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The Championship Theory

Without a doubt the Summer of 2019 will go down as the most epic in NBA history. Over $3 Billion dollars was doled out to players within the first 24 hours of free agency. Superstars such as Kevin Durant changed coast going from Golden State to Brooklyn, Jimmy Butler was signed and traded to South Beach and later in the week like a thief in the night Kawhi returned to the United States by signing with the Clippers.

And that wasn’t all, Paul George was traded from OKC to join Kawhi in LA which lead to Russell Westbrook being dealt to Houston to team up with his good friend James Harden. These moves along with countless others now have everyone wondering who will win the NBA Championship this upcoming season. For the first time in nearly a decade the NBA season doesn’t feel like a foregone conclusion. But maybe it is! After analyzing each team, their off-season moves, and using my 2 key indicators (the age of your superstar and the position he plays) I feel we can accurately predict the next champion.

When it comes to building a championship team I firmly believe that “Wings win you Rings”. More times than not the key cog that fuels a championship run will be a player listed as Small Forward (SF) or Shooting Guard (SG) and ranges from about 6 feet 5 inches tall to 6 feet 9 inches tall. Jalen Rose is famous for noting that “positions were created so that a novice can follow the game” but history has shown us that with the exceptions being Isiah Thomas and Steph Curry point guards/small guards do not lead to championships (Sorry Dame).

Yes, Magic Johnson was listed as a Point Guard and won championships but let’s note that he’s 6’9 and he walked into the perfect situation playing alongside Kareem. So Magic does fit into the wing category. It is also worth pointing out that great big men don’t win titles without an elite wing alongside them. But 2 great wing players (Mike and Scottie, LeBron and Wade) can win together.

Now let’s talk age. The most consistent themes are ages 22, 23, 27 and 32

At age 22 Shaq, Tim Duncan, LeBron and Kawhi all made their first NBA Finals. Duncan (1999) and Kawhi (2014) were victorious capturing Finals MVP while Shaq in 1995 and LeBron in 2007 were swept. 

At age 23 Kareem (1971), Hakeem (1983), Dwight Howard (2009) and Kevin Durant (2012) made their first NBA Finals. 

At age 27 Michael Jordan, LeBron, Shaq, and Isiah Thomas all captured their first NBA titles. Kawhi Leonard and Larry Bird won their 2nd ring and were selected as Finals MVP. Clyde Drexler made his first of 3 NBA Finals. Dirk Nowitzki also made his first Finals appearance at age 27.

At age 32 the aforementioned Clyde Drexler won his first title playing alongside Hakeem who the previous year won his first title at 32. Dirk also makes this category for defeating the highly touted Heatles in their first year together winning his first championship. Championship glory eluded Kareem for 9 years until he won again at this age.

Let’s compare this with the odds makers favorites for this season – Lakers, Clippers, Bucks, Sixers and Rockets. 

LeBron will turn 35 this season. He’s playing like he’s still in his prime years but how long can he hold up. His running mate Anthony Davis will be 26 this year which coincidentally is the same age Steph Curry won his 1st title and Duncan won his 2nd title. This bodes well for the Lakers titles hopes. However, with King James’ mileage it’s possible he begins to wear down as the season goes on. 

Harden will turn 30 and Westbrook 31. I like these 2 players, they are box office but at their age, defense not being their greatest attribute and no dominant big to lean on I can’t see them winning the title. 

The Bucks have Giannis who is continuing to ascend. He’ll be 25, he’s still getting better and is arguably the best player in the East. It has been proven having the best player in the Eastern Conference can get you to the Finals. But with no costar also in his prime I think the Bucks fall to this next team.

The Sixers have Embiid and Ben Simmons who will be 25 and 23. These guys are entering their primes. With an expected ascension in their games, being motivated from how the playoffs ended for them and entering that age window where players start to win I expect the Sixers to be in the 2019-2020 NBA Finals. But who will they face….

Kawhi Leonard will be 28 and Paul George 29 respectively. Both guys have dealt with injuries throughout their careers but these ages are typically considered athletes “prime years”. Championship winners usually consist of 2 guys in their primes. Again think MJ and Scottie or LeBron and D-Wade 2012. PG and Kawhi are elite 2 way wings both coming off career years. These guys check both boxes of playing the right position and prime age. Don’t be surprised if the Clippers take home their first Larry O’Brien trophy. 

Why Serbia is Destined To Win Gold

The FIBA World Cup is set to take place in China at the end of next week. The tournament will act as qualification for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and with the field expanding from 24 teams to 32, it will give more teams more opportunities to make a stronger case.

Qualified Teams for FIBA:

  • 5 Teams From Africa (Angola, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia)
  • 7 Teams From The Americas (USA, Canada, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Venezuela)
  • 8 Teams From Asia and Oceania (China, Japan, Iran, Australia, South Korea, Jordan, Philippines, New Zealand)
  • 12 Teams From Europe (France, Germany, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, Lithuania)

So why Serbia? Let’s take a trip down memory lane. In the last World Cup, dating back to 2014, Team USA met Serbia in the World Cup Final in Madrid, Spain. Serbia was dealing with a very difficult group with the likes of powerhouses of Spain, Brazil and France. Serbia did defeat Iran and Egypt but lost to all three teams accumulating 7 points (2 points for wins & 1 point for a lost) and advancing to the next round. In the round of 16, Serbia faced the winner of Group B Greece, who went undefeated knocking off teams like Argentina and Croatia in the process. An impressive 18 point win was the spark they needed. The next round, they faced an opponent they lost to before, Brazil. An eight point lost earlier in the tournament now turned into a 28 point blowout led by Milos Teodosic with 15 points. Serbia made their way to the Final Four of the World Cup. Serbia couldn’t avoid yet another FIBA Powerhouse in France, a familiar opponent from just a few games back. France won the 4th quarter by 3 points and ultimately winning the game 74-73. In the Semifinals, after 2 big wins, this time would be different. Serbia was in control for majority of the game, taking a 14 point lead into halftime, as well as a 15 point lead into the 4th. Serbia hangs on,behind Milos’ 24 points, with a 5 point win making the World Cup Final for the first time since winning Gold in 2002, who went by the country Yugoslavia that grace the names of Vlade Divac, Peja Stojakovic, and Vladmir Radmanovic. The question was who would Serbia be playing in the Finals? Of course that’s not really a question, as Team USA won every game by 20 or more points. This would be the case in the World Cup Final — Team USA won 129-96. Serbia took home Silver.

Nikola Jokic drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 2014, in the 2nd Rd with the 41st pick, with not a lot of expectations turned out to be one of the best picks this decade. In the 2016 Olympics, the world got to see his growth to stardom. Just 2 years removed from the 129-96 lost to Team USA in the World Cup, Serbia find themselves in the same group as them, with 2 other good teams France and Australia. In similar fashion, Serbia lost to Australia and France by 15 and 1 respectively, but what was so shocking is that Serbia almost upset Team USA who hadn’t lost an international game since the assembling of the Redeem Team. With the star studded team that the USA presents, they almost slipped through the cracks and if not for a off the rim shot by Bogdan Bogdanovic (Kings) would have took a L. Either way Jokic put on a show at a very young age — posting 25 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in a nailbiting 94-91 lost.

Serbia still made the final round of 8 with another similar path of 2014 FIBA World Cup. Serbia escaped Croatia, then destroyed Australia, who they once lost to before and yet again find their way in another Final match with the Powerhouse of the USA. Very different outcome this time as USA wiped the floor with them coasting to a 3rd Straight Gold Medal winning by 30, leaving Serbia with another Silver Medal.

Nikola Jokic (Serbia) being guarded by Draymond Green (USA) in the Gold Medal Game

Internationally, basketball is getting better and better with a lot of new countries putting more and more teams in the NBA. Teams like Canada, Australia, Greece are all rising with their new talent. Serbia is right in the mix and with Jokic, arguably being the best big man in the league (averaging 20.1 ppg, 10.8 rpg, and 7.2 apg) has to chance to make a statement this upcoming World Cup. Losing Milos Teodosic would hurt for most teams but with a Top Ten player in the NBA and other NBA talent like Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nemanja Bjelica of the Kings, new Mavericks Center Boban Marjanovic, and former Bucks player Miroslav Raduljica it is easy to see why FIBA World Rankings have them ranked #2 in the World, only behind the United States.

Teammates Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nikola Jokic in an exhibition game

Why do I believe that Serbia will take Gold? Well a lot has to do with their rise as a team but also what Team USA will look like come August 31st. After numerous All Stars dropped out to prepare for the NBA Season, what this USA team lack is an identity. Most times, USA gather the best talent and it can overcome any problems that occurs. Chemistry will play a huge factor for Team USA. While most international countries have been playing together since they were young (Serbia is no different) the United States, with as much talent as we have that’s just hard to do.

Since I’ve been watching international basketball, USA at any given moment has the best player on the court. When USA takeS on Nikola Jokic, this would not be the case. Without a superstar or go to guy as of now, Serbia has the advantages to finally capture Gold.

I’m not the only person who agree. Serbian coach, Aleksandar “Sasha” Djordjevic said in a interview, “Let’s let them play their basketball and we will play ours and if we meet, may God help them.” Sasha has shown no sympathy for “the Americans”, as he referred to them in his interview, claiming this is what happens to most European teams.

With plenty of teams and opportunities, this very well may be Serbia’s chance at obtaining Gold. Look for Nikola Jokic and Co. to finally get the job done and win it all.

NFC Fantasy Outlook

NFC North

Chicago Bears

  • Week 1 vs GB
  • Week 2 @ DEN
  • Week 3 @ WSH
  • Week 4 vs MIN
  • Week 5 @ OAK
  • Week 6 Bye
  • Week 7 vs NO
  • Week 8 vs LAC
  • Week 9 @ PHI
  • Week 10 vs DET
  • Week 11 @ LAR
  • Week 12 vs NYG
  • Week 13 @ DET
  • Week 14 vs DAL
  • Week 15 @ GB
  • Week 16 vs KC
  • Week 17 @ MIN

QB

  • Mitch Trubisky

RB

  • David Montgomery
  • Tarik Cohen
  • Mike Davis

WR

  • Allen Robinson
  • Anthony Miller
  • Taylor Gabriel

TE

  • Trey Burton

This team has the potential to be one of the best in the NFL. They have arguably the best defense in the NFL and that is going to always keep them in games. Trubisky, in his second year in the Matt Nagy offense, should feel a lot more comfortable and hopefully the big games that we saw from Trubisky last year will become more consistent. If Trubisky rises up, that is going to bring the value up for his teammates around him. Robinson is another year removed from his ACL tear, If Robinson can perform as he did when he first had Bortles as his quarterback the ceiling now with Trubisky could be a top 15 wideout in the making. Anthony Miller was injury plagued last year if he can stay on the field with Gabriel and him moving into the slot this team could effectively move the ball with ease. They are only going to pass the ball if they really have too. If teams get behind and you have the upper hand with one of the best defenses, why not run the ball? With David Montgomery filling in the Jordan Howard role from last year and Cohen role solidified, they will find fantasy value — albeit inconsistent value depending on the game flow. Cohen is a great playmaker but he won’t be making plays every week, but when it happens it will win you your week. Burton was even more inconsistent last year but he is the best tight end in Chicago.

Notable Fantasy Options: Mitch Trubisky, David Montgomery, Allen Robinson

Optional Fantasy Options: Tarik Cohen, Anthony Miller, Taylor Gabriel, Trey Burton, Mike Davis

Detroit Lions

  • Week 1 @ ARI
  • Week 2 vs LAC
  • Week 3 @ PHI
  • Week 4 vs KC
  • Week 5 Bye
  • Week 6 @ GB
  • Week 7 vs MIN
  • Week 8 vs NYG
  • Week 9 @ OAK
  • Week 10 @ CHI
  • Week 11 vs DAL
  • Week 12 @ WSH
  • Week 13 vs CHI
  • Week 14 @ MIN
  • Week 15 vs TB
  • Week 16 @ DEN
  • Week 17 vs GB

QB

  • Matthew Stafford

RB

  • Kerryon Johnson
  • CJ Anderson

WR

  • Kenny Golladay
  • Marvin Jones
  • Danny Amendola

TE

  • TJ Hockenson

Detroit Lions have one of the slowest offenses in the NFL. They take their time on offense whether they are running or passing. Yet, there is still a lot of fantasy value here — this team has some very good talent that will lead to production. Stafford is coming off of injury but he should be the same above average quarterback that he is, has a safe floor to be a top 15 quarterback. Kenny Golladay is one of the best talents in the NFL and Marvin Jones is one of the biggest threats week to week. Amendola getting play in the slot catching short passes and should have his niche in PPR leagues. Golladay could breakout to be a top 10 wideout while Marvin Jones will have games that’ll win your week but will be inconsistent. Kerryon Johnson is a sleeper talent, this team likes to play slow and Johnson is the best back in the backfield. Anderson off of big games last year may take some play from Johnson but I don’t see it happening. With Riddick gone Johnson has the potential to be a 3 down back, he is the best receiver, the best pass blocker, and arguably is the best runner. If the Lions take the chance on Johnson being the three down back it will pay off. TJ Hockenson has the potential to be a big part of this team but the situation may not let that happen. He is a great blocker so he will be on the field a bunch he should start over Jesse James.

Notable Fantasy Options: Kerryon Johnson, Kenny Golladay, Matthew Stafford

Optional Fantasy Option: CJ Anderson, Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, TJ Hockenson

Green Bay Packers

  • Week 1 @ CHI
  • Week 2 vs MIN
  • Week 3 vs DEN
  • Week 4 vs PHI
  • Week 5 @ DAL
  • Week 6 vs DET
  • Week 7 vs OAK
  • Week 8 @ KC
  • Week 9 @ LAC
  • Week 10 vs CAR
  • Week 11 Bye
  • Week 12 @ SF
  • Week 13 @ NYG
  • Week 14 vs WSH
  • Week 15 vs CHI
  • Week 16 @ MIN
  • Week 17 @ DET

QB

  • Aaron Rodgers

RB

  • Aaron Jones

WR

  • Davante Adams
  • Geronimo Allison
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling

TE

  • Jimmy Graham
  • Jace Sternberger

If the Packers can stay healthy they will have a bounce back year at least from a fantasy standpoint. Adams has put himself into that tier of wideouts where he is unguardable, he is going to get his regardless. Aaron Rodgers is recovered from his knee injury last year but if he looks how he did last year, it’s hard to imagine, but he could just be a regular quarterback. This is Rodgers we’re talking about, he always has the potential to be a top 3 quarterback. Allison and Valdes-Scantling are said to be the wideouts not named Adams to be on this team, choose one and he will produce fantasy value for your team if Rodgers has another one of his big years they both could be fantasy viable. Jimmy Graham has turned into just another tight end, he still can have his big games but I don’t expect anything of value out of him. Jace Sternberger was drafted in the third round by the Packers while he’s not the best blocker he is an athlete who could make plays and take away value from Graham. Aaron Jones is the best runner in this backfield and the only one to hold real fantasy value, he has been getting healthier during the offseason whether that takes him to another level has yet to be seen. I like Aaron Jones a lot my only concern is can he get to the point where he is averaging 15 or more carries a game. If he does he could be an elite play.

Notable Fantasy Options: Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, Davante Adams

Optional Fantasy Options: Geronimo Allison, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Jimmy Graham

Minnesota Vikings

  • Week 1 vs ATL
  • Week 2 @ GB
  • Week 3 vs OAK
  • Week 4 @ CHI
  • Week 5 @ NYG
  • Week 6 vs PHI
  • Week 7 @ DET
  • Week 8 vs WSH
  • Week 9 @ KC
  • Week 10 @ DAL
  • Week 11 vs DEN
  • Week 12 Bye
  • Week 13 @ SEA
  • Week 14 vs DET
  • Week 15 @ LAC
  • Week 16 vs GB
  • Week 17 vs CHI

QB

  • Kirk Cousins

RB

  • Dalvin Cook
  • Alex Mattison

WR

  • Adam Thielen
  • Stefon Diggs

TE

  • Kyle Rudolph

This has the potential to be one of the best teams in the NFL it all depends on their line play. Kirk Cousins was under pressure a lot last season and he was not comfortable there. To get pressure off of Kirk the Vikings have to establish the run and Gary Kubiak will make sure they do that. Cook is another year removed from his injury if he can live up to his potential he could be a top 10 running back with his volume. If he can’t stay healthy, Alex Mattison will fill that role and should be locked into the Latavius Murray role from last year. Thielen and Diggs are the best one, two, punch in the league, they are two elite wideouts on the same team and they make plays no matter what. If the line gives Cousins time these two wideouts have the ability to be top 10 receivers each. Kyle Rudolph is back again his role hasn’t really changed but if he under performs the Vikings could cut his playing time so they can see what they really have in Irv Smith Jr.

Notable Fantasy Options: Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs

Optional Fantasy Options: Alex Mattison, Kyle Rudolph

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

  • Week 1 @ MIN
  • Week 2 vs PHI
  • Week 3 @ IND
  • Week 4 vs TEN
  • Week 5 @ HOU
  • Week 6 @ ARI
  • Week 7 vs LAR
  • Week 8 vs SEA
  • Week 9 Bye
  • Week 10 @ NO
  • Week 11 @ CAR
  • Week 12 vs TB
  • Week 13 vs NO
  • Week 14 vs CAR
  • Week 15 @ SF
  • Week 16 vs JAX
  • Week 17 @ TB

QB

  • Matt Ryan

RB

  • Devonta Freeman
  • Brian Hill

WR

  • Julio Jones
  • Calvin Ridley
  • Mohamed Sanu

TE

  • Austin Hooper

This is going to be one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL. Matt Ryan last season sneakily had one of his best seasons and it can get better from here. Freeman is back healthy to be the lead back in the offense if he can stay healthy he could easily be a top 15 back. The second running back position is up in the air but I believe Brian Hill will win out this job over Ito Smith. Julio Jones said he is going to have 3,000 yards this season, he is ready to take it to another level if that is even possible. Julio is injury plagued but he always plays through his injuries, he’s a top 2 receiver in the league easily. His TD curse is over and this is his year. Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu round out this passing offense and they both have the ability to be top 20 wideouts in the league. Sanu is consistent in every game and in any game Ridley could catch a pass for 60 yards and a touchdown. For Austin Hooper, it is make or break, if he can break out and be an elite pass catcher at the tight end position that could take this offense to being the best in the league.

Notable Fantasy Options: Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones

Optional Fantasy Options: Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu, Austin Hooper, Brian Hill/RB2

Carolina Panthers

  • Week 1 vs LAR
  • Week 2 vs TB
  • Week 3 @ ARI
  • Week 4 @ HOU
  • Week 5 vs JAX
  • Week 6 vs TB
  • Week 7 Bye
  • Week 8 @ SF
  • Week 9 vs TEN
  • Week 10 @ GB
  • Week 11 vs ATL
  • Week 12 @ NO
  • Week 13 vs WSH
  • Week 14 @ ATL
  • Week 15 vs SEA
  • Week 16 @ IND
  • Week 17 vs NO

QB

  • Cam Newton

RB

  • Christian McCaffrey

WR

  • DJ Moore
  • Curtis Samuel 

TE

  • Greg Olsen

The Carolina Panthers finally have an offensive line and it’s going to change what this team is able to do. Cam may have to run less with this OL and Christian McCaffrey, already great last year, could maintain that and then some. Cam’s injury was shoulder related and since surgery everything we’ve heard is that he is fine, maybe better, this isn’t an Andrew Luck situation from two years ago. DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel are said to be the two wideouts to lead this group, Moore has the ability to break out and be a top fantasy wideout in the league with Samuel making big plays and could have weeks winning games in your league. Who emerges as the third wideout is up in the air, there’s a battle going on between Chris Hogan, Jarius Wright, and Torrey Smith, either way their value isn’t noteworthy. Greg Olsen is back for another year and is the best tight end on this team, if he can stay healthy he should provide solid value at the tight end position.

Notable Fantasy Options: Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore

Optional Fantasy Options: Curtis Samuel, Greg Olsen

New Orleans Saints

  • Week 1 vs HOU
  • Week 2 @ LAR
  • Week 3 @ SEA
  • Week 4 vs DAL
  • Week 5 vs TB
  • Week 6 @ JAX
  • Week 7 @ CHI
  • Week 8 vs ARI
  • Week 9 Bye
  • Week 10 vs ATL
  • Week 11 @ TB
  • Week 12 vs CAR
  • Week 13 @ ATL
  • Week 14 vs SF
  • Week 15 vs IND
  • Week 16 @ TEN
  • Week 17 @ CAR

QB

  • Drew Brees

RB

  • Alvin Kamara
  • Latavius Murray

WR

  • Michael Thomas
  • Ted Ginn Jr
  • Tre’Quan Smith

TE

  • Jared Cook

This team has had the worst luck in the postseason the past two seasons but has been one of the best teams during that time. This year could be a different story, they have one of the hardest schedules in the league, but for fantasy value that could mean big things from this team. If they are forced to pass Brees, Kamara, Michael Thomas, and Jared Cook could all find themselves in the Top 5 at each of their positions. It could also lead to value for Ted Ginn, albeit inconsistent, and Tre’Quan Smith who could have a breakout year. Kamara is going to be the premiere back in the offense, but he is still going to be stuck in that range of having 13-17 carriers per game, he however is a tremendous pass catching back and he is a playmaker, all the things you need for elite fantasy production. Latavius Murray is going to try and fill in the Mark Ingram role from the previous few years. I do see Murray playing but he is no Mark Ingram, he is a big running back but his vision to see the field and ability to make plays isn’t where it needs to be. Michael Thomas earned his contract and is in that tier of unguardable receivers. Jared Cook is a big playmaker, he is not the best blocker, but if he is in there for all the designed pass plays he may be able to get to Jimmy production levels when he was in New Orleans if he can stay consistent.

Notable Fantasy Options: Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas

Optional Fantasy Options: Latavius Murray, Ted Ginn, Tre’Quan Smith, Jared Cook

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Week 1 vs SF
  • Week 2 @ CAR
  • Week 3 vs NYG
  • Week 4 @ LAR
  • Week 5 @ NO
  • Week 6 vs CAR
  • Week 7 Bye
  • Week 8 @ TEN
  • Week 9 @ SEA
  • Week 10 vs ARI
  • Week 11 vs NO
  • Week 12 @ ATL
  • Week 13 @ JAX
  • Week 14 vs IND
  • Week 15 @ DET
  • Week 16 vs HOU
  • Week 17 vs ATL

QB

  • Jameis Winston

RB

  • Peyton Barber
  • Ronald Jones

WR

  • Mike Evans
  • Chris Godwin
  • Breshad Perriman

TE

  • OJ Howard

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a new coach in Bruce Arians and this offense is about to open up. The defense on this team it doesn’t matter. This team is not going to let up on offense in any game, whether they have a lead or not(more than likely not), they are going to move the ball. Jameis Winston doesn’t always make the best play but he has ceiling to be a dynamic player in the NFL and could easily be a top ten quarterback. Arians is going to limit these mistakes by passing the ball short, whether it’s a screening it out to one of the running backs, or passing it down the line of scrimmage and having Godwin use his speed on a wide receiver screen. Then it’ll be time to make plays, and this team has plenty of them. Mike Evans is a big body receiver and could potentially get up to that tier of unguardable, Chris Godwin in his second season and the uptick in volume he is going to see, without DeSean Jackson taking up 450+ snaps, he is probably going to be the breakout player for this offense and could find value as a WR2. This is OJ Howard’s position now, he is the best blocker and pass catcher at Tight End for this team. He has the potential to insert himself into that tier of Tight Ends making the elite 3 an elite 4 or 5. If one running back emerges from this backfield they do have value. Right now, Barber and RoJo are going to share this backfield all season long. This team could make a move for running back, I’m looking at you Melvin Gordon.

Notable Fantasy Plays: Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, OJ Howard

Optional Fantasy Plays: Peyton Barber, Ronald Jones, Breshad Perriman

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

  • Week 1 vs NYG
  • Week 2@ WSH
  • Week 3 vs MIA
  • Week 4 @ NO
  • Week 5 vs GB
  • Week 6 @ NYJ
  • Week 7 vs PHI
  • Week 8 Bye
  • Week 9 @ NYG
  • Week 10 vs MIN
  • Week 11 @ DET
  • Week 12 @ NE
  • Week 13 vs BUF
  • Week 14 @ CHI
  • Week 15 vs LAR
  • Week 16 @ PHI
  • Week 17 vs WSH

QB

  • Dak Prescott

RB

  • Ezekiel Elliot
  • Tony Pollard

WR

  • Amari Cooper
  • Michael Gallup
  • Randall Cobb

TE

  • Jason Witten
  • Blake Jarwin

The Cowboys are a condensed offense, other teams have a sense of what they do game to game but can they stop it? How effective this Cowboys offense can be rides on the shoulders of Zeke, Tony Pollard is a talented running back but he is no Zeke. Zeke is a top 3 running back in fantasy. The Cowboys play a slow game with a lot of running, the volume will be there for anyone in this backfield. Dak Prescott is an underrated quarterback and provides a great floor for fantasy value. Amari Cooper is a changed man in Dallas and could break out for over 100 yards in any week. Michael Gallup is set to have a breakout year fighting to stay consistent, while Randall Cobb is going to have decent value in PPR leagues filling in as that safety blanket for Dak that Cole Beasley previously held. Tight End is not used much in Dallas other then blocking. If you still believe in Jason Witten he may have a couple good weeks of fantasy value.

Notable Fantasy Options: Ezekiel Elliot*, Amari Cooper, Dak Prescott

Optional Fantasy Options: Micahel Gallup, Randall Cobb, Jason Witten

New York Giants

  • Week 1 @ DAL
  • Week 2 vs BUF
  • Week 3 @ TB
  • Week 4 vs WSH
  • Week 5 vs MIN
  • Week 6 @ NE
  • Week 7 vs ARI
  • Week 8 @ DET
  • Week 9 vs DAL
  • Week 10 @ NYJ
  • Week 11 Bye
  • Week 12 @ CHI
  • Week 13 vs GB
  • Week 14 @ PHI
  • Week 15 vs MIA
  • Week 16 @ WSH
  • Week 17 vs PHI

QB

  • Eli Manning
  • Daniel Jones

RB

  • Saquon Barkley

WR

  • Sterling Shepard
  • Cody Latimer
  • Golden Tate ( 4 Game Suspension )

TE

  • Evan Engram

This team is going to have to try to move the ball at a high rate to try and compete to win games. Barkley, is the center to all of this, he is the consensus overall pick for fantasy drafts this year and that’s not a happy accident. Saquon caught 91 balls out of the backfield last year and he could realistically see over 100 catches and over 250 rush attempts this year. With that kind of volume it’s hard to argue that you shouldn’t take him as the overall pick. Eli Manning is still at quarterback but Daniel Jones is not far behind and the Giants are going to see what they have with him sometime this season. Quarterback play for this team, could provide good value from a fantasy standpoint since they will have to be passing the ball. Shepard is and Tate, when he is back, will be fighting for the number one wide receiver spot early in the season. Cody Latimer if he lives up to his potential could also provide fantasy value for your team but more than likely on an inconsistent basis. Evan Engram rounds out this offense and should be the safety blanket for whoever is at quarterback. Engram is a good candidate to insert himself into that top tier of fantasy tight ends.

Notable Fantasy Options: Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard

Optional Fantasy Options: Cody Latimer, Golden Tate, Eli Manning, Daniel Jones

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Week 1 vs WSH
  • Week 2 @ ATL
  • Week 3 vs DET
  • Week 4 @ GB
  • Week 5 vs NYJ
  • Week 6 @ MIN
  • Week 7 @ DAL
  • Week 8 @ BUF
  • Week 9 vs CHI
  • Week 10 Bye
  • Week 11 vs NE
  • Week 12 vs SEA
  • Week 13 @ MIA
  • Week 14 vs NYG
  • Week 15 @ WSH
  • Week 16 vs DAL
  • Week 17 @ NYG

QB

  • Carson Wentz

RB

  • Jordan Howard
  • Miles Sanders

WR

  • Alshon Jeffrey
  • DeSean Jackson
  • Nelson Agholor

TE

  • Zach Ertz
  • Dallas Goedert

The Eagles have the potential to be one of the best teams in the NFL and it all falls into the hands of Carson Wentz. If Wentz can stay healthy and produce at a high level this team will provide fantasy value at every position. Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders will head a backfield that under Doug Pedersen is almost guaranteed to be a committee. Their games will be inconsistent but when they do hit either of these running backs could have multiple touchdowns in a game. Carson Wentz likes to spread the ball around, Alshon has never been consistent in this offense, DJax is here to take the top off the defense expect some big games throughout the season in his return to Philadelphia. Agholor is filling out the slot where he doesn’t get the most volume but he is steady part of this offense, but the most consistent pass catcher on the team is Zach Ertz, he is in that elite tier of tight end that gives you a big advantage week to week at that position. Dallas Goedert is on the rise but it will take an injury to Ertz to see him produce on a consistent level.

Notable Fantasy Options: Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz

Optional Fantasy Options: Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Alshon Jeffrey, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, Dallas Goedert

Washington Redskins

  • Week 1 @ PHI
  • Week 2 vs DAL
  • Week 3 vs CHI
  • Week 4  @ NYG
  • Week 5 vs NE
  • Week 6 @ MIA
  • Week 7 vs SF
  • Week 8 @ MIN
  • Week 9 @ BUF
  • Week 10 Bye
  • Week 11 vs NYJ
  • Week 12 vs DET
  • Week 13 @ CAR
  • Week 14 @ GB
  • Week 15 vs PHI
  • Week 16 vs NYG
  • Week 17 @ DAL

QB

  • Case Keenum
  • Dwayne Haskins

RB

  • Derrius Guice
  • Chris Thompson
  • Adrian Peterson

WR

  • Paul Richardson
  • Josh Doctson
  • Trey Quinn

TE

  • Jordan Reed
  • Vernon Davis

The Washington Redskins are going to be an average to below average team for the year, going to compete in most games but probably won’t win many. This team is going to be game dependent play slow to try and grind to win games or playing catch up in games where they get down early, where that really matters is at running back position. When they are up Guice and/or Peterson could easily have a game where they get 20+ carries. Meanwhile if they are down Thompson could come in and catch 7 passes for 80 plus yards and 2 scores. Either way the production won’t be consistent but it could easily win you a week. Keenum is said to start the year but with these pass catchers it doesn’t look promising for him or Haskins. The Redskins should see what that have with Haskins sooner rather than later. Richardson and Doctson will lead this wide receiver unit and unless they take a huge step forward expect them to be average to below average fantasy receivers. Jordan Reed has the ability to be one of the best tight ends in the league, all he needs is to stay on the field, you can’t be confident in that though.

Notable Fantasy Options: Derrius Guice/Adrian Peterson, Chris Thompson

Optional Fantasy Options: Paul Richardson, Josh Docston, Jordan Reed, Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

  • Week 1 vs DET
  • Week 2 @ BAL
  • Week 3 vs CAR
  • Week 4 vs SEA
  • Week 5 @ CIN
  • Week 6 vs ATL
  • Week 7 @ NYG
  • Week 8 @ NO
  • Week 9 vs SF
  • Week 10 @ TB
  • Week 11 @ SF
  • Week 12 Bye
  • Week 13 vs LAR
  • Week 14 vs PIT
  • Week 15 vs CLE
  • Week 16 @ SEA
  • Week 17 @ LAR

QB

  • Kyler Murray

RB

  • David Johnson

WR

  • Larry Fitzgerald
  • Christian Kirk
  • Andy Isabella

TE

  • Maxx Williams

The Arizona Cardinals only chance to win games is to run a high octane offense and have their defense make plays. With the addition of Kilff Kingsbury this offense is going to find unique ways to move the ball. David Johnson has to ability to put himself back into that elite tier of running back with the amount of volume he should be seeing on this team. Kyler Murray is a hyper accurate quarterback with weapons around him that could make for one of the best offenses in the NFL. Fitzgerald is coming back for another year in Arizona and he should easily have a 95+ catch season while Christian Kirk is set to have a breakout year and take over as the go to wideout in this offense. Andy Isabella is the wideout to complete this unit and is a fast receiver who should make plays. Maxx Williams is the best choice out of the tight end options over Charles Clay and Ricky Seals-Jones.

Notable Fantasy Options: Kyler Murray, David Johnson, Christian Kirk

Optional Fantasy Options: Andy Isabella, Larry Fitzgerald, Maxx Williams

Los Angeles Rams

  • Week 1 @ CAR
  • Week 2 vs NO
  • Week 3 @ CLE
  • Week 4 vs TB
  • Week 5 @ SEA
  • Week 6 vs SF
  • Week 7 @ ATL
  • Week 8 vs CIN
  • Week 9 Bye
  • Week 10 @ PIT
  • Week 11 vs CHI
  • Week 12 vs BAL
  • Week 13 @ ARI
  • Week 14 vs SEA
  • Week 15 @ DAL
  • Week 16 @ SF
  • Week 17 vs ARI

QB

  • Jared Goff

RB

  • Todd Gurley
  • Darrell Henderson

WR

  • Brandin Cooks
  • Robert Woods
  • Cooper Kupp

TE

  • Gerald Everett

The Rams are out for revenge, after a tremendous last season they came up just short in the Super Bowl, with an injured team. If Todd Gurley can stay healthy and at full strength, then this could be one of the best offenses in the NFL. Jared Goff has improved every year and if he can take another step forward this team could take a step forward as the best in the NFL. This is a lot of what ifs, it is within the realm of possibility but this team must stay healthy and consistent for them to reach that potential. This wideout group is one of the most talented in the NFL. Brandin Cooks is a big play waiting to happen and seems to get it done year after year. Robert Woods is one of the most consistent wideouts in the NFL since he has arrived onto the Rams he provides great value for your team. Cooper Kupp is the safety blanket for Goff, coming of an ACL tear he should have a chip on his shoulder to try and have his best year yet. Gerald Everett is going to be the tight end for the team I don’t expect much fantasy value here without Jared Cook at the position.

Notable Fantasy Options: Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp

Optional Fantasy Options: Darrell Henderson, Gerald Everett

San Francisco 49ers

  • Week 1 @ TB
  • Week 2 @ CIN
  • Week 3 vs PIT
  • Week 4 Bye
  • Week 5 vs CLE
  • Week 6 @ LAR
  • Week 7 @ WSH
  • Week 8 vs CAR
  • Week 9 @ ARI
  • Week 10 vs SEA 
  • Week 11 vs ARI
  • Week 12 vs GB
  • Week 13 @ BAL
  • Week 14 @ NO
  • Week 15 vs ATL
  • Week 16 vs LAR
  • Week 17 @ SEA

QB

  • Jimmy Garoppolo

RB

  • Tevin Coleman
  • Jerick McKinnon
  • Matt Breida

WR

  • Dante Pettis
  • Marquise Goodwin
  • Trent Taylor
  • Deebo Samuel

TE

  • George Kittle

The 49ers are not going to be a team of fantasy consistent. They got playmakers at every position and Kyle Shanahan is going to make sure he gets the most use out of them. This is one of the fastest teams in the NFL and sometime this season McKinnon, Breida, Goodwin, and Samuel are going to make plays with speed alone. Jimmy G is coming off of his ACL tear and people are sceptical on how he is going to perform this year. Once the team start to come into rhythm Jimmy G could be a top quarterback in fantasy. Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin are set to lead this wideout group with Taylor locked into the slot they should be able to move the ball with the help of their running game. George Kittle is still the best receiver on this team and he should stay in that elite tier of top tight ends year after year, The running game is the biggest mystery for this team. Shanahan is familiar with Coleman and Breida showed last year he has the ability to have big games. McKinnon is coming off of an ACL tear and may possibly be out week one. Once all these running backs are on the field and healthy it’ll be a nightmare for fantasy owners and opposing NFL coaches trying to figure out what this running game will do week to week. There will be value in the backfield if you can capitalize on the right players in the right game plan

Notable Fantasy Options: Jimmy Garappolo, George Kittle, Dante Pettis

Optional Fantasy Options: Tevin Coleman, Jerick McKinnon, Matt Breida, Marquise Goodwin, Deebo Samuel

Seattle Seahawks

  • Week 1 vs CIN
  • Week 2 @ PIT
  • Week 3 vs NO
  • Week 4 @ ARI
  • Week 5 vs LAR
  • Week 6 @ CLE
  • Week 7 vs BAL
  • Week 8 @ ATL
  • Week 9 vs TB
  • Week 10 @ SF
  • Week 11 Bye
  • Week 12 @ PHI
  • Week 13 vs MIN
  • Week 14 @ LAR
  • Week 15 @ CAR
  • Week 16 vs ARI
  • Week 17 vs SF

QB

  • Russell Wilson

RB

  • Chris Carson
  • Rashaad Penny

WR

  • Tyler Lockett
  • David Moore
  • DK Metcalf

TE

  • Will Dissly

Slow and steady wins the race in Seattle. This team is going to run the ball no matter what to try and control the pace of the game. Carson and Wilson are upper tier plays at their position with Carson getting mostly all the volume from the backfield and Wilson always having a great floor from running of his own. Wilson is also a great passer when he needs to be, he’s great at extending plays and that’s just what you need when you have guys like Tyler Lockett. Lockett and Moore are the two best wideouts on their team and should be out there just about every play. Look for Moore to have a breakout campaign from last year and see if Lockett can maintain the performance he put up last year. DK Metcalf is going to get on the field at some point this season but first he is going to have to pass Jaron Brown on the depth chart. It’s going to be a big wait and see for Metcalf. Will Dissly is back off of injury and while he is not the best blocker on the team he should provide great work as the pass catching tight end for the team. 

Notable Fantasy Options: Russell Wilson, Chris Carson, Tyler Lockett

Optional Fantasy Options: David Moore, Will Dissly, Rashaad Penny, DK Metcalf

Deep Into The AFC: FANTASY PREVIEW

AFC North:

Baltimore Ravens

  • Week 1 @ MIA
  • Week 2 vs ARI
  • Week 3 @ KC
  • Week 4 vs CLE
  • Week 5 @ PIT
  • Week 6 vs CIN
  • Week 7 @ Sea
  • Week 8 Bye
  • Week 9 vs NE
  • Week 10 @ CIN
  • Week 11 vs HOU
  • Week 12 @ LAR
  • Week 13 vs SF
  • Week 14 @ BUF
  • Week 15 vs NYJ
  • Week 16 @ CLE
  • Week 17 vs PIT

QB:

  • Lamar Jackson

RB:

  • Mark Ingram
  • Gus Edwards
  • Kenneth Dixon

WR:

  • Marquise Brown
  • Willie Snead

TE:

  • Mark Andrews

This team is going to compete in every game of the upcoming season.  The Baltimore Ravens’ defense will not let them get into a deep enough hole that Lamar Jackson will not be able to dig them out. The acquisition of Mark Ingram gives the team a slight upgrade at running back and the volume will be there for whoever is at that position. RBs every game will have a lower ceiling because Jackson will take away yards with some running of his own. 

How you feel about Jackson as a passer is up to you; however, Marquise Brown is tailor-made for this offense full of athletes. Consistency will be hard to come by for Brown, but when he hits, it could easily win your week. Mark Andrews is the only other pass-catcher to take a look at on this team. Edwards and Dixon are viable options out of the backfield after they carve out their role.

Notable Fantasy Players: Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram

Optional Fantasy Pick-Ups: Gus Edwards, Kenneth Dixon, Marquise Brown, Mark Andrews

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Week 1 @ SEA
  • Week 2 vs SF
  • Week 3 @ BUF
  • Week 4 @ PIT
  • Week 5 vs ARI
  • Week 6 @BAL
  • Week 7 vs JAX
  • Week 8 vs LAR
  • Week 9 Bye
  • Week 10 vs BAL
  • Week 11 @ OAK
  • Week 12 vs PIT
  • Week 13 vs NYJ
  • Week 14 @ CLE
  • Week 15 vs NE
  • Week 16 @ MIA
  • Week 17 vs CLE

QB

  • Andy Dalton

RB

  • Joe Mixon
  • Giovani Bernard

WR

  • AJ Green
  • Tyler Boyd
  • John Ross

TE

  • Tyler Eifert

Every team is going to have players who hold fantasy value, and the Cincinnati Bengals are no different. They will be down in many games, and that will lead to fantasy production, albeit in limited quantities with the team’s inability to protect Andy Dalton. 

If this team can stay healthy, the offense could produce wins for the Bengals and your fantasy team. Cincinnati has to establish the run in every game to provide Dalton with space. With AJ Green expected to miss time to begin the season, everyone is targeting Tyler Boyd during these games, but if healthy, I would grab Tyler Eifert. Joe Mixon will have the volume to be a high-quality running back.

Notable Fantasy Players: Joe Mixon, AJ Green, Tyler Boyd

Optional Fantasy Pick-Ups: Giovani Bernard, Andy Dalton, Tyler Eifert

Cleveland Browns

  • Week 1 vs TEN
  • Week 2 @ NYJ
  • Week 3 vs LAR
  • Week 4 @ BAL
  • Week 5 @ SF
  • Week 6 vs SEA
  • Week 7 Bye
  • Week 8 @ NE
  • Week 9 @ DEN
  • Week 10 vs BUF
  • Week 11 vs PIT
  • Week 12 vs MIA
  • Week 13 @ PIT
  • Week 14 vs CIN
  • Week 15 @ ARI
  • Week 16 vs BAL
  • Week 17 @ CIN

QB

  •  Baker Mayfield

RB

  • Nick Chubb
  • Kareem Hunt

WR

  • Odell Beckham Jr
  • Jarvis Landry
  • Rashad Higgins
  • Antonio Callaway

TE

  • David Njoku

The Browns have a lot of expectations going into the 2019 season. This team made some moves to make their offense one of the deadliest in the NFL. Will they live up to expectations? It all depends on if their line can protect quarterback Baker Mayfield enough to make plays. Nick Chubb will be able to run and will help create space because teams are forced to respect it; this is the key to victory for this team. 
Having Odell Beckham Jr. run wild and Jarvis Landry doing the dirty work in the slot will help this team move the ball. Rashard Higgins, Antonio Callaway (4-game suspension), along with David Njoku at tight end will potentially give you one of the deadliest offenses in the NFL on a team that is going to compete to win every single game.

Notable Fantasy Players: Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry(PPR)

Optional Fantasy Pick-Ups: Kareem Hunt, Rashad Higgins, David Njoku 

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Week 1 @ NE
  • Week 2 vs SEA
  • Week 3 @ SF
  • Week 4 vs CIN
  • Week 5 vs BAL
  • Week 6 @ LAC
  • Week 7 Bye 
  • Week 8 vs MIA
  • Week 9 vs IND
  • Week 10 vs LAR
  • Week 11 @ CLE
  • Week 12 @ CIN
  • Week 13 vs CLE
  • Week 14 @ ARI
  • Week 15 vs BUF
  • Week 16 @ NYJ
  • Week 17 @ BAL

QB

  • Ben Roethlisberger

RB

  • James Conner
  • Jaylen Samuels

WR

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster
  • Donte Moncrief
  • James Washington

TE

  • Vance McDonald 

Life after Antonio Brown is looking pretty good for the Steelers after all of the helmet news that broke regarding the former Pittsburgh wide receiver. Ben Roethlisberger’s home/road split is probably the most consistent thing about this whole team. 

JuJu Smith-Schuster is now the clear cut number one wideout on this team, but without the spacing from Brown, does he maintain his production from last year? Donte Moncrief will be on the opposite side of JuJu going into the upcoming season. After a year in Jacksonville, how will he take on this new role without Bortles as his quarterback? 

If Moncrief does not develop, does Vance McDonald become the #2 pass catcher on the team? James Conner is running behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. The Steelers’ starting running backs get high volume no matter what the game plan is; they will establish the run every game. Conner is the safest play on this team. 

Notable Fantasy Players: JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner, Ben Roethlisberger

Optional Fantasy Pick-Ups: Donte Moncrief, Vance McDonald, James Washington

AFC South:

Houston Texans

  • Week 1 @NO
  • Week 2 vs JAX
  • Week 3 @ LAC
  • Week 4 vs CAR
  • Week 5 vs ATL
  • Week 6 @ KC
  • Week 7 @ IND
  • Week 8 vs OAK
  • Week 9 @ JAX
  • Week 10 Bye
  • Week 11 @ BAL
  • Week 12 vs IND
  • Week 13 vs NE
  • Week 14 vs DEN
  • Week 15 @ TEN
  • Week 16 @ TB
  • Week 17 vs TEN

QB

  • Deshaun Watson

RB

  • Carlos Hyde
  • Duke Johnson Jr

WR

  • DeAndre Hopkins
  • Will Fuller V
  • Keke Coutee

TE

  • Jordan Akins
  • Jordan Thomas

The Houston Texans have one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL; a double-edged sword when it comes to fantasy production. Deshaun Watson is a fantastic passer, and when all of his options are fully healthy, they are hard to stop. His bad line forces him to run, adding points for a nice floor every week. 

DeAndre Hopkins is a top two receiver in the NFL. His physicality and ability to catch the ball put him in a tier of wideouts where he is unguardable. No matter what, he’s going to get his. Will Fuller, on the other hand, is one of the most efficient wideouts in the NFL. He is a big play waiting to happen, but he has to be able to stay on the field. Keke Coutee filling out the slot will make a great passing attack in the NFL. The trade for Kenny Stills in the preseason is going to add depth to a team that desperately needed it.

With the addition of Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde this is looking like a 2-Headed back field that will give Houston the balance approach they are looking for.

Notable Fantasy Players: Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins

Optional Fantasy Pick-Ups: Will Fuller, Keke Coutee, Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson, Kenny Stills

Indianapolis Colts

  • Week 1 @ LAC
  • Week 2 @ TEN
  • Week 3 vs ATL
  • Week 4 vs OAK
  • Week 5 @ KC
  • Week 6 Bye
  • Week 7 vs HOU
  • Week 8 vs DEN
  • Week 9 @ PIT
  • Week 10 vs MIA
  • Week 11 vs JAX
  • Week 12 @ HOU
  • Week 13 vs TEN
  • Week 14 @ TB
  • Week 15 @ NO
  • Week 16 vs CAR
  • Week 17 @ JAX

QB

  • Jacoby Brissett

RB

  • Marlon Mack
  • Nyheim Hines

WR

  • T.Y Hilton
  • Devin Funchess
  • Parris Campbell

TE

  • Eric Ebron
  • Jack Doyle

This team has a very competitive schedule, and all of their “tough” games are away from Lucas Oil Stadium. Jacoby Brissett is now the quarterback for this team and I think he will preform above expectations. The last time Brissett played for this team he had the worst offensive lines in the game. With time to throw the ball and the ability to make plays with his legs Brissett should make for a mid-tier floor play every week.

Marlon Mack looked like a complete stud at points last season. If he can maintain a good volume of 15+ carries a game, he can easily be a top 10 running back this season. In matchups where he had 15+ touches (6 out of 12 games), he averaged 5.2 yards per carry and 110.3 yards per game. The Colts have many instances this year where running the ball will be the key to victory. Still, consistency could be an issue for Mack, but if you believe he gets the volume, he should be of great value. 

We know T.Y Hilton is a high-quality wideout with Luck throwing the ball, but where does that leave the rest of the offense? Last year Luck was working with an assortment of subpar wide receivers. The addition of Campbell and Funchess should help bring the offense to the next level. Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle playmaking can round out a fantasy group that could be one of the most productive in the NFL if their team is put in a position where they have to put up score after score.

Notable Fantasy Option: TY Hilton, Marlon Mack

Optional Fantasy Pick-Ups: Devin Funchess, Parris Campbell, Jack Doyle, Eric Ebron, Jacoby Brissett

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Week 1 vs KC
  • Week 2 @ HOU
  • Week 3 vs TEN
  • Week 4 @ DEN
  • Week 5 @ CAR’
  • Week 6 vs NO
  • Week 7 @ CIN
  • Week 8 vs NYJ
  • Week 9 vs HOU
  • Week 10 Bye
  • Week 11 @ IND
  • Week 12 @ TEN
  • Week 13 vs TB
  • Week 14 vs LAC
  • Week 15 @ OAK
  • Week 16 @ ATL
  • Week 17 vs IND

QB

  • Nick Foles

RB

  • Leonard Fournette
  • Alfred Blue

WR

  • Dede Westbrook
  • DJ Chark
  • Marqise Lee
  • Chris Conley

TE

  • James O’Shaughnessy

Blake Bortles out; come in Nick Foles. It’s a new era in Jacksonville! How effective it will be is up in the air as a lot of things with this team are. A healthy Leonard Fournette will still lead this offense but other than that it all falls on how consistent Foles is on a week to week basis. Fournette will have the weekly volume and a good enough floor to be a mid-tier RB1. 

We’ve seen Nick have some fantastic highs, but we’ve also seen the lowest of lows. He is an upgrade from Blake Bortles but to say it’s monumental is a stretch. Wide receiver is the position most up in the air at this point. 

They have a plethora of wideouts that all could compete for the starting spots. Dede Westbrook had a breakout season last year, so he seems to be safe but after that who knows. Marqise Lee can make plays, but he is coming off tearing his ACL last year. Chris Conley could also be a playmaker but is he really much of an upgrade on an inconsistent DJ Chark? 

Besides Fournette, it is “wait and see” for this offense for me, but if you like Foles and one or more of these wideouts, you should strike before everyone else sees it for themselves. 

Notable Fantasy Options: Leonard Fournette 

Optional Fantasy Pick-Ups: Nick Foles, Dede Westbrook, DJ Chark, Marqise Lee, Chris Conley 

Tennessee Titans

  • Week 1 @ CLE
  • Week 2 vs IND
  • Week 3 @ JAX
  • Week 4 @ ATL
  • Week 5 vs BUF
  • Week 6 @ DEN
  • Week 7 vs LAC
  • Week 8 vs TB
  • Week 9 @ CAR
  • Week 10 vs KC
  • Week 11 Bye
  • Week 12 vs JAX
  • Week 13 @ IND
  • Week 14 @ OAK
  • Week 15 vs HOU
  • Week 16 vs NO
  • Week 17 @ HOU

QB

  • Marcus Mariota
  • Ryan Tannehill

RB

  • Derrick Henry
  • Dion Lewis

WR

  • Corey Davis
  • Adam Humphries
  • Taywan Taylor

TE

  • Delanie Walker
  • Jonnu Smith 

This team is up in the air. They are either going to be an above-average unit or one of the low-tier teams in the league. It all depends on what happens at quarterback and how their pick at said position performs from there. They went out and got Adam Humphries to add to an underrated Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor. Whether it’s Mariota or Tannehill at QB1, if this team can establish a consistent average to above-average passing attack, it opens up for everyone else. 

Davis and Humphries especially could see great fantasy value if they have a consistent quarterback. If the passing attack opens up, it will make the Titans running game even more deadly, giving Henry space to run and Lewis room to make plays in an open field. They could live up to the Thunder and Lightning moniker they were seeking to be last year. A healthy Delanie Walker provides a great safety net and a safe pick at tight end if he can stay healthy. 

This is all best-case scenario. If the Titans can’t improve from a passing standpoint this season, then I see them stuck as the same thing they were last year: an inconsistent team with all of their fantasy options being inconsistent.

Notable Fantasy Option: Derrick Henry

Optional Fantasy Pick-Ups: Dion Lewis, Corey Davis, Adam Humphries, Taywan Taylor, Delanie Walker, QB

AFC East:

Buffalo Bills

  • Week 1 @ NYJ
  • Week 2 @ NYG
  • Week 3 vs CIIN
  • Week 4 vs NE
  • Week 5 @ TEN
  • Week 6 Bye
  • Week 7 vs MIA
  • Week 8 vs PHI
  • Week 9 vs WSH
  • Week 10 @ CLE
  • Week 11 @ MIA
  • Week 12 vs DEN
  • Week 13 @ DAL
  • Week 14 vs BAL
  • Week 15 @ PIT
  • Week 16 @ NE
  • Week 17 vs NYJ

QB

  • Josh Allen

RB

  • Devin Singletary
  • Frank Gore
  • TJ Yeldon

WR

  • John Brown
  • Cole Beasley
  • Zay Jones
  • Robert Foster

TE

  • Tyler Kroft

The Buffalo Bills are going to improve on their performance from last year. Josh Allen is going into his second year now and has some players who will help suit his style of play and help this team move the ball effectively. Either way, this team is going to run the ball in an attempt to control the pace and win games. The Bills have three running backs that could all see playing time. Josh Allen will also run the ball probably more than any other quarterback not named Lamar Jackson, creating a great floor for Allen. 

The acquisition of Cole Beasley and John Brown gives him some capable receivers that can do the dirty work in the slot and make some big plays. Zay Jones or Robert Foster is set to round out the wideouts. Right now, we have to wait and see who gets the third spot. Devin Singletary and Frank Gore are going to split the carry work. If either of them has a productive fantasy season, I will be surprised. TJ Yeldon will have a role as a passing back, but even in PPR, I don’t know if there will be any value there. There are just too many mouths to feed in the Buffalo backfield so, I find it hard to find fantasy value there besides maybe a few games. 

Tyler Kroft should be the pass-catching tight end while Lee Smith is going to get more play being the better blocker among the group of tight ends.

Notable Fantasy Option: Josh Allen

Optional Fantasy Pick-Ups: Devin Singletary, John Brown, Cole Beasley

Miami Dolphins

.
  • Week 1 vs BAL
  • Week 2 vs NE
  • Week 3 @ DAL
  • Week 4 vs LAC
  • Week 5 Bye
  • Week 6 vs WSH
  • Week 7 @ BUF
  • Week 8 @ PIT
  • Week 9 vs NYJ
  • Week 10 @ IND
  • Week 11 vs BUF
  • Week 12 @ CLE
  • Week 13 vs PHI
  • Week 14 @ NYJ
  • Week 15 @ NYG
  • Week 16 vs CIN
  • Week 17 @ NE

QB

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Josh Rosen

RB

  • Kalen Ballage
  • Kenyan Drake

WR

  • Albert Wilson
  • Jakeem Grant
  • DeVante Parker

TE

  • Mike Gesicki

The Miami Dolphins will be one of the worst teams in the NFL. Now being on a bad team doesn’t mean that there isn’t fantasy value on this team. They’re going to be passing and passing a lot with the off-season acquisitions of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen. As of this column, “Fitzmagic” is the Week 1 starter. But, once Fitzpatrick starts making mistakes, the team will focus on seeing what they have with Rosen. 

They have capable pass catchers in Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant, and DeVante Parker. Whether you should take a chance on any of them is up in the air. It’ll be hard to find any consistency on this team but if you find it, strike. Kalen Ballage and Kenyan Drake are set to share this backfield with Ballage said to be the favorite to get the start. This team is going to have to establish the run to try and win games. That could lead to high volume on the ground for Ballage with Drake getting the passing down work as a change of pace. 

Miami has a plethora of tight ends, but I feel Gesiciki will get the passing down work for the team but don’t be surprised if Nick O’Leary or Dwayne Allen takes the spot over instead.d. 

Notable Fantasy Options: Kalen Ballage, Albert Wilson

Optional Fantasy Pick-Ups: Kenyan Drake, Jakeem Grant, DeVante Parker, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen

New England Patriots

  • Week 1 vs PIT
  • Week 2 @ MIA
  • Week 3 vs NYJ
  • Week 4 @ BUF
  • Week 5 @ WSH
  • Week 6 vs NYG
  • Week 7 @ NYJ
  • Week 8 vs CLE
  • Week 9 @ BAL
  • Week 10 Bye
  • Week 11 @ PHI
  • Week 12 vs DAL
  • Week 13 @ HOU
  • Week 14 vs KC
  • Week 15 @ CIN
  • Week 16 vs BUF
  • Week 17 vs MIA

QB

  • Tom Brady

RB

  • Sony Michel
  • James White
  • Damien Harris

WR

  • Julian Edelman
  • Josh Gordon
  • Phillip Dorsett

TE

  • Benjamin Watson

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The New England Patriots are one of the most well-coached teams in football. They work on moving the ball in a way that isn’t flashy, just efficient. This team will win games with one of the easiest schedules to start the season and then one of the toughest towards the end of the season. 

This season, the team is projected to run the ball a lot, which makes me high on Sony Michel, if his knees can hold up is a different question. If Michel does go down, Harris would be the main guy. James White is always going to have his role in this offense and is arguably the safest play in this backfield. 

Tom Brady is entering his 20th season in the NFL, and at 42 years old, people are ready for him to fall off a cliff, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.Tom doesn’t rely on his arm strength or making big plays to win games. He makes short plays and moves the ball efficiently. There is a possibility to fall off a cliff, but I don’t see it. 

Julian Edelman will continue to be a high-quality play and the addition of N’Keal Harry or Ben Watson to fill that big play-ability hole they will be missing without Gronk as an option. Josh Gordon has also been reinstated by the NFL he is in his second year with the Patriots and it should be a good one. He is the best outside wide receiver on this team and could go for 100+ yards in absolutely any game. 

Notable Fantasy Options: Tom Brady, Sony Michel, James White, Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon

Optional Fantasy Pick-Ups: Phillip Dorsett, Benjamin Watson, N’Keal Harry

New York Jets

  • Week 1 vs BUF
  • Week 2 vs CLE
  • Week 3 @ NE
  • Week 4 Bye
  • Week 5 @ PHI
  • Week 6 vs DAL
  • Week 7 vs NE
  • Week 8 @ JAX
  • Week 9 @ MIA
  • Week 10 vs NYG
  • Week 11 @ WSH
  • Week 12 vs OAK
  • Week 13 @ CIN
  • Week 14 vs MIA
  • Week 15 @ BAL
  • Week 16 vs PIT
  • Week 17 @ BUF

QB

  • Sam Darnold

RB

  • LeVeon Bell

WR

  • Robby Anderson
  • Jamison Crowder
  • Quincy Enunwa

TE

  • Chris Herndon
  • Ryan Griffin

This team has the potential to be a breakout squad in 2019. Le’Veon Bell brings a new dimension to the offense that the Jets have lacked in recent years. The only real issue I have is that Bell has to prove that he can perform at the same level when he is not behind the superior Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line.

If they can establish the run game, I see a big year for Sam Darnold and company. Robby Anderson will have his big games, and if they become more consistent, he can become a top receiver in the NFL. Jamison Crowder getting play in the slot and Quincy Enunwa back from injury could be huge factors in keeping the ball moving for this team. Chris Herndon is suspended for 4-games, but once that is over, he can potentially be one of the top tight ends in fantasy with his has “big play” potential. This team has one of the best-run defenses in the NFL so even if they are down in games, it’ll be tough for teams to keep them out of it.

Notable Fantasy Options: Sam Darnold, LeVeon Bell, Robby Anderson

Optional Fantasy Pick-Ups: Jamison Crowder, Quincy Enunwa, Chris Herndon

AFC West:

Denver Broncos

  • Week 1 @ OAK
  • Week 2 vs CHI
  • Week 3 @ GB
  • Week 4 vs JAX
  • Week 5 @ LAC
  • Week 6 vs TEN
  • Week 7 vs KC
  • Week 8 @ IND
  • Week 9 vs CLE
  • Week 10 Bye
  • Week 11 @ MIN
  • Week 12 @ BUF
  • Week 13 vs LAC
  • Week 14 @ HOU
  • Week 15 @ KC
  • Week 16 vs DET
  • Week 17 vs OAK

QB

  • Joe Flacco

RB

  • Phillip Lindsay
  • Royce Freeman
  • Theo Riddick

WR

  • Courtland Sutton
  • Emmanuel Sanders
  • DaeSean Hamilton

TE

  • Noah Fant

The Denver Broncos are going improved from last year with the acquisition of Joe Flacco. The veteran quarterback brings a presence at his position that this team desperately needed. With that said, this is still going to be a run-heavy offense. Reports close to the Broncos camp believe that they will be a running back by committee so, the hot hand can change from game to game. 

Denver’s defense will make sure of that the team competes in every matchup, providing fantasy value down the stretch. Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman should split the carries in the backfield while the acquisition of Theo Riddick will solidify a role for a passing back. Courtland Sutton has the potential for a breakout year if Emmanuel Sanders takes a step back returning from injury. 

DaeSean Hamilton and rookie tight end Noah Fant will round out the passing attack. Though their help should push it a step forward this year, don’t expect record-breaking number. 

Notable Fantasy Options: Phillip Lindsay/Royce Freeman

Optional Fantasy Pick-Ups: Joe Flacco, Theo Riddick, Courtland Sutton, Emmanuel Sanders, DaeSean Hamilton, Noah Fant

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Week 1 @ JAX
  • Week 2 @ OAK
  • Week 3 vs BAL
  • Week 4 @ DET
  • Week 5 vs IND
  • Week 6 vs HOU
  • Week 7 @ DEN
  • Week 8 vs GB
  • Week 9 vs MIN
  • Week 10 @ TEN
  • Week 11 vs LAC
  • Week 12 Bye
  • Week 13 vs OAK
  • Week 14 @ NE
  • Week 15 vs DEN
  • Week 16 @ CHI
  • Week 17 vs LAC

QB

  • Patrick Mahomes

RB

  • Damien Williams
  • LeSean McCoy

WR

  • Tyreek Hill
  • Sammy Watkins
  • Mecole Hardman

TE

  • Travis Kelce

This Patrick Mahomes led offense is elite. The core of Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce is the most dangerous, unguardable passing offenses in the NFL. At any point throughout a game, Hill or Kelce could get a 25+ yard play from Mahomes. 

This team is still going to run the ball as every Andy Reid-led team does. The lead back will get high volume, and they’ll run them into the ground. Damien Williams proved in stints last year that he can make plays but the durability to get close to 20 carriers is doubtful. LeSean McCoy is there, and the team could look towards more of a running back by committee this year to keep them healthy.

If there is one thing in football you cannot teach, it’s speed. Hill and Mecole Hardman have plenty of it. Look for Andy Reid to design plays around these players and their quickness.

Notable Fantasy Options: Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Damien Williams

Optional Fantasy Pick-Ups: Sammy Watkins, LeSean McCoy, Mecole Hardman

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Week 1 vs IND
  • Week 2 @ DET
  • Week 3 vs HOU
  • Week 4 @ MIA
  • Week 5 vs DEN
  • Week 6 vs PIT
  • Week 7 @ TEN
  • Week 8 @ CHI
  • Week 9 vs GB
  • Week 10 @ OAK
  • Week 11 vs KC
  • Week 12 Bye
  • Week 13 @ DEN
  • Week 14 @ JAX
  • Week 15 vs MIN
  • Week 16 vs OAK
  • Week 17 @ KC

QB

  • Phillip Rivers

RB

  • Melvin Gordon
  • Austin Ekeler
  • Justin Jackson

WR

  • Keenan Allen
  • Mike Williams
  • Travis Benjamin

TE

  • Hunter Henry

This team has the ability to be one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. Phillip Rivers could have one of his best seasons if all the pieces go into the right place. Melvin Gordon is going to need to be at its full potential. Right now, that is up in the air. 

Tyrell Williams is no longer with the Chargers, leaving behind a wealth of snap that have to be distributed. Mike Williams is a prominent breakout candidate for me to take some of those snaps and have his big playability make more of an impact with an increase in volume. Keenan Allen is still one of the best receivers in the NFL. He could easily be a top 3 wideout when the season is over if he continues to stay healthy. 

Hunter Henry is coming off an ACL tear the previous year and is primed for a breakout season on this offense. He is still young with high-upside. In the case that Melvin Gordon does miss time, Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson will more than likely split the carriers since neither of them proved that they could be the premier back.

Notable Fantasy Options: Phillip Rivers, Melvin Gordon*, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams

Optional Fantasy Pick-Ups: Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, Travis Benjamin, Hunter Henry

(*): Make sure to watch Gordon’s hold out

Oakland Raiders

  • Week 1 vs DEN
  • Week 2 vs KC
  • Week 3 @ MIN
  • Week 4 @ IND
  • Week 5 vs CHI
  • Week 6 Bye
  • Week 7 @ GB
  • Week 8 @ HOU
  • Week 9 vs DET
  • Week 10 vs LAC
  • Week 11 vs CIN
  • Week 12 @ NYJ
  • Week 13 @ KC
  • Week 14 vs TEN
  • Week 15 vs JAX
  • Week 16 @ LAC
  • Week 17 @ DEN

QB

  • Derek Carr

RB

  • Josh Jacobs
  • Jalen Richard

WR

  • Antonio Brown
  • Tyrell Williams
  • Hunter Renfrow

TE

  • Darren Waller

This team has a lot of work to do if they don’t want to be a bottom-five team in the league. The acquisition of Antonio Brown does bring a new dimension to this offense that they have undoubtedly been missing. The addition of Josh Jacobs via the draft gives the team he pieces to make things work. Still, they have to execute. The execution falls into the hands of quarterback Derek Carr. He hasn’t been the same since his injury and this year is going to make or break him as he goes into free agency next offseason. 

This team will likely be playing from behind the majority of the season,  providing fantasy value for every piece on this offense. Tyrell Williams will be as inconsistent as ever, and Hunter Renfrow will be thrown into the slot after a successful time at Clemson. Where they fit into this offense from a production standpoint is yet to be seen. 

This team is going to run the ball a lot, as any John Gruden offense, so drafting Josh Jacobs was the right choice. Oakland has to grind it out and make plays to win games. It won’t happen every week, but when it does, it could produce for some high scoring weeks.

Notable Fantasy Options: Antonio Brown, Josh Jacobs

Optional Fantasy Pick-Ups: Derek Carr, Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow, Jalen Richard

Keven’s Keys To Success: Fantasy Football

The best season is finally here, Fantasy Football. Fantasy Football has opened many doors because now you’re not just a fan of the team you enjoy watching on Sundays but now you’re a fan of the game and other players. I’m a Vikings fan but guess who I love? I love Davante Adams for the Packers and I love Kenny Golladay for the Lions. To celebrate the best time of the year with you all I want to give my 5 keys to success.

WR #17 Devante Adams, GB
  1. Know the players, know the game, know the rules. So you asked me how do you do that? Simple, Mock drafts. You should do mock drafts over and over and over again to be completely comfortable knowing where guys are coming off the board. You should also know their Average Draft Position or ADP and you MUST find ways to manipulate the draft.
  2. You should know the format: PPR (points per reception), Half PPR 2 QB leagues, SuperFlex (QB,RB,WR,TE) or Double Flex , how many Running Backs or Wide Receivers are in the starting lineup — that can change the values for different players.
  3. During the Draft, Draft who you want but remember to Draft around their ADP. If they won’t come back to you by your next selection then it is not a Reach. Please, I beg you, wait til the last two rounds to select defense and Kickers — Build your team with depth.
  4. Don’t draft a QB or TE high. Quarterbacks touch the ball every play and dictate where the ball goes and for Tight Ends sometimes they’re asked to block depending on the scheme and not always available to give you points.
  5. After your team is finalized, let’s talk about Trading. I believe I am an elite trader, some would say a Master. Knowing when to Buy High or Sell Low is how you become a master trader. Continuous improvement is what you’re striving for. You don’t have to trade every week but if you’re not getting better then why are you playing? The key is knowing how to make someone say yes. For Example: Someone is struggling with Running Backs, this your time to pounce. Someone loses their QB? Time to pounce. There are — always opportunities in Fantasy Football that you must take advantage. When the time comes, you have to use it.
Trading for D. Adams early in the season

Want more help? Read Matthew Berry’s Draft Day Manifesto

https://www.espn.com/fantasy/football/story/_/page/draftdaymanifesto19/fantasy-football-draft-day-manifesto-how-draft-your-fantasy-football-team-matthew-berry-way