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:
- Jamies Winston
- Thomas Rawls
- Malcolm Mitchell
- Ladarius Green
Jamies Winston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers):
Critt: Jamies hasn’t had more than 20 fantasy points or thrown for more than 2 touchdowns in a game in over a month. He went from a QB who was sitting well inside the Top 10 at his position to barely hanging on to QB1 status. The good news for Winston is that his schedule is very inviting in the next 3 weeks, particularly because he gets New Orleans in 2 of the 3 games. He has Dallas in between, and that will be tough to moderate matchup. I think that because of the games against the Saints, though, Winston will finish the next 3 weeks as a QB1.
Byron: I have mixed opinions on Jameis Winston. Part of me wants him to succeed in the NFL. The other part just wants to see if he’ll share those crab legs with me. The Buccaneers have been plagued by injuries this season, which I believe has played a role in Winston’s inconsistent play. Tampa Bay lost Doug Martin for seven games at the beginning of the season and then endured injuries to backup running backs Charles Sims, Jacquizz Rodgers, and Anton Smith. That’s only at the running back position. Outside of Mike Evans and Cameron Brate, Winston has been working with his fourth and fifth string wide receivers. Vincent Jackson and Cecil Shorts are on IR, and Adam Humphries is now questionable with a concussion. It’s hard to perform at a high level as a quarterback when you’re dealing with this kind of turnover at your skill positions. Despite the fact that I think I might have a shot to win a starting job at receiver for the Bucs at this point, I think Winston will be a solid fantasy option to finish the season. He plays the Saints in two of the last three games who have been abysmal on defense.
Dan: Perched just outside the top 10 in Fantasy QB rankings so far this season is Jameis Winston. The former Heisman trophy winner has had a bit of a roller coaster first half of the season and has started to play much more consistently as of late. He ends his season with some great matchups as well playing all the teams in his division one more time and the Dallas Cowboys. I like Winston down the stretch to score at least 20 points per game in the matchups. If he does that would put him over 280 fantasy points for the season. That would have ranked him as a top 10 Fantasy QB last year. He’s a QB1 the rest of the year and making a case to be drafted as such next year as well.
Derk: I remember watching that elite-11 camp with Trent Dilfer and seeing Jameis Winston for the first time. He’s a lot to take in, right? A playful cat that loves crab legs, yelling obscenities in a cafeteria while using a table as his platform. Hell, he could be president one day and it wouldn’t shock me. Does he have his faults? Yes. Do I? No. I’m perfect. Do you? Yes. And so does everyone else. All that to say, my biggest concern with Jameis coming into the league was his ability to lead a team at the next level. In only his second year, he’s doing it. His personality, though flawed and unlike mine, is infectious. People follow that kind of charisma into battle and don’t quit till you tell them to. That kind of leadership is born from a passion that’s rooted deep in Jameis. The passion that’s going to keep his fire lit for years to come. With Mike Evans and an emerging Cameron Brate to throw to, we have yet to see the best of Jameis. Play him going forward unless you have Brady, Brees, or Rodgers.
Thomas Rawls (Seattle Seahawks):
Critt: Rawls has battled back from injury and running backs that looked like they may have taken his place to become the starter again in Seattle. From the time he started playing significant snaps last season, weeks 11-14, he was the #1 RB in all of the NFL. He then suffered an injury and didn’t really return until week 11 this season. Since that point this year, he has been ranked as the #14 RB in the NFL. He had a big game last week against Carolina running for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns, but on a similar number of snaps the previous 2 weeks, he averaged under 4 yards per carry and did not top 58 yards rushing. In the next 3 weeks, he has Green Bay (moderate to easy), Los Angeles (moderate to tough), and Arizona (really tough) left on his schedule. I don’t see Rawls finishing anymore than an RB2 the next 3 weeks, and maybe even a flex play.
Byron: This was the game you’ve been waiting for if you were one of the patient owners that drafted and stashed Rawls all season. Last year’s breakout star racked up 106 yards and two touchdowns against the Panthers on Sunday night, which is more impressive when you consider he accumulated 103 of those yards and both touchdowns in the first half before being taken out of the game for fear of a concussion. The good news is he was cleared to play. The bad news is the team elected to play it safe with him due to a dominating lead. Either way, kudos to all of you that either had the patience to stash him or the foresight to add him, because I think Rawls will be a solid running back to play over the next couple of weeks against the Packers and Rams.
Dan: I love Thomas Rawls. He has great burst and speed. He also runs with great power for his size. Rawls contributes to the passing game as a receiver and as a willing blocker as well. I really like all the matchups that he has left except for Arizona. I would expect Rawls to average 10+ fantasy points over the next 4 weeks. I like him as an RB2 the rest of the way and I would place him right on the outskirts of that RB1 range. He not quite on the level of DJ, Le’veon, Zeke, or Murray yet but he is close.
Derk: I love Thomas Rawls so much. I love the way he runs with such abandonment of his own body and others’ faces. This, however, will be his undoing. This guy runs too damn hard to stay healthy long term. CJ Prosise will be the perfect compliment to Rawls-style of play when he comes back. Now, do you start Rawls in the playoffs? Better yet, against Green Bay? If this were 6 weeks ago, I would’ve probably said no. Since week 8 they’ve given up an average of 21 points to opposing RBs. No idea what’s happened up in Green Bay, they quickly went from the best defense in the league against running backs to the 13th. With that being said, do you really want to be the guy or gal that didn’t start a fresh Thomas Rawls in the playoffs? No? I didn’t think so.
Malcolm Mitchell (New England Patriots):
Critt: I put Malcolm Mitchell in my Down to the Wire article in Week 5 when Tom Brady returned from his suspension. I made the comment then that Mitchell offered something that no other New England receiver did, that is size and speed combination. I said that Brady would fall in love with his athleticism. That week Mitchell posted 2 catches for 7 yards. The next 5 weeks combined, one was a bye week, he had 1 catch for 13 yards. I looked like a real genius. Then, in week 11 he had 4 receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown and since then he has seen his targets increase in every game. To be safe I would roll with him as a flex play, but he has the upside of a WR2.
Byron: There’s a good chance Malcolm Mitchell is available in your league. Even after waivers processed he’s still under 47% owned in ESPN leagues. I suggest you stop what you’re doing and go grab him immediately. The rookie has put together three strong games and seems to be emerging as one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets. Over the last three weeks, Mitchell is averaging almost six receptions a game for 74 yards and a touchdown. This kid could very well develop into New England’s deep threat with Gronk out for the year, and Tom Brady seems to look his way in the red zone. If the rookie continues to see the additional looks he’s seen over the last few weeks, then I think he could be a very valuable late season addition to your team. That’s not something you’re able to find very often this late in the year. Even if you don’t need a receiver try to grab him if you can cut some dead weight. Owning him means nobody else can play him.
Dan: In college Mitchell had a little case of the drops. That’s really what made him fall in the draft to the 4th round. (that and injury prone history). He’s 6’0 tall and ran 4.45 at the combine. Nothing screamed Fantasy stud about Mitchell coming into this season. However, a couple of games this year have proven otherwise. Mitchell has shown that when given the opportunity he can rise the occasion. In the times that I’ve watched him play, he seems to play larger than his size and faster than his speed indicates. Undoubtedly, due to his length and explosive acceleration. Mitchell is also an accomplished route runner. Surgically carving up opponents with crisp moves at the top of his breaks, deceptive speed deep down the field, and a fearlessness across the middle. It’s no surprise to me that Brady has taken a shine to him. Look for him to be a WR3/flex option through the end of the season.
Derk: Malcolm Mitchell’s stock has skyrocketed! People love his children’s book! Wait, we’re not talking about an ability to write incredible children’s books? Oh well, in that case, I’d punch a kangaroo square in the jaw to have this guy on my team right now. He’s been on a tear! I’ve been kind of waiting on this all season if I’m perfectly honest. I’ve been trying to trade a guy in our dynasty league for Mitchell all season. I love his future with Tommy B. and even Jimmy G. He reminds me a lot of Deion Branch in this system. You remember Deion Branch? Super Bowl XXXIX MVP Deion Branch? Yeah, he’s like him except taller and faster. Not as crisp on the routes and a little more fragile, but really has the potential to be a game-changer in New England and for your fantasy team. I’d be fine to start him in your flex while in the playoffs, but do so with caution. Billy B. has a tendency to bring you back down to earth once he catches wind that you like one of his players for fantasy purposes.
Ladarius Green (Pittsburgh Steelers):
Critt: I basically did the same thing with Ladarius Green. I was about 2 weeks early on his big return. I knew that he could offer the Pittsburgh offense something that it didn’t have, but it was going to take some time for him and Roethlisberger to get on the same page. Well, we saw that happen last week when he had 11 targets for 6 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown. I think the rest of the way he will be a low TE1. I wouldn’t start him over one of the top tight ends, but I would over any other streamers.
Byron: It’s not often we can take a head coach at his word when it comes to discussing a player’s involvement before a game. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said last week that he expected Ladarius Green to take on an increased role within the offense. Yeah right, Mike. Green had five catches and 97 yards over the team’s last three games. It seems that I should have listened to the head coach for a change. Green exploded against the Giants for six receptions on eleven targets for 110 yards and a touchdown. Jesse James has been a disappointment this season, and Green gives the Steelers another big weapon for Big Ben to get the ball to. It’s rare that you’re able to add a viable tight end this late in the season, but I think that’s the case with Ladarius Green. He’s still under 50% owned. Like I said with Malcolm Mitchell if you can cut some dead weight add the guy regardless of your tight end situation. He could be a nice addition for all of the Gronk owners out there.
Dan: “And sure enough even waiting will end… if you can just wait long enough.”-William Faulkner. I could not think of a quote to summarize a Steeler’s fans thoughts on Ladarius Green this season. A high-profile signing at the beginning of the season, Green was going to be the guy to replace a legend. Heath Miller. Miller was the ultimate security blanket for Ben Roethlisberger and his loss would all but be solved with the signing of the younger and speedier Green. Steeler nation was excited. Then came news of the injury and that Green could miss some games. The fans waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, in week 10, he arrived. Starting slow Green has been coming on as of late. Last week’s game against the Giants showed we Steeler fans were waiting for. Over 100 yard and a TD. The question with Green is not only can he maintain that type of production, but can he stay healthy as well. For me, the verdict is still out. Definitely worth a roster spot for now, though.
Derk: This guy is big and fast. I love his potential in that Steelers offense. There’s a reason they went after him in the offseason and it has everything in the world to do with his untapped potential. Assuming he doesn’t do the Julius Thomas thing where he gets paid and is suddenly injured more than Arian Foster, we could see the beginnings of a long career in the elite tier of tight ends for Ladarius. That’s my hope anyway. For now, I wouldn’t count on this kind of production from him to continue. Simply because there’s just not enough balls to go around in Steel Town. Antonio Brown is going to get his as well as Le’Veon. Let’s not forgot about the super bowl of weed champion, Martavis Bryant, who is still suspended. He’ll get his, too! Temper expectations with this one. By this time, you should have a pretty solid option in front Green anyway. If you don’t, then start him! I just won’t think twice until he does it 2 weeks in a row.
As always feel free to contact us on twitter @No_HuddleFFB with questions.