You love fantasy football.
I love fantasy football.
But neither of us loves fantasy football as much as Tracy Rudolph loves fantasy football.
Hold that thought.
Kurt Rudolph has a fairly typical story.
Kurt is 34 years old, he grew up in Minnesota, started playing fantasy football in high school and went to college. He made some good friends in college, graduated, moved back to his home state to work and kept in touch with college buddies by, among other ways, playing in a fantasy league with them.
In 2012, he decided to take a trip to Kansas City to visit a couple of his fantasy football league buddies from college: Josh Christian and his wife, Susie, and the commish himself, Matthew Johnson. And while Kurt was there, Josh introduced him to his sister, Tracy, who was single.
A friendship formed between Kurt and Tracy and they kept in contact, emailing, texting and talking on the phone. And in May 2013, Kurt was once again back in KC, visiting his friends, including Tracy.
While Kurt was visiting, Tracy had a routine eye exam.
Except it didn’t stay routine for long. The ophthalmologist noticed something that didn’t look right and a little later that afternoon Tracy was getting an MRI.
Which showed she had a brain tumor.
And just like that, her life changed, as did all the lives of her friends and family.
As Kurt wrote, “Tracy had her first brain surgery in June of 2013, just one month after we started dating, and seven weeks after the initial diagnosis.”
Read that again. Think about that timeline.
Tracy finds out she has a brain tumor. And three weeks after that, her yearlong friendship with Kurt turns romantic and they start dating.
Some people, upon finding out someone they care for is very sick, would not be able to handle it and would quietly drift away.
Kurt Rudolph is not some people.
They, in fact, grew closer. They would face this together and, as Kurt wrote, a month after they started dating, Tracy went in for surgery. The surgery was a success and the thought was that she wouldn’t need another surgery for 10-20 years, because the tumor was slow-growing and benign.
You don’t go through something like that and not grow closer, so it was no surprise to their friends that in June 2015, Kurt and Tracy got married. They live together, they love together and maybe most importantly, they play fantasy football together.
They compete against each other in the Two-Minute Drillers league, a 10-team half-point-PPR, half-point-for-first-downs redraft league that has banned kickers. Comprised of college friends (including Josh and Matthew) and family, the league has three different couples competing with each other.
Tracy loves her some fantasy football. They set up two TVs in their house every Sunday, one for the Chiefs and one for Red Zone, and Tracy will watch football all day, from start to finish. Yeah, Tracy is one of us.
The league, and her fantasy football team, became increasingly important to Tracy.
That’s because, in 2017, Tracy noticed she was having a difficult time finding words and keeping her train of thought. The tumor was located on the left hemisphere of the brain, which mostly affected her speech. The chemo wasn’t working. The tumor had grown much faster than anticipated. She needed another surgery and she needed it soon.
Her surgeon, Kurt notes, is Dr. Paul Camarata, the head of neurosurgery at the University of Kansas, and he has given her excellent care.
Tracy’s second surgery for her brain tumor was planned for Dec. 12. Right during the fantasy semifinals, which Tracy was in.
Tracy had two important battles to win that day.
But first things first: At 7 a.m., Tracy was put under anesthesia. The surgery was supposed to last eight hours or so, but ended up lasting 12, which of course is not ideal.
You see, the interesting thing Kurt told me about this particular surgery was that once her surgeon opened up Tracy’s cranial cavity, they were going to “wake her up” with conscious sedation. They needed to do that so they could map the tumor and determine which areas of her brain were tumorous and which were vital. And the surgery was taking much longer than expected.
So while Tracy was “awake,” to continue to keep her talking and make sure they were able to map the tumor correctly, her speech pathologist started asking her specific questions … about her fantasy team. A subject Tracy was passionate about. So Tracy took the pathologist through her semifinal-bound roster (Drew Brees, Kareem Hunt, Adam Thielen, Doug Baldwin), the fact that David Johnson was injured and whether she should start Paul Richardson, among many fantasy-related topics.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The surgeon was able to correctly determine which areas of Tracy’s brain were tumorous and which were vital thanks to Tracy’s ability to focus enough during a 12-hour surgery to talk about her fantasy football team.
So when I say you and I don’t love fantasy football as much as Tracy Rudolph, I mean it.
After getting through a surgery like that, beating her husband in fantasy was no sweat. She moved on to the finals, but sadly was not able to bring home the title. Tracy blames Giovani Bernard for her finals loss, which makes sense. Even when you have a brain tumor, the Bengals still screw you. (My editor wouldn’t allow me to use the word I wanted, but regular 06010 podcast listeners know it quite well.)
I spoke to Kurt earlier this week to ask for an update on Tracy and he told me she’s doing as well as can be expected. Little victories.
She’s off chemo and after 33 days of radiation, her last MRI in April of this year showed the tumor is shrinking. She’s currently on disability from her job as a registered nurse while she goes though therapy, but she volunteers at her church’s pantry, she sings in the church choir and, of course, she’s prepping hard for the upcoming season in the Two-Minute Drillers league.
Turns out she lost in the finals again last year, as she rode Patrick Mahomes (she loves her Chiefs) to the finals, so she’s hoping the third year is the charm to take home the title. Her tumor is in the auditory processing part of her brain, making it tough for her to process things that are said to her. But, Kurt tells me, she can read perfectly.
So Tracy, if you are reading this, know that the entire fantasy football nation has your back. You’ve got this.
And as we slowly meander into the Week 1 Love/Hate and start our 2019 fantasy football journey, we know things won’t go as planned. Players will underperform, get hurt and we will make the wrong choices when it comes to starts and sits, waivers and trade evaluations. Why, there’s even a chance some bonehead will put someone in his “hate” list, only to see that player go off … while sitting on your bench. Because you dumbly listened to said bonehead.
And when those things happen, I want you to think of Tracy and Kurt, working to overcome more than just a bad fantasy football call, and succeeding.
Here’s hoping your journey this year is filled with victories, both big and small.
One last quick note before we start. Kurt reached out with his and Tracy’s story because he had read my column last year about Travis Anderson, the 38-year-old fantasy football commish and father of three who is battling his own brain tumor. I’m happy to report that I’ve heard from Travis recently and he tells me, “on the brain front, I’ve gotten clean scans all year.” As you read this, Travis will have just finished running his league’s draft. Awesome to hear, Travis. Keep fighting.
Time now for Love/Hate and as always, this is NOT a start or sit column. I don’t “love” or “hate” players. I do, however, “love” or “hate” their ESPN projection for PPR leagues. So that’s what this is. Players who are “loves” are players I believe will generally meet or exceed their ESPN projections. “Hates” are players I believe will fall short of their ESPN projections. That simple. For specific “this player or that player” questions, please always consult my rankings, which are constantly updated all the way through Sunday morning up until kickoff. You can also watch The Fantasy Show on ESPN+, which is expanding to four episodes a week this year.
And finally, don’t forget the Emmy Award-winning Fantasy Football Now returns for its 13th season. This Sunday only, we start on ESPNEWS at 10 a.m. ET and then we switch over to ESPN2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (following the Formula 1 race). Tune in! Lastly, a thank you as always to “Thirsty” Kyle Soppe of the 06010 podcast and The Stat-a-pillar from The Fantasy Show on ESPN+, Damian Dabrowski.
Week one. Let’s go.
Quarterbacks I love in Week 1
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles, vs. Redskins (ESPN projection: 19.3 points): You’ll call me a homer and you’d be right, but the Redskins’ defense is going to be good this season. Unfortunately, the offense won’t be, especially on the road against the Eagles with Case Keenum under center and no Trent Williams protecting his blind side. Expect a turnover or two, giving a short field to Wentz, who since the start of 2017 is the fifth-best QB in fantasy, which includes multiple touchdown passes in each of his past three games against Washington. Wentz is healthy and surrounded by the best supporting cast of his career, including a #revengegame narrative for DeSean Jackson. More on him later, but suffice it to say that last season the Redskins gave up multiple touchdown passes in nine games and Sunday, it will happen again.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys, vs. Giants (ESPN projection: 21.2 points): Wait, what? I’m a lifelong Redskins fan and my first two loves are the QBs of the Eagles and the Cowboys? Anyway, 21.2 is a big number for Dak, but I say he gets there in a game the Cowboys are favored to win by a touchdown. In wins last season, Prescott averaged 21.7 points and has averaged 23.0 in his past four games against the G-Men. With a less-than-usual workload in terms of touches expected for Ezekiel Elliott in Game 1, the offense will run through Prescott, who was the sixth-best QB in fantasy last season after Amari Cooper showed up. The Cowboys’ offensive line is healthy and faces a Giants team that was bottom three in sacks last season and has a lot of new faces that might take time to jell. How ’bout them Dakboys?
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, vs. 49ers (ESPN projection: 18.8 points): All the things that contributed to the “Tampa Bay QB” being awesome last season are back in place in 2019: A bad defense, a lack of run game, talented pass-catchers, a fantasy-friendly and a pass-first head coach and playcaller. Only one thing is missing: Ryan Fitzpatrick. This is Winston’s gig to lose, and while it won’t always be pretty, expect him to light up a 49ers defense that intercepted all of two passes last season. Not a misprint. Two. While giving up 35 touchdown passes. Winston is averaging 19.54 points for his career when throwing at least 28 passes and without throwing multiple interceptions. In a game with one of the five highest over/under numbers of the week in Vegas, Winston is an easy top-five play for me.
Others receiving votes: I’ve been all-in on Kyler Murray this offseason, so you think a subpar preseason performance or two will deter me? Remember, Cam Newton looked BRU-TAL in the preseason his rookie year only to ball out. The Lions spent the offseason bolstering their defense, but all these new faces who haven’t seen the real Arizona offense yet, making it hard to prep for. Murray’s rushing keeps his floor high here. … The Titans are a good defense, but they aren’t great. They beat up on some bad competition last season and tied for the most touchdown passes of 30-plus yards allowed. Think Baker Mayfield, in the home opener, finds Odell Beckham Jr. deep for at least one? Me too. … The Dolphins played four games last season against a QB who ranked top five in rushing yards at the position (Josh Allen twice, Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky). They were the four highest-scoring QB games against Miami all season (31.9 PPG). The Dolphins have done little this offseason to suggest their defense will turn it around, and the Ravens are road favorites by a touchdown. Give me all the Lamar Jackson this week. … Looking for a two-QB league starter, a cheap DFS play or still scrambling after Andrew Luck retired? Nick Foles should be usable in a deep-league sort of way, as he’ll very likely have to throw, and throw a lot, against the Chiefs in a game where the over/under is 52.5, second highest of the week.
Quarterbacks I hate in Week 1
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, at Bears (ESPN projection: 15.9 points): I get it. He’s Aaron Rodgers. And you spent a relatively high draft pick on him, so you’re probably starting him. But temper expectations. A new offense isn’t going to help the traditional slow road starter (less than 200 passing yards in four of his five career Week 1s on the road), especially in Chicago. The Bears were the No. 2 defense against QBs last season and A-Rod has exactly zero passing touchdowns is his past two games at Soldier Field.
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams, at Panthers (ESPN projection: 17.2 points): The 17th-best QB in fantasy when on the road last season, Goff travels east for a 1 p.m. local start behind a rebuilt Rams offensive line against a Carolina defense that blitzed at the fourth-highest rate last season. When pressured last season, Goff ranked 21st in both yards per attempt and TD percentage. I ultimately think he’ll be fine (I mean, the man did just get PAID), but the bar is so high for QBs these days, “fine” just doesn’t cut it. Against the team that had the fourth-most interceptions at home last season and ranked 10th best in opponents’ completion percentage, I have Goff outside my top 12 for Week 1.
Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers, vs. Colts (ESPN projection: 16.7 points): Either the Colts fold up and go home after the Andrew Luck retirement or they rise up with an “us against the world, no one believes in us” rallying cry. Gut call: it’s the latter, as this is a talented team with the right head coach and front office. The Colts also have a helluva defense that allowed three or more touchdown passes only twice in 2018, tied for the fourth fewest in the league. That’s important because Rivers adds nothing with his legs, so he needs to throw for scores to be worth it. With a bad offensive line made worse with Russell Okung’s absence and much less of a threatening run game to help with play-action, Rivers probably will be fine but has no upside. When all is said and done in Week 1, he is unlikely to have been worth starting in any 10- or 12-team league.
Running backs I love in Week 1
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings, vs. Falcons (ESPN projection: 16.6 points): Death, taxes and fantasy analysts mentioning that the Falcons allow a lot of RB receptions. But hey, Atlanta has allowed the most running back receptions in the league four years in a row. It’s not a coincidence, it’s a way of life. Cook’s issues have never been about talent but rather about health. Well, he’s healthy now and has caught at least three passes in nine of his past 11 games. Remember, in the three games Cook played last season under offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski he averaged 110 yards from scrimmage and scored twice. He’ll likely be a popular selection in DFS this week, and rightfully so. Can you smell what Dalvin is cooking? Sorry. I’ll show myself out.
James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers, at Patriots (ESPN projection: 15.2 points): On the road for a season opener in New England is no fun for anyone, especially an offense in transition with regard to its passing game due to the departure of Antonio Brown. That means you can expect a heavy dose of Conner. Last season, when Conner got at least 18 touches, he averaged 28.9 fantasy PPG and scored multiple touchdowns in five of those seven games. The preseason eased any running back by committee (RBBC) concerns for Conner, who will once again get a massive touch share in a game with one of Week 1’s highest over/under totals.
Mark Ingram II, Baltimore Ravens, at Dolphins (ESPN projection: 14.3 points): You know, as fantasy analysts, sometimes we dig really deep into the data, the film study or get a great tip from a source to unearth an obscure gem to recommend a start. This is not one of those times. Once Lamar Jackson became the starter last season, the Ravens had the second-highest run percentage in the NFL. Ingram is their starting running back (#analysis). Even if rumors of Baltimore’s offense being more wide open this season turn out to be true, the Ravens are 7-point favorites against a defense that gave up the third-most yards per play last season and is probably worse this season. Just because it’s obvious doesn’t mean it’s not true.
Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders, vs. Broncos (ESPN projection: 15.8 points): One issue with declaring someone your 2019 fantasy ride-or-die? People overdraft him in leagues you are in and you don’t have nearly enough shares of him as you’d like. Those jerks in my leagues are about to be handsomely rewarded, too, as Jacobs is going to get a ton of work against Denver. In a game Vegas has as a pick ’em, the game should be close enough for Jon Gruden to make good on his promise to keep riding Jacobs. In 2018, a running back got 20-plus touches against Denver 10 times. In all 10 of those instances, the back went over 95 total yards OR scored a TD. A quiet preseason erupts into a fantasy star Monday night.
Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks, vs. Bengals (ESPN projection: 15.7 points): The season-long love starts with a big Week 1. The Seahawks employed not only the run-heaviest offense in the NFL last season, but actually hold that distinction over the past seven seasons. NBC Sports reported that, heading into the team’s third preseason game, Rashaad Penny was losing ground on Carson in terms of a role in this offense. Carson ended last season with four straight games of at least 90 rushing yards and a TD. The Seahawks are an almost double-digit home favorite, so Carson will be busy and productive Sunday.
Others receiving votes: If there was a list of running backs with the best odds to score a touchdown this week, Jordan Howard would have to be at the top of the list. Miles Sanders is coming, but not yet, and of the 24 running backs since 2016 to have 60 or more red zone carries, only Alvin Kamara and David Johnson have converted a higher percentage of those carries into scores than Howard. As an almost double-digit home favorite, expect Howard to salt the game away and hit paydirt. … On the road against the NFL’s worst red zone defense from a year ago, I like both Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida in a flex sort of way in what should be one of Week 1’s highest-scoring games. … While Carlos Hyde is still introducing himself to his fifth set of teammates in less than three years, Duke Johnson Jr. should be getting a lot of work, both on the ground and in the passing game, as the feature back in a game with Week 1’s highest over/under. … For super-deep leagues or a cheap DFS punt, I bet we see more Ty Montgomery on Sunday than you’d think. Le’Veon Bell might not get a full workload early on and the Bills gave up the sixth-most RB targets last season, so 10 or so useful touches are possible for Montgomery.
Running backs I hate in Week 1
Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets, vs. Bills (ESPN projection: 16.4 points): Didn’t see this one coming, did you? Didn’t play in the entire preseason, didn’t play all last season, there have been hints that they might ease him back in and Ty Montgomery may split some touches. It’s not a great offensive line, the Bills-Jets game is the second-lowest over/under on the Week 1 slate, and by the way, the Bills figure to have a pretty good defense. If you drafted him you have to play him, but I’m taking the under on 16.4 points.
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans, at Browns (ESPN projection: 13.9 points): Even in Henry’s “breakout” last season, he still averaged only seven points in games in which the Titans lost. He’s not involved in the passing game, so he needs Tennessee to win or be competitive to get his and I’m not convinced they are that close in this one. Neither is Vegas, as the Browns are 5 1/2-point favorites. Coming off a nagging calf injury, it’s worth remembering that in the 16 games prior to his Week 14-17 explosion last season, Henry averaged just 3.29 yards per carry.
Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins, vs. Ravens (ESPN projection: 13.1 points): The 2018 Ravens allowed the second-fewest running back fantasy points last season, the third-fewest yards per carry and were one of two defenses that did not allow a single carry of 25-plus yards to a running back. NFL Nation Dolphins reporter Cameron Wolfe projected a timeshare in this Miami backfield at the beginning of August, before Drake suffered a foot injury that set him back roughly two weeks in the season prep process. Plus, this is an offensive line that just got worse with the trade of Laremy Tunsil. Kenyan Drake. Rap artist Drake. Matthew Berry. Matthew Perry … we all had the same number of games with at least 15 carries last season. Lack of volume, bad O-line and a bad matchup. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how do you like Drake this week?
Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears, vs. Packers (ESPN projection: 11.5 points): David Montgomery impressed plenty this preseason and that has Cohen back in a role that is going to be tough to rely on consistently. Don’t believe me? Fine, will you believe Matt Nagy? He said two weeks ago that he “probably gave Cohen a little bit too much” last season. I like the Bears to control this game and that’s bad news for Cohen’s volume, especially against a Packers team that was tied for the second-fewest RB receptions allowed last season.
Pass-catchers I love in Week 1
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings, vs. Falcons (ESPN projection: 15.3): The Falcons allowed the fifth-most red zone slot completions last season, were 27th against wide receivers, and as of this writing (Wednesday night), Stefon Diggs missed practice and is banged up. Given that Vegas has the over-under at 47 1/2 (with the Vikes being 4-point favorites), I like the Vikings’ chances of scoring more than 20 points Sunday. When the Vikings scored more than 20 points last season, Thielen averaged 21.1 fantasy points. Oh yeah, gimme the over on 15.3.
Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks, vs. Bengals (ESPN projection: 12.8 points): With David Moore banged up, rookie DK Metcalf having missed most of training camp with his own injury, Jaron Brown never having found consistency with Seattle and Doug Baldwin retired, Sunday should be the Tyler Lockett show. Last year, when Baldwin was off the field, Lockett was targeted on more than 23% of routes. Last season, there were nine instances of a wide receiver getting 10 or more targets versus Cincinnati. Those wideouts averaged 18.14 PPG. For comparison’s sake, last season on a per-game basis, Mike Evans was WR10 with 18.15 PPG.
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, vs. 49ers (ESPN projection: 12.6 points): As one of my favorite breakouts this year, I am required by fantasy analyst law to have him on the “love” list this week. You know I think Winston is gonna rock, you know there are more than 200 targets available with Adam Humphries and DeSean Jackson gone. Speaking of D-Jax, Godwin has averaged 1.93 fantasy points per target with Jackson off the field. For reference, Julio Jones averaged 1.92 points per target last season and Antonio Brown 1.90. Godwin isn’t Julio or AB, but in a shootout against undermanned slot corner K’Waun Williams, he should definitely beat 12.6 points.
Evan Engram, New York Giants, at Cowboys (ESPN projection: 11.9): I mentioned this in the preseason Love/Hate, but it’s worth mentioning again. Over the past two seasons (2017-18), Engram has played in 15 games without Odell Beckham Jr. He averaged 13.4 PPG in those games. In the final four games last season without Beckham but WITH Saquon Barkley, Engram had at least 75 receiving yards and averaged 16.2 points per game. No Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard was banged up during most of the preseason and the G-Men are 7-point underdogs. They will likely have to throw a lot and when they throw, they’ll throw to Engram.
O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, vs. 49ers (ESPN projection: 10.3): See Winston, Jameis. Or Godwin, Chris. Or imagine what I would have written about Evans, Mike. I’m on the Bucs in this one and excited to see what a healthy Howard does in Bruce Arians’ offense. Last year, when healthy, Howard ranked fifth among TEs in slot points per game (7.01). Last season, the Niners allowed a TD on a league-high 10.6% of slot pass attempts.
Others receiving votes: Fully healthy and ready for a shootout in New Orleans, I like Will Fuller V this week against a Saints defense that last season allowed opponents to complete deep passes at the second-highest rate in the NFL. … A favorite for a few years now and a preseason sleeper, Dede Westbrook is another guy who should benefit from a high-scoring game. Especially considering the Chiefs gave up the seventh-most slot yards last season and K.C. slot corner Kendall Fuller is no match for the guy Jags offensive coordinator John DiFilippo called “the best route runner I’ve ever been around.”… Hashtag revenge game for DeSean Jackson and while I don’t buy into stuff like that, I do buy into the idea that Wentz will take some deep shots to D-Jax and with Josh Norman expected to spend a decent amount of time on Alshon Jeffery, they’ll scheme him open. … I’ve been talking up Raiders tight end Darren Waller since the NFL combine when Oakland offensive coordinator Greg Olson came on our podcast and gushed about him. Well, it’s time for the size/speed freak to show up against a Broncos team that last season allowed the fourth-most yards per pass attempt to tight ends. … If Jordan Reed plays for Washington, he’s a high-upside pick in a game in which the Skins are going to be forced to throw.
Pass-catchers I hate in Week 1
T.Y Hilton, Indianapolis Colts, at Chargers (ESPN projection: 12.8 points): I’m actually a “Jacoby Brissett won’t hurt Hilton that much” truther. But on the road, in the first start for Brissett in a while … and this is a tough matchup against a Chargers team that last season allowed the fifth-fewest wide receiver points, allowed just six deep TD passes (tied for third fewest) and 45 deep completions (tied for ninth fewest). As Mike Clay notes in his must-read, terrific WR/CB matchup column, Hilton is expected to see shadow coverage from Casey Hayward, at least when he is on the outside. Better days are ahead for Hilton, but odds say Sunday isn’t going to be one of them.
Robby Anderson, New York Jets, vs. Bills (ESPN projection: 11.4 points): I had Anderson ranked as a top-25 receiver this preseason and I generally think this Jets offense can impress … starting next week on ESPN’s Monday Night Football — I’m a company man. This week, Anderson will draw shadow coverage from Tre’Davious White. Davante Adams, Keenan Allen and Corey Davis were all held more than 22% below their season averages when they played the Bills (between the three: 27 targets, no touchdowns, no receptions gaining more than 25 yards). With this being one of only two games that opened with a Vegas total below 40 points, this isn’t a spot where I’m expecting fantasy fireworks.
Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers, vs. Colts (ESPN projection: 12.7 points): Like Anderson, I’m a fan of BMW (Big Mike Williams) for the season as a whole, but I’m not going that direction this weekend. Indy, the third-best defense against wide receivers last season, ranked 11th in touchdown prevention on red zone drives, a strength amplified by the fact that the Colts ranked third in terms of limiting such drives. As we’ve discussed, a bad offensive line means a lot of dump-offs to Ekeler and close-to-the-line-of-scrimmage stuff with Keenan Allen.
Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts, at Chargers (ESPN projection: 7.4 points): He was on the preseason hate list for the inevitable touchdown regression, and that was before Andrew Luck hung it up. Ebron needs to score to be fantasy-relevant and that’s unlikely against a Bolts team that was 10th best in opponents’ red zone completion percentage (52.1%) and sixth best in red zone pass TD rate (21.1%).
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns, vs. Titans (ESPN projection: 8.9 points): Given how much Baker Mayfield spreads it around, it’s hard to see enough volume for Njoku to overcome a tough matchup against a Titans squad that was the second-best defense against fantasy TEs last season and the second-best red zone defense. It’s less likely he gets the TD he will need to bail you out.
Matthew Berry — The Talented Mr. Roto — still has not mentally prepared himself for the idea that he might have to say nice things about LeSpoiler McCoy now that he’s on the Chiefs.