My weekly goal is not only to inform you on critical RB pickups and injuries but to help equip you to win your league with my weekly strategy soap box. We are nearing the half way point of the fantasy football regular season and I have another nugget for you.
Stop gloating about your undefeated or one loss team, no one cares and it does not matter. Regular season win/loss records do not mean anything if you are chasing a championship. If your team is great now it does not gaurantee your team to be great come playoffs. Exhibit A: a league-mate of mine last season went 11-2 and did not win the championship. Mid-season, I suggested he should make a trade to help improve his team for the post season. He felt his team was too good and he did not need to make any changes. He exited the playoffs first round and we all got the last laugh.
My little nugget this week is to focus on the future outlook of your roster. Build around your weak spots and leverage your strengths in trades now. You need to look to see what your bye week and playoff matchups look like. Who is your QB playing? What defenses have juicy matchups? and Are there any tough matchups for your RB/WRs? Every point matters and get ahead of your competition. Start building your waiver priorities and trade offers around future bye’s and end of season matchups. Yes, we are only nearing the half way point of the fantasy football regular season but if you are serious about seeking the glory of a championship this is what you need to think about. I won half of my leagues last season with this strategy.
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Now, on to the Bad Boyz of week 6…
- Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood- The two hottest culprits on the wire this week. I have been writing about Jay Ajayi’s bum knee(s) and telling you since the beginning of time to roster Clement. We have intel to report on that is hot off the press after Thursday Night Football. After Ajayi getting placed on IR, my original priority was Smallwood, Clement, Josh Adams, then Darren Sproles. The later two are not worth owning at the moment. After last nights game, I’ll move Clement slightly ahead of Smallwood in PPR formats. Clement was more productive with 69 total yards (3 receptions) and 1TD on 14 total touches to Smallwoods 51 total yards (1 rec) and 0TDs on 19 total touches. Clement was getting goal line work even when Ajayi was active and it looks like he will continue this role, giving him more value. Smallwoods biggest play from scrimmage was 8 yards and Clements was 20 yards. Clement showed more pop and the ability to make plays after the catch. Clement was reported to be on a pitch count last night, I only see his stock rising. Most likely both are already owned in your leagues but keep an eye out for trades. I rather own Clement over Smallwood. If you own either, the savvy move is to leverage either in a trade to upgrade your roster. Yes, trade them now! Most of your competition watched the game and might overvalue both which you can use to your advantage. The Eagles are a pass heavy team and that does not look to change. Even with the lead in hand yesterday the Eagles continued to pass the ball.
- Ito Smith- Last week, Ito Smith vultured a goal line touchdown. This is worth monitoring if the Falcons decide to continue using him in the redzone. Both, Tevin Coleman and Ito, do not excite me but it is my duty to you to keep you informed on guys like this. Devonta Freeman is looking doubtful for Sunday with a bone bruise in his foot. He is likely to return at some point barring any set backs. Ito is a desperation add, a blind folded dart throw and for extremely deep leagues. If you are trying to put together a lot of high priced DFS plays then maybe you take a punt on Ito to give you more $$ to spend elsewhere hoping he falls in the end zone.
- Mike Davis- Surprise! We are keeping Mike in the cuffs for now even after a strong performance from Chris Carson in week 5. I mentioned last week, Pete Carroll wants to fit Mike in the offense and the Seahawks are a run first team. Currently, there is room for both players to carry fantasy value. Carson is the lead dog and a great DFS play this week. Carsons hip injury is fine for now but we learned from last year that he is susceptible to injury. Mike Davis performed well in week 5 with 75 total yards and 1TD on 14 total touches. The big takeaway here is Mike Davis received the goal line touches. Keep Mike on your roster.
- Latavius Murray- If there is ever a week for the Vikings to get the run game going this is it. Dalvin Cook was a full participant in practice this week and should be a go. If you have him you are probably forced to start him but watch out for those hamstring injuries and the Vikings run game. I need to see life from their run game. Latavius Murray is still worth the bench spot for Cook owners. Cook owners, after this week, it might be your opportunity to pick him up if Murray is dropped to waivers.
- Alfred Blue- 119 total yards on 28 total touches against the Cowboys. Lamar Miller is slated to be a full go this week but has been ineffective. Similar to Mike Davis, I imagine the Texans coaching staff to continue to utilize Blue in this offense. Unless desperate, I am not starting Blue this week until I see how the backfield shakes out. Blue should be owned in PPR leagues.
- Quick Hits- Fire up TJ Yeldon this week. Javorius Allen is only a play in PPR formats for this week, keep an eye on Alex Collins’ performance. Marlon Mack is back from his hamstring injury but you know how I feel about hammys. I want to see how the Colts backfield shakes out after this weekend but Nyheim Hines holds value in PPR formats. Matt Breida is doubtful this week and Alfred Morris will take over lead duties. I understand if you are starting Alfred this week but I imagine the game script in this game to fade out of his favor. I have a new offender you will want read about below in regards to the 49ers backfield.
- Bilal Powell- Isaiah Crowell exploded for 219 yards and 1TD last week. Would you believe me if I told you that Bilal Powell still had more touches than Crowell? I could not believe it when I looked at the box score after the game. Powell had 20 touches to Crowell’s 16. Crowell missed practice everyday this week with a ankle injury but is spotted with a helmet on the field for Friday practice. Keep an eye out for the actice/inactive list on Sunday because Powell is a great PPR flex play this week, if Crowell does not go. Sneaky DFS play too. Even with Crowell active, I believe Powell is worth a bench stash.
- Kyle Juszczyk- Yes, wipe your eyes, I am writing about a fullback. This is someone that you are going to wish you were ahead after Monday Night Football. You are reading this article for names like this. For now, Kyle is only a PPR play. C.J. Beathard might as well be given the nickname ‘Check-Down CJ.’ Kyle racked up 6 catches on 7 targets for 75 yards last week. I expect the game script for this game to get out of hand and the 49ers to be playing from behind against an Aaron Rodgers led team. Don’t make me say ‘I told you so’ after this week.
These are deep cuts to keep an eye on and that we might find in handcuffs later in the season.
- Jamaal Charles- Yes, he has risen. Once a 1st round fantasy talent, Charles was recently added to the Jaguars squad after losing Corey Grant for the season. Leonard Fournette is still sidelined with a hamstring injury and from reports might be out at least a couple of more weeks. Do not rush to add Charles now but I would keep an eye on this backfield.
- D’Onta Foreman- Foreman has been spotted back at Texans practice after an achilles injury that has left him sidelined all season. From everything I’ve read, Foreman is slated to return in November. Achilles injuries are difficult to return from but this is a sneaky play for the end of the season.