What We Learned: 2021 Preseason
Check back here every week to listen to Tim: analyze what we saw, discuss who's trending up or down, and jump to some wild conclusions.
1. Christian McCaffery/Michael Thomas: Best fantasy players in NFL history ?
It's time to stop and smell the roses because, this season, we're witnessing history. And no, this time I'm not talking about Lamar Jackson or the Patriots defense. I'm talking about, possibly, the greatest single-season by a running back AND a wide receiver of all time.
First, let's talk Michael Thomas. The Saints WR1 has no less than 16.4 PPR points in any game this season. He has no less than 101 receiving yards or 22.1 PPR points since week six. This season, Thomas has more games above 22.1 points than he has games below that. He is averaging 23.9 PPG, just .1 point per game less than 2007 Randy Moss (the record setting 23 receiving TD's in a single-season Randy Moss).
If he keeps his current pace, he'll finish just 3.0 PPR points shy of 2007 Randy Moss. That doesn't sound right considering, as of now, Thomas has 17 less TD's than Moss (which would equal an extra 102 points), BUT... He's on his way to finishing with 53 more catches and 308 more yards. He will likely close the TD gap (to some degree) before it's all said and done as well.
If Thomas keeps his pace for receptions/yards and scores seven TD's between now and the end of the 2019 season (giving him 13 total), he will officially be the second-highest scoring fantasy WR in NFL history. His totals would place him just 8.4 points shy of Jerry Rice, who finished with 396.8 PPR points in 1995. Rice did that in his tenth NFL season. This is Thomas's fourth.
So far, Thomas has only one game with less than eight catches this season. He is on pace to set the record for most receptions in a single season (held by Marvin Harrison with 143). He is averaging a ridiculous 9.4 catches per game. If he keeps his current pace, he'll beat the record by eight catches (151).
Sure, one could attribute it to the fact that his QB, Drew Brees, is perhaps the most reliable QB there ever was. But the most impressive part of what Thomas has done this year is that he played the majority of this season with Teddy Bridgewater throwing him the ball!
His performance through 11 games this season has been nothing short of incredible. It's safe to say the sky is the limit for the former third-round pick. But even Thomas would struggle to achieve the most fantasy points by a non-QB in NFL history. However, there is another player who is flirting with such numbers this season...
Christian McCaffery is currently averaging 30.6 PPR PPG in 2019. This season, he has more games above 30.1 PPR points than he has games below that. McCaffery already has 16 total TD's this season. Assuming he keeps his current pace, he will claim the title of the highest scoring fantasy season in NFL history. LaDainian Tomlinson holds the record with 482.5 points, thanks to a record setting 31 all purpose TD's. McCaffery is on pace to outscore him by 7.1 points.
This pace is insanely impressive, especially considering he was held to just 7.3 points back in week two.
McCaffery hasn't scored less than 26.1 points since week six. He already has 1,709 yards from scrimmage and is averaging 155 per game. Assuming he keeps this pace, he will finish with 2,485 total yards. That would be the second-most total yards by a non-QB in NFL history (2009 Chris Johnson: 2,509).
This season, McCaffery has five games with multiple trips to the end-zone. He has two games with more than 200 all-purpose yards. He scored over 42 PPR points in both those games. It's safe to say he's the only non-QB who can say either of those things this season.
Of course Lamar Jackson is the front runner for MVP, but McCaffery is right up there with him. Without Cam Newton, he has been the unquestioned offensive leader for the Panthers. He is the very definition of his teams most valuable player. Without him, the Panthers might have only one win in 2019.
McCaffery's touchdowns have made the difference in four of Carolina's five wins this season.
Whatever the case, if you own Thomas or McCaffery this season, chances are you are well on your way to the fantasy playoffs. And if you own both... God help the rest of your league.
Michael Thomas and Christian McCaffery both find the endzone in a thrilling week 11 game that was decided by a last second field goal. Photo's courtesy of CBSsports.com
2. DJ Moore is a top-10 receiver
Over the past four weeks, DJ Moore has filled the shoes of a fantasy WR1. In week 12, it all came together. He came out hot against the Saints, scoring a 51-yard TD on his first catch. Moore finished with a season-high 126 yards, two TD's and 31.4 points on six catches.
In his last four games, Moore has 30 catches 442 yards and two TD's. He has no less than 98 yards or 17.1 PPR points in a game since week eight. In fact, Moore has finished with less than 12.6 PPR points just twice this season. In his last seven games, he has 72 targets.
It has been brewing for a while, but the past four games have been a dealbreaker. If Moore can build on his TD production from last week, his status as a top-10 fantasy WR will be solidified. Hopefully you got him for WR2 price while you still could...
His next two games will be against the Redskins and Falcons. According to FantasyPros, Moore actually has the sixth-easiest remaining schedule among all NFL WR's. So yeah... I'm all in.
3. Is Baker Mayfield back?
The Browns offense FINALLY played to their potential in week 12, all it took was a game against the Dolphins. Former Offensive Rookie of the Year Baker Mayfield enjoyed his best game of the season in week 12. He threw for 327 yards and three TD's (his first game with three passing TD's this season), and finished with a season-high 23.6 points.
The offense was firing on all cylinders as Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham and Mayfield all finished with 20 PPR points. Impressive, but then again... Who hasn't had their best game of the year against Miami this season? I can certainly name a few... Which begs the question; was it a fluke, or is Baker Mayfield back?
I am of the firm belief that Mayfield is on the cusp of a roaring comeback. Here's why: over the past four weeks, Mayfield has no less than 17.1 points in any game. Sure, one of those games was against the Dolphins, but the other three? The Broncos at Mile-High, at home against the Bills, and a primetime matchup with the Steelers. Those are three VERY tough matchups that Mayfield has played admirably in. Over that span, he boasts an 8:1 TD-INT ratio.
Mayfield has now thrown multiple TD's in three straight games, something he failed to do in his first eight. He has back to back weeks with three total TD's and over 21 fantasy points, also something he hadn't achieved yet.
So, if you ask me, I'm thinking Mayfield is back, and more importantly, can be trusted in fantasy again. He seems to have matured a bit and he's playing like it. After next week's game against the Steelers (who he beat for 21.8 points two weeks ago) he gets to play the Cardinals and the Bengals twice... If you can find a schedule that sounds friendlier than that, you let me know.
4. Eagles defense is heating up
I know how this is going to sound, but the Eagles defense, believe it or not, is not terrible. In fact, they've been playing pretty damn good. Dare I say... Elite?
Elite may be an overstatement, but one could definitely make the argument.
Hear me out. Last week, I was hard pressed for a streaming defense, so I dived deep into the research, possibly deeper than I ever have before. And what I turned up, the best available defense was... The Eagles?
"It can't be," I said. "Against Seattle? I must be crazy."
Turns out I was crazier to think the Broncos D/ST could score positive points against Josh Allen and the Bills.
The Eagles, surprisingly enough, finished with 11 fantasy points against the Seahawks in week 12. Philly held Russell Wilson to just 200 yards passing. They forced Wilson to turn the ball over multiple times, the first time he's done that in a game this season. But it's not just the Seahawks they've suffocated recently.
Over the past four weeks, the Eagles have allowed no more than 17 points in a game. Including against New England and Buffalo. It is a huge turn around after they began the season allowing an average of 30 points per game weeks 1-7 (if you exclude a week five matchup with the Luke Falk-led Jets).
During this resurgent span, the Eagles have allowed the second-least fantasy points to QB's, the fifth-least points to WR's (trust me, I didn't make that up), and THE least points to tight ends. They've also accumulated 14 sacks, four turnovers and a blocked kick.
According to FantasyPros, the Eagles have the fourth-easiest remaining schedule among all NFL defenses. They play Miami next week. They have two matchups with Giants and one against the Redskins in the fantasy playoffs. I never thought I'd say this, but the Eagles defense could be a league winner.
5. Ryan Tannehill... A top-10 QB?
Speaking of a league winner... I'm going to go ahead and answer my own question by saying yes, I do believe Tannehill is currently a top-10 QB. After a 32.4 point performance against the Jags in week 12, I'm convinced.
Here is a list of QB's that have outscored Tannehill in fantasy since he took over as the starter for the Titans:
- Lamar Jackson
...That's the whole list.
Weird right? Most of us wrote him off as kind of a lame NFL QB after he fizzled out in Miami. But I guess it'd be fair to say that not even Aaron Rodgers could save that team. However, a little change of scenery and Tannehill is thriving.
He has multiple TD's and no less than 18.9 points in any game he's started this season. He has three straight games with at least 37 rushing yards and has picked up three rushing TD's in those three games.
Tannehill is currently averaging 22.5 PPG.
According to FantasyPros (can you tell I like using them?) Tannehill has the second-easiest remaining schedule for a QB this season. He needs to be added if he's still available in your league.
6. Bo Scarbrough is a workhorse
Despite scoring just 7.8 points in week 12, Bo Scarbrough looked the part of a workhorse back. He finished with 98 yards on 18 carries (5.4 YPC) against the Redskins. He did lose a fumble, and still has yet to make any sort of impact in the receiving game, but he is by far the Lions most effective rusher.
Scarbrough was a stud at Alabama, so this doesn't come as a huge surprise. If anything, it was a surprise to see him fall all the way to the seventh round of the NFL draft, but I digress. Scrabrough has looked very solid, but as much as I like his talent, I'd advise fantasy owners to beware.
He has a very threatening upcoming schedule, including games against Chicago, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, and Denver. According to FantasyPros strength of schedule metrics the Lions have the fifth-toughest remaining schedule for an RB. He has passed the eye-test so far, but I don't think I'd test my luck with him, especially in the fantasy playoffs.
7. Mason Rudolph (rightfully) benched
Steelers QB Mason Rudolph was benched in the third quarter of a week 12 game against the 0-10, now 0-11 Bengals. And rightfully so. Rudolph was, to put it lightly, highly inefficient on Sunday. To put it into perspective, Rudolph was benched in the third quarter and his backup, Devlin Hodges, threw for as many yards as him (85) on his first two pass attempts.
Mike Tomlin has yet to confirm whether or not Hodges will be the starter next week at Cleveland but, for fantasy purposes, let's hope Rudolph stays on the bench. In nine starts this season, he hasn't passed for over 251 yards once. He hasn't scored over two TD's or 16.9 fantasy points in any game this season, and those 16.9 points came against the Bengals back in week four... Congratulations Mason.
Prepare for things to escalate, because if I'm being honest, Rudolph is just awful and I hope I never have to watch him play again. Call me insensitive, but he's so bad at football, I didn't mind watching him get bopped in the head with his helmet last week. That's what you get for throwing four picks and instigating a fight... Obviously, that was an unacceptable occurrence on multiple levels, and I definitely don't condone Garrett's actions, but Mason Rudolph could retire tomorrow and I'd probably celebrate.
JuJu Smith-Schuster has been, perhaps, the biggest fantasy bust of 2019. If Big Ben was out there, obviously things wouldn't be so bad. With most backups in this league, things wouldn't be so bad. But with Rudolph, there's not much room for them to get worse.
If Devlin Hodges draws the start in week 13, and boy do I hope he does, I'd be inclined to give the Steelers offense a slight boost in my rankings. Not by much, but a boost nonetheless.
8. Sam Darnold: not completely useless
Don't look now, but Sam Darnold might actually be an NFL QB. The Jets schedule has been easy, (faced the Giants, Redskins, and Raiders past three games) but that shouldn't take away from how impressive Darnold has been.
In his last three games, Darnold is averaging 25.1 fantasy PPG. He has nine total TD's (two rushing) and just one turnover during this span. But somehow, in a game where he threw for 315 yards, he got the ball to red-hot Jamison Crowder just twice. Instead it was the ice-cold Robby Anderson who led with way with four catches for 86 yards and a TD. Just like we drew it up.
In any event, Darnold is a good bet to keep his success going for at least two more weeks. He'll take on the Bengals in week 13 and the Dolphins in week 14.
9. Chris Godwin explodes... Again.
In week 12, Godwin finished with 184 yards. It was the third time this season where he had at least seven catches, 125 yards, and two TD's. It was also his third game north of 150 yards, his fifth game with over 100, his sixth game with seven or more catches, and his third game with 31 PPR points or more this season.
A game like this was long overdue for Godwin, who hadn't topped 13.9 points in four straight weeks. It was encouraging to see him pull through considering his schedule is a breeze in the fantasy playoffs.
I was pretty harsh on Jameis Winston last week, but I'll say something nice about him for the Bucs fans out there. He's damn good at getting his receivers the ball. Even if he does cost his team games with his questionable decision making, at least he can keep his receivers fantasy relevant. Now, if only he could split the points between Godwin and Evans instead of one or the other each week...
10. Don't quit on Mixon
Yeah, he burned me this week too. I don't blame you if your first thought was "here we go again". After three consecutive weeks of at least 17 PPR points, Mixon crashed back down with just 7.9 points in week 12. But hey, it's not his fault he's on the worst team in football.
From the outside looking in, it seems like Mixon had a bad game. But if you watched him play on Sunday, you know he didn't. He began by gaining just 15 yards on his first seven carries. After that, he gained 64 on his next 11 (5.8 YPC).
In the second half, Mixon broke off an amazing run where he reversed field and somehow turned what should have been a five yard loss into a five yard gain, similar to his TD last week. Unfortunately, thanks to him being completely forgotten about in the passing game, it didn't equate to many fantasy points.
If you ask me, I forgive him. Especially considering his opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers have not allowed an RB to even scratch the surface of a top-10 week all season. I say keep the faith. He has a tough matchup in week 13 with a Jets defense that just held Josh Jacobs to 36 total yards, but after that it's smooth sailing.
In the fantasy playoffs, Mixon will face Cleveland twice (allowing eleventh most yards to RB's and an average of 4.6 YPC) and Miami (fifth-most points, and a league-high 1,428 rush yards/64 redzone touches allowed to RB's this season).
Andy Dalton will reclaim the starting job in week 13. Who knows? Maybe Mixon and the Bengals offense get a boost. If only AJ Green could get on the field...
1. Jameis Winston is a liability
After another four interception performance in week ten (his third game with four or more turnovers this season) just one question remains... What's it going to take? When will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization admit their mistake, cut their losses and move on from Jameis Winston?
Winston has a 19:18 TD to INT ratio, four fumbles lost, and is completing just 59.6 percent of his passes through 10 games this season. He is 24-40 as a starter with a career win percentage of just .375.
Winston is in his fifth season. Of his 66 career games, he has just 18 games without a turnover, and six of those games (33 percent) came his rookie year. Dak Prescott, for example, was drafted in 2016, a year after Winston. He has 19 games without a turnover in the last three seasons alone. Of his 58 career games, Prescott has 29 games without a turnover.
Winston has 26 games with multiple turnovers (39.3%) under his belt. He has no less than five such games in any season. He has nine games with AT LEAST three interceptions. Russell Wilson, who has twice as many starts as Winston (122), has just three such games in his career.
Winston has BY FAR the most turnovers by any player since entering the league. Eli Manning was the only one giving him a run for his money, but since he's been riding the bench this season, Winston is running away with it.
For as long as Winston has been the Bucs QB, they've finished better than fourth (last place) in their division one time. They have yet to make the playoffs with him as their signal caller.
All of this damning evidence begs the question: when is enough going to be enough?
It seems like every week Tampa Bay and Bruce Arians have to convince the media that Winston is still their starter, and they still have faith in him. But how much faith can an organization possibly have? He was once described as a potential franchise QB, but the term that more accurately describes him at this stage of his career, is a liability.
Winston looks on in anguish as his fourth interception of the game seals the victory for the Saints - photo courtesy of TheAthletic.com
2. Patriots Defense still poses a major threat
After an uncharacteristic performance against the Lamar Jackson led Baltimore Ravens, football fans were ready to chalk the Patriots defensive prowess through the first eight weeks up to a soft schedule (the easiest in the league by FantasyPros strength of schedule metrics). After they were "exposed" by the Ravens, their start percentage in ESPN fantasy dropped from 97 percent in week nine, to 65 percent in week 11.
The skepticism was fair, considering the Pats surrendered 31 points and over 350 total yards of offense to the Ravens after no team came anywhere close to that in the eight weeks prior. But it is also fair to say there is no defense that has the answer for Lamar Jackson. After a week 11 beatdown of the Eagles, it's starting to look like the Patriots week nine performance against the Ravens was the real outlier.
New England held Philly to just 214 yards passing and 81 yards rushing (3.8 YPC). Carson Wentz completed just 50 percent of his passes (20-40) and finished with a passer rating of 74.4. The Eagles managed just 10 points in four quarters, and were shut out entirely in the second half.
The Patriots offense didn't fare much better, delivering another lackluster showing. In fact, the Pats finished with less total yards than the Eagles. But thanks to five sacks, a fumble recovery and an all-around phenomenal performance in the second half from their defense, they scraped out another win.
This Patriots squad reminded us in week 11 that just because they were torched by Lamar Jackson and the NFL's highest scoring offense, like pretty much everyone else, doesn't mean they are pushovers. Aside from back to back games against the Texans and Chiefs in weeks 13 & 14, the Patriots should be viewed as a top-three fantasy defense each week.
3. The Ravens defense is officially elite
Stalling the Patriots struggling offense is one thing, holding Deshaun Watson without a touchdown through four quarters is another...
In their last four games, the Ravens have allowed an average of 14.0 PPG scored five defensive TD's, and forced nine turnovers. What's more impressive is that three of those four teams were the Seahawks, the Patriots and the Texans. The only question mark surrounding this Baltimore defense (that is suddenly playing at an extremely high level) was the sacks. After recording seven against Watson in week 11, it's safe to say this defense is elite.
Over their last four games, they average 17.2 fantasy PPG. By FantasyPros strength of schedule metrics, the Ravens have the sixth-easiest remaining schedule among all fantasy defenses. In the fantasy football playoffs they have matchups with the Bills, Jets, Browns and Steelers. They are currently available in 27 percent of ESPN leagues. If you have not done so already, I suggest you scoop them up.
4. John Brown is a machine
Michael Thomas, John Brown. There... I just listed the only two players in the NFL with at least 50 receiving yards in every game this season. He may not be the sexiest play, or have the most monstrous stats this season, but John Brown is an absolute machine.
As Josh Allens top weapon, Brown has been a model of consistency this season. He has finished with no less than 9.5 PPR points in any game this season. Most recently, he delivered a single-game season-high in receptions (9) yards (137) TD's (2) and, as a result, fantasy points (34.7).
There are few players (maybe none) who have had a higher floor than Brown this season. I'm not necessarily suggesting you trade him, but hear me out. If it was me, I'd use his high floor as leverage and try to deal him on the heels of his monster game. Sure, he has been a rock for fantasy owners, but consider the fact he has matchups with the Broncos, Cowboys, Ravens, Steelers and Patriots left on his upcoming schedule. In fact, by FantasyPros strength of schedule metrics, he has the fourth-toughest remaining schedule. I can understand if you feel attached to him, and I wouldn't be surprised if he overcame his schedules adversity, but it is something to keep in mind for a player who's value is the highest it has been (and possibly will be) all season.
5. Foles loves Chark
For anyone worried the transition from Minshew to Foles would affect Chark's production, your mind should be put at ease after week 11. While it still remains to be seen whether or not Foles is an actual real-life upgrade at QB for the Jags, Chark remains a WR1.
If you have a good memory, you'll likely recall that Foles actually tossed a 30-yard TD to Chark on the play he broke his collarbone in week one. In week 11, the duo picked up where they left off.
Foles peppered Chark with a season-high 15 targets. Chark finished with 104 yards and two TD's on eight receptions. It was his third 100+ yard effort, and his sixth game with eight or more targets this season. With this kind of increased usage, Chark may even be more valuable than he was with Minshew...
6. Dwayne Haskins is not ready to be a starter
Until the fourth quarter of their week 11 game with the Jets, the Redskins had gone 16 quarters without scoring a TD, the longest streak by any team since 2000. Dwayne Haskins was the starting quarterback for 10 of those 16 quarters, so naturally, I blame him.
Finally, the streak was broken on a 45-yard "touchdown pass" to Derrius Guice. But please, make no mistake, Guice did all the work. Before a garbage time fourth quarter that featured the Guice TD, a 41-yard prayer that Terry McLaurin bailed him out on, and a one-yard TD pass to Jeremy Sprinkle (all against the 31st ranked Jets pass defense) Haskins was on his way to another Brutal day. He passed for 119 of his 214 passing yards in the fourth quarter in week 11. Before that, Haskins was averaging just 27 pass yards per quarter this season.
It's not that he lacks the arm talent or athleticism, but the dude just looks lost on an NFL field. He's having trouble making reads, seeing the field clearly, sensing pressure and, perhaps most importantly, he's dragging Terry McLaurin down. That one I take personally. These are all things you wouldn't have to deal with/could be avoided if Case Keenum was the starter.
I get the whole 'trial by fire' approach, the best way to learn is to fail miserably, and in a season that is already pretty much over for the Redskins, why not get your rookie QB some experience? The problem is, from what I've seen, I don't think Haskins is the answer, and I'm not sure he ever will be.
7. Derrius Guice/Bo Scarborough: RB's to target
I've been in on Guice for a while. He's been featured on the top waiver claims page for three weeks now. In week 11, he displayed why.
On his 45-yard TD reception, Guice showed off the angry running/tackle breaking ability fantasy owners have long been waiting to see at the NFL level. With Dwayne Haskins playing like a disaster, expect the Redskins to lean on the run. Although Adrian Peterson has proven he can still be effective at his age, I'd expect him to be playing second fiddle to the younger more explosive Guice sooner rather than later. At least, Guice certainly made a case for himself in that regard in week 11. But he wasn't the only young RB who stood out on Sunday.
Former Alabama standout Bo Scarborough looked like the remedy for the Lions struggling run game this week. He wasn't wildly effective (55 yards on 14 carries, 3.9 YPC) but he certainly seemed to be an improvement on the ground over TY Johnson or JD McKissic. He scored a five-yard rushing TD in his first game as a Lion, something McKissic and Johnson have failed to do this season.
I'm not as high on Scarborough as I am on Guice, but if they give Bo the job, I like his talent enough from his Bama days that I believe he could prove to be a workhorse for the Lions, at least in the short term. Next up for the Lions is a tasty matchup with the Redskins...
8. David Johnson receives zero touches in week 11
It's a sad day in FantasyLand. Former Fantasy MVP David Johnson has officially lost his job.
Despite being available and fully-healthy, David Johnson has finished with zero points in back to back games. In fact, he didn't receive a single touch on Sunday. But how did it get to this point?
David Johnson, a player that has a season with 2,000 total yards and 20 total TD's under his belt, has been deemed unimportant by his team. After a disappointing 2018 campaign where he was the focal point of all opposing defenses, Johnson seemed to have come in to this season devoid of confidence. Still, despite being relatively ineffective on the ground, with 30 catches and three games of over 21 PPR points through the first six games of 2019, it seemed to be clear he was still an elite pass catching back, that was rightfully worth slating in as an RB1. But after DJ was forced to miss time with injury, Chase Edmonds and Kenyan Drake both outshined anything Johnson had done this season. It seems like this caused him to be perceived as expendable.
Personally, I don't agree with it, but as fantasy owners, we have to accept it. Johnson simply can't be trusted, and can't be played... even as a flex.
9. The real Joe Mixon surfaces
Mixon entered week 11 with two consecutive games of at least 17 PPR points, he extended that streak to three games on Sunday.
Now, let me just start by saying Mixon could have had a humongous game if he was fed just a little bit more. He took his first catch for 17 yards, and his first carry for 30 yards. He turned what should have been a five yard loss in to one of the most impressive TD's of the year. And he did it all in the first quarter.
The Bengals never trailed by more than ten points at any point in this game, so the fact that Mixon received just 10 touches for the remainder of the game is downright puzzling.
I could understand not running the ball if it was essential to pass in order to keep up or if their QB was actually an effective passer (Mixon had more rush yards than Finley had Pass yards entering the fourth quarter). But the fact they completely abandoned the run game, despite Mixon averaging 5.3 yards per carry made absolutely no sense. Then again, I guess that kind of game management would explain why they're 0-10...
On a different note, if the trade deadline in your league hasn't passed, I suggest you make a run for Mixon. I know he's been disappointing this season, but he's trending up. His talent is apparent, and has been on display often in his past couple games. In the fantasy playoffs he will find himself matched up with Miami and Cleveland twice... Just sayin'...
10. Stefon Diggs is impossible to predict
After a three week stretch of at least seven catches and 140 yards, he finishes with just one catch for four yards against the Chiefs? Then, he delivers another sub-par game against the Cowboys, basically establishing you still can't really trust him... again.
So you see a matchup with the Denver Broncos in week 11, a team giving up the fourth-least points to WR's this season. There's no Adam Thielen, so he'll no doubt be the focal point of the Broncos defense. How can you take your chances with that matchup? Especially after the duds he's put up the past two weeks... Sure enough, he rises from the dead to catch five passes for 121 yards and a TD, likely on everyones bench.
I mean, what's his problem? This guy can't just do this every week? Does he have to take every other week off? Why does he hate his fantasy owners? What's he going to do in the fantasy playoffs, retire? Owning Stefon Diggs has been a roller coaster ride this season. Thanks for listening to me complain about it.
1. Russell Wilson and Seahawks topple undefeated 49ers
What. A. Game. After an overtime victory in what could go down as the game of the year, the accolades are flying in Seattle. Russell Wilson was already a frontrunner for league MVP, and now, after a huge division win, Pete Carroll is a front runner for coach of the year. Some are so amazed by the resolve and championship mentality of the Seahawks, they've taken to social media.
"If you give @PeteCarroll a glass of water he turns it into a lake and goes skiing on it," tweeted Matthew McConaughey.
I can't say I fully understand what you mean, but I'm with you Matthew. Year in and year out the Seahawks find a way to electrify fans in a legendary manner. If you give them an inch of hope, they'll turn it into a mile... Oh, okay Matthew, now we're on the same page.
Even Wilson, who has been to two SuperBowls and has won some insane games in his career said this may be the craziest game he's ever played in. Seahawks DE Jadeveon Clowney said the same.
Despite trailing the 49ers the entire first half, Seattle rallied to send the game in to overtime and eventually emerged victorious against the only undefeated team that remained in the NFL. But it definitely wasn't pretty.
The game featured seven total turnovers, and two defensive TD's, one for each team.
Unless you own Chris Carson or the 49ers defense, fantasy points were hard to come by in this one. Star receivers Tyler Lockett and Emmanuel Sanders both suffered injuries that kept them from completing the game. DK Metcalf had a respectable game which would have been better if not for a costly fumble. Tevin Coleman failed to deliver an RB1, or even RB2 for that matter, performance for the second week in a row. Wilson, despite playing a hell of a game in real life, fell short of 17 fantasy points for (surprisingly) the third time in his last four games. Instead it was Deebo Samuel (eight catches, 112 yards) and Jacob Hollister (eight catches, 62 yards and one TD) who led the way in fantasy points. Just like we drew it up, right?
Side note: Jacob Hollister may be a thing, by the way. Considering Wilson's history of favoring his tight ends (see Jimmy Graham, Will Dissly) and Hollister's obvious athleticism, he looks like he can fill the role of a fantasy TE1. He's now scored two weeks in a row, and has drawn multiple red-zone targets in each of those games. He's big, fast, he can catch and Russell Wilson is his QB... What more could you ask for?
Back to the point: this was a huge win for the Seahawks, and a self-described "reality check" loss for the 49ers. Of course, their defense played at the elite level many expected them to, but it was their offense that seemed to drag them down.
Jimmy Garoppolo was 3-18 on passes that went 10 or more yards downfield, which, by those metrics, is the worst single game performance by a QB this season.
ESPN analyst and media personality Stephen A. Smith went as far as to call Garoppolo the weak link of this San Francisco team, and I can't say I disagree.
For now, It'd be safe to consider his 300+ yard, four TD performance against the (very bad at defense) Arizona Cardinals as an outlier. Jimmy G has thrown just one TD or less in five of his nine games this season. He has throw for 175 yards or less in four of those nine games. Due to the elite level the defense has been playing at, and the effectiveness of the run game, his sub-par play had not come back to bite them. Until now. Against a Seattle defense that had most recently allowed a combined 795 passing yards to Jameis Winston and Matt Schaub, Garoppolo just couldn't seem to get it done. He was responsible for all three of the 49ers turnovers and completed just 52 percent of his passes.
The Seahawks will have time to sit on this impressive victory as they head in to their week 11 bye. The 49ers, on the other hand, will have an interesting matchup on the road versus a Cardinals team they narrowly edged out just two weeks ago (28-25). And if they lose two division games in a row... Then things have really gotten interesting.
Russell Wilson escapes Deforest Buckner and scrambles for a first down - photo courtesy of Aol.com
2. Ryan Tannehill... Franchise QB?
Derrick Henry led the way for the Titans offensively in week ten with a monstrous game on the ground (26 touches, 191 total yards, two TD's). But if you ask me it was Ryan Tannehill who got them the win.
The former college wide receiver made several key plays late in the game to keep Tennessee alive against the Chiefs. In the fourth quarter, he led a last minute scoring drive, at one point converting with his legs on a 3rd and 17. He capped it off with a 23-yard strike to Adam Humphries for the go-ahead TD (32-33). Not only did Tannehill lead his team to a score, he proceeded to put his head down and plow his way in to the end-zone on a two-point conversion that put his team up by one field goal... A field goal that Harrison Butker could not convert.
Thanks to Tannehill, the Titans pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season in Kansas City. He has now thrown for 300+ yards or scored multiple TD's in every game as a starter for the Titans. Some have even used the word "revelation" to describe what he has done for this Tennessee team. It will be exciting to see how he continues this success, and what he can do for the fantasy prospects of his offense. All I know is, compared to Marcus Mariota, things can only improve.
3. Christian Kirk has career day against Bucs
In week ten, Christian Kirk played the best game of his young career. He took his six receptions for 138 yards and scored three crazy TD's. He finished with a career-high 37.8 fantasy points.
Considering Kirk had not found the end-zone at all in 2019 prior to this week, his three TD performance was especially surprising. It was also just the second 100+ yard game of his career.
Of course, it all came against a Tampa Bay defense that Tyler Lockett lit up for 40+ PPR points in week nine, the same team that for as long as I can remember has been notorious for having a lackluster secondary. In fact, they just waived their former first round CB Vernon Hargreaves on Tuesday. Nonetheless, it was an encouraging performance from Kirk who was already a target machine. He is clearly Kyler Murray's favorite target, especially since he doesn't seem to be interested in throwing Larry Fitzgerald the ball.
If you don't count the week four Seattle game where he was injured, or the week nine matchup against the exceptionally stout 49ers, Kirk has finished with double-digit PPR points in every game this season.
Kirk always had the potential for a game like this but the real question is, what took so long?
4. Saquon Barkley, David Johnson, Cooper Kupp among big name players who put up duds in week 10
Saquon Barkley... 13 carries for one yard ?!?! Against the Jets ?!?!?! What the @#$% just happened? Reports are surfacing now that Barkley is still a little bit banged up or at least "not 100 percent". So, I suppose he can be somewhat forgiven. His five catches for 30 yards were the only thing that kept him afloat in fantasy. Which is more than you can say for...
David Johnson: the only cardinals RB that can't seem to be effective on the ground. Coming off an injury, he was expected to split carries with Kenyan Drake, but was benched by Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury after a third quarter fumble. DJ finished with six touches for 10 total yards and zero fantasy points. He was out-snapped by Drake 64 percent to 43 percent in week ten. Confidence in the former 2,000 yard 20 TD RB has officially reached an all time low. But at least he accumulated some yards and touches unlike...
Cooper Kupp, who was held without a catch for the first time this season. Zero catches for zero yards. I had Jared Goff as the sit of the week, and last week called the Steelers defense elite, but this is some next level stuff.
Kupp is the one I'm worried about the least as I'm sure he'll bounce back, but he had, by far, the worst game of these three stars in week ten... Imagine playing all three this week...
5. Mixon finally goes over 100 yards
Joe Mixon touched the ball 32 times for 151 total yards in week ten. It was a season-high for Mixon, who had yet to eclipse the 100-yard mark on the ground this year. He put up 17.1 PPR points against a Ravens defense that was previously giving up the eighth-least points to RB's this season.
It was not surprising to see the Bengals lean on the run game considering rookie QB Ryan Finley was making his first start, but then again, down as many points as they were, you might expect them to throw a little more. Either way, Mixon owners should be excited. He now has 17+ PPR points in back to back games, and should be utilized much more with Finley on the field. Next up is a matchup with the Raiders who are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to RB's over the past four weeks.
6. Cardinals defense, the gift that keeps on giving
In week ten, not only did the Cardinals have Ronald Jones looking like a feature back (22.6 PPR points), but they kept their horrible record of guarding TE's alive by allowing OJ Howard to score his first TD of the season. Of course, it likely came too late for many fantasy owners as Howard has been dropped in over 55 percent of ESPN leagues. He finished with four catches for 47 yards and a TD in this one. He looked impressive, making a few nice grabs, but I wouldn't buy too much into it. Howard has been bad all season. If anything I'm chalking it up to the fact that the Cardinals forgot how to play defense this season.
They've allowed a season-high fantasy totals to Jimmy Garoppolo, Latavius Murray, Drew Brees, and now Ronald Jones/OJ Howard all in the past three weeks. They really are the gift that, every week, just keeps on giving.
7. Lamar Jackson may be the best football player I've ever seen
I'm going to have to stop calling this blog 'What we learned' if I keep talking about how good Lamar Jackson is, because it's literally every week with this guy. In week ten, he finished with a perfect passer rating of 158.3, for the second time this season. But that wasn't even the most impressive part. He also delivered a career-long run (47 yards) on a TD that brought back memories of Michael Vick's legendary fake slide.
His unbelievable athleticism was on display as he outran, eluded and spun around the entire Bengals defense. It is a play that will, no doubt, go down as one of the most memorable of his career, and will likely end up in the top-ten plays of 2019. Also, I will guarantee right here and now that Jackson will beat that career-long sooner rather than later. I'm sure a monkey could make that call, but I did it first. It was another flawless game from Jackson who now has more rushing yards through his first 16 starts than Ladanian Tomlinson (nope, not a typo), more wins than Patrick Mahomes, a better passer rating than Tom Brady, more yards per attempt than Aaron Rodgers and a better completion percentage than Drew Brees.
Jackson is a once in a generation-type talent and I am personally glad to have the pleasure of watching him play, and owning him in fantasy.
8. Jarvis Landry is the Browns WR1
Now, hear me out here. I know how it sounds. The great OBJ, how could he not be his teams WR1? Well, we saw it in the last season they played together at LSU. It was close, but Jarvis Landry put up the better numbers. If anything, they were co-WR1's. Although it's pretty close, he's been doing the same this season. Landry has six games with over 60 yards this season, Beckham has four. Landry has scored a TD in back to back weeks. Beckham hasn't scored since week two.
Of course, all it would take is one big game from Odell to retake the lead and who would be surprised? But, at least in recent weeks, it has been the Jarvis Landry show. Beckham's deep play prowess seemed like the perfect match for Baker Mayfield's cannon arm, but so far the big plays have not been there. I expect that will eventually correct itself, but currently, Beckham has been limited to a possession role. That isn't exactly the type of production fantasy managers are used to seeing from him. While he's still a superior option to most, he hasn't been the WR1 many fantasy managers expected him to be when drafting him.
On the season, Landry is WR20 while Beckham is just WR26. Some of it could be the fact Landry has an established chemistry with Baker Mayfield, and Beckham and him are still working on it. Either way, there is still plenty of time to turn it around. But if I'm ranking them at the moment, I'd put Landry above Odell, at least until we see him return to his elite form.
9. Jets/Giants battle for worst New York football team
Daniel Jones threw for 300 yards and four TD's, Darius Slayton had a career game with ten catches for 120 yards and two TD's. Golden Tate had 94 yards and two TD's. It's no wonder I had the Jets defense as the sit of the week... But leave it to the Giants to somehow lose a game like that...
The Jets ended up winning a surprisingly entertaining game, despite playing a less polished game than their opponents offensively. Jamison Crowder had himself another really solid week as the Jets top receiving weapon (five catches, 81 yards, one TD). What ever happened to Robby Anderson? The former Jets WR1 has just three catches for 44 yards in his past two games. Those two games were against the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants. It's probably safe to drop him. Demaryius Thomas seems to have passed him on the depth chart as well (10.7 or more fantasy points in three of his last five games).
Like I said, I had the Jets D/ST listed as the sit of the week, and I had actually typed "because Jamaal Adams can't play every position on defense", but apparently all you need is one. He snatched the ball from Daniel Jones like it was his to begin with, and proceeded to take it to the house in one of the most authoritative defensive plays I've ever witnessed. Welcome to the league Danny Dimes. The defensive score proved to be the deciding factor as the Jets won 34-27. The presence of Adams makes me think the Jets D/ST might actually be usable against Dwayne Haskins and the Redskins this week, maybe even start of the week worthy...
10. Kareem Hunt proves to be a usable flex
In his first regular season game as a Brown, Hunt carved out a meaningful role for himself without (to the relief of fantasy owners everywhere) really eating into Nick Chubb's workload at all. Chubb finished with exactly 20 carries for the fourth week in a row, while Hunt took his 11 touches for 74 total yards and actually finished with more PPR points than Chubb (14.4) thanks to an impressive seven catches.
Going forward, it's not unreasonable to expect Hunt to play the Austin Ekeler role to Chubb's Melvin Gordon. The best part about it is, the Browns are allowing for both players to be on the field at the same time. Hunt will likely serve as a pass catching flex type back that will, no doubt, vulture a few TD's. I see him as having high-end flex value especially if he continues to receive 10-15 touches per game.
1. Lamar Jackson > Patriots Defense
For the first time all season, the New England Patriots did not hold a lead at any point in the game in week against the Ravens. For as good as the Patriots defense has been, they simply were not equipped to deal with a QB as dynamic as Lamar Jackson.
The criticism of the Pats offense playing sub-par and the defense riding high on an extra-soft schedule seemed like it was just the critics being nit-picky, but in fact, it was those exact issues and weaknesses that were exposed in week nine.
The Pats were dominated for most of the game after the Ravens got off to a 17-0 start, something New England fans aren’t used to seeing from their opponents this year. However, with seven minutes left in the third quarter, it was still close. The Patriots were down by just four points, with more than enough time to come back. But the Ravens showed no mercy closing it out, beating the Pats (37-20) by 17 points, by far the largest deficit they have seen this season.
Prior to week nine, the Patriots had coughed up a total of just four TD's all season. They surrendered four TD's to Baltimore on Sunday.
Jackson and the Ravens power-scheme proved to be too much of a challenge for the juggernaut Pats, regularly disorienting them with triple options, read options, QB scrambles, and a few well-timed perfectly placed passes, which was once thought to be a weakness of Lamar Jackson's game. Historically good or not, Jackson poses a unique challenge to any defense, regardless of their caliber.
Jackson (224 total yard, three total TD's, no turnovers in week nine) is, without a doubt, the most athletically gifted player ever to play the position. And after defeating the Pats in such a convincing manner, he is a front runner for league MVP.
He's now 12-3 in his career as a starter (does that mean Belichick has technically lost to a rookie QB?) He is just the second player ever with two rush TD's and a pass TD versus New England in the Belichick era.
Of course, Jackson didn't do it all himself, Mark Ingram helped out with
130+ total yards, and the Ravens defense suffocated the Pats offense (especially in the fourth quarter) but make no mistake, Jackson controlled this game.
He was labeled as a one-dimensional QB after displaying a run-heavy style in his first eight starts of 2018. Critics wrote Jackson off, saying he didn't have the arm talent to get it done. In week one of 2019, he went out, threw for 300+ yards, five TD's and a perfect passer rating of 158.3... But then it was 'Oh but that was against the Dolphins'... Whether it be the Dolphins defense, a Patriots defense that was on pace to be the best defense of all time, it doesn't matter. Everybody needs to stop what they're doing, and put some respect on this man's name. His true name: MVP.
Lamar Jackson keeps the ball on a read option, scoots in to the end zone for the second rushing TD allowed by the Patriots this season. Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images
2. The Jets nightmare season continues
A 26-18 loss to the 0-8, now 1-8 Miami Dolphins, it doesn't get much worse than that...
Let me just begin by saying, in my unbiased opinion, I firmly believe Adam Gase and Greg Williams should be fired... Immediately. Watching the team play it's obvious to see Gase doesn't have any idea how to manage the game, or his offense. I can't imagine, after this weeks loss, he has many fans left in the locker room either.
If Gase is allowed to stay, it will be catastrophic for this team. He's on his way to ruining Sam Darnold for good. He is committed to limiting one of the most elite athletes in the NFL, Le'Veon Bell, to a blocking role more than anything else. He doesn't know how to use explosive weapons like Demaryius Thomas, Robby Anderson, Ty Montgomery, etc. All three have yet to make a significant impact consistently this season. He seems to be doing a fine job getting Jamison Crowder involved however, and maybe someone should tell him this, but it's going to take more than prioritizing the force feeding of an efficient slot weapon to successfully run an offense.
You have LE'VEON BELL for crying out loud. If he isn't receiving at least 25 touches or more per game, that's your first problem. I'm no NFL coach, but it doesn't take one to clearly see they need to prioritize the run, set up the play action, and open things up for Darnold and his many weapons. Expose your 22-year old QB a little bit less for Christ sake...
I can understand game-flow being an issue, with the Jets trailing in most games, but Gase is making the call to pass on the goal-line when he should be running, and he runs the ball on 3rd and 3 when the defense is in an obvious run-stopping look... That 3rd and 3 is just one example, but it was a zero blitz, and even I diagnosed it before the snap! How much of that is on Gase for making the call, or Darnold not checking out of the current play is anyones guess. But either Gase can't catch a break, or he just sucks as a head coach and a play caller. (13-19 in his final two seasons as head coach of the Dolphins)
And now it's time to roast Greg Williams, shall we? The guy is a disaster. Most recently, he was the defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns. The Jets said, "Woah... The former defensive coordinator of the 0-16 Cleveland Browns is available? The same Greg Williams that was either fired or not brought back to the last six teams he coached for? The guy who had AARON DONALD for three years as the Rams defensive coordinator, yet finished below .500 and no higher than third in their division during his tenure, yet as soon as he was let go, they went 11-5 and won their division? Let's hire him. Let's hire Greg Williams. That’ll do the trick."
From the coaches they've brought on, to the way they’ve played on the field, from the Kelechi Osemele situation, to the Jamaal Adams situation... The way the Jets have been managed this year has been nothing short of criminal. If their owner doesn’t completely clean house and start from scratch by the end of this season, he either doesn't pay attention to professional football, or he's a Patriots fan.
3. Tyler Lockett hates me
So, just for context, I have seven fantasy football teams. And, I can't make this up (trust me I wouldn't just for fun), but I had the pleasure of playing against Tyler Lockett on six of those seven teams this week. Needless to say, I lost most of them... Okay, fine. I lost them all.
If you haven't heard, Lockett went off in week nine against the Bucs. He finished with 13 catches, 153 yards, two TD's, and 40.2 PPR points, a number that I have stared at far too much in the past 24 hours.
I actually played against a guy who hasn't set his lineup since the beginning of the season. He's had Vernon Davis as his tight end for weeks. He played Todd Gurley, who was on a bye this week. He's 0-8. But sure enough, thanks mostly to Tyler Lockett, he beat me this week.
Now, I can sit here and complain that this particular team is my only team that is below .500. I could complain about how I've lost by two points twice. I could complain about how JuJu Smith-Schuster was a waste of a second round pick and that every time he’s scored five points or less for me this season, it ends up making the difference. I could sit here and complain all day long that with this team, I’ve had to play against Aaron Jones when he damn near had 50 (49.2), the Patriots defense putting up 35 in week two, Sammy Watkins when he had a 46.8 explosion, and now Tyler Lockett's 40.2 PPR point clinic (all CAREER-HIGH's by the way). I COULD complain, but that's just not what champions do... But enough about my fantasy team from Hell, how about Lockett?
He is quite literally THE perfect weapon and compliment for Russell Wilson's ultra accurate cannon of an arm. He is Doug Baldwin's hands and route running ability, with the speed and athleticism of John Brown. And most importantly, he’s a legit WR1 in fantasy. His breakout campaign continues along the heels of Russell Wilson's MVP run. From now on, I will have Lockett ranked as a top-six option each week. Hopefully that will persuade him to take it easy on me the next time we face off...
4. Metcalf: Legit WR2
DK Metcalf is living up to his potential in Seattle, especially as of late. He came in to week nine with at least 50 yards or a TD in seven of his eight games this season. Last week, he caught two TD's on just three catches. The one knock about the Ole-Miss product was that he had not caught more than four passes in any game yet. But this week, it all came together.
His 4.3 speed and 6'3 frame was on full display, catching six passes for 123 yards, and one TD. With a QB like Russell Wilson, Metcalf's potential is enormous. If he continues to be as involved as he was in week nine, I see him as a borderline top-15 fantasy WR going forward.
5. Haskins not ready to be a starter
Not once, but twice Adrian Peterson (update: still a beast) single handedly carried the Redskins in to the red zone against Buffalo in week nine. But both of those times, Washington ended up finding themselves in a third and long situation, leaving it to Haskins to make a play through the air. And both times, he just couldn't do it. Despite three trips in to Buffalo territory, the Redskins failed to score a TD in week nine.
To be honest, I don't think Haskins is bad athlete or anything, he just looks like a deer in headlights to me. The game seems to be way too fast for him at this point. And I know he's a rookie. Daniel Jones, Kyler Murray, and Gardner Minshew have all had their struggles this season, but none have looked nearly as bad as Haskins has.
It's a small sample size, but the former Ohio State QB is averaging just 35.5 passing yards per quarter this season.
For the Redskins sake (mostly my guy Terry McLaurin) I really hope Keenum can get on, and stay on the field. Because as long as Haskins is playing, it's a fantasy wasteland in Washington. Even the Jets would have a chance beat them. And that's saying something.
6. Steelers defense is elite
The Steelers have now recorded more than 13 fantasy points in every game since acquiring Minkah Fitzpatrick, who was responsible for a 99-yard pick six on Brian Hoyer in week nine.
Disclaimer: I know I had them as the sit of the week, but if I knew TY Hilton and Jacoby Brissett would be out, they probably would have been the start of the week.
In the last four weeks, the Steelers have averaged 3.25 turnovers and 3.75 sacks per game. TJ Watt, Cameron Heyward, Devin Bush and Fitzpatrick have proved to be a very imposing, turnover causing collection of players.
From now on, regardless of matchup, the Steelers are worthy of top-seven fantasy defense consideration each week. And yes, that includes next week against the Rams, who the 49ers held to just over 100 total yards in week six.
7. Devin Singletary is legit
It's a small sample size, but Singletary is averaging 7.1 yards per touch (6.7 yards per carry and 8.6 yards per reception) on 52 total touches this season.
Over the past two weeks, he has been out-snapping and outplaying Frank Gore, who was stopped three times straight on the one yard line, and once on 4th and 2 in week nine... Brutal.
Singletary is explosive, has great vision and can clearly handle the workload of a feature back (140 total yards and one TD on 23 touches in week nine). It seems like Motor is ready to take over lead back duties in Buffalo, and the timing is great. He will face Cleveland and Miami in his next two games and is currently available in over 35% of ESPN leagues.
Dare I say, he looks the part of a high-end fantasy RB2. I will be ranking him as such until further notice.
8. The Bears defense: no longer a scary matchup
Latavius Murray, Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler, Jordan Howard... What do all these RB's have in common? They have all scored a TD on the Chicago Bears defense in the last three weeks. The Bears pass defense is being shredded as well lately. Michael Thomas and Zach Ertz have beaten them for over 100 yards and a TD in the same span. Keenan Allen would have as well had he not dropped a would be 30-yard TD last week.
Now their defensive struggles mostly have to do with the fact the Bears offense (Mitchell Trubisky: 173.9 YPG, five passing TD's this season) can't keep them off the field. In the first half on Sunday, their offense had nine total yards. Like NFL analyst Andrew Siciliano said, it's not a typo, it's not a slam, it's just a fact.
This defense is exhausted from carrying the team these past two years, and it's starting to show. Fantasy fans rejoice, you no longer need to be worried if you see a matchup with the Bears on the schedule!
9. Ryan Tannehill: Fantasy starter
Since taking over the starting gig for Tennessee, Tannehill has at least 18 fantasy points three weeks in a row. He now has either 300 yards passing or three TD's in every game he's started this season.
Like I said two weeks ago, he's playing with perhaps the best offense he has ever been on. Tannehill is benefiting from the luxury of having Derrick Henry draw the defense down, and between AJ Brown, Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith, Adam Humphries, etc. he has plenty of talented mouths to feed. Even Dion Lewis got involved this week (five catches, 33 yards).
In week nine, Tannehill spread the ball around, completing passes to eight different receivers.
When Delanie Walker eventually returns, things should only improve for the Titans offense. I'm going to go out on a limb and say Tannehill is a top-15 fantasy QB for the rest of the season. Don't like it? Sue me.
10. Emmanuel Sanders has elite flex potential in SanFran
Since joining the 49ers, Emmanuel Sanders has a TD in two straight games. In week eight, Jimmy G had his best game of the season (317 yards 4 TD's), and it was Sanders who led the way with seven catches for 117 yards and one TD. It's possible Garoppolo, who had throw for less than 200 yards four times in his eight games this season, was simply missing someone to fill the WR1 role. It's also possible he went off simply because they played a very soft Cardinals defense. Either way, neither Sanders or Garoppolo is looking back.
Next up for the Niners is a matchup with an equally soft Seahawks defense that failed to force a turnover on Jameis Winston in week nine.
I'm not saying Sanders should be viewed with WR1 or even WR2 value just yet, but from what I've seen from him in SanFran, he should at the very least be plugged in at flex until he proves otherwise. You won't want to be the one sitting him if he does it again.
Tim Brosnan, Fantasy Sports Analyst/Freelance Journalist
Tim Brosnan is a college-educated sports journalist from the New Haven, Connecticut area.
Brosnan earned his Bachelor's Degree from Castleton University where he majored in Media & Communication, with a focus in Journalism.
During his tenure as the sports editor of the Castleton Spartan newspaper, Brosnan created the segment 'Tim's Fantasy Tips'. It began as a simple weekly start/sit column, but since then, the idea has grown into so much more.
Brosnan has taken his experience/passion for fantasy football and combined it with his journalistic know-how in order to bring you a completely original, well-informed, multi-layered fantasy football advice experience.
We hope you enjoy.