In the Superflex SuperShow Podcast, John Hogue, James Koutoulas and Travis Rasmussen discuss news, rankings and strategy for fantasy football’s many alt-scoring systems: 2QB, TE Premium, Points Per Carry, Points Per Target, and above all else, SuperFlex!
Here, they are joined by DLF writer Bobby Koch to ask some key dynasty questions with training camps and preseason underway…
(This is part two of three.)
3. Who is an under-the-radar player you will be keeping a close eye on in training camp/preseason games?
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John: I’ll give you two of them because I can’t get enough of either. First up: Wide receiver Justin Watson, sixth-round draft pick from the University of Pennsylvania. Watson is already abusing third-string defensive backs in training camp, and by the start of the regular season, he will be a household name. There are a lot of mouths to feed in Tampa Bay (Mike Evans is the alpha, Chris Godwin, and O.J. Howard appear ready to break out, and Cameron Brate and DeSean Jackson are reliable veteran weapons) and we’re hoping for the weird, rubbery and disjointed fingers of Jameis Winston to feed them all (and let’s see them eat more than just “W’s”). But Watson fills a void for the Bucs in the slot, providing Winston with another big, fast target who can work the middle of the field in three wide receiver sets, so he could carve out a serious role during camp and the preseason and start to contribute immediately.
The other name I have for you is Phillip Lindsay, a pass-catching running back for the Denver Broncos who is a Denver native and was signed as an undrafted free agent going into this, his rookie season. While Devontae Booker attempts to fight off rookie Royce Freeman and second-year back De’Angelo Henderson for the lead back role, Lindsay is already locking up the pass-catching role with his receiving abilities and electric open field speed and elusiveness. The poor man’s Christian McCaffrey isn’t even being drafted in the deepest of dynasty leagues, so pick him up now in all PPR formats.
Travis: This may seem like a boring pick, but I’m keeping my eye on Cole Beasley who has returned to “under the radar” status once again after his down year in 2017. Yes, WR32 in 2016 was his best career year to date (and by a long shot), but we all know there are targets to be had in this offense. Beasley is the only receiver here who has produced fantasy relevance with Dak Prescott before. He also works in the short-to-intermediate areas of the field where Jason Witten used to dominate. He has proven to be a reliable target (68.9% career catch rate – entirely with the Cowboys), and there’s a chance he could be a reliable WR3 play in PPR leagues in 2018. He’s currently the WR103 in dynasty startups and likely attainable on waivers or for a fourth-round pick, and there’s a decent chance he sees a value increase this season.
James: I think a lot of people are ready to hand over the starting tight end reps in New Orleans to Benjamin Watson. I don’t think it’s that cut and dry. Josh Hill is a player Saints are high on. Don’t believe me? Look back to the 2016 off-season. Then-restricted free agent Josh Hill signed an offer sheet with the Bears for three years. It would have been easy for the Saints to let go of Hill – after all, they had then-starting tight end Coby Fleener under contract. To the surprise of many, the Saints matched the offer sheet and retained Hill’s services. Now is the ideal time to give Hill an opportunity to start at tight end, and I’ll be watching closely how he is used this preseason.
Bobby: With the release of Brandon LaFell from the Bengals, I’ll be watching to see what the combination of Auden Tate, Tyler Boyd, and Josh Malone do. I think people are already assigning John Ross the WR2 targets for the Bengals because he was a first round pick, but I’m not willing to concede that battle is over. If any of the three I mentioned has a strong camp, they will work themselves into the rotation. Catching passes from Andy Dalton isn’t my favorite thing in the world, but with the lack of weapons for the Bengals, one of them could turn themselves into a fantasy-relevant asset. That would mean very good things for a player you can acquire for the price of a fourth if not a waiver wire pickup.
4. Which team has you most intrigued going into training camps/preseason play and why?
John: I’ve got two for you for very similar reasons: the Dallas Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders. We’re all convinced they are going to be horrible in 2018; because injuries and suspensions made them look horrible last year, because their young star QBs were humanized, because their head coaches are out of touch, because a top receiving target departed in the off-season… and all of that is true.
But I’m looking for Dallas to rally around Dak Prescott, and the new era with Dak as the face of the franchise begins with surprising success. Dez Bryant (cut) and Jason Witten (retired) leave over 270 targets up for grabs, but they won’t just disappear; Prescott has the opportunity to spread the ball around and find the receivers with whom he is comfortable, and not just the same 1A and 1B options.
The Raiders are a much tougher sell and, quite frankly, I remain unconvinced that they will outperform our expectations. But a Jon Gruden-coached offense 1) runs the ball effectively, and 2) throws the ball efficiently, mostly to a single target. The trio of Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and Marshawn Lynch – along with a strong (yet aging) supporting cast – could field a sneaky good offense, with a healthy supply of fantasy points to those who dare to believe.
Travis: I’m most excited and intrigued by the Colts for this training camp and most of all for the preseason. This offense has been anemic and boring both in the real football and fantasy football realms for the last year, so it will be nice to finally have Andrew Luck back in the captain’s chair, fantasy gods willing. Moreso, though, I’m intrigued by the positional battles literally everywhere else at the offensive skill positions. The WR2/3 jobs are up for grabs, the TE1/2 roles are uncertain, and the RB1/2/3 spots are up in the air as well.
Rookie WR Deon Cain received a ton of buzz in camp but after his ACL injury, Chester Rodgers and Ryan Grant are battling for that WR2 spot. Eric Ebron is a real threat to Jack Doyle’s fantasy production in my opinion (they brought in one of the most athletic, young tight ends and made him the ninth-highest paid tight end in football despite his disappointing start). Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, and Jordan Wilkins are all fighting for touches in that backfield. Though Mack is currently to favorite to lead the RBs in touches, that situation is by no means settled. I’m excited to see all of these positional battles work themselves out and hopefully we get a clearer picture later in the preseason.
James: It’s never dull in Cleveland. While most believe Tyrod Taylor will at least open the season the Browns starting QB, eyes will be on number one overall pick, Baker Mayfield. QB might be the focal point, but the most intriguing battle might be at running back. What role does Carlos Hyde earn, and how significantly does Nick Chubb factor in? How is Duke Johnson’s usage affected by what should be a more competitive team?
While all this is something to be sifted through at running back, the WRs are suddenly a point of interest. What’s really going on with Josh Gordon? What’s with the Dez talk? Who will step up in after Corey Coleman‘s departure? All these things will be at the center of focus for the Browns as well. Lastly, can David Njoku take a step forward this season and build on an inconsistent rookie campaign? Lots of questions and talent in Cleveland makes this a camp to watch! (And we all get a front row seat on Hard Knocks!)
Bobby: I’m going to hate myself for this but I’m going to say the Jets. It might just be because whenever the Giants aren’t on, I watch their games too. I know Quincy Enunwa is dealing with a thumb injury that will keep him out for a bit but I really want to see if he can return to his 2016 form. Additionally, despite his off-field issues, I like Robby Anderson the football player. The person? Not so much. Regardless, with the team taking a quarterback within the top ten picks, they are moving in a new direction and I’m very interested to see how they do. Plus, I gotta root for Isaiah Crowell to do well for my man Peter Howard.
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