Posted by Matt Olson

Stats to Know, Players to Avoid, and Players to Target

July 7, 2023


– Dak Prescott in the first 7 games of 2018 (Pre-Amari trade): 202.4 ypg, 1.1 TDs

Dak Prescott in the final 9 games of 2018 (Post-Amari trade): 274.2 ypg, 1.6 TDs

To say Amari Cooper opened up the Cowboys offense is an understatement. Fast forward to this year and Michael Gallup has been on fire in Training Camp, Jason Witten is back, Tony Pollard looks like a great side-kick to Zeke (if he shows up and I’m assuming he will), Kellen Moore takes over for Scott Linehan, and all of a sudden this offense looks poised to continue where they left off. Based on current ADP in half-ppr leagues, Prescott is the 18th QB being selected.

– Chris Godwin is going to have a big year. DeSean Jackson leaves behind 74 targets. Adam Humphries leaves behind 105 targets. That’s 179 targets up for grabs and possibly more with a new offense under Bruce Arians. Let’s just say Godwin will pick up 2 more targets per game, average his same catch percentage as 2018, and average his same ypc. His catches would jump from 59 to 79 and his receiving yards would jump from 842 to 1,126. Also, don’t be surprised if Breshad Perriman matches Godwin’s 2018 stats of 59 catches, 842 yards, and 7 touchdowns.

– Melvin Gordon missed games 7 and 12-14 last year. In game 7, Austin Ekeler had 12 carries for 42 yards and 5 catches for 26 yards. In game 12, Ekeler had 13 carries for 21 yards and 5 catches for 22 yards. In game 13, Ekeler had 15 carries for 66 yards, a TD, and 2 catches for 28 yards. Ekeler did not play in game 14. Justin Jackson was nonexistent in game 7. In game 12, Jackson had 8 carries for 63 yards, a TD, and 1 catch for 19 yards. In game 13, Jackson had 7 carries for 12 yards and 2 catches for 23 yards. In game 14, without Gordon and Ekeler, Jackson had 16 carries for 58 yards, a TD, and 3 catches for 27 yards. The Chargers went 4-0 in those 4 games. 

– Rob Gronkowski missed three games in 2018. In those 3 games, Josh Gordon averaged 9.3 targets per game, 4.3 catches, and 103.7 yards. He had 1 touchdown in Gronk’s absence. His lowest yardage total was 81 yards.

– Be cautious of everyone pointing towards Josh Allen’s final 5 games of 2018 as the reason he’s going to break out in 2019. The defenses Allen faced those final 5 weeks along with their ranking in total yards given up: Miami (29), NY Jets (25), Detroit (10), New England (21), and Miami again. 

– The worst offensive lines per PFF: 32) Dolphins 31) Texans 30) Cardinals 29) Chargers 28) Jets 27) Bengals 26) Raiders 25) Vikings

– The best offensive lines per PFF: 1) Eagles 2) Cowboys 3) Steelers 4) Titans 5) Colts 6) Patriots 7) Saints 8) Packers

– Doug Baldwin missed games 2, 3, and 13 last year. Tyler Lockett’s stats in those games:

Game 2: 5 catches, 60 yards, 1 TD

Game 3: 4 catches, 77 yards, 1 TD

Game 13: 5 catches, 42 yards

Lockett averaged 6.3 targets, 4.7 catches, and 59.7 yards in the 3 games without Baldwin. He averaged 3.9 targets, 3.3 catches, and 60.5 yards in the 13 games with Baldwin. Look for a significant bump in his catches in 2019.

– Tyler Boyd was a lot better with AJ Green in the lineup. In the 8 games AJG played to start the season, Boyd averaged 8.3 targets, 6.1 catches, and 77.5 yards. In the 6 games without AJG, Boyd averaged 7 targets, 4.5 catches, and 68 yards. Neither played in games 15 and 16. Boyd had 5 of his 7 touchdowns with AJG in the lineup. It is important to note, however, that Andy Dalton didn’t play in games 12-16. AJG is expected to miss a few weeks of regular season action.

– Guys I’m avoiding at their current ADP:

o David Johnson (1.06) – The O line, the rookie coach, and the rookie QB all scare me

o James Conner (1.11) – Unless he falls to a mid-2nd round pick in 12 team leagues. I’d rather take someone like OBJ at the end of round 1, then Joe Mixon on the way back, or vice versa. 

o Todd Gurley (2.02) – He hasn’t done much at all in OTAs or Training Camp, which isn’t calming my fears about his knee.

o Antonio Brown (2.11) – Everything scares me. AB and Roethlisberger had a huge amount of trust. Carr hasn’t been able to build that with AB. 

o Patrick Mahomes (3.02) – I love Mahomes, but I’m a big proponent of waiting on QBs in 1QB leagues

o Devonta Freeman (3.03) – I’d rather have several running backs that are going after him (Aaron Jones, Josh Jacobs, Chris Carson, Marlon Mack, Derrick Henry, Mark Ingram, Sony Michel)

o OJ Howard (5.09) – If you miss out on the top 3 TEs, you might as well wait and take Mark Andrews or Austin Hooper in rounds 11-13. Pair one of them with Chris Herndon later if you have enough bench spots. 

o DJ Moore (5.10) – Give me Curtis Samuel later

o All Dolphins, Bills, Redskins, and 49ers

o Darrell Henderson (7.10) – He hasn’t exactly impressed in Rams camp

o Dante Pettis (8.02) – Haven’t read a good think about Pettis in weeks

o Kareem Hunt (8.08) – 8 game suspension + Nick Chubb ahead of him = No Thanks

o David Njoku (9.01) – Once again, give me Andrews or Hooper + Herndon later

o Carlos Hyde (11.07) – Just staying away completely

o Golden Tate (11.09) – Give me Jamison Crowder (12.01)

– Players I’m reaching for at their current ADP:

o Chris Carson (3.08) – I’m fine with him at the end of the second/beginning of the third

o Sony Michel (4.05) – If the Training Camp reports are true and he starts catching passes this year…

o Robby Anderson (6.08) – He’s ready to take the next step

o Will Fuller (7.02) – He was on pace for 1,150 yards last year before getting hurt

o Josh Gordon (8.02) – I love players with high ceilings and Gordon might have the highest ceiling of any player after Round 3

o Dede Westbrook (9.07) – He’s been the best offensive player in Jags camp

o Darwin Thompson (11.07) – Potential league winner

o Ty Montgomery (14.03) – Especially if you take Bell

I had my first redraft league draft of the year last night. I had pick 3. Here’s how it went:

Round 1 – Alvin Kamara

Round 2 – Marlon Mack

Round 3 – Kerryon Johnson

Round 4 – Sony Michel

I didn’t plan to start with 4 running backs, but we do have 2 RB spots and 2 FLEX spots, so I can start all 4. 

Round 5 – Chris Godwin – Felt like this was a huge steal

Round 6 – Robby Anderson

Round 7 – Josh Gordon

Round 8 – Curtis Samuel

I went 4 straight WRs after taking 4 straight RBs. All 4 WRs have high ceilings.

Round 9 – Eric Ebron – I didn’t love this pick, which may explain why I took 2 more TEs

Round 10 – Chris Herndon – I reached here, but I love Herndon

Round 11 – Darwin Thompson

Round 12 – Lamar Jackson

Round 13 – TJ Hockenson – This will be the spot I play around with on the waiver wire, but I wanted to grab Hock in case he starts out strong

More practice summaries to come…

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