Archive for Player Analysis

Tight End Understudies: Are Martellus Bennett & Vernon Davis Worth Using In Week 13?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We already know that two of the top tight ends, Jordan Reed and Rob Gronkowski, are going to be sidelined for Week 13 (and in Gronkowski’s case he’s been lost for the season).  While you would think that their understudies will be worth utilizing, things aren’t quite that simple.  Let’s take a look:

 

Martellus Bennett – New England Patriots
Maybe a 100% Bennett would be extremely appealing, but he’s not as he’s battling through injuries to his ankle and shoulder.  That’s going to limit him, and it’s not like he’s been highly productive in recent weeks:

  • November 20 at San Francisco – 1 reception for 14 yards
  • November 27 at New York Jets – 3 receptions for 22 yards Read more

Sleeper Spotlight: Could Rex Burkhead Prove To Be A Viable Option?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With Giovani Bernard lost for the season the focus has shifted solely on Jeremy Hill in the Cincinnati Bengals backfield.  That type of thinking would cause you to overlook Rex Burkhead, who figures to step in and assume the role vacated by Bernard.  The Bengals apparently believe that he’s capable of stepping up, as Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com recently wrote (click here for the entire article):

“All eyes are on Burkhead, Bernard’s good friend (and they’re all his good friend because Bernard is that kind of guy) because he’s the guy that is going to take his place as that jack-of-all-trades-third-down back that must catch run, catch, and block.

And there is enormous confidence in the 5-10, 214-pounds Burkhead. He’s an example of how deep the Bengals believe their roster is, a versatile sort promoted to slot receiver in the week between the 2014 regular-season finale and the Wild Card Game when Green couldn’t play with a concussion.” Read more

Stat of the Day: Why I’m Buying Larry Fitzgerald This Week

by Ray Kuhn

The first thing we need be aware of is the health of Larry Fitzgerald. For all of the young, and sometimes successful but more often streaky, receivers the Arizona Cardinals have on their depth chart, it is still Larry Fitzgerald who is the go to receiver for Carson Palmer.

Fitzgerald had some issues with his knee last week, and he gave fantasy owners a scare as he missed practice on Wednesday and having an MRI. The cause for concern was quickly put to rest as Fitzgerald returned to practice as a full participant without any real issues on Thursday.

It is easy to lose Fitzgerald in the shuffle of more explosive receivers, but his dependability and production should not be overlooked. Through nine games he is averaging just 10.1 yards per reception and he only has one game of more than 100 yards, but he has caught 68 passes (7.6) per game.  He has 5 TD and his average production in a PPR league is 17 points, without him even finding the end zone.  In all leagues, but especially PPR leagues, it is hard to argue with the production.  Read more

Deep League Diving: Is Houston’s Akeem Hunt Worth Stashing?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Most people probably didn’t think much of it when the Texans added running back Akeem Hunt off the practice squad.  Then injuries helped to force him into action during Week 10 and he immediately made an impact:

8 carries for 52 yards (6.5 yards/carry)

Undrafted out of Purdue last year, he actually dressed for seven games in ’15 and showed some explosiveness.  While he was given just 17 carries, he turned them into 96 yards (5.6 yards/carry).  Clearly he has explosiveness, as evidenced by his 4.36 second 40-yard dash at his Pro Day and as described by NFL.com prior to the draft:

Saw plenty of toss plays in an effort to get his blazing speed in space on the perimeter. Gets to his top speed quickly and can pull away from defenders who think they have angles on him. Dangerous after the catch. Read more

Fantasy Fallout: With Alshon Jeffrey Out, Which Chicago WR Is Worth Owning?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We learned yesterday that the Bears’ Alshon Jeffrey had been suspended for four games due to violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.  Of course, considering the way he had been performing you could argue that his absence isn’t much of a loss:

40 receptions, 630 yards, 1 TD

That’s an average of just 4.4 catches and 70 yards per game.  Neither of those numbers scream of an elite receiver, something that he was fully expected to be this season.  While he has been a target magnet the past three weeks (29 total), the numbers simply haven’t been there as he’s totaled 11 catches for 143 yards.

For fantasy owners maybe it’s a bit of an addition by subtraction.  No longer do we have to wrestle with the decision on if he should be started or not, and considering the performance that’s not a bad thing.  In redraft formats he can safely be dropped. Read more

The Ditch List: Has Jarvis Landry Fallen Off The Starting Spectrum?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

According to Adam Beasley (via Twitter):

Gase: “I’ve got to do a better job of getting Jarvis the ball.”

It’s a great thought, but is anyone really buying it? The Dolphins have morhped into Jay Ajayi’s team, and there is no reason to think that’s about to change.

Miami has won their last three games, and they’ve done it with a run first approach. Just look at the pass attempts for Ryan Tannehill in the victories:

  • vs. Pittsburgh – 32
  • vs. Buffalo – 25
  • vs. New York Jets – 28 Read more

The Ditch List: Is It Time To Give Up On Coby Fleener?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

According to Josh Katzenstein of The New Orleans Times-Picayune (click here for the article):

Tight end Josh Hill played a career-high 61 snaps (80 percent), surely earning a bigger role as the offense leaned on the run game. Coby Fleener played 26 snaps (34 percent), his lowest mark of the season.


Thoughts:

It’s been a steady decline in usage for Fleener, who has totaled 6 targets over the past two weeks.  It is possible that matchup/game flow played a role in his reduced usage, as they did face two of the better defenses at stopping opposing tight ends (Seattle Seahawks & Kansas City Chiefs) and in Week 8 ultimately went with a run heavy approach. He had also been targeted 7+ times in three of the four games prior to this stretch. Read more

Snap Count: Raiders Running Backs: Is Murray Back To Being A Workhorse?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area published the Raiders’ snap count from Week 7 (click here to view). Interesting was the split among the running backs

42 – RB Latavius Murray
13 – RB DeAndre Washington
4 – RB Jalen Richard


Thoughts:
Both Richard and Washington failed to emerge while Murray was sidelined, so it shouldn’t be a huge shock that he had a chance to return as the lead back. It is a bit surprising that he wasn’t eased back in, instead taking on a big role immediately.

While he did find the end zone twice, it’s not like he was overly impressive on the day (18 carries for 59 yards, an average of 3.3 yards per carry). That’s not going to get it done, though it wasn’t an easy matchup (the Jaguars have allowed the ninth fewest rushing yards to opposing running backs, at 515). Read more

The Ditch List: Has The Time Come To Give Up On Julian Edelman?

 


Thoughts:
It shouldn’t be surprising that Edelman led the Patriots receiving corps in snaps. He also “busted out” with 9 receptions (on 10 targets), so you would think there would be optimism. However that’s not the case as he mustered just 60 yards and didn’t find the end zone.

He’s clearly among the go to receivers on the team, as he was the only player targeted more than 5 times on a day LeGarrette Blount was given 24 carries. Despite the targets and the return of Tom Brady, though, the output simply hasn’t been there. Read more

The Dump List: Is It Time To Move On From Jordan Howard?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Chicago Bears are in a free fall, and you can argue that at this point there isn’t a useful fantasy asset among them. That said, the situation at running back has become a complete disaster (in other words worse than the rest of the team), and the potential is there for it to grow even messier.

Just when we though Jordan Howard had settled in, things have taken a dramatic turn over the past two weeks. Just look at his numbers, compared to Ka’Deem Carey’s:

  • Howard – 22 carries, 56 yards, 1 TD
  • Carey – 19 carries, 98 yards

In other words it hasn’t even been close. Carey has brought potential production, while Howard has struggled to get anything going Read more