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Fantasy Football Player Notes

Week 1 Rankings

John Brown Note
John Brown photo 35. John Brown (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 39. Henry Ruggs III (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 55. Bryan Edwards (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 62. Hunter Renfrow (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
Willie Snead IV Note
Willie Snead IV photo 93. Willie Snead IV (at CAR)
Zay Jones Note
Zay Jones photo 128. Zay Jones (at CAR)
Trey Quinn Note
Trey Quinn photo 166. Trey Quinn (at CAR)
Keelan Doss Note
Keelan Doss photo 172. Keelan Doss (at CAR)
Robert Davis Note
Robert Davis photo 202. Robert Davis (at CAR)