Fantasy Football Mailbag: Thursday 12/15/16

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 Nick:

Jamison crowder vs Carolina or [Jonathan] Stewart vs Washington Monday night

We'll go ahead and assume half-PPR scoring to help in case it's actually standard or full PPR, but we can start with the game itself because both players are possible Monday Night hammers. Washington is a 6.5-point home favorite over the Carolina Panthers, and they own an implied team total of 28.75 points. That mark for Carolina is just 22.25.

That puts Jonathan Stewart's status in red-flag territory, as the game script doesn't look like it'll call for handoffs late in the game. Washington isn't a run defense to avoid, but the game flow itself looks iffy for Stewart.

For Jamison Crowder, it's the opposite. The Panthers do rank 6th in pass defense since Week 8, by our metrics, but are 27th against fantasy receivers for the year.

Stewart can absolutely have a good game against the 27th-ranked defense against fantasy running backs, but he's at risk of getting phased out if the Panthers fall behind. Lean toward Crowder for that reason.

Email submission from Spencer:

I'm having issues deciding who to start this week thanks to the Gordon injury to go along with the Green injury. I am starting Zeke of course, but I need to come up with another RB, along with my 2 WR and flex (no PPR). Here are my choices:

Doug Martin
Kenneth Farrow
Demaryius Thomas
TY Hilton
Dontrelle Inman
Jarvis Landry
Allen Robinson
Willie Snead

The best available on the waivers are Kenneth Dixon, Tyler Lockett, Jordan Matthews, Adam Thielen, Cameron Meredith, and JJ Nelson. I'm leaning towards Farrow, DT, TY, and either Martin or Inman, but I'm not really sold on anyone. What is your advice?

Spencer, like most of the teams still alive, are faced with the aftermath of the Melvin Gordon injury. Fortunately, Spencer has some good alternative options here. Here is what our algorithm says for those available players in standard-scoring leagues for this week.

TY Hilton10.844.2017.48
Kenneth Farrow9.733.4915.97
Demaryius Thomas9.273.2815.26
Kenneth Dixon9.191.8716.51
Allen Robinson8.973.2414.70
Jarvis Landry8.763.1314.39
Doug Martin8.721.5815.86
Willie Snead8.12.6313.57
Jordan Matthews7.373.1511.59
Adam Thielen7.21.8912.51
Cameron Meredith4.730.49.06
Dontrelle Inman4.330.58.16
Tyler Lockett3.83-0.78.33
JJ Nelson3.790.756.83

I -- and the algorithms -- are with you on T.Y. Hilton, Demaryius Thomas, and Kenneth Farrow next to Ezekiel Elliott. As for the best flex choice, it's close between Kenneth Dixon, Allen Robinson, Jarvis Landry, Doug Martin, and Willie Snead.

Martin will have to overcome the slow pace of the Dallas Cowboys this week, while Dixon had promising usage on Monday Night against the New England Patriots, playing 60% of the team's snaps.

That might not necessarily carry over -- they were underdogs last week and are six-point favorites this week -- but Dixon is probably the best flex play on the list from a safety standpoint if you're worried about Martin in a pace-down game.

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