Truth or Bogus – Week 11 Recap
We (Fantasy Football players) are nearing the apex of our total efforts over the past 100 days.
I say that even though the season started less than 100 days ago, because, for the vast majority of us, football season rarely if ever stops. Some of my colleagues spend their summers following every facet of football at every level of the game. It’s amazing.
For me, personally, I’m a May to December type of guy. I shut down and enjoy the NFL playoffs, take a couple months to watch hockey like every good Canadian, then tune back in.
That being said, I spend my “On” period plugged all the way into football. Which, at least according to my self-marketing campaign, puts me in a position to give solid fantasy advice.
To that note, welcome to “Truth or Bogus?”, my weekly recap of the fact and fiction that can be found across fantasy news website in any given week.
Let’s kick things off this week with our first major headline.
Stefon Diggs Could Be Slowly Overtaking Adam Thielen as WR1
TRUTH – This might be a pretty bold take. But did you really click this article to hear some meaningless drivel?!
Stefon Diggs has had two really great games for the Vikings and outshone Thielen in the process. But his great play extends beyond these past two games. Diggs has actually been leading the Vikings in Red Zone targets since Week 7. He did have a really disappointing output in the Week 7 game despite seeing 15 targets. Diggs finished that game against the Jets with 8 catches for 33 yards, but couldn’t find the end zone or get open for a big gain.
Thanks to Thielen’s insane eight-game, 100-yard streak to begin the season, he is viewed as infallible. But he was largely ineffective over the past two weeks, which opened the door wide for Diggs. Diggs saw at least 10 targets in all but two of the games in which he started. So has Thielen. But the major difference is that Thielen’s two games have come over the past 3 games. One of which was a game in which Diggs didn’t even play.
Look, calling this a sure thing would be a stretch of the largest order. But Diggs’ talent has always been very apparent. If teams are going to continue to blanket Thielen, Diggs could end up being the better fantasy receiver over the final 5 weeks of the season.
Gus Edwards is the New Lead Back In Baltimore
TRUTH – Don’t write this off as a one-time deal; this Edwards kid has a big opportunity to shine over the next 5 weeks.
It might be difficult to gauge his overall talent over a short span of time. What is easy to analyze is Alex Collins’s way-below-par performance as a back this year. Collins has rushed for 3.6 YPC so far this season, which is paltry in the world of lead backs. It’s better than Javorius Allen, who had been rushing for 2.7 YPC season long. But both of these guys have obviously given Harbaugh headaches all year long.
So Harbaugh goes out at the trade deadline and picks up some extra help in Ty Montgomery. While Ty is getting up to speed, he trots out this undrafted rookie and lo and behold he has a capable running back.
Edwards went mostly unnoticed coming out of college thanks to his power-focused, straight-ahead usage at Rutgers and his lack of experience in the passing game. But regardless of those preconceptions that kept him off the draft board, the kid definitely has all the tools to do well.
He ran a 4.52 forty and showcased some fantastic athletic prowess. He can definitely be utilized on outside runs and short screen passes if the Ravens want to build that into his game.
Edwards might not be a blue-chip prospect. But he looks to be the best option Harbaugh’s squad has at this point, and that’s what drives fantasy results. Look for Edwards to be utilized in a decent workload moving forward on a team that has a softening stretch schedule.
Zach Zenner and Theo Riddick Are Speculative Adds After Kerryon’s Injury
BOGUS – I know that desperate times often call for desperate measures. But if you’re in a position where the Kerryon Johnson injury makes you consider picking up Zenner or Riddick, then you probably don’t have a good shot at a deep run anyways.
Both Riddick and Zenner are career pylons. I know that sounds harsh, but let’s face it. Zenner’s career 3.5 YPC and Riddick’s 3.3 YPC are embarrassing regardless of Riddick’s passing game prowess.
Oh, and LeGarrette Blount? He’s also not a realistic option. Whatever lightning he caught in his New England Patriots bottle is long gone. He actually averaged fewer than ONE YARD PER CARRY over his past 4 games. He sports a season-long 2.3 YPC. He’s a plodder of the highest degree.
This offense has been a graveyard for Running Backs since Reggie Bush left town. Jesus, this crew makes Joique Bell look like AP. In fact, since Joique Bell’s RB14 performance in 2014, no Detroit back had cracked the Top 30 RBs in a season. Wow. That is, at least, until Kerryon’s RB15 performance thus far this season.
Bottom line, Kerryon was the only player on this roster who could have overcome this O-Line and offensive play calling. The rest are waiver-wire bear traps for the more gullible people in your league.
Aaron Rodgers Is Slipping Out of the QB1 Conversation
TRUTH – This is just as much a conversation about the improving quality of the rest of the Top 15 Fantasy QBs as it is about Rodgers’ struggles. But it can’t be denied, Rodgers is slipping out of the Top 10 Fantasy QB spotlight.
In fact, Rodgers has been the QB11 if you average out the last 4 weeks amongst all QBs. Thanks largely in part to the stellar play by the likes of Jared Goff, Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger, Rodgers is finding it a tougher crowd to dominate. Combine that with Mike McCarthy’s questionable play-calling, a leaky defense and a tough schedule, and you have a recipe for disappointment.
In addition to all these issues that Rodgers faces, he has to deal with the injuries to Randall Cobb[/profiler and [profiler]Jimmy Graham. He is also dealing with the emergence of Aaron Jones. The Packers have had Rodgers throw 30 pass attempts or less in 3 of their 4 last games thanks to leaning on the run game.
Aaron Rodgers is still an elite QB in real-world NFL football, and he is a future Hall of Famer. But this 2018 season’s script has worked against him, and it’s starting to hurt his image as a QB1 from here on out.
That’s it for Truth or Bogus! Make sure you follow me @DFF_MitchLawson and check out dynastyfootballfactory.com for quality content to get you set up for your fantasy playoffs.