👀 Fantasy Nuggets from the Owners' Meetings

The offseason news cycle never stops...

Fantasy Life Newsletter sponsored by Moby

All love and prayers to the people of Baltimore.

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Moby:

  • Takeaways from the Owners and Coaches Meetings

  • An Update on Nick Chubb: Good news for Cleveland

  • Jayden Daniels Prospect Profile: Ian breaks down the Heisman winner

  • It’s 3/27. Take it away, Chris Allen…

If you get enough decision-makers together, somebody’s going to let something slip.

Well, at least that’s the hope.

Most of the league’s movers and shakers are down in Orlando to talk shop and unveil changes coming next season (more on that in a bit). And with all of the media around, a few of the interviews generated some buzz in the fantasy space.

😱 Calvin Ridley is the next… Ja’Marr Chase?

ESPN’s Kevin Clark sat down with Titans’ HC Brian Callahan about his plans for Calvin Ridley. And, despite joining a passing game already featuring DeAndre Hopkins, Cincinnati’s former OC compared Ridley to the Bengals’ WR1.

“You’re looking at a very similar role to what Ja’Marr [Chase] played.”

Of course, that’s the headline.

But Callahan expanded on what most of us would consider to be clickbait with Ridley’s ability to win both from the slot and on the perimeter. And the former Jaguar can still run a full route tree. All of which line up with the tape despite a tough ending to 2023.

Regardless, if Tennessee wants to use its $92M-dollar WR like a true WR1, his fifth-round ADP on Underdog might be worth the cost.

🚀 Kyle Pitts to the MF’ing Moon

I realize Pete got everyone riled up talking about Kyle Pitts last week. But I’m going to ask for everyone to stay calm reading about HC Raheem Morris’ thoughts on his new TE.

Morris is already referring to Pitts by a cool nickname?

Pitts brings nothing but excitement?!

Atlanta’s coaching staff is really excited about…Pitts’ TARGETS?!?!

Drake London’s ADP has already soared into the second round (ADP: 23.2), while Pitts sits around 68th overall. If we can chalk up some of his lagging production in ‘23 to injury recovery, the Falcons’ TE should see a similar boost in draft cost.

🦅 The Eagles’ Offense Will Be…Interesting

Naturally, differing styles need time to mesh. And in Philadelphia, combining Nick Sirianni’s approach and new OC Kellen Moore’s schematic tendencies shouldn’t be any different. But at this point, the uncertainty is worth monitoring.

To be fair, Sirianni did give the former Chargers’ and Cowboys’ OC some props for ‘directing the ship’ so far (whatever that means). But looking at just their 2023 playcalling philosophies, they’ve got some work to do.

  • Dropback Over Expectation Rate: 4.0% (Moore), -1.0% (Sirianni)

  • Under Center Rate: 19.1%, 7.1%

  • RPO Rate: 14.6%, 19.0%

  • Pre-Snap Motion Rate: 59.0%, 26.4%

Adding Saquon Barkley, an RB whose target share has been above 10.0% every season since 2018, to a squad that hasn’t involved their rushers to that degree since 2019 (Miles Sanders) was already something of a headscratcher. But hopefully, Moore’s sermons from the Good Book of the Forward Pass will keep the values of the Eagles’ pass-catching trio of A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert stable for 2024.

🧐 Robert Kraft Wants a QB

Most first-round mocks hinge on what the Patriots will do at third overall. Some think they’ll trade down. New England’s GM Eliot Wolf could look to stockpile picks and build their offensive line, based on his time in Green Bay.

But apparently, Robert Kraft has a sliiiiiiiightly different idea of the direction his team should take.

New England’s front office already has ‘lengthy’ meetings set up with the top QB prospects. From Drake Maye to Jayden Daniels (Ian has some thoughts on Daniels later), the Patriots are doing their due diligence before the opening night of the draft. Either route they choose, it’ll give us a keen insight into how decisions and investments are being made in this new age of Patriots football.

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Watercooler

📈 Bijan Robinson is being drafted WHERE?? Biggest ADP trends to watch.

😲 Kickoff returns are back, baby! Check out the new rules starting this season.

Pittsburgh signs the top FA return man. I’m going to have the Steelers’ D/ST on every roster.

📉 Saints’ star OL may not be cleared for play. Means more targets to Kamara, right?

🤓 Rookie visits are happening left and right. Check out which prospects are meeting with your team!

😤 Browns' GM gives an update on Nick Chubb. April will be a huge month for Cleveland.

⏰ The league moves the trade deadline. Deals and the election on the same day. What a world.

🎄 Goodell announces a change to the ‘24 schedule. Some would call it a gift. Others? Well…

Jayden Daniels Profile

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner racked up ridiculous numbers as both a passer (3,812 yards and 40 TDs) and rusher (135-1,134-10) during his magical 2023 campaign. And now, he’s the rookie QB2 in best ball drafts.

Is he worth the click? Let’s see what Ian has to say about Jayden Daniels…

👍 Pro: Can be a pure pocket passer constantly willing to go through progressions

You might assume that Daniels’ ridiculous rushing ability makes him a bit of a run-first QB who needs to learn how to be better at winning from the pocket.

In reality: Not really! While having Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas constantly winning their respective one-on-one battles on the outside sure as hell helped matters, Daniels deserves a lot of credit for his repeated ability to win from the pocket.

As NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein eloquently puts it:

However, teams must also recognize that he has no issues sitting in the pocket and working through progressions as a platform thrower with good mechanics and footwork. Daniels possesses the football intelligence to get himself protected and take care of the football with quality decision-making. He’s an accurate passer over the first two levels and throws with anticipation to slice and dice zone coverages.”

There’s also PFF’s excellent 2024 draft guide, which includes “Stable Metrics” for every QB. They are defined as metrics that tend to be more predictive of future success than unstable metrics. The most stable facets of QB play are those with the biggest sample sizes, even though they intuitively seem “easier.”

Daniels’ performance in the five corresponding stable metrics:

  • No pressure grade: 93rd percentile

  • Early down grade: 93rd

  • No play-action grade: 98th

  • Negative play % grade: 98th

  • Passes past the sticks grade: 97th

There are countless examples of Daniels putting the football exactly where it needs to be downfield. His deep slot fades in particular were often b-e-a-utiful. I even think the idea that he “can’t” throw over the middle is quite overrated.

The man didn’t throw for 40 TDs in 12 games by accident last season; Daniels consistently made the most out of his (admittedly pristine) offensive environment at LSU.

For (mostly) better and worse: Daniels’ deep ball and speed force defenses to account for virtually every square inch of the field when he’s under center. This isn’t a trait that all QBs come close to possessing; even relative early-career struggles at the next level should at least still result in fantasy-friendly production along with a positive gravity-induced impact on the rest of his offense.

Fantasy Life Newsletter sponsored by Moby