In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter, we look at mounting COVID cases, the biggest signals and noise takeaways from Week 14 and drop early Week 15 ranks. It's 12/15. Take it away, Peter Overzet…
For awhile there, it seemed like we might be making it through the 2021 yesterday without too much COVID disruption. Over the first two months of the season, 61 players were added to the COVID list.
Then Week 15 happened.
As of last night, the NFL has had 75 players test positive for COVID over the past two days.
Notable skill position player names who have been placed on the COVID-19 list in the past 48 hours: Odell Beckham Jr, Tyler Higbee, Jarvis Landry, Austin Hooper, Myles Gaskin, Phillip Lindsay, Salvon Ahmed, Myles Gaskin, Alexander Mattison, Kadarius Toney, Quez Watkins
For a comprehensive list, I recommend the COVID player tracker over at Sharp Football. But one thing is clear, there is certainly more to come this week and fantasy players will need to remain nimble.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated throughout the week so you can make the best possible decisions. For now, read on for the top signals and noise from Week 14, plus Waz’s early Week 15 ranks.
💥 SIGNALS & NOISE
Ben Gretch (@YardsPerGretch) writes the terrific Stealing Signals newsletter where he does a weekly deep dive into the previous week and shares his biggest signals (players who could sustain their production) and biggest noise (performances that were likely fluky). Here are some of his observations from Week 14…
D’Onta Foreman — 13 of team’s 17 first-half RB touches, both first-half green zone touches (Dontrell Hilliard worked in as No. 2 early and Jeremy McNichols got most of his work in the fourth quarter of the shutout win)
Rashaad Penny — season-high 57% snaps, season-high 45% routes, got Seattle’s only RB green zone touch (both him only getting 2 HVT with this workload but also him hitting for two long TDs would be noisy, and it kind of offsets but the role was solid)
Gabriel Davis — season highs with 83% snaps, 83% routes with Emmanuel Sanders hurt, has downfield profile plus six end zone targets in past seven games, very solid WR streaming option
Rashod Bateman — 77% routes, 8-7-103 receiving with Sammy Watkins leaving early (the efficiency might lead to a more secure role even when Watkins is good to go)
James Robinson — dude had four yards on six touches on a 64% snap share, I mean I know the Jaguars are terrible but come on
Craig Reynolds — 46% snaps, 99 yards (three offensive NFL snaps prior to this week since going undrafted out of Kutztown in 2019)
Deebo Samuel — three receptions over past three games (he’s still running a ton of routes, including 83% this week, but they are closer to the line of scrimmage; he’s hitting on the rushing efficiency and they are hitting on the downfield passing — when either stops they are still going to find ways to use him)
Breshad Perriman — 58-yard touchdown in overtime, but after a huge Week 13 role, he played behind Tyler Johnson for the No. 3 WR role here
To see all of Gretch’s biggest signals and biggest noise analysis from Week 14, subscribe to his substack.
🥇WAZ'S .5 PPR RANKS
Here are the early Week 15 rankings from Rob Waziak aka "Waz" along with notes on the Thursday guys:
Jared Cook (TE18) appeared as a DNP on Monday’s injury report with a quadriceps injury, but logged a limited practice yesterday. It appears Cook is trending toward playing tomorrow, but the injury is worth noting because if Cook were to miss the game, Donald Parham (TE33) would hold sneaky upside against a Chiefs defense that has allowed 6.6 receptions and 56.5 yards per game to opposing tight ends this season. In a game where the Chargers are 3-point home underdogs with an implied point total of 24.5 points, the Chargers’ tight ends could see notable work alongside Austin Ekeler (RB07), Keenan Allen (WR10), and Mike Williams (WR19).
Josh Gordon tested positive for COVID and will be out for tomorrow night’s game. Despite the touchdown last week, Gordon has been a non-factor in the offense and has only seen more than one target in two games this season. While it will be business as usual for all Chiefs’ pass-catchers, Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB14) and Darrel Williams (RB35) could be the main beneficiaries against a Chargers defense that ranks last in the league against the rush.
Waz is a fantasy football analyst who competes in draft and season-long expert rankings competitions. He's consistently been at or near the top of all industry-wide leaderboards since 2017. He’ll be back on Saturday with an update.