Week 4 Street FA Report

Updated: October 1st 2020

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 75% of RSO leagues that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer one (1) player that is owned in <25% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

Add of the Week

Brian Hill, RB – ATL (Owned 31%)

Week 3: 9 Car/58 yards, 1 TD, 1 Rec/22 yards

Pro-active fantasy handcuffing philosophy suggests to only roster running backs who are the immediate backups to a team’s primary ball carrier. By this definition, Brian Hill has to be owned in more than 1/3rd of leagues with how this season has been in terms of injuries. Todd Gurley has seen an average of 54 percent of the Falcons offensive snaps through the first three (3) weeks but only had five (5) more touches than Hill in week 3. Gurley is also ranked 4th on Rotounderworld’s Injury Probability Index which means there is always a strong possibility that Gurley misses time either for rest or injury. Hill would immediately step into a role similar to Mike Davis of Carolina last week where everyone would be looking to add a potential starter from free agency. You can get ahead of the curve now and add him for much cheaper than what he could cost down the road.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

 RB Add

Rex Burkhead, RB – NE (Owned 28%)

Week 3: 6 Car/49 yards, 2 TDs, 7 Rec/49 yards, 1 TD

I did not want to include Rex Burkhead this week as it would not be a shock if he never saw more than five (5) points in a game from this point on. In the two-week absence of James White however, he has been the “primary” running back for New England and also put up a monster stat line against the Raiders last week. The Patriots have always used Sony Michel as their traditional runner and White as the pass-catcher but it often leads to obvious play calling for the defense to react to. With Burkhead, the ability to run or pass gives a quarterback like Cam Newton who thrives off play-action passes more opportunities to make plays. Burkhead will not have another 30+ point game but his value may be more than most think with this new Patriots offense. Of the three running backs, he might be the most valuable at this point.

Suggested Bid: $2,000,000

 WR Adds

Cole Beasley, WR – BUF (Owned 45%)

Week 3: 6 Rec/100 yards

Surprisingly, Cole Beasley is not owned in half the leagues as of week 4. He has averaged 12.5 PPR points and is currently the WR29 overall. He also ranks T-25th in targets, T-16th in receptions, and T-18th in yards. This just begs the question if he is not being started in leagues why has he not been rostered at least? One thought is because he has yet to find the endzone and therefore is out of sight for those who are only scoreboard watching. The other is that most people have not come around to Buffalo being considered a multi-receiver fantasy team yet. If people are starting to be all-in on Josh Allen and his development as a viable passing quarterback then it should stand to reason that Beasley (and other options outside of Stefon Diggs) should be fantasy viable too. Add him this week and be happy if you ever need him in a spot start.

Suggested Bid: $2,000,000


Randall Cobb, WR – HOU (Owned 43%)

Week 3: 4 Rec/95 yards, 1 TD

Randall Cobb was invisible on opening night against the Chiefs but in the last two games he has put up similar production to the previously mentioned Cole Beasley. He is still clearly the 2B receiver along with Brandin Cooks behind Will Fuller but the Texans have played the sixth most 3WR sets this season (72%) and the targets have been spread around fairly evenly. Will Fuller is the only Texans receiver with a double-digit target game thus far back in week 1. The schedule has also been brutal to the Texans to start the season which may have something to do with their offense looking below-average thus far. As the schedule eases up there may be more opportunities for Cobb to be used as a fantasy option in deeper leagues.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

 TE Add

Jimmy Graham, TE – CHI (Owned 38%)

Week 3: 6 Rec/60 yards, 2 TDs

The switch has finally happened at quarterback for Chicago with Nick Foles taking over in the fourth quarter and stealing another game for the Bears. Having to come back from a large deficit was likely a big reason the offense was so pass-heavy with Foles in the game but it looked more efficient than when Mitch Trubisky was under center. Two benefactors of this efficiency were Allen Robinson and Jimmy Graham. Graham specifically was able to take advantage by having his first two (2) touchdown game since week 10 of 2017. His usage was always there as he was on the field more than any receiver other than Allen Robinson and has been the second most targeted receiver in two of the Bears’ first three games. He currently sits as the TE7 in PPR and would be a solid addition for teams that are working through Dallas Goedert or George Kittle injuries.

 Sleeper Add (<25%)

Travis Homer, RB – SEA (Owned 10%)

Week 3: 2 Car/19 yards

The absence of Chris Carson should only be for a week or two so the suggestion of Travis Homer is a rather short-term one. However, Homer split his usage with Carlos Hyde behind and in replace of Carson in week 3 so Hyde may not be as much of a bell-cow as others are suggesting. Their roles in this offense are also more defined in that Hyde acts primarily as an early-down carrier while Homer is the third down and passing situation option. With Carlos Hyde’s ownership being over 2/3rd in RSO leagues and how much the Seahawks are letting Russell Wilson pass the ball making for more opportunities to catch the ball out of the backfield, Homer would be the ideal sleeper add for owners rotating their starting running backs or flex position.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

RSO Staff Picks 2020: Week 3

Updated: September 27th 2020

Stephen’s Picks

Matt’s Picks

Kyle’s Picks

More Analysis by Stephen Wendell

One Big Thing – NFC – Week 2

Updated: September 25th 2020

Every week we learn a little bit more about how a team sees each player as a part of their offense allowing fantasy footballers to react (positively or negatively) to those actions. Each week I will look to capture the “One Big Thing” that should have an impact on each team going forward and how you, the savvy fantasy player, can use that to your advantage.


 NY Giants

Daniel Jones thus far through the Giants’ first two games has not taken the second-year leap that many thought he would have. It does not help that his receivers cannot seem to stay healthy as he only briefly had all of his offensive starters available before Sterling Shepard went down with a toe injury and of course Saquon Barkley is now out for the remainder of the season. Devonta Freeman was signed this week to provide a better all-around back compared to Dion Lewis who finished off the game last week but it is still a significant downgrade. Expect teams to focus more on putting pressure on Jones via their pass rushers. With how mediocre their offensive line has looked the team’s first two games it could be a long season for Daniel Jones’ fantasy owners.


On a positive note, Dallas was able to come back and win a game in which they were down by twenty points but it should never have come to that. The offense made some bad turnovers in the first half and special team failures allowed the Falcons to have several series start deep in Dallas’ territory. Once they stopped causing self-inflicting damage Dallas was able to start working the ball down the field with ease, scoring points on seven (7) of their final (8) drives. Their severe deficit was the reason that Dak Prescott threw nearly 50 attempts. He was also the benefit of three (3) short-yardage rushing touchdowns which likely left Ezekiel Elliot owners wanting more.  Dallas is a better team than Atlanta but they are probably closer to each other than Dallas is to the elite NFC teams. Shootouts are going to be their only shot of winning games until they can have a better showing on the defensive side of the ball.


Through two games it is pretty obvious that this team cannot stop opponents’ tight ends. They allowed Logan Thomas to score in week 1 and then were torched by Tyler Higbee for three (3) touchdowns last week. That will be an interesting counter-stream to target with guys like Drew Sample (CIN), George Kittle/Jordan Reed (SF), and Eric Ebron (PIT) upcoming the next three (3) weeks. Their offense will be without Jalen Reagor for at least a month, maybe more, which means that Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert are going to be heavily targeted until some of their wide receivers start to return from injury. It is a tough blow for Reagor and depending on how long he is out for, may limit his use to fantasy players.


It took a week but fantasy owners who believed in Antonio Gibson were rewarded with a better performance in week 2 against Arizona. It may have been due to the game getting out of hand early and the skillset of Gibson fitting better during passing situations compared to week 1 which featured more traditional runs from Peyton Barber at the goal line. The emergence of J.D. McKissic is also one to monitor as his skillset mirrors a lot of what Gibson is and might be limiting how much his usage expands in the offense. Either way, Gibson improved his snap count from 18 to 43 from week-to-week which shows he is becoming more involved as the coaching staff trusts him more. Until we see more consistency from him in both positive and negative game script, Gibson will be treated as a low-end RB3/Flex play most weeks.



Slowly, De’Andre Swift is becoming more involved in the offense but his usage seems to be primarily limited to the passing game at this point. He has out-snapped the other two running backs in both games this season but he has been third in the pecking order for carries. The big drop at the end of week 1 probably caused bigger trust issues with fans than with his actual teammates but it may take a while before Swift can take full control of this backfield. This situation seems similar to the 2017 Bengals that featured rookie Joe Mixon, along with veterans Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. It took Mixon almost half the season before he was consistently receiving a 50 percent or better snap rate and even then it was not until Hill left that offseason before Mixon became what he is now. Fantasy owners should be hopeful that Swift can keep up his 12PPG total right now while also realizing that it may take a season before his true breakout can be had.

 Green Bay

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” said Mark Twain… and probably Aaron Jones. Many fantasy managers were panicking about Aaron Jones’ value when A.J. Dillion was drafted in the second round this year and it may have benefited some savvy owners. Jones has seen a total of 77 snaps this season to Dillon’s seven (7) and has outscored Dillon 63:3 in just two games. It is safe to say that this is still Aaron Jones’ backfield and should be for a long time. Anybody who was able to acquire Jones at a reduced cost may be looking at a championship this season.


Minnesota’s offense last Sunday can be summed up in two letters, P-U. Kirk Cousins finishing with negative fantasy points tells you everything you need to know about how efficiently their offense operated and his three (3) interceptions sunk the value of every other player around him. Dalvin Cook was the only player to not leave a bad taste in fantasy owners’ mouth and that was only because of a late-game 8-point touchdown and two-point conversion to boost his stats. They move on to play the Titans in week 3 but other than Cook and maybe Adam Thielen there is going to be no fantasy value to this roster until further notice.


The early surprise of the season is that the Chicago Bears are 2-0 and Mitch Trubisky has not looked awful yet. He played well in the fourth quarter of week 1 with three (3) touchdowns to come from behind and while he did not necessarily have a great game last Sunday he did enough to keep the Bears undefeated. It has not helped his receivers though as only Allen Robinson has caught more than six (6) passes and no receiver has over 20PPR points yet. The Bears have another favorable matchup against an Atlanta defense that has been skewered by the pass the first two weeks of the season.



Like the Giants, the Panthers are going to need to find a different offensive game plan as their all-pro running back Christian McCaffrey went down with an ankle injury and will be out at least the next three (3) weeks. Teddy Bridgewater has surprisingly been passing more often and with greater depth-per-attempt than he had been in either Minnesota or New Orleans. This hopefully means that he, along with D.J. Moore, who had a nice bounce-back game, and Robby Anderson can keep this team afloat while they await McCaffrey’s return. Their performances may not be translating to actual wins right now but for their fantasy owners, it seems to be working.

Tampa Bay

After having only nine (9) snaps on offense in week 1, Leonard Fournette led the Tampa Bay backfield with 26 in his second week with the team. His increase was likely due to Ronald Jones’ fumble that put him on relief duty for much of the second half. Still, it is clear that Fournette is the better running back for the Bucs right now and will only increase that gap as he becomes more familiar with the offense. Even discounting his 46-yard touchdown to close the game out, Fournette still rushed for 5.2 yards/carry compared to Jones’ 3.3 yards. He will never receive the volume that he had in Jacksonville but Fournette should be the primary ball carrier from this point on.


All passing, all the time. That looks like it will be the Falcons mantra for the 2020 season with Matt Ryan already throwing 90 passing in the first two games. Taking from our Street FA Report this should bode well for Russell Gage who played as the team’s WR3 but is one behind Calvin Ridley for targets (21) thus far. Julio Jones is also nursing an injury that may make him unavailable for week 3 against the Bears. This should be another opportunity for Matt Ryan to move the ball around the field making Gage, and may tight end Hayden Hurst, a must start this week if Jones is unable to play.

New Orleans

Maybe it was just one game but it was clear on Monday night that Drew Brees really needed Michael Thomas to be able to make plays to try and keep this offense going. The Saints were unable to move the ball down the field and were only able to generate yardage via the short dump-offs to Alvin Kamara and underneath crossing routes to Tre’Quan Smith. Once the Raiders realized this they clamped down on the offense and were able to keep them out of the endzone for all but a last-second score in the second half. It does not get much easier against Green Bay who has looked offensively dominant in the first two games. It is not often that we worry about Drew Brees in a shootout but he and Sean Payton will need to come up with a better game plan if they want to keep up with Aaron Rodgers.


San Francisco

No team was hit harder by the injury bug in week 2 that the 49ers as they lost key players on both the defensive and offensive side of the ball. For fantasy purposes, the biggest one has to be Raheem Mostert who ran 80-yards on the opening play and then was done for the start of the second half. For a team that wants to run the ball and use play-action, it is going to be very difficult these next few weeks without their starting quarterback, two starting running backs, and their star tight end for at least one more week. They should be able to win against the Giants this week but any more injuries and it will be an even more uphill battle to make the playoffs in a division that currently has three (3) 2-0 teams to compete with.

 LA Rams

Like I said last week the Rams have gone back to what made them so good when they went to the Super Bowl two years ago. I see a lot of similarities between this team and the Cleveland Browns just with varying results. The difference between them right now is a) the Rams have the better head coach and b) they know what their strengths are and find the best way to use those to their advantage better. Sean McVay wants to keep Jared Goff moving the pocket and focusing on a strong running game with complimentary passing. This week against the Bills and their top ten defense will be a better test for how much they can stay with their game plan and just how “for real” this team is.


Another strong performance from Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins has this looking like it might be the best QB-WR combo in the league. Murray’s ability to extend plays and avoid negative yardage has allowed the Cardinals to take down the defending NFC Champs and thoroughly dominate a team that looked pretty solid on defense in their own first game. If it was not for Russell Wilson tearing it up right now Kyler Murray might be the front-runner in the MVP race. Still a whole season to go though.


As mentioned previously, Russell Wilson has dominated his first two games this season and if not for a pick-six that bounced right off of Greg Olsen’s hands he would be near perfect. He is completing a ridiculous 83 percent of his passes and has a quarterback rating of 140. Obviously, this is sustainable through an entire season but if Pete Carroll keeps letting him be the focus of the offense he is going to run away with the MVP votes this season.

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

The Watch List 2021: Week 4 Preview

Updated: September 25th 2020

Welcome to The Watch List for the 2021 NFL Draft season, a resource to help RSO owners identify the players from the college game that deserve your attention.  To view my observations, follow me on Twitter @robertfcowper.  Check back throughout the season as The Watch List will preview the prospects you should be watching each week so you know who will be fantasy relevant and worth your valuable draft capital.

The SEC is back! College football has certainly felt different so far this season but I think this week will be the first that feels “normal” because we can get lost in some matchups from the Southeastern Conference. We only get one Top 25 matchup this week from the SEC (Kentucky at Auburn) but no matter, the games will be fun to watch. To help you plan your schedule on Saturday, I am going to present you the best SEC game to watch in each broadcast window to maximize your prospect viewing pleasure.

12:00pm | Kentucky at Auburn

The SEC season kicks off with the league’s only Top 25 matchup of the day: Kentucky at Auburn. If I’m being honest, Auburn is the reason to watch this one. Kentucky may end up having a solid season but they are ranked 23rd simply because 40% of the Power 5 are not playing (yet). Before we get into Auburn, I will share one future NFL name from the Wildcats: Punter Max Duffy. Duffy won the Ray Guy award in 2019 after leading the NCAA in average yards per punt (48.1). If you’re recording the game to watch later, hit play when you see Duffy trot onto the field. You might get to see the NFL’s next best field-flipper in action, but it also means that Bo Nix and the Auburn offense are coming back onto the field.

Bo Nix isn’t yet draft eligible but he’s a name you should know because he’s likely to build on a solid true freshman season and make a case as a 2022 first rounder. He had 23 total TDs but was inefficient at times, especially in big games against Oregon, Florida and Alabama. The Tigers did pull out the victory over Alabama, but it was more in spite of Nix than thanks to him. Nix has plenty of room to grow and I suspect he will.

His top target from 2019, Seth Williams, is back for his junior season. A lanky outside receiver, Williams, put up a 59-830-8 line last year. He played a smaller role in 2018 as a freshman but managed a 20.5 yards per catch average and 5 TDs on just 26 receptions. I watched Williams tape from the 2019 LSU matchup. I was nonplussed for the first 57 minutes of the game before he finally flashed his potential. On those late snaps, I finally saw Williams use his 6030/211 size to his advantage. He isn’t the strongest receiver prospect but on those key plays he used his length and leverage to make plays. The capper of the drive was a too-little-too-late score from five yards out. He jab steps outside, knocks the corner’s hands off him, and then leans into his slant route to use his body to protect the incoming ball. Youtube clips show how well Williams does in the air, especially at the boundary or the back of the end zone. Maybe it’s because he too went to Auburn and I just saw him on Monday Night Football, but my mind went to Darius Slayton while watching Williams’ highlight reels.

Tune into this one for the Nix-Williams connection and hope we get a glimpse of their ceiling together.

4:00pm | Georgia at Arkansas

Few teams were in the national college football headlines as often this offseason as Georgia. Grad transfer QB Jamie Newman coming in from Wake Forest was big news because he would give the offense a different dynamic than in recent years. Then there were murmurs about USC’s deposed signal caller, JT Daniels, coming to Athens to be the heir apparent for 2021. But wait, there’s more. Daniels was granted an immediate eligibility waiver from the NCAA giving head coach Kirby Smart a decision to make. Just a few weeks ago, Jamie Newman made the decision himself and decided to opt out of the season. So, we presume Daniels will be the starter but as of this writing, Smart had not yet made an official announcement — whether it’s just pregame posturing or the staff having doubts about Daniels’ ACL recovery, we don’t truly know. (Editor’s note: As of Thursday, Daniels still has not been cleared to play. Looks like D’Wan Mathis, who overcame emergency surgery for a brain cyst last year, will get the start.) 

Both Newman and Daniels will be draft eligible in 2021 so it will be interesting to see how they stack up in the eyes of NFL scouts. Newman is a dual-threat while Daniels is a pocket passer who was very highly touted out of high school. If Daniels does win the job and decides to declare early I think he will get plenty of attention; it’s hard to say at this point what Newman opting out will do for his draft stock.. What I’m most interested in, despite what the ten sentence lead-in may have you believe, is who will be running the rock for Georgia.

Junior running back Zamir White is likely to get the biggest piece of the RBBC pie in 2020. As a high school recruit, White earned a near-perfect score from 247Sports (0.9957) and was a top player in the 2018 class. Unfortunately, White suffered ACL injuries to both knees in back-to-back years, effectively delaying the start of his highly anticipated college career. White had 78 carries in 2019, gaining 408 yards and scoring three times. He was the lead ballcarrier in the bowl game against Baylor and rushed for 92 yards and a score on 18 carries. White is big (6000/215, and maybe even larger) and runs with power and momentum. He only has two career receptions so I have no idea if he can be a receiver at the next level. There isn’t much of a sample size for White at this point so I’m trusting the recruiting hype and will check in again after a few games.  I always root for guys like White who had so much potential squashed by injury so I’m really hoping he can stay healthy.

Arkansas has their own draft eligible back to watch and his name is Rakeem Boyd. Boyd started his career at Texas A&M but ended up transferring down to JUCO for academic reasons. He returned to the SEC in 2018 with the Razorbacks and over two seasons has rushed for 1,867 yards and 10 TDs. I don’t recall watching Boyd play before, and haven’t seen the newer seasons of Last Chance U where he was profiled, so being introduced to his 2019 highlights was a delight. Boyd is a straight-ahead runner who passes the proverbial “eye test.” I came up with a fun description for him while watching: he’s a wallop-gallop runner. He can run over a tackler with sheer power and then outrun a safety to the endzone. Boyd also contributes in the passing game, making him a solid three down back.

Let’s hope this one stays close so that both White and Boyd log plenty of snaps. Another reason to hope for a close, low scoring, run heavy game: it’ll keep the clock ticking so we don’t miss the start of our next highlighted game…

7:00pm | Alabama at Missouri

Alabama is so chock full of NFL talent that I could devote this entire piece to their squad and still not cover everybody. I have previously written about RB Najee Harris so I’ll gloss over him today but that doesn’t mean I’m any less eager to watch him. There’s also LB Dylan Moses and CB Patrick Surtain who are slam dunk 2021 first rounders. But, in truth, I’ll be watching this one for the pass catchers. The Crimson Tide have had a steady stream of All-American receivers over the last decade and that spigot is still flowing. This year’s tandem, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, are both likely to be first round talents next year.

Smith was eligible for the 2020 draft but declined even after a huge season where he accrued 1,256 yards and 14 TDs on 68 catches. Smith is perhaps most known by casual fans for his game-winning score in the championship game of his freshman year (that’s the one where Tua Tagovailoa came in at halftime) but he’s made so many more eye-catching plays since then. DeVonta Smith is just a damn fun player to watch. He doesn’t truly break tackles, instead he accelerates around or through tacklers who can barely get their hands on him. Smith has the contact balance of an elite running back but also a smoothness that looks more like a track athlete than a football player. I haven’t studied him closely enough yet to know how well he runs routes but considering how polished the recent Bama receivers were in that department I’m sure it’s a strong suit of his as well. Let’s be thankful that Smith decided to return for his senior season because it means we get to watch one of the nation’s best dominate once again.

Waddle, a junior, was the third or fourth option much of the time during his first two years on campus. In those two years combined, Waddle has a 78-1,408-13 line, averaging 18.1 yards per catch. Waddle is fantastic in space. He has 4.35 speed, sharp change of direction and great vision. Alabama found ways to get him touches in the open field: punt returns, kick returns, screens, crossing patterns. The biggest concern when it comes to Waddle’s pro potential is his size. He’s listed at just 5100/182. In the last five draft classes, only seven receivers have weighed that or less at the combine and been drafted (many others went undrafted). Two of those, Marquise Brown and KJ Hamler, were Top 50 picks but the rest of the bunch were Day Three prospects. I think Waddle’s skillset and pedigree hews closer to Marquise Brown than the others in the cohort so I still think it’s likely that he’s a first rounder. Playmakers like Waddle simply don’t come along too often.

On the Mizzou offense we have two potential late-round prospects to keep an eye on in RB Larry Rountree and WR Damon Hazelton. Rountree feels like he’s been playing college football for more than a decade, [checks notes] but apparently his freshman season was in 2017 not 2007. As a four-year starter who has logged 38 career games, Rountree has racked up the counting stats: 537 carries, 2,748 yards, 26 TDs. If he has a halfway decent season in 2020 he’ll become the Tigers all-time second-leading rusher behind former dual-threat QB Brad Smith. From what I’ve seen of Rountree over the years I don’t recall seeing any elite traits but he’s good enough to get drafted and seems like the kind of back who will stick around on an NFL roster for years.

Hazelton is a well traveled receiver who comes to Columbia as a grade transfer from Virginia Tech (who had previously transferred from Ball State). He’s a 6030/215 big bodied guy who should profile as a late round red zone specialist. Twelve of his twenty career touchdowns came in the red zone. He’s consistently produced at his two previous stops and Tigers fans will hope that continues this year — a 50-700-6 line is easily within his reach.

Week 3 saw a rash of Covid-related cancellations and I think this is the game I would miss most from the Week 4 slate. The season is young but I have already watched a lot of mediocre to bad football and I’m (Mac) Jonesing for something great.


Notes: Heights listed are using a notation common among scouts where the first digit corresponds to the feet, the next two digits correspond to the inches and the fourth digit corresponds to the fraction, in eighths.  So, somebody measuring 5’11” and 3/8 would be 5113.  This is helpful when trying to sort players by height. Full disclosure, I am not watching film of every single game any player plays, instead I am looking for a representative sample.  There are a lot of analysts out there who have a deeper depth of knowledge about certain players but I pride myself in a wide breadth of knowledge about many players.  When researching my articles I use a number of valuable resources. I would recommend bookmarking the below sites:

  • Stats: espn.com, sports-reference.com, pro-football-reference.com, cfbstats.com, herosports.com, fcs.football, mcubed.net, expandtheboxscore.com, washingtonpost.com
  • Recruiting: 247Sports.com, espn.com, sbnation.com, rivals.com
  • Film: 2021 NFL Draft Database by Mark Jarvis, youtube.com
  • Draft info and mocks: draftcountdown.com, draftscout.com, mattwaldmanrsp.com, draftek.com, thedraftnetwork.com, nfl.com
  • NFL rosters, depth charts and contract info: ourlads.com, spotrac.com
  • Draft history: drafthistory.com
  • Combine info: pro-football-reference.com, espn.com, nflcombineresults.com, mockdraftable.com
  • Season preview magazines: Phil Steele, Lindy’s, Street and Smith’s, Athlon Sports
  • Podcasts: ESPN’s First Draft, The Audible by Football Guys (specifically episodes w/ Matt Waldman), UTH Dynasty, Draft Dudes, Saturday 2 Sunday, Locked on NFL Draft, Cover 3 College Football
  • Logos & Player Media Photos: collegepressbox.com
  • Odds & Gambling Stats: vegasinsider.com

Robert F. Cowper is a freelance writer who lives in New Jersey.  He is a proud member of the Football Writers Association of America and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.  Robert works as a certified park and recreation professional, specializing in youth sports, when he isn’t acting as commissioner for his many fantasy sports leagues.

More Analysis by Bob Cowper

One Big Thing – AFC – Week 2

Updated: September 23rd 2020

Every week we learn a little bit more about how a team sees each player as a part of their offense allowing fantasy footballers to react (positively or negatively) to those actions. Each week I will look to capture the “One Big Thing” that should have an impact on each team going forward and how you, the savvy fantasy player, can use that to your advantage.

AFC East


The switch seems to have flipped on this offense’s philosophy as Josh Allen has looked superb over his first two games. Hopefully, this was not just the product of playing two mediocre teams (Jets and Dolphins) but rather Allen’s growth from a one-read and go quarterback to a proper franchise passer. It is probably no coincidence the addition of Stefon Diggs has had a positive impact on his ability to pass with greater efficiency as well. This may be the difference between the Bills being a playoff hopeful, and a playoff contender in 2020.


Through two games Ryan Fitzpatrick has not had the usual “Fitz-magic” swagger that elevates the talent around him to be fantasy relevant. This team, and more specifically this offense, needs a spark if they are going to show improvements for second-year head coach Brian Flores. A competitive Thursday night game against the Jaguars might help boost this team’s confidence. If not we may be on the verge of a Tua sighting with the mini-bye after.

 New England

As Randy Quaid put it in the movie Independence Day, “Hello boys, I’m Back”! Cam Newton has looked even better than where he was projecting back in 2018 before injuries led him to miss most of the last two seasons. He is averaging over a 71 percent completion rate showing how much he has worked on his fundamentals as a passer all while returning to his past “Superman” form in terms of running capabilities. He may have been stopped on the goal line at the end of the game last week but we can all assume that Josh McDaniels was thrilled with all his other jumbo formation success. The Patriots do scheme changes better than anyone week to week so we should expect more creative play-calling to give teams headaches when presented with similar formations moving forward.

  NY Jets

This team looks dreadful and if it was not for the history of not firing coaches mid-season my money would be on Adam Gase for the first head coach to go. The Jets have failed to put any playmakers around Sam Darnold which likely puts his own career with the Jets in limbo at this point. There has been a recent trend of drafting a second, first-round quarterback even with the first still on his rookie deal and the Jets may be in line to do the same in 2021. Not that this is a knock on Darnold but when a generational talent like Trevor Lawrence is available it will be hard to pass up if he makes it to them. In any case, Darnold will need to show a lot more over the next two seasons if the Jets are even going to consider picking up his fifth-year option. There are just too many holes to fill on this roster to have franchise-level money committed to an average-below average starter.

AFC North


I will quickly say that although Joe Burrow has started his career 0-2 he already looks the part of the franchise quarterback. If you can acquire him on his cheap rookie contract do it now. Having said that the thing that stood out was that A.J. Green, despite the announcers saying that he thinks he has four (4) more years of elite play in him, appears as if he is already spent. His role in this younger offense reminds me of what Rob Gronkowski’s was in his final season in New England where he was on the field for what seemed like a great portion of the game but his only contributions came during big moments. This is great for real football but in terms of fantasy, Green is now at best a rotational flex player based on matchups. The window to sell was a long time ago but if you can find another owner who will buy on name brand alone it would be worth seeing what he is worth.


Maybe the Ravens are just that good. Or maybe Cincinnati is just terrible on defense still. Either way, the Browns had a much-needed tune-up game that allowed both their running backs to rush for over 200 combined yards and score a combined 50 fantasy points on Thursday night. It remains to be seen how the game script will affect the usage of both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt but when they can, this offense moves through these two. Baker Mayfield did just enough to sustain drives and make key throws when needed but as mentioned Cincinnati is not the standard of defensive excellence that we should be judging quarterbacks on. We should get a better read on this team by week 3 as they face a tough Washington front seven.


This was another game where the Pittsburgh defense looked really strong but it was a surprisingly close game despite the Broncos’ injury misfortunes on their offense.  When the opponent loses its starting quarterback and primary wide receiver you should be able to take advantage of his backup’s lack of preparation and timing with his other receivers. The offense is strong enough that several wide receivers look like they should be WR2 most weeks, however, it will be difficult week-to-week to pin down who will be the best. Week 1, Juju Smith-Schuster looked to be heading back to the elite tier of receivers but then Dionte Johnson stole the spotlight in week 2, commanding thirteen (13) targets. We know Pittsburgh has been able to support multiple high-end wide receivers in fantasy seasons’ past so there should be no concerns owning either.


It is not too often that Lamar Jackson is held to under 19 fantasy points in a week but I guess that is the blissful experience that even his lackluster games are still better than your average quarterback. The offense didn’t need him to be a superstar as the defense and running game controlled the Texans wire to wire. Jackson should bounce back to top-5 QB in week 3 as an early “game of the year” candidate against the Kansas City Chiefs will likely require him to go toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes if they want to win.

AFC South


We finally got the post-hype breakout from Jonnu Smith and Corey Davis that we were expecting last year. The two combined for three (3) touchdowns against the Jaguars in week 2 and are the focus for Ryan Tannehill with A.J. Brown sidelined. In RSO leagues both Smith and Davis are likely to be heavy re-sign candidates when the feature opens up after week 4. Either may be a great building block if you do not already have another candidate for resigning or could also fetch a good return on the trade market, depending on their re-sign value.


The ‘Stache did not get the win in week 2 but he went toe-to-toe with the AFC runner-ups which shows that he has the talent to keep his team going. The big surprise has to be the use of Keelan Cole (check out our Street FA Report this week) and how he is being used as one of the primary passing options thus far. He leads the team in targets, receptions, and touchdowns over the first two weeks. For a team that most thought were tanking for Trevor, they have looked anything but bottom rung the first two weeks of the season. Seven (7) or eight (8) wins is not out of reach for this team.


It only took one game of Marlon Mack’s absence for Jonathan Taylor to take full control of the Colts’ backfield. Taylor played on 49 of Indy’s 73 offensive snaps and had 28 touches compared to the other running backs’ combined ten (10) touches. It would have been interesting to see how the snaps were split with Mack still available but much like the Chargers and their rookie’s performance I do not see how they hold Taylor back from being their bell-cow running back.


The Texans have had a brutal schedule to start the season against three of the best teams in the AFC. This has likely exposed more of the flaws that this team has which puts real pressure on the team to turn things around quickly if they want to save their season. The offense just does not have that big-play capability any more that DeAndre Hopkins offered and it has forced the team into having to spread the ball around to less talented players. Especially when the team’s best receiver, Will Fuller, can not stay on the field consistently enough to be available for DeShaun Watson it will be difficult for this team to make another playoff run.

AFC West


Last week I talked about how exciting this offense could be with all this young talent showing promise in week 1. With the injuries to Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Drew Lock though it does not look like it will come to fruition this season. The bright spot is that Noah Fant looks like he will be a great receiving tight end and is a steal in RSO leagues where most have him on a second-round rookie contract through the next two seasons. He did not seem to have much of a production drop off once Jeff Driskel took over at quarterback either so he should continue to see high volumes of targets while Lock is out for a few weeks.

 Kansas City

Patrick Mahomes had to pull out a big comeback win against rookie Justin Herbert in his first career start (more on him in the next blurb). The offense looked pretty sluggish through the first three quarters but luckily they have the quick score ability to come back from almost any deficit. Clyde Edwards-Helaire also came back down to earth with only 38 yards rushing; luckily he caught six (6) passes to bolster his PPR weekly score. This does remind us that some weeks there just will not be enough opportunities to go around and other than Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, there may be down weeks for KC’s other weapons.

 LA Chargers

Justin Herbert was thrust into starting week 2’s games moments before kickoff and he surprisingly was going toe-to-toe with one of the best quarterbacks in the league for most of the game. He provided a much-needed spark to an offense that looked average at best against a Bengals team that was just torched in week 2. Some discussions suggest Head Coach Anthony Lynn will return to Tyrod Taylor once he becomes healthy again which does not make a lot of sense. The only reason you do not allow a rookie quarterback to start is that you believe that he is not ready or he lacks the confidence to handle the ups and downs that come with learning to be a rookie quarterback in the NFL. Herbert showed he is ready and willing to learn quickly from mistakes. I just do not see how benching him for Taylor if he looks good in his second start this week benefits the team either in the short or long term.

 Las Vegas

The Raiders looked like they might be blown out early but methodically scored 24 unanswered points once the game settled down in the second and third quarters to have maybe what some considered a sure Saints victory. Derek Carr looked surgical as he found just about every open receiver with ease. Of those receivers, it looks like this is going to be the Darren Waller show in Las Vegas as he now has the second-most receptions (18) of any receiver and is the clear #1 target for Carr moving forward. His re-sign contract value will be an interesting one to monitor since most leagues do not have big tight end contracts to pull the algorithm’s value up to what he should cost at auction next season. A lucky break for any team that currently has him on their roster.

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

Week 3 Street FA Report

Updated: September 22nd 2020

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 75% of RSO leagues that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer one (1) player that is owned in <25% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

Add of the Week

Mike Davis, RB – CAR (Owned 16%)

Week 2: 1 Car/1 yard, 8 Rec/74 yards

Destruction to your fantasy lineups was the big story for week 2. Christian McCaffrey didn’t look all that injured when he went out and up until late Monday morning was expected to survive the injury wave. Then the news comes out that he will be out for at least a month and it now leaves a huge hole in everyone’s roster. Mike Davis came in for the fourth quarter and caught eight passes in a blowout. It remains to be seen what his usage will be once he becomes the starter but he is everyone’s must add if you lost McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, or Raheem Mostert this week. He should see the bulk of the Panthers’ carries as there is no depth behind him without McCaffrey. We have already seen his usage in the passing game which should give him the edge over another prospective running back that they may add in terms of snap count.

Suggested Bid: $10,000,000 – $14,000,000 or 60-75% of your remaining cap

RB Adds

Jerick McKinnon, RB – SF (Owned 73%)

Week 2: 3 Car/77 yards

While you are putting in a claim for Davis make sure to check and see if Jerick McKinnon is still available on waivers. He is available in about a quarter of RSO leagues and his path to touches has also greatly expanded after week 2. Both Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman suffered knee injuries last week, likely resulting in them both missing multiple games. McKinnon and fullback Kyle Juszczyk are the only experienced running backs available to the 49ers at this point so his workload should be substantial compared to the three (3) carries he had last week. Especially with Nick Mullens being a potential multi-game starter in replace of Jimmy Garoppolo, Kyle Shannahan may lean more on the run against the Giants, Eagles, and Dolphins in coming weeks.

Suggested Bid: $5,000,000 – $8,000,000

Giovani Bernard, RB – CIN (Owned 39%)

Week 2: 1 Car/3 yards, 5 Rec/22 yards

Sometimes you just can’t quit on a person. The Bengals seem to be doing that with Giovanni Bernard who despite being the starting running back in only eight (8) games over the last three (3) seasons still want to get him involved in their offense. His seven (7) targets were third among all Bengals players in week 2 and he nearly split snaps (42:46) with Joe Mixon. Second-year head coach Zac Taylor wants to get Giovanni Bernard involved in the passing game and even mix in (bad pun) a couple carries. With the rash of injuries, Gio may be a really deep flex option at this point and if anything was to happen to Mixon his value would skyrocket to 2016 levels. If you miss out on Davis, Gio is a nice consolation.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

WR Add

Russell Gage, WR – ATL (Owned 61%)

Week 2: 6 Rec/46 yards, 1 TD

Repeat after me, 90 percent ownership of Russell Gage to start week 3. I recommended him last week and while he didn’t have another 100-yard game, Gage still had nine (9) targets. With how the Falcons are looking after two games Matt Ryan should continue to pass the ball 40 times a game mean plenty of targets to go around each week. On top of that, Julio Jones was dealing with a hamstring injury coming into week 2 and did not look healthy as he tried to gut it out. He may sit out a game to try and get things healthy or even if he tries to go who knows how effective he may be. All this tells us that Gage should continue to be used in this offense and likely will continue to be a WR3/Flex each week. Seriously, 90 percent ownership, let’s make it happen.

Suggested Bid: $5,000,000

Keelan Cole, WR – JAX (Owned 29%)

Week 2: 6 Rec/58 yards, 1 TD

Keelan Cole has quietly had two solid games to start the season and is seriously undervalued when it comes to his fantasy value. Everyone loves the rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. but Cole has out-snapped him the first two games of the season and has more targets than both he and D.J. Chark. The Jaguars can be a hot and cold offense so it is a risk to consider starting him but for bye weeks and through injuries Cole is probably out there on the wire and is better than basically everyone else available. Add him for depth now and be happy mid-season when you can start him comfortably without worrying about putting up a donut.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000 – $3,000,000

TE Add

Mo Alie-Cox, TE – IND (Owned 10%)

Week 2: 5 Rec/111 yards

For a couple of years, Mo Alie-Cox has been the thorn in fantasy owners’ sides as he stole touchdowns from past Colts’ tight ends. With Jack Doyle out for week 2, Alie-Cox took advantage by posting career highs in targets (6) and receptions (5). Those are not huge breakout numbers but rather a sign that maybe he can become a bigger part of this offense as the season progresses. Parris Campbell is likely out for the season with a knee injury and it is being suggested that Doyle could remain out for multiple weeks. It would be purely a speculative add at this point but maybe this could be his third-year breakout.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Sleeper Add <25%

Darnell Mooney, WR – CHI (Owned 11%)

Week 2: 3 Rec/36 yards, 1 TD

Pop quiz, which wide receiver has the most PPR fantasy points for the Bears? Guessing Darnell Mooney probably wasn’t at the top of your list but it is true. Mooney has been incredibly efficient catching all of his targets (6) thus far and had a touchdown in week 2. He was actually on the field for 10 more snaps than Anthony Miller to be the WR2 for the Bears last week which may suggest that he is earning more playing time as this young season goes along. The Bears offense may not be potent enough to have more than one receiver be fantasy relevant but maybe Mooney will have his days if there was ever an injury to either Robinson or Miller to open up more targets.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews