Week 8: PPR Watch
Avoid - I know people in deep leagues are desperate and I'm fine with him as a pickup. Young players with potential are nice to have on your bench and TE has been a hit or miss position all year. On the surface, Fleeners 17 targets over the past 3 games rank him right up in the top 10. But unfortunately, the production just hasn't been good enough to let him anywhere near your lineup yet. First off, the matchup against Tennessee isn't as juicy as it looks. While the Titans are worst in the league against TE's statistically, 5 of the 7 touchdowns and nearly half of the yardage against them came in the first 2 weeks. Second, Fleener is still on the field for only about 50% of the snaps on average, and despite splitting time with Allen most of the year, Allen's snap percentage has actually been going up. It could be a fairly high scoring game, but unless there is a major change to game plan, Fleener's had only 5 looks in the red zone all year, and done nothing recently to suggest he's going to be a bigger part of the passing game this week. I'd rather have Cook, Myers, even Fasano this week, if you need other options.
Sleeper - Sometimes it's ok to chase last weeks points. Sure, there is no way to be sure Howling will ever rush for 100 yards again, and at only 5'7 185 pounds, it's hard to believe he's going to be a long term goal line option with William Powell in the picture. Still, LaRod took his opportunity and literally ran with it after the Powell fumble, slashing through a strong Vikings run defense and ripping off a 27 yard run in the process. Of particular note to PPR owners were his 4 catches for 45 yards. Even if Howling only ends up getting the ball between the 20's, we know he has excellent hands out of the backfield and explosive big play speed. The Niners are obviously an extremely tough matchup in week 8, but stash Howling now and see how he's used. If he gets 3 or 4 receptions and 15 total touches, then you may have found yourself a nice flex player until Beanie gets reactivated.