Bitter Pills – Visit #3

Beryle Joffre (The pHANTASY pHARMACIST)

Hey there! Welcome back to the Phantasy Pharmacy. So you’ve come in prepared this time. You Googled all of your medications so much you don’t even think you need to talk to the pHarmacist. However, information is power, and I am prepared to give you a healthy dose of knowledge to go with your new players. You may think you know it all, but you may be surprised. Remember to use your new players appropriately or you may get a burning sensation instead of that warm fuzzy feeling.


RX#: QB9

Drug Name: Drew Brees

Tried and true, right? High powered offense, right? What could go wrong, right? Yes, this particular prescription has been keeping fantasy teams running smoothly for many years. But all good things must come to an end eventually. No, there is nothing wrong with old, but sometimes we can step back and see some things when something has been on the market for this long.

Over the last two seasons Brees’ pass attempts have dropped off by 184 total or roughly 27%. He threw 137 less attempts in 2017 than 2016 and lost another 47 in 2018. That being said most owners did not feel the brunt of that drop off in volume due to his sizeable jump in efficiency. Brees is a career 67% completion percentage thrower, but in 2017 (72%) and 2018 (74%) he exceeded that mark. There is potential for him to regress in his efficiency throwing the ball, but with the shift to a more run heavy offense. They went from running 37.5% of the time in 2016 to 45.4% in 2017 to 47.6% in 2018. Couple that with the potential for his touchdown percentage to regress from his 2018 mark 6.5% closer to his career mark of 5.3%. This particular medication just may not be as potent as it once was, so be warned.

RX#: WR81

Drug Name: Mike Williams

This drug is the new hotness. The street value alone is enough to make you run to the nearest pharmacy to pick it up. With that hotness comes a much steeper price tag, but we have been convinced of the breakout. At least that’s what we have been led to believe. After all he had 10 touchdowns and 664 yards on just 66 targets for 43 receptions in 2018, and one of his biggest drug interactions could be missing for at least part of the season. If Melvin Gordon sticks with this projected back order issue there will be less competition for end zone work. Furthermore, Tyrell Williams is gone. Someone has to grab those 65 vacated targets, and if Mike was able to blow up that much on 66 targets, imagine what he can do with 100 or more. This particular prescription could make your team feel really good, but it’s much more likely to give your team indigestion and repeated empty feelings throughout the season.

That level of touchdown efficiency is very difficult to sustain. Those 65 vacated targets will be spread around to Mike, the running backs, whichever 3rd wide receiver option steps in this season, and let’s not forget the triumphant return of Hunter Henry to the marketplace. Philip Rivers is well known for distributing the ball to his tight end, but all he had to work with last year was the empty husk of Antonio Gates. Finally, any projection of Mike Williams as further ascending disregard any opportunity for Keenan Allen to take a step forward. I think it would be safer for you to assume that Mike takes a reasonable step forward in target volume and some yardage but balances that out with a regression in the touchdown column. In short, this medication probably won’t make you feel much better than you felt last season.

RX#: RB28

Drug Name: James White

So one of the most prescribed medications out of New England has been discontinued. That’s right, no more Gronkowski. So now all we have left to catch the ball there is Edelman and your new favorite target from 2018, James White, right? He finished as RB 7 in PPR formats. Yes, he had a great run in 2018. He healed a lot of teams (especially the real Patriots), but a lot of that euphoria could have been via the placebo effect. White was very much a product of circumstances in 2018.

For large portions of the season he was very much the only target out of the backfield, and one of very few target-able options altogether. Even removing his rookie season, he was targeted almost twice as much as his career average, and has almost triple the rushing attempts. This simply cannot be sustained. Regression is coming hard for this particular little White pill.


Thanks for stopping by the Phantasy Pharmacy. I hope you found everything you were looking for. Remember to swallow your pills no matter how bitter they are. You brought this on yourself.

Beryl Joffre Written by:

Full time pharmacist, part time fantasy football enthusiast. Always around to give out advice for either.

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