Tue Aug 11 1:41pm ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Moore can build on last season
It is early, but I have already done a lot of drafts. I have participated in drafts on our site, drafts for magazines/other websites, and “expert” drafts. So I thought now would be a good time to talk about some things I have been seeing in those drafts. I want to give our readers an inside look at some things happening in drafts and how I have approached drafts this season.
And away we go. . . . .
I don’t quite understand the disdain for D.J. Moore this season. He had a breakout year last season, finishing with nearly 90 receptions for 1,200 yards. The only thing that held him back from being an elite receiver was a lack of scores (four touchdowns). Much of the reason people don’t like Moore is the addition of Teddy Bridgewater. Many think he is not a positive for Moore, lacking the ability to make big plays while being more of a dink or dunk quarterback. My counter to that is Moore had Kyle Allen as his quarterback much of last year and still produced his big numbers. Is Bridgewater really a downgrade over Allen? I don’t think so. I think the opposite, so I have been getting Moore in a lot of drafts this year, being able to nab him in the fourth or so round.
Moore is one player not getting much love, but a receiver that is getting plenty of hype is Allen Robinson. He had a big year last season, finishing with nearly 100 receptions for about 1,200 yards. And he did this with Mitchell Trubisky as his starting quarterback. There is debate on the quarterback this year with Trubisky getting challenged by Nick Foles. The way I look at it, though, is Foles isn’t much of an upgrade if he does beat out Trubisky. I really think Robinson hit his ceiling last year. I don’t think he can do better. With that said, I don’t want to use a second or third round pick to get him. I would rather go with a guy like Kenny Golladay or the aforementioned Moore. I just think they have a higher ceiling than Robinson, who is not on a single roster of mine right now.
Running backs are going super quick again this year. Teams are not messing around with the position. If you wait on the position, you are going to need some lesser options to hit for you. The top backs don’t last long. Finding a solid No. 2 back in the fourth round or later is going to be hard this season. Sometimes you have to go against the group think if you want to win big, but I’m not sure I do that this year. I have been getting two backs in the first three rounds of nearly every draft. I just don’t feel comfortable trying to salvage the position later in the draft. Plus, the receiver position is really deep this year. I think some receivers that you can get in the middle rounds can really outperform their draft slots.
I love Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson from a fantasy perspective but I don’t think I’ll get them on any of my teams this year. You are going to have to use a second or third round pick to grab them. I just can’t do it. The quarterback position remains deep and I feel I can get somewhat close to the production of both those studs with guys I get later, using a platoon method based on matchups and hot play. I really like going back-to-back with my quarterback picks, getting them in like the eighth and ninth rounds. You can get guys like Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford in those spots. Plus, I have been getting Kyler Murray at times in the seventh round. I would much rather have Murray in the seventh than Jackson in the second.
Kenyan Drake has been a target of mine in early drafts, but it seems like many are feeling the same way about him. I have seen his price continue to get higher as the season draws closer. He is getting nabbed in the first round of nearly every draft I’m in now, so if you want him, you are going to have to pay up. And I don’t have a problem getting him at the end of the second round. I think his ceiling is huge in this offense. Remember, if he plays a full season with the Cardinals last year, he finishes with more than 1,600 total yards and 16 touchdowns.
I mentioned how I believe the receiver position is really deep this year. Here are some of my mid-round targets that I think can produce big: Jerry Jeudy, Marquise Brown, Justin Jefferson, Brandin Cooks, Tyler Boyd and Preston Williams. These guys are all capable of outproducing their current ADP and can be solid fantasy options in their current situations. I have a lot of shares of these guys on my current teams.
Running back Tevin Coleman is one player I have been targeting in early drafts. You can get him in the mid to late rounds of drafts. He was a disappointment last year but for his price tag, I think he is worth the risk. Raheem Mostert is the only back ahead of Coleman on the depth chart right now. And Mostert remains unproven in my eyes, especially as a workhorse back. Coleman should get double-digit touches on a weekly basis in this offense and is an injury away from starting for one of the best run offenses in all of football.
If I can get a Zach Ertz or Mark Andrews in the sixth round, I will do it. But for the most part, that hasn’t happened much outside of a few drafts. With that said, I’m waiting on tight end, much like the quarterback spot. I will grab a couple tight ends in the middle rounds, using a platoon system for the position this year. I like the potential of some of the guys you can get later, especially players like Noah Fant, Mike Gesicki, Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle. I think you can get by with going with two of those guys instead of acting early on Travis Kelce or George Kittle. With the running back position going so early this year, I think using a second or third round pick on a tight end might be a mistake. The only way I take one of the elite tight ends early is if I have two solid backs already on my roster. You might be able to get away with that strategy since the receiver position has so many quality options this year.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Waiver Wire Adds: Week 4
The Pittsburgh Steelers defense was going to enter Week 4 as a premier unit no matter the circumstances. But after a COVID-19 outbreak within the Tennessee organization where multiple players and personnel tested positive (but were asymptomatic), Pittsburgh will face an offense that likely wont be able to practice for the entire week. Derrick Henry will be difficult to tackle no matter the prevailing circumstances, but the boost of facing off against a team that may be out of sync should make the Steelers a highly valuable defensive fantasy asset. The league may opt to push the contest to Monday, which would take Pittsburghs defense out of DFS consideration come Sunday, so fantasy managers will want to check back for the latest updates.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook has hauled in just one reception for four yards this season, with the time that he has seen due primarily to DJ Chark Jr.s absence last Thursday versus Miami. After back-to-back seasons with 66 receptions, Westbrook will have an uphill battle to that level of production in 2020 due to the breakout nature of rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. Despite working his way back from an undisclosed off-season injury, there likely arent many fantasy managers still hanging on for production at this stage; Westbrook is a massive risk due to his slipping role among an offense that has a plethora of options when Chark is healthy.
The San Francisco 49ers Defense may have sustained significant blows by losing Nick Bosa (knee) and Solomon Thomas (knee) for the remainder of the season in Week 2, but that didnt stop them from looking strong against the Giants in Week 3. Looking ahead, theyll face a rocky Eagles offense that has had to answer questions about Carson Wentzs starting quarterback status since Sunday, with a Dolphins squad two weeks away that is quarterbacked by Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has tossed three interceptions this season. While their status as the preeminent defensive unit may have taken a step back, San Francisco still unquestionably has a defense worth rostering and deploying on a weekly basis until the group proves otherwise.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard benefited greatly from Davante Adams (hamstring) absence during Week 3, amassing six receptions for a career-high 146 receiving yards and a touchdown. Should Adams continue to be sidelined this Sunday against Atlanta, Lazard would track up the board as a premier WR option due to the Falcons propensity for being burned by opposing wideouts through the first three weeks. Even if Adams is cleared to return, Lazard has clearly developed a rapport with Rodgers, hauling in 13 of the 17 targets that he has seen thus far in 2020. With other potential favorable matchups against Tampa Bay and Houston on the horizon, Lazard can be added in most season-long formats as an upside play for October, and potentially beyond.
The New York Giants have inked veteran running back Alfred Morris to the teams practice squad in a continued attempt to bolster their backfield situation in light of Saquon Barkleys (knee) season-ending absence. Morris last appeared in 2019 in one game for the Cardinals, receiving just one carry for four yards. His best days came as a member of Washington, where he was a two-time Pro Bowl selection in 13 and 14, before joining Dallas, where current Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was his head coach. Newly-signed Devonta Freeman carried the ball just five times Sunday versus San Francisco, although the score of the game likely dictated his workload more than the teams level of confidence in their new running back. Morris is a name to keep an eye on should he eventually be elevated to the active roster.
Free-agent safety Earl Thomas III was set to have a workout with the Houston Texans on Tuesday, but COVID-19 related protocol scuttled that meeting. Things had advanced so far between the two sides that Thomas had already taken a physical with the organization. Released by Baltimore during pre-season activities following an altercation with a teammate, the seven-time Pro Bowler would be a sound addition to the Houston secondary. With the workout cancelled Tuesday, it does throw into flux the possibility that Thomas could be available this weekend when the Texans take on Minnesota. Having allowed at least 28 points in each of their first three contests, the Texans defense is currently not a fantasy option in any-sized format.
The Los Angeles Chargers placed cornerback Chris Harris Jr. (foot) on Injured Reserve on Tuesday and promoted defensive back Jahleel Addae to the active roster in a corresponding move. Harris suffered a foot injury in the Week 3 loss to the Panthers that is expected to keep him out for at least a month and potentially up to six weeks. With All-Pro safety Derwin James (knee) already out for the year, it's another blow to a strong Chargers secondary. The good news is that Harris will be back this season. Against a strong Buccaneers passing attack this Sunday, the Chargers Defense could be a bit more vulnerable, especially against wide receiver Chris Godwin in the middle of the field.
Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock (shoulder) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Sept. 29. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (quad), CB Davontae Harris (hamstring) and RB Phillip Lindsay (foot) were limited. CB Bryce Callahan (wrist), DE Shelby Harris (neck, quad), S Kareem Jackson (back) and S Trey Marshall (wrist) practiced in full. The Broncos did not hold a practice Tuesday, so the report was an estimation.
The Philadelphia Eagles placed tight end Dallas Goedert (ankle) on Injured Reserve on Tuesday, meaning he'll be out at least three weeks. In a corresponding move, the team signed tight end Hakeem Butler to the active roster off the Panthers practice squad. Goedert has a small fracture in his left ankle and also an ankle sprain. He'll be back this year, though, and was a big part of the team's passing game before going down, so he's worth stashing if you have the extra roster space. A banged-up Philly receiving corps will now rely more heavily on Zach Ertz and DeSean Jackson, if he's healthy to go in Week 4. Greg Ward Jr. might be worth a flier off the waiver wire in deeper leagues.
Los Angeles Chargers CB Chris Harris Jr. (foot) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a foot injury Tuesday, Sept. 29. S Jahleel Addae was elevated from the practice squad to replace him on the roster.
Carolina Panthers S Natrell Jamerson was activated from the practice squad Reserve/COVID-19 list and returned to the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Free-agent S Earl Thomas (Ravens) has already taken in offsite physical - likely in preparation to sign with the Houston Texans - but the Texans sent him home before his scheduled workout after the NFL asked all 32 teams to review their COVID-19 procedures for bringing in new players, according to sources.
Free-agent PKs Kai Forbath and Elliott Fry are expected to work out for the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with an ankle injury Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Fantasy Spin: Per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the "hope" is that Goedert can return at the end of his three-week IR stint, although it sounds like it is far from a guarantee. In the meantime, his absence should lock Zach Ertz into nearly 10 targets per game for an offense that may need Greg Ward to handle a similar workload given all the injuries at receiver. Owners should hold onto Goedert, as he has incredible upside at a position that lacks a lot of it for fantasy purposes.
Atlanta Falcons DE Austin Edwards was elevated from the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 29. The Falcons also released CB D.J. White and LB Deone Bucannon from the practice squad.
Atlanta Falcons CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a hamstring injury Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Denver Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien is expected to get the start on Thursday against the Jets over Jeff Driskel, according to sources. Driskel looked terrible, albeit against a strong Buccaneers Defense, in the Week 3 loss, and Drew Lock (shoulder) will miss at least another week of action while he recovers from his injury. Rypien, 24, saw his first game action last Sunday with the game out of hand, going 8-for-9 for 53 yards and one interception. Even against a Jets Defense that has looked terrible, Rypien won't have much upside in an offense missing their top receiver for the rest of the season. Downgrade rookie wideout Jerry Jeudy and tight end Noah Fant for this one. If Rypien struggles early, don't be surprised if Denver goes back to Driskel.
Washington Football Team DE Matt Ioannidis (biceps) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Sept. 29. DE Nate Orchard was signed off the practice squad to replace him on the roster.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) may not be able to play in either of the team's next two games as he recovers from a hamstring injury he suffered in Week 3 versus the Denver Broncos.
Fantasy Spin: It appears he would have an outside chance of playing in Week 5, but the Buccaneers are scheduled to play the Chicago Bears two Thursdays from now. With Scott Miller (hip, groin) batting his own injury issues, Justin Watson could be thrust into action as Mike Evans' tag-team partner in Week 4 against the Los Angeles Chargers. If that ends up being the case, Watson should probably be considered a low-end flex option.
There is a chance that Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) could play in Week 5 against the Patriots, but the Broncos have more hope that he'll return in Week 6 in a more favorable matchup against the Dolphins. This is why Denver didn't place the 23-year-old on short-term Injured Reserve. The offense was just unable to get into any kind of flow in Week 3 against a tough Buccaneers Defense, and it also doesn't help that wide receiver Courtland Sutton (knee) is lost for the season. Lock's return should make rookie Jerry Jeudy and tight end Noah Fant more attractive in season-long and DFS leagues, but the second-year signal-caller will remain a midrange QB2 until further notice with the Broncos dealing with so many injuries. Until Lock returns, Jeff Driskel is a desperation QB2 streamer in superflex setups.