Welcome to the first edition of Beyond the Numbers! Hope you guys like it here. Feels a little funny writing an article seemingly in direct contradiction to my fellow writer, Mike Honcho’s By the Numbers, but this isn’t really the case. Check it out; the post has good takes on how backfields are shaping up this season and enough numbers to give you that math boner you’ve missed since graduating high school… Plus his avatar is John Reilly so I’m clicking on that bad boy regardless. Here’s the thing with me though, numbers are great, but they never really tell the whole story, and frankly I think they can be a bit overrated. So I’m here to delve a little bit closer, help you make some smart fantasy decisions, and hopefully make a few people uncomfortable with some inappropriate jokes…
Tajae Sharpe – Man, does this kid excite me, is a sentence that probably should never be said in any context, but is how I feel about Mr. Sharpe. Showed fantastic hands, great route running for a rookie, and is the unquestioned number one receiver on his team. And of course he is, he’s frickin’ competing for targets with Harry Douglas (HeHe) and the legend formerly known as AJ2K. Three sentences in this write up and I’ve already made a pedophilia joke and a dick reference, clearly I’m killing this fantasy columnist thing. Anyway, if you snagged this guy late in the draft, good for you; the Titans are going to be down a bunch and really only have Tajae and Delanie Walker to throw to. I think he’ll be a solid PPR play throughout the season, and possibly a weekly Flex if he continues to impress. Not bad for a guy going after Stephen Gostkowski in just about every league draft.
Allen Robinson – It almost feels like cheating putting him on here and telling the fantasy public, don’t panic, this dude only led the NFL in targets week 1 and continued to flash as the athletic freak he was last year. Granted, you could argue the squad of 250+ pound behemoths with faster 40 times than me should also be in the category of athletic freaks, but this man has soft hands too so it’s different. As for the 7 standard points last week, just take it like a champ and know, if it wasn’t for Antonio Brown, this man could easily be the best fantasy receiver in the land.
Melvin Gordon – This Charger has given us all, time and time again, reason to worry about his fantasy value. Not only am I worried he’s never in on third down situations, but I’m worried about actual production when he does touch the ball. Sure he got some goal line carries last week, but it was very telling last year when the 5’8” diminutive Danny Woodhead (HeHe) was the better goal line option. Sure Woodhead has the best stache in the game, but when he can beat out the “physical” Gordon on goal line carries, it’s pretty sad. And frankly, outside of Gordon’s one good run I didn’t see much there, especially against a run defense that did nothing all game. I’d keep him out of my lineup until he shows he can get more than 57 yards on the ground because he sure isn’t getting much (if any) in the air, not to mention his first touchdown ever came in year two.
Theo Riddick – Sure, it looks like I’m just picking out an easy target for that all elusive third dick reference, but honestly, I just find this guy plain Flexy. From all the reports I’m reading, Jim Bob Cooter seems to be absolutely in love with Riddick… I swear, that was actually supposed to be legitimate sentence as it was going from my brain to my fingers. Anyway, have a look at this quote from Cooter, “If you have a guy who’s primarily there in the pass game, they’re going to expect pass a lot of times when he’s in the game. So for him to be able to do both and be able to do both at a really high level, that’s going to be really impactful for our offense.” I don’t think there could be a more exciting thing for him to say for any of Riddick’s fantasy owners; clearly he wants to give this guy work. In his fourth NFL season, it looks like things may finally be clicking, albeit with only one game as reference. Keep a watch on this guy, hell, put him in your flex if you’re feeling frisky. This man is a pretty safe bet each week for modest, but consistent points.
That’s it for this week guys. Be sure to check back next Friday for Week 3’s edition!