🏈 F-you Matt Nagy

Welcome Jon Helmkamp, checking in on Antonio Gibson, Johnathan Taylor, and why Matt Nagy sucks.

Ladies and gentleman, or whatever generous compliment you best see fit, please allow myself to introduce… myself. 

I’m new here. My name is Jon Helmkamp. I’m a sportswriter by trade, a fantasy degenerate by hobby, and I’m thrilled to be able to share some fantasy football nuggets of information, wisdom and downright satire with you all. If you want to find me rambling on twitter, follow @JonHelmkamp. I know — super creative and original.

Since this is my first newsletter for you all (and get used to it, because you’ll find me here three times per week), I decided I should start with a few pieces of “on-brand” opinion.

Are we sure Antonio Gibson is a RB1?

In case you don’t know the backstory behind the presumed top running back in Washington, Antonio Gibson was a college wide-receiver-turned-running-back at the University of Memphis, and saw only 33 carries during his career with the Tigers. 

Gibson was all but relegated to the bench by now-Eagles RB Kenneth Gainwell, who tallied over 2,000 scrimmage yards in 2019. Gainwell was pretty damn impressive.

Gibson was a highly debated topic in the fantasy community this off-season because his size (6-foot-0, 228 lbs) and athleticism make him appealing, but his remarkably small sample size gave many people pause. It’s me — I’m people.

Gibson burst onto the scene as a rookie, and was largely slated to take a second-year jump and was widely treated as an RB1 heading into the season. According to FantasyPros.com’s consensus ADP, Gibson was going as the RB12 and 17th overall in fantasy drafts before the season in PPR scoring (which should be standard, but I digress).

That’s… very rich.

Through two games (since Washington played on Thursday night), Gibson has failed to find the end zone, and can’t seem to shake off J.D. McKissic as a threat to his workload. Gibson saw two targets on Thursday, while McKissic saw six. Not only that, but Gibson sat the entire two-minute drill drive before halftime.

Gibson finished the game with only 13 carries and two receptions. That’s not enough work to justify his ADP (or current value).

If Gibson doesn’t see a significant uptick in his receiving work, and if he can’t tally a healthy amount of touchdowns, there’s essentially no path that Gibson will live up to his ADP. 

Jonathan Taylor had 6 receptions in Week 1

Remember when I told you I was going on brand? Allow me to go there. Jonathan Taylor is the fantasy football love of my life. You won’t find a bigger fan. He was far and away my RB1 in the 2020 draft class before the draft, and solidly stayed there throughout the draft process and in 2020. 

Week 1 did nothing to quell my adoration. The Wisconsin prospect saw elite usage - catching six of seven targets (after totaling only 36 receptions all of last year).

That’ll do.

Yes, Nyheim Hines is still a thing - No, it doesn’t matter. 

Taylor being so heavily utilized in the passing game and controlling the backfield carries for the Colts in a losing effort (he had 17 carries, Hines had 9) means that Taylor will never be game scripted out of fantasy relevance.

If someone in your league is frustrated by Week 1, go acquire Taylor, and then laugh in their faces when he’s a top-10 RB at the end of the season.

F***ing start Justin Fields, Matt Nagy

This isn’t hard, Matt Nagy. Not at all. Don’t make it so difficult.

The Chicago Bears are being asinine in their reluctance to play their future franchise quarterback, and it makes no sense. 

Firstly, allow me to provide a little education on THE Justin Fields.

He and Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, are both from the state of Georgia. When they were in high school, they were regarded as the top-2 recruits in the country. According to 247Sports, Lawrence edged out Fields in overall grade, 0.9999 to 0.9998. 

Splitting hairs.

Lawrence was labeled a “Pro-Style” quarterback, while Fields was called a “Dual Threat”.

Completely disregarding that it was utter bullsh*t that Fields wasn’t the second overall selection in the draft, let alone third, and disregarding the fact that he slid all the way to No. 11 and was passed on by quarterback-needy teams like Carolina and Denver, Fields is an elite prospect with an incredible collegiate resume

In 2019, Fields threw for 3,273 yards, 41 touchdowns, and only three interceptions. He also added 484 rushing yards and 10 additional scores.

That’s, um, great.

Fields had a completion percentage of 68.4%, and was responsible for 86 total touchdowns in three years, with only nine career interceptions.

Should I continue?

But yet, the Bears are sitting this dude behind the AARP card-carrying Andy Dalton, who doesn’t even have a leg up on the playbook since both quarterbacks joined the Bears this offseason.

All reports about Fields have been glowing since rookie mini-camp, and his teammates have raved about his leadership and his aura. 

The momentum behind Fields is going to continue to build with time. Every opportunity that he gets to see the field, he injects the offense with momentum and energy. Nagy needs to put his foolish pride aside and give the reins to the rookie that, simply put, can do things that Dalton can’t.

Let the Ferrari out of the garage.

My Favorite Plays Today

I want to highlight a few of my favorite smash-starts for the Sunday slate of games. If you have these players on your roster, get them into your lineups, and don’t think twice.

Aaron Rodgers vs Detroit

It feels weird to have to suggest Rodgers, considering this is the reigning NFL MVP, but after his dud in Week 1 against the Saints, I’m seeing some weird stuff on the interwebs. 

It’s Rodgers, playing the Detroit Lions. He owns this division. The Lions fans have nightmares about the countless times Rodgers has ripped their hearts out. 

Week 1 was super weird though. 133 passing yards, 0 TDs, and 2 INTs is not what you hope for out of your quarterback. But Rodgers is too talented to lay an egg in this situation - Expect a major get-right game from Rodgers.

Tyler Boyd vs Chicago Bears

Last week, against the Los Angeles Rams, the Chicago Bears gave up a monster game to the Rams slot receiver, Cooper Kupp.

The Bears slot CB, Marqui Christian, had one of the worst weeks of any cornerback in the NFL in Week 1.

Tyler Boyd lined up in the slot on 81% of his snaps last week and should seeplent of Christian. Expecting a massive game from Boyd. Plus, this is a cake matchup that Joe Burrow should feast on. 

Javonte Williams vs Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars let the corpse of Mark Ingram run for 85 yards and a touchdown against them. Rookie Javonte Williams split carries perfectly evenly with incumbent veteran Melvin Gordon in Week 1, with each running back logging 33 snaps. 

Despite splitting carries, this matchup should give the Broncos an early lead and feature a lot of work for the running backs against a powdery soft defense. Williams has a flex play floor, and if things break right, could easily have a massive “welcome to the NFL” moment. 

Tweet of the Day

Quick Hits:

  • Jamaal Williams was a full participant for the Detroit Lions, meaning the potential for him to be an annoying thorn in the side of D’Andre Swift still exists. Both players could be startable this week, as Detroit doesn’t have many other options.

  • Jamison Crowder has been activated from the COVID-19 list, and should be treated as a PPR slot weapon with flex appeal this week.

  • Nobody has any idea what’s going on with Deshaun Watson, and it’s aggravating as hell. 

That’s all for this time. Thank you for reading my first newsletter! Please feel free to connect with me on twitter and tell me how dumb I am. I’m happy to be here, and good luck in Week 2!

- Jon

Thanks for joining us this morning - enjoy a beautiful day of football. We’ll be back Tuesday morning with our updated rankings and top waiver wire picks. Good luck this weekend!

The Morning Huddle: an (almost) daily newsletter full of fantasy football news, memes, and stats - giving you the edge to win titles and the laughs to enjoy every minute of it.

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