Each week I will be walking through the Twitterverse extracting some of the best commentary from trusted fantasy football minds. Twitter can be overwhelming with the amount of information that streams live, but it also proves to be one of the fastest and easiest ways to communicate. In 140 characters or less, you can learn something about a player you may have never thought of from trends, stats or analysis.
Cordarelle Patterson, WR MIN
All the talent in the world will never trump a lack of opportunity. Cordarelle Patterson had his worst game of the season when is team scored 41 points and saw Teddy Bridgewater throw for over 300 yards. His usage in the Vikings offense after losing the best weapon in Adrian Peterson is somewhat baffling. Rotoworlder’s Adam Levitan and Evan Silva weighed in tweeting,
The pre-preseason fears on Cordarrelle Patterson are being realized. He’s in there on every snap, running bad routes and not getting the ball.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 29, 2014
Cordarrelle Patterson has played on 88.9% of the offensive snaps over the last 2 weeks. But has totaled 6 catches on 9 targets and 1 rush. — Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) September 29, 2014
On Sunday he was targeted only four times catching two passes while teammate Jarius Wright was fed nine targets for eight catches and 132 yards. I have read Wright was put into the game plan more due to Bridgewater’s familiarity with him during practices and while this is an explainable response for Sunday, Patterson remained underused the prior weeks. A quarter of the way through the season and there is enough of a trend forming to make me believe Cordarelle may not pay off the higher draft spot many paid for. Even looking beyond this season if Patterson’s usage remains questionable it will take a coaching change for things to get better fantasy wise and remove him from boom or bust status. Ty Miller also weighed in on the Vikings receiver stating,
Wish I had sold off Cordarelle Patterson after week one. In the Vikings system, opportunity is far outweighing talent. #JariusWright
— Ty Miller (@Ty_In_StL) September 29, 2014
As Ty eluded to, it is likely too late to trade Patterson for reasonable value. All you can do now is hope the coaches learn to better utilize his talents while mixing him in and out of your Flex.
Antone Smith, RB ATL
The Falcons don’t always use Antone Smith. But when they do, he absolutely blows up. Both Chris Wesseling and John Paulsen shared unbelievable stats from the rarely used running back this week.
Falcons RB Antone Smith averaging 18.65 yards per offensive touch over the past three years. — Chris Wesseling (@ChrisWesseling) September 28, 2014
Antone Smith might be the best RB in ATL and he is 4th in snaps among the Falcons’ RBs. 344 and 5 TDs on 21 career touches. Amazing.
— John Paulsen (@4for4_John) September 29, 2014
From an NFL and fantasy perspective, Antone dominates his Atlanta counterparts. Of course this may be another case of coaches seeing something different than the casual Sunday observers. The fact is Smith has only 38 snaps on the season whereas there are over 30 other running backs that have more than 38 attempts. He is not even at 25% usage on his own team so while he may be a top 25 fantasy back after four weeks, his immediate upside is still heavily capped. Smith is the epitome of a high upside play and would be tough to start given his current status on the team. Looking long term this is a guy who was likely not found on any dynasty top 100’s for running backs but has outscored the consensus number one, LeSean McCoy. He is an unrestricted free agent after the season as well, so his team or situation may not improve. If you can make a trade netting you top 25 value in return for his services, I would be making a deal for a more established asset. Torrey Smith, WR BAL Torrey Smith did not come into the season with expectations of being a top ten wideout in fantasy, but he was expected to build upon his 1,100 yard season from 2013 and be the top playmaker for his team. That no longer appears to be the case with Steve Smith Sr. garnering all the targets, yards and touchdowns for the Ravens. The elder Smith already has double the targets and three times the yards as Torrey. Josh Moore might have summed up his season best quipping,
It’s sad that Torrey Smith’s coming out party came on 2 receptions, 3 targets. 2-53-1. — Josh Moore (@4for4_Josh) September 28, 2014
A quarter of the way through the season and Torrey Smith is looking no better than a bye week Flex play. In touchdown heavy or PPR leagues he is even less desirable. Until Steve Smith stops running around defenders like they are schoolboy kids, Torrey will be sitting on my bench.
LeSean McCoy, RB PHI
Yes, you can start to panic. A consensus top five dynasty player coming into the year, LeSean McCoy is officially struggling and being outscored by another team’s fourth option at RB (see Antone Smith above). The Philadelphia offensive line is running out of bodies and the backup options are less than desirable. The running game is dreadful for McCoy as Ryan Forbes pointed out,
Trent Richardson has 9 fewer carries and 11 more rushing yards than LeSean McCoy.
— Manuél Retweet (@RyFo18) September 29, 2014
You do not need actual stats when being compared to Trent Richardson, you just know it is not going well. In the last two games alone McCoy has 29 attempts for 39 yards. Even Toby Gerhart can’t believe how poorly LeSean is playing. The compounding, and possibly more frustrating aspect of McCoy’s game, is that he is not being utilized in the passing game. Josh Moore tweeted,
LeSean McCoy with 0 catches in his last 2 games. Concerning, but I’d put out buy low feelers to tilting owner who got 1 PPR pt this week. — Josh Moore (@4for4_Josh) September 29, 2014
Even an average fantasy owner is unlikely to part with McCoy for pennies on the dollar so making trade offers may be difficult. I also would not offer too much up for LeSean right now for standard or dynasty leagues as his offensive line is not getting healthy any time soon. That being said, it never hurts to check on the mental state of his owners and determine how willing they are to part with their fantasy centerpiece.
Rashad Jennings, RB NYG
Thursday night seems like a long time ago and sometimes the casual fan may rely too much on stats to make their fantasy decisions. Rashad Jennings had been the clear workhorse in Tom Coughlin’s offense and much more effective than his backup Andre Williams. Against the Redskins though, Williams had more carries, more yards and got the rushing touchdown. John Paulsen provided the reason for the week four turnaround tweeting,
Tom Coughlin said he’d try to limit Rashad Jennings’ touches on a short week and with the game in control, he did.
— John Paulsen (@4for4_John) September 26, 2014
Others like Mike Clay and Jake Cieley also weighed in stating,
Keep in mind that Williams had been very ineffective prior to running all over Washington’s “defense” tonight. Jennings is safe. — Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) September 26, 2014
Just watching Twitter, everyone should take full advantage of the Jennings panic. Trade for him! Short week, extreme workload, blowout! — Jake Ciely (@allinkid) September 26, 2014
Rashad will continue forward as a top back getting the majority of looks for the Giants. Search out his owners and tell them tales of split backfields and the emergence of the younger back taking over before Jennings puts another top 10 week on his 2014 resume.
Andrew Luck, QB IND
The real world debate between the Colts’ Andrew Luck and Seahawks’ Russell Wilson definitely has merit. When it comes to fantasy though, Eric Olinger might have said it best exclaiming,
Fantasy Andrew Luck has finally caught up & maybe even surpassed the Andrew Luck prophecy. — Eric Olinger (@OlingerIDP) September 28, 2014
Luck is absolutely on fire this season on pace for over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns. Will he hit those marks? Maybe not, but he is clearly the top quarterback in dynasty and will be for years to come. Other younger signal callers like Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford and Wilson just are not on the same level, particularly on a week in, week out basis. If you own Luck right now, there is little reason to entertain parting with his services any time soon.
Special thanks to Pro Football Focus and their Premium Stats