Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 14

The latest risers and fallers heading into Week 14.

Clearly the NFL doesn’t take fantasy football into account when it comes it with its schedule. Here we are in Week 14 and, for most fantasy leagues, this is the final push of the regular season. For those looking to lock down a division title or those desperate to make the playoffs, this is it.

So what does the NFL do? It puts six teams on bye – Atlanta, Chicago, Green Bay, Indianapolis, New Orleans and Washington. That is a massive number of players to be on the shelf by design. With as much as the NFL does right, one area it fails is handling bye weeks.

Eight bye weeks with teams from the same division sharing the bye. The following week, they play each other. Instead, some teams play two or three teams coming off their bye with two weeks to prepare … and desperate fantasy owners get stuck with a last week of the regular season where they will be without multiple players they count on.

Here is the Week 14 Fantasy Football Market Report.

Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 13

The latest risers and fallers in the fantasy football landscape.

An issue that impacts fantasy rankings every year is the perception coming into a season as to the teams that are going to be playing for something late in the season when fantasy titles are up for grabs. What makes the NFL great is that, while there are some dynasty teams like Kansas City that are good every year, there are also teams that rise to take their place among the elite.

With six weeks left to play, only three defending division champions find themselves currently in first place (Kansas City, Tennessee and Tampa Bay at 5-6). Both Philadelphia (10-1) and Minnesota (9-2) have surpassed their 2021 win totals. San Francisco and Miami finished third in their divisions last season. Baltimore finished last in the AFC North in 2021.

The NFL is the best reality show on television for a reason – you never fully know what to expect when the season begins, because there are twists and turns that most of us don’t see coming. Players you drafted expecting them to dwell on the bench have become your bell cows because the NFL is cyclical.

Here is the Week 13 Fantasy Football Market Report.

Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 12

A look at trending fantasy football risers and fallers.

While there officially isn’t “tanking” in the NFL like other pro sports, there is the habit of resting veterans or putting them on snap counts because the current season has reached the point where making the playoffs will be virtually impossible. The teams that finish at the bottom tend to be the same teams year after year. We know who they are.

What makes this season so bizarre is the teams that are included on the walking dead list. The Green Bay Packers are 4-7 and on life support, and the list of 3-7 teams includes the defending champion Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos. These aren’t teams known for tanking – much less losing so often.

Will they take the time-honored, semi-ethical approach of giving young players more opportunities to see what they have moving forward while letting the vets ease into the end of the season? It will be interesting because these franchises haven’t been bottom feeders often.

Here is the Week 12 Fantasy Football Market Report.

Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 11

It will be interesting to see the knee-jerk reaction that happens when a fantasy draft darling has resurrected himself from the dead. Coming into Sunday’s game, Green Packers wide receiver Christian Watson had caught just 10 passes for 88 yards and …

It will be interesting to see the knee-jerk reaction that happens when a fantasy draft darling has resurrected himself from the dead. Coming into Sunday’s game, Green Packers wide receiver Christian Watson had caught just 10 passes for 88 yards and no touchdowns. He had missed three games due to injury and had shown nothing … until Sunday’s game against Dallas.

Three of his four receptions Sunday went for touchdowns – two bombs and a red-zone TD. He looked the part of a rookie with big upside, which has those who still have him on their rosters wondering if this is the start of something big or just a midseason mirage.

These are the decisions that aggravate fantasy owners – and sometimes kill their seasons. Watson was likely on the bench of every fantasy roster he was still on in Week 10. How many weeks will fantasy owners chase their tails hoping to see another huge game that may never come? There are reasons for optimism, but with the fantasy regular season in the home stretch, if you have more consistent options do you bench them for Watson in hopes of catching lightning in a bottle … a bottle that may blow up in your face?

Here is the Week 11 Fantasy Football Market Report.

Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 10

The most important fantasy football risers and fallers heading into Week 10.

Last weekend fantasy owners had to face the ordeal that they had been warned about weeks in advance (by us) that Week 9 was going to test roster depth. With six teams on bye – for no explicable reason the NFL admits to – many fantasy rosters were forced to go with weak lineups, because they had a couple key players with the Browns, Broncos, Cowboys, Giants, 49ers and Steelers. That’s a rough group to have on bye. The good news is that it’s over. The bad news is that it’s coming again at the worst possible time.

In Week 14 – the final week of the regular season in most fantasy leagues when everything is on the line for the playoffs – the NFL is going to have six more of its 32 teams on a bye. The good news is that those teams are the Packers, Bears, Saints, Falcons, Colts and Commanders. There aren’t a ton of critical fantasy players from those teams, but there are enough. If you’re locked into players from any of those teams, you don’t want to put your seeding (or your season) on the line by not being prepared. It’s coming. You’ve been warned.

Here is the Week 10 Fantasy Football Market Report.

Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 9

The most notable risers and fallers heading into Week 9.

As we approach the midway point of the season, there are some anomalies that are hard to wrap your head around.

Who would have guessed that the 10 passing yardage leaders would include Matt Ryan (who was permanently benched before last week), Geno Smith and Jared Goff (in seven games)?

Who would have imagined that Geno Smith would have accounted for more touchdowns than Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers?

Who would have projected that Khalil Herbert would be tied for seventh in rushing yards?

Who could have forecast that Tyreek Hill and Justin Jefferson would combine for 121 receptions for 1,713 yards but scored just four touchdowns?

Who would have bet that the Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be a combined 9-14 record, the teams of the NFC East would be a combined 23-8, and their fantasy players would be as if not more valued than the established top dogs of the conference?

Believe it. That’s what the first half of 2022 has brought us so far.

Here is the Week 9 Fantasy Football Market Report.

Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 8

Notable fantasy football trends heading into Week 8.

It’s bad enough for fantasy football owners when one of their key players is injured or not playing well. It’s much more of an issue when that player is a quarterback and two first-ballot Hall of Famers are on the wrong side of history at the moment.

It’s hard to imagine that seven weeks into the season, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are both sitting with records of 3-4, but harder to fathom is how poorly they’re playing from the fantasy perspective – where wins and losses don’t matter.

Neither one brings much value as a runner, so they earn their fantasy chops through the air. Through seven games, Rodgers has accounted for just 11 touchdowns (all throwing) and is averaging 228 passing yards a game. Brady is even worse. He is averaging 277 passing yards a game but has just eight TD passes in seven games.

For the purpose of comparison, seven games into last season, Rodgers was averaging 244 yards a game with 17 TDs (15 passing, two rushing), while Brady was averaging 325 yards a game with 22 TDs (21 passing, one rushing).

The problem with both is that fantasy owners who have their receivers are also suffering without even having Brady or Rodgers on their rosters. There is still time to turn things around, but, at the moment, the G.O.A.T. and the two-time defending MVP are both playing like hot garbage.

Here is the Week 8 Fantasy Football Market Report.

Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 7

Fantasy football risers and fallers entering Week 7.

We’re only six weeks into the 2022 season, and it’s already become bizarro world for quarterbacks.

Retreads Geno Smith and Marcus Mariota are getting a chance to replace franchise legends – and have the same win-loss record as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford. P.J. Walker is the starter in Carolina after two former No. 1 overall picks fought it out in training camp prior to suffering injuries. Jacoby Brissett is holding down the fort in Cleveland.

Cooper Rush is 4-1 replacing Dak Prescott in Dallas. Miami has started three different quarterbacks the last three weeks and all three have been injured. Bailey Zappe is creating a QB controversy in New England. Mitch Trubisky won, lost and then regained his starting job in Pittsburgh. The Trey Lance era was derailed after five quarters.

At a time when franchise quarterbacks are at a premium for fantasy owners, a lot of teams are playing without them – and we’re only a third of the way through the season.

Here is the Week 7 Fantasy Football Market Report:

Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 6

The key risers and fallers entering fantasy football Week 6.

The 2022 season may be teaching us why running backs – the investment requirement for fantasy football – is becoming a throwaway position in the NFL.

When you look at the leading rushers through five games, there is a real chance one lucky fantasy owner could have five of them. How early were people willing to take Nick Chubb (No. 1 in rushing yards) or Saquon Barkley (No. 2)? When did Miles Sanders (No. 3) or Dameon Pierce (No. 4) come off the board? How late in the draft could you get Jeff Wilson Jr. (No. 7), Rhamondre Stevenson (No. 10), Jamaal Williams (No. 14) or Khalil Herbert (No. 15)?

As hard as it might be for longtime fantasy players to accept, the initial flurry of running backs that historically starts draft day may be coming to an end, because there is talent to be had later that will produce just as well for those who play their cards right.

Here is the Week 6 Fantasy Market Report:

Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 5

The most important risers and fallers in fantasy football.

One of the aspects of fantasy football that never fails to amaze me is when fantasy owners don’t take into account bye weeks. Week 5 will be the last time in a long time that every player on most rosters will be available.

Injuries do their part to gut fantasy rosters, so players who had no draft-day intention of being in the starting lineup are there more weeks than not. Bye weeks are a meaningless gutting – those guys are healthy, just not playing.

There will be eight weeks in which at least two and as many as six teams will be on bye. If you’re a seasoned fantasy player, you probably paid attention to the bye weeks as you were assembling a draft/auction roster, but a lot has happened since then.

A week from now it will dawn on some casual players that the bye weeks have started. You can be ahead of that curve and prepare for it now. If you see a week that will be rough, make a trade to diversify your roster. There will be someone in your league who effectively forfeits a week because too many key players are on their bye. Don’t let that be you.

Here is the Week 5 Fantasy Football Market Report: