In this article, Andrew and Mario give their take on the pros and cons of selecting two players for the SuperFlex Salary Contest this week. Both do not dislike either option, but the pros and cons point of view will provide you with a different perspective and potential reasons to select the player or go with someone else instead.
Alvin Kamara, $8,000 vs. Giants
Andrew – Who has been the most healthy, reliable receiving option in the league? Shockingly, it’s a running back, and it’s Alvin Kamara. Kamara is set for a huge game this week against a struggling defense in the Giants. Kamara is the number one receiving option and the workhorse back on the Saints. The Giants have struggled with their pass and the run defense this season.
Alvin Kamara is one of the most demanding players to tackle, period. Last year against the Packers, Kamara had a run for a touchdown breaking five tackles; it showed his true ability running downfield. No one can forget that Kamara had a six-touchdown game against the Vikings, and that talent doesn’t disappear one year later. The modern running back is a dual-threat player, and Kamara checks every box for any situation he gets put in. There is a reason he was ranked 14 out of 100 on the NFL’s top 100 players.
Jameis finally realizes that for the Saints to win games, Kamara needs to be the offense’s focal point to put up points. I’m predicting about 80 rushing yards with 75 receiving yards and a touchdown or two. The Giants defense is not productive enough to slow down Kamara, with the number of offensive yards the Giants have given up this year. Is Kamara expensive? Yes, but his upside this week is sky high and is worth the high salary price.
Mario – Alvin Kamara has consistently been one of the best and most important players to both fantasy managers and the New Orleans Saints, but that doesn’t mean he is an automatic plug-and-play.
Compared to his prior seasons, Kamara’s 2021 campaign has already been far less explosive. He has yet to reach 100 rushing yards — this is not uncommon, as he only has three career 100-yard rushing performances — and at least 30 receiving yards in all three games. Much of Kamara’s value comes from his pass-catching ability and target share, and he is averaging just below 5 targets and 21 receiving yards on a per-game basis. Last year, those numbers were greater than 7 and 50 per-game, respectively.
The other argument against Kamara is driven by his price. He’s the second-most expensive running back and sixth-most expensive player overall. There’s a twist here, though.
Kamara’s salary is in ‘no-man’s land.’ WFS players will view him as a slight saving from Derrick Henry and notice a major drop-off before reaching the next viable option: Ezekiel Elliott — assuming Dalvin Cook is not an option due to injury. This will probably lead to an inflated ownership percentage and I don’t want to get burned against a New York Giants defense that just put together its best game of the year.
Calvin Ridley, $6,700 vs. Washington Football Team
Mario – Calvin Ridley does not appear to have a great setup for Sunday — his team ranks fourth-worst in points scored, and he will face a Washington defense that is vastly underperforming compared to last year’s numbers. If we dig deeper, though, we can see a different picture.
Despite the Atlanta Falcons struggling to find the end zone, they have been remarkably consistent in moving the ball. They have had either 18 or 19 first downs in all three games. Conveniently enough, Washington is allowing the second-most first downs in the league.
Washington is, however, a key point of debate. It’s still unclear if the team will revert back to last year’s version or continue down this path of ineptitude — the Football Team’s defense ranks second-worst in yards and fourth-worst in points. Neither should matter for Ridley on Sunday.
Washington was exposed by Buffalo’s wide receivers in their last game, even though only one catch went for more than 28 yards. Instead, Washington allowed 33 completed passes. Atlanta hasn’t shown a desire to throw deep, and Ridley can feast on shorter routes — where he gets a bigger boost in OwnersBox, as it grants one point-per-reception.
Overall, Ridley is still the runaway leader in targets for the Falcons — he actually has more receptions than anyone else on the team has targets — and remains an elite talent on an offense that has yet to hit its stride.
Andrew – Calvin Ridley has been quite the letdown so far this season. He has yet to have over 65 receiving yards in a game this year, and on top of that, he lacks touchdown upside. Ridley has only one touchdown on the season, and he already lacks touchdown ability being so lean and thin; yes, he has the excellent route running. Still, the lack of physical attributes has led to a touchdown struggle.
It seems that Kyle Pitts will have some growing to do at the TE position. Washington’s defense should be primarily focused on Ridley downfield, limiting Ridley’s target share and usage. After a couple of poor outings on defense for Washington, they should look to bounce back this week.
Matt Ryan has had a rough start to the season, and Cordarrelle Patterson looks to be one of his go-to targets this year in the receiving game when Ridley should be getting the targets. With the increase of target share for Patterson, I don’t see Ridley’s targets improving.
All this combined could end up for a poor outing for Ridley against Washington, even Washington’s defensive struggles. Chris Godwin and D.J. Moore are less expensive options, and I would take either one over Ridley in a heartbeat this week because they have just as much upside as Ridley, and they should have a similar or higher target share in the matchups they have this week.