Keeper Korner: 49ers Dante Pettis, Browns Nick Chubb, Broncos Phillip Lindsay and More
The King answers your questions and provides insights for all Keeper owners
Once the Super Bowl is over, many Fantasy players who just think about football only year-round will start obsessing about their keepers, even if their deadline is in the summer. We’ll help you come to some initial decisions about who you should hold, and when free agency and the draft change outlooks, we will help you make any adjustments on your first thoughts. Tweet me @scotteRotoEx and I will answer your questions here in this column. I will also field questions on the RotoExperts Facebook Group page. I will be issuing Fantasy scouting reports on players you may have a challenging time deciding about, and inserting strategy recommendations wherever applicable and necessary.
My in-depth analysis in each answer is executed with all keeper league readers in mind. Even if you are not having your own personal question answered here, the method in which I respond to questions contains analysis that applies to all owners of the players mentioned.
I can keep two. Edelman rd8, Kerryon rd5, Cohen rd6, McKinnon rd8, Guice rd10. Thoughts? PPR.
— J. Mike Taylor (@jmiketaylor) January 24, 2019
Keeper Korner Answer: Edelman is a lock as a keeper in a PPR format. Tom Brady has said he intends to continue playing no matter what happens in Super Bowl LIII, which means more safe and very good Fantasy WR2 production from the second-leading pass-catcher in postseason history. Edelman has faced the best in the game when it has mattered the most and often came away successful. From Week 6 on, he scored under 14 PPR points just one time in 2018. I have to go with Johnson as the second keeper. McKinnon and Guice have lower round values attached to them, but they are question marks heading into next season, whereas a healthy Johnson should be a high-end RB2 with the potential to be a RB1. Johnson’s upright running style does give me minor concerns for more injuries, but he was both versatile and promising before his season ended prematurely in 2018. Cohen comes pretty close to Johnson because of his upside, but consistency is an issue. He had six single figure performances in PPR leagues this past season. The disappointing performances that occasionally come from Cohen can be really hurtful in Fantasy losses. They are like land mines. McKinnon may share carries with Matt Breida next season, according to Kyle Shanahan. I never envisioned McKinnon as a featured back type, even before he was injured this past season and never really got a chance to prove it. Guice reportedly needed three additional surgeries for an infection after tearing his ACL last preseason and is not a keeper consideration at this point.
14 tm 4 player keeper league Chase Edmonds, Pettis and Kirk? Any value here as a 16th rnd holds
— Don Osborn (@djosborn87) January 25, 2019
My buddy Don Osborn is a brave soul, a guy who proudly wears his 49ers jersey in the Seattle area. When I traveled to Seattle in December, I had the pleasure of going out for breakfast with Don. He’s a dedicated FNTSY listener and I really enjoy meeting up and spending time with those who listen to the shows and read the articles. I truly appreciate every one of you.
Keeper Korner Answer: I very much liked what I saw of Edmonds at times last year, and if David Johnson goes down, I believe he could produce pretty good Fantasy totals. The Cardinals drafted him because they wanted to stop searching for a solid backup RB, and now they have found him. He flashed his potential with 53 rushing yards on five carries in Week 13. But he is not a keeper consideration, Edmonds is more of a pure dynasty hold.
Pettis is one that I really like, as a day after I met up with Don, I saw Pettis play in person and was very impressed. A week after catching four passes for 77 yards against Tampa Bay, I watched Pettis total 129 yards and two TDs on five receptions, including a catch-and-run 75-yard score. Pettis looks like the type who wants the ball in key situations, and he caught four TD passes in a three-game span from Weeks 12 through 14. If he shows a consistent rapport with Jimmy Garoppolo next season, Pettis has a lot of appeal as a possible Fantasy WR3 next season. He’s an easy 16th round hold. Pettis has shown he has big-play ability and also can threaten defenses in the goal line area.
Kirk certainly is another WR that can rise next year as well, as a returning Larry Fitzgerald will continue to show him the finer points of the game and even take away some defensive attention. If Josh Rosen can show real signs of improvement under Kliff Kingsbury, Kirk may be able to morph into a respectable regular Fantasy starter. I’d certainly hold him with a 16th round tag, but I think Pettis may outproduce him next season.
From Andrew Brian on Facebook: Chubb in the 10th or Mack in the seventh? 10-team keeper.
Keeper Korner Answer: Mack has the lower round penalty attached, but I have to go with Chubb here. He was a Fantasy RB1 throughout the second half of his rookie year and sacrificing only a seventh rounder for him is just too good of a deal to pass on. I would easily take Mack in the 10th in almost any other situation but I want the potential RB1 over Mack, who I see more as a RB2. Chubb could be a 1,50-yard, 12 TD guy in 2019. That’s possible late first round material in a yearly draft.
From Mike Markowski on Facebook: Full PPR 10 teams. Qb, 3wr, 2rb, 1te,w/t, w/r...keep 6. Mahomes, julio jones, davante adams, kamara, d. Johnson, conner, d.cook, g. Kittle. I'm thinking about not keeping Kittle and Adams...but i can’t start all 4 RBs in any given week.
Keeper Korner Answer: Kittle is a lock. When you have the chance to keep a Top 3 TE, position scarcity definitely comes into play to help make the easier call. Adams may see a bit of a hit in his production if the Packers improve the pass-catching corps around him, but should still be around Top 5 at the WR position. Jones is obviously a hold and it was so encouraging to see the TD production rise greatly in the second half of 2018. Kamara is another sure hold, and if Mark Ingram leaves in free agency, his appeal will increase even more. Conner is set to be a top-level RB with Le’Veon Bell expected to depart. You already have two fine WRs and RBs, so I would keep Mahomes over any third possible player at any other position. I want that No. 1 overall guy at his position over third player depth. Johnson and Cook get tossed back into the player pool. I would rather have the No. 1 overall QB than the flex player.
Keeper Korner Spotlight: Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos: We all know the great story of Lindsay’s rookie season, but he really allowed down when it counted the most for Fantasy players. After scoring in PPR double figures in every game from Weeks 4 through 14, he totaled 101 yards from scrimmage and did not score in Weeks 15 and 16. Lindsay may have ultimately hit a rookie wall, but his campaign was still an impressive one for just about any RB. He was a Top 12 Fantasy RB for most of the year.
Under new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello, the Broncos will likely depend on the running game to set up play-action passing and take pressure off Case Keenum. As the most versatile RB in the Denver RB stable, he should still play a significant role. Lindsay has said he is taking the approach that he has to prove himself all over again. To some Fantasy owners, he may have to. Lindsay does not come with the pedigree of say, a Royce Freeman.
The Broncos invested a high draft choice in Freeman, so they may want to get more out of him in Year Two. Ultimately, NFL teams like to either have a superstar RB or enjoy when they can give defenses two different looks with distinctive RBs. If Freeman bounces back to play better in a part-time role in 2019, he could force a time share. That would obviously cut into Lindsay’s overall production, but for Denver’s sake, he would not get overworked and possibly wear down like he did at the end of 2018. A fresher Lindsay could benefit from a decreased workload and make the most of every time he has the ball. That means a lighter overall statistical output, but more promise for bigger plays when he does get his number called. The Broncos would like that, Fantasy owners would not.
At best, Lindsay could be a RB1 next year, and at worst, he could be in danger of falling into flex territory. If I had to sacrifice a round to keep him, I would not want to give up a first or second rounder. In scenarios where you simply keep as many as directed with no penalties, I would strongly consider him as a third keeper or anything beyond that. I still believe he needs to completely seize the RB1 job in Denver before I feel comfortable using a high keeper designation on him.
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