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Nick Whalen's Midyear Review

Most people get anxiety when they have their mid year review at work. What will their boss say? Recognize their accomplishments? Critical of weakness? Or...gulp...you’re fired! At the halfway point of the NFL season, you should start getting very critical of your teams and players. It’s either time to make some trades for a playoff push. If you play in dynasty leagues, then you might concede defeat to trade away assets for following seasons. But in the end, be honest with yourself about your team and expectations of players. I’m going to follow the same advice in this article. I will give you many honest facts and projections for the 2nd half of the NFL season.


Quarterbacks


Lamar Jackson

-7 TD passes in the initial 2 games of the season, but only 4 TD passes in his last 5 games.

-2 of his worst 3 games of the season have occured in his last 3 games.

-His rushing numbers the last two weeks have blinded owners in the regression.

Lamar Jackson’s numbers have been trending down and expect that to continue throughout the season.


Aaron Rodgers

-8 TD passes the last 2 games versus 8 TD passes combined the previous 6 games

-Some may argue with star WR, Davante Advams, returning the numbers will stay consistent or improve. However, 4 of his next 6 games to end the FF season are against top 10 pass defenses with 3 of those games on the road.

-Rodgers FF points at home 31.9 vs 21.7 on the road

Expect a slight downtick in numbers from Rodgers


Gardner Minshew

-Will the Magic continue?

-Minshew threw for 2 or more TD’s in 5 of his first 6 games in the NFL. But he’s only accomplished this benchmark 1 in the last 3 games.

-2 of his top 4 passing yardage games have been accomplished the last 2 games.

-2 of his top 4 rushing yardage games have been accomplished the last 2 games.

-Plays only 1 opposing defense ranked in the top 14 for the rest of the season.

The magic will continue in Minshew land!

Lots of young QBs are struggling across the NFL. Let's take a look at them in a comparison chart for the 2019 season:

Efficiency numbers can tell more of a story than the volume of statistics. Winston and Mayfield throw the football down the field more, but also throw many interceptions. Darnold is struggling overall, which is to be expected with missing time due to an illness. Trubisky is conservative, which hurts his yardage and touchdown rates. Josh Allen looks to be having the best overall season among this group.


Running Backs


Dalvin Cook

-I’ve been hesitant buying Dalvin Cook due to his injuries(4 shoulder surgeries, 1 ACL, hamstring, etc).

-Well he’s been Mr. Consistent this season with: 98 yards rushing or more in 6 of 8 games, 1 or more TDs in 7 of 8 games, 4 or more receptions in 4 of 8 games.

-The best consistency statistic for Dalvin Cook is FF points. He’s earned 24 or more points in 6 of 8 games with the other games earning 19 and 13.4 points.

As long as Dalvin stays healthy, expect consistent production the rest of the way.


Aaron Jones

-Week 5 and Week 8 = 90.8 FF points

-Weeks 1,2,3,4,6,7 = 91.3 FF points

-Big weeks are fantastic, but Jones high ranking is due almost exclusively to that. His other weeks would place him in the RB15 range for FF. Sprinkle in some good weeks and he’s in the RB8-10 range.

-But RB3 is due to two outlier games. How common is a PPR game of 30 points or more? The following players are all RB21 or better in terms of PPG this season but haven’t recorded a single game of 30 points or more this season: Dalvin Cook, Zeke Elliot, Saquon Barkley, Leonard Fournette, David Johnson, Josh Jacobs, Todd Gurley, Derrick Henry, Phillip Lindsay, LeVeon Bell, and Marlon Mack.

-Aaron Jones has had two games of over 40 points this season.

-”But if he’s done it twice it should be in his range of outcomes…” I understand that point, but here’s my counter. Jamaal Williams didn’t play the first time Jones earned 40 points in a week. Last week, Jones had two receiving touchdowns. If you add the 2018 season and the 2019 season, before last week, he would equal those two receiving touchdowns.

-Also, Jones has carried the football 14 or more times in a game only twice this season and only once in the last 6 games.

-While the community loves Jones, i’m telling owners to pause the expectations as Jones sits as the RB3 currently. I would actually look into shopping him in dynasty leagues and turn a profit.


Austin Ekeler

-Weeks 1-4 = overall RB2

-Weeks 5-8 = overall RB12

-Weeks 6-8 = overall RB17

-Melvin Gordon ended his holdout and started playing in week 5 and it has destroyed Eckler’s amazing value. He’s still performing solidly for owners, but he was a league winner early in the season.

-The change in Offensive Coordinators may have an effect here.

-Melvin Gordon wasn’t traded, which was a big hope for Ekeler owners.

-Overall, i’d expect the current trend from Ekeler.


Mark Ingram

-22 FF points per game or more in 2 of 3 games to start 2019.

-11.2 FF points per game average over his last 4 games.

-Ingram hasn’t been as efficient on the ground or getting into the end zone at the same rate as early in the season. As stated above, Lamar Jackson isn’t passing as efficient as well. The only thing improving on the offense right now is Jackson’s rushing yardage.

-Ingram faces 4 of the top 7 rush defenses in his last 8 games of the FF season.

-Baltimore needs to lean on Ingram again and hopefully will with cold weather approaching. But the trend is alarming and causes pause.


David Montgomery

-weeks 1-7 = 71 carries for 231 yards 3.25 YPC

-week 8 = 27 carries for 135 yards 5 YPC

-week 8(minus 55 yard run) 26 carries for 80 yards 3.08 YPC

-Most wanted to believe their bias of wanting Montgomery to thrive from the preseason in week 8, but it was really a lot of the same inconsistent struggle.

-Receiving hasn’t been efficient for Montgomery either. 15 receptions for 97 yards.

-Montgomery had one reception for 27 yards in week one. He hasn’t produced 15 yards in a single game over his last 6 contests.

-Chicago went on a winning streak the 2nd half of last year with running the football, but Montgomery hasn’t been efficient and doesn’t look like he’s the answer.


Wide Receivers


Chris Godwin and Mike Evans

-This duo makes up the #3 and #6 PPR WRs on the season and they’re on the same team!

-3 of 7 games = one of them producing a 40+ point PPR game

-6 of 7 games = one of them producing a 25+ point PPR game

-1 of 6 of the 25+ point games = the other WR produces a 20+ point game.

-The worst game for this duo was week 1 of the NFL season, so it appears they’re gaining steam.

-I’d expect both players to be top 10 when looking at only the 2nd half of the season.


DJ Chark

-WR5 overall out of nowhere!

-43 or more receiving yards in every game this season.

-75 or more receiving yards in 4 of 8 games this season.

-1 or more TD’s in 5 of 8 games this season

-The arrival of Gardner Minshew has jumpstarted this offense and Chark is a beneficiary.

-Could Chark get even better? Yes! Chark leads the Jaguars in receptions, yards, and touchdowns but is only 6 targets ahead of Dede Westbrook and only 22 ahead of Chris Conley. I can see more targets headed Chark’s way the 2nd half of the season leading to a top 10 finish.


Allen Robinson

-3 seasons have passed since Robinson’s breakout 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 TD season in 2015

-But he looks like a much better player in 2019 with his route running and explosiveness.

-Robinson is on pace to finish the 2019 season with 105 receptions for 1,202 yards and 7 touchdowns!

-Those are incredible numbers when you factor in the poor coaching, offense, and QB play.

-The offense has to get better and Robinson’s numbers should follow for the rest of 2019!


Tyler Boyd

-The curious case of 2019 Tyler Boyd continues.

-Boyd had a better catch rate, yards per reception, and TD rate in 2018 versus the 2019 season.

-His overall numbers have declined, which is odd for the 2nd largest passing volume offense in the NFL.

-This week the Bengals have announced Ryan Finley will be starting and Andy Dalton


Julian Edelman

-Another year and another good season for Julian Edelman.

-On pace for 106 receptions for 1,148 yards and 8 TDs.

-But with Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon to start the season, many wouldn’t have expected Edelman to be the current WR8 on the season.

-Now with no Brown and Gordon, who have been replaced with Sanu and N’Keal Harry, the targets should increase for Edelman.

-Expect Edelman to maintain or improve on his numbers during the second half of the season.


Tight Ends


Darren Fells

-Out of nowhere, Fells is the current TE8 on the season.

-TE4 the last 6 games.

-TE3 the last 3 games.

-Most will point to Fells’ 5 TDs in the last 6 games, which certainly is a reason for his success. But the offense is without Will Fuller and the running game is lacking. Fells has taken advantage of the opportunity and should continue to be a top 10 TE the rest of the season.


Austin Hooper

-2019 16 game pace = 104 receptions for 1,182 yards and 10 TDs.

-Currently on a 3 game TD streak.

-4 or more receptions every game this season.

-6 or more receptions in 6 of 8 games this season.

-55 or more receiving yards in 6 of 8 games this season.

-Hooper has been a flat out machine and it should continue for the rest of the season. He’s the top TE by almost 30 points thus far!


Darren Waller

-TE3 on the season, who only recorded his first TD of the season two weeks ago.

-His 2 lowest receiving yardage games have come in the last 3 games.

-He has volume with 58 targets on the season.

-7 or more targets in 6 of 7 games this season.

-TD rate will likely decrease with Tyrell Williams back from an injury.

-Waller should finish the season as a top 10 TE, but his numbers will likely decrease slightly.


Mark Andrews

-Scored a TD in 3 of initial 4 games to start the 2019 season. But 0 TD’s scored the last 3 games.

-Weeks 1 and 2 = 220 receiving yards

-Weeks 3-7 = 229 receiving yards. This is with a 99 yard effort in week 6.

-7 or more targets in every game this season.

-Andrews play has fallen off sharply and directly related to Lamar Jackson’s passing numbers decreasing.

-I don’t see Andrews rebounding his downward trend and should finish the season as a low end TE1 this season.


Jason Witten

-At 37 years old and 1 year out of the NFL, Witten has returned to be the current TE13.

-4 targets in a game in 6 of 7 games with the other game having 7 targets.

-Only 5 targets haven’t turned into receptions!

-50 or more receiving yards in 3 of 7 games this season.

-25 or more receiving yards in 6 of 7 games this season.

-If you want a cheap TE play each week, don’t forget about Witten.



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