Week 8 Street FA Report

Updated: October 27th 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

Antonio Brown, WR – TB (Owned 55%)

Week 7: N/A

The week has finally arrived for what is probably the biggest name to ever be featured on the Street FA Report in the four (4) years of this series. Never does a former 6-time 100-catch receiver become available mid-way through an NFL season but because of some well documented off the field issues that is where we find Antonio Brown. To add to the allure of Brown reuniting with Tom Brady is the fact that a lot of Tampa Bay’s receiving core is banged up with injuries, so his return on investment could be massive right out of the gate. Their fantasy playoffs schedule is also a juicy one with Minnesota, Atlanta, and Detroit. Whether you are contending or rebuilding, every manager will be putting in a claim for Brown. Congratulations to whoever has the highest cap space in the other half of leagues where he is available.

Suggested Bid: EVERYTHING

RB Add

Wayne Gallman, RB – NYG (Owned 21%)

Week 7: 10 Car/34 yards, 1 TD, 5 Rec/20 yards

Wayne Gallman’s value is completely at the mercy of whether or not Devonta Freeman is healthy enough to play this week as the Giants’ offense is not strong enough to support multiple running backs in fantasy. If Freeman is out, however, Gallman appears to be in line for much of the backfield touches as he heavily out-snapped and out-touched Dion Lewis once Freeman left in week 7. The Giants do not play till Monday night so it will be difficult to know for sure what Freeman’s availability will be before having to make a decision. In PPR leagues Gallman could be a long shot RB3 since this week’s game against the Buccaneers could lend to a lot of pressured screens and check down plays from Daniel Jones.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

 

JaMycal Hasty, RB – SF (Owned 46%)

Week 7: 9 Car/57 yards, 1 Rec/16 yards

Without a preseason to evaluate undrafted rookies in-game it was always going to be difficult for a player like JaMycal Hasty to see significant playing time right away. His chance is right in front of him now though as the 49ers backfield has been decimated with injuries. We do not know how healthy Jerrick McKinnon is as he was sparingly used last week against the Patriots, by design apparently, and there is talk that Tevin Coleman could return from the IR after week 8. It is not a great matchup this week as the Seahawks have been more prone to the pass than the run but if Hasty has a strong performance this week it could open the door to opportunities for the rest of the season. He is a long shot add at this point.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

 WR Add

Nelson Agholor, WR – LV (Owned 37%)

Week 7: 5 Rec/107 yards, 1 TD

Some players just need to land with a new team that can better utilize their skillset before they can rebound in fantasy. In the last three (3) games Nelson Agholor has caught a touchdown and averaged 17 PPR points per game after being a cast-off in Philadelphia the last couple of years. On the broadcast, they talked about how the Raiders coaching staff saw him and his speed in practice and decided to move him outside after the Eagles used him primarily in the slot. It is paying off as he had long touchdowns in each of the last two games and would have had a third in the Saints game week 2 if not for a penalty calling it back. If his target share could rise to a steadier amount like this past week, Agholor could become a more consistent WR3 the way he has been these last three weeks.

Suggested Bid: $2,000,000

 TE Add

Harrison Bryant, TE – CLE (Owned 22%)

Week 7: 4 Rec/56 yards, 2 TD

Austin Hooper was scratched late last week after needing emergency appendectomy surgery. Odell Beckham Jr. then left after two offensive plays to what is now a season-ending ACL injury. In their absence the rookie tight end Harrison Bryant saw his most snaps thus far and also played ahead of David Njoku who many thought was going to be a plug-and-play option last week. Bryant had two touchdowns and finished as the TE1 in week 7 meaning that if Hooper was to miss another week he could be a strong streaming option this week. It is also well documented that Head Coach Kevin Stefanski plays two tight ends a lot, fifth-most 1-2 personnel and second-most 2-2 personnel in 2020. Even once Hooper returns with the rumors that Njoku may want a trade, Bryant could see a second-half emergence.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

Sleeper Add

Rashard Higgins, WR – CLE (Owned 8%)

Week 7: 6 Rec/110 yards

For the reasons I listed Harrison Bryant as a player to add to the scouting list this week we should also be watching what the team does with their wide receivers with Odell Beckham Jr. now out of the lineup. Rashard Higgins has been operating as the WR3 much of the past three (3) weeks and Baker Mayfield seemed to finally be able to work the ball around to multiple receivers once Beckham went out. Both he and Donavan Peoples-Jones should operate as the WR2 behind Jarvis Landry. If you can make it to your semi-finals and finals as well, the Browns play both New York teams. Borat would say, “Very Nice” to that.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

RSO Contract Bargain Hunting Week 7

Updated: October 25th 2020

Everyone wants a deal.  The easiest way in fantasy leagues to actually get one is capitalizing on injuries and early performances which did not meet expectations.  The article discusses a few players who have the opportunity to exceed their play this year or in the future.  They may not be cheap but could come at a bargain in comparison to what you might have to pay later on.

Rookies

J.K. Dobbins

The Baltimore backfield has been one of the most frustrating from a fantasy perspective.  No running back produced much fantasy value despite favorable game scripts for most of the year.  The Ravens utilized a near-even three-way snap division between Dobbins, Ingram, and Edwards.  This Baltimore running back split won’t always be a nightmare but the running-heavy formula likely remains with Lamar Jackson at quarterback.  Dobbins showed off excellent burst in limited action and his upside remains extremely high for the future.

Denzel Mims

Injuries took Mims out of the first portion of the season but he is set to return shortly.  He possesses one of the top athletic profiles coming out of the NFL combine with solid production at the collegiate levels.  Mims is a relatively older prospect and a troubling portion of his production came while covered which might suggest separation issues.   We should also remember the Jets are the front runner for Trevor Lawrence in next year’s draft and head coach Adam Gase likely is gone.  The top receiver attached to one of the highest rated rookie quarterbacks in recent memory is in his range of outcomes further down the road.

Jalen Raegor

Another receiver with early injury issues set to return soon, Raegor is one of the most explosive athletes among the 2020 rookies.  He dominated targets in college and produced at a very young age.  Philadelphia really has no other locked-in long-term receivers on the roster.  Combine Raegor with a quarterback, in Carson Wentz, who likes to take shots down the field and one has the making of huge potential fantasy weeks.

Quarterback

Carson Wentz

Maybe only the Jets can rival the Eagles in terms of injury decimation to the receiving core over the last couple of years.  Inserting random guys like Greg Ward and newly-minted Travis Fulgham into the starting lineup would be comical in most cases but the Eagles and Wentz have done what they can.  The vaunted Philadelphia offensive line suffered through its own woes on the injury front losing basically every starter except Jason Kelce.  Despite all the chaos and a league leading 10 interceptions, Wentz still ranks as the fantasy QB13.  The Philadelphia receiving core should see improvements as Raegor, Jeffrey, and Goedert return.  There will likely always be an unpredictable nature to Wentz’s play thanks to his propensity for gambling on the deep shot.  That propensity has the upside of huge fantasy games though.

Running Back

Chris Carson

While the running back market generally dictates no bellcow running back will really come at a bargain, there is a decent chance Carson might be available in your league at a reasonable cost.  Most of his RSO contracts are relatively short-term, mid-range deals so rebuilders could move him and contenders should find a way to afford him. He constantly deals with injuries which could also suppress his value somewhat.  Carson does not play against many weak run defenses going forward however Seattle should be favored in many games particularly as we get near the fantasy playoffs.  The Seahawks also use him more in the passing game this year with at least three receptions in each game.

Wide Receiver

Odell Beckham Jr.

The warning lights flash for Beckham like an evil red blinking Christmas tree.  Cleveland fully implemented Kevin Stefanski’s run-first offense.  Baker Mayfield looks lost at quarterback.  OBJ continues with his bizarre antics on and off the field.  There likely won’t be a salary discount either as he probably comes in at a WR1 contract.  Beckham ranks as just the PPR WR27 on a per game basis with no more than five receptions or 81 yards in any game so far. There are reasons to consider a move though.  The early struggles could very well bring a discount to Beckham and he still shows game-breaking ability.  Jarvis Landry is playing hurt leaving OBJ as the clear WR1 for the Browns.  Cleveland struggled through one of the more difficult passing schedules early and will have maybe the single best schedule moving forward.  This move ranks as a hail-mary play for contenders however it carries extreme upside with the downside of having a high-priced moderate fantasy producer burning through your cap.

Tight End

Dallas Goedert

Goedert returns later in the year around week 10 or later according to multiple reports.  Zach Ertz has been driven away from the offense, is injured, and was part of trade discussions this year.  He clearly isn’t the future at tight end for the Eagles.  Goedert graded highly his first two seasons in the NFL as a part-time player, uncommon for tight ends.  There is a real chance he becomes one of those rare every-week starting fantasy tight ends.


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

The Watch List 2021: Week 8 Preview

Updated: October 23rd 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 Big Ten is back baby! I am, admittedly, a Big Ten homer and am so excited for the league to return to play this weekend. (Let’s not talk about the fact that I need to work all day Saturday and won’t actually get to see a minute of the action live, but I digress.) To celebrate the return of my favorite conference this week, I present a supersized version of my weekly preview that will highlight one offensive skill player from each of the fourteen squads. Keep an eye on these players throughout the B1G season, they may just end up on your fantasy rosters next season.

(Prospects are listed alphabetically by position, they are not ranked.)

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Justin Fields may be one of the main reasons I am even able to write this preview of the Big Ten season. He was the vocal leader of the “we want to play” movement and we are all the beneficiary of that. Fields started his career as a highly touted prep star who played at Georgia as a true freshman. He did not win the job away from Jake Fromm and decided to transfer to Ohio State for his sophomore season, managing to get an eligibility waiver from the NCAA so he didn’t have to skip a season. Fields dominated the Big Ten in his first season. He totaled 51 touchdowns and threw just three picks. He passed for 3,273 yards and rushed for an additional 484 more. It’s amazing to see those numbers and then hear that he finished third in Heisman voting but that’s just how lucky we were in 2019 with Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts lighting it up as well. Fields, as is obvious by his box scores, is a dual-threat quarterback. What makes him special though is his size to go along with that athleticism: he’s 6030/228 and might run a 4.40. Very few quarterbacks have run a sub-4.50 forty in the last twenty years and doing so would put him in the conversation with somebody like Vince Young when it comes to a physical comparison. Fields will likely lead this Buckeyes team to the playoff, and in doing so will cement his place atop this draft class. A top five draft pick seems like a lock at this point so I’m looking forward to watching him more closely this season.

Adrian Martinez, QB, Nebraska

Adrian Martinez is a former 4-star recruit who spurned SEC offers from Alabama and Tennessee to join Nebraska and the hottest name in college football at the time: Scott Frost. Two years, multiple injuries, and nine wins later, you might say that was the wrong decision. (Speaking of those wins, two were against FCS foes and none of the other seven were against the top of the conference.) Martinez is a dual-threat quarterback who has 1,255 rushing yards and 15 TDs so far in his career. As a passer, Martinez totaled 4,573-27-17-62.4% in 21 games. In my mind’s eye, Martinez was too small to be on the NFL radar but he is listed at 6020/225 and was more stout that I remembered when I watched some Youtube tape. He has all of the requisite traits of a running quarterback: he’s quick with long speed, not afraid to take a hit, throws accurately on the run, etc. What surprised me most was how well Martinez could sling it. He spins a beautiful deep ball, leading his receiver enough to let them run underneath it. Clearly, I had a preconceived notion in my mind about Martinez which is why these articles are so important to help me get a clearer picture of each prospect. I need to watch him more closely this season to determine if he’s just a fun-to-watch college star or if he’ll make a mark in the NFL.

Joe Milton, QB Michigan

Choosing a player to highlight from my favorite team was a tough decision. The offensive skill player from Michigan that I think has the best chance at being a high draft pick in 2021 is WR Nico Collins but he opted out. Lead running back Zach Charbonnet is just a sophomore so he’s not eligible yet but is a name to watch for 2022-2023. I’ve always been a fan of RB Chris Evans but its been two years since we have seen him play after injuries in 2018 and a season-long suspension in 2019. QB Dylan McCaffrey, a 4-star recruit who played in mop up duty last year, would have competed for the starting job but he too opted out for 2020. Now, the presumptive starter is junior Joe Milton who has more career rushing attempts (12) than passing attempts (11).  There’s excitement about Milton among Wolverine fans so I thought it was time to take a closer look. Let’s start with his measureables. Milton is huge at 6050/243 and would be one of the biggest passers in the class. As a high school recruit, Milton clocked a 4.80 forty; he’s reportedly said his fastest ever time was a 4.62. If those numbers hold, we would be looking at a physical comp like Josh Allen or Carson Wentz. Milton’s college highlight reel on Youtube ran for a scant fifty-one seconds so I had to seek out some high school highlights as well. Wow, those high school clips were impressive. Milton was the proverbial man against boys, playing faster and stronger than everybody else. Some of the throws he made were incredible, the type that Patrick Mahomes makes and then we see clipped on social media for a week. Off-structure, awkward arm angles, on the run, under pressure, fifty yards downfield. No matter the situation, Milton was dropping dimes. He won’t be able to do that consistently against Big Ten defenses but I have to say I’m even more excited to watch him play now. A strong season for Michigan will certainly put Milton in the NFL Draft conversation.

Brandon Peters, QB, Illinois

Oh, Brandon Peters. As a Michigan fan, I thought Peters was going to finally be our answer at the quarterback position. I was sitting about eighty rows up in the Big House when Peters took his first real snaps as the Wolverines QB, taking over for the underwhelming John O’Korn. Rutgers kept it closer than they should have that afternoon and Peters provided the steady hand that ensured the win. Unfortunately, that 10-14-124-1-0 outing was Peters best in Ann Arbor. He fell out of favor and grad transferred to Illinois where he was the starter from the opening game against Akron in 2019. Peters started well: throwing for 687 yards, 9 TDs, 2 INTs and a 63.1% completion percentage in the first three. His efficiency and volume fell off as the season went on, partially due to some missed time after a concussion, including a five game span where he failed to complete more than nine passes in a game. Despite some bumps and bruises, Peters led the Fightin’ Illini to their first bowl game since 2014. I was feeling nostalgic so I went back and watched Peters tape from that 2017 contest against Rutgers; I wanted to remember what it felt like to believe that the Wolverines had found the next quarterback of the future. Peters looked stoic in the pocket, standing tall, and stepping into well-placed throws against an above average Rutgers d-line. He is definitely a pocket passer but he has enough functional mobility to roll away from a rusher or to run a bootleg to keep the defense off balance. Peters has NFL size (6050/220) and was a highly rated pro-style recruit coming out of high school. There’s sure to be some “project quarterback” interest in Peters for those reasons but this year will be telling as to whether he has any next-level love.

Isaiah Bowser, RB, Northwestern

I absolutely loved reading Isaiah Bowser’s bio on the team’s website. This dude ticks all of my favorite bio boxes: decorated high school player in a talent-rich state (Ohio), multi-sport high school athlete (basketball, track), all-conference sprinter (as a junior), National Honor Society, a real major (civil engineering). Unfortunately, my research did turn up some negative injury-related nuggets too. Bowser missed most of 2019 after a knee surgery that required surgery. He underwent surgery this offseason for an “undisclosed” injury, which I presume was probably a cleanup of the injured knee but who knows. In 2018, as a true freshman, Bowser took over the top running back spot in late October. Four of those eight starts went for 100+ yards (108, 117, 165, 166). He didn’t hit the century mark in 2019 though because he was sharing carries in a crowded backfield. Bowser was listed atop the 2020 depth chart so I would expect him to lead the team in carries, even if he may be eased in at the beginning. Bowser is listed at 6010/220 just like Elijah Collins (see below), but he wears his weight differently. Bowser is broad shouldered and has a yoked upper body. If he didn’t have on a helmet, I think his shoulder pads would touch his ears. Obviously he’s a strong short yardage runner but Bowser’s highlights surprised me with his nimble feet and acceleration. Bowser will be a “win the workout” guy so let’s monitor his progression and see if he can get a combine invite whenever he moves on from Northwestern.

Elijah Collins, RB, Michigan State

Collins, a redshirt sophomore, was a rare bright spot for the Spartans in a mostly disappointing 2019 season. Sure, a 7-6 record and a Pinstripe Bowl victory sound decent, but Michigan State had the nation’s 104th ranked scoring offense. They endured a five game losing streak midseason, scoring 10 points or less in four of those games. In the one game that MSU did score during that stretch, against Illinois, Collins was the main contributor with 177 total yards and 2 scores. Things should have been better under QB Brian Lewerke, a veteran who I always wanted to be better than he was. Collins ran for 988 yards and 5 TDs, averaging 4.5 yards per tote. He also added 15 catches; his 99 receiving yards pushed him over the 1,000 scrimmage yard threshold. Collins is listed at 6010/220 and has a thick lower half. He loves to hesitate at the line of scrimmage, carefully picking his lane before using those powerful legs to make a cut in either direction. Often, but not always, that patience works out well. Collins still has three years of eligibility so it may be awhile before we see him trending on #DraftTwitter. If he uses that time to quicken his decision making and to hone his receiving skills we could have a solid all-round NFL back.

Isaih Pacheco, RB, Rutgers

I was tempted to make a self-deprecating pick for my hometown Rutgers Scarlet Knights and highlight punter Adam Korsak who won numerous honors after a busy 2019 season. Instead, I decided to play it straight and share Isaih [sic] Pacheco with my readers. Pacheco was the team’s leading rusher last year, finishing with 729 yards and 7 scores. Much of that production came in an opening game explosion against UMass (156-4), but Pacheco also had solid games against Iowa, Maryland, Liberty and Penn State. Pacheco also had a taste for the big game as a freshman, lighting up #4 Michigan for 142 yards and a touchdown. Greg Schiano’s previous stint at Rutgers heavily relied on the run and featured pass catching running backs (see: Brian Leonard and Ray Rice). Pacheco will see the lion’s share of the carries and if he can add 2-3 catches a game he will help the offense stay in rhythm and ahead of the chains. Providing a trustworthy safety valve for whoever is under center will be key. The only downside: Rutgers figures to be playing from behind much of the season and the game script will not be in his favor.

Stevie Scott, RB, Indiana

Stevie Scott is an interesting study. There’s not much footage of him available on Youtube, and what is available is mostly from 2018. From what I did see though from 2019, I walked away impressed. Scott is tall at a listed 6020 but runs with a forward pad lean that makes him a smaller target and keeps his progress moving forward. His weight is quoted at 230 but he doesn’t look that heavy to me, probably more like 220. Still though, he runs with enough power to win short yardage situations. He effortlessly slips low arm tackles as he skips through the hole. The highlights I watched showed Scott running solely out of the shotgun; I’d love to see him taking a handoff from an I or singleback formation where he has a few steps to work up his momentum before hitting the hole. Scott looked faster than I expected, maybe in the 4.50 range which would be great for his listed size. As a freshman, Scott surprised with 1,137 yards and 10 TDs, setting school records for a true freshman. His sophomore season was a bit of a step back because of injury (845-10, on fifty less carries) but he remained the team’s leading rusher by a huge margin despite missing two games. Scott is also a plus receiver which flashed in the highlights I watched. I would bet that we see Scott again in 2021 as a senior but if he does put together a solid junior year he could get a late round look.

Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Like some of the other athletes featured here, Rashod Bateman was unsure about playing in this covid-threatened season. He had originally opted out but then opted back in after the Big Ten released plans for its late fall season. I came across a great tidbit from ESPN when doing some Bateman research: he is switching to number 0 this year to represent a “zero tolerance for racism.” The follow-up quotes from head coach PJ Fleck really speak to Bateman’s character and leadership. As a true freshman from Georgia, Bateman played second fiddle to #DraftTwitter favorite Tyler Johnson. In his complementary role, he tallied 51-704-6. I expected Johnson to be the star again in 2019, and while he did still lead the team in receiving, Bateman got a lot more attention as a big play baller. The sophomore line ended at 60-1,219-11, averaging a Big Ten-best 20.3 yards per catch. Bateman has preternatural concentration which allows him to track and locate the ball, even after its been tipped, underthrown or lost in the sun. If you want to see two of the best catches of 2019, check out the beginning of this highlight reel. My goodness. Bateman pairs that concentration with leaping ability and strength at the catch point to win in contested situations downfield. As illustrated by some of those ridiculous catches, Bateman appears to have very strong and sticky hands. I’m glad that we’ll be able to see Bateman play this season. He’s very likely a first rounder with the potential to be a Top 15 pick in April if he continues to show a penchant for the preposterous.

Dontay Demus, WR, Maryland

After taking a dip into Dontay Demus, I really wish he was on a better team than Maryland! Even though he played on a struggling Terrapins team, he still managed 41-625-6 in 2019. Demus is long and lean and super fast. He’s listed at 6030/200 but looks a skinnier and lankier than that. His game is less across the middle or contested catch, and more downfield dominator. His highlights are littered with deep passes that he tracks well and adjusts to in midstride before making the grab. When he does catch a crossing pattern, the trailing defender has no hope of catching him so if he hits the coverage just right he’s gone. Demus has elite looking acceleration and consistently uses a deadly stop-start hesitation move. He uses that move while running routes to great effect. He also uses it after the catch where he can use his quickness rather than brute strength to break tackles. Maryland has been cagey about who their starting quarterback will be for the opener but I hope that it’ll be Taulia Tagovailoa, Tua’s younger brother who transferred from Alabama. A Taulia-Demus connection would be a “we have that at home” version of 2018’s Tua-Jeudy battery at Alabama.

Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

Simply put, Rondale Moore is one of the most explosive players in college football. He was the most exciting player in the nation as a true freshman in 2018. That frosh season ended with an impressive 114 receptions, 1,258 yards and 12 TDs (plus 213 and 2 more as a runner). Unfortunately, a hamstring injury cut his 2019 campaign short. We almost lost our chance to see Moore in 2020 between his opt out and the Big Ten cancellation but luckily he’s back in the fold at Purdue. Moore is dynamic with the ball in his hands; he’s able to accelerate out of easily broken tackles. He is also a smart route runner which helps him get open, even against future NFL talent. When I wrote about Moore in the Spring, I predicted that if he could put up 80% of his 2018 productivity that he would be a first rounder. That will be a tall order in an eight game season so instead let’s look for a 65-800-8 type season as a benchmark. A new favorite of mine, the website www.nflmockdraftdatabase.com has Moore listed as the 18th ranked prospect in the 2021 class, with a peak ranking of 12th. Most mocks compiled by the site have him going at the end of the first round. Proving that he’s back from his 2019 injury will close that gap between the potential and the pick.  (Editor’s note: Rondale Moore has been ruled out for this weekend’s game and is expected to play in Week 9.)

Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR, Iowa

When I was thinking of and researching players for this piece I realized I have a bit of a blind spot for the Hawkeyes. As the team’s leading returning receiver (44-722-5), Smith-Marsette was a simple choice to include. I watched some highlights to give myself a crash course in his game. Smith-Marsette is a playmaker with breakaway speed. He was the Big Ten’s best kickoff return man in both 2018 and 2019, averaging 29.5 and 29.6 yards per return respectively. It may have been fortuitous timing to watch his highlights when I did, just after another NFL weekend where we saw receivers like Chase Claypool and Deebo Samuel taking hand offs and pop passes behind the line of scrimmage to utilize their open field playmaking ability. That’s something that Smith-Marsette did multiple times last season. Smith-Marsette’s body isn’t as sturdy as either of those two (6010/179), but if NFL offenses continue to deploy receivers in that manner somebody like Smith-Marsette could flourish.

Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin

If you’re looking for an old school style tight end, Jake Ferguson is your guy. I didn’t have a feel for Ferguson so I watched his 2019 tape from Michigan State. Right from the start you can see that he’s not some undersized nouveau move tight end. Instead, he’s the type of guy you need if you’re playing smash mouth football and giving Jonathan Taylor 300 carries a year. Against MSU, Ferguson didn’t have a target until late in the first quarter, after staying in to block on just about every snap. That first target came on a 4th and 2 just outside of field goal range. The Badgers line up as if they are going to run for the first but instead Jack Coan fakes the handoff and hits Ferguson down the seam for a big gain that was nearly a touchdown. Because he was deployed solely as a blocker until that point, I think the defense was caught off guard. On his second catch, Ferguson showed off some elusiveness, breaking two tackles on his way to a first down. It’s a shame that Ferguson doesn’t get more standup snaps off the line of scrimmage. He utilizes a wonderful evasive swim move at the top of his stem against close coverage that gives him space. I can see Ferguson having a long NFL career as a reliable blocker and a trustworthy third down target.

Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

Luckily for fans of football, Pat Freiermuth will be playing for the Nittany Lions in 2020. Freiermuth disputes that he ever officially opted out of the previously cancelled season but that’s semantics because he’s suiting up this weekend. When I highlighted Freiermuth in my Spring Scouting series, I predicted that he would make Penn State history, easily passing Mike Gesicki for the most career touchdown catches by a tight end, and then setting his sights on 3rd and maybe 2nd on the overall leaderboard. A shortened season may damn those lofty hopes but a solid 2020 will put Freiermuth on the short list of the greatest Penn State pass catchers of all time. Freiermuth is listed at 6050/256 and contributes both as a pass catcher (43-507-7 last year) and a blocker. In my spring study, I noted how much I loved his ability to seal off running lanes for his running backs while lined up in the slot or split out. Freiermuth projects as a first round tight end and will need to start strong if he has a chance of catching Florida’s Kyle Pitts as TE1.

 

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

Week 7 Street FA Report

Updated: October 20th 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

Boston Scott, RB – PHI (Owned 62%)

Week 6: 2 Car/4 yards, 2 Rec/5 yards

There was a big scare in the Eagles-Ravens game for Miles Sanders when he went down with an injury to his knee. Luckily for him, it does not appear to be a serious injury but he will be out for at least a couple of weeks. In his place, the team will once again turn to Boston Scott who in his two games against the Giants last year scored 24.8 and 35.8 PPR points. With only Corey Clement behind him as a running back with at least ten (10) snaps played thus far it is safe to assume that Scott should see the majority of touches and snaps out of the backfield on Thursday night. Scott presents RB3/Flex appeal over the next two weeks before the Eagles’ bye. His value can be reassessed in week 10 once the extent of Sanders’ injury is more known.

Suggested Bid: $2,000,000

RB Add

Gus Edwards, RB – BAL (Owned 37%)

Week 6: 14 Car/26 yards, 1 TD

We will have to wait a week to find out how serious Mark Ingram’s injury is that forced him to leave early from the Ravens’ Week 6 game before we go full with Gus Edwards. Until then Edwards looks like another running back that could be in line for an increase in snaps and rushing attempts and therefore should be rostered in more than a third of RSO leagues. Edwards has led the Ravens’ backfield in snaps the last three weeks and carries in two of the last three so even if Ingram does return after their bye he will continue to have a bigger role than most see in this offense. We all hope that J.K. Dobbins takes over this backfield with the current situation but sometimes we should not look a gift horse in the mouth and pick up the free option right now.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

 WR Add

Adam Humphries, WR – TEN (Owned 36%)

Week 6: 6 Rec/64 yards, 1 TD

Those who rostered Adam Humphries have had to wait a long time for him to be available after the team missed a week for COVID delays and then Humphries needed to miss an additional game until he could test negative. On Sunday he returned and had his best statistical performance of the season finishing as the WR12. Corey Davis missing the game was likely a contributing factor for his success but Humphries has only one (1) game thus far with under 10 PPR points and is WR36 for points per game averaging a respectable 13.2 PPR. For those either streaming wide receiver or who need to add depth he is a better bench player and potential weekly starter than many other options around his ownership levels. The Titans offense is legit and it should continue to fuel fantasy points for players other than Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown.

Suggested Bid: $3,000,000

TE Add

Anthony Firkser, TE – TEN (4%)

Week 6: 8 Rec/113 yards, 1 TD

It must have been disappointing to those who have Jonnu Smith to have him have a single catch in week 6 before going down with an ankle injury and to then watch Anthony Firkser come in as his replacement and put up over 25 points. Smith is expected to miss at least the Titans next game while dealing with his injury and it could take a couple of games until he is fully back to even strength as ankles are a fickle injury to heal for big tight ends. As I mentioned for Adam Humphries, the Titans’ offense is strong enough that it can hold up multiple pass-catchers in fantasy and the team will be frequenting the red zone for touchdown opportunities. He may not have more than a couple of weeks of value but if Firkser can help you steal a win between now and then it is worth it.

Suggested Bid: $1,500,000

 Sleeper Add

Marcus Johnson, WR – IND (Owned 2%)

Week 6: 5 Rec/108 yards

Slowly, Marcus Johnson has been gaining steam as a deep threat for the Indianapolis Colts. Two weeks ago he had a 36-yard catch while playing on over half the snaps. Then this week he had over 100 yards, half on a big 55-yard pass from Philip Rivers while playing on almost two-thirds (63 percent) of the snaps and being the most targeted receiver with eight (8). The Colts currently are tied for eighth (8th) in three (3) receiver sets at 71 percent so there should be plenty of opportunities for Johnson to continue being on the field.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

Week 6 Street FA Report

Updated: October 14th 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

Travis Fulgham, WR – PHI (Owned 3%)

Week 5: 10 Rec/152 yards, 1 TD

Everyone’s waiver wire priority pick, wide receiver Travis Fulgham, had a breakout game last Sunday with over 30PPR points. Many may have passed on him two weeks ago when he scored the go-ahead touchdown against the 49ers but it is unlikely that he will remain available moving forward. The Eagles have been looking for a receiver to break through and give Carson Wentz someone to rely on other than Zach Ertz. Hopefully, the coaching staff lets him continue his development even as DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey return to the lineup. As it stands Fulgham is looking like a player to dump the remainder of your cap space on.

Suggested Bid: $10,000,000 (or 70% of remaining cap space)

QB Add

Andy Dalton, QB – DAL (Owned 17%)

Week 5: 9/11, 111 yards, 1 Car/0 yards

Those who roam the streets for quarterbacks week-to-week or Superflex owners who struggle to have available second quarterbacks may have caught a break if Andy Dalton was somehow still available coming into week 5. The gruesome and unfortunate injury to Dak Prescott has opened the door for Andy Dalton to be the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys for the remainder of the season. The offense should take a step back, if for nothing else than because it was on a record pace for passing numbers but do not slouch on Dalton’s skills. He is a good enough quarterback that he should keep all his receivers’ fantasy value afloat. In his 13 games with the Bengals last year, and with only a healthy Tyler Boyd to throw to, Dalton still averaged almost 16 points per game (15.7). Dalton should be at least a mid-QB2 each week with a higher upside because of the situation and players surrounding him. He needs to be rostered as of this week in all but the shallowest of leagues.

Suggested Bid: $3,000,000 Standard / $12,000,000 – $20,000,000 Superflex

RB Add

J.D. McKissic, RB – WAS (Owned 34%)

Week 5: 1 Car/3 yards, 6 Rec/46 yards

J.D. McKissic continues to be the torn in Antonio Gibson’s side as he is playing an equal number of snaps and is the primary pass-catching back when Washington is trailing, which no shocker is quite often. McKissic has had 16 targets and 13 catches over the last two games along with playing 55 percent and 50 percent of the team’s offensive snaps. He is a poor man’s James White so if you are scrambling for running backs or know that you have a tough bye week this week with some prominent names at the position unavailable, McKissic could be a filler against the Giants.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

WR Add

Josh Reynolds, WR – LAR (Owned 40%)

Week 5: 2 Rec/46 yards

Remember when Van Jefferson was going to be taking over the WR3 slot on the Rams? Veteran Josh Reynolds has continued to hold him off by out snapping (by a large margin) every game this season. Reynolds has not popped on the stat sheet just yet but only his week 1 performance you would say was not worth the value that he has right now. As a player who is available in 60 percent of leagues right now, he is averaging 6.4PPR points over his last four (4) games. Not great, but more consistent than some of the other bottom feeders on your bench. If anything was to happen to Robert Woods or Cooper Kupp, Reynolds would step into a significant value bump also.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

TE Add

Cameron Brate, TE – TB (Owned 16%)

Week 5: 5 Rec/44 yards

I went back and forth last week on recommending either Richard Rodgers or Cameron Brate as the tight end add and chose wrong. Brate did not play a ton of snaps last Thursday, only 46 percent, but he was efficient with five (5) catches on six (6) targets. Tom Brady has a familiarity with Rob Gronkowski but he has also been known to get the ball to guys who show they can get open. Brate is probably more of the pass-catching tight end at this point and as long as the Buccaneers continue to put up big offensive numbers there will always be a chance for scoring opportunities. Add Brate to your list of available streaming tight ends and play the matchup each week if that is your usual strategy.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Sleeper Add

Jeff Smith, WR – NYJ (Owned 10%)

Week 5: 3 Rec/23 yards

The Jets are terrible but you know what terrible teams do? They pass the ball a lot while losing. Jeff Smith is a player that stood out two Thursday’s ago against the Broncos and then checking his stats last week he was tied for eighth (8th) in targets against the Cardinals with eleven (11). He also played 95 percent and 99 percent of the snaps those two weeks showing that he has both the usage and opportunity to have under the radar fantasy production. If whoever is playing quarterback can make those targets more efficient, Jeff Smith might have WR4 appeal in 2020.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

The Watch List 2021: Week 7 Preview

Updated: October 15th 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.

(Editor’s note: There have been two important updates related to this week’s article. Alabama head coach Nick Saban has tested positive for covid and there is some speculation that the game may be postponed. Update your game watching schedule accordingly. Also, Tamorrion Terry underwent knee surgery and is expect to miss at least a few weeks.)

If you only have time to watch one college football game this weekend your choice must be #3 Georgia visiting #2 Alabama. The game is chock full of future NFL stars on both sides of the ball, however I’ve recently written about both teams so I am going to look elsewhere for this weekly preview. To run the gamut of watchability, let’s take a look at two prospects who are playing on teams that are bad enough that you can barely bring yourself to DVR and fast forward through their contests: Florida State’s Tamorrion Terry and Duke’s Deon Jackson. Duke finally broke their duck with a victory against Syracuse in Week 6, whereas FSU’s lone win came against FCS squad Jacksonville State. Combined against FBS opponents, the two teams are 1-6 and have been outscored 263-157. I selected these two players to spotlight and started writing this preview before the kickoff of Week 6 games and the performances by both Terry and Jackson in those games confirmed my suspicions that we need to keep these two on our shortlists.

Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State

Tamorrion Terry is a former 4-star recruit who landed in Tallahassee with some hype after turning down offers from a number of blue blood programs like Georgia and Auburn. I love finding absurd stats in player bios and Terry had one of the best I’ve seen: as a senior in high school he recorded 40 receptions and scored on 19 of them. Fast forward to his freshman and sophomore seasons at FSU where Terry couldn’t possibly match that incredible efficiency but amassed strong 35-744-8 and 60-1,188-9 stat lines. Heading into Week 6 of 2020 though, Terry had just 12 receptions and 129 yards with no touchdowns. That underwhelming output — including a catchless game against Miami — is more on quarterbacks James Blackman and Tate Rodemaker than on Terry. Jordan Travis got the nod for the Notre Dame matchup after a good showing late in the win versus Jacksonville State. That was great news for Terry who ended the Notre Dame game with nine grabs for 146 yards and a touchdown. (7-121-1 of that line came from Travis who injured his hand late in the game but has said he’ll be fine.)

Terry’s touchdown against Notre Dame was a thing of beauty so it’s worth looking at more closely. Terry is lined up on the perimeter, to the field, against off-man single coverage. Terry runs a short stem, cuts hard inside for a slant which the corner pounces on as Terry cuts back outside for a double move. The corner recovers but Terry is able to get a few yards of separation. The ball is slightly under thrown so Terry slows his momentum and tracks the ball well to make an over the shoulder grab in stride. The corner makes a valiant effort at the tail end of the play trying to bring Terry down by his ankles but Terry is too big and too strong as he falls forward into the end zone.

I also watched Terry’s 2019 Boston College tape and some highlight packages. There was a lot to like in those clips too but the biggest surprise from watching the BC game was that Terry loves to block. He threw a wallop of a block near the goal line in the first quarter and was the key downfield blocker for a second half touchdown scamper by Jordan Travis (who was used situationally as a runner in 2019). Terry checks a ton of boxes — size, catch radius, speed, tackle breaking ability, physicality — and it’s hard to find major negatives to his game. If I had to nitpick, I would say that one thing that I noticed repeatedly was that he doesn’t always use his sticky-strong hands and lets the ball get into his body.

When researching Terry I found that there was some disagreement on his top-end speed. One of my trusted scouting sites, DraftScout.com, projects Terry in the 4.6 range. A few other resources suggested a 4.50 forty. And then I stumbled on a Reddit thread that shared a tweet that has since been deleted that clocked Terry at 23.4mph during the bowl game against Arizona State last year (which happened to be his best game of the year, 9-165-1). As the commenters point out, that would be faster than any speed the NFL has tracked using their next-gen stats. So either Terry will be the fastest NFL player ever or he’ll run one of the slowest times of the class at the combine. I’ll go with the median and expect a time between 4.45-4.55.

Tamorrion Terry has the wingspan and ability to attack like a pterodactyl from a Jurassic Park sequel. From what I have seen so far, I expect that he can be a starting X receiver in the NFL. In regards to Terry’s NFL Draft prospects, we may have a similar situation to that of his former teammate RB Cam Akers. Few could argue against Akers’ talent but there was enough uncertainty from playing on a bad team that his stock fell from the #1 back in the recruiting class to fourth off the board at the NFL Draft. I’m hopeful that the uptick that Jordan Travis provided continues and Terry sees higher quality targets throughout the rest of the season. I can see Terry becoming a rising star during the predraft process and landing in the Top 50 because of his physical traits.

Deon Jackson, RB, Duke

When I was searching for some Youtube game tape of Jackson, I came across a highlight reel titled “The Most Disrespected RB in the ACC.” That may have primed me before I dived deeper but after a short study I can’t say I disagree. I’ve fallen in love with Deon Jackson.

Like Terry above, Jackson has been a reliable producer on a mediocre team. In 2018 and 2019, Jackson combined for 333 carries, 1,488 yards and 13 TDs, averaging 4.46 yards per carry. Hardly eye-popping numbers, but solid. Jackson also contributed as a receiver, adding 47-445-4 as a receiver in the same span. That’s an average of 9.46 yards per reception which would be up there just behind Travis Etienne among the conference’s best backs last year. Jackson had the best game of his career against Syracuse last week, earning 169 yards on 30 carries (he did have a bad fumble in the first half though). So far in 2020 Jackson has not yet shown up as a receiver — just six receptions through five games — perhaps because he’s playing with a new quarterback in Chase Brice who prefers to check down to TE Noah Gray instead.

I watched the condensed version of Duke’s win against Syracuse and also watched some of Jackson’s highlights to better understand his game. Jackson probably has 4.55-4.65 speed so he won’t be winning too many long distance sprints but that’s okay because he’s plenty quick. He mostly runs straight ahead, adding just a little wiggle if needed in the open field. He’s patient at the line of scrimmage but is decisive once he sees his hole. As a receiver, Jackson is fantastic. He only had one reception against Syracuse but it was a good hands catch, as were those in his highlights. He occasionally lines up as a receiver and looks to run solid routes from anywhere. Against Syracuse he was used in pass protection a few times and protected Chase Brice well on the team’s first touchdown of the game. Here was Jackson’s highlight play against Syracuse, a fifty yarder in the first quarter where he showed some speed and that decisiveness I mentioned above. He accelerates as he hits the hole and manages to break through the traffic beyond the line of scrimmage.

Jackson has enough speed and the size at 6000/215 to be a workhorse at the next level (think: Chris Carson). I’ve made the mistake of writing off running backs like Carson (and Alvin Kamara) who had similar athletic profiles and collegiate production, so I won’t be doing that with Jackson. It’s too soon to predict next-level success like that of an NFL star but we need to keep a close eye on Deon Jackson.

 

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