Weekly Twitter Observations

Luke Wetta


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.

Randall Cobb, WR GB

Week three seems like a long time ago. That is when Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb hauled in seven passes for 91 yards and three touchdowns. Since that time it has not been a fun ride for fantasy owners as Nick Mensio and Sigmund Bloom so aptly pointed out.

Cobb has fallen off a cliff as his targets per game have dropped 33% during weeks four through six and his scoring opportunities have not materialized. Aaron Rodgers has also only thrown five scores over the last three weeks after tossing ten during the first three games. Rodgers propensity for sharing the targets has also actually increased after losing Jordy Nelson before the year and Davante Adams has been sidelined recently. This is the most worrisome point for me as you would expect Rodgers to lean on his top target even more. Instead Cobb’s share of targets to both wide receivers and tight ends has fallen from 36% during the first three games versus 27% for the most recent three. Teammate Richard Rodgers has actually seen the same number of targets as Cobb recording more catches and yards over this troublesome three-game stretch.

In a recent interview Cobb was asked about battling through a shoulder injury this season and he replied simply “there is no such thing as 100 percent in the NFL.” He did go on to mention that he is looking forward to the rest and be able to recover during the bye. The only problem with looking towards the possibility of injury is that Cobb played so well out of the gate. Another part of the equation is the opponents the Packers have faced in both the Rams and Chargers that last two weeks. Both are difficult matchups for receivers. The follow up to that though is that after the bye Green Bay will face off against the Broncos and Panthers, tough secondaries making it unlikely for a quick bounce back. If Rodgers continues to spread the ball around to his receiving options and defenses are able to key in on Cobb more we could continue to see more of the same. If you own Cobb it has to be difficult to sit him and owners may start getting jumpy after the two contests after the bye. Floating offers to owners of the top option for the best quarterback in the league is something I will definitely be looking into.

Christine Michael, RB DAL

After the Seahawks traded Christine Michael to the Cowboys before the season everyone took notice. Through the first five weeks of the season the running backs ahead of Michael on the depth chart failed to cement themselves as the clear go to option to run behind the heralded Cowboys offensive line. Enter the bye week and word is that the team is finally going to be giving Michael his shot and two opinions normally appear.

The first side highlights Michael’s freak athleticism scores. The second side is already moving on from a runner that seems determined to actually never materialize. In fantasy football I tend to believe that you as an owner have to view all players as black or white in terms of fantasy value. If you sit in the middle ground too often you likely will never acquire the high risk, high reward players that seemingly win fantasy championships every year. It also helps you avoid sitting on a player that other owners value much higher than your “wait and see” approach and potentially return you a player you value and feel more confident in. Michael represents this scenario amazingly well as I am of the opinion that if you could not beat out Robert Turbin, Fred Jackson and Thomas Rawls you are not worth a starting spot on my roster. There is also the point that Frank made in regards to Dallas’ remaining schedule.

[inlinead]That did not keep me though from trying to acquire his services when possible knowing someone else would likely pay more in the near future. I could be completely wrong about Michael and he could emerge as a RB1 down the stretch. The point is I am perfectly fine being wrong if it means I could receive a player back that I feel will be more valuable to my team long term. Take chances, gauge other owners’ interests and make a move either way. This is likely the last time you may be able to buy Christine Michael cheap or sell him extremely high. The problem is figuring out which one it will be.

Chris Ivory, RB NYJ

The running back landscape in 2015 has been ugly to say the least. No one could have even remotely predicted how the first six weeks have played out with elite options falling by the wayside and second string options running away with the points lead. Coming into the year Chris Ivory appeared to be a reliable running back who would garner touches in a marginal offense. Now he is making a case for one of the most valuable runners available.

Both tweets highlight the job Ivory has done finally given the opportunity. Injuries marred Ivory’s career after a solid rookie season and he had been splitting time with others until this season with the Jets. Now in the lead role Ivory is piling up yards and averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Out of 52 qualifying runners with at least 30 carries Ivory ranks fourth. He also shook off a difficult matchup against Washington in week six to have his best performance to date. As we have the running back position is unpredictable and comes with a short shelf life. Ivory is a guy that I have seen across multiple rankings outside the top 20 still in dynasty. If you can still somehow acquire him I would take him straight up over the likes of LeSean McCoy, Mark Ingram and Jamaal Charles with the uncertainty from his latest injury.

Rob Gronkowski, TE NE

Zack Morris enthusiast and fantasy statistician Rich Hribar shared an interesting trend regarding the NFL and fantasy football’s top tight end this week. 

It makes sense that after averaging just over 100 yards receiving through the first three games that defenses would pay more attention to Gronkowski. It is also part of the madness and brilliance that Bill Belichick brings to weekly game plans. In week six both Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola totaled 19 targets in the passing game. The previous week they combined for only 8 while running back Dion Lewis saw 11. The Patriots take advantage of matchups and what defenses give them and Gronkowski still represents the most dangerous option in the passing game. There will plenty of occasions for Gronk to spike the football with the force of a jackhammer into the end zone and he is without a doubt the best tight end to own in fantasy, but owners may have to endure 10 – 12 point weeks rather than 20 – 25 point explosions on occasion. Let’s all feel sorry for them.

Zach Ertz, TE PHI

Moving to a tight end on the opposite spectrum of fantasy relevance, Eagles Zach Ertz has been quite the disappointment this season. Many had hoped Ertz would gain a larger share of the targets and yards after Jeremy Maclin departed for Kansas City, but nothing has truly materialized. Raymond Summerlin and Mike Clay both mentioned the tight ends’ struggles to date though one is clearly more shocked by his results.

Despite seeing the second most targets on the team, Ertz has managed to catch only 55% of them through the first six weeks. Also when it comes to the red zone the Eagles are looking for Jordan Matthews a third of the time and then spreading the love between eight other players, none of which has more than three red zone targets. Sam Bradford also has not been the fantasy revelation everyone expected in Chip Kelly’s offense dragging the rest of the team down around him. The main thing is I doubt much will change for Ertz this season or even beyond. The running backs in Philadelphia account for around 30% of the targets and I would expect rookie receiver Nelson Agholor to continue to become more involved rendering Ertz as a very low level play. Through six weeks he is not even startable in two tight end leagues (not sure how main stream these are) and only seeing a red zone target in two of six games does not inspire confidence in a quick turnaround.

Thank you to 4for4.com, Football Outsiders and Football Guys for some of the stats used within this article. All are great resources still available for the average fantasy fan.


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