By: Jarred David @ricco_3733
Punt Pass Play – Week 4
Welcome to Week 4’s edition of Punt, Pass Play. It’s crazy to think that we will be one-fourth of the way through the season. First, here is a quick reflection of last week’s edition where I discussed elite talent expectations from three struggling wide receivers. I mentioned to Punt Adam Thielen as far as expecting elite fantasy production, which he took personally, adding a rare rushing touchdown. I said to pass Juju Smith-Schuster, as I think eventually he will get peppered with targets. Last, I stated to play Michael Thomas, expecting him to remain quarterback proof. Juju was the biggest disappointment of the three. Let’s move on to week 4.
A reminder 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/emergency or FLEX start only), and who to Play (start ‘em). The advice stems from what I find to be the three most important in fantasy football: opportunity, talent, and matchup. I also throw in dynasty advice for the dynasty extraordinaire. Week 4’s “Struggling Running Backs” edition is on running backs who were expected to have huge breakout years and have thus far disappointed. This week we discuss Joe Mixon, James Conner, and Todd Gurley.
Punt – Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals
I’ll be blunt: I want to punt them all. However, there are a few things that made me have confidence in the other two. Simply put, the Bengals offensive line is disastrous. Mixon’s productivity has fallen victim to this as a result, averaging an abysmal 2.8 YPC up to this point. His lone touchdown is in the receiving category. Don’t forget that they also have the 6th worst defense in the league, which translates to less of a running game and causing Mixon’s productivity to take a hit. Simply put, especially in redraft, try to sell high while his name still has clout.
Dynasty: Although his numbers may make you want to panic, Mixon’s dynasty value is the opposite of his redraft value, making him a hold. Chances are teams won’t offer much for him given the short-term lack of production. He’s still young and will bounce back; however, I’m not sure it will be anytime this year unless A.J. Green’s return keeps defenses more honest and Cordy Glenn gets healthy.
Pass – James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers
I’m aware that Conner’s numbers aren’t any better than Mixon’s. Note that the Steelers still have a solid offensive line (yes, I know that Munchak was likely part of the reason for their success, but they still have the chemistry). Additionally, the Steelers have one of the easier schedules for the rest of the year, opening up a chance for Conner to turn it around. As time goes on and Mason Rudolph gets further acclimated, defenses won’t be able to stack the box as much against Conner either. Monday’s Primetime matchup against the Bengals, who have allowed the second most rushing yards in the league, should be a telling story of Conner’s future.
Dynasty: This is a dicey situation. On one hand, Conner showed off his ability to be a top ten running back last year. On the other, his health has shown us that he may not be fit for a full workhorse role. I also don’t think Jaylen Samuels fits that title either. Overall, I lean towards selling him high if you can get a solid offer for him. Otherwise, I try waiting to see if he breaks out and reap the reward.
Play – Todd Gurley – Los Angeles Rams
You cannot forget about the skill Todd Gurley possesses. Yes, he has the lingering knee issue. Yes, his snaps are currently scaled back. However, he is still averaging 4.6 YPC on a snap count. Even with one touchdown so far, Gurley has only touched the ball 48 times this season, which is still a solid average of 16 touches per game. As the season rolls on, the Rams will unleash Gurley, giving him more touches in order to solidify the playoff spot and the coveted home field advantage throughout the playoffs. If the Rams somehow begin to stagnate on offense under offensive guru Coach McVay, Gurley will also be unleashed. Be patient and use that waiver wire to your advantage in the meantime.
Dynasty: This situation depends on the rest of your team. If you have a team built around Gurley, you may need to move on from TG30. If you have a team that can support and perform without Gurley, then hang on to him and wait until they unleash Gurley, maximizing your championship opportunity.
To summarize this week’s Punt Pass Play, the Bengals woes on the offensive line and defensively will continue, which will impact Mixon’s fantasy output. James Conner will get it going, but it won’t be until Rudolph gets better acclimated offensively. Todd Gurley’s output is merely that of a snap count. Be patient and he will get his touches increase as the season unfolds. 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 5’s edition of Punt, Pass, and Play!
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