Week 3 Street FA Report

Updated: September 19th 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.

Add of the Week

Tyler Boyd, WR – CIN (Owned 24.8%)

Week 2: 6 Rec/91 yards, 1 TD

Remember when the standard was to give a receiver three years before expecting him to be fantasy relevant? Maybe we should all go back to that philosophy. While A.J. Green stole the spotlight with three touchdowns on Thursday night, Tyler Boyd had a solid 21.1 PPR fantasy point night himself. The Bengals are looking like one of those teams that will have weekly value at each position in fantasy this season and Boyd might be the biggest value of them all. He will never face double-team coverage with Green lining up opposite to him and with his ability to assimilate most of the underneath targets he should have a solid week-to-week PPR floor. Consider Boyd a WR3/4 most weeks with his upside being what he did last Thursday.

Suggested Bid: $4,000,000 – $6,000,000

QB Add

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB – TB (Owned 38.3%)

Week 2: 27 for 33, 402 Passing yards, 4 TDs

It was hilarious to see Ryan Fitzpatrick be fantasy relevant for week one but now after a second elite level performance, there is no joking around. There should be no way that Jameis Winston returns as the starter when he is eligible to play again in week four so long as Fitzpatrick is playing the way he is right now. With all the weapons around him, Fitzpatrick is utilizing each of their skill sets in a way that a solid veteran QB should be. This is something the Bucs need right now and unless you are starting one of the elite fantasy QBs you need to be considering some Fitzmagic for your lineup moving forward.

Suggested Bid: $2,000,000 – $5,000,000 ($5,000,000 – $10,000,000 Superflex)

RB Add

Javorius “Buck” Allen, RB – BAL (Owned 47.1%)

Week 2: 6 Car/8 yards, 1 TD, 5 Rec/36 yards

Baltimore wins big and Javorius “Buck” Allen is fantasy relevant. Baltimore loses and Allen is fantasy relevant. It appears that the Ravens are comfortable with having a split backfield with Alex Collins getting the early down role and Allen receiving numerous targets in the passing game. Surprisingly though, both of Allen’s touchdowns have come on goal-line carries which means that he will have opportunities around the end zone and not just on the way there. The Ravens are likely to be a .500 team again this season which means plenty of games where Allen will be used as a safety blanket option for Joe Flacco in tight games.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,500,000

WR Adds

Willie Snead, WR – BAL (Owned 39.3%)

Week 2: 5 Rec/54 yards

Speaking of Joe Flacco safety blankets everyone’s favorite let down, Willie Snead has quietly earned 12.6 fantasy points per game over the first two weeks. Many thought of Snead as a forgotten man in Baltimore after he failed to live up to expectation with New Orleans last season. But remember that the Ravens liked him enough to give an RFA offer so the coaching staff must have liked something they saw. Right now he is playing the slot role inside of John Brown and Michael Crabtree which should help with his scoring floor on a week-to-week basis.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Taylor Gabriel, WR – CHI (Owned 18.6%)

Week 2: 4 Rec/30 yards, 3 Car/17 yards

The Bears offense has not lived up to the hype of being the next L.A. Rams but that was a tough bar to expect and they have been good, but not great to this point. In their first two games, the Bears have looked like a team that will win because of its defense but that doesn’t mean they won’t have some fantasy-relevant value plays on offense. Taylor Gabriel is an underrated player that, while not likely to be scoring many touchdowns, does have the attention of Mitchell Trubisky. He is also an athletic talent that head coach Matt Nagy wants to move around the field and use in various ways, as evident by his three carries on Monday night. For shallow leagues, he might not be of much value but for leagues with several starters, there are more risky players to have for bye weeks coming up than Gabriel.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

TE Add

Jesse James, TE – PIT (Owned 32.6%)

Week 2: 5 Rec/138 yards, 1 TD

The Steelers are an absolute mess right now. Le’Veon Bell is holding out and now Antonio Brown is skipping out on practice days. Fortunately for the rest of the Steelers players, they are presenting great value for fantasy purposes because of it. One such player is Jesse James who had an okay week one followed up by a monster week two. Vance McDonald is clearly not going to be the player that people thought he might be in this offense so it is back to old reliable James for some low-end TE1 production. Ben Roethlisberger has always loved throwing to his tight ends so James should have a steady amount of targets, especially if they continue to struggle in games.

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

Sleeper Add (<10%)

Jarius Wright, WR – CAR (1.3%)

Week 2: 5 Rec/62 yards, 1 TD

Cam Newton needs new targets to fill in for Greg Olsen while he is out with a foot injury. Jarius Wright had a surprising seven targets against Atlanta and was able to convert one those into a touchdown. Wright is never going to lead the Panthers in targets but the team does need more than just Christian McCaffrey and Devin Funchess if they are going to win games. For leagues scrapping the bottom of the barrel for players Wright could be a long shot to add in the hopes that some weeks he has a stat line like last week.

Suggesed Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

FA Expectancy: Brandin Cooks

Updated: July 16th 2017

Throughout the offseason, I will be preparing a collection of articles that will focus on free agents and trade candidates. The articles will discuss the player in question, and what the move does to their value, as well as what their landing spot means for their new and old teams.

Brandin Cooks – WR, New England Patriots

The talk so far of free agency didn’t come from a free agent but rather a trade that sent Brandin Cooks from the New Orleans Saints to the New England Patriots. Many people have been touting this as the greatest move the Pats have made since acquiring Randy Moss in 2007. Fantasy fanatics need little reminder of the 23 touchdowns Moss put up in his first year with the team. But should owners expect the same level of production from Cooks in 2017 and beyond?

Those who speak against Cooks have quickly pointed out that he played eight of his games in the dome with New Orleans along with three more games in Tampa, Charlotte, and Atlanta each of the last three seasons. The AFC East, save for sunny Miami, is not a forgiving environment to play in weather wise and people question how Cooks’ blazing speed will translate into the cold and snowy region of Foxborough. Even Michael Fabiano posted a tweet showcasing the split between Cooks’ games indoors and out over the last two seasons.

Fabs Tweet

This is a classic case of throwing out a fact without much context. Yes, the points per game are lower but there’s no understanding as to who the opponents were or who Cooks was matched up against. Cooks actually average more catches outdoors based on this infographic. Needless to say, people are asking the wrong questions about what Cooks means to the Patriots.

So what does Cooks mean to Patriot players?

The Patriots needed a player who could stretch the defense on the outside away from Edelman in the slot and running backs out of the backfield. Having said that I don’t see him being a DeSean Jackson, lid popping, type receiver in the scheme on a frequent basis. Go routes will always be a part of his route tree but I see Josh McDaniels moving him around more to be the intermediate/crossing route receiver; especially on 2nd and mid or 3rd and short downs to pull the safeties away from the middle of the field opening up the underneath for other receivers and backs. Other than Gronk this definitely deflates the number of targets available for other pass catchers. I don’t see Edelman being forgotten this year and he should still put up low WR2/high WR3 points but he could be let go after this season similar to his predecessor Wes Welker. The big hit goes to Malcolm Mitchell owners who are disappointed that they didn’t get a chance to see what he could produce in his second year. Barring a long injury next season to one of the other receivers it will be hard to have Mitchell be anything more than a bye week/flex play.

So what is Cooks’ value?

As painful as it would sound based on what he produced for fantasy purposes last year I see Cooks being in 2017 a slightly better upgrade at what Hogan was in 2016, but with 4.3 speed. The Patriots and specifically Bill Belichick don’t care about your fantasy teams and will use whatever players they think will help them one game at a time. What that means is that there will be games where Cooks will push double digit catch and have multiple touchdowns and then he will be less than stellar for the next two games. The one difference that will save Cooks owners will be that based on the capital the Patriots invested in him his floor will be higher than Hogan’s was on a week-to-week basis with the hope that he replaces Edelman after 2017. If he’s on a decent contract for multiple seasons and is available for a mid-1st or a package for lower picks and players he would be an interesting buy.

So what does it mean for Saints players?

One person leaves so that means more food at the buffet for the rest right? Not exactly. While Cooks did account for 117 targets last season Michael Thomas was actually targeted more with 121 (even Willie Snead got 104). While it is possible that Thomas pushes into the Mike Evans, Odell Beckham and Antonio Brown range of 180 targets it’s more likely that Thomas has a mild increase in 2017 while a new receiver is integrated into the offense with 70-80 targets. Based on this expectation it is probably not worth trying to acquire Thomas who will be at his peak price right now. Instead, scribble in your auction journals to try and acquire Willie Snead on a savvy 2 or 3-year deal. He’s already an early sleeper to push WR2 numbers next season and should have a good couple of years left with Drew Brees. I was lucky to grab Snead in a few of my leagues last year on multi-year deals that would likely cost double this season. As well, keep an eye on any receiver that is brought in either late in free agency or through the draft. Drew Brees loves to spread the ball around and any day two or three drafted receivers that the Saints add could be fed the 70-80 targets previously mentioned. That would be tremendous opportunity value for a player that could be a 3rd round rookie pick this season.


Make sure to continue to read more Free Agency Expectancy articles throughout the offseason to be prepared for your summer Auctions. Have a player that you want me to evaluate? Send me a message on Twitter @naandrews19.

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

FA Auction: Lessons Learned

Updated: June 18th 2016

Last time in this space, I took a look at the most frequently cut players from each offensive skill position.  My hope was that an analysis of where we went wrong last year could help steer us in this season’s free agent auction.  After all, nothing could sink a promising franchise faster than dead cap space.

For each position I picked a few players who I think that you should avoid spending big money on in your 2016 free agent auction.  Every player can be valuable with the right contract, this is not to say the below players should not be owned, I am arguing you should avoid splashing the cash on them.  First, let’s start with the obvious caveat: every league is different (size, scoring, roster size, etc.), so your mileage may vary, one league’s trash could be another’s treasure.

QUARTERBACKS:

  1. Tyrod Taylor
  2. Brock Osweiler

The biggest take away after looking at last year’s most frequently released QBs was that you should not overpay for a small sample size.  I am not advocating skipping these two altogether, but I think prudence is the key.  Taylor went 8-6 and only threw 6 INTs (3 of which in one game) but he also had five games with less than 15 completions and five games with less than 200 yards passing.  The x-factor for Taylor, of course, is his rushing ability but that is the part that worries me: it will either lead to injury, it could be game planned away by the defense or be removed from his own game plan as preservation (see: Robert Griffin III).  I’m staying away from Taylor this year, I would rather be the guy who missed on him rather than have to eat his salary later.

For Osweiler, the sample size is much smaller and his rate stats were lower than Taylor’s (completion percentage, rating, yards per attempt, etc).  So, why do I think you should avoid Taylor more so than Osweiler?  Osweiler’s value is not so heavily influenced by his rushing ability, or lack thereof.  Osweiler is a “prototypical” quarterback and has 7″ and about 20lb on Taylor.  Still, though, I am concerned what a change of scenery will mean for Brock and can’t help but see him as the next Matt Flynn.  I wouldn’t avoid him at all costs but I would only offer him a one- or at a maximum, a two-year deal.

RUNNING BACKS:

  1. Chris Ivory
  2. Matt Forte
  3. Demarco Murray

The theme with last year’s most frequently cut RBs was that you should avoid the hype of the veteran who was changing teams.  Despite some niggling injuries last year, both Ivory and Forte had decent seasons in 2015.  Ivory broke 1,000 yards for the first time in his career (1,070) and had more receptions (30) than he had the rest of his career combined (23).  Forte missed three games but was on pace for another 1,000 yard rushing season if he played the full campaign; he also pitched in with 44 receptions which was down on a per-game basis from 2014 but is still more than most RBs see in a full season.  Ivory has left the Jets for Jacksonville and Forte has taken his place.  Unless I can get them for just $2 or $3 million, I am probably skipping both Ivory and Forte.

Murray is interesting after what could not have been a more disappointing season in Philly last year.  He joins the Titans and could be at a point where his stock is so low you could actually get him for a song.  The ultimate post-hype sleeper.  He’s burned me once though, so I’m going to sit this year out.  I might let another owner take him, and if the contract is small enough, try to swing a trade once training camp starts and we see how the Titans backfield will work out.  Or maybe that’s the Cowboys fan in me talking.

WIDE RECEIVERS:

  1. Jordy Nelson – Jeff Janis
  2. Michael Crabtree – Seth Roberts
  3. Brandin Cooks – Willie Snead

The lesson to be learned last year was to not spend too much money on the up-and-coming WRs who may unseat an established veteran.  So, for this position, I thought it would be useful to look at both the old and the new at the same time because I would actually avoid picking both sides of these pairs.

Jeff Janis had a memorable playoff game for the Packers against the Cardinals (7-145-2) but is it enough to make everybody forget about Jordy Nelson who missed the season due to injury?  Probably not, but I have just enough doubt to avoid Nelson this year.  Nelson is now 31 and has had two serious injuries – an ACL and a hamstring – which forced him to miss significant time.  Dynasty players know Janis well but I don’t think his brief flash is enough to warrant anything more than a minimum contract – many of us have been fooled by his potential already.

Amari Cooper is obviously the top Raiders WR to own, but who should you target second?  After all, Derek Carr does like to air the ball out.  I’m not biting on Crabtree’s 85-922-9 and instead think that Seth Roberts will emerge.  Roberts was an unheralded rookie out of West Alabama whose line was 32-480-5.  Like Janis, his sample size is too small to spend on, but his presence means I will not sign Crabtree this offseason.

Chances are that Willie Snead was snagged off waivers by somebody last year rather than being signed to a long term deal.  I cannot imagine there were too many owners who were holding Snead futures so he’s likely up for free agency.  I’d bite in a PPR league but there weren’t enough TDs there for standard scoring, in my opinion.  Snead’s emergence dented Brandin Cooks’ potential.  Cooks didn’t score his first TD or surpass 100 yards until Week 5; ultimately he had six sub-50 yard games versus just four over-100 yard games.  His strong suit was supposed to be the volume of receptions but even that was lacking – just 84.  The saving grace for Cooks fantasy-wise was his 9 TDs but I would take the under for 2016.  Snead and Cooks are too similar in their playing style and so cannibalize each other’s opportunities to succeed.

TIGHT ENDS:

  1. David Johnson
  2. Alex Smith
  3. Coby Fleener
  4. Ladarius Green

In my last piece, I noted that David Johnson and Alex Smith were two of the most frequently cut tight ends.  Originally I attributed it to their deep, deep sleeper status but after further thought I think it was definitely because they share a name with another position player.  Whether it was an honest mistake or an unscrupulous nomination, I think some owners ended up with the wrong guy and immediately cut bait landing them on the list.  Don’t make that mistake again this year, folks.

Last year, we should have all held off on anointing Josh Hill the Jimmy Graham heir apparent, and I think this year you should similarly avoid Fleener.  Green is likewise joining a new team, the Steelers, and while he has shown flashes, he’s never been the go-to tight end for an extended period of time.  Ultimately, I think both are so close to replacement level that I wouldn’t bother.


Robert F. Cowper is a freelance writer who lives in New Jersey.  Robert works as a recreation professional, specializing in youth sports, when he isn’t acting as commissioner for his many fantasy sports leagues.

More Analysis by Bob Cowper