Tag Archives: Jameis Winston

Week 11 Waiver Wire: Indy 500

Week 10 of the NFL regular season is in the books and boy was it a thrilling one. Kyler Murray‘s late-game heroics surely vaulted him back into the MVP discussion while Russell Wilson definitely took a step back. But that’s not why you’re here. You’re here for help filling out your lineup.

We are in the final stretch of bye weeks. It’s a light one as Week 11 sees four teams on bye; the 49ers, Bears, Bills, and Giants. Then no teams are off in Week 12 before the Buccaneers and Panthers take a break in Week 13. But let’s help you replace Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, and more in this week’s waiver wire.

Week 11 Waiver Wire: The Indy 500

Quarterbacks

Jameis Winston

New Orleans Saints

Usually, when we talk about injury replacements impacting the waiver wire, it’s at one of the skill positions. But New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is set to have an MRI after taking a big hit in the first half against the 49ers. If he misses time, Jameis Winston could be handed the keys to one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL; ranking fifth in points per game.

Lest we forget, Winston threw a career-best 33 touchdown passes last season. He won’t be slinging it nearly as often or as far as he did in 2019 but he could be more efficient. If Brees’ reaction was any indication, he’ll miss next week against the Atlanta Falcons. They’re allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and that’s with them coming off of their bye. Winston could earn a nice contract out this if it extends multiple weeks.

Running Back

Nyheim Hines

Indianapolis Colts

Yes, this space to push Jordan Wilkins a couple of weeks ago. No, that hasn’t worked out. Yes, we are going right back to the Indianapolis Colts well. This time we turn our focus to Nyheim Hines who was a footnote in the section on Wilkins. He was Week 10’s RB4 through Sunday’s games and has the steadiest role between him, Wilkins, and rookie Jonathan Taylor.

Indy draws the Green Bay Packers in Week 11. They’ve given up a league-worst 15 touchdowns to running backs, four of which have been receiving (tied for second-most), and have allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs. The same caveats apply here as with Wilkins. This is still a three-headed committee. Week 11 just might present an opportunity for multiple strong performances from this backfield. But Hines is looking like the safest bet right now.

Salvon Ahmed

Miami Dolphins

Is the University of Washington becoming the Miami Dolphins personal ‘Running Back U’? Probably not but like the injured Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed stepped into the starting role and racked up 90 yards on 22 touches against the Los Angeles Chargers. Not overly efficient but he also found the end zone and handled 21 of 25 running back carries. Gaskin is set to miss at least one more game on IR setting Ahmed up so handle another hefty workload.

He faces the Denver Broncos on the road in Week 11. That was once a matchup to avoid but they are middle of the pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to the position in 2020. They also just gave up the RB2 performance to Josh Jacobs and RB6 to Devontae Booker (pending Monday Night Football) of the Las Vegas Raiders in the same game. Miami is playing well defensively and they are trying to limit rookie Tua Tagovailoa’s exposure. These all bode well for Ahmed.

Handcuffs

As mentioned earlier, we are almost out of the woods on bye weeks. With only a handful of fantasy assets out this week and just two teams with byes remaining, bench depth is becoming less important. At certain positions, that is. Running back is the most valuable position because of how monopolized the touches are compared to wide receivers where teams routinely go four and five-deep. There isn’t a lot of depth at tight end as it is and things get murky as guys specialize down the depth chart.

Running back is fairly straight forward for the most part. Chances are, with all injuries this season, you’ve already seen who would be your starting back’s replacement and how he would be used. Be proactive and snag up that backup if you have space on your bench. Receivers that you wouldn’t start are less valuable than your starting runners handcuff. This doesn’t apply to all backups, but certain guys (Alexander Mattison, Latavius Murray, Jamaal Williams, etc.) need to be picked up just in case. Even if the case is to block your opponent if pettiness is your thing.

Wide Receivers

Michael Pittman Jr.

Indianapolis Colts

His dad was a Super Bowl-winning member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but the 6-foot-4 rookie out of USC is trying to make his mark on the outside. He did that in Week 10, checking in as the WR15 through Sunday. Pittman caught seven of eight targets for 101 yards and took a handoff 21 yards in his best game as a pro. His 15 targets over the past two games lead the team and came with the Colts both trailing and leading signaling a stable role. That’s notable because it was the first time Indy had Pittman, Zach Pascal, and T.Y. Hilton all active this season.

He’ll see the Green Bay Packers in Week 11. While Indy isn’t a high-volume passing attack by nature, ranking just 20th in attempts, Richie Jame hung a 9/184/1 line on the Packers a coulple of weeks ago. Hines and the guys running the ball might be the bigger worry. But it’s clear there is a desire to get Pittman going and a need for him to do so. It’s tough counting on rookies, though.

Corey Davis

Tennessee Titans

In a tremendous showing of personal fortitude, Corey Davis played last Thursday in the Tennessee Titans loss to the Indianapolis Colts. It was a modest performance, just 11.7 PPR fantasy points. But it was Davis’ sixth time in seven games scoring 10-plus PPR fantasy points this season. The one miss was against the Bears lockdown corners. If you were worried about the A.J. Brown, don’t. Davis’s two biggest games came in Weeks 7 and 8 with Brown in the lineup.

He gets the Ravens in Week 11. The matchup could be better as they’ve allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season. But they have allowed solid outings to Jakobi Meyers and JuJu Smith-Schuster in recent weeks. Davis is right on the threshold for making this list but he also has better staying power than any receiver on the wire right now.

Josh Reynolds

Los Angeles Rams

This one could be tricky. Josh Reynolds led the Los Angeles Rams in Week 10 with 10 targets, catching eight for 94 yards. All team-highs. He’s quietly behind only Cooper Kupp’s 31 targets with 27 of his own over the last three weeks. Kupp, if you remember, received a whopping 20 looks two weeks ago. Reynolds has scored double-digit fantasy points in three of his last four games.

The risks here are three-fold. First, Reynolds is third in the pecking order on his team. Kupp and Robert Woods will generally garner far more looks. Second, the Rams are a run-first operation with three talented backs. Jared Goff moved the ball almost at will through the air in Week 10 and they still scored all their touchdowns on the ground. Last, but not least, L.A. faces Tampa in Week 11. They are 11th in fantasy points allowed to receivers but have shown cracks in recent weeks, allowing useful performances to several players.

Willie Snead

Baltimore Ravens

We’re getting even more dangerous now. Willie Snead snagged five of seven targets for 64 yards and two scores against the Patriots in primetime. It was Snead’s third game in a row with four-plus catches. It’s light work, but he has been effective with it; he caught five of seven targets for 106 yards a couple of weeks ago.

Snead is like Reynolds. His team is run-first with a good defense to keep it on schedule. But the Baltimore Ravens rushing attack is an even greater presence with Lamar Jackson. So Snead is behind the running game first and second even before getting to Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews. Surely the WR7 in Week 10 has some long-term value. Brown and the offense have struggled so perhaps Snead can show some consistency against the Titans who are allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers.

Tight End

Tyler Higbee/Gerald Everett

Los Angeles Rams

In what has been an oscillating thing, Tyler Higbee led the Rams tight ends in production in Week 10 with three grabs (on six targets) for 60 yards. Gerald Everett had nine targets just a week ago. Both have the ability to be top-10 at the position but, more often than not, they just cannibalize each other. Everett got hurt towards the end of last season allowing Higbee to take off and we may need to see a similar occurrence to see one elevate fully.

Still, the state of the tight end position is such that if you find yourself needing one, there are worse offenses to attach yourself to. Goff is still 11th in pass attempts despite his team’s preference for the ground game. Tampa, L.A.’s opponent in Week 11, is allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to tight ends and this game could be a struggle on the perimeter.

Cam Newton to the New England Patriots is Perfect

It almost makes too much sense. Cam Newton, Superman, is a New England Patriot. And in the year 2020, this is exactly the kind of move we should have expected. Many did, and yet it still felt like such a longshot. Clash of cults of personality aside, there was always a strictly football-related reason for this to happen. The fact that the actual deal is good for both sides is just an added bonus.

New England Patriots Signing Cam Newton is Perfectly 2020

How Did We Get Here?

What an offseason it has been! We’ve seen a quarter of the league’s projected starters entering 2019 change teams, including a wild four-team swap with New England and 75% of the NFC South. Tom Brady joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the shockwave of the off-season; if only slightly edging the Houston Texans swindling themselves out of DeAndre Hopkins.

Jameis Winston is now backing up Drew Brees in New Orleans and Teddy Bridgewater (Winston’s predecessor) will start in Carolina. Even Philip Rivers going to the Indianapolis Colts doesn’t compare.

Tampa Tommy is like the prodigal son going to the Darkside (which would have worked so much better had he joined the Las Vegas Raiders). Newton to the Pats is like, well T’Challa taking over for Steve Rogers. Yes, it’s on the nose, but it’s so very accurate. How else do you describe the expressive Newton heading to the most buttoned-up operation in the NFL?

What’s even better is it is two polarizing entities of opposite ends joining into one. The Patriots have been the bully on the block for much of the past 20 years. This, and a generous helping of sketchy deeds, has led to a buildup of resentment from those on the outside.

Newton, for all his charitable deeds, is more known for his scarves and attitude after losing Super Bowl 50.

Neither man is perfect. Brady was directly indicated in his fair share of the scandals during his time in New England. And, if we’re being honest, the worst Newton has done was his interaction with a female reporter a few years back. He laughed at the depth of her question and said it was “funny” a question like that came from a woman.

But on the football field, both of these men have set records.

Why It Will Work

Brady has the edge in accolades, sure. But even he has conceded it is at least equal parts situation as it is his given talent, effort, preparation, etc. Newton, if healthy, offers the total opposite. A supremely gifted athlete, he reached the edge of the mountain top without the level of coach and system he will have around him next year.

That isn’t a knock on what the Ron Rivera Panthers did either, they ran a system they felt gave them the best chance to win. The issue was they operated like Newton was a rookie for too long, not surrounding him with enough talent at receiver and/or a proper offensive line. His development seemed to stall as the Panthers found their formula.

One thing we know about the Patriots, they know the formula changes from year to year. No team has been better at adapting to their personnel.

Josh McDaniels is a very underrated part of why this will work. He was able to get seven wins out of a second-year Tim Tebow back in 2011. That was ten years ago. But Newton, a former MVP, is far and away a better passer than Tebow ever was.

People also forget the year Newton was having before he got injured in 2018. Carolina was 6-2 with Newton completing 67.3% of his passes for 1893 yards, 15 touchdowns, and four interceptions. He added another 342 yards and four scores on the ground. He over 68 percent of his passes in his remaining six games, but only threw nine touchdowns to nine picks and the Panthers went winless.

What’s The Problem?

That depends on what you thought of Brady last season. He started the season completing 64% of his passes for 2251 yards, 13 scores, and four interceptions over the first eight games. But he finished throwing for 1806 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 4 more picks while completing just 56.9% of his passes. The Patriots went 4-4 over those final eight.

Was that all Brady? He is, after all, in his 40s and has played over two and a half regular season’s worth of playoff games. It’s perfectly reasonable his abilities are in decline.

But New England lost Rob Gronkowski to retirement then lost Antonio Brown (one game) and Josh Gordon (six games) to personal issues. Julian Edelman was still around, but there aren’t many quarterbacks who can overcome that kind of talent drain before and during the season.

Newton’s health will be the biggest deterrent to any success. But he’s been out since September last year and has been seen working with Odell Beckham. Keeping him that way is paramount and dependant upon them either finding upgrades or guys like N’Keal Harry and free-agent addition Marquise Lee stepping up. Edelman and Mohamed Sanu will serve as the vets but the big hole is at tight end.

The offensive line is the bigger concern. Brady took 17 of his 27 sacks over the back half of the year. That line lost center Ted Karras and didn’t add anyone in free agency or the draft until the sixth round. They kept Joe Thuney, though.

The defense underwent a facelift but should be a smoother transition than anything the offense will go through. New England took defensive players with their first three picks and all are expected to contribute early. That’s good with the losses New England suffered at linebacker. Boasting one of the best secondaries in the NFL, though, they should be just fine.

Superman is a Patriot

Cam Newton has had to carry his offenses for much of his career, literally. In New England, he will get a chance to be a part of the machine. They will cater the offense to him week-to-week. His athleticism gives them an added dimension they didn’t have (or need) with Brady. He would also be the first non-Patriots draft pick to start for the team since Scott Secules in 1993.

Doubters will point to Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer and say Newton isn’t a lock to start. But as long as he’s healthy, neither the second-year Stidham nor the journeyman Hoyer is beating him out. The Patriots don’t need the publicity this brought (even with the penalties handed down) but Belichick would love the prestige winning with Newton would bring. We know what’s really on the line here.