It’s time for the first edition of Mailbag Friday. Thanks to everyone who submitted questions! Please email your fantasy football questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and tune in Friday mornings to see your questions answered!
From Jeff Kurtz:
Should we be lower on guys like Lamar Jackson and Kirk Cousins because of vaccine status?
This is a great question and something I’ve thought about frequently. Last season was a mess for the NFL and for fantasy football commissioners as they tried to navigate through the pandemic. Key players missed time and games were postponed, which threw the fantasy community in a tizzy.
While it seemed things were on the up and up, we’ve fallen back into the doldrums of COVID protocols and players missing time. I think it’s pretty clear that this season will be more similar to last year than we’d hoped.
Jackson and Cousins have been in the news lately for their stance on the vaccine (both players have already been on the reserve/COVID list) and remember Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley made headlines this summer for his disagreement with the vaccine-enforced rules from the NFL.
The most unfortunate part is even players who are vaccinated can be affected by teammates who choose not to be.
I think you have to take this into consideration when you draft your team. It sucks, there is no way to sugarcoat it, but I am downgrading guys like Jackson and Beasley.
The Baltimore QB is obviously the most prolific name that will be affected by this, for now, but in most mock drafts he is still going in the mid-to-late fifth round. It all depends on your league, but I personally would not take him there. But if a player of Jackson’s caliber falls far enough, say the seventh round, I’d take a chance there because he’s just too good. If he doesn’t miss time, he could easily be a top-5 QB, but I’d be sure to grab a backup quarterback as well.
From Daniel Kaufman:
Is there any player on the Texans worth rostering?
If I was answering this question on Wednesday, I would have told you that running back David Johnson was worth grabbing as your third or fourth RB. Remember, this is a former fantasy first-round draft pick, granted it’s been a couple of years since he’s dominated at that level. He still put up 1,005 yards from scrimmage last year in 12 games on a terrible team and in mock drafts he is going in the ninth round!
I could have lived with DJ as my first RB off the bench, but that was two days ago…
A report came out yesterday that said Phillip Lindsay is going to be the starting back for the Texans and Johnson is going to serve as the third-down back like Duke Johnson did last season. Not to mention Mark Ingram and Rex Burkhead are also in the fold.
I want no part of that crowded backfield, especially since we’re talking about arguably the worst team in the league.
The only player I would grab from the Texans is wide receiver Brandin Cooks, and again, that’s because his ADP is so low. I don’t mind taking a gamble on Cooks in the 10th round, because if he doesn’t pan out it didn’t cost me much.
If Cooks is able to be a solid flex option or WR I can use in a pinch on bye weeks, I’m good with using a late-round pick on him. In his Pro Bowl season as the starting QB in Buffalo, Tyrod Taylor (who is expected to start in Houston) was able to support a fantasy-relevant WR in Sammy Watkins (1,047 yards, 9 touchdowns) but that’s about it.
With the majority of fantasy drafts firing up at the end of this month, each of my columns for the month will include a Daily Draft Sleeper.
To qualify as one of my draft sleepers, a player’s ADP (average draft position) must be later than Round 10. That’s it!
Chicago Bears WR: Darnell Mooney
Call me the Moon Man because I’m all in on Darnell Mooney.
I believe there are a number of factors at play that will boost the second-year WR into a key player for the Bears and a potential fantasy football starter.
The Bears traded Anthony Miller
Quarterback upgrade (regardless if Andy Dalton or Justin Fields starts)
The disappearance of Tarik Cohen
He’s a deep threat
Take a look at this 20-second video of Mooney burning defenders, just to be thrown a horrific pass from his former quarterback:
Zack Pearson @Zack_PearsonWR Darnell Mooney just put a nice move on Jaylon Johnson to get open deep. But Dalton overthrew him. #Bears
This guy is talented, he’s fast and he’s finally got a competent QB. I’m buying a second-year ascension from Mooney, who I think can end up being a weekly flex play you can get in the later rounds of the draft.
My league of record, Monday Morning Tears, released our draft positions on Wednesday and I have landed with the 5th overall pick!
Since then you bet I’ve been hitting the mock drafts like crazy and I’m starting to develop the strategy I want to execute come draft day. For fear of my fellow league mates reading this, I’m going to withhold that strategy (sorry y’all).
I will tell you that no two leagues are alike, and I’m drafting right after a hardcore Pittsburgh Steelers fan, so I’ve pretty much given up on the chance of drafting a player I really like in Dionte Johnson…
If you’ve been in the same league for years like I have, you probably have an idea of your fellow players’ tendencies, so always keep that in mind as you prep for your draft.