Week 11 Risers and Fallers
November 26, 2015 | Chet
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A Happy Turkey Thursday to you and yours in fake football land! Hopefully you were lucky enough to fade another painful week of injuries. We’re gonna be keeping an eye on some year long Risers and Fallers in the words that follow. I’ll try and give you a little tidbit on what you should do with all this information but if you’d like some other questions answered please drop some words in the comments below or hit me up on twitter!
The ownership percentages are a median between Yahoo! and ESPN own%.
Doug Martin (96%) played with our emotions for a few weeks and started to lull us to sleep, possibly even garnering himself some bench time on your teams after going 53-165-0 (3.1 YPC) on the ground between Weeks 8-10. Pretty shitty trick you played on us, Dougie Fresh. He out-gained that three game stretch in Week 11 on 18 fewer carries (27-235, 8.7 YPC) and nearly matched the stretch in yards after contact alone (162). The effort pushed him to the 2nd leading rusher in the NFL and, if not for a couple late tackles, he could have scored on two of those runs of 80+ and 55+ yards. Outside of a Week 15 battle with St Louis’ strong defensive front, the Tampa Bay Bucs face some middling to downright awful defenses to close out the year (Indy, Atlanta, New Orleans, Chicago). Week 17 is in Carolina so be weary there if your playoffs last that long. And if they don’t, make sure he’s not riding the pine anymore this year.
Delanie Walker (89%) remains the go-to player in Tennessee when Marcus Mariota runs his patented “throw the ball around until it’s tipped into someone’s hands” play. The tight end is the only player on the Titans to garner double digit targets in the last 6 weeks and has reached 10 of them twice in that time span. Week 11 saw him breaking off for 100+ yards for the first time this season and his 8 catches also tied his season high. The healthy return of Kendall Wright should negatively impact the other receivers on the team much more than Delanie, who will be matching up with an Oakland defense that has allowed 10 TE scores in their 10 games this season. I, for one, am going to be a big fish this week and ignore the fact that the Raiders just shut out Eric Ebron (because he’s bad) and play Walker where I can get my hands on him. I much prefer to stream my tight ends, but Week 13 brings Jacksonville right back to Tennessee to pick on again, so we’re looking at a nice stretch of opponents to work with here.
Javorius Allen (56.2%) touched the ball a whooole bunch after Justin Forsett left the game against St Louis; a total of 27 times, including catching 5 balls from Joe Flacco who, we found out after the game, will be joining Forsett on the IR. So. Buck Allen has the perfect matchup against what is by many accounts the worst run defense in the NFL in Cleveland, but will be a part of an offense with no other running backs to share the load, no quarterback to throw the ball (unless you still count Matt Shaub as a QB) and next to no wide receivers to catch the ball. Hopefully all of this will create a floor for Allen completely based off of volume, but let’s make sure to keep our expectations tempered here. He could reasonably touch the ball 25-30 times again and produce 10-15 fantasy points again. Not much of a ceiling so keep him in mind for your Flex play, probably not your RB2 slot.
Devin Funchess (32.3%) has been sneaking into the offense more and more over the last three games and had a career-high 8 targets while playing 81% of the snaps on Sunday. After a first half that ended with 6 of those targets converting into only 2 catches, his two second half catches more than made up for it; one was his second touchdown of the year and the final one was an impressive showing of hand strength. The 4-64-1 game is helping to keep his streak of usable fantasy starts going after his first seven games equated to miserable numbers; 7 catches for 90 yards and six drops. Philly Brown, who may be fighting for playing time with the rookie, was a ‘healthy scratch’ from the game and has been limited in practice this week. With another decent showing on Thanksgiving against the Dallas Cowboys, Funchess could keep a strong foothold on a starting spot and would see a very easy matchup against the New Orleans Saints in Week 13.
Brent Celek (4.6%) has come back to life? No, couldn’t be…right? Well, the old vet has 11 catches on 14 targets for 213 yards over the last two contests and Zach Ertz looks to be missing the Thanksgiving game against the Detroit Lions. Detroit has the 22nd ranked pass defense according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA, ranking 26th vs. tight ends in particular while allowing 8 touchdowns to the big men in their ten games. Vegas has Philadelphia at 24 points this week and I’d be willing to gamble Brent will end up being one of those touchdowns.
Amari Cooper (98%) was just the next victim in the wide receiver decimation that has been Darius Slay. Amari managed 1 catch, 4 yards, and 2 drops on four targets against the Lions. His 10 drops on the year are 2nd in the league behind only Mike Evans, who has 24 (approximation). The drops and shadow coverage are coming at the worst time possible for fantasy owners, as Derek Carr has been struggling himself over the last two weeks, tossing multiple INTs for the first time this year in Week 10 before throwing for only 169 yards and no scores last week. A rebound game against Tennessee for young QB and WR should right the ship, but Oakland faces tougher defenses down the stretch than they’ve had to play up to this point. A solid WR2 for the rest of the journey.
Danny Woodhead (85.2%) floundered in what could be the most generous gamescript ever written for a player exactly like Danny Woodhead. While the Chargers lost by thirty freaking points to the Kansas City Chiefs, the little scatback who could was targeted exactly twice (1-for-9) and ran the ball six times for seven yards. While you could take this as San Diego trying to get their rookie the ball more often (15 carries, 37 yards) to prepare him for an increased role in 2016, the fact is nobody knows what this offense can or will do behind an offensive line that has anyone holding onto the ball running for dear life. Woodhead’s touch total in the past month has been 16, 5, 12, and 7. As we approach the nitty gritty where every game is practically a must-win, Danny isn’t startable. If you need to plug him into your Flex spot in a PPR it’s very likely you’re already playing in the Consolation Ladder.
Rishard Matthews (63%) and the majority of the Dolphins offense had a tough time getting any sort of production going against the Cowboys on Sunday. Tying a season-low of 3 targets, he finished with a single catch and under 20 yards for the second time this year. The other time? Week 4 against the New York Jets. Miami’s opponent this coming week? The New York Jets. Things aren’t looking too good for Rishard as fellow wide out Jarvis Landry continues to see double digit targets on a regular basis. This offense is quite unpredictable outside of Jarvis and Lamar Miller, and those are the only two guys worth starting on fantasy teams this week. Baltimore in Week 13 could deliver a little bit of relief.
Eric Ebron (34.8%) lost all semblance of a productive game against an Oakland defense that has been god awful against tight ends when he dropped a Matthew Stafford pass in the end zone. He only received one more target on the day and ended up 0-0-0 for the first time this season. Stafford seems to be looking elsewhere now as the second year tight end is sitting pretty far down the pecking order (Calvin, Tate, Lance Moore, Theo Riddick and maybe even Pettigrew) after his 6th drop of the year in only his 8th active game. Jim Caldwell doesn’t seem to be concerned about the drops, so he will still be out on the field. Now it’s just a matter of whether or not we can trust Stafford to trust his tight end. Ebron will remain a streaming play with a very very low floor.
Roddy White (28.3%) is bad and you are bad for owning him. He hasn’t reached 50 yards since Week 1 and Atlanta can’t even use him as a decoy to pull defenders away from Julio Jones anymore. James White has an ownership of 32%. Roddy is not the White you are looking for.