REWIND – A Look Back At Our Top 25 Most Undervalued Fantasy Assets 2018 Preseason (#5-6 Brandin Cooks and Taylor Gabriel)
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…
Two swings and misses here. One not so bad, the other was hot for a moment and then fizzled.
Brandin Cooks ended up #16 in total FF points among WRs and #18 by PPG (10+ games played), so…a bit better than his 2018 preseason ADP was but not as good as my lofty WR1 projections. I almost called Cooks’s 2018 numbers per game exactly…5.0 rec and 75.3 yards (a career high) per game, but it was the TDs that I whiffed on. I thought 10 TDs was a near guarantee…he caught half of that. I keep calling for Cooks to be a WR1 the past 2-3 years, but he ends up a WR1.5-2.0. I wonder if I learned my lesson in this year’s draft guide and best ball rankings?
Taylor Gabriel, I thought was a cheap, super-dirt-cheap shot at a WR2 in 2018 and he started out with 5+ catches a game and had back-to-back 100+ yard games in Weeks 3-4. We were rolling, and then he died. Not a TD from Week 4 on. It’s like they forgot he was on the team. It didn’t cost me much, but it didn’t work out the way I was projecting. He was a top 45 fantasy WR for 2018 scoring, better than his 75-100+ ADP he was last preseason…but not the WR2 hope I was looking for after Week 4.
What I pitched about a year ago…
WR Brandin Cooks, L.A. Rams
*FFM Rank in PPR: #10–12 range among WRs in June 2018…ADP range: #19–24+ among all WRs*
For the past three seasons, Brandin Cooks has flirted in and out of the top 10-12 fantasy scorers at WR in PPG each season. He’s been top 12 in raw point totals for three straight seasons on doing so on two different teams. He now joins his third team in three years, and lucky him – he keeps going to stellar offenses.
At a minimum, Cooks is a top 15 fantasy scorer with the Rams. He’s just that good…and proven…and he’ll only 25 years old this season. He’s still developing. I’m shocked that his June ADP is 20th+ WR off the board.
I think the Rams 2018 is the perfect spot for him…Cooks is an ace deep threat but can also play small ball (bubbles, etc.) if you want to. He can do it all. He’s high-end fast and agile, and tough. I think the Saints and Patriots misused him to some degree, constantly using him as a deep threat decoy…and even with that statement, Cooks has been a virtual star/WR1 performer over the past few years. Now, he goes to work with the best offensive mind in football and I am confident Sean McVay will use Cooks more properly and help develop him into a weapon of mass destruction. I’d bet on him as more WR1 than not in 2018. He’s a top 10 WR talent in the NFL on the best passing game in the league…he has to be a WR1 this year, he has to be.
The fact that Cooks’s ADP is so down in further evidence the football establishment still doesn’t get what Sean McVay is building with the Rams, or even seeing what they did last year! Take advantage of the Rams disrespect fantasy plays while you can…you won’t be able in 2019.
WR Taylor Gabriel, Chicago
*FFM Rank in PPR: #16–25 range among WRs in June 2018…ADP range: #75–100+ among all WRs*
New Bears head coach Matt Nagy will run the Kansas City offense to some degree. He has the schematics to how to use Tyreek Hill – and Taylor Gabriel is a Tyreek Hill-type WR. No one is as Tyreek as Tyreek, but among the contenders in a distant second…Gabriel is on that list. He’s a 4.40 runner with 6.84 three-cone and 40″ vertical at 5′7″/167. A WR who has been successful taking jet sweep running plays. In the past two seasons, he’s taken 12 carries for 100 yards rushing and a TD…only limited by the coaching staff calling his number.
Gabriel led the Falcons’ WRs in TDs in 2016 (7). He got lost with awful Steve Sarkisian taking over as O-C in 2017. He was a hot shot UDFA WR who flashed onto the scene as the Browns’ most talented WR in 2014, but the Browns being the Browns ignored him in 2015 and cut him, inexplicably, in 2016. Atlanta took a reluctant chance and Gabriel forced his way onto the roster and, after being ignored for a bit, became a breakout star in limited touches. Gabriel has so much more to give. He’s a very legit WR2 this season…as a legit #2 WR and then supplementing FF numbers with running the ball. He’s a steal at this stage of rankings.
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