🙏 If Jared Goff Can Do It...

It's Bounce Back SZN!

Fantasy Life presented by Underdog

Okay. But did Goff's agent get a signing bonus, too??

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Underdog Fantasy:

  • Fresh Starts: Bounce back SZN

  • Watercooler: Does Sean McVay have the best memory in the league?

  • Rankings vs. Expert Consensus: Higher & Lower

  • It's 5/17. Take it away, Cooterdoodle…

I have it on good authority that the ink has officially dried on Jared Goff's new contract extension. And he's going home with more than just a whopping $53M per year. 

Here’s what he’s secured:

Now that's GRIT!

While money doesn’t hurt, the security written into Goff's new contract is what weighed most in his decision. And rightfully so. The league can be a fickle beast.

I mean, it wasn't long ago that Goff’s 2021 trade was labeled as nothing more than a bridge QB deal for DET. Sheesh. From "bridge QB" to "first division title since January 1993". That’s definitely one way to keep your job!

But Goff isn’t the only player to find himself in the midst of a resurgence after switching jerseys… It’s bounce back SZN!

🏴‍☠️ Baker's Bounce Back

The Browns' 2018 first-overall draft pick sure had a rough go of it for a while there, didn't he? Talk about the complete antithesis of “contract security”. 

  • 2021: CLE (3,010 yds, 17 TDs)

  • 2022: CAR (1,313 yds, 6 TDs)

  • 2022 pt.2: LAR (850 yds, 4TDs)

But after his three-team three-way, Baker finally gets to grow roots again.

Not only is he back in Tampa, but Baker's back at the top of his game. And the Bucs agree - signing him to a $100M 3-year deal back in March.

It's not hard to see why. Baker set a few personal records for himself in 2023 with Tampa that topped even his best days in Cleveland.

 2023 TB:

  • CPM%: 64.3% (2nd 2018)

  • Yards: 4,044 (2nd 2019)

  • TDs: 28 (2nd 2018)

Awww. Everyone loves a good comeback story, right? If Goff and Baker could do it, who else might rise from the ashes after a team swap in 2024?

🙏 2024 Bounce Back Candidates

🧐 Austin Ekeler - WSH

While his most recent season wasn't abysmal, Ekeler's six fumbles over the last two years hang fresh in fantasy managers’ minds. Not to mention his recent decline in yardage & TDs. 

🦵 Rushing

2021: 911 yds, 12 TDs
2022: 915 yds, 13 TDs
2023: 628 yds, 5 TDs

💪 Receiving

2021: 647 yds, 8 TDs
2022: 722 yds, 5 TDs
2023: 436 yds, 1 TD

Now, in Ekeler's defense, the Chargers did lose their All-Pro Center, Corey Linsley, in late September. Annnd Ekeler was recovering from an early-season ankle injury.

But a new team and full health are both on the horizon. So whatdya say, Austin? Resurgence in Washington?

👀 Justin Fields - PIT

No no, I haven’t forgotten about Mr. Unliiiiimited. So we’ll have to wait to see what the depth chart says before we can call Fields a bounce-back candidate.


Well, come to think of it… Can you really have an NFL "resurgence" if you've never surged beyond 2,600 yds or 17 TDs? Eh.

Hey, ad break. Save me, will ya??

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📈 Two QBs affected in opposite ways by the schedule release. Adjust the ranks!

✍️ The schedule release doesn’t just impact fantasy football. These early bets have some value.

🧠 Sean McVay is cookin’. Sharpest memory in the league?

🚒 The Chargers are at it again. Boom! Roasted.

🔥 New jerseys in New York. Pieces of the past. The players like them… I think?

🐃 This veteran safety has made a decision. He’s not changing teams. 

Former Bears and Packers TE finds another home in the NFC North. He’ll retire with the Lions for sure.

Rankings vs consensus

With the NFL Draft and the majority of free agent signings behind us, dynasty fantasy football rankings have started to solidify. After a few rookie drafts, Jonathan took some time to compare his ranks to the Fantasy Life consensus rookie ranks to find more players to target or fade.

📈 Rookies I'm Higher On Than Consensus Rankings

🚀 Brock Bowers, TE - Raiders

  • My ranking: 3

  • Consensus: 5.3

Ironically, Bowers is the first player I'm notably higher on because I recently wrote about him not having a great landing spot for producing in 2024.

I stand by the opinion that Las Vegas was not nearly as good of a landing spot as he could have had, but I'm not going to penalize him for it much in dynasty leagues.

Bowers is a truly great TE prospect. He checks all the boxes we look for in a prospect: early breakout age, elite production at a major college program, athleticism, and first-round draft capital.

I don't want to pass on a rare caliber of player just because I'm a bit worried about his short-term situation. Things can change quickly in the NFL (see Houston) so I want to prioritize getting the most talented players on my dynasty roster.

Dwain McFarland's rookie TE Super Model goes back to 2018, and Bowers is the third-highest-rated TE prospect since then. He compiled more than 2,500 receiving yards while playing alongside several other future NFL pass-catchers at Georgia and had a ludicrous 13 receiving TDs as a true freshman. Georgia even used the man on jet sweeps when they had no shortage of talented players to give the ball to.

Bowers is a stud and sometimes we need to just take the best player available towards the top of our rookie drafts. Once Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers are off the board, I am targeting Bowers pretty much regardless of what I have at the TE position.

He has the potential to turn into the type of player you have to trade a ridiculous amount to acquire in dynasty leagues in the near future.

📉 Rookies I'm Lower On Than Consensus Rankings

🙃 Xavier Legette, WR - Panthers

  • My ranking: 22

  • Consensus: 18.3

I understand why some people are really high on Xavier Legette. He has a rare combination of size and speed as well as some truly electric highlights in his final season at South Carolina. Getting first-round draft capital is also a big boost to his prospect profile, but I still find it hard to buy in. 

Legette had virtually no production in his first four college seasons, which is the biggest possible red flag in my book. His 2023 campaign was impressive, but I'm always going to temper expectations for a fifth-year breakout. Legette is a good athlete but not a polished receiver, and he landed on the NFL's worst passing offense from last season.

I do have some hope that Carolina can take a step forward this season with better weapons and a new coaching staff, but there are too many other rookies I would rather bet on. I view Legette as something of a developmental prospect which isn't great considering he is already 23 years old. He may be able to deliver some highlight plays thanks to his strength and speed, but I don't see a player who can consistently command targets.

If he falls to the late second round of my rookie drafts, I would be happy to take a swing based on his athleticism, but I don't expect that to happen, so I'm also perfectly comfortable coming away from my rookie drafts with zero shares of Legette. 

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