This should be the toughest week of the year to put together a
top-quality lineup. Injuries and a whopping six teams on bye will
make this week a huge challenge for many owners. (The other week
with six bye , will likely be much easier because most of
those teams have struggling offenses.)
Byes: Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, New York Giants, Pittsburgh
and San Francisco
“Be true to your work, your word and your friend.”
– Henry David Thoreau
1) Over the past five weeks, Lamar Jackson has NOT been a fantasy-worthy
In fact, this is a true statement. Jackson ranks 19th since Week
4 averaging just 19.1 FPts/G. That’s fewer than Tom Brady,
Andy Dalton and Daniel Jones. It’s also true that No.1 receiver,
Rashod Bateman, has been in and out of the lineup with injuries
as has elite tight end Mark Andrews. Jackson is still running
the ball (49-310-0), but he’s not getting into the end zone.
He hasn’t posted a 25-point week over that span after consecutive
40+ point games in Week 2 and 3. Don’t panic. His pass-catchers
will get healthy and he owns a favorable schedule from Week 15-17,
the fantasy playoffs.
2) The Dolphins’ trade for Bradley Chubb is a nod to the Bills’
adding Von Miller.
These two teams are competing for the AFC East title and Miami
has seen how Miller has helped the Bills’ defense - he owns
more than half the Bills’ sack total (6-of-11). The Bills
are No.1 in points allowed (98), No.6 in yards-per-pass attempt
and No. 6 in yards-per-rushing attempt. Chubb has 5.5 sacks this
season for Denver and will be a huge addition as the Dolphins
battle Josh Allen, who has only been sacked 11 times in seven
3) The genius of Kyle Shanahan along with the abilities of Christian
McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel along with Brandon Aiyuk and George
Kittle, should scare the heck out of the rest of the NFC.
As a fan of the undefeated Eagles, I know this scares me. Defensive
coordinators are going to have to develop a defense just for the
49ers which first has to find where Deebo and CMC are in the formation
and then figure out how to stop them. And that was before I knew
that McCaffrey could pass the ball better than Amari Cooper or
Garo Yepremian. For those too young to recognize the name Garo
out his “pass” in the 1972 season Super Bowl against
4) The trade of Chase Claypool was good for his dynasty fantasy
value while likely not helping redraft fantasy owners.
The writing was on the wall for Claypool in Pittsburgh, he was
going to be the “third wheel” behind target-hog Diontae
Johnson and talented rookie George
Pickens. This should help both of those receivers as they
should get a majority of Claypool’s 6.25 targets per game. In
Chicago, Claypool has a chance to be the No.1 guy for Justin
Fields as they grow up together. Fields definitely needed
another target opposition Darnell
Mooney and neither Equanimeous
St. Brown nor N'Keal
Harry is the long-term answer. Fields is only throwing the
ball about 23 times a game after an even slower start, so Claypool’s
2022 fantasy value is still limited.
5) The long-term value of Trevor Lawrence looks even better
after the Jaguars traded for the rights to Calvin Ridley.
True. While Ridley is currently suspended, an offense comprised
of Lawrence, Travis Etienne, Christian Kirk and Ridley is young
and talented (all under 28-years old). Ridley averaged 72 receptions
for 1,020 yards and 9.3 touchdowns over the past three seasons
before being suspended for gambling on football.
“There are a terrible lot of lies going around the world,
and the worst of it is half of them are true.” – Sir
1) The Jeff Wilson trade will help his fantasy value.
Sorry, no. He goes from a backup to injury-prone superstar Christian McCaffrey on a run-heavy offense, to a backup to Raheem Mostert
on a pass-heavy Miami Dolphins team (62-percent pass vs. 38-percent
run). They also have Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed. Since the
49ers acquired McCaffrey, Wilson saw a total of 13 touches in
two games. In the last three Miami games, backup Chase Edmonds
(just traded to Denver in the Bradley Chubb deal), saw 13 rushing
attempts and two receptions or five touches-per-game.
2) T.J. Hockenson should be better going from the losing Lions
to the playoff-bound Vikings.
False. The problem here is he’ll be lower on the target
totem pole with wideouts Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and K.J. Osborn demanding more targets than the tight end. Additionally,
the 6-1 Vikings have been playing with the lead more than the
1-6 Lions, meaning fewer late-game, “prevent defenses”
to “stat build” against. Hockenson saw 43 targets
in seven games with Detroit, while starter Irv Smith (likely out
8-10 weeks with a high-ankle sprain), has been targeted 33 times
over the same span.
3) Mike Gesicki, the No.3 tight end over the past three weeks
should be considered a top tight end from here on out.
I’m going to have to say no, particularly over the next two games.
He’s completely touchdown-dependent. Gesicki has only one game
with more than 42 receiving yards all season. His good fortune
of late is due to three touchdown receptions over the last three
games, but he’s still totaled just 134 yards in those games (44.7
ypg). Tyreek Hill
and Jaylen Waddle
command the vast majority of Miami targets which means Gesicki
has to score to be fantasy-worthy. His next two opponents, Chicago
and Cleveland, rank eighth and fifth against opposing TEs, respectively.
They have allowed a combined three tight end touchdown catches
in 16 games. If your tight end is on bye this week (David
Dulcich or George
Kittle), Gesicki likely isn’t the answer.
4) DeAndre Hopkins can’t keep up the pace he’s set
in his first two weeks back from suspension.
Yes he can. “Nuk” is averaging 27.1 FPts/G in his two games this
season. That’s with only scoring one time. He’s averaging 13.5
targets, 11 receptions and 131 yards per game. With Marquise
Brown sideline for about six weeks from his foot injury, there
isn’t a reason to doubt Hopkins. In the battle for targets, it’s
Hopkins (27), Zach
Ertz (9) and Rondale
Moore (10) in 73 Kyler
Murray passing attempts. That’s a 37-percent target share.
Murray is second in the league in passing attempts (325) this
season, so there is no reason to think the Cardinals will suddenly
become a run-first offense.
5) Curtis Samuel is still a valuable fantasy option.
Not so much. Remember after two weeks and he was averaging 22
FPts/G? Since Game 3 he’s averaged just 9.9 FPts/G. His
10 targets per game over the first two contests are now seven
per game. He hasn’t scored since Week 2. The entire Commanders
offense has fallen on hard times. They averaged 27.5 points the
first two games and 14.5 over the last six games. Samuel now ranks
30th at his position after being in the top-10 for two weeks and
his latest quarterback, Taylor Heinicke, has limited upside. But
he still might be valuable on the trade market, particularly this
week, with so many byes.