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Fantasy Football Start'Em, Sit'Em: Week 9

Updated: Saturday, November 6th

The decision on which player to start, or sit, largely comes down to the options on your roster (and/or possibly the players available on your league's waiver wire).

As an example, Joe Burrow is listed below as a "start" for Week 9. And I'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 9 with him as my starting quarterback.

Then again, Burrow may be a "sit" for your team.

In other words, if you roster both Patrick Mahomes and Burrow, you should start Mahomes and, in turn, bench Burrow.

For a more direct answer on whether we would start Player X over Player Y, check our Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings. Instead of making those direct comparisons, the goal here is to highlight players that we like, or dislike, for the week.

Week 9 Fantasy Football QB Start'em, Sit'em

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. CLE)

One of the reasons I was higher than most on Burrow in the preseason was the expectation that Burrow would throw it often. While the volume hasn't materialized, Burrow has been extremely efficient.

Currently 22nd in the NFL in pass attempts (246), Burrow ranks sixth in passing yards (2,215), fourth in Y/A (9.0) and third in passing touchdowns (20). Burrow's 8.1 TD% is more than double his 3.2 TD% as a rookie. Reunited with Ja'Marr Chase, the duo has picked up where they left off during their historic run as LSU Tigers.

This week's cross-state matchup against the Cleveland Browns isn't ideal, but Burrow will look to extend his streak of impressive performances. The second-year quarterback has finished as fantasy's QB8, QB2 and QB10 over the past three weeks, respectively. In fact, he has thrown three touchdowns in three consecutive games and multiple touchdowns in every game this season.

Continue reading our Week 9 Fantasy Football QB Start'em, Sit'em

Week 9 Fantasy Football RB Start'em, Sit'em

Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills (at JAX)

Buffalo's backfield usage has been split fairly evenly between Moss and Devin Singletary. Excluding Week 1 when Moss was inactive, Moss has 53.79% of the duo's touches this season.

Favored by more than two touchdowns, no team has a higher implied total in Week 9. Positive game script could lead to a few extra carries for the backs and Moss is more likely to get the goal-line touches.

In addition, Moss has a minimum of four targets in three consecutive games. During that three-game stretch, he has a team target share greater than 16% in two of those games.

Continue reading our Week 9 Fantasy Football RB Start'em, Sit'em

Week 9 Fantasy Football WR Start'em, Sit'em

Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins (vs. HOU)

DeVante Parker had eight catches for 85 yards on 11 targets, all season highs, in Week 8 against the Buffalo Bills. That said, the Dolphins have since placed Parker (hamstring) on IR.

While Waddle finished Week 8 with only four catches for 29 yards, he was targeted a team-high 12 times. It was the third time in six games that Waddle had a minimum of 12 targets in a game. In the past three weeks, Waddle has a 27.66%, 20.0% and 32.43% target share, respectively. The rookie receiver is averaging only 8.6 yards per catch, but the target share should remain sky high with Parker out.

The Houston Texans have allowed the fifth-highest Y/A (14.44) to opposing wide receivers and eighth-highest catch rate (67.81%).

Continue reading our Week 9 Fantasy Football WR Start'em, Sit'em

Week 9 Fantasy Football TE Start'em, Sit'em

Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys (vs. DEN)

Schultz had his worst performance of the season (two catches for 11 scoreless yards) on Sunday Night Football, but he was targeted seven times in the contest. That ended a four-week streak where he had performed as a top-10 fantasy tight end.

He has now been targeted a minimum of six times in six of seven games this season. Even though the Cowboys have already had their bye, Schultz is one of only six tight ends to have six-plus games with at least five targets and he ranks ninth among tight ends in targets per game (6.29) this season.

Even though the Denver Broncos have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, the Cowboys have one of the week's top-three NFL implied totals. Given the consistent volume of targets and the TD equity this week, Schultz remains a strong TE1 play this week, especially with tight end Blake Jarwin (hip) not expected to play.

Continue reading our Week 9 Fantasy Football TE Start'em, Sit'em

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 9

Updated: Monday, November 1st

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short and/or long term.

For a player to be listed, he must be rostered in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire. Of course, your league's size and settings could significantly impact whether these players (or better options) are available in your particular league(s).

With that said, here are some waiver-wire options to consider heading into Week 9 (Yahoo! % rostered in parenthesis):

Fantasy Football QB Waiver Wire

1. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (35%)

With Tom Brady on bye in Week 9, you may be in the market for a streamer. If you're looking for a bye-week replacement, Tagovailoa gets a plus matchup against the Texans in Week 9.

In a difficult matchup against the Buffalo Bills, Tua had a modest performance (16.2 fantasy points), but he had scored 22-plus fantasy points in each of his previous two starts before that. Over the past three weeks, Tagovailoa has a minimum of 39 pass attempts and has averaged 275 passing yards and two passing touchdowns per game.

Continue reading our Fantasy Football QB Waiver Wire

Fantasy Football RB Waiver Wire

1A/1B. Jeremy McNichols/Adrian Peterson, Tennessee Titans (8%/4%)

It's a devastating blow to any manager that rosters Derrick Henry. The back-to-back rushing champion is likely to miss the rest of the regular season (or at least the fantasy season).

The Titans have signed Adrian Peterson, who averaged a pedestrian 3.9 yards per carry for the Detroit Lions last season. The 36-year-old back could handle the largest share of touches at some point down the stretch. McNichols has only seven carries for 38 yards, but he has 21 receptions for 203 yards and a touchdown on 27 targets.

While neither Peterson nor McNichols will come close to what a healthy Henry would have provided fantasy managers, both should emerge as top 35-40 options the rest of the way.

Continue reading our Fantasy Football RB Waiver Wire

Fantasy Football WR Waiver Wire

1. DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (34%)

Returning from a three-game absence, Parker finished Sunday with eight receptions for 85 yards on 11 targets, all of which are season highs. The Dolphins receiver now has a minimum of four catches and seven targets in all five games in which he has appeared this season. Parker has a target share of at least 21% in four of five games as well.

With a matchup against the Houston Texans on tap, Parker (and teammate Jaylen Waddle) are both viable top-36 options in Week 9.

Continue reading our Fantasy Football WR Waiver Wire

Fantasy Football TE Waiver Wire

1. Dan Arnold, Jacksonville Jaguars (4%)

Arnold led the Jaguars in receiving on Sunday with eight catches for 68 yards on 10 targets (19.61%). It was the second time in the past three games that Arnold has had a target share of at least 19%.

The matchup next week against the Bills isn't great, but it's possible that Arnold will once again lead the team in target share. At a minimum, his expected target share in a game where the Jaguars will be massive underdogs should at least put him in the streamer mix.

Over his past three games, Arnold has a total of 16 catches for 159 yards on 23 targets (7.67/G). Marvin Jones Jr. (160 yards) is the only Jag with more receiving yards during that stretch. Heading into Monday Night Football, Arnold ranks fifth among tight ends in targets per game from Weeks 5 to 8.

Continue reading our Fantasy Football TE Waiver Wire

2021 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule

Fantasy football strength of schedule helps fantasy managers determine which teams and players have favorable (or unfavorable) schedules for the 2021 NFL season.

Based on each team's scheduled opponents for 2021, we have tallied the average fantasy points allowed by each of their opponents to the position.

While strength of schedule should not be the sole factor in determining who to draft/add, it could help potentially break a tie between two players that you may view as comparable.

The strength of schedule (Weeks 9-17) for quarterbacks is below:

RankTeamPlayerFantasy SOSPlayoffs
1Las Vegas RaidersDerek Carr18.32451.12
2Houston TexansDavis Mills18.27864.6
3Denver BroncosTeddy Bridgewater18.00459.06
4Dallas CowboysDak Prescott17.99859.32
5Philadelphia EaglesJalen Hurts17.87670.22
6Pittsburgh SteelersBen Roethlisberger17.69360.78
7Seattle SeahawksRussell Wilson17.61256.96
8New York GiantsDaniel Jones17.45457.51
9Minnesota VikingsKirk Cousins17.45156.08
10Arizona CardinalsKyler Murray17.42760.73
View full Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS)

Note: Fantasy SOS = Average fantasy points per game allowed of each team's remaining 2021 opponents through Week 17.
Playoffs = Cumulative total for Weeks 15 to 17.

More positions:

Fantasy Football Sleepers 2021

Updated: Saturday, September 4th

Ask 100 people and you're likely to get 100 different answers.

Not only does no universal definition of a fantasy football sleeper exist, many would argue that there is no such thing as a sleeper in today's age of year-round fantasy football content published on the interwebs.

While that may be true, our definition of the term for this post will be a player that we are targeting in the double-digit rounds of 12-team leagues. Of course, our fantasy football rankings will list the players we prefer in sequence, but the goal of this post is to highlight later-round players that you should know for your upcoming drafts.

So, in other words, the fantasy football sleepers referenced in this article have an average draft position (ADP) greater than 108 (nine rounds times 12 picks).

Some players that just missed the cut based on our self-imposed ADP requirement include A.J. Dillon (ADP: 81), Laviska Shenault Jr. (ADP: 92), Michael Pittman (ADP: 99), Tyler Higbee (ADP: 106), among others.

Fantasy Football Sleepers for the 2021 NFL Season

Here are ten sleepers for the 2021 season with their Fantasy Football ADP in parenthesis (N/A = currently undrafted):

QB - Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers (ADP: 120)

Look at 2020's top 10-scoring fantasy quarterbacks and you'll notice a common theme. Almost all of them are prolific runners. The average top-10 quarterback had a rushing line of 79.5/416.5/5.1.

To highlight the importance of rushing production, look no further than the G.O.A.T. (Tom Brady). Of course, Brady isn't known for his rushing prowess (six rushing yards in 2020). But in his first season in Tampa, Brady threw 40 touchdowns (second-most of his Hall-of-Fame career) and 4,633 yards (fifth-most). Even so, Brady only finished as fantasy's QB8. Winning from the pocket used to be enough -- Brady has nine seasons where he finished as a top-seven fantasy QB.

Nowadays, quarterbacks that are exclusively pocket passers need to have career-type seasons to warrant a high ranking. On the other hand, QBs with elite rushing upside can be mediocre passers (on a good day) and still be strong fantasy plays.

So, while the rookie version of Lance won't have the passing success that Brady (or Aaron Rodgers) will have in 2021, his elite rushing upside puts him squarely in the top-10 mix (or better) once he becomes a starter. Lance is more talented than Philadelphia's Jalen Hurts, as an example, and Hurts was the QB7 from Weeks 14-17 last season after the team benched Carson Wentz.

Especially considering that he was a redshirt sophomore that played only one game in 2020 at the FCS level in such an unusual year, it may be a lot to expect him to start Week 1. Lance may not start Week 1 (although I wouldn't rule it out). PFT's Mike Florio ponders a Jimmy Garoppolo release before Week 1. The 49ers have the earliest possible bye (Week 6) and that could be a natural transition point to this year's No. 3 overall pick (if he's not the starter sooner).

One of the common things I've often done in a fantasy football mock draft is pair someone like Joe Burrow, on my list of undervalued players in fantasy football, with Lance for two high-upside options.

Continue reading our 2021 Fantasy Football Sleepers

2021 Fantasy Football 16-Team PPR Mock Draft

Updated: Sunday, August 22nd

The best way to become good at something is to practice. So, what should you do if you want to draft a better fantasy football team?

Practice, of course!

Leading up to the start of the 2021 NFL season, we will use the 2021 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros) to complete fantasy football mock drafts.

We will use a variety of scoring formats -- PPR, half-PPR, standard scoring and even 2-QB leagues, league sizes and draft slots. The goal is to give you a good representation of the team that you may be able to construct given your league settings and the rationale of why we made the picks we did.

+ Our mocks will be tracked here: Fantasy Football Mock Drafts.

That said, nothing beats practicing yourself so (check out the simulator) and complete a mock in a matter of minutes.

1.08 - Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

Based on this mock's settings, each team starts two RBs and two WRs in addition to a flex (RB/WR/TE). If there are a minimum of three WRs to start, I likely would have taken a receiver here, but I feel really good about my Jones/D.K. Metcalf start.

One year after leading the NFL in touchdowns (19, 2019), Jones averaged a career-high 5.89 yards per touch for the league's top-scoring offense. Through four NFL seasons, Jones has averaged at least 5.5 yards per carry in three of them. Even though he missed two games and scored eight fewer touchdowns in 2020, he has finished as a top-five fantasy running back in consecutive seasons.

2.09 - D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks

The sky is the limit for Metcalf, who is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign (83/1,303/10). Through Week 9, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks passing offense were unstoppable and Metcalf had more than 90 yards in seven of his first eight games. Through Week 9, only Tyreek Hill had scored more fantasy points than Metcalf. The only concern for Metcalf (and Wilson) is the Seahawks' desire to establish the run.

More: Seattle Seahawks 2021 Fantasy Football Projections

3.08 - J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens have had a 1,000-yard rusher in back-to-back seasons. Unfortunately (for the team's running backs), that player is quarterback Lamar Jackson. For a team that loves to run the ball, however, Dobbins could potentially be a steal if the coaching staff follows through on an offseason "main offensive point of emphasis" (getting the RBs more involved in the passing game)

4.09 - Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

From Week 2 until Week 11 (Joe Burrow's knee injury), Higgins scored the 19th-most fantasy points (half-PPR scoring) amongst wide receivers. With the Bengals drafting Ja'Marr Chase over Penei Sewell, it took some steam out of Higgins' opportunity to build upon his strong rookie season. On the other hand, A.J. Green and his 104 targets (6.5/G) are no longer on the roster.

5.08 - Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

It was a tale of two seasons for Wilson. In his first eight games, Wilson averaged 29.52 fantasy points per game and scored no fewer than 21.9. In his final eight games, he averaged only 17.08 and scored more than 21.9 only once during that span.

Despite Pete Carroll's prioritization to establish the run, Wilson has never finished worse than the QB11 (2016) and has finished as a top-six fantasy quarterback in five of the past seven seasons.

Continue reading our 16-Team PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft

More Fantasy Football Mock Drafts 2021

10 Undervalued Players in 2021 Fantasy Football Drafts

Updated: Friday, August 6th

Using a baseball analogy, my goal is to hit doubles with each of my picks in fantasy football drafts. While I may swing for the fences with some late-round picks, I believe consistently finding value in each round will best position my team to compete.

The purpose of this post is not to list every single player that is undervalued but instead to highlight some players that offer value compared to where they are currently being drafted by fantasy managers.

For a better idea of which players I'd draft over others, my fantasy football rankings answer those questions.

With that said, here are 10 players that are currently undervalued in fantasy football drafts (half-PPR ADP):

QB - Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (ADP: 100)

Before Burrow's rookie season was cut short by a season-ending knee injury in Week 11, the only quarterback with more pass attempts than Burrow (404) was Tom Brady (433). After factoring in byes, however, Burrow (40.4/G) averaged more pass attempts per game than Brady (39.4) through Week 11. Only Dak Prescott, lost for the season after Week 5, averaged more pass attempts per game (44.4).

Going into the 2021 season, Burrow has a more talented receiving corps than he had as a rookie. Not only should Tee Higgins be even better in his second season, but Burrow has been reunited with his former LSU teammate, Ja'Marr Chase. In addition, Tyler Boyd is one of the more underrated slot receivers in the league.

Early camp reports haven't been positive, but the No. 1 overall pick in 2020 should turn things around as he works back from injury. If some negative reports push his ADP down a bit further, so be it. Even with some young core players that offer optimism for the future, the Bengals should be one of the worst teams in the NFL in 2021 and Burrow has a legitimate shot at leading the NFL in pass attempts. Due to that expected volume, Burrow is ranked inside my top-10 fantasy quarterbacks for 2021.

Continue reading 10 Undervalued Players in 2021 Fantasy Football Drafts

Chase Edmonds 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook

Updated: Wednesday, July 28th

Leading up to the start of the 2021 NFL season, we will post 2021 Fantasy Football Profiles for several fantasy-relevant players.

The Arizona Cardinals gave nearly all of their 418 running back touches in 2020 to two backs -- Kenyan Drake (264, 63.16%) and Chase Edmonds (150, 35.89%) -- and one of them (Drake) is no longer on the roster.

A couple of weeks prior to the 2021 NFL Draft, the Cardinals gave James Conner a one-year deal for less than $2 million to fill part of the void created by Drake's departure.

Heading into the draft, a few analysts had linked the Cardinals to a first-round running back, but that would not have made much sense from a roster-construction standpoint, especially given that the franchise had only three picks in the first five rounds.

So, the net effect of losing Drake and adding Conner ultimately bodes well for Edmonds' 2021 fantasy outlook.

Prior to NFL free agency, Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said the following of Edmonds (via PFT):

"As far as Chase goes, you've seen when he's had his opportunity, he's played at a starting running back level. We all understand that he's unfortunately been nicked up a couple times, which we want to keep him on the field. But we have all the confidence in the world in Chase and him being able to be the bell cow if that's how this plays out."

Fantasy managers shouldn't expect Edmonds to become a "bell cow," but he will most likely become the 1(a) to Conner's 1(b) given the relatively modest one-year deal that the Cardinals gave to Conner.

Continue reading our Chase Edmonds 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook

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