Weekly Twitter Observations
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 fromtrends, stats or analysis.
Thomas Rawls, RB SEA
Christine Michael who? It definitely looks like the Seattle Seahawks made the right choice by cutting every fantasy analysts’ favorite metric freak for the undrafted rookie before the start of the season. Thomas Rawls has been the ultimate fantasy handcuff this season in that he has performed better than the guy he was supposed to be backing up. In the five games Lynch received at least 15 carries he only topped 75 rushing yards once. Thomas has gone over 75 yards in four of his five games with 15 plus rushes. As Chris and Adam pointed out, Rawls is also winning owners matchups on a consistent basis.
Just noticed Thomas Rawls is in the top 10 in rushing yards this season. He’s had double-digit carries in 5 of 11 games.
— Chris Wesseling (@ChrisWesseling) December 1, 2015
If you currently own Rawls you are starting him down the stretch hopefully on the way to your respective make believe championships. But looking ahead to next season might be where you can truly win on Rawls. Next year Lynch carries with him the highest cap hit of any running back at $11.5 million. Rawls remains on the cheap under his contract for two more years and the Seahawks could easily look to free up more room outside of the running back position by cutting Lynch. If this happens Rawls would presumably be a top ten running back in dynasty and redraft leagues. In recent weeks Thomas and Lynch’s dynasty values have inched closer and closer together. Today you will likely see Lynch ranked around 20th with Rawls close behind at approximately 25th at the running back position. Currently three of the DLF rankers have Rawls ahead of Lynch and this is a move I am fully behind. Fantasy is about taking risks and Rawls feels like a guy worth paying for today realizing his value could be through the roof by next summer rolls around. Unfortunately most owners today are likely in the playoff hunt and not be willing to part with Rawls. But if you can find a willing owner I would push to acquire him today at an implied discount banking on Lynch being out of the picture in 2016. Even if Lynch were to remain on one more season it is highly unlikely that Thomas would not be part of an even time share still being able to provide weekly fantasy value. Niles Paul, TE WAS and Khiry Robinson, RB NO Why am I mentioning two players at two different positions at the same time? Because that is what Adam Harstad did when sending a reminder out to dynasty enthusiasts about a couple names to remember and potentially make easy plays for.
Dear dynasty guys: don’t forget to dump short-term players once you get eliminated for guys who are injured / out / free agents. — Adam Harstad (@AdamHarstad) December 2, 2015
One name I like? Niles Paul.Looked fantastic in camps, running ahead of Jordan Reed.Just signed a 3-year extension this year. Just 27 NY.
— Adam Harstad (@AdamHarstad) December 2, 2015
Another name I like? Khiry Robinson. Going to be 26. Good film on him. Restricted free agent. Free lottery ticket. — Adam Harstad (@AdamHarstad) December 2, 2015
[inlinead]Niles Paul was named the starter for the Redskins ahead of Jordan Reed before the season and then quickly injured his ankle and was placed on the injured reserve. Despite missing two games in 2015, Reed is a top ten tight end in fantasy. Paul had bulked up and was the superior pass blocker compared to Reed and may actually be found somewhere on the waiver wire in your league. If Paul returns healthy for next season as expected you could stash away a potential starter for nothing today. You like that?
Khiry Robinson has been a player the last two seasons that often times came up as the guy to stash in case anyone in front of him went down. With good power and ability based on limited reps, Robinson does have the size to contribute as more than the change of pace option role the Saints have chosen to utilize him in. Robinson is another cheap option in fantasy and could easily be part of a throw in deal in a trade. If he does wind up with a new team and situation next season he may finally get the opportunity to contribute as more than a decent handcuff.
Carlos Hyde, RB SF
Coming into the 2015 season and before the San Francisco 49ers completely imploded, Carlos Hyde was considered a consensus top ten running back in dynasty. After many lackluster performances and now missing games due to a stress fracture in his foot, Hyde is mostly viewed in a different light by his current owners. Mike Clay weighed in with his personal opinion on the 49ers running back tweeting,
Carlos Hyde hasn’t played in a quite a while, but only four running backs have forced more missed tackles this season. #DynastyBuyLow
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) November 30, 2015
Looking at recent consensus rankings it would appear Hyde’s value has not fallen much despite his sophomore campaign. Currently the DLF crew has him as the 14th overall running back in terms of value, but the individual ranks fall anywhere between 6th and 25th. When playing earlier in the year Hyde was in on average of 70 percent of the 49ers snaps and accumulated 80 percent of the carries over the first six games. The team obviously was looking to lean on him and despite his continued small sample size there has been plenty to like about Hyde. The main point today is that a current owner is likely less impartial due to the letdown and Hyde could be had at a decent value. Carlos still has two years remaining in San Francisco, will be turning 25 and should be the presumptive lead back once again in an offense that can really only improve. Jeremy Maclin, WR KC The NFL and fantasy football are a constant reminder that predicting possible outcomes for individual players is not an easy task. Kansas City’s Jeremy Maclin was the perfect case last week as Rich Hribar noted,
Jeremy Maclin w/o a top-30 week since Wk 5 averaging 16.8% of KC targets per game since. Naturally,dropped 9/160/1 on 40% of the tgtsvs BUF — Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) November 30, 2015
Coming into last week Maclin had failed to top 50 yards receiving or three catches in a single game. He then exploded against Buffalo as Alex Smith locked in on him all day. Moving from Philadelphia to KC no one was expecting the 1,300 yard, 10 touchdown stat lines but I am still surprised the Chiefs have not been able to focus more on the talented wide receiver. Maclin was able to mercifully end the weekly story line of a Chiefs receiver going without a touchdown, but he has only crossed the goal line on three occasions this year. His inconsistency this season has been maddening and not what fantasy owners normally are looking for in their lineups. Three times Maclin has piled up over 140 yards in a game, but also failed to top 60 yards in six other contests. I presume he was also on the bench for many owners last week while he was putting up elite numbers making owning him even more frustrating. The situation in Kansas City is unlikely to change with Smith at the helm and Maclin will be 28 years old entering the 2016 season. Personally I would be moving on from Maclin if possible and value him as nothing more than a WR3 in fantasy at best. A couple names normally falling behind Maclin in the rankings I would want on my roster above him include Pittsburgh’s Martavis Bryant, Jacksonville’s Allen Hurns and Indianapolis’ Donte Moncrief.
Thank you to 4for4.com, Football Outsiders, Football Guys and NFL Savant for some of the stats used within this article. All are great resources still available for the average fantasy fan and highly recommended.