The fantasy football community lost a great person recently when Mike Tagliere of FantasyPros passed away from COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated against the disease. His shocking and sudden passing has left a huge void behind the scenes in the industry and he leaves behind a beautiful family, including Tabbie (Mike’s wife) and their children, Alyssa (18) and Jonathan (4). Many have rallied to support the Tagliere family and there’s a GoFundMe account set up to do just that. If any of you feel the calling to give, there are few people better to support than “Tags.” He will be missed!
This Sunday Six Pack is a traditional article at DLF and a part of our content strategy for over six years. As always, we will cover six dynasty-relevant storylines to watch on the Sunday slate of NFL games. I’m honored to be here every week, putting my spin on this series. Most excitingly, it’s become a two-part article this year! Every Monday, my hangover article will drop, reviewing my Six Pack based on what happened on Sunday. Without further ado, let’s jump straight into my first storyline!
Will Jakobi Meyers Ever Score a Touchdown?
At this point, dynasty managers likely think of Meyers as the guy who hasn’t scored a touchdown despite a relatively solid career thus far.
Somehow, Meyers has 174 targets, 121 receptions, and 1,434 receiving yards without a receiving touchdown, which seems almost impossible to believe. However, he has two career passing touchdowns on four career passing attempts, which only adds to the intrigue around this storyline.
In week six, Meyers had a potential touchdown taken away after an offensive penalty, and he also reached the end zone on a two-point conversion. He once again had decent volume, with five receptions for 44 yards. But, of course, Meyers hasn’t had many ceiling games without any touchdowns this year.
He had two WR2 performances in weeks three and four, but he finished outside the top 45 every other week.
Right now, Meyers is the WR51 and 107.75 overall in October’s DLF 1QB ADP data. He hasn’t produced much more than that, but touchdown regression will eventually hit for him. I hope Meyers scores his first NFL receiving touchdown this week versus the Jets, and I genuinely believe he will gain dynasty value once he ends that particular narrative.
Can Michael Carter Consolidate the Jets’ Starting RB Position?
Carter has every chance to take command of the Jets’ starting running back spot coming out of their week six bye. Tevin Coleman landed on the injury report with a hamstring injury, leaving the door for Carter to take over his workload. However, Carter already became the Jets’ lead back a few weeks ago.
As you can see, Carter became the snap leader in week four, while Coleman lost most of his share after week one. Unfortunately, Ty Johnson consistently sees work every week, and the Jets are a poor offense, preventing Carter from being fantasy-relevant.
Typically, teams make large-scale offensive changes in their bye weeks, so I expect the Jets to turn to Carter more heavily in week seven against the Patriots. Most importantly, dynasty managers should remember that Carter only carries fourth-round draft capital. The Jets have an extra second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and they have plenty of money to spend in free agency. If Carter doesn’t completely lock down this job, he will be replaced and lose his dynasty value in the off-season. Therefore, every game matters.
Chuba Hubbard’s Opportunity
Most dynasty managers are beyond frustrated with Christian McCaffrey after two straight injury-riddled seasons in 2020 and 2021. He only played three games last year, as Mike Davis spent most of the season as the Panthers’ starting running back. The Panthers then let Davis walk in free agency after 2020, and they drafted Hubbard as McCaffrey’s new handcuff and backup.
In week one, Hubbard barely saw the field, taking no carries and playing just 11% of offensive snaps. He did see slightly more week in week two, but it mostly came near the end of the game when the Panthers had a big lead. However, in week three, McCaffrey suffered a hamstring injury, which forced him to miss weeks four and five. Then, he had a setback in the lead-up to week six, and the Panthers placed him on injured reserve, ruling him out through at least week eight.
As you can see, Hubbard played decently in McCaffrey’s place in weeks three through six. He split time with Royce Freeman, and he didn’t get anywhere near McCaffrey’s target share. But he was the clear lead back on the ground, especially in week five with 24 carries for 101 yards. It’s unclear when McCaffrey will return, but Hubbard has two more showcase games, starting with this week against the Giants. The Giants are a horrible defense, so Hubbard has every opportunity to succeed. If he continues to play well, he could become McCaffrey’s long-term successor or a potential starter elsewhere in the NFL.
Tua Tagovailoa’s Last Chance
I don’t want to speculate too much on the Deshaun Watson situation. Still, as a dynasty analyst, it’s impossible to ignore the constant speculation and links between Watson and the Dolphins. Now, I’ve heard what many have said, and it goes something like this: “Watson is a top-five quarterback, and almost any team would be interested in him.”
Well, I don’t think that’s true. Neither the Chargers nor the Bengals would have even a shred of interest in Watson, and they picked quarterbacks in the same class as Tagovailoa. Moreover, Tagovailoa is on the edge of losing his grip on this starting job, as he’s failed to show the same ability as before his 2019 hip injury.
In 2021, he was a common fantasy and NFL breakout candidate, but he’s done nothing to give me any confidence in him moving forward. First, he played horribly in the Dolphins’ week one victory over the Patriots, and he then struggled to open their week two loss to the Bills before suffering a rib injury. Then, he came back for week six and somehow managed to lose to the Jaguars in an island game. He had a decent statistical day, but he threw one of the worst interceptions of the year in the fourth quarter.
The NFL trade deadline is on November 2nd, and the Dolphins are a 1-5 team. If Tagovailoa loses at home to the Falcons to fall to 1-6, I expect notoriously impatient owner Stephen Ross to make a move for Watson before the deadline. Apparently, the Texans aren’t even interested in Tagovailoa, so I have no idea where he would end up in a potential Watson trade. Either way, this is Tagovailoa’s last chance to save his Dolphins’ career and his dynasty value. I’ll make sure to give a complete take on his future in the Monday hangover piece after this game.
Is AJ Brown Back?
In week six, Brown finally had somewhat of a breakout game, catching seven of nine targets for 91 yards. It was his first game over 50 yards or five receptions in 2021, which has been a disappointment for Brown.
He has a career-low in yards/game, yards/target, and catch rate, although it’s unclear whether Brown or Ryan Tannehill is most responsible for Brown’s poor numbers. But he’s not on course to do anything like what he did in 2019 and 2020, where he emerged as a fantasy force once Tannehill replaced Marcus Mariota as the Titans’ starter.
Brown remains a high-end dynasty asset in October’s ADP data, coming in as WR7 and an overall ADP of 15.50. I rank him at WR6 in my rankings, so I think his value is about right. However, if he continues to struggle, he won’t hold that type of dynasty value throughout the 2021 season.
In week seven, the Titans face the Chiefs’ putrid defense, who hasn’t stopped anybody in 2021. If Tannehill can’t get it together this week and Brown doesn’t deliver a monster game, I believe dynasty managers will start to panic. Luckily, I still have complete confidence in Brown’s talent and future in the NFL. I’d love to buy him before this game or at any time, but I’ll explore trade opportunities if he puts up a dud this week.
The Bengals’ Wide Receivers
At this point, there’s no questioning Ja’Marr Chase weekly. He’s a fantasy WR1 week in and week out, and he’s an easy top-three dynasty wide receiver. I rank him second overall behind Justin Jefferson in 1QB dynasty leagues, ahead of all running backs.
Boyd has been a fine player, but he only has 28 receptions in six games. 4.7 receptions/game won’t cut it for a volume-style receiver like Boyd, as he averages just 7.6 yards/target and 10.4 yards/receptions. He’s never been an efficient player, and keep in mind that Boyd played two games without Higgins this year. I have little to no interest in Boyd in dynasty formats, although he’s more of a boring asset anyway.
However, Higgins is far more of a problem for dynasty managers. He was still the WR15 with a 33.75 overall ADP in October’s 1QB dynasty ADP, and that price seems ridiculous with Chase’s success. Higgins averages more targets per game than either Chase or Boyd, and he’s missed two games with injuries. But he’s produced more similarly to Boyd per target, nowhere near Chase’s efficiency.
Higgins certainly won’t hold his current value in November’s ADP, but he needs a big game to turn his fantasy season around. The Ravens aren’t the best matchup, so it could be an uphill battle in week seven. Unfortunately, Higgins is running out of time before he becomes an afterthought here.
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