By now if you’ve been following you know the drill, and if you’re new to the post I’m guessing you’ll get a sense of what we’re trying to do in this post pretty quickly.
In short… quick hits of subjects of interest that you may have missed from the weekend that was. You won’t necessarily see headlines or big statistical outputs that are likely covered elsewhere… just some moments of intrigue from the weekend that was.
James White is an Elite PPR Performer
This shouldn’t necessarily be new to anyone, but it’s still noteworthy. Sony Michel deservedly earned an 18 carry workload after a breakout performance in Week 4 and carried that over to Week 5. James White saw just two carries.
Any yet, he finished as a top-10 back in .5PPR. White caught 10 balls for 77 yards (on 14 targets) and scored even with Edelman back in the lineup, Gordon scoring, and Gronk reeling in six balls with Michel pacing the ground game. The backfield puzzle in New England that has befuddled fantasy gamers for years might be finally solved. Start ’em if you got ’em.
Don’t look now but James White is RB 7 (PPR) in Fantasy Land. pic.twitter.com/2EQJq9UxT0
— Justin Lonero (@JustinLonero) October 8, 2018
RB Usage Isn’t Dictated by Fantasy Twitter
It’s easy for us to justify our critique when the coach we’re targeting loses, but if Mason Crosby hadn’t had an absolute meltdown of a day (in a dome, no less) the Packers would have picked up a road win against a division opponent this week. And they’d have done so while rotating carries and snaps among Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery.
I’m a Jones investor and believer. Regardless of my shares, or your own personal stakes, it’s hard to suggest anyone else on the roster is a more effective rusher of the football. But, that’s not all that goes into playing time at teh position. No matter how much we want it, Jones isn’t running away with the workload, and it doesn’t sound like Mike McCarthy is going to change that any time soon.
McCarthy on Aaron Jones: Way the game goes and strength of the players on the football. He’s dynamic with the ball in his hands. But there’s more to the position than just running the football. We have diversity in our attack with three guys. All have excellent attributes.
— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) October 8, 2018
Until we see the results – and that may mean until Jones improves in pass protection or other less statistically obvious areas that his coach is looking for – owners would be advised to treat Jones as the ~10 touch back that he is, and not place him into lineups with hopes for something greater. That may well come in due course, but it’s not here now. I learned my lesson this week, and hope you will as well.
Again, even when we appear to be right, fantasy owners aren’t setting the snap count in Green Bay:
Before the “But Jamaal Williams is a Hall of Fame pass blocker” zealots emerge, here is what Aaron Jones has scored in pass-blocking efficiency on 42 pass snaps this year:
This is McCarthy being bullheaded. Period. End of story.
— Brad Evans (@YahooNoise) October 8, 2018
Todd Gurley looks like a great DFS play in Week 6
He’ll cost you an arm and a leg, and touting the league’s best all around back who is its touchdown leader as a great play isn’t exactly a dangerous limb to step out on… but, in case you’re still buying the brand name of the Broncos defense this nugget is worth considering:
Over the last three weeks, the #Broncos have allowed 515 rushing yards and five touchdowns to…
Todd Gurley up next…
— Adam Pfeifer (@APfeifer24) October 8, 2018
Though, we should give Isaiah Crowell credit where it is due.
Since 2016 the RB with the most TD carries of at least 50 yards is….Isaiah Crowell.
— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) October 7, 2018
That stat isn’t necessarily actionable, as Crowell is 77% owned, but it’s an eye opener nonetheless. The Jets got the win, but Sam Darnold had another rough overall outing, completing 10 of 22 passes so it doesn’t look like the box will be any less stacked next week. But, it may not matter. I’d be very comfortable starting Crowell as an upside RB2 moving forward.
Start him or sell him, @chrismeaney:
Isaiah Crowell has been on my bench every week and I don’t even consider playing him and nobody wants him! Five touchdowns now.
— Chris Meaney (@chrismeaney) October 7, 2018
It wasn’t all bad for Darnold, mind you. Last week I read a lot into the work that Quincy Enunwa was getting. And, he still tied for the team lead with five targets, but he didn’t make a single catch. Robby Anderson tied him with five looks of his own, and you’re aware of the two big plays by now. That position is worth keeping an eye on in the weeks ahead, to see if the trust Anderson seems to be earning keeps him relevant moving forward:
#Jets QB Sam Darnold made a few great throws yesterday. This 35-yard TD to Robby Anderson is so important, because he’s learning to trust RA. Give your playmaker a chance in 1on1. Great coverage, but greater throw… and belief in your guy.
Love it. pic.twitter.com/DaN3wuhV6K
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) October 8, 2018
George Kittle got it done again this week
You may genuinely have missed this one as a seven point standard league day doesn’t jump off the board at you, but it was another solid day from George Kittle.
The 49ers found themselves playing catchup for much of the second half and C.J. Beathard threw 54 passes which won’t be in the game script every week but seven of those 54 balls were thrown in George Kittle‘s direction. He’s going to continue to get work and has been remarkably consistent so far – with 75 or more yards in four of five games. It should continue, as he is proving to be one of Beathard’s favorite targets.
It shouldn’t come as a great surprise that Pierre Garcon (Marquise Goodwin was out this week, mind you), as he’s more the possession type for the 9ers.
We are two weeks into the #49ers season with C.J. Beathard at QB. Not that it is worth much, but so far Garcon has been the target leader. TE Kittle is right there with him. Full team player utilization trends below: pic.twitter.com/pzAkIxW85E
— Dwain McFarland (@dwainmcfarland) October 9, 2018
Chris Carson returned to lead the Seattle backfield
Russell Wilson threw just 21 passes in a game where the Seahawks put up 31 points. Hoping to run the ball to keep Jared Goff and the Rams’ offense off the field should not come as a great surprise, but doing so effectively did given how poor the Seahawks have been at running the ball in recent years.
They may have found something with the duo of Chris Carson and Mike Davis. Davis scored a TD a week after his breakout performance, but that shouldn’t obscure the fact that Carson rushed for an impressive 116 yards on 19 carries (vs. 12, for 68 from Davis). Carson saw one target to Davis’ two for 20 total opportunities.
They won’t share 31 rush attempts on a regular basis, but a rough 1.5:1 ratio seems about right. It also leaves Rashaad Penny in the cold. He didn’t play a single snap this week and can be released in most leagues.
Seahawks rolled out a Chris Carson 1A, Mike Davis 1B RBBC today. Rashaad Penny has been phased out for now.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) October 7, 2018
Be wary of Will Fuller
He always carries a bit of a boom/bust label, and there was no boom in Week 5. He came into the game nursing a hamstring injury so I’m not hitting teh panic button by any stretch, but I’m mindful that quiet weeks could come more often that owners would like moving forward.
Keke Coutee made a nice play on the his short TD and caught six balls on seven targets overall, after a week in which he made the most receptions for a player in his first game in NFL history. There was a TON of buzz around him coming out of camp, and two games into his career it seems that Coutee is ready to live up to that.
Fuller is a unique talent in his own right, of course, but for a player that relies on a long reception or two to define his fantasy value any targets that a consistent 3rd receiver behind him squirrels away makes that big play less likely to happen from a volume perspective. This week, he saw just three targets on 44 Deshaun Watson pass attempts.
Will Fuller is the #2 when fully healthy but Coutee will take some targets away from the top 2 #FantasyFootball #texans https://t.co/UPbwP9A39r
— DMICMedia (@DmicMedia) October 8, 2018
Certainly he’s getting enough work to cut into Fuller’s production and perhaps to deliver some sustained value of his own:
Keke Coutee’s first two NFL games: In on 137-of-146 snaps (94%), seen 22 targets for 25% share, posted 17-160-1 line.
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) October 8, 2018