Fantasy Football Strategy: Antonio Brown, Joe Mixon

My questions orbiting Joe Mixon and Antonio Brown lead to lower ranks within their respective tiers.
Photo credit: John Sommers II | UPI

We’re familiar with the real life application of FOMO, “Fear of missing out”. But how about FOTU, “Fear of the unknown” as a fantasy football strategy? FOTU is the main reason I’m hesitant to pull the trigger on the likes of Antonio Brown and Joe Mixon instead of similarly priced players. It’s also woven within the DNA of my portfolio building. 

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Tight End Rankings: George Kittle edges field

George Kittle heads into 2019 as the No. 1 tight end, ahead of Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz.
Photo credit: Stan Szeto | USA TODAY Sports

Tight end rankings reveal a top-heavy landscape short on matchup-shifting or season-lifting talent. Naturally, George Kittle, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz demand a premium.

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Running Back Tiers: Buy James Conner, Dalvin Cook

James Conner and Dalvin Cook bridge gap between the first and second running back tiers.
James Conner is a worthwhile first-round investment.

Running back tiers receive an initial split after the top four, leaving James Conner and Dalvin Cook in my crosshairs at the turn.

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Wide Receiver Tiers: Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr.

Mike Evans edges Odell Beckham Jr. to round out my top 10.
Photo credit: Tampa Bay Times

Mike Evans and Odell Beckham Jr. enter 2019 in situations expected to be conducive to production. Wide receiver tiers and rankings generally express this sentiment, but not quite to a degree that captures the profitable ceilings of each.

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Wide Receiver Rankings: DeAndre Hopkins heads trio

DeAndre Hopkins leads a dominant trio of wide receivers.
DeAndre Hopkins leads a dominant trio of wide receivers heading into 2019.

Once the top three (or four) running backs are off the board, the conventional move has been to look toward the perimeter. Wide receiver rankings have DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones and Davante Adams situated as the top three options.

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Christian McCaffrey Outlook: 2,000 yards realistic

Christian McCaffrey's outlook includes a 2,000-yard season.
Credit: Mike McCarn | AP Photo

Christian McCaffrey would be the overwhelming choice for the No. 1 pick. As it stands, he’s joined by a trio of backs each with his own argument as the top option. McCaffrey is securely situated as my No. 3 overall selection, so I’m completely selling any anti-McCaffrey sentiment.

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Ezekiel Elliott holdout drops Fantasy Football ranking

Ezekiel Elliott holdout threat drops his ranking
Photo credit: Tom Fox | The Dallas Morning News

NFL history doesn’t provide clear guidelines for how to handle staged absences. Therefore it’s difficult to devise a strategy for how to handle the threat of an Ezekiel Elliott holdout. Personally, I’m dropping him down to No. 7 overall.

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Alvin Kamara to threaten 1,000-1,000 season

Alvin Kamara eyes 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving.
Photo credit: Brace Hemmelgarn | USA TODAY Sports

Alvin Kamara is my No. 2 pick in 2019 thanks to his 1,000-1,000 ceiling. The feat is rare, but Kamara is in position to pull it off.

A number of factors appear lined up in Kamara’s favor heading into 2019. The Saints increased their run ratio in each of the two seasons since drafting Kamara. From 2016-18 that figure started at 36.6 before climbing to 44.4 and 46.6 percent, respectively.

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Saquon Barkley Fantasy Football’s No. 1 pick in 2019

Saquon Barkley is fantasy football's first pick.
Photo credit: Anthony J. Causi | New York Post

Saquon Barkley is fantasy football’s first pick thanks to a presumed massive workload and his demonstrated big-play ability.

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A.J. Brown stands out as profitable late-round target

I’m not typically aggressive in my pursuit of rookie wide receivers, but A.J. Brown has emerged as an appealing late-round lottery ticket.

Considering his raw talent and the thin selection of weapons behind Corey Davis*, I fully expect Brown to receive the opportunity to deliver an immediate impact and perhaps assume clear No. 2 receiver duties shortly thereafter. 

You can sell yourself on potential with Brown in this case because you’re paying next to nothing in draft capital. As someone who’s so electrifying after the catch and capable on both the inside and outside, Brown possesses the versatility and big-play ability necessary to excel in an offense not that far away from being interesting.

*Who’s going to command a higher target share than Brown? Delanie Walker will be 35 in August and only deemed himself “85 percent” in May coming off a dislocated ankle suffered in Week 1 of the 2018 season. I also expect the Titans to continue running a high percentage of multiple-tight end sets, keeping secondary receivers off the field (key word: continuity).

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