😬 Awkward Moments From Radio Row

God bless JSN...

Webex

Wait until Mac Jones learns he has a new Head Coach…

In today's Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Webex:

  • JSN and Tony Pollard being characters

  • Dwain’s Top 150: Early 2024 ranks

  • CMC got lost at the Super Bowl as a baby

  • Freedman’s Favorites: Big names to bet on

  • It’s 2/8. Take it away, Peter Overzet…

Chiefs and Niners might be the main attractions this week, but there’s a lot more going on at the Super Bowl.

Most of it is fairly innocuous, but if you keep your eyes peeled, there’s some fun stuff…

🙃 JSN throws shade at Shane Waldron

A Chicago media outlet asked Seattle WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba what Bears fans should think about their new OC Shane Waldron—who was JSN’s OC in Seattle for his rookie year—and his response was hilariously telling:

If you’re not able to play the video, I’ll give you a quick recap of his response:

  • a deep breath and an “umm”

  • a loooong pause

  • a half-joking question about whether the interview was “live”

  • and then the cherry on top: a “good luck to y’all” followed by a bunch of obviously insincere platitudes

Hot damn. Apparently, JSN was just as tilted as us with his rookie-year usage.

🤣 Tony Pollard learns his DC is gone

Pollard learned about Dan Quinn leaving the Cowboys on the Pat McAfee show…a week after it happened:

Maybe the Cowboys should start an internal newsletter? How about a text thread?

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DM Top 150

Dwain gives his early top-150 overall players for 2024 fantasy football drafts and goes position by position to highlight players that stand out, including Breece Hall, Puka Nacua, and more.

🏅 Jalen Hurts – QB2

Hurts delivered 22.4 fantasy points per game (PPG) in 2023 and has eclipsed 21.0 PPG in each of the last three seasons. The fifth-year QB is surrounded by three high-end weapons in A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert, and Hurts now has a pass-friendly offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore.

The dual-threat QB will have a shot at career-highs in passing attempts, yards, and TDs in 2024. I currently have Hurts ranked as my No. 19 overall player, which is 16 spots ahead of his current Underdog ADP.

DM Top 150

🏅 Breece Hall – RB2

Like the rest of the Jets, Hall had to suffer through a terrible QB rotation after the loss of Aaron Rodgers in Week 1. However, after ramping up from his 2022 ACL injury, Hall took over the backfield starting in Week 5. Over the final 13 games of the year as the lead back, Hall averaged 19.9 PPG, dominated 67% of the rushing attempts, and saw a juicy 18% target share.

The third-year RB will be another year removed from his knee injury, and the return of Rodgers should upgrade the offense as a whole, even if he isn’t 100% back to his former MVP form. If there's an RB that can catch CMC in fantasy next year, it's Hall, as long as the rest of the Jets' offense cooperates.

🏅 Puka Nacua – WR7

The fifth-round rookie WR erupted for 17.6 PPG in his first season in the NFL despite having had to battle Cooper Kupp for targets. Based on data since 2011, all of Nacua’s underlying metrics also check out. His closest rookie comps include some elite company based on a composite score using target share, yards per route run (YPRR), and Pro Football Focus (PFF) receiving grade.

  • Odell Beckham Jr.

  • Justin Jefferson

  • Ja’Marr Chase

  • Mike Evans

  • Tyreek Hill

  • A.J. Brown

As high as I am on Nacua, I'm actually below current consensus ADP on Underdog. Nacua is being drafted as the WR6 off the board right now, and it's hard to knock that. Barring injury, it's hard to see Nacua falling out of the first round of 2024 fantasy football drafts.

🏅 Trey McBride – TE4

After taking over the lead role in Week 10, McBride was one of the best TEs in fantasy football, with an average of 14.8 PPG. From then on, he carved out an 86% route participation rate and garnered a mind-boggling 28% target share.

TB UR

The former second-round NFL Draft pick has the makings of an elite TE. His 26% TPRR, 2.22 YPRR, and 85.9 PFF receiving grade make him a top-three TE based on data since 2011, and McBride’s closest comps include fantasy stars like Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski, and Zach Ertz.

My TE4 ranking on McBride aligns with his current positional ADP on Underdog, but I have him ranked 10 spots ahead of his current overall ADP at 46th overall.

Watercooler

✍️ The perfect correlation doesn’t exist? Wrong. Super Bowl Pick’em plays.

➕ The Chiefs activate a WR. Interesting.

🤝 When they score, you score. Must-see TD bets.

🍼 Baby CMC got lost at his first Super Bowl. Lol.

👀 Three must-bet props for Sunday…including a stab at Super Bowl MVP.

📊 What is the vig in betting? You can take advantage of it if you know.

💍 Who is getting a ring first? The Niners or Taylor Swift.

💰 There’s no such thing as too many Super Bowl bets. Especially when they’re free.

🏷️ Will the Giants franchise tag Barkley again? Here’s the latest.

🌍️ Andy Reid is a natural treasure. Just not in Germany.

FF SB

Every week, Matthew Freedman publishes a piece highlighting some of his favorite fantasy plays. Naturally, this piece is called “Freedman’s Favorites”. We told him to get more creative, to which he answered with a resounding “No”. Anyway, here are his favorites for the Super Bowl…

🌟 Brock Purdy (49ers) vs. Chiefs

  • 49ers: -1.5 

  • O/U: 47.5

  • TT: 24.5 (No. 1)

Neither QB has a great setup: Both defenses are strong against the pass, so the matchups are difficult anyway -- and then both defenses are vulnerable against the run, so both teams will have all the more incentive to rely on the ground game.

Given the overall negative passing environment, I’m choosing to highlight the player I think is already undervalued.

In spotlighting Purdy, I’m not saying he’ll have a better fantasy performance than Patrick Mahomes (although he might). Rather, I’m saying that Purdy might hold his own, at least relative to his reputation.

FF SB

He’s not an elite QB, but I swear by the gods of gambling that the guy is more than just a game manager.

He’s aided by the system and the playmakers he has around him, but in the NFC Championship, he made plays out of structure and helped the 49ers -- for the second week in a row -- come back from the brink of defeat to secure victory.

Again, the matchup is tough: The Chiefs are No. 3 in defensive dropback EPA (-0.103) and SR (40.0%, per RBs Don’t Matter).

But the 49ers are fully healthy on offense, Purdy has shown a willingness in the postseason to pick up yardage with his legs (11-62-0 rushing, two games), and this year he has been No. 1 in AY/A (9.9), composite EPA + CPOE (0.194), and QBR (72.7, per ESPN).

Say whatever you want about Purdy’s talent and those numbers, but the previous two second-year QBs to put up stats like that were Mahomes and Lamar Jackson.

There’s a reason Purdy’s playing in the Super Bowl.

🌟 Travis Kelce (Chiefs) vs. 49ers

  • Chiefs: +1.5

  • O/U: 47.5

  • TT: 23 (No. 2)

This year, Kelce had his most inefficient regular season ever (8.1 yards per target) and least productive season since 2016 (984 yards receiving).

Even so, Kelce in the playoffs is a different animal: He has a 30% target share this postseason. After resting in Week 18 and using it as a de facto bye, Kelce has been dominant with a 23-262-3 receiving statline on 27 targets in the playoffs.

Since 2018, when QB Patrick Mahomes became the starter, Kelce has 133-1,516-18 receiving in 17 postseason games. Unreal.

And I like his matchup: Since the 49ers lost SS Talanoa Hufanga (knee, IR) in Week 11, they’ve allowed good performances to comparable-ish TEs Trey McBride (10-102-0, 11 targets), Isaiah Likely (3-56-0, four), and Sam LaPorta (9-97-0, 13).

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