Burning Questions: Week 11
We’re at it again with another week of “Burning Questions” following up recent news, fantasy performances, and implications for owners moving forward. Follow our contributors for this week’s Burning Questions: Ryan Weisse (@TheFantasyFive), Brooks Carmean (@brookscarmean) and Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)
1. Will Ezekiel Elliott break Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record of 1,808 yards? Is he the front runner for fantasy MVP?
“My guess is he misses the record but not by much. We’re about to see if he can break thru the rookie wall that has ended so many promising rookie years. He’s about 4 games away from the largest workload he’s ever had. If he were to fall off in Week 15, I doubt any owner will call him MVP.” -Ryan Weisse
“If he plays the remaining 7 games, he’ll need an average of about 114 yards to do it. However, if Dallas were to clinch the division or more, Zeke needs to average 133 yards in 6 games. Three of the those are vs BAL, at MIN, and Week 17 at Philadelphia. Last week I said: ‘Going forward, unless things go terribly wrong for Dallas, I think his floor is 100 yards or a TD in any given game no matter the matchup, with the upside for much more.’ However, I still don’t think he’ll quite break the record. I also wouldn’t call him THE front runner for MVP, but tied up there with David Johnson, DeMarco Murray, and Mike Evans right now.“ -Brooks Carmean
“What a performance… Elliott has a shot at Dickerson’s total because I think the Cowboys will need him in some tough matchups against Baltimore next week and some tough road matchups at the Vikings and the Giants. He’s on pace for a rookie record 2,231 yards from scrimmage which I think is even better telling of the impact he’s had. In terms of fantasy MVP, there still is a lot of competition at the RB position with David Johnson, DeMarco Murray, and Melvin Gordon. I still think it’s David Johnson’s award to lose.” -Kyle Borgognoni
2. Is game flow possible to predict? Which game had you perplexed in Week 10?
“Some outcomes are easier to see than others; Cowboys and Steelers with a high score or Rams vs Jets as a low score. But Game Flow is impossible to guess. I expected to see the Eagles throw it all over but they ran…and they ran Ryan Mathews, who we were all writing off. The 49ers have one of the worst rush defenses in history but held David Johnson to 55 yards. Johnson still dominated in fantasy, just not how we expected. If DJ can’t go for 150 on the 49ers, I can’t pretend to understand Game Flow.” -Ryan Weisse
“Not really. The easy answer for me is Broncos/Saints. Headed into Week 10 it was one of the most intriguing matchups. Even at home, I wasn’t sure how Brees would fare against Denver, and he led an awesome 2nd half comeback. All the talk was about Denver being susceptible against the run, but Brees kept taking to the air. Then THE play that gave Denver the lead at the end was easily the most perplexing play of the week. His foot was for sure out right?” -Brooks Carmean
“I wish I could forecast game flow but for some reason, that super power is not made available to anyone, even to Vegas. I’d say you can have the right game flow in mind 50-60% of the time on a good week, but it’s that other 40% which makes you feel like a fool most weeks. I did not see the Titans manhandling the Packers this week with a DeMarco Murray passing TD. That wasn’t in my projections… I also faded Mariota in all my DFS lineups. Whoops.” -Kyle Borgognoni
3. Which “poo poo” player from Week 10 should owners have cut bait with, in a trade before their trading deadline?
“Most owners, myself included, are probably wishing they sold Ty Montgomery. The Packers don’t look like a team that will be running much and when they do, it looks like it’ll be James Starks. Starks was more active than Montgomery in both the running and passing games in Week 10. With all the hype around Yahoo finally making him an RB, last week was a prime time to sell Montgomery .” –Ryan Weisse
“I’ll go with Brandon Marshall here. Even with terrible QB play on a bad team, he seemed like a stud that with enough targets could still be productive for fantasy (especially in the PPR league that I have him in), but not so much. I haven’t heard anyone saying that 32-year-old Marshall looks any different as a player, but last year’s WR4 is the WR31 through 10 weeks in Half PPR scoring.” -Brooks Carmean
“Can someone please tell Christine Michael to wipe the poo stain he left on the field despite the Seahawks hanging 31 points on the Patriots? I know he was hurt but 26 yards from scrimmage is not gonna cut it. This guy should’ve been dealt two weeks ago as his point totals were masked by some short yardage TDs. He’s been in decline as an impact fantasy producer since Week 7. Hopefully you aren’t stuck with him especially as C.J. Prosise looks like a young Darren Sproles and Thomas Rawls returns from injury.” -Kyle Borgognoni
4. Which TE has slowly inched in your mind away from the “barfy” middling TE group and into weekly start consideration?
“Gotta be Cameron Brate. He’s scored a TD in 3 straight games and has had at least 3 receptions in every game but 1. The Bucs have a great fantasy playoffs schedule and Brate is an easy start from here on out.” -Ryan Weisse
“I’m still on board with Martellus Bennett. I drafted him as my only TE in a couple of leagues headed into the season, before we knew Gronk would miss time. I like having TEs on good (or great) offenses who can move the ball and score often. Plus IF Gronk were to miss anymore time, Bennett is a Top 5 TE.” -Brooks Carmean
“Antonio Gates needs to be considered an every week start (just not next week as the Chargers will be on bye). He’s worth holding onto as Philip Rivers continues to look his way with 9 targets every week over the last 3 weeks. He’s a box out machine given his former basketball pedigree as his 2nd quarter TD showed him out-muscling two Miami defenders. Despite the presence of Hunter Henry, you can’t ask for much more than 9 targets per game from the TE position especially with his TD upside. He’s currently 7th all-time at 109 TDs and only 2 behind Tony Gonzalez for the TE record. Expect Rivers to force targets his way to break the record.” -Kyle Borgognoni