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Truths and Lies - Week 4

By Steve Schwarz | 9/29/21

I saw an NFL statistic that said 56% of all reportable injuries happen in the first five weeks of the season and I believe it. This week some of the big names on the list include; Christian McCaffrey, Quenton Nelson, Dalvin Cook, James White and Darius Slayton. And bye weeks begin soon. Roster depth is going to play a major role in winning your fantasy league.


“I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.” – Harry S. Truman

Cooper Kupp

1) Now would be an excellent time to “sell high” on Cooper Kupp.

Kupp is currently averaging 30.4 FPts/G a level which he canít possibly continue to produce. Why do I say that? Because I went back over the last 20 seasons and no receiver has ever averaged 30 FPts/G. No receiver has ever averaged even 26 points. The two highest seasons were Davante Adams last year at 25.7 (115-1374-18) and a 2007 Randy Moss season at 24.1 (98-1493-23). Therefore, Kuppís numbers can only go down from here. Iím not saying give him away, in fact, you should ask a truly exorbitant amount, but someone might give it to you because of the ďgreater fool theory.Ē

2) For the same reason you might sell high on Kupp, now is a good time to ďbuy lowĒ on Robert Woods.

Since coming to the Rams from Buffalo in 2017, Woods has averaged 15.4 FPts/G, but through three games heís averaging just 10.4 FPts/G. Heíll start to get more chances as teams roll their defenses to Kupp. Woods averaged 8.18 targets in his first four seasons in LA and just 6.3 through the first three games this season. Heís going to see more work as the season progresses.

3) Henry Ruggs III will continue to produce at this new and improved level.

While I would be wary of overrating Las Vegas players since playing two overtime games in the first three weeks of the season might distort fantasy statistics, I think Ruggs is the exception. He was a disappointment in 2020 (6.8 FPts/G) when compared to other rookie receivers (namely Justin Jefferson and CeeDee Lamb), but Ruggs has a lot going for him in 2021. Nelson Agholor is gone, opening up 82 wide receiver targets. Tight end Darren Waller still commands the primary attention from defenses and Derek Carr is having a career year. Ruggs saw just 3.3 targets a game last season and is averaging 6.3 in 2021. Carr is averaging a career-high 9.1 yards-per-attempt and 13.7 yards-per-completion meaning heís throwing deeper and Ruggs is the teamís deep threat.

4) Tom Bradyís start this season makes me think back to 2007 in New England when he threw for 4806 yards and 50 touchdowns.

True. This team is built similarly on offense with great receivers and a mediocre-to-poor running game. In 2007 Brady had Moss, Wes Welker and Donteí Stallworth. In 2021 he has Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown. In 2007 the tight end was Ben Watson. In 2021 heís got Rob Gronkowski! Canít beat that. In 2007 he had a mediocre Laurence Maroney and a pass-catching Kevin Faulk out of the backfield. In 2021 he has Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones and a pass-catching Giovani Bernard. TB12 is currently on pace for 6160 yards and 57 touchdown passes (17 games). Yes, he can keep up this pace.

5) Brady is averaging a stunning 34.1 FPts/G, but he is NOT the top-ranked quarterback.

Fact. Kyler Murray is averaging 34.4 FPts/G. Heís throwing for 335 ypg with seven touchdowns, but overtakes Brady by virtue of his running ability which adds 8.3 FPts/G to his fantasy total. Murray is the closest thing to Lamar Jackson in terms of elusiveness, he just doesnít run as much because he likes to throw. And who wouldnít like to put it up when you have DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, A.J. Green and rookie Rondale Moore to catch it? All four receivers are averaging more than 11.4 FPts/G. Murray & Co. have their work cut out for them in Week 4 in a battle of high-scoring unbeaten teams when the travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams.


“There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out.” – Proverb

1) If you believe the “greater fool theory” applies to Mike Williams as well as Kupp you would be wrong.

While I donít believe Williams can continue to produce at his current 25.2 FPts/G pace, I do believe heíll continue to produce at more than double his career average (9.4 FPts/G from 2017-2020). Williams has so many good things going for him right now. He has a truly elite receiver on the other side of the field (Keenan Allen) forcing opponents to put their best defender elsewhere, a great young quarterback (Justin Herbert), not much in the way of a third receiver on the roster (Jalen Guyton?) and reduced tight end talent from a year ago (was Hunter Henry, now is Jared Cook).

2) Ja'Marr Chase is this yearís Justin Jefferson.

Close, but no. I like what Iíve seen from Chase, but I donít think he produces Jeffersonís numbers (88-1400-7) in 2021. Here is my argument against Chase. In Minnesota, the wide receiver options for Kirk Cousins were Adam Thielen and Jefferson only. The third leading wideout in Minnesota last season was Chad Beebe (30 targets). In Cincinnati, there are three mouths to feed not two; talented Tee Higgins (7.5 targets-per-game), Tyler Boyd (6.3) and Chase (5.3). And Chaseís stunning 20.0 yards-per-receptions will be hard to produce for an entire season. In Jeffersonís record-setting year he averaged 15.9 ypr.

3) Derek Carr (28.5 FPts/G) will stay a top-five quarterback.

False. While most other quarterbacks have played 12 quarters of football, Carr has played almost 14 in three games. Heís played 26:22 more than most quarterbacks. Thatís 14.4% more than the other guys. Which means heís really averaging around 24.4 fantasy points per 60 minutes. Thatís good, but not top-five. It would rank him 14th, just behind Herbert. So unless you think the Raiders will play nine more overtime games, Carrís numbers are inflated. Maybe another sell high opportunity.

4) Jalen Hurts is averaging 27.6 fantasy points despite the 1-2 record so everything is just fine if heís your fantasy quarterback.

I donít believe Hurts can keep up this pace because of the injuries to his offensive line. Three-fifths of the starting OL is injured after three games. RG Brandon Brooks, LT Jordan Mailata and LG Isaac Seumalo are injured. Backup LT Andre Dillard was injured Monday night as well. Back in July I wrote that if everything went perfectly Hurts could be top-12, but if either the OL didnít stay healthy or the wideout position didnít improve heíd be less than that. The receivers are better, but the lineís health is already starting to crumble. Hurts saved you late Monday night with some garbage-time points (he had 3.4 fantasy points at halftime), but I donít think that will happen every week.

5) James Robinson is not a top-10 fantasy running back.

He currently isnít in the top-10 (14.4 FPts/G ranked 19th), but he will be by the end of the season. I believe coach Urban Meyer has finally figured out what we all knew Ö that Robinson is a lot better than Carlos Hyde. Robinson has seen progressively more touches each game (11-14-21) and itís because Meyer knows that he must protect his rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence from mistakes and without injured Travis Etienne, Robinson is his best option out of the backfield. Another ďbuy lowĒ candidate.