Welcome back to football and more importantly Fantasy Football. If this is your first time reading The Playlist, thanks for stopping by. By combining song lyrics with analysis, we will discuss player values each week as they pertain to seasonal, dynasty and daily formats. Just a note for regular readers, I am going to some repeat songs from last season because well, some of them are simply too good not to. With plenty to talk about, let’s get right to business. Here’s a link to the full Week 1 Playlist (excuse the bootleg Are You That Somebody?, apparently the Aaliyah version is not on Spotify).
Jameis Winston (QB, Bucs) – “We about to go HAM, hard as a motherf*****.” Winston scored at least one TD in every single game as a rookie and had more than 200 yards passing in 14 of 16. He is at the helm of a blossoming young offense and consistency could lead to QB1 numbers for him this season. The only caution early in the season is the Bucs’ brutal schedule. They play against four top defenses in Weeks 2-5. Considering he likely cost you a late round pick, that is not a bad return on investment. Buoyed by a strong running game, one of the best receiving backs in the game and a receiver on the verge of being elite, there is plenty to like heading into his second year. If a healthy Vincent Jackson can revive his career, that will only help Winston’s development. By season’s end, Winston will be considered a lock as a Top 5 Dynasty QB and go into 2017 as one of the best redraft options as well. Winston and Mike Evans are in for monster seasons.
End of the Road by Boyz II Men
Tony Romo (QB, Cowboys)- “Although we’ve come to the end of the road / Still I can’t let you go.” I always liked Romo as a Fantasy QB. He has been a stat machine when healthy. The last part of that statement is becoming the main concern for the 36-year-old signal caller. He was limited to four games last year and is expected to miss significant time in 2016. If he can work his way back, an ideal situation awaits him. Romo would work behind the best offensive line in football with an elite receiver and a young, workhorse back. Back injuries have a tendency to flare back up, just ask Donnie Baseball and Larry Legend. While he went undrafted in most leagues after the injury news, Romo is still one to watch in deep formats. Luckily for Cowboys fans, they might have stolen a QB of the future on Day three of the NFL Draft in Dak Prescott, whose stock is on the rise after a strong summer. You have to give Prescott a long look in Daily Fantasy formats this week, with a $5,000 salary on DraftKings and a home date versus the Giants.
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John and Kiki Dee
Melvin Gordon (RB, Chargers) – “Nobody knows it, When I was down, I was your clown, Nobody knows it, Right from the start, I gave you my heart, I gave you my heart.” Much was expected of Gordon in his rookie season, but what we got was meh. He managed just 3.5 yards per carry and could not find the end zone despite 217 touches. Add in offseason microfracture surgery and there was plenty of reason for pessimism. He ran with confidence and juice this summer, though, and could be poised to rebound in a big way. Danny Woodhead is there to eat into his work, but Gordon will get all the work that he earns. The 23-year-old is a potential workhorse and one of only a handful of backs that could push for a Top 12 finish this season. While that might be expecting too much once again, Gordon deserves to be on the RB2 radar.
Perfect Strangers by Jonas Blue and JP Cooper
Devonta Freeman (RB, Falcons) – “Maybe we’re perfect strangers. Maybe it’s not forever. Maybe intellect will change us. Maybe we’ll stay together. Maybe we’ll walk away. Maybe we’ll realize. We’re only human. Maybe we don’t need no reason.” Freeman was a flat out stud last season, going on a rampage with over 1,600 yards, 14 TDs and 73 receptions in 15 games. After expected starter Tevin Coleman got injured early in the year, Freeman put a stranglehold on the job and never looked back. In 2016, we can expect more involvement from Coleman, but where does that leave Freeman? He is still very much an RB1 in PPR formats and should catch at least 50 passes. He is not going to be completely phased out of the running game, but instead of more than 350 touches, he is down somewhere around 275 – 300 total. He can be plenty dangerous with those touches. If I own Freeman in dynasty, I definitely want my hands on Coleman as well.
i hate u, i love you by gnash and Olivia O’Brien
Josh Gordon (WR, Browns)- “I hate you, I love you. I hate that I love you. Don’t want to, but I can’t put Nobody else above you.” Melvin is not the only Gordon that Fantasy owners have a love/hate relationship with. Gordon is back and he’s on almost every single one of my Fantasy rosters. I just cannot quit this guy, like he cannot quit smoking weed. I want to harken back to 2013, when he blazed through the NFL for 1,646 yards and 9 TDs in just 14 games. He is still only 25 years old and despite not playing since the 2014 season (and not particularly well), Gordon is an enticing high upside threat. With Corey Coleman, Gary Barnidge, Duke Johnson and maybe even Terrelle Pryor, Gordon won’t be literally the only viable option in the passing game anymore.
All The Way Up by Fat Joe and Remy Ma
Donte Moncrief (WR, Colts) – “Nothing can stop me, I’m all the way up. All the way up. I’m all the way up.” Moncrief was on his way to a breakout season in 2015, but Andrew Luck’s injury stopped that in its tracks. Fortunately, that might have actually kept his price suppressed a bit, something you should not get used to. T.Y. Hilton is a terrific playmaker and Philip Dorsett is a developing one, but Moncrief can be physically dominating in a way that they cannot. With Coby Fleener in New Orleans and Andre Johnson clinging on in Tennessee, there are more targets to go around and Moncrief should gobble up close to 10 per game. The 23-year-old has the potential to be Luck’s go-to receiver and one of the best in the NFL…and it could happen as soon as this season.
Are You That Somebody by Aaliyah
Clive Walford (TE, Raiders) – “Say yes or say no. ‘Cause I really need somebody. Tell me are you that somebody.” Walford made strides as a rookie and could find his way into a major bump in targets this year. He is an optimal move tight end in a pass happy offense on the verge of breaking out. With Derek Carr coming into his own and Amari Cooper already one of the most dangerous wideouts in the league, this is an ideal situation for a young pass-first TE. Walford is strictly TE2 material right now, but that could change very quickly. He’s an excellent buy in Dynasty formats if you can still get him. If the targets are there early in the season, do not be afraid to roll him out in DFS either. Walford could be a working class Jordan Reed.
Ghost by Ella Henderson
Jared Cook (TE, Packers) – “I keep going to the river to pray. ‘Cause I need something that can wash out the pain. And at most, I’m sleeping all these demons away. But your ghost, the ghost of you. It keeps me awake.” Cook has been teasing Fantasy owners since 2009. He has always had the athleticism and freakish ability, but it simply has not translated to results. He has never had more than 52 catches, five TDs or 759 yards in a season. Yes, I am aware that he has never played with a QB as good as Aaron Rodgers. I am not discounting the possibility of Cook having a handful of big games, but he will ultimately disappoint, just as he has done year after year. Don’t believe the hype (again).
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