Fantasy Football: The Phinest Starts And Sits Column Ever – Week 3

Let me start this week’s article with this… I’d just like to extend my condolences to Christian McCaffrey’s owners. I would like to extend this the most to myself, as I had both McCaffrey and Chuba Hubbard just a couple of weeks ago and dropped Hubbard because the Panthers signed Royce Freeman and I thought he’d be resigned to special teams and a third-down role. I’m getting the nagging feeling that I’m going to be wrong (very rare) and Hubbard is now rostered in this particular league by a friend of mine who should consider a career in auto sales. Please feel free to send me flowers.

WEEK 2 Recap

Here’s a quick recap of my calls I did last week and how I did. Not trying to toot my own horn but….toot toot!

SITS I GOT RIGHT

Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints – Told you, different coach, same Jameis. Drew Brees made a career out of dumping it short to talented RB’s, why does he want to reinvent the wheel?

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns – Take away the rushing yards and TD and he only would have given you 10 points. 17 still wasn’t great, Baker is an overachieving game manager.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons – Did better than I expected but ended up with 3 interceptions and 16 points, and 2 of those came from a 2 point conversion.

Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – As the “starter” he got 2 more carries than the previous week when he fumbled and only amassed 27 rushing yards. It’s clear Bruce Arians has lost faith in him.

Ty’Son Williams, Baltimore Ravens – Told you he was a flex at best but admittedly the fumble at the goal line could have changed this some.

Kenyan Drake, Las Vegas Raiders – Did nothing on the ground, saved in PPR by the 5 receptions. How can you not take the lead back role from Peyton Barber? Yes, THAT Peyton Barber.

Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers – 3 receptions, 38 yards, seems to not have a true role in the offense anymore and Sam Darnold is in love with D.J. Moore.

Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks – Tight Ends just don’t get the ball much in this offense. He’ll have some decent weeks but you’ve got a better chance at winning power ball than guessing when they’ll be.

SITS I GOT WRONG

Julio Jones, Tennessee Titans – Looking like the Atlanta Falcons version of Quntorris Lopez “Julio” Jones Jr. I don’t know if you’ll ever read this J.J. but if by some miracle you do just know we miss you in Atlanta big dawg…..*sobs slowly*

D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers – How many of the WR targets does he get? ALLUM!!!

STARTS I GOT RIGHT

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams – I do believe he’s outgrown this column entirely. GO DAWGS!!!

Aaron Rodgers, Greenbay Packers – After Week 1 I had to come back for my own personal assurances. Not exactly how I expected but short TD’s to Aaron Jones count just the same.

Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks – I told you not to be afraid of the fumbles. Keep him in your lineup except for bye weeks, and even then give a little consideration.

T.J. Hockenson, Detriot Lions – Please welcome the newest member of the weekly TE starters. There’s no one else in Detroit outside of the RB’s, if you got him you should enjoy it all season long.

STARTS I GOT WRONG

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers – In my defense they overturned what felt like 7 touchdowns in this game. If you saw it you know exactly what I mean. If it’s any consolation I played him too so at least I’m not a hypocrite. *shrugs* Moving along.

Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals – Ummmm… My bad? To be fair though, the dude touched the ball 21 times. The Bears’ D may not be as bad as the Rams led us to believe.

Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals – 8 carries and no touchdowns in another high-scoring affair. He’s only a flex until further notice.

Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns – He got injured very early in the game so that’s not really on me but points are points. It hurts to see a fellow Jarvis go down, hoping for a speedy recovery and back to making our namesake glorious as the rest of us do. Unfortunately, if you roster him he is now on IR and out for at least the next 3 weeks.

Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins – Tua got injured very early in this game so it’s kinda not on me again but I’ll eat it. Can you believe someone let Jacoby Brissett start for an NFL franchise for an entire season once upon a time? We miss you Tua, and by we, I mean fantasy players who roster your pass-catchers as well as your actual pass-catchers.

Let’s get to Week 3, except for McCaffrey owners. You’re all invited to my house this Sunday to day drink and not have to watch your team lose all by your lonesome.

Week 3 STARTS

QUARTERBACKS

Matt Ryan vs. New York Giants – Not a homer pick, ask anyone who knows me, not a Ryan fan at all. But I have to admit his play last week was encouraging. Against a tough Buccaneers front seven, Ryan managed to pass for 300 yards and 2 TD’s (the one to Cordarelle Patterson was a thing of beauty) and completed 76.1% of his passes. Yes, he threw 3 interceptions but 2 weren’t actually his fault as he was hit in the process of one pass and had several defenders in his face on another where the ball got tipped in the air. From a real-life perspective, I was crushed but from a fantasy perspective, I was intrigued with what I saw. The Giants pass defense has also been far from…..giant (they just come to me)….as they have allowed a completion percentage of 75.6% over their first 2 games and an average of 300 passing yards and 2 TD’s (exactly 2 in each game) from the likes of Teddy Bridgewater and Taylor Heinicke, while they have surprisingly lacked a pass rush (3 total sacks so far). Ryan can easily do what they did.

Daniel Jones vs. Atlanta Falcons – Same game, opposite QB, different reasons. My Falcons can’t stop anything on defense. Not sure what Dean Pees has going on at practice but it’s not translating on the field so far. They’ve yet to hold a team below 264 yards passing and have allowed at least 3 TD’s in both games. Jones is slowly starting to get a full complement of weapons with Golladay finally settling in and even Evan Engram slated to make his debut. Plus “Danny Dimes” has been doing this thing with his legs lately, where he runs and actually remains upright long enough to get in the end zone. He has 15 carries for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns on the season and against my birds expect all of those numbers to increase this Sunday. I still think the Falcons will win though (that’s just what I have to tell myself nowadays to get through the games).

Justin Fields vs. Cleveland Browns – GO DAWGS!!! I don’t care where he finished his collegiate career, he’s from Georgia and UGA had him first. An incredible athlete and armed with talented pass catchers Darnell Mooney and Allen Robinson (shedding a tear at finally having a talented QB) he will be facing what is starting to look like an overrated Cleveland Browns defense. I guess we can give them a pass against the Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes gave them several) but even against the Tyrod Taylor-led Texans, they didn’t seem to be all that fear-inspiring. Taylor had 140 total yards and 2 touchdowns (15 rush yards and a rushing TD) before being ruled out for the second half. Boasting only 3 sacks so far, they may not be able to contain Fields any better than the previous 2 signal-callers they’ve faced. Also, there’s a football Fields joke in there somewhere, give me a week…

RUNNING BACKS

Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs. Los Angeles Chargers – Yes, I hear you *ducks flying object* but if you could just listen for a minute *hides behind a wall from multiple flying objects* I would be glad to explain my reasoning. Kind sir if you could please put that down for a second, I assure you there is some logic to this…..are you settled yet? Ok, thank you. I get it, he’s been terrible and his late-game fumble cost the Chiefs the game last week and possibly cost you a fantasy matchup. The postgame press conference was encouraging though when the HC, QB, and other teammates showed support for young Clyde. They’re going to put their money where their mouth is and get this young first-round pick involved so as not to crush his confidence. I know I know, you can’t win off sentiment, but you can off of knowing that the Chargers have the second-ranked fantasy pass defense against QB’s but are bottom 8 in RB points allowed. They literally made Tony Pollard look like an RB1 last week. I’m calling my shot, and I’m pronouncing it E-LAIR!

Melvin Gordon/Javonte Williams vs. New York Jets – Splitting carries almost evenly, they now face a bad Jets team with a demoralized rookie QB (Belichick at his best) with the Broncos having arguably the most talented secondary in the league. The boys from “Mile High” will get up early in this one and it’ll all be downhill from there (I finally got to use that expression in a meaningful way). This is where Gordon and Williams come in to play, as they will be called upon to run out the clock. The Jets are 28th in RB points allowed (McCaffrey almost had 100 yards rushing AND receiving against them) and gave up 2 rushing scores to an inept Patriots offense last week. Play whichever Denver RB you have, and if you’re a handcuff kind of guy who couldn’t decide between them in the draft, this is the week to play both.

Saquon Barkley vs. Atlanta Falcons – You’ll start to notice a theme when it comes to my Falcons defense. However, they’re not the reason for the recommendation. You’ve waited long enough (and frankly so has Joe Judge) and it’s finally time to unleash Saquon. I hate it had to be against my Falcons but it will definitely be against my Falcons. An excellent runner and versatile pass-catcher out of the backfield, don’t miss out on this chance to see a Barkley explosion that hasn’t been witnessed since “Sir Charles” was dunking on baskets in Philadelphia. In 2 games my Falcons have given up 190 rushing yards and a score to RB’s (and that’s only because Tampa Bay could do whatever they wanted through the air). This week, say yes to Sa-Quon (you know you like it, kinda).

WIDE RECEIVERS

Robert Woods vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Been a bit of a slow start for “Bobby Trees.” While running mate Cooper Kupp has seen an exponential fantasy leap since the arrival of Matthew Stafford, Woods has been a bit bushwhacked. Maybe he should join Stafford and Kupp for those early morning breakfasts so he can get a little more love but that can wait a week because they’ll be facing off against the Buccaneers this Sunday. In 2 games against the Cowboys and Falcons receiving corps, the Buccaneers have surrendered 43 receptions, 432 yards, and 4 TD’s (31st in fantasy points) and again this is just to receivers only. If it doesn’t happen this week you may need to consider uprooting Woods from your roster (I seriously can’t help myself).

Mike Williams vs. Kansas City Chiefs – THIS is the Mike Williams everyone has been waiting on. He’s looking like a dominant force and J.T. has eyes for him this season. No less than 10 targets in a single game so far and a TD in each, Williams could be in for a monster season (health pending). Already with 15 receptions and 173 receiving yards, don’t let the Chiefs fantasy rank vs WR’s fool you (11th) as they’ve faced 2 of the run heaviest teams in the league so far, in Baltimore and Cleveland, who tend to make seldom use of most of their outside pass catchers. This is looking like a shootout between Herbert and Mahomes and Mike Williams is likely to be the biggest beneficiary (literally, he’s the biggest WR in the game this Sunday).

Evan Engram vs. Atlanta Falcons – I told you there was a theme. My Atlanta Falcons, for quite some time now, have been pretty terrible at covering the TE position. So far, between the uncertainty of Dallas Goedert and a suddenly resurgent Gronk, they’ve given up 12 receptions, 144 yards and 3 TDs to the TE position. Surprisingly that’s only second-worst in the league (Baltimore is worse but they started with Waller and Kelce) but the fact remains that talented TE’s have the potential to finish in the top 5 vs the Falcons. They’re allowing 22 fantasy ppg to probably the most frustrating and fluctuating (and other f words I’d like to use) position in all of fantasy football. Engram makes his return just in time and I’m not saying he’ll get you 22 for sure but just know he has the potential and talent to get you much more than that as well. It’s going to be a long Sunday for me…

SITS

QB: Ben Roethlisberger vs. Cincinnati Bengals – Threw 32 passes against Buffalo and 40 against the Raiders and didn’t exceed 300 pass yards in either game. The Bengals defense is somewhat competent this year and could pressure Ben into making lots of short throws that aren’t good for fantasy football. On top of that his top target, Diontae Johnson, is out for this game and he can’t seem to throw it to Juju longer than 4 yards or to Claypool shorter than 20. The Steelers offensive line looks like multiple entrances to the opposing defense’s favorite theme park and to make it all worse (and as a Steelers supporter it causes me great pain to verbalize this) “Big Ben” Roethlisberger looks cooked… overcooked in fact… He probably should have retired last year and now unfortunately one of you out there is reading this and staring at 13 fantasy points from your QB position. McCaffrey owners at least have hope, my condolences…

RB: Damien Harris vs. New Orleans Saints – The Saints run defense is allowing 2.69 yards per carry and that’s after having faced Aaron Jones and Christian McCaffrey. Damien Harris isn’t in that tier of RB and Mac Jones isn’t scaring their secondary into NOT stacking the box and forcing the young rookie QB to have to beat them through the air. They’ve allowed only one rushing score on the ground and most of the damage done to them by RB’s has come via the pass, which is more conducive for James White than Damien Harris. Unless he scores, and there’s a good chance he won’t, Damien could be a dud in your lineup this weekend.

WR: The Miami Dolphins WRs – Did you see Jacoby Brissett last week? My goodness! My man threw 40 passes for a total of 169 yards and an interception. He also rushed 4 times (if you want to call it that) for a whopping 8 yards! He couldn’t move the offense, couldn’t put any points on the board, not even get them in field goal range, and now facing a fierce Raiders pass rush that features bookends Maxx Crosby and Carl Nassib (12 tackles, 3 sacks combined). He will be on the run all game and I foresee many 3 and outs on Sunday and that means bad things for all of his pass-catchers. What an awful way for “The Flying V” (Will Fuller V) to begin his Miami career. Maybe he has some “tips” for Tua to stay healthy this season. Shhhhh……

TE: Logan Thomas vs. Buffalo Bills – Let me guess, you thought you drafted a TE1 for the low? Silly rabbit! Solar eclipses, full moons, shooting stars, and good TE’s in fantasy football are all more rare than common. Yes, they signed him to an extension this offseason but do you think that matters to Taylor Heinicke? He knows where his bread is buttered (I’m almost certain that phrase applies here) and it’s by getting the ball to “Scary” Terry McLaurin. 8 catches, 75 yards, and a TD. That’s a good game for Kelce or Waller, that’s the season totals for Thomas. Buffalo’s defense is no joke and unlike my Falcons, they actually pay attention to the TE. They haven’t allowed 50 total yards to the TE position in either game this season, only allowed a total of 7 receptions, and rank 10th in fantasy points allowed. Logan may be your TE1 but that doesn’t make him one for this week.

That’s all I have for this week. I’m now going to have a few drinks and reminisce about all the times I had Christian McCaffrey available to me and didn’t fully appreciate it. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @DevekkioCarter and subscribe to the website thefantasysphinest.com. Also, I really hope my team can overcome these 6 points at my RB spot, maybe if I was facing a team with Antonio Gibson…

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