Last week’s article received one of my favorite comments any of my pieces has ever received.
“This article should be titled – things I have a gut feeling about and have no actual data to back up my thinking.”
Being more so on the sarcastic side of the personality spectrum, I responded back to the person with, “stay tuned for next week.”
So here we are. Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season and this week’s title is… Trade, Drop & Hold: Gut Feelings.
I would have went with the commenter’s full title suggestion but it’s just a little too long for my taste. Additionally, while I am more of a “gut” thinker when it comes to fantasy football, I definitely add “stats” and “data” for the analytics people to help validate what my gut tells me. So there was some “actual data” to back up my thinking, just likely not enough to everyone’s liking.
Here’s my very condensed take on analytics/stats/gut feelings/etc…
You’ve gotta have a mix. There’s no way you can rely on one specific way of thinking and have it work out well for you every time.
For those who need stats to backup their thoughts/decisions, you can nearly almost always find a way to make a statistic work in your favor, so at the end of the day, wouldn’t you rather trust your eyes and gut when it comes to your money (fantasy football teams)?
Stats are available to everyone. You can literally go out and find any of the numbers you may ever need and/or want to help you in your decision-making process. If you’re taking the time to read an article, wouldn’t you rather hear someone’s actual opinion rather than have them rattle off a bunch of stats?
Alright sorry for the brutally long intro, but thanks for listening (reading?). Onto this week’s gut feelings.
Trade: Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals
If you have the luxury of being able to trade Christian Kirk and not have your wide-receiver unit be spread too thin, now is the time.
Over the last four games, Kirk has five touchdowns on just 15 receptions. A 33% touchdown/reception rate (like that, stat people???) is pretty much unheard of, and has little-to-no chance of being sustainable over the remainder of the fantasy season.
Unless Kirk’s targets/receptions increase, he’ll continue to be touchdown dependent on a weekly basis. His season high in receiving yards in a single game this year is 86, and all but six of those yards came on a single completion; yet another fairly unsustainable statistic.
Add into the equation that he has a Week 8 bye week, followed by difficult matchups against Miami and Buffalo, and you’ve got three straight weeks coming up where I bet he fails to reach double-digit fantasy points.
This one pains me a little bit since I was relatively high on Kirk entering the season (WR28), but I think we’ve reached the point where Kirk maxes out in 2020. I’m still a big fan of Kirk in dynasty leagues and would hold on tight to him there, but in redraft, the sell time is now.
Drop: Cam Newton, QB, New England Patriots
Are you sick of people telling you that Cam Newton is this week’s top-drop candidate if you’re playing the waiver wire?
Well add me to this extensive list because I believe Newton will cost you more weeks moving forward as your starting quarterback than he’ll win you.
Newton began his run as the Patriots’ starting QB on fire, combining for over 60 fantasy points through the first two weeks of the season. Newton owners were feeling pretty good about their late-round QB selection, until Week 3 hit and his stats and production started to cool down.
Week 4 was Newton’s COVID week, and the Patriots had their bye on Week 5, but since then Newton has struggled in a two-interception performance against the Broncos, and got benched in a three-interception outing last week against the 49ers.
I don’t think all of the blame falls on Newton’s shoulders. It’s just that the Patriots have finally found themselves in a down year after a two-decade run of complete domination. If the team is unable to jump out to an early lead and utilize their run game, the offense becomes fairly inept due to how defenses can blitz Newton (also since defenses don’t really fear any of their current offensive skill players).
In standard 12-man leagues you can likely do better than Newton for the rest of the season. I took a look at my most standard 12-man league, and here are some available quarterbacks that I’d pickup and drop Newton for: Joe Burrow, Derek Carr, Baker Mayfield and Gardner Minshew.
Is there an argument to be made for Newton over a couple of those guys? Sure. but I’d rather snag a guy like Burrow or Carr and feel confident that I can get around 20 points per week, where with Newton, I don’t possess that type of confidence.
Hold: Adrian Peterson, RB, Detroit Lions
How’s this for an unsexy buzzkill to end the article?
It appears that D’Andre Swift has finally taken control of the Lions’ backfield, and while you definitely don’t want to find yourself in a position where you have to rely on Adrian Peterson to start for you, I want to make my case for holding him if you can afford to dump a different player if playing the waivers this week.
First, running backs that receive playing time and touches are hard to find, and the last thing you should be doing is cutting one for a receiver that’s likely going to sit on your bench the same way Peterson (hopefully) will.
Second, despite Swift being the Lions’ RB to own, he’s still only seen a 38% and 46% share of snaps the last two weeks compared to 27% and 30% for Peterson. Additionally, despite the lack of success, Peterson is still the running back the team has relied upon in short-yardage situations, which is beneficial when you’re talking about goal-line carries.
Lastly, take a look at the Lions’ remaining schedule. They have a mix of plus/minus matchups, but they’ve already had their bye week, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to use Peterson if you find yourself in a pinch.
If you find yourself in this pinch, Peterson isn’t going to be the type of player that’ll win you a week (not sure I’ve ever typed something so obvious in my life), but hopefully he can capitalize on one of those goal-line carries and throw in an extra 30-40 yards to salvage an okay fantasy day for your RB2/flex position.
I understand if this is finally the week you cut ties with Peterson for a current free agent, but if you can hold on a little longer, I’d recommend it.