Season Killers: Lessons Learned From Week 8 In Fantasy Football

Wai Sallas

While young and old alike trot into the brisk fall evening in search of Halloween candy, many of Mexican decent will remember lost friends and family as part of the Day of the Dead. Celebration and commiseration will intertwine over the three-day period. Many fantasy football owners revel–to a lesser extent–with the same juxtaposition of joy and pain.

To commemorate the Day of the Dead, this week’s Lesson’s Learned focuses on those who have wronged our fantasy football season. The selfish, entitled, no-good, can’t-convert-a-3rd-and-goal-to-save-his-life tortuous players who have killed our fantasy football season.

David Johnson

One could make the argument that Johnson’s ineffectiveness has nothing to do with him, but rather a freak injury that derailed Arizona’s season. You know what else that wrist injury did? It killed your fantasy season before the second half of the first game. No amateur should tell an All-Pro Running Back how to play football, but don’t fumble. If you fail in not fumbling, then don’t try and be a hero and tackle the guy. You play offense.

Take notes on how Ezekiel Elliot defended this interception.

Whether it was the play before where Carson Palmer floated a pass to Johnson in between two defenders who sandwiched him more aggressively than the Butabi Brothers in Night at the Roxbury, or the fumble, Johnson’s injury left many fantasy owners…well…beyond consolation.

Jay Ajayi

While Johnson’s injury is to blame for your fantasy team’s murder, Ajayi has been more psychotic with his slaying. After a breakout year in 2016, Ajayi was a first/second round selection for many expecting an even better result this year. Ajayi has rewarded his fantasy owners with a performance that would make even Hannibal Lecter proud. No running back has had as many carries without a touchdown as Ajayi. He has the fifth most carries out of any running back in the NFL this year, yet is 19th in red zone carries.

If Ajayi was a candy on Halloween, he’d be candy corn. You can find it anywhere, but you would rather eat literally any other candy than shove that plastic sugar triangle down your gullet. He gets the volume so you have to start him, he’s rushed over 120 yards in two out of seven games. Yet Minnesota’s CJ Ham has more touchdowns than Ajayi, and he’s rushed the ball a total of TWO times this year.

Jay Ajayi is death by a thousand paper cuts. Congrats, you psychopath.

Julio Jones & Matt Ryan

Jones and Ryan had career years last year. Many expected the same with the entire offense returning. Both Jones and Ryan were more than likely the second player taken in their respected positions in fantasy drafts. Both have failed to live up to the expectations given their average draft position. Jones has scored double digits in only two games this year.

His only touchdown was symbolic of his usage this year. In one moment he displayed his all-world talent, snatching away a surefire interception for a touchdown. The score, however was in garbage time with the game out of reach in New England. He’s ranked 22nd at wide receiver in fantasy this season.

Ryan has also been a dumpster fire. He’s currently ranked 21st at quarterback. He’s had as many games where he has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns as he has had multiple touchdown games. Only once has Ryan thrown for over 300 yards this year.

Jones and Ryan are part of a bigger problem. They are subjects in one of the most vanilla play callers of the century. Steve Sarkisian is so predictable and risk averted, he only eats oatmeal and raisin cookies–for the health benefits. “Sark” has always been a run-first coordinator and his first year in Atlanta is no different. He loves all runs; draws, dives, tosses…even jet sweeps on fourth and goal from the one-yard line.

Former Ohio State Head Coach Woody Hayes coined the term “Three yards and a cloud of dust.” Rumors are that Sarkisian carries dirt in his back pocket since the commodity is sparse in the NFL these days to mimic the bland, unexciting football that once ruled the 60s and 70s. Never mind he has one of the most elite wide receivers sitting there on the outside like Mark Sanchez.

Jones, Ryan and Sarkisian are the worst.

Amari Cooper

Terrelle Pryor, Sr. deserves a lot of ire from fantasy football owners given his lack of production. Things are so bad that people might change the term ghosting–which refers to abandoning a date, mid-date–to Pryoring. The Washington wide receiver has disappeared from the offense and shouldn’t even be discussed in fantasy terms….ever.

Cooper is the choice here, however because outside of his 210-yard, two touchdown performance, Cooper has been pedestrian at best. A second/third round pick, Cooper had three games with less than 10 yards receiving.  Outside of that 210-yard night, Cooper has yet to go over 65 yards receiving in any of the Raiders’ eight games this season. Throw out that game against Kansas City and he’s averaging less than 28 yards per game.

He started the year by dropping more balls than Times Square and now he’s reinvigorated a bunch of fantasy players who thought he had broken though, only to watch him turn 10 targets into five catches for 48 yards in Week 8.

You’re gonna keep starting him because Cooper is the siren who lures you in with her beautiful size, strength and athletic ability only to stab you multiple times with a thumb tack.

Aaron Rodgers

Mr. Reliable gave us five weeks of pure unadulterated bliss. Gone in an instant. Like a bad gambling beat in Vegas, or when the lights turn on at last call and you see what that person you’ve spent all night talking to really looks like, reality can be a real kick in the pants.

One can only hope that Rodgers led you to a positive record through the first five weeks and you picked up Josh McCown to continue to row the boat.

Cheryl Crow once said what Cat Stevens once said earlier, “The first cut is the deepest” and Rodgers injury is one that will stick with a lot of fantasy owners.

Rest In Peace Aaron Rodgers and your 2017 Fantasy Football Season.