Ahh, it’s that refreshing time of year when the scorching heat is finally dying down, and the weather is turning cold enough to completely forget about the summer. With the middle of the season approaching, the fantasy outlook, like the weather, is rapidly changing. Sure you may have had one of the best teams in the league when Eric Decker and DeAngelo Williams were still producing, but those days are gone and their positions have been filled. This is true for many of the players you drafted, whether they were once putting up great numbers or not, and it’s about time to adapt to the changes. Get ready to trust in players you never thought you would, in this week’s Beyond the Numbers.
Terrance West – It’s very easy to write off a running back that bounced between 3 teams over the course of one season (last year), but here we land with West being the Ravens starting back. Although I was worried that Kenneth Dixon would be groomed for the starting role once healthy, the Ravens seem to be content taking it slow with the rookie. West has been productive so far, so much so that an offensive coordinator has been fired because he didn’t touch the ball enough… absurd to think, but true. West belongs in your lineup as long as he’s healthy, and Dixon belongs on your bench if you have the space.
Quincy Enunwa – Eric Decker has unfortunately been placed on IR after weeks of uncertainty, and so opens the No. 2 spot on the wide receiver depth chart. The 24 year old youngster, Enunwa, has been filling this position for a couple of weeks now, but has yet to have a breakout game that suggests he’s worth rostering. Although he hasn’t put anything special up on the stat sheet, I think the upside he has a No. 2 on the Jets definitely make him a solid roster stash at least, and a Flex play at most. Keep an eye on him as he tries to do something with the huge opportunity he’s been given.
Cameron Meredith – Kevin White has unfortunately been placed on IR after breaking his left fibula, and so opens the No. 2 spot on the wide receiver depth chart. Although the 24 year old youngster, Meredith, has a solid game on his résumé to establish himself as a fantasy asset, he went up against one of the worst secondaries in the game. Sorry, are you feeling this déjà vu too? Enunwa and Meredith are in virtually identical situations, but on teams trending opposite directions; which is why if I had to choose one to roster, it’d be Meredith. He’s had his breakout game, and he looks to have a solid report with possible new permanent starter, Brian Hoyer. He immediately moves into flex consideration to me, albeit a close watch for what he does against better defenses.
Jeremy Kerley & Torrey Smith – It’s extremely hard to endorse picking up anyone outside of Carlos Hyde from the 49ers roster, but I’m about to take a huge shot in the dark. It’s no wonder slot wide receiver Kerley has had some success with Blaine Gabbert as quarterback; Gabbert has to throw the ball occasionally and is deathly afraid of throwing the ball further than 20 yards downfield. In comes the afro sporting savior, Colin Kaepernick (laughs). Although I think he’s one of the leagues worse passing quarterbacks, he’s got an absolute cannon for an arm which greatly benefits Torrey Smith. Call me crazy, but I’ve added Smith in a Hail Mary type move in a few leagues. I seriously doubt this turns into much, but Smith actually has a shot at success with Kaepernick taking over.
Spencer Ware & Jamaal Charles – As great as Spencer Ware has looked carrying the rock this year, his fumbling issues and JMail’s resurgence seem to be sending him back to No. 2 duties. Sly poop jokes aside, I don’t feel comfortable starting him anymore. Charles is plenty capable of catching screens and will get just about all redzone carries, striping Ware of a ton a value. Ware’s fantastic yards per carry warrant holding on to him for the time being, but I believe he’ll go back to being a strict handcuff in short order.
LeGarrette Blount – With Tom Brady back in the fold, New England goes back to being more unpredictable than any team with their running backs. Blount is going to lose a bit of work with Brady back passing so much, but his goal line presence should keep him in the weekly starting category. Don’t be too nervous when Blount’s yardage totals slip, as the touchdown upside make him a weekly dangerous play.
John Brown & Michael Floyd – Both receivers were expected to be trustworthy WR3s with upside when drafted, but neither is fitting the bill. Brown started to look like he was catching his grove with Carson Palmer, and that should continue with Palmer coming back from concussion this week. The same cannot be said for Floyd, as he has seen his snap count decrease in recent weeks from his terrible play. Keep both rostered for when better days come, but right now, I’d only feel comfortable starting John Brown.
Justin Forsett – The Lions are severely desperate at running back, hence the recent signing of Forsett. Don’t rush to add him to your roster, as the 30 year old isn’t the answer for Detroit. They’ll continue using Theo Riddick way more than he’s showing capable of, and they’ll want to develop the young rookie, Dwayne Washington, once he’s healthy again. Your bench spots would be more wisely used on someone else, move along.
Randall Cobb – Welcome back to the fray Randall, and thanks for finally showing up in a game. It’d be easy to continue being down on this guy after just one solid game, but don’t count Cobb out just yet. He gets redzone looks and actually has just as many receptions and yards as Jordy Nelson, sans touchdowns. Last week he put a sick move on the slot corner for his first touchdown of the year, only to have it called back on a penalty away from the play. With Jordy taking on most of the defensive focus each week, Cobb makes for a bottom end WR2 with upside for a little more. You were hoping for more if you drafted him, but if you did, you’re starting him.
Arian Foster – I tried to open up a file on my laptop containing Foster’s injury history for reference, but it was so large my screen actually froze up. That’s the reason you got him at such a steep discount in the draft, but his workload and productivity when he plays has never been in question. Any time he’s active on game day, he’s in my roster as I expect the Dolphins to lean heavily on him. Whether he gets carries or targeted with screens, he’ll get enough touches to warrant RB2 consideration.
Thanks for tuning in again this week, and as always, hit me up with any roster questions below.