Breaking Bad Week 7: Bilal Powell, Torrey Smith Struggling

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Each week, I’ll take a look at some of the top fantasy players that have been struggling lately. This week, we’re talking about Torrey Smith, Bilal Powell, among others. I’ll go deep into the tape and stats to let you know why they are struggling, what they need to improve on and what the chances are your fantasy star picks up his play in the coming weeks.

Quarterbacks

Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

Smith isn’t what I would call a fantasy star by any means, but after the first four weeks of the season, he was putting up top 10 points among QBs and some teams were even picking him up and starting him over the likes of guys like Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III. The problem, however, lies directly within the miniscule 15 points he’s put up the last couple games in standard leagues.

The troubling part is that, first, teams were starting to come around on him and plug him in the starting lineup. Second, he had a less than favorable matchup with the Titans a couple weeks ago, but went against a poor Oakland defense last week and he failed to generate a touchdown.

It seems as though Smith’s lack of ability to get the ball down the field is starting to haunt him. Lucky for him, he has a guy ready and willing to catch those passes in Dwayne Bowe. Whether Smith can efficiently make those throws remains to be seen, but he needs to stretch the defense to open things up for himself. He’s going to post erratic fantasy numbers all season, but he’s a decent bye-week replacement at this point.

Other Players to Monitor

Josh Freeman, MIN – It’s not that I think he’s going to become a viable fantasy option, but if he can play like he did last year, the Vikings just got a whole lot better.

Running Backs

Bilal Powell, New York Jets

Lately, Powell has struggled to find any running room in the offense as of late. Lucky for him, he gets the New England Patriots this week, who have been without DT Vince Wilfork for a couple weeks and it appears they’ve lost LB Jerod Mayo as well.

Last time the Jets faced off against the Patriots, Powell found some success, carrying the ball 13 times for 48 yards and a touchdown. This time around, they’re down the two players that probably have the most effect on run defense in New England.

Powell hasn’t necessarily played poorly or anything, he’s exactly who we think he is, but the offense has to open things up for him, especially Geno Smith, who has been the most inconsistent QB in the NFL this year.

Other Players to Monitor

Trent Richardson, IND – I talked about him in last week’s edition. That information is still applicable.

Chris Johnson, TEN – Johnson is horrible, stop getting your hopes up. There comes a point where workload doesn’t matter if you’re going to get 20 carries for 25 yards.

Wide Receivers

Torrey Smith – Baltimore Ravens

After averaging 17 fantasy points through the first five weeks in ppr leagues, he put up a mere one catch for 12 yards against the Packers last week. I struggled putting him in the spotlight for receivers, but due to a lack of other proper candidates and the fact that he had just one catch, warranted the spotlight.

Still, I wouldn’t be worried. We all knew coming into the season that Smith was a boom or bust type player, but should have a breakout year. Not much has changed in our expectations. The only thing that almost was changed was what we thought about his consistency. We thought he had shaken the inconsistent label, but he hasn’t… yet.

Other Players to Monitor

Nate Washington, TEN – Washington was once looking like a viable fantasy option. Not so much anymore… You can thank Ryan Fitzpatrick

Alshon Jeffrey, CHI – I wouldn’t worry too much. However, don’t expect him to be putting up 20 points per week.

Tight Ends

No significant fantasy players struggling.

*Quick Note* This article usually comes out on Thursdays, but life gets in the way sometimes, you know? Next week, we’re back on the regular schedule.

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