Love, Hate and no regrets in life or in fantasy soccer


Matthew Berry’s Love/Hate for the 2021 fantasy football season is a set of the gamers he thinks would be the greatest draft-day values and people it is best to in all probability permit another person to roster. As has been custom for the previous 15 years, Matthew begins by sharing a narrative that, we swear, has extra to do with fantasy soccer than it’d first appear.

The very first thing it is best to find out about Shirley Ruth Gold is that completely nobody known as her that.

Born in Colorado in 1927, she lived 93 years, and for all of them she was merely often known as “Cookie.”

Given the nickname by a cousin as a younger lady, it caught. Now, in the event you have been certainly one of her 22(!) grandchildren or great-grandchildren, you known as her “Gammy,” however to her pals, her household, her husband and me she was, at all times and endlessly, Cookie.

To be technical about it, she was my great-aunt. Married to my father’s mom’s brother (observe that?). I’ve written about her husband, my great-uncle Lester, before. Lester died at age 88 in March 2011, and it’s typically remarked that it was really an excellent factor that Lester went earlier than Cookie as a result of there was no approach Lester would have been in a position to dwell with out her.

It is a feeling all of us fortunate sufficient to know her perceive all too effectively. I imply, she died in March 2020 and it has taken every little thing I’ve to drag it collectively lengthy sufficient to put in writing this, 18 months later.

Cookie was majestic. Like real-life royalty. Not that she ever made you are feeling like that. Candy, heat, down-to-earth. Once you spoke to her she targeted completely on you and made you are feeling such as you have been crucial particular person on the planet.

Cookie and Lester had three daughters. These three daughters had seven children between them, and people seven at present have 15 children. And naturally, there are husbands and wives and nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews who make up the unending sprawling household of which she was the matriarch for nearly seven many years. She spoke to her children and grandkids and great-grandkids each single day. The cellphone continuously rang and there was by no means someday I visited her that did not function tons of household and youngsters operating round her home, all whereas she sat in the lounge, holding court docket.

Rising up in Golden, Colorado, Cookie was a farm lady and a die-hard Broncos fan. Like, the sort of farm lady who rode a horse to high school. She was a young person when she met my uncle Lester they usually grew to become pals. Lester went off to serve our nation in World Battle II, and when he got here again, he began courting Cookie. When Lester died, that they had been collectively for 70 years.

With super help from Cookie, my uncle did extremely effectively in enterprise. I bear in mind one time, once I was 14 or so, having lunch with Lester and Cookie, and I requested him naively, “Uncle, you are so profitable. How do you do it? What is the secret?”

“Matthew,” he mentioned, “it is quite simple. I found out a very long time in the past it was simply simpler for me to earn more money than it was to cease your Aunt Cookie from spending it.”

My aunt cackled that nice chortle of hers and nodded. “He is proper. I grew up on a farm. And on that farm, we had each work horses and present horses. I instructed your uncle on our very first date … I am a present horse.” They usually each laughed collectively. They did that lots.

She wasn’t mendacity about being “a present horse,” by the way in which. Cookie was at all times, and I imply at all times, dressed to the nines. Morning, midday or late evening she at all times had her hair finished, make-up and jewellery on, nails polished. Even in the event you have been simply coming over for a fast chunk within the morning she would greet you absolutely finished up. She at all times wished you to know that you just have been essential to her, and that included how she introduced herself.

And make no mistake. Whereas Cookie had nice style and definitely favored good issues, the reality is when she spent cash, she was virtually at all times spending it on children and grandkids and household and pals and charity and whoever wanted it. She cherished to chortle and loved being self-deprecating.

I bear in mind as soon as listening to a narrative about my cousin Monica (Cookie’s granddaughter) strolling with Cookie by way of a park someday when Cookie observed a gaggle of individuals. She turned to Monica and mentioned with sympathy that she wished to attempt to assist them. “Take a look at that group,” she mentioned, “they should be so poor. They’re all having to share that one cigarette.” Monica needed to clarify they weren’t poor and that wasn’t a cigarette. Cookie would roar as she instructed that story on herself.

After I inform you she was there for her household, I imply she was there for her household. Each play, sport, medical doctors appointment, you identify it, if it was essential to you, it was essential to Aunt Cookie.

She was at my bar mitzvah in School Station, Texas. It took three flights, however she received there. She was at my commencement from Syracuse College. She got here to L.A. to go to typically. She would not know something about fantasy soccer, however she nonetheless watched Fantasy Soccer Now each likelihood she received.

I managed to get out to Denver about every year to go to and I used to be thrilled she received to fulfill my daughters a couple of years in the past. And we talked on the cellphone, but when I’m being trustworthy, not typically sufficient. I could not inform you the final time we spoke previous to her demise, however I am embarrassed to say it was months earlier.

You get busy with work and youngsters and also you assume, “I will do it tomorrow.” Which turns into subsequent week, which turns right into a month, and earlier than you recognize it you are writing a column stuffed with remorse.

She had been sick for some time, so a deliberate go to needed to be known as off, and there was a time frame when it wasn’t an excellent day for her to speak on the cellphone — however no matter. I ought to have tried tougher than I did.

The household had been instructed by the physician that the top was close to, so her daughters, sons-in-law, grandkids, their spouses, great-grandkids and others gathered round her mattress to say goodbye and inform her what she meant to them. Thirty-six individuals in all, and there is no sum of money I would not pay to have the ability to return in time and be there. Or not less than have been on the cellphone.

However I did not discover out about her ultimate few days or her demise till it was too late.

As I mirrored about it, I questioned if that was my fault. I simply instructed you … 36 individuals have been by her bedside when she handed away. That is a lot. A lot of them have been children and I am certain feelings have been excessive and other people have been operating round and it is a tough time and effectively, it clearly simply slipped everybody’s thoughts. And that is in all probability my fault. Perhaps I ought to have been extra current. Referred to as extra. Visited extra. Talked and texted with my cousins extra. As a result of then I would have been extra conscious the top was that shut.

As you would possibly know, I’m large Jimmy Buffett fan. He has a music actually known as “Life Brief Name Now.” Jimmy’s a wise man. I’ve spent plenty of time this previous yr eager about remorse. About what I need to do with my life, my profession, my household. About time left. About my Aunt Cookie.

The previous 17 months or so have been the toughest yr and a half that almost all of us have ever skilled, as the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are horrific, far-reaching and devastating. And with the Delta variant persevering with to unfold, we aren’t out of the woods but.

The longer term, greater than ever, feels utterly unknown.

After I described the scene at my aunt’s demise mattress, I made it about me as a result of, effectively, that is what I do. That is the column. However give it some thought once more. Thirty-six individuals surrounded her. Thirty-six. Cookie received to inform each single certainly one of them how she felt. And one after the other, 36 relations received to individually inform her how a lot they cherished her. What she meant to them. That is a fantastic factor. That is a life stuffed with love. That is a life we should always all aspire to.

, in some dumb approach, I believed my aunt would dwell endlessly. Or, if nothing else, that I had extra time than it seems I really did. However I do know that my aunt knew I cherished her. I instructed her that a number of occasions, each time we spoke. I do know I made her completely happy. After I wrote about my Uncle Lester’s death, Aunt Cookie would typically inform me how a lot the column meant to her. That she learn it typically and it made her smile, eager about her husband and the way a lot she missed him. I do know all this stuff, and but I’m nonetheless unhappy.

I’ve thought of a quote from the creator Victoria Holt. “By no means remorse. If it is good, it is great. If it is dangerous, it is expertise.”

Properly then, Victoria, if expertise has lately taught me something it is that if you get an opportunity to inform those that imply lots to you that, effectively, it is best to inform them they imply lots to you.

I do not understand how a lot time I’ve left on this Earth. I do not know what number of extra occasions I’ll write this column; nothing sinister, all good issues come to an finish. However the reality you’ve got chosen to spend a few of your time with me means a terrific deal to me. I’m so extremely grateful for you. You haven’t any concept.

Which brings us, meandering slowly, into soccer, the place, as with every little thing else in life, a lot is unknown.

A yr in the past right now we weren’t absolutely certain we’d actually have a fantasy soccer season. A yr in the past right now we had by no means even thought of the thought of Wednesday afternoon soccer.

A yr in the past right now we thought Tyrod Taylor can be beginning for the Chargers. And had no concept his backup would rating extra fantasy factors than Lamar Jackson.

A yr in the past right now none of us may predict that Jared Goff and Phillip Rivers would wind up with extra whole fantasy factors than Drew Brees.

Right now final yr, Leonard Fournette was a Jaguar and undrafted rookie James Robinson was buried on the depth chart. Christian McCaffrey had by no means even missed a observe in his life because of damage, not to mention a sport.

Nobody anticipated Nyheim Hines to complete with extra whole fantasy factors than Kenyan Drake (although I attempted to warn you guys on Drake final yr). Nobody outdoors Buffalo actually paid consideration when the Payments received Stefon Diggs.

Amongst rookie huge receivers final yr, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III have been being drafted effectively forward of Justin Jefferson. Jace Sternberger, not Robert Tonyan, was the sleeper TE on the Packers individuals have been focusing on late. And so forth and so forth and so forth.

I am gonna speak about plenty of soccer gamers right here in a bit. Some I like greater than their present draft place and a few I like much less. I am unable to inform the long run, however I can inform you that I can be proper on a few of them. And I am gonna be incorrect on a few of them. And collectively, we’re all gonna be incorrect on a bunch of common draft positions.

So please contemplate what I write. Take into account my rankings, the Fantasy Focus 06010 podcast and The Fantasy Present with Matthew Berry on ESPN+. Watch the Fantasy Soccer Marathon, beginning tonight (Aug. 17) on ESPN. Take into account all the nice evaluation from all of my colleagues right here at ESPN. Take into account the ideas of the various good individuals who work elsewhere within the fantasy soccer trade and do robust work.

After which draft whom you need, if you need, the way you need. #YOLO child.

Hopefully you win, however in the event you do not, not less than you went down along with your guys. As a result of there won’t be a worse feeling than remorse.

A fast refresher earlier than we get into the gamers. First, for the brand new children at school, this isn’t a sleepers and busts column.

I personally hate these phrases. Any participant is usually a “sleeper” or a “bust” — all of it simply depends upon what it prices to draft mentioned participant. This column is definitely much less about gamers and far more about ESPN average draft positions (ADP), which is a real-time report of the place gamers are drafted in ESPN leagues. Clearly, ADP varies by web site, so somebody who I believe is undervalued in ESPN drafts is likely to be going 4 rounds earlier elsewhere. What can I inform you? I am an organization man, and we’re utilizing ESPN’s ADP. Now, ADP is certain to rise or fall, because the case could also be, however this can be a snapshot of how gamers have been being drafted within the first few weeks of August.

It is an essential distinction as a result of “Love” and “Hate” refer completely to a participant’s ADP. I do not really “hate” Josh Jacobs, regardless of what you may need learn on the interwebs. He is a gifted soccer participant. I do, nonetheless, hate the place he’s being drafted as of this writing — forward of Chris Carson and Darrell Henderson Jr. … what?! — given the present state of the Raiders’ backfield.

That is what this column does: It highlights gamers I consider will outperform or fall wanting their ESPN ADP. Information and participant worth change on a regular basis, so please verify my regularly up to date ranks, each positional and High 200, to see precisely the place I worth a participant compared to others.

This column assumes you’re drafting in an ESPN 10-team league with PPR scoring, beginning one quarterback and one flex. And, in fact, there are at all times extra “love” names than “hate” names, as you do not want me to inform you gamers with decrease ADPs are already poorly considered and unlikely to return worth. An enormous thanks, as at all times, to Damian Dabrowski, “The Stat-a-pillar” from The Fantasy Present on ESPN+, for his assist at numerous factors on this column. And with that, right here we go.

Quarterbacks I really like in 2021

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks: Somebody remind me to speak to the individuals in command of 30 for 30. As a result of we’d like a fantasy model of that. I have already got the primary one for subsequent yr.

(Deep voice) “What if instructed you … they really let Russ cook dinner?”

I really feel like Wilson’s poor second half final season has made individuals overlook simply how good he was early on. Via the primary eight weeks of the season, Wilson was averaging 28.5 factors per sport (rating him as QB2, behind solely Kyler Murray), and Russ in chef hat memes dominated the web. It was a wonderful time. However then Brian Schottenheimer’s offense fell aside down the stretch, which brought about Wilson’s manufacturing to drop dramatically and Seahawks fan Mina Kimes’ blood stress to rise. However that is not going to be an issue in 2021. I am a believer in new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, and I do know we’ve got heard this earlier than, however I do really assume … they let Russ cook dinner this yr. I really like that he has introduced dashing again to his sport — individuals won’t notice he ran for 513 yards final season, his most since 2017 — however most significantly, Wilson not solely has huge upside but in addition an especially excessive flooring. He’s the one QB with 30-plus TD passes in every of the previous 4 seasons, and he has completed prime 10 on the place in whole factors each season since 2013 (and prime six in three of the previous 4 campaigns). Wilson is at present going within the seventh spherical as QB7 in ESPN drafts, however I’ve him firmly inside my prime 5.

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles: Blind résumé time.

Participant A: 19.4 fantasy PPG, 165.3 cross YPG, 72.8 rush YPG
Participant B: 23.0 fantasy PPG, 229.8 cross YPG, 68.0 rush YPG

Pretty related, proper? You’d slightly have Participant B, clearly, but it surely’s throughout the identical ballpark. Properly, Participant B is Jalen Hurts within the 4 video games he was a starter as a rookie final season. Participant A represents Lamar Jackson’s ultimate 4 video games he began as a rookie in 2018; you recognize, earlier than he gained the MVP (and everybody’s fantasy league for them) in 2019.

I am not saying Hurts goes to be the MVP of the NFL or fantasy this yr, however I’m saying that barring some monster commerce, Hurts is gonna be a fantasy rock star this season. Individuals will level to his brutal completion price (51.9%) in these 4 begins, however you recognize what Josh Allen’s completion proportion was in his rookie season? 52.8%. Almost one-quarter of Hurts’ passes in these 4 begins traveled 15-plus yards downfield, so provided that plus a brand new teaching workers, improved pass-catchers and a preseason wherein Hurts is aware of he is the man and can get nearly all of first crew reps, I am all-in on Hurts this season. He’s at present coming off the board as QB12, however I’ve him locked inside my prime 10 and see him as a respectable breakout candidate in 2021.

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans: Since taking up because the starter in Week 7 of 2019, Tannehill is QB4 in whole factors, is QB7 in PPG, has the third-most TD passes over that stretch and is first in variety of occasions individuals use him for instance Adam Gase cannot coach. (DeVante Parker is an in depth second). The arguments in opposition to Tannehill are that we’ll see some dashing regression from him (his seven dashing TDs in 2020 matched his whole from the earlier 5 seasons mixed) and that he misplaced Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith and offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. I agree the dashing will regress, however I am not apprehensive about Arthur Smith. New OC Todd Downing has additionally been with the crew since 2019, so this offense will not look drastically totally different, and the addition of Julio Jones and Josh Reynolds (plus the presence of Anthony Firkser) mitigates the lack of Davis/Jonnu Smith. I won’t be tremendous excessive on Jones this season (spoiler alert), but it surely’s simple he makes each QB he has performed with higher. Simply have a look at Matt Ryan‘s splits final season with and with out Jones in the event you do not consider me. Or simply wait till “QB hate.” Anticipate one other top-10 season from Tannehill in 2021.

Others receiving votes: In his seven begins final season, Ryan Fitzpatrick averaged 19.9 PPG (would have been QB11 in PPG), and now he joins an offense with Antonio Gibson, Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Logan Thomas and a inventive playcaller in offensive coordinator Scott Turner. Fitzy likes to say, “It isn’t magic if it occurs each time.” However now surrounded by the perfect offensive weapons he has ever had in his profession and a top-five protection that may typically get him the ball in good subject place, Fitzpatrick will not have to create magic out of nothing anymore. With a number of dashing scores in every of the previous three seasons, Fitzpatrick is at present going off the board at QB24, whereas I’ve him within the prime 15. … Are you able to think about a coach together with his job on the road beginning Andy Dalton over Justin Fields? I certain cannot. And never solely does the Ohio State rookie have a rocket arm and 4.4 velocity, however he can be entering into an offense that final season completed eighth in cross makes an attempt and twelfth in offensive performs run. As of this writing, I do not know when Fields goes to start out, however he’ll in some unspecified time in the future, and he has huge upside as quickly as he will get in there. … Which is similar to Trey Lance. I do not know if he’s going to start out Week 1, however I am assured it may be sooner slightly than later given how drastically he’s outplaying Jimmy Garoppolo in camp. Between Kyle Shanahan’s system (which has produced some excellent fantasy QB seasons) and Lance’s dashing capability, Lance is a possible league winner. Each Fields and Lance are value stashing, and you’ll fill in with a waiver-wire man who has an excellent early-season schedule. (As others even have identified, Kirk Cousins involves thoughts.) … And for these in deep two-QB or superflex leagues, you recognize I’m in on Tannehill and that I additionally purchase the “escaping Adam Gase can be good for a QB” argument. So how about some Sam Darnold? Darnold threw deep on the seventh-highest price in 2020, and he now could have DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, Terrace Marshall Jr. and a man named Christian McCaffrey to throw to in an offense that must be much more aggressive this season. … Lastly, he must win the job outright, but when Taysom Hill is called the starter in New Orleans, his draft worth is grime low-cost (being drafted as QB28, if he is drafted in any respect), and from Weeks 11 to 14 final season when he began for the Saints, he was QB7 in whole factors and QB9 on a PPG foundation.

Quarterbacks I hate in 2021

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons: Maybe the primary time in historical past two first names aren’t a crowd pleaser! I do really assume we are going to see some enhancements from Ryan below Arthur Smith, however Ryan is simply not going to finish up on any of my groups in 2021. For one, the Julio Jones splits from final season are huge: 22.1 PPG within the seven video games Jones performed; 14.2 PPG within the 9 video games he missed or left early. Sure, Calvin Ridley is a star and Kyle Pitts may very well be a celebrity, however Ridley was there final season, and a rookie TE will not immediately negate the lack of a future Corridor of Fame huge receiver. And if I’ll be taking a QB on this vary, it may be one with some dashing upside like Lance or Fields. Bear in mind, eight of the highest 10 QBs final season completed with not less than 200 dashing yards. Ryan provides nothing together with his legs, and that issues lots given Ryan had eight video games final season with zero or one landing cross. So there’s draw back, however not a ton of upside? Yeah, that is a cross. However the type that goes like 4 yards to Russell Gage. Blah.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers: Final season, Roethlisberger led all QBs in cross makes an attempt per sport, and almost 75% of Pittsburgh’s whole yards got here by way of the air. But regardless of all that, he completed as simply QB13 in PPG. How is that doable, you ask? Properly, except for including nothing as a runner, he ranked twenty seventh or worse in yards per cross try, proportion of passes thrown 15-plus yards downfield and completion proportion on deep passes. The Steelers’ complete passing sport primarily consisted of brief dump-offs. I do not know if Roethlisberger’s arm is totally shot, however I am undecided it even issues. After drafting operating again Najee Harris within the first spherical, it is clear Pittsburgh could have a extra balanced method on offense in 2021, and at this stage of his profession, I do not assume Roethlisberger will be environment friendly sufficient to be a constant fantasy starter with out excessive quantity.

Notice: I do know, I do know … not a ton of “QB hates.” The difficulty is that, as at all times, QB is absolutely deep, and there are plenty of very viable choices on the place this yr.

Operating backs I really like in 2021

Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers: For some purpose, Ekeler’s identify would not excite fantasy managers prefer it ought to. However what if I instructed you “Austin Ekeler” is an anagram for Ukraine Metal? And in addition Eureka Tinsel? Or A Sleeker Unit? Nonetheless no? Then effective, I will simply need to persuade you that Ekeler is legit with some superior stats. For instance, within the 9 full video games he performed final season, he averaged 18.6 touches and 102.1 scrimmage yards. And beginning in Week 12 when he returned from damage, he led all operating backs in goal share (19.9%!). Because the begin of 2019, Ekeler ranks third amongst all backs in fantasy factors per contact. When he will get touches, he produces. And he’ll get a ton of touches. Advantageous, you do not need to take my phrase for it? Will you are taking Ekeler’s phrase for it? Throughout his current look on The Adam Schefter podcast, Austin instructed fantasy managers to draft him, referencing new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who came visiting from the Saints. I’m paraphrasing right here, however Ekeler principally mentioned, within the offense they’re putting in this yr, “I am Kamara.” Is anybody apprehensive about Alvin Kamara’s landing fairness? Precisely. Cease it with the Justin Jackson/Joshua Kelley/Larry Rountree III vulture issues. Ekeler is at present going as RB8 and in the midst of the second spherical on ESPN, however I’ve him as a top-six again and mid-first-round choose. He must be drafted as such. Do not miss out on getting some Ukraine Metal.

Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers: If there are two issues I do know concerning the Pittsburgh Steelers’ group, it is that the Steelers do not like to alter quarterbacks and Mike Tomlin would not like to alter operating backs. (If there is a third factor I do know, it is that Dwayne Haskins will develop into a Corridor of Fame quarterback with the Steelers, as a result of that is simply my luck.) However again to Tomlin’s love of three-down backs: In each season from 2013 by way of 2018, the Steelers’ lead again averaged greater than 20 touches per sport. Accidents to James Conner the previous two seasons (and to Roethlisberger in 2019) killed the offense. Enter Harris, whom the Steelers didn’t draft within the first spherical to throw him right into a rotation. A real three-down again (his 57 profession dashing and receiving touchdowns at Alabama are tied for probably the most in SEC historical past), and he recorded 50 damaged tackles final season, second most within the nation. In different phrases, I do not care if his offensive line is not any good. Massive quantity in an excellent offense, alongside together with his personal expertise and flexibility, makes him a borderline top-10 RB who’s going on the Spherical 2-3 flip and must be drafted within the prime 15. Similar to Haskins was in the true NFL draft earlier than the Washington Soccer Staff wanted to launch him lower than two seasons later. (Bangs head in opposition to the desk)

Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks: (30 for 30 voice) What if instructed you … Matthew was incorrect about them letting Russ cook dinner they usually as soon as once more simply ran the crap out of the ball? Or … (30 for 30 voice) What if I instructed you … Matthew was proper, they did let Russ cook dinner, the offense exploded they usually have been in scoring place on a regular basis and Chris Carson crushed it?

For years, the 2 huge knocks on Carson have been well being and issues about whether or not he was actually “the man.” Properly, he is performed 41 video games since 2018, greater than Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, Joe Mixon, Saquon Barkley, Austin Ekeler and one fewer than Aaron Jones, all of whom are being drafted forward of him. As for being “the man,” his new contract extension proves he’s. Whereas different fantasy analysts can replace their 2018 2019 2020 2021 “Rashaad Penny will take over for Chris Carson” articles, you may deal with the truth that the explanation Carson received paid was a career-high 4.8 yards per carry and a profession excessive in receiving touchdowns. He isn’t fairly Alvin Kamara or Ekeler, however he has improved his receptions per sport each season, and when he will get work, he produces. Carson was prime 10 final season (min. 100 touches) amongst RBs in fantasy factors per contact, and within the eight video games final season wherein he had not less than 14 touches, he averaged 16.7 PPG. He’s at present going within the fifth spherical on ESPN, however I’ve the criminally underrated Carson as a third-rounder. Chris Carson Endlessly.

Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams: In the meanwhile, probably the most well-known Henderson is Henderson, Nevada. Do you know Henderson, Nevada, was identified for its provide of magnesium throughout World Battle II? I will guess that certain makes for a enjoyable T-shirt! Properly, transfer over magnesium, as a result of quickly Henderson will not be identified for the recent temperatures in Nevada, however slightly the recent fantasy factors coming from Darrell Henderson’s toes. First off, Henderson is an effective participant with big-play capability. He’s seventh amongst RBs by way of proportion of carries gaining 10-plus yards (minimal 100 carries). When he will get work, he produces. In his six video games final season with 12-plus touches, he averaged 14.3 PPG. That might have been adequate for RB17 final season, between Antonio Gibson (14.4) and Miles Sanders (14.2). And now you speak about alternative: Cam Akers is out for the season; Malcolm Brown’s 124 touches from final season are in Miami; and the Rams wish to run, particularly when in shut. Since Sean McVay grew to become the top coach, the Rams are the eighth-heaviest run offense and third heaviest within the pink zone. It is an offense I count on to be in scoring place much more this season with Matthew Stafford being an enormous improve over Jared Goff. With not a lot competitors on the depth chart, Henderson has top-five RB potential however one way or the other remains to be going outdoors the highest 20 at RB on the Spherical 6-7 flip. I’ve him as a top-16 RB and a fourth-rounder with the sort of upside magnesium can solely dream about.

Others receiving votes: As the good fantasy analyst Robert Frost as soon as wrote: “The fantasy season is beautiful, darkish and deep / However I’ve guarantees to maintain / And Myles to draft earlier than I sleep.” Ol’ Bob’s phrases ring true, even at the moment. Whereas Malcolm Brown will probably have extra work than any of us need, Myles Gaskin is the superior expertise, an enormous plus within the passing sport (not less than three receptions in 9 of his 10 video games in 2020), and he earned belief within the pink zone (solely Dalvin Cook dinner and Josh Jacobs averaged greater than Gaskin’s 3.9 pink zone touches per sport final season). … Whereas I’m nonetheless a vocal member of the #FreeAaronJones motion, Matt LaFleur clearly will not be. So if in case you have Aaron Jones shares, AJ Dillon in all probability is in your private hate listing. However for the worth he can present, I am throwing him on the Love listing. Dillon will tackle the Jamaal Williams function this season … however he has extra upside. Final season, greater than 45% of his carries went for not less than 5 yards. He additionally went for 129 yards and two scores in his solely sport with double-digit touches. Contemplating Williams received a 3rd of Inexperienced Bay’s RB pink zone touches in 2020, Dillon’s expertise may put up plenty of fantasy factors with that utilization. … Talking of Jamaal Williams, I additionally like him in Detroit this season. Williams is an annoyingly good participant (why do you assume #FreeAaronJones needed to begin?) who’s productive when he will get work — 13.1 PPG in his seven video games final season with 10-plus touches — and now he goes to a Lions crew that may have its performs known as by Anthony Lynn. As within the former NFL operating again who has at all times used a committee as a coach. Williams is an effective pass-catcher, so he’ll get much more work than managers with D’Andre Swift on their crew would really like. … Via the primary eight weeks of the 2020 season, James Conner was averaging 15.8 PPG on 18.3 touches per sport. He can nonetheless produce with alternative, and he can be operating behind a greater line in Arizona than the one Pittsburgh had in 2020. Contemplating the Cardinals had the fourth-highest pink zone rush price final season, Conner will get loads of landing possibilities. … Zack Moss can be a landing monster in that high-powered Buffalo offense. Final yr as a rookie, he led the crew in each pink zone and goal-to-go carries. And he has earned a good bigger share of the load, getting greater than 13 touches in three of his ultimate 4 video games. … San Francisco has ranked within the prime 4 in operating again fantasy factors in every of the previous two seasons. Now Trey Sermon is on the town to make it three years in a row. Sure, there are plenty of operating backs in San Fran, however lots of them have had points staying wholesome. Sermon has much less of a reputation however as a lot upside as any rookie RB this facet of Najee Harris.

Operating backs I hate in 2021

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants: Does placing Barkley on the Hate listing imply I danger being one of many first lambasted when Barkley’s thighs inevitably take over the world? Certain, however pretend soccer journalists need to be keen to danger all of it for the reality. Now, to be clear, I do not hate Barkley as a participant. That is about hating the place he’s going in drafts (usually third to fifth general). Contemplating the pink flags round him, I am hesitant to spend one of many first few picks on him. There have been whispers all offseason that the Giants won’t have him within the lineup at first of the season and, even when they do, would possibly restrict his snaps. Lower than a yr faraway from tearing an ACL, will he have the big-play capability, or will that explosiveness be sluggish to come back again? The explanation I ask is, for his profession, in video games wherein Barkley does NOT have a 25-plus-yard run, he averages simply 3.3 yards per carry. Add to that the offensive line woes. In 2020, the Giants ranked twenty third in yards per carry earlier than first contact. That line is an enormous purpose Barkley had simply 34 yards on 19 carries final season earlier than he received harm. He is going within the prime 5, however I’ve him as simply an early second-rounder, which suggests it is extremely probably I cannot have him on any crew this yr.

David Montgomery, Chicago Bears: The sixth-best RB in fantasy final season on a points-per-game foundation, Monty (as he’s generally identified due to individuals who assume he’s a 70-year-old man) can attribute that fantasy success to a few components: 1) large workload; 2) passing-game utilization; 3) an excellent schedule, particularly down the stretch. (Six of his seven 20-plus-point video games final season got here in opposition to defenses that completed within the backside six in fantasy factors allowed to RBs.)

Now there’s a very good likelihood this one blows up in my face. Montgomery is getting rave evaluations at camp, and you recognize I’m very excessive on Justin Fields. There’s an excellent likelihood Fields takes over this crew earlier than later and the offense explodes, Montgomery operating together with it.

However … I’ve issues.

First, the issue of any schedule is difficult to foretell till you get into the season, in order that’s up within the air, however we are able to safely assume it is unlikely the Bears get that soft of a schedule once more. And the addition of Damien Williams ought to actually reduce into his workload, together with within the passing sport. Williams can play (He received robbed of being the Tremendous Bowl LIV MVP). So I consider Montgomery’s workload goes down and it’ll lower even additional if/when Tarik Cohen ever comes again. (In 2019, Montgomery averaged 2.3 targets per sport. In 2020, post-Cohen damage, he averaged 4.9 targets per sport.) And assuming Fields takes over, he’s a cellular quarterback and a menace to run himself. Does Fields vulture a couple of gimme touchdowns this season from Monty when they’re in shut?

Montgomery is being drafted on the prime of the fourth spherical, however I am far more comfy with him on the Spherical 5-6 flip.

Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders: Two years in the past, Jacobs was my fantasy ride-or-die. Now? He is on the preseason Hate listing. Kenyan Drake’s arrival in Vegas ends Jacobs’ time as a “set it and overlook it” fantasy starter. Amongst operating backs with 100-plus touches, Jacobs ranked forty sixth in fantasy factors per contact. Names similar to Devontae Booker, Brian Hill and Kalen Ballage have been forward of Jacobs on that listing (dry heaves). In 16 profession video games with fewer than 20 touches, Jacobs has averaged simply 10.5 PPG. He wants quantity to be efficient, and with Drake on the town, it is unlikely Jacobs sees 20 touches in most video games. (To provide you some context, final season’s RB34, Rex Burkhead, averaged 10.8 PPG. Yeesh.) There are legit issues on the Raiders’ remade offensive line, and contemplating he is going as RB18, that is approach too wealthy for my style. Josh, I am sorry, however contemplate this my official fantasy breakup letter.

James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars: Final yr’s fantasy Cinderella had his glass soccer cleats shattered when Jacksonville used a first-round choose on Travis Etienne Jr. Do not forget, greater than 40% of Robinson’s fantasy factors final season got here from receiving — a job that may now swing closely towards Etienne — whereas Jacksonville ranked twenty ninth in operating again rush makes an attempt. Robinson now finds himself in a really crowded backfield that additionally consists of Carlos Hyde, who has been reunited together with his faculty coach. He is being drafted as a flex play, so a few of that’s baked in, however there are different gamers within the vary the place he is going that I would favor to take a flier on (like Mike Davis, who has a lot much less competitors).

Michael Carter, New York Jets: There is a ton to love concerning the Jets’ rookie, it is true. However the phrase “Jets” in that sentence offers me pause. It is a franchise that hasn’t had a operating again hit even 850 dashing yards since Chris Ivory in 2015. Carter is getting a bunch of buzz and I’ve seen him go very early in drafts, which strikes me as tremendous bizarre. It is a teaching workers that comes from San Francisco and the multiple-RB method. They even introduced in a former 49er in Tevin Coleman, who is certain to get some work. Together with Ty Johnson and La’Mical Perine, I fear Carter is in a four-headed committee on a foul crew. As Mike Clay has identified, fourth-round backs are often drafted in the fourth round for a reason. The final fourth-rounder to complete as even a top-25 fantasy again was Roy Helu Jr. in 2011. So assume twice earlier than you attain in your draft for a participant whose upside is likely to be Helu 2: Fantasy Boogaloo.

Vast receivers I really like in 2021

Terry McLaurin, Washington Soccer Staff: Scary Terry … Terry McScorin’ … Terry “The Washington Soccer Staff Participant Matthew Berry Goals About Each Evening” McLaurin … I do not care what you name him, simply remember to get plenty of McLaurin in your fantasy groups this yr. Final season, McLaurin was WR20 in a points-per-game foundation. However that was in a Washington offense that wasn’t almost as pass-happy because the one we’ll see this yr with Ryan Fitzpatrick on the controls. Final season’s Fitz-less McLaurin averaged 19.3 PPG within the 9 video games wherein he had not less than eight targets. I count on him to get eight targets in most each sport this season. With, as an example, inconsistent QB play final season, McLaurin was nonetheless twelfth amongst WRs in receiving yards per sport. He simply received unfortunate with touchdowns, scoring solely 4. I count on that quantity to go up on an offense that can be extra aggressive and in scoring place extra typically. Fitz will not be scared to throw deep or into visitors, making him an ideal QB for McLaurin. Bear in mind, Fitzpatrick has produced a top-15 fantasy WR in every of the previous three seasons wherein he began not less than 12 video games. Put all of it collectively, and I will be doing much more dreaming this yr about McLaurin, whom I’ve inside my prime 10 at WR. And you will be having nightmares in the event you do not draft him.

CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys: Within the carnage that was the 2020 Dallas Cowboys’ season — and there was plenty of carnage … carnage that I loved fairly immensely … sure, I AM a Washington Soccer Staff fan, why do you ask? — lots of people missed that Lamb had an distinctive rookie season. He went for 74 receptions, 935 yards and 5 touchdowns. And plenty of that was with the likes of Andy Dalton, Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert throwing him the ball. Within the video games wherein Dak Prescott performed and completed, Lamb had not less than 5 receptions in every and averaged 16.3 PPG. And people 4 video games have been the primary 4 of his NFL profession! Now, with a yr of progress below his belt and Prescott slated to return? And an elevated route tree that may see him line up all around the subject? Oh, yeah, Lamb is an enormous Love for me in 2021. And you recognize I would not be saying good issues a few Cowboys participant if I did not actually imply it.

Robert Woods and my little Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams: What do shopping for a brand new pc and drafting fantasy huge receivers in 2021 have in widespread? In each instances, you merely cannot have an excessive amount of RAM! That is proper, people, it is the horrible jokes that preserve you coming again yearly. Anyway, until that is your first yr enjoying fantasy soccer, you recognize that Robert Woods and my little Cooper Kupp have lengthy been productive fantasy receivers. Because the begin of 2017, Woods is WR9 in whole factors and WR12 in PPG. And Kupp is a goal monster: eleventh amongst WRs in targets per sport final season and tied for eighth in pink zone goal share. However I count on each to be even higher in 2021, because of the arrival of QB Matthew Stafford. Doubt it? Then try this stat:

Stafford (2019-20): Ninth in fantasy factors per try, eleventh in TD price
Goff (2019-20): twenty sixth in fantasy factors per try, thirty first in TD price

Nonetheless doubt it? Wait, actually? Then you definately clearly missed the stat I simply posted. Scroll again up a line or two. There you go. And welcome again. I’ve Woods as a fourth-rounder (he is at present going within the fifth), and I’ve Kupp as a fifth-rounder (at present going on the 6/7 flip). Now go draft you some LAR receivers. And purchase a brand new pc with all of your fantasy winnings. And you may see the enjoyment of getting tons of RAM! Ha! Solely factor higher than a foul joke is 2, amirite?

Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals: What does shopping for a brand new pc and drafting fantasy huge receivers in 2021 have in widespread? In each instances, you merely cannot have an excessive amount of BENGAL! Oh, for actual? BENGAL will not be a pc time period? OK, effectively, the joke would not work fairly as effectively on this case, then. However my level stays the identical: Higgins and Boyd are in for giant seasons. Ja’Marr Chase is getting all the excitement however, particularly contemplating present price, these two are those you need. (In the meanwhile, Chase goes one spherical forward of Higgins and 4 rounds forward of Boyd.) In video games with Joe Burrow below middle final season, Boyd was a top-15 receiver in PPG, receptions per sport and targets per sport. Do not let his semi-pedestrian ultimate numbers of 841 yards and 4 TDs sway you; Boyd is high-end WR2 with Burrow at QB. Higgins would possibly even have extra upside. He was each bit pretty much as good as CeeDee Lamb as a rookie, going for 67 receptions, 908 yards and 6 TDs. Higgins additionally had 14 receptions of 20-plus yards and was focused seven occasions in the long run zone in 9 “full” video games with Burrow. Higgins will produce for you each week, however his big-play capability means he’ll even have some monster video games that outright win you weeks. I am not apprehensive about Chase stealing targets. On the time of his damage, Burrow led the NFL in cross makes an attempt. This protection will as soon as once more be brutal, so there can be sufficient cross makes an attempt to go round. At price, Higgins and particularly Boyd are unbelievable values.

Others receiving votes: In his 10 video games with not less than seven targets final season, Brandin Cooks averaged 19.7 PPG. And that was with William Fuller V getting a 21.8% goal share. That focus on share is now in Miami, and whereas we do not know who can be enjoying quarterback for the Texans this season, we do know that they will be trailing. Loads. Irrespective of who’s below middle. Which means plenty of garbage-time targets and fantasy factors for Cooks. With greater than 1,000 yards in 5 of the previous six years, Cooks out-earns his ADP yearly and can as soon as once more this season. … Imagine it or not, Marvin Jones Jr. is the one huge receiver within the NFL with not less than 9 landing receptions in every of the previous two seasons. In Jacksonville, he’ll be reunited with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, below whom Jones completed as WR20 on a points-per-game foundation in 2019. … The Mike Williams breakout we have been ready for lastly occurred in 2020. Form of? Type of? On the very least, it is within the technique of taking place. Williams averaged 16.3 PPG within the eight video games wherein he had not less than seven targets final season. He ought to solely get higher in 12 months 2 with Justin Herbert. … Antonio Brown averaged 20.1 PPG in his ultimate 4 video games of 2020. Do not forget this man was the clear WR1 in fantasy not so way back and he is nonetheless solely 33 years of age. There’s a ton of worth and upside available right here. … The coaching camp buzz is off the charts for Darnell Mooney, and it is not for nothing. He confirmed flashes final yr, getting not less than 5 targets in 12 of his 16 video games. … Mooney’s camp buzz is likely to be matched solely by Jets rookie Elijah Moore. Bear in mind, the Ole Miss product is the one FBS participant previously 20 years to register three video games with 225-plus yards in a season.

Vast receivers I hate in 2021

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints: I am not the one fantasy analyst hating on Thomas heading into the 2021 season, and for good purpose. Regression got here for Thomas final season and almost swallowed him like Jameis eating a W. Whether or not it was damage, QB play, hitting some form of age wall, dangerous luck or one thing happening behind the scenes, we are going to by no means know. However no matter it was, he instantly was very inefficient. Thomas was 81st amongst certified receivers final season in fantasy factors per goal, a significant step again for a wideout who was sixteenth in that class in 2020. He scored fewer than 12 factors in 4 of his seven video games final season. He had solely two such video games the earlier season wherein he performed all 16 video games. He is a really gifted huge receiver, in fact, however I do not know. I haven’t got a stat for this, however, man … simply looks like some dangerous vibes popping out of New Orleans, you recognize? Add to that Thomas’ lingering ankle points and the truth that he is very more likely to miss not less than some video games at first of the season, plus uncertainty on the quarterback place in New Orleans and rumors of a extra run-heavy method this season, and, effectively, for the primary time ever, he is made my Hate listing.

Julio Jones, Tennessee Titans: Does including Jones to their lineup give the Titans a greater shot at profitable a Tremendous Bowl? No doubt. However becoming a member of the Titans additionally hurts Jones’ fantasy inventory, and is not that each one that issues? Jones is leaving a Falcons crew that had the fourth-most cross makes an attempt final season and becoming a member of a Titans offense that was thirtieth in cross makes an attempt. It stays to be seen how Julio reacts to a bunch of change and being the No. 2 receiver in an offense for the primary time in a very long time, heading into his age-32 season. Jones missed seven video games final season, left two video games early and set the NFL report for many profession weeks listed as questionable with a hamstring damage heading into every week. That final one will not be an official NFL report, but it surely must be. And he undoubtedly is the report holder. However it’s particularly important when he performs a late sport and you do not know whether or not to danger beginning him or play a man within the 1 p.m. ET window.

Kenny Golladay, New York Giants: In previous years, did I generally put Golladay on the weekly Hate listing merely to crush the emotions of Daniel Dopp, my co-host on The Fantasy Present? Completely! However now that Golladay not performs for Daniel’s Lions, his presence on the Hate listing should be based mostly completely on legit evaluation. So right here you go:

• Golladay’s energy is as a deep menace, however the Giants ranked twenty eighth in deep cross makes an attempt in 2020.

• Since 2018, Golladay had a 22.1% goal share in Detroit. He’s extremely unlikely to get that sort of goal share in an offense with Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and, finally, pink zone menace Kyle Rudolph.

• Much less goal share … and fewer quantity: The Giants ranked twenty sixth in whole cross makes an attempt final season, even in a season with out Barkley, they usually have a greater protection than they get credit score for, in order that they probably will not be in as many shootouts. So there are additionally severe quantity issues for Golladay.

• Golladay has performed in simply 36 video games since 2018 and he is already coping with a leg damage this yr in camp.

• However all will not be misplaced for Golladay. No less than he not performs for Daniel’s Lions.

William Fuller V, Miami Dolphins: Fuller is going through an enormous downgrade at quarterback this season. Deshaun Watson, Fuller’s quarterback final season, led the NFL in passing yards and yards per cross try. However his new quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, was thirtieth amongst certified QBs in yards per cross try. From first to thirtieth. Not nice! After which there are the same old sturdiness issues with Fuller, too. He has missed not less than 5 video games in every of his previous 4 seasons. Add to all that the very fact he has plenty of competitors for appears with DeVante Parker, Area Yates favourite Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki, plus an excellent protection, which suggests Miami will not be within the sort of garbage-time video games Houston had final season. Fuller would possibly very effectively be an excellent free-agent signing for Miami, however contemplating he’s being drafted forward of men similar to Brandin Cooks, Tyler Boyd and Antonio Brown (to say three guys on the Love listing), he’s unlikely to return a revenue.

Tight ends I really like in 2021

Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders: It has been two years now since I nailed my prediction on Waller breaking out as a top-tier fantasy tight finish. What does that need to do with 2021? Nothing in any respect! I simply actually get pleasure from bringing it up. However effective, you need to speak about Waller in 2021? An apparent identify, certain, however I listing him right here as a result of I’ve him clearly forward of George Kittle for TE2 and as a late second-rounder (he is at present going within the fourth spherical on ESPN). There’s each purpose to consider he’ll duplicate, and even enhance upon, final season when he completed as TE2. Waller had 9 video games with 15-plus fantasy factors in 2020. Travis Kelce was the one different tight finish with greater than 5 such video games, by the way in which. However it’s not simply the splash video games. Waller is constant, too, averaging 9.1 targets per sport, ninth most amongst all gamers. He led all tight ends with 22 pink zone targets — when Derek Carr will get shut, he appears for quantity 83. As I wrote in my Draft-Day Manifesto, I need to be both one of many first to seize a good finish or one of many final. Excessive flooring. Excessive ceiling. Waller is a superb goal if you wish to get a weekly benefit at tight finish and be finished with the place early. I really like me some Waller the Baller.

Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams: When you was thrown footballs by Jared Goff and can now be thrown footballs by Matthew Stafford, apparently I such as you in fantasy in 2021. What can I say? For no matter purpose, all of the Rams are undervalued this yr. Anyway, Higbee’s inventory is not up solely due to the arrival of Stafford. It is also due to the departure of Gerald Everett. In 5 video games with out Everett energetic in 2019, Higbee averaged 11.4 targets per sport and 21.4 PPG and principally gained fantasy titles for everybody who picked him up. I do know the Rams are excessive on rookie tight finish Jacob Harris, however I believe he is a yr away. Higbee was within the prime seven amongst tight ends in yards per goal, catch price and proportion of catches gaining 20-plus yards (minimal 50 targets), so when Higbee will get work, he produces. In his 5 video games with not less than 5 targets in 2020, he averaged 14.6 PPG. At the moment going as TE17, I’ve Higbee as a borderline top-10 play this yr. Higbee – Everett + Stafford = TE1. That is primary fantasy math.

Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings: Small pattern measurement, in fact, however final season, within the 4 video games he performed with out Kyle Rudolph, Smith was the fourth-best tight finish in fantasy. He averaged 12.8 factors per sport, scored three TDs, and for his profession averages 12.0 factors per sport when getting not less than 5 targets. Rudolph is, in fact, now on the Giants, and shade me not apprehensive about Tyler Conklin. Smith is simply 23 years previous and enters his third NFL season with TE1 upside at TE2 costs.

Others receiving votes: Of the 16 targets Adam Trautman received as a rookie, he caught 15 of them. I’ve run the numbers and that is an excellent proportion. All Trautman wants is extra alternative in New Orleans. He’ll get it with Jared Cook out of the image and Michael Thomas banged up. Since 2019, Saints tight ends are tied for the third-most touchdowns and second-highest yards per reception (12.9) … You want tight ends catching a excessive proportion of their targets? Then I current Mr. Anthony Firkser. He had the third-highest price amongst certified tight ends final season at 75%. With Jonnu Smith off to New England, Firkser’s targets will rise considerably. The Titans have been third in tight finish goal share and tight finish pink zone targets final season. … Not solely will Gerald Everett not be tanking Tyler Higbee’s fantasy inventory in 2021, he is value a glance of his personal. Now in Seattle with Russell Wilson, Everett has produced when focused. Over the previous two seasons, in his video games with five-plus targets, he averages 10.6 PPG. … It wasn’t that way back Austin Hooper was the No. 1 tight finish in fantasy. The Browns are going to be an above-average offense, and in his seven video games final season with not less than 5 targets, Hooper averaged 12.1 factors. When you get into the mid-TE2 territory, Hooper is an fascinating flier. … Jimmy Graham will proceed to be a problem, however Cole Kmet is a gifted participant who must be a favourite of Justin Fields earlier than later. … I’ve a bizarre idea that the Falcons will develop into one of many league leaders in operating two-tight-end units below new head coach Arthur Smith. Smith, in fact, used tight ends very successfully in Tennessee. Which suggests Kyle Pitts may get Julio Jones’ goal share and nonetheless go away the identical quantity of appears for Hayden Hurst that he received final season when he was TE10 general and TE15 on a PPG foundation. Hurst is free proper now, as he’s going undrafted.

Tight ends I hate in 2021

Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers: To not be imply, but when I’m imply, Robert Tonyan would undoubtedly be in line to regress towards me. Growth! Get it? Stats joke burn! I may need to retire after that one! However for actual: As spectacular as Tonyan was final season, he is in line for an enormous drop-off in 2021. Quantity is an issue. He was tied for twenty second final season in whole targets amongst TEs and he had solely 5 video games with greater than 40 yards. And but, even with low quantity (simply 52 receptions), he scored 11 touchdowns, stepping into the top zone on a ridiculous 21% of his receptions. The final NFL participant to attain double-digit touchdowns on fewer than 60 receptions in consecutive seasons was Falcons WR Michael Haynes in 1991. The percentages of Tonyan repeating is extremely unlikely. Bob Tonyan is a enjoyable participant, and I’ve him simply outdoors my prime 10, however he most actually could have a worse fantasy season than he did final season. Once more, to not be imply.

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins: Gesicki would possibly assist you win you some DFS contests, however he is onerous to roll on the market with any confidence in an everyday fantasy league. Get this: 46% of his fantasy factors final season got here in simply three video games. It is feast or famine with him, as he had eight video games with three or fewer catches. And whereas final yr he had a strong goal share going for him (15.5%), that may probably drop with Miami including Will Fuller V and Jaylen Waddle to DeVante Parker.

Hunter Henry, New England Patriots: Huh. As soon as once more, two first names … not a crowd pleaser. Henry has by no means performed all 16 video games in an NFL season, so you might have apparent well being issues. However greater than that, I believe Jonnu Smith is the higher participant, the higher tight finish and the higher fantasy choice. Will Henry rating some touchdowns this yr? After all. Will you might have any concept when? No. I do know the Patriots have had two fantasy-relevant tight ends on the identical time earlier than, however with all due respect to Cam Newton and Mac Jones, neither goes to be “peak Tom Brady” this season. I would favor to only keep away from the headache, but when I’ve to select a Patriots tight finish, gimme Jonnu Smith.

Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers: I am unable to do a Love/Hate season preview with out placing Cook dinner on the Hate listing, proper? I’ve to play the hits! However there are respectable causes, past custom, to have him right here. Final season, Cook dinner was extremely touchdown-dependent, which could be very onerous to rely on, particularly with a brand new QB. Cook dinner had solely three video games with greater than three catches and he was twenty first amongst all tight ends in routes per sport. It is onerous to see both of these stats turning round on the age of 34 in a brand new offense, particularly with my man Donald Parham Jr. respiration down his neck. (I’m semi-obsessed with Parham in dynasty leagues.)

And there you might have it! Love/Hate 2021 is within the books. Good luck this yr. Could all of your backups flip into starters and, as soon as once more, simply need you to know I respect you.

Matthew Berry — The Proficient Mr. Roto — actually wished to place Antonio Gibson on the listing, too, however was apprehensive he’d be known as an excessive amount of of a homer.

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