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The Art of the Auction

Auction Strategy - 2020

By Doug Orth | 8/28/20 |

Auction drafting is my favorite way to build a fantasy football team. While the general idea of this format is to allow every owner an equal opportunity to acquire players, it combines the ability to value a player’s potential contribution with managing a budget, all the while testing a drafter’s patience. Perhaps most importantly, I feel it tests the conviction a fantasy owner has in certain players. Furthermore, it rewards the prepared and punishes the unprepared. In snake drafts, it is obvious to anyone using a reliable and well-organized draft board when a player is slipping. In auctions, owners need to be keenly aware of who is left and balance that against their remaining funds. Owners are forced to decide what players they like the most and to what degree they are willing to go to secure their services, which is perhaps the best part of auctions - along with the aforementioned fact that every owner has an equal opportunity to land each player.

This coming season will mark the 12th year I have participated in The Huddle Expert Auction League. Over the first 11 seasons, FF Today made the six-team playoff 10 times and advanced to the championship game on seven occasions, winning it all three times. Suffice it to say my approach has proven to be effective.

This year’s draft was held on August 13, so keep that date in mind as you review the prices below (both the price each player went for and the value at which I set for him. Unlike previous years, more of the focus will be on my general auction draft strategy rather than my thoughts on The Huddle Expert Auction League.

Below, you will find the values I used to prioritize the players and some of the rationale I used in selecting my team.


The plan entering this particular auction was securing one of my top four backs (Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara or Ezekiel Elliott), another potential high-end RB1 at a discount price (someone like Kenyan Drake, Josh Jacobs or Miles Sanders who has RB1 upside but was cheaper for one reason or another) and Davante Adams. At tight end, I was hoping for Zach Ertz or Hayden Hurst. At quarterback, I wanted to stay right around the $10 mark.

Each year, I also make it a point to pay less than my valuation on just about every player, knowing that approach will allow me to snag a bargain or two near the end of the draft. Ideally, Iíll come away with two surefire starters at running back and another mid-priced player I believe will be an RB2 to use as my flex, but it doesnít always work that way.

Although it is a departure from conventional auction-draft strategy, Iíve never been a big fan of setting pre-draft positional budgets Ė such as spending 40 percent of my budget at receiver or at least $85 at running back. My method: separate players by position in the order I have them ranked, highlight the ones I want the most on my spreadsheet and keep a record of how much each player goes for to serve as a quick-reference guide of sorts for other players in his tier. I stay true to my valuations with very few exceptions and stick with that "preferred" list of players as long as possible.

The Draft

Players with bolded names are ones I would encourage auction drafters to target now. The key is picking players from several different tiers and expected cost valuations.

Below you will find the actual prices that secured a playerís services (Act $) and the price I valued them before the draft (My $). Due to the amount of time that has elapsed between this particular draft and this article, I have updated the numbers in My $ to reflect the values I have set for each player for drafts beginning on Aug. 29. A dash in the first column reflects the fact a player was not nominated. The highlight represents winning bids for FF Today. Finally, I will follow each position with some brief commentary.

All values are based on a $200 cap and players are organized by “My $”. All players that were nominated are included. I removed several players that are unlikely to go in auctions in leagues with 12 teams and 18-man rosters or for other common-sense reasons.

Required starters: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 Flex, 1 K and 1 Defense/Special Teams unit.

Actual $ My $ Player Tm
20 21 Patrick Mahomes KC
21 18 Lamar Jackson BAL
10 14 Dak Prescott DAL
10 11 Kyler Murray ARI
11 11 Russell Wilson SEA
3 11 Carson Wentz PHI
10 10 Deshaun Watson HOU
7 9 Tom Brady TB
4 8 Drew Brees NO
4 6 Josh Allen BUF
9 7 Matt Ryan ATL
6 7 Matthew Stafford DET
1 6 Daniel Jones NYG
3 5 Ben Roethlisberger PIT
2 5 Aaron Rodgers GB
1 4 Baker Mayfield CLE
1 3 Joe Burrow CIN
2 3 Ryan Tannehill TEN
1 3 Cam Newton NE
1 2 Jared Goff LAR
1 2 Gardner Minshew JAC
1 2 Jimmy Garoppolo SF
1 1 Kirk Cousins MIN
1 1 Philip Rivers IND
1 1 Derek Carr LV
- 1 Tyrod Taylor LAC
1 1 Teddy Bridgewater CAR
- 1 Drew Lock DEN
- 1 Sam Darnold NYJ

Observations: Lamar Jackson ($21) was the fourth player to be nominated and Patrick Mahomes ($20) was the sixth, setting an early bar for the position - albeit one that is consistent with how this league has valued the position in recent years and other auction drafts have valued the position this summer. There's nothing wrong with fantasy owners paying up for either stud, but here's the issue: Jackson (2019) and Mahomes (2018) almost have to repeat their recent magical seasons for it to pay off. Sure, there's a certain peace of mind that comes along with plugging one or the other in your lineup every week regardless of the matchup. However, who's to say Russell Wilson ($11) won't go toe-to-toe with them in at least 12 games or the combination of Carson Wentz ($3) and Drew Brees ($4) won't be able to match up with them most weeks for a third of the cost?

Strategy: Generally speaking and especially in leagues that award four points per passing touchdown, I want my starting quarterback to be a capable run threat, meaning I want a floor of at least 200-300 rushing yards and a few scores on the ground - especially in a league such as this one in which passing TDs are worth four points. It's also been well-documented that quarterback is very deep this year, as there are roughly 21 quarterbacks that fantasy owners can feel reasonably good about starting most weeks. Auction league owners would do well to remember that; there's not much of a reason to spend much more than $10 at the position, if only because it will almost certainly wind up costing you a potential starter later in the draft. Think about it: Jackson and a $1 player versus Wilson and CeeDee Lamb? Jackson and a $1 player versus Wentz and D.K. Metcalf ($20). Pounce on Jackson or Mahomes if they go incredibly cheap. Otherwise, I'd recommend playing the matchup game.

Total spent at QB: $12

 Running Backs
Actual $ My $ Player Tm
61 60 Christian McCaffrey CAR
54 55 Saquon Barkley NYG
55 53 Alvin Kamara NO
55 52 Ezekiel Elliott DAL
54 48 Dalvin Cook MIN
41 46 Derrick Henry TEN
44 43 Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC
40 42 Miles Sanders PHI
36 41 Joe Mixon CIN
38 41 Kenyan Drake ARI
37 39 Josh Jacobs LV
28 36 Aaron Jones GB
34 34 Austin Ekeler LAC
49 34 Nick Chubb CLE
26 28 James Conner PIT
28 26 Chris Carson SEA
26 25 Jonathan Taylor IND
26 25 Todd Gurley ATL
35 25 Leonard Fournette JAC
25 22 Melvin Gordon DEN
26 22 Le'Veon Bell NYJ
17 20 Mark Ingram BAL
23 19 David Johnson HOU
19 16 Ronald Jones TB
12 16 D'Andre Swift DET
18 15 Kareem Hunt CLE
26 13 Raheem Mostert SF
12 13 David Montgomery CHI
10 13 Cam Akers LAR
11 11 Tarik Cohen CHI
8 11 Zack Moss BUF
3 10 Phillip Lindsay DEN
9 10 J.K. Dobbins BAL
13 10 James White NE
16 9 Devin Singletary BUF
3 9 Matt Breida MIA
5 9 Marlon Mack IND
12 8 Jordan Howard MIA
3 8 Boston Scott PHI
3 8 Duke Johnson HOU
8 8 Kerryon Johnson DET
5 7 Latavius Murray NO
5 5 Adrian Peterson WAS
2 7 Alexander Mattison MIN
2 5 Chase Edmonds ARI
6 4 Antonio Gibson WAS
2 7 Damien Harris NE
- 6 Darrel Williams KC
5 6 AJ Dillon GB
3 6 Tevin Coleman SF
1 5 Jerick McKinnon SF
2 5 Nyheim Hines IND
2 4 Tony Pollard DAL
1 4 Chris Thompson JAC
3 4 Darrell Henderson LAR
- 3 LeSean McCoy TB
- 3 Joshua Kelley LAC
- 2 Bryce Love WAS
4 2 Darrynton Evans TEN
2 2 Justin Jackson LAC
1 1 DeAndre Washington KC
2 1 Lamar Miller NE
1 1 Ke'Shawn Vaughn TB
1 1 Eno Benjamin ARI
1 1 Benny Snell PIT
1 1 Lynn Bowden LV

Observations: It's taken me a pair of industry drafts to embrace the sticker shock that is attached to the high-end running backs this year. Running backs have struggled to bring $50 bids in this league for several years and I would argue there are more players with what we can assume are locked-in workloads entering this season than any in recent memory. Unless you are participating in several auctions and want to diversify your portfolio, I cannot advocate spending more than $60 on one player, and I have seen multiple drafts in which McCaffrey ($61) draws a bid in the $65-70 range. In two of the auction drafts I have participated in (this one) or been involved with in some fashion (the 14-team King's Classic that requires 10 starters and includes three flex spots), an owner paid up for both McCaffrey and Barkley ($54). By dropping roughly $115 on two players, those owners can't even spend more than $10 per player on the rest of the starting lineup. It is more understandable to employ this strategy when an owner can get away with going cheap at quarterback, tight end, kicker and defense/special teams (as was the case in this league), but to do so with no kicker or D/STs requires almost half of your $1 bids - of which there will be many - to hit. That approach is ridiculously insane in a 14-teamer. Having no depth in a year where COVID-19 is a huge consideration makes it even worse. In this draft, the McCaffrey-Barkley owner also dropped $44 to grab Clyde Edwards-Helaire, bringing his total bill for the only three running backs on his roster to $159. Leaving yourself with $41 to spend on 15 players is not an optimal strategy either, although this owner did well to land Josh Allen ($4), Jamison Crowder ($11), Jalen Reagor ($5), Allen Lazard ($4) and Rob Gronkowski ($2).

With each of those three running backs coming within the first 10 nominations and being the first off the board at the position, the market was set. It also left 11 owners fighting over the other 11 backs if we assume the first 14 listed above are every-week starters entering this year. I had no intention of dropping $50 on an elite RB1 when I knew I wanted what I believe is this year's version of Michael Thomas in Davante Adams ($42) and was confident I was going to get two low-end RB1s for $40 or less. Does Miles Sanders ($40), Josh Jacobs ($37) and Adams stack up to McCaffrey, Barkley and Edwards-Helaire? No. But if you believe Odell Beckham is no worse than this year's overall WR7, Zach Ertz is still a top-five tight end and the Steelers are an elite fantasy defense as I do, then maybe balance and patience is advisable. Incidentally, my total cost for those six top-five or top-10 options was also $159. Perhaps just as importantly, I like the depth I have at every position as well.

Strategy: Since the aforementioned drafts concluded nearly two weeks ago, I have come to realize what a bargain I believe James Conner ($26) to be. Although a good draft strategy should never depend on just one player being available (or within your desired price range), my preference in my next auction ($500 buy-in) on Aug. 31 will include securing one of the top four backs and Conner (making sure I have plenty set aside to handcuff him with Benny Snell) as well as Adams and at least one other target hog at receiver such as OBJ, Robert Woods, Allen Robinson, D.J. Moore or Adam Thielen.

Whether your mid-range running back of choice is Conner, Todd Gurley ($26), Le'Veon Bell ($26), Chris Carson ($28) or maybe even Mark Ingram ($17), go into your draft with a good idea on where you stand on each of them. If Nick Chubb ($49 - he usually goes about $15-20 cheaper) meets a cold market, take advantage. Otherwise, the idea is to find that RB2 that comes at an RB2 price tag (but possesses RB1 upside) to pair with your RB1 so you have the funds to land two stud receivers. Owners who enter a season with two RB1s (even if they are low-end) and two potential top-10 receivers have a significant advantage over the majority of their opponents. With all the depth at quarterback, wide receiver and tight end this year, there will be value to be had at each of the other positions. Find a way to get two backs you can start every week and another one that has a good shot at 150-plus touches that typically goes in the middle rounds of snake drafts - I like Phillip Lindsay ($3) and Zack Moss ($8) as RB3s with RB2 upside this year - and you should have the funds available to go to town at receiver.

Total spent at RB: $86

 Wide Receivers
Actual $ My $ Player Tm
42 46 Davante Adams GB
44 46 Michael Thomas NO
43 42 Julio Jones ATL
28 40 Chris Godwin TB
33 38 DeAndre Hopkins ARI
39 38 Tyreek Hill KC
27 33 Odell Beckham Jr. CLE
27 31 Robert Woods LAR
27 31 Allen Robinson CHI
26 30 D.J. Moore CAR
25 30 Calvin Ridley ATL
25 30 Adam Thielen MIN
31 30 Mike Evans TB
25 29 A.J. Brown TEN
33 29 JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT
25 26 Tyler Lockett SEA
20 20 Terry McLaurin WAS
24 22 Amari Cooper DAL
31 22 Kenny Golladay DET
17 22 DeVante Parker MIA
20 21 D.K. Metcalf SEA
21 20 DJ Chark JAC
18 19 Jarvis Landry CLE
26 18 Cooper Kupp LAR
17 17 Courtland Sutton DEN
14 17 Tyler Boyd CIN
16 16 A.J. Green CIN
22 16 Keenan Allen LAC
11 14 Michael Gallup DAL
12 14 Marquise Brown BAL
17 11 Will Fuller HOU
15 13 Stefon Diggs BUF
24 12 T.Y. Hilton IND
13 12 Marvin Jones DET
12 12 Brandin Cooks HOU
12 11 Julian Edelman NE
11 11 Jamison Crowder NYJ
13 11 Diontae Johnson PIT
4 10 CeeDee Lamb DAL
3 10 Anthony Miller CHI
6 9 Golden Tate NYG
4 9 Curtis Samuel CAR
6 9 Christian Kirk ARI
5 8 Emmanuel Sanders NO
3 8 Henry Ruggs III LV
1 8 Michael Pittman IND
5 8 Jalen Reagor PHI
5 8 Sterling Shepard NYG
3 7 Parris Campbell IND
5 7 Jerry Jeudy DEN
7 7 Deebo Samuel SF
4 7 Preston Williams MIA
5 6 Darius Slayton NYG
- 6 Bryan Edwards LV
1 6 John Brown BUF
1 6 Justin Jefferson MIN
4 5 DeSean Jackson PHI
1 5 Randall Cobb HOU
4 4 Allen Lazard GB
2 4 Larry Fitzgerald ARI
4 4 Mecole Hardman KC
1 4 Steven Sims WAS
3 3 Robby Anderson CAR
3 3 Mike Williams LAC
1 3 Brandon Aiyuk SF
1 2 Hunter Renfrow LV
2 2 Dede Westbrook JAC
1 2 Sammy Watkins KC
1 1 Cole Beasley BUF
- 1 Trent Taylor SF
1 1 Laviska Shenault JAC
- 1 Mohamed Sanu NE
2 1 James Washington PIT
1 1 Corey Davis TEN
5 1 Breshad Perriman NYJ
2 1 Tee Higgins CIN
- 1 Russell Gage ATL
2 1 N'Keal Harry NE
- 1 Kendrick Bourne SF
- 1 Denzel Mims NYJ
1 1 Alshon Jeffery PHI
1 1 Antonio Brown FA

Observations: The elite receivers (Adams, Thomas and Julio Jones) were shown the amount of respect they deserve in this draft, with each one going in the low-to-mid 40s. Hill came in right under them at $39, while everybody else fell into place at $33 or less. Further advancing the popular belief that receiver talent is overflowing in 2020, a total of 38 wideouts drew double-figure bids - two more than the number of available starting spots at the position. I continue to find Kenny Golladay ($31) and Cooper Kupp ($26) to be two of the most overpriced and/or over-ranked receivers available. Their numbers last year justify their cost in theory, but we need to project forward. Golladay is the ultimate high-value target receiver in that so many of his targets lead to spiked fantasy scoring. The problem is those same targets are also the most inconsistent to rely on (deep balls and red zone looks). If T.J. Hockenson emerges as a bigger factor l in Year 2, it will hurt Golladay's bottom line as they will be competing for similar looks. Kupp's issues were discussed in this piece a few weeks ago.

Due in part to this draft usually being held about a month before the start of the season, players will occasionally slip through the cracks. A total of 76 receivers were drafted, but Bryan Edwards wasnít one of them. (We'll get to a tight end in a bit who was a much bigger surprise.) While it should be noted this draft was held before Tyrell Williams' shoulder injury was reported, there was already plenty of buzz about Edwards coming out of Raiders' camp. Technical difficulties might have contributed to this omission, however, as Fantasy Alarm team owner and Sirius XM host Howard Bender had a hard-luck story about his draft-night misfortune that had me laughing for a good 10 minutes. I was out-of-state, working off a laptop and lost connection to the draft room just about every time I refreshed the page. We had to turn back results at least a handful of times as others had similar problems. All of this is just another example of what any good analyst says about drafting, especially in auctions: go in with a plan but be able to adjust that plan on the fly.

Strategy: Especially considering demand exceeds supply at running back (there are not 24 backs most fantasy owners comfortable starting in 12-team leagues) yet again and there are probably 50 receivers that can be started somewhat confidently, it makes sense for owners to enter an auction draft with the mindset of using a receiver in their flex spot and estimating a 40-25-15 or 30-30-20 (in terms of dollars) breakdown to get their starting wideouts. If you believe Adams draws 10 or more targets per game - as he has in each of the last two seasons - and is due for some positive touchdown regression after going scoreless until Week 12 last year, I would argue Adams should be valued in the $50 range. He has 170-target, 120-catch and 10-12 touchdown upside; do everything in your power to come away with him in your auction. After that, place a high priority on the $20-29 group and do your best to attach yourself to receivers with proven quarterbacks (one reason why I'm higher on Tyler Lockett than most). OBJ is also a huge bargain unless you believe he is "injury-prone." A top-five finish is in his range of outcomes, so getting him for less than $30 is a steal.

I'm one of many who believe this particular offseason is going to hurt rookie receivers, but I tend to believe a young wideout with a certain profile can still flourish. CeeDee Lamb will be one of those players in my estimation because his new employer offers him two important qualities and he brings one of his own to the table. He should see regular usage out of the slot (getting him away from physical coverage off the line), he has a good quarterback (one playing for a contract, no less) and he possesses the ability to do damage after the catch. Lamb was not my favorite receiver in this draft, but his landing spot gives him a great chance to be a lite version of A.J. Brown. As I have mentioned a few times this summer, Marvin Jones ($13) is a great target for those looking for that WR3/flex option. So is Tyler Boyd if his cost is only going to be $14. Long story short, fantasy owners have no one to blame but themselves this year if they leave an auction with anything less than three very capable starters and one strong upside option at receiver.

Total spent at WR: $86

 Tight Ends
Actual $ My $ Player Tm
22 25 Travis Kelce KC
23 25 George Kittle SF
10 18 Zach Ertz PHI
16 18 Mark Andrews BAL
6 16 Darren Waller LV
3 14 Hayden Hurst ATL
8 12 Evan Engram NYG
6 10 Tyler Higbee LAR
8 9 Hunter Henry LAC
- 8 T.J. Hockenson DET
2 8 Chris Herndon NYJ
4 7 Mike Gesicki MIA
1 7 Noah Fant DEN
4 7 Jared Cook NO
1 6 Jonnu Smith TEN
2 6 Rob Gronkowski TB
- 4 Irv Smith MIN
3 4 Dallas Goedert PHI
- 3 O.J. Howard TB
- 3 Eric Ebron PIT
1 3 Blake Jarwin DAL
1 2 Greg Olsen SEA
1 2 Austin Hooper CLE
1 1 Jace Sternberger GB
1 1 Gerald Everett LAR
- 1 Tyler Eifert JAC
1 1 Ian Thomas CAR
1 1 Jack Doyle IND
- 1 Dan Arnold ARI
- 1 Dawson Knox BUF
1 1 Will Dissly SEA†

Total spent at TE: $11

Observations: The industry-wide indifference that seems to have fallen over Zach Ertz ($10) confounds me. There is no justification for him going six dollars cheaper than Mark Andrews ($16) and about 40 percent of what Travis Kelce ($22) and George Kittle ($23) bring. There is a distinct chance Philadelphia runs more 11 personnel this year than any year under HC Doug Pederson, and I am confident Dallas Goedert will suffer more than Ertz if that happens. With that said, the best bargain in this draft was Hayden Hurst ($3). I'm not necessarily of the belief that Matt Ryan makes every tight end a good fantasy play or OC Dirk Koetter is a "tight end whisperer" (both of which I've heard a lot this summer), but Hurst is a dynamic talent - one for which the Falcons were willing to trade a second-round pick. Evan Engram ($8) could easily end up being a value pick if he can play at least 12 games. It's hard not to like how budget-friendly Tyler Higbee ($6), Chris Herndon ($2) and Jonnu Smith ($1) were as well. The stunner: T.J. Hockenson wasn't even nominated. I will try to make room for him on the roster even with Ertz and Noah Fant ($1).

Strategy: Most fantasy owners understand there is a big drop-off after the top four (top three if you go by this draft). There's no question Kelce and Kittle offer a significant positional advantage on the low-end TE1 crowd, and there are those who believe it is worth paying $30 or more to get them since they produce like low-end TE1s. However, the difference between Kelce and Hurst is not $20 - or what D.K. Metcalf went for in this auction. That's one thing auction drafters should always have on their minds: opportunity cost. (When I pay up for one of the big boys at a position, what am I missing out on or giving up?) Much like the quarterback position, it makes a lot of sense to keep spending at this position limited to about $10. I'd argue that owners could pair up Herndon and Smith for less than five dollars if they really wanted to spend up somewhere else.

Actual $ My $ Player Tm
2 2 Justin Tucker BAL
2 2 Harrison Butker KC
2 2 Greg Zuerlein DAL
2 2 Wil Lutz NO
1 1 Zane Gonzalez ARI
1 1 Younghoe Koo ATL
1 1 Robbie Gould SF
1 1 Jake Elliott PHI
1 1 Brandon McManus DEN
1 1 Ka'imi Fairbairn HOU
1 1 Josh Lambo JAC
1 1 Dan Bailey MIN

Observations/strategy: Year after year, I look for the same qualities in a kicker. I want someone with a strong leg in a good offense. Additionally, I often target kickers who play on teams with good or great defenses since coaches are more apt to settle for field goals when they are confident their defense can keep the opponent off the board. Short of that, I look for a kicker on a team that I believe will have a good offense but will bog down in the red zone because it lacks a strong running attack. Justin Tucker ($2) is about as much of a no-brainer option as there is at the position, so I have no problem spending an extra dollar for him. There's a bit of intangible value that comes along with knowing you don't have to play kicker roulette and/or spend FAAB money on the position every other week.

Total spent at K: $2

 Defense / ST
Actual $ My $ Team
3 3 Steelers
2 2 Ravens
1 2 Bears
2 2 49ers
1 1 Lions
1 1 Vikings
1 1 Saints
1 1 Bucs
1 1 Bills
1 1 Patriots
2 1 Colts
1 1 Broncos
1 1 Chiefs

Observations/strategy: Yep, I'm that guy who spends more than one dollar on a defense/special teams unit too. Folks, this is pretty simple: while conventional wisdom will tell you that defense/special teams units are highly volatile from year to year and not worth spending more than a buck on, there also aren't a lot of people in the industry who spend a great deal of time analyzing defense or weekly matchups during the preseason. Beginning with Minkah Fitzpatrick's debut with the Steelers in Week 3 last season, the Pittsburgh defense/special teams unit averaged 12.7 fantasy points in this league. They lost no one of consequence on defense and have collected 50 sacks in three straight seasons. As good as this defense was after Fitzpatrick's arrival last year, it could be even more dominant in 2020. Whenever there is reason to believe a fantasy property like the Steelers D/ST is on the verge of a special season, it's OK to spend an extra buck. Much like Tucker above, I'm confident I won't need (or want) to take Pittsburgh out of my lineup.

Total spent at D/ST: $3


The FFToday team

QB: Russell Wilson, Cam Newton

RB: Miles Sanders, Josh Jacobs, Philip Lindsay, Boston Scott, Chase Edmonds, Chris Thompson

WR: Davante Adams, Odell Beckham Jr., Deebo Samuel, CeeDee Lamb, Emmanuel Sanders, Justin Jefferson

TE: Zach Ertz, Noah Fant

K: Justin Tucker

D/ST: Pittsburgh Steelers

In retrospect (and knowing what we know now about Philadelphia's offensive line), I should have spent up for Barkley, Kamara or Elliott and settled for Conner or Carson as my RB2, but that's a minor complaint. Sanders and Jacobs are late first-round picks in just about every league and should see close to 300 touches. The keys to my team's success: Samuel getting healthy and playing at a WR3 level AND Lamb fulfilling his promise. If those two things happen and all of my other projected starters perform at the level they are accustomed to, this team should challenge for a title.

Doug Orth has written for FF Today since 2006 and been featured in USA TODAY's Fantasy Football Preview magazine since 2010. He is also a high-stakes player who often appears as a guest analyst on a number of national sports radio shows, such as Sirius XM's "Fantasy Drive." Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

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