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.
Quote of the Week
everyone is hurt, everything is terrible and your fantasy squad is in flames. my week 1 breakdown:
— C.D. Carter (@CDCarter13) September 14, 2015
You can always count on Denny to easily asses the thoughts and emotions of the average fantasy football fan. We wait so long for the games to start and as soon as they are over our imaginary teams cause extreme elation or sheer heartache. Hopefully you were the owner already stamping your name onto the fantasy trophy and marveling in your drafting prowess.
Doug Martin, RB TB
Coming into the season there was a lot of hope around the Buccaneers. They had the number one quarterback from the draft in Jameis Winston, Mike Evans was entering his second season after performing like a dominating force at receiver and Doug Martin was looking like the player who exploded into the NFL as a rookie. After the first week is in the books the commentary on Martin carried a similar tone.
Doug Martin looked great this preseason, but having a bad team around him is always a big negative for fantasy RBs. Same on Latavius Murray. — Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 14, 2015
The once in a full moon Doug Martin potentially positive game script was destroyed. 10 attempts for 48 yards at the half, 1 for 4 after.
— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) September 14, 2015
Tampa Bay is still a young team with a bad offensive line and a rookie quarterback that is going to struggle. As Rich eluded to, there are going to be more negative game scripts in Doug’s future. The Buccaneers will fall behind and Martin will no longer be as involved while the team tries to come back through the air. Averaging 4.7 yards per carry is a great mark, but if his weekly potential for carries is going to top off around 15 his value will be held in check. There also remains the fact that scoring opportunities will be minimal making Martin more of a weekly RB3/FLEX option rather than the RB2 value he was carrying entering the season.
Carlos Hyde, RB SF
Another running back who appeared as though he would fall victim to negative game scripts and struggle in 2015 was Carlos Hyde. The 49ers spent the offseason being dismantled leaving everyone to believe the team would fall to the depths of the NFC West. San Francisco also brought in Reggie Bush to serve as the main third down option for quarterback Colin Kaepernick, seemingly reducing Hyde to limited weekly touches. There also remains the fact that last season, Hyde looked good but never elite while averaging four yards per carry in limited action. Throughout the Summer, Hyde also saw his dynasty stock fall out of the top ten in running backs as owners were increasingly shying away. Enter week one of the regular season and a contest against the Vikings and everyone was pulling a 180 on Carlos.
Hyde was a revelation and will admit total whiff on how strong he’d be this year. Bush injury sealed it, let him get MIN D in chokehold — Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom) September 15, 2015
I was so wrong on Carlos Hyde this week. Easily my worst miss. Dude looks pretty damn good.
— Nick Mensio (@NickMensio) September 15, 2015
[inlinead]?First off, you have to admire fantasy analysts who put their opinions out there and are quick to point out when they were wrong. Normally these are the guys who are right far more than not. Secondly, it was only one week against a team whose offense surprisingly struggled mightily and could prove to be an awful run defense throughout the year. Week one of the regular season is when overreactions are at their pinnacle as we have such a small sample size to work around. Bush did leave the contest with a calf strain that may keep him out of this week’s matchup and if Reggie were to continue to miss time Hyde will see more work. But this is also a team with a number of difficult games lined up and if they fall behind Hyde will not see 26 rushes and multiple scoring chances. The skills on display Monday night were not from the runner I witnessed last season. I am still cautious with Hyde but if the team can stay competitive and he continues to run hard like he did against Minnesota, Carlos Hyde could be a staple in many fantasy lineups in 2015 and beyond.
C.J. Anderson, RB DEN
Two games in the book and C.J. Anderson’s fantasy owners have to be more than a little worried. In week one, the Broncos faced a very tough Baltimore defense that stifled the running game. Both Anderson and Ronnie Hillman carried the ball 12 times and C.J. managed only 2.4 yards per carry. He also came out of the game banged up and was questionable for a quick turnaround on Thursday night. As the Fantasy Douche pointed out prior to the game, Anderson was on the top of his panic button list tweeting,
Yeah I would say the player that I think pulling the alarm is most in order is CJA. Combo of injury, Peyton sucking, and Hillman.
— Fantasy Douche (@FantasyDouche) September 16, 2015
Anderson did start the week 2 contest, so the injury appears minor, though could have contributed to another putrid effort. Peyton Manning actually looked better as the game went along and while it is a long season and he could easily wear down again, he bounced back against the Chiefs. Hillman also does not appear to be going anywhere looking at the game script tonight so there are plenty of red flags flying.
Looking more closely at the Denver rushing game, Anderson did start off receiving the first five carries. Of course after the 14 yard scamper on the first play, Anderson managed just four yards on four attempts. In the middle of the game, Hillman also saw all the carries on three straight possessions. The second half saw each runner switching series and neither being productive as Eric pointed out,
Both Hillman/CJA are getting hit in the backfield on a alarming % of runs. Both of their ypc’s are reliant on the 10% well blocked plays
— Breeze (@BreezeIDP) September 18, 2015
Both Anderson and Hillman combined for 21 carries versus the Chiefs. If you remove three touches that went for ten plus yards, the remaining 18 rushes averaged just 1.1 yards. That is what is most alarming as the revamped Broncos offensive line is struggling. Of course, this brings us back to the defenses they are squaring off against, which both featured elite pass rushers and playmakers. So what should fantasy owners expect moving forward? The ten day rest should be enough to get Anderson close to fully healthy. Manning looks to have settled in but the offensive line will need to make huge strides to expect anything to change quickly. I expect Anderson get around a 60/40 share and after Hillman got stuffed at the goal line the next opportunities should be C.J.’s. I still believe Anderson can be a productive RB2 this season but there is enough working against him to lower his weekly ceiling. Of course, after these performances, he would be an ultimate buy low so there is no harm testing the waters and seeing what could be had for his services.
James Jones, WR GB
Every fantasy owner wants a piece of the top NFL offenses and Green Bay is clearly one of those teams. The fantasy landscape for the receiving corps of the Packers took an interesting turn before week one when Jordy Nelson was lost for the year with a torn ACL. In his place, Davante Adams was expected to obviously help fill the void as he emerged as the clear third option last year. The main discussion centered around which receiver would be Aaron Rodgers’ third go-to with potential weekly fantasy value. Second year pro Jeff Janis and rookie Ty Montgomery were the front runners until the late signing of James Jones. Jones had previously spent seven years with the team before underwhelming in Oakland in 2014. At the age of 31 and entering his ninth season many, including myself, did not know what to make of Jones. On the DLF Podcast a week ago, Jarrett, Karl and myself all came out of the discussion on the Packers assuming James’ presence likely muddied the waters enough to make no receiver a great option this season. After just one week though the waters appear crystal clear as John Paulsen highlighted,
It looks as though Jones’ time in Oakland and diminished stats were more a product of his quarterback and offense rather than his own skills. I also definitely undersold the value of an established connection between quarterback and receiver that has not developed with Jeff and Ty. There are still 15 regular season games for the Packers and anything can happen, but for now it appears Janis will be an afterthought as a receiver and Montgomery will mainly be a highlight on special teams.
Late Round or Streaming Quarterbacks
More and more fantasy owners are dialing into the line of thought on waiting to draft quarterbacks or even simply streaming the best matchups with a group quarterback castoffs. As Chris points out that strategy was in full effect week one.
Marcus Mariota and Carson Palmer finished 2nd and 3rd in fantasy points for QB’s
— Chris Heil (@thegrizzlybeard) September 15, 2015
As the NFL continues to lean more pass heavy the fantasy stats will follow all the signal callers. Simply owning Andrew Luck or Aaron Rodgers does not provide the same upside as an elite receiver or running back may. In terms of dynasty, though, these quarterbacks are going to win matchups and championships for owners and they offer very high floors versus steaming options. During the season is the best time to gauge the value of top quarterbacks like Luck and Rodgers by their owners, particularly coming off of poor outings. Seeing a guy like Alex Smith outperform the weekly top options may open the doors to a potential trade.
Josh Hill, TE NO
The Saints’ tight end situation was definitely one of interest for fantasy owners after the departure of all-world performer Jimmy Graham. While Ben Watson was considered the favorite when the team needed an additional blocker, Hill was expected to step into the receiving role Graham left behind. While no one predicted 1,000 yard seasons with double digit touchdowns, they also did not expect to see literally nothing. Hill’s dynasty value coming in the year normally had a wide range depending on the owner, but many still saw him as a top 20 option with upside. Again it is only one week, but with Drew Brees attempting 48 passes and not having one directed towards Hill, you have to worry. The Saints did not draft a tight end to replace Graham and Head Coach Sean Payton offered nothing but praise for Josh in training camp, but this may be a case of not yet being ready. If the trend continues, Hill may be a very buy low later in the year with hopes of him developing into a weekly contributor in 2016. Also note that Josh and the team at 4for4 have a number of valuable tools to help you gain an edge throughout the season).
Thank you to Football Outsiders and Football Guys for some of the stats used within this article. Both are great resources still available for the average fantasy fan.[ad5]?