Behind The Sticks
Shots With MZE
Behind The Sticks
Shots With MZE
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)
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.
It’s been awhile, but I’m back to talk to you guys about fantasy. So far, I’ve hit you with my early rankings for QBs and RBs. This week, we’ll be talking about Wide Receivers. And for the third time this year, I’ll say the same thing: it’s May; if you hold me to these rankings during the season, you’re kind of a dick. Just don’t be that guy. Give me a follow on Twitter for continued discussion about fantasy football as we get closer to the season. There will be some short blurbs with a few players. As we get closer to the season, I’ll add more information. Enjoy!
1. Julio Jones, ATL
I think since I’ve started doing my own rankings, I’ve had Julio at 1. His talent and size/speed combo is just so awesome. He probably won’t lead the league in targets again, but he finally started scoring some fucking touchdowns last season. Expect that to continue.
2. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU
Nuk is a stud and should only continue to dominate with Deshaun Watson’s continued growth. After finishing as the 2nd highest scoring receiver last year, you can expect this stud keep putting out. Putting out big, big numbers.
3. JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT
This is going to be very surprising to some and definitely higher than most have him. Everyone thinks the Steelers are going to fall off a cliff. I’m not one of them. JuJu was already 4th in the league in targets last year and there’s about to be a whole lot more opened with Antonio Brown leaving town. JuJu about to go off. Get on board with me.
4. Davante Adams, GB
This one is pretty simple. Aaron Rodgers’ number one target deserves to be ranked high. And there’s not a whole lot behind Adams, who led the league in receiving TDs last year.
5. Michael Thomas, NO
For the top WR guys, there’s not really a whole lot to say. You can move them around in the top 5 any way you’d like and I’d understand it. Thomas is an animal and a target monster playing in a terrific offense. Lock and load him in the Top 5 and don’t overthink it.
6. Odell Beckham, CLE
OBJ has the potential to finish at #1. But things aren’t always so simple transitioning to a new team. I hate to say it as a Steelers fan, but the Browns are going to be good and it’s because there’s a ton of weapons there. He’ll still command a huge target share, but I don’t see him in the Top 5.
7. Mike Evans, TB
I think Jameis Winston #sucksbutts, but that doesn’t necessarily affect Evans too bad. Tampa is going to throw it a ton and Winston is likely to target Evans early and often. Evans is capable of a 10+ TD season because he’s built like a brick shithouse.
8. AJ Green, CIN
I understand the injury risk with Green, but his talent is still there and having an offensive mind at the helm in Zac Taylor is going to help Cincy a ton.
9. Antonio Brown, OAK
Yeah, this is probably out of spite and he could be a little higher. But, things aren’t going to exactly be the same in Oakland for AB. Derek Carr isn’t Big Ben and I can’t wait until he blows up on him on the sidelines.
10. Keenan Allen, LAC
If this guy can ever start scoring TD’s, he’s gonna be in the Top 5. He’s one of the smoothest route runners in the game and has sticky mitts. The Chargers are loaded on offense and should produce some huge numbers.
11. T.Y. Hilton, IND
I’ve never loved Hilton because he doesn’t put up big touchdown numbers but he’s the #1 target in Andrew Luck’s offense and will put up huge yard totals like he always does. That makes him worth low-end WR1 consideration.
12. Sammy Watkins, KC
Yeah, you’re definitely saying what the fuck at this point, but hear me out. Human garbage Tyreek Hill is unlikely to play this year and there’s a whole lot of production left because of it. If Watkins can stay healthy (yeah, I know, unlikely) then he’s gonna go bonkers catching bombs from Mahomes.
13. Julian Edelman, NE
Yuck, but fuck he’s good.
14. Amari Cooper, DAL
Can he ever be consistent?
15. Stefon Diggs, MIN
16. Adam Thielen, MIN
You can favor the last two however you’d like.
17. Robert Woods, LAR
18. Brandin Cooks, LAR
Same thing as the Minnesota guys
19. Kenny Golladay, DET
Routes so smooth
20. Chris Godwin, TB
21. DJ Moore, CAR
22. Mike Williams, LAC
23. Cooper Kupp, LAR
24. Tyler Lockett, SEA
25. Allen Robinson, CHI
26. Dante Pettis, SF
27. Alshon Jeffrey, PHI
28. Calvin Ridley, ATL
29. Jarvis Landry, CLE
30. Tyler Boyd, CIN
31. Corey Davis, TEN
Mariota is poop or he’d be higher. Check out my Twitter for a signed jersey giveaway!
32. Will Fuller, HOU
Please stay healthy
33. Robby Anderson, NYJ
34. Sterling Shepard, NYG
35. Golden Tate, NYG
Are you sensing a theme?
36. Christian Kirk, ARI
37. James Washington/Donte Moncrief, PIT
Is this cheating?
38. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
39. DaSean Hamilton, DEN
40. Courtland Sutton, DEN
Yeah, yeah I know
41. Marvin Jones, DET
42. Geronimo Allison, GB
43. N’Keal Harry, NE
44. Curtis Samuel, CAR
45. DeSean Jackson, PHI
46. Mecole Hardman, KC
Last week, we started our rankings for the upcoming NFL season with the Quarterbacks. Go back and check that out if you haven’t done so yet. Today, we’re going to start looking at the most important position in fantasy, the Running Back.
Now, I’ll say the same thing I said last week: it’s May, if you hold me to these rankings during the season, you’re probably kind of a dick. So don’t be that guy. Just enjoy this little write-up and enjoy all the fantasy content I can give you. And as always follow me on Twitter and stay tuned to the guys at Blitzed.
Some of these running backs will have brief blurbs with them. As we get closer to the season, I’ll add more to each player. Let me help you with your fantasy.
1. Alvin Kamara, NO
Super Kamario (shout out FF Ballers) finished last year as the RB4 and I expect him to take another leap forward this year. I know that not a whole lot of people have him at 1, but with his skillset and with Mark Ingram’s departure, Kamara deserves consideration for the 1st pick.
2. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
Zeke added a new element to his game last year, hauling in a career high 77 passes. If he had actually got in the endzone more, he would’ve finished higher than RB5. Expect the Cowboys to continue to ride this horse for as long as they can.
3. Saquon Barkley, NYG
I think everyone and their brother has this beast at 1. But, I just can’t do it and it’s not his fault. He can solely blame his dumb dumb faced quarterback for that. He’s still a horse but I can’t get him to one.
4. Christian McCaffrey, CAR
This guy has to be Bill Belichick’s wet dream, right? I mean come on. He can do it all. Great runner, great receiver, great intangibles and white. What more can you ask for if you’re Bill? All joking aside, run CMC is one of the best two way threats in the game and should go Top 5.
5. David Johnson, ARI
If you owned DJ last year, you were probably rightfully frustrated by him. But against all odds (playing with Josh Rosen and opposite of genius play caller Mike McCoy), Johnson finished at RB10. Playing with a more offensive progressive coach in Kliff Kingsbury is only going to help.
6. Melvin Gordon, LAC
Despite only playing 12 games last year, Commissioner Gordon finished as the RB7. The dude is a touchdown machine and plays in a high scoring offense. Don’t overthink this guy.
7. Todd Gurley, LAR
If I knew Gurley’s knee was healthy, he’d be #1. But everything that we’ve heard this offseason and the Rams’ actions are saying otherwise. If he’s good to go, Gurley is the RB you’d want to take at 1. But there’s a ton of risk.
8. James Conner, PIT
No, I don’t consider this a homer call. And no, I’m not afraid of Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels cutting too much into his workload. The Steelers will want to run the ball more this season and have a great offensive line.
9. Joe Mixon, CIN
This is the exact spot where Mixon finished in leagues last year and hopefully with a new head coach in Cincy, we’ll get to see some 21st century playcalling as opposed to whatever the hell Marvin Lewis and the rest of his staff did last year.
10. Dalvin Cook, MIN
After John DeFillipo was fired last year, the Vikings transitioned into a much more run heavy team. Obviously, that’s significant for the 3rd year back from Florida State. There doesn’t appear to be too many cooks in the kitchen in the Vikes’ backfield (see what I did there). It’s his and he should take it and run with it.
11. Nick Chubb, CLE
If they hadn’t signed Kareem Hunt, I’d have a full on rager for the 2nd year back from Georgia. He’s uber talented and the Browns are on their way up.
12. Leonard Fournette, JAC
This is a huge year for Halloween Leonard. If he doesn’t have a solid season both on and off the field, angry Grandpa Tom Coughlin could look to move on.
13. Le’Veon Bell, NYJ
Considering his coach didn’t want him, I’m not super optimistic about Bell’s outlook. We’ll see what happens. New York is going to be entertaining as always.
14. Damien Williams, KC
Talk about right place, right time. The new DWill should produce in this juggernaut offense.
15. Marlon Mack, IND
When the Colts got the return of the Mack last year, they went 10-3 down the stretch. He’s a solid back behind a good Oline and a QB who sounds like a horse.
16. Kerryon Johsnon, DET
Kerryon my friends
17. Chris Carson, SEA
Bringing back TRL with Chris Carson Daly
18. Devonta Freeman, ATL
Morgan’s grandson needs to stay healthy
19. Aaron Jones, GB
20. Josh Jacobs, OAK
Gruden’s new favorite player
21. Sony Michel, NE
I always prefer Sony over other devices in that backfield
22. Derrick Henry, TEN
Frankenstein in a RB’s body
23. Mark Ingram, BAL
24. Philip Lindsay, DEN
25. Kenyan Drake, MIA
26. Lamar Miller, HOU
27. Tarik Cohen, CHI
28. James White, NE
29. David Montgomery, CHI
30. Derrius Guice, WAS
31. Tevin Coleman, SF
32. Jerick McKinnon, SF
33. Matt Breida, SF
The last 3 are what we call a punt. I have no fuckin’ clue who’s leading that backfield.
34. Miles Sanders, PHI
35. Latavius Murray, NO
36. Ronald Jones, TB
37. Carlos Hyde, KC
38. Rashad Penny, SEA
39. Jordan Howard, PHI
Somehow he finished RB20 last year
40. Royce Freeman, DEN
41. Peyton Barber, TB
42. Adrian Peterson, WAS
43. Kareem Hunt, CLE
44. LeSean McCoy, BUF
Deserves to be cut for ruining Endgame for so many people. Dick.
Welcome back to your favorite fantasy. In this write-up, I’m going to start ranking my top QBs for the upcoming 2019 season for redraft purposes. Disclaimer: I’m writing this on May 9th so if you hold me to these ranks later in the season, you’re a dick. My point is that these are going to change through the offseason so make sure you stay tuned to Blitzed and follow me on Twitter for constant updates regarding our favorite game and these rankings. I’m going to only do a brief summary on each player that I put down today. When we get closer to draft season, I’ll add much more to the player capsules. Enjoy and let me know what you think on Twitter. If you have questions about fantasy already, let me help you.
NFL QB Fantasy Rankings
1. Patrick Mahomes, KC
Yeah, I’m not gonna get too cute about this. Is there going to be regression? Probably. Does potentially not having human garbage/star receiver Tyreek Hill hurt? Yeah, sure. But this guy is just too good. The reigning MVP should still be the #1 QB in fantasy.
2. Deshaun Watson, HOU
Watson started last season pretty slow but still managed to finish as the QB4. He has some really talented weapons on the outside and his rushing upside is massive. I always look for that. I might have my dear Watson a little higher than some, but his potential is a league winning type of QB.
3. Aaron Rodgers, GB
I expect A Aron to come out this season and go scorched earth, motherfucker on teams. A lot has been said this offseason about the Packers QB. I expect him to respond with a massive season.
4. Andrew Luck, IND
Despite sounding like a horse when he talks, Andrew Luck was able to have a Top 5 season last year and should continue to build on that in Year 2 with Frank Reich and some more weapons. Well, if you call Devin Funchess a weapon.
5. Carson Wentz, PHI
I think people are sleeping on Carson Wentz. I know that he’s had a tough time staying healthy, but sometimes you have to take risks. This is a call I feel confident about. The Eagles are loaded on offense and the 4th year QB should be able to take advantage.
6. Matt Ryan, ATL
I’m betting on the “every other year I suck at football” path to end for Matt Ryan here. Finished QB2 last year and gets Dirk Koetter back as OC.
7. Russell Wilson, SEA
Russ Buss is so good and the Seahawks rewarded him for that. His rushing ability gives him a pretty decent floor. My big concern is how Seattle and Pete Carroll would prefer to run it every down.
8. Baker Mayfield, CLE
I know people have him higher. And he’s soooooo good already. But I’m not ready to crown his ass yet (thanks Denny Green). I might come in too low.
9. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
Much like Rodgers above, there’s been some shit said about the big guy this offseason. And much like ARod, I expect Ben to respond well to the criticism. It’s not easy losing the talent the Steelers did, but I think Big Ben will be just fine as a fantasy starter.
10. Drew Brees, NO
The Saints are such a juggernaut on offense that Brees will always find his way around this point. He hasn’t produced as many great seasons lately and finished at QB8 last year.
11. Josh Allen, BUF
Bills Mafia, are you reading this? Yes, I admit this ranking for Allen may be high. But his rushing ability is so arousing (I mean exciting) plus he can throw it over them mountains there.
12. Cam Newton, CAR
I’ll have Cam much higher once we know a little bit more about his shoulder closer to training camp. Wham Bam Cam would vault to around 7 if fully healthy for me.
13. Jameis Winston, TB
I don’t trust this guy at all and if he can’t get it done this season with Bruce Arians at the helm, then he might not ever get it done. He needs to have a skrong season.
14. Lamar Jackson, BAL
If you’re sensing a common them here for me, it should be rushing ability is a turn-on. And considering the Ravens basically treat him like a RB, Jackson has plenty of upside in that area.
15. Jared Goff, LAR
He needs to bounce back quickly from whatever the hell happened in the Super Bowl. Running McVay’s offense should help with that.
16. Mitchell Trubisky, CHI
17. Philip Rivers, LAC
So many kids. Let’s hope he stays focused.
18. Jimmy Garoppolo, SF
My goodness he’s handsome.
19. Kyler Murray, ARI
20. Kirk Cousins, MIN
21. Tom Brady, NE
Yuck. That is all.
22. Matt Stafford, DET
23. Dak Prescott, DAL
This isn’t intentionally disrespectful.
24. Sam Darnold, NYJ
25. Marcus Mariota, TEN
26. Derek Carr, OAK
I cannot wait until AB freaks out on him. Have fun, Derek.
27. Andy Dalton, CIN
28. Dwayne Haskins, WAS
29. Nick Foles, JAC
30. Joe Flacco, DEN
31. Josh Rosen, MIA
32. Eli Manning, NYG
Dave Gettleman might murder me if he sees this.
Five 'Must Draft' Rookies
Well since the NFL Draft has officially come and gone, it’s probably a good time for me to start doing my job for the guys at Blitzed. If you haven’t read me before, I’m Hank Mardukas and I supply the fantasy good times for this great team. Today, we’re going to start out pretty basic. I’m going to be taking a look at five players drafted last week that could and should have fantasy value for next season. Some will be obvious (hello, Josh Jacobs) and a few could be under the radar options. I’ll be looking at these players as though we’re just doing a redraft league and not dynasty. Thanks for reading. Let’s get to the motherlovin’ show.
Kyler Murray, QB Arizona Cardinals
Yeah sure, maybe it’s a cop out to start this article with the 1st overall pick, but also, I don’t give a shit. If there’s one rookie QB who is going to have value next year, it’s the Heisman winner from Oklahoma. New coach and aspiring male model Kliff Kingsbury all but told Josh Rosen to GTFO so he could have his guy in Murray to run his Air Raid offense. He better hope it works out or his ass is gonna be on the street in a couple of seasons. Despite height concerns, Murray should have value from Day 1. He’s a unique talent with a great arm and terrific mobility. That mobility should help combat some of the potential height problems and provides a huge upside in fantasy value (see: Wilson, Russell). The Cardinals spent the draft upgrading their weapons with rookie WRs Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler and Kesean Johnson being added to a receiver group that includes Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. It might not be pretty next year in the desert, but Murray has the ability to sneak in the Top 12 of fantasy QBs in his rookie season.
Josh Jacobs, RB Oakland Raiders
Anybody who looked at a mock draft leading up to the event could’ve predicted Jacobs’ landing spot. Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock didn’t exactly disguise their love for the RB from Alabama and decided to make him the only back drafted in the 1st round by taking Jacobs 24th overall. And he couldn’t be stepping into a better situation. Marshawn Lynch just retired and newly signed Isaiah Crowell tore his Achilles in practice this week. The Raiders want to run the ball and their offensive line is a decent run blocking unit that should open up some lanes for the 220 pound bruiser from the Crimson Tide. Not only does Jacobs have a bruising running style, he has flashed some receiving ability which is something that we as fantasy owners always like to see in our backs. Oakland has added some elite weapons this offseason (fuck you AB. Sorry, Steelers fan here) and as long as Derek Carr is competent, Jacobs could finish with some high-end RB2 value.
David Montgomery, RB Chicago Bears
This 3rd round pick out of Iowa State has me feeling all kinds of ways. And the way that I’m feeling the most lately about him when I think about his fantasy value is turned on. The Bears traded up in the 3rd round to land this potential three-down back and there’s plenty of opportunity for him to step in and produce for this up and coming offense. Jordan Howard, who runs like his feet are permanently entrenched in quick sand and has hands made of granite is no longer in the picture in Chicago, which leaves Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis as the two running backs on the roster who could present Montgomery some potential issues. But if you’re like me, you’re not exactly fearing Mike Davis. "DMont" (trademark it here, unless that’s his actual nickname already) has drawn comparisons to Kareem Hunt and not for his tendency to be a lowlife, piece of shit, but for the tendency to be able to do it all out of the backfield. I like Montgomery a lot. Target him in drafts this season.
N’Keal Harry, WR New England Patriots
It pains me to have to bring praise to anyone who plays for the Patriots or catch Tom Brady’s balls (except Gisele, she can have some praise), but Harry has landed in a perfect spot for fantasy purposes. This 6’5 receiver out of Arizona State can sky and will provide Brady with a terrific red zone option – one that he desperately needs with 69 lover Rob Gronkowski’s retirement. Outside of Julian Edelman, there isn’t really anything set in stone for the Patriots’ passing attack. Demaryius Thomas? Old. Phillip Dorsett? Fuck off. Josh Gordon? Still suspended and presumably on the weed. Scouts have compared the 32nd pick to Allen Robinson. You might think Robinson isn’t anything special, but if you put him in an offense like the Pats with a QB like Brady, I think your mind would change pretty quickly. Someone like Dirty Harry should be able to step in and produce from the get go for New England.
Mecole Hardman, WR Kansas City Chiefs
Let me be clear on this: Tyreek Hill is a gigantic piece of shit and the fact that the Chiefs haven’t cut him yet is disturbing to say the least. I’m putting Hardman on this list with the assumption that either Kansas City management or the NFL will finally do the right thing and suspend or cut him. The 2nd round pick out of Georgia was surely drafted with the fact that KC is planning for life without Hill. And if that’s the case, then this pick is perfect because this cat can fuckin’ scoot. At the combine, Hardman ran a 4.33 40 yard dash, which in case you’re not sure or just don’t understand how time and distance works, is fast as shit. And entering the Chiefs’ offense led by MVP Patrick Mahomes should be a dream come true for Hardman. Mahomes can bomb it, and Hardman can go it. Keep an eye on this situation as the offseason progresses.
DFS Divisional Round
Welcome back for another edition of Playoffs DFS here at Blitzed. I hope those of you who read last week listened a little bit, as two out of our three calls (Ezekiel Elliott and Allen Robinson) went fucking bonkers and were definitely on some tournament winning rosters. We can only hope to recreate that success this week as we get closer and closer to the Super Bowl. In this piece, I’ll list 3 plays that stand out to me in this very interesting divisional round.
Andrew Luck, QB
Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs
DraftKings Salary: $6200
In general, I don’t like paying up too high at Quarterback in DFS. This week could be a little bit different though as the red hot Andrew Luck has a sweet and juicy matchup against the Chiefs and their vulnerable defense. On the season, the KC defense gave up the 5th most fantasy points to QBs and this game has all of the makings of a potential shootout. Sign me up for some of that action, boss. Captain Andrew Luck and his trusty sidearm could be forced into a lot of action on the road against the explosive Chiefs offense. I’m going to try and fit Luck in my lineup in both cash and tournament games this weekend.
Damien Williams, RB
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts
DraftKings Salary: $5100
Can you tell that I’m a big fan of the IND-KC matchup this week? Normally, I spend up at Running Back in DFS and try to fill in the other spots with players in decent matchups. But, this week I’m not in love with the top tier guys except maybe Alvin Kamara at home against the Eagles. And because of that being the case, I can see myself spending up at QB and WR and trying to find the mid-range plays at RB. This leads me to Damien Williams. It appears that Williams has taken the backfield over in KC after the suspension of piece of shit Kareem Hunt and the injury to Spencer Ware near the end of the season. The Colts have been pretty good against RBs, but it’s very difficult to avoid a lead back in an offense like the one the Chiefs have. Just make sure you select the right Williams on DK because I’m pretty sure the Chiefs have like 10 of them.
Golden Tate, WR
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints
DraftKings Salary: $4600
My favorite WR play of the week is definitely Michael Thomas going against the Eagles secondary who has guys playing that not even the guys who update the rosters on Madden have heard of. But, to save you some money so you can spend up, let me introduce you to the Golden Taint. Tate has a glorious individual matchup this week against the Saints nickel corner PJ Williams. For the most part, the Saints have improved over the season, but Williams on the other hand, he #sucksbutts. Tate should eat him up on the inside and if Big Dick Nick Foles can continue his impressive play, I see Tate being a great play this weekend in the SuperDome.
Good luck to everyone this week! Thanks for reading!
Hank Mardukas is the #TeamBlitzed Fantasy expert. You can follow him on Twitter at @Blitzed_Fantasy.
Wildcard DFS Advice
Now that the NFL regular season is over, we season-long fantasy players need to turn our attention to DFS in the playoffs. In this piece, I’m going to list a couple of intriguing plays to me in this weekend’s Wild Card round. With only a 4 game slate, we will have limited options but this round of games should be very interesting.
Russell Wilson, QB Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys
DraftKings Salary: $5700
I’m not picking Russ Bus because I think that the matchup is a great one. It’s definitely not. Dallas has a very good defense that has given opposing QBs fits this year. Just ask Drew Brees. I’m taking Wilson as my QB because I think that if the Seahawks are going to go into Big D and upset the Cowboys, then Wilson is going to have to lead the charge for Pete Carroll’s boys. The Cowboys have allowed under 100 yards/game rushing this season which will more than likely force the Seahawks to get away from their ground and pound game. Wilson’s upside is only supported more with the fact that he will scramble, especially in a must-win playoff game.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks
DraftKings Salary: $9000
“Oh, you’re choosing the best RB on the slate as a play you love? What a bold call!” – most people who will read this. Well, yes, I am choosing Zeke as my must play this week. Any lineup that I form will have Elliott in it after he led the league in rushing for a 2nd time in 3 seasons. The Cowboys will give him the rock over and over again. Where he will be most valuable, especially in DraftKings which is a full PPR format, is through the air. Elliott expanded his game this year to become dangerous through the air, and if the Cowboys are going to finally win a playoff game, I expect it to be on the back of Ezekiel Elliott.
Allen Robinson, WR Chicago Bears vs. Philadelphia Eagles
DraftKings Salary: $5600
Quick, name a Cornerback on the Eagles! Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Yeah, I got nothing there either and it’s shown over the last couple of weeks for this Eagles defense. Philadelphia has surrendered the 8th most fantasy points to receivers the last 4 weeks and on the season allowed the 3rd most passing yards/game with 269 yards/game. When healthy, Robinson is one of the most talented wideouts in football and is more than capable of eating this secondary alive on Sunday. Matt Nagy is a genius playcaller and should be able to target the weakness on this Eagles team.
Good luck to everyone who decides to throw some money into DFS this week! The Steelers are a dumpster fire right now so I’m looking for a team to root for in the playoffs. Someone give me a compelling reason to root for their team. Hit me up on Twitter @Blitzed_Fantasy. Thanks for reading!
Hank Mardukas is a Steelers fan and has been a fantasy writer for years. You can follow him on Twitter at @Blitzed_Fantasy.
Week 17: Five to Thrive
Welcome to your new fantasy column! I’m Hank Mardukas and recently I’ve been lucky to join the great team at Blitzed NFL. Look, I know that it’s a little late for fantasy advice for the season but there are some people out there who play through Week 17. Yes, those people are batshit crazy but hey, they still need advice. For the sake of this week, I’m just going to write an article called “5 to Thrive.” But starting next season, it’ll be “5 to Thrive, 5 to Dive.” In this weekly write-up, I’ll try to predict which players will outperform their weekly FantasyPros rank (Thrives) and those who will underperform (Dives). This isn’t a start-sit piece. It’s simply telling you who have a chance to do what this week.
Five to Thrive
Tom Brady, QB New England Patriots
(FantasyPros Week 17 Rank: 13)
HAHAHA just kidding, fuck that guy.
Sam Darnold, QB New York Jets
(FantasyPros Week 17 Rank: 17)
This ginger-headed rookie from USC appears to have finally found his stride at the end of his rookie year and could continue his fiery run in Week 17 against a New England defense that’s given up 254 yards/game through the air on the season. Thanks to a newfound chemistry with top WR Robby Anderson, Darnold has thrown for 594 yards and 5 TDs the last two weeks. The Pats could look to neutralize Anderson with shutdown corner Stephon Gilmore, but Darnold has proven that he can find other targets in the passing game as well. For those of you crazy bastards playing in Week 17 and need a streaming QB, the red-hot Darnold could and should be an option.
CJ Anderson, RB Los Angeles Rams
(FantasyPros Week 17 Rank: 17)
Who in the hell saw Anderson’s Week 16 performance coming? I’ll tell you one person who didn’t: me. I rode Todd Gurley to the title game all season and then added rookie John Kelly who had been with the Rams all season. I didn’t buy into the hype of McVay saying Anderson would play a “major role.” Welp, I was wrong and it cost me a title. But I’m not bitter. It appears that Gurley will again sit out this week which will leave the majority of the work to Eddie Lacy or I mean CJ Anderson. In his LA debut, Anderson ran for 167 yards and a TD against an Arizona front 7 that looks like it’s comprised of 5 dead bodies and 2 high school players. This week, CJA gets to take on the 49ers, who have surrendered the 6th most fantasy points to RBs the last 4 weeks. Ride this turd to fantasy glory.
Royce Freeman, RB Denver Broncos
(FantasyPros Week 17 Rank: 29)
All the hype surrounded this third round pick out of Oregon coming into the season (see Brad Evans), but Freeman has disappointed as he’s watched fellow rookie Philip Lindsay rip defenses apart with his quickness and tough running. Well, Lindsay will be out this week with injury which should leave the backfield to Royce Freeman and an opportunity to show why the Broncos drafted him as high as they did. And lucky for him, he’ll get to take on a Chargers defense that has given up the most fantasy points/game the last 4 weeks to RBs. This bruising back should see somewhere around 20 carries and you’ll take that guaranteed workload and run with in Week 17 where you could see some big-time fantasy starters sitting out. I expect Freeman to run free, man this week at home in the season finale to high-end RB2 performance.
Kenny Golladay, WR Detroit Lions
(FantasyPros Week 17 Rank: 14)
I love me some Kenny G and his smooth routes. I also love me some guaranteed targets in an offense that has no one else to throw to. The Lions legit have no one else to even think about passing. They’d be better off trotting out their list of WR busts from the mid 2000’s (hello, Charles Rogers) instead of going with what’s left at their depth chart at WR. The Packers defense was just ripped up by the before-mentioned Darnold and Anderson combo last week, and I could see the same this week with Stafford-Golladay. If the Lions can get some help around Babytron for next season and a new OC, Golladay has all the traits to be a star. If you’re in a dynasty league, be patient with this future stud.
Chris Hogan, WR New England Patriots
(FantasyPros Week 17 Rank: 47)
Now, I’m never a fan of advocating for one of Tom Brady’s weapons, but I also have to be realistic for a second. Hogan has stepped into the role that was vacated by Josh Gordon’s suspension and will be taking on a Jets defense that has given up a ton through the air on the season. New York has given up the 2nd most fantasy points on the season to WRs and has allowed over 250 passing yards/game. Brady has a ton of weapons so Hogan’s targets could be limited, but all it takes is one long catch to make this value play worth it, even if he plays for Patriots.
Hank Mardukas is a Steelers fan and has been a fantasy writer for years. You can follow him on Twitter at @Blitzed_Fantasy.