Welcome to Year 5 of the Fantasy Football Mailbag.
2017 started off with a doozy, as rookie running backs made you question your first round picks, a little (sorry, David Johnson owners. There’s no way you could have seen that coming.)
- Kareem Hunt, KC – 17 carries, 148 rush yards, 5 catches, 98 rec yards, 3 TDs
- Dalvin Cook, MIN – 22 carries, 127 rush yards, 3 catches, 10 yards
- Leonard Fournette, JAX – 26 carries, 100 rush yards, 3 catches, 24 yards, 1 TD
- Tarik Cohen, CHI – 5 carries, 66 yards, 8 catches, 47 yards, 1 TD
While Fournette should have been drafted in most of your leagues by the 3rd round, the other 3 RBs mentioned may have been mid, to late round, or even available on waivers (props if you took a flyer on Cohen). Could 2017 be another great year for rookie running backs, after Ezekiel Elliott and Jordan Howard led the league in rushing a year ago?
Although Kenny Golladay’s touchdowns didn’t come until the 4th quarter in Week 1, they were enough to prove he’s a real red zone threat, especially in a Lions offense that loves to chuck it. Meanwhile, Eric Decker will be on the road against a Jacksonville defense that is finally looking scary enough to worry about. While I think Decker will be an eventual target machine for Marcus Mariota, wait-and-see this week and ride the hot hand, Golladay.
Two things that make you want to go with Kerwynn Williams here.
- Starting back.
- He’s going against the Colts.
However, the Cardinals are going to be taking a committee approach with Andre Ellington and Chris Johnson all expected to get touches. Especially, if you’re in a PPR league, go with Bilal Powell because you know the Jets will be playing from behind against Oakland and they’ll be forced to throw to him. I’d rather see Williams earn “bell cow” status before starting him over someone who is proven.
QB – Never doubt the passing volume of the Jim Bob Cooter offense. Stafford.
DEF – You saw what Kansas City did to New England AT Gillette last week, right? I don’t necessarily like either of these matchups, but at least the Broncos are at home.
I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but Cooper F’n Kupp is a safer bet here. Tevin Coleman may play better at home (and away from the Chicago Soldier Field “turf monster”), but he was still out-touched by Devonta Freeman 14-12. Kupp led the Rams in receiving in his NFL debut and I would anticipate his PPR value rising week-to-week.
I’m going to install a new rule here, mostly because I’m getting up at 3 AM on Thursday mornings to write this before going to work. You get up to 2 position questions per week.
- As hard as it might be to sit Martavis Bryant, at least Cooper Kupp had #1 receiver stats. Granted, Big Ben and the Steelers offense are much better at home…I’d still like to see Bryant boom first, than bust like he did last week.
- Ride the reigning AFC Offensive Player of the Week, Alex Smith. It’s weird to say, but I don’t like Mariota against the Jaguars’ pass rush.
- Crabtree vs. Jets is a must-play.
- I know a lot has been made about DeVante Parker in Miami, but Jarvis Landry is a more proven receiver and the Chargers defense let Benny Fowler (who?) torch them for 2 scores. I also don’t like Pryor against the Rams defense.
At least you know Paul Perkins is the Giants’ starting running back. I would anticipate he gets a lot more work against a Lions defense that can easily be run on.
Yes, I took Cooper Kupp over Coleman earlier BUT, at I am way more comfortable with Tevin getting more touches at home than Emmanuel Sanders. If Denver had a better quarterback, I’d feel much differently.