RSO Staff Picks 2020: Week 12

Updated: November 29th 2020

Stephen’s Picks

Matt’s Picks

Kyle’s Picks

More Analysis by Stephen Wendell

One Big Thing – AFC – Week 11

Updated: November 28th 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.


 New England

Cam Newton finally put together a strong passing performance, going over the 300 marker for the first time since week 2, but he did not bring his rushing stats with him in week 11. To be fair none of the Patriots’ rushers were able to have any success running against what had been a terrible Houston rush defense but rushing was what had kept Newton’s fantasy value afloat. The whole Patriots team has been more inconsistent than most are used to as they seemed to be turning things around after beating Baltimore but then lost to two-win Houston. Rex Burkhead is likely lost for the season and Sony Michel will return to lineup in week 12. What his role would be is anyone’s guess as Damien Harris has primarily acted as the “thumper” running back. Hard to start any Patriots’ player with confidence right now.

 NY Jets

I thought the Jets might be able to turn things around with how they looked on Monday night before their bye. They even started week 11 with a blocked punt and an immediate touchdown but unfortunately, after the first half against the Chargers, it was clear they were the same old Jets still. L’Michal Perine went down with an injury that should side him for a couple of games so the ever-present Frank Gore could become a bell-cow running back for the final six games of the season. Gore easily had his best game of the season with 15 carries 61 yards and his first touchdown of the season.


It was confusing to everyone that Brian Flores decided to bench Tua Tagovailoa in the second half to go back to a quarterback they had seemingly moved on from in Ryan Fitzpatrick to try and pull out a win. The Dolphins’ offense was struggling to move the ball consistently but he did not have any turnovers so it is a little unjustified to pull him at his first sign of adversity in only his fourth game as a starter. His injury during practice this week muddies an already murky situation for a team that still has a chance at their division and is in the wildcard hunt as well. Luckily, they play a Jets team that could give the rookie a confidence boost, if he plays.



This was a heartbreaking injury to Joe Burrow and the whole football community hopes that the first overall selection can return to full strength at some point next season. It has been speculated that due to the severity and the expected length of recovery time that not only his rookie season is over but potential what would have been most of Burrow’s sophomore season could be in jeopardy too. In the meantime, the Bengals will look to guys like Brandon Allen and Ryan Findley to keep the team going for the final weeks but there is not much to expect from either in terms of fantasy. It will be interesting to see what the downgrade at quarterback will do to guys like Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins in terms of their fantasy production. Once Burrow left the game the offense only produced 17 yards on five (5) drives.


When healthy and on the field, it is now undeniable that Diontae Johnson is the WR1 in Pittsburgh. In the games that he has played start to finish (7) Johnson has seen at least ten (10) targets in all but one game. Johnson had twice as many targets (16) as the next receiver on the team, eight (8) for Chase Claypool, and caught triple the number of passes. The Steelers cannot seem to get their running game going so there will continue to be plenty of passing opportunities each game. If Ben Roethlisberger sticks around for another year I want to have any piece of this passing offense that becomes available in the offseason.


Another bad weather game in Cleveland meant another heavy ground performance for Nick Chubb. The third-year back averaged 5.7 yards per carry and went over 100 yards rushing for his second consecutive game. It was concerning though that the coaching staff kept bringing in Kareem Hunt on goal-to-go carries with how successful Chubb had been on the ground. They could say it was to keep the defense from crowding the line for an expected run but Chubb is no slouch as a receiver so the threat of him catching a pass is still a real threat. The staff may just have been trying to be cute with their play calling and against an inferior Eagles team it probably would not have mattered anyway. But if they are going to get past teams like Pittsburgh and Kansas City, they are going to need to give their best offensive weapon as many opportunities as he can get, and their best weapon is Nick Chubb.


As I said in this week’s NFC One Big Thing it seemed unfair to fantasy fans to show them what D’Andre Swift could do when given the workload only to have him have to sit out the next couple of games and likewise it will be unfortunate if J.K. Dobbins has to miss any games for the Ravens. They finally gave him a real workload playing on 64 percent of the snaps and had 17 of the 22 backfield touches and he rewarded them with 85 total yards and a touchdown. The Ravens situation with COVID cases seeming to go up daily so who knows when their next game will be and if Dobbins will be allowed to play when they take the field next. We can only hope that the staff keeps giving him the ball so we can talk about him as a buy in the offseason.



It was a great story that Jake Luton almost beat the Packers two weeks ago but against a much better Steelers defense we knew there was not going to be a lot to expect in terms of production. Luton completed less than half his pass attempts and threw four (4) interceptions while the offense only managed to put up three (3) points. Doug Marrone made the switch this week to journeyman Mike Glennon to take over while Gardner Minshew still recovers from his hand injury. Glennon will be without two of the Jaguars’ top targets however as both D.J. Chark and Chris Conley have already been ruled out. The Jags probably do not win another game this season but unless the Jets pull off an upset between now and New Years’ the best they can hope for is the second quarterback taken off the board in 2021.


The Texans may be done when it comes to the playoffs in 2020 but DeShaun Watson is still a baller who will play till the final whistle. Watson passed for almost 350 yards and two (2) touchdowns while also making some key plays with his legs and having another touchdown on the ground. I talk a lot about receivers that could be on the move this offseason and I think if the Texans could land one they could become a team just like the LA Rams under the right coaching staff. A receiver like Allen Robinson, Josh Reynolds, or Corey Davis I think it would be a perfect fit with the receivers they already have and the skillset that Watson brings to the table. While the defense needs a lot of work to shore up everything that is not J.J. Watt, the offense seems too good to be less than a seven-win team in any given season.


Losers in three (3) of their last four (4) games, the Titans needed a win against a quality opponent to have at least one tiebreaker down the stretch. It started as a slow day for Derrick Henry but Mike Vrabel kept feeding him the ball and eventually Henry wore down the defense to score the game-winning touchdown in overtime on a nice cutback run. Henry’s 29 touches were the second-most he has had this season and the Titans needed every last one of them. Corey Davis also went over the century mark for the third time this season as he continues to play for a second contract. As I mentioned in the Houston section, it would be great to see him and DeShaun Watson together but if he was to re-sign in Tennessee we have already seen his growth this season so why not keep a good thing going. He will be an interesting player to watch in RSO auctions this year.


Philip Rivers did a great job of spreading the ball around and bringing the Colts back after a two-touchdown deficit at halftime. I would like the see Michael Pittman Jr. become more of the featured receiver however, as the last two weeks he has shown tremendous growth in his production and has had back-to-back games with a touchdown. What the Colts do this offseason at the quarterback position will have a major impact on the value of Pittman heading into the 2021 season and the chances of him being a potential breakout receiver. DLF trade analyzer has him rate as being about the same value as a mid-second round pick or a straight swap for guys like Brandin Cooks, Evan Engram, or Kenyan Drake. I would take Pittman over all four of those right now.


 LA Chargers

16 receptions, 145 yards and a touchdown. Keenan Allen is a stud. Justin Herbert knows who his best weapon is on the field and gets the ball in his hands every chance he gets. Allen now has 11 more targets than the next receiver as of week 11 and could be on his way to finishing the season as the WR1. Speaking of Justin Herbert, the rookie had his fifth career game of 300+ passing yards, and also his fifth game with 3+ passing touchdowns. The Chargers may have been okay with whichever of the two quarterbacks fell to them at their sixth pick this year but I bet they would have moved up to get Herbert if they knew what they were getting. He is a lock for rookie of the year with Joe Burrow’s season officially over now.


Tim Patrick is a restricted free agent after this season and I wonder what the Broncos’ strategy is with him after having his third 100-yard receiving game. Their number one option, Courtland Sutton, is set to return next year and the team invested two high draft picks in receivers Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler in this past draft. While they could give him a small tag to see if another team is interested in Patrick first, but he was an undrafted free agent so they would receive nothing if they gave him a “same round tender”. Patrick is yet another receiver to watch this offseason to see if he moves on to another receiver-friendly offense.

 Kansas City

Patrick Mahomes has reached the same stratosphere that Bill Belichick was in for twenty years where every year they should be receiving the “Most Valuable” Award for what they do but because they do it with such nonchalant greatness that it seems they are sometimes overlooked for the flashy narrative of each year’s new underdog. In one of my Superflex leagues, I offered the Mahomes owner Ezekiel Elliot, Julio Jones, and Matt Ryan at the deadline but he denied and I cannot blame him. I was not playing dynasty during the mid-2000s Peyton Manning era but I imagine it must have felt the same as it does for Mahomes fantasy owners right now. A set it and forget it position for a decade and a half.

 Las Vegas

That Sunday night game was probably one of the best “wins” for a team that lost the game I have seen in all my years of watching football. The Raiders, and more specifically Derek Carr, went toe-to-toe with the juggernaut Chiefs and nearly came away with the season sweep if not for some “Mahomes magic” at the end. Carr is an underrated quarterback, both in real life and in fantasy, and while he may be just a QB2 he provides a lot more stability week-to-week than guys around him like Carson Wentz, Kirk Cousins, or Daniel Jones. If the team can develop rookie Bryan Edwards and Henry Ruggs heading into their second season and Darren Waller continues his dominance as dynasty’s TE3 right now, this Raiders team will look fairly similar to their mid-western division rivals heading into next season.

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

Key Surprises from the 2020 Season

Updated: November 27th 2020

Each year we find unexpected fantasy performances which alter the landscape of fantasy leagues.  This week’s article takes a look at a few of the major surprises from the early 2020 fantasy season, highlighted by some rookie performances.


Buffalo Passing Attack

Many thought Josh Allen would be a quality fantasy quarterback in 2020, largely due to his rushing production. Many believed we would see another leap from Allen in his passing effectiveness.  I don’t think many in the industry predicted Allen’s massive jump in quarterback play this year.  Allen was a bottom-tier passer by most metrics through his first two seasons.  He ranked just 25th in passing yards per attempt, 24th in QBR, and graded out as Pro Football Focus’ QB30 last year.  A big leap would have put him in the middle tier of passers.  Allen blew those expectations out of the water so far in 2020.

He ranks 8th in YPA, 6th in QBR, and is PFF’s QB8.  Maybe more surprising is how Buffalo changed the offense.  This was a run-first offense in previous years, sitting among the bottom 3rd in passing attempts last season while ranking 6th in rushing attempts.  Buffalo currently ranks 14th this season in passes with the 8th least carries so far.  Allen is on pace for a whopping 26% increase in throws.  The offense truly runs through the 3rd year quarterback.  We don’t see this massive of a change in offensive philosophy very often with the same head coach and quarterback.  Stefon Diggs benefited from Allen’s emergence (and vice versa) ranking second in targets and receiving yardage.  He vastly out-produced his RSO salary in most leagues.

Justin Herbert Crushes from the Start

Many of the thoughts from Buffalo may be copied and pasted here.  Not much was expected from the Chargers passing game with Tyrod Taylor or rookie Herbert when he eventually would be put in as the starter.  Taylor got hurt early, Los Angeles started Herbert, and the Chargers never looked back.  Herbert has been a locked-in rock solid QB1 thanks to tremendous deep-ball success and quality play when pressured.  Herbert’s success translated to Keenan Allen who, like Diggs, was coming at a sharp discount in RSO leagues due to the questionable quarterback situation.  Allen dominated, like usual, this season as the WR3 with usual sticky hands and jaw-dropping separation skills.

Jonathan Taylor Struggles

Jonathan Taylor was widely expected to post huge fantasy numbers this season once Marlon Mack suffered a season-ending injury early and was the rookie RB1 for many analysts coming into the year.  The super-athletic running back crushed Big Ten competition putting massive rushing totals.  The expected fantasy points have not materialized so far.  Taylor struggled mightily, looking timid and missing open rushing lanes routinely.  So what happened to the near sure-loc k running back?

Wisconsin largely utilized I-back/fullback formations with power/gap running concepts giving Taylor fairly easy reads for him to utilize his breakaway speed and nifty feet.  Early in the year, Indianapolis used much more offset single-back looks and zone rushing schemes forcing Taylor to make reads and manipulate linebackers in a way he simply was not used to.  We are so use to thinking of running back as ready to contribute straight out of college but, with Taylor, we see a player who really misses needed preseason reps.  A few positive notes going forward for Taylor is that the Colts utilized more I-back runs last week and Taylor consistently shows off his explosiveness when given chances in the passing game.  I definitely view him as a buy for any leagues where people are down on him.

The James Robinson Undrafted Rookie Party

On the other end of the spectrum, Robinson is one of the feel-good fantasy stories of the year.  It took a lot of bizarre twists for Robinson to see the field.  The Jaguars released former first-round pick Leonard Fournette early in the preseason, Ryquell Armstead was lost for the season due to COVID-related complications, while Devine Ozigbo and passing-down specialist Chris Thompson struggled with injuries.  The undrafted free agent assumed the RB1 role for Jacksonville week one and stuck ever since.  Robinson posted double-digit PPR fantasy points each week, averaged over a 100 scrimmage yards per game and stayed healthy so far.   Fantasy players lucky enough to get Robinson early have a RB1 on their roster for waiver wire costs. 

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

One Big Thing – NFC – Week 11

Updated: November 26th 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.



Alex Smith and Co. did not have to do much to get their third win of the season as the defense kept the Bengals offense in check, especially once Joe Burrow left the game. They relied mostly on their running game with the most rushing attempts since their week 7 victory over Dallas. Antonio Gibson finished as the weekly PPR RB8 totaling over 100 yards also since week 7. This week they face a familiar face in the Cowboys so we can fire up both Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic for a likely RB2/Flex week.


Zach Ertz has been designated for return after missing the last five (5) weeks with an ankle injury but I do not think that will be able to solve the Eagles’ problems, which seem to be between Caron Wentz’s ears. The cross-field interception in the first quarter that the Browns’ defense scored on was atrocious and it appears that Carson Wentz is too in his head to be making the split-second decisions. Head Coach Doug Peterson has suggested once Ertz returns that they could try more “13” personnel (3 tight ends). I do not know if that is because their three tight ends have been their most consistent pass-catchers or because they want to take the ball out of Wentz’s hands and run the ball more. Either way, do not expect the Eagles’ offense to bounce back any time soon as they face the Seahawks, Packers, Saints, and Cardinals over the next month.


The old Ezekiel Elliot and Andy Dalton returned after the Cowboys’ bye week and the team showed life for the first time since Dak Prescott’s injury derailed their season. Zeke went over 100 yards for the first time this season and the offense scored as many points (31) as they had in their previous three (3) games combined. Dalton was also able to spread the ball around as Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Dalton Schultz all caught at least four (4) passes. Unfortunately, it appears that Michael Gallup’s fantasy appeal has all but evaporated as despite this being a high scoring game, Gallup only managed two (2) catches on five (5) targets. Other than their week 13 matchup against the Ravens, the Cowboys’ schedule favors their chances of winning quite well which means they may have the inside track to winning the NFC East.



Of course the week after D’Andre Swift has his breakout game he then is forced to miss the next week with concussion symptoms. None of that is his fault of course; it is just unfortunate that he was not able to immediately build on his momentum. His availability may not have made a difference anyway as with Matthew Stafford nursing his own injury the offense was woefully unproductive and suffered their first shutout since 2009. The Lions have another plus matchup on Thanksgiving against a poor Texans defense so hopefully, they can turn things around quickly. Swift has already been ruled out for a second straight game so it will be on Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson.


Just when we thought the Vikings were gaining momentum to maybe be a dark horse wildcard team they suffer a back-breaking loss to a two-win Cowboys team. It was not because of their offense though as Dalvin Cook once again had 160 total yards and Kirk Cousins threw for over 300 yards and three (3) touchdowns. Most importantly Cousins did not have a turnover which is the usual culprit for a tough Vikings loss. Looking ahead in the Vikings’ schedule, Cook will have to put on an all-time performance if he hopes to keep up in the race for fantasy MVP. Matchups against the Buccaneers, Bears, and Saints feature three of the top 10 run defenses in the league.

 Green Bay

For how strong the Colts defense has been all season putting up 31 points is no slouch performance by Aaron Rodgers. Unfortunately, the best part of the Colts, their run defense, stuffed Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams for much of the day despite the Packers have a big lead after the first half. The team needs Allen Lazard back at full strength because while he suited up and had two (2) receptions, he only played on 59 percent of the snaps and had no impact on the passing game. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is a nice deep threat but Aaron Rodgers needs a reliable second option to Davante Adams if the team is going to have a deep playoff run.



It was always going to be a tough matchup for the Falcons against the Saints but after going up 9-3 it looked like there could be a chance for an upset if they could just finish their drives with touchdowns. Not only did they not finish with touchdowns but after their third field goal with four minutes left in the second quarter, the Falcons had three punts and two interceptions on their final five full drives. Todd Gurley had no running room against a top Saints run defense and Julio Jones was substituted in and out of the game with a hamstring injury. The Falcons finish with a brutal end to the season with another matchup against the Saints in two weeks, two games against the Buccaneers and their strong run defense and games against three tough AFC West teams (Raiders, Chiefs, and Chargers). It will be hard to imagine Todd Gurley being much more than a flex at best for the final six weeks of the season.

 New Orleans

The Taysom Hill experiment almost did not work, until it did. No passing touchdowns for the quarterback in his first start but he had two rushing touchdowns to give a boost to those who took a gamble and started him. Most thought that he was going to be a drain on the receivers he was passing to but, and maybe we should have seen this coming, it was actually their running back Alvin Kamara who suffered the most from Hill’s first start. Only scoring 10.5 PPR points, it was by far Kamara’s worst game of the season and his first career game without a reception.  Fantasy players can only hope that this was just a one-time occurrence as not having Kamara at his usually weekly RB1 potential could doom a lot of fantasy managers down the stretch.


P.J. Walker stepped in for Teddy Bridgewater and other than having two killer interceptions in goal-to-go situations that really could have padded his stats, Tucker played well in his first NFL start. The former XFL star is likely going back to the bench this week with Bridgewater set to return but it shows that in deeper Superflex leagues he might be an outside option next year for those who handcuff quarterback. Both Mike Davis and Curtis Samuel as suggested last week had a bounce-back performance with 15.9 and 21.4 PPR points respectively. Davis should have one final showing before the rare week 13 bye when likely Christian McCaffrey will make his second return this season. Do not drop him yet though as we already learned anything can happen and he may be called on a third time to close out the season.

 Tampa Bay

The Buccaneers offense just does not seem to be gelling in a way that is sustainable to win what looks more like four road games in a row to be Super Bowl Champions as a wild card team. Despite having two above-average running backs neither seems to be reliable when both are mixed into the game evenly. Ronald Jones’ best games came when he was given the bulk of the work and was able to build momentum similar to how Derrick Henry out physicals opponents as he figures out the defense. Tom Brady, the play designs, and the execution also do not seem to be on the same page with one another as several of Brady’s mistakes in this game appeared to be either misreading routes or just not placing the ball where it needed to be. After another Brady vs. Mahomes showdown, the offense will have four (4) tune-up games against what should be beatable opponents to try and orient what kind of team they want to be in the playoffs. Hopefully, that can translate to more consistent performances for fantasy purposes.



After an emotional Hail Mary win on Sunday and then a quick turnaround for a Thursday night game the Cardinals could maybe be forgiven for a letdown performance against the Seahawks. The game was still close and they even had a chance to win it on the final drive but with Kyler Murray injuring his shoulder early in the game their whole offense seemed just a little off. Murray only rushed five (5) times for 15 yards and also failed to score with his legs for the first time since week 4. It is crazy to expect that from a quarterback but that is the type of season Murray has been having. If his shoulder injury does not hold him back there should be no concerns with him, or the offense moving forward. He is the leader heading into the back half of the season to be 2020’s fantasy MVP.


A “must perform better” game for Russell Wilson was needed and he delivered. After having multiple turnovers in three (3) of the previous four (4) games he turned in a near-flawless performance with only five (5) incompletions and no turnovers. Having a running game probably helped with that as having Carlos Hyde return and provide 79 yards on the ground did not allow for the defense to tee-off on Wilson as they had been in recent weeks. Wilson and the Seahawks should feast over the next month against inferior NFC East opponents along with the winless Jets so expect top 12 performance from all his supporting cast. Could Wilson make a late-season push back into the fantasy and NFL MVP conversation?

 LA Rams

I think the poet Stefon Diggs put it best two weeks ago when he said, “That’s why you pay me” and indeed that Monday night performance was why the Rams paid Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. The two combined for 23 receptions and 270 receiving yards! They clearly wanted to remind everyone that they are should be considered the top receiving duo in the NFC West, if not the league. Other than last week’s game against the already well-documented tough Buccaneers run defense, the offense has been well balanced with their running and passing game and although it has not translated to consistent fantasy points for any one running back, they do feature two running backs in the top 35. With the second-ranked defense after 11 weeks, and back-to-back quality wins against playoff teams the Rams are poised to be one of the better teams entering the playoffs.

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

The Watch List 2021: Week 13 Preview

Updated: January 10th 2021

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.

Nothing goes better together than Thanksgiving and football. The NFL games on Thursday always get the most attention but college football typically provides us with a good slate on both Friday and Saturday too. This year is no different. Friday’s noon matchup of Texas and Iowa State is likely to have Big 12 Championship implications. A PAC-12 intrastate rivalry between Oregon at Oregon State will cap off the night. If that weren’t enough football feasting for you, Saturday features the always-classic Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama.

The game I’m circling as my ultimate must-watch is Notre Dame visiting Chapel Hill to take on the Tar Heels. Notre Dame came in at #2 in the initial College Football Playoff ranking so there’s surely going to be some pressure to show the nation that the win over Clemson was no fluke. Both teams are coming off bye weeks so they’ll have plenty of time to prepare and hopefully that means everybody will be at full health (and test negative). It’ll be strength versus strength when the UNC offense is on the field. Carolina has the nation’s 10th best rushing attack by yards per game among teams who have played three or more games (233.5); Notre Dame’s defense is 5th best by the same metric (85.1). As of this writing, UNC has two backs on the top ten rushing leader list: Javonte Williams and Michael Carter. I wanted to take a closer look at their one-two punch because both are future NFL Draft picks.

Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina

The more experienced of North Carolina’s dynamic duo is Michael Carter. Carter, a 3-star who signed in 2017 spurning offers from Florida and Colorado, is a fourth year senior who has contributed all four seasons on campus. Carter is an all-purpose player who has had at least 108 offensive touches in each season, averaging 6.49 yards per. With 23 career scores, he’s no stranger to the end zone. Carter has also been the Tar Heels primary kick returner the last two years (22.4 yards per return). It should come as no surprise to longtime fans that Carter serves a Swiss Army knife role for his team: he tallied an incredible 3,3345 all-purpose yards as a high school senior. Carter is a bit undersized at 5080/199 and he has two previous significant injuries (knee and wrist).

Carter is off to a strong start in 2020. Through eight games he has a total of 1,036 yards from scrimmage (116 carries and 21 receptions). With 6 TDs he’s already on pace to beat his career-best mark of nine scores as a freshman. I decided to dive into Carter even deeper by watching his 2020 film against Virginia Tech and North Carolina State.

The combination of Carter’s low center of gravity and his tree trunk-like legs make him immune to arm tackle attempts. He easily bursts through contact at the line of scrimmage or from diving defenders. Carter shows patience before making his bounce-outside cut. On his last touch of the Virginia Tech game, shown below, you see his long speed which wasn’t often on display in either game. Against NC State, Carter had two great receptions on downfield routes: one wheel route and one option route. I only saw him throw a few blocks so I don’t think pass protection will be a trait he’s drafted for but I suspect he has the strength and base to hold up to the occasional rusher. I haven’t watched enough of Carter to pinpoint his pro stock yet but I would guess that right now he’s an early Day Three grade.

Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina

When I start researching a prospect I usually start in two places: their school media guide bio and their 247Sports recruiting profile. For Javonte Williams I started with his bio and after reading his high school athletic plaudits — four-time state champ in football, a state champion track athlete — I was sure that he must have been a 4-star recruit at least. Not so. 247Sports had him as a 3-star and ESPN didn’t even have him ranked. Luckily then, for us and for Williams, the former North Carolina coaching staff saw something in the local star and offered him. According to one report I read, it was a dream come true for Williams. Williams played a limited role in 2018 as a true freshman but took on a bigger share of the committee in 2019. He ended that campaign second to Carter in attempts and yards but still had a respectable 166-933-5 line, adding 176 receiving yards and a score on 17 receptions. The Tar Heels have played 32 games since Williams arrived at Chapel Hill and he’s played in every one of them.

My platonic ideal of a running back is somebody in the 5100/220 range with 4.50 speed (think: Cam Akers, Rashaad Penny). They are not always the most dynamic runners but they are often durable, multi-faceted and stick around in the NFL. Javonte Williams fits right into that framework so I was excited to dive into some extended film. I watched Williams against the same Hokies’ team that I saw Michael Carter dominate. I thought that would give me an interesting comparison of the two UNC backs. Williams is an even more patient runner than Carter and sees his running lanes well. Williams runs with a forward momentum that I relished thanks to his forward pad lean and his willingness to get lower than the defender. He was also deployed as a pass protector, a downfield receiver and a short yardage back against Virginia Tech. If you’re playing along at home that’s a bingo! Much of what I saw in that tape was also present in highlight reels from his games against Duke and Florida State. My favorite run of all the plays I watched was the below against Florida State where he takes the handoff going right and delivers an absolute thud to the safety as he turns upfield. Williams looks and feels like what I want in an NFL running back and I’d be happy to see my team take him on Day Two.


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:,,,,,,,,
  • Recruiting:,,,
  • Film: 2021 NFL Draft Database by Mark Jarvis,
  • Draft info and mocks:,,,,,,
  • NFL rosters, depth charts and contract info:,
  • Draft history:
  • Combine info:,,,
  • 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:
  • Odds & Gambling Stats:

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

Week 12 Street FA Report

Updated: November 24th 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

Dez Bryant, WR – BAL (Owned 18%)

Week 11: 4 Rec/28 yards

Most jumped the gun with claiming Dez Bryant when he first signed with Ravens and spent a couple of weeks on their practice squad. The shine wore off and now is the time to get him onto your rosters heading into the playoffs. Bryant played on over half the snaps in week 11 (54%) and also had four (4) receptions to lead all Ravens receivers. Marquise Brown and Lamar Jackson have not been able to get on the same page this season and if the Ravens are going to make a run this season they are going to need more than Willie Snead in the passing game. Even if Dez can just be a possession receiver that can move the chains and take the pressure off of Mark Andrews in the red zone that could be enough to jump-start this stagnant offense. Think Antonio Brown in Tampa scaled down.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

RB Add

Justice Hill, RB – BAL (Owned 44%)

Week 11: N/A

Gus Edwards should see the bulk of the carries on Thursday but without Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins, the Ravens will work in Justice Hill as their secondary runner. Hill has not done much during his first two seasons but due to positional scarcity and the amount the Ravens want to run the ball, Hill should see close to a dozen touches in week 12. If you need a one to two-week fix, Hill could be a high-risk flex.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

WR Add

Breshad Perriman, WR – NYJ (Owned 53%)

Week 11: 2 Rec/54 yards, 1 TD

Breshad Perriman has transformed into a boom-or-bust touchdown receiver each week with Joe Flacco as the two have connected on three touchdowns in the last two games and Perriman has scored at least 10 PPR points in three (3) of his six (6) games played. The Jets will continue to be playing from behind as well so there will be plenty of passing opportunities to go around. It remains to be seen if Perriman’s success would continue if Sam Darnold returned to the lineup but for now, he has the same value as DeSean Jackson had in his final year’s in Tampa Bay, a WR4 with WR2 boom value.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

TE Add

Jordan Akins, TE – HOU (Owned 26%)

Week 11: 5 Rec/83 yards

In a similar way to suggesting Justice Hill because of the missing pieces around him, the Houston Texans saw both Randy Cobb and Kenny Stills go down in week 11 due to injury and in their absence Jordan Akins caught five (5) passes and a career-high 83 yards on Sunday. Cobb is likely heading to the injured reserve list and with the Texans playing on Thanksgiving that does not give a lot of time for Stills to recover from his hamstring injury. What’s more, is that they have a plus matchup against a poor Lions defense so points and red zone opportunities could be plentiful. Akins is streamer’s dream for week 12.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Sleeper Add

Keke Coutee, WR – HOU (Owned 24%)

Week 11: 2 Rec/10 yards, 1 TD

I will double down on Randall Cobb and Kenny Still being unavailable for Thursday’s game by saying that Keke Coutee could play a significant number of snaps in the slot this week. A player many thought could be a PPR slot machine like Randall Cobb was in Green Bay, Coutee never accomplished much after his debut game in week 4 of 2018 where he had 11 catches for 109 yards. A healthy scratch for much of this season, it happens every Thanksgiving where a player comes out of nowhere to have one memorable performance. If you want to spice up your holiday meal, reach for Coutee in deeper leagues and see what happens.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews