“Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice” – Anton Chekhov
Welcome back, intrepid GMs. We are plunging into the icy depths of the fantasy football season. Toes curled and breath held in anticipation of the breach. Will you sink or float? Will you emerge from the blackness to become a champion?
A bit heavy-handed, okay. But if you can’t reflect on your fantasy season with a little drama then what point was starting the season in the first place?
No matter how much experience you have, you can fall victim to misinformation. You can be the type of fantasy manager who has seen supposed studs and surprise duds rise and fall several times. Or, you might be fledgling. A newcomer who can’t see the forest for the trees when it comes to fantasy news.
So if you find yourself questioning where your journey might end. If you are putting yourself through hell in the swamps of Degobah and you don’t know what to make of that vision you had in the tree of wisdom. Then you need a Yoda.
Well, dedicated readers. Come to help you I have.
This is ‘Truth or Bogus?’, my weekly recap of the biggest news in fantasy football, and whether those hot takes are actually bogus.
Let’s not waste any more time on prose and pop culture, let’s get started.
Leonard Fournette is a Born-Again RB1
TRUTH – Oh sure, we’ve heard the concerns. “He’s injury-prone”, “He struggled when he played this year”, “So many early injuries, he could be a bust”.
Hey, wanna know something interesting about injuries when you’re young? It doesn’t mean you’re injury-proned. Take a look at Frank Gore. He tore his ACL twice in college, something that would definitely get a player tagged as an injury risk. Instead, Gore has been an Iron Horse, posting eight seasons where he played all 16 games.
So, does that mean that Fournette is safe? No, of course not. But the second-year LSU product has always been an extremely exciting player. The fact that he’s healthy, and playing for a team that is desperate for offence makes him a definite top-flight option. Sure, he hasn’t been lighting up the stat sheet (To date he has 2.8 YPC). But his high volume and his role in the passing game solidify him as an RB1.
David Johnson is Trending Back Towards Top 10 RB Status
TRUTH – After one big game? You better believe it. Because this is about more than just a single game. This is about a change in atmosphere. The Cardinals have a new offense led by new OC Byron Leftwich, and he looks to be a Catalyst for DJ’s rebirth.
Again, like Fournette, he hasn’t been slamming the stat lines. But due to McCoy’s ineptitude and insistence on pounding the ball straight up the middle with a back who does serious damage in open field, DJ’s ineffectiveness can be excused.
He’s an RB1 until further notice.
Rashaad Penny Is a Risen Phoenix, Has Rest-Of-Season RB2 Value
BOGUS – Sorry, but the Seahawks are RB1-proof. This “hot-hand” approach has basically equated to “Whoever is healthy and whoever we feel like”. All three Seattle backs have shown they can put up big numbers. In fact, it’s likely due to the By-Committee approach that they’re able to have those big games.
Sure, Penny will be a part of the offense. For now. But how long until Mike Davis or Chris Carson lead the team in carries in a game? Hell, it might be next game for all we can guess.
Penny was able to flash some of that first-round talent, but he’s a shaky fantasy RB.
Eric Ebron is Doyle-Proof, Remains a High-End TE1
BOGUS – Sure, the 3 TDs was impressive with Jack Doyle returning to the lineup. But Ebron does have some roadblocks in front of him now.
Those 3 TDs came on four total touches. That’s a ridiculous ratio, and it cannot be sustained. Doyle is going to be utilized to move the chains and Ebron will continue to operate as the redzone threat. But with Doyle, Hilton, Mack, Rogers and Grant all healthy and up to speed, Ebron’s ceiling will be capped.
I don’t buy it. Ebron is on pace for 16 TDs in 2018, as he has 9 through 9 games. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he sees less than 3 TDs over the last 7 games of the season.
Corey Davis is Finally Ready to Be a Fantasy Starter
TRUTH – Corey Davis might be a frustrating WR to own, but he should be started on just about every roster he is stashed on.
Davis’ talent was never really in doubt. He even had a chance to showcase it a few times this season. But he always lived and died with the Titans offense. When Mariota and company struggled early in the season, Davis couldn’t find space to really do the damage he could do. He was still creating separation, winning battles and fighting hard, but he just wasn’t getting the ball.
He absolutely shredded Stephon Gilmore, who was operating at an elite level prior to this game. But this time, with Mariota looking effective, Davis turned that into a huge game.
This should be the storyline moving forward. The Titans and Davis have a very attackable late-season schedule, and Mariota looks healthy and dangerous again. Bottom line, Corey Davis could be a stud moving forward.
LeSean McCoy Has Big Game, Rekindles His RB2 Flame
BOGUS – Reading too much into this game against the Jets is a good way to get burned. The Jets rolled over and absolutely died against the Bills. McCoy was actually afforded some clock-killing garbage time and turned that into a respectable fantasy line.
But, those days are going to be seldom at best. The Bills are still the Bills. Josh Allen is an upgrade over Peterman, but enough to warrant a McCoy resurgence? No way.
McCoy has shown us all his best for this season, he won’t sniff that type of production until perhaps the Bills meet the Jets again later this season.
David Njoku Doesn’t Need To Be Held Through Bye Week
BOGUS – Njoku’s inability to find the end zone has really frustrated his fantasy owners, but there’s no cause for dropping him.
Since Mayfield took over, Njoku has been a solid TE, putting up 50 yards in almost every start that Mayfield has made. Those numbers would be high-end TE1 if he was getting into the end zone with some regularity, but he isn’t.
That’s not necessarily going to change, per se. He’s seeing red zone targets, but fewer than say, Jarvis Landry. Still, he’s going to get into the end zone at least a couple more times over the season. That, combined with his near 50-yard floor and 4 receptions-or-so per game, make him a usable TE.
Njoku might not be elite, but he’s serviceable and at the very least he’s worth consideration in TE-Premium leagues as a bye week starter or FLEX.
Tom Brady is Bench Fodder Due To Struggles
BOGUS- At least in the sense that Brady deserves to be on your bench regardless of your team situation. But Brady can definitely be sat in favor of guys like Luck or Goff if that’s who you have.
But, in the grand scheme of things, Brady is still a generational talent. His TDs are the only thing keeping him from being a bona fide QB1. Now, he gets Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead back to go along with born-again Josh Gordon. Heck, maybe Rob Gronkowski can figure out his issues and start producing like he has in the past.
Brady’s days of being a no-doubt Top 3 QB might be coming to an end, but he’s startable in even middle-of-the-road matchups.
Zay Jones is a Fantasy Asset In the Making?
BOGUS – Hey, good for Zay Jones for shaking off those offseason demons. But he’s still a very hard-to-trust WR.
Just like Shady McCoy, it needs to be very closely noted that the Jets went belly-up early in this game, so it’s unlikely that Jones’ big day can be counted on every time the Bills take the field.
Josh Allen is returning to his starting duties in Week 11. That’s not nearly the top-shelf option that he’s being heralded as with Peterman putting on his terrible display.
He’s a deep-league speculative add at best. But he’s no fantasy asset.
That’s it for this week, Truthers! Thanks so much for supporting me and the crew at dynastyfootballfactory.com. Be sure to follow me @DFF_MitchLawson for advice, analysis and some witty banter.