REWIND – A Look Back At Our Top 25 Most Undervalued Fantasy Assets 2018 Preseason (#13-14 Keelan Cole and Jordy Nelson)
For the next two weeks, I am going to show and discuss two players per day from last year’s FFM Draft Guide report on ‘The Most Undervalued Players’ (for the then upcoming 2018 season). We’re looking back at the information from last year’s draft guide to see how it worked out and what we can learn for this season (if anything).
In general, if you were with us last year, it should’ve been a pretty good run. 2018 was the best in-season records and highest seasonal points scored in the near decade of draft guides and strategy reports in the summer/preseasons for subscribers. A lot of it due to the players we offered as undervalued because we not only talked about it – but we put a redraft/best ball (and dynasty) strategy built around grabbing these guys before others were even thinking about it. Some of you were mocked for who you took and when you took them – and then you started setting scoring records and shut them up (well, they never shut up…let that be a lesson to never worry about what the mainstream people are doing – we ‘play’ them like fiddles why they mock our moves, but who’s always one-step ahead in drafts, waivers, and trades?).
I’m going to republish two players per day starting with #27-28 on the list and go for 14 days to the end of June 2019. We’ll see if the concepts were smart or dumb…and what the lesson might be a year later. Our undervalued report is looking for lower cost, great ROI opportunities – not all will pan out but enough of them will…and some of them were ‘liked’ players by many but we considered undervalued because we projected them cornerstone players trading as ‘might be good’ for the masses in summer 2018.
It’s a review and learning series and also a pitch to show what info/intel you new folks to FFM in 2019 missed last season. We do it differently here…it will likely freak you out at first, make you say, “No one else is saying that…it can’t be right,” but that’s just your long-term fantasy-brainwashing talking. I know, I used to be captive as well.
Come walk the road less traveled with us…
The Cole and Nelson WR-duo was mud puddle in the road on the journey to playing with the next 12 names to come on the undervalued list. Both Cole and Nelson did not live up to my billing, but they did for a stretch…it was a weird season for both of them.
Cole began the season as the Jags top WR (no Marqise Lee) coming off his shocking, top 3 among rookie WRs 2017 season. The first three weeks of 2018: 5.0 rec., 70.0 yards, and 0.33 TDs per game. A useful WR2, as projected. Then the wheels fell off the season for the Jags – their 3-1 start (and a defeat of NE) quickly turned to 7-game losing streak and the offense imploded with a devastated O-Line and Blake Bortles. Cole went from top WR for a bad team to also ran WR by midseason, struggling with some drops and Cody Kessler’s nightmare run as starting QB. Cole warmed back up a bit for a game or two late in the season but pretty much after Week 3, he was nothing for fantasy usefulness.
Jordy had the opposite issue – the Raiders struggled out of the gates, and Jordy was lowly targeted after two weeks. I remember everyone bailing on him in fantasy going into Week 3, in redraft. Week 3, he popped for 6 catches, 173 yards, and a TD and everyone came flying back in. A TD three-straight weeks from Weeks 3-5 and everyone was down with Raiders new #1 WR, Jordy Nelson. Then Jordy had a few quiet games after the TD surge, then nicked up and doing nothing…and then do you realize he finished his last 5 games/weeks as a top WR again? 7.6 catches (9.6 targets), 77.2 yards per game, but no TDs over his final five games. He was a key waiver pickup late in the season for the FF-playoff run.
A weird season for Jordy. He was either a useless WR4-5 for a stretch or running as a PPR WR1.5-2.0 for stretches. Eight games with nice performances and seven useless duds. A fringe WR3 on average but had spikes where he was a difference maker as a fantasy starter. Strange that he’s out of football right now after such a strong finish to 2018, and several solid performances.
Either way, these guys did not sustain my WR2 projections overall.
What I pitched on them a year ago…
WR Keelan Cole, Jacksonville
*FFM Rank in PPR: #23-27 range among RBs in June 2018…ADP range: #50-55*
Marqise Lee is officially on I.R. which paves the way for the already starting Keelan Cole. Why I’m so excited – Cole should no become the official go-to target from Bortles, and I get that the ‘Bortles’ part of that equation is scary, but Lee was a nice WR2 most of last season. Cole’s floor is WR2.5. His ceiling is more WR1.5 in PPR.
Why I’m really excited, and you 2017 FFM’ers know why – one of the great scouting calls of my football tenure…Keelan Cole is possibly the new Antonio Brown. Sensational hands. High-end athlete. Just a smart, great WR…that’s why he went from UDFA to Jags best WR in one season last year.
I get that there is no Big Ben to help light this candle. I get the Jags are a run-first team. But they have to throw to somebody, and their best WR is Keelan Cole. It has to equal WR2 status, you'd hope.
WR Jordy Nelson, Oakland
*FFM Rank in PPR: #20-25 range among RBs in June 2018…ADP range: #35-40*
When the Packers just ditched Jordy Nelson, after a really underwhelming 2017 (after Aaron Rodgers went down), I thought it meant Jordy was about to wrap up his NFL career. If there was anything left in the tank the Packers would have never let their great WR and BFF of Aaron Rodgers go…at least, that’s what I thought. Jordy definitely looked beat in 2017.
A few weeks ago, I heard Jon Gruden losing his mind with how good and fast Jordy looked in 11-on-11’s, and my interest was piqued, but Gruden hypes a lot of things. He wasn’t mentioning Amari in a long interview but falling all over Jordy. I took note.
In the first preseason game, Jordy looked like the old Jordy; a nice bounce in his step. The targets with the 1's starting (briefly) Week 1 of the preseason went to Jordy not Amari. On the sidelines, Jordy was cutting up with Derek Carr…Amari not in the camera shots I saw.
Everything is pointing towards Jordy and not Amari, yet Jordy’s ADP is double Amari’s. A steal in fantasy redrafts right now. Not for long.
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