Each year, without fail, we do our preseason research and go into our drafts thinking we have the upcoming NFL season all figured out. Then week 1 happens and it usually throws us a curveball that nobody saw coming. Allen Robinson is normally fairly durable, but yesterday he was lost for the year to a torn ACL. It is speculated that Robinson tore his ACL when Blake Bortles slapped his knee while on the ground, but at this time that is pure speculation (joking). We weren’t quite sure what to think about the Rams’ receiving corps after they traded for Sammy Watkins, but if yesterday was any indication, it looks like the Rams’ situation will be fairly similar to the Redskins’ in 2016, with the top 3 wide receivers seeing fairly similar target volume.
Yesterday, we also saw David Johnson go down with a wrist injury. Currently, the length of time he will miss is unknown, but if he misses any significant time, somebody will emerge from the Cardinals’ backfield and provide meaningful fantasy value. We all saw Kareem Hunt break out on Thursday night, but Marlon Mack may be a name to monitor here after he split carries evenly with Frank Gore yesterday. No, Mack did not break out against the Rams in week 1, but he is a young player with a role and the writing is on the wall that he may be the man here shortly. The thing with Mack is that if you wait for him to break out before adding him, it will be too late. If you want Marlon Mack on your team, you need to get him now before he explodes.
Nelson Agholor – Wide Receiver – Carson Wentz put on a clinic against the Redskins on Sunday and Agholor was his most targeted receiver with 8 compared to 7 for Alshon Jeffery. Agholor finally lived up to his first round pick billing, but you need to temper expectations because Jeffery was covered by Josh Norman for most of the game, meaning Agholor had a more favorable matchup. Agholor is available in 87% of Yahoo leagues and should be owned. However, unless you are in desperate need, I would wait a few weeks to start him until we are able to see if his target share will remain consistent.
Marqise Lee – Wide Receiver – Somebody needs to catch passes down in Jacksonville. In disappointing fashion, Allen Robinson tore his ACL on Sunday, leaving the Jaguars receiving corps with very few options. Bortles did not throw much at all on Sunday, but if teams start to really stack the box against them, they will have to throw it to somebody. Lee is available in 85% of Yahoo leagues.
Cooper Kupp – Wide Receiver – Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods each had 5 targets on Sunday against the Colts, while Cooper Kupp had 6. My take away from the target share in LA is that Jared Goff is a distributor of the football and he isn’t going to force feed any one player the ball this year. This extremely caps the upside of all the receivers, but in my view, Kupp may be the most consistent option to own on the Rams because Watkins and Woods are likely to draw the top corners. Kupp is available in 75% of Yahoo leagues. We need to temper our expectations with Kupp, however, because Goff had success on Sunday against the Colts who were just awful on defense. Unless forced into the situation by necessity, I want to wait a game or two before I start Cooper Kupp to see if the target share will remain consistent.
Sterling Shepard – Wide Receiver – Shepard is available in 55% of Yahoo leagues and he looked really good on Sunday night against the Cowboys. Even when Beckham returns to the lineup, Shepard will retain his value because he is a different player than Beckham.
Marlon Mack – Running Back – Marlon Mack and Frank Gore both received 10 carries on Sunday. I understand Frank Gore has been a starting running back in the NFL since 2006, but Mack is a young, ascending player. When there are two players in an even timeshare, I want the younger, ascending player, not the player on the wrong side of 30. Mack is more likely than Gore to have a bigger handle on this job by the end of the year and he is the Colts’ running back to own. He is available in 91% of Yahoo leagues.
Andre Ellington – Running Back – If David Johnson misses any extended amount of time, his touches will not go to just one running back. There will be a timeshare between Kerwynn Williams and Andre Ellington should Johnson miss time. Given the situation, I want the better athlete. Ellington is a more explosive player than Williams. I understand Williams had a touchdown on Sunday, but Ellington played more snaps. I will go with Ellington over Williams every day of the week. Ellington is owned in 0% of Yahoo leagues, so chances are he is available.
Tarik Cohen – Running Back – Tarik Cohen had a whopping 12 pass targets this weekend. I highly doubt that he repeats that target share in week 2. Cohen broke a few long ones, one of which where he completely reversed field during a run that we would expect from Barry Sanders, and he also scored. Cohen won’t score or get this many targets each week, but he looked really good out there, and I think it’s safe to compare him to Theo Riddick. Cohen is available in 89% of Yahoo leagues.
Buck Allen – Running Back – Buck Allen is available in 99% of Yahoo leagues and as I said in my article last week, he received an increased work load because the Ravens’ had an injury in their backfield. As long as Danny Woodhead is out with his hamstring injury, Allen will have value and will see volume. Allen is a better pass catching back than Terrance West and has serious value in PPR leagues.
Carson Wentz – Quarterback – Wentz went to work against the Redskins in week 1 and is available in 37% of Yahoo leagues. If you are in trouble at the QB position you may be tempted to roll with Wentz, but the Eagles are @ Kansas City in week 2 and they may provide more resistance than the Redskins did this weekend. I am all for adding Wentz off the waiver wire this week, but I don’t know if I would use him just yet.
Carson Palmer – Quarterback – Palmer is coming off a sub-par performance against the Detroit Lions in week 1. The fact is that Palmer has a decent group of pass catchers at his disposal and they may need to lean more on the pass now that David Johnson looks like he will miss significant time. Palmer is available in 32% of Yahoo leagues and the Cardinals play @ Indianapolis, a defense which made Jared Goff look like an all star in week 1.
Austin Hooper – Tight End – Hooper only had 2 catches against the Bears but they were huge plays, one of which was an 88 yard touchdown. Hooper is available in 46% of Yahoo leagues and is a young, ascending player. It should be noted, however, that on his 88 yard touchdown, Hooper looked rather slow and needed to break out a nasty stiff arm after he was caught from behind. I would view Hooper more of a Jason Witten than a Jordan Reed.
Charles Clay – Tight End – Charles Clay is available in 90% of Yahoo leagues. I don’t like Clay as a player, but he is a good fit for the Bills scheme. Rick Dennison got rid of Sammy Watkins for a few reasons, yes Watkins is injury prone, but Dennison also likes to run more of a horizontal passing attack than vertical. Clay is not a vertical threat and is pretty good running after the catch, so he seemed to fit into the scheme well on Sunday, catching 4 of 9 targets for 53 yards and a touchdown. The Bills are likely to be in more difficult games in the future, requiring them to throw while playing from behind, so Clay might have an increased role moving forward.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Show Episode #160 5/16/2019 Host Cole Freel, Co-Host Kyle Amore
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