Vox Talk: Players We Are Worried We Are Wrong About

Matt Price

Welcome back to another edition of Vox Talk; the series that peels back the curtain on the private DLF writer Voxer chat.

Every off-season, fantasy analysts grind tape, manipulate data, and sort through narratives to crack the fantasy football championship winning code for the upcoming NFL season. We talk about “our guys”, show you film of what a player excels at, and present data supporting reasons why they will be productive fantasy options.

Hundreds of hours are invested in figuring out this game we love and as the final whistle blows on Monday night we’ll once again realize just how little we actually know. We get a bunch of things right, but most of us get the same amount of things wrong.

That leads me to the question I posed to the DLF writers for this edition of Vox talk. I asked the crew what player are they worried they might be wrong about in 2018. Here are their responses and my follow up on their thoughts.

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Eric Olinger

All off-season, I’ve been buying up shares of Jarvis Landry. The needle moved way too far in the negative direction after his trade to Cleveland and people were talking about him being a WR3 at best. I believe in PPR leagues he maintains a low-end WR1 value but I worry a bit after the preseason that the Cleveland running game is going to be efficient enough to complement this under-the-radar defensive unit, therefore lowering the amount of passing attempts per game. He’s not a WR1 but he’s not a WR3 either, He’s in the middle at WR2.

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My thoughts: I’ve been a Landry fan his entire career and I agree with Eric. The market for Landry has rebounded a bit since hitting an all-time low in July but there is still upside at his current price. I’d bet he picks up where he left off in Miami and once leads his new team in targets, receptions, and yardage. I’m still buying for the 1.05 or later.

Jake Anderson

Joe Mixon has all the talent in the world but he’s a Jekyll and Hyde. Mixon flashes everything you want in an RB; explosiveness, elusiveness, and pass catching ability. Can the Bengals show regression to the mean? Offensive line improvements, Jeremy Hill no longer being an obstacle, and losing 15 pounds all point to a potential breakout season. He has RB3 overall potential but has a much lower RB2 kind of floor. Giovani Bernard is arguably the most underrated RB in the game which limits Mixon’s PPR upside. It’s a projection but if everything hits, Mixon will win people leagues. As a dynasty asset, he’s a conundrum in the latter half of the second round of startups. I personally love the talent but I have questions about his production going forward.

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My thoughts: I agree with Jake on Mixon being extremely talented and fitting the mold of what an elite fantasy running back should look like. I’m also sharing a brain with Jake on Mixon being a conundrum. I would much rather get Mixon in the 25-30 range than be forced to spend a mid-late second when I could be getting safer options like A.J. Green and Stefon Diggs. I like Mixon but if I can make a lateral move into one of those guys or even Tyreek Hill or Amari Cooper, I’m doing that all day.

Peter Howard

The player I most worry about being wrong on is Corey Davis. His profile looks great and his time looks to be now with projected offensive improvement around him in his second season, but a breakout is always a long shot.

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My thoughts: Davis is the perfect example of a player I’m holding. While his ADP is at an all-time low I still find myself preferring other options like JuJu Smith-Schuster, T.Y. Hilton, and Travis Kelce at or around the same spot where you have to take Davis. I’m not actively buying but I’m certainly not looking to sell either as I do believe the upside is there to be a fringe fantasy WR1 once that new offense in Tennessee has had a chance to gel.

Ryan Finley

I believe there is a very good chance Tyreek Hill is the next Antonio Brown. I think his skills as a receiver are both underrated and still growing (remember Hill is relatively new to the position). I also believe the fears about target share, competition and efficiency will fade away when we realize just how good he is. But if I’m wrong and his numbers suffer in any significant way, I’ll be left holding the bag, as I’ve made a concerted effort to acquire Hill wherever able the past two off-seasons.

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My thoughts: Tyreek Hill is number one on my personal list of players that I’m worried I’m wrong about but it’s the opposite direction of Ryan. I’ve been vocal this off-season about being down on Hill for many of the reasons Ryan mentioned, but primarily because of regression for his ridiculous efficiency in 2017 and now playing with a quarterback that has played in one NFL game. When Hill caught that 69-yard touchdown in week two of the preseason against Atlanta I realized that none of the rational arguments against Hill succeeding in 2018 mattered. Outliers win fantasy football championships and Tyreek Hill might be an outlier who doesn’t play by the rules. I fear I don’t have nearly enough shares.

Ken Kelly

I believe Aaron Jones is going to emerge and become one of those players who can help a team win this season. If I’m right, it’s awesome. If I’m wrong, total buzzkill.

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My thoughts: Our writers killed it on this question with five players that have given fantasy owners and analysts fits this offseason. Ken wraps things up with Aaron Jones, another player I’ve been up and down on. I preferred Jamaal Williams during their rookie seasons, but have come around on Jones this off-season. Now with Jones suspended for the first two games it once again appears that the job is Williams’ to lose, but in the back of my mind, I can still see Jones being the better fantasy option once he returns.

Williams is the better pass-blocker, and keeping Aaron Rodgers on his feet is more important than anything else for the Packers, but there is no doubt Jones is the more explosive athlete with a higher fantasy ceiling. With a price tag just outside the top 100 for the first time since last October, now is the time to buy if you are a believer. If you can steal him for an early 2nd round pick I think it’s worth the gamble.

May all the bounces go your way in week one.


matt price