Daniel Dopp, Liz Loza and DJ Gallo talk life, fantasy football, pop culture and everything in between in a new weekly "fantasy improv" column, which runs every Friday throughout the NFL season. Joe Kaiser serves as the moderator and attempts to keep things on track.
Liz: I don't know about you guys, but I have some big feelings following the games on Monday and Thursday. A TNF fantasy take feels hollow after watching Tua get carted off the field. His well-being and recovery is, obviously, of primary importance.
And back on Monday, it was tough seeing Sterling Shepard go down. Remember the start of last year? He drew 19 targets (!!!) over the first two weeks and then pulled his hammy in Week 3. After that he was in-and-out of the lineup until tearing his Achilles in Week 15. This go-around he looked healthy and back to being a sneaky high-floor PPR play. To see him carted off on Monday night and learn that he tore his ACL is just gutting.
Daniel: Shepard looked so good, too. You hate to see it happen to anyone, but he has battled through so many injuries in his career, you can't help but feel for the guy.
Liz: Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game. Teams keep playing and make adjustments, and those adjustments have fantasy implication. Our goal in this column is to talk fantasy and to keep things light, so that's what we'll endeavor to do. And on Tuesday, when we started writing, our conversation naturally turned to the Giants.
DJ: Is Kenny Golladay now worth a waiver wire pickup? He's rostered in only 23% of leagues. By the way: 23 is one higher than his receiving yards on the entire season (22). Not ideal!
Daniel: I would not roster Golladay. His hands only know how to secure the bag. Securing footballs is no longer something he does. Seriously though, 4 years, $72 million. Yikes!
DJ: Sounds like someone finally figured out how to change his Kenny Golladay ink into an Amon-Ra St. Brown tattoo.
Daniel: Touché! But seriously, three weeks into the season, is there a better draft day value than Amon-Ra St. Brown?
Liz: Off the top of my head, I was thinking Christian Kirk ... but St. Brown is actually the WR3 overall (Kirk standing tall at WR6). And you two going back and forth is far more entertaining than the first half of that Monday Night game. Woof! But... if there is a bright spot for the Giants it's definitely Saquon, who looked more than just two years younger than Zeke.
DJ: Here in 2022: Year of Awful Running Backs, I really wish Tony Pollard was on a team that featured him as RB1. Maybe someone should tell the Cowboys that just because a guy makes a ton of money, he doesn't have to play all the time. (See: Golladay, Kenny.)
Kaiser: Good to see some running backs standing out, but I'm still thinking of Christian Kirk and those Jags. It's amazing how sometimes one big win can change the whole feel of a franchise. Everything about the Jacksonville Jaguars -- even the helmets and uniforms -- looks and feels a lot better today. I'm about to go buy a Jags hat.
Daniel: Imagine if that team hadn't wasted an entire season of Trevor Lawrence on Urban Meyer? Or if it hadn't drafted Laviska Shenault Jr. in the second round last year, only to not use him and trade him away at the start of this season. So many disasters last year that look like bright spots this year. Trevor looks like he's taking the next step and growing with confidence. Kirk is proving every hater wrong after signing a big $72 million deal this offseason, but how about James Robinson taking the RB1 role away from Travis Etienne Jr.! The dude needs more credit than he's getting because he's been a steal as well.
Liz: I agree with Daniel that Robinson is the mightiest dog of the group. But can we also acknowledge Evan Engram's return to fantasy relevance? The former Giant is currently fantasy's TE14 overall, he's running an average of over 27 routes per game (TE12), and he has recorded nary a drop yet this year.
DJ: I'm just glad we're able to talk about the Jacksonville Jaguars getting touches and it's not about Urban Meyer at a bar.
Liz: DJ FTW!
Kaiser: FTW is right. Wow... Lets go from the former Jags' coach to the current coach, Doug Pederson, who has been quite a story this season. Are there any other teams with new coaches standing out to you in a good or bad way?
DJ: Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas is going even worse than ... Josh McDaniels in Denver. He's 0-3 and already had to have a sit-down with billionaire team owner (and $3 haircut owner) Mark Davis. From a fantasy standpoint, things aren't great either. Derek Carr and Darren Waller are producing about same as they always do, but not any better with McDaniels in town; Davante Adams' production is down; and Josh Jacobs and Hunter Renfrow are close to useless. And this week the Raiders get a Denver defense giving up just 12 points per game. It's starting to look like Josh McDaniels was just a guy fortunate enough to stand near Tom Brady for a long time and get rich because of it. Maybe he can start a club with Bill O'Brien and Charlie Weis.
Kaiser: The lesson here is don't give up 20-point leads to the Cardinals and think it will get past DJ.
Liz: Nathaniel Hackett is living in the upside down of Mike McDaniel. I suppose the excuse for Hackett is that the QB is new to the franchise? Seems like a stretch given both teams' quality of surrounding talent. They both touch the Shanahan coaching tree, though McDaniel is certainly less removed from it than Hackett. Regardless, I do want to give Hackett props for recognizing a problem and attempting to fix it (this is a Jerry Rosburg reference), rather than Mike Zimmer-ing the team into the ground. Self-awareness is wonderful thing. Imagine if Urban Meyer had an ounce of it. And that takes us full circle.
Daniel: Liz stole my answer so I don't have much to add because it's all about how bad the Broncos are.
Kaiser: That Broncos offense has looked really bad, all right, but let's talk about rookies. Garrett Wilson, Drake London, Chris Olave and even Jahan Dotson have all impressed, but what about players not drafted in the first or second rounds. Who has surprised you so far?
Liz: Can we talk about Romeo Doubs? Mike Clay does an excellent (and accurate) job of reminding us to invest in first-round rookies, citing the high odds of their immediate ROI. But, as y'all probably know by now, I love an underdog. So I'm thrilled when a mid- or late-round guy pops in both fantasy and IRL. Right now Doubs is The Moment. Even as a Bears fan, Doubs' ascent has me smiling. And it makes so much sense! I never believed the Christian Watson hype. There was no way a 38-year-old Aaron Rodgers was going to have the patience to develop chemistry with a player whose biggest problem was his hands.
Noting that Doubs, whose snap share jumped by over 50% last week in the stead of Sammy Watkins -- is ranked among the top-five in reception percentage (87.5%) further illuminates his massive growth potential. Admittedly, he's not being trusted with the deep ball just yet (4.6 aDOT, WR91) but Rodgers has peppered him in the red zone (four looks, WR16). I believe all of this is a sign of mostly good things to come. The rookie out of Nevada is still available in 68% of ESPN fantasy leagues. He's working his way into flex territory, and should be there by the time we hit byes.
Daniel: Holy smokes, Lawyer Liz just showed up with her closing arguments and as Juror No. 5, she convinced me with her Romeo Doubs argument. We the jury find Doubs guilty of being a post waiver wire steal here in Week 4. Add him in all of your leagues!
Liz: Imagine my mother's disappointment when I told her I wouldn't be going to law school. (Pst, she's a judge, though she wasn't at the time).
DJ: Liz Loza: Fantasy Football Attorney needs to be an ESPN Plus show by tomorrow.
Follow Liz Loza (@LizLoza_FF), Daniel Dopp (@DanielDopp) and DJ Gallo (@DJGalloETC) on Twitter. Liz Loza and Daniel Dopp's fantasy football rankings appear every week during the season.