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.
Derrick Henry's receiving usage trending up
In week three, Derrick Henry finished with three catches for 31 yards. This may not seem like a big deal until you put it into perspective. Never (and I mean never) in his five-year NFL career has Derrick Henry registered three consecutive games with at least three catches. Never in his career had he registered three such games in a single season! Through three games in 2021, that is no longer the case.
Henry’s previous single-season career-high for receptions is just 19. His single-season career-high for receiving yards is just 206. He is currently on pace to break both of those totals by week six. He’s more than halfway there already.
So, you’re telling me a 2,000-yard rusher, possibly the most dominant force in the league, is now going to be involved as a pass-catcher as well?
As if he wasn’t lethal enough…
Well folks, it may be too early to call it just yet, but there’s a chance we’re looking at the RB1 overall.
Mike Williams is a MUST-START WR1
If you go back far enough on my twitter, you’ll see I’ve been a huge Mike Williams fan since he was at Clemson. I was willing to go as far as calling him a “generational 50/50 ball talent”. I wouldn’t throw that term around lightly. His sophomore year in the NFL, he finished with 10 TDs but just 664 yards on only 43 catches. The next season he finished with 1,000+ yards on 49 catches but was rocked by TD regression, only scoring twice.
So, it’s been established he has the potential for double-digit TDs, and the potential to be a thousand-yard receiver. The talent has been there, it never left. It has always been a question of consistency. Well, this year he’s looking ready to finally put it all together.
In the past two seasons, he was targeted 10+ times just thrice. We are three weeks into 2021 and he already has two such games, with no less than 9 targets in any game. Entering week four, Williams has 31 targets, 22 receptions, four TDs, is averaging 98.3 yards and 25.8 PPG.
He is currently on pace to double his career-high in receptions and targets. If he is guaranteed the volume (which, so far, it seems he is) I don’t know if there’s any receiver I’m more willing to bet on than Mike Will. If this production continues, he is without a doubt THE steal of the 2021 fantasy season.
Mattison is the Best Insurance Policy in Fantasy
Dalvin Cook is excellent when he’s on the field. The only problem is: he’s not always on the field.
It's fair to say of the consensus RB1s in fantasy, Dalvin Cook is the most injury-prone. Since entering the league in 2017, not once has he played more than 14 games in a season. In week three, Alexander Mattison showed (once again) why he is the most valuable insurance policy/rb4 stash you can ask for.
Against the Seahawks, he received a ridiculous 34 touches, translating that into 23.1 fantasy points without even scoring a TD. Similar to Kareem Hunt, this is a guy talented enough to start on another team, and he’s serving as a stud RBs backup. Unfortunately he doesn’t have the same role as Hunt, which provides him with weekly flex value. BUT he is arguably just as valuable.
With Mattison, you’re basically guaranteed RB1 production for a few games every year. He has some standalone value on your bench and provides leverage in trade negotiations, even if you don’t have Cook, and especially if you’re trading to the person who does. As of now, he is available in just over 35% of ESPN leagues.
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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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