Last Second Decisions: Travis Kelce or Jimmy Graham?

Travis Kelce or Jimmy Graham?">

On Sunday morning, fantasy owners will inevitably struggle through decisions of which similarly priced players to start. Let fantasy expert Ricky Sanders guide you through five difficult decisions many will be dealing with heading into Week 6:

QB – Carson Palmer/Tyrod Taylor – Neither Carson Palmer nor Tyrod Taylor are priced correctly this week on FantasyDraft so both offer tremendous value in starting them. Taylor will square off against a 49ers team whose offense ranks 30th in time of possession. In other words, their defense averages more time on the field than all but two teams in the NFL and Coach Chip Kelly’s offense actually ranked last in the category in 2015. Basically, the team could even drop further in terms of time of possession so Taylor and the Bills offense should be projected to be on the field quite often. Given the additionally opportunity, Taylor should fare quite well considering he has not dipped below 15 fantasy points over the past four weeks. On the other hand, Palmer may be $2,000-plus underpriced in a tilt against a Jets defense that has been roasted all season long; they have allowed the fourth most fantasy points to opposing QBs including a whopping 1,599 passing yards allowed (third most) and 12 passing TDs (fourth most). As enticing as Taylor’s price tag looks, Palmer’s projects even better per dollar against a defense he should torch for three-plus TDs. Verdict: Carson Palmer

RB – LeSean McCoy/Lamar Miller – For all the same reasons as Taylor, LeSean McCoy is an appealing against the 49ers defense. Not only will his offense be on the field a ton but he is a true workhorse back averaging the fifth most fantasy points per game (20.64) at the position. So far this season, Fozzy Whittaker, Christine Michael, Ezekiel Elliott and David Johnson have all rushed for 100-plus yards against the 49ers. Coincidentally, they have accomplished the feat in four consecutive weeks against this defense. Meanwhile, only four backs have received more carries this year than Lamar Miller and yet he only ranks 10th in rushing yards and 26th in terms of yards per carry (3.7). Both Miller and the Texans offense as a whole has struggled to this point as they have averaged the fewest points per game (16.4) of any team in the league. His opponent, the Colts, have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing backs. Most notably, they have allowed the third most receiving yards (313) and most receiving TDs (three) to the position. Miller excels in the passing game when given the opportunity as evident by his 14 catches on 17 targets this year. His situation is not too different from Jordan Howard’s as his team’s respective bell cow and Howard is coming off a week of gashing this Colts defense for 28-plus fantasy points. Even so, the results have not been there to this point and that is enough to concede using him for the absolute stud of the week. Verdict: LeSean McCoy

WR – Jarvis Landry/Jordan MatthewsAccording to Pro Football Focus, Kendall Fuller covers the opposing slot receiver 98-percent of the time and he has graded as a top 25 overall cornerback so far this season. While Jordan Matthews will avoid the dreaded matchup against Josh Norman, his task will not be easy. Even so, Vegas implies the Eagles will score 23.5 points as road favorites and Carson Wentz relies heavily on Matthews on his top target. To this point, Matthews has either reached 65 yards receiving or scored a TD in every game, so I like referring to him as the 2016 version of Eric Decker. One guy who has failed to reach that plateau was Jarvis Landry in Week 5 as he was only targeted three times. He went on to catch all three of those targets for a measly 28 yards and 6.00 fantasy points. Do not fear because he had been targeted 10-plus times in every game beforehand and had caught at least seven passes as well. In contrast to Matthews, Landry draws the most advantageous individual matchup of the week against the Steelers’ Sean Davis, per Pro Football Focus. Do you want to use the player facing an upper-echelon talent at the position or a player who has graded in the bottom 10? It’s an easy decision. Verdict: Jarvis Landry

WR – John Brown/Cole Beasley – Assuming Carson Palmer is destined for a huge Week 6, and we have already determined this to be the case, someone(s) is going to have to be on the receiving end. Prior to a Week 5 dud (2.10 fantasy points), John Brown had been targeted 11-plus times in two consecutive games. Since Drew Stanton started at QB for the team in Week 5, his presence (or the lack of Palmer’s presence more accurately) quite clearly changed the game plan. With Palmer back under center, look for him to continuously target Brown who has emerged as the clear number two option in the passing game behind Larry Fitzgerald. The allure of Cole Beasley is due to the matchup against a Packers team that has completely negated opponents’ running games thus far. They have allowed a miniscule 2.0 yards per carry but their secondary has allowed the sixth most fantasy points to opposing WRs. If Ezekiel Elliott’s effectiveness is limited by this stout front seven, Dak Prescott will be forced to throw more than usual. An uptick in his attempts should lead to an uptick in targets for his favorite move-the-chains option: Cole Beasley. Amazingly, Beasley has managed at least 10.30 fantasy points in every game this season so he is clearly the option with the higher floor. However, it is difficult to overlook a player potentially seeing double-digit targets against one of the league’s worst secondaries. As icing on the cake, the Cardinals are implied to score 26.8 points to the Cowboys’ 21.5. Verdict: John Brown

TE – Travis Kelce/Jimmy GrahamNo team has allowed more passing yards per game this season than the Raiders and they have done so by a hefty 28 yards per contest. Even Coach Andy Reid is going to have to take notice of this trend and look to exploit one of the most susceptible secondaries in the league. Furthermore, the Raiders have allowed an average of 73.7 yards receiving to opposing TEs and rank 24th in Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) statistic against the position. At the same exact price, Jimmy Graham is coming off two consecutive 100-plus yard outings and his team will square off against a Falcons team that has allowed the third most fantasy points to the position. The number that jumps off the page is their five TDs allowed to the position (second most) already. In 2015, Russell Wilson produced a 112.4 QB rating at home compared to just 107.7 on the road although those splits have not carried over into this season so far. The trend that has carried over is his early struggles which evaporated over time in 2015 as well. Seattle is coming off a bye week which definitely should have helped his ailing ankle heal and that can only signify positive things ahead for the Seahawks offense. While both guys are in great spots, Graham’s is slightly better. Verdict: Jimmy Graham

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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