What a week of games and shocks everywhere
By Martin Richardson
What a wonderful week of American football. Josh Dobbs delivered the performance we all wanted and beat the Saints. The Browns beat the Ravens at as the clock ticked to 0:00, which was the only time they lead in the entire game! The Raiders are now 2-0 after they decided to tear down their front office. Dan Campbell’s Lions went back and forth in an epic win against the Chargers. And the 49ers bounced back after the bye and demolished the Jaguars 34-3. Week 10 really had it all. And that was all before the Denver Broncos finished off this fantastic week of football by beating the Buffalo Bills. A result that lead to the firing of OC Ken Dorsy.
What impact does this have on fantasy football? Can we trust the Bills skill players to get the job done if you’re on a playoff charge? Are there any players coming good just at the right time? Let’s take a deep dive into some of the more interesting stories for fantasy football.
I am so happy to be writing about Rachaad White this week. Since the bye in week 5, the Bucs have not been great, winning their first game since Week 6 on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. But finally, Rachaad White is becoming the true RB1 in Tampa and a solid RB2 in fantasy football. I will not hide the fact that I was high on White being a great player this season for the Bucs. Perhaps it was undue pressure as the only other options were a below average Keshawn Vaughn and a beyond past it journeyman in Chase Edmunds. I won’t dwell on his below par showing before the bye, instead I will look at how and why his production has become so much more worthwhile to fantasy players. The answer is simple: he is now being thrown the ball a lot more. Since week 7, he has been targeted twenty times in the air and only missed on one of them, with a total of 228 receiving yards and a touchdown. Add to that the two rushing touchdowns and 197 rushing yards in the same time, he has stepped it up massively in recent games.
Next up for White and the Bucs are the 49ers, who are really good against the run, ranking 5th on ESPN, but if you look at White as a receiver, the 49ers rank 22nd, so White could well be in line for another productive game. After the 49ers, the Bucs move on to more favourable games against the Colts and divisional games against the Falcons and the Panthers. All in all, White has the chance to be a massive factor in your fantasy football playoff push.
Brian robinson jr
This shocked me when I saw it, but Brian Robinson is the 4th ranked running back according to ESPN and is available in over 10% of leagues. Robinson had a monster week in week 10, with nearly 120 receiving yards and a touchdown, as well as nearly 40 yards rushing. Can he do it again? Potentially; as the Commanders play the New York Giants this week, a team ranked nearly bottom of pretty much every key metric in fantasy football. The only issue I have with perhaps putting my faith in Robinson is that he is a little inconsistent across multiple fantasy weeks. He is perhaps ranked 4th because of huge monster weeks in isolation: last week and then week 2 against the Broncos where he had 2 touchdowns and over 130 total yards. He has had games where he has gone missing, only getting 10 rushing yards against the Bears and 23 yards in the previous matchup against the Giants (but he did get a touchdown). Robinson does have a mix of winnable and challenging games ahead, with a bye after a tough run in against the Cowboys and the Dolphins. But he has shown that he has the potential to be a lethal weapon for Sam Howell and the Commanders offence this season, so it may be worth leaning on Robinson down the stretch.
Imagine after the beat down that was thrust upon the Denver Broncos by the Dolphins, I didn’t think that Wilson would ever be a focus in this weekly column. But he now appears to be a streaming option when we come to those horrible week 13 bye weeks. Unlike the Bills and Josh Allen who have big yardage and some bad interceptions, Wilson is having small yardage but with one or two touchdowns per game. He is yet to have a game without a touchdown pass, and only three games where he had one touchdown pass, so he is highly consistent for fantasy owners. He does have a very mixed bag of games coming up, ranging from the Patriots to the Lions, but even against the Super Bowl chasing Chiefs he threw three touchdowns and just beat the Bills. ESPN has him available in over 40% of leagues, which is incredible considering that consistency. Get him in your team as a week 13 streamer at least.
My Mulligan of the week: lamar jackson
Whilst I normally look at a team and people within that team. But, as we get to the business end of the season, we kind of know who is struggling and who are perhaps doing better than we thought. Which means unless there is a massive shock, let’s have a look at a player who perhaps had an off week, but is still a viable fantasy option.
This week I will be looking at the Baltimore Ravens QB, Lamar Jackson, who has fizzled out somewhat over recent weeks. With two touchdowns in three games, he has less touchdowns than Josh Dobbs who has played one and a half games for the Vikings. He is no longer using his legs as much now, which may well be a concern, but he had a selection of games that make him one to keep an eye on for bouncing back to fantasy importance. He is one of those many week 13 bye week teams, but don’t let that deter you from keeping him as he has games against the Jaguars who seem at a crossroads at the moment, the Chargers who allow big numbers every week (just look at last week) and the Rams who could either look like world beaters or part timers.
FANTASY HEADache: The Buffalo Bills
Yes, I am doing this. Some of you may this as an over reaction. Am I really going to dive into the Bills and their fantasy outlook when their QB is the top ranked QB and their star WR is ranked third overall on ESPN? Yes, yes I am. Monday night made it very clear to me that all is not well for Sean McDermott and the Bills, so much so they made a change mid-season and fired their OC Ken Dorsy. A bold move that only shows that all is not well in Buffalo right now. Like I said, they have the tools, a QB who has been labelled elite for fantasy footballers and a WR who was probably drafted in fantasy leagues in the second round. What is going wrong for them and how is this impacting fantasy football?
Allen is often predicted to get over 23 points a week in fantasy football, which made him appealable to pretty much everyone when they were drafting him in the summer. Plus he is often good for over 250 yards a game which is also good for points every week. But, in some games this season, he could well have been the reason that people have lost their matchups. This season he has 11 interceptions- the most by a QB so far, which means he is leaving valuable points on the field for fantasy players. He also has three fumbles this season as well. But what is a little alarming is that in games where teams like the Cowboys are piling on 49 points on the Giants, the Bills are scraping by with a 14-9 win over the same team. The same can be said this week with the loss to the Broncos, with two interceptions and a fumble. The Bills seem to be unable to be that elite level offence, as their 5-5 record suggests. They seem to have a preconceived idea that they are elite and can beat a team like the Jets or the Broncos without really having to try, which perhaps suggests there is more to it then just sacrificing their OC to the media wolves.
Skill Position Problems:
Outside of Allen, the Bills and fantasy players no doubt turn to Stefon Diggs for yardage and touchdowns. But other than Diggs, the Bills have not really had the production from the likes of Gabe Davis and Dawson Knox before his injury. Dalton Kincaid has shown signs that he may well be an option, but outside of Diggs’ seven touchdowns, there is little that this offence can offer. Diggs’ fantasy numbers are so hit and miss for a high level, elite talent: 34 yards against the Broncos, 58 yards against the Patriots and 70 yards against the Buccaneers. You just don’t know which Allen and Diggs combination is going to turn up. Then we look at the run game. Perhaps James Cook has been the answer? Absolutely not. He has two touchdowns all season and six games where he has single figures in fantasy as a RB1. To compare that to a team who are considered to be in a worse situation than the Bills, Josh Jacobs has five touchdowns and then a team outperforming the Bills; David Montgomery has seven touchdowns, and he has missed four games this season.
I think it comes down to confidence in your players in fantasy football at this point in the season and when all is said and done, I just don’t know if I can trust most of the Bills players to be what they are always hyped up to be. Cook has not made the leap he was projected to. Diggs can go missing for a game or two, and Allen is leaving points on the field with interceptions and fumbles.
Feature Image Credit: Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire
A Yorkshireman living in Lancashire, Martin is a massive NFL fan but his heart belongs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Also a huge Fantasy Football enthusiast and spends far too long crunching the numbers! Follow him at @MRBucsFan31