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Week 2 fantasy football rankings

Photo via:Houstontexans.com

Let's take a look at how the fantasy ranks are stacking up for Week 2. Keep in mind, these are PPR rankings, and don't forget to set your lineup for Thursday Night Football. If you have any questions feel free to hit me up on Twitter. Be sure to check out my show MoneyLine with Jerry Bo on ESPN 97.5FM. We're on every Sunday from 10-noon, and we'll talk a lot of fantasy football and NFL gambling getting you ready for kickoff every Sunday.

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QB

Photo via: Patriots/Facebook

1 Patrick Mahomes KC@OAK
2 Deshaun Watson HOUvsJAX
3 Carson Wentz PHI@ATL
4 Lamar Jackson BALvsARI
5 Tom Brady NE@MIA
6 Matt Ryan ATLvsPHI
7 Jared Goff LARvsNO
8 Dak Prescott DAL@WAS
9 Cam Newton CARvsTB
10 Baker Mayfield CLE@NYJ
11 Drew Brees NO@LAR
12 Aaron Rodgers GBvsMIN
13 Ben Roethlisberger PITvsSEA
14 Russell Wilson SEA@PIT
15 Derek Carr OAKvsKC
16 Josh Allen BUF@NYG
17 Philip Rivers LAC@DET
18 Matthew Stafford DETvsLAC
19 Jameis Winston TB@CAR
20 Andy Dalton CINvsSF

RB

Photo by Rams/Facebook

1 Christian McCaffrey CARvsTB
2 Alvin Kamara NO@LAR
3 Saquon Barkley NYGvsBUF
4 Ezekiel Elliott DAL@WAS
5 Dalvin Cook MIN@GB
6 Nick Chubb CLE@NYJ
7 James Conner PITvsSEA
8 Mark Ingram BALvsARI
9 Chris Carson SEA@PIT
10 David Johnson ARI@BAL
11 Le'Veon Bell NYJvsCLE
12 Austin Ekeler LAC@DET
13 Leonard Fournette JAX@HOU
14 Giovani Bernard CINvsSF (Make sure Mixon is inactive before starting Bernard)
15 Derrick Henry TENvsIND
16 Josh Jacobs OAK@KC
17 Todd Gurley LARvsNO
18 Kerryon Johnson DETvsLAC
19 Marlon Mack IND@TEN
20 Damien Williams KCvsOAK
21 Sony Michel NE@MIA
22 James White NE@MIA
23 Devonta Freeman ATLvsPHI
24 Duke Johnson HOUvsJAX
25 Matt Breida SF@CIN
26 Chris Thompson WASvsDAL
27 Aaron Jones GBvsMIN
28 LeSean McCoy KCvsOAK
29 Tarik Cohen CHI@DEN
30 David Montgomery CHI@DEN
31 Devin Singletary BUF@NYG
32 Mile Sanders PHIvsATL
33 Phillip Lindsay DENvsCHI
34 Carlos Hyde HOUvsJAX
35 Adrian Peterson WASvsDAL
36 Latavius Murray NO@LAR

WR

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

1 Julio Jones ATLvsPHI
2 DeAndre Hopkins HOUvsJAX
3 JuJu Smith-Schuster PITvsSEA
4 Michael Thomas NO@LAR
5 Odell Beckham Jr CLE@NYJ
6 Keenan Allen LAC@DET
7 Amari Cooper DAL@WAS
8 Davante Adams GBvsMIN
9 Sammy Watkins KCvsOAK
10 Julian Edelman NE@MIA
11 Adam Thielen MIN@GB
12 Robert Woods LARvsNO
13 Mike Evans TB@CAR
14 Brandin Cooks LARvsNO
15 T.Y. Hilton IND@TEN
16 Tyrell Williams OAK@KC
17 Josh Gordon NE@MIA
18 D.J. Moore CARvsTB
19 Cooper Kupp LARvsNO
20 Chris Godwin TB@CAR
21 Calvin Ridley ATLvsPHI
22 Stefon Diggs MIN@GB
23 Allen Robinson CHI@DEN
24 Tyler Lockett SEA@PIT
25 DeSean Jackson PHI@ATL
26 John Brown BUF@NYG
27 Dede Westbrook JAX@HOU
28 Larry Fitzgerald ARI@BAL
29 Michael Gallup DAL@WAS
30 Kenny Golladay DETvsLAC
31 Alshon Jeffery PHI@ATL
32 Will Fuller HOUvsJAX
33 Tyler Boyd CINvsSF
34 Emmanuel Sanders DENvsCHI
35 Curtis Samuel CARvsTB
36 Jarvis Landry CLE@NYJ
37 Marquise Brown BALvsARI
38 Courtland Sutton DENvsCHI
39 DK Metcalf SEA@PIT
40John Ross CINvsSF

TE

Photo via: Chiefs/Facebook

1 Travis Kelce KCvsOAK
2 George Kittle SF@CIN
3 Evan Engram NYGvsBUF
4 Zach Ertz PHI@ATL
5 T.J. Hockenson DETvsLAC
6 Mark Andrews BALvsARI
7 OJ Howard TB@CAR
8 Delanie Walker TENvsIND
9 Darren Waller OAK@KC
10 Austin Hooper ATLvsPHI
11 Vance McDonald PITvsSEA
12 Jared Cook NO@LAR
13 Greg Olsen CARvsTB
14 Jimmy Graham GBvsMIN
15 David Njoku CLE@NYJ

DEF

1 Patriots @MIA
2 Ravens ARI
3 Panthers TB
4 Bears @DEN
5 Cowboys @WAS
6 Texans JAX
7 Browns @NYJ
8 Bills @NYG
9 Broncos CHI
10 Titans IND
11 Packers MIN
12 Vikings @GB
13 Chargers @DET
14 Chiefs OAK
15 Jaguars @HOU

KICKER

1 Justin Tucker BALvsARI
2 Greg Zuerlein LARvsNO
3 Wil Lutz NO@LAR
4 Stephen Gostkowski NE@MIA
5 Harrison Butker KCvsOAK
6 Ka'imi Fairbairn HOUvsJAX
7 Jake Elliott PHI@ATL
8 Brett Maher DAL@WAS
9 Jason Myers SEA@PIT
10 Robbie Gould SF@CIN
11 Matt Bryant ATLvsPHI
12 Cairo Santos TENvsIND
13 Mason Crosby GBvsMIN
14 Matt Prater DETvsLAC
15 Dan Bailey MIN@GB

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Here's what the data tells us about Bregman. Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Alex Bregman had a rough season in 2020 by his standards. He slashed .242/.350/.451 in 42 regular season games. His regular season included a trip to the 10-day IL for a hamstring strain he suffered in mid-August. His surface-level struggles continued in the postseason, where he slashed .220/.316/.300 in 13 games. However, that postseason sample size does include a tough luck game against the Tampa Bay Rays where he went 0-for-5 with five hard hit balls.

All-in-all, 2020 felt like a lost season for Bregman. He never really got going. He got off to a slow start, but he's always been a slow starter. Once he started to pick it up, he strained his hamstring, and he played poorly after returning from the hamstring strain. Then, he started to turn his batted ball quality around in the playoffs, but he hit into a lot of tough luck outs.

Hard Hit % - 33.6%

Barrel % - 3.9%

K% - 14.4%

BB% - 13.3%

Chase % - 18.1%

Bregman comes from the Michael Brantley school of hitters. He has elite plate discipline and elite bat-to-ball skills. This makes Bregman a fairly consistent hitter. That may sound odd considering his 2020 "struggles" but even an extended period of poor performance for him resulted in a .801 OPS and a 122 wRC+. If his valleys are still 22% better than the league average hitter, then that's a pretty reliable producer.

There aren't any alarming trends in Bregman's statistics. Yes, his K% was slightly up, his BB% is slightly down, but it isn't a massive difference in either category. His Chase % was up, but again, 18.1% is elite discipline. The biggest drop was in his Hard Hit%, where he fell from 38% to 33.6%. Even so, his average exit velocity only dropped .4 MPH, so there's not really a catastrophic trend here.

His .254 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) was low, but he's never put up really high BABIP numbers. In fact, his BABIP has gotten worse every year of his career, from .317 to .311 to .289 to .281 to .254. While his BABIP will likely spike back up next year, it isn't enough to be the difference between the 2019 and 2020 versions of himself. His xBA and xSLG weren't out of whack either. His .256 xBA isn't much better than his .240 AVG, and his .400 xSLG is actually worse than his .451 SLG.

Bregman is as forthcoming with his hitting mechanics, approach, and mental cues as any big leaguer out there. Here is what he had to say about his swing this year. This was a Zoom press conference with the media following the Astros game on September 25th against the Rangers.

Bregman says he wants to hit balls in the air to the pull side and on a line to the opposite field, but in reality, he was hitting flares to the opposite field and hitting them on the ground to the pull side.

The data mostly backs up that claim. In 2019, on balls hit to the pull side, Bregman had an average exit velocity of 90.7 MPH at an average launch angle of 16°, a 40% Hard Hit %, and a 16% HR%. Since Bregman has elite bat-to-ball skills, most of those metrics didn't change. In 2020, his average exit velocity was 90.6, essentially the same as 2019. His Hard Hit % was 42%, a touch better than in 2019. However, his average launch angle dipped from 16° to 11°, which contributed to his HR% dropping all the way to 9%. Bregman hit 47% of his pull side swings on the ground. In 2019, that number was 40%. He absolutely had less production to the pull side in 2020.

The data gets a little hazier going the opposite way when comparing 2019 to 2020, as Bregman actually performed slightly better to the opposite field in 2020 than 2019, but he also only had 20 batted balls to the opposite field all season. Considering the small sample size, it isn't worth diving too deep into the data.

He's right that most of the balls he hit that way were flares. He had an average exit velocity of 83.4 MPH with an average launch angle of 32°, but that's about the same as what he did in 2019. A lot of the statistical drop off comes from balls that were backspun rockets to the pull side in 2019 becoming top spinners or roll overs in 2020.

Bregman also performed horribly against breaking balls in 2020. He batted .150 with a .250 SLG against them in 2020. He had an 84 MPH Average Exit Velocity against them and whiffed 26.5% of the time against them.

It was a far cry from 2019, when he hit .265 with a .588 SLG, 87 MPH average exit velo, and whiffed 18% of the time.

Those numbers lend credence to his statement on his mechanics. It's tough for a hitter to have adjustability against breaking balls if he's blowing out his front side and pulling off of the baseball.

Bregman will spend the offseason working on these mechanical fixes and getting back to the hitter he used to be. If he's consistently hitting the ball in the air to the pull side next year, and he's performing better against breaking balls, then he should be right back in the mix for AL MVP.

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