By: Jarred David @ricco_3733
Punt Pass Play – Week 1
At last, we may rejoice! It’s that time of year again! WEEK 1 IS UPON US! Shut your children in their room with the Xbox, write a farewell letter to your spouse or significant other, get your fantasy rituals ready, and shine up your championship trophy as you prepare your defense (or polish off The Sacko if you finished in last place). I welcome you back to the 2019 version of Punt, Pass, Play.
If you are unfamiliar how this works, every week I will provide you with some fantasy advice on who to Punt (cut/trade/avoid starting), who to Pass (don’t sign/bench/emergency or FLEX start only), and who to Play (start em). The advice stems from what I find to be the three most important factors in fantasy football: opportunity, talent, and matchup. I’m such a nice guy that I even throw in dynasty advice for the dynasty extraordinaire much like myself.
Punt – Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles Chargers vs Indianapolis Colts
Yes, I know Andrew Luck retired. Yes, I know the Chargers are likely the favorite to dominate, but hear me out. Ekeler started three of the four games (injured the fourth) in which Gordon didn’t play. During those games, Ekeler recorded a combined 40 rushing attempts for 129 yards and one touchdown. Additionally, Ekeler added another 12 receptions for 76 yards through the air. Ekeler is not an in between the tackles running back. Let us not forget the Colts finished 8th in run defense last year as well and that was with a handful of injuries to their defense. Even so, I anticipate the Chargers getting well ahead in this one. Expect “J-Jax” to get more love this week over Ekeler.
Dynasty: I’ve not been much of an Ekeler homer, I’ll admit. However, from a dynasty standpoint, the season is much too early to really move him unless you can find a bundle deal and use him as a throw-in. He did finish as PPR 25 running back (ESPN scoring), but he actually does better as a lower-volume guy. Hang onto him this early in the season as injury insurance with hopes of trading him later given he is in a contract year—use that to your advantage.
Pass – Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets
Truthfully, I’m as big of a Singletary homer as they come. I tried getting stocks in him weeks ago anticipating LeSean McCoy being cut. However, Week 1 is not the time to “free Singletary.” The Bills are swearing by an RBBC and let us not forget that Frank Gore refuses to check himself in to play bingo at the assisted living facility, fending off Father Time yet another year. Although the Jets finished 26th best in rush defense last year, they did bolster their defense in Quinnen Williams, still have all-pro Jamal Adams, and have buffed their offense to stay in games. I see some low-end PPR value here, but considering Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon are in this backfield, there are better plays this early.
Dynasty: I drafted Singletary very late in the first round of our 14-team full dynasty/IDP league. Much like I was all about Kerryon Johnson last year, Singletary was my guy in this year’s draft. Either hold tight or sell extremely high. As a non-owner, go out and try to get him while the value is still at its low point. Once Buffalo sees where they stand around Week 8 or 9, Singletary SHOULD be the workhorse back so they get a complete view of who they drafted and can prepare for next year’s draft accordingly.
Play – Derrius Guice – Washington Redskins vs Philadelphia Eagles
One of the riskier plays this week, I’m still going to bank on talent. Guice is finally healthy and Jay Gruden is excited to unleash the beastly former LSU back. I’m fully aware that the Eagles ranked 7th against the run, allowing only 96.9 RYPG. However, Gruden has already said Guice will get more touches than Adrian Peterson. Additionally, with the Redskins buffing their defense and having a solid front this season, which is comparable to the Eagles, this game is primed to be a lot closer than many may think. I still have the Eagles winning, but the game should be close enough for most of the game to allow Guice to receive his touches and opportunity to produce at least low-end RB2 numbers even with Chris Thompson and Adrian Peterson available.
Dynasty: You only need half of a brain to know that Guice is a must-hold if you own him. His price will continually rise and, barring injury, has long-term RB1 potential. Adrian Peterson isn’t getting any younger and there is no denying Guice’s talent. If you can, try to acquire him, but know that the price won’t be cheap.
That’s all there is to it. To summarize this week’s Punt Pass Play, Ekeler has proven he cannot be a workhorse back and has the injury history to prove it–not to mention going against a stout run defense. Devin Singletary is a strong hold and will be set to be the workhorse back in Buffalo, so pass him this week and wait until Week 8 or 9. Derrius Guice is a risky but extremely talented back to start. For more fantasy advice, add me on Twitter (@ricco_3733) or ask via email at Riccadonna3733@hotmail.com. Until then, thank you for reading and I’ll see you for Week 2’s edition of Punt, Pass, and Play!
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