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Fantasy Roundtable

Roundtable: No Sure Thing

by Jesse Pantuosco
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Jesse Pantuosco (@JessePantuosco): Calvin Johnson, Randall Cobb and T.Y. Hilton are all big names. That much is undeniable. But lately, these big names have been doing more to hurt fantasy owners than to help them.


Johnson, who is clearly playing at less than 100 percent health, has reeled in just two catches over his last two games. Cobb has scored only three touchdowns since the end of September with one coming on a fumble recovery while Hilton has been feast or famine all year.


In season-long leagues, the rule of thumb is that you go with your best players, regardless of the matchup. But does that strategy apply for these three? In finals week, I want sure things and I don’t know if any of them fit that description.


Rich Hribar (@LordReebs): I wouldn't necessarily extend myself to start any of these guys, but there's some intrigue to all (which will almost assuredly prove to be detrimental) if by some miracle you survived with any of them playing in your lineups over the past two weeks. 


Cobb has seen a slight boost since Mike McCarthy has been calling plays, seeing 19 targets and getting seven rushing attempts over the past two weeks and Tyrann Mathieu is out for this game. He'll see Justin Bethel a lot, who has been solid, but is no Mathieu. Cobb is also seeing targets from the best quarterback of this group, but has still squandered a litany of good spots all season long.


Calvin has to be more hurt than the Lions are letting on because he hasn't even been a part of the game plan the past two weeks. That's the only way I can even rationalize him getting just six targets in that span. It’s not a bad spot for him against the 49ers, who have been horrible versus lead receivers all season. But at least Cobb has just been ineffective, not forgotten. 


Hilton is what he is without high volume and in a poor offense, which is a high variance option. Miami has looked disinterested in even playing out the season, so maybe you can sell yourself that the "every other week he's good" narrative holds up one more time. But the Colts have just two touchdowns on their past 38 possessions.


This trio has been such a ruse that I'd be cautious about being honey-potted by any of them. I would be fine turning away for a Markus Wheaton/Tyler Lockett/Willie Snead type if I had them as an alternative. 


Jeff Brubach (@Jeff_Brubach): I'd probably feel the best about rolling out Cobb this week, and perhaps Megatron in a decent matchup although he squandered a cushy spot on Monday. Hilton’s off the map for me, and with so many random one-week options springing up due to the pile of injuries around the league, I think you can figure out a start-worthy option this week to take their place. The vast majority of leagues also have very little waiver wire action happening this week, so the under-owned options should be ripe for the picking.


Evan Silva (@evansilva): T.Y. Hilton is entirely boom or bust with Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback. He's had some great weeks with Hasselbeck, and some really bad ones too. I like his matchup against the Dolphins' cornerbacks -- washed-up Brent Grimes and former Michigan State wide receiver Tony Lippett -- but Hilton has rough-looking split stats indoors versus outdoors over the course of his career, and he's really just a volatile WR3 option even in optimal conditions this season.


Randall Cobb has looked like just another guy on the field this year. He seemingly has great matchups every week, but has consistently failed to capitalize. This is another one. The Cardinals lost Tyrann Mathieu for the season, meaning their slot corner will likely be Jerraud Powers. My guess is we see Patrick Peterson on James Jones with Powers on Cobb.


Cobb is the most trustworthy fantasy play in the group, but it's become difficult to project him for a high ceiling. I think he's a high-floor WR2 play against Arizona.


Raymond Summerlin (@RMSummerlin): We could extend this question to the running back position as well. Eddie Lacy looked like he had turned the corner on a dreadful season with three solid games only interrupted by a benching, but he went back into the toilet last week. Now he is playing on the road in a tough matchup against a team that could easily put Green Bay in pass-heavy game flow situations. The running back landscape is so bleak this week Lacy is probably a starter if you have limped him this far, but he is someone I would try to avoid if at all possible. I am at least considering playing Cameron Artis-Payne ahead of him, and I would pull the trigger on Alfred Blue over Lacy. What has this season come to?

Jesse Pantuosco
Jesse Pantuosco is a football and baseball writer for Rotoworld. He has won three Fantasy Sports Writers Association Awards. Follow him on Twitter @JessePantuosco.