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PFF Fantasy Football Podcast with Ian Hartitz
18 minutes | Jul 23, 2021
10 questions with Mike Williams
Host Ian Hartitz welcomes on Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams for 10 questions mostly related to the upcoming season. The Chargers again look loaded on paper ahead of the year, and Mike says the team's excitement level is at an all-time high. The conversation continues with thoughts on Justin Herbert's rookie season as well as how the rising second-year quarterback is more vocal in 2021. No surprise: Mike considers 50/50 balls to be 80/20 situations when they involved him and Herbert. Additional topics on the podcast include: Moss vs. Rice, if more targets are on the way in 2021, what Mike has learned from playing with Keenan Allen, if Clemson is WRU and more. What does Mike Williams expect from the Chargers in 2021? (1:46) Mike Williams on Justin Herbert (3:54) How Mike Williams plays the game (7:23) Who inspired Mike Williams (8:42) How good is teammate Keenan Allen (11:40) Is Clemson WRU? (14:17)
17 minutes | Jul 23, 2021
Fantasy Files: Derek Carr is a better real life quarterback than you think
Host Ian Hartitz breaks down Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr's fantasy value ahead of the 2021 season. Ian is among those who have slandered Carr over the years; just realize in recent history he's been nothing other than a great real life quarterback. This is reflected by his 2020 film and analytics alike. The problem: Carr has been more sensitive to pressure than most, and the 2021 version of this offensive line seems poised to take a step back. Throw in a good, albeit not great, group of wide receivers, and you have an offense that might take a step back from their finish as the league's 10th-ranked scoring unit. Ian closes out the podcast with his final feelings on Carr's potential to take a Ryan Tannehill-esque eighth-year leap in 2021. Was last year a sign of things to come for Derek Carr (1:36) Is the Raiders' offense good enough to sustain QB1 play from Carr? (7:16) The table is not set for Carr to be overly productive in fantasy (10:04) Should you take a chance on Carr in late rounds? (12:06)
12 minutes | Jul 22, 2021
Fantasy Files: Why you should draft Kirk Cousins after landing Trey Lance or Justin Fields
Host Ian Hartitz breaks down how often offenses with multiple high-end skill-position players also enable high-end fantasy quarterbacks. The general answer: often, which leads to questions surrounding whether we're too low on Cousins, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Ryan. There are more reasonable concerns for the latter two signal-callers than the former, who truly is in a loaded offense and possesses a borderline erotic start to the season. Ian explains just how cozy Cousins' opening stretch is before explaining why he's the ideal late-round quarterback to snag while investors of Trey Lance or Justin Fields wait for the rookie to win the job. Offenses with top weapons but no QB1 (2:06) What does having elite WRs mean for QB fantasy production? (4:25) What do these findings mean for Kirk Cousins? (5:38)
69 minutes | Jul 21, 2021
AFC South Team Previews
Houston Texans Fantasy Preview (2:13) Indianapolis Colts Fantasy Preview (15:11) Jacksonville Jaguars Fantasy Preview (31:47) Tennessee Titans Fantasy Perview (47:05) AFC South Fantasy Superlatives and Division Odds (1:04:40)
17 minutes | Jul 21, 2021
Fantasy Files: Don't discount Baker Mayfield going super saiyan in 2021
Host Ian Hartitz breaks down Baker Mayfield's fantasy football stock ahead of next season. It's been an up-and-down career for Mayfield since being selected with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2018 draft; just realize he's shown off borderline erotic arm talent and high-end fantasy upside along the way. Don't let the absence of Odell Beckham make you think this Browns offense won't be in its best state yet with anyone's idea of a true WR1 back in action. Despite Mayfield's struggles over the years, he's still performed admirably in PFF's more stable metrics: the best could very well be yet to come, particularly considering the continuity this offense possesses all around the offense. Ian closes out the podcast with a look at Mayfield's projected volume and fantasy rank. What can we learn about the 2021 Browns from last season’s team? (3:21) Positive signs for Baker’s play (6:40) All indications point to a big year for Baker (9:50) Baker’s ranking among QBs (12:18)
15 minutes | Jul 20, 2021
Emergency Pod: Ugh, Cam Akers is out for the season
Host Ian Hartitz gets himself together enough to break down the fantasy implications of Los Angeles Rams RB Cam Akers tearing his Achilles. The obvious beneficiary of this news: Darrell Henderson, although Ian isn't as convinced as others about his potential to immediately take over the full three-down role. This is mostly because we haven't seen Henderson afforded this opportunity during his two-year career. Still, the likelihood of Henderson working as at least the lead, if not undisputed, back in this offense is too much to rank him as anything other than a mid-tier RB2. The rest of the Rams' running backs are truly nobodies, meaning it's not a matter of if, but when, a veteran back is signed. Ian goes through some potential options and prays for Henderon's value that it's more of an early-down veteran as opposed to a scat back. What to expect from Darrell Henderson (1:23) Do any other Rams RBs have value (7:42) What FA RBs could the Rams add? (9:29)
26 minutes | Jul 20, 2021
Fantasy Files: Running backs projected for more volume than their ADP indicates
Host Ian Hartitz goes through a volume study in order to identify some of fantasy football's best values at running back. First Ian points out how historically basically any running back averaging 15 touches per game has been good to great for fantasy business. The only exceptions have been early-down plodders without a pass-game role, so Ian engineers a special expected projected fantasy opportunity formula that accounts for the difference in expected fantasy points on targets compared to rush attempts. Ian then takes these ranks and cross compares them with each running back's average draft position to determine who is overvalued and undervalued relative to their projected volume. More early-down running backs pop as players that will need to be awfully efficient in order to meet expectations, but Ian ultimately comes away with 10 running backs that sure look a lot like values where they're presently being priced. These players include: D'Andre Swift, Joe Mixon, Tevin Coleman and more. Which 1st round backs might have a problem with their touches? (5:30) RBs ranked too high based on probable touches (8:55) 10 RBs what will have the ball enough (12:24)
29 minutes | Jul 19, 2021
Fantasy Files: Top values and fades against current ADP
Host Ian Hartitz breaks out his rankings to tell you his favorite values and fades against present average draft position. Things start off with a breakdown on why Ryan Fitzpatrick is flying under the radar before Ian cautions against expecting too much too soon from Trevor Lawrence. At running back Ian is buying the Zack Moss late-round hype, but again doesn't see much to love about a certain second-year Jaguars running back. Wide receiver discussion revolves around Jaylen Waddle and Adam Thielen before Ian finishes off the podcast with notes on Anthony Firkser and Evan Engram. Ryan Fitzpatrick can be a QB1 in 2021 (1:03) Trevor Lawrence is being drafted too high (3:37) Undervalued QBs: Darnold, Z. Wilson, Lance, Mayfield (5:50) Zack Moss headlines undervalued RBs (7:35) James Robinson won't repeat his 2020 season (9:35) Valuable handcuffs and likely starters are the undervalued RBs (11:26) Veterans on committees, crowded backfield RBs are being overvalued (12:51) Jaylen Waddle is being underrated at WR (14:47) Adam Thielen is being valued too highly (16:34) Underrated WR2s and targets in high-passing offenses should be drafted higher (17:38) Top options on below average or crowded offenses should be concerning (19:40) Anthony Firkser has late-round value (21:09) Evan Engram has too much competition for targets (22:18) Underrated TEs include Alie-Cox, Higbee, Everett, Trautman, Kmet (24:04) Aging TEs, Pats crowded TE room included in prime fade targets (26:20)
18 minutes | Jul 18, 2021
Fantasy Files: Who are 2021's projected alpha target-hogs?
Host Ian Hartitz breaks down which receivers and tight ends have the best chance to absolutely dominate their offense's targets in 2021. First Ian explains why receivers that get workloads with the potential for150-plus targets are so valuable in fantasy land. The conversation continues with a study that attempts to pinpoint players that should see not only a ton of targets, but also far more than their passing game's No. 2 option. Ian then goes through the 12 qualifiers, putting a particular amont of emphasis on the potential for Brandin Cooks and T.J. Hockenson to make the most out of their enhanced roles next season. What date points to look for (1:52) The top target shares over their teammates: Adams, Hopkins, Robinson, Thomas (4:12) Darren Waller will get tons of targets in 2021 (5:27) Calvin Ridley and Terry McLaurin can become top tier WRs after this season (6:04) Brandin Cooks has tremendous value in 2021 (7:13) Stefon Diggs and Keenan Allen (9:54) TJ Hockenson and Mark Andrews are underrated TEs (11:22)
13 minutes | Jul 17, 2021
Fantasy Files: Laviska Shenault looks a lot like the Jaguars' No. 1 wide receiver
Host Ian Hartitz continues his fantasy file series with a look at the fantasy outlook for Laviska Shenault, D.J. Chark and Marvin Jones ahead of the 2021 season. The Urban Meyer era hasn't gotten off to the best start, and the reality that Travis Etienne might be playing a lot of wide receiver muddles this situation. Still, Shenault looked every bit like the next-big thing as a rookie, and he seems plenty capable of emerging as the No. 1 wide receiver even if we see his snaps reduced as a true running back. There's more concern for Chark, who has already earned some stern words from Meyer in the press. Jones has been on Ian's ageist list throughout the offseason, but he's backing off a bit since the veteran receiver is so cheap in fantasy land. Ian concludes the pocast with each receiver's rank and projection for 2021. Overall Jags offense rundown (0:50) Laviska Shenault is due for a huge leap (1:48) DJ Chark's status as Jags WR1? (4:48) Marvin Jones has solid value (6:53) Travis Etienne's expectations year 1? (8:05) Collin Johnson has the most value amongst the rest of the WRs (8:51) Ranking these Jaguars weapons (9:52)
64 minutes | Jul 16, 2021
NFC South Team Previews
Host Ian Hartitz is joined by PFF analyst Andrew Erickson to preview the NFC South from both a fantasy and real life perspective. The guys go through every team and ask: 1.) What's the defining question facing the squad, 2.) Who is each team's most-underutilized player, 3.) Who is your favorite fantasy value pick, 4.) What wild card scenario could you see feasibly occuring, and 5.) What is your over/under pick for each team. The conversation highlights a number of fantasy studs including Kyle Pitts, D.J. Moore, Michael Thomas and much more. The guys conclude the podcast with projected fantasy MVPs by position as well as their favorite divisional pick when keeping the betting odds in mind. How will Arthur Smith impact the Falcons offense? (1:42) How good will Kyle Pitts be as a rookie? (3:21) Can Cordarrelle Patterson be fantasy relevant? (5:11) Russell Gage is under-utilized (7:30) Olamide Zaccheus is a great value pick (8:22) Will Mike Davis be the Falcons' unquestioned RB1? (9:50) Falcons win total predictions (12:59) How will Sam Darnold do for the Panthers? (15:39) Dan Arnold can be an efficient TE (17:58) How good can DJ Moore be this season? (19:48) Is DJ Moore actually undervalued? (21:20) Terrace Marshall has tremendous value (23:48) Could Marshall lead the Panthers in TDs? (25:01) Is Chubba Hubbard a valuable handcuff? (26:38) Panthers win total predictions (28:04) Taysom or Jameis: who will start in NO? (29:30) Marquez Callaway is a sleeper WR (33:03) Latavius Murray has major handcuff value (36:11) Michael Thomas is better than his ADP (37:46) Trequan Smith should be the Saints' WR2 (39:40) Deonte Harris is an electric playmaker (40:36) Saints win total predictions (42:31) Are there too many mouths to feed in Tampa? (44:21) OJ Howard will bounce back (47:27) Scotty Miller's late-round value (50:37) Antonio Brown is undervalued (51:32) Looking at the Buccs' crowded backfield (54:02) Buccaneers win total predictions (58:55) Best division odds (1;00:02)
17 minutes | Jul 16, 2021
Fantasy Files: How do quarterbacks perform without their No. 1 wide receiver?
Host Ian Hartitz breaks down how present-day quarterbacks have performed without the services of their No. 1 wide receiver. The main lesson for the day: correlation doesn't imply causation. Football is such a random sport and features a small sample size; be careful about honing in on one single variable. With that said, Ian does believe there's an argument to be made that the "Ewing Theory" could apply to a team losing their alpha target-hog receiver. Ian only finds five applicable instances of a quarterback missing their No. 1 receiver for an ample amount of time, but does seem to believe Matt Ryan's performance without Julio Jones could be actionable in fantasy land ahead of 2021. Example from last season: Josh Allen (1:55) Why some QBs get better without their WR1 (2:53) Setting the parameters (4:10) Baker has been better without OBJ (6:10) Mahomes has better YPA without Tyreek: something or nothing? (8:27) Drew Lock without Sutton is inconclusive (10:05) Aaron Rodgers without Davante is similar to Mahomes-Tyreek (10:42) What Matt Ryan without Julio tells us (11:06) Where to draft Matt Ryan (14:08)
14 minutes | Jul 15, 2021
Fantasy Files: Building an 11-player ‘Space Jam’ team with current NFL stars
Host Ian Hartitz decides to honor the release of Space Jam 2 by breaking down who planet Earth should start in an 11-on-11 football game against aliens with the fate of humanity on the line. The quarterback conversation is tricky because the players will be playing both ways, but ultimately Ian can't leave Patrick Mahomes off the field. The running back position comes down to two of the league's best pure rushers, while Ian is confident that builidng the offense over the defense will pay dividends at receiver and tight end. The potential for refs to be afraid to call too many ticky tack holding calls with their future on the line leads Ian to go with some of the league's best defensive linemen over the o-line. The podcast concludes with notes on arguably the game's single-best corner and some honorable mentions. QB/LB - Patrick Mahomes (1:46) RB/LB - Derrick Henry (2:47) WR/CB - Tyreek Hill (3:38) WR/S - DK Metcalf (4:15) WR/S - Julio Jones (5:16) TE/OL/LB - George Kittle (6:19) OL/DL - Quenton Nelson (7:06) OL/DL - Aaron Donald (7:54) OL/DL - Khalil Mack (8:23) OL/DL - Myles Garrett (8:51) WR/CB - Jalen Ramsey (9:21) Honorable Mentions (11:17)
67 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
AFC wild cards: which players might have sneaky large roles in 2021?
Host Ian Hartitz is joined by PFF analyst Andrew Erickson to break down potential wild cards from every AFC team that might have a larger impact in the offense than most expect. Conversation begins with a look at Gabriel Davis' role in the Bills' passing game before looking at the Dolphins' similarly-crowded wide receiver room. The Patriots' backfield is as murky as ever, and the Jets aren't too far behind. AFC North discussion revolves around Sammy Watkins, C.J. Uzomah, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Kalen Ballage. Andrew screams to the heavens to give Jordan Akins a moment of your time, while Ian is in agreement that Parris Campbell is worthy of a late-round pick. Additional topics include: Collin Johnson, Anthony Firkser, Teddy Bridgewater, Mecole Hardman, Bryan Edwards and much more. Bills - Gabriel Davis (1:01) Dolphins - Albert Wilson (4:56) Patriots - Rhamondre Stevenson (9:11) Jets - Ty Johnson (11:30) Ravens - Sammy Watkins (14:59) Bengals - CJ Uzomah (18:02) Browns - Donovan Peoples-Jones (20:41) Steelers - Kalen Ballage (24:30) Texans - Jordan Akins (28:40) Colts - Parris Campbell (33:49) Jaguars - Collin Johnson (37:22) Titans - Anthony Firkser (40:30) Broncos - Teddy Bridgewater (43:04) Chiefs - Mecole Hardman (49:06) Raiders - Bryan Edwards (53:30) Chargers - Joshua Kelley (56:23)
13 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
Fantasy Files: DeAndre Hopkins is so good, man
Host Ian Hartitz breaks down the fantasy football value of DeAndre Hopkins and the rest of the Arizona Cardinals' passing game ahead of the 2021. Hopkins has been a top-five receiver by just about any metric you want to look at since entering the league. Not a stats guy? Just ask Jalen Ramsey, who dubbed Nuk as the single-toughest cover in the NFL. The rest of the Cardinals' passing game is a bit iffy, as Kliff Kingsbury apparently considers A.J. Green to be the outright No. 2 wide receiver. This complicates the potential of Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore and Andy Isabella, who each might struggle to see consistent targets if a rotation emerges. Ian finishes off the podcast with his specific rank for Hopkins and a note on which complementary receiver he prefers. DeAndre Hopkins is a beast (0:51) What to expect from AJ Green this season? (4:47) Who will be the Cardinals' WR3? (6:51) Expectations for Cardinals WRs (9:41)
26 minutes | Jul 13, 2021
Fantasy Files: Breaking down every single running back handcuff situation
Host Ian Hartitz goes through the pecking order in every NFL backfield to determine which No. 2 running backs might provide the best handcuff value in the event the team's starter misses time in 2021. The first tier consists of the big-four handcuffs that most are familiar with before Ian moves on to the tier two group, which includes running backs part of a committee with room to truly flourish if disaster stikes. The third tier includes notes on the Rams, Steelers, Dolphins and more: backfields where Ian could see the backup getting a featured role, but it's not guaranteed. The podcast concludes with a look at which running back situations are either too unclear, or consist of one-dimensional talents, for fantasy investors to worry about. Tier 1 handcuffs (1:12) Tier 2 handcuffs (3:44) Tier 3 handcuffs (8:10) Tier 4 handcuffs (15:55) Tier 5 handcuffs (19:19) Tier 6 handcuffs (21:48)
16 minutes | Jul 12, 2021
Fantasy Files: Please, please, please let Justin Fields start the majority of 2021
Host Ian Hartitz breaks down the fantasy stock of Justin Fields ahead of 2021. You want Fields to start in Week 1, I want Fields to start in Week 1: it doesn't look like head coach Matt Nagy wants Fields to start in Week 1. This is a shame, because Fields fits the historical archtype of a successful rookie fantasy quarterback. The opposite is true of Dalton, who was mediocre with the Cowboys last season and hasn't offered anything resembling fantasy upside for more than a half decade. Ian finishes off the podcast by looking closely at the Bears schedule before giving his rank for Fields.
11 minutes | Jul 11, 2021
Fantasy Files: Can Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen both function as WR1s?
Host Ian Hartitz breaks down the fantasy stock of both Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen ahead of 2021. The Vikings didn't exactly achieve their goals in 2020 from a wins and losses perspective; just realize this offense was still as elite as they come. This was thanks in large part to Justin Jefferson emerging as a great replacement for Stefon Diggs. Jefferson was great as a rookie, but he was a great receiver period, regardless of year. Thielen also deserves plenty of credit for catching 14 (!!!) touchdowns last season, although father time is approaching. Ian concludes the podcast with Jefferson and Thielen's specific ranks.
16 minutes | Jul 10, 2021
Fantasy Files: Chase Edmonds is a zero-RB enthusiast's delight
Host Ian Hartitz breaks down the fantasy stock of Chase Edmonds and James Conner ahead of the 2021 season. Ian starts things off by pointing out the Cardinals have fielded a great rush offense despite Kliff Kingsbury's air raid attack not quite living up to expectations. The departure of Kenyan Drake means Edmonds should be the starting running back meow, but he'll need to improve his ability as a rusher in order to meet his ceiling. The largest issue for Edmonds might just be on the goal line, where Conner has actually thrived throughout his career. Ian concludes the podcast with his specific ranks for Edmonds and Conner as well as a take on somehow incorporating chess-like timers into fantasy football drafts.
16 minutes | Jul 9, 2021
10 questions with Antonio Gibson
Host Ian Hartitz welcomes on starting running back for the Washington Football Team Antonio Gibson for 10 questions mostly related to the upcoming 2021 season. Gibson talks about his conversion to being a full-time running back, noting that the Football Team didn't want to put too much on his plate in year one. Look out potential fantasy football investors: Gibson says he'll be used more as a true receiver in 2021, and perhaps more importantly his toe is feeling great. Conversation continues with what Gibson learned from playing with Adrian Peterson as well as who his favorite running back was growing up. Gibson names Alvin Kamara the first-team all-swag RB1 before discussing new teammates Ryan Fitzpatrick and Curtis Samuel. The podcast concludes with Gibson talking about Memphis and their next-big thing at running back.
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