Fantasy Football Position Streaming
Written By: Josh Crocker – Follow Josh on Twitter @jccrocker
– Lance Kendricks –
It is time to come back to one of my favorites, and I’m not going to miss the opportunity. Through week 7 Lance was in on 84% of offensive snaps and has seen 9 & 8 targets in his last two games which he turned into 5 and 7 catches. He hasn’t done a ton with them at only 7.86 yards per target, but it does tell us that he is an integral part of this offense. When a favorable matchup comes along, he is capable of making good on it, as he did against Detroit.
Surprisingly Carolina is the 29th ranked defense by DVOA against TE’s. According to the Harris Index TE’s are scoring 6.5 fpts above their average when they play the 2016 Panthers. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me because the Panthers have solid line-backers, but nevertheless, it is. Fleener and Josh Hill both had a TD against this unit in week 6. Even when the TE doesn’t get in the endzone, they’re getting about 50 yards, so there’s a nice floor there.
If I was to take a shot at predicting game script, I would cite the fact that Carolina is the 6th ranked defense against the run, and will be forcing the Rams to pass. It’s just more goodness for Kendricks. He’s not a week to week guy, but I feel pretty confident that he can fill in nicely for you here.
– Austin Hooper –
With Jacob Tamme out, it looks like we’ll get to see what Hooper can do with a piece of the high-powered Falcons offense. From the NFL tape that he has laid down, I’d say that he’s a much more dynamic athlete that Tamme. Hooper had a 42 yard catch for a TD in week 4 against CAR, I’m not sure that Tamme has had a 42 yard catch in his life. It’s very small sample, but so far Hooper has been covering 17.7 yards per target compared to Tamme’s 6.8. Unfortunately, the key to Hooper getting on the field more will probably be knowing and executing all of his pass protection assignments and blitz pick-ups, and I can’t tell you what he’ll be able to do in that department. It should help that he is actually a bigger person than Tamme, but we’ll have to wait and see.
At least for one week he’ll be playing with a QB who takes 5.8 RZ attempts per game. Matt Ryan has thrown for 19 passing TD’s which accounts for 70% of his teams TD’s. I don’t think that we should look at what Tamme did in this offense as the ceiling for Hooper. If he shows that he’s able to get open and add value to targets I have to believe there will be targets for him.
On the downside, while this game is expected to be very high-scoring, the Harris Index says that the Buccs are only giving a minimal bump to the TE’s they play. The Bucs are a middle of the road defense on the whole, and when a team can’t cover WR’s effectively they consequently don’t give up a lot to TE’s. If Hooper is the athlete I hope he is, he may be able to play something like an underneath, possession reciever type of role. He may not be limited to the box we so often put TE’s in.
– Vance McDonald –
Often in fantasy football I think we should ask ourselves “If I believe X, then what?”. For example if you believed Demarco Murray was washed up, you should’ve drafted Derrick Henry. If you believed Arian Foster would inevitably be re-injured, then you drafted Jay Ajayi. This week if you believe that Colin Kaepernick is a decent streaming option, which I do, then you have to ask yourself “then what?”. My answer is, “then Vance McDonald probably has a good game.”
The Saints, while allowing a lot of yards, have not allowed a TD to a WR1 or a WR2. The WR’s that have scored against them are Seth Roberts, Dontrelle Inman, Justin Hardy, Devin Funchess and Tyreek Hill. When you look at the 49ers, who is that guy? It could be Vance. I think it’s entirely reasonable to say that there will be busted plays (and by busted I mean Kaep’s 1st read isn’t wide open) where Kaepernick is contemplating taking off, or at least would like to sell that to the defense, and before crossing the line of scrimmage he flings the ball to McDonald. And, if you can believe this, Vance McDonald is #1 in Player Profiler’s Target Premium metric. That means that given a target in a certain scenario, McDonald is adding more to that target than any other TE. That is exactly the type of player that this offense needs to pair with Kaep. New Orleans is 26th in DVOA against TE’s (15.7). Thus far they’re not allowing TD’s, just yards and more yards. I would have to say that this is a deeper option that the previous two, but it has potential just the same.
Written By: Josh Crocker – Josh can be found on Twitter @jccrocker