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:
- Ezekiel Elliot
- DeMarco Murray
- Sammy Watkins
- The Tight End Position
Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys)
What do you see as the outlook for the rest of the season for Zeke?
Critt: Last year I touted Zeke as being the #1 back in fantasy football before the season. He didn’t finish as #1 but he had a memorable rookie campaign. Unfortunately, he has a memorable offseason as well, or maybe he doesn’t remember much of it. I don’t know. Anyway, I drafted Zeke in the third round of one my drafts earlier in the year and I traded him this past week for Jordan Howard and AJ Green. One, I think that is a great return on Zeke. Two, I don’t have to worry about his legal issues and the looming decision of the court from Monday’s case which could potentially lead to him missing 6 games this season. Finally, I filled necessary holes on my team. If you can get any kind of good package for Zeke, I would think about trying to do it before the court ruling is read.
Byron: I’m a little confused by this question. If you’re asking me about the likelihood that he’ll be suspended, then I can’t answer that question. I’m no lawyer. I do know Tom Brady avoided a suspension for an entire year, so there’s a good chance Zeke stays on the field all year. Now if we’re looking at his outlook from a fantasy football standpoint, then I think he’ll be just fine moving forward. While 14th in scoring isn’t exactly where you like to see him after three weeks, I don’t believe there’s any reason to worry. Outside of one down game against a stout Denver defense, Elliott has run the ball 46 times for 184 yards and a touchdown. He’ll finish as a top five back as long as he avoids suspension.
Dan: I’m no legal expert. I don’t have a law degree or anything like that. If Zeke is on the field I’m playing him if I have him. He is great, and I mean a great, Tailback behind one of the best Offensive lines you are likely to see in your lifetime. He is a must-start every week he is available.
Derk: Pretty simple for me, start him and don’t think twice. I know all about the impending legal troubles, but I’m not the least bit concerned. If you are and you’re thinking about trading him, then don’t let someone come in and low ball you. Tarik Cohen and Davante Parker won’t cut it. Melvin Gordon and Travis Kelce oughta do it in redraft PPR leagues, but don’t you dare trade him in dynasty/keeper formats. He’s a very refined runner behind an O-line that could pave the way for multiple rushing titles early on in his career.
DeMarco Murray (Tennessee Titans)
Will CJ Anderson finish in the Top 7?
Critt: Murray was an excellent buy-low candidate this past week and he showed out when very few people expected him to do so. With such a loaded rookie class and most of the usual suspects minus David Johnson, I think it will be very difficult for DeMarco to finish in the Top 7. Not to mention that he will split time with Derrick Henry throughout the season, and there is always a possibility that he could yield more and more playing time over to him.
Byron: I said before the season that I thought this would be the year that we started to see Murray decline. I’m not backing down from that statement. Yes, the veteran had an awesome game against the Seahawks. However, 75 of his 115 yards came on his long touchdown run. If you take that away then Murray is averaging almost 12 carriers for 36 yards over the first three games. Those are obviously terrible numbers. If he continues to struggle, then I don’t think it will be long before we start seeing a bigger dose of Derrick Henry. I think Murray still holds value, but this seems like the year that we start seeing the wheels come off the wagon. I’m thinking he’ll finish somewhere in the top 25 at the running back position. Top seven just seems too high after what we’ve seen over the first three games.
Dan: Demarco Murray may not finish in the Top 7, but it will not be because of his talent. Mostly, I think it’s because he will not get the Touchdown production that he needs to reach that elite level with the Titans. There are just too many mouths to feed in that offense. Henry is much more suited the be a goal-line back and Mariota can run the read option. Delanie Walker is a great Red Zone threat as well. I just do not see Murray getting the 10-15 TD’s needed to reach that level of fantasy production.
Derk: No. He’s old and Derrick Henry is starting to hit his stride. I think Murray’s best days are behind him and we will begin to see his descent into fantasy irrelevancy albeit sad to say. I will say that despite his age he still managed to put on a show against one of the leagues most storied defenses in the Seahawks. I don’t think it’s his ability that will limit his upside, as the usurper Derrick Henry and his inability to stay healthy will stifle his production. I could see him finishing in the top 15 range, but that’s if he can stay relatively healthy for the majority of the year. If you’ve got Murray, see if you can’t squeeze something out of his value in a trade.
Sammy Watkins (Los Angeles Rams)
Where does Sammy Watkins finish the season?
Critt: I have never trusted Sammy Watkins on my fantasy teams. One year I acquired him in a trade and immediately within 24 hours I traded him away. Actually, I have done that exact same thing twice, in two different leagues. For the first time in his career, I believe he is actually somewhere and apart of an offense where he can produce constant numbers as long as he stays healthy. Which is always a big question for him. I think his future in LAR is bright and I would look to acquire him now in Keeper or dynasty formats, but I still don’t see him finishing above a WR2 this season in fantasy football.
Byron: It’s really crazy how much my opinion of the Rams offense as a whole has changed over the first few weeks. Jared Goff was just plain bad last year, Todd Gurley struggled, and they just brought in a new young head coach. After three games I won’t be shocked if Los Angeles makes the playoffs. Goff has taken a huge step forward, Gurley looks like he did in his rookie year, and the offense added both Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp. It’s weird to think that Jared Goff has suddenly become a better fantasy quarterback than Tyrod Taylor, but here we are. IF Sammy Watkins stays healthy I think he could be a valuable fantasy asset. Unfortunately, that’s a big if. He’s already dealing with a concussion but should play this week. Goff has looked serviceable for the most part, but the Rams look like a run-first team. I’m going to say that I think Watkins ends finishing as a top 20 receiver if he stays on the field. He scored more than eight points for the first time against the 49ers last week, so I need to see a little more out of him before I endorse him any higher than that.
Dan: Watkins will finish as a WR1 this year if he can stay healthy. He’s playing in a vertical offense that really compliments his speed and style of play. His QB is looking better every game. Their head coach is offensive minded. The running game looks better. The Rams are better this year then they have been in a while. There are going to be lots of deep play action passes to Watkins and he is going to catch a lot of footballs.
Derk: On the IR more than likely.
The Tight End Position
Outside of Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, and Zach Ertz, who do you plant your flag with the rest of the season?
Critt: Most of you probably think I am crazy for this answer and you’re right. Here is my reasoning. No TE in the NFL outside of Gronk and Ertz seems to be consistent. Not even Travis Kelce! Charles Clay is one of the only consistent receivers that Tyrod Taylor has, and it is very clear that they have a chemistry and he is one of Taylor’s favorites down around the end zone. I think Charles Clay continues to get targeted and continues to put up TE1 numbers. Right now he is the #5 TE in .5 PPR leagues and I wouldn’t be shocked if he finished there!
Byron: If there’s one tight end I’m wanting on my team this season other than the players listed above, then give me Delanie Walker. I’m willing to bet that Jordan Reed will be a popular pick amongst the other No Huddle contributors, and he’d be my pick too if the guy could just stay healthy. The Titans suddenly have a lot of mouths to feed in the passing game. Corey Davis, Eric Decker, and Rishard Matthews all expect the ball to be coming their way. However, Delanie has been with Mariota since day one, and these two have the best chemistry on Tennessee’s offense. I don’t think Jason Witten can sustain the numbers we saw in the first two games, which is evident considering his performance last week. I’ll take the veteran tight end that can stay on the field and has a great rapport with his quarterback.
Dan: If I can’t have those guys Three names come to mind. 1) Delanie Walker. Consummate pro. Great red zone target and he has a good young QB with a good running game. 2) Hunter Henry. I’ve been talking about this kid since last year. Henry gets off the bus and plays ball. He does not have all the huge athletic upside of some of the other guys but he is a ball player. Can’t go wrong with Henry. 3) Evan Engram. Basically, the exact opposite of Hunter Henry. A physical freak athlete that is not a traditional Tight End, but his physical skills make him an unbelievable asset from the 20 in. Eli will rely on him and OBJ big through the season.
Derk: I think if it’s in a PPR Redraft league I will go with Jason Witten. Dak clearly has discovered a new safety blanket in Witten and has been targeting him early and often. I will also admit that in a non-PPR league, I’m not big on Witten as his production would take a dramatic hit despite having 2 touchdowns through 3 games. He’s old, but he seems to have found new life recently. The other tight end I would rather have in a standard league would be Charles Clay. Clay had managed to find relevance in a Tyrod Taylor captained offense which is a feat in and of itself. I think as long as the weapons on the outside remain utterly useless, we are looking at a contender to finish the season as a tight end #3…possibly #2 if Kelce can’t keep his fiery rage to himself.
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