What We Learned in Week 10 (Fantasy Football)
How about that Week Ten? PHEW! That was fun. The NFL finally gave us a week that had more games in the late window (which should be the norm), but we also had one of the most ridiculous finishes in recent memory. The Ballers shared their reaction in an awesome video on Twitter, but I also jumped up and yelled ‘No Way’ in my living room, terrifying my pup who was half asleep… and I’m not even a Cardinals fan. The Kyler to Hopkins bomb was so much fun to watch, especially since it was a great game between two teams fighting for playoff spots. As far as the fantasy side of things went, it wasn’t quite as pretty. The production was limited and spread out in confusing ways, and the point totals were not exactly elite. This was balanced out by the real football being more fun than normal, and I’ll take what I can get in 2020. Let’s take a look at what we learned in the week that separates contenders from pretenders:
You Simply Cannot Start Jonathan Taylor
I was a HUGE Jonathan Taylor fan earlier this year, I even recommended trading him for Joe Mixon straight up. Neither player has been particularly useful, but at least Mixon has an excuse. Taylor has simply been inefficient, underwhelming, and now – he’s been benched. He was given the first crack at production on Thursday Night, but he ended up falling behind Nyheim Hines by the second drive of the game. Hines went on to have another random two-touchdown explosion, and Taylor was mitigated to backup duties. This was my last straw until I see a reason to think differently. It’s time to bench JT unless you have no other option at all. I certainly wouldn’t drop him, but the usage has fallen behind now alongside his production, so he just cannot be in lineups.
Antonio Brown is Very Involved, but Not a Focal Point
AB now has two games under his belt in Tampa Bay, and one of them wasn’t even really a football game, just a debacle in New Orleans. This past week he was much more involved, catching 7 passes for 69 yards and just missing out on a long touchdown toss from Brady. I have to admit that he was more involved than I expected, but I also take every game with a grain of salt when someone just starts out with a team. Carolina doesn’t exactly have a stellar secondary, and most of Brown’s work was accomplished in unimpressive ways. I’m intrigued to see how things develop, but I personally still prefer both Godwin and Evans in that offense by a long shot. Building a rapport similar to what Brown and Big Ben had in Pittsburgh takes time, as did Brady’s relationship with Edelman in New England. Brown will likely have one or two big games this season but predicting which week they will be is going to be tougher than most people think. I’d still be looking to deal him on the back of a high volume game because I expect a headache for AB managers in more ways than one.
It’s Time to Dump the Browns Passing Game
I fell for the Baker and OBJ ordeal again this year, which probably means next season when I give up on them, they will finally figure it out. OBJ got hurt early in the season, but the Browns passing attack in general just isn’t working. They lead the league in rushing, but Baker is wildly inconsistent and their other pass catchers just aren’t doing enough work to warrant roster spots. Austin Hooper had a dream of a matchup yesterday, and it’s possible the roaring wind was a factor, but it didn’t happen for him. Jarvis Landry has been a low ceiling flex play at best on this team since Baker took over, and no one else is worth consideration. Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb are dynamite starts on a run focused offense, but the passing game can be safely ignored going forward.
It’s Davante Adams, and Everyone Else
In a game where Adams went to the medical tent and was ‘quiet’ for fantasy purposes, he still saw 12 targets and scored 16.6 fantasy points. Adams is beasting in the same manner that Michael Thomas did last year, and it’s insanely impressive. He’s the mold of what a first-round receiver should be, and it’s not going to slow down anytime soon. He was brought back in just for a touchdown catch, and he made it look easy. Adams is an absolute alpha dog in Green Bay and Rodgers’ second-best weapon is MVS, who is barely a cut above the other names that have come and gone at the WR2 spot for the hall of fame quarterback. The Rodgers/Adams connection looks easy because it is for them, and it’s a rare synergy that we should appreciate. He’s the undisputed WR1 overall and sits in a tier all by himself for the foreseeable future.
D’Andre Swift is Electric
I told you last week not to trust Matt Patricia, but this week he delivered for us. I can admit when I’m wrong, and when the sample size is big enough to do so, I will do it. I still have very little faith that this usage continues for Swift because Patricia has shown us with Kerryon that effectiveness does not necessarily mean an increased workload. The one thing that’s very clear though is that Swift is an electric player and a great talent. He’s a solid RB2 going forward, but I would expect some random headaches to pop up given Patricia’s history and the Lions uncanny ability to produce bizarre game scrips. Swift is a strong dynasty asset right now, and his redraft stock is slowly creeping upwards.
Ronald Jones, RB1
Yes, you read that right. Ronald Jones, through ten weeks, is an RB1. He is now a top ten back and doesn’t appear to have anything going against him for the rest of the year. Leonard Fournette has not been good, because he’s…. not good. I expected a much bigger split than we’ve seen, but the truth of the matter is that Jones has been really effective all season. He now has four 100+ yard rushing games on the season and his 4.5 YPC is really impressive. A lot of people hated on Jones in the preseason and re-upped on the slander once Fournette started seeing some work, but there isn’t much to say at this point. Jones is an RB1 and should be viewed as an every-week starter, regardless of format. If you have beef with that, then you’re holding on to something ten weeks into the season, with only three weeks left in most fantasy leagues regular seasons. That thing you are holding is called spite, and you are simply, a hater. No more Rojo truthers, just Rojo managers, who are winning more games because of him. End of story.
I Made a Historic Mistake – I Doubted Tom Brady
I was wrong about Tom Brady this year. I said you should avoid him at ADP, and I was completely wrong. He’s the QB6 on the season, which is outpacing his QB10 ADP with ease. Brady has been much better than I expected and his TD/INT ration remains elite. Brady has potentially the best trio of receivers in the league, and an aforementioned run game that provides balance to the offense. Brady bounced back from a historically embarrassing outing on Sunday night in the only way he ever would have – with a top-three performance and an absolute dismantling of the Panthers secondary. Brady has a favorable schedule going forward and should be locked into lineups during fantasy playoffs, and I will happily take the L on this one.
Diontae Johnson is a WR1
I am so confused about why people have so many questions about Johnson each week when start/sit decisions have to be made. Johnson has been electric when healthy, and he appears to be completely healthy again since he’s suited up two straight weeks without an issue. In the five games, he’s played this year, he’s seen a whopping 59 targets which is second to only Davante Adams on per-game basis. He is the clear and obvious WR1 in Pittsburgh, but he’s continuously ranked too low, underpriced in DFS, and disrespected in lineup decisions. Juju is playing second fiddle to Johnson these days, and his injury concerns shouldn’t be a factor going forward until something changes. Start Diontae Johson, y’all. This isn’t hard.
The Future is Bright at the Quarterback Position
Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, Pat Mahomes, Josh Allen, Deshaun Watson and now…. Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, and Tua? This is becoming an embarrassment of riches for NFL fans. The future of the QB position has never been brighter, and it’s fitting that the tail end of Drew Brees‘, Tom Brady, and Big Ben’s careers give way to a new crop of electric signal-callers. We are spoiled as football fans right now, and it’s going to be an exciting decade if all of these guys continue this type of play. I’m looking forward to kicking my feet up and enjoying the show.
Sean McVay is a Master Troll
Is it Henderson? Is it Brown? Is it Akers in the red zone? Who knows! Maybe it’s Robert Woods on a sweep. Maybe Goff takes it up the middle. Sean McVay doesn’t care either way, as long as your fantasy team suffers. This week Cam Akers got a fair amount of red-zone work, and Malcolm Brown came in to smash the goal line and shatter the hearts of Darrell Henderson managers everywhere. McVay is a great coach, so I’m sure he has a method to his madness – but I certainly haven’t figured it out. If you roster Henderson, you have to start him. If you roster Brown, he’s a desperation flex play. If you’re trying to make bets on who gets the most work, you might want to save the money instead.