Fantasy Football Mailbag: Friday 9/30/16

Travis Benjamin hasn't seen as many targets as expected with Keenan Allen out, so should we be trading him in fantasy football? And what is Jordan Reed's outlook for Week 4?

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.

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Now, let's answer some questions.

Email submission from Spencer Muller:

I saw that Josh Gordon decided to enter rehab. Do you think he is worth keeping on my bench, or should he be dropped at this point?

Most importantly, you hope that this will be something that can help Josh Gordon get himself right. It's hard to watch a young guy like that -- or anybody -- struggle with addiction, so kudos to Gordon for recognizing a problem and seeking help to correct it.

In the far-less-important fantasy realm, you can safely drop Gordon in re-draft at this point. Terrelle Pryor's 32.0% target market share looks more sustainable going forward, so you should snag him if he somehow leaked through waivers this week.

Additionally, if somebody dropped Corey Coleman due to his injury, it might be worth it to pick him up and stash him until he's able to return. He had a 22.0% target market share at the time of his injury, and he should be heavily-involved when he returns.

Email submission from John Swan:

I want to clear a roster spot and have identified Spencer Ware as my 'weakest' season long RB among Le'von Bell, CJ Anderson, Frank Gore, and Charles Sims. What are your thoughts about my offer of Travis Benjamin and Spencer Ware for Larry Fitzgerald? Would it be better for me to offer Jordan Matthews instead of Benjamin?

With a 27.1% target market share this year, Larry Fitzgerald is a fine guy to target via trade. But with John Brown's involvement potentially increasing and continued ambiguity around Spencer Ware and Travis Benjamin, it might be best to hold off on this one.

In the first two weeks without Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams has seen two more targets than Benjamin and has played more snaps in both. That's a ding to Benjamin's value as he's not acquiring as much of the volume as you could have thought he might without Allen, and it's a legit cause for concern.

However, there were extenuating circumstances in both of those contests. First, the San Diego Chargers put a whoopin' on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2, meaning they didn't need to pass much late. Through the first three quarters, Benjamin had six targets compared to four for Williams.

In Week 3, Benjamin faced a bit of wrath from Vontae Davis. Davis wasn't his former self in returning from an injury, but we can't fully evaluate a receiver based on how he does with Davis on the field in any state. This is why we should be hanging onto Benjamin as there's a chance his value could shoot up over the next few weeks.

With Ware, we still don't know what his role will be when Jamaal Charles is back. It's entirely possible that Ware will still have fantasy viability regardless, and other owners may not be accounting for that right now. This is why the ambiguity favors him, incentivizing us to hold until we have more clarity.

Email submission from E. Isaacson:

I am in a 12 team standard league that treats TEs as WRs. I have Melvin Gordon and Carlos Hyde slotted in as my two starting RBs and Deandre Hopkins and TY Hilton slotted in at my two WR/TE slots. I also have Charles Sims, Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed, and Jamison Crowder and I need 1 for my flex. Who would you start in that flex spot and also, would you start any of my bench players over my current starters?

Your current starters are all in good spots, so it's best to keep them where they're at. The concerns around health and his quarterback push Rob Gronkowski down the totem pole, and Charles Sims has severely limited upside in a matchup with the Denver Broncos. This leaves us with Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder, and Reed holds the edge here.

Everything about Crowder has been positive this year, specifically his involvement in the red zone. He's tied for the league lead in red-zone targets, and he's tied with Reed on the team in raw targets. It makes him startable in plenty of leagues if you're in need this week.

The problem with Crowder is that he's a bit more touchdown-dependent in standard leagues than Reed would be. Crowder's averaging 7.00 yards per target this year and 7.56 for his career, compared to marks of 7.60 and 8.01, respectively for Reed. Add in the red-zone abilities Reed showed last year, and Reed's advantage over Crowder here widens even a bit more.

Email submission from John Bishop:

Obviously want exposure to SD receivers here but would like to avoid Verrett-do you know who he is shadowing?

We all know that Jason Verrett is a solid asset, so you're smart in wanting to avoid him. ESPN's Mike Clay wrote this week that Verrett will likely shadow Brandin Cooks a good amount if Willie Snead is able to play and occupy the slot. With Snead out last week, though, Clay noted that the New Orleans Saints utilized Cooks more in the slot, a place where he would likely be able to avoid Verrett. Either way, though, Verrett's presence is a clear knock on Cooks' value, even if he's not covering him on every play.

This would make Snead the choice if he is able to return to the field this weekend. Snead got in a second consecutive limited practice Thursday, meaning that's a definite possibility. Snead's injury may scare people off of him, potentially making him a solid tournament option with an easier matchup than Cooks will see.

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