Week 6 Street FA Report

Updated: October 10th 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: Detroit, New Orleans

Add of the Week

Niles Paul, TE – JAX (Owned 2.1%)

Week 5: 7 Rec/65 yards

It’s a good sign when Niles Paul is the must add for a week. RSO owners are doing their due diligence to add the relevant free agents making it more difficult for me to find qualified players. Give yourself a pat on the back. Anyways, the Jags were embarrassed pretty badly on Sunday against the Chiefs but for TEs it was supposed to be an ideal matchup. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins was started across several of my leagues but he failed to record a single catch. We now know why as his injury kept him out for most of Sunday and now he will be placed on IR. Meanwhile, former Washington tight end Niles Paul played on 42% of snaps (Most for Jacksonville TEs) and had nine (9) targets. The Jags likely won’t be blown out from the start of many games which makes Paul’s nine targets unlikely to duplicate but with ASJ out that leaves only Paul as the only pass catching TE on the roster. As with every season, the TE position is a wasteland for starting quality players so why not add Paul and use him on a matchup/bye fill basis.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

QB Add

C.J. Beathard, QB – SF (Owned 28.6%)

Week 5: 34 for 54, 349 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 2 Car/7 yards, 1 TD

Almost one year to the week I am once again suggesting C.J. Beathard as a break-glass emergency QB add for struggling QB situated owners. The 49ers are not the team that people thought they would be this season, even when they had Jimmy G at the helm. But in their losses comes a lot of garbage time points to be had which should be good for Beathard’s stat line. He finished as QB9 (before Monday’s results) and with the 49ers having severe injuries at the running back position it may be more on C.J.’s shoulders to move the offense down the field each week. With very little expected wins for the remainder of the season, Beathard should be throwing the ball enough to warrant being added.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 ($2,000,000 – $4,000,000 SF/2QB)

RB Add

Kyle Juszczyk, FB – SF (Owned 9.3%)

Week 5: 1 Car/12 yards, 6 Rec/75 yards

As I said in the previous blurb the 49ers are hurting at the RB position so bad so that I am recommending probably for the first time ever in RSO’s short history to add a fullback to your roster. Kyle Juszczyk has been featured more in the passing game than the running game evident by his one carry versus fourteen receptions which is good for his PPR value. With Breida missing a significant part of week 5’s contest Juszczyk was targeted seven (7) times and will likely continue to see much of the passing down snaps while Breida is out. He will be more of a Hail Mary play most weeks but as I previously stated the 49ers will be in catch-up mode for most remaining games. If you are desperate for production at the RB spot Juszczyk might be useful to some of you.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

WR Adds

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR – GB (Owned 27.4%)

Week 5: 7 Rec/68 yards, 1 TD

The Packers receiving core is in a similar state as the 49ers backfield where backup/bit role players are being thrust into starting roles. Marquez Valdes-Scantling was one of those players in week 5 and had a strong showing in a game the Packers needed to throw the ball a lot. We don’t know the extent of Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison’s injury but since both are dealing with hamstring injuries, Allison is also dealing with a concussion, it could be a couple of weeks before one or both are back at full health. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers needs to throw to someone as a third option so Valdes-Scantling may have another game or two of fantasy relevancy. With a handful of starting WRs being on a bye this week (Michael Thomas, Tedd Ginn, Kenny Golladay, Golden Tate, Marvin Jones) you may just need an extra WR4/5 for an emergency start week 6 when the Packers take on the 49ers.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

TE Add

Ryan Griffin, TE – HOU (Owned 14.5%)

Week 5: 6 Rec/65 yards

It is tough to say whether Ryan Griffin’s use against the Cowboys on Sunday night was a specific game plan or if Deshaun Watson was just forced to use Griffin due to the Cowboy’s coverage. Either way, he saw nine (9) targets, second most all receivers, which almost matched his season total. Watson also seemed to be favoring his ribs during the game which may limit his mobility for a couple of games. Having games against four aggressive defenses (Buffalo, Jacksonville, Miami, and Denver) might force Watson to be looking to get the ball out faster which usually is a good thing for a tight end’s stat lines. He’s a risk to play but much like adding Niles Paul it’s all about calculated dart throws when it comes to starting TEs.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Sleeper Add (<10%)

David Moore, WR – SEA (Owned 4.4%)

Week 5: 3 Rec/38 yards, 2 TDs

There were hints earlier this week from Pete Carroll that David Moore could be more involved this past week. While three receptions aren’t eye-catching his two touchdowns are. Doug Baldwin hasn’t come back to full form yet and Brandon Marshall is likely being pushed out of the offense for younger talent, like Moore. The Seahawks have become a more run-oriented team once again but without having Jimmy Graham they need a bigger receiver to help with red zone scoring. Moore might be able to carve out a role as a red zone threat with touchdown upside. For now, he’s a player to stash and see if Russell Wilson can develop a rapport with him as the season progresses.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

2018 Post-Draft Rookie Rankings

Updated: May 11th 2018

I’m feeling a bit bittersweet today.  After months of research, statistical analysis and film watching this will be my last post about the 2018 rookie class.  You’ll be in capable hands with the rest of our RSO writing crew but I can’t help but feel sad about losing “my guys.”  I’m looking at you Anthony Miller and Rashaad Penny.  I had been a casual college football writer for years, and a fan for much longer, but the 2018 class was the first that I went truly deep on.  Alas, I will probably feel the same about the 2019 class this time next year.  Speaking of the 2019 class, expect to see content rolling out starting in June.  I have compiled a watch list of 150 players from the FBS to Division III.  I will release conference previews in the Summer, along with a way-too-early mock draft.  I will also unveil a Madden-like grading system I devised as a way to quantitatively compare players across levels and positions.  Before all of that though, let’s take one last look at my 2018 rookie rankings.  These were updated after the NFL Draft and I have also included a write-up about some noteworthy players.  Enjoy!

#3 – Nick Chubb, RB, Browns

I have vacillated on Chubb’s ranking more than anybody else at the top of my rankings. Earlier in the year I had Chubb and Derrius Guice alternating as my RB2/RB3. Immediately after the draft I bumped Chubb down to RB4 (1.04), behind Ronald Jones, due to concerns about playing on a poor Browns team that has a crowded backfield. The more I thought about it though, I decided I’d rather have Chubb because I think he’s a better player and will earn ample opportunity early enough in his career to warrant the 1.03 pick.

#5 – Rashaad Penny, RB, Seahawks

It was hard not to have Penny rocket up my rankings after he went 27th overall to the Seahawks. It felt like a confirmation of everything I saw and loved during the 2017 season. I tempered my excitement though for two reasons. First, Penny’s struggles as a pass protector are well known and I fear this could limit his touches to start his career. Second, the Seahawks have a weak offensive line (ranked 27th by PFF after 2017) that will test even Penny’s elite evasion. I was also building some return game work into Penny’s valuation but now that he’s a first round draft pick I doubt there’s any chance he gets to return kicks.

#6 – Calvin Ridley, WR, Falcons
#7 – DJ Moore, WR, Panthers

I’m sticking to my guns here. I have had Ridley as my WR1 throughout the season and I still don’t feel he has done anything to change that for me. Moore certainly impressed at the combine more so than Ridley but it’s not like Ridley looked like Orlando Brown out there. Moore was a victim of a poor passing game at Maryland, but you could say the same about Ridley who was rarely featured. Moore will get a lot of early targets as the lead receiver in Carolina but I’d rather have Ridley’s fit in Atlanta with a top passing offense. Julio Jones will dictate coverage which should leave Ridley and his superb separation and route running skills wide open.

#20 – Bradley Chubb, DE, Broncos
#21 – Josh Rosen, QB, Cardinals

Chubb and Rosen come in as the first of their position in my rankings. IDP and QBs are always tough to rank because they are so heavily dependent on league settings and scoring. In general, for a typical RSO IDP league, I think that taking your first IDP near the second turn is a good bet; same with quarterbacks in a 1QB league. If you’re in a league featuring high IDP scoring or in a Superflex or 2QB league, you’ll need to push these guys higher by about a round. Similarly to Ridley, Chubb joins a unit where he won’t be the focus and can prosper. I’d be buying shares of the Broncos in team defense leagues, boy are they going to rack up the sacks. Rosen was the fourth quarterback taken in the NFL Draft but I think he should be the first off the board in your fantasy draft because he has the best combination of short-term opportunity and supporting cast in my opinion. Darnold and Allen may see the field just as soon but they won’t be throwing to Larry Fitzgerald, David Johnson and Christian Kirk. Mayfield is the wildcard if he beats out Tyrod Taylor, who the Browns spent a 3rd round pick on in a trade, because the Browns skill position players look intriguing if they all stay healthy and out of trouble.

#39 – Lorenzo Carter, OLB, Giants

I have a man crush on Lorenzo Carter. He’s a quick and lanky edge rusher who also showed the ability to drop into coverage late in the season. He’ll probably start as a situational pass rusher but the Giants will soon find that they found a gem in Carter. If you’re playing in an IDP league you can probably get Carter later than 39th overall but I wouldn’t chance it. Take him in the third round, stash him on your bench and be the envy of your league this time next year.

#45 – Ito Smith, RB, Falcons

Like Carter, Smith is a sneaky late round pick to stash on your bench. He’ll be lucky to find 50 touches in 2018 behind Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman but once Coleman leaves in free agency, Smith will fall into a fruitful timeshare. Smith ran for 1,100+ yards each of the last three years while catching 40+ passes. Smith is strong and thick with powerful leg drive. I rated him as a B+ blocker in his class so despite his short stature he isn’t a liability in pass protection. Smith will be the type of back who earns 75% of his fantasy production in the last two minutes of each half. He’ll come on the field for his mix of receiving and protection and stay on the field while the team runs the hurry-up.

#48 – Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Packers
#49 – J’mon Moore, WR, Packers

I’m not very high on either of these Packer receivers but one of them is going to emerge, it’s just a matter of which one does. There were rumors that St. Brown fell in the draft because of his “diva” personality which shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anybody who has done any research about his family. That pedigree and promise is what garnered St. Brown buzz the last two years – it certainly wasn’t his on-the-field production. Moore is shorter, lighter and slower but put up two solid seasons at Mizzou in 2016 and 2017 (60+ receptions, 1,000+ yards, 8+ TDs). I wouldn’t recommend drafting either player, you’re better off waiting to see which one hits and then scramble to the waiver wire, but if I had to pick I would go with St. Brown for his superior physical attributes.

#50 – Mason Rudolph, QB, Steelers

I like Rudolph as a speculative third round pick in Superflex and 2QB leagues. While Ben Roethlisberger has been squawking about the Rudolph pick, let’s not forget that just a year ago he was considering retirement. I don’t think it’s a mistake that the Steelers brass decided to draft James Washington and then pair him with his college quarterback. There’s also a chance that Rudolph gets playing time in the short-term due to an injury to Big Ben. Ben has only played a full 16 game season three times in his 14 year career. If you happen to get two games out of Rudolph in 2018 when your own starter is hurt or on bye you’ll already be ahead of the game value-wise.

#64 – Josh Sweat, DE, Eagles

Josh Sweat is another IDP sleeper of mine. Sweat may not get much opportunity early in his career but he had first round talent and physicals but was available later due to his injury history. The stories about his knee injury are pretty gnarly so I would not recommend spending much draft capital on him but if you’re in a deep IDP league and looking for a long shot, he’s your guy.

#80 – Richie James, WR, 49ers

So you’re saying there’s a chance? The 49ers offense is an enigma at the moment. As a Jimmy G owner, I’m excited for what he showed late last year but I am concerned about who he’ll be targeting this year. Pierre Garcon will be back from injury but he’s old. Marquise Goodwin is back too but he’s nothing more than a complementary player in my opinion. The door is open for somebody to emerge and Richie James has as much of a chance as anybody else on the roster. James had two uber productive seasons to start his career: 107-1,334-8 and 105-1,625-12. He lost most of 2017 to injury but is healthy now and reports are that he played well at the team’s first mini camp. You’d have to be in a pretty deep league to consider drafting James but once you get past WR15 it’s a crap shoot anyway.

Note: When watching film for a player in the offseason, I typically pick two games at random to watch. If game film is not available I will search for highlight reels, but keep in mind these are the best plays that player had all season so they really need to jump off the screen. I do not necessarily want to watch games where they did very well or very poorly as that may not be a great illustration of their true ability. If possible, when comparing players at the same position I also like to watch film against common opponents. Full disclosure, I am not watching film of every single game any player plays, instead I am looking for a representative sample. When researching college players I use a number of resources, I would recommend bookmarking the below sites…

  • Stats: espn.com, sports-reference.com, cfbstats.com, herosports.com, fcs.football, foxsports.com
  • Film: 2019 NFL Draft Database by @CalhounLambeau, youtube.com (but be wary of highlight only reels)
  • Draft info and mocks: draftcountdown.com, draftscout.com, walterfootball.com, mattwaldmanrsp.com, draftek.com, ndtscouting.com
  • Draft history: drafthistory.com
  • Combine info: pro-football-reference.com, espn.com, nflcombineresults.com
  • Season preview magazines: Phil Steele, Lindy’s, Street and Smith’s
  • Podcasts: ESPN’s First Draft, Strong as Steele with Phil Steele, The Audible by Football Guys (specifically episodes w/ Matt Waldman), UTH Dynasty, Draft Dudes
More Analysis by Bob Cowper