Neely’s 2022 Fantasy Football Portfolio

Week 15 Faves & Fades

Faves and Fades is a weekly installment that focuses on players who you might be deciding between in your flex spot. We won’t be talking about any of the biggest producers here because you are going to start them regardless of the matchup. These players will be low-end WR 2 – Waiver wire range. The flex spot is oftentimes the sweatiest decision and also the X factor that can decide the matchup. This ones for the Gunslingers.

Last Week Recap

Faves

  • Elliot / 15 rushes 62 yards 1 TD, 5 targets 3 receptions 19 yards: 17.10 PPR points
  • Pollard / 10 rushes  42 yards 1 TD . 5 targets 4 receptions 20 yards 1 TD: 21.20 PPR Points
  • Jared Goff QB Lions / 27-39 completions 330 yards 3 TD: 39 PPR Points
  • Daniel Bellinger TE Giants / 3 targets 3 receptions 19 yards: 3.40 PPR Points
  • Marquise Brown WR Cardinals / 8 targets 4 receptions 34 yards: 5.40 PPR Points

Fades

  • Michael Gallup WR Cowboys / 6 targets 2 receptions 40 yards: 5 PPR Points
  • George Pickens WR Steelers / 3 targets 3 receptions 78 yards: 9.30 PPR Points
  • Cam Akers RB Rams / 12 rushes 42 yards 1 TD 1 target 1 reception 1 yard: 10 PPR Points
  • Nico Collins WR Texans / OUT

What We Learned

Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard did exactly what we expected them too against a porous Texans run defense but their secondary once again proved to be their strongest link and forced a couple of interceptions from Dak and this led to Gallup only having two catches. However, he was targeted 6 times so if you need to rely on Gallup going forward it’s not anything to be super worried about and more so just confirms that as bad as the Texans are, their secondary can hold their own even if every other part of the team fails around them. Nico Collins on the other side of this game ended up being out for the contest and Chris Moore absorbed over 50% of the targets and hauled in 10 of Davis Mills’ 16 completions.

Cam Akers once again finds the endzone turning his 4 point day into a 10 point day and Kyren Williams still seems to be the more explosive back when watching them both play. They are likely managing Akers’ attitude on his role for next season. Jared Goff absolutely went bonkers and looked like they should be atop the division last week. Jameson Williams got involved with a 41-yard TD so their offense is only getting scarier and scarier. I would love to see them sneak into the playoffs and make some noise. Daniel Bellinger looked like he was going to have a TE 1 week until his rib injury in the second quarter that ended up getting him yanked from the game in the fourth quarter.

Marquise Brown got good volume even with Kyler Murray going down but his ceiling is going to be lower with Colt McCoy throwing him the ball. Maybe after another week of McCoy getting first-team reps things improve and regardless Brown will remain a huge part of this offense. George Pickens was only thrown the ball three times but surely made the most of it getting 78 yards. One of those catches was a big deep shot in which he made a great play jumping up to get it and hanging on to the ball. He also had a red zone target that wasn’t registered because of a flag so maybe the squeaky wheel is getting the oil. 

Week 15 Faves

James Conner RB / Cardinals vs Broncos

James Conner has been producing most right when you need him to and sometimes nothing feels better than to sit back and ride the wave. He has the backfield practically to himself and the volume to show for it. He’s running hard and making plays while getting involved in the passing game. The Broncos seem like they might be a bad matchup but they have allowed the 8th most rushing yards this season and the Cardinals might be looking to take advantage of that. Colt McCoy is a serviceable QB and allows the offense to run the same as it did with Kyler minus the designed QB runs/scrambles. Does this mean they will want to put the game in his hands by having him throw against a defense allowing an average of under 200 passing yards a game. That stat includes Patrick Mahomes’ 352 yards last week as well. McCoy is no Mahomes and while Marquise Brown looked back fully healthy and DeAndre Hopkins at full steam does give him good options I don’t think this game looks anything like the matchup last week for the Broncos. I think James Conner will be the focal point of the offense this week and will produce RB 1 numbers once again. 

Mike White QB / Jets vs Lions

This is the matchup all fantasy owners salivate for. If you find yourselves streaming QBs at this point or choosing between low-end QB 1 options look no further than Mike White. He took some huge hits last week and his health is in question but he finished the game despite his potential injuries and threw for 100+ more yards than his opponent Josh Allen last week. The kid is tough as nails and talented. The Lions have been a bad all-around defense all year but most recently their run defense has been stepping up making it even more likely for a boom week from White. The Lions haven’t been able to stop the pass all season and the Jets have tons of weapons. Their running backs are fully capable of getting involved in the passing game as well and Michael Carter is also 100% healthy again adding another great dynamic to their game. Wilson has been excelling in the WR 1 role under White and Elijah Moore has been getting “Moore” involved and we will talk “Moore” about that….

Elijah Moore WR / Jets vs Lions 

…right now. Elijah Moore is finally an actual part of this offense. After a bizarre beginning to the year for the talented young WR he has now started to find his groove and is getting involved with respectable target numbers. Mike White looked to Elijah Moore 10 times last week resulting in 6 receptions and 60 yards. It was an ugly game with ugly conditions but Moore was the trusted man that White was looking to. Wilson is obviously the WR 1 but even he was out-targeted by Moore showing the potential ceiling Moore has in this new role. He is being used as a motion man and is clearly the number 1 option in some of these plays. The great thing about Moore is that he can be found on waivers right now. If you are desperate for a WR play you might not only get a serviceable week but a league-winning week out of Elijah Moore. 

Tyler Lockett WR / Seahawks vs 49ers

Tyler Lockett is an explosive weapon every offense wishes they had. He has blazing speed for downfield shots and can play a great slot role as well. While the 49ers defense is great they have been weak at one spot all year. The slot. Kupp burned them both times he played them as well as Lockett himself and even Greg Dortch gave them the business. All WR 1 fantasy outings. All in division rivals as well. Teams know their division rivals better than anyone. The Seahawks already exposed this weakness last time they played and I’m willing to bet they will expose it this time as well. Kenneth Walker has no injury designation going into the game but is coming off a weird injury no one is very sure about. Lockett will be a featured part of the offense in this great divisional matchup.

Week 15 Fades 

Chris Moore WR / Texans vs Chiefs

I know Chris Moore may have bailed you out off the waivers last week but I think the “Texas” bowl gave the Texans a reason to fight harder than they had all season due to it being pretty much over before it started. They gave a nice fight and Chris Moore absorbed 10 of the 16 completions Davis Mills made all game. With Dameon Pierce out this offense will be a shell of itself which was already a pretty hollow shell to begin with. Don’t convince yourself Chris Moore is now a reliable option as you’re going into the first week of your playoffs. Thank him for saving your ass last week and move on. You don’t want any part of this offense this week.

Jerrick McKinnon RB / Chiefs vs Texans

Jerick McKinnon had his way with the Denver defense last week. His workload seemed more of an on the fly adjustment to his extreme success with the ball in his hands. In other words last week they were just feeding the hot hand. He still only had 6 rushes. All his production came from the passing game which as I said seemed more of an adjustment than a game plan they had going in. The Texans are very susceptible to the run but I think that benefits Pacheco more than Mckinnon. Maybe you are in the position where Mckinnon is your only option but he’s probably been on your bench pretty much all year so be careful about changing that now.

Jameson Williams WR / Lions vs Jets

First round wideouts have been very successful this year so I don’t blame you if you’re excited about Williams’ long touchdown last week. Like I said with McKinnon if you have no other option then go ahead and throw caution to the wind but sometimes the floor play is the better option. The Lions are not mathematically out of the playoffs this year but I still don’t think they plan on making Williams a regular part of this offense unless they do magically slip into the playoffs. He’s talented enough to where he could do some damage on the few scripted plays or snaps they allow him but betting on a low volume played during the first week of playoffs is risky business. Chris Moore, Jerick McKinnon, and Jameson Williams all seem like trap plays to me this week and I want to stay away from them when building my playoff lineups. 

Week 14 Faves & Fades

Faves and Fades is a weekly installment that focuses on players who you might be deciding between in your flex spot. We won’t be talking about any of the biggest producers here because you are going to start them regardless of the matchup. These players will be low-end WR 2 – Waiver wire range. The flex spot is oftentimes the sweatiest decision and also the X factor that can decide the matchup. This ones for the Gunslingers.

Last Week’s Recap

Last week was not a fun week for me. The Rams fan in me led me to believe we would for some reason contain Tyler Lockett but instead he had his best game of the year. Hope you didn’t listen to me on that one. Or Kyren Williams… although I think that surprised a lot of people. He had 70% of the snaps last week and the Rams are amidst a busted season where they need to evaluate who they got. They played very hard and Cam Akers’ familiarity with the Seahawks may have led McVay to trust him more in this game and potentially going forward who knows with this team, just stay away altogether for the playoffs.

Dameon Pierce had a decent day again and could have had an amazing day with a TD. That’s the kind of upside and floor you want from a player in your lineup. Maybe Chase Claypool is still learning the playbook… because in a week with no Mooney he still only manages 28 yards. He did get 6 targets and 5 catches and was on the field alot more than his first few weeks but his “breakout” might not come till next year. Aiyuk had a healthy 9 targets but didn’t do much with them. I love his consistent role and he’s one of my favorite lineup locks rest of the season.

Singletary ran in a TD giving you a useful week if you had to use him. Robinson continued chugging along with 21 carries. They love giving this kid the ball. Elliot and Pollard torched the Colts defense. Elliot is in the middle of this weird resurgence in which he has scored over 15 points 5 weeks in a row despite pollard also dominating and being less explosive cause of his age. I thought the Colts would poke a hole in his armor but to be fair it’s hard to beat the cowboys during this end-of-season hype stage before they inevitably choke in the playoffs. 

Faves

Brandon Aiyuk WR 49ers / 9 targets 5 receptions 46 yards: 9.60 PPR points
Juwan Johnson TE Saints / OUT
Chase Claypool WR Bears / 6 targets 5 receptions 28 yards: 5.80 PPR Points
Dameon Pierce RB Texans / 18 rushes 73 yards 3 targets 3 receptions 22 yards: 12.50 PPR points 
Kyren Williams RB Rams / 3 rushes 9 yards 1 targets 0 receptions: 0.90 PPR Points 

Fades

Brian Robinson RB Commanders / 21 rushes 96 yards 2 targets 2 receptions 15 yards: 13.10 PPR points
Ezekiel Elliot RB Cowboys / 17 rushes 77 yards 1 TD 3 targets 3 receptions 14 yards: 18.10 PPR Points
Tyler Lockett WR Seahawks / 12 targets 9 receptions 128 yards 1 TD: 27.80 PPR Points 
Devin Singletary RB Bills / 13 rushes 51 yards 1 TD 2 targets 0 receptions: 11.10 PPR points 

Week 14 Faves

Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard, RB / Cowboys vs Texans

I made some bad calls last week and to atone for those sins I’ll give the Cowboys backfield the respect they deserve. If you find yourself with one of these pieces at this point in the season you should consider yourself lucky that this juicy matchup has found you in what is the last game of the season or the first week of the playoffs. Houston is a hot mess right now and the cowboys are surging. This one should get ugly fast and both Elliot and Pollard should feast on one of the worst run defenses in the NFL as there will be little reason for the boys to air It out. 

Jared Goff, QB / Lions vs Vikings 

The Lions want to prove themselves a legitimate team and who better to prove that against than the division leaders? Plus Goff has been somewhat of a gunslinger this year. He’s had his few dud games but more often than not they have needed to rely on his arm and he has delivered. They have won 5 of their last 6 and lost some of the early games purely because of their terrible defense. The Vikings defense has proved to be very beatable this year and now swift is healthy. A fully healthy backfield with the addition of Jameson Williams who will only get more and more involved has me salivating for Goff during the playoffs. If you have had QB injuries recently but find yourself in the playoffs (Tua, Lamar, Jimmy G owners I’m looking at you) spend the rest of your FAAB on Goff. They will have to compete in every game as they try to stay within sniffing territory of the playoffs. I think Goff explodes for 30+ in this heated divisional matchup. 

Daniel Bellinger TE / Giants vs Eagles

Bellinger might get the most targets in this game realistically. Before his injury, he was splitting TE snaps with Tanner Hudson who was typically the third down TE for the Giants. Bellinger has returned and Hudson has been released. The only other time Bellinger has had over 90% of the snaps was in week 6 against the Ravens where he turned in his best performance yet. He received a healthy 5 targets in his return last week and now the Giants find themselves going against the team with the best record in the NFL and an amazing secondary to go along with that. The Giants will need to be creative with how they score cause Daniel Jones isn’t going to be carving them up through the air. We might see a lot of Daniel Jones runs and heavy Saquan usage since the one thing the Eagles have trouble with is stopping the run. When Jones does go to the air I think he will be using his safety blanket TE more often than not and he’s also an amazing red zone weapon for this team. I think Bellinger gets a TD this week and a healthy amount of targets which is all you can hope for in a TE these days that isn’t Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews 

Marquise Brown WR / Cardinals vs Patriots

The Cardinals are giving the Rams a run for their money on the messiest team in the NFC west right now. One shining light on the season has been Marquise Brown and he slid right back into his normal voluminous role immediately. The Cardinals will probably be without Rondale Moore again as well so the targets will be plenty with Marquise Brown. He has had 8 or more targets in every game since week 1 and has turned in 4 double-digit target games in the 6 weeks he’s played since week 1 as well. He’s a staple in this offense and a talented one with high-end speed. Which coincidentally The Patriots have trouble with. I think we see Brown break a few downfield plays Sunday and you don’t want that on your bench. 

Week 14 Fades

George Pickens WR / Steelers vs Ravens 

They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease but for many of you, this week potentially has your whole season on the line. Either the first week in the fantasy football playoffs or you are playing the last game of the regular season to see if you get in. George Pickens has certainly shown flashes and is the de facto WR 1 in this offense meaning he has great potential but his comments earlier this week scare me a little. He reportedly is unhappy with his target share and maybe Mike Tomlin fixes that by force-feeding him the ball or he teaches the rookie a lesson and doesn’t give in to his demands. Either way, I want none of it this week. Kenny Pickett has great moxy but he isn’t the most accurate thrower of the football even when he is giving Pickens targets. Pickens could obviously have a huge game because of his talent but in a week so important he’s not someone I want to depend on in my lineup.

Michael Gallup WR / Cowboys vs Texans

The Texans have only allowed QBs to score 20+ fantasy points three times this season. Despite them being probably the worst team in the NFL right now they have a respectable passing defense. Their run defense is what’s truly atrocious and ends up doing them in seemingly every game. Elliot and Pollard are poised to have huge days on what should be a cakewalk of a game. I think Gallup cools off a little from his recent hot streak more so from the game script than anything   

Cam Akers RB / Rams vs Raiders

The Rams have been on a long losing streak. I think last week was a really important week for them to try and get a win against the division leader and stand up for themselves a bit after getting beaten down so terribly all season. Bobby Wagner was looking for a nice revenge game as well and played great. John Wolford drew the start who has a history of winning against the Seahawks and Cam Akers got the lion’s share of the carries, in my opinion, because he is the veteran in the backfield that has played the Seahawks many many times now. I think Akers will still be atop the depth chart but I don’t think he will dominate the backfield like that again. I think McVay was hyper-focusing on Akers trying to get that win. Akers was still relatively inefficient and Kyren Williams should see himself back on the field more and more eliminating any hope for a bell cow role for Akers and I want nothing to do with a running back committee on one of the worst offenses in football right now. 

Nico Collins WR / Texans vs Cowboys

With Brandin Cooks seemingly out for the season because he has no incentive whatsoever to take a step back on the field Nico Collins has found himself a popular streaming option. Davis Mills is also returning this week which bodes well for his productivity he’s a 6’4 monster that is a huge mismatch for just about anyone in the red zone but the Texans are atrocious this year and they are about to play the most explosive defense in the NFL with Trevon Diggs getting plenty of looks on Collins throughout the game. Davis Mills might be sacked more times than he completes the ball. Maybe that’s a stretch but don’t talk yourself into a WR 1 on the worst team in football just cause he “should” get the work. Collins can be a nice playoff play depending on the matchup but stay away from the one with the Boys this week it’s gonna get ugly. 

Week 13 Buy Low – Sell High

BUY LOW and SELL HIGH is a weekly installment that will aim to evaluate the performances from the previous week and season at large and identify targets that might have peaked already or are about to peak. Being on the right side of those swings in production is crucial to fantasy football success. I will offer advice on how to maximize the value available to you through name value and recent performance bias.

Buy Low

Dameon Pierce RB, Texans

There is a narrative that Dameon Pierce is no longer a star in fantasy matchups and that means beautiful things for those looking to acquire him. He’s scored under double digits the last two weeks due to being tied to a terrible team alternating between backup caliber QBs as their starter. He hasn’t scored under double digits since before he was a featured part of the offense in weeks 1 and 2. That means since he has become the workhorse he has the same number of dud games as Justin Jefferson (2) and has made you happy every other time you started him. If you see Dameon Pierce on someone’s benched because they have talked themselves into believing they have a better option then send him an offer. Their mindset on Pierce is in the perfect spot for poaching him and you’ll enjoy rostering a strong RB2 with RB1 upside during the playoffs.

AJ Dillon RB, Packers

I know its weird to tell you to buy low on AJ Dillon after he just had his first double-digit performance since Week 1 but I know there is a large number of AJ Dillon owners everywhere who will be looking for buyers because they have held onto him for too long and can’t drop him but don’t want to go back to starting him so their only option is to move him and you might be able to get him for really cheap. I think Dillon has value because last week showed how great of an asset he can be if he had just a little more touchdown equity. He had a typical AJ Dillon last week. 60+ yards on the ground with a few receptions that would have totaled to another single-digit week if not for the touchdown. His volume is consistent enough to where if he gets a touchdown he becomes a top-15 back he just hasn’t had a lot of them this year. With the Packers likely not going to the playoffs this year Aaron Jones and Aaron Rodgers could find themselves shut down and AJ Dillon could provide some great value during the playoffs after disappointing fantasy players everywhere all season. If you are trying to plug a hole in a league with multiple flex spots I think Dillon is a great target. 

Sell High

Brian Robinson RB, Commanders

Brian Robinson’s biggest obstacle to dependable fantasy production over the next few weeks is actually scheduling. His next two games are against the Giants with a bye week in the middle during week 14… the start of the fantasy playoffs. So even if he goes off against the Giants and strings together another 20+ fantasy day (Which I don’t think he will since he’s a FADE of mine this week) you’ll have to wait to see if you advance past the first round to use him again. Plus he’s playing the same team so IF he does go off he will be a focal point of the Giants defense for sure the next time they play in round 2 of your playoffs. He’s had nice games this season and just dropped 20 so sell him off now and get someone you can depend on throughout your whole playoff run. 

Miles Sanders RB, Eagles 

Miles Sanders is a good player on a great team with lots of weapons and a great running QB. He can have big boom weeks but his floor is very low as well so since this is the last week, most likely, for you to trade players then take advantage of a big 31-point game spike to his value and see if you can upgrade your team for the playoff run. You will truly be rolling the dice with Sanders in the playoffs. Surprisingly he’s also not very involved in the passing game at all so your also depending on a big rushing day or you might find yourself with your RB2 putting up 5 points for you in the playoffs as he’s done three times this year. I could see you being able to trade Miles Sanders for Dameon Pierce + another piece you need. See what offers the starting running back for the best team in the NFL can get you after a 30-point performance. It might just be the move that secures your ring. 

Week 13 Faves and Fades

Faves and Fades is a weekly installment that focuses on players who you might be deciding between in your flex spot. We won’t be talking about any of the biggest producers here because you are going to start them regardless of the matchup. These players will be low-end WR 2 – Waiver wire range. The flex spot is oftentimes the sweatiest decision and also the X factor that can decide the matchup. This ones for the Gunslingers.

Last Week Recap

Faves

  • Terrace Marshall, WR Panthers / 3 Targets 1 Reception 8 yards: 1.8 PPR Points
  • Tom Brady, QB  Buccaneers / 43-29 246 Yards 2 TD1 rush 2 Yards: 22.04 PPR Points
  • Rachaad White, RB Buccaneers / 14 rushes 64 yards 9 targets 9 receptions 45 yards: 19.90 PPR Points
  • Michael Carter, RB Jets / 6 Rushes 21 Yards 2 Targets 15 Yards: 5.60 PPR Points
  • David Njoku, TE Browns / 7 Targets 5 Receptions 29 yards 1 TD: 13.90 PPR Points
  • Kyren Williams, RB Rams / 11 Rushes 35 Yards 3 Targets 3 Receptions 25 Yards: 9 PPR Points

Fades

  • Jamaal Williams, RB  Lions / 18 Rushes 66 Yards 1 TD: 9.6 PPR Points
  • Leonard Fournette, RB  Buccaneers / (OUT)
  • Cordarelle Patterson, RB  Falcons / 11 Rushes 52 Yards 5 Targets 3 Receptions 19 Yards: 10.10 PPR Points
  • Christian Watson, WR  Packers / 6 Targets 4 Receptions 110 Yards 1 TD: 24 PPR Points

What We Learned

DJ Moore had the game I thought Terrace Marshall would have. Tom Brady continued his upward trend of playing QB1 football again with another 20+ point performance. Rachaad White capitalized on uncle Lenny sitting this one out and almost put up 20 himself. Michael Carter was headed for a huge game that his teammates ended up enjoying instead once he was sidelined with an injury. David Njoku is back. He’s hands down a Lineup Lock especially now with his upgrade at QB going from Jacoby Brissett to he who must not be named. Kyren Williams got 70% of the snap count and outperformed Cam Akers who started the game atop the depth chart. Jamaal Williams saved his day from a truly terrible one with his touchdown. The man is a TD magnet but he was very inefficient on the ground against a great defense as predicted. Cordarelle Patterson did alright with his opportunities but as we talked about with him last week he’s simply not getting enough of them to be a staple in your lineup. Chrisitan Watson gave me the middle finger while he took his 7-yard slant 64 yards to the house. Untouched. That young man is FAST. 

Week 13 Faves

Brandon Aiyuk, WR – 49ers vs Dolphins 

I’m very excited about this game. The top two most exciting offenses in football playing against each other has me excited for elite production from the 1’s (Hill, Waddle, Deebo, and Kittle). Since this article focuses mainly on flex options and I only wanted to choose one player from this game I believe in the most I’m choosing Aiyuk. Mostert and Jeff Wilson will have their eyes set on their revenge game against the 49ers. Mostert seemingly sat out against HOU to get ready for this week. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mike McDaniel plans to get them both in the endzone but the 49ers defense is no joke and either one could have THE game you want so that’s why I would start Ayiuk over both of them if given the opportunity in a flex. Aiyuk’s place in the game plan for San Francisco is consistent and filled with volume. He’s on the field for almost every play and isn’t dependent on explosive gadget plays for huge games. He’s caught multiple touchdowns multiple times this year and has a great relationship with Jimmy G. While both Head coaches try to outduel each other with the cute schematics Ayiuk will be that dependent option Jimmy G returns to over and over in this game that should be very high scoring. 

Juwan Johnson, TE – Saints vs Buccaneers

JJ dropped a goose egg last week which hurt everyone who started him. The 49ers stopped the Saints from putting up a single point though so I think we should erase that game from our minds and remember how he is practically the WR 2 in this offense. Considering he is literally a converted wide receiver it makes sense why Dalton returns to him consistently. Brady is playing at a different level than he was in the first meeting and I think this will push the game into a high-scoring affair which Juwan Johnson is bound to get a piece of  

Chase Claypool, WR – Bears vs Packers 

Chase Claypool bodied Sauce Gardner last week on one of his two receptions last week. The talent is undeniable. He’s no doubt up to speed and knows enough of the playbook to be on the field more and now Darnell Mooney is out of the year. If Chase Claypool slots into the WR1 slot for a returning Justin Fields then he could boom in a big way in what’s sure to be a competitive divisional game. He doubled his snap percentage from 30-40% in the last three weeks to 67% so everything is indicating a much more voluminous role for this talented young wideout itching to show his new team what he can do.

Dameon Pierce, RB – Texans vs Browns

Houston is a bad team and unfortunately, that has been dampening Dameon Pierce’s fantasy output but the Browns are not good against the run. They have given up 190+ yards three times this year. I’m not saying Dameon Pierce is going to give you 200 yards this week but I think we can all stop the talks of benching him. There is a chance you might have a better option depending on how you drafted but don’t get too wild with who you consider subbing him out for. He has an amazing combination of talent and guaranteed opportunity that very few fantasy players possess. He has been successful all season despite the matchup and hasn’t scored under double digits since before he wasn’t featured in the offense in Weeks 1 and 2. Don’t let Dameon Pierce drop 15-25 points on your bench this week. 

Kyren Williams, RB – Rams vs Seahawks

Kyren Williams played 70% of the snaps after Cam Akers was slated to start the game. He outperformed the starter and played more because of it. I wouldn’t be surprised if he outright started this week. If he’s not named the starter I think it would purely be a PR move on trying to manage Akers who’s already shown his ass this year after not being happy with his role. Williams provided a nice spark on multiple drives and was a big reason why the Rams were able to keep it competitive until the Chiefs started running away with it in the third quarter. He got first downs with his receptions and I think has secured the pass-catching role despite Aker’s involvement from here on out. I am doubling up on Kyren Williams this week because I think I was just a week early on his breakout. The Rams have had an embarrassingly bad season and I think will be looking to go in and play a hard game against their newly rejuvenated division rivals that they usually beat up on. I don’t know if the Rams can win this game but they are very low on weapons and McVay might be forced to feed his young running back the ball as he currently might be the most talented weapon they have with Allen Robinson now out for the season as well. 

Week 13 Fades 

Brian Robinson, RB – Commanders vs Giants  

Brian Robinson had a great game last week but the Giants are playing good football this season. They have been able to endure all of their offensive injuries because of great play-calling and great performances from their defense. I don’t see Washington being able to go into New York and bully them with Robinson up the middle. He has more games with zero targets than games with targets at all so with the discouraging matchup I might stay away from Robinson this week If I can. 

Ezekiel Elliot, RB – Cowboys vs Colts 

Zeke has been surprisingly consistent this season and has produced very few true dud weeks. He is force-fed the ball despite Pollard shining in a feature role every single time it’s given to him. The colts have only allowed three games all season where the running backs for a team COMBINED for 100 yards. I think Zeke is headed for a down week based on the matchup and will only be saved by a touchdown which he has gotten in the last four games. Maybe he extends the streak to five but I think not.

Tyler Lockett, WR – Seahawks vs Rams

The Rams have been pitiful all season but have not given up lots of huge plays to speedy receivers. Their defense isn’t an iron curtain but I think they will be disciplined enough to negate a big play from Lockett in a game in which they will want to play hard against their division rivals that they usually dominate. Plus Aaron Donald will be out so I think the rams will be run all over and the Seahawks simply won’t need to take deep shots to Lockett. I think the game script might eliminate a man of his talents from this game. 

Devin Singletary, RB – Bills vs Patriots

Every game Devin Singletary has had over 15 fantasy points has included a touchdown. He isn’t given enough volume to have a consistent floor with yardage totals. He randomly will get involved in the passing game but the Bills have so many weapons he’s not utilized that way unless it’s seemingly in a last resort situation and if he catches a pass it’s a dump-off leading to very few yards. Even when he is running well they don’t rely on him. He will never be a 20+ rushes player and has to make do with what he is given. With a tough PAtriots defense to go against I don’t think he finds his way to an overly productive fantasy day.

Week 12 Buy Low – Sell High

Buy Low and Sell High is a weekly installment that will aim to evaluate the performances from the previous week and season at large and identify targets that might have peaked already or are about to peak. Being on the right side of those swings in production is crucial to fantasy football success. I will offer advice on how to maximize the value available to you through name value and recent performance bias. 

Buy Low

Kyren Williams, RB – Rams

I already touched on him last week so I don’t want to go into too much detail but the Rams have waived Darrell Henderson which I think indicates Kyren Williams could be headed toward a full-time role in this offense as the Rams enter an evaluation period for next year. They already know what they have in Akers so if Williams is still on your waivers this week could be your last week to pick up what could turn into a consistent RB 2 here soon.

Jameson Williams, WR – Lions

The Lions are showing no signs of giving up on their season and potentially the most explosive weapon on their surprisingly explosive offense is about to enter the fold. All the first round draft picks have been killing it this year. I don’t know if we will see Jameson Williams against the Bills this week although they could probably use him, but he is returning to practice and will be hitting the field for the Lions this season. He’s an immensely talented player that could be a game-changer for fantasy owners during the playoffs. If he’s not already stashed in your league then go make the necessary roster changes. He’s a perfect pickup for anyone who’s a playoff team currently dealing with a Cooper Kupp-size hole.

Elijah Moore, WR – Jets

With Mike White named the starter, Elijah Moore becomes an intriguing possibility. His talent is undeniable and with a new pair of eyes scanning the field he might finally see some targets go his way. The Jets look like one of the better teams in the NFL and I don’t think they will continue to ignore one of their best options as they hope to compete with the best the NFL has to offer going into the playoffs. He could potentially be very very cheap and a worthwhile add if you have the room

Sell High

Samaje Perine, RB – Bengals

Samaje Perine did his best Tony Pollard impersonation after he took over for Mixon who left with a concussion. His explosive performance is perfect to capitalize on. Especially for scared Mixon owners but also to anyone struggling at that RB 2 spot. Concussions are unpredictable so Perine in a full-time role could be a valuable selling tool since you have a 30-point performance to point to as evidence of what he would do with it. This won’t be normal for Perine and Mixon will most likely be back sooner than later to reclaim his workload. It would be nice if you could swipe Swift from a terrified owner though so see what options you have out there!

Jamaal Williams, RB – Lions

Jamaal Williams is such a great guy to root for. Defying all odds and leading the league in rushing touchdowns this year. Now might be the perfect time to jump off the bandwagon here. A dominating three-touchdown performance has his value very high even though it’s inevitable Swift comes back and is let off this snap share count very soon here. It’s my prediction they wanted to keep him as healthy as possible for this game against the Bills. They haven’t shown any signs of giving up on their season and Jameson Williams might even make a cameo at the end of the season here. See if you can trade for a more consistent option that has no risk of losing his workload. A nice target might be Dameon Pierce who disappointed mightily last week but is still a bell cow back or maybe a David Montgomery now that Khalil Herbert is on IR. I understand if you wanna ride the Williams train but I’m scared of him losing steam right when you need it in the playoffs and championship. Lock up a more consistent option as deadlines approach and you make your title run.

Week 12 Faves & Fades

Faves and Fades is a weekly installment that focuses on players who you might be deciding between in your flex spot. We won’t be talking about any of the biggest producers here because you are going to start them regardless of the matchup. These players will be low-end WR 2 – Waiver wire range. The flex spot is oftentimes the sweatiest decision and also the X factor that can decide the matchup. This ones for the Gunslingers.

Last Week Recap

Faves

  • Brandon Aiyuk, WR 49ers / 4 Targets 2 receptions 20 yards 2 TDs: 16 PPR Points
  • Terry McLaurin, WR Commanders / 7 targets 4 receptions 55 yards 1 rush 1 yard: 9.6 PPR points
  • David Montgomery, RB Bears / 17 rush 67 yards 1 Td 4 tar 3 rec 54 yards 21.10 PPR 
  • Parris Campbell, WR Colts / 6 tar 5 rec 67 yards 11.7 PPR
  • Darius Slayton, WR Giants / 10 tar 5 rec 86 yards 13.6 PPR

Fades 

  • Brandin Cooks, WR Texans / 6 targets 3 receptions 70 yards: 10 PPR Points
  • Ben Skowronek / Allen Robinson, WR Rams/
    • Ben – 4 targets 1 reception 4 yards: 1.4 PPR Points 
    • Allen – 5 targets 4 receptions 47 yards: 14.7 PPR Points
  • Josh Palmer, WR Chargers / 10 tar 8 rec 106 yards 2 TDS 30.6 PPR Points
  • D’Onta Foreman, RB Panthers / 11 rush 24 yards 1 target: 2.4 PPR Points
  • James Connor, RB Cardinals / 14 rush 42 yards 1 TD 5 targets 2 receptions 12 yards: 13.4 PPR Points

What We Learned

Jimmy G tightened that relationship, even more, this week with two more touchdowns to Aiyuk. Aiyuk didn’t do much outside those two TDs but the 49ers didn’t really need him too as they handled their division rivals with ease the whole night. The game script kind of fell out of McLaurin’s favor but he still got 7 targets which led the team and remains Heinicke’s favorite target. David Montgomery did what we all expected and performed well in a full-time role with Herbert. Both Parris Campbell and Darius Slayton benefited once again as their QBs go-to guy. Brandin Cooks showed a little more life but he’s still primarily being used on very short crossing routes, out patterns, and 3-4 yard curls. I feel like they are focused on preserving him for their new QB next year rather than using him to the fullest extent to win games. Ben Skowronek didn’t emerge but Allen Robinson kinda did? His day was mostly saved by the touchdown which admittedly might become more common than not due to the lack of weapons in the Rams offense. Josh Palmer might as well have given me the middle finger but I know I wasn’t the only person who sat him for Kadarius Toney. I could focus on the fact that Mike Williams left early and Allen was supposedly on a snap count to save my ego but Palmer was involved early before Williams left and he’s obviously a good player. It makes one think how scary the Chargers could be if their WRs all get  100% before playoffs. I hope you took your second chance at selling Foreman after his juicy Falcons matchup last week. Sam Darnold is getting his shot at starting again and despite Foreman’s talent, they might not be in the position to give him a lot of volume the rest of the season due to being behind so much. James Connor saved his day with a touchdown as well which he will need to be to make you feel good about starting him cause after another 14 rush 42-yard performance it’s obvious he won’t be lighting it up on the ground. Even his five targets only produced 12 yards indicating more last-read dump-offs than designed passes.

Week 12 Faves

Terrace Marshall, WR – Panthers vs Broncos

After seeing his role transform into the full-time WR 2 in Carolina, Terrace Marshall has been showing what made him such an intriguing prospect not too long ago. He can make the tough catches and honestly reminds me a lot of George Pickens but just on a worse team. The Panthers are one of the worst teams in the league this season and they are in full evaluation mode about how they want to move forward after trading superstar running back Christian McCaffrey earlier in the season. Marshall’s newfound involvement in the offense indicates they want to see what they have in him and with DJ Moore likely drawing Patrick Surtain we might see Marshall get a lot of targets this week. Say what you want about Sam Darnold but he wants to stay in the NFL and I imagine in true Sam Darnold fashion, he will be willing to air it out to prove he belongs. Marshall might be in the perfect spot to capitalize on that.

Tom Brady, QB – Buccaneers vs Browns

Despite a terrible start to the season, the Buccaneers find themselves ahead of their division with only themselves to blame if they lose it. I truly felt like you could see Tom Brady’s helplessness in some of the games earlier in the season. Specifically the game against the Saints. It was something I had never seen while watching Tom play before and indicated that inevitable decline we all have been waiting for… but all that shit is gone now. His throws are looking crisp and he’s just got a huge boost from his new exciting running back whom we are about to get to next. He is surrounded by talented weapons and the fire has been re-lit in one of the greatest competitors of all time. Every game is win-now mode for the GOAT and I expect him to eat. Feel confident streaming Brady this week and know you may have found your QB that you will ride to a championship 

Rachaad White, RB – Buccaneers vs Browns

Rachaad White looked great with the opportunity he was given in his last game. He had quite the workload with 22 rushes which turned into 105 yards on the ground. Surprisingly no receptions but with his skill set that will change. Sometimes it can take a while for roles to change from one running back to the other but I think Brady will be urging the offense to use its best weapons regardless of supposed placement on the depth chart. Fournette will still have a role but I think his struggles have already put him behind a blossoming Rachaad White starting this week. 

Michael Carter, RB – Jets vs Bears

Although Justin Fields has been lighting the world on fire recently the Bears defense leaves a lot to be desired. They ended up in shootouts with Detroit and Atlanta the last two weeks and lost.. ? Fantasy excellence aside the Bears are still a struggling team. The Jets have an amazing defense and could stop this fairy tale of an explosive offense the Bears have been showcasing recently. I think Carter finds himself heavily involved in any game script here and with the recent passing offense woes he might be even more involved. The Bears are 4th in fantasy points allowed to running backs this season and are one of only five teams in the NFL that are on average giving up over 1 rushing touchdown per game. The Patriots defense has a habit of making people look bad so wipe last week from your mind and start Carter your gonna be upset if you leave him on your bench this week. 

David Njoku, TE – Browns vs Buccaneers

I know he was back on the field last week but it was too early to trust production from Njoku again. They clearly love the tight end position in that offense evidenced by Harrison Bryant’s target share but I think this is the week Njoku returns to top 5 TE status. You already know my thoughts on Brady this week so I think the Browns might find themselves in a shootout greatly increasing Njoku’s chances of having a huge week. If you had to find another option while Njoku was gone and you’re trying to decide who to go with, stop. Njoku is a must-start for the rest of the season as long as he is healthy. Reward yourself for hanging on to him or scooping him up off the wire and play him this week confidently.

Kyren Williams, RB – Rams vs Chiefs

In a rather confusing move, the Rams have waived Darrell Henderson. This leaves them with promising rookie Kyren Williams and Cam Akers who didn’t even want to play for the Rams anymore a couple of weeks ago. The Rams are obviously planning on involving Kyren Williams more because they like what they have seen. At the least, it’s a committee between Williams and Akers but at the most, it’s a full-time role so they can truly see what they have in their young guy to inform them on draft and free agency decisions. The Chiefs are most likely going to get out to a big lead so Kyren Williams’ potential to catch 5+ balls is also very high. You could do worse than him in your flex and I think he has a very real potential to have a full role and boom considering the Rams most recent moves. 

Week 12 Fades

Jamaal Williams, RB – Lions vs Bills

Jamaal Williams leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 12 on the year and has five games with multiple touchdowns on the year. You are a very happy owner if you drafted Williams and he has probably become a lineup lock for you. I want to be the one to warn you about this week. Although the Bills don’t have a dominant run defense statistically they are perhaps the best team in the NFL and have lost 2 of the last three games after stopping their losing streak last week with a win against the Browns. They are a championship team looking to go into Detroit and handle business and get that momentum back going toward the playoffs. They know not to underestimate a fiery Lions team and will not be caught off guard. Swift will be getting more involved and Jameson Williams might join the fray as well. This game might be close cause the Lions have been doing great at competing with opponents no matter the caliber but I think this game looks more like his disappointing performances against New England and Dallas earlier in the year,

Leonard Fournette, RB – Buccaneers vrs Browns

Of course, if I’m high on Rachaad white ill be fading Fournette. I think Fournette was essential to Brady’s success last year so he cared about getting him involved and managing him mentally. With the emergence of Rachaad White and Fournette’s recent struggles and complaints about his role, we might see Fournette move to a more situational role. He also is now dealing with injury and was reportedly not able to handle a full workload due to his condition so I think the writing is on the wall here for White to take over a larger percentage of the workload here. 

Cordarrelle Patterson, RB – Falcons vs Commanders

Washington allows the 7th least fantasy points to running backs and just bottled up a seemingly matchup-proof Dameon Pierce. Atlanta is committed to the run this season they have three running backs getting touches regularly. Patterson has looked the most explosive with the ball in his hands but he isn’t guaranteed enough touches for me to want to start him. He only rushed the ball 10 times last week and was given two targets. Although the Commanders have given up 6 TDs through the air to running backs this year, his two targets last week were the most he’s had in a game since week 2. He is not involved in the passing game and is a part of a three-man committee. This could be a very quiet week for Patterson

Christian Watson, WR – Packers vs Eagles

Christian Watson has been the most exciting thing about the Packers offense all year and he’s only been featured in the offense the past two weeks. Watson has become a go-to man for Aaron Rodgers when it comes to getting a touchdown but he doesn’t get alot of looks outside those red zone plays or deep shots. While that is a recipe for success and has certainly been so the past two weeks the Eagles are one of the league’s elite teams and have an elite corner to keep an eye on Watson all game. Cobb has found his way back to the dependable slot role and the Eagles have shown they are weak against the run which could bode well for Aaron Jones and … the other guy… (Let me throw up real quick) … AJ Dillon as well. If you have another option then look at it because I would temper the expectations on Watson this week.

Week 11 Buy Low – Sell High

Buy Low and Sell High is a weekly installment that will aim to evaluate the performances from the previous week and season at large and identify targets that might have peaked already or are about to peak. Being on the right side of those swings in production is crucial to fantasy football success. I will offer advice on how to maximize the value available to you through name value and recent performance bias. 

Buy Low

Kyren Williams, RB – Rams

In an offense that has done everything to try and create a spark in the run game, they have one last option. Their one hope has been laid up on the IR until this week. Kyren Williams showed what he could do on the field in the last meaningless drive of last week’s game and I think his role expands immensely. I don’t know if they have admitted it to themselves yet but the Rams season is probably not going to end in the playoffs this year. This could potentially benefit Williams though as they will most likely want to see what they have in their rookie as they plan for the next year. This offense has just lost its most important piece in Cooper Kupp and if they want to move down the field someone will have to step up and start making the plays. I think Kyren Williams is someone that may be the most reliable starter for the Rams fantasy wise going forward. Buy him now while his value is still low.

Tom Brady, QB – Buccaneers

Brady’s coming off back to back wins with a healthy receiving corps and a budding new young running back. Perhaps the greatest QB of all time is going to be giving his all to win every game he can to keep playoff hopes alive the rest of the way. He has the weapons to dominate just like last year. Tom Brady owners may be down on their luck thus far in the season and might be open to a trade. I’m sure most Brady owners probably roster about 3 QBs and have been trying to find a good replacement. If your league’s Brady owner found someone like Justin Fields who he’s been starting instead then he will be even cheaper. Go buy Brady now and enjoy his dominating second half run that could lead you to a championship ring. 

Sell High

D’onta Foreman, RB – Panthers

If you didn’t listen to me two weeks ago about selling D’Onta Foreman then here’s your next chance. Matchups with Atlanta tend to make players’ fantasy value skyrocket. I think Foreman is a solid player and has proved so every time he gets a full time role, but he is on a very bad team and that will impact his performance more weeks that not despite his talent. Foreman might pull off a couple more nice games maybe but I think your roster would be better suited trying to get someone more consistent or finally upgrade that ugly TE spot you have been having to stream at all year.

Christian Watson, WR – Packers

Everyone and their mother probably tried to get Christian Watson this week on waivers. That’s usually what happens after someone drops 30 points and potentially snatches the WR1 spot in an Aaron Rodgers led offense. The reality is he probably just had his best game of the season. He had four receptions and three of them were touchdowns so he’s a big candidate for regression towards the mean. Cooper Kupp owners might be very sore and looking for another player that can get them the high-scoring totals Kupp has every week. Selling them on a 30-point performance from Watson might not be that hard and you could walk away with a piece or two that helps you make a deep playoff run.

Week 11 Faves & Fades

Faves and Fades is a weekly installment that focuses on players who you might be deciding between in your flex spot. We won’t be talking about any of the biggest producers here because you are going to start them regardless of the matchup. These players will be low-end WR2 – Waiver Wire range. The flex spot is oftentimes the sweatiest decision and also the X-Factor that can decide the matchup. This one is for the Gunslingers.

Last Week Recap

Faves

  • Chase Claypool, WR / Bears vs Lions: 1.8 PPR Points
  • Kadarius Toney, WR / Chiefs vs Jaguars: 19 PPR Points
  • George Pickens, WR / Steelers vs Saints: 14.5 PPR Points
  • Terrance Marshall, WR / Panthers vs Falcons: 6.3 PPR Points
  • Brian Robinson, RB / Commanders vs Eagles:14.6 PPR Points

Fades

  • Mecole Hardman, WR / Chiefs vs Jaguars: OUT (Designated as out before the game)
  • Adam Thielen , WR / Vikings vs Bills: 9.9 PPR Points
  • Cortland Sutton,  WR / Broncos vs Titans: 12.6 PPR Points
  • Justin Herbert, QB / Chargers vs 49ers: 14 PPR Points

What We Learned

There are two very talented players in very similar situations. Kadarius Toney was able to capitalize on his opportunity, perhaps helped in part by the JuJu injury mid-game. He looked as electric as he always does when healthy and I’m excited for him going forward. Chase Claypool did not work his way into a significant role with the offense yet despite an amazing matchup. It ended up being a close game but maybe the Bears didn’t think they needed to hurry Claypool into the offense to win this game. Three weeks in the offense now with another amazing matchup in Atlanta should lead to a great week for Claypool in Week 11 though. George Pickens has settled into the WR 1 role and is even picking up the rushing work Chase Claypool vacated adding to his value even more. Terrace Marshall did not necessarily boom but he still had more receiving yards than DJ Moore. I predicted Brian Robinson would be heavily involved in this game like Dameon Pierce the week before and was right. As good as the Eagles are they do not do well with hard-nosed runners so I would look to take advantage of those kinds of matchups for the rest of the season. 

Faves

Brandon Aiyuk, WR – 49ers vs Cardinals

Brandon Ayiuk might be Jimmy Garrapolo’s “Fave” after four consecutive weeks now of 80+ receiving yards and 6+ receptions. They have developed chemistry while Deebo has been sidelined with injury. The same thing happened with Trey Lance so he’s become two quarterbacks favorite target now, this is no fluke. Aiyuk is a legit talent and has performed well in a voluminous role consistently. Deebo isn’t going to be phased out of the offense because of Ayiuk’s performance but I don’t think Ayiuk’s role changes much even with Deebo back. I love starting heavily targeted players in divisional matchups and I think Ayiuk could be a boom here. 

Terry McLaurin, WR – Commanders vs Texans

We are going to stick with a similar theme with a lot of the receivers here. Terry McLaurin is simply a better fantasy producer when Taylor Heinicke is throwing him the ball. Heinicke likes to sling it, he’s not scared of trying to make the big play and McLaurin is awesome at making the big play. I think their momentum and success as a duo continue even though the Texans have actually had a respectable passing defense this year. The Commanders just beat the undefeated Eagles and by all accounts that was a way worse matchup than The Texans so in my opinion, we might see Terry exceed his totals from last week. 

David Montgomery, RB – Bears vs Falcons

The Bears could alternate any week with the Falcons on holding the heaviest run team in the NFL and now they are playing each other. There will be a lot of running in this game and the Bears just lost Khalil Herbert to IR. With Justin Fields rushing for over 150 yards a game nowadays the Falcons will have their hands full trying to stop him and contain his scrambling. This leaves an amazing opportunity for David Montgomery to not only soak up alot of extra touches plus face a defense not focused on stopping him. Montgomery will be a very important piece to this game plan make sure he is in your lineups

Parris Campbell, WR – Colts vs Eagles

We are going to stick with a similar theme with a lot of the receivers here. Parris Campbell is simply a better fantasy producer when Matt Ryan is throwing him the ball… Anyone else having Deja Vu? Matty Ice is back baby and everyone who holds Colts offensive weapons can at least let out a sigh of relief if not a shout of joy. Taylor looked better, Pittman regained his ceiling and Campbell stepped right back into his slot security blanket role. Jeff Saturday is an undefeated head coach and will have a tough matchup against the Eagles who just lost their first game. Maybe this game doesn’t go in the Colts favor but regardless of the game script, Campbell will get his volume. That’s what I love about players that play his kind of role. In my mind’s eye, I see him being a big part of the game plan if they are able to pull off an upset and even if not and they get smashed when nothing down the field is working he will be the dump-off option. Especially with Nyheim Hines gone.

Darius Slayton, WR – Giants vs Lions

Darius Slayton has been performing how everyone hoped Wan’Dale Robinson would after Toney was shipped off and he “took over as the main target.” Slayton has been playing with Jones a lot longer and after spending all off/pre-season on the proverbial “outs” he’s been involved and a part of the offense practically all season because of the injuries and performed well. Jones has gone to him on many key downs and situations this year and he continues to make plays with the ball in his hands. I think in a favorable matchup I’m looking at Darius Slayton to lead the team in receiving totals this week and you always want to start the receiver with the leading totals in a game against the Lions. 

Fades

Brandin Cooks, WR – Texans vs Giants

I actually dropped Brandin Cooks in one league to make room for an acquisition because I don’t like relying on players who are not invested in playing the game at a high level. Cooks has expressed his reservations publicly about how they were messing with his career by not trading him. He straight up sat out one week because of it. I can see where Cooks is coming from. He’s on a team that is not competing for the playoffs and anytime he’s on the field, especially at his age, he risks potential career-ending injury at this point. I think they may have convinced him to stay and play nice because they will have a high draft pick and get a great young QB but even if that’s true that does nothing to make me feel good about Cooks going out there and trying to dominate at any point the rest of season. With all the factors that go into fantasy football and deciding who to start, I for one am not dealing with a player that might not be giving his all. 

Ben Skowronek or Allen Robinson, WR – Rams vs Saints

Do not fall into the trap of starting the “Cooper Kupp replacement.” Cooper Kupp is the most consistently dominant fantasy producer I have ever seen and no one can replace what he does. On top of that, the Rams have been looking awful this year offensively. I think the ball will get spread around too much in this offense as they flail around and try to figure out what to do without Kupp to have a reliable starter, besides maybe Kyren Williams. Maybe one of the receivers emerges but do not fool yourself into thinking you can guess on this first week and waste a starting spot on one of these players. 

Josh Palmer, WR – Chargers vs Chiefs

Josh Palmer has only succeeded in games in which he was forced to the top of the depth chart. Even with the explosive matchup, I would be weary of starting Palmer. Mike Williams will most likely be back and I think Herbert will hyper-focus on him in a tough matchup. I’m also worried The Chargers might not be able to go blow for blow in a high-scoring game this week and if Herbert pulls out some magic then I’m sure Palmer would benefit but the Chargers just look like a different team right now and I’m not super confident in the offense outside Eckler and Mike Williams. 

James Connor, RB – Cardinals vs 49ers

The Cardinals did just get rid of Eno Benjamin so they have committed to James Connor in a high-volume role but his fantasy production last week had more to do with a matchup with a failing Rams team rather than indicating what the rest of the season will look like. He is not an efficient runner and has failed to get over 30 yards receiving. On paper, I can see why you might be excited but his play has said another. Don’t lie to yourself based on what-ifs and trust your eyes. I think San Francisco will have little trouble shutting Connor down so I don’t want to start anyone based solely on the chance they might get insane volume because of the game script. 

Week 10 Buy Low – Sell High

Buy Low – Sell High is a weekly installment that will aim to evaluate the performances from the previous week and season at large and identify targets that might have peaked already or are about to peak. Being on the right side of those swings in production is crucial to fantasy football success. I will offer advice on how to maximize the value available to you through name value and recent performance bias. 

Buy Low

AJ Dillon, RB – Packers

Aaron Jones hurt his ankle last week. The Packers are also dangerously close to being out of playoff contention. I think these two things might mix together to produce the perfect Dillon concoction here soon. Dillon might already get more involved since Jones isn’t 100% but especially if he re-injures that ankle. Also unless the Packers rip off an insane win streak here I don’t see the organization leaning on Jones in a meaningless season. This is also my last-ditch effort to see a path to fantasy production for AJ Dillon. I think it would be very fitting if Dillon becomes useful towards the end of the season after people have moved on from him in trades or straight dropping him. Seems like the kind of thing this crazy season might have in store for us. 

Amon Ra St. Brown, WR – Lions

The Lions are not making the playoffs this year. I wouldn’t say they are a “bad” team but they just don’t have the discipline in the necessary areas yet to make a playoff run. I say all this to explain that low-producing games are to come when you’re tied to such an organization. Amon-Ra also has his early season injury working against him lowering his value, owners were expecting him to get back to form last week and since he didn’t now might be the perfect time to buy. He is THE target for Goff. He loves Amon-Ra and he’s now fully healthy. TJ Hockenson is gone and the WR corp in Detroit isn’t the healthiest so Amon-Ra is about to absorb an insane amount of targets. Take your chance now to buy this second-half league winner. 

Gabe Davis, WR – Bills

Two games of down production in a row have made the echoes louder than Gabe Davius is a boom or bust option. I think he will prove to be a WR2 the rest of the way. Davis is the second option in the best offense in football, don’t let people get in your head. This is an easy buy low target for me.

Sell High

Justin Fields, QB – Bears

So this might be confusing but I’m actually not advocating for selling Justin Fields here, I’m advocating for selling everyone else! If you find yourself with a top-end QB1 and Fields on your team go ahead and trade your other QB. I’m looking at you Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, and Lamar Jackson owners. The value you can get for those players could put you over the top and win you a championship. Josh Allen could get you Tyreek Hill+ whatever your negotiating skills can acquire and you’ll still be getting 20+ with a 50-point ceiling from Fields in your slot. These are the kind of moves that can solidify your roster toward the end of the year. It might be scary putting Allen in an offer but when you can return two elite starters and still get great production from your QB spot you’ll feel great on the way to the championship in your league.

Joe Mixon, RB – Bengals

Mixon is a volume king and just had the best fantasy football game of his season and probably career considering it ranks top ten all time. The Bengals were beating up on an inferior Panthers team and were letting Mixon have his fun. I don’t think the Bengals find themselves in that situation again. It would suit your roster better the rest of the year if you can get an elite WR and a replacement RB2 for him. That 50-point total will look the prettiest it will look this week so take advantage of it. Just like I hope you did with D’Onta Foreman last week. The big boom games give you the biggest spike in value that players will see all season. Take advantage.

Mecole Hardman, WR – Chiefs

I think Hardman is about to disappear completely from fantasy relevance. If he is on your roster he will probably end up being a drop if you don’t take your chance to sell him now. He has a 28-point game and a 19-point game in recent weeks off very few catches and a couple rushing touchdowns. I think Kadarius Toney is about to soak all that up and be a much bigger p[part of the offense than just this gadget role Hardman seems to occupy from time to time. The time is now to flip Hardman.

Week 10 Faves and Fades

Faves and Fades is a weekly installment that focuses on players who you might be deciding between in your flex spot. We won’t be talking about any of the bigger producers here because you are going to start them regardless of the matchup. These players will be low-end WR2 to waiver wire range. The flex spot is oftentimes the sweatiest decision and also the X-Factor that can decide the matchup. This one’s for the Gunslingers.

Faves

Chase Claypool, WR – Bears vs Lions

Justin Fields finally had his coming out party. He led, what we had thought, was a below-average Bears offense through a matchup with the Miami Dolphins in which he matched Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle’s explosiveness almost exclusively himself. 170+ yards rushing is true video game numbers. He rose to the occasion and showed just how FAST he is. Enter his new WR1. Mapletron. Fields’ confidence is hitting an all-time high. He’s throwing more than ever and I hope you haven’t let his years in a conservative Bears offense let you forget he was known as a deep ball specialist initially. The stars seem to be aligning in Chicago for this offense and I think Claypool is ready to get in on the fun. Oh yeah…they play Detroit this week. 

Kadarius Toney, WR – Chiefs vs Jaguars

Adam Schefter reported that the Chiefs have been trying to acquire Toney since the Giants drafted him. I think they see him as a true replacement for Tyreek Hill. They obviously had plans to move on from Hill and were looking for that contingency and who else would catch their eye but the guy who looks an awful lot like Tyreek on the field…when he’s healthy…which he is now! Mecole Hardman has had his chance to fill that role and has been on a nice little run recently but when Toney starts to get those opportunities the Chiefs will forget all about Hardman and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s on a new team next year. The dude is electric and the upgrade from Daniel Jones to Patrick Mahomes is undeniable. If you were smart enough to use some FAAB or trade a bag of peanuts for him then feel confident in starting him this week. You don’t need to wait for that big game first before you start him. JuJu has carved out a nice role and of course, Kelce will be Kelce but Toney is only going to complement that. MVS, Hardman, and Watson are all going to take a back seat to the best three players they have. To all my true Gunslingers, fire up Kadarius Toney against a faltering Jaguars team that should be a tasty matchup. 

George Pickens, WR – Steelers vs Saints

The Steelers coming off the bye might surprise a lot of people. They have survived the brutal stretch in their schedule that had all of us staying away from the offensive playmakers but now we can start to reinvest. Claypool is gone and they are ready to start building the Pickett and Pickens relationship. This is the future and with a fully healthy Najee ready to eat up this second half of the schedule we might see some big things from this offense. They are almost certainly out of playoff contention but I don’t see Mike Tomlin rolling over, so don’t be surprised if they look like a new team coming off the bye. I think Pickens benefits in almost every scenario that will play out. He’s the clear WR1 and is working his way to becoming a matchup-proof option. His skill is insane and the opportunity is about to follow. They need to win and they are playing a NO team that has been known to get in shootouts. 

Terrace Marshall, WR – Panthers vs Falcons

Last week I advised against trusting to see if the explosive offense we saw against Atlanta again showed up because I think that was more the result of the emotional interdivisional matchup with so much on the line. Well, this week they play Atlanta again and even in a down offensive week, Marshall was the leading fantasy producer for the Panthers last week. We are amidst the Panthers giving Marshall his first true opportunity to carve out a role and he is showing his skills on the field. If he is on your waiver wire you need to correct your league’s mistake and scoop him up. He’s on a pathway to WR2 and would be a perfect flex spot this week. Everyone in the division has a losing record so every NFC South matchup from here on out is something I’ll be keeping an eye on.

Brian Robinson, RB – Commanders vs Eagles

Brian Robinson is one of those players that is just important to the game plan. I know everyone complains about Gibson not getting more work but I think it’s simply because this coaching staff loves the one-cut hard-nosed nature of Robinson. They love giving him the ball on early downs to set up the easier third downs. This has led to less-than-spectacular finishes for Robinson. He’s touched double-digit fantasy points but almost reluctantly through sheer volume. The Eagles are great this year but the one thing that they have trouble with is stopping the run. I think the combination of the coach’s love for Robinson along with what works well against the Eagles is going to result in a Dameon Pierce like performance from last week. Start Robinson.

Fades

Mecole Hardman, WR – Chiefs vs Jaguars

I think the Toney trade has potentially signaled the end of Hardman’s career as a Chief. The Chiefs are all in on Toney and two weeks of practice now should result in a heavier involvement I think putting any trust in Hardman to extend his streak of good fantasy production is risky business. There is a chance Toney needs another week to get involved and you can squeak out another week here with Hardman but I would rather get ahead of the curb on this situation.

Adam Thielen, WR – Vikings vrs Bills

TJ Hockenson looked really good last week. He was criminally underutilized in Detroit and it’s looking like he almost immediately slid into the number 2 option in this offense behind Jefferson. Thielen is only getting older and has always been touchdown-dependent. He’s still catching touchdowns but not at the rate that gave him his vaunted WR2 status for so many years. Bundled with the Hockenson arrival is a matchup with a Bills team that is embarrassed after a Jets loss. I don’t see them losing two in a row and I know the Vikings have been playing well this season but I don’t see them keeping pace with a pissed off Bills team. Stay away this week and be cautious going forward with Thielen. 

Courtland Sutton, WR – Broncos vs Titans

The Broncos are riding (Ha) off the bye week into a tough matchup. Sutton is on a three-game streak of 5 or fewer fantasy points. It’s almost a complete turnaround from his consistent production above double digits for the first 4 games. The Broncos offense is a mess and Sutton is truly a player I am waiting to see if he starts producing again. Jeudy has been emerging as well as Dulcich and they just traded for a pass-catching back in Chase Edmonds as well. There is alot going on and while he’s still atop the depth chart and a talented player it seems like his skill set is just not being utilized right now in this troubled offense.

Justin Herbert, QB – Chargers vs 49ers

Justin Herbert is very talented but the Chargers have been going through it this season. Their offense has been dealing with all sorts of injuries on the O line and in the receiving core. Herbert has the talent to overcome all these obstacles and any matchup but it’s still asking ALOT from him. He only has 4 games above 20 fantasy points and the other four have been rough. Derek Carr rough. They come in still hobbled to a game with a very explosive and healthy 49ers team. Maybe Herbert pulls out some magic but if you have a Justin Fields or Tua on your bench I would seriously consider trying to find that replacement option until he at least gets his weapons back. I don’t think he’s going to flop this week but I just wouldn’t feel comfortable expecting anything over 15 this week. So do with that what you will. 

Week 9 Buy Low-Sell High Players

Neely back with something new this week. I‘ll be taking a look at players that I would buy low or sell high. Let’s get into it.

Buy Low

Gabe Davis

You don’t realize just how lucky you are. You find yourself amidst the aftermath of a Gabe Davis down week. People are already jumping to call him a boom or bust option and I see comparisons to early career Mike Williams. Ridiculous. First week he’s a smash. Then he gets hurt and has to miss one week while getting back healthy the next two. Once he’s fully healthy he dropped 32 and then smashed the next week as well (“Smashed” meaning 16+ points in both said smashings). I think the most valid critique on Gabe Davis is that he can get lost in the offense simply because they don’t need him. I think those occurrences will be far and few between. He’s Josh Allen’s favorite end zone target. The kinds of throws and opportunities he gives Davis clearly show his trust. He throws him jump balls like they are two best friends in the backyard. Diggs clearly has his role but I think the monstrous upside with Davis is something that every roster would benefit from him. Go get him now.

Mike Williams

I think Mike Williams is going to be the shot in the arm that De’Andre Hopkins has recently been. Williams could be a true league winner since he’s expected to return right in the thick of the most important part of the fantasy season. On top of that Justin Herbert has a very nice schedule to end the season (ATL, SF, and KC could be shootouts, ARI, LV, MIA, IND, and LAR) I’m only leaving out two games in the rest of their season which is the last game in the Denver matchup and the game against Tennessee because those are tougher matchups. The rest are all loves for me. Those are either bad defenses or games in which Herbert will be potentially forced to sling it alot. Mike Williams is, of course, going to be a part of that plan and I actually hope Keenan Allen is back because I think their offense at full force is better for Mike Williams than forcing him to be the only main option. His return is still three or four weeks away so go get him and stash him next to Jameson Williams on your two IR spots and watch them decimate your league mates come payoff time.

Chase Claypool

This move intrigues me. Chase Claypool is a big dude. 6’4 and not skinny. Justin Fields has just found his new best friend. They are finally unlocking Fields’ running ability and I think Claypool with WR 1 usage is going to be huge not only for this team but his fantasy production.  I think the whole team benefits from having a true WR 1 type. Mooney can be moved around more and maybe Kmet has more room to breathe as well!? Maybe I am getting too excited but with the emergence of Khalil Herbert and Fields finally getting going I think this team is primed to take a step forward this second half of the season and definitely next year.

Sell High

Tony Pollard

Tony Pollard probably just had the best game of his fantasy season and maybe fantasy career. The stars aligned for one of those few times where we get to see Tony Pollard with a full workload. It was glorious! Three Touchdowns off… 14 rushes? And … 1 catch? His efficiency has always been insane but this was impressive. Ezekiel Elliot must have some dirt on Jerry Jones because Pollard has done this nearly every time he has had a full workload and consistently looks more explosive than Zeke. In dynasty leagues go ahead and hold Pollard because they will have to give in to his talent eventually but I think in season-long leagues this is a perfect opportunity to go get someone with more guaranteed usage. 36 fantasy points is going to shine like diamonds to people’s eyes so maximize your value here and go flip him.

D’Onta Foreman

I actually liked what I saw a lot from D’Onta Foreman. Like Pollard, he’s always shown his talent when given the opportunity. I also think this was a very emotionally charged divisional battle in which the winner would sit alone atop the division. Both teams sit on the wrong side of 15 on most power rankings so while it was an extremely fun game I think it may inflate the potential outcomes for Panthers games. Foreman gets goal line work and I think will probably outrush Chuba Hubbard when he returns as he will mostly get the passing work. I think his fantasy production will end up looking more like Gus Edwards most weeks and not Derrick Henry. He’s coming off a huge performance and people’s imaginations are running wild with him being the replacement for McCaffrey. Which may be true but I think flipping him will end up giving you a better return than slotting him in as your RB2/flex and hoping for more monstrous games.

Week 9 Faves and Fades

Neely back with a new segment this week. I’ll be looking at players I favor this week and players I’d fade. Let’s take a look at my Week 9 faves and fades.

Faves

Khalil Herbert

Herbert finally had more rushes than David Montgomery last week. This is exciting news as it correlates with the head coach’s desire to “go with the hot hand.” Montgomery is a good player but Herbert just looks better. They are the most run-heavy team in the league right now besides the Falcons and that could alternate any given week. Herbert has been consistently given more and more opportunities and delivered every time he’s going to take over this backfield this season and Montgomery will likely be looking for a new team this off-season. Herbert is a great pass catcher as well and can handle all three downs if need be. I think in a game against Miami where the Bears will be forced to play offense at a pace they aren’t used to, Herbert will be the go-to man and is going to boom this week and secure that RB1 spot on his team.

Rondale Moore

A nice divisional battle against Seattle means good things for Moore. Hopkins’ splashy play will undoubtedly make him a focal point of the Seahawks defense but it’s very hard to take away the short throws and opportunities that Moore is consistently given. He’s amazing in open space and can take a curl route for 30-40 yards. When things aren’t working down the field to Hopkins, which is bound to happen eventually, Moore will only be more involved. Considering he had a huge game along with Hopkins last week, I think he’s extremely safe as a flex and offers huge upside, especially against a bad defense in a potential shootout of a game

AJ Dillon

This is a do-or-die game for not only AJ Dillon but the Packers in general. The Packers are 3-5 and not looking good. I think reality might crack if Aaron Rodgers walks into Detroit and loses a shootout with Jared Goff. The game is in Detroit and I think this is where the Packers either assert themselves as a contending team this year or not. It would be hard to imagine this team making the playoffs after losing to the Lions and falling to 3-6. The Lions run defense is absolutely terrible so this is also a do-or-die game for Dillon. If he can’t find a way to 20 points in this game or at the very least make slime explosive plays then he’s gotta be on benches for the rest of the year unless you’re truly desperate. If Dillon gets under 10 points once again then he might truly be in drop territory. I’ve started Dillon in some lineups and i’m hoping it won’t be my last time but this seems like a culminating moment for his fantasy season.

Christian Kirk

Kirk simply has a great matchup with Las Vegas. I think he has an easy path to double-digit targets and could find the endzone as well. Nothing about LV’s defense should scare you away and don’t let Kirk’s recent performances scare you either. He’s Lawrence’s favorite target and they are also hoping to stop their recent slide against a team that had a pitiful performance last week. I think they go back to what has been working and Kirk goes for close to ten catches and close to a hundred yards and a tuddy this week. If you’re considering Kirk as a flex or even WR2, start him with confidence. 

Chase Claypool

The Bears are going to find themselves having to do something to match the energy Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are going to bring. They don’t have many options and one of their best will be going deep to newly acquire Chase Claypool. I don’t think it will look pretty but Chase might have a nice splash game here for his new team. I think at the very least he will be given the opportunity and I trust him to make some big plays and start earning the trust of Fields and his team. He has the potential to be an amazing flex play this week

Fades

David Montgomery

Of course, if we mention Herbert as a fave I need to talk about David Montgomery here. I think he’s a great player. I just see his usage trending more towards 12-15 carries a game and that’s it. Especially when playing a high-powered offense like Miami. He might get goal-line work but the Bears are as likely to give Herbert the goal-line/red zone opportunities as well. I don’t think Montgomery gashes the Miami run defense, especially with Bradley Chubb now in the mix. So if you want to pray for a touchdown be my guest but that’s not for me.

Antonio Gibson

Gibson is finally breaking out and getting that passing game usage everyone has desired but I think the excitement will be quelled a little against the Vikings here. The Vikings are atop their division and playing good football. It seemed like last week the Commanders were sending everyone deep and then passing it off to Gibson to do something in space. I think forcing Heinke to have to take those deep shots leads to more mistakes and disrupts this nice little momentum they have going. 

Parris Campbell

Bill Belichick is the king of terrorizing young QBs. Sam Ehlinger is in for a hell of a ride and I don’t want anything to do with this offense this week. I think for the rest of the season Sam Ehlinger will keep the fantasy assets of this team relevant because he’s fighting for a job in the NFL if not for the Colts. This week is going to be tough sledding though. Campbell has carved out a nice slot role but I think we might be looking at a 3 INT kind of game here.  

Derek Carr

Carr has been a mostly stable presence amidst this crazy season for fantasy QBs. Last week he was not present at all. The Raiders as a whole floundered on the level you rarely see NFL teams do. Very odd and I don’t know If I trust Josh McDaniels to right the ship immediately so I’m benching Carr and Renfrow for sure until I see a reason not to. You are kind of stuck with Adams and Jacobs but you might want to look at moving on from them. This team’s playoff chances are very slim and that kind of trajectory can lead to shutting down someone like Adams if he gets any kind of injury in the coming weeks. 

Brandin Cooks

“He Just Produces” was what I and many others told ourselves about Brandin Cooks when drafting him. It’s the kind of thing you need to tell yourself to buy into a WR1 on a bad team. I was truly hoping he would get traded if for nothing else to avoid this matchup against the Eagles. The new lie Cooks owners have been telling themselves is that the Texans will be down by so much that they will have to force Cooks the ball to try and get back into it but that narrative has not been unfolding. He hasn’t had double-digit targets since Week 2 and that was a huge reason why he was able to consistently produce. He’s also dealing with an injury and is leading a banged up receiver corps as it is. I think the Eagles key in on Cooks and shut him down. You might want to fire up another option. (He also probably won’t be playing).

Week 8 – Overreactions or Getting Ahead of the Curb?

One of the craziest and most unpredictable fantasy football seasons since the inception of the sport continues. So many players and strategies we thought could be dependent on have failed us in spectacular ways this season. Such is the way of fantasy football and even if you have survived the gauntlet and still find yourself in playoff contention you are probably dealing with injuries and your own draft disappointments. The middle of the season is the richest time to trade for/pick up players that can truly turn your season around. I’m trying to identify situations I feel a lot of owners would typically want to “wait and see” before making a move. With this article, I’m trying to give actionable advice on some of the most ambiguous situations in the NFL. Picking right in these situations can oftentimes not cost a lot (either waiver or buying low in a trade) and provide immense value. So where other owners are weary, I encourage you to overreact and get these players before they prove their true worth and win you a championship. It wouldn’t be smart to have a bench full of the players we will be talking about but picking one or two of these players based on your roster construction can hopefully provide league-winning value. These players will feel ugly to talk about and most of them have downward trending values but let’s see if we can find some diamond in the rough before Week 8. Let’s get into it.

Sam Ehlinger

You’ll see a trend in these QBs in the fact that they all can provide rushing upside. In a season where QB has almost been as tumultuous as TE, I think someone like Sam Ehlinger who offers potential rushing upside as well (2,400 college rushing yards) is worth the shot. He’s got elite young weapons and the ceiling could be very high for him. He’s a perfect bench stash in 1 QB leagues and a borderline high-priority add in 2 QB leagues.

Justin Fields

Has quietly put together a nice three-week stretch without topping 208 yards passing. In the past two weeks, he has also had over 80 yards rushing and is slowly turning into a poor man’s Lamar Jackson. As long as the rushing continues he gives you a nice floor accompanied by the potential for huge games if he ever tosses 2 or 3 TDs. The offense seems to be way more catered to Fields’ strength than it was earlier in the season. He’s rolling out on more passes, running more options, and designed runs (Even in the red zone). Fields could be a season-long fix at QB if you find yourself needing to recover from a Matthew Stafford/Matt Ryan/Aaron Rodgers/Tom Brady etc draft pick. With the way things are shaking out at QB, Fields could finish top ten and is on a lot of waivers right now. 

Daniel Jones

As good as the Giants have been this season Danny Dimes’ fantasy output hasn’t exactly matched their record. He finally exploded for a 30-point game last week as we saw him rush for over 100 yards. He only threw for a modest 202 yards and 1 TD but the floor from the rushing is so valuable. The 300-yard 3 TD games from traditional pocket passers haven’t been as frequent as in years past so these mobile QBs are actually looking like the more consistent option despite not being in high-powered aerial attacks. Only 5 Qbs last week got you 20-plus points and Daniel Jones and Justin Fields were two of them. When it comes to hoping a pocket passer gets me 20+ strictly through the air compared to the numerous (and more probable) ways a mobile QB can get me 20+ I find myself leaning towards the mobile runners. I’m almost inclined to tell you that unless you have Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, or Jalen Hurts then your QB may be better off netting you an elite WR or RB (I’m looking at you Justin Herbert / Joe Burrow owners). We will definitely be thinking about QBs differently next year so why not start now? 

Najee Harris

I’m also doubling down on Najee Harris this week. He made some really nice runs and will continue to benefit from the newfound energy Kenny Pickett has brought to this team. A big part of the reason I’m looking at the Sam Ehlinger situation in Indianapolis is because of how the shift in Pittsburgh has gone. They aren’t necessarily benefitting in the record department but they have been playing some really good teams and I think when they finally have a chance to play a not top-10 defense they will shine. They have Philly next week and then a bye so if you want to wait and see if Najee’s stock can drop even lower be my guest but if a young Steelers team hopes to surprise Philly, Najee will most certainly be involved. An owner going into the bye off a hot Najee performance is a lot harder to trade with than an owner looking at a Philly matchup right now. The stock is already low. The time is now if you want to make that move. He’s getting you 10+ pretty much guaranteed every week and has a huge ceiling, how does that compare to your RB 2 spot? Owners drafted him in the first round so they are stressing about him every week but if you can find a way to slide him into your RB 2 spot rest of the year you may have just made a league-winning move. 

Nyheim Hines 

The Colts are the unintended stars of today’s show and not necessarily because I think their offense is going to improve, even though that’s certainly possible, but rather because I think it will become more predictable. Big offensive shifts like changing quarterbacks always open opportunities for newfound fantasy excellence. I think Matt Ryan, who has been used to throwing down the field to big-name receivers his whole career, supported fantasy production from Pittman and Pierce that we might not see as consistently with Ehlinger at the helm. I think the Nyheim Hines we all were hoping to see in the offseason might start to reveal himself in the second half of the season. Not only does he provide the obvious pass-catching role in the backfield but he’s also someone they like to use a lot in their gadget plays. Campbell and Hines are on this list because I expect a lot more of their offense to be closer to the line of scrimmage with fewer shots down the field.  An area where they both excel.

Kyren Williams 

Sean McVay is an offensive mastermind. He’s proven so his whole career. This year his whole offensive scheme has been disrupted by the inability of the Rams to run the ball due to porous offensive line play full of third and fourth stringers. As a Rams fan, I’ve been wondering how he’s going to try and deal with this simple fact, and against the Panthers, it was evident hes at least found a band-aid for the solution. There has been a steady increase in Wide Receiver runs as well as screenplays the past few weeks until last week it pretty much supplanted our run game. The jet sweeps and short screens worked as our way to pull the defenses in and allowed us to take some shots. I think McVay will need to continue to find creative ways to supplant the run game and when Kyren Williams returns he may be in a designed pass-catching role and get a split of whatever groundwork there is to go around. 

Justice Hill 

Another player I’m bringing over from last week simply because he outperformed Kenyan Drake not only last week but has looked amazing with limited carries so although Gus the Bus is back Hill still provides upside in such a run-heavy offense

Khalil Herbert

A player I have similar feelings for is Hill. Both are not seen as the top option but are way too good to not give touches to. Herbert more so than Hill might have a better chance at eventually supplanting Montgomery as the coach has even said they will continue to go with the “hot hand” at RB in a recent press conference. Montgomery is still running hard but Herbert is one injury or a couple of big plays away from being a lineup lock. 

Kadarius Toney

Last week we talked about how the Giants are executing very well right now. Wan’Dale Robinson is still playing his placeholder role perfectly. Doing enough to show the potential of what Daboll has planned but not too well to threaten to steal the job from Toney altogether. When Toney is activated (probably week 9 or 10 in my opinion) he could go on a tear that wins people championships. The Giants are playing so well that they feel no need to rush him back until he is fully ready so I think a lot of people have forgotten about him or put too much weight into those meaningless trade rumors earlier in the season. If he’s on your waivers pick him up and if someone else has him maybe he’s a reluctant holder to see if they will take your bag of peanuts before they are asking for a bag of gold.

Garrett Wilson

Breece Hall is out for the season and Elijah Moore wants a trade. Maybe Elijah Moore is brought back with the promise of more targets now that Hall is out but as it stands now Garrett Wilson is primed to be a target hog. Wilson’s fantasy playoff and championship schedule is also tantalizing, including the Lions, Jaguars, and Seahawks. The Jets have been grinding out wins on the back of their young defense and Breece Hall. Breece Hall is now gone and they will still feature the ground game with the newly acquired Robinson and Michael Carter but there is a Young talented WR that is just waiting to soak up targets. His value has been trending down for a few weeks now since Zach Wilson returned and might be available for acquisition, especially with all the new to all commotion going on in the offense. Robert Saleh is committed to competing with every team they play no matter the opponent and has no problem featuring a Rookie in his offense so I think there are better days ahead for Wilson and he’s a nice buy low right now.

Van Jefferson

The Rams have sorely been missing a vertical threat. In the past couple weeks Brandon Powell and Tutu Atwell have been trying to fill that role but it reminds me too much of when Jeff Fisher used to send Tavon Austin on deep routes. Unless they legitimately burn their defender it’s never going to work. They are just too small. Van Jefferson is no Megatron but he’s done really well at being a consistent vertical threat in the offense since he joined the team. He also might have that Cooper Kupp – Tyler Higbee-esque connection with Stafford that we all wished existed with Allen Robinson.

Rondale Moore

We also talked about Rondale Moore last week and I said that he would outscore Hopkins the rest of the season. Hopkins of course took that personally and responded with 10 receptions and 103 yards compared to Moore only getting three looks (although one was an endzone target) one reception and 31 yards. I’m going to double down on this take though. Moore was playing outside in Week 7 and they clearly preferred him in the slot as they immediately went out and got Robbie Anderson so they could move Moore back inside. Hopkins is an amazing player and has good chemistry with Murray but Kliff Kingsbury’s offense is predicated around these short-route timing throws. Hopkins is a great route runner and can also succeed here but I think Moore will be more efficient in the offense Kliff wants to run plus he has the rushing upside. Moore is coming off a week that might have some owners scared of his output being tied to Hopkins return. Pounce on those owners and reap the rewards. 

Parris Campbell

Back to back weeks of production now for a WR that was a high draft pick and has been held back by injuries his whole career. Y’all know how I feel about Toney so of course im going to keep that same energy here as well. I talked about him last week giving Matt Ryan a nice security blanket that he was sorely missing in this offense and now they are moving on to a young QB. No one needs security blankets more than those young QBs. If you didn’t pick him up last week this is probably your last chance to do so. 

Neely

Overreactions or Getting Ahead of the Curb?

Some people call it overreacting I call It getting ahead of the curb.

Fantasy Football is as much a weekly game as the sport it’s so beautifully intertwined with is. The waiver wire (and in-season trading) is the truest test of a manager’s skill. Sure it might be easy to kill a draft after a whole off season of taking in information and research but once the draft is over and the play starts is where everything you thought you knew has the potential to be thrown out the window. Just look at everyone who waited on QB this year or thought that taking Kelce and Andrews was a waste of a high pick because you just haaad to grab Aaron Jones or Najee Harris (Might be talking to myself a little on that last one). Point is once the play starts and you can lay your eyes on the players out there doing their thing you need to be ready to make adjustments, weekly. 

Week 1 is filled with performances that are hard to ascertain any value to because of the chaotic nature of the opening weekend of football. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to learn though. This is where I start making notes and as early as Week 2 I’m ready to start making moves. People are still so focused on the draft capital of their players that you can use it to your advantage when valuing out trades. Don’t let draft capital blind you from what you are seeing on the field. I think by Week 4 the usages and roles really start to take shape so getting ahead of the curve is crucial. Sometimes you just know when you took a player too early but because he was a first, second, third round pick you can still get great value for them. So don’t wait till he’s a surefire bust to try and flip him, you have to strike while people still see the invisible ceilings of those players. Call me crazy but I believe in shuffling your players, on a weekly basis if need be, until you are comfortable with your starts. 

Now we are approaching Week 7 and a lot of the off season questions have been answered as well as injuries starting to accrue meaning there’s plenty of room for overreactions. This series of articles over the course of the rest of the season will give you my takes on the past week of play that I believe give us actionable items for our roster constructions going forward. 

Overreactions or getting ahead of the curb? I’ll let you decide.

Kenneth Walker 

My hottest take you’ll read today is that you should trade Breece Hall for Kenneth Walker straight up. You could probably get Walker + something for Hall but he is going to be a true league winner this year and will also be the biggest beneficiary from offenses adjusting to Geno Smith over the second half of the season. 

AJ Dillon 

Take It with a grain of salt because this is my most biased take, but if the Packers want to get back on track then they need to utilize AJ Dillon. He is my Kyle Pitts. My hill to die on. He has all the talent, opportunity, and volume he needs. He is extremely TD dependent right now but as the season moves on and things get colder I think he will be able to bulldoze through defenses that simply will not want to tackle him. Aaron Rodgers loves him in the passing game too so he’s not only limited to carries. I think the bubble will pop and he will be dominant in the upcoming weeks. If not, I think the Packers miss the playoffs so in the effort of betting on Aaron Rodgers not wanting to spend his twilight years on the sidelines during the playoffs I think they will figure it out and get him more involved. 

Najee Harris 

Pickett has this team looking better than earlier this season and if he isn’t sidelined by his recent concussion, I think they will continue to fight and the Najee Harris we all hoped for will start to come out. Mike Tomlin is still committed to winning games and Najee has self-reported as finally being 100% healthy. He will be a part of that winning formula. You may never have the chance to buy Najee this low again in his entire career. 

Kenyan Drake / Justice hill 

Sometimes it seems no matter what RB gets the work for the Ravens they simply produce. If a RB is ever trusted with a good percentage of touches they always do something, whether it’s an undrafted rookie or an aging veteran. Kenyan Drake looked great last week and with Justice Hill coming back, he is my bet on being that next Baltimore back to be given work and do something with it. They love the guy. 

Rondale Moore 

Rondale Moore will average more points than Deandre Hopkins on a week-to-week basis. Greg Dortch did amazing as the placeholder for Moore but as Moore gets more comfortable and back in the full swing of the offense I think we will see the true potential of that role. Hopkins will get his, but they have been loving to throw it around the line of scrimmage and Moore is going to get a lot of that work. Moore is a WR2 the rest of the way, especially while Brown is out.

Wan’Dale Robinson / Kadarius Toney

The Giants are legit this year, maybe not Super Bowl winners legit but they are going to fight you and force you to execute efficiently if you want to win. The days of rolling over in adversity seem to be gone for this team. I love it. The fact that they are doing this all with a rotating carousel of receivers is even more impressive. I think Daniel Jones has all the tools and opportunities to be a great fantasy QB if his weapons could stay healthy. One of those weapons, Wan’Dale Robinson returned recently and put up a decent showing. Although I think the rookie’s performance was more indicative of what they are planning for Toney. I’m happy Daniel Jones has someone like Robinson on the field with him now after Golladay lost his passion for football and Shepard suffers another devastating injury. However, he feels more like a placeholder to me for when Toney gets back. A la Greg Dortch for Rondale Moore in AZ. (More on that later). If you are looking for that league winner or a WR to help you overcome some injury bugs I think Toney could be an amazing second half of the year play. He’s an amazing talent and every time he is on the field and touches the ball he looks electric. Until I see him on the field not looking electric I will believe in this man’s potential as a fantasy star. He’s an even better buy low in dynasty so go get him while you can. For those of you who can’t bring yourself to believe in Toney, pick up Robinson who will surely fill his role if he can never get healthy. I think health is obviously the biggest reason people have hopped off the Toney train but I think Daboll is winning games and is not in a hurry to bring back his most important weapon too early. When toney comes back he will be 100% and ready to light the league on fire. 

Tyquan Thornton 

Belicheck has never seemed to care about having star receivers despite his success with Randy Moss that one fateful season. There might not be a more constantly changing position group in the league outside the Patriots wide receivers on a season-to-season basis. Belichick seems to believe much more in the ability to lay a specific role rather than overall skill. In his receiver room, he seems to always want a traditional slot guy (Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola), a big-bodied outside receiver (Josh Gordon, N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers, Devante Parker), and a speedster. Every free agency period he seems to sign or trade for a forgotten high draft pick that’s not producing equal to their draft capital but still has blazing speed to try and turn them into something. Players like Phillip Dorsett, Cordarelle Patterson, Damiere Byrd, Nelson Agholor, and now Tyquan Thorton. All of those players have shown flashes in this offense but never sustained it for very long. The slot position has always been the biggest fantasy producer of the receivers for the Patriots. In 2022 they don’t have a true slot guy. I think Thorton could be in the unique position to play two of the roles in this offense and with a rookie backup qb a speedster running a drag route becomes an amazing security blanket. No one heard of him going into the draft and maybe you should have scooped him last week instead but I think he might be the WR 1 fantasy-wise on the patriots week to week going forward. 

Parris Campbell 

I was a big believer in Parris Campbell coming into the seasons for similar reasons as Toney. Unfortunately, he has been kept off the field because of injuries for a few years now. He has had no injury issues since coming back and might finally be getting his feet underneath him. I know everyone likes to say Matt Ryan is washed up but the Colts have underperformed all around this year and obviously, Matty Ice is still capable of slinging it 40-50+ times a game and racking up yards. I think he is more successful with a slot option he trusts and he hasn’t really been targeting one until this game, which was his best one yet. Ryan clearly trusts Campbell as well since not only did he score a red zone TD he was frequently targeted on important downs late in the game at the end of the third quarter and the madness that was the fourth quarter of that game. Pittman and Pierce are obviously the big playmakers but if they keep up the high-volume throwing and teams focus on taking away those big plays, Parris Campbell is going to soak up alot of targets. 

Daniel Bellinger 

Tight end has been rougher this year than most which is really saying something. Kelce Andrews, Njoku, and Goedert may be the only names you truly feel comfortable starting to get you some production consistently. So if you are like most people, then you are looking for some sort of answer at TE and I think Bellinger is a nice option. He has become one of the main target leaders in New York because of the lack of weapons and has performed admirably for a rookie. Daboll also is a very creative offensive mind and is committed to scoring redzone TDs anyway and with anyone possible (this is another great point for Toney but we are talking about Bellinger now). Bellinger has three TDs on the season with one of them rushing. He is clearly an option Daboll looks to be in the red zone and I think at this point he is as good a bet as any to get you a Td on a weekly basis. I could see him sneakily finishing within the top 10 this year especially if the giants keep the momentum rolling. 

Noah Fant 

Another TE I think slides perfectly under the top guys into that Irv Smith and Daniel Bellinger tier. He’s a guy I could see sneaking into the top 10 as defenses start adjusting to Geno Smith over the second half of the season. He was extremely impressive in camp and I think he only gets more involved from here on out. 

Good luck and see you next week.

Maybe We Should Snake Draft with an Auction Mindset

Halls Fantasy Draft

I had a standard sleeper setting 12 Team PPR Fantasy Football Snake Draft last night for a home league consisting of colleagues from the fine dining restaurant I currently work at. The level of familiarity ranged from first-timers to people just now starting to think of fantasy football, to me, who may or may not have spent all off-season researching stats and driving his girlfriend crazy listening to hours of different trusted fantasy football podcasts on a daily basis.   

I’ve always been excited for the fantasy football season but this year I took the deepest dive you can in fantasy football and accepted an invite into a couple of dynasty leagues. I’m locked in year-round now looking for any piece of news that might give me an advantage. I’m addicted. My girlfriend’s laugh when I tell her I’ve joined another league has gone from a vague concern for my ability to manage them all to genuine worry about how I’m going to be able to participate in life outside of fantasy football this season. 

I by no means believe myself to be an expert. I’m more of an over-obsessive millennial nerd looking for an escape from our harsh reality than a fantasy football guru. Nonetheless, I’m very familiar with pretty much all draftable players in fantasy football this season. The same can not be said for those I was drafting with. How much does that matter? I found myself asking this question many times throughout our draft. What was the percentage advantage I had when it came to picking the players most likely to have the best fantasy football seasons this year?

I was sitting pretty picking from the 2 spot and I expected your usual home league happenings. I couldn’t wait to take advantage of the values I would find because of the early QB, Def, and Kicker selections.

I planned on going Bully WR (4-5 back to back) and taking advantage of the later round values on RBs that my colleagues maybe wouldn’t be as privy to. I’ve been burned one too many times on early RB strategies recently so I have been going zero RB alot this year. I like a lot of the values I have been finding this year.

My Favorite Zero RB Targets this Year:

  • AJ Dillon
  • Devin Singletary
  • Rhamondre Stevenson
  • Dameon Pierce
  • Chase Edmonds
  • Kenneth Walker III

People are down on Kenneth Walker but I have a very strong feeling that he will be starting by week 4ish and running away with that job. Penny to me seems like a placeholder that they are waiting for Kenetth Walker to organically supplant. I know that uncertainty scares people but I think it’s sooner rather than later that he takes over (If Penny doesn’t get injured before that) and in a run-heavy offense he could be a league winner this year.

Deeper Options:

  • Nyheim Hines
  • Tyler Allgeier
  • Isiah Pacheco
  • Eno Benjamin
  • Kyren Williams
  • JD McKissick

There is already tons of hype on Hines and Pacheco out of training camp. Kyren Williams I think is a stash for later in the season but Akers and Henderson are always banged up and he will be the 1b if that happens. McKissick is the new James White and Tyler Allgeier might be the new starting running back for the Falcons if they end up moving Patterson back to WR like they have been talking about wanting to. 

When I got to the point where I knew AJ Dillon (the player I’m most bullish on this year) wasn’t going to come back to me, that’s when I would stop my onslaught of Wr picks and transition into my zero RB targets. 

As the draft started with the ritualistic selection of Jonathon Taylor I was put on the clock.

This is the part where I reveal my Zero RB strategy was actually a justification for me to take Cooper Kupp with the second pick. Horns Up baby, we’re going back to back this year and I’ll stop there. Passing on Mccaffery and Henry didn’t feel the best but I don’t like the injury risk in my first round pick and I think there is something to be said about how fun it is to root for your own team’s superstars on your fantasy team. This is coming from a Rams fan who watched his team go 2-14 or 8-8 for most of his life up until this point. Your team won’t always have a fantasy superstar so enjoy it while you can, if you can.

The draft continued to continue normally until Team 6 was placed on auto pick (More on them later) and Team 8 then used their first round selection on Josh Allen. Team 12 Also wanted to follow this strategy and solidify their QB position with their first round pick and took Matthew Stafford. Everyone knows taking a QB in the first round is a surefire sign that the person making the selection actually has a life and isn’t as obsessed with fantasy football as those of us who know the value that can be found in taking QBs later on in drafts. Matthew Stafford will be the MVP of the League as he leads the Rams to another ring so I can’t knock him too much for making the pick tho… Horns UP! Team 8 is the General Manager for our entire restaurant and Team 12 is an executive sous chef so I kept comments to myself for the sake of my employment and watched to see who would fall to me.

Team 12 and Team 8 Redeem themselves with their next picks in the second round. 

Team 8

  • 1st Round / Pick 8 – Josh Allen QB
  • 2nd Round / Pick 5 – Saquan Barkley RB

Team 12

  • 1st Round / Pick 12 – Matthew Stafford QB
  • 2nd Round / Pick 1 – Stefon Diggs WR

I would never take a QB in the first round myself or advise anyone else to but Josh Allen very easily could be the QB 1 and honestly I’m all aboard the Saquan hype train and wish he would have fallen to me. I think he is determined to prove the doubters wrong with a huge year and the stars might be aligning for him to do so. Danny Dimes also has something to prove in his contract year and is surrounded by great weapons and finally being coached by a competent staff. I think he will get RB 1 volume and opportunity and with his talent. I expect big things. So Team 8 Potentially has the RB 1 and QB 1 after two rounds, should we be mad about that? 

Team 12 obviously made a huge reach grabbing Stafford but Stafford ended as a top 6 QB last year. His 41 Tds last year was second in the league and they upgraded from Robert Woods to former perceived to be surefire superstar Allen Robinson. Call me crazy but I could see him doing even better in his second season with the Rams and could crack the top 5 leaving Team 12 in a relatively good situation as well now that he’s grabbed the aforementioned QB 1’s favorite target in Stefon Diggs who himself has WR1 Potential. 

Personally, I think the most important thing to do with your first round pick is to not fuck it up. Having the player you choose bomb statistically or get injured is often the ruin for many championship dreams. These unorthodox picks got me thinking about how maybe taking a QB in round 1 can offer some interesting safety/floor for your team!? QBs rarely get hurt and having a clear positional advantage is always a good thing. Plus this now leaves them open to make an additional skill position pick or two in those middle rounds where most league winners are found while others are taking the QB they felt they needed to wait to take because of “value.” As these thoughts swirled in my head I found myself thoroughly interested in how the rest of their rosters would fill out. 

The auto pick team at spot 6 doubled up at Wr 

Team 6

  • 1st Round / Pick 6: Justin Jefferson WR
  • 2nd Round / Pick 7: Tyreek Hill WR

Obviously, there is alot to love about Justin Jefferson but Tyreek Hill is a GREAT WR2. That Miami offense this year is very interesting to me. A lot of people hate on Tua but with the new coaching that’s in Miami, I think Hill and Waddle are going to be extremely fun to watch this year. Tua has the arm to make the 50-yard (if not 60-yard) throws and will be extremely accurate in the short to intermediate parts of the field. Mike McDaniels is going to build around that. With an exciting backfield and proven TE in Gesicki, the Miami Dolphins might be really explosive this year.

Mark Andrews, Mike Evans, and Aaron Jones go before I get the vaunted home league value from those early-round QB picks

*Que Maniacal Laughter*

I happily sidestepped my original plan and selected D’Andre Swift in the back end of the second round with the 11th pick of that round (23rd Overall). I wanted to go Bully WR but with the turn coming up allowing me to pick from a slew of valuable WR, I had to grab Swift. Am I drunk because of Hard Knocks? Maybe a little but I think Swift could be a monster in fantasy if he stays healthy and stays involved in the passing game as he was early on last year. I think he has top 5 RB upside in PPR and a very nice RB 1 floor for my team that was going to be now going for a modified Hero RB strategy. 

I resumed the heavy WR push with AJ Brown on the turn. AJ Brown has made a name for himself as an elite NFL wide receiver and fantasy superstar in an offense that struggles to crack the top 25 in the NFL in means of passing yards per game the past few years. Despite how it looks on paper It’s a different situation in Philly. They were extremely run-heavy last year but not because they have an all-star running back they can afford to not give touches to. I think the Eagles were running so much out of necessity. That game plan gave them the best chance to win. Devonta Smith looks like a great player but I don’t think he can be atop the depth chart of a wide receiver core and expect that team to light it up through the air, but he’s a perfect complement WR. Which in my opinion is exactly why they traded for AJ Brown. Quez Watkins is an absolute burner too so I’m excited to see all three on the field. I think Jalen Hurts solidifies himself as the franchise QB for the Eagles this year.

Team 6, 8, and 12 continued to peak my interest as I waited for my next turn.

Team 6 (Auto Pick)

  • 1st Round / Pick 6 – Justin Jefferson WR
  • 2nd Round / Pick 7 –  Tyreek Hill WR
  • 3rd Round / Pick 6 – Javonte Williams RB
  • 4th Round / Pick 7 – David Montgomery RB

Team 6 Has a very balanced team by Round 4. Two high-end WRs in Jefferson and Hill followed by a high upside RB in Javonte Williams and a high-floor RB in David Montogmery. Autopick not doing a bad job so far. 

Team 8 

  • 1st Round / Pick 8 – Josh Allen QB
  • 2nd Round / Pick 5 – Saquan Barkley RB
  • 3rd Round / Pick 8 – Keenan Allen WR
  • 4th Round / Pick 5 – Kyle Pitts TE

Team 8 by round 4 potentially has the QB 1, the RB 1, and the TE 1 on their roster. That is completely within the realm of possibilities for Allen, Barkley, and Pitts respectively. Adding a high floor consistent target hog in Keenan Allen in that mix could hold up well. I personally believe Mike Williams eclipses, Allen, this year but I think Allen doesn’t slip far and will remain with WR 2 value. With QB and TE out of the way, Team 8 can use rounds 5 onwards to build WR and RB depth and take a lot of shots at potential league winners. 

Team 12

  • 1st Round / Pick 12 – Matthew Stafford QB
  • 2nd Round / Pick 1 – Stefon Diggs WR
  • 3rd Round / Pick 12 – James Conner RB
  • 4th Round / Pick 1 – Terry McLaurin WR

Team 12 Has secured two great WR options as well as a potential touchdown monster in James Conner. Arizona running backs score touchdowns under Kliff Kingsbury we have seen it year after year with seemingly a new running back each time. On that note, I have invested considerably in Eno Benjamin this year among dynasty and redraft leagues alike. If Conner can stay healthy he might rock out as a top 12-15 RB but I think Eno carves out a role in this offense either through injury opportunity or simply as a compliment to Conner. Benjamin is someone you can get super late in drafts and is the clear direct potential workhorse backup to Connor.

Back to My Team

Michael Pittman and Courtland Sutton were two Wr I wish returned to me but didn’t. I was happy to take Mike Williams who was third on my list under Pittman and Sutton. Like I said earlier I think Williams takes over as the WR1 for the Chargers this year. His route tree and involvement in the offense were expanded, he’s got a great young QB, and the dudes huge. A whole lot to love about Mike Williams this year. Especially as a WR 3. 

In the middle of my adapted Hero RB / Bully WR strategy I had going on, I found an opportunity to play a little home league mind games on this pick. There had been a QB taken each round up to this point, including two in the first round, so I could feel the steam bubbling up. I had 3 stud receivers (and a Hero RB in Swift) but we have two flex spots, so I really wanted a fourth stud WR. To secure that fourth wide receiver I decided to select Lamar Jackson. Not only do I think he has QB 1 potential but I was hoping to set off a chain reaction of QBs off the board and was able to scare the next three people into taking QBs and watched two more go before my pick returned to me. 

Unfortunately, Allen Robinson nor Jaylen Waddle made it back to me but understandably so. Coming from a Rams fan, McVay has a habit of intentionally getting new people involved. He’s a great coach who understands that part of the game and he will do wonders for Allen Robinson. Having him as a WR4 or even 3 this year I think is an amazing choice. 

The guy after me had two picks in a row before my next pick and he needed an RB so even though I was sweating to grab Amon-Ra St. Brown I chose AJ Dillon instead because I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to get him as an RB 2. I don’t know If he is going to have a HUGE year but I think he is a lock to be a top 20 RB and upside for bigger weeks based on goal line usage and touchdowns.So in other words Perfect for any RB 2 spot. My instincts were right as the next team chose Gibson and then…. The Bills Defense. God I love home leagues. So I was able to snag St. Brown and fill out the main part of my roster.

My Team So Far

  • QB: Lamar Jackson
  • RB: D’Andre Swift
  • RB: AJ Dillon
  • WR: Cooper Kupp
  • WR: AJ Brown
  • TE: (What will later be Pat Freiermuth in the 11th Round)
  • Flex: Mike Williams
  • Flex: Amon-Ra St. Brown

Update on how those two rounds went for our Round 1 QB stars Team 8 and Team 12

Team 8 

  • 1st Round / Pick 8 – Josh Allen QB
  • 2nd Round / Pick 5 – Saquan Barkley RB
  • 3rd Round / Pick 8 – Keenan Allen WR
  • 4th Round / Pick 5 – Kyle Pitts TE
  • 5th Round / Pick 8 – Allen Robinson WR
  • 6th Round / Pick 5 – Gabe Davis WR 

Team 8 was the reason I didn’t get Allen Robinson. He also took Gabe Davis. Two amazing high upside picks that give respite to the floor Keenan Allen pick. At this point, even though Team 8 took a QB with the eighth pick in the draft our teams are looking very similar. He also has gone with the Hero RB strategy and the only difference is he has an Elite TE!?! 

Team 12

  • 1st Round / Pick 12 – Matthew Stafford QB
  • 2nd Round / Pick 1 – Stefon Diggs WR
  • 3rd Round / Pick 12 – James Conner RB
  • 4th Round / Pick 1 – Terry McLaurin WR
  • 5th Round / Pick 12 – Cam Akers RB
  • 6th Round / Pick 1 – Rhamondre Stevenson RB

Team 12 managed to continue balancing out his team. Two great starting WR and three solid RBs with upside. I particularly like the Stevenson pick. I think Akers ceiling this year is RB 2 so I like doubling up with Stevenson, who has more upside, to protect against the uncertainty of Akers usage. I know Stevenson is in a similar ambiguous volume boat but I think Belicheck just isn’t one to give much insight on his game plan, much less before the season starts, but it’s clear who the most talented back in New England is.

For two teams that took QBs in the first round of the draft, they were left in surprisingly good positions to build a decent squad. Maybe all the news and perspective we gather from our podcasts, our Twitter accounts, and our research ultimately give us nothing but a small edge when it comes to drafting. Maybe the only advantage you gain when it comes to drafting is that feeling in your stomach. That feeling that has you believing you can see the future. I see AJ Dillon getting more rushing attempts, yards, and touchdowns than Aaron Jones in 4k on the fantasy football TV in my head. I rarely leave a draft without him. I can’t betray that feeling of “value.” Sometimes I get a good value on AJ Dillon, sometimes I take him a round early if I have to based on how the draft has gone. ADP means literally nothing once the season starts. Get your guys. Be like Team 8 and Team 12. Maybe don’t take a QB first but with all things considered even with that decision, they both were still in a good position to build good squads.

Team 8 took three QBs (Allen, Carr, and Ryan) and a gag last pick with Tim Tebow that he has since dropped and replaced on waiver along with alot of his bench. 

Team 12 didn’t take his kicker, defense, or backup QB until the end which made me proud. Overall his squad ended up balanced but with players, I’m not generally super excited about.

The point is they didn’t ruin their chances to have a Championship-winning roster by taking their QBs first so let’s translate that to a more reasonable approach.

Don’t be afraid to take your guys in the first and second rounds. If you have that feeling in your stomach about CeeDee Lamb don’t take Ja’Marr Chase just because he’s the best-perceived value at 7. Be Bold! Tee Higgins genuinely might outscore Chase in fantasy this year and if that’s in the realm of outcomes how much could CeeDee outscore him by!? If you know CeeDee isn’t coming back to you, go with your gut. Don’t let the draft board tell you how to build your team. You know what guys you’re excited about. Take them. 

My Final Team

  • QB: Lamar Jackson
  • RB: D’Andre Swift
  • RB: AJ Dillon
  • WR: Cooper Kupp
  • WR: AJ Brown
  • TE: Pat Freiermuth
  • Flex: Mike Williams
  • Flex: Amon-Ra St. Brown
  • Bench: Elijah Moore
  • Bench: Devin Singletary
  • Bench: Trey Lance (Home League Trade Bait)
  • Bench: Kadarius Toney
  • Bench: Nyheim Hines

Final Thoughts

I love the potential of my starters all being high-volume players and finishers at their positions plus I was able to fill my bench with a lot of the deeper options I love. With such a small bench I don’t normally advocate for taking a backup QB but I think once the season starts I’ll be able to flip Lance for something huge in a trade, so I plan on moving him as soon as his value skyrockets.

I think what I learned from this home league draft is that we can look at snake drafting from a different perspective. In auction drafts, you often end up with a team that would make no sense ADP-wise in a snake draft. You’re able to truly go after your guys. Some teams will elect to miss out on the traditional first round (sometimes even second round) players altogether and still build teams that compete and win Championships.

So remember this year that Fantasy Football is still a game and is as much a lottery as it is skill based. Have fun with that aspect. Go into your snake drafts with an auction mindset and get your guys because after the draft that ADP doesn’t matter. Only who you’re starting and going to war with on opening kickoff. Good luck and have fun this season.