📈 Just Like This Second-Year RB

It's time to level up...

Fantasy Life
July 8, 2024


Hey, my eyes are up here…But I can't blame you for being distracted. The new-look Fantasy Life newsletter is a looker, so feel free to stare away. It's a big day around here. In addition to the makeover, today also marks the launch of FantasyLife+, our new premium offering geared to take your fantasy skills to the next level. More details on that below.

Peter Overzet

Speaking of taking skills to the next level, the hype around Dolphins second-year RB, De'Von Achane continues to build.

If you made a short list of players who could absolutely break fantasy football in 2024, Achane would be near the top. We've already seen him drop fifty points in a single game and top Miami beat reporter, Travis Wingfield, has been beyond impressed by what he's seen at recent practices.

Achane is a very tricky archetype to project. He's unlikely to see anywhere close to the volume of many RBs going after him in drafts, and yet his single-game spike week potential can single-handedly tilt matchups. I've been regularly taking the plunge on Achane in the mid-third round of Underdog drafts and plan to pack even more bags before the season kicks off.

What is in today’s newsletter?

  1. Kendall Valenzuela has three players she loves for 2024. Are you in or out?

  2. Ian Hartitz updated his rankings. He has THOUGHTS.

  3. FantasyLife+ is here. You won’t want to miss this.


3 Players I Love

Three Players I Love: Why DeVonta Smith is Worth His High Price This Draft Season

by Kendall Valenzuela

Yeah, love is a strong word, but I believe with a little bit of convincing you'll start to love drafting these three players — all in different stages, of course — as much as I do.

One is a true love who I try to never doubt.

The second? A complicated past.

And the third is a new romance — a summer fling, if you will. 

Let's jump in…

True Love: DeVonta Smith

This offseason was a good one for Smith and the Eagles; both sides agreed to a contract extension worth $75 million that will keep the wide receiver on the team through the 2028 season. 

In 2022, Smith and A.J. Brown became the first WR tandem in Eagles history to both reach 1,000 receiving yards — and they repeated the feat in 2023. The big reason I'm high on Smith is because it's a make-or-break season for head coach Nick Sirianni — and that's going to result in a revamped, hungry offense.

The Eagles have a new offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore and that's a huge win for fantasy players. Moore didn't have his best season as OC of the Chargers in 2023 (18th in total offense and 21st in points), but his four year stint in Dallas is a far better indicator of success — the Cowboys finished top six in scoring three of four seasons with Moore on their payroll. Plus, it wasn't all bad for Moore in 2023 — especially in the context of loving Smith — as the Chargers had the third-most pass attempts in the league last year.

Clicking on Smith right now isn't cheap — he has a WR18 price tag — but it's worth it. Not every draft pick has to be a steal! We know that with Brown on the other side we can't look at Smith as a true WR1, but both players rank inside the position's top-16 most-targeted options over the past two seasons.

At the start of the 2024 season, Smith will be 25 years old and, according to Dwain McFarland's report on how age impacts wide receiver performance, ages 24 to 27 represent the typical prime years for wide receivers — meaning we should aggressively draft ascending or elite wide receivers entering this range. 

I want any slice of this Philadelphia team that I can get. Led by Jalen Hurts, this Eagles offense has ranked fifth in points per game (26.8) over the last two seasons, and Smith has logged 240 catches for 3,178 yards and 19 touchdowns over three seasons. Sign me up for a revamp and a top finish for Smith in 2024. 



Introducing FantasyLife+

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Ranking Updates

Fantasy Football Rankings Update: Why I'm High on Antonio Gibson, Low on Puka Nacua — and More.

by Ian Hartitz

Fantasy football never sleeps, but things have at least been a bit chill since the draft. Accordingly, I spent May and June previewing all 32 teams (you can read them here!) to get a better idea of what every roster is working with ahead of August when we’ll really start learning a bit more about these squads.

All that writing naturally led to plenty of opportunities to adjust the 'ole fantasy ranks, which brings us to today's goal: Breaking down my biggest rankings takeaways after publishing 65,000-plus words previewing every squad in the NFL.

As always: It's a great day to be great.

1. Ya'll must have forgotten Kyler Murray is a baller

Five awesome things about Murray's fantasy football prognosis:

  • The 2019 NFL Draft's No. 1 overall pick is one of four QBs in NFL history to average 20-plus fantasy points per game in his career.

  • He led a top-10 offense in EPA per play, yards per play and TD drive percentage upon returning from injury last season – and looked good doing it.

  • Now healthy, Murray received one of the offseason's biggest prizes in the form of (wait for it) generational WR Marvin Harrison Jr., who is projected to put up top-12 numbers in his first season as a pro.

  • Dual-threat QBs tend to be a bit of a cheat code in fantasy land.

  • Oh yeah, there's also weekly shootout potential on a team with the league's reigning 31st-ranked scoring defense 

And you're telling me there are 80 players who drafters would apparently rather have at the moment? Couldn't be me: Murray is my QB6 and 64th-ranked player off the board – both highs among the Fantasy Life rankings staff.


The latest analysis and insights from our merry band of football nerds:

✍️ Optimal draft strategy from 1.02. Should you really auto-click CeeDee Lamb?

🐅 Restoring the roar? Dive into how a healthy Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and co. can reclaim their titles as Kings of the jungle.

🤔 Is Lamar Jackson unfairly criticized? A former star RB weighs in.

👀 The greatest no-look pass in history? It's up there.

🔥 Malik Nabers isn't missing a workout. From the tarmac to the track.

🐎 Who will be the Broncos QB? Meet the contenders.


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