Show notes from KC's appearance on the Ross Tucker FANTASY FEAST podcast
August 29, 2020
Prior to most radio segments I send a set of notes over to the producers and hosts of the show so that we can have a set of potential topics to discuss during the broadcast.
Since the Ross Tucker podcast segment was slated for roughly 30 minutes, I sent over a 750+ word set of notes to him and his staff that detailed some of the highlights from this year's TFS Draft Guide and preseason Paydirt posts.
I figured it would be great to share those notes as a Paydirt subscriber-only add-on, so here they are:
Tampa Bay players are undervalued in fantasy drafts and in some cases highly undervalued. Between an extremely favorable pass and run defense schedule, a matchup slate that should lead to a lot of high scoring games, and being in a highly aggressive Bruce Arians offense, every Tampa Bay player should be seen as high percentage/high upside candidates, yet the draft values of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Mike Evans, and Ronald Jones all indicate they are being selected later than they should in fantasy drafts (in some cases much later). In addition, these factors lead to LeSean McCoy being a tremendous late round value. McCoy taking over the RB2 role on this team does have the side effect of making Ke’Shawn Vaughn cold as ice fantasy football-wise.
It may sound like a hot take, but there are actually many reasons to think that Patrick Mahomes is not the No. 1 QB in fantasy and that he has limited paths to finish this year as the No. 1 QB. This mostly revolves around Andy Reid’s realization over the past couple of seasons that he cannot allow the Chiefs to get into high scoring games, as they are low percentage propositions. This mindset led Kansas City to lean on the ground game more frequently in the second half of 2019 and will lead them to take a similar approach this year. It’s part of why Clyde Edwards-Helaire is vaulting up fantasy rankings and drafts and is the main factor as to why Mahomes won’t make it back to the top QB spot (although he will still rank in the top three or four at worst).
Rushing QBs are usually very highly prized fantasy football commodities, yet Cam Newton is still seen as a mid- to low-tier QB2 in most environments despite multiple indications that he is easily winning the starting role in New England. Bill Belichick isn’t about to let Newton’s rushing talents go to waste and the Patriots also throw the ball a lot near the goal line, so Newton has near-elite upside value if all goes well.
Josh Allen is overvalued for many reasons, not the least of which is Stefon Diggs may not help this offense as much as expected. Diggs was highly motivated to get out of Minnesota last year and put up superb vertical pass numbers to assist in this effort, but those totals were an outlier in Diggs’ career. If Diggs goes back to his usual form, he won’t help upgrade the Bills passing game nearly as much as expected, which could preclude Allen’s abysmal vertical pass numbers from improving. Add that to a brutal schedule and Allen should not be relied upon as a QB1.
Teddy Bridgewater has sneaky high upside, as Carolina is stocking its roster with wide receivers and thus prepping for a pass-happy season. Bridgewater posted solid fantasy totals early in his career in a much more conservative offense and could jump to borderline QB1 status if the pass-happy approach works as well as it looks like it can. He is a fantastic late round lottery pick who will go undrafted in many leagues.
There are many reasons to buy Miles Sanders as a strong RB1, not the least of which is his very high late season total last year in my good blocking yards per attempt (GBYPA) metric. He is being drafted as a low-tier RB1/high-tier RB2 in non-PPR leagues when he should be selected as a mid-tier RB1 in all formats.
James Conner is vastly undervalued. Pittsburgh is all but certain to run the ball a ton for many reasons, not the least of which is the most favorable rush defense schedule in the league. Add that to Mike Tomlin wanting to have a bell cow back and Conner being in a contract year and it means Conner has a minimum of RB2 value yet he is falling to near RB3 status in many leagues.
Calvin Ridley is a perfect example of the high floor/high ceiling type of player fantasy managers should be looking to select as often as possible in fantasy drafts.
The tight end ranks are quite thin this year, as the value drops off fast after the six standout tight ends go off the board. Two players who fantasy managers can aim for as potential value picks here are Mark Andrews and Gronkowski. Value longer shot picks here include Noah Fant, Hunter Henry (he has the best matchup points total among tight ends), and Ian Thomas, a deep sleeper from Carolina who could end up as a low-end TE1.