All posts by D.J. Fezler

Evan Engram: Not Your Typical Rookie Tight End

On April 27th, NFL fans saw a group of talented tight ends selected in the first round of the draft, one of them being Evan Engram out of Ole Miss. In the past, rookie tight ends post poor fantasy seasons which made fantasy owners hesitant to take Engram in their fantasy drafts. Why risk the pick when first-year tight ends typically fail to produce adequate statistics? Engram was brought onto an offense with plenty of weapons – Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard – but his pass-catching talent could not be overlooked.

Now with the loss of Beckham, Marshall and Dwayne Harris for the rest of the 2017 season and Shepard dealing with an injury of his own, Engram is believed to be the main target for Eli Manning for the rest of the season. It’s unfortunate to see superstars lost for the season but it gives younger players the opportunity to show their talents and make plays for their team.

In my opinion, Engram is a must-start tight end in every fantasy league. His season totals are the complete opposite of what we’ve seen from rookie tight ends in previous years. Here’s my take on Engram and why I have confidence in his abilities given the situation in New York.

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Fantasy Football: Deshaun Watson is the Real Deal

Rookies across the NFL have been extremely impressive through five weeks of the 2017 season, though over the last three weeks, no rookie – if not any NFL player – has been more impressive than Deshaun Watson. The 12th overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft out of Clemson rightfully extinguished Tom Savage of his starting job after the first half in week one and has been a dynamic play-caller since. The Houston Texans held tough against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs in a 42-34 loss while Watson threw five touchdown passes, including three to Deandre Hopkins. The Texans sit at 2-3, but Watson is poised to lead the Texans and your fantasy team to the playoffs this season. Here’s why I believe he is a must-own and must-start quarterback in all fantasy football leagues.

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Who Can Replace Dalvin Cook?

Many fantasy owners were left cringing by the conclusion of Sunday’s NFL games as a result of an injury-ridden week four. In the middle of the chaos, Dalvin Cook was lost for the season after a non-contact injury against the Detroit Lions, which was confirmed to be a near-complete ACL tear in his left knee. The rookie running back out of Florida State was on pace for over 1,500 rushing yards while averaging almost 24 touches per game. The Minnesota Vikings, and many fantasy owners who drafted Cook late, will certainly miss the rising star. All that bad news aside, just like the NFL season, the fantasy season must go on. Here are some players you could target from Minnesota to patch the holes in your roster.

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Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Mixon Fantasy Outlook

The Cincinnati Bengals are struggling so far in the 2017 season. After Falling to 0-3, there hasn’t been much to praise. In the first two weeks, the Bengals’ offense looked dreadful. However, there’s positivity on the horizon with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor calling plays. The first thing that stood out to me in a week 3 game against the Green Bay Packers was Lazor’s use of Joe Mixon. The rookie runner saw as many touches in week 3 as he did in weeks 1 and 2 combined. Today I want to discuss why I think Mixon’s usage will continue to increase and his fantasy numbers may soon resemble his fellow rookie running backs.

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Fantasy Football: Miami’s Receiving Trio

At the start of the NFL regular season, football was affected by something much more serious than a national sport. Hurricane Irma devastated the state of Florida, leaving countless people without shelter. As many of us know, the week one match up between the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers was postponed until week 11 during the teams’ bye week. With an extra week to prepare, the Miami Dolphins showcased a strong running attack and three receivers who can all create a fantasy impact this season with Jay Cutler at the helm of the offense. Today I would like to talk about DeVante Parker, Jarvis Landry, and Kenny Stills and how to utilize them on your fantasy rosters.

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CHICAGO BEARS: ONE-TWO PUNCH

Week one in the NFL showcased breakout performances from several rookie running backs. With big names like Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey being selected in the first round of the NFL draft, very few people had heard of Tarik Cohen from North Carolina A&T. The Chicago Bears’ fourth round pick stands at only 5’6” and 181 pounds. His size isn’t intimidating, but he is the MEAC all-time leading rusher and was a Walter Camp FCS All-American in 2016. In a four-year college career, Cohen rushed for 5,619 yards and 56 touchdowns. His college success translated into a solid NFL debut for Chicago last Sunday. Today I want to talk about his presence alongside Jordan Howard. I believe he will not only help Howard as the season progresses but also help your fantasy team in the process.

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Fantasy Football: Big Ben In Cleveland

Football season is finally upon us. Last week, students across the nation could be heard cheering for their teams as college football kicked off. Now it’s the NFL’s turn because the New England Patriots begin the 2017 season against the Kansas City Chiefs this Thursday. Week one is finally within our grasp which means we can finally evaluate our fantasy football teams after weeks of preparation and drafting. Will our diamonds in the rough produce like we hoped? Which big name players will be busts this year? Who will be the next fantasy sensation? It all starts this week and my eyes are on Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburg Steelers and their matchup against the Cleveland Browns. Big Ben is notorious for struggling on the road, but I think he turns himself around starting with a division rival. Here’s why you should be a Big Ben believer this season. Continue reading Fantasy Football: Big Ben In Cleveland

Brandin Cooks On The Rise

During Saturday’s preseason game against the Detroit Lions, the Patriots lost a key member to their powerful offense. Julian Edelman suffered a non-contact ACL injury which has now left his 2017 season in doubt. While this leaves Tom Brady and the New England offense with one less weapon, it gives more opportunity to Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, and especially Brandin Cooks. He will be Brady’s primary deep threat and should bolster his productivity with the loss of Edelman. I am all in on the young star and here’s why you should be too.

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FANTASY FOOTBALL: DON’T WORRY ABOUT TY MONTGOMERY

Position changes are becoming more common nowadays in the NFL. This occurs because a player’s skill set optimizes their potential rather than their original position on the football field. We’ve seen position changes in players like Devin Hester, who was a cornerback at the University of Miami, that was used as a speedy wide receiver in Chicago. Last year marked a breakout year for athletes at new positions. Tyrelle Pryor, a former quarterback, boasted stellar numbers in his first season as a full-time receiver. Even the two-time MVP and offensive player of the year in the Big Ten, Braxton Miller, opted to play wide receiver instead of quarterback his senior season at Ohio State. He was then drafted in the third round by the Houston Texans in the 2016 NFL draft. I want to talk about Ty Montgomery and the final stage of his transition from wide receiver to running back for the Green Bay Packers.

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Look Out for the Vikings in 2017

In the basketball world, organizations are creating super teams to win NBA championships. While NFL franchises can’t quite copy that strategy, there are several teams that carry an arsenal of offensive weapons. Pittsburgh is home to Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, and Le’Veon Bell. Atlanta superstars Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman have quality players behind them such as Mohammed Sanu or Tevin Coleman. Heck, even the Giants look scary with their outstanding receiving corps and the addition of rookie tight end, Evan Engram. In this era of passing, it is increasingly difficult to consistently feed touches to talented players. Today I’m going to discuss a team that is flying under the radar in terms of offensive fire power. This being the Minnesota Vikings and their upcoming trio of threats.

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