It really isn’t hard to run a fantasy football team. No matter what, whether you are good or you are bad, it will just take a little bit of time.
If you start taking it a bit more seriously, spending loads of time scouring for trades, deeply searching for the next big thing, it can become a little too much.
However, it may mean you care more about your job than some people working in the front offices of the NFL.
The trade deadline for the league passed on Tuesday afternoon, and there were some shocks. While we will get into more detail on that later, let’s just glance over the two big deals.
We start with Jay Ajayi heading to the Eagles. Now, Ajayi is a good player who was stuck on a poor team, and it makes sense for him to move on. But if any fantasy owner accepts a trade giving him away while pocketing a low to mid-tier player, that owner will likely hear about it on the message boards for the next week. Looking at you Miami and your newly acquired fourth-round pick.
As for the Patriots, it is all good now that they have sent Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco, and neither organization did anything glaringly stupid. But there is one organization that did.
Poor Cleveland, it is almost as if the front office is trying to go 0-16. It would have been a great idea to pursue Garoppolo, and the coaches thought so as well. So Jimmy Haslam (the Browns’ owner), if you want a new employee in the front office, there are plenty of fantasy owners available. Then again, I’m here at NDSU and probably not top-20 front office material.
Alright everyone, hold your horses on Jimmy Garoppolo. It may be worth saying this, but it is not likely he plays this week for San Francisco after just being traded from New England. It would be hard to have another guy effectively on bye with six other teams off this week. That said, his value does increase, but that is from zero as he has not seen the field this year. Going forward, it is sane to not hold Garoppolo to the lofty heights he has reached in two starts with the Patriots. He’s a QB2 at best, but does raise the value of some of those around him, such as George Kittle.
It is time to officially claim in this column that Deshaun Watson is a legit quarterback. Yes, he has a turnover problem (five interceptions in his last four games), but do you care if he is throwing all of the touchdowns? He has 16 over that four-game span, including four last week against the Legion of Boom. The only thing that will stop him this week is game flow. Houston should breeze by the Colts, and that means putting the ball into the hands of the running backs.
With six teams on the bye this week, those looking for a one-week starter should take a look at Jared Goff. Goff leads the Rams into a favorable matchup against the New York Giants. The Giants have given up three passing touchdowns in three of their last four games. In deeper leagues, it may be worth giving Drew Stanton a look. The bye week for Arizona gave him an opportunity to reconnect into the system. This week is a favorable matchup against the 49ers, who give up the second most points to quarterbacks.
It has taken two full months, but Ezekiel Elliot is now officially suspended. That means a time-share between Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden and possibly Rod Smith. At the moment, it is not clear how these three will co-exist in the Dallas backfield, but each should be put on the watchlist to see how the situation develops.
The situation is the same now in Miami. With Jay Ajayi on his way to Philadelphia, it now becomes a job for Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams. The pair have combined for 57 yards rushing this year. With that stat, you wonder how bad the situation between head coach Adam Gase and Ajayi got that the latter would would be traded for a fourth-round pick. Now, Drake and Williams will duke it out, but there is not enough information right now to pick one.
And the Ajayi move muddies the waters a bit in Philly. The trade negatively impacts LeGarrette Blount’s value, as Ajayi will start to chip away at his carries. That amount was 16 last week as Blount already had to share the backfield with Corey Clement and pass-catcher Wendell Smallwood. To make matters worse, the stifling Denver run defense is up this week.
If you aren’t on the JuJu Smith-Schuster hype-bike yet, you should be. Even without the 97-yard touchdown, it was a productive game for the rookie. Take out that one catch, and he still was flirting with the 100-yard mark. He is on bye, so if you can afford the roster spot, buy low or pick up while nobody is looking.
There is a very high ceiling on Robby Anderson. The speedy Jets wideout has touchdowns in back-to-back games and had over 100 yards last week. A nice pick up for the week, but he does face a tough test against a solid Bills team.
In a similar role, Paul Richardson can do similar things in Seattle. It is easy to say that it was an outlier of a performance in the Houston-Seattle slugfest, but a deeper look shows that his numbers have been fairly steady. While the big bump of points last week helped, he is still WR11 this season, and there are plenty of scoring opportunities moving forward.
Somebody must catch a ball in Indianapolis, and Jack Doyle is that guy. The big tight end had 121 yards and a touchdown last week. The Bengals had an average defense when it came to stopping tight ends. This week’s game at Houston offers an even better opportunity. This would make for a chance to upgrade the position for everyone.