The Four Corner Debate: Week 6

Have you ever been sitting around the room discussing fantasy football when you and your buddies mention a player that you have differing opinions on. It happens all the time. Every Friday we want to bring you four players that owners are unsure about and have varying opinions on. The Four Corner Debate will have each of our writers here at NoHuddle give you their personal opinion on each of the four players listed. Four players, Four writers. Differing opinions.

This contestants for this weeks Four Corner Debate are:

  • Lamar Miller
  • Golden Tate
  • Eli Manning
  • Alshon Jeffery

Lamar Miller (RB-Texans):

Critt: He has not scored a touchdown this season. He played an incredibly tough Minnesota team last week that smothered him. Minnesota will do that to almost anyone. Before that game he was averaging right at 3.8 yards a carry. That isn’t great, but we could do a lot worse. His offensive line has been his biggest detriment. They suffered injuries to start the season and pro-football focus has them ranked 29th in the NFL among offensive lines. However, they just got their all-pro left tackle Dwayne Brown back which should help this offensive line tremendously. Miller has zero carries inside the 10 yard line and only eight carries in the redzone so far this season. That helps to explain why he has no touchdowns. I think that Miller could be sitting on a big second half, and he is a great buy low candidate right now!

Byron: If you own any player on the Texans offense you’re likely bewildered and concerned as to what’s been going on in Houston over the first part of the season. We have a team that made the playoffs last year, added talent at the running back and wide receiver position, and supposedly upgraded their quarterback (the jury is still out on that one). After seeing them play, how this team has won three games is beyond me. What’s most surprising to me about Lamar Miller is how little he’s been able to do with the opportunity he’s been given. He’s fourth in the NFL in carriers but ranks but ninth in rushing yards. He’s carried the ball 101 times for 371 yards and is only averaging 3.6 yards per carry. What’s been most detrimental to his fantasy production, however, is the fact he’s yet to score a touchdown despite all the opportunity he’s had. The wheels totally fell off last week after Miller carried the ball 8 times for 20 yards and scored a whopping 2 fantasy points against the Vikings defense. Not exactly the type of production you were expecting when you likely drafted him as your number one running back. All that aside, I think you stick it out with Miller this season. He’s being force fed carries, so the big games will come. With Osweiler struggling the Texans will need to find some sort sliver of hope on offense, and I think Miller is that guy.

D-Hall: Lamar Miller is getting tons of work right now in Houston. 20+ carries per game to go along with just shy of 10 targets per game in the passing game. The problem with Miller is that he does not have any touchdowns so far this year. I said at the beginning of the season that Lamar Miller would be the number 1 overall fantasy back in PPR format and I stand behind that. I think the Texans eventually start to gel and get things moving in the right direction. Lamar Miller will be the biggest beneficiary with the turnaround as well because he will get the most work. Lamar is a proven Home Run hitter and it only a matter of time before he has that one big game. The Texans have as good a matchup this week as any, going against the Colts at home. I’m putting Miller on my buy low list and I’m targeting him especially in PPR leagues. Like Highlander there can be only one. One number one ppr RB. That’s Miller. Go get him.

Derk: Good grief…just when you thought the guy was ready to catapult into the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame he gets paired up with an awful quarterback. Didn’t really know how bad Brock was until he actually started throwing the ball full time. Man is he awful. Have I said that already? Well…guess who else knows Brockweiler is terrible. The opposing defense. Guess what happens when they don’t respect your passing game…they stop the run and dare you to throw. Ok…maybe I’m overreacting. The reality is Lamar hasn’t been all that bad yardage wise. He’s on pace for just over 1,110 yards rushing and 260ish receiving. That’s it. “What about the touchdowns?”, you may ask. Great question you! ZERO TDs! On pace for ZERO! He could easily be a top 5 RB but I think without crossing the goal line he’s more of a top 20 back this year. This week could kickstart a nice second half…except for the Broncos next week and the Lions the next. You know what, let him blow up this week against a weak Colts defense and then trade the guy in a 2 for 1 deal for a RB1. Let’s be done here.

Golden Tate (WR-Lions):

Critt: In Jim Bob Cooter we trust, right? Jim Bob said they were going to get Tate more involved before week 5. That resulted in him getting just 6 touches. That really worries me. He is averaging only 4.25 touches a game. No matter how good of a player you are, it will be hard to produce relevant fantasy numbers with so few touches. Most likely you drafted Tate with the expectation that he could serve as a WR2 with upside. Those expectations have been tempered tremendously. Most are thinking about dropping him from their rosters at this point. I think you should hold on to Tate, but I think he will serve the rest of the season as a Flex with upside.

Byron: You’ve got to feel for the Golden Tate owners out there. Although he is the second most targeted player in the Lions offense by Matt Stafford, Tate only has 17 catches for 134 yards on the season with 7.8 yards per catch. That averages out to 3.4 catches and 26.8 yards per game. Not a great stat line. The emergence of Marvin Jones as the number one receiver for Detroit has certainly taken opportunity away from Tate, but the veteran Anquan Boldin has been making his presence felt in the passing game. Through 5 weeks Boldin as accrued 28 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues. Golden Tate has 14. To put that into perspective, Greg Salas (who’s on IR), Justin Hardy (who?), and Eli Rodgers (missed games due to injury) all have the same amount of points as Tate through the first five games. Even oft injured tight end Eric Ebron has 25 fantasy points this season after sitting out last week. To put it in a nutshell, Tate should not be in your starting lineups moving forward until he shows some signs of life and is borderline droppable at this point. I would be keeping my eye on the waiver wire in my league to see if I can find a replacement. He has little to no trade value at this by himself, but it’s possible he could be packaged with another player.

D-Hall: Remember in the movie Toy Story when Andy gets Buzz Lightyear and Woody the cowboy gets no attention. Well that is what is happening in Detroit right now. The Lions got a shiny new toy in Marvin Jones and they are giving him all the attention. Especially, when it comes to chunk plays and getting the ball down the field. Jones has 41 targets, 27 receptions, and 519 yards this season. Tate has 31 targets, 17 receptions, but a staggeringly low 134 yards this season. Here a list of guys with more yards than Tate; Philly Brown, Marquise Goodwin, Jaron Brown, Tyler Boyd, and Marqise Lee. Need I go on? The sad part about the Toy Story comparison is I just don’t see Golden Tate getting the love anymore. Time to pack him up in a box and give him to Goodwill. Sorry cowboy. 

Derk: What in the name of Charlie Batch happened here?! Wasn’t he supposed to be the unquestioned #1 guy when Megatron went back to Cybertron?! Does Marvin Jones make this guy nervous?! Is it Matt Stafford?! I ask you these questions because I need answers. Let’s dig in. Marvin Jones has 27/41 catches/targets to Tates 17/31. Well that’s not too absurd, so that doesn’t really explain what’s happening. Marvin’s avg. yards/catch 19.2 to Tate’s 7.9. So, when you look at th…wait what?! 19.2 to 7.9?! When Tate blew up 2 years ago his avg. yards/catch was 13.5! Marvin leads the league in yards with 519. Tate has 134 yards through 5 games. If he averaged the 13.5 ypc from 2014, he’d have 229 yards which would tie Michael Thomas from the Saints. In 2014, Stafford was less accurate then with a 60.7% completion percentage than he has been thus far, 68%. You know what let’s just call it what it is. Tate is and will be irrelevant this year. Drop him. There’s too many mouths to feed in the Motor City now without Calvin Johnson commanding the attention. Blame Megatron for Tate’s failure this year. He’s Brassy Tate at best now.

Eli Manning (QB- Giants):

Critt: Everyone is freaking out over Eli Manning right now. Eli Manning finished last season as a top 10 QB, number seven in fact. People drafted Eli this year expecting him to at least repeat those numbers with the weapons that surround him. He is on pace for just over 4,400 yards on the season, last season he threw for just over 4,400 yards on the season. The touchdown production is the only real difference from last year to this year, and I think he will begin to find the endzone more regularly over the next several weeks. Not to mention that his completion percentage is higher this season than it was last year. Many will find that hard to believe. Nothing has changed there, and his easier matchups are still in front of him the last 5 weeks of the fantasy season. He is a QB that people are going to be scrambling to own down the stretch. Eli will finish as a Top 10 QB just like he did a year ago.

Byron: If you’ve read any of my articles that include Eli, then you’re already aware of my disdain for the lesser Manning. I simply don’t think he’s a very good quarterback. He’s currently the 22nd ranked fantasy quarterback in standard scoring leagues. He’s two spots behind Brian Hoyer, who has only started three games. Even Ryan Tannehill has more fantasy points, and he’s only scored 10 fantasy points the last two weeks combined. The other thing that bugs me is the Giants should be good football team. They added talent on offense and beefed up their defense in the offseason. And yet, they’re 2-3 and seem to be reeling. I’ll be fair and say the Giants have played a couple of tough matchups. He also didn’t fair very well against soft Redskins and Saints defenses either. At this point I’m dropping Eli if there’s anyone else available. Sam Bradford, Brian Hoyer, Alex Smith, and Trevor Siemian are all guys that are owned in 35% of leagues or less that have put up similar or better fantasy numbers than the dumbfounded looking Eli Manning. Time to move on here.

D-Hall: Eli Manning is so plain he goes to Baskin Robbins and gets a scoop of vanilla. Eli Manning is so plain he doesn’t wear striped shirts. Eli Manning is so plain he can’t find a way to use OBJ, Cruz, and Sheppard. Another thing, why does Eli always look like a lost tourist? That last comment does not have anything to do with his play and is more or an astute observation. Listen, Eli Manning is the kind of guy who has three Lamborghinis’ in his garage but drives a Prius to work. Manning has to find a way to get going. He has a ton of talent around him but just cannot seem to get it going. Especially in critical spots like third down and the red zone. All that being said a high tide raises all the boats in the bay. There is just too much talent around him not to get it going eventually. He will probably finish just outside the top ten, making him just about as average as his personality. 

Derk: How is it a 2 time Super Bowl winning Quarterback with a solid pedigree is so dang polarizing?? Maybe it’s the new head coach and his awful choice in hair style/facial hair that keeps Manning’s face in a constant state of befuddlement. He’s got the talent around him. We’ve seen him make the difficult throws in the past. Watching him play this year reminds me of Cam Newton 2 years ago. He just can’t quite seem to get the ball down. There is talent all around him at the receiver position. The one missing piece to this offense has been the running game. Rashad Jennings, their most complete back, has been on the shelf. No surprise there. I think once he gets back and the run game gets more consistent, we’ll see a different Manning. Peyton. The Giants will call Peyton out of retirement and off the set of those catchy Nationwide commercials to man the ship. Seriously though, Eli will get it together. Just play someone else til he does.

Alshon Jeffery (WR- Bears):

Critt: I get that Jeffery has been a huge disappointment this year. I just have trouble believing that player in his contract year goes out like this. I think that with a QB who is capable of delivering him the ball that he will eventually start to see his numbers increase. He has only had one game this season where he has under 70 yards receiving. He is averaging only 6 targets a game and for once in his career it seems that injuries aren’t slowing him down. The thing slowing him down is that he hasn’t been able to score this season. Last season he saw 17 targets in the redzone that he converted into 4 scores. So far this season, he has only seen 4 targets in the redzone. Teammate Kevin White had seen 5, and with him out, I can only see Jeffery’s involvement going up. Give it some time. Obviously, with Jeffery being the clear #1 on the Bears defense, teams shade his way to try to take him out of the game. Hopefully, with the emergence of a player like Cameron Meredith last week, teams will have to balance their coverage a little more opening the door for Jeffery. I think he is a prime buy low candidate right now.

Byron: Alshon Jeffrey should be an elite NFL receiver with his size and skill set. Unfortunately, he plays for a bad football team. The Bears are without Jay Cutler currently, but Brian Hoyer seems to actually be an upgrade. Jeffrey was the fourth most targeted receiver in the Chicago offense against the Colts last week. Hoyer had a productive day from a fantasy perspective as he completed 33 passes for 397 yards and 2 touchdowns. Unfortunately, Alshon was only targeted six times and had 77 yards. Those are not WR1 numbers. The fact that Cameron Meredith saw double the amount of targets (12) as Jeffrey is extremely disheartening to fantasy owners. Jeffrey himself hasn’t been bad by any means, but the situation in Chicago has to have you a little worried. I’m not quite out on Jeffrey after only five weeks, but we have to hope he has a big game in the near future. The Bears offense has an advantageous matchup against the Jaguars at home on Sunday, so cross your fingers that Alshon can get more involved in the passing game. If not, it may be time to test the waters in your league to see what sort of trade value he holds.

D-Hall: I’m out on Alshon Jeffery until he shows me he can A. Stay healthy all year and B. get more targets in the Red Zone. He is currently 5 in red zone targets, not in the NFL, but on the Chicago Bears. He has 4 red zone targets in 5 games and has only caught one pass in the red zone. Right now Alshon is being treated like a number 2 receiver behind Eddie Royal. In fact, Jeffry is behind Royal, Kevin White, and TE Zach Miller for passing targets. Simply put it does not look like Hoyer believes in Jeffery’s ability or just feel comfortable with other receivers. Obviously, you got to think that this is something that John Fox and the bears want to rectify, but unless something changes in Chicago in a big way, I’m out on Jeffery for the foreseeable future. 

Derk: Really hate that I have to write a whole paragraph on this guy. He’s just not worth the time and effort. Sure. Big play ability. As athletic as that uncle you have that loves to go on about the days he could run and do a front flip over a fence without touching it. Listen as long as Brian Hoyer is throwing the ball, it’s going to be the guys that can run clean crisp routes and get open quickly. Or the guys that are directly in his line of sight. Not the guys that are open way down field. Plus, Alshon needs time to get open down field. Hoyer just said today that he’s not going to force the ball to Jeffrey. In other words “I don’t have the arm to get it to Jeffrey.” You’re just as likely to see a T-Rex change a light bulb in the ceiling than see a 45 yard pass from Brian Hoyer. Not going to happen and if it did you’d laugh your tail off. Trade Jeffrey.

As always feel free to contact us on twitter @No_HuddleFFB with questions.

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