Brandon Funston

The Funston Fives

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Gurley, All or Nothing

Thursday, October 5, 2017


5 Flex-able Bye-week Fill-ins

Adam Humphries, TB, WR – New England corners Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung have been two of the most victimized corners in slot coverage this season, both yielding QB Ratings north of 140 on targets intended for their slot assignments. Humphries, who leads the Bucs in receiving yards over the past two weeks (138) spends the majority of his time in the slot, so this matchup suits him well.

Geronimo Allison, GB, WR – There’s a good chance that Packers WR Davante Adams (concussion) sits in Week 5. And if that’s the case, Allison will be the biggest playing time beneficiary. We’ve already seen Allison flash in Week 3, recording six catches for 122 yards while filling in for injured starter Randall Cobb. Allison could post similar fantasy value this week against a Dallas defense that has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to the WR position.

Sterling Shepard, NYG, WR – Shepard has played at least 56 snaps in every game this season and sits ninth among WRs in total snaps played this season. That workload has helped propel Shepard to the No. 21 spot in fantasy points among WRs through the first month of the season, and should help him continue living in that neighborhood for another week as he faces a Chargers’ secondary that has allowed a 101 QB Rating (ninth most) and the 11th-most fantasy PPG allowed to the WR position.

Isaiah Crowell, CLE, RB – Time for a last-ditch effort for Crowell owners. If he can’t make good this week, it’s more than justified kicking him to the curb. But Crowell has a set-up that just might work out (finally!) for his fantasy owners. No team has trailed more often than Cleveland this season, and game flow has certainly contributed to Crowell’s first-month funk. But he’s at home this week against a Jets team that has faired poorly in two road contests this season, getting outscored by a combined score of 66-32 against Oakland and Buffalo. And running backs have carried the ball 107 times versus the Jets this season, fourth-most in the NFL. There is reason to believe Crowell could see his largest workload of the season this week. If he doesn’t at least come close to doubling his Fantasy PPG average (4.6) on Sunday, by all means, throw him out with the trash.

C.J. Prosise, SEA, RB – Prosise is expected to be back in action this week after sitting out Week 4 with an ankle injury. With Chris Carson lost to IR with a broken leg, the lead backfield role is again up for grabs. Prosise offers the skill-set with the most bells and whistles and it would not be surprising if Prosise, in addition to handling the passing down duties in the backfield, also sees something in the neighborhood of 6-10 carries. And a double-digit workload against this Rams’ defense that has allowed more fantasy points to the RB position than any other team, could very easily net flex-worthy results.


5 Players/Defenses with Enviable October Schedules

Jay Ajayi, MIA, RB – Game flow has hurt Ajayi’s workload upside in the past couple games, but if Miami can put forth some competitive efforts this month, Ajayi stands to make major gains. The Dolphins will face Tennessee, Atlanta, the NY Jets and Baltimore over the next four weeks. Each of those four teams currently sits among the top 10 most generous in fantasy to opposing running backs.

Kelvin Benjamin/Devin Funchess, CAR, WR – Funchess (No. 2 – 7-for-70 and 2 TDs) and Benjamin (No. 18 – 4-for-104) were both among the top 20 fantasy wideouts in Week 4, and it’s not hard to imagine the duo repeating this feat again in the weeks ahead given the softness of their October slate. This week, the Panthers’ wideouts face a Lions’ defense that has been middle-of-the-road against receivers for fantasy purposes. That will be the biggest hurdle ahead for Benjamin and Funchess. After that, they’ll face Philly, Chicago and Tampa Bay, all three among the seven most generous in fantasy to the WR position.

Hunter Henry, LAC, TE – Sitting at 0-4 to start the season, it’s high time the Chargers started looking to the future, moving Henry to the forefront in the TE platoon with Antonio Gates. By snap count measurements, I guess you could say the transition has already begun – after trailing in combined snap count over the first two games by a tally of 71-56, Henry has played even time with Gates the past two games (76 to 76).  If the trend continues in that direction, Henry is going to see a healthy workload over the next four weeks against the NY Giants, Denver, Oakland and New England, teams ranked among the nine most generous to the TE position – they have combined to allow 12 TE touchdowns thus far.

Joe Flacco, BAL, QB – Each of Flacco’s October opponents sits in the bottom half of the league in QB Rating allowed, and three of those opponents (Oakland, Chicago, Miami) rank among the bottom six, each allowing a QBR over 103. Flacco is off to a rough start, but it’s worth a reminder that he missed the entire preseason because of a back injury and his QB strength of schedule through his first four games rates as the third-toughest. Flacco might not be a bad direction for Derek Carr owners to turn in October.

Philadelphia Defense – Not only is Philly a great get for this week hosting an Arizona offense that has allowed the most QB pressures, hurries and sacks, but it also gets two more home dates this month, against offenses that have been among the most generous to opposing defenses (Washington, San Francisco). Moreover, its one road date in October comes at Carolina, against a Panthers’ offense that has allowed the 11th-most sacks (11) and third-most INTs (5).



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Brandon Funston has been dispensing solid gold fantasy advice (with some fool's gold mixed in from time to time) for the past 20 years, formerly with ESPN, and Yahoo. You can send him questions/comments on Twitter @brandonfunston.



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