by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It’s easy to cut bait on a slumping player, and those struggles get magnified when they come at the beginning of the season and the statistics are so apparent. Knee jerk reactions could ultimately cost you, though, so you want to be careful with your quick trigger finger. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few slow starters and try to determine if we should be cutting bait and holding out hope:
Bilal Powell – New York Jets – Running Back
The expectation was that Powell would be the centerpiece of the Jets’ offense, considering the lack of talent overall. However that simply hasn’t been the case, and this tweet from Brian Costello speaks volumes:
Jets RB snaps:
Forte 27 out of 56 (48 percent)
Powell 18 (32)
McGuire 11 (20)#nyj
— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) September 18, 2017
It’s hard to be a big part of the offense when you are barely getting the second most snaps among the running backs. Forget about Forte out-snapping him (which seems odd to begin with), who would’ve expected Elijah McGuire to be nipping at his heels?
Through two weeks Powell has 13 carries for 35 yards, as well as 5 receptions for 17 yards. It’s clearly been a frustrating start, but considering the state of the franchise can we really expect things not to change? The one caveat would be if the team really feels strongly about McGuire, a sixth round draft pick, and his potential to emerge. He was seen more as a developmental talent prior to the draft though and not someone who would make immediate noise, but it’s something to watch closely.
For now Powell remains a must hold, because the Jets have no reason not to give him opportunities. Then again this is the Jets we are talking about…
Verdict – Hold ‘Em
LeGarrette Blount – Philadelphia Eagles – Running Back
In Week 1 Blount had 14 carries, but he disappointed with 46 yards (3.3 YPC) and 0 TD. In Week 2 he was virtually invisible, picking up 1 catch for 0 yards and not receiving a carry. Instead it was Darren Sproles who had 10 carries, though for whatever reason the game plan was pass heavy (Carson Wentz threw the ball 46 times) instead of utilizing the run (Sproles and Wendell Smallwood combined for 13 carries). It’s hard to imagine that not changing moving forward, and when the team does opt to try and pound the football you would think Blount is going to get another opportunity.
This could be a week-to-week decision, which is extremely frustrating for fantasy owners. That doesn’t mean that he should be dropped, because he easily could be a good source of TD and emerge as a low-end RB2/FLEX option. It makes him worth stashing on your bench, to see how things play out, but he certainly can’t be trusted for now.
Verdict – Hold ‘Em
Source – ESPN