Fantasy: 3 RBs to Buy, 3 RBs to trade away in Week 3

3 RBs to buy right now

By Charles Vakassian

Two weeks of the NFL season are now in the books, and we now have a better idea of how well players at each position have performed. In this article, we will delve into the running backs, and advise on some RBs you should be adding to your squads, as well as a few who you should move on from.

RBs to Buy Now

Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos

While the results have not been there for Williams, there are positive trends that are encouraging. He has been the dominant back in Denver, out-touching Melvin Gordon in both carries and targets. Russell Wilson is still finding his feet with the Broncos. He has traditionally struggled in the beginning games, so he will get it going sooner rather than later, and that will lead to a surge in touchdowns for Williams. Williams is a good buy low in redraft if his owner is panicky about the slow start.

Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fournette is in a similar situation as Williams. He commands a large share of touches, but a sluggish start by the offense to start the year has led to a lack of touchdowns. Fournette himself stated that fantasy owners can expect that to change, so if you can get him on the low after a subpar first couple of weeks, you will be well rewarded. Tom Brady won’t struggle for long and loves feeding his RBs. Fournette has seen 20 plus carries and multiple targets in each game so far. It will not be long before those touches turn into touchdowns.

Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

Cook is another high-profile fantasy draft choice who is underperforming to begin the season. A pass heavy attack in Week 1, plus an all-around porous offensive showing in Week 2 has left Cook owners disappointed. With a new coaching staff and offensive scheme, there were some growing pains to be expected. This is a good time to capitalize and buy low. His usage has always been elite, so there will be a positive change sooner rather than later.

RBs to Trade Away

Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

Chubb is currently the RB1 in fantasy after two weeks, so he simply cannot get any higher than this. The Browns will not always be in a position to run the clock out, and Kareem Hunt looms for any obvious passing situations. The upside for Chubb is limited, and while he will continue to be a very good RB, the time is now to capitalize on the fact that he is literally RB1. Sell high while you can.

Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers

Najee has not looked like himself in these first two games, with only one touchdown and 72 rushing yards combined. His Lisfranc injury looks as though it may still be bothering him, and playing behind a subpar Steelers offensive line certainly doesn’t help matters either. You may want to sell before he gets any worse, as his receiving work has helped keep him afloat thus far. If you can get one of the stud rookies for him, ideally Drake London or Chris Olave, that may be a move to make pending your team’s situation.

Derrick Henry, Tennesee Titans

Could Father Time finally be catching up to Mr. Unstoppable? Henry has looked very pedestrian in his first two games of 2022. If you are on a rebuilding squad, it may be time to say goodbye and package Henry for picks or younger players. Running backs do not have a very long shelf life, and you don’t want to have to keep Henry past his expiration date.

Fantasy: 3 RBs to trade for, 3 RBs to trade away

3 RBs to trade away in 2022

By Charles Vakassian

With Week 1 of the NFL season now in the books, we have a slightly clearer picture of the situations in each team’s backfield. Some players exceeded their expectations. Others not so much. In this article, we will look at 3 running backs you should be trying to buy on the low, and 3 you should trade away now while their value is sky-high.

RBs to Buy Low

Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars

Etienne split the snaps with James Robinson in Week 1, but saw 7 fewer carries and dropped an easy TD pass on fourth down. Robinson scored two touchdowns and was efficient with his 11 carries. While the initial results may not seem too encouraging for Etienne, we have to remember that this was his first ever NFL game. Also, after spending so much time recovering from the brutal Lisfranc injury, it’s possible the Jaguars were simply being careful with one of their best offensive weapons. Etienne is the better receiving back between him and Robinson, and he has the college connection with Trevor Lawrence. The Jaguars will be playing some tough teams coming up (Colts, Chargers, Eagles) which will likely see them playing from behind. This sets up Etienne nicely for a bounceback to his slow start.

Breece Hall, New York Jets

While the stat line was not all that impressive for Hall (61 total yards, 1 fumble), the same could be sad for most of the Jets offense. Hall at least had some positives workng his way which should encourage fantasy managers to try and make a trade for him. Hall led the Jets with 10 targets, which should assuage fears about Michael Carter taking all the passing game work. In additon, Hall had a team high 17% target share, showing New York wants to get its new weapon as much work as possible. Something else to consider: Hall is the better first and second down runner, and when Zach Wilson is under center, he is much less inclined to check down to the RB than Joe Flacco. R ookies also tend to get more involved as the season goes along.So come Week 5, there will be a shift in the RB room benefiting Hall. He will still maintain flex value in the interim, but can be a solid RB2 in the near future.

A.J Dillon, Green Bay Packers

Many people saw Aaron Jones as the clear-cut RB1 coming into this season, or at least the 1A to Dillon’s 1B. Week 1 told a different story. Dillon saw more touches (15 to 8) more targets in the passing game (6 to 5) and scored the Packers only touchdown of the game. Frankly, this is the time to buy Dillon while the backfield still partially resembles a timeshare. He is the clear goal line back in this normally high-powered offense, and Aaron Rodgers clearly isn’t afraid to target him in the passing game either. Aaron Jones will still get him, but the majority of the scoring opportunities rest in Dillon’s hands, and that is what matters for fantasy.

RBs to Sell High

Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns

Hunt had an excellent Week 1, compiling 70 total yards and both Browns touchdowns on the day. This is likely to be a highpoint for him, as he operates in conjunction with Nick Chubb, and both backs are unlikely to see enough volume to warrant top dog status. Having to rely on touchdowns for production with Jacoby Brissett at QB is not a recipe for success. Chubb will be the back to own in Cleveland, as he is the typical goal line back and sees the most carries. Hunt is too volatile to rely on for consistent production. Capitalize on his strong Week 1 and sell him now while the value is high.

Cordarelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons

This may be an unexpected name to hear, as Patterson was essentially the bell cow in Atlanta for Week 1. However, this was due to Damien Williams leaving the game with an injury. With Tyler Allgier a healthy scratch for the game, the Falcons never had an alternative for if a back went down. Thus, Patterson was forced to take on a heavy workload. Williams is expected to be back for Week 2, and Allgier will likely be activated as well for insurance purposes. On a team with no playoff aspirations, it would behoove Atlanta to see the younger players get more of a chance and see if anyone is worth keeping long term. When both backs were on the field Week 1, Williams saw more time in the backfield than Patterson. Williams will likely split carries with Patterson, cratering his value. Now is the time to move on from Patterson before it is too late.

Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers

This one may get some hate, but there are a lot of question marks surrounding Najee. He was dealing with a Lisfranc injury before the season, which is known to hamper running backs when they try and play through it. Then, during the Steeler’s Week 1 tilt with the Bengals, Harris suffered a foot injury which caused him to leave the game. The talent Harris posses is undeniable. But he is quickly on his way towards having the injury bug tag being slapped on him. Having to play behind a subpar offensive line does him no favors either. Seeing if you can get a high caliber player in return for Najee would not be the worst strategy in the world at this point.

Deep Fantasy Football Stashes For Week 3

Dwayne Haskins can be an excellent fantasy football stash

By: Malcolm McMillan

Week 3 is just around the corner and already injuries are playing a massive role in fantasy football. These injury issues are always impactful, especially in redraft fantasy football leagues. Still, even dynasty fantasy football managers feel the impact of a major injury despite the deeper rosters.

If any reminder of that was needed, Thursday night’s game gave fantasy football managers one in a big way. In the third quarter against the Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey went down and never came back. Now he is out for multiple weeks, and dynasty fantasy football managers rostering his backup, Chuba Hubbard, are rejoicing. They now either have a valuable trade asset or someone that can plug a hole in their lineup for a few games (at least).

All the players listed below are worth considering for exactly this reason. Either they could be valuable due to an injury, or they already are valuable due to injury. Either way, there is a good chance they should make it onto their roster.

Dwayne Haskins: QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been dealing with a left pectoral injury all week. He missed the first practice of the week, and even Head Coach Mike Tomlin thinks that the hits are wearing on Roethlisberger. The combination of an existing injury, Roethlisberger’s (relatively) advanced age, and the weakness of the Steelers’ offensive line make Roethlisberger missing time a real possibility. His backup could be a valuable fantasy football asset, especially if they can play their way into becoming Big Ben’s successor.

Which is why you want Dwayne Haskins. The former first-round draft pick signed with the Steelers back in January after being cut by the Washington Football Team. If Roethlisberger were to miss time, Haskins and fellow backup quarterback Mason Rudolph would be duking it out to replace him. Rudolph has already been benched once as Roethlisberger’s backup for poor performance, and Tomlin going back to him by default is not a guarantee. Bet on Haskins instead of Rudolph if you are looking for a cheap fantasy football asset whose value could skyrocket if the player ahead of him goes down.

Jacques Patrick: RB, San Francisco 49ers

We have already seen an undrafted free agent journeyman and a sixth-round draft pick excel as the running back in Kyle Shanahan’s San Francisco 49ers offense. Why not another undrafted running back signed off another team’s practice squad? The 49ers have some serious issues at running back right now. Raheem Mostert is out for the season, JaMycal Hasty is out for multiple weeks, Elijah Mitchell is “very questionable,” and Trey Sermon is recovering from a concussion. Since the 49ers signed Patrick from the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad, he is already on the 53-man active roster and will be suiting up for a Week 3 matchup against the Green Bay Packers. If Sermon were to go down again, that would leave Patrick in line for a lead-back role with Mitchell out.

A word of caution, Patrick is likely not a long-term asset. He is more likely a weekly rental and then a sell-high candidate if he plays well. Mitchell and Sermon are likely the future of this backfield, and unless Patrick can outperform his career backup role and his below-average athletic profile, he will not supplant them. Even if he did turn some heads with his rushing ability this preseason.

Braxton Berrios: WR, New York Jets

Unlike the other two names on this list, Braxton Berrios is already succeeding this season. Despite being rostered in less than half of all dynasty leagues on Sleeper, and barely any redraft leagues, the New York Jets wide receiver is fantasy-relevant. Yes, Corey Davis may be leading the Jets wide receivers in fantasy football points in point-per-reception (PPR) formats, but Berrios is leading the team in targets. That target share is a big reason why Berrios has yet to have a game with less than 10 PPR fantasy football points this season.

While this workload feels doomed to regress, it is not a guarantee that Berrios is not already locking down a role. With a 57.97% snap share, he is definitely behind Elijah Moore and Corey Davis on the wide receiver depth chart in New York. However, everyone assumes that once all the Jets wide receivers are healthy, that Berrios will take a backseat. So far though, Keelan Cole failed to supplant him in Week 2, and Jamison Crowder struggles to even make it onto the field. At 25, Berrios is still young enough to have room to grow as a player, and the new regime in New York has no reason to be loyal to any players that cannot perform. Berrios is worth a stash as long as his connection with rookie quarterback Zach Wilson is intact.

Fantasy Football: Week 3 Start/Sit

Trust in Jalen Hurts

By: Matt Gruber

Week three is upon us and it is time for the weekly starts and sits. This is the third installment of the 17-piece series aimed to help you make the roster decisions to give you an edge over your opponent. Let’s jump into it and win some championships.

Quarterbacks

Start: Jalen Hurts – Philadelphia Eagles

Another week, another Jalen Hurts start appearance. Like clockwork. He has been everything fantasy managers had hoped through the first two weeks. In week one it was his passing. In week two it was his rushing. With his rushing ability, Hurts provides a high floor and a high ceiling. Next up in week three is the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night football. I expect Hurts to put on a show. With the over-under set at 52.5, it will be a high-scoring affair. The Cowboys are allowing an average of 360 passing yards after two weeks of the season. Jalen Hurts is set for takeoff.  

Honorable Mentions: Sam Darnold @ HOU, Daniel Jones vs. ATL, Kirk Cousins vs. SEA

Sit: Taylor Heinicke – Washington Football Team

After lighting up the New York Giants last week for over 330 yards and two touchdowns, things get a bit tougher for Taylor Heinicke when he travels to Buffalo. In week one, the Bills held Big Ben to under 200 passing yards and only one touchdown. In week two, the Bills held the Miami Dolphins to under 200 passing yards and no touchdowns. Facing an elite defense, on the road does not sound too enticing to me. I’ll pass on Heinicke this week.

Honorable Mentions: Joe Burrow @ PIT, Jameis Winston @ NE, Baker Mayfield vs. CHI

Running Backs

Start: Ty’Son Williams – Baltimore Ravens

In each of the last two games, Ty’Son Williams has seen at least 12 touches and turned that into at least 90 scrimmage yards. Averaging 6.5 yards per carry, Williams is in a smash spot against the Detroit Lions. While the backfield is not solely his and Lamar Jackson will take some opportunities away, Williams has been efficient. Sometimes that’s all it takes. With the Ravens currently favored by seven, I expect them to be in complete control the entire game. They will take to the ground and Williams will benefit.

Honorable Mentions: Saquon Barkley vs. ATL, Austin Ekeler @KC, Chris Carson @ MIN

Sit: Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills

Devin Singletary has been a pleasant surprise so far through two weeks. Averaging 14.1 PPR points, he has helped many teams that went zero running back. Unfortunately, I am not confident starting him this week. He faces a stout Washington Football Team defense who has yet to give up 100 yards on the ground to running backs. Furthermore, they have only allowed one rushing touchdown to running backs. If you have other options, I would pivot from Singletary.

Honorable Mentions: Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs. LAC, Darrell Henderson vs. TB, James Robinson vs. ARZ

Wide Receivers

Start: DeVonta Smith – Philadelphia Eagles

After a hot first week, DeVonta Smith came back down to Earth. Way down. He recorded just two catches for 16 yards, letting a lot of fantasy managers down. This week, he is set to boom. Similar reasons as Jalen Hurts, Smith finds himself in a great matchup. The Cowboys have given up over 480 yards to wide receivers along with three touchdowns in just two games. Plug Smith into your lineup and don’t think twice.

Honorable Mentions: Marvin Jones vs. ARZ, Sterling Shepard vs. ATL, Robert Woods vs. TB

Sit: Corey Davis – New York Jets

Last week, Corey Davis was shut down by the New England Patriots. Logging two catches for just eight yards, he left plenty of fantasy managers disappointed. This week he faces the Denver Broncos. While it’s not a terrible matchup, the Broncos are coming off a game where they held Jacksonville wide receivers to just 71 yards and one touchdown. Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is coming off a bad game and I am willing to let Davis sit on my bench until Wilson can figure it out.

Honorable Mentions: Marquez Callaway @ NE, DeVante Parker @ LV, Henry Ruggs vs. MIA

Tight Ends

Start: Noah Fant – Denver Broncos

Noah Fant is currently averaging 12.8 PPR points per game. This is good for the tight end five. With the talented Jerry Jeudy nursing an ankle injury, Fant will remain a big part of this offense. This week, he goes up against the New York Jets who just allowed six catches for 70 yards to New England tight ends. As long as Teddy Bridgewater continues to pepper Fant with Targets, he should produce solid numbers.  

Honorable Mentions: Dallas Goedert @ DAL, Kyle Pitts @ NYG, Tyler Higbee vs. TB

Sit: Logan Thomas – Washington Football Team

So far into the season, Logan Thomas has been a touchdown-dependent tight end. Yet to surpass 45 receiving yards, you are counting on a touchdown to inflate his numbers. It will be tough sledding this week as he goes up against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have held opposing tight ends to under 50 yards in each of their contests, while not letting up a score. I would look elsewhere this week.

Honorable Mentions: Mike Gesicki @LV, Gerald Everett @ MIN, Dawson Knox vs. WSH

If you enjoyed this piece, feel free to find more of my content on Twitter @FF_Worm. I am always available to talk fantasy football and answer any questions.

Fantasy Football: Top Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 3

The Waiver Wire is here!

By: Rishi Patel

Welcome back to this new NFL column where I will be sending my advice about which fantasy players you should pluck off your waiver wire each week during this NFL season. 

During each NFL season, there are usually sleepers that emerge who you should pick up off the waiver wire due to various reasons, such as better performances than expected, injuries, etc. It’s important to make good use of the waiver wire as players from here could sometimes be good depth and even a starter for your team in critical stretches. Let’s look at some players you should consider for this week:

Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders

Have the Raiders possibly turned a new leaf? The normally mediocre team has started off 2021 with a bang, knocking out AFC North heavyweights Baltimore and Pittsburgh in back-to-back weeks. Spearheading this surge is QB Derek Carr, who has looked rejuvenated and potent in the first two games. He has now thrown for 435 and 382 yards, which is incredible. If Carr can keep this up, he’s certainly in the conversation to be an every-week starter. Grab him while you can. 

Sam Darnold, QB, Carolina Panthers

Like Carr, the normally mediocre Sam Darnold has started off 2021 well with his new club in Carolina. The 24-year-old has tossed for 279 and 305 yards in two games while also throwing three touchdowns to one pick. The team’s next six matchups are against average or below-average defenses, meaning Darnold is a solid addition to your team and even a potential streamer to use, potentially beginning on Thursday night against Houston.

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Denver Broncos

Like Sam Darnold, Teddy B has started off 2021 on a new team as well and has been firing on all cylinders. He has 264 and 328 yards in two games along with four touchdowns and no picks. Bridgewater is worth stashing as a backup on your team and may be worth streaming during favorable matchups.

Cordarrelle Patterson, RB, Atlanta Falcons

Patterson is technically classified as a back even though he’s played receiver at one point in his NFL career too. In his first season with the Falcons, the 30-year-old has shined in both the receiving and rushing game. In Week 1, he rushed for 54 yards, and he posted 58 receiving yards in Week 2, which displays his versatility. Patterson has performed well enough to earn a spot on your bench going forward. 

Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys

It seems like Cowboys backup RB Tony Pollard has shined more than starter Ezekiel Elliott this season. Nothing is more evident of this than Week 2 when he took 13 carries for 109 yards and a score. While it will still be difficult to trust Pollard on a weekly basis because he’s not the starter, it’s worth stashing him on your bench. 

Ty’Son Williams, RB, Baltimore Ravens

After losing multiple backs to injuries prior to the start of the season, the Ravens were in a jam and signed a collection of veterans to their squad like Le’Veon Bell, Latavius Murray, and Devonta Freeman, all standouts just a few years ago. 

Well, none of them are standing out in 2021 for Baltimore as it’s first-year player Ty’Son Williams who is doing so. In two games, Williams has nine carries for 65 yards and 13 carries for 77 yards. While Lamar Jackson was technically the team’s leading rusher in both those games, it was Williams who had the most yards of any RB. Therefore, it may be worthwhile stashing him as he is beginning to show he has a role on this squad as a potential RB1. 

Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts

With T.Y. Hilton out to begin the season, Pittman was expected to make a leap in his second year. He put up a dud in Week 1 (29 yards) but rebounded for an incredible eight receptions for 123 yards on 12 targets. That’s the Pittman many wanted to see. If he plays like this, he can certainly be a fantasy starter. Though the ankle injury to Carson Wentz could dampen the QB play for Indy, Pittman’s volume could keep him fantasy-relevant. As a result, he’s worth adding. 

Quez Watkins, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

2020 sixth-round pick Quez Watkins made some noise in Week 2 as he racked up 117 yards on just two receptions. While he’s not DeVonta Smith or Jalen Reagor, this young Eagles squad could always use more elite receivers. Though a one-week sample size isn’t enough, Watkins did enough to turn heads and merit a spot on your bench.

Rondale Moore, WR, Arizona Cardinals

The 21-year-old rookie did fairly well in his NFL debut Week 1 with four receptions for 68 yards but he did even better in Week 2 with seven receptions for 114 yards and a score. The Cardinals don’t have a solid pass-catching option behind DeAndre Hopkins as Christian Kirk has been average at best and A.J. Green is a veteran on the decline. Thus, Moore can insert himself into the WR2 role if he keeps this up. He’s certainly worth adding in fantasy as a bench piece and even a potential flex play soon if he shows consistency.

K.J. Osborn, WR, Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings need a solid third receiver behind Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson and 24-year-old K.J. Osborn has seemingly risen to the challenge. The 2020 fifth-round pick now has seven receptions for 76 yards and five receptions for 91 yards in two games. If he can keep this up, he would be worth a weekly flex play. 

Dynasty flex players to trade for

Here are your dynasty flex players to acquire

By: Keith James

The NFL is back and it is better than ever. The beauty of the NFL is that it is a week-to-week game. One week a team or a player looks great, the next week not so much. Such is life in the NFL. In a dynasty, fantasy owners can win by buying the dip. Human beings are emotional creatures. We don’t always follow logic. This is never more true than in fantasy football. People take this seriously and they get angry when their players don’t perform. 

Use that anger to your advantage. Look for young players that didn’t perform where a fantasy manager may throw their hands up and say, I’m going to cut bait on this player. This is how fantasy managers can buy productive assets on the cheap. 

This week I will give three players that can be used in the flex position that fantasy managers can buy cheaper than before the season. 

Brandon Aiyuk, WR, 23 years old

Aiyuk was a mystery on Sunday. There were reports that he has been dealing with injuries all off-season but he was healed up enough to suit up against the lowly Lions on Sunday. Given the 49ers history of spreading the wealth, I cautioned fantasy owners on Aiyuk in week one. In what should have been a smash spot for the talented 2nd-year player, I was concerned that the Niners were going to spread the wealth and Aiyuk could be the odd man out solely based on his injury. 

Something else seemed to be afoot with both Brando Aiyuk and Trey Sermon and there were reports both payers may have been in Kyle Shanahan’s doghouse for missing curfew. Who knows. Either way, Brandon Aiyuk watched as his fellow WR running mate, Deebo Samuel went bonkers against the Lions atrocious pass defense. Deebo had 9 grabs on 12 targets for 189 yards and a long 79-yard touchdown. Of course, he also had a terrible late-game fumble. Still, BA had to watch as his fellow receiver went crazy and Aiyuk was left with zero targets. That’s not good. 

Aiyuk will likely still be seen by fantasy managers as a great young receiver. He had 15.4 fantasy points per game last year because Aiyuk is electric with the ball in his hands. After week one, however, some of the shine may have worn off. I threw out some offers for Aiyuk to fellow league mates and I recommend you do the same. He is still a player that can have a top 24 season this year and in only his second year, he can become a fantasy scoring machine if he stays healthy and grows up. The cost will likely be high but I would offer a first-round pick for Aiyuk and try to pry an exciting young player from your league mates hands on the back of a pathetic week one show. 

Javonte Williams RB, 21 years old

Get Javonte as soon as you can! I would try to get Javonte this week before he goes crazy against the Jags and becomes all but untouchable. More than likely fantasy managers will not want to part with Javonte. Fantasy managers know that Melvin Gordon will likely be a PITA for Javonte the entire year. Managers are waiting for the year two ascension and may scoff at any Javonte offers but the fact remains Javonte played second fiddle to MG3 against the Giants. As much as I love Javonte’s talent, MG3 was by far the better back on Sunday. 

Gordon had 101 yards on only 11 attempts (9.2 YPC) and looked just as explosive as he did in his Chargers days. Javonte did not look great. He looked tentative and was bottled up for only 45 yards on 14 carries. It was encouraging to see the snaps split evenly between the two backs (they both had a 50% snap share) but the 28-year-old Gordon looked explosive and the 21-year-old Williams looked plodding. 

This is the best time to strike for Javonte. As I stated, his cost will not be cheap. Dynasty owners likely invested a lot in Javonte but like Aiyuk he may have lost his shine and if a fellow league mate is a contender that just so happens to have Williams, there may be a deal to be had for a more established RB and a pick. I would strike sooner rather than later however because up next, the Broncos take on the lowly Jags. The Jags of course were demolished by what many people think is the worst roster in the NFL in the Texans. With Denver more than likely taking a commanding lead in week two against Denver, Javonte may get enough run to put up gaudy numbers. 

This may be the last chance to get what could be a top ten back in the NFL over the next three years. If a team has any interest in selling, I am trying to buy Javonte right now. His schedule at the end of the season could make patient Javonte owner league winners. With Gordon’s history of getting beat up and missing games, this could be Javonte’s backfield to own by week 10. I’d be willing to offer a player like Chris Carson and a first-round pick to land Javonte. As I say, he won’t be cheap but he will be worth whatever it takes to pry him from your league mates hands. 

Courtland Sutton WR, 25 years old

Sutton had a bad game against the Giants. Lining up against James Bradberry is never easy and Jerry Jeudy was the star receiver in this game; until his injury. With Jeudy suffering a high ankle sprain and landing on IR, his entire season is likely toast. Remember Michael Thomas last year. Even if Jeudy comes back he will likely be hobbled the rest of the year. High ankle sprains are killers for playmakers. This is the time to strike on Courtland Sutton. 

Sutton of course is working back from his own devastating injury. Sutton blew out his ACL early in the season last year and will likely take a few weeks for him to regain his confidence and explosion. Sutton was on his way to becoming one of the best young receivers in the game in 2020. Coming off of an impressive 2019 season, Sutton blew out his knee all too early. Injuries suck. Sutton owners are likely frustrated and are wondering if Sutton will ever come back. He only had 1 grab for 14 yards on 3 targets. Steady Teddy Bridgewater will spread the wealth and he found guys like Tim Patrick, Noah Fant, and Albert Okwuegbunam against the Giants. Combined those three players had 13 grabs on 15 targets for 117 yards and two touchdowns. It seemed as though everyone but Sutton had a good game for the Broncos. 

Sutton may take some time but with Jeudy going down, Sutton has the opportunity to be a true alpha in Denver. Playing against the Jaguars this week, he could be in line for a monster game. I would throw out some offers for Sutton and see if there are any bites. Again, strike before the player goes off. Denver should manhandle the Jaguars fairly easily this week as 6 point favorites on the road. Both Williams (pricey) and Sutton (cheap) could be had for a discounted price but if they blow up against the Jaguars forget about it. Remember, human beings are emotional. Both good and bad. The strike will Sutton has put a bad taste in his fantasy managers mouth and your team could have a high-end WR2 this year and for years to come. 

Saints Week 1 showdown: what exactly happened?

What was behind Saints Week 1 big victory?

By: Courtney Burrows

Week 1 is in the books and what a wild one it was to start off the 2021-22 NFL season.  There have been many off-season stories that have left us scratching our heads and others that have us jumping in anticipation.  (Or wait, is it only me jumping!)  All I can say is Week 1 delivered highs and lows for me and others in the fantasy community, and I am very happy that football is back. There were crazy games and players who shined and crashed, but the best game in my opinion of the week was New Orleans Saints versus Green Bay where the Saints came marching in and roasted the Packers 38-3.

                The Packers came to Jacksonville to play the Saints who were displaced by Hurricane Ida. The Saints were led by QB Jameis Winston who won the starting job from Taysom Hill in the pre-season. This was the first game the team played without their leader Drew Brees under center. No one knew what to expect or what to feel, but this die-hard Saints fan knew Winston would be our guy and have been rooting for him. 

In Winston’s last season with the Bucs, he threw for 5,109 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 30 interceptions. He was released by the team, and no one wanted to give the once 1st round draft pick a starting chance. So, he became the 3rd string behind Brees and under Coach Payton’s regime and began to study quietly with his head down, determined, and focused. This is a new Winston under center, a leader in the locker room determined to prove he is the right QB to once again lead a team, and prove he did in Jacksonville Saturday afternoon.

                The Saints defensive attack led by Zack Baun who had five tackles made Rodgers scramble and throw erratically which is not the steady hand we are used to seeing.  Rodgers ended with two interceptions, 15 completions on 28 attempts, and a passer rating of 36.8%.  He could not get anything done in the red zone with his star wideout Adams and star RB Jones was unable to go anywhere on the ground.  The Saints defense came to play, and with them making stop upon the stop, the offensive had ample opportunity to carve up plays. The time of possession was almost a full 10 minutes over the Pack.  Kamara led the rushing attack with 83 out of 171 total yards. Winston only had 148 yards in the air, but they were calculated and precise with zero interceptions, five total touchdowns to four different receivers, and a passer rating of 130.8%. The most surprising was 2nd year TE Juwan Johnson he hauled in two touchdowns and will be another hot wavier wire this week. Though fellow TE Trautman led the team in targets, Johnson is only owned in 1.8% of ESPN leagues. 

The one injury of note is star pass-rusher Marcus Davenport, who ended Sunday with three tackles and one sack, underwent an MRI to see the extent of an apparent pectoral muscle injury which was deemed a strain not a tear.  This is fantastic news for the defensive as he should return sooner than later.  In the meantime, Carl Granderson and rookie Payton Turner will have to step up in a big way. 

For a guy that no one had much faith in besides the WHODAT nation, Winston did well and proved many doubters wrong.  He and the Saints decimated and embarrassed the Packers in the Sunshine State.  It won’t be a walk in the park in every contest for the Saints, but this is a confidence builder. All the parts fit together to make one cohesive, strong unified team under one of the best coaches in the game today. I am proud of Winston and his character today. I look forward to this season, and can’t wait for Sunday Funday.

#WHODAT

Find me on twitter at luvtractor3 for any questions and just for everyday football fun. 

Fantasy Football: Start Your Studs

Elite Players Win Matchups

By Jesse Moeller via JMoeller05

Today is the day that football is officially back! We have our first matchup of the regular season between the Buccaneers and Cowboys. This week, I would like to dive into the weekly game theory in fantasy football, particularly redraft leagues.

What kicked off this idea in my head was seeing numerous individuals questioning whether or not to start Ezekiel Elliot this week against Tampa Bay after Dallas lost All-Pro guard Zach Martin for the week. Of course, the worry is legitimate, as losing a player of Martin’s caliber will affect Elliot this week. But, with the volume Elliot is set to receive, do you seriously consider benching Elliot?

In the long and short of it, the answer is no, and you do not bench him on 99% of fantasy teams. Now, let me tell you the game that forever changed how I view sit/start options. It was week 9 of the 2019 season, and the undefeated New England Patriots were facing the 5-2 Baltimore Ravens. The Patriots’ defense was on a record-setting pace in the first half of the year. They were averaging 22.62 fantasy points per game. To give you a perspective on how great this was, using FantasyPros, I was able to get back to the 2012 season. The most fantasy points a defense has scored in a season was 236 points. So the eight-game pace the Patriots were on would have scored 362 fantasy points over a year. That’s a CMC or Kelce type of advantage over your opponents.

I struggled all week deciding what to do with Lamar, as I was terrified the Patriots defense would put the clamps on him. I picked up Derek Carr as my insurance policy as the Raiders were facing the woeful Detroit Lions that week. That Sunday morning, I began to panic, and I did the unthinkable. I benched Lamar for Derek Carr as I convinced myself it was a perfect matchup for Carr and a brutal one for Lamar. Then I sat back and watched as Lamar shredded the Patriots on national television for 28+ fantasy points. On the other hand, Carr had a decent game, but it cost me in the matchup as I lost by four points that week. I knew in the first quarter that I had made a horrible mistake and decided to torture myself by watching the entire game. From that moment on, I decided that I would start my stud players almost exclusively.

Have you ever noticed that you have an uneasy feeling in your stomach whenever you bench an elite fantasy player? That is your body’s way of telling you that you made a wrong decision. So let me dive into this topic a bit and explain why you should listen to your body when it talks to you. When I referenced benching Zeke, and why I thought it was a bad idea, it comes down to who you have on your roster that you are comfortably replacing him with? Does that running back have an upside as high as Zeke? If you can make a legitimate case that the running back does, I am open to it, but why would you bench Elliot unless you have a Derrick Henry and Aaron Jones in your backfile along with Elliot?

Yards Per Fantasy had a great piece on why volume is King for running backs, and I agree with the conclusion they arrived at and why volume is what you want. Hence, How you find a Superstar fantasy running back is when you add efficiency to volume. Elliot is a volume play in week one as the Buccaneers will likely not give up many yards on the ground, being the only NFL to allow less than 1000 rushing yards last year. If Elliot is efficient this week, he will quickly become a top-five running back in week one. I guarantee the player you benching Zeke for does not have that in their range of outcomes.

As managers, we tend to overthink situations and matchups, as we love to do. We believe that we tend to know more than we do. Do not fall victim to galaxy brain thoughts with your team this week. If you are debating benching Zeke for Raheem Mostert, Gus Edwards, or Chase Edmonds in week one, you have played yourself. These players all have issues and are not as safe as we believe, even with the plus matchups boosting them up in week one.

When dealing with sit-start decisions, I have a few thoughts I run through to help clarify the situation. First, I consider the players’ role, the volume they will receive, and the upside if that player hits maximum expectations. Lastly, I examine the matchup to be more of a tiebreaker if I cannot decide between the two options. Following these guidelines has given me a more significant hit rate in my sit-start decisions from that regretful decision to bench Lamar decision back in 2019.

Given those guidelines, what are you doing with Zeke in your lineup? Are you even contemplating benching him? He feels exceptionally safe to me when you look at sit-start decisions through a different prism. If I were to boil this down to a simple “Start Your Studs” policy across the board, why that is important is upside wins you championships, and the stud players you drafted early were drafted early for that reason. They do what few other players can do for your team on a weekly and season-long basis. We can all get too cute from time to time, as we read too much into a situation to tell ourselves a story that does not exist. When all along, it would have made more sense to start the stud player instead of worrying about a problem that never existed in the first place.

I thank you for reading my latest piece. If you do not want to take my words for it, I present to you the comments of Ian Hartitz on the matter of starting the best players on your team.

Fantasy: 3 non-top 10 QBs that will shine in 2021

Matthew Stafford will majorly impress in 2021

The fine folks over at FantasyPros have a neat little tool where they compile the rankings of around 100 fantasy football experts to make one big consensus position ranking list.

We can learn a lot from this list. One thing being, there are a ton of potentially stellar fantasy football quarterbacks waiting in the wings this season.

The big names like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Kyler Murray are obvious and are bound to fly off draft boards early. But some of the names further down the list, the players being ranked as fringe backups, could be nearly as good as the biggest names at the position– despite the gap in draft status between them.

So this draft season, load up on your position players, focus on the skill groups, and put your faith in one of these three quarterbacks to carry your team to the finish line as late round draft picks.

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (FantasyPros Consensus Ranking — #11)

You’re telling me Ryan Tannehill, the guy who finished seventh in quarterback fantasy points last year on the NFL’s second run-heaviest offense and now has Julio Jones playing as a WR2, that Ryan Tannehill, is being drafted as a backup in 10-team fantasy leagues?

Scoop him up in your draft and prepare to be rewarded for it.

The disrespect on Tannehill’s production is nothing new– same as his ability to shatter that dated perception on the field. Before his overall QB7 run last season, Tannehill finished as the overall QB3 in 2019 from Week 7 to the end of the year, the stretch of time when the Titans’ quarterback was promoted from bench duty to starter.

Now, Tennessee will be introducing a new offensive coordinator, one with a background in coaching quarterbacks, and will be introducing one of the most talented receivers of a generation to a wide receiver group that already included AJ Brown.

With a change in offensive philosophy and an influx of pass-catching talent, expect the run-heavy Titans to rely a slight bit more on the arm of Tannehill than they did last year. With more of a chance to shine, the Titans’ quarterback might jump back to his QB3 ways over the course of 2021– or at least pretty close to it.

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams (FantasyPros Consensus Ranking — #12)

How Matthew Stafford’s fantasy stock has dropped all the way to QB12, I will never know.

Stafford has made the move from the desolate, depressing wasteland of success and offensive talent known as the Detroit Lions to the sunny shore of Los Angeles, where the waiting hands of Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp await, and the offensive genius of head coach Sean McVay is standing at the gates of SoFi Stadium waiting to greet him in.

Despite worse talent around him and worse coaching on the sidelines, Stafford still flashed talent as a legitimate real-life football asset, throwing for over 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns in the midst of a lost 2020 season.

With the boost in supporting cast, Stafford could build on what was a strong season and shine as a solid starting quarterback for your fantasy team, all for the cost of a Round 10-12 draft pick.

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (FantasyPros Consensus Ranking — #13)

Here’s a secret about Joe Burrow, one that might have been lost in a season derailed by injuries and overshadowed by the surprise stardom of another rookie quarterback in Justin Herbert.

Joe Burrow is really good at football– and proved it last year before the eventual leg injury heard around the streets of Ohio.

FantasyPros consensus QB13 is currently being drafted like a high-to-mid tier backup, despite playing the 2020 season like a star in the making just waiting to blossom. The former LSU Tiger used a heavy amount of passing volume to put up chunks of passing yards in just about every game he played, peaking in Week 7 with a 406 yard, three passing touchdown performance where he also added one score on the ground as well.

And things looked promising for Burrow from that moment on, following up that stellar showing with another strong outing the following week, struggling a bit after the bye against a strong Steelers defense, and eventually seeing his season coming to an early end the next week against another great Washington Football Team defense.

But keep in mind who Burrow was in 2020. A rookie, on 2019’s worst football team, who was gifted heaps of passing volume and now has the benefit of experience working for him, as well as the addition of a rookie receiver in Ja’Marr Chase, Burrow’s former LSU teammate who finished with a 20 touchdown season in their last college run together.

Taking a young quarterback fresh off an injury could be a gamble, but one that could pay off handsomely in the case of Burrow.

Fantasy Football: Week 1 Starts/Sits

Sit Tua Tagovailoa

By: Matt Gruber

Week one is just hours away and it’s finally time for the weekly starts and sits. This is the first installment of the 17-piece series aimed to help you make the roster decisions to give you an edge over your opponent. Let’s jump into it and hopefully win some championships.

Quarterbacks

Start: Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles start their season on the road against the Atlanta Falcons. This is a juicy matchup as the Falcons were ranked dead last in the league in passing yards allowed. Furthermore, they surrendered 34 passing touchdowns last season which would rank them 27th in the league. Couple this with Hurts’ ability to run and he should be in for a big day.

Honorable Mentions: Matt Ryan vs. PHI, Trevor Lawrence @ HOU, Baker Mayfield @ KC

Sit: Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins head to Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots. This is a definite avoid for me. Last season, the Patriots were 8th best when it came to passing yards allowed. In addition, this defensive unit gave up the fifth least amount of passing touchdowns to opponents. The last time Tagovailoa faced the Patriots he threw for a measly 145 yards and one interception. Leave him on your bench this week.

Honorable Mentions: Andy Dalton @ LAR, Daniel Jones vs. DEN, Jared Goff vs. SF

Running Backs

Start: James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars

Second-year running back James Robinson should be in for a huge day on the ground. He is going into Houston to face the Texans who were brutal against the run last season. Ranking last in rushing yards allowed and 30th in rushing touchdowns allowed, Robinson needs to be in your lineup. In his last game against the Texans, he gashed them for 99 yards and one touchdown. I am expecting similar results.

Honorable Mentions: Gus Edwards @ LV, Miles Sanders @ ATL, Raheem Mostert @ DET

Sit: D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions find themselves in a home matchup versus the San Francisco 49ers. Ranked inside the top seven for the least amount of rushing yards and rushing touchdowns allowed, this is going to be a tough matchup for Swift and the rushing attack. On top of the stout defense he faces, he was dealing with a groin injury. Although he should be good to go, I will err on the side of caution here and keep Swift on the bench for this one.

Honorable Mentions: Zach Moss vs. PIT, Josh Jacobs vs. BAL, Melvin Gordon @ NYG

Wide Receivers

Start: Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans

This may be a bit of a surprise since their starting quarterback is Tyrod Taylor, but someone’s got to catch the ball. Cooks is the top target on this team and has a great matchup against one of the worst pass defenses in the Jacksonville Jaguars. Ranked 27th in yards and touchdowns allowed last season, this Jaguars defense is a funnel. I am plugging Cooks into my lineup with confidence.

Honorable Mentions: Tee Higgins vs. MIN, Laviska Shenault Jr. @ HOU, DeVonta Smith @ ATL

Sit: Kenny Golladay, New York Giants

After missing a good portion of training camp and the preseason with a hamstring injury, it doesn’t get any easier for Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay. He will be going up against a solid pass defense in the Denver Broncos. Pair this with the fact Golladay will be playing in his first game with a new team and system, with little practice reps, and this is a no-brainer for me. Leave him on your bench.

Honorable Mentions: Michael Gallup @ TB, Chase Claypool @ BUF, Mike Williams @ WSH

Tight Ends

Start: Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, the Rams are playing the Chicago Bears who have a good defense. However, last season, this Bears team gave up the second-most fantasy points per game to tight ends. In addition, they gave up the third-most touchdowns to the position. Matthew Stafford loves his big pass catchers and when this team gets into the red zone, bet on Stafford to look for his 6’6” tight end in Higbee.

Honorable Mentions: Zach Ertz @ ATL, Tyler Kroft @ CAR, Austin Hooper @ KC

Sit: Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks

In his Seahawks debut, Gerald Everett finds himself going up against the Indianapolis Colts. An overall solid defense, the Colts are exceptionally strong against tight ends. Ranked third last season in the least amount of fantasy points per game allowed to the position, Everett may find himself having a quiet day. I wouldn’t bank on a touchdown catch to salvage a disappointing day either, as the Colts only allowed three touchdowns to tight ends last season. I would look elsewhere for a tight end this week.

Honorable Mentions: Mike Gesicki @ NE, Dawson Knox vs. PIT, Eric Ebron @ BUF

If you enjoyed this piece, feel free to find more of my content on Twitter @FF_Worm. I am always available to talk fantasy football and answer any questions.

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