Fantasy Football Musings from the Desk of the Fantasy Executive
Corey “The Fantasy Executive” Parson checks in regularly here on his new Xclusive Edge blog with his thoughts on the latest Fantasy news and trends. Corey is the host of the Fantasy Football Frenzy on the FNTSY Sports Network and is a widely known and respected multiple high stakes league winner. His championship resume includes a 2016 Fantasy League of Experts (FLEX) title and he has won high stakes and expert leagues every season dating back to 2013.
October 19 – Week Seven Starts and Sits
Nick Chubb – The Nick Chubb era begins in Cleveland. If you haven’t heard the news Carlos Hyde has been traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Chubb will take over the early-down work for the Browns. Chubb’s first test will come versus a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that has allowed a whopping 34 points per game.
Duke Johnson – Noticing a trend here? Earlier this week I told you to go pick up Duke Johnson, now I’m telling you to start him. With Hyde shipped off to Jacksonville Johnson has a clear path to more snaps and receptions. In Week 4,Tarik Cohen had 121 yards receiving against the Bucs.
Austin Hooper – Might as well ride the hot hands and they belong to Austin Hooper right now. In the past 2 weeks, Hooper has 22 targets. His numbers have been almost identical, in Week 5 he had 9 catches for 77 yards, last week he had 9 catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. Matt Ryan is looking his way.
Mitchell Trubisky – The allure of a high scoring, up and down matchup vs the Patriots may have you thinking Trubisky is a good start this week. I get it, but the truth of the matter is there are better options than him this week if you are a QB streamer. I would start C.J. Beathard and Joe Flacco over Trubisky. Look for the Pats defense to frustrate Trubisky and keep him off balance.
Marvin Jones Jr. – Jones Jr. has disappointed so far this season. He has 3 touchdown receptions but not much else. In the Lions last 2 games he has 4 receptions for 64 yards. Matthew Stafford just isn’t looking his way. We are going into Week 7 and Jones only has 16 receptions. Kenny Golladay is the man in Detroit now.
Greg Olsen – Olsen had 7 targets last week in his return. He was on the field for all but one of the Panthers offensive snaps. All of that being said, Olsen is still a sit for me this week. The Eagles defense is tops in the NFL in points allowed to tight ends. They shut tight ends down.
October 16 – Week Seven Waiver Adds
October 13 – Week Six Starts and Sits
Ito Smith – Last time Devonta Freeman was out for the Falcons Smith played on over 40 percent of the offensive snaps. Freeman is out again this week, so Smith will see an uptick in snaps in what should be a high-scoring game. Smith has multiple touchdown upside this week.
Kyle Juszczyk – Even with Matt Breida healthy. Juszczyk had fantasy value in PPR formats. Breida is looking doubtful this week so Juszczyk is a great start in PPR formats. Last week Kyle played in close to 70 percent of the offensive snaps, catching six passes for 75 yards.
Jameis Winston – Winston gets his first start of the season versus the beat Atlanta Falcons defense. The Falcons are 28th in the NFL against the pass. Winston is a QB1 this week and will likely throw for over 400 yards.
Austin Ekeler – Ekeler is seeing fewer snaps and he isn’t getting the targets or carries he saw earlier in the season. He is extremely touchdown dependent. I don’t recommend you start him this week on the road vs the Browns.
Kenny Stills – In the past 4 weeks Stills has 10 receptions and only one for a touchdown. Stills had a promising start to the season but he can no longer be trusted in Fantasy lineups. The Bears defense has been dominating QB’s all season, this week they should feast on a gimpy Ryan Tannehill.
Greg Olsen – Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is hinting that Olsen will suit up this week. He is listed as questionable on the latest injury report. I would have to be beyond desperate to start Olsen. He could easily get re-injured, plus the matchup versus the Redskins is a poor one for the aging tight end.
October 8 – Week Six Waiver and FAAB Targets
Wendell Smallwood – With Jay Ajayi out for the season with a torn ACL Smallwood becomes the pickup of the week. Smallwood will definitely see an uptick in usage, but I would still temper my expectations. The Eagles will continue to use a committee approach at running back. Also, the Eagles are struggling on offense. Smallwood is a nice add for running back starved Fantasy teams but I would spend no more than a quarter of my remaining FAAB budget to pick him up.
Alfred Morris – Morris likely hit the wire in 12 teams leagues two weeks ago. Now that Matt Breida is dealing with an ankle injury Morris could become a feature back. Morris won’t save your season and Breida should not be out for more than two weeks. If you need a plug-and-play running back for the next couple of weeks Morris is worth an eight percent FAAB bid.
C.J. Beathard – Beathard has thrown for over 298 yards in each of his starts. He has thrown four touchdown passes and rushed for one. Beathard will be Fantasy relevant from here on. C.J. is the QB in a Fantasy-friendly offense on a team that will likely be playing from behind for the rest of the season. Beathard finished as a QB1 in Week Five. I don’t see that being a one-time thing.
Keke Coutee – I honestly thought Coutee was a flash in the pan after his big game last week. This week I’m on board. Coutee has 17 receptions on 22 targets the last two weeks. He has been on the field for over 80 percent of the Texans offensive snaps over the past two weeks. Coutee will be a nice player to own as Fantasy owners work through the bye weeks.
Jameis Winston – Jameis is back and the job is his. No matter what you think of Winston he has big-time Fantasy value as well something to prove. The weapons are there, so don’t be surprised if Jameis is in the QB1 convo for the rest of the season.
October 1 – Week Five Waiver and FAAB Targets
Taylor Gabriel – I wrote about him last week and he went off. His price will go up after the big game but still, keep your bid in the 8-10 percent range.
Mitchell Trubisky – The big six touchdown week for Trubisky is a great sign. He looking like he has a greater command of the offense. He is likely already owned in deeper and 2QB leagues. In 12 team leagues, he is a matchup-dependent streaming option.
Nyheim Hines – I have been saying for the last few seasons that the Colts backfield is not the place to look for Fantasy production. For the most part that has been the case. Hines is a different because of what he brings as a pass-catcher. Hines has 26 targets on the season. He is also increasing his snap counts every week.
Nick Chubb – Chubb may have been dropped by an impatient owner earlier in the season. The job in Cleveland belongs to Carlos Hyde but Chubb may have earned more carries with an impressive 105-yard, two touchdown performance. Chubb doesn’t really get many snaps, so keep your bids under 8 percent unless you are a Hyde owner.
Rashard Higgins – Higgins is not getting a lot of targets, but he does catch what comes his way. I like the fact that Higgins is playing in close to 70 percent of the Browns snaps. He could be a nice plug-and-play once the bye weeks ramp up.
September 29 – Week Four Starts and Sits
Chris Godwin – Godwin is living up to his potential so far this season. He is averaging 15 Fantasy points per game in PPR scoring. The combination of Godwin and Ryan Fitzpatrick has produced a touchdown pass in every game this season. DeSean Jackson is playing well also, but with 10 targets last week, Godwin has arrived as Tampa Bay’s true second option in the passing game.
Sony Michel – Patriots rookie Sony Michel is ready to take over as New England’s lead back. Rex Burkhead is out for the season and Michel has recovered from his preseason injury. The Patriots have a home game versus a Dolphins defense ranked 24th against the run. This may be the start of something for Michel owners.
Matt Breida – I bet you didn’t know that Breida is tied with Ezekiel Elliot for the league lead in rushing yards. Breida has been on the injury report this week. If he is active he could become the check down king for C.J. Beathard. Which makes him a good start in PPR leagues.
Derrick Henry – I will admit I was wrong in predicting a Henry breakout this season. The Titans offense can’t move the ball effectively. It’s not like Henry is not getting the carries, in each of the last 2 weeks he has received 18 carries. The problem is he is not doing anything with those carries. Henry is barely averaging three yards a pop. This week the Titans take on an Eagles rush defense that has been lights out this season.
Ben Watson – The Giants have struggled to cover the tight end position for the past few seasons. Many Fantasy owners went to the waiver wire this week and added Watson to stream versus the Giants. The problem is Watson is not that heavily involved in the Saints offense. Last week was his only Fantasy relevant outing so far this season. I don’t see the Saints scoring another 40-plus points this week. There are more reliable tight ends to stream than Ben Watson.
Matthew Stafford – Stafford is having a typical solid Stafford-like season. Nothing to brag about but nothing to sneeze at. This week the Lions travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. The Cowboys defense has been tough on opposing QBs this season. QBs are throwing for less than 200 yards a game vs. Dallas
September 25 – Week Four Waiver Targets
Ryan Tannehill – I have been very critical of Ryan Tannehill in the past. I don’t feel bad, he deserved it. I have to give credit where credit is due. Tannehill has taken advantage of the Dolphins schedule to start the season, He is currently QB12 on the season. Tannehill should be in the weekly QB streaming conversation if the matchup is right.
Baker Mayfield – The Mayfield era in Cleveland kicked off with a bang in Week Three. Mayfield gave the Browns a spark and they actually won a game. The Browns have plenty of weapons on offense and Mayfield will be allowed to play without having to look over his shoulders. Like Tannehill, Mayfield should be in the weekly streaming conversation.
Dallas Goedert – It took three weeks but the Eagles rookie tight end now has Fantasy value. Carson Wentz returned and picked up where he left off, targeting the tight end position. We know Zach Ertz will still be the main guy, but the Eagles offense can support two Fantasy-relevant tight ends. Goedert had seven targets in Week Three, fifth most among tight ends.
Jordy Nelson – Nelson was likely dropped after barely being mentioned in the box scores in Weeks One and Two. Week Three was a throwback for Nelson owners. He caught six of his eight targets for 173 yards and a touchdown. So far we have seen Jared Cook and Amari Cooper each have big weeks. Derek Carr is targeting the player with the best matchup. Nelson will be a high-risk/reward player through the bye weeks.
Taylor Gabriel – He has 22 targets through three games. Gabriel will always be a risky boom-or-bust play but he should be owned in 12-team leagues as we approach the bye weeks. Keep your FAAB bids on the minimal side.
September 22 – Week Three Starts and Sits
Latavius Murray – Dalvin Cook is out this week, so Murray gets the running game to himself. Filling in for Dalvin Cook last season Murray had 10 games with at least 15 carries. The Vikings are 17-point favorites in this game, meaning Murray should get a nice workload to kill the clock with.
Matt Breida – On 22 carries this season Breida is averaging over eight yards a pop. It’s clear that he is a better more versatile running back than Alfred Morris. There will be a lot of offense in this game, so start Breida as a flex.
Eric Ebron – No Jack Doyle for the Colts this week, so Ebron will be the primary tight end. Ebron has seven catches and two touchdowns through the first two weeks of the season. If Ebron is on your waiver wire pick him up and play him.
Carson Wentz- I don’t think the Colts defense is anything special, that’s not the reason for this sit. Personally, I don’t like playing quarterbacks in their first game back from injury. Matter of fact, I think Nick Foles would still be starting if the Eagles won last week. Wentz may be back, but I doubt he is ready.
Derrick Henry – Henry was in the game for 44 percent of the Titans’ offensive snaps last week. That’s a good number but the production hasn’t come along with the snaps. The Jaguars defense has been dominant vs the run yet again.
Trey Burton – Burton is a player I liked a lot coming into the season. So far it’s not working out for Burton in his new home. Mitchell Trubisky is locked in on Allen Robinson. Burton has 10 targets through two games, but only five catches for 35 yards.
September 18 – Waiver Tips
Giovani Bernard – I wish I was fortunate enough to have Gio as a free agent in one of my leagues. If Gio is on your waiver wire he is this week’s top priority. Joe Mixon will be out for about a month, and Gio has the full workload to himself.
Chris Ivory – LeSean McCoy’s owners need to grab Ivory before a league mate snakes you. McCoy is dealing with cracked rib cartilage, although he should be the starter in Week 3. If I’m a McCoy owner I would rather be safe than sorry. If I’m not a McCoy owner and have the roster real estate I would put a dollar on Ivory.
Corey Clement – Clement filled in nicely for Darren Sproles in Week 2. The Eagles back scored a rushing touchdown and caught 5 passes for 55 yards. Sproles will not hold up all season so Clement will be a nice piece to have as we push toward the bye week. Plus, Jay Ajayi is dealing with a back injury.
Antonio Callaway – Josh Gordon is in New England. Antonio Callaway is the new starter for the Browns. Callaway is a dynamic WR who just needs more opportunities. Those opportunities will now come his way. In his first start last week Callaway caught 3 of his 4 targets for 81 yards and a touchdown.
Tyler Boyd – One preseason play made Fantasy Football owners run out and grab John Ross. That was a mistake. Tyler Boyd is the receiver not named A.J Green to own on the Bengals. Boyd proved that in Week 2 with 6 receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown. What I really liked was the 9 targets.
Willie Snead – Snead has double-digit points in PPR formats in each of the first 2 weeks of the season. Snead will not win your league for you, but if you have space on your bench to add him do so. You will thank me when the bye weeks start.
September 14 – Starts and Sits
Tarik Cohen – Cohen was not a big part of the game plan last week vs the Packers. He rushed the ball five times and caught three passes. Cohen is too talented to go back-to-back weeks with a limited role. I like him a lot this week in PPR vs the Seahawks defense.
Chris Godwin – Godwin showed up for his supporters in a big way in Week 1. Although it’s highly unlikely anyone had him in their starting lineups.
Will Fuller- The Titans defense gave up two touchdowns passes to Ryan Tannehill last week. So you can imagine what Deshaun Watson will do versus the unit this week. Even though Fuller is making his 2018 debut this week I don’t expect the Texans to have him on a pitch count. I like Fuller as a high upside flex option.
Jamaal Williams – Williams carried the ball 15 times last week for 47 yards. That isn’t terrible but that was against the Bears defense. This week versus the big bad Vikings defense it’s a good idea to sit Williams.
Amari Cooper – Things don’t seem to be improving for Cooper. Last week’s one-catch performance was just the latest disappointment from the Raiders wideout. This week he gets the always tough Broncos secondary in Denver. Cooper should be benched until further notice.
Kerryon Johnson – I am a huge fan of Johnson, as a matter of fact I own him on several teams. I’m sure he will have Fantasy value at some point this season. I’m not sure this will be the week, though. Last week versus the Niners, Vikings runners averaged less than four yards per carry. The Lions need to find an identity on offense before we can begin to trust Johnson in our starting lineups.
September 12 – FAAB Finds
Geronimo Allison – If you have to fight for Allison on your waiver wire that’s your own fault. I have been saying all preseason that Allison will play a big role in the Packers offense. Sunday night was just the beginning. Pay 12-16 percent of your FAAB to scoop him off the wire.
Quincy Enunwa – Enunwa is back healthy and is already in the good graces of Sam Darnold. Enunwa will lead the Jets in targets this season. Enunwa is a more talented playmaker than Robby Anderson. Drop 9-11 percent of your FAAB budget on Quincy.
Cole Beasley – The Cowboys offense looked pitiful in the opener vs the Panthers. There may not be much to their passing game all season. Beasley won/t be on the wire if you are in a league with me. Beasley has too much sauce for the wire and should be owned in all 12-team PPR leagues. Eight to 10 percent of your FAAB budget should score Beasley.
Phillip Lindsay- Who saw this coming? Lindsay led the Broncos backfield in Fantasy production in Week One. The “other” Broncos rookie running back rushed 15 times for 71 yards and also had a receiving touchdown. Every Fantasy owner needs running back depth. Spend 18-21 percent of your FAAB budget on Phillip Lindsay.
James White – Patriots backs are tough to trust, and tougher to trust in Week One. I’m pretty confident James White will get enough work to be a flex play in PPR formats to start the season. Most of the Patriots RBs are banged up. Couple that with a game that should be up-and-down, and you can look for Tom Brady to get the ball to old reliable Jimmy White.
Tyrod Taylor – Tyrod Taylor has a nice matchup this week at home versus Pittsburgh. Opposing Quarterbacks normally have big games vs the Steelers. It also helps that Vegas has the Browns with an implied point total of over 20 points this week. Taylor has some big-time offensive weapons at his disposal this year, not to mention Taylor has 14 rushing touchdowns in the past 3 seasons.
Kenny Stills – Stills is the only competent WR on the Dolphins. The departure of Jarvis Landry left a lot of targets to go around for the Dolphins. DeVante Parker is doubtful for Week One and isn’t good anyway. The Dolphins will be playing from behind, so Ryan Tannehill will have to wing it. Stills should see at least 7 targets.
Chris Carson – Carson will have his chances to be in your starting lineup this season, but just not in Week One. The Broncos run defense remains awesome and they are even better at home. A rebuilt Seahawks offensive line will struggle. Yards on the ground will be hard to come by for Russell Wilson and the gang. In 2017 the Broncos defense only gave up 9 rushing touchdowns.
Peyton Barber – Much like Chris Carson, Barber will make your starting lineup at some point during the season. You will have to be extremely thin at RB to play Barber this week. Look for the Saints to get out early on their division rivals and not look back. Barber will have limited opportunities vs. a run defense that only gave up 11 touchdowns last season.
We are past the draft stage of the offseason and it’s time for the Fantasy points to start tabulating. With so much change in the past four days, there may be some hidden gems on the waiver wire or nifty trade acquisitions. Here is a snapshot of some players that I believe are worth an early season add or trade offer. Please be careful who you drop when going to pick up players, for example, I was asked on Twitter if I would drop Dion Lewis to pick up Alfred Morris. Obviously, I would not.
With the NFL preseason coming to a close, I want to touch on some players who are rising up draft boards as we head toward kickoff.
ADP – Average Draft Position
The latest Beat The Fantasy Executive league was a 28 round Best Ball draft that took place this past weekend. Most of you already know who I like early, so let me walk you through some of my late round fliers.
ADP – Average Draft Position
For at least a decade every so-called Fantasy Football expert has preached to owners to wait on your quarterback. It is sound advice, as quarterback is normally very deep and you don’t need the top player at the position to win your league. Dudes like Blake Bortles can get hot at the right time and lead you to Fantasy glory. In seasons past many local or home leagues will have guys that will draft quarterbacks in the first three rounds. From the draft boards I have seen this year that is no longer the case. Everyone, not just the “experts” are waiting on their quarterbacks. That means it is time to switch up the strategy and pay up for the big-name quarterbacks. I’m not saying to go overboard and draft Aaron Rodgers in the first round, but there is a method to my madness. Luckily I’m willing to share that with you.
The first run of the Fantasy Executive rankings is here. Unfortunately, due to injuries in this weekend’s preseason games, some players no longer have rankings. My rankings will be updated every Friday so you will have them for your upcoming weekend drafts.
ADP – Average Draft Position
Every year as more and more people get into Fantasy Football and start mock drafting, ADPs on certain players begin to change. Two players with Average Draft Positions headed in the wrong direction are Rashaad Penny and Tyreek Hill. Let’s examine both, starting with the new Seahawk. Penny (FantasyPros RB22 in PPR) was drafted by Seattle with its first selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. The San Diego State standout led the FBS in rushing and all-purpose yards. The 5-11 Penny was going in the third round of Fantasy Football drafts throughout the month of July. I have noticed over the past couple of weeks Penny’s ADP is starting to slide to the 4th and even 5th rounds. The reason mainly is because of the presence of Chris Carson, who is having a great camp. Carson, whose rookie season ended in Week 4 with a leg injury, has said that he is better prepared for the rigors of the NFL. Carson has created enough of a buzz to affect Penny’s ADP. Penny will have the opportunity to take this backfield from Carson but I don’t see it happening this season. As the Seahawks offensive line improves their running game should also. When Seattle was good, the rushing attack was the staple of their offense. In the past two seasons, the Seahawks have finished 24th and 25th in rushing, causing a major problem for the offense. Penny, along with Carson, will improve the rushing game this season, but not to the point that either will be a Top 12 Fantasy back. Penny should not be drafted any higher than Round 4. The Seattle backfield will be a nightmarish timeshare that will cause headaches for Fantasy Football owners.