Daily Dr. Roto—January 8, 2019
2019 NFL Season Fantasy Stream of Consciousness (“K-NYG”)
Kansas City Chiefs
QB Patrick Mahomes was still terrific, but he wasn’t as good as his incredible 2018 season. Regression was expected. RB Damien Williams battled injuries all season and was a poor third-round Fantasy pick. RB LeSean McCoy played well in spurts but was generally unreliable and could retire soon. Rookie RB Darwin Thompson never really got the chance to fulfill his vast potential. WR Tyreek Hill got injured in the first game of the season and took until Week 6 to get back to the lineup. When he returned, he was productive, but not a Fantasy monster. WR Sammy Watkins has seen his production fall dramatically in the past season. His playing time might be a concern moving forward. Rookie WR Mecole Hardman has Tyreek Hill like speed and could be an impact player soon. TE Travis Kelce is still a dominant player at his position.
Los Angeles Chargers
Is it time for QB Philip Rivers to retire? It doesn’t seem like his decision making is as sharp as it once was. RB Melvin Gordon missed the first four weeks of the season with a holdout and then took another four weeks to return to form. It could be argued that the team played significantly better when RB Austin Ekeler was the starter. WR Keenan Allen had the quietest 100 reception season in recent memory. WR Mike Williams had over 1000 yards receiving but did not score until Week 14 which was incredibly frustrating. TE Hunter Henry dealt with a myriad of injuries but was still a top five talent when healthy.
Los Angeles Rams
QB Jared Goff was not the same player on the road that he was at home. He is almost unstartable when not playing in LA. The OL suffered from a bunch of new faces and didn’t start to gel until the last quarter of the season. RB Todd Gurley played better than most anticipated. RB Darrell Henderson was not nearly as productive as expected and the jury is still out on whether he was a wasted pick. WR Cooper Kupp was the Fantasy MVP after eight weeks but then disappeared off the map. WR Robert Woods continued to be the most consistent receiver on the team. WR Brandin Cooks is more name than game and is probably more of an afterthought in this offense than ever before. TE Tyler Higbee was the Rams best receiver in the last month of the season, but he only played because TE Gerald Everett was injured. Everett played much better than in 2018 so it will be interesting to see how the snaps will be divided in 2020. The Rams could certainly trade one of them and get a ton back.
Tanking for Tua never really happened as the Dolphins started to improve and won a few games. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick secured himself the job for at least one more season. Once RB Kenyan Drake was traded the Dolphins tried an army of players to no avail. RB Kalen Ballage was terrible, Mark Walton was dismissed from the team, and Patrick Laird was a marginal talent at best. WR DeVante Parker finally played to his full potential and earned a huge long-term contract with the team. Rookie WR Preston Williams played very well prior to his season-ending injury and is someone to file away as a sleeper next season. TE Mike Geisicki began to really pick up his play towards the middle of the season and should be a solid mid-round TE for Fantasy owners in 2020.
The Vikings opened up their offense and let QB Kirk Cousins air it out after muzzling him for the first quarter of the season. Cousins was up to the task and improved his play from 2018. Shockingly, RB Dalvin Cook stayed healthy and provided first-round Fantasy numbers. In 2020, pairing Cook with backup Alexander Mattison will be a tremendous advantage to Fantasy owners. WR Adam Thielen was injured for half the season but showed in the playoffs why he is still Cousins’ number one target. WR Stefon Diggs was inconsistent for much of the season, but was a great play in Best Ball formats. TE Kyle Rudolph was solid as usual and Rookie TE Irv Smith flashed a skill set that shows him to be a nice Fantasy sleeper in 2020.
New England Patriots
QB Tom Brady is a free agent, but I cannot imagine a scenario where he doesn’t return to the team. RB Sony Michel did not make the same impact in 2019 than he did in 2018. RB James White is the team’s best receiver out of the backfield. RB Rex Burkhead is a solid player, but completely unreliable for Fantasy purposes. WR Julian Edelman was a one-man Army for Brady this season. He was overused and suffered from a myriad of injuries especially later in the season. WR Mohamed Sanu did not make the impact that was hoped for when they acquired him. Rookie WR N’Keal Harry flashed potential towards the end of the season. Don’t be shocked to see TE Rob Gronkowski return for one more year in 2020.
New Orleans Saints
Another year and another horrible ending for a team that should have made a Super Bowl run. QB Drew Brees is still on the top of his game even if he is no longer a stud Fantasy QB. QBs Taysom Hill and Teddy Bridgewater both proved they could run the offense with Brees injured. RB Alvin Kamara had less than 800 yards rushing and had what could be considered a disappointing season. Backup RB Latavius Murray played well when Kamara was injured but did not get enough touches otherwise. WR Michael Thomas is the best wide receiver in the game and proved it again this season. WR Tre’Quan Smith is not close to becoming a competent WR2. TE Jared Cook flashed in spots but needed to be more consistent.
New York Giants
Pat Shurmur was finally fired, but why was GM Dave Gettleman spared? Giving up a third-round pick for Leonard Williams was a horrible move. QB Daniel Jones played much better than anticipated but still has a ton of maturing to do. RB Saquon Barkley struggled after his injury and it wasn’t until the last few weeks of the season that he played like his usual self. WR Sterling Shepard dealt with concussion issues for much of the season. He may not have a long career if this continues. WR Golden Tate played well in the slot. WR Darius Slayton was an exciting young receiver who shows great promise and could start on many teams. TE Evan Engram missed much of the season with a Lisfranc injury. TE Kaden Smith played well down the stretch and has secured a spot on the team moving forward. TE Rhett Ellison will likely be cut in the off-season.