Time to get down to Business...
By Martin Richardson
Hands up if any of you endured that shocker that was the Chargers vs the Patriots? Man that was rough. Even more so if you had high hopes that Justin Herbert would go off for 20+ points. And now that Rhamondre Stevenson looks likely to miss the season, the patriots are in with a shot of having one of the top three draft picks and, dare I say it, a decision needing to be made about their head coach.
Anyway, I digress. With six teams on a bye last week, there was still no shortage of excitement in the world of fantasy football. The Packers managed to put one over the Chiefs in a game not many saw coming. The Bengals with no Joe Burrow beat the Jags who may have lost Trevor Lawrence to an ankle injury. The Colts are somehow in the playoff hunt and the Cardinals beat the Steelers.
Within all that, let’s have a look at who could be a sneaky little waiver pick up if you’re in need of a playoff push or an injury replacement.
I’ve been really high on the Texans all season and this week proves that they are effective on both offense and defense. Will Anderson and Derek Stingley forced Russell Wilson into not one but three interceptions, his first for a long time.
But on offence the Texans once again showed they have all the potential to be an elite group of players. However, it came at a cost. Tank Dell broke his leg in a Red Zone play and is now out for the season. Which now means that Noah Brown could be in line for more of the ball to complement the unstoppable Nico Collins.
Available in over 60% of leagues, coupled with the electric offense, Brown could be a great pick up on waivers now that the trade deadline has passed.
In weeks 9 and 10, Brown went off for over 300 yards and a touchdown, proving a vital part of their offence. Now this was when Nico Collins was out and Tank Dell announced his arrival as a top option before his injury. Putting Noah Brown back in as a WR2, could see him pick up some massive numbers for fantasy players everywhere.
Sometimes it’s only when you take a close look at some players do you realise how productive someone has been. The focus was on Jerry Jeudy as a potential trade candidate and a ‘soft rebuild’ that the Broncos were thinking about; but through all of that, Sutton was being unbelievably productive. His 9 touchdowns this season have been more than CeeDee Lamb, Stefon Diggs and and AJ Brown: all players who would have been drafted a lot higher than Sutton.
Somehow, he is still available on waivers in more than 14% of leagues, so if he is kicking about on waivers, make that move because he definitely going to get the chance to add to his touchdowns this season.
My Mulligan of the week: The Eagles
The Eagles lost. And they didn’t just lose, they lost in way that no one predicted. Billed as the game of the season, we knew that it wasn’t going to be the Eagles’ day when they failed to get touchdowns on their opening two drives and had to settle for two field goals. The 49ers managed to hang in there and eventually came out winners and left people scratching their heads with what to make of the Eagles, mainly on defense, but still asking questions on whether they will get to the Super Bowl if they have to take on the 49ers in a potential NFC championship game.
But, they are still signs of life on offence which is what matters most for fantasy football. Let’s take a look at those stars they have:
Not going to lie, I’m a little smug here: I have Hurts in my fantasy lineup and I love that he is my QB. Even on a down week he gets nearly 20 points. He is a true elite QB talent for the Eagles and that won’t change. Even if he doesn’t throw touchdowns, the brotherly shove is always going to happen at least once a game, guaranteeing you points as he’s no doubt thrown it for at least 70 yards to get him into that position. Yes they lost to the 49ers, but that wasn’t down to Hurts. So don’t let that loss taint your view on Hurts, he will still be a source of 20 plus points most weeks, which is a massive relief if you have a close match up or a playoff push on the horizon.
Just in the way that Hurts is a source of points for your fantasy matchup, AJ Brown is no different. Other than a very weird game against the Chiefs, he’s been superb all year, having multiple games with two touchdowns, and seven games with over 100 yards, five of those going for over 130 yards. That is insane for fantasy players lucky enough to have him on their team. Even in the loss to the 49ers he amassed over 110 yards and double figures in fantasy matchups. If anyone can replicate this against tougher teams like the Cowboys, Brown can.
Smith is always going to play second fiddle to AJ Brown, but he is one hell of a WR2 for the Eagles. But, does that translate for fantasy football? I would say it most certainly does. 4 touchdowns in 5 games and double figures in all of those weeks as well, Smith is a dependable fantasy WR2 and flex option every week for players. Even without that touchdown against the Chiefs, he still managed to get 99 yards and double figures, which is absolutely invaluable.
The test now lies ahead for the Eagles offence as this week they take on the Dallas Cowboys defense, which has been nothing short of fantastic all season. If anyone can make life difficult for the Eagles, it’s Micah Parsons and company.
FANTASY Concerns: A roundup
I feel like it’s hard to pick on a particular person really, so I’m going to go a little different this week and do a little concern round up based on the last few games.
Starting with the Jags. We need to really know how long and how bad this Trevor Lawrence injury is before we start saying it’s curtains for Calvin Ridley and Travis Etienne etc. If it is a CJ Beathard week, then perhaps expect a little drop off for Ridley and TE Evan Engram, but maybe that’s a better week for Etienne.
Then we look at the Chiefs and their match up with fresh off a bye week Bills. Patrick Mahomes is getting the numbers with Kelce bringing it home, but Rashee Rice needs to be more involved in the air and be a consistent number one for the MVP candidate. I’m not sure that Isiah Pacheco will get those big numbers this week against a Bills D that has been pretty good against the run game.
And I’ll be honest, I don’t really know what to expect from the Vikings. Josh Dobbs had a game that we know is in his locker, throwing a few costly interceptions. But, Justin Jefferson is back and that will no doubt help Dobbs and his production. But what about offensive stars TJ Hockenson and Jordan Addison? Will their numbers decrease is Jefferson starts getting the ball more. I’d like to hope it’s big plays from Addison for chunk yardage and redzone threats for Hockenson, but we will have to see this week against the Raiders.
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