The KISS principle is attributed to aircraft engineer Kelly Johnson and received wide usage by the U.S. Navy.
Keep it simple, soldier.
In a world of growing metrics and statistics, paralysis by analysis is easily obtainable. Quiet the noise and look at what matters. While nowhere near the importance of live combat situations, fantasy football requires decision-making in an evolving landscape. It is easy to let in noise and lose signal.
Samaje Perine starting at running back for the Bengals, the third highest scoring offense in the NFL, is signal. The Titans' defense ranking, allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to running backs, is noise. Fantasy players who listened to the signal were rewarded with an RB1 week.
"Boring" veteran running backs are the easiest dynasty asset to obtain, and they can swing leagues.
The final stretch of the fantasy football season floods the space with decisions that, on their face, are unappealing. But a rewind to 2021 shows opportunity reigns. Running back rankings from Weeks 13-18 in 2021: RB1 - Rashaad Penny, RB2 - David Montgomery, RB3 - Devin Singletary, RB9 - Sony Michel, RB12 - Damien Harris, RB14 - Rex Burkhead, RB16 - Darrel Williams.
Week 12 offered the first glimpses of changing situations. In Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers left the game against Philadelphia with a rib injury. Jordan Love relieved him, hitting Christian Watson with his sixth touchdown catch of the season. The Packers fell to 4-8, 3.5 games behind a Washington team that holds the head-to-head tiebreaker. The team is closer to the number one pick in the draft than the playoffs. They could be faced with allowing Rodgers to heal his ribs and a lingering thumb injury while they see if Love is their future or if a high draft pick should be used on a quarterback.
Out West, change is coming fast.
The Broncos dropped their third game and are one loss or one Kansas City win away from division elimination. Kansas City is not going 0-6. The team is four games back from the seven-seed New York Jets in the loss column and is down the head-to-head tiebreaker. The team relied on Latavius Murray heavily in losing to the Panthers, and Murray could provide very cheap production to close the fantasy season. Change is likely coming this offseason in a season with high expectations, and the team is on pace to hand the Seahawks a top-five pick.
The Cardinals are another team facing unexpected change. Kliff Kingsbury has the team on a 5-15 stretch after a 10-2 start to 2021. The team relied heavily on James Conner, with 28 touches and 140 yards. The team invested significantly in Conner in the offseason, and he presents another cheap dynasty option for production as the season winds down. Fantasy options are plentiful for a team that can not get right on the field. A close loss that kept the Chargers in the playoffs hunt could be the nail in the coffin of this regime.
Meanwhile, their division rival Rams, headed in the same direction but much rougher. Allen Robinson looks to have suffered a season-ending foot injury, and rumors that Matthew Stafford could be shut down have started. The Rams split backfield touches between Cam Akers and Kyren Williams, but Williams was more active, gaining 60 yards on 14 opportunities.
Allowing the negativity surrounding these situations to color player assessments is easy. But these situations will allow for new opportunities. Keep it simple.
Rookie running backs are putting their stamp on the season, but one player has struggled with efficiency. Can you place this production?
Revenge! A Dish Best Served On The Field
- WR Breshad Perriman, Tampa Bay vs Cleveland - zeros
- QB Deshaun Watson, Cleveland vs Houston
- WR A.J. Brown, Philadelphia vs Tennessee
- WR D.J. Chark Jr, Detroit vs Jacksonville
- WR Marvin Jones Jr, Jacksonville vs Detroit
- WR Jamal Agnew, Jacksonville vs Detroit
- WR Equanimeous St. Brown, Chicago vs Green Bay
- TE Tyler Conklin, NY Jets vs Minnesota
- RB Latavius Murray, Denver vs Baltimore
- RB Jeff Wilson, Miami vs San Francisco
- RB Raheem Mostert, Miami vs San Francisco
- WR Trent Sherfield, Miami vs San Francisco
- QB Jameis Winston, New Orleans vs Tampa Bay
Deep Dynasty Watch List
- WR Chase Claypool, Byron Pringle, Chicago - Darnell Mooney suffered an ankle injury with early expectations ending his season. Claypool led the team in targets and yards, with five and 51. Meanwhile, Pringle found the endzone as he ramps up from injury.
- RB JaMycal Hasty, Darrell Henderson, Jacksonville - Travis Etienne left with a foot injury. Monitor Etienne, but Doug Pederson has favored committees in the past. Hasty and Henderson fall into a natural order, with Hasty a contributor in the passing game and Henderson building comfort in a new offense. The Jaguars are in a productive situation, and either player could round out a fantasy starting lineup with Etienne out.
- WR Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, Los Angeles Rams - Allen Robinson suffered a stress fracture in practice on Friday and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Jefferson led the team in targets, but Atwell has shown big play ability. There needs to be natural hesitation around this offense, but production has come from questionable offenses to end seasons.
- RB Zonovan Knight, New York Jets - Michael Carter II sprained his ankle and did not return. Knight played his first meaningful snaps in a big Jets win, rushing 14 times for 69 yards. James Robinson was a healthy scratch. Knight has a game that works well within the Shanahan wide zone scheme. A must-add in deep dynasty leagues.
- RB Tyrion Davis-Price, San Francisco - Elijah Mitchell left the game with a potential MCL sprain, a similar injury that cost him several weeks. Christian McCaffrey is battling knee tendonitis. Davis-Price has been a healthy scratch, but the team has proven hesitant to move Jordan Mason from a primary special teams role.
- QB Jordan Love, Green Bay - Aaron Rodgers left Sunday night’s game with a rib injury and has been battling a thumb injury. The time may be suitable for a Packers team amid a lost season to give Love ample opportunity.
- WR Trent Sherfield, Miami - Sherfield has played as the clear third wide receiver in an explosive Miami offense. The Houston game was a runaway, but Tyreek Hill had a minor injury. Sherfield is an under-the-radar play who could see increased value if injury creates opportunity.
Stats Of The Week
RB Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas - 229 rushing yards, two touchdowns, 74 receiving yards - I use Footballguys Game Log Dominator to compile these stats. The data goes back to 1995. This game is the only one over 200 rushing yards, with two touchdowns and 70 receiving yards. Jacobs is the only Raiders back in the database to record four games over 140 rushing yards in a season.
QB Mike White, NY Jets - 315 passing yards, three touchdowns - Since 1995, the Jets have had 11 games where the quarterback threw for 300 yards with three touchdowns. Only one player has done it twice: White.
WR Christian Watson, Green Bay - 6 receiving touchdowns - Watson tied James Lofton as the only rookie Packer wide receiver to score six touchdowns dating back to 1960. Davante Adams, Jordy Nelson, and Randall Cobb combined for six touchdowns in their rookie year.
QB Mac Jones, New England - 382 passing yards, two touchdowns - Jones became the first Patriot quarterback to record 380 passing yards with 2+ touchdowns since Tom Brady in 2017. It was Jones’ first 300-yard, multiple-touchdown game since Week 12, 2021.
QB Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia - 158 rushing yards - Hurts recorded a career-high and became the sixth quarterback since 1995 to top 150 rushing yards.
The Target Report
|Chris Godwin||Tampa Bay||13||31%||12||110||1|
|Rachaad White||Tampa Bay||9||21%||9||45||0|
|Garrett Wilson||NY Jets||8||29%||5||95||2|
|Van Jefferson||LA Rams||7||29%||3||29||0|
|Skyy Moore||Kansas City||6||16%||5||36||0|
|Rhamondre Stevenson||New England||10||29%||9||76||0|
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