clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fantasy Football Forum - Week 3: Backfield Issues

New, comments

Your place for all things fantasy football

Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos
Is Phillip Lindsay really a thing?
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The part about fantasy football that is either the most fun or the most perplexing is the volatility from year to year. We examine everything we possibly can from the summer. We wade through all the “this player is in the best shape of their life” stories, speculate on target shares, number of carries, and developmental leaps. This guy is too old, that guy is too raw, etc. etc. etc.

Then we get to the games and we start to see how players fit into their offenses. Let’s take Saquon Barkley for example. I had an admittedly lower-than-industry-average ranking on Barkley because I was terrified of his team context. I didn’t think the Giants would have the lead very often, their offensive line worried me, and I didn’t know what to expect out of a QB who looked very much toast in 2017. So far, the team context has been about what I’d expect it to be, and while Barkley has looked dynamic, there’s only so much you can do when you get hit behind the line of scrimmage. His pass catching stats will likely keep him viable if the running game isn’t there, so in the end, it may all be okay.

Speaking of running backs in the passing game, week 2 was the week of the check down and we have an enormous number of backs on pace to shatter the record for most catches in a season by a running back. Christian McCaffrey, Chris Thompson, Barkley, Alvin Kamara, and Melvin Gordon already have at least 15 grabs. If you’re in a PPR league or even a 0.5 PPR league, this is a huge boon to these type of backs. Four of those five listed were premium picks - but Thompson could be found late in drafts. Who are some other names to think about that might be on the wire?

  • Theo Riddick of the Lions has 14 catches already and if the Lions first two games are any indication, he should have a significant role going forward.
  • James White of the Patriots is not much of a factor in the run game and if Sony Michel can hit his stride, White could see his passing game role limited further. Still, he’s worth a desperation play when you need it - particularly if you think the Patriots will be trailing.
  • Javorius Allen of the Ravens has been cutting into Alex Collins’ role in that offense to the point of challenging for most valuable back in that offense. Not my favorite offense to get a piece of but worth a look in games where you believe the Ravens will trail.
  • Austin Ekeler of the Chargers is getting to the point where he’s not just a must-own handcuff for Melvin Gordon owners but useful in his own right. Part of the target share increase for running backs on this team may be due to the absence of Hunter Henry, and it’s a good offense to get a piece of if you still can.

The last name I’ll mention is Phillip Lindsay. I seem to have a tortured relationship with the Broncos backfield as for years I would roster the wrong back. I picked up one share of Lindsay after his impressive debut and he’ll start for that fake team this weekend. I caught the end of the Broncos / Raiders tilt and Lindsay looked more impressive than fellow rookie Royce Freeman. Lindsay has earned 6 more carries than Freeman but is clearly the preferred back in the passing game. The Broncos say they are going to continue to ride the hot hand so maybe this continues to be a timeshare backfield, but maybe he can separate himself. Stranger things have happened. If nothing else, Lindsay should be good trade bait for the Freeman owner.

Your turn - what are you grappling with this weekend? Anyone have any fun trades that they’ve executed that they’d like to share with the class?