Life is about making good decisions and avoiding bad ones.
Did you know that 12 publishing companies rejected J.K. Rowling's
"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"? Or that in
1962, an executive at Decca Records listened to an audition tape
and thinking guitar groups were falling out of favor passed on
signing the Beatles? In June 1812, Napoleon invaded Russia with
one of the largest armies ever assembled and thought he would
win the war in 20 days. Didn’t happen. Germany repeated
that bad choice when it invaded Russia in June 1941. All bad decisions.
Fantasy football is also about making decisions. Winning decisions.
Every pick, in every round, is the result of multiple decisions.
Do I need a running back more than a wide receiver? Is it time
to pick a quarterback? If I donít pick the quarterback in
this round, who will be left on the board when the draft gets
back to me?
Even after you know what position you want to draft, you have
a decision between seemingly equal players. This is where we will
try to help you. Iíve chosen five ďWho would you rather
have?Ē questions and run through the decision-making process.
Under normal circumstances, Elliott would be your best choice
as he belongs in a higher tier with the likes of Saquon Barkley
and Christian McCaffrey, but unfortunately, these arenít
normal times. We canít decide by talent alone.
Currently, while his teammates are sweating out training camp,
ďZekeĒ is in beautiful Cabo San Lucas on a vacation.
His agent is in negotiations with Jerry Jones and the Cowboys
looking for a better contract. At this point it appears that while
negotiations are amicable the sides are still far apart and Elliott
might miss a couple of games. You donít want to start your
season 0-2, right?
Meanwhile, there are plenty of ďexpertsĒ out there
telling you that David Johnson could have a big year. Iím
one of them. Evidence seems to point to an advantage for running
backs when the quarterback is a big running threat. Lamar Jacksonís
running helped the 2018 Ravensí running back corps (3.51
ypc behind Joe Flacco and 5.41 under Jackson), I think Kyler Murray
does the same for Johnson. But Iím not going overboard.
Johnson hasnít produced at this level since 2016.
In this case, I think the ADP is correct and Kamara is the play.
A slight downgrade of his backfield running mate, from Mark
Ingram to Latavius
Murray, should allow Kamara to amass plenty of touches. Also,
future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew
Brees is throwing the ball less and less (673 times in 2016,
536 in 2017 and 489 in 2018).
This is a comparison of three ďflawedĒ options. Thielenís
flaw isnít of his own making. His head coach is determined
to run the ball more and throw it less Ö despite having
signed a quarterback to an $84 million contract last season. Mike
Zimmer is so determined to run the ball that OC John DeFilippo
was fired in mid-2018 and replaced with Kevin Stefanski, who ran
the ball as ordered. Thielen managed just one 100-yard game and
one double-digit fantasy total over the final eight games.
Brown is seemingly a reality show all by himself. He forced his
way out of Pittsburgh and into a huge contract with the Raiders,
thereby hurting his chances to continue his fantasy domination
with the downgrade at quarterback. Add in the injury to his feet
and the helmet controversy and it doesnít seem Brownís
head is really in the game. How do you build chemistry with your
new quarterback and new system while sitting on the sidelines?
Meanwhile, Hilton would be a great choice except for the fact
that his quarterbackís availability is in question? Where
is Waldo Ö I mean Andrew Luck? Plus, Hilton isnít
a touchdown-maker, heís a yardage accumulator. Heís
never scored more than seven times in a season.
As I said, all flawed candidates. But itís not a first-round
pick itís a third round selection and Iím willing
to take the guy with the highest upside and thatís Brown.
Unless there is more drama between now and my Draft Day and Brownís
feet allow him to practice at some point, Iíll take a shot
at the brass ring.
Two rookies and a veteran Ö sound like the making of a
new comedy series on FOX. Montgomery was a three-down back at
Iowa State, running for 2,362 yards in his last two seasons and
also catching 58 balls for 453 yards. He might end up being a
three-down NFL back, but not in 2019 where the Bears already own
a dynamic back out of the backfield in Tarik Cohen (71 receptions
for 725 yards and five scores). So while he will beat out Mike Davis for the early-down work, heís not going to be an every
down guy this season.
On the other hand, neither will Josh Jacobs. The rookie out of
Alabama will be the first- and second-down option, but Jalen Richards
caught 68 balls last season and is the pass-catcher out of this
backfield. Also, there is a long list of Crimson Tide running
backs who have struggled after joining the NFL where the holes
arenít as big because the Alabama OL isnít in front
of him. Think Trent Richardson, Glen Coffee, T.J. Yeldon. Even
Derrick Henry and Mark Ingram struggled early on in their pro
Carson is my choice here. Despite the lowest ADP of the three,
heís perfectly situated to succeed in an offense that loves
to run the ball, yet has just enough of a passing threat to keep
defenses honest. Carson finally got his chance last season and
rushed for 1,151 yards and nine scores posting a 4.7 ypc average.
He was good enough to hold off 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny
and get Davis traded to Chicago. He dominated in the second half
of the season producing 654 rushing yards and seven scores over
the final seven games. Thatís too good to resist.
This is a very interesting battle of philosophies. Do you take
the No.1 receiver on an average offense (Detroit, Seattle) or
the No.2 guy in a dynamic offense (Tampa Bay, Los Angeles Rams)?
Iím throwing out Kupp because heís less than a year
removed from ACL surgery and as the Ramsí slot guy, he has
to be able to make quick cuts. We all know it takes a couple of
years before youíre back to full strength and Iíll
be back to pick Kupp as a sleeper in 2020 when everyone forgets
Golladay was a pleasant surprise in 2018, producing 1,063 yards
and five touchdowns. But Marvin Jones will return from injury
and Danny Amendola was brought in from Miami. Actually think of
him as a former Patriot brought in to reprise the slot role used
so well in New England - think Wes Welker and Julian Edelman.
While Golladayís numbers are repeatable, I donít think
heís going to blow up in 2019.
Locket put together a truly amazing season considering he only
saw 70 targets. He caught 57 of them for 965 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Thatís a touchdown every seven targets Ö which likely
isnít repeatable. Thatís an 81-percent catch percentage
Ö also likely unrepeatable facing the oppositionís
No. 1 corner. Heíll likely see more targets, but do less
Mike Evans is still the guy in Tampa, but Godwin gets a shot
at more targets with DeSean Jackson returning to Philadelphia
and Adam Humphries heading to Tennessee. Thatís 175 targets
available to add to his 95 targets in 2018. Tight end O.J. Howard
will demand a lot more than the 48 targets he saw and should become
a top-five fantasy tight end. Still, Godwin should see close to
140 targets and crack 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns. Heís
This would be easy if Luck were a quick healer. Alas, he is not
and thatís what makes this a tough decision. Luck likely
wonít play at all in the preseason due to his calf/small
bone/high ankle issue (depending on which statement you believe).
He was fantastic in 2018 (4,593 yards, 39 TDs, 15 INTs) and would
be the obvious choice if healthy. But he is not and the Colts
have a more-than-capable backup in Jacoby Brissette. Luck might
end up being late to the ďpartyĒ and thus you canít
choose him here.
Mayfield is all the rage after a very good rookie season (3,725
yards, 27 TDs, 14 INTs). Then the team added Odell Beckham Jr.
and the world went crazy. However, Iím not part of that
world. Itís a long jump from Mayfieldís rookie season
to top-five quarterback and I donít think heís there
yet. Not because he doesnít have the talent, but because
there is so much running back talent on his team that this will
still be a balanced offense. Nick Chubb is a star in the making
and Kareem Hunt will be back for the second half of the season.
Mike Krueger has Mayfieldís preseason projection at 4,255
yards, 28 TDs and 15 INTs and I think thatís pretty close.
Maybe he manages 30 TD passes, but probably not much more.
The pick is Ryan. His receiving corps is back in tact; superstar
Julio Jones (113-1,676-8), possession guy Mohamed Sanu (66-838-4),
youngster Calvin Ridley (64-821-10) and tight end Austin Hooper
(71-660-4). Management has brought in more talent on the offensive
line to protect Ryan (Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary). They
wonít want to overuse injury-prone Devonta Freeman and backup
Ito Smith is a better pass catcher than runner. And the kicker
is the bad defenses within his division that he gets to play twice
a season (Tampa Bay, Carolina and New Orleans). Plus the Falconsí
own bad defense will mean high-scoring contests. Choose Ryan with