Roundtable #5

Eavesdrop as various staff members share their views on a range of topics.

This week we discuss the following:


Rams offense

The trio of Nick Foles, Todd Gurley, and Tavon Austin was rather impressive last week.

How comfortable are you in thinking that Foles and Austin will retain decent fantasy value the rest of the way?

Matt Waldman: Nick Foles' upside is to be a higher-grade Kerry Collins. He's capable of production among the QB6-QB10 range if the offense has a true number one wide receiver and a great ground game. The ground game is getting there, but I think the receiver game is a couple of notches below, which means I'd put Foles' upside in the QB10-QB15 range this year.

What the Rams did with Austin this weekend had a lot of success because the opposing defense had to account for Gurley. The screens, end-around, and deep crossing routes had more time and room to develop because Gurley's presence is like a wrecking ball slamming into a building. Unless you're used to big demolition jobs, the sight of the running back moving in a direction takes your focus away from everything else—even if it's just for a split second longer than the other running backs. This makes Austin a more formidable counterpunch for the team. I believe Austin's production will be tied to Gurley. If the running back has a strong game in terms of yardage (80 or more), Austin should have at least 50 or more receiving in those contests.

Daniel Simpkins: While I believe Gurley will open up the passing game, and I'm encouraged with Austin's new usage in this offense, I'm skeptical about Foles' being consistent enough to keep Austin or himself as anything more than bye week options. Austin is worth an add if you can get him on the cheap, but I don't advocate blowing a significant portion of your waiver budget to do so.

Andy Hicks: The Rams have proven to be nothing if not inconsistent. If they are playing NFC West opponents they seem to play much better, but lose to teams like Washington.

If they can play like they did against Arizona and Seattle versus other opponents then we might truly see a team that is heading in the right direction.

I'm less confident that Foles and Austin retain their fantasy value than I am that Gurley does.

Stephen Holloway: I am not all that confident in continued production from Nick Foles or Tavon Austin in the passing game. Austin has skills, but even with a long gain of 47 yards, he is averaging only 9.9 yards per catch thus far. If you take away the one long gainer, his average would drop to 7.0 ypc. He should wind up the Rams' leading receiver, but not produce much over Jared Cook or Kenny Britt, and their passing game is not dominant enough to provide multiple receivers that produce enough to be a consistent starter.

James Brimacombe: I would buy on Nick Foles. As long as Gurley is healthy, the offense can be more two dimensional, and the Rams passing attack will be able to take what is given to them. I would hold off on Tavon Austin as anything more than a flex play from week to week, and even then I would hope I had better options on my team to plug into the flex spot.

Chris Feery: Although I'm encouraged by last week's output from Foles and Austin, I need to see more before I'm fully buying in. The Rams have been far too inconsistent to rely on the duo for consistent fantasy output. That being said, Gurley adds a new element to the offensive attack that could really open things up for the passing game. Both Foles and Austin have the ability to produce; now is their chance to prove it. The Rams are expected to be coming from behind against the Packers on Sunday. This week presents a perfect opportunity to show that the offense may be turning the corner.

Justin Howe: Foles has no place in my fantasy plans. To me, he's no more than a matchup play in very, very rare scenarios (e.g. a likely shootout with a good team that sports a truly awful pass defense). This just isn't a scheme that's designed for a low-tier NFL starter to post big passing numbers. Austin, on the other hand, is impressing me. The team seems to have finally nailed down his value as a situational scatback type, and they've been using him more and more in the red zone thus far this season. He's no starter, but looks like solid WR4 depth with weekly potential for more.

Where would you rank Todd Gurley among fantasy running backs for a redraft league that started today, going through the rest of this season?

Matt Waldman: Todd Gurley would be in my top 12-20 right now. I know that's not exact, but that's the range I'm thinking off the top of my head. Gurley is a young Eddie George in terms of his style. Many people forget out quick George was during his first 3-4 seasons with the Titans. Gurley can pass protect and catch the ball well enough to become the feature back as soon as his stamina returns.

Daniel Simpkins: If I drafted today in a non-PPR league, I would only take Bell, Peterson, Charles, and Lacy ahead of Gurley. As the year wears on, the fantasy running back landscape is increasingly depleted as some of these older backs (Lynch and McCoy come to mind) start to fade. That said, Gurley is going to be a season-changer for those folks who drafted him or bought him low. He'll have some tough defensive matchups, but as he proved on Sunday, he's got the talent to overcome.

Andy Hicks: I like Matt's point that if Gurley continues to be the threat he can be then he makes the whole offense better and therefore gives value to Austin and Foles. I want to see more of Gurley performing at this level, though, before I would put him in my top 10 for redraft. In dynasty, there is no problem putting him in the top 10.

Stephen Holloway: I am confident in consistent production by Gurley over the remainder of the season. He took command of the running back position in only his second game back. He showed speed, strength and smarts and should easily be the rushing leader for the Rams in 2015. I expect him to produce somewhere between RB5 and RB10 over the year's final 12 games.

James Brimacombe: The running back position has been so hit-or-miss over the first four weeks of the season, and for Gurley to be healthy is a bonus to fantasy owners looking for a low-end RB1. With the Rams tendency to run the ball and try to control the clock, I have to think Gurley belongs in the RB8-RB12 range the rest of the way. The way the Rams brought him in slowly is reassuring that he is fully healthy and ready to handle the starting role going forward with a floor of 20 touches a game.

Chris Feery: I agree with Daniel—for a league drafting today I would have him just behind the truly elite running backs which translates to a ranking as high as the number five back. If there were any doubts about his ability to produce right away, Gurley put those to rest last week. This week will be interesting, if the Rams can keep the game close we'll see heavy doses of Gurley and I would expect another 100-yard performance. For the rest of the year, I fully expect him to produce like a top 10 back.

Justin Howe: Off the top of my head, I'd slot Gurley as an easy top-10 back. Jeff Fisher has already noted the wide talent gulf between Gurley and Tre Mason (well, between Gurley and just about anyone) and is treating the rookie as a clear feature runner. He may be hurt some weeks by game flow, but unlike a guy like Bishop Sankey, for instance, Gurley has the talent to provide you with a fantasy RB2 or better line on limited touches. The area where I'd be most concerned about a rookie—the passing game—doesn't scare me with Gurley, one of the more dynamic receiving backs we've seen in years. He'll take time to hone his craft in protection, sure, but Mason was awful there last year and still saw enough snaps to remain a yearlong RB2 on volume alone. Fisher won't be itching to take Gurley off the field.


Arian Foster

Where would you rank Arian Foster among fantasy running backs in a draft held today for a redraft league that went through the end of this season?

Matt Waldman: I'd put Foster in the 12-15 range of running backs and on the lower end right now because Bill O'Brien is sticking with Ryan Mallett for a little longer. I have no proof of this, but my gut feeling is that O'Brien wants Mallett to have a few games to work with a healthy Foster before Houston shuts down the former Arkansas starter. Mallett is a high-strung player. You can see it every time he releases the ball and tries to throw a hole through his targets, giving them zero chance to run after the catch. At some point, I believe the team will return to Hoyer and it will make the entire offense more productive. The sooner Hoyer returns to the offense, the more optimistic I'll feel about Foster.

Daniel Simpkins: Like Matt, I also put Foster in the top fifteen range. He looked fine coming back from his injury and the game just got away from the Texans.

Andy Hicks: Houston is heading for a lost season that seems to have little upside left. It seems clear that Hoyer and Mallett aren't the solution and Foster might need a few more games to get near his best. Whether he gets the carries or not depends on how close Houston can keep a game. Continued injuries to the receivers aren't helping either. I'd be happy leaving Foster out of my top 20. There is a chance this unit gels and becomes more competitive, but the likelihood is that this team needs a new direction at both head coach and quarterback.

Stephen Holloway: I would place Foster around RB15 or slightly below. His return from surgery was much quicker than I expected and I hope that it was not rushed more than it should have been, particularly for the 29-year old Foster who has only played 16 games twice in his seven-year NFL career. Houston has had poor quarterback play thus far and that has impacted the offense, but they remain solidly in contention in their division and their running backs performed better than expected while Foster was out. I expect a fantasy RBBC for at least a few more weeks which will limit Foster's production opportunity.

Chris Feery: I would rank Foster outside of the top 10 for a league starting today. The potential for a top 10 finish is there, but the Houston offense has been too lackluster to expect him to get there for the rest of the season.

Justin Howe: I don't consider Foster a lock-down top-10 back going forward. I'm not sure he's ever played with worse quarterbacking—this is sadder than the end of the Matt Schaub Era, or the Case Keenum project. He'll see volume aplenty, of course, so he's always a safe RB1/2 play as long as he's not limping. But it's hard to see much dynamism there as his age advances and his health outlook is always murky. How much yardage can he really generate at this point against heavily stacked boxes, and how many red zone touches can we really expect him to see?


Rivers, Brees, or Bradford?

Whom do you like better through the rest of this season: Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, or Sam Bradford?

Matt Waldman: Bradford has the best scheme, but he's the worst quarterback. Brees is the best quarterback with the least amount of surrounding talent. Rivers has offensive line woes, but they are temporary. I'll go with Rivers despite the temporary injury issues. In a way this question is kind of like projecting who will last the full 30 days on one of those survivalist reality shows. Bradford is the least hardy and his environment (schedule) looks the most dangerous. Brees and Rivers will both be okay, but I'm going to lean on Rivers because outside of two games versus Denver, he has the tamest schedule.

Daniel Simpkins: Give me Rivers of that group. Though he loses Floyd and Johnson to injury, he'll get Gates back this week. Keenan Allen is also playing spectacularly. I worry that Brees will continue to battle the shoulder problem throughout this year and will struggle in tougher matchups where coverage is much better than it was in the Cowboys game. Bradford isn't playing well and I don't trust him to stay healthy behind that shoddy line.

Andy Hicks: Bradford is my third choice here. He seems like he is not adapting very well to the offensive line worries and not having played for basically two years has made him gun shy. Bradford is in his sixth year now and seems to always be living off his potential. If things don't work out here, he will get another chance elsewhere. Other quarterbacks are out of the league in three years.

The choice between Brees and Rivers is much harder. Rivers has the better cast, but Brees is the better talent. Talent wins out and I'll go with Brees.

Stephen Holloway: Drew Brees is my pick of this trio to have the best production the rest of the season. The Saints defense has remained poor and they will be forced to play catch-up in most games. C. J. Spiller's return to the offense adds to Brees' receiving weapons. Brees may have less passing touchdowns than the other two, but his passing yardage will easily outdistance them.

James Brimacombe: Philip Rivers is getting Antonio Gates back and has been coming on over the past couple of weeks. I like Rivers to be the most consistent out of the three options and a guy you can count on every single week.

Chris Feery: I like Rivers best for the rest of the way, especially with the return of Antonio Gates. I think he's in the best spot of the three to perform at a high-level. Despite Sunday Night's performance for Brees, it looks like it might be a long season in New Orleans. Same thing in Philadelphia, the Chip Kelly experience is not producing the expected fantasy output this season and I'm not sure that they turn it around.

Justin Howe: Of the three, I prefer Rivers. His is a pass-first offense, and I'm not a believer in Melvin Gordon III's ability to transform that scheme much. Rivers should feast on volume and his plentiful, reliable intermediate threats to hover in the QB1 discussion in almost any matchup.


True or False?

True or False: All Knile Davis owners should drop him for Charcandrick West.

Daniel Simpkins: False! Hold on to Knile Davis if you are a Charles owner. We've seen the team lean on him heavily when Charles missed time and he looked electric doing it. I believe they go back to Davis' veteran presence in the event that Charles gets injured.

Andy Hicks: Knile Davis owners should drop Davis and pick someone else up entirely. This offense runs through Charles and if he goes down then the whole unit will struggle, even more than they are currently, for production. I would prefer Davis over West on past performance, but hold little confidence that he manages to be worthy of fantasy starter status.

Stephen Holloway: False, I prefer Knile Davis for his experience in the offense.

James Brimacombe: False—Knile Davis has shown that he can handle the load if Charles was to ever go down with an injury, Davis has the experience in the offense and I would rather put my trust in him than a guy like West that still has a lot to prove.

Chris Feery: False for now, but there's a very real chance that West has bypassed Davis in the eyes of the Chiefs. West received two red zone targets last week while Davis was relegated to kick return duties. That's pretty telling, I would certainly monitor the box scores closely for the next few games to see if Davis receives any work.

Justin Howe: West has outshined Davis thus far and looks to have the backup job sewn up. Davis' calling cards—speed and athleticism—show up similarly in West.

True or False: All Brandon Coleman owners should drop him for Willie Snead IV.

Daniel Simpkins: True! Snead is playing much more consistently than Coleman and is earning opportunities as a result. Snead is also one you want to stash in dynasty if other owners have not caught on yet.

Andy Hicks: I think this one is true. Snead has outperformed Coleman in all facets. He has increased his targets and most importantly converted on those targets. 16 receptions from 22 receptions is highly efficient, compared to Coleman's' nine receptions from 17 targets. Most importantly Coleman's targets have decreased dramatically from seven in the opening game to one against the Cowboys.

Stephen Holloway: True, particularly in PPR scoring leagues. Snead has become a preferred target for Brees as he has caught 15 passes in the past three games, with more catches in each successive game.

James Brimacombe: True. Snead has looked good and has been a top target each week in the Saints passing game. Coleman continues to live off of his preseason hype and it is time to make the zig zag off Coleman and onto Snead.

Chris Feery: True. While Coleman impressed in the preseason, Snead has bypassed him in targets and production.

Justin Howe: True. Coleman is showing his college colors. I despised his Rutgers tape, as I see nothing more than a long, tall body. I don't see a place for him in an NFL offense. Snead, on the other hand, has been making plays. He was the team's best receiver in the preseason and has gotten downfield well thus far. He looks like the better receiver, and has much more of Drew Brees' attention.

True or False: All Charles Johnson owners should drop him for Stefon Diggs.

Daniel Simpkins: False! Let's not go crazy just yet in redraft. Diggs only got in because Johnson was ailing. I don't see him taking Johnson's place in the lineup. I will add that Diggs is a nice talent that we want to stash away on our deeper dynasty rosters.

Andy Hicks: This one is closer than people will realize. Johnson has hardly set the year on fire and has only six catches for 46 yards in three games. Diggs had six for 87 in one game. Johnson will get an extra week's rest through the bye to be right for the game against the Chiefs. I take serious note of what teammate Mike Wallace said post-game about Diggs, though: he reminds him of Antonio Brown. Brown didn't really become the player we see until season four, although he was a 1,000-yard receiver in year two. Diggs is someone I would look for in dynasty leagues, but in redraft I wouldn't have such high expectations.

Stephen Holloway: True. Diggs had more production in his one game with 10 targets than Johnson has had over the season. The Vikings will continue to spread the targets around so neither might be considered an every week starter, but last week's game seems to give Diggs the head-sup going forward.

James Brimacombe: False. Charles Johnson is just off to a slow start and the Vikings offense has been sluggish altogether. Owners need to have patience with Johnson and going after a rookie in Diggs is not going to reward you in the long run.

Chris Feery: False and I will concur with James: Johnson is off to a slow start but should turn it around as the offense continues to gel.

Justin Howe: True. For all of Johnson's athleticism, he has yet to carve out (and keep) a meaningful role anywhere, and 7th-round picks don't get that many chances. Diggs was a prospect I liked a lot due to his starting No. two wide receiver ability and versatility, so I was thrilled to see him break out last week.


Devonta Freeman a sell-high?

Is Devonta Freeman a sell-high?

Matt Waldman: Freeman is only a sell-high if you think Tevin Coleman will force a 50-50 split or win the job back. Otherwise, this Falcons offensive line is for real. Based on past history of changing up offensive line rotations late in the preseason, Atlanta's success is the exception to the rule. Be it a scout, coach, or personnel analyst with the team, whoever identified these linemen as the players to add to the team saved Atlanta's season. Freeman was written off too early by most fantasy analysts because they truly didn't account for how bad the Falcons offensive line was the past two years. Freeman made good decisions for much of the 2014, but there was little room to run. Watch Atlanta's preseason efforts against Baltimore and Miami and watch them against Houston last week and you'll see how much better that offensive line truly is.

I'd keep Freeman unless you have two backs that you think are top-20 caliber and you need a different position to help you compete.

Daniel Simpkins: I'll probably be in the minority here, but I think Freeman is a sell-high. I don't see Atlanta featuring him exclusively once Coleman is healthy. Coleman looked like he had reshaped his body and was looking much better as a runner than he did in college. Freeman is not nearly the athlete that Coleman is, and that will become apparent in time.

Andy Hicks: Freeman sits atop the fantasy running back standings right now. Any player is potentially a sell high, but for Freeman you would want a king's ransom. You could sell him for such and I would, but if the offer was below my asking price I would be happy to keep him. It would be hard for a coach to stop a hot back though and it wouldn't surprise me if Coleman has a setback or two in the meantime while Freeman is electric.

Stephen Holloway: The Falcons have been much more productive in the running game and Freeman seems to be a perfect match for the offense. Their passing production with Julio Jones will continue to spread the field and give Freeman great holes to run through.

James Brimacombe: I wouldn't sell. I think you have to ride the wave with Freeman as the Falcons offense is hitting on all cylinders.

Chris Feery: No, I would not sell Freeman. As long as the Falcons offense keeps clicking, Freeman will continue to produce. The return of Tevin Coleman will probably slow his epic pace a little bit, but I would continue to ride the hot hand.

Justin Howe: I'd probably look to sell high on Freeman. Neither he nor the Falcons are actually this good. Freeman is ideally a package back, best used in the passing game and through gaping holes and cutback lanes up front. He's just not the all-world talent you'd expect to keep up a pace like this. I do like his offense, as well as his red zone usage, but he's just not a demonstrably good talent from a scouting perspective. So I'm bracing for Tevin Coleman to eventually claim at least 30-40% of this timeshare, which would relegate Freeman to RB2/3 status. His owners will appreciate the trade haul more.


Buy-low running back candidates?

Who is the best buy-low of the bunch, if any? Jonathan Stewart, Carlos Hyde, or C.J. Anderson?

Daniel Simpkins: I don't see any of Stewart, Hyde, or Anderson being a buy-low bargain. If forced to choose, I'll take Anderson. We know Kubiak likes a healthy ground game and it would complement the superb defense they have in place. If he can get healthy and run like he was running last season, there's a chance it could happen.

Andy Hicks: Hyde is the best choice here. At least he has had a big game and seen the end zone. Sure his other three games are in the same category of production of Jonathan Stewart and C.J. Anderson this year, but if Kaepernick can just be honest then Hyde has a chance. If he keeps turning the ball over, then not so much. Stewart and Anderson have less of an excuse. They have the opportunity, but haven't delivered. I think Stewart will have some good games going forward, but Anderson is going nowhere fast.

Stephen Holloway: I'll go with Anderson. The Broncos continue to run as often as they throw and Anderson remains involved more than Hillman, although it is close. The team has a great defense and should continue to run the ball often. Anderson will come around and be more effective as the season progresses.

James Brimacombe: Carlos Hyde for me as I can't get that first week's performance out of my head.

Chris Feery: I would buy-low on Hyde. Stewart and Anderson have been too disappointing and there are signs that jump out to make you think they'll turn it around. Hyde flashed his potential in Week 1 and while that may end up being the highlight of his season, at least the potential for more exists.

Justin Howe: Anderson, my offseason man-crush, doesn't look great. The offense isn't affording him the same opportunities, and he's been dinged up all year. This looks like a timeshare going forward, and while Peyton Manning has made a few timeshare backs productive in the past, this isn't the same situation. There's far less running room and slightly fewer red zone opportunities.

So, I'd buy in on Hyde, who looked amazing in Week 1 and was robbed of most of his Week 2. The 49ers offense is going down the toilet, and regardless of their quarterback down the stretch, this will likely be a unit that shoehorns the running game into any game script. If Blaine Gabbert takes over at some point, they'll likely stop throwing nearly altogether and ride Hyde for 20+ touches a week.


WR Teammates

Who will score more fantasy points between weeks 5-17?

Mike Evans or Vincent Jackson?

Matt Waldman: It will be close, but I'm going with Jackson because the familiarity is already there.

Daniel Simpkins: Give me Mike Evans! Evans has been a bit banged up and was covered often by Josh Norman this past Sunday. We still saw Winston target him a healthy eight times. While I don't believe Jackson completely disappears, I do believe Evans will marginally edge him in points by the end of the year.

Andy Hicks: I'm going to side with Daniel here. When in doubt, go with the upside. Vincent Jackson will have his moments, as he did against Carolina, but Evans is an ascendant talent and despite being banged up is still going to have big games.

James Brimacombe: Mike Evans as he has been battling injuries all season so far. I expect him to get back to 100% health and develop some chemistry with quarterback Jameis Winston.

Chris Feery: I'll go with Evans. The 25 targets he has received over the past two weeks will begin to materialize into more production as he returns to full strength.

Stephen Holloway: This one is close. The rookie quarterback, Jameis Winston has been inconsistent, but he and Jackson developed some chemistry early on as Mike Evans missed a game and was slowed in Week 2. They will both be viable options for the rest of the season, but I will lean to Evans as I expect him to garner more targets and opportunities.

Justin Howe: I like Evans, if only for his superior touchdown potential.

Allen Robinson or Allen Hurns?

Matt Waldman: I'll go with Hurns in an upset, because as physical-looking Robinson is, he's neither as versatile nor as tough as Hurns. Robinson will have more "big" games of 120-plus yards, but Hurns will be more consistent.

Daniel Simpkins: I'll take Allen Robinson and it's not close. Robinson has drawn some pretty rough corner matchups so far. Looking at the schedule ahead, Robinson will have some juicy matchups. Especially appealing are his week fifteen and Week 6teen fantasy playoff matchups against the Falcons and Saints.

Andy Hicks: On Daniel's side again, but I agree with Matt's argument. If I'm looking for WR1 upside in any given game I have to go with Robinson. Games like the 6-155-2 effort that Robinson recorded against Miami aren't very common and while Hurns is likely to have a higher floor, the fact that Robinson has 30% more targets than Hurns immediately increases the chances of production. Sure Hurns will as Matt said have better consistency, but I'm looking for big scores not average.

James Brimacombe: Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson showed some chemistry in the preseason and we saw last year the two were on the same page. We are only four weeks into the season so there is no reason to panic just yet as Robinson has the skills to be an every week starter on your fantasy team. Allen Hurns still relies on the big plays down the field and might be better viewed as a nice boom or bust flex play week to week.

Chris Feery: I think this will be pretty close, but Robinson should edge him out for the rest of the way. Hurns will not be sneaking up on opposing defenses after his strong start to the season, look for him to cool a bit and for Robinson to have a little more success.

Stephen Holloway: I lean to Allen Robinson, even though Allen Hurns had a huge Week 4 game. Robinson has more targets and I think that will continue. He has been used primarily as a deep target as witnessed by his 38.5% reception percentage and his 22.0 yards per reception. I think that he will continue to get those downfield plays, but will also be used on shorter routes and increase his reception percentage.

Justin Howe: Give me Moncrief in a toss-up. One of the best wide receiver athletes in years, Moncrief is getting his due. He's a far superior wideout to Phillip Dorsett and Andre Johnson, so I don't think he's coming out of this lineup, and Hilton doesn't have a great TD outlook going forward. Moncrief looks like a weekly WR2 with no reservations, while Hilton always gives me a little pause in specific matchups.

T.Y. Hilton or Donte Moncrief?

Matt Waldman: I'm coming around on Moncrief making a weekly difference, but Hilton will out-point the second-year player and the Colts will find ways to use him in the short game with more productivity.

Daniel Simpkins: This is one is really close, but assuming we're talking about a standard scoring league, I'm going to select Moncrief here. We're seeing him blossom into a fine target for Luck. I believe Moncrief can be more effective in the red zone than Hilton, which is why I give him the edge.

Andy Hicks: T.Y. Hilton has yet to find the end zone, while Moncrief has got there three times. They have similar reception and yardage figures, although Hilton has considerably more targets. Hilton also has had injury issues to deal with and Andrew Luck taking a while to tune up. I predict the Colts will right the ship and Hilton will resume the lead target production. This time I side with Matt.

James Brimacombe: Give me T.Y. Hilton to rebound after the up and down first few games. Hilton can connect for multi touchdown games as we have seen over the past couple of seasons and it is only a matter of time before he gets back on track this season. Moncrief is a safe option that will get you four or five catches a game but it is hard to bank on a touchdown in any given week.

Chris Feery: While Moncrief has certainly impressed to start the season, I like Hilton to bypass him for Weeks 5-17. I agree with Matt; the Colts will find ways to maximize his productivity.

Stephen Holloway: Moncrief has been a pleasant surprise, at the expense of Andre Johnson who has greatly disappointed. However, Hilton has been hampered by injury and I anticipate Hilton to be more productive over the remainder of the season.

Justin Howe: I'll take Robinson, who's no world-beater but a near-lock to improve upon his awful 38.5% catch rate. Give him even a subpar 50% rate, and he'd be sitting on a line of 20-440 right now.

Torrey Smith or Anquan Boldin?

Matt Waldman: I'll go Boldin because Smith's game is built on his vertical presence and Colin Kaepernick is not an accurate vertical passer.

Daniel Simpkins: I'll pick Torrey Smith to outproduce Boldin in non-PPR formats and Boldin to outproduce Smith in PPR formats. The 49ers quarterback play has been abysmal, so I sincerely hope you don't have to choose between these two when setting your lineups.

Andy Hicks: I've never been a big Torrey Smith fan. His catch-to-reception ratio is last in the league over his career and I don't think it's close to the next guy with a reasonable number of targets. Baltimore needs reception help badly and was willing to let him go in the offseason despite the rumors that a relatively modest contract would have kept him there. Boldin on the other hand is at the end of his career and with little to play for. I'll again side with Matt as I think Boldin is more likely to get his catches, and contradicting my previous reasoning of going with the upside I'll go with a player I respect rather than one I feel the opposite about.

James Brimacombe: I project them to be about equally unproductive from here on out. If I want to be the guy that likes the risk and homerun threat in my lineup I am going with Smith, and if I want a safe play that will see four or five targets a week I would go Boldin. Not much upside for either wide receiver in the San Francisco offense right now.

Chris Feery: I'll take Boldin. The struggles of the offense should level out as we move forward, but I just don't see too many downfield opportunities materializing for Smith. Boldin is the type of receiver that can be a security blanket, I would expect a struggling Kaepernick to rely on him more.

Stephen Holloway: I agree with Matt and Daniel that I don't want either of these two players on my fantasy roster. The targets are too few and low quality. The looks on each of their faces in last week's games reflect their frustrations with Kaepernick and I don't see his play improving.

Justin Howe: I've always appreciated Torrey Smith, but this is not an offense that allows for much downfield passing. Boldin, still an upper-shelf possession target whom Colin Kaepernick clearly trusts, is the play here.

That will do it for this edition of the Footballguys Roundtable. Please join us again next week.


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