One of the benefits of doing a fantasy mailbag is the opportunity to answer multiple questions on the heels of large, groundbreaking news in the NFL.
So it was no surprise when I read my emails and tweets this week and saw a few questions concerning the Miami Dolphins – who made the wise (and overdue) decision to move on from head coach Joe Philbin Monday.
Regardless of the messy Dolphins, the arrival of Week 5 usually has people going crazy about their team anyway. Bye weeks are now a regular part of life, plenty of people are wondering how the hell they started 1-3, and some NFL teams are still trying to figure their shit out.
I’m looking at you, Chip Kelly.
But that’s why fantasy football is fantasy football. It tests your patience, but also demands decisiveness – which is why making trades this time of year can be a mind-bottling art.
Just remember: there’s still more than half the fantasy season left. Don’t get desperate yet.
Alright, mail time.
“Is Rishard Matthews an early season flash in the pan, or will he produce all year?”
Of course he’s a flash in the pan.
Matthews did this routine back in 2013 too – where he has a multi-touchdown game or two and catches a bunch of balls one week – then he floats off into the abyss for the next nine weeks.
The only difference about it all is that he got it out of the way in Weeks 2 and 3 in 2015 rather than eight and nine and then screws you for the playoff run.
“To follow that up, which Dolphins WR not named Jarvis Landry do you like the most post-Joe Philbin/bye week?”
With Joe Philbin, it always felt like the Dolphins offense was being too cute or outsmarting itself. Under Dan Campbell, I expect to see a lot of Jarvis Landry and a lot of Lamar Miller.
But if I have to choose any one Dolphins receiver—Greg Jennings, Kenny Stills, DaVante Parker, or Matthews—I would probably say Jordan Cameron. Wait, I can’t do that? He’s a tight end. Damn.
Honestly, the answer is no one. Landry and Miller and then bust. Unless you count Jordan Cameron and his 28 targets this season.
“Why did Allen Hurns go undrafted last year?”
If you want me to speak like an NFL Draft junkie, I will. There were a few factors that lead to Allen Hurns becoming a priority free agent rather than a draft pick in 2014. For one, he injured his meniscus and missed most of his senior season at Miami (FL). He also had a broken thumb and concussion on his collegiate health bill.
Second, many viewed him as a ‘one-trick pony’ who excels at nestling underneath defenses playing zone coverage but has trouble shaking corners in man-to-man. That evaluation has proven to be right on both sides of the spectrum. Hurns is no burner and won’t become one — because that’s what teammate Allen Robinson is for.
However, he’ll continue to be a valuable PPR asset in fantasy football with positive touchdown upside. And yes, it’s natural to be wary. After all, he still plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Would you trade Karlos Williams for James Jones? My team is balanced all around.”
Considering both of these players were picked up on the waiver wire no one is giving up any draft equity and through four weeks both players are still trending upwards.
If I had to make a decision, I would rather have James Jones because of the Aaron Rodgers factor. That, coupled with Williams’ possible concussion and the impending return of LeSean McCoy, has me leaning towards the Packers’ touchdown specialist.
“What team is the best (and worst) to target in the NFL right now?”
I’ll start with the worst because people always want the bad news first. I think.
Through four weeks, the Detroit Lions have officially become a fantasy football wasteland. It’s incredible to fathom that with weapons like Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, and Ameer Abdullah at Matthew Stafford’s disposal – but trust me, the Lions are less trustworthy than Victor Cruz right now.
I give them the narrow edge over whatever is going on in San Francisco right now.
As for the best team to target in fantasy football right now, I’ll go with the Cincinnati Bengals. I know I’m not exactly going out on a limb because Cincinnati is a really good football team. But just think about how people view the Bengals in fantasy in comparison to other players or teams.
Andy Dalton is currently QB2 behind Aaron Rodgers. You could probably still trade Eli Manning for him. Jeremy Hill, despite his struggles, has five rushing touchdowns on the season. Gio Bernard has nearly 300 yards on the ground. A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, the list continues.
The Bengals are a prime example of getting premium return five weeks into a season without having to pay a premium price – and that’s what wins weeks. Don’t be afraid to be aggressive in targeting Cinci.