Welcome to On To The Next One, the weekly column where I select four players you should consider benching/starting this week. There will be two categories here: “The Rebounders” and “The Fumblers.” The Rebounders are two players that had a disappointing fantasy performance last week, but will rebound this upcoming week to produce better numbers. The Fumblers are two players that had fantastic performances last week, but they will not put up nearly the same amount of points on the board this upcoming week, and will fumble away the fantasy football glory they fleetingly had.
Last year, I ran the same formula and saw a success rate of almost 70 percent; success being defined as a player doing 50 percent better or worse the next week. If you have any of these players – PAY ATTENTION.
FPPG = Fantasy points per game
FP = Fantasy points
Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings
10.8 points (PPR) / 8.8 points (Non-PPR)
With trial comes triumph, as teams are oft uncomfortably forced to test their backups when their starter goes down. This will not be the case with the Vikings and Mattison after Dalvin Cook went down with an injury last week; we already know what Mattison is capable of. In the two games Cook missed this season (Weeks 3 and 5) Mattison put up 23.1 and 26.3 FP, respectively. He’s perhaps the greatest backup RB in the entire NFL.
As of writing this, Cook is officially labeled as questionable, but all signs are currently pointing to that he will be missing a third game. If this happens Mattison is a must start, and depending on the length of Cook’s injury, Mattison can be a legitimate RB1 for a few weeks. At the least, Mattison has the opportunity this week to put up 30+ against a Detroit Lions defense that gives up 26.86 FPPG to RBs. Again, like I wrote last time, make sure to check Cook’s availability before starting Mattison in any of your fantasy leagues.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
6.86 points (PPR) / 6.86 points (Non-PPR)
Hurts has been one of the most rewarding and frustrating QBs to own in fantasy this year. I say that from experience, as I drafted him around the 120th pick in most leagues that I have him in. If you aren’t acute as to why this situation is frustrating, let me fill you in. Take a look at his passing statistics thus far:
- 2,435 passing yards (19th)
- 13 passing touchdowns (21st)
- 60.1 completion percentage (28th)
- 202.9 passing yards per game (28th)
- 48.0 QBR (23rd)
Terrible, right? Now, why in the world would anybody want to roster a QB like that? Well, let’s take a look at just how stupendous he has been on the ground so far compared to other QBs, and you’ll get your answer:
- 693 rushing yards (2nd)
- 8 rushing touchdowns (1st)
Those numbers are so impressive, that Hurts is in fact 10th in the entire NFL in rushing yards when you account for all skill positions, and trails only Jonathan Taylor, James Conner, Joe Mixon, and Derrick Henry in rushing touchdowns. These off-the-charts rushing numbers have led Hurts to be ranked as the ninth best QB in fantasy this year despite his poor passing year.
Despite a down week against the New York Giants, I expect Hurts to have a bounce back game against the other disappointing team in the Big Apple, the New York Jets. While the Jets have allowed the second-least amount of rushing yards to QBs thus far (96), they have only seen 34 attempts (also second least in the NFL). In addition, they allow the fourth most passing yards per game (266.2) and have the least amount of interceptions in the entire league at four. In terms of pure statistics, they’ve allowed the sixth most rushing yards (1,416) and the most rushing touchdowns (20).