There are a couple of games this weekend involving NFC South teams that have the potential to be fantasy goldmines on both offense and defense where the passing game is concerned. One takes place in Tampa, where the Arizona Cardinals will travel to face the Buccaneers in Week 10.
Generally speaking, in IDP leagues that require cornerbacks, the NFL’s best players at the position don’t make for great fantasy options. The reason is that those players are just too good at what they do. They don’t get targeted a lot or give up many receptions when they are. It’s one of IDP’s biggest disconnects—maybe the biggest.
For most of his eight-plus years in the NFL, Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals has been just a player—a great NFL corner who is a lousy IDP option. There are leagues where the 29-year-old still gets overdrafted due to name value, but in more fantasy leagues than not Peterson spends most seasons where he belongs—on the waiver wire.
“In past seasons, if a wide receiver — any wide receiver — were facing Patrick Peterson, he’d get an automatic downgrade in projections and rankings, “he said. “But in his three games this year since returning from a six-game suspension, Peterson has been rough, allowing an 82.4% catch rate, 204 yards and two touchdowns. Granted, two of his games came against wide receivers Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders — but in the past he was rarely embarrassed the way he has been this year, and that was with him shadowing No. 1 receivers almost every week.”
Peterson has also been a much more productive in IDP leagues than usual. As a matter of fact, over the past three weeks there isn’t a cornerback in the NFC who has tallied more fantasy points. With the Cardinals about to face a Buccaneers team that leads the NFC in fantasy points surrendered to cornerbacks in 2019, both Peterson and rookie batterymate Byron Murphy are top-10 fantasy options at the cornerback position to Week 10.
If that duo isn’t available in your IDP league, here are some other streaming options to consider.
Eli Apple, New Orleans Saints (vs. ATL)
Like teammate Marshon Lattimore, Apple attended Ohio State. Like Lattimore, Apple was a first-round pick. But where Lattimore won DROY honors and quickly became one of the best young cornerbacks in the game, Apple has had his fair share of struggles as a pro—so many that the New York Giants traded Apple to the Saints.
However, as Luke Johnson wrote for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, despite battling through a knee injury this season Apple’s having the best season of his career in 2019.
“I want to be able to make more plays, of course, because that’s how we look at it as a secondary — we always want to be making those plays that are changing the game and giving our offense more possessions,” Apple said. “That’s what I need to get better at. But it’s been great, we’ve all been playing solid. Now it’s about turning it up and getting more turnovers.”
Apple’s going to need his “A” game and then some coming off the bye against a Falcons team giving up the third-most fantasy points per game to cornerbacks in 2019. If the last two meetings between the Saints and Falcons are any indication, it will be Apple (and not Lattimore) who will draw Julio Jones in coverage Sunday.
Nate Hairston, New York Jets (vs. NYJ)
A catastrophic season for the New York Jets hit a new low last week when the Jets lost to the previously winless Dolphins—an embarrassment that didn’t sit well with Jets fans. In turn, how those fans responded to that loss didn’t sit well with veteran cornerback Darryl Roberts.
“I’m sorry but it gotta be said!” Roberts posted on Instagram. “All y’all fake a– fans f—in kill me wit dat negative s—, if u gon rock wit us then rock wit us but if u ain’t shut tf up please & go like another team! And another thing y’all need to stop @’n players talkin crazy becaus y’all known dam well you wouldn’t buss a dam grape in a fruit fight! Ok i’m done have a nice day!”
Um, yeah. That was handled well. Roberts then proceeded to go out Wednesday and injure his knee on the practice field. He didn’t practice Thursday or Friday and looks unlikely to go Sunday when the Jets “host” the New York Giants.
That Roberts threw a fit after being told the Jets suck and then got hurt is the living embodiment of just how badly the Jets really do suck in 2019. But with Roberts out and Trumaine Johnson on injured reserve, third-year pro Nate Hairston will draw his fourth start of the season against a Giants team that slots seventh in the NFL in fantasy points per game allowed to cornerbacks this year.