NFL Week 5 Fantasy Football Mailbag: Alvin Kamara Drama; DeAndre Hopkins, Gabe Davis Trade, More
Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Alvin Kamara.
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Fantasy Commissioner Question
Alvin Kamara London Drama
Dave asks via email: “Hey Samantha, I’m the commissioner of my league and the Alvin Kamara owner messaged me mid-game that he just saw the news and asked me if he could change his lineup. I said no, but that manager has not let it go and is creating drama within the league. Did I make the right call?”
Samantha: Some decisions as a commissioner are hard. This one should be easy.
You are 100% in the right to not allow the Kamara manager to change his lineup after the game started. As someone who lives in the Mountain Time Zone, believe me, I empathize with the aversion to waking up super early to watch London games. And as a Kamara manager, I also empathize with the frustration associated with a last-minute fire drill.
That said, it’s not as though the schedule suddenly changed (i.e., we knew there were going to be London games) and Kamara was technically questionable heading into Sunday having missed the week prior.
There is a reasonable expectation one would at least set an alarm to double check lineups before the game. Heck, many managers like myself wake up at the wee hours of the morning on Wednesdays to check who is available in free agency after waivers are processed.
Fantasy football isn’t "Miss Congeniality" and many people have real money on the line. I would be livid if my commissioner allowed the Kamara manager to make that change AFTER the game started. Sleeping in is for the Sacko ("The League" reference).
Fantasy Stock Questions
Sell High On Miles Sanders?
@Scott_Fontana asks via Twitter: “You think it's better to hold or deal Miles Sanders? Feel worried it can only go downhill from here. I'm stable at RB without him.”
Samantha: I think it depends on what you can get for him in a deal.
In spite of offseason concerns about Sanders’ health, his usage has been very strong thus far. His snap count percentages have gone up with each game — 52%, 53%, 59% and 67% — and his fantasy production has been solid as well.
He has yet to see fewer than 15 touches in a game and had a whopping 29 touches for 156 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in Week 4. If you can sell high based on that, I don’t have any issue with it because I agree that this volume may not be sustainable – especially since you say you’re stable at RB without him and Sanders has dealt with injuries in the past.
The case for keeping him is that he doesn’t seem to have major competition (Kenneth Gainwell being the most significant) and I think the 4-0 Eagles will find themselves in plenty of positive game scripts this season which favor the run. It helps that their offensive line has been extremely solid (probably top 3), which will aid Sanders’ efficiency and longevity.
Thoughts on Terry McLaurin the Rest of the Season?
@schwindtD asks via Twitter: “At what ranking will F1 [Terry McLaurin] finish the season in?”
Samantha: If I had to guess, somewhere in the WR25-WR30 range. He posted his first dud of the season last week with two catches for 15 yards against the Cowboys. Prior to that, he had at least ten fantasy points in each of the first three games of the year.
I like McLaurin, but with Curtis Samuel, Jahan Dotson, Logan Thomas, J.D. McKissic and Antonio Gibson siphoning away targets, his upside could be capped. Dotson and Samuel have been the most surprising this year and either one could usurp McLaurin as the No. 1 target. He should be treated as a low-end WR2 in the right matchups.
George Pickens Over Mike Boone?
@FFBPH asks via Twitter: “What's your take on [George] Pickens? Enough volume to merit the No. 1 waiver [claim]? I'm not sure if I'm sold on [Mike] Boone.”
Samantha: I am much higher on Pickens than Boone.
Pickens made it into last week’s waiver wire article after his highlight-reel catch on Thursday against the Browns. You have even more reason to pick him up now on the heels of his 102-receiving yard breakout game, which was due in part to the Steelers’ quarterback switch from Mitch Trubisky to Kenny Pickett.
Pickens was a great draft pick by Pittsburgh and he now offers even more upside with Pickett under center. The Georgia product is a star in the making, though I must note the Steelers’ upcoming schedule is brutal, so Pickens may be more of a bench stash as opposed to an immediate play.
As for Boone, you should absolutely save your money/top claim following the news of Denver acquiring Latavius Murray from the Saints' practice squad.
Per Broncos insider Benjamin Allbright, the expectation is for Boone and Melvin Gordon to split carries on the short week for Thursday Night Football against the Colts given Gordon's ball security issues. Allbright expects it to be a split between Murray and Gordon — with Boone as the RB3 — after that, however.
Boone is a pass for me except in deeper leagues.
Fantasy Trade Questions
Traded DeAndre Hopkins for Gabe Davis?
@will_I_aM505 asks via Twitter: “Just traded away [DeAndre Hopkins] for Gabe Davis? Good or bad trade?”
Samantha: Frankly, I'm not a huge fan of this trade.
Davis has looked off since his ankle injury. He caught just one target for 13 yards last week against the Ravens and made three catches for 37 yards Week 3 in Miami. I think he will bounce back and be the Bills’ WR2 behind Diggs, though when that happens feels TBD.
Hopkins could definitely be the Cardinals’ WR2, if not WR1 once he returns from suspension. This is a pretty sweet prospect given how much Kyler Murray has been chucking the ball — he leads the NFL with 173 pass attempts.
Hopkins scored eight touchdowns over 10 games last season, though he is on the wrong side of 30 and will have more competition than in previous years with Marquise Brown on the roster.
Overall, it feels like you are trading away more upside than you are receiving, but it's not a wildly lopsided deal either.
Fantasy Start/Sit Questions
Start Four Of My Six Receivers
@tjulian1023 asks via Twitter: “Start four in half PPR: Chris Godwin vs. ATL, Christian Kirk vs. HOU, Adam Thielen vs. CHI, Brandin Cooks at JAX, Drake London at TB, or D.J. Moore vs. SF?”
Samantha: Kirk and Godwin are the obvious starts for me.
Kirk is coming off of his worst game, scoring just seven fantasy points in half PPR. Otherwise, he has been phenomenal and has yet to see fewer than six targets in a contest. This is a great bounce-back spot against the Texans. Kirk should be considered a locked-in WR2 with WR1 upside.
I had some hesitation about Godwin coming back from injury with the thought that the Buccaneers could use him as a decoy. He actually tied Mike Evans for a team-high 10 targets and caught seven passes for 59 yards while Julio Jones and Russell Gage were barely involved.
Godwin should be considered a low-end WR2 moving forward, especially in positive matchups like this one against the Falcons, whose defense has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to the wide receiver position.
Cooks is my next vote. He had a couple of rough weeks in tougher matchups but bounced back with a WR14 finish against the Chargers. He has another nice matchup against the Jaguars and is a low-end WR2 as well.
To me, the difficult decision comes down to Thielen vs. London.
Up until Week 4, London, the higher upside play, had been making a legitimate bid for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He struggled against the Browns and could struggle again with the Buccaneers — especially in light of the Falcons’ conservative passing approach. Thielen feels like the safer play, though he faces the Bears this week, who have been the third-toughest team against receivers.
I’ve moved on from Moore right now, as sad as it is to say, but until the Panthers get some competent QB play (which may not happen this year), he is a sit for me.
This is all to say that I would probably roll with Kirk, Godwin, Cooks and London.