Did you know Dalvin Cook's middle name is James and James Cook's middle name is Dalvin? (h/t)
In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Canva:
- Report Cards for every team
- Fantasy Fixers: Seahawks
- Is Keenan Allen on the move?
- Was it worth it? Chasing hyped players.
- It's 3/2. Take it away, Pete Overzet...
For the first time ever, the NFLPA is releasing its team report cards based on surveying roughly 1,300 players.
And let me tell you what, there's some juicy stuff in here.
Before we spill the tea, here's an explanation for the initiative:
During the last two years, the Board of Representatives has discussed ways to improve the information available to free agents making decisions about their prospective clubs and decided to pursue the development of “club report cards” that, while not a scientific survey, would report the quantitative and qualitative opinions of NFL players about their respective clubs.
Now let's get to the fun stuff...
🍽️ Arizona Cardinals: No Free Meals
The Cardinals had failing grades across five of the eight categories, but the most absurd nugget comes from their food service/nutrition:
A policy of deducting dinner from players’ paychecks should players want to get food from the facility.
🚿 Washington Commanders: Avoid At All Costs
The Commanders ranked dead last (32nd) among all teams in the guide:
Let's play a game: NFL facility or a wartime shelter?
Players also reported that they have some of the smallest hot and cold tubs for players’ recovery, and only 35% of players feel like they have enough personal space in their locker room. Finally, there are complaints of a lack of warm water and issues with poor drainage in the showers.
🍼 Cincinnati Bengals: Hope Your Wife Isn't Pregnant
Not only do the Bengals not provide their players with vitamins and supplements, but they apparently are not too hospitable to family members either:
The players who responded to the survey also complained that there is nowhere warm and safe for mothers and kids to go during the game because the Bengals do not provide a family room, unlike the majority of teams. Players reported that wives have sat on the public restroom floor to nurse their babies.
How are these guys going to pay Tee Higgins if they can't even get a couple of chairs for pregnant women??
🌴 Minnesota Vikings & Miami Dolphins: Your Ideal Spots
As if you needed another excuse to move to Miami...
You can check out the full set of report cards here. Let us know if you find anything else interesting...
👀 Quick!... Somebody Edit A Falcons Jersey Onto Lamar Jackson...
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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. Kendall is here to take on our next project, the Seahawks...
👷♀️ Team Summary
I think the best way to describe the Seattle Seahawks’ 2022 season is “unexpected.” They unexpectedly thrived after moving on from franchise quarterback Russell Wilson and seemingly fooled most of the league when naming Geno Smith as the starter. Up until that point, most (including myself) believed that this was a throwaway year — put Geno out there, win a handful of games and then get ready to rebuild in the NFL Draft. But not so fast!
The Seahawks finished with a 9-8 record and a Comeback Player of the Year performance from Smith. Of course, the season ended on a low note when they were dismantled in a 41-17 loss to the division-rival San Francisco 49ers, but really who thought they would even make it that far?
Fast forward to the current offseason and internally, the Seahawks did not have much coaching turnover. Quarterback coach Dave Canales is now the offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but other key pieces have remained.
Seattle faces major questions going into this offseason. Is Smith the long-term answer? How much longer will head coach Pete Carroll be around? We will try and find answers below…
🚧 Fantasy Fixer Recommendations
1. Franchise Tag Geno Smith (at the very least)
The Seahawks have until March 7 to decide about placing the franchise tag on quarterback Geno Smith or any other unrestricted free agents.
There is no doubt that Smith proved “the haters” wrong and put up an unbelievable performance after Russell Wilson’s departure. He led the NFL in completion percentage (69.8%), finished fifth in passer rating (100.9) and led all quarterbacks with 14 passing touchdowns on 20-plus-yard throws in 2022. It’s really unheard of to witness a 32-year-old quarterback’s Year 10 breakout, but that’s what he gave us.
The real question becomes how much do you risk on something that might not be sustainable. That is where the franchise tag comes in. The tag allows the Seahawks and Smith’s camp more time to negotiate a potential long-term deal. Of course, this would also allow the quarterback market to materialize. Daniel Jones and Derek Carr would be watched closely and could be used in negotiations depending on their deals. Also of note is that Smith would be able to negotiate with other teams. If Smith gets tagged, then Seattle would have until July 15 to agree on a long-term deal. If they don’t, Smith would play on a one-year, fully-guaranteed deal worth around $32 million.
I think head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider are in a win-now mode. How much time could Carroll realistically have left? Win-now mode means rolling with a quarterback that Carroll trusted wholeheartedly after Wilson’s departure. Franchise tagging Smith at the very least will lead to a long-term deal that fits that mold. Can he quarterback a championship-contending team? The Seahawks may risk it and find out.
2. Prioritize edge rusher and interior offensive line
The latest mocks show that the Seahawks need more support at edge rusher. Under first-year defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt, the Seahawks switched to a 3-4 defense and the pass rush improved from 34 sacks in 2021 to 45 last season (7th in the league). However, they only recorded 34 quarterback pressures (28th) and didn’t blitz as often.
Overall, their defense ranked 25th in overall EPA per play, 27th in rush EPA, and 18th in EPA per dropback. If the Seahawks get the opportunity to draft Will Anderson Jr. out of Alabama, it would be a steal. More than likely he will be gone at No. 5, so taking Tyree Wilson from Texas Tech would also be a solid add. But the offensive line could use some help, too
We all know Kenneth Walker was a stud for the Seahawks in his rookie campaign, but their struggles to protect Geno Smith and block for Walker really showed towards the back half of the season. Between Week 10 and Week 14, he rushed for only 126 yards and two touchdowns. The Athletic projects that the best way to fix the issues on the offensive line is to release or trade right guard Gabe Jackson, creating $6.5 million in savings, and then focus on a younger player to replace him. No matter what, we want more Walker for fantasy, and addressing the interior issues will help a lot.
🧳 Keenan Allen on the move? Not so fast.
💪 The most durable RBs in the league. Interesting list here.
💄 C.J. Gardner-Johnson tosses shade at his old defensive coordinator. He deleted it, but we saved the receipts.
🌿 The story behind the crummy Super Bowl field. An interview with 'The Sodfather' lol.
👎 A sad story involving the potential No. 1 draft pick. Awful.
🌃 An Aaron Rodgers decision coming soon? He speaks after his darkness retreat.
📏 Uh oh, how tall is Bryce Young? It's the juxtaposition, people. Relax!
It's easy to get caught up in the hype. But sometimes there is merit to chasing the trendy players up draft boards. Chris Allen explains...
I love the fantasy community. We’re undefeated as a group.
Our collective exhaustion echoes through social media as fantasy season winds down, and, at a conservative minimum, all non-Chiefs fans are happy to step into the 2023 off-season. But yet, gamers fill the “not too early” best ball lobbies, and draft strategies are already the debate topic.
So, I’ll go with the flow.
The market has a recency bias, and last year’s overachievers are this year’s overdrafted. But the hype isn’t entirely without merit. I found three players who outkicked their ‘22 ADP and come at a premium in this year’s drafts.
Your reaction might be to fade noise, but I’m still buying when possible.
📈 Kirk Cousins: Draft Rank QB15, EOS Rank QB7
I still can’t figure out last year’s Vikings—specifically, Kirk “Kirko Chainz” Cousins.
At 4,547 passing yards, he had the fourth-most in the league. Minnesota won the NFC North and went to the playoffs a year after ousting Mike Zimmer. The results of their final game (kind of) didn’t matter because the process was correct! A regime change brought out the best in Cousins, and his above-average play compelled the front office to add more around him. At face value, he was (is) a top-12 quarterback.
Of course, PFF passing grades are just a grade. A singular data point. And Cousins sandwiched between Justin Herbert and Geno Smith might be more of an indictment on them than the Viking's signal caller.
Cousins ranked 19th in EPA per play by the end of the regular season. Of his 4,547 passing yards, 21.9% came on throws of 20 air yards or more. Nothing about his results screams “repeatable” or “sticky”, especially after his prime target finished a historic season. But Cousins should be an ideal target for drafters at his current cost.
🔮 2023 Positional Rank: QB11
It’s possible we lost sight of the catalyst behind Minnesota’s offensive success in all of the close games and highlight performances. Justin Jefferson certainly kept our attention. But Kevin O’Connell deserves some credit too.
Offseason speculation indicated O’Connell would bring Minnesota’s offense into the 21st century after his time with Sean McVay. And comparisons to the 2021 offense highlight the stark contrast between the two.
The ’22 Vikings passing game was like Kylo Ren firing on Luke Skywalker. More. More passing, aggression, plays run, and easy buttons for Cousins.
Plus, he could make things happen with his legs when throwing lanes weren't there. Despite being on the wrong side of 30, the eleven-year veteran was 12th in EPA per attempt on scrambles. The scheme raises his floor while his, albeit limited, mobility boosts his ceiling.
The latest mock drafts point to Minnesota reworking their offensive line and adding pass-catching talent on Day 2 and beyond. Both moves limit how much regression may hit Cousins during the upcoming season. Regardless, with O’Connell at the helm, the focal point of the aerial attack will be one to target this off-season.
📈 Jaylen Waddle: Draft Rank WR17, EOS Rank WR7
So, I’ll admit calling out Jaylen Waddle is mildly cheating. He sat at the 3/4 turn in last year’s drafts, technically making him a qualifier. He also has a second-round ADP this year. You don’t need me to tell you to prioritize him in drafts. But it’ll be easy to see why fantasy managers may look to other options when weighing his early-round cost.
Tyreek Hill had the third-highest target share of any wide receiver in 2022. Waddle’s WR2 status, combined with his overlapping slot role with Hill, paints the perception of a lesser option with a lower ceiling. Both Garrett Wilson and Tee Higgins, with lower ADPs, are (qualitatively) in better situations. But Waddle’s peripherals put him in a position to excel even with Hill on the opposite side.
🔮 2023 Positional Rank: WR10
Admittedly, the base metrics don’t shine a positive light on Waddle’s opportunity. You’ll find the third-year WR in the middle of most target-based stats, with Hill near the top. However, what Waddle could do with the ball in his hands should give drafters pause before skipping over his name.
Waddle was one of the most efficient receivers in the league. He created after the catch, moved the chains, and generated downfield explosive plays. And, outside of the deep shots, he did them better than his 29-year-old counterpart. So while the fantasy focus may be on the WR we assume will get more targets, Waddle highlighted his 1B role critical to Miami’s success.
The big question surrounds Tua Tagovailoa’s status which remains unclear. However, at least Waddle’s competition for targets may lessen with one pass-catcher potentially out of Miami. Regardless, his underlying metrics put him in line with Hill making him a value in drafts.