Last week’s question: What’s the biggest hit, miss,
hope, & fear of your draft?
I shared my takes on my own biggest hit, miss, hope, & fear
for my team in the FFToday Staff League last week before Doug
Orth crushed me in Week 1. (That defeat made my hopes for Tyrod Taylor seem very misplaced indeed.)
However, I was pleased to receive feedback from readers who had
greater cause for celebration than I. Let’s start with David’s
response, if only to direct our collective jealousy at a guy who
picked up Jonathan Taylor at 6.09 (vs. 3.09 in FFTSL), Robert Woods at 7.02 (vs. 4.01 in FFTSL).
Who was the biggest hit of your draft?
Either Robert Woods at 7.02 or Tyler Boyd at 10.09. WR is a
definite strength of my team (also have Julio Jones and Allen
Robinson rostered) and one of the non-Julio trio might turn
into an upgrade at RB at some point during the season (Jonathan
Taylor is currently slated as my RB2).
Who was the biggest miss of your draft?
I was really happy with my draft in my primary league (provider
gave me an A+), so this "miss" doesn't hurt much,
but taking Aaron Rodgers at 11.02 instead of Stafford or Roethlisberger
will probably be a regret. I plan on rolling with Kyler Murray
every week except his bye, but Rodgers has the least to work
with in terms of pass catchers among the three.
Which of your draft choices gives you the greatest
George Kittle at 3.02 - it's a very "out of character"
selection for me, but I really think (with Sanders in New Orleans
and some injuries at WR) the 49ers are going to lean on Kittle
even more in the passing game this year, and he's a matchup
nightmare for all but the fastest of LBs or strongest of DBs.
Which of your draft choices causes you the most fear?
Probably Jonathan Taylor at 6.09. I LOVE the setup and the talent,
but Marlon Mack isn't going to just "lay down" and
hand over the role. With the overwhelming abundance of committees
league-wide it feels even more important than usual to get some
"guaranteed touches" at RB. I've insulated the Taylor
selection with 3 other "chances" in Zack Moss, Jordan
Howard and James White, but it does worry me a bit that he won't
be the RB1/RB2 his environment suggests he should be.
Great job, David. I was sorry to see Kittle hurt in Week 1, but
I still think he’ll finish the season worthy of the 3.02
I must also feature Hugh’s response because he moved heaven
& earth to land Clyde Edwards-Helaire--and rightly so by the
look of things. He starts by taking a victory lap that I would
ordinarily cut, but I figure he deserves it in light of the CEH
Last year was a banner year for me and my squad. I was able to
run the table and post the 1st 16-0 season in league history.
The target on my back is HUGE!
In any case my answer to this week's biggest hit question is
Clyde Edwards-Helaire. I think he is going to be my biggest hit
of our Rookie Draft, and I certainly paid a king’s ransom
to get him. During the offseason I traded away QB R Wilson and
my 2nd round rookie pick to acquire RB D. Montgomery. I followed
that up with a trade of Montgomery and my 1st round pick to acquire
the 1st rookie pick overall. That team owner is a huge Bears fanatic.
Naturally I had my eyes on CEH both because of where he landed
in the NFL and also because of how incredible he was at LSU. I
mean we all know how special an Andy Reid back can be. (See K
Hunt, J Charles, B Westbrook, S McCoy, and several more.) After
I made the trade, D Williams opted out of the season, and I giggled
and grinned quite a bit.
Now I must admit that CEH is also my biggest fear. As described
above, I certainly gave up a stud QB (MVP?), a productive RB,
and both of my end-of-round draft picks to get the player I wanted/desired.
I'm going into this year with Big Ben and Danny Dimes at QB and
have a well-rounded but somewhat questionable team around them.
I worry due to the uniqueness of this Covid year that my player
isn't going to be all that and the bag of chips I paid for. I'm
worried that a Super Bowl hangover may occur, an injury to Mahomes,
and countless other issues may arise.
The most impressive thing to me about Hugh’s biggest hit
is that he put that much effort into acquiring CEH before he even
knew that Damien Williams would opt out. I didn’t start
seriously kicking myself about passing over Edwards-Helaire in
multiple drafts until that development.
And while we’re on the subject of RBs, I want to share
this note from Brian (who contacted me over the summer about my
anti-zero-RB stance in 2020):
I’ve been reading A LOT of WR-heavy articles this year
that actually have me wondering if I should move away from heavy
RB to maybe 1 top RB or zero-RB strategy. Enjoyed your article
re-centering my faith in the early RBs. Especially like your take
on it being ‘too important to get pass-catching RBs in the
early rounds to justify taking any No. 2 WR.’
I do wonder how many people were able to dawdle on RBs in their
leagues and still end up with a viable week in & week out
starter (especially in PPR leagues). I hope to hear from readers
who were able to pull this off, but that’s not my featured
question for Week 2.
This Week’s Question: Do you get “peace of mind”
by avoiding streaming?
In Week 1, we saw one elite TE (George Kittle) and another upside
consensus pick (Blake Jarwin) get injured. We can hope that Kittle
will be active for Week 2, but Jarwin is gone for the season.
Kittle owners will probably want insurance, & Jarwin owners
will need a replacement, so we can all reasonably expect more
movement than usual on the TE waiver wire for Week 2. As a veteran
streamer, that doesn’t bother me--though it increases the
amount of FAAB I must be willing to expend on any TEs I target
for Week 2.
However, some folks find this whole process exasperating. I suspect
a few of them are thinking, “That’s why I avoided
the streaming headache entirely by investing in Travis Kelce.”
But there’s only 1 Kelce--and what if Kelce had been the
one to sprain his knee instead of Kittle?
Look, I don’t mind paying up for an elite TE under the
right circumstances, but I sense an increasing willingness on
the part of fantasy owners to overpay for elite players so as
to enjoy “peace of mind” that can never really be
guaranteed. Mahomes has been great for his whole career, but he’s
also missed games. No amount of draft capital invested in a player
can ensure that you won’t have to work the waiver wire for
a replacement when supply may just happen to be extremely limited.
If anything, it feels to me like always being on the lookout
for QBs & TEs with advantageous matchups & being cognizant
of how many other teams are likely to compete with me for those
players in a given week gives me an advantage for working the
wire when I happen to have an injury during an unexpected shortage
of players at a position.
What are your thoughts on the streaming habit? Does it really
ruin your “peace of mind”? Do you have any examples of how going
all out for that rock solid workhorse saved your bacon (or backfired
miserably)? You can answer in the comment section below or by
Survivor Pool Pick (Courtesy of Matthew Schiff)
Trap Game (Tampa over Carolina)
Every year, there are “gimmes” in Week 1 that blow up
many a survivor pool. That’s why I warned readers against
San Francisco--expected by many to coast to an easy victory over
a Cardinal team with no proven chemistry between Kyler Murray and
DeAndre Hopkins. Their chemistry (to the tune of 151 yards on 14
receptions by Nuk) is now proven, & those who rolled with the
49ers were eliminated out of the gate.
This week, I say stay away from Tennessee hosting Jacksonville,
which is traditionally a very tight game, but especially after
the Jags upset Indy at home.
The second game that you might wish to avoid is Cleveland hosting
Cincinnati. Joe Burrow looked pretty solid under center in his
debut, and this is a rivalry game between the Ohio teams that
never plays out according to expectations. Baker Mayfield is all
over the place, and the Cincinnati defense may only need 1 turnover
to steal this game.
Avoid Tennessee and the Ohio teams even if you don’t like
any of the three choices below. You’ll likely be better
off with Pittsburgh at home or Buffalo in Miami.
#3: KC over LAC (1-0; BAL)
If you used KC last week, this option won’t be available
to you, but everyone else should be able to ride the wave of Patrick Mahomes and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. If there’s a defense
in the NFL that can slow down Andy Reid’s juggernaut, it
doesn’t appear to be wearing a Chargers uniform, even if
playing at home. Take the Chiefs and give the points.
#2: Cardinals over Washington (0-1; ind)
The Cardinals went into the Bay Area and outplayed the NFC Champion
49ers on their own field. This week, Kyler Murray and his dynamic
(Hopkins), savvy (Larry Fitzgerald), & versatile (Kenyan Drake)
supporting cast should be more than enough to handle a Washington
Football team that surprised the Eagles last week. Don’t
expect Dwayne Haskins to win in Week 2 with 178 yards and a single
TD (as in Week 1, when his defense supplied 2 TDs to supplement
2 more from Peyton Barber, also unlikely to repeat his performance--except
for his 1.7 ypc average, which is about what we should expect).
#1: Packers over Lions (1-0; KC)
looked great in the first game of the season with a QB rating
of 93.0, 386 yards, and 4 touchdowns. This is more like the Rodgers
of young, in part because the offensive line prevented a Minnesota
pass rush from pressuring him. His supporting cast is underrated
because of a persistent belief that Davante
Adams is a 1-man show in the receiving corps, but Marquez
Valdes-Scantling and Allen
Lazard chipped in 150+ yards between them and a touchdown
each. Perhaps more importantly, Aaron
Jones remains a versatile backfield threat. The Detroit backfield,
by contrast, remains a carousel of confusion--with rookie D’Andre
Swift having dropped an easy game-winning catch in his debut.
Even if Adrian
Peterson manages to rush for another 93 yards (as in Week
1), it won’t be enough to stanch the bleeding from Detroit’s secondary,
which was slashed into ribbons by Mitchell
Trubisky last week and is almost certain to be slashed into
ribbons cut with surgical precision by Rodgers in Week 2. If so,
and company will most definitely end up on the short end of this
one at Lambeau. Look for the Pack to prevail - although late.
Mike Davis has been writing about fantasy football since 1999--and
playing video games even longer than that. His latest novel (concerning
a gamer who gets trapped inside Nethack after eating too many shrooms)
can be found here.