I’m sure most of you have watched the movie Titanic. For those that have, do you remember the scene where Captain Edward Smith is steering the sinking ship and water is up to the windows, signaling the impending doom of what’s about to come? I’m being quite overdramatic here, but that’s about how I feel with my main fantasy football team at the moment.
I sit here going into week 4 with an 0-3 record — placed 13th out of 14. Is that good? Don’t answer that.
I have horrendous luck when it comes to my West Branch Football League team. This year I have underperformers Baker Mayfield, Todd Gurley, Joe Mixon and Stefon Diggs. As a sophomore QB, Mayfield put up 15 fantasy points in standard leagues in week 2 but that’s sandwiched together by two 9-point performances. That, my friends, is bad.
Todd Gurley — arthritic knee and all — has a best performance of 13.5 points in week 2, with 9.5 and 4-point performance in weeks 1 and 3, respectively. Your number one pick in fantasy is supposed to be your workhorse. If you’re getting 4 measly points a week from him, congratulations, no playoffs for you.
Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon — my RB2 — hasn’t done much better. He got me 5.5 points COMBINED for weeks 1-2. That’s only 5.5 more points than what you received sitting on your couch watching the games. He did get me 16 points last week, which I hope for my team’s sake is a step in the right direction. But with my luck, that’ll be the only double-digit fantasy performance of the year.
Then we have Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs. I drafted the Maryland product as my WR1. He’s been more like WR10000. In week 1’s win against the Atlanta Falcons, QB Kirk Cousins attempted 10 passes. In the year 2019, an NFL team attempted 10 whole passes in an entire 60-minute game. Diggs caught two of those for 37 yards. Fantastic. In week 2, he hauled in a 49-yard touchdown. That’s great — because that was his only catch on the day. But wait, there’s more! Week 3’s result? Three receptions for 15 yards. That’s 2.5 points. Give me my fantasy title now (sarcasm for those not fluent in the language).
A semi-bright spot for me right now is having Penn State alum Allen Robinson — who I drafted as my WR3/flex play. But while he’s gotten a minimum of 40 yards a game, he’s had no touchdowns this year because QB Mitchell Trubisky has been nothing short of horrendous this season. Which, off-topic here, this is your reminder that people in the Bears front office drafted Trubisky ahead of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Yikes.
So, yeah, it appears that I’m going down with the ship as we enter week 4. Our free agent market doesn’t really have anyone in particular that I can replace all of the people I mentioned here. I’ll bank on past performances and hope that they show why they were high draft picks to begin with. But yes, it is time to panic if you’ve started 0-3. Here’s to hoping I don’t come in last and get my name on our toilet seat trophy, but I’m sure plenty of my league mates will revel at the possibility of this happening.
Last week’s picks went 6-4 to take me to 12-8 on the season. Big thanks to Nelson Agholor and Will Dissly for making two of my bolder picks come to fruition. Onto this week’s studs and duds ...
Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis Colts. With Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement, Brissett was called to lead the Colts into the 2019 season and he’s done quite well, throwing seven TDs and only one interception. They get a Raiders defense this week that’s let up the ninth most fantasy points to QBs this year. If you’re a former Drew Brees or Ben Roethlisberger owner, he’d be a great addition.
DJ Chark Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars. In his sophomore season, Chark has been a breakout player with rookie Gardner Minshew II leading the Jags passing attack after Nick Foles went down in the first game. In his first three games, he’s scored three TDs and scored no less than 14.5 fantasy points each game — attaining WR6 over that timespan. It’s a bad matchup against Denver but Minshew and Chark have been nothing short of magical so far and I expect it to continue.
Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Redskins. I could literally cut and paste what I said about Chark and put it here — three games, three TDs, no games less than 14.5 points. The difference is the Ohio State rookie has a good matchup against the Giants this week. I wouldn’t be shocked if his TD streak continues.
Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots. Head coach Bill Belichick loves this former Nebraska Cornhusker. Since he’s been in New England, they’ve drafted a million other RBs, yet Burkhead ends up seeing significant touches. Expect much of the same this week against the undefeated Buffalo Bills.
Vernon Davis, TE, Washington Redskins. The NFL turns 100-years-old this year and the Maryland Terrapin tight end has been around — and been productive — for each season. Ok, so the “ageless” one isn’t 132-years-old, but with stories surfacing about starter Jordan Reed’s career being in jeopardy due to too many concussions, take a flier on Davis for the rest of the year if you need the TE help.
Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles travel to the — as the late John Facenda of NFL Films fame would say — “frozen tundra of Lambeau Field” tonight and take on the Green Bay Packers. While Philly is thankful they’re not playing in Green Bay when the tundra is actually frozen, they’re still playing against an underrated defense that’s let up the second fewest fantasy points to QBs this season.
Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I love to see my fellow Penn State Nittany Lion alumni doing well and Godwin is no exception. Except this week doesn’t bode well for him, as the Bucs will go against a stout Los Angeles Rams defense.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings. I think we’ve already stated here about how bad he’s been this season. Couple that with the fact that Dalvin Cook is running wild at Minnesota and the Vikings are facing a Chicago Bears team that’s let up 15 points at most this season, hard times are ahead.
James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers. This season, Steelers fan favorite and former Pitt Panther has 34 carries 97 yards. That averages out to 2.9 YPC. Conner is 6’1” — slightly taller than two full yards. You could say that Conner could fall down at the line of scrimmage and get only 0.9 yards less than what he’s getting while actually trying to run. It doesn’t take an expert to see this also is a reason why the Steelers are 0-3. It’s a favorable matchup Monday against the Bengals — and personally I hope I’m wrong — but I don’t think the running game is going to get fixed overnight, especially when teams key in on it more with Mason Rudolph at QB now.
Jared Cook, TE, New Orleans Saints. Say you go buy some cookies and they don’t taste good. But you’re like, “Oh, well that’s just a bad batch. I’ll give it another chance.” Then you buy more and they’re bad. But you say, “I mean, they can’t be that bad again, right?” So you buy even more. And guess what? They’re bad. This is your life if you’ve been a Jared Cook owner in multiple fantasy football seasons. If you drafted him this year, congrats. You have 7.5 points over three weeks to show for it. Enjoy another bad batch of cookies with Cook on Sunday night against the Cowboys.