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In-Season Articles

In-Season Articles

What Can You Expect From Miles Sanders in 2020?

It didn’t happen exactly like we planned, but Miles Sanders did come on in the second half of his rookie season, ending the year with 1,327 total yards and six touchdowns. Many fantasy players expected the Penn State product to simply overtake Jordan Howard — a one-dimensional runner who lacked the sterling profile of the second-round pick Sanders — over the course of the season, but Howard was the clear lead back in Philadelphia for the first half of the season. However, Howard suffered a lingering nerve injury around midseason, and Sanders got the job and never looked back. Among

D.K. Metcalf’s Historical Comps are Simply Unreal

D.K. Metcalf‘s fall to the end of the second round was one of the biggest surprises of the 2019 NFL Draft. Early in the offseason, he was projected to be one of the first wide receivers off the board in late April, but concerns about his route-running versatility and agility caused his stock to tumble. In a touching YouTube video posted by the Seahawks that showed Metcalf getting the call from the team, the Ole Miss product tearfully asked Pete Carroll why they waited so long to draft him. A few months later, Metcalf didn’t wait very long to make

Diontae Johnson’s Historical Comps Indicate He’s on the Verge of a Sophomore Breakout

Diontae Johnson had an incredible rookie season. There’s no other way to put it. Although his end-of-year numbers — 59 receptions for 680 yards and five scores — don’t really jump off the page, the Toledo product managed to post positive fantasy points over expectation (FPOE) despite playing in one of the worst situations imaginable. Before the season, it looked like one of the best possible situations for a rookie WR, as the Steelers’ pass-heavy offense lacked a proven WR2 behind JuJu Smith-Schuster. Unfortunately, a Ben Roethlisberger injury derailed what likely would have been one of the most potent aerial

Finding an Edge in Roster Construction: How to Approach the Single-Digit Rounds of Best Ball Drafts

I drafted so much Brandin Cooks last offseason. He was coming off of four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and seemed destined for another in what looked like one of the league’s most potent offenses. He finished the season with 110.5 points and a 2.9% win rate — the fourth-lowest win rate among all players drafted in at least 200 drafts. Here’s the thing: I’m going to be wrong. A lot. So are you. Player evaluation is hard. We do our best, but our best is still far from perfect, so we also need to look for an edge in other areas.

Forgotten But Not Gone: Two Wide Receivers You Need to Target in the Final Rounds of Best Ball Drafts

Tyler Boyd was an afterthought. He entered the 2018 season as the Bengals’ WR3 behind A.J. Green and John Ross. He was coming off of a season in which he averaged just 3.2 targets and 22.5 receiving yards per contest. His best ball ADP was WR143. Boyd didn’t get the message. He racked up 1,028 yards and seven touchdowns in only 14 games en route to a WR17 finish. He went from no-name to household name just like that, and now he’s seen as one of the more reliable wideouts in the NFL. We should have seen it coming. And

Putting 2019 in Context: So How Should We Approach 2020 Best Ball Drafts?

In the first three parts of this series, we looked at running backs and wide receivers drafted in the “RB Dead Zone” — Rounds 3 through 6 — and those drafted in the double-digit rounds. Today, we’ll combine everything we’ve learned (with some help from the Fanball Roster Construction Explorer) to talk about one of the most potent strategies in fantasy football. A Quick Refresher On the off chance that you have not been fervently waiting for each subsequent part of this series to be posted, here’s a quick summary of the first three parts: In Part 1, we talked

Mecole Hardman Checks Almost Every Single Box as a 2020 Breakout

It was an awesome year for rookie wide receivers. Six rookie wideouts finished with a double-digit best ball win rate, matching the total from the previous four years combined. As such, you can expect guys like A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, Terry McLaurin, and Deebo Samuel to fly off the board fairly early in drafts this offseason. But who’s going to be the unheralded sophomore who shocks the world by blossoming into a fantasy-relevant player? Who’s going to be the next Michael Gallup or D.J. Chark? I’ll give you one guess. If you said Mecole Hardman, congratulations, you read the title

Putting 2019 in Context: It Was a Really Weird Year for Late-Round Running Backs and Wide Receivers

In the first two parts of this series, we looked at running backs and wide receivers picked in Rounds 3-6 of best ball drafts in 2019 and talked about what your strategy should be in those rounds in 2020. Today, we’re going to do the same thing for RBs and WRs drafted in Round 10 or later. How did late-round RBs do in 2019? Not good. Kind of. RBs drafted in Round 10 or later this year had an average win rate of 7.2%, whereas the 2015-18 average was 7.8%. Scoring was down 20.0%. However, the 2019 median (7.4%) was

Examining Wide Receiver Production After a Team Change: Can You Trust Odell Beckham in 2020?

Odell Beckham was primed to go absolutely nuts. He had never averaged fewer than 75.5 yards per game in a season and had consistently been an elite WR1 when healthy. And he did it with Eli Manning at quarterback. Now that he had Baker Mayfield — who was coming off of a season in which he set the rookie passing touchdown record — the sky appeared to be the limit for Beckham. He looked locked and loaded to be a WR1 per usual. Turned out he wasn’t even the WR1 on his own team, as Jarvis Landry paced Cleveland wide receivers in

Putting 2019 in Context: The Middle Rounds Still Belong to Wide Receivers

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the performance of running backs who were drafted in Rounds 3 through 6 of best ball drafts — also known as the “RB Dead Zone” — and found that the 2019 group scored 29.2% more fantasy points than the 2015-18 average. However, despite posting such high point totals, the average win rate for these RBs was just 7.8%. How is it possible that these RBs posted such a pedestrian average win rate even though they scored so many points? In this article, we’ll examine the flip side of the coin —

What Can You Expect From Miles Sanders in 2020?

It didn’t happen exactly like we planned, but Miles Sanders did come on in the second half of his rookie season, ending the year with 1,327 total yards and six touchdowns. Many fantasy players expected the Penn State product to simply overtake Jordan Howard — a one-dimensional runner who lacked the sterling profile of the second-round pick Sanders — over the course of the season, but Howard was the clear lead back in Philadelphia for the first half of the season. However, Howard suffered a lingering nerve injury around midseason, and Sanders got the job and never looked back. Among

D.K. Metcalf’s Historical Comps are Simply Unreal

D.K. Metcalf‘s fall to the end of the second round was one of the biggest surprises of the 2019 NFL Draft. Early in the offseason, he was projected to be one of the first wide receivers off the board in late April, but concerns about his route-running versatility and agility caused his stock to tumble. In a touching YouTube video posted by the Seahawks that showed Metcalf getting the call from the team, the Ole Miss product tearfully asked Pete Carroll why they waited so long to draft him. A few months later, Metcalf didn’t wait very long to make

Diontae Johnson’s Historical Comps Indicate He’s on the Verge of a Sophomore Breakout

Diontae Johnson had an incredible rookie season. There’s no other way to put it. Although his end-of-year numbers — 59 receptions for 680 yards and five scores — don’t really jump off the page, the Toledo product managed to post positive fantasy points over expectation (FPOE) despite playing in one of the worst situations imaginable. Before the season, it looked like one of the best possible situations for a rookie WR, as the Steelers’ pass-heavy offense lacked a proven WR2 behind JuJu Smith-Schuster. Unfortunately, a Ben Roethlisberger injury derailed what likely would have been one of the most potent aerial

Finding an Edge in Roster Construction: How to Approach the Single-Digit Rounds of Best Ball Drafts

I drafted so much Brandin Cooks last offseason. He was coming off of four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and seemed destined for another in what looked like one of the league’s most potent offenses. He finished the season with 110.5 points and a 2.9% win rate — the fourth-lowest win rate among all players drafted in at least 200 drafts. Here’s the thing: I’m going to be wrong. A lot. So are you. Player evaluation is hard. We do our best, but our best is still far from perfect, so we also need to look for an edge in other areas.

Forgotten But Not Gone: Two Wide Receivers You Need to Target in the Final Rounds of Best Ball Drafts

Tyler Boyd was an afterthought. He entered the 2018 season as the Bengals’ WR3 behind A.J. Green and John Ross. He was coming off of a season in which he averaged just 3.2 targets and 22.5 receiving yards per contest. His best ball ADP was WR143. Boyd didn’t get the message. He racked up 1,028 yards and seven touchdowns in only 14 games en route to a WR17 finish. He went from no-name to household name just like that, and now he’s seen as one of the more reliable wideouts in the NFL. We should have seen it coming. And

Putting 2019 in Context: So How Should We Approach 2020 Best Ball Drafts?

In the first three parts of this series, we looked at running backs and wide receivers drafted in the “RB Dead Zone” — Rounds 3 through 6 — and those drafted in the double-digit rounds. Today, we’ll combine everything we’ve learned (with some help from the Fanball Roster Construction Explorer) to talk about one of the most potent strategies in fantasy football. A Quick Refresher On the off chance that you have not been fervently waiting for each subsequent part of this series to be posted, here’s a quick summary of the first three parts: In Part 1, we talked

Mecole Hardman Checks Almost Every Single Box as a 2020 Breakout

It was an awesome year for rookie wide receivers. Six rookie wideouts finished with a double-digit best ball win rate, matching the total from the previous four years combined. As such, you can expect guys like A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, Terry McLaurin, and Deebo Samuel to fly off the board fairly early in drafts this offseason. But who’s going to be the unheralded sophomore who shocks the world by blossoming into a fantasy-relevant player? Who’s going to be the next Michael Gallup or D.J. Chark? I’ll give you one guess. If you said Mecole Hardman, congratulations, you read the title

Putting 2019 in Context: It Was a Really Weird Year for Late-Round Running Backs and Wide Receivers

In the first two parts of this series, we looked at running backs and wide receivers picked in Rounds 3-6 of best ball drafts in 2019 and talked about what your strategy should be in those rounds in 2020. Today, we’re going to do the same thing for RBs and WRs drafted in Round 10 or later. How did late-round RBs do in 2019? Not good. Kind of. RBs drafted in Round 10 or later this year had an average win rate of 7.2%, whereas the 2015-18 average was 7.8%. Scoring was down 20.0%. However, the 2019 median (7.4%) was

Examining Wide Receiver Production After a Team Change: Can You Trust Odell Beckham in 2020?

Odell Beckham was primed to go absolutely nuts. He had never averaged fewer than 75.5 yards per game in a season and had consistently been an elite WR1 when healthy. And he did it with Eli Manning at quarterback. Now that he had Baker Mayfield — who was coming off of a season in which he set the rookie passing touchdown record — the sky appeared to be the limit for Beckham. He looked locked and loaded to be a WR1 per usual. Turned out he wasn’t even the WR1 on his own team, as Jarvis Landry paced Cleveland wide receivers in

Putting 2019 in Context: The Middle Rounds Still Belong to Wide Receivers

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the performance of running backs who were drafted in Rounds 3 through 6 of best ball drafts — also known as the “RB Dead Zone” — and found that the 2019 group scored 29.2% more fantasy points than the 2015-18 average. However, despite posting such high point totals, the average win rate for these RBs was just 7.8%. How is it possible that these RBs posted such a pedestrian average win rate even though they scored so many points? In this article, we’ll examine the flip side of the coin —

What Can You Expect From Miles Sanders in 2020?

It didn’t happen exactly like we planned, but Miles Sanders did come on in the second half of his rookie season, ending the year with 1,327 total yards and six touchdowns. Many fantasy players expected the Penn State product to simply overtake Jordan Howard — a one-dimensional runner who lacked

D.K. Metcalf’s Historical Comps are Simply Unreal

D.K. Metcalf‘s fall to the end of the second round was one of the biggest surprises of the 2019 NFL Draft. Early in the offseason, he was projected to be one of the first wide receivers off the board in late April, but concerns about his route-running versatility and agility

Putting 2019 in Context: So How Should We Approach 2020 Best Ball Drafts?

In the first three parts of this series, we looked at running backs and wide receivers drafted in the “RB Dead Zone” — Rounds 3 through 6 — and those drafted in the double-digit rounds. Today, we’ll combine everything we’ve learned (with some help from the Fanball Roster Construction Explorer)

Mecole Hardman Checks Almost Every Single Box as a 2020 Breakout

It was an awesome year for rookie wide receivers. Six rookie wideouts finished with a double-digit best ball win rate, matching the total from the previous four years combined. As such, you can expect guys like A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, Terry McLaurin, and Deebo Samuel to fly off the board

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