B-Team (Week 1)
It’s finally back. The favorite series I do the entire year. The B-Team. This is a series where I construct a hypothetical fantasy football lineup using players that are owned in less than 40-percent of Yahoo and/or ESPN leagues. The goal of the series is to top 100 PPR fantasy points using the make-shift team. The premise is to show that there is readily available value at all times across most waiver wires.
Each week beyond this initial week, the previous week’s results will be listed below. As the week’s progress, an archive of previous week’s picks and results can be found at the bottom of this article.
For now, let’s get Week 1 underway!
Derek Carr (Las Vegas Raiders) - Owned in 17% of Yahoo and 14.5% of ESPN leagues
Derek Carr has no choice but to ball out this season. If he doesn’t exceed expectations, he may never get another chance in the NFL as a starting quarterback. This is nothing against Carr, I think he’s a fine quarterback, he’s been let down by the front office and their inability to build a team. He has one of his best teams to date however, although two of his starting wide receivers are rookies. Besides that, he gets the Carolina Panthers week one, whose defense is deemed to be the worst of the league before the season even kicks off. I think Carr establishes a connection with first round speedster Henry Ruggs right away. Let’s not forget top tight-end Darren Waller and reception monster Hunter Renfrow. Carr secretly has some quality weapons.
Boston Scott (Philadelphia Eagles) - Owned in 40% of Yahoo and 39.9% of ESPN leagues
Boston Scott falls just within my perimeters for this series, and I’m happy about that. As I was finishing up editing this article, it was announced Miles Sanders will not play. So this figure used while pulling my information will be far off, but at the time of typing this, was accurate. I’ll take it. Scott is an excellent pass catching back, which will help us here in this PPR format. On top of that, Washington has quietly put together one of the league’s best defensive lines and the Eagles have an aging offensive line. Expect Wentz to be forced to check down multiple times Sunday, meaning Scott could feast.
Jerick McKinnon (San Francisco 49ers) - Owned in 10% of Yahoo and 16.1% of ESPN leagues
I’m swinging for the fences here, which is something I have to do if I am to reach my 100 point scored goal. McKinnon is finally healthy (or as far as we know he is.) He’s been rostered by the 49ers for two seasons but has yet to take a snap for them due to injury. McKinnon was one of the first players head coach Kyle Shanahan went out and acquired when he took over in San Fran. We know Shanahan thinks highly of this guy and rightfully so. When he’s healthy, he's’ one of the best pass catching backs in the league and we know what Shanahan can do with getting value out of the backfield. If McKinnon is a go and gets double digit touches, he’s going to put up a good fantasy line.
Kendrick Bourne (San Francisco 49ers) - Owned in 8% of Yahoo and 1.3% of ESPN leagues
Top wide receiver Deebo Samuel won’t play in the Niners’ first game with the Cardinals. The Cardinals are a team that the 49ers did struggle to score against last year. It is a divisional game and can’t be taken for what’s on paper. If the 49ers struggle to find the endzone again, Jimmy Garappolo may be forced to go to a reliable target, and that is Bourne. Bourne caught five touchdowns last year, which put him in a tie for the most on the team with George Kittle. Look for Bourne to find the endzone at least once on Sunday, maybe twice.
Bryan Edwards (Las Vegas Raiders) - Owned in 25% of Yahoo and 9.4% of ESPN leagues
Bryan Edwards is a guy I’m playing across most formats this week. Not only did he get named a Week 1 starter with Tyrell Williams set to miss the season, the Raiders get arguably the worst defense in the league in Carolina to open the season. We know that the Raiders have speedster Henry Ruggs opposite Edwards, but Edwards is a big body, reception type of receiver opposed to Ruggs boom-or-bust. Edwards is 6-foot-3 and 212 pounds. I like this stack with Derek Carr for this Week 1 match-up.
Jack Doyle (Indianapolis Colts) - Owned in 27% of Yahoo and 39.9% of ESPN leagues
Doyle barely makes the cut in ESPN formats. We’ve taken a few swings-for-the-fences already so let’s go for a sure thing in Indianapolis. Trey Burton is out, leaving Doyle as the sole tight-end target for Phillip Rivers. We know Rivers’ history with productive tight ends is a long one with the likes of Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry. How he has a sure handed Doyle who’s been quietly producing in Indy for seasons. Doyle is another player I’m rolling out in as many formats as I can as the Colts play the Jaguars week one.
Marques Valdez-Scantling (Green Bay Packers) - Owned in 6% of Yahoo and 1.9% of ESPN leagues
I’ve fallen in this trap once before and I’m ready to get hurt again. Reports out of the Packers’ camp are that Aaron Rodgers and Marques Valdes-Scantling have been clicking. Let’s hope. The Packers lack a threat opposite Devante Adams but if they can establish one, they’ll be a must owned fantasy option. The Vikings’ secondary did not improve much from last year where they weren’t much of a threat. This could be a high scoring affair as both teams offer quality offenses. Let’s hope some of the love is sent Valdez-Scantlings’ way.
Detroit Lions - Owned in 10% of Yahoo and 9.3% of ESPN leagues
I’ve been all over this new look Lions’ defense. This is in-part to Matt Patricia being a defensive guru and having a full off-season to get his guys. He made drastic improvements with signing Jamie Collins, Nick Willians and Danny Shelton to improve their previously poor front seven. They get to square off with Mitchell Trubisky which if anything from last season shows us, will be a field day. Look for rookie Jeff Okudah to shadow Allen Robinson all day.