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!
I’m honored to write DLF’s traditional Sunday Six Pack series this year. However, it’s essential to go beyond predicting and discussing what will happen. Therefore, I will look at my storylines from the weekly Six Pack and summarize the results in these Monday hangover articles. Occasionally, I will also add other important reactions from the week, whether injuries, breakouts, or busts. So let’s jump into it!
Will Jakobi Meyers Ever Score a Touchdown?
The Patriots had an impressive offensive performance in their 54-13 thrashing of the Jets this week. Unfortunately, even though the Patriots scored seven offensive touchdowns, Meyers failed to score yet again. However, Mac Jones certainly gave him an opportunity to score, throwing for 306 yards and two touchdowns, while Kendrick Bourne also had a passing touchdown.
Meyers didn’t have a bad game, though. He tied for the team lead with seven targets, and he caught five of those for 44 yards. However, no Patriots’ receiving weapon truly stood out, as journeyman running back Brandon Bolden led them in receptions and receiving yards. Meyers, Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne all chipped in, but this team lacks a dominant top option.
Right now, I still believe Meyers is the Patriots top receiving weapon for the rest of the 2021 season. Jones has played well for a rookie, giving Meyers WR3 value this year. But moving forward, the Patriots absolutely must add an alpha wide receiver ahead of their complement of mediocre weapons. Meyers will likely maintain some dynasty value over time, but I doubt he will ever become a high-end dynasty asset. Instead, look for the Patriots to make an off-season play in the free agency or trade market or perhaps spend another first-round pick at wide receiver.
Can Michael Carter Consolidate the Jets’ Starting RB Position?
On the Jets’ side, they never got off the ground in this contest. Zach Wilson left early on with a knee injury, leaving Mike White as their quarterback. White wasn’t horrible, but the Jets’ offense struggled throughout the game with both quarterbacks.
However, the running back position provided a bright spot for the Jets. Carter and Ty Johnson combined for 14 of the Jets’ 26 receptions, finishing first and second on the team, respectively, in receptions, yards, and targets. Carter had eight receptions for 67 yards compared to six catches for 65 yards for Johnson. Additionally, Carter was the clear lead back on the ground, taking 11 carries for 37 yards, while Johnson had five carries for six yards. With Tevin Coleman inactive, the Jets split work between only Carter and Johnson, leaving La’Mical Perine out entirely.
It’s unclear if Wilson will miss any time, but Carter could return fantasy value if he maintains the receiving work he saw today. Carter is currently the RB32 in DLF’s dynasty RB rankings, and he’s the RB30 in DLF’s October ADP at 92.75 overall. At that price, I’m perfectly fine acquiring Carter, hoping he holds this job long-term.
Chuba Hubbard’s Opportunity
Like the Jets, the Panthers’ offense turned in a total dud game in their 25-3 loss to the Giants. But unlike the Jets, the Panthers have no injury excuses for their quarterback, as Sam Darnold played horribly. Darnold was so bad that head coach Matt Rhule benched him for PJ Walker, hoping to provide a spark. Walker was far worse, though, completing three of 14 attempts for 33 yards. Either way, the Panthers have zero positive takeaways from this one.
With that said, Hubbard was the Panthers’ clear lead back. He outcarried Royce Freeman 12 to three, although he only had 28 yards on those 12 looks. Hubbard also was a factor in the receiving game with four catches on five targets for 28 yards. I don’t necessarily think Hubbard’s bad game was his fault, although it’s safe to say he’s a massive downgrade from Christian McCaffrey, both for fantasy managers and the Panthers. But of course, almost any running back would be.
Hubbard will receive at least one more start in week eight in McCaffrey’s place, and I would use this opportunity to sell him in dynasty formats. I’m not overly impressed with Hubbard as a talent, and the DLF Trade Finder is a great place to look for trade options.
There weren’t too many trades involving Hubbard, but here are a couple of examples. The first trade is likely more realistic and makes sense. Hubbard was an early third-rounder in DLF’s May rookie ADP, so that deal represents a massive profit. As for the second trade, I hope you don’t need me to tell you to take JK Dobbins over Hubbard in dynasty leagues. That trade is a steal.
Tua Tagovailoa’s Last Chance
Tagovailoa had the ultimate mixed bag performance in the Dolphins’ 30-28 loss to the Falcons. On the one hand, he had an excellent fantasy performance. He threw for 291 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions, and he added 29 rushing yards, finishing with 26.54 fantasy points in four-point touchdown scoring.
He also had a decent real-life performance, completing 32 of 40 of his passes while making multiple nice throws, especially to budding star tight end Mike Gesicki. Unfortunately, however, he threw two interceptions. His first interception at the end of the first half was understandable and was a great play by the defender in the end zone. But his second interception was a backbreaker in the fourth quarter and was one of the main reasons the Dolphins lost. Even though Tagovailoa responded well after the interception and played well overall, there’s no escaping the Dolphins’ 1-6 record and an ugly loss to the lowly Falcons.
Luckily for Tagovailoa, the Dolphins traded their 2022 first-round pick to the Eagles in the Jaylen Waddle trade, preventing them from directly replacing him. But, they still have the 49ers’ first-rounder in 2022 and 2023 in addition to their own 2023 first-rounder. Therefore, they will be able to trade for Deshaun Watson before the trade deadline or another veteran quarterback like Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers in the off-season.
At this point, if you forced me to bet, I would guess that Tagovailoa is not the Dolphins’ starting quarterback for the 2022 season. I think he could get another chance somewhere else, but generally, quarterbacks who wash out of their first team because they weren’t good enough fail later in their career. Therefore, I would like to move on in superflex leagues, especially if an opposing manager only looked at his fantasy performance.
Let’s use the trade finder again to explore potential deals, focusing only on the superflex format.
I want the non-Tagovailoa side in all of these deals. As much as I don’t like Watson, I know he will return to the NFL eventually, and he’s a top-five quarterback when he does. I’d rather add a 2023 second-rounder to Tagovailoa and move onto Watson, especially if I don’t need quarterback production right now. In the second trade, I’m fine taking all those somewhat speculative pieces and going to the safety of Patrick Mahomes. If you drafted Tagovailoa with the idea he’d be a stable quarterback asset, you likely need to improve at the quarterback position. And finally, the last deal is the most obvious, as I’d far rather Mac Jones over Tagovailoa and Saquon Barkley over Rashod Bateman. If I had Tagovailoa on my superflex dynasty team, I’d look for a deal like these and try to move on.
Is AJ Brown Back?
I won’t waste your time with a lengthy discussion here. The Titans dominated the Chiefs in a 27-3 victory, and Brown was a massive part of it. Derrick Henry had a somewhat down game with 29 carries for only 86 yards, but Brown stepped up with eight catches on nine targets for 133 yards and a touchdown. Brown also had seven catches for 91 yards last week, even battling through his stomach issue.
Therefore, Brown is fully back, with zero concerns moving forward. I have a clear dynasty top three receivers in dynasty leagues: Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, and CeeDee Lamb. However, Brown falls into the next tier, behind Tyreek Hill and DK Metcalf but ahead of DJ Moore. Those seven receivers represent my cornerstone wide receivers in dynasty, and there’s no doubt Brown belongs in that group.
The Bengals’ Wide Receivers
As I said in the Six Pack, Ja’Marr Chase was beyond reproach coming into this week. Well, he only doubled down this week with a monster game in the Bengals’ 41-17 impressive victory over the Ravens. Chase had eight receptions on ten targets for 201 yards and a touchdown, including one of the plays of the year on an 82-yard catch and run. Joe Burrow led the Bengals to this win with a 416-yard and three-touchdown game, but Chase stole the show for fantasy football.
At this point, Chase is the clear dynasty WR1 and overall top asset in 1 QB dynasty leagues.
Most receiving yards by a player through his first 7 games in NFL history:
1. Ja'Marr Chase: 754
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 24, 2021
He’s on pace for 1,831 yards over a 17-game season, which would obliterate Justin Jefferson’s stellar rookie year from 2020. So there’s little to discuss with Chase, but unfortunately, his rise has complicated the picture for the Bengals’ other receivers.
CJ Uzomah stole two touchdowns on his three catches for 91 yards, making it difficult for either Tee Higgins or Tyler Boyd to excel. Higgins had an odd game this week, with seven receptions for 62 yards on 15 targets. He wasn’t particularly efficient, mirroring his play from previous games. I hope Higgins can turn it around, but I’m starting to worry, just like I said in the six-pack.
As for Boyd, I’m in full panic mode. He did nothing last week, and he only had four catches for 39 yards this week, despite 416 passing yards and 38 passing attempts from Burrow. Boyd is a pure volume play who isn’t getting the volume, and he’ll struggle even to return WR3 value as long as Chase and Higgins remain healthy. Uzomah has mainly killed Boyd’s value, with his five receiving touchdowns on the season hurting the Bengals’ WR3. Moving forward, you can’t start Boyd in fantasy, and his dynasty value has evaporated before our very eyes.
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