The Monday Rush Week 13

american football with lightning around it

Week 13 was good to me as my fantasy football team, The Hail Marys, dumped 161 points on my fantasy brother, Dilly Dilly. At 6-7, these victories are rare, but I’m still fighting for a playoff spot. I could defend my record by telling you how I’m top 3-4 in scoring and teams with a heckuva lot fewer points have better records but blah, blah, blah who cares, right? It’s fantasy football. That’s the only explanation that makes sense. So let’s just get into a few things I saw over the weekend.

The Javonte Williams experience happened

I warned you in the week 10 edition of the Monday Rush that JW was emerging. Last night the Chiefs crushed the Broncos 22-9 (and in the week 11 Rush I told you that the Chiefs’ defense was actually good and they put up 14.52 fantasy points on the Broncos), but Javonte not only emerged, he exploded. With Melvin Gordon out nursing an injury, Williams toted the ball 23 times for 102 yards and added 6 catches for 76 yards and a TD. He rewarded patient fantasy owners with 26.8 points in half ppr leagues. We’ll have to see how the dimwitted Broncos use Williams going forward, but if your trade deadline hasn’t passed, go get JW. Not only is he a potential league winner, but he’s also an excellent keeper for 2022. And check JW’s remaining schedule. It’s time to jump on the J-train.

Crowded backfields and hard decisions

The fantasy football world hates 4 letters – other than w-o-r-k. The letters RBBC are far worse and create massive headaches that only a beer and nap can cure. Running Back By Committee backfields make it hard to know the usage of each back and fantasy points are tough to predict. This is why we fantasy footballers have loved Zeke Elliott since he entered the NFL in 2016 and finished his rookie season as the league’s top rusher with 1631 yards and 15 touchdowns. Zeke has been an automatic, don’t think about it, plug and play stud. Until now. And last Thursday night before the Cowboys’ game with the Saints, I traded Zeke and Pollard to Kendall for Daryl Henderson and Sony Michel. Fantasy football is a game about putting fandom aside and objectively looking at the situations. In weeks 1-8, Zeke averaged 19.7 touches and 16.6 fantasy points a game and that average fell to 15 touches a game in weeks 9-13 and fantasy scores of 11.1, 19.26, 9.8, 13.9, and 5.7. In the meantime, in leagues like mine that award points for punt and kickoff returns, Pollard posted fantasy points of 9.25, 14.25, 9.95, 21.25, and 15.5. I grew tired of anguishing over the question – start Zeke or Pollard? And my fandom always won – I chose Zeke and some weeks that decision cost me the matchup. So I traded the Cowboys’ backfield for the Rams’ to make life easier. Or so I thought. Henderson, doubtful to play at all due to an injury, was a surprise active this week, which left me with the last-second decision – start Henderson or Michel? On the advice of my league mate and the Bullrush rankings expert, Kendall Lowman, I played Sony. Kendall nailed it as Sony played lights out with 27 touches, 129 yards, and 20.4 fantasy points. With such a strong showing by Sony, next week I am back to RBBC hell. Kendall…

Chasing dropped balls

Rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase set the NFL ablaze to start the 2021 season. Through the first 7 games, Chase had 6 touchdowns on 51 targets with over 18 fantasy points in 4 of the games. Since week 8, the last 5 games, the numbers have dipped to only 2 TDs, 3 fantasy scores less than 7.7, and the other two, 11.5 and 11.6. Still averaging close to 8 targets a game through both time periods, the dip in production isn’t due to opportunities. Chase caught 69% of his passes in weeks 1-7 but has caught only 51% since week 8. One may argue that defenses are keying in on Chase which limits his upside, and that is true, but Chase also leads the league in catchable dropped balls with 7. That’s a 7.8% drop rate, compared to the much-maligned Panthers’ wide receiver Robby Anderson who has a 2021 drop rate of 8.7%. Neither drop rate is good, as compared to the 2015-2017 drop rate for Michael Thomas of 2.97%. So, do you bench Chase until he gets his act together? Doubtful, but that depends on your options. With Ja’Marr averaging 8 fantasy points a game over his last 5, don’t go chasing your fantasy championship dreams with too much hope in him. He may not be able to hold onto them.

That wraps up the Monday Rush and I need to rush out of here – steaks on the grill! Good luck in week 14!

Be sure to check out league mate, Chris’s fantasy football Youtube channel for his Laces Out podcast. He normally posts an episode every Friday afternoon and hosts a couple of my other loser league mates. Check it out!

 

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