So welcome, friends old and new, to the 21st edition of the heart-stopping, knowledge-dropping, ADP-rocking, booty-shaking, strategy-making, earth-quaking, sleeper-taking, Springsteen-stealing, justifying, death-defying, legendary DRAFT-DAY MANIFESTO. And so it is with that longing for the past while embracing the future that we turn to my other 21-year-old, the Draft-Day Manifesto. Why could this guy succeed or why did he fail last season? Last year, Michael Thomas was WR1 averaging 23.4. A fairly pedestrian fantasy year for Henry had preceded that game, and the Jaguars were still considered a good defense. Talented player who is likely to be in a committee for a team that was bottom 12 in the NFL last year in rush percentage, red zone rush percentage, RB target share and yards per rush before first contact. Well, those are the averages for QBs 1-5 in terms of ADP last season (Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson), while Player B represents QBs 6-10 (Carson Wentz, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger and Kirk Cousins). 9. But it stands to reason that the more looks you get, the better your chances are at scoring fantasy points one way or another. No idea who it is), 7. We'll discuss tight end in the Rounds 7-9 section. GREEN? From 2013 to 2017, the difference between D/ST1 and D/ST2 was basically a point a game (1.1, to be exact). 8. Cowboys WR Michael Gallup (ADP: WR32, 87.6 overall) outscores fellow Cowboys WR Amari Cooper (ADP: WR10, 32.6 overall). 2. RB -- 64% The 2018 Bears were an outlier. Derrick Henry laughed at that. NOTE: Obviously, the ADPs and my rankings listed above will change a lot after this column publishes in late July, so always make note of those in your draft prep. (0:54)Matthew Berry is taking the under on a 15-point fantasy output for Ezekiel Elliott vs. the Eagles in Week 16. Add in some positive regression for Odell Beckham Jr. in the touchdown department and I'm a little nervous in full PPR leagues. Jameis Winston (ADP: 160.4, QB19; My Rank: QB14): I would not be the least bit surprised if Winston finished the season as a top-10 QB. Activate an old one? Example Round 6 target: Chris Godwin (ADP: 66.5, WR23; My Rank: WR21): As required by fantasy analyst law, I am high on Godwin this year. Remember, kids, we're playing the game of "what's most likely to happen.". Whatever the construction, the point is simply this: These next three rounds are about grabbing more running backs and wide receivers. From this article to the end of your season, every single thing you do needs to lead back to that very simple but rarely followed rule. ), but he will require some targets. And because of his limited usage in Miami, I am choosing to ignore the 26-year-old RB rule for him as well (he's 27). Kalen Me Smalls (many) 2. Travis Kelce has caught at least 80 passes for 1,000 yards for three straight seasons. And go easy on your commissioner. An example of how deep WR is, you can get borderline top-10 talent like Evans, Amari Cooper, T.Y. Amazeballs. And I've seen David take them to their first school dance at their request, and I'm amazed I'm still alive because my heart completely burst that night. Instead, he ended up winning the league. 10. 10. Both are efficient in the passing game on run-first offenses; now Smith doesn't have Delanie Walker in front of him and is going as TE 20 if he's even being drafted. I've seen email go from something you got very excited about when you heard "You've got mail!" In 2016, that number jumped to 11. That Adrian Peterson, an unsigned free agent, would finish with 1,042 rushing yards, or just 12 fewer than Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette combined. Born in Denver, but raised in College Station, Texas, Berry began playing fantasy sports at age 14 and started writing about fantasy sports professionally in 1999. WR I is the Dolphins' DeVante Parker, WR J is the Dolphins' Preston Williams. Other Round 8 targets: Derrius Guice, Tevin Coleman and Robby Anderson. That in Weeks 16 and 17, the championship weeks in ESPN standard leagues, no running back would have more fantasy points than C.J. What's most likely to happen this year? He started as a monster and finished with three insane games, but there was a four-game stretch in there (Weeks 10 through 14) where Drake was RB29 on a per-game basis, tied with Duke Johnson. • In 2017, the top three TEs in fantasy scored 663.3 points. And my interest in doing fantasy baseball content went in the complete opposite direction. • One format I really enjoy is "Super Flex." Sanders has scored on 3.9% of his targets, 15th lowest among 67. And in that case, only the commissioner or host website for the league should wield that power. And you're drafting as if that will continue? It's so weird -- I don't get why people do that. I'm buying, and Godwin's ADP is going to be much higher in next year's drafts. So there's a lot that could go wrong here -- Pettis might not come anywhere close to that production. In 2016, that number rose to 44, and it was up to 54 in 2017. In three of Aaron Rodgers' past five healthy seasons, his WR2 has finished as a top-20 WR, so we know the role has a lot of value. He already has a defined red zone role, and with the added volume he should see following the departure of Tyrell Williams, it's easy to see the former high-first-round pick making the jump into the WR2 range. (I'm actually very high -- once again -- on the Tampa Bay offense.) Ravens TE Mark Andrews, who got 98 targets in 15 games last year, also gets departed TE Hayden Hurst's 39 targets from last year to have 137 targets, comparable to the 134 targets Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce got last year? What they did last season wasn't just awesome, it was HISTORIC. VBD, Zero-RB, Zero-WR, QB early, wait on a QB, RB/RB, WR/WR, TE early, TE late, autodraft, just picking the highest guy available on whatever sheet you printed out when it's your turn ... honestly, I've seen them all work and I've seen them all crash and burn. Seriously, they were the $#%^. Find Matthew @matthewberry. It seems obvious, but I can't tell you how many drafts I've been in where someone midway through says, "Wait, how many WRs do we start?" And, for the rest of you, if you (or one of your kids) happens to be starting school soon, I hope you'll take inspiration from Peter. He has never been a huge touchdown guy, as his fantasy value has relied on volume, and it's hard to see him getting significant volume on a team with Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard. But to me, what makes them so appealing is that if anything happened to Alvin Kamara or Chris Carson, respectively, each would immediately be a top-15 RB that week, if not higher, and be a must-start back. Remember, Kittle was drafted as TE18 last year. Fourth-highest drop rate among tight ends last year, seventh in drop rate league wide since 2017 (minimum 100 targets). RB G is the Seahawks' Chris Carson, RB H is the Vikings' Dalvin Cook (both have missed some time with injury in that span: Carson three games, Cook seven games. QB C is the Jaguars' Gardner Minshew II, and QB D is ... the Packers' Aaron Rodgers. Over the past five NFL seasons, here are the top four fantasy TE seasons: For example, you'll see below that my Round 10 and 11 targets are Latavius Murray and Rashaad Penny. Herndon is one of my favorite late-round tight ends this year. During Kingsbury's tenure at Texas Tech (2013-18), his teams led the nation in offensive plays per game and were top-10 in terms of total RB receptions. Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew, currently being drafted as QB 24 (and he's being drafted in only 10% of ESPN leagues), finishes the year as a top 12 fantasy QB. 1 QB in fantasy. Because even if you screw up which QB you take in the draft, the talent pool will be so big, with quality QBs in your free-agent pool (in an ESPN standard league of 10 teams, starting one QB), you'll be able to grab someone to start and still get quality production. You see, too often people evaluate a player only in terms of what he could do in a positive manner, the best-case scenario for that player. Last season, Mark Ingram averaged 13.3 touches per game and was 12th among qualified RBs in red zone carries per game. It doesn't matter that Williams might not be an elite talent, because his role and opportunity are as good as it gets. Once you figure that out, it's fairly easy to determine what is most likely to happen. But most people didn't get to enjoy Henry's monster game, as he was started in less than 20% of ESPN leagues that week. ", I went there by myself, not as a part of ESPN's large NFL contingent, veterans of many combines. Now the departures of DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries have freed up 177 targets, and new coach Bruce Arians has already come out and said he wants to use Godwin in the Larry Fitzgerald role in his offense. Now with Zac Taylor at the helm, if Andy Dalton and A.J. Anyway, back to football analysis and the challenges therein. There will always be viable starting options on your waiver wire. You'll find potential breakout players, bold predictions, fun team names and much more. 1 D/ST repeat as the top unit the following year THIS MILLENNIUM. This is also the round Zach Ertz and George Kittle are going in, and I like both players a lot, but I'm most likely waiting on tight end this year. Here's to you, Peter. Was it a fluke? Any player going in the first round has talent and opportunity, but the volume for Johnson is likely to once again be insane. The Bears were great LAST season. Are we sure Sutton will get enough targets with TE Noah Fant, RB Melvin Gordon and WR Jerry Jeudy there? I fully expect Jones to set a new career high in touches, and if that happens, you're getting a top-15 RB at a fourth-round price. So he was, reluctantly, forced to start Henry in Week 14 at his flex in a 16-team league. Darrel Williams, Kansas City Chiefs (undrafted), 10. Yeah, they also all rank inside the top 10 in running back points over the past five seasons. Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb. And for a guy going as TE6, you need more than 11 games a year, which is what he's averaging so far in his career. Machine wash warm, hang dry. Other Round 13 targets: Keke Coutee, Emmanuel Sanders, Example Round 14 target: Darren Waller (ADP: 169.9, TE33; My Rank: TE16). So why keep it all to yourself? Worried that QB Josh Allen and RB Zack Moss take much of the scoring away on a team that isn't likely to have an explosive offense. Dak Prescott Often imitated, never duplicated, it's the original and my absolute favorite article to write every preseason. So I reached out to Peter King. I am asking once again of everyone reading this: Make it your goal to convince one person in your life who has never played before to try a league this year. 6. Help me spread the word. In 2015, seven of the top 15 RBs (total PPR points) were 26 or younger. So I ask you, gentle reader. Cook is going three rounds and 34 picks ahead of Carson at the moment). Other targets in this area: Devonta Freeman, Josh Jacobs, Brandin Cooks and Marlon Mack. I mean, under Kevin Stefanski last year, Dalvin Cook led the NFL in goal-to-go carries. Oh yeah. But yeah, want to start a new league? That kid will remember that kindness for the rest of his or her life. Understand these two key things: The art of negotiating is a skill in fantasy. I mean seriously, where the hell else do I have to be? I can't tell you how many tweets I get that say, "I'm in a mock draft with you!" Travis Kelce (2018): 294.6 points Over the past three years, when Stefon Diggs was off the field, Thielen was targeted on 25% of his routes. Draft-Day Manifesto: How to draft your fantasy football team the Matthew Berry way, Fantasy football rankings: The 192 players who should be rostered in 2021, Clay: Updated top 240 dynasty fantasy football rankings, Fantasy football draft kit: Rankings, cheat sheets, mock drafts, sleepers and analysis, Berry: 100 facts for the 2019 fantasy football season, Fantasy football: Predictions for this year's top rookie running backs, 100 facts you need to know before you draft. Embracing the fun spirit of fantasy sports, ESPN senior fantasy analyst Matthew Berry and his unconventional cast of characters aim to make fantasy football players smarter and help them win their leagues. We discussed it some in the Rounds 1-3 section, where Mahomes was going. All that and a bag of beef jerky. Without Henry's big game, he would have lost the game. Now in his third year in the NFL, Gallup takes another huge step forward. But please, I beg of you. Last season, Kansas City RBs were top-five in both red zone targets and red zone rushing TDs. Chargers RB Austin Ekeler, currently being drafted as RB13, in the third round, finishes the year as a top three fantasy RB. 4. In fact, 2016 was the last time a Saints WR not named Michael Thomas saw 70-plus targets. Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals (ADP RB 54, 166.9 overall), 9. As discussed, a player like Murray is a great target in this area because he's productive enough to use as a flex if needed, yet he also has the upside to be an every-week starter if Alvin Kamara were to get injured. And certainly everything else you read/see/hear this preseason will be about players and their values, both high and low. Find a rankings source you like (you can even use mine, if you like), compare it with the ADP of the site you are drafting on and you will be able to find players who are going way too high or too low for your taste. And that RB Chase Edmonds needs to be one of the first "backup" running backs off the board in drafts. 5. He is a producer and writer, known for Avengers: Endgame (2019), Daddio (2000) and Desperate Housewives (2004). All that said, I love Fantasy Football. The NFL season is nearly upon us, and it's time to shake the pandemic blues, bust out your tablets, do your research and plunge head on into fantasy football on ESPN.com. 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