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Friday, December 13, 2019

Fantasy Football

David Njoku a risky fantasy option in first game back against Bengals

David Njoku

The Browns are getting one of Baker Mayfield’s favorite targets from his rookie season back this week, as tight end David Njoku is expected to be activated from injured reserve and play against the Bengals. While he will almost certainly give Cleveland’s offense a boost, should Njoku be trusted in fantasy football lineups?

With Week 14 being the start of the playoffs for most fantasy leagues, many fantasy owners remain desperate for tight end help in what has been a down year at the position. Cincinnati’s defense is nothing special, so Njoku will have a chance to find the end zone on Sunday. He’s probably worth starting in deep leagues or leagues that start two tight ends, but it would not be a surprise if he is on a strict snap count after being out since Week 2 with a wrist injury.

In Week 15, however, Njoku couldn’t ask for a better matchup than when the Browns take on the Cardinals. Arizona has not been able to cover tight ends all season, and they are giving up by far the most fantasy points to the position. Last week, Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (who?) lit them up for seven catches, 107 yards and a touchdown. Other smash performances against Arizona include Austin Hooper’s eight catches for 116 yards and a touchdown and Greg Olsen’s six receptions for 75 yards and two scores.

You get the picture.

If you’re desperate, there are worse options than Njoku this week. He’s was one of Mayfield’s favorite targets in the red zone last season, and the Browns have been terrible in that part of the field in 2019. If you start Njoku against the Bengals, you’re hoping for a touchdown. Assuming he gets through the game without any setbacks, he could turn into one of the biggest steals of the season in Week 15.

Keenan Allen apologizes to fantasy owners for disappointing game

Keenan Allen

The Los Angeles Chargers were able to come away with a hard-fought road victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday, but Keenan Allen knows some of his supporters will not be thrilled with the result. More specifically, the star receiver understands it was not his best fantasy day.

Allen played after multiple reports indicated he would miss the game with a hamstring injury. He was able to contribute with seven catches for 53 yards. That was actually one of his better games in a stretch of five rough ones, and he acknowledged that by tweeting an apology to his fantasy owners.

Allen was among the first receivers drafted in fantasy this year, and the results have been mixed at best. He exploded for 13 catches, 183 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3 against the Houston Texans, but he hasn’t done a whole lot since. He had five or fewer receptions in each of the four games prior to Sunday and has not found the end zone since Sept. 22.

Usually we see NFL players lashing out at the fantasy football community for various reasons, but Allen wants to put up big numbers for those who have put their faith in him.

Le’Veon Bell apologizes to fantasy owners who drafted him last season

Le'Veon Bell

Le’Veon Bell is psyched about his new era of football and seems to be on a prove-it mission.

Fresh off of sitting out all of last season to avoid playing under the franchise tag yet again for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bell is entering his first season with the New York Jets. He arrived at training camp eager to prove how good of shape he’s in. And now he’s trying to make things up to fantasy football participants who drafted him.

Bell tweeted on Monday to apologize to those who drafted him last season only to get no stats from him. Worse yet, they might have given him a roster spot most of the season only for him to never show up.

At least Bell is showing he’s thinking and caring about the fans.

Those who were burned by him last year may not feel comfortable selecting him again this year, but it seems things will be much different. Have faith and confidence in Le’Veon this season.

Is this the worst fantasy football bad beat ever?

Drew Brees

We’ve seen plenty of bad fantasy football beats over the years, but this one may top them all.

Barstool Sports’ “Laces Out” Twitter account a screenshot of a fantasy football owner’s result from the semifinals in Week 15. That owner lost their semifinal matchup by .01 points — 128.77 to 128.76. According to the tweet, the person lost because of Drew Brees’ kneel-down on the final play of the game.

Brees took a knee with 35 seconds left to run off the remaining time in a 12-9 win by the New Orleans Saints over the Carolina Panthers on Monday night. He lost one yard on the play, finishing with 2 rushing attempts for -2 yards. He also took a 1-yard loss for his kneeldown before halftime.

Do we need to begin a campaign to make sure kneeling down on the final play of a half does not affect a player’s rushing stats? Seems like that would only be fair. Oh, and if you want to compare bad beat stories, we’ve got plenty more here.

Odell Beckham Jr blasts his fantasy football owners

Odell Beckham crying

Sorry, fantasy football owners, but Odell Beckham Jr is sick of hearing from you.

Beckham has been rehabbing from an ankle sprain suffered in the preseason, and there have been plenty of questions about his recovery ever since. He was a game-time decision but did not play in Week 1. Fans of course are wondering whether he will play in Week 2.

Clearly Beckham is sick of the questions. He tweeted this note on Saturday:

Reports suggest the New York Giants wide receiver will play on Monday night, so there’s that. But you can understand his frustration if he feels like many fans just want to know whether he will play for purposes of their fantasy football team, rather than out of concern for the playmaker’s well-being.

Tarik Cohen shakes up Bears’ fantasy situation with big game

Tarik Cohen

If you didn’t know who Tarik Cohen was before, you need to know who he is now.

Cohen was a breakout star for the Chicago Bears in the team’s 23-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at home on Sunday. The rookie running back from North Carolina A&T rushed for 66 yards on five carries. He also had 8 catches for 47 yards and a touchdown and was targeted 12 times.

Jordan Howard was the team’s lead back last season and will probably remain in the role, but it’s clear that Cohen will be a big part of the team’s offense this season. Howard rushed for 52 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. He also had 3 catches for 14 yards.

At 5-foot-6, there were questions about whether Cohen would be too small for the NFL. This impressive run should answer the questions.

For now, you should pick Cohen up for your fantasy team, and you might also want to call him “Big Daddy.”

Best fantasy football player on every NFL team

With the preseason officially over and cut-down day having come and gone, the NFL’s regular season is arriving. That also means fantasy football season is upon us.

Various outlets have published their top 25, 50, 75 and 100 fantasy players lists, but what about players from each individual team? Who is the best fantasy option from each organization? Well, look no further.

Here are the best fantasy players from all 32 NFL teams.

Arizona Cardinals – David Johnson, running back

A versatile do-it-all running back, David Johnson may be not only the best fantasy player on the Arizona Cardinals, but arguably all of football. He had over 2,100 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns a season ago, and there’s little reason to believe his workload will decrease in 2017. His 80 catches as a running back make him an utter monster in PPR leagues.

Atlanta Falcons – Julio Jones, wide receiver

Was there a more obvious choice than Julio Jones for the Falcons? Arguably the best wide receiver in football, it’s a near lock that Jones will put up over 100 yards a game and have a few chances to score. Of course, he’s also entirely capable of putting together a season like 2015, when he had nearly 1,900 yards and eight touchdowns.

Baltimore Ravens – Terrance West, running back