Moments of Doubt

There are times I wonder why I do this. Which isn’t to say I don’t enjoy it. I think moments of doubt are natural when taking on something. They bring out a lot of reflection. Working through a moment of doubt can really help renew the dedication to your cause. Recently I felt that way about this very website. Can I really produce the level of content that I want to consistently? Will I be able to write things in the style I truly want to? Am I even sure that my style of writing has become refined enough to the point I want it to be?

Sometimes the answers to these question aren’t always what we want them to be. However, getting those answers leaves us in a better place to do what we want. Sometimes the answers to these questions come from unlikely place.

My best friend Mo lives in Pittsburgh. We chat on the phone for about a half an hour maybe every other week. Standard stuff, “How’s life? How’s work?” all of that. He’s an occasional football fan, not really someone who plays fantasy. He just catches a game every now and then. We’re talking a couple weeks ago and he lets me know that one of our recent phone tag bouts was actually fantasy football related.

He goes on to tell me about how not one but two of his friends needed fantasy football advice and when he couldn’t get a hold of me he directed them to none other than TheFantasyForce. Using tweets (especially the Ultimock so thanks again to everyone who was a part of that) articles, and TheFantasyForce Podcast they were able to successfully work their drafts.

I was able to catch up with one of those friends a few days ago and was delighted to find out she was 1-0 and still has a pretty strong roster even after losing Dez to injury.

So after week 1 we might be experiencing some moments of doubt when it comes to certain players and their fantasy future. Let’s work through some of those.

Can Dion Lewis really thrive with Blount coming back?

When I sat down with Adam Cahill (@TheOtherFFGuy), and to be fair I can’t be certain if he was sitting, we spoke about coaches that like to utilize certain types of players. That strategy, plus the talent of the player, is why people were so excited about CJ Spiller ending up with Sean Payton in New Orleans. But one that Adam touched on was the pass catching RB for Bill Belichick. Not just a Shane Vereen specialty, that role is what put Danny Woodhead on for his NFL career and was held by longtime Patriots RB Kevin Faulk. After week 1 we know for certain that Dion Lewis has this role.

Here’s what I like in addition to that: Lewis look pretty good as runner too. Now it’s a far cry from Lewis outright taking Legarette Blount’s early down work, but it means he’ll be involved and won’t blow the opportunity. Lewis actually needs to work on his efficiency in the passing game believe it or not. But again, being the passing down guy for The Hoodie means he will have plenty of chances to fix his game.

Will Allen Robinson and TJ Yeldon work on the same fantasy squad?

This sounds like the beginning of copping out of this argument but it really depends what you’re team needs the both of them to be. Due to their spots on draft day ARob and TJ could have been great value adds on the same fantasy squad. So how do owners balance owning two talented, but inexperienced players on an offense that is still finding it way? Well, it’s all about what you want from them.

Allen Robinson probably wants to forget week 1 ASAP. 27 Yards, 6 Targets, and a great loss of confidence from fantasy owners everywhere. Actually that last one might not keep him up at night. The six targets is concerning but it was only week 1 and the Jags will make efforts to up their offensive playcalling. Allen Robinson has the talent to lead the Jaguars wideouts this season, and if you notice his owner getting anxious, don’t be afraid to pounce on them with a trade.

As for TJ Yeldon, 15 touches was an encouraging sign going forward. He logged just under 2/3 of his team’s snaps as well. Jacksonville’s coaching staff will try and use their offense to control the game a bit more, and as mentioned above, will make efforts to play a little less conservatively. This will open up running lanes for Yeldon as well if they are successful. 18-20 touches should be closer to what Yeldon sees but production is what really counts. Yeldon can’t be relied on as an RB2 yet, but leagues with multiple flex spots will favor Yeldon as a, “safer” option.

Will Alex Smith keep up this pace?

The ultimate game manager put up some gaudy stats in week 1 causing me to refresh the data on my fantasy teams in disbelief. Going for vast depth on the other skill positions in a league left me deciding between Jay Cutler in an Adam Gase offense or Alex Smith. I chose Smith and couldn’t be happier with that decision. Now, I’m not saying that I saw this type of production in my (and his) future, but it was part of the reason I drafted him.

Travis Kelce working a full snap count and the upgrade to Jeremy Maclin from Dwayne Bowe puts some great talent around the former No. 1 overall pick. Combine that real receiving talent with the fact that Smith likes to keep the risky throws down and you have the odd high floor high ceiling play at QB. The league I have Smith in is what I call my, “home” league. It’s the first one I check waivers on, It’s the one where I have some real skin in the game. And crazy enough? I’m not just content, I’m happy with that choice.

Is Tyler Eifert for real?

It’s hard to succinctly explain just exactly how good Tyler Eifert was last week. He finished 3rd in run blocking amongst TEs according to PFF and was just bonkers in the passing game. Eifert ran a particularly good seam route for the Bengals, and looked every bit the athletic prospect we thought he was entering the league. And saying he’s 6’6 251 just doesn’t do enough justice to how much bigger he looks than everyone else on the field.

Eifert is now the second option in the passing game for Cincy and had multiple plays where he was Andy Dalton’s first read. No, 100 yards and 2 scores won’t be the norm for the man from Notre Dame but it’s very possible that we could be looking at a top 5 option at a devalued spot.

So there we have it. 4 situations every fantasy owner will be paying special attention to this season. Have concerns about any players or situations that I didn’t cover? Comment below or tweet me @TheFantasyForce and you’ll get all the answers you need.

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