In the last article we highlighted which NFC players have the most to gain if their current teams don’t draft a player at a similar position. In this article we will discuss which current AFC players have the most to gain in the upcoming NFL draft. What this means is if a team passes on a skill position player or quarterback in the first few round which players currently on those rosters today will have the most to gain.

Each section we will highlight the team, how many picks each team has overall, how many picks they have rounds 1-3 and the players who have the most to gain. This article isn’t a mock or predicting any picks. Most likely at least half of these players we talk about today will be impacted by draft picks, but just in case they aren’t here is why we think they can improve in 2021.

Baltimore Ravens
Total picks: 7
Round 1: No. 27 overall
Round 2: No. 58
Round 3: No. 104

Impacted Player: Marquise Brown

Marquise Brown turned it on in the second half of 2020 increasing his production in nearly every metric. This spike in production coincides with Mark Andrews missing time due to COVID. However, even after Andrews returned Brown was still producing at a high level. Below are his stats side by side before Andrews went out with Covid and after he returned. The 13.2 points per game (PPG) in those final 6 weeks (including playoffs) would have made Brown the wide receiver 15 in 2020. Brown’s current Best ball average draft position (ADP) is wide receiver 36.

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Cornerbacks Games in Shadow Coverage PPG Allowed Games Under 10 PPG Top 24 WRs Faced Y/SNP
James Bradberry 9 8.6 5 5 0.75
Carlton Davis 8 9.4 5 4 1.37
Darius Slay 7 13.6 3 4 1.53
Jalen Ramsey 5 13.5 2 5 0.53
Bradley Roby 5 10.9 3 2 0.72
Patrick Peterson 5 13.4 2 4 1.05
William Jackson 5 6.2 3 2 1.07
Isaac Yiadom 5 8.2 3 0 1.2
Malcolm Butler 5 7.9 3 3 1.36
Jaire Alexander 4 9.6 2 3 0.64
Tre’Davious White 4 9.5 2 1 0.94
Stephon Gilmore 4 8.2 2 2 1.01
Janoris Jenkins 4 9.1 3 1 1.17
J.C. Jackson 4 21.8 2 1 1.23
Xavien Howard 4 11.3 1 2 1.25
Marshon Lattimore 4 10 2 4 1.27

Chart Key

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Using the shadow coverage matrix from Pro Football Focus we took a deep dive into all the shadow coverage matchups in 2020. The first step was to make some eliminations in the data to get a more accurate representation of the notable shadow corners in 2020. In the analysis we did this by using the following criteria:

  1. The shadow coverage matchup must be for at least 50% of snaps
  2. AND the opposing shadow corner must have shadowed in at least 4 games in 2020

By using this criteria, it allowed us to eliminate a lot of corners who were either not consistently used as a shadow corner or who weren’t the best cornerbacks on their team. The importance of this is it allows us to better predict impactful shadow coverage matchups in the future by highlighting teams who consistently use shadow coverage week in and week out.

After factoring in these criteria only 11 wide receivers faced at least three notable shadow corners in 2020.

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The Shadow Coverage Report – Week 17

Shadow Coverage Tracker
WR Finish Total
1 23
2 13
3 13
4+ 29
Grand Total 78

Team: Dallas Cowboys

Opponent: New York Giants

WR1: Amari Cooper

Shadow Coverage Matchup: James Bradberry

Amari Cooper vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 31 5.6 77.6 0.5 13.3
Vs. Shadow Coverage 15 4.4 57.5 0.4 10.3
vs. James Bradberry 1 2 23 0 3.3

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Amari Cooper’s performance vs. shadow coverage has been ok vs. shadow coverage posting 10 PPG in .5 PPR since 2018. However, it is important to point out he has failed to hit double digits in 8 games while failing to hit 6 points in 7 of those contests. This low floor tends to make Cooper more of a boom or bust prospect when facing notable shadow corners.

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Shadow Coverage Tracker
WR Finish Total
1 22
2 12
3 11
4+ 29
Grand Total 74

 

Team: Baltimore Ravens

Opponent: New York Giants

WR1: Marquise Brown

Shadow Coverage Matchup: James Bradberry

Marquise Brown vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 25 3.4 48 0.5 9.4
Vs. Shadow Coverage 3 4.3 3.7 0 4.8

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Marquise Brown hasn’t seen much shadow coverage in 2020 only getting the followed once back in week 2 by Bradley Roby. In that game Brown caught 5 receptions for 42 yards with no scores. In three career games in shadow coverage Brown has yet to top 50 yards in any game. This has led to his career PPG to be just under 5 in .5 PPR.

Week 16 Recommendation – Sit

This week Marquise Brown will square off vs. Giants top CB James Bradberry. Bradberry so far in 2020 has faced 8 WRs in shadow coverage holding them to a combined 8.4 PPG in .5 PPR. This includes holding D.K. Metcalf (5-80), Amari Cooper (2-23) and Allen Robinson (3-33) well below their season averages in 2020. Granted Brown is coming off four straight productive games but this matchup vs. James Bradberry makes him a fade in week 16.

DFS Recommendation – Price FD $6,200 / DK $5,700

Marquise Brown is listed as a top 24 WR on each site making him a DFS fade for week 16. Notable players in the same price range I would pivot to include Jarvis Landry vs. NYJ and Cole Beasley vs. NE.

Team: Dallas Cowboys

Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles

WR1: Amari Cooper

Shadow Coverage Matchup: Darius Slay

Amari Cooper vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 30 5.7 76.1 0.5 13.2
Vs. Shadow Coverage 15 4.4 57.5 0.4 10.3
vs. Darius Slay 1 3 38 0 5.3
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The fantasy regular season is in the books and I already laid out rankings for the playoffs. So what else is there to do but look ahead into the crystal ball and see what 2021 could have in store. As always, this is not format specific but a general ranking based simply on who I’d rather see on my roster in 2021. I am happy to talk specifics in the comments, as the note section is not meant to be a thesis explaining the position of each ranking. 

I have included some choice rookies for 2021, although in all likelihood there will be more that make their way into the top 80 by season’s end. This year there are currently 5 rookies in the top 50 WR in fantasy points per game. With offenses using more 3 and 4 wide formations, rookies can get on the field early and often. Earning snaps is the biggest hurdle for most rookies but that is not as hard as it used to be when only 2 WRs were featured. Rookie receivers should continue to be assets even in redraft leagues, so I have been generous in my rankings with 2 rookies already in the top 36. 

Read all of the QB, RB and TE Razzball Rest of Season Positional Rankings now!

And without further ado… 

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Whew! Someone towel me off. That was intense! Hold on a minute, I need to take a few more laps around the couch after that epic finish. I know what you’re all wondering: did Donkey win his Wizard Phallus playoff matchup and did he manage to advance to the RazzBowl championship bracket? Yes and yes–everything went great, thanks for asking! But enough about me, let’s talk about the most exciting football game of this crazy 2020 season. Lamar Jackson unleashed Thriller 2.0 by going 11/17 for 163 yards, 9 carries for 124 yards, 1 passing touchdown and 2 rushing touchdowns–he now has 18 passing touchdowns and 6 rushing touchdowns on the year and I told you he was a screaming buy for his great playoff schedule. But LJax also had some backup dancers who pitched in on the filming of the music video as J.K. Dobbins Macarena’d his way to 13 carries for 53 yards and his 5th touchdown and Gus Edwards Dougie’d his way to 7 carries for 49 yards, 1 catch for 4 yards and his 5th and 6th touchdowns. As a Dobbins fanboy, I don’t get Harbaugh’s obsession with Gus the Bus but I suppose if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I haven’t dug in on all the week 15 matchups yet, but I anticipate ranking Dobbins as a solid RB2, Gus as a low end flex play and LJax as an elite QB1 against a soft Jaguars defense. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

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Your WR top 80 14.0 is here!  This is a playoff specific edition of the WR ranks, with extra weight given to the next 3 matchups specifically. Nothing matters but the path ahead so a few players jumped up because of their schedule. Additionally guys who are currently injured might as well be off the list, although some are straggling around like Kenny Golladay, but there is no guarantee he’ll suit up for our fantasy teams.  

This list is not league or format specific, but it is based on 2020 rest-of-season projection only. When thinking through tiers and rankings I asked myself simply – “all things considered who would I rather have on my roster?”

Read all of the QB, RB and TE Razzball Rest of Season Positional Rankings now!

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It’s a tradition as old as wearing a facial covering while using the public crapper or washing your hands like an obsessive compulsive garbage man: Wednesday Afternoon Football! Since there’s no Thursday Night Football game for me to breakdown with my rankings this week, I’ve decided to nail two Ravens with one stone by recapping the Wednesday afternoon dumpster fire in this introduction for the week 13 rankings. 

Maybe it was the week long uncertainty of whether this game would actually be played, maybe it was the fantasy football gods punishing us all for the NFL’s blind greed, maybe it’s because you put your Christmas lights up 3 weeks before Thanksgiving. Whatever the reason, this was the most boring Wednesday Afternoon Football game in the history of Wednesday Afternoon Football.

Only one Raven player produced positive fantasy results as Marquise Brown (4 catches for 85 yards and his 3rd touchdown) posted the best game of his very disappointing season thanks to his 70 yard touchdown catch late in the 4th quarter. Maybe this kickstarts Hollywood with a much softer schedule on the horizon. The friendly schedule gives me cautious optimism on the entire Ravens offense, including Lamar JacksonJ.K. Dobbins and Mark Andrews, as they all return from the virus outbreak.

On the Steelers side, you could tell they came in expecting to sleepwalk their way to a win and, well, they pretty much did. Juju Smith-Schuster (8 catches for 37 yards and his 6th touchdown), or Shoo Shoo Schuster-Smeeth as they call him on NBC Espanol, was the only Steeler to find the end zone while the damage from their two other (more talented) receivers Diontae Johnson (8 catches for 46 yards) and Chase Claypool (6 catches for 52 yards) was minimized. Benny Snell (16 carries for 60 yards, 3 catches for 33 yards), who I judiciously invested all my FAAB in after week 2, did show some flashes while filling in for James Conner (COVID). Remember, Conner fell into the high COVID risk group as a cancer survivor (diabetic Mark Andrews fell into this category too); not sure if this will actually impact either of their recovery times or if they even experienced any symptoms, but Snell’s worth a roster spot regardless. Anyway, here’s my fantasy football rankings for week 13 which will be frequently updated until Sunday kickoff:

*If you’d like more robotic weekly rankings with projections, check out Rudy’s Pigskinonator which is available on a free trial and then only $5.99 for the rest of the season.

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Your WR top 80 13.0 is here!  Even though week 12 hasn’t ended yet, we’re on to the final countdown. If you’re 7-5 or better you can probably coast but a playoff seed may be on the line. If you’re rolling at 6-6 or in some leagues maybe even 5-7 this is do or die. Obviously “rest of season” doesn’t really mean much with one game left in the regular season but this is still a relative ranking of the best WRs in our game. As a rule, injuries will always bump guys down. I am generally pessimistic that players will return on time at full strength without a setback. 

This list is not league or format specific, but it is based on 2020 rest-of-season projection only. When thinking through tiers and rankings I asked myself simply – “all things considered who would I rather have on my roster?”

Read all of the QB, RB and TE Razzball Rest of Season Positional Rankings now!

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