Fantasy Football "Goldilocks" Picks: July
In one iteration of the classic children's fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a young Goldilocks eats the breakfast of three unsuspecting bears, one of which was too hot, one too cold, and one just right.
We're taking this situation and applying it to fantasy football and letting you know who is overhyped (too hot), overlooked (too cold), and just right (as advertised) based on their current ADP (average draft position) heading into the fantasy football draft season. (ADP is being taken from fantasydata.com)
Let's start with the players that I believe to be TOO HOT and who you may want to pass on at their current draft position:
Prescott fresh off signing his franchise tag and his career best seasonPhoto Credit: KA Sports Photos
Dak Prescott QB Dallas Cowboys (ADP - 60.3)
Prescott had a career-year last season, finishing as the QB2 in standard scoring fantasy leagues. Amassing just over 4,900 passing yards and 30 passing touchdowns in the 2019 campaign, Dak broke his personal best in yards by nearly 1,000 and touchdowns by 7.
Prior to the start of the 2019 season, running back Ezekiel Elliott held out most of training camp and got a late start, which slowed his production early in the season, allowing Dak to set an early precedent of Jason Garrett's team relying on the pass game more than they had traditionally with Elliott in the backfield.
In the first 11 weeks of the season, Prescott had only one performance of less than 18 fantasy points, but in weeks 12 through 17 he had four such performances. Although Dallas chose to retain Amari Cooper and draft rookie CeeDee Lamb to bolster the receiving corps, new head coach Mike McCarthy will certainly lean on Elliott and backup Tony Pollard, who showed the ability to produce limited work last season, to open up the passing game early in games.
Dallas is also hoping to be playing with the lead more than they did last year in the second half of games this season, which would limit Prescott as they're attempting to run out the clock in wins versus chasing teams as they did much of last season. I expect Prescott to have numbers closer to his first 3 seasons in the league with an average of 3,625 passing yards and 22 passing touchdowns, which doesn't warrant a selection in rounds 5-7 at your draft
Josh Jacobs RB Las Vegas Raiders (ADP - 7.5) and Joe Mixon RB Cincinnati Bengals (ADP - 12.9)
When looking at the top 12 running backs based on their current ADP, both Jacobs and Mixon jumped out as candidates that will not produce enough to validate selecting them in the first or second rounds of fantasy drafts by the end of this season. While both possess the ability to be elite performers at their position, they also play for teams that don't project to be protecting leads late into many games.
If that prediction becomes reality, neither will be in position to get the amount of carries that they would require to finish the season as a top 10 fantasy back, which based on current ADP they would need to do in order for you to get your money's worth from where you have to get them. The main factor for me putting Jacobs and Mixon on this list is that neither see enough passing targets to make up for the lost opportunities for carries, based on the quality of their respective teams.
The Raiders invested heavily at wide receiver in this year's NFL Draft, including using a first round pick on Henry Ruggs III, and the Bengals had an already crowded group that is set to add veteran AJ Green back into the mix. Jacobs' 20 receptions for 166 yards and no touchdowns last season doesn't figure to improve much this year, leaving his owners to largely rely on his rushing production. Mixon fared better, totaling 35 receptions for 287 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2019, but with Green healthy again and rookie quarterback Joe Burrow likely to push the ball downfield, I would expect to see some regression in Mixon's receiving numbers.
Considering that running backs like Aaron Jones (ADP - 11.4) and Miles Sanders (ADP - 21.8) are being taken around the same time or later than Jacobs and Mixon, I would put my faith in players that are in more established offenses that should be playing with leads deep into games–and that have a presence in the passing game (Jones - 49 recs, 474 rec yards, 3 rec tds in 2019; Sanders - 50 recs, 509 rec yards, 3 rec tds in 2019).
Now let's turn our attention to a few players that I believe to be JUST RIGHT in where they're being taken in pre season drafts.
Feel free to fire away on these guys right around their ADP.
NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
A.J. Brown WR Tennessee Titans (ADP - 40.4)
A.J. Brown had a fantastic rookie season in 2019, finishing with over 1,000 receiving yards and 8 touchdown catches on just 52 receptions and adding a rushing touchdown to show his playmaking ability with the ball in his hands. Tennessee will continue to be a run-first offense spearheaded by the monstrous Derrick Henry, but the reason I'm so high on Brown's potential in this offense is because the team committed to Ryan Tannehill as their quarterback, signing him to a four year contract this offseason.
In the last 6 weeks of the 2019 season, Tannehill and Brown connected for 605 receiving yards, which led the NFL in that stretch while seeing Brown post 5 of his 6 best fantasy weeks in the last 6 weeks of the season. The Titans' pass game is predicated on Henry establishing the run and allowing for play action calls to catch defenses off guard, allowing a receiver with Brown's talents to use his combination of size and speed to get past defenders and look for home runs.
Fellow sophomore receiver, Seattle's D.K. Metcalf, is being taken 6 spots ahead of Brown based on pre season ADP, so if you can land Brown around pick 40 it would allow you to take a pair of running backs and either one of the top quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson, or another receiver to pair with Brown within the first 4 rounds of your draft.
Mark Andrews TE Baltimore Ravens (ADP - 44.4)
Andrews went into last season as a presumptive sleeper pick at the position, but that was before Lamar Jackson and the Ravens delivered one of the most explosive offenses the NFL has seen since...well the Kansas City Chiefs just one year prior. But now that we know what the Baltimore offense can deliver, and the role of Andrews is being a red zone target for Lamar Jackson, it's safe to say that Andrews is no longer a sleeper pick.
Projected to be selected in fantasy drafts sometime in the 4th round, Andrews is now among the upper echelon of tight ends to be considered in the rarified air that's only been reserved for Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Zach Ertz in recent years. Don't think that you'll be able to wait and draft Andrews much later than his ADP, as many owners have adopted the strategy of taking elite tight ends over WR2s, RB3s, and QBs in rounds 4-5 based on their valuation of players.
Andrews recorded 10 touchdowns last year, but his value is not touchdown dependent. With the departure of Hayden Hurst to the Atlanta Falcons, Andrews figures to see more targets this season as Jackson has thrown to his tight ends far more than the receiver position. While you cannot simply transfer Hayden's production from last season to project what Mark Andrews is capable of, if you did it would've resulted in season ending lines of 94 receptions on 137 targets, 1,201 receiving yards, and 12 touchdowns.
Compare that to last year's TE1 Travis Kelce, who ended the season with 97 receptions on 136 targets, 1,229 receiving yards, and 5 touchdowns. Kelce's ADP is at 18.9, 25 spots ahead of Andrews currently.
The temperature on the following players is TOO COLD, and you need to be paying attention to where these guys are falling in drafts.
Baker Mayfield looking to rebound from a down 2019 seasonPhoto Credit: Erik Drost
Baker Mayfield QB Cleveland Browns (ADP - 98.9)
The case for Baker Mayfield being undervalued heading into this season is very simple for me. All I have to do is point to the performance of Jameis Winston last year to provide evidence as to why I love Mayfield in 2020. Mayfield wowed in his rookie campaign and fell on his face last season. But he goes into 2020 with one of the most exciting offenses (on paper), and he should, at worst, suffer from what I am coining the Jameis-Effect. That is, if people are anticipating good statistical seasons for Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, and Austin Hooper (much like Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and OJ Howard were expected to have successful seasons last year), then Baker Mayfield should be able to finish the season as a top 10 fantasy quarterback.
For reference, Winston finished as QB5 last year in standard scoring fantasy leagues, albeit throwing 30 interceptions. If you're a believer in the Browns' offense, Baker Mayfield is going to be the guy it all runs through. Mayfield could be a steal, especially if you can take him as one of the first backup quarterbacks selected in your league.
Raheem Mostert RB San Francisco 49ers (ADP - 70.8)
While most fantasy experts will caution you not to let Mostert's strong postseason performance in 2019 fool you into overdrafting him this year, I think Mostert's role in the 49ers offense was established before the playoffs began. San Francisco will continue to be a running back committee in 2020, but Mostert appeared to have carved out the lion's share down the stretch last season, as he had more carries than Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida combined in every game from week 14 through the Super Bowl, only excluding the NFC Divisional Round game against the Vikings in which we saw Coleman get 22 or 47 carries.
In the last 6 weeks of the season when Mostert began to see more touches, he averaged 16.25 fantasy points per week and had at least 1 touchdown in every one of those games. If you extrapolate that average to a full 16 games, Mostert would've been on pace for 260 fantasy points, which would've been just ahead of Ezekiel Elliott in 2019 who finished with 257.7 (RB3).
Obviously, Mostert doesn't project to carry the ball 250 to 300 times like many of the top fantasy backs do, so don't expect him to actually produce like that on a weekly basis. But if he can increase his carries to 200 from 137 last season and continue to be efficient with his touches, then Mostert will perform well above his current ADP and could be a league winner in 2020.
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On the road, while his average line is only two yards fewer (271.2 to 269.2), he has a 1-5 O-U record and is only averaging 239 passing yards per game.
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France vs Argentina World Cup Final Betting Preview: Can Lionel Messi Capture That Elusive World Cup Title?
Picking up where they left off in 2018, the French National Team led by 23-year-old Kylian Mbappe have found their way back into the finals as they look to be the first back-to-back World Cup Champions since Brazil’s dominant runs in 1958 and 1962. Standing between that incredible feat for the defending champions is Argentina, who currently have their superstar, Lionel Messi, in top form. Messi is finding ways to create passes no one can see and he’s done it multiple times, assisting three goals (tied for the most) throughout the tournament. The legend is also scoring goals of his own and is tied with Kylian Mbappe (5 goals) for Golden Boot honors in this year’s World Cup. Regardless, soccer fans around the world are in for a treat on Sunday at 10:00 AM EST as two of the best players in the world face each other for their country’s World Cup glory.
After winning Group D, France defeated Poland in the Round of 16, England in the quarterfinals, and a strong Morocco team in the semis to advance to the Final. On the other side of the bracket, Argentina won Group C and dispatched Australia in the Round of 16. Messi and the Argentinians were then tested in the quarterfinals, needing a penalty shootout to defeat the Netherlands after blowing a late two-goal lead. Finally, Argentina played perhaps their best match of the tournament against Croatia in the semi-finals, winning 3-0. Now the stage is set for a blockbuster finale between two powerhouses featuring some of the top players in the world.
Note (from FanDuel Sportsbook): No team will play at home during Qatar's World Cup. For betting purposes, FanDuel explains that: “Home Team refers to the team listed first, Away Team refers to the second team listed.”
Argentina (-104) vs. France (-112)
Argentina Keys To Victory
Lionel Messi has played incredibly for Argentina throughout this World Cup. He is leaving opposing defenders in the dust, taking on multiple players at once, dragging them away from his teammates, which is opening up the field for his fellow goal scorers. Every time Messi has the ball at his feet, there seems to be more than one threat. Messi is playing just as well as he always has in 2022. He’s served his team as a playmaker and as a goal-scorer in Qatar. He’s also had some help from Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez who’s scored a handful of goals in this World Cup (including two in Argentina’s decisive victory over Croatia). If Alvarez and Messi are able to link up while on the attack, the depleted French defense and midfield could be in for some trouble.
France Keys To Victory
One of the biggest headlines heading into this World Cup Final is the return of French striker Karim Benzema. The Real Madrid star and winner of this year’s Ballon D’Or hurt his hamstring in one of France’s first practices soon after arriving in Qatar. He flew back to Madrid where he immediately completed his recovery work which was set at three weeks from the time of injury. Right now, Benzema is flying back to Doha and could be starting for France in the final. At the moment, France’s HC Didier Deschamps has declined to comment on whether or not he will be including KB9 in the starting lineup. France’s ball movement has been excellent throughout the tournament, but their key to victory against Argentina will be efficient defense. Over the last few games, France’s defense seems to have slowed down. Not only will they need to stop Messi, but they will need to turn defensive stops into counterattacks. Mbappe and Olivier Giroud (four goals thus far in the tournament) will need to be electric on offense and test the Argentinian keeper. Antoine Griezmann may be an x-factor for France as he has three assists in this World Cup and was inches away from scoring against Morocco.
It’s only fitting that Lionel Messi will finally hoist the World Cup trophy in his last World Cup match. Expect him to score a goal and lead his team to victory in a tightly contested battle.
The Pick: Argentina (-104)
World Cup Final Best Prop Bets
Kylian Mbappe: To Score Or Give Assist (+100)
Mbappé has been relatively quiet over France’s last few games. Still, he is the main wing on France’s team who is capable of breaking down defenses through his skillful technique and ridiculous speed. He currently is tied with Messi for the most goals in the 2022 World Cup. If he isn’t able to score in this game, then expect him to at least make an assist. For France to win this one, the 23-year-old will need to have a big game.
Lionel Messi: Anytime Goalscorer (+190)
Messi has stepped up his performance big time this World Cup. If you have watched Argentina play in this tournament, you know how crucial of a role Messi has played in the team’s success. He is tied for the most goals in the tournament with Mbappe and has a great chance of putting the ball in the net at some point during Sunday’s big match. This is a particularly great prop to target since Messi takes all of Argentina’s penalty shots and has converted four-of-five throughout the tournament.
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Calling every sports fan across the globe! The best month for all things sports is here: December. NFL and CFB are getting into the thick of things — I mean, we are finally not seeing Alabama and Clemson in the CFP, not to mention both the NBA and NHL are underway and college basketball just tipped off!
Despite all of these different sporting events going on, the World’s biggest Sporting event is down to the Semifinals, the World Cup.
Although Soccer is the World's most popular sport, it still struggles to gain support in the US. However, every 4 years Soccer takes the country by storm and this year, and these last few games are going to be amazing.
Let us introduce you to your new go-to app, FanDuel Sportsbook. It’s the place to be for not only the usual sports, but for this year's World Cup!
FanDuel Sportsbook is providing a multitude of features with a few market differentiators.
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- Highest scoring Group
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- First Goal Scorer
- Shots on Goal
- Correct Score
- Number of Corner Kicks
- Half-Time Result
- Tournament Goal Scorer Parlay Builder - build your own tournament-long Goal Scorer parlays with your favorite players from every team.
- Daily Specials:
- Highest scoring team of the day
- Total daily goals
- Player specials
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- Live Parlays
Out of all the betting apps we’ve used, signing up for FanDuel Sportsbook is also the easiest. Simply download the app and create an account by providing an email, credit card, and SS# — that’s to protect your winnings and ensure you're not a sporting professional.
FanDuel is undoubtedly the best site/app to parlay across multiple sports. It’s designed for bettors at any stage. The clear interface is ideal for beginners and you can make a bet in just a few clicks! It’s complete with a number of betting guides that explain the rules and resources to safely bet.
One of the best parts is that once the game ends, you can cash out your winnings right away. No minimum, no wait.
There’s also the incredible New User Offer: sign up with FanDuel Sportsbook and get up to $1000 in Free Bets if you lose your first bet!
Their app has everything you need — from tutorials to real-time game scores. Get amped for the World Cup with FanDuel Sportsbook. Enhance your Sportsember by downloading the FanDuel Sportsbook app today!