The mission of this column—and a lot of my work—is to bridge the gap between fantasy and reality of football analysis. Football analysis—fantasy and reality—is often dramatized because there's a core belief that it's more important to entertain than to educate.
I don't live by the idea that it's better to be lucky than good. While I want to give you actionable recommendations that will help you get results, I prefer to get the process right. There will be a lot of people talking about how they were right to draft or start specific players. Many of them got the right result but with the wrong process.
The Top 10 will cover topics that attempt to get the process right (reality) while understanding that fantasy owners may not have time to wait for the necessary data to determine the best course of action (fantasy).
As always I recommend Sigmund Bloom's Waiver Wire piece which you'll find available on this page, Monday night. Bloom and I are not always going to agree on players—he errs more often towards players who flash elite athletic ability and I err more towards players who are more technically skilled and assignment-sound.
Straight, No Chaser: Week 6 Cliff's Notes
The article below will provide expanded thoughts and supporting visuals for the following points:
- The indictment of the Rams' offense should be aimed at the offensive line and Sean McVay's refusal to address his simple scheme rather than pointing the finger at Jared Goff.
- Sam Darnold returned with a vengeance against the Cowboys and raises the fantasy value of Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder, and Demaryius Thomas.
- The Falcons-Cardinals game was a matchup of two solid-but-flawed offenses against terrible defenses that generated false positives for fantasy players. Austin Hooper's performance will likely be a season high but he remains an every-week starter. The same can't be said of Devonta Freeman. As for David Johnson and Chase Edmonds, both are talents but their production is the result of a Falcons defense that can cover or tackle and don't presume Kyler Murray has turned the corner in the red zone.
- The Texans offense employed a pair of concepts to beat the Chiefs and the beneficiaries were Carlos Hyde, Darren Fells, DeAndre Hopkins, and Will Fuller V. Fells is worth consideration if your fantasy team is struggling at tight end.
- Tyreek Hill appears read to return to elite fantasy production but the opposition continues tweaking Patrick Mahomes II' ankle injury and its limiting the quarterback's upside.
- The narrative that Baker Mayfield's struggles are mostly related to offensive line and receiver play is mass denial about Mayfield's limitations reaching its apex.
- Remain patient with Dante Pettis if you have the luxury at the end of your bench because the past two weeks show that the 49ers consider him a pivotal threat in the passing game and he's making good on more of them than the overall volume data may indicate.
- Stefon Diggs had a huge week thanks to the Vikings' play-action game and a porous Philadelphia secondary.
- Miles Sanders' production is an excellent example of his team scouting the limitations of the Vikings' excellent linebacker corps and exploiting it with the vertical passing game.
- This week's Fresh Fish:
- Will Fuller V dropped three passes and could have had another huge day.
- Jameis Winston is the best interception machine in the NFL.
- The Falcons defense is a welcome wagon for prominent starters and worth consideration for fantasy fringe plays.
- The Cardinals defense is a haven for tight end and running back production.
- Perimeter wide receivers love the Eagles secondary.
For those of you who wish to learn the why's, the details are below.