- James White – Zero RB candidate of the year comes in at RB7. Coming off his worst game of the season White still managed five receptions for 31 yards. The Patriots offense struggled last week even with the return of Gronk and Sony Michel I don’t see any way White falls out of the top 12 RBs this season. He has been a secret weapon for dynasty teams who have stacked WR or TEs on their roster.
- Christian McCaffrey – CMC has been extremely consistent this year while flying under the radar in dynasty leagues. Over his last two games, he has had 130+ yards from scrimmage with multiple touchdowns in those games. McCaffrey is also the third player in Carolina Panthers history with multiple touchdowns in three straight games. CMC currently the RB8 has dominated touches and that should continue as the Panthers fight for their playoff chances to end the season.
- Zeke Elliott – Zeke coming off his first multiple touchdown game of the season. The addition of Amari Cooper has helped the Cowboys offense get back on track. Zeke’s value this season has been heavy in the passing game with a career-best average of 5.3 targets per game. Zeke has 10 receptions in his last two games to go along with his 200+ rushing yards. The Top six RBs are playing insanely consistent this season but it’s not out of the question to see Zeke fight his way up and finish as a top 6 RB in the last quarter of the season.
- David Johnson – Finally some hope! D.J has been tortured unfairly this season by a terrible offense to go along with terrible coaching. Since the promotion of Byron Leftwich to offensive coordinator things have looked up for D.J. Johnson has 20 touches in five of his last six games including 21 carries and nine targets last week. The usage for D.J. was increasingly frustrating for fantasy owners to start the season but since the coaching change, D.J has seen his runs between the tackles drop from nearly 60% to 40%. D.J. was phenomenal running outside the tackles in his 2016 season and has shown that again in 2018. The top tier domination of RBs this year makes it difficult with a slow start for Johnson to finish much higher than RB10 which he is now. I can see a small climb but getting inside the top six would be very surprising.
- TJ. Yeldon – The Jaguars backfield will continue to produce but Yeldon held down this spot mostly because of the injury to Leonard Fournette. In the return of Fournette last week Yeldon only saw eight total touches and was forced into a change of pace back. Fournette is averaging over 13 fantasy points in his three games played this season. Yeldon should fall out of the RB1 discussion quickly if Fournette can stay healthy. The point differential from RB11 to RB17 isn’t large enough for Yeldon to hold down this spot for more than another week.
- Tarik Cohen – Six receptions in four of six games. The passing game work has made Cohen startable and he has slid into the RB12 spot. Cohen is another RB I see sliding in coming weeks. Cohen has only carried the ball more than 9 times once all season and with the return of Allen Robinson, his reception totals have also dropped. Cohen has been game flow dependent this year with the Bears defense dominating he should see less usage in the colder games down the stretch.
Don’t Press Your LUCK
- Andrew Luck – The injuries and rumors piling up and most dynasty owners left Andrew Luck for dead this offseason. Luck has missed so much time recently that you can’t blame dynasty owners for dropping his value but in 2018 Luck has bounced back. We are talking about the same guy who when healthy has thrown for nearly 4,000 yards in every season. The 26 touchdown passes this year are his most since his 40 touchdowns in 2014. The Colts coaching change has seen to benefit Luck the most while playing with one of his least talented offense from a skills position standpoint. In six straight games, Luck has at least three touchdowns he’s only the fourth player in NFL history to do that. Under new coach Frank Reich Luck has been sacked on average one less time per game while his pressures have been cut in half. Keeping Luck healthy gives the Colts a chance to win every week and the investment in the offensive line has shown that while the Colts have gone four games straight without allowing a sack. In those six games, Luck has finished as a QB1 in every game and ranks as the QB8 overall. The Luck hype should be back and him finishing as a top 5 QB this year is all but guaranteed.
The Biggest Positional Advantage: Zach Ertz
- The Points – Ertz is averaging 20.4 fantasy points per game in 2018. That’s three points per game higher than Travis Kelce who is second with one more game played than Ertz. Nearly 184 fantasy points this season that is over 100 more fantasy points than the TE12 this season Jordan Reed who has 80.1 fantasy points. Ertz fantasy points per game total would be good enough for WR7 this season.
- The Catches – Ertz has 75 receptions through nine games played that is three receptions shy of his career high 78 in 2016. Ertz has the most receptions ever for a TE through nine games and I recently read without a reception in week 11 he would still have the same record through ten games.
- The Touchdowns – The five touchdown grabs this season are the second most of Ertz career. The eight touchdowns he scored last season are the most he’s ever scored, Ertz likely to top that number with seven games left to play. Ertz is getting it done everywhere his five touchdowns are tied for third this season among TEs while he still dominates in fantasy points.
- The Yards – With 789 yards this season Ertz is likely to set a new career high in this category as well in 2018. Ertz has never reached 900 yards but barring injury should shatter that mark this season. Ertz is on pace for most receiving yards for a TE ever if this pace keeps up. The 789 yards this season would be good for WR9 this season among WRs.
- The Records – This season by Zach Ertz has a chance to go down as the greatest ever for the position. Ertz is on pace to break Jason Witten’s receptions record of 110 in 2012 and also to break Rob Gronkowski’s yardage record of 1,327 set in 2011. If Ertz is able to break both he is sure to be a league winner and will cement himself as the TE1 heading into 2019.
Consistency Matters: WR Edition
Found this tidbit on @GrahamBarfield twitter timeline and wanted to expand on it for my readers. The tweet was a list of seven WRs with at least four receptions and seventy yards receiving per game in the past two seasons. I broke down the percentage of those games for all seven WRs along with a quick take on each player.
- DeAndre Hopkins – Nuk finished first on this list at 75%. Hopkins comes off four straight games with a touchdown. Hopkins has had at least 14 fantasy points in every game this season.
- Michael Thomas – Thomas ranks second with 72% and simply put his Twitter handle of @Can’tguardmike couldn’t be truer. Thomas has 21 touchdowns in his first forty games and is on a record pace for catches, yards, and touchdowns.
- Julio Jones – 68% for Julio who until the past two weeks seemed allergic to scoring touchdowns. Julio, however, does dominate on the field with four straight games of 100+ receiving yards. Julio has also for the second time in his career passed 1,000 yards in nine games. We are just all anxiously awaiting him to break the 2,000-yard mark maybe 2018 is the year.
- Odell Beckham – OBJ comes in at 67% and has maintained his dominance even with Eli Manning throwing him footballs. Beckham has been a top 12 WR in four of his last five games even as bad as the Giants are OBJ is still one of the most feared WRs in the game.
- Adam Thielen – Thielen with 64% has done most of this damage this year. While his streak of 100-yard games just ended he has scored a touchdown in six straight games. Thielen is extremely talented and a target monster when playing with Kirk Cousins.
- Robert Woods – Woods 64% is the most surprising to me because in most dynasty circles he’s the third WR you would want on the Rams offense. Woods consistency and flexibility has made him so valuable to both the Rams offense and dynasty owners. Woods ranks 4th in the NFL with receptions of 20+ yards and has filled in for both Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks while injured this season.
- Antonio Brown – 61% for A.B. and this may be surprising to some for the sole reason that many feel he is the best WR in the game. Brown plays in a high powered offense and leads all NFL WRs with ten touchdowns this season. A.B. leads the NFL in end zone targets and hasn’t had less than 15 fantasy points all season.
The Worst Players of 2018
This was something quick I put together I found five players that underperformed and mostly killed a few teams in dynasty fantasy football this season. These are my thoughts on these players and where if at all I see value in them going forward.
- Le’Veon Bell – If you did a dynasty startup draft this season there’s a chance the Bell owner is in the basement in that league unless they were smart enough to acquire James Conner. Bell has absolutely devastated dynasty teams in most of my leagues there was no chance I saw him missing all of 2018. The most frustrating thing is without owning Conner some see the eleven total touchdowns he has and just think how good Bell could have been this year. The oddsmakers have the Jets as the early favorite to land Bell next season and as a dynasty owner, I’m not thrilled. Bell missing a full season isn’t something I’m thrilled about and if the issue in Pittsburgh was money I don’t want to see him join a bad team because they have the most guaranteed money to give him. Bell should dominate touches anywhere he goes but preferably this would be to a good offense with solid coaching. The Jets don’t offer either of those.
- Rob Gronkowski – Gronk easily has been the most frustrating player to own this season. The TE landscape which he has dominated for so long is still really terrible and even with his injuries and poor production he still ranks as TE11. Gronk has played six games and he has one touchdown. Gronk has only had 5+ catches in two of those six games and has all but been a nonfactor for the Patriots offense. This, unfortunately, seems like the end for Gronk as Brady likely walks away after this season it’s extremely possible Gronk follows him. I always was skeptical about owning Gronk in dynasty because I never felt you could ever get his value back once he was on your team. The few shares I have I haven’t even attempted to sell because I would rather ride out his value than sell him for less than his value. He’s still one of the best in the game and can put up great numbers it just has been very inconsistent for some time and at the end of the day, he becomes more trouble than he’s worth for dynasty owners.
- Ronald Jones II – The most disappointing rookie pick of 2018 by far. Jones was put in the perfect situation and I see him drafted as early as 1.03 in rookie drafts. Jones is the RB77 this season with 25 total touches and one touchdown. The most devastating thing about Jones value going forward is the lack of competition at RB for the high powered Bucs passing offense. Jones barely saw any time in preseason and was a healthy scratch for the better part of the first four games. Now with injuries and a potential coaching change for Tampa Bay next season he may never be what we thought he could be. Jones inability to get on the field as a rookie with Peyton Barber struggling doesn’t give much hope for his future. I still believe in Jones ability and have acquired him for super cheap but at this point, I’ll need to get lucky for him to see a rise in value in 2019.
- Doug Baldwin – Would have to say I’ve never been a Doug Baldwin fan but the fact remains he has been a consistent fantasy scorer over the past few years. Roughly three years removed from his outlier 14 touchdown season he has struggled greatly in 2018. Baldwin had preseason knee issues that cost him time this season but even in his few games played he has been greatly ineffective. Baldwin is the WR87 this season and his first touchdown of the season just came on Thursday against the Packers. Baldwin doesn’t have much if any value for me going forward he is already 30 years old and playing in a new look Seattle offense focused heavy on the run game. It’s fair to say Baldwin isn’t even the number one WR for the Hawks with the emergence of Tyler Lockett. Baldwin is likely a hold if you own him in dynasty because it’s unlikely you will get a fair offer for him this offseason.
- LeSean McCoy – The Bills offense finally moved the ball a week ago but that had more to do with the Jets pitiful defense than the Bills offense. McCoy has been terrible this season he ranks as the RB32 in nine games played he has twelve carries or less in six of nine games. McCoy already 30 is at the end for RBs historically unless he changes teams I don’t see a ton of value in him going forward. Shady’s 24 receptions are the only thing keeping him startable in dynasty leagues the death of his value will be if he returns as the Bills starter in 2019.