Just got back from the doctor’s and good news, Im a go to start walking again :). News out of IND isnt as good as it’s been reported that Luck wont play in the TNF game, so I guess its a good thing I didnt write this up last night like I planned….
So this week, Im up against one of my oldest friends, Drew. After much debate in the preseason, I have yet to see him make one of those 6AM free agent pickups he was talking about. His team is a solid 6-2 with narrow wins over Jeremy and Shubh. Demarco has been disappointing, but the best WR corp in the league has buoyed his team thus far.
Eli should have a solid day versus a reeling SF team on SNF; wouldnt be surprised to see him and OBJ hook up for some big plays in that one or even he-who-must-not-be-named (Rueben Randle) could be productive vs SF. Will the squeaky wheel get greased? Demarco has made noise recently about his low # of carries. NO is actually not bad versus the run (#12 rush def DVOA), but that just might be a product of how much easier it is to throw on them (#32 pass DVOA). With no Steve Smith and a weak CLE run defense, Forsett should have a field day; even more so if he gets more involved as a receiver (0 catches wk4, 4 catches/game first three games). I feel like it’s a myth that BAL prefers to have Taliferro vulture the TDs in the RZ (Forsett with a healthy lead on RZ carries), but I hope that’s what happens.
Lucky for me that Antonio Brown will have backup Mike Vick throwing to him and he’s playing @SD, who have held WRs to the lowest fantasy production of all defenses, though, they are only #19 in pass DVOA, probably since its easier to run on them (#25 rush DVOA). Regardless, Brown is matchup proof, so Id still expect him to get right back to starting a new 5/50 streak on MNF. Keenan Allen has a shot at being the #1 scoring WR this week vs a PIT secondary that has been hemorrhaging production to opposing passing games. SD’s short passing game just may be their run game with a banged up OL and Gordon still coming into his own. Maybe the return of Gates saps Allen in the RZ, but I expect Allen will continue to get the lions share of targets in the SD passing game (32% of SD’s targets thru the first four wks). My boy! Maclin! Now pitted against me 😦 In the past two weeks, KC realized that they actually have a good WR on the team and have gotten the ball in his hands, A LOT. CHI’s pass defense (#29 pass def DVOA) probably isnt going to be able to slow him down much, so the main things holding back Maclin will be Alex Smith and Andy Reid’s overly intricate plays. If KC controls the game early, it may become a run-heavy gamescript but Maclin’s floor is still relatively high. With Decker on BYE, Drew has turned to Golden Tate as what is essentially his FLEX. Tate has suffered from DET’s offensive woes thus far. Barely able to support Calvin, the DET offensive pie isnt big enough for two WRs. Maybe Ebron’s share goes to Tate now that the former is injured, but it’s also possible that others such as Riddick and Wright benefit more. Matched up against a ball-hawking ARI defense coming off a maddening loss to STL, Tate should be held in check. I can accept losing to any of the first three receivers, but I will be platinum mad if I get cheesed by Golden fking Tate.
Eifert has a tough matchup vs SEA that has Chancellor back, but the chance for a TD in addition to some work in the mid-intermediate part of the field is always there with him (SEA is actually #30 in DVOA vs TEs interestingly enough…). KC DST is another good pickup for this wk vs CHI. Cutler and Jeffery coming back from hamstring injuries. Cutler was on the field last week, but there’s always the chance for multiple INTs and some pick-6’s or otherwise embarrassing offensive ineptitude when the ball’s in Jay’s hands. Maybe CHI just feeds Forte to dodge the Hali and Houston.
Im undecided who to start between Bradford and Mariota. Bradford has a cupcake mu vs NO, but am I ready to trust him after one good game? Mariota’s mu is decidedly harder as he faces off against Rex Ryan’s BUF defense that is sure to be coming after him all day. The Duck has shown the ability to put up fantasy #s even when he has bad games and the game plan of most teams seems to be dodging BUF’s front seven and attacking them thru the air, primarily with short/intermediate passes due to BUF’s blitz prowess.
Foster finally should be at full-strength for the TNF tilt vs a Luck-less IND. If IND’s offense stalls with Hasselbeck, HOU could (hopefully) opt to just salt the game away with Foster. CJA had his highest scoring game (7.5 pts woohoo) last wk, but this DEN OL still sucks, Im sure CJ is still dealing with his toe injury, and Hillman looms to vamp touches. OAK’s run defense has given up production to RBs, but I am pretty sure I will sit CJ this week. If he’s productive, than cool, I’ll feel better about starting him next week vs CLE. If not, I may just wait until after the wk7 BYE. If he cant get it going after a week off, I will probably seriously consider just dropping him. By week 8, I dont think I can really use the OL gelling excuse anymore. In his place, I’ll probably start Duke. It was regretful that I didnt start him last week (would have netted me a 2-0 instead of a 1-1). This week vs BAL is a decidedly harder mu. I dont expect CLE to just ram him up the middle into BAL’s def, but some catches out of the backfield could be all he needs to out score CJ >_<”
AJ, tough mu vs SEA, but of course Im not sitting him. JMatt, a dream mu vs NO. I suspect NO being ranked 6th in fantasy pts allowed to WRs is more a product of who they played (ARI, TB, CAR, DAL) than outstanding secondary play since they are dead last in pass def DVOA. Not having Luck kinda sucks for Moncrief, but Hasselbeck still fed him a healthy amount of targets last wk vs JAX so I think the floor is still there for Donte. TB is #18 in pass def DVOA, but vs they’re #31 in DVOA vs #1 WRs. Maybe the emergence of Allen Hurns helps prevent defenses from just focusing all their attention on Robinson. The low Vegas total for JAX is a bit worrisome, but I hope ARob shows me that I made the right choice in trading Maclin for him. Kelce, the true fantasy tsundere, hopefully this is one of his “hot” games (CHI #24 in DVOA vs TEs).
I think I’ll win if Murray and Brown are held in check, something that is a lot more realistic considering the circumstances than if you told me that before the season started. This is my team at pretty much full strength, so this week is going to go a long way in proving if my team is an actual contender this year or not.
When I looked at this mu earlier this week, I was a little annoyed that I was going to have to face Vishnu without AP and to a lesser extent, Landry. Even though he had taken Luck #1, being gifted Lynch/Evans in a trade meant that he wasnt punished for it at the skill positions. His team is decidedly stacked, though has under-performed thus far. No Luck hurts and his options include Vick/Cutler/McCown/Weeden/Hasselbeck. He did use Hasselbeck last week, so maybe he goes that route. I am maxed out on QB by hoarding Flacco and Winston in addition to Brady and Ryan (4 QB limit in this lg), but I may drop Winston and pick up Cutler for a bit of a jock-block. I probably should bench Cooks, but Agholor is totally unproven and Bryant is coming off suspension right into SD’s solid pass defense so I guess Cooks stays in the lineup. Travis Benjamin might actually be a lot better than I initially gave him credit for. Im ok with giving him a shot vs a leaky BAL pass defense. Vishnu’s team definitely comes out on top in terms of name value, but my team just might be the more productive one for fantasy this week.