Fantasy Football Strategy, Advice, and Commentary
By: Thomas Casale — November 5, 2013 @ 9:31 am
It was another wild week both in the NFL and for fantasy owners. Here’s a recap of every game in the Tuesday Morning Buzz.
Bengals – Dolphins
Andy Dalton went over 325 yards passing for the fourth straight game but was responsible for four turnovers and didn’t throw a touchdown pass. It wasn’t the performance those (like me) who inserted the red-hot Dalton into their fantasy lineups were looking for. It’s hard to blame Dalton though. He was under heavy pressure all game long and Mohamed Sanu can’t catch. Giovani Bernard had his “up” game by totaling 104 yards and scoring twice, including one amazing 35-yard run. Bernard hurt his ribs but it doesn’t really matter if he plays next Sunday against Baltimore anyway. That’s scheduled to be Bernard’s “down” week when the Bengals’ coaches refuse to give him the ball. Speaking of getting the ball, Miami’s coaching staff is finally giving it to Lamar Miller more and he responded with his first 100-yard game. Miller could be big for fantasy owners down the stretch if he continues to get more than 10 carries per game.
Spiller showed some explosiveness, but the ankle is still an issue.
Chiefs – Bills
Doug Marrone is doing a tremendous job in his first year with the Bills, but a coach can only do so much when a team gets down to their 10th quarterback. Buffalo fought again and almost upset the undefeated Chiefs, but two touchdowns by the opportunistic Kansas City defense did in the Bills. C.J. Spiller returned from an ankle injury and racked up 116 yards on 12 carries. If Spiller could ever stay healthy he would be a fantasy beast, but that’s a big if. Fred Jackson chipped in with 77 yards on 16 carries. It’s becoming evident that under Marrone the Bills can run the ball on pretty much any defense with pretty much any quarterback under center. Dwayne Bowe caught seven passes for 67 yards. In the old days Bowe owners would be mad over that output. Now they’re doing backflips.
Titans – Rams
Fantasy owners were waiting for Chris Johnson to have a monster game. All it took was for him to play the Rams. You have to wonder why last week against St. Louis Seattle only ran the ball eight times with Marshawn Lynch. Johnson ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries. If I owned Johnson I would trade him right now. Not only is this likely to be his best fantasy game of the year but Shonn Greene also saw nine carries for 38 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. I would shop CJ to a team desperate for RB help. Not to be outdone, Zac Stacy recorded 178 total yards and two touchdowns. Stacy has really saved my butt in one league where I needed running back help. Stacy was tough as nails in college and he showed that toughness again last week by battling through an ankle injury to put up big numbers.
Chargers – Redskins
You can’t beat the Chargers if you’re looking for an entertaining game. San Diego plays a nail-biter virtually every week, and Sunday was no different. One week after infuriating Alfred Morris owners by allowing Roy Helu to steal two short touchdowns, Mike Shanahan found a way to outdo himself by letting Darrel Young score two from short range. Morris still had 125 yards and a score but he could have had a huge day if not for Young vulturing those two short touchdown runs. Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead continue to be weekly fantasy monsters in San Diego’s offense. The two combined for 17 receptions for 205 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. The only receiver not really doing anything for the Chargers right now is Vincent Brown, as Eddie Royal scored his seventh touchdown of the season against Washington.
Falcons – Panthers
One of the biggest surprises of the 2013 season has been the play of the Panthers’ defense. Ron Rivera has Carolina’s defense playing at an elite level after the Panthers created four more turnovers on Sunday. To say Matt Ryan is struggling without Julio Jones and Roddy White would be an understatement. Ryan has now thrown seven interceptions in his last two games. We found out one thing with Johnathan Stewart returning to the Panthers’ backfield: It’s a big mess. Stewart had nine carries for 43 yards, DeAngelo Williams had 13 carries for 42 yards, and Mike Tolbert had six carries for 24 yards and a touchdown. The Panthers’ system works fine for real football but it’s a headache to avoid for us fantasy owners.
Vikings – Cowboys
It’s big news in Dallas when Monte Kiffin’s defense doesn’t allow a 400-yard passer. I suppose if Kiffin allowed Christian Ponder to throw for over 400 yards, even he would have to admit that he can no longer coach. Although, if you do the math, Ponder throwing for 236 yards is like a real NFL quarterback throwing for 400. One thing DeMarco Murray owners might want to do is pick up Lance Dunbar. I told you a couple of weeks ago that Joseph Randle was average, and when he got a chance to play he did nothing to prove otherwise. Dunbar isn’t a superstar, but if Murray gets hurt again he’ll provide more fantasy value as a receiver out of the backfield than Randle. Troy Aikman compared Cole Beasley to Wes Welker. The media should just tell us the one white receiver who isn’t Wes Welker and make it easier on everyone.
Saints – Jets
It was the Jets’ week to win, and the Saints walked right into the buzzsaw. I used to gamble a ton of money and my friends still do. It’s amazing how dumb gamblers are sometimes. My friends all bet New Orleans, despite knowing that the Jets are an every-other-week team. At least their bookie is happy. Chris Ivory ripped his former team for 139 yards and a score. Ivory has really been running well, and if he can stay healthy the former Saint will be in for some big games over the final two months of the season. I’m going to draft Jimmy Graham in the first round next year even if I have the first pick. I just can’t take the risk of playing against this guy anymore. Graham must have 300 fantasy points against me the last three years. If you can’t beat him, draft him. That’s should cool his butt off once and for all.
Eagles – Raiders
A couple of weeks ago I joked that Nick Foles looked so bad against that awful Dallas defense that maybe Mike Vick “persuaded” him to play poorly so there wouldn’t be a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia. After watching Foles play on Sunday I’m not so sure that’s a joke. Going back to last season Foles has looked pretty good in almost all of his starts. Now after Sunday’s amazing 406-yard seven-touchdown performance, Foles has thrown 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions this season. Yet he had that one atrocious performance against the team that ranks last in the NFL defending the pass. Go figure. Foles obviously loves throwing to Riley Cooper. In the three games Foles has started, Cooper has 15 receptions for 347 yards and four touchdowns. Hey, doesn’t Cooper remind you of Wes Welker? I would mention that Darren McFadden hurt his hamstring again, but that’s like saying the sky is blue.
Buccaneers – Seahawks
This game went the way most people predicted. The winless Bucs came into Seattle, took a 21-point lead, and then the Seahawks had to storm back just to edge a win in overtime. Seattle has some issues right now. The main one being that their defensive front has been pushed around by inferior teams over the last two games. Mike James ran for 158 yards on 28 carries. The Bucs couldn’t use James much in his first start because they fell behind early. That still might be a problem going forward, but if Tampa Bay can stay in games, James will be a solid fantasy option. For the time being, fantasy owners no longer have to be afraid of their running backs going up against the once-feared Seattle defense.
Ravens – Browns
Jason Campbell put together his second straight impressive start, throwing for 262 yards and three touchdowns. That’s the good news; the bad news for fantasy owners is that Campbell honed in on Greg Little this week. My guess is that not many people started Little. Unlike last week, Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron didn’t have a big impact with Campbell under center, but the bottom line is that he’s playing well. It’s getting tough to watch Ray Rice. I predicted he would be the biggest bust of the fantasy season. I’m now predicting he’ll be retired by 2015. You can say what you want about the Ravens’ offensive line, but I started noticing it last season: Rice is about done. You can’t just blame the offensive line when a running back is constantly going for 20 yards a game. Some of the blame has to go on him, too. Next year will be Rice’s last season in Baltimore. Mark it down.
Steelers – Patriots
I predicted it would happen. I said the second I benched Tom Brady he would get out of his funk, and he did. So let me explain what’s going on here. Last week I had Andy Dalton on the bench. This week I started Dalton and had Brady on the bench. So, astonishingly, I had a QB that scored 46 fantasy points sitting on the bench in back-to-back weeks. Brady owners should be thanking me because I took one for the team here. I knew he was just waiting for me to bench him before he ripped a defense for 432 yards and four touchdowns. I like when Phil Simms—who is by far the worst analyst of all-time—said of Jerricho Cotchery, “The next team that plays the Steelers is going to have to pay attention to this guy.” I bet you they don’t pay attention to him, Phil. I bet they pay attention to Antonio Brown, Heath Miller and Emmanuel Sanders instead. Teams don’t have to worry much about a receiver that has two big games a year. Dynamite drop-in, buddy.
Colts – Texans
Case Keenum looked really good for the second straight game, throwing for 350 yards and three touchdowns. The Colts made some adjustments in the second half but Keenum was still getting the ball out to his playmakers instead of throwing to seven different tight ends like Matt Schaub does. Andre Johnson must be happy. He had more production in a half with Keenum than he’s had all season with Schaub. T.Y. Hilton exploded in his first game without Reggie Wayne. Is there some reason why offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton couldn’t get the ball to Hilton more when Wayne was healthy? Trent Richardson scored his usual seven fantasy points. What is he ranked now? Like the 42nd highest scoring fantasy RB this year? Listen, the Colts play St. Louis next week. If Richardson can’t run all over them then he has no reason to get out of bed in the morning. He already embarrassed himself against Jacksonville. If we add the Rams to that list, I’m not sure what’s left for him.
Bears – Packers
The big story from this game was the Aaron Rodgers’ injury. At the time this was being published we don’t know how long Rodgers will be out but his injury certainly didn’t look good. Speculation is that he will miss three weeks. It’s obviously a huge blow to any fantasy owner who owns Rodgers. I have been shocked before but if Seneca Wallace can lead the Packers’ offense I will be shocked. He’ll get a start but my guess is Green Bay will have to bring in another quarterback. Like I said, I’ve been shocked before. At least Wallace has some weapons at receiver and he can hand the ball off to Eddie Lacy 30 times a game. Josh McCown looked good filling in for Jay Cutler but reports say Cutler will be back next week. We know the Bears’ offense won’t suffer much if Cutler gets hurt again because McCown can run Marc Trestman’s offense.
By: Thomas Casale — October 28, 2013 @ 11:59 pm
It was another wild week both in the NFL and for fantasy owners. Here’s a recap of every game in the Tuesday Morning Buzz.
Panthers – Bucs
It’s hard to understand why Greg Schiano is about to be fired. He’s lost 12 of his last 13 games, he got the best cornerback in the NFL and is using him in zone coverage, his former players compare playing for him to being in Cuba, and his current players are publicly stating that they no longer believe in their coach. That’s an impressive resume. Things are looking up for Schiano though. Tampa Bay travels to Seattle this week. Mike James didn’t get a chance to do much in his first start because the Bucs fell behind early. James finished with 39 yards on 10 carries. I guess I can be thankful that I got outbid for James, because falling behind is going to be a trend in Tampa Bay as long as Schiano is on the sidelines. The good news is that that will likely only be for one more week. Back to running backs: with Mike Tolbert getting more touches and Jonathan Stewart set to return, Carolina’s backfield is a fantasy mess to avoid.
Josh Brown: The Giants best fantasy player in Week 8.
Giants – Eagles
Did you happen to start Josh Brown? If so you had the bulk of the fantasy points in this game. Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and DeSean Jackson put in solid fantasy days as well, but this was the second consecutive ugly offensive game the Giants have won. The best part about this game for me was when Daryl Johnson said Peyton Hillis reminded him of Mike Alstott. Really, Moose? Just like every white receiver on the planet—even if he’s 6’4″—reminds commentators of Wes Welker? I’m dying for there to be another white cornerback so I can hear, “He reminds me a lot of Jason Sehorn.” I guess all us white guys really do look alike.
49ers – Jaguars
I’m going to call it right now: The Jaguars will go 0-16. I always think a team will squeeze out a win at some point but I just can’t comprehend it with Jacksonville. I believe any other team can play their worst game and still beat the Jaguars by 10 points. The only good news is that Maurice Jones-Drew is finally showing signs of fantasy life. He racked up 122 total yards on 25 touches Sunday. I should probably take him off the bench now but then I would have to keep a straight face as I tell people that I’m starting a Jaguar. Colin Kaepernick ran for 54 yards and two scores on seven carries. To be honest, he could have run for 200 yards because the Jaguars fell for his option fake every single time. Luckily for the 49ers they were up by 21 before kickoff, so they didn’t need to risk running their quarterback that much.
Cowboys – Lions
We should all take a second to tip our hats to Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Oh sure, through eight weeks the Dallas defense has allowed four 400-yard passers, a 300-yard receiver and a franchise record for yards in a game (623), but Kiffin did manage to shut down Philadelphia’s offense with its backup quarterback. Let’s give Jerry Jones a round of applause for making another great coaching hire. Yes, Jones hires the coaches, not Jason Garrett. In other news, Dallas has won just one playoff game in the last 16 years. If you have any quarterback worth his salt going up against this Cowboys’ defense, expect a huge game out him. Moving forward, the Lions will benefit from the return of Nate Burleson because when they face a defensive coordinator that knows how to make an in-game adjustment, it will be more difficult for Megatron to catch 14 balls on 16 targets for the second most yards in NFL history. Burleson had 19 receptions in three games before getting hurt.
Browns – Chiefs
So apparently anyone who plays quarterback in Cleveland can do a decent job as long as that person isn’t Brandon Weeden? Jason Campbell certainly isn’t Bernie Kosar but he wasn’t as inept as Weeden either. Josh Gordon put up huge numbers. It will be interesting to see if the Browns move him or not this week. I hope for their sake they don’t. Cleveland already picked up a first-round pick after fleecing the Colts on the Trent Richardson deal. There’s no reason to get rid of all their good, young talent. For the first time in weeks, Jamaal Charles wasn’t the only Chiefs offensive player with fantasy relevance. Dexter McCluster caught seven passes for 67 yards and a score. How many people started him?
Dolphins – Patriots
I’ve gone as far as I can with Tom Brady. I’m telling you this because now that I’m benching him, you should get Brady in your lineup. I just can’t keep starting a QB that no longer has a chance to get me 20 fantasy points. The only two Patriots that had any fantasy relevance on Sunday were Stevan Ridley and Aaron Dobson. Brady isn’t just killing his own fantasy value; his poor start is killing the fantasy value of the entire Patriots offense right now. I don’t know how injured his hand is but those images certainly didn’t look good. The Dolphins finally decided to give Lamar Miller more than seven carries and he gained 89 yards on 18 carries. They should try that more often.
Bills – Saints
My God, is there a tougher human being on the planet than Bad Thad Lewis? I saw him take at least five hits on Sunday that would have put most people in the hospital. I have to hand it to this Bills team and first-year coach Doug Marrone, they fight every week. Even against the Saints they wouldn’t go away quietly, despite being outmatched on the road. Kenny Stills exploded in this game for 129 yards and two touchdowns. I really like Stills in dynasty leagues. He was a big-time player at Oklahoma before injuries and some off-the-field issues sidetracked him. If he keeps his head on straight, Stills has a bright NFL future. Jimmy Graham was obviously not 100 percent Sunday. However, he made the most of his three catches as two went for touchdowns. Darn, I wish I drafted him.
Steelers – Raiders
Terrelle Pryor scored on a 93-yard run early and the Raiders never looked back. Oakland hung on despite Pryor not really doing much after his long run. He totaled only 101 yards for the rest of the game. For all the talk of Le’Veon Bell he really hasn’t done much on the ground. He scored a short touchdown on Sunday but it was another 13-carry, 24-yard performance out of Bell. Luckily he caught five passes as well to salvage a decent fantasy day, but hopefully he starts finding more running lanes in the future. It’s not really Bell’s fault though. The Steelers’ offensive line is terrible.
Jets – Bengals
I considered for a second benching Brady in favor of the hot Andy Dalton but figured I would give it one more week because Dalton was facing a tough Jets defense. It goes to show what I know. While Brady looked like my two-year old son trying to throw a football, Dalton went for 325 yards and five touchdowns. Dalton has now recorded three straight 300-yard games and has thrown 11 touchdowns in that span. So Andy Dalton is my new Tom Brady. Amazingly, four of Dalton’s five scores went to Marvin Jones. A few weeks ago I called Jones a hump. Again, shows what I know. Since that time Jones has been the most improved receiver in the NFL. Last week I said to keep an eye on David Nelson, but after 12 receptions for 160 yards in two games, you may want to grab him off the waiver wire.
Redskins – Broncos
It’s amazing but the Broncos didn’t play that well. Peyton Manning was banged up and threw three interceptions, yet they still beat Washington 45-21. The thing I would be concerned with is that it’s pretty obvious Manning is struggling with those ankle injuries. Even though his bye week is coming up, Manning is 37 and we’re only halfway through the season. Also, remember that Denver’s offensive line is banged up too. The Broncos want to get Montee Ball and C.J. Anderson more involved in the offense in the coming weeks to keep Knowshon Moreno fresh. Ball had 11 carries on Sunday. It will be interesting to see if Denver runs the ball more over the second half of the season to limit the hits on Manning, because he has taken quite a beating over the first eight games.
Falcons – Cardinals
With Rashard Mendenhall injured, Andre Ellington got the start and gained 154 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown run. Ellington is clearly the most talented running back in Arizona and should finally start getting 20 touches a game moving forward. Harry Douglas had another big game and Drew Davis caught seven passes for 77 yards and a score. Matt Ryan did throw the ball 61 times in this game, but there’s another receiver I want to mention. Darius Johnson caught four balls for 40 yards and saw nine targets. Johnson was my top deep sleeper in the draft coming out of SMU. He started the year on Atlanta’s practice squad. There may not be room for Johnson when Roddy White comes back, but with another injury, you never know. Johnson has already gone from absolutely no fantasy value to nine targets, so keep an eye on him.
Packers – Vikings
Adrian Peterson should have received two MVP awards last year. He really did have a season for the ages. How in the heck did that team win 10 games? Leslie Frazier is a miserable coach and there’s little talent on this Vikings squad outside of AP. The Packers are going to be tough with that battering ram Eddie Lacy to go along with Aaron Rodgers. Lacy ran for 94 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries. The Vikings currently have two first-round quarterbacks on their roster. Unfortunately for them, those two quarterbacks are Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman. So guess what Minnesota has to select in Round 1 of next year’s draft.
Seahawks – Rams
It was a defensive kind of night in St. Louis as Russell Wilson was harassed all game long by the Rams’ defense. Wilson was sacked seven times but was still able to find Golden Tate for two scores. I actually went into this game tied in a match-up. I had Zac Stacy and my opponent had Marshawn Lynch. Luckily for me my running back didn’t flip off his coaching staff last week. Apparently Pete Carroll isn’t happy with Lynch because not only did he have just eight carries in a tight game but Lynch didn’t even see a touch near the goal line. Instead, Carroll decided to let his 200-pound franchise quarterback take more punishment. It was odd playcalling to say the least but expect Lynch to get a lot more than eight carries next week against Tampa Bay.
By: Thomas Casale — October 22, 2013 @ 8:44 am
It was another wild week both in the NFL and for fantasy owners. Here’s a recap of every game in the Tuesday Morning Buzz.
Seahawks – Cardinals
I still believe Bruce Arians is a good hire for Arizona but right now he doesn’t have the horses on the offensive line or at quarterback to make his offense run consistently. The Cardinals have talent at the skill positions but when they face a defense like Seattle their line is simply overmatched. It’s nice to know that while Chris Johnson may not care about fantasy owners, Marshawn Lynch is thinking about us. He was so “upset” the Seattle coaches called a pass play at the one-yard line that he turned around and gave them the one-finger salute. Knowing the way Pete Carroll runs things, my guess is it was done in a joking manner, but you never know with Lynch. I guess the coaches just figured the tight end would be open. Arizona gave up two more touchdowns to tight ends on Thursday night. Through seven games, the numbers Arizona has allowed to opposing tight ends are in the historically bad neighborhood.
Danny Woodhead is fantasy gold in PPR leagues.
Chargers – Jaguars
I have Justin Blackmon in one of my leagues and I kind of want to trade him, only because I feel like taking a shower for starting a Jaguar. This team is so bad right now they’re hard to watch. I joked that Keenan Allen should fake an injury because every San Diego receiver gets hurt, and then he actually got injured on Sunday. Luckily, he returned to the game, but his absence ruined what was a strong start to another big fantasy day. I’ll say it again: I felt like Danny Woodhead didn’t do much, and then at the end of the game he had four receptions, 76 yards and a touchdown. The great thing about Woodhead is that he can still have a big fantasy day in a game where Ryan Mathews rushes for 110 yards and a score. The guy is fantasy gold in PPR leagues.
Bengals – Lions
This game included two of the NFL’s top receivers: Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green. It was almost a dead heat as Green caught six passes for 155 yards and a score on eight targets while Megatron caught nine balls for 155 yards and two touchdowns on 15 targets. Both Matthew Stafford and Andy Dalton threw for over 350 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. The only losers in this contest were the running games and the defenses, although the Bengals are used to that, considering they still give BenJarvus Green-Ellis double-digit carries.
Rams – Panthers
The big story from this game is the injury to Sam Bradford. Who will Jeff Fisher and Brian Schottenheimer find to throw all those 4-yard passes if Bradford is out? Apparently the guy will be Kellen Clemens. How can he still be in the NFL? Do you know how long ago it was that I used to watch him play at Oregon? Talk about someone who should thank his lucky stars over the life he’s been given. No player in NFL history has been worse and had a longer career than Clemens. So yes, the Rams’ offense can get worse, in case you were wondering. I hope you aren’t playing against the Seahawks’ defense this week.
Bills – Dolphins
These are two of the more perplexing teams in the NFL. If you play in one of those picks contests, games involving Buffalo and Miami are usually tough to pick because they’re both hard teams to read. Miami started out 3-0 and have since lost three straight. Buffalo had been terrible on the road and is now playing a quarterback off its practice squad, but they almost upset Cincinnati and then beat Miami. Hey, let’s hear it for C.J. Spiller though. He really gutted it out with six carries for 11 yards. I don’t think we need to hold nominations for the biggest fantasy bust of 2013. Spiller already has that award locked up. Oh wait, Trent Richardson and Ray Rice really want a piece of that award too.
Patriots – Jets
Rob Gronkowski made his much-awaited 2013 debut and delivered with eight catches for 114 yards on 17 targets. Gronk might have caught more passes but Tom Brady is just off right now. I have Brady in a league and at this point I may drop him for Thad Lewis for Christ’s sake. I’m sure everyone started Chris Ivory expecting him to get 34 carries for 104 yards. If you don’t get headaches, try figuring out the Jets’ backfield from week-to-week. David Nelson is a guy to watch. He was on the verge of becoming a productive slot receiver in Buffalo before injuries derailed his career.
Cowboys – Eagles
You get these two teams together and a defensive slugfest is just bound to break out. Nick Foles may have played the worst game of any starting quarterback in 10 years. It was so bad I feel like Mike Vick threatened him to play poorly to avoid a quarterback controversy. Regardless of what you think of Foles, that performance was head-scratching. Dallas didn’t do much on offense either but they didn’t have to. I said before that Joseph Randle is average. He was average on Sunday. Terrance Williams has now scored in three straight games. I bought a carton of milk and Miles Austin’s picture wasn’t on it. Apparently he was found and no one cares.
Bears – Redskins
Well, either the Bears’ offense doesn’t miss Jay Cutler or Washington’s defense is just awful. Cutler left with a torn groin and Josh McCown replaced him to throw for 204 yards and a touchdown. McCown also added 33 yards on the ground. Alshon Jeffery continues to dominate. He had his third 100-yard game on Sunday and is on pace for a 1000-yard season as I predicted back in the summer. See, I’m not always wrong. The Redskins haven’t had a good tight end in a while. They do now in Jordan Reed. Alfred Morris ran for 95 yards on 19 carries but Roy Helu scored three touchdowns. Mike Shanahan is back.
Buccaneers – Falcons
I picked up Harry Douglas in all of my leagues. Unfortunately, I didn’t start him in any of them. I thought people were slow to grab Douglas. Think about the trash owners have on their rosters. Douglas was at least worth a stash. With Julio Jones and Roddy White both out, Douglas exploded for 149 yards and a touchdown on seven catches. He won’t do that every week but he’s worth a roster spot. I’m guessing that won’t be an issue this week. The Bucs are a mess and now Doug Martin is hurt. Although, that may be a blessing in disguise for Martin owners because his fantasy value was about dried up anyway. At least now you won’t have to bang your head against the wall every week.
49ers – Titans
Let me take you back to August. Remember in a lot of drafts when people were taking Colin Kaepernick over Peyton Manning? Wouldn’t it be great if we could play a month, turn back the clock and then re-draft? Then I wouldn’t take C.J. Spiller, even if he was on the board in Round 10. Kaepernick, who many of us (including me) thought would be one of the more spectacular quarterbacks in the NFL, has turned into a game manager. So basically he’s a more mobile version of Alex Smith with a stronger arm. Whatever he is, if you drafted Kaepernick over Peyton you must be sick. Luckily for me, I have Brady, so I’m beyond sick. Oh, and I said I would mention if Chris Johnson did something. He finally did something. It only took seven weeks. Congratulations.
Ravens – Steelers
There’s nothing better than writing about a game where Shaun Suisham is the fantasy star. Actually, I really don’t have anything to say about this game other than starting Ray Rice is almost like starting a player on a bye week. A guy in my league just offered Rice for a glazed donut. I wouldn’t do that deal and I’m a Type I diabetic.
Browns – Packers
The Packers with all of their injuries may not be rolling on offense yet, but they had more than enough to dispose of the Browns. Eddie Lacy continues to run well and Jarrett Boykin had a big game catching eight passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Weeden stinks. He’s one of those players that’s so bad I want to punch him when I watch him, despite the fact that he’s done nothing to me personally. The only thing I can think of when I watch Weeden is “How bad is Jason Campbell?” Of course, I know the answer to that question, so I’m really just amusing myself.
Texans – Chiefs
Case Keenum got his first career start and played pretty well, connecting on 15 of 25 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown in one of the NFL’s toughest environments. Some people think there’s a quarterback controversy. I don’t. Keenum has earned another start in my opinion, after his performance against one of the NFL’s best defenses. As usual, the Chiefs’ offensive statistics were basically Jamaal Charles and a bunch of average performances. You either start Charles or the Chiefs’ defense, or don’t expect much fantasy-wise from anyone wearing a Kansas City uniform.
Broncos – Colts
I could talk about a lot of different things from this game but I want to discuss the myth that is Trent Richardson. Did you know that in 21 career games Richardson has reached 70 yards rushing only seven times? Did you also know he hasn’t reached that mark since Week 13 of last season? Yet, for some reason, we keep treating this guy like he’s an RB1 or RB2 instead of a player who should be benched most weeks. Richardson is averaging 43 yards per game in 2013 and he’s scored twice. He’s the 30th-ranked RB in PPR leagues, and that doesn’t even include guys like Eddie Lacy, Stevan Ridley, C.J. Spiller, Le’Veon Bell and Zac Stacy, who have either been hurt or just started playing. In reality, Richardson isn’t only far from being a RB2, he’s barely hanging on to RB3 status right now. Things can turn around, but after seven games Richardson has been a big disappointment and an average running back dating back 13 games. And that’s behind two different offensive lines. Those are just the facts.
Giants – Vikings
This game had “stink” written all over it and it certainly delivered. Josh Freeman had no business being on an NFL field. If the Vikings’ organization had any self-respect they would give Leslie Frazier the Lane Kiffin treatment and fire him as soon as the plane touches down in Minnesota. I think Frazier is the worst coach in the NFL even though he fell backwards into 10 wins last season, so I’m not surprised he’s destroying the Vikings just one year later. He will get fired. It’s going to happen because Frazier can’t coach, so Minnesota may as well save itself the time and trouble and do it now. The lone interesting fantasy nugget came courtesy of Peyton Hillis who out gained Adrian Peterson on the night. Hillis’ 18-36-1 and 5-45 stat line was good enough to rank him 12th among fantasy running backs for the week.
By: Thomas Casale — October 15, 2013 @ 1:09 am
It was another wild week both in the NFL and for fantasy owners. Here’s a recap of every game in the Tuesday Morning Buzz.
Giants – Bears
The Giants tried to turn back the clock and stop their losing streak by riding the legs of Brandon Jacobs against the Bears. Jacobs ran like it was 2007, rushing for 106 yards and two scores on 22 carries. It wasn’t enough though, as three more Eli Manning interceptions brought the Giants’ record to an astonishing 0-6 on the season. So I think after six games we have figured it out. When Brandon Marshall has a big fantasy game, Alshon Jeffery doesn’t. When Alshon Jeffery has a big fantasy game, Brandon Marshall doesn’t. However, under no circumstances can both receivers have big fantasy performances in the same game. That would just be unacceptable.
Bengals – Bills
Thaddeus Lewis got the start for Buffalo and played well, connecting on 19-of-32 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns. Then of course he got hurt, because that’s a prerequisite for playing quarterback in Buffalo these days. Andy Dalton finally had a strong fantasy game and it was nice to see A.J. Green reappear in the offense. Green saw 11 targets, catching six balls for 103 yards, which included a beautiful touchdown reception. I’ve been waiting for the Bengals to use Giovani Bernard more in the passing game and they did on Sunday. He caught seven balls for 72 yards and a score. Bernard can be a huge weapon most weeks if Cincinnati uses him like they did against Buffalo.
Rams – Texans
Things went from bad to worse for Houston on Sunday. With their season basically on the line, the Texans got smashed at home by St. Louis. The good news from a fantasy perspective is that Arian Foster still had a big day. Other than that though, there’s very little to be happy about in Houston. The fans cheered when Matt Schaub got hurt. I wonder how hard they were cheering when T.J. Yates threw that pick six? Yates doesn’t look like any kind of upgrade for Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins owners. Zac Stacy got the bulk of the carries for the Rams and ran well against a tough Texans rush defense. He’s an encouraging fantasy play moving forward.
Raiders – Chiefs
The Chiefs scored 24 points their usual way. Despite gaining only 216 yards of offense, Kansas City’s defense scored a touchdown, caused three turnovers and resisted three sacks. Terrelle Pryor has played well this year but he’s still a young quarterback and was just overmatched on Sunday by the nasty Chiefs D. There are rarely a lot of offensive stats from Kansas City games that don’t come from Jamaal Charles, and Sunday was no different.
Panthers – Vikings
The Panthers’ offense finally got going on Sunday. All it took was playing Minnesota, which in my opinion has the worst defense in the NFL. Leslie Frazier is doing one heck of a job there. Cam Newton started running a little bit and had his first really big fantasy game of the season. Once Mike Shula was hired as Carolina’s offensive coordinator, I thought it would hurt Steve Smith the most. He was my 38th-ranked receiver coming into the season. After six games, you see why.
Heath Miller: What knee injury?
Steelers – Jets
The Jets look like one of those teams that have a “one week on/one week off” offense. One week their offense looks good then the next week it can’t get out of its own way. Antonio Brown is turning into a reception monster. He had nine more on Sunday and now has 30 catches on 37 targets in his last three games. I grabbed Heath Miller in two of my leagues a couple of weeks ago. He’s really saving my backside, considering that my starting TE before him was Jared Cook, who is now completely useless.
Eagles – Buccaneers
Nick Foles has looked tremendous in his six quarters of work since Mike Vick went down. It will be interesting to see which way Chip Kelly goes when Vick is healthy enough to play, if Foles continues to put up strong numbers. Fantasy owners should certainly take a shot on Foles and see what happens. Even more shocking is that Riley Cooper had a 100-yard game. I thought I would see the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus skipping down the street together before I saw Cooper have a 100-yard game. I guess if you live long enough, you see everything.
Packers – Ravens
Aaron Rodgers threw for over 300 yards but just one touchdown. Rodgers hasn’t been his usual superstar self so far this season in terms of putting up weekly stud numbers. He has been solid, just not one of the top two QBs, which is what he was drafted as in most leagues. It probably won’t help that Randall Cobb hurt his knee and Eddie Lacy is starting to roll on the ground, but Rodgers can still put up huge numbers against any defense. I thought Ray Rice would be the biggest fantasy bust of the 2013 season. After six games I’ve seen nothing to change my opinion. For all the guff Joe Flacco takes, he’s putting up pretty good numbers on a team that can’t run the ball and has one of the NFL’s worst group of receivers and tight ends. Flacco may not be Drew Brees but he’s playing with a bunch of tomato cans out there.
Lions – Browns
It’s pretty obvious to me now that we need to talk about Brian Hoyer as a possible MVP candidate. Think about it: when Hoyer starts, the Browns can’t lose; when Hoyer doesn’t start, the Browns can’t win. It’s that simple. Seriously though, Brandon Weeden stinks. I don’t want to say the Lions need some receivers, but when Kris Durham has emerged as Matthew Stafford’s second option behind Megatron, that’s not a position of strength on your team. It’s amazing that Stafford had 248 yards passing and four scores when Calvin Johnson is banged up and there isn’t much else for him to throw to in Detroit besides Megatron and Reggie Bush. Oh, and the tight end I kept calling Christian Fauria is really Joseph Fauria.
Titans – Seahawks
Remember when Marshawn Lynch was a bust? Now he’s one of my favorite players in the NFL. The guy always runs hard and he almost always puts up big fantasy numbers to boot. The reason I love Lynch is because on a day where he rushes for only 77 yards, he makes up for it by scoring twice and catching four balls for 78 yards. The guy truly is a beast. Chris Johnson isn’t a beast and I’m getting sick of talking about how he doesn’t do anything, so I’m just going to stop. How about this? When Johnson does do something, I’ll mention it. I’ll talk to you around Christmas.
Jaguars – Broncos
In one of my leagues, I had two receivers in this game. Astonishingly, the guy who put up huge fantasy points plays for Jacksonville. Justin Blackmon saw an insane 20 targets, catching 14 of them for 190 yards. On the other hand, Demaryius Thomas has been a bit of a disappointment. I don’t understand why Peyton Manning doesn’t just throw it up to him when Thomas has single coverage. The guy is a monster and can’t be covered. Instead, Julius Thomas now has more fantasy value. I get spreading the ball around, but in my opinion you still need to feed your stud. Oh, and as I predicted a few weeks ago, the committee in Denver is dead. It’s now Knowshon Moreno and the two other guys.
Cardinals – 49ers
In case you were wondering, the Cardinals are far and away the worst team in the NFL when it comes to covering the tight end. Just look at the numbers Jared Cook, Jimmy Graham, Greg Olson and Vernon Davis put up against Arizona. If you have a TE playing against the Cardinals, expect a huge game from him. Andre Ellington once again vastly outplayed Rashard Mendenhall. Ellington racked up 92 total yards and a touchdown on 12 touches. He needs to start getting around 20 touches a game, regardless of how much he weighs. Carson Palmer is an upgrade over John Skelton. That’s the nicest thing I could think to say about Carson Palmer.
Saints – Patriots
I missed the last couple of minutes of this game. Did anything exciting happen? I thought we might see an old-fashioned shootout between Drew Brees and Tom Brady, but instead both quarterbacks did a lot of handing off and throwing short passes. I know Brady threw the ball 43 times, but 10 of those attempts came in the Patriots’ final couple of possessions. New England ran the ball 35 times in this game, and the Saints 26 times. It takes those two teams a couple of weeks to run the ball that much sometimes. In the end though, the Saints gave Brady too many chances and he made them pay with a perfect pass to beat them. That was after Brees threw a perfect pass to Kenny Stills to give the Saints the lead. That’s why I didn’t want to see so many handoffs in this game. Watching Brady and Brees throw the ball is fun to watch. Oh yeah, I own Brady in one of my leagues, so there’s that too.
Redskins – Cowboys
This game featured two of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, so obviously it didn’t produce one noteworthy fantasy player. Two things came out of this game for fantasy owners: the injury to DeMarco Murray, who hurts himself blowing his nose, and the fact that Robert Griffin simply isn’t the same. Griffin’s throws are all over the place and he’s sitting in the pocket way too long. It will be interesting to see where the Redskins go from here. I mean other than nowhere. The NFC East is like a tree that falls in the woods. If a team wins this division, does anyone really care?
Colts – Chargers
Wow, first Riley Cooper has a 100-yard receiving day and then Ryan Mathews goes over 100 yards rushing in the same week. Did anyone check to see if the world is supposed to end? Keenan Allen looks like the real deal. Luckily I got him in one of my leagues. I may have to start him over Demaryius Thomas soon. Hey, one guy gets 12 targets a game and the other is being used as a decoy. Ah, I don’t have the marbles. I feel like Danny Woodhead did nothing and at the end of the game he still scored 12 fantasy points in PPR leagues. In all seriousness, if you were drafting over in a PPR league would you take Woodhead or Trent Richardson first? If you said Richardson I would love to see if you said it with a straight face.
By: Thomas Casale — October 8, 2013 @ 9:57 am
It was another wild week both in the NFL and for fantasy owners. Here’s a recap of every game in the Tuesday Morning Buzz.
Bills – Browns
Brian Hoyer vs. EJ Manuel isn’t exactly the epitome of upper-echelon quarterback play in the NFL. No offense to either guy. They’re both still young, inexperienced quarterbacks but it’s not like we’re tuning in expecting to see Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. Still, once we get down to Brandon Weeden and Jeff Tuel, you realize just how much we miss Hoyer and Manuel. Somehow, there were 61 points scored in this game. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller should come into games injured more often. They combined for 119 yards and three scores after both were questionable to play in the game. Willis McGahee ran for 72 yards and a score on 26 carries. That will be his normal stat line, but you know what? It’s about the same production Trent Richardson was putting up in Cleveland. Plus, the Browns are 3-0 and got a first-round pick since trading Richardson away. I guess Cleveland knew what they were doing all along.
Jaguars – Rams
In a stunner, this game produced 54 points and some strong fantasy numbers. Justin Blackmon made an impressive return from suspension, catching five passes for 136 yards and a score. Blackmon and Cecil Shorts would actually make a formidable receiving duo if Jacksonville could ever get consistent quarterback play. Good luck with that. Austin Pettis is turning into a decent fantasy option in the Rams’ three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust offense. Zac Stacy got the start and rushed for 78 yards on 14 carries against Jacksonville’s Swiss cheese defense. He’s worth picking up this week, but keep your expectations under control. The Rams’ offensive line still can’t block anyone.
Chris Johnson finally found the endzone but the feud isn’t over.
Chiefs – Titans
Jamaal Charles continues to show why he was worthy of a top 3 pick in PPR leagues. Charles topped 100 yards rushing and added five receptions. Charles has always been a good fantasy player, but the addition of noodle-armed quarterback Alex Smith is a perfect storm. Chris Johnson still can’t run the ball but he made the fantasy owners he hates so much happy by catching four passes for 63 yards and a score. Maybe this feud is over? Probably not, considering that he rushed for less than 2.0 yards per carry again.
Eagles – Giants
This game was to determine which team’s season is over. It’s the Giants. Say goodnight. Despite being the second worst team in the NFL, the Giants produced two receivers in Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle that had big fantasy days. All told, Nicks, Randle and Victor Cruz saw a combined 37 targets. Expect that to continue because New York’s defense is absolute trash and Eli Manning will have to throw the ball a lot. That is, unless you think Brandon Jacobs has any reason to be on an NFL roster. The big news from this game was the injury to Mike Vick. Nick Foles played well in Vick’s absence, tossing 197 yards and two touchdowns. Vick is expected to be out at least this week against Tampa Bay, so Foles will get to show what he can do.
Saints – Bears
Alshon Jeffery continues to dominate just like I predicted he would this year. God, I should be a fantasy football writer. I thought Jeffery and Brandon Marshall would form one of the top receiving duos in the NFL this year. Now we just need Marshall to do his part. Pierre Thomas took over the Darren Sproles role on Sunday, catching nine passes for 55 yards and two scores. The Bears put up a ton of offense but only scored 18 points. If the Saints can get those results all year, they’ll be tough to beat.
Ravens – Dolphins
John Harbaugh said he was going to recommit to Ray Rice and the running game and he kept his promise. Rice carried the ball 27 times for 74 yards and two touchdowns, while Bernard Pierce went back to his backup role with 11 carries for 46 yards. Mike Wallace is having an interesting season. He either goes over 100 yards or is non-existent. Luckily for Wallace owners, this was one of his good weeks. Lamar Miller got his usual seven carries. Unfortunately, this week they only went for 15 yards. It’s hard to always turn fewer than 10 carries into 60 yards and a score.
Seahawks – Colts
This was an entraining game, with the Colts proving they’re serious contenders after beating San Francisco and now Seattle. Trent Richardson produced his usual 56 yards on 18 carries. I guess you can’t blame Richardson considering he plays in Cleveland. Oh, wait… T. Y. Hilton finally exploded, with Richard Sherman shadowing Reggie Wayne. Hilton caught six passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Hopefully this will be a springboard game for Hilton, because he can be a difference maker every week for the Colts. Donald Brown looked better running the ball than Richardson again. It must be because Richardson plays in Cleveland. Oh, wait.
Lions – Packers
I traded for Aaron Rodgers last week. He rewarded me with an average game like I knew he would. I thought Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin would each have a role in the Packers’ offense, so I was wrong all the way around about Green Bay. Although, if you’re a rookie running back and keep fumbling, we can cross you off the list. Franklin is all done unless Lacy gets hurt again. I guess we found out just how important Calvin Johnson is to Detroit’s offense. Without him the Lions couldn’t do anything. The Packers’ defense focused on taking away Reggie Bush and didn’t have to worry about Detroit’s other receivers because most of them shouldn’t even be on an NFL roster.
Patriots – Bengals
The Bengals’ defense dominated New England, holding the Patriots to just 248 yards of total offense. Danny Amendola returned but looked rusty. He struggled with drops and just didn’t look 100 percent healthy. Amendola’s production will increase in the coming weeks, but saying he’s another Wes Welker is a slap in the face to Welker. One week after looking like he was going to start getting more touches, Giovani Bernard saw 13 carries to BenJarvus Green-Ellis’s 19. Good luck figuring that mess out from week to week. I’m giving up.
Panthers – Cardinals
This game was on the same time as Denver/Dallas, so my guess is most people didn’t watch a single play. I had it on another TV and I didn’t watch many plays either. We already know Mike Shula has ruined the Panthers’ offense, so why do I need to watch it? The one pleasant surprise in Carolina has been Ted Ginn. He isn’t seeing a ton of targets but Ginn is making the most of them. Then again, why would a speed receiver see a lot of targets in Shula’s offense? Andre Ellington looks better every week. Rashard Mendenhall continues to look the same: well below average. If I were Arizona’s coach, Ellington would get more touches. Then again, I would be an awful coach.
Broncos – Cowboys
Fantasy football is about statistics and this game was full of them. The fourth highest scoring game in NFL history saw a 500-yard passer, a 400-yard passer, four 100-yard receivers and a total of 12 touchdowns. Heck, there was so much offense in this game that Peyton Manning even scored a rushing touchdown. Terrance Williams had a big game filling in for the injured Miles Austin and caught four passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. Williams has now had two strong games in a row, so he will have a role in Dallas’s offense even when Austin returns. I guess the only negative from a fantasy perspective came if you are a Demaryius Thomas owner (like me). In a game with so much offense, Thomas’s 5/57/0 stat line was disappointing. It also cost me a win.
Texans – 49ers
I was going to start this off by writing, “Houston, we have a problem,” but I figured it would be stupid, so I decided against it. Matt Schaub couldn’t throw a pick-six in four straight games if he tried, yet he’s done it. That’s simply amazing. Schaub is struggling to the point where he’s killing the value of every Texan offensive player. However, lost in Shaub’s three-interception meltdown is Colin Kaepernick’s atrocious play. Take away a 64-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Vernon Davis and Kaepernick did nothing. After five games it’s time to start worrying about Kaepernick and the 49ers’ passing game.
Chargers – Raiders
Philip Rivers threw for over 400 yards again with two scores, but this time he added three interceptions as well. The Chargers also had two 100-yard receivers in Vincent Brown and Keenan Allen. San Diego can’t run the ball at all, so Rivers and his receivers will be fantasy gold most weeks. The only negative is that he spreads the ball around, so expect some inconsistency among his receivers. Darren McFadden was inactive. That was shocking considering his high pain tolerance. Given how quickly McFadden recovers from injuries, we should see him back on the field sometime in 2014.
Jets – Falcons
A wild week ended with a wild Monday night game. I like Geno Smith. I think we expect every rookie to be Andrew Luck now but Smith has shown me quite a bit through five games. Has he looked like a rookie at times? Sure, but he’s also shown a lot of positives too. Remember, it’s not like he’s working with the Broncos’ weapons either. The Jets may have finally found their quarterback. I still think it’s comical that the Falcons are letting Roddy White play like this upcoming bye week is some magical place that cures cancer. White is now more injured than he was five weeks ago. As I’ve said many times here, it’s one of the worst mismanagements of an injury that I remember seeing. People keep asking me if they should trade for White. I say no. I don’t think he’ll be 100 percent all year now.
By: Thomas Casale — October 1, 2013 @ 10:31 am
It was another wild week both in the NFL and for fantasy owners. Here’s a recap of every game in the Tuesday Morning Buzz.
49ers – Rams
I’m trying hard to remember why I thought Jeff Fisher was a good coach, but I’m having a really hard time. I know everyone is blaming Brian Schottenheimer, but didn’t Fisher hire him? If I hire a jerk to run my company and go bankrupt, I can’t really blame the jerk, can I? Schottenheimer’s offense is absolutely laughable. It’s nothing but curl routes and 7-yard outs. I’m sure Jet fans know all about that. This Rams team is a joke. Can you imagine a team that doesn’t even consider throwing the ball over 10 yards…ever? I own Jared Cook in all my leagues and I wouldn’t think about starting him again. If you are starting any St Louis offensive player right now, you obviously don’t understand the rules of fantasy football or you are mad and trying to sabotage your league by finishing in last place. Oh, and for the record, Fisher has had just two winning seasons since 2003. This won’t be his third.
Only and injury can keep Reggie Bush out of the fantasy top 5.
Bears – Lions
This was a wild affair that saw a combined 72 points. Normally that would mean monster days from both Brandon Marshall and Calvin Johnson. While both receivers had decent fantasy days, this was one of those games where so many players got involved in the action, the production got spread around. Reggie Bush and Alshon Jeffery were the two biggest fantasy winners. Bush will be a Top 5 RB in PPR formats this year if he can stay healthy. However, that’s a pretty big “if.” Jeffery was my top breakout player this season and through four games he’s seen a respectable 32 targets. He had his best game of the year on Sunday, catching five balls for 107 yards and a touchdown. He’s a player to target right now, as I expect Jeffery’s numbers to get better as the year goes on.
Seahawks – Texans
Seattle escaped with their lives thanks to a horrible throw by Matt Schaub that was intercepted by Richard Sherman and returned for the tying touchdown. Those of us who bet $100 on Seattle to win the Super Bowl at 10/1 back in May appreciate the win for home-field-advantage purposes. Arian Foster had his best fantasy day of the season. It probably didn’t hurt that I decided to bench him minutes before kickoff. Somehow I still won, even with making idiotic decisions like that. In the history of my life, that decision has never worked out in my favor. Foster out-touched Ben Tate 33-8. Even though Tate had been the more effective runner, Gary Kubiak will always go with Foster in big games.
Colts – Jaguars
Are the Jaguars one of the worst teams of all-time? I hate using the word “all-time,” but this team isn’t competitive right now. Indianapolis didn’t even play that well early on Sunday and they still beat Jacksonville by 34 points. Trent Richardson got his 20 carries but he only managed 60 yards. Luckily, he scored to save his fantasy day. I’m a big Richardson fan, but for a stud back he sure does get a lot of zero- and one-yard gains. It was one thing when he was in Cleveland, but if that continues to happen with the Colts, it’s a concern. I mean if Richardson isn’t going to have a big day when he gets 20 carries against the Jaguars in a blowout, when is he going to have a one?
Giants – Chiefs
Those waiting for the Giants to wake up can stop holding their breath. This team is in big trouble and it’s not going to turn around any time soon. I admit that I loved New York’s offense coming into the year, but other than Victor Cruz, who are you starting right now? So basically you’re starting one more Giant than you are a Jaguar. Talk about a team in shambles. I have no idea how the Chiefs score a point if it’s not from their defense, Jamaal Charles, or on special teams. I just see Alex Smith throwing three-yard passes but then I look up and the team has more than 30 points, so whatever they’re doing, it’s working. I can’t believe I was able to still get the Kansas City defense last week. Those guys are big, they’re bad, and they hate everything to do with Christmas.
Steelers – Vikings
Apparently the wildest games every week involve the Vikings now. What a difference a quarterback makes. Matt Cassel may not be Dan Marino, but the fact that he can actually throw the ball more than 10 yards make a world of difference for the Vikings’ receivers. Greg Jennings and Jerome Simpson combined for 10 catches, 216 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, Cassel’s presence did nothing for Kyle Rudolph’s fantasy value. He’s still stuck on the back of a milk carton. It’s obvious Ben Roethlisberger is no longer listening to Todd Haley. He’s gone back to making plays on his own and throwing the ball down the field. It’s paying off. Even though the Steelers have lost their last two games, Big Ben has thrown for 789 yards. Le’Veon Bell made his debut and scored twice. More importantly, he looked like an NFL running back. No other running back currently on Pittsburgh’s roster can say that with a straight face.
Cardinals – Buccaneers
If you spent a lot of time watching this game you’re either a huge fan of one of these teams or you just turned on a football game for the first time and have no idea what the sport is supposed to look like. This was ugly football. Arizona may have gotten the win but its offense doesn’t look good. The Cardinals have no running game and Carson Palmer is wildly inconsistent. Not to mention, the offensive line can’t block anyone. Mike Glennon got his first career start and looked like a rookie. Glennon may be a fine NFL quarterback someday, but he has a ways to go. That’s why I advised dumping Vincent Jackson two weeks ago. The Buccaneers are in for some tough fantasy days ahead.
Ravens – Bills
C.J. Spiller had his typical day. He averaged 3.3 yards per carry, didn’t score, limped off with another “injury” but somehow miraculously returned a little while later. It’s always something with Spiller. He’s always hobbling off with some problem. The bottom line is that, after a month, Spiller is one of the biggest busts in fantasy football. It’s tough to depend on a guy who is constantly getting attended to on the sidelines. The Ravens had an interesting gameplan on Sunday. The Bills can’t stop anyone on the ground, so Baltimore ran it just nine times. Instead, they had 50 pass attempts and five interceptions in a game that was close in the fourth quarter. To be fair, though, the Ravens did keep their committee intact. Ray Rice had five carries, while Bernard Pierce had four.
Bengals – Browns
I mentioned Trent Richardson struggling above. Maybe the Browns knew what they were doing after all. Since trading Richardson and inserting Brian Hoyer into the starting lineup, Cleveland has won two games in a row. Hoyer put up another strong performance on Sunday, throwing for 269 yards and two touchdowns. The Bengals are going to have to find another option in the passing game to take some pressure off of A.J. Green. I’m not talking about a tomato can like Marvin Jones either. After a huge Week 1, Green has been neutralized now in three straight games. Andy Dalton’s performance isn’t helping either. Remember on Hard Knocks when they said this was a big year for Dalton? Well, he needs to get a lot better in a hurry or the Bengals’ offense is going to really struggle in the coming weeks.
Jets – Titans
This was great for your fantasy day if you started either the Titans defense or Nate Washington. If you started Chris Johnson or anyone else on the field, it didn’t amount to much. When do we start to close the book on Johnson? We’ve had to make so many excuses for him that I can’t even think of any more. I don’t care what anyone says, if Johnson gets 15 carries he should get more than 21 yards. End of story. He has had way too many of these games over the last couple of seasons. Johnson’s name used to be uttered in the same sentence with Adrian Peterson. Now he’s losing goal-line carries to humps like Jackie Battle. If you don’t think that’s a problem, you’re either blind, you’re related to Chris Johnson, or you are Chris Johnson.
Cowboys – Chargers
You really have to hand it to Mike McCoy and Ken Whisenhunt; they have done an excellent job turning around the Chargers’ offense this season. Philip Rivers had another excellent game, throwing for over 400 yards. Antonio Gates must have thought it was 2006. He looked like his former elite self, hauling in 10 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown. Rivers looks like he’ll be able to put up strong fantasy numbers most weeks, so if you are having quarterback issues, he’s worth starting. I told you last week that the Cowboys wouldn’t stick with the running game. Despite averaging 5.0 yards per carry on Sunday, DeMarco Murray got only 14 carries. Dallas doesn’t run the ball in close games and they never will. You should have sold high on Murray.
Eagles – Broncos
This was expected to be an offensive showcase and one team kept up its end of the bargain. It will be interesting to see if a defense like the Chiefs can at least slow down Denver a little bit this season, because right now they look unstoppable. The Eagles looked unstoppable in Week 1 but it turns out they were just playing Washington. Remember when that reporter asked Mike Vick, “Did we just see a revolution in the NFL?” I love Chip Kelly too but, man, reporters are stupid, aren’t they? I guess the revolution is on hold, because the Eagles got plastered for the second straight week. Oh, and what is Riley Cooper doing in the NFL? He offends me. I’m not even referring to anything he said at a concert. He offends me because he’s such a terrible football player.
Redskins – Raiders
So, the Redskins started 0-3 but produced good fantasy numbers in all three games. On Sunday they finally won but their fantasy numbers weren’t that great. I guess fantasy owners should root against Washington. Two of the better fantasy days came from backup running backs that no one likely started. Roy Helu came in for Alfred Morris and produced 84 total yards and a score. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Darren McFadden left with an injury. He was replaced by Rashad Jennings, who caught eight passes for 71 yards and added another 45 yards on 15 carries. Both Helu and Jennings will be strong fantasy plays moving forward if the starters are out for an extended period of time.
Patriots – Falcons
Tom Brady completed 20 passes to eight different pass catchers. The last names of guys who caught passes from Brady were Thompkins, Edelman, Ridley, Boyce, Develin, Dobson, Mulligan and Bolden. I don’t care if you like Brady or not, when a quarterback goes over 300 yards and helps lead his team to a 4-0 record throwing to those guys, he’s pretty good. Wasn’t Tony Gonzalez going to retire? Should I become a vegan? Seriously, these vegans are superhuman. Gonzalez caught 12 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns. The only thing more amazing is that I faced Gonzo last week and not this week. I still don’t understand what the Falcons are doing with Roddy White. They spent four games wasting time using White as a decoy instead of making him sit out a game or two to get healthy. Guess what? Now you’re 1-3 and he’s still not healthy. It’s one of the biggest mismanagements of an injury that I remember seeing. It just doesn’t make any sense at all.
Dolphins – Saints
This was a typical Saints thrashing at home. The Dolphins had been playing well but were just a bit out of their element in this one. Drew Brees tossed for over 400 yards, while both Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham topped 100 yards receiving. Mike Wallace is starting to become a problem. Not for me but for anyone who owns him in a fantasy league. I still like Ryan Tannehill going forward as a QB2 but it wasn’t his night against the Saints. I said it last week and I’ll say it again: Lamar Miller deserves more than 11 carries a game. Tell Daniel Thomas to grab some pine and stay there.
By: Thomas Casale — September 24, 2013 @ 9:23 am
It was another wild week both in the NFL and for fantasy owners. Here’s a recap of every game in the Tuesday Morning Buzz.
Chiefs – Eagles
I’m a Chip Kelly fan but it was ugly Thursday night. The Eagles’ offense got eaten up by Kansas City and Kelly had few answers to combat the onslaught. I mentioned last week that the Chiefs would have one of the best fantasy defenses all year, but I didn’t think they would dominate the Eagles like they did. Kansas City has another tough matchup this week against the Giants, although how much more do we need to see? These guys are nasty. If the Chiefs’ defense is still on your waiver wire, go get them. Donnie Avery had a big game, catching seven passes for 141 yards. However, most of his receptions were on a play, run over and over, that Philadelphia just couldn’t cover. Avery is worth picking up simply because Alex Smith won’t throw the ball over 10 yards, and Avery is the Chiefs’ underneath receiver. Speaking of not throwing the ball over 10 yards, Dwayne Bowe owners are going to be pulling their hair out all season. Because he threw so many interceptions early on his career, Smith won’t force the ball down the field anymore, so Bowe’s fantasy numbers will suffer most weeks.
Browns – Vikings
What was expected to be a low-scoring affair ended up producing 58 points. The Vikings are in all kinds of trouble. They can’t stop anyone. Brian Hoyer made some mistakes but also threw for 321 yards and three scores. Hoyer at least looked like he belonged in the NFL, which is more than I can say for Brandon Weeden. Although, to be fair, having Josh Gordon helps. Gordon and Jordan Cameron give the Browns two young players to be excited about for the future. Cleveland would have had three hopefuls, but they traded away Trent Richardson. His replacement, Willis McGahee, made his debut and rushed eight times for nine yards. The scary thing is that out of these two teams, the one everyone said had given up on the season has more hope for 2013. Sorry Vikings.
Murray loves playing the Rams.
Rams – Cowboys
You have to wonder what’s going on with the Rams right now. They go out and get all this speed on offense for Sam Bradford and then don’t throw a pass over 10 yards. It’s either the play calling, or Bradford is gun-shy from all the sacks he’s taken early in his career. Whatever it is, St. Louis better start taking better advantage of its weapons because the Rams can’t run the ball a lick. The Cowboys ran the ball plenty on Sunday. DeMarco Murray must really love the Rams. He almost topped 200 yards against them for the second time in his career. Don’t be fooled though. When push comes to shove the Cowboys will ride the arm of Tony Romo. Murray makes for a great sell-high candidate this week, considering Dallas will always be a pass-first offense.
Packers – Bengals
Did any other A.J. Green owners keep checking to see if he was hurt on Sunday? I thought my computer was broken, Green went so long without having any stats. He ended up scoring late in the third quarter to save his day, but that’s two less-than-stellar weeks in a row from Green now. I have no idea why Giovani Bernard isn’t on the field more. Giving the ball to BenJarvus Green-Ellis is kind of like taking a knee. The guy is averaging 2.8 yards per carry on the season, and he must have had a 70-yarder I missed for it to be that high. After not having a 100-yard rusher in 45 games, the Packers had one in back-to-back weeks. Johnathan Franklin did the honors on Sunday but also had a costly fumble. Franklin has much more upside than James Starks. And he’s thus a much wiser waiver-wire addition this week than Starks was last week.
Buccaneers – Patriots
Last week I noted that the time may be running out on Josh Freeman. Well, now the Bucs are 0-3 and, unlike their first two games, their loss to the Patriots wasn’t close. With Freeman struggling and Vincent Jackson getting banged up, there just isn’t a lot to like about the Bucs’ offense right now. Stevan Ridley was kind of a waste of a draft pick. I know because I drafted him in two leagues and now he’s on my bench in favor of guys like Joique Bell and Bernard Pierce. Ridley is now seeing fewer carries than LeGarrette Blount and has Brandon Bolden breathing down his neck, too. That could change next week, but you know what? It could change again the week after that. Ridley’s 1000-yard season in 2012 sure seems like a long time ago.
Cardinals – Saints
This was a great fantasy game if you own Drew Brees or Jimmy Graham. Otherwise, there were a couple of average performances, some underwhelming performances, and Carson Palmer’s dreadful performance. Palmer is starting to look a little like the quarterbacks Arizona was trotting out there last season. If we can take one thing away from this game it’s that, for all the talk of the Honey Badger, Arizona is far and away the worst team in the NFL when it comes to covering the tight end. Remember that going forward.
Chargers – Titans
It seems every year there’s that one team whose games go down to the final seconds each week. This year is looks like that team is going to be the Chargers. They had their third game in a row determined in the final seconds on Sunday. Ryan Mathews had 58 yards on 16 carries. That’s actually a great game for him. Seriously, how much fantasy value does he even have anymore? Do people actually still start this guy? Mathews has less value than two other backs on his own team because he doesn’t play on passing downs or get goal-line carries. Chris Johnson gained 90 yards on 19 carries. That’s becoming his weekly stat line. Nate Washington had a big game. He’ll probably have two more this year. Good luck guessing when they’ll come.
Lions – Redskins
The Redskins did it again. They lost for the third week in a row but still put up respectable fantasy numbers overall. Washington fans may be upset that their team is 0-3, but fantasy owners could care less right now. Robert Griffin didn’t score but eclipsed 300 yards for the third straight game, so he’s doing much better in the fantasy world than the real world. See, there’s always a silver lining. There’s no silver lining for the Redskins’ defense though. It’s awful. Detroit had two receivers go over 100 yards (Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson) and Joique Bell racked up the fantasy points filling in for Reggie Bush. If you have a player going up against Washington’s defense right now, it’s like Christmas morning.
Giants – Panthers
My God, what’s going on with the Giants? This team hasn’t been the same since late last season, and they better turn it around soon because that was a disgusting display on Sunday. Regardless of how many Super Bowls Tom Coughlin has won, you can’t fire 53 players, and those guys simply don’t care right now. Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks are the only Giants that fantasy owners can afford to start next week against Kansas City. It’s obvious the Giants have quit, considering that Mike Shula’s offense racked up over 400 yards on them. Hopefully Shula finally realized he has Cam Newton and will start letting him throw the ball further than 10 yards in the coming weeks.
Texans – Ravens
This wasn’t a tremendous fantasy game unless you started Ravens’ kicker Justin Tucker. Bernard Pierce churned out 65 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries against a tough Houston rush defense. If Ray Rice is out again next week, look for Pierce to put up much better fantasy numbers versus Buffalo. The Texans continue to split carries between Ben Tate and Arian Foster. Whether Foster gets most of the carries or the carries are evenly split, it doesn’t really matter. He’s having a rough fantasy season so far. We may be saying the same thing in December, too.
Falcons – Dolphins
Steven Jackson was out for this game, so the Falcons obviously decided to focus on the run. Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers combined for 139 yards on 29 carries. Atlanta will need its two-headed running back monster to continue to produce while Jackson sits with a deep thigh bruise. After a bad showing in Week 1, Lamar Miller has provided a spark, but he hasn’t received enough touches. I’m not a big Miller fan, but he’s making plays and deserves to see the ball more than nine times. Ryan Tannehill continues to do a good job of spreading the ball around, as nine Dolphins caught passes on Sunday. Although, Mike Wallace owners prefer that the ratio go back to what it was in Week 2.
Jaguars – Seahawks
Some games go exactly how everyone thinks they’ll go. This was one of those games. Seattle got up big, rested their starters by the fourth quarter, and Jacksonville scored a few meaningless points. Cecil Shorts owners who started him are happy for the garbage points though. I started Russell Wilson over Andrew Luck in one of my leagues. My thinking was that Wilson would probably only throw for 200 yards but I was hoping he would toss a few scores on play action passes. Like I said, this was one of those games that went the way everyone thought it would go.
Colts – 49ers
Now, this was a game that didn’t go the way everyone expected. The Colts absolutely dominated Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers’ offense. They sacked Kaepernick three times, caused two turnovers and held San Francisco to 254 total yards. Newly signed Trent Richardson was used sparingly but made his presence known by scoring a touchdown. His touches will obviously increase a great deal over the next couple of weeks as he learns the offense. Ahmad Bradshaw carried the ball 19 times for 95 yards and a touchdown. Bradshaw will still have a role in the Colts’ offense, but Richardson wasn’t acquired to stand on the sidelines. He’s going to be the bell cow.
Bills – Jets
C.J. Spiller was supposed to take the fantasy world by storm this year. Instead, he’s finishing with 10 carries for nine yards and either getting hurt or benched every week. It’s not the start to the season owners who selected Spiller with a first-round pick were expecting. I was one of those people. After sharing carries with Chris Ivory in the first two games, Bilal Powell exploded for 149 yards on 27 carries. He’s obviously the Jets back to own now that Ivory is dealing with a hamstring issue. The Jets had two 100-yard receivers in Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill. That’s right, the Jets had two receivers who combined for 262 receiving yards, and the 49ers had 254 yards of total offense. Welcome to another crazy NFL season.
Bears – Steelers
This was a game where a team won 40-23. However, the team that scored 40 points was a fantasy dud, while the team that scored 23 points had the fantasy stars. No one on the Bears other than Matt Forte did much of anything. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger broke out and threw for over 400 yards, while Antonio Brown caught nine passes for 196 yards and two scores. One thing remained the same though; the Steelers couldn’t run the ball at all. If Pittsburgh wants to improve its ground game, they should do a better job of acquiring running backs. Think about it. Other than Le’Veon Bell, they have backs that can’t make other teams’ rosters. No one else wants Felix Jones. Jonathan Dwyer got cut and no one wanted him. I can guarantee you no one wants Isaac Redman. Seriously, get better running backs instead of three tomato cans who don’t belong in the NFL. For an organization that usually does a great job of building a roster, that’s inexcusable.
Raiders – Broncos
This was a typical Broncos thrashing of a team that had no chance of stopping their high-powered offense. The good news for fantasy owners is all of Denver’s receivers got into the act Monday night. The trio of Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker combined for 25 receptions, 311 yards and two scores. Montee Ball looked good in the second half but fumbled for the second straight week. These young backs can’t keep expecting to get chances and screwing up. The only real fantasy bright spot for the Raiders was Denarius Moore, who caught six passes for 124 yards and a long touchdown. The Broncos and Eagles play on Sunday. This is just a hunch but that game will probably produce a few nice fantasy stat lines.
By: Thomas Casale — September 17, 2013 @ 8:40 am
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It was another wild week both in the NFL and for fantasy owners. Here’s a recap of every game in the Tuesday Morning Buzz.
Jets – Patriots
If you’re searching for the epitome of the difference between PPR and non-PPR, look no further than Julian Edelman’s performance on Thursday night. Edelman caught a ridiculous 13 passes on 18 targets but they only went for 78 yards. That’s a big night in PPR leagues but kind of blah in non-PPR formats. Speaking of blah, Stevan Ridley got a reprieve when Shane Vereen broke his wrist, but Ridley only managed 40 yards. He has just 86 yards through two games and the Bucs’ tough rush defense is waiting for him in Week 3. He’s looking like no more than a flex play against Tampa Bay. New England gained just 232 yards of offense and Tom Brady was visibly upset with his receivers. I guess that system just isn’t the same system without Wes Welker. Stephen Hill shows flashes and would actually be an emerging fantasy receiver if he didn’t leave 2 or 3 balls on the turf every week. Both Hill and Santonio Holmes are worth a look if you need a receiver. Clyde Gates should be unemployed by the time you read this column.
Charles has 11 catches in 2 games.
Cowboys – Chiefs
This was ugly if you’re a fan of the running game. Jamaal Charles owners can’t like seeing his name under Alex Smith in the rushing totals. Luckily, Andy Reid made good on his promise to use Charles more in the passing game, and Charles rewarded owners with eight receptions for 48 yards and a score. DeMarco Murray was a non-factor, and we should probably get used to that most weeks with Bill Callahan calling plays. Callahan isn’t a big fan of running the football, so if you own Murray, he’ll need to contribute as a receiver too, as he did on Sunday. Dez Bryant’s ankle was obviously bothering him. He was held to just nine catches for 141 yards and a touchdown. I picked up the Chiefs’ defense in two leagues last week and they’re still available in many others. They had three more sacks and two takeaways against Dallas. Look for Kansas City to have one of the better fantasy defenses this year.
Rams – Falcons
There’s nothing better for Julio Jones owners than when Roddy White is injured. With White still nursing a bad ankle, Jones exploded. He caught 11 balls on 14 targets for 182 yards and a score. For the second week in a row White played but was mainly used as a decoy. Make sure to check his status and only use him in Week 3 if reports say he’s close to 100 percent. It’s not worth starting White if he’s just going to run routes to keep opposing defenses honest. Sam Bradford threw for 352 yards but Jared Cook only caught one pass for 10 yards. Cook owners shouldn’t panic though. Atlanta’s defense bracketed him on almost every play and the Falcons have done a great job of erasing tight ends in the past. Cook will rebound. His seeing so much attention opened things up for Chris Givens and Austin Pettis. If you’re looking to pick up one of the two, Givens is the better long-term option.
Vikings – Bears
This was a crazy, entertaining game. Matt Forte showed why he’s a monster in PPR formats, but putting two balls on the ground is concerning. It was nice to see Alshon Jeffery involved in the offense last week, but he came back with just one reception on Sunday. He was open late in the end zone, although Cutler overthrew him. Jeffery will be inconsistent early on but as we get deeper into the season, I still believe he’ll be a big-time fantasy receiver. Cordarrelle Patterson showed off his playmaking ability as a return man but he still has a ways to go before he helps fantasy owners as a receiver. It would help Patterson if Minnesota had a quarterback.
Panthers – Bills
One week after destroying the Panthers’ offense, Mike Shula is still doing his best to kill Cam Newton. The Panthers had only seven points at the half and had 10 other points set up by turnovers in the red zone. Overall, Carolina was held to just over 300 yards of offense; another embarrassing performance when Newton is your quarterback. The bottom line is that Shula is killing the fantasy value of Newton and Steve Smith. C.J. Spiller went over 100 yards thanks to a 46-yard run late but he lost a goal-line carry to Fred Jackson. Spiller also had only 16 carries to Jackson’s 12. Boy, for a guy who was supposed to get the ball until he throws up, Spiller must puke easily.
Browns – Ravens
The good news for Trent Richardson owners is that he got 18 carries this week. The bad news is he managed only 58 yards and Cleveland’s offensive line opened up very few holes for him. Richardson did catch five balls, although for just 21 yards. It’s only been two games so far, but it could be a long year for Richardson. The supporting cast just doesn’t appear to be there in Cleveland and now Brandon Weeden is banged up, though that may not be a negative. Marlon Brown delivered in his first start for the Ravens by catching four balls for 45 yards and a touchdown. He should be considered a WR3/flex play moving forward.
Redskins – Packers
The Redskins may be a mess right now but fantasy owners were happy with their performance on Sunday. Robert Griffin went over 300 yards and tossed three scores, Alfred Morris went for 107 yards and Pierre Garcon caught eight passes for 143 yards and a touchdown. So what’s the problem? There’s no problem in Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers went over 300 yards in what seemed like the first quarter. James Starks filled in for an injured Eddie Lacy and ripped off 132 yards. He’ll be one of the most sought-after free agents this week, but owners will likely be disappointed over the long-term. At the end of the day he’s still James Starks. After being shut out in Week 1, James Jones caught 11 passes for 178 yards on Sunday. I give you the wonderful world of fantasy football.
Titans – Texans
Arian Foster looked a step slow last week but I thought it was because he hadn’t played in a long time. After watching him again this week, compared to Ben Tate, Foster simply isn’t hitting the hole as quickly. Tate out-produced Foster for the second straight week in a row as far as rushing yards but Foster found the end zone to save his fantasy day. The Texans keep saying they want to get Tate more touches. He certainly deserves it. I predicted this summer that DeAndre Hopkins would win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award and he’s done nothing to make me think otherwise. Hopkins is talented enough to produce WR3 numbers most weeks. I always think Kendall Wright puts up bigger numbers than he actually does. Then when I look, he catches seven passes for 54 yards. He did score too. Wright is worth picking up if he’s still available in your league. If you need to drop someone, how about Kenny Britt?
Dolphins – Colts
One week after Mike Wallace owners had to be talked off a cliff, he bounced back with a 9-catch 115-yard day that also included a touchdown. The Dolphins’ offense in general has looked good now two weeks in a row. Charles Clay had a huge day and even stole a goal-line carry from Lamar Miller. It was Clay’s only carry of the day. Sometimes fantasy football can be so cruel. Andrew Luck had a 300-yard game but it’s days like this that prevent him from being a top fantasy QB. Luck has yet to consistently combine the big-yardage games with the multiple-score games. He’s a very good fantasy QB, just not an elite one yet. It was nice to see new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton realize that he has T.Y. Hilton on his team. Thank God it only took him a week. It would have taken Todd Haley three years to figure that out.
Chargers – Eagles
The Eagles’ offense dominated for the second week in a row. The problem for Philadelphia and good news for fantasy owners is that their defense also has to take the field. Mike Vick had a huge game. Boy, remember how long he was lasting in drafts? I’ll be the first to raise my hand and say I wish I could turn back the clock a few weeks. Both LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson went over 100 yards receiving and the Eagles went over 500 total yards, yet they still lost. How? Well, because San Diego ran 79 offensive plays, held the ball for over 40 minutes and also topped 500 yards of total offense. Hey Chip, you have to play some defense. Philly’s defense is so bad, Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates looked like the players they were four years ago. Eddie Royal is on absolute fire, scoring five touchdowns in his first two games. I think Royal has more fantasy points than my starting running backs in all of my leagues combined.
Lions – Cardinals
With Larry Fitzgerald hurting, Carson Palmer gave new definition to “spreading it around.” Palmer completed 22 passes to 10 different receivers. While that’s good in the real world and the Cardinals got the win, it stinks for fantasy purposes. Any time Kerry Taylor and Jaron Brown are catching passes, it’s annoying for fantasy owners. Heck, Patrick Peterson caught a pass and he plays on defense. Matthew Stafford tried a different approach. He decided to throw a lot of his passes to a guy named Calvin Johnson. Megatron rebounded from an unusual quiet game in Week 1 to go over 100 yards and score twice. Reggie Bush suffered an injury in this game and Joique Bell replaced him. Bell caught his normal five passes for 41 yards. If Bush is out for next week or any period of time, Bell will be a strong RB2 in PPR formats. He should be owned in all leagues.
Saints – Buccaneers
The Saints are still trying to get Mark Ingram involved apparently. Another week goes by and it’s eight carries for 20 yards. If this were a movie, they would show Ingram older with a grey beard sitting on the bench waiting to get into the game. Lance Moore could be a good play next week against Arizona. He usually has one good game a month, and Moore has put up two stinkers to start the year. The odds say he’s due. Josh Freeman has been living on borrowed time. His time looks like it’s up. If you own Vincent Jackson, it’s a good week to shop him in trades, because rookie Mike Glennon will be throwing him the ball soon.
Broncos – Giants
This was supposed to be a back-and-forth game but it started off slowly and then the Giants never got going. To be honest, the Giants haven’t really been going since late last year. It’s time to be a little concerned about this team. They can’t run the football at all, they have no real identity on offense and Eli Manning is turning the ball over way too much. I say after two games David Wilson is the biggest fantasy bust. He’s been a complete non-factor. Eric Decker bounced back from an atrocious Week 1 performance and Julius Thomas showed he wasn’t a one-week wonder. Montee Ball was about to have his moment in the sun but he fumbled heading into the end zone. After that, Knowshon Moreno ran for 93 yards and two scores. Ball and Hillman have had their chances. It’s likely Moreno time in Denver now.
Jaguars – Raiders
The Jaguars went 35 minutes of game time without getting a first down. Well, at least we know it’s not just Blaine Gabbert. Hey, Teddy Bridgewater, get your suit on, we need you. This team is in trouble until they do something about their quarterback situation. It’s just that simple. The thing is, they actually have some pretty good young receivers: Justin Blackmon, when he returns; Cecil Shorts; and Ace Sanders, who was one of my deep sleepers this summer. However, they just can’t be counted on to put up consistent fantasy numbers every week with these quarterbacks. Maurice Jones-Drew is hurt again and he may as well tap out because he doesn’t stand a chance in this offense. Much to the dismay of owners who overreacted and started him, Terrelle Pryor didn’t have the same impact that he had in Week 1. That’s why you don’t ever sit studs at the QB position for gut feelings. It’s not worth the risk.
49ers – Seahawks
It’s hard to believe that a game with so many fantasy stars had so little fantasy production. Other than Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle Defense, this game was a complete fantasy dud. The 49ers have bigger problems than just this loss. Their running game has gone nowhere two weeks in a row, outside of Colin Kaepernick. Frank Gore has been invisible. I’ll take the blame; I own him and every running back I own does nothing for some reason. To be fair to Gore though, he hasn’t had anywhere to run. After catching 13 passes in Week 1, Anquan Boldin caught one pass against Seattle. That may be the biggest one-week swing in NFL history. My cousin sat Dez Bryant in favor of Boldin. He ended up losing by five points. Can you imagine walking around life being that stupid?
Steelers – Bengals
It’s nice to see the Bengals’ coaches were smart enough to realize Giovani Bernard needed more touches after he averaged 5.5 yards on his first four carries last week. The kid is going to be a superstar. He maximizes his touches. Bernard will score double-digit touchdowns this season. Actually, if the Steelers refuse to fire Todd Haley as their offensive coordinator, Bernard may score more touchdowns than the entire Pittsburgh team. You have to give it to Haley though. The Steelers are improving. After scoring nine points in Week 1, Pittsburgh scored 10 points on Monday night. At this rate the Steelers could put 20 points on the board by Halloween.
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