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Fantasy Football Index publisher Ian Allan answers your questions about fantasy football. Click here to submit a question.

Mailbag

Mailbag for October 13, 2022

Ian Allan answers your fantasy football questions. In this edition. Why Ezekiel Elliott is a sneaky buy-low candidate. Is are the Colts officially done? And waiting for Joe Mixon and JaMarr Chase to turn things around?

Question 1

TD-only league. Zeke Elliott off to slow start but after this week awful soft run defenses ahead. Your thoughts on his success going forward with this scoring system?

John Brower (Chapel Hill, NC)

That’s a really good point. The Cowboys in Weeks 7-8 are playing home games against the Lions and Bears, who have really struggled against the run. And four of their following five are also against below-average run defenses. Elliott isn’t the elite, difference-making back he was at the beginning of his career, but he’s still a serviceable meat-and-potatoes runner. He’s been noticeably better than I was expecting in some games this year, carrying 10 for 52 against Tampa Bay and 15 for 73 at the Giants. And he’s their back of choice when looking to punch out a couple of tough yards at the goal line. Tony Pollard is way more explosive, but Elliott is a more physical runner between the tackles. In general, looks like a guy who’ll quietly outperform where he was drafted.

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Question 2

The Colts have been killing me. I drafted Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman with the thought that Matt Ryan might be able to unlock that offense. So far, not so much. Is there any hope on the horizon?

Ben Blakely (Rochester, NY)

Taylor is practicing some today, making it look like he’s got a chance for Sunday. A couple of days after his injury, there was a report that test showed he avoided a high-ankle sprain. That should allow him to return sooner, but ankles are tricky, with the enhanced probability of re-injury if you return too soon. I trust that he’s working on. He knows that fantasy teams are depending on him, and he’s doing everything he can.

With Pittman I would hang in there. He’s their No. 1 guy. He’s going to be their receiving leader in most games. He averaged 5.2 catches for 64 yards last year, with 6 TDs in 17 games. With this current version of the team looking like it will need to pass more (it’s not good enough to simply button things up and rely on the run) I would expect he’ll be a little busier in 2022 than he was last year.

Matt Ryan looks like he’s done. I don’t think he’ll be in the NFL next year. The Colts brought in Philip Rivers for a farewell season two years ago, and he limped through the season, with no mobility and a declining arm – he had to rely entirely on his veteran smarts. Ryan looks like the same kind of guy, only the cast around him isn’t as good (and maybe Ryan, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t as good as Rivers).

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Question 3

I am 1-4 with the least points scored and I am in panic mode to avoid last-place punishment. What kind of move should I look to salvage my season? Should I break up my Bengals stack and who should I target? QB Rodgers. RB: Mixon, Pierce, Montgomery, Dillon, Harris, Allgeier, Mitchell (IR). WR: Chase, Pittman, Olave, Bateman, Hopkins. TE: Engram.

Mitchell Ross (Darien, CT)

In varying degrees, most of those players have underperformed. But I don’t know that my opinion of most of them has changed all that much. Mixon and Chase in particular could be top-5 players at their positions. Rodgers will get better as he builds a strong chemistry with his young receivers. So my general lean would be to keep the band together, giving these guys the chance to be what you thought they would be when you drafted them. I don’t like trading depreciated assets.

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Question 4

Currently have 4 RBs and can only carry 3 (start 2). I have Taylor, Swift, Pierce and Mostert. TD only scoring. Am I crazy to think Mostert over Swift rest of season? I’m thinking I can definitely get more in trade return for Swift on name recognition alone.

Matt Tinker (Orleans, VT)

Swift is a great player, but they’ve been pulling him in goal-line situations. Jamaal Williams has been able to effectively bang out 1-yard touchdowns, and I think he’ll continue to get most of those carries. That substantially reduces Swift’s value in leagues built solely on touchdowns. Swift is flashy as hell, catching passes and ripping off long runs. But about half of all rushing touchdowns from inside the 3-yard line. If he’s not getting the looks down there, it will be hard for him to be that difference-making kind of guy. Your decision is difficult in that three of your four players have injury concerns. Taylor is trying to come back from a sprained ankle, while Swift and Mostert have had a lot of injuries in recent seasons.

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Question 5

I need to drop two wideouts to address next week's bye. I'm looking at you, Rashod Bateman and Drake London. Question for you: Would you feel confident that you could pick up equal or better talent on the waiver wire to replace them the following week? Standard scoring league, 10-teams.

JEFF POWERS (Coral Springs, FL)

To me, those look like awfully good players to be cutting bait on. There’s currently a foot issue with Bateman, but once that’s resolved, I think he’ll be the most productive wide receiver for the Ravens. And London seems to be the top guy in Atlanta – even better than Kyle Pitts. You don’t find a lot of those guys on the waiver wire.

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