TIME TO MOVE ON FROM THESE UNDERPERFORMING HEROES?
The season is now a month old, with instances becoming trends and trends becoming issues. With a quarter of the season gone for most teams, some things are abundantly clear in fantasy football, the dominance of Julio Jones and Antonio Brown at wide receiver for one. But for many other players, we still haven’t seen anything approaching their best. Fantasy owners must be wondering where to turn with these noncontributors. Ideally, we all want our picks to pay off, but that’s not always going to happen. Players are going to bust, and some players are going to just start slow. A perfect example is Odell Beckham’s fantasy performance this season. TopBet likes his team’s chances, but his player props are a bust. You may think he’s having a rough start but the comparison to last year is closer than you may think.
|2016 Odell Beckham||2015 Odell Beckham|
|Total (PPR) 2016||52.3||Total (PPR) 2015||66.7|
Two weeks ago, I offered my thoughts on four players who were worthy of such thought. Here’s how those players have done since.
- Russell Wilson (I advised owners to keep) – QB5 over the last two weeks
- Todd Gurley (Advised to keep) – RB14
- Allen Robinson (Advised to keep) – WR11
- Sammy Watkins (Advised to drop) – Sent to IR
With this in mind, here are three players struggling at the quarter point, and my thoughts on whether or not they have a future in your fantasy team.
Running Back | Packers[the_ad id=”63198″]Lacy had a Week 4 bye, but even this should not distract from his ordinary start to the season. He currently sits at RB38 based on NFL.com standard scoring, with zero touchdowns on his 48 total touches so far. He is averaging a robust five yards per carry this season, but through three games he has seen just 43 carries at an average of just over 14 totes per game. He has also not factored in the passing game, seeing a grand total of five targets. He has reeled in two of these for 19 yards. His next three games are against the New York Giants (25th in terms of fantasy points allowed to running backs this season), the Dallas Cowboys (21st) and the Chicago Bears (13th). Hardly easy games, but far from a murderer’s row.
The running back position has been beset with injuries across the NFL this season, and this is one of the reasons why it would be advisable to persist with Big Eddie a little longer. September is historically Lacy’s worst month, with a monthly yards per carry mark of just 3.96, compared to 4.25 in October. He also scores more touchdowns as the season wears on, with just three September scores in 12 career games. Unless you managed to draft DeMarco Murray and Melvin Gordon as well as Lacy, he should be safe on your roster for at least another two weeks.
Wide Receiver | Cardinals
Ah, Mr Floyd. How many seasons are we going to fall under your spell, only to be disappointed? After finishing the 2015 season with at least eight targets in six of his last eight outings, including five 100 yard performances, the arrow seemed to be pointing up for Floyd and his place in the Cardinals offense. When John Brown sustained a training camp concussion, and missed most of August, it seemed the stars were once more aligning to allow Floyd to seize his opportunity to become a superstar. The stars, it turns out, were wrong. Despite two trips to the end zone, two more than Brown, Floyd has endured a miserable start to the season. Catching less than 40% of his targets, he has just 12 receptions for 170 yards through four games. He currently sits at WR42.
Its very hard to endorse keeping Floyd around at present. John Brown has returned to health and effectiveness, reeling in ten of 16 targets last week. Floyd’s occasional trips to the endzone notwithstanding, he is simply too inconsistent to keep around on your roster. Even with potentially inviting upcoming games against the 49ers and Jets, he has remained too long for too little. Turn him loose.
Wide Reciever | Jaguars
After finishing as WR13 in 2015, Hurns is yet to really get going this season. After reeling in four of five targets for 75 yards in Week One against the Packers, Hurns is catching exactly 50% of all passes sent his way (11 of 22). He hasn’t topped his opening game total either, and his 42-yard score against the Colts at Wembley on Sunday was his first touchdown of the season. The Jags are seventh in pass attempts so far this season, thanks to a misfiring ground game, but Hurns has seen just three more targets than Marqise Lee (52 catches in his first two seasons in the league) and four more than running back T.J. Yeldon. He finds himself down at WR45, behind such luminaries as Sammy Coates, Kenny Stills and Brian Quick.
Hurns was heavily reliant on touchdowns for his fantasy value last season, with ten scores among his 64 grabs. After a Week 5 bye, the Jags go up against the Bears, who’ve been quite stingy to wide receiver in fantasy terms this season, allowing the sixth fewest fantasy points per game. But after that comes the cure for all receiver ills, namely the Oakland Raiders. They’ve allowed the most receiving yards to wide receivers this season with 858, and have given up six touchdowns to wideouts so far. If Hurns does nothing against the Raiders, given the continuing reliance on the arm of Blake Bortles and the forward pass, it may be time to cut him loose. But he deserves the bye week to see if he can once again become a fantasy factor.
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.