Fantasy owners hit the midway point in
their seasons this weekend and both injuries and byes are making
lineup construction more difficult. Four teams will take their
seats on the sidelines in Week 7 and it will hit fantasy owners
hard – Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Oakland. And it
won’t get any easier with four teams off in Week 8 and six
in Week 9. I hope you are prepared.
“You can be standing right in front of the truth and
not necessarily see it, and people only get it when they're ready
to get it.” George Harrison
Sony Michel is stronger than Bill
Belichicks penchant for RBBC.
It took a couple of regular season games for Michel to prove
that; a) he was healthy b) he wouldn’t fumble and c) he
wouldn’t get Tom Brady killed. Since then, he’s been
Belichick’s primary running option averaging 22.3 carries,
102 yards and 1.3 rushing touchdowns. He won’t get the pass-receiving
work as long as James White is healthy, but being called upon
for 75.3% of the RB rushing attempts is fantasy gold in the Patriots’
Jameis Winston is another Ryan Fitzpatrick.
They both throw for yards. They both throw touchdown and they
both throw a lot of interceptions. For the 2018 season Fitzpatrick
is averaging 339 yards and a 2.18 TD/INT percentage and Winston
in his one start was 395 and 2.0. While Winston only averages
259 yards passing per game for the career, he’s going to
continue to produce this season. It’s not the quarterback,
it’s the team’s offensive package. They don’t
have the talent to run, they have most of the high-paid personnel
involved in the passing game and their defense gives up a pile
of points. It doesn’t matter who is under center this season
for the Buccaneers, he’s going to be start-worthy.
C. J. Beathard is not a fluke, however
As with Fitzpatrick and Winston, Beathard took over an offense
designed to be QB friendly. Garoppolo proved it last season and
Beathard has simply been the next man up. He’s averaging
26.4 FPts/G as a starter including multiple touchdown passes in
three straight games. In fact, that’s better than the $137
million man. However, he’ll only see three subpar opponents
the rest of the way (ranked 20th or worst in QB fantasy points
allowed) and six top-10 defenses so it will be difficult to roster
him as anything except a backup and occasional starter.
David Johnson feels like a disappointment,
but in reality, he’s been top-10 and the prognosis is favorable.
Johnson has yet to get untracked on the ground, but he’s
still ranked 10th in FPts/G (13.2). He’s survived on touchdown
production (five of six games). The Cardinals primary workhorse
wasn’t used enough in the early games, only 11.3 carries
per game (probably because Arizona couldn’t sustain any
offense under Sam Bradford). He’s averaged 19.3 rushing
attempts the past three games and 21.7 touches and that along
with a favorable schedule should allow him to move closer to the
top-five. He may never reach his preseason draft position, but
middle of the top-10 would be a solid return.
Don’t look now but Robert Woods is
playing a starring role.
Woods is producing at a personal record 13.1 FPts/G pace. No,
he hasn’t taken away from Brandin Cooks (11.0) or Cooper
Kupp (12.7). It’s just Jared Goff and the Rams offense are
producing at a phenomenal pace. The Rams won’t see any tough
pass defenses until December, facing San Francisco, Green Bay,
Seattle and Kansas City in their next four, so there is no reason
to think this roll will end anytime soon.
“If a man will stand up and assert, and repeat and reassert,
that two and two do not make four, I know nothing in the power
of argument that can stop him.” Abraham Lincoln
Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are no longer 1 and 1A.
Last season both receivers averaged 9.6 FPts/G. This season,
Thielen is far outdistancing his “partner in crime”
averaging 15.9 FPts/G. So, he’s the man, right? No, I don’t
think so. Thielen has racked up at least 100-yards receiving in
all six games and that streak can’t continue forever. Meanwhile,
Diggs’ average has also increased to 11.0 FPts/G. Defenses
will start leaning toward Thielen and Diggs will star. It’s
an ebb and flow thing. Both guys are thriving under Kirk Cousins
and OC John DeFilippo.
Belichick said Josh Gordon's "role
is expanding weekly."
Sorry, I think we’ve seen about the limit of this so-called
expansion. Gordon may catch a higher percentage of balls going
forward (he was 5-of-9 for 42 yards Sunday night), but to think
he’ll consistently see double-digit targets on a team with
Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and White out of the
backfield is naïve. Gordon is the deep threat, there to stretch
the defense and open the middle for “Gronk.” He’ll
catch a couple bombs over the next 10 games, but if you start
him every week you will be disappointed more than not.
The new contract signed by Odell Beckham
Jr. will make him a team leader, said by a few people in Giants
management back in late August.
Welcome to the Thunderdome! "Two men enter, one-man leaves."
If being a team leader means pushing Eli Manning under the bus
(not that his play hasn’t deserved it), them he’s
a team leader. More likely, he’s upset that he’s not
getting his numbers and recognition. Beckham currently ranks 30th
among fantasy receivers averaging 9.6 FPts/G. Meanwhile, I haven’t
seen his “dirty dancing” commercial with Eli lately.
Nothing can be done this season, but if the Giants don’t
draft/find a franchise quarterback this offseason, the “team
leader” may become a “team pariah.”
“There isn’t anything I can
do to improve my kicking game.”
False. If you are paying attention you will note that Greg Zuerlein
is returning to the Rams’ lineup for Week 7. Those are the
same Rams who are averaging 32.7 ppg. Here’s the really
good news – he’s only owned in 49% of all leagues,
as owners apparently dropped him when he was injured. He’s
not the only top kicker still on the open market. Jason Myers
(10.5 FPts/G) is available in 96% of all Yahoo Leagues.
With Devonta Freeman now officially sidelined
for at least eight games, Tevin Coleman should be a fantasy stud.
Actually, Freeman has already been sidelined for four of six
games and Coleman has disappointed his fantasy owners. In the
four games Freeman has been absent, Coleman has averaged only
13.8 carries. In addition, third-string Ito Smith has “skimmed
off” three short touchdown runs. Coleman hasn’t produced
a rushing touchdown since Opening night. I have no confidence
that Coleman can assert himself into a dominant role.
Steve Schwarz served as the fantasy sports editor of The Sports Network and is the 2014 FSWA Football Writer of the Year.