Fantasy Football Believe It or Not: Dumping Adrian Peterson? Benching Kareem Hunt? Adding Corey Coleman?
Heath Cummings says you can cut loose on Adrian Peterson and Jared Goff owners need to find a new quarterback.
We also had a few myths challenged on Sunday. Adrian Peterson is not Superman with extra rest. Jared Goff is not matchup-proof. Kareem Hunt is not a must-start running back. Jerick McKinnon is not the best running back in Minnesota. At least that's the way it looked on Sunday.
Let's dig a little deeper.
Adrian Peterson is droppable
If a narrative seems too good to be true, it probably is. Paterson had been absolutely dominant in two Cardinals starts when he had extra rest. He had been garbage in the two games he played on short, or regular, rest. On Sunday he faced the Houston Texans 10 days after his last game and he was pretty terrible.
Peterson ran 14 times for 26 yards, the third time this season he's had at least 11 carries and less than 30 yards. Evan with Andre Ellington inactive, Peterson only saw one target. For the third time in four games he failed to reach four Fantasy points in a standard CBS league.
Verdict: Believe it
I want to be clear: This isn't all Peterson's fault. He's on a team with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback and a mediocre offensive line. Larry Fitzgerald is the only other legitimate offensive weapon and he isn't exactly a field stretcher. And in Week 11, Peterson faced an extremely difficult matchup.
I also want to be clear that I don't think Peterson is completely useless. There's a possibility that you could get something out of him in December against the Titans, Redskins and Giants. Assuming he's the starting running back, of course. David Johnson has his cast off and talks like a man who very much plans on playing football again this season.
If you have the bench space to hold on to a 32 year-old running back with the hope that he's good again in three weeks (and David Johnson isn't back) then go right ahead. But there is probably a better use of that roster spot.
Kareem Hunt is no longer must-start
The Kansas City Chiefs went to New York to face the hapless Giants. On a frigid Sunday against a bad team, they were double-digit favorites. The wind was blowing 20-plus miles per hour. Kareem Hunt received four carries in the first half.
I don't know how to make sense of that because there is no way to make sense of it. Andy Reid is a great football coach. He's forgotten more about the game than most of us know. He also really enjoys showing you how big his playbook is. He has let Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce throw interceptions in the last month. He's also ruined Kareem Hunt as a must-start Fantasy option.
You don't have to bench Kareem Hunt. He may very well be the best running back on your team. But the way the Chiefs are going right now, you don't have to start him either.
Verdict: Don't believe it
Hunt scored seven Fantasy points in a standard league. He scored 10 in PPR. He's been below nine in PPR exactly zero times all season. He's currently (still) the No. 2 running back in non-PPR leagues. I know you're disappointed in his recent production. I know his usage can be maddening. But you aren't benching Kareem Hunt.
And if you want to take this more literally, you definitely aren't benching Hill in Week 12 against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have given up 614 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns in the past three weeks. After this week he gets the Jets, Raiders, Chargers and Dolphins.
Corey Coleman is a must-add wide receiver
Corey Coleman has been a fixture in the NFL and caught six passes for 80 yards. That put him in some pretty good company:for the past few weeks, but on Sunday it looked like I undersold him. Coleman went up against the best pass defense in the
I'm not ready to put Coleman anywhere close to Antonio Brown or even must-start status. But this performance in less than ideal weather against an elite defense means he should be universally owned. Seeing as he's available in nearly 70 percent of leages, that should make him the most added player heading into Week 12.
Verdict: Believe it
Coleman's 80 yards were far from the most important stat in this game. That distinction was reserved for his 11 targets. That type of usage can make even an average talent Fantasy relevant, and Coleman is a former first-round pick, not an average talent. If he firmly establishes himself as the No. 1 target for DeShone Kizer on a team that is going to be playing from behind as much as any team in the league he will have top-20 upside rest of season. Go get him now.
Jared Goff is just a matchup-dependent streaming option
Jared Goff is having a very good year. When put in the context of what he did in 2016, he's shown remarkable growth. But the idea that he had already morphed into an elite Fantasy quarterback was a bit premature.
Goff has scored 20 Fantasy points or more against the 49ers, Cowboys, Cardinals, Giants and Texans. He's been held to 12 or less against the Redskins, Seahawks, Jaguars, and Vikings. For the most part it makes perfect sense. You start him against bad pass defenses and bench him against good. Against an average defense it's a bit of a coin flip.
Verdict: Believe it
And this is going to be a problem for Goff owners. Here's Goff's remaining schedule along with their Fantasy points allowed per game:
- Saints (18.2)
- Cardinals (21.6)
- Eagles (16.4)
- Seahawks (14)
- Titans (21.8)
- 49ers (22.4)
Most leagues end in Week 16, so that 49ers matchup is kind of a moot point. The Titans matchup likely will be as well if you start out by Week 14 or 15. If Goff carried you to this point, it is absolutely time to find a new quarterback moving forward. Assuming the Bills haven't completely lost their minds, Tyrod Taylor would be the perfect option.
Latavius Murray is the best Vikings running back in Fantasy
For the third time in four games Latavius Murray scored a touchdown. In fact, he scored two. He also outscored Jerick McKinnon in both formats for the third time in as many games. And he got at least 15 carries for the fifth straight game. It's starting to look blatantly obvious that Murray is the best running back on the Vikings.
Murray is the primary ball carrier on first and second down and he's also the short-yardage back. In today's NFL that's about as close to a workhorse as we get. And if you don't believe the numbers, the film has shown a resurgent Murray who looks more like his 2016 self than he has at any point this season.
I allow myself one of these per season, and I haven't used my freebie for 2017 yet. This backfield is game script and format-dependent. In non-PPR you should probably just believe it. Murray won't be better than McKinnon every game, but he'll be better most games, and rest of season. In PPR leagues it's far more complicated.
When the Vikings are able to build a lead, Murray is clearly the preferred option regardless of format. But these Vikings have three straight road games coming up against the Lions, Falcons and Panthers. I don't anticipate them building big leagues in any of those games, and I expect the spend some time either chasing the score or at the least in a shootout. That's McKinnon time.
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