Fantasy Football Mailbag: Friday 9/9/16

C.J. Anderson impressed in a big way in Thursday night's opener. Can we expect him to duplicate that going forward?

Fantasy football research never stops, and offseason news can really complicate things, especially when coaches talk up second- and third-string players. That's where our fantasy football mailbag comes into play.

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Now, let's answer some questions.

Email submission from JMurray

Hello. .50 ppr. Blount or James white? Or do I play 2 rb and 4 wr by playing Cobb. A Robinson, Floyd and Mike Wallace. Thanks. Rest of line is solid. A Rodgers. Lamar Miller. Matt jones

What this essentially boils down to is whether you'd want to start Mike Wallace, LeGarrette Blount, or James White. The uncertainty with the Baltimore Ravens prevents any form of confidence in Wallace, whittling this decision to Blount or White. Based on everything Vegas is saying about the New England Patriots' game, White appears to be the superior option.

The Patriots enter Sunday's game as 6.5-points underdogs to the Arizona Cardinals, a spread that has been increasing as the week has progressed. The Cardinals are expected to win this game by a decent amount, which could force the Patriots to abandon the ground game quickly. That would effectively eliminate Blount from the gameplan, and it would play right into the strengths of White.

White's role expanded in Week 12 of last season. From then on, he controlled an 18.3% market share in the Patriots' offense, and the Patriots weren't underdogs in any of those games. Now, they are, which could lead to additional passing opportunities. That gives White a firm role in the offense, and that's not something we can guarantee for Blount given the spread.

Because there are three questions here, we'll try to sort through each in a quick manner. In the first situation, because it's a point-per-reception league, you want to flood your lineups with wide receivers. The New Orleans Saints' implied team total of 26.75 is one of the highest on the slate, and that puts Willie Snead in a great spot. He'd likely hold the edge here.

With Eli Manning and Tyrod Taylor, you've got a couple of quality options. There are reasons to like both players. However, with our quarterbacks, we generally want to avoid negative game flow. The Buffalo Bills are three-point underdogs with an implied total of 20.75, while the New York Giants are only one-point underdogs with an implied total of 22.5. This puts Manning in a slightly-better spot than Taylor, even if he doesn't possess the same upside in a slower-paced game.

Finally, with Jamaal Charles likely either inactive or limited on Sunday, you want Spencer Ware. Everywhere. If it's a dilemma between him and most other players in season-long leagues, Ware will likely be your guy. He's also a tremendous asset in daily formats, even though he'll likely be the highest-owned player on the slate.

It's hard to get too excited about one game from a player, especially when that game is at home. But a lot of what C.J. Anderson did last night should have his owners completely pumped up.

The biggest thing for Anderson wasn't his 139 yards from scrimmage or his 2 touchdowns. Instead, it was his role in a game in which the Denver Broncos were trailing in the fourth quarter. Anderson played 82.8% of the snaps and was targeted 5 times. That's how you smooth out variance in a player, and it gives Anderson a higher weekly floor than we may have assumed he'd have entering the season.

The other encouraging sign is that Trevor Siemian was at least passable at quarterback. Siemian accounted for -1.02 Passing Net Expected Points, according to numberFire Live, and that improves to 2.46 if you take out the fluke interception at the hands of Thomas Davis. Even though those numbers aren't brimming with efficiency, Siemian could at least be good enough to keep games close given the strength of Denver's defense. This, again, increases Anderson's floor and should change the way we view him going forward.

Anderson's fantasy output was great last night. But it's the deeper numbers that should boost our valuation of him. With Anderson's role in the passing game and snap rate, he's going to be a fun guy to watch the rest of the season.

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