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Don’t Be Fooled by Chargers Tyrell Williams or Titans Tajae Sharpe

Don’t Be Fooled by Chargers Tyrell Williams or Titans Tajae Sharpe
Chris Mitchell October 25, 2018 1:17PM EST

Trending and NoteWorthy for Week Eight

Week Seven has come and gone, and with every touchdown we are closer and closer to must-win Fantasy games. The waiver wire is thin, the injuries are stacking up and teams on bye weeks have increased to four. That doesn’t mean there isn’t someone somewhere to claim and it definitely does not mean that owners should stop trying to improve their rosters.

The trade market is still open for business. Most owners in need of improvement probably aren’t selling from an overabundance of depth, making the right decision on who to buy and who to sell more crucial now than ever.

Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled

Tyrell Williams, WR Los Angeles Chargers

Week Six and Seven Combined Stats:

Eight Targets – Seven Receptions – 236 Receiving Yards – Three TDs

Tyrell Williams is floating in a deceptive zone. The Fantasy world can’t ignore back-to-back 118 yard receiving games or the three total touchdowns he scored. And, he is only owned in 28% of Yahoo! Fantasy leagues.

Think about that. In back-to-back weeks, Williams had the exact same 118 yards receiving. Another odd statistical quirk: Weeks Two through Four, Williams combined for, wait for it, 118 total receiving yards. Another statistical head-scratcher: he was targeted 69 times in both 2016 and 2017. Not combined. Each. He had the same exact target totals in back-to-back seasons in 2016 and 2017, and the exact same receiving yards in back-to-back weeks in 2018. Weird, wild stuff.

From a “Trending and NoteWorthy” perspective the fact that he had two outstanding performances in a row should be enough to promote him from NoteWorthy or Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled to Trending. That’s why he is roaming in a Fantasy prism. His second performance only confirms that he is more Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled than he was when I labeled him last week.

In his two full seasons as a Charger, Williams has averaged 15.3 and 16.9 yards per catch, respectively, and has 11 touchdowns on 112 receptions. He has been a fraction better than a touchdown every 10 receptions. He has to be owned, right? When the Chargers target him he produces. But for whatever reason, they don’t do it often and that’s why he is Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled.

In the two recent games, 120 of his 236 receiving yards were in two plays. Under the surface, we see that he has only been targeted 27 times in seven games this season after only being targeted 69 times in both 2017 and 2018. Owners have seen big-play, low-catch, inconsistent players like DeSean Jackson and John Brown performing like low-end WR2 or Flex starters. I don’t want to be stuck deciding whether to start or sit those players and Williams is even more inconsistent and less reliable than them.

In rotisserie formats, Williams is a must-own because the numbers will eventually be there at the end of the year and in Daily Fantasy he is a potential game-changer in tournament formats, but in head-to-head formats and cash games, owners should have preferable alternatives most weeks. When do you start him and when do you sit him? Impossible to know. Game flow doesn’t explain it. Matchup is irrelevant. That’s why he is a Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled, a third time for emphasis.

Chris Ivory, RB Buffalo Bills

Week Seven Stats:

16 Rushing Attempts – 81 Rushing Yards – Three Receptions – 25 Receiving Yards

Ivory’s 2018 season has featured four games of six rushing attempts or fewer, 14 attempts or more three times and only one touchdown. The Bills aren’t very good, they don’t score very often, they don’t provide Ivory with consistent opportunities and when they are in the red zone, he isn’t the clear option to run it in. He has a nice week, without a touchdown.

I know running back can be a barren wasteland, especially in bye weeks with four teams sitting on the sidelines, but Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled.

Michael Roberts, TE Detroit Lions

Week Seven Stats:

Three Targets – Three Receptions – Two Touchdowns – 48 Receiving Yards

Roberts has suited up in three games and has four total receptions. The deceptive fact is that three of his four receptions have been touchdowns. If you play in a TD-only league, he is an intriguing if not a must-start guy, but he is irrelevant in all other “normal” leagues until we see some semblance of targets. Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled.

Tajae Sharpe, WR Tennessee Titans

Week Seven Stats:

Nine Targets – Seven Receptions – 101 Receiving Yards

Marcus Mariota has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns, has thrown a touchdown in only two of six starts and fewer than 240 yards in all but one game. DeAndre Hopkins would struggle to be relevant in this situation, never mind Sharpe. Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled.

NoteWorthy

Chris Herndon, TE New York Jets

Week Six and Seven Combined Stats:

Nine Targets – Six Receptions – Two Touchdowns – 98 Receiving Yards

Herndon, like Michael Roberts above, does nothing but score touchdowns. He has scored in back-to-back games, two of his six receptions were touchdowns and he has been a double-digit Fantasy Tight End in both. He is NoteWorthy today with the possibility of Trending” after Weeks Eight and Nine.

Unlike Roberts, his seven targets against the Minnesota Vikings hint at the potential for a relevant player at a thin position owned in only five percent of Yahoo! leagues. There isn’t an obvious number one tight end on the Jets roster, so this could be a developing situation and potential hail mary, bargain basement tournament play as well.

Marlon Mack, RB Indianapolis Colts

Week Six Stats:

12 Rushing Attempts – 89 Rushing Yards

Week Seven Stats:

19 Rushing Attempts – 126 Rushing Yards – One TD

Two Receptions – 33 Receiving Yards – One TD

Mack will have a roll Fantasy owners can rely on in the Colts’ offense, so the question is how good can he be? The last two weeks, the answer to that is “Flex-worthy good.” I am still a Nyheim Hines Guy, but Mack needs to be owned and seriously considered as a Flex starter against the mess in Oakland this week.

Nick Chubb, RB Cleveland Browns

Week Six Stats:

18 Rushing Attempts – 80 Rushing Yards – One TD

Two Targets – Zero Receptions

Week Seven was Chubb’s first opportunity as “the guy” in Cleveland, and while he didn’t explode, he was a solid, low-end RB2 performer. The talent is there and the touches will be going forward. The lone downside and a potential reason to sell-high based on the buzz is that he doesn’t have a single reception in the pass game. Duke Johnson Jr. is a quiet beneficiary of the departure of Carlos Hyde while Chubb proved he is a must-start because of it in Week Seven.

Trending

Sterling Shepard, WR New York Giants

2018 Stats:

51 Targets – 36 Receptions – 508 Receiving Yards – 2 TDs

When I was outlining this week’s article, I instinctively labeled Shepard “Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled.” After researching the case, I shuffled him down to Trending because he has been under-the-radar good for a Giants team that is being lambasted for everything from drafting Saquon Barkley to not blocking for anyone, to starting Eli Manning and not utilizing Odell Beckham in his prime. It’s ugly in NY, but Shepard has been pretty… good.

He has had four games of five receptions or more, 75 yards receiving or more and double-digit Fantasy points. In PPR formats he has scored 20 Fantasy points or more in three of seven games and at least nine Fantasy points five of seven weeks, and he is owned in only 78 percent of Yahoo! leagues. His season has been NoteWorthy while four of his last five games have shown that he is also Trending.

Kerryon Johnson, RB Detroit Lions

2018 Season Stats:

69 Rushing Attempts – 6.4 Yards Per Carry – 444 Rushing Yards – One TD

18 Targets – 15 Receptions – 89 Receiving Yards

Johnson isn’t a meaningful part of the passing game and he hasn’t scored touchdowns at a rate we would like to see, but his yards per carry (6.4) and increased workload have made Johnson a must-start RB2.

In Dynasty formats, he is a potential bell-cow running back that has shown signs that he could be a moderate contributor in the passing game as well as a full-carry rusher between the tackles. The Lions have slowly increased his workload and we could see a similar approach to his usage in the passing game as well. More goal line opportunities should result in more touchdowns along with a potential increased role in the passing provides Johnson with both a good standing in yearly leagues and upside in Dynasty formats. Derrius Guice, Rashaad Penny and Ronald Jones II were the more popular rushing rookies, but it is looking more and more like Johnson could emerge as the best running back not named Saquon Barkley in the 2018 draft class.

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