Welcome to a new semi-regular DFF series! Owed largely to a bout of writer’s block, I’ve decided to start a new series based on NFL happenings and the impact of on Dynasty Football. Sometimes I’ll pen this article and other times I’ll force others to do so. With that lovely intro behind us let’s get into it.
Julian Edelman 4-game NFL suspension upheld:
Edelman’s 4-game ban was upheld earlier this week. Now 32 years old and coming off a torn ACL that cost him all of the 2017 season it’s hard to imagine worse timing to be suspended. Edelman has always been a volume dependent player, and the volume he needs to thrive might not be available when he returns in week 5 against the Colts.
During Edleman’s illustrious career he’s only been able to string together a total of four fantasy relevant seasons.
Every one of Edelman’s useful fantasy seasons, excluding 2015, his target ranking suggest he should have finished with much better fantasy production. Edelman is inefficient (Don’t believe me? Click here and take a look at his Production Premium), on the wrong side of 30 and returning from injury.
Chris Hogan and Jordan Matthews Will Shine
Because he was injured for most of the second half of the 2017 season it’s easy to forget how good of a season Chris Hogan was on pace for last year. In his nine games, Hogan was the WR24 on average scoring 12.2 fantasy points per week. In 67% of his games played last year Hogan put up at least 11 fantasy points and sprinkled in 3 games of at least 17 fantasy points scored. Hogan is a more efficient wide receiver than Edelman on a per target basis as well. Last season Hogan finished 24th in Fantasy Points Per Target (FPT)with 1.86. In 2016, Edelman finished as the 80th wide receiver in FPT while Hogan was 3rd with 2.24 Fantasy Points per target.
If the previous factors weren’t enough reason to sell off your remaining shares of Edelman, the fact the Patriots added Jordan Matthews in the offseason should push you over the edge. The hatred of Jordan Matthews runs deep in many fantasy circles, and I can not fathom why that is.
Courtesy of FF Statistics take a look at Matthews career thus far:
Granted if you put no thought into what you see above you could argue that Matthews career is on a downward spiral. After two wildly successful seasons Matthews last two seasons could not have gone much worse. In 2016 Matthews played with the fifth starting quarterback of his Eagles career. Rookie Carson Wentz was named the starter after the presumed starter Sam Bradford was traded eight days before the first game of the regular season. If you think that doesn’t matter I don’t know what I can say to you that would change your mind.
To say 2017 was an abject disaster for Matthews might be an understatement. Matthews was traded to the Bills less than a month before the start of the season. Dealing with misdiagnosed injuries dating back to 2016 by Eagle team doctors Matthews also dealt with a chip fracture in his chest and injured thumb and was only able to play 10 games last season. The Bills ranked 31st last year with just 30.4 pass attempts per game and Matthews was targeted on only 3.6 of those pass attempts, garnering a 12.6% target share. Even if Matthews were healthy, it’s near impossible to be fantasy relevant working with a 12.6% target share in low-volume passing game.
For the first time in his career, Matthews will play with a legitimate (established) good quarterback. He’s moved to an offense that put up 38.3 pass attempts per game last year (1st). Matthews has shown the ability to play both in the slot and on the outside and will be a versatile weapon in the Patriots offense. Finally healthy I expect Matthews to more resemble the player that averaged 73/866/6 in his first three seasons than the version of Matthews we saw last year.
With Edelman suspended the first four games of the season both Hogan and Matthews have every opportunity to secure the WR1 role in the Patriots offense. I expect one, if not both, to be underrated fantasy producers in 2018.
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