Week 4 Roundtable
Welcome to the Fighting Chance Roundtable! Each week we will be asking our panel of Fighting Chance Staff a series of questions for the upcoming slate of NFL games. Each person will give you the best answer to the question in order to help set your lineups this week, both season long and DFS. This week we have Steve Rapin (@fantasygeek37 on Twitter), Kacey Kasem (@thekaceykasem), Jim Day (@fantasytaz), Brian Drake (@drakefantasy), and myself, Ryan Hallam (@fightingchance). Please dear reader, enjoy the Week 4 Roundtable!
Sleeper of the Week
Steve’s Pick – James White, RB, New England Patriots. A lot of people, including myself, looking for Sony Michel to become a workhorse back for the Pats now that Rex Burkhead has been placed on IR. I think it will happen, but also think James White will see some extra work. In Week 4, I expect New England to try and get on track and potentially run up the score. Gronk is questionable and Julian Edelman doesn’t return until next week, and that tells me James White could be in for a good day against the Dolphins.
Jim’s Pick – Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals. Once Josh Rosen stepped on the field last week Kirk was the receiver he targeted most. Hard to say if that trend continues with a full week of work, but I am betting on it to still be there in Week 4. I’m looking for Kirk to catch 5 passes for at least 70 yards and quite possibly a score in this matchup.
Kacey’s Pick - Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants. The Giants massive tight end target, Evan Engram, is now week-to-week due to a knee injury. Look for Shepard to take advantage of the situation. He had a huge week three, where he had not only seven targets, but managed to catch six of those passes (one for a touchdown). Expect Shepard to have yet another big week against the Saints.
Brian’s Pick – Keke Coutee, WR, Houston Texans. The 4th round pick from Texas Tech should make his debut this weekend and he immediately becomes the Texans starting slot WR. With Bruce Ellington now on IR there are plenty of snaps for the rookie.
Ryan’s Pick – Cameron Meredith, WR, New Orleans Saints. He finally was a part of the offense last week and scored his first touchdown of the season. I expect his role to grow in the coming weeks, and for Meredith to challenge to be the second most valuable wide receiver on this team. The Giants don’t have much depth at corner after Jenoris Jenkins who will be on Michael Thomas, so look for Meredith to at least score again.
Bust of the Week
Kacey’s Pick – Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions. Look, I love me some Marvin Jones, but I feel like he is going to put up a bust game every now and then. You can’t have only four catches a game while being touchdown dependent and expect to put up crazy numbers every contest. Both Golden Tate and Kenny Golladay are having amazing seasons this year as well, and I do believe Matthew Stafford can manage to get the ball to all of them. I just feel like he’s due a game where he doesn’t catch a touchdown, and this might be the one.
Brian’s Pick – Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions. Dallas has a tremendous secondary which is odd because they get zero practice all week practing against good WRs. I also see the Lions running the ball a ton if Sean Lee sits thus limiting options for Golladay.
Jim’s Pick – T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts. Hilton goes against a Houston defense that is ranked 10th against opposing WRs and have only allowed 3 passing TDs to WRs on the season, 2 of them coming last week from Eli Manning. Luck is not the Luck of old, averaging a paltry 6.0 yards-per-attempt. Hilton continues to see a high percentage of targets, but Luck only has a 64.4 passer rating when targeting Hilton. Hilton will once again see the highest number of targets, but it will be hard for him to turn that into solid fantasy numbers.
Steve’s Pick – Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees is off to a scorching start as he’s averaging almost 360 yards passing per game, thrown for eight touchdowns versus zero interceptions, and is the QB3 in fantasy. If we look at recent history however, we can see that Brees plays well indoors, as he has all three of his games so far this season, but he struggles a bit when he takes it outside. He has been a top 12 fantasy quarterback only four times in his last 15 outdoor contests over the past three seasons and I think the Giants will run a ton with Saquon Barkley to keep Brees off the field, causing him to have a poor statistical day in Week 4.
Ryan’s Pick – Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Those of you who have bought into Fitzpatrick to start the year are about to be sorely disappointed I believe. He wasn’t quite as good last week against Pittsburgh, and now he plays a big boy defense in Chicago. With Jameis Winston eligible to return now that pressure is about to be amped up on Fitzpatrick and I think he will wilt under that pressure.
What Should Le’Veon Bell Owners Do?
Hold, Drop, Trade For Cheap, Hold unless trading for value?
Brian Says – Trade for Value. If you own Bell you can’t feel good about your investment. You probably have a gigantic hole at running back and that might be costing you wins. I’m shopping him. See if you can get someone to overpay. I’d look for something like an RB2 and a WR combo.
Jim Says – Hold. At this point if you are still sitting on Bell it will be very hard to move him. Most have lost faith that he plays at all this year. I think he comes back by Week 10 to make sure he doesn’t lose the accrued season. At this point unless you do have an owner in your league that is willing to part with a decent package for him, I would wait for him to return and hope that the Steelers even let him play. I believe they will and your fantasy team will get a major boost through the second half of the season and the playoffs.
Steve Says – Hold. If I own Lev Bell, I’m not giving him away for a song. I think he comes back before Week 10, but even if it is in Week 10, I want to have that guy on my roster for the fantasy playoffs, so I’m not going to give him away for free. I would probably accept a trade for a player of fourth/fifth round value at this point like Carlos Hyde, Golden Tate, Brandin Cooks, etc., but I don’t think I would dip much further for a player who could help carry your team through the fantasy playoffs.
Kacey Says – Trade for cheap but reasonable. I wouldn’t hold him or drop him. What I would do is try to trade him for cheaper than he usually goes for, but make sure you get someone worth having. Don’t get some bum who is going to put up four points a game. I traded Lev Bell along with Jamison Crowder (whom I was planning on dropping anyway) for Kenny Golladay. Some might think that’s insanity, but Kenny Golladay is helping me NOW while Bell is not. When you’re 1-2, you’ll do what you have to do to get back in the game. Bell is just too much of a headache to have in redraft right now.
Ryan Says – Trade for cheap. Shit! I don’t know what to do with him at this point. There is ZERO signs that he is even thinking about coming back, and although the Steelers can tag him again if he sits all season, let’s be honest they aren’t going to put the franchise through this again next season. I think there’s a chance Bell doesn’t play this year at this point. I agree with Kacey. I’d trade him, not for trash, but for SOMETHING useable. Roster spots are too valuable in fantasy football to sit dead all year long. You aren’t going to get value for him for where you likely drafted him. Get anything that you can plug into your starting lineups most weeks and you did well for this clusterfuck situation.
With Rex Burkhead Hurt, Expectations Of Sony Michel Going Forward?
7-10 carries per game, 10-15 carries per game, 15+ carries per game
Jim Says – 15+ carries. Only 3 times in the last 30 years have the Patriots used a 1st round pick on a running back. Michel is going to get every chance to show his worth with Rex Burkhead going on IR. I expect Michel to see at least 15 touches a week and it should lead to better results if the passing game picks up with the addition of Josh Gordon and the return of Julian Edelman in Week 5.
Ryan Says – 15+ carries. ALL ABOARD THE MICHEL HYPE TRAIN!!! I will be your conductor, Ryan Hallam, as we travel through the rest of the NFL season with the New England Patriots LEAD BACK! That’s right, you read it here. There is no one in the way anymore. Jeremy Hill, out for the year. Rex Burkhead, out for the year. James White isn’t someone who is going to carry the ball much.
Kacey Says – 7-10 carries. I’m going to go with 7-10 here because of the James White factor. Michel isn’t going to be the only running back involved, but I could see him picking up where Burkhead left off. I would actually look to trade for one of the running backs on the Patriots if you’re in need of running back help. Worth a shot, even though the Patriots love to confuse fantasy owners.
Brian Says – 15+ carries. This is easy. He’s the man. 15+ touches. Michel could be a league winner.
Steve Says – 15+ carries. Let’s look at the Patriots as a team. This year the Pats are averaging just shy of 25 rushing attempts per game. Over the prior three years, they averaged a little over 27 carries per game, so for the sake of averages, let’s assume the Pats average about 26 attempts per game over the rest of the season. In his five seasons, James White has had a total of ONE game with over ten rushing attempts, so let’s give him around seven per game going forward. A few others for Brady and other backs, and I say that leaves about 15 rushing attempts per game for Michel to pick up the slack. Give me 15+ carries for the win!!!
Which Rookie Quarterback Do You Like Rest Of Season?
Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen
Ryan Likes – Josh Rosen. This one is tough. I don’t want to say Baker Mayfield. I still think that they can Browns this one up. Yes, I used Browns as a verb. I know. Arizona has looked like SHIT the first three weeks of the year. However, I am blaming Bradford, who sucks. I liked Rosen coming into the year. He played in the most pro-style offense in college. He is a very intelligent kid. He has David Johnson. He has Larry Fitzgerald. He clearly likes fellow rookie Christian Kirk. I think Rosen has a chance to be very good. I might be trying to be different here, but I like Josh Rosen.
Kacey Likes – Baker Mayfield. For the rest of the season, I’m going with Baker. Yes, that’s the “sexy” choice, but I just love the energy that guy brings to the team. He’s a real leader. I feel like the team is going to play better because of him, and I look for players like David Njoku and Duke Johnson to be used more now that he has taken over. That offense has a ton of weapons, so I see Mayfield doing great things there.
Jim Likes – Baker Mayfield. I have a feeling that most of us will pick the same QB here, but I am going with Baker Mayfield. You could feel the energy that he brought to this team even through the television screen. This team is a lot closer to being a winning team that their 1-2 record shows. A lot of good weapons on offense and a very good defense. Mayfield will take this team to more wins that Taylor would have. He had a very good game coming off the bench last week and with a full week of practice I expect more of the same moving forward. Of course, he will make mistakes, but of the four rookie QBs starting I believe he gives his team the best chance to win and will put up the most fantasy points.
Brian Likes – Baker Mayfield. All of these rookie QB’s will be up and down. Mayfield has the most talent and best weapons. He’s the easy answer. I’d want him in my lineup more than any other.
Steve Likes – Baker Mayfield. Not only do I think Mayfield has the most talent among the rookie quarterbacks, but I think he’s also in the best situation. He has more weapons than Sam Darnold and Josh Allen, and even with the likes of David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals coaching staff is looking incompetent and I think that hurts Rosen the rest of the season. Plus, I really want Mayfield to be incredible so he can stick it to that blowhard, Colin Cowherd.