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

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
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

2021 NFL Power Rankings: Week 9

Updated: Wednesday, November 6, 2021

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will update our consensus NFL Power Rankings from a variety of national sites.

Below you will find a table of our NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 9, sorted by their average ranking. The table also lists their respective rankings at various sites.

+ Previous: 2021 NFL Power Rankings: Week 8

[Note: Positive number in Change column = week-over-week improvement in ranking. Negative number = week-over-week decline.]

RankTeamRecordAvg.Chg.ESPNNFLThe
Athletic
CBSUSA
Today
1Green Bay Packers7-11.4+4.211212
2Los Angeles Rams7-12.6+136121
3Arizona Cardinals7-13-223343
4Buffalo Bills5-24.6064436
5Tampa Bay Buccaneers6-25-1.845574
6Dallas Cowboys6-15.2-0.452685
7Baltimore Ravens5-27.4-277797
8Tennessee Titans6-28.6+1.4898513
9New Orleans Saints5-29.4+2.610811612
10Cincinnati Bengals5-39.8+1.891110118
Full Week 9 Consensus NFL Power Rankings

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 Waiver Wire: Week 9

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
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

Fantasy Football Sleepers 2021

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
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

2022 NFL Mock Draft

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Monday, May 10th

Now that the 2021 NFL Draft is in our rearview mirror, it's time to look ahead to the upcoming NFL and college football seasons and even further ahead to the 2022 NFL Draft.

The pre-draft process should be more typical (fingers crossed) in 2022 with the NFL Scouting Combine, private workouts, etc. returning.

Perhaps the on-location draft weekend in Las Vegas will be anything but normal; I mean that in the best way possible. I'm looking forward to seeing the spectacle of a Vegas draft week(end)!

Speaking of Vegas, the draft order for this mock is based on the inverse order of Super Bowl odds from Bovada.lv. Minimal adjustments were made to account for proper playoff structure.

With that said, here is my way-too-early 2022 NFL Mock Draft:

1. Houston Texans: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

Offseason trade demands and ongoing legal issues make Deshaun Watson's future with the Houston Texans anything but certain. If Houston is picking first in the 2022 NFL Draft, the organization could use this opportunity to draft a quarterback.

Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux will top my initial 2022 big board, but Howard is my QB1 a little less than a year out and a potential top-five pick. Like Watson, Howell has the ability to elevate the play of those around him and he's been one of the best deep passers in college football since his freshman season.

2. Detroit Lions: Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma

If the Lions are picking this high in 2022, it's possible that they could look to reset at quarterback. The Lions would only incur a $10 million cap hit if they moved on from Jared Goff next offseason. In addition, Lions general manager Brad Holmes recently said they "would have had to strongly consider" a quarterback at No. 7 if Penei Sewell weren't their highest-ranked player available.

Since 2018, two Sooner quarterbacks (Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray) have been selected first overall and another (Jalen Hurts) was a second-round pick. If there's a quarterback that will challenge Howell for the honor to be 2022's QB1, it's most likely Rattler. Based on props from Bovada, Rattler (11/2) is the early favorite to win the Heisman Trophy over Clemson's D.J. Uiagalelei (6/1), who's not eligible until the 2023 NFL Draft.

3. Cincinnati Bengals: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Arguably the top college football recruit in 2019, Thibodeaux has lived up to the hype so far with 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss over 21 games in his first two seasons. In a pair of Pac-12 Championship Games, he's been virtually unblockable -- 18 QB pressures, 4.5 TFLs and 3.5 sacks in those two games combined.

Current Oregon (and former Texas A&M) DC Tim DeRuyter has compared Thibodeaux's explosiveness to that of Von Miller, one of DeRuyter's former players, as he said that Kayvon is "probably the first person that I've seen in a while who has that explosiveness off the edge like Von" [Miller].

The Bengals (17) ranked last in the NFL in sacks last season. Even though they signed Trey Hendrickson to a four-year deal, Carl Lawson (team-high 5.5 sacks) departed via free agency.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

Although not as dominant last year as he was in 2019, Stingley's true freshman season was as good as it gets for any defensive back regardless of level of experience. When the Detroit Lions selected Jeffery Okudah third overall in 2019, ESPN's Ryan Clark said that some coaches agreed with him that Stingley "would've been the number one cornerback drafted in that draft" at only 18 years old. Given his elite combination of size, speed and ball skills, Stingley will be a top-five pick in 2022 (or whenever he declares).

Even though the Jaguars have selected C.J. Henderson (2020) and Tyson Campbell (2021) with top-33 picks in back-to-back drafts, I don't think that precludes them from passing on a talent like Stingley.

5. New York Jets: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

No safeties were drafted in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but Hamilton will hear his named called early in 2022 and potentially inside the top-five picks. Leading Notre Dame in tackles last season, Hamilton has tremendous size and length (6-4, 219) at safety with the versatility to impact the game in a variety of ways.

Continue reading Kevin Hanson's 2022 NFL Mock Draft

2023 NFL Mock Draft

We are more than two years away for the 2023 NFL Draft, which will be held in Kansas City, MO.

While we have posted a 2021 NFL Mock Draft and 2022 NFL Mock Draft, we've decided to take a way-too-early look at how the top of the 2023 NFL Draft could play out.

For our 2021 (and 2022) mock draft(s), we know which prospects have declared early (or decided to return for another season). For the pool of players for our early top-10 mock draft for 2023, we've limited our pool of prospects to only players that will become draft-eligible beginning in 2023.

The draft order used is based on the inverse order of NFL wins over the past decade.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama

As noted in our 2021 NFL mock draft, the Jaguars own the rights to their first-ever No. 1 overall pick, which they will undoubtedly use on Clemson's Trevor Lawrence. More than likely, the Jags won't be picking first again in 2023 given their treasure trove of draft picks and ability to spend in free agency.

Nonetheless, they have the first pick based on our criteria for determining the draft order and get a disruptive edge rusher in Anderson. Among SEC defenders, only Georgia's Azeez Ojulari and former teammate Christian Barmore had more sacks in 2020 than Anderson had as a true freshman. Only the Cincinnati Bengals (17) had fewer sacks than the Jaguars (18) in 2020.

2. Cleveland Browns: Bryan Bresee, IDL, Clemson

The No. 1 recruit in the 247Sports Composite (2020), Bresee enjoyed immediate success for the Tigers. The ACC Defensive Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-ACC performer finished his true freshman season with 6.5 tackles for loss including four sacks and 33 tackles. With a rare combination of first-step explosiveness for a man his size, Bresee has the versatility to line up at various alignments along the defensive line.

3. New York Jets: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Murphy stepped onto the Clemson campus with NFL-ready size and athleticism. As a true freshman, Murphy led the Tigers in tackles for loss (12.5) and forced fumbles (three), had four sacks and was as good as it gets against the run.

Continue reading our way-too-early Top-10 2023 NFL Mock Draft

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