Welcome to Week 3 Fantasy Overreactions! The day or two after the dust settles during the NFL season, means that we can take any occurrence from Sunday/Monday and make a completely wild narrative with it. We also want to make bold claims to remain ahead of the curve!
Every week, we’re going to identify five of these potential overreactions from the week’s NFL action. While these are just our opinions, feel free to use your own thoughts on each narrative. The storylines have been played out, it’s now our job to decide if we feel the story is fact or fiction.
The stories were aplenty this week: Should the Chiefs be panicking at 1-2? Tom Brady loses in a matchup of NFC heavyweights and heads to New England for the first time as a visitor in Week 4. Justin Tucker & Mason Crosby provide late-game heroics & hamstrings that claim a ton of victims.
All of this has led to some great overreactions. So as we will do each week, it’s now time to react to the potential overreactions!
1) Mike Williams is a top 20 WR moving forward
Verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION
Going into Monday Night Football, Mike Williams is currently the #2 WR in PPR formats according to FantasyPros. He is averaging an insane 25.8 PPG, while the stats on the year of 22 rec for 295 yards and 4 TD’s look awesome. Why the sudden change in Mike Williams going from WR48 in 2020 to WR2 in 2021?
It first starts with health. According to DraftSharks.com, “Williams dealt with a few different injuries last year. He sprained his shoulder in late August but was available for Week 1. He exited Week 3 with a hamstring injury and missed the following game. Then a back injury knocked him out 2 snaps into Week 14 and limited him to just 42% of the snaps in Week 15.” The fact that Williams is healthy is a good sign.
The other important aspect is Mike Williams’ role in the offense. Last year this team still had red zone threat Hunter Henry and Williams only saw a 16% target share. That number is up to 24% this year. If Herbert continues to play at an elite level with this type of volume for Mike Williams, he will no doubt be a top 20 WR in Fantasy.
2) Matthew Stafford to Cooper Kupp will be THE BEST QB – Pass Catcher connection in Fantasy Football in 2021
Now I’m not saying this combination hasn’t been money, because believe me it has. Cooper Kupp has 25 catches for 367 yards and five touchdowns this season while having back-to-back games with at least two touchdowns for the first time in his career. Stafford has been looking his way 38% of the time! That has made Kupp the WR1 in PPR formats through the first two weeks.
This reaction is not saying this connection could be top 5 or even top 3 in fantasy football, but to take the #1 spot might be a little rich. Davante Adams is coming off an 18 target game last night against the 49ers and is still the favorite to lead this category. You can’t count out Justin Herbert to Keenan either, who are also tied with the NFL lead of 36 targets through 3 weeks. As defenses adjust, I’d expect more from Woods in this offense, and Kupp’s overall usage to go slightly down.
3) Chuba Hubbard will be a LEAGUE WINNER in 2021
When Christian McCaffrey went down, I’m sure many checked their waiver-wire to see if Hubbard was available. At the time of the injury, we weren’t sure the timetable and if a long-term absence was going to take place, Hubbard was expected to take the lion’s share of the work. That was evident on Thursday as Hubbard touched the ball 14 times for 79 yards against the Panthers, while out-snapping and out-producing Royce Freeman in the process.
The reason why we can’t expect a league winner is simply this: McCaffrey was not put on IR. Many have downplayed the hamstring injury CMC obtained and without him going on even short-term IR, the expectation will be he’ll only be out 1-2 weeks. Hubbard should be a great fill-in while McCaffrey heals up, but he isn’t expected to be out long enough to justify the tag “league winner.”
4) Ja’Marr Chase will be the top rookie WR in 2021
Verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION
Remember the days where Ja’Mar Chase was freaked out by an NFL football? Good times. If you bought low on Chase, congratulations to you for getting a WR2 at WR3 value. Chase has been balling out through 3 games at an elite level. Per @NFLResearch on Twitter, “Ja’Marr Chase has become the youngest player in NFL history to have 4+ receiving touchdowns in his team’s first 3 games of the season.
Joe Burrow has loved locking in on his favorite target from LSU, generating an over 22% target share. Not just that, but Burrow has loved throwing to him deep. According to Player Profiler, Chase is 8th in the NFL in deep targets (2 per game). He’s a big-play threat on a team that’s going to throw a lot this season and will finish at the top of this 2021 class.
5) D’Andre Swift AND Jamaal Williams will both be Top 24 RB’s
Verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION
You’re maybe a little surprised that D’Andre Swift is 3rd in RB PPR scoring through 3 weeks at around 20 PPG. I’m calling you out if you’re not surprised that Jamaal Williams is currently RB9 going into Monday Night Football. How can this be possible you ask?
Well, D’Andre Swift is currently the #1 Lions player in terms of target share at over 21%. Yes, that is more than TJ Hockenson at over 19%. Jamaal Williams himself is at over a 12% target share, which is 5th on the team. Meanwhile, Swift and Williams have 33 and 28 carries respectfully. That is the entire team’s RB carries outside of one Kalif Raymond rush. This type of volume equals production for Fantasy Football. Swift being a top 24 RB should be a lock at this point, but if Williams continues to be the 1B to Swift’s 1A, he will finish as an RB2 when it’s all said and done.