Written by Zach Lyons, co-host of Football & Other F Words and The Flex, “The 4th Down Decision” will look at various fantasy topics from whether you should “Punt” or “Go For It”. When reading the advice please keep in mind: 12-team league, PPR, 6-pt passing TDs. All ADPs based on FantasyPros.com‘s website.
What a whirlwind of fantasy performances over the weekend. We had elite players falling flat on their faces and no names really make you scratch your head. What is real? What is fake? Let’s dive in.
I am also writing a weekly DFS column with some must-starts for the week. (check out last week’s plays here, pretty good right?). Let’s just jump right in with some more fantasy football advice covering a different group of players.
Punt: Saquan Barkley in 2020
Saquan Barkley had a rough Week 1, and his outlook is not getting any better for the next several weeks.
The Pittsburgh Steelers menacing d-line keyed in on Barkley, and really just all around whipped this horrid Giants offensive line. It also does not help that the Giants offense becomes wildly predictable under Jason Garrett, which we here at Broadway Sports have warned you about.
Trade Saquan now while you can still get someone not paying attention to his upcoming schedule to pay you top dollar. You need to maximize his value while you can.
Here is his upcoming fantasy schedule in order:
- Chicago Bears
- San Francisco 49ers
- L.A. Rams
- Dallas Cowboys
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Washington again
Those are some killer defense fronts that will just run roughshod over New York’s offensive line. Like I said, the Giants are too predictable, and they do not have enough scary players at other positions to prevent defenses from keying in on Barkley.
One other thing to note, Tiki Barber today spoke about how Barkley is a big liability in pass protection and how he does not play true to his size or his ability in that regard. If he stays a liability, eventually he will have to come off on third down, which hinders his value even more — which is important because the few passes he caught saved his Monday night from being a complete fantasy disaster.
Look, this could just be Week 1 jitters, and maybe Barkley goes back to the transcendent talent we saw the last two years, but I have been skeptical all offseason and will remain so relative to his value moving forward.
Go For It: Trading for Odell Beckham Jr.
It was not a great Week 1 for the OBJ hive. He just did not look like he was on the same page with Baker Mayfield at all. However, trade for him.
He has a pretty easy schedule ahead of him, and while I do not think Mayfield is a very good quarterback, from a fantasy perspective, he should rebound.
The Cleveland gamescript should involve a lot of passing, and if new head coach Kevin Stefanski can get his quarterback out of his own head, he should be able to take advantages of porous secondaries on the schedule like Cincinnati, Washington, Dallas, and Indianapolis.
I think you can get OBJ really cheap, especially with talks of real-life (not fantasy) trade rumors. Speaking of which, if he gets traded, that could provide a boost to his production, which would be great for you as the guy trading for OBJ.
I still believe Beckham has the talent to be a fantasy WR1, but you may need to have patience with him.
Go For It: Picking up Parris Campbell if he is still around
I talked about this on The Flex today, but Parris Campbell is my Sleeper of the week, and he needs to be on your radar going forward. In fact, pick him up now, or even trade for him.
I really liked Campbell coming out of college. He had that rare blend of everything you’re looking for in a receiver, but none of the recognition from the fantasy public. Then injuries happened and he couldn’t make an impact his rookie year.
However, coming into this year, he was the talk of training camp. Fully healthy, fully ready to contribute. I didn’t really think too much of it, but then I dove deep into some important statistics for this Colts offense after their game with Jacksonville this last Sunday.
Campbell tied for the team-high in targets after seeing nine total come his way. He caught 6 for 71 yards. Another plus? Campbell will continue to be involved in the gameplan as the Colts have shown a willingness to use him on run plays. He is a very diverse talent they want to get the ball to frequently.
My favorite stat though is his snap count. He outsnapped every wide receiver, playing a total of 61 snaps out of a possible 74. That 82.43% snap share is a very good sign for his future production.
Such a good sign, in fact, that I talked myself into trading for him as I wrote this article.
Punt: Le’Veon Bell
This goes for any Jets running back. Get them off your roster. If you wasted your waiver priority/dollars on a Jets running back, just give up for the rest of the year (not really, but don’t do that again).
It’s time to package Le’Veon Bell with someone else and try to swing a two-for-one trade. The New York Jets offense is where running backs go to die, and I feel really bad for Frank Gore, but luckily he won’t have to end his career in New York (because Frank Gore is immortal and will probably play for all 32 teams before he retires).
This team stinks. The Jets gave us one of the worst offensive performances outside of Cleveland in Week 1, and I have no faith in Adam Gase to right the ship. We’ve seen it time and again; players with talent just disappear under Gase’s “leadership” (if you can call it that).
Story time: I just witnessed one of the worst trades I’ve ever seen go down in my league of record. The only team to not score below 90 points last week had Malcolm Brown. I said “had” because he decided to trade him for Le’Veon Bell straight up on Tuesday night. Not only did he make that move, he proceeded to claim Frank Gore and something called a “Josh Adams” Wednesday morning on waivers.
Yes, you read that right. This man is rostering three Jets running backs. He also happens to be a founding member of Football & Other F Words (Internet Keith), so if you would like to, please go scream into the abyss on Twitter at him (@InternetKeith).
Go For It: Sticking with the 2nd-year tight ends
T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant truly lived up to their 2019 pre-draft reputation over the weekend, finishing Week 1 as TE3 and TE4 respectively.
They also have some juicy match ups this week when Hockenson goes up against Green Bay, and Fant goes up against the Steelers.
While their opponents for Week 2 have strong defenses overall, we saw Evan Engram give the Steelers some fits, and I think Fant has a better quarterback behind center who definitely looks his way.
On the other side, the Packers defense is good, but it does have its share of holes, and with the Lions out another defensive back, they will likely be playing from behind in this game. That means Hock should be getting a lot of opportunities for targets.
I think if for some reason you have multiple tight ends, and you have Fant/Hock and someone like Kelce, Kittle, or Ertz, that you should deal one of those bigger named guys for an upgrade at another spot on your roster. You should definitely feel comfortable rolling these guys out in both DFS and in your outdated mandatory tight end spot going forward.
Great Advice Couch: Staying patient with your team another week
Time for us all to take a seat on the “Great Advice Couch.” (Want to sponsor? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Here is my good advice for the week: Stay patient with your underperforming guys moving forward to Week 2.
Last week, I talked about not panicking and allowing others to panic after Week 1 was over. That is still the case, but do not undersell your roster. I will give you a personal example.
I am a big believer in Antonio Gibson. Sure, he was taken out for Peyton Barber, who vultured some touchdowns, but I am not ready to give up on Antonio Gibson.
I have given up way too early on rookie players in the past, only to have it bite me in the butt twice: Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. I picked both of these rookies near the end of the draft, and both guys had super slow starts. So I dropped both of them way too early in a panic. Alvin Kamara went on to win Rookie of the Year. Michael Thomas had 92 catches for 1100 yards.
Patience is a virtue, and it could be a season saver as well.
Thanks for sitting on the “Good Advice Couch.”
Love my opinions? Hate my opinions? Leave comments below, and let’s discuss!