Explain Yourself! + Rankings Debates, Metcalf Island

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Surprising rankings on today’s fantasy football podcast! Find out which player ranks Andy, Mike, and Jason are forced to defend during “Explain Yourself!” Plus, the latest NFL News and picking some of our favorite features from the 2023 Ultimate Draft Kit! Manage your redraft, keeper, and dynasty fantasy football teams with the #1 fantasy football podcast. — Fantasy Football Podcast for May 30th, 2023

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Summary:

News and Intro 00:00

  • The hosts introduce the episode and mention news that needs to be talked about.
  • The theme of this episode is “explain yourself,” where they discuss players with unconventional rankings and give justification.
  • DeAndre Hopkins introduces the podcast.

Launch of the Ultimate Draft Kit 03:22

  • They announce that the Ultimate Draft Kit (UDK) will launch on June 1st.
  • The UDK contains all the necessary tools to draft a winning fantasy football team, including rankings, sleepers, and busts.
  • The product is constantly updated with a news feed to ensure that players have the latest information.

“From now, all the way through kickoff, we’re going to be making tweaks and updates and changes and reacting to the news” 05:01

Unique Features of the UDK 05:21

  • The hosts discuss the unique features of the UDK.
  • One favorite feature is the inclusion of profile videos for over 100 players, providing further insight into potential draft picks.
  • The UDK also contains both upside meters and risk meters to help draft a balanced team.

Fantasy Football Opportunities to Lookout for 05:31

  • Red Zone report shows high value opportunities and where inefficiencies lie
  • For example, in the past, Zeke had 19 carries inside the five yards leading to goal line opportunities, which are now available since Zeke is gone
  • Analyzing players such as Joe Mixon who had 16 carries inside the five yards and only scored 5 touchdowns, leads to the understanding that the player’s opportunities could bounce back
  • Jalen Hertz and Miles Sanders’ combined 32 carries inside the five yards show great potential
  • By analyzing players and opportunities, it is better to bet on what should happen in the future rather than solely basing decisions on past season performances

    “You could take a look at the wide receivers, the quarterbacks and see the truly really valuable fantasy opportunities.” 06:19

The Upside Meters and Best Balanced Fantasy Football Teams 06:37

  • The Upside Meters are a new feature in the UDK and coincide with risk ratings
  • The meters help identify players that have a significant amount of risk but also provide high upside opportunities in later rounds
  • Balancing teams with opportunities that are more consistent but have lower upside can be essential
  • It’s crucial to have a few picks to potentially drop in order to stay active and have an opportunity to make decisions regarding new players in waiver wires
  • The Best Ball Primer is an absolute beast that Borg and Betts put together every year, with more than 15-20,000 words
  • The Primer shows team outlooks, where to look for stacks, their personal highest exposures to players, comparing ranks to underdog ADP, and projecting where to extract value

    “You should be utilizing this as one of your go-to tools” 08:18

NFL News 08:30

  • The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Deandre Hopkins
  • No pick was offered for Hopkins, the Cardinals just took a 22 million financial hit
  • The market is hot and heavy already for Hopkins; teams such as the Chiefs and Bills are being mentioned

Potential Fallout of DeAndre Hopkins joining Chiefs or Bills 10:41

  • There has been speculation about DeAndre Hopkins potentially joining the Chiefs or Bills.
  • If he joins the Chiefs, it could negatively impact the hype surrounding Cadarius Tony.
  • In Buffalo, Hopkins may not significantly impact Stefon Diggs, but could greatly hurt Gabriel Davis.
  • Hopkins’ presence on either team would be great for quarterbacks Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes.
  • Either way, he is likely a top 24 wide receiver for fantasy in either situation.

“If he goes to Buffalo, it’s not so much great for Hopkins, but Josh Allen with two superstars.” 11:33

Jimmy Garoppolo News and Potential Repercussions for the Raiders 12:31

  • Jimmy Garoppolo underwent foot surgery in March and is not currently participating in team activities.
  • There is no guarantee that he will be the starting quarterback for the Raiders this season.
  • The Raiders reworked his contract, which means they can cut him if he is not healthy sooner rather than later.
  • If Garoppolo cannot play, the Raiders may look to other quarterbacks, such as Trey Lance or Matt Ryan.
  • Carson Wentz is also mentioned, but as a less desirable option.

“It can’t be Brian Hoyer. The Fonte Adams will not hang around.” 14:37

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Kyle Pitts‘ injury and Jaguars’ running back situation 15:28

  • Kyle Pitts had surgery for his MCL in November last year and wasn’t participating in OTA’s last week.
  • Matthew Betz believes Pitts should be 100% by training camp.
  • ESPN reported that the Jaguars didn’t want to see Travis Etienne taking 74% of the running back carries again.
  • Tank Bigsby was a third-round pick, and the Jaguars don’t want a running back getting 74% of the carries again.
  • Even though Etienne is still a fine running back with weekly RB1 upside, Tank Bigsby is a talented running back worthy of a Day 2 pick.
  • It’ll be interesting to see where his role is on the team, especially when it comes to third downs and pass protecting.

“I don’t think I’d want my running back getting 74% either… Obviously, he’s a super talented player, but I think Tank Bigsby is also a talented running back worthy of a Day 2 pick.” 15:53

“Yeah, his best ball ADP is well ahead of where we have him ranked… He’s a running back one right now. He is the running back 12 being drafted off the board.” 16:50

“So you’ve got to assume he’s going to be very efficient or still have, you know, if not a 74%, you’re going, oh, he’s got a 68% right. You know, it’s got to be close to that to return on the value.” 17:06 Brandon Aiyuk‘s high ranking by Mike 19:45

  • Mike has ranked Brandon Ayuk at 15, while Jason and Andy have him ranked at 29 and 25, respectively.
  • All of them have ranked Ayuk higher than his underdog, Best Ball ADP of 31.
  • Ayuk had a good year last year, but the 49ers are always dealing with injuries.
  • Mike explains that Ayuk has a much higher rank because he thinks Ayuk has the potential to become a good wide receiver and is right on the fringe of a wide receiver one.

“I think that Brandon Ayuk can take that step to become one of the better wide receivers in the NFL.” 23:06

Brandon Aiyuk‘s potential 21:23

  • Ayuk is a good wide receiver and a true deep threat with good route running skills.
  • He has a good production profile and was a first-round pick.
  • Ayuk had a rookie campaign where he showed the potential to become a good wide receiver.
  • If Brock Purdy becomes the quarterback, Ayuk can have more confidence in his pass catchers.

“I think Brandon Ayuk can take that step to become one of the better wide receivers in the NFL.” 23:06

Comparison between Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel 22:24

  • Ayuk and Deebo Samuel are both moving in different directions with their careers.
  • Ayuk has the potential to become one of the better wide receivers in the NFL, while Samuel has had some ups and downs with his injuries.
  • Ayuk outscored Samuel in points per game last season and could easily become the 49ers’ number one wide receiver.

“There’s Brandon Ayuk just, just coming through being an excellent player for this team and could easily turn into their number one wide receiver.” 23:46 San Francisco 49ers‘ Passing Game Struggles 24:07

  • The issue with ranking 49ers’ wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk high is that the team splits targets three or four ways.
  • The team has Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Aiyuk, and Christian McCaffrey.
  • McCaffrey could lead the team in targets, making it hard to project Aiyuk’s performance.
  • The team’s passing volume is not enough to go around for everyone, making it difficult to project Aiyuk’s performance.

“I mean, I’ve loved them, you know, for, for years as, as an actual player, the issue is and why I think Andy and I have him ranked lower.” 24:07

“You could lead everybody in targets.” 24:31

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“And if everybody’s playing, there is just not enough passing volume to go around for me.” 24:53

“Yeah, it’s one of the hardest offenses to really look at because, like, I don’t think, I think he’s the fourth most talented of that group.” 24:58

“When the defense is playing the 49ers, they are not getting into that room and going, man, how do we stop Brandon Aiyuk today? Like that’s not the beginning of their conversation. And so he gets room to work.” 25:49

Dameon Pierce‘s Fantasy Value 27:05

  • Jason Moore, one of the hosts, ranked Damien Pierce, a sophomore running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars, at 32.
  • Moore’s co-hosts, Andy Holloway and Mike Wright, ranked Pierce at 22 and 24, respectively.
  • Moore is criticized for ranking Pierce low despite his impressive rookie season.
  • The hosts discuss their different rankings for Pierce.

“You have decided in whatever Staten Island desk you were sitting at, that you would be smirch a sophomore running back that had an incredible rookie season.” 27:09

“Making sure you know. 32 teams. There’s 32 teams.” 27:54

“Yeah. So apparently I hate Damien Pierce, who, when I watched last year, I thought excellent running back looks good. Young running back. That’s always great. And I don’t want any part of him in fantasy where, you know, where he’s going is going.” 28:10 Damian Pierce: 4th round pick and his projections 28:27

  • Damian Pierce is a day three pick.
  • The difference between a day two pick and a day three pick in the NFL is massive.
  • For better or worse, the team is not invested the same way.
  • Historical context and data on draft capital show that day three picks just don’t have the same investment.
  • The coaching staff was not there for that rookie breakout last year.
  • Damian Pierce is projected to be ahead of where he would be willing to draft him.
  • Damian Pierce’s rookie year was great, but he is not projected to be a great player this year.
  • He had a great season because his primary, the next most carries went to Daria Gumbawale.
  • There was nobody else to hand the ball to.
  • The market share of your running back attempts, if you have just a monopoly on them at 85%, good things happen for your fantasy production.
  • Damian Pierce’s rookie year was good, but it was also because he had the monopoly on the running back attempts.
  • Only one running back in the last decade was a top 24 running back.
  • Damian Pierce’s efficiency would have to increase, and touchdowns would have to increase if he wants to equalize what he did last year.

    “I’m completely out on Damian Pierce.” 31:38

Dameon Pierce vs Devin Singletary 28:29

  • Devin Singletary is making $3 million.
  • Damian Pierce was the day three pick making a million dollars.
  • Devin Singletary does not get enough respect in Mike’s opinion as a running back.
  • He is a good veteran running back who just played meaningful snaps for a Super Bowl contender who took a second-round pick in James Cook and said, no, you’re the backup.
  • Damian Pierce is not projected to be a great player this season.
  • Damian Pierce’s projections are not as good as Devin Singletary‘s.

    Devin Singletary is a better pick than Damian Pierce.” 30:15

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Comparison of 4th round running backs and 3rd round running backs 28:32

  • The difference between a day two pick and a day three pick in the NFL is massive.
  • The second round and third round picks are perceived as so valuable, so much work is put into them.
  • Day three picks just don’t have the same investment.
  • The team is not invested the same way.
  • Over the last decade, Mike looked at all of the best fourth-round running backs.
  • The ones who performed well, the best of the best over the last decade who proved they were good, lost 42 fantasy points per season on average the next year.
  • Almost all of them were worse.
  • Only two of the top 10 were better in year two, Tariq Cohen and Ramon Dre Stevenson.
  • Guys picked in round three score 20 more fantasy points per game and 50% of them improve on their rookie numbers.

    “Day three picks just don’t have the same investment.” 29:56

Comparison of Dameon Pierce to Jeremy Langford 31:40

  • Damian Pierce could be the next Jeremy Langford.
  • Damian Pierce is a fourth-round running back.
  • His rookie campaign was great.
  • He had a monopoly on the running back attempts.
  • The percent of the market share of your running back attempts, if you have just a monopoly on them at 85%, good things happen for your fantasy production.
  • Damian Pierce’s projections are not as good as Devin Singletary‘s.

    “I worry he could be the next Jeremy Langford.” 31:40 Debate over a player’s ranking 32:38

  • Kyle and Andy discuss a player’s ranking going into the season
  • Kyle did not like the player’s performance from the previous year
  • Andy defends the player’s performance and asks Kyle if he liked the 1200-yard pace he had
  • Kyle disagrees and says the player got steamed up way too much last year

“Did you like the 1200 yard pace he had, Kyle?” 32:40

“He got steamed up way too much last year.” 32:48

Discussion on a player’s likeability 33:02

  • The hosts discuss a player’s likeability
  • Kyle holds grudges and dislikes the majority of people who like the player
  • They mention the possibility of turning against the player
  • However, they agree that his current ranking as RB20 is too high for them

“His entire argument is everyone likes him.” 33:02

“So if we all turn against him, is there any chance you’ll go all in?” 33:16

“Not at RB 20. That’s too rich right now.” 33:21

Discussion on DK Metcalf‘s ranking 33:43

  • Andy defends his ranking of DK Metcalf at number 10
  • Mike and Jason have Metcalf ranked at 18 and 23, respectively
  • They mention the drafting of Jackson Smith and Jigba and how it may impact the team’s targets
  • They agree that Metcalf is one of the most physically dominant players in the NFL
  • However, last year he had an anomalous touchdown total despite leading the NFL in end zone targets
  • They believe he will not be impacted by the drafting of Jackson Smith and Jigba and will have a strong season

“You like him more than Mike and I.” 33:49

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“We saw Metcalf stay the same and I think that that is appropriate.” 34:43

“There are a handful of true alphas at the NFL level in terms of physicality, size, speed.” 34:53

“He did it in year two. He did it in year three. And then last year, here he is with six touchdowns, despite the fact that he literally led the NFL in end zone targets.” 35:29

“I think this is a player that 141 targets 90 for 1048. You give him 10 touchdowns. We’re not talking about him being a letdown in any way, shape, and form.” 35:55 DK Metcalf‘s Upside 36:37

  • DK Metcalf has a high ceiling based on statistical outcomes.
  • Maintaining eight targets per game puts him in the category of top eight wide receivers.
  • Every player on the list from 2013 on, except Jarvis Landry, who had a crazy year in Miami, ended up as a top eight wide receiver when they maintained eight targets.
  • DK Metcalf is a high upside player at his ADP.
  • You’re getting a true number one for your fantasy team when you take him.
  • If you went running back early, you end up with DK Metcalf.
  • You should be very happy with the output you get.
  • The ceiling is statistically built into the outcomes for him.
  • The ceiling is higher than others on the team think.

“I’m just kind of placing him closer to the ceiling than you guys are, which, you know, I understand has a tendency there.” 37:21

Russell Wilson and Geno Smith‘s ability to support DK Metcalf 37:36

  • DK Metcalf has the ability to be a top 12 wide receiver.
  • Russell Wilson and Gino Smith’s ability to support DK Metcalf is proven.
  • It’s just a matter of time before they flip between Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.
  • When drafting, it’s not reflecting the gap between the two players.
  • The issue is not in any way reflecting that.

“I mean, they gave him the contract, but I’m saying that guy for, for fantasy football.” 40:00

Doubts about DK Metcalf‘s potential 40:20

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  • Doubts about DK Metcalf‘s potential are starting to creep in.
  • Will DK Metcalf become that guy that we think the stats of the year four into year five?
  • If DK Metcalf has another season where he is wide receiver 15 or later, it will be the end of the book for him.
  • The potential for a top three type dominant potential is there.

“Like if you get another season where, where Metcalf is like wide receiver 15 or later, like you’re going to close the book on, you’re going to go, is like, will we ever actually see that seal?” 40:44 Chris Godwin‘s Performance in 2020 40:53

  • The video discusses Chris Godwin‘s performance in 2020. Jason, one of the hosts, says that he likes Godwin as a good wide receiver but has him ranked at 30.
  • Mike, the other host, has Godwin ranked at 14, which the video considers foolishly high.

    “I mean, that’s not, you don’t really like a guy at 30 Jason.” 41:04

  • Godwin had a hundred plus receptions, a thousand yards, and only three touchdowns in 2020.
  • This made him one of three wide receivers in history to achieve this feat.
  • Tom Brady‘s poor performance in 2020 contributed to this lack of touchdowns.

    “But last year, so that turned that that made Chris Godwin one of three wide receivers ever to have a hundred plus receptions, a thousand yards and fewer than four touchdowns.” 42:27

Regression for Chris Godwin 43:04

  • The video suggests that positive regression should come for Godwin in 2021.
  • Wide receivers have averaged a touchdown on about every 13 receptions over the last five years.
  • This puts Godwin’s expected touchdowns closer to eight than to his actual three in 2020.
  • He is expected to be even healthier in 2021.

    “So he still has it. But there was a massive touchdown problem for Chris Godwin last year who’s who had what I believe a three, three touchdowns. So nothing Baker can’t fix.” 42:21

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Comparing Godwin and Evans to Metcalf and Lockett 43:40

  • The video discusses the parallels between the Seattle Seahawks‘ wide receivers, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ wide receivers, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
  • Both sets of receivers were undervalued in 2020 due to concerns about their quarterbacks.
  • The video argues that Godwin and Evans are still good wide receivers.
  • While Evans may be losing a step, Godwin is in the prime of his career at age 27.

    “And Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, I think are still good wide receivers. If you want to say that Mike Evans is probably losing a step or two. Okay. He’s a bit older, but Chris Godwin at 27 in the prime of his wide receiver career.” 44:23 Debating Wide Receivers’ Rankings 45:13

  • The team discusses different wide receivers’ rankings for the upcoming season.
  • They discuss how some wide receivers’ production has gone down in recent years, while others have flourished.
  • They mention that the team situation can greatly affect a wide receiver’s performance.

“I mean, if Baker’s got guys coming at him, Baker turns into the worst quarterback imaginable and he’s going to have guys in his face.” 45:43

“There’s a chance both guys are losing a step. There’s a very good chance both guys are cause I mean, God, there’s not a guarantee Godwin gets back to any of the form he had before.” 46:51

Terry McLaurin‘s Ranking 47:22

  • The team debates Terry McClaren’s ranking for the upcoming season.
  • Jason Moore champions McClaren, while Mike and Andy have him ranked lower.
  • Jason argues that McClaren finished as the WR14 last year despite bad quarterback play and a run-heavy offense.

“In that team with bad quarterback play, you want to know where Terry McClaren finished? You didn’t remember? Wide receiver 14. So I don’t think it’s that crazy that I got him a wide receiver 14 at all.” 48:55 Washington Football Team’s Offense 49:27

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  • The Washington Football Team’s new offensive coordinator is Eric B. Enami.
  • Enami’s track record is unknown, but he had Patrick Mahomes on his previous team, so his numbers looked good.
  • Passing and rushing attempts for the team were ranked 23rd, 27th, 23rd, 20th, and 25th in the league, respectively.
  • Terry McLaurin and Johan Dotson are a great one-two punch, with a 27% market share for McLaurin.

“I believe that Terry McLaurin is a great NFL wide receiver. I think his situation is going to be much better with a healthy Johan Dotson and Eric Bienemese as offensive coordinator.” 51:32

Jahan Dotson vs. Terry McLaurin 51:50

  • Johan Dotson has a chance to be a better fantasy wide receiver than Terry McLaurin.
  • Once Dotson returned and was playing over 70% of the snaps, his stats were comparable to McLaurin’s.
  • McLaurin and Dotson were both on pace for 1,169 receiving yards and 10.2 touchdowns in the final five games of the year.

“That might be the decision that I’d be making. But you know, that would be my only commentary. I’ve got no problem grabbing Dotson later and wanting a piece of the offense that way.” 52:46

Consolidation of Targets 53:01

  • McLaurin and Dotson are expected to receive the majority of targets in the Washington Football Team’s offense.
  • The two receivers are expected to receive 50% of the targets.

“One of the things I like about this offense is I think there’s going to be a consolidation of targets. I, you know, I believe Terri McLaurin, Johan Dotson are going to be basically 50% of the targets. It’s going to be those two guys and we’ve seen it.” 53:05 Curtis Samuel vs. Johan Dotson 53:13

  • Ron Rivera has a loyalty to Curtis Samuel due to their previous work together.
  • Curtis Samuel had a good start in the first five weeks of the previous season, but the team went one in four.
  • Johan Dotson is considered better than Curtis Samuel and Eric Bienemese will design the offense around him and Terri McLaurin.
  • Logan Thomas is not offended by this statement.
  • Logan Thomas was not that bad last year and was tight end six in 2020.

Ranking Debate: Najee Harris 54:43

  • Najee Harris is a running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers who finished as RB4 and RB14 in previous seasons.
  • Harris may be one of the only true bell cows left, but it remains to be seen if he will be used like that.
  • Andy has Harris ranked as a middling running back two, while Jason has him ranked as a running back one.
  • Mike believes Harris is not that good of a player and compares him to Cedric Benson.
  • Harris’s average 3.8 and 3.9 yards per carry is not impressive.
  • Harris’s volume is the key to his success but the Steelers’ projected bottom 10 total plays and total yards could hurt his projections.
  • Mike does not see the upside of Harris and prefers Miles Sanders and Travis E. Tien.

“He is Cedric Benson. That’s what Najee Harris is.” 55:44 Najee Harris vs Jalen Warren 56:57

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  • Najee Harris is a volume play, but not the best option for a second-round draft pick
  • Harris struggled in his rookie and sophomore seasons, averaging 3.9 and 3.8 yards per carry respectively
  • Offensive line issues were a factor in Harris’s struggles, with the line letting defenders through and Harris having to break tackles immediately after getting the ball
  • The Steelers spent big money on contracts and their first-round pick on an offensive lineman, suggesting that the line was the issue
  • Jalen Warren averaged 4.6 yards per carry behind the same line, indicating that Harris may not have been the issue
  • Pro-Jalen Warren stance

Najee Harris has shown me through two years. He’s a volume play. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with the volume play. He’s just not my volume play.” 57:56

Draft strategy 58:00

  • Using cafeteria food as a metaphor, volume plays like Harris may give you more, but not necessarily the best option
  • Would rather spend a second-round draft pick on a running back with potential to be the best meal of the drafter’s life
  • Don’t want to waste a pick on a mediocre running back

“It’s like cafeteria food. They give you more because it doesn’t taste as good. I want to find meal at this pick. If I’m going to have to spend a second round draft pick on a running back, I want the chance that I’m having the best meal of my life. I don’t want to have a doesn’t want to meddling running back to Jason.” 58:04

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