“Nothing in life is of any value unless you can share it with other people.”
The above quote I heard from George Raveling convinced me to share the following three players with you, each of which I believe are undervalued at their current rankings. Sharing my deepest, darkest fantasy intelligence feels very counterintuitive, but hopefully the fantasy gods will reward my self-sabotage with a sizable Venmo receipt at the end of the season. The Charles Schwab Challenge didn’t do me any favors…
As mentioned, below you’ll find three potential bargains for your 2020 fantasy draft, as well as a few pieces of entertainment that got me through my week. Hope you enjoy.
Note: ADP and position rank pulled from FantasyPros consensus PPR rankings as of June 13, 2020.
Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams – ADP: 48 | WR16
After eclipsing 130+ targets, 86+ catches, and 1,134+ yards in each of the last two seasons, Woods is one of the safest receivers you’ll find. The departures of Brandin Cooks and Todd Gurley leave a combined 121 targets to be allocated across Woods, Kupp, Josh Reynolds, Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, and the rookies Van Jefferson and Cam Akers. Certainly Woods will receive a share of those.
Down the stretch of last season, Sean McVay opted against his trademark three-wideout sets in favor of a heavier two tight end look. Woods popped in the Rams’ last five games, averaging 20.5 points per outing. This coincided with a decline in production from Cooper Kupp, who posted only 52.7 receiving yards per game in the last seven weeks of the season.
Both Kupp and Woods are due for opposite touchdown regression. In 2019, Kupp caught 10 while Woods caught just two — a sharp dip from six scores in 2018.
Over the past two seasons, Robert Woods has finished as WR11 and WR14. If you need a safe WR2 with WR1 upside in 2020, Woods is your guy.
James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers – ADP: 43 | RB20
RB20 is a steal for James Conner. It’s almost as if the injury concerns have been baked into his RB20 ranking. In my opinion, that is an awful way to approach your draft. Lamar Jackson has a slim frame and carried the ball 265 times last season. When Conner finished as RB6 in 2018, he carried the ball 215 times. If the experts are factoring in injury risk, shouldn’t Lamar be ranked a few spots lower heading into 2020? This school of thought doesn’t add up for me.
Through the first eight weeks of last season, Conner was RB9. That was with Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges starting weeks 3-8. Conner will be the beneficiary of a vastly improved offense with Ben Roethlisberger back under center, and Mike Tomlin has consistently relied upon a “featured-runner” in his offensive systems — that won’t change in 2020.
After the first two rounds, there is a steep decline in reliable RB talent this year. Conner has the proven ability and opportunity to be a three-down back in an offense that ranked top 10 in points per game and yards per play in 2018. The upside is too high not to take a chance on him in the fourth round. If you pull the trigger, be sure to handcuff him with Benny Snell with one of your last two bench spots.
Derrius Guice, RB, Washington Redskins – ADP: 80 | RB31
“Third time’s a charm.” This is the mentality Guice-truthers bring into the 2020 campaign. After playing in only five games in two seasons, Guice is bound to have better luck in his third go-around.
The former LSU standout is still just 22 years of age and filled with potential. In a minuscule NFL sample-size (42 carries), Guice has averaged 5.8 yards per carry and looks explosive after the catch. This is consistent with his insane numbers from college, where he averaged 7.6 and 5.3 yards per carry in his sophomore and junior seasons.
There isn’t much data to scrape on Guice at the professional level, but I firmly believe he has Pro Bowl talent. For the fantasy managers that go heavy on receivers or take a quarterback or tight end early, Guice is a potential league winner in rounds 6-8 of your draft. The knees are looking healthy!
Something to bookmark: 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice by Kevin Kelly
Kevin Kelly was hired as founding executive editor of Wired magazine in 1992 and now serves under the title of “Senior Maverick.” His ’68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice’ stumbled into my inbox around a month ago and immediately got bookmarked for me to revisit. Whether it’s “never use a credit card for credit” or “if you are not falling down occasionally, you are just coasting”, you are bound to find a bit you needed to hear today. This podcast expands on a few of his quips.
The 2013 drama ‘Fruitvale Station’ is starred by Michael B. Jordan, focusing on 22 year-old Oscar Grant’s struggle to remake himself in life after prison. This true story is more relevant than ever amidst the worldwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism, and I highly recommend watching it if you haven’t already.
One of my all-time favorite podcasts: Coach George Raveling — A Legend on Sports, Business, and The Great Game of Life on The Tim Ferriss Show
People say books can be formative, but I would argue podcasts can be just as powerful. I first listened to this episode in the fall of 2018 and re-listened to it this week to bring Raveling’s positivity back into my life. Coach George Raveling owns the original copy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, was the first black basketball coach in the Big 10 conference, was instrumental in signing Michael Jordan to Nike, and is still going strong at the age of 82. This man is a national treasure.