🤔 Is this rookie RB's hype for REAL?
Great day to be great, Austin Ekeler managers...
We are officially halfway through the 2023 NFL regular season. Madness…
In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Buffalo Wild Wings:
The Chargers take down the Jets 27-6
Sheesh Report: Ja’Marr Chase managers might want to sit this one out
Utilization Report: Tank Dell can’t stop, won’t stop climbing the ranks
Early Week 10 Rankings: He just won’t go away.
Better Joshua Dobbs nickname: The Passtronaut, or Rocket Passer?
Week 10 Waiver Wire: Keaton Mitchell propaganda
It’s 11/7. Take it away, Ian Hartitz…
Monday night’s uneventful showdown between the Chargers and Jets featured two offensive TDs, 13 sacks, six fumbles and roughly zero overly satisfied fantasy managers … other than Chargers DST faithful, of course.
That said: Studies have shown that bad Monday Night Football remains objectively better than no Monday Night Football.
Here’s your 204-word recap of last evening’s events sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings’ Everything Pretzel Knots (seriously: those are TASTY):
The reigning back-to-back RB1 champion of fantasy football, Austin Ekeler, punched in two short TDs and added 70 total yards to lead the way for the Chargers. Ekeler now has an NFL-high 42 combined rushing and receiving TDs since 2021; second place (Jalen Hurts) is all the way down there at 30.
Keenan Allen caught all but one of his nine targets for another productive evening at the office (8-77-0) despite facing off against Sauce Gardner and the Jets' No. 1 ranked secondary in PPR points per game allowed to WRs. Congrats to the longtime stud WR for passing 10,000 career receiving yards on the evening – and for doing so in style.
R U SERIOUS KEENAN?
— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers)
Nov 7, 2023
Kudos to the Jets for feeding Garrett Wilson (7-80-0 on 13 targets) and Breece Hall (60 total yards on 20 touches) all the work they could handle, but the Zach Wilson experience (again) featured far more downs than ups – including a season-high eight sacks taken. For those counting at home, the Jets rank last in both offensive points scored (420) and EPA per play (-0.128) since selecting the BYU product with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
54 days until Fantasy Championship Sunday. What are you waiting for? Time to grind Week 10.
Warning: The following content is known to cause severe tilt in fantasy football managers. Breaking down all of the near-miss moments (dropped TDs, bad throws, ball carriers just short of the goal line etc.) might be a useful exercise to educate the masses with more than just a box score, but this sort of information can still be painful to those who were on the wrong side of fantasy-related misery in Week 9.
Curse the following reminders of fantasy heartbreak if you like, but Fantasy Life’s Chief Sheesh Correspondent Ian Hartitz is once again back with some sheesh to get off his chest after an exhilarating week of action.
🐅 Ja’Marr Chase nearly had a massive Sunday night at the office
The Bengals’ third-year talent is one of those players who are hard to get too upset with in fantasy football land because everyone is aware of just how many times the man has gone ballistic and single-handedly won a matchup.
That said: Chase probably should have had not one but two TDs in his box score on Sunday night, as he first dropped a perfectly thrown two-yard score before later being underthrown on what sure looked like was going to be an electric 57-yard connection for six points.
Ja'Marr Chase so close to having a much bigger Week 9:
1. Dropped what should have been a two-yard TD
2. Underthrown on what could have been a 57-yard TD
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz)
Nov 6, 2023
The second sheesh resulted in Chase suffering a rough fall that injured his back. The good news is that he’s confirmed alive, but his fantasy managers likely aren’t feeling too great after coming so close to a massive primetime performance.
🤠 Is Tony Pollard allergic to the end zone??
The Cowboys' featured RB has gone an NFL-high 136 consecutive touches without a TD this season. None were more brutal for fantasy managers to stomach than a short rush attempt last Sunday that was initially ruled a two-yard TD before being nullified due to an illegal formation penalty.
Here’s the thing: QB Dak Prescott appeared to confirm with the official that the Cowboys’ sixth offensive lineman had declared himself as an eligible receiver.
You can see Dak Prescott confirming with the official that #71 declared as an eligible receiver.
Illegal formation penalty still thrown. Wiping away a touchdown.
— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice)
Nov 6, 2023
Perhaps Cowboys OT Chuma Edoga never told the official himself, but smarter ball knowers than myself like The Athletic’s Nate Tice and former NFL o-lineman Geoff Schwartz are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt considering this is “like the number one thing the 6th OL is told to do.”
Say it with me Pollard fantasy managers and anytime TD bettors: Sheesh.
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You're the best around — and nothing's gonna ever keep you down. That said: Grinding week-to-week utilization changes can help make anyone a little better at fantasy football as well as life in general.
Lucky for you, Dwain “The Rock” McFarland is here with the biggest usage takeaways from last week’s action and what it all means for Week 10 and beyond…
📈 1. Tank Dell is a borderline WR2 after another scoring outburst.
Dell torched the Buccaneers' secondary with six receptions for 114 yards and two TDs on his way to a mouth-watering 30 fantasy points. Oh yeah, it could have been even bigger – he dropped two balls that would have given him another 25 yards before any run-after-catch goodness (and got overthrown on a potential 90-yard TD — sheesh).
While this was Dell’s most significant performance to date, it was his third 20-plus point performance in only five games in a full-time role. The rookie is averaging 17.2 points in five contests where he has reached an 80% route participation.
While keeping up a 17-plus point-per-game pace might not be realistic in a crowded offense, Dell has a strong comp group based on utilization and efficiency data from the last 12 seasons. Similar profiles have averaged a WR23 finish with over 14.1 points per game.
My first inclination was to move Dell into the low-end WR2 range, but he still has a couple of obstacles to clear. First, Robert Woods hasn’t played the last two games, which has opened up a path for Dell to lead the team in routes. Second, Noah Brown has performed well since returning to the slot role, which could create a rotation once Woods returns.
Outlook: Dell UPGRADES to high-end WR3 status and will move into WR2 territory if he holds onto playing time Bobby Trees returns.
🧀 2. The Packers cut Aaron Jones loose like they said they would.
Coach speak can be hard to decipher, but Matt Lafleur was saying all the right things about Jones heading into their Week 9 matchup.
#Packers coach (and birthday boy) Matt LaFleur on Aaron Jones’ (hamstring) status for this week:
“Ready to cut him loose”
On Wednesday, LaFleur said he had “no concerns” about Jones, who wore a red, no-contact jersey in this week’s practices
LaFleur is traditionally… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
— The Coachspeak Index (@CoachspeakIndex)
Nov 3, 2023
And oh my… LaFleur backed it up.
Jones dominated the Packers backfield with 20 attempts and five targets on his way to 19 fantasy points.
We saw Jones on a similar trajectory in Week 1. Before his hamstring injury, he handled 70% of snaps, 45% of attempts and had a 73% route participation.
While it is hard to be certain, there is a chance the Packers coaching staff has finally realized Jones is the superior option. A.J. Dillon is averaging only 3.3 yards per carry, and just 4.8% of his attempts have gone for 10-plus yards, ranking 44th out of 47 backs with at least 50 attempts.
Jones has finished as the RB4, RB3, RB12 and RB10 on a points-per-game basis over the last four seasons. Assuming his hamstring is well, Jones will quickly move back into the low-end RB1 conversation over the coming weeks.
Outlook: Jones UPGRADES to high-end RB2 status.
It’s Tuesday, which means it’s officially Week 10. To welcome in the new week of Fantasy Football, Matthew Freedman was up at the crack of dawn to make sure his rankings were ready for you before your morning coffee. Check out his full Week 10 rankings set here!
🤣 A.J. Brown’s nephew announces his favorite NFL WR. Lmao.
💣 Pat McAfee’s friend was throwing some pregame BOMBs on Monday night. I’m not a doctor, but the man is looking healthy.
👀 “Yeah, I’m thinking I’m back.” - Kyler Murray.
🏥 Injury updates from Sunday. These WRs are day-to-day and a torn ACL was sadly confirmed for this franchise QB.
😃 GREAT updates on injured Rams and Dolphins stars. This explosive rookie RB is “on track to return” Week 11 and there’s optimism abound in Los Angeles.
🧑🚀 Ladies and gentlemen, your new favorite QB nickname: The Passtronaut.
🦁 Good news: David Montgomery (ribs) looks good for Sunday. So what happens to Jahmyr Gibbs’ usage?
🪒 HUGE NEWS IN ATLANTA: Arthur Smith shaved his mustache. Oh yeah and something about the team’s Week 10 starting QB.
😭 Please tell us this is some kind of sick tasteless joke. How does this team keep getting primetime slots?
🐔 Oh, you think your fantasy football league punishment is hardcore? Try shotgunning a can of chicken noodle soup.
The waiver wire eats up the best of humanity and spits ill-informed fantasy managers out with a smile on its hypothetical face. Good thing you — a scholar — are reading this right now, because you are mere seconds away from learning EVERYTHING there is to know ahead of Week 10 from the one, the only, Chris “The Cincy Stormchaser” Allen…
Heading into Sunday, the Week 9 slate felt like a DFS lineup: full of studs and duds. But, like always, the league didn’t disappoint.
C.J. Stroud threw his way into history, while Josh Dobbs turned a nightmare scenario for the Vikings into an all-time performance. Accordingly, we should have more confidence in rostering players from these teams with bleak outlooks just a few days ago. So, as always, I went through Sunday’s data to find the top waiver adds to help prepare for Week 10.
Looking for recommended FAAB budgeting and even more Waiver Wire analysis? Head to our Waiver Hub to get all of that and more, for FREE!
👀 Keaton Mitchell, RB - Ravens
Let’s get something important out of the way first. If Gus Edwards’ nickname is ‘Gus Bus,’ we need one for Keaton Mitchell - something to showcase the kid’s speed.
Keaton Beacon (like the lights on an emergency vehicle)? Keaton Jeepin? I’ll keep working on it. (Editor’s note: Please do keep working on it).
Regardless, some fantasy managers will see Mitchell’s 60-yard scamper and notice two things: the score and the QB. Almost half of Mitchell’s yards came on one play, while the Ravens were up nearly four scores with their backup QB on the field.
However, Mitchell took on 23.5% of the early-down carries in the first half. He even converted on his single short-yardage tote. The rest was icing on the cake. But there are two fair concerns if you’re going to go after Mitchell on the wire: His situation and peripheral usage.
Even in a game where the Ravens blew out the Seahawks, Mitchell still had the fewest touches (10) of the Baltimore RBs. We could wish cast and believe that Justice Hill causing another fumble at the mesh point will result in more snaps for Mitchell, but we won’t know before next Sunday. Plus, Mitchell only ran three routes.
But it’s best to lean into the uncertainty now before Mitchell’s workload shifts.
🚀 Tank Dell, WR - Texans
Let’s run through Tank Dell’s recent history real quick. He suffered a concussion in Week 5, missed the following week, and the Texans were off in Week 7. It’s understandable if fantasy managers looked elsewhere after three games of nothing and a 16-yard outing in Week 8.
However, his Week 8 target share did spark some hope. And we saw all of his metrics bounce back on Sunday.
Target Share: 16.7% (Week 8), 28.9% (Week 9)
TPRR: 16.0%, 28.2%
Air Yard Share: 11.7%, 53.4%
I mean, if a WR can hoard over half of their team’s air yards, we should roster them. That’s the case if they play with a high-end QB. Dell has both working in his favor, along with the workload for him to remain in the WR2/3 discussion moving forward.
🕺 Odell Beckham, WR - Ravens
I honestly didn’t know it was Odell Beckham’s birthday on Sunday until after kickoff. But the moment I heard it, I “knew” he was going to get a TD. It’s one of those narratives that just winds up working out.
And some might see his first score of the season as a fluke. But over the last month, with all of the starting WRs healthy, Beckham has started to assert himself as the WR1(B) amongst the Baltimore pass-catchers:
Target Share: 19.1% (2nd)
Air Yard Share: 24.2% (T-2nd)
TPRR: 26.5% (1st)
Red-Zone Target Share: 23.1% (T-2nd)
Third/Fourth Down Target Share: 20.0% (T-1st)
Lamar Jackson is looking for him as often as Zay Flowers but farther downfield (6.4 to 9.8 air yards per target). And, as we saw, Beckham already has a role when the Ravens get into scoring position. We already know we can trust Jackson. But now, it looks like we can trust Beckham in this passing game that continues to get better every week.
men will literally shave their mustache before giving bijan a goal line carry
— pete joeverzet (@peteroverzet)
Nov 6, 2023