Fantasy 5: Marvin Jones looking like a WR1
(The Fantasy 5 is a quick-hit wrap-up of some of the biggest news topics of the day for fantasy football players, giving you advice you need to set your lineup or pick your DFS roster.)
We’re back at it again for this week’s Fantasy 5, focusing on the key things you need to know entering Week 12. Whether you’re researching information for your season-long leagues or trying to narrow down your DFS player pool, there’s generally something for everyone featured here. Here’s a look at the some of the more interesting pieces of fantasy news to know heading into the weekend games.
1. Marvin Jones is the real deal
Pop quiz: Which wide receiver has run the most routes against top-25 graded cornerbacks this year? Dez Bryant? Close, but the real answer is Marvin Jones. Jones has drawn an incredibly difficult schedule for 2017 in terms of drawing tough opposing corners, but has still managed to find his way into a productive campaign this year. Over his last six games, Jones has caught 30 receptions for 547 yards and six touchdowns. He has gone for over 100 yards and/or scored a touchdown in five of those six outings. His impressive target volume — nine targets per game during that span — has provided fantasy footballers bankable volume, with Jones breaking the Thanksgiving slate against the stout coverage of Xavier Rhodes.
2. Saints’ cornerback woes
Starting cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore (our No. 4 graded CB) and Ken Crawley (No. 17) have already been ruled out by the Saints this week. Safety/nickel corner Kenny Vaccaro has also been limited in practice this week and is currently questionable. In what started as a game for us to have Todd Gurley exposure everywhere, we can now entertain the thought of this Rams passing attack as well. I’ve been very impressed with head coach Sean McVay and what he’s done with this offense in Year 1. The most impressive thing by him is that when he sees a weakness, he attacks it routinely until the opposing team finds a way to defend it. Not enough head coaches do this, and it perplexes me why some opt for play diversity over continued success. This is a roundabout way of me saying that the Rams passing attack should take flight given all the injuries New Orleans is facing in the secondary. McVay’s play-calling is one of his strengths and I’m expecting it to shine here, putting Jared Goff, Cooper Kupp, and Sammy Watkins all in play in what could be a potential shootout.
3. Is Paxton Lynch ready?
Injuries and an inefficient camp have held back Lynch so far this year, but Week 12 presents the unveiling to see if he’s made any progress from last year’s disappointing start to his career. Lynch draws a very favorable opponent in the Raiders, who have been unable to succeed with their pass rush (last in sacks) nor generate many turnovers (zero interceptions) this season. They’re allowing a league-leading 113.3 passer rating with the third-highest yards per pass attempt. While I’m not sure Lynch will ever be “ready,” easing him in with a home matchup against the Raiders is a smart move by the coaching staff. Lynch’s fantasy ceiling expectations should be tempered, but he makes for an interesting cash game play given his low pricing and plus matchup.
4. Temper expectations with Darrelle Revis
The future Hall of Famer Revis signed with the Kansas City Chiefs this past week on a two-year deal, worth up to $10 million in contract incentives. From 2007 to 2014, Revis was a perennial top-20-graded cornerback. Over the past two seasons, he’s dropped down to 35th in our grades (2015), and down to 67th last year. He allowed a whopping 104.2 passer rating when targeted against in 2016, 13th-worst among all corners. Revis provides depth for a contender that needed cornerback help, but perhaps we should temper expectations for the 32-year old with his new team.
5. PFF Grade of the Week: Antonio Brown
Through 11 weeks, our highest-graded wide receiver is none other than Antonio Brown. Brown leads all wide receivers in both receptions (70) and receiving yards (1,026) and ranks T-fourth for most touchdowns (6). He’s coming off a massively productive Thursday outing against the Titans last week, hauling in 13 targets for a 10-144-3 stat line. It’s scary to think that Brown has an even better matchup this week against a Packers secondary that has struggled defending the pass all season. In fact, only Jarvis Landry has a higher advantage in our WR-CB Matchup Chart this week than Brown. Brown should be in for another big game this Sunday night at Heinz Field.