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:
- Spencer Ware
- LaGerrette Blount
- Taylor Gabriel
- Sammy Watkins
Spencer Ware (Kansas City Chiefs):
Critt: Ware’s season has been one of the most abnormal seasons of any player. With Charles out at the beginning of the year, he was a top 10 RB. After his injury in week 8, and sitting out week 9, he has been ranked outside of the top 24 in weeks 10-12. I am not sure if his injury has really plagued him that much or not, but it is clear that his production has dropped. The good news for Ware is that their remaining schedule is very friendly to running backs, and I touted him in one of my Bartering System articles as a player to go and buy. He has finished with 60 something yards for the last 3 weeks. I think he will finally break out of that this week and finish the rest of the season as a RB1.
Byron: It’s hard not to be at least a little disappointed in Spencer Ware this season. He’s not been bad by any means. However, he certainly hasn’t been good, which is largely due to the fact that he’s only found the end zone three times this season. There have been a few games where Ware has had some nice performances, but I just don’t view him as a top tier option. When it was announced Jamaal Charles would be done for the season many people immediately touted Ware as an RB1 moving forward, but that simply hasn’t been the case. His rushing totals are decent, and he’s averaging right around 70 yards on the ground in games where he’s been the featured back. Without the touchdowns to compliment the yardage, however, he’s mostly a middle of the road running back. I don’t see that changing much over the final stretch of the season, despite having a few juicy matchups.
D-Hall: Looking at Spencer Ware’s stats I’m not overly impressed by totals for a feature back this far in the season. He has 2 rushing TD’s and 1 receiving TD. He only has one game of 100+ yards rushing and one game of 100+ yards receiving. By comparison, Jamaal Charles had 4 rushing and 1 receiving TD in 2015 in only 5 games. Ware has basically been an RB2 all season and I do not expect that to change as the season moves forward. One positive thing that you can say about Ware is that for his draft position/cost at the beginning of the year he is one of the best values in fantasy this year. In my opinion with Ware, what you see is what you get.
Derk: I really like Spencer Ware. I think he is going to be pretty good for years to come. When I say pretty good, think LeGarrette Blount. Not ever really bad, but never the supreme being they were chiseled to be. The one distinct advantage, however, is he catches balls. I had no idea he was capable of being a 3 down back! The first game of the season the guy caught everything thrown at him! I had anticipated that Char West was the guy and Ware would be the supplemental back. Had no idea Ware would be as effective and West a non-factor. As of late, he’s not been the productive RB1 you need to win a championship. But never fear. The Falcons, Raiders, and Broncos are here to ease your worries. Not crazy about the Titans matchup, but they’re not scary. If you’re in the playoffs and you’re a Ware owner, congratulations.
LaGerrette Blount (New England Patriots):
Critt: The good news for LaGerrette Blount is that Dion Lewis only has minimal effect on Blount’s involvement in the offense. Lewis is more of a detriment to James White than Lewis. It is true that Lewis will get more carries than White, which does knock off maybe 3 or 4 carries a game that would be going to Blount, but he still has plenty of opportunities to produce good numbers. He has scored in double digits in every game but 3 this season. He does have a tough schedule coming up, but the Patriots should be in control of almost every one of those games, and use Blount to milk the clock. I expect him to finish the season as a RB2.
Byron: I love this guy. He reminds me of the old-school running backs I grew up watching that ran with the type of power and aggression that made you wonder why anyone would even try to tackle him. LeGarrette Blount is a bruiser through and through and has a very special role in the Patriots offense. Tom Brady gets the team ahead, and Blount seals the game away in the second half. Blount saw a season low eleven carries last week in what turned out to be a surprisingly close game against the Jets. I think he gets back on track this week against the Rams who have allowed the seventh most yards per carry to opposing running backs this season. While he doesn’t have the most advantageous matchups down the stretch, I think we see a big dose of Blount against the Broncos and a revenge game against the Jets at home to end the fantasy season. If you have him, play him.
D-Hall: Blount is definitely a talent. His large frame and nimbleness remind me of Jerome Bettis. Blount is listed at 6’ 250 and Bettis is listed at 5’11 255. Blount also has a nose for the end zone. He has scored 12 rushing TD’s this year, although none in the last two games. Now Dion Lewis is coming back and there are those that are concerned that Blount’s role will be diminished in the Pats Offense. That’s a legitimate concern. I still think that Blount will get a majority of the rushing attempts and all the goal line work, which will make him a viable fantasy option week in and week out. Just tough to see him matching the highs that he has already had this season. Brady loves to throw the ball around the yard and he is really good at it. Blount will end the year as an RB2/Flex player even though he is a top ten back at the moment.
Derk: I actually am kicking myself over a trade I made earlier in the year. I traded LeGarrette Blount for Jarvis Landry in a PPR league right before Tom Brady came back. At the time, it made sense! Brady was coming back to only set the world on fire with his arm! Not to hand the friggin ball off to LeGarrette Blount! I’ve never been more wrong in a trade than this one. Landry has underachieved while Blount has 12 touchdowns in as many games. While you are probably wincing at the thought of starting Blount in the first round of the playoffs in week 14 against the Ravens, I faith in the hoodie! Just like that Boise St. player Byron Hout, Blount will be used to punching the opponent in the proverbial mouth. Ride with Blount into Fantasy Glory! I wish I could!
Taylor Gabriel (Atlanta Falcons):
Critt: The word for Taylor Gabriel is efficient. The guy has been super efficient with the touches that he has received in the last 4 weeks scoring as many touchdowns in that time frame. I do think that the Falcons will continue to get him involved in the offense, I just don’t think that he can continue at this pace. Gabriel should finish the season as a desperate flex with upside.
Byron: Ok, it’s time to start really paying attention to this kid. There’s only so many times I can write off a touchdown as a fluke. Apparently, I cut it off at four consecutive games. Taylor Gabriel has scored five touchdowns over Atlanta’s last four games and seems to be Matt Ryan’s favorite new toy. Gabriel is lightning fast and is Atlanta’s version of Tyreek Hill. He’s not a guy that is going to see a ton of targets as he’s been capped at around five per game over the last few weeks. If you consider how underutilized he is his production really is mind boggling. For that reason, I don’t see how Gabriel can continue to keep this up.Over the last four games, he has 16 touches and five touchdowns. That’s one score for every 3.2 times he touches the ball. That’s simply not sustainable. Don’t get me wrong, he’s worth adding to your team. Just don’t expect a touchdown every single game.
D-Hall: Let’s take a close look at Gabriel’s stats with the Falcons this season. His last 4 games he has had 50+ yards receiving in every one of those games with a high game of 76 yards. He has also had 4 TD’s in those 4 games as well. He has had at least 5 targets in the last 3 games and is starting to do things when he gets the ball in his hands that remind me of David Johnson last year. He is averaging 18 yards per catch this year and catches a TD on every 7th catch. He also has a rushing TD this year as well. He is not seeing the ball enough to be a true WR2 yet for me yet, but he is definitely worth a flex play because of his big play ability. Watch him down the stretch to see if the Falcons use him more.
Derk: Looooooove Taylor Gabriel. The guy is super shifty, not a bad route runner, and a blazer. How in the heck was he released from Cleveland?! I’ve never understood that move. I’ve actually had an eye on him since joining the Falcons. Actually talked about how much I liked him in our Podcast when we first started. He’s got crazy potential with Atlanta! I just think you have to temper your expectations as they’re are not enough balls to go around in that offense. In the last 4 games, he’s caught 13 of 18 targets and scored 4 touchdowns. While that’s very efficient, I just don’t think it’s wise to consider that the new normal for Gabriel. However, he has 4 very favorable matchups coming up! I’d be happy to start this guy in my WR3/Flex spot.
Sammy Watkins (Buffalo Bills):
Critt: Sammy Watkins did this same thing last season, he came on really strong at the end of the year. If the Bills can continue to give Watkins the proper amount of time to rest his foot between games then I think we could see similar production to what we saw at the end of last season. He finished the end of last season as a top 10 wide receiver. The Buffalo coaching staff even mentioned they believe they will get great production out of him to end the season. I have never trusted Watkins before, but for some reason, I feel like you can plug him in your flex down the stretch and he will provide results for you!
Byron: You’ve gotta feel for Sammy Watkins. He’s got all the talent and skills to be an elite wide receiver in the NFL but just can’t stay healthy long enough to realize his full potential. Watkins was limited last week in his first game since week two and was on the field for only 25 out of the team’s 55 snaps. He still caught three passes on three targets for 80 yards, which was encouraging for fantasy owners and Bills fans alike. Early reports said his workload should increase against the Raiders, but he’s not logged a full practice all week. Ultimately, Watkins should be active and will likely be needed against an explosive Oakland offense this week. Sammy is a guy that can really help teams out down the final stretch of the season and is a solid WR2 for me if he stays healthy.
D-Hall: I really thought that this was the year. This was his third year of his rookie deal. He was coming off a season of 1000+ yards, 9 TD’s, and a 17.5 YPC Avg. He was poised to blow it wide open. Tyrod Taylor was throwing him the ball. Opening the passing game with the deep ball was a certainty. Then the injury happened. The injury that seems to still be happening. I feel awful for Sammy. He now has had two surgeries this season to repair the break. He is still trying to play through that. Unfortunately, it looks like there are reports that Watkins is playing while the bone in his foot is still broken. It looks like the Bills and Watkins Fantasy owners are on a wait and see approach with the young star.
Derk: I actually picked Sammy Watkins up 6 weeks ago to be in this position. I thought surely the Bills would ease this cat back into action. Nope. They welcomed him back with a rain of confetti in the form of targets. Ok. I wouldn’t call 3 targets rain, but he did so much with the opportunity given to him! This guy has the potential to be great. The kind of receiver you talk to your grandkids about when they’re watching his grandkids play football. Yeah. That’s the kind of pedigree this dude will pass on. Anyway…am I in on Watkins to leading you to the promise land this year? His matchups are decent and he plays at home in 3 of the 4 upcoming games. Love the matchup against the Raiders this week. Not crazy about the Steelers, but at home, they’ll be more concerned about keeping Shady at bay. Oh…yeah. The Bills have Lesean McCoy. And he’s been awesome when he’s been on the field. Yeah. Start Sammy in your WR3/Flex slot with confidence knowing he will absolutely produce like a WR2/WR1.
As always feel free to contact us on twitter @No_HuddleFFB with questions.