Fantasy Football Second Half Risers Part II
By Dan Marcus Here is the second half of our series about players that will make an impact in the second half of the fantasy football season and could help your team in the playoffs
Joe Mixon Joe Mixon has been verbal in wanting the ball but the reality is he hasn’t done much with it in his hands this season. He has averaged just 3.0 yards per carry in 12 carries per game. On the other hand, he has illustrated that he is the most efficient running back the Bengals have and that the team looks to him in key game situations. He has had 11 opportunities within the red zone, more than both Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. He also has 16 first down conversions when rushing the ball, seven more than Bernard and Hill combined. Despite the perception that Bernard is the receiving back, Mixon has as many 20+ yard receptions as him and has also averaged more receiving yards per game than Bernard. Give all of this context, it becomes clear that while Bernard’s counting stats aren’t all that impressive, the team is trusting him when it matters most and that should pay dividends throughout the second half of the season.
Sterling Shepard With Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall gone for the season, the youth in the Giants’ receiving core has to step up. Evan Engram has already shown he can do his part and Sterling Shepard will now have a chance to do the same. He has posted a 14.4% target share to this point in the season, however, he has never played in a full game without Marshall or Beckham also playing. He should see a major bump in his targets, but his efficiency will remain a question. The Giants offense has been terrible as a whole as they have just 10 passing touchdowns in seven games this season. Given that, it would be a mistake to rely on Shepard as a mainstay in your lineup, he should be far more highly owned than his current 58.7% rate. If he’s available in your leagues make him a priority add if wide receiver is a need for your team.
Josh Doctson Josh Doctson has gotten some buzz of late, especially after the news that he would get snaps ahead of Terrelle Pryor. Although his snap count has increased in Weeks 7 and 8, only Jamison Crowder has outsnapped him among Washington receivers in that span, that has yet to translate to targets. In fact, Doctson has seen more than three targets in a game only once this season, a mark that makes him difficult to consider for fantasy purposes.
However, things are looking up for Doctson in the second half of the season. It’s important to remember that this is essentially his rookie season so he is still adjusting to the league. His growth and improvement as a player should help him gain the trust of Kirk Cousins and allow him to get more looks in the offense. Additionally, Jordan Reed is once again sidelined and could be for several weeks. That should open up more targets for Doctson. Similarly to Mixon, Doctson has shown himself to be a go to option in the red zone, getting five looks there over the past three weeks. Look for his role to continue to expand as the season wears on, and for him to take advantage of it.
Photo: Keith Allison