Bye Weeks: Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington
Grab a Helmet
Welker or Eric
Decker v. Any Team Ever: I predicted during the preseason
that none of the Broncosí big three would end up in the Top 10 due
to Peyton Manning spreading looks around evenly. I guess I was only
half right. Heís certainly spreading the ball around (theyíre within
three targets of each other), but it hasnít kept them out of the
Top 10. Far from it, in fact. Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker are
currently sitting at #2 and #3 and Eric Deckerís only hanging back
at #22 because he hasnít scored as many touchdowns, something he
did with regularity in 2012 and could start doing again soon. If
Manning et al. keep up this torrid scoring pace, they will absolutely
shatter the league record for most points scored in a season set
by New England in 2007 (589). In fact, theyíre currently on pace
to tally 716! Do whatever you can to get one of these guys on your
squad if they arenít already.
Thomas is headed for a top 5 finish.
Hartline v. BAL: When the Dolphins added home run threat, Mike
Wallace, to the roster this past off-season, it was assumed Hartline
would take on more of a supplementary role in the Miami offense.
So far, that hasnít been the way itís played out as Hartline, and
not Wallace, has been the primary target to date. Wallace is carping
about the paucity of deep balls thrown his way, but Miamiís offensive
line is struggling to protect Ryan Tannehill (sacked a league-high
18 times) and opponents are employing two-safety coverage to prevent
the leagueís most dangerous speedster from victimizing them. It
all adds up to a whole bunch more interest in Hartline, the steady
but unspectacular mid-range man. Baltimoreís seen plenty of Wallace
in years past and will probably be loath to let him hurt them over
the top. That means more frustration for the former Steeler and
more opportunity for his less celebrated teammate. Give Hartline
a look in Week 5.
Austin v. JAX: I was pretty high on Tavon Austin (or something)
when the season began, but he hasnít done a lot to justify those
expectations. The two TDs in Week 2 were nice, yes, but heís yet
to tally even 50 receiving yards in a game and has only topped double
digits in fantasy points that one time. So why is he worth a look
in Week 5? First, I like the fact heís getting consistent targets
(no fewer than 7 in any game). I also like the fact Sam Bradford
doesnít have much time to throw the ball (meaning Austin becomes
a regular check-down option). Finally, I love the fact heís playing
Jacksonville. The Jagsí numbers against the pass are deceivingly
decent, but thatís only because teams are running on them at will.
Iím not sure St. Louis can run on anyone, meaning an under-talented
Jacksonville secondary could be tested by the explosive Rams receiving
corps. Austinís the most explosive of all.
Grab Some Wood
Wayne v. SEA: Iíve made it clear Iím not a Richard Sherman
fan, but thereís no denying the fact the dudeís got some serious
chops. He almost single-handedly turned the tide in last Sundayís
dramatic win over the Texans and now draws the challenge of shutting
down Indyís primary target, the venerable Reggie Wayne. Iím not
betting against him. Wayne is still a productive wideout in this,
his 13th season, but itís safe to say heís on the downside of
his fabulous career. Sherman, on the other hand, is just beginning
his and may already be the leagueís best cornerback (though Darrelle
Revis would probably have something to say about that). Unless
you donít have other viable options at the position, this might
be the week to consider giving Wayne a blow. Heíll help you out
down the line but is no sure thing to do that this Sunday.
Any NY Jets Receiver @ ATL:
Rex Ryan is being coy about the status of Santonio
Holmes and Stephen
Hill in advance of the Monday night game in Hotlanta, but
it appears theyíll both miss the contest. That means the Jets
will likely turn to Jeremy
Kerley and Clyde Gates at the receiver position. Jeremy Kerley
and Clyde Gates attempting to catch passes from Geno Smith sounds
like a pretty bad idea on a lot of different levels. Throw in
the fact the gameís in a hostile environment against a team with
Super Bowl aspirations coming off a tough home loss and it sounds
even worse. I doubt you own either of these gents, but if you
picked them up off the waiver wire thinking theyíd make good sneaky
start candidates, you might wanna reconsider.
Shorts @ STL: Shorts has been targeted more than any receiver
in the league through the season’s first four weeks, but
he’s only managed to haul in half of those league-high 52
looks and currently ranks as just the 31st most productive wideout.
Love the attention he’s getting, in other words, but don’t
love what he’s been doing with it. Now that Justin Blackmon
is back from suspension, I’m not sure what to make of Shorts’
overall prospects. He’ll assuredly lose targets to Blackmon
and since he wasn’t doing a whole lot with them in the first
place, I think it makes the most sense to take a wait-and-see
approach. Let’s not forget who will be lavishing the attention
on Shorts and Blackmon in the Jacksonville passing game. That
would be Blaine Gabbert, easily the league’s least reliable
quarterback. Steer clear of Shorts this Sunday.
Good luck, folks!