2021 has caused me to think a lot about commitment. Not necessarily in the sense of relationships, but also in regards to career and other life choices.
Here’s something not many people know about me — I am an immensely loyal person. Always have been. If you’re someone in my life who I communicate with regularly, it’s likely because you’ve helped me in some way or believe in my ability to help you, and I feel a debt of gratitude is owed. I’ll have your back because you’ve had mine.
When it comes to work, I’ve never believed in bouncing from job to job the moment something doesn’t go your way. Mostly because if your resume is eight pages full of jobs you’ve only worked at for a few months, employers will likely pass. I spent almost 17 years in retail and worked for two of the industry’s biggest titans for four and ten years, respectively. I was with one of them right up until the ship sank, and the company went bankrupt and no longer existed.
It’s that level of commitment that has always made me a valuable asset to companies. And that level of thinking is why many people like myself continually get abused from within.
When a company knows they can do whatever they want and you’re just going to sit there and take it, they’ll chew you up and spit you out. To many companies, you are replaceable. There’s always someone else that can do what you do and likely do it for less money. It’s a sad reality.
This thinking has really made me rethink how I go about my career these days.
A couple of years ago, when I said I was gonna forego the daily 9-5 life and just work towards becoming a writer, I’ve taken on a lot of “dead-end jobs” with little future prospects just to make ends meet and focus my efforts on me and making my dreams a reality. Foregoing the security that comes with “normal” jobs has put a massive strain on me mentally over the years. Facing the unknown has always scared me. It’s something I fight through daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.
But I do it because I know I’ll be happiest when I can control my schedule. Bending to someone else’s will isn’t satisfying. Doing something you love on your timetable and living a stress-free life as a result?
That’s the dream.
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Hang with us through the bad calls. Hang with us through the great calls.
The real message here: hang with us. We’re worth it, and more importantly, we’re grateful.
Speaking of great calls, not many of them in Week 7. It’s always tough sledding when many top players are on a bye week, but damn. My Plays were below average, only seven correct out of 16, but the Fades were, well, hopefully, you faded my advice. Only four correct calls, leading to a week to forget. Need a strong bounce back this week, and with only two teams on a bye, it should be easier.
A quick reminder of what Play and Fade mean: Play simply means players that I love based on matchups and my expectation that they’ll finish with more points than projected. Fade indicates players that I think will underperform their projections/consensus weekly rankings. It doesn’t mean I’m outright benching them, but I’m likely not rushing to put them in any DFS lineups either. Onto Week 8.
QB Kirk Cousins (MIN) vs. DAL – In his last three career games against Dallas, Cousins has completed over 70% of his passes and tossed 7 TDs to 2 INTs. As great as CB Trevon Diggs has been for the Cowboys’ defense this year in leading the league in INTs, the Cowboys still allow the 3rd -fantasy points per game to QBs. Cousins had a strong bounce back in Week 6 against Carolina, finishing as the QB2 after a couple of abysmal performances in Week 4 and 5. Coming out of a bye week and potentially facing a Cowboys team that could be without Dak Prescott on Sunday, we should expect a top 12 game from Captain Kirk.
Other QBs with good matchups: Carson Wentz (IND) vs. TEN and Teddy Bridgewater (DEN) vs. WAS
RB Kenneth Gainwell (PHI) at DET – The ankle injury suffered by Miles Sanders in Week 7 opens up a huge opportunity for rookie Kenneth Gainwell. Many in the Dynasty Twitter community raved about this young man after 2019, and some even think he’s the future RB1 in Philly. Gainwell can certainly prove them right in a cake matchup against the Lions. They allow the 4th-most fantasy points and allowed 12 total TDs to RBs on the season. Gainwell has arguably been the Eagles’ best receiving back, and now he’s expected to get the bulk of the carries — assuming Nick Sirianni decides this is the week to finally start running the ball more. Gainwell’s expected receiving work is a solid RB2 floor, while his rushing lends to a healthy ceiling.
RB Zack Moss (BUF) vs. MIA – Here’s a fun little statistical nugget: for as great as everyone believes Saquon Barkley is, Zack Moss has scored just 0.8 fewer fantasy points than him in the same number of games this year. It should also be pointed out that for as much as everyone touts Josh Allen as the Bills goal line “running back,” he has fewer rushing TDs inside the five than Moss. Moss scored two TDs against Miami in Week 2, a team that’s allowed the 2nd-most rushing TDs to RBs this year. All this should lead to a top-24 week for Moss.
Other RBs with good matchups: Jamaal Williams (DET) vs. PHI, Devontae Booker (NYG) at KC, and Michael Carter (NYJ) vs. CIN
WR Adam Thielen (MIN) vs. DAL – For all the reasons I like Kirk Cousins this week, Adam Thielen checks those same boxes. Dallas has allowed the 6th-most fantasy points per game to WRs. The Cowboys’ number two corner, Anthony Brown, has allowed the most yards in the Dallas secondary. He also has allowed the most receptions per snap played for the Cowboys (8.6). Every game, the Vikings have scored 24 or more points, Thielen has at least six receptions. The over/under currently sits at 53.5, with the Vikings a 2.5-point favorite. That puts the Vikings implied total above 24, so that should lock in at least six catches for Thielen. See? Math can be fun when it works in our favor.
WR Michael Pittman Jr. (IND) vs. TEN – T.Y. Hilton’s one game to try and reclaim his spot as the Colts WR1 was fun and all, but his time has come and gone. It’s the Michael Pittman Jr. show now. Pittman is averaging 14.5 yards per reception and just over seven targets a game. We know how bad the Tennessee Titans’ secondary is, and they allowed 6-68 to Pittman in Week 3. But that was before Wentz really got to cookin’. Over the last three weeks, Wentz has a perfect passer rating when targeting Pittman (158.3). Janoris Jenkins, the Titans’ number one corner now due to injuries to Kristian Fulton and rookie Caleb Farley, has allowed three touchdowns and a passer rating of 121.3. Me thinks Pittman is gonna have a nice game today as Wentz and the Colts try to keep up with Derrick Henry and the Titans’ offense.
Other WRs with good matchups: Emmanuel Sanders (BUF) vs. MIA, D.J. Moore (CAR) at ATL, and Chase Claypool (PIT) at CLE
TE Tyler Higbee (LAR) at HOU – Houston has allowed six TDs to TEs on the year, tied for the most in football. Higbee has scored twice this year and had back-to-back games with five catches. The Texans defense is cheeks, and I expect a heavy dose of RB Darrell Henderson as a result, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Higbee sneaks in a TD to go with 4-5 receptions. That’s the kind of upside I’ll chase at the TE position.
Other TEs with good matchups: Hunter Henry (NE) at LAC and Evan Engram (NYG) at KC
QB Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) at BUF – Tagovailoa has six touchdown passes in his last two games. That’s the good news. The bad news? This week’s opponent, the Buffalo Bills, has allowed fewer than one touchdown pass per game this season. It should also be pointed out that Miami was shut out in Week 2 at home against Buffalo, and this week’s matchup is in Buffalo. Coming off a loss to the Titans in a prime-time thriller, followed by their bye week, I’m guessing Buffalo wants to establish dominance. I’m not convinced Tua brings it this week as all the swirling Deshaun Watson-to-Miami rumors are likely to cloud his head.
Other QBs with bad matchups: Taylor Heinicke (WAS) at DEN and Mac Jones (NE) at LAC
RB Nick Chubb (CLE) vs. PIT – I really do hate fading upper-echelon talent. It always backfires. But here are some reasons why Nick Chubb makes me nervous this week. This week’s opponent, the Steelers, has allowed the fewest rushing TDs to RBs (1). That has contributed to them allowing only one week this year where they’ve allowed an RB a top 24 finish. In fact, no RB has finished above RB17 against them this season. They’ve allowed the 7th-fewest fantasy points per game to RBs, and Nick Chubb has only one career TD against them. I mention this because he doesn’t benefit from receiving numbers to elevate him in a given week. Instead, it’s rushing yards and TDs that keep him as a top option. He could still get the yards, but the lack of pay dirt gets him grounded this week.
RB Antonio Gibson (WAS) at DEN – To say Antonio Gibson has disappointed this season is an understatement. His season-high in carries, rush yards, and receptions all came in Week 1. He hasn’t seen more than two receptions in the last six games. He also hasn’t scored a touchdown in two weeks, something he did with regularity in 2020. The Broncos have been solid against RBs this season, which only makes Gibson’s prospect more bleak heading into this weekend. They’ve allowed only five rushing TDs and the 9th fewest fantasy points to RBs (20.4/game). With teammate J.D. McKissic cutting into his role, Gibson has little ceiling this week.
Other RBs with bad matchups: Leonard Fournette (TB) at NO, Myles Gaskin (MIA) at BUF, and J.D. McKissic (WAS) at DEN
WR Corey Davis (NYJ) vs. CIN – Welp, Davis gave me the middle finger last week as he got his revenge against the Patriots. But come on, two weeks in a row? The Bengals have a sneaky good defense, and they’re good at putting pressure on the quarterback. That’ll help them against a weak offensive line and a backup QB starting his first NFL game. I don’t even need stats to be convinced this is a bad matchup for Davis.
WR Brandin Cooks (HOU) vs. LAR – Revenge Game incoming for Brandin Cooks? Eh. Davis Mills has looked rushed the last two games after lighting up the Patriots’ secondary and been mediocre at best. Cooks had a respectable Week 6 but disappeared in Week 7. The Rams secondary is very middle of the road in terms of fantasy points allowed, so this could easily backfire as Garbage Time points will be plenty. But after the trade of Mark Ingram, Cooks doesn’t seem happy. We all know what happens when WRs voice frustration, right? Plenty of better options out there this week with less drama surrounding them.
Other WRs with bad matchups: Tyler Boyd (CIN) at NYJ, Jakobi Meyers (NE) at LAC, and Kalif Raymond (DET) vs. PHI
TE Jared Cook (LAC) vs. NE – One thing New England does really well on defense is shut down TEs. Only Dalton Schultz has topped two catches against them. Cook has been respectable for the Chargers this year, but only once in the last five games has Cook topped 30 yards. He’s scored twice in the previous three games, but New England has allowed only two TDs to TEs on the season. Chase targets, not fluke TDs at the TE position. Cook is an easy fade for me.
Other TEs with bad matchups: Ricky Seals-Jones (WAS) at DEN and Cole Kmet (CHI) vs. SF
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