One method to stay ahead of your league mates is staying on top of breaking news. Also, fantasy managers need to take advantage of those stories. How does it affect that fantasy player? What type of impact does it have the remaining offensive players on that team? Who benefits the most immediately? Long-term? All of these factors lead to winning choices and fantasy football championships.
The implications of the breaking news stories and preseason storylines result in my breakdown of the Winning Choices for your 2019 fantasy football drafts. Last week, I provided my AFC Winning Choices. Let’s take a look my selections from each NFC team.
— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) August 24, 2019
Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys
In his rookie season, Michael Gallup averaged more than 15 yards per reception and exhibited the chemistry that has developed with quarterback Dak Prescott. Gallup broke out in the team’s playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams with six catches for 119 yards.
With Cole Beasley leaving for Buffalo and the team releasing Allen Hurns, there should be plenty of available targets for Gallup to build upon his success. All NFL fans know that Amari Cooper is one of the most inconsistent receivers in the league. Gallup should double his 2018 totals of 507 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants
Football fans might not be laughing at New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman any longer. Former Duke Blue Devil Daniel Jones was selected sixth overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, and the hysteria surrounding that selection was deafening.
Daniel Jones has shown that he has the potential to be a quality quarterback in the NFL during the preseason, making accurate throws and intelligent decisions. It is just the preseason, but he did show his ability to make NFL caliber throws. If Eli Manning falters or the team starts toward a losing downward spiral, the Giants should not hesitate to put Jones in the lineup. Fantasy owners in deeper formats could select Jones for the backend of their rosters for a deep sleeper selection. Dynasty managers should already know that Jones is a viable fantasy option to own immediately.
JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Rookie wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside has created plenty of preseason buzz, and the Philadelphia Eagles are excited about their 6-foot-2, 225-pound wideout. There is potential that he could push Nelson Agholor for the starting role opposite Alshon Jeffery. He is a high upside pick and looks to be a TD-dependent red zone threat for an Eagles offense that seems to be explosive with quarterback Carson Wentz returning.
Trey Quinn, WR, Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden made tons of noise when he said that Trey Quinn had the starting slot job “locked up.” Quinn has stood out this preseason for his route running and is known more for his selection as Mr. Irrelevant by the Redskins in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The slot receiver position is highly valued in every NFL offense and is the quarterback’s best friend. Newly appointed starting quarterback Case Keenum will be playing behind a weak offensive line, so the short throws to the slot could be the best plays in the offense. Quinn will be PPR fantasy gold in 2019.
Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears
Anthony Miller had an exceptional rookie season while putting up seven touchdowns and recording 423 yards receiving. Miller produced those numbers despite a shoulder injury that required surgery in the offseason.
According to PlayerProfiler.com, Miller’s QBs had a rating of 117.5 (13th best in the NFL), when targeting him in 2018. Mitch Trubisky looks to raise his play to another level this season and Miller also seems to take the next step this season and will be a breakout receiver in 2019.
T.J. Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions
Rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson was looked upon as the complete tight end to enter the draft in years.
He has earned rave reviews throughout the offseason and into training camp. Hockenson has struggled with his blocking in camp which might hold him back in regards to playing time to free-agent signee Jesse James. Rookie tight ends typically strive to produce as a rookie, but he has immense talent and opportunity to break out in 2019.
Geronimo Allison, WR, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers has spoken highly of his receiving corps this training camp especially Geronimo Allison. He has won the slot receiver position, which was vacated by Randall Cobb, for the Green Bay Packers this season.
Allison recorded 20 receptions for 303 yards in just five games last season. He averaged an impressive 15.2 yards per reception to go along with his 2 touchdowns. Additionally, Aaron Rodgers had a 131.4 passer rating on targets to Allison last season.
Rodgers makes everyone better, and if Allison can stay healthy, he should have a huge year.
Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Rookie Alexander Mattison is the team’s backup running back behind Dalvin Cook. Cook has missed 17 games in his first two seasons. Mattison also appears to be locked in to fill the old Latavius Murray role in the Minnesota Vikings offense.
Murray averaged over ten touches per week last season, so Mattison has stand-alone value and should be a valuable fantasy contributor this season.
Dare Ogunbowale goes up the middle and finds the end zone!
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) August 10, 2019
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Mohamed Sanu is not a sexy pick. However, he has produced at least 650+ yards and 4 touchdowns four times in his career, including three of those in the past three seasons. He can play either outside or in the slot and is at best the third option for quarterback Matt Ryan. Sanu is an ideal bye week fill-in for fantasy managers that will produce and not kill your week. Smart fantasy managers should always have these type of players on their benches.
Ian Thomas, TE, Carolina Panthers
Yes, I realize that Greg Olsen is back (for now) as the Carolina Panthers tight end. Forgive me if I am not going to trust Olsen who has played in only 16 of his last 32 games. He has been besieged by injuries and even considered retirement to be a tv analyst.
Ian Thomas played well last season while taking over for Olsen. He started six games, grabbing 36 receptions, 333 yards, and 2 touchdowns last season. In deeper two tight end leagues, don’t be afraid to grab Thomas who is the future for the Panthers. The future will start in 2019.
Tre’Quan Smith, WR, New Orleans Saints
Tre’Quan Smith produced 28 catches, 427 receiving yards, and 5 touchdowns in his rookie season with the New Orleans Saints. Smith flashed his potential last season and is currently the WR3 for the Saints but could see him move up to WR2 this season. Now, Ted Ginn Jr. is the Saints WR2 who has never broken 800 yards in a season in his career. Ginn Jr. is a boom or bust wideout who is not getting any younger, and his game is solely based on his speed. The Saints need to develop additional options besides Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, and Smith will look to build up his rookie season. His upside is ideal, and he is free in drafts.
Dare Ogunbowale, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dare Ogunbowale looks to have won the pass-catching back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While that is not saying much considering the competition is Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones. Barber was mentioned as a player to avoid for your fantasy roster, and Ronald Jones was a colossal bust in his rookie debut last season. Bucs head coach Bruce Arians will need to ride the hot hand so we might see Ogunbowale more than the other backs. He is one injury away from an expanded role in an explosive offense.
NFL 2018, weeks 9-16. Top 10 RBs in Fantasy Pts per snap. Usual suspects & all being drafted in top 5 rounds except, Matt Brieda. Not sure why the community continues to sleep on him. McKinnon likely starts on IR. SF vacated 6.8 touches per game since last year. pic.twitter.com/BPIQRoenMy
— Fantasy Moz (@FFMOz) August 24, 2019
Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Chase Edmonds is a talented running back and is one of the handcuffs that fantasy managers need to keep in mind while doing their drafts. Starter David Johnson returned after an injured 2017 season and played all 16 games last season. However, the 2018 season left Johnson below 1,000 yards rushing and under 4.0 yards per carry. Entering this season, the air raid offense is fast-paced, and the intention is to run as many plays as possible. His skill set lends itself to be a potential playmaker and a weapon that can be a sneaky lottery pick with one of your final selections.
Malcolm Brown, RB, Los Angeles Rams
All fantasy owners know the issues with the arthritic knee of running back Todd Gurley. The Los Angeles Rams are trying to convince football fans that Gurley is okay and that they will lighten his load this season. His knee troubles should make fantasy owners look at his back up who is Malcolm Brown. Notice that Darrell Henderson was not mentioned. Henderson played poorly this preseason, averaging less than three yards per carry (2.48).
Most fantasy owners will still draft Todd Gurley early, but I contend that fantasy owners should avoid Gurley in their fantasy drafts. Instead, fantasy owners should target Malcolm Brown late in drafts, because Gurley will miss time this season and Brown should benefit immensely. Brown is expected to contribute enough for fantasy owners to grab shares of the Rams running back.
Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco 49ers
The unfortunate news of running back Jerick McKinnon now lost for the 2019 season after requiring another procedure on his recent surgically-repaired knee has left fantasy owners believing the running back to draft in San Francisco is Tevin Coleman.
However, I am here to tell you that fantasy managers should draft Matt Breida. Breida has outplayed Coleman this preseason, including during Week 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Breida had seven carries for a total of 44 rushing yards, averaging 6.3 yards per carry. He also contributed two receptions for 31 yards. Both backs are dual-threat backs and should share touches with the San Francisco 49ers. Coleman has the relationship with Shanahan while Breida proved himself last season by posting a 5.3 yards per carry along with four games with over 100 yards from scrimmage. Fantasy owners can get Breida two to three rounds later with similar, if not better, production than Coleman. Smart owners should wait and grab Breida.
Gary Jennings, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Originally, Jaron Brown was going to be my selection, but the Seattle Seahawks recently released then re-signed him.
The Seattle Seahawks selected three receivers in the 2019 draft with D.K. Metcalf, John Ursua, and Gary Jennings. Jennings has size, standing 6-foot-1, and 214 pounds and brings speed, logging a 4.42 40 time.
Seahawks are in desperate need of receivers with Tyler Lockett secured as the top receiver, but the receiver opposite Lockett is up for grabs. Metcalf is a raw prospect and is purely only a downfield weapon, Jennings looks to take the possession receiver role for quarterback Russell Wilson. The Seahawks look to run the ball a ton so the pass attempts will not be plentiful, but Jennings has to take advantage of his opportunity. Wilson will make Jennings a better wideout. While Jennings will start slowly, but by the end of the 2019 season, he will be a possible deep, wide receiver option for fantasy owners.
Dennis Sosic is a writer for the Pro Football Network covering the Cleveland Browns and Fantasy Football. Dennis is also a co-host of the Fantasy Fixers podcast for PFN. You can follow him on Twitter @CALL_ME_SOS.