By: Dave Stewart (Twitter: @DaveFantasy)
We have all been there before. You’ve just completed your fantasy football draft and you feel heroic. You completely outfoxed the other managers in your league and hit a home run in virtually every round of the draft. It is a feeling that cannot be beaten. Unfortunately, for many of us, it is also a feeling that does not last. Not every pick was, in fact, a home run. You took swings, but you had some misses. Now, we are eight weeks deep into the fantasy season and playoff appearances are on the line. What do we do with the underachievers? Can we be sure they will not continue to disappoint? Can we be sure that they will? It’s time for some help and I want to discuss a few of these players in order to give you insight in what your next move should be.
Let’s start with Ezekiel Elliott. Chances are Zeke was a top 5 overall pick in your PPR redraft league this year. It made complete sense. He is one of the most talented and complete running backs in the NFL, posing a threat with his legs, of course, but also doing damage as a pass-catcher. I do not think you’d find many naysayers if you were to assert that Zeke’s early career resembles that of a future Hall of Famer. Yet, circumstances have led us here. Dak Prescott was on an all-time record-breaking pace in nearly every measurable passing category. Then, he broke his ankle in cringeworthy fashion in week 5 against the New York Giants. Andy Dalton came in and looked competent, helping the Cowboys earn a victory. In the five games that Prescott started, Elliott was no lower than 13th in fantasy points among running backs. In fact, twice he was fourth overall. But, then Dalton started and played poorly. Ben DiNucci took a turn and was not any better. This week, we still are not sure who the Cowboys will start at quarterback.
Without Prescott, Elliot has been unable to stay in the Top-20 in fantasy points scored. Twice he has been outside the Top-30.
Without Prescott, Elliot has been unable to stay in the Top-20 in fantasy points scored. Twice he has been outside the Top-30.Tweet
It isn’t going to get better when he faces the Pittsburgh Steelers. I read an article today quoting Steeler players discussing their focus would be on stopping Elliott. It is an absolutely damning indictment of a team’s passing attack when their upcoming opponent will tell the media that they are not even concerned that passing will be effective. You should try and acquire a fortune for Elliott.
Sticking with running backs–Kenyan Drake has been quite a letdown this year. Despite being drafted in the second round of most drafts, Drake has failed to live up to expectations. Kenyan Drake is currently ranked #23 among RBs in 2020.
Drake has been outplayed, at times, by Chase Edmonds. Coming off a bye week, the team appears set to feature Edmonds, as Drake is unavailable due to an ankle injury. If you were astute enough to have backed up your selection of Drake with Edmonds, in a later round, this is the time you’ve prepared for. Start Edmonds with confidence and be cautious regarding Drake, for the remainder of the season. Though he will recover from his injury, he may not recover his starting role. That why is Drake should be abandoned at this point.
Melvin Gordon was drafted as RB20, signaling that he was expected to bring up the rear of the starting running backs. Currently, he stands just outside that circle, looking up at players like Darrell Henderson and Myles Gaskin, who were not drafted in most leagues.
When the volume is there, he can produce. But, Vic Fangio and the Denver Broncos are almost as murky as the San Francisco 49ers when it comes to how they use their backs. Phillip Lindsay also has one game with more than 20 carries. He too topped 100 yards in that game. It is not a matter of whether or not Gordon can produce. It is merely a matter of whether or not he will be given the opportunity. Scan the offers for Gordon, but make the right decision.