Fantasy Football

NFL Off-Season Hype You Should Be Paying Attention To

NFL News and Trends

July truly is the dog days of the NFL Off-Season. Genuine news can be few and far between, and sometimes it’s hard to distinguish what hype actually matters, and what is just pandering until August. But fear not, for we here at Gridiron Experts have done the work for you. It doesn’t matter if you are a Dynasty Owner, a Redraft Warrior, or just love good football, this article is your one-way ticket to the fastest hype trains in town.

Calvin Ridley’s Comeback Season

Yes folks, Calvin Ridley is back and I for one haven’t been so bought in on returning wide receiver for a while. If you haven’t read his open letter to the game, you should have, but I’ll summarize. He acknowledges what sounds like serious mental health concerns, although what is refreshing is rather than use it as a reason for mistakes, he owns it, the mistakes made were on him and him alone. Now he’s back, having grown physically, mentally, and healed up, ready to give it all to his Jacksonville Jaguars. To quote him directly; “On the field, I’m flying. Believe me, I’m flying. On my daughter’s name, if I’m healthy? With Trevor Lawrence? I’m giving Jacksonville 1,400 yards a season, period.”

Why it Matters for Fantasy

Ridley ranked 4th in total fantasy points amongst all wide receivers in 2020, despite missing two games. That was the year he became WR1 with Atlanta, leading all receivers in plays of 15+ yards. You could be forgiven for not being blown away by his 1374 total yards until you learn that he played the entire year on a *checks notes* broken foot?! He ranked 4th amongst all wide receivers in fantasy with a broken foot and a declining Matt Ryan slinging the rock.

The Jaguars have the best quarterback prospect possibly ever, entering year 3 after already taking a leap. The same Jaguars who were ridiculed for paying Christian Kirk only for him to rank 11th in fantasy points amongst all wide receivers. If Ridley matches his past production he will be a monster, and at 28 years old he can still pay dividends for years to come.

Why it Matters for Football

In 2020 while Calvin Ridley was making a name for himself as a top Dynasty prospect, Trevor Lawrence was undergoing the worst coaching experience just about any rookie QB has gone through. 2021 changed both of their lives for different reasons. So in 2023, now years removed from the drama, I’m all in on the prospect of them both balling out. This could be the year we see Trevor Lawrence, the prince that was promised, and if we do it will need some serious production by Ridley.


Cleveland Browns Roster

This feels hypocritical. Directly after talking about Calvin Ridley owning his actions, I’m turning to the Deshaun Watson-led Browns. But one can’t look at the Browns Roster, nor at Deshaun Watson’s past performance, and not see the possibility that they can genuinely contend. The Brown’s roster is sneaky good. Their lines are strong, particularly on offense, which makes sense given the money that has been put into it. They have the best pure running back in the NFL and probably the only place they could use a superstar is the receiver room. Amari Cooper is solid but not a star.

Why it Matters for Fantasy

With all the drama surrounding Watson, and his play last year, it can be easy to forget how dominant he was on a bad Texans team. He ranked 5th in total fantasy points amongst all players in 2020, and his QBR was an astounding 112.4, second only to that year’s MVP Aaron Rodgers. If Watson gets back to 80% of his former glory behind that line, at 27 years old he will be an extremely hot commodity, might be worth the risk to get him ahead of the masses and pray to the football gods 2022 was a blip.

Why it Matters for Football

This one might be a bit high and mighty, but part of me doesn’t want to see Deshaun Watson achieve success. For a variety of reasons, but I’ll put those aside because every football fan is allowed to stand where they wish on this. Speaking strictly in football terms, the Browns haven’t been truly relevant for a long time. Their fanbase has to rank number 1 in the pain rankings during the Superbowl Era and so, it’s time to see the AFC North become the true dogfight it is meant to be. The Brown’s and Raven’s offensive lines are both top 5 units, as is the Steeler’s defensive line. The AFC North games are going to be music to the veteran fans’ ears, who know games are won and lost in the trenches!


Bijan Robinson

Rookie hype is nothing new this time of year, but I had to throw Robinson here because he really is a special talent. You hear the words generational talent thrown around a lot but no one seems to outline what makes him that. For someone who is 6’0″, 222 pounds, Robinson has no business being so elusive. He evaded 17.4% of tackles in his college career, to put that into perspective 1 in 6 of every tackle that came at him straight-up missed. He also ranked 5th in broken tackle rate and was a machine in yards after contact. He’s fast, can grind a defense down or slip through tackles, oh and he can catch out of the backfield with about the same proficiency as most wide receivers. All this to say the hype around him is well deserved.

Why it Matters for Fantasy

This one feels self-explanatory so I won’t ramble on, all I’ll say is, if you are picking 1.01 in dynasty rookie drafts Bijan is a no-brainer.

Why it Matters for Football

The Falcons had one of the best rushing attacks in 2022, and that matters. For fans of the team and NFL alike. They ranked second to last for pass attempts in 2022, and unless you are hyped to see Desmond Ridder sling it 40 times per game, then a dominant rushing attack is what it will take to make the Falcon’s games exciting. Bijan and 2nd year-back Tyler Allgeier more than qualify as dominant.



Just in case you are getting drawn into every storyline, here are some that don’t matter.

  • Stefon Diggs Isn’t Happy – What? Stefon Diggs isn’t happy with coaching decisions and potentially quarterback play? Is it 2019 already? We’ve seen this movie, and yes it ended with Diggs in a different uniform last time. But he just got paid, and won’t be joining any contender better than the Buffalo Bills. He will be suiting up for them, and he is going to be fantastic because thats what Diggs does. Don’t let his Twitter trolling fool you.
  • Aaron Rodgers Off-Field Antics – Take it from a long-time Packers fan, Aaron Rodgers has always been a weird dude. Just because it garnered more media attention in the past couple of years, it has always been the case. It will not, just as it has not previously, affect his on-field play. Speaking about psychedelics, or vibing to Taylor Swift a little too hard just aren’t important.


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