Last Second Decisions: LeGarrette Blount or Kenneth Farrow?

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 dealing with heading into Week 15:

QB – Tyrod Taylor/Colin Kaepernick – As per usual, both dual-threat QBs are worthy of cash game consideration this week due to their solidified floors. The question remains which of the duo is the superior option and it is reasonably close once again. Tyrod Taylor draws an elite matchup against the only defense that ranks in the bottom two of Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) metric against both the pass and run. Even in the snow last week, Taylor managed to throw two TD passes and finished with a respectable 16.32 fantasy points despite rushing for just two yards on three attempts. Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick is also coming off a relatively quiet afternoon in the rushing department as he only took off and ran three times against the Jets for a total of 23 yards. This week’s opponent, the Falcons, have allowed 155 yards rushing and a TD to opposing QBs. Most importantly, Atlanta’s defense has struggled to keep opponents off the scoreboard this year as the average score of a Falcons game so far is 32.9-26.5. If the 49ers are going to get anywhere near 26.5 points (Vegas only implies they will score 18.5 points), Kaepernick will certainly have his hand in it. Nevertheless, Taylor’s matchup is too fantastic to overlook, especially for a player who leads the position in terms of both rushing yards (457) and rushing TDs (six). He is the much safer option due to being the superior passer but both are excellent play. If forced to choose just one, Taylor gets the nod by a hair. Verdict: Tyrod Taylor

RB – LeGarrette Blount/Kenneth Farrow – On the Thursday night slate, Kenneth Farrow garnered a hefty 30-ish percent ownership in cash games due to the likely absence of Melvin Gordon. Sans the team’s workhorse, they really only have Farrow and Ronnie Hillman available to shoulder the entire load. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Michael Gehlken, the team will likely use a “platoon” of the two backs along with the occasional sprinkle of Andre Williams (if called up from the practice squad). Coach Mike McCoy said Farrow “has done a nice job this week so far” on Saturday which seems to imply he feels comfortable relying upon the 23 year old. The matchup sets up rather nicely for him as well as the Raiders only rank 26th in DVOA against the run. However, Farrow looked mediocre in a difficult matchup against the Panthers last week so it is impossible to fully know what to expect. On the other hand, LeGarrette Blount has been a staple of consistency for the Patriots this year as he has only failed to either rushing for 100 yards or score a TD twice this year. With the team facing the NFL’s best passing defense (Broncos), the Patriots have no choice but to try and pound the football. Additionally, the Broncos rank 25th in rushing DVOA so it is the weak spot in the defense. Instead of relying upon the unknown, why not go back to the well of a true workhorse in an elite offense? Verdict: LeGarrette Blount

WR – Demaryius Thomas/Michael CrabtreeBoth players are in fantastic spots this because the starting receiver opposite of them draws a matchup against the other team’s most imposing starting corner. Amari Cooper will be dealing with dominant corner Casey Hayward (Pro Football Focus’ (PFF) fourth graded corner) and Emmanuel Sanders will do battle against Malcolm Butler (PFF’s fifth graded corner). This leaves Demaryius Thomas and Michael Crabtree in matchups against more beatable alternatives. Each of the two have received at least 23.2-percent of their team’s respective targets and 23.2-percent of their team’s red zone targets. Over the last four weeks, only Odell Beckham Jr. and Julian Edelman have been targeted on a higher percentage of their team’s targets than Thomas (31.5-percent). With Trevor Siemian looking his way at such a ridiculous rate, there is no reason to fade him in a game where his offense will be forced to score to compete with the Patriots. Verdict: Demaryius Thomas

WR – Jordan Matthews/Jamison CrowderAfter comparing two outside receivers, the natural progression was to discuss two slot receivers in the following tidbit. According to PFF, Jamison Crowder draws one of the top three most favorable individual matchups of the week against Leonard Johnson while Jordan Matthews has a substantial talent advantage on Jerraud Powers as well. Coincidentally, they cost the exact same amount so this is quite literally the definition of comparing apples to apples. Similarly to the last WR duo, these two rate very similarly in terms of target share: Matthews has been targeted 19.0-perent of the time over the course of the last four weeks and Crowder has been targeted 18.8-percent of the time. The clear differentiating factor is the 28.5 point implied total (second highest on the slate) for the Redskins versus just 17.8 for the Eagles (third lowest on the slate). With more offensive production to go around, Crowder has the higher likelihood for success. Both are solid plays and should see plenty of volume but Crowder is the player I have projected for slightly more fantasy points. Verdict: Jamison Crowder

TE – Kyle Rudolph/Ladarius Green – With the Colts ranking dead last in DVOA against opposing TEs, it is easy to understand the allure of Kyle Rudolph this week. Not only is Rudolph tied for the most TDs at the position (six) this season but he has been targeted at least eight times in three straight games. If looking for a safe floor, it is difficult to make a case against the Vikings’ top red zone target. Even so, Ladarius Green is just oozing with upside against a Bengals defense that has allowed the third most fantasy points to the position. If there is a player at the position other than Travis Kelce who can pop off for 100-plus yards on any given week, he fits the bill. With 4.53 40-yard dash speed, Green topped 100 yards in just his fourth game with the Steelers earlier this year before falling victim to a blizzard in Week 14. With the masses having forgot about his massive upside, he is one of the best possible plays at the position this weekend. Verdict: Ladarius Green

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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