Fantasy Mailbag  


Fantasy mailbag: Any hope for Doug Martin?


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Do you think Justin Blackmon can continue this pace for the rest of the season? - @Enforcer86 (via Twitter)

Michael Fabiano: I have no reason to think Blackmon won't continue to be a reliable option for fantasy owners. That doesn't mean he's going to put up 14 catches for 190 yards week in and week out, but this kid is the real deal. A physical specimen who can dominate most defensive backs, Blackmon is a playmaker in an offense that will throw the ball a ton to attempt to erase second-half deficits often. I wouldn't be a bit shocked if the Oklahoma State product is a top 10 to 15 fantasy wideout the rest of the season.

Is there any hope for Doug Martin? - S. Proper (via Facebook)

M.F.: Martin was always going to be hard pressed to equal the 262.60 fantasy points he scored as a rookie. In fact, his current pace would put him at around 100 fewer fantasy points in 2013. On a positive note, the Buccaneers are feeding him the football -- he's averaging over 25 touches per game -- so there's no committee for owners to be concerned about. It would be good for Martin to receive some more help from what has been an inconsistent offensive line, though, as his schedule isn't going to be favorable. Of his 10 remaining games in the fantasy football season, just three teams can be termed attractive opponents: the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions and St. Louis Rams.

How do you think Joseph Randle will do if he becomes the starter in Dallas? Will he be a viable flex starter? - @DaddyjohnJr (via Twitter)

M.F.: Randle isn't as talented as DeMarco Murray, but he does warrant flex-starter consideration while his veteran teammate is on the sidelines. The rookie has some positive matchups ahead, as each of his next five opponents have allowed an average of over 15 fantasy points per game to running backs. That includes games against the Detroit Lions (20.17 PPG) and Minnesota Vikings (23.88 PPG). One thing is for certain -- Randle needs to be owned in all fantasy leagues while Murray is out.

Can fantasy owners trust Stevan Ridley again, or was last week just an aberration? - C. Gelding (via Facebook)

M.F.: I would call it a "tentative trust," but there's still some damage to repair after several weeks of unattractive stat lines. It was nice to finally see Ridley utilized like he was last season, though, as he played 38 snaps and received a season-high 21 touches in a win over the New Orleans Saints. To compare, Brandon Bolden had seven touches while LeGarrette Blount carried the ball seven times for just 9 yards. This weekend's matchup against the New York Jets is tough -- no defense has surrendered fewer fantasy points to opposing running backs this season -- so Ridley should be seen as a low-end No. 2 back or flex starter.

Would you start Jay Cutler over Matt Ryan in Week 7? - @FriscoLinares (via Twitter)

M.F.: I sure would, and I wouldn't think twice about it. Believe it or not, but Cutler is fifth in fantasy points among quarterbacks and is averaging just 1.8 fewer fantasy points per game than the Falcons signal-caller. The reason I like Cutler this week is more about the matchup, though, as he faces a Washington Redskins defense that has allowed an average of close to 20 fantasy points per game to his position. On the flip side, Ryan faces a tougher Tampa Bay Buccaneers unit -- and he'll do it without Julio Jones (and maybe Roddy White).

What has happened to Jordan Cameron? He's been quiet over the last few weeks. Has this stagecoach turned back into a pumpkin? - T. Yonder (via Facebook)

M.F.: Cameron has definitely hit a bit of a statistical snag in recent weeks, but I still consider him a high-end No. 1 fantasy tight end. While he was a very popular target of Brandon Weeden over the first two weeks of the 2013 campaign, Cameron has been less involved in the pass attack since Weeden took over for an injured Brian Hoyer in Week 5. In fact, three of his five receptions last week came on the Browns' last possession. Regardless, Cameron remains a solid option in all formats -- look for him to rebound in Week 7 against a Green Bay Packers defense that has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends.

Is it time to cut Dwayne Bowe? - @alonzogarnenez (via Twitter)

M.F.: Here is my first thought -- if I saw Bowe available on the waiver wire, would I put in a claim for him? The answer at this point is no, unless I needed depth at wide receiver. Bowe, who caught three passes for 46 yards last week, is 52nd in fantasy points among wideouts. Heck, he's not even the highest-scoring fantasy receiver on his team (Donnie Avery). Part of Bowe's downfall is the refusal of Alex Smith to challenge defenses with more than short and intermediate pass attempts. There's also evidence that Bowe is unable to beat man coverage on a consistent basis this season. So if you're deep at wide receiver or want to go after a hot free agent, cutting ties with Bowe is advised.

I'm sick of C.J. Spiller! Is it time to cut bait and call him a lost cause? - M. Sogreto (via Facebook)

M.F.: You can argue that Spiller has been the biggest disappointment in fantasy football this season based on his average draft position. He's still dealing with the effects of an injured ankle, as Spiller played in a mere 19 of 70 snaps in a Week 6 loss. Compare that to Fred Jackson, who was on the field for twice as many snaps in the contest. There's no way you can release a back of Spiller's talent, but that doesn't mean you can't bench him if your backfield is deep. This week's matchup against the Dolphins is favorable, though, as Miami has allowed the third-most fantasy points to runners.

Can you explain why Marques Colston has been a non-factor all season! Even with Jimmy Graham held without a catch, Colston did nothing! - @Andrew_Perna (via Twitter)

M.F.: The fact that Colston had just three targets and 11 yards against the Patriots, who shut down Jimmy Graham with CB Aqib Talib, should have owners worried. He also has recorded a combined 2.60 fantasy points over the last two weeks, and has failed to score double-digit points in a game since Week 1. Colston also is not seeing any looks in the red zone, which is worrisome for a player who is used to finding the end zone. Hopefully, the Saints will figure out a way to get him more involved in the passing game during their bye week, after which time a favorable matchup against the Bills awaits. For now, he shouldn't be seen as more than a No. 3 fantasy wideout.

Tavon Austin hasn't done anything this season! Is he even worth a roster spot in 10-team leagues? - B. Garcia (via Facebook)

M.F.: If you feel the needs to release Austin, I'd do it without hesitation. He played in a mere four of 47 snaps in last week's win over the Houston Texans, and his 12 catches for 71 yards over the last four weeks is anything but impressive. Furthermore, the Rams appear more comfortable using Chris Givens and Austin Pettis at wideout with a combination of Jared Cook and Lance Kendricks as their current pass-catching options at tight end. The future remains bright for Austin, but right now he's not a rosterable option in 10-team leagues.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!


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