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, and Four different opinions.
The contestants for this week’s Four Corner Debate are:
- Kareem Hunt
- Kirk Cousins
- Leonard Fournette
- Adam Thielen
Kareem Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs)
Will Kareem Hunt finish in the Top 5?
Critt: Kareem Hunt scored 45 points in PPR leagues on the very first night of the season. Last year, the #5 PPR RB was DeMarco Murray, and he score 286 points. That means the rest of the season, Hunt only needs to score 241 points. Which means all he needs to average the rest of the year is 70 Rushing yards a game as well as 3 receptions for 30 yards a game. I think as long as he is healthy, that is well within the cards. Especially knowing that David Johnson won’t be taking up one of those spots this season.
Byron: During the preseason I thought Hunt would end up surpassing Lamar Miller by the end of the year, and he was one of my favorite running backs in this year’s draft. I saw him becoming an impact player in the NFL, but his performance against the Patriots blew me away. Hunt ended up with 246 total yards, which was the most by a player in his debut since 1970. The rookie is no doubt a talented player, but do I think he finishes as a top five running back this season? Yes, I do. The top five last year consisted of David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott, LeSean MCoy, Le’Veon Bell, and DeMarco Murray. One reason I think Hunt finishes there is the injury to David Johnson. There’s no guarantee Johnson makes it back onto the field in 2017, so there’s one less guy for him to compete with. Another reason I think Kareem finished as one of the top five backs is the fact that Andy Reid wants to run the football. While Alex Smith played unusually well last week by his standards, he’s not suddenly transformed into Tom Brady. Hunt will get as many carries as he can handle, and opportunity breeds success.
Dan: Pump the Brakes. Listen let’s talk a bit about sample size. Here’s a great analogy for if you played Kareem Hunt week one. Have you ever found money? Like $60 dollars on the ground or like a fiver in your pocket? Awesome right? Now count all the times that’s happened in your life. That’s kind of how I feel about Hunt’s performance in week one. I mean he crushed it and it was exhilarating! Think about all the running backs that he will have to contend with for a top five spot. Bell, Freeman, Howard, McCoy, Gordon, Ajayi and Demarco Murray. Not to mention Touchdown hounds like Blount (18), Stewart (9), and Hill (9). Notice I did not even mention Zeke and DJ. Both could miss some time. Hunt is a great back and showed he has the talent to be an elite back in the NFL. Top 5 though, Not so fast my friend.
Derk: My response is simple. Yeah. Next topic. Oh you need stats?! I’m not your guy. Did you see with your eyes what this young cat did to that clown Matt Patricia’s defense?! He made them his side chick. Not even worthy enough to introduce to mom’s! Did you see that damn catch he had deep?! I had no idea that was part of his game?! I was IN before that play and I’m laying here feeling guilty because I should be thinking of my dear sweet wife and all I can do is think of Kareem Hunt’s soft but strong ass hands. I love this guy. I’ll never not draft him again in the first 3 picks. Heard comparisons to Jamaal…yeah….Jamaal wishes. Helen used to be my favorite hunt…Heinz used to be my favorite ketchup…and now I’m a full bore Kareem Hunt kind of guy. Speaking of ketchup, pretty sure the whole Patriots D is still trying to do just that.
Kirk Cousins (Washington Redskins)
Is Kirk Cousins on the verge of a relapse?
Critt: Shockingly I think Cousins is on the verge of a relapse. Cousins finished as the #5 QB a year ago and I don’t think he finishes in the top 10 this season. I think you can attribute it to two things, the losses of his two leading receivers, Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson, or his offensive coordinator Sean McVay. If you are a Cousins owner, I would be very hesitant.
Byron: Ok, I agree Cousins had a bad game last week. He completed under 60% of his passes, threw for only 240 yards and a touchdown, and had three turnovers. The knee jerk reaction is to panic and think Sean McVay was the only reason for Cousins’ success in the past. We’re only looking at one game here. It’s not like Cousins was an early round draft pick. I snagged the guy in the 7th round. Besides, he still scored 19 fantasy points. If we look at last season, there were six games where he put up 19 points or less. Hell, he only scored nine points in the season opener last year. I don’t recall us talking about him relapsing after the first game in 2016. Cousins will be fine. He still has playmakers to get the ball to and his once again playing for a big long term contract. The motivation is there.
Dan: Is this not a debate every year with Kirk? Maybe even every game? He comes out slow and sluggish and for a little while he looks like he’s never played Quarterback in D1 let alone in the NFL. Then it’s like Cousins comes out of the fog and starts to see things a little clearer. Jordan Reed becomes a little more open. Jamison Crowder makes one more man miss. Suddenly here come Cousins. Arguably better weapons this year with the addition of Pryor. So, for those Captain Kirk owners out there, do not worry because Cousins will get right and put in work in yet another contract year for him. I think Cousins will finish as a top 5 QB! You like that!
Derk: Yes. Every damn year I say yes to this question. Speaking of relapse, y’all remember that damn Eminem album, Relapse? That shit was terrible much like I’d expect Kirk Cousins to be. And yet…that fool says something every year to management that makes me think he’s fighting a battle for me! The Underdog! Sticking it to the man by constantly outperforming what he’s paid to do. Byron would say this is why he resonates with Kirk Cousins, but I say it’s because he often kisses his cousins. And after this season you’ll agree with me that there is no reason not to kiss your Cousins when he wins you a championship. Dude has skills. Pay the man, Dan, damn.
Leonard Fournette (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Where does Leonard Fournette finish?
Critt: I think Jacksonville pounds the ball the rest of the season. Especially after losing Allen Robinson. I think LeVeon Bell, Ezekiel Elliot (assuming he plays all year), LeSean McCoy, Kareem Hunt, and Melvin Gordon finish in front of Fournette. That means I think he will finish at #6. How is that for being specific…
Byron: I’ll go ahead and admit I wasn’t the biggest Fournette fan heading into this season. I wouldn’t say I thought he’d be a bust, but there were definitely other running backs I liked more in this year’s draft (see above for Kareem Hunt). However, he may have landed in the perfect situation for him to be a viable fantasy option. It’s clear the Jaguars do not want Blake Bortles throwing the football. The fact that Bortles had to compete for his starting job against Chad Henne in the preseason should tell you all you need to know. Jacksonville force fed Fournette touches in the season opener, and he finished with 26 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown. In fact, he led all running backs in carries in week one. I think a lot of that had to with the fact that the game was never really competitive as the Jaguars throttled Houston. Fournette averaged 3.8 yards per carry, which isn’t jaw dropping but isn’t concerning either. At the end of the season I think he finishes as a middle of the road RB2. If I had to put a number on it I’d say Fournette comes in 19th.
Dan: Leonard Fournette was the top ranked incoming rookie running back coming into the league this year. His running style in college was tough and strong and yet also somehow fluid, fast, and even graceful. His play style had scouts, Coaches, GM’s, and Owner’s salivating at that the prospects of having his skills for Sundays. Every Fantasy owner, especially those in Dynasty formats, were so hopeful that his skillset would translate to an NFL that is now so Pass heavy. Then the Jaguars drafted Leonard. The Jags are under fairly new ownership and are spending at a much heavier rate than before. But Fournette is on an Offense with Blake Bortles at QB and is now minus A Rob thanks to a season ending knee injury. I mean there is nothing that I see on offense that is going to make Defenses think that the Jags are going to beat them with the passing game. Teams are going to load the box and force Bortles to beat them. Leonard Fournette has Top 5 talent but will finish in the high teens. Think Todd Gurley last year.
Derk: Ahhhh….don’t ask me this. I don’t want to answer it. Why? Because I own this guy in a dynasty empire league. I paid way too damn much for him and I hate to say it…don’t ask…please…sigh…ok…here it is…he’s injury prone as hell and hella lazy reportedly. His style of running and his supposed laziness does not bode well for me or you! Not to mention he’s gotta bum ass quarterback that refuses to throw a complete pass and not slap a guy on an injured knee. When Jacksonville drafted LFO I immediately thought “well, there goes a once promising career.” When you’re a good player on a bad team, how long can your passion for the game burn? Especially when you’re reportedly lazy? Barry Sanders gave up at age 31…will LFO give up sooner? I hope not, but I won’t blame him. In his rookie year he will finish in the mid teens.
Adam Thielen (Minnesota Vikings)
Adam Thielen went 9 for 157. Thoughts on Thielen?
Critt: Last season from weeks 13-17 Adam Thielen was the #12 wideout in Fantasy Football. He started off his 2017 campaign in a similar fashion. I have been very vocal over the last two years about my distrust and the inconsistencies of Stefon Diggs, and if you combine all that I think that Adam Thielen will be an every week starter for you in fantasy leagues.
Byron: I hate that Adam Thielen is on the Four Corner debate this week for the simple reason that I don’t exactly know how in the hell I feel about the guy. The fact the he almost reached 1,000 yards last year when he was basically a complete unknown is crazy. It’s even more mind boggling when you consider he had little to no production in every game until week 5 when he exploded for 127 yards and a touchdown. Which now that I think about it, it makes sense because that’s about the time Stefon Diggs began his annual decline after a strong start. Part of me wants to write this off as a result of Sam Bradford channeling Superman in the season opener. Part of me wants to embrace the fact that Thielen has become a decent fantasy option. I’m going with the latter and saying that Adam Thielen will be finish as a WR3/borderline WR2 at the end of the season.
Dan: Adam Thielen kind of reminds me of Marvin Harrison. I know. I know. Hall of Famer comparison alert! But still, he’s an exceptional route runner, fast but not quick twitch, exceptional hands, and looks like he is always in the right spot. Now close your eyes and think about who I just described. Marvin Harrison right. If Thielen played on the Lions or a more “pass happy” offense I think he could put up Marvin-esque numbers too. There will be a time in the Vikings offense where Thielen will disappear some with the emergence of their running game and guys like Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph, who I think could have break out years, but overall Thielen will see his fair share of targets. If he just continues to play the way he has the should finish as a WR2 with upside. I think on average he should be a 7 catch for 70 yards type of guy. That’s 14 points per game in PPR or 224 fantasy points at the end of the year which would have been WR 17. A significant increase from last year.
Derk: Adam Damn Thielen. The new “All Day” in Minnesota! This guy balls out because he’s a relative unknown with deceptive remarkable skills. He does everything you’d want a white receiver to do and then some! He actually catches the ball and makes plays afterwards. For those familiar with our podcast, you know that last season I called this guy out as someone you want to keep your eye on. He picked up in game 1 right where I thought he would. At the top of the receivers drafted in this year’s fantasy drafts. He’s underrated and under appreciated so you should go trade Kelvin Benjamin for him. I’m gonna try! Stefon Diggs isn’t the Vikings WR you want to own, it’s Adam Damn Thielen.
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