I’m a big fan of the Motor City Kitties. Their 40+ year continuous tank job has set the stage for many a successful Vikings team. Throughout early 2022, the Lions have given fantasy managers so many gifts, and so many headaches. On Sunday, the Detroit Lions blew past the the 7-2 New York Giants, improving to 4-6 on the year and hunting down second place in the NFC North. How’d they do it? The way we all expected: 3 touchdowns from Jamaal Williams and Justin Jackson finishing as the leading rusher. Sigh. At least we’ve got Amon-Ra St. Brown cosplaying as Scrooge with his targets. Tis the season!
How are your teams surviving? Let’s see who saved your team this week.
Week 11 News and Notes
D’Andre Swift: It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times. The good news: if Swift got 250 carries at his current yardage per touch, he’d be a 1,000 yard rusher. The bad news: he got fewer touches than Taysom Hill had rush attempts. Also, Taysom Hill is a QB/TE. Also, Also: The Return of the Interjection: the Swift drama continues. The Lions have relegated their franchise RB to the functional RB3 role, which makes things awkward for all of us. Swift is still under contract through 2023, and he’s exceptionally cheap. In limited play in recent weeks, he’s put up above-average yards per touch. Yet, the powerhouse RB Justin Jackson — a former 7th-round draft pick who has as many combined yards in 5 NFL seasons as Swift had in 2021 alone — has out-touched Swift over the past few weeks. Jamaal Williams? Yeah, 3 TDs on the day and we’re all going to draft him in the 2nd round next year and I’m already shuddering in terror. You don’t need to know my opinion on Williams — start him. What you’re here for is my take on Swift — an RB that was a consensus top 10 pick and a player that many [points two thumbs at self] would have taken in the top 5. And I’m here to say — it sure was nice that Swift snuck into the end zone on Sunday, but the lack of touches is terrifying from a fantasy perspective. We have enough evidence that you can move on from Swift in 10-team or shallower leagues, and in 12-team leagues or deeper, he’s a FLEX play at best. Dynasty players can hold and hope for an off-season trade or a roster cut. I wouldn’t sell low on Swift to finish the 2022 season — all evidence points to a culture mismatch, and we’ve seen plenty of players thrive in a new environment. All I know? This was the second time this week that a Swift disappointed me.
Daniel Jones: Rudy’s system has always loved Danny Dimes, but Double-D is the poster boy for SABRmetrics vs real life discrepancy. What do we call football advanced stats? NEXTGENermetrics? Who would star in the football version of Moneyball? Vince Vaughn? Brendan Frasier? We all love a QB who can run, but Danny Dimes has an aversion to doing each of those actions in the same game. When he does them, he does something like crash face-first during an open-field run, or he seemingly can’t find the end zone. While trying to play catch up against the Lions, Jones’ 44-attempts surged into the third-most slings in his career. He’s got 8 combined TDs over his past 5 games and — let’s be fair — more rushing attempts and yards than D’Andre Swift. If you’re in QB streamer land, Jones has a fair amount of shoot-out games coming up on the schedule for the fantasy playoffs, and he’s QB13 on Rudy’s rest-of-season ranker. Fingers crossed Danny Dimes has himself figured out for the rest of the season.
Jacoby Brissett: 300+ yards and 3 TDs in the air, which is what almost any QB on the cusp of losing their job would do. The Browns didn’t pay Deshaun Watson a controversial king’s ransom to be the backup to Brissett. It’s been fun Jacoby, but you’ve got one week left before The Creep creeps in. Brissett vs the Bucs in Week 12 is a fine streaming opportunity and it might be worth a few extra notches in your DFS exposures — nothing says “big game” like a guy making a case for a starting job in 2023. Watch out, Marcus Mariota!
James Cook: Topped the 10-carry threshold and showed us 89 yards on the ground. This is kind of weird because the Bills went out and acquired Nyheim Hines to ostensibly be the RB2 or 1B-RB, however you want to view it. Hines was basically absent from the offense on Sunday, with Cook taking the RB2 role we expected of him in the pre-season. What do we take away from the playing time conundrum? First, we manifest a healthy elbow to Josh Allen. Second, we think about how Devin Singletary is a free agent after this season, and Cook is the heir apparent to the RB role in Buffalo. Third — and I’m out of fingers so I can’t count any higher — we think about how fresh rookie legs would look in the wintery playoffs. Cook is available in 80% of leagues, and he’s worth adding to your roster in all formats.
New York Jets: I’m obviously too harsh when I call the Vikings the worst top team in the league because I always forget that the Jets somehow have 6 wins and also beat Buffalo. On Vikings radio, every local pundit cheers the Vikes as they finally beat a “good” team in the Bills last week. The Jets also beat the Bills. The Jets put up a combined 103 yards of offense this week. That’s it. You know that scoring category you see when you’re looking at Team DEF and you see “Yards allowed” and there’s like 10 points for <150 yards allowed. Yeah, so that happened. In a game where Denzel Mims — a guy who had 4 catches on the year — led the Jets by catching [checks calculator] 50% of his season total of receptions, you know you should have changed the difficulty setting. Fingers crossed that our favorite late-round receiver Garrett Wilson gets a ton of targets next week in one of those classic “Buy Low” scenarios. I wish I could say that the Jets getting 100 yards of offense was a surprise and that we expect better from Zach Wilson, but I’d be lying worse than Donkey Teeth when he tries to sell you on his custom CBD underwear.
Matthew Stafford: Tough times get tougher. Stafford entered concussion protocol on Sunday, making this two concussions in 3 weeks. Friends, that’s bad. Like, real life bad. In terms of fantasy bad, you’ve got Bryce Perkins, who would be really interesting in Madden but probably lacks the magic to survive in the NFL. Perkins — a one-time college fullback — has the ability to scramble, and showed his legs with nearly 40 yards rushing in relief of Stafford on Sunday. John Wolford, the Rams’ usual #2 QB, missed the game with a neck injury. With Wolford on a one-year contract and semi-injured and Stafford likely — at least in theory — to miss Week 12 against Kansas City, Perkins could be an interesting one-off start in Superflex leagues or in DFS. What’s more interesting, is that the pariah Cam Akers received 14 touches on Sunday. The Rams aren’t likely to just roll over against the Chiefs, so it could be an interesting approach to add Perkins and Akers next week if you’re desperate. Fingers crossed for a healthy recovery for Matt Stafford.
Russell Wilson: It feels like Daniel Jones and Russell Wilson switched bodies in a freak Roger Goodell laboratory experiment gone wrong. Deep in a lab in the Rocky Mountains, NSA engineers have replaced Mr. Unlimited’s cookbook with one of those 1970s “How to Microwave Jello” novelty pamphlets. Wilson used to be the most reliable QB for TDs in the league. Like, in the post-Drew Brees-as-super-QB-era, Wilson was the only QB to throw 30+ passing TDs for like 4 years straight. Now Daniel Jones has more TDs in the past 5 games than Wilson has all season, and Jones is throwing to people like [checks roster database] that weirdo TE that had a couple good games. No, not Taysom Hill…Daniel Bellinger! Remember him? ENYWHEY. Russ has a cornucopia of receiving talent in Denver but can’t seem to get any of them meaningful fantasy points. Poor Courtland Sutton. What am I talking about — poor us, right? At least Russ is throwing the ball for some yardage, which makes Sutton a viable WR3 again. As for Wilson on your fantasy team — I think you’re still avoiding him unless you need a Superflex QB2.
Tony Pollard: Nearly 200 all-purpose yards as the Cowboys blew out the Vikings. Zeke split carries and got 2 rushing TDs while Pollard got the broken coverage reception TD. We’ll probably see them continue a 1A/1B approach, although Pollard is clearly the 1A for the rest of the season. A Pollyanna would say Pollard is your RB1 rest of season. Sorry, that’s the best joke I could come up with. Send the Redditors to point out my literary shortcomings.
Justin Jefferson: Remember when I said that the Vikings’ success was unsustainable? I mean, it was only 7 days ago — how could you forget? 200 yards of offense in the 4th quarter isn’t sustainable. ENYWHEY. JJ got a handful of catches and yards, which is fair because Stefon Diggs nearly got shut out too. Fantasy football is a fickle sport. There’s going to be some ranker out there who accidentally put Demarcus Robinson above WR60 and will finish in the top rankers pool this week, while every sane person who thought JJ and Diggs would perform as expected will get punished. Such is life. Mama said there’d be days like this, and it just happened that today was the day.
Joe Mixon: Concussion protocol. If he misses time, you’re probably better off trying James Cook than Samaje Perine. There’s a chance Ja’Marr Chase is back next week, which would make the Bengals need minimal running game support from a backfield starring Perine.
All right, friends! How’d you fare this week? How many Jimmy G touchdowns do you need to happen to overcome that Daniel Jones / James Cook / Demarcus Robinson team you faced this week? I sure could use a lot of Jimmy G > George Kittle connections to keep my RazzBowl team alive! Good luck and see you next Saturday for the injury report!