Behind The Sticks
Shots With MZE
Behind The Sticks
Shots With MZE
Below are my WR rankings for the 2019 season. I considered writing a player capsule on each player, but I’ve decided my time could be best spent elsewhere typing up articles on calls of mine. I know that for your drafts you’ll probably use ESPN or Yahoo’s cheat sheets or base your rankings off of them. I don’t blame you. But, I’ll still give you my rankings for your personal use if you’d like. Be on the lookout on Blitzed in the coming weeks where I’ll be putting some time into individual players that I like this year and don’t. For now though, I’ll go position by position ranks. Assume league scoring settings are normal:
(25 pass yards = 1 pt. 10 rush/receiving yards = 1 pt. Pass TD = 4 pts. Rushing/Receiving TD = 6 pts. ½ pt. PPR)
WR Rankings (1-56)
5 to Thrive. 5 to Dive
Welcome to 5 to Thrive, 5 to Dive. This will be a weekly write-up and it’s my baby. What we do here is this: we look at FantasyPros ranks and I’ll predict who will outperform (Thrives) and who will underperform (Dives) their respective rank for the week. Since it’s before the season, I’ll be looking at this through the scope of the whole season. These are meant to be pretty bold calls so I hope you’ll enjoy!
Carson Wentz QB Philadelphia Eagles
(FantasyPros Rank: 6)
Yeah, I know he only played 11 games last year. And yeah, I know he left the previous season early with injury as well. But here’s something that I also know: I don’t give a fuck. I’m all in on Carson Wentz. The talented 4th year QB from North Dakota State is surrounded by a bevy of weapons in Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor and Dallas Goedert. And that doesn’t include the running backs with rookie Miles Sanders and newly acquired Jordan Howard. Yeah, the injuries are a concern. I get it. But what also benefits Wentz besides the skill positions is his offensive line which ranks 1st overall according to Pro Football Focus. They should be able to keep him upright as he runs the man with the biggest balls in the world, Doug Pederson’s offense (still can’t believe the Philly Special). Before Wentz went down in 2017, he was on his way to an MVP season. I don’t think that’s out of the realm of possibility this year.
Matt Breida, RB San Francisco 49ers
(FantasyPros Rank: 37)
Oh look, another guy with injury concerns! And yet here I am, not giving a shit. Breida can ball, man. Despite playing in only 14 games last year while leaving others early, the diminutive running back still finished at RB25 while splitting snaps with a wide variety of other backs in San Francisco. He’ll split work again this year with newly acquired Tevin Coleman. But, I think that can help Breida. He’s not a big dude for a back, so getting about 40% of the touches in man rocket Kyle Shanahan’s offense actually isn’t that much of a problem. It should be able to keep him healthy while giving him enough work both in the rushing and passing game to make him a viable option most weeks. If he can come somewhere near his 180 touches from last season, Breida should be an incredible value for the season.
Malcolm Brown, RB Los Angeles Rams
(FantasyPros Rank: 65)
I’m not normally someone to love a player based on situation alone, but Brown might fall into that category. Playing with the Rams behind Todd Gurley and his let’s just call it a suspect knee could prove to be beneficial for Brown and fantasy owners. LA drafted Darrell Henderson in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft this past offseason and he’ll play a role in the offense, but I wouldn’t expect him to play the Gurley role. He’s not built for it. That’ll belong to Brown if anything were to go awry for TG30. He’s built similarly to Gurley (TG: 6’1, 231, MB: 6’0, 225) and has proven in limited work to be able to contribute in (speaking of man rockets) Sean McVay’s offense. Last season, Gurley had 64 carries in the red zone. 64! If anything were to go wrong with Gurley, Brown would immediately vault into RB2 status.
Josh Gordon, WR New England Patriots
(FantasyPros Rank: 31)
If you can’t tell by now, I’m not really that afraid of guys who come with risk. And if you haven’t been able to see that yet, you definitely should now. Josh Gordon is the ultimate risk/reward pick. He could play 4 games and get suspended again, he could play 16 and be one of Brady’s favorite weapons. I’m betting on the 2nd option there. In games where Rob Gronkowski didn’t play and Josh Gordon did last season, Gordon’s stat lines looked like this:
Donte Moncrief, WR Pittsburgh Steelers
(FantasyPros Rank: 49)
With Gordon, I reference vacated targets. Well you might’ve heard that there used to be this receiver for the Steelers that’s not there anymore. Mr. Big Chest/Blonde Mustache/Team Cancer/Drama Queen/Antonio Brown was targeted 168 times in 2018. And while the Steelers probably won’t pass as much as they did last season, there’s still a significant portion of the passing game to be sorted out in Pittsburgh. Enter Donte Moncrief. Crief hasn’t played with a talented QB since his days in Indy with Andrew Luck (RIP) but now he’ll get to play with future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger (if you don’t think Big Ben is a future HOF’er, then FOH). Moncrief is a different type of WR the Steelers have had in recent years and he’s one that Roethlisberger has wanted for a while. The Ole Miss product stands in at 6’2 and 220 pounds with good speed. He’ll be a vertical threat and an option in the red zone. The Steelers won’t be as good as an offense as in the past, but their demise has been overblown. Moncrief could find his way into low-end WR2 value by season’s end. Plus, I want to see the dude scored TD’s so he can do this:
Jameis Winston, QB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(FantasyPros Rank: 11)
If I were an owner of an NFL team, I would not trust Jameis Winston at all. If I were an owner of a fantasy football team, I would not trust Jameis Winston. If I were an owner of a Joe’s Crab Shack, I would not trust Jameis Winston. Here's my point: DON’T TRUST JAMEIS WINSTON. Despite only starting 9 games last year and appearing in 2 others, the former number one overall pick threw 14 interceptions while being benched for Ryan Fitzpatrick on more than one occasion. Yeah, that Ryan Fitzpatrick. And I get why there’s excitement for Winston. He has huge weapons with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and OJ Howard as well as now being coached by Bruce Arians. In a Bruce Arians system, the QB is expected to hold onto the ball and take deep drops and deeper shots down the field. But I’m not sure Tampa’s O-line can hold up to the drops and time Winston will need. The Bucs’ line ranks 24th coming into the season according to PFF. If there’s pressure, Winston has shown on numerous occasions of making poor decisions. Poor decisions lead to interceptions and stealing crabs. Interceptions could lead to Winston being benched in his contract year. He’s a big risk. And a risk that I’m not willing to take. I don’t see him as a 'scrong' option at QB.
Derrick Henry, RB Tennessee Titans
(FantasyPros Rank: 19)
First off, this man is frighteningly large. 6’3, 247 pounds and lots of speed to go with it. You couldn’t pay me to try and tackle him. Well, you could. But you’d have to guarantee me that I’d spend my life married to Margot Robbie and a lot of money to go with it. And despite this, I’m not touching Henry this year in fantasy. Last season, Henry rushed for over 1,000 yards and 12 TD’s. 585 yards and 7 of those TD’s came in the last 4 games of the season: meaning that he didn’t do shit at the beginning of the year. There’s just too many concerns for me with the former Heisman winner. He only had 15 receptions last year and is game script dependent. He’ll cede work to Dion Lewis if the Titans are losing. He’s been banged up all camp with a strained calf. Star left tackle Taylor Lewan is suspended the first 4 games of the season. I’m not going anywhere near Henry at his current value. I’m sorry, Derrick. Please don’t eat me.
Phillip Lindsay, RB Denver Broncos
(FantasyPros Rank: 25)
What a rookie season the undrafted back out of Colorado had last year. 1,300 total yards, 10 TD’s and a Pro Bowl trip is a hell of a way to enter the league. And him coming in on the Dives list has more to do with his frame and whether or not he can hold up again over a whole season. I have my concerns there. I also have my concerns with how the Broncos will split their backfield up. Royce Freeman should play more of a role and for some reason, Denver is insistent on using either Devontae Booker or Theo Riddick in the passing game over Lindsay. Their coaching staff is taking living in the Mile High City literally. Ultimately my biggest concern with Lindsay is his usage in the red zone. Freeman is built better to take the pounding in close and was more efficient with his carries inside the 20 last year. I love Lindsay as a player, but I’m avoiding him in drafts this season.
Antonio Brown, WR Oakland Raiders
(FantasyPros Rank: 10)
This fuckin’ guy. What an absolute shitshow he’s been since demanding a trade from the Steelers. The blonde mustache, weird nicknames, frostbitten feet and his weird obsession with his helmet have all contributed to Twitter having an absolute field day with him. All of those reasons aren’t exactly why he finds his way onto the Dives list though. I hate his situation. He’s still a terrific receiver, even if he is losing a step or two (NFL NextGenStats has his separation at catch at 2.6 yards which is about in the middle of the pack for WR’s and TE’s). Last season for the Steelers, AB had 1,300 yards and led the league in TD catches with 15. But, he’s about to find out he’s not in Pittsburgh anymore. AB has loved to hate on Big Ben lately, but he’s going to find out just how much of a drop it is to go to Derek Carr at QB. Side note: why does Derek Carr try so hard to be cool on Hard Knocks? Like just stop, dude. You’re boring, it’s fine. Anyways, Carr hasn’t exactly shown a propensity for pushing the ball down the field and coach Jon Gruden loves to have a balance in his offense. Despite going 4-12, Oakland was still 16th in rushing attempts in the league. Business might still be good, but it won’t be boomin’.If things don’t go well quickly, Carr and Gruden are about to find out the AB stands for Always Bitching.
T.Y. Hilton, WR Indianapolis Colts
(FantasyPros Rank: 20)
Is this cheating? This feels like cheating. With Andrew Luck’s abrupt retirement, every Colts player gets knocked down the ranks in fantasy. But the player who will probably feel it the most is T.Y. Hilton. His connection with Luck was undeniable. I actually don’t think Jacoby Brisset will be terrible for Indy, but he’s no Luck. The Colts aren’t going to score as much, they won’t move the ball as much and should probably trust Marlon Mack a little bit more than they were going to. Volume and chemistry is important. And with Luck’s career ending, Hilton’s status as a high upside WR2 has as well.
Hank Mardukus is the Blitzed Fantasy columnist. You can complain to him on Twitter here.
Hey Fantasy Footballers, Hank Mardukus here. Are you looking to get an edge in your fantasy draft? Well look no further. I've been spending the last month with my team in the Fantasy Fives Lab developing the Ultimate Fantasy Football Draft Chart just for you.
Below are my QB and RB rankings for the 2019 season. I considered writing a player capsule on each player, but I’ve decided my time could be best spent elsewhere typing up articles on calls of mine. I know that for your drafts you’ll probably use ESPN or Yahoo’s cheat sheets or base your rankings off of them. I don’t blame you. But, I’ll still give you my rankings for your personal use if you’d like. Be on the lookout on Blitzed in the coming weeks where I’ll be putting some time into individual players that I like this year and don’t. For now though, I’ll go position by position ranks. Assume league scoring settings are normal, which are:
(25 pass yards = 1 pt. 10 rush/receiving yards = 1 pt. Pass TD = 4 pts. Rushing/Receiving TD = 6 pts. ½ pt. PPR)
QB Rankings (1-32)
RB Rankings (1-32)
RB Rankings (33-56)
Tom Brady on the move?
Will hell freeze over in 2020?
To the fans of the New England Patriots, it just might happen.
The extended 2-year contract of their beloved quarterback Tom Brady is worth $70 million that should keep the aging QB living comfortably.
At the 2000 NFL combine Brady couldn’t run to save his life. So like any gangly athlete, he transferred that mobility to the top half of his body and went the distance with his arm. Six Super Bowls later, here we are, and he has nothing else to prove.
Questions had swirled this season as to whether or not Brady would retire. He squelched the notion and worked on his technique instead. While several NFL players held out for more money, Brady’s camp negotiated a deal with a slight clause that could make Patriot fans nervous. Unless you have been under a rock or just don’t care, Tom Brady is Zeus to the New England fan base.
So what is this clause that may have fans leaping into Boston Harbor? Well, both sides avoid a song and dance around the final leg of his contract. Basically, he doesn’t play his final year at a below-market rate. He goes from $15 million to $30 million. However, there is a clause in his contract that avoids a franchise or transition tag on him.
That’s right you heard me. He has the choice that in 2020 to either retire a Patriot after a ridiculous 20 year span OR he can walk to another team, desperate for a Super Bowl dream.
To be honest, it would be hard to see Brady in another uniform other than the Patriots. However, if Aaron Rodgers continues his drama in Green Bay they can switch, you know, kind of like the television show Wife Swap. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Denver jumped at that since John Elway, VP of Personnel would love to win another Super Bowl by the arm of a soon-to-retire veteran.
Another team that would jump at the chance at Brady would be the Detroit Lions. (What, you didn’t think that was a thought in anyone’s mind, especially head coach Matt Patricia?) The moment Brady says he can play another season or two, Patricia will be first in line, hoodie and all, to channel his inner Belichick. It was written in the stars folks.
Other honorable mention of teams that are willing to take a chance:
As weird as it seems Brady can be up for grabs in 2020. Anything can happen in the NFL and only Father Time will tell. Except right now Father Time is having a beer and waiting for Brady to say when.
Wanda Wiedman is a Chicago Bears reporter, columnist for Our Turf Football and one of our Blitzed Insiders. You can follow her on Twitter here.
2 oz Bulleit or Buffalo Trace Bourbon
2 med strawberries
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
Muddle strawberries and lemon juice in a shaker glass. Add 2 dashes of bitter, simple syrup and the bourbon, shake until mixed and strain over rocks in a collins glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with lemon wedge or strawberry wedge.
Preseason football is underway and we, the football fans of the world, are giddy with excitement. And whether or not your team is killing it or getting massacred in the preseason, don't let your expectations get the better of you. Your pal, MZE, was sitting around on his back deck throwing back a root beer float and got to thinking about some of the best and worst teams in NFL history and how they fared in the preseason. So I wiped the vanilla ice cream moustache from my lips and got to work. Here are some of the best and worst teams the NFL has ever seen and their preseason performances. And once you give this a read, you'll pretty much understand why preseason results don't really matter at all in the grand scheme of things. At all.
Whoa, it's like, really bad.
2008 Detroit Lions
Preseason (4-0) Regular Season (0-16)
The 2008 Detroit Lions gave their fans higher hopes than Panic at the Disco could even dream. The team would sweep its four preseason games with names like Dan Orlovsky, Drew Stanton, Artose Pinner, Brian Calhoun, Kevin Smith, and Dave Rayner leading the way. Athletic apparel companies were on stand-by to make playoff tees. Additional ticket stock was purchased for those inevitable playoff tickets. Fans were already looking into hotel rooms in Tampa. A funny thing happened on the way to Raymond James Stadium. The Lions remembered who they were. The team would finish the regular season 0-16. The offense ranked 27th in the NFL while the defense was dead last, allowing 30+ points in 11 of 16 regular season games. Jon Kitna, Drew Stanton, and Daunte Culpepper (yeah Culpepper was a Lion) all started games and overall the Lions played five different QBs (no Eric Hipple wasn’t one of them). Kevin Smith had a decent season rushing for 976 rushing yards and Calvin “Megatron” Johnson had 1,331 receiving yards, providing a bright spot in a dismal season. Artose Pinner would get cut and never played in the NFL again. Calhoun was also a forgotten man. Dave Rayner made six of seven FG attempts in two preseason games. Jason Hanson would go six for eight in 16 regular season games. It’s no wonder Rod Marinelli was fired after the season. In 2008 Detroit came in like Lions and went out like lambs.
2017 Cleveland Browns
Preseason (4-0) Regular Season (0-16)
Cleveland Browns fans have been beleaguered for decades. “The Drive,” “The Fumble,” and a team that packed up in the middle of the night and won a Super Bowl ring in another city. The 2017 preseason brought hope to the “Dawg Pound.” They appeared to have a wealth of QBs ready to lead the team as DeShone Kizer, Kevin Hogan, and Cody Kessler all did solid work in a perfect preseason. Sadly the three would combine for a 61.4 passer rating while losing all 16 regular season games. They would rank 32nd in points scored, scoring fewer than 20 points in 12 of 16 games. The defense wasn’t much better as it ranked 31st in points allowed. For a winless team the Browns were fairly competitive, losing six games by a TD or less, but in the end it’s a dawg eat dawg world and the Browns had Alpo in their jock straps.
1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Preseason (1-5) Regular Season (0-14)
The 1976 season saw expansion in the NFL. Down in Tampa a new squad with a colorful head coach in John McKay and even more colorful uniforms was born in the Buccaneers. The hideous creamsicle uniforms (don’t @ me on this because those things burned my corneas) were nothing compared to how the team performed on the field. On August 14th the Bucs would win its preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. It would be the highlight of their inaugural season (well aside from John McKay quotes). The team’s starting QB for the bulk of its games was Steve Spurrier, who went 0-12 with a 57.1 QBR. There is no truth to the rumor that he wanted to quit midway through the season. The running game was lead by the less than legendary, Louis Carter, with 521 rushing yards. The top receiver was Morris Owens, who had 390 receiving yards or roughly what Andre Johnson puts up in three weeks. Compared to this team’s results, those uniforms looked like Armani suits.
Hey, it's not so bad!
1972 Miami Dolphins
Preseason (3-3) Regular Season (14-0)
In 1972, back when NFL teams played six preseason games instead of four, the Miami Dolphins had a 3-3 preseason with losses to Detroit, Green Bay, and their final preseason loss to Washington on August 31st. That preseason loss would be the last time the Dolphins would lose a game all season. On offense the Dolphins scored 385 points to lead the NFL, led by two 1,000-yard rushers in Larry Czonka and Mercury Morris. Their “No-name Defense” was just as strong, allowing just 171 points to also lead the NFL. When Bob Griese went out with an injury after a 5-0 start super backup, Earl Morrall, stepped in and won all nine of his starts. Griese would return to the field midway through the AFC title game and would start the Super Bowl win over the Redskins, 14-7. If you’re going to win a rematch, the Super Bowl is good time to do it.
1984 San Francisco 49ers
Preseason (2-2) Regular Season (15-1)
The 1984 San Francisco 49ers gave little indication that they would be a team to watch when the preseason ended. In those four games, they would score just 58 points. The regular season would be a lot different. Led by the greatest quarterback to ever strap on the spikes in Joe Montana, the Niners scored 475 points in the regular season, which was 2nd in the NFL. The leading rusher wasn’t Roger Craig but Wendell Tyler, who had 1,262 yards. Here’s where the legend of Joe Montana steps into the spotlight. There was no Jerry Rice or John Taylor. His top receiver that season was Dwight Clark with 880 yards. The defense allowed just 227 points, which was 1st in the NFL. The only blemish on the team’s record was a 20-17 v PIT in Week 7. Heck, even Matt Cavanaugh got a win in his lone start at QB. The team may have been better in the playoffs, as the average margin of victory was almost 19 points per game, culminating in a 38-16 Super Bowl win over the Miami Dolphins and the second of four rings for Montana.
1985 Chicago Bears
Preseason (1-3) Regular Season (15-1)
The 1985 preseason began horribly for the Chicago Bears. They would drop their first three preseason games and gave Bears fans a feeling in their stomachs worse than eating an undercooked deep dish pizza. The final preseason game gave them hope when they drubbed the Bills, 45-13. No one could foresee just how much hope. The Bears 456 regular season points would be 2nd most in the NFL. Jim McMahon quarterbacked the team to 11 wins while Steve Fuller went 4-1 in his starts, the only loss coming to the Miami Dolphins on a Monday night in December. Hall of Fame running back, Walter Payton, ran for 1,551 yards on the season. The 1985 Bears were the 2nd consecutive 15-1 team to not have a 1,000-yard wide receiver as former track star, Willie Gault, let the team with 704 yards. The real key to this team was its defense. Buddy Ryan’s unit would give up a mere 198 points, 1st in the NFL. His dominant 4-6 scheme led the team to allow 10 or fewer points in 11 of 16 regular season games. The Bears were even more dominant in the playoffs, outscoring its opponents 91-10, including a 46-10 Super Bowl win over the pre-Brady/Belichick New England Patriots. William “The Refrigerator” Perry scored as many post-season touchdowns as Bears’ opponents. Cue, “Fat Guy in a Little Coat.”
So there are my six preseason results compared to regular season successes or failures. One one team in my six pack was skunky from start to finish. Who would you add to the list? Post it in the comments and please follow and read the work of all my Blitzed colleagues.
Until next time, Blitzers, don’t run out and buy a player’s jersey because he’s had a great preseason or you may end up with a closet full of DeShone Kizers.
Yours in football,
Mike Zimmers Ears is a die hard Minnesota Vikings fan and a regular columnist for Blitzed Football. You can follow him on Twitter here.
We've Got Some Big News
Every once in a while, in football, everything seems to work out perfectly. All eleven guys line up correctly, make the right adjustments and reads, run precise routes and execute a perfect play. It's rare, but when it happens, it feels like watching poetry in motion.
And that's how we feel right now after our agreement to join the Big Play Sports Network. It just seems like the perfect fit. They like football, we like football. They drink beer, we drink beer. I mean how much more perfect a union is there?
In all seriousness though, we are thrilled to be teaming up with this rapidly growing network of writers, podcasters and sports lunatics, who for some reason, think Coach, Rookie and Stats Guy have some talent.
So get your beer chilled and make sure you tune in on August 12 at 8 pm ET for our LIVE Premiere Video Episode of Blitzed Football, where we'll show the guys at Big Play Sports what a terrible mistake they've made in signing us. Then all future episodes of Blitzed Football will be broadcast LIVE on Mondays at 8 pm ET.
Our regular audio podcast will still be available too on Tuesdays around 3 pm ET. Our video shows will also be archived on BigPlay.com and on Big Play's YouTube channel.
And for those of you who haven't heard us before, here's a little sample of what to expect on August 12th.
Big shout out to Big Play Dave and Sam Maddy for making this partnership happen. We can't wait to disappoint them.
Hidden Fantasy Gems
We’re getting close! With training camps in full swing and preseason games firing up, we’re that much closer to the NFL’s regular season. And with the regular season starting comes fantasy football. In today’s article, I’m not going to get into my rankings although those will be coming shortly. What I want to look at today are some players who are getting drafted in later rounds that are hopefully going to provide value to your team. Hitting on players in the late rounds is what will separate your team from the rest of your league-mates and hopefully get you that ‘ship. For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to name some players who aren’t being drafted to be your fantasy starters, for the most part (QB’s and TE’s vary). We’ll also assume that you’re playing in a 12 team league with .5 PPR (points per reception) scoring. I will also be listing their ADP (Average Draft Position) and what that ADP represents in terms of where they fall relative to their positional peers.
Josh Allen QB (Bills)
If you’ve never read anything I’ve written before, well welcome to the fuckin’ show. If you have read some of my pieces for the boys @BlitzedFootball then you know that I did an early QB rankings back in May. And in those rankings, I listed Josh Allen at QB11. After having a little time to think, it might’ve been a little ambitious, but I still love this guy’s value. My strategy with QB in fantasy is to wait, and if you wait, you can end up with some incredible value. Allen represents that to me for a couple of reasons. First of all, he can throw a football a damn quarter mile. And that skill should bode well with what the Bills have done in the offseason as they added speedster John Brown as well as Cole Beasley to work the slot. But the thing that appeals to me the most about Allen is his rushing ability. After returning from injury in Week 12 last year, Allen put together 3 games in a row of 99, 135 and 101 rushing yards while adding some TD runs. Add in his passing totals and that’s just icing on the cake. The dude led the Bills in rushing last year with 631 yards and 8 TDs. If he can take even a minor leap forward in his passing while maintaining some of the rushing value, the big QB from Wyoming has a chance to be a QB1.
Miles Sanders RB (Eagles)
This young RB out of Penn State’s stock is rising and should only continue to go up after hearing some of the reports out of training camp from the Eagles’ beat writers. Now, you should be cautious about training camp reports, but there’s a lot to like about this player and his situation with Philly. Playing behind Saquon Barkley for several years at Penn State, Sanders had to wait to make an impact for the Nittany Lions, but once he got his opportunity he ran with it, literally. Get it, because he’s a running back? Nevermind. His success led him to being drafted by the Eagles in the 2nd round and has fallen into a pretty good opportunity with the Birds. Jordan Howard was brought in from Chicago to help stabilize Philly’s rushing attack and while he is a competent runner, he doesn’t provide the same skill set that Sanders can bring to the offense. I expect Carson Wentz and the Eagles to be an absolute wagon this year on offense, and if Sanders can overtake Howard for the lead in the committee while gaining Doug Pedersen’s trust (Sanders fumbled 5 times last season), he is going to be one hell of a contributor to your fantasy team. Go get the talented rookie. I just wish his last name was Davis…
Matt Breida RB (Niners)
Last year’s RB25 is being drafted at RB55? Da fuck? I understand that the 49ers brought in Tevin Coleman and that Breida seems to gets hurt almost every play, but RB55 is just absurd for this talented player. Last season, despite only playing on 35% of offensive snaps for the season, Breida turned in over 1000 yards from scrimmage and 5 touchdowns. 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is regarded as a very impressive play caller and I’m just going to go on a hunch, that he’s not a total frickin’ idiot. He’s going to find ways to get his skilled players the ball and Breida certainly fits that label. I’m not worried about Jerick McKinnon and Tevin Coleman taking away too many touches, because that could end up being a good thing for the diminutive runner. If Breida gets less touches, let’s say 10/game that decreases his chances for injury but will still provide the value that we’re seeking here in the later rounds. I don’t understand the super low ADP, but if you can snag him as a depth RB, then you’re going to be quite pleased with the results.
Donte Moncrief WR (Steelers)
Yes, I am a Steelers fan. No, this is not a homer pick. Donte Moncrief has the inside track to take over the #2 WR position in Pittsburgh over James Washington and should find himself in a position to succeed with Antonio “Mr. Big Chest” Brown’s departure from the Steel City. Brown leaves behind 167 vacated targets and while I wouldn’t expect the Steelers to throw as much as they did last year, that is still a significant target share (26%) that is no longer in the offense. Last season, Moncrief served as Jacksonville’s big play guy while playing with Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler as his QBs. Yeah, they #suckbutts. Now, Moncrief gets to play with Big Ben Roethlisberger, who is obviously an enormous upgrade over those 2 “passers.” And Moncrief provides something that Ben has wanted for a long time, a big bodied target in the red zone. Standing at 6’2 and with good speed to go with it, Moncrief should find himself enough opportunities to outproduce his current ADP. I’m hoping he gets in the endzone a lot just so we can see his patented TD celebrations, one of the best in the league.
Devante Parker WR (Dolphins)
When you get this late down the rankings, you’re just looking for upside. And the former first rounder out of Louisville provides just that. I don’t like to try and predict how teams will do that often in fantasy because the NFL is crazy. But it sure feels and looks like the Dolphins are going to be pretty shitty this year, right? Ryan Fitzpatrick looks like he’ll be the team’s starter to begin the season and that’s good news for Parker. If you watched any of the Bucs last year, you know that can be a good thing and a bad thing for fantasy. He’s certainly not afraid to take chances to tall and talented receivers, and Parker fits that bill. He’s also not afraid to throw into triple coverage, which will probably lead to him getting benched eventually and give way to Josh Rosen. That could hurt Parker. He’s a low risk, high reward kind of pick and when you get to the end of the draft, just say fuck it. Take those kinds of players.
Hank Mardukus is a Fantasy Expert and writer for Blitzed Football. You can follow him on Twitter here.