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Warning Signs: Zach Ertz, David Johnson, Mitch Trubisky


Week 7 brought some new warnings our way. The Bears stink, or maybe just Mitch Trubisky. Todd Gurley still can’t get it going despite a dominant team performance. Finally, as has become a regular routine at this point, Will Fuller has another hamstring injury.

So, what do we really need to pay attention to going forward for the rest of the season? Well, that is where this article comes in to play. Let us again, take a look at some of those headlines you really need to pay attention to, and which ones are just clickbait.

Is there a quarterback controversy brewing for the Saints? Will Ryan Tannehill lead the Titans to the pinnacle of greatness? Or at least a playoff berth? You will just have to keep reading to find out for yourself. Ok, I will save you some suspense. Neither of these things are happening. But please keep reading anyway. Please.

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Mitch Trubisky Is In The Wrong System

We knew he was raw coming into the league. Yet, because of that word, he was still taken number two in the draft, ahead of players like Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. The word I am speaking of is of course potential.

Potential or not, why would you take the second-best quarterback in his own college conference let alone the NFL draft at number two? Because it is the Bears, they panicked, and now they are paying the price. Trubisky does not fit into the Matt Nagy offense. He did not like him when he was in Kansas City. Yet, when he wanted the head job in Chicago, he fell in love. Funny how that works. Or in this case, it doesn’t work.

I am not saying Trubisky is a bad player. Everyone else has already said as much, as has a lot of his play since being drafted. He is not in the right offense, and his arm is not what the Bears had hoped it would be. Things have been made worse however by how slow his progression has been.

If you drafted Trubisky for fantasy hoping the Chicago offense was going to click this season then I am truly sorry. This is a defensive team, which is fine for some teams and some quarterbacks to succeed for fantasy still, but not the Bears. They have a lack of true weapons on their offense. Tarik Cohen has been phased into oblivion and David Montgomery is not getting the usage he needs. The offensive line, once a strength is now becoming a hindrance. Things do not look to be getting better anytime soon. Green Bay and Minnesota are seemingly back as forces to be reckoned with, and even Detroit is a pesky team in 2019.

If you have Trubisky? Drop him and chase after another quarterback. One whose ceiling is higher than his floor.

 

David Johnson Dealing With Injury... and Chase Edmonds

The air raid offense is going to be awesome for David Johnson, and in a way, it already has been. Before disappointing everyone this weekend, Johnson was the RB5 on the season. But with his back ailing him, more work will continue to be filtered to Chase Edmonds. The committee back approach may work for some teams - but with both of these players having the same skill set, they will eat into the other for the remainder of the season.

Edmonds looks better right now in all honesty. He has been more explosive, with three touchdown runs, all over 20 yards, the Cardinals will not rush Johnson back from his injury if Edmonds is playing well. This means a top-five running back in the first half of the season could easily become barely a top-20 back by season's end.

If you have Johnson, you are not dropping him. This would be a big over-reaction. But you had better own Edmonds as well. Otherwise, pain might be the word of the day for your team going forward.

 

Zach Ertz Is Seeing Less Volume

While Ertz may still finish as a top-five tight end this season, it is likely to still be a disappointing year. This is not only due to the lackluster season by the Eagles offense, but also because of the unrealistic expectations many put on him based on last season.

Before last season, Zach Ertz was never a high touchdown guy. After scoring eight last season on his 156 targets, people said the same was coming again. But why? His 156 targets were a record for a tight end - records are not broken every year. So, regression had to come or at least be somewhat expected. Yet we are still upset when it happened.

But this season is not just regression. There is also another reason to worry. That reason is Dallas Goedert, the other tight end in Philly. He has garnered more and more snaps as the season has progressed. In his last three games, he has been on the field for over 70% of the offensive snaps - he is also being used. In the ugly game on Sunday, Goedert was the only player for Philadelphia to score a touchdown. This was despite a costly fumble earlier in the game.

In seven games in 2019, Ertz has 35 receptions for 404 yards and one touchdown on 59 targets. This means not only are his touchdown numbers way down, but he is on pace for 30 less targets as well. These are not good signs for him or the Eagles. He still has the name and there should be some trade value for him. If you can sell his name for an RB or WR2, this could make your team a lot stronger moving towards playoff time. So, look into it. You would be a lot happier.

 

The Atlanta Conundrum

Julio Jones: Is he still a top-three NFL wide receiver? Yes. But with the trash surrounding him in Atlanta this season, it has taken a toll on Jones. He should continue to give you serviceable weeks regardless of who the QB is, but week-winning games are perhaps unlikely. And with the draft capital you likely spent on him, this is looking like a fantasy disappointment. But hey, at least he got paid.

Matt Ryan has been a solid performer this season at the quarterback position. Before putting up just three fantasy points this weekend, he was the number one overall. If the rumor is true, and he is injured, it falls to another Matt to bring relevance to the offense. However, the other Matt is Matt Schaub. Not exactly the same is it?

Austin Hooper has had a breakout season in Atlanta. As the TE3 thus far, he is finally producing what we had hoped last season. But he is the only person living up to his billing in 2019, and things might be looking bleak if Ryan is out an extended period of time.

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