Fantasy Frontline With Eric Moody
NFL news happens each and every day. In fantasy football, it is important to have awareness of it and have an understanding of the potential implications. The Fantasy Frontline will provide Gridiron Experts readers line of sight on NFL news flow that you should be aware of from a statistical angle and help you understand what’s happening during the season and offseason. This article will cover seven headlines you should be aware.
1. What Effect Does the Baltimore Ravens Addition of Jeremy Maclin Have on his Fantasy Value?
Adam Schefter, NFL Insider for ESPN, broke the news that the Baltimore Ravens had signed Jeremy Maclin to a two-year contract. He reunites with Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg who held the same position with the Eagles at the start of Maclin’s NFL career.
Maclin’s will look to get back on track after injuries derailed his 2016 season. He accounted for 172 catches, 2,406 yards, and 18 touchdowns in 2014 and 2015. Maclin also had a career-high catch rate of 70.2 percent in 2015. He will look to get back on track in 2017 with Joe Flacco and a Ravens offense in need of receiving help. Maclin can be viewed as a sound fantasy WR3 with upside.
2. Who Will Be The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Starting Tight End in 2017?
The Pewter Report published an article last week by Trevor Sikkema that provided readers insight into the Bucs OTAs. Cameron Brate, as of right now, is in a position to be the starting tight end over first round selection O.J. Howard. He finished as the TE7 in PPR (points-per-reception) fantasy leagues last season producing 3.0 fantasy points per reception. Brate owned the highest red zone target share (23.6 percent) amongst tight ends last season. Rapport and continuity between players are valuable commodities. The narrative surrounding rookie tight ends is that it may take longer for them to make an impact. Brate is an inexpensive piece of what many consider to be an explosive offense in 2017. He can be drafted as late as the 13th round in 12- team PPR fantasy drafts according to Fantasy Football Calculator.
3. Can Sterling Shepard Exceed His 2016 production?
Jordan Raanan, who covers the New York Giants for ESPN, mentioned in a recent article that the Giants are working on more two-tight end sets at OTAs. Shepard played 95 percent of the Giants offensive snaps in 2016. He was targeted on 10 percent of those snaps. Shepard’s 105 targets last season resulted in a 17 percent target share. The biggest threat to Shepard’s fantasy relevance and target share in 2017 is the arrival of 33-year old veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
4. Which Redskins Running Back Should I Have Confidence In?
Rich Tandler, of the CSN Mid-Atlantic, published an article regarding the running back core of the Washington Redskins. Rob Kelley led the team in rushing attempts (168), rushing yards (704), and rushing touchdowns (6). He owned 49.3 percent of the team’s red zone rushes and ranked 14th in yards after contact per attempt (2.8) according to Pro Football Focus. The Redskins selected Samaje Perine with the seventh pick in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. Matt Cavanaugh, the Redskins offensive coordinator, suggested the team could take a hot hand approach at the running back position. Perine will have an opportunity to become the team’s starting running back. He has a similar physical profile and collegiate production as running backs Leonard Fournette, Jordan Howard, Stevan Ridley, and Jonathan Stewart. Perine’s ADP (average draft position) is currently in the 8th round of 12-team PPR drafts according to Fantasy Football Calculator.
5. Will Eddie Lacy Cash in on His Incentive Laden Contract?
Sheil Kapadia, of ESPN, wrote an article that let readers know that Eddie Lacy could earn another $55,000 by weighing 250 pounds or less. He did meet the June weight target. If money does not motivate a professional athlete to stay in the top physical condition I do not know what will. Lacy and the Seahawks agreed to a one-year contract that includes $2.865 million guaranteed and an additional $2.685 million through incentives. He is betting on himself in 2017, but it would be wise for fantasy football players to bet on other Seahawks running back. The team’s offensive line is a weakness heading into 2017. The unit ranked 27th in the Football Outsiders metric Adjusted Line Yards and 18th in Open Field Yards. A team with a low ranking in Adjusted Line Yards and a high ranking in Open Field Yards is heavily dependent on its running back breaking long runs to make the running game work.
6. Will Josh Doctson play the Z Receiver Role in Jay Gruden’s Offense?
The Washington Times suggested that Josh Doctson will play the Z receiver role this season. He provides fantasy football players with intriguing upside late in drafts. The biggest threat to his success will be his ability to stay healthy. The Redskins offense is loaded with receiving weapons including Jordan Reed, Jamison Crowder, and Terrelle Pryor. The big takeaway from a fantasy perspective would be the potential targets Doctson stands to inherit. Garcon had 114 targets in 2016, 111 in 2015, and 105 in 2014. He had a target share of 19 percent with an aDOT (average depth of target) of 10.3. Doctson could be a late round difference maker with his 12th round ADP in 12-team PPR fantasy drafts according to Fantasy Football Calculator.
7. Should I care about Tyreek Hill?
Terez Paylor, of the Kansas City Star, recently wrote an article that stated Tyreek Hill will not return kickoffs during the 2017 season. The front office’s decision to release Jeremy Maclin has catapulted him into the role of the Chiefs new number one wide receiver and his ADP reflects that. Hill has an opportunity to produce in 2017 despite the pedestrian passing attack of the Chiefs. It boils down to how comfortable you are drafting him at his ceiling. The biggest beneficiary, in my opinion, of Maclin’s release is Travis Kelce. He had 100 or more receiving yards in three out of the four games Maclin missed last season.
The purpose behind the Fantasy Frontline is to condense a few days of NFL news into an easy to read article to simplify your fantasy football life. If you enjoyed this column, I would be very grateful if you would help it spread by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter. What was most useful for you? Let me know in the comments below or follow me on Twitter @EricNMoody.
Source: NFL News