Each week in “The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly” we will review the highlights, low lights, and injuries from the week prior. This article will not cover every bit of information, rather some things which stood out. I recommend allowing this piece to serve as closure for the losses you suffered and a benchmark to start on the current week’s path to greatness.
1. WR Calvin Ridley, ATL
Ridley came on the scene in significant fashion this Sunday; posting 146 yards on 7 receptions and 3 touchdowns. Ridley was targeted 8 times and benefited heavily from Julio Jones taking on Marcus Lattimore’s coverage for most of the game. When the Saints became fed up with Ridley’s dominance they elected to stick Lattimore on Ridley, leaving Jones open deep. He was unfortunately underthrown.
Hold: Dynasty is all about profit, and when you a player reaches their ceiling, you sell. In Ridley’s case, he is only scratching the surface. Many 1QB leagues saw Ridley fall to the early second. Sure, you could easily flip him for a first-round pick in 2019, but that’s barely an increase in value. Ridley has the potential to be a top 25 dynasty asset by the end of the season.
2. WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT
Smith-Schuster now has 356 yards on 27 receptions through three games. He had a touchdown in Week 2 and had another opportunity in Week 3 which he dropped. During the same three weeks Antonio Brown has 24 receptions, 210 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
Hold: I’m not quite ready to deem this situation a “changing of the guard” just yet. One excuse for Brown being outperformed by Smith-Schuster is perhaps that Brown is taking the most attention. Brown is being double and triple covered, but defenses have tried that for years to no avail. Maybe we’re just seeing a hot three games for JuJu and a cold three for Brown. I’m not sure yet, but the conversation of Smith-Schuster v. Brown straight up in dynasty is happening. Sit back and watch your stock rise.
3. QB Baker Mayfield, CLE
Tyrod Taylor was having a miserable night under center against a beatable Jets defense. The offensive line was undoubtedly a “wet paper towel”; however, Taylor was holding the ball far too long and missing simple targets. After suffering a concussion late in the second quarter, the “Baker Era” began. Mayfield breathed life to the Cleveland offense immediately, completing two chunk plays in a row. Mayfield brought his team their first win in over 630 days by completing 73.91% of his passes for 201 yards in a little over two quarters. He also caught a “Philly special” two-point conversation from Jarvis Landry.
Buy: Pay what you’ve got to pay in 2QB or superflex leagues. Whatever his price is now is a fraction of what it will be. Even with the loss of Josh Gordon, Mayfield still has a top 12 offensive supporting cast surrounding him in Landry, David Njoku, Duke Johnson, Carlos Hyde. He also has promising rookies waiting in the wing with Antonio Callaway and Nick Chubb.
4. WR Tyler Boyd, CIN
Boyd caught 6 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. Sunday was Boyd’s second straight week with a touchdown and his targets remained consistent.
Buy: Boyd is still a name with a bad taste in owner’s mouths. People who drafted his have not gotten much and they may be looking to profit on two big games. Take advantage by trading for Boyd as he is the clear WR2 in a surprisingly productive Bengals offense. A.J. Green is 30 and currently dealing with a groin injury. Boyd has a sky-high ceiling.
The following are players whose performances disappointed in week two followed by my level of panic on a scale from one to ten. Ten is a full panic button and one represents no concern.
1. RB Chris Thompson, WAS
This one hurts. Through the first two weeks Thompson was the PPR hero we knew and loved, posting 19 receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown. He approached “must start” territory and was in three of my lineups. On Sunday versus the Packers, Thompson caught just 1 of his 2 targets for 0 yards.
Thompson was shaping up to be an RB1 again this season coming off a broken leg. He is still a focal point in the Washington offense as Alex Smith loves the short, guaranteed completions. Adrian Peterson doesn’t seem to be going away, though.
5/10 – Defenses don’t have much to scheme for against the Washington offense, so taking Thompson away makes sense. The Redskins did an excellent job adapting by featuring Adrian Peterson more than they would’ve probably liked. Teams will look to find different ways to attack this offense after Green Bay showed taking away Thompson isn’t enough.
2. QB Dak Prescott, DAL
Prescott tied his year high completions with 19 and has still yet to throw for over 190 yards in a game. This inclusion hurts because his best receiver is the Cole Beasley. Prescott still must get it done if he wants to keep the keys to the kingdom in Dallas, as he has shown in the past he can create production on his own. When Dez Bryant was no longer getting separation, Prescott was still extending plays and finding Jason Witten and Terrance Williams. This season is an entirely different animal, though, as Prescott is being pressured heavily and has no options open downfield. He finished as QB6 and QB11 in that last two seasons, but a top 20 finish doesn’t seem to be in the cards for 2018.
10/10 – My first full panic. I’m not so sure Prescott is the still the answer for Dallas.
3. WR Allen Robinson and QB Mitch Trubisky, CHI
Robinson caught just 3 of his 7 targets for 50 yards. Trubisky completed just 22 passes for 220 yards and an interception.
We’ve noted struggles for notable wide receivers in the first year with a new offense, but Robinson and Trubisky don’t seem to have a glimmer of hope after three games. On 104 attempts, Trubisky has targeted Robinson 28 times but Robinson ranks 69th (nice) in catchable targets per PlayerProfiler.com.
In Week 2 the pair seemed to have a decent connection, but came out in week 3 and showed Week 2 to be the outlier. The Bears offense was so promising entering the season with Robinson, Jordan Howard, Trey Burton, Tarik Cohen, and Anthony Miller, but it seems the problem lies with the one throwing the ball.
7/10 –You won’t get a return on either of these players currently. I would try to fill their void elsewhere and hope for some turnaround. Miller may be an IR candidate with an injured shoulder, which vacates just a small target share for Robinson to perhaps benefit.
The worst of the sections. I will quickly list some of the key fantasy relevant injuries and who may see an increased role because of them. The list is ever growing. More players enter before I can take any off.
Jay Ajayi (Back) – RB Wendell Smallwood, RB Corey Clement
RB Dalvin Cook (Hamstring) – RB Latavius Murray
RB Joe Mixon (Knee) – RB Giovanni Bernard, RB Mark Walton
WR Doug Baldwin (Right knee) – WR Tyler Lockett, WR Brandon Marshall, TE Will Dissly
RB LeSean McCoy (Rib cartilage) – RB Chris Ivory, TE Charles Clay
TE Greg Olsen (Right foot) – TE Ian Thomas, WR D.J. Moore
RB Leonard Fournette (Hamstring) – RB T.J. Yeldon, RB Corey Grant
RB Devonta Freeman (Knee) – RB Tevin Coleman, RB Ito Smith
QB Marcus Mariota (Elbow) – QB Blaine Gabbert
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (ACL) – QB C.J. Beathard