Archive for Player Analysis

Bust Candidate (2016): Why The Risk Of Selecting Matt Jones May Outweigh The Reward

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Barring adding a running back late the Washington Redskins appear primed to lean on Matt Jones in 2016.  A third round pick in 2015, he shared time with Alfred Morris last season and posted less than impressive marks:

  • Rushing – 144 carries, 490 yards (3.4 YPC), 3 TD
  • Receiving – 19 receptions, 304 yards, 1 TD

You could argue that those numbers were about what we should’ve expected, after he never had more than 166 carries in a season at Florida (and he never averaged more than 5.3 YPC).  Sure he has the size that you look for (6’1”, 231 lbs.), but it’s easy to argue that he is going to be mislabeled as a “lead” back.

Just look at this scouting report from NFL.com prior to the draft:

“Has very good athleticism for a big running back and is a physical pile-mover who is difficult to stop for negative yardage. Unfortunately, Jones lacks the instincts and vision to fully maximize his physical tools. Jones could become the physical member of a running-back-by-committee approach, with upside as a third-down option.” Read more

2016 Breakout Candidate: Why Jay Ajayi Could Post A Top 15 Season

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Miami Dolphins had been trying to replace Lamar Miller all offseason to no avail.  The finally added a running back to their stable on the second day of the draft, grabbing Alabama’s Kenyan Drake in the third round.  The question that leaves for fantasy owners is who is likely going to be the “lead” back in Miami?  Will it be Drake or Jay Ajayi?  Will it be a committee?  Let’s take a look:

Jay Ajayi
Had there not been long-term concerns about his knee Ajayi would’ve been drafted significantly earlier then he was in ’15 (5th round, 149th overall).  Long-term is one thing, but how long do most running backs last anyways?  Unfortunately the NFL is a short-term game and it’s hard not to like what Ajayi brings to the table.

His numbers were underwhelming in his NFL debut (3.8 YPC on 49 carries, 7 receptions in 9 games), but just look at the numbers he posted during his final year at Boise State: Read more

Could Jay Ajayi Cement His Role As A 2016 Player To Target?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We keep trying to figure out what the Dolphins are doing in their backfield, as they have seemingly misused Lamar Miller since the day he was drafted.  The hope had been that he would be featured after the coaching change and, to an extent, he was including a 20 carry performance on December 6  (he took those for 113 yards).

Of course his usage has decreased in the two subsequent games:

  • December 14 – 12 carries (he took them for 89 yards and 2 TD, making the usage that much more curious)
  • December 20 – 9 carries

After the game Adam Beasley tweeted:

“No wonder Lamar Miller was biting his tongue last night. He had EIGHTEEN snaps from scrimmage. Ajayi had 31.” Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Is Will Tye A Trust Worthy TE For Week 16?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The New York Giants will play Sunday night without Odell Beckham Jr., leaving a gaping hole in their passing attack.  While many are looking towards Ruben Randle, Dwayne Harris and Hakeem Nicks, could tight end Will Tye be the biggest beneficiary?

Jordan Raanan of NJ.com (click here for the article) recently published this quote from offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo:

“He’s doing some things well, he’s progressing,” offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo said. “He definitely seems like he’s turning into one of Eli’s favorite targets in the offense.”

Tye has scored in back-to-back games and over the past five weeks has averaged nearly 5 receptions (on 6.4 targets) for 54.6 yards.  It’s easy to imagine those numbers increasing, as Raanan noted just how much of the offense Beckham is responsible for: Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Could A.J. McCarron Earn Himself A Future Job?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s obviously going to be difficult to trust A.J. McCarron over the remainder of 2015, with fantasy titles hanging in the balance, but he has been thrust into the spotlight. With Andy Dalton lost for the foreseeable future McCarron has an opportunity to make an impact and position himself for a starting role, whether it’s in Cincinnati or elsewhere.

While the 2014 fifth round pick made a strong first impression (22-32, 280 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT), he also put a little unneeded pressure on himself with the following quote, courtesy of Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com (click here for the article):

“You gotta love pressured moments. That’s what makes you great, it’s when the great ones really shine. I guess Tom Brady was in the same situation when he had the opportunity,” McCarron said. Read more

Breaking Down The Backfield: Could There Be Sleeper Value In Carolina’s Committee?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With Jonathan Stewart set to miss Week 15 the undefeated Panthers are set to deploy a backfield committee of Fozzy Whittaker, Mike Tolbert and Cameron Artis-Payne. If you aren’t desperate for an option you can stop reading now, because it’s hard to imagine any of them making much of an impact (especially with Cam Newton the most likely candidate to get goal line work).

If you are still battling for a fantasy title and are desperately looking for a plug in, however, this situation is as good as any to explore. Who is the best option? Let’s take a look:

 

Fozzy Whittaker
Over the past three seasons Whittaker has a grand total of 78 carries over 37 games, picking up 298 yards and 2 TD. It’s hard to get excited about those numbers, isn’t it? Read more

With Rawls Out, Is There Any Value In Seattle’s Backfield?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

According to Liz Mathews (via Twitter):

“Carroll said RB Thomas Rawls did break his ankle. Said it’s “substantial” and concern for ligaments. Season-ending injury.”

Thoughts:
It will be interesting to see if the team tries to expedite the return of Marshawn Lynch, though seeing him back for Week 15 seems like a stretch.  However the two options the team had active certainly struggled when called upon:

  • DuJuan Harris – 18 carries for 42 yards (2.3 YPC)
  • Fred Jackson – 7 carries for 15 yards (2.1 YPC)

Harris, an undrafted free agent who has been in the league since 2011, entered the day with 62 career carries.  You’d think the opportunity would lead to him being a “buy”, but that’s hardly the case.  As if the non-production wasn’t enough, as per ESPN’s Shell Kapadia (click here for the article): Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Has Michael Floyd Reemerged As A Fantasy Standout?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Arizona Cardinals have a deep receiving corps, though over the past five weeks Michael Floyd has suddenly established himself as the class of the group:

  • Week 10 – 4 receptions, 106 yards, 1 TD
  • Week 11 – 7 receptions, 113 yards, 2 TD
  • Week 12 – 1 receptions, 14 yards, 0 TD
  • Week 13 – 7 receptions, 104 yards, 0 TD
  • Week 14 – 5 receptions, 102 yards, 1 TD

He was battling a hamstring injury heading into Week 12, which helped to lead to him being targeted just twice.  If we ignore that contest he has averaged 106.25 yards over the other four games.  He’s also been targeted 21 times over the past two weeks, compared to 17 for Larry Fitzgerald and 13 for John Brown. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Can Tim Hightower Assume The Role Left By Mark Ingram?

by Ray Kuhn

It is Week 14, the first week of the playoffs in most leagues, and we are talking about Tim Hightower. Are we serious?

In all honesty I forgot that he was in the league, let alone on the Saints.  Yet here we are, and Hightower should be on the fantasy radars of all owners for the remainder of the season with Mark Ingram now on Injured Reserve. In fact, it is not unthinkable that Hightower finds his way into your lineup this week given the state of the running back position. The question is, what should we expect from him moving forward.

First take a trip back to the start of the season. New Orleans opened the season with a three-headed backfield lead by Ingram. Khiry Robinson was in the mix as a change of pace back and C.J. Spiller was expected to be a contributor in a third-down/pass catching role.

Prior to suffering a season ending broken leg in Week 8, Robinson was only averaging 3.2 yards per carry on 56 carries, but he did manage to vulture four touchdowns. Additionally he caught 17 passes for another 115 yards, as he ended up in the role that was originally intended for Spiller. Read more

Hold ‘Em or Fold ‘Em: Should Fantasy Owners Cut Bait With DeMarco Murray?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Eagles’ Twitter feed sent out a few interesting comments from head coach Chip Kelly yesterday:

“RB rotation is going to be on a week-to-week basis.”

“Kenjon Barner and Jonathan Krause are guys you continue to see keep getting better.”

These came a day after DeMarco Murray, who received a gaudy contract in the offseason, appeared buried down the depth chart despite the continued absence of Ryan Mathews:

  • Darren Sproles – 15 carries for 66 yards
  • Kenjon Barner – 9 carries for 39 yards
  • DeMarco Murray – 8 carries for 24 yards

Not only was Murray utilized less than Sproles or Barner, but his production was also the worst of the three (3.0 YPC).  It’s becoming abundantly clear that Murray simply doesn’t fit into the Eagle’s offense, averaging just 3.5 yards per carry for the season. Read more