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.
The contestants for this week’s Four Corner Debate are:
- Jay Ajayi
- Carson Palmer
- Jeremy Hill or Giovani Bernard= ROS (Rest of Season)
- Jordy Nelson
Jay Ajayi (RB-Dolphins):
Critt: I noted this week in my Monday’s Reflection article this week that Jay Ajayi is one of four players to rush for over 200 yards in back to back games. The others were OJ Simpson, Earl Campbell, and Ricky Williams. That is elite company. Yet, I still don’t believe in him. He actually sat on my bench in a league for the last two weeks. Coming into this season Ajayi averaged 3.8 yards per carry. This season he is averaging 6.3 yards per carry. He had never had double digit carries in his career until the last 3 weeks. 3 weeks ago he had 13 carries for 42 yards. The last two weeks he has had 20+ carries for the first time in his career for over 200 yards in both games. Ajayi is a must start next week, and is to be viewed as a RB2 moving forward with the retirement of Arian Foster. If he continues to receive the 20+ carry workload, then he cold even emerge as a RB1.
Byron: Let’s be honest, there is not a soul in the fantasy football community that saw this coming. If they claim they did I would like to see some sort of written evidence. After Lamar Miller left Miami for Houston the Dolphins did everything they could to bring someone else in to avoid deploying the former Boise State star as the starter. They went after CJ Anderson, but he stuck with the Broncos. In an act of desperation, they brought in Arian Foster, an aging and severely injury prone running back, and named him the starter. Even after Foster was injured in week two, Adam Gase refused to give Ajayi the bulk of the carries and rolled with a running back by committee. After seeing just 4.5 carries per game over the first four weeks, Ajayi has averaged 22 rushes over the last three contests. After Arian Foster’s surprising retirement announcement this week, I think it’s safe to say Jay Ajayi is the guy in Miami now. Granted he’s not going to continue to rush for 200 yards a game, but I think he’s an every week starter from this point forward.
D-Hall: 190. 190 points to be exact. That’s the pace that 2nd year back Jay Ajayi is on pace for this season. Last season that that would have put Ajayi as the 3rd ranked RB in the NFL. 3rd! Jay Ajayi is quickly turning into this season’s Devonte Freeman. He has back to back 200-yard games, only the fourth player in NFL history to do that, and the Dolphins are starting to run the ball with renewed vigor. In wins (3) this season the Ajayi has 60 carries for 446 and 4 TDs. In losses (4) Ajayi has 24 carries for 89 yards and 1 TD. Adam Gace knows that his job security is much better when he is feeding Ajayi, so look for him to get plenty of carries moving forward and continue to be a Fantasy Machine. His upcoming schedule Jets, Chargers, Rams, and 49ers rank 3rd, 18th,9th, and 29th against the rush respectively. He may struggle against the Jets and Rams but has some really good matchups in there too. I love the outlook for Ajayi for the rest of the season.
Derk: I hate Jay Ajayi. I really think somehow he has fudged the numbers. There’s no way in heck he really has 2 200 yard games in back to back games! How did the Dolphins go from an abysmal run game to tops for 2 straight weeks?! Somehow when Boise State running backs enter into the state of Florida they become super human. Dougy turned into the Muscle Hamster his rookie year and last year. Jay turned into American Pharoah. Looking at his upcoming schedule, I’m not scared by any of the run defenses, except for the Cardinals in week 14. If you have him and are turning down trade offers, I don’t blame you. If it’s me, though, I’m trading him along with another sell high type player for the likes of David Johnson. I just don’t think he can keep this kind of production up and you should capitalize on his last two races ….err games.
Carson Palmer (QB-Cardinals):
Critt: As I sift through the Carson Palmer statistics on the season I have mixed emotions. It is clear from watching Palmer that he has lost zip on his passes. Not as drastic, but similar to what we saw happen to an aging Peyton Manning. His receivers outside of Larry Fitzgerald have been disappointing as well. Michael Floyd is inconsistent and can’t hold on to the ball, and John Brown is battling a rare sickle cell leg injury. Even with all that, Palmer has managed to throw for 270+ yards in every game except 1. Which is kind of wild. The biggest difference is touchdowns. He is on pace for just 16 touchdowns this season. Compare that to 35 touchdowns a season ago and you see a major difference. I attribute most of this to the emergence of David Johnson. Last season Palmer was 6th among QBs in RedZone opportunities. This season he is outside of the top 10. David Johnson is second in the league in touchdowns and third in the league in RedZone attempts. I don’t see them shying away from David Johnson in the RedZone the rest of the season. Therefore, If I am a Palmer owner I am looking elsewhere for a QB. He may perform as a low QB1 the rest of the way, but with matchups against Minnesota and Seattle, I am looking elsewhere.
Byron: There have been quite a few disappointing fantasy quarterbacks so far this season. One of the most surprising, in my opinion, is Carson Palmer. This is the same guy that finished 2015 as the 5th highest producing fantasy quarterback in standard scoring leagues. Entering week 7 this season he was ranked 25th behind Brian Hoyer (who only started a few games), Case Keenum (yup), and Brock Osweiler (oh dear lord). To be perfectly blunt, he’s been terrible for fantasy purposes outside of two solid performances to start the season. Palmer’s low point of the season was back in week 3 when he had a Ryan Fitzpatrick-esque 4 interception game, and he hasn’t accrued more than 13 fantasy points in a game since week 2. He’s thrown for over 300 yards just twice this year and only has two passing touchdowns to his credit in the last five weeks. Palmer has one of the deepest receiving corps in the league, so it’s not like he doesn’t have anyone to throw the ball to. While David Johnson has carried much of the load for the team, the Cardinals are going to need their quarterback to step up in a big way and in a hurry. If you’re a Palmer owner, then I recommend evaluating other options until we see something positive out of him.
D-Hall: : I believe in Carson Palmer the football player. I believe in Bruce Arian’s ability to churn out great QB season after great QB season. What I do not believe in is Carson Palmer’s body. It could be a concussion, a shoulder, a knee, or whatever, the point is that sooner or later Palmer will have an injury. Protecting your body in the NFL is a skill. People like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady rarely miss games because they rarely put themselves in a position to be injured. They know that their value to their team is too great to put their bodies at risk. In the last five season (2011-2015) Palmer has missed 17 games to injury. That’s 22% of the total games that he could have played in. I liked the pairing of Palmer, with his huge arm and tendency to throw fearless deep shots, and Arians, with his consistency at producing top QBs year after year, but Palmer is now just a little too far along in his career and I simply think that his best football is behind him. His body is proving over and over that he cannot hold up for a 16 game season. Time to start looking for other options
Derk: Really wish I had stronger feelings about this guy one way or the other. Some might say he’s deteriorating before our very eyes. Maybe. The guy has torn more ACLs than the whole dang Chargers team combined this year. I think folks have forgotten about the emergence of a guy named David Johnson who is spearheading a fantastic run game in Arizona. Also, deep threat John Brown has been a little banged up. Hard to throw underneath to the Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald when DBs aren’t kept honest by JB the speedster. Also, where in the heck has Michael Floyd gone? Someone check his pulse. I think this week against the Panthers I’d start him with confidence. For the rest of the season…Siemian??
Jeremy Hill or Giovani Bernard- ROS= (RB- Bengals):
Critt: If you have any doubt about my feelings of Jeremy Hill then go read my Monday’s Reflection article. I highlighted in that article the unpredictability of Jeremy Hill. He often seems to flame out in matchups he should excel in, and then inexplicably blow up in matchups no one would ever play him. Hill had more touches through the first four games than did teammate Gio Bernard. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very productive with those touches outside of his matchup with Denver. The last 3 games Bernard has had 54 touches compared to just 29 touches for Hill. Before this past week, Bernard was averaging nearly 5.4 yards per touch while Hill averaged just under 3.9 yards. Bernard is averaging 1.5 yards more per touch. He is even slowly taking goalline carries from Hill as well. He has nearly doubled Hill in the redzone the last 3 weeks, so don’t let someone fool you into thinking Hill is the goalline back! If I am Cincinnati, I continue to find a way to feed Bernard, and if I am a fantasy owner, I would rather have Bernard. I actually own Bernard in a couple leagues and think he is a solid flex play. He is averaging right at 10 points per game in a .5 ppr league. Gio all day!
Byron: As a Jeremy Hill owner, I can speak to this situation based on personal experience. This guy is by far that most infuriating player to have on your roster in fantasy football. Hands down. I’m not talking about busts or players that are underperforming. I’m referring to sheer inconsistency. There is absolutely no way to predict when Jeremy Hill is going to have a big game. If you sit him, he scores 20 fantasy points. If you play him, he scores 2. With all that in mind, I’m rolling with Gio the rest of the season simply due to consistency. Even outside of Hill’s two big games this year, Bernard is still averaging more fantasy points per game in PPR leagues especially. While I believe Cincinnati’s schedule actually benefits Hill down the stretch, I can’t in good conscience give him an endorsement knowing the agony it’ll cause to the people that play him. Give me Gio.
D-Hall: The curious split backfield of the Cincinnati Bengals. If one of these guys was just killing every other week I would be fine. If each of them never did anything I would be fine. The problem with these two is that every now and again one of these guys will blow up for 30+ fantasy points and it’s infuriating. Not because they blew up or that they had a good game, as a Steeler fan that’s a whole different level of anger, see I know where that anger stems from. I get angry at Hill and Benard when they blow up in fantasy, for seemingly no reason. No one I know trusts these guys in fantasy leagues. If they have them they are trying to trade them for lint. If they do not have them they are praying they do not go off on the week that they play the guy who does have them. I try to avoid these two and just hope I do not get sniped by that one player who throws Hill in their flex spot and has him go for 29.
Derk: Jeremy Hill or Gio…Jeremy Hill. Look I know Jeremy Hill is a boom or bust guy. But he is still a solid RB2. When they get close to the goal line, they bring in the Hammer. He gets touchdowns! Four touchdowns in 7 games this season is pretty good! The reason no one likes Jeremy Hill is because no one knows when to start him. Here’s my suggestion. Just start him. There’s no real rhyme or reason. You’re not going to be able to trade him for anything because no one else wants a headache. Just take Hill for what he is. He’s a solid flex play most weeks and a solid RB1 others. Lower your expectations and let the man win you a game week to week.
Jordy Nelson (WR- Packers):
Critt: 2014 was Jordy Nelson’s best season as a pro. He had 98 receptions on 151 targets for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns. This season he is on pace for 61 receptions on 117 targets for 734 yards and 11 touchdowns. There is a pretty drastic difference in those numbers. Especially when it comes to yardage, but his touchdown total is somewhat similar. So I decided to do some math. Dangerous, I know, but if Nelson finished with those season totals last year, in a non-PPR league he would have finished with 139.4 fantasy points. Which would have made him the 25th ranked wide receiver. My fear is two-fold. I think that Jordy has lost a step and is not gaining the separation that he was 2 years ago before his injury. I also think that the emergence of Devante Adams will hurt Nelson. I don’t say that just because Adams had the big game, but because it seems as if Rodgers is beginning to trust Adams more and more. I still think that being apart of a great offense Nelson’s numbers will increase. I think he may get to double digit touchdowns, but I don’t see him surpassing the 1,000-yard threshold. If that is the case he will finish the season just inside the top 15, which would make him a solid WR2 the rest of the season.
Byron: When Aaron Rodgers struggles, the Green Bay Packers struggle. That’s just the way it is. Rodgers is the glue that holds this team together, and I would argue that he is the most important quarterback in the league when it comes to his team’s success. That rings even truer now that the Packers have absolutely no reliable source of yards at the running back position. Ty Montgomery was great, but he only saw 9 carries last week. Don Jackson was on the practice squad two weeks ago. Knile Davis hasn’t been in Green Bay long enough for him to even have a forwarding mail address. My point is that Rodgers was forced to throw the ball 56 times last week, and that number likely won’t decrease very much for the foreseeable. Last week was Aaron Rodgers’ best game this season by far, and Jordy Nelson only saw 4 targets when his quarterback threw over four and a half dozen passes. Wow. All that aside, Jordy should still be a focal point in the Packers offense moving forward. He’s scored 5 touchdowns in 6 games and is the best receiver on Green Bay’s roster. He’ll be fine, and I think we’ll see Nelson get it going again against Atlanta this week.
D-Hall: I was kind of surprised to see Jordy’s name in this week’s 4 Corner Debate. Jordy has had a strong comeback campaign off an ACL injury that kept him sidelined all last year. He has one bad game and we throw him on the 4CD. As I said with Aaron Rogers earlier in the year R-E-L-A-X. Jordy will be fine. Nelson is now going through the same thing that Cobb went through earlier in the year. The defense now views him as the number one target and taking him away with designs and coverages. Aaron Rogers being Aaron Rogers and not Cody Kessler will not lock onto one guy. He scans the field well and delivers to the WR with the best opportunity to make a play. As seen last week with Devante Adams went “en fuego” on the Bears. The good thing about the Packers offense is that Jordy will not be down long. Look for him to have a bounce-back game this week and continue to be a solid WR1 the rest of the year. Book it.
Derk: We just had a conversation about Randall Cobb. I was so out on Randall Cobb, I couldn’t see straight. Now, I just look foolish. I refuse to make the same mistake with Jordy. He’s a must start every week and that just won’t change. He has a favorable schedule coming up, so if you’re tired of him, just wait at least. Then look to trade him before the playoffs or else you’re looking at starting Jordy against the Bears and Vikings. I don’t need him repeating last week’s performance. I sure as heck don’t need him playing the Vikings in a championship game!
As always feel free to contact us on twitter @No_HuddleFFB with questions.