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Coffin Corner: Weekly Performances

Ray Flowers

Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: M-F at 5-8 PM EDT), Ray Flowers has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. You can follow Ray on Twitter (@BaseballGuys), he never sleeps, and you can also find more of his musings at BaseballGuys.com.

Coffin Corner: Weekly Performances

It's Week 8, thankfully, of the NFL season after the bloodbath that was Week 7 (it only seemed like every player on your team was hurt, right?). So let's turn the page on that disastrous effort and look toward the future. I'll take a look at each position and break down some surprising numbers over the past four weeks before turning my attention to discussing some players who have an overall point total that would lead you to think they are strong weekly plays, even if their week-to-week efforts are decidedly spotty.

A WEEKLY FANTASY BATTLE

Are you interested in a way you can turn $10 into $1,000,000? It's legal, you don't have to do anything you have to hide from your significant other, and on top of that it's fun since it's fantasy football. Here's what you do.

1 – Sign up for the Weekly Fanduel.com/BaseballGuys.com NFL Salary Cap Contest.

2 – If you finish in the top-3 during Week 7 you get a free entry into the Week 8 Qualifier (a $25 value). You also get a shot at the weekly prizes totaling $1,000.

3 – If you win the Week 8 Qualifier then you get a free entry ($200 value) for the Week 11 Super Qualifier.

4 – If you finish in the top-20 in the Week 11 Super Qualifier you are off to Las Vegas for a chance at the $1,000,000 grand prize thanks to Fanduel.com.

Oh yeah, you also get to take me on in the Week 7 contest, so in addition to setting yourself on a path to win $1,000,000 you get to beat me down too for bragging rights. Pretty sweet, right Should be a lot of fun and you can also win cash along the way, so why wouldn't you be interested? Here's the link to play in the Weekly Fanduel.com/BaseballGuys.com NFL Salary Cap Contest.

WEEKLY LEADERS – THE PAST MONTH

* NOTE: The following numbers are from a PPR setup with the following rules: 4 pts for passing scores, 6 pts for reception/run score, 1 pt PPR, 1 pt for 10 yards catch/run, 1 pt for 20 yards passing).

Sometimes we forget to see the forest through the trees. By that I mean we look at a guys overall point total without paying attention to trends or recent performances. Take the example of Peyton Manning. Thanks to his massive/historic Week 1 effort he's scoring an average of 33.1 points a week. Remove Week 1 and that mark drops three full points (still the best in the game, so I'm not downing him). However, there are some players who may have ascended or fallen without you being acutely aware of their efforts. Here are some of the cases that caught my eye as I looked at the fantasy point totals of players over the past four weeks (Week 4-7).

QUARTERBACK

There is only one QB in football who has a top-10 point total the last four weeks who hasn't played four games. Drew Brees settles in at #9 even though he had a Week 7 Bye. The only other in the top-15 with a Bye is Matt Ryan who comes in at #12 even with his Week 6 Bye.

Colin Kaepernick has been much better the past two weeks at over 22 points in each outing but his four week average still puts him 14th at the position. His ex-teammate, the boring as all get out Alex Smith, is in 13th. Speaking of Kaepernick, he's actually averaged 18.4 points the past month which is less than Geno Smith (19.7), Mike Glennon (19.7) and Joe Flacco (20.5).

Jake Locker has only played in two of the past four weeks but his 24.2 point per game average places him in 6th spot at the position. I know, right? Maybe he's not that bad a QB2 after all.

Everyone loves Russell Wilson in the fantasy game, but because of the Seahawks run heavy offensive setup, he just doesn't throw enough to generate big fantasy totals meaning he's always a low end QB1 or a high end QB2. The past month he's come in at #12 in points per week, a mere 0.4 points ahead of Andy Dalton and one point ahead of Ryan Tannehill. Are you sure Wilson is really that good?

RUNNING BACK

The last month Danny Woodhead, the guy who you would walk past on the street and think he's a computer programer, has been the #5 runner. Amazing. The guys he's often compared to, the Saints' Darren Sproles, comes in at #13.

Fred Jackson has played through injury and done extremely well. Even with an under nine point effort in Week 6 he's still coming in at 9th in points the past four weeks.

Stevan Ridley stinks. Just ask his owner who spent a second round selection on him. Perhaps that's being a bit hasty though? Over the past four weeks guys who comes in at #18 at the position? You guessed it, the Patriots' runner who didn't even play in Week 5. Ridley's 15.7 point per game mark is higher than Eddie Lacy (15.3), Adrian Peterson (15.0), Le'Veon Bell (14.6) and Giovani Bernard (13.8). Speaking of Peterson, AD is averaging 2.2 points less than Roy Helu the last month. That's not what people were expecting when they drafted Peterson #1 overall.

Ray Rice is averaging 12.3 points the past four weeks, #23 at the position. That puts him behind, hold your breath, Chris Johnson (13.1). That damn Ravens' o-line.

Doug Martin hits the shelf averaging 9.5 points over the last four weeks. That's less than Chris Ogbonnaya who sits at 10.1. Yikes is right. Still, Martin has outpaced MJD (9.4), C.J. Spiller (8.2), Trent Richardson (7.3) and Lamar Miller (7.0). Why did the Colts even trade for TRich, and what are the hell are the Dolphins doing continuing to give the ball to Daniel Thomas over Miller?

WIDE RECEIVER

Alshon Jeffery (#2) and Brandon Marshall (#5) have been killing it. With no Jay Cutler is it reasonable to expect both to even be in the top-20 the next month? Probably not.

Terrence Williams has rocked it of late and comes in 9th in points (teammate Dez Bryant leads the way).

Justin Blackmon is 10th even though he didn't play in Week 4. Blackmon has more points (69.4) than Demaryius Thomas (17.3), Victor Cruz (15.8) and DeSean Jackson (15.3). All three of those wideouts have appeared in four games.

Michael Floyd is the #22 wideout with 53.3 points. Just saying.

It doesn't fit the theme of the piece, but I just had to point it out. Vincent Jackson has 19 catches, 252 yards, four touchdowns and 68.2 fantasy points the past two weeks. He's also been targeted 36 times. Yowzahs.

As for the average point total... VJax leads the way at 24.3 There are thee others at over 20 points, with two of them not exactly being household names (Blackmon and Jeffrey). The other one is in Bryant. Keenan Allen comes in at 10th spot (18.0) just ahead of Williams (17.8). Brandon Gibson, yes the Dolphins wideout, is 19th (15.2). Here are some of the big names that are outside the top-25: Andre Johnson (26th at 13.9), Pierre Garcon (27th at 13.9), Larry Fitzgerald (31st at 13.5) and Josh Gordon (32nd, 13.4).

TIGHT END

Here's a shocker. Jeff Cumberland comes in 9th in fantasy points (44.3). Still, that's barely 11 points a game which isn't exactly a killing. Delanie Walker posted 39.8 points, 11th at the position. Those two guys could be, wait likely are, on the waiver-wire in your league.

Downers --- Jared Cook, roundly pushed as a TE1 by everyone this preseason, is being underutilized by the Rams just like Titans used to do. He's 24th in points the past month. No idea what the Vikings are doing with Kyle Rudolph. It's been worse this year than last. He's 20th in points the last four weeks.

The past month there are 18 tight ends averaging double-digit points. Of that group only eight have played four games. Six others have played three games meaning that four have played two or one game (Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed, Owen Daniels and Kellen Winslow). There are eight tight ends who are averaging 14.9 or more points the past four weeks. Last season only three tight ends averaged that many points over the course of the season (Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez).

WHEN IS A TOP-30 PLAYER NOT REALLY A GOOD PLAY?

As of right now Andre Ellington is the 24th runner in a PPR setup. That means he's an RB2 in PPR if you're in a 12 team league. Should you fell comfortable starting him? How could you with the following point totals per game: 2.3, 14,2, 8.5, 8.1, 12.3, 20.2 and 3.3. He's played seven games and only reached nine points twice. That's awful. Let's move on from the fantasy points to real world production. Ellington doesn't have one game this season of eight carries. None. He's rushed for 30 yards in a game twice in seven chances. Awful. He's caught more than three passes twice in seven games. He's picked up 40 yards receiving in one game. Overall he has one rushing score and one receiving score. Add that all up and he's a RB2 which is flat out shocking. I know the numbers say you should be starting Ellington, but there's no way I would feel comfortable starting him even as a flex option. Look at some of the names below him, who I would start every week over him, that have fewer fantasy points this season: DeAngelo Williams. Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy, Darren McFadden, Stevan Ridley, Maurice Jones-Drew and C.J. Spiller.

This situation points out the sad state of running backs at the moment. There's just no consistency right now at the position be it because of injury or coaches decisions on usage. It's why drafting hard and heavy at the running back spot is so important – you need depth and options to counteract the craziness.

At wideout let's take the case of Anquan Boldin. The Niners wideout checks in as the #21 wide receiver with 95.5 points on the season. Unfortunately 39.8 of those points game in Week 1 and 20 game in Week 4. That means in his other five games he's produced 35.7 points which is an average of 7.5 points a games. Look at Eddie Royal who has followed the same pattern. Royal had 17.4 points in Week 1, 34.0 in Week 2 and 16.9 in Week 7. The four games in between he failed to reach 7.5 points in a contest and he averaged 4.7 points in those four games. He comes in at 25th at the wide receiver position in fantasy points.

Consistency matters so don't be unduly swayed by a players overall fantasy point total given the fact that there is a very real possibility that the players overall point total is misleading.

Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT & Friday's at 9 PM EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answers everyone's questions.