The Devil’s Advocate
Bio line: Chris Fox is the host of Yards After the Catch and “The Trenches!” Fantasy Football Reality Competition show on YouTube. Chris’ knowledge base stems from over 30 years of Fantasy Sports experience.
Here we go again! As your Fantasy Playoffs loom, so do some big injuries and 5 (yes 5!) teams on BYE week. It is more important than ever to get those Waiver requests right with many teams in must-win matchups. It can be a hellish decision to make, and it doesn’t help that everyone just seems to be throwing out the same names as the other guys.
Well, you have yet again come to the right place! The Devil’s Advocate is about to break down all those contrarian picks and let you know which players' FACTS and which ones are just FILLERS for the other lists out there. Let’s save some time, precious FAAB dollars, and some of your seasons by getting right to it!
Oh, and if you’re wondering how we did last week (Yeah, we keep ourselves accountable because most others don’t) we went 9-3-2 on last week’s advice.
*BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front
QBs (Aside from maybe Fields, there should be no major losses here to BYE weeks. Injuries, however, could have you streaming)
Jared Goff vs Min He was my sneaky pic of the week last week
BLUF: 340yds, 2TDs, no pics for 22pts. That’s 4 TDs over the last 2 games and 0 ints over the last 4.
What You’ll Hear: Goff has his full arsenal back plus a new weapon in Williams, and a sultry match-up with the Vikings that just gave 369 passing yards to White.
What They Don’t Say: That in the 4 times Goff has faced the Vikings he has thrown for over 1100 yrs, 8TDs, and only 2 ints.
Conclusion: They’ve all got this one right! Especially this week, if you can get him, do it!
Tyler Huntley vs Pit In for an injured Lamar
BLUF: 187 yds on 23 attempts for 0TDs and 1 pic. He did have 41 on the ground and a rushing TD which “saved” his day at 17 points.
What You’ll Hear: Fits the offense well, decent passer (84.4% comp rate, #2), a big plus that he can run.
What They Don’t Say: Pittsburgh ranks 9th best in yards given to rushing QBs at 188 but 28th worst in pass yards and 2nd in Ints. They average 17.9 to QBs this season tied for 9th most, meaning…
Conclusion: The Steelers look great at countering Huntley’s strengths and forcing him to his weaker skillset where they can take advantage with the 2nd most pics in the NFL. Yes, they gave up 5 to Burrow…Huntley is no Burrow and Baltimore’s receiving core is not Cincy’s. Still, he could prove a useful streamer this week for those in need but expect that 17pt Steeler average.
Mike White vs Buf He’s back here again
BLUF: QB 7, 369 pass yds, 1 TD, 2 INTs against a bottom-tier Vikings pass defense, 19 pts. Next up: Buffalo
What You’ll Hear: That White is the best option for the Jets and he puts up big numbers.
What They Don’t Say: He just played one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL and only scored 19 pts, threw 2 pics, threw 57 (57?!?) times, and finished with a 59.8% passer rating. You better get over 300 yds passing that much!
Conclusion: I’m not sure if 19pts and a sub-60 % rating is something to cheer about. Buffalo should force White’s numbers down further and his Fantasy points even lower this week. We say a ‘NAY!” to Mike White and we say it with our chest.
DeeJay Dallas/Tony Jones Jr vs CAR
BLUF: These 2 fill in for an injured Kenny Walker and combine for 51 ru/yds, 18 rec, and 0 TDs for 9pts…combined. (Why are we talking about either?)
What You'll Hear: Oh, because Walker hurt his ankle and because it is Pete Carrol so no one will know how bad it is till closer to game time. Someone must fill in, so you gotta have one of these two, right?
What They Don't Say: Dallas already has an ankle injury of his own and Walker is like 30/70 to miss playing time right now.
Conclusion: Seriously?! No guys and gals…just no
James Cook vs NYJ
BLUF: 14 carries, 6 rec, 0TDs, 17 pts nearly doubling his best Fantasy points total all year.
What You'll Hear: More carries than Singletary, 6/6 on receptions, clear changing of the guard.
What They Don’t Say: It was 1 more carry than Singletary, his highest number of carries at a mere 14, highest targets at 6, and 2nd highest yardage total at a whopping 64 (86 is highest). Also, Allen had 8 runs for 2 TDs.
Conclusion: It’s a timeshare folks not a changing of the guard. With mid-tier run defenses like the Jets, Dolphins, and Bears on tap, there is no reason to expect any difference (not to mention there should be plenty of passing). What you should expect is 17 Fantasy points to be a nice day for either Back unless they can get into the endzone instead of Allen.
Cam Akers vs …it doesn’t matter. We’re not even going here, we shouldn’t have to.
Michael Gallup vs Hou: By default or by design, Gallup is Dallas' #2 pass catcher…for now.
BLUF: 4rec for 23 yards, saved by TDs, 18 Fantasy points.
What You'll Hear: Dallas’ clear WR2, the same number of targets as Lamb, is clearly considered in the red zone. Great schedule with Hou and Jax as the next 2 games.
What They Don't Say: His highest yardage total all year is 63, 2 TDs doubled his season total and are his first since week 4. Still the 4th look in progressions as a WR2 which means that a great schedule is likely to benefit everyone else first.
Conclusion: Define the term “Boom or Bust player” and you’ll see a picture of Gallup. His ceiling has certainly risen, provided he visits pay dirt. You should read a Shadow Report first, but a game against Houston may allow Gallup to fill a gap created by a BYE week. Don’t expect a full cup though.
Nico Collins vs Dal
BLUF: 3rec for 35yds and 1 TD: 13 points
What You’ll Hear: Same as last week and the week before; the new number 1 in Houston. Not the best QB but worth streaming.
What They Don't Say: That he’s not good for streaming or owning. 13 is his 2nd highest point total all year. He caught only 3 of his 10(!) targets. He’s 19 rec of 36 targets over the last 4 (I’m sure the QB can be blamed for some of those though). He hasn’t gone over 50 yds since week 7. Aaannd he faces a Dallas-D that hasn’t allowed a WR1 to go over 10 pts in like, forever.
Conclusion: I’m not saying WRs can’t eat vs Dallas. Pierce took them for 19 last week and who can forget Christian Watson’s 33-point day?! If you’re going to put Nico in the WR1 role though, then he better gets more than 13 points, which he has only done once all season.
DJ Chark vs Min Just beware…
BLUF: 5 for 98 yards and 15 Fantasy points.
What You’ll Hear: 5+ targets over the last 2. 14% target share. Clear WR2 for a Det team that generally throws 30+ times a game versus a Vikings defense that has given the most points to WRs over the last 4 games.
What They Don't Say: Or try to let you forget is that Williams is back on the field and likely to grab some of those non-St. Brown targets.
Conclusion: We’re certainly not saying not to grab him, especially this week against the Vikings…smash “YES” to anything involving WRs vs that secondary! Just know that Chark will be like a box of chocolates every week for the rest of the year.
Other Names You'll Hear:
Donovan People's Jones: "Yes!" but only for a flex spot until Watson shakes the rust off. PJ caught 3 of 3, but Cooper still saw 9 go his way.
Slayton: I think Philly’s D is overrated (they haven’t faced a top 10 OFF all year). Still, Slayton hasn’t found the endzone since week 10 despite a nice target share.
Williams: You have to “risk it for the biscuit” (unless you’re already in), in either case, a Min match-up might be the week to find out what his role will be and if it can help your team. A lot of mouths to feed in Det though.
Who do you still have questions on? Did we miss someone? Join us on Yards After the Catch, LIVE every Tuesday night at 830pm est (https://www.facebook.com/TheArmchairAthletics) we will answer them all! See you next week!
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