10 Lessons Learned From Week 6: Jerick McKinnon, Adrian Peterson, Alvin Kamara & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It was another crazy day around the NFL, with the biggest news being the injury to Aaron Rodgers (as well as Jameis Winston, though to a far lesser extent).  What are the biggest things that we learned from the action on the field?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Will we have to downgrade the entire Green Bay offense…
Obviously there is no replacing Aaron Rodgers, who could be lost for the season, but Brett Hundley looked inept when stepping in.  He completed 18 of 33 passes and threw 3 INT, as the offense looked pitiful.  The passing game did little and the running backs had no room to run, with Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery combining for 69 yards on 23 carries.

Obviously we aren’t going to do anything dramatic with the skill players, and the hope has to be that getting the reps in practice will allow Hundley to significantly improve his performance.  Time will tell, but for now we will have to take a cautious approach (meaning everyone is going to take a slight hit).  That said New Orleans is not a very imposing defense, and that could allow Hundley and company to find their footing.

 

2) Maybe Adrian Peterson does have something left in the tank…
Could anyone have predicted this?  Peterson turned 26 carries into 134 yards and 2 TD, after totaling 81 yards on 27 carries in four games as a member of the New Orleans Saints.  This is the first time Peterson has shown any real signs of life since December 27, 2015 and we obviously aren’t about to bank on him being able to replicate it.  That doesn’t mean that he’s going to completely disappear, as he’s proven that he is a viable RB2 option (at least for now) and can pop off a big day at any time.

 

3) Jerick McKinnon is the Vikings’ RB to own…
When Dalvin Cook was lost to injury many thought it would be Latavius Murray who emerged as the leader in Minnesota’s backfield.  That simply hasn’t been the case, as McKinnon continued to be the more effective back:

  • Jerick McKinnon – 21 touches, 99 yards, 2 TD
  • Latavius Murray – 16 touches, 37 yards, 0 TD

The two did split carries (McKinnon had 16 to Murray’s 15), and it’s unlikely that McKinnon takes a full workload.  That said over the past two weeks Murray has 59 yards on 27 carries, while McKinnon has 164 yards and 2 TD on 32 carries (not to mention his role in the passing game).  Murray will play a role, but he has no value.

 

4) George Kittle could emerge as a TE1 in short order…
He saw 8 targets, behind only Pierre Garcon (12), and delivered 4 catches for 46 yards.  He now has 17 targets over the past two weeks and should continue to be a focal point of the passing game regardless of who is under center.  That said if the 49ers stick with C.J. Beathard, who replaced Brian Hoyer, you would expect an even bigger role as he could easily settle for short, safe passes.  While he’s not quite a TE1 yet, he’s on the spectrum.

 

5) A breakout for Samaje Perine may never come…
With Rob Kelley out the hope was that Perine would finally emerge and deliver a big day.  Instead we got more of the same, as he took 9 carries for 23 yards (2.6 yards per carry) and failed to have a run longer than 8 yards.  He was even out-carried by Chris Thompson (16 carried for 33 yards), and his performance was the status quo for his rookie year:

  • 55 carries for 166 yards (3.0 yards per carry)
  • 0 rushing TD
  • 12 yards is his longest run

Perine’s day was saved by a receiving TD, though that’s not something we can depend on.  While you can still hold out some hope, it’s getting harder to believe.  If you need the roster spot cutting bait is not unthinkable.

 

6) There’s a clear top option in New Orleans’ backfield…
The trade of Adrian Peterson has cleared the playing field, and the Saints’ duo delivered an impressive performance:

  • Mark Ingram – 25 carries, 114 yards, 2 TD; 5 receptions, 36 yards
  • Alvin Kamara – 10 carries, 75 yards; 4 receptions, 12 yards

Kamara is a big play threat and is going to play a role, but don’t confuse that with being the leader of the backfield.  That’s a role Ingram is going to maintain, and he’s going to be the better play every week.  Kamara is likely going to get 10-14 touches per week and is a FLEX play, but nothing more.

 

7) Elijah McGuire’s time as a fantasy asset could be short lived…
Sure he evenly split carries with the returning Matt Forte, but he was ineffective in a favorable matchup as he took 10 carries for 22 yards (Forte didn’t excel either).  It was his second straight abysmal performance, as he now has 42 yards on 21 carries over the past two weeks.  He also played second fiddle to Forte in the passing game (Forte turned all 8 of his targets into receptions, while McGuire was not targeted).  Throw in that Bilal Powell is going to return and factor into the backfield and McGuire could hold only a limited role.

 

8) Maybe it’s time to ignore Sammy Watkins…
He turned 4 targets into just 1 catch and 11 yards.  Part of it is on Jared Goff (11-21, 124 yards) and the focus being on Todd Gurley (23 carries for 116 yards), but Watkins has now posted 2 catches on 10 targets over the past three weeks and has more than 2 receptions and 30 yards in one of his last five games (2 of 6 overall).  While the upside remains there, he’s got to be stuck on your bench until he shows us signs of producing.

 

9) The Giants may have found a running game…
There seemed to be no chance for success, with the offense in shambles and going into Denver, but shockingly Orleans Darkwa posted a monster day (21 carries for 117 yards).  Obviously the numbers were buoyed by a 47 yard run, but it was still solid as two key changes were made:

  1. Reshuffled offensive line
  2. Change in play caller

Is Darkwa the long-term answer?  Probably not, as Paul Perkins and Wayne Gallman will continue to play a role as the Giants take a hot hand approach.  That said, there’s suddenly some promise here.

 

10) The Chargers’ Mike Williams could gain traction quickly…
The seventh overall pick made his much awaited NFL debut, catching his only target for 15 yards.  It shouldn’t be a surprise that he didn’t produce all that much, as the passing attack was buoyed by a three-headed monster:

  • Melvin Gordon – 12 targers
  • Keenan Allen – 9 targets
  • Hunter Henry – 7 targets

Of course Gordon is not generally going to see that many opportunities in the passing game and Henry’s output has been extremely inconsistent.  Williams could rise to the #2 option in short order, leap-frogging Tyrell Williams in the process.  For now keep him stashed and see how things play out.

 

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

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14 comments

  1. Pavan says:

    Hello professor,

    Got offered Ajayi,Crowell,wenz for Brady

    Standard
    Brady
    2 Rb- mckoy,duke,abdullah,arron Jones,
    procise,drake
    2 Wr- golden tate, m.bryant,fuller,Rodger
    Lewis
    Te- Bennet
    1 Flex

    What you think? Should I except it?

    Thank You

  2. Beans says:

    What’s up professor? I have a few questions for you. Some one dropped Carr and I quickly added him. Now I have Palmer, Dak, and Carr. If I moved Palmer would you feel confident starting Dak every week now. I feel like Carr might not bounce back. So would I be ok with just Dak barring injury. If I can’t get Evan Engram for Palmer would getting whitten be over paying. I have Ben Watson and need more. There is nothing avail except kittle, Doyle Njkou Griffen. it’s a 14 team ppr. Thank u sir

  3. Beans says:

    Hey one more for you. Different team. I am currently holding onto David Johnson. Am I wasting a roster spot or is there a chance he returns. I cannot find any new information on how his recovery is going or a updated timetable for a return. I was hoping maybe you had some inside information. It is not a keeper league.

  4. Tony says:

    Hi Professor,

    A good assessment, and I have both Perine and McGuire, as well as Mixon, Hyde and Kelly.

    Naturally, there aren’t any RB free agents in our league that are any better (top RB available is G Bernard), and of course still unknown if Kelly will play this week, but should I drop one of these players for D Booker?

    As you mentioned, Perine has had his chances, and he also has had some issues with holding the ball, so I don’t see him as the future? I assume with Powell returning, McGuire will go quiet. I’m in a dynasty league, so try to look long term and still think that Booker has talent, but what do you think?

    Thank you!

    Tony

    • In dynasty that’s a tough call. I’d probably drop McGuire before Perine, as I think Perine still has long-term value. I don’t think McGuire will ever truly be “the man”

      • Tony says:

        Hi,

        Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question and welcome your recommendation.

        I think Booker has the talent that will hopefully show itself eventually; I keep waiting for Perine to show more; maybe he will, or won’t, but you’re probably right that McGuire isn’t likely to be the one, so thanks again for your great advice- I appreciate it!

        Tony

  5. K says:

    I was banking my waiver (currently #2 out of 8) in case David Johnson was going to come back sooner, but that dream has come and gone.

    Both AD and Ingram are available — would you burn that waiver on one over the other?

    I’d also need to drop one of Hogan, Gore, Powell, Snead. I could put in for a double switch too, say, pick up Ingram for Powell and Peterson for Gore…what do you think?

    Thanks!!

  6. Vince says:

    Would you pick up Greg Olsen and Danny woodhead or would you wait another week? Have open spot and would drop sammy watkins

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