Fantasy Football Mailbag: Tuesday 9/20/16

Jerick McKinnnon figures to inherit volume with Adrian Peterson out, but should we favor him over teammate Matt Asiata? And can we trust Coby Fleener in season-long fantasy football?

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Now, let's answer some questions.

Email submission from Matthew

I own Gary Barnidge in 3 separate leagues. What's going on in Cleveland and is it time to drop Barnidge? ( I own Graham in league 1), (Pitta in league 2) and (Ertz and Allen in league 3). PPR.

There's a mix of good and bad when it comes to Gary Barnidge. The good is that he has played over 98% of the snaps in each of the team's first two games, a tremendous mark for any tight end. The bad, though, is that we need to attach our tight ends to offenses with touchdown upside, and it's hard to say that the Cleveland Browns have that right now.

Josh McCown is expected to miss multiple games, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, meaning third-round rookie Cody Kessler takes the torch in the offense. Kessler had impressive numbers in college, but it's not a lock that those skills will translate immediately -- if ever -- to the NFL. Barnidge's target totals should increase just because he is on the field so often, but it's hard to argue that he'll have any upside until McCown returns.

If you can afford to keep Barnidge, then you can potentially hold him on the bench until there is more clarity at the position. But if you need a spot and have other worthwhile options like Dennis Pitta and Dwayne Allen, it's fine to cut bait and move on to higher-upside options.

Charles Sims shouldn't be on any waiver wires to begin with, and the Doug Martin injury really shows you why. If he's there, you should be going to great lengths to snag him. If not, though, Jerick McKinnon holds an edge over Matt Asiata.

Even with Adrian Peterson this year, the Minnesota Vikings have had troubles running the football, ranking dead last in numberFire's schedule-adjusted Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play through the first two weeks. Asiata's sole utility in that offense is to run the football. If Peterson can't find gaps in the offensive line, there seems to be little reason to think Asiata could buck the trend.

McKinnon, on the other hand, is a physical specimen who proved last year that he can be useful in the passing game, holding a 19.1% target market share from Week 15 through the first round of the playoffs. The team will likely be forced into a more pass-heavy approach, and that plays right into McKinnon's strengths, making him the better choice between the two.

You may want to stay down, Tyler, because there's a whole herd of ticked-off Coby Fleener owners thirsty for blood. Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything. But no matter how great the matchup is, it'd be hard to start Fleener in season-long at this point.

Through two weeks, the New Orleans Saints have played the Oakland Raiders and New York Giants. Those two teams ranked 30th and 31st, respectively, in fantasy points allowed per game to tight ends last year, according to FantasyData. The only team worse? That would be Fleener's Saints. These have been dream matchups, and Fleener has still managed to turn 12 targets into 3 receptions for 35 yards. The Atlanta Falcons were 29th against tight ends last year and have allowed a touchdown to them in each of the first two games, but it's hard to have any level of confidence in Fleener.

The one positive thing for Fleener is that he has played 78.6% of the team's snaps this year. However, Dwayne Allen played 84.6% of the snaps in Week 2 and is at 77.6% for the season. The Colts' implied team total is nearly as juicy as the Saints', so if you've got Allen at the ready, he deserves the nod over Fleener this week.

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