What We Learned: Week 7
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.
Javonte Williams is who we thought he was
We all knew it was going to happen, the question was just a matter of when. Javonte Williams has been a bomb waiting to explode for a while now. The signs have been staring us in the face for weeks.
He came in to this game leading the league in forced missed tackles. After finishing with 4.4 YPC this week, he’s now registered 4.4 YPC or better in nine of 12 games this season. The only thing that was standing in his way? Melvin Gordon.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with Gordon. In fact it’s the opposite. He’s too talented of a runner not to demand a relatively even split of the backfield. Well, for the first time all season, he was ruled out in week 13, and it came at a crucial time. Many leagues had their playoff standings decided this week, and while Williams may not have won you your game, he certainly wasn’t the reason why you lost.
In his first game with the backfield to himself, Javonte was on full display. He showed elite tackle breaking, and the ability to capitalize on a full workload. He finished with season high’s in touches (29) total yards (178) and fantasy points (29.8). When it was all said and done, Williams was THE fantasy RB1 in week 13. He racked up an insane 73 yards after contact, and just looked flat-out, well, how we expected him to.
If Melvin Gordon is not in Denver next season, after what I’ve seen from Williams this season, I’d be willing to take him as a top-12 overall player next year. You heard it here first.
Is Tee Higgins a must-start?
If you read these takeaways last week, you’d be well aware of just how Jamaar Chase’s production has suffered lately. However, one thing I failed to mention was how Tee Higgins has affected that fall-off as well.
For the fifth time this season, and for the second week in a row, Tee Higgins was more heavily targeted (14) than Chase (8) in week 13. Higgins recorded season-highs in receptions (9) rec. yards (138) and added a TD, making it his second consecutive game with 100+ yards, a TD, AND 20+ PPR points. It also marked the fourth time in their last five games where Higgins finished with more yards and receptions than Chase. I’m not saying Higgins is a more talented player, but he’s certainly no slouch. He’s got more experience as a pro, and apparently supreme trust/confidence from his QB.
Believe it or not, he is actually averaging more targets per game (8.2) than Chase this season (7.5). So it begs the question. Is Tee Higgins a must-start? We still kinda see Chase that way don’t we? So why don’t we give Higgins the same treatment? Maybe we should start.
Put some respect on Hunter Renfrow’s name
Speaking of two weeks in a row with 100+ yards… Hunter Renfrow has quietly broken out lately. For the second consecutive week, he finished with 9+ targets, 8+ catches, 100+ yards and 19+ fantasy points. You might be able to attribute some of this production to Darren Waller being banged up this week and last, but he has been producing even with Waller on the field. He has at least 17.5 (PPR) points in four of his last five games.
Ahem, those are borderline (fantasy) WR1 numbers right there.
Now, I’m not gonna jump the gun and call Renfrow a WR1, but he is kinda ballin'. If anything, give me him as a reliable every-week PPR WR2.
He’s very low-key because he usually relies on volume to produce. He’s normally a low-yardage high-catch game type of guy. Or at least, that tends to be the perception. The truth is he’s finished with 55 yards or more in seven of his 12 games this season, and 70+ in four of his 12. This is no fluke. The man may not look like your average WR1, but he is no joke.
Don’t forget, he caught the game-winning TD for Clemson in the National Championship not once, but TWICE… He is an established red-zone threat with a pair of hands that can be counted on. In PPR scoring, what more can you ask for? It may be time to put some respect on his name. As far as I’m concerned, he has nothing left to prove.
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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.
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