Paul’s Picks No. 1

Fantasy Football at a Critical Juncture –


Today marks the start of week 5 in the NFL regular season, a crossroads and a critical time for fantasy football managers to make the necessary adjustments to their personnel. Whether you love it because you drafted Derrick Henry and Davante Adams in 2020, like me, or despise it because you drafted David Johnson first overall in 2017, fantasy football is an American craze that has deeply altered the viewing experience of the NFL. I remember complaining incessantly about how horribly my players performed during my first year of fantasy, but since I was reluctant to trade any of my core starters, I paid the price in 12 losses in a 17 game span. My older cousin, with whom I shared this agony, said something along the lines of “A good farmer doesn’t blame his tools.” In other words, if you are going to hold on to an underperforming player, you have to be sure that his value will boom, and trust that he will reach his potential before the season’s finish. You may lose a fair amount of your preseason wagers, but something about developing an all-star caliber team intrigues our minds and unfortunately empties our pockets. Are you poised for a fantasy football postseason run, or do you need to turn the tide of your league?

Do not overuse the waiver wire:

While some high-performing skills players are bound to go undrafted, the waiver wire is a slippery slope. Too many waiver claims or free agent adds can cause you to lose collateral that you believed in on draft night. My philosophy: limit the use of the waiver wire to emergency substitutions and long-term injury changes. In terms of this week’s preparation, if you have not already, add Cordarrele Patterson, Atlanta’s dynamic pass-catching running back who has been tearing it up lately, averaging 18.9 points a game in 0.5 PPR leagues. Falcons fans have very little to be happy about, but the emergence of Patterson has saved them from going winless.

Where Tom Brady stands:

I speak for most when I say primetime Tom Brady is the quarterback you want during a postseason push. We know Brady can win games, we know he’s clutch, we know about the legendary twenty-year career he has had but is he the best when it comes down to fantasy production? Whenever evaluating a player’s worth in fantasy, you need to make personal rankings and checklists. Here’s what mine would look like for Tom Brady at the moment. First, Brady has QB1 status in fantasy as he starts every game for a potent offense. He has seen better days when speaking of mobility, but rolling out of the pocket was never the G.O.A.T’s play style. Despite his unimpressive homecoming win last week in New England, Brady has been operating at a consistent pace, posting 27, 29, and 28 points in the first three games. When push comes to shove, Brady needs to be started if he’s on your team, and trading for him might be wise due to his subpar game in Week 4.

Teams that are fantasy powerhouses in 2021:

The Kansas City Chiefs are blooming into football’s most favored and revered team, succeeding the Brady-Belichick dynasty. Yet, Pat Mahomes and Andy Reid have borne the brunt of their growing pains recently, with losses against the Ravens and Chargers. Besides the Chiefs, with Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, there are other NFL teams with diverse fantasy talent.

1. San Francisco 49ers
Trey Lance
Deebo Samuel
George Kittle
2. Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen
Emmanuel Sanders
Stefon Diggs
Dawson Knox
Devin Singletary
Zack Moss
Defense and Special Teams
3. Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray
Deandre Hopkins
James Connor
4. Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Jones
Robert Tonyon
Davante Adams
A.J Dillon

Underrated Player Spotlight: D.J. Moore

The Panthers have always been creative with their use of D.J. Moore, the fourth-year wideout out of Maryland. However, his usage has fluctuated in the past given Carolina’s quarterback and running back dilemmas. This year, they have three wins with a questionable offensive line, which goes to show how much of an impact Moore has had in the absence of Christian McCaffrey. Against Dallas this past Sunday, Moore hauled in 8 of his 12 targets for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns. While he was ranked 20th at the season’s commencement, D.J. is the 4th best fantasy wide receiver year to date.

The Bench/Droplist:

Do not trust the Steelers wide receiver core of Juju Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, and Diontae Johnson. Big Ben has been everything but sharp, and that kind of underwhelming play has impacted the success of his three superstar receivers. This week, I am starting Zack Moss as a flex instead of Smith-Schuster, who caught only a quarter of his targets last week.

For the time being, avoid starting players from the Tennesse Titans. With A.J. Brown and Julio Jones both injured, Ryan Tannehill has less depth to work with in terms of pass catchers to target. Derrick Henry, “The King,” sure is fun to watch, but his value would decrease if Tannehill can’t march into the red zone every drive like he did in 2020.

As a NY football fan it pains me to say this, but this year is not the year for men in blue or green. I have always supported the decision to keep Daniel Jones as the franchise quarterback, but the Giants have too many holes to fill, on the field and in the front office alike, to take down the Cowboys for the NFC East title. As for the Jets, the same principles apply except for the fact that Zach Wilson looks just how anyone would expect a rookie to play. Corey Davis and Michael Carter could potentially become starters, but their ceiling is low working with a quarterback who has eight turnovers in four games.

It may be true that no game this year will be able to match the pure intensity and excitement revolving around the Brady-Belichick reunion last Sunday night, but look out for the Rams and Seahawks game. These two teams are known for their strong coaching, formidable defenses, and wide receivers with raw playmaking talent. We will find out at 8:20 tonight if Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf can outwork Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald.