By Kyra Wiaterowski
Happy Saturday everyone! It’s Week freakin’ 10 of the NFL season, and we only have seven more of these bad boys before we go back into offseason depression. Who thought we’d even make it 10 weeks into the NFL season without COVID completely derailing all of our wonderful weekends? How can we celebrate these 10 — mostly uninterrupted — weeks of fantasy football goodness? How about with the announcement of music sensation The Weeknd performing SuperBowl weekend at the halftime show? Alright, those blinding lights aren’t in my control and as much as we’ve all earned it this year, I can’t take credit for The Starboy choosing to perform. So, let’s celebrate it all by sharing 10 fun facts heading into Week 10 about the wicked games we watch and some positive news you might have missed out on with all the negativity going on in 2020. Brace yourselves, people. I hope you’ve got the time today to learn some random stuff. If you don’t, and just need to get to the down and dirty of DFS values, skip this next part and save the water cooler talk with your buddies for next time. Without further adieu, and with a little bit of my own research and FantasyPros.com, I bring you some 2020 Robert Tonyan’s Fun-yun Facts:
- My man and waiver wire darling, Travis Fulgham, is one of only three players who have an active streak of five or more games with 50+ receiving yards. Fulgham has caught 29 passes for 435 yards and has four touchdowns within his first five NFL games. Over his last four games, he has seen a staggering 41 targets, which ranks him as third-most in the league over that span. Travis Fulgham has gone Travis FullSend since getting his opportunity in Philadelphia — a nice bright spot on an ugly year for them. He is very close to being on pace to be the first Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver to record a 1,000-yard season since Jeremy Maclin, despite not playing in the first three games to start the year.
- Speaking of bright spots in ugly situations, let’s talk about the matchup and quarterback proof Terry McLaurin. McLaurin has hauled in 50 receptions through his first eight games, putting him on pace for a 100-reception season! Let’s put it into perspective how good that actually is for Terry, given his carousel of quarterbacks. Remember last season’s Michael Thomas — New Orleans’ whole offense, and fantasy football’s number one wide receiver and record-breaker? Yeah, he had 149 receptions that year. I know that putting nearly 50 more receptions onto Terry’s total is crazy and not the norm, but it’s still impressive that McLaurin is anywhere even mildly close to those numbers with quarterback’s named Dwayne Haskins, Kyle Allen, and Alex Smith, while Thomas had the NFL’s all-time passing yards leader, Drew Brees. Imagine if this guy ever gets a good quarterback slinging him the rock? Juicy.
- Speaking of prolific seasons, one name that came to mind last year was Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson. We all know and remember just how amazing Lamar was in 2019 and recently there has been someone quietly creeping up on his numbers and is on pace to beat them. Who might that be? Arizona Cardinals’ own, Kyler Murray. Through eight games this season, Murray has 2,673 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, 543 rushing yards, and a QBR of 77.0. Let’s compare that to Lamar Jackson through his first eight games in 2019 — 2,450 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 637 rushing yards, and a QBR of 73.7, per Adam Schefter. Now, Lamar may have had the slight edge in rushing yards, but those are still prolific numbers we’re seeing out of Murray. Very impressive for a guy we haven’t heard much about in terms of MVP talks.
- I guess since we are looking for the positives here, let’s actually talk about Lamar Jackson, who recently came out to the media about how NFL defenses are “calling out their plays” against the Ravens. It is no secret that Lamar has struggled this season and has taken a major step back compared to last year. But where is Lamar excelling? The red zone. Jackson has a league-leading 76.9% completion percentage on his red zone attempts this year with 10 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He also has 71 yards and a rushing touchdown. It’s been rough for the guy overall, but it’s an encouraging statistic to hold onto if you are a Jackson manager. His fantasy playoff schedule is also pretty sweet, depending on where your league starts them: Week 14 vs Cleveland, Week 15 vs Jacksonville, Week 16 vs the New York Giants, and Week 17 vs Cincinnati.
- This next fun fact is my favorite because it’s about my new favorite player to step on the scene in the NFL and take over the ROTY conversation. The apple of my eye and light of my life — Justin Herbert. This kid walked himself into the facility on the second Sunday of the season — playing Kansas freakin’ City, reigning Super Bowl Champions — with 15 minutes before game time to find out, “Hey, you are starting this game. Our doctor stabbed Tyrod Taylor in the lung. Go out there and get em’ tiger.” I’m sure it was worded a bit differently, but that’s how I envision it in my daydreams. Herbert trotted out there and went toe to toe with Patrick Mahomes, and nearly carried the Los Angeles Chargers to the win. That in and of itself should be an impressive 2020 fun fact, but right now, that isn’t the best of what’s to come from Herbert. He is currently ranked second among rookie quarterbacks in all-time passing touchdowns through the first nine weeks of the season and respectively ranks sixth in passing yards with only seven games played in that stretch. Hot damn, this kid is lighting the league on fire, and I think we are just grazing the surface on how good he is going to be.
- Alright, it’s getting too hot in here with all this quarterback fire. Let’s slow it down with an easy fun fact for Browns fans, who already know but should still hold out hope for their Progressive Insurance star — Baker Mayfield. This season, Baker Mayfield became the first quarterback in NFL history to make his first 30 career starts with the same team but under four different head coaches. Not to make any excuses for Baker, but with this revolving door of head coaches, you can’t blame him for struggling the last couple of seasons trying to get things going. However, with new head coach Kevin Stefanski, things are looking up as the Browns had a 4-1 record this year at one point. The last time they accomplished this was in 1994. Coming back down to earth a bit, Cleveland sits at 5-3. Baker might not be the godsend quarterback they’ve spent countless draft picks trying to acquire, but things are starting to trend up in Cleveland after years of losing seasons.
- How could I get this far and not give a Robert Tonyan fun fact after making that name a thing? So here are some for you that maybe you knew, maybe you didn’t, because not everyone is a crazed fan like us here at Club Fantasy. The last name Tonyan is pronounced “Tun” as in the word ton. Not tawn like in Dawn, which is a common mispronunciation of the last name. Tonyan has 0 career fumbles since his start in 2018 — one less than his buddy George Kittle. The two are known to be close friends in real life and have been seen on the internet working out together, giving Tonyan the widely known nickname of “Baby Kittle.”
- So I ask you this — which player in the NFL has done the most while given the least opportunity? The answer may surprise you because, unlike last year where even firemen and random bystanders had better catching statistics than Nelson Agholor, he has come back to TOTALLY redeem himself as a LAS VEGAS RAIDER. As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, this fact hurts my soul more than any other. Nelson Agholor leads the league in PPR scoring among players with 20 or fewer touches. Agholor has just 17 catches through the first nine weeks this season, but has turned that into 347 yards and five touchdowns! Talk about being seriously productive when your number is called. Great to see him succeed elsewhere *wince*.
- With all this talk of scoring and crazy numbers and prolific player performances, the league has been going completely nuclear in the scoring department. As we come into Week 10, the league is on a record-setting pace with a shocking 25.3 points per game average in 2020. This would destroy both the previous record set in 1948 during the pre-Super Bowl era of 23.6 points per game and also the one set during the Super Bowl era in 2013 with 23.4 points per game. Teams are passing a ton this year and with teams like the Seattle Seahawks, with a Russell Wilson-led offense and the WORST pass defense in NFL HISTORY, I’m sure it helps boost those numbers. High powered offenses get the people going and man are we entertained by them in 2020. Pretty cool stuff.
- I couldn’t wait to save this fun fact about the 2020 NFL season for last — the best of them all, really. It’s a combo, so it’s a two-part fun fact, but I’ve also saved the best for “last.” Anyway, moving along– Frank Gore, at age 37 is the oldest running back in the league and the STARTER for the New York Jets. Which leads us to our most wildest storyline of the NFL this season… Adam Gase STILL has a head coaching job for the New York Jets with a beautiful 0-9 record, and no signs of slowing down in the losing column. God Bless YOU, Jets fans!
There you have it, folks! One part of what makes me, well, me, is that when I go through and research and find things on my own, or go through other platforms and people’s research and read it, I’m like wow, that’s really somethin’. I think everybody should know this because I’m always actively searching for information all the time. If it’s news to me, then it’s got to be news to you as well. I hope you enjoyed catching up on the great things going on in the league and as fun as it’s been, the article isn’t over, so let’s go kash out!
Looking for more help building DFS lineups? We’ve put together our DFS Matchup Report for Week 10, showing who has the best (and worst) matchups.
Jared Goff (DraftKings: $6,500 / FanDuel: $7,400)
Do I hate that I’m excited about targeting a guy like Jared Goff in DFS? Yes. It is extremely underwhelming and hard to get excited about Jared Goff with how low we’ve seen his floor get in a lot of games recently. But get excited people, because the Seattle Seahawks defense just continues to churn out fantasy explosions for quarterbacks and wide receivers — Jared Goff has averaged 332 passing yards the last four games against Seattle. I have said time and time again how historically bad this Seattle team is with their passing defense. I mean, right now, they’re allowing opposing quarterbacks to average 30 fantasy points, 372 passing yards per game, and 16 total touchdowns through the last nine weeks. The Seahawks just cannot create a strong pass rush against anyone, and it’s giving quarterbacks plenty of time to feast on its weak secondary. How do I not suggest the guy with two great receivers like Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods? These players should smash! They had the whole week with the bye week to plan for this game. I love Goff this week.
Tua Tagovailoa (DraftKings: $5,600 / FanDuel: $6,800)
Rookie vs Rookie in this one where Tua Tagovailoa faces off with another rookie sensation, Justin Herbert. Tua may have struggled a bit in his first-ever start, but that quickly faded last week when he faced the Arizona Cardinals. Tua ended up completing over 70% of his passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 35 yards to round out his nice fantasy outing. The Chargers are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this year. We all know that Justin Herbert could sling the rock and keep a defense on their toes, pushing the opposing offense to also keep up and make plays and get touchdowns as well. Tua has great value here to build around with a ton of upside.
Honorable Mention: Drew Lock (DraftKings: $5,500 / FanDuel: $7,100)
Deep Sea Dive: Nick Mullens (DraftKings: $5,300 / FanDuel: $6,600)
Chase Edmonds (DraftKings: $6,300 / FanDuel: $7,100)
A lot of Edmonds’ value for me lies on Kenyan Drake’s availability this week. If Drake is out, then I’m loving Chase Edmonds’ opportunity. Last week, in a spot we thought Edmonds was going to smash his value, he let us down. But the amount of opportunities he gets with no competition in that backfield is just too juicy. He had a huge 28 rushing attempts last week for a measly 88 yards, but we aren’t going to dwell on last week’s negatives — we’re all about the positives here this week. With a 44% opportunity share, you are bound to strike gold eventually, and he could easily see another 20+ touches in this matchup against the Buffalo Bills, who have been extremely vulnerable against the run. In their last nine games, the Bills have allowed a league-high nine fantasy RB1/RB2 performances. Yes… that is every game. Edmonds is a good running back. In my opinion, he’s better than if it were Kenyan Drake getting the start. Plug Edmonds into your lineups with confidence this week
Duke Johnson (DraftKings: $5,300 / FanDuel: $5,800)
Right here, we have some high-quality H2O with the former Cleveland Brown and the U’s all-time leading rusher, Duke Johnson Jr. In the ever-so-appetizing revenge game narrative, Duke Johnson is looking to get his first crack at a 3-down-back role, which I think he is more than capable of taking on, against his former team that he DEMANDED a trade from to get a better chance elsewhere. Well, here it is, Dukey. You got the spotlight, all-eyes-on-you, in a game that predicts for some ground and pound with bad weather in the forecast. With winds projected at 25-40 mph and a 40% chance of rain, looks to me that this reads like a big running back day on both sides of the ball. I like Duke here at the valued price going up against the Cleveland rushing defense who isn’t the worst, but not elite either, allowing the 19th most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. He’s a nice RB2 or flex option to build around.
Honorable Mention: J.D. McKissic (DraftKings: $4,900 / FanDuel: $5,300)
Deep Sea Dive: Troymaine Pope (DraftKings: $4,000 / FanDuel: $4,500)
Brandon Aiyuk (DraftKings: $5,700 / FanDuel: $6,500)
It was said last week that Kyle Shannahan’s game plan, before the COVID issues, was to target Brandon Aiyuk on 80% of the offensive plays. He wants to run this offense through Aiyuk, and rightfully so with all of the injuries the 49ers are dealing with. Aiyuk has also delivered in all of their absences. He is an extremely talented player and has a lot of upside this week going up against the New Orleans Saints, who rank 10th in fantasy points per game given up to opposing wide receivers. Deebo Samuel is looking doubtful for Sunday’s game at this point. New Orleans is a good run defense and with the game projecting to be in New Orleans favor, that means the 49ers are going to have to keep up and will be throwing the ball. It’ll easily be The Aiyuk Show. No brainer pick here.
John Brown (DraftKings: $5,300 / FanDuel: $5,600)
If you had watched our recent podcast, No Punt Intended, this past Wednesday, then you heard Club Fantasy’s own Joe Zollo go off on a tangent about how poorly Steffon Diggs has struggled against Patrick Peterson in his career. Patrick Peterson has been playing much better this season than he had last year. He will be shadowing Diggs in this one, leaving more looks and opportunities here for John Brown in the highest over/under of the week at 56.5. Last week, Brown had a big 28.9% target share in a game where he put up eight receptions for 99 yards, and fell just short at the 1-yard line for a touchdown. John Brown has put up double-digit fantasy points in every game he’s been healthy for so far this season. He’s so cheap here and will be in all my lineups.
Honorable Mention: Jalen Reagor (DraftKings: $4,200 / FanDuel: $5,600)
Deep Sea Dive: Josh Reynolds (DraftKings: $3,500 / FanDuel: $5,000)
Evan Engram (DraftKings: $4,500 / FanDuel: $5,600)
This is two weeks in a row for sir Evan Engram in my article. He is absolutely trending up, and with good reason. The Giants have finally figured out he is not Jason Witten, but a strong offensive weapon that should be targeted frequently. He has had three straight games with at least nine targets– hallelujah! Here, he gets an even more cake matchup versus the Philadelphia Eagles, who have allowed 16.5 PPR points per game to opposing tight ends. As if that isn’t enough reason to use Engram here this week, how about the Philadelphia Eagles allowing an 80% completion rate, 2nd highest in the NFL? Sounds pretty damn good to me for a guy who leads his team in targets. In a week where the tight end position is a bit murky and ugly and no one is worth paying up for… I am going Engram.
Eric Ebron (DraftKings: $4,400 / FanDuel: $5,400)
Ebron started the season quiet but in his last three games, he has scored over 11 fantasy points and has become a more consistent piece of the Pittsburgh Steelers offense. I see him easily continuing this trend against the Cincinnati Bengals, who I continue to target against tight ends. Speaking of targeting tight ends, the Bengals have been allowing opposing teams to target the tight end position on 25% of their passing plays, 2nd highest in the league. With the Bengals allowing teams to target tight ends so heavily, it allows for more opportunity for points, which they’re giving up heavily as well. They are allowing the 2nd most fantasy points per game to the tight end position and tight ends are averaging about 17.58 fantasy points per game against them. Ebron is priced at a value here for his upside in this game.
Honorable Mention: Dallas Goedert (DraftKings: $4,200 / FanDuel: $5,800?)
Deep Sea Dive: Ross Dwelley (DraftKings: $3,800 / FanDuel: $5,000)
New Orleans Saints vs San Francisco 49ers (DraftKings: $3,000 / FanDuel: $4,500)
Cleveland Browns vs Houston Texans (DraftKings: $2,900 / FanDuel: $4,400)
Honorable Mention: Miami Dolphins vs Los Angeles Chargers (DraftKings: $2,800 / FanDuel: $4,700)
Deep Sea Dive: New York Giants vs Philadelphia Eagles (DraftKings: $2,700 / FanDuel: $3,900)