I’ll try and keep this week’s preview relatively short since there isn’t much to say and I need to go shopping for a Halloween costume ASAP xD
This week, Im going up against Shubh. To say it’s been a fortuitous few weeks for Shubh might be an understatement. After scuffling at the beginning of the season as Calvin struggled and as he faced some tough opponents (0-3 vs top6 opponents, wks 2-4), Shubh has been able to take advantage of weaker competition in recent weeks, including a narrow win over JL (Stat Correct King almost stole one here too). Last week he faced Jeremy’s team without Charles and now me after I had just lost Foster.
This week, he’s got plenty of fine matchups to take advantage of. Chief (haha see what I did there?) among them is Calvin vs KC’s bottom-ranked pass defense (ok, 24th in pass DVOA, and 12th in DVOA vs WR1’s, but still). Stafford’s hand and constant duress is only a minor concern; a more interesting development is the firing of DET OC, Joe Lombardi (son, I am disappoint – Papa Lombardi), and DET’s newfound willingness these past weeks to actually use their best player, Calvin, downfield. Sanders is kind of held back by his QB and is dealing with a shoulder injury, but should continue to see enough targets to perform at a WR2 level. James Jones’s receptions have dwindled a bit, but his TD-scoring ways have not and is an above-average threat to score by virtue of being Aaron Rodgers’ favorite redzone target. Olsen has been a bit inconsistent so far this year, but IND doesn’t defend the TE particularly well (23rd in DVOA vs TE). As Cam’s primary target, the floor seems pretty high for Olsen this week.
Forte is obviously a stud and while not particularly efficient on the season, a matchup vs MIN (27th in rush DVOA) and his usual volume should guarantee a good day. Jstew’s struggles also contributed to Shubh’s early losses, but coming out of the BYE, Jstew looks like a man possessed. Given a healthy 20+ carry workload in two straight weeks vs very good run defense, Jstew has produced. IND’s run defense is nowhere near PHL or SEA’s, so if CAR’s defense continues to smother opponents, look for CAR to continue to stick to the run game that has helped them to their current undefeated record. Everyone knows the scouting report on Woodhead by now; his role as a pass-catcher and more importantly, in the redzone, assures him of solid RB2 floor in PPR leagues. SD’s short passing game has basically replaced an ineffective run game, so look for him to continue on being the grittiest player with the most underrated athleticism on the field (/s).
If you want a picture of Shubh’s RB situation, even with DMC’s promotion to starting RB, he doesnt crack Shubh’s lineup. Carson vs CLE, check, cool. Maybe no John Brown, but it’s nbd. Amusingly, Shubh has gone back to HOU DST after getting burned by them for 0 pts two weeks earlier, but TEN is the panacea that cures all you DST woes.
For myself, as much as I love Arob, with the loss of Foster, I found it untenable to just stash him on my bench during his BYE week. He also has a date with Revis Island coming out of the BYE (though with his performance vs BUF, Arob is inching closer to matchup-proof status), so I dealt him for Jarvis Landry. It’s actually a pretty good trade for both sides imo. Tyler gets an upgrade at WR at the cost of eating a BYE week and bad matchup next week and I get a WR2 who’s BYE has already passed. Sitting at 10-4 mitigates the downside for Tyler and ARob’s favorable schedule at the end of the season is another plus.
My second trade was shipping off Moncrief for Davante Adams and Tavon Austin. Purely a depth move, with JMatt on BYE, I was starting the likes of Roddy White. Moncrief’s matchups vs CAR this week and DEN next week are mirrored by Adams and GB (vs DEN this wk, CAR next). There’s unknown risk with the health of Adams and the mystery of if he is even any good, but he does have Rodgers throwing to him. Austin is probably overrated due to his big game vs ARI, but his role as a multi-purpose weapon and threat to score from anywhere makes him a decent, albeit a bit TD-dependent, dart throw. My trading ways probably aren’t done. Before the end of the season, I probably will say bye to AJ, Kelce, and maybe even Jmatt if anyone will take him.
Elsewhere, Im continue to ride the Fitzmagic train vs OAK. Two straight week of 20+ pts is nice, but Im expecting a score closer to his usual 15 this week. Duke should continue to catch enough balls to ensure himself a decent floor and hopefully he can score his 2nd TD of the year. Blue is the handcuff (I think?) to Foster, so if this gamescript stays neutral, maybe he gets the volume to matter, but my expectations are very low for Blue vs a good TEN run defense.
AJ and Kelce are the last vestiges remaining of the team I drafted two months ago. AJ seemingly always comes out to play vs divisional opponents and with Ben back, maybe this game will be a high-scoring affair. There’s some impressive numbers on Kelce’s YAC, but as has been the story all year, he remains criminally underutilized by KC. If Charcandrick can make DET respect the run, maybe the increased balance can help Kelce. Maclin’s return can also open up the field a bit for Kelce at the cost of splitting some of the looks.
Those two trades and any more that I make between now and Sunday probably don’t help me long term and don’t change the fact that Im facing a team with an easy road to a high-scoring week, but Im in win-now mode so let’s see if Im really as good at fantasy as I claim to be. At least now I have two checkmarks in the matchup preview versus just the one before… (Save me Wee Bey >_<)
My run thru the top of the league continues with a matchup vs Adrian. Coming off a beatdown at the hands of Jeremy, Adrian returns with Ben and Dalton. Sporting arguably the top RB (Freeman), top WR (Brown with Ben back), top TE (Gronk) and two top5 QBs, it’s pretty easy to see how Felipe Rios has cruised to the league-high point total on the year and should to continue to do so. Forsett and Gio aren’t schmucks either. If Ben struggles in his first game back, Tate continues to suck, and whoever plays for Randle sucks, I may be able to win by virtue of having the deeper team. With probably the best “studs” in the league, the chances of one or two of them blowing up any given week are pretty good tho and if that happens, I may not have the requisite firepower to match.