Popular Features

  • 2019 First Round NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine
    February 28, 2019
    2019 First Round NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine

    Pre-Combine NFL Mock Draft The 2019 NFL Draft is over 50 days away but the speculation on how the first round will go is in full swing. I have been waiting my whole football career to be in the position to do a first-round NFL Mock Draft and with so much intrigue, especially amongst the top…

  • First Round Rookie Mock Draft
    February 18, 2019
    First Round Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft

    With the Combine only a couple of weeks away, now seems like a good time to start evaluating not just who to target in dynasty rookie drafts, but where those targets may go in your league. I got together with Davis Mattek (@DavisMattek) to do a first round rookie mock draft. Our objective in this…

  • Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings premium
    March 1, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft: Pre-Combine Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings

    Pre-Combine Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings Earlier this week, Anthony Amico published his pre-combine rookie WR rankings. Now that the NFL combine is upon us, here are my Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings. I have done them by position: Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Running Back and Tight End. These positional rankings are going to change for…

  • The 2019 Post-Combine RB Success Model 2
    March 2, 2019
    The 2019 Post-Combine RB Success Model

    Which 2019 RB Prospects Have the Best Odds to Succeed? I’ve been doing a lot of modeling on the wide receiver side of things so far, but very little with running backs. There are some new modeling techniques I’ve been eager to try, with one of them being a logistic regression to find success probability…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Josh Jacobs, Alabama
    March 15, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Josh Jacobs, Alabama

    Josh Jacobs 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Scouting Report Josh Jacobs is not an easy prospect to evaluate. For most NFL scouts and self-styled NFL Draft analysts on the internet, he is either the best running back in the 2019 NFL draft class or at least in the conversation. I have a distinct feeling that…

  • You Are Probably Too Low On Damien Williams For Fantasy Football
    March 19, 2019
    You Are Probably Too Low On Damien Williams For Fantasy Football

    Damien Williams: First Round Fantasy Football Pick Damien Williams is being ranked and drafted erroneously. As of this moment, his Expert Consensus Ranking on Fantasy Pros (which combines rankings from across the industry) plants him as the 43rd overall player. At the running back position, he is being ranked behind Derrick Henry, Kerryon Johnson, Phillip…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
    March 19, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Deebo Samuel, South Carolina

    Deebo Samuel 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Scouting Report Deebo Samuel has had a wild ride as a prospect. In 2017 lists and at the start of the 2018 season, he was perhaps regarded as one of the best wide receiver prospects in the entire class. Samuel was pretty consistently hampered by injury while at…

  • Fantasy Football Free Agency: Tyrell Williams & Oakland Raiders 2
    March 19, 2019
    Fantasy Football Free Agency: Tyrell Williams & Oakland Raiders

    Fantasy Football Free Agency: Tyrell Williams Signs With The Oakland Raiders The wide receiver market was not nearly as good in free agency as it was via trade, making Tyrell Williams one of the best options out there for teams to sign. The Raiders made what appeared to be a sizable commitment for him – four years and…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profiles: David Montgomery, Iowa State
    March 18, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profiles: David Montgomery, Iowa State

    David Montgomery 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Scouting Report More so than any other running back (other than the undraftable Elijah Holyfield), David Montgomery did himself no favors at the NFL Combine. Before the combine, it was assumed that either Montgomery or Josh Jacobs would be the top running back selected in the NFL Draft.…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
    March 18, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

    2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Scouting Report: Marquise Brown Marquise Brown, the ‘Hollywood’ cousin of new Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown, put on a dazzling show his final season at Oklahoma. Playing with Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, he played his way into the first round of the NFL Draft conversation. Unfortunately, he was…

Have Browns Duke Johnson and Titans Dion Lewis Earned Must-Start Status?

Have Browns Duke Johnson and Titans Dion Lewis Earned Must-Start Status?
Chris Mitchell November 9, 2018 5:34PM EDT

Trending and NoteWorthy: Illusions, Risers and Must-Start Performers

We are in a crucial stretch of the Fantasy football season. Owners at 4-5, 5-4 and even 6-3 in some leagues, see themselves in Week 10 must-win games, while teams at 7-2 or better are booking Fantasy playoff tickets, talking smack on the message boards and looking for desperate owners to exploit in trades.

Now is the time to be ahead of the curve. Who an owner claims or cuts, starts or sits has to be decided based on 2018 results, not distorted by reputation or influenced by past glory. Draft day ADPs are irrelevant in November. The wrong call can cost owners the playoffs at this juncture of the season. Knowing who is hot and who is not is more important than ever now.

Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR/RB New England Patriots

2018 Season Stats:

16 Targets – 12 Receptions – 121 Receiving Yards – Two TDs

28 Rushing Attempts – 135 Rushing Yards – One TD

This probably doesn’t need to be said, but “Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled” by Cordarrelle Patterson in leagues where he has earned running back qualification. He has 16 targets, 28 rushing attempts, 40 total touches, 256 total yards from scrimmage, three touchdowns and 50 Fantasy points in Yahoo Leagues. He isn’t relevant as a RB or a WR and he wouldn’t even be relevant as a tight end with Sony Michel’s return to the Patriots backfield.

In his last four games, Patterson has two receptions and since Sony Michel was injured in Week Seven against the Chicago Bears, he has one. His targets were limited when Michel was playing and his targets and receptions have dropped while he has been out. Michel is expected to return this week against Tennessee and Patterson will return, with his RB qualification, to being Fantasy irrelevant again as a Patriots wide receiver only.

 NoteWorthy

Maurice Harris, WR Washington Redskins

Week Nine Stats:

12 Targets – 10 Receptions – 124 Receiving Yards

I originally had Harris characterized as “Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled,” until research showed that he was targeted nine times in Week Eight prior to his Week Nine, 12-target, 12-catch, 124-yard coming-out party.

I am not ready to call him a must-own, but consecutive weeks of nine and 12 targets makes him “NoteWorthy,” rather than an “out-and-out fraud in relevant clothing.” Monitor Harris and if you’re desperate due to byes or injuries, he has earned consideration.

Duke Johnson Jr., RB Cleveland Brown

Week Nine Stats:

Nine Targets – Nine Receptions – 78 Receiving Yards – Two TDs

One Rushing Attempt – Eight Yards

2017 Stats:

93 Targets – 74 Receptions – 693 Yards – Three TDs

82 Rushing Attempts – 348 Yards – Four TDs

With game planning and play calling in the hands of new minds Johnson was finally relevant in Week Nine.

With Hue Jackson and Todd Haley running the roster and calling the plays, Johnson had at least five rushing attempts in a game only once and not more than four receptions or a touchdown in a single game. The first game after they were fired, Johnson was targeted nine times, caught nine passes and scored two touchdowns.

In 2017, Johnson had 74 receptions, 1,041 total yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns. For a running back with fewer than 85 rushing attempts, that is remarkably relevant. His one-game sample size in new circumstances along with the departure of Carlos Hyde suggests that Johnson will be a larger piece of the play calling pie going forward and it makes sense. It will ease the pressure on Baker Mayfield and he has the skill set to contribute more than he had prior to the coaching changes. We saw it in 2017 and in Week Nine.

Johnson hasn’t earned must-start status on the field yet, but he is a must-own and must-start in yearly leagues this week in a friendly matchup against a Falcons defense that ranks third worst in Fantasy Points Allowed to running backs (30.8 points per game). Daily Fantasy players should be slightly less bullish. The Falcons have allowed eight rushing touchdowns, but only two receiving touchdowns to running backs. That makes Nick Chubb a more tantalizing DFS play than Johnson, who isn’t a run threat in the red zone.

Adam Humphries, WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Four-Game Sample Size:

31 Targets – 22 Receptions – 277 Yards – Two TDs

Humphries has outscored Brandin Cooks, Tyler Boyd and Odell Beckham Jr. and has been targeted more than Tyreek Hill, Michael Thomas (in three games) and fellow Bucs receivers DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin in the last four games.

He has been the 13th most targeted and 12th highest scoring Fantasy wide receiver over that span and he has seven and eight receptions since Ryan Fitzpatrick was re-inserted as the Bucs quarterback in the middle of Week Eight and as the starter in Week Nine.

The current “Trends” suggest Humphries will be “FitzMagic’s” number two go-to-guy in an offense that always plays from behind and ranks fifth in passing attempts (41.6) and first in passing yards per game (356.6). Owners keep asking about Chris Godwin, but its Humphries that’s got Fitzpatrick’s attention and he is owned in only 12% of Yahoo leagues. He has to be owned and in most cases, started.

Aaron Jones, RB Green Bay Packers

Two-Week Totals:

26 Rushing Attempts – 161 Yards – One TD

Mike McCarthy’s handling of his backfield, and the Packers offense on the whole, has been a head-scratcher and especially frustrating for Jones’ owners. He is averaging 6.0 Yards per carry and has yet to provide a game where he was given more than 14 rushing attempts.

Jones is explosive when given the opportunity. Unfortunately, he isn’t receiving the chances at levels that Fantasy owners can utilize and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry in 2017 as well, and still only rushed the ball 81 times in 12 games. Jones has to be owned, while it’s difficult to recommend him in yearly or DFS formats due to his lack of touches and overall absence from the passing game. All owners can do is wait, hope, and bench him. He symbolizes the reason I have a “Noteworthy” section in my weekly column.

Trending

Dion Lewis, RB Tennessee Titans

Week Seven Stats:

13 Rushing Attempts – 91 Yards

Six Targets – Six Receptions – 64 Yards

Week Nine Stats:

19 Rushing Attempts – 62 Yards

Four Targets – Four Receptions – 60 Yards – One TD

Lewis’ season has trended up in recent weeks after a relatively pedestrian start. He has produced 120 or more total yards from scrimmage in back-to-back weeks, including a receiving touchdown in Week Nine.

Lewis’ one limitation is his lack of touchdowns this season. His only touchdowns were a rushing score in Week One and a receiving touchdown in Week Nine. Lewis’ total yards from scrimmage and receptions elevate his floor regardless of the limitations on his ceiling and he faces a New England Patriots defense that has allowed 57 receptions, 538 receiving yards and five touchdowns to running backs. Lewis can be a red zone weapon, but the question is whether the Titans choose to use him or not. Mike Vrabel knows the Patriots lack of speed at linebacker makes Lewis a red zone mismatch this week. I can see 150 total yards and two touchdowns this week. He is a must-start in all formats, including DFS.

Andy Dalton, QB Cincinnati Bengals

Four-Week Totals:

51 Fantasy Points – 657 Passing Yards – Five TDs

Dalton ranked 25th among quarterbacks in Fantasy scoring over the last four weeks and what’s more disturbing than how low his scoring has been, is who he struggled to perform against. He faced three of the six worst defenses in Fantasy Points Allowed to quarterbacks (Steelers/Chiefs/Buccaneers). Dalton did not throw for more than two touchdowns or 280 yards in any of those games against any of those passer-friendly defenses.

He started the season throwing 11 touchdowns in his first four games, including 337 and 352 passing yards against Carolina and Atlanta. If owners haven’t jumped off the Dalton ship yet, it’s time to realize that it’s long past time and do so now.

Bonus Boyd Info

With A.J. Green out for two weeks with a foot injury, owners should be dropping Dalton while DFS players should be loving some Tyler Boyd.

Tyler Boyd, WR Cincinnati Bengals

Week Eight Stats:

10 Targets – Nine Receptions – 138 Yards – One TD
Boyd has three touchdowns in his last three games and caught nine balls for 138 yards against the Buccaneers in Week Eight. He faces a Saints defense that ranks worst in the NFL in Fantasy Points Allowed (52.8 points per game), receiving yards allowed (1,924) and receiving touchdowns allowed (15). He is a must-start DFS play this week even with a relatively lofty price tag for a player that hasn’t established himself as a household name yet. Don’t let the sticker shock you, he is a Lamborghini convertible on the Autobahn this week against the Saints.

 

Popular Features

  • 2019 First Round NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine
    February 28, 2019
    2019 First Round NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine

    Pre-Combine NFL Mock Draft The 2019 NFL Draft is over 50 days away but the speculation on how the first round will go is in full swing. I have been waiting my whole football career to be in the position to do a first-round NFL Mock Draft and with so much intrigue, especially amongst the top…

  • First Round Rookie Mock Draft
    February 18, 2019
    First Round Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft

    With the Combine only a couple of weeks away, now seems like a good time to start evaluating not just who to target in dynasty rookie drafts, but where those targets may go in your league. I got together with Davis Mattek (@DavisMattek) to do a first round rookie mock draft. Our objective in this…

  • Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings premium
    March 1, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft: Pre-Combine Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings

    Pre-Combine Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings Earlier this week, Anthony Amico published his pre-combine rookie WR rankings. Now that the NFL combine is upon us, here are my Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings. I have done them by position: Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Running Back and Tight End. These positional rankings are going to change for…

  • The 2019 Post-Combine RB Success Model 2
    March 2, 2019
    The 2019 Post-Combine RB Success Model

    Which 2019 RB Prospects Have the Best Odds to Succeed? I’ve been doing a lot of modeling on the wide receiver side of things so far, but very little with running backs. There are some new modeling techniques I’ve been eager to try, with one of them being a logistic regression to find success probability…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Josh Jacobs, Alabama
    March 15, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Josh Jacobs, Alabama

    Josh Jacobs 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Scouting Report Josh Jacobs is not an easy prospect to evaluate. For most NFL scouts and self-styled NFL Draft analysts on the internet, he is either the best running back in the 2019 NFL draft class or at least in the conversation. I have a distinct feeling that…

  • You Are Probably Too Low On Damien Williams For Fantasy Football
    March 19, 2019
    You Are Probably Too Low On Damien Williams For Fantasy Football

    Damien Williams: First Round Fantasy Football Pick Damien Williams is being ranked and drafted erroneously. As of this moment, his Expert Consensus Ranking on Fantasy Pros (which combines rankings from across the industry) plants him as the 43rd overall player. At the running back position, he is being ranked behind Derrick Henry, Kerryon Johnson, Phillip…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
    March 19, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Deebo Samuel, South Carolina

    Deebo Samuel 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Scouting Report Deebo Samuel has had a wild ride as a prospect. In 2017 lists and at the start of the 2018 season, he was perhaps regarded as one of the best wide receiver prospects in the entire class. Samuel was pretty consistently hampered by injury while at…

  • Fantasy Football Free Agency: Tyrell Williams & Oakland Raiders 2
    March 19, 2019
    Fantasy Football Free Agency: Tyrell Williams & Oakland Raiders

    Fantasy Football Free Agency: Tyrell Williams Signs With The Oakland Raiders The wide receiver market was not nearly as good in free agency as it was via trade, making Tyrell Williams one of the best options out there for teams to sign. The Raiders made what appeared to be a sizable commitment for him – four years and…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profiles: David Montgomery, Iowa State
    March 18, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profiles: David Montgomery, Iowa State

    David Montgomery 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Scouting Report More so than any other running back (other than the undraftable Elijah Holyfield), David Montgomery did himself no favors at the NFL Combine. Before the combine, it was assumed that either Montgomery or Josh Jacobs would be the top running back selected in the NFL Draft.…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
    March 18, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

    2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Scouting Report: Marquise Brown Marquise Brown, the ‘Hollywood’ cousin of new Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown, put on a dazzling show his final season at Oklahoma. Playing with Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, he played his way into the first round of the NFL Draft conversation. Unfortunately, he was…