Bust Alert: Why We Wouldn’t Target Lamar Miller As A Fantasy Starter

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Texans’ Lamar Miller is just a year removed from a 1,073 yard campaign, and that came in just 14 games in 2016.  However he just never was able to get going last season, failing to average more than 3.9 yards/carry in any month and managing just 405 yards over the final eight games of the season.

Just to really hammer home the point, his season high was 75 yards (which came on October 1).  He only had two games all season where he topped 65 yards, and both of them came on October 8 or earlier.  It was a rough season all around, and the second time in the past three years where he failed to top 900 yards.  The last time you could argue that it was due to a lack of carries (872 yards on 194 carries), but last season he was 12th in the league with 238.

At least Miller was chipping in through the passing game in the early going, though there was a distinct split from when Deshaun Watson was on the field and when he wasn’t: Read more

Draft Day Decision: Which Vikings Wide Receiver (If Any) Is Worth Targeting?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Last year fantasy owners were a little spoiled by the production of Minnesota’s wide receivers, as both Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen put up solid numbers:

  • Stefon Diggs (14 games) – 64 receptions for 849 yards and 8 TD
  • Adam Thielen (16 games) – 91 receptions for 1,276 yards and 4 TD

With the team bringing in Kirk Cousins in the offseason the expectations and hype will only grow, but is there a chance that both ultimately fall far short of expectations?  There’s actually a lot of factors working against them: Read more

Deep League Sleeper: Could The Dolphins’ Kalen Ballage Emerge As The Lead Back?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It may have been surprising that the Dolphins traded Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth-round selection.  How ironic will it be if they ultimately used that selection to acquire his replacement?

The Dolphins used that fourth-round pick to select Arizona State University RB Kalen Ballage, who could potentially get an opportunity to rise to the lead back role before long.  That’s a bold statement, considering his less than impressive numbers while in college.  Just look at his four-year college career:

Year
Carries
Yards
Average
TD
2014421263.03
20151256535.24
20161265364.314
20171536574.36
Totals4461,9724.427
Read more

2018 Preseason Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs (Where Does Alvin Kamara Fall, Injury Returns & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It seems like the majority of the league goes with a committee approach in the backfield, doesn’t it?  That makes the true workhorses that much more valuable (something you can see by the ranking of Saquan Barkley, who has yet to play a single snap in the NFL).  Of course usage isn’t the only question, as we have numerous top options returning from injury, which could easily have an impact on their performance.

Who are the top options?  Who should we be targeting?  Let’s take a look:

  1. Todd Gurley – Los Angeles Rams
  2. Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys
  3. Le’Veon Bell – Pittsburgh Steelers
  4. David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals
  5. Kareem Hunt – Kansas City Chiefs
  6. Saquon Barkley – New York Giants
  7. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints
  8. Melvin Gordon – Los Angeles Chargers Read more

3 Potential Wide Receiver Busts Worth Avoiding (The Draft Day Cost Exceeds The Risk…)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

When you are selecting a player with your first few picks it’s alright to take a little bit of a risk, as long as it’s within reason.  If you completely whiff you are putting yourself in a hole that you may not be able to overcome.  Which wide receivers carry too much risk to warrant their current ADP?  Let’s take a look:

 

T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts
Average ADP – 33.8 (WR13)

Hilton is coming off a disastrous 2017, turning 107 targets into 57 receptions, 966 yards and 4 TD.  It’s his second relatively poor year in the past three, both coinciding with time missed from Andrew Luck:

  • 2015 – 69 receptions, 1,124 yards and 5 TD
  • 2016 – 91 receptions, 1,448 yards and 6 TD
  • 2017 – 57 receptions, 966 yards and 4 TD Read more

2018 Quarterback Sleepers: Which Under-the-Radar Options Should You Target (Trubisky & More)

by Joe Delcorse

So what makes a sleeper? There are different grades of sleepers. Rather than trying to throw darts with a blind fold on and shooting the moon with my off hand I like to focus on the players drafted in the early middle rounds that have potential to really make a splash. A true sleeper is someone that is really just a roll of the dice, so if you are relying on you are already in trouble because chances are that sleeper is on everyone’s list by draft day.

Once the roster is set and you add your high upside sleepers then you look for the people who nobody is aware of, are selling short or are unaware of because of preparation. Position battles, injuries, age, experience and team cohesion all can create doubt on a player but volume and opportunity are the most important trends to monitor.

With that I leave you with three quarterback sleepers to consider: Read more

Old Face, New Place: Will The Newly Acquired Dion Lewis Be The Titans’ Top Fantasy RB?

by Ray Kuhn

Running backs for the New England Patriots get a bad name, at least from a fantasy perspective, but despite the roller coaster ride Dion Lewis was actually a pretty steady performer in 2017. We kept on waiting for Bill Belichick to phase him out and leave fantasy owners hanging, but instead Lewis gained 124 yards on the ground and had his best game of the season in Week 16.

This year he takes his talents to Tennessee where he replaces DeMarco Murray at least on the depth chart though not exactly when it comes to role. For the few fleeting days between Murray’s release and Lewis’ signing it appeared that Derrick Henry’s (pictured) value was going to go through the roof. Instead, while the incumbent should be at his most valuable in his third NFL season, Lewis, to me at least, is the back to own in the Titans’ backfield for 2018. Read more

2018 Sleeper: Could The Browns’ David Njoku Emerge As A TE1 By Year’s End?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Generally rookie tight ends need time to adjust to the NFL game.  Sure we get the exceptions to the rule (like Evan Engram in ’18), but more often than not no matter how much hype is bestowed upon him a rookie tight end will disappoint.  That was the case for the Browns’ David Njoku, who was selected 29th overall in the 2017 draft.  Of course that wasn’t all due to his own lack of development.

The Browns quarterback carousel was among the worst in the NFL last season, with Deshone Kizer, Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler combining to complete 54.4% of their passes with 15 TD vs. 28 INT.  The additions of Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield should rectify that situation, and in turn will help the offense as a whole.

There also is a lot of talent surrounding Njoku, which could allow him to be overlooked by opposing defenses.  Just look at the group of skill players suddenly assembled:

  • Wide Receivers – Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry
  • Running Backs – Duke Johnson, Carlos Hyde, Nick Chubb Read more

2018 Preseason Rankings: Top 15 Quarterbacks (Cousins Top 5, Where Does Garoppolo Fit & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know that the quarterback position is fairly deep, though that doesn’t mean that there aren’t significant questions facing several of the top options.  While health may be the biggest trend, age, supporting cast and various other factors are also an issue around the league.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at how things currently stands:

1) Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers
2) Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks
3) Tom Brady – New England Patriots
4) Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers
5) Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings
6) Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans
7) Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles Read more

Old Face, New Place: Now In Oakland, Can Jordy Nelson Rediscover His Fantasy Appeal?

by Ray Kuhn

Is Jordy Nelson done? That is the question fantasy owners are asking themselves about the 33-year old wide receiver, and right now we don’t have a clear answer.

Nelson missed the 2015 season with a knee injury, but he didn’t miss a beat upon his return in 2016 catching 97 passes for 1,257 yards while teaming up with Aaron Rodgers and re-establishing himself as an early round draft pick. That brings us to 2017, which was just a complete and utter disappointment.

In Nelson’s defense he did appear in 15 games, so I wouldn’t chalk it up to a health issue. Based on the fact that Nelson was likely a WR1, owners were left with a big hole to fill and early round pick that was a bust.  Before we unfairly bash Nelson, let’s take a closer look. He caught 53 passes, so it’s not like he completely vanished from Green Bay’s offense, but it was his worst performance since appearing in 12 games in 2012 when he caught 49 balls. That year Nelson gained 745 yards through air, but in 2017 it dropped down to 482 yards. Read more