A very long and dynamic fantasy football regular season is soon coming to an end. One thing that stands out to me throughout this season is the small number of players who have been consistently good.
Guys like Jarvis Landry, Chris Carson, Emmanuel Sanders, Matt Breida, David Johnson, and a host of others have all warranted weekly starts despite up-and-down play.
So naturally, with playoff spots on the line in the final week, it’s a case of “Who’s up Next?”. You’re going to need to isolate those big players this week, and into the playoffs.
That’s where “Truth or Bogus” comes in. You’re going to need to know what player news is believable, and what can’t be trusted.
Let’s jump right in.
Gronkowski is Back to Top 5 TE Form
TRUTH – It’s been a long and arduous season for Gronk and his owners. But the tide seems to be turning.
Gronk was targeted in the Red Zone 5 times on Sunday. Hauling in a TD and adding 57 yards. His day could have been much better too. Brady just missed him for a second TD in the third quarter and he had another Endzone target that was well-covered.
True, Gronkowski didn’t look as speedy as he has in previous years. But that’s also never been his game. Get into position, secure the ball, win battles. I could see some people being worried about the third point, but I still liked what I saw on Gronk’s TD catch as far as battling goes.
Tom Brady has his fates seemingly tied to Gronkowski, as he has struggled with 87 on the sideline. With some rest and a stretch run in front of them, Gronkowski could play a big part in the Patriots offense.
It’s hard to trust a player that’s been threatening to regress for the past couple years and started to show it. But I’m still willing to trot out Gronkowski over Greg Olsen[/proifiler], [profiler]David Njoku, and even Jordan Reed
Eric Ebron is a Top 3 TE Over the Rest of the Season
BOGUS – It seems like I’ve had some bold takes in recent editions of this article, and I’m happy to continue the trend here.
With Jack Doyle completely out of the picture, why wouldn’t Ebron automatically be considered a Top 3 TE in a very down year?
For starters, Ebron is still tied down to his role as a Red Zone target. The Colts have been absolutely cruising on offense and Ebron has been enjoying the spoils therein. But he’s also likely to see blanket coverage from some pretty solid defenses coming down the stretch.
He absolutely embarrassed the Jaguars in Week 10, and despite their coaching issues I would be shocked if they don’t double-team him any time the Colts are within 30 yards of the end zone. Same goes for the Texans and Cowboys, who definitely have the personnel to do just that.
The Giants do represent a better chance for success in Week 16. But in the meantime opposing defenses need to key in on Ebron. The Colts don’t have offensive spoils that other teams have. Outside of Ebron and T.Y. there’s not much to be worried about.
Ebron will still be a TE1 thanks to his Red Zone magnetism. But I think the other shoe is about to drop on Ebron, and he’ll have a crucial bad game or two during the fantasy playoffs.
LeGarrette Blount is a Fantasy Starter With Kerryon Gone
BOGUS – Someone in one of my leagues, who is nice enough to also read my articles, called me out for saying none of the 3 Detroit RBs were worth picking up going into last week. Blount did score 2 TDs and therefore made that call seem misguided.
But I maintain that it’s not misguided to call Blount’s output last week an anomaly.
Yes, he was able to take advantage of some suddenly decent play from his O-Line to get some gains that were over four yards. He even managed a 27-yard gain thanks to getting a huge hole opened up for him. But he still only rushed for a 5+ yard gain five times in that game. He just happened to get it into the end zone twice.
Blount isn’t playing for the Patriots anymore. He isn’t constantly getting set up on the 1-yard line and being asked to muscle his way in. He’s in Detroit, attempting to operate as a functional Running Back. But that’s simply not his style. Outside of Thanksgiving’s one-off surprise, Blount has been brutal… And that’s putting it lightly.
In 7 of his 11 starts this year, he has averaged less than 2 Yards per Carry. He managed just ONE yard on 7 carries in Week 11. Back in Week 1, he turned 4 measly carries into -3 yards.
This guy is so far from fantasy startability in my books that I think I’d rather insert Ki-Jana Carter into my lineup because I’d rather have my league mates think I’m being funny instead of being crazy.
I don’t know how I can emphasize this enough. Even with Kerryon Johnson on the bench, I wouldn’t consider starting Blount.
Baker Mayfield is an Every-Week Starter
BOGUS – Baker Mayfield is an incredibly talented QB with a few great weapons around him, but he’s still a shaky start at QB in fantasy.
The biggest reason for me not to start him is that he’s simply not seeing the passing volume that warrants starts in fantasy. At least in the case of Russell Wilson, who sees a similarly small volume of passing attempts, he can pull the ball down and run for chunks of yards. Mayfield has shown potential as a rusher, but with Nick Chubb handling his high volume of carries extremely well, it’s not been a part of the offense so far.
The Browns have called a passing play in 42% of the time over the past two games. Committing to the run has been a focal point of the offense. While game script does dictate the play calls most of the time, it’s evident that the Browns don’t need to throw the ball to win games.
Meanwhile, Mayfield owners have been extremely fortunate to see the fantasy totals that they have seen. Finding the end zone 7 times on only 46 pass attempts is incredible, but an unsustainable ratio.
With tough matchups on the horizon and a dominant run game to lean on, Mayfield could see his fantasy output drop sharply in the coming weeks. You can’t have that during a playoff run.
Kenny Golladay Will be a Borderline WR1 After Marvin Jones Injury
TRUTH – Golladay was sneaking up on WR1 consideration even before the Marvin Jones injury, but this could just about seal the deal.
Golladay was the best receiver on the Lions’ roster in week 1, that was made clear as the season went on. The kid was the future for Detroit and they planned accordingly. They dealt Golden Tate to the Eagles in order to start building around Golladay and Jones.
Now the WR1 job in Detroit belongs solely to Golladay. Sure, that does make him a potential candidate for double-coverage. But he’ll still remain the first-look for a Quarterback who still racks up a decent amount of yardage despite his problems.
The Lions have a very attackable schedule over the next four weeks, making Golladay a potential difference-maker in the fantasy playoffs.
That’s it for this week’s “Truth or Bogus?”. I hope to see you all next week as I prepare you for the Fantasy Playoffs! Stay Tuned!