Busy News Week Spells Interesting Changes Across NFL
Week 6 brought us trades, injured QBs, and lackluster offenses, and who better to pick it apart than Matt and James? Per usual, I’m here with the cliff notes of the most recent episode of Reception Perception: The Show.
Let us pour one out for Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown, who is set to miss at least six weeks with a foot injury. Reports are that the break does not require surgery, but it is a concern that Brown injured the same foot he had previously injured in 2019.
The guys look at how that injury will affect the Arizona passing attack. Matt’s of the opinion it’s going to be a bit of a blow as Brown has been playing really well this season for his new team. Like, of course, that offense takes a hit as soon as they get DeAndre Hopkins back from suspension.
Arizona cushioned that blow by trading for Robbie Anderson from Carolina. Thankfully, they didn’t give up much to acquire him. Especially after he threw a hissy fit on the sidelines against the Rams and Carolina’s interim HC Steve Wilks.
James is hesitant that Anderson, who is 29 and has had an inconsistent career, is going to be the guy that comes in and unlocks the Arizona offense. Matt lasted tracked Robbie Anderson in 2020, when he was still ‘Robby’ Anderson.
Matt poses a great question: Who is better for a fantasy angle rest-of-season Robbie Anderson or Rondale Moore? A speedy-field stretcher or a low aDOT receiver? James gives a great answer – but you have to listen for the answer.
I still think they should have kept The Washington Football Team, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about, so I digress. While we’re pouring ‘em out for injured players – Carson Wentz went down in Week 6 with a thumb injury.
Queue Taylor Heinicke, who knows this offense but is a backup-level quarterback. Sure, seeing rookie Sam Howell could be fun, but Ron Rivera has one mode and it’s “win”. Right now, Heinicke gives Washington the better chance to win.
We’ve seen Heinicke in this offense and we’ve seen him pepper Terry McLaurin with targets. We’ve also seen Heinicke throw a murder ball, McLaurin has shown an ability to come down with those contested targets.
The best part of this episode, in my opinion, is Matt pointing out the mental gymnastics we do to justify why we’re in on a guy. Or in this case, how one QB could be better for certain wideouts and another is better for others. If that ain’t the truth.
Anyway, back to Washington’s pass catchers. James asked Matt what his projections are going forward for Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel. Does Heinicke ultimately help or hurt that fantasy output? Matt: “I don’t think it can get worse.”
James has some reservations about rookie Jahan Dotson, who has benefited from deep passes and touchdowns. Two things that could be lacking in the Heinicke ran Washington offense.
Tyreek Hill seems like the definition of “quarterback proof” right now. After leaving the safety of Patrick Mahomes, Hill has succeeded with starting QB Tua Tagovailoa, backup QB Teddy Bridgewater, and 7th-round rookie QB Skylar Thompson.
James asked Matt with all seriousness – is Tyreek Hill the most unstoppable WR in the NFL right now? Matt agrees there’s a really good case that he is. Since Week 4, Hill has the second most yards behind only Justin Jefferson and second in total targets behind only Cooper Kupp.
As to why, Matt says he’s not only the fastest player on the football field but he’s an “elite, elite route runner”. And if he beats you on the route, it’s play over, he will burn you. Hill is also changing how defenses play the Dolphins. Safeties have to play up to have a better chance of stopping him.
The guys talked about Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle on the show after the matchup with the Ravens when both WRs went nuclear. In that episode, James referred to the two as “Batman and Batman”, a line at the time I called my favorite of the episode. This time, the two think it’s becoming more of a 1 and an elite 2, a Batman and Robin if you will.
Lackluster Fantasy Offenses
The 4-2 New York Jets are winning football games and wasting fantasy potential. As a heavy Elijah Moore drafter myself, this has not been fun. The wins are great for the Jets and their fans, but that offense is not conducive to fantasy points through the air.
Zach Wilson attempted 18 passes last weekend against the Packers. Garrett Wilson was targeted five times, he caught one of them. Elijah Moore didn’t see a single target. Not one. He said he wasn’t going to say anything about it, but then he immediately said something about it.
It sounds like it comes down to this: the Jets have too much talent for a team that’s got a young, developing QB and a lackadaisical passing attack. At WR they’ve got Corey Davis, Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore, and Zach Wilson’s BFF Braxton Berrios. The Jets run a lot of 2 TE sets, giving way to Tyler Conklin and CJ Uzomah. Plus both Breece Hall and Michael Carter succeed in the passing game.
But franchises don’t care about fantasy points, they care about winning. The Jets’ defense could be good enough to allow Zach Wilson the time to grow and develop while the Jets win.
James makes the argument that their defense hasn’t completely proven themselves yet. He thinks they could lose their next four games. Their next game is against the Broncos – another team with a good defense that struggles offensively. I’m with Matt on this one, I think the Jets could grab this W from Denver.
The Los Angeles Rams are also underperforming as an offense. We’ve been waiting for Allen Robinson to have that break out on his new team. Robinson got into the endzone in Week 6 and it boosted him to a good fantasy finish this week.
Matt doesn’t want to hear your “Allen Robinson is washed” narrative. Robinson can still go up and get contested catches, he is still a good route runner. So take your criticisms somewhere else.
The Rams are on bye this week but are due to get Van Jefferson back in the lineup in Week 8. Matt thinks Jefferson could help open up the offense. They need a guy to get down the field fast and Van is no world breaker – but he’s not Tutu Atwell, and that’s great news.
Robinson may not meet expectations from the fantasy draft season, but Matt feels good about him delivering fantasy production this season. James notes that Robinson could still be learning the McVay offense, which is known to be complicated with lots of layers, like an ogre. (Yes, that’s a Shrek reference in 2022.)