Fantasy Football Mailbag: Wednesday 11/2/16

Is Matt Jones still Washington's starting running back? Should he be? And should you start Jack Doyle over Eric Ebron?

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Now, let's answer some questions.

I can't say for certain that Matt Jones is no longer the starting running back for Washington, but it sure looks quite possible. Jones missed the team's Week 8 game against the Cincinnati Bengals because of a knee injury. In his place, Chris Thompson played 59% of the team's snaps, and Rob Kelley played 47%.

According to our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, Jones has been a below-average rusher. He has posted a Rushing NEP per carry of -0.03 despite a promising 45.45% Success Rate. The league average rate for running backs is -0.01, and his Success Rate trumps the average mark of 40.7%. Still, he is lagging behind Thompson (0.05) and Kelley (0.10), and Kelley has a better Success Rate at 50%.

If we excuse his fumbles, Jones jumps up to 0.08 Rushing NEP per carry, but Thompson also climbs to 0.09 while Kelley remains at his 0.10. Really, there's no reason to stick with Jones given his fumbling when there are two other capable rushers (before we even get into Thompson's pass-catching ability).

The issue? After the team's Week 7 game (where Jones was involved with three fumbles), head coach Jay Gruden said that Jones is "our starting running back. We're not going to give up on him for fumbling." He did add, though, that "we can't keep addressing that."

Jones should have a short leash in Week 10 after the team's bye, but for now, we probably have to consider him the starter. If you can sell him, I'd be looking to do so, as this really feels like a three-back committee.

This is a tough one. Per our projections, Jack Doyle is projected for 9.2 half-PPR points. Eric Ebron is projected for 8.7. But considering the matchups, there's a smarter, safer option.

Both players should be in negative game scripts, with the Indianapolis Colts as seven-point underdogs and the Detroit Lions as six-point underdogs. However, Ebron faces the Minnesota Vikings' fifth-ranked defense against starting tight ends, per our DFS tools, and Doyle faces the Green Bay Packers' 16th-ranked tight end defense.

I'm trusting the projections and matchup here and leaning toward Doyle.

That really depends on your others options. I don't think the Lions are a bad play necessarily, considering the state of the Vikings' offense (especially the line). However, the Lions still boast the worst pass defense in the league, according to our metrics, and the worst defense overall. They're projected for just 4.8 FanDuel points this week, third-lowest.

I don't think you have to go there if there are other viable streaming options -- such as the Packers -- but the Vikings could be turning into an offense worth targeting with defensive streamers.

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