The entire NFL offseason brings questions for how each team is improving for the next season. This is also the case for fantasy football of course. Offseason moves and headlines drive average draft position up or down for some big-name players. Sometimes the question is just how players themselves will get better within their offense. With draft season officially here, let’s take a look at some big questions you’re going to be asking yourself right before you put that player’s sticker up on that draft board (Virtually of course)
— Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) March 17, 2020
Can DeAndre Hopkins provide the same production in his new offense?
You guessed it. Let’s start off with one of the biggest questions of the entire offseason. It’s been a very long time since a wide receiver of this caliber has been traded to another team. We are all used to Deandre Hopkins being a target monster on a Deshaun Watson led offense. We all know what type of player he is and that with his ability to make contested catches and run any route, his talent should not pose any question marks. As we know, it all boils down to opportunity, especially with the lack of offseason he will have with his new quarterback.
You know what I love for Fantasy Football, a bad defense. Obviously, the opposing teams bad defense is important, but sometimes just as important is how bad your fantasy player’s team’s defense is especially for the passing game. In case you haven’t watched football in a while, let me remind you, the Cardinals have a bad defense. In 2019 they ranked 28th in the league in total team defense. There will be plenty of catchup football for the offense in Arizona. The success of this team will be on the back of Kyler Murray and his new number one receiver. A statistic that may be overlooked due to the lack of passing touchdowns and success of the run game down the stretch for the Cardinals is that Murray had the 9th most pass attempts in the NFL, 47 more attempts than Deshaun Watson. We all expect the touchdown rate to increase for Kyler Murray and the offense (only 20 passing touchdowns in 2019), along with the improved run game to start the year, all things point directly to more offensive plays and more opportunities for Deandre Hopkins. Concerns on a big-time receiver changing teams are certainly what make this a valid question to ask yourself going into the draft. The pairing of that concern along with the “down” statistical year compared to his standards that he had last season; are the reasons you can grab Nuk in the second round of your 2020 draft. Pair him with another stud in the first round and grin ear to ear.
Breaking: Todd Gurley and the Atlanta Falcons have reached a one-year deal, according to @Schultz_Report.
Gurley was released Thursday by the Los Angeles Rams. pic.twitter.com/kkDEmqEi5X
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 20, 2020
What to expect from Todd Gurley?
There are plenty of questions for the Falcons in this upcoming fantasy season, but this is an offense I have a lot of optimism surrounding. There are plenty of solidly priced players throughout this offense. The one with the biggest question is another offseason acquisition, Todd Gurley. I see a lot of the fantasy industry is off of Todd Gurley at his price in drafts. I can see every reason why he is a risky pick, but I think there are a lot of things to like about what could be a very solid RB in fantasy.
Unfortunately, due to his knee issue Todd Gurley will most likely carry substantial injury risk for the rest of his career. There have not been any negative reports coming from Falcons camp regarding his health, so let’s move on from that. With the improvements and restored health on the defensive side of the ball for Atlanta, they truly believe they are contenders this year. Utilizing an all pro running back will certainly play a big role in their success and is something they have lacked for a couple years now.
Their offensive line struggles are certainly a concern, but I expect their two 2019 draft picks (Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary) to be improved and healthy. They added a lineman in this year’s draft in Matt Hennessey who will at the least provide depth. Let’s look at the bright side even if the line does struggle, quick pressure will result in targets to the running back. Devonta Freeman saw the 10th most targets from the running back position last season with 70 in 14 games. These targets along with the 97 vacated from Austin Hooper going to the Browns, should provide plenty of opportunity for Gurley. He is slowly falling in drafts to where he is one of the last truly expected bell cows to be selected, sometimes falling to the 4th round. It is hard to find the true upside that Gurley possesses from any other player going in this range. Even with his usage rate going down significantly last season, he still managed to score 14 total touchdowns. All of the Falcons offensive data paired with the lack of competition for touches in this backfield make for a solid running back in fantasy. I would certainly prefer him as my RB2 in 10-12 team leagues but if you can get passed the injury risk, he should outperform his 4th round ADP in a loaded offense.
Even in a crowd, Lamar finds Mark Andrews AGAIN 😳
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 22, 2019
Is Mark Andrews worth the draft investment?
You missed out on Kelce and Kittle in rounds 1 and 2, when do you look at the tight end position? This is a question we all ask pretty much each round, should I grab a tight end now? At his current ADP according to Fantasypros.com, Mark Andrews comes in around the 36th pick in the draft at the end of round 3. This makes him the 3rd tight end off the board and gives fantasy players the hope that they have a true positional advantage at the TE spot each week.
After a breakout season in 2019, there is plenty to like about his outlook. What I don’t love, is his current ADP. In 10 team leagues, it is easier to find talent in the following rounds at running back and wide receiver, which makes taking him in round 4 a little easier. The players going around Andrews are the reason I have been missing out on him in drafts. Here are some to list a few, according to Fantasypros.com
|Amari Cooper DAL (10)||WR9|
|Leonard Fournette JAC (7)||RB15|
|A.J. Brown TEN (7)||WR10|
|Chris Carson SEA (6)||RB16|
|Cooper Kupp LAR (9)||WR11|
|Mark Andrews BAL (8)||TE3|
|Adam Thielen MIN (7)||WR12|
|Todd Gurley ATL (10)||RB17|
|JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT (8)||WR13|
|Melvin Gordon DEN (8)||RB18|
|Allen Robinson CHI (11)||WR14|
|Odell Beckham Jr. CLE (9)||WR15|
|D.J. Moore CAR (13)||WR16|
Dominant tight ends mean a lot to the total build of a fantasy roster, but the elite talent surrounding Andrews here has me leaning towards the middle tier of TE at their current ADP (Waller, Engram, and Henry). In a 10 team PPR league, depending on draft strategy, you are looking at every week stud WRs and high upside RBs. These are two positions I prefer to have depth at rather than taking a tight end. In some home leagues I do believe Andrews will fall to a good spot, so absolutely grab him where the value is there. I am excited about his target share in the league’s best offense from 2019, but the value is not there for me this season.
Are we undervaluing Devin Singletary?
We don’t have a very large sample size to judge the second year running back out of Florida Atlantic, but he is a player I am excited about. As a rookie, it wasn’t until week 7 that Singletary saw double digit touches. His 140 total yards with a touchdown was enough to give him control of the backfield going forward. On film, he showed elusiveness and the ability to get to the outside for extra yardage. While writing this I came across a perfect stat (for someone writing a piece on Devin Singletary) from Adam Aizer of CBS Sports on Twitter @AdamAizer. He notes that Singletary had 7 carries of 20+ yards on only 151 carries. No other RB had 7 or more carries of 20+ yards with fewer than 217 carries. Of course, just when you start to get excited for a player, the team drafts a solid running back prospect in the NFL draft. The Bills drafted running back Zach Moss out of Utah in the third round of this year’s draft. Going hand in hand with that selection, it is important to note Singletary only received two carries inside the 5-yard-line last season, so we all expect Moss to take over the goal-to-go opportunities. Losing these valuable touches along with Josh Allen getting goal line carries, significantly hurts Singletary’s value. Nonetheless, I do believe he has more PPR upside than the running backs around him in fantasy drafts. Moss’ presence has placed Singletary in the range of RBs like Raheem Mostert, D’Andre Swift, and Cam Akers. Going 56th overall according to FantasyPros Average Draft Position, the number 25 running back off the board, I like his value as a high-end RB3. In the event Moss isn’t used as we expect, or there is an increase in passing game usage, the Bills second year running back could find himself in the top 15 RBs on a points per game basis.
Is D.J. Moore a viable Wide Receiver 1?
One of my favorite targets at wide receiver going into 2020 is third year D.J. Moore. Somehow someway, Moore managed to finish 15th in the league with 87 receptions. His 87 catches led him to 1,175 yards and 4 touchdowns. He finished 2019 as the WR16 in PPR. All this came with him playing 6 offensive snaps before exiting with a concussion in week 16 and missing week 17. The reason I bring up statistics you probably already knew is to remind you that Moore’s talent shined through last season with the Panthers having very poor quarterback play. I truly believe his 2019 season was his floor.
Carolina addressed the most important position in football (Very pleased to be saying that) by signing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater after his heroic efforts going 5-0 as a starter for New Orleans last season in wake of Drew Brees’ injury. Bridgewater has always been an efficient, low yards per attempt quarterback. This is the area of the field that his top target D.J. Moore has excelled in, which is why he is one of my favorite targets in PPR. I know it is hard to look passed that number 4 in the touchdown column, and while I don’t believe this offense will be a particularly good one, Bridgewater will certainly lead them to more offensive plays and scoring opportunities.
According to FantasyPros Average Draft Position, Moore comes in at WR17 being drafted as the 43rd overall player off the board on average. That ADP is one of the reasons I am more than happy starting RB-RB in rounds one and two. Targeting the top tight ends and running backs early will leave you in the range of players like Allen Robinson, D.J. Moore, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Calvin Ridley. These guys compared to the other positions going in this range clearly represent the best value. I have D.J. Moore as my WR12 for a reason. I am confident in his floor and believe he has the target upside to land him in the top 12. I am going to love him as my WR2 in many drafts with that current ADP.
Tyler Boyd with the catch of the day 🤭
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) November 24, 2019
Is Tyler Boyd as undervalued as everyone thinks he is?
Oddly enough, almost everything I said about D.J. Moore’s situation, applies to Tyler Boyd. He exceeded expectations with bad quarterback play in an all-around bad offense. He has a new quarterback for this season with the 2019 number 1 overall draft pick, Joe Burrow. The offense should certainly be better overall for Cincinnati.
All these things should help Tyler Boyd in 2020. But there are some differences between the two wide receivers from an NFL and a fantasy perspective. Boyd’s average draft position comes in at 79.3 overall on average across all platforms. Grabbing a player coming off a season with 90 catches in the 8th round sounds good to me. Of course, it is important to mention the Bengals will have their seven-time Pro-Bowl receiver, A.J. Green returning to the lineup. Green’s return along with what should be an improved run game will certainly mean fewer targets for Boyd. It is fair to say seeing a dip from his 148 targets last year was imminent.
According to FantasyPros 2019 Boom or Bust report, Boyd was a WR3 or better 63% of the time. He’s being drafted as most teams WR4, making him a high floor PPR value at his current ADP. There are plenty of higher upside guys in this range but grab Boyd if you want some safety before taking the shot on your late round fliers.
Can you trust two wide receivers in this offense?
It’s hard for me to convince anyone to trust anything when Mitchell Trubisky may be the one responsible, should I try? OK fine, I won’t. The Chicago Bears were disappointing as a whole in 2019. A year after going 12-4 before a heartbreaking loss in the Wild Card round in 2018, there were high expectations for the team. Fantasy football owners were hoping for a promising run game and sneaky passing game upside in 2019. As you know, that didn’t happen.
I could probably end this question by simply telling you this, Mitchell Trubisky Started 15 games last season and threw 17 touchdowns. This amongst many other reasons is why the Bears traded for Super Bowl winning quarterback Nick Foles. We still don’t know who the starter will be for the 2020 season, which is a problem in itself especially with the lack of offseason. What we do know is Allen Robinson had a phenomenal 2019 as the Bears WR1 and he is currently the WR14 off the board. When you are able to overcome that quarterback play and finish as the WR8 in PPR, fantasy owners will have you as a cornerstone on their 2020 roster.
I am in on Robinson as the clear 1 in this offense. It’s the hype surrounding the 2nd wide receiver in THIS offense that has me confused. That player is third year Anthony Miller, a talented slot receiver out of Memphis. It’s not as if Miller is being drafted as anything more than a late round flier, so you won’t lose your league by drafting him, but I can’t get behind the excitement some have for him. He actually took a step forward last season with 52 receptions on 85 targets, far more volume than his rookie season. While we all expect the Bears passing offense to be better regardless of their quarterback, because well how could it get any worse, he they want to and should be a run first game management offense. When I look for sleepers, I want guys who can have a path to heavy volume in a good offensive situation. Receivers going around Miller include N’Keal Harry, Preston Williams, and DeSean Jackson to name a few. I see all three of those players in better offenses or roles where they should see more volume out of the gate and throughout the season. If you have been playing fantasy for some time now, you know talent is half the battle and for late round fliers such as Miller I am looking passed that and strictly for opportunity upside. Unfortunately, in this offense, I don’t see much.
Nick Chubb’s snap share dipped to 59.7% the final six weeks of the season (73.4% from weeks 1-11).
— YardsPer Fantasy (@YardsPer) August 4, 2020
Value Check: Is Kareem Hunt an every-week starter?
One of my favorite running backs in the NFL is Cleveland Browns’ Nick Chubb. The pure running talent of Chubb is fun to watch, especially when you can watch him run for almost 1,500 yards. Chubb being a dominant rusher is one of the only things that could have stopped the resurgence of the former Kansas City Chief running back, Kareem Hunt. Following an 8- game suspension, Hunt returned to the field in week 10 and was the RB26 from that point forward in PPR leagues.
His current ADP comes in at 73 overall and RB29 off the board. There is some offseason traction picking up on Hunt, as his ADP has seen a steady increase throughout the offseason. There is certainly reason for optimism even with Nick Chubb assuming the lead role in the backfield. Browns new Head Coach Kevin Stefanski implementing his wide zone run scheme will help both players maximize their opportunities and fit both running styles. Fluidity in the run game and his steady passing game involvement give Hunt standalone RB3 value. We saw what Dalvin Cook accomplished in Stefanski’s offense so every fantasy player I have talked to is certainly excited for what he can bring to the Browns.
Hunt’s current ADP reflects the fact that he is at most the 1B in this backfield. Additionally, I believe he offers the highest upside as a handcuff in the league as he is the most talented “backup” in the league, so should anything happen to Chubb (Knock on wood that it does not), Hunt would fall into being a top 5 running back in fantasy. His ADP makes him an RB4 candidate in 10 team leagues. As far as drafting RBs goes, I am a player who likes to have 2 studs and a flex worthy option and Hunt is just that. I believe he will be a player who can be started each week to have a safe PPR floor. Speaking to that, this is a backfield that I do recommend trying to find value in Kareem Hunt if you grabbed Chubb early, and while some believe this limits a roster’s upside, I am going to play it safe with this backfield because of the value of both guys all season long. In Stefanski we trust.
Stay tuned for 8 more teams in Part Two of the 4 part “32 Questions” series! Follow on twitter @Calo_FF