Football is back, baby! It sure seems like it was a long time since
we last saw “real” football. Certainly more than the
nine months it has actually been since the last weeks of the 2021
NFL regular season. But we finally made it. All the off-season studying
and practice drafts are done, the talk is over and it’s time
to put your winning knowledge to the test.
“The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful
words, the truth.” —Laozio
1) There are no worse words you can hear from a head coach or
OC than, “we will go with the hot hand.”
True. On Monday, Miami Dolphins’ head coach Mike McDaniel said
about his running back room, “there are some skill sets which
are overlapping… that group was as competitive as I can remember…
all that means is we should have someone fresh (in there) and
we can lean on the hot hand if necessary.” Starter Chase
Edmonds’ fantasy value just took a hit.
2) The Tampa Bay Bucs would like to limit Leonard Fournette’s
Over the first part of last season, Fournette saw a 60-70 percent
snap usage and produced solid numbers, but late in the season
he saw 80-percent and more usage in four of five games. He ending
up missing two games with a hamstring injury. As he has never
played in a full 16 games in any season, the team would prefer
to limit his usage, which may result in a reduced ceiling and
his fantasy rank into the early third round. Fournette averaged
15.3 FPts/G in the first 10 games last season and 25.7 FPts/G
in games No.11-14 with the higher snap count before the injury.
It’s still unlikely that backup Rachaad White will be anything
but a handcuff at this time.
3) RB James Robinson, who tore his Achilles in Week 16 of last
season, will be active and will play on Sunday vs. Washington,
per head coach Doug Pederson.
This can’t be good news for those who thought Travis Etienne
would have a few weeks to establish himself before Robinson returned
this season. Etienne has been going at the end of the third round
(ADP 39) ahead of Breece Hall, Josh Jacobs and J.K. Dobbins, but
that might be a reach if Robinson is a full-go option.
4) I just completed a 10-team draft where Aaron Rodgers went
in the 11th round as the 12th quarterback off the board.
True. Rodgers’ hasn’t lost his ability to throw the
ball, so this is all about the losses in the receiver room. With
Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling playing elsewhere,
people have significantly lowered their opinion of Rodgers’
value. He may start slowly with both Allen Lazard and rookie Christian Watson questionable for Week 1, but I expect Rodgers to figure
it out, even if a running back or tight end leads the Packers
in receptions. He’s a steal as a fantasy “backup.”
5) Fantasy owners apparently had zero trust in Pittsburgh Steelers’
quarterback Ben Roethlisberger last season.
How else do you explain Diontae Johnson’s rise in fantasy
value from the 22nd WR last season to the 16th this season despite
his new quarterback being the once-failed Mitchell Trubisky. Retired
Roethlisberger, was coming off a 3,803-yard 33-TD, 10-INT season
in 2020, while Trubisky’s last starting season was 2,055-yard,
16-TD, 8-INT over 10 games that same year. They also apparently
no longer belief in Chase Claypool (was 27th in 2021) who is WR45
in 2022. Claypool’s drop is more likely a response to rookie
wideout George Pickens’ impressive preseason, not the quarterback
“The truth is messy. It's raw and uncomfortable. You can't
blame people for preferring lies.” - Holly Black
1) Taysom Hill is listed as a tight end in my CBS fantasy league,
and at ESPN, and he’s listed as the backup at TE at Ourlads.com.
He’s a gadget player and a sometimes quarterback, but he’s
not a tight end. What will your fantasy league do when/if he starts
a game under center? A smart commissioner will get this determined
before his draft begins and before the season gets underway to
preserve the peace if it happens and a “smart” owner
in a one-quarterback league gets to start two quarterbacks. At
the very least, talking about it will have warned other owners
of the possibility.
2) Rams running back Cam Akers (ADP 35.7) is set for a big comeback
Sorry, no. It’s no easy feat coming back from an Achilles
injury and it’s certainly not like returning from an ACL
tear. Plus, head coach Sean McVay said this about his backfield
a month ago, “We’ve got two starting backs”.
That’s the “kiss-of-death” for Akers’
chances of being an elite fantasy back and drops him into the
RBBC range. Then add in a change of 40-percent of the OL (Andrew
Whitworth retired and Austin Corbett to free agency) and both
Akers and Darrell Henderson may find the going a lot tougher this
season. The OL ranked seventh last season according to PFF and
starts 2022 at No.11.
3) D.J. Moore is underrated at WR14.
False. I’m not in the Moore camp, because he just doesn’t
catch enough of the balls thrown his way. Last year, he caught
just 93 of 162 targets. That’s a paltry 57.4 percent. He
saw the sixth-most targets, yet scored the 17th-most fantasy points
and was 23rd in FPts/G (of those with at least 10 games played).
Yes, I know the Panthers’ QB trio of Sam Darnold, Cam Newton
and P.J. Walker wasn’t very good (58.2% combined completion
rate), but Baker Mayfield’s was only 60.5-percent in 2021
and has never targeted a receiver more than 149 times in his career
(which included throwing to the likes of Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr.). I’m not expecting much improvement, if any,
because of the quarterback change.
4) Cooper Kupp can repeat his magical 2021 season.
The odds are not in his favor. If you look at the table below,
you will see that in 11 instances since 2010 of a receiver seeing
185 or more targets, nine times the wideout saw a decrease in
production, one time their fantasy points per game stayed the
same and only one time did the receiver improve (Antonio Brown
from 2014 to 2015). The average drop was significant at minus
21.3-percent. Kupp owners must also be concerned with Matthew Stafford’s sore elbow.
Receivers with 185 or more targets
5) I’m a “fantasy football expert” with a national award on
my resume, so listen to everything I say, and do it… no questions
False. I’ve studied the past, looked at trends and likely
spent more time analyzing because it’s my job, but it’s
an educated guess, not a guarantee. The ball isn’t round
and it bounces in funny directions, injuries happen, and the future
is not set in stone. Take what I (an others) say under advisement,
but it’s your decision. Have fun this season and good luck!