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Signing the Waiver
By Joshua B, aka Generallyaware
What were you thinking?!
Why would you not start one of the most talented wide receivers in the game at home, who has already had one of the highest week scores in this young season, against a defense that is decimated by injury and illness?
Was it because he only had two catches the week before?
Was it because he has a backup quarterback who completed those two catches to him the week before?
Was it because you didn’t really look into or consider how and why last week’s game went the way it did?
Was it because you didn’t really look into the production of receivers with that quarterback in the past?
Was it because you were afraid?
Why would you start the backup running back, when the primary running back has been declared healthy and is active, against a good defense?
Was it because he had a good game the week before?
Was it because you thought the primary back was active but still injured?
Was it because you were invested in the idea of this backup taking over the primary role simply because of how early you drafted him or how much you paid to trade for him?
Was it because you wanted to be proven right? To be smarter than everyone else?
Yes. I was afraid when I benched Diggs.
Yes. I let my ego start Derrick Henry instead.
It was the Perfect Storm of football fallacies swirling around my flex slot. I’d like to think I’d be strong enough to resist either one of these cases alone, but the combination was too much and I succumbed (and then lost by 10 points). Neither of these decisions had anything to do with good football analysis of the available information. I did somehow miss the news of Tampa Bay’s injuries and illness in the weekend wash of news. But it was there, it was available, it should have been clear. I didn’t look into or didn’t remember that Case Keenum has produced fantasy relevant performances by less talented wide receivers in the past, even in a Jeff Fisher offense.
We knew DeMarco Murray was going to play at game time. If you buy Henry’s talent, you can bet Murray did not want to give him the opportunity to take his job. If Murray was active, he was going to play. I should have seen the news about Tampa Bay; I should have seen that Murray was active; and I should have recognized what these things meant for these players. But I was blinded. Instead of squaring to the basket and taking a balance shot (hey, look at me mixing sports analogies), I took a fading sideways one-footed jump shot.
But we will continue to learn from our mistakes, consciously and with intention. We aren’t just hoping to pick up a few nuggets, like loose change on the sidewalk, on our way to next week. We will not look away in shame. We will stare into the mirror and scrape for every scrap of fantasy wisdom we can find.
Last week I focused on the fantasy football fallacy of making decisions based in fear. This week it would be appropriate to focus on not making decisions based on ego, or trying to be smarter than everyone else. Don’t try and prove you were right about a decision you made a month ago.
Fantasy Football Fallacies through Week 3:
- Don’t make decisions in fear.
- Don’t let your ego set your lineup.
Last week I also slipped in a few references and a link to my Deep Start Axioms. These axioms are general rules that we can follow that take advantage of trends and the patterns that we have observed thus far. They are an objective way of evaluating matchups and players to hopefully remove some opportunities for fear and ego to sway our perception. We’ll be adding to it as the season progresses, hopefully getting better every week.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, New York Jets vs Jacksonville
Sunday 9/17 @ New York at 1:00pm
Jacksonville’s defense has looked strong, but a consistent weakness has been the tight end.
ASJ is back from his three game suspension and he returns to a Jets team in dire need of offensive weapons. Matt Forte has been all but ruled out already. Last year the Jets peppered Powell with targets when Forte was out and weapons were wanting, but so far this year Powell has not looked very effective. Kearse and Robby Anderson will not produce much against a secondary that has surrendered the fewest PPR points to wide receivers. Meanwhile, they give up the 5th most to tight ends.
ASJ was reported to not be in full football shape before last week’s game, but that didn’t stop him from tying for the team high in both targets (6) and receptions (5).
- Proven production.
- Defensive vulnerability.
Marquise Goodwin, WR, San Francisco vs Arizona
Sunday 9/17 @ Arizona at 4:05pm
Going back to the well with Marquise Goodwin making another appearance on the list after failing to convert on his big opportunities in Week 1. He’s had some more success recently and is ready for a real breakout against Justin Bethel who just gave up some big plays to Brice Butler.
Travis Benjamin, WR, Los Angeles Chargers vs Philadelphia
Sunday 9/17 @ Los Angeles at 4:05pm
Benjamin should really be owned more already, and may be already in most serious leagues. But he’s been out-performing Tyrell Williams and the Eagles are giving up a lot of yards with injuries on their defense. A lot of injuries:
Also, Darby still out in their secondary.Philadelphia is this week’s Tampa Bay. Start your Chargers.
- High scoring game
- Vulnerable Eagle defense
- Benjamin is producing as the Charger WR2
Bruce Ellington OR Will Fuller V, WR2, Houston vs Tennessee
ESPN 0.1% / 3.0%
Sunday 9/17 @ Houston at 1:00pm
Tennessee is giving up lots of yards to receivers and Watson is showing that he can throw to more than just Hopkins.
Will Fuller appears to be returning this week, which complicates my initial Ellington pick.
Ellington is a talented receiver who I’ve been watching since pre-season when the 49ers actually cut him. Health has been his issue, but, for now, he’s healthy. But he will take a back seat to Fuller when Fuller is back in…full.
Fuller is a burner who is an even better candidate to take advantage of this Tennessee defense that is giving up big plays.
Tennessee is only average at defending the tight end, so Griffin could strike again, but I expect the second wide receiver to be more involved.
If you choose to start one of these players, be active checking the news before the game. Make sure Fuller is active and starting before you play him. I would suggest grabbing Fuller now and you can deactivate and grab Ellington pregame if you need.
- Tennessee not stopping passing offense, especially big plays.
- Watson is opening up the passing offense.
- Ellington is showing he’s capable.
- Fuller can make the big play.
Week 3 Review
Devin Funchess 9.8pts PPR
The Panthers were losing. Kelvin Benjamin got hurt. McCaffery was drawing lots of attention.
Everything was lining up for Devin Funchess to break out. And he got the opportunity, 10 targets but only 4 receptions for 58 yards.
Yes, of course, the dreaded 9.8 points here at Signing the Waiver, when we are looking for 10.
I’m not sure we can trust Funchess until he proves it, regardless of trends and opportunity. If Kelvin’s injury keeps him out, I don’t think Funchess can produce with more attention from a defense.
- High scoring game script? CORRECT
- Funchess will get opportunity. CORRECT
- Big volume production from Funchess. WRONG.
This one’s on Funchess.
Jaron Brown 10.7pts PPR
So close. SO CLOSE. We at least broke 10 points with 2 catches for 27 and a touchdown. But another touchdown was called back and Jaron was out of bounds on another end zone catch.
But we can feel good about this one. The process worked.
- Nelson will either play little or not be ignored by the Dallas defense. CORRECT
- High scoring game script. CORRECT
- Jaron will get opportunity as the WR2. CORRECT
Ryan Griffin 17.1pts PPR
That’s a hit! I admit for a while it didn’t look good, but you could see Watson having to turn to other receiving options and the Patriots gave it up.
- New England sucks against tight ends. A lot. CORRECT
- Watson will need to throw to someone not named DeAndre. CORRECT
- Only Houston Tight End. WRONG (Anderson was actually active and almost stole points)
I’ll Just Leave This Here
- I wrote a whole paragraph on Thursday afternoon about how Aaron Jones is the real Ty Montgomery handcuff. Yeah, well. He is. So much for that. Moving on.
- Returning to the Carolina offense, I am streaming the New England defense this week. The Panthers are that bad and the Patriots won’t stay this bad.
- I wanted to make Jared Cook a Deep Start this week, but he’s owned too much to qualify. Add to that Cooper’s struggles and Crabtree’s injury. I am very close to making an Axiom called “Start the biggest receiver (wr/te) playing against the Broncos.” Tyrell, Witten, Dez, and Clay Charles this year and going back into last year, big and tall receivers are the closest thing resembling a Denver secondary weakness.
- Cameron Brate is another tight end that is fairly well owned, but is facing a Giants defense that has given up as many points and touchdowns to TEs as New England.
- Hearing lots of fantasy analysts whine about how rough the tight end position is this year for fantasy. Listen, it’s only rough if you are starting tight ends based on their name instead of their situation and matchup. I Tweeted this out this week, but if you had started my Deep Start TE picks for the first three weeks (Charles, Engram, Griffin) you would total 47 points, enough for third best behind only Gronk and Ertz. Blindly starting non-elite tight ends like Walker, Ebron, Rudolf and such without considering their matchup is a recipe for disappointment.
- Did I say Brissett was going to have a good game last week? I think I did. But he won’t this week.
- If you read last week’s column on the first day, you probably saw a paragraph here about Jonathan Williams. I had read an old and incorrect report that was still up that named Williams as re-signing to the Bill’s practice squad. Add to that many sites still list him as being on Buffalo next to his name and photo and I reached an incorrect conclusion. Williams actually signed with the Broncos squad. Apologies if that caused any confusion. Triple check your sources I guess.
- Can’t recommend more the resources over at www.Pro-Football-Reference.com
- The “Team Defense vs Position” stats over at Rotowire.com are a valuable tool.
- @Jeff_McLane for his reporting on the Eagles injuries.
Find me on the Fantasy Life App & Sleeperbot as generallyaware. Hit me up for questions, a good debate, or even better, to share a good fantasy story.