Burning Questions: Week 15
I’m entitling this week “Colossal Utter Nuclear Meltdown” week after a number of bizarre fantasy performances which has to leave owners puzzled. Our own Andy Holloway summed it up best:
Ways you won in fantasy this week:
1) Had Lev Bell
2) Had Falcons Defense
3) Ignored all common sensibilities and started random players
— Andy Holloway (@andyholloway) December 12, 2016
Our “Burning Questions” series continues into Week 15 following up recent news, fantasy performances, and implications for owners moving forward. Follow our contributors for this week’s Burning Questions: Eric Ludwig (@FF_Gouge), Brooks Carmean (@brookscarmean), and Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg).
1. Try to put into words Lev Bells monster performance. Is he the RB1 rest of the year?
“I’m a long-suffering Buffalo fan so I watched the game beginning to end. The final score is in no way indicative of how much Bell and Pittsburgh dominated that game. Sometimes a statistical day like Bell’s is buoyed be a long run or two, but Bell did his work by ripping off 7-9 yard runs one after another. The RB1 debate really comes down to David Johnson and Bell with Ezekiel Elliott looking in, but my money’s on Bell for RB1. He’s the centerpiece of an explosive offense.” -Eric Ludwig
“Oh my! The matchups don’t even matter, the answer has to be Yes- he is the RB1 rest of year. Even with half the carries he received this Sunday (38!), he would have had a stellar week. If the opposing team can actually defend the run at all, he’ll just get his yards through the air.” -Brooks Carmean
“38 attempts is something straight out of 1986 and the most in the NFL since the immortal Jerome Harrison of the Browns was fed the rock 39 times and 148 yards in 2009 against the Raiders. If he continues to receive 25+ touches a game, that volume puts him clearly in position to be the RB1 the rest of the way. With the Steelers fighting with the Ravens for the AFC North division, expect them to continue to ride Lev Bell into the playoffs. This was an epic fantasy playoff performance for the ages with the snow making it that much more mythological.” -Kyle Borgognoni
2. Which “pooped in their big boy pants” performance was among the most costly for owners?
“0-3. Second week in a row Drew Brees threw 0 TDs and 3 interceptions, but this time he wasn’t even gracious enough to eclipse 300 passing yards. How much can you trust him in your playoff lineups? You might not even be in the playoffs if you played him.” -Eric Ludwig
“Drew Brees. Leading up to this game, I saw a number of comments from people talking up the Tampa Bay Defense. Quite simply, I just didn’t believe it. Even with an improved Bucs DEF and being on the road, I surely expected a bounce back from Brees having thrown multiple TDs in 4 out of 5 games prior. (Plus he’s Drew Brees) Zero TDs + 3 INTs later, and I’m headed home early in my main league.” -Brooks Carmean
“1 catch for 17 yards for Allen Robinson… Woof. After being talked up all week as being a bigger part of the game plan and looking over the offense again with OC Nathaniel Hackett and Blake Bortles, A-Rob was trash. He has averaged less than 20 yards over his last 4 weeks and has to be one of the biggest fantasy busts this season for owners who took him in the late 1st round. Count me among those who had their heart stolen by ARob after last year and now have found themselves in the fantasy gutter thanks to this “poop-in-your-pants-put-it-in-the-trash-bag” performance.” -Kyle Borgognoni
3. QB numbers were atrocious across the board this week. Which QB shocked you the most?
“I was not a fan of Russell Wilson heading into this week, but what an awful performance that was. As if a 56% completion rate wasn’t bad enough or only 240 yards and 1 TD on 39 pass attempts, he coughs up 5 picks against Green Bay of all teams. He’ll bounce back, but that was horrid. Against a fringe playoff- caliber team, Wilson needs to be better even on the road.” -Eric Ludwig
“I want to say Drew Brees again for the things I mentioned above, but anytime a guy throws FIVE interceptions, let alone someone as talented as Russell Wilson, it jumps out. For those owners who escaped Week 14 with a win, it surely would be hard to trust him Week 15 vs the Rams or Week 16 vs the Cardinals.” -Brooks Carmean
“Russell Wilson must’ve made many owners feel sick Monday morning. There’s no way any owner could’ve had 5 INTs in the realm of possibilities entering into their playoffs. It’s shocking when you consider that the Green Bay secondary had been so weak recently including giving up a top 10 performance to Brock Osweiler (!?!) last week. After a midseason resurgence, Wilson has certainly let fantasy owners down and should be sat the rest of the way.” -Kyle Borgognoni
4. Give us one stat line from this week that has major fantasy implications throughout the playoffs.
“I thought Mike Evans was going to feast. I guess this might be a Jameis Winston-Mike Evans combo, but 4 receptions for 42 yards on 8 targets against New Orleans is pretty bad. To Tampa Bay’s credit they won the game, but Tampa Bay’s playoff schedule looked so rosy and now, who knows what to expect?” -Eric Ludwig
“I’m going with Aaron Rodgers’ line of 18/23 for 246 yards, 3 TDs and zero picks. In a tough matchup with the Seahawks, who had given up just 10 points a game, and 11 passing TDs on the entire season, Rodgers was terrific. The Packers have shown the ability to be a high-powered offense without being very balanced. Those owners with Rodgers and/or Packers’ receivers can roll em’ out the remaining weeks, including Week 16 vs the Vikings. Rodgers has now thrown multiple TDs in 8 straight weeks. He did injure his calf in the first quarter, so that’s certainly something to monitor.” -Brooks Carmean
“Tevin Coleman needs to be taken seriously as a solid RB2 the rest of the way. He had 10 touches to Devonta Freeman’s 8 while out gaining him by 37 yards. Yes this game was an absolute blowout but Coleman has looked explosive all year when given the chance. His 9 total TDs on just 110 touches makes him one of the highest efficiency backs in the league. You have to love his Week 15 matchup against the 49ers as the worst-ranked run defense. Don’t be afraid to plug him in.” -Kyle Borgognoni