Struggling teams, players fantasy managers should stay away from

Matt Harmon and Frank Schwab run through a few teams that seem to be throwing in the towel this season.

Video transcript

MATT HARMON: All right, time to bring in a very serious fellow, Yahoo senior NFL writer Frank Schwab, also, betting behemoth Frank Schwab. Frank, these teams we're talking about today, how do we want to categorize this group of goofballs here? I mean, I during our preshow discussion, you referred to them as the DOA list at one point, in the tank, the tank watch. Basically, these bad teams that might end up, because they're not good, shutting players down, maybe making some business decisions here to end the season, how are we talking about these teams in this one?

FRANK SCHWAB: Yeah, I don't want to say anything bad about our friend from Stanford. So we won't say tank in a bad way. We're not going to be derogatory there. We'll say it's the DOA list. Because these teams have no pulse.

And sometimes it sneaks up on you. Sometimes you're watching the first quarter. And you're like, oh, yeah, the Houston Texans aren't going to play anymore this season. Sometimes it's during the week with some injury decisions they have. But yes, this is the DOA list, teams that are on the danger of just not caring the rest of this season.

MATT HARMON: Yeah. And we kind of surprisingly, although, at this point, it feels obvious. But back at the beginning of the season, we probably wouldn't have expected the Super Bowl champion LA Rams to be on the DOA list, Frank. But here they are. And, man, they're about to roll out like a preseason roster in this week 12 game here.

FRANK SCHWAB: Yeah. If you would have told me before the season that this Rams-Chiefs game, the Rams would be plus I think they're up to 15 and 1/2, I'd say, what in the world has happened in the NFL? But that's where we are with the Rams.

And with them, I think they're going to play hard. But you can kind of see the defense letting down a little bit. They're sick of having the offense go three and out all the time. They're wearing down.

And then offensively, I do think they're going to shut down Matthew Stafford for the rest of the year. Matt's going to try to play, of course. But I don't see really what the point is anymore. Their season is done. They're not going to the playoffs. Cooper Kupp's not coming back.

So basically, anybody in a Rams' uniform that you have in fantasy, you do not want any part of the rest of the year, to say the least. And betting wise too, don't think just because you're getting some points the Rams that it might look pretty. You might really lose some money thinking, oh, yeah, the Rams are going to cover this big spread.

MATT HARMON: Yeah. They're about to be starting like Bryce Perkins, a bunch of random running backs, these wide receivers. I mean, 25 targets to Ben Skowronek this week? That's on the table.

FRANK SCHWAB: Oh, now you might--

MATT HARMON: What else is on the table?

FRANK SCHWAB: Matt, you might get a dead cap bounce. Like there might be a game or two where Bryce Perkins runs. I don't really expect it too often though.

MATT HARMON: Well, one guy who has been running a lot and has run himself into an injury here is Justin Fields with the Chicago Bears. This is certainly a team we knew was not going to be good this year. And I could definitely see them making some business decisions probably already starting this week.

FRANK SCHWAB: Now, here's the thing with the Bears. I don't think they're shutting Justin Fields down for the rest of the season, not like Stafford. We're dealing with multiple concussions, an older guy. Justin Fields, they wanted him to play, I think, this week. I don't think Matt Eberflus was just throwing that out there willy nilly to throw off the Jets, who didn't have to prepare for Trevor Siemian. I really do think they wanted him to play.

But what I think is going to happen with the Bears here is they're going to cut way back on his designed runs. What's the point in him getting beat up over the rest of the season? I believe that they're going to be a little more conservative with him in playing time and in designed runs.

And that means, hey, the Bears' offense isn't going to be as good. Guys like Cole Kmet, David Montgomery, they're not going to be scoring as many touchdowns. The Bears aren't going to be covering as many spreads. So I just think they're going to make a business decision that way, being a little safer with Justin Fields.

MATT HARMON: Hey, I'm so glad we were talking about the Bears right now. Because I can break this while we're on air. Mike Garafolo from the NFL Network just reported that the Bears are starting Nathan Peterman today. Trevor Siemian hurt his obliques in warmups.


MATT HARMON: Yeah, Nathan Peterman. Hey, Andy, cover your ears.

FRANK SCHWAB: There's a Nathan Peterman sighting.

MATT HARMON: Go find--

FRANK SCHWAB: There's a Nathan Peterman sighting. Everything is fine. All is well.

- Fire up the Jets' defense.

MATT HARMON: Andy, go find something else to do this afternoon. Go find something else to do.

FRANK SCHWAB: Can you score minus points in a game? Is that possible? Is it going to be Jets 48, Bears minus 3? Like what?

- I cannot rank the Jets' defense high enough this week. This is wild.

MATT HARMON: Oh, wow. What a treat. Well, we'll probably-- we'll certainly come back to that at some point during the rest. I mean, I'm reeling here. We'll come back to that at some point during the rest of the show.

Let's talk about the Panthers, though. This is another team that we know. I mean, they sent the signals at the trade deadline, moving Christian McCaffrey, that they're certainly thinking about their future.

There are two guys, DJ Moore, Dante Forman, who we-- I mean, I don't want to say count on in fantasy but have been options throughout the rest of the-- throughout the early part of the season. The rest of the year, though, can we even count on these guys now that we're doing the Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield quarterback carousel?

FRANK SCHWAB: Yeah. And I think you will see the Carolina Panthers, who gave Steve Wilks some good efforts early on. They're going to start to book some tee times. They're going to say, what are we doing here? We don't want to-- we're not going to play out the string hard like you've seen Lions last year played out the string hard.

I don't really see that with the Panthers. Look, if you have Forman, if you have Moore, you probably have to play them they've been so good. But a guy like DJ Moore, especially today against Patrick Surtain, you have to wonder, where is the offense going to come from? And what is their really effort level the rest of the way? I think you have to worry about that with a few teams, including the Panthers.

MATT HARMON: Definitely. I think the last team we're going to talk about here, the Houston Texans, probably fits into that group as well. I mean, their most notable, their biggest name veteran Brandin Cooks doesn't even really want to be there. But he signed a contract decision to stay there, a whole other talking point.

But Dameon Pierce, man, this is the guy that people have been counting on. And now coming into this matchup, especially this one today, Frank, week 12, how are the Dolphins not going to put up like 21 points in the first five minutes? And then Dameon Pierce finds himself in a really, really tough game script? I think we're going to see a lot of those problems for the Houston Texans the rest of the year.

FRANK SCHWAB: Yeah. And as somebody who loved Dameon Pierce and had him in some leagues, I'll tell you, this morning, I put Rashod White in the lineup easily over Dameon Pierce. Dameon Pierce is on my bench. I actually have a deep team there.

Because you just looked at last week, and you said, oh, yeah, this Texans' team is on E. They have nothing. They had five yards in the first half last week. And I think we're going to see a lot of that going forward.

And you know, I don't think NFL teams tank as far as, hey, go lose this game because we need the number one draft pick. But I think, organizationally, they could make some decisions that lead to them saying, yeah, we don't really want to win many games down the stretch. We want Bryce Young. So I think you're just going to see a lot of bad performances out of the Texans.

And like you said, game script might really kill Dameon Pierce. And I love Dameon Pierce. I got some offensive rookie of the year tickets on him. I got him on fantasy teams. But I'm worried about him specifically the rest of the year just because I don't know if he's going to have the value he's had so far this season.

MATT HARMON: I feel you, Frank. We're on the same page there. Well, hey, thanks for stopping by for a very eventful check in here. Nathan Peterman. Wow.

FRANK SCHWAB: Wow. Oh, no. Oh, no.

MATT HARMON: What a time to be alive. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks for doing this, Frank. Appreciate you, buddy.