Finding Value: Friday, June 25th, 2021
Honestly, it was hard to come up with the title of this column.
Coming up with regular content is always a struggle. Not because you cannot think of anything to do; usually it is the exact opposite. Maybe you see a trend or a player being discussed, or perhaps you stumble across an eye-catching stat while doing some research, and suddenly you have a million things that your juggling in the air and no idea how you will catch any of them. Self-discipline really matters in instances like these, and that is a lot easier said than done.
Lately, that self-discipline has been a struggle when it comes to putting out written content. I could blame it on a lack of time, but that it still would not change the fact that I have not put anything out since April. Am I doing a podcast and a livestream every week? Sure, but written content was my bread and butter in 2020. I needed to find a way back into it. A weekly column felt like a good way to go about it.
Each Monday (yes I know it is Friday), I am going to highlight a thing from my life where I found some value and a player (or players, if I am in the mood) that are currently a value in fantasy drafts. I am going to drop a new edition of the column each Monday between now and Week 1 when The Lateral resumes our in-season content schedule.
Quick shoutout to the crew over at In-Between Media by the way. I know weaving your personal life into the substance of an article is not a new trope by any means, but they really kill it with that sort of thing. I would be lying if it was not a slight inspiration for the concept I ran with here. Because of that, they are the thing that added some value to my life this week.
WR Antonio Brown (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Antonio Brown was not even on a football field in Week 8 of the 2020 season. Seriously, he literally did not play a down of football until Week 9. Brown is a phenomenal talent, but nobody is supposed to just walk in off the street and be able to be a week-in-week-out NFL starter.
Yet that is precisely what Antonio Brown did. His Week 9 against New Orleans was a bit lackluster, but even including that 6.1 point PPR performance, he still managed to be WR22 from Week 9 to Week 17 in PPR. That is not nothing. That is a fantasy-relevant WR.
Side Note: Other Week 9 to Week 17 top-24 WRs that are currently being overlooked include Marvin Jones (WR5 performance Week 9-17 2020, WR53 ADP in 2021) and Brandin Cooks (WR9, WR37 respectively). These are two WRs that I fully expect to provide value in 2021 and I will certainly be targeting them in my drafts.
Brown has competition; Mike Evans (WR11 in 2020 PPR) and Chris Godwin (14.6 PPR PPG in 2020) certainly are not scrubs. But they also both played every single game that Antonio Brown played in during the 2020 season. Considering that nothing about this team is expected to change in 2021 (including Ke'Shawn Vaughn being fantasy relevant [sorry]), there is no reason to expect that Brown cannot flirt with WR2 territory, let alone be a WR3 in 2021.
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