Parsing Through Matthew Berry’s Final Love/Hate

ESPN’s Matthew Berry believes that Patrick Mahomes could be this season’s Carson Wentz, a second-year QB that finds fantasy football stardom. Berry cites Mahomes ability to run with the ball (he had double-digit rushing scores in each of his final two college seasons) and Andy Reid’s system as reasons for optimism.

Over the last 10 years, Reid’s QBs have scored 2755.4 fantasy points (ESPN scoring) which would be the fifth most out of all NFL team had Reid been his own squad. Yes, there’s chatter of Mahomes making too many mistakes for the Chiefs and surely he won’t be as risk-adverse as Alex Smith. However, 19 QBs are going ahead of him on average in ESPN drafts and with this kind of upside, its difficult to find that the risk is not worth the potential reward.

Berry’s final Love/Hate column is worth a read. The longtime ESPN scribe is shifting his work more to TV and podcasting and it’ll be sad not to read this column on a weekly basis. Make sure you check out his last one and if you can’t read the whole thing, we’ve got you covered with some of Berry’s fantasy analysis below:

  • In three of the past four seasons, Redskins coach Jay Gruden has been top-12 in passing percentage and Alex Smith comes to town with at least 15 fantasy points in over 60% of his fantasy starts. That’s more than Russell Wilson (59.4%), Philip Rivers (59.4%) and Cam Newton (51.6%) among other, as Berry notes.
  • Be cautious of starting Ben Roethlisberger on the road. The Steelers QB is averaging 23.26 fantasy points in Pittsburg vs. 13.97 fantasy points on the road over the past four seasons.
  • Josh McCown, Jay Cutler, Eli Manning and Joe Flacco are among the QBs who had more games with multiple TD passes than Derek Carr last season, Berry adds.
  • Saquon Barkley should be a great fit for Pat Shurmur’s fantasy-friendly offense. As Berry points out, while Shurmur was in Minnesota and Philly, his offenses ranked in the top six in red zone rush percentage.
  • Berry is high on Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper, citing how Jon Gruden has had at least one 1,000-yard receiver in each of the 11 years he’s been a head coach.
  • Some of Marvin Jones Jr.’s production appears to be tied to the health of Kenny Golliday. In the five games last season that Golladay was out, Jones averaged 10.2 targets. But in the 11 games, Golladay played, Jones averaged just 5.1 targets.

Examining The Christian McCaffrey Hype

The Panthers talked about revving up Christian McCaffrey‘s workload and if their first preseason game was any indication, he’ll see plenty of action this season. The second-year pro was in for all 14 of Cam Newton‘s snaps, Adam Levitan of Draft Kings notes. McCaffrey got four carries and was targeted twice in the team’s melee vs. the Bills last weekend.

Carolina insisted on getting value out of their draft-day investment last season, rolling McCaffrey out on the field for 757 offensive snaps, a figure that only Le’Veon Bell, Todd Gurley, and Carlos Hyde surpassed. No RB received more targets in the passing game than McCaffrey last season and although the rookie wasn’t particularly efficient once he caught the ball (ranked 45th in Football Outsider’s YAC+ metric), he remains a centerpiece in the offense as a dual threat out of the backfield. 

If the team hands him more work on the ground this season in addition to his passing duties, he has the potential to compete with the Le’Veon Bells and Todd Gurleys atop the fantasy football running back realm. His average ADP is No. 18 overall, according to ESPN.

Photo Courtesy of McCaffrey’s Instagram (@christianmccaffrey).

Teams With No Chance To Win Super Bowl 53

It’s hard to say “there’s no chance” when it comes to sports, specifically the NFL where year-to-year parity reigns. The Action Network went through 10,000 simulations to find each teams chances at making the Super Bowl and winning it.

According to the site’s simulations, the following teams have a less than 0.1% (or nearly zero) chance at holding the Lombardi Trophy:

Oakland Raiders

  • Over/Under Win Total: 8
  • Super Bowl Odds: 35/1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Over/Under Win Total: 6.5
  • Super Bowl Odds: 80/1

Chicago Bears

  • Over/Under Win Total: 6.5
  • Super Bowl Odds: 80/1

Buffalo Bills

  • Over/Under Win Total: 6
  • Super Bowl Odds: 150/1

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Over/Under Win Total: 8
  • Super Bowl Odds: 100/1

Arizona Cardinals

  • Over/Under Win Total: 5.5
  • Super Bowl Odds: 150/1

Miami Dolphins

  • Over/Under Win Total: 6.5
  • Super Bowl Odds: 150/1

New York Jets

  • Over/Under Win Total: 6
  • Super Bowl Odds: 150/1


Odds via Bovada. Photo Courtesy of Corey Coleman’s Instagram (@CoreyColeman).

Broncos Round Up: Chubb, Lynch, Kelly, Thomas

Bradley Chubb didn’t impress in the run game during his 15 plays in the first preseason game. His biggest weakness is shedding blockers as running lanes are opening up. On a few occasions, Chubb appeared to be unaware of where an opposing rusher was in the backfield as the play was developing.

The Broncos struggled as a team with stopping the run, so this isn’t only a Chubb problem. The rookie will be able to contribute immediately in pass rush situations, but the team is expecting him to be more than a situational pass-rusher once the regular season begins. While it was only one preseason game, it’s something to keep an eye on.

Denver Broncos William Hill  (AC) Bovada Bet Online
Win Total 7.5 7 7.5
Over -110 -170 +115
Under -110 +140 -135

Here are more news and notes out of Denver:

  • Former first-round pick Paxton Lynch has been demoted to third-string, Middlehurst-Schwartz of USA Today reports. Lynch had a horrible first preseason game, throwing for just 24 yards on 6-of-11 passing. Lynch also tossed an interception.
  • Chad Kelly, who completed 66% of his 21 passes for 177 yards in the team’s first preseason game, will take over as the backup QB.
  • Denver’s offensive line allowed 52 sacks last season and the team brought in Jared Veldheer to solidify the right tackle situation. Veldheer struggled at times last year in Arizona, but he became more inconsistent as the season progressed.
  • Demaryius Thomas has finished 16th or better in PPR leagues in each of the past six seasons. With Case Keenum in the fold, we should be able to expect him to make it a seventh straight year with that distinction.

Latest On Jerick McKinnon, 49ers’ Injuries

Jerick McKinnon has a muscle strain and there’s no timetable for when he’ll be back in the lineup. Prior to the injury, there was talk of him not being the “bell-cow” back in the offense. If that ends up being the case, McKinnon may be going too high in fantasy drafts. His average ADP is within the top 30 on ESPN.

For more on the 49ers, check out the Locked On 49ers podcast: