We're all kind of looking for a bright spot right now, aren't we, aren't we, Jason? Yeah, well, I've got one for you. There's a hilarious new series on Apple TV Plus starring Jason Sudeikis called Ted LASO. It's about an American football coach who heads to England to take a shot at managing one of the world's most competitive professional soccer teams. If you like a show with big laughs, a lot of heart, this is the one for you.
Look, it's Jason Sudeikis. Yeah, I mean, that's good enough. End of read.
Watch Ted LASO now on the Apple TV app subscription required for Apple TV.
Plus Jerry McKinnon running back San Francisco 49ers. You're listening to the Fantasy Football podcast. Welcome to the fantasy football podcast with your host. Andy Holloway, Jason Moore and my great. Welcome in. Candy, Mike and Jason, the fantasy football players welcoming you into Monday, August 17, the beginning of another week. He gets twenty four days until kickoff. Oh, really, Jerick McKinnon keeping a real chill to start the show.
Look, you boys strong, your boy strong.
Maybe we'll find out. We're excited to have you with us. We have a tight end rankings episode for you, some big announcements, some big news to talk about, a very important, actionable quick question, in my opinion, that could help your fantasy team and know it's exciting to be talking football.
It's exciting to see we are fully in just unmatchable hype train season. Man, I'm telling you right now, this is the worst yet. Well, no, no, no. That's let me let me rephrase.
This is going to be the worst hype season because the conjecture, it's like a game of telephone. Now, we don't have preseason games. We don't have as much media. We don't have people attending camp that are third parties to watch with the eyeballs. We've got coach speak extraordinaire. We've got limited padded practices. We've got I mean, I've seen some news reports and I'm not going to put any specific organizations on blast, though. Very tempted to.
But these reports are like, you know, this player is expected to be considered to be expected to be very good. That's a news report. That's our job to say stuff like that. Yeah.
I mean, you've been doing that about Blake jawin for months. Speaking of Blake jawin, season is upon us already. Yeah, you're ready. Here's the reality. And you're right. And it's compounded this year.
But the journalists, if we can call them that, oh, they still they need to write their articles.
But here's the thing. The consumer and I consider myself a consumer and always needs those articles. Like I am thirsty for that. You don't really want this. You don't want them to stop there. Just I want to hear about the expecting the hoping to expect a good year. Like I'm in on that now. I will not allow it to affect my fantasy rankings and we will have to see through it, but I still want to see it. What about that AJ Dillon picture?
Is that affecting your rankings? It's not, but it's affecting my heart ranking essentially workout videos. Pictures from camp. I know. AJ Dillon looking especially us, yeah, I don't even hear it is oh, I do.
I mean, the reactions to that picture of AJ Dillon scabs and quads in tree trunk legs, it was immediate, like fear in the hearts of Aaron Jones drafters. Look, last year, immediate last year, there was fear in the hearts of Tyler Lockett owners when all the DK Metcalf pictures were coming out about like, oh, my goodness, that that's impressive. He's an impressive athlete. He was go, I guess why he was drafted. I like that's your example.
And now DK Metcalf is in fact being drafted in front of Tyler Law, but he shouldn't be.
And he didn't outperform Lockett last year.
Well, Andre Williams of the Giants used to look like AJ. Oh, yeah. AJ Villain did. So I wouldn't be too worried. Like Jason said, these are professional athletes. They should when you take a picture of them, they should look better than us.
That's barely, just barely. But it is very exciting to be in full hype season. We'll try to wade through the coach, speak for you. Some coaches are more prone to, you know, a rosy outlook for each and every one of their players. But you can get ready for your draft right now. Ultimate draft, get dotcom. I encourage you to go check it out. Get in there, get your rankings going. Get yourself set up our drafts.
I think our big ones are basically right before the seasons. Yes.
Most of most of our big drafts are right before the season starts that weekend leading up to September 10th, that that weekend of glory, the holiday weekend as well.
And there's going to be another big, big draft going on the weekend before the at. The megalo volunteer, Jason, is a hashtag hyp jacked up.
That's what the inverse three jacked jacked.
All right, the mega ball is here.
You can get in right now. Year number two for the global, this is the largest fantasy football league on Earth. I think it's three. Yeah, this year three, this is the last year was when it really yeah, it went to the moon, though. Mm hmm. And we had more than 7000 playing last year. This is your chance to be declared the mega bowl champion. This is your chance to win a twenty, twenty one listener spot.
It's very exciting.
I mean, that's the thing. So, listen, our league countries, they've been awesome. We are grateful. I think tomorrow we will probably be sending out our our winners and the announcements for the listener league entry. But it's all right, because if you didn't get in, this is your way in. Someone in this year's draft won last year's Bagla Bowl. They are in the listener league this year. And look, this is just these are fun leagues.
These are our listeners who love fantasy football, who are having fun playing in our preferred scoring format. It's a lot of fun. And you want to prove that you're good at fantasy football. Take down the Megamall.
Yeah, it's a tournament style super league built to allow the foot clan to compete thousands upon thousands. It's very exciting.
People have been waiting for the link to get in and you can only do that as a member of the foot clan and join the foot dotcoms. If you go to join the fight dotcom, you can get your free entry to the global very, very excited. Brooks is so excited. You can hear it in his voice. Oh yeah, that was true.
I mean, that might be the longest. Oh, he's ever given. That was that was great.
But still, in that moment, my eyes went big. He will now hibernate until next Beaglehole announcement.
Oh, that's awesome.
OK, so head over. Join the four dotcom getting the Magleby right now and you'll get to pick your preferred drafting time and that will determine what league you're in.
And you can see all the rules, all the regulations, everything. You can go to join the foot dotcom and check it out. Quick question of the day. Brooks has titled This Team Nosedives. What fantasy offense, what fantasy team? Do you think we'll take the biggest nosedive in twenty twenty so this doesn't necessarily correlate to an NFL high scoring team that collapses, although most often it does is more about the fantasy options on that team going from a bunch of relevant players to maybe fewer in twenty twenty.
What do you guys think?
For me, it's the Los Angeles Chargers and I feel a little bad because I think it's easy pickings when you take a team who loses, you know, a borderline Hall of Fame quarterback that they know and who knows the system, who's been there for 50 years. And you go to, you know, a perennial backup and or rookie probably both this season at quarterback. But you have a lot of important fantasy pieces. You have Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry and Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler these really valuable pieces from the last several seasons.
And I think overall the offense is going to take a nosedive. They they all are still just as talented as they were last year. But if the team, which I think and and here's the thing, if you're a Chargers fan, if you're one of those two or three out there and you're listening, you don't have to be sad because I think your team is going to be better this year. From an NFL standpoint, your defense looks good.
I think you're going to try to do less on offense. So but that's the problem for fantasy.
If you're trying to do less on offense, you know, slow the game down, play good defense, protect your rookie quarterback, things like that. The touchdowns aren't going to be as high. The yardage will be lower. It just won't be glorious for all these players.
I'm going to throw a San Francisco out there, which might surprise some people. Look, nobody ever when things go very well for a team, they make the Super Bowl run. We saw this with the Rams a couple of years ago. Nothing could ever go wrong. Sean McVay is a genius. Kyle Shanahan's a genius. Everything is perfect, always and forever, because you don't see the future. You see the present. San Francisco made a tremendous jump last year.
They went from twenty one points a game to almost thirty. That was number two overall in football. It's just hard for machines to stay machines in the NFL. Certain seasons, they they just go right, and your backbone of this team is not Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson when it comes to year to year offensive prowess you lost by Samuel Emmanuel Sanders. I mean, you lost DBO for maybe a couple games. Everything went right for them last year.
And we saw what an offensive line could do all of a sudden in Los Angeles, moving them from a top scoring team down into I believe they dropped to 11 or 12 last year. And when I look at San Francisco, now that you have you do have Jerick McKinnon in the backfield with Tevin Coleman. Looking back, apparently he used to be.
And then you lost Debow. So you got Brandon Eisuke, but you got Taylor. You got Trent Taylor back. You got Kendrick Bourne. Look, the only player that you might even Trent Taylor. Yeah, he's the starting slot receiver for the team.
My point is, is when the team moves the football, who are you playing in San Francisco this year? Are you going to go are you're playing George Kittle? End of list for Jimmy Garoppolo in a in a super flex I played Jimmy when the foundation of your team is Jimmy G and he's been a little bit up and down. I'm not saying he's a bad quarterback. I think he's done exactly. He's done the golf he did. He's done the exact Goff role in the San Francisco offense, which is to execute, not to take over a game.
I think it could you could see that downgrade for the forty nine fantasy options I'm going to throw at the Houston Texans. When you lose a Hall of Fame wide receiver, that really hurts things. But just on top of that, what what is the identity now of this team? Like, I still like Watson. I still think that he can be a solid fantasy quarterback.
But David Johnson, what is what's left in the tank, he may be he is a value that's the story of the Houston Texans skill players, is maybe they're a value, all of them. Oh, David Johnson. Maybe about oh, man will feel fuller. Maybe maybe he might be an incredible value. Brandin Cooks man. Oh, dude, he could be a huge value. That is maybe a huge value in this draft if you want to go deep.
You know Duke Johnson. Oh, man. This is the year this is the year that he might be he might be a value.
Look, sure. Maybe they are values, but there's a reason they're going where they they are going in fantasy drafts. And what you're talking about last year coming into the season, Houston Texans, you're you're thinking of a property of. Well, they might score the most points in the NFL. They are an elite offense to now. I have no idea what to think about this offense I'm in. I like all jokes aside. I actually I'm going to believe in Deshaun Watson in the in the.
So who who's the real you then? Brandin Cooks. Maybe, maybe.
Let's get into some news. News& notes from around the league. All right, Washington football team activated Alex Smith from the from the active list. Unbelievable. Look, throwing this out there for dynasty owners. He's on dynasty waivers. I got him in both of our main dynasty leagues and it didn't cost me anything free to pick up. I had a player I could move to my IRR. Just check check your league and see if you could pick him up because he could win that job.
Carrie Johnson was spotted in a knee brace at training camp.
Carrie. Oh, oh, that's a nice pivot. We have a new that is a nice we have a new Kerry Endre. Nothing really matters. You are right.
Well, and then they they signed running back Jonathan Williams.
Oh, I remember that week. That was awesome. It probably says something about that carry on recovery. He was that exciting Buffalo Bill back up. Right. Oh, you're talking to a cult superstar. Yeah. I mean, for, what, two weeks? Yeah. We could do. So we could do. And he looked good. But carry on.
Johnson hurt again and the team is really not come out and it'd be nice if that happened. And the team came out and said, D'Andre Swift is like our future, he's going to be our guy. But they've pretty much you know, Swift came out a month ago, said, I've been guaranteed nothing. The team says still to be determined right now, I would consider the with the third down back. Really? Yeah, because I don't know what's going to go beyond that, I don't know if they're going to do a shared Bo Scarbro is going to be involved in the offense, whether carry ons, back swifties.
Third down right now is the way I'm looking at that. At least he's talented. Yes, Swift is the best running back on the team. So if you're going, you know, the cream rises. Yeah. Then I'm still I'm still OK.
Taking a shot on Swift, Adam Gase said Denzel Mims injured hamstring, no timetable to return. They also lost Vincent Smith, so they went out and signed Chris Hogan. Mediocre signing of the week of Chris Hogan. Do you think he still has his my guy mettle up in the NEWSROOM, how the mighty have fallen, but basically the jets have. Let's transition to hype here, one Jamison Crowder standing out is by far the best wide receiver in camp.
We knew that. Yeah, yeah, we saw the depth chart.
We thought maybe Denzel Mims would do something, but he's hurt and Chris earned it.
Chris Herndon, big expectations from Adam Gase were back. He's come out and said, he's our starting tight end.
We're back. Chris heard it on the field is extremely fantasy relevant to me. I've been very excited about him coming back. He's probably going to be on more of my teams in any other tight end because he's not being drafted or he's being drafted very late. And he could be the number one or number two target on the team.
Yeah, that's that's the thing that's exciting about it. I mean, if you punt the position, he's completely free. Like, I like Johnny Smith a lot this year. He's a guy that I think could break out. But when I compare him to Chris Herndon, who I could get after my draft off of waivers or just pick with my last pick if I wanted, he could legitimately become the, you know, one B as far as target in this offense, which is exciting upside, I know that we would not normally prescribe like two tight ends on your team, but I don't have a problem.
Let's say you have your last two picks and you went Herndon. J.R. went to see who breaks out week one. Sure. I mean, do you want to do that or do you want to pay half your fab in week one for the the tight end that breaks out trying to grab the next Kittel Andrews', whatever the case may be, if there's nobody really appealing running back or wide receiver in your last round, I see that point.
Mike's lips curled upwards at the thought of someone else drafting Blake Darwin right there. It's not happening.
He was just being like in other leagues. Oh, no, it's happening with you. You mentioned, you know, do you want to have to spend half of your fab on the next George Kittle?
And I'm like, no, just draft Blake Darwin if he's not a my guy this week.
Our my guy. If so, that's a big Thursday.
That's a big deal. Listen it. Let's see if Blake makes the list. Kyle Shanahan said, I don't know.
Said first round rookie running back Brandon Duke is further ahead than a lot of rookies.
Jacomo running back down here. I did. I don't know, wide receiver Brooks Brooks, whatever.
That is the last thing I told you. He's in hibernation. He's done. He's spent. How do you feel about the mega Brooks? Oh, yeah.
That was a recording. We just played back his recording. He can't he doesn't have the energy to put that inhaler. Yes, he's a wide receiver, Mike.
Yeah. And further ahead than a lot of rookies. It matters a little bit to me coming from Kyle Shanahan specifically, who's been traditionally very hard on all of his wide receivers. Don't say that the guy who put PEDs in a body bag. Yeah, yeah.
He also said that DBO has a chance of being available week one against Arizona. He's not counting on it, but has a chance.
OK, well, I'm going to take the not counting on it, partner. DBO is still your highest ranked wide receiver for the Forty Niners. I assume he is for me. Yes.
OK, and then. Help me wade through this, Brian Edwards third round rookie wide receiver from Las Vegas getting first team reps ahead of Henry Rug's. Lot of the conjecture and hype. Derek Carr coming out always like Davante Adams. You can give him the 50 50 ball athletic freak first team reps. But a lot of their first team wasn't getting an opportunity in practice. Aguilar, Zay Jones, Devante Booker were starters here.
What do you think about Brian Edwards? Is he sneaky? Is he does he enter the conversation for you like rager Judy Lam late round Jefferson late round rookie wide receiver. I'll, I'll speak first because I know Mike is a little bit more hot and bothered. I'm not in on any Las Vegas receiver. The cost for Darrin Waller, who I love, who is great, he is the walrus. We'll talk about him today. It's difficult because they added so they added Nelson Aguilar, they added Henry Rug's, they added Brian Edwards.
These guys are all good. It's still dirt, car throwing the ball. They're still rookies. I just feel like, you know, they're if they're all kind of really good and they're going to bring this offense to the next step, but they're all eating into each other's targets and opportunities and it's still their car. I just don't know what the ceiling is for those guys in redraft in you know, obviously in Dynasty, those those prospects look really, really promising.
I will say Brian Edwards, he would have been a much higher draft pick, but he got hurt during the draft process. And we see this happen all the time that someone, if they're hurt in that process, they just fall in the draft. It's what happens if you're not Hollywood Marquese Brown and then you're still a first round pick a he's he is an excellent, excellent wide receiver. I really like him. And look. Would you draft him over Henry Rust?
I like taking shots at Derek Carr whenever I can, but Derek Carr did sustain Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper once upon a time. Now, Darrin Waller changes things a lot if he's going to be the number one target. But we've seen wide receivers be perfectly fine. In fact, very good for fantasy purposes. While Derek Carr is the quarterback of the team, I'm still taking Rager and Jerry Judy over Brian Edwards.
But what specifically are you taking drugs or. I think that's the bigger question. If you're going to sure spend on the chance, I'm still I'm still going to take drugs. I'm going to take the guy they took in the first early in the first round over Brian Edwards, who's who's one of the fastest guys in the NFL. And we I shared this this week.
But if you haven't watched him play basketball. Oh, yeah. I saw him jump over a skyscraper. It's fun. It's fun to watch. It's five 11 guys. Just dump it. Yeah, it's not fair.
It isn't fair. And it's not fair that I didn't get that body because I love basketball and I would love to do that just once. Just once in my life.
What would you say to him if you walked? It's unfair that I didn't get your body.
Yes, that's that's what I plan to say if I meet Henry Rug's. Oh, sweet body. Can I. I wish I had that. And I have a sweet body, bro. Your body is pretty sweet, but well, you're athletic. All right Onabanjo dunks on You are a bigger better brighter note as he dunks right in time. Look look when you got to check out underdog fantasy we've been talking about the last couple of weeks. Underdog fantasy.
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Everybody I've I've talked to the play draft likes underdog even better. Yes.
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I'm not sure.
Um, let's talk about Titans strategy for a second before we get into our top ten titans on today's episode. We've been doing these rankings breakdowns over the last week. We've this is our kind of final episode of those. But one of the things that is very tempting is a fantasy football player, and I'm I will admit I'm tempted by it, even as a player of know, 15 years of playing fantasy football.
When you're in the middle of a draft and you see your roster on the right side of the screen and you start to fill in spots. And it looks so beautiful, wonderful to want to really get this guy who's going to go on my bench.
Yeah. That I still haven't started my tight end yet, you know. And so we're tempted to grab that tight in no matter what. Just fill that starting roster.
Don't do it now. I mean, here's the reality. Those Top End tight ends and we all know who there are. There's two tiers, two tiers, two guys. You got the Kindle, KELSIE. Great. Grab them. They're going to be fantastic. They're going to help your team. And you've got the tier two, the Mark Andrews, Zach Ertz. We'll get to those guys. But if you miss out on one of them, there are plenty of other titans out there who are better, more assured of production and will be higher ranked in our rankings then the later round guys.
But the gap is the Grand Canyon when you're talking about from the top tier tight ends to the streaming options. And if even if you get one of those next to your guys, you're wasting out on a running back or wide receiver pick that is important in that fifth, sixth, seventh round. You know, to me, it's pretty simple. I, I look for value on one of those top four guys to drop. If I can grab them.
Great. If not, I am literally taking it with my last positional pick because there are a handful of guys that will be there that. Even if my projections, my own projections say, well, I've got them finishing a little bit behind some other guys ahead of them, they they have a big opportunity to win a job. They have the skill, the talent. And, you know, every year there's a break up. Mark Andrews, last year was a big breakout pick.
Jared Cook, the year prior was a big these were last round picks, or at least Aaron Lawler last year.
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So I'm not going to linger very long on our top. You know, as we go through the top ten, I want to make sure we have some time to talk about those breakout candidates. So I'm going to include the big boys together to start this off. Number one, Travis Kelsie, number two, George Kittle, both got contracts this offseason. Both have been absolutely dominant fantasy forces. I was just asked why I have George Kittle ranked ahead of Travis Kelce in a dynasty league.
Someone felt like that was disrespectful. I'll tell you why. He's four years younger. And I think both of these guys are absolutely, you know, dominant. But last year, points per game, they were the same. Both been paid. And Kelsey, I believe is thirty Kittles twenty six. But we have Kelsey in a redraft at number one. Yeah, Mike and I have Kelsey in our shared dynasty league. If we could trade him for George Kittle, we would do that in a heartbeat because you're adding four years and they're both great players.
But in redraft leagues, these two guys are dominant. They are the number one target for their teams. There are not many titans out there who are pretty much clearly the number one target. They are physically able to make fools of people, which is both fun to watch and also good for fantasy points. There's not much to say here other than consistency. And no, you know, there are no commodity's Travis Kelce. Last year was the Titan one, which is pretty good.
The year before he was the Titan one. Three years ago, he was the Titan one. Yeah. What about the year before that? He was the Titan one. So I think there's you know what you get the reason Kelce is ahead of schedule is the quarterback. I mean, you have Patrick Mahomes. They throw the football. Andy Reid's offense, guaranteed targets, guaranteed production. That's the difference maker for me between the two. But I won't be surprised if Kittel ends up number one.
And so where do you draft him? You draft them when they fall in the second round. Yeah, second round. I'm fine. OK, right now they're average. Deposition's the eighth pick of the second round for Kalsi. The very last pick at the second round for Kittel.
I would love to get one of these guys at the turn if you know, if you start with Christian McCaffrey and then you could come back, that'd be pretty great. And that next round get a running back that dropped. And Perram with Kittel or or Kelsi. Fantastic.
OK, Mark Andrews at number three and Zach Ertz at number four. Mark Andrews last year. Sixty four receptions. So a huge step down from the the big two reception wise. He had ten touchdowns, he had ninety eight targets. If you watch Baltimore you could see that rapport between Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews from the get go last year. Lamar loves throwing the football to his big tight end, and Andrews, he struggled with a little bit of injury last year, playing hurt in a couple of games, missed one game overall, I think it was just week seven that was sitting.
Yeah. So but he had a couple of games where people were a little worried about his availability going into them. But, you know, he had the most deep targets among all tight ends. He had 20. That's as many as Tyreek Hill down the field. Lamar Jackson extending plays and finding Mark Andrews. You love big, big play opportunities with Mark Andrews. That's the difference maker between you and your opponent.
Now, the question for Mark Andrews is where you're drafting him. You know, at the back of the fourth round, can Mark Andrews make the jump this year that he is? Now, consider now we have a big three. It's Kittel, Kelsey and Mark Andrews. And so Jason is the resident Mark Andrews. Struther, do you believe that? Them trading away, Hayden Hurst will lead to actual more snaps because what is pretty shocking about Mark Andrews here, ninety eight targets, I mean, that's still incredible volume for a tight end.
But he's doing that on under 50 percent of the Baltimore Ravens snaps. Put the dude on the field. What are you doing? Yeah, we ironically, last year we called for a marketer's breakout loved. But what was what was really funny is part of the narrative of his breakout is that he wasn't on the field enough. And just imagine if they put him on. They didn't need to.
And he still has 50 percent of their snaps were kicking the extra point. Yeah, that's true. No, I don't think he's going to be able to jump up to the to the tier one. And the reason why is because this is still a lower passing volume offense. Similar. You know, you would you would say the same thing about San Francisco. The difference there is he is the clear number one target, especially coming into this season where Tebow is injured and there's a rookie and I but I expect Hollywood Brown to take a step forward this year.
And I think that it'll flip flop as far as who's the number one and number two target in the offense. Still love Mark Andrews would be happy to have him. But I think it's an interesting conversation when you talk about. Andrews's ceiling is higher than Zach Ertz, but I feel like Zach Ertz is floor is higher than Mark Andrews if the touchdown regression that we see for Lamar Jackson comes true. So. I I'm starting to rise on Zach Ertz, I started this off season, kind of die down, but the reality is Al is still banged up.
We don't know if he'll start the year on the pup. And every year, Zach Ertz outperforms where you're drafting them.
And we always give excuses. All these receivers were injured. Or if you look at this game stretch, it's because of this. But is every year and now coming into this season, I feel like he's still the number one target for this offense.
Greg Ward is starting in practices right now. It is happening.
So Zach Ertz, which guy do you prefer in your draft right now based on where they are going, where they're being drafted? Would you rather take the the upside, the young gun in Mark Andrews, who is going ahead currently the tight end three being drafted at the back of the fourth round, or Zach Ertz, the tight end for being drafted in the middle of the fifth round.
I'm Mark Andrews fan. Mark Andrews, I think, you know, ninety eight targets on forty one percent of snaps is insane. That I mean, ninety eight targets was like nine fewer than Greg. Yeah. Then George Kittle got last year.
He goes to the Lamar Jackson goes the huddle looks around, goes oh Andres's here break.
Yeah. I mean I do think it's for a couple of reasons. One is I want smash games. I mean the old Gronkowski type of games right. Where I can get Mark Andrews scoring two times and just obliterating my opponent and I think he'll have a better floor than he did last year just coming into this third year with with Lamar and the opportunity there. So I like the upside. I think. Let me ask you this, because we had an article on the website, Mark Andrews, can he be the Titan one in twenty twenty?
Do you believe Mark Andrews could be the Titan one? Yes, I do believe that. I believe that's a possibility. Yeah, people could get injured ahead of them. I mean, he has the talent and a quarterback, so, yeah, he could, but I would put an extremely small percentage.
All right. And then Zach Ertz, you guys talked about it, the wide receiving corps right now, and Philadelphia's Greg Ward, Jalen Rager and Deshawn Jackson. That is correct. And Mike, is I trying to read through the tone of voice, but your confidence level and Greg Ward seems to be lower than what you were hinting at.
Look, I came into the off season very low on Greg warez. Yes, I remain. Very, very low. I don't think that's fair to the man, but he's nothing special. He's just, you know, he's he's a third wide receiver for an NFL team.
Let me see if I can get through the weeds here. Again, your defense of him implies he may be a my guy on Thursday.
I mean, stay tuned. All in. Stay tuned. Because and, you know, look, he's a Junior Seau, Greg Ward Jr. he this is the Greg Ward show. Right. This is where this podcast.
What do you mean he's a junior? How is that relevant? This is what I know about Greg Ward.
Oh, OK. All right. Any trivia knowledge?
I think some Eagles fans will be sad that we didn't get the Gregg Award.
He did step up when he was called upon and showed flashes. He plays wide receiver and he plays one receiver. So Zach Ertz, we have another Titan.
We're going to talk about number five, the go, go, go to Daryn Waller. Is that four on Mike's list, five on Jason, six on mine. Last year finished the tight end number three. One hundred and seventeen targets, unlike Mark Andrews on the field. Ninety one percent of the time, and this was a breakout campaign for Darren Waller. We we didn't have quite the target share over the back half of the year, as we did in the in the beginning.
But to Jason's point at the top of the show, talking about Brian Edwards.
It's a little murky in the wide receiver corps, even still, yes, you spent draft picks on a couple of rookies, but we don't know which one is going to be on the field when Terrelle the press around Tyrell Williams is very negative right now, fell off over the back half of the year, may not even be. I mean, look, Brian Edwards could be starting. It could be Rug's Renfroe can get in there while there still seems to be the most.
It's almost like the Zach Ertz in Philadelphia. Yeah, very, very much it you saw Darrin Waller coming in with just under twenty four percent of the targets, which is an insane number for the tight end position. And you have what's crazy is Wallers should have been better. Yeah, he had over 11 hundred yards and since the year 2000, there's only been nine times a player has hit that mark over 100 yards and scored three or fewer touchdowns nine times.
And Darrin Waller is in that.
And eight of them were Julio Jones.
Yeah, well, three or fewer touchdowns in eleven hundred yards is impossible.
But the question I mean, it happened. The question is, is he going to come near to that eleven hundred yard mark this season? Last year you had Tyrell Williams get injured, you had Hunter, Hunter Renfroe. He did not involved in the beginning and then he got injured a little bit. You know, I completely see the argument that, look, this is a young core of Brian Edwards rug's Aguillard like it's a mishmash hodgepodge. They're still going to need Darren Waller.
But I also think that they don't want twenty eight percent of their yardage coming from their tight end. That's just I mean, he was by far the most in the league at percentage of teams yards at the tight end position and. I just don't think that's how they want to run, right? I don't know. I don't know.
But I like based on their transactions, based on the fact that they have put a lot of money and capital into the wide receiver position. That's where I would say I don't think they want to. I mean, they say the offense runs through tight ends and that and that's fine. But I think they they need explosive plays from the wide receiver position. And we saw in the middle of the year when Hunter Renfroe started getting more and more involved, there was a corollary dip with the Walrus.
I think following the transactions just says the the tight end cannot be the only reliable where you need the ability to go elsewhere when you can't win, when you have Wollar doubled up.
Now, the biggest question to me in the draft, because he's still he's one of these guys that we were I was just talking about the beginning of the show. Once you're past his top four, you go, man. Darren Waller is way better than taking a shot on John Smith. Yeah, he is like that. That's true. But he costs a fifth round pick where there's quality wide receivers in those rounds that are that are more known commodities.
Are you willing to draft Darren Waller in the fifth round this season? Are any of the wide receivers in that round a walrus? None. OK, but my answer to actually no.
Even the fact that he is the walrus does not overwhelm. I have not taken Darren Waller. I believe I have not either. It's just right in that middle where I'm taking the shot at the wide receiver that I've got on my breakout list. You know, you'd be choosing Hollywood or Darren Waller and yeah, I see what you're saying. Tyler Lockett, Keenan Allen, Devante Parker. Chaak is in there somewhere. Yep. D.J Chark is after him.
Matt kept Woods is after you didn't get to because it probably won't be better.
We all acknowledge it won't be better than last year for Wollar outside of like some spike and touchdowns. So the probability is that the targets come down a little bit. When a player is projected to do a little bit worse than the year before, that's not as exciting of a pick. Last year you got Wollar for free, got him in the double digit rounds. He was Darkthrone came through Free Wallerawang and and it didn't cost you anything. You you weren't giving up a good piece.
But here you're giving up on digital, aka Robert Woods to draft him. I'm not doing that for my roster.
All right. We'll put some of these thoughts on late round, tight end of the test right here, these next two titans on our rankings, because Jared Cook comes in at number six.
Jared Cook is was the number five overall tight in the year prior in Las Vegas before Darrin Waller took over last year. He ends up at number seven in fourteen games in New Orleans, but he did it on fifty five percent of snaps and it was tight in our touchdown dependent.
That being said, from, you know, he arrives in New Orleans. From week five on, OK, so you give them I'm going to give them four weeks to get acclimated in the offense with Drew Brees because I choose to make that argument right now.
But also, Brees was injured from week five on.
And this was with missing two games, he was on pace for nine hundred eighty four yards and 15 touchdowns. So you're betting, like Jared Cook is much more the traditional tight end bet where you're saying he needs to score for me. But it was really, really good for the word cook from week five on, including five finishes in the top six and no finish outside the top 14. So he never actually hurt you, despite the fact that some of these games he had like two receptions for two touchdowns, he got it done.
So I don't you know, I'm fairly confident in this offense and I'm fairly confident in Jared Cook being a weapon. The last two years, finishing in the top seven at the position. And he's a 10th round pick, so that's the point where I started to go well, I know on the livestream yesterday, Mike, you said you're out on Jared Cook and I'm going to let you tell the foot clan why they should be out. Before you do, I'm going to say why I am in.
I realized Emmanuel Sanders is coming in and he's a low volume, high weekly volatility player, but he is going in the double digit rounds. So it doesn't cost me a wide receiver running back. And in that place, he is he has been a known commodity, a solid fantasy producer. And if you look at the games, like Andy said, he came, OK, you give him a little pass in those first couple of weeks. He's acclimating to a new team, a new system.
But also then Drew Brees was injured. By the time Drew Brees came back, Jared Cook was actually missing those games. So week ten on is when you had Brees with Cook. And at that point on, he was the tight end one. He was ahead of Travis Kelce, ahead of Tyler Higbee. That's up there. I'm I'm I'm I'm taking the shot. That's what I'm doing in the tenth round.
But, Mike, you have the floor. Yes. What week on was that? We had week ten.
That was when he came back from injury that they had eight games.
Right, yes, yeah. OK, so I will say I am a little bit shocked of the the ATP for Jared Cook in the 10th round, which I mean, I'm out. I can explain that. But 10th round is really not too bad. But here is why I am I am out. No other tight end outproduced based on volume than Jared Cook. Like you guys were saying, he was 16th in targets, but the tight end seven and fantasy had a 14 percent target share in the games that he played.
That is a lower target share than TJ Hokanson, than Jason Witten, than Jack Doyle, his sixteen point four yards per reception, which was clearly the highest last year. Tight end because since the year 2000. Titans who had 50 or more targets. That's the highest yards per reception, Jared Cook last year. That's called outproducing. That's called a an outlier year and unbelievably high efficiency year. It and this is, you know, sixteen point four yards per reception.
He's been twelve point seven yards per reception, Jared Cook, the last five years. So massive outlier in inefficiency. It just reminds me so much of the Eric Ebron Colt season where Eric Braun had seven hundred fifty yards and thirteen touchdowns. Jared Cook, seven hundred five yards, nine touchdowns. The AP like I said, I guess it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be.
Two great players there, Mike. I know how to go next year for Eric. Yabrud probably got it. There's going to be more volatility with Jared Cook's outcomes because of that target holds.
Yes. And because he. Jared Cook.
Yeah, he's a jerk cook. Is the tight end or the target for on the team, right? I mean, obviously, MacNamara's Kamara and Emmanuel Sanders will have more targets and. Yes. So you've got to get those touchdowns are those big plays. But the nice thing is he's also the fourth weapon for the defense is to focus on, you know, they're they're trying. So that's where the downfield and the touchdowns they can come from.
Here, let me let me let me ask you this, Mike. As we move on, if you ended up with Jared Cook. Cook. Sorry, Kirk, would you? Feel comfortable starting in. For 16 weeks, because to me, that's where this equation becomes interesting, is sure if I get them in the eleventh round.
And I don't have to think about my tight end position versus taking the shot, maybe like I talked about the Herndon and Darwin double stack or Joannou in Darwin or something. Certainly. I mean, if he hits, then, yeah, you're playing them every week. But here's the thing with Jared Cook. When you're drafting or drafting him, week one, he goes out and he has a bus game. You're like, that's the Jared Cook five Jared Cook.
At week two, he comes out. He hurt your team again. Now, what are you doing? You're that's why I was asking you your problem.
You're not comfortable starting at sixteen, locking them in for sixteen. Well, I'm just I'm laying out the scenario of if he hits, if he misses on those first two weeks, it's going to be really hard not to make a waiver move to put him in and then. He can go off on week three, like, oh, man, I got to get back on it and then you're just chasing the dragon over and over and it becomes is it just playing the match ups?
Because if you if you draft like Darwin or Chris Herndon and they stink week one, you have no problem just going, oh, this guy's got a good matchup in week two, I'm going to play him. And I wonder how many weeks Mike will give Blake Darwin before 16. You're giving him 60? Yeah, my guess is he had seven, Tyler Higbee at eight. We've talked a lot about Tyler Higbee on the show. Jessica, his situation is becoming a little bit clearer, just with the fact that it seems like we have the targets we're expecting in Miami.
We might not have the quarterback we're expecting, but Jessica is a late round tight in that we all have ranked much higher than ADP's being drafted as the tight end 15.
And that means he's basically free in your draft last year, he entered as the tight end, 11, and he didn't really break out until like week nine on Devante Parker, Miccosukee, Preston Williams. That's that's the offense right now. Yeah.
The problem is that during the beginning of last year, that was the offense and koseki wasn't good. But then the offense became Devante Parker, Mike Koseki, because Pressin Williams went out and all of a sudden Miccosukee was great. That being said, he was also young for a tight end. It takes a couple of years for these guys to break out. He has the athletic profile of Cequent Barkley, as in his one hundredth percentile athlete. Just incredible.
I never really loved his film. He's not a guy that I've watched play football and been like that. Dude's a great football player.
Well, apparently he broke zero tackles on fifty one receptions which see what was happening, what has happened, how are you stronger than everyone. Superhuman that I think he's playing safe. Like what if he's actually a superhero is like I can't show everything. They should have tackled me here. Do you think that's what's happening?
Do you normally like your heroes around eight at the tight end position? Well, when they're not going to show what they've got, yeah. He's he's afraid. Yeah. He doesn't want to he doesn't want to get caught is in The Incredibles.
He's a bashful hero of you know, the reality is I'm not like we all have him at eight. I think the targets will come. I'm not inspired by Mike. I am fine leaving a draft with my mind to write a poem or anything like that with my. No, I don't think so. With my last round pick. And what's ironic is, you know what, the ceiling for him, I just I don't think it's like who ceiling is higher if they both hit Hernon or Guzik genuinely, I think it's probably earned it.
I mean, but let's use the Blak Darwan o meter. Jéssica Mike is basically free. I mean, you've drafted jawin late, late, late in draft. Are you? You're taking Jessica ahead of it. I was sitting there right now I am not. I will take Darwin over. So you think the upside of Darwin is higher than catechisms as well as. Yes, for turned into. Yeah, because of touchdowns.
OK, so you get when you get down into this part of the tight end races, you start to pick the guy you like.
Yeah. And that is that is the the takeaway here. Once you are to this range, do not get fooled by the rankings. This guy's four spots. These guys are all in this gigantic group of good bes. Take a look at the outlook. You think I want a piece of this offense or I want a piece of this talented athlete or whatever, whatever matters to you and pick that guy because the ranking doesn't matter at this point.
So let's talk about Tyler. Could be. Tyler could be is sitting here at eight end of the year on fire. Mike, are you passing on Higbee in the eighth round because of that price?
For those guys that you mentioned earlier, though, I mean, the Higbee. So Tyler Higbee, Evan Ingram, Blake Darwan, that it it is a difficult decision when I'm in drafts. And it's it's it's a one by one case. I do believe in all three of those players. I believe in Tyler Higbee, the transition of the offense where everything started to run through Higbee. I'm not expecting it to turn into that all season long. Or I would have Tyler Higbee ranked as a top three tight end mean.
But when he was given the opportunity, he was able to do things that very little tight ends in history have been able to do like he was since Twisties, the fourth time NEHTA tight ends this year.
He is the fourth tight end to rattle off four straight one hundred yard games ever like that doesn't happen. And I know you can say, well the schedule lined up. OK, great, everything lined up. It certainly has lined up for other players before and they didn't rip off four straight games of one hundred yards at the tight end position. The player has the ability. They, they've just never asked him to do it. And they did.
And he came through and the team was much better. The offense was much better. So I do believe in Higbee. If you want to hear my case against Tyler Higbee, go listen to the Fire and Ice episode. Hint he was my ice player in that one Mike has in the highest. And you can see all of our Titan rankings on the website. The fantasy football players come and in the ultimate draft you'll see the projections that we have for an ultimate draft.
Yet you also get the blurb right up. So it'll give you a little bit more context because the ranking matters less for these tight ends than kind of the the outlook.
Now, Evan Ingram comes in at number nine. But Jason, it's I cannot believe your it's your fault. It's your fault because you have them significantly lower. Mike and I are both of them at seven, you have them way lower. Tell us briefly why you're out on Evan Ingram this season.
Look, Evan Ingram, when he's been on the field, has produced he's been a quality fantasy option. I'm not out to the point where I wouldn't want him on one of my teams, but my projections assume he's going to do what he's always done, which is not be out on the field. He has been more of an injury risk than almost anybody. He's never really played a full season. And if you look into the details and the context of when he's had big games, when it's ironic because when he's been healthy, a lot of his teammates have not.
He's he's he was the guy when, you know, Odell Beckham was gone for a stretch of games or when Saken was gone or, you know, it's it's one of those things where I think when you have the three wide receivers that nobody knows how to rank them. You know, you've got Shepherd, you got Tate, you've got Darius Slayton, you've got Cequent and Evan Ingram with everybody's healthy on the field. I don't think Evan Engram is going to be the star he's been when he's been healthy and that's if he's healthy.
So I just have a more pessimistic outlook. He's obviously a talented player who on a per game basis, while playing, has been pretty productive. So if you if he drops to a good value, I don't hate taking him and just hoping for health. But right now he's in the seventh round and in the seventh round, I'm not willing to to go in personally. All right, Hunter Henry comes in at ten, which feels like somehow the worst spot to land in a set of tight end rankings because it just feels very ho hum.
Like if you got the number ten tight end every week, you are losing at the position. Yes. So outside of the top ten, by way of our projections, Jason's kind of favorite guy looks like Johnny Smith because he has him at seven. Mine is Chris Herndon, who I have at eleven. So I'm inside that top twelve in Mike's is Blake Darwin, who he has it tied in number nine. Those are the shots that I think we're taking outside of the traditional rankings to give you a breakout candidate, a tight end if you're punting the position, which a lot of people do, a quarterback in tight end to to load up on those multiple positions, wide receivers and running backs, those are our shots.
I think Hayden is just going to be very interesting. He's going to make sure you brought up that name because Hurst is one of these guys where he's you know, he's not the sexiest pick because he hasn't done it yet. But he has an opportunity here, massive opportunity, you know, to fill in for Austin Hooper just to to all you got to do is find the soft spot in the zone. Matt Ryan will get you the ball.
And he loves sort of the tight end position and they have more vacated targets than anybody. Yeah.
So I. I love taking a shot on Hayden Hurst, Geno Smith, Chris Hearn and Blake Darwan. Those those four guys.
Rob Gronkowski is not in our top ten. Some people will be. Find that interesting, I just. It's Gronk is very, very tough one, he took a year off of football, so he's in a system that well that saw OJ Howard just fanhouse into non-existence. And now there's reports that all three tight ends for Tampa Bay are going to see playing time. So it's in your area.
If you're just paying for a name, they allow you to sign your name. A hundred yards for touchdown pass. Gronk Impressive.
We'll go to the Hall of Fame, but it won't be based on his twenty twenty season. He's, you know, Chris Godwyn, Mike Evans are the clear leaders for this passing game. And it's been years since we've seen Gronk. I'm not in. He'll get in the end zone several times, I'm sure, through the course of the season. But I don't want to I don't want to play that game.
All right. Tomorrow's episode of the show. We're hitting the top ten tips and tricks for fantasy football. Very excited about that episode. It's always a fun one each and every year. Like I said, we got my guys this week on Thursday. Things are ramping up, gentlemen.
The big week, lots of big announcements as well. So make sure you're listening to the shows this week. I'm I'm super excited for my top ten. Yeah.
And so make sure you go to join the foot dotcom so that you can enter the McLibel every year. It's a highlight, it's a lot of fun. I mean, listen, man, man, I love how you get exposed to that kind of content in the middle of all that. That's the stuff.
And before we close out today's episode, I want to thank pristine auction. A reminder, it is fantasy week at pristine auction dotcom through Thursday. It is an auction dedicated to active fantasy football stars.
Darrin Waller signed Jersey yesterday, signed for seventy two dollars a walrus. We don't have a Wollar jersey, do we? I think we do. Brooks. We have a wall. We got you.
We have one that you wore for Halloween. All right. All right. Because you remember you dressed up like a walrus. I did remember that. But you can get in on this fantasy football memorabilia auction. This is a perfect time to kind of I like to use memorabilia in two ways. One, I like to display it in kind of like my office or obviously we use them here at the studio. The other way is to taunt my opponents and my draft is coming up.
So I might pick up a piece of gear from somebody that ruined Jason's life or Mike's life last year. During the season, bidding starts at twenty dollars. No reserves. Use our code ballers at pristine auction dot com. That is it tight ends in the rear view mirror app, as they should be. Oh, no. All right, good bye, everybody. I'm out of here. Thank you for listening to another episode of the fantasy football podcast, join our fantasy football community on Join the Dotcom and follow us on Twitter at the footballers.
And foot clan, don't forget about simply say if they've got everything you need to protect your home and none of the drawbacks of traditional home security, you can set it up yourself in under an hour. No technician required. And there's no contract, no pushy sales guys, no hidden fees, no fine print, all sorts of 15 dollars a month. Try simply save today. Add simply save dotcom slash footballers. You get free shipping and a 60 day risk free trial.
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