Fantasy Football

2018 Fantasy Football Undrafted Player Watch – First Quarter Update

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As the first quarter of the season has come to an end, this is our first opportunity to review the undrafted players we selected to see if we hit the mark or outright busted.

Understanding that some of these talents wouldn’t meet the requirements for further evaluation, we left ourselves a few outs with interchangeable pieces we could swap (much like your fantasy team bench), that now possess a greater outlook moving forward.

While we stand by our selections from the beginning of the season, a few key adjustments have been made to round out this squad of undrafted producers after four weeks.


Let’s get to it.

2018 Fantasy Football Undrafted Player Watch – First Quarter Update

Quarterbacks

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Andy Dalton | Cincinnati Bengals | ADP 200-205

(Blake Bortles to the Bench)

While our first evaluation saw the Jaguars Blake Bortles holding our top spot for the best undrafted potential for quarterbacks, we are forced to relegate his services to the bench in favor of Andy Dalton for the next four games. Bortles has done a decent job to start the season collecting 83.70 total fantasy points, which has been good enough to generate 20.93 points per game. With that said, the lack of overall consistency from Blake Bortles has forced our hand to promote the Bengals Andy Dalton from our bench.

While we have always seen Dalton as an above average passer in the league, this year our concern was the uncertainty of how this offense would shake out continuing with Marvin Lewis as their head coach. Simply put, rejuvenation seems to be the best phrase to describe this early production from this Bengals offensive unit. Dalton has found himself the benefactor of supremely better play calling under coach Lazor, and a supporting cast that seems to have found their grove. Andy has found a way to garner a healthy 96.00 total fantasy points propelling him to hold a pleasant 24.00 points per contest.

Some may question why we swapped quarterbacks this early in the season, and the simple answer is, the upcoming slate of games that look to favor great productivity. Dalton and company will enjoy playing against the Dolphins, Steelers, Chiefs, and the Buccaneers in their next four contests where 3 out of 4 defenses house a ranking in the bottom six. If you haven’t snagged Dalton off the waivers yet, we’d fully recommend you do so.

On-Deck:
Blake Bortles | Jacksonville Jaguars | ADP: 195-205
Tyrod Taylor | Cleveland Browns | ADP: 215-225
Ryan Tannehill | Miami Dolphins | ADP: 250-260

Running Backs

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Austin Ekeler | Los Angeles Chargers | ADP: 185-195

As we choose to replace our quarterback in hopes to generate greater production, we will stand pat with our selection of the Chargers Austin Ekeler as our top back of undrafted players. When fantasy drafts began, Austin was supremely undervalued seeing his draft placement ADP hit anywhere from 185-195. Now four weeks into the regular season, Ekeler has become a household name that has generated 52.67 fantasy points (PPR Format) good enough to hold the 16th overall ranking among fantasy running backs, quite astonishing.

When we take a step back to consider the value Ekeler has brought our club from day one, you would be hard pressed to argue another player at the position. Through the first four weeks, you have literally secured a player that currently holds a value equivalent to a pick in the middle of the fifth round (5.06), giving a positive pick differential of (+6.97) to (+7.94) in twelve man-fifteen round leagues. If this progression continues throughout the year, it’s safe to say we hit a giant home run on Ekeler.

Nyheim Hines | Indianapolis Colts | ADP: 185-190

Our NFL Combine infatuation of Nyheim Hines continued throughout the offseason which lead to our endorsement to select the talented runner in the last round of fantasy drafts, much like Austin Ekeler. League hype had Hines rising up draft boards early, only to witness that stock freefall once Nyheim completed a horrific preseason campaign leaving fantasy owners weary of the selection. We continued to provide a gleaming validation suggesting Hines would be greatly used in the pass game to assist Andrew Luck delivering another viable outlet, which has come to fruition.

Hines has done enough to warrant weekly matchup-flex play considerations before his fantastic showing this past week (Week 4). Those who slept on Hines before the season will now be rushing to the waiver wire eager to secure his services as his ownership stake will undoubtedly reach over 50%. Hines has generated 53.33 fantasy points in PPR formats which is good enough to hold the 13th spot for fantasy running backs. Much like Austin Ekeler, Hines draft pick equivalent (5.05) would also provide a positive pick differential of (+6.98) to (+7.01) which is incredible.

While this statement is obviously premature, it’s extremely encouraging to know that our fantasy team currently employs two running backs ranked in the top sixteen while we spent pennies on the dollar to get them, super score.

On-Deck:
Spencer Ware | Kansas City Chiefs | ADP: 215-220
John Kelly | Los Angeles Rams | ADP: 220-240
Chase Edmonds | Arizona Cardinals | ADP: 255-265
Mark Walton | Cincinnati Bengals | ADP: 350-360

Wide Receivers

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Christian Kirk | Arizona Cardinals | ADP: 205-215

Our first choice for undrafted wide receivers was the Arizona Cardinals Christian Kirk, and we elect to stay the course for at least another four games. Its known in most circles that rookie receivers take some time to assimilate to the NFL game, but in Christian’s case, his starting quarterback did him no favors. Sam Bradford was an absolute disaster leaving the entire offense in dismay underachieving in the process.

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After four games, Kirk hasn’t been able to generate anything spectacular which was the expectation after a solid preseason. Christian has amassed a mere 26.63 fantasy points to date leaving him as the 61st ranked wide receiver in fantasy football. While his numbers are nothing to write home about, recent roster activity has us licking our chops at the potential for Kirk to find his stride. Josh Rosen will now lead the assault for the Cardinals offense which has many positive outlooks to discuss. Having a capable passer run the show could solidify their attack which would raise the level of performance for the young rookie.

These next four games could give us a clear indication if we reached on endorsing the former Texas A&M standout, or if we are right on point. We’ll stand firm believing Kirk will turn heads with Rosen throwing him the ball.

Danny Amendola | Miami Dolphins | ADP: 210-220

As the Miami Dolphins hold a 3-1 record after four contests this season, Danny Amendola has been quite underwhelming, to say the least. Our thoughts and expectations when he signed his lucrative contract back in the offseason were to perform to a similar level to that seen when he donned a Patriot uniform.

Controlling the slot and becoming a safety blanket has been the mantra of his entire career, but through the first four contests, it appears Ryan Tannehill just isn’t on the same page in terms of chemistry. With that said, Danny hasn’t been a complete waste of a roster spot generating 21.07 fantasy points which has been good enough to hold the 75th ranking. While it would be our contention to drop Amendola to our bench finding an adequate replacement, we chose to stay the course for another four games in hopes PPR production is on the menu.

Miami does have a rather difficult task in their next quarter of the season going up against the Bengals, Bears, Lions, and Texans, which could see Amendola used more frequently. Danny is on a very short leash and will have to earn his placement here if he intends to return to receive our evaluation.

Geronimo Allison | Green Bay Packers | ADP: 190-200

(Trent Taylor to the Bench)

To become a good evaluator, you must recognize when you’ve made a mistake and cut your losses promoting the next man up. Our thought process when believing the 49ers Trent Taylor would take over as the main slot receiver before the season began, earning our commendation to start on our roster, fell in the trash and is know sitting at the bottom of the bin. San Francisco had the potential to become a masterful unit with Taylor being a large part of that, but now its time to move on.

In his place we promote the Packers Geronimo Allison, a player we pegged ‘On-Deck’ before the year got underway, now understanding he should’ve been here from day one. Our hesitation to have selected Allision first was due in part to the crowed wide receiver room the Packers employ. We believed Randall Cobb would continue to steal snaps from the second-year pro which created fear that production would lack.

It turns out our assumption was clearly off and Allision has been able to muster a healthy 49.27 fantasy points ranking him as the 29th best wide receiver in fantasy football after four weeks of play. Geronimo has exceeded expectations thus far and should continue to build on the trust created with franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers, destroying his original ADP while gaining 125 spots up the rankings.

On-Deck:
James Washington | Pittsburgh Steelers | ADP: 215-225
Tre’Quan Smith | New Orleans Saints | ADP: 250-260
Mike Wallace | Philadelphia Eagles | ADP: 260-270
Tavon Austin | Dallas Cowboys | ADP: 295-300
Trent Taylor | San Francisco 49ers | ADP: 320-330

Tight Ends

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Ricky Seals-Jones | Arizona Cardinals | ADP: 220-230

(Mike Gesicki to the Bench)

We took a great chance on the Dolphins rookie Mike Gesicki to prove his worth and its been nothing short of an extreme disappointment. Between the current system inadequacies (lack of targets) and Gesicki’s inability to adapt to the NFL, we have no choice but to remove him from this evaluation and place the Cardinals Ricky Seals-Jones in his place.

Seals-Jones garnered much hype this offseason based on the potential this offense should’ve produced. However, much like the output of Christian Kirk, a lot has been left on the field thanks to Sam Bradford and his anemic play. In the first four contests, Ricky has been able to find little success on limited targets while finding the end zone only once in that time. With that all said, Josh Rosen should be able to provide an instant uptick in the value for all offensive options, including Ricky Seals-Jones.

Nick Vannett | Seattle Seahawks | ADP: 230-250

While the Seahawks opening season roster depth chart showed Nick Vannett holding the starting slot, he has been grossly outplayed by teammate Will Dissly to this point. With the recent news that Dissly has suffered a season-ending injury, we have decided to continue down the path we started on.

Vannett has only been able to produce 12.47 fantasy points thus far but should gain opportunity now that he is once again thrust into the starting role. We will admit this pick isn’t baring fruit like we had envisioned and with Ed Dickson ready to return to the club after week eight, Vannett has these four contests to prove his value. Much like one of our wide receivers, Vannett will be on a very short leash.

On-Deck:
Benjamin Watson | New Orleans Saints | ADP: 195-205
Mike Gesicki | Miami Dolphins | ADP: 200-205
Charles Clay | Buffalo Bills | ADP: 215-225
Luke Wilson |Detroit Lions | ADP: 230-240 



Note: This evaluation is based on a 12 team league – 15 round PPR format and will be subject to review on a quarterly basis.


Check out the rest of our 2018 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Chris Chous

Chris is the founder of All Day Football (ADF) leading as an NFL Analyst & Writer, Fantasy Football Analyst & Writer. 2018 member of the #SFB8. He is known for his great in-depth comprehensive analysis on all players, teams, systems and schemes that can bee seen on http://allday-football.blogspot.com. Follow him on twitter @chris_ADF1

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