Some people call it overreacting I call It getting ahead of the curb.
Fantasy Football is as much a weekly game as the sport it’s so beautifully intertwined with is. The waiver wire (and in-season trading) is the truest test of a manager’s skill. Sure it might be easy to kill a draft after a whole off season of taking in information and research but once the draft is over and the play starts is where everything you thought you knew has the potential to be thrown out the window. Just look at everyone who waited on QB this year or thought that taking Kelce and Andrews was a waste of a high pick because you just haaad to grab Aaron Jones or Najee Harris (Might be talking to myself a little on that last one). Point is once the play starts and you can lay your eyes on the players out there doing their thing you need to be ready to make adjustments, weekly.
Week 1 is filled with performances that are hard to ascertain any value to because of the chaotic nature of the opening weekend of football. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to learn though. This is where I start making notes and as early as Week 2 I’m ready to start making moves. People are still so focused on the draft capital of their players that you can use it to your advantage when valuing out trades. Don’t let draft capital blind you from what you are seeing on the field. I think by Week 4 the usages and roles really start to take shape so getting ahead of the curve is crucial. Sometimes you just know when you took a player too early but because he was a first, second, third round pick you can still get great value for them. So don’t wait till he’s a surefire bust to try and flip him, you have to strike while people still see the invisible ceilings of those players. Call me crazy but I believe in shuffling your players, on a weekly basis if need be, until you are comfortable with your starts.
Now we are approaching Week 7 and a lot of the off season questions have been answered as well as injuries starting to accrue meaning there’s plenty of room for overreactions. This series of articles over the course of the rest of the season will give you my takes on the past week of play that I believe give us actionable items for our roster constructions going forward.
Overreactions or getting ahead of the curb? I’ll let you decide.
My hottest take you’ll read today is that you should trade Breece Hall for Kenneth Walker straight up. You could probably get Walker + something for Hall but he is going to be a true league winner this year and will also be the biggest beneficiary from offenses adjusting to Geno Smith over the second half of the season.
Take It with a grain of salt because this is my most biased take, but if the Packers want to get back on track then they need to utilize AJ Dillon. He is my Kyle Pitts. My hill to die on. He has all the talent, opportunity, and volume he needs. He is extremely TD dependent right now but as the season moves on and things get colder I think he will be able to bulldoze through defenses that simply will not want to tackle him. Aaron Rodgers loves him in the passing game too so he’s not only limited to carries. I think the bubble will pop and he will be dominant in the upcoming weeks. If not, I think the Packers miss the playoffs so in the effort of betting on Aaron Rodgers not wanting to spend his twilight years on the sidelines during the playoffs I think they will figure it out and get him more involved.
Pickett has this team looking better than earlier this season and if he isn’t sidelined by his recent concussion, I think they will continue to fight and the Najee Harris we all hoped for will start to come out. Mike Tomlin is still committed to winning games and Najee has self-reported as finally being 100% healthy. He will be a part of that winning formula. You may never have the chance to buy Najee this low again in his entire career.
Kenyan Drake / Justice hill
Sometimes it seems no matter what RB gets the work for the Ravens they simply produce. If a RB is ever trusted with a good percentage of touches they always do something, whether it’s an undrafted rookie or an aging veteran. Kenyan Drake looked great last week and with Justice Hill coming back, he is my bet on being that next Baltimore back to be given work and do something with it. They love the guy.
Rondale Moore will average more points than Deandre Hopkins on a week-to-week basis. Greg Dortch did amazing as the placeholder for Moore but as Moore gets more comfortable and back in the full swing of the offense I think we will see the true potential of that role. Hopkins will get his, but they have been loving to throw it around the line of scrimmage and Moore is going to get a lot of that work. Moore is a WR2 the rest of the way, especially while Brown is out.
Wan’Dale Robinson / Kadarius Toney
The Giants are legit this year, maybe not Super Bowl winners legit but they are going to fight you and force you to execute efficiently if you want to win. The days of rolling over in adversity seem to be gone for this team. I love it. The fact that they are doing this all with a rotating carousel of receivers is even more impressive. I think Daniel Jones has all the tools and opportunities to be a great fantasy QB if his weapons could stay healthy. One of those weapons, Wan’Dale Robinson returned recently and put up a decent showing. Although I think the rookie’s performance was more indicative of what they are planning for Toney. I’m happy Daniel Jones has someone like Robinson on the field with him now after Golladay lost his passion for football and Shepard suffers another devastating injury. However, he feels more like a placeholder to me for when Toney gets back. A la Greg Dortch for Rondale Moore in AZ. (More on that later). If you are looking for that league winner or a WR to help you overcome some injury bugs I think Toney could be an amazing second half of the year play. He’s an amazing talent and every time he is on the field and touches the ball he looks electric. Until I see him on the field not looking electric I will believe in this man’s potential as a fantasy star. He’s an even better buy low in dynasty so go get him while you can. For those of you who can’t bring yourself to believe in Toney, pick up Robinson who will surely fill his role if he can never get healthy. I think health is obviously the biggest reason people have hopped off the Toney train but I think Daboll is winning games and is not in a hurry to bring back his most important weapon too early. When toney comes back he will be 100% and ready to light the league on fire.
Belicheck has never seemed to care about having star receivers despite his success with Randy Moss that one fateful season. There might not be a more constantly changing position group in the league outside the Patriots wide receivers on a season-to-season basis. Belichick seems to believe much more in the ability to lay a specific role rather than overall skill. In his receiver room, he seems to always want a traditional slot guy (Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola), a big-bodied outside receiver (Josh Gordon, N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers, Devante Parker), and a speedster. Every free agency period he seems to sign or trade for a forgotten high draft pick that’s not producing equal to their draft capital but still has blazing speed to try and turn them into something. Players like Phillip Dorsett, Cordarelle Patterson, Damiere Byrd, Nelson Agholor, and now Tyquan Thorton. All of those players have shown flashes in this offense but never sustained it for very long. The slot position has always been the biggest fantasy producer of the receivers for the Patriots. In 2022 they don’t have a true slot guy. I think Thorton could be in the unique position to play two of the roles in this offense and with a rookie backup qb a speedster running a drag route becomes an amazing security blanket. No one heard of him going into the draft and maybe you should have scooped him last week instead but I think he might be the WR 1 fantasy-wise on the patriots week to week going forward.
I was a big believer in Parris Campbell coming into the seasons for similar reasons as Toney. Unfortunately, he has been kept off the field because of injuries for a few years now. He has had no injury issues since coming back and might finally be getting his feet underneath him. I know everyone likes to say Matt Ryan is washed up but the Colts have underperformed all around this year and obviously, Matty Ice is still capable of slinging it 40-50+ times a game and racking up yards. I think he is more successful with a slot option he trusts and he hasn’t really been targeting one until this game, which was his best one yet. Ryan clearly trusts Campbell as well since not only did he score a red zone TD he was frequently targeted on important downs late in the game at the end of the third quarter and the madness that was the fourth quarter of that game. Pittman and Pierce are obviously the big playmakers but if they keep up the high-volume throwing and teams focus on taking away those big plays, Parris Campbell is going to soak up alot of targets.
Tight end has been rougher this year than most which is really saying something. Kelce Andrews, Njoku, and Goedert may be the only names you truly feel comfortable starting to get you some production consistently. So if you are like most people, then you are looking for some sort of answer at TE and I think Bellinger is a nice option. He has become one of the main target leaders in New York because of the lack of weapons and has performed admirably for a rookie. Daboll also is a very creative offensive mind and is committed to scoring redzone TDs anyway and with anyone possible (this is another great point for Toney but we are talking about Bellinger now). Bellinger has three TDs on the season with one of them rushing. He is clearly an option Daboll looks to be in the red zone and I think at this point he is as good a bet as any to get you a Td on a weekly basis. I could see him sneakily finishing within the top 10 this year especially if the giants keep the momentum rolling.
Another TE I think slides perfectly under the top guys into that Irv Smith and Daniel Bellinger tier. He’s a guy I could see sneaking into the top 10 as defenses start adjusting to Geno Smith over the second half of the season. He was extremely impressive in camp and I think he only gets more involved from here on out.
Good luck and see you next week