Fantasy Frontline: 3 Big Questions for Week Five
NFL news happens each and every day. In fantasy football, it is important to have an awareness of it and have an understanding of the potential implications. The Fantasy Frontline will provide Gridiron Experts readers line of sight on NFL news flow that you should be aware of from a statistical angle and help you understand what’s happening during the season and offseason. This article will cover three questions you may have as we head into Week 5.
CAN DESHAUN WATSON BE TRUSTED AS A WEEKLY QB1?
Watson completed 73.5 percent of his passes for 283 yards, four touchdowns, one interception, 24 rushing yards, and one rushing touchdown. He is currently the fantasy QB7 and has shown improvement every week. Here is a line of sight of the per game statistical production of the top-10 fantasy quarterbacks.
Watson can be viewed as an every-week fantasy starter. His ability as a rusher is a valuable commodity that other fantasy QBs do not have. The Texans upcoming schedule does get more difficult. The team faces a Chiefs defense in Week 5 that has allowed an average of 14.9 fantasy points per game to QBs so far this season. The Texans are matched up against the Browns defense in Week 6 that is currently allowing 21.6 fantasy points per game to QBs followed by the Seahawks in Week 7 who are allowing 11.9 per game. The team kicks off the month of November against the Colts who are currently giving up 20.4 fantasy points per game to QBs this season.
The Texans quarterback of the present and future pic.twitter.com/Kb5vI1VjN8
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 1, 2017
Watson is currently averaging 19.3 fantasy points per game with a QB rating of 92. He is leading all QBs in rushing yards (148) and producing 1.41 fantasy points per rushing attempt through four games.
WHICH RB SHOULD I PRIORITIZE IN THE SEAHAWKS BACKFIELD?
Chris Carson was in the midst of a solid season before suffering a broken leg and high ankle sprain. The rookie, who was drafted in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, was leading the Seahawks in rushing attempts and rushing yards per game.
The Seahawks coaching staff will be forced to lean on Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls, C.J. Prosise and perhaps even J.D. McKissic. All of these RBs have a high probability of missing two or more quarters according to Sports Injury Predictor. Rawls is considered a medium risk with a 54.1 percent probability of injury. He has a durability rating of two that suggests Rawls’ productivity struggles when he is dealing with relatively minor injuries. Lacy is a high risk with a 79.3 percent probability of missing two or more quarters and has a durability rating of four. Prior to last season, he has only missed two games during his first three NFL seasons. Prosise is constantly dealing with a plethora of minor injuries. He is considered a medium risk according to SIP with a 33.9 percent probability of missing two or more quarters.
I believe Lacy will ultimately end up leading the Seahawks RBBC. Here are the details on his contract according to Spotrac:
Eddie Lacy signed a 1 year, $4,250,000 contract with the Seattle Seahawks, including a $1,500,000 signing bonus, $2,865,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $4,250,000. In 2017, Lacy will earn a base salary of $1,365,000, a signing bonus of $1,500,000, a roster bonus of $312,500 and a workout bonus of $385,000, while carrying a cap hit of $3,562,500 and a dead cap value of $3,250,000.
What would prompt the Seahawks front office and coaching staff not to leverage Lacy considering his contract details? I believe they will provide him all the touches he can physically handle considering his overall statistical body of work.
Rawls will become a restricted free agent in 2018. He signed a 3 year, $1,590,000 contract with the Seahawks back in 2015. Rawls has only played 22 games since 2015. He has averaged 11.9 rushing attempts and 53.8 rushing yards per game during that time frame.
Prosise will continue to be involved on third downs. He will continue to be developed by the coaching staff this season with the potential to start 2018 as the Seahawks featured back. I envision that Lacy will dominate the early down and goal-line carries with Rawls being used as a change of pace. Prosise will be sprinkled in on passing downs. Lacy can be viewed as a low-end RB2 in most formats.
CAN WAYNE GALLMAN SEIZE CONTROL OF THE GIANTS BACKFIELD?
I believe Gallman can take control of the backfield in Week 5 against the Chargers. Who is he? Gallman was selected 140th overall by the Giants in the 2017 NFL Draft. When analyzing his collegiate statistical body of work he has some very intriguing comps. The most notable and comparable being T.J. Yeldon.
The Giants RB by committee has been atrocious so far this season. The narrative heading into the season was that Paul Perkins time was now and that he would lead the committee. Orleans Darkwa pushed him at training camp. Now five weeks into the regular season Perkins is dealing with bruised ribs and Darkwa is recovering from a back injury.
The touches will be there for Gallman is an excellent matchup against the Chargers defense. This unit has allowed 20.6 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs so far this season and the second-most rushing yards in the NFL. Can Gallman overcome poor offensive line play? The Giants OL is ranked 29th in Adjusted Line Yards and 27th in Open Field Yards according to Football Outsiders. A team with a low ranking in AL Yards and in OF Yards is not getting any lift from either the OL or the RB. Success or failure for Gallman from a fantasy perspective will come down to his ability to break long runs and score touchdowns. This is a plus matchup and with the volume he is set to receive Gallman can be viewed as a low-end RB2 given the situation.
Do you plan on deploying Watson as your starting QB for the rest of the season? Does the Seahawks backfield give you heartburn? Have you been stashing Gallman for the past two weeks waiting for this opportunity? If you enjoyed this column, I would be very grateful if you would help it spread by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter. What was most useful for you? Let me know in the comments below or follow me on Twitter @EricNMoody.