All posts by Mike Fitkowsky

Week 3 Buy Low / Sell High Options

With two weeks of NFL action in the books, we are able to paint a much clearer picture of what to expect from the players we drafted. Sometimes, this isn’t the case. Occasionally, the statistics over two weeks of action don’t tell the whole story. This allows the for the opportunity to “buy low” on players that might be under-performing expectations. It also gives you a chance to sell players that seem to have hit their peak value for the season. If you’re really bold, you can flip a player that is over-performing for one that is under-performing.

Obviously this strategy carries an inherent risk. You’re trading a player that producing for one that isn’t. If your hunch is wrong, or you haven’t done the research, you could end up making a mistake that will sabotage your fantasy season. On the other hand, you could be making a trade that will take you to the championship.

So which players should you buy-low? Likewise, which should you sell while their value has peaked? Here are a few players that I think are great candidates for each of these categories. Continue reading Week 3 Buy Low / Sell High Options

Early Impressions of Offseason Hype Trains

The off-season is a boring time for an NFL fan. This allows fans to over-analyze their team, which kick-starts the engine of several hype trains before the season even starts. Some of these hype trains die quickly, as evidence arises that serves to derail it before it ever really gets moving. Others, however, only build momentum as the off-season progresses.

Once preseason rolls around, another batch of hype-trains are derailed. Sometimes this is for the better, but sometime is can be a hasty move. Other times, the hype train has enough momentum to carry it into the regular season. Oftentimes this is the proving point for the players that have had narratives following them during the off-season. It is the point at which the rubber meets the road, and fans can finally decide if the hype was deserved. Sometimes fans get it wrong, and sometimes they get it right. Today, we will look at 3 off-season narratives that fall into each one of these categories. Continue reading Early Impressions of Offseason Hype Trains

Fantasy Football Kick Return Studs For 2016

Return yards are a great way to add another element to your fantasy team. It’s a factor that could boost a player’s value tremendously in leagues that are generous with return yardage points. However, it can be extremely difficult to predict who will benefit the most from their duties as a returner. Especially with most teams opting to split the return duties between players. Some players, such as the Patriots’ Julian Edelman, traditionally return only punts. Others, like the Vikings Cordarrelle Patterson, return exclusively kickoffs. Then there are the Tyler Lockett’s of the world, returning kicks indiscriminately. Continue reading Fantasy Football Kick Return Studs For 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Rankings updated as of 09/02/2016

As yo prepare for your fantasy drafts this weekend, the staff as The Fantasy Report has updated our 2016 rankings, and we have both standard scoring and PPR Rankings available. If you have any questions feel free to find us on Twitter @Fantasyreport_

Standard Scoring PPR
Quarterback Quarterback
Running Back Running Back
Wide Receiver Wide Receiver
Tight End Tight End
DST DST

 

Tajae Sharpe: Deep Sleeper or Just a Guy?

Before being taken in the 5th round by the Tennessee Titans, Tajae Sharpe played college ball at UMass. He was a stud as the small school’s top receiver, leading the country with 111 receptions in 2015. As a result, Sharpe would place 12th in receiving yardage in 2015. More impressive than his catch total is the number of catch-able balls dropped. According to PFF’s scouting report of the young receiver, Sharpe was thrown 204 catch-able balls over the past two years. He caught all but seven of them. So what does the future hold for young Sharpe in Tennessee? Continue reading Tajae Sharpe: Deep Sleeper or Just a Guy?

Late Round Running Back Sleepers

Sleepers: They’re the most exciting part of fantasy football. You take a shot on a high upside player in the late rounds, and they help carry your team to glory. It’s the fantasy equivalent of winning the lottery. Just ask fantasy players how they felt about getting Devonta Freeman, David Johnson, or Cam Newton in the late rounds of their drafts last year. There’s nothing like getting lucky on one of these guys, and having them carry you to the championship.

Unfortunately, luck plays a huge role in whether your sleepers hit or not. Research will help you identify candidates for your sleeper picks, but luck is what decides if they pan out. That’s a big part of a what makes them so exciting. When you draft that player, you have no idea what you’re going to get out of them. They could take the world by storm, like Freeman, or they could be off your team by week 4. That’s the chance you take when you gamble with sleepers.

This is a great year for sleeper running backs. The late round of your draft are littered with high upside picks, just waiting to win your championship for you. Here are three late round targets that I believe could make the difference for your team in 2016:

Note: for the sake of this article, I will consider a sleeper as someone whose ADP is outside of the top 20 at their position. All ADP’s will be based on FantasyPros standard scoring Consensus ADP.

Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – RB38, 100 Overall
Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports
Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports

I listed Demarco Murray in my article “Running Backs to Avoid in 2016.” So how can I say that his cohort is a sleeper candidate? The answer is simple; Murray is expensive. He is being taken 50 picks ahead of Henry. That means while Murray is being drafted between Jeremy Maclin and Andrew Luck, Henry is going off the board between Zach Ertz and fellow rookie Corey Coleman (who could be a sleeper in his own right). That’s a huge difference in price tag, especially if he takes the starting job.

Derrick Henry was drafted by the Titans in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft. At 6’ 3” and 247 lbs, the former Heisman winner projects to be a nightmare for the smaller, faster secondaries that have become commonplace in the NFL. He possesses a speed which is uncommon in backs his size, turning in a 40 time of 4.54, faster than LeVeon Bell’s 4.60. He was known for his ability to fatigue and wear down defenses, while his conditioning and long legs kept him fresh well into the 4th quarter.

In addition to all of the physical tools, he has the resume to back it up. He led the nation with 2,219 rushing yards and 28 rushing touchdowns in 2015, and averaged a healthy 6.0 yards-per-carry in his time with Alabama. He set a national record for career rushing yards in his high school career. Henry also beat Shaun Alexander’s career college rushing total to become Alabama’s all time leading rusher.

As of right now, he and Murray look to split carries in 2016. Both backs have impressed so far in preseason. However, if Murray puts up a performance similar to his 2015 showing, expect Henry to take the job and run with it. Even if he doesn’t take control of the lions share of carries, it’s possible that Henry’s could still be the fantasy favorite in Tennessee. Especially since he should be the go-to back in goal line situations.

 

Devonte Booker – Denver Broncos – RB55, 149 Overall
Photo Credit: Chris Prosinski
Photo Credit: Chris Prosinski

Booker is one of those players that isn’t elite at any one thing, but is a very complete back as a package. He has average height, is slightly skinnier than you’d want for a 5’ 11” running back, and won’t blow anyone away with his speed. However, like Arian Foster before him, he makes up for his physical shortcomings with great patience and vision. Another thing Booker and Foster have in common? Gary Kubiak as his head coach.

Kubiak’s zone blocking scheme is ideal for backs like Booker or Foster. His zone blocking scheme relies on the back being able to have the vision to know where the hole is going to be, and possessing the patience to know when to hit it. It also helps to have a bit of burst to get through the hole and into the secondary. Booker can do everything a Kubiak offense asks of him, and more. He also has the moves to make guys miss once he’s through the hole.

Yet another common link between Foster and Booker? Both are capable pass blockers and receivers. Sanchez, Siemian, or Lynch at Denver’s quarterback position, having a running back that can block or catch the ball effectively is a huge asset. Unfortunately, Booker and Foster share an affinity for injuries. However, Booker looks to be starting the season as the backup to C.J. Anderson, which should give him plenty of time to become fully healthy.

Booker looks to be the owner of C.J. Anderson’s primary backup position. If Anderson has another slow start to the season, or gets hurt along the way, don’t be surprised to see Booker step in and tear it up. He averaged about 1700 total yards over his two seasons with Utah, and is in a prime position to succeed if given the chance in the NFL.

Paul Perkins – New York Giants – RB64, 175 Overall
Photo Credit: Ken Goldfield (New York Daily News)
Photo Credit: Ken Goldfield (New York Daily News)

The longest shot on this short list for sure, but that’s not to say I don’t like his odds. He is currently behind Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, and Andre Williams on the depth chart. Jennings is 31 this season, and hasn’t really been healthy or effective for the Giants. Last season was his high water mark, finishing the season with 863 rushing yards, averaging 4.4 yards-per-carry. As a result, Jennings is currently occupying the RB1 spot in New York. Likewise, Vereen profiles more as a change of pace back, and Williams has proven to be nothing special so far.

So, that leaves the depth chart wide open for Perkins. Standing between him and playing time are an aging, inefficient back, a third-down back, and a disappointing short yardage back. Perkins,  profiles as a complete back for the G-Men, having served that role for UCLA over the past two seasons. He is also likely already the most talented back on the roster, and although you can’t bank on him making an immediate impact, his role should grow as the season goes on.

Pick him up late in your draft, or from the waiver wire, and stash him on your bench. This guy has high upside, despite running behind a bad offensive line. For dynasty leaguers, Perkins will likely go in the first round of your rookie draft.

 

 Questions? Comments? Concerns? Find me on Twitter @MikeTFR

Running Backs to Avoid In 2016

Historically, running backs have dominated the early rounds of fantasy drafts. In 2015, there were 9 running backs taken in the first round. In 2014, there were 6 or 7 (depending where you find your ADP). Elite running backs are clearly considered very valuable in fantasy. However, only 2 backs finished inside the top ten of their position in 2015 (Peterson & Forte). That’s a 70% chance that the running back you took in the first round last year was a bust.

With such a high bust rate, fantasy players took note. Now, more players than ever are adopting draft strategies such as zero-RB.
There are plenty of factors that will cause a running back to bust. The most common reason is injury. Offensive line struggles, game flow and simply under-performing have also been known to put running backs into the bust category.

How do we predict which players will bust? It’s impossible to tell where injuries will strike, but there can be clues as to why a player might bust for other reasons. For example: Had owners known Eddie Lacy was out of shape coming into 2015, he likely would not have been taken in the top 3. With that said, here are the three top 20 RB’s that I believe may let you down this season. Continue reading Running Backs to Avoid In 2016

Fantasy Implications of Dorial Green-Beckham Trade

This morning the Philadelphia Eagles acquired Tennessee Titans sophomore wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham in exchange for Eagles guard Dennis Kelly. Neither player have impressed their previous teams, but it is surprising that the Titans would give up on their 2015 second round pick after just one season. As details come out over the next couple days, I expect his character concerns will be revealed to play a role in this move.

The fantasy implications at this point are pretty negligible, but this should give Green-Beckham a slight bump in ADP. He will face less competition in Philadelphia, as only Reuben Randle and 2nd year receiver Nelson Agholor stand between Green-Beckham and real playing time. This move could help Jordan Matthews. Having a tall, speedy receiver drawing coverage on the outside will open the game up for Matthews in the middle of the field as the Eagles’ slot receiver.

The largest boost in value will likely go to the receivers left in Tennessee, with one less face in the camp competition. While there is still a lot of competition with names like Kendall Wright still around, Rishard Matthews and Tajae Sharpe seem to be the front-runners for Green-Beckham’s snaps.

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