NFL Observations: Assorted Thoughts

NFL Observations: Assorted Thoughts

This article is part of our NFL Observations series.

Odell Beckham (NFFC ADP WR 12) is underpriced. 

Beckham has been the league's most talented receiver (maybe Julio Jones, though a few years older, had a case) since he set foot in the league. Playing outdoors in windy conditions with an on-his-last-legs Eli Manning, Beckham put up numbers no player – not even Jerry Rice or Randy Moss – did in his first three seasons. Injuries have robbed Beckham of his usual production the last three years, but he's still only 27 and should have a huge target share with Jarvis Landry being the the only other established wideout on the roster. 

Baker Mayfield was bad last year, but chalk that up to a dysfunctional offense under Freddie Kitchens that brought down the whole ship. Mayfield might never be what we thought after his rookie year, but he was the No. 1 overall pick, and his rookie season did in fact occur. New head coach Kevin Stefanski will run a lot, but he apparently knows what he has in Beckham, and WR1 is in play should Beckham simply stay healthy. 

Chris Godwin is the Bucs receiver to own 

Right now, Godwin is WR5 per NFFC ADP, while Mike Evans is WR7. I have them three and 14, respectively because Evans is the deep threat, and Godwin the slot guy, making Godwin more likely to be Tom Brady's guy. Moreover, Rob Gronkowski is likely to take away targets from the other bigger, physical mismatch player rather than the quicker, shiftier route runner. I could see Godwin being Brady's Wes Welker, only bigger, faster and better, more easily than Evans being his Randy Moss. 

The Rams are using more two tight-end sets

In 2018, the Rams lined up with three WRs 88 percent of the time and 2 WR/2TEs only nine percent (per Sharp Football). Last year, they went three-wide 70 percent of the time and two TE 25 percent, and I expect that trend to continue with Brandin Cooks now in Houston. People remember Tyler Higbee emerging as a top TE down the stretch last year, but Gerald Everett, a 2017 second-round pick, also had a 136-yard receiving game against the Seahawks last year. Tight ends often take a few years to develop as pass catchers, so Everett should still be on schedule. Sean McVay talked up Josh Reynolds as a Cooks replacement, but the team drafted Van Jefferson in the second round, likely revealing their true feelings about Reynolds' prospects. Bottom line, after Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, it's the tight ends and not Reynolds who are likely to be Jared Goff's main targets. 

Jared Stidham makes the most sense

When the Bengals released Andy Dalton, there was speculation the Patriots would swoop him up, but if I recall correctly their nearly 20-year dynasty was built on a nobody sixth-round QB that only got a chance when Mo Lewis collapsed Drew Bledsoe's lung on a nasty hit near the sidelines. Bill Belichick also got 11 wins out of another nobody, Matt Cassel, and that was before Cassel became a starter in Kansas City. If anyone is content to go to battle with an unproven quarterback, it's probably the Patriots. The question is when Stidham wins six Super Bowls, does that mean Belichick is the greatest coach in any sport by a mile or that he's going Postle, as in Mike Postle

Dak Prescott is set up for a monster season

After the Cowboys drafted CeeDee Lamb, I moved Prescott up to QB3, behind only the GOAT Patrick Mahomes and the cheat code Lamar Jackson. Not only are the Cowboys loaded at WR, and they're better at tight end with Jason Witten gone, but new coach Mike McCarthy threw a ton in the red zone with the Packers, a sharp contrast to Jason Garrett/Kellen Moore who usually handed off. In fact, despite being sixth in passing attempts last year, Prescott was 18th in red-zone attempts and 30th in attempts inside-the-10. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Liss
Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.
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