146 – Buy, Sell, Take the Flyer – NFC North

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2021 Buy, Sell, Take the Flyer – NFC North

Hello Heat Seekers welcome to episode 146 of Sully’s 2 Cents Fantasy Football Podcast, I am your host I am Rob Sullivan. The Sully’s 2 Cents Fantasy Football Podcast is a proud member of the RotoHeat Family of podcasts.

In these 8 articles, I utilized ADP to identify a players I am buying, a player I am selling, and I selected a flyer off each team. Buying and selling have nothing to do with my opinion of the player and everything to do with my perceived value of the player vs. ADP. As for the flyer, these are gut feels on players deeper down in ADP that you are likely selecting in the late rounds of start-up drafts or perhaps in some cases, guys you will find on your league’s waiver wires.

We continue the 2021 Buy Sell Take the Flyer Series – with the NFC North.

4. Chicago Bears

32 Fantasy Value Picks in 2021
2021 Buy Sell Take the Flyer Series – NFC North.

Player I Am Buying

Darnell Mooney – Overall ADP 125 WR40

As a rookie, Darnell Mooney established himself as the No. 2 receiver in Chicago. Mooney a 5th round selection in the 2020 draft, finished his season with 152.1 PPR points and as the WR50. Mooney is a solid sleeper candidate for 2021. Improved quarterback play could get his low catch percentage (62.2%) up, and the departure of Anthony Miller (76 targets) could lead to increased volume in addition to the increased quality of the targets.

In Matt Nagy’s three seasons in Chicago, Allen Robinson is the only receiver to earn more than 100 targets. That is a stat that likely doesn’t change in 2021, but we should expect the Bears to be a pass heavy team, with a questionable offensive line and a defense that is no longer the force it once was. Darnell Mooney in the back of round ten is great value and I am buying him there all day long.

Player I Am Selling

David Montgomery – Overall ADP 30 RB16

I am a David Montgomery truther, simply put I am a fan. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Monty put my fantast team on his back on route to a RotoHeat 96 team fantasy league championship a season ago. Any chance I get to bring that up, its going to happen.

In Montgomery’s breakout 2020 season, he was an easy top-10 running back in all formats. With the return of Tarik Cohen, and the addition of Damien Williams there’s enough uncertainty that I see him more as an early fourth-round selection. Without Cohen, Montgomery saw his role in the passing game blossom, more than doubling his catches per game. With Cohen eventually coming back and Williams there I see the pass catching coming down thus limiting the ceiling for Montgomery. If Matt Nagy assumes pay calling duties once again, I might pass on Montgomery all together.

Take the Flyer

Cole Kmet – Overall ADP 202 TE25

I was a fan of Cole Kmet last season as a rookie. The reality of this league is that it is really tough for rookie tight ends to be fantasy relevant. Only two tight ends have been a top-12 TE as a rookie. Adding to Kmet’s challenges last season was the presence of Jimmy Graham.

With Graham still on the roster, Kmet profiles as a dart throw towards the end of your draft. Kmet’s emergence at the end of 2020 saw him earn 30 targets over the team’s final five regular season games. But even in that stretch he was outscored by Jimmy Graham and 18 other tight ends. I believe we are a year out from fantasy relevance for Kmet making him a dynasty asset I want to buy. In case I am wrong, I will take the flyer here to cover my butt.

3. Detroit Lions

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2021 Buy Sell Take the Flyer Series – NFC North.

Player I Am Buying

T.J. Hockenson – Overall ADP 58 TE6

T.J. Hockenson is the best catching member of teh Detroit Lions. When the Lions let Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola walk, they let 216 targets, 1,918 yards, and 11 touchdowns leave with them. The replacements, most notably Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams, don’t concern me when it comes to Hockenson’s potentail.

Hockenson hasn’t been particularly efficient in his young career and he’s facing a downgrade at quarterback in Jared Goff vs. Matthew Stafford. With that said, Goff has proven to produce valuable TE production with Tyler Higbee finishing as the TE8 in 2019. The Lions hired Dan Campbell a former TE to be their Head Coach, and hired Anthony Lynn as their Offensive Coordinator. Lynn has been proven to pepper the TE in the past when calling plays and his offense had much more capable pass catchers than the Lions possess. I see Hockenson as a top-4 TE this season and in later stages of the 4th round, Hockenson is a value add.

Player I Am Selling

D’Andre Swift – Overall ADP 28 RB15

Many have D’Andre Swift pegged to be a breakout in 2021. I am no sure that I am willing to go there just yet. The two main reasons I am not sold are the presence of Jamaal Williams and his struggle to be healthy and available for his team.

In 2020, Swift was hurt in camp, then again in the regular season. In total he played in 13 games. 13 games isn’t terrible and I have never been one to limit a player based on injury risk. That said he is injured again this time with a groin injury. The injury has enabled Jamaal Williams to start and play every snap with the Lions’ first-team offense in their preseason debut Friday against the Buffalo Bills. Last year Swift averaged more than four targets per game and his 6.3 yards per target were above average for any back, let alone a rookie running back. I see Williams earning more of the passing game share and Swift being more the ground grinder. Look Swift is a good back and when he is available to the Lions I do believe he will be a big part of their offense. I need much more certainly when picking in round three and as a result I am selling Swift at his current value.

Take the Flyer

Amon-Ra St. Brown – Overall ADP 204 WR69

The replacement of Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones with Perriman and Williams is somewhat disappointing to be polite. The replacement of Danny Amendola with Amon-Ra St. Brown however is a move that I can get behind.

St. Brown was one of the better route-runners in the 2021 draft class and may just be the best route-runner on the Lions immediately. This is a team full of suspect downfield receivers and St. Brown profiles as the best short-area target and slot receiver. With Jared Goff under center, that could put St. Brown in the running for No.2 pass catcher even as a rookie. For that reason, he’s worth a the flyer in redraft leagues, especially in full PPR.

2. Green Bay Packers

2021 Buy Sell Take the Flyer Series – NFC North.
2021 Buy Sell Take the Flyer Series – NFC North.

Player I Am Buying

Aaron Jones – Overall ADP 12 RB9

Admittedly this take is a if you can’t beat them join them kind of take. I have been wrong on Jones the past two seasons and I see this as an opportunity to exorcise my demons and get with the program. I have faded Jones for the past two seasons and I have been 100% wrong both times.

The past two seasons, Aaron Jones has finished as the RB2 (2019) and RB5 (2020). He broke out in 2019, averaging the third-most fantasy points (19.7) among running backs. Jones scored 314.8 PPR points on only 285 touches. In 2020, Jones missed Weeks 6 & 7 due to injury and saw his workload split with Jamaal Williams. In the end, Jones totaled 258.9 PPR points on only 248 touches. Despite clearly being the better back, Jones only saw 20 carries once all season. Williams is gone and Jones should see the bulk of his work in the passing game. Splitting touches with A.J. Dillion is a factor but I do not see Dillion impacting Jones in the same fashion Williams did. Aaron Jones remains a top-12 RB and he is a back I currently have ranked as my RB5. As a result I am finally buying.

Player I Am Selling

Aaron Rodgers – Overall ADP 53 QB8

Aaron Rodgers had some fun with us all this off-season, and to the dismay of this Vikings fan he is back in Green Bay for another season. After two subpar seasons (by his standards) in 2018 and 2019, Rodgers exploded in 2020 with some of the best statistics of his career. As a result I expect regression in 2021.

Rodgers’ 9.1% touchdown rate (on a career high 48 TD passes) was nearly 50% higher than his career rate, which means you should expect his touchdown passes to regress near his career average of 35 a season. In addition, his 8.2 yards per attempt was his highest since 2011, so the yardage total likely comes down a little as well. I am not saying that Rodgers is a bad bet as a fantasy starter; it’s in fact the opposite. All I am saying is you shouldn’t draft him expecting a repeat of his 2020 MVP season.

Take the Flyer

Amari Rodgers – Overall ADP 312 WR100

Amari Rodgers has an chance to prove himself the second most-talented wide receiver in Green Bay but the addition of Randall Cobb appears to make that unlikely. Randall Cobb is a Packer again for one reason and one reason only, Aaron Rodgers demanded it. That makes Amari Rodgers nothing more than a late round flyer in redraft. With Randall Cobb being a shell of his former self and far from durable, the Flyer on Rodgers at his WR100 ADP is too good to pass up.

1. Minnesota Vikings

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2021 Buy Sell Take the Flyer Series – NFC North.

Player I Am Buying

Kirk Cousins – Overall ADP142 QB17

Despite the fact that Vikings QB Kirk Cousins is blamed for everything negative in Minnesota from losses to lukewarm hotdogs, Cousins in an extremely underrated QB in real life and fantasy. Did you know that Cousins has finished as a top-12 quarterback in five of the past six seasons.

Now with that being said, the Vikings version of Cousins is different than the Washington version. The Vikings are one of the most run-heavy offenses in football, which is why Cousins missed the top-12 in 2019, and needed a career-best 6.8% touchdown rate to sneak into the top 12 last season. Even with the emergence of Justin Jefferson, you should expect Cousins to regress back towards his career norm in 2021, which means he likely won’t crack the top 12 passers unless Mike Zimmer has a complete change of heart. Cousins’ reliability does however make him a value at 142 overall and QB17.

Player I Am Selling

Justin Jefferson – Overall ADP 28 WR8

I am a Minnesota Vikings fan, and as hard as that has been for the majority of my life, the addition and emergence of Justin Jefferson last season was extremely enjoyable, even if the team was rather mediocre. Jefferson provided one of the greatest rookie WR seasons ever. He finished with 88 receptions, 1400 yards and seven touchdowns. He was the top scoring rookie WR in 2020 and finished as WR6 overall with 274.2 PPR points.

I am selling Jefferson mainly because I see the entire passing game in Minnesota regressing. The Vikings threw a lot more than they would have liked last season, mainly because the defense was the worst it has been in Minnesota since the hiring of defensive minded Head Coach Mike Zimmer. Since joining the Vikings to start the 2014 season, Zimmer has had a top-10 defense every season until finishing 28th a season ago. Kirk Cousins had a career high in touchdown passes last season and Justin Jefferson averaged 11.2 yards per target. I see both of those totals declining. I love Justin Jefferson just not at his ADP of 28 and WR8. Now if this shoulder injury he suffered allows him to fall into the back half of teh third round, I am buying him all day.

Take the Flyer

Tyler Conklin – Overall ADP 377 TE48

When TE Kyle Rudolph was released it appeared it was Irv Smith Jr season. During OTAs, Mike Zimmer told reporters that Irv Smith Jr. will not have an expanded role in the team’s offense. Zimmer went on to say that Conklin will have a larger role in 2021, making it apparent that the coaching staff likes what they saw from Conklin at the end of 2020.

Tyler Conklin finished the 2020 season on a high note, catching 15 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown over the final four games of the season. During that same span, Irv Smith Jr. had nealy the identical stat line. Irv Smith Jr is currently TE18 and Conklin is TE48, making him an easy flyer to take.

Thank you for listening to episode 146 – 2021 Buy, Sell, Take the Flyer – NFC North

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