It’s the second round of the playoffs and for most of you
the cliché, “you got to dance with who brought you,”
is appropriate. Barring injuries, you should stick with what got
you this far.
“Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not
only truth, but supreme beauty.” – Bertrand Russell
1) Those who threw out a “Hail Mary” in the first
round of the fantasy playoffs with DeAndre Washington or Ty Johnson
found out why it’s called a “long shot.”
Washington at least did some work, getting 15 touches, but could
only produce 7.2 fantasy points. Johnson owners, hoping for a
repeat of his 19.7 points against Las Vegas in Week 13 were disappointed
by Adam Gase’s strange affection for aging running back
Frank Gore. Gore returned from a concussion to average 2.9 ypc.
Of course, Johnson averaged 2.0 ypc against a Seattle defense
that has been bad all season, so it wasn’t just Gore. The
Jets offense is historically bad and the only consistent fantasy-worthy
player on the roster is Jamison Crowder … when healthy.
2) Minnesota rookie Justin Jefferson has become a more consistent
scorer in the second half of the season.
Fact. As good rookie do, Jefferson has gotten better as the season
has progressed. Averaging 15.1 FPts/G over the first eight weeks
he was buoyed by games of 37.6 and 30.5 along with four single-digit
games. Since Week 9 he’s averaging 18.3 and produced just
two single-figure games. He faces Chicago this week, who rank
No.3 against opposing wideouts (behind only the Los Angeles Rams
and Kansas City Chiefs), but he schooled them for 8-135-0 in their
first meeting, so there should be no hesitation in starting him
on Week 15.
3) In case you haven’t been paying attention, the 49ers’ Brandon
Aiyuk is a player.
He’s cranked out five consecutive double-digit games since
Week 7, averaging 20.5 FPts/G. And that was against the likes
of New England, New Orleans, Buffalo and Washington. With Deebo Samuel “sidelined for a while,” according to Kyle
Shanahan by a hamstring injury, Aiyuk should continue to produce.
He’s seeing a 33.1% target share over his last five games.
4) Without Antonio Gibson (toe) in the lineup, only J.D. McKissic
is fantasy worthy, not Peyton Barber.
True. Despite the most rushing attempts on the team over the
past three games (37), Barber is not a viable option. He’s
not part of the passing game and only has value when he scores
which is rarely. He’s averaging 6.6 FPts/G over the same
three-game span. McKissic is a guaranteed double-digit producer
without Gibson and can produce even when/if Gibson returns.
5) Running the football is a young man’s game …
at least in Baltimore.
True. Over the past three games the Ravens have turned the position
over to J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards leaving 30-year old Mark Ingram and his fantasy owners out in the cold. Dobbins is averaging
13.6 FPts/G and Edwards 11.8 while Ingram has seen 16 touches
and produced nine total fantasy points in his last three contests.
“There are no facts, only interpretations.” –
1) Since Week 10 Russell Wilson has been a fantasy-worthy quarterback.
Sadly no. The guy who was the early favorite for fantasy MVP
after the first three weeks (37.1 FPts/G) has faltered at exactly
the wrong time for fantasy owners. He’s averaged just 21.0
FPts/G which ranks 18th among quarterbacks since Week 10. And
with games against the improving Washington defense (No.10 against
opposing fantasy QBs) and the league-leading Rams’ defense,
which allows just 17.9 FPts/G, it doesn’t bode well for
the Seattle star.
2) Jalen Hurts will reproduce his Week 14 heroics in Week 15.
Hurts’ debut start was a success against the New Orleans
Saints last weekend, but now there is video for defensive coordinators
to study. And the Arizona Cardinals, the Eagles next opponent,
know a thing or two about playing against running quarterbacks.
They practice every single day against one of the best in Kyler Murray (who, incidentally, should have a very good day against
an injured Eagles secondary). Additionally, the Eagles OL will
start its 13th different version in 14 games. Compare what they
are using now to their preseason expected lineup of; Jason Peters
(future Hall of Famer), Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce and three-time
Pro Bowlers Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson. The Arizona defense
has yielded just 14.6 FPts/G to opposing quarterbacks over the
last three contests which ranks fourth-best in the league.
3) Chase Daniel can be productive against a porous Tennessee
Ha-ha, that’s a good one. Daniel has been “stealing”
money as a backup quarterback his entire “career”
and has never produced anything in his NFL life. He’s never
produced 20 fantasy points, He’s never thrown for 290 yards
in a game. He’s never thrown more than two touchdown passes
in a game. He has eight career touchdown passes and six interceptions.
If Matthew Stafford doesn’t play drop all Lions’ receivers
like a hot potato. In fact, if Daniels starts don’t expect
the running backs to do anything either. In no Daniels start has
a runner every gone for more than 81 yards on the ground. I guess
that’s what happens when you have no passing threat.
4) Diontae Johnson can come back from his benching and continue
to lead his team in targets.
Probably not. Although head coach Mike Tomlin said he “responded
appropriately when being benched,” it appears defenses have
adjusted to the Steelers quick-release, short-passing game. Johnson’s
string of double-digit targets (5) ended Sunday night. He’s
probably a low-end WR2 at best as both he and Eric Ebron need
to stop dropping passes. James Washington and Chase Claypool get
an upgrade in the aftermath of Johnson and Ebron’s catching
woes because Pittsburgh still can’t run the ball.
5) Breaking News: Texas files lawsuit against PA, MD, OH and
AZ to overturn Cowboys losses and win the NFC East.
Thankfully false. Sorry, I tried all year to keep politics out
of fantasy football, but it finally got to me. The Dallas offense
will only be relevant as long as Dak Prescott returns under center
next season. His presence makes the Dallas offense go, not running
back Ezekiel Elliott, who was only great when the Cowboys had
the best offensive line in the league. Over the past three seasons
his productivity is directly related to his line’s ability
to open holes.