Fantasy Football

Today’s Pigskin Roundtable: Fantasy Football edition

(Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

This week on the Today’s Pigskin writers roundtable, we delve in the wide world of fantasy football. Our talented writers delve into topics such as Trevor Siemian’s viability as a bye week replacement, and which Atlanta Falcons running back is a better fantasy value. Without further ado, let’s take a look at this weeks writer’s roundtable.

If there was a fantasy draft held today, who would be your the first pick?

Adam Zdroik: I’m still rolling with Antonio Brown as my No. 1, but since that’s obvious, I’ll also say that David Johnson belongs up there. Those are the only two that deserve a look.

Wes Anderson: For all the zero-RB talk that took place this preseason, it is interesting that after three weeks of NFL action eight of the top-10 non-quarterback fantasy scorers are ball carriers. Right at the top of the scoring is the Cardinals’ David Johnson.

Besides scoring the most fantasy points at the running back position, there is little threat that will stand in his way to being able to keep up his current pace. On Sunday he was on the field for 96% of Arizona’s offensive plays. While the Steelers’ Antonio Brown still would be a fine choice, David Johnson would be my top pick if fantasy drafts were taking place today.

Dave Holcomb: My No. 1 pick hasn’t changed, as it would still be wide receiver Antonio Brown. He leads the league in receptions (24) targets (40) and is fourth in yards (305). If anything, he further cemented himself as my No. 1 in Pittsburgh’s stinker at Philadelphia because even on a day his offense did close to nothing, he scored double-digit fantasy points in standard leagues.

Marcus Mosher: David Johnson. Through three weeks, we’ve already seen numerous running backs go down for an extended period of time. Johnson on the other hand, seems to be getting better and better with each touch. Johnson is handling over 90 percent of the workload for the Cardinals and has already scored three times in three weeks. He’s on a great offense and is uber-talented. This is a no-brainer.

Who is the better choice to start from ATL’s backfield: Freeman or Coleman?

Adam Zdroik: Coleman appears to be the goal-line back so gotta go with him. He’s also being used more as a receiver, even if Freeman looks better at times.

Wes Anderson: At first look it seems like Tevin Coleman is the no brainer. Coleman has outscored Freeman thus far in 2016. But a closer look suggests that Freeman still may be the back to own. Through three weeks, Freeman has out-snapped Coleman. He has been in on 19 more of the Falcons’ offensive plays so far this season.

But before you go all-in Freeman understand that the game film suggests that both have a pretty equal share in the offense. And even worse they do not have any sort of defined roles. The Falcons’ offense just does what it does regardless of which ball carrier is in the backfield. Making it very unpredictable when choosing which will have the better game each Sunday.

Dave Holcomb: That’s a really tough question. I really underestimated the emergence of Tevin Coleman and how much that would change Freeman’s value. But at the same time, I would still rather have Freeman because he is clearly the more talented back. On Monday night, he averaged 10.9 yards per rush whereas Coleman gained 3.5 yards per carry. And through three games, Freeman is still averaging 17.0 touches per game. Coleman is getting 14.0 touches per week.

It’s tough seeing Coleman get most of the goal-line work and the rushing touchdowns, but fantasy value based on finding the end zone isn’t as easily sustained, and if anything, Coleman’s emergence could help Freeman in the long run because he will be fresher for the championship run in December.

Marcus Mosher: The answer may be neither, but Coleman has the higher upside. He’s the goal line back and he’s the home-run hitter in that offense. He’s a great receiver, which makes me think that they won’t want him to come off the field.

Is Trevor Siemian a viable bye week pickup for Carson Wentz or Aaron Rodgers?

Adam Zdroik:I mean, I hope no one has Wentz as their No. 1… 

Siemian comes with a lot of risk, obviously, but I think he has another good game in Week 4. The Bucs’ pass defense looks atrocious, but they are still solid against the run. That should lead to 2-3 more TDs for Siemian as long as Jameis Winston doesn’t give the game away early.

Wes Anderson: The Broncos’ signal caller has scored more fantasy points than the Chargers’ Philip Rivers and the Cardinals’ Carson Palmer this season. But most of the damage came courtesy of his 312 yard and four touchdown performance in Week 3.

Despite the risk that Week 3 was a fluke, Siemian’s Week 4 opponent plays right into the hands of the Denver quarterback. The Buccaneers are a classic funnel defense. They are allowing just 3.5 yards per rush yet they are giving up 272 passing yards per game in 2016. With few options available to fill in for Wentz or Rodgers, give Siemian a shot this Sunday.

Dave Holcomb: Yes, I believe he is. Coming off the top performance at quarterback in Week 3, Siemian gets the Buccaneers defense, who has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing signal callers. Consider him a QB1 in 12-team leagues this Sunday.

Marcus Mosher: Sure. The Broncos play the Buccaneers who just gave up 32 points to Case Keenum and the Los Angeles Rams. The Broncos have good receivers and Simian seems to be growing each week in his willingness to throw the ball downfield. The Broncos also have a lot of talent on offense and Thomas and Sanders have recently complained about not getting the ball enough. Look for them to get fed on Sunday versus Tampa Bay. 

One player owners should try to sell high after Week 3 and why:

(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

Adam Zdroik: LeGarrette Blount. He has been great, but will the Patriots run this much with Tom Brady? No. Also, look at his late-season schedule starting in Week 10: vs. SEA, at SF, at NYJ, vs. LA, vs. BAL, at DEN, vs. NYJ. Going against two of the best run defenses in the league during the fantasy playoffs is a recipe for 50 pass attempts for Brady.

Wes Anderson: Three weeks into the NFL season and the Falcons’ Matt Ryan trails just the Saints’ Drew Brees in total fantasy points. Despite the great start, Ryan is the player fantasy owners should try to sell high on. His fantasy value will not be any higher than it is right now and anytime you can trade a quarterback for a good return, you have to move on it.

Despite being the second highest scoring player through three weeks, he has seen his weekly ranking fall each week. He has gone from QB-2 to QB-6 to QB-8. And his schedule is about to get brutally tough. In the next three weeks, he plays the Panthers, Broncos and then the Seahawks, with the last two on the road.  

Dave Holcomb: I would sell high on Terrelle Pryor. Remember, for the most part, owners want to have players from good offenses. Browns players might be able to give the occasion nice performance solely based upon their volume of attempts, but come fantasy playoff time in December, when Cleveland is out of it, I don’t believe owners can count on Browns players for production. Coming off a huge week, sell high on the college quarterback. 

Marcus Mosher: Latavius Murray. He’s currently a top 20 running back despite not totaling more than 60 rushing yards in any game this season. However, he’s scored a touchdown in every game, but he’s losing his workload each and every week. If you can sell him for a running back who is guaranteed to see more touches, I would do it in a heartbeat. His value will probably never be higher after three straight weeks of double-digit scoring. Now is your time to sell high on him.  

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