We enter the second half of the NFL season with a lot of questions.
Are the Patriots really this bad? Are the Steelers really this good? And of course, how will COVID affect the rest of the season? We will have to wait to find out all the answers. But it should be an exciting journey to get there.
In his first game back in over a year, Antonio Brown had three receptions and 31 yards on five targets from Tom Brady. He played on 74% of Tampa Bay’s offensive snaps. And he was just missed on a possible long TD pass. Once he is entirely comfortable in the offense, alongside Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, he could be a fantasy league winner for the managers who were smart enough to pick him up.
All the NFC elite have flaws. That is all the NFC elite other than the Buccaneers. The Saints have played mediocre defense much of the year, and Drew Brees is throwing shorter than a two-year-old playing catch in the front yard. The Packers have only one WR in the entire offense. Not to mention they have possibly the worst run defense in the NFL. And finally, the Seahawks. While their offense is excellent, the defense cannot even stop the Patriots. A team everyone else has been able to at least keep in check. They are giving up over 350 yards per game in passing, and they are the 32nd ranked team in fantasy against the WR position. The Buccaneers, on the other hand? They are a different story.
The Buccaneers do not have any flaws. They have an elite WR group, one who only got better this week. They have the top offensive line in the NFL this season. And their defense has been one of the best in the NFL this season as well. As long as they do not have games like Sunday where they do not show up, they are the best team in the conference. With their combination of offense and defense, they could be the best team in the NFL.
There has been a deluge of injuries this season. This has been no more apparent than at the RB position. With Saquon Barkley on IR and Christian McCaffrey missing most of the season with a high ankle sprain, it has had one good effect. Opportunity.
In most leagues, whether it be redraft or dynasty, star running backs are a treasured commodity. They are treated and traded at the same value, like gold or platinum. This season, it has been the lesser-known backs who are getting their chance to shine. J.D. McKissic was the RB 4 this week for fantasy. Speaking of RB 4, this is where James Robinson finds himself in the season ranks.
Even those elite backs which have not missed time seem to be having off years. Whether it be Ezekiel Elliott or Josh Jacobs, the consensus top-five backs of the preseason have failed to live up. Meanwhile, due to injury and opportunity, the likes of Mike Davis and Chase Edmonds are the reliable players to start. With Christian McCaffrey likely to land back on the injured list this week with a shoulder injury, Davis is again a top ten back. A place he has held pretty much all season long. Maybe next season he will get his shot on a new team. His Dynasty managers can only hope this is the case.
What I am trying to say is quite simple. No, you do not need to handcuff your star running back to start the season. But yes, you do need to have depth at the position. More so than at any other position on your roster. Wide receivers can be found on the waiver wire. Running backs, even those who are not elite, should be rostered. Because you never know.