The Fantasy Hipsters are back for the 2017 season with their weekly guide to how to approach fantasy football a little bit off the beaten path. In this space, Matt Harmon and Matt Franciscovich (Franchise) will give you a mix players to add, overlooked weekly plays and in-depth stats all layered with the type of unique, off-the-mainstream tone you can only expect from these two well-groomed hipsters. Since the communal approach to creating a living space is the only way to exist in harmony, the duo will split the work. Here's this week's division of labor.
Most ironic stats
Communal living space:
Pour over your lineup
Sustainable pickup of the week:
Sustainability is all about preparing for the future. From discovering and developing new sources of energy like wind and solar to crop rotation and water conservation, we all have to do our part to mitigate our impact on the environment. A small investment now goes a long way down the road. And when it comes to fantasy football, a major key to building sustainable depth from waiver wire adds means finding players that you can rely on for the long term without wasting resources. So in this section, the Fantasy Hipsters will get ahead of the curve and offer up one player to add for depth who should pay off dividends in the future. Hey man, turn that light off in the other room. It's not hard, okay?
I am sorry.
Back in March, when the Jets were depleting their receiving corps, cutting (washed) veterans like Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall, I tweeted a screenshot of the wide receiver depth chart with, what I thought at the time, was extremely accurate analysis. I sipped my matcha green bubble tea and carried on with my day.
But as you can see from the ratio" on that tweet Jets Twitter was not on the same page. Classic hipster move to have an opinion against the grain, I thought. Perfectly on brand. But then I got thinking. What if all of those Jets fans caping up for their young and inexperienced receiving corps in my mentions were actually correct?
So, after a few weeks of pensive introspection, I penned a glowing evaluation of then-No. 1 receiver Quincy Enunwa noting reason for optimism in this once bleak situation. Unfortunately, Enunwa was lost for the season with a neck injury before it even started. But his absence opened the door for an unlikely hero to emerge. His name?
For some reason, Anderson is still available in a ton of leagues, and if you can add him now, he should be able to provide low-end WR2 value, at worst, down the stretch thanks to a favorable schedule. He's really been on a roll in recent weeks with a touchdown in each of his last three games and leads the Jets in targets (28) and receiving yards (263). Anderson's speed gives him that home-run play upside, but he's been getting high volume too, with no fewer than five targets in every game since Week 3.
One more hipster stat for you kids before I go. Anderson ranks seventh among NFL receivers in a Next Gen Stats metric called percentage of team air yards, or TAY. Anderson's 37.11 percent TAY mark ranks him behind only six of the most elite names: Antonio Brown, AJ Green, DeAndre Hopkins, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones and T.Y. Hilton.
Some things get better with time. Like a full-flavored cask of aged bourbon or that one pair of skinny jeans you've worn in so much that they feel like sweatpants (let's be honest, I have, like, eight pairs of those). Same goes for fantasy football players. Did you draft Hunter Henry thinking the shiny new young tight end would be the next big thing? Get in line with the rest of the herd. While you and the rest of the mainstream horde are all about the up-and-coming young talent in the NFL, we Fantasy Hipsters are sticking with experience over youth. Each week in this space, we'll deliver one Vintage Veteran player of the week that you can rely on to produce for your fantasy team. Now where did I put my great-grandpa's brogues?
I know what you're thinking. Actually, you could be thinking a few things.
Option No. 1: Burkhead? Again? When will you fantasy "analysts" stop trying to make this happen?
I get it. But for real, Burkhead is a good play this week. He came back from a multi-week absence and in just his second game coming off that stretch, caught all seven of his targets. Dion Lewis just isn't digging into the pass-catching rotation. The Patriots clearly don't want to expose Lewis to too much punishment and need him on rushing downs as much as possible, so Burkhead should continue to take receiving work. That's a big deal against Denver because the Patriots have attacked the Broncos with their pass-catching backs in each of their last four meetings.
When we're building lineups for the week, we're always looking for a bargain. The thing is, those of us who don't want to live cookie-cutter lives aren't chasing for some boring old fill-in; we're still after something fresh. Just like a good barrel-aged craft beer that's off the beaten path away from dull domestic brews, we want a different kind of bargain brought on by a unique spin on an outcome of a game that the public just hasn't considered yet.
When Godwin got drafted by the Buccaneers, who already had Evans and just signed DeSean Jackson, I knew it would be a waiting game. Being the barrel-aged bargain is appropriate for him because by the time Jackson moves on and Godwin snags the starting spot he'll have aged to perfection like this double IPA I'm sipping as a write this. Please don't tell my bosses. As much as I'd like to live in the wilderness and abandon traditional society forever, I still need this job for a little while longer.
In the future, we're going to be talking about Godwin a lot, remember I told you this. Here's the thing though, he's already shining in his minimal duties with the Bucs. As their fourth receiver, he's getting a gameday jersey every single week. Godwin has been on the field for no more than 11 passing plays in any game this season but has gone out for 19, 17, 19 and 18 special teams plays in each of the last four weeks. I get it, that doesn't matter for your fantasy team. But it's a good reflection on the team's trust in this workman-like player at the position.
Special teams stats. Aren't you glad you came to the hipsters now? If not, there's a full refund on your way out.
Godwin should take over as one of the starting outside receivers in three-wide sets for the Buccaneers on Sunday. When he does, he'll face a Jets pass defense that has allowed a league-high 19 passing touchdowns. We're getting a little taste of the bright future coming his way when he rips up that secondary on Sunday.
Most Ironic Stats of the Week
Every week, there are some pretty crazy stats floating around that you might be able to apply to making decisions in your fantasy lineups. So, just for kicks (actually I need a new pair of vintage Converse), here are the most ironic stats of Week 10. Enjoy. Or don't ... it's more ironic that way.
-- Drew Brees ranks first in passing yards per game (315.2) and last in rushing yards per game (0.9) as a starter. Among the same group, Tyrod Taylor ranks last in passing yards per game (208.1) and first in rushing yards per game (36.6).
-- Philip Rivers is facing a Jaguars defense that has allowed just 1.3 offensive touchdowns per game, fewest in the league. Wanna get ironic? Start him.
-- Following his best fantasy performance of the season last week, T.Y. Hilton faces a Steelers defense that gives up the fewest fantasy points per game to No. 1 wideouts.
-- Rob Kelley had 18 yards on 14 carries last week but somehow fell into the end zone twice. This week, he faces a Vikings defense that allows the second-fewest rush yards per game to running backs. Don't.
-- Lions tight end Eric Ebron has a great matchup against the Browns who allow the second-most fantasy points per game to his position. Ironically, Darren Fells will probably score twice.
Pour over your lineup
Franchise: Um, is this guy trolling us? Might be the most mainstream lineup ever.
Franchise: Seriously, weren't they both first rounders? Maybe he negotiated a trade. I feel like we've waded right into his trap.
Harmon: Well, you know what? Props. They pulled of a star-studded lineup. Barely need us, to be honest, but we'll do what we can here.
Franchise: Yeah, he's probably 9-0. Just like every one of my teams. (Looks around, backs away quietly). Anyway, pretty good timing for Charles Clay to be coming back.
Harmon: Seriously. It's not the worst spot for him either. For all their defensive improvements, the Saints have still allowed four touchdowns on just 26 catches to tight ends this year.
Franchise: Is the Henry dream dead, bro? I think it is. At least for as long as DeMarco Murray is still around. V frustrating, but we have to face the truth.
Not a great matchup for him either. Cincy has only allowed two rush touchdowns to running backs all year.
Franchise: I think Clay is the only real option. And I mean, it doesn't get much more hipster than starting two tight ends on your roster.
Harmon: That's fair. Guess in the end we found out that this roster wasn't all that mainstream after all. What a feel-good story.
Franchise: Speaking of feel-good stories, I have to get out of here so I can put some finishing touches on my memoir.
Harmon: A memoir? Okay, but I doubt anyone wants to read pages of your thoughts on how to properly twist your facial hair together with beard wax.
Franchise: I know my audience, man.