Friday - Apr 19, 2019

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The Underdog – Against Odds

Hear ye, Hear ye. The kickoff to the fantasy season is here and gone. Peyton Manning has relentlessly thrown for seven touchdowns. Julius Thomas has millions of fantasy owners clawing their keyboards in angst, as they gracefully attempt to drop Kyle Rudolph or Vernon Davis. And Wes Welker is no longer Tom Brady’s….well, you know. 


it is that time of year again. All you have to do is leave it to to shake, rattle and roll you to that prestigious fantasy championship. 

If you haven’t done so already
take a look around the tank at the assortment of great information provided by all the writers who scribe here, you won’t be disappointed. 

As far as “The Underdog” report, to tell you the truth, it is nothing special this opening week. In fact, it downright stinks. Why? To put it nicely, anyone who starts the players on this report either has a laughable fantasy squad or just plays in too big of a league. I guess I have to start somewhere. Read the ground rules and you will understand.


In order to be considered for this report, an underdog must achieve an average projection odds of at least 14-1 (quarterback), 24-1 (running back), 36-1 (wide receiver), and 14-1 (tight end). Projection odds are calculated on Friday morning, and are based on a combination of different expert rankings for the week using
salaries will also be provided.

The scoring format that will be utilized will be
points per reception (PPR).
Please take a look at the link to the format provided if you want to compare this scoring format to your league format.


Projection Odds: 42-1 Salary: $5,300

The Thomas hype train was chugging rigorously a few years back when many fantasy connoisseurs were shoveling the coal at a grueling pace. Last season the shovels were slowly taken off the train and the engine came to a complete stop; those shovels have been rusting ever since. Thomas will shake off that rust this week against a Falcons defense (with nine returning starters) that is small, and can be overpowered at the point of contact when opposing offenses run the football. Last season the Falcons defense allowed 123.2 rushing yards per game and a fourth-worst 4.8 yards per carry.

In the last two seasons, Saints quarterback Drew Brees has started 16 games at home. Over the course of those 16 games Brees has thrown for an average of 317.5 yards per game compared to 348.3 away from the Louisiana Superdome, and the Saints have gone 12-4 (8-0 under Sean Payton). The key – getting up early and running the football effectively late, something I suspect will be emulated this week against the Falcons.


Projection Odds: 21-1 Salary: $6,600

Smith not only has a chip on his shoulder heading in to 2013 thanks to the option artist by the bay, but he is in an offensive system that he can actually thrive in. Yes, the Jaguars run defense has been pitiful as of late – having allowed 141 yards per game and 19 touchdowns in 2012, and an AFC-high 157.5 yards per game in the preseason – so it’s easy to assume the Chiefs will pound, pound, pound with Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis.

Keep in mind, though, that the Chiefs are on the road in a hot weather environment. In fact, on Sunday the forecast calls for 88 degrees and sun, so chances are pretty good that head coach Andy Reid will want to chuck it down the field a little as conditions will be righteous for airborne pigskins. Plus, the last thing Reid wants to see is his star running back cramping up or tearing a hamstring because his legs heat up like a tea kettle. Same goes for the Jaguars when they’re on offense. In essence, fantasy owners could actually end up seeing a mini-shootout, as the defenses are bound to wear down much faster.


Projection Odds: 63-1 Salary: $4,800

The Raiders offense is so dysfunctional that any kind of scoring in the first half would be about as shocking as the look on the Smith family’s faces upon watching Miley Cyrus twerk her trasero all over married man Robin Thicke at the MTV Video Music Awards. In other words, Streater will get a ton of short yardage garbage time receptions in the second half when the Colts secondary softens up. His current projection score of 63-1 is laughable, much like Cyrus’ attempt at becoming an ugly stripper who dances with bears. You won’t see many owners starting Streater, but he does have the potential to break in to the top-24 among wide receivers in points per reception formats.


Projection Odds: 74-1 Salary: $4,500

For all those who know me well enough, this underdog may turn in to the “I wish I was wrong” prediction. The Green Bay Packers have a hot mess at the safety position. At the same time, they will do a much better job this time around in forcing San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick to launch the ball down the field instead of sprinting with it (literally); Jim Harbaugh is already whining about Clay Matthews’ promise to lay some wood on Kaepernick when he runs the option.

Patton is quickly becoming one of Kaepernick’s favorite targets due to his timely ability to find ways to get open, especially inside the red zone. Coincidentally, Patton reminds me of teammate Anquan Boldin when he played in his first career NFL game a decade ago while with the NFC West Arizona Cardinals. A line of 43 Shark points later and Boldin was the hot post Week 1 waiver wire star. Could we see a repeat?


Projection Odds: 21-1 Salary: $5,700

Philadelphia Eagles safeties Patrick Chung and Nate Allen do a great job of sticking ball carriers in the open field. What they don’t do well is blanket receivers striding down the middle of the field before the ball is spiraled through the air. In fact, the back end secondary combo may be the Achilles heel of the Eagles defense. Furthermore, the last time Davis played in a game against the Eagles (2011) he caught six passes for 95 yards. I know Davis is coming off a major injury, but he has top-10 potential against a questionable secondary group capable of being burned for at least two or three big plays. I like Davis’ odds in Week 1 of being one of the burners.


As stated above, if you are starting any of these players, I really feel bad for you.  For everyone else, all I can say is that I’m sorry you have wasted your time reading this report. I promise next week will be better, though, especially when we know how truly bad the Oakland Raiders offense really is.

Thanks for reading!

Eric Huber is a Senior Writer for and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). Email him your thoughts

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About Fantasy Sharks began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.