I beg of you. Please don’t sell Odell Beckham Jr.
The list of wide receivers in the last 2 years who finished top 10 in targets and top 5 in overall air yards that didn’t finish in the top 10 of fantasy football wide receivers is blank. Beckham is currently tied for 9th in targets per game among wide receivers. He is 5th in overall air yards. He is currently the 22nd rated WR in PPR. It is incredibly unlikely with the usage he is receiving, even factoring in a poor schedule, that OBJ doesn’t end the year as a WR1. Do not bail! In the interest of full disclosure I predicted Beckham as my fantasy MVP in the pre-season so I’m going down with this ship, but I’ve provided a really compelling argument to go along with my bias!
New England Air Raid (Sources: Football Outsiders and Sports Info Solutions)
I’ve been banging the drum for the New York Jets defense and team overall not being as bad as public perception. They set up an interesting scenario for the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. The Jets are 5th in adjusted line yards defensively. The Patriots are middle of the road (#15) in adjusted line yards offensively. The Patriots locate, and attack opponent weaknesses. I expect Tom Brady to go to the air on Monday night with success. The Patriots have thrown the 6th most attempts per game which may be going under the radar. Tom Brady is currently outside the top 6 of the week 7 consensus QB rankings, and the public is concerned about the pass game options. Play Tom Brady with confidence. The Jets have one cornerback within the top 75 in success rate, Brian Poole (#19). Poole is a slot corner. If Poole can limit Julian Edelman’s target count expect Brady to go outside with success even if Josh Gordon isn’t available. James White may get additional targets and snaps if all-pro linebacker CJ Mosley is out, and could be a sneaky strong play in season long for the running back desperate.
Fitzmagic Returns (Source: Next Gen Stats and Air Yards.com)
Ryan Fitzpatrick has been reinstalled as the Dolphins starting QB and is averaging 11.6 average intended air yards per attempt. This is an NFL high. Josh Rosen was sitting at 7.8 average intended air yards per throw. I am not recommending rolling out Ryan Fitzpatrick against an elite Bills defense in week 7. The point of this blurb is to implore readers who have an open spot on the back-end of their rosters to go grab DeVante Parker or Preston Williams off the waiver wire. Yahoo ownership has them hovering around 13% right now. Parker and Williams are both in the top 10 of net air yards to receiving yards for the 2019 NFL season. This offense and team stink, but in the top 30 Air Yards totals in the NFL there are only 3 players outside of the PPR top 50 WRs. They are DaVante Parker, Mike Williams, and Marquez Valdez-Scantling (Preston Williams doesn’t qualify, barely). Hold your nose, pick these guys up, and see what happens.
Saints’ Front 7 Dominance (Source: Sports Info Solutions)
It seems like I’m writing about David Montgomery every week, but he is currently #60 in the consensus flex rankings for week 7 and it is way to high. The Bears are very good at home and are coming off a bye, but they are currently #28 in adjusted line yards, and #20 in pressure rate allowed. The Saints are elite at the line of scrimmage with the #1 pressure rate in the NFL. Expect them to dominate the line of scrimmage in this game. Montgomery is a very thin flex play and you should turn elsewhere as I expect the Bears to employ Tarik Cohen at an elevated snap rate to counteract the pass rush.
Detroit Offensive Line Regression (Source: Football Outsiders and Sports Info Solutions)
When Detroit was announced as a home dog it looked like a perfect bounce back spot. I was high on Detroit coming into the season and they have looked like a solid all-around team through 5 games. Detroit entered the season with a presumed top 10 offensive line and a run first philosophy. Upon researching I have growing concerns with Detroit’s offensive line situation. They are currently 18th in adjusted line yards, 6th worst in stuff rate, and have a bottom half pressure rate allowed. The Lions struggled to run on the Packers last week and have been atrocious on a per touch basis aside from the Chiefs game. Anyone can run on the Chiefs, ask the Texans. The Lions have the 9th most rushing attempts per game in the 2019 season. They need to make a philosophy change, or make a marked improvement up front. I don’t like their chances to resurrect against a Mike Zimmer defense, and I’ll be tracking this for the rest of the year to see how it affects Kerryon Johnson.