What We Learned: Week 16
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.
Buy Low on Jalen Hurts
He has a negative matchup this week, a bye on the horizon, and is coming off the three worst fantasy performances of his career. There will never be a better time to get Hurts on your fantasy team.
It’s not always pretty (less than 200 passing yards in five of his last six games), but he still provides an ELITE rushing floor (just three games with less than 50 rush yards this season, no less than 30 in any game). You have to keep in mind, he has started less than one full season’s worth of games. He’s steadily improving, and when he figures it out he is going to be scary. Like prime Cam Newton/Russell Wilson scary. At least, for fantasy football purposes anyways.
He has a lot of dynasty appeal, but I still love him this season for redraft leagues as well. Why? So glad you asked. He is playing against the rest of the NFC East (including two games against Washington) during the fantasy football playoffs. Strike while the iron is hot, and buy-low while you can.
Super Cam is Baaaack
Riding the momentum Cam Newton provided, the Panthers stomped the best team in the league, with authority. He has made an immediate impact on a team that retains much of the same core it had when he left. He was seen on the sideline leading the huddle, commanding the respect of his teammates just three days after (re)signing with the team. If there’s any organization that knows what Cam is capable of, its the Panthers.
If he is truly back, there isn’t a spot in the NFL you’d rather him be than Carolina. It feels like he has returned home and nature is healing. If he can score 11 fantasy points on two touches (more points than Jared Goff in a game that went to OT) I’m excited to see what he can do when they open up the playbook for him and turn him loose. I’m not saying he is an immediate fantasy QB1, because the most recent sample of him as a starting QB was not incredibly promising. BUT… I’m also not going to deny he could just as easily become the fantasy monster we once knew him as. As you saw on Sunday, he is still one of the leagues premier red zone weapons.
In week ten, Newton became the first QB to score a TD on his first rush of the season, and throw a TD on his first pass of the season in 30 years.
As for Sam Darnold? He just lost his job. Without question. I mean, a man who hasn’t played one snap of football this season just provided the team with more of a spark than Darnold has in the last six weeks. He may as well start packing his things now because chances are he’s not in Carolina next season.
It may be time to sell Damien Harris
Harris has served fantasy managers well this season. Before missing week ten with a concussion, he had scored (at least) a rushing TD in five straight games. He has three games with over 100 yards rushing this season, and even after missing a game, he is RB20 in PPR scoring. There. You can use that information when trying to sell him this week. The reason I say that is because Rhamondre Stevenson is a beast.
In Harris’s absence, Stevenson took his 20 carries for 100 yards and two TDs. There were a few encouraging things about this game from a fantasy perspective, unless you own Damien Harris that is. For one, Stevenson finished with an impressive 27.4 PPR points, which is more points than Harris has in any game this season. What else? Stevenson caught four passes on five targets (his second game with three or more targets/receptions this season). Harris has never been targeted more than three times OR caught more than two passes in a game in his entire NFL career. So, clearly the Pats believe Rhamondre brings something to the table as a receiver that Harris does not.
Moving forward, best-case scenario for Harris owners is he takes the Legarette Blount role and Stevenson takes the James White role. But the thing with Stevenson is, he offers the best of both roles. He is like a Legarette Blount who can operate as a pass catcher, or a James White that can actually run between the tackles. Either way he lacks the weakness of the opposite player. Harris however, although he is explosive/very effective on the goal line, doesn’t offer that same kind of versatility.
Well… Not to overreact, but the dynamic Stevenson (who had an incredible preseason by the way) just made a strong case for more playing time this past week. If that means he eats in Harris’s workload even a little it spells doom because (with no receiving floor to fall back on) he basically depends on lions share volume for fantasy value. I feel like it’s time to get out while you can.
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Tim Brosnan, Fantasy Sports Analyst/Freelance Journalist
Tim Brosnan is a college-educated sports journalist from the New Haven, Connecticut area.
The Playbook by CommishFFP
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 pro football/fantasy sports and combined it with his journalistic know-how in order to bring you a completely original, well-informed, multi-layered fantasy football advice experience.
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