Take-a-thon: The State of Fantasy Football Two Weeks In

The leaves are falling, the wind is gusting, and your fantasy team probably sucks. It’s ok, we know you drafted Derrick Henry in the first round even though he’s coming off a major injury and is nearing the 1,500 carry threshold for production regression. 

It happens to the best of us. I still have scars from spending nearly half of my auction budget on Saquon Barkley in 2020. On the other hand, King Henry could prove me wrong and string together multiple 200+ yard weeks. Fantasy football is a fickle game, and it’s pretty futile to make any conclusions, especially this early into the season. But, just for fun, let’s run through some things (I think) I know:


  • Amon-Ra St. Brown has the best name in the NFL. Ok, that’s too easy. I win. The Sun God came off most draft boards this summer as the WR22, but he’s looking like a potential league winner to start the season. I’m really not sure why he fell so far, as from Week 8 of last year onward, he was the 7th highest scoring receiver in PPR leagues. I’m getting shades of Cooper Kupp with his performances, especially in regards to their shared rapport with Jared Goff. Pencil him in as a top five WR for the rest of the season.


  • This might be the year that the zero-RB draft strategy shines. For those who don’t know, “zero-RB” is an approach to drafting wherein one shuns the RB position for the first four, five, or six rounds in favor of premier talent at QB, WR, and TE. This year, for example, you could’ve landed Cooper Kupp, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Josh Allen, and Amon-Ra St. Brown using this method. Obviously, you’d miss out on Jonathan Taylor or DeAndre Swift, but that’s the name of the game. The tricky part, however, is finding at least two serviceable starting running backs in those later rounds. That’s why I’ve scoffed at it in the past. It’s overly contrarian, and the optics of it are pretty laughable. Imagine waking up on a football Sunday last year to see your opponent with Damien Harris and Chase Edmonds in their lineup. At that point, I’d just go back to sleep. But this year…and I hate to say it, the “zero RB” strategy might actually be valid. Imagine stockpiling all of those top WRs and then adding Clyde Edwards-Helaire and James Robinson. CEH looks much more efficient than he did last season, albeit on fewer touches, and Kansas City’s offense hasn’t missed a beat despite trading away Tyreek. J-Rob, on the other hand, missed the back end of the year with an Achilles tear. Most NFL RBs don’t fully recover from this injury, yet Robinson is back on the field, and looks as sharp as ever. And for the time being, he’s beaten out Travis Etienne for the majority of the snaps and touches. AJ Dillon of the Packers could be another potential victory for the zero-RB sickos. He could be acquired in the 9th or 10th round in most leagues, but so far it looks like he’s the 1B to Aaron Jones’ 1A in the Green Bay backfield, with the gap quickly closing.


  • This is the time of the season where you’re probably shitting yourself about how poorly your top picks have done. Looking at you, Alvin Kamara and Kyle Pitts owners. My advice: don’t worry too much. Desperation is never the move. Besides, it wouldn’t make sense to trade a player at their lowest value. Maybe with someone like Kamara you can ride his name recognition for a RB or WR at the tier below (i.e. James Conner or Tee Higgins), but even then you’re losing potential value. It’s like taking two steps back to move a half-step forward. I’d just sit tight and pray that Alvin hasn’t lost his explosiveness. With Pitts, the situation is even simpler. Arthur Smith may be an idiot, but he’s not dumb. Pitts is a generational tight end talent, and Smith will have to draw up plays for him, especially as defenses key in on Drake London. Keep him in your lineup.


  • On that note, the hot stove is beginning to heat up. I know that for a fact because my friends keep trying to low-ball me into giving up Amon-Ra for a steaming pile of nothing. Trades are a tricky business. One of my friends (who shall remain unnamed, but you know who you are) has been pretty eager to trade away Davante Adams lately, with his reasoning being that he needs more depth. Fair enough. Now, I’m not gonna try to argue whether trading away Adams is a good idea or not. It’s all about the approach, though. First, know that people are stubborn in this game. People absolutely have biases towards their own players, which can make deals extremely difficult to complete. Also, be honest about why you want their player and don’t oversell your own players or undersell theirs in the process. That’s obviously easier said than done. As fun as it can be to imitate a snake oil salesman, transparency is the way to go. It’s like the Prisoner’s Dilemma (shoutout Econ 101) – both agents in the trade are better off trying to compromise rather than backstab the other. 

Fantasy Player as a Commons Dish Award: Curtis Samuel as the pumpkin pancakes! I didn’t even know Commons served those, much like how I’d forgotten about Samuel’s existence since like 2019. They really stood out on the breakfast menu, and Samuel has been the electrifying standout of this Commanders offense so far. Carson Wentz has made him his favorite target, as they’ve drawn up plays specifically for him and even given him some work in the backfield. He’s definitely been a surprise, though a pleasant one at that. Just like those pancakes.