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Fantasy Football Player Notes

Week 1 PPR Rankings

Josh Jacobs Note
Josh Jacobs photo 8. Josh Jacobs RB - (at CAR)
The Panthers were the team you wanted to play running backs against in 2019. They allowed a massive 5.32 yards per carry and allowed a touchdown every 14.0 carries. We can talk all day about how Jacobs doesn't catch as many passes as he should, but in this game, it won't matter. The Panthers allowed 363.1 fantasy points on the ground alone last year. No other team was above 297.8 points. The Panthers allowed 18 percent more fantasy points on the ground than any team in the league, think about that for a minute. Now, to be fair, they did hire a new defensive coordinator, but this team is clearly lacking talent to be an elite run-stopping unit. They also lost a lot of the talent they did have. It led them to an all-defense draft. Seriously, they didn't draft a single offensive player. That's a lot of young players in the starting lineup. Trust Jacobs as an RB1 this week and expect big results. He's worth both cash-game and tournament consideration.
34 weeks ago
Kenyan Drake Note
Kenyan Drake photo 24. Kenyan Drake RB - (at CAR)
From the time Drake joined the Cardinals last year, he was the No. 4 running back in fantasy football. One thing from that stretch that is unsustainable is his touchdown production, as he scored eight rushing touchdowns on just 123 carries. He still averaged 101.8 total yards per game, but there were three games where he totaled less than 70 total yards. It was a mixed bag against this 49ers defense, as he absolutely demolished them in their first game, racking up 162 total yards and a touchdown. That was one of just two games where the 49ers allowed a running back to crack the 20-point barrier in PPR formats (the other was Christian McCaffrey). In fact, there were just three backs who reached 100-plus total yards against them. The next meeting between the two, Drake finished with 80 total yards and no touchdown. The 49ers did trade away DeForest Buckner, who was a a big reason for their success up the middle of the field, even if he was a better pass rusher than anything. They drafted his replacement in Javon Kinlaw, but he's a rookie with no experience. But again, knowing there were just eight running backs who finished better than the RB24 against the 49ers, we know it's not a great matchup. Drake should still net 15-plus touches in this game and be treated as a decent RB2.
34 weeks ago
Darren Waller Note
Darren Waller photo 50. Darren Waller TE - (at CAR)
There are a lot of questions surrounding the wide receivers and running backs in the Raiders' offense and how they'll be deployed, but Waller is the lone constant. The Panthers were the No. 4 defense against tight ends last year, but not because they were so good against them or anything. In fact, the 8.99 yards per target they allowed was the second-highest number in the league behind only the Cardinals. The reason they allowed so few of fantasy points was because tight ends were targeted just 83 times all season (5.2 times per game) against them. Waller had just two games last year with fewer than five targets, including 10 games with seven or more targets. The yardage should be there, and given the new defensive scheme with more than a handful of new starters, Waller should offer a very stable TE1 floor in this game. He can be considered in cash games if you need to save some money from the elite options.
34 weeks ago
John Brown Note
John Brown photo 74. John Brown WR - (at CAR)
He was a model citizen last year, posting at least 9.2 half PPR points in 13-of-16 games. That's going to change with the arrival of Diggs. There were just three games last year where Brown didn't see at least five targets. In fact, he saw eight-plus targets in 50 percent of the games. Losing volume will be damaging because he already lacked upside (finished with more than 13.4 half PPR points just three times last year). The Jets secondary is one that can be attacked as one of the worst in football, as they don't have an above-average cornerback on the perimeter. Pierre Desir was their "big" signing in free agency, but he was continually torched with the Colts last year, allowing 46-of-72 passing for 676 yards and five touchdowns in his coverage. He's also been dealing with a hamstring injury throughout camp while learning a new defensive scheme. Because of that, there's an avenue to success for Brown in this game, though it would require him to do more with less. Given the Bills are big favorites, it's unlikely Allen throws the ball more than 30-34 times. Because of that, consider Brown a boom-or-bust WR4 in a plus matchup.
34 weeks ago
Henry Ruggs III Note
Henry Ruggs III photo 80. Henry Ruggs III WR - (at CAR)
Most think Ruggs is just a deep threat with his 4.2-second speed. That's not his game. He's a guy who does well in the open field. The idea is to get him the ball quickly and let him do his work with elusiveness after the catch. The matchup in Week 1 is a good one, as opposing wide receivers averaged 14.2 receptions per game against the Panthers secondary last year, which ranked as the third-most in the league. On a per-target basis, they allowed just 1.67 PPR points, which was actually better than the league average. They were so bad against the run, teams were able to simply dink-and-dunk their way down the field, as evidenced by the 12.39 yards per reception to wide receivers. Their opponents averaged 65.1 plays per game, which is why we saw so many receptions available. Meanwhile, the Raiders only averaged 61.8 plays per game in 2019. Knowing they have the same coaching staff, we could see them increase the no-huddle approach this season. Ruggs isn't a locked-and-loaded WR3 in fantasy just yet, but the upside to finish as a top-20 wide receiver is there. I'll consider him a volatile WR4 for his first NFL game.
34 weeks ago
Bryan Edwards Note
Bryan Edwards photo 115. Bryan Edwards WR - (at CAR)
If you missed it, Tyrell Williams suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder during training camp. His season is over. With a lot less competition last year, Williams never saw more than seven targets in a game and didn't see more than four targets after Week 12, so we don't know how big Edwards' role can be, but he's fantasy relevant due to the injury. He's a third-round rookie who Derek Carr has reportedly fell in love with during training camp. It's still hard to trust a rookie wide receiver, especially when he's the third option on his team, at best. Edwards is a perimeter wide receiver who'll be the big-bodied target that Carr could look towards in the red zone, as he's 6-foot-3 and 212 pounds. The Panthers cornerback unit is questionable, at best. After losing James Bradberry this offseason, they replaced him with free agent Eli Apple and fourth-round rookie Troy Pride Jr. Pairing Apple with Donte Jackson, the Panthers have one of the worst cornerback depth charts in the league. They then lost Apple to injured reserve during training camp. Jackson allowed a touchdown every 10.0 targets in 2019, while Apple was on his third team in three years. Edwards will likely present value this season, but it's difficult to say how much right now, especially in a game where they should be able to run the ball rather efficiently. Consider him a WR5 for this week, but one who could have a bigger role than you think. If you have room on the end of your bench, add him before the games begin.
34 weeks ago
Hunter Renfrow Note
Hunter Renfrow photo 122. Hunter Renfrow WR - (at CAR)
When the Raiders said that Henry Ruggs would play in the slot, it crushed the value of Renfrow, who played 71 percent of his snaps in the slot last year. Because of that, it was going to be interesting to see how they got Renfrow on the field. Now that Tyrell Williams is out for the season, it's unlikely they can get Ruggs into the slot as much as they wanted. The Raiders had three wide receivers on the field just 54 percent of the time last year, which was the eighth-lowest mark in the league. The Panthers are one of the weaker depth charts in the league when it comes to cornerback, and particularly the slot, as they're slated to have rookie Troy Pride Jr. take over that role. But again, until we know how often Renfrow will be on the field, you cannot play him in fantasy right now. Even before all these questions, he played just 34.2 percent of the snaps last year. Now adding Ruggs and Bryan Edwards, it gets a bit dicier, but Renfrow is the stable veteran. He should be considered a mediocre WR5 this week. He's not someone I'm excited to play, but he should offer a semi-decent floor.
34 weeks ago
Jalen Richard Note
Jalen Richard photo 164. Jalen Richard RB - (at CAR)
Willie Snead IV Note
Willie Snead IV photo 198. Willie Snead IV WR - (at CAR)
Jason Witten Note
Jason Witten photo 241. Jason Witten TE - (at CAR)
Foster Moreau Note
Foster Moreau photo 263. Foster Moreau TE - (at CAR)
Alec Ingold Note
Alec Ingold photo 288. Alec Ingold RB - (at CAR)
Zay Jones Note
Zay Jones photo 296. Zay Jones WR - (at CAR)
Derek Carrier Note
Derek Carrier photo 381. Derek Carrier TE - (at CAR)
Trey Quinn Note
Trey Quinn photo 390. Trey Quinn WR - (at CAR)
Keelan Doss Note
Keelan Doss photo 401. Keelan Doss WR - (at CAR)