In terms of the past few weeks, Week 8 didn't feel all that wacky. We only had two teams on a bye, we didn't have a bunch of catastrophic injuries. We didn't even have that many busts. If there was a theme, it may have been a few breakout performances from the rookies. Well, that, and the Jets being awesome. and out first Believe It or Not fits with both of those themes.
Michael Carter will be the second-best rookie RB in PPR rest of season
The Case: No offense to Mike White, but it was Carter's performance that Fantasy managers are going to be more inclined to believe. It was the second consecutive week for Carter leading the Jets in targets, and his second game in a row at a 70% snap share.
Carter has clearly become the lead back in New York and White's reliance on his running backs in the passing game makes Carter a no-doubt, must-start running back in full PPR. It's also going to make him better than all the rookie running backs not named Najee Harris rest of season.
The Verdict: Believe it.
So many of the rookies we're counting on right now, we really don't know if we can count on rest of season. Chuba Hubbard and Khalil Herbert have starters coming back for their jobs at some point, and Javonte Williams still hasn't been able to wrestle the job away from Melvin Gordon. In fact, we don't have much reason to believe he will in the near future.
That leaves Carter and Elijah Mitchell, hence the PPR distinction. And it's a big one. Carter has seen 23 targets over the Jets past two games. Mitchell has seen four for the season. While there is no guarantee Carter's target share stays high when Zach Wilson returns, we may be a month away from seeing Wilson in live action. And White's Week 8 performance may permanently derail any plan of starting Joe Flacco.
Start Carter with confidence in Week 9 against the Colts.
Let’s run some Week 8 Believe It or Not. May add one after these games wrap up.— Heath Cummings (@heathcummingssr) October 31, 2021
Michael Carter is the second-best rookie running back in PPR rest of season.
Pat Freiermuth is a top-12 TE rest of season
The Case: Heading into Monday Night Football, Freiermuth is the No. 3 tight end for Week 8 with four catches for 44 yards, and a touchdown. That's a reminder of just how dreadful this position is. Like Carter in Week 7, Freiermuth came off the bye and played his best game of his short career, including a career-high 78% snap share.
But he wasn't bad before the bye either, catching all seven of his Week 6 targets for 58 yards. That' back-to-back weeks with seven targets. And they just so happen to be the two games the team has played without JuJu Smith-Schuster. The rookie tight end is absorbing some of those short area targets from Smith-Schuster and should see enough volume in the second half to be a starting-caliber tight end.
The Verdict: Don't believe it.
I don't think it's that hard to find 12 tight ends you like more than Freiermuth. Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, Mark Andrews, George Kittle, Dalton Schultz, T.J. Hockenson, Kyle Pitts, and Dallas Goedert all seem like easy choices. I'd also take Noah Fant, Mike Gesicki and Dawson Knox when he returns. Logan Thomas shouldn't be too far away and it's hard for me to separate Freiermuth from Dan Arnold, Tyler Higbee, and a handful of other tight ends.
Freiermuth looks like a fine, touchdown-dependent streamer. But considering his team has one game this season with multiple passing touchdowns, there are plenty of other guys I'd rather bet on during a given week.
Pat Freiermuth is a top-12 tight end rest of season.— Heath Cummings (@heathcummingssr) October 31, 2021
Justin Fields needs to be stashed universally again
The Case: It took a while, but in Week 8 Fields finally started to show flashes of what could make him special as a Fantasy quarterback. The rookie ran for 103 yards and a touchdown, including one of the most exciting runs of the 2021 season. He also completed 70% of his passes and threw for another 175 yards and a score.
The 27-point outburst has him ranked as the No. 5 quarterback for Week 8 heading into Monday Night Football. That performance, and Fields' potential upside, should have him headed back on to Fantasy rosters everywhere when we get to waivers later in the week.
The Verdict: Don't believe it.
The simple answer is that the Bears' three-week outlook goes Steelers, bye week, Ravens. I do not believe this will be the last chance you have to add Fields. If I have an extra roster spot after the waiver run, I'm happy to try to hold him for the next month, but I'm not making it a priority. You're probably not going to think about using him until Thanksgiving, against the Lions. And he needs to show something against the Steelers or Ravens to justify that.
Justin Fields needs to be stashed universally again.— Heath Cummings (@heathcummingssr) October 31, 2021
Sit all your Jaguars until James Robinson returns
The Case: The lone bright spot in Jacksonville has been the play of Robinson, who left Week 8 with a bruised heel. We don't yet have any idea how long Robinson will be out, but his departure is only going to make this offense even more anemic. You should do your best to avoid the entire offense until Robinson returns.
The Verdict: Believe it.
Normally, we'd be rushing to the waiver wire to add Carlos Hyde, Robinson's replacement. And Hyde did have six catches in Week 8 after Robinson left. he also had two catches on the season coming into the week. But Hyde has also been far less efficient with his touches than Robinson and the Jaguars play Buffalo in Week 9, which makes the idea of starting Hyde even more disturbing. And if you aren't starting him I'm not sure why you're using your FAAB to pick him up.
The one Jaguar I'd be most interested in starting moving forward is Dan Arnold, and even he should be a sit against the Bills.
Sit all Jaguars until James Robinson returns.— Heath Cummings (@heathcummingssr) October 31, 2021
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