Fantasy Football For Breakfast – Monday, January 7

Wake up with a warm cup of Fantasy Football For Breakfast! The season never ends and neither should the analysis of the latest NFL news & updates.

Fantasy Football For Breakfast is the place where you can wake up and take in the latest NFL news with a touch of Fantasy insight to go along with it. Every morning, look forward to a recap of each of the Fantasy-relevant headlines.

Monday, January 7

What an interesting weekend of football. Three underdogs won their game. The Colts, Chargers and Eagles were all underdogs. The Cowboys were slightly favored. Next week’s schedule for the Divisional Round is Colts at Chiefs & Cowboys at Rams on Saturday. Then Chargers at Patriots & Eagles at Saints. Throughout the week, I’ll preview those games but let’s talk about the Wild Card Round and put a bow on it.

Colts at Texans

Game ball goes to Marlon Mack after he finished with 148 yards and a score on 24 carries. The Colts pounced on them early and Mack helped the team control the field position and control the clock. Really, you could give it to the whole team. The run game is working, the pass attack is overachieving, the defense is on point. I like the Colts a lot and it’s too bad the remaining AFC teams are all very deserving in their own way.

Seahawks at Cowboys

Game ball goes to Dak Prescott. Kudos to the Seahawks for an underrated season and they made a good run at it in this game. Unfortunately, the Cowboys made the most of the fourth quarter by scoring two TDs. Dak got himself a great highlight on that QB draw up the gut for 16 yards that set the table on the next play for his 1-yard TD run with about two minutes left. I think if Seattle had home field, they would have won it, that’s how thin the margin was between these two teams.

Chargers at Ravens

Game ball goes to the kicker Mike Badgley for scoring 15 of the Chargers 23 points! Just kidding. First let me say, I haven’t been a big believer in the Ravens for most of the year but they held their own. The game ball actually goes to the Chargers defense. For the longest time, my biggest complaint for this team was they had no identity on defense. I want no part of this team right now. Derwin James, Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram. Chargers had seven sacks, 10 QB hits, 9 TFLs, 6 PDs, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 INT. I mean c’mon.

Eagles at Bears

I don’t get it. What I don’t get is how the Eagles keep winning. A month ago, they were huge long shots to make the postseason and now they’re pulling playoff Ws out of their butt. But, the game ball has to go to Nick Foles basically by default and that’s in spite of him throwing two first half INTs and attempting to gift the Bears the W. What did the Bears get out of those two INTs, you ask? A 3-and-out and a FG. I’m not sure anybody on either team really deserves it except maybe Allen Robinson if the Bears had won. The Bears were just really inefficient and the Eagles were just a tiny bit better. I didn’t enjoy watching this game. I thought both teams had really momentum killing 3-and-outs.

5 Dynasty IDP Waiver Fliers

Got another 5 dynasty list for you guys.

  1. Green Bay DT Tyler Lancaster: 11 tackles and five assists in the Pack’s final three games.
  2. Miami DE Robert Quinn: Four sacks in his final four games. He seems to be finally figuring out how to play in a 4-3.
  3. Arizona LB Haason Reddick: When playing time was up, his numbers were a solid LB2.
  4. Philadelphia CB Rasul Douglas: 38 tackles & seven assists plus two INTs in his last five games.
  5. Green Bay S Josh Jones: He probably should’ve been the starter all season over Kentrell Brice.

Follow the author of Fantasy Football For Breakfast on Twitter: @mattkdelima

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Friday, January 4

Again, focusing my attention on Dynasty leagues since there’s so little end of season content out there. The twist on these lists is nobody over the age of 24 which is where all the big value (and speculation) goes on in Dynasty leagues. Again, if the guy in your league REALLY likes these guys and wants too much, it’s not worth it. These are speculative buys that I only like if the price is right (cheap as hell!)

5 Underachievers I’m Buying

  1. RB Kenneth Dixon – Gus Edwards? Alex Collins? Javorius Allen? Ty Montgomery?? I’ve been on the Dixon bandwagon since he came into the league but his health has not cooperated. Here’s the sneaky thing about this situation: Dixon is the only RB under contract with the Ravens beyond this offseason. Edwards, Collins, Allen and Montgomery all have expiring contracts. Of course, they could re-sign any of them, but you know what I mean.
  2. WR Equanimeous St. Brown – Randall Cobb & Geronimo Allison are on expiring contracts so WR2 & WR3 could be wide open when minicamp opens up. I think most people are preferring Marquez Valdes-Scantling of this crop of rookies so maybe ESB comes at a slight discount.
  3. TE Ian Thomas – He finished the season very strong and I’m betting Greg Olsen hanging them up. If that’s too obvious, I would pursue Dallas’ TE Blake Jarwin. Think he was beginning to emerge toward the end of the year.
  4. QB Josh Rosen – Rosen was “the worst” QB among the regular starters this season. So we’ve got nowhere to go but up, right?! I’d argue Rosen had the worst coaching staff and they’re gone now. Betting on Arizona making a good management move is the risk. But Rosen should be a cheap asset to buy after this season’s stinker.
  5. IDP special!! LB Reuben Foster – I know! I know! Quiet down. Look, it’s Fantasy Football. You don’t need to be his BFF. His value is down right? Underachiever? Yes. So if you can get him for almost nothing, why not?

Wednesday, January 2

5 Buy Low & Sell High Dynasty Players

Doing something a little different this morning. Not a lot of hard Fantasy news so let’s focus more on strategy. I’m listing players that “should be” buy low and sell high candidates for Dynasty owners. You should look for value here. For selling high, you want to “win” the trade significantly by someone looking to overpay. When buying low, you should be seeking to pay peanuts. The key to buying low is figuring out which guys your leaguemates are low on. Here’s the list:

5 Buy Low Dynasty Players

  1. Tom Brady – Age, “down” year and an average supporting cast make him ripe for the picking.
  2. David Johnson – Bad coaching staff had no clue how to use him
  3. A.J. Green – Coming off an injury but he’s a no-brainer starter every week
  4. O.J. Howard – Top 5 potential and he’s coming off a season-ending injury
  5. Geronimo Allison – Aaron Rogers-led offense has to draw you in after injury season

5 Sell High Dynasty Players

  1. Baker Mayfield & Mitchell Trubisky – I’m not a (long-term) believer in either.
  2. James Conner – Just reeks of becoming a one-season wonder
  3. Tyreek Hill – Small speed player with boom or bust results burns you in his down weeks
  4. Eric Ebron – Does Ebron score 13 TDs with a healthy Jack Doyle playing 16 games?
  5. Kerryon Johnson – Dalvin Cook 2.0. Great when on the field, but will only play 8 to 10 games per year.

Monday, December 31

Week 17 Thoughts

Congrats to George Kittle for breaking the NFL record for TE receiving yards in a season (1,337). Travis Kelce broke the record about an hour earlier and Kittle claimed it for himself. Unfortunately, what else went right for the 49ers this season?

The NFL enjoyed a record number of touchdowns (1,371).

My vote for MVP, if I had one of course, would go to Patrick Mahomes. It’s a no-brainer. DPOY: Aaron Donald. Comeback POY? Andrew Luck. Coach of the year: Bears HC Matt Nagy. OROY: Saquon Barkley. DROY: Darius Leonard.

What a choke season for the Steelers. Once again I have to go back to that Thursday night game back in Week 10 when the Steelers stomped Carolina 52-21. Obviously the Panthers fell off in their own right from that point as well but after that game, Pittsburgh was on top of the NFL world. So to lose four of their last six including losses to Oakland and Denver, who both weren’t any good this year, it shouldn’t be acceptable to a team with a lot more potential than they realized this year.

Speaking of the AFC North, Lamar Jackson in the playoffs. I have to again call back to Michael Vick’s first year in the postseason when he upset the Packers in a wild road game in the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field (doing my best Chris Berman impersonation). At the time, remember, there were still a ton of doubters and haters surrounding Vick. I’d say the same for Jackson. I think most would admit they’re pleasantly surprised but also call him an overachiever up to this point. A playoff win = validation. And that’s why I have to make that comparison.

I have to give props to Cole Beasley for catching that game-winning TD for the Cowboys. I wouldn’t say it’s the catch of the year (it’s up there) but it was clutch to go fully extended and somehow get a knee down. The real hero of that game is Dak Prescott with four TD passes and 387 yards passing. He should get a medal for somehow getting three TDs to Blake Jarwin. Jarwin’s not that good.

The NFC’s version of this year’s Steelers has to be Minnesota. The team started 1-2-1 over its first four games and just could never get it together. They had one good win all year (Packers). Look at their other wins (49ers, the Week 5 Eagles, Cardinals, Jets, Lions X2, Dolphins). They didn’t deserve the playoffs and Kirk Cousins picture should be printed in all 2019 dictionaries under the word, “middling.” An interesting tweet from ESPN’s Courtney Cronin (and she sources ESPN’s stats guys) points out that the six highest-paid QBs all missed the playoffs: Aaron Rodgers ($33.5M), Matt Ryan ($30M), Kirk Cousins ($28M), Jimmy Garoppolo ($27.5M), Matthew Stafford ($27M), Derek Carr ($25M).

Hunter Henry will play in Wild Card round

Remember Hunter Henry? Of course, but it’s been a while. The Chargers young TE put together a couple solid seasons but missed all of the 2018 regular season. The Chargers offense could use another weapon over the middle of the field. Paired with Melvin Gordon, the Ravens’ LBs will have their hands full.

Jags nix Leonard Fournette’s guarantees

Both T.J. Yeldon and Leonard Fournette are in the dog house with Jacksonville. Fournette’s suspension from Week 13 gives the Jaguars’ the freedom to void the guarantees from his rookie deal. The entire contract was guaranteed so I’m not a contract expert but I’m assuming this gives Jacksonville some flexibility depending upon injury or they opted to cut him? I’m not sure. But check what executive VP Tom Coughlin (yes, that Tom Coughlin) said: “I am disappointed in the behavior today from T.J. Yeldon and Leonard Fournette. They were disrespectful, selfish and their behavior was unbecoming that of a professional football player.” From what I’ve read, they were not paying attention to the game. I haven’t been able to find much else. If you’ve got Fournette in dynasty, I’d trade him.

Week 17 Injuries

  • QB Nick Foles (ribs)
  • WR Anthony Miller (shoulder)

Friday, December 28

DeSean Jackson wants out of Tampa Bay

From Philly to Washington to Tampa and now? This really blows open the door for Chris Godwin’s Fantasy ascension. Jackson, if you recall started the season red hot with 17 receptions for 424 yards and three TDs over his first four games. Since then, he’s only had two TDs (one rush, one rec) and never more than five receptions in a game. I’ve heard speculation about Houston and Dallas. Those teams make sense and are both in need of deep speed to stretch the field. We’ll see what happens although a trade seems unlikely as DJax is owed $10M next year.

Chiefs give Damien Williams a two-year extension

I wouldn’t read too much into this. Is Williams capable? Sure. He can catch it and he can run it. Spencer Ware is scheduled to be a free agent next year so maybe you’re reading this as a good sign for Williams to be the team’s RB1 next season. I’d just like to remind you we’re a few days short of 2019. We still have to go through all of free agency, the NFL Draft, the UDFA period and any trades that might occur along the way before the start of next season. If I had Williams in dynasty, I’d dangle him out there and see if anybody is willing to overpay a bit.

Ben Watson to retire after this season

It’s been a mostly quiet year for Watson with only 33 receptions for 371 yards and two TDs after posting 61-522-4 a season ago. But he has been fortunate to have a long career in the NFL. He’s been around so long that he was catching passes from a 27-year-old Tom Brady way back in 2004!

Notable players that did not practice Thursday

  • QB Cam Newton
  • QB Colt McCoy
  • RB Leonard Fournette
  • RB Matt Breida
  • RB Phillip Lindsay
  • RB Tevin Coleman
  • RB Todd Gurley
  • WR Allen Robinson
  • WR Antonio Brown
  • WR Dante Pettis
  • WR Davante Adams
  • WR DeSean Jackson
  • WR Equanimeous St. Brown
  • WR Jermaine Kearse
  • WR Josh Doctson
  • WR Julio Jones
  • WR Marquise Goodwin
  • WR Odell Beckham
  • WR Quincy Enunwa
  • WR Russell Shepard
  • WR Sammy Watkins
  • WR T.Y. Hilton
  • WR Tyler Boyd
  • TE Jordan Reed (injured reserve)
  • TE Ricky Seals-Jones
  • K Jason Myers
  • K Josh Lambo

Thursday, December 27

Latest Injury Reports

LIMITED PRACTICE (WED.)

  • RB Jalen Richard
  • RB Lamar Miller
  • RB LeGarrette Blount
  • RB Leonard Fournette
  • WR DeAndre Hopkins
  • WR Keke Coutee
  • WR Mike Wallace
  • WR Sterling Shepard
  • TE Eric Ebron
  • TE Jared Cook

DID NOT PRACTICE (WED.)

  • QB Marcus Mariota
  • RB Tevin Coleman
  • RB Todd Gurley
  • WR Allen Robinson
  • WR Danny Amendola
  • WR Davante Adams
  • WR DeSean Jackson
  • WR Doug Baldwin
  • WR Equanimeous St. Brown
  • WR Jermaine Kearse
  • WR John Brown
  • WR Julio Jones
  • WR Kenny Golladay
  • WR Marquise Goodwin
  • WR Odell Beckham
  • WR Randall Cobb
  • WR Sammy Watkins
  • WR Tyler Boyd

WILL NOT PLAY

  • RB Phillip Lindsay (wrist surgery, out for the year)

FULL PRACTICE, EXPECTED TO PLAY

  • QB Matthew Stafford
  • RB Austin Ekeler
  • RB James Conner
  • RB Rashaad Penny
  • RB Spencer Ware
  • WR D.J. Chark

Dolphins ready to move on from Ryan Tannehill

Yeah, you could see this coming. Tannehill is owed two more years at about $19M per year and there’s not much to show since his arrival in 2012. Career-high of 27 TDs isn’t going to cut it these days. Always been an average to below average QB. Tannehill did show minor improvements in some ways over the years but it just never amounted to wins. Will be interesting to see where the Dolphins go from here. They’ve got the #15 pick (barring the results of Week 17) which isn’t an ideal spot to land a marquee QB and a trade would have to involve a good deal of future picks to get into the top 3 or 4.

Tom Brady says he will play in 2019… and beyond!

Next season is a contract year for Brady and we’ll see how this plays out. We all know the Belichick drama but they keep on winning. 2018 wasn’t really a step back either statistically. A few fewer TDs, a few more INTs. It happens. The Patriots relied a little more on the run game at times. I think we’ve all learned by now not to underestimate Brady and with the AFC up for grabs with good teams playing up and down, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Pats make another deep run at it.

Wednesday, December 26

Phillip Lindsay may need surgery for ligament damage

Lindsay is facing a possible lengthy recovery process as he will likely need surgery to repair a fracture and ligament damage to his wrist. Royce Freeman will be the starter in his absence. It’s believed he might need to miss all of the offseason workouts and wouldn’t be ready until training camp with this diagnosis.

James Conner questionable

Conner didn’t practice last week and Jaylen Samuels has been the starter in the past three games. It has to be disappointing for Fantasy owners who were carried by Conner all year long only for him to burn out for the Fantasy postseason weeks.

Demaryius Thomas on injured reserve

Thomas blew out his Achilles tendon. He’s now 31 years and on the decline. He’s scheduled to make $14 million next year but I don’t see that happening. Thomas has tremendous size and body control to make contested catches so perhaps he can make a transition to the slot a la Larry Fitzgerald.

Aaron Rodgers wants to play for Joe Philbin

No relation to Regis. Well, I don’t know that for sure. But you may remember Philbin from the Miami Dolphins season of Hard Knocks. Philbin was with the Packers from 2003 to 2011 to Rodgers has a history with him.


Monday, December 24

Merry Christmas eve, folks. This will be my first Christmas without my mom, who passed away about a year ago. I only say this to remind everybody to try to cherish your moments with friends and family. It’s easy to become cynical or forget the “meaning” behind these holidays as we’re stuck in holiday traffic or waiting in long lines at stores. But I want to encourage everyone to be thankful, be grateful and celebrate each other as much as you can.

Week 16 Fantasy Injuries

  • Equanimeous St. Brown was concussed after a tough hit in the fourth quarter and Marquez Valdes-Scantling took over No. 2 duties. St. Brown was having a solid game up until that point with five catches for 94 yards, both season-highs.
  • Demaryius Thomas ruptured his Achilles and is done for the season. Will Fuller is already out for the year. Keke Coutee hasn’t played since Week 12. Tentatively, I’d say the WR depth chart is DeAndre Hopkins, DeAndre Carter & Vyncint Smith.
  • Eric Ebron was concussed and had to leave the game before halftime.
  • Matt Breida once again was sidelined because of his lingering ankle injury.
  • Dante Pettis is believed to have injured his MCL and possibly his ACL. More details to come later today.
  • Marcus Mariota had a stinger on Saturday and exited before halftime.

First Thoughts

Well the playoff picture is mostly settled. In the AFC, Kansas City, New England, Houston and Los Angeles are in. Only New England has clinched their division. Pittsburgh could still overtake Baltimore if the Ravens lose for the AFC North. Tennessee and Indy are still in it and will play each other in Week 17 for the sixth seed. It’s like a play-in game! In the NFC, the Saints clinched homefield. The Rams, Bears and Cowboys won their division. Seattle is in as a wild card. Minnesota and Philadelphia are up for the final wild card spot. Minnesota has to play Chicago, and Chicago is playing for a first round bye. That should be a good one too.

Notable Scorers

Well, some said Antonio Brown had lost his luster. Not so fast, my friend! He pulled through for Fantasy owners in the biggest week of the year with 14 catches for 185 yards and two scores on 19 targets. (44.5 pts)

Aaron Rodgers tossed two TDs with 442 yards and ran in another two TDs (42.9 pts)

Deshaun Watson also tossed two TDs and ran in another two TDs. (36.5 pts)

The other day I was asking what the heck happened to Kyle Rudolph, he showed me up by catching nine passes for 122 yards and two scores. (33.2 pts)

Zach Ertz was too hard to handle and caught 12 for 110 yards and two TDs. (35 pts)

Props to C.J. Anderson for proving he’s still got some juice left with 20 carries for 167 yards and a TD. (23.2 pts)

Not-So-Notable Scorers

Tom Brady scored five points… but the Pats did clinch their 10th straight AFC East title. So for those doing the math at home, you’d need 4.5 Tom Bradys to equal 1 C.J. Anderson in Week 16. I don’t think that’ll last.

Not sure what’s going on with Drew Brees, but after tossing 29 TDs in his first 11 games, he has just three TD passes over his last four games. Averaging 11 ppg over the last month.

Similar to Brees, Jared Goff was red hot in his first 11 games with 26 TDs and just TWO in his last four games to go along with nine turnovers (six INTs and three fumbles lost).

Due to a “situation” with the head coach, and I’m not talking about Jersey Shore, LeSean McCoy didn’t get the start and posted a dreary 4.9 pts. Ugh.

Tarik Cohen disappeared with just 2.9 pts. Didn’t seem like the Bears cared to get him the ball.

Amari Cooper matched his 8.3 pts from last week with 6 pts this week. Blah.

For those looking to catch lightning in a bottle for the second straight week, Mike Williams scored just 2.1 pts after posting 36.5 a week ago.

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Matt De Lima
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