Nobody has any more stacked lineup of fantasy analysts and NFL team reporter as ESPN. It’s the committee’s rare backcourt that is actually a good thing for fantasy managers. Every Tuesday we ask our NFL Nation reporters a series of burning questions to keep you informed of your pickup and roster decisions.
Both of the Indianapolis Colts second-round draft picks were late bloomers. But receivers Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor seem to be peaking at the right time after a big extra overtime win against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
Taylor had 22 transfers for 90 yards and four catches for 24 yards in the 34-31 win – by far his most touches since Week 2. And he had a potential 20-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that was nullified by a stake Penalty was taken.
However, Colts reporter Mike Wells continued to emphasize some caution with your expectations of Taylor for the future.
As Wells stated in this column two weeks ago, Indy always gave Taylor “every opportunity” to regain the lead by introducing him at the start of the Games. But as we saw when Taylor was overproduced by seasoned teammates Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins in the past few weeks (much to the chagrin of Taylor’s fantasy managers), coach Frank Reich was always on the hot hand as the game progressed.
This time it turned out that that hot hand was Taylor.
“Don’t assume Taylor is going to have a repeat every week,” Wells said. “I call it Frank Reich likes to ride the wave with Taylor. But when he rolls, he stays with him.”
Colt’s trainer Frank Reich has a message for fantasy players: “I consider almost all of our running backs to be starters … I know it’s frustrating for fantasy players, but it’s just the way we roll.” (cc @ MikeTriplett)
– Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNFL) 23rd November 2020
On the flip side, Wells is even more optimistic that Pittman’s role on Indy’s offense will continue to grow after making four catches for 56 yards in Week 9. seven catches for 101 yards and one run for 21 yards in week 10; and three catches for 66 yards, including his first career TD, in week 11.
That doesn’t mean Pittman should start before Taylor in fantasy leagues. But Pittman should be featured in more than 25.7% of the ESPN leagues.
“Do your shopping in Pittman. I’m the Pittman guy,” said Wells, pointing out that Colts quarterback Philip Rivers has always been big physical targets like the 6-foot-4,223-pounder from his time on the lot liked Angeles chargers.
In fact, the four guys who have caught the most passes from Rivers of all time are Antonio Gates (6-foot-4) and the receivers Keenan Allen (6-2), Malcom Floyd (6-5) and Vincent Jackson ( 6) -5) – in addition to newer connections to players like Mike Williams (6-4) and Tyrell Williams (6-4).
“Look at history for more evidence of the Rivers-Pittman connection. They were all big, strong, and fast people,” said Wells, who suggested that this could be part of the problem that Rivers had at 5 – Has no consistent production. 10 recipient TY Hilton.
Now for the rest of our weekly tour of the league:
Originally this column was supposed to be with rookie J.K. Dobbins’ appearance as the leading man in Baltimore’s backfield. But then came the news that both Dobbins and veteran RB Mark Ingram tested positive for COVID-19.
So the immediate advice is to make Gus Edwards your top waiver if you need an RB this week, even though he will face a tough matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers defense.
Dan Orlovsky breaks down how the ravens will handle it without Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins thanks to positive COVID-19 tests.
But in the long run, it looks like Dobbins is someone to be comfortable with when you return. Even Steelers trainer Mike Tomlin said Monday that it is “obvious” that he is Baltimore’s “featured runner” after making 15 transfers for 70 yards and one touchdown and two catches for 15 yards in overtime against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday would have.
“Even if the Ravens Dobbins won’t officially return the title, all expectations are that the second round election will star.” [when everyone is healthy]”said Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley, who has stressed throughout the season that coach John Harbaugh has the right” the right to deserve “to play more.
“In the last three quarters and on Sunday in extra time, Dobbins had 15 broadcasts while Edwards had one and Ingram had none. For the first time, it was a one-back show for the Ravens. Dobbins is Baltimore’s most explosive playmaker outside of Lamar Jackson. and the Ravens need a spark after losing three of their last four games. “
Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow’s knee injury at the end of the season will almost certainly have a negative impact on the recipient’s imagination in Bengals. Burrow ranked # 1 in the NFL in attempts to pass per game for the first 10 weeks of the season.
“Until proven otherwise, fantasy managers should only rely on Tyler Boyd,” said Bengali reporter Ben Baby. “Boyd will have enough targets to remain valuable in both PPR and non-PPR leagues. The other two possible options so far – rookie Tee Higgins and veteran A.J. Green – are likely to see production drops.
Stephania Bell goes into detail about Joe Burrow’s injury and how much damage was done.
“Higgins had a strong relationship with fellow rookie fellow Joe Burrow and became the team’s top downfield passing option. The quarterback move will likely further limit an offense that doesn’t throw many deep balls. QB sophomore saw Ryan Finley better off during training camp, but in Sunday’s loss to Washington, Finley was only a 3-10 pass for 30 yards after Burrow was thrown out of play.
“If things don’t go well against the New York Giants this weekend, even Boyd’s long-term prospects could be questioned.”
Boyd and Green each scored a pass on two targets from Finley Sunday, while Higgins scored zero hits on four targets.
Finley and Boyd have a relationship that dates back to Finley’s three starts last season – but that doesn’t guarantee consistent results. This stretch included both a 101-yard game and a 0-yard game for Boyd.
The sixth year uncovered journeyman could be a popular waiver this week after hitting a career high of 132 yards and a TD on six catches in Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans, as well as running for 11 yards once. But Patriot reporter Mike Reiss said he was “light-hearted” with fantasy expectations.
Field Yates is delighted with Damiere Byrd after pitching impressive fantasy numbers against the Texans in Week 11.
“Its production was a trick-or-treat deal,” said Reiss, who this year had higher prospects for Jakobi Meyers, an uncovered recipient.
Patriots QB Cam Newton threw 40 yards in 40 attempts in their Houston loss on Sunday, and there isn’t usually that much volume in the New England passing game.
“Keep in mind that Byrd played 42 snapshots against Baltimore the week before and wasn’t targeted once in the game,” Reiss said. “A combination of the Patriots, who said goodbye to the run and played from behind for most of the second half, added to his production spike against the Texans. The air-conditioned venue in Houston – and the fast turf – should probably be part of it too be up for discussion, as Byrd’s most important asset is speed. Byrd is a great story – having settled himself into a key role – but his fantasy value would fall into the volatile category from my point of view. “
My best fantasy analysis of the year as an ESPN Saints reporter: When I said last Tuesday that manager WR Michael Thomas should continue to start each week with confidence because his three quiet games this season could all be explained and summarized into small samples .
My Worst Fantasy Analysis: When I reversed course a little after Hill was named the Saints’ starting QB, I warned that it could limit Thomas’s capabilities.
Field Yates explores Taysom Hill and how its production can affect Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara.
Thomas was geared towards 12 of Hill’s 23 pass attempts in Sunday’s 24-9 win against the Atlanta Falcons, for season highs of nine catches and 104 yards. He should have had another downfield catch as well, but admitted making a rare and “terrible drop”. During Drew Brees ‘absence, Hill may not injure every week for large volume, but this was further evidence that Thomas will remain the Saints’ top priority in passing – as he was for QB Teddy Bridgewater last year.
On the flip side, Saints RB Alvin Kamara went without a catch for the first time in his NFL career after scoring an incredible 67 passes in their first nine games. But he scored his 12th touchdown of the season.
Perhaps Kamara’s astronomical fantasy with Hill will take a minor blow at the quarterback because Hill throws down more than Bree and froze part of Kamara’s goal line away. But Kamara remains an obvious must-see.
Woe is the fantasy manager (including me) who saved Wentz on his bench for use this week against the Seattle Seahawks’ porous pass defense. Eagles reporter Tim McManus still doesn’t believe there is a realistic chance that Wentz will be banked in real life. With the quarterback continuing to regress this season, it’s hard to justify starting it even against a Seattle defense that has scored the second highest fantasy points for quarterbacks this year.
Field Yates and Stephania Bell discuss the decline in Travis Fulgham’s fantasy production and how long fantasy managers should keep playing it.
“I see the logic there. Add that this is a game of revenge for Wentz, who was knocked out of the Eagles-Seahawks wild card game in January with a concussion over a questionable hit from Jadeveon Clowney and there is reason to believe that Wentz could show up in a big way in that case, “McManus said. “But the first 10 games of the season have provided overwhelming evidence that Wentz is in the middle of a tailspin. The ball isn’t coming out on time, and that has created a number of issues from bags to sales to an overall clunky Run. ” It may break out here, but I would hesitate to start it considering what it has shown us week after week. “
However, McManus insisted that “it would take a full 180 in coach Doug Pederson’s thinking (or his bosses stepping in and overwriting him) for Wentz not to be the focus to start the game.”
“Pederson was very strong in his formulation, saying a wentz bank would ‘send the wrong message to your football team that the season is over,'” said McManus, who wrote a great analysis of the implications for the Eagles even if they did turned to Jalen Hurts’ backup only temporarily.
Let’s finish with another rookie whose role continues to grow. Gibson had another 16 carry for 94 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s 20-9 win over the Bengals and continued his breakout pace in the last four games. Washington reporter John Keim said the team will “keep trying to use him as the lead in the running game,” despite colleague RB J.D. McKissic is still so heavily involved as a runner and passport catcher.
“Ron Rivera knows that if they are to stand a chance of winning the NFC East they must ground it and rely on Alex Smith’s wisdom more than his arm. Each of the three defenders (including Peyton Barber) will keep a similar role like now, “said Keim, pointing out the converted college receiver” keeps improving “despite the occasional missed hole.
Keim said Gibson gets better with yards after contact, showing on Sunday that he could bait a linebacker with a wrong step inward to create a crease on an outside run.
“The only question will be whether or not the defense can keep them in games,” said Keim – because Gibson’s production was better with Washington protecting a lead. “They’ve dropped double digits in every game but two this season. If they can keep the games close, they can count on Gibson.”