• Perfect Match: Finding The Next Zeke, Pt. 3

    Last Year around this time draftniks began floating the idea, “What if Zeke goes to Dallas?” It was a perfect landing spot for him, great OL, veteran QB (or so we thought), and an amazing skill set that would allow him to play 3-downs from the beginning. Sure enough, that is where Zeke found himself and the rest is history.

    But how will that affect us in 2017?

    It will surely touch off a “search for the next Ezekiel Elliott.”

    In the final installment of Perfect Match, I will pair a major piece of shit with one of the games with one of the game’s most storied franchises. I’ll also match one of the most physically gifted TE prospects in years with a team begging for another offensive weapon and I’ll match another TE with an innovative first-time coach.

    Joe Mixon- I didn’t exactly bury the lede with my description of Joe Mixon. By now, we have all seen the videos of him doing a despicable act of violence. We live in a society, however, that gives second chances to talented individuals. Fortunately for Mixon, he is one of the most talented RBs in the world. At 6’1 226, Joe Mixon may be the most physically gifted RB in this year’s draft. He can mix speed with power and his catching ability is a legitimate strength. What is most impressive with Mixon are his feet. He has some absolutely amazing footwork when negotiating a hole.

    Perfect Match- I think the perfect match for Joe Mixon would be in Green Bay. The Packers will most definitely be looking for an RB in the draft, possibly even two. If you recall, Eddie Lacy was drafted alongside Johnathan Franklin (forced into retirement due to injuries), so Ted Thompson is no stranger to loading up on rookie RBs. Mixon’s dynamic playmaking ability would be a major upgrade for the position and in many ways, Mixon is like a rich man’s Ty Montgomery. With Mixon and Montgomery on the field at the same time, the Packers could get very creative with their packages, almost always getting one of the two lined up across from an LB.

    Best Case/Worst Case- I think the Joe Mixon’s best case scenario involves him developing into a Le’Veon Bell-type RB. He has even displayed some of Bell’s trademark patience during his time at Oklahoma. Worst case scenario for Mixon is a who’s who of talented players who have fallen by the wayside due to character concerns. Let’s hope he doesn’t go the way of the Ray McDonalds and Greg Hardys of the world.

    David Njoku- David Njoku is an elite athlete for the TE position. In H.S., Njoku was a national high jump champion. At 6’4 245 lbs, he has the prototypical build for a TE in today’s NFL. In his time at Miami, Njoku showed the ability to be a deep threat, as well as, a zone-buster. I think his elite athleticism will be on display at the combine, where he will skyrocket up draft boards.

    Perfect Match- The perfect match for Njoku is the New York Giants. The Giants have had a gaping hole at TE for years which has left Eli without a valuable option in the passing game. But even UDFA guys like Will Tye have found success in short periods at TE for the Giants. If Njoku were to be drafted by the Giants, he and OBJ would immediately become one of the most athletic WR-TE tandems in the league. With Sterling Shepard being exclusively a slot guy, the Giants need a TE with the versatility of Njoku to open up the offense and give Manning another homerun threat in the passing game.

    Best Case/Worst Case­- David Njoku has all of the tools to become a star in the NFL but he merely lacks experience at the position. Another guy who lacked experience at the position who went on to do great things was Antonio Gates. Did you know he played basketball?! Unfortunately, there are other cautionary tales of elite athletes that do not pan out. Case in point, Matt Jones. At 6’6 237 lbs, Jones ran a sub-4.4 40-yard dash at the combine. That was probably the highlight of his NFL career because a lack of polish at his position combined with enough funds for copious amounts of cocaine was Jones’ undoing.

    Evan Engram- Here is a guy who I absolutely love as a football player. Coming into the 2016 season, there were questions as to whether Engram was a WR or a TE. Engram worked at his craft and put on some mass to silence those questions. Evan Engram is a TE and a damn good one at that. He has soft hands and the ability to create separation from defenders. He has the ability to move all over the field and create mismatches.

    Perfect Match- One coach who is known for creating mismatches is Kyle Shanahan. Currently, the 49ers are completely devoid of playmakers. Their best TE is the oft-injured Vance McDonald and they have no real weapons at the WR position. Engram would immediately become the best weapon in the passing game for the 49ers.

    Best Case/Worst Case- Engram’s best case and worst case play on the same team. I think that with Engram’s RZ ability and versatility, he could grow into a healthier version of Jordan Reed. He could also become a Niles Paul. A talented guy who’s frame just isn’t quite big enough to hold the mass necessary to compete in the NFL.

    That concludes the Perfect Match Series, if you missed the first two editions here are the links:

    Part Two

    Part One

  • Perfect Match: Finding The Next Zeke, Pt. 2

    Last Year around this time draftniks began floating the idea, “What if Zeke goes to Dallas?” It was a perfect landing spot for him, great OL, veteran QB (or so we thought), and an amazing skill set that would allow him to play 3-downs from the beginning. Sure enough, that is where Zeke found himself and the rest is history.

    But how will that affect us in 2017?

    It will surely touch off a “search for the next Ezekiel Elliott.”

    In this week’s addition of Perfect Match, I am going to breakdown the QB that I think has the highest ceiling of any QB in the draft, a RB that has garnered more hype from ESPN than anyone not named Lebron, Steph, or Tiger, and a recently injured WR who fits in perfectly with what a new OC has done in the past. These potential landing spots would significantly increase each rookie’s value, so without further ado let’s dive in.

     Pat Mahomes- Pat Mahomes is looking to do the impossible: make the jump from Air Raid QB to professional QB. For those not familiar with the Air Raid offense, it is the hyper-paced, throw first offense that has been implemented by Mike Leach, Hal Mumme, and their disciples. It has been known to produce gaudy QB stats and has popularized the shallow crossers route combination that has become one of the most effective combos in football. Sadly, this offense has had almost no correlation to NFL success. Mahomes is looking to buck that trend.

    How can he do it? For starters, he has great arm strength and also has shown the ability to use touch on passes. His willingness to take a hit has been almost as impressive as his improvisational ability. I believe the main factor in whether or not Mahomes will be a success will be his landing spot. If he is able to sit for a year or two and learn a pro-style offense, he has the highest upside of any QB in the 2017 draft class.

    Perfect Match- Mahomes perfect match would have to be Pittsburgh. The chance for him to sit and learn for a year or two behind Ben Roethlisberger would be ideal. At 6’3 230 lbs, Mahomes is a similar build, his arm talent is similar, and his escapability is like that of a Big Ben. Obviously, this is more of a dynasty taek. However, with Big Ben's propensity for getting injured Mahomes could find some early playing time in Pittsburgh.

    Best Case/Worst Case- I think that a good player comp for Mahomes is Ben Roethlisberger but since I’m in the business of firing off hot taeks I’m going to take words of advice from my man Jameis Winston and “do it big.” While Big Ben is a decent comp, I think that Mahomes could be similar to another QB that sat behind an all-time great for a couple years named Aaron Rodgers. His footwork and quick release resemble Rodgers. Maybe he will even turn into a pretentious douchebag that bangs unbelievably hot women, too. Worst case is pretty fucking bad, though. Should he not buck the trend of Air Raid QBs failing in the NFL he will join such QBs as his coach Kliff Kingsbury, B.J. Symons, Graham Harrell, Sonny Cumbie, and Tim Couch.

    Leonard Fournette- Who can forget the highlight of Leonard Fournette bucking the Auburn defender off him like a horned-up mustang on the way to a brood mare? (What was no. 28 doing?!) Fournette possesses rare power and speed with the ability to redirect and accelerate much better than last year’s power/speed guy Derrick Henry. He shows an affinity for bulldozing players but also has the agility to make defenders miss.

    Perfect Match- Fournette has been mocked to Carolina on many occasions and I think that this is a perfect spot for him to flourish. The Panthers run a power scheme and have a seasoned fullback in Mike Tolbert to put in front of Fournette on power runs. The read option between Cam Newton and Fournette is interesting as the that would make an extra defender account for the QB and allow Fournette to operate against less defender.

    Best Case/Worst Case- Leonard Fournette was a 5-star prospect in high school that lived up to the hype. Another player that fit that same billing was Adrian Peterson. AP had the same power/speed combination that Fournette possesses. If he lands in Carolina, look out for a huge year! Worst case scenario, Fournette bulks up and turns into a Greg Jones. Jones was a power/speed guy in college who didn’t translate it to the NFL.

    Corey Davis- Corey Davis will look to continue the long line of successful MAC WRs. Antonio Brown, Julian Edelman (QB), Lance Moore, Greg Jennings and Randy Moss were all stand-outs in the MAC, but it is Corey Davis who owns career records in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. He also has the chance to be picked in the top-10. At 6’3 213lbs, Davis is an impressive athlete. He is also a polished route-runner and great after the catch. His stiff arm is one of the best I have seen from a WR.

    Perfect Match- The perfect match for Corey Davis is the Buffalo Bills. Davis and Sammy Watkins would team up to form one of the most formidable WR duos in the league. In fact, they would be incredibly similar to new OC, Rick Dennison’s previous WR duo, Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Davis would have the opportunity to take over the Demaryius Thomas role in Dennison’s offense. This match is contingent on Tyrod Taylor being the Bills QB if they decide to blow up the team, all bets are off.

    Best Case/Worst Case- I tipped my hand in the previous paragraph as to who I believe is a great player comp for Davis and that is Demaryius Thomas. He might not be quite as fast as Thomas but I believe he makes up for it with better hands. I think that Davis is a relatively safe pick with a high chance of success. The only thing that could hurt him would be landing on a team that has a shitty QB. I think worst case scenario he develops into a Rueben Randle-type WR.

    Don't forget to check back next week for another installment of Perfect Match!

    If you missed the first installment, click here!

  • Why Duke Johnson's best football is still ahead of him

    Running backs adept at catching the football are often revered in fantasy football. They can turn an average fantasy scoring day into a good one, a good one into a great one, a great one into a historic one and a historic one into something you think is really, really awesome. More importantly, backs who catch the ball can alleviate the pain of a bad fantasy day on the ground, which allows the running back to become 'matchup proof.'

    What is 'matchup proof?'

    'Matchup proof' means a running back is startable no matter who he's playing against, and one way a receiving back becomes matchup proof is by defying game script. For example, if a running back finds his team down by 30 points in the first half and his team needs to pass more to get back into the game, he'll still accrue fantasy points because he'll likely be targeted on check down passes.

    While receiving is a big factor in creating consistency among RBs, it's not the only trait a running back needs to possess. He also must be a talented inside runner, a back who can generate tough yards after contact with big defenders on runs up the gut and also possess the vision and instincts to make sharp cuts up the field. This is even more true in zone blocking schemes.

    Among the traits listed above, Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson definitely fits the receiving mold, and while he hasn't shown the ability to run the ball effectively between the tackles, it's unfair to think he can't do it because he hasn't gotten a real shot at the team's 'feature back' role. He also possesses the kind of instincts and athletic ability required to make plays in the run game. In this piece, we will examine if Johnson could emerge as a breakout fantasy candidate in 2017.

    Where he could be of considerable value

    Going back to Johnson's receiving ability, it's very clear he's had potential in PPR leagues. Johnson was targeted 68 times in 2016, good for 5th most among all NFL running backs. He also ranked seventh in yards per reception at 9.7. Despite all this though, he only finished RB48 in PPR leagues, right around where T.J. Yeldon, Theo Riddick and Alfred Blue ended up.

    While the result wasn't ideal, the potential was definitely there given Johnson's role in the offense. More importantly, we've seen smaller receiving backs have very good fantasy seasons — even in standard leagues.

    One example of this is Danny Woodhead in 2015. Featured in a passing offense alongside Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers, Woodhead finished as a Top 10 fantasy back in 2015 and it was largely due to his receiving stats. Woodhead caught 80 passes for 755 yards and scored six touchdowns that season. He was also targeted over 100 times total.

    Standing just 5'8, 200 lbs, Woodhead benefited from an offense that scored a lot, which allowed him to see 37 red zone targets in 2015, which far exceeded anyone else on the team.

    Like Woodhead in 2015, Duke Johnson's role in the passing game was prominent in 2016. Unlike Woodhead though, Johnson didn't have a Pro Bowl quarterback in Rivers throwing him the ball. He instead dealt with a merry-go-round of QBs that consisted of a still-inept Robert Griffin III, a veteran in Josh McCown who also struggled, and a rookie in Cody Kessler who was actually the best of the bunch.

    Overall, the poor situation hurt Johnson's touchdown value, as he saw only 14 red zone looks in 2016. If we're going to expect bigger things from Johnson in 2016, the Browns must improve their quarterback situation.

    Hope for a bigger role

    Johnson also had to deal with playing second fiddle to Isaiah Crowell, who saw 34 red zone attempts in 2016 also.

    While Crowell was the team's dominant inside runner in 2016, he struggled with consistency as 518 of his 952 rushing yards came in four games, making him a liability from week to week. He was also woeful in pass protection.

    Crowell also finished out the final year of his contract in 2016 and the latest talk of an extension appears unlikely. While Crow managed 7 touchdowns and nearly 1,000 yards on the year, it's likely the Browns will want to spend their money elsewhere since Crowell was only valuable on first and second down and didn't change the course of the Browns dismal 2016 season.

    Crowell and Johnson are not too far off from each other in terms of talent either. According to Pro Football Focus, Johnson and Crowell graded out about the same in running and receiving. Plus, Johnson carried the ball only 73 times in 2016, which gives him less wear-and-tear for next season and makes you wonder if he could play better if he gets more carries in the offense.

    Hope for a better situation

    It's likely Cleveland will improve its situation at the quarterback position in 2017. Imagine if they locked down a quarterback like, say, Jimmy Garoppolo from New England? A quarterback with better accuracy could allow Johnson a lot more opportunity to catch the ball in stride and make plays out of the backfield. This will be something to monitor heading into the offseason.

    It's absolutely possible Duke Johnson could put together a 700+ yard receiving season given his talent, but he needs some help. He has the talent as a receiver and a good coaching staff that can maximize his skill set. He just needs a quality quarterback to go along with a bigger role in the offense next season. The latter variables could definitely turn in his favor in 2017. Keep an eye on how things fall together this offseason.

     

  • LeSean McCoy and identifying the bounce back RB

    Without sounding too philosophical, football is a lot like life. Players have good years and bad years. Some years they seem more motivated and focused while in others they're more tranquil and distracted. Sometimes they try different approaches to the game with hopes of enhancing their abilities. Eddie Lacy doing P90X workouts in the offseason to drop weight is an example of that.

    At the NFL level, even the slightest of changes to your attitude, approach to the game and overall situation can make a big difference. Identifying these changes can help you identify a value candidate in your fantasy draft.

    Take the 2016 version of Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy for example. Hailed as one of the better fantasy running backs in the league during his time as a Philadelphia Eagle from 2009-2014, McCoy was a great example of how a running back can get off track due to new circumstances only to rebound in 2016.

    Where he was in 2015

    After getting traded to the Bills in 2015, McCoy was clearly upset about departing Philadelphia. He'd grown up in the Harrisburg, Pa. after all, a place not too far from the city of Brotherly Love.

    Though the shift seemed to bother him mentally, Buffalo was another good opportunity for McCoy to produce. The Bills were expected to be one of the most run heavy teams in 2015 under new coach Rex Ryan, which they did in fact end up being. McCoy had been successful as a workhorse back before when he won the rushing title in 2013 after carrying the ball over 300 times in Chip Kelly's high-volume offense.

    But despite a great situation in Buffalo, there were some reasons to steer clear of McCoy in 2015.

    Cause for concern No. 1: Lack of focus

    We've seen star players underperform in Buffalo before. In 2007, then-rookie Marshawn Lynch rushed for over 1,115 yards but regressed each season in Buffalo until he got traded in 2010. Losing franchises can have a detrimental effect on a running back's fantasy value.

    McCoy didn't seem to. He partied in Las Vegas during the summer of 2015 and while it's easy to read into a player's behavior a bit too much, it does make you wonder if his focus was ideal at the time.

    Cause for concern No. 2: Committee of backs sniping touchdowns

    After acquiring McCoy, the Bills went ahead and drafted Karlos Williams in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. This move alone had a poor effect on McCoy's fantasy value. McCoy ended up seeing just 26 carries inside the red zone compared to Williams 14 and Williams made the most of his goal line work, scoring 7 touchdowns to McCoy's 3.

    McCoy saw just 203 carries in 2015 and finished under 1,000 yards for the first time since his injury-plagued 2012 season. He eventually tore his MCL in Week 15 and play in just 12 games.

    Cause for concern No. 3: Injury woes

    McCoy tore his MCL in Week 15 of the 2015 season and only played in 12 games overall. He also battled hamstring injuries in preseason and has had a history of dealing with lower-body injuries throughout his career. Still, he remained productive with over 1,000 yards from scrimmage that year.

    The result of all concerns was a good but not great season for McCoy. He finished as an RB17 overall in a down year for running backs. To illustrate, there were only two running backs with over 200 fantasy points in 2015. In 2016, there were 7. But McCoy still produced strong numbers given his health that season.

    Where he was in 2016

    McCoy got off to a better start in 2016. He was involved in a nightclub incident which turned out to be less of a distraction than it could've been considering the charges were dropped before the preseason. McCoy had also dropped his weight to 210 lbs in the offseason to help with his explosiveness.

    Cause for success No. 1: Karlos Williams shows up out of shape

    The running back responsible for taking away McCoy's touchdown value in 2015 turned into camp at 250 lbs, well over his listed weight of 230. The Bills cut him shortly after which shot up McCoy's value as the team's potential goal line back.

    The only back who really posed a threat to McCoy's touchdown value in 2016 was Mike Gillislee, who did manage eight scores on the year. Still, it didn't end up hurting McCoy's value all that much because of the next paragraph.

    Cause for success No. 2: A better offense

    The Bills had begun to find an offensive identity under quarterback Tyrod Taylor. They averaged 24.9 points per game in 2016, good for 10th overall. More scoring means more red zone opportunities and McCoy's 26 red zone attempts were a tremendous improvement from his 26 attempts in 2015. If the Bills could ever get a healthy Sammy Watkins for a full season, there's reason to believe their offense could be even more effective in 2017.

    Cause for success No. 3: Hybrid potential

    McCoy's enhanced role in the offense combined with Taylor's tendency to check down to running backs led to 50 receptions for McCoy, which were his most since 2013. His 350+ receiving yards alone added 35 points to his fantasy value in standard leagues and his PPR value was also among the best for running backs.

    Overall, When it comes to identifying running backs, a combination of high volume, targets and goal line touches are the recipe when it comes to opportunity. When it comes to talent, you should look at the players production from a season ago, age, health and overall mental state.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Lesson's Learned From 2016: D/ST

    A Defense can be one of the biggest conundrums in fantasy year in and year out. People tend to go with popular Defensive choices like the Seattle Seahawks or Carolina Panthers rather early in drafts. Just because it’s Round 10 doesn’t mean choose a defense. There are still valuable players and handcuffs to acquire during the latter rounds of a draft.

    Going by the finishing statistics of 2016, only one defense finished in the top five as their projection at the beginning of the season. According to ESPN Scoring, Denver Broncos D/ST had an average ADP of pick 67 which is asinine and only scored 152 points in 2016. That’s mid-fifth round in 12-team leagues and mid-sixth round in 10-team leagues. Let me ask you a question would you rather have Broncos Defense or future 2016-17 MVP Matt Ryan whose ADP was pick 114.

    Think smart on average defenses can score you 150 to 180 points in a good year depending on your league scoring. Every other position eclipses those numbers by mid-season. Kickers score more than Defenses do on average per year, and they get chosen as flier picks in the last round of every draft. Last season, the Atlanta Falcons Kicker Matt Bryant scored a whopping 212 points outscoring the highest Defense by 46 points, that’s astonishing for a position we thought was worthless.

    It’s time to implore a new philosophy of choosing Defenses last in drafts instead of Kickers.  Don’t panic when you see four or five Defenses already off the board here a few tips to finding the Defensive Gems of 2017. Choose a Defensive Unit with one of these qualities:

    ·         D/ST VS Consistent Bad QB Play

    o   Look for a D/ST that goes up against a lot of inexperienced QBs like Brock Osweiler, any Cleveland Browns QB, or Blake Borltes. Zeroing in on a defenses schedule will help you find the gems you need that will help you succeed during the regular season.

    o   Bad QB Play turns into natural points either sacks or turnovers. Rookie QB’s have a tendency of struggling against any defense, so look for those type of matchups as well.  

    o   For instance, the Chiefs was the No. 1 D/ST of 2016. They took advantage of games where they faced QBs like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Trevor Semian (twice), Jameis Winston, Brock Osweiler, and Blake Bortles. All of which are either young or turnover prone.

    ·         D/ST That Creates Turnovers

    o   Teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or San Diego Chargers were barely drafted but were some of the top turnover leaders. Tampa Bay led the league with four interceptions returned for touchdowns, which is a huge boost to any roster.

    o   Overall Arizona Cardinals high ranked defense lived up to expectation by creating a league-high 25 forced fumbles and 48 sacks.

    ·         D/ST With a Lethal Special Teams Unit

    o   Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, and Philadelphia Eagles are teams that boast lethal Special Team units. Cordarrelle Patterson, Ty ”Freak” Hill and Darren Sproles are one of a kind talents that can take any kickoff return to the house.

    All of these qualities are pertinent to selecting a Defense that will be beneficial to your team and draft position. I learned to wait on this position and collect value at others in 2016. So, try philosophy in 2017 and see if you can come out more dominant rosters from top to bottom. It always feels good to get bailed out from somewhere you least expected it. 

  • Lessons Learned From 2016: Tight Ends

    Opportunity is a bigger factor than talent in some cases. 

    The 2016 season was a disaster for the tight end position. According to fantasyfootballcalculator.com Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Reed were the no. 1 and 2 TEs taken in drafts. Gronk’s average draft position (ADP) was 2.02 and was taken as high as the 2nd overall pick. Injuries plagued him throughout the year and he finished as TE21 in standard scoring leagues.

    Reed was taken as the TE2 this season after being undrafted in 2015 but, as with Gronk, injuries limited his availability and he was just able to squeak in the top 10 TEs for the season. Drafting a tight end early is never a certainty even as we look to the 2015 season where Jimmy Graham was drafted as TE2 with an ADP of 3.08, but finished as TE17.

    The Top 3 tight ends for the 2016 season finished as 3 of the 6 TEs to eclipse the 100 target mark. Travis Kelce and Greg Olsen were the only tight ends to go over 1,000 yards for the year, on 85 and 80 receptions respectively. The knock on these players is the lack of touchdown production from a position usually known for scoring.

    In fact, 5 of the 6 previous seasons the TE1 has amassed at least 9 touchdowns, while Kelce and Olsen only combined to score 7. Gronkowski returning, Jimmy Graham becoming more involved in the Seattle offense and the random bursts of touchdowns from the Jack Doyles, Cameron Brates, and Hunter Henrys the tight end position is due for positive touchdown regression.

    Undrafted Players Making an Impact

    In standard scoring leagues, 4 of the top 12 tight ends for 2016 were not drafted. Kyle Rudolph finished the season as TE3 and led all tight ends with 132 targets and finished third in receptions with 83. Rudolph was the perfect example of waiting for a tight end late and also having tremendous opportunity. In 8 of his 15 games played with Sam Bradford at quarterback, Rudolph posted at least one touchdown and only saw fewer than 5 targets 5 times. Rudolph posted a career high in targets, receptions, and yardage.

    Cameron Brate (TE6) and Hunter Henry (TE11) both finished with 8 touchdowns which led the position. Brate entered the season battling Austin Sefarian-Jenkins for the starting spot and after ASJ was released Brate was clearly the better option. 2016 was only his third season out of Harvard but he was able to compile 57 receptions on 81 targets. Henry was a rookie entering the season with a Hall of Fame predecessor, in Antonio Gates.

    While Gates served his suspension in weeks 2 and 3, Hunter Henry began his breakout posting 9 receptions and 133 receiving yards along with a touchdown. Antonio Gates announced he will be returning for the upcoming 2017 season, meaning Henry will fall in drafts and could be a late round flier or even possibly an early waiver addition to your team.

    To top all of the undrafted lists among tight ends however is Jack Doyle finishing as TE12. Dwayne Allen’s ADP was 12.06 so cutting ties with him was not painful, but after Coby Fleener left for New Orleans Allen seemed primed for a Top 12 season only to be out targeted by Doyle by 30 targets. Doyle is a free agent as we head into the off season, so this may be a one year outlier. What it does show however is, due to Allen’s injury history and concern the second tight end in Indianapolis will have value.

    Late Round Steals in 2016

    Personal experience leads me to suggest on waiting until at least round 9 before drafting a tight end, and for the 2016 season you would have ended up with players such as Zach Ertz, Antonio Gates, or Jimmy Graham. Ertz seems to be an end of the season monster, with back to back years of not scoring a touchdown until at least week 11 and in each of his first

    4 seasons his best game has come in the second -half of the year. The average draft position for Ertz has never been higher than TE11, yet he has yet to finish outside of the top 20 for TEs each year. Gates, as mentioned before, has an heir apparent looming over his shoulder. Even with the constant threat of Hunter Henry, Gates still managed to haul in at least 7 touchdowns for the 11th time in his illustrious career. Antonio Gates finished the season tied with Tony Gonzalez with 111 career touchdowns, and has stated he will be returning in 2017 to break the record.

    An ADP of 9.07 in 2016 bodes well for players looking to find a starting caliber tight end late in drafts. The player drafted latest of the trio was Jimmy Graham with an ADP of 11.04. Graham entered the season with huge injury questions, but throughout the season he proved he was back to being his normal self. As Seattle moves toward a more pass heavy approach with the questions in their backfield, look for Graham to become the touchdown machine he was in New Orleans.

    What to Do Moving Forward

    Only twice since 2011 has the tight end drafted first for the position finished as the no. 1 tight end on the year. Every year however there is a player that was either drafted late or not drafted at all who has finished at least in the top 5 for tight ends. It is best for fantasy rosters to stock up on skill position players in the earlier rounds and grab a tight end later in drafts, or even stream the position week to week. 

Podcasts

Episode 164: Perkins, Richard and other RBs on our radar

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 00:00
On this episode of the Helpers pod, Will Pendleton and George Banko discuss several backfields including the Oakland Raiders and New York Giants. Link to original photo.
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Episode 162: Overvalued/undervalued 2017 players w/ guest Frank the Tank (pt. 2)

Tuesday, 24 January 2017 00:00
On this episode, Adam Inman talks 2017 predictions with dynasty expert Frank the Tank. You can follow Frank here @DynastyFrank. Also, follow co-owner of Fantasy Football Helpers Adam Inman @adaminman.
Read more...

Episode 163: Overvalued/undervalued 2017 players w/ guest Frank the Tank (pt. 1)

Wednesday, 25 January 2017 00:00
On this episode, Adam Inman talks 2017 predictions with dynasty expert Frank the Tank. You can follow Frank here @DynastyFrank. Also, follow co-owner of Fantasy Football Helpers Adam Inman @adaminman.  
Read more...

Episode 161: Jacksonville, backfields, and Joseph Addai

Tuesday, 10 January 2017 00:00
On this episode of the Helpers pod, Adam and George discuss the coaching changes in Jacksonville, why Giovani Bernard is one of the best dynasty keepers and why Joseph Addai is a sign that the Colts backfield could have fanta
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Episode 160: End-of-season brain droppings

Monday, 02 January 2017 00:00
On this episode, George and Adam discuss the 2016 fantasy season. They go over surprises, non-surprises and give some implications on where players might go in next year's fantasy drafts. //
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Episode 159: Fantasy playoffs part 3

Monday, 19 December 2016 00:00
On Tuesday's episode of the podcast, Adam Inman talks about good flex play options and whether or not DeAndre Hopkins is startable under quarterback Tom Savage.
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Waiver Wire

Are we sleeping on Phillip Dorsett?

Thursday, 28 July 2016 00:00
Want a chance to win hundreds of dollars weekly? Enter the Fantasy Football Helpers challenge here. The 2015 NFL Draft class was considered full of potential WR1 talent. Guys like Amari Cooper, Breshard Perriman, Nelson Agh
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Kenneth Dixon: A fun player to watch who could see carries in 2016

Tuesday, 05 July 2016 00:00
It’s always exhilarating when you draft a player who flew under the radar then watch him take off during the season—giving you bragging rights over all your friends.   Each year, a running back seems to possess that
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Can Josh Ferguson have fantasy value in 2016?

Thursday, 23 June 2016 00:00
Franco Harris in 1983, John Henry Johnson in 1962 and John Riggins in 1984. Those three running backs all share one thing in common — they were the only RBs to rush for more than 1,000 yards after turning 33 years old. Fra
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Why Devontae Booker is a great late-round flier pick

Monday, 20 June 2016 00:00
Rookie running back Devontae Booker has been one of the more polarizing draft prospects at the position this offseason. But there's good reason to believe he could be fantasy relevant this season and maybe, just maybe, snatch
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James Conner: Finish him

Tuesday, 01 September 2015 00:00
Player card Name: James Conner   School: Pittsburgh Height: 6'2     Weight: 240 lbs Class: Junior   Accolades: ACC Player of the Year (2014), led ACC in touchdowns Notable injuries: Sprained MCL (expected to miss
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Sleeper desirability rankings for 2015

Tuesday, 25 August 2015 00:00
This is the week. The third week in August, where the majority of you are polishing up your draft strategy for your fantasy football season. Keep in mind, it's not the first two picks that will make or break your fantasy seas
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The Ultimate Fantasy Football Resource

Our site's number one goal is simple — to give you valuable fantasy football advice in an entertaining way. Our other important goal is to get your grandma to learn how to use the internet and start her own fantasy football team. So many fantasy football websites are stat-based and don't stress the ultimate purpose of playing fantasy football — which is to have a good time with your friends/family. 

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About Us

Our site's number one goal is simple — to give you valuable fantasy football advice in an entertaining way.
We'll give you the edge you need to dominate your fantasy football league!

Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you. Feel free to email George Banko