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RISERS & FALLERS: Week 15

As Matthew McConaughey would say in regards to our playoff positioning, if you did in fact make it in, “Alright, alright, alright.” If you didn’t make it in, McConaughey would simply give you the “Be a lot cooler if you did” response. Listen, we typically break down 10 players a week of guys who could make it or break it for you. But, being the second week of elimination, what purpose are we really serving? Is generating a 100-word essay on how we think that Travis Kelce could vault himself into unquestioned TE1 status going to help you owners with Zach Ertz, Evan Engram, Jimmy Graham, or whatever you surviving 25 percent owners have out there? As much as we think Kelce will do just that, the fact remains that we’re only appealing to a very small portion of an already dwindling population of interested fantasy owners. So, what can we do to draw the attention of the rest of the fantasy world? Well, how does ten completely personally developed potential offseason moves sound? Could one game resonate not only for the rest of the year but also into 2019? “Risers and Fallers” seems to think so.

Miami hits the reset button in a big way

And when we say big way, we mean all the big three fantasy positions being completely reinvented in South Beach. How much longer is Frank Gore going to be able to hang with a bunch of 20 somethings? Will Ryan Tannehill be allowed to cash checks that don’t come close to his production level? If you move on from the quarterback, don’t you think it would make sense to save money by getting rid of Kenny Stills and moving on from first-round bust DeVante Parker? And let’s not forget that Miami needs a tight end in the same way that most of the league does. So that’s a new starting running back, a new quarterback, two new wide receivers, and the ever present need for a tight end. Miami could end up with a lot of new faces next season.

Tennessee cuts Dion Lewis

To be honest, the signing of Lewis didn’t make a ton of sense when it went down. Didn’t Tennessee just invest a second-round pick in running back Derrick Henry? Didn’t Tennessee already have a secondary rushing threat with quarterback Marcus Mariota? Didn’t Tennessee just run a pass catching running back in DeMarco Murray right out the door? The answer to all three questions is an echoing YES. With three more years left on this deal, do you really think that Tennessee is going to continue to pay $5 million a year for a guy who is sitting at 50 catches with two total touchdowns? This so-called pass catching specialist is sitting at 348 yards receiving while newly established running back receiver Ezekiel Elliott, who just learned how to do the job, is looking at 65 catches for more than 500 yards. Too much of stretch do you think? Was putting Elliott and Lewis in the same sentence insane? Well, maybe we went too far. But, coming back down to earth, comparing the guy who replaced him straight up in New England with James White, we see that Lewis’ totals are a ways from his replacement’s 647 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns, never mind the crazy two total touchdowns from Lewis versus White’s ten. Chew on that for a bit.

Oakland trades Derek Carr

There is always a team in the NFL willing to take on a proven, young quarterback talent. In fact, you don’t have to be all that young or over-the-top proven in order to convince some bright-eyed general manager that you’re worth your weight in gold. Take a look around the league as of late. Sam Bradford. Case Keenum. Blake Bortles. Ryan Tannehill. MARK SANCHEZ. Given his age and the fact that his new general manager is cleaning house, Carr could be all but gone. And it couldn’t have happened at a better time as we, personally, are all set watching them have loving and then later, heated exchanges on the sideline like a middle school couple right before the Spring Fling Formal pictures are taken. If Jon Gruden wants full control and thus full praise, then he needs his own quarterback. And given Carr’s early career success, it’s likely that someone will pay handsomely for him.

Atlanta lets Tevin Coleman walk
Let’s clear the smoke right here and now. We own Coleman. We drafted him as we liked him as a weekly flex-play with potential for a ton of growth if Devonta Freeman went down. Well, didn’t the stars align for us in fantasy land because BEHOLD, it’s exactly what happened. And do you know what Coleman did with that expanded workload? Nothing. He did nothing. In fact, if anything, he opened the door for Ito Smith to emerge as a secondary option, all but showing himself the door. Devonta Freeman is making a crazy amount of money and it’s pretty clear that Atlanta has problems at most of the other 21 starting positions. It’s not that Atlanta is going to let him leave, it’s the fact that the team won’t even ask him to say. He’d need a monster game against the tough Arizona defense to even earn a pat on the back on his way out the door.

Chicago says goodbye to Jordan Howard

If you read all the way back into the Week 1 stuff that we were preaching, this was one of the underlining themes for all of the 2018 fantasy season. The fact of the matter is that Chicago had itself a 1,000-yard per season rusher and was not thrilled with it. Some teams search for such a thing for several years, some teams churn them out and turn them over. So whether you’re Indianapolis hoping that Frank Gore can change your tune or Denver, who seems to have a different leading rusher each season since the trade of Clinton Portis, teams tend to make it pretty obvious how they value the position. And value it, Chicago does not. Chicago will make the playoffs, and most likely make it to the second round. Then, the team will be under the impression that it’s just a player or two away. And that’s when Howard becomes expendable. Clearly, the team would rather Tarik Cohen in a more featured role. Why not get two birds with one stone?

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.

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