I’ve been to my share of church services over the years: white, black, Asian, Catholic, Presbyterian, subdued, musically inclined, traditional, and new age. Regardless of the congregation, bells and whistles, or place of worship, it’s always been about the sermon. A good sermon hits me right in the feels and gets me to come back for more. It’s not just about the message, though. There’s delivery, style, and enthusiasm, which differs from pastor to pastor. But pastors are human, so they get sick or have to travel from time to time. As a result, guest pastors make an appearance. Sometimes for the worse, but sometimes for the better. When the latter occurs, I incline from my recline, move my ass to meld with the back of the pew, transform into a perpendicular, and let me eyes and ears injest the lovely goodness. Which is exactly what happened on Sunday at the Church of Red Zone when I was expecting Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson to lead the Chargers, but instead it was Troymaine Pope who kept popping off the screen and delivering. Who is Pope and can he continue delivering?

Pope is 27 years old, 5′ 8″, and 205 pounds. He played his college ball at Jacksonville State and went undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft.

He initially signed with the Seattle Seahawks, went to the New York Jets, returned to the Seahawks, was acquired by the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, then returned again to the Seahawks, before settling with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2018. 

Prior to this season, Pope had played in 22 games, rushed 34 times for 108 yards, caught four passes on seven targets for 24 yards with one touchdown, and contributed on special teams. 

The Player Profiler page is no, no, no, nice shot. He runs a 4.6 40-yard dash. Yuck. The speed score is in the 31st percentile, but the burst score is in the 54th percentile and the agility score is in the 84th percentile. Pope also benched 225 pounds 25 times, which puts him in the 85th percentile. 

But he was popping off the screen on Sunday. Hitting the holes hard, skirting around defenders, and even catching passes. When I went to YouTube and checked out his highlights, I saw the same thing. He even had a 81-yard punt return to the house during Week 2 of the preseason last year, so he does possess juice. 

On Sunday, Pope ended up with a stat line of 10 rushes for 67 yards and 5 receptions on 7 targets for 28 yards. The line could’ve been better if he didn’t get knocked out of the game by Kareem Jackson. During the first half of the game, the snap distribution among all the Chargers running backs was close to 30% for each player. According to Michael Florio, Justin Jackson garnered 37%, Joshua Kelley, 32%, and Troymaine Pope 32%.

Pope made his first appearance of the season last week and received one carry, so it’s surprising to see him make such an impact in a short amount of time. Maybe that’s an indictment against Jackson and Kelley, who were rushing for 3.4 and 3.1 yards per attempt respectively on the season.

The triumvirate of Kelley, Jackson, and Pope are being utilized because Austin Ekeler is still recovering from his injury. Week 10 looks to be the earliest for his return, so that means only a few more weeks before Pope likely gets demoted. But, but, but…..

The next two games are juicy for the run game, as the Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins are on the schedule. According to Football Outsiders, the Dolphins are dead-last in rush defense, while the Raiders are 29th. 

Now, Pope likely suffered a concussion on Sunday, so his availability is in question. Plus, it’s still a three-headed backfield until Ekeler returns. With that said, if Pope is cleared for action and you’re desperate for a running back, Pope could deliver some fantasy goodness over the next two weeks.

 

  1. everywhereblair

    everywhereblair says:
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    Sounds like a dynasty flier!

  2. Son

    Son says:
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    Why not? He’s 27 years old though

  3. American Futbol Joe says:
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    I’m ahead of my opponent by 13. I really do need a win this week and all they have left to play is Evan Engram. Engram has scored 13 or more points twice in the past two years: Weeks 1 and 3 in 2019. He’s yet to have a double-digit score this year.

    I have Scotty Miller and the Bucs defense left to play. Christian Kirk is available off of waivers, since his team was on bye. Dare I drop Miller, or the Bucs defense, to prematurely add Kirk and face off with my opponent one player down? My WR situation has been…not great, with A-Rob and Fuller basically being my only two semi-reliable options.

    Do you think I should drop Miller or the Bucs defense to stash Kirk ahead of waivers? Or should I go for the win this week and, alternative, grab a few more points since the two wild card spots in my league are determined by points scored?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Negative. Don’t get cute. Keep Miller and TB D. Put yourself in the best position to win this week and for future tie breaking considerations

      • American Futbol Joe says:
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        Solid advice, to the point, and confident. Just wanted to let you know I appreciate it. I have followed your suggestion. Still hope I get Kirk tho ;-) even though he seems very TD dependent.

        • Son

          Son says:
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          I’m here for you. Good luck with getting Kirk!!

  4. Hamtime says:
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    Deep 14m:

    1. Drop mims for Lutton? Think he has any chance to be better than stafford? 1 QB league but i hesitate starting Matt every week and only guys available are the likes rivers, foles, etc

    2. Is Wilkins a blip or more of a staple? Worth burning a #3 waiver for him?

    3. Got burned by amari and Hollywood this week. I think I’m benching cooper indefinitely.
    Am i really starting mike Williams at WR next week and dobbins, perine, Preston, or Logan Thomas at the flex (have waller as primary TE)

    • Son

      Son says:
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      1) I would not drop Mims for Lutton. Could Luton be better than Stafford? Sure, but the probabilities aren’t in his favor.

      2) Wilkins is good. And JT is dealing with an ankle injury. With that said, he will never be a bell cow. Matchup against BAL is a tough one next week too

      3) I feel your pain. Can’t start any Cowboys until Dalton returns. M Williams is a start for me, especially against the Raiders. I lean Preston or Logan right now, but will depend on injury news

      • Hamtime says:
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        thanks Son.

        Currently i have mims, but thinking of dropping him for logan thomas since hooper is still on IR. Are you high on mims and would u rather keep him over a 3rd TE?

        • Son

          Son says:
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          Jets situation sucks but he has upside. I’d rather have him than a 3rd TE for sure

  5. JC says:
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    Golladay’s injury comes at a bad time given Boyd is on a bye. Need some advice on a backfill. Context: tied for first in standard scoring league. Playing 4th place team so a big one.
    Wire: Reagor, M Williams,Slayton, Mooney, Hardeman, B Hill, Edwards

    Team:
    Tannehill
    Cook, Taylor, Gaskin
    Julio, open
    Waller
    Out/Bye: Golladay, Crowder, Boyd
    Bench: Mattison, Kelley, R Higgins, Beasley

    1. Play someone from my bench?
    2. Or swap who?
    3. Stay with Kelley or move on B Hill?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      1) Beasley
      2) I’m okay with swapping to B Hill

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