💰 Trevor Lawrence got a BAG

Tied with Burrow for highest-paid QB...

FL Mag

83 days until the Chiefs and Ravens kick off the 2024 NFL season

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by The Fantasy Life Magazine:

  • Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence got PAID

  • Saints RB Alvin Kamara isn’t happy with his contract

  • Embracing the Unknown: WRs

  • It’s 6/14. Take it away, Ian Hartitz…

The Jaguars are the latest team to invest HEAVILY in the man they hope will be leading their franchise for years to come: Trevor Lawrence signed a five-year, $275 million deal that includes $200 million guaranteed. T-Law’s $55 million per year ties him with Joe Burrow as the NFL's highest-paid player on an annual basis.

Now, the 2021 NFL Draft’s No. 1 overall pick hasn’t necessarily lived up to the “generational” label during his short career. Lawrence’s magical 27-point Wild Card comeback against the Chargers was great and all; just realize his advanced metrics don’t exactly scream “highest-paid player in the sport”.

Lawrence among all QBs with 300-plus dropbacks:

  • 2021: -0.045 EPA per dropback (No. 26), -4.9% completion percentage over expected (No. 29)

  • 2022: +0.132 EPA (No. 9), +1.4% CPOE (No. 9)

  • 2023: +0.071 EPA (No. 17), +0.9% CPOE (No. 16)

Of course, the Jaguars have hardly surrounded Lawrence with the world’s most QB-friendly environment. Specifically, Jacksonville has boasted the league’s 28th, 20th and 30th-ranked offenses in “Supporting Cast Rating” over the past three seasons. The near-miss TD mixtape from last season is particularly nauseating.

The results in fantasy land, accordingly, haven’t been great. The QB29, QB11 and most recently QB15 in fantasy points per game, Lawrence simply hasn’t been a difference-maker in the box score during his first three seasons.

But guess what? “The Prince Who Was Promised” (shoutout Nick Wright) doesn’t turn 25 until October, and the Jaguars went out of their way to improve their aforementioned underwhelming environment during the offseason:

  • The Jaguars invested heavily in PFF’s reigning 27th-ranked offensive line, bringing in former Bills C Mitch Morse and re-signing LG Ezra Cleveland and RG Brandon Sherff to big-money extensions. Here’s to hoping the Injury Gods chill out on OT Cam Robinson (8 missed games) in 2024 and beyond.

  • Calvin Ridley and Zay Jones are out, while Gabe Davis and 23rd-overall pick Brian Thomas Jr. are in. The LSU standout offers an intriguing blend of size (6’3”, 209 pounds) and speed (4.33-second 40-yard dash) to an offense that ranked just 23rd in explosive pass-play rate (11.8%) last season.

The current QB14, pick 120.4 in ADP, it’d make a lot of sense if Lawrence’s best football has yet to come. That’s at least what the Jaguars are hoping for, anyway.

Next up: Jordan Love, Tua Tagovailoa and Dak Prescott, in no particular order. Expensive times unless you simply need an A+ fantasy football magazine to get you ready for next season…

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Around the Watercooler (August 2022)

🤔 A sleeper offense to target in 2024? Reports to buy or sell out of mandatory minicamps.

👀 Offseason hype is coming in strong for this rookie RB. The man was explosive at Purdue!

😬 Alvin Kamara wasn’t at practice on Thursday. Bold move, Cotton.

🏥 Gus Edwards is hurt, dog. “Likely” back by training camp.

🐅 Winners from the Bengals’ offseason program. Chase Brown and Mike Gesicki propaganda.

💍 Typos are a part of life, but on a Super Bowl ring? Oof.

🐐 Tom Brady gave one helluva speech on Wednesday night. GOAT shit.

🦅 The Falcons got penalized for tampering. The Eagles did not!

🍿 The trailer for Netflix’s new “Receiver” series looks awesome. Can’t wait to watch this.

🦶 Juwan Johnson is undergoing foot surgery. Good news for a certain professional vulture.

Underdog Fantasy Fantasy Life Embracing The Unknown: WR5

Drafting fantasy football teams throughout the summer inherently comes with uncertainty: about talent and role for young players, about depth charts and, of course, about who will stay healthy and who won't. Today Jonathan will be diving into some uncertain WR depth charts that don't have a clear No. 1 target…

🦬 Buffalo Bills

  • Keon Coleman (ADP: 70.9)

  • Curtis Samuel (96.6)

  • Khalil Shakir (107.6)

Since the 2020 season, Josh Allen has averaged 4,385 passing yards and just over 34 passing TDs per year in the regular season. During that time, the Buffalo offense has not finished outside of the top 10 in points per game or passing yards per game in any season. With Allen at the helm, they have consistently been one of the best offenses in the NFL, and we have no reason to think that will change despite plenty of turnover in his supporting cast.

The Bills' most notable offseason moves at the WR position included trading away Stefon Diggs, signing Curtis Samuel and drafting Keon Coleman. The new additions will join TE Dalton Kincaid and second-year WR Khalil Shakir as the core group of receiving weapons for Allen. The team also added veteran role players Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Chase Claypool to compete for roster spots. 

The general consensus is that Kincaid will be the top target, but there should still be plenty of fantasy value for the WRs. The key question is whether or not anyone else can emerge as a reliable target or if the rest of the passing volume gets spread around evenly. Last season, Diggs commanded a 30% target share, but no other player on the team surpassed 18%. 

With the lack of proven pass catchers, a spread-out passing attack seems very plausible, but that doesn't mean we can ignore the Buffalo WRs in our best ball drafts. The ceiling is too high to fade all of them, so how should we approach this WR room?

I think the market largely has this one right in terms of the order of the top three receivers, and I'm willing to draft a decent amount of both Coleman and Samuel at their current ADPs. Even though Coleman is far from a perfect prospect, he did grade out as the WR6 in the rookie super model. He has the highest upside of this group by a good amount and could be a TD monster if he develops solid chemistry with Allen. 

Shakir is the one that I believe is overpriced. He had a solid rookie season but failed to draw consistent targets with just a 9% target share and 0.135 targets per route run, both of which are pretty poor. He should be good for a few splash plays here and there, but there are too many other receivers I like that go after him to draft Shakir often. 

If there is a breakout WR from this Bills team, that players has a good chance to be a true league winner thanks to a relatively low cost in drafts and team situation. I do think the most likely outcome is a WR rotation that prevents anyone from realizing that potential, but when I make a bet on a breakout on this offense, I want it to be Coleman or Samuel. 

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