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:
- Matt Stafford
- Rob Kelley
- Jordan Matthews
- Greg Olsen
Matt Stafford (Detroit Lions):
Critt: Matt Stafford was a top 5 quarterback through the first 8 weeks of the season. Since then he has been ranked outside of the top 25 QBs in the league. That is a drastic drop-off. He has one multi-touchdown game since week 7. Yet, he finally has all of his weapons (Riddick, Ebron) back healthy and a relatively easy schedule down the stretch. I think it will be wise to own Stafford down the stretch as he gets great matchups with New Orleans and Chicago before facing a medicore opponent in the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. He will finish as a top 5 QB in the next 4 weeks.
Byron: Matt Stafford started off the season about as strong as any quarterback in the league. He threw for three or more touchdowns in four out of the first six games and looked primed to have a big year. Unfortunately, he’s cooled off quite a bit since then. I believe the lack of a running game has left Stafford with a workload on his shoulders that he simply is finding too difficult to manage. Since week six he only has one game in where he’s thrown for more than one touchdown and has only thrown for more than 250 yards twice. I don’t think Stafford will be terrible by any means, but I’m not sure how many more 300 yard games we’ll see this season. I would consider him as a second QB option if I own him moving forward.
D-Hall: It looks like things are all coming together for Stafford this season. A couple of things that I think could be contributing factors to this. 1: This is finally Stafford’s team. Calvin Johnson is gone and it looks like for good. There was lots of speculation that Johnson would miss football and make a Farve-esque comeback to the league. That has not happened. Stafford had to take more responsibility for his role in the Lions Offence. He is now the unquestioned leader and that is a “wake up call” type of responsibility for some, and it seems to have affected Stafford in that way. 2 The relationship with Jim Bob Cooter has undoubtedly been good for Stafford. They are now in their 1st full year together and, statistically, at least, this is as good as Stafford has looked in the NFL. The talent has always been there with Stafford. We have seen flashes of brilliance with him all the way back to Georgia and his college days. I do not know if I have ever seen a stronger arm. The problem has always been consistency and it looks like Stafford now has that solved. Look for him to be a QB1 the rest of the year.
Derk: Wait…why am I writing about Matt Stafford? He’s the #11 quarterback in .5 point leagues. He’s being touted as a candidate for the league MVP! Maybe it’s because he averages only 1 touchdown for his last 5 games. Yeah…that’s it. The guy started out hot, though! Should you be panicking as a Stafford owner? No. Of his next 4 games, the Giants are the only concern you should have. Three of those 4 games are on the road…so… I imagine you’re thinking “What about his home and away split?” To that, I say don’t worry! He has 10 touchdowns at home and 9 away! I think Stafford will get rolling. He’s in a lull right now. Just remember that Fantasy Football is a stock market. Sometimes they’re up and sometimes they’re down. Matt Stafford is the prime example of that.
Rob Kelley (Washington Redskins):
Critt: I had Rob Kelley in my “dispose of” list in my Bartering Systems article, so that should tell you what I think of him. I don’t like a running back going by “Fat Rob.” Well, Fat Rob had great numbers on Sunday night when he ran for 137 yards and 3 touchdowns. That looks really impressive until you realize that he was averaging just under 3 yards a carry until he broke a 60+ yard run late in the fourth quarter when the Packers were stacking the box. He found a little hole and had to be absolutely no one in the secondary until he was chased down from behind. If you take that run away then he had very pedestrian numbers outside of his touchdowns. Another issue I have with Kelley is the schedule going forward. He finishes with Dallas, Arizona, and Philly all on the road. Then he gets Carolina and Chicago if you are still alive in the playoffs. I want none of that. I think we saw evidence of that on Thursday night against the Cowboys!
Byron: Fat Rob was the man last Sunday night, and it’s clear why the Redskins chose to bench Matt Jones in favor of the rookie. Also, can I just say it makes me happy that I have the opportunity to write the words Fat Rob in a fantasy football column? I’m not sure why. Either way, Kelley was a wrecking ball against the Packers and finished the night with 24 carries for 137 yards and three touchdowns. That is the third straight game the rookie has seen over 20 carries, and he has over 85 yards rushing in each contest. He faced a tough Dallas run defense on Thanksgiving and wasn’t utilized much due to Washington falling behind early. Kirk Cousins ended up throwing 53 passes, and there simply wasn’t much of a need for them to run the ball when they were trying to get back into the game. However, Kelley’s typical usage rate makes him a viable option moving forward.
D-Hall: I love players with nick names. It’s a Fantasy vice of mine. From “He hate me” to “The human Dpad” and even Megatron in-between. It just feels like fantasy players with nicknames are more fun and score more fantasy points. Enter Fat Rob. Listen I’m not saying he will be Sweetness or LT or even Ochocinco when it comes to putting up fantasy points, but he has bested them all in a nickname. Fat Rob is by far my favorite. For that reason, I like him. It helps that he has been balling on the field as well. He has been getting a ton of carries, carries in the RedZone, and some targets out of the backfield. Gruden knows how to use the RB on offense and it seems like Fat Rob is versatile enough to be used as Gruden wishes. Think Jeremy Hill with no Gio when Gruden was in Cinci and we begin daydreaming of another fantasy star being born. I’m on the Fat Rob train. I like him as at least an RB2 the rest of the season.
Derk: Fat Rob! How can you not love this guy?! I say goodbye and good riddance to Matt Jones. That cat has fumbled for the last time in Washington. I can’t imagine Fat Rob being a long-term solution for the Redskins, though. He’s not fast enough to run away from defenders. His running style isn’t promising for his body and health. If Eddie Lacy and Trent Richardson had a baby, it’d be Fat Rob. Did you expect a repeat performance against Dallas last night? I didn’t. I think we saw an anomaly last week with the 3 touchdown performance. Does he have the juice to win you a championship this year? I think he does. He’s like Tim Hightower was for most last year. Came on strong late and propelled many to the championship game. If he continues to be a solid RB1 to finish out the season, in dynasty leagues/keeper leagues, I’d trade him. In redraft leagues, enjoy the ride!
Jordan Matthews (Philadelphia Eagles):
Critt: In the last 4 weeks Jordan Matthews has seen more targets than he did the rest of the season combined. Which would put him in the top 8 of targets in the league over that time. He has turned those targets into 31 catches for 295 yards and a touchdown. The one disappointing thing about Matthews this season seems to be his lack of ability to find the end zone. He has only scored 3 times this season. He started the first 8 weeks of the season ranked outside of the top 30. He has been at a low WR1 level since that point. With a very neutral schedule remaining, I think you can count on Matthews as a WR2 from here on out.
Byron: I think I’m done with Jordan Matthews this season. Carson Wentz has cooled down since the beginning of the year, and the Eagles receiving core has suffered as a result. Matthews is still a talented receiver that will eventually fit start clicking with his rookie QB, but I just don’t see him doing much this season. The former Vanderbilt Commodore has only put up more than 80 yards in a game twice this season and has scored three touchdowns. Those are far from WR1 numbers, and I think we’ll be looking at a floor of around 8-10 points per game for the rest of the season. There’s just simply not enough going on here to be excited about.
D-Hall: I really thought that this would be the year that Matthews broke out. Especially with the way Wentz was playing early in the season. However, Wentz has started to struggle to find consistency. The Eagles have struggled with their balance of run and pass and as such, Matthews has struggled to stay consistent. I see this throughout the league with a lot of great players. Maclin, Hopkins, Baldwin, and Allen Robinson all fit this mode. When things are rolling and the rhythm is right they can be stat monsters that devour your fantasy opponents almost single-handedly. When things are not going well they get 2 or 3 catches for 30-50 yards. I would use Matthews in this way moving forward. When there is a good matchup with a team that is struggling to stop the pass I would use Matthews as my 2nd or 3rd WR. If there is not a good matchup I’m using at most in my flex spot. When he starts to find consistency, though, he has the talent to be a WR1 in this league.
Derk: What is there write other than what’d you expect when you drafted him? He’s a 5 catch 60-yard guy. Nothing more. And you’ve got me on why he’s so underwhelming. I can’t tell if it’s because of the system he’s in, quarterback play, or just the general game script. He’s not elite. Has the intangibles, not the speed, but just won’t ever be featured in Philly. I wouldn’t have drafted, but if you did you can start him and expect WR3 numbers. If you have a guy like Kenny Britt, I’d start him over Matthews he’s got a higher upside.
Greg Olsen (Carolina Panthers):
Critt: Greg Olsen is still one of the top 4 tight ends in this league. Even though he has struggled some over the last few weeks, he should still be treated as such. Olsen has had some very pedestrian games in 4 of the last 5 weeks, including only scoring 1 touchdown, but he is still one of the best in the game. With a fairly easy remaining schedule, I still play Greg Olsen every week from here on out!
Byron: I realize there has been a lot of concern about the Panthers recently, and the numbers don’t lie. Similar to Kelvin Benjamin, Greg Olsen’s struggles have had less to do with him and are more due to the fact that Cam Newton has taken a huge step backward this season. As far as tight ends are concerned, Olsen is still one of the elite players at his position and was ranked as the number one scoring tight end in standard leagues heading into week 11. If we take a deeper look at his numbers, however, we’ll see the overwhelming inconsistency. Olsen has 745 receiving yards on the season. He put up 397 of those yards in three games, which means over 53% of his total yards this season has come in just 30% of the games he’s played. Olsen has games of 11, 39, and 33 receiving yards in the last four games. Those are not numbers you’d expect from the top-scoring fantasy tight end. If you own Olsen you’re likely rolling him out each week moving forward unless you somehow picked up someone on the waiver wire. I like his matchup against the Raiders, but once again it totally depends on the reliability of Cam Newton.
D-Hall: Simply put Greg Olsen is one of the best we have in the league today. He is a diamond in a sea of coal. There are maybe 5 TE’s in the league that produces the way he does and I can not think of one that I would trade him straight up for (even Gronk because he’s often injured). He’s a great blocker, terrific route runner, great hands, and has the speed for his size. He’s Ditka and Winslow. He’s Gates and Witten. Unless Olsen is hurt he should be in your lineup every week. Simple as that.
Derk: Even with 4 weeks of minimal production, he’s still the #1 Tight End! You’re not going to start anyone else over him. His upside is just too good to risk benching. Aside from the Seahawks, I like his upcoming schedule. My hope is the Panthers play for pride moving forward. My fear is they’ll pack it in and we’ll continue to see these abysmal numbers. If your trade deadline hasn’t passed, check on the guy who owns Jimmy Graham and Jordan Reed. See if he’d be willing to trade. If not, be okay with starting him despite his sputtering performances.
As always feel free to contact us on twitter @No_HuddleFFB with questions.