhelming mindset has been that you can wait on the position in drafts, it has become more prevalent as we enter the 2020 season. No longer is it a dire need to grab one of the top QBs off the board because building your roster at other positions while waiting is just as successful as owning Patrick Mahomes and limiting your value elsewhere. But as is always the case, each draft is different, and the time in which you look to add your QB changes based on how the drafts unfold. Sometimes you find yourself with the chance to select a QB that continues to slide down the board. In that case, you have to grab the value while it is there, even if it may be against your pre-draft strategy.

The staff here at Rotoballer have put together our consensus rankings for the position to help you better prepare for your drafts. Perhaps this road-map eases the draft process when the time comes to select your QB1 for the 2020 season and the selection isn't one that causes you a headache. There may come a point in your draft when you are faced with a decision between Drew Brees and Carson Wentz. Well, our handy cheatsheet or rankings will guide you in the right direction with the consensus best choice. Because we all know that you don't have to have the best QB to win in fantasy, but you must have a good one to stay competitive.

With that being said, let's take a look at the standard QB rankings from the staff as I analyze the tiers and breakdown the players within them. The goal is to give you a better perspective of players to target in your drafts and help you build your best roster.

 

2020 Fantasy Quarterback Rankings

Position Rank Position Tier Player Name Overall Rank Overall Tier
1 1 Lamar Jackson 22 3
2 1 Patrick Mahomes 27 3
3 2 Dak Prescott 58 5
4 2 Kyler Murray 63 5
5 2 Russell Wilson 64 5
6 2 Deshaun Watson 65 5
7 2 Josh Allen 71 5
8 3 Matt Ryan 80 6
9 3 Drew Brees 81 6
10 3 Tom Brady 89 7
11 3 Carson Wentz 91 7
12 4 Aaron Rodgers 99 7
13 4 Matthew Stafford 105 7
14 4 Daniel Jones 113 8
15 4 Ben Roethlisberger 117 8
16 4 Baker Mayfield 122 8
17 4 Ryan Tannehill 125 8
18 4 Jared Goff 131 8
19 5 Joe Burrow 153 9
20 5 Kirk Cousins 156 10
21 5 Philip Rivers 158 10
22 5 Drew Lock 160 10
23 5 Jimmy Garoppolo 162 10
24 6 Sam Darnold 181 11
25 6 Derek Carr 194 11
26 6 Gardner Minshew II 199 12
27 6 Cam Newton 204 12
28 6 Teddy Bridgewater 205 12
29 7 Ryan Fitzpatrick 237 13
30 7 Tyrod Taylor 266 14
31 7 Dwayne Haskins 267 14
32 7 Mitch Trubisky 298 15
33 8 Nick Foles 323 16
34 8 Tua Tagovailoa 324 16
35 8 Justin Herbert 333 16
36 8 Jarrett Stidham 396 18
37 9 Andy Dalton 456 19
38 9 Jameis Winston 459 19
39 9 Jacoby Brissett 476 19
40 9 Jacob Eason 482 19
41 9 Jalen Hurts 490 20
42 9 Marcus Mariota 493 20
43 9 Taysom Hill 503 20
44 9 Jordan Love 510 20
45 9 Kyle Allen 512 20
46 10 Mason Rudolph 534 20
47 10 Jake Luton 535 20
48 10 Matt Moore 537 20
49 10 Cole McDonald 538 20
50 10 Blaine Gabbert 540 20
51 10 Jeff Driskel 542 20
52 10 Ryan Finley 543 20
53 10 Brett Hundley 544 20
54 10 Chase Daniel 545 20
55 10 Brian Hoyer 546 20
56 10 Nate Stanley 547 20
57 10 Jake Fromm 548 20
58 10 Colt McCoy 549 20
59 10 Case Keenum 550 20
60 10 Joe Flacco 551 20
61 10 Nick Mullens 552 20

 

Tier 1

The top tier in our rankings is filled by the top two QBs in fantasy with Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes. When it boils down to it, you can't go wrong with the selection of either. It all boils down to what you want from the position. With Lamar Jackson, you know you are getting more upside from a rushing perspective (1,213 yards on the ground). But shockingly enough, Jackson led the league in not only total points but also passing touchdowns. The question with Jackson for 2020 will be how to value him if there is a regression from his rushing yardage? If that yardage dips, can he offset that with increases from a passer?

Any way you slice it, the Ravens offense is geared to help Jackson succeed and that he does. Outside of industry drafts, expect to see Jackson taken at some point in the first three rounds. Heavy price? yes, but one that is certainly worth it.

The other QB in this tier, Patrick Mahomes, is without a doubt the top passer in the game today and a threat to score from any point on the field. The Chiefs' high-powered offense is tailored for Mahomes skill set allowing him to use his incredible accuracy to hit his playmakers in stride. Due to the injury, Mahomes took a step back in 2019 but still managed to finish as QB6 on the season. With his ability to pile up points (nine QB1 games in 2019), Mahomes should easily be one of the top two QBs off the board during drafts.

 

Tier 2

The next tier is chock full of established fantasy talents that still have some upside in their value. Dak Prescott, Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, and Josh Allen all reside within this group. Dak Prescott has been one of the most consistent scorers in fantasy with a QB1 finish in each of the last four years. Now heading into 2020, he is playing for a big contract, surrounded by an immense amount of talent. Playing with a Cowboys offense that is among the best in the league in scoring (6th) and pace of play (6th), Prescott will have his opportunities and should be among the top at the position yet again in 2020.

Between the next two (Murray and Wilson), you have two players that are years apart in experience but bring similar value to their game. Even with a very inconsistent year, Murray used his legs (544 yards and four TDs) to finish as the QB9 on the season. Now with a full year under his belt in the system and the addition of DeAndre Hopkins, Murray has the table set for a major step forward in 2020. The defense is expected to be subpar, putting Murray and the offense in a positive game-script in terms of fantasy production. Wilson continues to be the model of consistency in fantasy scoring never failing to provide a QB1 finish in his career. The Seahawks offensive mentality remains a run-first offense, but we did see an increase in passing attempts (516) from Wilson a year ago. He has the weapons there to utilize (Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf) but must be allowed to be let loose to have value as a passer (only two 300-yard games in 2019). He's become incredibly efficient in scoring (over 30 passing TDs in each of the last three seasons) and must continue to be that way to hold his ranking in fantasy.

The final two QBs in this tier, in my opinion, come with question marks. With back-to-back top-5 finishes at the position, Watson has proven to be a valuable commodity for fantasy owners. But we saw some inconsistencies in his game in 2019. His YPA dropped below 8.0 for the first time, while his interceptions (12) rose as well. The departure of Hopkins will hurt this offense, but the opportunities will still be there for Watson to hold his value in these rankings. As for Allen, there is a lot of promise that he will make yet another step forward in his progression (QB8 in 2019) in the upcoming season. The rushing potential is what drives owners to Allen (17 rushing scores in his first two years), but if Allen is to truly reach his potential he must improve as a passer. He graded out as the worst QB in the league in catchable passes 20-yards downfield a year ago and now has a receiver (Stefon Diggs) that excels in that area. I have Allen as QB14 in my rankings, but I can see Allen taking that step forward and maintaining QB1 value this season.

 

Tier 3

This group consists of only two veteran QBs playing on high-powered offenses (Matt Ryan and Drew Brees). Even though he has the 26th toughest schedule for the position in 2020, Ryan and the Falcons offense always put up numbers. With weapons all around him and a defense that is expected to be bad, Ryan will have to put up points. He has not been under 4,000 yards passing since 2010 and consistently is around 30 TDs each year. So you know what you are getting with the player. Also, if you believe in superstition, Ryan has been the QB2 each of the past two "even-numbered" years.

Due to the injury last year, it was the first time for Brees outside the top-10 at the position since 2003. Expect for him to be there yet again in 2020 (also may be his final season) thanks in large part to the outstanding supporting cast he has around him.

What could be called the veteran tier, this group is full of years of fantasy football experience. Tom Brady is learning the first new system of his career but is surrounded by what may be the best set of receivers he's ever had. The potential is there for him to see 30 TDs yet again, but I believe the time of him being a high volume passer is done.

Carson Wentz suffered to a QB24 finish a season ago as the team was hit with countless injuries to receivers. But after re-stocking the tool shed, we should see Wentz get back to his QB1 ways in the high-powered Eagles offense.

 

Tier 4

Both Rodgers and Stafford are aging veterans that seem to be heading in opposite directions.

Sure, Rodgers was again over 4,000 yards passing last year with 26 TDs, but his second-half performance left a lot to be desired. Add in a run-based offense with a lack of receiving options and you have a QB that could likely struggle to get back to his once-dominant ways. Stafford, meanwhile, was on the way to what may have been the best season of his career before the injury. Playing a poor defense and a group of talented wide-outs, Stafford should be able to push for a low-end QB1 finish.

In this next group, you find a mixture of established talents along with some up-and-coming players. Out of this group, the player that catches my eye the most is Daniel Jones. He had an up and down season, as most rookies do, but when he hit he hit big. Two of his big scoring weeks were inside the top-10, a stat that only Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson can claim for 2019. The supporting cast around him may not be the greatest, but with a poor Giants Defense allowing plenty of points, the honus will be on Jones and the offense to match points. With a full 16 games to work with, I believe that Jones could put together a 4,500-yard season with over 30 TDs. Putting him in the discussion as a low-end QB1.

Meanwhile, the other QBs in this tier all have questions surrounding them. Can Ben Roethlisberger come back from the elbow injury and return to QB1 form? Or will the passing attack continue to suffer after the departure of Antonio Brown? Will Ryan Tannehill carry the momentum of the eight-game stretch to finish the 2019 season forward, or will we see the Titans offense from the playoffs that solely focused on Derrick Henry? Both Jared Goff and Baker Mayfield are coming off of disappointing seasons but have the tools and weapons to make a large leap forward. Goff has been there before but the 12 personnel of the Rams could limit his opportunities to score. While Mayfield flashes the skills of a potential QB1, he lapses in judgment, and turnover worthy plays lead to bouts of inconsistency that lands him in this spot on our rankings.

 

Tier 5

Joe Burrow stands above veterans Kirk Cousins and Philip Rivers but this is where the rookie QB belongs. He brings a talent at QB to the Bengals that they have not had in years. He can make all the throws and even does that with accuracy down the field. The talent around him is good enough to carry him on off weeks, but Burrow could find himself putting consistent numbers. The Bengals offensive line will be vastly improved in 2020, while the defense may be one of the worst in football.

When it comes to what you need in a fantasy QB, those two factors in heavily. Opportunity is the name of the game, and Burrow should see plenty of it. I would not be shocked to see him put 4,000 passing yards and 30 TD in his rookie season.

 

Tier 6 and lower

The rest of the QBs that fill out of rankings are players that you will see hold value mostly as QB2s in fantasy or if they are even rostered at all depending on the size of your league. But still, you can find diamonds in the rough down in this area that could prove to be helpful for you in the 2020 season.

Cam Newton - Continues to rise up the rankings and should have weeks in which he puts up QB1 numbers. We've seen in the past when he is healthy he is a viable option to fantasy owners and I expect to see Bill Belichick get the most out of Newton. There will be weeks in which Newton could cause you headaches, but drafting him as a QB2 for fantasy allows you to find the right matchups in which to start him.

Drew Lock - The second-year QB showed down the stretch in 2019 that he has some tools to work with. So the front office went out and added pieces around him to help take the next step. Although they will lean more on the run with Melvin Gordon, look for the Broncos to utilize a lot of 11 personnel with stud Courtland Sutton and rookie Jerry Jeudy causing tough matchups for opposing defenses.

Gardner Minshew II - Minshew's rookie campaign was full of ups and downs but also saw six QB1 finishes. He is starting to catch the eye of other experts in the industry as a potential sleeper for the 2020 season. Much of that is due to the addition of Jay Gruden as offensive coordinator who has gotten the most of QBs like Andy Dalton and Kirk Cousins. With the state of the Jaguars Defense, we could see plenty of garbage time scoring from Minshew in 2020. Which helped a former Jaguar (Blake Bortles) put together a QB1 season previously.



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Talking Tight Ends with the Guru John Hansen- Woo Fantasy Podcast

RotoBaller fantasy football analyst Brandon Murchison is joined by co-host Nick Hefley in a new episode of WooFantasy! In this episode, the guys are joined by SiriusXm host John Hansen as they go over the landscape of the tight end position. Who are some of the names that the Guru is high on for the 2020 season and which players is he telling you to avoid?

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Is This the Deepest the Tight End Position Has Been?

With the influx of young players at the position in recent seasons, 2020 could be the best year to wait on drafting your TE1 in fantasy. With good value further down the board, there is no longer a dire need to draft one of the top names in the early rounds. Players like Noah Fant, Jonnu Smith, and Blake Jarwin could prove to be tremendous value plays later in drafts as you fill out your roster at the other skill positions. The question will be, who will become this year's Darren Waller? Tune in to find out!

Players discussed in this episode include:

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FLEX Snake Draft Recap and Analysis - Woo Fantasy Podcast

RotoBaller fantasy football analyst Brandon Murchison is joined by co-host Nick Hefley in a new episode of WooFantasy! In this episode, the guys recap this past weekend's FLEX League festivities. Brandon was involved in the Snake Draft and drew the second position. How did his draft unfold? How can you use these expert's opinions on player values to help shape you draft?

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Fantasy Football Ramifications of Players Opting Out?

Many players are making the decision to opt out of the 2020 season due concerns over the pandemic? How does this change the world of fantasy football? One big name in particular is Damien Williams. Whose opt out has sky-rocketed the value of Clyde Edwards-Helaire. He now finds himself firmly entrenched as a first-round draft pick. Where are you comfortable drafting him and how will this help shape your roster for 2020?

Players discussed in this episode include:

Thanks for listening to today's episode! Be sure to tune in throughout the week, and to also follow RotoBaller on Twitter, YouTube and iTunes for the latest fantasy news and analysis.

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Cam Newton and FSGA Draft Recap with Scott Engel - Woo Fantasy Podcast

RotoBaller fantasy football analyst Brandon Murchison is joined by co-host Nick Hefley in a new episode of WooFantasy! In this episode, the guys welcome Scott Engel onto the podcast to discuss the fantasy implications with Cam Newton signing with the New England Patriots. Who will this help from a fantasy production standpoint? Also, we dive into Engel's recent FSGA experts draft and talk players that are rising and falling in drafts.

Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well!

Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210, XM 87) - every weekday morning between 6-7 AM ET, Saturday nights from 9-11 PM ET and Sunday nights from 9-11 PM ET. You can also find new weekly shows on the site under RotoBaller Radio podcasts.

 

Can Cam Newton Return to Form in New England?

With Newton now tagged as the expected starting QB for the Patriots, what do we expect? Can he return to form from his 2015/17 campaigns? Or will the mounting injuries continue to take their toll on him and affect his fantasy production? How will the weapons around him perform? Will Julian Edelman continue to be a valuable PPR asset? Can N'Keal Harry see a rise in production? How does the backfield shake out between Sony Michel, James White, and Damien Harris? We answer all these questions and MUCH MORE!

Players discussed in this episode include:

Thanks for listening to today's episode! Be sure to tune in throughout the week, and to also follow RotoBaller on Twitter, YouTube and iTunes for the latest fantasy news and analysis.

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Dynasty Market Watch: NFC West

The NFC West recently has become one of the toughest divisions in all of the NFL. The influx of new talent into this division has meshed well on both sides of the ball. The teams in the West have some of the best offenses in the league, which means it is stocked full of ascending talent that dynasty managers will be pleased with for years to come. But will the competitive nature of this division eventually start to wane on the talent? That remains to be seen.

No matter the position, this division sports young talent that catches the eye of dynasty owners. The quarterbacks all have the talent and capability to be steady QB1 producers. Russell Wilson is a perennial QB1, while Jared Goff and Jimmy Garoppolo have each some promise themselves. But it is the emergence of Kyler Murray that is being watched by the fantasy community as the Cardinals offense is on the verge of something special. There is running back talent in this division as well, but as is the case in the NFL, the position is very combustible and could change at the drop of a hat. But it could be the receivers in the NFC West that will carry this division. All-world talents like DeAndre Hopkins and D.K. Metcalf look to carry this division for years to come. While others like Tyler Lockett and Cooper Kupp are players you can build your receiving roster around as well.

Let's jump into the NFC West and see just where the dynasty market lies on some of the players. As you prepare for upcoming drafts or potential trades, having that insight leaves you better prepared.

 

San Francisco 49ers

Coming off of a disappointing loss in the Super Bowl, the 49ers will be bringing back virtually everyone into the 2020 season. A team that was second in the NFL in scoring (479) should once again be one of the more trustworthy offenses in the league. The 49ers were one of the more run-heavy offenses in the league in 2019 (51% run rate, 2nd) which should remain the same in 2020. Although the passing game for this team won't carry them, they were in the top half of the league in both passing yardage and scoring last year.

TRENDING UP

Brandon Aiyuk- With the injury to Deebo Samuel, Aiyuk is a player that was immediately shooting up draft boards, whether in rookie or re-draft. He is an explosive receiver that will give the 49ers passing attack a different kind of weapon. He is fast off the line of scrimmage and gets down the field in a flash. His 14 broken tackles in 2019 indicate a player that will be tough to bring down in the open field. Look for the 49ers to get the ball into his hands on screens to use his athleticism for chunk plays. There will be a learning curve here for Aiyuk as he adjusts to more physical corners in the NFL and he must improve his contested-catch ability. But overall, Aiyuk is a receiver with a bright future in dynasty formats that will provide a safe WR3 floor, but the upside of a WR2.

Jalen Hurd- A player that I will continue to bang the drum for. Hurd, a converted college RB, showed early on in 49ers camp last season that he has intriguing upside. While everyone has been giving all the attention to Aiyuk on this depth chart after the injury to Samuel, Hurd is a name to watch once the players hit the field. He has positional flexibility that can allow the team to line him up all over the field. The 49ers used Samuel quite a bit on running plays, especially in the red-zone (two touchdowns on three carries). Those plays could see Hurd being utilized now with Samuel on the shelf.

I expect to see Hurd play out of the slot and sharing snaps with Trent Taylor. Will he be a factor week-in and week-out? Probably not. But I like his chances of improving his role on this offense moving forward. From a dynasty perspective, Hurd is a prime candidate to be stashed on your roster in hopes that he eventually breaks through. He can likely be had for a very slim price at the moment and is worth acquiring.

TRENDING DOWN

Raheem Mostert- The guy that carried this team towards the Super Bowl is trending down? Why yes, from a fantasy perspective, Mostert is seeing his value dip over the last month. Early in the offseason, Mostert was highly overrated and it showed in early drafts. But now owners have started to settle in and look into this 49ers backfield. Even as he was playing great down the stretch in 2019, he was still out-snapped on the season by Tevin Coleman (392 to 370). Add in the fact that Kyle Shanahan historically likes to rotate his running backs. Mostert's snap share of 36.4% would have to vastly improve for him to exceed the early expectations that fantasy owners had for him.

But the truth is, he will be involved in some sort of a committee backfield which will hurt the overall value. Add in his trade demand this offseason and you have a player that may be viewed as expendable after the 2020 season. From a dynasty perspective, now is the time to sell Mostert if you have not already. There may be weeks where he flashes during the season, but a smart owner will pounce on the expectations he has now.

 

Seattle Seahawks

It was a different year, but the same story for the Seahawks as the train just seems to be moving along for this team. They were top-10 in both scoring and rushing and not far behind in passing totals (14th in yardage). Russell Wilson continues to be an upper-echelon QB in terms of fantasy production. Now that he has a true double threat with his receivers (Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf), it's hard to imagine that his ceiling could be higher.

In the backfield, Chris Carson, fumbling issues aside, still controls a very run-heavy offense (48.2% run rate) but has competition behind him with the signing of Carlos Hyde. Although this roster is very top-heavy in terms of talent, the Seahawks have several players that will be key contributors in fantasy in 2020 and beyond.

TRENDING UP

D.K. Metcalf- The widely-discussed 2019 draft pick, Metcalf turned in a very solid rookie campaign (58 receptions for 900 yards and seven TDs). Finishing as WR29 on the year, Metcalf was a steady producer as a fantasy WR3. He provided only three top-24 during his rookie season, but that is expected to at least double in 2020. He and Tyler Lockett nearly had identical targets (100 to Lockett's 110) last season, but don't be shocked to see Metcalf take over as the team's WR1 as early as this season.

As he continues to smooth out to the edges of his game, Metcalf could become one of the premier red-zone threats in the NFL. He is already scaling the rankings in redraft leagues for 2020 but in dynasty formats, Metcalf will remain a hot commodity for owners for several years.

Colby Parkinson- Yes, the Seahawks do have a very crowded depth chart when it comes to the tight end position. But Parkinson is in a perfect position to sit under the learning tree that is Greg Olsen. Parkinson progressed nicely during his college career as he continued to take on more of a workload. The 2020 season should be viewed as a red-shirt season for him, but as early as 2021, Parkinson could become a name to watch in fantasy.

With Russell Wilson's propensity to target the position, he could prove to have TE2 value early on with upside. From a dynasty perspective, Parkinson is no more than a lottery ticket at the moment that you can get onto your roster and see how his progression on the depth chart works out. If he fails to live up, he is an asset that you have little equity in and can drop.

TRENDING DOWN

Chris Carson- Carson has burst onto the scene over the last two seasons, becoming a borderline RB1 in each of the last two years. Sporting five top-12 weeks in each of the last two seasons, much of the same could be expected for the 2020 season. But some issues are surrounding Carson if you look deeper into the numbers. His nine rushes from inside the five yard-line were far less than the other top backs in the league. Holding onto the football has become an albatross for Carson as well with his seven fumbles pacing all RBs in the NFL. The fumbling issues could cost him time on the field to the steady Carlos Hyde in 2020.

Beyond that, Carson will be a free agent in 2021 and not expected to be back with the team. So if you are a dynasty owner, with Carson on your roster, you may want to strike while the iron is hot and float him to a team in your league with RB issues.

 

Los Angeles Rams

Coming off the Super Bowl loss to the Patriots in 2018, the Rams seemed to lose a little steam to their offense in 2019. Scoring was down from 30.8 PPG to 24.6 a season ago. Some of that could be contributed to a rough season from Jared Goff. The attempts were up (626) but the passing scores (22) and interceptions (16) were both up which halted this offense on many occasions. Many are expecting a more simplified offense from the Rams in 2020 which could improve Goff's efficiency as he looks to get back to the QB1 level in fantasy. Meanwhile, the dynasty appeal on this team resides around what rookie RB Cam Akers will be able to do taking over for the departed Todd Gurley. Akers should take hold of this running game early on and has RB2 upside as soon as this upcoming season.

TRENDING UP

Tyler Higbee- There may not have been a hotter player down the stretch in 2019 than Higbee. Once the Rams began running more of a 12 personnel, Higbee became a focal point of the passing attack and it showed with TE1 performances in each of the last five games. That frenetic finish propelled Higbee to a TE8 ranking after the sluggish start to the season. He is a highly debated player as the 2020 season draws near. Many are expecting some regression with Higbee as a healthy Gerald Everett is back in the lineup. But with the Rams running that 12 personnel, the snap share should not differ, meaning the opportunities should be there yet again. The smart dynasty owner would be wise to float his name out to see what high a price that Higbee may desire in possible trades.

TRENDING DOWN

Darrell Henderson- What a difference a year makes for Henderson. The trendy sleeper pick for many entering the 2019 season, Henderson had a tough time adjusting to the Rams running scheme and showed to be a liability in pass protection. All this led to just 99 snaps total on the season. This gave the Rams reason to look into their depth chart and they decided to draft Cam Akers. The acquisition of Akers puts a major dent in the dynasty value of Henderson for the owners that have held onto him. He is now staring at a complementary role at best and unless he improves as a pass blocker, his appeal as a PPR asset may be minimal as well. The best bet for dynasty owners at the moment is to try and sway the Akers owner into trading for Henderson for handcuff purposes.

 

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals had a very up and down year in the first year under Kliff Kingsbury, but as the 2020 season draws near they are drawing loads of hype from the fantasy community. The big-name players of this offense are all coming off the board rather early (Kyler Murray, Kenyan Drake, and DeAndre Hopkins) and will be very popular options in redraft leagues for 2020. But the appeal of this offense is the pace in which they play. Near the top of the league in seconds per snap (24.5), the Cardinals have to improve upon their production as they keep up this pace. If the team can leap in the second year in Kingsbury's system, the sky may be the limit for the dynasty values of the young players on this roster.

TRENDING UP

Christian Kirk- Sure, everyone is talking about the trade for DeAndre Hopkins and his inclusion on this offense. But from a production standpoint, this may help Kirk as it lessens the load that he has on his shoulders. No longer will he see an opposing team's top cornerback and will see plenty of open space as coverage is drawn more to Hopkins. I expect to see him improve upon the WR38 finish from 2019 and settle in more as a consistent WR3 moving forward. As the Cardinals offense rounds into shape over the next couple of seasons, Kirk has the upside to be an intriguing option as a low-end WR2 in PPR formats.

Looking at Kirk from a dynasty standpoint, he should settle in well into your starting lineups most weeks as the opportunities will be there. But if you were to test the trade market for him, it is best to wait during the season for a week in which he pops a big number. Then float him out there to curious owners.

TRENDING DOWN

Kenyan Drake- Yes, Drake was one of the hottest players in fantasy during the playoffs in 2019. But we can't ignore the fact of what he has done throughout his career. His 220 touches last season were a career-high and there is a chance that he can not withstand a bell-cow workload. If the Cardinals were to overuse him, injuries begin to come into the conversation. Although the 2020 season could be another highly productive one for Drake in this Cardinals offense, the volatility of the position from an NFL standpoint could catch up to him sooner rather than later.

Simply put, expecting the 30 FP per game that he provided over the last three games could use to hurt feelings for fantasy owners. But when it comes to dynasty formats, the best thing to do is sell a player at his highest point and that point may never be higher for Drake than it is now. The value you can bring back in a trade for an expected RB1 always feels like a steal for plenty of fantasy owners.



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Dynasty Market Watch: NFC South

The NFC South has been full of fantasy talent for several years now. Some of the better players in the game reside in this division and are popular selections at the top of drafts. Players like Christian McCaffrey and Michael Thomas are firmly inside the first round in redraft leagues and are cornerstones for dynasty teams. As we head towards the 2020 season, changes abound in this division. Jameis Winston is now the backup to Drew Brees in New Orleans, while Captain America himself, Tom Brady, takes over as the starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Carolina Panthers also decided to go in a different direction as Cam Newton was let go and Teddy Bridgewater was signed with a chance to restart his NFL career. These moves could cause massive ripples in the waters of the NFC South, especially with extenuating circumstances in which we are dealing with these days and the ongoing pandemic.

From a dynasty perspective, your heavy hitters (McCaffrey/Thomas) should remain just that as they enter the primes of their careers. The adjustment values of other players in this division will continue to waver for dynasty owners. But what is not expected to change is that this division will once again be looked at as one of the higher scoring, fantasy-friendly in all the NFL.

Let's jump into the NFC South and see just where the dynasty market lies on some of the players. As you prepare for upcoming drafts or potential trades, having that insight leaves you better prepared.

 

Atlanta Falcons

One of the teams in the division that did not undergo a complete makeover, the Falcons bring back nearly everyone on an offense that was the most pass-heavy in the league in 2019 (65.4% pass rate). With three QB1 finishes in the last four seasons, Matt Ryan has become one of the most consistent options in fantasy and a quarterback that dynasty owners should rely on for a few more seasons.

The question will be if this team can develop a running game behind the newly acquired Todd Gurley II. The strength of Ryan's fantasy production is his volume, and if the team becomes more balanced, there could be a dip in production.

 

Treding Up

Calvin Ridley, WR

Ridley has been quite the consistent producer playing opposite of Julio Jones in his first two NFL season. Hovering around as a low-end WR2, he seems to be on the verge of a breakout. Before missing the final three games of last season, Ridley was finding his stride and would have finished inside the top-20 as he nearly matched his 2018 production in fewer games.

If he can maintain health, look for Ridley to make another stride forward in production as reliable WR2 with a high ceiling. There is also currently a lot of buzz surrounding him in the fantasy community, meaning he could fetch a lofty price in a trade for dynasty owners. Savvy owners should float his name out there and see what you could get back.

 

Hayden Hurst, TE

After the free-agent departure of Austin Hooper, the Falcons went out and made a trade for Hurst. Playing in the shadow in Mark Andrews and on the crowded Ravens tight-end depth chart, Hurst could never separate himself. Now he has a chance to take over the 97 vacated targets from Hooper last season. In the Falcons offense, the tight end is very involved in the passing game, which is leading to more and more hype surrounding Hurst and his 2020 potential.

Hurst continues to move up the positional rankings and is now locked in as a TE1 option in fantasy. The price is starting to soar for Hurst and dynasty owners may have already missed their window in hopes of acquiring him for a lesser price. But as long as Ryan is the team's quarterback, Hurst should be a factor in fantasy scoring.

 

Trending Down

Todd Gurley, RB

Gurley is an obvious candidate for a player that is trending down. He joins the Falcons on a one-year deal and must prove to stay healthy to find his next contact. The arthritic knee is one problem, but the other is the very pass-happy nature of the Falcons offense. They led the league in pass percentage in 2019 (65.4%), which will mean fewer opportunities on the ground for Gurley. The only bright spot for Gurley will be the abandoned red-zone rushing attempts (22 attempts by Devonta Freeman in 2019) that he could potentially garner.

In this offense, Gurley has the ceiling to get back to his RB1 form. But let's face it, his health will come into play at some point and limit playing time. In dynasty formats, the sell high window has likely passed, leaving owners hoping that he comes out of the gates strong in 2020 to crack the trade window yet again.

 

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers decided to make a change to their organization as well with the signing of Teddy Bridgewater after the departure of long-time quarterback Cam Newton. He takes over an offense that will continue to be centered around all-world talent Christian McCaffrey.

McCaffrey stands as one of the top players in dynasty formats, but how will his production be affected with Bridgewater under center? Bridgewater is notorious for keeping the ball in the short to intermediate area (only 15 deep ball attempts in 2019). That fact alone should not alter McCaffrey's production totals, leaving him as one of the top running backs in fantasy.

 

Trending Up

D.J. Moore, WR

Moore has all the makings as a player that Bridgewater will fall in love with in Carolina. His yards per target (8.7) and yards per pass route (2.40) will keep him in the short-yardage area for Bridgewater to target frequently. He saw a major spike in targets in 2019 (82 up to 135) and even if he stays around that number, it puts him among the top-10 in the league.

The kicker for Moore will be the ability to score (just six TDs in two seasons). If he can double the four scores from 2019, he will undoubtedly finish as a WR1 in 2020. For dynasty owners, Moore is an intriguing prospect who could be bought at a lower price currently, but sold at a higher cost later on.

 

Ian Thomas, TE

With the departure of Greg Olsen, Thomas now gets his chance to shine as the starting tight end for the Panthers. In 2018, while starting for the injured Olsen, he produced rather well (four top-12 TE scoring weeks) on the way to a TE24 finish. Last season, Bridgewater's third most targeted receiver was Jared Cook (21 targets in nine games).

So there is reason to believe that Thomas could find himself as an integral part of the passing attack. Going largely overlooked currently, Thomas is an easy buy as a TE2 that could provide weeks of TE1 scoring. Dynasty owners should be able to acquire Thomas off the wire, if not, the price to get him should be rather low.

 

Trending Down

Robby Anderson, WR

Anderson was once viewed as a sleeper candidate by fantasy owners. But after two straight years of underperforming with the Jets, Anderson now finds himself competing for targets in a Panthers offense that will not be pass-heavy. Add in the fact that Bridgewater rarely takes shots deep down the field, Anderson may not see much in terms of target share.

He will be the fourth or fifth option in the passing attack, limiting his upside. His value in dynasty formats is losing value by the day and he may become a player that bounces on and off the waiver wire.

 

New Orleans Saints

The Saints are the lone team in the division that is virtually unchanged from their 2019 roster. All the key players are back for 2020, including what could be the final season for Drew Brees as a Saint. The pass-heavy attack (58.9%) favors the skillsets of the players on the roster and led to the record-breaking year for Michael Thomas (149 receptions).

Much of the same will be expected from this team in 2020 as the Saints should once again be one of the more high-powered fantasy scoring teams in the league.

 

Trending Up

Jameis Winston, QB

You may be asking yourself how Winston is trending up if he is the backup quarterback on this team? Well, truth be told that if Winston can prove to be a good teammate in 2020 and learn from behind Brees, he jumps right back into the QB1 conversation in 2021. After the career year in 2019 (366.45 FP), Winston has proven that he has what it takes to be a premier fantasy QB if provided with talent.

If he stays with the Saints for 2021, the second act of his career should be far better than the first. The weapons around him will be some of the best in the league and he will not have to shoulder the load for the offense. For dynasty owners, Winston is a player that you should be buying this year as he sits. Another needy owner may want to relinquish the backup QB for a lesser price.

 

Adam Trautman, TE

The third-round pick in the 2020 draft, Trautman is a player that will be largely overlooked this upcoming season. But with Jared Cook set to hit free agency after the 2020 season, Trautman falls into what has typically been a productive fantasy spot. His production over the last two seasons in college improved dramatically (23 TDs over the last two years). He will step in and fill the role of a big-bodied athletic tight end that the Saints tend to employ. Playing in this offense almost guarantees that he will be in the running as a TE1 for years to come. Dynasty owners should act fast to roster Trautman because his price will only go up from here.

 

Trending Down

Tre'Quan Smith, WR

Smith has been a much-ballyhooed prospect for the last two seasons but has failed to live up to expectations. Posting only one top-24 scoring week in 2019, it seems as though the team has lost some faith in Smith. That could be the reason behind the signing of Emmanuel Sanders.

The dip in production in 2019 could be largely attributed to the reduction in air yards. He fell from 513 in 2018 to just 226 a season ago. With the team possibly looking to diminish Smith's role or move on entirely, he now becomes a player that should be an afterthought in dynasty formats as well.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The team that made vast changes from 2019, the Buccaneers are now led by Tom Brady. The mindset of the organization is clearly to win now, so fantasy owners should keep that in mind in dynasty formats. The Buccaneers will not be the pass-happy team looking to score 35 PPG now with Brady under center.

Instead, the team will look to play mistake-free football to win the close games. Questions surround this roster from a fantasy perspective. Who will control the backfield between Ronald Jones II and rookie Ke'Shawn Vaughn? Will, either Mike Evans or Chris Godwin's numbers take a hit with Brady as the QB? A lot of things to ponder on with this team before they take the field.

 

Trending Up

Chris Godwin, WR

As if the news couldn't get any better for Godwin, coming off of a stellar 2019 season, the addition of Brady at QB could be another boost for his expected production. Finishing just behind Mike Evans in target share last season (22% to Evans' 24%), that number is expected to change in 2020 more to Godwin's favor. Look for him to become the trusted target for Brady, much like Julian Edelman. If he can maintain his 6.7 YAC per reception (5th in the league), Godwin could reach double-digit scoring in 2020 and be in the conversation for WR1 by season's end.

As for dynasty formats, he is an ascending talent that should have a foothold as one of the game's premier receivers for years to come. It will be hard to move him from a dynasty standpoint and get equal value back in return. So if he is on your roster, build around Godwin.

Ke'Shawn Vaughn, RB

Although the market has cooled a bit on Vaughn, the overall perception of this backfield is that it is ultimately going to be a committee. If that's is the case, it only helps the long-term dynasty appeal for a player like Vaughn. He was highly productive in college (24 TDs over the last two years) behind one of the worst offensive lines in the nation.

Bring that production to the pro level under the tutelage of Brady and Bruce Arians and you have a player that could project out to become a steady RB2 producer. Before the 2020 season starts, with the cooling market, now is the time to check on potentially acquiring him at a lesser cost. But if you have yet to have your rookie drafts, he will be a player that will come off the board by the end of Round 1.

 

Trending Down

O.J. Howard, TE

Howard was riding the hype train as the 2019 season approached, only to turn in an abysmal season and souring the taste for fantasy owners everywhere. His TE28 finish (459 yards and one score) goes down as one of the biggest busts in recent memory and could be a reason why the team decided to bring in previously retired Rob Gronkowski.

The case could be made that running more 12 personnel for the Buccaneers will give Howard more room to work on the field. But at the end of the day, the more likely scenario is that his snap percentage will decrease, leading to fewer opportunities. The argument could be made that a change of scenery is coming for Howard, which could spark his career again. But as things stand now, his value in dynasty formats is getting lower by the day.



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Dynasty Market Watch: NFC North

The NFC North has been predominately known as the defensive division in the conference. But in recent seasons, we have seen the less great play from the defenses which has opened the door to increased opportunities for fantasy scoring. In 2019, those offenses took a step back, whether it be due to injuries (Minnesota Vikings/Detroit Lions) or poor offensive play-calling (Chicago Bears/Green Bay Packers). As a result, this division was sixth in the NFL in scoring. Much was expected from these teams from a fantasy standpoint a year ago, but alas they largely disappointed. Can there be a turnaround beginning in 2020?

From a dynasty perspective, there several young and exciting players that have entered the league recently in this division. Guys like Dalvin Cook and Kenny Golladay have already solidified themselves as top options at their respective positions. So what does the NFC North bring on the horizon for dynasty owners to get excited about? The strength of this division in recent seasons has been strong quarterback play, but that trend seems to slowly be fading away as the offenses in the NFC North have begun implementing strong running games. If you can move on from QBs in this division in dynasty, it would be a wise move, but they are steadily losing value. The strength of this division now solely resides on the running back position and should be where owners focus their efforts on acquisitions.

Let's jump into the NFC North and see just where the dynasty market lies on some of the players. As you prepare for upcoming drafts or potential trades, having that insight leaves you better prepared.

 

Green Bay Packers

The first year under Matt LaFleur, we saw the Packers turn from a team that needed Aaron Rodgers to shoulder the load to a team that tried to become a more balanced attack. Aaron Jones flourished and finished as one of the top backs in fantasy, while Rodgers struggled to maintain QB1 value. His value should once again hover around the low-end QB1 area with the offense being the way it is, while Davante Adams should flourish yet again due to the team's inability to add talent around him.

TRENDING UP

A.J. Dillon- Dillon was a workhorse back at Boston College that routinely found the end-zone (40 career scores). Sure, Aaron Jones (let's not forget Jamaal Williams) is ahead of him on the depth chart after a career year. But LaFleur loves to implement committee rushing attacks and has possibly found his version of Derrick Henry from his Titans' days in Dillon. With Jones in a contract year, it's feasible to think that the team moves on from him in 2021, leaving the backfield solely in Dillon's hands. He may not provide much punch in 2020, but Dillon should be viewed as a back-end first-round pick in rookie drafts with the value he could bring to the table over the next few seasons. He loses a bit of spark in PPR formats, but the touchdown potential raises his floor.

Allen Lazard- With the Packers' refusal to add a receiver in what was one of the best draft classes in recent memory, it has to help a player already on the roster right? Don't try and sell me on Devin Funchess as I believe that Lazard has every chance to win the WR2 job in 2020. He started to gain steam down the stretch in 2019 as the rapport with Rodgers improved. His three WR3 or better weekly finishes in the final six games could be a momentum that is carried over into the 2020 season. As far as his dynasty stock, Lazard is a player that you could acquire at the moment for next to nothing. But his ability to perform in the right matchup could give you a key cog on your roster as a fill-in.

TRENDING DOWN

Aaron Rodgers- Rodgers is a player that is starting the downhill of his career. The perennial elite fantasy QB has played a full slate in each of the last two seasons but has only managed a QB7 finish (2018). The first year under LaFleur was a bit sketchy as his week-to-week value was all over the map. With the team running a more balanced attack, and an extreme lack of weapons, Rodgers could only muster six QB1 finishes during the 2019 season. The team's surprising addition of Jordan Love in the NFL Draft spells the end to Rodgers' days as the Packers QB and in dynasty formats now may be the time to pull the trigger on moving him while he maintains some value. He should still be considered a QB1 over the next couple of seasons, but the return value in a deal decreases by the day.

Aaron Jones- I know, how do you consider a player that finished just behind Christian McCaffrey as trending down? That is how I am looking at it. It all boils down to his scoring efficiency. The gigantic jump in scoring (173.4 in 2018 to 318.8 in 2019) was largely contributed to the success rate of getting into the end-zone (19 total TDs). The smart owner would say that regression is coming for Jones in 2020. Of course, with him being in a contract year, there is an incentive to play well. But the truth is, the future for Jones past the 2020 season seems uncertain. especially with A.J. Dillon firmly entrenched as the possible back moving forward. If I am a Jones owner in dynasty, I would look to capitalize on his 2019 numbers and sell high.

 

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are the most run-heavy team in this division, which is easy with a back as talented as Dalvin Cook in the backfield. Rumors of his contract situation aside, as long as he is on the field he is one of the most sought after backs in all of fantasy. Running the ball at a 50.5% rate has left Kirk Cousins in a situation where he has to limit mistakes and become increasingly efficient. Losing Stefon Diggs and his 93 targets may be considered a loss, but promising rookie Justin Jefferson should fill that void early on. But something to watch for with the Vikings in 2020 is the losses in the secondary. This could mean more points on the board for the defense, putting the offense in a situation to throw more.

TRENDING UP

Adam Thielen- People see the year-end numbers for Thielen for 2019 and assume that the decline is happening. But injuries were a major factor for him a season ago (missed six games). Thielen is just a year removed from being an elite PPR asset as he was for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Now back fully healthy and missing the departed Stefon Diggs, he has a chance to once again produce great value. He is largely going overlooked by owners at the moment, but expect to see him rise up draft boards before the season starts. In dynasty, he may be a player that you could acquire at the moment for a lesser deal as the 2019 stigma is fresh in people's minds.

Alexander Mattison- With all the contract squabbling going on at the moment with Dalvin Cook, the price for Mattison is going up by the day. Owners are striking while the iron is hot to off-load him for maximum gain. Meanwhile, other owners are acquiring him in hopes that they are striking gold with a player that could spearhead the Vikings ground game if Cook were to be absent. He played well in 2019 while firmly behind Cook (one week of RB2 scoring) and could have had much more success had he not been shut down at the end of the year. But in dynasty, if you are a Cook owner, it is almost vital that you have Mattison on your roster. If the relationship sours between Cook and the team, Mattison is a player that could return RB1 value.

TRENDING DOWN

Kirk Cousins- A quarterback that we were accustomed to seeing as a QB1 for several years, Cousins took a major step back in 2019 (QB17). The completion percentage (69%) and touchdowns (27) were extremely efficient, but the lack of opportunities in this high-powered rushing attack lowered his ceiling. The same case could be for him moving forward. No longer will he be the high-volume passer, instead vying to be more of a timely passer that helps feed the run game. He has firmly moved into QB2 territory in dynasty and should be treated as such.

Kyle Rudolph -Another player that suffered from the change in philosophy is Rudolph. After three straight years of being inside the top-ten, he saw the offense change, the team drafts another tight end (Irv Smith), and his value falls to TE14 last season. After seeing his snap share being surpassed by Smith at season's end, it is safe to say that Rudolph could be viewed as the backup in the team's plans moving forward. As he continues to lose value, his dynasty stock plummets with it.

 

Detroit Lions

It was a lost season for the Lions in 2019 once Matthew Stafford went down with an injury. And at nearly the same time, the team lost it's starting running back in Kerryon Johnson. The fantasy value of the remaining Lions was lost as the team finished out the season. Now with all players back and healthy, the team will need to rebound if Matt Patricia wants to keep his job. This team quietly has some nice options in fantasy with a number of them being young and viable dynasty commodities.

TRENDING UP

Kenny Golladay- Oddly, Golladay continues to go largely overlooked in both redraft and dynasty leagues. But even with the horrible QB play in the back half of the season, he managed to finish as WR9 in 2019. A lot of that damage was done with Stafford as the starter and with the duo back together again, Golladay could be primed for a huge season. With the new blood entering the NFL at the position over the next couple of seasons, Golladay could be a player to target with dynasty offers. Everyone wants the new, shiny toy and you could come away with a steal in an offer to the Golladay owner.

D'Andre Swift- Swift comes in with lofty expectations from fantasy owners after being drafted by the Lions. He has the skillset to succeed at the next level but has a couple of obstacles in his way. First, he will have to compete with Kerryon Johnson for touches in the backfield. Second, there is always the issue that the Lions have historically had trouble producing quality fantasy talent at the position. But at the end of the day, in dynasty formats, Swift will be a player that provides a strong value in any format for years to come.

TRENDING DOWN

Kerryon Johnson - Speaking of the other back in the Lions' rotation, it is all but said an done that Johnson will eventually be out of the equation. He has missed multiple games in his first two seasons, a fact that is surely not missed by the coaching staff. His PPG in 2018 (14.1) may wind up being a career-high as I don't expect to see him get the volume he'll need to achieve that production. Look for Johnson to move on to another team once his rookie deal with the Lions is up. If you have him rostered in dynasty, it would be a smart move to see if he pops a big game early in 2020 then try and sell off of that.

 

Chicago Bears

What a difference a year makes for the Bears. A powerhouse team in 2018, then an afterthought in 2019. The team found struggles on defense and the offense was just not potent enough to pick up the slack. The lone bright spot was the excellent play from Allen Robinson (WR8 in 2019). A player that showed he is back to full health once again and should be on the radar of any dynasty owner. The true test of this offense in 2020 and moving forward will be if they can finally solidify the QB position. That will go a long way in improving the overall efficiency of the Bears.

TRENDING UP

David MontgomeryA lot of hype was surrounding Montgomery heading into the 2019 season, and many owners felt that he failed miserably. But by season's end, he was starting to find his stride and managed to finish as RB24. Even in an offense that sees Tarik Cohen handling most of the receiving duties, Montgomery still was able to haul in 25 receptions in his rookie year. With the question marks around the QB position, the Bears should look to make Montgomery as the focal point of their offense moving forward. He is a player whose value should only go up from here. If he exceeds 250 carries (242 in 2019), he is all but locked into a top-twenty finish at the position. I still think he has the skills to produce at an RB1 level and in dynasty, Montgomery is a player I would ask about if the current owner is disgruntled.

Anthony Miller- A player that I have long be a proponent of, Miller may finally on the verge of breaking out. He has been consistent each of his first two years in the league while playing limited snaps behind Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel. But once Gabriel went down towards the end of last season, Miller showed what he could do (WR23 over the final five games). With Gabriel now departed, Miller is locked in as the WR2 for the Bears and the increase in snaps and targets should pay off bigtime. He would be a player that I am targeting in dynasty formats. The third-year breakout could be on the verge, but all of it is dependent upon the Bears finding consistency from their QB.

TRENDING DOWN

Mitchell Trubisky- Trubisky took a major step back in 2019 (down from 301.25 FP in 2018 to 238.2). So much so that the team decided to bring in a quarterback to compete with him in camp (Nick Foles). Trubisky became skittish in the pocket as he kept his eyes closer to the line of scrimmage (6.1 YPA down from 7.4). The Bears may finally realize they need Trubisky at his best to make this offense go. But is his best good enough? I lean towards the negative on that question as I think the Bears will be looking yet again for a franchise QB. Making Trubisky not only expendable by NFL circumstances, but in dynasty formats as well.

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SFBX Strategy and QB ADP Update- Woo Fantasy Podcast

RotoBaller fantasy football analyst Brandon Murchison is joined by co-host Nick Hefley in a new episode of WooFantasy! In this episode the guys take a look at the recently announced SFBX scoring and strategies that you could use depending on your draft slot. Also, they look at the latest ADP at the QB position and how you should attack these players in your drafts.

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Taking A Look At The QB Landscape

Looking at the current ADP of QBs in fantasy, the guys tell you who are players to buy into and which ones you should be selling. Should you be drafting Lamar Jackson in the first round of drafts? Also, Who are some players further down the board that are set up to vastly outdo their current ADP?

Players discussed in this episode include:

 

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