Hello everyone and welcome to “Please Tell Me When It’s Safe to Go Outside”, Razzball’s new weekly piece where we wonder what the hell is going on, and debate whether or not we should venture into the terrifying outdoors to see what hellscape awaits us. This week, we will discuss fun activities you can do in your home/security bunker, such as knitting, or fashioning ammunition out of various metal objects you may have laying around *answers call from Jay* I’m being told that this will instead be another installment of Deep Impact, and also that things are pretty much the same as they were last week. For now, at least, it is still safe to go outside, but why do that when instead you can distract yourself from the horrifying state of our current political system by playing fantasy football! As we do every week, we’re looking at less than 10% owned players in the Yahoo game to scrounge for starts, and for once I actually held myself to my own threshold. Be proud of me, everyone!
Dontrelle Inman (WR, San Diego Chargers, 4% owned) – Maybe Proposition C would’ve got some more love from San Diego voters if it included public funding for healthy knees for Chargers receivers. Just kidding, a new ACL for Keenan Allen isn’t worth saddling the city with hundreds of millions of dollars of debt so Dean Spanos can have a shiny new plaything. Travis Benjamin hasn’t been practicing this week with a PCL sprain, and Tyrell Williams has been limited in practice with a knee injury of his own. What does that all add up to? Inman being pretty much the only fully healthy guy catching passes on this entire roster (not including the husk of Antonio Gates that shuffles around the field like a Walking Dead extra). He’s seen an uptick in targets each week over the last four weeks, hitting nine last week with six catches for 56 yards. With Benjamin looking very unlikely to play this week, Inman is worth plugging in, especially in PPR leagues.
Ronnie Hillman (RB, Minnesota Vikings, 3% owned) – Pure speculation here, but NFL coaches like the hot hand as much as my uncle Steve who goes to get special massages every week. Hillman was the hottest hand in the Vikings backfield last week, which sounds impressive until you see the stat line of seven carries and one reception for 62 total yards. He got the same number of carries as Jerick McKinnon (who only got eight yards) and two less than Matt Asiata (who only managed 27 yards). This is probably one of the worst backfields in the league to try predicting right now, but if you’re reading this article, it probably means that you don’t have many better options. Hillman is probably good for at least 10 touches as the team starts trusting him more and more with the playbook, and has a cake matchup against a Redskins rush defense that’s been shredded just about every week so far this year.
Benny Cunningham (RB, Los Angeles Rams, 1% owned) – Todd Gurley was held out of practice Wednesday and everyone assumed it was a preemptive move. Then he missed again Thursday with his thigh injury, and now I’m paying attention. Watch for the injury reports on Friday; if he sits again, there’s a slim chance he plays Sunday. Be ready with Cunningham if that’s the case, as he would be likely to get the lion’s share of Gurley’s workload. If you have Gurley, I’d stash him now to be on the safe side. If you’re just someone who could use 15-20 touches this week, keep glued to the news and be ready to pull the trigger.
Taylor Gabriel (WR, Atlanta Falcons, 2% owned) – While watching the Browns struggle to a 0-10 start, I find it pretty funny that someone they threw on the scrap heap during the season would be finding some success with one of the 6-3 Falcons. Gabriel is a burner with touchdowns in back to back games, and last week the team got him more involved with five targets and a couple of carries to boot. If he tops out at 5-7 touches a game, he’s probably not too valuable the rest of the way, but he’s worth grabbing on to now in deep leagues in case the team keeps ramping up his utilization. If he puts up another good stat line this week, chances are he’ll be a popular add next week. The Browns are reportedly upset they let him get away, don’t make the same mistake yourself.
Fitzgerald Toussaint (RB, Pittsburgh Steelers, 0% owned) – One of the best names in the NFL (seriously, every book written by someone named Fitzgerald Toussaint would be an instant classic) just got moved up the depth chart in Pittsburgh with DeAngelo Williams getting his knee scoped. Reports are that Williams is going to miss at least a few weeks and if you’ve got Le’Veon Bell, it’s scary to go any stretch without the insurance policy in deeper formats.
Ryan Mathews (RB, Philadelphia Eagles, 74% owned) – Well, it happened again. Last week I said to feel free to drop Zach Ertz, and he responded with by far his best game of the season (eight grabs for 97 yards). I doubt my streak of bad calls in this section ends now, since this week’s drop/breakout candidate is Mathews, whose touchdowns in the last two games mask the fact that he’s only getting 11% of snaps in the same time span. He’s been phased out of the offense in favor of the dynamic Darren Sproles, and isn’t worth holding on to if he’s only going to get 4-5 carries a game. If you’re a weekly reader who cut Ertz, Golden Tate and Jordan Howard loose at my command, I understand your hesitation, but just remember all those other great calls I’ve been feeding you and have faith.