This week on Levack and Goz, the show had a fantasy football expert join the show once a week to give their predictions for the season. If you missed any of the interviews, click on the full playlist below.
Now the staff at 1045 The Team is offering their Do's and Don'ts for the upcoming year. Who do you agree and disagree with? What players do you love and hate for fantasy football in 2018? Let us know below.
Jeff Levack, Co host of Levack and Goz 2-7pm
Fantasy Player you love this season and why: Jimmy Garppolo - I think Jimmy G and Kyle Shanahan will have a similar relationship to the great QB/HC relationships of all time. They will work together so well it will make Jimmy a top performer on the field starting this season.
Fantasy Player you hate this season and why: Case Keenum - Bad fit in Denver and really not a great player at all.
Fantasy Player you love this season and why: Kenyon Drake - Look for the Dolphins offense to RUN through the Running game with Drake being the feature.
Fantasy Player you hate this season and why: LeSean McCoy - I'm a little worried about the legal issues and inexperience at QB.
Fantasy Player you love this season and why: Amari Cooper - In Gruden I trust
Fantasy Player you hate this season and why: Brandon Cooks - see Case Keneum
Fantasy Player you love this season and why: Rob Gronkowski...he's ROB GRONKOWSKI.
Fantasy Player you hate this season and why: Evan Engram - He'll be good but I worry about a sophomore slump and Eli will have a lot of weapons to choose from.
Tom "Goz" Goslowski co-host Levack and Goz 2-7pm
QB Love Phillip Rivers
I'm still shocked about the lack of love for Rivers in the 2018 pre fantasy football season. Some projections had him anywhere between 11th-19th!! The guy let the NFL in 300 yard passing games (some leagues reward weekly 300 yard games as bonus points) and he hasn't EVER missed a start in his entire career. He throws the ball a ton, he doesn't miss games and he is a consistent scorer. That's a DREAM fantasy football player. The two knocks on
QB Hate Jimmy Garoppolo/DeShaun Watson
So "hate" is too strong of a word here for both players. I think they both can have fantastic seasons. However the issue with both Watson and Jimmy G is WHERE they are being drafted. Depending on scoring, some leagues are projecting both of these guys between the 4th-7th best QBs. Jimmy G played 5 games as a starter. Watson played 7. Personally I would rather go with options of Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford and Big Ben who have been more consistent scoring Top 8-12 QBs than Watson and Jimmy G. Both nice players but the hype is hurting their stock.
RB Love Jordan Howard
One of our producer's Eric Hannamann (see his picks below), said to me "Isn't Jordan Howard the fantasy running back you love every year?" Well if two years is every year then yes! Again I love Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard. Back to back years of being a top 10 running back in scoring. PPR league fans may not be as high on Howard because of Cohen in others stealing receptions but Howard still produces. I'm not sure if it's regional, or rookie love or PPR but for some reason Howard falls in drafts. Find Howard and get him on your roster in 2018.
RB Hate Kareem Hunt
Hunt lit up the NFL and fantasy football scoring charts in 2017. However some owners may forget that Hunt almost went a full 2 months (8 weeks) without finding the end zone again. Buyer beware with Hunt. If you love him, more power to you. But for people like me who remember that Hunt was the Chiefs' back up running back in most of August, I wouldn't reach on him even as a first round pick.
WR Love Mike Evans
Remember 2017? If you don't it was the year between 2016 and 2018. Most fantasy football experts had Mike Evans as the #2 (two!) fantasy WR. One year happens and everyone thinks he is awful. Mike Evans is the ultimate "pizza" player in fantasy football. When pizza is good, it's really good. When pizza is bad, it is still good. Evans finished between 20th-26th in WR scoring last year. If he is sitting in the middle of the 3rd round don't walk RUN to your podium/computer and draft him. If Tampa Bay isn't good for a month, Evans is guy who will get a ton of looks.
WR Hate Brandin Cooks
What's the deal with the Cooks fantasy love? He has had Drew Brees and Tom Brady throw him the football as a #1 WR target and he truly hasn't emerged as a top 10 WR player. However now people believe the Rams offense can help him become one? This is a tricky one for me as I believe Cooks will be a guy that gets you some 60-80 yard TD grabs (some leagues offer that as a bonus) that could help. The lack of consistency week to week scares me away from him in drafts.
TE Love David Njoku
In leagues Njoku finished between 17th-22nd on average in scoring. However the plays the second year player for the Browns has me drooling over his potential. A perfect fit for what could be a very improved Browns offense. I know targets will go to Gordon, Landry and the backfield. But Njoku is a chain mover. Plus a touchdown scorer. A 15th-18th flyer pick on Njoku could prove for you to have a starter for 13 regular season weeks. I love Njoku in 2018.
TE Hate: Jimmy Graham (Green Bay Packers)
I understand Packers won't love this hate pick by me BUT it's usually not the Tight Ends who get that love with Aaron Rodgers. Who have done this before haven't we? So many people thought Martellus Bennett would be great. He wasn't. Most people thought Jermichael Finley would be a stand out in fantasy. He wasn't. I'm not buying a tight end for Rodgers being a huge difference. Graham is not anywhere close to being the Saints Graham. He will rely on redzone TD's sure. But that's so hit and miss be careful on reaching on a player like him.
Eric Hannaman, fill in host/producer
QB I love this season: Phillip Rivers of the Los Angeles Chargers: This feels like a Mission Impossible movie in a sense that Rivers continues to be berated by the rankers and fantasy players alike and continues to be ranked as a mid-teens QB. While they may be right in real life, for fantasy he continues to put out top-10 seasons. He still has good weapons around him too so your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to nab Rivers as your QB late in your drafts.
QB I hate this season: Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints: It is not that I believe that Brees won’t finish as a top-10 QB this season, it is simply put that the pure volume which made him a fantasy monster is no longer there. A really good running game and an improved defense which makes for less time spent trailing in games, make this different from Brees’ peak fantasy years and is why I am not reaching on him in drafts this season.
RB I love this season: Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans. With DeMarco Murray retired and set to become a college football analyst, I firmly intend the Heisman trophy winner Henry to take a full workload. I expect just about every goal line carry to go to him and while Albany native Dion Lewis will take away from his receiving game, Henry has had impressive YAC numbers in his young career.
RB I hate this season: Leonard Fournette of the Jacksonville Jaguars: Hate is a strong word but I have a hard time using too high of a pick on Fournette this season. With that pass offense still being suspect, expect opposing defenses to key on the running game. The 3.9 YPC in his rookie year also leaves a lot to be desired but this doesn’t count him out for a good season. It is just a matter of return on investment which I’m wary of this season. I love an Alabama RB and hate a LSU RB here; you have to know now that I’m not biased! (Geaux Tigers!)
WR I love this season: Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots: I have not figured out yet if this is a popular pick in the middle of drafts but I would definitely take Edelman in the 7th or 8th round because once he returns from his suspension, he is at least a WR2 with WR1 upside in PPR leagues. I can’t tell you for sure if you will be sniped by someone else with the same idea but I will say I will take the floor and area of this selection over what you will have to pay on the hype for Josh Gordon.
WR I hate this season: Stefon Diggs of the Minnesota Vikings: A QB upgrade always causes fantasy owners to give some WR’s a spike in value and while Kirk Cousins is indeed an upgrade, let’s not continue to diminish what Case Keenum did last season in Minneapolis. Diggs has been a bit of boom or bust and while that could lead to impressive overall numbers, that makes me worried about that Week 12 matchup where I am a fringe playoff team where he only ends up with 2 REC’s and 32 YDS. Durability also remains a concern as well as another top receiver to fight for targets with in Adam Thielen.
TE I love this season: Jack Doyle of the Indianapolis Colts: Regardless of who is under center in Indy, I like Jack Doyle. Last season he caught 80 passes and was consistently targeted. You hope for more than 4 touchdowns this season but the prospect of playing with Andrew Luck most of this season is big for the obvious reason of an upgrade at the position. But Luck has always seemed to favor his TE especially in the redzone which makes me just fine if I end up with Doyle in the late rounds. (O’) Doyle Rules!
TE I hate this season: Trey Burton of the Chicago Bears: This is simply because I have not seen him be a number 1 TE before and with the price tag being a top-10 TE, I would make sure to get a second option pretty quickly because I’m not sure what to expect from him. The prospects are high because of the targets available in Chicago however I have burned at basing draft picks on 1 or 2 random impressive games in previous seasons before (i.e. Jared Cook) and I would happily use a higher pick on someone with a better floor especially at this sparse position. If you end up with Burton, make sure to grab a Njoku or even O.J. Howard for some kind of depth at the position.
Mike James, producer
LOVE LOVE Jared Goff
I absolutely love Jared Goff this year! He is in his third full year in the league, and his second year in the Sean McVay offense! He thrived last year once he got out of the Jeff Fisher system. He threw for almost 4000 yards and 28 touchdowns and only threw 7 interceptions! He had the likes of Robert Woods and a very iffy Sammy Watkins. Plus the young up and coming rookie wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett also played a huge factor. And of course getting to hand the ball off to the human freak show Todd Gurley III isn’t a terrible thing either! Add in one of my favorite receivers in the NFL in Brandin Cooks and I think Goff is poised for a monster year and maybe some hardware at the end of it in the form of an NFL MVP! Watch out for Goff possible 5000 plus yards and 40 touchdowns to carry your fantasy football team this year!
Taylor Lattimore, producer
Love: DeShaun Watson
I was saying it last year and I'll say it again for those in the back: DeShaun Watson is 100% legit. The guy played in 7 games last year and if you extrapolate his averages to a full season he puts up a line of 3,883 yards, a ridiculous 43 tds and his completion percentage sat at 61.8 for the 7 games he played. Sure he's coming off an injury and he only has 7 games under his belt, but last year people were all saying that at some point he'd have to drop off but he continued to torch defenses game after game. I'm not gonna reach on him in a draft but make no mistake hes gonna finish in the Top 10 of Qbs, probably top 5, maybe even top 3. Take it to the bank!
One of the best offensive lines in football can only do so much for you. Dak had a regression year last year and I don't believe that his ceiling is anywhere close to the top of the QB ranks. He has lost Jason Witten and Dez Bryant,two of his favorite targets and with Zeke back the Cowboys are going to ride their workhorse back more than ever. The only saving grace will be if they use Zeke in the passing game but that remains to be seen. Bottom line is there just isn't anywhere for Dak to throw and there's a back thats going to eat up TDs. I advise you stay away from Dak if possible.
Love: Sony Michel
The top RBs in all drafts are studs. Bell, Gurley, Zeke, Johnson, Kamara, Barkely, and Hunt will all be fine barring injury. Take any one of them in any spot and I'm not going to argue with you. So I'm going to go out on a limb and take a flier that I believe will succeed. Sony Michel, the Patriots first round pick back, will emerge out of that crowded backfield to take charge. He's dealing with a slight injury that should be fine come week 1 or at most week 2. In college he showcased explosive play making and almost helped Georgia beat the Crimson Tide. Hes the kind of shifty, quick, pass catching running back that NE loves to use. Hes Dion Lewis 2.0 with a chance of being much better and I think he will emerge out of the Pats backfield as the premier back before the end of the year. Dion Lewis went point-for-point with Todd Gurley in the fantasy playoffs last year and in my opinion Michel has just as much upside if not more. If you can be patient, Sony will not disappoint.
Jon Gruden or not, Marshawn Lynch is past his prime. I would not trust that Lynch can get more than 2, max 3, 100 yard rushing games. He might bail out a view games by making it into the endzone but those will be few and far in between. He is not the player he used to be and unless Gruden is planning on using Lynch instead of Carr for most plays hes not worth it to draft. He's an injury risk, he's getting old, and his QB has so many passing weapons Lynch will get lost in the shuffle.
Love: Julian Edelman
The best thing about Edelman is that if you play your cards right, you could get a top 10 WR somewhere in rounds 4-7. Coming off an ACL means almost nothing in today's sports world. Adrian Peterson almost broke the rushing record and won an MVP award coming off an ACL and MCL tear. Keenan Allen returned from ACL last year and lit it up and returned to top 5 status (Love him too, DO NOT under draft him). So if we ignore his injury he is the most reliable and favorite target of Tom Brady, after maybe only Gronk, and he will return to form and get plenty of targets many of which will be for TDs. The best part about Edleman is the fact that hes suspended for the first 4 games of the season. I know you might be thinking of that as a negative but its not and here's why; because hes not available for 4 weeks his draft stock plummets so he can be drafted late after you've already built a solid team. Sure he wont help you win the first 4 weeks but I don't remember a league that was won in week 4 and not in weeks 13-17. He will be there for the playoff push, the playoffs, and the championship if you make it. Leagues aren't won in the first 4 weeks, remember that. 0-4 can turn into 9-4 real quick.
Hate: Sammy Watkins
I'm sorry, I don't have a lot of reasoning for this one because the story of Sammy Watkins just doesn't make sense. He's a freak athlete with all the tools to be a top flight WR but it just never seems like he takes off. Games with 1, 2, 3, 4, receptions just doesn't cut it. He has good games every once in a blue moon but on the whole hes just been disappointing every step of the way. Add in a rookie QB who's likely to find Tyreek Hill a more reliable target and it turns me right off of Watkins. Draft him at your own risk, you have been warned.
The TE position is hard to draft. If you dont get a top 5 guy the drop off is steep. Draft RB early cause WR is a deep position, TE is something you want to look at early. After you're set on RB look to TE and try to get one of the top guys because outside of that you're searching for lightning in a bottle and your guess is as good as mine. But if you're looking at the top, I say go Ertz. The Eagles are confident, Wentz will be on the rampage, and Ertz is a solid favorite target who will be a reliable start day in and day out. Gronk gets hurt way to much, and Kelce is working with a lot of weapons and a rook. They will probably go first so you could get Ertz late rd. 3 or rd.4.
Hate: Charles Clay
I put this one on the QB. AJ McCarron, Josh Allen, Nathan Peterman, none inspire confidence in me yet at all. With so much unknown about who will be throwing the football come September onward its hard to be confident about anyone catching the football in Buffalo. Clay may end up being a safety valve but I'd much rather take someone who I at least know has a decent QB throwing him the rock.
Bryce Zielinski producer
Love- Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
Don’t let the ACL tear fool you. Last year in 13 games, Wentz put up MVP numbers until the injury and became an elite QB (both in real life and fantasy). Before the injury, he was the top points getter in all of football and still managed to finish 5th in standard ESPN formats once the year was done. This offseason Wentz’s recovery has progressed very nicely, and he looks primed to start Week 1 against Atlanta with even more weapons at his disposal than last year. The injury might scare some owners away, and it would be a steal to see Wentz become your QB in the 5th or 6th round.
Hate- Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
This isn’t rocket science, folks. Prescott is entering this year’s preseason ranked as the 14th QB in standard ESPN formats. Quite frankly, this dude shouldn’t even be rostered except for the bye week fill-in. Let’s not even look at numbers, let’s talk common sense. Gone is Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. The offensive line is already banged up (see Zack Martin). The Cowboys’ WR group is like the town of misfit toys, their WR1 is Cole Beasley. Cole. Beasely. Yes, the 5’8” WR that definitely can take on the best corners in football. Beasely is followed by the likes of Terrance Williams, Allen Hurns, Mike Gallup *enter Connor McGregor’s “who the fook is that guy meme?”*. They also have rookie TE in Geoff Swaim replacing Witten, yikes. Needless to say, I’m passing on Prescott in an offense catered to hand the ball off to Zeke until his legs fall off.
Love- Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
I’ll be the first to say this, there is no way it is humanly possible for Kamara to maintain the unicorn pace he had in 2017. Most people expect that the Saints will deploy the two-headed monster they did last year with Kamara paired with Mark Ingram. Remember, Ingram is suspended for the first 4 games of the season, he’s a free agent come offseason, and you know he’s not coming back to NO. This is the year Kamara runs away with this job. Sean Payton loves the kid, and how could you not? WITH Ingram in the picture Kamara averaged over 24 points in ESPN standard formats over the last 14 games of the season. That’s not even PPR. That’s better than Leveon and Gurley over that same span. What Kamara did last year was incredible, and there is no way he’s not going to be a focal point in this offense. He is a top 5 RB for me this year, especially in PPR.
Hate- Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars
I have a hard time seeing Fournette as a top 10 RB this year in either ESPN format. When healthy, he is very good. But, that’s the key. Health. Fournette has missed significant time the last two seasons because of injury, at LSU and Jacksonville, which makes you question if he can really take on a workhorse back role. He offers nearly nothing in the passing game and has Blake Bortles as his QB in an offense that just lost WR1 in Allen Robinson. This offense, as usual, will struggle mightily to get into the red zone where Fournette is most useful. He’s overvalued as ESPN’s 8th RB in standard rankings.
Love- Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Jordy Nelson is no longer there. You have seen the chemistry grow with Aaron Rodgers the past two seasons. Now, it’s time for Adams to be the go-to guy. GB brought in Jimmy Graham, but that isn’t going to impact Adams’ ability to stretch the field, make room where there isn’t, and lead the team in receptions on an offense that has been nearly unstoppable with Rodgers at the helm. Adams already had 10+ TD’s the last two years to go along with 40 red zone targets in that time. Guess what- that’s second best in the entire league over that span. Even better, some of that was with Brett Hundley at QB. It would not surprise me to see Adams become an elite WR in this league and he is a tier 1 receiver for me this season.
Hate- Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Before you scream at the screen, I don’t HATE Evans. Hear me out on this. When it comes to WR (and any position really), you have to look at where they’re ranked and ask yourself if you think they will produce at, below, or above the bar set. When I look at Evans, he’s an elite talent. Look at the situation he finds himself in, though. Jameis Winston is suspended for the first 3 games which means Ryan “Fitzmajic” is the starter to start the year. The Winston era is hitting a brick wall and who knows the future at that position for TB. This, of course, affects the WR’s. This team will be playing catch up a lot this season so there is chance for garbage time. Let’s look more specific at Evans. Last season he ended with only 1,001 yards and 5 TD’s on a healthy 9.1 targets a game. Sounds good, but it’s really not especially for a WR of his caliber. He caught 5/19 red zone targets last year which for you math guys out there comes in at 26.3%. For all eligible receivers for that stat (13 targets minimum), Evans was last. LAST. Evans needs to learn to make more of his opportunity. The talent is there, the consistency from year to year is not. For a top 10 WR in the preseason standard format ESPN rankings, the ingredients aren’t exactly there to bake the cake this season.
Love- Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
Finally. For years everyone sat there and said, “this is the year Ertz breaks out”. I think we saw last year that Ertz is an elite TE in this league. He is by far Carson Wentz’s favorite target (Nick Foles’ too). Even with Dallas Goedert drafted and being brought into the fold, Ertz is THE guy outside of Alshon Jeffery in the red zone. With Alshon’s health in question to start the season, I see more targets headed towards Ertz in that area. Coming off a season where he led the team in receptions (74) and yards (824) in one of the best offenses in football, you can only think Ertz will have as good, if not better, production heading into the 2018 season.
Hate- Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
Name a season Reed played all 16 games.
If you’re still trying to figure out why you can’t think of one, it’s because he never has. The most games he has played in his NFL career is 14 back in 2015. The last 2 years he’s played in 18 of his 32 games. There is no denying when healthy he can be a top 10 TE, maybe even top 5. The talent is there. But the guy simply can’t stay on the field. The transition form Kirk Cousins to Alex Smith should help Reed’s production but it’s not enough to rely on him as your TE1. At best you carry him as your backup, he stays healthy, and you can either flip him in a trade or he outperforms the other TE you have on the roster. Coming in at 11 on ESPN’s standard format rankings, you can find value elsewhere in that middle-tier.