Fantasy Football Position Streaming
Written By: Josh Crocker – Follow Josh on Twitter @jccrocker
Under the Stream – Jordan Reed
I just don’t think Reed gets loose against this defense. Reed is still great, but Cousins has been very mediocre. Combine that with the fact that the Eagles allowing very little to TE’s, and my expectations for #86 are pretty low this week. Opposing TE’s have scored 5.9 points below their average facing this defensive unit. I might even entertain the idea that Jordan Reed is practically a WR in this offense, but opposing wide receivers are scoring 6.2 below their average according to the Harris Index. Cousins has thrown 7 TD’s and 5 picks on the season behind an offensive line that’s pretty decent. This week they’ll be facing an Eagles front line that has an adjusted sack rate just over 10%. He’s going to have to make some quick decisions, there may be dump off opportunities for someone but I don’t like it for Jordan Reed. No TE has scored a touchdown against the Eagles this year. Zach Miller has had the best game against them with 4 receptions for 33 yards. Look elsewhere. I’d rather play touchdown roulette the next guy on this list.
Picking the TE who wins the touchdown lottery can be a tricky thing to do, but there are a few things that set James ahead as a lottery ticket. The Steelers have one of the highest implied team totals on the week. The truth is, with a TE like James, he needs red zone targets and the more time they spend there the better his chances of scoring are. The game itself is also expected to be fairly high-scoring with an over-under of 48. I wouldn’t be surprised if this offense ended up with one or two short field situations or extra possessions as a result of Tannehill turning the ball over. James has seen 5 targets in the red zone this season, and as a result has 3 touchdowns in his last 4 games.
While the Dolphins aren’t allowing eye-popping numbers to TE’s, their DVOA against the position ranks 27th. This means that in similar situations the Dolphins are allowing 26% more production to TE’s than other teams. So, the fact that they aren’t hemorrhaging points to opposing TE’s may have more to do with the TE’s that they’ve faced, and the fact that opposing WR’s score 6.2 points above their average when facing the Miami secondary. In James’ case, he’s not really competing with the Steelers wide-outs for targets between the 20’s. Please do not have any illusions that James will get enough target share to carry his day without a TD. It’s TD or bust. James might get about 5 targets, based on what he’s been getting, and it could be less if the WR’s are running free. We are hoping Antonio Brown gets tackled on the 7 yard line so James can catch a pass in the endzone and fall over.
Ladarius Green coming back into the fray could change things from week 7 on. But, for now Jesse James continues to be a fine bye-week fill in. There’s really no reason to believe that even when Ladarius is back that he will automatically assume Jame’s job. It does cast some doubt on the future value of Jesse James. This is a one week rental. James is not an every week starter. Get your touchdown this week against the Dolphins and get out.
How can you go wrong with a guy who has the same name as his quarterback? To be perfectly honest, he can play for a team that doesn’t really want to use the TE, and would instead rather throw the ball to Davante Adams. But, if there is going to be a week where it happens, this could very well be it. And, if you’re playing in a league where tight ends are highly rostered, Rodgers could help you get through whatever crisis this is that you’re in. Dallas is enabling TE’s to score a surprising amount of points, 11.5 to be exact. They’re dead last in the NFL in DVOA against TE’s. It seems like they’ve made the choice in their defensive scheme that this is the thing they’re willing to give the offense, so we might as well capitalize. With Cook dealing with an ankle injury Rodgers was on the field for 91% of offensive snaps in week 5. His target total went up from 2 and 3 to 5. So, he’s still not getting enough targets to carry his day without a touchdown. Digging slightly deeper, the Cowboys have only given up 3 touchdowns to TE’s. One was to Larry Donnell who plays in a similar situation, posing mostly as a red zone threat. The majority of the points allowed have been to TE’s making a day with 5-8 catches and 70 or 80 yards. I don’t think that’s completely out of the realm of possibility, but that’s never been who Rodgers is. We are fishing for a TD. The Cowboys are expected to allow the Packers 25.75 points. Rodgers caught 8 TD’s only a year ago. The chemistry in the Rodgers to Rodgers connection may be a real thing. I’d buy into the narrative that Rodgers understands what read that other Rodgers wants him to make. He’ll run the right route so as to avoid the stink eye from his QB.
We are into full on emergency fill-in mode with this pick. Lance Kendricks is a Ram, and I know that freaks us all out. In defense of the leader of this offense, Mr. Keenum, I would put him ahead of Tannehill, Fitzpatrick, Osweiler, and Gabbert at this point in the season. There are startable weapons on all of those teams, despite their QB’s. And, if you’re all in on the Keenum stinks bandwagon, what do bad QB’s like more than a TE? Besides Todd Gurley, this team doesn’t have any major target sucking weapons. If I’m not mistaken, Tavon Austin has the biggest non Todd Gurley slice of the Rams offensive pie (which would have to be the worst kind of pie). I just like what I’ve seen from Kendricks. It’ll be very difficult for us to realize the value of any players in this offensive scheme, but to me he looks like a good football player.
Since I doubt these arguments are really moving anyone’s perception of the Rams, let’s talk instead about the opponent. The Detroit Lions are allowing 13.2 fantasy points to TE. I don’t think Kendricks will get 13, but I think 7 in a non PPR league is reasonable. Kendricks is getting 4.66 targets a game in his last three, and while that’s not really enough to sustain TE life, that 20-30 yards will look fine if it’s next to a TD. I see the warts on this pick. Indulge me in writing about a guy who I just think could be a good football player if a few more external factors got into line for him.
Graham v ATL
Walker V CLE
Kelce v OAK
Olsen v NO
Gronkowski V CIN
Witten V GB
Consider a Streamer (Jesse James)
Barnidge V TEN
Uzomah V NE
Under the Stream
Z Miller v JAC
Zack Ertz V WAS
Reed v PHI
Allen V HOU
Fleener V CAR
Tamme V SEA
Written By: Josh Crocker – Josh can be found on Twitter @jccrocker