We’re going to start the Week 3 edition of “Drops” with something I hope to avoid as much as possible this season.
A mea culpa.
In last week’s column, I advocated giving up on Denver quarterback Russell Wilson and receiver Marvin Mims. Neither had done much in Week 1. Week 2 was a different story.
After averaging 5.2 yards per attempt in Week 1, Wilson threw for 308 yards and three scores against the Washington Commanders, including a successful Hail Mary late in the game. He averaged a robust 9.6 yards per attempt and finished the week third among all quarterbacks in fantasy points. One of those touchdowns was caught by Mims, who surpassed 100 receiving yards.
I’m not apologizing for Mims – yes, he caught two passes for 113 yards, but those were his only two targets of the game. Wilson, on the other hand, I admit — although in my defense, it’s not like the Vegas secondary he struggled against in Week 1 was, uh, good or anything .
Just ask Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
This is the risk that is always part of abandoning players. And since I recommended giving up on Wilson, I’ll take the hit right before what might be his best game of the year.
I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong – and this won’t be the last time this happens, but if you think I’m going to let a little something like that stop me, you’re sorely mistaken, my friends. .
Now, let’s start dropping the ax (and hope we avoid any Chris Hanson-style hiccups).
Percentages listed courtesy of Yahoo
Mac Jones, QB, New England Patriots (22%) (possible in 12-team 1QB leagues)
Back in the distant days of Week 1, Jones was second to the Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa in fantasy points after throwing for 316 yards and three scores against the Philadelphia Eagles. Jones was a waiver target after standing tall against Philly’s vaunted pass rush — something he told reporters he was very proud of.
“I’m very proud of it,” Jones said. “Stand up in there. Take photos when necessary. I just continue to be a pro that way. I always felt like as a quarterback you had to show it your way. Some guys do it differently than others. But you also have to be intelligent. It’s a league full of really good players and they’re going to knock your head off, so you have to make sure you show off that fashion and show it off in a unique way. For me, it’s stay in the pocket and rip it.
Fast forward a week, and Jones’ numbers took a major dive – 231 passing yards, 25 rushing yards, one score and a fantasy finish outside the Top 20. The reality is that Week 1 was more an exception than the rule, the Patriots do not do it. have the offensive weaponry to consistently put up big numbers through the air and New England’s next two matchups come against two of the league’s best pass defenses, the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys.
Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams (90%) (possible in 12-team leagues…maybe)
This 90 percent figure shows two things. The first is how many fantasy analysts weighed in on Akers this summer and the second is how hard it can be to admit that we were flat-out wrong. Of course, it’s not entirely our fault — over the summer, Rams head coach Sean McVay touted Akers as a leader heading into a breakout year.
“He really capitalized on a lot of the momentum he built towards the end of the year. And he’s going to be a big part of what we do going forward,” McVay said of Akers on June 15. “He had a great offseason. I love the rapport he’s built with Ron Gould, our new running backs coach. Cam is going to be a central figure in this offense.
Liar, liar, pants on fire! Two games into the season, Akers was healthy and on the trading block.
There is one caveat with this one: With Cleveland’s Nick Chubb lost for the season, there’s at least a chance the Rams and Browns will play Let’s Make a Deal. But if you need a roster spot and we don’t get any movement on the trade front, then there’s no point holding on to a player McVay has no intention of letting go approach the field.
If you understand why McVay hates Akers, let us know. Because the whole situation is really, really confusing.
Related: Jake Ciely’s Week 3 waiver wire adds
Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys (24%) (possible in 12-team leagues)
We knew that heading into the 2023 season, after a disappointing campaign and with Brandin Cooks now in Dallas, Michael Gallup was going to see a reduced role in the Cowboys offense. But by AthleticismJon Machota’s ownGallup said before the season that he was 100% mentally and physically — and ready to show he could still be the receiver who eclipsed 1,100 receiving yards in 2019.
“Mentally, it’s up to 100 percent. Last year, obviously, the mentality was not there,” he said. “I knew my leg was fine. I knew I was straight, but I still had to overcome this little hurdle…I already (built the confidence back). That’s why we had OTAs and all that good stuff. I definitely rebuilt it.
If ever Gallup was going to have an opportunity to step up, show off and get back into the good graces of fantasy managers, it was last week against the New York Jets with Cooks on the shelf due to a knee injury. But while CeeDee Lamb was peppered with 13 targets and even Jalen Tolbert had four looks, Gallup caught a pass for three yards on two targets. Sorry Mike, you’re off the island.
Darnell Mooney, WR, Chicago Bears (41%) (possible in 12-team leagues)
Remember when the Bears passing game was going to be better because DJ Moore was in town and Justin Fields was going to take off and everything was going to be great? It was good times, but two weeks later we didn’t really have a clue about any of this. However, Bears player Darnell Mooney told reporters it’s still too early to pass judgment on Chicago’s passing game — again.
“We’re still trying to figure out what we have and what we’re good at,” he said. “Last year, you didn’t think he would just run the ball until probably a few weeks into the season, when you realize, ‘This is working for us, so we’re going to keep doing this.’ We’re still trying to figure out what works for us. It’s not too early or too late or anything. Obviously you don’t want to be 0-2. If we’re 2-0, we’re not talking not what works, we’re probably still trying to figure out what works, but we’re still trying to figure these things out.
Maybe he’s right. But it’s not too early to pass judgment on Mooney’s fantasy relevance. Yes, Mooney was a 1,000-yard receiver in 2021. But in the last two seasons with Fields, Mooney has topped 70 receiving yards in a game just once. So far this year, he has four catches on seven targets for 53 yards. He’s also nursing a knee injury that cost him most of Week 2. We’ll be lucky if the Bears passing game supports a wide receiver. To ask for two is to be disappointed.
Irv Smith Jr., TE, Cincinnati Bengals (9%) (possible in all leagues)
On some level, it’s understandable why Fantasy managers slapped Smith with the “sleeper” label in 2023. The talent is there. The Bengals offense, when firing on all cylinders, is as potent as any in the NFL. And as Geoff Hobson wrote for the team’s website, tight ends coach James Casey touted Smith as a player who could be a real offensive factor for the Bengals this year.
“A big part will be catching balls underneath and chasing the catch and he has a chance to be really, really good at that because he’s fast, he’s athletic,” he said. declared. “He’s got to be one of those guys that can catch underneath and the first guy that hits him doesn’t knock him down. He can break tackles and turn a flat 2-3 yard run into a first down and that’s key. This will take our offense to the next level.
The problem is twofold. First, Cincinnati’s offense isn’t close to firing on all cylinders, although it finally started to show signs of life in the second half of last week’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens. But even then, Smith has been virtually invisible in the passing game — he’s averaging fewer than five targets and 13.5 receiving yards per game.
5.4 yards per reception isn’t exactly YAC-ing.
You can yell at Gary when Cam Akers gets traded two days after dropping him off @IDPSharks.
(Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)