Sunday Scaries: Week 1
Over the last few years, jobs that required work outside of contract hours in order to prepare for Monday would often fall victim to the "Sunday Scaries"-- anxiety or worry that not enough preparation was made in time for Monday. Instead, however, this NFL season I'll offer Sunday slate Match-ups that I'm "Scared" to take a side, reasoning through why the TopProps contests I've chosen are more difficult to choose than meets the eye. I'll still make a Pick for the Contest, but identifying difficult contests may prove a profitable strategy.
If you've Never Played TopProp Fantasy, it's really easy to do. Download the app, use Promo Code BEST, and begin swiping left or right to create a contest. Once another user chooses that same contest, but instead selects the player you didn't select, the matchup begins.
Most Matchups will include bonus points- Like Kyler Murray+2 Vs. Lamar Jackson.
This means that Lamar Jackson has to score more than 2 fantasy points over Kyler Murray to win the contest. Who will have the "Top Prop"?
Kyler Murray+2 Vs. Lamar Jackson
In the last two seasons, Kyler Murray has outscored Lamar Jackson in total points and points per game. While both possess rushing upside, Murray has thrown for over 11,400 yards and 70 passing touchdowns in 46 games during the last 3 years; compare that to Lamar Jackson, who has only thrown 8,760 yards but has thrown for 78 passing TDs in 42 total games.
Zooming in instead and focusing on the Sunday matchups, Murray faces a Kansas City offense led by Patrick Mahomes which will look to stretch the field at a fast pace and could quickly turn into a shootout. With DraftKings Sportsbook identifying the Chiefs/Cardinals Matchup with the highest O/U 54 for Week 1, it's hard to pass up free points from Kyler. However, Lamar Jackson matches up with the NYJ whom PFF projects as a +14% Run Block Advantage in favor of Baltimore.
With JK Dobbins officially questionable, and mere veteran depth pieces at running back in Mike Davis and Kenyan Drake, Lamar Jackson has a favorable matchup both running and passing the ball to Mark Andrews, whom PFF also identified with a 26% matchup advantage in favor of the Baltimore Tight End.
Final Pick: Kyler Murray+2. Free Points in a Matchup that could go nuclear? Count me in.
Jalen Hurts Vs. Trey Lance +3
We know what Jalen Hurts is: a Consistent QB1 with the overall QB1 ceiling within his range of outcomes. What we don't know, yet, is what Trey Lance brings to San Francisco. In Lance's limited sample during 2021, he finished as QB10 during his most recent start. However, Lance has prepared all offseason with Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle along with learning how to manage an offense that can feature Lance's rushing ability. Lance had three separate games with 31+ rushing yards, despite only starting two games. Lance's Offensive Line projects to have a 24% advantage over Chicago's D-Line, per PFF, along with Deebo's WR Matchup rated as an Excellent 93.1/100-- third highest among all WRs. However, George Kittle is legitimately Questionable for Sunday.
Final Pick: Jalen Hurts. even with +3 and a strong matchup for Lance, AJ Brown's wide receiver matchup vs. Detroit CBs ranks as the most advantageous by a significant margin, Goedert's TE matchup ranks as third most advantageous, and the Eagles' Running game is projected at 62% advantageous over Detroit-- by far the highest of any matchup. Hurts is what Trey Lance will aspire to, and perhaps achieve later this season/career, as a fantasy asset.
Saquon Barkley +5 vs. Derrick Henry
This is a massive spread involving two elite running back talents. Talk about being scared to make a choice here. Last year, before the high-ankle sprain, Saquon Barkley scored 18.4 and 27.1 half-PPR points in two full games after recovering from his ACL tear. There are signs of upside. However, Derrick Henry carried the rock 28+ times in six of eight regular season matchups, along with three games of 3 touchdowns. While Tennessee may have a 15% rushing advantage in the trenches, I wonder whether Henry's workload may be decreased to 23-25 carries per game instead of 28-33 carries per game. Henry produces on massive volume-- which is now more fragile for a running back coming off a foot injury requiring surgery and five screws in his foot.
Final Pick: Derrick Henry. +5 for Barkley is extremely difficult to pass up, but King Henry is healthy now and looks to reign during Week 1 of the 2022 NFL Season.