- • Senior Fantasy analyst for ESPN
• Member, FSWA and FSTA Halls of Fame
• Best-selling author of “Fantasy Life”
I swore I was never writing this column again.
But here we are.
To be clear, I am talking about the specific topic of today’s column, not writing overall. For me, the biggest issue with it is when the column comes out.
It should be written in the preseason when you could do something with it. But then the preseason comes and all anyone wants to read is player evaluation and draft strategy and sleepers and busts and mock drafts and, well, there’s never really a place for it.
But then you write it, say, just before Week 6 and everyone is like … OK, it’s sort of interesting, but what the hell am I supposed to do with this?
So I swore I’d never write this column again.
But here we are.
The topic at hand is, for lack of a better phrase, reinventing fantasy football.
I’ve written a version of this before, and people are always like, “That’s a super interesting idea … that I can’t do anything with, Berry! Thanks. It’s the middle of the season! What am I supposed to do with this?”
So I was done, never writing about new fantasy league ideas again. Done, I tell you. Totally done-zo.
And then I got an email alerting me to some changes here at ESPN Fantasy HQ.
And here we are.
So here’s the big news.
You can start a league today. Like, right now. Like, starting in Week 6 and going through the rest of the season. Right here on ESPN and in the ESPN Fantasy App. All for free, of course.
Want a do-over on your Saquon Barkley pick? Wishing you waited on a QB instead grabbing Lamar Jackson in the second? Want another shot at drafting DK Metcalf?
Now’s your chance.
But even better than that. Ever wanted to try a “Vampire” league? What about an Eliminator League? All Play? Super flex? No Bench? Pirate leagues? Two games a week? Punters … you wanna play with punters? Now you can do all that and more.
If some of those titles don’t make sense to you, don’t worry. We’re gonna explain a bunch of new league formats in a bit. But first the basics of starting a new league on ESPN.
Understand there’s no looking back with these leagues. If you start a league today, you begin with a fresh, 0-0 record. No retroactive scoring. You won’t be able to go back and “force” scores. It starts now up until kickoff for Week 6 (1 p.m. Sunday).
It’s not just for this week, however. If you can’t find enough people to do a new league between now and 1 on Sunday, you can start one next week for Week 7. In order to help with any confusion, in leagues that draft after a season starts, instead of seeing Week 1, the labels will be NFL Week 1. Which means player pages and player cards will still have the stats that were accumulated before your draft took place. Confused? Don’t worry. More details, tips and messages will be on fantasycast, the welcome page and scoreboard.
So I think that’s cool; I’m always in favor of more fantasy. And I especially love new ideas. I asked for new and different formats and got over 1,000 responses between the posts. Tons of great ideas. I encourage you to read the whole thread on both apps if you want even more ideas, but here were some really cool new formats folks listed. Formats that you could try as soon as this weekend.
Vampire leagues: The idea is that in a 10-person league, you have one player who is the “Vampire.” So nine others draft. I’d add two extra bench spots for all teams, but those nine people draft. You then enter the results from the offline draft onto ESPN. Once that is done, the rosters of those nine teams are frozen until the playoffs. They can make start/sit moves, but they can’t pick up any free agents. After the results are entered, the “Vampire” makes his or her lineup entirely out of waivers/free agents. The Vampire can make any free-agent moves wanted all season long. And there are no trades at all. Here’s where the Vampire part comes in. As the season plays out, if the Vampire wins, the Vampire gets to choose one starting player from the losing team and swap it with a player on the Vampire team. Now it has to be a player who was started, and it has to be a position-for-position trade (no dealing a kicker for a running back). But yeah, as the season goes along, the Vampire gets stronger. If you want more in-depth details about how to play Vampire leagues, I wrote about them in this 2018 column.
One cool twist on the Vampire league was suggested by @Cupocheddar on social media. He tells of a salary-cap version of a Vampire in which everyone drafts and you use your actual money for the salary cap, and then every player has their draft-day price attached to them. Say you acquired Zeke for $60. It would cost $60 of your own money, and that goes into the pot. OK, well you go through the season and every week, when a team wins, the fantasy players get to swap one player with the team they beat. Your payout at the end of the year is the total salary of all the players you acquired throughout the year. Free agents are $0, and the last-place team has to “donate” all its players to the first-place winner. It takes some work, but I like this idea.
Eliminator leagues: My good friend Paul Charchian runs these type of leagues under a different name, but the premise is still the same. It’s very simple. Everyone drafts. There’s no head-to-head matchups. It’s just total points. At the end of a given week, the lowest-scoring team is eliminated. Period. Year over. And all that team’s players are released into the free-agent pool to be picked up by the remaining teams. And you keep doing that, week after week, until only one team remains. This is really a great idea to do with ESPN’s new ability to start leagues whenever. Because we are in Week 6, you could do a 12-team draft by Sunday and the season would end Week 16. Or start in Week 7 and do an 11-person league (to end in Week 16) or 12-person league (to end in Week 17). Paul recommends using a Super Flex lineup (QB/2 RB/2 WR/TE/4 FLEX /1 OP, which can be a second QB), and he suggests using FAAB for the free agents. But whether you do that or a standard D/ST and K type lineup and waivers for free agents, it sounds really fun and wild. You don’t have to be great. Just not last. But as teams dwindle and the free-agent pool is stocked with huge name players, decisions become tougher and tougher. I really want to play in a version of this. Maybe I’ll try to do a version of this with readers for charity or something. Stay tuned.
Super Flex leagues: As described above, these get rid of D/ST and K and instead add additional flex spots (usually 4), one of which can be a second QB. A variation of these is having TE-premium scoring, in which TEs get 1.5 points per reception. I love Super Flex.
Playing multiple teams: This requires some manual adjustments and/or some on-paper recordkeeping, but there are two versions of this. One is “all-play,” which means that you, in essence, “play” every team in the league. So say it’s a 10-team league and you scored the third-highest points that week. Two teams had more points than your starting lineup and you outscored seven teams. Your record for the week would be 7-2. And so on.
Meanwhile, another version of this that I have played and really enjoy is where you play your normal head-to-head matchup. But then your score is compared to everyone else’s. So in a 10-team league, the five teams that win their head-to-head matchup get a win. And the five teams with the five highest scores also get a win. So you either go 2-0, 1-1 or 0-2. This also requires some additional bookkeeping off-site, but it is worth it.
I heard ideas about No Bench leagues, where, yes, you literally have to start everyone on your team.
I heard about Pirate leagues, where before the game, fantasy players lists four players on their team who are protected and one player they want to steal or pirate from their opponent. You screenshot these choices with time stamps and then both reveal. If your opponent has “pirated” a player you didn’t protect … you lose that player.
You can obviously do an entirely auto-draft league in which you just see what the computer picks for you. I heard of leagues where you draft an NFL division. Like, you’d have the AFC West. And then every week you’d have to make your lineup only out of Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers and Broncos. Everyone in the league has just one NFL division to choose from. I’ve also heard of a version of this where you draft three NFL teams and just get every offensive player from those three teams and set your lineups from those.
I was on Pat McAfee’s show and he asked about fantasy punter leagues. I’ve actually played in a league with punters. You get points for punts inside the 20 and punting average. You can play with punters, you can play with head coaches and you can play with any variety of individual defensive players.
I enjoy Best Ball leagues (only drafts, no in-season trades or waiver claims), where, after all the games are played, your best possible lineup is set for you. I’ve heard of re-draft leagues where you re-draft the league literally every week. You are drafting for just that week. After that week, every team throws every player back and you could just draft via free agency once waivers clears.
There are lots of DFS/season-long hybrids as well that I enjoy, and honestly, we’d be here all day if I described every version and variation I heard. I really do encourage you to read the full threads if you’re curious. But my point is ultimately this: It’s a super weird year. Monday doubleheaders, Tuesday games, games being postponed, bye weeks moved all over. It’s wild. If ever there was a year to YOLO it and try something new, this is the year, so why not try?
And try it with ESPN because, you know, I am a company man.
And if there’s a format you think I should hear about, let me know on social media.
In the meantime, let’s get to it. Any odds quoted are from the Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill as of the time of writing and my thanks, as always, to The Stat-a-Pillar from The Fantasy Show on ESPN+ and “Thirsty” Kyle Soppe from The Fantasy Focus 06010 podcast for their help at various points in the column.
Here we go.
Quarterbacks I love in Week 6
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions, at Jaguars
Stafford is only QB21 on the season. Don’t love that. But, in his past 10 games with Kenny Golladay active, Stafford is averaging 20.7 fantasy points. I definitely love that. I love it even more against a Jaguars defense that allows the fourth-most passing yards and allows opposing QBs to complete 75.8% of their passes (that’s the highest rate in the NFL). Three of the four quarterbacks they’ve faced this year have put up at least 24 fantasy points (Phillip Rivers in Week 1 was the only one not to do it). With two weeks to prepare for, ahem, this defense, I like Stafford to have a top-10 day in Week 6.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins, vs. Jets
The problem with Ryan Fitzpatrick is, in fact, the name Ryan Fitzpatrick. Because you have that name ingrained in your head. You see the beard, you know about his well-traveled career, all the Fitz-tragic jokes hahaha. Except you know who’s laughing now? The person in your league starting him. Since Week 10 of last year, here’s the entire list of QBs with more total points: Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. That’s it. That’s the list. The seventh-best QB in fantasy in 2020, he has 21 fantasy points or more in four in a row. Still available in about 75% of ESPN leagues prior to waivers running Wednesday night, he should be a popular starter this season in a revenge game against the Jets. In fairness, almost every game is a revenge game for Fitzy, but still. The Jets are bottom 10 in completion percentage against, yards per attempt against, passing yards allowed, total scoring allowed and probably a lot of other stats I’m too lazy to look up. They’re bad, Fitzy is hot, don’t overthink this.
Andy Dalton, Dallas Cowboys, vs. Cardinals
OK sure, Dak Prescott is not playing, but the Cowboys’ defense still is. My point: This game will be a shootout; in fact, it has one of the highest over/unders of Week 6. Dalton will have to throw a lot in his first game as the Cowboys’ starter (Dallas averages a league-high 47.2 pass attempts per game this season), while Arizona has allowed every quarterback it has faced this year not named Dwayne Haskins Jr. or Joe Flacco to put up at least 18 fantasy points. The Cowboys lead the NFL in offensive snaps per game, so Dalton will be out there a lot. and while he doesn’t have Dak’s immense upside, he’s closer than you might think at first glance. Did you know that since Dalton entered the league in 2011, the ONLY quarterbacks with more rushing touchdowns than Dalton are Cam Newton and Prescott? If you got Dalton off the wire this week, you’ll do well to put him right into your lineup. He’s a Love.
Others receiving votes
Atlanta allows a league-high 30.1 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and has given up at least 20 quarterback fantasy points in every single game this year. Congratulations, Kirk Cousins, you are this week’s winner of the Quarterback Who Gets to Play the Falcons Award. … I’m going to keep putting Gardner Minshew II here until people start believing in him. Multiple touchdown passes in four of five games and multiple touchdown passes AND 300 passing yards in three of his past four weeks. Patrick Mahomes is the only other quarterback to do that. Minshew has a good chance to continue his run of success this week against a Lions defense allowing touchdown passes at the fourth-highest rate this season. You already know I like Stafford this week, so expect Minshew to keep pace.
Quarterbacks I hate in Week 6
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles, vs. Ravens
I feel like it’s bullying to keep putting Wentz on this list almost every week, but not as much as the Ravens’ defense is going to bully him Sunday. If you take away Baltimore’s Week 1 game against Patrick Mahomes, the other four quarterbacks to face the Ravens have averaged just 11.9 FPPG and put up a total of two passing touchdowns. Baltimore also ranks third in blitz rate and 10th in pressure rate, a bad combo for Wentz, who once again will play with a beat-up offense around him. If you’ve watched the Eagles this year it won’t surprise you to know Wentz has the second-highest off-target passing percentage this season. You might not know the only QB worse than him is … Mitchell Trubisky. Yeesh.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns, at Steelers
Yes, the Browns are 4-1, but the important part is they’ve done that by playing good defense, running the ball well and not asking Mayfield to win games for them. On pace to throw for just over 3,100 yards on the season (he’s just 25th among QBs in pass attempts per game), Mayfield has fewer than 16 fantasy points in every game this year. And, when pressured this season, Mayfield ranks 28th among qualified quarterbacks in completion percentage and 30th in yards per pass attempt. That suggests another sub-16-fantasy-point game against the Steelers, who lead the league in both pressure and blitz rate.
Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers, vs. Bears
I love Teddy Bridgewater as a season-long replacement for fantasy managers who lost Prescott and missed out on Dalton on waivers … I just don’t love his matchup this week against a Bears defense that has:
Allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season
Held four of the five quarterbacks it has faced under 14.5 fantasy points
Given up a league-low four passing touchdowns and no multiple passing touchdown games
Yielded a league-low 57.4% completion rate
Do grab and stash Bridgewater if you have roster space. He has been and will continue to be good this year. I just wouldn’t want him in my lineup until Week 7.
Running backs I love in Week 6
Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers, vs. Bears
You can’t spell “Christian MkCavfred” without M-I-K-E D-A-V-I-S. OK, fine, it’s not exactly a fit, but it’s close. And that’s kind of my point: Davis has provided production very close to what Christian McCaffrey used to churn out every week. At least 22 fantasy points and a touchdown in each of his past three games, and he already has three different games with at least eight receptions — tied for the most among all running backs. And while I expect the Bears to shut down Teddy Bridgewater (he’s on the “hate” list for a reason), he’s still going to check down. Four of the five running backs to get at least 14 touches versus Chicago so far this season have scored at least 14 fantasy points. Playing his former team, I expect another MkCavfred-esque performance from Davis this week.
Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings, vs. Falcons
Whether you have Mattison as insurance for Dalvin Cook, drafted him late as an upside flier or managed to grab him off waivers, this is your week. This is the week you’ve been waiting for. Talented running back who will get the majority of work in one of the best matchups you could ask for. The Falcons cough up 29.3 fantasy points per game to running backs and have allowed an NFL-worst four receiving touchdowns to RBs, as well. The Vikes average the second-most running back carries this season (28 a game), and the bulk of those in Cook’s absence will go to the Mattison, as we saw on Sunday night (23 touches for 136 scrimmage yards). Minnesota has a bye after this week and then Cook is expected back, so Mattison’s fantasy glory may be short-lived. But right now? This is your week, baby.
Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts, vs. Bengals
A funny thing happened on the way to Taylor receiving a huge workload after Marlon Mack’s injury. It didn’t happen. Just 46 touches over the past three weeks, which, now that I write, isn’t that funny at all. Hmm. Even while the Colts mess around with Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines getting more touches than you’d expect, Taylor is still the Colts’ clear No. 1 back, especially in the red zone. Since Week 2, he ranks fifth among all backs in red zone rushes, and he has a rushing touchdown in three of his past four games. Facing a Bengals defense this week that gives up 131.4 rushing yards per game to running backs on 5.3 yards per carry, Taylor is a good bet to be efficient with the touches he gets.
Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins, vs. Jets
Here we are in mid-October with a Dolphins-Jets matchup, and Gaskin is a running back on the Love list while Le’Veon Bell isn’t even in the league. I can’t say I predicted that in the preseason. But I could have predicted that the Jets’ defense would be terrible. It has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs this season, which sets up well for Gaskin to produce: He has averaged 20.3 touches per game over the past three weeks. The one knock on Gaskin was that Jordan Howard would vulture him at the goal line, but with 19 red zone rushes and six goal-to-go carries over the past three games that worry is no longer relevant. And not for nothing, the Jets have given up 7 rushing TDs to RBs, tied for second most. Huh? Fitzy and now Gaskin? Apparently I’m a Miami fan this week. Fins up!
Others receiving votes
Kenyan Drake hasn’t lost his job to Chase Edmonds yet, but it’s getting closer; Edmonds has outscored Drake each of the past two weeks despite getting a lot fewer touches. Still, operating as Arizona’s pass-catching RB in a game with one of Week 6’s highest over/unders, Edmonds has flex value this week against a Cowboys defense that has allowed the fourth-most rushing yards to running backs. … David Johnson is just RB24 on the season, but there’s a glimmer of hope that he’s on the upswing. His touches have increased in each of the past three weeks, and he actually got 82% of backfield touches in Houston’s first Bill O’Brien-free game. A solid workload should result in fantasy production this week against a Tennessee D that, over the past four weeks, is 28th against the run. … Devonta Freeman isn’t exactly making Giants fans forget Saquon Barkley, but he does have double-digit fantasy points in each of his past two games and 64% of the Giants’ RB touches in that span. He has emerged as the lead back for the Giants out of that committee, and as an RB3 or flex play in deeper leagues in a game the G-Men should be competitive.
Running backs I hate in Week 6
Melvin Gordon III and Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos, at Patriots
As of this writing on Wednesday, I don’t know if Gordon will face disciplinary action due to his recent DUI citation. Maybe he misses this game, maybe he misses a quarter or half, maybe nothing happens. But it’s not great, Bob. Not great. The Patriots have had two weeks to prepare for this game, and as Bill Belichick always does, he takes away the strength of an offense. All due respect to the Broncos’ QBs, he’s likely to focus on the Broncos’ run game. If you think the Patriots win this game (they are favored by 10), that’s also bad. Denver is bottom 10 in the NFL in rush rate when trailing and 29th in the league when trailing by seven or more. Of the four RBs with 13-plus touches vs. New England this year, only Chris Carson scored more than 12.1 points. By the way, that ain’t a lot. David Johnson had 12.3 points last week, good for RB25. Add in a potential timeshare or uncertainly on playing time and this feels like a touchdown-dependent flex, nothing more.
Damien Harris, New England Patriots, vs. Broncos
Speaking of tempering expectations … yes, Harris looked outstanding in his 2020 debut the last time the Patriots took the field. But he played fewer snaps than both James White and Rex Burkhead, Burkhead got three of four red zone carries, and Harris had zero targets and ran just one route. Considering all that, and that Denver allows a league-low 16.3 FPPG to running backs, you’re gonna need a TD from Harris for him to pay off. And Cam Newton is back this week, which helps elevate the offense but also represents another player competing for rushing touchdowns. The fantasy graveyard is littered with folks who tried to make sense of the Patriots’ backfield over the years. I want to see it again before I trust him.
Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams, at 49ers
I love Henderson. The issue is I am not head coach of the Rams. And while I love Henderson, you know who hates us? Sean McVay. Right when we think a lead back is emerging from that Rams committee, he changes it up on us. Super annoying when coaches decide to focus on things like “winning” and keeping their opponent “off balance.” Sigh. Such is the life we have chosen. Cam Akers led the Rams in rushing last week, and McVay said he’d get a bigger role in Week 6, while Malcom Brown continues to average double-digit touches. Henderson might very well have another big game — he has been great in three of the past four — but your confidence in starting him can’t be super high. Especially against a San Fran defense allowing just 63 rushing yards and 3.0 yards per carry to running backs this season.
Pass-catchers I love in Week 6
Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons, at Vikings
While we aren’t sure what, if anything, the result of firing coach Dan Quinn will have on the Falcons as a whole and the offense specifically (Dirk Koetter is still their offensive coordinator), here’s one thing I can guarantee: It still will feature A LOT of Ridley in Week 6. Tied for the second-most end zone targets, Ridley has as good a shot as any player in football this week at scoring against a Minnesota defense that has allowed a league-worst nine touchdowns to wide receivers. Of the four receivers to get at least seven targets versus Minnesota this season, three of them scored more than 22 fantasy points. And Ridley is averaging 9.8 targets per game. DeAndre Hopkins is the only WR I’d start over Ridley this week. Giddy up.
Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions, at Jaguars
So, among other misdeeds, Jacksonville last week allowed Texans receivers to catch seven of 11 deep targets for 199 yards and two touchdowns. And that wasn’t a fluke. Giving up the long ball is very #onbrand for Jacksonville. The Jaguars have allowed 18 deep receptions this year, sixth worst in the NFL. Enter Golladay, arguably the best deep-ball receiver in the NFL. Golladay has a touchdown in both games he has played since returning from injury. I like his chances of making it 3-for-3 on Sunday.
Jamison Crowder, New York Jets, at Dolphins
Am I about to say something nice about a Jets player? I am. Don’t let all the smoke from the New York Jets’ dumpster fire prevent you from seeing how good Crowder has been this season. He has at least 100 yards and 17 fantasy points in the three games he has played this year, and he’s averaging 22.5 FPPG and 11 targets per game. Meanwhile, the Dolphins allow the fourth-most slot receptions, which means Crowder once again will be the only Jet who is a fantasy must-start.
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans, at Texans
In a disastrous year for tight ends, Smith remains one of the lone bright spots. Two more touchdowns on Tuesday night, at least seven targets in three of four games, Smith is TE2 on the season on a per-game basis, trailing Travis Kelce by just 0.6 points per game. And for the rest of the season, the only tight ends I’d prefer to him are Kelce, George Kittle and Mark Andrews. He’s basically right there with Darren Waller, and I prefer him to Zach Ertz and anyone else, especially this week against Houston. The Texans have allowed a touchdown and 13-plus fantasy points to an opposing tight end in two of their last three games. A locked in top four play this week.
Others receiving votes
CeeDee Lamb didn’t need any time to adjust to the NFL — he has at least five catches and 10 fantasy points in every game this season — so there’s no reason to expect he’ll need time to adjust to Andy Dalton. In fact, his production probably won’t dip at all. Last year, with Dalton throwing to him, Tyler Boyd led the Bengals in fantasy points from the slot and on deep passes, two areas in which Lamb currently ranks top five among wide receivers. … Justin Jefferson leads the Vikings in slot routes, targets and yards, while the Falcons are bottom seven in both touchdowns to the slot and yards allowed to the slot. … More than 80% of Christian Kirk‘s routes have come on the perimeter this year, and Dallas gets lit up by receivers on the perimeter (among other players at other locations of the field, of course). … Laviska Shenault Jr. has double-digit points in four of five games this year, 20 targets in his past three and gets a great matchup with Detroit. Like him a lot for the season and as a top-20 play on Sunday. … Evan Engram finally broke out a bit last week, and he might actually make it two good fantasy games in a row thanks to playing My Football Team, which allows the fifth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends this season. … Will Robert Tonyan score three touchdowns again this week? No, probably not. But it wasn’t a complete fluke. He has touchdowns in three straight games and 11 targets in his past two games, as well — second most on the team. He’ll get plenty of looks again this week against a Bucs defense that allows the seventh-most yards per reception to tight ends on the season.
Pass-catchers I hate in Week 6
DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers, vs. Bears
Christian McCaffrey and Moore were the fantasy must-starts on the Panthers entering the season. Now McCaffrey is injured and Moore is the third receiving option on the team. Really. In the past three games, Moore has just a 15% target share, compared to Robby Anderson at 30% and Mike Davis at 25%. Even if he gets more targets Sunday, it will be hard to do much with them against a Bears defense that has given up just one WR touchdown all year and allows just a 56.3% catch rate to opposing receivers, best in the NFL. I have Moore outside my top 20 this week.
Terry McLaurin, Washington, at Giants
This pains me as you know McScorin (his official name) is one of my favorite players in the NFL. But for everything that has gone wrong this year for New York, one thing that has gone really right is James Bradberry being a true shutdown corner. Allen Robinson II had a 3-for-33 performance on nine targets against New York, Amari Cooper was just 2-for-22 on four targets. Now, McLaurin has dusted other top corners before, but with QB still a question mark for Washington and what is expected to be a low-scoring, competitive game (i.e. there’s unlikely to be a lot of junk-time passing), I have McLaurin outside my top 20 for the week.
John Brown, Buffalo Bills, vs. Chiefs
Brown might be back in Buffalo’s lineup this week, but he shouldn’t be in your lineup. Kansas City allows the second-lowest catch rate on deep passes this year and just 2.4 deep receptions per game. It’s hard to have any confidence in Brown this week coming off injury against a passing defense that shuts down deep threats.
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles, vs. Ravens
Ertz while Dallas Goedert has been out might be the biggest disappointment in fantasy this year (non-injury edition), and I say this in the same week the Jets straight up released Le’Veon Bell. For the season, Ertz is averaging just four receptions and 29 yards per game. And he’s only getting worse: 15 yards COMBINED in his past two games, under 20 yards in three of his past five and, over the past four weeks, he has zero end zone targets. Zero. He’s still getting looks, so that’s good and you likely don’t have a better tight end option, but it’s hard to be excited about Ertz against Baltimore’s tough defense.
Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams, at 49ers
The only person who might like Ertz’s recent performance is Higbee because he’s keeping Higbee from being 2020’s biggest TE disappointment. If you take away Higbee’s three-touchdown game, he’s averaging just 5.8 FPPG for the season and ranks 31st among all tight ends in routes run per game. Only one tight end playing the 49ers this year has had more than 35 receiving yards, so expect Higbee’s disappointing 2020 to continue in Week 6.
Matthew Berry, The Talented Mr. Roto, is preparing himself for Chris Carson to be undervalued in a bunch of new formats too.
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