Archive for Player Analysis

Hold ‘Em or Fold ‘Em: Are Zac Stacy & Doug Martin Worth Holding On To?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Obviously there have been a lot of disappointing running backs this season, but does that mean that they are simply droppable? Or, should we keep them stashed and hope that they figure things out? Let’s take a look and try to decipher a few of the situations:

 

Zac Stacy – St. Louis Rams
A fantasy hero a year ago, he has quickly fallen to complete fantasy zero. He clearly has fallen behind both Tre Mason and Benny Cunningham on the depth chart and it’s going to take a lot for him to suddenly get out of the doldrums and emerge as a viable weekly option once again. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Could Zach Mettenberger Prove Fantasy Viable?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The news broke recently that the Tennessee Titans are turning the page, inserting sixth round draft pick Zach Mettenberger into the starting lineup. We all knew that Charlie Whitehurst wasn’t the answer and, while Jake Locker could ultimately return to the starting role, injuries have continued to plague him and he’s generally failed to produce.

Mettenberger made huge strides in his senior season at LSU, throwing for 3,082 yards, 22 TD and 8 INT. Here’s what Walter Football had to say about the year and improvements he made:

“Before the 2013 season, LSU hired Cam Cameron to be its offensive coordinator, and the veteran NFL coach did a lot to help Mettenberger’s game. He was more accurate and displayed better feet and field vision under Cameron’s direction. Mettenberger became a much greater aerial threat with wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry serving as superb weapons. Mettenberger completed 65 percent of his passes in 2013 for 3,082 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Unfortunately, his season ended early with a torn ACL.”

Read more

Five Things We Learned From Thursday Night: Is Ronnie Hillman A RB1, Has Keenan Allen Found Himself & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

No matter how good the teams, there are always ample lessons learned from any NFL game.  While both Peyton Manning (25-35, 286 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT) and Philip Rivers (30-41, 252 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT) performed about where we would’ve expected, whose performances grabbed our attention?  Let’s take a look at five things we learned from last night’s action:

 

1. Ronnie Hillman deserves to keep the Broncos lead back job and is a must start option
The only possible knock against Hillman last night was his lack of TD, though that’s not to say that there wasn’t an opportunity (Juwan Thompson vulture a pair of scores or having a score taken off the board due to a holding penalty).  In fact you could argue that he deserved to score multiple times.  It would’ve just been icing on the cake, though, as Hillman finished with 20 carries for 109 yards and 3 receptions for 29 yards.

Over the past three weeks, with Monte Ball out, Hillman has averaged 119 total yards per game.  Ball, who was injured in the game vs. Arizona, averaged just 72 yards per game over the first three weeks of the season.  He scored 1 TD over that span and also lost a fumble (after losing three last season). Read more

Why Keenan Allen Likely Shouldn’t Be In Your Starting Lineup Tonight (Or Any Week For Now)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

You would think that games against the Denver Broncos are going to be shootouts, given the point totals they are capable of. That should mean big numbers for the wide receivers on the other team…

It’s a good theory, but it hasn’t been the case in 2014. Denver’s defense has allowed the fifth fewest receiving yards to opposing wide outs, at 890 yards. That alone is a knock against any player on the outside, and it definitely clouds the usability of Kennan Allen for tonight’s game.

It’s not like Allen hasn’t been getting opportunities, as he leads San Diego in receptions (34) and targets (52). However he has yet to find the end zone and he’s barely third on the team in receiving yards: Read more

Three Running Backs I’m Trying To Avoid For Week 8

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

These are not players that I am 100% sitting this week, depending on my alternatives (we discussed those in our Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em column).  Instead these are guys I am reconsidering having them in my lineup for a variety of reasons:

 

Tre Mason – St. Louis Rams
at Kansas City

It’s going to be easy to hop on the Tre Mason bandwagon, especially after his 85 yards and 1 TD on 18 carries in Week 7.  We aren’t about to say that you shouldn’t be grabbing him off the waiver wire, but depending on your alternatives thrusting him into your lineup this week may not make sense. Read more

Deep League Stash Candidate: Is Now The Time To Grab Charles Sims?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

According to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN (click here for the article):

“Sims was eligible to begin practicing this week, but he didn’t. When asked if he might return to practice next week, Sims said he hoped so but that decision would be up to the coaching staff and trainers.”

He’s eligible to return on November 2 and it’s easy to imagine him taking a big role as soon as he’s deemed healthy. Tampa Bay is averaging a meager 89.8 rushing yards per game, fifth fewest in the league. Part of it has been driven by lack of chances, as their 4.3 yards per carry is respectable. Still, no one has stood out (aside from one big performance). Read more

Three Wide Receivers I’m Trying To Avoid For Week 8

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

These are not players that I am 100% sitting this week, depending on my alternatives (we will get to those players later on this week in our Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em column).  Instead these are guys I am reconsidering having them in my lineup for a variety of reasons:

 

Allen Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars
vs. Miami

Robinson continues to be the leader of the Jaguars receiving corps and he finally found the end zone in Week 7, so what’s not to like?  The Dolphins’ secondary has actually been among the better groups in the league with just 843 receiving yards to opposing wide receivers and an overall league best 10.0 yards per reception.  Quarterback Blake Bortles fas also had his issues with efficiency, at times, including a 54.8% completion rate in Week 7. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Is Anthony Dixon or Bryce Brown The Better Buffalo RB Target?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Buffalo running back corps was once viewed as a depth for the team.  After Week 7, however, that’s no longer the case.  C.J. Spiller broke his collarbone and is out for the season (likely ending his career in Buffalo).  Fred Jackson suffered a groin injury and, while he’s going to be back, has already been ruled out for Week 8 and is going to miss a few weeks.

That leaves Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown left standing, but who has the best chance at emerging?  Let’s take a look:

 

Anthony Dixon
The former 49er has been operating as the third back this season, though there had been rumblings that he could soon leapfrog Spiller on the depth chart.  He had a solid performance on Sunday, rushing the ball 13 times for 51 yards.  It’s hardly impressive, as the Vikings are allowing 4.4 YPC on the season, but he was thrust into a role he wasn’t prepared for. Read more

Week 7 Observations & Musings: Emerging Running Backs, Can Cam Newton Be Trusted & More

by Matthew Gordan

Last week I purposefully didn’t talk Cam Newton or the Panthers because I feel like I talk about them every week. The week prior I said don’t count on Newton to return to elite status until 2015, and I’m sticking to that. Of course it’s easier to say that after the performance the Panthers gave in Green Bay, but it’s worth keeping in mind while trade season heats up in fantasy leagues. Newton has proven me wrong in that he’s gotten healthier and quicker as the season progresses. While that’s great to see, it’s fools gold because of the current talent level of his teammates. A couple more injuries hit his already subpar offensive line on Sunday, probably forcing the Panthers to sign some street free-agents this week. The domino effect of this has been, and will continue to be, a derailed running and passing game.

Instead of slinging bullets and feeding off his running backs for his own rushing yardage, Newton is using his improved health to dodge defenders as soon as he gets the snap. Bottom line is this: Newton will have some great weekends, but he will not put up consistently high fantasy totals like in previous years. He’s probably still an automatic start depending on your backup situation, specifically because his ceiling is still taller than most skyscrapers, but his supporting cast, like the o-line, is below average. The good news is Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen still make for great starts as Newton is a smart guy and he is feeding those two. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Can The Seahawks’ Paul Richardson Now Emerge As A 2014 Sleeper?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

In a move that seemingly came out of nowhere the Seattle Seahawks yesterday sent WR Percy Harvin to the New York Jets in exchange for a draft pick.  It’s nice to see the Jets finally use their cap space, though at 1-6 it’s too little too late for the 2014 season.  Could he make an impact for the team in 2015?  That remains to be seen, as overthecap.com (click here for the article) reports that Harvin owns a $10.5 cap hit for 2015 (though none of it is guaranteed) and could easily be cut in the offseason.

Harvin will get a chance to earn a roster spot and the Jets obviously have a major need for offensive talent.

The interesting fallout from the deal, though, is in Seattle and who may step up to fill the void the deal creates.  There’s no arguing that Harvin has been a bitter disappointment (22 receptions for 133 yards and 0 TD), but he has actually been the most targeted receiver for the Seahawks:

  • Harvin – 26 targets
  • Doug Baldwin – 25 targets
  • Jermaine Kearse – 19 targets Read more