Fantasy Football News Roundup: August 16, 2019

Fantasy Football News Roundup: August 16, 2019

Antonio Brown’s return and Andrew Luck’s mysterious leg injury headline the fantasy news of the week. Stay up-to-date with all the latest news right here.

 

OAK WR Antonio Brown returns to team after helmet saga.

After apparently telling the Raiders he will retire if he’s not able to play with the helmet he’s had for his entire career (which cannot be used because it is too old), Brown eventually returned to camp ahead of the team’s second preseason game. AB is still dealing with the frostbitten feet, but he should be good to go any day now, and all the drama could make him a steal in fantasy drafts.

 

49ers surprisingly announce broken foot for SF WR Trent Taylor.

During last Saturday night’s preseason broadcast, it was announced that Taylor broke his foot and would miss time in the regular season, which could be a big blow for San Francisco because he was their projected starter in the slot. Shortly after the news was made public, general manager John Lynch joined the local broadcast and said that Taylor had been playing with the injury during camp before it was revealed to be broken.

 

Jerry Jones talks up DAL RB Tony Pollard.

The longer Ezekiel Elliott holds out, the more important his immediate backup will be, and it sure sounds like rookie Tony Pollard is the guy. When talking about the rookie’s preseason debut, Jerry Jones said, “we know he’s capable of […] carrying the whole load.” Pollard is being undervalued either way, but if Zeke doesn’t return by around the third preseason game, he should shoot up draft boards.

 

Fractured shoulder knocks out DEN RB Theo Riddick six-to-eight weeks.

Denver’s backfield got really crowded when they signed Riddick to be a pass-catching option behind Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, but he could now miss the first month of the season with a fractured shoulder. The injury will probably be a slight boost to Lindsay’s value, and it might lock Devontae Booker into a roster spot.

 

SEA RB Chris Carson gets praised for receiving skills.

Carson has clearly established himself as Seattle’s lead runner for 2019, but the hype is still rolling in for the third-year back, as Pete Carroll said he might have the best hands on the team and will “for sure” catch more passes this year. The RB2 group looks loaded this year, but a case could certainly be made for Carson as a top-20 player at the position.

 

DAL WR Amari Cooper is dealing with a foot injury.

According to radio host Mike Fisher, Cooper has a “plantar fascia irritation” but is expected to “be fine.” The injury could knock him out for the rest of the preseason (likely as a precaution), but Cooper should be good to go for the opener. The 25-year-old has a 1,000-yard season playing through a similar issue during his rookie year.

 

MIA RB Kenyan Drake (foot) questionable for opener.

Drake will have an important role no matter what happens for the rest of the month, but a foot injury that has him in a walking boot is a definite downgrade for his fantasy value and a boost to Kalen Ballage’s stock. Also, the fact that head coach Brian Flores says the team is “hopeful” he will be ready for the opener could be a bad sign since teams are often optimistic when it comes to injuries. Drake should probably be drafted outside the top 30 at the position.

 

Frank Reich says decision will be made on IND QB Andrew Luck’s Week 1 status after third preseason game.

It’s impossible to know if a) the Colts have keyed in on Luck’s lower-leg issue and are simply not revealing too much, or if b) the injury is truly a mystery. Fortunately, fantasy owners should at least know if Luck will be ready for the start of the regular season by the final week of August (which is why you should wait to hold drafts until after the third preseason game), but for early drafters, the superstar quarterback needs to be downgraded.

 

LAC WR Keenan Allen is dealing with ankle injury. 

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported last night that the injury suffered at practice this week “is not considered serious,” but Allen may miss the rest of the preseason. The Chargers are only about a week away from the third exhibition (and the starters typically don’t play the fourth), so at worst, this is just a slight downgrade to Allen’s status as a WR1 option.

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: New York Jets

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: New York Jets

Player outlooks (2019)

 

QB Sam Darnold: While new head coach Adam Gase should be a definite help to Darnold’s fantasy stock, the skill-position players are more “solid” than “great” in New York, and fellow second-year quarterbacks Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen seem to each have a more promising outlook for 2019. That’s not to say Darnold doesn’t have the talent to be a QB1 this season (he does), but it might take true leap into individual stardom, which could be a year away.

 

RB Le’Veon Bell: Bell is a very difficult player to peg in terms of draft value. On one hand, the Jets will want to get their money’s worth and feed the 27-year-old as their offensive centerpiece. But on the other hand, Adam Gase was apparently not on board in regards to the contract handed out to Bell, and New York has a couple of talented backups on the roster. Top-five value is possible, but so is low-end RB2 disappointment.

 

RB Ty Montgomery: One of the reasons to be concerned about Bell’s workload not being like it was in Pittsburgh (when he averaged nearly 25.0 touches per game) is that Montgomery could have a bigger role than people realize. Last season was one to forget—especially his time with the Packers—but Montgomery is a versatile player with excellent vision as a runner.

 

RB Bilal Powell: He was a late (re-)signing, but Powell returned to the Jets for what will be his ninth season, and he will provide good depth on a young offense. Before appearing in just seven games last year, the veteran totaled 2,052 yards over the previous two seasons. For now, he should be on the waiver wire, but Powell could make a fantasy impact if an injury hits Bell or Montgomery.

 

WR Robby Anderson: On the surface, Anderson looks primed for WR2 value with an offensive-minded head coach and emerging quarterback to lift him up, but the schedule is cause for concern. Over the first eight games of the year, there is only one soft matchup (@ PHI), as Anderson will have to face Tre’Davoius White, Denzel Ward, Stephon Gilmore (twice), Byron Jones, Jalen Ramsey, and Xavien Howard. It might be wise to stay away at his ADP.

 

WR Quincy Enunwa: With Anderson occupied by a bunch of shutdown corners, Enunwa could be the primary beneficiary. The physical possession receiver previously had a 58/857/4 line in 2017, and we saw at least a little bit of a connection with Darnold last year when he averaged 69.5 yards per game in September.

 

WR Jamison Crowder: Crowder was a solid contributor for the Redskins, but he never quite reached the lofty preseason expectations that many had for him over the past four years. Perhaps he will become a favorite of Darnold’s and reach 80 or so receptions, but the offense may have too many options with Le’Veon Bell and Chris Herndon also needing targets over the middle.

 

TE Chris Herndon: You should be wary of offseason hype (like DeVante Parker playing in the “Monster Bowl” a couple of years ago), but Herndon was called a “unicorn type player” by Adam Gase, and he has the talent to be an immediate TE1 option when he returns from his four-game suspension. However, the position looks strong in the TE10 to TE25 range, so Herndon is probably better left on the waiver wire outside of deeper leagues.

 

TE Ryan Griffin: Griffin won’t be a long-term fixture on fantasy rosters, and with so much depth at tight end, it might not be worth considering him as a streaming option either. The Jets will start the season with two of the toughest possible matchups for the position.

 

Other notes

 

Best 2019 value: RB Ty Montgomery (FantasyPros ADP: RB77)

The fact that Montgomery has already taken complete control of the backup job behind Le’Veon Bell should be extra encouragement for his 2019 outlook, and he should be rostered in all 12-team leagues heading into the season. As stated, the converted receiver has great vision as a runner, and he can obviously make plays in the passing game. RB77 is way too low.

 

Best dynasty investment: TE Chris Herndon

If Herndon turns into a star this season, his fantasy value will skyrocket, so now is the time to buy. As a rookie, the 23-year-old caught 69.6% of his targets for 502 yards and four touchdowns, showing an all-around skillset, including the ability to win in scoring territory. The suspension could have him available at a discount compared to the talent level.

 

Bold prediction

The remaining bold predictions can be found in the 2019 Fantasy Consigliere draft guide.

 

Stat to know

The last season we saw him on the field, Le’Veon Bell averaged 4.02 yards per carry for the Steelers; Ty Montgomery has averaged 4.85 yards per carry for his career.

 

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: New York Giants

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: New York Giants

Player Outlooks (2019)

 

QB Eli Manning: He’s gotten plenty of criticism over the past couple of years, but in his first season under Pat Shurmur, Manning quietly set career-highs for completion percentage (66.0%) and interception percentage (1.9%) while throwing for his most yards per attempt (7.5) since 2011. Eli shouldn’t be drafted at the top-25 at the position, but the weapons aren’t as bad as people think—New York will rely heavily on Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram—so it’s possible one more big season could be in store as the two-time Super Bowl champion looks to hold off Daniel Jones.

 

QB Daniel Jones: The No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft probably won’t see the field early in his career unless Manning plays really poorly, but if he eventually makes starts, Year 1 fantasy value wouldn’t be out of the question for Jones. In December, the Giants will have a very favorable schedule (v GB, @ PHI, v MIA, @ WAS, v PHI) for their passing attack to potentially thrive.

 

RB Saquon Barkley: It has become a popular contrarian opinion to say someone other than Barkley should be the No. 1 pick, but it doesn’t make sense to pass up the best running back in football (and arguably a top-five overall talent) if you have a chance to take him. Besides his own individual talent, Saquon will be running behind a better offensive line this season after the team acquired Pro Bowl guard Kevin Zeitler.

 

RB Wayne Gallman: Gallman is apparently being pushed for the backup job, but he should win out and will be the preferred handcuff to Barkley. The former Clemson standout has the ability to make an impact if he is ever forced into extended playing time, but he carries little to no standalone value.

 

RBs Paul Perkins and Rod Smith: Perkins and Smith are listed together as co-third-stringers on the Giants’ first unofficial depth chart, and there will probably be just one roster spot available between them. Right now, Smith may have the edge after Perkins fumbled in the preseason opener.

 

WR Sterling Shepard: An injury is never a positive, but if there’s a silver lining to Shepard’s thumb injury, it’s that he’s still been able to participate in practice to stay in shape both physically and mentally. If you’re on the fence about New York’s new No. 1 receiver as a midround target this year, you’ll want to read the “stat to know” at the end of this article.

 

WR Golden Tate: It was a bit head-scratching to see the Giants sign Tate because they also extended Sterling Shepard in the offseason, but the organization clearly has a plan to use them both effectively in Pat Shurmur’s offense. The four-game suspension to start the year makes Tate a guy to stay away from at the end of drafts, but he could settle in as a solid FLEX over the final three months.

 

WR Cody Latimer: Corey Coleman (knee) could have been in position for a starting job before he tore his ACL at the start of camp, but Latimer will now be relied on as the No. 2 wideout to start the year before shifting to No. 3 duties when Tate returns. The former second-round pick flashed some for New York with 17.3 yards per reception on 11 grabs last year, so we’ll see if he can build on that in 2019.

 

WR Bennie Fowler: The offense isn’t expected to have enough balls to go around for any consistent fantasy options behind Barkley, Shepard, Tate, and Evan Engram, but Fowler is worth mentioning if he can earn a role in three-wide-receiver sets to start the season. In particular, a potential shootout against the Bucs in Week 3 could make Fowler a decent desperation play for those in deeper leagues.

 

TE Evan Engram: Engram didn’t get off to a great start with Pat Shurmur last year as he missed five games (including a surprise inactive one week) and wasn’t even in the starting lineup for a couple of others, but investors are hoping the fantasy playoffs were a sign of what’s to come in 2019. From Week 14 to Week 17, Engram went for lines of 3/77, 8/75, 6/87, and 5/81/1, also adding a two-point conversion and two carries for 26 yards over that span. He’s a solid TE1.

 

Other notes

 

Best 2019 value: WR Sterling Shepard (FantasyPros ADP: WR36)

Currently going outside the top 35 at the position and a borderline top-100 pick overall, Shepard could be a bargain for fantasy owners as a cheap No. 1 receiver on an offense that threw for over 4,400 yards last season. The former second-round pick is a good bet for 1,000 yards, and he previously had an eight-score season as a rookie.

 

Best dynasty investment: QB Daniel Jones

It should also be noted that Saquon Barkley is the clear No. 1 player in dynasty startups, but the disrespect towards Jones is similar to what Bills quarterback Josh Allen dealt with last season, so this is your chance to get him at a heavy discount. Besides being intelligent, accurate, and poised, the rookie can make plays with his legs when he sees a running lane.

 

Bold prediction

The remaining bold predictions can be found in the 2019 Fantasy Consigliere draft guide.

 

Stat to know

In six career games with double-digit targets, Sterling Shepard has averaged 19.28 fantasy points per game, and his “worst” performance was five receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown (or 13.5 fantasy points).

 

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: New Orleans Saints

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: New Orleans Saints

Player Outlooks (2019)

 

QB Drew Brees: Despite not reaching 500 pass attempts for the first time since joining the Saints, Brees was lifted to a QB8 finish in 2018 thanks to his 32:5 touchdown-interception ratio and four scores on the ground. The offense is expected to remain more balanced at this stage of Brees’ career, though, so he would need to keep up his career-best efficiency to repeat as a top-eight option. The future Hall of Famer might be better viewed as a QB1/QB2.

 

RB Alvin Kamara: Kamara should be a no-doubt top-five pick in all formats, but it might not be wise to expect him to get the monster workload he had at the start 2018 (when Mark Ingram was suspended). The 24-year-old is the engine of the Saints offense, though, so he has among the highest combinations of weekly floor/ceilings in the league.

 

RB Latavius Murray: Don’t be surprised if Murray steps right into Ingram’s old role as an early-down runner that can also contribute in the passing game. Over the past four years, Latavius has averaged eight touchdowns per season, and he quickly got involved in the team’s first preseason game with three receptions for 22 yards in limited action.

 

RB Devine Ozigbo: He would almost certainly need an injury to have standalone fantasy value, but Ozigbo is a name to monitor this season because of the team he plays for. While the Saints have checked in on free agents to add depth to the backfield, neither Javorius Allen nor Robert Kelley have stuck around, which bodes well for Ozigbo.

 

WR Michael Thomas: Signed to a $100-million extension last month, Thomas is locked up through his age-30 season, so his prime will be played in New Orleans. For fantasy purposes, Thomas “only” finished as the WR6 last year as he played all 16 games and caught 125 passes, so he could be getting slightly overvalued as the WR3 ahead of Julio Jones and others.

 

WR Tre’Quan Smith: As a rookie, Smith averaged 15.3 yards per reception and caught five touchdowns, but it still felt like the Saints were looking for more out of him. After a 10/157/1 blowup against the Eagles in November, Smith totaled just eight receptions over his final seven games (including playoffs), and he needs to show consistency this fall to have a stable role.

 

WR Ted Ginn: There is a chance that Ginn is able to hold off Smith as the team’s No. 2 receiver this season, and he may be getting overlooked right now as a potential FLEX option. In six healthy games last season, Ginn went for lines of 5/68/1, 4/55, 3/12/1, 5/74, 3/44, and 3/58.

 

WR Keith Kirkwood: Kirkwood will probably have to settle for the No. 4 spot on the depth chart this season, but the Saints spread the ball around as well as anyone, and the Temple product averaged 16.1 yards per reception in limited action as a rookie. Consider Kirkwood a desperation option when injuries and bye weeks start to kick in.

 

TE Jared Cook: Coming off a season in which he set career-highs across the board (101 targets, 68 receptions, 896 yards, and six touchdowns), Cook will hopefully have similar numbers with a big role in perhaps the most efficient passing attack in football. Things will run through Kamara and Thomas, but if Cook can catch at least five scores, he should be a solid TE1.

 

Other notes

 

Best 2019 value: RB Latavius Murray (FantasyPros ADP: RB37)

Murray gets plenty of unwarranted criticism from analysts and casual fans alike, but that just makes him a better value as a quality FLEX and/or excellent bench option in 2019. During a five-game stretch as the starter from Week 5 to Week 9 last season in Minnesota, Latavius was on a season-long pace of 234 carries for 1,130 yards and 16 touchdowns.

 

Best dynasty investment: RB Devin Ozigbo

While Murray has shown no signs of slowing down at 29, Ozigbo could be next in line for the big-back role in Sean Payton’s offense, which has the potential to be fantasy gold in 2020 or 2021.The undrafted rookie out of Nebraska is a physical, pounding runner with surprising burst for his size.

 

Bold prediction

The remaining bold predictions can be found in the 2019 Fantasy Consigliere draft guide.

 

Stat to know

Drew Brees—who is entering his age-40 campaign—has seen his pass attempts (673 > 536 > 489) and passing yards (5,208 > 4,334 > 3,992) decrease over the past three seasons, but last year’s touchdown percentage (6.5% – his highest since 2013) helped him finish as the QB8.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: 2019 Fantasy Football Team Names

Top Ten Tuesday: 2019 Fantasy Football Team Names

Most people will be holding their fantasy drafts later this month or in early September, so it’s time to start thinking of a team name for 2019. Here are ten of the best, including a custom logo that you can feel free to use for each one.

 

10. Yippie Ki Yay Justin Tucker

 

Photo courtesy: 20th Century Fox/White Wolf Editing

 

Ideally, your fantasy season will still be alive come the holiday season, which would give this name a boost (because Die Hard is definitely a Christmas movie). And like John McClane, Justin Tucker can come through in the clutch to save the day.

 

9. Kyler Ren

 

Photo courtesy: Star Wars/White Wolf Editing

 

Perhaps the most 2019-relevant name on the list because the Skywalker saga will end when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is released on December 20, Kyler Ren is of course based on No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray and villain Kylo Ren. It helps that the Cardinals should wear their awesome black uniforms at least a couple of times this season.

 

8. Gotham Rogues

 

 

You can’t go wrong with a generic name that can be used every year, and Gotham Rogues fits the billing as the name of the football team in The Dark Knight Rises. Gotham Knights—which is used in the comics—is also an option for Batman fans that want to go the generic route.

 

7. “Hello Newton…”

 

Photo courtesy: NBC/White Wolf Editing

 

There are a few Seinfeld team names to choose from—Vandelay Industries, H.E. Rashaad Pennypacker, and No Suh for You being the others—but “Hello Newton…” was the best opportunity to create a logo for. It’s also interesting that Cam Newton has been compared to Superman, while Newman in Seinfeld was compared to Lex Luthor, so we have a bit of a “Bizarro” situation going on here.

 

6. A Team Has No Name

 

 

If all else fails, this is an excellent fallback option for Game of Thrones fans because it requires minimum effort but is still a clever name. There is another GOT later on the list, but ones that didn’t make the cut include Mance Raiders and Cooper Kuppbearer.

 

5. Big Kittle Lies

 

Photo courtesy: HBO/White Wolf Editing

 

Hopefully your fantasy league doesn’t have the drama of HBO’s Big Little Lies, but either way, it shouldn’t preclude you from using this name if you spend an early pick on the 49ers star. Kittle would probably be hilarious if thrown into world of “elites” in Monterey. (Sorry about the logo, Mrs. Witherspoon.)

 

4. A Song of Matty Ice and Fire

 

Photo courtesy: HBO/White Wolf Editing

 

If you think Matt Ryan will repeat his QB2 finish from a season ago, there will be a lot more fire than ice for fantasy owners, but this really works because of the former NFL MVP’s nickname—“Matty Ice”. Also, now is a great time to use the team name because Game of Thrones ended earlier this year.

 

3. Sterling Cooper & Partners

 

Photo courtesy: AMC/White Wolf Editing

 

The logo is just as important as the team name, and Mad Men fans should love everything about this one. Now, I wouldn’t recommend going after Amari Cooper and Sterling Shepard just to make the team name work, but if you happen to get both, go for it.

 

2. Justice League

 

Photo courtesy: Warner Bros./White Wolf Editing

 

Gotham Rogues has Batman fans covered for a generic name, but Justice League is an option if Ravens rookie Justice Hill is on your squad—whether it be a redraft or dynasty league. You can even add in other guys from your roster onto Cyborg, Aquaman, Flash, and Wonder Woman.

 

1. *Locked for Fantasy Consigliere members*

We want to provide as much free content as possible, but the final name/logo on the list is exclusive for Fantasy Consigliere members, which gives you our draft guide, premium analytics, exclusive rankings, a printable cheat sheet (available soon), unlimited advice, and more for an absolute bargain.

 

Fantasy Consigliere Now Offers Excel Spreadsheet To Replace Offline Draft App

Fantasy Consigliere Now Offers Excel Spreadsheet To Replace Offline Draft App

We know many of you were very unhappy when ESPN Fantasy Football took away the Offline Draft App out of nowhere last year—without warning to league commissioners. Many people said they were preparing to start their drafts with the Offline Draft App, as they had for years, only to see it was gone. The pen-and-paper route became necessary for some, but the ease of inputting the results on a draft board and having it displayed on a television screen was the ideal situation.

 

As part of a Fantasy Consigliere subscription, you can now get access to an Excel spreadsheet that easily allows you to keep track of your draft. You cannot transfer the data directly to the league hosting sites like ESPN, Yahoo, and NFL.com, but we hope this makes things a little bit easier for league commissioners that enter all the draft results themselves as they did on the Offline Draft App.

 

For now, Fantasy Consigliere subscribers can use the Consigliere Counsel to direct message us and ask for the Excel spreadsheet depending on the league size. Standard-sized 10- or 12-team leagues (or smaller) work best, but we can provide options for 14-team leagues and bigger, too.

 

This is something that people with solid understanding of Excel can do themselves, so this isn’t a huge new feature. However, it’s another perk of Fantasy Consigliere, and hopefully it helps the non-tech-savvy league managers out there.

 

Right now, there is no roster board in the Excel draft board because things will continue to change (injuries, holdouts, etc.) in the coming weeks, and we’ve found people are happy with using their own individual cheat sheets to keep track of available players. But players are still color-coded when they are input on the draft board, making things easy to track.

 

This isn’t perfect, but it’s an adequate option to make things run smoothly for league commissioners that previously relied on the Offline Draft App that ESPN took away last season.

 

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: New England Patriots

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: New England Patriots

Player Outlooks (2019)

 

QB Tom Brady: Brady is still playing at a very high level coming off his sixth Super Bowl victory, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will be a fantasy quarterback to target. Especially because of all the young signal-callers that have entered the league in recent years (most of whom are mobile), TB12 isn’t expected to put up the big-time passing numbers that warrant top-ten consideration in 2019.

 

RB Sony Michel: A key contributor during New England’s playoff run last season, Michel totaled 71 carries for 336 yards (4.7 YPC) and six touchdowns in three postseason games, which may have been overlooked a bit considering he was a rookie. Health/workload concerns probably make the 24-year-old an RB2 option, but getting more involved as a receiver would be an obvious boost to Michel’s fantasy value.

 

RB James White: Despite the team drafting Michel in the first round last year, White set career-highs across the board in 2018 with 87 receptions, 751 receiving yards, 94 carries, 425 rushing yards, and 12 total touchdowns—leading to an RB8 finish. The usage in the second half of the season (64/584/2 receiving pace) is a concern, though, and White is probably only worth a top-50 pick in PPR leagues due to how loaded the backfield is.

 

RB Damien Harris: Besides Rob Gronkowski’s retirement, the biggest change on New England’s offense is the addition of Harris, who was drafted in the third round after totaling 2,913 rushing yards over the past three years at Alabama. The Patriots didn’t have a need at running back, but the selection of Harris shows how highly they viewed him as a prospect. The rookie—who is a well-rounded runner that can do whatever is asked of him—could pay off as a late-round bench stash.

 

RB Rex Burkhead: Burkhead missed all of October and November last season, but he averaged 9.9 touches per game in ten healthy appearances (including playoffs), and should have a weekly role this year, too. Weekly standalone value will be difficult to predict, but if injuries hit, Burkhead has the talent to make an impact for fantasy owners.

 

WR Julian Edelman:Arguably the safest WR2 in the league, Edelman had at least 50 yards in all but one game last season (and he scored in the other), so his floor is nearly unmatched at the position. Edelman has enough built-in chemistry with Tom Brady to completely ignore the thumb injury that could keep him out for all of camp.

 

WR N’Keal Harry: It sounds like Harry has some work to do if he’s going to be a clear starter to open the season, but if things click for him over the next few weeks, the rookie could be a bargain as a borderline top-50 fantasy receiver.  That said, New England’s first-round pick will—at best—be the No. 3 option in the passing game, and he might not be worth taking before Round 14 in 10-team leagues.

 

WR Phillip Dorsett: Dorsett could have went elsewhere in free agency earlier this year, but the Patriots were the best fit for him, and he proved to be a very reliable contributor down the stretch last season. Unless Josh Gordon is reinstated and stays on the field, Dorsett will be the top downfield threat in Josh McDaniels’ offense after catching 76.2% of his 42 targets in 2018.

 

WR Jakobi Meyers: An undrafted rookie out of NC State, Meyers caught two touchdowns in his preseason debut, and he needs to be on everyone’s radar in case the success carries over to potential playing time with Tom Brady and the first-team offense.

 

TE Benjamin Watson: A chance to rejoin the franchise that drafted him steered Watson away from retirement, but he will miss the first four games of the season for a violation of the league’s PED policy (which is unfortunate because he only failed a drug test because he thought he was done playing). The veteran won’t be worth taking in redraft leagues, but when he returns, Watson may have TE2 value.

 

TE Matt LaCosse:Prior to last season, LaCosse had appeared in just seven games since entering the league in 2015, but he ended up making 15 appearances for Denver—catching 24 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown. The size (six-foot-six) and speed (4.64 40-yard dash) make LaCosse an intriguing name because of the opportunity in New England. Keep tabs on him for the rest of the preseason.

 

Other notes

 

Best 2019 value: WR Phillip Dorsett (FantasyPros ADP: WR100)

The entire Patriots offense could be a value based on their ADP, but no one has a bigger gap between our rankings and their draft position than Dorsett. The 26-year-old proved that he can be more than just a field-stretcher last season (he had zero receptions of more than 20 yards), so if he the big plays start happening, Dorsett will have a case for boom-or-bust FLEX value.

 

Best dynasty investment: QB Tom Brady

It might seem crazy for dynasty owners to invest in a 42-year-old quarterback, but Brady’s goal is to play until he’s 45, that would mean four more years of him on your fantasy team. Right now, the Patriots are a run-heavy offense, but they can change play styles like flipping a switch, and Brady is going to continue working to stay at the top of his game for as long as he plays—so the QB1 days may not be over yet.

 

Bold prediction

The remaining bold predictions can be found in the 2019 Fantasy Consigliere draft guide.

 

Stat to know

Including playoffs, Sony Michel averaged 106.44 rushing yards in ten games with 18+ carries last season.

 

Fantasy Football News Roundup: August 9, 2019

Fantasy Football News Roundup: August 9, 2019

Injuries are starting to pile up a bit with preseason action now underway, and these are the most notable fantasy news of the week. Keep track of all the up-to-the-minute news right here.

 

IND RB Spencer Ware placed on reserve/PUP list.

 

Ware is dealing with an ankle injury that was originally thought to be keeping him out for only a couple of weeks, but this move by the Colts will force him to miss the first six games of the regular season. Indy will now have to rely on Jordan Wilkins or newcomer D’Onta Foreman to step up as the No. 3 back behind Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines to start the year.

 

Derek Carr talks up OAK WR Tyrell Williams.

 

The acquisition of Antonio Brown caused Williams’ signing to go a bit under the radar, but Carr called his new No. 2 receiver someone that could be a 100-catch, 1,000-yard guy in a featured role, which is especially notable in case AB’s foot issue keeps him out into the regular season. Williams—who is just 27—averaged 16.3 yards per reception in four years with the Chargers, including a 1,000-yard season in 2016.

 

IND RB D’Onta Foreman gets second chance with Colts after being waived by Houston.

 

The Texans had previously expressed great optimism about Foreman’s 2019 outlook, so his release was a definite surprise last weekend. However, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle says that the move had to do with his work ethic, so if the release turns out to be a wakeup call for Foreman, he could be an excellent find for the division rival Colts.

 

Mystery surrounds OAK WR Antonio Brown (feet). 

 

Oakland’s superstar receiver has only practiced once so far in training camp, and it’s been reported that he is essentially dealing with frostbite on the bottom of his feet from a cryotherapy chamber mishap. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport called Brown day-to-day on August 4, but others have expressed real concern about the injury. And anyone who watches Hard Knocks saw that AB simply refuses to stop working out, so it will be interesting to see how this all unfolds over the next month if the recovery time lingers.

 

Colts head coach Frank Reich says the team will turn IND QB Andrew Luck loose this year.

 

In Peter King’s Football Morning in America column, Reich said that his quarterback has “been in some really, really good offenses,” but he doesn’t know if he’s ever been in one that will “turn him loose like we’re going to turn his loose.” Luck—who threw 39 touchdowns last year—will have basically the same supporting cast bolstered by Devin Funchess, Parris Campbell, and Deon Cain at receiver behind T.Y. Hilton. As long as he’s cleared from his calf injury, Luck is a no-doubt top-five option.

 

DAL RB Ezekiel Elliott gives an ultimatum. 

 

According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Zeke said he will not play this season without a new contract, and he seems seriously dug in for this holdout despite two years remaining on his rookie deal. The expectation is that a deal will get done, but it sounds like Elliott wants to be the highest-paid running back in the league, and the Cowboys may not want to (or be able to) oblige if Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper are the priorities. Early drafters might be better off passing on Elliott with a top-three pick.

 

HOU RB Duke Johnson traded from Browns to Texans.

 

Cleveland received a likely third-round pick in exchange for the receiving back, so Houston clearly has big plans for Johnson, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him emerge as the team’s lead back ahead of Lamar Miller at some point. It’s also worth noting that this move locks Nick Chubb into a three-down role for the Browns until Kareem Hunt returns from his eight-game suspension.

 

Knee issues continue for SF RB Jerick McKinnon.

 

After just a couple of practices following his activation from the PUP list, McKinnon experienced knee soreness and had to get a platelet rich plasma injection. Head coach Kyle Shanahan says he will get back into the mix after two weeks, but this is looking more and more like it could be another lost season for McKinnon, which would be awful. Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida both look like values as the 1A and 1B in the backfield.

 

HOU WR Keke Coutee gets carted off with ankle injury in preseason opener.

 

The injury was thought to be serious because he got rolled up on, but fortunately, early returns suggest it’s “not considered a major [injury],” according to Ian Rapoport. Still, Coutee is probably dealing with a high-ankle sprain that would put the start of the regular season in jeopardy, so this is a ding to his stock in the WR4/5 range.

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Minnesota Vikings

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Minnesota Vikings

Player Outlooks (2019)

 

QB Kirk Cousins: The switch from John DeFilippo to Kevin Stefanski at offensive coordinator is a legitimate concern for Cousins, as the Vikings will want to run the ball more this year (which we saw at the end of last season). The weapons are there for Minnesota to open things up whenever they want, but overall, expect there to be plenty of volatility from week to week Also, it’s worth noting that Cousins probably wouldn’t even be a usable QB2 if one of Stefon Diggs or Adam Thielen goes down in a top-heavy receiving corps.

 

RB Dalvin Cook: Currently being drafted as a top-ten option at the position, Cook has top-five upside, but injuries could make him too big of a risk ahead of someone like Joe Mixon or one of the stud receivers that may still be on the board. That said, Cook’s main issue has been staying healthy, so he could be a fantasy superstar if he stays healthy and is fed touches in his third season.

 

RB Alexander Mattison: The Vikings drafted Mattison at the end of the third round to be their replacement for Latavius Murray as an early-down pounder, but he might not have the standalone value that other rookies in the class do. We would recommend leaving Mattison on the waiver wire to start his career, but he’d be an immediate RB2 if Cook goes down.

 

RB Ameer Abdullah: He only handled one offensive touch in seven games with Minnesota last year, but Abdullah is listed as the team’s No. 3 back on their first official depth chart, so perhaps he can make an impact in what is just his age-26 season. The best chance at fantasy value would be a pass-catching role in tandem with Mattison if the starter goes down for the third year in a row.

 

WR Stefon Diggs: The run-heavy offense probably benefits Diggs more than teammate Adam Thielen because his skillset makes him effective as a quick-strike target on short/intermediate routes, but we’ll see if we get any clarity in preseason action. Last year, Diggs had his first 1,000-yard campaign, and he has shown he is capable of monster performances throughout his career. Consider him a borderline top-15 option.

 

WR Adam Thielen: The 2018 numbers will probably push Thielen up draft boards, but it’s important to value guys based on what they will do, not what they’ve already done. After the former undrafted receiver set the NFL record for 100-yard games to start a season (eight), he was on pace for just a 78/896/6 line in the second half of the season, and he had one game over 80 receiving yards after Week 8. We think Diggs is the preferred draft target.

 

WR Chad Beebe: Right now, it sounds like Beebe is the frontrunner for the No. 3 receiver job, but how much fantasy value will it bring? The Vikings have been a two-man show over the past couple years, and they be even less reliant on the wideouts behind Diggs and Thielen after spending a second-round pick on tight end Irv Smith Jr. (while also keeping Kyle Rudolph). Only very deep PPR leagues should consider Beebe as a possible FLEX play.

 

WR Laquon Treadwell: Treadwell had a career-high 35 receptions and 302 yards in Year 3, but—despite just turning 24 in June—the Vikings seem like they are simply keeping him around as depth this year before moving on after the season. The former first-round pick may need a change of scenery to make a fantasy impact.

 

TE Kyle Rudolph: Rudolph was a popular TE1 pick last season because fantasy owners had hoped he would be a preferred red-zone target for Kirk Cousins, but that never really materialized with just four scores after combining for 15 of them in 2016 and 2017. Fortunately, Rudolph should remain a full-time player in large part due to his blocking, so the play-action attack may help him re-emerge.

 

TE Irv Smith Jr.: One of the youngest players in the league (he won’t turn 21 until tomorrow), Smith Jr. caught 44 passes for 710 yards and seven touchdowns in his final season at Alabama, and his big-play ability was on full display with 16.1 yards per reception. But as you should know, rookie tight ends almost always have difficulty transitioning to the NFL, so Smith Jr. is just a dynasty prospect.

 

Other notes

 

Best 2019 value: None

The Minnesota offense should have a handful of solid fantasy contributors this season, but none of them are really a strong value at their current ADP—Cousins is going as a top-20 quarterback, Cook is going as a top-ten running back, and Thielen (WR12) and Diggs (WR14) are both being drafted as if the Vikings will pass like they did in 2018.

 

Best dynasty investment: WR Laquon Treadwell

As stated, Treadwell is a young 24, and he might simply need an opportunity elsewhere to reach his potential. You could probably get the former Ole Miss star for basically nothing in a dynasty league, so if you play in a format with a deep bench that allows you to stash guys, it’s worth taking a flier on Treadwell for 2020.

 

Bold prediction: Dalvin Cook will rush for 1,600 yards

While Cook was healthy for the final two months of the 2018 season, he wasn’t a difference-maker for fantasy owners down the stretch—but a big reason was a lack of touches. In the second half of the year, Cook averaged 5.3 yards per carry across eight games (on just 12.1 carries per game), and he could be a candidate to win the rushing title if running the ball early and often is the directive of head coach Mike Zimmer.

 

Stat to know

In three games with Kevin Stefanski as offensive coordinator last season, Stefon Diggs averaged 12.2 fantasy points per game, while Adam Thielen averaged just 6.3 fantasy points per game.

 

2019 Fantasy Football Mock Draft 5.0 (14-team, 0.5 PPR)

2019 Fantasy Football Mock Draft 5.0 (14-team, 0.5 PPR)

Fantasy Football Mock 5.0 is a monster 14-team draft, with 0.5 PPR scoring. This mock was done using the FantasyPros Draft Simulator.

 

The Picks

 

Round 1

1.1: Saquon Barkley, NYG RB

1.2: Alvin Kamara, NO RB

1.3: Christian McCaffrey, CAR RB

1.4: Ezekiel Elliott, DAL RB

1.5: David Johnson, ARI RB

1.6: Davante Adams, GB WR

1.7: Melvin Gordon, LAC RB

1.8: DeAndre Hopkins, HOU WR

1.9: Le’Veon Bell, NYJ RB

1.10: Julio Jones, ATL WR

1.11: James Conner, PIT RB

1.12: Todd Gurley, LAR RB

1.13: Michael Thomas, NO WR

1.14: JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT WR

 

Thoughts: In a 14-team league, I’m willing to take a chance on someone like Gurley remaining a top-notch fantasy asset.

 

Round 2

2.1: Odell Beckham Jr., CLE WR

2.2: Travis Kelce, KC WR

2.3: Nick Chubb, CLE RB

2.4: Tyreek Hill, KC WR

2.5: Patrick Mahomes, KC QB

2.6: Joe Mixon, CIN RB

2.7: Dalvin Cook, MIN RB

2.8: Damien Williams, KC RB

2.9: Mike Evans, TB WR

2.10: Antonio Brown, OAK WR

2.11: George Kittle, SF TE

2.12: Kerryon Johnson, DET RB

2.13: T.Y. Hilton, IND WR

2.14: Marlon Mack, IND RB

 

Thoughts: And to alleviate the risk associated with drafting Gurley first, it makes sense to get a solid, high-floor player like Chubb early in the second round.

 

Round 3

3.1: Derrick Henry, TEN RB

3.2: Aaron Jones, GB RB

3.3: Keenan Allen, LAC WR

3.4: Adam Thielen, MIN WR

3.5: Zach Ertz, PHI TE

3.6: Amari Cooper, DAL WR

3.7: Devonta Freeman, ATL RB

3.8: Leonard Fournette, JAX RB

3.9: Stefon Diggs: MIN WR

3.10: Robert Woods, LAR WR

3.11: Brandin Cooks, LAR WR

3.12: Josh Jacobs, OAK RB

3.13: A.J. Green, CIN WR

3.14: Julian Edelman, NE WR

 

Thoughts: It came down to Josh Jacobs and a few receivers for this pick, but I decided to start with three straight running backs. Again, if something happens to Gurley, I’d be thrilled with a top-two of Chubb and Jacobs in a league this big.

 

Round 4

4.1: Deshaun Watson, HOU QB

4.2: Kenny Golladay, DET WR

4.3: Cooper Kupp, LAR WR

4.4: Phillip Lindsay, DEN RB

4.5: Chris Godwin, TB WR

4.6: David Montgomery, CHI RB

4.7: Tyler Lockett, SEA WR

4.8: Robby Anderson, NYJ WR

4.9: O.J. Howard, TB TE

4.10: Tarik Cohen, CHI RB

4.11: Aaron Rodgers, GB QB

4.12: Mark Ingram, BAL RB

4.13: D.J. Moore, CAR WR

4.14: Tyler Boyd, CIN WR

 

Thoughts: If Cooper Kupp can return to form after last season’s ACL tear, he’d be a solid WR1 to go along with the three running backs headlining the team.

 

Round 5

5.1: Mike Williams, LAC WR

5.2: Calvin Ridley, ATL WR

5.3: Evan Engram, NYG TE

5.4: Sony Michel, NE RB

5.5: Jarvis Landry, CLE WR

5.6: Chris Carson, SEA RB

5.7: Alshon Jeffery, PHI WR

5.8: Andrew Luck, IND QB

5.9: Hunter Henry, LAC TE

5.10: Kenyan Drake, MIA RB

5.11: Allen Robinson, CHI WR

5.12: Sammy Watkins, KC WR

5.13: James White, NE RB

5.14: Lamar Miller, HOU RB

 

Thoughts: Wide receiver is getting thin already at this point in the draft, but Sammy Watkins is probably the clear best option still available. The two starting WR spots are now two guys in two of the league’s top offenses.

 

Round 6

6.1: Latavius Murray, NO RB

6.2: Baker Mayfield, CLE QB

6.3: Matt Ryan, ATL QB

6.4: Eric Ebron, IND TE

6.5: Jared Cook, NO TE

6.6: Dante Pettis, SF WR

6.7: Will Fuller, HOU WR

6.8: Cam Newton, CAR QB

6.9: Rashaad Penny, SEA RB

6.10: Corey Davis, TEN WR

6.11: Christian Kirk, ARI WR

6.12: Marvin Jones, DET WR

6.13: Vance McDonald, PIT TE

6.14: Kyler Murray, ARI QB

 

Thoughts: I figured with three running backs and two wide receivers through five rounds, it’s worth it to add one of the top quarterbacks on the board to avoid a big run before the next pick.

 

Round 7

7.1: Tevin Coleman, SF RB

7.2: Jameis Winston, TB QB

7.3: Carson Wentz, PHI QB

7.4: Sterling Shepard, NYG WR

7.5: Russell Wilson, SEA QB

7.6: Jared Goff, LAR QB

7.7: Golden Tate, NYG WR

7.8: Derrius Guice, WAS RB

7.9: Drew Brees, NO QB

7.10: Jordan Howard, PHI RB

7.11: Kareem Hunt, CLE RB

7.12: David Njoku, CLE TE

7.13: Austin Ekeler, LAC RB

7.14: Curtis Samuel, CAR WR

 

Thoughts: It normally doesn’t work out where the lineup basically gets filled out (aside from the FLEX spot) in the first seven picks, but David Njoku got the slight nod over Miles Sanders.

 

Round 8

8.1: Miles Sanders, PHI RB

8.2: Chicago Bears D/ST

8.3: Darrell Henderson, LAR RB

8.4: Royce Freeman, DEN RB

8.5: Los Angeles Rams D/ST

8.6: Larry Fitzgerald, ARI WR

8.7: Dede Westbrook, JAX WR

8.8: Geronimo Allison, GB WR

8.9: Carlos Hyde, KC RB

8.10: Jerick McKinnon, SF RB

8.11: Jacksonville Jaguars DST

8.12: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB WR

8.13: Matt Breida, SF RB

8.14: Donte Moncrief, PIT WR

 

Thoughts: Larry Fitzgerald was under serious consideration here, but Darrell Henderson could immediately be a nice FLEX play in a 14-team league, and he helps offset the risk with the Gurley pick.

 

Round 9

9.1: Keke Coutee, HOU WR

9.2: Peyton Barber, TB RB

9.3: N’Keal Harry, NE WR

9.4: LeSean McCoy, BUF RB

9.5: Ronald Jones, TB RB

9.6: Adrian Peterson, WAS RB

9.7: Desean Jackson, PHI WR

9.8: Courtland Sutton, DEN WR

9.9: D.K. Metcalf, SEA WR

9.10: Rex Burkhead, NE RB

9.11: James Washington, PIT WR

9.12: Anthony Miller, CHI WR

9.13: Damien Harris, NE RB

9.14: Michael Gallup, DAL WR

 

Thoughts: It was surprising that Anthony Miller was still here this late, and he’s another option that could be an excellent FLEX in a 14-teamer.

 

Round 10

10.1: Emmanuel Sanders, DEN WR

10.2: D’Onta Foreman, IND RB

10.3: Devin Funchess, IND RB

10.4: Lamar Jackson, BAL QB

10.5: Duke Johnson, HOU RB

10.6: Jaylen Samuels, PIT RB

10.7: Parris Campbell, IND WR

10.8: Kenny Stills, MIA WR

10.9: Justice Hill, BAL RB

10.10: Tyrell Williams, OAK WR

10.11: Randall Cobb, DAL WR

10.12: Los Angeles Chargers D/ST

10.13: John Brown, BUF WR

10.14: Justin Jackson, LAC RB

 

Thoughts: The Devin Funchess selection gives this team starting receivers from arguably the top three offenses in football.

 

Round 11

11.1: Kalen Ballage, MIA RB

11.2: Austin Hooper, ATL TE

11.3: Alexander Mattison, MIN RB

11.4: Mike Davis, CHI RB

11.5: Dion Lewis, TEN RB

11.6: Marquise Brown, BAL WR

11.7: Nyheim Hines, IND RB

11.8: Tre’Quan Smith, NO WR

11.9: Baltimore Ravens, D/ST

11.10: C.J. Anderson, DET RB

11.11: Ben Roethlisberger, PIT QB

11.12: Jamison Crowder, NYJ WR

11.13: Devin Singletary, BUF RB

11.14: Deebo Samuel, SF WR

 

Thoughts: The receiving corps of the Jets is a bit of a toss-up right now, but Jamison Crowder could lead the team in receptions.

 

Round 12

12.1: Ito Smith, ATL RB

12.2: Mecole Hardman, KC WR

12.3: Josh Allen, BUF QB

12.4: T.J. Hockenson, DET TE

12.5: Nelson Agholor, PHI WR

12.6: Josh Gordon, NE WR

12.7: Trey Burton, CHI TE

12.8: Jordan Reed, WAS TE

12.9: Kirk Cousins, MIN QB

12.10: Dak Prescott, DAL QB

12.11: Demaryius Thomas, NE WR

12.12: Marquise Goodwin, SF WR

12.13: Philip Rivers, LAC QB

12.14: DaeSean Hamilton, DEN WR

 

Thoughts: Teams could be hurting for quarterbacks more in bigger leagues, so Josh Allen could become a valuable trade piece during the season if he breaks out this year.

 

Round 13

13.1: Mark Andrews, BAL TE

13.2: Chris Thompson, WAS RB

13.3: Tom Brady, NE QB

13.4: Jamaal Williams, GB RB

13.5: A.J. Brown, TEN WR

13.6: Chase Edmonds, ARI RB

13.7: Delanie Walker, TEN TE

13.8: Minnesota Vikings, D/ST

13.9: Jimmy Garoppolo, SF QB

13.10: Jason Witten, DAL TE

13.11: Denver Broncos, D/ST

13.12: Tony Pollard, DAL RB

13.13: Darwin Thompson, KC RB

13.14: Jimmy Graham, GB TE

 

Thoughts: This is just a mock draft, but if you’re really drafting this early, Tony Pollard should be a target in every draft.

 

Round 14

14.1: T.J. Yeldon, BUF RB

14.2: Mitchell Trubisky, CHI QB

14.3: Frank Gore, BUF RB

14.4: Trayveon Williams, CIN RB

14.5: Giovani Bernard, CIN RB

14.6: Alfred Morris, DAL RB

14.7: Jalen Richard, OAK RB

14.8: Gus Edwards, BAL RB

14.9: Kyle Rudolph, MIN TE

14.10: Greg Olsen, CAR TE

14.11: Matthew Stafford, DET QB

14.12: Ryquell Armstead, JAX RB

14.13: Andy Isabella, ARI WR

14.14: Jack Doyle, IND TE

 

Thoughts: To round off the bench, we’re adding the always-reliable Frank Gore, who should be good for a handful of points a week in the FLEX spot for a 14-team league.

 

Round 15

15.1: Cleveland Browns, D/ST

15.2: Houston Texans, D/ST

15.3: Dallas Goedert, PHI TE

15.4: Malcolm Brown, LAR RB

15.5: New England Patriots, D/ST

15.6: New Orleans Saints, D/ST

15.7: Buffalo Bills, D/ST

15.8: Rodney Anderson, CIN RB

15.9: Chris Herndon, NYJ TE

15.10: Adam Humphries, TEN WR

15.11: Zay Jones, BUF WR

15.12: Dallas Cowboys, D/ST

15.13: Mohamed Sanu, ATL WR

15.14: Indianapolis Colts, D/ST

 

Round 16

16.1: Justin Tucker, BAL K

16.2: Greg Zurlein, LAR K

16.3: Harrison Butker, KC K

16.4: Wil Lutz, NO K

16.5: Stephen Gostkowski, NE K

16.6: Ka’imi Fairbairn, HOU K

16.7: Adam Vinatieri, IND K

16.8: Brett Maher, DAL K

16.9: Mason Crosby, GB K

16.10: Giorgio Tevecchio, ATL K

16.11 Robbie Gould, SF K

16.12: Jake Elliott, PHI K

16.13: Matt Prater, DET K

16.14: Michael Badgley, LAC K

 

Team Roster

QB: Matt Ryan, ATL

RB: Todd Gurley, LAR

RB: Nick Chubb, CLE

WR: Cooper Kupp, LAR

WR: Sammy Watkins, KC

TE: David Njoku, CLE

FLEX: Josh Jacobs, OAK

D/ST: Dallas Cowboys

K: Harrison Butker, KC

BE: Darrell Henderson

BE: Anthony Miller

BE: Devin Funchess

BE: Jamison Crowder

BE: Josh Allen

BE: Tony Pollard

BE: Frank Gore

 

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Miami Dolphins

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Miami Dolphins

Player Outlooks (2019)

 

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: Fitzpatrick winning the starting job would be very intriguing for the Miami skill-position players, and on a team that’s expected to trial, it could lead to another fantasy relevant campaign for the journeyman quarterback. However, the Dolphins have a difficult schedule to start the year (v BAL, v NE, @ DAL, v LAC in September), so Fitzpatrick isn’t worth drafting and probably wouldn’t be a usable streamer unless he gets through the Week 5 bye as the starter.

 

QB Josh Rosen: Miami didn’t trade a second-round pick for Rosen to let him sit on the bench all year, but unless he made big-time strides from Year 1 to Year 2, any consistent fantasy value would be a surprise in 2019. The best-case scenario for Rosen’s long-term growth might be to sit a month behind Fitzpatrick before the schedule lightens up considerably.

 

RB Kenyan Drake: The sudden emergence of Kalen Ballage in training camp probably felt like a steel chair to the back of those investing in Drake all offseason, but splitting the workload—which he has done since he was at Alabama—wouldn’t be the end of the world for the 25-year-old, who could still put up great numbers in limited playing time. It’s worth noting that Drake finished as a top-20 option last year on just 10.8 touches per game.

 

RB Kalen Ballage: He isn’t being thought of highly for whatever reason, but Ballage is a big runner (six-foot-two, 231 pounds) with 4.46 speed and good athleticism to go along with his size. If he can take Frank Gore’s early-down role from last season and add more work in the passing game, Ballage will be an upside FLEX option.

 

RB Mark Walton: A fourth-round pick by the Bengals last year, Walton was released in the offseason after multiple arrests, but the Dolphins are giving him a chance to get his life/career on track. The 22-year-old was a standout player for the Miami Hurricanes, so if he can stick around, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get more and more work as the season progresses.

 

WR DeVante Parker: Will this be the year that Parker finally reaches his potential? The former No. 14 overall pick has totaled 163 receptions for 2,217 yards and nine touchdowns through four seasons, but he’s flashed every year, and Ryan Fitzpatrick may be able to get the most out of him by throwing up 50-50 balls on a regular basis to build confidence. He is just a late-round flier, but Parker should be monitored after the tough slate of opponents to open the season.

 

WR Kenny Stills: While Fitzpatrick would undoubtedly be a boost for Parker, it might not matter who is under center for Stills’ fantasy value because there is reason to be optimistic for both quarterbacks based on the success Fitzpatrick had with DeSean Jackson (a 62/1,258/8 season-long pace in eight games) and Rosen had with Christian Kirk (55/834/5 season-long pace in nine games) last year. Consider Stills a quality play when you need a big game.

 

WR Albert Wilson: Wilson was having a very impressive season for the Dolphins last year before a hip injury ended his season in Week 7, but fantasy owners shouldn’t be confident in the success continuing in 2019. In four prior seasons with the Chiefs, Wilson averaged just 31 catches per season despite starting 26 games over that span, and a seven-week sample size isn’t enough to make him a worthy selection at the end of drafts.

 

WR Allen Hurns: Coming off a gruesome lower-leg injury, Hurns has made a remarkable recovery that allowed him to quickly sign with Miami after being released by the Cowboys last month, but fantasy value will be difficult to come by with the top three set for the Dolphins.

 

TE Mike Gesicki: Being listed atop the team’s first depth chart (though unofficial with no input from the coaching staff) is a good sign for Gesicki’s 2019 outlook, and he could be a stud if the Dolphins trust him as a full-time player. Remember, rookie tight ends rarely contribute statistically, so it isn’t like Gesicki is far behind in his development after zero touchdowns in his first season. Consider him an upside TE2 target.

 

TE Nick O’Leary: O’Leary is worth mentioning because he will be on the field a lot as he team’s main blocking tight end, but he’s been held below double-digit receptions in three-of-four seasons to start his career, including just eight grabs in his first year with Miami.

 

Other notes

 

Best 2019 value: RB Kalen Ballage (FantasyPros ADP: RB53)

Ballage’s ADP is sure to skyrocket when fans see him get a lot of playing time with the first-team offense, but at this very moment, going outside the top-50 at the position makes him an absolute steal. He didn’t get a chance to show it last year, but Ballage can make plays as a receiver—he previously caught 44 passes for 469 yards (10.7 average) and one touchdown as a junior at Arizona State.

 

Best dynasty investment: TE Mike Gesicki

There is concern about his effectiveness as a blocker, but Gesicki is a tough receiver that can make plays over the middle or isolated on one-on-one coverage. The Dolphins certainly won’t be trying to lose games under Brian Flores, but they have reason to play (and hopefully feature) their younger players in 2019, so Gesicki might be able have a breakout season and build confidence for 2020 and beyond.

 

Bold prediction: DeVante Parker will be a top-15 fantasy wide receiver

Fifth time is the charm? Parker has been billed as a breakout candidate since entering the league, but injuries and inconsistency have plagued him in previous years, and the talent is clearly there to be a star if he finally puts everything together. Plus, on a team that no one expects to compete this season, all the pressure should be off Parker under a new coaching staff.

 

Stat to know

According to Pro Football Focus, Mike Gesicki caught all 22 on-target passes thrown in his direction last season. 

 

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Los Angeles Rams

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Los Angeles Rams

Player Outlooks (2019)

 

QB Jared Goff: It would be foolish to hold Goff’s performances in the fantasy playoffs against him, as he’s an elite fantasy and real-life quarterback that’s playing in a creative offensive system with three potential 1,000-yard receivers at his disposal. It should be stated that in games Cooper Kupp started and finished last year, Goff’s fantasy points per game would have ranked No. 2 behind Patrick Mahomes on the season, and against a favorable schedule, it doesn’t make sense to view him as anything other than a QB1 this season.

 

RB Todd Gurley: Gurley’s knee issue makes him a significant risk in the top five of fantasy drafts, but no one would blame you for taking him in the first round considering his talent, and the superstar back could be an absolute steal in leagues where no one wants to take the gamble. If Gurley handles just 18.5 touches per game to avoid being overworked, he would be on pace to once again potential be the overall RB1 based on his 2017 and 2018 efficiency.

 

RB Darrell Henderson: The Rams drafting Henderson in the third round of April’s draft isn’t necessarily an indictment on Gurley’s health, but it does mean that they have high hopes for the rookie runner. Even if he handles just eight or so touches per game, Henderson is worth drafting as an intriguing FLEX option with upside for more if Gurley ever misses time.

 

RB Malcolm Brown: He won’t be worth drafting unless we hear some bad news about Gurley over the next month, but Brown is also going to be involved as a role player off the bench this season. Besides flashing last year in limited action, Brown saw his offer sheet that he signed with the Lions get matched by Los Angeles, which shows they value him as an insurance plan.

 

WR Brandin Cooks: A prior relationship with Jared Goff helped Cooks immediately become a stud in Sean McVay’s offense, as he started his Rams career with lines of 5/87, 7/159, 7/90, and 7/116/1 last September, finishing with 80 receptions for 1,204 yards and five touchdowns despite playing for his third team in as many years. There should once again be enough balls to go around in 2019, so Cooks will remain a top-20 option with WR1 upside.

 

WR Robert Woods: In part because he was boosted by rushing production (157 yards and one touchdown), Woods finished as the WR10 last season, and he was as steady as it gets with at least 61+ receiving hands in all but two games (the season opener and the season finale). If anything, though, Woods is expected to see a drop in overall production, and there might be WR2 options with higher upside to target.

 

WR Cooper Kupp: In six full games last season, Kupp had lines of 5/52/1, 6/63, 4/71/1, 9/162/2, 6/90/1, and 5/89/1—which would have been good for a season-long pace of 93 receptions for 1,405 yards and 16 touchdowns. The six-foot-two slot receiver essentially soaks up a lot of the intermediate targets that a tight end might usually get, so it will be interesting to see the numbers he is able to put up coming off a torn ACL is Gerald Everett takes a Year 3 leap.

 

WR Josh Reynolds: The offense started to struggle a couple weeks after Reynolds joined the starting lineup last season, but he was still able to put up solid numbers (59/811/8 pace) down the stretch to close out his age-23 campaign. Now, everyone is healthy for the Rams, but Reynolds will be a top waiver priority if one of Cooks, Woods, or Kupp goes down.

 

TE Gerald Everett: Everett saw his yards-per-reception average drop from 15.3 as a rookie to 9.7 last season, but fantasy owners should be looking for flashes from a young tight end, and that’s exactly what the former second-round pick showed in 2018. The Monday Night Football shootout against the Chiefs in particular showed Everett’s potential (when he caught two touchdowns including the game-winning score), and he could be more involved this season to hopefully open up the offense even more after late-season struggles.

 

TE Tyler Higbee: Because of his ability as a run blocker, Higbee started every game for the Rams last season, but it led to just 24 receptions for 292 yards and two scores. The 26-year-old should remain involved as an underneath target with limited fantasy value.

 

Other notes

 

Best 2019 value: RB Todd Gurley (FantasyPros ADP: RB8)

In terms of positional ADP, Gurley is probably right around where he should be, but for expert consensus rankings, he is listed as the No. 19 overall player and RB11—and there are some people advising not to touch him even if he falls to the third round. Even with a strong RB2 group behind him this year, Gurley is worth selecting at the Round 1/Round 2 turn in snake drafts.

 

Best dynasty investment: QB Jared Goff

The disrespect Goff gets from clueless fans and media members is ridiculous, but it would be shocking if he isn’t under center in Los Angeles for a very long time. Unless you think Sean McVay’s offense was solved in their Super Bowl loss, there is no reason Goff shouldn’t be viewed as a top-five quarterback in dynasty leagues, as he should be a yearly threat for 4,500+ yards and 30+ touchdowns.

 

Bold prediction: Jared Goff will throw for 5,000+ yards and 35+ touchdowns

Before things started to fall apart last year with a tough first half against the Lions followed by losses to Chicago and Philadelphia, Goff was on pace for 5,159 yards and a 38:9 touchdown-interception ratio in 11 games, which included matchups at Seattle, at Denver, and at New Orleans. This year, the schedule looks softer with some potential shootouts right out the gate, and Sean McVay surely wants to get out to a quick start—potentially even throwing more than usual to quiet any doubters after Super Bowl LIII.

 

Stat to know

Todd Gurley has totaled 40 touchdowns in 29 games (or 1.38 scores per game) since Sean McVay was hired by the Rams prior to the 2017 season, both of which are easily the best in the league over that span; Alvin Kamara is second in touchdowns with 32 scores in 31 games, and Saquon Barkley is second in touchdowns per game (1.07).

 

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Los Angeles Chargers

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Los Angeles Chargers

Player Outlooks (2019)

 

QB Philip Rivers: There is a good chance Rivers outplays his mid/low-end QB2 ranking, but fantasy owners may want to go for more upside at the end of fantasy drafts. That said, there may be reason to be optimistic about Rivers having a higher ceiling this season with the team potentially going to more of a pass-slanted attack if Melvin Gordon doesn’t suit up, and Mike Williams being a full-time player could lead to more upside for the aerial attack. Rivers has had 4,200+ yards and 28+ touchdowns in each of the past six seasons.

 

RB Melvin Gordon: Good luck to early drafters trying to get a grasp on what will happen with Gordon, but if you fall in that boat, it might be wise to simply pass on the star runner because of what looks like an irreconcilable gap between he and the Chargers. Plus, Gordon has publicly backed Le’Veon Bell over the past year, so—barring a trade or new contract—he will almost certainly miss regular season games. The Buccaneers or Texans would be the best fit for the 26-year-old, but he’d be an RB1 anywhere.

 

RB Austin Ekeler: It’s probably time to view the backfield as a split between Ekeler and Justin Jackson for at least the start of the 2019 season, and both guys will be worth selecting in the middle rounds. In three starts last year, Ekeler handled touch totals of 17, 18, and 17, but his efficiency dropped to 3.2 yards per carry and 6.3 yards per reception over that span (compared to 5.3 YPC and 10.3 YPR for his career), which is evidence to suggest he’s better suited for a change-of-pace role. If he approaches top-30 range at running back, avoid him at his ADP.

 

RB Justin Jackson: The final six games of the regular season last year will probably be the floor for Jackson if he and Ekeler are forced to split lead duties, and that should be encouraging considering he had a season-long pace of 840 total yards and five scores despite 9.7 touches per game. Jackson—a balanced back that can stay on the field in any situation—has low-end RB2/FLEX potential.

 

WR Keenan Allen: Especially with A.J. Green (ankle) now knocked down in the rankings, Allen could be one of the most undervalued WR1 options of the summer, and he could be relied upon even more heavily with Melvin Gordon away from the team. Still just entering his age-27 season, Allen should once again go for 90+ catches and 1,200+ yards, making him a safe selection in the second- or third-round of fantasy drafts.

 

WR Mike Williams: The second Chiefs game last season—when the Chargers won 29-28 despite not having Melvin Gordon and losing Keenan Allen in the first half—showed Williams’ dominance as he caught seven-of-nine targets for 76 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for a 19-yard touchdown, and caught the game-winning two-point conversion (after the clutch touchdown with four seconds to play). The consensus is mistaken in not viewing Williams as a top-25 option at the position.

 

WR Travis Benjamin: It’s a bit surprising that Los Angeles didn’t add any help at receiver following the departure of Tyrell Williams, but if everyone stays healthy, the top three still looks strong with Benjamin stepping in as a deep threat. Before seeing his role decreased last season, Benjamin caught 81 passes for 1,244 yards and eight scores in 2016 and 2017. He should still have take-the-top-off speed in his age-29 season.

 

WR Artavis Scott: The lack of depth is more of the concern for the Chargers than the starting trio is, as Scott leads the questionable backups in 2019. It should be noted that before he went on injured reserve prior to the regular season last year, Scott was said to be having a strong summer, and he’s a tough weapon that could make a fantasy impact should an injury strike.

 

TE Hunter Henry: Los Angeles is ready for Henry to step up as their clear No. 1 tight end this year, and his ability to come back from a torn ACL last spring to play in the postseason was a remarkable feat that bodes well for his 2019 outlook. Henry already has an eight-touchdown season under his belt (as a rookie) and should be a force in the red zone as a top-five TE1.

 

TE Virgil Green: Green will continue to have a role because of his work in the running game, but you can probably can ignore the veteran for fantasy purposes. In each of the past five seasons, Green has caught exactly one touchdown, and he’s never had more than 237 yards in a year.

 

Other notes

 

Best 2019 value: WR Travis Benjamin (FantasyPros ADP: WR114)

At this very moment, Justin Jackson also looks like an excellent value, but Benjamin is the guy if you want to avoid the running back situation altogether. While the weekly floor will undoubtedly be low, Benjamin has averaged 15.4 yards per reception for his career, and Philip Rivers has shown he won’t hesitate to air it out if given the opportunity. You shouldn’t draft him in 10- or 12-team leagues, but Benjamin should be going higher than WR114 as a great dart throw when bye weeks kick in.

 

Best dynasty investment: RB Justin Jackson

Most people are on the Austin Ekeler train, but Jackson looks like the better long-term investment for dynasty owners because of his classic feature back size/skillset. However, a strong season from Jackson might not be enough to keep LA from drafting a running back in a really good 2020 class, so looking ahead, it might be wise to acquire Jackson now and flip him after the season.

 

Bold prediction: Mike Williams will lead the league in touchdowns

With Tyrell Williams in Oakland, Antonio Gates unsigned, and Melvin Gordon holding out, there are currently 21 touchdowns missing from the Los Angeles offense, and Williams has the talent to collect a chunk of them to add to his 11 scores from last year. Now in a full-time role entering his third season, the former No. 7 overall pick could explode as one of the league’s premier touchdown threats.

 

Stat to know

In four games without Melvin Gordon last year, Mike Williams was on a season-long pace of 988 total yards and 16 total touchdowns despite just 5.25 targets per game.

 

Fantasy Football News Roundup: August 2, 2019

Fantasy Football News Roundup: August 2, 2019

A star receiver went down for several weeks, while two stud running backs are officially holding out for new contracts. Here are some of the biggest fantasy football storylines as the preseason gets underway. Track all the up-to-the-minute news right here.

 

DAL RB Ezekiel Elliott is officially holding out of training camp without a new contract.

 

The star running back didn’t report to training camp with his Cowboys teammates as he looks for a new contract. However, Elliott has two years remaining on his contract, and NFL Network’s Jane Slater reports the player and the team are not close to an agreement. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones at first said a rushing champion is not necessary to win a Super Bowl, but he later said he’s confident a deal will get done.

 

MIA RB Kalen Ballage is reportedly in the early lead to be Miami’s starting running back.

 

Ballage has been working ahead of Kenyan Drake as the starting running back for the Dolphins early in training camp, including receiving the most goal-line touches. But ESPN Dolphins reporter Cameron Wolfe projects Drake to still lead the team in touches, with 45% of them, while Ballage gets about 40% of the touches.

 

CIN WR A.J. Green is expected to miss at least a few games because of an ankle injury.

 

During the Bengals’ first training camp practice this year, wide receiver A.J. Green tore ligaments in his ankle and will miss regular season games. The hope is that Green will miss only a few games, but there’s a chance the Pro Bowl receiver misses several games after undergoing a minor ankle procedure. Green goes from a potential value in the third round of fantasy drafts to one of the biggest wild-cards of the year with his return date unclear.

 

TEN RB Derrick Henry is missing time with a calf injury.

 

Henry is expected to miss two weeks with a strained calf, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says the Titans are “not worried” about the injury, so it sounds like something minor that they’re being cautious with. However, Henry is expected to be the foundation of Tennessee’s offense this season, so it’s not ideal that he’s missing time this summer while the team makes another switch at offensive coordinator. It’s possible Henry’s ADP drops after this injury.

 

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh says to “take the over” on BAL QB Lamar Jackson rushing 139 times this season.

 

Appearing on NFL Network, the Ravens head coach said “take the over” on the 139 attempts without hesitation. Jackson already carried the ball 147 times in just seven starts as a rookie last year (the most-ever carries by a quarterback in one season), so this isn’t a big surprise. Still, you can lock it in that the former Heisman Trophy winner will run the ball a lot as long as he remains on the field.

 

IND QB Andrew Luck continues to deal with a calf injury.

 

This is becoming a concern for Luck, as he’s been dealing with the calf issue since offseason training. The Colts are taking a very cautious approach with their franchise quarterback, who will not play in the team’s first preseason game. Don’t panic yet, but Luck’s status is one of the most important things to track from both a real-life and fantasy perspective this month.

 

LAC RB Melvin Gordon’s agent requested a trade last week.

 

ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports that Gordon’s agent Damarius Bilbo requested a trade for his client last week after the Chargers didn’t budge on their $10 million per year contract offer. Chargers general manager Tom Telesco would not allow Bilbo to explore a trade for Gordon, and LA still wants him to be with the team. Gordon reportedly wants to be closer to the range of David Johnson ($13 million per season), and he’s indicated he would hold out into the regular season if he doesn’t get a new deal. Unlike Elliott, Gordon is entering the final year of his contract.

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Kansas City Chiefs

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Kansas City Chiefs

Player Outlooks (2019)

 

QB Patrick Mahomes: Everyone knows the kind of talent Mahomes has after a 5,000-yard, 50-touchdown in his first season as a starter, and he looks like the unquestioned QB1 for 2019, especially with Tyreek Hill not facing a suspension for child abuse allegations. That said, the overall ranking is where you have a decision to make about Mahomes, as the question isn’t whether or not you should take him as the top quarterback, but whether or not he’s worth a pick in the first three rounds. Taking him in the fourth round might be a better range because of the position’s depth, but it really comes down to personnel preference and how confident you are in picking up value later in the draft.

 

RB Damien Williams: Following Kareem Hunt’s release last year, Williams turned into a star with 5.4 yards per carry and six total touchdowns in five regular season games (and then followed it up with 30 touches for 154 yards and one touchdown in the Divisional Round, and 15 touches for 96 yards and three scores in the AFC Championship Game). People might be hesitant about spending a premium price based on such a small sample size, but Williams has the skillset to be a feature back.

 

RB Carlos Hyde: The immediate handcuff in Andy Reid’s offense will always be a valuable fantasy option, but unless we hear really encouraging reports throughout camp, Hyde might be more of a late-round flier than midround target. Turning 29 in September, Hyde showed considerably less juice than Nick Chubb last year in Cleveland.

 

RB Darrel Williams: He’s not getting much buzz in the fantasy community, but Williams is an intriguing back with quality size at 229 pounds, and he flashed some ability when given an opportunity in 2018. Special teams value will keep Williams on the roster, so perhaps he will shine if given more touches in his second season.

 

RB Darwin Thompson: Part of the reason for a lack of buzz around Darrel Williams is that Thompson has quickly become a favorite after going undrafted out of Utah State. However, while everyone is worth monitoring in this offense, the landing spot may be precisely why Thompson is getting some hype, and he’d almost certainly need multiple injuries to have a shot at fantasy relevancy.

 

WR Tyreek Hill: Last year’s WR1 has had a rollercoaster offseason, but—right or wrong—Hill wasn’t even given a suspension for child abuse allegations, and he will be out there in Week 1 when the Chiefs take on the Jaguars. It’s worth noting, though, that there’s a chance that Hill a) is eventually charged for a crime if more evidence presents itself, or b) does something else to get in trouble (which is possible based on his troubling history). He’s a top-ten option, but we recommend passing on Hill.

 

WR Sammy Watkins: If you want a piece of the Kansas City passing attack without taking Hill or spending the hefty price needed for Travis Kelce, then Watkins is your guy. The injuries come with the territory for Watkins, but he’s still just 26, and it makes sense to gamble on talent in the middle rounds as his ADP continues to drop a bit following Hill’s reinstatement.

 

WR Mecole Hardman: The Chiefs spent a second-round pick on Hardman to protect themselves against a potential Hill suspension (or even release), so they’ll now have a full-blown track team at receiver. The talent is there to make a big impact with Patrick Mahomes throwing passes, but Hardman projects as a boom-or-bust option that doesn’t need to be owned in redraft leagues.

 

WR Demarcus Robinson: Robinson scored in three consecutive games to close out the 2018 regular season, but that came with Sammy Watkins out of the lineup, and he had just one catch in the playoffs when Watkins returned. Even beating out Hardman for No. 3 duties probably won’t be enough to make Robinson a recommended option.

 

TE Travis Kelce: Coming off one of the best seasons for a tight end in NFL history, Kelce caught 103 passes for 1,336 yards and ten touchdowns last season, and there’s no reason to expect him to fall off despite turning 30 in October. George Kittle and Zach Ertz are not far behind, but a case could be made for Kelce being atop his own tier in the tight end rankings because of his combination of touchdown potential and big-play ability.

 

Other notes

 

Best 2019 value: WR Sammy Watkins (FantasyPros ADP: WR31)

Fantasy owners have understandably soured on Watkins because of injuries, but when he’s on the field, the former top-five pick has proven to be an elite talent. A full offseason to build more chemistry with Patrick Mahomes could help Sammy finally reach new heights if he can stay healthy, and he should be an easy top-30 option in all formats.

 

Best dynasty investment: WR Mecole Hardman

For the same reasons Tyreek Hill is a risk this season, Hardman may be a bargain in dynasty leagues. If you are in a league with an owner that’s now panicking over the former Georgia speedster being stuck behind Hill to start his career, it’s worth checking in to see what kind of price it would take to pry him away. Hardman’s value would skyrocket if Kansas City doesn’t sign Hill to an extension.

 

Bold prediction: Sammy Watkins will put up at least an 80/1,200/10 line

In ten healthy games last year (including playoffs), Watkins caught 49 passes for 691 yards and three touchdowns, which would have put him on pace for a 78/1,105/5 line over a full season. Finding the end zone will be the toughest part, but Watkins had nine in 2015 and eight in 2017, so he has a real shot to reach those numbers if he stays on the field.

 

Stat to know

Sammy Watkins averaged a career-low 13.0 yards per reception in his first season with the Chiefs, but he had at least 15.1 yards per reception in each of his first four years in the league.

 

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Jacksonville Jaguars

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Jacksonville Jaguars

Player Outlooks (2019)

 

QB Nick Foles: The Jaguars should get excellent play out of Foles after signing him to a four-year, $88-million contract in the offseason, but will it lead to statistical/fantasy success? While offensive coordinator John DeFilippo knows Foles well and loves to throw the ball, Jacksonville obviously doesn’t have the same weapons that Philadelphia did. Drafting Foles as a top-25 option at the position would take a fairly optimistic view on the young receivers.

 

RB Leonard Fournette: Fournette is a very difficult option to rank because the upside and downside are so far apart, but in a strong RB2 group, he looks like a low-end option due to the risk—which is based on both injury history and character concerns. The best-case scenario would be Fournette becoming a significant piece in the passing game with T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant gone, but it might be wise to look elsewhere in redraft leagues because of how important it is to hit on your early picks.

 

RB Ryquell Armstead: A powerful running back that also moonlighted on defense when Temple needed it, Armstead rushed for 13 touchdowns in his senior season and previously had 14 scores as a sophomore, so he’s definitely a back that knows how to find the end zone. Alfred Blue may be the primary backup to Fournette, but Armstead’s upside makes him the preferred handcuff in 2019.

 

RB Alfred Blue: He is only a 3.6-yards-per-carry runner, but there is something to be said about Blue’s reliability, which is the reason he stuck around in Houston for five years before the Jaguars signed him earlier this year. The 28-year-old will be pushed by Armstead in camp, but he’s probably the early favorite for change-of-pace work, and it’s worth noting that he’s caught 80.2% of his 86 career targets.

 

WR Dede Westbrook: It went a bit under the radar, but Westbrook totaled 815 yards and five touchdowns last season as one of the lone bright spots for Jacksonville, and he’s now in line to be the No. 1 target on an offense that will want to throw under John DeFilippo. He could see his price skyrocket in August, especially if he can have more of a downfield role after averaging just 10.9 yards per reception in 2018.

 

WR Marqise Lee: Another reason that Westbrook could see his stock climb is Lee (knee) potentially being unable to get a good number of reps with Nick Foles before the regular season, but Jacksonville paid the USC product to be their No. 1 receiver, and it’ll be interesting to see if the offense can support both he and Westbrook. For now, fantasy owners should look elsewhere, but things could change if Lee gets on the field soon.

 

WR Chris Conley: This entire article about Conley’s decision to sign with the Jaguars is worth reading, but basically, he and Nick Foles formed a connection as backups for the Chiefs, and the quarterback called his former teammate about joining forces shortly after Jacksonville signed him. Conley never really got an opportunity for a featured role in Kansas City, but he scored five touchdowns last season and has the tools to be a real-life and fantasy factor.

 

WR D.J. Chark: He was unpolished coming into the league as the No. 61 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Chark struggled to get anything going in his rookie campaign, catching just 14-of-32 targets for 174 scoreless yards in 11 games. The size (six-foot-four) and speed (4.34) puts him in rare air, though, so Chark will undoubtedly be on the redraft radar if he earns a starting job.

 

WR Keelan Cole: Over the final four games of 2017 and the first two games of 2018, Cole caught 30 passes for 596 yards (19.9 average) and three touchdowns—putting him well on track to be a star (over 16 games, those numbers would have led to an 80/1,589/8 line). However, things came to a screeching halt after that, and Cole caught just 28 passes for 321 yards and zero touchdowns over the final 14 games last year. He may need an injury to reemerge.

 

TE Josh Oliver: Rookie tight ends rarely contribute as consistent fantasy options, but Oliver’s playing style and situation make him an intriguing player to keep an eye on. Anyone who has seen Nick Foles play over the past two years knows that he likes to play “above the rim,” and Oliver may be able to put up numbers if he earns the trust of his quarterback. The rookie isn’t yet a TE2, but redraft value is possible at some point.

 

Other notes

 

Best 2019 value: WR Chris Conley (FantasyPros ADP: WR110)

Chemistry is often overlooked in sports, but the Foles-Conley pairing may lead to some surprising numbers for the former Georgia standout. While he’s been in the league for a few years now, Conley ran a 4.35 40-yard dash with a 45-inch vertical at six-foot-three, 205 pounds, and athletes of his caliber usually get more buzz than he’s getting. On a wide-open depth chart, there aren’t many better redraft values than this.

 

Best dynasty investment: RB Ryquell Armstead

It seemed like the Jags seriously considered moving on from Leonard Fournette this offseason, and if he doesn’t meet expectations in 2019, they won’t hesitate to let him go in 2020. That would leave Armstead as the obvious candidate on the roster to replace him as the starter, and he shows some flashes of a Marshawn Lynch-like running style with a wide running base and great power/determination.

 

Bold prediction: Ryquell Armstead will lead Jacksonville running backs in fantasy points

An injury to Leonard Fournette would be the most likely scenario for this to happen, but it’s not necessarily the only way based on how the past year has played out in Jacksonville. Even though Armstead doesn’t bring a ton of value to the passing game, an ascension up the depth chart would mean short-yardage and goal-line carries on an offense that should be a lot better with Nick Foles under center, and the rookie won’t squander any opportunity he’s given.

 

Stat to know

Dede Westbrook has averaged 11.4 yards per reception over his first two seasons, but at Oklahoma, he averaged 18.0 yards per reception for his career, including a 19.0 average in his final season. 

 

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Indianapolis Colts

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Indianapolis Colts

Player Outlooks (2019)

 

QB Andrew Luck: He was thought to be the clear QB2 all offseason, but should Luck’s lingering calf injury put some doubt in the minds of fantasy owners? Fortunately, there is still plenty of time until the regular season, so if Luck is healthy, he should be in for another huge statistical season surrounded by what looks like his best supporting cast yet.

 

RB Marlon Mack: Last year’s RB21 despite missing a quarter of the season, Mack averaged 4.7 yards per carry and scored ten touchdowns in 2018, and he really shined for fantasy owners when the Colts featured him. He may not be a 40- or 50-catch guy, but Mack is as solid as it gets and should once again be on the RB1/RB2 borderline this season.

 

RB Nyheim Hines: The presence of Hines is part of the reason Mack isn’t used much in the passing game, as the second-year back caught 63-of-81 targets as a rookie. While he might have some looks taken away with Jack Doyle back from injury and Parris Campbell drafted in the second round, Hines has the big-play ability to break off chunk yardage, which we didn’t see much of last year.

 

RB Spencer Ware: Ware showed he can be an excellent fantasy option when fed touches in Andy Reid’s offense, but similar to his role in Kansas City, the LSU product will probably need an injury to have real value in 2019. And unlike with the Chiefs, he may not see the same receiving work if elevated to the starting lineup.

 

RB Jordan Wilkins: Unfortunately for Wilkins, Ware is probably set to take his 2018 touches, which could lead to last year’s sixth-round pick fighting for a roster spot this summer. You can ignore Wilkins in redraft leagues for now, but if a string of injuries hit, he’ll be a must-have off the waiver wire.

 

WR T.Y. Hilton: The connection between Hilton and Andrew Luck didn’t miss a beat in 2018, as Indy’s No. 1 receiver caught 76 passes for 1,270 yards (16.7 average) and six touchdowns while setting a career-high in yards per target (10.6). The low-end WR1/high-end WR2 range is probably right for T.Y., but it’s worth noting that the Colts have plenty of mouths to feed in a loaded skill-position group.

 

WR Devin Funchess: Fantasy owners were hoping that Funchess could build on his 63/840/8 line in 2017 to become a star for Carolina, but it didn’t happen in what turned out to be a trying season, and the former Michigan standout will now hope to reach his full potential in Indianapolis. Funchess has the size/athleticism to earn Luck’s trust on the outside, but finding the end zone will be key to fantasy success.

 

WR Parris Campbell: The Indy offense could be flat-out scary with T.Y. Hilton (4.34 40-yard dash) stretching the defense and Campbell (4.31) working underneath, but for fantasy owners, it could be tough to trust the rookie as a anything other than an end-of-bench stash in redraft leagues. It will be interesting to see how much of Campbell’s role is revealed in preseason action.

 

WR Deon Cain: A torn ACL led to a lost rookie season for Cain, but it could be a blessing in disguise because he had time to mature after slipping in the draft due to character concerns. While Cain never quite turned into the next great megastar at Clemson like DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, and others before him, he flashed elite talent and could be a stud if given significant playing time in Frank Reich’s offense.

 

TE Eric Ebron: Last season, Ebron exploded for a position-leading 14 total touchdowns en route to a fantasy TE4 finish right behind the elite trio of Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, and George Kittle. Playing with Andrew Luck as his quarterback in an offense that puts an emphasis on the tight end position helped the former first-round pick flourish, but overall, his 2018 receptions (66) and yardage (750) were close to his previous career-highs (61 receptions for 711 yards in 2016), so it’s fair to wonder if he can come close to the same fantasy success in 2019 if the touches decline.

 

TE Jack Doyle: Doyle was previously one of the most durable players at his position in the league, but last season he dealt with hip and kidney issues that limited him to six games. The previous year, Doyle caught 80 passes for 690 yards and four touchdowns, and he had a 16-game pace of just over 69 receptions in 2018 with 26 receptions in six games. Despite the presence of Ebron, Doyle’s 7.9 fantasy points per game last season were tenth among tight ends, so he should be at least a safe TE2 option.

 

TE Mo Alie-Cox: A former VCU basketball player, Alie-Cox showed major flashes last season, scoring two touchdowns on seven receptions while averaging 19.0 yards per catch. Alie-Cox stands at six-foot-six with translatable athleticism to the football field, and the Colts are expecting more from him moving forward. However, he’s more of a dynasty-league hold than strong redraft option as things stand.

 

Other notes

 

Best 2019 value: RB Marlon Mack (FantasyPros ADP: RB18)

The backs in Mack’s range are basically all bunched together, but he has arguably the best situation—dominant offensive line, superstar quarterback, great weapons that can stretch the field—and the talent to match it. Everyone from the coaching staff to owner Jim Irsay seem to love Mack, so if he stays healthy, an RB1 finish is certainly possible.

 

Best dynasty investment: WR Deon Cain

Cain’s value was dinged after the team signed Devin Funchess and drafted Parris Campbell, but especially in dynasty leagues, it’s important to scout the player and not the situation. An injury probably needs to happen for him to make a significant 2019 impact, but by this time next year, Cain might be a clear starter in a high-powered offense.

 

Bold prediction: Devin Funchess will match or surpass Eric Ebron’s 2018 touchdown total (13)

Funchess wasn’t a top-ten pick like Ebron was for the Lions, but the expectations were still high for him in Carolina before the team simply allowed him to walk this offseason. While the six-foot-four receiver has always been a touchdown threat with 21 scores in four seasons, we could see Frank Reich’s offense turn him into a star like it did for Ebron (who had 11 touchdowns in four years before exploding for 14 last season).

 

Stat to know

Including playoffs, here are the following stat lines (touches/yards/touchdowns) in games where Marlon Mack handled 20+ touches last season: 21/159/2, 27/149/2, 28/149/2, 28/118/1, 26/154/1.

 

Early DraftKings Daily Fantasy Week 1 Values

Early DraftKings Daily Fantasy Week 1 Values

Many people are getting ready for their normal fantasy football drafts, but some hardcore fans are also already looking ahead to values in one-week daily fantasy matchups. A lot will change (injuries, position battles, etc.), but these are among the best early Week 1 daily fantasy values from DraftKings. For unlimited advice on both traditional and daily fantasy leagues, join the pack and subscribe to Fantasy Consigliere.

 

Lamar Jackson @ MIA

Lamar Jackson’s current Week 1 salary of $6000 is in the top-nine for quarterbacks, but he’s still a good value because of the matchup against a Dolphins team the Ravens should handle. The regular season opener will be the first week Baltimore fully unveils a new offense under offensive coordinator Greg Roman that head coach John Harbaugh hopes will change the NFL, so it’ll be difficult for Miami to gameplan for that; and it sounds like Jackson running the football could be a big part of it, which is a boost in fantasy.

 

Carson Wentz vs. WAS

The Redskins are expected to have a tough defense, but it’s still surprising to see Carson Wentz with a $5,700 salary on DraftKings for Week 1. In his career against the Redskins, Wentz has nine touchdowns compared to four interceptions and is averaging 274.8 passing yards per game—that includes his first game against Washington during his rookie season, when he had just 179 yards and no touchdowns. Determined to prove people wrong in 2019, Wentz might be the best overall DraftKings value to open the season.

 

Kerryon Johnson @ ARI

Even if he’s part of a true committee with C.J. Anderson, Kerryon Johnson is set to play a ton of snaps in Week 1 against a Cardinals team that’s expected to run a fast-paced offense that wants to get upwards of 90 plays per game. Also, Arizona was atrocious against the run last season, and that might not change under an offensive-minded head coach—though the addition of veteran talent might help. Overall, at an RB2 cost of $5,800, Johnson offers elite RB1 upside with a nice floor for Week 1.

 

Chris Carson vs. CIN

The Bengals are already getting decimated by injuries this year, and they were expected to be one of the worst teams in the league before injuries hit. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are fully expected to be playoff contenders again in 2019, and they get to play their first game of the season with the homefield advantage at CenturyLink Field. If this becomes a blowout, Chris Carson could be in store for 25 carries and a couple of scores at a cost of just $5,700.

 

Mark Ingram @ MIA

Again, Baltimore’s offense is expected to be something uncommon that might throw defenses off, especially for the first game they see it with only preseason film to gameplan on. It’s probably a good idea to get a piece of the Ravens offense where there’s value for a blow-up week for the entire unit—particularly the running game. Mark Ingram is currently valued at $5,100 on DraftKings for Week 1, and he should have a strong chance to hit pay dirt, along with the opportunity for a few receptions.

 

Dante Pettis @ TB

Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has already given Dante Pettis a rave review this offseason, and the second-year receiver might continue his scorching end to his rookie year in 2018—he certainly has the matchup to do so, as the Buccaneers have struggled against receivers for years, and it might take some time for defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to get the group to play well. $5,400 is lower than Jarvis Landry and D.J. Moore, both of whom have tougher matchups and are arguably already below Pettis from a fantasy perspective for 2019.

 

Adam Humphries @ CLE

You want to be careful of buying too much into training camp hype, but Adam Humphries appears to be getting open with ease for Marcus Mariota this summer. Coming off a breakout season with 76 receptions for the Buccaneers, Humphries should have the upside to grab several receptions every week for the Titans, and a Week 1 contest against the Browns, which could turn into a shootout, is an excellent spot to use him at a $4,000 price in your lineup.

 

Trey Quinn @ PHI

Carson Wentz’s success against Washington was already discussed, and if Philadelphia really puts up points, the Redskins might be forced to pass more than they’d like. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden already said Trey Quinn pretty much has the slot job locked up, and at $3,400, Quinn should be one of the better options to place into your lineup while saving money for a top-tier player at another spot.

 

Delanie Walker @ CLE

Veteran tight end Delanie Walker is currently undervalued at $3,500 for Week 1 coming off last year’s season-ending leg injury, so you can take advantage by considering him for your first DraftKings lineup of 2019. The Browns didn’t defend the tight end position well last season, so Walker has considerable upside to go along with what should be a high floor.

 

Greg Olsen vs. LAR

The Rams also weren’t great at defending tight ends last season, and Greg Olsen is another veteran tight end that is probably undervalued in for Week 1 daily fantasy games after dealing with injury in 2018. Olsen is just $3,200 in DraftKings, but he should remain a go-to option for Cam Newton this season.

 

Bills @ NYJ

Defense is tough for Week 1 because we don’t really know how each team will look this season. Spending on the Ravens against the Dolphins is probably worth it, but the Bills at $3,000 present one of the best values among D/STs.

 

49ers @ TB

The Niners would be a better pick if they were playing at home, but they’re worth taking a chance on at $2,200 while facing a turnover-prone quarterback in Jameis Winston. There’s the potential the streaky Winston lights it up at home and you get burned, but the upside at a lower cost allows you to spend more elsewhere in your lineup.

 

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Houston Texans

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Houston Texans

Player Outlooks (2019)

 

QB Deshaun Watson: A lot of factors are working in Watson’s favor to potentially be a league-winning fantasy option, but there are also a couple significant concerns. First of all, the offensive line isn’t expected to be much better than it was in 2018, and Watson likes to hold onto the ball like most playmaking quarterbacks—on average, he holds the ball for 3.01 seconds, which trailed just Josh Allen (3.22), Lamar Jackson (3.10), and Russell Wilson (3.01) last year (according to Next Gen Stats). Also, durability remains an issue despite not missing a game last season, and the schedule out of the gate (@ NO, v JAX, @ LAC) won’t be easy. Watson should be ranked clearly behind Patrick Mahomes.

 

RB Lamar Miller: While he somewhat quietly finished as the RB22 last season in 0.5 PPR leagues, Miller saw a decrease in touches for the third straight season in Houston (299 to 274 to 235), and now, the team is hoping D’Onta Freeman will be a big part of their offense. Miller is best viewed as a borderline top-35 option at the position that may lose more and more work as the season progresses.

 

RB D’Onta Foreman: Coming off a torn Achilles, Foreman rushed just seven times for a loss of one yard in his second season, but the Texans believe he can still be a really good player, and he has age on his side having just turned 23 in the spring. Foreman could be eased back in with just a handful of touches per game, but if the explosiveness is there at 236 pounds, he has feature-back potential in a high-powered offense.

 

RB Karan Higdon: An undrafted rookie out of Michigan, Higdon is someone to keep tabs on if he makes the team, as he is a balanced runner that’s scored 21 touchdowns over the past two seasons in the Big Ten. Having DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and Keke Coutee at receiver will open things up for whoever is in the backfield.

 

WR DeAndre Hopkins: Currently being drafted as the top wideout in 0.5 PPR leagues, Hopkins caught 115 passes for 1,572 yards and 11 touchdowns last year, finishing as the overall WR2. However, the splits with and without Keke Coutee are worth looking at; in seven games with Coutee (including playoffs), Hopkins was on pace for a 96/1,371/9 line, and in games without Coutee, he was on pace for a 124/1,614/11 line. Those thinking about spending a top-ten pick on Hopkins will want to read the stat at the bottom of this article.

 

WR Will Fuller: There were a couple disappointing performances mixed in, but Fuller had lines of 8/113/1, 5/101/1, 4/49/1, 6/68, and 5/124/1 in five of his seven appearances last season, and over the past two years, he’s scored 11 touchdowns in 17 games. The Notre Dame product needs to stay healthy, but his catch rate of 71.1% last seasons might show a floor is increasing to go along with his weekly upside.

 

WR Keke Coutee: Houston was 6-0 in the regular season with Coutee in the lineup last year, and the splits for Hopkins with and without him prove that the second-year wideout is a big part of Bill O’Brien’s offense. Coutee actually has more big-play ability than his 10.3 yards per reception suggests, so we’ll see if he can get more downfield opportunities in 2019.

 

WR DeAndre Carter: The Texans struggled to find consistent fantasy wideouts other than Hopkins, Fuller, or Coutee last year, but Carter has flashed the most ability when given a shot. The 26-year-old caught 22-of-25 targets in his first season with Houston. He’d be an option in deeper PPR leagues if inserted into the starting lineup.

TE Jordan Thomas: A “tweener” at receiver and tight end coming into the league, Thomas has developed at a relatively quick pace compared to expectations, and he could make a Year 2 leap after catching four touchdowns last season. Thomas has excellent size at six-foot-five, 277 pounds with 4.69 speed.

 

TE Jordan Akins: Houston drafted Thomas in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, but before him, they surprisingly took Akins—a 26-year-old (now 27-year-old) tight end out of UCF—in the third round. We’ll see if Akins can make more chunk plays this season to earn a bigger role, but it’s just as likely that he falls behind the next couple guys.

 

TE Darren Fells: While Fells probably isn’t a lock to make the roster (and he almost certainly won’t if the team keeps just three tight ends), the Texans signed him because he’s a great veteran presence and one of the best blockers at his position in the league. The 33-year-old caught three touchdowns last year with the Browns.

 

TE Kahale Waring: Perhaps we shouldn’t put too much stock into it because the man making the picks—former general manager Brian Gaine—was fired, but Houston must not have felt overly confident in their young tight ends after drafting Warring in the third round of this year’s draft. Warring probably won’t have a chance to make a significant statistical impact until at least 2020.

 

Other notes

 

Best 2019 value: WR Keke Coutee (FantasyPros ADP: WR44)

Overall, there might not be any obvious values for fantasy owners because of how optimistic people are about Bill O’Brien’s offense, but Coutee has a chance to be a reception machine if the offensive line makes Deshaun Watson get rid of the ball quicker than he’d like. As alluded to, Coutee has the speed (4.43 40-yard dash) to get deep.

 

Best dynasty investment: WR Will Fuller

With DeAndre Hopkins being a top-flight WR1 and Coutee getting most of the buzz this offseason, Fuller may be flying under the radar as Houston’s No. 2 receiver and a guy that has shown big-time ability when he’s on the field. Health is the big flaw for Fuller, but dynasty owners can hope the speedster has simply run into some bad luck to start his career.

 

Bold prediction: Houston’s offense will not have a top-12 fantasy quarterback, a top-20 fantasy running back, or a top-eight fantasy wide receiver

This might be the boldest prediction of the season, as Deshaun Watson is being drafted as a top-three option, Lamar Miller was the RB22 last year despite missing a couple games, and DeAndre Hopkins is viewed by many as the No. 1 wideout and a potential top-five pick. But the concerns for all three—a difficult schedule and durability for Watson, a split workload for the Houston backfield, and a decrease in targets for Hopkins—could set the offense up for disappointment in 2019.

 

Stat to know

When Keke Coutee was in the lineup last season, DeAndre Hopkins averaged just 7.3 targets per game, compared to 12.4 targets per game with Coutee inactive.

 

Fantasy Football News Roundup: July 26, 2019

Fantasy Football News Roundup: July 26, 2019

RB Darren Sproles re-signs with PHI

 

The Eagles—who already had Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams, and others on the depth chart—signed the receiving specialist as they go all-in on a title in 2019. Sproles may struggle to have much standalone fantasy value, so this is a ding on Sanders and Clement more than anything else, while Smallwood and Adams will need an injury or Philly to keep five running backs to make the team.

 

NE RB Sony Michel placed on PUP list to start camp.

 

Michel isn’t quite ready to get on the field after offseason arthroscopic knee surgery, which will give rookie third-rounder Damien Harris a chance to get important summer reps. The Patriots won’t hesitate to play the guys that give them the best opportunity to win now, so Michel will hopefully get on the field soon to pickup where he left off in the postseason. Consider him a low-end RB2.

 

NE WR Julian Edelman expected to be sidelined three weeks with a thumb injury.

 

ESPN’s Adam Schefter was first to report the injury based on a photo of Edelman’s thumb in a brace at the receiver’s youth camp, but he should have plenty of time to be ready for the regular season. Timing is obviously key—especially for the Patriots—but if there’s a guy that can afford to miss time, it’s Edelman. We’ll see more of N’Keal Harry and Braxton Berrios in the meantime.

 

TEN TE Delanie Walker avoids PUP list to start camp.

 

The veteran tight end is returning from a serious ankle injury that kept him out basically all of last season, but his positive status allows Tennessee to gel together offensively with Walker and the upgraded receiving corps (Corey Davis, Adam Humphries, and A.J. Brown) surrounding quarterback Marcus Mariota.

 

Bengals sign CIN WR Tyler Boyd to contract extension.

 

Coming off a 76/1,028/7 line, Boyd inked a four-year, $43-million deal to stay in Cincinnati through the 2023 season, which is clearly a good sign for his role in new head coach Zac Taylor’s offense. And for those concerned about A.J. Green returning to limit Boyd’s production, the Pitt product was on pace for 98 receptions for 1,240 yards and ten scores in eight games with Green active last season.

 

LAR WR Cooper Kupp not placed on PUP list.

 

Kupp tore his ACL in the middle of last season and was fully expected to be ready for Week 1, but this is still a great sign as Los Angeles looks to make another deep playoff run. Excluding the two games he was injured in last year, Kupp caught 35 passes for 527 yards and one touchdown per game. All three of Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Kupp could be top-20 options in 2019.

 

3,000-yard season the goal for ATL WR Julio Jones?

 

Jones told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he might “mess around and go three (thousand yards),” insisting he’s “going crazy this year.” Julio has never been one to chase stats, and him going off for even a 2,000-yard campaign (which has never been accomplished) would obviously benefit the team. We may not see Jones in preseason action as the team looks to keep him healthy, but he should be a first-round pick in all formats.

 

NO WR Michael Thomas is holding out of camp.

 

Add the star receiver to a list that includes Melvin Gordon and Ezekiel Elliott as high-profile fantasy options that have chosen to stay away from their team as they seek a new contract. Thomas is reportedly looking for the deal worth over $20 million annually, so the Saints are understandably not budging, and it would probably be unwise to eventually give in—because paying a receiver isn’t the blueprint to win a Super Bowl. Still, we would bet New Orleans finds a way to get Thomas on the field.

 

NYG WR Sterling Shepard fractures thumb.

 

The team announced that Shepard will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis, so this is a less-than-ideal start for the new No. 1 receiver. On the bright side, it’s better for an injury to happen now than closer to the regular season, and Shepard will probably be back for Week 1. We’ll see if Corey Coleman and others can step up behind Golden Tate in preseason action.

 

WAS RB Derrius Guice says he was a “full participant” to start camp.

 

There was a report earlier in the month that suggested Guice wouldn’t be ready for the start of training camp due to a hamstring injury, but he was on the field with his teammates this week. The second-year back wasn’t fully confident when discussing his Week 1 status, but that’s probably just him taking things one day at a time more than anything else. Adrian Peterson may remain Washington’s lead back, but fantasy owners would feel a lot better about Guice if he can play in the preseason.

 

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Green Bay Packers

2019 Team Fantasy Preview: Green Bay Packers

Player Outlooks (2019)

 

QB Aaron Rodgers: Last year’s QB6 despite playing through a knee injury all season, Rodgers will now have increased pressure on him to win games with former head coach Mike McCarthy gone and replaced by Matt LaFleur. There is some concern about Rodgers not fully buying into his new head coach—who is just four years older than him—but if the young weapons step up, he should once again put up numbers through the air with some added production on the ground.

 

RB Aaron Jones: People are waiting for Jones to be unleashed after 5.5 yards per carry in back-to-back seasons, but is it wise to view him as an RB1/RB2 option? No one knows how the new coaching staff will view the backfield, and if Jones doesn’t firmly establish himself as “the guy,” there’s a chance he is eventually overtaken by Jamaal Williams or Dexter Williams. Also, no one has a more brutal first month schedule than the Green Bay runners, who will face Chicago, Minnesota, Denver, and Philadelphia.

 

RB Jamaal Williams: Fantasy owners shouldn’t be fooled by a 3.7 yards-per-carry average for Williams through two years, as he’s produced when given an opportunity to carry the load; in 11 games with 15+ touches, Williams has averaged 15.2 fantasy points per game in 0.5 PPR leagues, which would have made him an RB1 option for the 2018 season. Still, unless the competition is more open than expected in camp, Williams is probably just a handcuff with little standalone value.

 

RB Dexter Williams: Williams is the only new running back on the roster after being selected in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and that’s important because Matt LaFleur’s staff could favor the rookie—who is a natural fit in the zone-blocking scheme—if he shows well in camp behind the holdovers. We see an unheralded option emerge basically every year, and Williams looks like an ideal candidate in 2019.

 

WR Davante Adams: With Jordy Nelson gone, Adams had his first 1,000-yard season last year, finishing with a 111/1,386/13 line in 15 games as the unquestioned No. 1 option for Aaron Rodgers. The 26-year-old has competition from Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, and others to be the top fantasy receiver drafted in 2019, but with Rodgers saying he wants to throw to Adams more this season—coming off a campaign in which he averaged 11.3 targets per game—he looks like the overall WR1 with a case to be a top-eight pick in all formats.

 

WR Geronimo Allison: The Packers somewhat surprisingly didn’t add any pieces at receiver in the offseason, so they will rely on the young players to step up. Before injuries hit last year, Allison put up lines of 5/69/1, 6/64, 2/76/1, and 6/80 in September, but he was limited to just one game the rest of the way. Now, he is expected to man the slot in LaFleur’s offense, and with Aaron Rodgers throwing passes, numbers should follow.

 

WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling: Allison and Valdes-Scantling seem to be locked-in as the starters behind Adams, but will the offense be able to support three consistent fantasy options this season? MVS has the size (six-foot-four) and big-play ability to be a force, so he has the makings of a boom-or-bust FLEX option on the perimeter.

 

WR Equanimeous St. Brown: He came into the league unpolished (which clearly caused some frustration from his quarterback during the season), but St. Brown averaged 15.6 yards per reception on 21 catches as a rookie, and excluding Adams, he probably still has the most long-term upside on the roster. The former Notre Dame star probably needs a huge camp to be the No. 2 or No. 3 option, but keep him in mind in case an injury hits.

 

WR J’Mon Moore: Moore was actually the first of the young trio of wideouts selected in the 2018 NFL Draft, but he struggled to earn playing time last season with just three targets in 12 games. The 24-year-old had elite testing numbers at the Combine—including a 6.56-second 3-cone drill at six-foot-three, but he will need to put everything together to reach his potential.

 

WR Jake Kumerow: All the receivers behind Adams are worth monitoring because they are all inexperienced (which could lead to inconsistency), so Kumerow has a realistic shot to earn a role with a strong summer. An undrafted free agent in 2015, Kumerow finally caught his first NFL passes last December, including in a couple starts to end the season.

 

TE Jimmy Graham: The first season in Green Bay didn’t go according to plan for Graham, as he caught just two touchdowns and saw his lowest amount of targets per game since his rookie year. Tight end has never been a priority for Rodgers throughout his career, so Graham will need to hope that changes and find the end zone at least a handful of times to have a shot at returning to TE1 territory.

 

TE Jace Sternberger: Unless he can find the end zone, the No. 2 tight end in Green Bay’s offense isn’t expected to have much standalone value, making Sternberger—the No. 75 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft—nothing more than a dynasty stash. For those looking ahead, Sternberger is more of an on-the-ground tight end that can work the middle of the field.

 

Other notes

 

Best 2019 value: WR Geronimo Allison (FantasyPros ADP: WR46)

Allison probably shouldn’t be significantly higher than his ADP because of all the young talent around the league that can emerge, but based on the aforementioned first month that he had last year, the 25-year-old would have been on pace for a 76/1,156/8 season—and that was with Randall Cobb around. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Allison finish as a top-30 option at the position.

 

Best dynasty investment: RB Dexter Williams

There is a good chance that Aaron Jones is able to separate himself in camp and get off to a hot start to establish himself as the team’s lead back for the next few years, but there’s also a chance that—via injury or performance—the rookie is able to step into the starting lineup and not look back. Williams has had some injury issues of his own at Notre Dame, but Jones’ NFL career has begun with back-to-back season-ending knee injuries.

 

Bold prediction: Davante Adams will score 18+ touchdowns

This was actually the same bold prediction from last season, but Adams was five short. However, that came with Aaron Rodgers tossing just 25 scores, so if Green Bay’s quarterback can get back to the 35+ range, an added chunk could be going to Adams. The only players in NFL history to catch 18+ touches in a season are Randy Moss (23), Jerry Rice (22), Mark Clayton (18), and Sterling Sharpe (18).

 

Stat to know

Aaron Rodgers’ touchdown percentage last season (4.2%) was a career-low, and if it had simply been raised to his previously low (5.2%), he would have had 31 touchdowns last year. 

 

Predicting The Winners Of 2019 Training Camp Battles

Predicting The Winners Of 2019 Training Camp Battles

With training camp now underway for most teams, position battles are sure to heat up around the league. Fortunately, those who draft after the preseason (which we recommend doing to avoid injuries) will likely have a much clearer picture, but I’m going to take a shot at predicting the winners of the biggest battles this summer before preseason action begins.

 

Bills RB

LeSean McCoy v. Frank Gore v. Devin Singletary v. T.J. Yeldon

 

There has probably never been a four-way backfield competition quite like the one Buffalo will have this summer, as McCoy and Gore are both 10,000-yard rushers, Singletary was drafted in the third round to be the team’s running back of the future, and Yeldon—a former second-round pick—was promised a chance to compete before signing as a free agent. The Bills have said otherwise, but I still think there’s a chance McCoy will be released, which would probably mean Gore handles most of the early-down work with the other two mixing in. If not, this will be a headache that should be avoided, but Gore’s reliability could make him the best bet for weekly value.

 

Dolphins RB

Kenyan Drake v. Kalen Ballage

 

There didn’t seem to be a doubt as to who the starter was in Miami, but today, Ballage handled not only the first goal-line rep of camp, but also the first team rep of camp. Now, this is a July practice that could mean absolutely nothing come September, but new head coach Brian Flores might prefer the power of the second-year back at six-foot-two, 237 pounds after he rushed 36 times for 191 yards (5.3 YPC) and one touchdown in limited action as a rookie. I expect Drake to remain the starter, but perhaps the team likes him better in a heavily-involved, change-of-pace role like how he was used at Alabama. Preseason games will be telling.

 

Eagles RB

Jordan Howard v. Miles Sanders

 

Philadelphia made Sanders the second running back off the board in the 2019 NFL Draft, so they clearly expect big things out of him in 2019 and beyond. That said, general manager Howie Roseman surrendered a sixth-round pick for Howard, and it’s worth noting that a) Sanders missed OTAs with a hamstring injury, and b) he needs to take better care of the football after fumbling five times last year at Penn State. If Doug Pederson can’t trust the rookie, he should have no problem giving the majority of the carries to Howard, who has rushed 778 times for 3,370 yards (4.3 YPC) and 24 touchdowns since entering the league in 2016. There will definitely be a rotation to get both guys (plus Darren Sproles and Corey Clement) involved, but I view Howard as the early favorite to lead the way.

 

49ers RB

Tevin Coleman v. Matt Breida v. Jerick McKinnon

 

The San Francisco backfield has the potential to be even more frustrating than Buffalo’s because all three of Coleman, Breida, and McKinnon are in the prime of their career, but there are a couple signs pointing to a somewhat clear leader. First of all, Kyle Shanahan targeted Coleman—who had other suitors in free agency—this offseason because he loved the explosiveness he brought when the two were together in Atlanta. Plus, simply from a health perspective, McKinnon (knee) and Breida (pectoral/everything) could be eased in, possibly leading to Coleman soaking up first-team reps this summer.

 

Cardinals WR

Andy Isabella v. Hakeem Butler v. KeeSean Johnson v. Kevin White

 

Kliff Kingsbury’s base offense is expected to have four wide receivers on the field along with running back David Johnson—leaving two starting spots up for grabs behind Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. I don’t know how Butler fell to the fourth round in April’s draft, but I thought he was a top-20 overall prospect, and his size at over six-foot-five could make him an immediate threat in the red zone. Isabella, on the other hand, looks like Wes Welker in a compact, five-foot-nine frame—but has 4.31 speed and the ability to win downfield. Johnson and White will push for a starting job, but Fitzgerald (size/possession), Kirk (speed/balance), Isabella (speed/possession), and Butler (size/speed) give Arizona a group that complements one another perfectly.

 

Jaguars WR

Chris Conley v. D.J. Chark v. Keelan Cole v. Terrelle Pryor

Jacksonville, too, should have the top spots on the depth chart locked up (Marqise Lee and Dede Westbrook), so there will be one spot up for grabs. Simply based on his size not being a match for Nick Foles’ playing style, Cole is probably going to be a role player, leaving Conley or Chark as the most likely candidate to bring a size element to the receiving corps. Both guys have elite speed and athleticism, but I think it will come down to whoever is able to player “bigger” and with more consistency over the next month. The edge may go to Conley because he should have some built-in chemistry with Foles based on their time together in Kansas City, though whether it leads to fantasy value is another story.

 

Steelers WR

James Washington v. Donte Moncrief v. Diontae Johnson

Eli Rogers and Ryan Switzer could also see playing time, but the No. 2 wide receiver competition is likely between Washington, Moncrief, and Johnson. I was a big fan of Washington coming out of Oklahoma State—where he averaged 19.4+ yards per reception in all three seasons as a starter—and Pittsburgh is certainly hoping for him to make a big leap in Year 2. Unless the 23-year-old really struggles in camp (or Moncrief/Johnson really flash), the Steelers should have their young duo set for the next few years. If Moncrief ends up winning out, he would have double-digit touchdown upside, while Johnson may contribute more on special teams to start his career.

 

Seahawks WR

David Moore v. D.K. Metcalf v. Gary Jennings v. Jaron Brown

The veterans Moore and Brown are said to have an early advantage to start alongside Tyler Lockett, but don’t be shocked if the Seahawks go with an all-upside group if Metcalf and Jennings prove ready for the league. It was pretty amazing to watch Seattle’s second-round pick go from potential top-five pick (when a picture released of him having a Batman-like physique) to future “bust” (based on his sub-par 3-cone time at the Combine) in the eyes of “Twitter experts,” but he could immediately be a force on the perimeter if Seattle utilizes him correctly. Drafted two rounds later, Jennings received almost no buzz in the pre-draft process, but he reminded me of Chris Godwin and could be an absolute steal for both real-life and fantasy purposes.