In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter we share twelve interesting takeaways from yesterday, take an initial pass on injuries, and preview Monday Night Football. It's 9/20. Take it away, Peter Overzet…
* Is there a more consistent fantasy producer than Travis Kelce? He had 7 receptions, 109 yards, and 1 TD last night in what seems like a never-ending streak of stat-stuffing games. Mecole Hardman quietly led the Chiefs in targets and ran more pass routes than Demarcus Robinson.
* The Big Dog went nuclear in Seattle. Derrick Henry rushed 35 times for 182 yards and 3 TDs. But what is far more notable than the gaudy rush totals is his involvement in the pass game. Henry chipped in 6 receptions for 55 yards and if he consistently adds that dimension to his game he can legitimately challenge for the No. 1 overall RB in fantasy.
* Tony Pollard once again out-produced Ezekiel Elliott while rushing 13 times for 109 yards and 1 TD and catching 3 balls for 31 yards. If you drafted Zeke in the first round you certainly don’t want to hear this, but...this looks like a 50/50 backfield committee going forward.
* We’ve bagged on Arizona’s fake “Air Raid” offense for a couple years now, but this version of the Cardinals finally looks ready to deliver on Hal Mumme’s vision. Kyler Murray was electric once again at the helm, throwing for 400 yards and 3 TDs and also rushing in another one. Rookie WR Rondale Moore got loose for a 77-yard TD and DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green also got in the paint.
* The Atlanta Falcons are a disaster right now, but the lone bright spot is the emergence of Cordarrelle Patterson as a bonafide RB. He split work down the middle with Mike Davis and they both finished the game with 7 carries and 6 targets, but Patterson found the end zone twice. Now if we could just get fantasy sites to re-classify him as a RB and not a WR.
* Najee Harris was the chalk RB in DFS yesterday and salvaged his mediocre day on the ground (10 carries for 38 yards) with a nice bit of work in the passing game (5 receptions for 43 yards and 1 TD). He also delivered one of the more disrespectful stiff arms I’ve ever seen:
* Courtland Sutton is ready to step up in Jerry Jeudy’s absence. He led the league in air yards yesterday while turning 9 receptions into 159 yards on a 21.2 aDOT (average depth of target). Tim Patrick was second on the team in snaps, routes run, and targets.
* Cooper Kupp looks like he’s going to have an absolutely monster year with Matthew Stafford. He had 9 receptions for 163 yards and 2 TDs. Robert Woods had 9 targets and 2 carries, but this offense is funneling through Kupp for the time being.
* This isn’t an interesting takeaway or a notable performance, but honestly, what the hell are the Texans doing?
* Andy Dalton hurt his leg yesterday, which means we saw our first extended action for Justin Fields. Fields rushed the ball 10 times and will become an immediate fantasy factor if he’s installed as the permanent starter.
* In a funny twist, D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson have once again flip flopped roles. Heading into last year Moore was an underneath guy and Anderson was a deep threat in New York. Then it flipped in 2020. And now it appears to have flipped again:
* The 49ers are an absolute mess right now. All three of the RBs got injured in the game. Brandon Aiyuk is still working back from his hamstring injury. George Kittle has essentially air-balled two straight games. And most discouraging of all, Jimmy Garoppolo is still the starter.
🗣️ IT'S MONDAY—AIM FOR MEDIOCRITY
🚑 THE INJURY WARD
We have a ton of injuries from yesterday that we will be monitoring throughout the week…
* Diontae Johnson (knee), Laviska Shenault (shoulder), Trey Sermon (concussion), Eli Mitchell (shoulder), JaMycal Hasty (ankle), Jarvis Landry (knee), Tua Tagovailoa (rib), Tyrod Taylor (hamstring), Nico Collins (shoulder), Andy Dalton (knee), Carson Wentz (ankle), Darrell Henderson (rib), Russell Gage (ankle), James O'Shaughnessy (ankle).
📊 STAT OF THE DAY
🔮 MNF PREVIEW
Tonight we get the Packers hosting the Lions as 11.5 point home favorites with an O/U of 49.
Aaron Rodgers looked legitimately bad last week against the Saints, but he’s also been historically great against the Lions. Per Alex Vigderman at Sharp Football:
Against the Lions in 2020, he combined for an 80% On-Target% with a combined 530 yards and five touchdowns with no picks. The biggest note here, though, is the pressure rate of just 16% in those games. Rodgers should have time to work.
I think I’m too scared to lay the points. 11.5 is such a big number for a divisional opponent who just put up 33 garbage time points against the 49ers in Week 1. I think I’m going to attack it from the O/U angle instead. You can see my bet on Betsperts, which is a sports betting social media app that is free to download.
We’ll be back tomorrow with waiver wire picks. Enjoy the game.
- Pete Overzet