The Post-Week 13 Fantasy Football Notebook
Last week I wrapped up Week 12 and arguably the longest week of fantasy football ever. This exercise is simply a stream of consciousness and an opportunity to share some of the insights that I had Sunday night as we move closer to the fantasy playoffs.
Cementing His Legacy: Davante Adams
The Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams combination is absolutely lethal. Their mind-meld and in sync play is a sight to behold on a weekly basis. After two average years to begin his career, Adams has now gone on a tear over his last five. Entering Sunday, Adams had racked up 417 catches for 5,173 yards and 51 TDs in 66 games over that stretch. That’s good for per-game averages of 6.3 catches, 78.4 yards, and 0.8 TDs.
In the midst of perhaps a career year, Adams kept it going on Sunday, abusing the Eagles’ secondary. He caught ten passes for 121 yards and two TDs on 12 targets. Remarkably, Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers have shown an extreme confidence level in Adams on fourth downs and goal-line situations this season, and Adams has not let them down. Helping mitigate the lack of other passing-game weapons in Green Bay, Adams is arguably the best WR in real football, fantasy football, and in dynasty.
Rewriting the Narrative: Taysom Hill
There were many critics of Sean Payton’s decision to play Taysom Hill as the full-time QB of the Saints while Drew Brees heals up, myself included. I mean, after all, Hill had only completed six passes in the NFL prior to this season and most certainly did not have a decorated passing history during his time at BYU. But I have to say, I’m legitimately impressed with what I’ve seen.
It’s extremely important to remember our sample size here is only three games, two of which have come against an awful Falcons defense and the other against a Broncos team that started Kendall Hinton as QB. Still, Hill has completed 54 of 76 passes (71% completion) for 543 passing yards and two TDs. He’s also added 176 rushing yards and four rush TDs. Despite an interception and five total fumbles being worked in there as well, there is absolutely no doubt Taysom is starting to rewrite the narrative that he can’t play QB at the NFL level. Perhaps the most important takeaway here: Sean Payton is 100% a wizard.
Soaring Dynasty Stock: Corey Davis
I believed in Corey Davis enough this offseason to produce this little video about his underrated value. Davis was drafted fifth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft after a highly productive and decorated collegiate career. Davis posted a 96th-percentile College Dominator Rating, 97th-percentile College Target Share, and a 96th-percentile Breakout Age per Player Profiler after posting video-game numbers of 331 catches, 5,278 yards, and 52 TDs in four seasons at Western Michigan.
He then battled through injuries to begin his NFL career but in his only fully healthy season in 2018, Davis showed signs of what he’s capable of, catching 65 passes for 891 yards and four TDs. Healthy once again in 2020 and in a contract year, Davis is proving whoever lands him in Free Agency this offseason will be getting one hell of a player.
Here’s how Davis had stacked up to A.J. Brown coming into Sunday:
Davis stayed red hot in Week 13, catching 11 passes for 182 yards and a TD on 12 targets. Davis’ dynasty stock is soaring.
New Life Under New Coaching: Keke Coutee
Part of my obsession with football comes from how much I love the importance of coaching and play-calling in coordination with talent and execution winning out on the field. Coaching matters in a big way and in Coutee’s case, it could be the difference between being just another NFL team’s WR4 for a few years before being phased out of the league or being a multi-year starter and playmaker.
I was a fan of Coutee‘s during his pre-draft process. Between his Sophomore and Junior seasons at Texas Tech, Coutee racked up 148 catches for 2,319 yards and 17 TDs. Excitingly, Coutee routinely won vertically while lining up in the slot and then ran a 4.43 40-yard dash (86th-percentile) at the NFL Combine.
Prior to 2020, Coutee had shown flashes in the NFL when healthy such as his 11 catch, 110 yards, and one TD performance against the Colts in a playoff game back in January of 2019. Yet for some reason, Coutee found himself in Head Coach Bill O’Brien’s doghouse. Freed from O’Brien now that he has been fired and given another chance at playing time due to injuries, suspensions, and teammates being cut, Coutee made the most of his opportunity on Sunday. Coutee caught eight of nine targets for 141 yards, putting more of that vertical ability on film. Coutee’s NFL career has just been reinvigorated.
The Alpha Reminder: Darren Waller
Waller was a mouth-watering prospect, combining elite athleticism with a 91st-percentile College Dominator Rating and a 92nd-percentile Yards per Reception. Substance abuse issues affected the beginning of Waller’s NFL career yet he has been able to overcome his obstacles and turn things around.
Last season, Waller caught 90 passes for 1,145 yards and three TDs. Entering Sunday, Waller was tied for 16th in the league in targets per game (8.2) and had already posted 64 catches for 542 yards and five TDs. Still, I think it’s easy sometimes to forget just how dominant he can be and has been over the past few years. Well, Waller made sure to remind us in a big way on Sunday, turning in a monster performance where he caught 13 of 17 targets for 200 yards and two TDs.
Head Coach and Quarterback Pairing Stock Up: Kevin Stefanski and Baker Mayfield
Kevin Stefanski absolutely has to be near or at the top of the list for Head Coach of the Year. His Cleveland Browns are now 9-3 and just put on an impressive performance, taking down the Titans in Tennessee, who entered the contest at 8-3 in their own right.
And it’s Stefanski’s work with Baker Mayfield that has to be praised. After a promising rookie season, Mayfield looked lost and like a potential bust in 2019, completing only 59.4% of his passes, throwing only 22 TD passes and 21 interceptions. Yet despite the loss of Odell Beckham earlier this season, Mayfield’s completion percentage was up and he had already thrown 17 TDs compared to only seven interceptions heading into Sunday. Mayfield then proceeded to demolish the Titans, throwing for 334 yards and four TDs. Stefanski has a rejuvenated Mayfield operating a balanced offensive attack ready to make a playoff run. Stay tuned.
Third Year TE Figuring It Out?: Mike Gesicki
I was a fan of Mike Gesicki during the 2018 draft process. Over his final two collegiate seasons at Penn State, Gesicki racked up 1,242 receiving yards and 14 TDs and then proceeded to test as one of the best athletes at the TE position ever at the NFL Combine. Gesicki started slowly as a rookie like we see many TEs do when transitioning to the NFL level. Yet, he then posted 51 catches for 570 yards and five TDs in his second year in 2019. And this season, Gesicki entered Sunday already having caught 30 passes for 449 yards and three TDs. All signs were pointing to a big breakout game sooner or later and Sunday just happened to be the day. Gesicki caught nine of 11 targets for 88 yards and a TD, showing good rapport with the new potential franchise QB, Tua Tagovailoa. Gesicki’s prospects are looking up.
Disappointing Performance of the Week: Russell Wilson and the Seahawks
Sadly, I have to bring some negativity to this article. #LetRussCook SZN was fun while it lasted. And I was screaming at the top of my lungs off the mountaintops to anyone that could potentially hear me that Russell Wilson was my MVP front-runner for a large portion of this season. However, things have gone sour lately.
Wilson has only thrown six TDs compared to five interceptions over his past five games. That’s a pretty decent portion of mediocrity during the course of this season and that poor play caught up to Wilson and the Seahawks, as they just lost a home game to a 4-7 Giants team QBed by Colt McCoy. Until Russ and the Seahawks show signs of life again, this is absolutely something to monitor moving forward.