🔑 KEY NFL Insider Offseason Notes

205 days until the 2024 season...

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NFL playoff overtime discourse is a helluva drug…

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Collars and Co.:

  • Insider reports on free agents Josh Jacobs and Gabe Davis

  • Mike Tomlin is a “big fan” of Bears QB Justin Fields

  • What Now?: Open your mind to change

  • It’s 2/13. Take it away, Ian Hartitz…

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano teamed up to write a lovely column detailing all the latest buzz, rumors and news that they heard during Super Bowl week.

The following two tidbits stuck out as especially fantasy-relevant pieces of information.

🏴‍☠️ Raiders have interest in bringing back RB Josh Jacobs

The caveat: Depending on the price.

Jacobs just turned 26 on Sunday (Happy belated!), but he is older in NFL years with 1,305 regular season carries and another 197 receptions already on his odometer. There’s some compelling evidence that NFL RBs really start to decline after 1,500 professional rush attempts.

It sure seems like the noted fantasy football hater has probably already played the best football of his career. After all, things were ROUGH in 2023 just one year removed from Jacobs winning the league's rushing crown.

  • PFF rush grade: 70.1 (No. 40 among 49 RBs with 100-plus carries in 2023)

  • Yards per carry: 3.5 (No. 44)

  • Yards after contact per carry: 2.4 (No. 46)

  • Missed tackles forced per carry: 0.12 (tied for No. 43)

The most damning part of his performance was the lack of explosive plays. This is some awfully clean company to be with and I mean that in a bad way (get it? washed? sorry).

Of course, style points don’t matter in fantasy football land, and Jacobs’ elite volume (RB4 in expected PPR points per game) helped him still work as the RB18 in PPR points per game despite his inefficiency last season.

Backup Zamir White racked up 20-plus touches in all four of his end-of-season spot starts with Jacobs sidelined; whoever winds up working as head coach Antonio Pierce’s No. 1 back figures to see PLENTY of fantasy-friendly utilization — especially if the team can find a way to upgrade from QB Aidan O’Connell.

🤨 Bills WR Gabe Davis might have a good free agency market?

Davis was named alongside multiple strong defensive starters who “should have good markets that Buffalo might have trouble matching” due to the reality that this team is projected to be $52 million over the salary cap.

Teams always have tactics like void years and signing bonuses to clear up cap space, but that could be tough if Davis’ market is bigger than expected — something that NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport certainly seemed to also hint at back in January.

Davis’ big-time postseason performances have undoubtedly been a fun time; he’s a big target who would provide a boost to most offense’s WR rooms at least in the red zone and blocking departments. Still, the most recent version of him left a lot to be desired, especially when considering he was receiving top-tier QB play from Josh Allen in a largely pass-happy offense dying to find a consistent No. 2 option alongside Stefon Diggs.

  • Yards per route run: 1.34 (No. 56)

  • Targets per route run: 14.1% (No. 71)

  • ESPN Receiver Rating: 39 (tied for No. 81)

  • PFF Receiving Grade: 68.7 (tied for No. 54)

Early PFF contract projections have Davis fetching a one-year, $12 million deal; it’d be a CHOICE if someone decides to hand the boom-or-bust artist something closer to what Allen Lazard (4-years, $44 million) landed last offseason.

The bigger fantasy news here isn’t really about what Davis could achieve elsewhere — the history of high-priced players changing teams in free agency is brutal — but rather that Buffalo could suddenly find themselves investing heavily in the position for the first time in a minute.

Fantasy Life’s Matthew Freedman agrees: He has the Bills selecting LSU WR Brian Thomas Jr. in his first official 2024 NFL mock.

The likes of Diggs (right?), Dalton Kincaid, James Cook and Khalil Shakir figure to be plenty involved in the 2024 Bills offense, although it’s hard not to imagine what one of the NFL Draft’s talented young WRs could achieve inside of one of the game’s most prolific passing attacks.

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Around the Watercooler (August 2022)

📺 One final recap to close the book on 2023. Ian and Dwain bring us home.

🧳 Pittsburgh is already shuffling up their QB room. End of an era.

🍔 Retirement is off the table for this man. Three-peat szn.

🐻 Mike Tomlin is a big fan of this current NFC QB. I don’t like it, I LOVE it.

🤝 The Saints finally hire a new OC. That last name sounds familiar.

👍 Monday morning QB discourse tends to be quite volatile. Kevin reminds us that Brock was Purdy damn good this season.

👀 Chiefs and 49ers players had different answers on how prepared they were for OT. Sheesh.

Cooterdoodle's Fantasy Life What Now?

The fantasy football season might be over, but we are NOT ready to unplug. Cooterdoodle is here to keep our minds in check by asking the age-old, evergreen question: “What Now?”

😅 What Now? Grow Up!

There’s a sense of calm and closure that comes with the final whistle of the season. But we don’t stop thinking about football just because there are no more games to watch. That’s child’s play.

But we’re not children. No no no. We’re big, grown adults who just can’t seem to stop thinking about fantasy football.

💰 Pay Your Debts, Big Boy

Hey, loser! Yeah, you. You can’t keep running from the truth and making excuses. (Editor’s Note: Okay! Chill!)

The season is over. Even the worst commissioners have paid out the winners. But there’s one last thing to do…

It’s time to fulfill your last-place league punishment. 

Whether you have to sit at a Waffle House for 24 hours or complete one of our randomly generated punishments from the Punishment Generator, stop procrastinating. 

No one wants to wait for you to get the courage. Grow up and pay your debts.

Cooterdoodle's Fantasy Life What Now?

🧠 Open Your Mind to Change

Change can be scary. I get that. But we’re all adults here. Sometimes we have to evolve and change to be able to grow.

You’ll likely start hearing whispers of league rule changes in the group chat now that the season is officially over. But don’t be the person that shoots everyone’s ideas down.

“If anything changes I’m leaving the league!” Hm. We’ve all heard your cries before.

And while I don’t think anyone should stay in a league that they don’t enjoy, you should at least hear out everyone’s proposals.

If the NFL can change their postseason OT rules, I think we can all be open to the idea of changing our fantasy league rules, too.

👴🏼 Embrace Your Age

We’re all adults here. We’ve got to embrace the fact that the halftime shows and television commercials are now targeting us. 

Not your grandparents. Not your parents. YOU. You are the target audience. 

The youths of America watched the Super Bowl and were left with many, many questions. Questions like, “Who is Usher?”, “What is a Luda?”, and “What is a roller skate?” But this Super Bowl experience was made for us, not the children.

And I think it’s time we embrace the benefits of aging. Maybe we’ll even get a 3 Doors Down or Fall Out Boy performance next year?

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