I’m impressed by the NFL players. No, not in their truly amazing
abilities on the field, but their ability to avoid contracting Covid-19.
Two thousand plus young men and their coaches have survived training
camp so far. Because of their will power, we get to enjoy fantasy
football. So a big Thank You! And please don’t let down your
“There are only two ways of telling the complete truth
– anonymously and posthumously.” - Thomas Sowell
1) Of the 32 current starting quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes
owns the highest percentage of 400 and 300-yard passing games
over his career.
No surprise there. Mahomes has thrown for 400-yards or more three
times (9.4%) or over 300-yards 17 times (53.1%) in 32 starts.
The more interesting numbers come from No.3 and No.5 on the list
Ė Daniel Jones (5-of-14 for 35.7% over 300) and Kirk Cousins
(32-of-94 for 34%), respectively. Iíll bet those statistics
do surprise you. Donít be dissuaded from starting or trading
for Jones due to the game against Pittsburgh - the Steelers defense
is really, really good.
2) If you “own” Austin Ekeler you should be worried.
True. Ekelerís best attribute is his ability to catch the
ball out of the backfield and make chunk plays. In the opener,
however, he was targeted just one time for three yards. Rushing
19 times is good, but getting Ekeler in space is more important.
Unfortunately, itís just not Tyrod Taylorís style
to throw to running backs, even great receiving ones. In three
years as a starter in Buffalo, with LeSean McCoy in the backfield,
Taylor threw to all his running backs just 21.5% of the time.
Also, Joshua Kelly, the rookie from UCLA, looked good getting
plenty of opportunities and rushing for 60 yards and a score on
3) It doesnít matter who the starting running back is
for New England.
Fact. This time itís not because head coach Bill Belichick
will use different RB strategies every game as in the past. In
2020, the cause of the failure of all Patriots running backs will
be Cam Newton. The quarterback will vulture a large number of
red zone rushing attempts and touchdowns. Heís at his most
dangerous when near the goal line so why wouldnít the smartest
coach in the league use him there? Trading away Sony Michel or
James White should be a priority if you can still get anything
close to their value.
4) Despite running in three touchdowns on 25 carries, the most
important fact of the day surrounding Josh Jacobs is he was targeted
six times in the passing game.
True. We know he can run. What we were concerned about was Jacobsí
lack of usage in the passing game last season (27 targets and
20 receptions in 13 games). His six targets and four receptions
were a career high (college and pro). Proceed with caution, however,
the Panthers defense was horrible on Sunday and this from a team
who finished dead last in RB fantasy points allowed in 2019 (26.3
FPts/G). If he produces similar results in Week 2 against a much
tougher New Orleans team then Iíll be ready to move Jacobs
up a tier in value.
5) James Conner is injured again.
What else is new? He injured an ankle early on in the game against
the Giants and was MIA in the second half. What is more important
to fantasy owners is how well his replacement, Benny Snell, ran.
Nineteen carries for 113 yards. Although heís a ďmust
claimĒ for all Conner owners, unlike the starter, Snell
does not get involved in the passing game. They brought in Jaylen Samuels for most passing downs which would limit Snellís
“Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man
of some sense to know how to lie well.” – Samuel Butler
1) Matt Ryan is on pace to throw for 7,200 yards.
While the numbers are true (450 x 16), itís obviously not
going to happen. Just use it as an example for not going overboard
by first weekend statistics. By the way, heís still a pretty
good fantasy option considering heís posted 65 300-yard
passing days in 190 career starts (34.2%).
2) Despite an MVP award and the highest quarterback ADP in 2020,
Lamar Jackson has thrown for 300-yards or more just once in the
It was Opening Day in 2019 against Miami in a 59-10 win. Irrelevant.
Jackson has also run for 100 yards or more six times, including
12 rushing touchdowns, which in fantasy is far more valuable than
simple passing yards. If you subtract out the first nine games
in 2018 when Jackson didnít start, but was used as a ďweapon,Ē
heís given fantasy owners a yardage bonus in seven of 23
quarterback starts (30.4%). That one 300-yard passing day doesnít
look so bad now does it? Sometimes numbers lie.
3) All the media hype about Washington rookie Antonio Gibson
False. It turns out the Washington Football Team used Gibson between
the 20s and Peyton Barber in the red zone. Gibson had one goal line
try, was stuffed, and the team used Barber in all the other red
zone carries for the remainder of the game. Barber is likely the
better option of the two going forward, though he will be extremely
touchdown dependent. Cam Akersí fantasy value was overrated
too. It appears Malcolm Brown is the man to have, at least early
in the season. The carries were split pretty evenly (18-14), but
Brown was the much better producer. Donít give Akers away,
however, as it seems Sean McVay wants to dominate on the ground
and use Jared Goff far less than the league-leading 626 times he
threw the ball in 2019.
4) Russell Gage (9-114-0) is now a viable every week fantasy
Ryan threw the ball 54 times for his 450 yards and two scores,
but thatís not going to happen every week. Julio
Ridley and Russell
Gage each saw 12 targets, but Gage should still be thought
of as the third option among the Falcons wideouts. And eventually
Ryan will rediscover his fondness for his tight ends, in this
case, the newly acquired Hayden
Hurst. Seattle had no pass rush to speak of, next week in
Dallas, that wonít be the same. The Cowboys issue is stopping
5) The return of Ben Roethlisberger made JuJu Smith-Schuster
the happiest man in Pittsburgh.
Maybe. Iíd put him just behind head coach Mike Tomlin,
OC Randy Fichtner and Kim Miale (Smith-Schusterís agent
as heís a UFA in 2021), but they all have to be smiling
Tuesday. Along with a defense who no longer has to shut out its
opponent to win a football game and 1.7 million people in the
Pittsburgh metro area, the Steelers saw Big Benís worth
starting late in the second quarter. After knocking off the early
rust early, the final three quarters were vintage Roethlisberger.
Do not trade JuJu, or for that matter Diontae Johnson (10 targets),
unless you are vastly overpaid.