Half Way There: A Story of Dreadful Takes
The fantasy football year is split into two distinct halves. Firstly, you have the wonderful half of the year from January to August where any player can be a superstar. In dynasty you can trade everything you own to acquire a guy who really showed up in the last couple of weeks of the season – most likely when the opposition are dreaming of whatever lavish holiday they have planned for the offseason. This is the time of year when serious players make the wildest jumps of logic and troll the tiniest shred of evidence to convince themselves that Dante Pettis is Randy Moss. I call this the fun part of the year.
The second half of the year is now. A joyless slog through a series of revelations one more revealing than the last in confirming that, as everyone always suspected, we don’t have a f*cking clue what we’re talking about. This stage of the season sees you wracked with guilt as you decide to leave Golden Tate on the bench against the Patriots only to see him break off a 60-yard touchdown. A constant whirlwind of second guessing, forgetting that some of your teams even exist and trying to trade for Dede Westbrook 5 minutes before kick-off because you forgot that team 18 only had two receivers and Jarvis Landry is on a bye.
As we reach half way through the season of ill-will and start to move to the business end of the season now feels like a wonderful opportunity to cheer myself up by looking back on some of my offseason takes and reflect on just how badly wrong (and occasionally right) I might have been.
David Montgomery: The Bears rookie running back was a major bone of contention amongst the KM team over the offseason. Some saw the Bears adding their own version of Kareem Hunt to Matt Nagy’s offence and moved him higher and higher up their draft boards as the season went on. Others were more skeptical, I for one always seen a back at Iowa State who lacked the explosiveness to really be a difference maker in the NFL. Thus far Montgomery has struggled to establish himself in an offence that has struggled to establish itself on the back of strong 2018 season.
It’s too early to give up on him clearly and the jury is out on whether the blame lies with Nagy’s overly gimmicked offence or with Montgomery’s lack of explosion. For now, though I’m adding this one to the win column.
Sony Michel: One season after buying Sony early in drafts I became a big advocate of selling high after his strong playoff performance to end last year. It’s looking increasingly like the right decision. Michel has continued to have solid if unpredictable fantasy performance but a questionable injury outlook and the Patriots belief that they can plug almost any running back into their system and get production makes him a volatile and unpredictable fantasy piece.
Leonard Fournette: The Jags lead back saw his ADP continue to drop all through the offseason making him a more and more attractive option. I was a strong advocate that at his ADP, Fournette could be a league winner. The Jaguars have stayed true to type and have given him a heavy workload and after a slow start the former LSU Tiger has delivered. Logic tells you he’s due some decent positive regression on touchdowns in the second half of the season. If he’s your RB2 or even 3 if you were very lucky then you should be well placed to make a run at this point.
Aaron Jones: There is no doubt Jones is talented. There is no doubt even that he will produce respectable fantasy numbers and there is no doubt that he’s capable of the kind of one-off explosion that he produced against the Cowboys. The counterpoint however, is that too many people dream of him being a locked in starter, a sure-fire RB1 but like so many before him in the Green Bay offence he’s on track to fall short of those, admittedly lofty, hopes.
Green Bay have only produced two thousand yard running backs with Aaron Rodgers at Quarterback. That doesn’t seem likely to change and with Rodgers rounding into midseason form the reliance on the running game may diminish down the stretch.
Chris Godwin: Sometimes you just overthink things. The signs were all there for Godwin. Talent, offensive fit, a lot of targets leaving with free agent departures and a head coach with a history of using similar type of players in a similar role.
Despite all of that I just couldn’t see him making the leap from productive WR3 to a major fantasy asset. More than anything I couldn’t the team producing two wide receiver 1s and Mike Evans wasn’t going anywhere.
This one has gone pretty badly wrong, Godwin looks like a star and with the Buccs likely to get even more desperate down the stretch his numbers may only get better.
Miles Sanders: For many of the same reasons that I doubted David Montgomery I was very high on the chances of Miles Sanders. The Penn State runner certainly doesn’t lack in explosion and if you told me in August that he would have shown as much in the passing game as he has I’d have been talking rookie of the year. Alas, his running skills haven’t yet translated to the league and I have growing concerns over whether he has the vision to be a top tier runner.
For the foreseeable future he looks likely to remain in a rotation with Jordan Howard who has monopolised 1st and 2nd down carries. I suspect he’ll find a niche but a 3 down, all purpose back that the Eagles were hoping for looks a long way off.
Devonta Freeman: One thing that united the KM team over the offseason was our shared love for Devonta Freeman. He was going to re-emerge as an RB1 as part of a reborn juggernaut offence as the Falcons vaulted back into contender status. Alas, no. The Falcons have been a disaster (pausing only to, of course, defeat the Eagles) and the running game has been a car crash.
Freeman has never looked like rediscovering his pre-2018 form and whilst a reasonable performance as a pass catcher has kept him relevant his future status in fantasy is major question mark.
Melvin Gordon: I really didn’t think anyone could be so stupid. It was pretty clear to any neutral observer that the Chargers running back had very little leverage to attempt to pull off his early season hold out. Unfortunately, Gordon and his advisers somehow thought they could force the team into an out of character climb down. The result? A disaster in both NFL and fantasy terms. Gordon has likely cost himself money, the Chargers are a mess and fantasy owners have had to count the cost of losing one of the leagues top backs.
Unfortunately, banking on common sense and logic totally failed me on this one.
Dante Pettis: I still pine for the Dante Pettis of June. I occasionally find myself day dreaming like a jilted lover, remembering the good times of late 2018. Those days are gone now, a disastrous pre-season has been followed by an injury effected first half. I miss 2018 Dante Pettis, but it’s time to admit he’s dead to me now.