🏈 WR Rumors Gone Wild

Make sure to watch Draft Day this weekend...

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How come anonymous scouts never have nice things to say? Makes you think

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter, presented by Webex:

  • Buffalo doesn’t need a WR1? Marv to Indy? A.J. Brown did WHAT?

  • Watercooler: Commanders likely staying put at No. 2 overall?

  • Super Model vs. ADP: In Jacob Cowing, we trust

  • It’s 4/19. Take it away, Ian Hartitz…

This time next week, we’ll be discussing all the madness that went down on day one of the 2024 NFL Draft.

But today? It’s still speculation szn, baby.

Accordingly: Let’s break down three WR-related revelations that hit the news cycle on Thursday.

🤨 The Bills don’t need a true No. 1 WR?

That’s essentially what general manager Brandon Beane said:

"No. What you need are guys that [in this offense] are smart, versatile, selfless and can make the plays that their skill set allows them to make."

While the inclusion of “selfless” sure seems like a shot at a certain former Bills No. 1 WR, it’s tough to imagine that Beane is truly done adding to the position even if he’s high on the upside of Curtis Samuel (he’s versatile!), Khalil Shakir (he can make plays!) and Mack Hollins (he’s … interesting!). After all, the Bills are one of just four teams with under $15 million devoted to their WR room in 2024 (per Over The Cap).

Fantasy Life’s Matthew Freedman has the Bills solving this need in the form of Texas WR AD Mitchell in his latest mock draft. Sign me up! The man can BALL.

👀 The Colts are candidates to do WHAT?

Good Morning Football’s Peter Schrager had a great appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, where he noted the following tidbit:

If the Cardinals stay at four, I'm told that Marvin Harrison is the pick, but they could move out. ... I think there's a chance the Colts move up for Harrison, (Malik) Nabers or (Rome) Odunze.

Recently extended WR Michael Pittman is fresh off a career-best 109-1,152-4 campaign and profiles as a solid No. 1 option for Anthony Richardson, but it would be interesting to see the team upgrade from Alec Pierce, who is ESPN’s eighth-worst rated WR over the last two seasons.

One of the greatest team-building advantages in the modern NFL is having extra resources to build around a high-end QB operating on a rookie deal. If anyone is going to make a splash next Thursday night, it’d make sense if it’s the team with the seventh-most effective cap space and three selections inside of the draft's top 82 picks to work with.

🦅 A.J. Brown is apparently a diehard Patriots fan

Which is funny because, you know, Brown is employed by the Philadelphia Eagles.

AJB is no stranger to tweeting through it — the man literally has Denny Carter’s GOAT’d WR tweet pinned to his profile — but some of his actions on Thursday certainly seemed a bit out of the ordinary:

  • Brown changed his avatar to a picture of … Tom Brady on the Patriots.

  • He explained the move by noting, “TB12 is my favorite player ever. … I Did not think changing my pfp to the greatest QB ever would cause controversy.”

  • Fair enough, but it’s at least a bit peculiar for Brown to make this decision the same day he decided to follow new Patriots QB Jacoby Brissett and WR K.J. Osborn on IG.

  • Patriots EDGE Matthew Judon decided to get in on the fun by adding, “Yall just got off the phone with A.J. he booking the ✈️ right now.”

Does this all mean a trade is imminent? Of course not — but is it still objectively comical to see every move athletes make on social media cause an absolute uproar with their fanbase? Yes, yes, it is.

Thanks to AJB for providing some casual drama on what was otherwise a regular, boring offseason Thursday. If only there was something else that could REALLY lead us into the weekend with some excitement…

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Around the Watercooler (August 2022)

📈 The next Travis Kelce? Maybe! Brock Bowers may have superpowers…

😮 Washington’s general manager outlines their strategy at No. 2. Interesting!

🤠 DeVonta Smith’s extension, RB landing spots, and more. Rounding up everything you missed this week.

👀 The NFL reinstated five previously indefinitely suspended players. Comeback szn is in the air.

🦁 The Lions unveiled some new uniforms. The internet LOVES them.

😬 Michael Penix Jr. analysis: Not great, Ben.

⚔️ Shogun memes have officially infiltrated fantasy football Twitter. Lmao.

💨 Sometimes, a man simply has to fart. Just ask Jaguars GM Trent Baalke.

Super Model Vs. ADP by Pete Overzet

With Dwain’s 2024 Super Models released, it’s time to start leveraging them for fantasy purposes. Today, Pete compares some of the WRs and RBs the model loves to current Underdog ADP in hopes of unearthing some sleeper selections…

It might be April, but digging for fantasy football sleepers is a year-round job. And thanks to Dwain’s Super Model(s), I’ve unearthed a couple of deep sleepers to put on your radar (and a couple of buzzy guys to approach with a healthy dose of skepticism).

🥊 Jacob Cowing vs. Xavier Legette (Tier 5 Battle)

  • Cowing Model Rank: 15

  • Legette Model Rank: 19

  • Cowing Underdog Rank: 23

  • Legette Underdog Rank: 10

  • Cowing Difference: +8

  • Legette Difference: -9

Xavier Legette has been a trendy prospect since the Combine, and he’s now expected to go in the top 50 picks of the NFL Draft. It’s understandable why Underdog drafters are excited about Legettee. At 6’1” and 221 pounds with 4.39 speed, he physically comps to A.J. Brown. But unfortunately, there are massive red flags to his production profile, which Dwain outlined in his Tier 5 profiles:

“We are dealing with a fifth-year senior who never sniffed a strong RYPTPA (receiving yards per team pass attempt) until his age-23 season. Legette’s Adjusted Career RYPTPA was minus 0.07, which led to a 20th percentile score.”

Legette legitimately only had one good season (1,255 yards in 2023) as a very old senior. Before that, he topped out at a stunningly low 167 yards.

Despite being projected to go 80-plus picks later than Legette (something the model already accounts for, btw), Jacob Cowing clocks in four spots higher than Legette in the model. Considering Cowing largely goes undrafted right now (ADP 237.5), this grabbed my attention.

Cowing is a small (5’8 and 168 lbs), older (23.6) prospect, but was a highly productive player at Arizona, as Dwain notes here:

“Playing primarily from the slot (24% wide rate), Cowing registered a 28% career target share, the second-best mark behind Worthy for FBS WRs. His 83rd percentile Adjusted Career RYPTPA was the top score for an FBS receiver. While he is a five-year player, he did a ton of damage over his first three seasons, which keeps his production score high in the model.”

With the right fit, Cowing could immediately earn targets out of the slot at the NFL level.

This Cowing vs. Legette discrepancy illustrates many of the things I like to do in fantasy contests, specifically tournaments where contrarian takes are rewarded:

  • Mix-up bets within similar tiers. This is something Pat Kerrane highlighted in my Big Board tips video and a mistake I made last summer by going super heavy on Marvin Mims and not mixing in more of Tank Dell, Jayden Reed, and Josh Downs, who were all in a similar tier:

Marvin Mins Jonathan Mingo Tank Dell Jayden Reed Josh Downs Rookie Super Model
  • Scrolling the eff down. Legette is getting drafted in 100% of Big Board contests, while Cowing is getting selected in less than 5%. In selecting Cowing some, you’re not only getting a better prospect according to Dwain’s model, but you’re also getting a massive exposure discount which immediately makes your teams more unique.

  • Leverage market overconfidence. Drafters have fallen in love with Legette’s size/speed combo and projected draft capital, but it won’t matter if he can’t win at the next level. Dwain’s Model indicates that he’s being massively overvalued. It doesn’t even have to be Legette vs. Cowing, but drafters should be prioritizing guys like Ricky Pearsall, Roman Wilson, and Jermaine Burton (more on him in a sec), who all go after Legette in drafts, but the Model has ranked higher:

Jermaine Burton Roman Wilson Ricky Pearsal Rookie WR Super Model
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