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John Paulsen

Featured Pros: Early Bust Candidates
Wed, Jul 4
Featured Pros: Early Bust Candidates
What RB in our consensus top 24 should fantasy owners fear the most as a bust candidate?
I could understand Henry's ADP landing in the late-third/early-fourth had the Titans cut DeMarco Murray and replaced him with a middle-round rookie in the NFL Draft, but Tennessee signed Dion Lewis to a four-year deal worth $19.8 million, with $8.3 million guaranteed. Lewis' deal has the most guaranteed money of any 2018 free agent running back not named Jerick McKinnon. Since 2015, backs that received at least $6.0 million guaranteed in free agency averaged 14.7 touches per game the ensuing season. Last year, DeMarco Murray handled 14.9 touches per game for the Titans, and that left 11.7 touches per game for Henry. If Lewis sees the aforementioned 14.7-touch average, it's not going to leave much opportunity for Henry's touches to grow. And let's not forget Lewis is good. He's still only 27, has a career 4.8 yards per carry, and is a very capable receiver out of the backfield.

What WR in our consensus top 24 should fantasy owners fear the most as a bust candidate?
Bust is a strong word for Mike Evans, but I don't think he's going to return top 10 numbers in 2018. While he did finish No. 3 in 2016, he failed to crack the top 12 in his other three NFL seasons. He might get a lot of targets, but his career catch percentage (53.4%) is the 8th-worst out of the 84 receivers who saw at least 200 total targets from 2014 to 2017. I believe that his targets are under pressure from DeSean Jackson, an improving Chris Godwin and two good tight ends (O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate), and Evans isn't efficient enough to overcome a drop in usage. Throw in a three-game suspension for Jameis Winston, and things aren't setting up particularly well for Evans in 2018.

NFL Draft Winners & Losers
Sun, Apr 29
NFL Draft Winners & Losers
Give us the rookie whose stock is on the rise the most by virtue of the situation he walks into (team/depth/etc). How early should he go in a rookie draft?
Two names jump out: D.J. Moore and Royce Freeman. Both players were going in the 13th round or later in early best ball drafts, and they both landed in with teams that desperately need playmakers at their respective positions. Moore will challenge Devin Funchess to be the No. 1 option in Carolina, while Freeman will have a shot to be the featured back in Denver, provided he can beat out Devontae Booker and De'Angelo Henderson. Given the draft capital spent, both Moore and Freeman should get every opportunity for big roles in 2018.

Last season, Alvin Kamara offered great value despite flying under the radar as a mid-round pick. Name 1 rookie that has the best shot to be a surprise stud this season.
Alvin Kamara joined a crowded backfield that already featured Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson, which is why his ADP remained depressed last summer. Nick Chubb enters a similar situation. He joins the recently-signed Carlos Hyde and passing game specialist Duke Johnson in the Cleveland backfield. Johnson likely retains his receiving role, but if Chubb can beat out Hyde this summer, he could turn in a starter-caliber fantasy season, especially in standard formats where receptions aren't as important.

What veteran player walks away as the biggest winner based on the new addition(s) to his team and how does it affect how you value him this season?
Cam Newton gets D.J. Moore and the Dolphins didn't draft any major competition for Kenyan Drake, but I think Alex Collins got a sizable bump post-draft since the Ravens gave him a vote of confidence by not selecting any running backs and instead focusing on opening up the passing game (which in turn should help Collins find more running lanes). Also, in my rankings, Collins was behind a couple of running backs who had bad drafts -- Rex Burkhead and Chris Thompson -- since their teams used sizable draft capital at the running back position. As the dust settles, Collins should be firmly ranked as a RB2.

Featured Pros: Free Agency Winners & Losers
Wed, Mar 14
Featured Pros: Free Agency Winners & Losers
What player has seen his fantasy value increase the most as a result of free agency?
I'll give you two names: Jerick McKinnon and Trey Burton. As Kyle Shanahan's hand-picked running back, McKinnon will get every chance to succeed as the 49ers primary runner. This signing is in the same vein as Michael Turner (to the Falcons), LaMont Jordan (to the Raiders), Chester Taylor (to the Vikings), or Darren Sproles (to the Saints) -- quality backups who finally got their chance in a big role with a new team. McKinnon suddenly looks like a low-end RB1, especially in PPR formats. As for Burton, he's similar in that he's being promoted from quality backup to a starting role in Chicago, and I love that he'll be playing for Matt Nagy, who helped to coach Travis Kelce in Kansas City. A top 10 season is well within reach.

What player has seen his fantasy value decrease the most as a result of free agency?
At this point, Jordy Nelson's fantasy value depends heavily on his mind meld with Aaron Rodgers, so no matter where he goes, his stock is going to take a hit. I also think Carlos Hyde's value is severely diminished in a likely timeshare with Duke Johnson after serving as the 49ers' bell cow back last season.

Early Top 10 Draft Rankings
Tue, Jan 2
Early Top 10 Draft Rankings
Please list your early top 10 players for 2018 (STD scoring).
A. Brown
M. Gordon

Tell us why the player you ranked at #1 is the best fantasy option in 2018.
The arrival of Sean McVay resulted in a sea change in the Ramsa?? offense. After finishing last in scoring (224) and total yards (4,203) in 2016, McVaya??s offense finished first (478) and 10th (5,784) in those categories (respectively) this year. He averaged 21.3 standard fantasy points per game, which led the No. 2 non-quarterback, Lea??Veon Bell, by a fairly wide margin of 4.2 PPG. Looking ahead, therea??s nothing to indicate that Gurley is going to turn into a pumpkin while playing in this offense, as long as McVay is calling the shots. He is a very good player who just needed to play for a competent offensive mind to be productive, and McVay has proven that hea??s much better than simply competent.

Tell us who your top sleeper candidate is for drafts next for season.
Assuming he can come back from a neck injury that ended his season, Ia??ll once again be targeting Pierre Garcon heavily in fantasy drafts, especially in PPR formats. He averaged 8.4 targets per game in eight games played, and will enjoy a big upgrade at quarterback in the form of Jimmy Garoppolo. The other situation Ia??ll be monitoring closely is the Jacksonville receiving corps a?? both Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee are free agents, so Dede Westbrook could find himself in a large role heading into the 2018 season.

Most Accurate Experts: Championship Start/Sit Advice
Thu, Dec 21
Most Accurate Experts: Championship Start/Sit Advice
Every year, a surprise stud steps up to help lead fantasy owners to a title. What under-the-radar player fits this bill and should be started as a result?
With Antonio Brown out, the Steelers are going to need all hands on deck in the passing game. JuJu Smith-Schuster is an obvious must-start, but this is also great spot for Martavis Bryant, who should see 8-10 targets against a very generous Houston Texans secondary. Bryant has had a disappointing season, but this is his chance to shine with Brown out of commission.

Name one dud for Week 16 and tell us why you think this is one player owners should strongly consider benching.
Marquise Goodwin and Jamison Crowder have made a lot of noise lately, but both players have brutal matchups (against the Jaguars and the Broncos, respectively). Owners should consider benching these two receivers for players like Rishard Matthews, Mike Wallace, Mohamed Sanu or Nelson Agholor, who should find the going much easier in Week 16.

Give us one struggling player that owners should resist the temptation to sit because a payoff is coming this week.
I'll give you two: Alex Collins and Cameron Brate. Collins struggled to 19 rushing yards on 12 carries last week against Cleveland, but he should produce against the Colts, who have given up the 4th-most rushing yards and the 5th-most rushing touchdowns this year. As for Brate, he has 60 total yards in the last two weeks and is struggling with multiple injuries, but with O.J. Howard on injured reserve, Brate should return to a full-time role against the Panthers. In 26 games with Jameis Winston over the last two seasons, Brate has averaged 3.7 catches for 45 yards and 0.54 touchdowns per game.

There are a few receivers with tough matchups this week. Between Marquise Goodwin (vs. JAC), T.Y. Hilton (at BAL), Robby Anderson (vs. LAC), Randall Cobb (vs. MIN) and Jordy Nelson (vs. MIN), who do you trust the most and what should owners expect?
I called him a "dud" earlier, but I have Goodwin ranked the highest among this group due to his recent production. After Goodwin, I like Hilton the most. With Ravens CB Jimmy Smith out, Hilton should see a lot of Brandon Carr and that's a matchup he can win regularly. The question is -- can Jacoby Brissett get him the ball?

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