What Happened to Sammy Watkins?

I started Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins week one, and I wasn’t the only one. Watkins had an impressive rookie campaign, knocking on the door of 1,000 yard and scoring six touchdowns. One a team with out many elite receiver options, Watkins was expected to shine early. Unfortunately for many fantasy players, he did not. In fact, he put up a big ol’ goose egg. Instead, it was preseason addition Percy Harvin who racked up the yards and fantasy points.

So what should we expect going forward? In my opinion, not much. While Watkins may have some outstanding games, as he’s a very talented player, I just don’t see him performing at a fantasy starter’s level consistently. While his talent is exceptional, he currently has two things holding him back; Tyrod Taylor and Rex Ryan.

While it’s true that Taylor’s week one performance was impressive (with a 73% completions, including six passes over 20 yards out of his 19 attempts) I doubt that will be the norm in Buffalo. In previous season where Taylor attempted more than five passes, his completion percentage average was 39%. Where Taylor will excel is with his legs, not his arm. In game one against the Indianapolis Colts he had 41 rushing yards. The Bills offensive line looks much improved from last season, which will benefit both Taylor and the Bills Rushers.

His biggest hinderance to his fantasy produciton however, is Head Coach, Rex Ryan. Ryan is known for two things; His killer defenses, and his ground and pound rushing game. Rex has been quoted as saying, “whatever you do best, we’re going to take away from you” in reference to his defensive philosophy. His love of the run game has never been a secret either. Want a cleverly inserted quote? “We prefer to ground and pound it. We’ll run fifty times a game if we can on you” -Rex Ryan. It’s just how he coaches, and how he prefers to run his team.

This week Watkins may surprise us against the New England Patriots. He’s currently predicted to score about eight points this week in standard leagues. My advice would be to wait for a break out game and and trade him for someone more reliable. If you’re dead set on keeping him, watch your defensive match ups, and play him when they’re favorable.

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Arian Foster Injury Update: Foster Returns to Practice

Foster owners rejoice! We have our first Arian Foster practice spotting since suffering his groin injury back in August. So does this mean Spring is just around the corner?

While Foster’s participation is certainly good news for the Texan’s and his fantasy owners, it’s likely we won’t see him take the field for at least another week, and more likely two. Even so Foster is making good progress in his recovery. Originally it was thought that Foster’s groin injury, and subsequent surgery would have him sidelined for the majority of the season. The Houston Texan’s coaching staff seems motivated as well, with Coach Bill O’Brien saying he expects Foster back, “sooner rather than later”.

So when Foster returns, what sort of fantasy production can we expect to see? In seasons where Arian Foster participated in more than eight games, he averaged over 1,350 yards and 12 touchdowns. The most encouraging stat is that every season, even those where Foster missed multiple games due to injury, he never dropped below a 4.1 YPC average. The take away from this is that as long as Foster is on the field, he’s a fantasy producer.

The one area where we may expect less production from Foster is in the passing game. Last season Foster recorded 38 receptions, for five touchdowns. The Texans need a reliable runner. Anyone that watched the Texans last Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs will agree. Alfred Blue just doesn’t cut it as an every down back. However, they don’t lack for passing targets. DeAndre Hopkins, Nate Washington, and Cecil Shorts III all look to contribute to the passing game. The addition of Nate Washington in particular as a possession receiver should really help take some strain off the running game, and off of Foster. The Texans are going to want to keep Foster healthy, and while they can’t cut out too many of his rushing possessions, they can cut back on passing possessions.

So maybe Foster doesn’t see as many receptions on passing downs. He will still produce impressive numbers on the ground, and is the go to guy for the Texans in the endzone. Even if Foster sees a passing reduction, he should remain a fantasy RB1, and produce for his owners every week.

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Terrelle Pryor’s New Team? He recently worked out with the New England Patriots

UPDATE:

Terrelle Pryor was recently released from The Cleveland Browns after making the cut for the 53 man roster. To say he was disappointed would be an understatement.

But Pryor’s NFL dreams are still alive, and he is sticking with his role as a wide receiver. His workout with The Patriots makes sense. The Pats are currently down three receivers with the loss of Brandon Gibson, and Brandon Lafell to injury, and Reggie Wayne due to personal choices. Their currently top targets, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, played very well in their season opener, but could benefit from another target on the field. Tom Brady is playing with a chip on his shoulder, due to the offseason chaos caused by deflate gate. He looked great in The Pats opening game against the Steelers, and I don’t expect his gunslinger mentality to ease up anytime soon.

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