Me before every draft this year. I’m not invited back. I’ll admit it. My first love is fantasy baseball. But over the past few years fantasy football has become my mistress. Now usually I don’t boast or brag, but today is different — usually in late August/early September, I’ve got baseball playoffs on the brain. That’s still the case this year (#humblebrag) but there’s just something in this New Jersey air that’s making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Maybe it’s because I’m going to the Giants/Jaguars game this Sunday. Maybe it’s because last year the Giants were out of contention by week 5. Or maybe, it’s because the Giants parlayed that 3-13 record last year into their second overall pick of Saquon Barkley. I haven’t been this excited about a Giants running back since Brandon Jacobs that one time. Or maybe it’s the air pollution…
Now to get into what you’re really here for. Every Tuesday I’ll be giving you the straight dirt on who you need to get your twisted, gnarled, dirty football fingers on. Maybe there’s backup running back who is due for some added snaps because the starter is just a jabroni. Maybe there’s a third string wide receiver who is about to face the Colts porous defense and you need someone who can reach for that brass ring. Or maybe there’s just someone with a dope name who I just can’t ignore any longer (Hi JuJu!) Whatever the case may be — every Tuesday you need to come here as you turn your attention to laying the smacketh down on your next opponent.
This is only Week 1 though — you’re starting your studs! Duh! However, that doesn’t mean you can’t start mining for gold now to help you a few weeks down the road. These players really won’t be owned in over 50% of leagues — because they’re obviously probably already owned in your league.
Here are just a few names I’m adding if you need say, oh I don’t know, a Jerick McKinnon replacement. Too soon?
Blake Bortles (11.8%): Y’all are so quick to hate on Blake Bortles and yea, he probably deserves 110% of it, but I’m going to be keeping a close eye on the 26 year old former 3rd overall pick. Don’t forget about the 5 game streak at the end of last season when Bortles averaged 22.2 fantasy points per game. This year, in week 1 Bortles faces off against the Giants who allowed the most fantasy points to opposing QBs last season. Yes, the Giants have improved their defensive front, but their secondary still should struggle against the pass. Then in week 2 he’ll face the Patriots who finished 2017 allowing the 7th most fantasy points to QBs. Then in week 4 it’s the other NY team — the Jets — who allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to QBs. Week 5: Chiefs, 9th most. Week 7: Texans, 2nd most. You get it yet?
James Conner (12.6%): Consider this one extremely speculative. Conner is the backup to all-world running back Le’Veon Bell. If you follow the fantasy football news you know the drama surrounding Bell. He still hasn’t reported to camp, hasn’t signed his contract, checked “No” on the Steelers “do you love us?” note that they passed him after class. If Bell is going to continue to hold out, Conner could be in there week 1 against the Cleveland Browns. The Steelers offense is explosive in the passing game with Antonio Brown and the aforementioned JuJu Smith-Schuster which could lead to some solid runs for Conner.
Geronimo Allison (9.1%): File this one under the “guy with an awesome name” category! This one for me has more to do with who Geronimo will be replacing in a few weeks. Randall Cobb has been unable to live up to the 1200+ yards, 12 TDs he put up in 2014. He’s had under 700 receiving yards in each of the last two seasons and if he can’t improve on that — GERONIMO!
Antonio Gates (11.1%): Is this one too obvious? Gates looked headed towards a happy retirement and a potential trip to Canton, Ohio as he wrapped up his career with the Chargers last year. Then, Hunter Henry had to rudely go and tear his ACL causing Gates to trade in his brand new Gilligan fishing hat for a Riddell football helmet. Gates and Phillip Rivers have unmatched chemistry and without Henry around to take snaps away from Gates — he could grab 8 TDs and 650+ receiving yards again.
Detroit Lions (23%): The Lions will be facing off against first-year quarterback Sam Darnold and his New York Jets. I liked Isaiah Crowell as the change of pace back for the Browns, but now as the lead back behind a weak offensive line I think Darnold, Crowell, and the Jets are in for a long day.
Really just use whatever kicker you drafted. Next week you’ll find a kicker here from a team with a solid offense facing a sub-par defense who finds himself with an opportunity to get solid field goal kicking position and extra PAT fantasy points.