Important note: For those who like to sleep late on the weekend,
there is an early morning NFL game from London this week (Minnesota
- New Orleans @ 9:30 am EDT).
“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary
that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible,
all things.” – Rene Descartes
1) Cordarrelle Patterson is once again making those who doubted
Patterson did a lot of good things last season as a “receiver
playing in the backfield”, but there were still doubters
everywhere this summer. After eight seasons of nothing and one
big year, could he do it again? Could he do it even when Falcons’
management drafted a young running back (Tyler Allgeier)? Would
the team need him more as a receiver without Calvin Ridley (suspended)
and Russell Gage (in Tampa Bay)? Yes, yes, yes. Patterson is ninth
in rushing attempts, but third in rushing yards and he’s
ranked seventh at the position averaging 16.3 FPts/G.
2) Jalen Hurts’ 1,076 yards from scrimmage would rank 11th in
the NFL as a team.
This is a fact. It puts Hurts (32.1 FPts/G) ahead of the likes
of the Justin Herbert and the Chargers, Tua Tagovailoa and the
Dolphins and Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in yards. It’s
amazing what a quarterback can do with a great OL and very good
receivers. It’s no longer just Hurts’ legs. He now
trusts his receivers. He no longer waits until they are open,
his throws are on time. A.J. Brown is a great 50-50 ball, big-body
receiver, which they didn’t have last season. DeVonta Smith
is perfect as the No.2 guy with a great catch radius and tight
end Dallas Goedert is always open as a safety valve. I’m
buying. (p.s. – Josh Allen has more yards [1,127 yards],
but his talent has never been questioned)
3) Two quarterbacks in the top-20 (averaging 17.5 FPts/G or
more) have thrown more INTs than TDs.
True. Those two are Mac Jones and Matthew Stafford. I have never
been a Jones believer and I’m now having doubts about last
year’s Super Bowl champion quarterback. Stafford is ranked
18th among quarterbacks after finishing fifth last season. Stafford
was horrible against the Bills in the season opener and last weekend
produced just 12.7 fantasy points in Arizona. More concerning
is the fact he threw just 25 passes last weekend and 36 the previous
week. Is his elbow still an issue? Is McVay intentionally limiting
his passing through conservative play-calling? Stafford’s
failures haven’t hurt Cooper Kupp (27.3 FPts/G), but no
other wideout has more than 13 targets. Tight end Tyler Higbee
is second on the team in targets (24). Other questions here; Is
Allen Robinson washed up? Do they miss Odell Beckham Jr., Robert Woods and Van Jefferson that much?
4) Despite protestations from the coach, the Kenny Pickett “era”
will be starting soon.
I have to believe this is true. I’ve seen nothing in the first
three games which tells me Mitchell
Trubisky learned enough backing up Josh
Allen last season to make him an NFL-worthy starter. His team
has scored just 54 points in three games (18 PPG) and the defense
scored six of those. My educated guess is that head coach Mike
Tomlin waits until after the bye when the schedule becomes easier
to help aid his rookie quarterback’s confidence. Before the bye,
the Steelers face; the Jets, Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Miami and Philadelphia.
That’s four tough defenses (sorry Jets, I didn’t include you here).
The Steelers have enough receiving talent that Pickett might be
an interesting stash.
5) All those, including me, who thought James Robinson’s Achilles
injury would preclude him from being good again, were very wrong.
Fact. The history of backs returning from this particular injury
is historically bad, but Robinson is proving to be the exception.
He’s currently ranked third in the league, averaging 18.8
FPts/G and making the higher-drafted Travis Etienne into a third-down
receiving back (9.1 FPts/G). Robinson has scored in all three
games and his touches per game have increased from 12 opening
day, to 25 and 20 the last two games.
“Getting out of bed in the morning is an act of false confidence.”
– Jules Feiffer
1) Jets tight end Tyler Conklin, currently ranking third at
the position and averaging 12.6 FPts/G, is a top tight end.
In my mind - no. The remainder of the top-five, Mark Andrews,
Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and Darren Waller have been elite fantasy
tight ends before this season, but Conklin is the unexpected name.
It’s hard to imaging he can keep up this pace given that
heading into this season he’d produced just six double-digits
fantasy-point games out of 24. There’s also the unknown
of the upcoming switch from veteran quarterback Joe Flacco to
Zach Wilson. Wilson and Conklin have never played a game together.
If anyone is interested in trading for him, it’s the perfect
time to “sell high.”
2) Preseason experts predicting the breakout of Broncos tight
end Albert Okwuegbunam were mistaken.
I was never a huge proponent… mainly because I couldn’t
spell his name and still can’t (I have to look it up each
time). The Denver offense is struggling, Russell Wilson is struggling
and there are better receivers in line for Wilson’s limited
targets than “Albert O.” After six targets in the
season opener, he’s seen just four total in the last two
games and caught one ball for 12 yards. The hope that Albert O
would be Wilson’s “safety valve” is done as
that job has primarily gone to running backs Javonte Williams
and Melvin Gordon. Nothing personal with Okwuegbunam, I was a
big fan of T.J. Houshmandzadeh (and no, I still don’t need
to look up the spelling) when he was with the Bengals.
3) I’ve heard a few complaints concerning Vikings’ wide receiver
Justin Jefferson after a second consecutive weak outing (10.8
fantasy points in Week 2 and 4.4 points last week).
If anyone in your league has made these sounds, quickly make
him an offer for the elite Minnesota receiver. I have no doubt
he will bounce back and any chance to “buy low” on
top-notch talent is a must whether he has scored just 15.2 fantasy
points in the last two games or not. Twice in his rookie season
he produced back-to-back single-digit games (Weeks 1/2 and 8/9)
and still went on to post 1,400 yards, seven touchdowns and 270.2
fantasy points. Jefferson only had one such game last season and
331 fantasy points.
4) Jets rookie wideout Garrett Wilson is a “must get” even if
you have to slightly overpay.
Wilson currently ranks 14th among all wide receivers, but the
answer is no, don’t overpay just yet. Here’s the issue – he’s
done all his work as Flacco’s favorite target. But Flacco isn’t
the Jets future. That’s Zach
Wilson and we won’t know the “pecking order” for the three
primary Jets wideouts (Wilson, Elijah
Moore and Corey
Davis) until quarterback Wilson is back in the lineup. So,
while the rookie leads the team in targets (32) that might change
soon. Moore led the Jets in targets last season (77) and touchdown
catches (5) with Zach Wilson under center for most of the season.
5) Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is off to a bad start.
Not really. He’s actually ranked fourth in rushing yards
(286) behind Nick Chubb, Saquon Barkley and Patterson. What he
isn’t doing is getting into the end zone and that’s
a product of the, so far, inept Indianapolis offense. In 2021,
Taylor led the league by a large margin in both yardage (1,811)
and rushing touchdowns (18). He’s scored just once this
season. Taylor has just four rushing attempts from inside the
10-yard line in three games. Last season he had 41 attempts from
this range and scored 13 times. To date, this is a Matt Ryan and
Frank Reich issue. They need to get this offense running at a
higher level for Taylor to get the same opportunities as last
Bonus quote - “Think fast, run fast.” – Chad