Three Things from Monday Night Games + Top 5’s Update
Special added report here with the two games from Monday…I’ll do a quick ‘three things’ on the two games and I want to update the Top 5’s with (a) adjusted rank, any new players/commentary, and (b) some valuations to help guide you.
I will try to note player values in terms of as if we were REdrafting everything today, so you have an idea of what kinda value you should be shooting for or expecting, etc., if it helps…
*Also note – Tonight will be our usual Tuesday night Video Q&A where you can ask questions about waivers, FFAB budget spend, priority, trades, ‘what happened to ___?’, early Week 2 handicapping, etc. The start time will be somewhere around 930-10pmET and you can watch/listen after that/next day, etc. Exact time will be released shortly.
-- I saw a lot of things go against me this week, as can happen week—to-week, especially in Week 1. Sometimes it’s bad luck. Sometimes it’s a bad matchup. Sometimes it’s just a bad reading of the tea leaves. The number one most shocking thing of Week 1 of all the weird/bad things…the Denver DST was a complete an utter embarrassment. It wasn’t bad luck…it was a unit that was awful from start to finish. There was not a hint of Bears 2018 as I was touting. That one…it’s on me. I pushed them as potentially great. I had DEN and NE at the top going into the season and thought one tiebreaker was Week 1 matchups would get us out and rolling (NE v. PIT compared to DEN v. OAK). That was so far from correct.
It was so bad, I’m already looking to replace them for Week 2…either just replace and cut…or add a DST and sit on DEN DST for a week to see if it was just some Week 1 thing on the road, but I didn’t see one sign of life to be interested in. With a Week 2 gun to my head, having to make a fast decision…I have to make a change based on what I saw. I stick by Baker, Murray, et al…but I lost all my faith (and my handicapping money) on the Denver defense last night. What a debacle.
-- Let me make myself feel better…
Darren Waller (7-70-0/8)…I was right. He was a top 5-6 TE1 option. You saw it. Me and Matthew Berry…just me 3 years ago and then 6 months ago.
Courtland Sutton (7-120-0/8)…I told you he was one of the best WR prospects I had ever scouted. He’s the Denver #1 for sure. You got him for 8th-12th round money in redrafts!
Waller and Sutton, two of the biggest bargains of 2019. Many of you have both.
-- Tyrell Williams (6-105-1/7)…love him, but did not want to touch him against Chris Harris. Well, that was wrong. Chris Harris has been one of the best shutdown guys in the league for years, and Tyrell ate him up. Wow. So happy for Tyrell…and for me finding Tyrell for FF way before any analysts knew he was an NFL player. Sorry, I didn’t trust it for Week 1 but now it’s game-on!
-- Well, that’s what I get for doubting Carlos Hyde (10-83-0, 1-2-0/1). I thought he’d be the KC starter over Damien Williams…turns out he’s the Texans #1 guy, not Duke or Buddy Howell. Hyde looked energized again and ran the ball like a real NFL starting RB. How did he die in KC?
First, Damien Williams is the guy in KC…then it’s an RBBC because of Hyde (supposedly)…then Hyde is discussed as being cut…then Hyde cut/traded to Houston…and BOOM he’s a #1 RB for them. Strange.
Why do we stress on taking RB depth in 10-12 team redrafts, again?
Hyde is in a split with Duke Johnson (9-57-0, 4-33-0/5)…that I figured, that Duke would be in a split. I didn’t think Houston would run Duke as much. Both Hyde and Duke are random RB3s. One was drafted top 50 at one point (Duke), the other (Hyde) not even drafted in later redrafts.
-- I thought DeAndre Carter (1-0-0/1) would be important for this one game if Keke Coutee was out. That did not happen. They barely looked at him or had him at WR much. With this new personnel at the skill position in Houston, I’m not sure Coutee will matter as much either…if he is ever healthy for more than one game in a row.
-- Jared Cook (2-37-0/3) had a letdown, so his owner (hopefully not you) is desperate for a TE potentially…if you have TE excess to try to leverage. I just don’t love Brees working with anything outside of Kamara-Thomas in the passing game for fantasy. Everyone else Brees has is random blips over the years. He works two guys strong in the passing game and everyone else is random.
Top 5 ‘Buy Low’
1) George Kittle, SF – It was quite clear Kittle is this passing game. I’m going to argue he might be THEE TE to own in FF ahead. Jimmy G. is decent/good and Kittle is this offense. No TDs in this game, so Kittle wasn’t amazing…possibly gettable using a hot Week 1 TE as part of the bait.
Value = TE1 obviously, try to buy as a top 30-40 player.
2) Travis Kelce, KC – Not as good a talent as Kittle, but is with Mahomes…which makes him arguably the best TE for fantasy. In the EVERYBODY PANIC mode of Week 1, Kelce didn’t have a huge game…so you take some Week 1-wonder TE and use him + ___ player for a shot at Kelce.
Value = TE1 obviously, try to buy as a top 20-25 player.
3) Cooper Kupp, LAR – Decent game, but not a ‘wow!’ game. Back from injury. People down on the Rams in general. I’m starting to buy that Kupp is the guy for Jared Goff now. Kupp-Woods…and then Cooks. I’ve been worried Kupp is just a part of the trio, but I’m buying in that he’s the guy to have (along with Woods). This is a down week, quiet week to pay a price. You won’t steal him but he’s acquirable.
Value = Traded as a top 20-24 WR/WR2 preseason. If you can get him for a WR2.0-2.5 type of price. See if anyone is snoozing on him. You don’t go in all guns a blazing making offers direct or THEY will think you know something and value him as a WR1.5. Let them push Kupp on you.
4) Baker Mayfield, CLE – His bad game was 285 yards passing and 1 TD, and another TD pass with receiving just short of the goal line. If this was a bad game, I want in on the good games. Maybe he’s not going to push Mahomes, but he’ll be a top 5 passer for fantasy. This week, he’s going to get Trubiskied in the media, so as this day goes on and everyone makes fun of him the pressure will mount on current owners to jump off.
Value = He traded as a top 6 QB preseason, now he’ll be seen as a backend QB1…fear that it was just hype as the media mocks him all week. He’s gettable. You want for 6 pts pass TD leagues, and those with passer bonus scoring.
5) LeSean McCoy, KC – He’s the best RB they have. What’s the lead KC RB taking a 70% workload/touch count worth? That’s McCoy’s worth. He might trade as an RB2.5-3.0 in a deal right now.
Value = He was trading as an RB2, top 80-100 player preseason. He’s probably like an RB2.5/3 and top 100-120 player right now…you hope/what you want to buy in at if interested. He’s seen as a backup to DW right now, but I think McCoy will be taking over 70%+ share soon.
6) Big Ben/Jared Goff – Two down QBs you can get cheaper today, especially Goff…for those who need a Kyler QB to provide insurance. You can’t go with Kyler alone the next few weeks. I wanted you to go two QBs always, Kyler one of them. If you have just Kyler, and a junk QB2…you’re in a precarious position.
Value = Ben is a backend QB1, Goff seen as a QB2 by most today. Goff is incredible value/easy to get as a QB2 for protection on a shaky QB1 you have.
7) Christian Kirk, ARI – Kyler was trying to throw everything to Kirk. When this offense was operating early…it was Murray forcing to Kirk. Later, it was Murray forcing to Fitz. It’s a Kirk-Fitz WR group. When this thing starts humming…Kirk is going for the ride.
Value = Kirk wasn’t beloved going into this season. Like a #80-100 player overall. A WR2.0-2.5. Now, people still think Arizona is a mess so he’s falling to WR2.5/3.0 range, is your target. If you ask for him direct, he’s a WR2 to the owner. If you let the owner push him onto you, he’s more a WR2.5-3.0. Ice cold value for most…don’t let them fool you with their talk. Mix him into a multiplayer deal.
Top 5 ‘Sell High’
1) Ronald Jones, TB – If you took him in a redraft, I’m not your friend/FF-advisor. But some gambled he might get hot value for the low cost to trade after Week 1 – Bravo!! You got this one week to deal him away before he goes back to sleep. He’s not a real RB on not a real team. Watching him Sunday and seeing an OK stat line…it didn’t compute. He looks as bad as ever to me. Now that people think he’s ‘the guy’ you gotta cash out.
Value = I take anything I can get here. It would be great if you got RB2.0-2.5 value to dump in a deal.
2) Mark Ingram, BAL – This is a committee backfield and they won’t play Miami every week…although vs. ARI next week is good too. You don’t give Ingram away, but you try to sell him like an RB1 trading up into some real RB1 people are panicking on.
Value = Everyone is all-in on the Ravens. Trade Ingram closer to RB1…keep or use to get something you want if he’s just RB2, and you want out. He’s going to be dead in PPR ahead.
3) Austin Ekeler, LAC – He might score 48 TDs this season…maybe just 40, we don’t want to be too greedy. He’s still in a split with Justin Jackson and he’s not a real work horse RB. He did his damage in the passing game and Indy being bad at football.
Value = Another hype machine player from Week 1. You might steal RB1.5 value here in a deal for a PPR back of the moment that if no TDs, you got a guy getting 7-8 carries and 3-5 catches a game…there’s a bunch of those kinda guys. Justin Jackson gets hot and this is a mess.
4) Marquise Brown, BAL – You don’t have to, but the price may not get any higher than this. You got Brown on your bench (Week 1) and you just lost Tyreek. Marquise (+ ____) might help you move into a nice WR1 name. This is the one guy people are really going to love this week…rookie, cool name, cool vibe, 1st-round pick, explosive Week 1. You might hold for him to do this again Week 2 vs. ARI and then sell, but if he doesn’t pop in Week 2, he loses a good chunk of the white-hot value right now.
Value = He’s the man of the hour/week. Trade as near a WR1 as you can. He’d be a top 40 drafted player if we were redrafting now. A top 20 WR. He’s a rookie so everyone is in love. This week he has Arizona, so that might be worth asking for the moon, not getting it, let him score a big TD again this week and then get maximum value.
5) Delanie Walker, TEN – Leverage this into a Kelce-Kittle deal.
Value = He was a fringe TE1 coming in, now he’s like the #6-7-8 TE overall value. He’s good for Walker + ___ for a nice ____ on a team desperate for a TE after Week 1 panic.
6) Sammy Watkins, KC – Hold him is fine, but I’m saying…with Tyreek out and this big Week 1 and the Watkins name carrying such love for years and years – you might be able to name your own price for him…if you want to explore it.
Value = I’d ask for top 12 WR1 value or keep. Watkins + ___ for big-time top 12 type of player at any positions would be the thing. Watkins without Tyreek is gold for FF, but once Tyreek returns…it’s back to WR2-ville. People have a warped value of Watkins, so be greedy.
7) Mark Andrews, BAL – Again, not every opponent is Miami. But he’s likely to go good vs. Arizona before tailing off. You don’t want to bet long-term on Lamar Jackson passing/not playing Miami every week.
Value = Now seen as a top 5 TE threat overall. Andrews + ___ for ____ on a team desperate for TE is brilliant. I think Andrews’s value will drop fast in Week 3. Against Arizona this week, he probably has a huge week so don’t force it…be greedy.
8) T.J. Hockenson, DET – He wasn’t the game plan, he was just ‘there’…kinda like Austin Hooper. He’s an option and they threw him the ball. He’s not ‘the plan’ or a top two option like Kelce-Kittle-Ertz-Engram. He, however, is being spoken of like next Gronk again. Cash that out!
Value = The next Gronk, etc., for the masses -- coming off a huge Week…I sell it as a strong top 5 TE1 to a sucker.
9) Jimmy Graham, GB – Scored a TD, evoked memories, sell that + ___ player to get into a better TE if at all possible. Graham looks slow as ever and played 55% of the snaps.
Value = The desperate might see Graham as a backend TE1 now. Not a ton of value but could make people give up a better TE if you gave Graham as part of the makeup in the deal.
Top 5 ‘Waivers to Trust’
1) Marquise Brown, BAL – I’m trying to sell all things super ‘high’/hot’, and this is one of them. I thought this might be possible, which is why I was pushing you to consider him as a late redraft add. He’ll be the guy everyone wants...big stats, cool nickname, a rookie, everything Baltimore exciting. You want to possess this to use…but more to sell white hot.
2) Mecole Hardman, KC – You lost Tyreek Hill for a few weeks? Let’s assume the worst and get his replacement as an option. He could be the Marquise Brown of Week 2 as teams try to shutdown Sammy Watkins. KC at Oakland…a good opportunity to get him integrated for the weeks that Tyreek will be out, and just assume Tyreek out half the season (potentially)…to get in the mindset of planning forward purposes. It’s a crisis we need to fix, and if Tyreek comes back early…great.
3) Preston Williams, MIA – You know where I stand, I’ve been saying it for several weeks…not just ‘good’ but a potential superstar. The problem is two-fold: (a) ‘Miami’…but that can work in a lot of garbage time, and (b) If they push Josh Rosen it will be rocky. I like it better with Fitzpatrick, but Rosen knows Preston is the guy so it’s not out of the question Preston is his discount DeAndre Hopkins.
*NEW/ADD) Carlos Hyde, HOU – I did not believe he’d be the plan…but he is, and he looked nice. He’s a better non-PPR than PPR RB option.
4) Gio Bernard, CIN – Assuming Joe Mixon out, Gio would be an obvious RB1 threat for Week 2. It’s tricky because Mixon usually recovers fast…and then Gio is useless for you.
5) Michael Gallup, DAL – I’m a big fan, I just don’t believe in the Dallas passing game. I believe in it for the next two weeks…vs. WAS and MIA. I also think Gallup could outshine Amari all season. This might be the Tyler Boyd/2018-like breakout performer at WR in 2019.
6) Malcolm Brown, LAR – The heir apparent to Todd Gurley’s touches should something happen, and apparently working a split with Gurley…AND is likely to get the goal line work. I wouldn’t bet heavy on this because as long as Gurley is upright, Brown’s upside is very limited. This is more for the desperate or those wanting to invest in a Gurley collapse. Darrell Henderson was not the answer…not yet.
Top 5 ‘Waivers to Distrust’
1) A.J. Brown, TEN – I don’t trust this passing game at all, and I’m not going after #3-4 option WRs with Mariota. He’s a ‘rookie’, so he’s ‘magical’ and people will chase him off waivers.
2) Gardner Minshew, JAX – I’m a fan. I hope he does well. I need him to in order to salvage early Jacksonville win total bets. I think he’s better than most of the rookie QBs from the 2019 NFL Draft…but he’s not ready to take the league by storm, not in this offense/with this coaching staff.
3) Rex Burkhead, NE – I don’t want the 4th-most talented Patriots RB no matter what happened on Sunday night…no matter how bad Damien Harris looks.
4) John Brown, BUF – I don’t want to be linked to Josh Allen. This includes dropping Zay Jones in redraft.
5) John Ross, CIN – I’m always leery of Ross because he’s such a flighty, injury-prone WR. He has some skills, but he has a lot of flaws too. Big game vs. SEA, but his one longer TD was a bit of a ‘look what I found moment’.
*NEW/ADD) Ted Ginn, NO – Ginn is never consistent for FF. He has spike scoring all over. Hard to predict matchups or anything else. He’s a monster one week and then barely used the next 2-3-4 weeks.
Top 5 ‘Deep Sleeper Plays on the Radar Screen’
1) Diontae Johnson, PIT – Played 25 snaps, sorta splitting #2 duties with James Washington. The Steelers are going to figure out that Donte Moncrief is terrible, and that DJ is AB reincarnated. We need to get in early before it becomes self-evident. You may not see fruits from this until Weeks 3-4+, but it’s coming.
2) Preston Williams, MIA – In some leagues, Preston will stay under the radar – Note he scored a TD, had another he came down with but crash landing to the ground and taking a hit…the ball jarred loose. Shoulda had 2 TDs in his debut and been fully lit. He is the guy the Miami QBs look for because ‘they know’. What it’s worth playing for Miami…we’ll see.
3) Jaylen Samuels, PIT – Played a lot early in the game, to my surprise and delight. James Conner looked terrible, to my surprise and delight. It’s only a matter of time before Le’Veon 2.0 arrives…just not sure if that’s Week 3-4 ahead or Weeks 3-4 of 2020. Played 23 snaps to Conner’s 38 on SNF.
4) Dare Ogunbowale, TB – Ogunbowale is the passing game back, so that’s something…but when Jones-Barber-all of Tampa flops fully…changes will happen, and Dare may ascend. He’s in the right place at the right time.
5) Chris Thompson, WAS – When Jay Gruden’s offense and run game struggles, he goes with heavy Chris Thompson – he got a team leading 10 targets Week 1. He’s a tough one to predict usage on week-to-week.
NEW/ADD) Deon Cain, IND – As possibly the answer for Devin Funchess going down. Parris Campbell may be the better answer, but if you want to take a long shot look at a WR from the Indy issues…Cain might be the surprise. For deeper leagues, not really for 12-team redrafts, etc.
Top 5 ‘Just Quit On Them Players’:
1) Kalen Ballage, MIA – Miami is terrible, and so is Ballage. Chase something else. Kenyan Drake has a small shred of hope. Ballage almost zero.
2) Zay Jones, BUF – I don’t want in on anything to do with Josh Allen. I thought Zay might be his guy…but it’s Brown-Beasley, and I don’t want them either.
3) Darrell Henderson, LAR – Gurley and Brown. Henderson is months, a season+ away.
4) Dante Pettis, SF – Played like two snaps. ‘I’m out’. I knew something was wrong, but I held on some and even started in spots because he was the listed #1. BYE-BYE until they trade him.
5) Donte Moncrief, PIT – A truly awful free agent signing and player, and Diontae Johnson is going to take his spot/touches soon.
Top 5 DSTs Off Waivers (maybe on waivers) to Consider:
1) Bills-DST – at Eli, hosting Dalton the next two weeks…plus this defense is terrific. It’s the offense that hurts it. Week 4 vs. NE is weak, but Weeks 5-11: Mariota, BYE, Miami, Wentz, Keenum, Baker, Miami…every other week it looks nice.
2) Packers-DST – showed their stuff on TNF Week 1. Gets Cousins-Flacco-Wentz-Dak-Stafford-Carr the next 6 games…no awful matchups and a few nice ones. This defense looks like a potential ‘it’ defense.
3) Titans-DST – Their offense supports the defense. Solid talent. Brissett-Minshew-Ryan-Allen-Flacco-Rivers-Winston-Cam then next 8 weeks is pretty nice. Weeks 12-14 is JAX-IND-OAK for the FF-playoff run.
4) Chiefs-DST – not a great unit but Oakland Week 2. *NEW* Well, after MNF…maybe not so much. Ignore this…
5) Panthers-DST – Was holding their own on the Rams before the dam broke. Winston Week 2 at home on TNF. Weeks 5-6 is JAX-TB.