4for4 Mailbag Week 14
Welcome to the weekly 4for4 Mailbag, where I answer your questions about all aspects of fantasy football, including redraft leagues, DFS strategy, advice on handling angry football widows, and even some pop culture. Since it will be published on Thursdays throughout the season, I won’t be tackling waiver wire advice, so be sure to check out 4for4’s valuable articles on streaming and the like to aid with your weekly roster decisions.
To submit a question for consideration, tweet me @themondaymommy or simply use the hashtag #4for4mailbag!
@carloscantu_007: Can I trust Hopkins? Need more pop potential out of my WR3. I’m dropping him for T Gabriel.
JE: I wish what to do with DeAndre Hopkins was a cut and dry situation, but sadly it isn’t. As we sit here now, Hopkins ranks as WR30 in PPR fantasy points with a total of 148.8 through Week 13. If you are looking at him as a true WR3, then his production is right on target. The Texans wideout is sandwiched between Kelvin Benjamin and Willie Snead in the rankings.
However, I’m fairly certain you drafted him with an ADP in the first or second round depending on your specific strategy. As a WR1, Hopkins has been a tremendous disappointment this season, along the same lines as Allen Robinson, Sammy Watkins and to some extent Demaryius Thomas. If we clear our head of the expectations and work with what we have in front of us, which is a super talented WR with a crappy QB, Hopkins is still in play.
Through 13 games, his targets are nearly double that of the guy right behind him, as Hopkins has been thrown to 113 times to TE C.J. Feidorowicz’s 68. Sure, some sail right over his head or are ridiculously short, but at least the opportunity is there. I know it’s frustrating as a Hopkins owner, in fact, I am one this season, however I still think compared to what’s out there on the waiver wire, he’s a better option.
When looking at Taylor Gabriel’s potential, the one glaring advantage he has, is the guy under center. Matt Ryan is a far superior pass thrower than Osweiler all day long. However, Gabriel has to share targets with Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and even Devonta Freeman. In the past four weeks, Gabriel has cut into their workload though, with 16 targets to Jones’ 32 and Sanu’s 13.
The final thought I will leave you with is remaining schedule. When comparing both Hopkins and Gabriel’s matchups during fantasy playoff time, the Falcons have a much easier route when it comes to defending the WR position. They will be facing teams with Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed (aFPA) of 42.5, 41.1 and 43.8 to WRs in Week 14-16, while the Texans are up against aFPAs of 38.7, 30.6 and 31.7 to the WR position in those same weeks.
Fantasy football can be a cruel, vile mistress at times. I think either of these WRs come with some sort of risk, so whatever choice you make, be confident and don’t beat yourself up if you ultimately choose incorrectly.
@Jeff_LJ_Lloyd: Sammy W, Enunwa or Tyreek Hill?
JE: It’s pretty nuts that asking whether to start Sammy Watkins over two virtually unknown WRs when this season began is a legit question, but indeed it is. When comparing these three, several factors come into play.
Watkins is coming off a nagging foot injury that has kept him sidelined for most of this season. Since returning to the field in Week 12, the Bills WR has put up 17.8 PPR points, a mediocre showing for a top tier guy. This week, he faces a Steelers’ D with an aFPA of 34.4 to WRs, the 11th toughest in the league.
Quincy Enunwa has had a roller coaster of a season, with some games scoring up to 21.9 PPR points, then others as low as 1.7. Of course, the Jets are a train wreck at QB, going through Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Bryce Petty. The one thing Enunwa has going for him in this discussion is the Jets Week 14 opponent. The 49ers give up the sixth most PPR fantasy points to the WR position, with an aFPA of 41.1. I’m not sure that gives Enunwa the edge here, considering what a mess the Jets are but it is food for thought.
Tyreek Hill has certainly been a pleasant surprise this season, as Jeremy Maclin’s groin injury allowed him to flourish and develop chemistry with Chiefs’ QB Alex Smith. Of course Maclin is set to return this week against a Raiders D with an aFPA of 36.4 to WRs. Groin injuries are brutal, so I expect Maclin to be integrated slowly, with Hill getting most of the WR1 work. Weather could be a factor however, as it is expected to be bitter cold at Arrowhead Stadium for TNF. I have heard some rumblings of the turf being currently frozen but hopefully that is all resolved by kickoff.
All things considered, I would personally rank them Hill, Watkins then Enunwa. Ultimately, the decision is yours though -I’m just here to present the facts, and hopefully entertain along the way.
@None4Dan: If I missed the playoffs, what are some under the radar keepers I should pick up now?
JE: The first thing I would do, would be to scope out the waiver wire for any injured studs that have been dropped this season due to roster limits or injury. Players like Keenan Allen, Danny Woodhead, AJ Green and the like. If you are in a keeper league, they should all be rostered in theory, but there are owners that will hope to get away with grabbing them back before the season ends. Plus, folks in the playoffs are busy worrying about who to start and may forget to circle back for injured or ineffective players.
A few RBs I would take a look at are C.J. Prosise, Paul Perkins and Ameer Abdullah. Prosise is currently out with a shoulder injury, but had success this season when on the field and is more in line with a Seahawks’ RB than Thomas Rawls. He could be in for a very productive 2017-2018 season.
Ameer Abdullah is on the IR for a foot injury but has serious potential for the Lions next season. His 4.3 yards per attempt is promising and so is his pass catching ability. Paul Perkins is intriguing to me as the Giants lead back next season. Rashad Jennings has crossed the dreaded (for RBs), 30 year threshold, in fact he’ll be 32 when next season rolls around. The Giants may decide to part ways with Jennings, opening the door for Perkins.
When it comes to WRs for next season, I would take a look at Tajae Sharpe. Sure, he didn’t amount to much this season as the summer narrative suggested, but the talented Titan WR will only be in his second year in the NFL, and that offense will only get better as Marcus Mariota gets more comfortable in the league. Martavis Bryant was a big blow for folks who drafted him early during the summer, before he was suspended due to his love for smoking weed. He should be back in 2017 with plenty of targets, as the Steelers haven’t found a viable replacement for the freakishly talented WR.
As always, thank you all so much for your submissions to the 4for4 Mailbag. If I did not get to your question, I may be holding onto it for next week. Have a great Week 14 and see you all next week!