SHOULD YOU KEEP FAITH WITH THESE UNDERPERFORMING STARS?
With two weeks of the season gone, patterns have already begun to emerge in the world of Fantasy Football. While it’s fair to say that not every player is where the world would have expected them to be from a fantasy point of view (I don’t think many people thought Kelvin Benjamin would be WR1 after two games), there are a few big name Fantasy studs that are really starting to worry their owners. I take a look at some of the most prominent, and offer my thoughts as to how you should handle these “stars” moving forward.
Through two games, Wilson finds himself as the QB26 in NFL.com standard scoring. While his 512 passing yards is good for 19th among quarterbacks, he has tossed just one touchdown, and that came in the dying seconds of a Week 1 victory. He also has only accumulated 30 yards rushing, a disappointing total given that he has averaged nearly 40 yards rushing PER GAME in his career. September struggles are nothing new to Wilson, however. His 11 interceptions in 16 games played in the season’s first month are his most in any month in which he has played more than one regular season game, his adjusted yards per attempt of 6.84 his lowest of ANY month, his 4.65 yards per carry his lowest mark except for January (one career regular season game) while he has yet to score a rushing touchdown in September in his career.
Obviously hampered by an ankle injury and an offensive line that is certainly offensive, Wilson has the 49ers coming up next, a team who had their proverbial handed to them by Cam Newton on Sunday, followed by the hungry sack Jets. If he can make it through those games unscathed, and it’s far from a guarantee, he has a solid matchup against the toothless Falcons. Given Wilson’s propensity to start slow and kick on later in the year, only a fool would consider dumping Wilson ahead of Week 3. But if you get an interesting trade offer…well, everyone has his price.
The first Fantasy running back taken in drafts this year, according to Fantasy Pros, Gurley has endured a miserable start to his 2016 campaign. To be fair, the misery began when it was revealed that the Rams move to a new/old city would not be under the stewardship of a new head coach, but I digress.
In his two outings so far, Gurley has carried the ball 36 times for 98 yards, at a miserable yards per carry average of 2.7. He has also seen just four targets in the passing game, reeling in two of them for 14 yards (including a long of 19…). The first game was a blowout loss to the frisky 49ers, while Sunday saw him go up against a mean front in the Seahawks. Up next for Gurley is a game against the Buccaneers, against whom he toted the rock 21 times for 48 yards last season, followed by a game against the Cardinals. Gurley enjoyed something of a coming-out party against the Birds last season, with 146 yards on 19 carries in a 24-22 upset, although in the second meeting he was limited to just nine carries (for 41 yards).
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Given the injuries at the running back position, it would be sensible to keep hold of Gurley in the absence of anyone truly better being available on the waiver wire or via trade. With the Jeff Fisher Rams highly unlikely to ever develop a mindset similar to the 1999 Team (The Greatest Show on Turf), Gurley remains a focal point on this offense. So from a volume perspective, he is still a set and forget fantasy play.
ALLEN ROBINSON[the_ad id=”63198″]The Jaguars are finally ready to make the leap, we thought. A slightly improved defense is all that they’ll need to mesh with their explosive offense, we thought. We’d all have second homes on the moon and eat meals in pill form by now, we thought. We believe wrong at times. Robinson is currently WR50 after two weeks of the season, a victim as much a culprit of the Jaguars offensive struggles. ARob is tied for 11th in league with 20 targets so far, but his nine receptions are only good for 40th AMONG ALL PLAYERS. The grabs have been good for just 126 yards, while Canton bound legends such as Brandon LaFell (131), Cole Beasley (140) and Quincy Enunwa (146) all sit ahead of him in the yards stakes. Robinson remains the primary target on an offense that, if the first two weeks are any guide, is going to have to throw the ball an awful lot to make up for the shortcomings of an anemic ground attack.
Next on the slate for the Jags and Robinson is a match against the Ravens, who gave up 104 yards and two scores to rookie Corey Coleman in Week 2, followed by a Colts team that has allowed the 12th most yards to wide receivers (354) without allowing a touchdown, and then the Bears. The Bears had, prior to Monday Night Football, allowed two hundred receivers in Week 1 against the Texans, and the thought of them tying on a knot on these three games should be enough to persuade ARob owners to keep the faith just a little longer.
I’ve tried to remain positive and encourage a sit and wait approach with the players mentioned thus far, but I’m afraid those feelings are about to come to an end. After two games, Watkins has seen 11 targets, which he has converted into six catches for 63 yards. Bills coach Rex Ryan came off his hot seat long enough to state on Monday that Watkins would be limited in practice this week, the first real admission from Rex that his stud receiver is not healthy. The Bills defensive ineptitude so far this season led to the logical move to fire offensive coordinator Greg Roman, with running backs coach Anthony Lynn now in place as offensive play caller. His first such position in the NFL, but his resume does not immediately scream out good news for Watkins (fit or otherwise) or his owners. In his years on the Jets offensive staff under Ryan, the Jets WR1 saw an average of 20% of the overall targets in the passing game. This is a painfully low number for a number one receiver and with Lynn an exponent of “ground and pound” rather than airing it out, Watkins could be forced to feed on scraps even when/if he returns to full fitness this season. It is time to get him out of your starting line up at the very least, and start sending out the trade offers. If you can get a RB2 or another wide receiver on a better offense, count yourself lucky and pull the trigger.[wlm_nonmember][the_ad id=”66090″][/wlm_nonmember]
I’ll be back in two weeks to see how these four players have fared, whilst also maybe offering four more frustrations you may want rid of.
Neil’s been playing fantasy football for ten years, including a victory in 2014 in a league arranged by NFL.com Fantasy expert Adam Rank. Huge Philadelphia Eagles fan, and follows the fortunes of the England cricket team, usually with his head in his hands for both. Neil lives with his fiancé Kate and their daughter Zoe. He is an atrocious Words with Friends player.