We’re already a whole half of a season down. Absolutely mind-boggling. You can watch as the season quickly slips by, reveling in your decision to pick the lone surviving and healthy running back taken in the top ten picks (is it Ezekiel Elliott?), or just enjoy the sheer star ascension for players like Ceedee Lamb and Ja’marr Chase. What an absolute bonkers season we are having, just a year removed from an insane first season dealing with COVID. Let’s take a dive into the five biggest things that caught my attention this week!
A Star is Born! His name is Deebo
Deebo Samuel is just another player that can be uttered when thinking of all the youth in the NFL on an incredible trajectory to stardom. Samuel has been on a scorching hot rocket to the top of the league with almost no preseason fanfare expecting that. Deebo put on an absolute show Monday evening, wrapping up all five of his targets for 97 yards, while also being the Niners’ BEST running back on the field throughout the game. Deebo is dynamic, can pull defenses in by playing well near the line as a rusher, while also averaging over 19 yards per reception this season, an absolutely astounding number. This is currently sitting at the fourth-highest average, eclipsed only by Bryan Edwards, Henry Ruggs, and Ja’Marr Chase. After being named the NFC player of the week, it seemed the best thing to do was run through some clips and highlights of Deebo, as I’m still in awe someone with this game-changing capability slipped into the second round of the NFL draft. His stat line thus far this season is absolutely amazing, and may only be beaten out by Cooper Kupp thus far.
Deebo Samuels’ 2021: 9 games started, 86 targets, 54 receptions, 979 yards, 5 TD’s | 11 rushes, 58 yards, 2 TD’s
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) November 16, 2021
Star Quarterbacks and their mixed results
What’s a little less exciting than watching Deebo Samuel going Bolt status on teams is the quarterback conundrum some are facing this year, in fantasy. Two of the league’s best quarterbacks have had pretty low expectations since arriving on their respective new teams, and have completely blown the doors off their respective barns (Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford). On the other side of the proverbial coin, we watch as some star quarterbacks deal with dips in their production due either to injury (Kyler Murray or Russell Wilson), inability to capitalize on former offensive schemes (Patrick Mahomes), or your immunization wore off (Aaron Rodgers). With that in mind, the rest of the season may end up playing out like a game of Russian roulette peppered with football-sized bullets. Do we roll with Russell Wilson and his bum finger over less exciting but more consistent options (like Kirk Cousins…I did this in one league.) Do we attempt to get out of our worries and roll with our stud quarterbacks, or take it a step down “Cute Highway” and try for the upside of someone like Tua Tagavailoa or Joe Burrow? What an absolutely insane season so far, and the microcosm of a quarterback couldn’t sum it up better.
The Rams are also chameleons
The Los Angeles Rams have been on a mission for the past two seasons, as they continue to kick cans down the road while refusing to draft first-round picks. That won’t change again next season, as they traded future early picks to get Von Miller on their defense (a second and third round 2022 package for him). Odell Beckham Jr. must have been excited, as he passed through waivers, and chose the Rams as his offense of choice to line up in, signing to a deal the same day that Robert Woods tore his ACL at practice. Looking through the current Rams roster is a who’s who of players most mild NFL fans would know. So what gives when your team comes into a Monday Night Football matchup against down and out San Fransisco and gets the taste smacked right out of their mouth? Are these Rams really chameleons, morphing into another team we really didn’t know, right in front of our very eyes? I know the Matthew Stafford for the Jared Goff deal is looking like an absolute steal, regardless of what the draft picks end up shaking out like for Detroit. The details follow:
Los Angeles Rams traded:
2021 3rd Round Pick
2022 1st Round Pick
2023 1st Round Pick
While Matthew Stafford to Cooper Kupp is an absolute force of a duo, the real question is after watching the Niners deflate the Lions like a children’s party balloon, how does this team recover? Do they step up in the face of adversity, or does the diva nature of some of their star-studded lineup leave them roadblocks galore? I for one am excited to see the answer.
The star status of Rhamondre Stevenson in New England may finally be something we can’t avoid any longer. After just a week removed from both Stevenson and Damien Harris facing head injuries that left both their week 10’s in doubt, Rhamondre took off like an unleashed bull in a Browns’ decorated china shop. Rhamondre may just have a week to be the true number one rusher in New England, as Damien Harris is already removed from the injury report at the time of writing this, but it’s still entirely possible with the injuries ravaging good NFL squads (we’re still awaiting a tandem duo like Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb to be employed elsewhere), we see the Patriots use both Harris and Stevenson as a way to remedy the injuries likely created from overworked running backs. Stevenson’s line against the Browns was wonderful and leads us to realize maybe his preseason renaissance wasn’t just a byproduct of weaker opponents and third-string hopefuls in his way.
Rhamondre Stevenson vs. Cleveland, Week 10: 20 rushes, 100 yards, 2 TD’s | 5 targets, 4 receptions, 14 yards
Wow. Out of a backfield that has seemed to be able to produce talent out of anyone who lines up behind center, it’s hard to deny that this backfield could be a total headache now that Harris is coming back, but with the upside, this offense is finally showing, and with the talent that both Harris AND Stevenson have shown, I’d be inclined to use both as we go into playoff season in hopes that one will gain the yardage, and the other will vulture the TDs.
It’s Rhamondre Stevenson’s world pic.twitter.com/lfniTpcZP4
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) November 14, 2021
Tom Not So Terrific
Yeah, we’re going to do it again. We’re going to question if the true football GOAT has finally reached the end, the wheels have fallen off the train, the plane is going to have a tough time finding the tarmac, only to look like complete idiots in a week. Still feel like we have to discuss it. Tom Brady looked borderline pedestrian on Sunday, as the Washington Redskins pulled out the unexpected upset, making Tom look almost human at times, and questioning if the injury absorbed Buccaneers can survive consistent weeks of busted Antonio Brown, the shattered remains of Rob Gronkowski, and any other injuries that may lay in their path towards the Super Bowl. The offense was churning at an absolutely scorching rate, but when your second healthy option is downsized to Tyler Johnson, humbled happens really quickly. The Redskins won the game Sunday, but losing Chase Young may be far more important to that franchise than anything else, as all the energy used to beat out the Bucs lead to the loss of their cornerstone defenseman. Brady’s line was Jared Goff’esque and spoke to a lack of healthy options and a quarterback who clearly needs his best options around to be content.
Week 10 @ Washington: 23/34, 220 yards, 2 TD’s, 2 INT’s
It’s more than likely this is a minor blip as we watch the Buccaneers get healthy for a playoff run, but either way, sometimes it’s fun to speculate on where we see the GOAT finally roll down the hill.
–Matthew Bevins (Reddit:TheLongSpring/Twitter:MattQBList)
(Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire)