Roundtable Week 4

The Footballguys Roundtable panel discusses the long-term outlook for September's fantasy leaders and laggers, difficult to diagnose backfields, and which summer predictions they're willing to double down or cut bait. 

Welcome to Week 4 of the 2020 Footballguys Roundtable. Our intrepid and oddball panel of fantasy pundits discuss and debate September's fantasy leaders and laggers, difficult backfields that no fantasy player wants to deal with but may need to anyway, and which summer predictions are worth doubling down or cutting bait.

Let's roll...

For Real/Fool's Gold: Quarterbacks and Running Backs

Matt Waldman: Explain why these players performances in September was a "for real" or "fool's gold" indication of their season-long value AS A FANTASY STARTER IN A 12-TEAM PPR FORMAT WITH 18 ROSTER SPOTS STARTING 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WR, 1 TE, and 1 non-QB Flex.

Pick 3
Tell me whose performances--good or bad--are on-point to their true value or a temporary mirage.

Sean Settle: It may look like anyone not named Kyler Murray or DeAndre Hopkins in this Arizona offense are being overlooked, but Kenyan Drake is still quietly plugging away with much bigger days ahead. He is still averaging 19 touches per game and had a 2-touchdown performance against the 49ers when that defense was still at full capacity in week 1. Teams are going to scheme to try and take Hopkins away down the field and things are going to open up for Drake underneath. Keep Drake as an RB1 must start going forward as this Arizona offense really starts to get going.

I will admit this is one I missed on coming into the season, but I would have Josh Allen in the same tier as Patrick Mahomes II or Lamar Jackson if we were to redraft right now. The Bills are without any sort of consistent running game and Allen is throwing the ball all over the field. Stefon Diggs has been a huge weapon and Allen is keeping up with Russell Wilson in the MVP debate. If he can clean up a few of the turnover issues when running the ball, then he will finish as a top 5 QB this season..

As much as he is a fun story, James Robinson is a temporary mirage right now. The Jaguars are just not a good football team this year and he is going to be dealing with a negative game script almost every week. He benefitted from D.J. Chark Jr being out last week and Gardner Minshew not pushing the ball down the field resulting in 6 check down receptions. He also sniped goal line touchdowns to have a monster day against Miami. Chris Thompson is the back they like to throw the ball to on 3rd down and in clear passing situations. He is a fun to watch right now.

Dan Hindery: One of the trends I have written about frequently over the last couple years is the increase of athleticism at the quarterback position. The average rushing production at the quarterback position overall has been rising steadily rising for the last five years. The increased athleticism and rushing usage has only accelerated early in the 2020 season. If you look at the current Top 12 fantasy quarterbacks, on average they are on pace for 452 rushing yards and 7.1 rushing touchdowns. If we look back to a few years ago in 2017, there was not a single quarterback in the NFL who rushed for more than six touchdowns and now that is the average pace for the top 12.

I start with that trend because it is a big reason why I think Brees’ relatively slow fantasy start QB19 is real and not a mirage. He is on pace for 4,053 passing yards and 32 touchdowns. Those are very solid passing numbers but in today’s NFL, they are not good enough to be a starting fantasy quarterback. The fantasy bar has been raised at the position and it will take truly elite passing numbers for a quarterback to keep fantasy scoring pace with the numerous dual threat quarterbacks dominating the league right now. Brees has zero rushing yards on the season and it does not seem like the 5,000-yard 40+ touchdown passer is ever coming back, so he is likely to remain a fantasy backup the rest of the way.

Waldman: That's the most sensible take on Drew Brees that's critical of his fantasy value that I've seen thus far. Well done, Dan. Who else is on your list?

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