Week 4 Fantasy Football Workshop
Week 4 Fantasy Football Workshop
Every week in the fantasy football workshop, I will go through all the important news + notes, take a look at any important statistical oddities that can improve our process in fantasy football (and help our rosters) while also posting my rest-of-season rankings. The idea behind this space is to give readers an insight into how rankings are made and for all of us to keep track of players’ values throughout the course of the season.
Week 3 +4 Fantasy Football News And Notes
-The 49ers are like the walking dead on offense right now. Jordan Reed is out 6-8 weeks, Jimmy G still has a high ankle sprain, George Kittle is not yet 100% healthy with a knee sprain, Deebo Samuel may not be ready until Week 5 and Tevin Coleman/Raheem Mostert are both nicked up at running back. Brandon Aiyuk, Jeff Wilson Jr. and Jerick McKinnon are the teams’ entire offense right now and should be treated as such on waivers.
– Despite throwing for over 400 yards in back to back games, the Cowboys offense is a long ways off from being fully operational. La’el Collins is not close to returning from surgery and the offense really needs him back on the offensive line to help with their stunted starts to recent games.
– Both Henry Ruggs AND Bryan Edwards are banged up for the Raiders. While Darren Waller had fairly quiet game against the Patriots, with both of the rookie WRs banged up we should probably expect his absurd target share to continue. In mega deep formats, you can probably put in $1 bids on Nelson Agholor.
– Michael Pittman Jr. had to undergo surgery on his lower body after Sunday’s game and likely will not be back until around Week 8 or 9. With Parris Campbell AND Pittman Jr. both out of the lineup, there are truly no excuses for T.Y Hilton not racking up a 150 target season.
-Tarik Cohen is out for the year for the Bears. With all the veteran RBs signed around the league, I do not think it is unreasonable that we are finally going to see Cordarelle Patterson used as a full-time WR. The fact that the Bears are a really heavy 12 personnel team makes it even more likely that Patterson is used over Ryan Nall and Artavis Pierce.
– Chris Godwin just cannot stay healthy. After missing Week 2 with a concussion, Godwin now has a hamstring injury that is likely going to cause him to miss several weeks. In Week 2 while Godwin was out, Justin Watson actually ran the most pass routes on the team but was a healthy scratch in Week 3. He is the biggest fantasy beneficiary here.
– Despite playing the worst stretch of football of his career, Carson Wentz cannot get benched by the Philadelphia Eagles. Coach Doug Pederson has said it is not yet time to go to Jalen Hurts but after punting for a tie on Sunday against the Bengals, it seems to me as if Wentz’ time has run out in Philly. In deep formats (16+ team leagues) or Superflex leagues, this would be an ideal time to put cheap bids on Jalen Hurts who offers loads of rushing upside in the NFL.
– Jared Cook had to go to the injury tent on Sunday Night for the New Orleans Saints and didn’t return with a lower-body injury. Adam Trautman, the teams’ 3rd round draft pick this season, is a really interesting pick up in TE premium formats though it wouldn’t be surprising if the team ran more 11 personnel with Josh Hill in the game mostly as a blocker.
– Darrell Henderson is expected to start the Rams next game at RB which is both expected and a huge hit to the expected value of Cam Akers this year. We always thought that Henderson was talented runner but thought the same of Akers and expected him to open the year as the starter. With Henderson running as the clear top RB and pass catcher, Akers is bench fodder only right now.
– Well, unfortunately, we finally have meaningful positive COVID-19 tests. Eight members of the Titans players + personnel staff have tested positive for the coronavirus. Both the Titans and the Vikings (their Week 3 opponents) may or may not have to make different arrangements for their games in Week 4. Keep this in mind as you make waiver claims. Personally, I am planning on having replacements for Derrick Henry, Juju Smith-Schuster, Dalvin Cook and other Titans/Vikings/Texans/Steelers players.
Week 3 +4 Team Level Fantasy Football Analysis And Player Usage Notes
-Last year one of my favorite things in fantasy football was using the Air Yards charts (that are normally found from AirYards.com but with the NFL working through some data issue at the moment, are instead from AddMoreFunds.com for right now) to create something I called the “Unrealized Air Yards” chart as well as “Unrealized Fantasy Points” which was basically just to see how many fantasy points wide receivers were leaving on the field. The formula is not tricky, it is just Air Yards subtracted by actual yards as well as yards after the catch.
This is the table after three weeks of football:
-Some fantasy relevant observations: please do not send out trade offers for A.J Green. He is going to be on this table all season long but he doesn’t need to be on your fantasy football team at the age of 32. Some actual trade candidates from this list would be: Amari Cooper, DJ Moore, Mark Andrews and Zack Ertz. Those are all players who for one reason or another are more involved in their teams’ offenses than the market believes.
–Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray and Cam Newton are on pace to have top-30 ALL TIME fantasy football seasons at QB. Now, we can’t reasonably expect them to hold on for 3 more months but it does elucidate one clear point: if you are losing QB, you are probably not winning your league. The Late-Round QB philosophy is actually no longer optimal in many formats and it should not surprise us when Josh Allen and Dak are the highest win-rate players of the entire season.
-The running back position is beginning to look even worse than our preseason projections on how many backfields would be true splits.
-Using our 2008 brains, there are really only 5 bell cow backs in the entire NFL. Using our 2020 logic, we can extend that list to the likes of Aaron Jones and Josh Jacobs because they are getting so many of the important touches in their backfields. This snap grouping definitely indicates that Myles Gaskin and Joe Mixon are buy lows, even though they play on actually terrible football teams.
-Wide receivers are more than holding their own with the top scorers in fantasy football through three weeks.
-Wide receivers as a whole are taking up just a shade under 50% of the top 30 PPR scorers in fantasy while. Both the ZeroRB truthers and Robust RBer’s can point to injuries on their side making things unfair (Barkley! Thomas! McCaffrey! Sutton!) but I think this points to basically the key tenent of drafting stud WRs over bad running backs: stud WRs score more points than you think especially when compared to mediocre running backs. Keep this in mind as you make trades and set your lineups the rest of the way.