Fantasy Football Mailbag: Wednesday 9/28/16

Andy Dalton has gotten off to a rough start, but can we trust him in fantasy football for Week 4? And what is Jordan Howard's value without Jeremy Langford?

Fantasy football research never stops, and roles change drastically from one week to the next. That's where our fantasy football mailbag comes into play.

Have a question about a certain player, team, strategy, or anything football? Shoot us a question on Twitter or send an email to, and we can talk anything fantasy football related -- even daily fantasy football.

Don't forget to check out our NFL remaining yearly projections, weekly projections, and our brand new DFS tools, which are available to all premium subscribers.

Now, let's answer some questions.

Email submission from Matthew Tilton:

Hey Jim, I received a trade in another league, just hoping you could give me some feedback. Sending: Zeke Elliot and Allen Robinson. Receiving: OBJ and Eddie Lacy. STANDARD SCORING LEAGUE

When you're playing in a standard league, you're almost forced to put a heavy emphasis on touchdowns. This means we need to pair our assets to high-efficiency quarterbacks, making the winner of this trade the side with Odell Beckham and Eddie Lacy.

We know that Beckham has stupid upside based on what he has done the past two years. While this hasn't quite translated into fantasy points yet, there has been an interesting development with his usage in 2016. His target market share in the New York Giants' offense is 28.3%, up from 27.1% last year in the 15 games he played. The Giants play at a high pace, ranking sixth in situation-neutral pace, according to Football Outsiders, giving extra weight to that market share. He's primed for another tremendous season once he starts to find the end zone.

Lacy's value gets a boost here due to the non-PPR scoring. He played 70.4% of the team's snaps on Sunday, his highest single-game mark since Week 3 of last year, and the team has a run of home games after their Week 4 bye. He's a guy you want to buy right now, even if the cost is high.

Closing up with Ezekiel Elliott, his problem isn't his quarterback as Dak Prescott is numberFire's fifth-most efficient passer, based on Passing Net Expected Points per dropback. His issue is touchdowns because he has only 53.8% of the team's red-zone carries, 37.5% from 10 yards and in, and one of five carries from inside the five-yard line. If that persists, it'll be a major ding to his value, and it tilts the scales more heavily toward Lacy and Beckham here.

None of these guys are terrible options this week, especially with Prescott facing the up-tempo San Francisco 49ers offense (though that would change if Dez Bryant can't play). But with Andy Dalton's matchup, he's primed to unleash some sauciness.

If you look at how quarterbacks have performed against the Miami Dolphins this year, the results will be underwhelming. Only one quarterback has finished in the top 20 of weekly finishers against them, and Russell Wilson was all the way down in 24th. Taking that at face value will make you think you need to avoid Dalton.

That's not an entirely accurate picture. Two of those quarterbacks -- Wilson and Jimmy Garoppolo -- sustained injuries in the game, and the third -- Cody Kessler -- was making his debut as a third-round rookie and splitting snaps with Terrelle Pryor. Garoppolo was the eighth-highest scorer at the position despite the injury. This defense isn't good, ranking 17th against the pass, according to numberFire's metrics.

The Bengals enter Thursday night with an implied team total of 25.75, the highest of these three options. If you've got Dalton, you should be starting him this week.

With Jeremy Langford set to miss a few weeks with a sprained ankle, Jordan Howard projects to carry the load at running back for the Chicago Bears. If Week 3 is any indication, he could have a decent chunk of value.

After Langford went down, Howard played 75.4% of the snaps over the rest of the game, netting 9 carries and 6 targets. Given the Bears' wretched offense, those six targets are huge for him because they give him a floor even when the Bears are trailing. Assuming Ka'Deem Carey doesn't return from injury and snag a big role, Howard's going to be a significant part of this offense.

The other aspect with Howard is that he isn't guaranteed to lose his spot once Langford returns. The team gave Carey a good number of snaps in Week 2 prior to his injury, making it seem as if Langford's Week 1 snap rate of 96.4% was a true outlier. If Howard can perform well in Langford's absence, this could turn into something much bigger, giving him a ton of forward-looking viability that we should covet.

Want to have your questions answered in our mailbag? Submit your questions by tweeting @numberFire or sending an email to