2017 NFL Hot Takes: Week 4
Dan Malin takes a look around the NFL and gives you his hot takes from Week 4 of the season.
Fantasy Football is a difficult mistress. If you’re at the bottom of your league you will typically get the best waiver priority for next week’s waivers. So congrats! You just had Alex Collins, Will Fuller, or Deshaun Watson (if he’s still available) fall into your lap. But if you’re a true fantasy football wizard sitting in first place, you have to be ahead of the curve. So you read the injury reports and follow the beat writers. Hopefully before today’s action you added Will Fuller because he was no longer listed as injured and you added Alex Collins because of the pre-game reports about him seeing an expanded role in the offense. If you didn’t? Well it’s time to start paying closer attention. It’s best to be three steps ahead of your league.
Sell High on Cam Newton
You may not even be able to sell high on Newton. Just try and sell him, if possible. Last week the Hot Takes article said not to Newton. Well, sure enough, he had his way with the New England secondary. In an ideal world Newton would face New England every week. Unfortunately he doesn’t. He still put up 30+ points this week and he draws the Lions next week. It’s not ideal as the Lions have been a very good defense early on. But you can possibly sell the other fantasy owner on the fact that Newton faces the weak Eagles secondary in week six and Newton has three straight home games in the fantasy playoffs in weeks 14-16. It’s all about thinking further. You have to be ahead of your league. Keeping Newton in your league was smart after last week, but it’s time to sell. Who do you think Newton really is? The guy who totaled 566 passing yards with three total touchdowns and four turnovers through three games or the guy who had 316 passing yards on four total touchdowns against a weak Pats defense? Choose wisely…
Go Out, Grab Alvin Kamara, and Start Him
In PPR formats Kamara has seen his production gradually increase from 7.8, to 8.4, to 13.2, to a whopping 25.6 points. Sean Payton loves pass-catching RB’s. And Kamara will be this week’s flavor of the week off waivers. Kamara caught all ten of his targets for 71 yards and a touchdown. He won’t see many touches in the running game as most of those will go to Mark Ingram, but in a PPR format Kamara should be owned. He’s a younger version of Darren Sproles. Sean Payton loves guys like that. There’s been a lot to be made about the New Orleans running back system and it’s becoming clear: Adrian Peterson has no role. The Saints should trade him to Green Bay or New York (Giants) for a 6th-7th round pick because he has no role with the Saints offense. Going forward Kamara is a great Flex play in PPR.
Will Fuller Should Be Owned and Flexed
He only saw six targets, but he caught four of them for 35 yards with two touchdowns. That sort of production isn’t sustainable. But this offense exploded for 57 points on Sunday against the Titans. There’s something about the presence of Fuller, who is all in all, a very speedy wide out. He opens things up for the passing game and keeps defenses from putting double coverage on DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins, for what it’s worth, caught ten passes (on 12 targets) for 107 yards and a touchdown. But is it any mystery that Hopkins saw such progress with Fuller back? Hardly. He finally has a QB that can get him the ball and another receiver who can take pressure off him. Everybody in the Houston offense benefits, even Lamar Miller who put up a great stat line on Sunday!
Congrats if you Didn’t Drop Blount
There were many pundits who were dead set on abandoning Blount for fantasy purposes, but he’s proven his worth with Philly the last two weeks. The general consensus among owners of Blount was to try and ditch him. But… For what? He had almost no trade value and most fantasy players weren’t comfortable dropping him for scraps. So, in most cases, players held on to him because they’d be taking on less value if he was removed. So for those who held on to him out of spite, congrats! Blount is now valuable again! He rushed for 136 yards on 16 carries Sunday and has a solidified spot in the offense. Wendell Smallwood’s “expanded” role is mostly in the passing game, which has minimal impact on Blount. For now, for those who held on to Blount he’s a solid Flex play given the right matchup, but overall he provides solid RB depth as the season progresses.
It’s the Ideal Time to Sell High on the Rams
Last week was the perfect time to sell high on Sammy Watkins. He had a huge game against the 49ers and many thought he suffered a concussion and sure enough was limited to just one catch on Sunday against Dallas. But as it stands this is the time to sell the Rams offense. It’s been easy and fun through four weeks, but the magic will wear out soon. Over the next three weeks they face the Seahawks, Jaguars, and the Cardinals before heading into their Bye week. Even after their Bye they face the Giants, Texans, and Vikings. Weeks 15 and 16 (important weeks for the fantasy playoffs) the Rams are on the road in Seattle and Tennessee. Gurley, Goff, Watkins, etc. will never be higher on the market than right now. Take advantage of it because this is the time to swap for studs.
Buy Low on the Raiders
Nobody’s fooled; we all know what the Raiders can be. Sure they’ve had a rough two game stretch against two formidable defenses: the Redskins and Broncos. But coming up the Raiders get three straight games at home against the Ravens, Chargers, and Chiefs. This is the time to buy low on Amari Cooper and Derek Carr. Carr left Sunday’s game against Denver with a back injury, but as it turns out it was just back spasms. The Ravens defense, the one that set record-breaking DVOA scores to start the season, has surely regressed and can now be beat. The value on the Oakland offensive players will never be lower and hopefully the owners of said players are desperate enough to sell them. Think long-term with these guys. In weeks 15 and 16 the Raiders play the Cowboys and Eagles. Those are two defenses that can be scored on when it counts.
The Patriots DST is the “Coors Field” of the NFL
This isn’t really a hot take, rather a weekly reminder that if you have somebody facing the Patriots defense they should be started. For anyone who plays MLB DFS you’ll know of the “Coors Stack” where you just load up on players competing in Coors Field because of the offensive-friendly features in that ballpark. The Patriots defense is no different. This coming week the only concern is Doug Martin coming back from suspension. It all depends if he’s stayed in shape because typically Thursday night games are sloppy and low scoring. But the Patriots give up points and yards and are just the worst in many categories defensively. Thursday could be a big game for Jameis Winston and the rest of the Bucs offense.