2013 Fantasy Football

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Fake Football, Real Questions (October 19th Edition)

posted by Chet

Now that we’ve seen the candidates in extensive action, are you changing your preseason pick for rookie of the year?


Phil TWR

Nope. I’m sticking with Montee Ball. Next question.


Kevin Roberts

Honestly, I don’t remember who I pegged. I do know I was high on Cordarrelle Patterson (oops), Eddie Lacy and Giovani Bernard. But so was everyone, right? With that said, I think it’s got to be Lacy. This guy runs hard and his legs never stop moving. With injuries hitting Green Bay’s offense, he’ll just run more and more. I wouldn’t be shocked if he has 1,000+ rushing yards and 10+ scores before his rookie season is up.


Adam Cook

I was one of the biggest Montee Ball supporters in the preseason and I apologize to all of those who I mislead. Dang you Knowshon Moreno! I will gladly change my pick to Eddie Lacy as well. Lacy is the full package, as he handles the majority of the workload in Green Bay, gets the goal-line carries, and sees some action on 3rd downs. If you have followed football the last 5 years, you know the Packers offense is one that will provide a bunch of scoring opportunities. Eddie Lacy is one dirty hit by Brandon Merriweather away from already being a top 15 running back this year.


Greg Smith

It’s hard not to go with Eddie Lacy at this point, especially with the recent injuries in the Green Bay receiving ranks, but I’m going to stick with my preseason pick of Giovani Bernard. Wait, I picked E.J. Manuel? Dip me in buffalo chips because that was a terrible call. All jokes aside, Lacy is the obvious choice. His workload is larger and more consistent than Bernard’s and the Packers team surrounding him creates better opportunities to score fake points.


Jason Willan

I had Eddie Lacy as my preseason pick for ROY and I’m standing by that. He missed some time and only has one touchdown thus far, but in his last two games, Lacy went for 99 yards on 23 carries and 120 yards on 23 carries. Expect the trend of him getting 20+ carries to continue, especially now that Green Bay’s receiving corp is banged up. The Packers have quietly been one of the best running teams in the NFL this year, even with their prized rookie missing most of two games. Assuming he stays healthy, Lacy will be piling up yardage as the season progresses and the touchdowns will surely come.


Phil TWR again


I was kidding of course. I’d rather have The Situation on my fantasy stand-up comedy team than cast my lot with Montee Ball again. The consensus pick would appear to be Eddie Lacy, and while my comrades each make a fine case for the Packers lead back, I’m taking Keenan Allen. Over the last 3 games Allen has looked the part of a WR1, posting averages of 6.7 catches and 100 receiving yards to go along with two TD’s. His targets have increased in each of those last 3 games, topping out at a robust 12 on Monday against Indy. With nearly half the season in the books, it’s safe to say Rivers’ resurgence under Mike McCoy is no fluke. If Allen continues being efficient with his targets (he’s 5th in the NFL in catch percentage at 76.7%), a top 20 WR season is within reach.


Pick one talented second year receiver with a disastrous QB situation for the rest of this season: Josh Gordon or Justin Blackmon.


Kevin Roberts

It’s close, but I’m sticking with Gordon. He’s the more explosive player still and Brandon Weeden is actually a little better than Chad Henne or Blaine Gabbert (I know, hard to believe). Clearly, both of these guys could be top-20 WRs on a weekly basis going forward.


Adam Cook

I’ll take Josh Gordon here, but it is very close. The only reason I am taking Gordon over Blackmon is the fact that I believe his touchdown potential is higher. Both offenses are bad, but I think the Browns are just slightly better. Both of these guys will be heavily targeted week in and week out and should be every week starts. The main worry I have with Blackmon is that you never know when the Jags may decide to insert Blaine Gabbert back in as the starter or even…..sign Tim Tebow! Just kidding, just kidding.


Greg Smith

There’s a simple analytical way we can settle this debate: flip a coin. Gordon and Blackmon are very close in value and I don’t think you can go wrong with either, but for the sake of arguing with my peers, I’ll make a case for Blackmon. Garnish these small sample sizes with a large grain of salt, but Blackmon is being targeted more per game than Gordon (14.50 vs. 10.75) and catching a higher percentage of those targets (65.5% vs. 58.1%). Blackmon’s usage statistics are in part propelled by the fact that the Jaguars have a noticeably worse defense than the Browns, which affords him more opportunities while playing from behind to pad his numbers. Oh, garbage time, I just can’t quit you.


Jason Willan

I like Blackmon a lot, but I think Gordon is comfortably the pick here. Despite being shackled with Brandon Weeden at quarterback, I trust Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner’s offense a lot more than one led by Gus Bradley and Jedd Fisch. After all, this is a coaching staff in Jacksonville that continues to stand behind Blaine Gabbert, whose inevitable return also dings Blackmon’s value in my mind. I admittedly got some things really wrong in the preseason, but Josh Gordon is one of the things that I got really right. He might be a top-10 fantasy wide receiver from this point on.


Phil TWR

First, a round of applause for both of these guys. The piteous two headed QB monster known as Blaindon Weebert has long since devoured the soul of every other fantasy relevant player on the Browns and Jags, yet Gordon and Blackmon have somehow persevered. As my cohorts pointed out, making a choice between these two is an exercise in hair splitting, but if forced to choose, give me Blackmon. Sure it’s a small sample, but according to Pro Football Focus, Blackmon has produced a league leading 4.13 yards every time he’s gone into a pattern. For context, DeSean Jackson ranks second in the NFL with 2.82 yards, and Andre Johnson led the league last year with 3.01 yards. While that metric is sure to regress, it’s a clear indicator of just how dominant Blackmon has been since returning from suspension. When you combine the insane amount of targets he’s receiving with Blackmon’s elite yards after catch ability (he already ranks 15th in the NFL with 171 YAC), it’s tough to bet against him joining the upper echelon of fantasy receivers.


Which player involved in trade rumors would you most like to see dealt, and where would you want him to land from a fantasy perspective: Josh Gordon, Hakeem Nicks, Maurice Jones Drew, Kenny Britt?


Kevin Roberts

I’d love to see Gordon dealt and I’d like him to go to the 49ers. He would own there and he’d turn Kap back into fantasy gold, as well. I don’t see it happening, though. I doubt MJD gets traded and I can’t see how Britt has any value. Nicks is in a contract year, so he’d be a rent piece. I can see a few teams lining up for him though, because he’s still a great talent.


Adam Cook

I like the targets Gordon is getting in Cleveland and a change of scenery may not be in his best interest statistically. In my main dynasty league I am holding onto Kenny Britt by a thread, so I selfishly would love for him to get traded. The Titans have seemed to give up on Britt and he has given up on them as well. Britt may be a headcase, but remember that this dude was a former 1st round pick and is still only 25 years old. If he ends up in a Lions or Patriots uniform, the fresh start would propel him to the WR top 30 again.


Greg Smith

It has to be Nicks. A change of scenery could really boost his value this season. Furthermore, it would open the door to fantasy stardom even further for Rueben Randle in New York. Nicks is a free agent after this season, so he’s unlikely to be traded anywhere, but he’d be an intriguing fit with the 49ers, Eagles, Falcons, or Panthers. I’d really like to see a wideout of his quality land on the Ravens, though. His possession skills would take a lot of stress away from Torrey Smith and be a great boon to Joe Flacco.


Jason Willan

As someone heavily invested in Josh Gordon, I’m a little nervous about rumors of him being traded. Call it the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. So, I’m going to go with Kenny Britt here. He has zero fantasy value in Tennessee and he’s not doing anything for the rest of the Titans offense. However, I still think he has something to offer fantasy owners, given the right situation. If Britt were traded to Detroit, for example, he could have very good fantasy value as the Lions’ number-two receiver. Additionally, his presence would likely boost Matthew Stafford’s value, as well as potentially freeing things up a little for Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush. Let’s make this happen!


Phil TWR

Hakeem Nicks would be my pick, but not because his fantasy outlook would improve with a trade. Even if a contending team were desperate enough for WR help that they would part with a draft pick to rent Nicks (SF, NE, and DET are all possibilities), an in-season trade would almost certainly crush his fantasy value. Nicks has played with Eli Manning and the Giants his entire NFL career. Asking him to learn a new offense and develop timing with a strange QB on the fly cannot possibly end well. As Greg alluded to, the fantasy upside of any Nicks trade has more to do with clearing a path for Rueben Randle. Over the last 3 weeks, Randle ranks fourth among WRs in total fantasy points, and that’s with Week 4’s one reception, seven yard stink bomb included. If Nicks and his 7.5 targets per game were to depart NY, Randle instantly becomes one of the highest upside WR2’s in fantasy.


Which Giants RB holds the most rest of season value: Brandon Jacobs, Andre Brown, David Wilson?


Kevin Roberts

Probably Andre Brown. Jacobs’ insane week 6 can’t possibly be sustainable, and he should get hurt eventually. Wilson has been a bust and will miss 3-4 weeks with a neck injury. Brown will be back by week 11 and will take over the back-field that in hindsight should have always been his.


Adam Cook

Can I go with none of the above? I would not want to rely on any of these guys in my starting lineups. Wilson still has some dynasty value, but in redraft leagues he is borderline droppable. Jacobs is done in the NFL and last week’s good game against the Bears was an aberration in my opinion. Andre Brown is not very durable and he could easily suffer yet another injury upon his return week 10. If I had to choose I would go with Andre Brown and hope that he can help you in the fantasy playoffs.


Greg Smith

I’ll begrudgingly take Jacobs. Based on a soft upcoming schedule, he should at least be able to play himself into a timeshare with Andre Brown when Brown is ready to return. Neither back is a safe bet to stay healthy, so I’d rather bank on the guy who is playing right now.


Jason Willan

I don’t think any of these guys has a ton of ROS value, but if I’m looking for a lottery ticket, I’ll stick with David Wilson. It seems like he has avoided season-ending surgery on his neck – always a plus – and I still think he has more talent than the rest of New York’s backfield options. With the way the Giants’ season is going, it won’t be long before they start thinking about next year. As they evaluate the players currently on the roster, it seems like it would be to their advantage to take a longer look at Wilson. Remember when he racked up 247 yards and three touchdowns over the last month of 2012? It’s not that farfetched to think he could do something similar this year.


Phil TWR

If you were waiting for the OK to officially give up the ghost, I’ll help you out – David Wilson should be dropped in 10 and 12 team leagues. The latest report on Wilson is that “no news is expected on his neck for a month”. That’s altogether different than “he’s returning in a month”. I’m only reading tea leaves, but at this point I’d put the odds at 70-30 we don’t see Wilson on the field again this season. Even if he were to return by Week 11, Wilson would enter into a clear platoon with Andre Brown (and we can’t discount Brandon Jacobs’ ongoing involvement, though I suspect he’ll be injured by that time also). Brown was back practicing with the Giants this week, which would seem to indicate he’s on pace to return from his broken leg in week 10. He probably would have been seeing low double digit carries all season if he hadn’t been injured, and I certainly don’t see that changing now that Wilson’s status is in limbo. Brown will be flex worthy upon his return, which is more than I would say for the rest of this crew. Go ahead and grab him off your wire if he’s still available.

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Chet has written for the N.Y. Times: Fifth Down Blog, Rotoworld, Fanduel Insider and Razzball. He is extremely/obsessively active on Twitter and likes cottage cheese.
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Latest posts by Chet (see all)


  • Jared Cook, Fleener, or the new Jordan Reed show in my Non-PPR?

    • I like Fleener there

  • Good read, guys.

    Kevin, keep an eye on Patterson with Freeman making starts. I’ve got a feeling man.

    Any recommendation on which two to start out of Hilton, Jeffery, and Keenan Allen? They all look like they’ve got great upside matchups.

    • That’s real tough. As much as I’d hate to, I might bench Allen.

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