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.
(D-Hall is sitting on a beach in Hawaii this week, so the Four Corner Debate is down to 3!)
The contestants for this week’s Four Corner Debate are:
- Devontae Booker
- Brandon Marshall
- Jarvis Landry
- Travis Kelce
Devontae Booker (Denver Broncos):
Critt: Booker looked good in his brief appearances running behind CJ Anderson. Therefore, it was automatically thought that when Anderson went down with injury, that Booker would likely be a solid RB1 the rest of the season. He hasn’t been running well since that time and now Kapri Bibbs is beginning to get more touches. He does get New Orleans this week, which should help, but has a tough schedule down the stretch. After his bye week, he gets Kansas City in Week 12 and 16. The Chiefs have only given up 3 touchdowns all year and 1 in the last 8 weeks (0 in the last 5 weeks!) Jacksonville and Tennessee, in weeks 13 and 14, who have both had surprisingly good run defenses this year. The Jags have given up some TD’s, but opponents have been held under 88 yards rushing every game this season but twice. The Titans have only given up 4 TDs to RBs all year, and before last week against Melvin Gordon hadn’t given up more than 64 yards rushing in 5 weeks. Then he gets the Pats in Week 15. If I am a Booker owner, I would wait until he has a big week this week against the Saints and then sell!
Byron: Well, that didn’t last long. Last Sunday night was a wake-up call for those championing Booker as the second coming of Barry Sanders. Just one week after becoming the starting running back by default, Booker has come crashing right back down. The heralded rookie was only able to rush for 22 yards on 10 carries against the Raiders in a game where he very well could have shined. The Raiders jumped out ahead early thanks to the impressive play of Latavius Murray, and Denver was playing catchup the rest of the way. I still think that Booker is going to be a solid running back for owners the rest of this season. The issue is defenses don’t respect Trevor Siemian, and I don’t blame them. The game plan for every defense playing the Broncos this year should be to stop the run and dare Siemian to beat them. So far it’s been a decent plan for the most part. Considering Booker’s backup is Kapri Bibbs, he’s not in danger of sharing too many carries in the immediate future. The good news is Denver will play the Saints on the road this week who happen to have one of the worst defenses in the league. However, if Denver starts to fall behind we may see Booker’s touches be limited once again.
Derk: “I’m in Denver to take someone’s job.” When those words were spoken, I instantly became a Devontae Booker devotee. By now you should already know that I think he is the 2nd coming. The guy is everything you want your starting running back to be. He’s a one-cut guy who can get downhill in a hurry and shed tacklers assuming there are people brave enough to lay a hand on the guy. He will hit you. Good grief, he will hit you if you’re standing in his way. He has a pretty cool story, so when you get a chance look it up. It’ll help you understand why he’s a rookie that is the same age as a seasoned vet like Le’Veon Bell. The man is determined to be the man in Denver. Now, that my mortal enemy CJ Anderson is sidelined for the foreseeable future, Booker looks bright in Denver. Don’t get me wrong, though, you hedge your bets and pick up the usually unowned Kapri Bibbs as Booker’s running style means he could take a beating and be out with the quickness. He is the caliber of player that can help you win your league’s championship.
Brandon Marshall (New York Jets):
Critt: Brandon Marshall is at least getting 8 targets in every game this season and is tied for the league lead in RedZone targets. Unfortunately, those targets haven’t resulted in points. Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t helped Marshall very much, and the loss of Eric Decker has hurt as well. I would be really worried if Ryan Fitzpatrick goes down. That would mean that Marshall would have Bryce Petty throwing him the ball and that is trouble. If I were you, I would be looking to move Marshall immediately to try to retain some of his value.
Byron: The New York Jets are a dumpster fire this season. Most of the offensive struggles can be placed squarely on the shoulders of Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has not played well enough to warrant the hold out that went down before the season. He tied a Jets record earlier in the season with 9 interceptions thrown in consecutive games and can now boast that he tied one of Joe Namath’s records. Nobody has taken more of a hit on this team in terms of fantasy production as a result of Fitzpatrick’s poor play than Brandon Marshall. The veteran receiver finished last season as the 3rd ranked fantasy scorer at the position in standard leagues and only had less than ten fantasy points in three games. Through nine games this season he has only put up more than ten fantasy points three times and is currently ranked behind Cole Beasley, Rishard Matthews, and Quincy Enunwa in terms of points scored. He’s not even the highest scoring receiver on his team! Considering he was drafted as a WR1, those numbers are obviously far from ideal. Unless Ryan Fitzpatrick can turn things around in a hurry, I don’t see Brandon Marshall finishing inside the top 20 this season.
Derk: Coming into the season, I was elated to have Brandon Marshall on my team! Especially after having his preferred quarterback back this year. I am just as disappointed as you are with his performance thus far. We all know his performance has nothing to do with his ability. He has shown age is only a number as he more than dominated last year and his ability hasn’t waned as evidenced by a few games this year. So the real issue is quarterback play. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been the epitome of inconsistency this year. Also, not having Eric Decker to throw to has affected Fitzpatrick’s rhythm more than we have given him credit for. Quincy Enunwa has stepped up, but he is not the quality of receiver Decker is. Ryan Fitzpatrick is untrustworthy and, in turn, so is Brandon Marshall this year. Name value may get you something still in a trade. Otherwise, he’s no better than a solid WR3.
Jarvis Landry (Miami Dolphins):
Critt: Landry only has 1 touchdown this season and is in a major drought. Much like Fitzpatrick, Ryan Tannehill has been a major drag on Jarvis Landry and the Dolphins offense. He hasn’t topped 260 yards in the last 5 games. Landry has never been a big touchdown scorer, but he has to get the receptions and yards to make him valuable and this year he has not been able to do that with the play of Tannehill. His targets have dropped from 9 to 6 to 8 in the last three weeks, and this is excluding his 3 target game in week 5. The Dolphins have also found this new toy that goes by the name of Jay Ajayi, and they know that using him is their best chance of winning. Once again, a theme here, sell Landry as soon as you can.
Byron: By all accounts, Jarvis Landry should be an elite wide receiver in the NFL. He’s an athletic player with great hands and speed. Unfortunately, he has Ryan Tannehill as his quarterback. The general consensus was that Landry would be able to take another step forward and build upon his impressive season last year of 111 catches for 1,159 yards. At this point, that doesn’t seem likely to happen. Through eight games last season Landry had 83 fantasy points to his credit. This season that total has dropped to 64. I’ll attribute this decrease in production to Tannehill taking a considerable step back in Adam Gase’s first season and Jay Ajayi emerging as a legit every-down back over the last few games. Until the quarterback play improves I don’t see Landry getting back to where he was last season from a fantasy perspective. The Dolphins have a favorable matchup against the Chargers this week. While you’ll likely play Landry considering where you drafted him, I don’t feel overly confident he’ll produce at a high level. I think you wait for him to have another big game and try to trade him for someone that’ll give you more consistency each week.
Derk: Wow. I cannot believe the letdown this guy has been since I traded LeGarrette Blount for him! I’ve still been on board with him despite the hard times he’s incurred. In PPR formats, he’s a great WR2 to have. But…if I’m being honest. That’s not good enough for me. He needs to be the WR1 he’s shown to be in the past. He’ll get his targets and make the most of those opportunities, but it’s still not good enough for me! The only optimism I have for this situation is that he’s a Golden Tate turnaround waiting to happen for the second half of the season. I love this week’s matchup…but not too crazy about the rest of the schedule. You know, I just talked myself into sitting Jarvis Landry after this week. I like Michael Thomas more. I’m going to let him blow up this week and then trade him immediately to the guy who owns Latavius Murray. Yeah. That’s what I’m doing with Jarvis Landry.
Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs):
Critt: Travis Kelce is only seeing about 5.5 targets per game in an offense that doesn’t throw the football very much. He has also only seen the endzone 3 times this season. Despite his low and inconsistent numbers, he is still ranked near the top 5 of NFL tight ends. He has only had 2 games this season in which he has topped 75 yards. Making him extremely touchdown reliant. We saw very similar numbers from Kelce last year. He is reliable, but he is not one of the top tight ends in the game like Greg Olsen, Jordan Reed, or Rob Gronkowski. He is more along the lines of a Delanie Walker or Kyle Rudolph mold. If you temper your expectations a bit, you will probably satisfied with Kelce’s play. With a relatively friendly tight end schedule remaining, expect Kelce to finish somewhere around the Top 5 of Tight Ends.
Byron: We all saw the highlights of Travis Kelce’s ejection, and it was amusing, to say the least. I’ll have to go back and look, but I can’t recall a player flagging a ref for a no call like that. Either way, Kelce is one of the best tight ends in the NFL. He’s currently the seventh ranked player at his position, and he has at least five catches in each game outside of two clunkers against the Raiders and Saints. Last season Kelce finished with 72 receptions, 875 yards, and five touchdowns, which averaged out to around 6.8 fantasy points per game. Through eight games this year he’s averaging just shy of 7.3 points and has 39 catches for 435 yards and three touchdowns. He also sees a good amount of attention from Alex Smith and only has two fewer targets on the season than Jeremy Maclin. Unfortunately for Kelce, (and really any receiver in this offense) the Chiefs are a run-first team. However, it’s looking like Maclin will not play this week and will be extremely limited if he does. If the number one receiver does sit out, then I’d expect Kelce to see a lot more attention from his quarterback against a Carolina defense that’s ranked 29th against opposing tight ends.
Derk: I feel like we could write a piece on every tight end in the league not named Gronk or Graham and just insert their name at the top. I feel like this is the same ol’ story this year for tight ends. Great weeks! And Meh weeks. To his credit, though, he’s been producing some okay numbers for a tight end that has a quarterback that struggles to throw it the length of a Smart car. I didn’t draft the guy because I don’t care for him. Still don’t. However, if you did draft him, what more can I say about Travis Kelce other than starting him if you’ve got him unless you have Gronk or Graham. Then you start Gronk or Graham.
As always feel free to contact us on twitter @No_HuddleFFB with questions.