ROS Fantasy Football Predictions
A few of the writers from Gridiron Experts have gotten together for a fantasy football rest of the season (ROS) group article in which they express their thoughts on some of this season potential second half sleepers and busts moving forward.
With only a few weeks left in the fantasy football regular season, you should really start to look forward to players to invest in for your playoff run. Now’s a great time to look ahead at the NFL schedule or start up early talks with the bottom dwellers in your league for potential trades
Blake Bortles is a very underrated fantasy QB who continues to shine on a team nobody talks about. The Jag’s are going to spoil a few playoff hopefuls with their lethal receiving duo. Both WR’s Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson should transform Bortles into a QB1 quickly, possibly sooner than you think. The Jaguars have a light second half schedule and face many struggling NFL teams. I expect a strong second half of the season that will pave the way for off-season 2016 sleeper chatter.
I see Golden Tate making a big leap in the second half. This is somewhat reliant on the play of Matthew Stafford but things are certainly changing in Detroit. I expect them to establsih the run game which will only open the field up for him. Calvin Johnson is already showing signs of breaking down and I think Tate will get things going over the next few weeks.
People underestimate just how good Alshon Jeffery is. The loss of Matt Forte could change things, but Jeffery has a soft schedule on the back end outside of one game against Denver. If healthy, he should put up top-5 numbers the rest of the way.
People may be looking at Malcolm Floyd to be San Diego’s top wide receiver now that Keenan Allen is out a while, but I like Stevie Johnson more, at least in point-per-reception leagues. Allen was more of a possession receiver in the Chargers’ offense, and Johnson fits that mold better than Floyd, who is more of a down-field threat. I still think Antonio Gates will be Philip Rivers’ top target with Allen sidelined, but Johnson may surprise some folks.
We keep waiting for Philadelphia TE Zach Ertz to starting getting into the endzone. He’s been the Eagles’ best receiver, but hasn’t been able to score consistent fantasy points, for whatever reasons. The schedule sets up favorably for Philly to turn it around, and maybe a bye week was just what this club needed to become a force in the second half.
I’ve been on the Stevie Johnson bandwagon all year, and I see no reason to jump off now. Allen was averaging nearly 11 targets a game, and Johnson is my choice to pick up the slack. The Chargers ground game is abysmal, and Phil Rivers is going to have to keep passing. While Allen was producing at a legitimate WR1 level, given the opportunity Stevie could certainly push for top tier WR2 numbers.
I think T.J. Yeldon is poised for a solid finish to his rookie campaign in 2015. Over his last two games, Yeldon has faced stout run defenses in the Bills and Jets, but still managed a 5.3 yards-per-carry average. After a potentially-tough matchup against Baltimore in Week 10, Yeldon has a favorable schedule throughout most of his remaining games, including outings against porous run defenses in San Diego, Indianapolis, New Orleans, and Houston. Yeldon has been earning praise from the Jacksonville coaching staff for his work around the goal line, to the point that Toby Gerhart was a healthy scratch in Week 9. Look for the rookie to close out the year strong, helping fantasy owners down the stretch.
There is something about Chris Johnson that I am just not buying. I think over the next half of the season we can see him regress to the Johnson of 2014. At some point I see him losing touches to Andre Ellington and David Johnson with the possibility of succumbing to injury. He has started this season strong but I just don’t see him finishing strong.
Carlos Hyde is already dealing with injuries, and with no real offensive threat around him on the 49ers, things aren’t looking up. Blaine Gabbert is about to make everyone miss Colin Kaepernick, Torrey Smith has limited utility, and Boldin is a phenomenal receiver but years past his prime. With some tough defensive challenges down the stretch, Hyde will struggle to maintain RB2 consistency.
Travis Benjamin had an unusually good first half of the season, but he has already started making his downward trend. Benjamin is too reliant on big plays, and while I do think the Browns will be forced to pass a lot for the rest of the year, Benjamin won’t duplicate his first-half performance.
Tavon Austin’s ridiculous TD-ratio on limited touches isn’t sustainable. It’s also unusual to see a QB with such a low completion percentage getting so many touchdown opportunities. Seems like Blake Bortles is a regresson candidate. Mark Ingram is always an injury risk, and should see more touches now that Khiry Robinson is done for the year- more touches means more opportunities to get that inevitable nagging injury.
The two worst games of Gary Barnidge‘s season, from a reception point of view, have come in the two games started by Johnny Manziel. With Josh McCown at the helm, Barnidge is actually the top scoring fantasy tight end. But with the Browns season heading for the toilet, there is a chance that they may want to see what they have in Manziel, which will have a serious knock on Barnidge.
From fantasy darling to fantasy bust? That could very well be the case for Devanta Freeman this season. He’s been the top-scoring non-quarterback in 2015, but after an incredible four-week period in which he ran for 462 yards, averaged 5.5 yards per carry, and accumulated eight rushing scores, Freeman is averaging just 3.7 yards per carry with zero rushing touchdowns over his last three games. Additionally, Freeman is on pace for almost 400 combined touches rushing and receiving. That’s asking a lot of a 5’8” player that has never had more than 195 touches in any single collegiate or professional season.
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