By: Jarred David @ricco_3733
Punt Pass Play – Week 3
Welcome to Week 3 of Punt Pass Play. First, you get to hear about my bragging rights being perfect through two weeks of this series. I told you to Punt Derrick Henry, Pass on LeSean McCoy, and to Play Kenyan Drake. As my mother told me when I was dumb enough to put my hand on the red hot iron when I was five years old, “I told you so”. Well, my fantasy football fans, if you failed to take my advice, Derrick Henry and LeSean McCoy were your red hot irons, and boy did you get burned. Simply put, I told you so.
Now on to Week 3. This week is interesting and more challenging as I will be delving into a few recent waiver wire adds blended in with a solid vet: Phillip Lindsay, Matt Breida, and Tevin Coleman. My choices may surprise you, but you’ve gotta trust the process and trust what history tells us in this series.
Phillip Lindsay — Denver Broncos — Punt:
Yes, Phillip Lindsay has flashed ability and potential. However, Vance Joseph continues to employ his Running Back by Committee (RBBC) approach based on game strategy. The Broncos have a challenging match up against the Baltimore Ravens, who ranks second in the NFL in defense and 15th in rush defense. However, this game will be low-scoring, allowing additional opportunities for Royce Freeman rather than Phillip Lindsay. Look for a trade partner who will buy into the early hype and make the trade for a more consistent starter. Overall, Lindsay can be a decent play in PPR leagues, but I would temper expectations here and downgrade him in non-PPR leagues.
Lindsay is a solid hold as his PPR outlook can flourish with increased reps over the next year or two. I likely see this playing out into a Dion Lewis/Derrick Henry role, where Royce Freeman fills that short yardage and goal line work. Lindsay is far from a sure thing as he has yet to prove he is worth more than a 4th round rookie draft pick in the interim. As for me, I would try buying him low as a dart throw with upside but if I am an owner already, I am holding on to him, especially in deeper leagues. Devontae Booker is nothing more than rotten eggs and spoiled milk at this point. So there is no threat to Lindsay as the PPR receiving back.
Tevin Coleman – Atlanta Falcons — Pass:
I’m a Tevin Coleman homer. By volume alone, he will be a solid play this week against New Orleans. However, you can use that to your advantage in another way. Trade him for a running back needy team or someone who needs to replace a bust or low performer. For me, if I can use Devonta Freeman’s injury to my advantage, I’m sending him to a team that will reap the benefits for a few weeks and then have a gap elsewhere once Freeman returns from injury and Coleman becomes merely a flex play rather than a must-start. You can use him as your RB2 for now, but use him to your advantage long-term by moving him while you can.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a Coleman homer… just not in Atlanta. I think Coleman has the ability to be a consistent NFL starter (not necessarily a full workhorse, but a solid dual-threat back that is needed in today’s NFL). From a dynasty perspective, Coleman is the guy you want to sell for a very good price or retain him on your roster spot until next season. The risk in keeping him is similar to Duke Johnson’s: The value and talent is there, but if re-signed to the current team, the value gets cut 80% or better. Personally, I think Coleman will want too much money to be Atlanta’s RB2, which is likely why Ito Smith got drafted as his 2019 replacement. In short: Keep Coleman or sell him reasonably high and keep Ito Smith if you have the roster space.
Matt Breida — San Francisco 49ers — Play:
History doesn’t lie. Kyle Shanahan does REALLY well with running backs. His system works with any running back capable of learning it and it’s no different in San Francisco. Matt Breida, yes THAT 5’11” 190 pound Matt Breida is leading the NFL in rushing. Go ahead, find reasons to not start him. I’ll throw the reasons in there for you. Reason #1: “But his frame is so small. He won’t be able to sustain that type of production.” He fits perfectly into Kyle Shanahan’s scheme. Three of his 11 carries went for 20+ yards and 5 of his 11 carries went for at least 7 yards, which means he has big play ability. Let’s also not forget Weeks 16 and 17, where he went for 12/72 and 11/74/1 respectively — which is over six YPC. I don’t know about you, but I’m seeing a trend here. Plus we didn’t even tack on the fact that he’s a superior receiver to Alfred Morris, which the 49ers will be playing close or from behind most games. Reason #2: “He’s in a committee with Alfred Morris. He’s limited because of it.” Isn’t that the best part? Let’s flash back to Atlanta — remember Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman? Sounds familiar, right? Except Jerick McKinnon, who was going to take on the Freeman role, is injured. That opens up the opportunity for Breida. Morris doesn’t have that diverse skill set, and Breida has done fine with his limited 13-16 touches per game. Reason #3: “This is just a small sample size. I would rather wait and see.” If 645 total yards on 126 touches in 2017 (5.12 yards per touch) during a very limited role and already 210 total yards on just 26 touches, not to mentioning LEADING THE NFL IN RUSHING, isn’t good enough for you to play Breida, then you are doing yourself a disservice to your team. Your opponents will thank you though — perhaps that’s a holiday gift from you to them. Trust me, keep this guy in your starting lineup. You won’t find a good trade suitor because no one believes in Breida. Let him stay under the radar a few more weeks and then laugh when they approach you with trade offers. It’s like finding a cure for Draids…except better!
We’ve seen this scenario before. If you remember a guy by the name of Kareem Hunt, you’ll quickly realize this is the same scenario only with different names. McKinnon goes down and Breida takes over. I firmly believe that Breida remains atop the depth chart next year if he moderately sustains this performance. Naturally expecting him to accrue over 2,000 total yards is a bit premature, but he will definitely push McKinnon into a back up role or perhaps they even cut him should Breida display workhorse traits. It’s very bold, but hang on tightly to Matt Breida. I’m a believer in a Kyle Shanahan’s offense. You should be too. Should you move him now, you are cutting your trade value by 70% of what you will be able to get for him in a few weeks.
In summary, all three guys are good plays, but if you’re fortunate enough to be stuck with a decision of who to play between these three, just do yourself a favor and listen to me. I don’t want to have to tell you so. I would rather hear, “You were right and I won because of it!” So get out there, dominate your Week 3 opponent, and be sure to reach out for any fantasy advice on Twitter or via email at Riccadonna3733@hotmail.com. Until then, I’ll see you for Week 4’s series!
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About the Author – Jarred Riccadonna is a West Virginia native and has always been a fan of the Cowboys and Packers. A lover of fantasy football, Jarred is currently in two dynasty and one IDP league. Other interests include throwing darts competitively, kayaking, traveling and working out. For 2018, Jarred is CPGM’s contributing author for our weekly segment “Punt, Pass, Play.” He currently lives in Columbus, OH. You can reach out to him for fantasy advice at Riccadonna3733@hotmail.</a