Mo Money, No Problems: Mo Alie-Cox as an Emergency Fantasy Tight End

Need a Tight End for your Fantasy Team?

By: Chinmay Kulkarni

Tony Romo, Ian Eagle, Kevin Harlan, and alike mentioned the phrase National Tight Ends Day on the broadcast a zillion times in Week 7. If I had a tight end for every single time the 2019 minted holiday was stated, I could fill an entire 52-man NFL roster with just TEs. This day, celebrating these larger pass catchers and blockers, was chock-full of impressive performances from tight ends all around the league, from Atlanta rookie/week 7 savior Kyle Pitts, to Mike Gesicki, and even second-string fill-ins such as the Raiders’ Foster Moreau. From a fantasy football perspective, serviceable points in week 7 byemegeddon from the tight end position were not hard to come by.

NFL week 8 is a respite from bye week frenzy, with two tight-end heavy teams on bye – the Ravens and the Raiders. Fantasy football owners looking for quick replacements for Mark Andrews, Darren Waller, or recently injured Dawson Knox (all top 10 TEs) may need to look deep on the waiver wire. However, I’m here to tell you that the solution for bye week woes may come from one of Carson Wentz’s go-to red zone targets, Mo Alie-Cox.

Other than being bench fodder for G to PG-13 rated fantasy football team names, Alie-Cox leads the Colts in receiving TDs. He ranks 15th at the TE spot and cannot be recommended as a weekly fill in at a TE1 position over the likes of Travis Kelce or TJ Hockenson. Could he be used as an emergency TE2 or flex, yes, but as a starter, there’s a weekly bust potential baked into the risk.

Apart from playing NCAA basketball being the only fact broadcasters ever seem to know, our Mr. Fantasy Irrelevant is an excellent addition to plug-and-chug for injuries or bye weeks. Alie-Cox ranks top 3 in passes caught (not including the Colts backfield) and top 5 in targets from Carson Wentz. The chemistry between Alie-Cox and Wentz grows in the redzone – 3 of his 4 TDs come within the opponent’s 20 yards line and stands as a top 3 target from Wentz in the area. Though indicating that fantasy production may be TD-dependent, the fact remains that the Colts look to pass to the 6’6’’, 267lb target regularly in the endzone. Colts OC Marcus Brady has even gone on the record and told reporters that he’ll be ‘more and more involved’ in the offense.

We can’t talk fantasy production till we get past the opponent. The Colts play the Titans in the second matchup of the season. Though the Tennessee defense has grown and evolved from Janoris Jenkins being bad, to Janoris Jenkins being serviceable, the Colts’ offense has steadily improved under the helm of Carson Wentz and Frank Reich – winning 3 of their last 4 games while taking the Ravens to the brink in a rock-fight on Monday Night Football. The Titans are one of the worst units against the wide receiver spot, good against TEs, and stand as middle of the pack against the run. Overall, I think the game plan from the Colts’ coaching staff remains from their week 7 slopfest in Santa Clara – run the ball and throw short – the Carson Wentz special. A good production day for Alie-Cox, as a huge target to notch TDs and 3rd and short opportunities, seems due.

The long-term outlook for Alie-Cox looks promising as well. The Colts have the Jets, Jacksonville twice, and the Texans on the schedule. As the Colts fight for a wild-card spot, the only good remaining defensive units stand as the Bills, Cardinals, and Buccaneers.

Consistent production at the tight end spot is crucial for sustained fantasy success, especially in bye week season. The Mo Alie-Cox stock is on the rise, and now is the best time to buy. Could you do worse at the TE spot, absolutely. As tight end depth depletes and consistent players at the position being only a handful, Mo Alie-Cox may be a play in deeper 10 or more man leagues.

Fantasy Football: Week 5 Start/Sit

Here are the Week 5 starts and sits

By: Matt Gruber

Week five is upon us and it is time for the weekly starts and sits. This is now the fifth 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: Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings

After a down week last week, I expect Kirk Cousins to bounce back when he takes on the Detroit Lions. In his last four games against the Lions, Cousins has averaged 301 yards and just under three touchdowns. I am starting Cousins confidently this week as he should be in line for a quarterback one performance.

Honorable Mentions: Mac Jones @ HOU, Zach Wilson @ ATL, Daniel Jones @ DAL

Sit: Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers

Last week, Ben Roethlisberger saw his worst fantasy performance, scoring just over nine points. Still yet to break 14 fantasy points this season, he will remain on the bench for me. This week he goes up against a solid Broncos defense that has only given up three passing touchdowns all season. Until Big Ben can show us he can turn things around, I will not be starting him.

Honorable Mentions: Baker Mayfield @ LAC, Carson Wentz @ BAL, Jared Goff @ MIN

Running Backs

Start: Chase Edmonds – Arizona Cardinals

Coming off his best fantasy performance of the season in week four, I expect Chase Edmonds to continue producing. He has recorded at least four catches in every game so far and it is that passing work that provides a safe floor. Yet to find the endzone, Edmonds is due to score against a San Francisco team that has allowed a rushing touchdown in back-to-back games. Fire him up with confidence this week.

Honorable Mentions: Damien Williams @ LV, Nick Chubb @ LAC, Leonard Fournette vs. MIA

Sit: Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos

Aside from his long touchdown in week one, Melvin Gordon has not been too impressive this season. Splitting carries with rookie running back Javonte Williams, his ceiling is severely capped. He faces the Pittsburgh Steelers that have not allowed a single rushing touchdown to running backs all season. With this in mind and the lack of volume, I am looking elsewhere at the running back position for week five.

Honorable Mentions: Latavius Murray vs. IND, Myles Gaskin @ TB, Miles Sanders @ CAR

Wide Receivers

Start: Marvin Jones – Jacksonville Jaguars

Back-to-back disappointing weeks have fantasy managers concerned for Marvin Jones. I am not one of them. Still an integral part of the offense, I expect his usage and targets to increase even more with fellow wide receiver DJ Chark out with an ankle injury. This week he has a nice matchup against the Titans that have given up eight touchdowns to wide receivers this season. I am starting him without hesitation.

Honorable Mentions: Emmanuel Sanders @ KC, Corey Davis @ ATL, Jaylen Waddle @ TB

Sit: DeVonta Smith – Philadelphia Eagles

Coming off his best performance of the season, DeVonta Smith finds himself on the sit list for me. This is solely matchup-based. This week, he faces the Carolina Panthers. While they have given up three touchdowns to wide receivers in the last two weeks, they have not allowed more than 135 receiving yards in either game. For Smith to be a solid play, I think he will have to find the endzone. If I have better options at receiver, I am playing them over Smith.

Honorable Mentions: Chase Claypool vs. DEN, Robby Anderson vs. PHI, Odell Beckham Jr. @ LAC

Tight Ends

Start: Dalton Schultz – Dallas Cowboys

Recording six catches in back-to-back games and scoring three touchdowns, Dalton Schultz has earned himself a spot on the start list. Putting up 15 fantasy points during this run, Schultz has become a dependable tight end to plug into lineups. This week he gets the New York Giants that have allowed a touchdown to tight ends in every single game. Start Schultz with confidence this week.

Honorable Mentions: Dawson Knox @ KC, Jonnu Smith @ HOU, Dallas Goedert @ CAR

Sit: Tyler Conklin – Minnesota Vikings

Tyler Conklin saw his best game by far in week three. Every other week he was not someone you would want in your lineup. This week, he will remain on my bench. He has not produced enough for me to be willing to plug him in. This week he plays the Detroit Lions and they have been good against tight ends. Only allowing one touchdown, I am looking for another option at tight end this week.

Honorable Mentions: Evan Engram @ DAL, Jared Cook vs. CLE, Maxx Williams vs. SF

If you enjoyed this piece, feel free to follow me on Twitter. I am always available to talk fantasy football and answer any questions.

Fantasy Football: Week 4 Start/Sit

Sit Big Ben this week

Week four is upon us and it is time for the weekly starts and sits. This is the fourth 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: Matthew Stafford – Los Angeles Rams

Matthew Stafford is coming off a great week three performance where he threw for over 340 yards and four touchdowns. I expect this to continue in a week four showdown with the Arizona Cardinals. The point total for the game is set at 54.5, implying that this one could end up being a shootout. Plug Stafford into your lineup confidently this week.

Honorable Mentions: Joe Burrow vs. JAX, Baker Mayfield @ MIN, Jalen Hurts vs. KC

Sit: Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers

Yet to eclipse 14 fantasy points in any of his three starts, some would say Ben Roethlisberger is officially washed. Coming off a game where he threw almost 60 times, I expect the Steelers will try to run the ball a bit more to relieve some pressure from Roethlisberger. Nonetheless, I am happily keeping this seasoned veteran on my bench until he can show us he still has some gas left in the tank.

Honorable Mentions: Daniel Jones @ NO, Carson Wentz @ MIA, Jared Goff @ CHI

Running Backs

Start: Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts

It’s been a slow start for Jonathan Taylor. After back-to-back weeks of less than 10 fantasy points, I think this is the week Taylor turns it around. He goes up against the Miami Dolphins who have given up over 110 rushing yards every week and four rushing touchdowns in the last two. Taylor is too good of a player to be bottled up for this long. Not only is he due for a big game, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds the endzone more than once. Fire him up for week four.

Honorable Mentions: David Montgomery vs. DET, Miles Sanders vs. KC, Josh Jacobs @ LAC

Sit: Chuba Hubbard – Carolina Panthers

The replacement for running back Christian McCaffrey is expected to handle the bulk of the carries for Carolina this week. However, Chuba Hubbard is in for a tough matchup at Dallas. The Cowboys have yet to give up a rushing touchdown to running backs. Furthermore, no running back has surpassed 75 rushing yards against them. In his first time handling a big workload, on the road against a good defense, I am leaving Hubbard on the bench.

Honorable Mentions: James Robinson @ CIN, Chase Edmonds @ LAR, Mike Davis vs. WSH

Wide Receivers

Start: D.J. Moore – Carolina Panthers

Coming off a game where he recorded eight catches for 126 yards, D.J. Moore is in a good spot to continue his hot start. The obvious favorite target for quarterback Sam Darnold, expect Moore to be busy against the Cowboys. No Christian McCaffrey could lead to even more targets for Moore. This bodes well for him as the Cowboys have let up at least 25 fantasy points to wide receivers in all three games. Stick him in your lineup and don’t think twice.

Honorable Mentions: Terry McLaurin @ ATL, Ja’Marr Chase vs. JAX, Odell Beckham Jr. @ MIN

Sit: Marquise Brown – Baltimore Ravens

Marquise Brown is coming off a game where he struggled and failed to produce. Logging just three catches for 53 yards, Brown also dropped multiple passes that would have led to touchdowns. This week he faces Denver who has been solid against the pass. In addition, after narrowly escaping with a victory last week, I think the Ravens will try to get back to their roots and run the ball. I’m looking for other options at receiver this week.

Honorable Mentions: Henry Ruggs @ LAC, Christian Kirk @ LAR, Sammy Watkins @ DEN

Tight Ends

Start: Noah Fant – Denver Broncos

It was a quiet week three for Noah Fant. Limited to just two catches for 15 yards on three targets, I expect him to right the ship this week. One of Teddy Bridgewater’s favorite targets, Fant will see more opportunities against the Baltimore Ravens this week. In a week where they will need to score to keep up, Fant should see plenty of looks.

Honorable Mentions: Logan Thomas @ ATL, Jonnu Smith vs. TB, Dallas Goedert vs. KC

Sit: Mike Gesicki – Miami Dolphins

After back-to-back duds to start the year, Mike Gesicki finally had himself a good game. While it was encouraging to see, I am still not confident in starting him this week. He goes up against the Indianapolis Colts who have shut down opposing tight ends. Yet to give up over 60 yards, while only surrendering one touchdown, I am keeping Gesicki out of my lineup. Look for other options with a better matchup.

Honorable Mentions: Dalton Schultz vs. CAR, Jared Cook vs. LV, Evan Engram @ NO

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.

Three Second Year Players To Trade Away In Fantasy

Tade away these second year players!

By: Andy Davies

Fantasy Football has become an integral part of many fans’ NFL Sunday experience. Whether you use ESPN, NFL.com or Sleeper, you are often watching Redzone and thinking about the points that your player is scoring for your team. Even when your team plays, if you have one particular wide receiver, you are often wanting your quarterback to throw to the player in question. The great Albert Einstein once said,

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe”.

This quote has a lot of relevance to fantasy football. How often will you pick a player when they are in form, only for them to hardly score any points when you add them via waivers? How often do you take a player out or leave them on your bench, only to see them recover 30 receptions, 150 yards and 3 touchdown receptions? There are plenty of players who impress in year one that you either keep in a dynasty league or take in the fantasy draft, only for them to perform well below expectations in year two.

Here are three second-year players that you should look to trade away in fantasy football, if you haven’t already.

Darnell Mooney (Wide Receiver- Chicago Bears)

Mooney impressed in year one, with 631 receiving yards from 98 targets in his rookie year along with four touchdowns. This was Mooney catching balls from Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles, two quarterbacks that didn’t exactly light up Soldier Field during their time as Chicago Bears. He now has two much more solid QB’s on paper in Andy Dalton and rookie Justin Fields but has so far recorded less than satisfying numbers despite leading the team in receptions (12). He has 101 receiving yards and 0 touchdowns. This has him 95th in the league for receiving yards, tied for 60th in receptions and 47th for targets. This is an average of 34 yards a game.

He hasn’t been helped by poor quarterback play. Dalton was the Week One starter and has thrown for 262 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception before injury meant he lost his starting role in Week Three to Fields, who less than impressed in his first NFL start. He had 0 touchdowns, 1 interception and just 138 passing yards. One of his specialities is on the ground but has just 46 yards from 14 carries. Of course, he is young and needs time to develop but he is not exactly someone you want throwing the ball to one of your fantasy receiver options.

Despite this, I would choose to bench him if you are in a dynasty league but remove completely from your team if you are in a keeper or redraft league. The value is there for the future but this season there will be plenty of growing pains in this Bears offense.

Jalen Reagor (Wide Receiver- Philadelphia Eagles)

Mooney may be one for the future both on the field and on your fantasy team. Reagor however, is someone you should immediately remove as he is looking more and more like an NFL bust.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts has largely impressed this season, with 5 passing touchdowns and 2 interceptions, 1 rushing touchdown along with 780 passing yards and 179 rushing yards. This has him 16th in the league for passing yards, with only Lamar Jackson (251) having more rushing yards than Hurts for a quarterback. Reagor does not have the same excuse as Mooney when it comes to which QB is throwing him the ball. He cannot even blame it on a lack of throws his way, with the second-most targets and the most receptions on the team this season. Yards is where he has really struggled, with his 107 ranking fourth amongst his teammates. This shows a lack of productivity when receiving the ball, as can be further demonstrated in his yards per reception total of 8.2. Not only is this less than tight end Dallas Goedert, who also has more yards, but this also is less than fellow tight end Zach Ertz and running back Miles Sanders. When a running back has more yards per reception than you, then there is a real problem.

Reagor was taken 21st overall by the Eagles in the 2020 NFL Draft and this was seen by many to be a reach. So far, the predictions are turning out to be true. Even in the eleven games he played in his rookie year last season, he was fifth in targets (54), receptions (31) and touchdown receptions (1) as well as ranking fourth in yards (396). With head coach Doug Pederson fired and replaced with Nick Sirianni, Reagor would have hoped for the chance to stake his claim as the number one wideout. When Philly traded up two spots to take Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith tenth overall, the writing appeared on the wall for Reagor to become the number one wideout. The way Smith and fellow second year receiver Quez Watkins have played so far, Reagor will find it hard to be anything more than a third or fourth choice wideout.

This is why you need to get rid of Reagor instantly from your fantasy teams and look for a replacement instantly. Two wide receivers that could easily be available and that are trending up are the Tennessee Titans’ wide receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Buffalo Bills receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Westbrook-Ikhine had 53 yards, 4 receptions and 1 touchdown in their win over the Indianapolis Colts. Many had Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley as the Bills’ two receivers to take in their fantasy teams, with Sanders often a forgotten man. He has excelled so far, with 194 yards and 2 touchdowns from 11 receptions despite being third on the team for both targets and receptions.

Tua Tagovailoa (Quarterback- Miami Dolphins)

It is likely that you are reading this having had Tua in your fantasy teams, that he is now out of your teams due to his rib injury suffered in the 35-0 loss to the Bills in Week Two. However, there are more reasons why you should get rid of the second-year quarterback altogether. His average start to the season was halted with the aforementioned injury. The heath of Tua was brought into question pre-draft last year, with a season-ending injury whilst playing in college with Alabama. People such as myself compared this situation to the one that was seen with Saints quarterback Drew Brees, when he suffered many injuries with the San Diego Chargers.

Miami didn’t take Brees in 2006 thanks to these injury concerns and everyone knows how successful he was after joining the Saints and head coach Sean Payton. Miami took the risk and so far, it is not looking like one that paid off. Tua will always be hindered by how well Justin Herbert has performed since being taken just one pick after Tagovailoa. With the past incident involving Brees in 2006, it is ironic that the Chargers took Herbert, who has been a revelation in Los Angeles and is arguably the best QB to be taken out of last year’s draft, with 5,292 yards, 37 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his young NFL career.

With the Houston Texans reportedly softening their stance on Deshaun Watson, who is 99% likely never to play for the franchise again. Miami have repeatedly been linked with Watson and with the combination of Tua’s injury, backup Jacoby Brissett being nothing more than mediocre as well as this Dolphins team being excellent on defense and only a good o-line and running back away from being a Super Bowl contender, Watson would immediately see an upturn in Miami’s fortunes.

Thanks to his college tape and his position in the draft last year, he is likely to find a starting job elsewhere, but he is yet to prove to anyone that he is a genuine franchise QB and someone who is good at the pro level. Therefore you should look to remove Tua from your fantasy team as soon as you can. If you have a dynasty league, perhaps you could keep him on your bench if he moves elsewhere judging by how well Ryan Tannehill has played since leaving the Miami franchise. Otherwise, you should look to see what other quarterbacks are available to have as your backup.

Fantasy football players, you are likely to make many more waiver claims until the trade deadline. Just remember to avoid these three players.

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups For Week 4

The fantasy football waiver wire for week 4 is here

By: Rishi Patel

Welcome back to this NFL column where I will be giving 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:

Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings

Kirk has been on fire to start this season. The normally up-and-down QB has mastered consistency this season (*so far*) and carried the Vikings to a win over perennial NFC contender Seattle in Week 3. The QB has a total of eight touchdowns to no picks on the season and has posted over 320 yards in two of three games. He’s a solid backup QB to add to your roster and could be vaulted into the starting tier soon if you are dealing with byes or injuries.

Peyton Barber, RB, Las Vegas Raiders

Barber thrived in Week 3 by posting 111 yards rushing and a score in the absence of Josh Jacobs (ankle). Barber is worth adding but he’s only start-worthy if Jacobs misses Week 4’s contest. 

Chuba Hubbard, RB, Carolina Panthers

With starter Christian McCaffrey ailing due to a hamstring injury, Chuba Hubbard will take over the Carolina backfield with CMC likely sidelined for a while. The rookie will be able to prove he’s an NFL starter in the coming weeks and is one of the best stashes of the week due to his large upcoming role. 

Cole Beasley, WR, Buffalo Bills

Beasley has never been elite in fantasy but he’s always been serviceable whether he was in Dallas or now Buffalo. The WR posted an incredible 11 receptions for 98 yards on 13 targets in Week 3 and now has at least 60 yards in two of three games. He’s a great add and immediate flex play as the Bills have a favorable matchup in Week 4 against Houston.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Like Beasley, Watkins has been more under-the-radar for most of his career but he’s been thriving in Baltimore in his first season with the Ravens. The Clemson product has seen at least seven targets in all three games and has posted at least 68 yards in two of three games. Watkins is another solid add who could serve as a flex play immediately if needed. 

Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals

While DeAndre Hopkins and rookie Rondale Moore have been getting much of the hype on the Cardinals’ receiving corps, Christian Kirk has quietly been efficient in 2021. The Texas A&M product posted at least 65 yards in the first two games before erupting for seven receptions for 104 yards on eight targets in Week 3. He’s not a flashy pickup, but Kirk can be just like Watkins and Beasley, a serviceable flex play. 

Hunter Renfrow, WR, Las Vegas Raiders

Renfrow is the last of this “serviceable WR flex play” group. The Raiders wideout is again not the flashiest player, but efficient and proving to be reliable. Las Vegas has caught many by surprise and Renfrow is a surprise player on this team. The Clemson product has at least five receptions and six targets in all three games while posting at least 70 yards in two of three games.

Tyler Conklin, TE, Minnesota Vikings

TE is a tough position to pick players for as there are such few decent options at a thin position. With Irv Smith Jr. out for the Vikings, Minnesota has proved to have had no decent backup tight ends—at least until Week 3 when 2018 fifth-round pick Tyler Conklin erupted onto the scene for seven receptions for 70 yards and a score on eight targets. With Kirk Cousins balling out right now, Conklin is not a bad pickup at TE. 

Fantasy: 3 RBs to trade away

Trade away Broncos RB Melvin Gordon

By Chris Moore (Twitter: @fantasy_moore)

We are now two weeks into the NFL season, and there have already been fantasy disappointments. Two games out of the fantasy season may be a small sample size. Reacting to how a player performs in their offense is the best way to find success in fantasy football. In this article, we are going to be going over some of the most underperforming fantasy running backs this season and why I think you should be selling them.

Melvin Gordon (RB – DEN)

There will only be a couple of more weeks before Melvin Gordon becomes irrelevant in the fantasy world. Gordon is currently the RB14 in PPR leagues, but his stats from the past two weeks show the Gordon show is coming to an end soon in Denver. If it wasn’t for his 70-yard touchdown in Week 1, Gordon doesn’t even make this list. It’s only a matter of weeks before rookie Javonte Williams takes over the backfield from Gordon in Denver. Williams has already outperformed Gordon. Last week averaging 4.9 yards per carry against the Jaguars compared to Gordon’s 2.38. Sell Gordon while his name and stats over the past two games still hold value. It’s only a matter of time before we see the Javonte Williams show in Denver. Gordon has a lofty resume and an overrated start to the season – now is the time.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – KC)

Man, this one hurts. As someone very high on Clyde Edwards-Helaire ever since he entered the league, it stings to put him on this list. Yet the truth is, CEH isn’t the fantasy running back managers thought he would be when the Chiefs drafted him. CEH is currently the RB46 in PPR leagues, through two weeks. CEH has struggled so far to start the year, averaging 3.29 yards per carry on 27 attempts. The Chiefs talked about expanding CEH’s role in the passing game this season. But so far, through two games, that hasn’t been the case. CEH has only seen three targets in two games, which is only two targets more than backup running back Jerick McKinnon. Edwards-Helaire isn’t putting up the box score fantasy managers thought he would weekly, and now is the time to get out while his name still holds value.

James Robinson (RB – JAC)

While it was encouraging to see his snap share raise significantly in Week 2, it doesn’t look like we are getting the same fantasy production out of James Robinson this year like we did last year. The Jaguars are an awful team. They have struggled to look competent on offense so far this season. It’s hard to trust Robinson in your lineup if the Jaguars are playing from behind every week. Over the past two week’s that has been the case. Carlos Hyde remains a favorite of Head coach Urban Meyer, and this is just a situation I don’t want any shares. Robinson is currently the RB40 in PPR leagues, and there are better options out there at this point.

Fantasy Football: Week 2 Starts/Sits

Week 2 is almost here!

By: Matt Gruber

Week two is upon us and it is time for the weekly starts and sits. This is the second 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: Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers

After a week one shocker in which Aaron Rodgers let a lot of fantasy managers down, I expect a huge bounce back this week. Rodgers takes on the Detroit Lions, at home, in prime time. It doesn’t get much better than that. Dating back to 2019, in his four games against the Lions, Rodger has averaged 284 passing yards and two touchdowns. Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are going to make a statement on Monday night.

Honorable Mentions: Jalen Hurts vs. SF, Baker Mayfield vs. HOU, Matthew Stafford @ IND

Sit: Tua Tagovailoa – Miami Dolphins

Coming off a week one win in New England, Tua Tagovailoa finds himself on the sit list for the second straight week. If it wasn’t for his rushing touchdown, he would have had a disappointing Sunday. This week, he goes up against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills were able to hold quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to under 200 passing yards and only one touchdown in week one. Facing an elite defense, the Miami Dolphins passing attack could be in trouble.

Honorable Mentions: Jared Goff @ GB, Carson Wentz vs. LAR, Derek Carr @ PIT

Running Backs

Start: Najee Harris – Pittsburgh Steelers

The debut for the highly touted rookie running back did not go as planned. Recording only 5.9 fantasy points in PPR leagues, Najee Harris was on a lot of losing teams. However, there is a lot to look forward to. In week one, Harris played 100% of the offensive snaps. It was just a poor matchup. This week he goes up against the Las Vegas Raiders who just gave up 189 rushing yards and two touchdowns to the Baltimore Ravens. I am confidently starting Harris this week as a running back one.

Honorable Mentions: Jonathan Taylor vs. LAR, Aaron Jones vs. DET, Damien Harris @ NYJ

Sit: Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders

In week one, Josh Jacobs salvaged his day on the ground by scoring two touchdowns. If it weren’t for those scores, he would have ended the day much worse. This week, he goes against a tough Pittsburgh Steelers defense who held running backs to only 76 rushing yards in week one. Couple this with the fact Jacobs has been battling injuries the last few weeks and it is an easy pass for me. We saw how it was Monday night. Jacobs was coming in and out of the game, limping at times, changing shoes, or getting up slowly. He isn’t 100% and because of that, I will leave him on my bench.

Honorable Mentions: Mike Davis @ TB, Myles Gaskin vs. BUF, James Robinson vs. DEN

Wide Receivers

Start: Cooper Kupp – Los Angeles Rams

Coming off a game where he logged 7 catches for 108 yards and a touchdown, Cooper Kupp will continue putting up numbers in week two against the Indianapolis Colts. It was evident that he and quarterback Matthew Stafford have a strong rapport as Kupp led the team in targets with 10. He will now face the Colts this week who just gave up over 150 yards and three touchdowns to Seattle’s wide receivers. Expect Stafford to continue to look Kupp’s way early and often.

Honorable Mentions: Chris Godwin vs ATL, Courtland Sutton @ JAX, Tee Higgins @ CHI

Sit: Robby Anderson – Carolina Panthers

Before saving his day with a long touchdown reception, Robby Anderson was trending towards a goose egg. Finishing week one with one catch for a 57-yard touchdown, some fantasy managers are a bit worried. Anderson was only targeted three times all game. This was even three fewer targets than fellow wide receiver and rookie Terrace Marshall Jr. Week two doesn’t get any easier as the Carolina Panthers take on the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are riding high from their victory against Green Bay where they dominated. Holding Aaron Rodgers to under 150 yards, while giving up no touchdowns, Robby Anderson could be in for a long day.

Honorable Mentions: Will Fuller vs. BUF, Corey Davis vs. NE, Brandon Aiyuk @ PHI

Tight Ends

Start: Tyler Higbee – Los Angeles Rams

Although he did not manage to find the endzone, Tyler Higbee had an encouraging first week. Second on the team with six targets, he was able to produce five catches for 68 yards. Furthermore, his usage was unparalleled. He played on 100% of the offensive snaps, owned a massive 23.1% target share, and had an 80.8% route participation rate. It is clear the Rams want him on the field and with Stafford’s love for big pass catchers, Higbee will be a solid play this week.

Honorable Mentions: Rob Gronkowski vs. ATL, Noah Fant @ JAX, Jared Cook vs. DAL

Sit: Gerald Everett – Seattle Seahawks

Coming into week two, Gerald Everett may be the fifth pass-catching option on his team. He did manage to snag a touchdown catch in week one, however, it was done on only two targets. This was behind wide receivers Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf, tight end Will Dissly, and running back Chris Carson. Playing the same number of snaps as Dissly, in addition to receiving one fewer target, I am not confident with Everett in my starting lineup. While I do like his potential, I need to see more from him before I am willing to roll him out there. Pivot to another tight end option if possible.

Honorable Mentions: Mike Gesicki vs. BUF, Tyler Kroft vs. NE, Juwan Johnson @ CAR

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.

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: 2020 rookies that will continue to dominate in 2021

Which 2020 rookies will dominate this season?

By: Brady Akins

One of the central appeals to fantasy football is finding the next big thing. Maybe you yourself don’t have what it takes to be a real NFL scout, but by gosh, you can grind highlight reels and find impressive rookies for your fantasy football roster.

And while the initial hype train might have already left the station for 2020’s most impressive rookies, it’s not to late to buy stock in those players now, and plant your flag firmly in the camp of believing that they can continue their great play in the 2021 season. 

And if you’re lost on which rookies to put your faith in, well, we have you covered.

The Justin’s (Herbert and Jefferson)

Let’s start off with the obvious.

You don’t need anyone to tell you that the two rookies coming off of historically great seasons are probably going to be pretty good next year. Chargers’ quarterback Justin Herbert broke the league record for most passing touchdowns from a rookie last season with 31, while Vikings’ wide receiver Justin Jefferson finished with the most receiving yards in a year in the Super Bowl era with 1,400.

In Week 1 against a very stingy Washington defense, Herbert tossed 337 passing yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. It may not of been a sexy stat line, but he was efficient against one of the best pass rushes in the league, plus it was a great comeback victory.

Herbert finished as the overall QB9 last year, despite sitting out in Week 1, while Jefferson closed out his rookie campaign as the WR6 in PPR scoring.

Jefferson notched 5 catches for 71 yards in last Sunday’s performance. If his modest stat line means anything, it means you should break the bank for him now. It’s only a matter of time before he gets in sync with Captain Kirk. He has many divisional games where he will feast this season. Did you witness the Lions (41 pts allowed), Packers (38 pts allowed), and Bears pass defense (34 pts allowed) this past week?

Both players had elite numbers in their rookie seasons, and if they can avoid sophomore slumps, those numbers could be even stronger as they head into Year 2 is more experience.

Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

Jalen Hurts is a guy you want on your fantasy football team.

I don’t care if he’s never had a game completing over 60% of his passes. I don’t care if he’s playing on an Eagles’ offense that finished 26th in points per game last season. None of it matters. 

What does matter is that Hurts was the overall QB7 from the time he took over as the starter in Philadelphia in Week 14 to the end of the 2020 season, despite being benched halfway through his Week 17 game for what some people might consider… dubious purposes. 

He got there through easily repeatable means, as well, relying on his running ability in order to rack up 357 yards in only four starts (that’s nearly 100 rushing yards per start!). Now, imagine what Hurts could do with an entire offseason dedicated to tailoring the offense around his skillset.

Imagine what Hurts could do with the addition of Devonta Smith, the Heisman-winning receiver out of Alabama, in the passing game. Imagine what he could do with a full 17-game schedule at his disposal. 

Well, Hurts proved just how far he came in his Week 1 performance. The second-year QB balled out with 264 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns. The Bama Heisman winner is already a factor as he garnered 71 yards and his first receiving touchdowns.

Did I mention Hurts plays in the worst division in the league? NFC Least.

Chase Claypool, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers 

Here’s a riddle for your reading pleasure. What do you get when you take a football player with the size of a tight end and give him 4.4 speed?

What you get is Chase Claypool– WR1. Not just on the Steelers, but maybe for your fantasy football team as well.

Claypool’s physical gifts are hard to question. He’s the perfect combination of size, speed and strength to entice NFL teams and fantasy managers alike. The real question comes down to whether or not he can separate himself from the pack of Steelers wide receivers, a group that includes Juju Smith-Schuster and Dionte Johnson.

And the answer is, well, yeah. He definitely can.

Claypool already put up impressive numbers in his rookie season. Despite some inconsistent play, the overall box score tells an encouraging story. Claypool got the number of targets you would like to see from a wide receiver in the process of developing a connection with his quarterback with 109. He managed 11 touchdowns as well, including two on the ground, showing off his versatility in the Steelers’ offense.

Only two players through the ball more in 2020 than Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and if that volume maintains, a large chunk of it has a good chance to go to Claypool as he continues to grow into his role as an NFL wide receiver, continues to establish a rapport with his quarterback and continues to stand out as the most physically gifted player on the roster.

Claypool only grabbed 4 catches for 45 yards in last week’s victory, but he that should be the absolute floor in 90% of his matchups. Dionate Johnson only mustered out 3 catches for 35 yards, so the explosion was just not there in Week 1. Expect the Steelers second-year monster to be competing the top production in 2021. There will be plenty of shootouts against the Bengals rebuilding defense, Browns, and Ravens this calendar year.

Watch out for Claypool to add some consistency to his performances, and shine as a surprise superstar in the Steelers’ offense. 

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