REWIND – A Look Back At Our Top 25 Most Undervalued Fantasy Assets 2018 Preseason (#19-20 Justin Tucker and the Steelers DST)
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…
Justin Tucker finished #3 in PPG among kickers in 2018, and #2 in total points. Tucker continues to be a low stress option at kicker. Will he be that in 2019 with the Lamar Jackson offense? Find out in our 2019 fantasy football draft guide report package – now available! I’m am comfortable, looking back, with the call last summer on Tucker as worth a small premium for 2018.
The Steelers’ DST as a hot play from the jump, on the other hand – a dud. I don’t mind swinging and missing at DSTs because I’m likely going to stream and ride hot hands all season. I’m more looking for a hot start out of the gates defense. We didn’t get that with the Steelers. They were squashing the Browns Week 1…and then a final 10-minutes collapse including 6 turnovers by the offense led to a Browns rally late to make it a ‘meh’ DST performance. I mostly dropped them against KC Week 2, as Patrick Mahomes crushed them. They were holding down the Bucs in Week 3, and then another late game collapse (garbage action) turned something great (for their DST) into something just OK/good.
The Steelers’ defensive issue, for fantasy, keeps remaining the same – good defense (6th in yards allowed in 2018, top 10 in PPG allowed after Week 3, tied for #1 in sacks) but not good for fantasy (#28 in INTs, #19 in fumbles recovered, #29 overall in total turnovers, no return game TDs). I thought the schedule would help them the first 10 games, and it did after Week 3, but too little too late for me.
Here was my logic on the undervalued status of these two fantasy assets a year ago…
PK Justin Tucker, Baltimore
*FFM Rank in PPR: #75-85 range among all players in June 2018…ADP range: #140–160*
Everyone dismisses kickers as ‘not mattering’, or ‘easy to replace’…it’s true in many cases but not in Justin Tucker’s – the greatest kicking talent in the history of the NFL. He almost never misses and he’s deadly from 50+ yards. If you play in a 4+ points for a 40-49+ yard FG league (and 5pts for 50+)…Tucker is gold. Kickers are like fantasy tight ends…easily replaceable except Gronk…and 1–2 others at any given time. Tucker is the Gronk of kickers. Gronk led TEs with 12.2 non-PPR PPG last season…Greg Zuerlein led all kickers at 13.0 PPG. Why is Gronk a top 20 pick and a top kicker is pick 150+? I love Zuerlein too, and he’s on this report. Landing Tucker and/or Zuerlein is one of the smartest FF-strategy things you can do in a season.
Pittsburgh Steelers DST
*FFM Rank in PPR: #1-3 range among DSTs in June 2018…ADP range: #9-13+ among all DSTs*
Let me name the QBs the Steelers are set to face, in order, for the first 11 games of their 2018 season: Tyrod, Mahomes, Fitzpatrick, Flacco, Ryan, Dalton, Tyrod/Manziel, Flacco, Cam, Bortles, Keenum.
The Steelers are facing mostly C-D starting QBs (and offenses) in the NFL. The toughest QB they face is Patrick Mahomes, but that game is AT Pittsburgh and it will be Mahomes still new to starting in a hostile environment in the NFL.
The Steelers are not a top/ace defensive unit ‘on paper’ without Ryan Shazier, but they’re pretty darn good…and led the NFL in sacks last season. This is a good, emerging defense with a hole where Shazier was. I like Tyler Matakevich a lot as the fill-in for Shazier, but he’s no Shazier. This is a good, with a hole LB), defense facing the best/most favorable schedule (in our analysis) for a DST the first 12 Weeks of 2018. You’ll need a new defense for the FF playoffs (Rivers-Carr-Brady-Brees Weeks 13-16) but the Steelers DST can help get you to those playoffs with their prior run. One of our top projected defenses that isn’t trading as a DST1 in summer redrafts. A bargain!
Not a great defense…just good with a great schedule.
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