⛔ You're Drafting The Wrong Bills WR

The slot role is up for grabs...

Presented by Underdog Fantasy (yellow)

Training camp is here, sure hope you are in the best shape of your life...

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Underdog Fantasy:

  • Hot best ball summer: Fantasy Life 🤝 Underdog Fantasy

  • There's a new WR3 in Buffalo

  • 32 training camp predictions

  • Cuffing szn: Darrell Henderson Jr.

  • Kevin's 2 players to avoid

  • It’s 7/26. Take it away, Peter Overzet…

The fantasy landscape is about to get flipped on its head.

With training camps finally underway, the firehose of player burbs, positional battles, best-shape-of-their-life posts, and PUP list head fakes is ready for blastoff.

One interesting situation out of Buffalo right now is the WR3 battle between veteran Jamison Crowder (ADP: 140.9) and the speedy Isaiah McKenzie (ADP: 205.6) for slot duties. While many assumed Crowder would slide in for Cole Beasley, the Bills beat reporters say not so fast:

We can debate whether these camp nuggets on Twitter and podcasts should move ADP, but there is no denying that they do.

If you're not drafting until closer to the season, it's tough to take advantage of this changing landscape. But if you're drafting best ball teams on Underdog Fantasy with us, you can capitalize on the news information in real-time before the rest of the market catches up.

If this steady drumbeat around McKenzie continues, it will only be a matter of time before he flips Crowder in ADP. At the very least, there's no way there should be a 60 spot gap between them like there is now.

I've been gobbling up McKenzie as much as possible in the late rounds of Best Ball Mania III drafts, especially when I have Josh Allen or a Week 17 Bills/Bengals stack going. It will be much easier to win $2,000,000 with an 18th-round McKenzie than it will be with a 10th-round version, so get in while the getting is good.

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Scott Fish Bowl Satellite

There's more than just Best Ball Mania III on Underdog. In addition to the $5 Puppy 3 tournament dropping August 1st, this year the Scott Fish Bowl Satellite Best Ball Tournament is hosted by Underdog Fantasy!

It’s just a small $5 entry and 100% of the proceeds go to the JJ Watt Foundation providing funding to middle school after school athletic programs and organizations.

The 278 teams to make it to the final group win an entry into the Scott Fish Bowl next year! 

This tournament helps show people we can use our hobby for good and will raise $50,000 for the JJ Watt Foundation. Jump in, do good, and try to win your way into next year’s SFB tournament!

Fantasy Watercooler

15 players to draft now before it's too late. We've been talking about how to take advantage of the changing ADP landscape, here are a bunch of great ideas.

🐝 The other Bills player gaining buzz. It's not just McKenzie, could the rookie make a Day 1 impact?

🚑 Two previously injured RBs who are ready to go for camp. The Florida RBs are healthy, one in Miami and one in Jacksonville.

🤔 Could Chris Godwin play Week 1? Greg Auman has an update.

Cuffing Szn Header

Not all late round RBs are the same. Some have way more contingent-value than others. In this series our Fantasy Life contributors share their favorite handcuff RBs who would step into a big role if there were an injury in front of them. Today, Cooterdoodle hypes up Darrell Henderson...

Boys and girls, it’s handcuffing season. Don’t worry, I’m not advocating that you break the law, but I will recommend you do something that feels… bad.

If you are not already aware, RB is a volatile position that often comes with unsuspecting injuries. One strategy to combat these issues on draft day is to roster an RB2 that could bring you RB1 value in the event they become their team’s starter. So, let’s talk about the Rams RB2, Darrell Henderson Jr. 

Henderson is an enticing handcuff due to his:

  • Standalone value

  • Pass catching abilities

  • Clear role behind a top back

  • Non-rushing QB

Cuff Szn Henderson

Last season with Cam Akers out due to a torn achilles, Henderson was the clear starter in his place. In the 10 games where Henderson saw more than 60% of snaps, he combined for a total of eight TDs and 820 yards rushing and receiving.

Henderson also saw five TDs in 2020. With the final year of his rookie deal coming to a close at the end of this season, the Rams may utilize Henderson more often while they’ve got him.

With an 11th-round ADP of 138.9 (Underdog ADP), Henderson could be worth the stash if you aren’t quite confident in Akers’ health or if you wind up WR-heavy at the start of your drafts and are looking for double-digit points at the RB position in the middle rounds.

But beware, there are no guarantees in handcuffs. Akers could remain healthy in 2022 and hinder Henderson’s value. Hinder Henderson? Say that 10 times fast.

Players To Avoid Header

We talk a lot about the players to target around here, but avoiding the landmine players is just as important. Avoiding players is rarely about the player themselves, it's all about the cost. Today, Kevin Tompkins shares two players he's avoiding in drafts right now...

Michael Pittman (WR13 on Underdog Fantasy)

Michael Pittman is the one player in his draft range that I’m just not excited about selecting in fantasy drafts this season.

Maybe it’s the Colts team who had the fifth-lowest pass-play percentage in the NFL in 2021 and has had a total of THREE 300-yard passing games the last two seasons? Even with new QB Matt Ryan, the Colts likely won’t increase their pass-play percentage to take any more opportunities away from RB Jonathan Taylor. The Colts have been a top-ten scoring offense the last two seasons, so it's doubtful they go away from what has been working.

What about the lack of a true second pass-catcher in this offense? There’s so much up in the air with not just WR2 but also the TE for the Colts. The next-highest target share remaining in this offense from the WR/TE after Pittman is TE Mo Alie-Cox at 9%. There will be competition for targets among a wide group of players, like 2022 second-rounder Alec Pierce, Parris Campbell, Alie-Cox, and others. But in reality, it's essentially Pittman or nothing, and opposing defenses know that.

Pittman ran a route on 96% of dropbacks, and his 25.7% target share was good for 10th in the NFL last season, yet he could only muster 13.4 fantasy PPG, just one game over 100 yards receiving, and fewer than seven targets in over half of his games from that gaudy opportunity in 2021.

Despite glowing optimism on this third-year breakout WR, Pittman is not the focal point of this offense; the guy being drafted as the consensus 1.01 in fantasy football drafts is.

Pittman had eerily similar overall production to another AFC South WR last season — Brandin Cooks. Cooks topped Pittman in top-12, top-24 weekly finishes, 100-yard games, air yards share, WOPR (a weighted opportunity metric combining target share and air yards), and fantasy PPG while being the alpha in his offense that will likely pass more than the Colts will.

I would rather draft Cooks — Underdog’s WR24 — than Pittman in 2022.

Draft Fades Image

Josh Jacobs (RB22)

The Raiders declined Jacobs’ fifth-year option, so it’s looking increasingly likely that this season is his “swan song” before testing free agency. Not only did the team bring in Josh McDaniels as the new head coach, but there are now a bunch of cooks in the kitchen with ex-Patriot Brandon Bolden, holdover Kenyan Drake, and free agents FB Jakob Johnson and Ameer Abdullah. The team also added fourth-round rookie Zamir White to complement Jacobs. Yikes.

Add in offensive line woes (PFF’s fourth-worst OL for 2022) and buzz from NFL writers that this RB group is headed towards a “situational committee”, which benefits the Raiders in a real-life sense but doesn’t help us in fantasy.

Any of the RBs previously mentioned could siphon off a huge chunk of the career-high 64 targets Jacobs saw last season, rendering him a two-down plodder with little pass-catching upside and a smaller-than-expected slice of the rushing pie this season.

If you’re banking on Jacobs, you better hope he hits the nuts with touchdowns. Otherwise, Jacobs is drafted in the “RB dead zone” for a reason. To use a poker term, he might already be drawing dead.

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