Fantasy Football Mailbag: Monday 9/19/16

Should we be going all in on Jerick McKinnon? And is LeGarrette Blount more valuable than Carlos Hyde?

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Now, let's answer some questions.

Email submission from Matthew

How much free agent budget (max $100) should be spent on McKinnon if AP is down for any length of time? Non AP owner.

This is a tricky one, Matthew, but the short answer is not too much.

Most importantly, it's looking like Adrian Peterson avoided major structural damage to his knee, and head coach Mike Zimmer sounded uncertain if Peterson would miss any time at all.

The other part in this is that Jerick McKinnon played as many snaps (12) in Minnesota's win over Green Bay as Matt Asiata did, though all of McKinnon's snaps came after Peterson exited. Now, McKinnon did drastically outperform his Vikings teammates last year in terms of advanced analytics, but we don't want to deplete our free-agency budget in Week 2 on a player who might wind up in a committee until the incumbent returns in just a few weeks.

The situation is too unclear right now, and the offensive line isn't doing much to inspire confidence. I think flirting with 50 percent of your budget on McKinnon would be justifiable given his three-down ability -- if Peterson were somehow ruled out for the year. But with Ameer Abdullah ailing and Theo Riddick potentially available as well as Doug Martin's injury paving the way for Charles Sims, it's ill-advised to get too attracted to McKinnon given the ambiguity in Minnesota right now.

Email submission from Rocky

12 team, .5 ppr league. I have pretty decent rb depth, but weak at wr after my first 2 picks, OBJ and Evans. Thinking of trying to move Hyde or Blount to add another decent receiver. Question is, which of the 2 should I be trying to hold onto if I can? I drafted Hyde much higher, but looking at his schedule, I’m thinking maybe he’s the one I should be offering. What do you think? Thanks.

This one really depends on what you can pull for either running back in a trade, which is probably pretty obvious. But with Carlos Hyde, you're right, Rocky. The schedule isn't great. The San Francisco 49ers have trounced the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1 and played the Carolina Panthers fairly tight all things considered in Week 2, but on the docket next are the Seattle Seahawks on the road, the Dallas Cowboys and their frustrating pace, and the Arizona Cardinals.

Hyde did play 60% of the team's snaps in Week 2 despite trailing late in the game and 70% in Week 1 when the team led, but they have a pass-catching back waiting in the wings when this team is down big: Shaun Draughn.

LeGarrette Blount is in a similar situation, as he is notoriously better when his team is favored. In the past three seasons as a favorite, Blount has averaged 8.62 half-PPR points compared to 6.66 as an underdog, according to Rotoviz's Game Splits app. That jumps to 10.17 if we look at just the 17 games where he was involved enough to see at least 5 carries. The New England Patriots have an unenviable game on Thursday night against the Houston Texans in Week 3 but then move on to play the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns.

I know the investment was greater in Hyde, but I'd be looking to sell Hyde for a better receiver than you could probably fetch for Blount based on name value.

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