Anderson, Stills & Adams Make Fine Fantasy Playoff Stashes
C.J. Anderson: There is just no way you can take him out of the lead role, right? I mean, this isn’t New England. On the broadcast, the fact that Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball are slightly better pass-blockers came up … I have exactly zero coaching experience in my life, but if they are good at blocking and Anderson (leading the league in rushing yards and total touches over the last month) is excelling when carrying the football, why not work out a rotation where all players play to their strengths? Seems reasonable, right? At this point, that would mean Anderson continuing to get a heavy workload, and with the wisdom of Peyton Manning, that puts him in a more than opportunistic role. He is a must start moving forward until he sees a role change (something he shouldn’t, but could) and should be considered a fringe RB1.
Kenny Stills: The big play potential is still there, but he is becoming more of a well-rounded receiver right before our eyes. In fact, his 12.8 aDOT over the last three weeks doesn’t even lead his own team (Marques Colston 13.1), a role that he has held since entering the league. At the very least, he is a young receiver with upside in a Drew Brees led offense, but the talent is expanding and he is quickly becoming a weekly FLEX consideration.
Davante Adams: Remember two seconds ago when I was telling you about a young receiver with raw ability in an offense with an elite quarterback? Why would this be any different? Some may be quick to declare his strong Week 13 performance (six catches and 121 yards on 11 targets) a flash in the pan, but with a snap count on the rise for a third straight week (coincidence that the Packers have won each one of those games?), you better get used to the pride of Fresno State possessing Fantasy upside. Listen, it is a crowded core of pass-catchers in Green Bay and no one is going to argue that Adams’ ceiling is only so high when Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson are healthy, but do you think New England is going to be the only team to put their top corner on Nelson and double Cobb? Aaron Rodgers seems to trust the rookie (2013 top performer in the vertical leap) and his ability to make plays in single coverage.
Trent Richardson: A running back in Indianapolis is going to have value each week, but who exactly that is a tough question to answer. Richardson got the start in Week 13 after Dan Herron took the first snap in Week 12, but he once again struggled to produce, presumably because he simply isn’t good at football. That said, Herron did cough up another fumble, an act that is a level lower than lacking talent. Listen, I’m not going to tell you that T-Rich is loaded with upside (and if you need to swing for the fences, Herron is your man), but the Colts own an elite pass game and view the ground game as something they need to do. With that mindset, I’m willing to bet that they are just fine with Richardson’s trip over the line of scrimmage style, as his two career lost fumbles indicate that he at least holds onto the football, thus giving Andrew Luck more time with the ball, an offense philosophy that gives Indy the best chance at winning football games. No, he’s not a player with a sexy skill set and probably is below average when it comes to pure talent, but ball security is the primary concern in these high-octane pass offenses when it comes to their running backs, and Richardson has proven to be the more reliable of the two backs when it comes to that.
Not good quarterbacks that made a Week 13 splash: Yea, I’m looking at you Ryan Fitzpatrick (368 yards and six touchdowns), Colt McCoy (404 yards and three touchdowns), and Shaun Hill (a Top 10 quarterback despite attempting fewer passes than Derek Carr completed). Could McCoy and Hill compete in a shootout this weekend? Sure, but neither has the offensive weaponry to make them even a Top 15 play this week or on any sort of consistent basis. Fitzpatrick? We’ve seen this story before. He occasionally has the big day (totaled just 307 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions in the game following his two previous games with more than three touchdown passes over the last three years) and will give his receivers a chance to make plays, but he simply isn’t good enough to make that style of play result in consistent Fantasy goodness. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: don’t chase past production. These aren’t names to consider viable starters in a standard sized one quarterback league.
Week 14 Mail Bag
@KingDavid910: Thoughts on Eagles playmakers vs Seattle D?
Answer: Great question here. At first we were all afraid of the Seattle defense and then we came to terms that they were underachieving. Well, they are once again playing at a high level and starting skill position players against them is back to being a challenge. I maintain my stance that you shouldn’t overreact if you own a WR1 against them, but the rest of the passing game does suffer. The trick this week is determining who that WR1 is on the Eagles offense. In my opinion, the fact that Jordan Matthews’ aDOT is 38.4 percent lower than that of Jeremy Maclin makes him the top target in the Mark Sanchez version of this offense, thus resulting in my ranking of the rookie as a low-end WR2 and Maclin as an average-to-high WR3. Mark Sanchez will have his moments in this game, as the short passing game has had success against Seattle in spurts this year, but he is still a turnover prone quarterback that ranks outside of my Top 15 at the position this week. The stout run defense of the ‘Hawks is going to make life on LeSean McCoy difficult, but I wouldn’t get cute and bench Shady. Volume, skill, and matchup. If you have a player a positive grade in two of those three in a given week, you’re feeling good about where you stand. McCoy has a league-high 69 carries over the last three weeks and is demonstrating the explosiveness that made him a Top 3 pick (back-to-back weeks with a 30-plus yard play, something he didn’t do once in the first 10 games of 2014).
Photo Credit: Ray F
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