Fantasy “Believe it or Not?”: Knee-Jerk Reactions After Week 3

Fantasy “Believe it or Not?”: Knee-Jerk Reactions After Week 3

by September 29, 2020 0 comments

Week 3 of the NFL season is in the books, and the trend of high-scoring affairs continued with teams finding the end zone early and often. The league likely is smiling wide, and it’s made for some exciting games. For fantasy managers, on the surface it appears to be a benefit, but it has also created an enormous amount of parity in leagues. It is as important as ever for managers to make savvy moves in waivers and trades to gain an upper hand on their competitors.

It is time for another installment of fantasy “Believe it or Not?” to address a few key players and situations moving forward. Your IR spots are filled already, but so are many others’, so now it is all about survival of the fittest (quite literally).

Remember when you were so happy to get Rob Gronkowski as a value pick?

It must be time to cut bait on Gronkowski, right? Gronk has 11 targets from his old buddy Tom Brady through three games. Not only is that less than desirable, but it does not even lead Tampa Bay at the position. That designation goes to O.J. Howard, edging him out with 13 and his catches are going for 12 yards a pop to Gronkowski’s six. Fantasy managers should eject from this plan before the position tanks their season.

So, do we believe it or not?

Believe it. If you have a deep bench, you could keep Gronk around to see if he is just not conditioned after returning this season, but it doesn’t inspire confidence when head coach Bruce Arians says “…we brought him in to just play tight end, and if that means no catches, it means no catches.” There are other available tight ends on the waiver wire including Mo Alie-Cox of the Colts that are bigger focal points of their offenses than Gronkowski.

Remember when rookie Joe Burrow was not a viable fantasy starting quarterback?

There is no reason to be starting a rookie in your quarterback slot, is there? In Cincinnati, issues abound on both sides of the ball, not the least of which is a terrible offensive line that has a median age of just 24. In a league where you might lose points for sacks and pick-sixes, you would be crazy to put your trust in a first-year quarterback on a bad team.

So, do we believe it or not?

Not a chance. In Week 1, Burrow was baptized in the NFL in a date with the Chargers defense. That game, he mustered just 193 yards and an interception, but still added a trip to the painted area with his legs. In the two weeks since, he has connected with receivers for 628 yards and five touchdowns. After the Jaguars game on Sunday, he will play five defenses built on stopping the run and will likely continue his torrid pace of throwing the ball. Burrow surpassed the rookie completion record through three games, set by Kyler Murray. In leagues with short benches, he may still be sitting there waiting to be snatched up.

Remember not knowing who would carry the ball in Miami?

We still do not know who the lead dog in the Miami Dolphins backfield, do we? The offseason headlines heavily featured both incoming acquisitions in Matt Breida and Jordan Howard. They joined a group that also features Kalen Ballage, Myles Gaskin, and Patrick Laird. Ballage was released in late August, and managers everywhere drafted Howard and Breida. That should be the combo going forward, regardless of what has occurred to this point in 2020.

So, do we believe it or not?

Not a chance. As you likely already know, Gaskin is the waiver wire darling this week after toting the ball 22 times on Thursday Night Football, compared to the combined total of six from Breida and Howard. Miami is clearly committed to Gaskin as their featured back, who has accounted for 152 rushing yards and 15 receptions although he has yet to find paydirt. If Tua Tagovailoa ever takes over, any running back would take a hit to their value. That said, with all the injuries to backs in 2020, Gaskin is a must-add in waivers if he is still available.

Remember when you dumped Justin Jefferson after Week 2?

You were ahead of the game, right? The rookie from LSU did not even get the start in the first two weeks of the season for the Minnesota Vikings, confounding more than a few managers who had expected him to step right into the Stefon Diggs role. Instead, he was targeted just six times although he did catch five of those passes. In Week 3, he finally got a starting nod and was targeted nine times (seven catches) for an eye-popping 175 yards. Was that an outlier? Inconsistency is maddening in football to begin with and even more so for managers trying to win a fantasy championship. Jefferson should be avoided when waivers open.

So, do we believe it or not?

Nope, go after Jefferson. The flashes he displayed in Minnesota’s loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday was his coming out party. 175 yards from a wideout is enough to make coaches scheme for a player, and it would be well deserved. From here on out, Jefferson will be a candidate for your flex on a weekly basis at the very least. He plays on a team with a lackluster defense and Kirk Cousins is more than capable of completing passes as they play from behind. You like that? If so, add the former Tiger to your waiver claims.

As always, best of luck in your waiver claims and trade negotiations. Reminder: Prime Time Sports Talk will have a thread featuring our experts on Twitter Sunday at 11:00 A.M. est. All your Start/Sit and trade request questions will be answered in real-time. See you then, and may you all be victorious in every fantasy endeavor.

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Covering NFL, MLB, Fantasy Sports, and NCAAB. Cincinnati raised, Los Angeles resident with a stop in Philadelphia in between. Joe Mixon truther, fan of "The Answer". Joey Votto is an international treasure.

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