Not Another Fantasy Football Preview Wrap-Up
An avid reader of my articles reached out to me the other day and told me, “Hey Doc, you’re getting much better at this! Not so much ridiculous nonsense. Straight to the point, good information!”
I responded with a Thank You and took to heart the message: I’m getting better at my craft. And that people want good, sound advice for sports information.
Logical reasoning, experienced intuition, and the statistics to back it up. Nothing braggy or cocky, I mean I know I’ll be wrong about lots of stuff but my overall message for gambling and fantasy is value and looking beyond the numbers. And as we head into another season of NCAA & NFL football and then college basketball, I want to make sure I engage my readers and keep offering articles of value.
So for my final article of the Fantasy Football Preview series let me stay laser-focused and get right to the good stuff….
The song “Sexy Bitch” by David Guetta featuring Akon is neither Shakespeare ,or Hemingway. It’s a simple club bouncer with pointless lyrics and horrible attempts at rhyming. It’s repetitive, misogynistic, and the humor & themes are sophomoric. But I could probably overlook all of that if not for one line in the whole song.
When Akon launches into his solo portion and ends with “I’m tryna find the words to describe this girl without being disrespectful,” I just lose it. Come on, really? There’s literally ten thousand words in the English language that any sane, reasonable person could use to compliment a girl without being disrespectful. It doesn’t make any sense at all and I could never get past it.
I mean I’ve never written a hit song but this is just too much for me. Use a dictionary, break out a thesaurus, read some poetry. And in the end, all he can come up with is, of course, the title phrase “Sexy Bitch”. Yikes!
Okay now on to the wrap-up. First off, let’s wade into the triple digits as far as overall players ranked. Guys you wouldn’t mind starting for four to six weeks if catastrophe strikes or may end up being season-long starters if circumstances warrant.
Editor’s note: Dallas sent this in before the J.K. Dobbins injury news, so I assume he is higher on Gus Edwards now! -PointsDoc
Gus Edwards: I’m probably too low on this guy as I have him outside my Top 100… he’s on a run-heavy team, but his spot is less than ideal playing behind J.K. Dobbins and he is probably actually the third rushing option behind him and QB Lamar Jackson… even still he produced over 850 yards of total offense and 6 TD’s behind those guys and with Mark Ingram on the roster last year, who is no longer a Raven… Edwards ain’t sexy, but he continues to produce with over 700 yards rushing in each of his last three seasons… a perfect guy for RB depth on your fantasy squad.
Phillip Lindsay: This Texans team is going to be a port-a-potty fire this season and most folks will be staying away from this team entirely… I’ve already written about Brandin Cooks who I feel is undervalued as Houston’s top pass catcher (by far) but to pad my bench I’ll probably try for Lindsay as well… he’s 12th (!!!) in rushing in the NFL since 2018 and it will not be shocking to me to see him be the primary RB here, even with David Johnson & Mark Ingram on the roster.
Devin Singletary: In most positional battles where two or more talented players are vying for playing time I’ll lean towards the one with the lowest ADP every time… while everyone seems to be clamoring over Zach Moss for some reason, Singletary has been a good, steady player in his two years in the league averaging almost 1000 total yards per season… it’s never great when you’re on a team that uses the QB primarily as the goal line back, but that same yardage production with a few added TD’s this year (maybe 4-6 instead of his usual 3?) would put him probably in the Top 35 of RB’s and if you get him as your 4th or 5th guy at that position, that’s a bargain!
Mike Williams: Any fantasy football enthusiast has a list of guys that frustrate them, never live up to the hype, and are even on their “DO NOT DRAFT” list… Williams is probably on a lot of those lists… at his price though you’re getting a guy who can reasonably get to 1000 yards receiving with 5-7 TD’s on a team who didn’t significantly upgrade their WR room, with a burgeoning young star at QB in Justin Herbert who likes to sling it… this could be a fun year in LA for the Chargers with their offensive weapons, and I expect Williams to be a decent-sized part of it.
Dallas Goedert: If you missed out on an elite TE early on (Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, George Kittle) or even the next tier (Mark Andrews, TJ Hockenson, Noah Fant) and aren’t daring enough to take super rookie Kyle Pitts at his extravagant asking price (I’ve seen him in the Top 40 on some lists), then Goedert is a great option here… he’s on a team with very few dependable weapons and a QB in Jalen Hurts who might be in for a breakout season of his own… this offense leaned on Zach Ertz (just 3 years ago the dude went off for 116 catches & 1163 yards) and now Goedert can be that guy for them.
Ryan Tannehill: Being in a run-heavy offense usually doesn’t bode well for QB’s unless they themselves are a threat to run the ball (which Tannehill is not)… however, this situation didn’t stop him from finishing 7th at his position in 2020…. he’s got a Top 5 or so WR in AJ Brown and an RB who needs to be the focal point of most opposing defenses… and, oh yeah, they added a guy who’s ranked 20th all-time in receiving yards (Julio Jones) who might have more than a little gas in the tank… again, he’s a guy who will do just fine for ya if you passed on the Top 10 QB’s.
Henry Ruggs: The Raiders just love overdrafting WR’s in the first round and by last season’s standards most would say they did it again in 2020… I just don’t think we can write him off yet… he’s a talented guy on a team with no other dominant receiving options that will be playing from behind a lot this year… he has speed to burn and the opportunity is there for him to rebound from an awful rookie year with big play capabilities.
Elijah Moore: Moore checks off a lot of boxes for me… great athlete and an absolute gamer who put up big numbers playing in the SEC…. his landing spot is also very appealing as the Jets have no other significant WR’s (maybe Corey Davis, but that’s a big maybe) and have a rookie QB that needs to build a connection with anyone, most especially a slot receiver that can give him a nice, safe, talented outlet.
Okay, we’ve got our starters and some bench guys with promise. Now let’s finish off the draft with some true lottery tickets, players who could garner some meaningful playing time & stats if things break right
Alexander Mattison: Dalvin Cook is a fantasy monster… over 1900 total yards & 17 TD’s in 14 GAMES!!!!… but that usage comes with a price, the price of being overused and maybe susceptible to injury… again, NOT rooting for this scenario but ya gotta be thinking about it at this point in the draft… even with Cook doing most of the RB work for the Vikings, Mattison has averaged over 700 total yards & 3 TD’s in his two years as Minnesota’s primary backup… and if any time is missed for Cook this will be a guy to have stashed.
Rhamondre Stevenson: The Patriots backfield depth got a little more shallow when they traded away Sony Michel earlier this week… what’s more, the group is led by a guy I like in Damien Harris but who is unproven for sure… James White is still hanging around as well but why not buy into the guy who’s been ripping it up in pre-season… I’m never one to buy into exhibition game nonsense but here we have a player doing so well (coupled with an entrenched starter) that New England felt comfortable enough to trade away a portion of their RB depth… by season’s end he could end up being fantasy viable.
Tyrell Williams: Finding a guy that’s the best receiver on an NFL team outside the Top 160 is usually quite the chore… I’ll make it easy for ya… Williams has been injury prone in his past few seasons with the Raiders but he has the experience to lead the Lions WR room, which is not particularly hard to do when you look at that list… he sat out all of 2020 but the four seasons previous he averaged over 750 yards receiving and over 5 TD’s… new Lions QB Jared Goff will want a veteran to count on and, if healthy, Williams can be that guy.
Russell Gage: Drafting the number two WR on a good offense at this point in the draft may be just as valuable as drafting the WR1 on a bad one… Gage should garner lots of targets (maybe 110?) on a pass-happy offense that no longer features Julio Jones… he will have breakout games but the question is will he have them when you need it – bye weeks or one week injuries to your stud WR’s… I’m taking the chance he will.
Kirk Cousins/Matt Ryan: I’m lumping theses two in together as an option for draft strategy… if you missed the elite QB’s (basically the Top 10) and drafted Matt Stafford or Joe Burrow as your starter, you can couple one of those guys with one of these two guys for a nice QB platoon all season… if one of them plays a top defense with good pass coverage or is on a bye week – plug in the other guy… they both can put up great weeks with the weapons at hand and you won’t skip a beat for fantasy production.
Other fantasy news & notes
I’ve bumped up James Robinson up into my Top 40 of overall rankings on the heels of Travis Etienne’s season ending injury… this means I’ll be targeting him in the first 3 or 4 rounds depending on league size… I was already higher than most on him as I can’t seem to look past that incredible rookie year… now I believe there’s no reason to believe we won’t get at least 90% of that 1400 total yards and 10 TD production.
I’ll be drafting backup RB’s like crazy in later rounds this season… the NFL is a brutal game where injuries pile up as the first few weeks go by… now these guys have to play one more game… it’s inevitable that stars will get hurt and have to miss extended time & their backups will come at a premium price… WR’s are a little easier to pluck off the waiver wire and will pop-up with much more frequency… be the guy who already has those lottery tickets.
A guy lots of fantasy experts are really high on is Chase Claypool, WR for the Steelers… but with TWO other very talented receivers on the roster in JuJu Smith-Schuster & Dionte Johnson and a 39 year-old walking icepack (Big Ben) as his QB I just don’t see it… too many other options after the Top 60 to take that chance… but remember as previously stated I’m wrong on lots of things and this might just be one of them.
Another superstar injury that occurred earlier this summer was Saints WR Michael Thomas… on the heels of Jameis Winston being named the New Orleans starting QB everyone has been rushing out to draft guys like Marquez Calloway & Tre’Quan Smith… I have no fear of missing out there as that’s too volatile of a situation for my liking… plus with Thomas’s possible return for the second half of the season the risk of being wrong is intensified… hard pass!
Other players I’m not taking anywhere near their ADP are as follows:
- Rashaad Penny: NOT getting burned again
- Mecole Hardman: You’d think being the WR2 on one of the league’s best offenses would be enough but I’m not going down that road
- Nyheim Hines: The #3 RB on an offense led by QB Carson Wentz… no way
- Michael Pittman: So unproven and so overvalued… he could have a decent future but there’s so much unknown there… and the QB situation – see Nyheim Hines
- Will Fuller: crowded WR room in Miami… injury-plagued history… he may end up the WR3 by mid-season on a team that finished 20th in the NFL in passing yards
Now if any of the above fell to me at a discount, they all have some upside and would be worthy of drafting. But I’ve seen every one of these guys in Top 100 lists and I’d have to pass at that price.
Well that’s it for the 2021 NFL Fantasy Football preview series! It’s been a blast sharing information with you guys and I hope some of this stuff helps as you pour through hundreds of names for your drafts. Stay tuned for more information on our WagerLife Fantasy League that will be starting up very soon. And be on the lookout for more NFL & NCAA football information from me throughout the season. Good luck everyone!