5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Blast Goff

Here are some of Fantasy Expert Ricky Sanders’ DFS-relevant observations from Week 10 of the 2017 NFL season:

Jared Goff, Rams – Do not look now but the Rams are one of the best three teams in their league and their offense is a main reason for their success. Coach Sean McVay deserves to win Coach of the Year and the award should be handed out today because the race is not even close. He has had his hand in the transformation of Jared Goff who went from a disaster in 2016 to a MVP candidate suddenly in 2017. Over the course of the last two weeks ago, Goff has thrown for 666 yards and seven touchdowns (TDs) with zero interceptions (INTs). Week 9 seemed like an anomaly, because the Giants have clearly given up, but he followed up that performance with a domination of the Texans. Heading into this week, the Texans ranked 16th in passing defense according to Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) metric. Although the Texans team is missing two of their top pass-rushers (J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus), Todd Gurley garnered an ownership percentage of about 40-percent in all formats on FantasyDraft whereas Goff was virtually unowned. In hindsight, Vegas predicted this performance from the Rams passing offense as they were listed as 12.0-point favorites in a game that opened with a total of 47.0 points. Despite the mediocre caliber of name value surrounding Goff in the offense, receivers consistently find themselves with room to run due to the scheme. Most have caught on by now, but Goff is a true QB1, especially in beatable matchups. Stop sleeping on Rams stacks.

Tevin Coleman, Falcons – Devonta Freeman did not last long in the matchup against the Cowboys as he suffered a concussion early in the first quarter. It cannot be understated how impactful this will be on Tevin Coleman if Freeman is forced to miss an extended period. Coleman enjoyed a full workload in the absence of the starter: 20 carries, 83 rushing yards, a rushing TD and he hauled in 1-2 targets for five receiving yards. Undoubtedly, Coleman will prove to be a popular option if Freeman is out, but he would prove to be an absolute lock if that were the case. According to playerprofiler.com, Coleman’s 40-yard dash ranked in the 90th percentile at the combine and his speed score ranked in the 81st percentile. If being honest, Terron Ward cut into Coleman’s workload (nine carries), but Coleman still acted as the bellcow. Thus far, only 12 teams have averaged more rushing yards per game than the Falcons and their offensive line features an entire left side (including center) that grades inside the top 22 at their respective positions. A talented back seeing 20-plus touches on this team is a lock so Coleman is bordering on RB1 status as long as Freeman remains on the sidelines.

Isaiah Crowell, Browns – What got into Isaiah Crowell this week? After his 64-yard performance in Week 8 capped off by a score, Crowell came out of the bye and repeated the performance…except even better. The team looked to establish Crowell early and often versus the Lions and he responded with 90 yards rushing on 16 carries (5.6 yards per carry (YPC)) plus a TD. Following a two-game stretch (Weeks 3 and 4) where Duke Johnson Jr. scored a TD in each, Crowell has carried the ball at least 12 times in every game since then and he has managed 58-plus rushing yards in all but once game. In fact, his last two games rate as his two top rushing games of the season in terms of both yardage and the fact they were the only two games he has scored in. Crowell is starting to look fantasy-viable once again as the team’s main ground-and-pound back just in time for a matchup against the Jaguars in Week 11 and their last ranked rushing defense, per DVOA. Next week, Crowell will be worthy of a start in all formats as the team looks the pound the rock.

Melvin Gordon, Chargers – Austin Ekeler is officially a problem for those who believe in Melvin Gordon because Ekeler is such a talented receiver. Over the course of his last two games combined, Gordon had caught just two passes for 13 yards, and he was overshadowed in the passing game yet again in Week 10. While Gordon caught five passes for 15 yards, Ekeler caught five passes (on five targets) for 77 yards and two TDs. Hell, the guy even carried the ball 10 times, compared to 16 for Gordon, and he out-rushed the starter 42-27. Similarly to when this offense featured Danny Woodhead, the receiving back has been the most impressive player in the backfield in two of the last three games. His playmaking ability should only cause the coaching staff to rely on the pass-catching specialist to play more snaps in upcoming weeks would lead to fantasy owners relying almost 100-percent on goal line carries for him to exceed value. which limits Gordon’s upside if nothing else. The concerning part is Gordon has never been overly efficient so a downtick in volume means expectations need to be tempered. Moving forward, Gordon appears to be nothing more than a TD-dependent RB2 with a decent (but not outstanding) floor.

Marquise Goodwin, 49ers – Poor, Marquise Goodwin. The poor guy’s wife lost their unborn child in hours leading up to the game, which is an unspeakable tragedy, and the guy still played…and played well. Goodwin caught an 83-yard TD pass and, otherwise, received one carry 18 yards. However, on an offense lacking any playmakers (after the injury to Pierre Garcon), the team has desperately been searching for someone on the offense with any semblance of upside. Goodwin has always been that guy but C.J. Beathard finally found him wide open downfield. This was only Goodwin’s first TD of the season but his blazing speed is for real. Goodwin is the type of player who relies heavily on “out” routes and it shows in his “yards per routes run.” His 1.58 yards per route run are equivalent to the outputs of players like speedster DeSean Jackson and even Dez Bryant.  The skill set dictates he will be boom-or-bust in nature but he is a potential GPP winner in solid matchups.

Cameron Brate, Buccaneers – Apparently the switch to Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB is not going to be a smooth transition in the short term because a chalky Cameron Brate flopped on Sunday. Fitzpatrick completed just 17-34 passes (50.0-percent completion rate) against a Jets defense that ranks 21st in passing DVOA. The good news for Brate was the fact O.J. Howard was targeted exactly zero times but Brate himself only saw three targets and caught one of them for 10 yards. Dating back to his college days, Jameis Winston has always heavily targeted tight ends (TEs), as evident by a study done by Pro Football Focus (PFF) in March. This statistic is straight from the article: “In his final year of college, Winston targeted his primary tight end, Nick O’Leary, 80 times, which ranked third-most at the position that year.” Not only does Fitzpatrick not focus nearly as much attentions on TEs but he also is a generally less effective player at the position. His presence downgrades the outlook of all the team’s pass-catchers but especially the big guys in the middle of the field. Prior to this week, Brate had been targeted at least four times in every game since Week 2. Less volume, and a less efficient man under center, means Brate should be downgraded to a high-end TE2 until further notice.

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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