There comes a point in 2020 where you have to stop believing things you saw in 2019 over things you're seeing in 2020. The difficulty is knowing when that is.
For guys like Mark Andrews it's difficult, because he plays tight end, and we know what a wasteland that position is. But he does he even stand out in that wasteland? D.J. Chark stood out in Week 9, but it's probably worth asking whether one enormous game tells us anything about Chark. He's had enormous games with both Gardner Minshew and Nick Foles under center.
Mark Andrews is no longer a must-start tight end.
While Marquise Brown was the one bellyaching last week, Andrews would have had just as much of a right. Maybe more. Sunday was his sixth game out of eight with three or fewer catches. He still hasn't reached 60 yards in a game this season. It's hard to sit Andrews because of what he did last year and the fact that he already has a pair of games with two touchdowns. But even at tight end, his resume in no loner must-start.
Verdict: Believe it.
To be clear, I'm not saying you have to sit Andrews. As far as the touchdown-or-bust option goes, he's elite... but he's not must-start. And there were signs of this potential issue last year. He only had more than four catches once in his final five games and he was held below 55 yards in four of his final five. The hope was that the Ravens would throw more and Andrews' touchdown regression would be masked by an increase in volume. We're far enough into the season to accept that isn't happening. I'm not dropping Andrews, but I'm not opposed to starting a streamer over him in the right matchup either.
D.J. Chark is a top-24 wide receiver again.
It didn't take long for D.J. Chark to introduce himself to Jake Luton. Luton's first throw of the game went for a 73-yard touchdown to the third-year wide receiver, and in a snap, Fantasy managers felt better. Chark saw 11 more targets in the game and finished with seven catches for 146 yards. Jacksonville was hoping the switch to Luton would spark the downfield passing game, and at least for one game it seemed to work.
Verdict: Don't believe it.
Not yet, anyway. The first game with Luton was very encouraging, but this is nothing new for Chark. He showed this kind of ability with Gardner Minshew, including his Week 4 performance with eight grabs for 95 yards and two scores. What we need to see is consistent targets and at least semi-consistent production. Chark will have a great chance to build toward that in Week 10 against the Packers, but I wouldn't blame you for selling based off this performance.
John Brown is back and Cole Beasley is droppable.
A frustrating month and a half for John Brown came to a close in Week 9. He caught eight of 11 targets for 99 yards and displayed his trademark speed on multiple occasions. That's great news for Josh Allen and the Bills, but it may spell the end of Cole Beasley's Fantasy relevance. Beasley only saw three targets and now has five over his past two games. Brown can be started as a No. 3 receiver and Beasley can be dropped.
Verdict: Believe it.
This was the first time Brown has looked like himself since Week 2. And if you'll remember, he had 10 catches for 152 yards and two touchdowns in the first two weeks of the season. The presence of Stefon Diggs means Brown won't be a consistent top-20 option, but he has enough upside each week to start as a high-end No. 3.
Beasley has only topped 60 yards once in the six games Brown has played. As a desperation flex, you could do worse, but Beasley looks like a flex at best and Gabriel Davis isn't far behind him. As long as Diggs and Brown are both healthy, Beasley belongs on the waiver wire.
Justin Jefferson is a problem for Adam Thielen.
Things went pretty great for the Vikings on Sunday. They scored 34 points, beat the Lions by two scores and Dalvin Cook went over 250 total yards. Even Kirk Cousins threw three touchdown passes. But he only threw 20 total passes, which meant Adam Thielen only saw five targets. That was enough to lead the team in targets, but Thielen finished fourth on the team in receiving yards and scored just 5.8 PPR Fantasy points. The presence of Justin Jefferson as a legitimate second weapon means Thielen isn't guaranteed 30% of the team's targets, and thatt means a lot more games like this when the Vikings have a lead.
Verdict: Believe it.
This was the fourth straight game for Thielen with five targets or fewer. In fact, since Jefferson emerged in Week 3, Thielen was averaging seven targets per game with the rookie right behind him at 6.3. Even at seven targets per game, Thielen would average close to 60 yards per game at his career efficiency.
Despite the fact that the Vikings defense is worse than they'd hoped, they're still fighting to maintain their low pass volume. In this offense, you can't be an elite Fantasy receiver without an elite target share. Jefferson is simply too good for Thielen to receive that target share. He's a fine No. 2 receiver, but he has plenty of disappointing games remaining
David Montgomery is a flex at best rest of season.
Some of you were probably already here but were so enamored by Montgomery's volume that I was willing to overlook his atrocious efficiency. That got more difficult on Sunday. Montgomery turned 14 carries into 30 rushing yards and caught three balls for 12 yards. And it's not as if the Titans have been an exceptional run defense. They entered the week tied with the Cowboys, allowing 20 Fantasy points per game to the position. It's time to accept Montgomery won't have the yards or the touchdowns to be a top-25 running back.
Verdict: Don't Believe it.
The Bears offensive line has been bad all season but they lost starters to both injury and Covid in Week 9. They were starting their third-string center and only had two of their "starters" healthy. While I don't expect Montgomery will be efficient, it won't often be this bad.
Assuming he's healthy (Montgomery left Week 9 early), his remaining schedule is about as good as it gets. He has remaining games against the Packers (twice), Vikings (twice), Lions, Texans, and Jaguars. He's shown a solid PPR floor or 11 Fantasy points before Week 9, and he should have more upside with this schedule. As long as he's healthy, I'll keep starting Montgomery.