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Warning Signs: Stefon Diggs, Le'Veon Bell, Baker Mayfield


Another week, another surprising loss. At least this one did not take place on American soil. The Raiders took down the Bears in London, proving no one really knows what is going to happen any given week in the NFL. It also looks like there really is no dominant team in the NFC. This works for me as my Saints keep rolling. If they can do this until Drew Brees returns, they will be the team to beat. Especially if they get home-field advantage.

Houston continued their rollercoaster season, dropping 50 on the Falcons one week after playing like, well like the Falcons, just a week prior. The only thing we know for certain this season: Christian McCaffrey is unreal. Oh, and the Redskins still stink.

So, let’s now look at some things we need to be concerned about after this week’s games.

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Baker Mayfield Has Caused Fantasy Heartache

It was thought with the ascension of the Browns that Baker Mayfield could become a ~top five quarterback for fantasy. Unfortunately, the Browns are gonna Brown.

The season for Cleveland has not gone the way anyone expected it. The offense has been in shambles, and the defense - especially the secondary - has been disappointing.

With the addition of Odell Beckham Jr., all things were set to explode. Unfortunately, the explosion is an uncontrolled burn which has actually set Baker and the rest of the team back.

Through five games, Mayfield has four touchdowns compared to eight interceptions. In a must win game Monday night against the 49ers, Mayfield completed only eight of 22 passes for 100 yards. For those of you keeping track, this is zero fantasy points.

As high as people were taking him in drafts, it is difficult to say this but, this is a bad situation. Freddy Kitchens is set to be a one-and-done head coach and he is taking Baker down with him. Sure, the train could get turned around. But we don’t have the time to wait.

The best thing we can do at this point is to move on from Mayfield for a streaming option. Whether you want to or not, it is time to bail on the Browns quarterback and save your season. Or at least try to save it.

 

Le'Veon Bell Has Poor Supporting Cast

He is, right now, the only solid contributor on the Jets. This is not saying much as the Jets have been terrible. But he cannot do it alone - he never could.

Bell is a good running back. No one can dispute this fact. He has been a bell cow back since coming into the league and continues to be this season. But he needs a good team surrounding him to be fully explosive. This is something he had in Pittsburgh but clearly doesn’t after weaseling his way to New York.

In four games this season, Bell has 71 rushes for an average of 2.9 yards per carry and no touchdowns. While he has added one touchdown on 27 receptions, this is not the season fans expected from him. Nor the season many who drafted him were hoping for. He is not the same back after missing 2018 and it has shown in his early production. This could change as Sam Darnold gets back on the field in Week 6, but we have to wait and see.

There is no way you are going to drop Bell, or any starting NFL running back. There is also no way to trade him as the value is not there. But he should not be looked at in the same light as he was in previous seasons. Much like Todd Gurley in Los Angeles, he has enough talent to remain an RB2 despite the lackluster performances. But the top five upside appears to be gone from his range of outcomes. As long as you are willing to accept this and have a strong surrounding cast, he will make a great RB 2. But if you are counting on him as anything more? Well, you have been warned.

 

Stefon Diggs Has Become An Afterthought

There are two thoughts when it comes to Diggs. Why are the Vikings willing to pay him so much money and not use him? And what has he done behind the scenes to deserve it? Neither of these questions can be answered by anyone outside the coaching staff. But both lead us to the same conclusion - he needs to be dropped. Right?

Kirk Cousins is not a great quarterback and Dalvin Cook is a great running back when healthy. These facts have led to the season we are seeing in Minnesota in 2019. After putting together a complete game on Sunday, using both the run game and pass game, this may change a bit. But this will not matter for Diggs who, at this point, is clearly the number two behind Adam Thielen. It was Thielen, not Diggs who saw the increased workload when push came to shove in this game. With seven receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns, Thielen was fed early and often. Thank goodness for his owners. But this does nothing to squash the concerns of Diggs owners who are still in a wait-and-see mode after only garnering two catches.

Of course, I'll understood if you don’t want to drop Diggs for someone on the waiver wire with far less talent. If he gets traded, he could provide impact on a new team. But the Vikings have said he isn’t being traded. Sure, we have heard this before from teams. But if it is true, do you really want to waste a bench spot the rest of the season? If you do for a few weeks, okay. But you should cut bait sooner rather than later if you want to stay competitive in your leagues. And this is what it is all about, isn’t it?

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