2020 Week 2: Three Things from Sunday Night Games + Top 5’s Waivers/Buy-Sell/Sleepers/DST/IDPs
(Same intro was some minor tweaks, if you already read my early release...you can skip it.)
We have to start, as I always do Week 2 end, by addressing the (0-2) teams among us.
My message must be heard…(0-2) teams, do not block it out. (1-1) teams will want to consider it too…especially if their loss came this week.
(2-0) teams, read what your fellow weary travelers are going through while you’re untouched!
It was a better week across FFM-land this week with Higbee and Diontae and Kyler rising up, but there was also plenty of Parris Campbell to bring people down among others. In all, we’re tracking for about a 60%-win rate week across all platforms. That’s good but not great. The majority people reading this have more teams (1-1) than anything else, but there are more (0-2s) than (2-0s) at this stage, which isn’t good/normal for us (collectively/FFM). The average record today is coming in around 1.1 wins and 0.9 losses = depending upon anything weird happening on MNF.
Most people are sitting .500 reading this, and of them they likely got their win this week…which feels like a relief. However, if you lost this week…it’s very unsettling. If you lost to fall to (0-2) it feels like the season is over. If you lost this week (0-2) and watched YOUR McCaffrey and/or Barkley be removed from their games with injury…you KNOW the season is over.
Fantasy people who are (0-2), lend me your ears…
It is not over.
I’m not saying that to be a cheerleader. I’ve been doing this too long, talk and communicate with too many people every year…I know what you’re thinking, and if you’ve been with me awhile you know I deliver this message annually and you might have benefitted from it and been usually/ultimately shocked by the results of following my message. Those that are new…or new to being (0-2), you should pay close attention. I’m not cheerleading. I am delivering you a message of hope/reality that you cannot easily see because you might be too close to the situation and the frustration is real (losing is no fun) – I am more objective about your plight because I’m not directly dealing with it/your situation (but am indirectly, I feel the pain across the land on bad weeks) and I have years of experience and have seen this situation/reaction time and time again.
You should not be panicking at (0-2). Unhappy…yes/fine. Packing in the season and making grand proclamations of the season being over and wondering why you even play fantasy…now is not the time.
A simple message to you on being (0-2)… If you win next week, you’re (1-2) and the playoff qualifier ahead of you is likely (2-1)…meaning if you win next week, you will be just one game out of the playoffs with 9-10 or so weeks to play. Win next week and the world will be filled with hope -- because that’s a fact. Because ‘it’s not over’.
You’re (0-2) and maybe one of your losses was a win you left on the bench…so, you could’ve won -- you just didn’t. Maybe you scored huge Week 1 or Week 2 but lost to the high scoring team of the week – like you faced Davante Adams Week 1 and not Week 2…you can’t control that. You would have liked to have faced Dak Week 1…not Week 2.
You also can’t judge the entire season because of two cards dealt in a 12-13-14 card game.
Knowing the typical FFM teams, whether you are (0-2) or (1-1) or even (2-0)…this Week 2 may have marked one of the great turning point weeks in FFM history. There are things to take heart in for many scuffling right now – I think we now know all our Kyler Murray investments are really paying off…especially all you Dynasty investors with me last year. You also now know Diontae Johnson isn’t just a solid WR play…he’s got a chance to be that WR1 taken middle rounds of the 2020 redraft…or middle rounds of the 2019 Dynasty Rookie Draft.
Our 2019 Dynasty Rookie Draft plan started ringing the register this week – not just a good week, but a confirmation that those guys really are ‘great’…not just ‘good’. Many of you have one or both in Dynasty. Many of you have one of both in redraft because of our valuations this preseason.
Some of us may have had our Leonard Fournette stocks re-inflated this week.
Some of us may have finally had the Darrell Henderson lottery tickets show a sign of life.
Tyler Higbee was our main TE desire for 2020 redraft…and we see that wasn’t dumb (like it felt after Week 1).
On the other hand, some of us might be scuffling with setting the right lineup or bad opponents who went off the week we played them…but, by and large, we avoided the major injury bug this week outside of Parris Campbell (who caused a few losses). We could afford to lose Campbell, big picture (WRs and all…)…but some of your league mates are staring down trouble with Saquon and CMC. Some FFMers are too, but mostly FFM teams don’t have those guys for various reasons. There’s a lot of pain going around FF right now, even with the ‘good’ fantasy teams (at this stage) in your league.
There is plenty of time to get in the race, especially when we start to hit BYE weeks and our depth starts to payoff versus others.
(0-2) sucks…losing sucks…I get it, but you have to keep your head about these things. It’s not as dark as you think. And I say this because if you start to cross over into the darkness (and some will despite my message), you’re going to accelerate your team’s decent into hell by going out and chasing what was hot last week and giving away what was cold last two weeks…just in time for when the trend reverses.
Do you really think Derrick Henry is going to be an RB3 this season? Do you think Keelan Cole is going to score 16 TDs this season (I hope he does)?
We’ve only seen two cards in this big, large card game…we’ve got a long way to go. Your players will have better matchups, your FF team will get a lucky win, you’ll find a gem off waivers almost by accident, you’ll make a smart trade…there’s time for all these things to play out. You have to keep your head about it and act accordingly.
If you go off half-cocked and start buying high and selling low to try and fix everything in a day…you’ll piledrive your season into the ground. I see it all the time. You do not have to fix 50% of your starters this week. They all don’t ‘suck this year’. It’s just two weeks. If you got super lucky and won a low scoring game over an opponent who got killed with injuries…you would be (1-1) and not doing all the urgent/erratic things you feel like you need to do right now…even though it’s the same players.
It’s all about perspective…and how you react to it.
It’s not over. There’s plenty of time and plenty of injuries and twists and turns to maneuver through for everyone. We’ve only just begun.
Your mission is to win this week without haphazardly turning everything upside down in the process.
I’m here to help. Email me if you need to be talked off the ledge. (0-2) teams…hit me up and vent and let’s see how good/bad it is. My door is open. My job is to help you win…and sometimes that means I need to put you in a straight jacket for a moment for your own benefit.
I don’t want anyone to give up prematurely or walk under a dark cloud all week awaiting final execution if you lose Week 3. An (0-3) start is still just a win away from (1-3) the next week, and thus a game behind the (2-2) playoff teams with 8-9+ weeks to go. Don’t operate like your team is terrible, and you’re terrible at picking lineups, and everyone else’s teams are way better. It’s very early in this race. We need to step it up, but it’s still early/plenty of time and plenty of twists and turns ahead to capitalize on.
firstname.lastname@example.org – Put (0-2 pre-panic attack) at the end of whatever email subject line you lead with, so we start to diffuse/poke fun at the (0-2) feeling and so I know what kind of email it is to get to ASAP.
Seriously, feel free to email/vent/and let’s take a look under the hood. Give me good info on league/scoring/etc. to help set the table.
I was walking my dog this morning (Monday) trying to listen to my church’s Sunday service…but my mind was going a thousand other places thinking about Russ(ell Wilson) cooking too much against FFM teams the past two weeks among several other things. Comedically, the pastor’s message was about how to properly respond to crisis and how we tend to overreact…but all I could think about was replaying the Colts game in my mind and wondering if T.Y. Hilton is ‘shot’ like A.J. Green is.
As I was finishing my walk, I thought of a real-life thing that happened…a story pertaining to crisis management. A story I felt was apropos to fantasy right now…
When I used to work in the corporate world, I worked a lot in the finance area. In that world, I was around a lot of other people who knew money/were good with money/could talk about things related to money like a sport…like it was all our fantasy football. In finance, the stock market is fantasy football – buy/sell/trade/predict future outcomes and ‘win’ or ‘lose’, and wins/losses were real money. We talked a lot about the market direction and how the market was treating us and what stocks we liked, etc. We really mostly talked about 401Ks, and ‘how they were doing’ because that’s where we were all invested, like most people.
In 2007-2008, the stock market was rolling along. The S&P 500 was at the (approx.) 1,500 level at their best at that time. *Note: You don’t have to know much about the stock market to understand this story. The numbers will be fairly simple to follow.
We were all happy and filled with ‘smarts’ as the market continued it’s normal rise over time, long since recovering from ‘9/11’ temporary drops/chaos in 2001. Everyone’s 401Ks were heading higher and higher at a nice steady pace in 2007 into 2008.
As 2008 unfolded, something about a ‘mortgage crisis’ first popped up and people got nervous…and the media fanned the flames to start to cause a panic (real or imagined). All 2008 the S&P started to slide. The 1,500 level faded into 1,250 levels in August 2008…a 17% drop. Not fun but not something never seen before. Everyone felt everything would be fine in the stock market, but nervousness was settling in.
The stock market faded all end of 2008 and panic really set in and the news reports were constant, and the market just kept going down and down and down with no end in sight. There was a flash crash and more panic and in March 2009 it was a constant minute-by-minute story that everyone at my work would pause and listen to the radio or look at the computer at 9:30amET to see how the market was doing. It was all everyone would talk about in the finance departments. The S&P hit 680 levels in March 2009, at the peak of panic…down 55% from like a year and a half prior. It happened so fast…half your 401K, if vested into the market, was just ‘gone’ in what seemed like an instant.
In the days the market hit the lows in March 2009, it was a daily gut check on what to do – Should I sell now? What if it goes to zero, what will I do? People had lost half+ of their 401Ks…what if they lost the other half? I remember thinking…if this is the end of the world and my little 401K is going to zero…it’s not going to matter because the world will be ending anyway. Then I thought it’s silly to think the world is ending because of some bad news reports when basic commerce was still taking place and nothing had changed with most companies…just the mood had changed (and the news was pushing chaos as they do). Things may be due a hit but not chopped in half. Warren Buffett started buying, so I started trying to get in the bargain hunting.
I remember a guy who was a top salesman at our company. He always talked of being close to retirement (early 50s). He had done really well for himself. He bragged about being near/at a million dollars saved in his 401K back in 2007-2008. He would lecture us on how we all needed to do money things. We were all envious of him. We could only dream of logging the company time and savings he had. He was our good little worker-bee savings hero/role model.
I happened to be working at his location the week in 2009 when everything really dropped in the market. I talked to him to see what/how we was doing, to see if he had any pearls of financial wisdom. I went into his office, and he looked like a wreck. He told me his $1M 401K levels had dropped to like the $400K area. I asked him how he was playing the market/what he was doing. He told me he moved all his 401K balance to cash/out of the market that week…that the stock market was for sucker’s and you couldn’t win with the untrustworthy system. He proclaimed to all of us that we should do the same…to never bet in the stock market again or you’d get screwed. I didn’t take his advice. I thought it seemed everything was over-panicked, and I just held to what I had in my 401K and kept putting in via my auto deductions every bi-week like normal.
You know where this is going…
The market started to firm up a few months after the brief chaos. People absorbed the bad news and thought their way through it and started bargain hunting, taking advantage of people panicking. By the end of 2009, just nine months later from the low-lows, the S&P 500 recovered some/moved from 680 level to 1,100…a 61% jump. As it was rising, I would see that salesperson from time-to-time and as we all started feeling better he would still say that he was staying out of the market, never going back, and continued to make proclamations that the market was evil/a hoax and he was never getting in it still and told us to get out of the market, that it would soon crash again.
Most of us didn’t have much to begin with, so we just stayed the course in our 401Ks. He never did get back in…mad at the market for what it did to him in 2008. He rode it high and was a 401K king (on paper) for years and was close to retiring early in 2008…and then in a matter of months he panicked and it cost him a lifetime+ of savings.
The S&P is at 3,400 levels now. Had that person just held on and didn’t panic…his $1M in 2007-2008 that went to $400K in March 2009, would now be worth at least $2.3M+. He missed out on a million dollar rise because he panicked and got obstinate about it. He never got back in, he still predicts a crash coming, and he is still working for my old company. His life forever changed by getting caught in a very real emotion of ‘losing it all’ and making a rash decision and never changing with the times on it.
I always think about him/his decision in a lot of things in life – if we just knew what was going to be around the corner, we wouldn’t act/react the way we do a lot of the time. We tend to be reactionary…over reactionary…and we start ‘doing something’ to react to the moment, because we’re ‘doers’.
Sometimes, the moment calls for holding steady…sometimes the moment calls for investing/buying low into the selling and panic. Fantasy Football is a LOT like the stock market…I’ve been in both worlds. Today, (0-2) teams, is not the time to sell your entire 401K and swear off the market forever to punish it for not doing what you wanted it to do this day/week.
Be the Nic Cage of this scene from the end of ‘Lords of War’, possibly one of the greatest single scenes at the end of a movie I’ve ever seen… https://youtu.be/gGZAgmctqE4
The FBI agent…he’s trying to make sure you feel fear/panic over your current situation after Week 2. That knock at the door – it’s your Week 3 win coming to save the day. Let’s win Week 3 and get back on track and all will be right with the world.
-- Here’s Three Things/quick notes that caught my attention from each Sunday game (subject to change as I rewatch all this week) --
-- I’m not going to totally trash the Bills-DST here. Terrible FF game but gets a semi-pass for missing their two starting linebackers and playing on the road in a high heat/humidity game that got elongated by lightning delays. But not a total ‘pass’.
You can move off them now if you wish…LAR, at LV, at TEN – three lower turnover, efficient offenses…then KC in Week 6.
-- Another week, another inexplicable three-headed monster RB for the Dolphins. I’m ‘out’ on all of them. If I had to take one it would be Matt Breida (7-37-0, 1-2-0/2)…but I want ‘none’.
-- Preston Williams (1-26-0/5) drew a lot of Tre’Davious White…PW is getting full respect by the NFL opposing coaches, but this offense isn’t good enough to help him get over in such matchups. The schedule loosens the next few weeks, maybe, but still not easy.
Week 3 v. JAX…C.J. Henderson
Week 4 v. Seattle…might draw Quinton Dunbar
Week 5 v. SF…secondary is falling apart.
The Miami offense is so challenged right now, not sure how you can trust Preston…but he did face two of the best corners in the NFL Weeks 1-2. Hard to judge him fully off that.
-- We await to see how bad it is for Jimmy Garoppolo (14-16 for 131 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT), but I already wasn’t all that interested in him/this passing game to begin with…but I really have no interest in it if Nick Mullens (8-11 for 71 yards, 0 TD/1 INT) is heading it up. He’s not terrible but he’s lesser than Jimmy G.
Everyone is hurt by this a bit…Deebo, Kittle and the run game (that opponents will now crowd more)
-- Missing many players, many WRs…big free agent Breshad Perriman (2-12-0/2) went missing and highly overrated Chris Herndon (1-5-0/4) should’ve been big on catches (even if junk time) but he got shut down as well. This whole passing game/team/franchise is a mess that needs a flush top-to-bottom, but they won’t do that until after the 2021 season. What a mess.
-- I don’t know how to trust the SF-DST ahead with all their injuries, but facing NYG, PHI, and MIA the next three weeks isn’t bad but considering a possible QB injury, Bosa possibly done, and Richard Sherman out (among other things) – I’d start scouting a new DST.
-- Well, I told you last week was your last chance at a reasonable Diontae Johnson (8-92-1/13) deal in 2020. No chance going forward. A star is finally born.
7.0 rec. (11.5 targets), 74.5 yards, 0.50 TDs per game = Diontae 2020
6.5 rec. (7.0 targets), 58.5 yards, 1.0 TDs per game = JuJu 2020
-- The Broncos passing game items are better off with Jeff Driskel (18-34 for 256 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT)…not radically better, just better than with Drew Lock. If Lock is out for a stretch of time, your opinion on Broncos things does not change much.
-- James Conner (16-106-1, 2-15-0/2) is back as the bell cow…and usually he holds that label for between 2-3 quarters or 2-3 games before he gets hurt or disappoints again. Bennie Snell (3-5-0, 1-0-0/1) has some sit/hold value on your bench…waiting to see…if you need RB depth/lottery tickets.
-- Parris Campbell (1-7-0) lost is a major hit to the Indy WR group for FF. You’d think T.Y. Hilton (3-28-0/5) is ready to benefit…but he looks like a shell of himself two weeks into the season – dropping another TD pass in this game. TYH is not officially dead, but I’m officially concerned.
Rookie WR Michael Pittman (4-37-0/6) might have to really step up here.
*There is some hope Parris is not done for the season, but from what I saw…it didn’t look good.
-- Nyheim Hines (1-4-0/1) should also benefit from Parris out, but he was a ghost in this game. The Colts got up early and just kept pounding it at the Vikings and never let up. There wasn’t a lot of 2-minute offense situations…nor did the Colts seem to care to use Hines at all, after pushing him a lot Week 1. Could be situational to this game (likely)…could be the future with Jonathan Taylor’s style vs. Marlon Mack’s style of offense.
-- 2nd week in a row that MIN CB Holton Hill (7 tackles) has hit 7 solo tackles in a game. If the Vikings’ defense is going to get picked on…Hill looks to be an IDP beneficiary.
-- I think we all knew James Robinson (16-102-1, 3-18-0/4) would be better than Derrick Henry (25-84-0, 0-0-0/2) for FF in Week 2…before this season started, right?
Robinson is getting a good push. It’s working. Ryquell Armstead could be coming back soon to disrupt this a bit…maybe. Ride it while you can.
-- You’d think Jonnu Smith (4-84-2/5) would get more targets after his hot start to this game, but this is how they do…not a lot of passing attempts, but good efficiency…and tending to ignore Jonnu as a star.
This offense puts a lid on Jonnu’s upside week-to-week, but he’s still very good…and we now have him showing what he can do with AJB out, so perhaps he’s going to be more game planned than before. We’ll see. There is a risk he goes back 3-4 targets a game when AJB comes back.
-- Keelan Cole (6-58-1/7) is now averaging 5.5 rec., 52.5 yards, 1.0 TDs per game…11.3 FF PPG/16.8 PPR PPG. He’s a legit WR option…owned in less than 10% of leagues on national average. Cole is talented. D.J. Chark (4-84-0/4) is getting a lot of double coverages. It’s working.
-- Like Keelan Cole, Russell Gage (6-46-1/9) is working too…even better because Atlanta has to keep throwing in games. Gage is averaging 7.5 rec., 80.0 yards, 0.5 TDs per game…11.0 FF PPG/18.5 PPR PPG. The only reason Gage dip is if ATL ever gets a lead in a game and tries to sit on it…but that rarely happens. Gage needs excessive throwing to survive.
-- Now, you have to start worrying about Todd Gurley (21-61-0, 0-0-0/0)…no targets in the passing game and is averaging 17.5 carries for 58.5 yards rushing (3.3 yards per carry) per game after two weeks. Two heavy offensive output games for Atlanta so far this year, but not for Gurley. He’s not participating much.
-- Michael Gallup (2-58-0/5) is losing his world to CeeDee Lamb (6-106-0/9). Gallup has become a deep ball shot with 50.0% connection rate while Lamb is seeing lesser coverage and working between the cracks of the defense for Dak. I’m not sure if it balances out or tips into Gallup’s favor from here. Gallup is kind of the odd man out, not enhanced by all this receiver firepower.
8.3 FF PPG/13.8 PPR PPG on 5.5 rec. (7.5 targets), 82.5 yards, 0.0 TDs per game = CeeDee
5.4 FF PPG/7.9 PPR PPG on 2.5 rec. (5.0 targets), 54.0 yards, 0.0 TDs per game = Gallup
-- FINALLY…FINALLY…Darrell Henderson (12-81-1, 240-0/3) got a real shot, and whaddya know…he’s way better than Cam Akers (3-13-0)! Who knew?
As with most good RC things…it takes an injury to the beloved-by-the-team player for the coaches to accidentally discover a talent in their (the team’s) midst all along.
I’m excited, but I also know…this is not the end of the story. Henderson didn’t just drop the mic here. If Akers can go, he’ll start and Henderson will barely play next week. Sean McVay is going to show you he knows talent…not you/me.
We’ll probably have 2-3-4 more weeks of kicking and screaming on Henderson before they can’t deny him…unless Akers is fully out, then there’s hope suddenly. Our Henderson excitement is tied to the severity of the Akers injury.
-- The end of the Carson Wentz (26-43 for 242 yards, 0 TD/2 INT) in Philly just took a step closer (he’ll be a Colt in 2021). Jalen Hurts is going to replace him at some point this year, if they are falling away…and they are falling away so far. We have some time to go, but if they somehow lose to Cincy this week…with @SF, @PIT, BAL to follow that…the Wentz era is over, it’s just a matter of ‘when’ it happens.
And Ertz-Goedert, among other things, is going to suffer when it does…and you want Hurts in 4pts per pass TD leagues.
-- When you let yourself get sucked into whatever happened last week (especially when it is the first week) being the driving force to set your lineup the following week…you get to overblown on Dallas Goedert (4-30-0/8) and you bail early on Tyler Higbee (5-54-3/5).
Now, Goedert will go back to benches/given away in trades and Higbee will be untouchable.
I don’t know that’s it not time to ‘sell high’ on Higbee. Let’s see if he makes it into the Top Five ‘Sell High’ players below or not…
-- On the Brightside, most of us do not own Saquon Barkley (4-28-0)…
What’s going to happen now?
Effectively, the Giants season is over. It doesn’t have to be, but they already sucked…and the dancing-too-much-in-the-backfield guy they built their franchise around is gone…so their offense is gone with it.
I would project Dion Lewis (10-20-1, 4-36-0/50 to start, but watch for Wayne Gallman to move into a split role and get a chance to be more of a lead guy, but Lewis will be there to support/split for a while. If Devonta Freeman is signed, then he enters a split with Lewis, I’d assume.
-- Daniel Jones (25-40 for 241 yards, 0 TD/1 INT) is going to get a lot of junk throwing opportunities now too…which means he’ll have bye week fill-in potential and the receivers and Evan Engram (6-65-0/8) all have a viability for FF. NOW…is the time to go ‘buy low(er)’ on Darius Slayton (3-33-0/6)…not to pay double last week in your smitten ways after his 2-TD week.
-- Anthony Miller (0-0-0/3) has functionally lost his job to the better (rookie) Darnell Mooney (3-36-1/3). I tried to tell the NFL there were red flags with Miller from the jump. I’m just shocked the Bears replaced him with a 5th-round rookie pretty much right from the jump.
FYI, Darnell Mooney is good. If he were with a better QB, watch out…maybe with Foles…but maybe with Trubisky in Weeks 3-4 facing softer pass coverage teams ATL and IND. It’s still a bit early on him, but he’s progressing enough to push Miller down.
-- The Lions are missing Kenny Golladay big-time…they’re a much better chasing/heavy pass attempts team with him, obviously. Teams are taking away Marvin Jones (4-23-1/6) and letting the Lions try to beat them with their collection of rookies and marginal talent options…and it’s not working well for FF. Marvin was OK here, but he’s better working with Golladay…as is Stafford. We should see KG this week.
-- Aaron Jones (18-168-2, 4-68-1/8) is addicted to TDs. I never draft him on purpose the past two years, and I just get to sit and watch him throw down 2-3 TD games like they are nothing. With Barkley and McCaffrey going down and Derrick Henry getting stifled…Jones is becoming the top back to have in all of fantasy right now, it seems. Playing two awful defenses helps dramatically as well, but Williams-Dillon is not putting any dent in his touches/output.
-- Davante Adams (3-36-0/3) got hurt, we don’t know the real severity yet…but I have said all along the 2020 preseason/redraft season, I like Allen Lazard (3-45-0/5) to step up in Adams’s absence, if it were to happen. We might get a glimpse Week 3.
-- Ronald Jones (7-23-1, 2-4-0/2) made Tom Brady mad on a pass play…and that was enough to usher in the Leonard Fournette (12-103-2, 4-13-0/5) era, potentially.
Fournette got half his day on a late 46-yard TD, but it’s a sign that all is well with Fournette. I still see him working a bit stiff – good-looking between the tackles, but not as much juice evading tackles/going outside. I don’t see the ‘wow’ factor with him I’ve seen prior. Not sure what’s off, but he’s fine straight ahead. Whatever I see or don’t see -- with his power running style he doesn’t need to be flashy…he can be a ramrod up the middle and thrive.
We’ll see if Arians uses this game to replace Jones as starter or not. I suspect we’re moving into the phase where Jones starts, but Fournette comes in faster and works a hot hand/split next week – and the best man will win the starting job eventually, but the winner will never be fully ‘rid’ of the other.
You want the main back in this backfield, that’s why it was important to try to get both tickets (Jones and Fournette) to make sure you had ‘the one’, when the one became evident or if an injury happened.
I thought Jones had a good hold on the main role after Week 1 but making Brady mad changed that midway through this game.
-- We’ll see what the deal is with Christian McCaffrey (18-59-2, 4-29-0/5) but if he’s down, Mike Davis (1-1-0, 8-74-0/8) is the obvious/immediate Week 3 answer…and who knows after that. Reggie Bonnafon is on the practice squad too. It would be Davis in the short-term, for sure. Mike Davis is solid in a Carlos Hyde sort of way.
If CMC is done-done for the year, watch for Bonnafon to eventually get his chance after a while.
-- Curtis Samuel (4-26-0, 2-13-0/2) would be an option to work more in the backfield too (if CMC out a bit)…since they don’t use him as a WR much anymore, apparently. Samuel’s FF-value is all but dead unless he gets announced as part of the backfield in a prolonged CMC absence, but then Samuel would only be a couple of touch gimmick short-term.
If CMC is done for 2020…I have my antennae up on Samuel getting converted to some backfield work.
-- Well, I wanted to see if Kyler Murray’s (26-38 for 286 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, 8-67-2) SF performance was going to hold up with an as-good or better against a suddenly ominous Washington defensive (front) – and, well, he did it. He’s confirmed/confirming (for me) that he’s going to the next level of fantasy output. My dynasty teams, and many of your dynasty teams made Kyler a 2019 centerpiece investment…and now that looks like it’s about to payoff.
Kyler is running on purpose, and that’s going to be lethal for the NFL and FF.
Kyler and Diontae becoming stars before our eyes in Week 2 in 2020…that’s the payoff of some good scouting and valuations in 2019, back when people weren’t prepared to pay the prices we were. This Week 2 could be a huge pivot point in many Dynasty team’s fortunes going forward.
-- Flying below the Kyler radar…suddenly the Arizona-DST is really good. Cutting down Washington/Haskins is not a big deal but who would have thought it a month ago for this DST?
DET-CAR-NYJ is a plausible stretch the next three weeks. Not great/obvious, but hopeful.
-- It’s a tough call on Logan Thomas (4-26-0/9). You want to get excited by the targets…8 and 9 targets the first two games, that’s pretty righteous. However, it’s Dwayne Haskins…so he’s caught 4 and 4 for 26 and 37 yards.
A lot of targets + Haskins = not as good as you think in most cases. You want targets that get completed!
-- Nothing wrong with David Johnson (11-34-0, 2-16-0/4)…the Ravens just stacked the line and dared the Texans to run and wished for them to pass. DJ had no room to work and Deshaun Watson is too ___ to throw the ball to DJ much when facing this kind of front, apparently.
I thought the Texans would get more creative in this huge matchup, but they did the same old predictable stuff.
-- Deshaun Watson (25-36 for 275 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, 5-17-0), to me, looks like a stiff running the ball these days…nothing like the exciting Watson of old and his passing is a borderline mess.
I was saying ‘I was wrong’ about Watson this offseason, that he’s a better QB that I said/scouted he would be in the NFL…but I’d like to walk that back and see some more games/evidence, because Watson looks pretty lame to me right now, as an evaluator.
Two big games/opponents right off that bat this season and Watson did not answer the bell/show any spark of anything in them. It may get better as the schedule eases up a little bit…but I’d be nervous Watson is well-paid and not-so-spark-filled these days.
-- Gus Edwards (10-73-0) leading the backfield in carries is a sign that this is going to be an RBBC group all year, I’m afraid. You’ll need an injury to someone to truly spring J.K. Dobbins (2-48-0, 1-13-0/1).
21 carries for the three RBs, and 16 for Lamar.
-- Who would have guessed the rookie RB to have in this game was Joshua Kelley (23-64 -0, 2-49-0/3) and not Clyde Edwards-Helaire (10-38-0, 6-32-0/8). The start to this season is bizarre to say the least.
Kelley looks like he’s found his role, but it’s going to be splitting with Austin Ekeler (16-93-0, 4-55-0/4), and more deferring to him as we go. Still, Kelley gets a good touch count…he’s a legit RB2-3 week-to-week.
-- Justin Herbert (22-33 for 311 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, 4-18-1) made the emergency start because Tyrod Taylor was having chest pains, having to do with a rib injury…but could be more serious. Anthony Lynn has already announced that Tyrod is the starter when ready…because Anthony Lynn will never-not be Anthony Lynn. A great performance by a non-starter isn’t going to get in the way of Lynn’s plans.
…it’s why I worry Joshua Kelley will not get a better shot in 2020.
-- If Justin Herbert is the starter next week or the rest of the season or anything in-between, then Keenan Allen (7-96-0/10) rises up and Mike Williams (2-14-0/4) tumbles down off the lofty perch I put him on after Week 1…as ‘Tyrod’s guy’
-- Cam Newton (30-44 for 397 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, 11-47-2) is going to try to assault the stat sheets to prove a point on how silly it was no one was willing to pay him serious money – and that they for sure will in 2021. Cam is going to be a tough QB to face in fantasy most weeks, especially in 4pts per pass TD.
They are letting Cam do his thing…and that’s good for FF. Although, it was so obvious he was going to run the ball last play that it was an easy stop for Seattle. Too easy. Cost the Pats the game.
-- Because Cam is going to take stats…your Sony Michel (7-19-0, 0-0-0/1) or James White (DNP) or Damien Harris (IR) stock is always going to be muted on the upside all season.
-- Tyler Lockett (7-67-1/8) and DK Metcalf (4-92-1/6) had no issues with the vaunted Patriots’ secondary…I’m starting to wonder if there is such a thing as the vaunted Patriots’ secondary? Was it just a schedule-benefit hoax from the 1st-half of 2019 season? They haven’t been all that great since the schedule went from cupcakes to real teams.
===== FIVE PLAYERS… =====
**NOTE: Tuesday Night Waiver Madness Video Q&A 8:00-9:30pmET, where we will go over more of all these things (below) every Tuesday night**
Five Waivers To Trust…
*Looking at players owned less than 50% on average in leagues across the whole FF-landscape. Your league, obviously, may be different/deeper.
**Another week, another bunch of many choices at RB, but all of them very flimsy/not clear cut on any of them. Be careful ‘shooting your shot’ too hard here because, apparently, every RB is going to get injured this year…so, there will be choices week-to-week, and most a lot better than this riff-raff.
The injury news on some of the backs is still ‘unknown’ at this point, so this list can/will change throughout the day.
*UPDATE* Goes from #6 to #1) Jerick McKinnon, SF
Raheem Mostert is out for a few weeks, as is Tevin Coleman now...and McKinnon becomes 'the man'. You have to love that for him for FF. All-in on it...for a few weeks.
He's the first real 'worth it' waiver RB I've seen the first two weeks.
2) Mike Davis, CAR
I like Mike Davis, he’s a solid NFL RB. He’s not Christian McCaffrey…but he’s fine. If McCaffrey is going to be out 1-2-3 weeks, Davis is the natural replacement. If the situation is more dire, then I’m sure Carolina will seek a younger back to groom while Davis is the mentor.
This situation is fluid depending upon the McCaffrey severity of injury. If CMC is out 1-2 weeks…Davis is going to be a start-able RB2 replacement.
3) Joshua Kelley, LAC
Of all the names on here…the best in terms of: most talented + going to play. He’s not the starter over Austin Ekeler, but this team wants to run and play defense, so a #2 back is like an RB2 here. Kelley is a talent and he can work here…and rise if Justin Herbert takes over fully.
4) Darrell Henderson, LAR
Of all the names on here…the best in terms of homerun hitting fantasy appeal + is the best/most talented guy on his depth chart. However, I don’t think the Rams believe it and don’t be surprised if they put him back in a box the second Cam Akers can go.
There is nice hope here, and there is fear…fear of the usual happening (Akers/Brown lead with Hendo sprinkled in).
5) Jordan Akins, HOU
I said I had a feeling this was going to pop after Week 1, and he did…7 catches on 7 targets on the week. He’s a legit answer to your TE woes, or good investment/insurance on your established starter.
6) Russell Gage, ATL
It’s working. He’s just an average WR, but he's in a great spot to get targets and thus his nice FF numbers to start the season. I’m not a huge fan, but he’s as good as there is out there off many people’s waivers at WR.
7) Dion Lewis, NYG
Should be the NYG back of note for Week 3, even if Devonta Freeman is signed. Limited shelf life on Lewis, most likely. But works for touches Week 3.
8) Devonta Freeman, NYG
The Giants’ GM is desperate to make something out of this season. I could see him desperately signing Freeman to show they haven’t given up. If he is signed, he’ll split with Dion Lewis for a while/all season.
9) Keelan Cole, JAX
A poor man’s Russell Gage for FF. Cole is exponentially better than Gage, BUT Gage is in a better situation for passing action. Cole might be the right answer in the end because he’s a talent.
10) Laviska Shenault, JAX
The Jags are in love with themselves on how they are using him…as runner and receiver. I don’t see a lot of ‘it’ in his work, but he’s starting and doing fine and is the flavor of the day there. No reason to deny a guy getting 3-4 carries and 3-4 catches a game. Better for non-PPR than PPR.
Five Waivers To Distrust…
1) Myles Gaskin, MIA
He’s the clear lead back right now, so I get he’s ‘any port in a storm’…but just know that he is not a high- NFL starter-level back and he’s going to roll-up and FF-die soon enough. Like Kalen Ballage did last year. Be very careful chasing this ‘starting RB’. He might be useful for another week or two, but little upside or hope here eventually. Him starting so far has been pretty garbage anyway.
2) Dalton Schultz, DAL
The Blake Jarwin replacement had a very good game in the frantic comeback game, but he’s nowhere near as talented as Jarwin and will likely be a forgotten man most weeks for targets. He’s a BYE week fill-in guy at best.
3) Lamical Perine, NYJ
Not a very talented rookie…and one working for a weak Jets team, and one splitting with Frank Gore. There’s not a lot of upside hope here. It’s something in desperation for a few touches, but not a big opportunity for a takeover or for upside at this point.
In a few weeks, if Le’Veon Bell is moved and as the season falls away…maybe Perine is inline for more touches in a split backfield.
You have to be pretty desperate here for Week 3…but down the line he may have some extra time/opportunity.
4) Corey Davis, TEN
Solid hand, but not a key part of the low-grade Tennessee passing game. He’s a live body but not one that’s breaking to a new role or with a big upside in an exciting passing game. He might get 5-6-7 TDs this year on low catch/yardage volume, at best.
5) Mo Alie-Cox, IND
Not a bad player but when Jack Doyle returns, Alie-Cox is a part-time player…then when Trey Burton returns Week 5 -- it’s going to be hard to find targets for Alie-Cox.
Five Buy Low Players…
*NOT ‘Buy at any price’…it’s buy LOW. Try to find a deal. If none to be had, walk away. It’s also NOT…go immediately ask the owner ‘What do you want for ____’, don’t telegraph your desires.*
**Looking for RBs with talent and who are ‘the guy’ with no questions/threats on the roster, as much as we can…
1a) David Johnson, HOU
Looked great Week 1, got shut down by BAL Week 2…they sold out to the run and dared Houston to pass and they couldn’t. Johnson will have better days. He’s the clear lead here. People don’t care for him, so he’s easier to get in a deal than my 1b…
1b) Joe Mixon, CIN
Mixon, like Johnson, is the clear lead guy and is very talented. He hasn’t had that big breakout game to get excited about, so people are willing to bail on him a bit in deals. One TD scored next week, and his value will pop right back in place.
3) Evan Engram, NYG
Tight end issues? Engram started to connect with Jones better Week 2 and their Week 1 was a bunch of near misses. People don’t believe in EE as much as they should…I’ll buy their cheap stock in him.
4) Kenny Golladay, DET
Hasn’t played yet in 2020, so his value is down on that alone. It’s easy to forget, because he hasn’t been seen, that he’s one of the top WRs in the NFL. You might be able to buy an ‘A’ for a ‘B’ price here.
5) Derrick Henry, TEN
No TDs for Henry, so it’s time to panic. He’s not being given away, but now people are at least willing to discuss a deal. He’s a top 5 RB1 guy now getting discounted.
Five Sell High Players…
*NOT ‘Sell at any price’…it’s sell HIGH/sell good. Try to find someone in love with your player or values throw into a multiplayer deal. If no one respects the player/buys right…then walk away.*
1) James Robinson, JAX
I know FF-people love two things: (1) rookies and (2) RBs who rush for 100+ yards in a game. 97 yards is not as exciting as 103 yards rushing. Robinson is a rookie who just ran for 100+ yards in a game.
I like Robinson fine, but he’s a limited talent…and a rookie…and Ryquell Armstead exists, and his O-Line is not great. I don’t give away but try to bend someone over here…
2) Corey Davis, TEN
Nice Week 1 in catches/yards, but mostly came 1st-half. Caught a TD Week 2, 1st-half, and then disappeared again. Your ___ + Davis might get a ____ player you want with Davis as the throwaway/toss in sweetener.
3) Leonard Fournette, TB
If you want to gamble Ronald Jones is not ‘done’ because of one moment, and that Fournette has not arrived to full #1 RB status with TB…just a split role guy…that you try to trade as if he is a full #1 RB going forward – then this is the time.
He might be the new #1 RB, but I doubt it…not yet. Hold if you want him as a #1 RB. Sell HIGH if you think he’ll be a backup with 10-12 carries again next week, and the next few weeks.
4) Mike Gesicki, MIA
Miami has faced some tough cover corners/pass defenses but ones with weaker coverage on the TEs…especially Week 2 with Buffalo missing two starting ILBs. It will not be as easy ahead for Gesicki potentially…and he goes right back to being a random TE1-2-3 week-to-week again.
Five Deep Sleeper Waivers Pickups…
*Total flyer/lowly owned or not-owned players
1) Justin Herbert, LAC
Anthony Lynn will say he’s going with Tyrod, but now that the cat/Herbert is out of the bag…it’s going to be hard to turn back and stick with failing Tyrod. I know Lynn will stick with Tyrod…but he’ll be forced to quit him soon after. If you need a Burrow-like FF backup QB to invest in…Herbert is the guy. He made it look easy Week 2.
2) Drew Sample, CIN
You want the starting TE who works with Joe Burrow, and that’s now a solid-not-spectacular Drew Sample.
3) Custis Samuel, CAR
Just a lottery ticket guess he gets moved into backfield work if CMC is down and out for an extended time.
4) Michael Pittman, IND
Parris Campbell is likely out for a good bit…and with T.Y. Hilton starting to show some signs of concern – all eyes turn to Pittman as suddenly ‘needed’ by the team/QB.
5) Wayne Gallman, NYG
A long shot play that if Devonta Freeman is passed on, and NYG starts to develop/take a longer look at Gallman…who I mentioned briefly in the preseason was turning heads/being talked about. There is some internal/organization love here.
6) Reggie Bonnafon, CAR
A long shot play that CMC is out a while, Bonnafon rises up and gets a shot and steals hearts and wins minds. He’s a talent.
Five…it’s OK to quit them players:
1) Anthony Miller, CHI
No catches Week 2. Played less snaps than Mooney and Mims…it’s ‘over’.
2) Breshad Perriman, NYJ
Two targets Week 2…out-targeted by Chris Hogan and Braxton Berrios. Unreal. Moving on.
3) Rob Gronkowski, TB
He’s playing a lot of snaps, and Brady is trying to get him the ball…but he’s ‘shot’ so it’s not working.
4) Jordan Howard, MIA
Two TDs in two weeks, but 13 carries for 11 yards and playing less than 10 snaps. I’ll be interested again when he’s cut/traded. If all RBs are gone from your league…hold for him to wind up somewhere else soon.
5) Mecole Hardman, KC
Another week, another ‘who cares’ event from Hardman…and he botched one critical play in the comeback effort in regulation. His career is sliding fast.
Streaming DST Waiver(?) Options…
The Bucs showed up Week 2, as I thought they might…they have a very promising, aggressive defense.
Week 3 at DEN is looking good.
Week 4 vs. LAC…if Tyrod, it’s great.
Week 5 at CHI…great.
Week 6 v. GB…could be an issue.
Bounce back performance for the Colts-DST…shutting down Minnesota strong Week 2. Great schedule ahead, which is why I started seasons with them in the first place.
Week 3 v. NYJ
Week at CHI
Week 5 at CLE
Week 6 v. CIN
Four useful events before their Week 7 bye.
The Chargers have a really solid/good/possibly great defense + their offense supports the defense with running/ball control.
Week 3 v. CAR…solid play.
Week 4 at TB…actually, not bad.
Week 5 at NO…no good.
Week 6 v. NYJ…sweet.
Week 7 at MIA…solid.
Week 8 v. JAX…do-able.
The Browns defense has shown some minor promise, and there’s hope that they get some injured starters back this week. But it’s all about this one Week 3 – hosting Washington. No good after that.
Vance Joseph is a miracle worker. I always liked that guy!! Seriously, the Cardinals defense looks very sound/solid and has a nice schedule ahead, then a rough patch starting Week 6-8…
Week 3 v. DET…maybe.
Week 4 at CAR…works.
Week 5 at NYJ…YES, please.
Week 6 at DAL…no.
Week 7 at SEA…no.
Week 8 BYE
The dichotomy of the great/epic D-Line and terrible linebackers continues…great v. PHI, punched in the face by Kyler. Mobile QBs may be an issue for them. Week 3 at CLE is not an issue on that front. There is promise there.
Weeks 4-5 BAL-LAR is not a good stretch. This is a one-week deep flyer for Week 3.
The Broncos-DST fought hard vs. TEN and PIT. They have a good unit and good coaching. If A.J. Bouye returns, they are tough to face.
Week 3 v TB…not a bad matchup because Brady is still a bit shaky/out of sync with his new teammates, and it’s at home.
Week 4 at NYJ…money.
Week 5 at NE…might be OK.
Week 6 hosting MIA…should be nice.
Sleeper/lesser-name IDP’s whose box scores or live watch caught my attention…
1) Takk McKinley, ATL
3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit in Week 2…but in just 14 snaps before leaving with a groin injury, that did not help the ATL. He was pacing for 6-10 tackles, 3 more QB hits in Week 2 with a normal game.
In Week 1, he led all NFL defenders with an astonishing 6 QB hits in one game. He’s breaking out, but that will be hidden because of his Week 2 injury. Might be an uncontested pickup this week to sit on the bench for those in need of a DE/sacker.
2) SAF Antoine Winfield, TB
Fully starting safety for TB. A ball hawk. 11 tackles, 1 QB hit, FF Week 2. Is averaging 8.5 total tackles per game so far in 2020.
3) Holton Hill, MIN
7 solo tackles in each of his first two games…that’s pretty righteous from a CB, but he’s a big CB.
4) Chris Banjo, ARI
One of the unsung heroes of the Arizona-DST turnaround. He’s a starting safety now and is averaging 7.5 total tackles per game. I notice him every game on Sundays so far this season…he’s always doing something smart.
5) Andrew Wingard, JAX
This guy is a tackle hog from his college days, and now forced to start due to injuries for the Jags safety group. Wingard played 100% of the snaps Week 2 and made 9 total tackles. He could be a 100+ tackle guy if he starts the rest of the season.