Monthly Archives: January 2019

Year In Review: RBs

So you thought the QB rankings were volatile? Wait till you see how the RB position played out! The Dr. had a couple of really solid takes at the position, but as always, we had some really high profile misses. It’s like the weather, you never know what you’re gonna get, until you’re knee deep in snow.

The Dr’s top 20

  1. Todd Gurley
  2. Ezekiel Elliott
  3. David Johnson
  4. Le’Veon Bell
  5. Saquon Barkley
  6. Melvin Gordon
  7. Leonard Fournette
  8. Dalvin Cook
  9. Alvin Kamara
  10. Kareen hunt
  11. Devonta Freeman
  12. Joe Mixon
  13. Jordan Howard
  14. Christian McCaffrey
  15. Alex Collins
  16. Lamar Miller
  17. Derrick Henry
  18. LeSean McCoy
  19. Royce Freeman
  20. Kenyan Drake

Top 20 (PPR Points)

  1. Saquon Barkely
  2. Christian McCaffrey
  3. Todd Gurley
  4. Alvin Kamara
  5. Ezekiel Elliott
  6. James Conner
  7. Melvin Gordon
  8. James White
  9. David Johnson
  10. Joe Mixon
  11. Tarik Cohen
  12. Kareem Hunt
  13. Philip Lindsay
  14. Kenyan Drake
  15. Derrick Henry
  16. Chris Carson
  17. Nick Chubb
  18. Tevin Coleman
  19. Adrian Peterson
  20. Jordan Howard

Nailed it!

I won’t pat myself on the back for most of the top ten; you’d have to out of your mind to consider ranking guys like Gurley or Barkley in the top 5 some kind of win for your brand. I will say that I was spot on when it comes to Melvin Gordon. He wasn’t getting nearly the buzz he deserved coming into the year, and given how well he played in the passing game, he proved he could be the three down workhorse that only a handful of the leagues backs can be labeled as. If he hadn’t missed games due to a lingering knee injury, it’s a safe bet he’d have finished inside the top 5. Likewise, Joe Mixon suffered a few setbacks, but despite the injuries and a terrible team around him, he managed to consistently put up RB1 numbers. His stretch of 10 games in the middle of the season was proof just how good he can be when he gets the kind of volume his skill set demands. With six 18+ point performances, he’s starting to look like a potential top 10 back.

Swing and a Miss!

It’s a bit of a cop out to point to how frequently the top 25 backs turn over every year, but the truth is there were some high profile misses this year that I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention. Christian McCaffrey was the kind of workhorse I’d never in envisioned. Despite his diminutive size and the presence of early down banger C.J. Anderson, McCaffrey was arguably the most valuable picks in all of fantasy given where he was going and what he rewarded owners with. Likewise, I won’t overlook Kenyan Drake in 2019. The fact that he finished in PPR formats as a top 15 back is mind blowing given that Adam Gase seemed to do everything in his power to give touches to Gore along the way. With his ability no longer in question, he’s a solid bet to continue his success into the next year.

First Look at 2019

Like I mentioned with the QB’s list, this is an exercise entirely for fun. We know that the running back position is one of the most volatile positions in football, so this list is subject to major change following the draft and free agency. But that aside, we’ll look at our top 25 backs at this point for next year.

  1. Saquon Barkley
  2. Todd Gurley
  3. Ezekiel Elliott
  4. Alvin Kamara
  5. Christian McCaffrey
  6. Melvin Gordon
  7. Joe Mixon
  8. Nick Chubb
  9. David Johnson
  10. James Conner
  11. Derrick Henry
  12. Dalvin Cook
  13. Kerryon Johnson
  14. Kenyan Drake
  15. Damien Williams (or whoever is given the starting job in KC)
  16. Aaron Jones
  17. Mark Ingram
  18. Leonard Fournette
  19. Jordan Howard
  20. Duke Johnson
  21. Sony Michel
  22. Chris Carson
  23. Jerrick McKinnon
  24. Jay Ajayi
  25. LeSean McCoy
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Year In Review: QB

I was relatively successful myself in uncovering several high quality passers, but it was mostly an effect of drafting them so late. If you look at my September 1st QB rankings, you can see that I missed on a ton of guys.

Dr’s Top 12

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. Russell Wilson
  3. Cam Newton
  4. Tom Brady
  5. Kirk Cousins
  6. Andrew Luck
  7. Drew Brees
  8. Ben Roehtlisberger
  9. Carson Wentz
  10. Matt Ryan
  11. Deshaun Watson
  12. Matthew Stafford

Top 10 (in Points)

  1. Patrick Mahomes
  2. Matt Ryan
  3. Ben Roethlisberger
  4. Deshaun Watson
  5. Andrew Luck
  6. Aaron Rodgers
  7. Jared Goff
  8. Drew Brees
  9. Russell Wilson
  10. Dak Prescott
  11. Cam Newton
  12. Philip Rivers

Nailed It!

When I jumped back on the Andrew Luck bandwagon in the off season, I got a lot of well worded arguments in favor of fading the Colts signal caller. I ignored them all, and watched as he elevated his game back to pre-injury levels. Drew Brees may have faded down the stretch (being a front runner can do that to a guy) but I’ll take credit for nailing his ranking as well. And while it’s a bit of a stretch, a lot were out on Matt Ryan but I was more bullish than most. Was a bit surprised to see him at #2 in standard scoring lists, but as a QB1 I was right as rain.

Surprised?

Okay, so I was out on Patrick Mahomes. Big whoop. For the record, I loved him as a prospect, but I expected it to be a Kareem Hunt coming out party as Mahomes learned the NFL. 16 games later, and he’s cemented himself as the baddest man on the field. While Mahomes was shooting UP the standings, Tom Brady was proving he didn’t need to put up gaudy numbers to win. I may or may not have cautioned against drafting him, but it’s my own fault for not fading him harder in my rankings. I hope no one drafted him based on my #4 rank.

First Look at 2019

This is a fun little exercise, mostly because it’s pretty meaningless at this point. Until the NFL draft and free agency is behind us, this is just speculation. We’ll do it anyways.

  1. Patrick Mahomes, KC
  2. Andrew Luck, IND
  3. Deshaun Watson, HOU
  4. Aaron Rodgers, GB
  5. Russell Wilson, SEA
  6. Cam Newton, CAR
  7. Jared Goff, LAR
  8. Matt Ryan, ATL
  9. Dak Prescott
  10. Kirk Cousins
  11. Mitchell Trubisky
  12. Baker Mayfield

As you can see, I’m predicting the official changing of the guard. Patrick Mahomes has done more than enough this year to deserve the #1 spot, coming regression be damned. Andrew Luck as the #2 guy may seem like a stretch, but considering how hot they got late, and how good he looked after he re acclimated himself, and I can see him pushing Mahomes for that top spot. Rounding out the QB1 list, it’s Mitch Trubisky and Baker Mayfield, not the usual suspects. Both are fantastic talents, and both showed that they have the faith of their teams and the talent to lead them into the playoffs next year. Expect them both to push Cousins and Prescott for time in the Top 10!

2018 Dr’s Office Exit Interview

First, I’d like to formally apologize for sort of vanishing into thin air. Unlike your favorite superheroes, I was spared Thanos’ snap. Instead, I welcomed my first son into the world, and it’s been a roller coaster ride since. It’s eaten up a lot of my free time, and this is the first real chance I’ve had to dive back into fantasy analysis.

I’ll take the time to review each position in subsequent blog posts, so I won’t dive too deeply into player rankings and the like; instead we’ll evaluate our own performance on the fantasy gridiron.

You may be interested to hear how my own managed teams made out. In 2018 I managed only three fantasy teams, and each one of them was fairly successful in the end. Two teams fell just short of the championship with 2nd place finishes, and a third was knocked out prematurely after finishing with the leagues 2nd best record.

I was more active in the trade market this year than in years past, and it resulted in some of the finest looking “final rosters” I’ve had before. The closest of the teams I came to winning the championship consisted of the following (2 QB, super deep starting rosters)

  • QB: Jared Goff, Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo*
  • RB: Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, Jalen Richard, Spencer Ware, Brian Hill, Zach Zenner, C.J. Anderson
  • WR: Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr. DaeSean Hamilton, Corey Davis, Tim Patrick,  Antonio Callaway, John Ross, Michael Gallup, Christian Kirk*
  • TE: Travis Kelce, Kyle Rudolph

Unfortunately, Gurley and OBJ didn’t play, and I was forced to start Zach Zenner and Tim Patrick in spot’s I’d have filled with other guys.

It was an overall successful year, but it wasn’t without some learning moments.

1. Don’t over commit to high risk players. This one may sound obvious, but I had teams that had both Josh Gordon and Doug Baldwin on them. If they both played to their ceiling I had two studs… but they both flamed out for much of the season, hamstringing otherwise solid teams.

2. Don’t balk at young QBs. I kind of tore down Patrick Mahomes prior to the season as a player being paid far too much for. What happened was he, as well as a handful of other young QB’s, made me eat my words.

3. Listen to the coaches. I hit a few projections on the head this year after hearing coaches talk about specific players and how they intended them to be used. Chris Carson was maligned heavily by some in the fantasy community for his lack of high quality skills and the drafting of Rashaad Penny. We learned pretty quickly that he was the bell cow in that offense, and Pete Carroll returned to him even after Penny and Davis had solid games during Carson’s brief absences.

Now, I’ll take each of these with a grain of salt; they are not part of the new ten commandments or anything. They are just trends I may be seeing solidify over the past few years. Finding the next Patrick Mahomes or Philip Lindsey is more about reading PAST the projections and really understanding the player and the team. You have to get a little lucky, of course, but it helps to be good too.