Quick Notes: Three Quick Things From Each Sunday Game (Week 1)
*Disclaimer – I watch all the games live Sunday, however many at one time, and these are my initial fantasy reactions/notes. I will then watch each game and detail and file a deeper report on each game, and may change my stance midweek on something I say below…but as a quick reaction to Sunday’s action, here’s my quick take…
Games in random order:
So, we have three types of people getting ready to read this:
1) You had Mahomes starting Week 1 (among others) and you couldn’t be happier with your FFM experience! And the rest of this intro will make no sense to you.
Keep reading because the people I’m addressing harshly…those are the people to go take advantage of in your league. They exist and they are real, and I know them…they are like junkies looking to do anything for a fix to get through the pain. They’ll do anything to get a perceived fix for their fantasy team…they’ll make some of the stupidest trades of the year RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. Go sic them!!
2) You’re new to FFM, you had Baker-Kyler-Tyreek counted on, you lost Week 1…and now the sky is falling and you’re questioning why you purchased a subscription. You’re excused of your cursing and doubt because you’re new. Just hang with me. Don’t despair (yet).
3) You’re old to FFM, and with so many years of success, dominant seasons and also bad luck season starts where we turned water into wine weeks later…you had Baker-Kyler-Tyreek counted on for Week 1…and you already threw in the towel on your season halftime of the Arizona game.
I’ll get into this mindset problem more in my ARI-DET game recap, but I have to tell you…long-time FFM’ers who lost Week 1 and are pissed off to no end -- I’m shocked by the utter panic and distress from you. How many times have I had to talk you off a ledge over the years? I feel like it’s not even worth addressing anymore with you. You never learn. You’ve already talked yourself into a doomed season…and WE’RE ONE WEEK IN!!!!
To anyone willing to listen…it’s not a complicated message. Your fantasy season is not over because you lost this week and/or you lost Tyreek Hill for an unknown amount of time. I get that the prior sentence helps/resonates with about 1% of the people reading it and taking it in, those who lost Week 1...while the 99% wants to live wrapped in a blanket of constant fear and panic and distress over one week’s fantasy result -- and you will not be talked out of your fear-blanket. If this week’s results happened Week 2, after a Week 1 win…you’d be not nearly as panicky. But it’s Week 1, so everything that happened is times 16 for the expected 2019 season results.
Let me just TRY to help the fear and panickers out – Yes, you are cursed. Yes, you are going to lose every game this year. Yes, there is no hope for anyone on your team. Yes, everyone has a better team, drafted better players, and is just better at this than you. Yes, you made a mistake following any FFM advice. Do you feel better now?
Yes…you’re never satisfied. When you win, you say, “I was just lucky!” (BULL SHIT WE HAD A PLAN!!!) When you lose, you think everything is wrong with the world and nothing you do ever works, and you’re cursed (and I’m the lead idiot).
You might be cursed. Self-imposed.
I’m trying to slap you in the face here a la a 1930s movie where they slapped the hysterical person one way and then back the other way to snap them out of their hysteria. You will not succeed in fantasy football, or anything gambling-wise in life, if you’re going to panic into a hysteria at the first sign of trouble/based on the first card dealt…AND if you’ve already been through this with me and came out the other end in past years…are we ever learning anything about how to play this game? Week 1 winners are not all set for the season and Week 1 losers are not going 0-14 this year. This is a marathon not a sprint.
This hurts me more than it hurts you...
Hey, you want a cool statistic to perk you up this week? You lost Week 1? Guess what? You’re only one game out of first place with 11-14 weeks to go!!!!
My FEAR is, as usual for many FF players, that you’re going to take your fear and panic and start making fear and panic fixes for Week 2 and just pour gasoline on the fire. I see it over and over and over and over and over every year, except last year when literally everyone in FFM-land started out hot. I’m trying to slap the gas can and matches out of your hand…it’s all I know to do for you at this point. It’s not about football scouting…it’s about your mindset right now. *People who won big in Week 1 are wondering if I lost my mind. I’ll explain deeper in my ARI-DET game analysis. I have to do this, take this tone, to try to help people because I’ve never seen panic this high after Week 1.
My words here might be a useless endeavor for most, but it’s my job to try to not give up on you…as you were ready to do at halftime of the Arizona game on me.
Maybe the rest of this fantasy advice (below) is just for the 1%, I hope it reaches those ‘in need’ and doesn’t confuse those who are ‘just fine’. Note, I want everyone to succeed…so, my best advice this week is to help those quitting on 2019 a week in…yes, they exist. Oh boy, do they exist.
For those that are new to FFM, sorry you had to hear me scolding my veteran audience. Sometimes I need to pat on the back, sometimes I gotta place a foot somewhere to help them/all of us.
Every Monday midday we post this article/report – a quick look at three things that caught my eye from the Sunday games watching live (I’ll re-watch and report out all week) and players to consider for waivers, buy/sell, etc. Midday Monday’s as fast as I can get it done.
Here goes Week 1:
-- Well, Todd Gurley (14-97-0, 1-4-0/1) seems OK…but definitely not being used like he was. We need to see more cards dealt/games played, but it looks we’re all going to have to get used to him as an RB1.5-2.0 type back not the locked in RB1 machine anymore…15 +/- touch count per game guy. And at this stage…Malcolm Brown (11-53-2) looks like he’s in the RB2-2.5 discussion…and Darrell Henderson (1-0-0) is droppable in 12-team redraft already, probably 14-team as well.
How bad will Gurley be for FF if they are taking him out of goal line area work to save him taking hits? That appears to be the case from an initial reaction to Week 1 activity.
-- I didn’t see enough of this game live to get a feel, but my inclination is Curtis Samuel (3-32-0/4) is fine. The Rams had good coverage on Samuel and Cam stayed away. You’d like him to force it to him, but I get the lower volume here. It’s just one week. If it happens the next game and the next game, it would be unnerving. We live to fear in fantasy, so fear away on one week’s results!
-- Cam Newton (25-38 for 239 yards, 0 TD/1 INT, 3 carr. For -2 yards) rushed for 46 TDs his first 112 games in the league…on average, a rushing TD every 2-3 games. In his last 11 regular season games, Cam has rushed for 1 TD.
The great ‘rushing’ Cam Newton has gone…which means ‘gone’ is his fantasy value because he’s not a high enough volume/stat collector as a passer to be great that way. Aging…multiple injuries…not running as much…Norv Turner…tough schedule…he’s a fringe QB1 at absolute best, probably more a QB2 with hope that he does something nice randomly in a game (for FF).
Also, my ‘dead pool’ bet to be the next early retirement big name (a la Andrew Luck).
-- Baker Mayfield (25-38 for 285 yards, 1 TD/3 INT) looks like he had a statistical meltdown and it wasn’t great, but a couple things to take heart of…
They were throwing almost to a fault…that’s going to be a good thing as we go. That’s what we want. I saw the offense I wanted to see.
Baker had a quick, 30+ yard TD pass early in this game but the receiver fell a yard short of the goal line. It happens. We were sniffing 300+ yards and 2 TDs even in a ‘bad’ game.
The picks in this game – mostly all Baker seeing the game getting away and just trying to make something happen (that never happened). They weren’t egregious Jameis Winston turnovers. It was a desperate shot in a game getting away from them/no chance at a comeback with the time remaining.
Baker looks fine, for the most part, but the whole offense/team went down the tubes when the starting left tackle got kicked out of the game early on for kicking another player, and the sacks/pressures started mounting.
This is the kinda game that if it happens Week 7…you brush it off. It happens Week 1…the sky falling. The sky is not falling on Mayfield. He’s just not going to beat Patrick Mahomes for fantasy at this rate. I was hoping he’d challenge him all year and beat him…that does not look too good a bet right now, but Baker will still be a top 5 QB with scoring spikes coming. Don’t panic…too much.
We got Taywan Taylor coming to help soon, I hope (was inactive this game). More options for Baker in this passing game the better. Teams aren’t afraid of Rashad Higgins as a #3.
-- Titans rookie WR A.J. Brown (3-100-0/4) had a nice-looking round number of yards, but he wasn’t really anything special here. Had a couple nice drag routes and run after the catch wide open. Better than Corey Davis (0-0-0/3) though.
-- I bet big on Derrick Henry (19-84-1, 1-75-1/2) this year…that worked out well Week 1. Saved my butt in a few leagues. I’ll take him getting one catch every week…if they are for 75-yard TDs. He’s an easy top 10 PPR and non-PPR back this year.
-- Per Jason Katz Sunday Morning Video Q&A…never bench Patrick Mahomes (25-33 for 378 yards, 3 TD/0 INT). This was supposed to be Mahomes’s tough game! He’s the best in the business, there is no one close. I’m hoping Mayfield-Murray can try (for FF) but right now they aren’t worthy to lace his sandals.
Everyone says, “QB doesn’t matter in fantasy,” until the actual weeks start playing and then everyone drools over Mahomes and cries about their guy. This is why we pushed Mahomes (and Mayfield-Murray) as top assets because they can carry a fantasy team like rare other…especially in 6pts per pass TD leagues with bonuses. You had Mahomes this week, you likely won convincingly. You went Baker…you lost and are bellyaching about it. QB MATTERS IN FANTASY!
-- The countdown to LeSean McCoy (10-81-0, 1-12-01/) as the lead back seems right around the corner. He was clearly the better-looking of the KC RBs over Damien Williams (13-26-1, 6-39-0/6).
-- I said, in the preseason, that Gardner Minshew (22-25 for 275 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT) could step in and not be terrible if forced into the lineup. I just didn’t expect it to happen early Week 1. He’s not a fantasy asset to chase kinda good (except 2-QB leagues). He’s just not terrible. He’s actually pretty decent…discount Baker Mayfield-like. But it is a blow for the Jags everything…wins, time of possession, their DST, Fournette.
-- What to do with Tyreek Hill? Worry. I’m just not sure how much we should worry. We need more info, but this hurts. We gotta operate our Tyreek-teams like he’s going to be gone for half-a-season and let them surprise us with news if it isn’t true. It sucks losing your top guy right away, but then we go to work fixing it – that’s what fantasy is about. It’s better than taking a guy highly and him meandering around for weeks with poor results and you have him in the lineup the whole time. Hill’s gone, we jam a replacement in. Many of you had Marquise Brown on the bench (as you should) Week 1…problem may already be solved!
-- I had the guts to take Marquise Brown (4-147-2/5) in a lot of redrafts as my ‘flyer’ WR late…but not the guts to start him Week 1 many places. Wow, what a Torrey Smith-like rookie start (Ravens’ fans know what I mean).
Before you lose your minds over Lamar and Marquise…keep in mind – this was against the Dolphins. I mean, that was the worst-looking, worst-planned football team I may have ever seen…and I’ve seen Hue Jackson’s Browns!!
A lot of Week 1 has to do with who you played…Lamar and Dak are not Mahomes and Rodgers now. They just played garbage teams.
-- I also took a lot of stock in Preston Williams (3-24-1/5) late in redrafts and Best Ball…that looks like it was the right idea. Had caught another TD pass in this game but got hit and as he fell into the end zone with the ball secured…he spit out on contact. So close to a 2-TD debut as well. You already know how I feel here, but I’m pleased this worked out quickly for us to operate with. No wondering if you should cut him this week. Next week you probably will, but not this week.
-- When the Ravens were cruising down the field first drive, Mark Ingram (14-107-2) was pulled for Gus Edwards (17-56-0) for the crack at the short TD. He got stuffed, and then Ingram came in for his TD. There was definitely a rotation factor here with Ingram-Edwards…and Justice Hill (7-27-0).
I would be a bit nervous trusting just one of them…and they collectively saw zero targets in this game – my other fear/dislike on this group.
-- Probably the best thing I saw this week…the Minnesota defense. They squashed Atlanta from the opening bell…letting up at the end when the game was ‘over’, and giving up 12 junk points. 4 sacks, 7 TFLs, stoned Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones all game (until a garbage Julio TD late). The schedule is mostly favorable ahead…you’re going to see them jump pretty good in our projections ahead.
And after seeing Green Bay and Chicago Week 1—I’d say the Vikings are the NFC North favorites now. Next week, I’ll probably think differently…this week I’m all “SKOOOLLLLL!!!”
-- You were worried the Vikings would want to be an all-run team in 2091, for fantasy? Well…38 carries in this game and just 10 passes thrown by Kirk Cousins. Get your fear on!!!
It may be a bit of an aberration because they got up so fast/strong that they could just run over ATL and hold the lead. But this was the Vikings dream game if they have their way. We’ll see if they have their way at Green Bay this week.
-- Austin Hooper (9-77-0/9) keeps putting up that pattern Zach Ertz had before he became a true, consistent, top fantasy TE. Sweet start for Hooper this season for PPR, he is a reliable catcher of the ball…but he’s slow as death otherwise.
-- I will no longer (never have) entertain your hopes and ‘everybody says’ feelings on Josh Allen (24-37 for 254 yards, 1 TD/2 INTs) and Sam Darnold (28-41 for 175 yards, 1 TD/0 INT). My book is still closed. Arguably the two worst starting QBs in the NFL…thankfully Jameis Winston is there to help keep them off the bottom…but it’s a photo finish on which one is truly the worst.
I know QBs…you’d be wise not to doubt me. Like you did at halftime of the ARI-DEN game.
-- Well, Devin Singletary (4-70-0, 5-28-0/6) barely played the 1st-half here and I wanted to go hide for pushing him for Week 1, but then he was basically the reason the Bills came back and won this game in the 2nd-half. He will be the lead touch count back for the ROS.
There were reporters telling you, highly paid ones I might add, that it would be a Gore-Yeldon duo with some Singletary mixed in. No, sir. I was right. I got one of these things wrong, Justin Jackson (for this week), but Singletary is going to be ‘the man’ from here on in. You got a nice solid RB1.5-2.0 for a bargain price with Devin S.
-- A lot of junk throws to Jamison Crowder (14-99-0/17) because the Bills were fine with it, but eventually teams will take that away from noodle-armed Sam ahead. They did it (took away) to Sam on Quincy Enunwa (1-0-0/3) last year after a nice start.
-- I thought Derrius Guice (10-18-0, 3-20-0/3) looked terrible in his preseason debut. I every analyst I heard Sunday morning couldn’t rave about how great Guice looked in that same preseason debut. Well, I didn’t see ‘it’ again here. I don’t like what I see so far, and I’ve never been a huge fan…but after all his injuries last year, he may be worse off than he was coming into the league.
-- When the run game is hurting…Jay Gruden turns to Chris Thompson (3-10-0, 7-68-0/10) heavy in the short passing game to act like a quasi-run game. We might be back to ‘game on’ (RB2-3) with CT in PPR.
-- I never thought Carson Wentz (28-39 for 313 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT) would be a high-end QB. Plausible, more Alex Smith-like but not a star. He’s proving me wrong off and on. I want to re-watch this game because early on, watching it with seven other games at the same time, every time I watched Wentz he was struggling (as was the team). The next thing I know Philly stormed back and Wentz had a sweet FF game. I might just have to assume Wentz is a star and stop fighting that I see him as good-not-great.
-- I bet on Justin Jackson (8-57-0, 1-4-0/3) to out-do Austin Ekeler (12-58-1, 6-96-2/7), and that didn’t work out so well. Jackson had the first TD of the game tossed to him…just thrown too far from him. Ekeler then got the score and just had a nice game from there.
Jackson is still a threat to grab a 60/40 touch count, but this game didn’t move him there any faster. I know it’s Week 1 and Ekeler is going to win the league MVP and everything, but there’s nine more weeks of this duo to go. Still time to be ‘right’ but it doesn’t look as great a call right now.
-- The Jacoby Brissett affect: Jack Doyle (1-20-0/2) and Eric Ebron (1-8-0/3)…two TE catches on 5 targets. Like I said…Tyrod Taylor, only with slower feet.
-- Deon Cain (2-35-0/2) appeared to have a prominent role than Parris Campbell (1-1-0/1) here. There’s not enough work beyond T.Y. Hilton (8-87-2/9) with Brissett, and what there will be looks like it might go to Cain over Campbell upcoming (as Funchess fails).
-- I’ll dive deeper into the Kyler Murray (29-54 for 308 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT, 3-13-0) experience in the game analysis (the first one I’m doing this week). But…it’s great that he had the comeback and was clicking later in the game but I didn’t see two things I wanted/expected to see and it has me FF-nervous (a) I didn’t see anything good about the ‘Air Raid’ for getting receivers open all over, and (b) I didn’t see Kyler looking to run hardly at all – I wanted those fantasy points. I’m taking down his projections going forward…in my mind. Let me see what happens when I re-watch this game. Right now, I want to be sure I have a good other QB options because this thing needs some more time on the vine potentially.
-- I have to tip my cap to Larry Fitzgerald (8-113-1/13)…he was unbelievable in this game. He’s the reason they almost won it. I thought he looked terrible in this offense this preseason (out of place)…and he did early here, but when crunch time hit they were forcing it to Fitz and he delivered. Prior to that it was all Christian Kirk for Kyler.
-- Oh, I can see all the T.J. Hockenson (6-131-1/9) ‘see, we told you’ commentary coming. He was fine, but it’s like the Baltimore players this week – are they really superstars or did they get a favorable matchup? TJH didn’t seem like a plan at all for Detroit…it just kinda happened as the game unfolded and as Arizona left him open quite a bit focusing on the WRs. In a sense, they were like ‘go ahead and try to beat us with Hockenson (and Amendola)’. A smart way to play it with a decimated back-seven. It almost worked for both sides…Detroit cashed in some but Arizona nearly came back and won.
-- This Seattle offense is so pathetic…they are so lucky they won this game. Typical Russell Wilson game…less than 200 yards passing but an efficient 2 TDs/0 INT. Limited upside…limited downside for fantasy once again.
-- John Ross (7-158-2/12) had a lucky long TD in this game, I’m not sure about his other work. It didn’t seem like he was having a big game…but then I saw the stats after. I don’t know that you can trust it.
-- I thought Tyler Lockett (1-44-1/2) was Russell’s BFF target? We’re back to this crap again with Lockett…he might score 16 TDs this season…on 22 catches. D.K. Metcalf (4-89-0/6) looked good…and looked more important in the passing game.
-- THAT’S the Evan Engram (11-116-1/14) I was looking for all these years! Now, he’s a real threat to be the top TE in fantasy. Only a move to Daniel Jones could mess this up…
-- Dak Prescott (25-32 for 405 yards, 4 TDs/0 INT) looked like he had his best game as a passer, from a visual/technical standpoint, since his majestic rookie season. He’s a franchise QB for the NFL. He might be about to become a top 5 QB for fantasy in 2019. Not just because of this one game…but he’s got the O-Line, the defenses focusing on Zeke, and now Michael Gallup (7-158-0/7) coming into his own. Gallup is better than Amari, in my book…not sure that will be true for fantasy 2019, but NFL-wise I love Gallup’s upside.
-- So, Tony Pollard (13-24-0) is going to get a good amount of work this game while Zeke gets back up to speed…and you don’t throw him one pass? That’s what he’s built for! If there’s any ‘he’s our Kamara’ talk the rest of this season…I will put the words in a box along with how creative Dallas was going to use Tavon Austin talk from the past two years.
-- Well…the 49ers-DST was our top ‘Out of nowhere’ upside play of the week…2 pick-sixes, 4 turnovers, 3 sacks. They are improved…but it was mostly due to my main theory – Jameis Winston (20-36 for 194 yards, 1 TD/3 INTs) sucks.
You own Howard-Evans-Godwin…I don’t think you’re going to get the ROI for where you drafted them. It’s very possible Winston will have to be benched and then kinda done for good sometime this season…and then that’s what scares me. Winston can garbage his way to making Evans-Godwin work, no matter how bad he is…but the Bucs have nothing of note behind Winston. Actually, anything is better than Winston so maybe I’ll be wrong about the ROI…
-- Jimmy Garoppolo looked mediocre, again, and 8 of his 18 completed passes went to George Kittle (8-54-0/10). Go all-in on Kittle. JG was forcing the ball to him often…he should’ve had at least two TDs, but they were called back due to irrelevant penalties.
-- Dante Pettis (1-7-0/1) played two snaps? Why didn’t they just trade him before the season started? Perhaps, no takers. We’re in the drop zone on Pettis. Something is wrong behind the scenes with Pettis and the coaches.
-- I thought this might happen for the Steelers…blown out, in part, because they play the wrong players at skill positions…they have better players as backups.
I thought/projected this bad game was coming for James Conner (10-21-0. 4-44-0/4)…and to be fair, Conner looked awful as an athlete/runner – it wasn’t just the Patriots D or the game flow. He moves like he has a piano on his back, so to speak. Jaylen Samuels (2-4-0, 1-2-0/2) should be starting over him…but that looks weeks away still.
Donte Moncrief (3-7-0/10) was his usual scared-self WR. Just push Diontae Johnson (3-25-0/5)…which they had DJ in quite a bit. We might need to get on the Diontae train sooner-rather-than-later.
-- I told you the Pats-DST was hot for 2019! I didn’t think they’d hold the Steelers to 3 points, but I thought they’d be fine. Now it’s onto MIA-NYJ-BUF-WAS-NYG-NYJ the next six games…six absolutely juicy matchups. Hello 7-0 start for the Pats. Hello #1 DST potential for the Pats!
-- I guess we have to take Rex Burkhead (8-44-0, 5-41-0/8) serious now? Why were you sweating RB2s in redraft…so many guys taken round 7-15 now matter just as much as that RB-RB start in the draft or hurry up and take your 2nd RB by round 4. Rex was undrafted in most every 12-team redraft (16 rounds) I was a part of. Now, people will chase him off waivers. Not me. I try never to chase Patriots RBs unless I’m super desperate.
Top 5 ‘Buy Low’
1) George Kittle, SF – It was quite clear Kittle is this passing game. I’m going to argue he might be THEE TE to own in FF ahead. Jimmy G. is decent/good and Kittle is this offense. No TDs in this game, so Kittle wasn’t amazing for FF scoring…possibly gettable using a hot Week 1 TE as part of the bait.
2) Travis Kelce, KC – Not as good a talent as Kittle, but is with Mahomes…which makes him arguably the best TE for fantasy. In the EVERYBODY PANIC mode of Week 1, Kelce didn’t have a huge game…so you take some Week 1-wonder TE and use him + ___ player for a shot at Kelce.
3) Cooper Kupp, LAR – Decent game, but not a ‘wow!’ game. Back from injury. People down on the Rams in general. I’m starting to buy that Kupp is the guy for Jared Goff now. Kupp-Woods…and then Cooks. I’ve been worried Kupp is just a part of the trio, but I’m buying in that he’s the guy to have (along with Woods). This is a down week, quiet week to pay a price. You won’t steal him but he’s acquirable.
4) Baker Mayfield, CLE – His bad game was 285 yards passing and 1 TD, and another TD pass with receiving just short of the goal line. If this was a bad game, I want in on the good games. Maybe he’s not going to push Mahomes, but he’ll be a top 5 passer for fantasy. This week, he’s going to get Trubiskied in the media, so as this day goes on and everyone makes fun of him the pressure will mount on current owners to jump off.
5) LeSean McCoy, KC – He’s the best RB they have. What’s the lead KC RB taking a 70% workload/touch count worth? That’s McCoy’s worth. He might trade as an RB2.5-3.0 in a deal right now.
6) Big Ben/Jared Goff – Two down QBs you can get cheaper today, especially Goff…for those who need a Kyler QB to provide insurance. You can’t go with Kyler alone the next few weeks. I wanted you to go two QBs always, Kyler one of them. If you have just Kyler and a junk QB2 in the hole…you’re in a precarious position.
7) Christian Kirk, ARI – Kyler was trying to throw everything to Kirk. When this offense was operating early…it was Murray forcing to Kirk. Later, it was Murray forcing to Fitz. It’s a Kirk-Fitz WR group. When this thing starts humming…Kirk is going for the ride.
Top 5 ‘Sell High’
1) Ronald Jones, TB – If you took him in a redraft, I’m not your friend/FF-advisor. But some gambled he might get hot value for the low cost to trade after Week 1 – Bravo!! You got this one week to deal him away before he goes back to sleep. He’s not a real RB on not a real team. Watching him Sunday and seeing an OK stat line…it didn’t compute. He looks as bad as ever to me. Now that people think he’s ‘the guy’ you gotta cash out.
2) Mark Ingram, BAL – This is a committee backfield and they won’t play Miami every week…although vs. ARI next week is good too. You don’t give Ingram away, but you try to sell him like an RB1 trading up into some real RB1 people are panicking on.
3) Austin Ekeler, LAC – He might score 48 TDs this season…maybe just 40, we don’t want to be too greedy. He’s still in a split with Justin Jackson and he’s not a real workhorse RB. He did his damage in the passing game and Indy being bad at football.
4) Marquise Brown, BAL – You don’t have to, but the price may not get any higher than this. You got Brown on your bench (Week 1) and you just lost Tyreek. Marquise (+ ____) might help you move into a nice WR1 name. This is the one guy people are really going to love this week…rookie, cool name, cool vibe, 1st-round pick, explosive Week 1. You might hold for him to do this again Week 2 vs. ARI and then sell, but if he doesn’t pop in Week 2, he loses a good chunk of the white-hot value right now.
5) Delanie Walker, TEN – Leverage this into a Kelce-Kittle deal.
6) Sammy Watkins, KC – Hold him is fine, but I’m saying…with Tyreek out and this big Week 1 and the Watkins name carrying such love for years and years – you might be able to name your own price for him…if you want to explore it.
7) Mark Andrews, BAL – Again, not every opponent is Miami. But he’s likely to go good vs. Arizona before tailing off. You don’t want to bet long-term on Lamar Jackson passing/not playing Miami every week.
8) T.J. Hockenson, DET – He wasn’t the game plan, he was just ‘there’…kinda like Austin Hooper. He’s an option and they threw him the ball. He’s not ‘the plan’ or a top two option like Kelce-Kittle-Ertz-Engram. He, however, is being spoken of like next Gronk again. Cash that out!
9) Jimmy Graham, GB – Scored a TD, evoked memories, sell that + ___ player to get into a better TE if at all possible. Graham looks slow as ever and played 55% of the snaps.
Top 5 ‘Waivers to Trust’
1) Marquise Brown, BAL – I’m trying to sell all things super ‘high’/hot’, and this is one of them. I thought this might be possible, which is why I was pushing you to consider him as a late redraft add. He’ll be the guy everyone wants...big stats, cool nickname, a rookie, everything Baltimore exciting. You want to possess this to use…but more to sell white hot.
2) Mecole Hardman, KC – You lost Tyreek Hill for a few weeks? Let’s assume the worst and get his replacement as an option. He could be the Marquise Brown of Week 2 as teams try to shutdown Sammy Watkins. KC at Oakland…a good opportunity to get him integrated for the weeks that Tyreek will be out, and just assume Tyreek out half the season (potentially)…to get in the mindset of planning forward purposes. It’s a crisis we need to fix, and if Tyreek comes back early…great.
3) Preston Williams, MIA – You know where I stand, I’ve been saying it for several weeks…not just ‘good’ but a potential superstar. The problem is two-fold: (a) ‘Miami’…but that can work in a lot of garbage time, and (b) If they push Josh Rosen it will be rocky. I like it better with Fitzpatrick, but Rosen knows Preston is the guy so it’s not out of the question Preston is his discount DeAndre Hopkins.
4) Gio Bernard, CIN – Assuming Joe Mixon out, Gio would be an obvious RB1 threat for Week 2. It’s tricky because Mixon usually recovers fast…and then Gio is useless for you.
5) Michael Gallup, DAL – I’m a big fan, I just don’t believe in the Dallas passing game. I believe in it for the next two weeks…vs. WAS and MIA. I also think Gallup could outshine Amari all season. This might be the Tyler Boyd/2018-like breakout performer at WR in 2019.
6) Malcolm Brown, LAR – The heir apparent to Todd Gurley’s touches should something happen, and apparently working a split with Gurley…AND is likely to get the goal line work. I wouldn’t bet heavy on this because as long as Gurley is upright, Brown’s upside is very limited. This is more for the desperate or those wanting to invest in a Gurley collapse. Darrell Henderson was not the answer…not yet.
Top 5 ‘Waivers to Distrust’
1) A.J. Brown, TEN – I don’t trust this passing game at all, and I’m not going after #3-4 option WRs with Mariota. He’s a ‘rookie’, so he’s ‘magical’ and people will chase him off waivers.
2) Gardner Minshew, JAX – I’m a fan. I hope he does well. I need him to in order to salvage early Jacksonville win total bets. I think he’s better than most of the rookie QBs from the 2019 NFL Draft…but he’s not ready to take the league by storm, not in this offense/with this coaching staff.
3) Rex Burkhead, NE – I don’t want the 4th-most talented Patriots RB no matter what happened on Sunday night…no matter how bad Damien Harris looks.
4) John Brown, BUF – I don’t want to be linked to Josh Allen. This includes dropping Zay Jones in redraft.
5) John Ross, CIN – I’m always leery of Ross because he’s such a flighty, injury-prone WR. He has some skills, but he has a lot of flaws too. Big game vs. SEA, but his one longer TD was a bit of a ‘look what I found moment’.
Top 5 ‘Deep Sleeper Plays on the Radar Screen’
1) Diontae Johnson, PIT – Played 25 snaps, sorta splitting #2 duties with James Washington. The Steelers are going to figure out that Donte Moncrief is terrible, and that DJ is AB reincarnated. We need to get in early before it becomes self-evident. You may not see fruits from this until Weeks 3-4+, but it’s coming.
2) Preston Williams, MIA – In some leagues, Preston will stay under the radar – Note he scored a TD, had another he came down with but crash landing to the ground and taking a hit…the ball jarred loose. Shoulda had 2 TDs in his debut and been fully lit. He is the guy the Miami QBs look for because ‘they know’. What it’s worth playing for Miami…we’ll see.
3) Jaylen Samuels, PIT – Played a lot early in the game, to my surprise and delight. James Conner looked terrible, to my surprise and delight. It’s only a matter of time before Le’Veon 2.0 arrives…just not sure if that’s Week 3-4 ahead or Weeks 3-4 of 2020. Played 23 snaps to Conner’s 38 on SNF.
4) Dare Ogunbowale, TB – Ogunbowale is the passing game back, so that’s something…but when Jones-Barber-all of Tampa flops fully…changes will happen, and Dare may ascend. He’s in the right place at the right time.
5) Chris Thompson, WAS – When Jay Gruden’s offense and run game struggles, he goes with heavy Chris Thompson – he got a team leading 10 targets Week 1. He’s a tough one to predict usage on week-to-week.
Top 5 ‘Just Quit On Them Players’:
1) Kalen Ballage, MIA – Miami is terrible, and so is Ballage. Chase something else. Kenyan Drake has a small shred of hope. Ballage almost zero.
2) Zay Jones, BUF – I don’t want in on anything to do with Josh Allen. I thought Zay might be his guy…but it’s Brown-Beasley, and I don’t want them either.
3) Darrell Henderson, LAR – Gurley and Brown. Henderson is months, a season+ away.
4) Dante Pettis, SF – Played like two snaps. ‘I’m out’. I knew something was wrong, but I held on some and even started in spots because he was the listed #1. BYE-BYE until they trade him.
5) Donte Moncrief, PIT – A truly awful free agent signing and player, and Diontae Johnson is going to take his spot/touches soon.
Top 5 DSTs Off Waivers (maybe on waivers) to Consider:
1) Bills-DST – at Eli, hosting Dalton the next two weeks…plus this defense is terrific. It’s the offense that hurts it. Week 4 vs. NE is weak, but Weeks 5-11: Mariota, BYE, Miami, Wentz, Keenum, Baker, Miami…every other week it looks nice.
2) Packers-DST – showed their stuff on TNF Week 1. Gets Cousins-Flacco-Wentz-Dak-Stafford-Carr the next 6 games…no awful matchups and a few nice ones.
3) Titans-DST – Their offense supports the defense. Solid talent. Brissett-Minshew-Ryan-Allen-Flacco-Rivers-Winston-Cam then next 8 weeks is pretty nice. Weeks 12-14 is JAX-IND-OAK for the FF-playoff run.
4) Chiefs-DST – not a great unit but Oakland Week 2.
5) Panthers-DST – Was holding their own on the Rams before the dam broke. Winston Week 2 at home on TNF. Weeks 5-6 is JAX-TB.