Suffering from Low T levels? Try starting a draft with Bijan, Chubb, and Henry...
In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by props.cash:
- Who is the guy behind the guy in Minnesota?
- OverReaction Monday: Is the Madden Curse real?
- The next Davante Adams. Do you buy it?
- Underdog Player Futures Are Here: Higher/lowers to make…
- It's 6/12. Take it away, Peter Overzet...
With Dalvin Cook released, everyone knows Alexander Mattison is poised to take over as the presumptive lead back in Minnesota for 2023. Drafters have reacted accordingly, pushing him up to the middle of the 6th round:
But as a card-carrying Zero RB bro, I’m far more interested in figuring out who the next man up is behind Mattison.
These are the spots where we can often find significant value, as drafters are traditionally much slower to properly price the new guy behind the guy.
Both Ty Chandler and DeWayne McBride have moved up a little bit since Cook’s release, but I’d argue not enough considering the potential opportunity in this backfield.
Let’s break it down…
🥊 Ty Chandler (ADP: 199.9) vs. DeWayne McBride (211.7)
📢 The case for Chandler
Chandler is a smaller (5’11”, 204 pounds), explosive (4.38 forty) speed back who the Vikings selected in the 5th round of the 2022 draft. He was highly productive at UNC and parlayed some of that juice into a monster preseason in 2022.
Chandler mostly profiles as a change-of-pace guy, but he could offer standalone value if he can wrestle away some pass-catching work from Mattison.
📢 The case for McBride
Here’s what Dwain wrote about McBride back in April:
McBride demonstrated the ability to layer multiple moves together, leading to an 88th-percentile missed tackles forced (26%) dating back to the 2017 class.
He also translated 96 (20%) of his career rushing attempts (484) into plays of 10-plus yards.
He has limitations in the passing game, but McBride could develop into a solid early-down back at the next level. If he lands on a good offense that wants to pound the rock, that could give him upside in the TD department. His closest comps in the RB Super Model are A.J. Dillon and Trey Sermon.
McBride’s skill set looks more redundant with Mattison’s than Chandler, but McBride would likely be the biggest beneficiary in the event of an injury to Mattison because he would presumably take over most of the early-down and goal-line work.
⚖️ Who to draft?
This is a tricky spot for early drafters.
On the one hand, we know that one of these RBs is going to rise in ADP once we get more clarity on who the No. 2 is in Minnesota.
On the other hand, we know how important it is to avoid dead roster spots on our teams —something Mike Leone recently discussed on the Fantasy Life podcast.
In selecting either Chandler or McBride, you could be locking in a huge ADP riser (good!) or risk taking a zero on the RB3 in Minnesota (bad!).
For now, these are the circumstances with which I’m feathering in both these guys, with a slight lean to Chandler because of his pass-catching:
- In Zero RB builds where I need to get to 6-7 RBs and the options thin out at the end of the draft
- On Minnesota team stacks, where I’ve already made a big bet on the Vikings offense succeeding
- On Green Bay stacks, where I need a cheap Minnesota bring-back for Week 17 correlation
Otherwise, it’s best to wait and see how the camp battle plays out before loading up…
We're humans who play fantasy football, which means we are prone to overreact. Today, Kendall explains why you shouldn’t worry (too much) about the Madden Curse...
In case you missed it, Bills quarterback Josh Allen was revealed as the cover athlete for Madden NFL 24, which cemented a life-long dream for Allen. It’s the first time in franchise history that any Bills player has been featured on the cover and Allen is just the 10th QB in NFL history to be chosen.
But should we be worried about the Madden curse?
In case you didn’t know, the idea of the Madden curse is that it’s essentially a jinx to any athlete who graces the cover – that the player is bound to have an uncharacteristically bad or unlucky season the season after appearing on the cover. YIKES.
If you go down the research rabbit hole, many believe the curse began after former San Francisco 49ers running back Garrison Hearst was the first cover athlete on the international edition of Madden 99. The following season, Hearst broke his fibula in the playoffs and had to sit out for two years before returning in 2001.
Let’s be real, the curse is just more of a trendy topic and has really fallen off over the last few seasons — like when Patrick Mahomes notched a Super Bowl or when Tom Brady won a third MVP.
Maybe Bills fans feel like the team is already cursed, though. The team has fallen short in two straight Divisional Round games and a Super Bowl window could be closing quicker than anticipated.
Even Allen had to address the Bills’ run the past few seasons, but thinks the Madden cover can actually help the team: “You can say maybe the Bills have been cursed. So maybe this is a double curse reversal. That’s the way I’m looking at it.”
So don’t get discouraged about a curse. The Bills sit only behind the Chiefs and Eagles at +800 to win the Super Bowl and still have an elite quarterback in Allen. He’s coming off a 4,283 passing-yard season with 35 touchdowns and has led the team to three straight AFC East division titles and four-straight playoff berths.
Seriously though, Josh, the fantasy community can’t take a Madden curse this season.
Also, if there’s a Madden curse what’s the equivalent of a franchise curse? Because there has to be an explanation for the Chargers and Jets…
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🆕 The new Davante Adams? Aaron Rodgers sounds impressed.
⌚️ Where will Dalvin Cook land? Be prepared to wait…
📆 You were drafting WHEN?!?! Fess up!
🐻 Do we have the Bears WRs wrong? Something to consider.
🏫 Calvin Johnson might mentor this young WR. Couldn’t hurt.
🧀 Don’t forget about this WR in Green Bay. He’s flying under the radar.
⛵️ Tom Brady hangs out with Mr. Beast. And takes down a drone.
Underdog Fantasy just released a ton of season-long props for their pick’em contests and the early lines have our attention.
Early season-long NFL props can often offer us some great opportunities for pick’em as the lack of clarity about upcoming player roles and offensive tendencies can mean less efficient lines.
A lot of these lines are subject to change but as of now, there are a handful of props that stand out as great targets for pick’em tickets on Underdog.
Overall, if you have a strong stance on a player’s prospects for 2023-24 this is a great time to scout out a couple of targets and see if you can profit off your conviction.
And if you don't have a strong conviction, head over to the Fantasy Life Projections page to compare our season-long player totals to these lines on Underdog Fantasy.
🔮 Mark Andrews HIGHER than 800.5 receiving yards
Mark Andrews' receiving total right now on Underdog is a full 150 yards lower than it was on various sportsbooks last August. That’s significant, as the veteran has gone over this current mark in three of the past four seasons and will be working with a new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken who wants to run a more uptempo, passing-oriented offense.
Andrews will have added competition for targets but, if anything, these new WRs will likely be more of a threat to take targets away from each other than Andrews, who operated as a de facto WR1 in 2023, in much the same way Travis Kelce did for the Chiefs.
Even if his target share dips a little, the Ravens under Monken figure to run a lot more plays in 2023 and their offense will almost certainly see a decent uptick in pass play percentage.
Andrews has gone over this mark easily in each of the last three seasons where he’s played 15 games or more and his current 2023 line screams of “overcorrection”. It’s a great spot to buy into some fear and take the over on one of the best pass-catching TEs in the league.
🔮 Rachaad White LOWER than 800.5 rushing yards
Rachaad White’s season-long rushing prop is like the apple that looks shiny and perfect on the outside but when you bite into it, the core may actually be a little rotten.
On the surface, the lack of competition for touches and the fact that the Buccaneers didn’t add anyone of significance at the draft seems to make White a lock for early down touches in 2023. That’s certainly a possibility but even if that rosy proclamation does come true there are issues lurking.
The rookie was one of the least efficient backs last season, ranking 33rd in EPA per rush (-0.11) (among 44 backs with 100 carries or more), and was never able to pull the starting position away from declining veteran Leonard Fournette.
It’s also telling that when he was interviewed recently, White talked about his versatility as a receiver and the fact the new playbook involved “a lot of empty” (no RB sets). White may end up excelling as a pass catcher but hearing that there will be a lot of empty backfield sets isn’t encouraging for his rushing totals.
There is no doubting that White has a path to going over on this 800.5-yard total but it’s one filled with numerous roadblocks, including his own deficiencies as a rusher. With this line likely to go nowhere but down on a potential Free Agent signing, or a Sean Tucker camp uprising, hitting the under now is definitely preferred.