TweetBeat: BJGE, Cobb & Britt

Author Ryan Boser
Randall Cobb
The word is leaking out; forward-thinking fantasy owners should be focused on Randall Cobb. (Photo: Icon SMI)

Sifting through the hashtags to bring you the hottest trending Twitter topics in the fantasy football industry.

THE PEOPLE VS. BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS
Assigning post-Patriot value to BenJarvus Green-Ellis has turned into a controversial talker among industry experts. Over the past two seasons, the Lawfirm built a case for himself by cashing in on short-yardage opportunities in a high-scoring offense—10 of his 11 touchdowns last season came from inside the five-yard line. So what can we expect from him in Cincinnati?

Everyone agrees that he is an ordinary talent, but Football Guy Sigmund Bloom comes to BJGE’s defense, suggesting that he is still capable of RB2 production based on 200-250 carries, goal line work and a thin crop of fantasy runners. Bloom wisely points to the Bengals’ notorious distrust in Bernard Scott, and the mindlessly long leash they extended to plodding sled dog Cedric Benson.

Rotoworld’s Chris Wesseling and CincyJungle.com’s Joe Goodbery have also weighed in, and the expectation is that we’ll see somewhere around a 55/40/5 split between BJGE, Scott and Brian Leonard. Wesseling, however, is of the opinion that Scott has a legitimate chance of eventually unseating BJGE and running away with the job, based on his versatility and superior talent.

My Take: The safe bet is that BJGE will notch somewhere in the neighborhood of 225 carries at about 4.0 YPC clip (900 yards), while contributing nothing in the passing game. Amassing double-digit touchdowns for the third consecutive year feels like a long shot—New England scored 513 points to Cincinnati’s 344 in 2011. Moreover, he’ll no longer enjoy the gaping holes or garbage time leads provided by Tom Brady’s passing attack. Ultimately, BJGE’s low ceiling will prevent me from targeting him as anything more than a dull RB3.

FALLING ASLEEP ON THE COBB
Experts are abuzz over a member of the Green Bay passing game, but it’s none of the usual suspects. The man making waves is Randall Cobb, the electric 21-year-old sophomore who’s drawn comparisons to Percy Harvin. Cobb received limited snaps (309) in his rookie season due the team’s outstanding depth, but that figures to change in 2012.

Pro Football Focus’ Mike Clay expects Cobb to “blow by” James Jones on the depth chart this season, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tyler Dunne adds that Cobb should see more action at Donald Driver’s expense, as well. Rotoworld’s Evan Silva calls Cobb one of his “favorite lottery tickets,” and NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal declares that Cobb’s impressive versatility “is going to force the Packers to find room.” When guys like Clay, Dunne, Silva and Rosenthal are all in the same boat, it’s wise to grab a bottle of rum and hop aboard.

My Take: Granted, as industry veteran Tom Kessenich points out, Cobb’s best case scenario still means he’s cleaning up the scraps left behind by Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finely. However, dynasty leaguers need to be pursuing Cobb aggressively. Now is the time to get in on the ground floor—in a few months it will be too late.

GET BRENT
After a horrific start to his 2011 campaign, the fantasy community kicked Brent Celek to the curb and forgot about him. While nobody was watching, however, he compiled a sneaky-good 11-game stretch in which he totaled 53 catches for 738 yards and five touchdowns. That hot streak extrapolated over 16 games (77/1070/7) would have put him behind only Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham in final scoring, yet with an ADP of TE15, the Eagle is garnering less attention than Andy Reid’s StairMaster.

The consensus among experts is that Philadelphia’s passing attack is in line for a major rebound, and Celek is reportedly the healthiest he’s been in years. CBSsports.com’s Dave Richard has named Celek one of the “best draft bargains,” and Twitter luminary Jim Day has penciled him in has the No. 3 tight end for the upcoming season.

My Take: Celek is not an elite talent, so I can’t get on board with that level of optimism, but he should certainly finish inside the top 10 at the position, which would be outstanding bang for your buck.

KENNY’S BRITTLE FANTASY STOCK
If healthy. The words have become synonymous with Kenny Britt’s name, and rightfully so.  The fourth-year pro has missed more games (17) than he’s played over the last two seasons … Wait, put away that red Sharpie, he’s scored 12 touchdowns in his last 12 full games… Oh, but he’s recovering from a pair of offseason knee surgeries… Yet he’s averaged 105 yards in his last eight full games…

Get the point? If playing it safe is your thing, thanks for stopping by, I’ll catch you next week. Adrenaline junkies, read on.

Britt’s risk/reward factor has been much-discussed this offseason. The advanced metric machine that is Pro Football Focus is taking a glass-half-full approach—Mike Clay suggests that “the stars are aligning for a huge season,” and Bryan Fontaine adds that Britt is looking at a “potential top-five year.” John Paulsen of 4for4.com makes a valid point, noting that drafting Britt warrants the rare wide receiver handcuff (Nate Washington).

My Take: My best advice on Britt is to be very nimble—treat his value as a fluid commodity through the first three rounds of your drafts. With a current late-fourth round ADP, decide if he’s worth the risk for your roster. If you used an early pick on another ticking time bomb, like Darren McFadden, you’ll probably want to steer clear. However, if you went with the safe, boring route early, Britt could be the X-Factor who tilts the weekly advantage in your favor. Maybe he’s become the Matthew Stafford of wide receivers, but nobody was complaining when the Lion threw for 41 touchdowns and over 5,000 yards last season.

I’m covering the fantasy football Twitterscape 140 characters at a time, so be sure to check back next week, and follow me @Ryan_Boser.