As we head into Week 3, we are starting to get a clearer picture of each team’s special teams roles. Some players, like Randall Cobb, only see a slight boost in return leagues while guys like Keshawn Martin are only ownable in return leagues because of their huge yard totals.
Martin climbed the Return League Big Board in a huge way this week, jumping from #13 to #7 after a big effort against Tennessee. As long as guys get at least some offensive production, return yards can make the Keshawn Martins of the world must-starts. If they don’t get any offensive touches, like Trindon Holliday or Devin Hester, they’re tougher starts because of the inconsistency of kick return totals versus a stat like targets or carries.
Let’s take a look at who’s climbing up the Big Board and who’s sliding faster than the Steelers’ playoff hopes.
|Rank||Wk 2 Rank||Player|
2013 RET TD
2013 PPR FPS
Cobb only saw one return on Sunday for a mere 10 yards but as long as he keeps getting kick return chances he’ll have plenty of opportunities to put up even bigger weeks in return leagues than he already does in standard ones.
Sproles had a quiet week in every facet of his game but he got both return attempts of the game and remains a return league must-start each week.
Jackson didn’t get a single return this week since the Chargers only attempted one unreturnable punt but he remains the Eagles’ full-time punt returner and has become one of the top fantasy receivers in the game.
With Danny Amendola out, Edelman figures to rack up plenty of receptions and if the Pats can force anywhere near the six punts they did on Thursday, he will put up massive return league efforts.
Trindon Holliday returned all four punts against the Giants so it looks like Welker might not be returning anymore after fumbling away his first attempt. We’ll check back next week but he remains a must-start in every league regardless.
Brown returned two punts for 37 yards against the Bengals and should continue to see a steady diet of punt returns but doesn’t seem to be involved in the kickoff return picture.
Martin had a huge day against the Titans, despite his five punt returns going for a whopping nine yards. He put up four kick returns for 104 yards and found his way into the passing game, catching two passes for 37 yards. Don’t expect such efforts from him each week but if he can get more offensive snaps he’ll be a return league must-start.
Wilson returned all five kick returns against the Broncos after not seeing a single one in Week 1. He’s not likely to get that many returns weekly but if he can boost his barely-existent offensive numbers, the return yards will be a nice boost for his point totals.
Austin only got six return yards on Sunday but he did have four punt return attempts so that’s a good sign. Just like players aren’t likely to repeat huge performances, he’s not likely to repeat a six yard effort. He saw 12 targets against the Falcons and could become a PPR phenom as his rookie season moves along.
Hilton only saw one punt return attempt so his special teams role seems limited but he led the Colts with 12 targets and six receptions so the return yardage is just icing on the cake if he continues to put up similar efforts.
Tate brought back a kickoff and two punts for 55 yards but barely made a dent in the offensive picture with just one reception. The 49ers are tough, we’ll see if Tate can prove himself against the Jags.
Patterson had a monster day, bringing back three kickoffs for 105 yards and touchdown. These efforts are obviously rare and until Patterson (three receptions in two weeks) can get more targets he’s an iffy start.
|13||18||Ted Ginn Jr.|
After a slow return day in Week 1, Ginn returned three kicks and two punts for 100 yards. He also saw eight targets and a touchdown, although he only caught three passes. Ginn is very relevant in return leagues, we’ll see if he becomes a must-start as we move along.
After a slow day against the Ravens, Holliday showed off his worth in return leagues with a 155 yard, one touchdown effort against the Giants. He doesn’t see any offensive snaps so you’ll have to rely solely on return yards which hurts his reliability.
Kerley missed the Jets’ last game against the Pats with a concussion but he’ll be back against Buffalo this week. He’s the Jets’ full-time punt returner (so much so that the Jets didn’t even line up a returner on most punts against the Pats) and should see a steady flow of passes as the slot receiver but until he proves his value he’s not startable in most leagues.
With Steven Jackson out two-to-four weeks, Rodgers will see more time out of the backfield which should give him a nice boost. Rodgers only got one kickoff return but figures to get most of the Falcons’ kick return opportunities. Despite a lack of production, he saw four targets and eleven carries and figures to be more involved in Week 3.
McCluster didn’t get a single kick return but got all three punts returns and saw four targets. He rarely makes an offensive impact so he’s an iffy start right now and I’d hold off until we see what he can do week-to-week.
Not only did Jones get both kick returns in the game, he got ten carries as well. If he can get a significant amount of carries and all of the kick return opportunities he could become very startable in return leagues.
Douglas only saw two punt return attempts and only got four return yards. It’s a very low total and he should see more punt return opportunities and yards in the future. His four reception, 43 yard effort is about all we can expect from him so I’d hold off on starting him right now.
Blount barely made a dent with four touches against the Jets but he only got one kick return attempt so I’m not writing him off just yet. I’d wait and see how Blount works out in the coming weeks against teams that score and kickoff more than the Jets.
Hester saw five kickoff returns for 249 yards but isn’t going to see that kind of effort often. He doesn’t factor into the offense at all so he’s probably not ownable.
Johnson had a huge day with seven kick returns for 186 yards. Those efforts come rarely so I don’t see him as being ownable.
*FPS based on Yahoo standard scoring.