Fantasy Football Mailbag: DST streamers, No. 2 WRs, and D'Onta Foreman's recovery
Jamey Eisenberg answers your questions in his latest edition of #fantasymail and also looks at two streaming DST options for Week 1.
What sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And what big-name running back could ruin your season? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy Football cheat sheets from the model that called Alvin Kamara's huge breakout last season and find out.
- AFC East: Schedule Preview | Bills | Dolphins | Patriots | Jets
- NFC East: Schedule Preview | Cowboys | Giants | Eagles | Redskins
- AFC North: Schedule Preview | Ravens | Bengals | Browns | Steelers
- NFC North: Schedule Preview | Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
- AFC South: Schedule Preview | Texans | Colts | Jaguars | Titans
- NFC South: Schedule Preview | Falcons | Panthers | Saints | Buccaneers
- AFC West: Schedule Preview | Broncos | Chiefs | Chargers | Raiders
- NFC West: Schedule Preview | Cardinals | Rams | 49ers | Seahawks
My colleague Dave Richard did a great job breaking down the schedule for the 2018 season, which. While I don't tend to base my drafts on the schedule since so much can change during the year, I do like to look at matchups for Week 1 when it comes to selecting a DST.
Once you get past the standout options — Jaguars, Rams, Vikings, Eagles and Chargers — it can be something of a guessing game. I like the Texans, Broncos and Saints too, but it's not a bad idea to look at the schedule for Week 1 when picking your DST.
And two teams that stand out are the Ravens and Lions. Baltimore faces Buffalo at home in Week 1, while Detroit plays host to the Jets.
Now, the Ravens DST is already a quality Fantasy option and should be considered in the group of the Texans, Broncos and Saints. The Ravens DST finished No. 2 in most Fantasy leagues last year behind the Jaguars, and Baltimore's defense should again be tough.
When you factor in that the Ravens get to face the Bills in Week 1, it's really just an added bonus. Buffalo will have a new quarterback (A.J. McCarron or Josh Allen) and three new offensive linemen (Eric Wood, Richie Incognito and Cordy Glenn are gone), along with a suspect receiving corps. It could be a big game for the Ravens DST.
While the Ravens DST will likely be a unit worth keeping for most of the season, the Lions DST will be more of a streaming option. After facing the Jets, Detroit plays at San Francisco, vs. New England, at Dallas and vs. Green Bay before a bye in Week 6. There aren't a lot of soft matchups there after Week 1.
But in that season opener against the Jets, the Lions could be facing an inferior offensive team, especially if rookie Sam Darnold somehow wins the starting quarterback job. And Detroit also opened last season with a DST touchdown in three games in a row, as well as seven interceptions and eight sacks over that span.
I like the Lions DST with a late-round pick in all leagues, and you can move on to the Dolphins DST in Week 2 because of Miami's matchup at the Jets. It might not be ideal to stream DSTs, but it does work when the matchups are right.
As for this week's mailbag, continue to submit your questions on Twitter @jameyeisenberg and on my Facebook page. All you have to do is use the hashtag #fantasymail, and I'll be answering your questions throughout the offseason.
For this week, we're going to cover the following topics:
- Pick the best No. 2 WR out of Josh Gordon, Allen Robinson and Marvin Jones
- Can D'Onta Foreman overtake Lamar Miller this year?
- Who is the better San Francisco WR out of Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin?
- Who is the better keeper out of Rob Gronkowski and Mike Evans?
- What's the best way to approach quarterback in a superflex league?
- Who is the better keeper out of Alvin Kamara and Ezekiel Elliott?
From Twitter ...
You can make a strong argument for all of these guys, but I have them ranked in this order: Gordon, Robinson, Jones and Davis. I'm all in on Gordon this season since he hopefully has his life straightened out with his substance abuse issues, and he played well in his return to the field last year with at least eight Fantasy points in a non-PPR league in three of five games. With the best quarterback situation of his career with either Tyrod Taylor or Baker Mayfield under center, Gordon has the chance for a dominant season, hopefully at the level of his 2013 campaign (87 catches for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns). Gordon could finish in the top 10, but I don't know if Robinson, Jones or Davis can get there. While Jones finished as the No. 5 receiver in non-PPR leagues in 2017, I can see him regressing from his career-best performance.
Foreman will hopefully be ready for Week 1, but there's a chance he could open the season on the reserve/PUP list. That would obviously be a huge hindrance to his Fantasy outlook, but we hope he can return from his Achilles injury suffered in Week 11 at 100 percent. Coach Bill O'Brien told me at the NFL owners' meeting in March that he would be comfortable with Foreman as his starter, but the Texans will likely use a committee backfield this year, including Alfred Blue. Don't discount Miller having a viable role, and he's still the first Houston running back to draft with a pick in Round 6. Foreman is worth a look in Round 8 at the earliest, and if he's healthy he could be a No. 2 Fantasy running back this year in all leagues.
I like Garcon better than Goodwin this year, but both should be viable Fantasy options if Jimmy Garoppolo has the breakout campaign as many expect. Goodwin took off last season after Garcon suffered a neck injury in Week 8, averaging 8.9 Fantasy points in a non-PPR league over his final eight games of the year. Garcon never got the chance to play with Garoppolo, but he was on pace for 80 catches and 1,000 yards before getting hurt. Garoppolo is already developing a solid rapport with Garcon this offseason, and he has the chance to be a No. 2 Fantasy receiver in all formats. Goodwin's ceiling is likely just a No. 3 receiver.
Evans struggled last season when he was the No. 20 Fantasy receiver in non-PPR leagues, and a big reason was a decline in targets by 40 from the year before (175 to 135). He also went down by seven touchdowns (12 to five), and while he should rebound to play at a higher level in 2018, he doesn't have the same ceiling as Gronkowski. What Gronkowski gives you at tight end compared to everyone else at the position gives him such a huge edge that it's hard to pass on him as your second keeper here. I like Evans a lot, but I love Gronkowski in this scenario.
From Facebook ...
I don't think you need to go overboard on quarterback and reach for one before you're comfortable, but you might want to target one of the top 15 guys in the first four rounds. Then by Round 6 you might want to get another top 20 option with someone you like who has upside. For example, in a superflex league last year with analysts from other sites, I drafted Matt Ryan as the No. 10 quarterback off the board in Round 5. Then in Round 6, I drafted Carson Wentz as the No. 16 quarterback off the board. I got lucky with Wentz having a breakout campaign, but you should be able to find guys like Philip Rivers, Dak Prescott, Eli Manning, Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr and Alex Smith in that Round 6 range. After that, look for someone like Mitchell Trubisky, Taylor, Case Keenum or Ryan Tannehill around Round 8. Those guys aren't going to play at the level of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady or Russell Wilson, but you can still build a quality Fantasy team with great secondary quarterback options.
Kamara has the chance to be awesome, but I'm not keeping him over Elliott. We might see the Saints use Kamara in a featured role, especially with Mark Ingram (suspension) out for the first four weeks. But you know the Cowboys are going to lean on Elliott, and they just made another huge investment into their offensive line with a big contract extension for guard Zack Martin. It's too bad you can't keep both, but I'm keeping Elliott this season and expecting another monster campaign.
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