More shocks, more disappointments and more injuries
By Martin Richardson
What do the Roman Empire, my first high school girlfriend and my take on the Bengals from last week have in common? Answer- they are all things that aged badly.
Apart from that Bengals performance that came straight from 2022, the Jags pulled off a statement win over the jet lagged Bills team. We saw a Cowboys performance that is becoming a bit of a theme for them. And we saw the fall of Patriots dynasty with yet another poor showing. We even saw, a Kyle Pitts performance that may make people believe in him again.
But what stood out for me was those injuries. And we had two horrible fantasy injuries that will have a huge impact your league. We need to look at what awaits for the Vikings and the Cardinals now that Justin Jefferson and James Connor hit Injured Reserve.
As usual, I’ll take you through some players who I think you should now be looking to trade for or pick up if they are ok your waivers. I think now we’re five weeks in, waivers may be thin, so I’ll start looking at some trades that could be useful down the line as well.
WAIVER WATCH- LOGAN THOMAS
My focus is on Thomas here, who is a top 10 TE in terms of fantasy points, yet he is on less than 30% of rosters. But it’s safe to say that as Sam Howell starts to look the part for the Commanders, Thomas is getting more of the ball.
He has two touchdowns for the season and a real opportunity to get more involved with games coming up against an up and down Falcons team and a down and out Giants team.
Look to take him up in your fantasy leagues and he could prove a solid TE option or even flex if you’re struggling with those pesky bye weeks.
Who? Who?! Exactly.
James Connor is down. Next man up is Demercado. One thing we have seen this year is that the teams that were supposed to be dreadful this year, and the Cardinals were on that list, are actually quite frisky. Which is why I’m looking at Demercado as someone who could step in and do a job for the Cardinals for four weeks. The Cardinals offence have been interesting with Connor and even Rondale Moore chipping in with some run plays. I’d be all over picking up this RB from my waiver wire claims.
Makes sense really, doesn’t it. Addison fantasy owners (me included) are excited to see their boy get more touches of the ball, but with WR1 status, comes a lot of coverage, potentially leaving KJ Osborn wide open for those big plays that he is known for. So what can we expect from him given that his chances have been limited in 2023? Well, he was a bit more of threat down the line in 2022, phasing out Adam Thelin where he had 87.5 receiving yards on 8.3 targets per game over the final four weeks of the 2022 season. Which makes for interesting reading if he will be part of the starting WR group for the next four games at least.
TRADE TALK- SAM LAPORTA
ESPN has LaPorta as the number one rated TE in fantasy and with good reason: he’s going over 40 yards per game, in one case he went over 80 yards and a touchdown. But what saw a change in LaPorta’s game was last week when he went for just shy of 50 yards but added two touchdowns to that performance.
This week offers an interesting matchup with the Bucs defence, who have been better than expected, so this could be a test for Goff to get the ball to him quickly and avoid getting sacked.
With an impressive average 9.4 points per game, LaPorta is definitely one to have an eye on for trading for if your league is active in trading players and/or picks.
My Mulligan of the week- the la rams
I think I’ll be saying this a lot this season: there is no shame in losing to the Eagles; and the Rams gave them a solid test. This is why they get my Mulligan of the Week.
Stafford threw two touchdowns to Tutu Atwell and fantasy blockbuster Puka Nacua, as well as throwing for over 200 yards. Let’s not forget the return of the main man Cooper Kupp who got nearly 120 yards on his return to the team. Any thoughts of Nacua losing reps or points in fantasy were quickly quashed with the performance of the Rams in the air on Sunday.
The big issue last week for the Rams last week was the run game. It just couldn’t get going at all. Fantasy darling Kyren Williams disappointed with only 53 yards all game. He will be hoping to bounce back this week against the Cardinals.
FANTASY TEAM CONCERNS: THE DALLAS COWBOYS
It’s that time of year again everyone. We’ve gone through a preseason that labelled this season as the season where the Cowboys are one of the Super Bowl favourites. We’ve bypassed the statement win over a once good team that makes people take notice and see them as true contenders. We’re now fast approaching the road most taken by the Cowboys- two terrible defeats that make us never truly believe in a talent laden team.
So what’s the impact on Fantasy line-ups?
Yet to have a game over 20 points. Yet to have consecutive games where he throws 2 touchdowns or more. Yet to show signs that he is the guy to take the Cowboys forward. Unless you ask Jerry Jones.
Prescott has the weapons. He always has. A star WR in Lamb that he just doesn’t throw to. A pair of strong WR2’s in Gallup and Cooks. A TE that looks the business in Jake Ferguson and a RB that could well hit elite levels if managed correctly.
So what’s the issue? Whatever it is is having a massive impact on his fantasy points and those aforementioned offensive players. He is certainly one to keep an eye on, especially as players like Sam Howell, Josh Dobbs and Baker Mayfield all have more average fantasy points per game than Prescott.
If you bought into the hype of the Cowboys, then regardless of injury Pollard was potentially a first round fantasy pick. But, he has not been that at all. He has an average of just over 10 points a game, which is less than Brian Robinson, Kyren Williams and Raheem Mostert, players who would have been picked a lot lower down in drafts, or even at all in the case of Williams.
A lot of people were taking Lamb in the second round of their fantasy leagues, seeing him in the tier below Hill, Chase and Jefferson. But, that just hasn’t been the case at all. Adam Thielin, Hollywood Brown and Jacobi Meyers have more fantasy points than Lamb. He has 1 touchdown and one game where he got over 100 yards and that was against a Jets team recovering from the loss of Aaron Rodgers in week 1. But, that was a game where Dak threw him the ball. Sounds basic, but he had 11 receptions in that game. In the three weeks since, he’s had one more target total with 12. Dak and the Cowboys need to get him involved soon. A week 7 bye week is something that they need to try and figure out how they use their star wide receiver.
What is interesting is when you hear Jerry Jones say that Lamb may not be getting more targets. Jones is quoted as saying, ‘I don’t know about that’. Which is exactly a glowing endorsement for the wide receiver. This is quite the opposite to what he said about QB Dak Prescott- ‘I completely believe we have the quarterback that can take us where we want to go, make no mistake about it, we have a quarterback that can get us there.’ It’s just a shame this is the same quarterback who throws costly interceptions on a regular basis.
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