2019 Week 8: Three Things from all Sunday Games + Top 5’s of the Week (Waivers, Buy Low/Sell High, etc.)
What an ugly week.
If you won, it wasn’t ugly at all. And I this message is not really needed for you…but you can relate to what I’m about to type/you might need to read it after next week.
However, the majority, for the second time this season the majority of FFM tracking teams lost this week (projecting 58-60% loss rate unless Diontae or the Steelers-DST have 2-TD nights)…so, I assume odds are if you’re reading this you lost more than you won this week. Kyler flopped. Cousins flopped. Most all other QBs had good+ weeks. It was the wrong Edmonds week…he might have been benched for Week 7’s pop, and then proudly starting Week 8 just in time for his injury and gone with little scoring to show for it. Ty Johnson had his name spelled weird…it looked like they spelled it ‘Tra Carson’, because no way the Lions start Tra Carson over Ty Johnson…right? It was a rough one this week.
The FFM collective had been on a little roll the past few weeks, and then we tripped hard this week. It’s going to happen. For most all of us, the rest of the season is going to be ‘harrowing’. We’re (on average) in the middle of the pack in our league record-wise. How we got there can be cried about later. We’re there now, and we’re going to be scuffling week-to-week trying to survive and get to the playoffs and create the vaunted ‘new season’.
You think it’s been a stressful season so far…you ain’t seen nothing yet. Is Mahomes playing next week or the week after (which affects Tyreek and Kelce)? What to do with David Johnson-Chase Edmonds-Zach Zenner…I mean Kenyan Drake? What happens when we lose our Patriots-DST advantage ahead? What to do with Kyler vs. SF 2x in the next three weeks? All that and whatever else your dealing with NOW to be combined with the mass BYE weeks coming.
How many NFL teams on BYE the next four weeks? 4-6-4-4. Injuries, BYE weeks, ‘game time decisions’…it’s going to be chaos, but it is also opportunity. The opponents are dealing with the same. The NFL trade deadline may create new assets out of thin air this week (like Drake). All the sit-starts you got wrong of late…with the heavy BYEs, you might not have as many lineup conundrums and your depth will outlast your opponents lack of it.
We’re about to enter the most chaotic four week stretch I think I’ve ever been a part of in my fantasy history. So many injuries. So many split role RBs. So much QB turmoil. So many BYE week teams happening. All of it happening with a lot of 5-4/4-4/3-5 FFM-centric teams/rosters that are in or just out of the playoffs (as of today).
You can either embrace this upcoming madness of the next four weeks…or buckle to it. This fantasy game is one of mental strategy and mental endurance. Not unlike poker. Or stock picking. Or checkers or chess. Or Monopoly. Or a great video game. Or war games. Or 5K training. It’s great playing from a lead, but sometimes you are just ‘tied’/in the middle at the midpoint. Sometimes you’re playing from a deficit with the clock ticking.
What you can’t do…what won’t work…is just saying you’re unlucky and promising yourself you’ll never play this stupid game again. That’s no more rational then totally loving everything and everyone the weeks you win. You cannot play this game well constantly sitting in a mud puddle with an imaginary dark cloud over your head. When your current game is under real duress (however it happened…mass injuries, bad sit-start, bad schedule, bad preseason draft, Baker Mayfield, Denver-DST over Patriots-DST in August drafts)…it’s not time to mentally quit if you have a reasonable chance to get to the playoffs. Now is the time for the most mental effort. Now is the time to play the game.
If you go 3-1 the next four games, would you be in the playoff picture after Week 12 ends (I use Week 12 as that’s when the BYEs end and some leagues end season)? If your current season has been going .500-ish…you’d likely go 2-2 the next four weeks by law of averages. Two wins in your next 4 games are likely/not unreasonable…so, it’s not a stretch for a decent or lucky team to go 3-1 ahead. It’s just a +1 shift from ‘the norm’.
You go 3-1 in your next 4 games by making chess moves for Week 9 and 10-11-12. It’s business as usual (work the waivers, study best sit-starts) this week if you’re solidly in the playoff hunt. If you win next week, then you’re back on track and just need to win two of the next 3 (perhaps, if you’re a +/- .500 team right now).
Can you get this down to a Weeks 10-12 needing to win two of 3? You’ll either go 1-2 or 2-1…don’t live in thinking you’ll go 1-2. Win this week and then focus on going 2-1 the next three HEAVY bye weeks.
The 55-60% majority of people reading this saw their team(s) lose this week – don’t carry that vibe into this critical week(s) of planning and waivers and lineups, etc. Let the other +/- .500 teams you’re fighting with make the panic move. Keep your head after this bad week, and somewhat disappointing season. You can’t help a rash of key injuries…a David Johnson 1-play game, guys hurt in-game inordinately for us, and you likely had 1-2 wins this season left on the bench – you had winning weeks in your grasp but it didn’t work out. The good news is – you had the players/the wins…your team is not as doomed as you think. Fight the temptation to think you’re doomed after a such a week as this (especially if you lost two ARI RBs and Mahomes in the last two weeks). Keep fighting. The heavy BYE weeks are going to create some chaos and disappointment for the opponents they did not expect/plan for either.
Let’s win Week 9…and keep marching on from there. Let’s get to the playoffs, those who are not sitting pretty already, and then fight from there. It was this time last year that Todd Gurley teams were ruling the world on autopilot and laughing their way to the playoffs…but they were about to get a rude awakening from his knee. Things change fast in fantasy. Stay in the game to capitalize on other’s mistakes and misfortunes. Keep chopping wood every week until it’s officially over…or you officially qualified for the playoffs. Then a new set of wood to chop in the playoffs – that’s the beauty of fantasy. Always work to do.
Last week you felt optimistic. This week you’re doomed. Or vice-versa. Stay steady and play the cards you’ve been dealt and outlast, survive – get to the playoffs…just win Week 9 to cure all ills. We still got 4-5-6 weeks to go depending upon your league. A lot of craziness still to come. Keep punching away.
This is what makes this game so very interesting, captivating – every week is new twists and turns and interpretations and strategy shifts and curveballs. It would not be worth playing if it were so obviously predictable. You’re an injury away from everything crashing down…or presenting an opportunity out of nowhere. The frustration from a bad week – it’s what makes the game ‘the game’. Mentally challenging…mentally exhausting. That’s why titles feel so good…because of shit weeks like this.
Think of the current World Series…
Houston is expected to win going in.
Houston loses Game 1 at home…not fun, but not the end of the world.
Houston loses Game 2 at home…next 3 games at Washington. Ticket prices go through the roof in Washington because they want to be there when the Nats win the Series!! Houston can’t comeback from a 2-0 with three road games ahead.
Houston wins Game 3…oh, wait…it’s only down 2 games to 1 for them. The Astros are just a win away from tying the Series. Damn! What a difference one game makes.
Houston wins Game 4 on the road…isn’t this crazy, all the Series wins are on the road? The Series is tied – here comes Houston back but they face the Washington ace at D.C, so…
Oh, wait…the ace pitcher is scratched last second…Houston wins another game on the road. 3 games to 2 for the Astros out of nowhere and going back to Houston. All five series games are road wins.
Surely, Houston will win now…up 3-2 going home!! Really? Have you not had the wrong thought the entire series as the way it has played out?
You can’t trust your snapshot emotions to what just happened in any sport or fantasy – leave that to THEM! Our mindset after a week like this: https://youtu.be/kjeh_PiqUU8
The lesson learned about that video…not Belichick being awesome, but listen to the questions he was getting -- five years ago everyone in the media was asking him/telling him that Tom Brady was 37 years old and the dynasty was over. Think about what has transpired since then. Off one bad loss, slow start season in 2014, the media was selling all things Patriots including ‘too old’ Brady. How has that ‘feeling’ worked out for the genius media?
Don’t have the same sky is falling mindset after this week. We’re onto Cincinnati.
You don’t know that you’re not going to win your next three fantasy games.
Start by winning Week 9.
FYI, the Patriots won the Super Bowl that same year that video/press conference happened. They’ve only been to four the next 5 Super Bowls since that press conference. But, please listen to the media this week on everything that happened Sunday and what you should think about it.
-- THREE THINGS from every Sunday game –
-- The Alex Erickson (6-97-0/7) pop continues…6.0 rec. (9.7 targets), 93.7 yds, 0.0 TDs per game the last three games. Keep four things in mind here: (1) Erickson is a talent, a Julian Edelman-type receiver. (2) This was headed towards a 3-40-0 type game then a bunch of stuff happened with about 2 minutes left. There was no real work/use of Erickson here…he was just ‘there’, which isn’t a bad thing with this always-passing game. (3) The Bengals go on bye and might switch to Ryan Finley…and that might be a good thing for him. (4) A.J. Green could return or John Ross and send Erickson to the bench.
-- Darrell Henderson (11-49-0, 2-20-0/3) took more carries than Todd Gurley (10-44-1, 0-0-0/1) but it was more the Rams were in control and they got DH more work…but make no mistake – the Rams are slowly transitioning into a Gurley-Henderson split when they can. Like a 75/25 split…and more 60/40 when they have blowout type games.
-- Cooper Kupp (7-220-01/10) has so taken over the #1 role that Robert Woods (2-26-0/2) shifts from WR1.5 to WR2-2.5. Brandin Cooks (0-0-0/1) left with an injury and never returned…he’s a WR2-3 week-to-week. What Goff-Kupp have is kinda unstoppable a la when Cousins-Thielen get rolling.
-- A big takeaway from this game…the Seattle-DST is awful. They struggled with Matt Schaub (39-52 for 460 yards, 1 TD/1 INT). This was supposed to be an easy game…and they were not good at all. Next week vs. TB is supposed to be nice, but I don’t know. After that, the schedule is going to murder the Seattle-DST dead.
-- Seattle rookie SAF Marquise Blair (11 tackles) has moved into more playing time the past two weeks…and he’s responded with 9.5 tackles per game.
-- Russell Gage (7-58-0/9) is starting in place of Mohamed Sanu and had nice numbers, but much of this can be attributed to 52 pass attempts by Atlanta. However, the Falcons throw a lot so it cannot be written off too quickly.
-- Four of his last 5 games, Carson Wentz (17-24 for 172 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) has less than 200 yards passing in a game. Six of his last 7 games, under 260 yards passing. Only CHI-BYE-NE the next three weeks…and then the best schedule you could ask for Weeks 12-15: SEA-MIA-NYG-WAS.
-- This is what the Eagles really want to do…hide behind Jordan Howard (23-96-1, 1-15-0/2). They might have the chance to in several games ahead. He’s going to be a workable RB2 +/- week-to-week.
-- We might have moved another step closer to Devin Singletary (3-19-0, 4-30-1/6) taking over for Frank Gore (9-34-0). McDermott will stick with Gore as long as he can and then some but getting thumped here starts the wheels of change. If they struggle with bad teams the next three weeks (WAS, CLE, MIA), a change may be forced in there. If you can stick with Singletary on the back of the bench for a few more weeks, try to do it if you need RB depth. He’s the one guy that can just outright win the job of all the Henderson, Penny, Jaylen, etc., type guys.
-- Yikes…Melvin Gordon (8-31-1, 2-3-0/3) has rushed for 31-18-32-31 yards in his four games back from his holdout. The Chargers would trade him, but no one wants him. LAC will let him go to free agency and get a 3rd-round compensation, so unless someone offers a 3rd-round pick…he’s stuck there/they are stuck with him.
-- I was reading about a compensation rule that favors the bears cutting Mike Davis (2-3-0, 1-5-0/1) this week. So, I assume he will be gone. With David Montgomery (27-135-1, 4-12-0/5) scaring no one/defense, but has captured Nagy’s heart…there is no need for Davis.
-- Keenan Allen (7-53-0/10) has gone five straight game without a TD and all five of those games with 61 or less yards receiving.
-- I would have like to have seen my own face when this game opened up and Tra Carson (12-34-0) was starting for Detroit. My fear about chasing Ty Johnson (7-25-0, 1-13-0/4) too hard last week was – he’s not the kind of back old-school run game coaches like to feature, especially as rookies. I thought the Lions would acquire an RB ahead, but that this week would be nice for Ty. For his part, after the first drive, Ty Johnson looked really good. The issue is – a horrible run blocking O-Line is not helping anyone here.
-- Lions WR Marvin Hall (1-49-1/1) has caught just one pass in each of his last three games…for 49, for 47, and for 58 yards. Maybe he should get a few more targets?
-- Pretty flimsy 4 TD day for Daniel Jones (28-41 for 322 yards, 4 TDs/0 INT)…a lot of 50/50 balls, a little luck, an extra at garbage time. I didn’t see any steps forward or anything impressive to me here.
-- For the season, Sam Darnold (21-30 for 218 yards, 2 TDs/3 INTs) has 5 TDs/8 INTs. Since returning from mono, he’s 4 TDs/8 INTs. Maybe the worst QB in the NFL (considering they also have an awful offensive line) gets the easiest schedule for the next few weeks – not sure which side of that coin wins, but it should be better(?).
-- Leonard Fournette (19-76-0, 7-60-0/7) has 1 rushing TD in his 8 games this season. He got stuffed some more this game near the goal line. He’s probably been shutout 10-15+ times from within 2-3 yards away this season. Teams sellout against it, and Doug Marrone always obliges.
-- Gardner Minshew (22-34 for 279 yards, 3 TDs/0 INTs) bounced back with a 3 TD game. He’s going to Europe with a huge chance to push the Jags into the playoff scene and keep this job over Nick Foles with a win over Houston – and the Texans have one of the worst pass defenses in the league.
-- Two weeks in a row…no TD passes for Kyler Murray (19-33 for 220 yards. 0 TDs/0 INT). Two SF games the next three weeks…SF-TB-SF-BYE. You gotta find a replacement. If the next 4 weeks are key, you can use Kyler with confidence once. Kyler looks fine but this offense is ridiculous (bad) against teams that bring pressure…great getting field goals, maybe. They head to play SF with Zach Zenner at RB and no momentum. You can’t play Kyler in a must-win situation. I was hoping we’d see a step forward against the Saints…we didn’t.
-- Christian Kirk (8-79-0/11, 1-19-0) returned and took his rightful spot as #1 WR…which is also great news for Week 10 vs. TB but not the other two games the next 4 weeks (one week is a BYE).
-- C.J. Johnson-Gardner (5 tackles, 2 PDs, 1 TFL) looks like the new starter for the Saints at safety, and he looks great. 6.0 tackles, 2.0 PDs per game the past two games he has been elevated to starter status.
-- Jonnu Smith (6-78-1/7) came through as the sleeper TE of the week…that likely no one used. Jonnu should be a starter and weapon from here on in…but as soon as Delanie Walker can play, Jonnu disappears back to a 2-4 target a game nobody. That’s Mike Vrabel for you…’Mr. Offense’.
-- Against the league’s worst pass defense…A.J. Brown (2-11-1/3) and Corey Davis (2-9-0/6) couldn’t come through against it. A bad sign for anyone wanting to get use out of them in the weeks to come. This should have been their shining moment…they did almost nothing.
-- Mike Evans (11-198-2/12) is really humming. We remember his zero game Week 5 and that amazing Week 3, but he’s been pretty amazing this season otherwise. 6 TDs his last 5 games. Two 190+ yard games the past five games. Four 85+ yard games in his last 5 games.
-- Denver keeps losing, but close games they coulda/shoulda won at the wire…I fear the Vic Fangio style is equivalent to Mike Zimmer – they would rather run the ball a thousand times a game than pass. Especially when their QB is pretty underwhelming. All that to say…this is dragging down Courtland Sutton (3-72-0/6) for the rest of 2019. Expect some more 3-4 catch 50-75 yards and no TD weeks. He looks amazing, and he’ll be a strong WR2 overall -- but this offense is dying.
Flacco has thrown for 186.5 yards, 0.25 TDs/0.50 INTs per game the last 4 games.
-- Denver had a top pass defense before they stumbled a bit vs. Mahomes/Moore Week 7. Well, they just shutdown a very good Colts offense this week. And how many of us are counting on Baker Mayfield this week at Denver to save us from Kyler Murray vs. SF…or Mahomes out for another week?
-- Zach Pascal (1-6-0/2) was the man last week, but not so much this week. He’s not that kind of receiver and this is not a big passing game for anyone but T.Y. Hilton (2-54-0/6), and even that’s sinking a bit. Efficient NFL offense, but not great for FF.
-- Tevin Coleman (11-105-3, 2-13-1-/2)…touched the ball only 13 times in this game and scored 4 TDs. What can you do? If you started him, celebrate. If you benched him, be pissed. If you own him going into Week 9…might be a good time to explore selling him as hot as possible. Not that he’s doomed to fall, but this was just ‘one of those games’.
-- Greg Olsen (2-13-0/2) has had 15 yards or less in three of his last 4 games. It’s ‘over’.
-- We’re at the part of the season…if you own Christian McCaffrey in 10-12 team leagues with 15-17 man rosters (and deeper than that) – you gotta hold Reggie Bonnafon for emergency purposes. Either claim or make a small trade for him. Don’t take unnecessary risk. It won’t matter…until it matters.
-- If Odell Beckham (5-52-0/7) is NOT traded MON-TUE, I don’t even know what to tell you if you own him. I’d like to think he’s a play with the graceful schedule ahead…but no WR is playing less interested and dropping more passes than OBJ (now that Josh Gordon is not on any team). What a waste of space.
-- Mohamed Sanu (2-23-0/5) looked a little out of sync in his debut, which makes a ton of sense…and it was pouring down rain most of the game. It’s going to be hard to see him as any more than a WR2.5 in New England…taking weeks to get up to speed.
-- Kareem Hunt is eligible to comeback after next week. If you can scare the Nick Chubb owner into dealing him away to you reasonably on Hunt fears…I’d do it. I don’t think Hunt will matter much to the Browns offense.
If you own Hunt…you might get him traded off MON-TUE in the NFL, so hold tight until then. If he’s not traded, he’s a Chubb handcuff only for 2019.
-- Derek Carr (18-30 for 285 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT) has 9 TDs/2 INTs his last 5 games. 2 TDs three different games, this 3 TDs game, and a zero v. CHI in there. DET-LAC-CIN-NYJ-KC the next five weeks – that would work for those in a pinch at QB.
-- The Texans have a terrible pass defense…I mean, really bad. And now they look like they lost J.J. Watt for the season. This is a pass defense to attack with fantasy QBs. Minshew-BYE-Lamar-Brissett-Brady the next five weeks.
-- You never know what Darren Fells (6-58-2/6) you are going to get week to week. 2 TDs in a game in two of his last 4 games. 2-6-2-6 for catches his last four games. He’s a great or terrible streamer ahead for those hit by the mass BYE weeks coming up.
-- LeSean McCoy (9-40-0, 4-23-0/4) looked like he was really doing it…starting to become the most important for the KC backfield, in their time of need. Then he fumbles later in the game and gets the rookie treatment…benched the rest of the game.
I think we’ve seen enough here. He’s a guy who has been benched twice for things in the past 4-5 weeks and has done little for fantasy all year, and who splits time with not one but two other guys. If he ever has a good game, he’s highly unlikely to follow it up. I was hoping he’d have a good game to trade off more this week…but that got lost with his fumble.
Think of how Pete Carroll treats Chris Carson, and how Andy Reid has treated LeSean McCoy. You wanna count on McCoy the rest of the season? How about next week?
-- Allen Lazard (5-42-0/5) played the most snaps of any GB WR and had more catches than Kumerow, MVS, and Allison combined. He’s the #2 now, right? He looks really good, really smooth, but still in a share/rotation situation. I think Lazard could be better when Adams returns and IF they just make the WR group Adams-Lazard as a #1-2 punch with Allison. Adams may even go into the slot at that point.
-- This should’ve been the spot where the GB-DST took advantage of a banged-up O-Line and Matt Moore starting, but did you think the same things I did while watching? That the Chiefs-DST was much more impressive? GB-DST has Rivers-K.Allen-BYE ahead. The real opportunity with GB-DST is the FF playoffs. Weeks 13-15: @NYG, WAS, CHI.
------ TOP FIVES ------
*BUY LOW means buy LOW(er) not PAY ANY PRICE TO GET SOMETHING DONE. We’re looking for opportunity, and it may or may not be there. But the window is more open than it was last week on these players, no matter the current (non-FFM) owners say.
Top 5 ‘Buy Low’
1) Patrick Mahomes, KC – We’ve gone from ‘maybe he’s out until Week 13 or longer to…’maybe he’s back Week 9-10’. I did not believe he’d be back until Week 13, but I’m more inclined to believe Week 10 now. I heard the discussion this week on Mahomes being freakishly double jointed and that’s really helping this issue with his knee and the faster recovery and lack of concern about the recovery.
THEIR Value = QB1 as always, and they see the better estimates and are hopeful…BUT they may be very desperate the next week or two and you might have what it takes to swoop in, in redraft.
2) Le’Veon Bell, NYJ – The current Le’Veon owner has struggled with him this season…he’s not lived up to expectations. Hoping for a turn Week 8, Bell had another quiet game. Think…when dealing for him, have the mindset of…the current owner is not thrilled with this ‘name’. He’s the #15 PPR RB in PPG through Week 8 on cheap catch counts. He’s #24 non-PPR…behind Jordan Howard (#20) and Kerryon Johnson (#23) among others.
Our trade play is the upcoming schedule, which we’ve talked about for the last three weeks…but has already started to be noticed by people last week but will be the story of the fantasy week in all circles now. If you want Le’Veon, you need to move ASAP.
A move for Bell due to the schedule ahead is a move that is all-in on your PPR team that is around 4-4 trying to make the playoffs, and really an all-in swing if you’re 3-5/2-6 trying to get hot to the finish.
THEIR Value = RB1-1.5…they are frustrated but are also lovers of all things RBs. You need to send an RB of name appeal in the deal to offset the loss. Some ideas will be in the ‘sell high’ area.
3) Allen Robinson, CHI – The more fun they make of Mitch Trubisky, ARob’s value gets dinged…and he just had a quiet week. His schedule the rest of the way is wonderful, except Week 11 at LAR. Check this out: PHI-DET-LAR-NYG-DET the next five weeks.
THEIR Value = Generic WR2 they don’t really care about or fear due to Trubisky, especially when he comes off a non-big week of FF production (like this week).
4) Austin Ekeler, LAC – As LAC has found a breath of life with a win this week, and as Rivers has no time to throw with a battered O-Line…little tosses to Ekeler will rule. Like his old Danny Woodhead. Also, as Melvin Gordon gets exposed as an RB talent…more Ekeler could be in store (or a possible TUE trade of Gordon). He’s another PPR all-in move on a guy off a quiet week last week. He’s like James White…you could do worse than having White-Ekeler as your two starters in PPR where you are dying for any RB help. Erratic, but sometimes shocking target count PPR hopefuls.
THEIR Value = RB2, but they respect him because he was so good to start the season. However, weak touch counts for Ekeler last week as Melvin Gordon looms. You might be able to get him, if you want him, for a reasonable price this week.
5) Tyreek Hill, KC – If Mahomes is out again Week 9, you might catch a team in a panic. Week 9 would be not as exciting for Tyreek and Week 12 BYE looms. And what if Mahomes out longer?
THEIR Value = WR1, but more gettable than he should be because of the Mahomes injury cloud hanging over everything.
6) Baker Mayfield, CLE – He may be on waivers…or about to go on it. This is a move for those where the season is getting away or you have an average QB2 in the hole…if a QB could go on an FF-tear from Week 10 on it might be Baker. This is a team that wants to pass, a lot. Baker has a gift. As they play bad teams down the stretch, they'll start to win/get back into the NFC North race and potentially rack numbers. A cheap gamble for 6pts per pass TD leagues with 300+ yard bonuses. No big deal in 4pts per pass TD leagues and no bonuses.
For Dynasty, we’ve about hit the bottom/low point in his valuation. It’s hard to call a bottom, but I think it is here. Week 9 won’t be great either, but this is the low point.
THEIR Value = QB2 everyone has about buried for good and doesn’t care about.
Top 5 ‘Sell High’
*The all-RB version…
1) David Montgomery, CHI – Big rushing total this week, on the back of one nice run and a bunch of typical nothing otherwise. Nothing FF owners love more than RBs with lots of carries. Montgomery gets a lot and does little with them typically. If you ever wanted a time to sell high on a guy who THEY ALL love…here’s your chance.
THEIR Value = RB2, but they know he’s secretly an RB1 in their hearts because they were told this since August.
2) Joe Mixon, CIN – Another good touch count RB this week and he had a TD! Life can’t get better. Mixon has been a dud all season, not on him but the team/offense/O-Line/plan. He’s a lead RB, so he’s worth something but he’s an RB2-3 performer in 2019 with an RB1 name. The RB desperate would love the name.
He’s the #36 PPG non-PPR RB in fantasy so far this season.
THEIR Value = RB1.5-2.0 they hope they are getting low from you at the right time.
3) Todd Gurley, LAR – The name appeal is obvious. He’s scoring TDs. He doesn’t have the name he used too, but he’s the guy and scoring TDs. In non-PPR, he’s a hold. In PPR, you might want to see if you can cash out on him for something bigger/better. He’s giving up touches to Darrell Henderson more and more. He’s got the injury risk as we go. Not a must-sell, but just see if you get someone thinking it’s 2017-2018 Gurley.
He’s the #18 PPR RB in PPG so far this season…behind Derrick Henry and Phillip Lindsay, among others.
THEIR Value = RB1-1.5, but worried about him…and are instantly skeptical if you just offer him straight. Let them try to steal him from you.
4) Tevin Coleman, SF – Unless you see 4 TDs on 13 touches happening every week…
I’m fine with holding Tevin, but the 49ers run an unpredictable backfield week-to-week. This was a week everything just fell into place. Next week, Tevin could go 10-44-0 and fall back to an RBBC fear factor. You don’t have to sell ASAP but explore what he might bring right now.
THEIR Value = A RB2 who has their attention as a possible RB1. If you don’t get RB1 value, then just keep him.
5) Leonard Fournette, JAX – Lots of noise and a couple big games, but they guy can’t buy a TD to save his life. Everyone knows he’s getting the ball near the goal line and they stuff him every time. I’m just suggesting the name is a strong RB1 to trade, when in reality it’s a back-end RB1 to have. No major issues ahead, just Fournette mixed into a deal can turn heads and make things happen as part of a multiplayer deal. Not a must-sell, but a chess piece you may dangle to see what he brings.
THEIR Value = RB1, stronger RB1 with name appeal. If you got like Josh Jacobs + ___ something nice for Fournette – you’d win. But most people see Fournette on a higher mountain than Jacobs…or Chris Carson or James Conner, etc., but for FF they are all bunched around the same performance numbers – with Fournette having that one huge week driving his numbers.
Top 5 ‘Waivers to Trust’ (looking at players less than 50-60% owned on average)
*Pretty ‘meh’ week for waivers this week.
1) Curtis Samuel, CAR – Likely not on waivers, and is probably ON several of your teams. However, for those who had to give him up for other things and if he finds his way to waivers this week from other teams (they don’t like him and a weak FF number last week) – the schedule starts to turn in his favor and he is their #1 WR, a talented #1. I like the throws Allen is trying with him…but v. SF it was a nightmare for all involved.
If you need a potential impact WR for any upcoming schedule issues.
2) Darren Fells, HOU – As we hit heavy BYE weeks, if you have a TE issue…Fells is either nothing or like 2 TDs in a game. They are not working him purposefully; it’s just that they score a lot and he’s available around the goal line nicely.
3) Chris Herndon, NYJ – That whole Jets schedule thing…if it’s a tide that rises all Jets’ boats – Herndon would be one of them. Should make his debut this week…maybe. Not 100% healthy.
4) Alex Erickson, CIN – PPR only. He’s in that zone of being a good hand on a bad team that’s always throwing the ball. On a BYE this week, so no one cares…but in deeper roster leagues he might need to start for you in a given week ahead if BYE week issues hit hard.
We don’t know how MNF will affect their standings, but…
MNF) Diontae Johnson, PIT – Might thrive ahead as main coverage goes to JuJu in games after the Miami one. This week might be not as good, because JuJu goes off…but then a tougher schedule might free him up as the best option after this week. If he goes off on Miami…then it’s good news that he and Rudolph are becoming a thing.
MNF) Preston Williams, MIA – Dropped by many teams in redraft but is the Miami #1 WR and inching better each week as long as he is with Fitzpatrick. And then DeVante Parker likely traded Tuesday.
Top 5 ‘Waivers to Distrust’
1) Tra Carson, DET – He started the game Week 8, looked solid…and then disappeared for most of the rest of the game and Ty Johnson was the obvious guy/talent.
2) Anthony Miller, CHI – Overrated, media-beloved, the Bears only have room for ARob in the passing game and want to run on all other plays with David Montgomery. No room for anyone else.
3) Chris Conley, JAX – His 70-yard TD should’ve been a sack and play over. Without that it was a nothing special game from CC.
4) Ryan Griffin, NYJ – Two TDs Week 8…that everyone will think goes to Chris Herndon ahead. If Herndon out this week, again, I’d not want to trust Griffin for a repeat in a TE crisis.
5) Russell Gage, ATL – He’s starting for Sanu, and had good activity but he’s just an average/random event like a worse Sanu when he was in ATL.
6) Jonnu Smith, TEN – I’m a fan. My sleeper TE of the week, and then I saw him as everyone’s sleeper TE of the week…including Matthew Berry (hmmmm). So, Berry will tout this all week and people will respond. If Delanie Walker is back, your Jonnu stock is near worthless. If Delanie is out Week 9…maybe Jonnu hits again. The Titans passing game is not good, fluffed by opponents but gets at CAR this week…not good.
Top 5 ‘Deep Sleeper Plays on the Radar Screen’
1) Darrell Henderson, LAR – Getting more and more integrated into the offense. He’ll get touches if you need them with the BYE week issues ahead. Might be dropped in places due to their Week 9 BYE. Gurley is a knee issue away from springing Henderson.
2) Allen Lazard, GB – Looking better and better on the field. Had more catches than all the other GB WRs combined vs. KC. Might work better for FF when Davante returns.
3) N’Keal Harry, NE – People are going to love this name because of the Patriots, but I don’t know that he’ll matter for FF for weeks or at all this season. A lot to ask of a rookie. A name to have and trade when people get into him.
4) Rashard Higgins, CLE – Baker’s favorite/BFF WR, personally. If the Browns make some trades/dump OBJ-Landry…Higgins gets important. Or, just as a #3 working with those slugs and an easier schedule, Higgins may pick up some heat.
5) Boston Scott, PHI – ONLY IF Miles Sanders is out. A better Darren Sproles (vs. older Sproles)…a new-age Sproles that could pop on some PPR work.
6) Ryan Finley, CIN – Been mentioning this for a while…the BYE week might lead to a move to Finley Week 10.
7) Mitch Trubisky, CHI – The most hated QB in the NFL. Just note the schedule is mostly good-great ahead and if the Bears make changes to their offense, things could happen – but unlikely Nagy changes anything…but maybe. Last year, Trubisky went on that sweet FF-run…
Top 5 ‘Just Quit On Them’ Players:
1) Greg Olsen, CAR – Three of last 4 games with 15 yards or less. What are we waiting for to happen ahead? Without Cam, Olsen is nothing.
2) Keke Coutee, HOU – I’m not sure if he’s hurt again or what…but if you thought the Will Fuller injury was an opportunity, he was M.I.A. Week 8.
3) Peyton Barber, TB – The lead back for TB means almost nothing.
4) C.J. Prosise, SEA – Was inactive this week and Rashaad Penny got a small push. CJP is not the Carson handcuff, Penny is.
5) Zach Zenner, ARI – This looked interesting for a second when Edmonds went down, but with the Drake trade…kills Zenner off for good, unless he goes back to Detroit :)
Top 5 DSTs Off Waivers (maybe on waivers) to Consider:
*Some of your smartest moves ahead can be to carry two DSTs to mix-and-match their schedule opportunities.
1) Browns-DST – This defense can’t catch a break. They only allowed 20 offensive points to New England…and some of the 20 points off other bizarre turnovers. This is a really talented defense hiding because of tougher schedule, prior injury, and ‘the Browns’ bad name.
Flacco-J.Allen-Rudolph-MIA-Rudolph-Dalton-Kyler-Lamar-Dalton is who they face the rest of the season. If this CLE team wins this week to get to a 3-5 record as Baltimore loses to NE to fall to 5-3…they are just two games out with an incredibly easy schedule ahead as the Ravens have a gauntlet. The Browns are not dead yet, and their defense may be the best thing about them.
2) Jets-DST – My poor Jets-DST. Played well Week 8, but the result wasn’t there. Allowed a 70+ yard TD pass on a play they had the QB sacked but the hit redirected him/spun him and instead of falling down he stumbled ahead as the coverage stopped…and then Minshew tossed to a wide open Chris Conley who ran away from the stopped defense. A sack turned no sack and 70+ yard TD…that’s the Jets-DST season in a nutshell. Three JAX fumbles…and two of them NYJ could’ve had but bounced to the Jags. Multiple dropped picks. It was so close but looks so far.
Great schedule ahead. That changes things…the opposing QBs ahead won’t have the ability to save the day single-handedly, and they are more turnover prone.
A CLE-NYJ combo ahead would yield…
Week 9: NYJ v. MIA or CLE v. DEN
Week 10: NYJ v. NYG or CLE v. BUF
Week 11: NYJ v. WAS
Week 12: CLE v. MIA
Week 13: NYJ v. CIN
Week 14: NYJ v. MIA or CLE v. CIN
Week 15: CLE v. ARI
Week 16: CLE v. BAL or NYG v. PIT
Weeks 9-14 you could face MIA, NYG, WAS, MIA, CIN, MIA with this combo.
The Jets-DST is riskier because of the terrible offense (but they should be better on this schedule), and they will be way out of the NFL playoffs as we go. The Browns win Week 9…the division title is in reach, but they got to hustle for it…which is good for their DST.
3) Colts-DST – Miami Week 10 is always a good thing. PIT-MIA-JAX is not the worst stretch of opponents. You could play for the next three weeks if not many other options out there and targeting the Week 10 option. OK-ish defense + OK-ish schedule with Miami Week 10…which, with Fitzpatrick, isn’t as great as before.
4) Panthers-DST – After giving up 51 points to the 49ers last week, there might be a few people bail. This is a defense that has given up 27-26-51 the last three weeks…and not to offensive juggernauts. They do face weak TEN this week…and then the schedule is unkind after (@GB, ATL, @NO).
5) Cowboys-DST – Facing NYG Week 9 is a good thing and then the schedule is tougher after until Weeks 13-14 with BUF-CHI.
6) Titans-DST – I don’t love this defense but at CAR/Kyle Allen this week might be OK. Facing KC Week 10 could be something vs. Matt Moore…but not against Mahomes.
7) Seahawks-DST – This is not a good defense, but…it is facing Jameis Winston this week and that’s never bad.