Aaron Jones - RB, Green Bay Packers
vs. Chi in Week 15, at MIN in Week 16 - fantasy playoffs are brutal - maybe you even look to move him after like his Week 10 game vs. Car, depending on when your trade deadline is.
If we can get him past the first month of the season without a hamstring pull or something, I'm going to feel good about what he's going to do for the rest of the season.
Miles Sanders - RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Seems obvious. Will start the year in a committee with Jordan Howard but will eventually pull away after 4-6 weeks.
The biggest thing to keep an eye on will be the snap counts. What we'll see, HOPEFULLY happen, for this to work correctly, is that the two will start in a near-identical split in terms of snaps, then it will slowly start to trickle in favor of Sanders, but what I'd like to see is that the production stays relatively parallel between the two - maybe Jordan Howard has a 2-TD game or something, but we want to follow the snap counts, because more time on the field is obviously more predictive than just getting lucky on one or two big plays. You want the public to think this is still a timeshare, while you realize it's slowly fading away from that and Sanders is on the field for 55, 60, 65, 70% of the snaps before you know it.
Cooper Kupp - WR, Los Angeles Rams
I've been super vocal about not wanting to draft Kupp at his current 5th round ADP price due to the nature of his ACL tear in 2018. He tore it in the Rams Week 11 game last year and had surgery about a week later. So, as of the start of the season he'll be about 9.5 months removed from that surgery. The recovery, that we know from Jesse Morse, physically, is 9-12 months. He's at the very early stages of that, and again, that's only physically speaking, you still need to build up the muscles around the knee, get into NFL game speed, feel 100% mentally, being able to put all the weight, pressure on the knee to explode, cut, etc. Kupp is a shifty player than needs his full lateral range of motion to succeed at the level we want him to.
We've seen reports that they're practicing a lot more 2TE sets, probably in anticipation of Kupp being eased in slowly. This would be super off-brand for McVay seeing as how he runs from the 11 personnel (3WRs) on 77% of his plays last year, highest rate in the NFL, by a pretty large margin.
Kupp avoided the PUP and will likely be suiting up in Week 1 - but that doesn't mean he's 100% - I don't care about how all the testing is better than pre-ACL tear, you're comparing apples to fucking margaritas. It's been over two years since the combine, he's a different size, he's built different - completely different circumstances - it's a completely useless, unofficial report that will have stupid fantasy owner getting excited about him.
I love Kupp as a player - I called him the white Keenan Allen (shoutout Sham) in one of the very first videos I made after the NFL draft that year - he fits flawlessly in that Rams offense, but he's not going to be playing on his usual snap counts, nor will he be 100% during the first month of the season. It's still a gamble as to whether or not we see 2018 Cooper Kupp at any point this season, but if it's going to happen, it's going to be after a bunch of lackluster early-season performances and people will want to sell him. I'm looking to let someone else draft Kupp, then trade midway through the season.
Marlon Mack - RB, Indianapolis Colts
Calvin Ridley - WR, Atlanta Falcons
Alshon Jeffery - WR, Philadelphia Eagles