STICK OR TWIST ON THE UNDERACHIEVERS?
I’m back once again to shine the white hot light on three players who, despite finding themselves on many a Fantasy players roster, are doing very little currently to justify this faith. I will offer my thoughts as to what I would do with these three as we move forward into the critical second third of the Fantasy season.
A fortnight ago, the players I looked at were Eddie Lacy, Michael Floyd and Allen Hurns. Here’s what they’ve done since they fell into my crosshairs.
- Eddie Lacy (I advised you to keep him) RB29 over the last two weeks
- Michael Floyd (encouraged to drop) WRR66
- Allen Hurns (advised to keep, did have a bye) WR37 last week…he’s on thin ice/
Gio Bernard, Running Back, Bengals
The Bengals backfield, thought by many to be one of the more confusing situations in fantasy this season, and thus one to maybe avoid spending high picks one, has not been confusing as much as its been a letdown. An esteemed writer from this site recommended going for Bernard over Jeremy Hill, if you were faced with such a choice, Gio’s far from lofty status as RB26 has done little to justify that faith. Owners in the 91.2% of NFL.com leagues in which he is owned, are averaging a career-low 3.4 yards per carry, while his 8.2 carries per outing is also the lowest of his time in the NFL. What is confusing is that, as a receiver, he is reeling in more catches per game (4.8) and producing more yards (42.7) than any season before. The main stumbling block for Bernard would appear to be touchdowns. He has one this season, on 78 total touches. His heavy involvement in the passing game is the main reason for my advocating patience with Gio, in concert with his next three opponents. The Cleveland Browns are allowing the 11th most fantasy points per game to running backs, the Washington Redskins 9th, while the New York Giants have allowed the 10th most receptions to running backs in 2016. He warrants a bit longer on your roster.
Allen Robinson, Wide Receiver, Jaguars
After looking at Hurns last time out, our attention now turns to his stablemate, Robinson. He has, of course, enjoyed his bye week, but this weeks absence is not an excuse for his output so far. Robinson is averaging 57.4 receiving yards per game in 2016, down from 87.5 in 2015, while his catch rate of just over 51% is two points down from last season. Bewilderingly, he is seeing more of the team’s total targets this year, with 26% of total looks going his way against 25% last season. Robinson’s poor play can be excused to some extent when one considers how truly awful Blake Bortles has been in 2016, dragging an offense some thought would be amongst the most potent in the league down to the levels of the decidedly average. Robinson is too talented a player, and is getting too many opportunities regarding targets, to drop out of hand. He has a Week 7 match against the hapless defense of the Oakland Raiders, followed by a tougher assignment against the surprisingly stingy Titans, before a clash with the inconsistent Chiefs. If I could give Allen Hurns a pass, I’d be a fool to suggest sitting Robinson down, or even trying to move on from him.
Sterling Shepard, Wide Receiver, Giants[the_ad id=”66786″]After an electric start to his rookie season, with 16 receptions, 233 yards, and two touchdowns in his first three games as a pro, Shepard has hit something of an early form of the rookie wall of late. He has failed to top 30 yards in any of his last three games, with just ten grabs from 22 targets in that span. He has also failed to find the end zone in any of these games, which included matches against the burnable secondary units of the Packers and the Ravens. He is currently WR39 in standard scoring and a far cry from an every week starter in my opinion. The uneven performances by Eli Manning are not helping matters, but you’d expect more than a 29% catch rate from such an apparently polished rookie receiver (Shepard’s catch rate for the last two weeks.) Shepard still offers considerable value in dynasty leagues, but given the volatile nature of the Giants passing game, it is hard to suggest that you simply HAVE to get him into your lineups in the not too distant future. He faces a Rams team that has allowed the 6th most fantasy points to wide receivers in 2016 next, but he has failed to deliver already in similarly enticing spots. He should not be in your starting lineups, and if you could maybe entice a fellow owner to part with a productive running back, one with passing down upside, I would pull the trigger. This Shepard will not be looking after large flocks of touchdowns any time in 2016.
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.