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Fantasy Football

Tales From the Underworld 7: Post-Draft Underdog Best Ball Fun

by Ray Marzarella, June 13, 2021

While reaching too egregiously to complete any stacks is not recommended, the best way to win Best Ball Mania II will be to differentiate ourselves from the field while still being smart about optimal roster construction. Starting with four straight Dallas Cowboys may not be the world’s worst strategy given that, contrary to popular belief, there is no RB dead zone this season. It would still be a struggle to win this tournament without guaranteed bell cow production from at least two players.

Drafting two early quarterbacks is the key to survival in the Rookies and Sophomores format. Relying on Zach Wilson and/or Mac Jones to bail you out is not, especially when considering this stacked QB field. The key to putting together teams with this much upside is D’Andre Swift continuously being available in the fifth round, which allows me to go after players like Jalen Hurts and Brandon Aiyuk.

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In the Red Corner: Mike Evans, In the Blue Corner: Keenan Allen

by Lucas Mir, June 12, 2021

Mike Evans is an elite talent, which is always valuable in fantasy football. But his ceiling is capped while Tom Brady is the signal caller for the Buccaneers and with Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown running routes alongside him. He’s only getting older, and with rumors of Brady signing an extension in Tampa, his long-term dynasty situation is worrisome.

Keenan Allen was discounted heading into 2020 due to questionable QB play after Philip Rivers’ departure. Little did we know Justin Herbert would take over as signal caller and break the rookie record for passing touchdowns despite not playing Week 1. The sky is the limit for Herbert, and Allen is tied to him for the remainder of his career in LA.

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Way Too Early Underdog Fantasy Seasonal Value Plays

by Corbin Young, June 11, 2021

With all the hype surrounding Travis Etienne, James Robinson keeps seeing his ADP drop, which helps him land as a Way Too Early Seasonal Value Play at RB. From a real-life perspective, it’s confusing that the Jaguars drafted Etienne in the first round since they essentially struck gold with Robinson. Sure, he will likely eat into the receiving opportunities, but I’ll take the discount on Robinson in 2021. 

Even with Gardner Minshew and Mike Glennon as his QBs in 2020, D.J. Chark earned a 20.0-percent (No. 37 among qualified wide receivers) Target Share and 34.3-percent (No. 14) Air Yards Share. Overall, he feels like a post-hype receiver in 2021, which makes him my favorite Way Too Early Seasonal Value Play at WR.

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In the Red Corner: Trey Lance, In the Blue Corner: Justin Fields

by Josh Danzig, June 10, 2021

When Trey Lance does become the starter, he will inherit a young skill player core, an effective run game, and a spectacular offensive line. A dream for any young quarterback and any dynasty owner. Additionally, there’s no secret what Kyle Shanahan has been able to do for the careers of his quarterbacks. His offensive creativity and Lance’s raw skillset is a recipe for a potential high-end dynasty QB1.

The Bears aren’t exactly the 49ers in terms of landing spots for dynasty quarterbacks. Last season, they had a -9.18 (No. 27) Supporting Cast Efficiency rating and an 85.9-percent (No. 16) Protection Rate. While we’ll always love Andy Dalton for his awesome 2015 stretch, we saw what he failed to do with a stacked arsenal in Dallas. Justin Fields should be expected to start within the first few weeks of the season.

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Ezekiel Elliott and the Fallacy of the Buy Low Running Back

by Jakob Sanderson, June 9, 2021

Ezekiel Elliott has been a fantasy stud since entering the league, but his performance slipped badly in 2020. Using PlayerProfiler’s advanced analytics, one would realize he had an average 23.3-percent (No. 23) Juke Rate, but ranked outside the top 50 qualified running backs in True Yards Per Carry, and outside the top 40 in both Yards Created Per Touch and Breakaway Run Rate.

Over his last four starts of 2020, Elliott averaged just 59-percent of the team’s snaps. If that holds or improves, he will still provide fantasy value as the primary option in a high scoring offence. But reduce his once-dominant volume and he profiles closer to Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chris Carson, or Mike Davis in 2021. He would be a third round player at a first round redraft ADP.

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Forecasting Fantasy Ceilings for 2021-2022: Quarterbacks

by Tyler Strong, June 8, 2021

I’m drinking the Chargers hype Kool-Aid, and I am fully ready to get hurt again when the mystifying injury luck begins to plague the team as it does every year. But in terms of ceiling? I can’t be any more in on Justin Herbert. The loss of Hunter Henry is alleviated with Jared Cook and Donald Parham, and adding Josh Palmer to Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams, and Jalen Guyton just fuels the bulls case fire.

Call me crazy: the 2019 NFL MVP might be undervalued. Lamar Jackson will have the most stocked receiving group he’s ever had, is continuing to develop as a passer, and he’s already the best rushing QB of all time. Let’s not overthink. Teams like the Bills and the Ravens build around the strengths of their stars, and developing Jackson will be the number one goal for this forward-thinking team this season.

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Studs and Duds 2020 – Volume 10 – Calvin Ridley and Daniel Jones

by Josh Danzig, June 4, 2021

Calvin Ridley’s breakout coincides with his opportunity. The Falcons currently have Julio Jones coming back healthy and have spent significant draft capital on superstar tight end prospect Kyle Pitts. Last year was the Calvin Ridley show, this year would be a competition for targets should Jones stay. Right now, I have a hard time taking him over guys like Keenan Allen or Michael Thomas who are currently going behind him.

Second-year quarterbacks don’t always improve on their first season. While Daniel Jones did show incredible rushing value, I should’ve known better that his decision-making was not all there yet. All of his advanced metrics were in the bottom half of the league among qualified quarterbacks. Lowlighted by 38 (No. 5) Danger Plays (No. 2), a 79.0 (No. 2) True Passer Rating, and a 7.2 (No. 24) Accuracy Rating. Sigh…

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RotoUnderworld Junior Writer Draft Recap No. 2 – Underdog Fantasy Best Ball Draft

by Chase Vernon, June 3, 2021

I didn’t even have to think about smashing the draft button on J.K. Dobbins at 3.08. This likely gives me guaranteed points from my top two runners and my late selections can be purely based on upside. It’s not only his profile and metrics, but also his ability to score inside the five, where he scored on 88.9-percent of his rookie season carries, that gives him a massive ceiling. 

Tyrell Williams should see plenty of opportunities as he reunites with offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. In two seasons with Lynn, while being the fourth pass-catching option, he had ten double-digit fantasy point games, and four with over 20 fantasy points. Now he will be the second or third option for the Lions, and with the last pick in a best ball draft, what more could you want?

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In the Red Corner: Amon-Ra St. Brown, In the Blue Corner: Dyami Brown

by Aditya Fuldeore, June 1, 2021

A top Pac-12 WR at USC, Amon-Ra St. Brown has the tools to become a starting receiver and brings his physicality to an appreciative Dan Campbell in Detroit. Among a WR corps with Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams at the helm and lacking an alpha, he can easily see a large Target Share immediately. He fits in as a contested catch receiver, especially with Jared Goff, who had 34 (No. 9 among qualified quarterbacks) Danger Plays and 22 (No. 12) Interceptable with the Rams last season.

At North Carolina, Dyami Brown played with Dazz Newsome and Michael Carter, two players who had shallower target depth averages with Brown operating as the deeper receiver. Now with Terry McLaurin (12.9 yards per reception in 2020, No. 47) and Curtis Samuel (11.0 yards per reception, No. 82) drawing targets and attention underneath, Brown will be able to stretch the field for Washington as well.

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Studs and Duds 2020 – Volume 9 – Aaron Jones and Bryan Edwards

by Mark Kieffer, May 30, 2021

Avoid narratives that do not align with the data. In 2020, Aaron Jones’s opportunity was similar to what he saw in 2019, other than the total touchdowns. The goal of fantasy football is to score fantasy points. Players need opportunity to score fantasy points. Raw skills alone will not get the job done. When a running back is in their prime, coming off of an incredibly productive season with 217.9 (No. 9 among qualified running backs) Weighted Opportunities, I am interested in having them on my roster.

I like big receivers and I cannot lie: At 6-3 and 212 pounds, I figured Bryan Edwards would be that outside alpha receiver that would be productive in recording first downs, having screens thrown to him, and being a red zone threat with his size. Given his young Breakout Age, and doing in the SEC in college, I thought he would be able to step in as a rookie and have a nice season.

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