Who Yinz Got? 2019: Week 1 – Hit Me AB, One More Time

My frozen feet, are killing me (and I). I must confess, I still can’t see (still can’t see). When I’m not in Schutt’s I lose my mind, give me a fineeeee – hit me AB, one more time!

After a year-long hiatus, the Fantasy Jags are back, better than ever. Our helmets fit just right, there has been no cryotherapy for us, and (unfortunately) we didn’t sign any $30M guaranteed contracts, but we are back, and so is football. Did you really think we’d start off with anything other than Antonio Brown news layered into a Britney Spears plug? Of course not. Dorian is wreaking havoc in the Atlantic, but AB won’t go unmatched, causing his own storm in the Bay and throughout the entire NFL. I think I speak on behalf of Pittsburgh in saying watching AB tantrums from afar was quite delightful, until he ripped out our hearts with the “surprising” move to New England. Is it even possible to dislike the Patriots even more? We’ll have to wait and see how the New England chapter of the Killer B’s (Brady, Bellichek, Brown) will fare, but until then… FOOTBALL IS BACK! Have you heard? It seems like an eternity since TB12 performed his signature, almost ritualistic, February trot off the field following a Super Bowl victory, but we made it folks. Week 1 is here. Is there a better feeling than a brand new NFL Season? Didn’t think so. Knock on wood if you’re with me.  Who yinz got?

Quarterback

Payoffs:

Chris – Josh Allen ($5,600 at NYJ)
Sophomore slump? I don’t think so. Allen had his struggles early as a Rook, but came on strong to close out the 2018 season. In his final 6 games after returning from injury, Allen was the TOP QB twice, averaging 28.2 DKpts and a 4.9x return on an average salary of $5,466. “But Chris, he’s a road underdog in a divisional game, sounds like a recipe for disaster.” Great! 2 of Allen’s 3 best games last year came as a road underdog – and 2 of Allen’s 3 best games came against a division opponent, not including a 24.34 DKpt performance against the Jets in Week 14 for a 4.4x return. Josh’s salary feels right here and his running ability makes him an easy lock.

DJ – Jameis Winston ($6,600 vs SF)
Jameis enters the first week of the 2019 season with a higher salary than he did in any game in the 2018 season and I’m all about it. Last season facing the same 49ers defense in Tampa Jameis posted 312 passing yards for 2 touchdowns, good for 25.9 DKpts. More importantly, the 49ers were one of only two teams to not pick off Winston in 2018 (the other being the Cowboys). The more Jameis throws the ball to his own team the better (obviously). If he limits the turnovers we’re looking at a top 5 QB this week in what should be a shoot out (Vegas puts the O/U at 51 pts).

Jagoff:

Marc – Patrick Mahomes ($7,200 vs JAC)
Pat Mahomes is the single best QB in the NFL, and in a tier all by himself. Mahomes will likely have a very strong game in what figures to be a shootout in Jacksonville. So why is Patty Ice my QB to avoid? For starts, like most people, I am not one to pay up at QB. To put some numbers to it, during 2018, only two weeks was the #1 salaried QB also the top scorer. In fact, highest salaried QBs averaged a 9th place DKpt finish last year. When spending up, you need more of a guarantee that those dollars pay off, because it hurts you elsewhere. While Mahomes and the offense will still likely continue their dominance today, I am looking to go significantly cheaper at QB Week 1.

Running Back

Payoffs:

Chris – Dalvin Cook ($6,000 vs ATL)
I have been hearing Cook’s name EVERYWHERE as a lock for this week. I agree and will oblige. In a spot this good, I’ll ignore the ‘fade high ownership percentages’ crowd and jump on the bandwagon. Cook has the potential to be so chalk, playing him becomes contrarian. Running backs at home and Vegas favorites between average nearly 1.5 DKpts more over the past 3 seasons than their counterparts. That doesn’t seem like much, but the point is they have historically perform better. Factor in Atlanta surrendered the 4th most DKpts to RBs in 2018 and you have a recipe for success with Cook.

DJ – Kerryon Johnson ($5,800 @ ARI)
It ain’t no secret that the Lions gave the keys to the castle to the Kerryon this off season. Letting Theo Riddick walk and cutting Zane Zenner leaves only Mr. Johnson remaining in what once was a crowded backfield. Kerryon’s first opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, gave up an average of 24 DKpts to RBs last season. In order to return 3x value, Kerryon requires 17.4 DKpts. 17.4! If Kerryon were to reach the average the Cards gave up last year he would return 4x value. Easy lock this week.

Jagoffs:

Marc – Joe Mixon ($6,700 @ SEA)
Not only am I out on Cincinnati as a whole, I am definitely out on Mixon this week at Seattle. At $6.7K, Mixon is the 7th highest priced RB on the slate and faces the difficult task of trying to provide some offense against a Seattle defense at home that recently added a huge piece in Clowney (which feels like that happened months ago after all this AB drama). With no AJ Green, I am not expecting much from this offense in a tough environment. While Mixon should still see some decent production as an excellent pass catching back, I’m looking elsewhere for a more solid, higher floor RB1 this week.

Wide Receiver

Payoffs:

Chris – Adam Thielen ($6,800 vs ATL)
This one is easy and will be brief. Chasing a 3x or greater return? Thielen delivered that 50% of his games last season at his current price point. Not enough info? Atlanta surrendered the 6th most DKpts against WR last season, including 9 individual WR performances over 20.4 DKpts, our target at this price. Finally, home favorite WR have outperformed other categories of WR over the past 3 seasons pretty handily. New season, still hooked on a Thielen.

DJ – Dede Westbrook ($4,800 vs KC)
The Jags (team, not us) were quite busy this off-season, locking up BD Nick Foles and kicking Blake Bortles to the curb. The new QB quickly went to work establishing a rapport with Westbrook in OTAs thanks to the absence of Marquise Lee. The newest member of the Jags (us, not team), is rostering Foles this week and I’m going with his go-to target. Kansas City last year gave up the 10th most DKpts to wideouts so in my mind this is a no brainer. It also helps that they will have to keep up with the Chiefs offense.

Jagoffs:

Marc – Rams WRs (Cooks $6,500, Woods $6,400, Kupp $5,700 @ CAR)
Jared Goff has been significantly worse on the road thus far in his NFL career and he starts his 2019 season traveling east to play in Carolina. Historically, the long travel does the away team no favors. Equally concerning for me is the fact that the Rams offense is completely loaded, especially at the WR position as reflected in the top three’s pricing. Not only do the Rams have Gurley at his healthiest he will be all season, but the entire WR core is too. I expect this to be a high scoring affair, but I’m not confident on which Rams WR will be the beneficiary of all that scoring. I am looking for higher floors this week, even if they don’t possess the same upside as the top three Rams WRs.

Tight-End

Payoffs:

Chris – George Kittle ($6,600 @ TB)
You couldn’t pay me to not roster Kittle this week. Tampa Bay was in the bottom 3 in DKpts given up to opposing TEs last season, including 4 weeks of allowing at least a 3x return at Kittle’s current salary. Pair that with Kittle himself scoring an average of 16.9 DKpts last season, including 5 games over 19.8 DKpts which is our 3x target. Finally, the TB/SF game sports the weekend second largest O/U at 51 pts. I’m truthfully not sure what to expect from the 49ers offense after Jimmy G’s iffy preseason, but Kittle is easily their best weapon and has the potential for a big game.

DJ – Hunter Henry ($3,900 vs IND)
Henry tore his ACL before last season even began so he’s had plenty of time to rehab. He made an appearance in the Chargers playoff game, but was mainly a decoy. Now with an off season to continue building strength, Henry is coming back with a vengeance and facing a team in the Colts that gave up the 3rd most DKpts to tight ends last year. Sign me up.

Jagoffs:

Marc – Travis Kelce ($7,100 @ JAC)
Another obvious pick, but I am not paying up for Kelce this week. Kelce, unsurprisingly, is the highest TE on the slate in what should be a shootout in Jacksonville. At $7.1K, Kelce is not only a top TE, but a top option overall on the entire slate. While I’m not saying that he won’t produce, for $500 less I like Kittle significantly more (shout-out Chris), and for $1,000 less you can get the 3rd holy trinity TE in Ertz.

FLEX

Payoffs:

Chris – Cole Beasley ($3,600 @ NYJ)
Yes, really. Look – when you roster some higher priced players, this is what happens. Stuck scraping the bottom of the barrell looking for anyone who can just do their job. All we need from Beasley is 10.8 DKpts. Sound reasonable? Beasley scored 10 DKpts or better in 6 weeks last season, as a second-thought weapon for Dak and the ‘Boys. The Jets also gave up 93.5 DKpts to Bills WR last year which was the most of the season, including 4 individual performances over 10 DKpts. Those players? Zay Jones, Robert Foster (2), and Isaiah McKenzie. A cheap combo for my Allen play at QB, and I’m hopeful Beasley can join that infamous list of Bills.

DJ – Chris Carson ($5,700 vs CIN)
Last year Cincy was very bad against the run, worst in the league to be exact . So why would I be going with Carson to start the year? Because…do I really need to spell it out? They are bad and Carson is getting a ton of touches this season. Pretty obvious, right? The Seahawks are even going to use Carson in the passing game!!! What a novel idea.

Jagoffs:

Marc – Derrick Henry ($5,900 vs CLE)
Henry is an interesting back to monitor this season. A breakout candidate by some, I am not entirely buying the hype, especially today against the Browns. Look at Henry’s first 12 weeks rushing with the Titans last season: averaged nearly 11 carries for only 39.5 yards a game. Henry didn’t break the 100-yard mark once in his first 12 games and only broke 50-yards four times (56-58 yard performances). The Browns have a strong defense, especially their front seven, which I predict will put the Titans in a hole early. Given Henry is virtually non-existent in the Titans passing game thanks to Dion Lewis, I am betting on the game script getting away from Henry getting the 20+ touches he will likely need in order to produce solid RB2/Flex numbers.

FINAL LINEUPS

Chris DJ Marc
QB Josh Allen Jameis Winston Nick Foles
RB Dalvin Cook Dalvin Cook Chris Carson
RB Chris Carson Kerryon Johnson Christian McCaffrey
WR Adam Thielen Dede Westbrook Marquise Goodwin
WR Kenny Golladay Chris Godwin Jarvis Landry
WR Cole Beasley Robert Woods Adam Thielen
TE George Kittle Hunter Henry Hunter Henry
FLEX Kerryon Johnson Chris Carson George Kittle
D/ST Eagles Ravens Seahawks

Have your own payoffs and jagoffs? Hate or love our picks? Have fantasy questions of your own? We’d love to hear from you – follow us on Twitter @fantasyjags412

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