With just a month left in the fantasy regular season, it’s
time to make your lineup “be all it can be.” Injuries
and Covid-19 lists might open up an opportunity for us to trade
some of depth we have been hoarding by making a two-for-one trade
deal … sending two good players for one great one. Can you
trade for Cooper Kupp while he’s on bye? Probably not, but
there should be trades we can make to improve our starting lineup.
Byes: Denver, Los Angeles Rams
“Facts are the enemy of truth.” – Miguel
1) Mac Jones has the best won-loss record of the 2021 rookie
quarterback class to date, but his fantasy value isn’t looking
nearly as good.
He’s won six of 10 games with a 69% completion rate, 13 touchdown
passes and just seven interceptions, but he’s only averaging 17.5
FPts/G this season. He’s limited by his mediocre wideouts and
a conservative game plan which has the Patriots looking at a playoff
spot, but for fantasy owners he has a very limited ceiling. He’s
cracked 22 fantasy points just once in 10 starts. Patriots’ management
will have to find him his “Randy Moss and Wes Welker-types” before
he becomes truly fantasy-worthy.
2) There has been a huge fall off in Terry McLaurin’s production
since the first quarter of the season.
Fact. “Scary Terry” averaged 19.6 FPts/G over the
first four games, but just 11.8 over his last five contests. It’s
not a targets issue, he’s averaging 9.2 the last five, versus
9.5 for the first four, but he’s not getting into the end
zone. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not coming back this season and Taylor Heinicke has struggled with just four touchdowns in five games
after eight touchdown passes over the first four. This issue may
not have a long-term “cure” until Washington finds
a franchise quarterback.
3) D’Ernest Johnson is almost as good as Nick Chubb (Covid-19
list) for fantasy owners.
True, primarily because Johnson is more of a factor in the passing
game than Chubb (Chubb has eight receptions all season, Johnson
had seven last weekend), fantasy owners who handcuffed the two
are not in a desperate situation. Whichever back starts this weekend,
he should be considered an RB1 facing a Detroit Lions’ defense
which ranks 30th yielding 29 FPts/G to opposing running backs.
4) Don’t go crazy over Matt Breida’s 20-point performance in
Breida (<1% rostered) was still third among the running back
room in touches behind Devin Singletary (8) and Zack Moss (7).
And it was the Jets, who rank dead last in running back points
allowed. And the Bills are still a pass-first team behind Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders, Cole Beasley and Dawson Knox. And Allen still vultures touchdown runs from the red zone.
Plus, the Bills next two opponents rank among the top-four best
in RB fantasy points allowed.
5) Being behind isn’t always bad for your running back.
In fact, two running backs have produced almost 100 fantasy points
while their team was down by at least a touchdown. The Lions’
D’Andre Swift has scored 99 for his 163.9 fantasy points
(60.4%) this season and Michael Carter has produced a whopping
93.1 of his 122.3 fantasy points (76.1%) while the Jets were behind
by at least seven points.
“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.”
– Albert Einstein
1) In the “new” Eagles run-first offense, Jordan
Howard has become a solid RB2.
Sorry, but his useful fantasy days are already behind him. While
he has averaged 13 FPts/G over the last three contests, the return
of Miles Sanders (ankle) should trim Howard into a 6-8 touch backup
running back after seeing 13.7 touches since Week 8. Sanders is
averaging 4.8 ypc ranking 10th among qualifying RBs and if he
gets 16-18 touches behind this solid OL he should end up being
a low-end RB1 - though not this week as their opponent in Week
11, New Orleans, ranks No. 1 in RB points allowed, yielding just
16.5 Pts/G. In Week 12 and 13 the Eagles face the Giants (25th)
and Jets (32nd).
2) Don’t worry Matthew Stafford (18.2 FPts/G the last two games)
will bounce back in a big way after the bye this weekend.
I’m worrying. Robert Woods was a huge part of the Rams’
offense and Odell Beckham Jr. can’t do everything Woods
was capable of doing. Additionally, the schedule isn’t the
best heading down the stretch and into the fantasy playoffs. His
next five opponents all rank in the top-14 for QB fantasy points
allowed and it wouldn’t be until Week 17 that Stafford would
see a below average defense (Baltimore ranks 23rd). Perhaps he
still has trade value if you have a backup QB who is start-worthy.
3) Jared Goff probably leads all quarterbacks in points produced
while being behind by a touchdown-or-more because the 0-8-1 Detroit
Lions are always behind.
False. While he does lead all quarterbacks in yards passing while
behind by seven-points-or-more (1316), he’s far behind in
fantasy points produced in this situation. See chart below. Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson lead the way. Interestingly, Jackson has
done it despite his team having a winning 6-3 record which is
pretty amazing while Hurts’ Eagles are 4-6 and have been
behind on the scoreboard for significantly more of the time.
Fantasy points produced while one
touchdown or more behind
4) There are many who say Deebo Samuel is the most dangerous
receiver in football.
Incorrect. The numbers below say the most dangerous receiver
in football is Mike Evans, who produces 3.79 fantasy points every
time he catches the ball. Samuel ranks fifth. There are just nine
receivers who produce at least three points per touch.
5) Joe Mixon and Ezekiel Elliott are efficient running backs
when rushing for 100 yards or more.
Actually they are pretty inefficient. The pair almost always
need more than 20 carries to reach the 100-yard fantasy bonus.
That’s a problem for Mixon who hasn’t seen 20 carries
in a game since September, or Elliott who has seen Tony Pollard
grab a solid portion of the workload. Elliott cracked the 100-yard
mark in both games this season when coaches saw fit to give him
at least 20 carries. As an interesting side note, in his rookie
season Nick Chubb once cracked the 100-yard mark with just three
carries (63-yard TD run, 1-yard gain and a 41-yard TD run against