Friday - Jan 22, 2021

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KEEPING AHEAD: Late Season Trends

Hi.

It’s been quite a few weeks hasn’t it?

Somewhere stuck between COVID-related difficulties, crazy nationwide weather, post-Thanksgiving firings, and a never-ending election, we have had some interesting fantasy football related things happen since we last talked. Lots to cover, but first…

Thank you for the kind messages. The last couple weeks have been particularly hard on me, but here we are, back and better than ever! Well, maybe I should just claim back…

A recap of some of the biggest fantasy-related nonsense that has happened over the past couple weeks and, frankly, days:

Studs are strrrrrrrruggling…

Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, Kyler Murray, Ezekiel Elliott, Miles Sanders, Alvin Kamara…need I go on? I need not, I think. This has been a brutal few weeks for your highest draft picks, and while some of these can be attributed to outside factors (Quarterback injuries in Dallas and New Orleans, Kyler’s shoulder injury) it does little to soothe the pain as you ready yourself for the looming fantasy playoffs. Simply put, for the last few weeks, these players have just plain old stunk.

So what do you do?

The truth of the matter is, given that many of us are past the trade deadline, not much. You aren’t finding suitable replacements on your waiver unless you are in an eight person league, and, even then, how do you replace Zeke’s 20 touches a week? Even inefficient, at this point you have to roll with them and just hope above all that they remember who they are come playoff time.

Rookies are shiiiiiiining…

James Robinson is a player we have talked about a lot this year.

Antonio Gibson is a player we have talked about a lot this year.

Chase Claypool is a player….

You get the idea. Rookies are absolutely balling out this year and, honestly, as much press as it has gotten thus far, it still isn’t enough.

Remember folks – WE DID NOT HAVE A PRESEASON. Think about that. If ever there was going to be a year in which rookies would pop league-wide, could you possibly have guessed it would be when their exposure to their new teams was limited and their first real football experience at the pro level was Week 1 of the NFL season?

It defies all logic, but here we are. And let me further add that if you have Antonio Gibson or James Robinson on your rosters, you not only have a potential league-winning player for the 2020 season, but easily one of the top five keeper prospects for 2021 and beyond.

COVID ain’t done yet…

Much like the rest of America, the COVID crisis continues to wreak havoc on the NFL, causing postponements, delays, and player absences to rise dramatically over the past month. This past week alone saw the delay of the Ravens-Steelers game for almost a full week and multiple starting fantasy stalwarts (James Conner, Mark Andrews, The Denver Broncos roster) forced to sit out because of positive tests or contract tracing.

And here’s the really bad news: we aren’t done yet.

Over the next month we are bound to see more complications arise across the league, much of which will have adverse effects on your fantasy roster. You need to right now check the following:

____ Do you have an adequate/good backup for your QB/RB/TE/WR?

____ If a player is forced to sit, does your backup have good matchups in the coming weeks?

____ Are you aware of your league’s rules for taxi squad/IR for COVID players?

____ Do you have FAAB dollars/waiver moves remaining in case of emergency?

____ Are you reliant on any of the teams already hit by COVID (Ravens, Broncos, Steelers, etc.)?

You need to do a quick check of these five items leading into the playoffs. If any of them are a concern, you need to either make adjustments now, or remind yourself of the governing rules regarding these situations ASAP. Don’t let “it won’t happen to me” catch you helpless in the fantasy playoffs.

Read on for this week’s Hits, Holds and Folds…

About MJ Brown

MJ Brown has been an avid fantasy football keeper league enthusiast and player for over a decade. A member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, MJ delivers weekly content on multiple platforms, bringing a combination of advice, humor, and tips to keep your team at the top of your league.