Category Archives: Fantasy Football

Dalvin Cook Fantasy: Should You Start or Sit the Vikings RB in Week 9?

If you’re a fantasy football owner of Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, it’s been a tough season thus far. Unfortunately for the second-year running back who flashed tremendous upside last season, he’s been unable to get fully healthy and stay on the field. But with a crucial Week 9 divisional matchup against the Detroit Lions ahead, it seems Cook may have a real chance to return to action.
Although the 23-year-old has missed the last four games, a positive outlook was provided Friday morning. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport joined Good Morning Football and spoke about the Vikings running back and his potential to return this week.
“My understanding is that Dalvin Cook is nearing a return to the field. We’ll have to see how he makes it through practice today, on Friday, the last big-time practice of the week. But it is trending in that direction that Dalvin Cook actually could for real, seriously, I’m not joking this time, be on the field for the Vikings.” Rapoport told Good Morning Football.
“It’s been on again off again several times, remember he returned for the Thursday night game, re-injured his hamstring, we thought he was going to play a couple weeks ago but was not able to go. They do have the bye after this week, so if they want to be cautious they could do that, but it really does seem like Dalvin Cook has a legitimate and real chance to play this Sunday.”
So the big question becomes, if the Vikings running back is out there this Sunday, how should fantasy football owners approach the situation? We’ve seen Cook suffer setbacks and even struggle at times this year, so let’s break down the start-sit debate around the young back.

Should You Start or Sit Dalvin Cook in Week 9?
Obviously, this entire conversation comes down to Cook being active for the game, which seems likely at this point. Things can change quickly, but for the time being he’s trending upwards and that’s a good sign. As far as the Vikings game against the Lions goes, that’s a big part of what makes this debate even more interesting.
On the season, the Lions have struggled mightily against opposing running backs. They’ve given up 959 rushing yards on 173 carries (5.5 yards per carry) along with 34 receptions for 305 yards and seven combined touchdowns. It’s hard to make an argument that Cook doesn’t make sense as at least a name to take a chance on in the bulk of fantasy leagues.
The big concern comes down to his production. Cook has 36 carries in three games for just 98 yards (2.7 yards per carry) while catching nine passes for 107 yards. Considering he has dealt with injuries, I don’t believe the Vikings would put Cook back on the field one week ahead of their bye unless he was nearly 100 percent healthy. In turn, he makes sense as a potential fantasy option this week.

Update
As Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune revealed, the Vikings do plan to play Cook, but he will be on a limited snap count.

Sources have said the Vikings plan to play Dalvin Cook on a limited snap count Sunday. They went into the Cardinals game with a similar plan, before Cook’s hamstring wasn’t feeling good that Sunday. He was on the practice field again Friday, though, and the hope is he’ll play.
— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingStrib) November 2, 2018

I’d tread lightly with using Cook, but do believe with the six teams on bye this week that he’s a potential flex play in 12-team leagues and a RB2/flex option in larger leagues. The latest news that Cook will be on a snap count is somewhat concerning, but I do still believe he warrants flex consideration based on the number of bye weeks.
It would also be incredibly wise to monitor the Vikings running back’s status ahead of the game. There doesn’t seem to be much of a chance of a setback here, but any updates from pregame warmups Sunday could be worth considering.
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Lamar Miller Fantasy: Should You Start or Sit the Texans RB in Week 6?

The Houston Texans left fantasy football owners in a tough spot last Sunday ahead of their Week 5 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. Running back Lamar Miller seemed unlikely to play for much of the day, but slightly before kickoff, it was revealed he would be active for the game.
Fortunately for fantasy owners who stayed away due to his chest injury, Miller wound up acting as the emergency back for the offense, handing the starting gig over to Alfred Blue. But heading into Week 6, Miller has gotten in a full practice and looks like he’ll be good to go for a game against the Buffalo Bills.
Although the Texans’ lead back is expected to return to game action, it still may not make him a strong starter in many fantasy leagues.

Gauging Lamar Miller’s Week 6 Fantasy Value
It’s been a fairly disappointing season to this point for Miller, largely due to the fact that the Houston offense is centered around Deshaun Watson. After seeing 20 rushing attempts and totaling 98 yards in Week 1, he’s posted stat lines that have been mediocre at best.
Miller totaled just 70 combined yards in Week 2 and had a horrible next two games, rushing 24 total times for 59 yards from Weeks 3-4. Fantasy owners were saved a bit in Week 3 thanks to the 27-year-old catching five passes and finding the end zone on one of them.
The real concern here comes from the fact that Miller began losing work to Blue, who’s proven his value as a pass-catcher, even before the injury. According to Football Outsiders, after seeing 52 offensive snaps to Blue’s 16 in Week 3, Miller out-snapped his backfield mate just 46-40 in Week 4.
With Miller coming back from an injury, it makes the situation tough to gauge in terms of how his workload will look against the Bills. Realistically, the Texans could opt to utilize Blue more both for his pass-catching and while Miller gets eased back in.

Should You Start or Sit Lamar Miller?
While I like the matchup for Texans running backs against the Bills, I’m having a tough time buying into Miller currently. He’s failed to top 100 yards in a single game and the team seems focused on shifting to a committee approach with Blue.
It’s unfortunate due to the fact that Buffalo has allowed five rushing touchdowns to opposing backs, but they’ve also had some trouble with pass-catching backs. This actually may bode well for Blue, as the Bills have given up 32 receptions for 244 yards and two touchdowns. Regardless of how you look at it, the situation is messing from a fantasy football perspective.
I wouldn’t recommend Miller as a starter in most places, but it’s understandable if he’s your best option in a 14-team league. An argument could even be made to use him as a flex play in 12-team leagues. I’ll personally do my best to find another option, as the Texans running back doesn’t have much upside.
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LeSean McCoy Fantasy: Impact if Bills RB Is Traded to Eagles

If interested in a fun storyline, look no further than the potential return of running back LeSean McCoy to the Philadelphia Eagles. In what has been a brutally frustrating season for fantasy football owners when it comes to McCoy, there’s no question that a trade could be big news.
As Josh Reed of WTVB revealed, the Eagles have called the Buffalo Bills about a potential trade after the team lost starting running back Jay Ajayi to a torn ACL.
McCoy simply can’t seem to get things going this year, and even in his best game (last week), he totaled just 85 yards on 24 carries (3.5 yards per attempt) and caught two passes. A large part of this is due to the fact that the Bills offense is just bad this year, and while rookie quarterback Josh Allen has flashed some upside, it’s still been tough sledding.
So for fantasy owners who are holding McCoy and hoping he can break out, the best chances of that happening may be with a deal that sends him back to where his career started.

LeSean McCoy’s Fantasy Value if Traded to Eagles
There’s certainly no guarantee this trade happens, but the Bills could opt to rebuild in some capacity by moving McCoy and the remainder of his contract. The 30-year-old back has one full season after 2018 on the five-year, $40 million deal he signed, per Spotrac.
But unfortunately, McCoy landing with the Eagles doesn’t instantly make him a fantasy stud once again. Things are quite a bit different in Philly than when he was last there. Ajayi was expected to be the team’s workhorse back but saw his workload scattered a bit over the first three games he played (not including Week 3, due to injury).
Ajayi didn’t see more than 15 carries in a game this season, even when he was posting solid numbers. While McCoy may see a consistent 12-14 touches if traded, the potential cause for concern could come down to how Doug Pederson hands out snaps.
Although Ajayi dealt with some bumps and bruises and missed a handful of opportunities over the first few weeks, Pederson’s lack of commitment to a runner was frustrating. In Week 1, Ajayi found the end zone twice, yet received just 40 percent of the offensive snaps, the same number as Darren Sproles, per Football Outsiders. The Eagles coach now seems locked on keeping Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement involved.

How to Approach Possible LeSean McCoy Trade
McCoy certainly has upside for fantasy football owners if dealt, but we just don’t know how much to expect. His outlook with the Eagles would be better than what he currently is facing in Buffalo, so if you’re able to swing a trade for McCoy without breaking the bank, it’s not a bad idea.
There’s a good chance that at this point, McCoy’s owner in your fantasy league has found a replacement for him. So if he’s just sitting on a bench somewhere, and that team has a need for a wide receiver or a position you have depth at, offer up a player who’s flashed some upside. Most fantasy owners are frustrated currently with McCoy, so it makes sense to try to take advantage of that.
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