Fantasy Spotlight: Tyler Lockett

Seattle’s #1 WR had a breakout season in year 5 of his career. There were a few factors in this happening. Lockett has always been a big play waiting to happen never averaging less than 12 yards a reception in his career.

Lockett earned the #1 WR spot for the Seahawks with the retirement of Doug Baldwin. Going into the season Lockett had never had more than 71 targets. In 2019 Lockett busted out with 110 targets and 82 catches both major jumps in his career bests. I had mostly thought of Lockett as the deep threat to this offense but man did he prove me wrong this season. Not only did his receiving yards and catches jump up but so did his receptions leading to first downs while his overall TD numbers were down from the year before. The drop in TDs may scare some off but he still had 8 TDs and was 4th in the league with 13 red zone targets. Lockett has 18 touchdowns over the last two seasons.

Moving into the 2020 season Lockett is primed to continue his upward climb. Lockett finished last season as WR13 in PPR scoring. It is not out of the realm for him to finish this upcoming season with another top 15 finish. Seattle did add veteran TE Greg Olsen this offseason but I don’t see him cutting into Locketts target share that much. We all know what Russ Wilson is capable of so Lockett and the pass catching core should continue to shine.

My Projection: 87 catches, 1,123 yards, and 9 TDs

5 Bounce Back Candidates

Every season we see players drop in ranking because of bad seasons the year before or injury. We are such a reactionary society and sometimes don’t take into account the situation around the player. What factors were contributing to the down year. It could be a number of things, but in this article I will look at 5 players that should have a bounce back season.

  1. Matthew Stafford – 8 games missed due to injury – Stafford coming back healthy this season is huge for a lot of reasons. Stafford hadn’t missed a game since 2010. His last full season Stafford threw for 3,777 yards and 21 TDs, in half a season last year he had 2,499 yards and 19 TDs. The Lions addressed Oline issues in the draft plus added young stud D’Andre Swift. Stafford will have a full compliment of weapons with Swift and Kerryon Johnson in the backfield, plus Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola. I expect a return to form for Stafford.
  2. Juju Smith-Schuster – Missed games due to injury and Pittsburgh was without Ben Roethlisberger for much of last season. Without Big Ben last season Juju did not have a good year getting only 70 targets in 12 games. In 2018 Juju had 166 targets and 111 catches. I think we will see a similar type season in 2020 as we did in 2018 if Big Ben can stay healthy. Juju is a game changer and has potential to be a top 5 WR this season.
  3. TY Hilton – 6 games missed due to injury – Last season ended a streak of 6 straight seasons with 100+ targets for Hilton. TY finished last season with just 500 yards receiving and his lowest yards per reception percentage of his career. Now enter gunslinger Phillip Rivers to chuck the ball to Hilton and we should have a recipe for success in Indy. Also GM Chris Ballard made two great moves in drafting Michael Pittman Jr., and Jonathan Taylor to take some of the offensive pressure off Hilton. I will be bold on Hilton here and proclaim him to be a WR1 this upcoming season with a top 10 finish.
  4. David Johnson – Johnson was benched in favor of Kenyan Drake last season while in Arizona. After being traded for the 2nd best WR in football this off-season Johnson finds himself in a new home with Houston. Johnson finished the season as the 34th scoring RB behind guys like Duke Johnson and Latavius Murray. Let’s be honest I don’t think this trade worked in Houston’s favor at all but if they want to remotely look good in this they will need a monster season from DJ. Johnson will need to be a top 10 to 15 RB this season and I can see Bill O’Brien forcing 200 carries and 75 targets into Johnson.
  5. Ben Roethlisberger – 14 games missed due to injury – We are entering the twilight of Big Bens career but he is still capable of big time numbers. He ended the 2018 season as the league leader in passing yards throwing the ball 675 times. As I wrote above with JuJu Smith-Schuster this offense will be back to all systems go in 2020. On top of Juju, Diontae Johnson, and James Washington the Steelers added two playmakers in Chase Claypool and Eric Ebron. There will be no shortage of weapons for the aging QB. I think a return to fantasy relevance is in the cards for Big Ben.

Fantasy Spotlight: Courtland Sutton

Courtland Sutton has emerged as a legit fantasy #1 WR for me. John Elway has finally found his franchise QB in Drew Lock and Sutton has benefited greatly. Also this off season the Broncos went out and got Lock another weapon or two and Sutton has some running partners. I think the addition of Jerry Juedy was a great pick by the Broncos front office and will only benefit Sutton.

So let’s dig into Suttons season as a whole to start off with. Sutton ended the 2019 season with 124 targets and 72 catches. He amassed 1,112 yards and 6 touchdowns. Once Emmanuel Sanders was traded, Sutton became the clear cut first option for whoever was under center. After the week 8 trade Sutton finished almost 30 targets higher than the next closest Bronco. Sutton also was receiving a 25% market share of the targets, and a crazy 42% of the air yards.

Now lets move to the weeks that Drew Lock was under center and compare the small 5 game sample. In weeks 13 through 17 Sutton averaged 8 targets a game with the same target share and market share of 40% of the air yards. I assume Lock and Sutton if given the time can produce at a much higher clip than the 22 catches for 280 yards Sutton had in those 5 games. As I stressed earlier Jerry Juedy should also take some pressure off of Sutton so defenses can’t focus solely on him in the passing game.

Going into the 2020 season I have huge hopes for Sutton and he will be a guy I heavily target in fantasy drafts and DFS. I think he is somewhat match-up proof. Another year with Lock and the additions on offense with Juedy and Melvin Gordon may make this the second best offense in the west. My prediction for Sutton is:

150 targets, 96 catches, 1323 yards and 9tds.

Upcoming Project: Fantasy Spotlights

I wanted to start writing about players I am high on this season and I think are being overlooked or that we may need a reminder on just how good they preformed.

I will be focusing on a different player each article breaking down last season and my hopes for the coming season. Every article will be stat driven as much as possible but please remember sometimes your gut is the best deciding factor. When playing DFS last season I found myself loving guys who weren’t really being watched. I found trusting my gut was a valuable tool as much as anything.

5 Undervalued RBs

  1. Joe Mixon – I don’t understand why Mixon isn’t getting more love. Joe Mixon has had back to back 1,400 yard seasons while playing with trash at QB and a poor team around him. The addition of Joe Burrow should help Mixon get more space on the line of scrimmage. Right now Mixon is sitting behind guys like Austin Ekeler, Derrick Henry, and Nick Chubb. I have Mixon squarely as an RB1 and a lock to be a top 10 RB.
  2. Chris Carson – It tends to be forgotten how good Carson is. Carson was locked in as the starting RB in a very good Seattle offense that wants to run the ball. Averaging 82 yards a game rushing gives Carson the 6th highest amount in all of football among RBs. Carson isn’t a huge threat in the passing game but he is right on line with guys like Joe Mixon and Aaron Jones. A late second round ADP makes me feel like I am stealing great value even early in a draft.
  3. Sony Michel – If you think Belicheck is going to try to beat you with Stidham and a throwing offense I think you are nuts. Pounding the rock and playing defense is what they want to do I think. Michel seems to be forgotten in this offense. Eleven weeks last season Michel had 15+ touches which seems high for most of us who thought he had a bad year.
  4. Raheem Mostert – I know this will probably be a time share with Tevin Coleman but down the stretch and into the Super Bowl Mostert was a stud. If we get Mostert as 1A in the offense I would expect around 12 to 15 carries a game and the chance to break a big run or all around game off at any moment.
  5. Jordan Howard – I really question why Howard doesn’t get a fair run on any team he goes to. Chicago it was Tarik Cohen, Philly was Miles Sanders, and now in Miami it’s Matt Breida. Jordan is only 25 years old and is productive while on the field, last season averaging 4.4 yards a carry.

Top 10 QBs Going into Next Season

  1. Patrick Mahomes – Mahomes is my clear cut #1 QB. The Super Bowl MVP is as good as I have ever seen. Mahomes averaged 287 yards a game last season with 26 passing touchdowns. The addition of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the growth of Mecole Hardman in the offense, added to the weapons of Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill make this the most potent offense in all of football.

2. Lamar Jackson – 3,500 passing yards and 1,200 rushing yards is absolutely incredible. Added to the 36 passing touchdowns and the 7 rushing touchdowns make Jackson a weapon in so many different ways. Moving into the 2020 season I believe the passing yards could eclipse the 4,000 mark as Jackson matures as a QB. Don’t take that as a knock on Jackson either just expected growth.

3. Dak Prescott – I know the contract situation is a mess right now but it is hard to not love Dak here. Prescott finished 3rd in passing yards last season, 4th in passing touchdowns, and added 3 rushing touchdowns. The Cowboys offense is absolutely loaded this season for Prescott also. Returning Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Zeke, and adding Ceedee Lamb makes this offense one of my favorites going into the season. Ranking Prescott behind the last two MVPs seems like a no brainer.

4. Russell Wilson – I debated on ranking Wilson at #3 ahead of Dak but the weapons are a slight bit better in Dallas. Two good wide receivers, a bell cow RB in Carson now get the addition of the crafty veteran Greg Olsen added to the mix. Russell Wilson can keep you in a game all by himself. He is a playmaker with his legs as much as his arm. Besides Mahomes there may not be another QB I trust more in crunch time right now.

5. Carson Wentz – To understand how good Wentz was last year you need to understand at one point the Eagles were running out Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside as their starting WRs. Wentz still finished top 5 in touchdown passes with a skeleton crew of an offense. The Eagles got a lot of flack for drafting Jalen Hurts to back up Wentz but I believe they haved added a bunch of weapons to take Wentz back to his MVP caliber of play. Adding Jalen Reagor and Marquise Goodwin to the core of Alshon Jeffery, Desean Jackson, Zack Ertz, Dallas Goedert, and Miles Sanders makes me have a lot of faith in Wentz.

6. Drew Brees – I don’t think there are words to describe Drew Brees and his efficiency in the passing game. Brees lead the league in completion percentage and in a tie for 5th in TD passes while only playing in 11 games due to injury. Kamara is back to full strength, Michael Thomas is the best WR in football, and Jared Cook is a favorite of Brees. Adding Manny Sanders and giving a true #2 WR should make this offense less predictable and scary enough maybe more efficient.

7. Josh Allen – Trust me here go buy all the fantasy stock of Josh Allen while you can. Allen showed tremendous growth in his second year and I expect even more growth in year 3. John Brown had the best season of his career, Cole Beasley had one of his best seasons of his career with Allen under center. Now add to the offense a true #1 WR in Stefon Diggs and this offense is ready to explode. The Bills are primed to take over the AFC East.

8. Deshaun Watson – I am not sure how I feel about ranking Watson this low and it maybe a mistake but you can not ignore the fact that he lost his most prominent and dangerous weapon in DeAndre Hopkins. Will Fuller is a legit deep threat play maker but he can’t stay healthy, Randall Cobb is not a game changer, and neither are Keekee Coutee or Kenny Stills. The Texans did upgrade at RB but how much does David Johnson have left in the tank.

9. Kyler Murray – Besides Josh Allen, Kyler is the guy I am highest on going into this season. The Cardinals offense is going to be fast and fun this season. Adding DeAndre Hopkins makes Murrays stock shoot way up the ladder for me. Kenyan Drake, the ageless Larry Fitzgerald, and Christian Kirk give the Cardinals a well rounded offense.

10. Jimmy Garoppolo – I expect some crazy looks on this one but what is not to like about Jimmy G. I know this offense is run heavy but Jimmy G still had 4,405 yards, tied Brees and Carson Wentz for 5th in touchdowns, and completed just under 70% of his passes. Deebo Samuel had a breakout year, George Kittle is a monster, and the 49ers added Brandon Aiyuk in the first round.

Top 5 Rookie RBs

A lot of good talented RBs went to prime locations in the 2020 draft. I will give you my rankings on how I value them going into the new season.

  1. Jonathan Taylor – Colts – Taylor is a true workhorse as he totaled over 300 touches all three years in college. The Colts offensive line is maybe the best in all of football. Taylor may split carries early with Marlon Mack but the talent for Taylor should get him breaking away from that competition like it did the opposing defenses in college. Taylor was good at picking up the blitz in college also which will endear him to Old Man Rivers also.

2. Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Chiefs – What is not to like about a great pass catching RB being added to the Super Bowl champions? CEH is great scheme fit to pair with Mahomes. He registered a school record 55 catches last season at LSU. I expect a lot of screen passes and go routes out of the backfield. CEH will be faced with trying to oust Damien Williams as the starter.

3. Cam Akers – Rams – I don’t believe Akers will have much of a problem landing the starting job pretty quickly. If the Rams offense clicks like it did 2 years ago we can expect big things from Akers. He is an elusive back with break away ability. Akers has the ability to also punish a defense with his angry running style. I expect Akers to be the starter and product big fantasy numbers. He was only the third Seminole to rush for 1,000 yards in multiple seasons joining Dalvin Cook and Warrick Dunn.

4. Antonio Gibson – Washington – This one is a bit tricky to me. I think Gibson is incredibly talented and played both slot WR and RB at Memphis. I worry he is a bit raw still though. We all know AP is still there along with Derrius Guice. We have no major idea which way the new coaching staff is headed in this department just yet but Gibson gives 2nd year QB Dwayne Haskins another weapon. Gibson may start out slow but I think by the end of the season we should expect big things from him.

5. Zack Moss – Bills – I think the Bills got a steal from drafting Moss. If he can stay healthy Moss could be a potential star. Right now he will be in a time share with Devin Singletary. Moss should receive some if not all of the work left by the ageless Frank Gore. This Bills team is built to win now and should have a lot of games where they are pounding the rock to close out games.

Drafted QB Rankings

Ranking the QB’s that were drafted is a thing we should all look at when deciding who we want to focus on. Here I will rank them on a few different categories. They will be ranked on starting opportunity, weapons around them, and the offense they will be in.

  1. Joe Burrow – The 1st overall pick to Cincinnati is my favorite of the QB’s draft. Andy Dalton being released means Burrow is the starter going into the season. The Bengals have what I feel is one of the most talented RBs in the league, and a WR core that is very formidable. If AJ Green and John Ross can stay healthy I imagine a lot of 4 WR sets with Tyler Boyd and newly drafted Tee Higgins. Joe Mixon is a guy I will be talking about a lot this offseason as I feel he is being forgotten about. Burrow also has the ability to extend plays with his legs if the line breaks down as it did quite a bit last year. Head Coach Zac Taylor is an offensive mind and he and Burrow should be a great pairing. I look for a big year out of Burrow.

2. Justin Herbert – Herbert was the 6th overall pick to the Chargers. Herbert has to beat out Tyrod Taylor for the starting job but I don’t see that as to much of an issue. The Chargers have issues along the line and Herbert will need to be able to move around a bit to get the ball out to his weapons. The Chargers are full of offensive weapons for Herbert. Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, and Hunter Henry will be a welcome sight for to help the growth of the young QB.

3. Tua Tagovailoa – If Tua was healthy all last season I’m not sure if Burrow would have been the top choice. There is no question of talent or athletic ability with Tua unfortunately his health is a major concern. If I was in Miami I would red shirt him for the upcoming season and survive with some FitzMagic until the 2021 season. The skill positions for Miami are really underrated in my opinion. The RBBC of Jordan Howard and Matt Breida is very formidable, the WR position could become elite with DeVante Parker and Preston Williams. Mike Gesicki is one tight end I also really like going into this season. If Tua does get to start this season in Miami he may move ahead of Herbert but I just don’t think that is smart.

4. Jalen Hurts – Hurts was my favorite QB in this draft outside of Burrow and Tua. I know this wasn’t a popular pick for Eagles fans but it does make sense to me. If Wentz does get hurt I think Hurts could step in nicely. Hurts is a solid backup with a good set of skills. The talent in Philadelphia is probably the best of any team on this list if not just behind the Chargers. The addition of Jalen Reagor, Marquise Goodwin, and John Hightower added to Alshon Jeffery, Dallas Goedert, and Zack Ertz makes for a good explosive offense. Miles Sanders is also a nice weapon.

5. Jake Fromm – Fromm probably doesn’t see the field this season at all but if Josh Allen does get injured the Bills got a very smart high IQ QB to take over as they are in win now mode. Fromm is also going to help in the QB room with Josh Allens growth and they should really work well together.

6. Jacob Eason/Jordan Love – I bunched these two together as they will both be sitting behind their Hall of Fame worthy first string guys. There is a legit chance that both don’t see the field until 2022.

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