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Filling in for the great FSWA finalist, Mark Strausberg, to write the Week 6 Fantasy Stock Watch. Check out his great work on the site.

Thank god, most of the diva Football players in 2016 are wide receivers and not running backs in 2016.

Only five running backs had over 21 carries in week 5.

While it is a pass happy league, I feel the philosophy in the NFL has changed as coaches have learned how running backs were used in the early 2000s. Take Larry Johnson for example. Not only one of my favorite Madden players to use, but between during the 2005 and 2006 seasons, he carried the ball 336 and 416 times, respectively, and scored a total of 47 TDs. After the record breaking 2006 year in which he carried the ball 416 times, he only lasted three more seasons and never carried the ball more than 193 times.

This week was filled with this kind of philosophy, that is for sure. Fantasy running backs this season are very hard to come by due to the fact that only a select few are guaranteed 20-plus touches in a given week. Well, since this whole introduction has been quite negative thus far, lets keep it rolling!

Week 6 Fantasy Stock Watch

Dropping: Players Whose Stock is Falling

Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans

 

Game flow, tough matchup, Bill O’Brien was versing Lamar Miller in Fantasy? Thoughts from every Miller owner following the loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Well, maybe it’s just me who thought about that third statement following the loss. I understand the Houston Texans were in a hole early, but nine touches for Miller?

His snap count dipped a bit as well, totaling 42 plays on the field in Week 5. He averaged a little over 54 snaps per game through his first four games. Alfred Blue has had quite the spike in snaps over the past two weeks, cutting into Miller’s playing time. In Week 4 and 5, he had 13 and 21 snaps, respectively. Lamar was carrying the ball at an unsustainable pace to start the season, but owners don’t want their top running back getting nine touches.

I would say chalk this one up to game flow and to the Vikings defense looking absolutely legit. Miller won’t have nine touches again but he won’t have 32 like he did in Week 1 either. As long as he is sitting around 20-25 touches a game, which I think he will, this is the time to buy, buy, buy. What Miller also has going for him is that there is no one behind him who scares you of a split, unlike…

Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets

14 total touches for Matt Forte this past weekend. His rushing attempts have decreased since Week 2, while the Jets have only increased Bilal Powell’s usage. Over the last two weeks, this team is looking like they are moving towards a split between Powell and Forte. Powell’s snap count the last two weeks should make Forte owners cringe. Powell had 37 snaps in Week 4 and 27 in Week 5. Forte’s statistics have looked very similar to that of Lamar Miller.

                      Lamar Miller                                                               Matt Forte 

Week  Touches Total Yards  Snaps  Touches  Total Yards  Snaps 
1 32 117 60 27 155 54
2 27 97 52 32 109 61
3 25 107 54 17 64 41
4 22 108 51 16 43 34
5 9 24 42 14 60 37

 

New York Jets Head Coach Todd Boyles has made an effort over the last three weeks to get Powell more involved. I would really try to sell Forte now. He is not getting any younger and he is in a possible timeshare. Yes, I am trying to ship him elsewhere.

LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots

No, I did not mistakenly put him on this list. Blount did plunge his way into the endzone on Sunday, so good for him. The negatives were his 18 carries for only 37 yards, good for 2.1 yards per attempt. If you didn’t hear, Tom Brady is back and looks to be in midseason form right out of the gate. This game was over pretty early and the Patriots were not holding back whatsoever. They may very well be in for another “screw the league” 2007 season, where they continue to run up the score. James White, the passing down back, actually out snapped Blount in this game with 38 compared to Blount’s 31 snaps.

One drive really stuck out while watching this game. The drive before Jimmy Garoppolo came into the game early in the fourth, up 30-13. Take a look at the drive log below.

  • Tom Brady to Martellus Bennett
  • Tom Brady to Danny Amendola
  • Tom Brady to Martellus Bennett
  • LeGarrette Blount run
  • Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski
  • James White run
  • Tom Brady run (No that’s not a typo)
  • Legarrette Blount run
  • Tom Brady incomplete pass
  • Tom Brady to James White

#ScrewGOODELL all over again. Six passes and four runs on that drive. Two of those runs came from Brady and White. Not sure if you will be able to sell Blount based on value. He may be a hold here, unless you can find a die-hard Pats fan.

 

Popping: Players Whose Stock is Rising

Sammie Coates, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

 

That Steelers offense is something else man. Ben Roethlisberger found Coates six times for 139 yards on 11 targets and two touchdowns. Fun fact, every game this season he has had at least one catch of over 41 yards or more. Coates wasn’t messing around, in turn, hauling in his first catch on the Steelers opening drive for 72 yards and a score.

He has filled in nicely in place of deep threat Martavis Bryant.

He has had 19 targets over the last two weeks, which is a great sign that Roethlisberger trusts Coates. 12 catches over the last two games in this high powered offense makes him an obvious add, if he is still available. Lots of praise for this kid but I would think about selling here. If you could possibly get a panicked owner to sell Julian Edelman or possibly Jordan Matthews for Coates, you have to pull the trigger.

Martellus Bennett, TE, New England Patriots

Six catches on eight targets for 67 yards and three touchdowns for the big fella. Those are the numbers that you usually see from Gronkowski. Both tight ends are going to be absolute matchup nightmares in the redzone. It didn’t take long for Brady to get used to his new weapon, that’s for certain.

With all of the weapons that the Patriots have to offer, you may see some games where Bennett goes for 30 yards and is blocking on half of their plays, but could score two touchdowns. The positive for Bennett is that this offense has shown that they can support multiple weapons.

Gronkowski’s best season in the league was in 2011, which also happened to be former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez’s best season. That season, Gronk caught 90 balls for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns. Just ridiculous. Aaron Hernandez had himself a nice season as well, hauling in 79 catches for 910 yards and seven touchdowns. You could say, “oh well, what about Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola?!” That season, Wes Welker caught 122 balls and Deion Branch caught 90. This offense is built very similar to the one in 2011. Tight end is one of the more inconsistent positions this season, so I would hold onto Bennett and see how it goes.

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