Week 9 Street FA Report

Updated: October 31st 2018

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 50% of RSO league that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer 1 player that is owned in <10% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

Byes: Arizona, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, NYG, Philadelphia

Add of the Week

David Moore, WR – SEA (Owned 21.6%)

Week 8: 4 Rec/97 yards, 1 TD

A sleeper recommendation three weeks ago, David Moore has graduated to Add of the Week after scoring four (4) touchdowns and averaging 17 points since then. What’s more is that the Seahawks are showing that they are going to trust Mooremore moving forward so much so that they released Brandon Marshall on Tuesday. He may not be as stable a fantasy option as he has been the last three weeks but for deep WR leagues, Moore is a bonafide WR4 right now. In another big bye week, he may be a player that you can use in your lineups this week.

Suggested Bid: $3,000,000 – $6,000,000

RB Add

Josh Adams, RB – PHI (Owned 11%)

Week 8: 9 Car/61 yards, 1 Rec/6 yards

The stat line will show Wendell Smallwood had 14.6 PPR points last week and therefore would be the likely next man up after Ajayi went down for the season. Looking deeper, however, rookie Josh Adams was more efficient with his carries, 6.8 yards vs. 3 yards per carry, on similar touches. He is also another player recommended going into a bye so he should be cheaper to acquire. We will see how the touches are shared going forward but with Smallwood likely already owned in your league why not grab Adams for free.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

WR Adds

T.J. Jones, WR – DET (Owned 0.8%)

Week 8: N/A

Interestingly, T.J. Jones was a WR add suggestion exactly one year ago in the FA Report. Jones hasn’t done anything this season but with Golden Tate leaving the Motor City, and the Lions being one of the heaviest 3WR set teams it’s worth adding Jones. He tallied 30 receptions last year splitting time with Kenny Golladay as the WR3 last season and only has Theo Riddick to contend with as the primary slot option moving forward. Especially if Riddick isn’t healthy over the next couple week, Jones may see even more opportunities.

Suggested Bid: $500,000


Adam Humphries, WR – TB (Owned 14.2%)

Week 8: 7 Rec/76 yards

I expected DeSean Jackson to be another veteran receiver on the move but he is staying in Tampa for the rest of the season. Regardless, Adam Humphries is a receiver that should be available in most leagues that has been putting up quietly good numbers over the last month, averaging 10.8 PPR points in their last four games. The Bucs will be switching back to Ryan Fitzpatrick which may mean that Humphries number dip but for now he’s a WR5 with upside.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

TE Add

Jeff Heuerman, TE – DEN (Owned 9.8%)

Week 8: 1 Rec/4 yards, 1 TD

Even before the news of Demaryius Thomas being shipped to Houston, Jeff Heuerman was a name to watch based on his target volume thus far. He has averaged at least four (4) targets in 4 of his last 5 games but hasn’t been able to turn them into much fantasy production. With Thomas gone there becomes a need for another option in the red zone for targets. Courtland Sutton will see a large increase in his target shares but don’t be surprised if Heuerman also sees an extra target or two per game. If he can accumulate more catches between the 20’s as well as receive goal-line targets he might become something in the second half of the season.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Sleeper Add (<10%)

Tyler Ervin, RB – HOU (Owned 7.3%)

Week 8: 1 Rec/4 yards

As previously mentioned Demaryius Thomas was traded to Houston to try and supplement the loss of Will Fuller for the season. The slot position, however, was not filled and with Keke Coutee missing last week and potentially more games coming, Tyler Ervin may be in line to see more opportunities as a receiver. Ervin was always going to be a question mark as a runner being only 190lbs but his strong receiving skills are what have kept him on the roster these last three seasons. If he can start to see more time in the slot it should be easy for him to work underneath defenses trying to cover Thomas and Hopkins downfield.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

Mid-Season Quarterback Stories

Updated: October 31st 2018

Numerous interesting stories exist at the midway point in the NFL season from Patrick Mahomes emergence to the uptick in offensive production across the league.  This article looks at a few quarterback situations in flux and what that means rest of season for your fantasy team.  The writing concentrates on the Bortles scenario and how Jacksonville arrived in the place they are, with lessons learned from how they handled his contract.

The Blake Bortles Saga

Jacksonville benched Blake Bortles week 7 in a move which clearly foreshadows the end of his time as starting quarterback for the Jaguars sometime in the near future.  The question remains how did the Jaguars get to this point with Bortles still as their starting quarterback and significant money left on his contract?  A calamity of faulty reasoning and different biases supply a big piece of the answer and give examples for NFL teams and RSO GMs of what not to do to get in this type of trouble.

  1. Jacksonville picks up Bortles’ 5th year option. This act set in motion future events for the Jaguars with relation to Bortles. General manger Dave Caldwell picked up Bortles’ option under two primary reasons.  First, Caldwell contends the $19 million option was a relative bargain at quarterback.

“I think that slots him as the 16th highest quarterback next year, right around the median,” Caldwell said. “If he was to get the franchise tender that puts him at the third or fourth or fifth ranked quarterback depending on who gets new deals next year.”

The obvious question that comes to mind is what possible reason would the Jaguars have in franchising Bortles?  No other NFL team was going to give Bortles anything remotely close to $19 million per season, much less the expense of a franchised quarterback.  The odds that another team would have even given him a starting opportunity were extremely low at the time.  It is clear Caldwell misevaluated Bortles value, both on the open market and to his own team.  The fact that Bortles was Caldwell’s first pick for Jacksonville likely influenced his decision to pick up the option.

The second reason given by Caldwell for picking up Bortles’ option is his relatively cheap two-year salary with the extension.

“We look at two-year values on our contracts,” Caldwell said. “I think this year he’s scheduled to make about $3.2 million in cash, and then the $19 million next year is just a little over $22 million, it’s a two-year, $11 million average on what is considered a new deal, and that puts him not in the Top 16 of quarterbacks.”

This classical error may be seen across the business world.  The final year of Bortles’ rookie contract was already locked in and should have had no bearing on the new decision to pick up his option.  What the deal averages out to when including old contract numbers is irrelevant.

Lesson for RSO GMs:  Take your ego out of decisions when franchising or extending players.  Do not let the fact that you drafted a player influence your decision on future contracts and his worth.  Examine the player’s expected value in your league to determine an appropriate salary and be prepared to move on if the franchise tag or extension price is too high.

  1. Jacksonville signs Bortles to three-year extension. Caldwell doubled down on the option mistake by signing him to a three-year $54 million extension following the season. The extension, in part, stems from the option by reducing the $19 million cap hit to a more reasonable $10 million in 2018.  This came at the cost of $16.5 million in dead cap for 2019 which makes releasing Bortles in 2019 an expensive option.  Cap room was not the only reason for the extension however.  Jacksonville believed Bortles made significant progress in 2017 and was a piece of Jacksonville’s future.

“Blake’s growth and development last season was a key to the success we had as a team,” Jaguars executive VP Tom Coughlin said in a release from the team. “Blake has proven, with toughness and dependability, that he can be the leader this team needs going forward. Along with this contract come high expectations that he will continue to improve and help our team accomplish its ultimate goal.”

So how did Jaguars management get fooled into believing in Bortles long-term?  The answer is Bortles performed well near the end of the year in 2017.  He was averaging a very Bortles-like 58% completion percentage and 6.4 yards per attempt to go with 12 touchdowns and 8 interceptions through 11 weeks last season.  He followed that up the next four weeks averaging a robust 9.1 yards per attempt with a 69% completion percentage to go with 9 touchdowns.  Bortles also finished the season with an impressive outing versus New England in the AFC championship game.  How did he accomplish this upgrade in play?  The Jaguars faced incredibly soft passing defenses during those games with Football Outsiders’ 21st, 25th, 28th, and 32nd ranked pass efficiency defenses to go along with a Seattle defense decimated by injuries at the end of season.  The Jaguars saw progress where in reality Bortles simply faced lower-end pass defenses and took advantage of the matchups.  They ignored the long body of work and let a handful of games dictate their outlook.  Jacksonville is now stuck in an ugly situation with no long-term answer at quarterback and the short-term solution is unenviable at best on a team which just missed the Super Bowl last season.

Lesson for RSO GMs:  Do not let recency bias distort your view of players too much.  Relying on players based on a handful of recent games while ignoring everything before can lead to disaster for your fantasy team.

Rest of Season Fantasy Outlook: Bortles was a lower-end streaming option before the benching.  He is almost impossible to trust now, even as a streamer, given that he may be benched in any game.  Look at Bortles as an emergency starter in 2QB and superflex leagues.

Jameis Winston

Bortles was not the only quarterback benched recently.  Winston got the hook after a disastrous four interception game versus Cincinnati last week.  The Bucs have already named Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was benched for Winston earlier, the starter next week.  No one really knows after that.  Winston might relieve Fitzpatrick next week if he struggles or at some future week if Tampa Bay is eliminated from contention.  Tampa Bay put the fifth year option on Winston which is guaranteed for injury only.  This means he also might never see the field again in Tampa Bay if they have determined he is not part of their future in order to eliminate injury risk.

Rest of Season Fantasy Outlook:  Chaotic. Impossible to predict.  What we do know is tremendous weekly upside exists for whoever throws the ball.  Tampa Bay averages 376 passing yards per game (58 more than the next highest team) with a stable of high-end receiving threats and a defense among the league’s worst.  The upcoming schedule is also great for Tampa Bay passers.  Definitely grab Fitzpatrick if he is on your waiver wire.  The upside is so high that I would not mind having both him and Winston on my roster.  The main problem lies in the fact that either may be benched on any given week possibly ruining you fantasy week.

Eli Manning

Career finishes rarely end well for NFL star players.  Their skills diminish quickly toward the end and they almost never are able to make an accurate assessment of their lower abilities.  Manning is no different.  Manning is a statue in the pocket with non-existent movement skills who freezes up anytime pressure presents itself playing on a team which really struggles protecting the passer.  In this case, the organization failed miserably in evaluating Manning and a New York roster which won three games last season.  Management vastly over-estimated this roster and the ability to play competitive football weekly.  No realistic backup plan exists for Manning and the quarterback spot.

Rest of Season Fantasy Outlook:  Manning is a lower-end starting option in two QB leagues.  The Giants season is virtually over already which means they may want to get a look at younger quarterbacks on the roster.  Be prepared with other options if you are counting on Manning in your league.

Bio:  Bernard Faller has degrees in engineering and economics.  He currently lives in Las Vegas and enjoys athletics, poker, and fantasy football in his free time.  Send your questions and comments (both good and bad) on Twitter @BernardFaller1.

More Analysis by Bernard Faller

RSO Staff Picks: Week 8

Updated: November 1st 2018

Week 7 Results

T1. Wendell – 11-4

T1. English – 11-4

3. Papson 10-4

Overall Standings

1.  Papson – 68-37-2

2. English – 66-40-2

3. Wendell 60-46-2

English and I inched a game closer to Papson. I am still eight games back while English sits only two back. Big slate of games this week including a rematch of the thrilling Saints-Vikings NFC Divisional Round last year. Here are our picks for Week 8!

NFL Game Picks



















More Analysis by Stephen Wendell

Week 8 Street FA Report

Updated: October 31st 2018

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 50% of RSO league that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer 1 player that is owned in <10% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

Byes: Atlanta, Dallas, LA Chargers, Tennessee

Add of the Week

Raheem Mostert, RB – SF (Owned 33%)

Week 7: 7 Car/59 yards, 4 Rec/19 yards

I was thinking of put Raheem Mostert as a sleeper addition last week but wanted to see one more game to ensure that it wasn’t a fluke that he had leapfrogged Alfred Morris. While Morris still out-touched him in the backfield (9 to 7) Mostert had four receptions to Morris’ zero which leaves no question who the 49ers pass catching back is. Furthermore, Matt Breida is not healthy enough right now for the 49ers to rely on him so he may be shut down for a week or two to try and fully heal himself. That means that Mostert will see an increased role alongside Alfred Morris and could be the primary option depending on the game script. Your FA pool is likely low of flex RBs at this point so best to bring the big bucks if you want to win your bid this week.

Suggested Bid: $4,000,000 – $6,000,000

RB Add

Chris Ivory, RB – BUF (Owned 49%)

Week 7: 16 Car/81 yards, 3 Rec/25 yards

The Bills were blown out early in this game and they lost LeSean McCoy almost immediately which allowed for Chris Ivory to accumulate almost a full games worth of garbage points. Derek Anderson has already been named the starter for Monday night against the Patriots and it doesn’t look as if McCoy will clear concussion protocol in time. If you are in need of a running back and are willing to risk waiting till Monday, Ivory may be leaned on again in the Bills’ offensive game plan.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

WR Adds

Tajae Sharpe, WR – TEN (Owned 13%)

Week 7: 7 Rec/101 yards

Tennesse’s offense has been terrible this season. If the Cardinals weren’t setting historic lows for offensive numbers the Titans would be dead last in most categories. If there is an upside though it is that the remainder of their schedule gets slightly easier in terms of defensive matchups. Games against Washington, both New York teams, and Indianapolis twice means that there is at least a hope for the Titans to have bigger games ahead. Tajae Sharpe was the only player to produce in London this past week and seems solidified as the #2 across from Corey Davis. They are on a bye this week so hopefully, Sharpe is cheaper to acquire than other options on the waivers for teams needing immediate replacements.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000


Danny Amendola, WR – MIA (Owned 25.6%)

Week 7: 6 Rec/84 yards, 1 TD

In week 4 I said Danny Amendola was the player to add and he followed that up with a relatively low 6 PPR points. However, his last two games he has been targeted 18 times and has scored an average of 17 PPR points with the Brock Lobster at QB. All his fellow receivers (Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson) are banged up which should keep his targets in the same range for at least a couple more games. If Tannehill also misses more games give a checkmark to Amendola and his fantasy value.

Suggested Bid: $2,000,000 – $3,000,000

TE Adds

Chris Herndon IV, TE – NYJ (Owned 16.5%)

Week 7: 4 Rec/42 yards, 1 TD

Stat chasers may race to acquire Lions’ tight end Michael Roberts who scored twice on Sunday and had 20 fantasy points. The savvy owners will look deeper and see that Chris Herndon is actually the better add. He scored for the second straight week and was targeted the second most (7) out of all Jet players. Quincy Enunwa is injured again, Terrell Pryor was a surprise cut last week, and Jermaine Kearse saw only two targets and caught neither. Both starting running backs are also banged up so the options are limited for rookie QB Sam Darnold. Any time the Jets get into the red zone he’s likely to be looking Herndon’s way.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

Sleeper Adds (<10%)

Kenjon Barner, RB – NE (Owned 4%)

Week 7: 10 Car/36 yards

We don’t know the extent of Sony Michel’s injury but in his absence, Kenjon Barber saw 10 carries to James White’s 11. The Patriots offense works best when it has fresh legs in the backfield to rotate in and out throughout long drives. White will always be the pass-catching back but they still need someone to spell him for traditional running plays. Any time that Michel misses means that there will be an opportunity for Barner to be a sneaky flex play.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

RSO Staff Picks: Week 7

Updated: October 19th 2018

Week 6 Results

1. Papson – 14-1

2. English – 10-5

3. Wendell 8-7

Overall Standings

1.  Papson – 58-33-2

2. English – 55-36-2

3. Wendell 49-42-2

Wow! Pappy cleans up with a 14-1 week, taking the overall lead at an impressive 58-33-2, three games ahead of Kyle and a whopping nine games ahead of me in last place. His only miss, the Jaguars meltdown in Dallas. With the Patriots impressive win in Foxboro over an equally impressive Chiefs team on the road, there now is only one undefeated team, the Rams at 6-0. All other teams have won at least one game, so anything is still possible with eleven more weeks to go before the end of the season. Not a particularly inspiring week of games this week with the exception of the Chiefs, who play another good SNF game hosting the 4-2 Bengals. The Broncos demolished the Cardinals last night (the Cards promptly dismissed their OC this morning), which gives Kyle and I one game up on Pappy to start the week (Pappy loves those Thursday night home teams). The rest of our picks are below. Enjoy the games and good luck in all your fantasy matchups!

NFL Game Picks



















More Analysis by Stephen Wendell

Post Week 6 Buys

Updated: October 18th 2018

The fantasy world starts obtaining a decent picture of offensive roles and performance after six weeks in the NFL season.  When combined with a view of upcoming schedules, we can predict player who are good bets to provide good fantasy numbers going forward.  The article gives a number of options, with current PPR points per game, ranging from cheaper options to more expensive players who might be available in your league.

Cheap Quarterback: Joe Flacco QB21

No one wants to start Flacco in fantasy football.  He provides nothing in the rushing department and has never been much of a fantasy asset during his career.  There are a few things going for him however.   He currently sits with the second highest attempt total and ranks eighth in passing yardage.  The Ravens face one of the easiest remaining schedules for passing offenses including one game against each of the dreadful NFC South defenses.  Flacco is a viable second QB or streaming option the rest of season.

Expensive Quarterback: Drew Brees QB4

The ageless wonder once again plays at an extremely high level.  Brees threw for zero interceptions this year and recently broke the all-time passing yards mark.  He gets a fantasy friendly remaining schedule, particularly toward fantasy playoff time where he also receives the privilege of taking advantage of his fellow division teams.  The risk with Brees comes from a possible return to last year’s phenomenon where Brees performs at a high level but is used sparingly due to big usage by Kamara and Ingram.  That risk is mitigated by a Saints defense among the worst in the league.  New Orleans must throw more heavily in order to stay competitive this year.

Other option: Jameis Winston QB17.  Winston will be pricy coming off a big first start back from suspension but worth it.  He retains the advantages of Brees with a nice schedule to finish the year, strong supporting receiving corps, and awful defense but with little running game to lean on.  He should be a very high volume passer going forward.

Cheap Running Back: Austin Ekeler RB21

The former undrafted free agent was a nice surprise last year and followed it up this season producing the second highest yards per carry.  He maintains useful production each week amassing at least 55 yards in every game.  Ekeler plays on the league’s fifth highest scoring offense with a quarterback who utilizes running backs in the passing game at the third highest target percentage.  Looking beyond his standalone value, he also possesses incredible upside as Gordon’s primary handcuff.

Other option: Phillip Lindsay RB29.  Continuing with undrafted free agents, Lindsay’s production has also been a pleasant revelation.  He generated at least 66 yards each week (except for a game he was thrown out of) despite seeing only about a third of snaps in Denver.  Lindsay ranks fifth in yards per carry.  The upside is probably not as high as Ekeler’s with a far worse quarterback situation and a third running back who receives consistent weekly usage.  Lindsay was likely a waiver wire add in your league so he should be attainable from the right team.

Expensive Running Back: David Johnson RB13

Trading for true top-tier running backs is nearly impossible in fantasy leagues.  The disparity between elite options and other running backs is much greater than the difference at other positions.  The supply of high volume RBs remains extremely limited as most teams move to a committee approach.  Just sixteen running backs manage 60% of their team’s snaps so far and only five garner at least 80%.  Let’s focus on one of those backs.  There are a lot of negatives with Johnson.  He plays with one of the worst offensive lines contributing to an abysmal 3.2 yards per carry on the second lowest scoring team in the NFL.  The Cardinals’ coaching staff has limited his receiving opportunities and turned him into a more between-the-tackles grinder. So where is the upside here?  New head coach recently commented on his own job security just six games in meaning a shakeup in scheme could be on the horizon.  Johnson ranks fourth in snap percentage in the NFL on a team now starting a rookie quarterback and whose best receiver might be a rookie.  He will continue as the focal point in this offense and hope remains Josh Rosen improves enough as the season goes on to make this a viable offense.  Johnson is a huge gamble but one of the only backs with the opportunity (outside of injury) and skill-set to reach weekly RB1 levels.

Cheap Wide Receiver: John Brown WR35

The positive fantasy attributes for Flacco going forward extends to Brown and the rest of the Ravens receiving group.  Brown’s remaining schedule is filled with defensive backs who have trouble matching up with any NFL receiver much less anyone with Brown’s speed.  Per NFL Next Gen Stats, Brown ranks first in average targeted air yards and fifth in percentage of team’s air yards.  Put another way, Flacco throws deep to Brown a lot.  Expect some big games from Brown the rest of season.

Expensive Wide Receiver: Julio Jones WR9

Some stats are just hard to explain.  Jones’ zero touchdowns while accumulating the second highest total of receiving yards is one of them.  Take advantage of the discouraged owner who can’t get past the touchdowns.  Jones ranks first in percentage of team’s air yards by a good margin at an incredible 48%. He has a borderline WR1/2-type floor without scoring touchdowns.   Jones has record breaking overall WR1-type upside if he ends up on the plus side of touchdown luck going forward.

Other option: Keenan Allen WR26.  Targeting voluminous underperforming fantasy receivers with good quarterbacks is never a bad idea.  Allen ranks 14th in targets and 12th in receptions.  Look for better days going forward.

Cheap Tight End: David Njoku TE16

Njoku gained no less than 5 receptions, 7 targets, or 52 yards in the three games Baker Mayfield started with double digit targets the last two games.  Mayfield’s success with his wide receivers may generously be described as a work in progress.  We may very well consider Njoku a weekly TE1 going forward this year and in future years.

Expensive Tight End: Zach Ertz TE1

I am choosing Ertz out of the consensus top three tight ends (Kelce and Gronkowski being the others) for a couple of reasons.  First, the Eagles lost Jay Ajayi and are down to Clement and Smallwood in the backfield whereas the Patriots (Michel, White) and Chiefs (Hunt) feature superior talents in the backfields.  I fully expect the Eagles relying on the pass more going forward.  Second, Philadelphia’s passing game largely concentrates on Ertz and Jeffrey.  New England (Edelman, White, Gordon) and Kansas City (Hill, Watkins) feature more diverse receiving corps which spreads targets out to a greater extent.  This combination so far results in Ertz leading tight ends in targets by 12 and in receptions by 15.  He is my safest bet of the top tight ends going forward if I am looking to spend big at the position.

Bio:  Bernard Faller has degrees in engineering and economics.  He currently lives in Las Vegas and enjoys athletics, poker, and fantasy football in his free time.  Send your questions and comments (both good and bad) on Twitter @BernardFaller1.

More Analysis by Bernard Faller