2020 Week 9: Three Things from Sunday Games + Top 5’s Waivers/Buy-Sell/Sleepers/DST/IDPs
Well, after two weeks of like 55/45 winning percentage weeks -- the FFM universe, by and large, got a sweet pop of winning this week. We got a chance at 75%+ win rates this week (a few have NE-NYJ things that matter) across the globe in all the various formats…and a shift to the average FFM team in a (5-4) position (on average)…which is huge for general playoff (and merry) making.
As I’ve promoted for years…the high-end QBs are all undervalued in fantasy and getting one is going to give you a fighting chance every week/season before you get into what good/bad you have down the roster. In Week 9, the FFM QBs ruled…therefore many FFMers won their games with solid supporting cast performances to go with great tallies from Mahomes-Kyler-Allen (all the past few weeks of people acquiring Allen in the falling market…it paid off here).
It helped that big name guys, that FFMers don’t typically have, flopped – Tom Brady, Zeke (again), Michael Thomas. While we got good support from more typical FFM guys like Tyreek and Diontae/Claypool were plausible…while we limped along at RB, overcoming our weekly tradition of ‘player hurt 1st-quarter and gives guys nothing’ with David Johnson. It wouldn’t be a week without one of our guys giving us a zero. However, we dwell on our zero player like we’re a special case…while we faced zeros like a Tom Brady and yet we still couch every win as ‘I am super lucky, I only won because of Brady or ____ being so bad for my opponent’.
You don’t say?
Is there a week chaos isn’t happening to us or them…or everyone, basically? Is there a week where every player performs to projections and doesn’t get hurt around the league? There are no lucky wins…we did what we all did on purpose!
2020 fantasy is survival of the fittest, a game of chess moves and countermoves thinking several moves ahead while dealing with the current move. We need to keep grinding for the deepest roster to overcome injuries and matchups, to keep up the foreplaning on DST or RB or WR streams, making the smart trades, making the smart waivers a week ahead of everyone else realizing what we know early, the having the mental toughness to shrug off ‘unlucky’ losses and enter the next week with aggression and confidence…and not a ‘the sky is falling’ mentality leading to wild pinata swings at things.
This is the game of fantasy – it’s a game of strategy, a mental contest…like real football…actions and reactions. It’s not all of us going 9-0 and high fiving everyone or making fun of league mates because it’s so easy. You’re going to make sit-start or waivers or trade mistakes…it happens. A Fantasy season is a poker tournament with many hands to play over a long time period to try and get to the final table. You’ll need some good fortune along the way, but mostly the final poker table is a group of skill players…the ‘lucky’ ones survived for a while but eventually got bounced before the ‘final table’.
This video clip feels like FF 2020, from the tension to the wild masks people are wearing…it’s so 2020 fantasy right now. We need to attack the bluffers and make our moves to the playoffs and/or #1 seeds: https://youtu.be/vX6FuBnbF5E
Enjoy your wins for a day, and don’t dwell on the ‘well, I won but…’. By and large we won because the QBs (and/or WRs) we got on purpose did what they do. This was a big turning point win (if you got it), because Week 10 is the nightmare week for many FFMers – the Kansas City bye week. We needed these Week 9 wins in case we get spanked this week.
Let’s try not to get spanked this week. https://youtu.be/RNfvQsai9f8
Also, as teams are heading into the playoff stretch…if you’re going to make the big dance – time to think about handcuffs and stacks. We’ll be discussing these things on Video Q&As and all throughout the game reports all week. Some of us just need to win this week…and we don’t have Mahomes. We’ll discuss a plan for that too.
-- THREE THINGS ON EACH SUNDAY GAME (thoughts subject to change as I rewatch games all week) --
-- VINDICATION I: Now, do you believe me about Josh Allen (31-38 for 415 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT, 7-14-1). He nearly had 300 passing yards and had already locked in 3 TDs at the half. He just missed another 10+ FF points on bad luck in this game. Your cheap acquisition price window…slammed shut, for the moment.
This was no cheap effort by Allen…it was what ‘ve been saying for weeks – only Mahomes and maybe Herbert playing QB better all year. Allen vanquished a Russell Wilson comparison here. Allen has been better than Wilson overall in 2020…deal with it mainstream. BUT he’ll never get the credit, ever.
-- VINDICATION II: Finally, John Brown (8-99-0/11) got to play healthy…and not in the rain. See, I wasn’t totally insane chasing him weeks ago and suffering for weeks. You got the #2 WR on one of the three best passing games in the NFL. How could you not love it for the price?
-- I want the #2 WR on this great Seattle pass game as well, but Tyler Lockett (4-40-0/7) has been a dud in four of his last 5 games, with the one outlier a 20 target, 200 yards, 3 TD event. The odds are/have to be, week-to-week, we can’t trust Lockett all that much…but has big potential each week.
-- Awful game of offense for the Ravens, again, this week. Lamar Jackson (19-23 for 170 yards, 0 TDs/0 INTs, 13-58-1) has been figured out. He’s going to have this fringe QB1/QB2 week most weeks…as he has so far. The bubble has been burst.
-- As the bubble bursts for Lamar, he drags Marquise Brown (3-38-0/5) and Mark Andrews (3-22-0/5) down to WR3 and TE2 all of a sudden. You can’t have much faith in either week-to-week. We’re getting to a ‘should I cut Hollywood?’ question in some leagues.
-- I’ll save some typing…in a tougher matchup, and in general, sell everything Colts. In 2020, Philip Rivers (25-43 for 227 yards, 0 TDs/0 INTs) renders receivers useless and Jonathan Taylor (6-27-1, 2-7-0/4) has nowhere to run and gets less touches than Latavius Murray in games now.
I’m slicing all my Colts’ offensive players’ projections for 2020 to the point that they won’t be in range of ‘starters’…except Taylor may be a Flex/RB3 option.
This (above) is a just 2020 proclamation, unless Rivers is at QB in 2021 again.
-- Well, I sat D.J. Chark (7-146-1/12) in too many places -- to see how he looked with the new QB, and with solid other options…aside from missing out on the great FF opportunity, I did get an answer – his work with Luton is fine, especially against awful pass defenses like Houston.
-- Jake Luton (26-38 for 304 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, 1-13-1) accounted for himself well…but keep in mind the Texans defense is a disaster and the one good thing they have, Bradley Roby, didn’t play. Against at GB, PIT the next two weeks…not as fruitful, most likely…same issue for Chark.
-- David Johnson (2-16-0, 0-0-0/1) got lit up early by a terrible Watson pass, hanging DJ out to dry, and a concussion happened...and done early. Here’s what’s more painful than watching David Johnson trying to find space to run…watching Duke Johnson (16-41-1, 4-32-0/4) do the same – but Duke it will be…if David is out next week.
-- David Montgomery (14-30-0, 3-12-0/3) had to leave the game with injury, he’s questionable for next week. We may finally get some Ryan Nall (4-35-1/4) action…he could make Bears’ fans forget about terrible Montgomery.
See my preseason reports on Nall as a ‘Very Deep Sleeper’.
-- In the Derrick Henry (21-68-0) handcuff wars…D’Onta Foreman (5-11-0) beat Jeremy McNichols (2-10-0) in touch count for the second week in a row.
-- I knew Corey Davis’s (0-0-0/3) game last week was a matchup hoax, but no catches on 3 targets here tells you how important he is in this offense or in a tough matchup.
-- OK, not everyone believed me on Curtis Samuel (9-105-/9, 3-13-0) the past few weeks as his rise began…and I get that. Was not easy to get in that car and take this ride with me. Not much sustainability over the years…a lot of false starts. I get it, but I said last week that Samuel has moved in position to be the most important WR for the Panthers and definitely moved past D.J. Moore for sure. Well, you have to say it is true now, right?
I mean this was a big-time game that Carolina played…in it down to the last play, led much of it…and in a huge statement game -- Samuel saw 9 targets and Moore 3. Robby Anderson (9-63-0/13) sees good targets but the money plays/the TDs or 3rd-down conversions – they lean on Samuel.
It’s not going away it appears…finally…some consistency, and growth.
-- Le’Veon Bell (4-8-0, 1-0-0/1) was an absolute ghost in a game against a bad run defense. You are not going to start him his next game…that’s how far he’s fallen.
-- Mike Davis (1-30-0, 5-34-0/6) wasn’t really splitting serieses (as the pregame news said he would) with CMC…he got touches when CMC had to leave the game early with an injury. We’ll see how hurt McCaffrey is, but Mike D. could be back in effect Week 10.
…and a CMC injury/out is another bump for Samuel getting carries.
-- Alex Smith (24-32 for 325 for 1 TD/3 INTs) relieved Kyle Allen again…and Smith’s tally was decent, but I didn’t see Smith doing anything all that exceptional. He got a little better as he went, so maybe he’s shaking the rust off. He is set to start the rest of the season now, since Allen seems to be made of glass.
It’s going to be difficult to project what happens ahead for the Washington passing game (except J.D. McKissic leading the team in catches) because I don’t see the ‘old Alex Smith’ yet. Just a shell of himself version, but I am open to the possibility he just needs to shed more rust. ‘Old Alex Smith’ was never exciting for FF except one season Tyreek Hill made him great for a moment…and he’s living off of that career anomaly.
-- Cam Sims (3-110-0/4) had three big yardage catches and hit 100+ yards…so I’m sure Sims will be a big thing discussed on waivers, but he’s never found consistency or a real place in the NFL. Hard to see this building towards a Sims emergence.
-- Ditto Austin Mack (4-72-0/5) for NYG…I don’t see a path to FF consistency as the #4-5-6 look with Daniel Jones. Mack has worked his way towards starting for NYG when Sterling Shepard was out…and now with Golden Tate out. I can’t get excited here.
-- Another game where Dalvin Cook (22-206-2, 2-46-0/2) ran wild, so Adam Thielen (2-38-0/5) and Justin Jefferson (3-64-0/4) don’t matter…two weeks in a row – and Mike Zimmer is going to try and do this every week, and the way Cook is running they will be able to. Now, if you didn’t have enough to worry about…Thielen-Jefferson are now a worry on starting.
It happens just that fast in fantasy.
We have to try and guess if Minnesota will get ahead in games and run-run-run, or whether they will get behind and have to chase back in via the air.
-- If you have Matt Stafford (23-32 for 211 yards, 1 TD/2 INTs) in-waiting just for Week 10 for Mahomes on his bye, you may have lost it to Chase Daniel (8-13 for 94 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) due to injury to Stafford (we’ll see). Washington-DST vs. Daniel = Awesome in Week 10…if it happens.
-- Olamide Zaccheaus (4-103-1/6) had a 51-yard TD catch in the 1st-quarter and it looked like he might be on his way to a good workload with Calvin Ridley out, but he was kinda forgotten as the game went on. You thought this might be a good spot for Russell Gage (2-11-0/6) without Ridley…but no.
-- Albert Okwuegbunam (1-7-0/1) looked like he was leveraging his BFF status with Drew Lock into some TE2 targeting, but this makes back-to-back games with just 1 target.
-- Drew Lock (25-48 for 313 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT, 7-47-1) might be a reasonable Week 10 emergency option, for those with Mahomes out/Stafford maybe out. Lock faces Las Vegas at LV/in a dome. Five passing TDs in his past two games, and two rushing TDs in his last 3 games. He’s perking up with some decent FF activity of late…and the Raiders are a decent matchup to throw against.
-- It continues to catch my attention week after week…Dontae Booker (8-68-1) just looks more effective running the ball than Josh Jacobs (14-65-1, 1-3-0/1). I’m not saying a job is going to be taken, but for sure Booker is the handcuff…and he keeps stealing a few more touches each week. Defenses play Booker differently than Jacobs is part of the issue.
-- Nelson Agholor (2-55-1/3) keeps doing two things each week…getting miniscule targets for a #1 WR…AND scoring TDs. 5 TDs this season (on 17 catches) and 4 TDs in his last 5 games, which represents the time he really evolved to the #1 WR spot.
-- Another week, another step forward for Mike Williams’ (5-81-0/7) connection with Justin Herbert (28-42 for 3216 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT). Williams had the game winning TD for a moment, but after the catch and feet down he lost the ball crashing down to earth.
You want the #2 WR on high functioning pass games, and the Chargers passing game is top 3 best (to me) in the league.
-- Dallas put up a good fight here...for the second game in a row. That matters on a couple of fronts.
(1) They are still in the NFC East race (as is every team)…they still have reason to ‘play’.
(2) After Week 10, Andy Dalton should be back and help solidify the passing game a bit more, even if it’s more garbage time based. But Garrett Gilbert (21-38 for 243 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, 3-28-0) showed, as I said last week and Sunday morning Video Q&A, that he isn’t that bad. In fantasy terms, he helps the WRs NOT be total zeros like Ben DiNucci would do.
-- I don’t know how Ben Roethlisberger (29-42 for 306 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT) put up these numbers…for about three quarters Ben was wobbling all his passes and/or throwing behind wide open crossing route receivers and/or then looked like he sustained a serious knee injury. As he does, he gutted it out and led the comeback hobbling around. Cincy and Jacksonville are JUICY matchups the next two weeks…if Ben is in good shape.
-- Who did Ben throw to in this game?
Diontae Johnson (6-77-0/10) was not his Davante Adams this game…that special game Week 7 v. TEN is becoming more hoax than not. Not that Diontae is a hoax, but that game looks like ‘something was working, so they ran with it’.
Chase Claypool (8-69-0/13), to me, seems like where Ben’s eye is typically looking to when he’s in trouble. He had fun tearing it up with Diontae Week 7, but when things get tough week-in-and-week-out…Claypool is his guy. I say that to say…CC is always going to be a WR2 option with upside every week, regardless.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (6-93-1/7) always feels like he has a section of the game where he gets the least coverage and Ben abuses it for a bit before the defenses adjust. JuJu always feels like a 3rd-wheel here, but he’s been very good for FF for three weeks straight as that 3rd-wheel.
-- Jordan Howard (10-19-1) did get the most carries for the MIA backfield, but they were all dull/low impact…but he did get a short TD.
Salvon Ahmed (7-38-0) provided a small spark, a UDFA rookie they grabbed off waivers before the season…he may get more of a look Week 10.
Patrick Laird (1-0-0, 1-17-0/1) was virtually a ghost.
It’s these guys + recently acquired DeAndre Washington for touches in Week 10 vs. a tough LAC run defense.
-- I thought Christian Kirk (5-123-1/8) was more on the lucky side of things the past few weeks, but another long TD here and an overall solid game…maybe there is something here for consistency as teams over-cover DeAndre Hopkins (3-30-0/3).
-- Also note on Kirk…it’s Kyler Murray (21-26 for 283 yards, 11-106-1) starting to kick into another gear. I started to see an extra ‘it’ this week, and really it’s been growing the last 2-3 weeks. A move to where Kyler is not just an all-throw to Hopkins and go run around otherwise player. Kyler is starting to mature into an assassin passer that could put him on par with Mahomes-Herbert-Allen-Wilson types. He’s not there yet, but suddenly it’s starting to build where he’s starting to tame the beast (the NFL). He’s not playing as frantic (but good even when frantic) and starting to play more in control.
The easy schedule propped him a bit the 1st-half of the season, but this was his toughest test of the season (in defensive opposition terms) and he looked really good. My Kyler mild worries from earlier this year…starting to subside with every week, and with every win (to keep Kliff there).
-- I thought Taysom Hill (7-54-0, 1-21-0/1, 48 yards passing) was starting to show signs of increased usage again. If he’s a TE in your league…he’s viable on these types of numbers. Each week he bumps up a little more in touch counts.
-- I was hoping to see a dogfight for FF numbers between the two powerhouse WRs Michael Thomas (5-51-0/6) and Antonio Brown (3-31-0/5)…but it wasn’t much of anything.
Thomas wasn’t needed, but looked fine.
Brady couldn’t complete passes. Brown did flash a moment or two. He doesn’t look like he’s lost much. What to expect next week is something to explore during the week of study.
-- Ronald Jones (3-9-0, 3-9-0/4) has gone from exciting RB1 to people asking (this week) ‘should I cut Jones and _____?’ Not much of a case for Jones right now, except to say…this game got out of hand fast and the running game was quickly thrown out the window. Don’t fully judge by this game. I’m not defending RoJo as great ahead, but just be careful punishing him for an odd event gamer that likely won’t happen next week. He’s a non-PPR option…but dying in PPR.
Leonard Fournette (1-0-0, 6-41-0/6) led the team with 6 catches, as Brady had to do short dump passes a lot because downfield was nothing.
===== 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)…and I don’t mean that a D-F grade is ‘bad’/just showing how pressing/important to me.
***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) WR Curtis Samuel, CAR (C+)
This is getting serious now…week-by-week Samuel is becoming the most important WR on a very sneaky-good passing game.
4 TDs his last 3 games. A season high 9 catches (on 9 targets) in Week 9…and his first 100+ yard game of the season.
You love it if a WR catches 70% of his targets, and 80%+ catch rate is like ‘wow’. Samuel has caught 88.4% of his targets so far this season…and he makes a ton of dirty catches on 3rd-down, diving catches, in-traffic, etc. An excellent player finally mattering again for fantasy.
2) RB J.D. McKissic, WSH (C+)
Alex Smith has thrown 49 passes so far this season…18 of them to J.D. McKissic…nearly 37%...one in every three throws checked down to JDMK, as Alex loves to do (9 catches this week for McKissic). The new PPR god RB is on waivers in a lot of places. I’ve been an advocate for a month+. You could do worse for a fill-in RB through the BYE weeks, etc., in PPR.
3) WR Jalen Reagor, PHI (C+)
The Eagles #1 WR…and that’s worth something ahead. Wentz scares me, but I love the connection he has with Reagor…and I love how well Reagor is moving around on the field. He’s very confident and explosive.
4) RB Duke Johnson, HOU (C)
ONLY if David Johnson is out. That’s all he’s good for…a one week start, you’d assume.
5) TE Austin Hooper, CLE (C)
Was getting hot before his body failed him (appendectomy). He should be back Week 10 to be Baker’s #2 option after Jarvis Landry. That’s worth something in our fantasy TE ice age.
Before he got hurt had registered three straight games with exactly 5 catches in each game…that’s good-to-great catch counts for PPR TEs right now. Hooper has not a ton of yards but good catches and had a TD in that three game stretch…and his connection with Baker was growing, and now OBJ is gone 9which helps Hooper, in theory).
6) WR Allen Lazard, GB (C)
The #2 WR on the Packers, with Rodgers, has to be a threat for 8-10 TDs in 16-game season type pace. You’ll get solid FF numbers from Lazard with Adams, but if Adams goes down…it’s the Lazard show. A great ‘cuff’ of Adams, if you will.
7) WR Nelson Agholor, LV (C-/D+)
The #1 WR for the Raiders, but that label only comes with 3-4-5 targets a game…but Agholor has been cashing in on a TD just about every week with that. You could do worse for a Flex WR right now.
SPECIAL QB WAIVERS (so many without Mahomes, and then possibly lost Stafford in the hole*
1) Derek Carr vs. DEN
The Broncos have a good pass defense, normally…but they played last week without their two top CBs and got lit up by Atlanta. If Bouye and Callahan are out Week 10…game-on with Carr as an option.
Carr has been really solid all year, but the status of the Denver CBs changes the excitement here (and we may not know until Friday+). It is at home, in a dome to help passing conditions.
2) Baker Mayfield vs. HOU
The Texans are the #10 pass defense in most passing yards allowed per game and #18 in lowest sack% (sacks per pass attempt). They are 5x worse without Bradley Roby, as shown last week…and we don’t know if Roby is out this week too. If he is, Baker may be the best ‘on waivers’ QB to roll with.
Two or more passing TDs in five of his last 7 games, and one of the 2 outliers was the win gust game vs. LV Week 8. Week 10 at CLE is projected for decent football weather.
3) Drew Lock vs. LV
The Raiders are the #7 pass defense in most passing yards allowed per game and #4 in lowest sack% (sacks per pass attempt).
Five TD passes for the suddenly halfway decent Lock, and two rushing TDs his past 3 games. Indoors in a favorable matchup…it could pay-off.
4) Philip Rivers v. TEN
The Titans are the #6 pass defense in most passing yards allowed per game and #4 in lowest sack% (sacks per pass attempt).
Rivers threw 3 TD passes against bad pass defenses CIN and DET Weeks 6 and 8…so, he has shown he can work a bad pass D. He gets one here in projected decent weather.
5) Nick Foles vs. MIN
The Vikings are the #3 pass defense in most passing yards allowed per game and #13 in lowest sack% (sacks per pass attempt).
Two TD passes in each of his last two games…but painful to watch at times. Weather might be a rain/wet issue.
Five Waivers To Distrust…
1) WR Richie James, SF
Great FF game Week 9 vs. GB, but Week 10 will have Aiyuk-Bourne back and Deebo’s return not too far away. You have to see this as a one-off event.
2) WR Cam Sims, WSH
Three 20+ yard catches Week 9 and everyone is exciting. I’m not. A big stiff WR that Alex Smith can use like a quasi-TE, I guess…but I don’t trust Smith throwing to anyone but J.D. McKissic right now. Cam Sims is not a talent…he’s been on and off rosters for years. Always has a blip moment and people get jazzed but never has consistency. He’s not terrible, but this situation should be frowned upon for hot FF numbers.
3) TE Irv Smith, MIN
2 TDs Week 9…but on just 2 targets. There is no move to Irv Smith by the Vikings passing game. If you think Thielen-Jefferson is suffering during the passing game drought the past few games, and will continue to suffer -- then Irv is going to starve by comparison.
4) WR K.J. Hamler, DEN
Solid Week 9, but I see nothing special in him yet and I don’t trust the Denver passing game most weeks unless a juicy matchup…and even then, not really.
5) WR Olamide Zaccheaus, ATL
100+ yard game. OZ always looks good and gets my attention, but then never follows up. In the words of Tom Selleck…this isn’t my first rodeo (on Zaccheaus). If Ridley misses Week 10, I still really can’t trust OZ…although I wish I could.
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) RB Chase Edmonds, ARI
He got his one start in Week 9…and it was ‘meh’. This week there will be a ‘Drake’s back’ watch going on…so the ‘meh’ Week 9 + Drake returning worries + Edmonds doesn’t have a high opinion nationally…it all means you can get him for cheap mid or late week on Drake fears. Why you would want to is because he was working as an RB2.0-2.5 as Drake’s backup in PPR before. You get a useful RB for fantasy either way, but with the upside of ‘what if Drake misses several more weeks’ or what if Edmonds moves to a 50/50 time share with Drake, but Edmonds as the PPR guy?
This is hotter for Dynasty…I want a position in Edmonds for 2021 as much as his usefulness for 2020.
Trade Valuation? RB3 (redraft), RB2.5 (Dynasty)…buy rock bottom, preferably can happen cheap if the person doesn’t own Drake and thus doesn’t need the cuff value.
2) RB Raheem Mostert, SF
Out of sight, out of mind for the past few weeks…which means the price/value starts to leak/fall. If you’re RB desperate and/or trying to throw a hail mary to get into the playoffs from behind and/or you’ve got a strong team and you want to add firepower on-sale…perhaps, Mostert is for you?
There’s risk…considering the team lost Jimmy G. and Deebo for offensive continuity. Also, the 49ers are falling out of the race fast…so, will they run Mostert heavy? If the 49ers are to get back into it they need Mostert to carry them, if at all possible. Also, we don’t know how healthy Mostert will be or if he’s truly ready for Week 10. There’s risk, so definitely don’t overpay – it’s no sure thing.
I’m keeping him on the radar because he has consistently looked like one of the best on-field/on tape RBs that I’ve watched this season.
Trade Valuation? RB2…you want a deal; you’re taking on risk.
3) WR Deebo Samuel, SF
QB and schedule don’t matter as much with Deebo…he’s a WR who plays like a running back half the time – short passes, dump passes, jet sweeps, straight up handoffs. I LOVE Deebo for FF!
The risk is – how hurt is he, when will he return? He could come back Week 10, but there’s already worry he won’t be back/ready for Week 10. Can you afford to wait? Maybe this is more an investment for those bottom fishing and investing for the FF playoffs because you know you’re making the playoffs based on your strong record so far.
Trade Valuation? WR2-2.5…use the ‘unknown return’ to your advantage. This is not a must-get…it’s a luxury item to steal at a fire sale. But if you’re right…you got a legit PPR WR1 hopeful if he’s healthy and rolling.
4) WR Justin Jefferson, MIN
Same sentiment, but different as it is with Thielen. Three of JJ’s last 4 games have been like the per game averages above for Thielen…a WR3-4 week-to-week, with one great game mixed in (Week 6) and a BYE in there to help make the good past a distant memory. You want to find the owner who is suffering a personal hell…if you believe JJ (or more so the Vikings passing game) will turn it around ahead.
Keep in mind…tougher schedule ahead – playing CHI 2x and at TB three times in the next 6 weeks, but good matchups otherwise.
Trade Valuation? WR2 in redraft…you get a deal, or you walk…if you want in. If Minnesota has to throw this is good, but if they keep running Cook…then you’re taking on the WR3-4 pain.
5) WR Adam Thielen, MIN
Last three games…2.7 rec. (4.7 targets), 38.7 yards, 0.33 TDs per game…a WR3-4, one that the current FF owner is dying in turmoil over.
You (who doesn’t own him) think he’s awesome…because you haven’t bore the pain of his last month of reality (a bye week in there too). His current owner suddenly hates him, thinks this Vikings offense is trouble, and/or Thielen is getting old.
Point is…there’s panic.
Keep in mind…tougher schedule ahead – playing CHI 2x and at TB three times in the next 6 weeks, but good matchups otherwise.
Those Dynasty owners out of the race…he’s the guy they need to sell now on age fears for 2021. He’s a good ‘rental’ for those in Dynasty to add for the playoff run…one you’d like give up a small prospect and a 2nd or 3rd round rookie draft pick or something. Maybe just a 2nd-round pick rookie pick straight up if the owner is dumping out.
Trade Valuation? WR2…you’re trading for the WR that is killing the current owner, not the guy who scored 6 TDs his first 5 games. Make the current owner bleed in a deal.
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) RB Zack Moss, BUF
Probably the player most moved last week. The mainstream loves him, so the people want him and those that I know who had him were mostly able to cash out on him hot pre-Week 9 game. Well, Moss got another TD this week to keep his value up (but had a nothing game otherwise). Sell this puppy fast. There’s no real upside with the BUF backfield.
I know the Buffalo situation…knew John Brown would start to matter, knew Josh Allen was playing elite even if the numbers were sagging before his Week 9 eruption…but I know the backfield too – Singletary and Moss are virtually useless for FF…just rando RB3s. But people see Moss as a RB1.5 star in the making.
Sell Valuation? RB1.5-2.0…make them pay for the great rookie. Dynast owners love him…don’t sell short, but do sell.
2) RB Jordan Wilkins, IND
Some got him off waivers or had him backing up Jon Taylor, and it’s two weeks of strong touches for Wilkins. I’ll sell any Indy anything that has value to sell right now. I don’t believe in this offensive philosophy, or it’s skill players.
Sell Valuation? RB2.5?...hopefully? Whatever you can get of interest.
3) TE Jonnu Smith, TEN
Another 2-target game but did catch a TD pass to stay propped up. Go look at his last 3-4-5 games. You need a better TE hope.
Sell Valuation? TE1, back-end TE1. His overall season average scoring props him up to people not looking in detail. Try to sell to that owner, if you have a TE to use otherwise. It’s slim pickings out in TE-land.
4) WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT
Great past three weeks. People love the name. You don’t have to give away, just someone I would leverage for an RB or TE or something of need. I fear a JuJu tail off is right around the corner. He’s hotter right now as he should be off his good run, but prior to that was discussed as a possible drop candidate.
Sell Valuation? WR1.5…just look at his last three PPR weeks. If you can find the secret JuJu worshipper, make a hot deal.
5) RB Jerick McKinnon, SF
If Mostert is not back Week 10, McKinnon will seem to be the likely starter. He will be, but it would be his last ‘start’ before RBs start coming off I.R. Mostert could surprise late week to try and play…and/or Shanahan changes gears and gives Hasty more work. If you don’t need JMK for Week 10…sell to someone in need.
Sell Valuation? RB2.5…find the Week 10 RB desperate owner and try to make some magic happen, if YOU don’t need McKinnon for Week 10.
Five Deep Sleeper Waivers Pickups…
*Total flyer/lowly owned or not-owned players
1) RB Ryan Nall, CHI
IF…IF…IF…David Montgomery is out, then Nall might get his first real chance Week 10. Then the bet here is -- Nall is so good with his chance that he moves to a split with Montgomery and tries to take over the job. Nall should already be the Bears’ #1 RB.
Read my reports on Nall from the preseason.
2) RB DeAndre Washington, MIA
We know Brian Flores hates Jordan Howard. He didn’t use Patrick Laird in Week 9 hardly at all. Washington was traded for last week and had to sit out for COVID rules. Week 10 he is eligible to play – and Washington IS Flores’ kind of RB…a grinder, and he can play all three downs.
3) RB JaMycal Hasty, SF
Everyone will quit him after this week, for the TNF letdown. I would just note…if the 49ers’ season slides AND Mostert can’t get back fast, Hasty might get his day and start to make something of himself as SF preps for 2021. Just a daydream concept.
4) RB Troymaine Pope, LAC
Was in-line to be a split starter Week 9, but a concussion (which he got cleared from) held him out in the end. If he is active/playing Week 10…he is likely to jump right back into the rotation as the new-Austin Ekeler-a-like.
JJax might be hurt/out. Kelley has lost trust…and Kalen Ballage is beneath Pope, you’d believe. Troymaine might walk into a good situation Week 10.
5) WR Sammy Watkins, KC
For those with Mahomes and/or Tyreek…if Watkins is just sitting out there, and you are thinking for ‘down the road’. Watkins can be…
1) A quasi-Tyreek cuff…if Hill goes down, Watkins needs to step up (which has been hit-and miss when Tyreek went down last year, but anything with Mahomes is promising).
2) You might need a week to take down a monster opponent and want to stack Mahomes and/or Tyreek and/or Kelce. Watkins could be something for a particular week…maybe.
6) TE Ross Dwelley, SF
Most of us hate our TE for fantasy right now. We’re desperate. Dwelley is playing a lot of snaps, mimicking the Kittle role and has a decent relationship (on field) with Nick Mullens. Dwelley is the new Dalton Schultz type hopeful, whether Jordan Reed is alive or not.
-- FIVE…IT’S OK TO QUIT THEM PLAYERS --
1) WR Keelan Cole, JAX
He served his time well, and I’m sure he’ll have a random good again…but without Minshew, there’s way better options on WR waivers.
2) TE Drew Sample, CIN
We’re all starved for TEs, but this has not been working hardly at all.
3) WR Dez Bryant, BAL
What miracle are you expecting from Dez…or from Lamar?
4) WR Steven Sims, WAS
Just got back active from I.R. for Week 9. He was fading before I.R., and now is a nobody upon his return. In redraft, you got plenty of other options to sit on and watch. In Dynasty, I’m starting to think this is over too. How can we get excited about anything ‘Washington’ passing game-wise?
5) TE Albert O., DEN *Confirmed...ACL tear, done for the season.*
Had a blip when Noah Fant was out and had a decent game when Fant first got back…but the last two weeks 1 target and 1 target each game. He’s only valuable when Fant is out/hurt.
-- STREAMING DSTs OFF WAIVER(?) OPTIONS --
This has moved beyond just a good pairing with KC…now Miami is trying to be a real DST1, and you saw that the way they handled the Rams offense Week 8. Arizona scored on them, but Miami also got a D TD in there too.
Week 10 = v. LAC…I don’t want to go up against Herbert. Don’t use.
Week 11 = at DEN…I want in on this
Week 12 = at NYJ…I also want in on this.
Week 13 = v. CIN…I could do this depending. I fear Burrow but his O-Line is so rough FF pts can ensue.
Week 14 = v. KC…no, thanks
Week 15= v. NE…this should be really good for MIA-DST by then.
Three strong starts the next 6 weeks, maybe four of them. This is one you get and sit on for Weeks 11-12 and maybe 13.
This is a long shot DST we’ve been monitoring for weeks. They’ve held three of their last 5 opponents to 21 points or fewer in a game. It’s not the worst defense ever. It has a good offense supporting it. They smacked around SF Week 9, as they should have...considering the SF injury list.
Week 10 = vs. JAX v. Luton.
Week 11 = at IND with turnover prone Rivers.
Week 12 = vs. Foles/CHI
Week 13 = vs. PHI with their bad O-Line.
Week 14 = at DET, not a bad matchup.
You could start with some so-so confidence the next five weeks.
Played good games v. BUF and PIT in the past few weeks. But looked bad against Cincy/Burrow Week 8. Was strong for most of Week 10 vs. CHI…allowing a prevent-ish defense comeback by the Bears late, but was pitching a shutout for a long time that game.
It’s not a great defensive unit. The Titans try to control the clock with Derrick Henry and uber-efficient Tannehill, which helps support this defense not being on the field as much. For the people that have been missing out on a consistent DST or looking for a 2nd one to add for streaming/security…it’s something to consider.
Week 10 = v. IND (YES)
Week 11 = at BAL (NO)
Week 12 = at IND (YES)
Week 13 = CLE (YES)
Week 14 = at JAX (YES)
Week 15 = DET (YES)
From Weeks 9-15, you can use this DST with some so-so confidence five times in 6 weeks. They burned their BYE in Week 4.
4) Redskins-DST *Could shoot to #1 if Stafford is going to miss this week.*
Getting a little better each week. Not perfect but emerging a little…and a decent schedule ahead. The problem is their offense doesn’t support them much. The WSH-DST racked up five sacks against NYG Week 9, and a chunk of their points allowed was off their own offense’s turnovers that set up quick red zone work for the opposition.
Week 10 = at DET (good-ish)
Week 11 = CIN (not awful)
Week 12 = at DAL (nice-ish)
It’s a risky proposition, but this elite pass rush makes them a threat just about every week.
They face one of the worst O-Lines in the NFL Week 10…that’s something-not-nothing. The Giants defense is pretty good, as we’ve been saying since like Week 2.
Week 10 v. PHI
This is for those planning ahead…and despite the fact that Seattle has a horrific pass defense in general (but they’ve played a lot of great QBs to pour gasoline on the fire)…
Week 12 = at PHI
Week 13 = NYG
Week 14 = NYJ
Week 15 = at WSH
-- Sleeper/lesser-name IDP’s whose box scores or live watch caught my attention --
1) SAF Jabril Peppers, NYG
One of the best safeties in the league, per my eyes. Peppers is playing like a man who wants to get paid this offseason!! 6.6 tackles per game the past five games, and 1.0 PDs in that same span with an INT, fumble recovery, and a few sacks thrown in there to boot.
He is playing ‘turned up to 11’ on most every play and hitting violently. He’s really becoming a difference maker.
2) LB Eric Wilson, MIN
He was on fire a few weeks ago and the FF scoring fire died out the past few games, but it lit back up Week 9 – 13 tackles, an INT, and 0.5 sacks.
Since Week 2, he’s averaging 7.3 tackles per game with 2.5 sacks, 2 INTs, 3 PDs, 2 FRs in that span. He’s doing a little of everything. One of my favorite overlooked defensive players.
3) SAF Jonathan Abram, LV
Missed a few games with mild injury then COVID. When he’s played this season, he’s heat-seeking for tackles…6.0 tackles per game this season overall. He’s like a top linebacker playing safety. He’s always trying to get into the action. He’s a guy who will make a name for himself soon…he just attracts attention because of his hitting prowess.
4) DE Carlos Dunlap, SEA
First game as a Seahawk was Week 9…5 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 3.0 TFLs, 2 QB hits. Not bad for a team desperate for a pass rush. Seattle registered 10 QB hits on Josh Allen this week with Dunlap giving new D-Line life.
5) LB Oren Burks, GB
Green Bay has been trying to get Oren Burks going for years but he always gets hurt and loses momentum. He played a season high 60% of the snaps Week 9 in their blowout of the 49ers and had a season high 6 tackles. It was some garbage time but was something to watch to see if he’s going to make a move to more PT and maybe becoming a starter. It’s too soon to get IDP interested, but I’m just noticing he made some noise this week and Green bay keeps shuffling linebackers to find the right mix...so, maybe Burks is going to get a shot?
Be smart in this giant poker game we call Fantasy this week: https://youtu.be/9E5YJJwIfdE