Fantasy Football Decisions | Godwin’s Return, Swift’s Pitfalls, and More with Stat Masters

by Aaron Stewart · Best Ball Plays & Strategy

Stat Masters is a PlayerProfiler YouTube show and podcast where PlayerProfiler Fantasy Intelligence Network analyst Chris Buonagura and PlayerProfiler Senior Analyst Aaron Stewart teach YOU how to use PlayerProfiler to win at fantasy football and make better fantasy football decisions. This article briefly summarizes our talking points from the show.

Get ready to dominate your fantasy football league with our expert analysis! Discover the resilient return of Chris Godwin, the potential pitfalls of D’Andre Swift, and the value of Kyler Murray. Find out the late-round tight end you can’t afford to miss, the appropriately priced Rachaad White, and why Nico Collins might be a risky pick.

Plus, we’ll provide valuable advice on Jaylen Warren and Dalton Kincaid. Master your draft and conquer the 2023 fantasy football season with our winning strategies and insights.

The Return of Godwin

Chris Godwin defied expectations after tearing his ACL and MCL in Week 15 of the 2021 season. Despite concerns about his recovery, he displayed remarkable resilience and returned to form.

While his yards per reception dropped from the previous season, Godwin still finished as a top-15 wide receiver in PPR for the fourth consecutive year. Surprisingly, his overall ADP on Underdog remains similar to last year. This is despite being a year removed from his knee injury.

With an ADP of WR29, he presents a valuable opportunity for fantasy managers. He ranked No. 9 in Expected Fantasy Points per Game, No. 20 in Route Win Rate, and No. 13 in Juke Rate. Additionally, Godwin showed no signs of limitations from his knee and is poised for another strong season.

Swiftly No Longer a Value

D’Andre Swift‘s ADP as RB23 raises questions about his value. Despite his popularity in fantasy football, the NFL doesn’t value him as highly. Swift’s Opportunity Share has been disappointing. He’s ranked in the top-30 once in three seasons.

Yes, Swift is joining the run-heavy Eagles, but the 2022 Lions were still relatively active in running the ball last season. Additionally, Jalen Hurts‘ lower RB target frequency (11-percent) compared to Jared Goff‘s (18-percent) will affect Swift’s potential. More carries and fewer receptions is not a recipe for Swift’s success in 2023.

It’s unlikely Swift will surpass Miles Sanders‘ impressive 2022 season. In 2022, Sanders finished as RB21 in PPG. At his ADP, Swift is neither a player to completely avoid nor a value. He’s priced appropriately.

Drafting Kyler Murray is Your Call of Duty

Kyler Murray‘s draft position has dropped due to concerns about his torn ACL and meniscus and DeAndre Hopkins leaving the Cardinals. However, his ADP has fallen significantly, and both Chris and I have found him available as late as the 17th round in Best Ball single-quarterback drafts.

Murray has consistently performed as a top-12 quarterback in Fantasy Points Per Game over his four-year career. Fantasy managers should embrace the injury risk because at his cost. He is now a cheat code in this game.

His torn ACL and meniscus are less concerning than if he played running back or wide receiver, and Murray has enough weapons with Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore, James Conner, and Trey McBride. He will be the late-round QB to finish top-10 like Daniel Jones did last season. Just avoid pairing him with a quarterback with an early bye week such as Deshaun Watson.

The Late-Round Tight End You Want Is…

Despite a disappointing season in 2022, Mike Gesicki shouldn’t be dismissed. Currently ranked as TE24 on Underdog, one should not judge him solely based on one season in an incompatible offense.

In his previous three seasons, Gesicki consistently performed well, finishing as TE14, TE8, and TE13. He ranked in the top-5 in Air Yards and top-15 in Target Share during those seasons.

Now joining the New England Patriots, a team lacking a dominant wide receiver, Gesicki has the opportunity to replicate his 2021 Target Share of 18.6 percent. With limited competition from DeVante Parker and JuJu Smith-Schuster, Gesicki emerges as the ideal late-round tight end for fantasy football teams in 2023.

It’s Alright to Draft Rachaad White

Rachaad White is not a good football talent (according to Aaron Stewart). However, in fantasy football, volume is ultimately key. James Conner‘s success last season exemplifies this as he dominated opportunities in an NFL backfield and finished as an RB1 in Fantasy Points Per Game.

The fantasy football industry accurately recognizes White’s potential and value. White’s ADP of RB27 is similar to Conner’s RB28, and with limited competition for touches in his backfield, his ADP is appealing regardless of personal opinions on his ability.

Nico Collins

Nico Collins is a risky choice in 2023. This is despite Twitter’s enthusiasm. In his two NFL seasons, he has failed to reach 70 targets or 500 receiving yards and has finished outside the top-40 in Yards Per Route Run.

Although he possesses size and speed, these athleticism traits alone do not translate to fantasy success. We’ve seen similar receivers to Collins before.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling is also a tall, fast wide receiver that’s never finished inside the top-40 in Yards Per Route Run in his career. On top of that, he barely topped 70 targets and 500 receiving yards in his second season. Collins is a lesser version of MVS in a weaker passing offense.

Jaylen Warren

Is it acceptable to draft handcuff running backs in fantasy football before the final rounds? No. We must clear the air: Jaylen Warren did not take work from Najee Harris last season.

No, due to Harris’ pre-season Lisfranc injury, he was naturally not going to lead the league in Snap Share, Opportunity Share, and touches as he did as a rookie in 2021. This paved the way for Warren to showcase his talent, which, to his credit, he did maximize his opportunities.

Despite Warren’s low Snap Share and Opportunity Share (both outside the top-60) last season, he is being drafted as RB47. Selecting Warren at his rising price assumes that Harris will either a) no longer be utilized as a workhorse running back or b) get injured.

Before the Steelers’ Week 9 bye, Harris did not exceed 20 touches. However, in the nine games afterward, he surpassed that mark in five games. In 2023, it is more likely that Harris will see an increase in snaps, opportunities, and touches. It is less likely that Warren takes work from Harris.

Dalton Kincaid

Dalton Kincaid‘s ADP at TE11 on Underdog is questionable in best ball and redraft formats due to the historical struggles of rookie tight ends. In the past decade, only Evan Engram managed to finish in the top 10 in Fantasy Points Per Game as a rookie. Kincaid won’t be an exception to this trend and will simply become another statistic.

Compared to other tight ends in his class, such as Michael Mayer and Luke Musgrave, Kincaid falls short both in terms of production and athleticism. Mayer and Musgrave have better chances of being fantasy-relevant in 2023, as they are starters on their teams while being available at the end of best ball drafts.

Over the past five seasons, top-12 tight ends averaged a Snap Share of 77-percent and a Target Share of 18-percent. Similar to the Clyde Edwards-Helaire situation in 2020, where he was drafted ahead of other talented rookies due to his perceived “good” situation, people are making a similar mistake with Kincaid in seasonal drafts.

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