Hold the Line – Players to Hold in the Apocalyptic Aftermath of Week 1
It’s not in the way that you hold me, it’s not in the way you say you care.
It’s not in the way you’ve been treating my fantasy team,
it’s not in the way that you goosed till the end.
It’s not in the way you look or the things that you say that you’ll do…
HOLD THE LINE, FANTASY’S NOT ALWAYS ON TIME!!!
With week one in the books and overreactions rampant, waiver wire bros are hot and bothered to tell you who you ABSOLUTELY MUST pickup this week. The tradesman are out in full force looking to buy low on every player who didn’t have a Tyreek Hill or Christian McCaffrey type performance. I’m here to tell you who you should be holding onto in spite of a bad to downright terrible performance.
Geno Smith – If you had Aaron Donald bearing down on you unblocked, you might scream ‘Oh my God’ yourself. The demise of the Los Angeles Rams no longer seems imminent as both Matthew Stafford and Aaron Donald have returned to form, even if Cooper Kupp has not. It turned out to be a tough matchup, especially since the Seattle Seahawks lost both their tackles and Tyler Lockett to injuries. Brighter days are still ahead for this Seahawks offense, so don’t ship Geno out after one bad performance.
Daniel Jones – This was almost Kenny Pickett’s spot, but the performance the New York Giants put in on Sunday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys is the stuff of legends and will go down in history, for all the wrong reasons. The Giants got whipped like a government mule and ran off like scolded dogs, tails tucked firmly in their hindquarters. In spite of it all, an ass whipping like that often leads to a stiffening of the upper lip and allows the Giants to rediscover themselves this week in practice. I expect them to return the favor to the lowly Arizona Cardinals in what should be a cake walk matchup. If it’s not, then it might be time to sell on the Giants offense.
Kenny Pickett – Besides Danny Dimes and the Giants, Kenny Pickett and the Pittsburgh Steelers had perhaps the worst outing both in real life and in fantasy football. Not only did they lose Diontae Johnson to a hamstring injury (AGAIN INJURY GODS!?!?!?), they got pummeled by the San Francisco 49ers defense. Still, better days lie ahead for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who historically have never finished under .500 in the Mike Tomlin era. If you drafted Pickett in dynasty or superflex, you may as well hold him.
Najee Harris – I’m sure there are many Najee Harris faders gloating today, and rightfully so. The Pittsburgh Steelers offense was putrid against an overwhelming San Francisco 49ers defense. However, the one bright spot was actually a 20+ yard run by Najee Harris. Even though they were down, they needed to feed him the ball more. I expect at least this part of their game plan to course correct, as Kenny Pickett throwing the ball 46 times a game is a recipe for disaster.
King Henry – Derrick Henry actually had a good game. It just wasn’t great for fantasy. The King managed 100 all purpose yards, including an angry run with a mean stiff arm and a long screen pass that he almost took to the house, which would have drastically impacted his fantasy finish. The King looked just as good as ever in a ridiculously tough road matchup against the New Orleans Saints who had freakin’ Steve Gleason and Drew Brees in the building for the home opener. It’s a miracle Henry produced at all when Ryan Tannehill had 3 interceptions. The King looks as good as ever to me and if managers in redraft are nervous, I’m running to buy.
The Rookies (Charbonnet, Achane, Miller, etc) – Rookies in general are going to take longer to acclimate to the NFL than fantasy managers want them too. We see this with supremely talented players like Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs, so it’s to be expected for Devon Achane and Zach Charbonnet. They just happened to be relegated to a degree that made them unusable for fantasy football and now there’s panic in the streets. They were always more bench stashes than week one starters, so don’t sell out now and come to regret it later.
Drake London – I joke often that Arthur Smith hates Kyle Pitts, but then he came out and basically said he hates fantasy football. Even still, I think Drake London could still have a good season in spite of this horrific outing. I’m probably just being optimistic because I have several shares of Drake London, but I also do believe an outside, big body, wide receiver can succeed in this offense similar to what AJ Brown once did for Arthur Smith when he was offensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans. I just hope it doesn’t end up being Mack Hollins.
Tee Higgins – The fact that Tee Higgins saw eight targets should be encouraging enough, no matter how bad they were. The fact that this entire Cincinnati Bengals squad quit with 5+ minutes left in the fourth quarter should tell you exactly how this game went. We’ve seen occurrences before of high-powered offenses looking sloppy in week one only to rebound for the rest of the season and there was also a decent amount of rain in this game. I’m not a huge proponent of Tee Higgins as I feel his value is capped by Ja’Marr Chase, but you can’t get max value right now anyways so if you drafted him, hold on tight.
Garrett Wilson – Speaking of someone who’s trade value has cratered, Garrett Wilson’s fantasy value dropped off a cliff the moment it was confirmed Aaron Rodgers wasn’t returning to the game, let alone that he suffered a torn Achilles and will be out for the remainder of the season. While the ceiling may be gone, Garrett Wilson’s incredible talent should still provide a floor and you probably can’t get a great return right now anyways. Pray he outperforms expectations for a week or two and see if you can swap him then for a better trade.
All of The Tight Ends – They all suck. Just hold whoever you drafted and pray the good ones return from injury soon.