Through three weeks, we have seen enough to understand what everyone’s special teams role is. The rankings look very different this week because we have eliminated Randall Cobb, DeSean Jackson, and Wes Welker since those guys don’t figure to make enough of a difference with minimal return opportunities.
Return leagues can get crazy. Some guys’ value is entirely reliant on return yards while others improve already solid numbers with a serviceable amount of returns. We’ll try to make sense of that here so let’s take a look at how the return league big board is shaping up as we head into week 4.
|Rank||Wk 3 Rank||Player|
2013 RET TD
2013 PPR FPS
Sproles has had a quiet start but I still have him above any other returner. He added 53 return yards this week, an additional 5.3 points to make up for an otherwise lackluster 17 rush yard/39 reception yard performance. It’s the second game this season that he eclipsed 100 all purpose yards and he’s a killer in PPR formats.
Brown had a monster 9-196-2 performance against the Bengals but don’t expect feats like that often. This makes up for his 5-71-0 in Week 1 and 6-57-0 in Week 2 but he does not put up elite numbers often. With just four return yards this week and 58 on the season, he helps his offensive numbers ever so slightly.
Edelman is a PPR machine but a standard league dud. Good thing he has a steady flow of punt returns to keep him more than relevant in standard return leagues and a must-start in PPR return leagues.
Austin has barely made a dent as a returner but 2.3 extra points can be a big difference in a game where even 0.5 points can spell defeat in any given week. He’s a good PPR starter but not always reliable in standard return leagues.
|5||13||Ted Ginn Jr.|
Ginn had much less return yardage with the Giants unable to score a single point but he continues to show off some newfound offense prowess with a 3-71-1 line. He’ll get a lot more return yards in most games and is a must-start in return leagues as he continues to get a lot more looks than usual.
Patterson added 59 return yards on Sunday which made his 2-49-0 line on the day a serviceable one in return leagues. He’s an explosive returner who figures to pile up a lot of yards and get about three receptions a game.
Tate had an interesting all-around day against the Jags, putting up 29 rushing yards, 88 receiving yards, and 33 return yards. He usually gets more return yards but less offensive yards but as you can see, second rate starters who also add even a small chunk of return yards can be weekly starters in return leagues.
Martin added another 73 return yards to an already impressive total and also caught two passes for 35 yards for a solid 10.8 Week 3 effort. Like Patterson, he figures to get a ton of return yardage and a few receptions to make him startable.
Damaris is the top ranked returner who never plays any offensive snaps and I usually shy away from those guys but he’s different. Not only is he an explosive returner who put up 92 yards this week and 186 yards in Week 2 but he plays on an Eagles team that gives opponents a ton of opportunities to score, especially field goals. More scores means more kick returns for Damaris, who also returned all three punts on Thursday.
It’s been a miserable start for Wilson and the Giants offense but he did add 24 return yards to a solid season total and has nowhere to go but up.
Hilton hasn’t made a big dent on offense or special teams but I still have hope after his 6-124-0 performance in Week 2 (just 2-13-0 in Week 3).
Rodgers didn’t have a chance to return any kicks on Sunday but is a valuable add over the next few weeks with Steven Jackson out.
Kerley returned from a concussion and added 18 punt return yards to a 2-25-0 line. He’ll usually get more looks when Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill aren’t constantly open – and more punt return yardage too.
Like Rodgers, Douglas wasn’t able to make a dent in the return picture this week and also put up a paltry 1-9-0 line. He’s droppable in most leagues until he flashes some of that Week 1 4-93-0 ability again.
Blount led the Pats in rushing and added 24 return yards this week, we’ll see how the Pats’ backfield plays out.
The problem with returners is that they’re only good when the other team scores a lot. With the Broncos facing Oakland, Holliday only got a chance to return for 34 yards after a 155 yard, one touchdown performance against the Giants a week earlier. He has his uses but he shouldn’t be started every week, especially against weak teams in Denver where the ball is rarely returnable on kickoffs anyway.
Although the Chiefs won, McCluster only added one reception and 15 return yards. He’s probably not startable in any league.
Jones put up 34 rushing yards, 13 receiving yards, and 48 return yards for a Week 3 total of 9.5 FPS (11.5 PPR). With LeVeon Bell returning, however, Jones value is definitely going to plummet.
Like Holliday, Hester only got the chance to return for 26 yards just a week removed from a 249 yard day. He’s too unreliable to use.
*FPS based on Yahoo standard scoring.
Off the Big Board: Wes Welker (0 returns), DeSean Jackson (0 returns), Randall Cobb (0 returns)