The March madness was real this week…
In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Mad Props Madness:
Which key fantasy free agents are left?
Dynasty Prospect Profile: Jordan Addison
How to fix the Bills
Minshew Mania is here to stay
We’ve found the next fantasy monster
It’s 3/17. Take it away, Kendall
It’s been a hell of a week for NFL Free Agency, and we aren’t even finished yet…
👀 It’s not over yet
If you’ve made it this far without throwing your phone at the wall from all the agency updates, well then that makes one of us.
Seriously though, this is one of the most thrilling times of the year. The next batch of excitement we will get is at the NFL Draft in April, so make sure to soak it all in while you can.
Hopefully, you’ve been keeping track of all the moves with us, but which players are still out there? Here’s a quick rundown of the most fantasy-relevant players…
💪 Tight Ends
At this point, it seems like the Dallas Cowboys have no interest in bringing back Dalton Schultz.
Some of the latest reports we’ve seen have been connecting Schultz to the Los Angeles Chargers, but nothing has been agreed to (because why not keep everyone guessing).
The move would make sense in reuniting him with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, but let’s just keep an eye on things. Schultz still has mid-range TE1 upside depending on where he lands.
🔥 Wide Receivers
A workout was held for Odell Beckham Jr. last Friday at Arizona State’s practice facility and there are reportedly “several” teams who are interested in signing him, including the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, and Dallas Cowboys.
The Vikings released Adam Thielen last week, and he was immediately placed on fantasy watchlist.
Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday that Thielen is expected to visit the Panthers. Carolina has also been connected to DJ Chark, so it’ll be interesting to see if they go in either direction.
❗️ Running backs
Devin Singletary hung on to the Buffalo Bills starting job over the last three seasons and is honestly underrated as a runner! He has an estimated value of $5.5 million on a three-year deal, according to Spotrac, and could make a difference on whichever team snags him.
There’s still some talent floating around out there! And that’s not including players like Austin Ekeler or Ezekiel Elliot who will potentially be on the move as well.
Damn, you have to love football.
♠️ March Is Full Of Money
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The NFL offseason is now in full swing with coaching changes, free agency and the NFL Draft reshaping the 2023 fantasy football landscape. With that in mind, the Fantasy Life squad is breaking down every NFL team to determine what went wrong in 2022 and identify paths to improvement. Pete is here to take on our next project, the Bills...
The Bills 2022 season will forever be remembered by the scary Damar Hamlin incident on MNF in Week 17 when the Bills safety collapsed on-field after suffering cardiac arrest. The traumatic event put the entire football world on pause and placed an emotional burden on the team heading into the playoffs.
Many of us hoped for a storybook Bills playoff run as if Disney were scripting things, but in reality the trauma of the event likely prevented the team from playing their best football.
After winning the AFC East for the third straight year and finishing the season 13-3, the Bills were bounced by the Bengals in the Divisional Round. A week before, the team narrowly escaped the Dolphins, led by third-string QB Skylar Thompson, in the Wild Card Round.
For most teams, this would be a respectable season, but the Bills entered the year as the Super Bowl favorites and have yet to make it to the big game despite four straight postseason trips.
Injuries also contributed to the Bills stumbling in 2022. Josh Allen suffered an elbow injury in Week 9 and struggled to play at an elite level for the rest of the year. The team also lost Von Miller to a season-ending ACL injury on Thanksgiving Day.
Still, this isn’t a team that needs fixing, per se. They were elite on offense in 2022:
Points per game: 28.4 (2nd)
Passing yards per game: 258.1 (7th)
Rush yards per game: 139.5 (7th)
As well as on defense:
Points allowed per game: 17.9 (2nd)
The Bills need tweaking, if anything. And the team should be able to compete for a Super Bowl in 2023 provided they execute a few of these recommendations…
🚧 Fantasy Fixer Recommendations
1. Find a real No. 2 WR
Are you noticing a theme to this Fixers series? Virtually every team in the league could use more offensive weaponry and the Bills are no exception.
Many of us overdrafted WR Gabe Davis in the fourth and fifth rounds of fantasy drafts in 2022 while chasing the lightning of his epic Divisional Round performance in the 2021 playoffs, but he massively disappointed last year while grading out poorly in ESPN’s advanced receiving metrics:
100th graded WR overall
87th in getting open
97th in making the catch (I promise we didn’t make this up)
To be a true Super Bowl contender, the Bills must find a legitimate secondary weapon to contribute alongside Stefon Diggs and allow Davis to move to a situational WR3 role, where he could potentially flourish.
There is some promise for wideout Khalil Shakir to make a leap in his second year, but the team needs to be aggressive in securing more pass-catching talent for Allen.
One interesting option would be trading for a premier, veteran WR like DeAndre Hopkins, who may be available for a reasonable price as a nearly 31-year old veteran on a rebuilding team.
The other option will be adding a weapon via the draft. The Bills currently have three picks in the Top 100 (27, 59, and 91) and should have ample opportunities to find a WR, or even a TE, in this range. If a WR like Jaxon Smith-Njigba or Jordan Addison slipped to pick 27, the Bills should sprint to the podium and lock up an elite slot prospect to work over the middle.
It should be noted, the team did recently sign former Saints WR/PR Deonte Harty to a two-year deal in free agency, but this should not impact their desire to add another premium pass catcher this offseason. Harty does have some interesting peripherals and his speed should result in some explosive plays down the field.
Get the rest of our Bills blue prints!
🚨 It’s now or never for the Cowboys. Dak Prescott definitely knows it.
😎 Not sold on David Montgomery? Dan Campbell will change your mind.
😤 The next fantasy monster? Dwain McFarland thinks so.
🎯 The Giants have been busy. A key contributor is now returning.
📈 Oh you though Minshew Mania was over? Not so fast.
⏳ Free Agency isn’t over yet. Stay up to date.
🎶 The Cowboys are moving on. But Pete will always remember Ezekiel Elliott.
With the Combine behind us, it is time to turn our attention to the NFL Draft and the 2023 rookie class. Today Chris Allen discusses the pros and cons of WR Jordan Addison as a dynasty prospect and fantasy contributor.
Rookie Draft ADP: 6
Underdog ADP: 81
Jordan Addison flies off the board in the first round of most mocks as the second or third wide receiver in the 2023 class.
Addison spent two years at Pitt and finished his collegiate career at USC. At Pitt, during his sophomore season, he dominated the college ranks after racking up 1,593 yards and topped the FBS charts in touchdowns. And, at 5’11”, 173 lbs, he used his deft release techniques to glide by perimeter corners for the second-most yards on deep passes in 2021.
After an injury-riddled final year at USC, Addison’s strength and speed will be constant talking points throughout the draft process. Even with a first-round grade, the 21-year-old playmaker will need the right team to maintain his current value in fantasy drafts.
💪 Successful At Beating Coverage
Most fantasy managers will zero in on his size without seeing him play. However, despite his perceived diminutive frame, Addison earned 77.1% of his targets on the perimeter. And he ran just 24.0% of his routes from the slot.
So when the former Trojan ranks 11th in yards per route run (YPRR) among all college WRs, the logical assumption is his interior role influences his 2.99 YPRR. But fortunately, he could beat coverage from either alignment.
Addison boasted elite marks against Man or Zone coverage during his final season. And, surprisingly enough, he was more efficient against Man. His size may affect his down-to-down consistency, but Addison has the talent to perform on the perimeter if needed.
🤔 Potential for “Slot-Only” Role
Addison’s Combine results were a mixed bag. He re-ran the 40-yard dash, and his other tests were, at best, lackluster.
His height and weight, blended with an undersupply of speed, could hamper his early-career development. A coach may see him as a slot-only receiver when his skillset belies more explosive talent. However, he didn’t get a chance to showcase it much.
Even after hoarding the targets at USC, Caleb Williams didn’t view Addison as the WR to fight through traffic. His contact balance allowed him to weave through defenders. However, he struggled to muscle his way to the ball if his footwork couldn't gain him leverage.
Draft capital will give us the final word, but landing spot should also factor into Addison’s value. If paired with a forward-thinking coach to maximize his strengths, we can continue to value him as the second-best WR in the class.
🔮 Fantasy Impact
Fortunately, we’ve seen wide receivers overcome the size debate. Drafters knew Addison was traditionally undersized months ago, yet he still sits as the rookie WR2 in Big Board drafts on Underdog. The only missing piece of data is what uniform he’ll be wearing come September.
Addison’s prospects as a team’s primary interior receiver make him a top-tier WR1 in dynasty formats. And, in the right environment, Addison can complement any established alpha with his effective route running.
For best-ball and redraft formats, Addison’s seventh-round ADP requires capital and a positive landing spot for him to pay off that cost. He earned targets in college, but we’re yet to see him compete for looks against similar or higher-caliber players. Without both, we may have to wait for him to break out at the pro level.
If Freud was alive today he’d call it the Id, the Ego, and the Aaron Rodgers