Archive for Player Analysis

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 (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

Week 7 Sleeper: Could Jonathan Stewart Produce Big Numbers?

by Ray Kuhn

Generally I avoid running backs from the Carolina Panthers and I know I am not alone in this. Occasionally this strategy might cost me a few fantasy points in any given week, but that is rare. The benefits of avoidance simply outweigh the potential negatives.

Following this strategy eliminates some unnecessary stress, but more importantly it takes out guesswork. The Panthers’ backfield is consistently a source of timeshares, injury concerns, touchdown vultures and everything else that will keep fantasy owners up at night. When you then add in the fact the Carolina running backs are generally not very good from a fantasy perspective (hence the general confusion), there is not much value to be had.

So, then why am I rushing to the waiver wire this week to pick up Jonathan Stewart in a few of my leagues?  This is the same Stewart who has not played since Week 3 and so far this season has only gained 88 yards on 29 carries with one touchdown. He also has seven receptions for 58 yards. Read more

Moving Targets Week 7: A Decrease In Targets For Sammy Watkins & More

by Ivar G. Anderson

Week 7 arrives and we now have a full six weeks of target information to review. Of course, there are plenty of players that have only played five weeks, so it takes a bit of work to figure out who are the movers and shakers in the target world of the NFL, though that presumably is why you are here. Let’s take a look at the top 50 targeted receivers through the first third of the NFL season and see if we can glean something worthwhile to take forward. Read more

Fantasy Outlook: Will Mohammed Sanu Be A Viable Option For The Rest Of 2014?

by Ray Kuhn

Andy Dalton has to throw the ball to someone. For the past few seasons his main target was A.J. Green, and everyone else found their niche in complementary receiving roles. Last season Marvin Jones emerged with 10 touchdown catches and more than 700 yards as proof that Dalton could support multiple pass catchers.  Unfortunately while Dalton begins to grow as a quarterback, but his receivers keep on disappearing.

Jones, who had yet to see the field this season, is now on season ending Injured Reserve. After injuring his elbow in the first half of Week 1, Tyler Eifert was placed on short-term Injured Reserve, and it will still be a few games before we see the second year tight end.  Of even greater importance, both to the Bengals and to fantasy owners, is the status of Green’s toe. He has been battling the injury all season, was inactive last week and his status for this coming week is still very much in question. At this point I would operate under the assumption that Dalton will not have Green at his disposal this week, with next week still in doubt.

So with Green sidelined, who is picking up the slack? Read more