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Ask the Experts

Who has changed your opinion most this postseason?

Gainwell, Kirk among risers

ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly from training camp through the Super Bowl with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them: Who has changed your opinion most, for good or ill, this postseason?

JASON WOOD

Let me preface my response by saying it's dangerous to extrapolate playoff moments into reliable predictive data. The playoffs are a small sample size cohort, and the teams also happen to be playing against some of the best (if not the best) opponents they've faced all season. With that caveat, I'll give some shine to Kenneth Gainwell. Gainwell played less than 30 percent of the Eagles' snaps most weeks of the regular season and only touched the ball 76 times -- which was down from his rookie workload. But through two games, he's touched the ball 29 times for 185 yards. The game scripts have played roles but seeing Gainwell make big plays against playoff-caliber defenses is encouraging and makes me think the Eagles are in better shape if Miles Sanders gets hurt in 2023 than I otherwise feared.

Wood is Senior Editor at Footballguys.com and has been with the company since its start in 2000. For more than 20 years, Footballguys has provided rankings, projections, and analysis to help fantasy managers dominate their leagues.

IAN ALLAN

I was surprised Joe Mixon wasn’t more of a factor. He ran for 105 yards at Buffalo, but in their other two games, he was on the field less than Samaje Perine. I think they like Perine more in pass protection. With the Bengals having a lot of big contracts coming up, I’m thinking they going to unload Mixon in the offseason. I think they’d probably to prefer to spend that money elsewhere.

Allan co-founded Fantasy Football Index in 1987. He and fellow journalism student Bruce Taylor launched the first newsstand fantasy football magazine as a class project at the University of Washington. For more than three decades, Allan has written and edited most of the content published in the magazines, newsletters and at www.fantasyindex.com. An exhaustive researcher, he may be the only person in the country who has watched at least some of every preseason football game played since the early 1990s. Allan is a member of the FSTA Fantasy Sports Hall of Fame and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame.

DAVID DOREY

I already liked Christian Kirk, but his true value was shown even more in the playoffs with stat lines of 8-78-1 (vs. the Chargers) and 7-52-1 plus 18 rushing yards (at Kansas City). Trevor Lawrence has emerged, and he's brought Kirk along with him as a reliable, quality wide receiver.

Dorey co-founded The Huddle.com in 1997. He's ranked every player and projected every game for the last 23 years and is the author of Fantasy Football: The Next Level. David has appeared on numerous radio, television, newspaper and magazines over the last two decades.

ANDY RICHARDSON

I hate to do it but I'm going to have give a team award to the Buffalo Bills. The first half of the year, I thought they were going to the Super Bowl. In the second half, they tailed off, and -- following an unimpressive win over Skylar Thompson and company and a convincing loss to the Bengals -- it’s fair to say they never got it back. Injuries, particularly on the defensive side of the ball (Von Miller, and a couple of guys in the secondary) were significant. But on offense they didn't have much they could count on beyond Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. They need a running back, another wide receiver (maybe two); maybe those things help Allen limit the mistakes that characterized much of his season. Regardless, there's work to do to get them back into the Super Bowl favorite discussion.

Richardson has been a contributing writer and editor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and www.fantasyindex.com since 2002. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections and various site features, and he has run the magazine's annual experts draft and auction leagues since their inception. He previews all the NFL games on Saturdays and writes a wrap-up column on Mondays during the NFL season.

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