Trending and NoteWorthy for Week Nine
We are in the middle of the NFL season and a key stretch of the Fantasy one. The NFL trade deadline has passed while the Fantasy one still remains. Finding bargains is essential for competitive teams who lack depth but need to upgrade their roster to make a serious attempt at making the Fantasy playoffs.
Recent performance and opportunity can inform our projections while upcoming schedules can be the difference between winning or losing the crucial upcoming games.
Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled
DeVante Parker, WR Miami Dolphins
Week Eight Totals:
Nine targets – Six Receptions – 134 Receiving Yards
Parker has been a “breakout player” going on… seemingly forever. His 2018 season has been an accurate reflection of his career so far: flashes of brilliance surrounded by mediocrity or obscurity. He has only played in three games this season and Week Eight was his only relevant one. His talent justifies monitoring while his production confirms my opinion: Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled.
That being said. He faces a New York Jets defense that ranks ninth-worst against wide receivers, allowing 43.2 Fantasy points per game to wide receivers. If the bye bites you this week, Parker is a Hail Mary worth a whirl.
Lamar Miller, RB Houston Texans
Week Seven and Eight Stats:
40 Rushing Attempts – 233 Rushing Yards – Two TDs – One Reception
Miller is a mixed bag of potential, ability and mediocrity. He has a tantalizing package of speed, quickness and receiving ability to go along with enough power and durability to carry a full-time workload between the tackles and yet he has never been able to push through and develop into anything more than a low-end RB2. His appeal has always been his overall skill set combined with his draft day value.
Miller remains a mixed bag going forward. His performance is trending up while his schedule has both bumpy and beneficial matchups. He faces a Broncos run defense that has allowed the second-most rushing yards in football and a Browns defense that leads the league in rushing touchdowns allowed. On the the bad side, he faces the Titans’, Eagles’, Jaguars’ and Washington defenses that have allowed 20 points or fewer per game and rank eighth or better in Fantasy points allowed to running backs.
With the trade deadline approaching I suggest owners check in on him. If the investment is low, the upside and improvement in his play justifies trade consideration. At absolute worst, he should be a Flex starter with the potential to be a low-end RB2.
Devin Funchess, WR Carolina Panthers
29 Targets – 18 Receptions – 216 Receiving Yards – Two Touchdowns – 41 Fantasy Points
Funchess has had an unremarkable 2018 season. He has 50 receiving yards or more in five of seven games without a 100-yard performance. He has had only one game with at least seven receptions and he has only three total touchdowns.
The “Funchess appeal” is that he has a touchdown and five receptions or more in two of his last three games and he has a remarkably friendly remaining schedule.
In Weeks Nine and 10, Funchess will face Buccaneer and Steeler pass defenses that allow 47.5 and 42.6 Fantasy points to wide receivers, respectively. In four of the five weeks from Week 13 to Week 17, the Panthers face the three worst defenses in Fantasy points allowed to wide receivers (Saints, Buccaneers and Falcons). The toughest pass defense they play after the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12 are the Cleveland Browns in Week 14, who rank ninth worst in Fantasy points allowed to wide receivers with 40.7 allowed per game.
Funchess’ season hasn’t been inspiring, but his remaining schedule reeks of opportunity. I don’t know how owners aren’t targeting him for a trade when he will go into almost every remaining Fantasy week with one of the best matchups on the schedule. His performance is Trending up slightly while his potential impact is exploding. Go get him.
Chris Carson, RB Seattle Seahawks
90 Rushing Attempts – 382 Rushing Yards – Two TDs
The Seahawks want to run the ball, and Carson is the guy that’s going to do it going forward. He has 19 carries or more in three of his last four games, including two games where he had 25 and 32 carries. He has three 100+ yard games in those four games with two touchdowns and a 4.2 yard per carry average or better in three of them.
Entering the season, Rashaad Penny was supposed to be the guy. Then, Mike Davis flashed for a minute. But it’s Carson’s job in Seattle, and it isn’t a committee. Rushing attempts and targets are the most important element to projecting Fantasy performance and Carson could be a league leader in rushing attempts the rest of the season. An additional bonus: he faces the worst team in football in Fantasy points allowed to running backs (Kansas City Chiefs – 32.9 FPA per game) in Week 16, many leagues’ championship.
David Moore, WR Seattle Seahawks
13 Targets – 11 Receptions – 221 Receiving Yards – Four TDs
Russell Wilson hasn’t had a 300+ yard passing game this season and he only threw the ball 17 times in Week Eight, while Chris Carson and company rushed the ball 42 times for 176 yards. The silver lining is that while Wilson isn’t throwing the ball a lot and they aren’t racking up receiving yards, he has thrown three touchdowns in three straight games. That’s what makes Moore so intriguing, so uncertain and so NoteWorthy.
Moore’s targets have been and could continue to be limited, but touchdowns are touchdowns and they can make or break a Fantasy player. Ask Will Fuller, to some degree JuJu Smith-Schuster and certainly Julio Jones owners what touchdowns mean to them.
Moore is owned in only 15 percetn of Yahoo! leagues after scoring touchdowns in three consecutive games. Owners shouldn’t release a Flex starter to add Moore, but if you’re chasing upside and potential at this stage in the season, Moore should be at the top of your list.
Nick Chubb, RB Cleveland Browns
36 Rushing Attempts – 145 Rushing Yards – One TD – Two Receptions – 10 Yards
In two games against one friendly opponent (Buccaneers) and one difficult one (Steelers), Chubb has received 18 rushing attempts in both and picked up at least 65 rushing yards.
In Weeks 9-11, Chubb faces three of the five worst defenses in Fantasy points allowed to running backs: the Chiefs (32.9 FPA), Falcons (32.1 FPA) and Bengals (29.7 FPA). If you are on the bubble of the Fantasy playoffs, Chubb is an opportunity to exploit a friendly short-term schedule to catapult you to the playoffs. He should translate 18-25 carries per game into 80-120 yards and the touchdowns to match. An added bonus: he faces the Broncos (26.9 FPA) and Bengals in Weeks 15 and 16.