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Jared Smola

Draft Sharks
Featured Pros: Early Bust Candidates
Thu, Jul 5
Featured Pros: Early Bust Candidates
What RB in our consensus top 24 should fantasy owners fear the most as a bust candidate?
There's a lot that could go wrong for David Johnson. He's playing in a new offense with a new QB behind what looks like a leaky offensive line. That's not exactly an ideal situation for a RB. When Johnson led all RBs in fantasy points back in 2016, the Cardinals finished 6th in points and 9th in total yards. I don't expect this year's version of the Cardinals to be nearly as good. Then factor in that Johnson has suffered season-ending injuries the past 2 seasons (sprained MCL, dislocated wrist) and is currently holding out. I'm taking Le'Veon Bell, Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott and Antonio Brown before I consider Johnson.

What WR in our consensus top 24 should fantasy owners fear the most as a bust candidate?
Tyreek Hill is in for a decline in both efficiency and volume this year. His 11.27 yards per target last year ranked 2nd among 277 WR seasons of 80+ targets since 2013. Hill's elite speed should continue to make him more efficient than most, but expecting him to repeat THAT level of efficiency isn't wise. On the volume side, free-agent acquisition Sammy Watkins figures to see a bunch more than the 62 targets #2 WR Albert Wilson garnered last year. Some of those extra looks will come at the expense of Hill. The move to QB Patrick Mahomes only adds more volatility to Hill's 2018 outlook.

Against the Spread: Super Bowl Picks
Thu, Feb 1
Against the Spread: Super Bowl Picks
Game: Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots (-4.5)
Pick: New England Patriots (-4.5)
New England's edges in coaching and at QB bring them the Lombardi Trophy over an Eagles squad that might boast more overall talent.

Game: Will the combined score be over or under 48 points?
Pick: Under

Game: What will the total combined points be at the end of the game?
Pick: 47

Against the Spread: Conference Round Picks
Thu, Jan 18
Against the Spread: Conference Round Picks
Game: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots (-9)
Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars (+9)
It's tough to imagine a Bortles-quarterbacked team going into Foxboro and getting a playoff win. But I do think Leonard Fournette and the Jags defense will keep this one within 1 score. Final: Patriots 23, Jaguars 17

Game: Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles (+3)
Pick: Minnesota Vikings (-3)
This will undoubtedly be a defensive battle. But the biggest mismatch on the field will be the Vikings WRs vs. the Eagles CBs. Final: Vikings 20, Eagles 16

Which game pick are you most confident with?
Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles (+3)

Against the Spread: Divisional Round Picks
Fri, Jan 12
Against the Spread: Divisional Round Picks
Game: Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles (+3)
Pick: Philadelphia Eagles (+3)
Even with Nick Foles under center, I don't think the Eagles should be home underdogs here. They should be able to run the ball on Atlanta, and they still sport Football Outsiders' 5th-ranked defense.

Game: Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (-13.5)
Pick: New England Patriots (-13.5)
The Patriots have been covering as big home favorites all season. I still don't think Tennessee is very good. It took a Travis Kelce injury and a Marcus Mariota TD pass to himself for them to eke out a win last weekend.

Game: Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7)
Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars (+7)
Betting on Blake Bortles doesn't feel great. But I think Jacksonville's running game and defense will keep this one close.

Game: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (-4.5)
Pick: New Orleans Saints (+4.5)
The numbers say Minnesota should win this one. But the numbers can't measure the massive experience edge the Saints boast at QB. I think New Orleans is plenty capable of going into Minnesota and getting the W.

Which game pick are you most confident with?
Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (-13.5)

Against the Spread: Wild Card Picks
Thu, Jan 4
Against the Spread: Wild Card Picks
Game: Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (-8)
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs (-8)
The Chiefs went 6-2 at home this season, out-scoring their opponents by 11.7 points in those 6 wins. The Titans, meanwhile, went 3-5 on the road. QB Marcus Mariota was especially bad away from Tennessee, tossing 5 TDs and 11 INTs in 7 games.

Game: Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams (-5)
Pick: Atlanta Falcons (+5)
The Rams sport the better offense and defense in this matchup. But the Falcons have 1 edge that I think will at least keep this one close: Experience. Atlanta returns much of the same roster that went to last year's Super Bowl. The Rams, on the other hand, have just 6 players with NFL experience.

Game: Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars (-8.5)
Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars (-8.5)
On one side of the ball, we have an offense whose best weapon will be sidelined or limited. On the other, we have the league's #1 rushing offense vs. its 29th-ranked rushing defense.

Game: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-6)
Pick: New Orleans Saints (-6)
The Saints' elite offensive line neutralizes what the Panthers do best: Stop the run and rush the passer. New Orleans RBs averaged 5.6 yards per carry vs. Carolina in 2 regular-season meetings. And they allowed just 3 total sacks.

Which game pick are you most confident with?
Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars (-8.5)

Start/Sit Week 15
Wed, Dec 13
Start/Sit Week 15
Give us a player (non tight end) outside of our top 100 Flex that represents a deep sleeper start and tell us why you think he has upside this week.
Look for the Eagles to lean more heavily on the run with Nick Foles now under center, especially this week as 7.5-point favorites over the woeful Giants. That'll mean more volume for Blount. More importantly, though, is the fact that Blount remains the Eagles' go-to guy around the goal line. Since Jay Ajayi arrived, Blount has tallied 14 red-zone carries (vs. 5 for Ajayi and 8 for Corey Clement).

On the flip side, what player inside the top 40 Flex is likely to disappoint fantasy owners this week?
A.J. Green will see shadow coverage from Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes this weekend. Rhodes has helped his squad limit opposing #1 WRs to just 48.6 yards per game, according to Football Outsiders -- 4th fewest in the league. I'm not benching Green this week, but I'm also not expecting WR1 production.

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