It’s Friday and time to put your feet up and talk about what’s interesting.
Home and Away – Ever wondered how well players score at home versus away? Starting in Week 1 of 2016 through Week 4 of this season, I summed up the venues for the weekly fantasy scorers. I used the top five quarterbacks and tight ends, and the top ten running backs and wide receivers for each week. The results for home%-away% were: quarterbacks 56% – 44%, running backs 60%-40%, tight ends 53%-47% and wide receivers 57%-43%. The biggest takeaway is that running backs are the most likely to turn in a monster game at home.
Rookie Check-up – Here are the top three rookies in each position and where they currently rank:
- Quarterback: Deshaun Watson (5), DeShone Kizer (22), Mitchell Trubisky (NA)
- Running back: Kareem Hunt (2), Leonard Fournette (4), Dalvin Cook (9)
- Tight end: Evan Engram (8), David Njoku (20), Jonnu Smith (31)
- Wide receiver: Cooper Kupp (37), JuJu Smith-Schuster (63), Trent Taylor (72)
Aside from Deshaun Watson, the only difference makers are running backs that also include Tarik Cohen (12) and Alvin Kamar (19). Imagine – five of the top 20 are rookies.
Doug Martin – Yeah, that old B.S. about Martin being no lock to start when he returned was coachspeak as suspected. Jacquizz Rodgers only ran three times and gained two yards. Martin rushed 13 times for 74 yards and one touchdown. Rodgers was given the first carry and just one other in the first half. Martin looked very good and not rusty at all. The game had a 55 point over/under and only managed 33 points. And you can already figure on dropping Nick Folk (0-3 on field goals in a five-point loss).
J.D. McKissic – The undrafted Arkansas State product joined the Seahawks in December last year but only totaled one carry and two catches. In Week 4 with C.J. Prosise out, McKissic scored two touchdowns and gained 65 total yards. Seahawk players had urged HC Pete Carroll to play McKissic in previous weeks. From the Seahawks wire :
“He has been spectacular in practice,” Carroll said on 710 ESPN Seattle’s “The Pete Carroll Show.””He really has. I catch so much grief from Sherman from Doug and those guys, you know. They can’t wait to give me the needle on this one. Boy, we’ve loved his play.”
Carroll continued: “He’s so consistently on in practice. He works so hard at everything he does. He’s full speed every step of the way and he plays that way, and that’s why our guys love him so much.”
Prosise is still missing practice with his ankle and is injury-prone anyway. McKissic could figure in with the schedule serving up @LAR, @NYG, HOU, WAS and @ARI. The better the opposing secondaries, the more appealing dumping off to a running back can be.
Ben Roethlisberger – He’s missed games injured for the last two years and he contemplated hanging up his cleats in the offseason. His 2017 season has not been a crowning glory on his career so far. He threw for 263 yards and two scores in the season opener against the Browns. But he’s declined in each week since and only passed for 216 yards and one score in Baltimore. Fortunately, what little he does now still goes all to Antonio Brown. But Martavis Bryant has one decent game and no other receivers have any.
What’s more troubling is that last year, he faded down the stretch with only one 300-yard performance in the final nine games. Facing Jacksonville and Kansas City next is not going to help.
Melvin Gordon – He was a big surprise last year. His final seven games contained 100 total yards and five touchdowns. He comes off a very promising rookie year. And is team went to Los Angeles. Just like Todd Gurley in 2016. And just like Todd Gurley in 2016, Gordon has disappointed. He’s averaged only 42 rushing yards per game. And 25 receiving yards. He’s nursing a sore knee now too.
Gurley got over the moving year blues pretty well. But it seems to be “a thing” when teams move, their rushing offense apparently takes a season to unpack.
And an extra point – Whatever is wrong with Amari Cooper started in Week 9 of 2016. Cooper had a back injury then but played in the game in Denver. In the 24 games until that week, Cooper averaged 77 yards per game. He topped 100 yards nine times. In the 13 games since Week 9, 2016, Cooper averaged 37 yards per game with never more than 76 yards. He’s been night and day different since that week. By now, it isn’t just a temporary thing.