Breakdowns

Buy Into The Darnell Mooney Hype

Twelve weeks of the 2021 NFL season has taught us to expect the unexpected. Don’t be surprised if your first-round pick puts up 6 points, or if he scores 5 touchdowns. There are no givens this season which is why it’s so hard to maintain a consistently successful fantasy team. Even though this year has been chaotic and hard to predict, there are still a few players who have flown under the radar and could be very valuable to have on your team going into the fantasy playoffs.

Last Week Recap:

There’s not a lot to report on from last week because two of the three players I wrote about did not end up playing. I said Miles Sanders was going to become a small part of the Eagles backfield when he returns, and I still feel this way. Whether he returns this week or next week, I do not expect a big performance from Sanders any time soon. Elijah Mitchell was also injured for the 49ers win over the Jaguars. He just had a minor injury and should be good to go for next week. I maintain everything I said about him too; he is going to finish the season on a very strong note. Lastly, we have the only player who did play, AJ Dillon. I had very high expectations for Dillon, and though he didn’t necessarily disappoint me, I feel like he could’ve put up better numbers. Dillon finished with 11 rushes for 53 yards and 6 receptions for 44 yards. Even though this is a respectable performance, in a game where the Packers are scoring 31 points, I would’ve hoped for at least one touchdown from Dillon. I have faith that he will have a big game next week against the Rams.

Buy Into The Hype: Darnell Mooney

Now, I hate starting Bears players in fantasy as much as the next guy, but Darnell Mooney is the one exception. In his last 3 games, Mooney has 14 receptions for 226 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Bears have been struggling to find a consistent passing offense, but they have the Lions, Seahawks, and Giants in their upcoming schedule and these are all teams that have struggled defensively this season. There is no question that Mooney is now the WR1 in Chicago, but that means nothing if the Bears can’t move the ball. If the Bears are able to figure out their passing game in the coming weeks, whether that be with Justin Fields or Andy Dalton, Mooney instantly becomes a huge fantasy threat. He is the perfect player to acquire before making a last-second playoff run. Mooney is capable of putting up some huge numbers as he has shown us multiple times this season.

Don’t Buy Into The Hype: Laviska Shenault Jr.

Every single week of the NFL season for the past 2 years I have thought to myself “This will be the week Laviska Shenault Jr. becomes the best receiver in Jacksonville.” So far, I have been wrong every time. It’s very frustrating because he is such a versatile player who is playing on an offense that really has nothing to lose. You would think that he would have a huge game at least once or twice a season, but no. Maybe he needs one more year of development or maybe it’s a coaching problem, I don’t know. However, I do know that I’m done waiting for Shenault Jr. to reach his full potential this season. The Jaguars offense, with the exception of James Robinson, has been virtually useless this entire season. Hopefully, next season when Travis Etienne returns they are able to run a successful offense and have multiple fantasy threats. Until then, I am staying away from all Jaguars receivers, especially Shenault Jr.

Buy Into The Hype: Deandre Carter

In the past four weeks, from out of nowhere, Deandre Carter has emerged as a key second option in Washington. While his volume may be relatively low, Carter still has 3 touchdowns in his past 3 games. He is clearly becoming one of Taylor Heinecke’s favorite red-zone targets. Washington has put together a few very good offensive weeks. If they are to continue this run, I suspect Carter will be a big reason why. Carter should be on almost every league’s waiver wire right now. With the number of injuries and inconsistencies in the NFL right now, he is definitely worth picking up as a WR3 option. He has a very high ceiling and is definitely worth the risk. Expect big things from Washington’s offense in the coming weeks.

We have made it to Thanksgiving and we still don’t really have any clue how the rest of the season will play out. There has only been chaos so far, and the only thing we can reasonably expect is more chaos. However, you just have to do the little things to put your fantasy in a better situation to make a deep run in the playoffs. Stay active on the waivers, make trades if you still can, and keep track of the injury reports. Good luck!