Fantasy Football Kitchen Nightmares
Kitchen Nightmares has made a triumphant return on Hulu in the year of 2023 after a decade long hiatus. I’ve often analogized that bad NFL teams are similar to Kitchen Nightmares. There is usually a disruptive, bordering on clinically insane owner lurking in the background, a team of managers with no real systems in place and they’re all trying to manage a gang of failing and beleaguered employees who take the brunt of the blame.
Here are 5 Kitchen Nightmares that I’m absolutely avoiding for the rest of the 2023 Fantasy Football season and am looking to dump all assets and avoid taking on any of these sinking ships.
Pittsburgh Steelers – It gives me no joy to express just how detrimental Matt Canada’s scheme has been to this offense. The man has never seen an I-formation he liked. He’s never even dreamt of power running. The stench emanating from Pittsburgh normally comes from the landfills, but this year it’s clearly centered around Heinz Field. The team is unwatchable on offense and even if it gets marginally better under veteran signal caller Mitch Trubisky, this team is beyond cooked both in real life and for fantasy football. Cooked is an understatement with this team, it’s more like when I’m boiling water and get baked and forget I left the pot on the stove, only to smell it burning twenty minutes later. Whatever you can do to sell off any pieces you may have of this offense in redraft leagues, do it.
New York Jets – The only positive thing I can say about the Jets this year is that they have a great defense. When Aaron Rodgers went down with his ACL injury, so did the hopes, dreams and aspirations of this team and fantasy football managers around the world. The Denver Broncos offer a glimmer of hope to fantasy managers and I would be looking to use that to capitalize and trade away any Jets players on my roster, namely Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson. Even if they have some good games, the overall cloud hanging over this franchise is not likely to dissipate anytime soon and I would sell while there is any value remaining.
New York Giants – The last time things were this bad in New York was during a Godzilla movie. The devastation left in the wake of Daniel Jones’ supposed breakout season has left the city of New York ravaged. Darren Waller has left the building and the road to salvation is waylaid by a litany of tough matchups as the Giants will face the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, Washington Commanders and New York Jets over the next four weeks. You probably can’t do much with Danny Pennies or Darren Waller at the moment, but you should be looking to shop Saquon Barkley as he nears his return to this putrid offense. This team looks like it was charbroiled in a Godzilla blast beam.
New Orleans Saints – Although they are 2-2, the New Orleans Saints have struggled to muster anything worth savoring on offense. New Orleans is traditionally known for their cuisine, but this quarterback room is lacking a decent chef in the kitchen. Derek Carr has looked below average to be kind, likely playing through injuries and checking the ball down an insane 13 times to Alvin Kamara. It was the stuff of PPR legend, quantity over quality, and set a new NFL record for lowest number of yards by a player with 13 catches. Kamara may be a hold because of the hellscape that is the running back position in fantasy football, but I would be looking to sell Chris Olave and Michael Thomas. Neither one has a touchdown on the season and if this three way split with Alvin Kamara continues, the volume you were relying on for PPR leagues could quickly evaporate.
Dallas Cowboys – One of these things is not like the other. Have you ever been to a highly renowned, Michelin star restaurant only to find that it’s an overbearing, pretentious experience that leaves you wanting a satisfying cheeseburger? The Dallas Cowboys offense on the surface seems like a delicious meal, but when you dig deeper, you find it’s not actually filling your appetite. Dak Prescott has been an excellent real life quarterback in two of the last three games. However he has yet to surpass 300 yards in any game this year, and has only thrown 2 touchdowns in one game (4 total on the year). His rushing upside is non-existent. He also only has one positive matchup in the next 5 weeks against the Chargers, otherwise facing the 49ers, Rams and Eagles along with a bye week in there. Ceedee Lamb on the surface has been excellent, but three of his four games he’s only had 4 receptions. Tony Pollard has been getting it done with sheer rushing volume but hasn’t scored a touchdown since he scored two in week one. The defense is so good I expect the Cowboys to either compete in lower scoring defensive matchups against higher end teams, or simply beat down bad teams to where the offense isn’t needed as much. You can sell and capitalize on their full value though as they are perceived as being a high end eatery, so don’t sell low, package them to acquire true superstar players if you can (Mahomes/Kelce/JJ, etc). Ceedee Lamb and Hunter Henry or the like in redraft could potentially net Travis Kelce who’s been good but not a total dominator. If you decide to hold the Cowboys reservation, just expect to pay up and best to temper expectations.