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2021 Fantasy Three Things/Five Players from Sunday’s Games: Week 3

Date:
September 27, 2021

2021 Fantasy Three Things/Five Players from Sunday’s Games: Week 3

 

I’ve been wandering around all Sunday night fuming at various things. Overall, FFM-land is tracking around a 45% win-rate this week. The worst rate of the season.

Week 1 ‘Hulk Smash’ record wins, decent Week 2, mild disaster Week 3. Put that on a graph and it’s not well…

The typical FFM team right now is (2-1), followed by (1-2) or (3-0) and then lastly rare (0-3). It’s been a solid start to the season but we got people in all the various win-loss buckets, and too many lost last week so it feels like a dark cloud today.

I could complain, and I have, and I will all week, but I look back at losses the last two weeks and I see the wins were sitting on my bench…not a reach of a choice that I would have never thought to play but a 50-50 choice and too many times I went right when I should’ve gone left…and vice-versa.

That’s not a team talent issue…it’s a sit-start problem. I don’t have to blow up the whole team and hate my life because in a 50-50 moment, I picked the wrong side.

I just witnessed a week (3) where a team (KC) that passes high-end decided to be a running team for some reason and thus Mahomes and/or Tyreek, who typically bail me/us out – didn’t this week.

I just witnessed a week (3) where the top run attempt team (BAL) the past two years, decided to be a passing team for a game for no good reason…and basically shut their starting RB (Ty’Son Williams) out despite starting him and playing him the most/his usual snaps – and they should’ve lost to the worst team in football because of it.

I saw about a million other oddities along with those (like every player I endorsed slipping and falling at the one-yard line to let someone else get the TD the next play or dropping passing in the end zone or for a long TD).

With all the bizarre twists of narratives and things that could go wrong going wrong…I still had all the losses won on my bench. I had the potential to win. I scored well but got beat too many times due to a bad sit-start.

If I just described your Week 3 – then this crap is going to happen multiple times in a season…these weeks where the NFL seems to do a 180. Weeks where everything good ‘almost’ happened but didn’t…and everything that could go wrong seemed to (anyone beat by Tucker’s 60+ yard FG? Anyone lose because ARI DST lost points on a 109-yard missed FG return?). These weeks are going to happen…and they aren’t usually trends, just aberrations. Tyreek Hill will score a TD again in my lifetime, I’m sure of it.

This was a bad week egged on by my bad sit-start calls. I can be mad about rolling with Ty’Son after the fact, but I was sure he was in the right spot in the right matchup. I wasn’t crazy, it just didn’t work out because the Ravens completely went against their normal nature. Ditto Kansas City a lot of their game. I hate it, but it happened…I could’ve won with one simple player used over Ty’Son or Deebo or pick whoever let you down. Cordarrelle Patterson over them could’ve bailed me out. Some places I did go CPatt and won…but not enough.

The Fantasy season is not over with this bad week. For near-half of the FFM universe, this was a good week or escaped with a lucky win due to the opponent failing. Hey, we will get 1-2-3 of those our way in a year as well. With the mass injury and changing nature of football…we’re gonna lose games in the regular season however it happens. This week was one of them for too many.

For most Fantasy owners…a win last week means everything is fine. A loss last week means the whole team needs to be changed or ‘shaken up’. You can’t go there. It’s too early. If you’re scoring well this season and had wins on your bench – you are doing fine just the wrong guy in at the wrong time. Had you picked the right sit/start and won, you’d think you have no problems. You picked wrong and think you have all the problems.

This is a war of attrition. Constantly looking to buy low and sell high and sit on upside things deep on the roster…constantly looking for opportunity to improve/take advantage of the panicked…whether you’re (3-0) or (0-3), the game remains the same – take advantage of the panicked, don’t be the panicked…don’t be the one getting taken advantage of in your ‘shaking things up’ fury.

Last week, all the Josh Allen owners were bemoaning to me their regrets on drafting him. The season was essentially over. They knew they couldn’t trust Allen. They shoulda took Mahomes or Murray. Why did they think Allen was a smart QB to take? I tried to keep these owners patient…including me, I have some Allen stock in 2021. After his smashing Week 3…crickets from those same people declaring their FF-world had ended last week. No Allen owner is speaking of the season ending today.

It’s so early…we have so many weeks to go. Then Panthers are not a (3-0) top/elite team because they are undefeated right now, neither is Las Vegas (3-0)…they just had a favorable schedule out of the chutes mixed with some luck. The Chiefs aren’t going to finish under .500 this season in the end.

If you had to bet on who wins the AFC West...would you take Vegas or Denver or Kansas City? Why did you say KC? I mean…they are only (1-2) and the other teams are (3-0). Why isn’t the KC season ‘over’ now? But you think your (1-2) Fantasy team is done for 2021…but not the Chiefs.

A lot of weeks to go. We’re approaching the BYE weeks which are usually are time to slingshot ahead to many wins because of our depth others don’t have. Keep your wits about you. (0-3) is a win away from (1-3) with likely the playoffs at (2-2), so one game out with…what…10 games to go? What…you can’t make up one game in 10 weeks? It’s that bad? (1-2) teams are a win next week away from qualifying for the playoffs in most leagues after 4 games.

It’s all in your mind.

Defeat your mind.

On Mondays…get mad about a loss. Cherish the wins. Either scenario, it’s our job to keep looking for opportunities to improve the team or just we have more info on teams to set lineups better with. It’s very early…it’s very random…it’s not over for (3-0) or (0-3) – it’s a weekly chess match of moves. You think there have been a lot of injuries so far…you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Let’s keep playing the game and trying to take advantage of the panicked…not be the panicked. Your job is to try and improve the team each day/week…not ‘shake things up’ or redraft your August draft in your head all day. You’re just trying to pacify your mind by thinking action = actively fixing. Smart action. Not panicked action. Sometimes no action is the best action.

It was a down week. It happened. We’re learning things as we go. Whine and complain for today but then back to the grind…especially look at dealing with (0-3) teams or (1-2) teams that just lost – they are the ones mentally breaking down, and we want to kick them (in a trade) while they’re down.

Me picking a Flex option the past two weeks, it feels like: https://youtu.be/MQ40bwT-0fU?t=22

 

 

-- THREE THINGS ON EACH SUNDAY GAME (thoughts subject to change as I rewatch games all week) --

 

CAR-HOU

 -- Do we now say Christian McCaffrey (7-31-0, 2-9-0/2) is…

1) ‘Injury Prone’? Just like Saquon Barkley?

2) ‘Too small to be taking such a heavy workload, an overload for almost any RB…especially one his size?’

3) No longer the top asset in Fantasy for Dynasty/long-term?

4) That we need to get off the RB lust in redrafts?

5) All of the above?

The #1 and #2 ADP RBs in 2021 redrafts…both hurt and dinged their owners Week 3…and unsure statuses Week 4.

Fantasy Football is a war of attrition…avoidance of, and adjustments to injuries as much as anything else.

 -- Chuba Hubbard (11-52-0, 3-27-0/5) is the assumed takeover for CMC, and I’m sure he will get the max. push – but I think Royce Freeman (5-17-0, 1-8-0/1) is better, given his experience.

This is a weak Carolina O-Line…the whole team bolstered by a super-easy schedule to start the season (caught the Saints minus 2-3 top defenders Week 2)…and Hubbard is not like CMC. There’s a bunch of trouble here for the non-CMCs, and the schedule difficulty and the O-Line and no CMC will affect Darnold and everyone right down the line.

 -- I never imagined Brandin Cooks (9-112-0/11) would be so outstanding given the lack of WRs for defenses to worry about and a Tyrod/Mills QB due to work with so far, but Cooks has been Cooper Kupp-like in being sensational.

Jaycee Horn going down helped Cooks/Mills here…and Horn out is a big sucker punch to the gut for the Carolina DST going forward. A critical blow. *LATE NEWS* the Panthers smartly traded for C.J. Henderson…brilliant. Really helps plug the Horn gap.

 

WSH-BUF

 -- I can’t tell you how many times I tried to talk Josh Allen (32-43 for 358 yards, 4 TDs/0 INT, 4-9-1) owners off a ledge this week, sometimes successful…sometimes not. This looked like a so-so matchup, but Allen torched it…as he started to get into his 2020 flow.

The only Allen fear I have is: The Bills are playing so well, they are dominating teams right away…you don’t need a lot of up-tempo offense, nor is there garbage time to enjoy from time-to-time. Aside from that, he’s one of the best QBs in the NFL – so Allen is going to be FF-good more times than not.

HOU-KC-TEN the next three weeks are nice.

 -- Zack Moss (13-60-0, 3-31-1/3) is putting up numbers the last two games, but it’s a bit of a head-fake fake, kinda-sorta…Devin Singletary (11-26-0, 1-0-0/2) is starting…then the Bills get up so quick (up 21-0 the last two weeks in a hurry) they don’t need to stay true to the base 1st-team for must-have offense. So, Moss and Singletary are flowing in-and-out and Moss is getting the better FF work in these beatdowns. I don’t see a Moss breakout or offensive change happening…just a split working for Moss lately.

 -- Antonio Gibson (12-31-0, 1-73-1/2) had a terrific 73 yards catch and run TD…or otherwise there would be mass panic on him across the FF-land. He’s faced three of the better run defenses in the NFL right off the bat…things ease up ahead with ATL-NO-KC-GB the next four weeks.

 

CHI-CLE

 -- Justin Fields (6-20 for 68 yards, 0 TD/0 INT, 3-12-0) flopped in his debut. All his mobility got him was sacked 9 times for -67 yards. 68 yards passing, 67 yards lost in sacks…net 1 yard passing for the team. The regular season is much different than the preseason. The Bears/Matt Nagy are gonna pray Andy Dalton can comeback ASAP/next week. DET Week 4 might be OK for Fields…but I wouldn’t wanna have my FF-life depending upon it.

 -- Odell Beckham (5-77-0/9) looked solid in his 2021 debut game. Looked like his 2019-2020 self. Solid but not ‘that guy’ anymore, but solid…in a low volume passing game.

 -- The Browns held a 40/20 time of possession advantage, plus Fields was dying….so, David Montgomery (10-34-0, 2-21-0/4) had low touches and nowhere to run. I like Montgomery for the touches, and the enhanced speed/agility this season -- but if this Bears team is about to freefall behind Fields and an ever more banged up O-Line…Montgomery is going to RB2-land with little hope at RB1.

 

BAL-DET

 -- I have no idea what happened with Ty’Son Williams (5-22-0, 0-0-0/1) in this game. He started, like usual, but then was immediately rotating every other play with Murray-Freeman as a rotating trio. As he played more snaps in the 2nd-half, and he played his typical number of snaps (50% +/-, leading all RBs here with distance) they never got him the ball…the team that runs all the time, wasn’t running it much at all with the RBs (and thus they all but lost this game to lowly DET).

Why they switched off the run game and didn’t get Ty’Son work despite playing solid snaps…I have no idea. But now I have no idea how to project him next week. They may go back to him as a lead…they may stick with this idiotic trio. The anti-Coach of the Year has to be John Harbaugh…he didn’t adjust to Darren Waller Week 1 and got beat, then he started giving Murray-Freeman carries and destroying drives with their negative/useless running plays Week 3 and almost lost – the Ravens should be (0-3) but they are somehow (2-1).

 -- Marquise Brown (3-53-0/7) legit dropped 3 TD passes…two of them on the same series. He left a 5-150-2 game on the field. Just when you think he’s making a turn to a legit top NFL WR…he reverts back to ‘drops guy’.

 -- D’Andre Swift (14-471-, 7-60-0/7) is becoming Austin Ekeler for O-C Anthony Lynn. Nothing else works, so the simple dump passes to the RB is their best play. All the fears on Swift’s groin all week, all season…I don’t want to hear it anymore.

 

ARI-JAX

 -- Chase Edmonds (11-26-0, 7-49-0/8) had a solid game, just no TD…again…slipped on a cut going in for one and fell a half-yard short. Was in on another goal line run, an option play where he didn’t get the option for the TD shot. Every week, he’s near a TD, but robbed of it. He’s doing everything I hoped…except not getting any TDs. Actually, I expected better rushing this game…but Arizona’s run game is a disaster, because they have a terrible run blocking O-Line.

Only Najee Harris (after that Wk3 pop) has more catches among RBs than Edmonds.

 -- The Arizona missed 66-yard FG turned Jags 109-yard return TD was counted as points allowed by the Cardinals-DST, which is a shame because it was a pretty dominant performance by the defense…holding Jacksonville to 2-for-11 on 3rd-downs.

 -- With the salty Arizona defense here/to face…Trevor Lawrence (22-34 for 219 yards, 1 TD/2 INTs) was not bad, again this week. He’s not great but he’s not terrible either. When he has time, he’s getting better – and Jacksonville is an excellent pass protection unit (shockingly, this year). I’m tapering down my anti-Lawrence rhetoric. He’s still Carson Wentz, to me, best case…but that’s not terrible.

I’d take the +6.5 with JAX over CIN next week…IF O-L Cam Robinson is OK.

 

LAC-KC

 -- I don’t know if we’d call him the Chargers new #1 WR, but whatever he is…Mike Williams (7-122-2/9) is wrecking the stat sheets. He looks sleeker, quicker, better than ever – he’s not just making catches in a high-functioning offense…he’s running past and over defenders like he’s trying to get a mega-deal in free agency (which he will now).

When many of you/us made trades for MW in Dynasty earlier this year on the reporting/push we offered for consideration and/or drafted him middle+ rounds of a redraft…I didn’t expect it would be THIS good. It’s not good…it’s great. He’s unbenchable.

 -- Williams is better than Tyreek Hill (5-56-0/7), right now, that’s for sure. All you can do is hold and roll with it. It’s painful, but he’s had a couple bad weeks in the past and gotten all of us pissed, then he springs out of it with his usual ‘wow’ games. All we can do is hold, start, hope and pray.

 -- For anyone worried about Justin Herbert’s (26-38 for 281 yards, 4 TDs/0 INT) lack of TD passes, and whether he was ‘regressing’…the answer is = ‘no’. He’s trying to be the #1 QB in all of Fantasy for 2021…not regressing.

 

NO-NE

 -- I thought the Saints secondary was going to be lights out with Marshon Lattimore (10 tackles, 1 PD) back and Bradley Roby (no stats/only 2 snaps) – and even though Roby barely played, it was a big-time defensive showing by NO regardless…and they’ll only get better the more Roby gets integrated. NYG and at WSH the next two weeks is going to be good stuff for DST scoring.

 -- The Saints are turning into a defense and run game unit, to minimize the Jameis Winston (13-21 for 128 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT) risk…and play to their strengths – O-Line and defense. Alvin Kamara (24-89-0, 3-29-1/4) taking 24 carries…that’s way above his average. Taysom Hill (6-32-1) taking several wildcat plays is a new wrinkle.

 -- James White (1-6-0, 0-0-0/1) got hurt and left early…helping kill some FF weeks. And J.J. Taylor (1-2-0, 2-3-0/2) is scrappy/tough but he’s not as experienced in that role if White is out a while and JJT takes over that role.

 

ATL-NYG

 -- Falcons tight end comparison:

2 catches/3 targets = Kyle Pitts (2-35-0/3)

3 catches/3 targets = Lee Smith (3-7-1/3), literally the slowest TE in the entire NFL.

An entire summer/preseason and three NFL Weeks in…and the Falcons have absolutely no plans to utilize Kyle Pitts as a weapon. He’s just another guy on the field…like Lee Smith or Olamide Zaccheaus (3-32-1/6). It’s utterly unbelievable. I have no clue why they drafted him.

 -- We can start to feel good about starting Cordarrelle Patterson (7-20-0, 6-82-0/7) in PPR. He’s not getting more carries, but he is getting more receiver work…5.5 rec., 70.0 yards, 0.5 TDs per game the last two weeks. Week 1 (2 rec., 13 yds) was the aberration of his first three weeks.

 -- Evan Engram (2-21-0/6) debuted and looked as random as he did last year. All the cool plays they ran for him in the preseason to get the ball in his hands…not happening in the real season, so far…one game. He’s just a fringe, back-end TE1 (#8-16 overall) along with 10-15 other TEs every week. It’s sad. He’s capable of so much more. Maybe next week he breaks through, but this is going on year two with Judge/Garrett game plans…so I’m not holding my breath. The Giants aren’t (0-3) by accident.

 

CIN-PIT

 -- I would say that this game by the Steelers was the single worst offensive team showing by the single worst offense in the NFL – but the Falcons exist in the NFL, so Pittsburgh will have to settle for 2nd-worst or co-1st-worst.

We have reached the end of the Big Ben (38-58 for 318 yards, 1 TD/2 INT) era. He has enough in the tank to be an OK NFL QB, when not dealing with a pec injury and with time to throw, but this is the worst offensive line in the NFL and Ben is getting crowded or hit on about every throw. He barely gets into his set up before he’s swarmed.

The good news is = lots of throws coming because they can’t run the ball at all. As I projected in the preseason.

The bad news is = not a lot of TDs because they can’t execute well when it matters or throw down field in times of need to keep drives going…all due to a lack of time to throw.

Garbage-time is the big FF hope here…and this game ended with the Steelers down by 14 with 0:42 left and no timeouts, so all cheap throwing – and it ended with three straight drops…Harris-Claypool-Harris…gimme catches right through their hands.

 -- Najee Harris (14-40-0, 14-102-0/19) had a number of nice catches…he also had a number of easy drops. He is one of the worst big ticket RBs that I’ve ever seen – he’s so stiff that when he tries to adjust to passes not thrown right at him, he can’t adjust his body quickly/adeptly and too often he looks like an offensive guard trying to catch a trick pass. When he tries to run the ball and needs to stop/start/adjust away from traffic…it develops so slowly that the D-Line consumes him. When he catches passes flat-footed, it takes him forever to get going forward. Once he’s going forward with some steam, he’s a monster to try to bring down…but he rarely has space to get a head of steam going.

There is a place in the world for him – as a straight-ahead runner on a team with good blocking. He’d be a 1,000+ yard runner with 10+ rushing TDs easy if he were with Cleveland. But the Steelers have the worst O-Line in football, arguably, so that type of action isn’t happening here in 2021.

 -- I thought I saw some flashes of the old Joe Burrow (14-18 for 172 yards, 3 TDs/1 INT) here…more aggression, more willingness to scramble and run. Still not the old Burrow, but a step in the right direction. Looking forward to analyzing the tape to see what really happened – but we also have to consider the Steelers had no pass rush with Watt/Highsmith out.

 

IND-TEN

 -- The Colts O-Line is falling apart…like going from a top 10-15 or so O-Line to one of the worst in the league. Teams are keying on Jonathan Taylor (10-64-0, 1-8-0/3), so between that and the Colts being down often in games and needing to throw…JT is a Fantasy dud right now. An RB2 hopeful week-to-week. RB1 appears to be off the table with all their O-Line issues. Maybe in a few weeks the O-Line gels he perks up, but that doesn’t help anyone today.

 -- The Titans got the lead and just ran the ball down Indy’s throats…thus the low volume game for Julio Jones (3-47-0/4) among others. It’s the risk you run with playing the Titans passing game…if they can run the opponent out/down, they will. Additionally, the Titans had Julio on the sidelines a chunk of the 4th-quarter for ‘not overworking’…???...he only played 50% of the snaps. I thought Julio might be a buy low last week…he’s not a strong buy now…not if we’re getting ‘out for maintenance’ scenarios. Smart for the NFL reasons…bad for FF.

 -- One thing that is working for Indy…Michael Pittman (6-68-0/12) is really coming into his own as a #1 WR for Indy.  Back-to-back #1 worker type tape from him, that I saw live here and on tape last week.

 

NYJ-DEN

 -- Well, I previously mentioned there’s the Falcons and Steelers vying for the worst offense I watch every week…but I forgot the Jets exist. They are my #1 choice for worst offense in the league…worse than Houston. At least Houston has a decent O-Line. At least the Falcons and Steelers have a few capable receivers. The Jets have Zach Wilson (19-35 for 160 yards, 0 TDs/2 INTs) under pressure every drop back, and when he does get a throw off it clanks off butterfingers Corey Davis’s (5-41-0/10) chest or hands…and he’s like their best receiver?

 -- Yes, it was 26-0 Broncos…but credit the Jets defense for keeping it that close. They really are fighting, but because the offense has no sustained drives to help them…the defense is constantly under assault/bad field position. It’s a really promising unit being hidden behind an offensive catastrophe.

C.J. Mosley (10 tackles) is playing out of his mind/looks the fastest I’ve seen him in years (and he skipped 2020 due to COVID). Quincy Williams (6 tackles, 2 TFLs) is making a difference. The young corners Brandin Echols (5 tackles, 1 PD) and Bryce Hall (5 tackles, 1 TFL) are doing all they can, and they gave Teddy fits/held the offense to FGs more than TDs – but no support from the offense. It’s a shame. The D-C is a future NFL head coach…and may have been a better choice than Robert Saleh.

The NYJ-DST does have a stretch of decency ahead, if the O-Line ever becomes not-horrible…instead of horrible…to help the defense out a bit. Weeks 5-12: ATL, bye, NE, CIN, IND, BUF MIA, HOU…all but BUF strikes fear, and a lot of bad O-Lines and/or bad QBs to face in there.

 -- Michael Carter (9-24-0, 2-5-0/3) is leading the backfield in touches…more so due to the team being down all the time, and NYJ in passing situations so much – but that’s not going to change anytime soon, so Carter is on the radar for flex/RB3 hopes ahead in PPR.

 

MIA-LV

 -- Peyton Barber (23-111-1, 3-31-0/5) running for 100+ yards in a game is an indictment of how bad the Miami run defense is right now. Damien Harris ran for 100 yards against them Week 1. The Bills ran for a combined 143 yards Week 2. Barber went for 11 and the team hit 140 rushing yards this week. Maybe there is hope for Jonathan Taylor Week 4?

 -- Jacoby Brissett (32-49 for 215 yards, 0 TDs/0 INTs) was better than Tua ever was/is…but it was still hideous. 49 passes…32 completions…for just 215 passing yards…4.4 yards per passing attempt.

 -- Bryan Edwards (3-89-0/5) had some moments here. He looks so good when getting the targets…he’s just not getting any purposeful targets. He’s just a random guy on the field, like all the Vegas WRs with Derek Carr. Edwards gets a bit better every week, but I don’t see the real turn to FF-consistency coming. Just random hope.

 

TB-LAR

 -- Credit Matt Stafford (27-38 for 343 yards, 4 TDs/0 INT) and Sean McVay…I thought they’d buckle under TB defensive pressure. Instead, the Bucs had little pressure and the Rams carved it up as the Bucs were unaware that Cooper Kupp (9-96-2/12) gets the majority of the targets. He was left open all game with weak 1-on-1 coverage. Kupp is making a run to be the #1 overall Fantasy WR for 2021.

 -- This was the type of Gio Bernard (9-51-1/10) work I was hoping to see more of prior. I know this was a down game and TB throwing a lot, but I wanted this AND thought Gio would see more looks in the regular offense/regular games…because of exactly what he did here – he’s a weapon. All we can assume is – there is no plan for Gio, except in a deficit…and that’s not reliable for FF.

However, the Bucs run game is so bad…might Gio start to see more work with Fournette as a ballcarrier…with the added bonus of being that comfortable dump pass?

 -- Last week, Jalen Ramsey (8 tackles) watched Michael Pittman breakout all over…with Ramsey never really going to cover him. Instead, Ramsey focused on Jack Doyle and Michael Strachan. This week, Mike Evans (8-106-0/10) and Chris Godwin (6-74-0/7) didn’t see a Ramsey clamp down. Do we no longer worry about Ramsey shutting down #1 WRs?

 

SEA-MIN

 -- Sure, now Tyler Conklin (7-70-1/8) has a big game…

I thought/pushed in the preseason that he would push to become a TE1 more than TE2 this season (PPR), but I gave that notion up last week. Well, I guess we might be back on the table. I will say, Conklin looked good here!! Because he is good. I just do not know if this is a blip or new reality-ish.

 -- Conklin was seeing ‘meh’ targeting Weeks 1-2 because K.J. Osborn (2-26-0/2) was becoming a great option/weapon. Well, Conklin popped this game…so Osborn has his lowest game of 2021.

Which one thrives Week 4? Not sure. Facing Cleveland on the fast track at home…I’d lean Osborn, but I’m not sure it can be confidently predicted ahead. 

 -- Chris Carson (12-80-1, 2-2-0/2) came up grabbing his hamstring in the 2nd-half of this game. I believe Alex Collins (2-8-0) would become the lead if Carson is out, but if Rashaad Penny gets cleared for Week 4…then it could be a mystery on who the lead might be with/if Carson gone.

*SIDE NOTE: How about that early identification of the Vikings as outright winners, as underdogs, over Seattle last week? Three-for-three on our best bets this season…all underdogs we called to outright win…and they did. We’re rolling there…due to get slapped soon, but rolling at this point.

 

GB-SF

 -- It seemed like it pained Kyle Shanahan to have to use Trey Sermon (10-31-1, 2-3-0/3)…so much so he was using fullbacks, WRs, and then a QB to lead his run game at various points. If Elijah Mitchell returns healthy next week – he will be the 49ers everything at RB.

 -- Deebo Samuel (5-52-0/10, 2-0-0) got a little of the opportunity I was hoping for in this game, but not as much as I hoped…he lined up in the backfield some but got a disappointing 2 carries. He made a couple ‘wow’ catches but dropped a couple others. He looked a little stiff, not his explosive self in this game. It, honestly, made me nervous about him going forward…my hopes of him as a WR1 are at risk of him being just a nice WR2.

 -- This may be the GB stars’ stat lines most every week ahead…

Aaron Rodgers (23-33 for 261 yards, 2 TDs/0 INTs)…good, but not FF-good in this era of 300+ yard passers with minimum of 2 passing TDs every week.

…and he throws everything to Davante Adams (12-132-1/18)…and no one can stop it.

Until Rodgers gets LT David Bakhtiari back after Week 6 (hopefully), I think he’ll be more fringe QB1 than that top 3 FF killer with all the ‘wow’ outputs. Never bet against Rodgers, but…three games so far and this 261-yard passing game was his season high.

 

 

 

  ===== FIVE PLAYERS…  =====

 

--KEEP IN MIND THIS WEEK…do you have a plan for ‘What if ____ (top player of yours) got COVID reserved this week?’ This is not the time to carry nine RBs just in case but have no viable QB to put forth if crisis hits. Do you have the proper or handcuffs…can you grab your opponents to keep them away in case they get hit with the issue? Make sure you have explored every angle of your and your opponent’s roster for this week, and checked the weather forecasts -- before you plan your waiver strategy.--

 

 

*** FIVE WAIVER PLAYERS 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) RB Chuba Hubbard, CAR (Grade C) *Again, note…not a grade on talent…just how important/urgent/great the waiver move is in context.

This is not going to be a 1:1 CMC replacement…not like how most #2 RBs come in and match the starter in these situations. It’s impossible to replace CMC as it is…but then Hubbard is NOTHING close to the talent CMC is.

Hubbard is a ‘C-D’ talent RB going to work with a bad QB, a weak O-Line, and not the easiest schedule – I don’t like Hubbard’s talent much at all, and I think Royce Freeman is better (but I know Rhule wants to push Chuba).

I only get Hubbard to sell off to the CMC owner…or I’m the CMC owner and I have no choice/I’m stuck.

 

2) TE Tyler Conklin, MIN (Grade C/D)

With TEs starting to die…and dry up on waivers – Conklin is coming off a great game. Conklin is 7th among all TEs in catches this season…not too shabby. 9th in total targets among TEs. I’ve been a fan, but assumed he was pushed as ide to K.J. Osborn seeing more work – but maybe not.

 

3) RB Gio Bernard, TB (Grade D+)

We’re about to hit the bye weeks and if you need shots at RBs with a pulse…there are not many to choose from right now – but Gio can be a contributor when the game script is right, like Week 3 – but there’s an opening, a crack in the window that TB might start using Gio more and Ronald Jones less/none ahead…now that the team has been exposed by the Rams (and they’re lucky Dallas didn’t beat them Week 1).

Could be a lesser version of or more erratic James White…or could be taking on more stability of work ahead. The possibility lands him on here.

 

4) WR Hunter Renfrow, LV (Grade D+)

5.3 rec., 68.0 yards, 0.33 TDs per game so far this season. He is the next best option from Darren Waller for Derek Carr…and Carr is throwing down some serious passing numbers.

 

5) WR Tim Patrick, DEN (Grade D+)

4.3 rec., 58.0 yards, 0.67 TDs per game so far this season…and now not only is Jerry Jeudy out, but K.J. Hamler is likely out now too. So much coverage attention goes to Courtland Sutton, Patrick can thrive as a bully #2 WR.

 

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***FIVE WAIVER PLAYERS TO DISTRUST***

 

1) QB Sam Darnold, CAR

Back-to-back 300+ yard games…people are getting excited about Sam and the (3-0) Panthers. The party is over, or isn’t as easy/wild & crazy when the schedule flips on them now. Sam put up yards against HOU last week and NO minus three key defenders the week prior. He’s just not that good.

 

2) RB Peyton Barber, LV

100+ yards rushing Week 3, so people will chase him in the RB desperation…but Josh Jacobs could be returning, and Barber is pretty terrible and facing a solid+ Chargers defense this week.

 

3) WR A.J. Green, ARI

Had a nice Week 3 against a Jacksonville team minus two starting corners. Just a blip. No consistency or excitement coming from AJG.

 

4) WR Anthony Miller, HOU

Lucky TD late Week 3…he still sucks. The mainstream loves him. Don’t fall for it.

 

5) WR Collin Johnson, NYG

Yes, the Giants are down WRs…but I wouldn’t think Collin Johnson is just going to ascend from the depths of the depth chart to be a sweet FF producer – especially not against the Saints Week 4. Johnson has some skills, but I don’t think they match being a winner for NYG.

 

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***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) WR Stefon Diggs, BUF

69-60-62 yards in his games this year…no splashy game yet. He’s not looking/producing like his preseason rankings/hype…it’s now or never to pay a discounted price. Still costly, but nowhere near commensurate with what he’s capable of.

Can you buy/steal from a panicker as a WR1.5/2.0 valuation?

 

2) WR Tyreek Hill, KC

Every once in a while, Hill disappears for two weeks and people who aren’t long-time Tyreek aficionados get mad and treat him like a generically good #1 WR who defenses have somehow figured out. He’s not cheap, but his price is down right now after two dud games the last two weeks.

Still costly, but usually unavailable…now possibly available.

 

3) WR Rondale Moore, ARI

A ghost Week 3. He’s the #3-4 target option a lot of the time, so there’s risk here for down games – but if you want in for Dynasty (yes), or redraft…a little window of cheaper opportunity MAY have opened up. The rookie new car smell is wearing off.

 

4) Cordarrelle Patterson, ATL

People are starting to appreciate him but they may not fully appreciate the upside he might have from here. Really becoming a receiving weapon…who sees goal line work, the rare times ATL gets down there. The possible #1 back here soon.

 

5) RB Ty’Son Williams, BAL

Everybody hates him…he’ll be cut in some leagues this week. This is the Ravens #1 RB…for a team built to run. This can still pay off ahead, especially for a nothing price. Stick him on the bench and wait and see what happens the next few weeks…in a world where everyone is RB loco.

 

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***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) WR Ja’Marr Chase, CIN

4 TDs in his first three games…the media is having a lovefest. None of his work I see is real sweet connections between QB-and-WR, nor do I see any great WR skills/routes, etc., happening – it’s more like Chase has been in the right place at the right time for some TDs…like Zach Pascal’s run recently.

Chase has received 7-4-5 for targets in games this season. Four and five targets the last two weeks…five this past week with Tee Higgins out. It’s just not real wonderful looking work.

 

2) WR Deebo Samuel, SF

Go some touches in the backfield Week 3 SNF and didn’t look like his quick self-running the ball. Didn’t get open well either…albeit against a tougher GB CB duo (Alexander/Stokes). With Aiyuk dying, Deebo gets extra attention. Jimmy G. is on borrowed time, and I’m not sure how well Lance + Deebo will work. It might be fine; it might be trouble. If you want to cash out while his FF numbers were pretty elevated, and you’re deep at WR and need pieces to trade for other things – here’s a candidate, a guy owned a lot by FFMers.

Not a must sell, but possibly a smart piece too among your deep WR depth chart.

 

3) RB Najee Harris, PIT (NON PPR)

The Steelers O-Line is so horrible that they hardly try to run it for a score near the goal line…he may not rush for a TD this season they way things look in Pittsburgh this year.

Three games…three under 4.0 ypc games, two under 3.0 ypc games. He’s averaging 3.1 yards per carry this season. Some of it on the O-Line…some of it on a very slow, stiff Najee. You better hope he sees 19 targets every week to get enough yards to make this FF-work.

He’s going to have numbers. I only keep putting him here because he’s held in super-high regard and can bring multiple assets in exchange if desired.

 

4) RB Zack Moss, BUF

3 TDs in his last two games. Everyone loves him…it’s a good time to try to cash out on him, if you own him. He’s the backup/split with Devin Singletary in an offense that doesn’t usually spit numbers to the RBs anyway.

 

5) WR Odell Beckham, CLE

He’s back. Solid 2021 debut game. Big name in a low volume passing game – you can trade the name for more than you should.

 

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***FIVE DEEP SLEEPER WAIVER PICKUPS***

*Total flyer/lowly owned or not-owned players

 

1) RB Royce Freeman, CAR

IF-IF-IF McCaffrey’s injury keeps him out longer than expected…and that’s possible…then Freeman, the more talented back than Chuba, would have time to seize control of the backfield. At least, that’s how it looks in my daydream.

I think Freeman is better than Hubbard, and Carolina can’t mess around with a rookie RB over his head to lead the team fighting for the playoffs. This only works if CMC is out an extended time to allow Royce to seize the role. If CMC only out 1-2 weeks, then it’s a shot Royce is a handcuff down the road.

 

2) Alex Collins, SEA

Chris Carson came up limping in Week 3 but returned to the game…if Carson has something bothering him this week and is out – I believe Collins assumes the Carson role.

 

3) TE Dawson Knox, BUF

A TD in each of the last two games. Including the playoffs, he has 8 TDs in his last 11 games. 2-4 catches, 20-50 yards…but he does get TDs. It’s something in a TE despair world.

 

4) RB J.J. Taylor, NE

If James White is out/done, Taylor will get a shot at assuming some/a lot of the White role…just not as experienced or adept in it, but he’s a gamer.

 

5) QB Trey Lance, SF

We’re moving closer and close to Lance taking over. It’s gonna be when the 49ers are really kinda ‘out of it’…like at (2-3) or (2-4), if that happens. If after Week 5, they are maybe (2-3) with three straight losses, they have a Week 6 bye – that might be the time Lance debuts Week 7.

You like Lance in 4pts per pass TD league…not near as much in 6pts per pass TD leagues. But he’s going to put up FF points with his legs well enough to be plausible in any format.

 

6) WR Josh Gordon, KC 

I mean...this always fails. He’s likely past his prime, but KC has such terrible WRs outside of Tyreek Hill...maybe this has a glimmer of hope? DOubtful, but not zero%. 


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 -- FIVE…IT’S OK TO QUIT THEM PLAYERS (for REDRAFT) --

 

1) WR Braxton Berrios, NYJ

Week 3 was his first down game, stat-wise, of 2021. The Jets offense is dreadful and unreliable. Keelan Cole started seeing touches. Jamison Crowder is coming back. No need to hold unless a deeper roster league where when the Jets deal Crowder, some space will open up for Berrios to be a WR3/Flex in bye weeks…maybe, IF Crowder is gone. Too many Ifs. Not a special player.

 

2) DST Carolina Panthers *TRUE SUNDAY…BUT NOT TRUE MONDAY with the C.J. Henderson trade*

What I wrote Sunday night: I’m a fan, and I thank them for their service Week 3…and 2…and 1. However, I believed this was a three-week play, and now the three weeks are up and DAL-PHI-MIN ahead…and WITHOUT Jaycee Horn is an extra killer. Time to move/stream on.

Monday late add-on: I’d rather have Horn here, but CJH really helps this otherwise talented defensive unit. We move from ‘SELL’ to ‘HOLD” on the Panthers, depending upon available DSTs and how you stream, etc.

 

3) WR Freddie Swain, SEA

Long TD last week, led to a good week…and people jumped in on him as a flyer for Week 3. Ehhh, no. David Moore could have let you know how this would play out. D’Wayne Eskridge takes his job back upon clearance to play this week or next. The Seattle #3 WR spot is a lonely place for consistent FF production.

 

4) WR/TE Juwan Johnson, NO

Well, that was fun. Two TDs in his debut Week 1…and everyone wanting this to be the beginning of the next Darren Waller. Ehhh, no…he’s not that good. One catch on 4 targets since that week. Moving on.

 

5) WR Russell Gage, ATL

He’s a body to own for deeper PPR leagues, maybe. But the Falcons offense is putrid, and outside of Calvin Ridley, among the WRs/TEs, no one else matters…unless you’re talking hot Lee Smith action.

 

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***STREAMING DSTs OFF WAIVER(?) OPTIONS***--

 

1) Saints-DST

They were 60%+ owned for Week 2, but then dropped after losing to Carolina…and (I guess) for facing the vaunted Patriots. They got Lattimore and Gardner-Johnson back. Bradley Roby barely played Week 3…once he’s up and running then this defense is even better.

Great next two weeks then the schedule turns ugly starting with a BYE Week 5. This is for the next two weeks and then going to have to maneuver from there.

Week 4: NYG

Week 5: WSH

 

 

2) Cowboys-DST

A nice three week stretch coming up…

Week 4 hosting Carolina without CMC.

Week 5 hosting NYG

Week 6 at NE

 

 

3) Titans-DST

Decent defense…but at NYJ and at JAX the next two weeks isn’t bad, and then you drop from there (BUF-KC Weeks 7-8).

 

4) Bengals-DST

Week 4 vs. JAX is good, but then GB Week 5.

 

5) Raiders-DST

They’re an OK defense. Been solid enough with good energy.

Week 4: @LAC – no good

Week 5: CHI – this you can use.

Week 6: at DEN – possible use if nothing else more interesting is available.

 

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 -- Sleeper/lesser-name IDP’s whose box scores or live watch caught my attention --

 

1) LB De’Vondre Campbell, GB

One of Ross Jacobs favorite defenders to watch on tape – 12 tackles Week 3, 13 tackles Week 2. He’s become a leader of the GB defense despite being added/signed late in the preseason. How was this guy available all summer and no one in the NFL touched him? It’s the NFL…and he’s not a magical unicorn rookie, so he’s a nobody to the ‘smarts’.

 

2) LB Quincy Williams, NYJ

One of my (RC’s) favorite defenders to watch on tape in the past. He’s started the last 2 games for NYJ and is averaging 5.5 tackles, 1.5 TFLs in those two games.

 

3) CB Tyson Campbell, JAX

Campbell has started the last 2 weeks. C.J. Henderson was put inactive Week 3 (I bet to get traded this week). Urban Meyer wants to push Campbell…and Campbell is not a great cover guy (to me) but is a good tackler, so he might get a ton of throws his way to make IDP stats on. 8 tackles Week 3.

 

4) DE Ola Adeniyi, TEN

His snaps are increasing (from 8-3-29 snaps Weeks 1-2-3). The past two weeks he has 1.0 and 1.5 sacks in games and 4 QB hits total in 32 snaps played the last 2 weeks. Not sure if something is developing or not, but we’re watching.

 

5) LB Derrick Barnes, DET

The pending move of Jamie Collins is supposedly in part to advance Barnes – who started Week 3, played 48% of the snaps and had 4 tackles. He’s going to be a 100%^ snap guy soon, and IDP numbers should be nice on a porous DET defense.

 

6) LB Kaden Elliss, NO

I continue to keep an eye on him. He’s plying 40% +/- of the snaps but his numbers are slowly starting to happen. 4 tackles, 1 QB hit Week 3. Not IDP worthy yet but watching to see if he’s about to turn towards becoming worthy ahead.

 

 

Outro…

This was me trying to find the right answer at Flex this week, too many times:  https://youtu.be/NMS7OB7WRDY

 

 



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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

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