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
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?
Sometimes all it takes is a good makeover to turn things around. I should know. I used to shop at Kohls and just straight buzz my hair. It's true. Don't go find the photos or you'll be hearing from my attorney.
Anyway, back in Jacksonville, Blaine Gabbert had this long flowing blonde hair looking like some kind of pretty boy at your high school that thought he was so cool riding around in dad's convertible. It's no coincidence he was bad and led the league in yards lost due to sacks in 2011. Now out in the desert? Gabbert is reborn. I mean, check this guy out. He looks like someone that could actually fit in at the dive bars I hang out at.
You have to love a good transformation. I have no doubt that Gabbert suddenly looking like a rugged southwest hipster has everything to do with his sudden viability as a fantasy quarterback with the Arizona Cardinals. He's still making mistakes, but don't we all? What's important is that he is throwing touchdowns and piling up fantasy points.
Gabbert has 17-plus fantasy points in two of his three starts this season. He accomplished that feat in just one single game over three seasons with the Jaguars when he looked like the sunshine-soaked pretty boy.
Fantasy managers in playoff games this weekend can feel confident in starting Gabbert as a quarterback streamer. Not only is he playing well, but he draws a great matchup with the Titans defense. Tennessee has allowed the most passing yards over the last four weeks (1,125) and a seven-to-one touchdown-to-interception ratio. Gabbert gets to play this beatable secondary at home in Week 14 and makes for an ideal desperation play at quarterback.
Sustainable pickup of the week:
Sustainability is all about preparing for the future. From discovering and developing a new source 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?
Need a fantasy running back with some upside for the fantasy playoffs? If you answered no to this question, you're straight up lying. So cut the crap.
My most loyal of followers will know I have a thing for Seattle running backs. I mean, I called the Christine Michael breakout last year, touted C.J. Prosise as one of my favorite prospects in the 2016 draft, and even touted Chris Carson in this space in Week 1 of this season. But ever since Carson went out with an injury in early October, the Seahawks haven't been able to rely on anyone. Here's the list of running backs who have "started" games for Seattle this year:
SEA RBs 2017 games started per NFL.com: Eddie Lacy: 3
Thomas Rawls: 3
Chris Carson: 3
Mike Davis: 2
J.D. McKissic: 1
Well we're heading into Week 14, and it seems like they've finally found their guy, Davis, who was a practice squad promotion a few weeks ago. In the worst matchup, a running back could face last week, Davis became the first Seattle back to pile up over 100 scrimmage yards in a single game all season. Yeah, he did that against the Eagles of all teams. Davis averaged four yards per carry and played 72 percent of the snaps. He just missed punching in a touchdown at the goal line too. Plus, he can catch! He combined for 66 receptions in his final two seasons in college and caught four passes last week. Davis can truly do it all and looks like the legitimate solution to Seattle's running back woes.
His schedule the rest of the way presents matchups against the Jaguars in Week 14, Rams in Week 15 and Cowboys in Week 16. None of which are too intimidating. So grab him now and when you win your league on the heels of this Seahawks running back, think of us Fantasy Hipsters the next time you crack open an IPA.
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.
I get it. You think Joe Mixon is, like, really talented. Honestly, what does that even mean? I'll tell you what it hasn't meant ... good games this year. Mixon has legitimately one good game this year, Week 12 against the Cleveland Browns at home. From Weeks 3 to 11, he averaged 16.1 touches per game and a paltry 64 total yards. The situation is poor with one of the worst run blocking lines in the NFL, I'll give you that, but you'd think all that "talent" would eventually help Mixon do, you know, something ... anything.
People don't really give Gio enough credit. He's not a full-time back but he's been a useful player for the Bengals when called upon and has certainly helped fantasy owners in spurts. He averaged 16.6 PPR points in games where he has 15-plus carries since 2014.
When Mixon went down on Monday night, Gio once again stepped up. He took his 15 touches for 96 total yards against a tough Steelers defense.
You're probably playing some mainstream square in the first round of your fantasy playoffs. You know, they probably snuck in on a few lucky breaks. They probably forgot who Gio even is after they took him too early in the second round of a fantasy draft back in like 2015 or something. Now here in 2017, you're woke to the fact that Gio is a potential league-winner. He's like a refurbished coffee table that your college roommate tossed after paying some outrageous price for it at Ikea back in the 90's. It's going to feel so satisfying when you bounce that square from the championship race with Gio as your RB2.
Most Ironic Stats of Week 13
Every week, there are some pretty crazy stats floating around that you might be able to apply to making decisions in your fantasy lineups. There are also stats that really don't mean anything at all. So, just for kicks (actually I need a new pair of vintage Converse), here are the most ironic stats for Week 14. Enjoy. Or don't ... it's more ironic that way.
-- The Raiders defense has allowed 20 touchdown passes and has just one interception all season. Go get you some Alex Smith, nerds!
-- Tom Brady has a losing record in games in Miami during his career. After he wins there on Sunday, we can finally put this silly stat to bed, as he'll be 8-8 in Miami with one more victory.
-- Since Week 11, Keenan Allen leads all of football with 33 receptions and 436 receiving yards. If he's on your fantasy playoff team, it's so effing lit right now.
-- Josh McCown is facing a Denver defense that is allowing the most passing touchdowns per game (2.5) since Week 8. No fly zone, my a**.
-- The Panthers are allowing 179.5 scrimmage yards per game to running backs since Week 11. Latavius Murray is going to eat, and you should start him everywhere.
Pour over your lineup
Franchise: Alright man, it's Week 14. Everyone is stressing way too hard over the fantasy playoffs. I am kind of over it, tbh. But this guy needs our help. Shall we?
Harmon: Ugh. FIne. Let me put down this great book of long-form poetry and contribute to the discussion. This fellas roster is ... something.
Franchise: Not really sure how this guy even made it to the playoffs. Probably rode his most mainstream player, Zeke, to some early-season wins and has been scraping by ever since. Also, bro, THREE tight ends? No need for that.
Harmon: Does seem a little wasteful. Not too sustainable. Anyway, looks like he's stuck with playing Ellington at running back. Joe Mixon, who as I noted above is overrated, is out this week.
Franchise: Yeah. If there's any upside for Ellington, it's as a pass catcher. In true hipster fashion, they had him playing a lot of wide receiver last week because of injuries. I can see a similar role this week, and it's a good matchup, too.
Franchise: Oh man, good call. As much as we're all about Denver as a hipster hub, I want nothing to do with their fantasy football assets, and that includes Sanders. He's got three or fewer fantasy points in four of his last five games! Throw him in the compost heap, and dust off Taylor who is trending up.
Harmon: I like it. And anything to get out of being attached to that mess in Denver. Their passing offense is worse than chicken grown on a farm that isn't free range. Taylor, on the other hand, caught all of his targets last week. I bet no one reading this knows that.
Franchis: Plus, his quarterback is the best looking gentleman in the entire league, Jimmy Garoppolo. I mean, have you seen his hair? His perfectly dapper five-o-clock shadow? Seriously, Jimmy G has something going there in San Fran, and Taylor will benefit.
Harmon: I'm about it. Well, I think we've gone enough for the time being. Should we get out of here and go restock the fridge with organic hummus and local brews for the weekend?
Franchise: Yeah, I have some basil crop to harvest, too. No time to waste. Peace.