In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Hulu + Live TV, we recap Thursday Night Football, debut Kevin’s data barrage, and take a look at the full practice report from yesterday. It's 11/19. Take it away, Peter Overzet…***
A watched pot does not boil and a Thursday Night Football game we desperately want to be good will not be good. It’s just science.
The Patriots clobbered the Falcons 25-0 last night and the lone bright spots for fantasy were the Patriots defense and Nick Folk. Mac Jones and the running backs, Rhamondre Stevenson (12-69) and Damien Harris (10-56), were fine, but there was little fantasy goodness to be found.
The Falcons are so broken. Qadree Ollison (9-34) surprisingly led the backfield in carries and Kyle Pitts (3-29) got the Belichick treatment.
Fortunately, next Thursday is the Thanksgiving slate. We’ll have three cracks at a good game.
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📈 KEVIN'S DATA BARRAGE
Excited to debut another new segment to this newsletter this week. Every Friday, Kevin Tompkins, a terrific fantasy football writer and podcaster, will expand on some of the most interesting nuggets from his Data Barrage series. Take it away, Kevin…
James Conner, ARI - Without Chase Edmonds in the lineup for the Cardinals, Conner assumed a full-time role in the offense in Week 10. Not only did he score his league-leading 11th touchdown on the season, but Conner also ran 57% of pass routes. With Conner already having a sizable role as the Cardinals get into the red zone, his ability to stay on the field during passing downs and providing some passing-down utility locks Conner into a low-end RB1 role as long as Edmonds is sidelined.
Stefon Diggs, BUF - Diggs had his best game of the season in Week 10. He led the NFL in air yards (208) this past week and finished just behind Deebo Samuel as fantasy’s overall WR2 in PPR. Diggs’ absurd 45% targets per route run (TPRR) and 46% target share are numbers we were accustomed to seeing in his breakout 2020. Hopefully, this past week’s performance propels the Bills’ offense to revolve around Diggs and not around the secondary pass-catchers.
Jerry Jeudy, DEN - Since his return to the Denver lineup in Week 8, Jeudy has led the Broncos in targets in each of the last three games and increased his routes run from 76% in Week 8 to a season-high 89% this past week. Jeudy’s surge has been to the detriment of Courtland Sutton, who has a combined nine targets since Week 8. While the Broncos are on bye this week, you have to feel confident in Jeudy’s fantasy prospects going forward as the top target in Denver.
Dan Arnold, JAC - Arnold has been a top-13 tight end in four of the last five weeks and has averaged near 7.5 targets per game in that same span. Since the Jaguars’ Week 7 bye, Arnold has been THE top target for Jacksonville, leading the team in target share (23%) and every major receiving category. If you need a tight end, Arnold is still only rostered in 33% of ESPN leagues.
Hunter Renfrow, LVR - When you hear “Raiders'' as it pertains to fantasy football, you immediately think of Darren Waller. Enter Renfrow, who has dominated usage over the past three games for Las Vegas. Renfrow’s 85% routes run, 24% target share, and 27% TPRR show that Renfrow is getting targeted very heavily on an offense that’s been craving consistency. The WR19 in PPR since Week 7, Renfrow has been the top pass-catcher for the Raiders in recent weeks, not Waller.
Tyler Conklin, MIN - Conklin is looking like a viable third option in the Minnesota passing game, ahead of K.J. Osborn in the pecking order. Conklin has at least five targets in six of his last seven games and has produced double-digit fantasy points in his previous four games. Averaging 70% of routes run over the last three weeks, Conklin doesn’t have a ton of upside, but he’s regularly involved in his team’s offense -- something that’s very valuable (and scarce) with fantasy tight ends.
Kevin Tompkins has been playing fantasy football for almost two decades. Amazingly in all that time, he has never drafted a bad running back. One would describe his fantasy takes as "reasonable."
🚑 THE INJURY WARD
As usual, there are a lot of moving pieces this week as far as injuries. Nick Chubb has been activated off the COVID list, which means he should play this weekend vs. the Lions. Alvin Kamara, who missed practice again yesterday, is the biggest question mark this week. Saquon Barkley looks like he’ll play. Full rundown below:
* Did Not Practice: Alvin Kamara (knee), DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring), Aaron Rodgers (toe), Elijah Mitchell (finger), Gerald Everett (groin), Allen Robinson (hamstring), Marquise Brown (thigh), Ricky Seals-Jones (hip), Jeremy McNichols (concussion), Jared Goff (oblique), Sterling Shepard (quad), Antonio Brown (ankle)
* Limited participants: Kyler Murray (ankle), Saquon Barkley (ankle), Deebo Samuel (shin), Dallas Goedert (concussion), Chase Claypool (toe), James Robinson (knee, heel), Cole Beasley (ribs), Alex Collins (groin), Josh Jacobs (knee), Chris Godwin (foot), Antonio Gibson (shin)
* Full participant: Tua Tagovailoa (finger), Rob Gronkowski (back)
👟 LINDA'S KICKER TIERS
We have a few updates to Linda’s initial batch of kicking tiers from Tuesday. Take it away, Linda...
* The Detroit Lions signed UDFA Riley Patterson, but Dan Campbell is a gambler—he’ll go for it on 4th down, he’s just trying to get a win. No Lions kicker will be a viable option going forward...The Saints signed Brett Maher to their practice squad and I presume he’ll be elevated for the game. I’m not sure I can trust the Trevor Siemian-led Saints to push Maher into starting territory...Randy Bullock is gaining some steam heading into the weekend. My only concern is that he finds a lot of extra points and doesn’t see a lot of field goal opportunities. He’s a floor play for me this week.
Alright, that’s it for today. We’ll be back tomorrow with Waz’s updated Week 10 ranks and updates on a lot of these injury situations.
Enjoy your Friday.
- Pete Overzet