Fantasy Football Hot Takes: NFL Week 4
Dan Malin recaps the weekend's action in the NFL with his fantasy football hot takes and what you need to take away from everything you saw.
NFL Week 4 felt like we had some regression to the mean in a sense. Within seconds we saw injuries to Austin Ekeler and Nick Chubb . Mike Evans had to leave the field for a bit after getting tackled awkwardly and Chris Carson had to be evaluated for a concussion. Kenyan Drake was a massive whiff by the entire fantasy industry. How he had zero targets in a game where Arizona was chasing points is just laughable. Week 4 felt very par for the course in 2020. It didn’t necessarily leave us curled up in the fetal position, but we also aren’t feeling like we just had a great time at the Crazy Horse Too. The 1:00pm games were like having an awesome time at Top Golf all afternoon and then the 4:00pm games showed us we had a ton of blisters. If you’re sitting at 4-0 you deserve a medal. If you’re 0-4, you deserve a hug. But the world keeps turning and we still have some Hot Takes to take away from this week.
The Falcons and Cowboys Should Trade Head Coaches
Honestly, what’s the worst that could happen from this outcome? I subbed in for the Ante Up Podcast last week with Ronis and detailed that I was never on board with Dallas hiring Mike McCarthy. I don’t care if he won a Super Bowl with Green Bay. The Packers made it in as the sixth seed that year and it was because of this…
But what’s the worst that could happen from this outcome? The Falcons are most definitely moving on from Dan Quinn after this year. It’s surprising they haven’t done so already. The Cowboys might as well be 0-4 if only Quinn’s Falcons knew how to fall on a watermelon. Quinn’s a defensive-minded head coach and the Browns were a few ounces of chuck shy of a 50-burger against Dallas on Sunday. Cleveland ran for over 300 yards on Dallas and Baker Mayfield didn’t really need to lift a finger in the passing game. Plus, Falcons fans are desperate to move on from Dan Quinn. After embarrassing losses in Week 2 and 3, it’s insane Quinn is still employed by Arthur Blank even after Quinn spoiled Blank’s birthday last week.
RT to help wish Arthur Blank a happy birthday today! pic.twitter.com/CbjdZ60JYu— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) September 27, 2020
Be sure to read some of those comments. But all in all, Mike McCarthy for Dan Quinn. Who says no?
The Bills D/ST Is Useless For Fantasy Football
I will always stand on my soapbox and preach to the high heavens that you should drop your D/ST if you need to make an immediate roster move. Never has that been more true than with the Buffalo Bills. This is a D/ST I have a hard time paying up for on DraftKings let alone roster in season-long leagues. In ESPN Standard Scoring they’ve delivered four points in their last three games. That’s it. FOUR POINTS. This is a good defense in the real world. You know, for actual football. It’s that game they play where wins and losses are the only things that matter. As for fantasy? What are they doing each week to give you confidence? The defense plays down to their opponent in the second half, they allow yards and points, and they don’t light it up with sacks and turnovers to make you feel great about them in fantasy. Like I said, it’s a good defense for actual football. But a bad defense for faux football.
The Stars Are Aligning For Gronk To Be A League Winner
I’m someone who has poked fun at Gronk’s performance so far. He’s looked rough through four games of 2020. However, they’ve been trying to get him involved though. He only had three targets against the Chargers, but Brady let an end zone target sail too high even for Gronk’s 6-foot-7 frame. With O.J. Howard done for the year with a torn achilles, the opportunity is certainly there for Gronk to get more work considering Chris Godwin is likely out for a little longer as well. Plus we saw Brady’s running backs drop four or five passes on Sunday. We may finally see Gronk find the end zone against Chicago on Thursday night, which means we could see our first Gronk Spike in about two years. If you can deal with him running in quicksand, the end zone targets could start paying off for him.
Ryan Fitzpatrick Sucks In Smash Spots
Fitzpatrick wasn’t a complete bust on Sunday against Seattle. But his day was salvaged by 47 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground. The passing numbers were okay, but he had a pair of interceptions as well. This was supposed to be a great opportunity for the Dolphins to throw a ton. Fantasy owners of the Seahawks and Dolphins were a little let down by this one, especially if you started Mike Gesicki like I did. But the Seattle defense has been awful and he couldn’t throw ONE touchdown on them? He comes up short all too often in good matchups. Prior to the Colts beefing up their defense, Fitzpatrick threw for just 169 yards and an interception against them last year. A couple weeks later against the Jets he couldn’t throw a touchdown to save his life, after he torched the same Jets secondary for three touchdowns six weeks earlier. Remember the hot start he had in 2018 with the Bucs? Three straight games throwing for more than 400 yards with 12 total touchdowns in that span. He then followed it up with 126 passing yards and an interception against Chicago. You’ll take the fantasy results and run, but the Fins are 1-3 with a pair of road games on tap. For a more subtle hot take, Tua Tagovailoa will start Miami’s next home game.
Christian McCaffrey Is A System Running Back
People like to dump on Tom Brady for being a system “dink & dunk” passer, so I’m going to take my shot at Christian McCaffrey . And I don’t really know if it’s a huge shot at him because he’s excelled so damn well in it. But we’ve seen Mike Davis step in and fill his shoes seamlessly. He has 21 catches in three games since McCaffrey’s injury and he’s found the end zone in back-to-back weeks. McCaffrey is making $1 million per game, while Davis is making about one-fifth that on a one-year deal. McCaffrey’s still young and has a great career ahead of him. But at the same time this is just another example for why you don’t overpay for such an injury-prone position. I hope the Queen City Kitties kept the receipt.
Allen Robinson Is A Top Three Wide Receiver Rest Of Season
It wouldn’t be such a hot take to say he’s Top Ten or even Top Five, but A-Rob is a Top THREE wide receiver the rest of the season. He does have a couple tough matchups on the horizon, but overall the schedule is pretty friendly and it’s hard to see the Bears going back to Mitchell Trubisky . He’s coming off back-to-back 100-yard receiving games with touchdowns in each contest. He gets peppered with targets and provides consistency with the workload while the first two weeks didn’t yield results. Foles understands the kind of weapon Robinson is and he’ll utilize him as much as possible. And have you seen Chicago’s schedule in Weeks 14-16? Houston, Minnesota, and Jacksonville. *Chef’s Kiss*
The Chiefs Will Win More Games Than The NFC East
Mathematically I don’t believe it’s impossible for this to happen, unless the Giants, Cowboys, Eagles, and Football Team all manage to tie when they play each other. But it’s to emphasize a point regarding how bad the NFC East really is. Heading into Sunday Night Football, the NFC East is 2-12-1. Spoiler Alert for those with early bedtimes: The Eagles managed to score more points than the Nick Mullens -led San Francisco 49ers. Three wins so far among four teams, and as mentioned before, if the Falcons recover just one measly onside kick then this division is 2-13-1 at the time of this writing. Everything sucks about this division. The defenses, the coaches, the team names, the turf, etc. It’s all hot garbage for the NFC (L)East. The Chiefs aren’t even playing their best football. They look like they’ve been on cruise control for three weeks and they’ll likely earn their fourth win Monday night. The Chiefs also have to play three games over the next ten days and they’ll barely break a sweat. Fortunately, the Giants and Cowboys play each other next week so hopefully somebody comes away with a win to help this division’s win percentage. Aside from the Cowboys from a fantasy perspective, nobody should look forward to any of these teams having a primetime spot.
Deshaun Watson Isn’t A Top Ten Fantasy Quarterback
This was supposed to be the week. This was supposed to be the week we saw Deshaun Watson “cook” similar to Russell Wilson , but Watson struggled to even plug in the Easy Bake Oven. The Texans might be realizing that trading the best wide receiver in the league for a “damaged goods” running back was a bad idea. Watson finally got to 300 yards passing on Sunday, but we expected so much more against a porous Minnesota defense. He’s only averaging 32 pass attempts per game, which is fine, but not what we were expecting after drafting him as a Top Five quarterback. Houston always seems to be playing from behind and they just cannot get the offense to click. They have another good matchup lined up against Jacksonville next week and then a game against Tennessee lined up after that. If Tennessee can’t get their COVID results under control, that game may be in jeopardy. Following their Bye week they have the Patriots in Week 11 and then the Colts (twice) and the Bears in Weeks 13-15. The Texans paid this guy in the offseason and still can’t get him going. Even in garbage time he can’t pad the stats very well and he has just 58 rushing yards through four games.
Antonio Gibson Is A Top Ten PPR Running Back If Injuries Keep Mounting Up
I had to go bold here. I didn’t want to sit back and play it safe. It needs to be said as we’ve seen him improve each week so far. The workload has been a little frustrating, but they should not turn back now. Gibson had 17 touches on Sunday for 128 total yards and a touchdown. He did that against the Ravens. That’s a damn good defense. If he can show up against the Ravens, he should have some upside next week against the Rams. And the schedule for Washington isn’t awful over the rest of the season. They still have the Giants and Cowboys (twice each), the Panthers, Lions, Bengals, and Seahawks as well. They have a couple sketchy matchups against Pittsburgh and even San Francisco, but this is a guy that we need to probably consider as a lock & load running back, or a Flex play at the absolute worst. It’ll be nice to see what Gibson can do if the Football Team ever gets a talented quarterback. But given the schedule and the improvements this week, Gibson is my bold call as a Top Ten running back since we’re currently without Christian McCaffrey , Saquon Barkley , Nick Chubb , Austin Ekeler , etc.
Kliff Kingsbury Is The Next Adam Gase
There was a time when even Adam Gase was considered a bit of an offensive guru, or at the very least, a quarterback whisperer. But when you strip him of quarterbacks like Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler (yes, even him), then you realize how truly inept Gase is. For Kingsbury, he has one hell of an offense at his disposal. He’s gotten the most out of DeAndre Hopkins so far in terms of volume and overall production. But Kyler Murray has been a little frustrating though. He has to play behind a terrible offensive line, but he’s the kind of quarterback that can escape the pocket better than others and you’d like to see him put the game in his hands more. 133 passing yards (despite three touchdowns) against one of the worst defenses in the league is hard to stomach. And then there’s the issue of Kenyan Drake . When Kingsbury acquired Drake last season from Miami, he turned Drake’s season around. Drake would go on to be a league winner for several owners. Through four games, Drake has just FIVE targets out of the backfield. He hasn’t found the end zone since Week 1 and he didn’t get any targets on Sunday when the Cardinals were trailing the entire game. Is Kingsbury in over his head? What did he ever do in the college ranks that swayed people in his favor? He went 35-40 in six seasons at Texas Tech including a 19-35 record in conference play. Can we really be that impressed with the offensive production of his college teams? Everybody knows the Big 12 doesn’t play defense and yet this guy was sought after by the Jets and Cardinals after he was fired from Tech. Kingsbury needs to right the ship next week against the previously mentioned Jets. The Cards are heading into their second of three straight road games and when they return home, they have to host Seattle. For what it’s worth, you’ll take the fantasy points from Hopkins and Murray. But Murray’s had some awful turnovers early this season with five interceptions and a lost fumble. The next few matchups are huge for him to breakout.