Prepping for the upcoming fantasy soccer season requires asking robust questions.
Which NFL groups are arrange for fulfillment? Which groups are set to battle? The place can fantasy managers mine for latent fantasy expertise? Which model title stars may really disappoint?
All through June, I will sift by way of each division and spotlight probably the most urgent fantasy query going through every group. First up, the AFC North.
Can J.Okay. Dobbins be trusted to complete inside the highest 30 fantasy producers at operating again?
Dobbins sustained a grade 3 ACL tear in August 2021. However that wasn’t all. He additionally suffered tears to his LCL, hamstring and meniscus. Due to this fact, his return-to-play timeline was extra difficult than the common 9 to 10 months. It wasn’t till after an arthroscopic “cleanup” process in Week 7 (which required six weeks of rehab) that Dobbins lastly rebounded. He managed a mean of 14 carries over his closing 5 video games (together with postseason). Assuming he is more healthy now than he was in January, that workload ought to stay steady, on the very least. There’s an opportunity, in truth, that it may improve with the arrival of Todd Monken, whose offense initiatives to convey extra aerial motion. A possible improve in targets would solely add to Dobbins’ general enchantment.
It is also value noting that Dobbins recorded an environment friendly 6.55 YPC in these aforementioned 5 contests. And he did that with Tyler Huntley — not Lamar Jackson — beneath middle. Not surprisingly, Jackson’s presence turbocharges the entire of the Ravens Nest. Dobbins, specifically, has averaged 47 extra yards per sport when Jackson is on the sector than when he is sidelined. Furthermore, Dobbins has posted 1.05 fantasy factors per contact all through his profession when Jackson was the starter. At that price, even 12 touches per sport would land Dobbins inside the highest 30 on the place (11.1 PPG was ok for RB30 final season).
Takeaway: Dobbins is anticipated to steer the Ravens’ backfield in touches, which gives him with a top-30 positional flooring and potential RB2 upside.
Is Joe Mixon being overvalued or undervalued by fantasy managers?
Fantasy heads have been speculating about Mixon’s future in Cincinnati since earlier than final season was even over. Whereas there was good cause for the suspicion, Mixon has outlasted free company and the draft. The Bengals let Samaje Perine stroll again in March and waited till the fifth spherical so as to add Chase Brown in April’s draft. Prefer it or not, the soon-to-be 27-year-old stays the first ball provider in a top-five offense.
Mixon has managed greater than 16 carries per sport all through his profession whereas clearing 1,200 scrimmage yards in 4 of these six seasons. Moreover, he is improved as a pass-catcher and has set profession highs in receiving yards in back-to-back seasons. He is additionally been inside the highest 12 in fantasy factors per sport since Joe Burrow turned the group’s quarterback. There could also be flashier names obtainable within the fifth spherical, however Mixon stays a dependable supply of manufacturing.
Takeaway: Mixon’s sturdy position in an electrical offense makes him a top-15 fantasy possibility at RB.
The beneath vets are at present being drafted across the similar time within the fifth(ish) spherical of 12-team workouts.
Which “lifeless zone” RB do you imagine is almost definitely to ROI in redraft codecs? #fantasyfootball
– Liz Loza (@LizLoza_FF) Might 23, 2023
Will Deshaun Watson return to QB1 standing this season?
He is inside my high 10 QBs, in order that’s a sure for me.
Watson averaged 0.73 fantasy factors per completion in Cleveland final season. He recorded 0.82 fantasy factors per completion throughout his closing two years in Houston. Given the chaos-filled 700 days between begins, a fractional decline in effectivity is frankly astounding. It additionally suggests the likelihood of a bounce again, significantly when noting Watson could have a full offseason earlier than enjoying 4 of his first 5 regular-season video games at dwelling.
Finally, nonetheless, Watson’s fantasy worth is in his legs. The Clemson product averaged six speeding makes an attempt per sport in 2022. Assuming he stays wholesome and maintains the identical common, Watson will clear 100 speeding makes an attempt in 2023. For context, 4 of the 5 QBs who went over 100 speeding makes an attempt final season completed contained in the top-10 producers (Lamar Jackson, who completed as QB14 regardless of lacking 5 video games, was the fifth).
Takeaway: Watson’s mobility buoys his fantasy inventory and makes him a low-end QB1 in 10- and 12-team leagues.
Is Diontae Johnson probably the most undervalued WR in drafts this season?
Johnson is changing into one of many extra polarizing gamers in fantasy circles. He completed twenty eighth amongst fantasy WRs in 2022. Heading into this season, he is at present our WR26 within the consensus ranks. So, no, I do not assume he is “undervalued,” however I do assume there’s room for revenue.
A lot of Johnson’s upside is linked to Kenny Pickett’s potential progress. Over the previous 5 seasons, there are 14 cases of a WR averaging higher than 14.5 fantasy factors per sport with a Yr 2 QB. Johnson could not have Tyreek Hill’s velocity or DeAndre Hopkins’ physicality, however he is not so completely different from Sterling Shepard (who managed 14.85 PPG with then-sophomore Daniel Jones in 2020).
Even when Pickett does not make an enormous leap, Johnson ought to nonetheless submit fantasy-relevant numbers. Quantity alone — he is gone over 140 targets for 3 consecutive campaigns — figures to maintain the Toledo product’s fantasy inventory afloat. Moreover, he is due for constructive regression within the TD division after failing to achieve the top zone in 2022. Johnson seems to have hit his flooring final season.
Takeaway: Johnson’s quantity and sure TD regression put him on monitor to rebound inside the highest 25 WRs this go-round.
Observe Liz on Twitter: @LizLoza_FF