Can You Start Patriots Sony Michel? | Can You Trust Chiefs Kareem Hunt?
Week Four Burning Questions and Answers, including Sony Michel and Kareem Hunt
RotoExperts Special for the Associated Press
Andrew Luck: Is this as good as it gets?
Fantasy Football players rejoiced when Luck was finally cleared to play this preseason. Not only would they be able to once again roster the gritty QB, but they also hoped a healthy Luck would help the production of his former Top Five fantasy receiver, T.Y. Hilton. There were reports suggesting Luck had lost some of the old zip on his throws this preseason, and although he’s made all three of his starts, his yards per pass attempt have dipped each week. In Week One it was at 6.02 and last week it was down to 4.10. Entering Week Four Luck is QB21 in fantasy scoring. Is Luck throwing short quick passes to offset the his still underachieving offensive line, or is throwing short passes because T.Y. Hilton is his only deep ball threat? The fact that backup QB Jacoby Brissett was called upon to throw the last Hail Mary pass of Week Three’s game is telling. We might not see the old Andrew Luck until next season, if ever.
Which under-the-radar RB has the opportunity for a big week?
Last week, rookie Kerryon Johnson became the first Lions RB to rush for over 100 yards since 2013. This week he has a very appealing matchup against the Cowboys, who will be without their big-time defensive playmaker, LB Sean Lee. He has been ruled out due to a hamstring strain. The Cowboys defense has been notoriously bad when Lee has been forced to miss games. Last season opposing RBs ran for almost two more yards per carry without Lee in the Cowboys lineup. Since 2015 the Cowboys have yielded almost eight more points and 56 more yards per game when Lee has been sidelined. Johnson’s carries per game have increased each week and without Lee, the Cowboys defense could let Johnson run for another 100-plus yards in Week Four.
Can you put Patriots RB Sony Michel in my lineup every week?
If you’ve been playing Fantasy Football for awhile you know how tough it is to figure out what type of offense the Patriots will run in any given week. Still, Michel carried the ball a career high 14 times last week, and with Rex Burkhead on the IR it would make sense for Michel, whom the Patriots invested a first round pick in, to get the majority of the early-down work out of the backfield. However, this is the Patriots we’re talking about. Start him, but be aware that one week he could carry the ball 20 times and then the next week he might see reduced touches.
Which under-the-radar WR has the potential for a big week?
Giants WR Sterling Shepard. The Saints have given up the most fantasy points per game to opposing WRs this season. With their best cornerback, Marshon Lattimore, likely covering Giants WR Odell Beckham, and heavily-targeted TE Evan Engram out this week, Shepard should see an uptick in opportunities. Shepard is already averaging just over six targets per game and he scored a TD off in a six-catch, 80 yard performance in Week Three.
What can we expect from Kareem Hunt going forward?
Coming off a season in which he led all RBs in rushing yards (1,327), Kareem Hunt was the eighth RB selected in preseason drafts. However, in Points Per Reception scoring leagues, he is 22nd in overall scoring. Hunt is coming off a two-TD performance but his overall rushing numbers are way off the pace he set in his rookie season. His fantasy production is also suffering because new Chiefs starting QB Patrick Mahomes doesn’t check down as much as former QB Alex Smith used to. With Mahomes behind center it’s going to be hard for Hunt to replicate his 53-catch 2017 season. Hunt is still far and away the Chiefs’ leader in rushing attempts (52). Although it might not seem like it, in comparison to last season the Chiefs are executing a higher percentage of run plays (45.20 percent in 2018 vs. 40.56 percent in 2017). Hunt forced more missed tackles than any other RB last season and plays in a high-powered offense that executes the seventh-highest percentage of run plays. If you own him, keep him. If you don’t. you might want to try to buy low on him.
Is there any one particular QB who’s likely available that you’d recommend to replace Jimmy Garoppolo?
The first thing you should do is reach out to the Patrick Mahomes owner in your league. They either grabbed Mahomes late in their draft as a backup or picked him up via the waiver wire. In either case they should have a pretty good extra Fantasy Football QB on their roster that they’re not using. If you’re a good negotiator maybe you can convince them to trade Mahomes to you. Warning: you’ll be buying at his absolute highest value. Andy Dalton is enticing and may be available on the waiver wire of many one QB leagues. He has very favorable matchups against defenses that yield a lot of fantasy points to QBs in five of his next six games and third-year WR Tyler Boyd is developing into a very good fantasy WR.
Are there any other QBs out there that I should consider streaming weekly?
If you’re looking to stream quarterbacks it might be best to think two weeks ahead, so as to ensure that you’re able to pick up the QB you want off the waiver wire. Unfortunately, this approach will force you to have to roster two QBs at a time and you may end up dropping a valuable player in the process. Case Keenum has taken a step back after a good Week One performance. He’s got two very good receivers in Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas and a good Week Four matchup against the Chiefs, but his long-term favorable matchups are too few and far between. Is Ryan Tannehill a potential streamer? He squeaks by as a QB12 for Week Four. The Dolphins have been running a creative offense and have some interesting weapons including Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant in their passing game. Joe Flacco is averaging 296 passing yards per game and the Ravens offense is ranked fifth and scoring 32 points per game. WR Michael Crabtree knows how to find the end zone and John Brown is healthy, scoring TDs and is a big-play threat. Keenum, Tannehill and Flacco aren’t automatic starts every week. That’s why they’re streaming options. You need to carefully evaluate their matchups every week.
Should you add Baker Mayfield from the waiver wire?
It’s OK to add Mayfield off of the waiver wire if he is still available, but beware of starting rookie Fantasy Football QBs. It wasn’t too long ago that the NFL Hall of Fame had ordered their crafts people to start work on Jets QB Sam Darnold’s bust, and we’ve done a whole section on streamers in this article and he wasn’t even mentioned. Mayfield has favorable matchups in five of his next seven starts. He zips the ball to his receivers and exudes confidence on the field. Mayfield has excellent offensive weapons in Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway and David Njoku and he’ll get them the ball. Just be careful. There’ll be times, take Week Five against the Ravens as a possibility, that he’ll look like a rookie.
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