Saturday - Feb 27, 2021

Home / Commentary / RISERS & FALLERS: Week 15


Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay

This is going to be an interesting mix of good news and bad news for Godwin for the rest of the season. The good news is the fact that he’ll no longer have to compete with Mike Evans due to a severe hamstring injury. The bad news is that his already erratic quarterback was seen practicing with a tennis ball due to a hand injury. So his role within the offense ramps up but he’ll also need to deal with more inaccuracies from an already historically inaccurate passer. This week will map out what we can expect for Godwin down the home stretch.  

Eli Manning, QB, NY Giants

In his return to action, Manning was the tale of two halves. In the first half, Manning was stellar going for just under 200 yards with two scores against Philadelphia. The second half, however, saw him revert back to the Manning we’ve seen over the last three years. The New York Giants quarterback stalled out completely as he barely added 25 more passing yards and failed to score after the half. But the NFL is a state of confusion with a tremendous shortage of capable signal callers. Even a below average quarterback is a hot commodity for roughly half the league. Could Manning do enough to earn a short-term, stop-gap deal in a new location? Manning could do enough in filling in for Daniel Jones that teams like Miami, Tampa Bay and Washington at the very least may look to extend Manning’s drain-circling fantasy life. 

Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota

Very rarely are teams able to afford to pay out serious money to a top flight receiver. The contracts are extremely burdensome and that have a high probability of not working out. Just look at the last two years around the league. Antonio Brown’s downward spiral all began with his displeasure with his Pittsburgh contract. Brown then went on to famously flameout in Oakland and implode in New England. Odell Beckham Jr. seems like he’s going to be walking the same line as he’s worn out his welcome in Cleveland. For whatever reason, wide receivers don’t seem capable of living out their contracts as of late. Could Thielen be next? While Minnesota has been good at times, it’s clear that it has other areas of need and paying both Stefon Diggs and Thielen may be what’s keeping Minnesota from reaching the next level. The more time that Thielen misses perhaps the more expandable he becomes in the eyes of the Minnesota front office. Thielen needs to get back on the field and back into the WR1 statistical category to avoid being subject to offseason trade rumors. 

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas

It’s been five weeks since the Dallas star running back has gone over 100 rushing yards. In fact, Elliott has gone for more than 100-yards only four times so far this season. We get that Elliott has still had a great season by most standards as his 1,071 rushing yards are good enough for sixth in the league. But could you imagine if fantasy forecasters were calling that Elliott would finish behind Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, Nick Chubb and Lamar Jackson before the season started? The only person ahead of Elliott that would have been strongly considered to be a threat to outperform him would have been Christian McCaffrey. The point is that Elliott’s fantasy value has slipped a little bit. The explosive plays have not been there and his yards per carry have suffered because of it. While some may think we’re being too critical, it is worth noting that out of the guys inside the Top 10 in rushing yards to this point that Elliott is just above Chris Carson and tied with Leonard Fournette for ninth in yards per carry. Chris Carson is running behind a struggling, makeshift offensive line and that’s not the case with Elliott. The point is that if Elliott can’t find that “next” gear to finish out this season, then we’ll see him slip a few spots in consensus rankings in 2020. 

About Patrick White

Have been with Sharks for seven years. Been printed and published. Have been copied by, faced off against, and beaten some of the fiercest competition and abbreviated outlets in football. If you read RnF and live by the old "If you're not first, you're last" mentality, you'll be just fine.