It was the best of Cams, it was the worst of Cams, it was the age of Akers wisdom, it was the age of Newton foolishness, it was the epoch of Akers belief, it was the epoch of Newton incredulity, it was the season of Akers Light, it was the season of Newton Darkness, it was the spring of Akers hope, it was the winter of Newton despair. It was certainly the spring of hope for Cam Akers’ owners Thursday night as the rook toted 29 carries for 171 yards and hauled in 2 catches for 23 yards. We speculated last week that Akers was taking the Rams’ backfield by the horns but even I didn’t expect the kid to out touch Darrell Henderson (2 carries for 5 yards) 31-2. Neither did the brilliant Pigskinonator, who was extra bullish on Akers this week ranking him #14 among RBs compared to the expert consensus of #25, but only projected him for 15 touches. The L.A. runner just might be a league winning RB1 down the stretch, at the very least he looks like a rock solid RB2.

Unfortunately, it was the winter of despair for Cam Newton owners as the “quarterback” went 9/16 for 119 yards, 7 carries for 16 yards and 1 interception before being bench for Jarett Stidham (5/7 for 27 yards). This game scared the Dickens out of anyone who happened to make the unwise decision to start Newton in their playoff matchup. Odds are this is Stidham’s team for the final three weeks. Add him up in superflex league and ignore him everywhere else. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

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Shadow Coverage Tracker
WR Finish Total
1 15
2 8
3 8
4+ 25
Grand Total 56

Team: Arizona Cardinals

Opponent: New England

WR1: DeAndre Hopkins

WR2: Christian Kirk

Shadow Coverage Matchup: Stephon Gilmore

                                                  J.C. Jackson

DeAndre Hopkins vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 27 7.4 96.3 0.4 16
Vs. Shadow Coverage 17 6.5 76.2 0.6 14.4
vs. Stephon Gilmore 3 6.7 72.7 0 10.6

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

According to PFF this season DeAndre Hopkins has yet to face any shadow coverage in 2020. This comes after back to back seasons where he saw shadow coverage in 50% of his games.  This “softer” cornerback schedule has led to a solid season so far in 2020 as Hopkins is the WR7 in PPG. Overall, throughout his career Hopkins has been solid vs. shadow coverage as his 14.4 PPG is still borderline WR1 numbers.

As for Christian Kirk he has never seen shadow coverage in his career, but that doesn’t stop the Patriots from using shadow coverage on multiple players. In weeks 9 and 11 of 2020 the Patriots used multiple CBs to shadow the opposing teams WRs and in 2019 used Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson in similar roles down the stretch.

Week 12 Recommendation DeAndre Hopkins – WR3/Flex

                                   Christian Kirk – SIT

Hopkins’ 10.6 vs. Stephon Gilmore doesn’t make him a sit, but tempering expectations on the road vs. the Patriots isn’t a bad idea. Hopkins has yet to score a TD or top 80 yards receiving in any of the games vs. Gilmore since he joined the Patriots back in 2017. These numbers leave Hopkins as solid WR2/flex in week 12.

As for Christian Kirk J.C. Jackson has been playing at a very high level slowing down a white-hot Will Fuller (6-80) while leading the NFL in interceptions so far in 2020. This season the Patriots have yet to allow a team to have multiple WRs hit double digit fantasy points in .5 PPR at home in 2020.

DFS Recommendation – DeAndre Hopkins Price FD $8,500 / DK $8,100

                                           Christian Kirk Price FD $6,100 / DK $5,800

Hopkins vs. Gilmore doesn’t equal DFS success as his 10 PPG will not justify his cost on both sites. At this price point you can pay up for Tyreek Hill in a game which should be a shootout in TB. As for Christian Kirk his price point on both sites is between WR 24-30, and with not a lot of WR success overall when the Patriots play at home its best to pivot. Players I would use over Kirk include DeVante Parker vs. NYJ and Curtis Samuel vs. MIN.

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Your WR top 80 13.0 is here!  As a rule, injuries will always bump guys down. I am generally pessimistic that players will return on time at full strength without a setback. 

This list is not league or format specific, but it is based on 2020 rest-of-season projection only. When thinking through tiers and rankings I asked myself simply – “all things considered who would I rather have on my roster?”

Read all of the QB, RB and TE Razzball Rest of Season Positional Rankings now!

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Your WR top 80 7.0 is here! Now we not only have to deal with injuries, we have to account for COVID inactives and postponements. Tier 2 got bigger, but until the elites we are waiting on return, tier 1 remains a two man show. As a rule, injuries will always bump guys down. I am generally pessimistic that players will return on time at full strength without a setback. 

This list is not league or format specific, but it is based on 2020 rest-of-season projection only. When thinking through tiers and rankings I asked myself simply – “all things considered who would I rather have on my roster?”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Your WR top 80 6.0 is here! Now we not only have to deal with injuries, we have to account for COVID inactives and postponements. Some shuffling in the top 12 but until the injured elites return, tier 1 remains a two man show.

This list is not league or format specific, but it is based on 2020 rest-of-season projection only. When thinking through tiers and rankings I asked myself simply – “all things considered who would I rather have on my roster?”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s starting to feel more like football season, eh? The SEC is back, the Big 12 is playing in conference games, and the Big Ten is now under a month away from football. If that’s not enough for you, the NFL is sizzling through two weeks and we are on to week 3. I have far fewer complaints about the level of play than I thought I would and I am thrilled about it. Do you all remember the first weeks of the officiating strike a few years back? Do you remember how watching football wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as a result? That is sort of what I was expecting, but here we are. The quality of play is fine, our star players are dynamic. The injury bug was bad last week, but if 2020 has taught us anything; if there is a sliver of hope for normalcy, you just have to embrace it. 

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Your WR top 80 4.0 is here! Now we have some real live NFL data to help make adjustments. Some players were removed due to injury or ineffectiveness, and some new faces have forced their way onto the scene.

This list is not league or format specific, but it is based on 2020 projection only. When thinking through tiers and rankings I asked myself simply – “all things considered who would I rather have on my roster?”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Your WR top 80 3.0 is here! Now we have some real live NFL data to help make adjustments. Some players were removed due to injury or ineffectiveness, and some new faces have forced their way onto the scene.

This list is not league or format specific, but it is based on 2020 projection only. When thinking through tiers and rankings I asked myself simply – “all things considered who would I rather have on my roster?”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is the second iteration of my top 80 wide receivers with all the latest updates to this point. Some players were removed due to injury, and some new faces have forced their way onto the scene.

I plan on updating this list bi-weekly as news comes in and the season approaches then of course each week in-season. This list is not league or format specific, but it is based on 2020 projection only. When thinking through tiers and rankings I asked myself simply – “all things considered who would I rather have on my roster?”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There are a few theories to why the Bears brought Nick Foles into the quarterback room in Chicago. My guess was that it was to light a fire under two and a half year starter Mitch Trubisky. You know, make him realize that there is a possibility that he wouldn’t be the starter and it would be a motivator. It appears that the Bears are willing to do what it takes to win right now just one year removed from a playoff appearance. They still have a pretty good defense and Allen Robinson in his prime. 

Reports suggest that Nick Foles has a slight edge in the pursuit of the starting job over Mitch Trubisky. The Rotoworld blurb continued by saying Mitch is making a bunch of mistakes and struggling with accuracy while Nick has been steady but not spectacular. From a fantasy perspective, Nick Foles is what Anthony Miller and Allen Robinson enthusiasts like myself want to see. While Nick Foles’ ceiling height is that of an upstairs attic in a horror movie, he will at least be able to get the ball to Miller and Robinson without too much of an issue. 

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