2020 Week 3: Three Things from Sunday Night Games + Top 5’s Waivers/Buy-Sell/Sleepers/DST/IDPs
Well, this is a better week…for many. After scuffling around 50/50 the past two weeks in FFM-land, many made a move higher this week…we are tracking near 70% win rates for Week 3 right now. Some getting that elusive first win of the season, others are slithering to a nice-feeling (2-1) record.
If you won this week, I have no message for you other than – there’s still a ton of work to do. This our time coming up…the byes, the waivers, the more games we ‘see’ and thus scout/plan better ahead on. You saw some of our RBs start to emerge, some WRs, and many DSTs (TB and IND) popped too this week. A big, collective sigh of relief for FFMville after this week.
Depending upon Mahomes-Tyreek-Lamar-Brown tonight…the win rate could hit as high as 80% around the FFM globe. That would be awesome. Could sink to 65% range if some of them collapse/get hurt. A lot of good riding on tonight. It’s going to be a great game to watch too. I’m getting out of the office, not working during commercials of the game like normal…instead heading out for a Buffalo Wild Wings watch with my good friend to watch Mahomes carry his and many of your/our FF teams to final victory.
Of course, the last time we did such an event, last season…Mahomes popped a (knee)cap in all his FF-team’s arses and it became a sullen event of eat wings and planning for what QB to get for the rest of the season. I don’t believe in jinxes, so we’re going to go watch and celebrate tonight.
Now, there are those among you reading this who didn’t win. You lost…and you’re now (0-3)…or you lost your second in-a-row to fall to (1-2) and Diontae is out, and Chark was out, and you played Fournette-not-Singletary/Henderson, etc. You are not filled with joy. You read the paragraphs above and want to choke somebody out. I have a message to you…maybe my last message of the season for you, a different/fresh take on a message I usually deliver at this time to (0-3) teams.
The typical FFM team is either (2-1) or (1-2) right now. Most every FFMer is in one of those two buckets. In a smaller bucket are the (3-0) and (0-3) teams. However, I’ve never seen so many (0-3s) in my tracking in my ten years of being ‘FFM’, so I know there are issues…real issues/problems for some. It’s the worst feeling. It’s like getting excited for a new season of your favorite TV show, you can’t wait to get to know the direction of the storyline and characters…and three episodes into their 15-week season, they cancel it abruptly and left you hanging. The reason they cancelled it out of the blue? They specifically stated it’s because they hate you individually. Right now, (0-3) teams, two-game losing streak teams feel like the fantasy season has been cancelled…you would have been better off not even playing.
I know 50%+ of you (0-3)/2-game losing streak teams, FF teams with real issues, are not going to care/embrace what I’m about to say/write. Most FF players I know revel in the negative. They love living under a fantasy cloud…it’s comfortable there. Whatever happened bad last week/games is what’s going to happen forever in your mind. If something good happened…you got ‘lucky’, a one week reprieve until the bad returns in full force. If something bad happened in fantasy…it’s because you had a bad plan during the redraft and now your wasting time in Week 2-3-4 of the current season replaying what you should’ve done in the redraft and what you’re going to do next year and that your players are always hurt and you never find the good players on waivers.
I have ten+ years in this industry that knows this is the prevailing way people approach/live in fantasy. The gloom-and-doom management of a fantasy team/season is wrong. It always forgets the good/smart things and always remembers in vivid HD the bad/dumb things. All this leads to bad decisions on trades and sit-starts week after week. The ‘mood’ keeps the person in that perpetual state…always chasing relief from the hot thing last week. The hot thing is always on your bench because they had a down week last week because ‘they suck’ but now this week you’re ramming them into the lineup just in time for reality to settle back in.
Leonard Fournette 2020 Weeks 1-3 is how some of you live your fantasy life.
…cut by JAX preseason/after you drafted, season over. You knew you always hated him.
…picked up TB, great! He’s going to be their starter in a few weeks. All is well.
…Week 1 nothing from Fournette for FF, and then me boasting about Ronald Jones – now you knew you were doomed with Fournette all along.
…Week 2, two TDs and a sign of life – he’ll be the starter in no time, and I can’t possibly trade him. In fact, I need to start him Week 3 to get in on his 2 TDs every week he’s going to produce now.
…Week 3, my season is over…Fournette is an RB4. Back to the bench. Should I cut him?
Mostly, I can’t help you because you’re going to chase last week's news hard no matter what I say going forward. Whatever I say about how to play ____ situation this upcoming week, you’re going to revert to what happened last week as your driver in most cases. That mindset continues to kill you in FF week-to-week but I can’t talk you out of it in most cases, because if you do go against the grain on a situation with me…and it doesn’t work, you’ll KNOW for sure never to try and do it again. When it does work, going against the proverbial grain, it’s quickly forgotten…or deemed ‘lucky’. I know it’s near impossible to fix this mindset. And the more I discuss it…the more you’re going to push back/dismiss as me being ‘too cheerful’, ‘too optimistic’, ‘just trying to keep his reputation’.
Most of you…I really cannot help because you’re going to kill the message and the messenger. That’s what you do in fantasy. You can’t stay under a dark cloud if someone tells you to move towards the light. You like your dark cloud.
BUT…I’m not going to stop trying. It’s my duty, my passion to help you navigate through tough FF waters. Some seasons ‘rough waters’ are more present than others. I have a multi-year track record of getting us through the ‘rough waters’. I get testimonials all the time from people who stayed the course after a tough season start and scuffled their way into the FF playoffs, and it was their best FF experience they’ve had…and they didn’t even go on to win a title, or even playoff game. The journey, the challenge, the struggle was worth it.
Many of you have never been (0-3) with me, so this is all new. I wish you could talk to people of the past and hear their testimonies, but we can’t. I have to speak to you on behalf of them. I hope some of you really lean into the following message…
Is your (0-3) team’s season over?
Did you expect me to say, ‘No’? You thought I was here to cheer you up!
Maybe it’s better for you to come to grips with the fact that it is ‘over’. We got the wrong QB…because we don’t have Russell or Josh Allen. A wide receiver gets hurt every week for you in-game and you’re playing one man short every week. Leonard Fournette was on your bench Week 2, and in the lineup Week 3. You’ve lost key RBs and WRs already and you didn’t get in on the top/suddenly hot DSTs in time.
It really might be over. We’ve got a really bad hand of poker right now. I think you’ll feel better knowing – it’s not going to work this season. Whether I’m terrible at scouting, draft planning, team management and/or we combine that with you always setting the wrong lineup and having all injury guys…we’re quite a pair. We’re doomed. It’s likely over.
I know (0-3) can become (1-3) next week and that the playoffs are usually at (2-2) so you’re only a game out of the playoffs with 8-9-10 weeks to play, if you win next week…but who are we kidding. Your team sucks. Everyone else’s is better. Let’s just admit. We can try to comb over the little hair we got, but we just need to admit we’re bald/balding in a league of fully-follicled league mates laughing at our flailing away season. The jokes are really on you because not only do you suck at fantasy football (after 3 weeks), but you paid a lot of money to study it/be good at it! How dumb are you? You paid me good money for a draft guide and in-season advice…all for your current (0-3). You could’ve been (0-3) without me, probably would have been better off…couldn’t have been worse. Don’t you wish you could do an easy Amazon return within 30 days on FFM? Sorry, suckers!!! :) Time to shave our heads and get serious...
The thing is – the season is not really over. You want it to be…to end the pain/angst, anything so you’ll stop thinking about it/stop getting constant reminders about it. I’ll agree with you -- your season is probably too uphill if you’re devastated by injury and picked a lot of bad players (whatever bad means here). Three weeks in, you can’t even enjoy the next week. Everyone else gets to play all season and have fun…and you’re going to be miserable and ragged on by league mates. In Dynasty, you’re trying to sell off everything for picks because you’re always playing for a future that never comes because you won’t let it because you’re always playing for the future. The future is utopia, and ‘the now’ sucks because you’re not undefeated winning by 50+ points every week. Fantasy is hard. It’s a football challenge, but more so a mental challenge.
You could, you should look at the next 4-5 weeks as the time to have some different fun in fantasy…a different challenge. It’s a jigsaw puzzle that’s really complicated. A riddle that takes time to ponder and try and solve. Now is the time to try to work from ‘underneath’, work like an underdog and try and figure out a way to take your dying (0-3) team and get it to at least a playoff chase (that you might fall short in).
You can have a lot of fun/joy/entertainment trying to enter a figurative boxing/MMA fight as a giant underdog but planning a way to win the fight some way. You’re the underdog now. Your opponent is bigger, tougher, more gifted. They’re just better than you at the moment. Your FF team really does suck. But can you enter a 10-round boxing match with a more physically gifted opponent and figure out a plan to win? You could rope-a-dope, take some shots, play defense, try to wear your opponent down and hope they tear their ACL and then try to Rocky (I) Balboa to a shocking finish – and Rocky didn’t win his first fight with Apollo Creed, but he might as well have because the massive underdog who was chosen to be a patsy but found a way to train unorthodoxly, found a way to change his fighting style and he went toe-to-toe with a superior foe.
Your team sucks. Your management of it sucks I guess too? Mick just called you out: https://youtu.be/TDCgp6JW8Ug
However, it happened…we’re here. Our (0-3) team is broken, and probably doomed. Let that be freeing. Your (0-3) team has no business being in the playoffs or even thinking about it (https://youtu.be/U7fjDS0jKiE). Let’s just say that’s a given…you’re in a bad way. OK, but then let’s have fun (not fluffy ‘joy’, but the fun of working a puzzle/taking on a challenge/working up to run a 5K to an eventual Marathon).
What if one of your players rises up? Darrell Henderson for example? What if Ronald Jones tears his ACL next week? Leonard Fournette swings back to an RB1-2. What if your (3-0) opponent next week has his main stud tear an ACL on the first play and you get a lucky win? What if you play Allen Lazard as a flyer or Chase Claypool and he goes off? What if your waiver gamble on a backup RB gets sprung to an RB1 because Zeke or AK or whomever got hurt? What if you just found the hot defense? What if your kicker has a weirdly great day? What if Derrick Henry finally starts scoring TDs? Oh, yeah…that happened this week after two weeks of doom and gloom.
As the season goes, with FFM, we work waivers better. We usually make a scintillating trade on a buy low (for some that was Allen Robinson last week). Our superior scouting has us with Darrell Henderson or Allen Lazard out of nowhere this week. We avoid the trap door waiver players others fall into. Our depth starts playing off when the bye weeks hit. The upcoming 3-4-5-6-7 weeks – it’s the time all FFM teams rise up in win%. It’s been a decade long fact, not a lean, not ‘usually happens’…but a fact. As I start seeing more cards dealt this season, as you start seeing them, we start making more clever waivers, trades, sit/starts – better than our opponents and suddenly things start going our way.
There’s a whole new, different way to play FF if you’re sitting at a desperate (0-3) and everything seems lost and you know you’ll never win again. Stop thinking so crappy. Actually, do think that crappy – your team does suck, so how could you make it suck anymore from here? Embrace your ‘suck’. The new challenge set before you – are you smart enough at FF to take an (0-3) team and get it to .500 and into the playoff hunt down to the wire (even if you fall short)?
Your football skills will be tested like never before…can you figure your way out of this? And it won’t all change/happen in a week! Do you have the mental stamina? https://youtu.be/ANKSWiZaJQ4?t=47
It doesn’t have to be over. No matter how bad your team is looking right now. The chalkboard is erased every week and new rules and things are written 180 degrees opposite of what we all thought last week. Stay in the game. Make it a challenge to get to .500 but take comfort in the fact that your team sucks and it probably won’t happen – but work like hell, have ‘fun’ trying to make it so.
If (1-3) next week is one game out of the playoff race with the (2-2) teams…with 8-9-10 weeks to go…then how stupid are you that you are giving up already? Even if a ‘lucky win’ next week…you’re back in it in most leagues.
Start running the streets of Philly. Start punching sides of beef. Start dating someone named Adrian, man or woman. Stop being a quitter. Start being a fighter. You may get your ass knocked out ultimately, but at least show up to the fight…and train for the fight. There’s a lot of rounds left in this fight. Find some personal satisfaction in trying to seriously turn a turd into a bar of gold.
I promise you…if you do…and it works…you will have one of the most fun fantasy seasons you’ve ever had AND you will never forget it/it will make you a better fantasy player for forever because you’ll always remember how you did/what it took to do a purposeful/engineered turnaround against all odds.
Don’t then come out in this fight and try to throw a haymaker two seconds into the 4th-round and miss wildly and get your ass knocked out. Be smart. Stick and move, keep blocking their punches, invite the punches to wear them down, build your stamina for a long fight that has more square shots you’ll take to the face or guy, pull your trunks up over your nipples, lean back on the ropes all round, clutch your opponent every five seconds to frustrate them, head butt them to try to cut their eye so the blood impairs their vision. Get in the fight…and you’re a wild ass underdog, so go act/fight like it. It’s not a one punch comeback, it’s a lot of training to get ready/in position for that one punch down the road. https://youtu.be/dTpHRtzeAF0
I have no more boxing references left. Has anyone watched a boxing match in the last decade anyway? I may have used an amazing, Pulitzer winning analogy that is useless in today's culture.
Oh, well…all you (0-3) teams are all doomed anyway.
(3-0), (2-1), (1-2) teams – ONWARD WE MARCH!!!!
(0-3) Teams…will you join us in the race next week? https://youtu.be/fsaKwDPBTeM
*Note = the Tuesday Video Q&A will be at an earlier time to allow for the debate watching. Time will be announced early tomorrow. Probably 7-830pmET.
-- Here’s Three Things/quick notes that caught my attention from each Sunday game (subject to change as I rewatch all this week) --
-- Bring on the Nick Foles (16-29 for 188 yards, 3 TDs/1 INT) era.
Everything will be better with Foles…and Allen Robinson (10-123-1/13) goes back to a strong WR1 week-to-week. Hopefully, some of you snagged him in a buy low sometime this past week.
-- You might even take Jimmy Graham (6-60-2/10) seriously as at least a viable option week-to-week…potentially.
-- It looked to me like Brian Hill (9-58-0, 1-22-0/3) was starting to seize the day/backfield, which woke Todd Gurley (14-80-1, 1-2-0/2) up a little bit. Hill is becoming a viable option among the waiver wire type RBs…he’s working 20-30% of the snaps/seeing 20-30% of the touches and rising. With Gurley so mediocre, Hill may continue to rise…and he would takeover if Gurley went down.
-- Welcome to your new RB1…Darrell Henderson (20-114-1, 1-6-0/3)!!
Will Sean McVay try and mess this up? Probably, but not for long. Hendo starting this game and was in for most of it aside from a few Malcolm Brown ‘spells’ of Henderson. No one with a brain could watch Henderson-Brown in this game, or any game, and not realize Henderson is a 10x better. Cam Akers will be forced more opportunity ahead, but Henderson has a year of experience and now ‘tape’ to prove what we said all along – Henderson was the ‘goods’ here, not Akers. Finally, we’ve arrived.
-- Get out the red pen and markdown the Buffalo Bills pass defense. The Bills defense used to have the most ‘depression’ or ‘oppression’ of opposing pass games…not anymore, not in 2020 so far. Rating change time for our computer models until we see a shift.
It’s a real game changer if it holds/is true – because guys like Mahomes (Wk6) and Russell (Wk9) and Kyler (Wk10) project even more value this season if facing Buffalo isn’t as big a deal as it used to be.
--- Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson have been sweet, but Josh Allen (24-33 for 311 yards, 4 TDs/1 INT) is the clear league MVP right now. He has played better than either Kyler or Russell…Allen has been amazing. Not lucky. Not matchup absed. He’s made it happen with his legs and arm. I never thought he’d last this long. What Carson Wentz is turning into is where I thought Josh Allen would be headed. Credit to Allen and McDermott, and I was wrong…apparently (let me see how more games play out, QBs get hot in 2-3-4 games stretches a lot…memba when Wentz was considered an MVP/the best young QB in the NFL at one time?).
-- Another favorable matchup, another empty performance from Odell Beckham (4-59-0/6). He’s such a waste of fantasy space, as is Jarvis Landry (3-36-0/4) – this is the best these guys can do against mediocre/weaker secondaries. Imagine when the schedule turns dark ahead…at DAL, IND, at PIT the next three weeks.
-- Nick Chubb (19-108-2, 1-2-0/1) has lit up the weaker schedule…could be sliding back to RB1.5-2 ways as the schedule gets tougher (the RB2 he’s been since Hunt started playing in 2019). Chubb is an RB2 in PPR ahead, potentially, because of the lack of work in the passing game – he’s averaging 1.0 catches for 5.7 yards receiving per game this season. His PPR has really dried up since Kareem Hunt got active last season.
Catches in games for Chubb his last 10 games (in chrono order): 0-3-1-1-3-0-1-1-1-1…8 of 10 games with 0-1 catches working with Hunt.
-- Steven Sims (no catches) is among the many you cannot trust week-to-week because of Dwayne Haskins (21-37 for 224 yards, 2 TDs/3 INTs). Until Alex Smith or Kyle Allen takes over nothing is going to change for Sims, McKissic, Thomas, McLaurin.
-- I need to watch back to see all of the Justin Jefferson (7-175-1/9) activity, but every time I looked over at this game, he was making a play/celebrating. I had him as an ‘outta nowhere’ WR this week…but I didn’t think he’d go this big. I sensed the Titans just didn’t take him seriously because he’s not been used like this before. He’s good, but not this good. But good on him for a great day.
-- Kalif Raymond (3-118-0/3) is a low target, surprise for a catch a game kinda WR…not any ‘breakout’ type WR.
-- This is the first time as a Titans’ starter that Ryan Tannehill (23-37 for 321 yards, 0 TD/1 INT) has not thrown for a TD pass in a game. It was bound to happen. If people give up on him…he’s a very solid 2nd QB to have on your roster. One of the best FF QBs in all fantasy his past 16 games.
-- Teams have gotten wise to the all-Josh Jacobs (16-71-0, 3-12-0/4) game plan…the Raiders will have to adjust some. After a huge 35+ point Week 1, Jacobs has posted just 9.0 FF PPG/12.0 PPR PPG the last two weeks. Jacobs has not rushed for 100+ yards in a game this season and is averaging just 3.71 yards per carry this season…facing heavily stacked boxes all game.
Facing BUF-KC-BYE-TB-CLE-LAC-DEN ahead is not a favorable stretch.
-- Rex Burkhead (6-49-3, 7-49-1/10) has become the Patriots’ RB to own, out of nowhere. Before anyone gets too excited – James White returns (probably next week) and Damien Harris comes off I.R. next week, potentially.
-- Cam Newton (17-28 for 162 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) and Darren Waller (2-9-0/4) fell back to earth…I’m sure one of you faced both of them Week 2 when they combined for a million points. Some faced them this week as they laid an egg. It happens…it will happen all year to all kinds of top players.
-- Our first look at the non-Saquon Giants facing a decimated 49ers defense was depressing. Without Saquon to consume defensive plans, more attention went onto Daniel Jones (17-32 for 179 yards, 0 TD/1 INT)…and, well, Dan Dimes doesn’t have ‘it’. Never did. All the offensive pieces are in trouble unless a wonderful matchup.
They couldn’t even put up garbage time stats here.
-- Post-Mostert backfield…a 50/50-ish split of Jerick McKinnon (14-38-1, 3-39-0/4) and Jeff Wilson (12-15-1, 3-54-1/3)…and the TDs were nice, but the output was generally disappointing. You might get another week of this before Raheem Mostert returns.
-- It was worse on the other side of the (back)field…Dion Lewis (1-0-0, 1-10-0/3) was supposed to be the veteran to see good touches in a week Devonta Freeman (5-10-0) just joined the team. Lewis ended up having the least amount of touches between he, Devonta, and Gallman. Dion Lewis stuck a knife in anyone’s back who had to go there for a week.
-- I wanted to see another game of the Bengals pass game before I was fully confident in Tyler Boyd (10-125-0/13) as more than just a random WR2-2.5 with Joe Burrow – mission accomplished. No more doubting. The worry ahead is now teams will shift their top coverage to him because everyone knows A.J. Green (5-36-0/6) is effectively ‘done’/expired. Still, I’m with Boyd…as a strong WR2/PPR.
-- Joe Mixon (17-49-0, 2-16-0/3) now has banked three duds in a row for FF. He looks fine but he’s got little room to run and this offense is shifting over to all-Burrow/all-pass in crisis time, and Mixon doesn’t seem to be a big component of that. I don’t think Mixon is dead, but something is not working yet for FF.
Mixon has some of the lowest numbers of yards after contact you’ll find among a ‘top’ RB. It’s possible ‘the money’ has changed.
2018 = 2.3 yards after contact
2019 = 2.3 yards after contact
2020 = 1.0 yards after contact
-- Facing a defense they should’ve torched, Carson Wentz (29-47 for 225 yards, 1 TD/2 INTs, 9-65-1) managed just 225 yards and one TD pass…IN FIVE QUARTERS OF PLAY!!! Also, with no WRs to speak of…the great DeSean Jackson (2-11-0/4) had 11 yards IN FIVE QUARTERS OF PLAY.
This offense is dying, and I saw Jason Peters get hurt…which would be a final nail in their coffin if he’s out a while. Jalen Hurts (2-8-0) is inching closer and closer, but I really don’t think Doug Pederson wants to do it but with the upcoming schedule he should/might have to…a running QB helps work with a depleted/dilapidated O-Line.
There are some small odds Pederson will announce the change this week. Had they fully lost here he might have had to make the change this week. The tie may hold a change off another week or two. Wentz is playing/throwing with no confidence now.
-- Of course, just when you need Diontae Johnson (0-0-0/2, 1-9-0) to come through…he gets a concussion on his only touch and is out of the game. On top of that, we saw him draw emerging top cover corner Bradley Roby in this game…a sign of respect, and a sign of some mild FF-trouble ahead if the Steelers don’t put Diontae more in the slot and throw JuJu (4-43-1/5) out to the top corners.
Once Diontae left, JuJu promptly got eaten up by Roby.
-- Everything on the Texans’ offense was terrible. Nothing good to point out. Either the Steelers are great or the Texans’ offense is dead…or some combination of both. The schedule now turns in Houston’s favor…we’ll see if it was just schedule based after Week 4 hosting Minnesota.
-- After his Week 1 scare, James Conner (18-109-1, 4-40-0/5) has had back-to-back 100+ yard games. He’s going to be fine until his next injury hits and pops the balloon, as he does. Hopefully, he can stay healthy for those who have him.
-- This game was out of hand so fast and led by some defensive scores, so the Colts just throttled back and ran clock with more backups to easily walk away with a win. Nothing to ready into any of these Indy performances, per se.
-- Do read into that the Colts will be the #1 DST in fantasy YTD after this week and they get Foles-Baker-Burrow the next three weeks…all not gimmies but would be considered ‘favorable’ matchups.
-- The Jets are obviously done/the worst team in the NFL. What changes could come for FF impact ahead?
Le’Veon will be traded.
La’Mical Perine will get a shot at being a lead back in a 60/40 split with Gore and/or Kalen Ballage (2-8-0, 5-44-0/5). The starting RB for the Jets is a warm body, but not very exciting for consistent FF numbers…as this team is horrific. They’re worse than the 2019 Bengals and Dolphins early in that season. And those teams had some youngsters to unleash. The Jets have nothing exciting to look at.
-- Curtis Samuel (4-7-0, 4-45-0/4) did get some time as a tailback and did get work as a WR in this game…it was nice to see, but I didn’t see anything nice/great to clutch to from here on in. I lean more ‘done with him’ than ‘holding out hope’, but he IS a WR3/flex level guy getting good touches of the ball with talent. You could do worse in some leagues, depending on the depth of players left.
But I don’t see the ‘it’ I was hoping for.
-- Back-to-back 300+ yard games for Justin Herbert (35-49 for 330 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, 3-15-0). He looks like a seasoned vet. I know Anthony Lynn doesn’t want him throwing that much but the games keep flowing that way. I want to get more FF-excited about him but I also know Tyrod Taylor will play the second he can, even if it’s a ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ type play.
-- I’m not a Keenan Allen (13-132-1/19) fan when he’s with Tyrod (as I expected this year), but I’m a huge fan of him with Herbert. If Tyrod got suddenly cleared this week – I would tell you to explore selling Allen high (and then buying back cheaper if/when Herbert was coming back in). Allen with Tyrod is trash.
-- Well, Leonard Fournette’s (7-15-0, 2-7-0/2) run as the greatest RB in Tampa Bay lasted one whole week. He was being FF-traded as an RB1.5 last week to some who were overheated about him…this week he’s an RB3-4 again.
For those still holding…you may have both Jones and Fournette, which may mean you have nothing…you have two RB2.5s in a boring split with no end in sight on who to play one week to the next. It might be clear/favorable/obvious for one of them in 2-3-4 weeks, but next week – it’s near nothing to use because we don’t know who/how they’ll use them.
-- If you think the RB situation is bad for FF in Tampa Bay…how about Mike Evans (2-2-1/4) barely seeing targets? Chris Godwin (5-64-1/6) falling to earth as a normal/good fantasy WR. It’s Tom Brady’s fault, and it might not get any better than this…two top WR1s from 2019 are now WR2s.
Jameis Winston ain’t walking through that door…
-- I’m not sure if there’s a thing I want from Tampa Bay for Fantasy, from QB down to TE…just their DST. Denver has the same vibe only 10x worse. I want nothing to do with any of them.
With Tampa Bay it’s just too many mouths to feed.
In Denver…there’s bad mouths across the board. The Broncos do get the Jets Week 4, so maybe there’s a glimmer of hope. I will consider the Denver DST for Week 4 for sure.
-- It’s very cute how Kyler Murray (23-35 for 270 yards, 2 TDs/3 INTs, 5-29-1) is running the ball for TDs. I’m glad he is. It makes highlights and helps for fantasy.
It’s also hiding a growing problem with Kyler + this offense + the same boring pass plays/routes + Kingsbury…Kyler isn’t getting better as a passer; he’s getting worse as he goes. In his last 8 games, going back to 2019 and so far in 2020: 10 TDs/12 INTs as a passer…one 300+ yard game. Less than 235 yards passing in six of his last 9 games.
The question is – will this get any better…or have we hit ‘peak’ Kyler?
-- Marvin Jones (3-51-0/3) ended up getting covered by Patrick Peterson…which brings two things to mind:
1) Patrick Peterson is now considered the ‘lesser’ CB for Arizona.
2) Marvin Jones didn’t take advantage. I don’t see any real effort/energy to get Marvin Jones involved better/differently in this first game with Kenny Golladay (6-57-1/7) back. Jones has become a random WR3 until we see an uptick in urgency with him. He tends to score in bunches, but we’ve not had a sign of a bunch yet.
-- If Andy Isabella’s (4-47-2/4) performance here doesn’t get Christian Kirk traded soon, I’ll be shocked. Kirk is a walking dead man in Arizona when he’s playing, and if/when he lands on a new team…it will be choppy getting up to speed there too. Kirk’s value is fading away for FF 2020. Best used as a cross your fingers WR3/flex/bye week guy.
-- Russell Wilson (27-40 for 315 yards, 5 TDs/0 INT, 6-22-0) shows us the power of having the ‘it’ QB for fantasy. Basically, right now, if you’ve played against Wilson Weeks 1-2 or 3…you likely lost. I tried to get that power out of Mahomes (6pts) and Lamar (4pts) to start the season but Wilson (among others) has trumped them so far.
Here’s the thing, and we’ll see after MNF, but would you rather have Mahomes or Wilson ROS, given Wilson has been so great so far? Not an easy answer.
-- Is Zeke (14-34-1, 6-24-0/12) showing signs of reduced effectiveness…or is it the O-Line? He’s averaging 3.78 yards per carry in his 58 carries so far this season. He’s getting the TDs and Dak is throwing to him and he’s an RB1 for sure…but I wonder if the O-Line is causing problems or if there’s a little fade within Zeke, in general.
His yards before contact is at an all-time low for him, so I think the O-Line injuries/changes might be catching up to him just a bit.
-- If Chris Carson (14-64-0, 3-12-0/3) is down for a week or two, then Carlos Hyde (4-12-0, 1-11-0/1) steps in with no real change to the offense and Hyde would adopt Carson’s FF numbers…actually, he’d likely improve them a bit. But Travis Homer (2-19-0, 0-0-0/1) would play a role as well.
-- I mentioned on the Sunday morning Video Q&A that I thought Allen Lazard (6-146-1/8) was a few weeks away from fully breaking out into a star. I also noted to have patience with him in Green Bay’s Week 2 recap. BUT I also didn’t love this matchup for him if Davante was out because Marshon Lattimore is too much for Lazard right now. Well…
Because NFL scouting is so awesome, Lattimore was dispatched on Marquez Valdes-Scantling (1-5-0/4) to begin with…then after Lazard torched them the 1st-half+, then it dawned on them to put Lattimore on Lazard. I didn’t think the NFL would be this stupid, and it cost me rolling with Lazard in some places because of it.
Allen Lazard is REALLY good/great…as I’ve promoted since Jacksonville cut him his rookie season.
-- Jared Cook’s (2-21-0/3) output is sinking fast, but it’s happened since Michael Thomas went out. I wouldn’t abandon ship yet.
-- Green Bay used Ty Summers (9 tackles) at ILB this game, his first real time with the starters…and he responded. He’s a really good tackler, he’ll be good for IDP numbers if he holds the job. I’ve been tracking him for two years now, wondering if/when he’d get his shot. He got it. I’ll look at the tape this week to see how good (or not) it was.
===== 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.
**Adding a school grade to show my interest level (A-F)
***FAAB % mentioned at any time below is based on a 17-20 man roster league. And it’s hard to predict the right bid % because every league, situation, lineup needs are so different. So, doing the best I can to ‘project’ (i.e. ‘guess’) what they will be based on early chatter.
1) Justin Jefferson, MIN (C+)
Jefferson makes sense to top the list here in general…the Vikings have no #2 WR of any note and Jefferson just ascended and put Bisi Johnson to rest.
Note…there are all kinds of head winds here: The Vikings are not a glamorous passing game, Jefferson is not a superstar talent (but he’s good), he is not super-speedy or a TD-maker sized frame/receiver. He’s a taller Keelan Cole with more draft stock in this offense – not the main guy, not the best offense, and a coach who usually tortures rookies for things. You’re as apt to get a 3-31-0/4 line here in Week 4 as another viable FF day.
If I had priority – I’m getting him and then I am selling him because Jefferson will never be worth more in 2020 than he is right now. And because he’s a rookie and it was such a big day…people will go ballistic here.
My guess is he’ll go for 30-40+% of an FAAB budget in bidding…did you see when he scored all those TDs on TV for LSU in that one game? I’m not willing to pay that price at this stage of fantasy…you may be dying at WR and see this as your only shot at redemption, but it’s likely going to be a bit of a trap door. For what you’ll pay here, you could get Allen Lazard who had as big a week, but isn’t a magical unicorn rookie, so he’ll go much lower…and Lazard is better…and you should have already been sitting on/using Lazard.
Jefferson is not my real #1…but I know he’s the #1 asset to get and then trade. He’s the most valuable asset of the week (right now).
2) Carlos Hyde, SEA (C+)
My interest and willingness to chase Hyde goes as deep as the Chris Carson injury is long. If Carson is going to miss a week or two, then Hyde is good for a week…in a split role with Travis Homer. If Carson is somehow ‘done’ for the year, then Hyde is the #1 free agent with an ‘A’ all-in type rating…and he’ll split summer with Travis Homer and Marshawn Lynch (kidding).
Hyde FAAB budget is tied to Carson’s injury duration and your RB desperation, or not. If you claim in ‘order’ waivers, you can likely sell to the Carson owner nicely (if a 1-2 week issue for CC).
3) Allen Lazard, GB (C)
You should have already owned him. He’ll go for about half of Justin Jefferson’s FAAB, or lower. He’ll be seen as ‘good’ but lucked out because Davante Adams was out. Lazard is a WR2-2.5 you can count on with WR1 skills. That’s worth something.
I’d rather have Lazard than Jefferson ROS, if I had to have only one to keep/use the rest of 2020. But I know he’s Adams’ lackey week-to-week…a lot of 4 rec., 50-60 yard games coming – just hoping you get that TD.
4) Ryan Tannehill, TEN (C-)
Not on waivers, likely…but if dropped this week – you could do a lot worse for a 2nd QB than the guy who has been a top 5-7 QB scorer in FF for his last 16 NFL games. He’s not going to knock off the top guys, but he’s with the best of the best/stable outside the top 6-7-8.
5) Greg Ward, PHI (D+)
This is your next Russell Gage for as long as Jalen Reagor is out. He’ll see a lot of 6-45-0 type games, but it’s something…and you hope he gets a TD. If the team shifts to Jalen Hurts, then Ward is a nothing. He’ll go for the same ranges as Gage-Keelan Cole have in recent weeks – some hot, some ignored. Braxton Berrios is as good/better if Jamison Crowder is out.
6) Brandon Aiyuk, SF (D)
A really solid WR talent…but on a low volume passing game with Deebo Samuel about to return. He has WR3 appeal with some upside games to come when SF is at full strength.
7) Andy Isabella, ARI (D)
Could not be a bigger fan of Isabella, I just know this will not hold up…he’ll be a bit player in this offense the rest of the year. When Christian Kirk returns, Izzy goes back to the bench. BUT there’s a chance Kirk gets traded soon and Izzy at least gets into a starting role to be an erratic WR3. There’s hope here on extreme talent. There’s fear here on him getting ignored, per usual. He could be a star on many other teams…
6) Jeff Wilson, SF (D)
This is for the desperate for Week 4…the moment Raheem Mostert returns, Wilson is a nothing.
9) Braxton Berrios, NYJ (D-)
He’s a cheap version of Gage-Cole-Ward, but just as good when Jamison Crowder is out – but when Crowder returns, Berrios may be back to the bench. BUT they might shift roles around and get Berrios on the field. Likely not. Who cares about the NYJ passing game? When Crowder-Perriman are back, then Berrios is done.
8) La’Mical Perine, NYJ (D-)
Just a flyer that he becomes the de facto starting RB the next few weeks as the Jets tank and if Le’Veon is traded. He’ll be the exciting name, but I’d trade it in a second – Gore and Ballage will be there to gum things up. Perine is likely to have a flash of value and then it will dissipate just quickly.
Five Waivers To Distrust…
1) Dontrelle Inman, WAS
Who cares if he scored 2 TDs.
2) Cedrick Wilson, DAL
Another guy who scored 2 TDs and looked solid, but…come on…no way he’s mattering consistently with Cooper-Gallup-Lamb there. If one of those guys gets hurt, then we can talk briefly.
3) Tyler Kroft, BUF
Another guy who scored 2 TDs, but…come on…Dawson Knox is the guy to have, and he’ll likely be back this week.
4) Eric Ebron, PIT
Finally, Ebron did something this season. You know where I stand. It was just a different game plan against HOU. Ebron is a random TE2, not a burgeoning star.
5) Kalif Raymond, TEN
Lucky 100+ yard game. He’s a sneaky good deep ball guy but a #4 WR here when everyone is healthy.
6) Rex Burkhead, NE
As soon as James White and Damien Harris return (both potentially this week), then the Rex fun is slowed down. Great game/week for him though.
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.*
1) Raheem Mostert, SF
The best running back on the best run-blocking team in the NFL. Value dropping because he’s out/owners may be in need of ‘now’…and afraid of McKinnon/Wilson.
2 and 3) David Johnson, HOU and Joe Mixon, CIN
You might own them, so you’re sick of seeing them on here, but note two things…
1 = They are the lowest cost ‘main guys’ (for their team) out there at RB…they’re ‘something’ for those in great need.
2 = David Johnson just faced the #1 and #2 run defenses in the league the past two weeks, give him a break
3 = Joe Mixon is showing some distressing signs (low yards after contact and Gio in the pass game too much) but the price is low and maybe Mixon gets his S together to help turnaround a scuffling/wounded (0-3) FF team. He’s a lottery ticket shot perhaps…a guy current owners hate right now, so they might part with easier than expected.
4) Evan Engram, NYG
The best zero-to-hero FF tight end out there, available for near nothing. People are ‘done’ with Engram, and he’s giving them some reason to be. I think he looks fine but it’s not clicking yet. Note – last year, George Kittle was FF-garbage for like 5-6 weeks before he exploded. Not every player is what Weeks 1-2-3 says they are. Engram is a talent that you can get cheap, to sit on or use.
5) Terry McLaurin, WAS
Is wobbly/OK with Dwayne Haskins, but I think Haskins has one more week and then Allen/Smith will take over and McLaurin will become an FF star.
6) Diontae Johnson, PIT
The mainstream hype player last week, now he dealt current owners a dud due to a concussion. I’m only buying low here. The concussion and tougher coverage he drew here…they are new factors to put some pressure on Diontae’s next few weeks.
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 thrown into a multiplayer deal. If no one respects the player/buys right…then walk away.*
1) Nick Chubb, CLE
Nothing wrong with Chubb as a player, but he’s been more RB2 than RB1 in PPR since Kareem Hunt came around. Chubb scored big on the #23 (WAS) and #31 (CIN) run defenses in the league in 2020. Week 1, the #2 run defense stifled him.
Next three weeks: DAL-IND-PIT, which is #24, #5, #1 for run defenses. In redraft, you might be able to sell Chubb sky-high and get a sweet 2-for-1 to change your roster going forward.
Sell HIGH, not dump because Weeks 5-6 don’t look too good. Be smart if you go here.
2) Justin Jefferson, MIN
Everyone in FF loves three things…
1) Who was great last week? It means they’re great forever in perpetuity.
2) WR/RB/TEs who had 100+ yards prior week.
You got all three with Jefferson last week. He’ll be at peak value this week.
3) Kyler Murray, ARI
If you want to try and cash in on the hype in 6pts per pass TD leagues and your team is (0-3) and needs an infusion of RBs or WRs. Kyler’s passing totals are not impressive. He’s doing things with his feet and if he doesn’t rush for TDs, you’ve got kinda Ryan Tannehill output otherwise.
I’m not saying Kyler is doomed…just his trade value might be an ‘A+/A’ when he’s just a ‘B+‘ and you maneuver some big multiplayer deal if Mahomes or Lamar have a bad MNF or whatever. The Kyler mystique is out ahead of his reality. Tricky to try and ring the right register big here but (0-3) redrafts may not have time to see/need other things more.
4) Sony Michel, NE
Rushing for 100+ yards is alluring, but people also know it’s crowded in the backfield. But if you were ever going to trade in a multi-player deal to get out of, his value has blipped up.
5) Todd Gurley, ATL
Had a TD/decent FF Week 3…you might be able to cash out higher on that + name appeal.
6) Jonnu Smith/Corey Davis, TEN
When A.J. Brown returns, Jonnu goes back to fringe TE1 and Corey Davis goes back to WR3.5. Davis might have a moment of minor value. People love Jonnu and maybe you get more than you should. They love the Jonnu name, and he’s been good this year. He is good, but the Titans aren’t great at taking him to a next level.
Five Deep Sleeper Waivers Pickups…
*Total flyer/lowly owned or not-owned players
1) Damien Harris, NE
If he’s activated this week, it will create a stir of hope among the FF community. I’m intrigued too…but how is this going to work with White-Rex-Michel…and Cam there? I get to sell on the hype.
2) Brian Hill, ATL
If you have Gurley, you should have Hill. If you think Gurley is on thin ice, you’d want Hill to pick up the pieces. Hill may be the 30-40 in a 70/30 or 60/40 split ahead.
3) Keelan Cole, JAX
He was a top 20 FF WR after Week 2, then a dud Week 3…but within that dud you hopefully saw how good of a WR he really is. He’s a legit WR3 with a smidgen of upside.
4) Tim Patrick, DEN
Denver’s Courtland Sutton now that Courtland is gone. Probably their best WR…on a team that’s going to be losing and throwing a lot.
5) Reggie Bonnafon, CAR
Looked solid in his brief appearance. If Mike Davis goes down…
You needed the CMC cuff…here’s the Mike Davis cuff.
6) Alex Smith, WAS (Superflex)
Week 5…one of Alex Smith or Josh Allen is starting for Washington.
Which means, don’t quit on Steven Sims if you can help it. Or just tumble back in the week the change is made. It will probably be an in-game change, however…and then everything is exposed.
7) Olamide Zaccheaus, ATL
If Julio is out and Gage is down too…Zaccheaus would be the most talented WR ATL has outside of Calvin Ridley. Ridley would get doubled and it would leave Z for some action. If Julio is back and Gage is out Week 4…Zaccheaus is a flyer play.
I don’t even know how to describe him…like a lesser agile, but pretty fast, thick framed Tarik Cohen played WR. Not a long term hope, just a short term flyer one if mass injuries hit here.
Five…it’s OK to quit them players:
1) Chris Conley, JAX
Played the worst game of WR-ing that I’ve seen in the NFL this season was Conley in Week 3
2) Jaylen Samuels, PIT
Anthony McFarland got some love Week 3…Samuels is now done.
3) Will Dissly, SEA
Seattle’s offense has been exploding and Dissly has been almost no part of it.
4) Ian Thomas, CAR
Carolina has had to throw a lot out of the gates, and Thomas is a ghost within it.
5) Dan Arnold, ARI
There’s DeAndre Hopkins…and no one else for fantasy receivers from Arizona week-to-week. Arnold sees 1-3 targets in games if he is lucky.
Streaming DST Waiver(?) Options…
Dropped by many because of the Ravens matchup Week 3. After the Ravens game you get a long stretch against a mix of good and weak offenses. No powerhouse matchups until like Week 15…if you consider the Saints a powerhouse (at NO). Also, consider – the Chiefs have good-to-great defensive talent to go with (and an offense that supports them).
Weeks 4-5-6 with Cam-Carr-J.Allen is OK, but then it gets really good Weeks 7-14…
At DEN, NYJ, CAR, BYE, at LV, at TB, DEN, at MIA.
You know what pairing works great with KC? The Chiefs and the Dolphins…
Week 4 = KC v. NE
Week 5 = KC v. LV
Week 6 = MIA at DEN (KC at BUF)
Week 7 = KC at DEN
Week 8 = KC at NYJ
Week 9 = KC v. CAR
Week 10 = MIA v. NYJ (KC bye)
Week 11 = KC at LV
Week 12 = MIA at NYJ (KC at TB)
Week 13 = KC v. DEN
Week 14 = KC at MIA
From Weeks 4-15 you get 11 weeks, and 3 matchups with DEN and 3 with the Jets…over half vs. DEN and NYJ. Miami doesn’t have a terrible defense either.
The Rams have Dan Jones, Haskins, Jimmy G., Foles, Fitzpatrick the next five games…useful every week, and then you bail after that/Week 9 (bye)
The Broncos team is bad, but their defense is decent. They fought hard vs. TEN and PIT Weeks 1-2. They have a good unit and good coaching. If A.J. Bouye returns, they are tough to face.
At a minimum, just for Week 4 -- it’s a play.
Week 4 at NYJ…money.
Week 5 at NE…might be OK.
Week 6 hosting MIA…could be nice.
Not the greatest defense, but not bad…and a nice schedule ahead:
A three-game home-stand Weeks 4-6: CLE, NYG, ARI
Then two road games Weeks 7-8: WAS, PHI
Sleeper/lesser-name IDP’s whose box scores or live watch caught my attention…
1) CB Mike Hilton, PIT
8 solo tackles in each of the last two weeks. He’s a great NFL defensive player who rarely gets his due. 7.0 total tackles per game so far this season with 0.67 sacks (for a CB?), 1.0 PDs, 0.33 INTs, 0.33 Fumb Rec. per game.
2) DL Akiem Hicks, CHI
4 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a remarkable 5 QB hits this week…a sack+ in every game this year (albeit an easy schedule) and 7 QB hits this season.
3) SAF Jeremy Chinn, CAR
The better player/same version of high draft pick Isaiah Simmons…only Simmons barely plays because he’s lost and Chinn just had 12 tackles and 1 TFL this week. He’s averaging 4.7 solo/4.3 assisted tackles (9.0 total) per game so far this season.
4) DT Kerry Hyder, SF
3 QB hits in Week 3…now 6 QB hits on the season, one of the best QB hit counts in the NFL this season. It’s translated into 2.7 tackles, 0.67 sacks, 1.0 TFLs per game this season…now playing more snaps due to all the SF injuries on the D-Line.
5) SAF Nasir Adderley, LAC
Injuries have helped move him up in the playing time/starter role – and after a quiet Weeks 1-2, Adderley posted 9 total tackles (7 solo) this week. The former 2nd-round pick is showing some signs… He’s been hurt in the past few seasons, so he’s been forgotten to a degree.
6) CB Jeff Okudah, DET
He is getting picked on, but that is helping push his numbers …7 solo tackles Week 2, 6 more this week with 2 TFLs and a PD.
7) LB Joe Thomas, DAL
12 total tackles Week 2, as a new starter…8 more total tackles this week. (5.0 solo/5.0 assisted avg per gamer last two weeks). He’s getting opportunity and is playing the run game heavy…good to get to tackles for IDP.
8) DB Taron Johnson, BUF
Johnson has 11 tackles, 10 solo Week 3. Had 5 and 5 for total tackles Weeks 1-2. For the season, he’s averaging 5.7 solo tackles/1.3 assisted tackles and 0.33 PDs per game this season. He’s a decent, hard-nosed defender.
And we have to end this way if you made this far: https://youtu.be/2VyzII09Hos