Bucs’ Doug Martin and Packers’ Jordy Nelson Will Not Bounce Back in 2017
It is Week 11, which means there is little time to waste because the Fantasy Football playoffs are just a few weeks away. Let’s get right to it.
Walk On Water by Eminem featuring Beyonce
The road ahead for Matthew Stafford is a tough one. Save for a Week 14 matchup against the Bucs, Stafford and the Lions are facing some of the best secondaries in football through the rest of the Fantasy season. This is also going to downgrade the receivers in Detroit, making Golden Tate and Marvin Jones more like WR3 options. Kenny Golladay has promise but unless there is an injury above him, he’s strictly a 2018 play. Stafford has been very reliable this season so it is not insurmountable, but I would want to have a quality backup just in case. Look at someone like Philip Rivers, whose upcoming schedule is much more manageable.
Speaking of Lions that are likely to disappoint, Eric Ebron simply has not cut it as a Fantasy option. While he obviously is nothing more than a desperation streamer this season, what do we make of him moving forward? He will not turn 25 until April, but he’s already been in the league almost four years and hasn’t put anything together yet. The Lions have a club option for 2018, but I believe both parties would benefit from a breakup. The reality check of being cast aside and the change of scenery could do Ebron well.
Ready For It? by Taylor Swift
Case Keenum has done a decent job filling in for the injured Sam Bradford this season, but the pressure is on because Teddy Bridgewater is now ready to play again. Keenum came up with his best performance of the season last week, with over 300 yards and four TDs, which might have bought him another week at the helm. I believe the leash is short here and Bridgewater will be playing in a game within the next two weeks. Assuming he is fully recovered, he still has a chance to be the Vikings’ QB of the future. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen should remain Top 30 options regardless of who is under center. Kyle Rudolph had a career season in 2016 and thus far, he’s failed to live up to that. While he’s a decent TE option for Fantasy purposes, there isn’t too much to get excited about. He is a solid red zone target, but aside from last year, he simply hasn’t been a volume receiver or yardage compiler. Look to upgrade the position if you are trotting him out there every week.
No More Wonderland by Little Simz
Doug Martin has had a strange and frustrating career. He looked like one of the best running backs in the league as a rookie but followed up with two injury-plagued seasons that did not live up to expectations. He had another monster season that earned him a second contract, but in 2016, and thus far in 2017, it has been more injuries, a suspension, and underperformance. The problem for the Bucs is two-fold. Their entire offense is out of sync, especially with Jameis Winston on the sidelines. Second, they simply don’t have any great options behind Martin that can step up. Martin is barely hanging on as a low-end RB2 thanks to perceived workload, but he needs to turn things around quickly or he’ll be droppable.
Whoomp! There It Is by Tag Team
Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are the tag team champions of NFL backfields right now. Kamara has been making splash plays nearly all season when he has been afforded opportunities. Ingram has woke up since the Adrian Peterson, rattling off 7 TDs and three 100-yard rushing performances in five games. With both backs playing at such a high level and the Saints defense a strong unit, Drew Brees owners are seeing a dip in expected production. This is a new type of Saints squad and the combination is definitely working for them. It remains to be seen if Brees can bounce back, but both Ingram and Kamara are borderline RB1s in the meantime.
Falling Down by Evidence
Jordy Nelson is feeling the loss of Aaron Rodgers perhaps more than anyone on the Packers. After six TDs in his first five games, he hasn’t found paydirt in his last four. His season-high yardage total in a game is 79 and that was back in Week 1. He has topped 35 yards just once since Brett Hundley took over the offense. If there is a bright side, it is that Nelson should still be a heavily targeted receiver along with Davante Adams in the Packers offense. He’s not going to turn it around enough to become the WR1 you know and love, however. Consider him a WR3 option at best for the rest of the season.
Awful Things by Lil Peep (RIP)
The Redskins receiving corps has been an utter disappoint this year from end to end. Terrelle Pryor, the Redskins’ big score in free agency, has failed to form any sort of connection with Kirk Cousins. He is droppable in nearly all formats. Jamison Crowder had a surprisingly huge season last year, but aside from a couple of strong games, he has not replicated his success. He is trending in the right direction and may end up being the Redskins’ most reliable receiver. Josh Doctson is a former first round pick who’s battled injuries from the jump. His ball skills are among the league’s best, but he has not been fully unleashed yet. There is no way you can depend on him in your Fantasy lineup, but I want his upside on my bench in case things start to click. Ryan Grant is just a guy and Brian Quick is a never going to be anything. Aside from Doctson and Crowder, this unit needs a complete overhaul during the offseason.
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