Tuesday, December 29, 2020

2020 Fantasy Football Week 17 Rankings

I suppose there might be some people out there playing in Week 17, so I'll post my rankings below with three disclaimers:

1. These are very difficult to do this week, especially with so many teams resting players and trying some different things.  FantasyPros doesn't include Week 17 in the accuracy competition because there's just too much variance and most fantasy leagues don't play this week.

2. These rankings will change a TON from now until Sunday as we find out which players will be rested, inactive, etc.  So if you're using these for anything, check back around noon on Sunday for a final update.

3. There's a reason the vast majority of leagues don't include Week 17 in their fantasy playoffs.  I can't imagine having someone like Travis Kelce for an entire season only for him to sit in the most important week for fantasy because his real life team has nothing to play for.  If your league still includes Week 17, talk to your commish and get that changed ASAP.

So with that out of the way, let me just say that if you faced Alvin Kamara in Week 16 like I did in the championship in the main league I care about, I get it.  It stinks.  I put up the second most fantasy points this week of anyone in my league and lost to the guy who almost put up 200 fantasy points (with Kamara having over 1/4 of those points).  Hey, it happens.  I'm sure there are people out there who faced Kamara and still won.  That could happen too.  It's fantasy football and crazy stuff will happen.  I hope you can have some perspective when it comes to fantasy football and just take it as it comes.  You put your best lineup out there and you see what happens.  Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't.  Hopefully you have fun doing it.  I always do.

But now it's on to next year, right?  FantasyPros already has their 2021 rankings tool up on the site, and I started on those today.  I should have some early rankings out in the next couple of weeks, but for now, here are my Week 17 rankings with none of the usual commentary below it.  I'll just post my betting picks below the rankings.  As always, feel free to hit me up on Twitter with any start/sit questions that can't be answered by the rankings.  And as we get into the offseason, feel free to shoot me questions about the NFL Draft, free agency, etc.  I'll be getting an article out with a preview on some of that stuff in a month or so.  

And here are my Week 17 betting picks:

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

2020 Fantasy Football Week 16 Rankings

I hope if you're reading this, that means you're in your championship this week.  Of course I realize that's not the case for everyone, so if you're playing for third or nothing or whatever...hey, thanks for at least clicking the link and checking my rankings!

Way back in Week 6, I had a great week and finished as the #2 most accurate ranker, and I gained a lot of new Twitter followers because of it.  If you just started following me this year and are using my rankings, welcome!  I've had some ups and downs since then, but I've mostly been pretty consistent.  Right now I'm sitting at the #37 spot among over 150 rankers in the accuracy competition, and I'm pretty sure this is the last week included in that contest.  In case you're curious, here's my accuracy rank by week through Week 15:

120 (slow start...)
2 (!!!)
12 (got in a little mid-season groove)
138 (yikes)

I'm hoping to finish strong both with my rankings accuracy and with my betting picks at the bottom.  As always, feel free to hit me up on Twitter with any start/sit questions that can't be answered by the rankings and discussion below.

Obvious Start: Last week I said if you were debating between Jalen Hurts versus Kyler Murray, don't.  Kyler was my obvious start, but both guys were awesome in that game.  This week I think both guys are obvious starts, but let me mention Josh Allen here in case you were considering benching him for someone else.  He's been a top-5 fantasy QB in 4 of his last 6 games, and he's been the #2 fantasy QB in two of those contests.  The Monday night matchup at New England shouldn't scare you, especially now that Stephon Gilmore is out for the season.  If Diggs is out, I might lower Allen a spot or two.  But I think Diggs plays, and I'd have Allen as a top-5 play regardless.

Not-So-Obvious Start: The funny thing is, the guy I'm facing in the championship in my main/home/money league has both Josh Allen AND Tom Brady.  I think both guys are great starts this week, and he probably can't go wrong with either.  But I wanted to mention Brady here because he's not as obvious as Allen.  He's been a little up and down this season, but this week against the Lions he has the potential to go OFF.  With Ronald Jones likely still out, Brady just might throw the ball 40+ times again.  And Detroit's defense is just awful right now.  To add insult to injury, the Lions are dealing with COVID issues and might not have a good portion of their coaching staff in this game.  I think the Bucs will put up a ton of points in this game, and Brady should be involved in at least three of those TDs.

The Ceiling is the Roof: I've talked about guys like Matt Ryan and Cam Newton here in recent weeks, and I've been spot on.  You don't want to start someone like Cam this week (duh), but don't consider Big Ben either.  The Steelers are an absolute mess right now, and I have a feeling Ben is dealing with an injury that is impacting his throws.  I don't want to make an excuse for the guy, but I think he's too good to be looking this bad otherwise.  The Colts are coming to town this week, and if Ben struggled against the Bengals, I don't see how he can put up a good game against Indy.

Obvious Start: You might think Miles Sanders might not have a huge game with Jalen Hurts running a bit more and that changing up the gameplan a bit, but I actually think Sanders will have a huge game against Dallas.  This backfield is all his right now, and Dallas could be without Vander Esch in the middle of that defense.  You're starting Sanders if you have him regardless, but that's why he's in the obvious start category now isn't it?

Not-So-Obvious Start: Don't look now, but David Johnson has been an RB2 in each of his last two games.  Against a not-so-good Cincy defense this week, he might break into RB1 territory.  He's not an exciting play and I can't imagine he's on a ton of championship squads, but he's a start for me this week.

The Ceiling is the Roof: Latavius Murray saved his Week 15 stat line with a touchdown, but he hasn't been very involved in this offense lately.  I have him ranked outside of my top-40 RBs this week, so I'd much rather take a chance on someone like Malcolm Brown or Gus Edwards who are just more involved in their team's gameplan right now.

Obvious Start: I doubt many people are benching Allen Robinson against his old team, but you never know after a down Week 15.  Don't bench ARob against the Jags.  He'll get double digit targets and could easily finish as a top-10 fantasy WR in this cake matchup.

Not-So-Obvious Start: I actually think Marquise Brown is quietly back into start territory.  He gets the Giants this week, and their secondary is banged up.  Brown has been a WR2 in 3 of his last 4 games, and he was a WR3 in the 4th game (in which he scored!).  The Ravens should be able to move the ball in this game, and it just takes one big play for Hollywood to finish as a top-20 WR.  I'd plug him into my FLEX this week if I had the space for him.

The Ceiling is the Roof: If you somehow have Tyler Lockett on your squad and made it all the way to the championship, congratulations.  I'm guessing in that scenario, you probably haven't been playing him lately.  He hasn't finished better than WR45 since November 19th.  He finished as the WR32 when the Seahawks played the Rams in Week 10.  I don't have a ton of faith in Russell Wilson this week, and that extends to Lockett.

Obvious Start: I had Logan Thomas as my not-so-obvious start last week, but he's graduating to obvious start territory.  The only wrinkle here is if Taylor Heinicke is the starting QB on Sunday, but if Logan is still getting 10+ targets, he'll be a TE1.  And as of right now, it looks like Haskins will start.

Not-So-Obvious Start: I mentioned Brady as my QB not-so-obvious start, so I'm going to mention Gronk here.  Like I said, I think the Bucs will put up a ton of points in this game, so why not a Gronk spike?

The Ceiling is the Roof: I think there are much better options out there than Jordan Reed.  He's had a couple of touchdowns in the last month, but he hasn't had more than 32 receiving yards in a game since Week 10.  With George Kittle potentially back this week combined with the fact that C.J. Beathard should be under center, I'd go ahead and look for another TE option for Week 16.

And here are my betting picks for Week 16.  I'm trying to finish strong and get in the top-5 in both the O/U and ATS categories by the end of the regular season, so let's see if I can add onto my numbers with these picks!

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

2020 Fantasy Football Week 15 Rankings

If you survived Week 14 whether it was via a bye or a win, congrats.  I'm going to skip the small talk here in Week 15 and get right into the rankings.  Cool?  Cool.

Hit me up on Twitter with any start/sit questions that can't be answered by the rankings!

Obvious Start: I doubt I'll get to see any of it live, but my favorite matchup this week just might be the Eagles at Cardinals.  But if you're debating starting Jalen Hurts over Kyler Murray, don't.  Kyler got you here and has a super safe floor to go along with a ceiling of THE #1 fantasy QB.  Hurts had a great debut against a good Saints defense, but it's very possible Arizona watches the film and bottles him up a bit more.  Oh and the Eagles are dealing with some injuries in the secondary. Don't get cute and sit Kyler. You don't want to look at your matchup come Monday morning and see a top-5 fantasy QB on your bench.

Not-So-Obvious Start: Outside of that disappointing Week 12 in Atlanta, Derek Carr has been a top-10 fantasy QB in three of his last four games.  I could see him with 3+ TDs tomorrow night against the Chargers, and this could be a nice start to your semi-final matchup if you're looking for a streamer outside of the top-12 or so QBs.

The Ceiling is the Roof: I was spot on with Matt Ryan here last week, and I could easily talk about him here again.  But let me give you someone else in Cam Newton.  I believed in Cam as recently as Week 12, but that's when he totally fell off a cliff.  He somehow had 3 touchdown passes on 69 passing yards in Week 13, but the volume is so low I just can't do it with him (especially in such a crucial fantasy week).

Obvious Start: I won't talk about David Montgomery here for the fourth week in a row...though I suppose I kind of just did.  Let me instead make sure you realize that Jonathan Taylor has been the #2 fantasy RB over the last two weeks, and he gets the Texans again (who he lit up in Week 13).  There should be no start/sit questions about Taylor at this point.

Not-So-Obvious Start: It's certainly possible Jared Goff has a nice game against the Jets, but there's also a good shot the Rams just run the ball down New York's throat.  In fact, both could be true.  Either way, I would start Cam Akers in a good matchup after we saw him take control of this backfield last week.

The Ceiling is the Roof: I was wrong in this spot last week with Miles Sanders, but I wasn't alone in being worried in Jalen's first start against what had been an awesome New Orleans defense over the last month or so.  This week, I'm playing it a little safer and telling you to stay away from Todd Gurley.  You were probably doing that anyway, but in case you were desperate at the RB position and looking at his name and thinking he could do anything against the Bucs...well, I disagree.  He hasn't been better than a top-45 fantasy RB since Week 9, and Tampa is good against the run.  No thanks.

Obvious Start: Remember when I said to start Cam Akers against the Jets this week?  Yeah, start your Rams.  That means Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp too. 

Not-So-Obvious Start: Maybe this actually is obvious by now, but I still feel like people aren't giving Brandon Aiyuk enough respect.  Especially now with Deebo out, Aiyuk should get 9+ targets for the 5th straight game.  Yes, he had some inactive weeks sprinkled in there, but the guy has been awesome when healthy in the second half of the season.  This week he gets Dallas.  He legit could be a top-5 fantasy WR against the Cowboys.

The Ceiling is the Roof: A lot of people continue to rank Antonio Brown as a WR3, but I can't do it.  The matchup in Atlanta is not as good as it was early in the season, and Brown has only been a top-40 fantasy WR once since he joined the Bucs in Week 9.  Not great, Bob.

Obvious Start: If it's not clear by now, Robert Tonyan is an obvious start at the tight end position.  He has a touchdown in each of his last four games, and I don't see why that streak would stop Saturday night against the Panthers.

Not-So-Obvious Start: I hope Alex Smith can play this week, but I feel like even Dwayne Haskins will be able to get the ball to Logan Thomas 5+ times.  And what happens if Haskins gets hurt in this game?  I feel like Logan is probably the emergency QB and could rack up some second half stats in that unlikely scenario.

The Ceiling is the Roof: Trey Burton has barely been involved in the offense the last couple of weeks, and I don't think he has much of a floor or ceiling.  I can't imagine starting him against Houston this week.

And here are my betting picks for Week 15.  I'm still top-3 on BettingPros with my over/under picks on the year, and I've been making up some ground with my picks ATS in recent weeks.  I hope to finish strong and get in the top-5 in both categories by the end of the regular season, so let's see if I can add onto my numbers with these picks!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

2020 Fantasy Football Week 14 Rankings

As this season has progressed, I've tried some different things with my rankings and I've updated the format of this weekly post.  This week I considered adding tiers, but ultimately it just felt like more work which I don't need right now.  Maybe I'll do them with my weekly rankings next season, but I wanted to explain the concept of tiers because I've been getting more and more start/sit questions on Twitter.  I do my best to answer all of them, but to be honest, most can be answered by these rankings.  Where it gets really tough is when people ask me a start/sit question about guys who are literally back to back in my rankings.  I realize you want an answer (or at least some validation of a ranking), but I tend to think of guys in tiers.  If you're asking me whether or not to FLEX a guy I have ranked as my RB15 versus WR30, that's an easy one (go with the RB).  

Side note: I do my best to update my FLEX rankings every week too, so check those out.  

But if you're debating between a guy I have ranked as my RB14 vs RB15, it's likely those guys are a total coin flip for me too.  As of this writing, that's CEH & Wayne Gallman.  Sure, I like Clyde slightly more, but I could rationalize Gallman over him given his solid workload.

Anyway, I just wanted to explain that a bit.  Unless you're totally out of the playoffs or have a first round bye, you're likely just scrolling down to the rankings anyway.  And if it's my betting picks you care about, then scroll to the bottom.  I was bad against the spread in Week 12 but really good with my over/under picks.  So of course in Week 13 that trend flipped.  I lost a small amount with my O/U picks, but I'm still in the top-3 among the BettingPros experts in that category.  

Let's get to the Week 14 rankings, shall we?

Obvious Start: I talked about Ryan Tannehill in this spot last week, and he was a top-10 fantasy QB for the third straight week.  That also makes him a top-10 QB for the 6th time in his 12 games this year.  Not too shabby.  He gets the Jags this week, so plug him into your lineup for the playoffs.

Not-So-Obvious Start: It feels kind of icky, but Philip Rivers has actually been a top-15 fantasy QB in each of the last 4 weeks.  He has a nice matchup in Vegas this week, and I could see him ending up with 300 yards and 3 TDs.  

The Ceiling is the Roof: He had been pretty money when Julio was in the lineup this year, but last week Matt Ryan put up a dud against the Saints.  He has a better matchup against the Chargers this week, but I wouldn't be confident enough to start him and I don't see that he has a big ceiling.

Obvious Start: I'm mentioning David Montgomery here for the third week in a row.  He may not have won you any matchups early in the season, but he could be a big part of carrying you into/through the playoffs.  He was the #1 fantasy RB last week, and I feel like he's a lock to finish in the top-10 again (maybe top-5).

Not-So-Obvious Start: If D'Andre Swift continues to sit, you have to like Adrian Peterson against a terrible Packer run defense.  He's been a top-10 RB each of the last two weeks given the workload, and I don't see why he can't do it again in a great matchup.  If Swift suits up, you can disregard this call, so check back later in the week on Swift's status.

The Ceiling is the Roof: You don't want to face the Saints right now, and that especially means their run defense.  Unless you have better options, you might not have much choice but to start Miles Sanders this week, but I feel like he has a very low ceiling in a tough matchup.  Throw in the unknown of Jalen Hurts now at QB, and this is a situation to try to avoid if you can.  Maybe Hurts makes the offense hum, but it's not the best week to roll the dice and find out.

Obvious Start: He can be a frustrating guy to start each week, but I don't see how you could bench Tyler Lockett against the Jets in a bounce back spot for Russell Wilson.  Yes, Lockett has four finishes this season outside of the top-50 WRs, but he also has two #1 finishes.  This week feels more likely to be the latter, so I highly recommend you keep him in your lineup.

Not-So-Obvious Start: I don't see how you can ignore the volume that Keke Coutee got last week on his way to a top-12 WR finish.  While Chicago is expected to be a frigid environment temperature wise, I don't feel like it's the worst matchup from a fantasy perspective.  I still expect Watson to throw the ball 35 times and for Coutee to get roughly 10 of those looks.  I think he's a WR3 and an obvious FLEX this week.

The Ceiling is the Roof: His best games this year have come with Fitzmagic at QB, so with Tua under center I'm a little worried about the ceiling of DeVante Parker.  It's that simple.

Obvious Start: The entire Charger offense stunk against the Patriots last week, so feel free to disregard the output of Hunter Henry in that game.  He was a top-12 TE the previous three weeks and now has a great matchup against the Falcons.  I wouldn't consider benching him for a streaming option.  Keep him locked into your lineups.

Not-So-Obvious Start: Just a reminder to get Gronk back into your lineup after his super late Week 13 bye.  It's tough to come up with a not-so-obvious start at the tight end position to be honest.  After the top 3 or 4, they are all kind of the same.

The Ceiling is the Roof: Dawson Knox has scored in each of his last two games, but he hasn't done much else than that all season.  Maybe he's being utilized more with John Brown on IR, but I can't imagine starting him against Pittsburgh with Minkah Fitzpatrick roaming around in the secondary.

Here are my betting picks for Week 14.  Good luck!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

2020 Fantasy Football Week 13 Rankings

Here we are, sports fans.  It's the last week before the fantasy playoffs.  Whether you're fighting for that final playoff spot or not, I have the rankings that you crave.  Last week was a wild one with so many players out due to Covid and injuries, and I hope this week is a little more predictable.  But last week was actually kind of fun to do the rankings, so whatever.  I was terrible against the spread in Week 12, but I kept it rolling with my over/under picks.  So if you're looking at those at the very bottom of this post, maybe just fade my picks ATS and just look at those point totals.  And now that I've said that, I'm sure this week the trend will flip.  This is why I don't actually bet...or at least no big money.

Let's get right into the Week 13 rankings, shall we?

Obvious Start: I was so wrong about Cam Newton last week...and Derek Carr too.  This week my obvious start is Ryan Tannehill.  He's burned me before in this spot, but he's been a top-10 QB the last two weeks and gets the Browns here in Week 13.  He's had multiple touchdowns in all but two games this season, and he just seems to get it done.

Not-So-Obvious Start: While Tannehill has been a top-10 QB the last two weeks, Kirk Cousins has actually been a top-5 fantasy QB in each of those weeks.  He's not an obvious start, but against a terrible Jacksonville defense and with Adam Thielen likely back, he should end up at least in the top-10 here in Week 13.

The Ceiling is the Roof: Maybe it's because I just got done watching the Steelers barely get by Baltimore's B squad, but I feel like Ben Roethlisberger is a boring start this week.  I have him ranked in my top-15, but it feels like that's about his ceiling against the Fightin' Football Team.  This could be a low scoring affair with two good defenses, and I'd look for a better streamer than Big Ben this week.

Obvious Start: Last week I mentioned David Montgomery here, and he finished in the top-10.  I know he doesn't seem like he has a high ceiling, but he's playing the Lions this week!  He'll probably be a top-10 RB again, so don't worry about it.  Start Montgomery even though he's boring.  He'll get you the points you need.

Not-So-Obvious Start: I doubled down on Montgomery, and I'm doubling down on Duke Johnson with my not-so-obvious start.  If David Johnson is still out, you have to like Duke as an RB2 against the Colts.  With Will Fuller now set to miss the rest of the season, you have to think that will mean a bit more volume for the running backs because the rest of the WRs outside of Brandin Cooks are trash.

The Ceiling is the Roof: I told you Melvin Gordon was a fluke in Week 11, and he flopped against the Saints.  Well, the whole offense did because the Broncos didn't exactly have a quarterback.  Still, I wouldn't trust a running back against the Sainst this week either, and that means Brian Hill is a sit.  And if by some chance Gurley is healthy, this logic will extend to him too.  I'll even have a hard time ranking him inside my top-25 RBs.

Obvious Start: Did you see what Deebo Samuel did last week?  You start this man.

Not-So-Obvious Start: Cole Beasley has played in 11 games this year, and he has been a top-40 WR in half PPR scoring in 7 of those games.  With John Brown out, he feels like a lock for a top-30 option.  Get him in your lineup, especially if you have any points for receptions.

The Ceiling is the Roof: I warned you about Travis Fulgham in Week 11 and then again on Christian Kirk in Week 12.  I was right in both cases, and my boom/BUST guy in Week 13 is CeeDee Lamb.  I realize he's made some good plays recently, but his production minus touchdowns is worrisome in his last five games.  I think you can find a better option for your #2 or #3 WR.

Obvious Start: I realize that Zach Ertz could be back this week, but Dallas Goedert has been great with or without Ertz.  You're starting Goedert against the Packers.

Not-So-Obvious Start: I know Kyle Rudolph doesn't have great numbers on the season, but he had 7 targets last week with Irv Smith out.  If he's out again, you have to trust Rudolph in December.

The Ceiling is the Roof: I told you Jared Cook was garbage, and he's still garbage.  Also garbage is Jimmy Graham.  I liked his prospects better with Nick Foles under center, but I don't see Trubiskey making him a centerpiece of the offense.

I continued to underperform with my picks against the spread in Week 12, but I'm now in the top-3 among the BettingPros experts for my over/under picks.  So like I've said for the last few weeks, if you're taking any action on this, maybe focus on those!