This Isn’t Your Year

Updated: November 15th 2018

So things have not quite gone as planned this season.  Injuries, under-performance, and other factors conspired against your RSO team putting it out of realistic contention this season.  Do not despair.  The nature of RSO leagues dictates the transition time from a bad team to competitive team can occur in a startling small amount of time.  A good rookie draft combined with solid free agent pickups potentially makes your team competitive as soon as next season.  Let us take a look at a few key steps now that your team is out of the playoff race.

Do Not Mentally Check Out

The first instinct for teams out of the race might include not paying attention anymore.  Resist the urge.  Regularly check in on the league for messages. Respond to trade offers in a timely manner.  Most importantly:

Set your best lineups.  While it might not seem important when you are playing for nothing, setting your best lineup is necessary for the league by maintaining as much competitive balance as possible.  I have no doubt many of you out there in fantasy football leagues have witnessed a non-playoff team with players on bye in their lineups, either due to inactivity or tanking (intentionally setting a sub-optimal lineup), giving competitors almost a free win that week.  No one wants that person in a league and that type of owner might not be invited back next season.  Stay involved.

There are a number of league rules which can keep owners active and prevent tanking.  The league could give a supplemental draft pick to the winner of a “toilet bowl” (playoffs for non-playoff teams) for example or assign some kind of punishment to the last place team.  This potentially keeps owners active who might otherwise not maintain much of a presence.  Assigning draft order based on potential points instead of win-loss record eliminates the incentive for tanking, while also giving a better measure of the quality of teams for draft consideration.

Prep for Next Season and Beyond

Performing the basic in-season tasks such as setting lineups is expected.  The real work involves setting up your team for improvement in future years once you are out of the playoff hunt by accumulating assets for next season and beyond. Rookie draft picks tend to be good assets to acquire because they typically go up in value around draft time and they are fluid assets more easily traded when compared to individual players.  They are not the only assets you should be focused on however.  Good multi-year contracts for under-performing players are quality trade targets and cheaper relative to draft picks in many cases.  A few other considerations in acquiring future assets if your team is out of contention this year:

Examine the upcoming free agent and rookie classes for your league.  The composition of both goes a long way in determining your trade strategy moving forward.  A strong free agent group forces consideration of trading solid to good contracts for a chance at potentially better ones in the upcoming free agent auction.  It also makes dumping bad contracts even more important for obtaining sought after cap space.  One might even trade draft picks for more cap room in this situation to expend on high-end free agents.  On the other hand, a league many years in might have a very shallow free agent pool in which case cheap rookie draft picks become more important.

Utilize your extension and franchise tag spots.  We think of trading players in the last contract year for longer term assets as the basis for improving your team going forward but it is not the only option.  Be sure to examine your remaining one-year contracts if your league utilizes RSO’s extension and/or franchise tag options.   Do not be afraid to trade for expiring contracts in order to use your extension or franchise tag on if you do not like the one-year options currently available on your team.

Stay updated on injured Players.  Players out for the season offer no beneficial advantage this year to competitive teams but may help you in future years.  A small sample of players out for most or all of this fantasy season:  Jay Ajayi, Jerick McKinnon, Derrius Guice, Devonta Freeman, Tyler Eifert, Dez Bryant, Cooper Kupp, Will Fuller, and Jimmy Garoppolo.  Injured players with multi-year contracts make for great trade targets as competitors concentrate more on the current season.  Remember a player may not be traded in most RSO leagues during the season once that player is removed from the active RSO roster and placed on Injured Reserve.  Pay close attention and be prepared to jump on injured players late in the season before the RSO G.M. utilizes the I.R. spot or trades to another alert team.

Check your waivers.  This is perhaps an underutilized mechanism in many RSO leagues and one that some owners forget about.  You may be surprised at the contracts which become available on waivers, particularly in shallower leagues.  Playoff contenders in a week with many teams on bye (the upcoming week 11 for example) might need free agents to fill in starting spots.  The owner may choose the release of a disappointing young player still on a rookie deal for bye-week replacements.  Your team will have a high waiver priority which you can use to pounce on cheap rookie deals and under-performing contracts with upside in the future.


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

Week 11 Street FA Report

Updated: November 15th 2018

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

Byes: Buffalo, Cleveland, Miami, New England, NYJ, San Francisco

Add of the Week

Josh Reynolds, WR – LAR (Owned 26%)

Week 10: N/A

If you are in 3 of 4 leagues where Josh Reynolds isn’t already owned you need to drop your cap space on him immediately. With Cooper Kupp out for the rest of the season, Reynolds will step back into the WR3 role that he had when Kupp missed time earlier this season. The Rams run 11 personnel (3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB) almost the entire game (95%) which means that Reynolds will be on the field a lot for the remainder of the season. He may not be as consistent a fantasy producer as Kupp but his ceiling is worth risking it.

Suggested Bid: $7,000,000 – $10,000,000

RB Add

Jacquizz Rodgers, RB – TB (Owned 10.5%)

Week 10: 1 Car/0 yards, 8 Rec/102 yards

It was amazing to see the Buccaneers put up over 500 yards of offense and somehow manage only 3 points. Within those 500 yards though was 100 receiving yards from running back Jacquizz Rodgers. This could be a more common feature, although not likely 100 yards a week, for the Bucs moving forward. Ryan Fitzpatrick will always be a gunslinger but having a check down option never hurts an offense that is likely to be in “catch-up” mode for most of the game. This may have been a single game standout for Rodgers but with playoffs around the corner, it’s time to start stashing as many bench options as possible if you are in the hunt.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,000,000

WR Add

Brandon LaFell, WR – OAK (Owned 11%)

Week 10: 4 Rec/47 yards

Brandon LaFell was brought in a couple of weeks ago to fill the hole at receiver when the Raiders traded away Amari Cooper. A couple weeks later and he now appears to be their primary receiver. What’s more is that both Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant are injured leaving minimal options for Derek Carr to throw the ball to for the next 6 weeks. The Raiders offense is not going to score many points each week but in PPR leagues having a team’s number one target is always a good thing to stash on the bench for emergencies. LaFell could remain a deep WR play for struggling teams that can’t afford/acquire Josh Reynolds.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

TE Adds

Tyler Higbee, TE – LAR (Owned 20%)

Week 10: 3 Rec/25 yards, 1 TD

There’s a similar analysis here for Tyler Higbee as with Josh Reynolds but on a lower scale. Targets will become available with Kupp out of the lineup, however, only one tight end will be on the field at any given time. Higbee plays about 77% of the snaps so he will have the opportunity to carve a new role out for himself. You should temper your expectations, however, as he has only reached four (4) targets twice this season.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Sleeper Add (<10%)

Dontrelle Inman, WR – IND (Owned 3.8%)

Week 10: 4 Rec/41 yards

A team polar opposite to LA Rams in terms of tight end usage, the Colts love to get their big guys involved in the passing game and had their third game this season with multiple tight ends scoring a touchdown. The story underneath of that, however, is that of newly acquired receiver Dontrelle Inman stepping in as the WR2 behind T.Y. Hilton the past two weeks. Maybe it is because Ryan Grant isn’t fully healthy yet but Inman had four catches to Grant’s one in week 10. Chester Rogers has also become non-existent since bringing in Inman and Grant returning. Like Brandon LaFell, Inman could have great appeal for teams that need some receiver depth but won’t be able to acquire Josh Reynolds this week. Plus no one is talking about him so he should be cheap to acquire.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

RSO Staff Picks: Week 10

Updated: November 11th 2018

Week 9 Results

1. Papson – 10-3

2. Wendell – 9-4

3. English 8-5

Overall Standings

1. Papson – 89-44-2

2.  English – 88-45-2

3. Wendell 81-52-2

A big week by Papson (10-3) and a slightly off one by English (8-5) flips the standings with Papson now in first at 89-44-2. We were all on the Steelers on Thursday as they crushed the Panthers (seems like Big Ben is good for a 5 TD game almost every year), and it looks like they will be without Bell for the rest of the year. Still, at 6-2-1, the Steelers are now in first in the AFC North and look like a true contender in the AFC. Not a ton of great games this week and not a lot of differences in our picks, but with it being Week 10, GMs will be surely watching every down as they make a push for the fantasy playoffs. Our picks for Week 10 are below:

NFL Game Picks

Game

Wendell

English

Papson

CAR @ PIT

NO @ CIN

ATL @ CLV

JAX @ IND

DET @ CHI

ARI @ KC

NE @ TEN

WAS @ TB

BUF @ NYJ

LAC @ OAK

MIA @ GB

SEA @ LAR

DAL @ PHI

NYG @ SF

More Analysis by Stephen Wendell

Week 10 Street FA Report

Updated: November 7th 2018

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

Byes: Baltimore, Denver, Houston, Minnesota

Add of the Week

Maurice Harris, WR – WAS (Owned 1.3%)

Week 9: 10 Rec/124 yards

It was a rough week for Washington as they lost three players for the season, two offensive linemen and receiver Paul Richardson. In Richardson’s place though Maurice Harris came out of nowhere and put up 10 catches and over 100 yards. Likely a product of being down early against Atlanta it will be interesting to see what Harris’ role in this offense will be going forward. With Chris Thompson and Jamison Crowder still hampered with injuries, there should be plenty of opportunities for Harris to at least continue to have fantasy viability.

Suggested Bid: $2,000,000

RB Add

Elijah McGuire, RB – NYJ (Owned 49%)

Week 9: 7 Car/30 yards, 3 Rec/37 yards 

For the half of you that added McGuire last week and were forced or brave enough to start him you were rewarded with 9.7 PPR points against the Dolphins. Not bad for a team that didn’t score an offensive touchdown. The Jets figure to be in more games similar to this, although maybe not as inept as they looked Sunday so McGuire may be used more out of the backfield as the receiving option back. If they can get their offense to sustain more drives then McGuire will have more opportunities to touch the ball. He should have at least flex-level matchups for the remainder of the season.

Suggested Bid: $2,000,000

WR Add

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR – NE (Owned 18.5%)

Week 9: 1 Rec/ 7 yards, 11 Car/61 yards, 1 TD

After being flashed as a runner on Monday night against Buffalo, Cordarrelle Patterson fully embraced his new role against Green Bay gaining 61 yards on the ground and scoring a goal-line touchdown. Sony Michel is reportedly going to be returning to the lineup in week 10 but that doesn’t mean that Patterson won’t still have his chances. We know Belichick likes to keep things fresh so between Michel, Patterson, and James White the Patriots’ backfield will be full of tricks the second half of the season.

Suggested Bid: $2,000,000

TE Adds

Nick Vannett, TE – SEA (Owned 16%)

Week 9: 6 Rec/52 yards, 1 TD

It took half the season but we finally got the game from Nick Vannett that we expected after Jimmy Graham’s departure. Many flocked to get Ed Dickson after he scored last week but he has never been more than a blocking tight end and was unlikely to duplicate his Week 8 total. Vannett was the most targeted receiver on Sunday (8) so maybe things are finally trending his way. It would be hard to start him with any confidence just yet but another good showing might warrant some spot starts down the stretch.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

 

Vernon Davis, TE – WAS (Owned 20.5%)

Week 9: 5 Rec/62 yards

A similar analysis to Maurice Harris can be applied here to Vernon Davis. The injuries to Washington have forced them to lean on both their tight ends more, with Davis having seven (7) targets and Jordan Reed have six (6) last week. Neither are blocking tight ends and with injuries to the offensive line, Alex Smith’s quick release might have to get even quicker. Tight ends have always benefited Alex Smith so Davis is worth adding to see how this offense may change over the next couple of weeks.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

Sleeper Add (<10%)

Cameron Batson, WR – TEN (Owned 0.5%)

Week 9: 2 Rec/21 yards

Watching Monday night football I appreciated having the on-field personnel list displayed on the scoring banner. It allowed me to notice that after Taywan Taylor left the game with an injury it was the undrafted rookie Cameron Batson who saw an increase in snaps throughout the game over other receivers like Tajae Sharpe. He was also the second most targeted WR, behind Corey Davis. We don’t know the severity of Taylor’s injury just yet but if he is forced to miss games Batson could be a very low-key player to stash on the bench. Now that Marcus Mariota has gained back some confidence, and feeling in his fingers, Tennessee might be able to have some fantasy value once again.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

RSO Staff Picks: Week 9

Updated: November 1st 2018

Week 8 Results

1. English – 14-0

2. Wendell – 12-2

3. Papson 11-3

Overall Standings

1. English – 80-40-2

2.  Papson – 79-41-2

3. Wendell 72-48-2

English with a perfect week, putting him in the overall lead at 80-40-2 despite another solid week from Papson. I have cleaned up my act and am a respectable 72-48-2, but I will need to pick up a chunk of games over the coming weeks to have a chance in the end. Still, the whole second half of the season to go. Week gets kicked off with a pillow fight between the 1-6 Raiders and the 1-7 49ers. Since trading Mack, it has been downhill for Gruden in his first year back coaching, and the 49ers don’t have a shot without Jimmy G under center. Sunday has some great inner division and conference battles but all eyes will be on the Rams-Saints late Sunday afternoon and on the Packers-Pats in what is a must win for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on SNF. This Week 9-13 stretch is of course pivotal to both fantasy (and reality) playoff births, so good luck and enjoy the games! Here are our picks for Week 9!

NFL Game Picks

Game

Wendell

English

Papson

OAK @ SF

CHI @ BUF

KC @ CLV

NYJ @ MIA

DET @ MIN

ATL @ WAS

TB @ CAR

PIT @ BAL

HOU @ DEN

LAC @ SEA

LAR @ NO

GB @ NE

TEN @ DAL

More Analysis by Stephen Wendell

Week 9 Street FA Report

Updated: October 31st 2018

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

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

Add of the Week

David Moore, WR – SEA (Owned 21.6%)

Week 8: 4 Rec/97 yards, 1 TD

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

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

RB Add

Josh Adams, RB – PHI (Owned 11%)

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

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

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

WR Adds

T.J. Jones, WR – DET (Owned 0.8%)

Week 8: N/A

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

Suggested Bid: $500,000

 

Adam Humphries, WR – TB (Owned 14.2%)

Week 8: 7 Rec/76 yards

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

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

TE Add

Jeff Heuerman, TE – DEN (Owned 9.8%)

Week 8: 1 Rec/4 yards, 1 TD

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

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Sleeper Add (<10%)

Tyler Ervin, RB – HOU (Owned 7.3%)

Week 8: 1 Rec/4 yards

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

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews