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By Joshua B, aka Generallyaware

Last year I shared my process for these picks as it evolved and (hopefully) improved and I wanted to share where I am at with you all for this year.


I narrowed it down to three (3) simple questions:

  1. Opportunity
  2. Vulnerability
  3. Production

As such I look for increasing snap shares and target shares, as well as where injuries to other players will affect the depth chart.

I move on to looking for opponent vulnerabilities and trends as it relates to these players’ positions or roles.

Finally, I look for some evidence that the players are even capable of such a breakout. Many times no such evidence is available, especially for rookies and journeyman players. I’m not looking for impressive production recently (they would probably be owned then), I just mean some history that shows they can actually catch or had a big game in past seasons.

A number of this week’s picks exemplify these indicators.

Duh Starts

Austin Hooper, TE, Atlanta vs Cincinnati

ESPN 35% Yahoo 36%

The Bengals are giving up points to Tight Ends. I think Cincinnati pushes Atlanta to need to throw and Ridley might be getting some attention leaving Hooper with some room to work. Really like Boyd on the Bengal side but that cat is out of the bag for good.

Making the Case:

  • Bengals 5th worst against TEs
  • One of the highest Over/Unders in betting. <- Gamescript.
  • Ridley not surprising anyone.

Antonio Callaway, WR, Cleveland @ Oakland

ESPN 30% Yahoo 35%

By all that is good and holy, add Antonio Callaway already!! This is on the edge of my ownership realm, but he shouldn’t even be close. Play him. DUH! No case needed, but Oakland is giving up the 5th most points to WRs and the 2nd or 3rd option has outscored the team’s WR1 in all three weeks so far, including big plays to Cooks, Sanders and Jakeem Grant.

Making the Case:

  • Just
  • Do
  • It

Deep Starts

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami @ New England

ESPN 20% Yahoo 20%

I don’t do quarterbacks often, but they’ve been rough lately and if you are missing Smith or Newton to Bye or just aren’t getting what you need from the one you drafted, here’s Tannehill to save the day. NE giving up plenty to QBs.

Making the Case:

  • Patriots are 10th worst against QBs so far, giving up 4th most rushing yards to QBs, too.
  • Tannehill producing with lots of weapons, and with his legs.

Taylor Gabriel, WR, Chicago vs Tampa Bay

ESPN 3% Yahoo 2%

Anthony Miller is Out, and Gabriel should be stepping into a solid share of the work. Even with Miller, he was getting work. Meanwhile Tampa Bay is giving up the 2nd most points to receivers.

Making the Case:

  • Opportunity: Increased share plus injury to Miller
  • Vulnerability: Chicago is giving up the fewest RB points, but only 15th to WRs
  • Production: We’ve seen flashes this year and plenty in past to know he’s capable.

Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore @ Pittsburgh

ESPN 2% Yahoo 2%

Andrews is the leading Tight End target and touchdown receiver going against the second worst defense against Tight Ends in the Steelers. While Nick Boyle and Maxx Williams are getting some work too, Andrews is doing the most with his. Fellow rookie Hayden Hurst may return this week, but I doubt he steps right into a full time role over Andrews.

Making the Case:

  • Baltimore and Flacco love their Tight Ends
  • Steelers are a juicy target
  • High over/under on this primetime game means we could expect a high score.

Dumb Starts

Rhett Ellison, TE, New York Giants vs New Orleans

ESPN 3% Yahoo 4%

I really wanted a piece in this game as the Saints have allowed the opposing team’s WR3 to be the highest scoring WR for three weeks straight. That would have been Cody Latimer, but he has been declared Out. Meanwhile Engram was already out. Everyone’s wanting to pivot to Shepard but it just seems too obvious, and too owned. Besides, its the deep threat big play that’s been bothering the Saints (DeSean Jackson, Antonio Callaway, Calvin Ridley), not the slot guy. Tight Ends have suffered against the Saints, but I can’t help but conclude its simply been that there haven’t been any scraps left over for them after the receivers ripped the Saint’s secondary.

I’m purely chasing the opportunity here.

Making the Case:

  • Saints defense has been lacking.
  • Injuries to Giants depth in WR and TE


Starting next week, since we’re now in Bye season, I’ll be giving a review of the previous week’s picks. If you have any choice words on my selections, feel free to share! @Generally_Aware on Twitter. @ Me!

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