Week 3 Mailbag
You all know that championships aren’t won at the draft. In season decisions are what makes a Fantasy Champion. But sometimes you need a little extra helping hand in making those decisions. That’s what we here at FFStatistics live for. So keep those questions coming our way and we will keep answering them. So without further adieu, let’s get into the week 3 mailbag.
To Flex or Not to Flex… D.J. Moore
The Panthers receiver duo has had plenty of opportunity through two weeks. Second-year receiver D.J. Moore ranks third in the NFL in targets and fourth in receptions through two weeks. On the other side, Curtis Samuel has ranked eighth in the NFL in air yards. These two have complemented each other perfectly thus far. Moore is the PPR machine on underneath routes, and Samuel is the big-play threat.
Despite their success in regards to opportunity, however, their fantasy performance has been lackluster. Moore ranks 25th in PPR fantasy points while his teammate, Samuel, ranks just 50th. This can be attributed largely to the duo’s lack of touchdowns. Neither has found the endzone yet this season. Perhaps that’s not their fault, though, because quarterback Cam Newton has yet to throw any passing touchdowns in 2019.
Newton is just one of three passers (minimum 40 pass attempts) without a passing touchdown to his name in 2019. Further, Newton has completed just 56.2% of his passes while throwing the third-most passes in the NFL through two weeks. This completion percentage ranks third-worst among qualified quarterbacks (minimum 28 pass attempts) in 2019.
So, all of this is to say that Moore has had ample opportunity through two weeks, but Cam Newton has not been able to elevate him to a consistent fantasy football starter. Objectively, Cam Newton has been a bottom ten quarterback passing the ball in 2019. This isn’t just from a fantasy perspective, but rather from statistics such as Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt, completion percentage, touchdowns, passer rating, etc.
|Player||Week||OPP||TRGTS||REC||REC YDS||YDS/TRGT||TDS||TRGT MKT SHARE%|
If Kyle Allen comes in to start for Cam at some point over the next few weeks, I would not be moving D.J. Moore or Curtis Samuel out of my lineups assuming I need to start three or more wide receivers each week. While neither should be considered top 24 options at this point until we see more from their quarterback play, Moore has a solid weekly floor and Samuel’s big plays are ahead.
Allen, statistically speaking, cannot be that much worse than Cam has been thus far. While I would not go as far as to say he’s an upgrade from Newton, he will be a serviceable weekly quarterback and be able to sustain Moore and Samuel as fantasy football options. You should certainly temper your upside expectations for the young duo, but if you would start these players with Cam Newton, you should start them with Kyle Allen as well.
*Note from the editor – Looking at your roster I would be tempted to flex Mike Williams or Raheem Mostert, regardless of Cam playing or not. ~P.C.
Mayfield or Mason?
— Valodya Parfenoff (@MrColorado79) September 19, 2019
This is a tricky one, considering we have very little of Mason Rudolph’s body of work to go off of. But we can get some sense of what Pittsburgh will do if we take a look at the team offenses.
|Cleveland||vs. Los Angeles Rams||73||44||60.3||274.5||2||4|
|Pittsburgh||@ San Francisco||81||47||58.0%||228||2||2|
The yardage floor is better for Baker Mayfield, but you can see there is also a greater risk of interceptions. Unless you are projecting Rudolph to be more efficient than Ben Roethlisberger, all things being equal I have to lean Mayfield.
This is fantasy, however, so all things are never equal. Mayfield is hosting the Los Angeles Rams and they are currently one of the worst matchups for opposing QBs, allowing a measly 7.79 FP/Game to signal-callers. That’s the second-lowest, only the New England Patriots are averaging fewer. Rudolph is traveling to the Bay Area, where the 49ers have been pretty stingy as well, averaging 12.85, 24th most. Better, but not great either.
Right now everything is rather balanced, so I suggest you stick with Mayfield. What tilts the scales for me, is that I believe the horrible Pittsburgh Home/Road splits isn’t all Big Ben’s fault, but likely something endemic of the whole organization. So even with the change under center, I expect Pittsburgh to struggle on the road with a downgrade at QB. Rudolph might turn out to be a good NFL quarterback, but we know Baker Mayfield is.
Dealers Choice, Pick Two
Half-point PPR – Need a WR and Flex – Ingram, Thielen, Marquise Brown. Thanks
— Jamie Geysbeek (@jamiegphoto) September 19, 2019
Marquise Brown versus the Kansas City Chiefs is a must-start. The Ravens-Chiefs matchup has the highest total of the week which boosts the upside of all skill players involved. In a potential shootout, you want Brown in your lineup. Coming into Week 3 he ranks third in the league with 233 receiving yards and seventh with a 29.5 percent market share.
So now it comes down to Mark Ingram in a game he may see his touches limited by game script or Adam Thielen who may encounter the same issue. The Ravens are 6.5 point underdogs which suggest that Vegas believes that Baltimore will be down. This could limit Ingram’s carry opportunities. With the Minnesota Vikings 9.5 point favorites over the Oakland Raiders, we may see Kirk Cousins held to 10 or fewer pass attempts for the second time in three weeks. Dalvin Cook has looked tremendous this season and the Raiders are going to be hard-pressed to contain him. With this is in mind Adam Thielen seems to be the riskier play.
Roll with Marquise Brown and teammate Mark Ingram.
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