The Gut Check No.476: Players with League-Winning Upside

Matt Waldman shares players with the statistical upside to carry your team to a title. 

This isn't one of those click-bait articles promising you the winning lottery ticket. If it were, the Gut Check would have titled it, "Players Who Will Carry Your Team To A Title."

Then yours truly would quit Footballguys, get cosmetic surgery, buy some tight jeans, move to California, and take acting lessons. After all, if I want to make it in this business, I'd have to audition for the fantasy football sites that are the love child of Entertainment Tonight, the Today Show, and TMZ.

No, Nephew Harmon, this song isn't about you—you're still bringing the goods and there's no intervention scheduled to save you. Anyway, I'm leaning towards Kettlebell Simple and Sinister more than I am a mid-life crisis.

In case any of you were worried.

This week's Gut Check examines players at a variety of ADP slots who possess an extra level of statistical upside that could turbo-boost your team's scoring and transform a good squad into a league-winner. Many of these options could constitute an article title, "Don't Overthink It."

Not all of these players have steady floors that will provide you safe, median value so it's important that you consider the ceiling, median, and floor of each prospect when constructing your teams.

This is not a definitive list. Don't "what about" me.

Boss digs, mailroom in the rearview

Nick Chubb

The Gut Check is tired of honoring any sense of caution about Chubb this year. It's true that Kareem Hunt is an excellent runner who could usurp Chubb's workload down the stretch but only if Chubb is banged-up. Since Chubb doesn't have chronic injury woes, this is not a legitimate concern.

Despite leaving drafts late in the second round, Chubb is the biggest bargain of the top 50 fantasy players according to ADP because his current value IS his floor. The specter of Hunt and the possibility that Cleveland becomes a pass-crazy offense is depressing Chubb's value.

Chubb earned 1,055 yards and 8 touchdowns on a team with a rookie quarterback and a bickering, dysfunctional soap opera cast of a coaching staff that gave him 2-3 touches per game for the first six weeks fo the year. Although the addition of offensive coach Todd Monken gives us clues about the direction of this offense, head coach Freddie Kitchens is known for his adaptability and showed last year that he will work with his existing talents rather than wedge them into an ill-fitting scheme.

Mayfield had an impressive rookie year, but Chubb's is arguably as good of a showing. He graded out (by far) as the league's best back after contact and is also among the best runners at making opponents miss. He'll carry defensive tackles and also turn a crease into a 90-yard gain.

Despite having more heralded receiving backs on the depth chart, Chubb nearly three targets a game as a receiver. and if Mayfield could have thrown the wheel route with accuracy in 2018, Chubb had at least another 3-5 big-play catches with gains of at least 20-30 yards for each.

Cleveland was in a lot of close games during the dysfunctional portion of last year's schedule. This year's stability and talent could lead to more second-half leads and higher doses of Chubb to close out the game. This is were a projected season of 1,200-1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns can turn into a 1,500-yard campaign and 15-17 total touchdowns.

Hunt is trade bait for 2020 if Chubb stays healthy and no, he's not the better back. And as good as he is, Saquon Barkley might not be the better back, either.

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