by Nick Ercolano
September 10, 2018
Week 1 is in the novels, so we're looking at snatching the gold mines off of the waiver wire. Let's get it. This list will only be composed of players owned in 55% or less of Yahoo leagues.
1. Case Keenum - Denver Broncos
- Yahoo Ownership: 25%
Keenum unsurprisingly had a solid week 1 fantasy outing against Seattle's depleted secondary, throwing for 329 yards, 3 TDs and 3 INTs on 25-of-39 passing. And as expected, Keenum put his talented weapon group to good use, targeting Sanders 11 times, DT 10, Sutton caught 2-for-45, and it looks like they'll have a legitimate pass-catching back in Philip Lindsay - we saw Keenum target RBs a ton in Minnesota last year. What's more encouraging is that it looks like Denver will let Keenum air it out, something that capped his upside for the Vikings last year. He threw the ball 39 times in Week 1, a number he hit just twice in 15 regular season games last year. In both of those games, he threw for at least 280 passing yards and multiple scores. He gets an Oakland defense that was awful against the pass in 2017, and I can't imagine it's going to be improved following the lose of Khalil Mack. He's a viable streamer for Week 2 as well as Week 4 when the Broncos host the Chiefs pass d who just allowed 4 passing TDs to Patrick Mahomes.
- Next three matchups: OAK, @BAL, KC
- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No
- FAAB Spend: $4-5
2. Tyrod Taylor - Cleveland Browns
- Yahoo Ownership: 12%
Here's the takeaway from this one: In a game in which Tyrod Taylor went 15-for-40 passing, for 197 yards, he still finished as a top-5 fantasy QB, ahead of Tom Brady - thanks to his tremendous rushing floor. If you're not good at math, or too lazy to grab your calculator, that's a 37.5% completion rate, only Nathan Peterman had a lower completion % among starting QBs in Week 1. Much of this can be attributed to the weather in CLV, heavy wind and rain, so I'm not worried about the completion %. Along with his 200 yards passing and one passing score, Taylor led NFL QBs in week 1 with 77 rushing yards on 8 carries and a rushing score. That, of course, is why you use a guy like Tyrod. In better weather conditions, with this group of weapons, Taylor's passing stats will be much better, while still providing you an extra 3-4 (sometimes 8-10) fantasy points with his legs.
That better weather will come next week as they travel to NO to face off against the Saints in the dome. The Saints defense that was supposed to be amazing right? The Saints defense that just let up 417 passing yards and 4 passing TDs, AND another 36 rushing yards and a rushing TD to Ryan Fitzpatrick and this Bucs offense. If you decide to pick him up and sit him against the Saints, that's alright, but you could definitely use him at home versus the Jets and at Oakland in the following weeks.
- Next three matchups: @NO, NYJ, @OAK
3. Mitchell Trubisky - Chicago Bears
- Yahoo Ownership: 18%
SNF wasn't a completely encouraging game from Trubisky, but he made a couple of great throws and this offense, as well as the entire team, is much improved, it was easy to see off the rip. Mitchell Trubisky completed 23-of-35 passes for 171 yards in Sunday night's Week 1 loss to the Packers, adding seven carries for 32 yards and a rushing touchdown.
Like Tyrod, Trubisky has that rushing floor that always eases the mind as a fantasy owner. Trubisky looked to have a solid rapport with Allen Robinson, leading the team with 61 receiving yards - but no one had a big day statistically, I think those will come in time. That'll happen when you get up really big, really quickly, thanks to Khalil Mack the Snack almost single-handedly winning the game.
But, again, what's more encouraging is the 35 pass attempts from Trubisky. He hit that number just 3 times in 12 starts in 2017. In 2 of those 3 games, he threw for at least 295 yards. So, in a creative offense like this, if Trubisky can string together more positive passing performances, throwing the ball accurately, now with what seems to be two RBs that can catch the ball, Howard catching 5-of-5 targets, A-Rob, Burton, Anthony Miller (who I'm still sitting on), Trubisky could be a true surprise this year. Over his next three matchups, 2-of-3 being at home, he faces off against teams that got torched by the passing game. SEA at home, 329-3 to Keenum, ARZ on the road, 255-2 to Alex Smith, TB at home, 429-3 to Brees.
- Next three matchups: SEA, @ARZ, TB
- FAAB Spend: $5-8
***Why no Fitzmagic? They get the Philly defense next week, and I'm not really buying that they sit Winston when he returns, so you can't really use him in Week 2, don't spend FAAB for a one-week rental, in two weeks, time-value of money concept people.
1. Phillip Lindsay - Denver Broncos
- Yahoo Ownership: 3%
So, the concerns for Royce Freeman's lack of passing-game involvement were well warranted. But not because of Devontae Booker, because of UDFA Phillip Lindsay out of the University of Colorado. Reports out of camp all summer pegged Lindsay as a huge unexpected positive and somewhat breakout. Let's take a look at Lindsay:
PlayerProfiler has him listed at 5'7, 184lbs, but Rotoworld has him at 5'8, 190lbs. His role is going to be in the passing game. You can see by the metrics, he's a very quick, 71st % burst score, and good breakaway speed, 4.44-40. 85th % college dominator, but more importantly a 92nd % college target share.
A monster producer in college - going for over 1,700 scrimmage yards in both his junior and senior seasons, and that 301 carries in 2017 led the NCAA. Given his build, he probably won't develop into an NFL workhorse, but Lindsay needs to be owned in ALL leagues.
In their third preseason game, he was playing plenty of snaps with the ones as well and we saw that continue right into the season. Week 1 usage. Royce Freeman played on 29-of-74 snaps, Lindsay right behind him with 26 snaps, Booker with just 19. Freeman and Lindsay both rushed exactly 15 times for 71 yards (4.7 ypc), but Lindsay caught 2-of-3 targets for 31 yards and a touchdown. Freeman wasn't targeted at all.
While both backs, if not all three, will certainly be involved moving forward this might be a hot-hand approach. I still lean Freeman, as he'll likely be the GL back, which we didn't have evidence of in this week, but we saw throughout the preseason, but in bad game scripts, Lindsay should be the play here. They get two home games/great matchups versus the Raiders in Week 2 and KC in Week 4 - Lindsay can certainly be a flex option in PPR formats as early as next week.
- Use #1 Waiver Wire: Yes
- FAAB Spend: $15-20
2. T.J. Yeldon - Jacksonville Jaguars
- Yahoo Ownership: 15%
Welp, take a victory lap if you faded Fournette in szn-long due to injury concerns, because about 8 seconds into the Jags' Week 1 win over the Giants, Fournette went to the locker room nursing a hamstring injury. When seen afterward, he was noticeably limping, but HC Doug Marrone said he's optimistic about the injury and doesn't consider it serious. But as a Fournette owner, you definitely should. This is something that could certainly linger for a while if not given the proper time to rest, we saw how much less explosive Fournette became last year after his ankle injury, and these types of injuries give him a high re-injury risk to not just the hamstring, but other parts of his lower body.
T.J. Yeldon operated as the featured back once Fournette left, which is a role projected to be very, very high volume. Fournette had 9 carries and 3 receptions before leaving in the 2nd quarter. For the game, Yeldon out-snapped Corey Grant 39-7, seeing 17 touches on those 39 snaps, to Grant's 1. Yeldon wasn't great, turning 14 carries into 51 yards, but he saw a team-high 7 targets, catching 3 of them for 18 yards and a touchdown.
Yeldon will be used heavily if Fournette misses time, this is a situation to monitor super closely. The hamstring is one that might cost him a few weeks, Yeldon will be a plug-and-play RB2 with a high-volume floor in 3 straight home games.
- Next three matchups: NE, TEN, NYJ
- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No (Unless Fournette's absence is elongated, or you are a Fournette owner)
- FAAB Spend: $12-18
3. Austin Ekeler - Los Angeles Chargers
- Yahoo Ownership: 17%
I don't want everyone going nuts here due to the Charges high-powered offensive output came against an awful Chiefs defense, but the Chargers running backs were clearly featured in this one - and a huge receiving role at that. Even with Melvin Gordon touching the ball 24 times, 9 being receptions, Ekeler managed to see double-digit touches, and as he frequently did in 2017, was super efficient with them. Ekeler ran for 39 yards on 5 rushes (7.8 ypc), but more importantly added 87 yards and a touchdown through the air, catching all 5 of his targets. Gordon saw 76% of their snaps, Ekeler 27%.
When given touches, Ekeler has been nothing but incredible for the Chargers. Still, at just 27% of the team's snaps, it's going to be hard to predict his usage week-over-week, and I'm not really comfortable using him in my flex yet, but of course, if something were to happen to Gordon, he becomes an instant RB2 with major upside in PPR leagues.
- Next three matchups: @BUF, @LAR, SF
- FAAB Spend: $5, $10+ if Gordon owner.
4. Suck Allen - Baltimore Ravens (will be listed under Javorious)
The Ravens backfield is still a mess for fantasy purposes, and it's hard to say it got any clearer following their Week 1 blowout of the Buffalo Petermans, 47-3. Alex Collins was the starter obviously, he rushed the ball 7 times for 13 yards, including a powerful TD run, but was briefly benched following a 2nd quarter fumble, but the score was 26-0 at halftime and the Ravens saw no reason to keep their starting back in the game any longer.
All three Raven's RBs scored a rushing TD, but Suck Allen actually led the team seeing 38% of their snaps, Collins, 30% and Dixon 29%.
However, the big news following the game is that Kenneth Dixon will miss "some time" with a knee injury. The term "some time" is never good. That usually means week-to-week, and week-to-week in the middle of the szn tends to affect the entire season. So, we're down to Collins and Suck. Allen is clearly going to be used in this offense as the primary pass-catching back. He tied for the team-high with 6 targets, leading the team with 5 catches of course turning that into a miserable 15 yards or 2.5 YPT. He's a good add in PPR formats, but doesn't project to get a ton of work rushing the ball as Collins' backup.
- Next three matchups: @CIN, DEN, @PIT
- FAAB Spend: $5-8 (in PPR)
5. James White - New England Patriots
- Yahoo Ownership: 49%
Can't say I'm surprised to be sitting here saying that James White led the Patriots in targets in their Week 1 over the Texans at home. While Burkhead led the backfield in touches with 19, White saw 9 targets to Burk's 3, catching 4 of them for 38 yards and a touchdown. He added an additional 5 carries for 18 yards as well. Per Adam Levitan, White lined up in the slot 7 times, and 3 times out wide. And per Matthew Berry, this literally might be the first time I've ever quoted something from Matt Berry on my channel - he tweeted out that "No QB has more passing TDs to RBs over the past 3+ seasons (24) and White came into this season as the only RB with 3+ TD catches in each of the past 3 seasons". So, I think the takeaway here is that, unless it's going to be a ridiculously bad game script for White, he'll still be heavily involved, especially while Edelman's out.
So, over the next two weeks, the Pats travel to Jacksonville and to Detroit, before a home game against Miami. Those two games on the road, while I do expect the Pats to be favorites, won't be no-brainer victories, so look for White to remain heavily involved. Jacksonville is good all-around on defense, allowing just 4 catches on 8 targets for 31 yards against a Giants backfield that obviously is showcasing Saquon Barkley. White is a much better PPR play, of course.
- Next three matchups: @JAX, @DET, MIA
- FAAB Spend: $7-8 (in PPR), $3-5 (in STD)
6. Marlon Mack/Jordan Wilkins/Nyheim Hines - Indianapolis Colts
- Yahoo Ownership: 51%/36%/5%
It definitely wasn't an inspiring Week 1 performance from the Indy backfield, but we do have some takeaways. I went back and re-watched the entire Colts side and their offensive weapons. Wilkins was the starter and handled a heavy workload, getting 17 touches. If you told me that prior to the game, I'd feel pretty good about Wilkins in my lineup. So, there were comparisons of Wilkins to a Matt Forte in the preseason, and after watching the game, I can say I agree in that he can do everything well but nothing exceptional, however, he's Matt Forte, if he was at 0.75x speed. So, you know how in YouTube, you can click the little settings bar on the bottom of this video and either slow down or speed up the video - that's kind of what Wilkins is. Forte is the original video, Wilkins is the video slowed down to 0.75x.
Wilkins rushed 14 times for 40 yards, 2.9 ypc and caught 3-of-3 targets for 21 yards. Wilkins' numbers were pedestrian, but he got almost no room to run behind this line, in his defense. Nyheim Hines would run it 5 times for 19 yards but saw 9 targets, catching 7 of them for 33 yards. Wilkins was in on 58% of their snaps, Hines 45%. The takeaways for me is that, for one, Christine Michael is clearly far behind these other two, he had just carries and played on 3% of the snaps.
Wilkins was used inside the 10Z pretty heavily, as well as on the GL, he didn't get in but he got the carry as well as a target down there. Hines, while he did see a lot of opportunities, when I rewatched the game, I would say 80-90% of his carries/targets came on the 2-minute drill of both the 1 and 2H of the game. Not really sure what that means tbh, but it didn't seem like Hines was a big part of their gameplan outside of that.
The big question mark is what happens when Mack returns to the lineup, which will be soon, he practiced on both Thursday and Friday last week before being ruled an inactive for Week 1. The fact that none of the IND backs played well, leaves the door wide open for Mack to resume his role as the starter. It's very possible that this remains an RBBC throughout, but the guys who usually emerge are from unclear backfields.
I'll take Marlon Mack in a vacuum, who's still available in 49% of leagues, Wilkins isn't a bad consolation prize who's available in 64% of leagues, seeing as he is the clear starter if Mack isn't back for Week 2. For now, none of them can be considered anything more than a deeper flex play, but the have that middle-of-the-year breakout upside. Hines, I'm not touching outside of a PPR league.
- Next three matchups: @WAS, @PHI, HOU
- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No/No/No
- FAAB Spend: $7-8, $4-5, $1-2
7. Darren Sproles - Philadephia Eagles
- Yahoo Ownership: 4%
It's clear that the Eagles have no plans on easing Sproles back into a workload even at 35, coming off of a torn ACL. Sproles started for the Eagles in Week 1 against the Falcons and led the backfield at halftime in snaps with 21 to Ajayi's 9 and Clement's 4. The snap count would tighten up but Sproles still led the backfield with 29 plays to Ajayi's 28. Ajayi would bring home the bacon thanks to his two rushing touchdowns, but Sproles was heavily involved, rushing five times for 10 yards but more importantly, he was the only Eagles RB to see a target in the passing game. 7 of them to be precise. He caught 4-of-7 for 22 yards. Obviously, he's going to be used in Philly. It's not like they were trailing, or in hurry-up mode to the point where they had to use Sproles, it was a close game throughout and chose to use Sproles heavily. It's possible this was their plan given the Falcons are one of the most generous teams in the NFL in terms of giving up receiving work to RBs so they could've been looking to exploit that, but either way, Sproles is a solid pickup in PPR leagues especially.
- Next three matchups: @IND, TB, @TEN
- FAAB Spend (STD/PPR): $2-3/$5-7
1. Geronimo Allison - Green Bay Packers
Following the summer, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Geronimo Allison played exclusively as the Packer's WR3, and was productive in that role. Allison played on 63% of GB's offensive snaps, Cobb 81% and Adams 89%. The only rookie to play at all was Marquez Valdes-Scantling, he saw a single snap.
Rodgers peppered all three of his top wideouts, finding all three for scores. Allison caught a beautiful deep pass from Rodgers on a 39-yard TD strike. We know exactly who's roles are what, and Allison is the 3 here, that's good enough analysis to be owned as long as Aaron Rodgers is the Packer's QB. Allison is also represented by VaynerSports, Gary Vaynerchuk's sports agency - that's a plus in my book.
Cobb went bonkers, but that foot still scares me and if something were to happen to either of GB's top 2 WRs, Allison should be in for a monster workload.
- Next three matchups: MIN, @WAS, BUF
- FAAB Spend: $15
2. Chris Godwin/DeSean Jackson - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Yahoo Ownership: 30%/25%
I mean.... I literally sat Mike Evans this week because Steve walked in my room, and I was like yo, I have Mike Evans in, what do you think about Mike Evans vs. Doug Baldwin, - he's like "Baldwin for sure bro". Keep in mind, he doesn't watch football and has never played fantasy football in his life. But, me, being the good friend that I am, listened to him. That didn't go so well, considering Ryan Fitzpatrick and this Bucs offense was out of control.
Every receiver in this passing offense ate on Sunday, including Godwin and Jackson who are available in over 70% of Yahoo leagues. Y'all already know Godwin was one of my favorite WR sleepers entering the season, and he didn't disappoint - playing on 67% of snaps, converting 4 targets in three catches for 41 yards and a touchdown. He had a catch on a slant up the middle, where he dove, full extension, it was just so beautiful, my god.
DeSean Jackson, went fucking nuts - catching all 5 of his targets for 146 yards and two touchdowns. The touchdowns came from 58 and 36 yards out. He basically did yesterday, what everyone thought he would do when he came over to TB last year. However, D-Jax left the game in the 4th quarter with a concussion, so his Week 2 status is up in the air. If Jackson is out, Godwin will be in line for a huge workload, and like John Paulsen tweeted out this summer: In five games where Chris Godwin played at least 50% of the snaps, he has averaged 4.2-73-.20 on 7.2 targets per game. Adding in Sunday's game and we have 24 catches for 406 yards and two scores in those 6 games. They have a tough home game versus Philly next week, but I'd be comfortable with Godwin in my flex if Jackson is out.
- Next three matchups: PHI, PIT, @CHI
- Use #1 Waiver Wire:
- FAAB Spend: $15/$8
3. Brandon Marshall - Seattle Seahawks
- Yahoo Ownership: 8%
We're getting desperate here, and this one hurts, but with Baldwin one knee injury away from having no legs left, Marshall seems to be the next one up in terms of the Seahawks top possession receiver. Seattle is still gauging exactly how much time Baldwin will miss. Grade 2 "sprains" typically result in a 2-3 week absence pending severity.
Marshall served as the Seahawks top WR, catching 3-of-6 targets for 46 yards and a touchdown, and serving as a primary EZ target. With Jimmy Graham gone, Paul Richardson gone, Baldwin out for an extended period, Russell Wilson is badly in need of playmakers and EZ threats, Marshall has the chance to be both. Lockett is owned in more than 55% of leagues, but he's obviously a good pick-up as well if available in your league.
- Next three matchups: @CHI, DAL, @ARZ
- FAAB Spend: $10
4. John Brown - Baltimore Ravens
- Yahoo Ownership: 20%
With a revamped group of weapons, Lord JOEY FLACCO took his game to new heights, connecting with all three of his new pieces, in John Brown, Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead for touchdowns.
Brown would finish the game hauling in 3-of-4 targets for 44 yards and a score, playing in 60% of the snaps, behind only Crabtree's 64%.
The Ravens obviously got up huge, quickly on the Bills, so we didn't see what would've happened down the stretch, but Brown is just as much of a full-time player as Crabtree, which much more big-play ability. And unlike John Ross, who I think a lot of drafters compared the two to this summer, we've seen Brown produce on an NFL field. Health was always the issue, and so far his health checks out. And if you were curious, Willie Snead was the slot receiver for BLT, running 84% of his routes from there. I'm not too high on Snead, would rather have Crab or Brown.
The Ravens get a much tougher slate over their next three so we'll find out where we stand with this receiving core over the next few weeks.
- FAAB Spend: $8
5. Ryan Grant - Indianapolis Colts
I'm not particularly excited by Grant, I think his upside is capped as a playmaker. However, he saw 9 targets from Luck on Sunday and caught a team-high 8 passes. It was clear where Luck was throwing most of his passes, short and over the middle. Luck looked good on Sunday, or about as good as we can expect him to look at this point and he'll only get stronger as the year goes on. He had a few beautiful strikes in the air, T.Y. Hilton dropped a beautiful deep ball Luck put in a bucket for him, but for now, Luck will be checking down a ton.
Grant turned those 9 targets in 59 yards and 8 catches, so you're looking at a near 14-point PPR performance, and this is where he'll make his money. I wouldn't touch him in STD, and am hesitant in half-ppr, but full ppr, Grant should put up plenty of double-digit performances.
6. Ted Ginn Jr. - New Orleans Saints
While a lot of people were hoping to see more of the rookie Tre'Quan Smith in this one, literally the perfect game script for a big playmaker like him to take advantage of, it didn't happen. While Ginn's 5-68-1 line was the fifth or 6th most impressive receiving performance of the game, the takeaway here is that Ginn is the clear WR2 in this offense, in one that projects to be high-scoring, especially if that defense takes a step back. MT was an every-down player of course, but Ginn played on 77% of their snaps, while was 3rd, seeing 64% of their snaps, Meredith didn't suit up and Smith was on the field for less than 16% of them.
What's interesting is that according to PFF - Ginn took 55% of his routes from the slot, while Carr was in the slot for 33% of his snaps, MT (51%). Michael Thomas absolutely dominates from the slot, and that was a known stat coming into 2018, but if they continue to use him that way, he could very well end up as a top-3, if not the WR1 in fantasy.
Regardless, Ginn is the WR2 for Drew Brees, playing a majority of their games in a dome, he's a good play.
- Next three matchups: CLE, @ATL, @NYG
7. Dante Pettis - San Francisco 49ers
- Yahoo Ownership: 1%
The 2nd round rookie out of Washington looked fantastic in Sunday's game against Minnesota. He was running crisp routes, gaining separation with ease against the Vikings 1st round CB Mike Hughes - he'd wind up finishing the game with 61 yards, catching 2-of-5 targets and a touchdown.
Of course, the big storyline here is Marquise Goodwin, who left the game early with a quad injury, tried to return, and had to leave the game again. It's a situation to be monitored. I mean, it's impossible to predict injuries, but I tweeted this out a few weeks ago:
Another injury to this already concerning list is not a good thing. If he were to miss time, George Kittle, Pierre Garcon, and Dante Pettis would all get a bump. Pettis became a full-time player without Goodwin, playing on 73% of their snaps over the course of the entire game. If Goodwin misses time, Pettis is a solid add, although they get a tough slate of games. But if Trent Taylor were to operate in the slot, and Garcon were on the outside seeing the opposing teams CB1, Pettis could be in for a really dynamite stretch.
- Next three matchups: DET, @KC, @LAC
8. Phillip Dorsett - New England Patriots
Welp, the biggest L of Week 1 for the #brand had to be the disappearance of Chris Hogan. While Hogan dominated the snap count, he just seemed to be phased out of the Patriots game plan, while Dorsett operated in the Brandin Cooks role, leading all NE wideouts in targets (7), receptions (7), yards (66) and touchdowns (1), adding four rushing yards. While Hogan led the Patriots in snaps (89%), Dorsett wasn't far off (75.3%). The next closest WR was Cordarrelle Patterson at 20.5% - they opted to utilize their TEs and RBs heavily in the passing game.
I'm still very high on Hogan, he ran 26 of his 69 snaps from the slot, which usually translates into points with Brady - but it does warrant the real concern that you may not know what you're getting out of the Patriots offense on a week-to-week basis. They have a tough matchup against JAX next week, but you can probably fire up Dorsett in Weeks 3 and 4, at least while Edelman is gone as a flex play.
- Next three matchups: @JAX, @DET, MIA
1. Jonnu Smith - Tennesee Titans
RIP to a real one, Delanie Walker - he fractured his ankle as well as messed up some ligaments here - so he's done for the year. Next man up is Jonnu Smith - he's someone that in my dynasty late round picks video I made a few months back, I said to target as I see him as the heir apparent to Walker's role in this offense. Check him out:
Ridiculously good metrics, 92nd % SPARQ athlete, very young but got to learn behind Delanie during his rookie year which should get him up to speed. I think Jonnu is in a really good spot to break out given the opportunity. BUT what concerns me is Marcus Mariota, who also left the game with a hand injury, leaving Blaine Gabbert to take over. If Maritoa misses time and Gabbert is operating this offense, I won't be starting any pass-catchers here. If Mariota is back, and reports are saying he's likely to play next week, then Smith is a guy I want on my roster. They have a really touch schedule over their next few in HOU, JAX and PHI, but Gronk just ate against HOU, Smith will be a TE2 with TE1 upside as the year goes on.
- Next three matchups: HOU, @JAX, PHI
- FAAB Spend: $7-10
2. Benjamin Watson - New Orleans Saints
- Yahoo Ownership: 39%
Old reliable. Watson came away from Sunday's shootout between the Saints and the Bucs with just 4 catches and 4 targets worth 44 yards, but it's a reminder that he's a high-floor, medium-ceiling TE in PPR that can be had for next to nothing. Brees was slinging downfield, likely because most of the Bucs CBs were out and that's where he saw he could exploit, but I expect Watson to be more involved in the game plan going forward. He's old, but he's still a super reliable pass-catcher and I think Brees will use that to his advantage in the RZ, as he did in 2015 when Watson caught 74 passes from Brees in New Orleans.
- FAAB Spend: $3-5
3. Eric Ebron - Indianapolis Colts
- Yahoo Ownership: 33%
Here's what I'll say about Ebron:
Ebron did flash yesterday, but the usage for Doyle was much more encouraging. TDs are very hard to predict, week-over-week, but it's clear who the TE1 is. That being said, Luck uses his TEs near the EZ as much as anyone in the league, and the trend doesn't seem to be stopping now that he's back. I think you're going to need a TD out of Ebron to have a good week from him, but there's a decent chance it happens, so.
- FAAB Spend: $2-3
4. Ian Thomas - Carolina Panthers
- Yahoo Ownership: 0%
Another beneficiary due to injury, Ian Thomas is in line to take over as the starting TE for the Carolina Panthers, following what seems to be a serious foot injury for Greg Olsen. He was in a walking boot before the game even ended - it doesn't look good for his 2018 prospects. Ian Thomas is a 4th round rookie from the University of Indiana.
As you can see, his metrics are good, given his 6-4, 260 size. Good burst, agility, catch radius, he had a mini-breakout during his 2017 season at Indiana, catching 25 passes, averaging 15.0 YPR and scoring five times. Reports out of camp have been good on the rookie, being called "the surprise of camp" at one point. I highly doubt we see near the level of production that we've become accustomed to from Greg Olsen over the years, but this is a role in the Panthers offense that's constantly seen between 20-25% of the teams targets. I'm sure a lot of that has to do with Olsen being who he is, but it's notable nonetheless. A brutal slate of HOU, Jax, PHI they'll get over their next 3.
5. Will Dissly - Seattle Seahawks
- Yahoo Ownership: 2%
One of the biggest surprises of Week 1 was Will Dissly, the Seahawks 4th round rookie TE out of U of Washington. He's 6'4, 255lbs and isn't even in the PlayerProfiler database. He was profiled as a blocking TE, and didn't catch many balls in college, but he went off on Sunday, bringing in 3 of his 5 targets from Russell Wilson, getting up to 105 yards and a TD. It's possible that this is his biggest game of the year, probably his career to be honest, but there's a gaping RZ hole given the departure of Jimmy Graham.
Dissly and Nick Vannett both played on exactly 60.8% of Seattle's offensive snaps. If we see that split slowly starting to creep in favor of Dissly, he'll be someone to keep an eye on.
- Next three matchups: @CHI, DAL, @ARZ
- FAAB Spend: $1-3
6. Jesse James - Pittsburgh Steelers
This pick is boring as shit, and I'm upset I had to waste my time on it tbh, but as long as Vance McDonald is sidelined, which is often, James will be an option for Big Ben, and they get KC at home next week. James caught 3-of-5 targets for 60 yards on Sunday, which is probably an output you can expect, give or take a target or two, and about 15-20 yards, with a 30% chance of scoring.
It's not exciting, but if you're in a 14 or 16 team league and you lost your guy to injury on Sunday, he's not the worst pick up.
- Next three matchups: KC, @TB, BAL
- FAAB Spend: $1
*** There is not one, specifically, that I want to pick up, but the Ravens TE situation is intriguing. Keep an eye this spot if someone starts to seperate themselves. Nick Boyle (64.4%) led the group in snaps, followed by Maxx Williams then Mark Andrews while fellow rookie Hayden Hurst is sidelined. All three TE's caught 3 passes, had at least 30 yards receiving and had at least 1 RZ reception. As we've seen in previous seasons, the Ravens TE spot could be valuable in PPR formats, so just monitor this.
by Noah Pires
November 15, 2018
by Nick Ercolano
November 15, 2018
by Noah Pires
November 14, 2018