Let’s preface a little. Last season guys like Adam Thielen, Drew Brees, Golden Tate, and Sony Michel literally killed us in the playoffs (among others). So the point of this write up is to pinpoint some guys who will do the OPPOSITE of what these great, but ultimately not so great players did to us in 2018 at our times of need. I know, I know…shut up and get to those guys right?
Sure, I can do that. However I must add, in this great game that we call simply “Fantasy”, to keep in mind that very few (if any?) have ever batted 100% on calls such as these. That being said, I am pretty confident in these, as you should be about YOUR calls and takes for the season. Confidence is key…ask Arms, he will tell you the same, albeit for hours upon hours, so have an escape plan.
Numero Uno – MY GUY that you should have already acquired at a bargain basement price before training camp kicked off….Dede Westbrook. Mr. Westbrook has been knocking on the door of fantasy stardom for the past 2 years. In 2017 he started taking meaningful targets from everyone once he was inserted into the rotation in week 11. 51 targets in 7 games to be exact. In 2018, Mr. Deeds as I like to call him, basically DOUBLED those targets with 101, on a mostly Blake Bortles led passing offense. Technically Mr. Deeds has already somewhat broken out, and he has two new aspects of fantasy relevance working in his favor this season. Reason number one, its his 3rd year in the league. Now I know that not everyone is accepted into the 3rd year top 20 WR club, but more often than not, a player trending in the direction of Deeds….keeps trending upward and onward…my wayward son. Reason number two…Nick Foles. Now, don’t get me wrong here. I don’t view Little Nicky (see what I did there? If not, see Dede nickname) as a fantasy stud, BUT in comparison to Blake Bortles….it could be argued that Foles is at least on the right side of the spectrum. With sure to be improved QB play and the ascension that Mr. Deeds has made through camp and pre-season, that I tried to tell you folks about in FEBRUARY…Deeds is a top 20 WR this season that you can actually still get at WR30 prices. As for his playoff matchups….the very burnable Chargers, Raiders and Falcons. If you have Mr. Deeds as your WR4 like you should…you are going to be Happy (Gilmore) come playoff time.
Dos – The least talked about up and coming QB in fantasy football. Mitchell “Shooter” Trubiski. Listen, I know the Bears SOUND like a run heavy team….but truth is, they are not. The Bears passed 47.8% of the time in 2018. Guess what that is? That’s the 6th highest pass percentage in all of football. Throw in more weapons, or should I say mostly the same weapons, just a year older and wiser and a year further removed from major injuries (Here’s looking at you Allen Robinson & Anthony Miller), a complete three down back with another high upside one behind him (David Montgomery and the underrated Mike Davis), and I think we have the makings of a Trubiski leap. Now I know that the David Montgomery thing could be seen as “But Bark, this is the guy that makes them a run heavy team again!”. And to that I say, NO…this is the guy that keeps drives going and lets this offense be on the field even more this season! The Bears are going to be good…scary good if you ask me. I see a balanced, more explosive offense with a playoff buffet of the Cowboys, Packers and Chiefs. Good teams that will provide close games where Trubiski HAS to be more than a game manager to win, and on paper…these teams can be beat by the throw.
Tres – Last one of the day. And yes I excluded the TE position. Ya know why? Cause the landscape is atrocious, that’s why. I digress. Duke Johnson is NOT a tight end, but he IS my must have at the price, fantasy league winner! You heard right, that guy that used to be the Browns passing down back. If you have any level of excitement about Carlos Hyde being in Houston, then you should be REALLY excited about LeSean McCoy in Kansas City…..cause after all, Shady got the RB job that we all thought Hyde had locked up. The idea that Darwin Thompson made Hyde expendable is now just a bunch of Spanglish, as the Chiefs scooped up McCoy without hesitation, and Hyde looked like the better back of the two in 2018. Now, back to the Dukester. I fully expect Duke to carry the load by game 2 when the Texans discover the kid can actually CARRY the ball as well as he catches it. Houston is going to have a pretty solid offense once they make this realization. Take this into mind…..Lamar Miller has been a slightly above average starter for the past few years who SHOULD HAVE eclipsed the thousand yard mark, and 25 receptions for that matter…but did not, albeit on an 11-5 team that lacked a solid pass catching running back in ’18. And they STILL gave him over 200 carries each year. Expect over 200 carries for Duke Johnson, but with a LOT more receptions and likely a lot more effectiveness. Carlos Hyde is on his 5th team since 2017 for a reason.
P.S. – If I HAD to call out a TE that would be included for a long paragraph of fantasy playoff goodness, it would be Mark “Big Daddy” Andrews. Lamar Jackson to Andrews just makes too much sense….but I don’t want to get atrocious.
GOOD LUCK THIS SEASON GENTS!