Pulling a title from the great run that Eddie Murphy had on Saturday Night Live reminds me of the sense of humor we need to have when we play fantasy football. He had so many great moments, actually too many to list, unlike my fantasy season that has had three good moments. This week, I’m going to look at a hot pickup vs. a draft day dud, and a receiver battle that the experts are pretty split on. As usual, this is my two cents and a look into my process to help you make your calls. I don’t want to get all blah-blah wordy-word on you, so let’s just dive in head first and bang this out… hunh, that sounds like my old hookup philosophy in my teens.
Note: All evaluations are based on 0.5 PPR, and ranks are from FantasyPros.com.
If opportunity breeds success, than Mike Evans will edge out Brandon LaFell. He’s averaged more targets (7.3 to 5) over the last three weeks, and unlike LaFell, is on a team we can assume will be playing from behind almost every week. That kind of opportunity is something we like around here, because garbage time counts all the same. It’s the reality of teams like the Bucs, who suck like few others. This week though, the Bucs get the Vikings and have the opportunity to win a ball game, while the Patriots get the “who knows what they will do” from week-to-week Bears at Foxborough. I am not a fan of owning Patriots receivers this year, even though I own Julian Edelman on one team. I don’t like it one bit, and I get a little sick each week with the uncertainty of what he’ll give me. The “distribution” in New England will always be hard to predict, and just look at the backfield as a sign to stay away. Mike Evans, because he’s not the number one, can be in the same boat, but I think the targets tell his story going forward. Hey Jack, what about Louis Murphy and his 9 targets a week average? Yeah, he’s there too, and he can act as a barrier from Evans reaching his full potential, but at the end of the day, with the lackluster run game in Tampa, we will see a lot of pass attempts week-to-week. I have to agree with the experts on this one being a coin flip, but if we flip that coin ten times, then I will predict Evans wins seven of them. I like his ascension the last few weeks, and going into the year, he was part of the hot rookie class we have. I think a 6 catch, 80 yard and a TD game is not that far out of the realm of possibility for Evans, especially since the Bucs will look to salvage their season against the Vikings. LaFell could have similar numbers, or we could get a 3 catches for 50 yards. Fantasy flex can be such a crap shoot and I will always take floor over ceiling during the bye weeks.
Winner: Mike Evans
Over the previous three weeks before their Week 7 bye, the Bucs averaged 19.6 CPG as a team. That’s Carries Per Game as a team! When I said in the previous battle, that opportunity breeds success, I have to take the Bucs with a boulder-sized grain of salt. It’s easy to look at Martin and say he’s a number two, because he’s been relevant in the past but that was then, this is now….Emilio! *said ala Night at the Roxbury* Denard comes in as the newest flavor of the week, and if you missed on Tre Mason last week, because that is when he SHOULD of been added, then for sure get all up on Denard. I’ll be honest, this battle is more about going with the hot hand, and that reveals who will win this one, but let’s take a look at the breakdown anyway. Many were surprised, myself included, with how well Denard ran the ball last week. Even a quick glance at his stats impressed me that he only had a long run of 20 yards, yet was able to manage 127 yards on 22 carries for a 5.8 YPC average. The TD was a nice bonus too, and hopefully a sign of good things to come. Both backs face teams that give up an average of at least 100 yards a game, and that’s a plus with a 20 carry day from Denard, that should return more value than Martin. The Bucs can always change direction and start handing the ball off, but I wouldn’t go that far in my assumptions and look at Martin as a 15-carry ceiling this week. If the Bucs do jump out to a lead, then Bobby Rainey can take carries away from him and I don’t like that. I’m all in on Denard this week to continue holding down the job in Jacksonville and give you a better day than Martin.
Winner: Denard Robinson