Fantasy “Believe it or Not?”: Knee-Jerk Reactions After Week 8

Fantasy “Believe it or Not?”: Knee-Jerk Reactions After Week 8

by November 4, 2020 1 comment

Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends. Week 8 was a crazy one, and injuries continue to pile up, especially at the running back position. It is time for another round of fantasy “Believe it or Not?”.

Next week, there will be a special edition of this article. We will recount some players who we believed in and some we did not (spoiler alert: if you have been following along this season, you are probably doing very well), but for this week it is about the here and now. Considering all the uncertainty with running backs in the NFL and a litany of injuries, this week it is best to focus on the guys that will be toting the rock. Today we skip the other positions and only look at the guys in the backfield.  

Per usual, this is not a deep dive. Rather, it is an attempt to look at some of the more popular adds and decide whether we believe them or not. Buckle up, buttercups… away we go.

Remember last week when everyone should snatch up Tevin Coleman?

Guilty. To be fair, he was probably rushed back to a San Francisco lineup headed into a huge divisional matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. He looked great initially, only to leave the contest with an injury to the same knee that just kept him out for five weeks, after three carries for 20 yards. Coach Shanahan said he will miss “a little bit of time” which is coach-speak for ‘we have no idea’. JaMycal Hasty is a must-add as he likely slides into the starting role. Run, don’t walk… right?

So, do we believe it or not?

No sir. The 49ers also lost Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle in the game. Hasty could be a world-beater as far as talent goes, but it’s a situation to completely avoid. The offense is completely tattered and you shouldn’t want any part of a back that is going to see a stacked box with Nick Mullens under center, particularly in that division. You would be better off spending a comparable amount (or less) on the Bills’ Zack Moss.

Remember when the committee situation in New England was best avoided?

Sony Michel is no longer on the Covid-19 list. Great, right? Well, no. He has merely been moved to the regular injured reserve, confounding fantasy managers that had him stashed for a return. James White’s role depends entirely on the opponent and game plan, and so does Rex Burkhead’s, as is Bill Belichick’s modus operandi. Who is left? Damien Harris. It is time to finally buy on a Patriots running back, isn’t it?

So, do we believe it or not?

Yup. This is an opportunity. Despite the overwhelming fan consensus that the Patriots will just tank, that is not a ship that Belichick often captains. As good of a coach as he is, he will devise plans to keep New England competitive at the very least. Cam Newton has a chip on his shoulder after last week and if the team can find a couple capable receivers, the running back position stands to benefit. Harris took 16 carries and turned them into 102 yards on Sunday and is averaging just under six yards per carry for the season. He still gets the Jets twice (including this week), the Texans, the Bills again and makes for a great plug-and-play in most matchups going forward.

Remember J.K. Dobbins’ breakout game on Sunday?

The rookie could not be denied in Week 8, ripping off 113 yards on just 15 carries (an eye-popping 7.5-yard average). He had one less snap than Gus Edwards in the contest, but clearly was the better of the two. The time is now for the Ohio State product, and the sky is the limit for the rest of the season.

So, do we believe it or not?

Nah, this is smoke and mirrors. Is Dobbins the future of this backfield? Absolutely. Is he going to have another game like this for redraft managers this season? No. Dobbins is extremely talented, but John Harbaugh generally values veteran leadership and has complete faith in all the guys in that running back room. That includes Mark Ingram (who was out for this game), and Edwards, who had 87 yards of his own in this affair and got the call when it was time to punch the ball in for a short-yardage score.

Ingram returns, Edwards and Dobbins are involved and there is a certain reigning MVP who, it turns out, is fond of running the ball as well. Great game for the Ravens rushing attack, but there are other guys aside from Dobbins who are in less of a timeshare to blow FAAB on.

Remember when Jonathan Taylor was the truth?

This train is running much faster with managers jumping off at every stop. Taylor does not look like the same player he was at Wisconsin. He is failing to hit holes and runs into the back of the linemen more than one would like. Additionally, the burst just does not seem to be there. However, he only has 100 carries through seven games and may be underutilized. It is time to sell Taylor and go get some shares of Jordan Wilkins, surely.

So, do we believe it or not?

Wilkins is an immediate buy. There is simply no reason for Taylor to just be running into the pile when Indianapolis has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Last week, Wilkins was handed the rock 20 times and turned those carries into 89 yards (4.5 average) and found paydirt. With all the fantasy hype surrounding Taylor before the season, it is tough to admit that he may be best utilized as a complimentary back. He still has loads of value, but he needs a Marlon Mack or Wilkins type of back to bring the shock before Taylor delivers the awe.

Wilkins is a “buy-now-ask-questions-later” running back that should be in your lineup for the rest of the year. This is one of those guys who could be a league-winner.

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Covering NFL, MLB, Fantasy Sports, and NCAAB. Cincinnati raised, Los Angeles resident with a stop in Philadelphia in between. Joe Mixon truther, fan of "The Answer". Joey Votto is an international treasure.

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    #1 dasdasd 5 November, 2020, 10:48

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