Bad news is often just a matter of timing.
To wit, revealing to your parents that you got in a fender bender years ago might elicit a chuckle. Calling them from the side of the road while waiting for the cops could mean they revoke your driving privileges.
Bad news can even be good when delivered at just the right time. Think, a buddy pointing and yelling, “Watch out!” just in time for you to swerve and miss getting into a fender bender. The information relayed is bad news (the guy you’re following just slammed his brakes, creating a dangerous situation), but it was relayed at a time when you could still take action to avoid the worst consequences.
Oh, that reminds us, we’ve got some bad news. You probably don’t want to use DeAndre Hopkins in fantasy championship week. Yeah, we’re sorry. We know that creates a dangerous situation.
But we also have good news (sort of): We told you the bad news in time for you to do something about it.
Hopkins has not been good in Arizona with anyone other than Kyler Murray as his QB. So Colt McCoy, Trace McSorley, it doesn’t matter. It is going to McStink.
Since 2020, Hopkins has played 29 games with Murray and five with the other two. In the Kyler games, he has averaged 17.38 in PPR formats. Without Kyler, he has averaged 13.04.
That might not seem like a huge difference, but consider: A 17.4 average would place him 10th among all wide receivers this season, ahead of Tee Higgins and Jaylen Waddle. But a 13.0 average would land him right alongside Jerry Jeudy in the WR28 range.
Now, how confident do you feel playing Jeudy this week? And chances are, most of those concerns are health related rather than sheer performance.
Although Hopkins has done better with McCoy than with McSorley, it isn’t as if McCoy is proving a lot of fantasy opportunity for any WRs. In the three games in which McCoy has taken the bulk of the snaps, he has averaged just 234 passing yards per game.
At least Hopkins has a good matchup though, right? After all, the Falcons rank 23rd against opposing fantasy WRs. Well, yes, they do. But now we go back to timing.
That information was much more relevant around midseason. As of Week 9, Atlanta was giving up 45.5 points per week to WRs in PPR. Over the past six games, the Falcons have allowed just 19.9 per game.
Over the entire season, they have given up 35.2 per game to WRs, 3.0 more than the league average (32.3), according to ESPN. Over the past six games (19.9), they beat the best season average (Broncos, 25.3) by nearly six points per week.
So Hopkins has a bad QB, a bad track record with that bad QB, in a matchup cloaked to be better than it is, in a week when you cannot afford any lineup mistakes.
We’re giving you some bad news at a good time. Bench Hopkins.
Geno Smith QB, Seahawks, vs. Jets (FanDuel $7,100/DraftKings $5,900)
We’re not sure Geno will have a good passing day. But we do think he will be eager to stick it to the Jets. Don’t be surprised when he scores a rushing TD.
Brian Robinson RB, Commanders, vs. Browns (FD $6,900/DK $5,200)
The kind of volume he is getting against the kind of generosity the Browns’ run defense provides (30th vs. opposing fantasy RBs), sign us up.
Drake London WR, Falcons, vs. Cardinals (FD $6,700/DK $4,900)
He was getting around six targets a game through Week 12. In two games with Desmond Ridder at QB, he is averaging 10 per. The past two weeks have both been better than eight of his 10 previous games.
Tyler Higbee TE, Rams, at Chargers (FD $6,100/DK $4,600)
Since Baker Mayfield became QB, he has 20-plus in PPR per game. Don’t chase Cole Kmet, Dallas Goedert or Darren Waller fantasies if it means sitting Higbee.
Josh Jacobs RB, Raiders, vs. 49ers (FD $8,500/DK $7,400)
He has been overworked all year, and now his coaching staff is mailing in the rest of the season, so why would Jacobs or the Raiders as a whole be motivated to play hard? Oh, they’re facing the toughest fantasy run defense, too.
Nick Chubb RB, Browns, at Commanders (FD $7,800/DK $7,300)
Remember what we said last week regarding his late-season swoon? Now factor in a tougher matchup on the road against a team with something more tangible to play for.
DK Metcalf WR, Seahawks, vs. Jets (FD $7,600/DK $6,900)
The Jets won’t shadow him with Sauce Gardner, but expect them to roll coverage in his direction.
Michael Pittman Jr. WR, Colts, at Giants (FD $7,200/DK $6,200)
Last week made the short-lived Matt Ryan Era look like the salad days. Outside of paltry production, the lack of downfield attempts by the Colts as a whole with Nick Foles at QB was troubling.
Insanity’s Daily Duel
Slate: Sun main (13 games)
Type: $20 tourney
Top prize: $1M
QB — Justin Fields (Chi, at Det) $7,900)
RB — D’Andre Swift (Det, vs. Chi) $5,300
RB — Khalil Herbert (Chi, at Det) $4,000
WR — Amon-Ra St. Brown (Det, vs. Chi) $7,800
WR — Isaiah Hodgins (NYG, vs. Ind) $4,500
WR — Drake London (Atl, vs. Ari) $4,900
TE — George Kittle (SF, at LV) $5,900
Flex — AJ Dillon (GB, vs. Min) $5,800
DST — Giants (NYG, vs. Ind.) $3,900
QB — Tom Brady (TB, vs. Carr) $6,100
RB — Travis Etienne (Jac, at Hou) $6,400
RB — Brian Robinson (Was, vs. Cle) $5,200
WR — Chris Godwin (TB, vs. Car) $4,300
WR — Drake London (Atl, vs. Ari) $4,900
WR — Jaylen Waddle (Mia, at NE) $7,500
TE — Evan Engram (Jac, at Hou) $4,400
Flex — Cam Akers (LAR, at LAC) $6,100
DST — Patriots (NE, vs. Mia) $2,600
Season risked: $148
Season wins: Jared $95, Drew $27