Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 7. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!
Dr. Jack-yll and Mr. Hyde
OK, you try coming up with a catchy title at 3 a.m. … anyway, the deal this week that sent Carlos Hyde from Cleveland to Jacksonville took me a bit by surprise, although it makes sense. By making the trade, Jacksonville is basically admitting a couple of things: (a) Leonard Fournette won’t be back any time soon, (b) T.J. Yeldon can’t shoulder the load by himself, (c) handing Blake Bortles an extension was a mistake. Jacksonville must’ve decided that it needed to get back to smash-mouth football, which means the team needs to run the ball a lot and play good defense. Good decision. While Hyde isn’t the explosive back he was a couple of years ago, he’s good enough to reliably produce 3.5 yards a carry along with a cloud of dust.
For Cleveland, someone must’ve slipped Hue Jackson some gingko biloba pills or something, because this is a move that made sense. Hyde became expendable the moment the team drafted Nick Chubb in the second round of the draft, but for some reason Jackson thought it’s be a good idea to give Hyde 10 times the carries that Chubb gets during a game. It’s unfathomable that Jackson is 3-34-1 during his Cleveland tenure.
The obvious fantasy take on the trade is that Chubb gets a huge bump up and Hyde will probably stay at the same production level (once he learns the Jacksonville playbook); but another player who I think is in line for a bump up the rankings is Duke Johnson. Johnson should see an increase in targets and production now that the Cleveland running back by committee has been reduced from three members to two.
Someone Loves You
One of the sad realizations most of us come to as we get older is that no one really cares about us. Oh sure, there might be a family member or two who gives a rat’s ass about your welfare, but for the most part, nobody else does. The sooner we all accept this reality, the sooner we can get on with the business of looking out for ourselves.
So imagine my surprise when Tony Holm started giving me grief recently. He kept accusing me of not caring about Sharks readers as much as I used to — a ridiculous accusation on the face of it, since I never really cared about any of you. How can I care less than zero? Seemed programmatically impossible to me.
But he is some sort of perpetual optimist — you know, the insufferably happy type who offers encouragement and support no matter what the situation. In short, he’s the type of guy that us native New Yorkers avoid like the plague. Anyway, he kept insisting that I could do more for you people and just when it seemed like I’d have to jam an ice pick in my ear just to end the pain, it occurred to me how I could get him off my back — get myself in the running for an FSWA award again, and maybe even get a few extra bucks in the ol’ pay envelope.
So starting this week, I’m including top plays for Indvidual Defensive Player (IDP) positions in addition to all the offensive positions. If you find them useful at all, don’t thank me; thank Tony Holm. He still cares.