🚀 The Rookie WR With Insane Upside

He's getting pricey...

It’s almost “best shape of their life” season…

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Moby:

  • The next great fantasy WR.

  • Watercooler: An NFL player tries sumo.

  • Veteran RB Winners: Two committees escape the draft unscathed.

  • It’s 5/6. Take it away, Peter Overzet…

Chiefs WR Xavier Worthy isn’t just the fastest player in the NFL. He’s also the fastest riser in current drafts.

When drafts opened a week ago, he had a default rank of 94 (Round 8) in Underdog contests.

When I wrote about him on Friday as a fast riser to target before he got too expensive, he was up to pick 70 (Round 6).

And as of this morning, he’s knocking on the door of Round 5 with an ADP of 62.1

Perhaps the most interesting element of this meteoric rise, is that he’s now flipped two fellow Chiefs pass catchers in ADP, Marquise Brown and Rashee Rice:

Chiefs WR ADP

I highly recommend checking out our slick ADP grid when you get a chance

Worthy was always going to be a popular post-draft target, but the bearishness surrounding Rice’s suspension has poured gasoline on the Worthy hype train and subsequently plummeted Rice’s stock.

The question then becomes: how high is too high for Worthy’s price? On Friday, I recommended taking him as much as you can in the 6th with the assumption he’d settle in the 5th. But now I’m not so sure that’s the ceiling for his ADP.

As someone who once chased Skyy Moore up boards way too aggressively, I’m very familiar with how you can get burned in these situations if you aren’t careful.

On the other hand, we’re talking about a unicorn athlete who gets to play with one of the best QBs of all time.

Andy Reid recently compared Worthy’s body type and ability to contribute in the return game to DeSean Jackson, which is a very intriguing comp.

The bear case against Worthy is Reid often slow playing his rookies, but eagle-eyed NFL fans will note that DJax got out to an extremely fast start under Reid as a rookie.

Recommendation: I’m not going to advocate for fading Worthy, even at a 5th round cost, but it’s possible his price comes down. If you want cheaper Worthy, I’d also recommend RT’ing this video of him dropping a ball at his first practice.

At the very least, you should be able to get much better prices in home leagues, but you’ll be forced to pay up on Underdog where drafters are willing to pay a hefty premium for upside.

His ultimate cost will come down to what happens with Rice, so stay locked into that news and react accordingly.

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Watercooler

💰 The NFL Draft dust has settled…So now we predict the 2024 season.

🤫 The Broncos know how to keep a secret. Well played.

🤼 Micah Parsons vs. a sumo wrestler. Yes, you read that right.

😆 Kentucky Derby Horse or NFL player nickname. Matthew at the Derby.

📈 The best & worst rookie landing spots for fantasy. Great breakdown.

👋 There’s a new No. 14 in Buffalo. They moved on quickly from Stefon Diggs.

🤗 Duke Johnson retires. Everyone give Ian a hug today.

RB Winners

⚡️ Chargers RBs

  • Gus Edwards, J.K. Dobbins

Look, I realize the allure of sixth-round rookie RB Kimani Vidal. He's fast (4.46 40-yard dash) with theoretical three-down size (5'8" 213 pounds) and even managed to post a 92-700-1 receiving line in four years at Troy.

But c'mon people. The man fell to Round 6 (pick 181) for a reason. The Chargers made six selections before addressing their backfield.

Kudos to Chargers general manager Joe Hortiz for saying nice things about the guy he drafted (that never happens!), but let's face it people: Day three RBs seldom provide booms in fantasy land, both as rookies and throughout the rest of their career.

I'm not saying you can't use a mid-round rookie pick or late-round re-draft dart on Vidal; just realize the minimal resources devoted to this backfield in the draft really bodes well for both Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins ahead of 2024.

Head coach Jim Harbaugh is fully expected to run the piss out of the football, meaning both former Ravens RBs should be flirting with double-digit touch workloads from Week 1 of this season. It's fair to be more enthused with Edwards than Dobbins considering the history of RBs coming off an Achilles tear, but then again the latter back claims to be back to full health and seemingly has a chance to earn the starting job.

Ultimately, we have a fairly clear-cut top-three inside of a backfield that figures to contend with being one of the league's most run-heavy offenses … and each of them is currently priced outside of the top-36 options at the position.

This is the exact sort of backfield that zero/hero-RB enthusiasts should be attacking and is reminiscent of the discount afforded to all Dolphins RBs last season – don't be afraid to throw late-round darts at all three parties involved.

🤠 Cowboys RBs

  • Ezekiel Elliott, Rico Dowdle

Maybe Jerry Jones' "All in" offseason approach nets the team another RB in the future via trade, but for now the starting job seems to be between Ezekiel ElliottRico DowdleDeuce Vaughn and Royce Freeman.

While Zeke didn’t seem COMPLETELY washed last season (Fun fact: Elliott posted a faster top speed than Tony Pollard!), the former No. 4 overall pick has certainly been on a downward trend as of late:

  • 2018: +0.45 rushing yards over expected per carry (No. 17 among qualified RBs)

  • 2019: +0.4 (No. 12)

  • 2020: +0.03 (No. 32)

  • 2021: -0.19 (No. 31)

  • 2022: -0.34 (No. 43)

  • 2023: -0.39 (No. 43)

Don’t expect a workhorse role for the soon-to-be 29-year-old veteran, but Elliott does profile as the most likely goal-line option inside the NFL’s reigning No. 1 ranked scoring offense. There’s potential for TD-dependent RB3 usage here, particularly if the Cowboys refrain from making any relevant trades at the position between now and Week 1.

Dowdle is the other late-round dart worth throwing here. The former undrafted free agent has just 113 career touches to his name, but flashed in 2023 – particularly in the passing game, where he posted top-10 marks at the position in yards per reception (8.5) and yards per route run (1.35).

It's unlikely Rico ever seizes full control of the backfield; just realize double-digit combined carries and targets per game inside a likely top-10 scoring offense could go a long way in fantasy land.

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