We are now starting the second half of the NFL season, but there
are still five more “bye weeks” to go. Additionally,
we are being hit by more Covid-19 issues. We don’t know whether
Aaron Rodgers will return in Week 10 and on Tuesday added Nick Chubb
and Dallas kicker Greg Zuerlein to the list. And oh so many injuries.
At some point it will be time to trade depth for a better starting
lineup heading into the playoffs, but we aren’t there yet.
Keep adding talent to your roster whenever you can.
Byes: Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, New York Giants
“Most of the basic truths of life sound absurd at first
hearing.” – Elizabeth Goudge
1) Sometimes a superstar has to give up statistically for a
team to become a Super Bowl contender.
Exhibit A – DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals are a league-best
8-1, but Hopkins ranks 20th in wideout FPts/G (15.7) and he’s
only that high because of seven touchdown receptions (fourth among
receivers). He ranked fifth overall last season at 18.2 FPts/G.
He’s averaging 6.1 targets and 4.4 receptions compared to
10 targets and 7.2 receptions in 2020. The addition of A.J. Green
and rookie Rondale Moore have made life easier for Kyler Murray,
but tougher on those who selected “Nuk.” Other examples
- Robert Woods and Stefon Diggs. It’s no fun for fantasy
owners, but it’s certainly understandable. If they are on
your roster your only option is deal with the reduced value or
try to trade them before others understand the season long change
in actual worth.
2) Rookie Pat Freiermuth is quickly becoming a TE1.
True. Freiermuth ranks No.3 over the past three weeks. His average
targets-per-game has jumped considerably the past three games
(6.7) and he’s produced 16.2 FPts/G over that span. It’s
helped that Eric Ebron has missed time with a hamstring injury,
but Freiermuth caught seven balls on seven targets the last time
both tight ends were healthy at the same time. He’s looking
very much like the long-term solution for the question, “Where
is our next Heath Miller?” Freiermuth has caught 82% of
his targets which is better than any top-10 fantasy tight end
through Week 9 or any tight end with at least 20 targets.
3) If your running back is “touchdown dependent,” you will want
to avoid the following seven teams: Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Carolina,
Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, Arizona and New England.
Fact. All of those defenses average less than ½ a running
back touchdown allowed per game. Additionally, the Bucs, Cardinals,
Colts and Pats have yielded just one rushing touchdown over the
last five weeks, so if they aren’t pass-catchers, these
five defenses should absolutely be avoided.
4) James Conner is one of those touchdown dependent backs …
but not this weekend.
True. Conner ranks just 19th among backs despite leading the
position with 11 total touchdowns. In his first eight games with
the Cardinals, Conner averaged just 44.8 rushing yards. In Week
10, however, with Chase Edmonds injured, Conner should see a larger
share of the workload as only second-year Eno Benjamin backs him
5) The Eagles defense against mediocre/bad quarterbacks has
been outstanding, but put a quality quarterback in front of the
team and they have more holes than Swiss cheese.
“False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect
the soul with evil.” – Plato
1) Jalen Hurts is still a top-10 fantasy quarterback.
Not for long. As we have seen over the past two games, the Eagles
have shifted gears to become a run-first team and he’s averaged
just 15.5 passing attempts over that span compared to 34.6 attempts
the first seven games. It’s resulted in a drastic drop in
production from 27.4 FPts/G to 15.3. The Eagles offensive line
has gotten healthy but they did face two of the bottom-five run
defenses. The run defenses will get much tougher the next two
weekends, but don’t expect him to go back to consistently
throw 35 passes a game as I believe management has seen the light.
2) Which one of these six quarterbacks over the past five weeks
doesn’t belong with the others? Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson,
Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, Dak Prescott or Tua Tagovailoa?
It’s a trick question. They are all top-six fantasy quarterbacks
since Week 5. Those who guessed Tagovailoa should know he’s
No. 6 over that span averaging 25.5 FPts/G. Tua’s next two
opponents, Baltimore and Jets, have been very generous of late,
ranking 28th and 30th, respectively, in QB fantasy points allowed
since Week 5. (This assumes Tua’s finger is better –
he’ll be a game-time decision.)
3) Dalvin Cook is still elite.
Sorry, but I’m going to have to say no, not this season.
Sure, he still has the talent he had in 2019 and 2020, but he’s
simply not producing as consistently as in those two seasons.
He’s back to his 2018 level which was good, but not elite.
* - minimum four games
4) Marvin Jones is still the Jaguars best fantasy receiving
option moving forward.
False. I’m going to have to go with a surprise here and
say Jamal Agnew. Jones has cracked nine fantasy points just once
in his last five games. Laviska Shenault has surpassed nine points
once in his last four games. Meanwhile, Agnew has double digits
in three of his last four games. He also leads the receiving corps
in targets over that span with 31 to Jones’ 27 and Shenault’s
21. Agnew has a great matchup this week against a Colts team allowing
41.8 fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts (28th).
5) D’Ernest Johnson, who played great as a substitute for Chubb
and Kareem Hunt (calf) in Week 7 should be a great play in Week
Perhaps, but don’t go crazy for Johnson, who is rostered
in just 41% of all leagues, as he goes up against Bill Belichick’s
Patriots. The brain trust in New England always devises a plan
to take away one player from the opposition and if you were Bill,
who would you take away now that OBJ is gone and their top-two
backs are sidelined? That’s right Johnson. Letting Baker Mayfield beat you with his arm (eight touchdown passes in eight
games) has always been a great way to beat the Browns.