Brian Hill found himself under surveillance on week 4’s handcuff report and now finds himself atop the offender list for week 11. On Saturday, the Atlanta Falcons placed backup RB Ito Smith on injured reserve. Hill found himself thrusted into the #2 spot on the depth chart heading into Sundays matchup against the Saints, but finished the game as the #1 lead dawg in ATL following Devonta Freemans 3rd quarter exit. Hill finished the game with 40 offensive snaps, with Kenjon Barner recording the only other RB snaps (11) outside of Freeman. Freeman’s foot injury will need to be monitored throughout the week. The Falcons offense showed life returning from their bye and getting QB Matt Ryan back from injury, beating the NFC South leading New Orlean Saints 26 – 9. Fantasy owners, desperate for RB depth, need to place a waiver claim for Brian Hill this week. Qadree Ollison will assume #2 duties if Freeman were to miss an extended period of time.

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Patrick Mahomes made his triumphant return to the Chiefs’ lineup on Sunday and he did not disappoint. On his first throw he didn’t look like he was moving around very well and threw what looked like an interception, but it ended up getting overturned to a completion. After that, he looked like the same ol’ Patty. Andy Reid was not at all shy about his usage either. Mahomes attempted 50 passes and completed 36 of them for 446 yards and 3 touchdowns.

It really helps to have Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce to throw to. Tyreek Hill saw a remarkable 19 targets and caught 11 of them for 157 yards and a touchdown. Travis Kelce caught all 7 of his targets for 75 yards. Mecole Hardman absolutely turned on the burners for his 63 yard touchdown catch. Having two of the fastest wide receivers in the league is paying off for the Chief’s offense. Unfortunately, we have the Chief’s defense, and we also have the turnover prone running backs on this roster. While Damien Williams did reach over 100 total yards, he had a costly fumble that might have put him in the doghouse with Andy Reid. I’m not quite sure what his other options are though.

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We are coming down the end of this article for the season. Next week will be it. But before it ends, let’s look at some players who could help or hurt you come playoff time for fantasy.

At this point of the season, there are few real chances to sell high or buy low. But there are still players to look at for trades. Whether it be someone to acquire, or someone you have been holding who needs to go. We will now take a look at some of those players here.

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I know the climb has been brutal for you, as it has for us all. This past Sunday my eyes froze over as I watched many of my teams drop under .500 for the first time. As I write this, I am enduring Jason Witten hand me a loss one excruciating 3 yard catch after another. This section of the season is the darkest grind when the post-draft excitement has long worn off but the playoffs are still far away. Injuries and bye massacres come for us all, but it’s how we respond that defines us.

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Every time that we start to wonder about how good the Texans are, they come out and have an impressive performance. The Jaguars historically play really well in London games, but the Watt-less Texans still lived in Minshew’s grill. Minshew followed up a great game against the Jets the previous week with a stinker against a defense that is susceptible to the passing game. The Jaguars will head into the bye and have to decide if Foles is going to take his job back. If I were the Jags, I’d be putting Foles back under center. The last wild card spot in the AFC might only require 9 wins. The division crown is definitely an uphill climb after dropping both games against the division-leading Texans, but getting to 9 wins is definitely in play. 

The early games had some key injuries to the fantasy football world. Jacoby Brissett left the game against the Steelers in the second quarter with an MCL injury. Adam Thielen tried to give it a go with his bum hamstring, but he didn’t make it out of the first quarter. DeSean Jackson’s return in his first game since week 1 was short lived as he left early with an abdomen injury. Here is what else I saw during the early slate of games on Sunday. 

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You just knew Eddie’s kick wasn’t going to go in too right? It didn’t matter that it was only a 41-yard kick. You see, the Bears are kind of like the Buccaneers when it comes to the kicking game. The kicking game is cursed. Once Pineiro hit the upright in the first half, any kick that was going to be important didn’t stand a chance. It was in Eddie’s head, it was in the crowd’s head, and it was in my head at home. 

I was watching the game with a good buddy who is a Bears fan and it was completely quiet for most of the drive. The only thing that was said the whole drive was by him. He just kept repeating, “Why aren’t they going for a touchdown? They need to go for a touchdown, you can’t leave it up to the kicker.” He was right. We all were right. Here is what else I saw during the early slate of games on Sunday.

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I have been following a simple metric this season for running backs: weighted opportunities (WO) per game. This summer I found that WO/g correlated strongly with fantasy points (FP) per game with an R2 of 0.88 based off 2018 numbers. Granted, this was a small sample size of only 1 year but it’s all the data I had.

In a nutshell, the idea is that players should have a FP/WO ratio of about 1, and if they are above that they are either very efficient or lucky (probably via TDs). If they are below that number, the inverse is assumed. In that piece I identified 4 backs that looked like strong buys this offseason, so let’s see if FP/WO helped.

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There’s nothing more frustrating than a pickup recommendation that looks bad on the surface because of a bad performance in a tough matchup. I think you know where this is going. Let’s chat about Sam Darnold. I’ve been touting Sam Darnold since last Tuesday when I filled in for Boof and submitted the waiver wire column for you, my faithful readers. I even put Sam Darnold as my pickup of the week for the FantasyPros waiver wire blurb this week.

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The entire Jets offense was giddy when Sam Darnold strolled into the locker-room Sunday carrying his vintage Coca-Cola bottle. After four weeks of quarantine with the kissing disease, Darnold was ready to play games with his favorite group of guys. First, the young QB locked eyes with Robby Anderson (5 catches for 125 yards and his 1st touchdown) for a juicy 92 yard score. Next he played touch and squeeze with Ryan Griffin (3 catches for 28 yards and his 1st touchdown). Even Le’Veon Bell (14 carries for 50 yards and his 2nd touchdown) snuck into the circle and gave the bottle a twirl. Sammy Big D went 23/32 for 338 yards and 2 touchdowns in his triumphant return as the Jets upset the Cowboys. Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s late games in fantasy football:

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Four 40-bombs (.5 PPR) last week! And I guessed none of them! What a disappointing week.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I had DeShaun Watson (41.7 points) as my top honorable mention, and although Jacoby Brissett didn’t live up to fantasy expectations, he sure did lead a solid game to get the win over Kansas City. And Kyler Murray, who was the 14th-most expensive option, scored the sixth-most (25.4) of any QB.

And though I was missing Aaron Jones (45.7), I did mention that it was a good week to stick with your studs as I listed Christian McCaffrey (44.7), Dalvin Cook (22.7), and David Johnson (17.1), all of which were top-12 totals. Will Fuller (46.7) wasn’t one of my recommendations, but Michael Thomas (35.7) sure was.

All in all… not bad, could use some work. I’m thinking Week 6 is a good time to return to Week 3 status where we were topping the DFS leaderboards. Let’s dig in.

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