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Tuesday Morning Buzz – Week 12, 2013

By: — November 25, 2013 @ 11:36 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.

Saints – Falcons
I’ve been talking about Darius Johnson since last year and I’ve mentioned him a couple of times in this column as well. Despite a costly fumble, Johnson caught six passes for 67 yards. He has gone from an afterthought on draft day and a nobody in training camp to a guy making some plays in the NFL. I’ve always thought Johnson could play and, like I’ve been saying since April, he’s a guy to keep an eye on. I swear, Jimmy Graham and Megatron must have a combined 300 fantasy points against me this year. Graham got me again for 100 yards and a score on five receptions. Pierre Thomas has been one of the most underrated players in the NFL for a couple of years. He had another one of his games where he racked up 130 total yards on just 15 touches. Steven Jackson had his best game of the year. The fact that he had 79 total yards and a score tells you what kind of season it’s been for him.

Panthers – Dolphins
I saw I was playing against Mike Wallace this week and figured he would finally have a big game. Wallace proved me right by catching five passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. Not counting Cam Newton, the Panthers ran the ball 21 times for 85 yards. It would take the Miami running backs a month to get to that number. Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas combined for 16 yards on 13 carries. The Dolphins are on their way to being one of the all-time worst rushing teams. I guess that’s why Mike Sherman was so popular at Texas A&M.

Buccaneers – Lions
Mike Glennon continues to play well and deliver for fantasy owners. He threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns, both going to Tiquan Underwood, who had 108 yards receiving. Glennon is showing a lot of promise for both the rest of the season and 2014. Bobby Rainey had only 35 yards on 18 carries after his huge performance last week. It should be noted that the Lions are tough against the run, but things won’t get much easier next week versus Carolina. Nate Burleson made a big impact in his return from an injured forearm. He saw 10 targets and caught seven passes for 77 yards a score.

Bears – Rams
I had a tough fantasy week. I own Zac Stacy in two leagues and after he racked up 87 yards and a score in the first half, he went out with a concussion. Then his backup Benny Cunningham ripped off 109 yards and a score on 13 carries. Now we know how Ray Rice had a big game last week. The Bears have the worst rush defense in the NFL. I’m so sick and tired of seeing that miserable hump Michael Bush in the game. When a team gets in the red zone it should have its best players on the field, not a declining, slow backup. Did you see that touchdown run Matt Forte had called back because of a penalty? Do you think Bush can make a run like that? These coaches overthink too much. It must be because they’re all geniuses. It takes a real genius to keep one of his best two players on the bench inside the red zone. It’s inexcusable and awful coaching.

Jets – Ravens
The Jets’ streak of playing well one week and poorly the next came to a crashing halt Sunday at Baltimore. After feasting on the Bears’ joke of a rush defense last week, Rice went back to his usual 16 carries for 30 yards against the Jets. All is right with the world again. The Jets’ defense got burnt by Joe Flacco, however. Flacco threw for 273 yards and a score, while Jacoby Jones had a 100-yard day and a touchdown. Geno Smith had a miserable game but it’s hard to blame all of the Jets’ offensive failures on him alone. New York’s receivers are so pitiful that their leading pass catcher on the day was Greg Salas. It’s easy to make fun of Geno all the time, but if the Jets want to evaluate a young quarterback, they should try doing so without the worst group of receivers and tight ends in the NFL.

Jaguars – Texans
I can pretty much sum this up by saying the Texans have given up on the season. This was a pitiful effort by Houston all across the board. The lone bright spot was Dennis Johnson running for 74 yards on 13 carries. However, he should already be owned in most leagues as insurance for Ben Tate by now. Maurice Jones-Drew continues to have a strong second half of the season. He finished with 144 total yards and a score. To show how lifeless Houston was on Sunday, Chad Henne had a passer rating of 93.1.

Aaron Rodgers

The Packers need this guy back… and soon.

Vikings – Packers
In probably the weirdest game of the day, the Packers went to their fourth option at quarterback in Matt Flynn and ended up with a tie against Minnesota. Flynn completed 21 of 36 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it was against Minnesota’s Swiss cheese defense. Hopefully for the Packers and fantasy owners like me, Aaron Rodgers will be back soon. Adrian Peterson ran over Green Bay’s defense for 146 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries. The Packers rush defense was so bad on Sunday that Toby Gerhart chipped in with 91 yards on eight carries. With Peterson’s bad hamstring, it would be wise for his owners to grab Gerhart as insurance.

Steelers – Browns
Some were worried about Antonio Brown going up against Joe Haden, but Brown still caught six passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. Brown simply sees too many targets every week, regardless of who is covering him. The guy is a beast. The Browns’ fantasy value took a hit when Brandon Weeden came into the game, but it didn’t bother Josh Gordon. Gordon torched the Steelers for 237 yards and a touchdown on 14 receptions. He caught 14 of his 17 targets. On the other hand, Jordan Cameron saw 10 targets but had only three receptions. That’s what happens when a team has bad quarterback play.

Chargers – Chiefs
In the most entertaining game of the afternoon, San Diego scored late to beat the Chiefs, 41–38. Kansas City has been leaning on its defense this season, but after losing Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, the Chiefs couldn’t stop Philip Rivers and company. Rivers threw for 392 yards and three scores, while Keenan Allen caught nine balls for 124 yards. Jamaal Charles had his usual huge game and the Chargers showed how much they’re struggling on defense by letting Alex Smith throw for 294 yards and three scores. The Chiefs’ defense is reeling and they have the Broncos on deck. I have them in two leagues, and even though they’ve been great, it’s time to start playing matchups.

Cowboys – Giants
The weather and some awful officiating kept the offensive numbers in check for both teams. Tony Romo and Eli Manning did manage to throw two touchdown passes each despite the windy conditions. Dez Bryant saw 16 targets after Dallas spent the bye week trying to get him the ball more. You would think the coaching staff wouldn’t need a bye week to figure out how to get its No. 1 receiver the football. Bryant responded by catching nine passes for 91 yards. Andre Brown ran over the Cowboys for 127 yards on 21 carries, but owners have to hold their breath every time he gets up in hopes that he isn’t injured. The guy is a tremendous player but whenever Brown gets tackled, it looks like he’s out for the year. And given his past injury history, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Titans – Raiders
It’s hard to believe, but the Titans are actually the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs right now. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 320 yards and two scores against the pitiful Raiders pass defense. Justin Hunter and Kendall Wright each went over 100 yards, while Delanie Walker had another solid game, catching five balls for 46 yards on nine targets. Matt McGloin played pretty well in only his second start. It’s clear after two games that McGloin likes throwing to Rod Streater. In McGloin’s two starts, Streater has 11 receptions for 177 yards and a touchdown.

Colts – Cardinals
The Cardinals remained red hot by slamming the Colts. Carson Palmer threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns and for the second week in a row Michael Floyd was his favorite receiver. Floyd is on his way to becoming a stud in 2014. The Colts’ high point may end up being their win over Denver. Andrew Luck’s poor pass a few weeks ago, which forced Reggie Wayne to turn awkwardly even though he was wide open, has led to the biggest injury in the NFL. The Indianapolis offense just hasn’t been the same since Wayne got hurt. At the time, after wins over Seattle, San Francisco and Denver, it could have been argued that the Colts were the Super Bowl favorites. Now without Wayne or a running game and with problems on the offensive line, this is a completely different offense. The Colts have been a fantasy disaster in two of their last three games.

Broncos – Patriots
In what will likely be the wildest game of the season, Denver jumped out to a 24-0 lead, only to lose in overtime, 34–31. I can’t see how Stevan Ridley gets another chance to be the lead back in New England. I’m all for second chances, but he’s fumbling so much it’s hurting the Patriots’ ability to win games. Shane Vereen is going to be huge for owners during the playoffs. Dropping Vereen was the biggest mistake some owners made this fantasy season. I was told Danny Amendola and Wes Welker are the same player. I guess those people were right. Neither guy did anything Sunday night. Welker caught four passes for 31 yards and Amendola caught three for 17. Overall, Amendola’s first season in New England has been a miserable failure.

49ers – Redskins
The 49ers needed to get their offense on track and they found the right tonic in the Redskins’ defense. Colin Kaepernick passed for 235 yards and three scores. He had three touchdown passes in his previous four games, so that tells you all you need to know about Washington’s defense. Anquan Boldin caught five passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Boldin has now had two good games in a row. Robert Griffin couldn’t get anything going for the Redskins. RG3 only threw for 127 yards, Alfred Morris rushed for 52 yards and Pierre Garcon caught eight balls but was held to just 48 yards. Overall it was a dreadful performance by a Redskins team that’s sinking fast.

Tuesday Morning Buzz – Week 11, 2013

By: — November 19, 2013 @ 8:28 am
Filed under: Player Analysis

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.

Colts – Titans
At some point the Colts had to realize Trent Richardson was killing their offense, and Thursday night was that point. While Richardson was slogging to 22 yards on eight carries, Donald Brown racked up 80 yards and two scores on 14 carries. Like I said last week, Richardson has finally earned the right to be called a RB2. He’s now a RB2 on his own team. Delanie Walker is starting to become a solid option for those searching for a TE. Walker has now scored double-digit fantasy points in PPR leagues in three of his last four games. Ryan Fitzpatrick looks for the tight end more than Jake Locker, so Walker is worth picking up if you’re thin at that position.

Jets – Bills
The Bills’ defense dominated, recording four sacks and causing four turnovers. Of course, the entire world should have seen this coming because this was the Jets’ scheduled week to play poorly. Baltimore is in big trouble on Sunday because it’s the Jets’ week to play great. Buffalo’s offense didn’t have to do much but E.J. Manuel played well, completing 20 of 28 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns. Backups Marquise Goodwin and T.J. Graham were productive starting for the injured Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods. The duo combined for eight receptions, 155 yards and two touchdowns. Doug Marrone deserves a lot of credit for what he’s done in his first year with the Bills.

Carson Palmer

Carson Palmer had his best day of the fantasy season – 419 yds, 2 TDs.

Cardinals – Jaguars
After getting their first win of the season, the Jaguars went back to being the Jaguars. Carson Palmer lit up the Jacksonville defense for 419 yards and two touchdowns. One of the reasons for Palmer’s big day was because Arizona couldn’t run the ball at all. The Cardinals rushed 24 times for 14 yards. The Jaguars didn’t do much better, rushing 16 times for 31 yards. Michael Floyd was questionable much of the week. He looked healthy on Sunday. Floyd caught six passes for 193 yards, including a 91-yard touchdown.

Raiders – Texans
Matt McGloin made an impressive NFL debut by throwing for 197 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense. It’s still too early to tell if McGloin is the real deal, but he had an excellent coach at Penn State in Bill O’Brien to prepare him for the NFL. Rashad Jennings ran for 150 yards and a touchdown. The Raiders have a Trent Richardson situation. There doesn’t seem to be any holes when Darren McFadden is in the game, but for some reason Jennings finds holes to run through when he plays. It must be that the offensive line only likes to block for Jennings. The Texans benched Case Keenum in favor of Matt Schaub and still lost. Who are the fans going to threaten now?

Lions – Steelers
This was a wild game. The only thing I can say is I’ve seen enough of Calvin Johnson for one season. I went up against Megatron when he faced the Cowboys and again last week when he caught six balls for 179 yards and two touchdowns. Matthew Stafford threw 46 times for 362 and two touchdowns, while Ben Roethlisberger threw 45 times for 367 yards and four touchdowns. Antonio Brown continues to be a target and reception monster, while Jerricho Cotchery found the end zone again. That’s now five touchdowns for Cotchery in the last three games.

Falcons – Buccaneers
If the Falcons and Jaguars were to play, I think I would go with Jacksonville. Atlanta is playing some God-awful football, but luckily for Harry Douglas owners he continues to put up strong fantasy numbers. There’s very little to like about the Falcons right now unless you have a fantasy player going up against their defense. Apparently Bobby Rainey will be replacing Mike James. Rainey ran for 163 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. He also scored on a 4-yard touchdown pass. Meanwhile, Brian Leonard was a non-factor. Rainey is still owned in only 54 percent of leagues. That obviously won’t be the case come Wednesday. Mike Glennon continues to play well, despite being thrown into the fire as a rookie. He’s putting up strong QB2 numbers on a consistent basis.

Ravens – Bears
In a game that took about 10 hours to play, Ray Rice got his revenge on me. I’ve been smashing Rice for a year and a half now and I played against him this week. Rice gained 131 yards and a touchdown after coming into the game with 289 yards on the season. Although, I’m guessing that has more to do with the Bears’ abysmal defense than me. Alshon Jeffery continues to dominate and Josh McCown did just enough to get a win in ugly conditions. Joe Flacco is having a miserable season. I mentioned above that the Jets are scheduled to play well this week against Baltimore. Gang Greene’s defense will eat the Ravens’ offensive line and Flacco alive.

Browns – Bengals
The Bengals gained only 224 yards of total offense against Cleveland but they didn’t have to do much because Cincinnati’s defense dominated the game. The Bengals’ DST scored two touchdowns, caused four turnovers and registered four sacks. Andy Dalton only threw for 93 yards. He did toss three scores but none of those yards or touchdowns went to A.J. Green, who only caught two passes for seven yards. The Browns tried phasing Willis McGahee out of the offense but Chris Ogbonnaya fumbled twice. That could open the door for Fozzy Whittaker to see more touches going forward.

Redskins – Eagles
Nick Foles continues to play well and put up strong numbers. He didn’t throw for any touchdowns against Washington but accounted for 345 total yards and a score on the ground. I know that’s a pretty good fantasy day because I played against Foles in one of my leagues. Riley Cooper was finally held in check, catching only three passes for 37 yards, although he came up just inches short of scoring another touchdown. Robert Griffin isn’t having an awful fantasy season but he is struggling on the field. The interception he threw at the end of the game was inexcusable.

Vikings – Seahawks
Percy Harvin made his debut for the Seahawks on Sunday. He caught only one pass for 17 yards but it was a good sign for the owners who held on to Harvin to see him out there. By the time fantasy playoffs roll around, Harvin will be an asset to owners. The Seattle defense held Adrian Peterson to 65 yards on 21 carries. Other than Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, the two top fantasy performers from this game were Darius Wright and Doug Baldwin. So the story is that the Seahawks moved to 10-1 and Harvin made his debut.

49ers – Saints
The 49ers’ defense played well but their offense was held to fewer than 200 yards for the second consecutive game. Colin Kaepernick isn’t playing well but it’s hard to place all the blame on him. Defenses are double-teaming Vernon Davis on most plays and shifting coverage to Anquan Boldin. Why? Because their other receiver is Jonathan Baldwin and he shouldn’t be in the NFL. The 49ers are simply lacking playmakers on offense right now and they’re an easy team to defend. One week after rushing for 145 yards, Mark Ingram went back to his usual stat line of six carries for 25 yards. That’s what happens when you’re not playing Monte Kiffin’s joke defense in Dallas. Like most players in the NFL, Ingram had his best game of the year against the Cowboys.

Chargers – Dolphins
This was a weird offensive game for the Chargers because Philip Rivers threw for almost 300 yards but neither Keenan Allen nor Danny Woodhead were much of a factor. Allen left late with a knee injury but only caught three passes for 45 yards. Woodhead, meanwhile, totaled just 37 yards. Rivers spread the ball around to nine different receivers, while Ryan Mathews did the damage on the ground with 127 yards. Lamar Miller looked like he was about to break out a couple of weeks ago. Instead, he’s back to getting 17 yards on four carries. We’re at the point now that if you’re still starting a Miami running back, you’ve obviously given up on the fantasy season.

Packers – Giants
Scott Tolzien threw three interceptions but he played about as well as can be expected for a guy who was just signed off the practice squad and making his first start. The bottom line is that Green Bay’s offense is going to be in trouble until Aaron Rodgers returns unless they play the Cowboys. Remember when Hakeem Nicks was a No. 1 receiver? That guy used to dominate; now he looks like he doesn’t even want to be out on the field. Nicks had another ho-hum four-catch, 50-yard performance on Sunday. The good news for Nicks is that he does get to face Dallas’s defense this week, so a breakout game is likely.

Chiefs – Broncos
With all due respect to Peyton Manning, if I had an MVP vote I think I would have to split it between Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs defense. How that team went 9-0 with Alex Smith at quarterback is beyond me. That guy is tough to watch. Smith actually makes me angry at times with all his stupid checkdowns and the way he runs out of the pocket when there’s barely any pressure. The Chiefs won’t win a darn thing with him under center. I’ve always suspected John Fox hated me with the way he drafted running backs I loved in college and then never used them. Now I have my proof. Jack Del Rio takes over and Montee Ball scores two touchdowns. Expect to see Ball get 10-12 carries a game from here on in as the Broncos try to keep Knowshon Moreno fresh for the playoffs.

Patriots – Panthers
This game lived up to its billing, going down to the final controversial seconds. I own Shane Vereen and have been chomping at the bit for him to return. Vereen made a splash in his first game back by catching eight passes for 65 yards on 11 targets. Vereen owners got the added bonus of Stevan Ridley fumbling again. Vereen is always going to have value regardless of Ridley because of his ability as a receiver. However, Ridley is one more fumble away from barely seeing the ball anymore. Bill Belichick isn’t going to put that guy out on the field in the playoffs if he keeps putting the ball on the ground. Cam Newton played one of his better games of the year, gaining 271 total yards and scoring three touchdowns. He had to put the offense on his shoulders because Carolina couldn’t run the ball a lick.

Tuesday Morning Buzz – Week 10, 2013

By: — November 11, 2013 @ 11:42 pm
Filed under: Player Analysis

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.

Redskins – Vikings
This game featured a lot of offense, in large part because both defenses are awful. Alfred Morris owners can’t catch a break…sort of. Morris has had three strong games in a row, but after losing short touchdown runs to Roy Helu and Darrel Young the last two weeks, Morris got skunked again when Logan Paulsen caught a one-yard touchdown pass. At least this time there was only 10 seconds left in the half. Robert Griffin had another big fantasy game in a loss, targeting Pierre Garcon and tight end Jordan Reed a combined 19 times. For Minnesota, Christian Ponder was playing well against Washington’s Swiss cheese defense before hurting his shoulder. John Carlson had a big game filling in for the injured Kyle Rudolph, catching seven passes for 98 yards and a touchdown. That will likely be Carlson’s best game of the year unless he gets to play Washington’s defense again.

Andre Brown

Brown quickly became a workhorse.

Raiders – Giants
So much for Andre Brown being eased back into action with a few touches. Brown carried the ball 30 times for 115 times and a touchdown. I picked him up in one of my leagues a while ago because I knew those tomato cans Peyton Hillis and Brandon Jacobs were just stop-gaps, but not even I thought Brown would get 30 carries in his first game back. This is great news for his owners moving forward, until he gets hurt again in three weeks. Terrelle Pryor has had his moments this year, but you can tell over a 16-game span whether a guy can play quarterback in the NFL. Now that Pryor has played a while, it looks like the Raiders may still need to draft a quarterback. Pryor has played better than I expected overall, but he doesn’t look like the long-term answer in Oakland.

Seahawks – Falcons
The Seahawks hadn’t been playing well the last two weeks and needed a cure. They got it in a Falcons team that may be playing the worst football in the NFL right now. Marshawn Lynch blasted the woeful Atlanta defense for 145 yards and a score. Russell Wilson and Golden Tate also had big days, as Seattle basically did whatever it wanted. Roddy White started but only caught one pass for 20 yards on four targets. My boy Darius Johnson caught his first career touchdown pass, but overall the Falcons are a fantasy disaster to avoid right now.

Bills – Steelers
Some games are ugly. They look ugly, they feel ugly, they sound ugly and the fantasy stats from them are ugly. This was one of those games. Unless you started Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell or the Steelers’ defense, there wasn’t much to like about this game. Brown caught six passes for 104 yards, while Bell totaled 96 yards and a touchdown. Other than that it was a mix of good defense and bad offense. Mostly, it was bad offense.

Bengals – Ravens
There were a lot of bad things in this game. There was atrocious offensive line play. There was bad quarterback play. It’s hard to blame Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton for everything because they were under a lot of pressure and the wind was blowing hard, but even their easy throws were way off. Not to be outdone, Ray Rice continued to try and run the ball. Rice has now been held to less than 50 yards rushing in seven of eight games this year. No one in their right mind is still starting Rice, are they? That would be as crazy as starting Trent Richardson. Two guys you can start are Giovani Bernard and A.J. Green. Green’s stats were helped out by that crazy Hail Mary at the end of the game. So were Dalton’s miserable stats. Remember when Dalton had that red-hot three-game stretch? Don’t worry, neither does anyone else.

Lions – Bears
God knows I’m not right all the time. However, when I was really high on Alshon Jeffery this summer, one thing people kept saying is that he wouldn’t get enough targets. I admit, with Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte ahead of him at the time, it was a concern, but I thought Jeffery still had the talent to catch 70 balls and top 1,000 yards this year. I guess after seeing 18 targets on Sunday those concerns now seem silly. Jeffery and Brandon Marshall are now one of the most feared receiving tandems in the NFL. The good thing about them is that it doesn’t matter if Jay Cutler or Josh McCown is under center. Personally, I think McCown should be playing right now. Cutler is hurt and McCown is doing a great job of leading the offense. The Lions had their usual target distribution. Megatron saw 17 and the rest of the team saw a combined 17.

Eagles – Packers
Last week I mentioned that Seneca Wallace couldn’t play and that the Packers would have to find another option at quarterback. I didn’t think it would be so soon. Wallace hurt his groin and Green Bay had to turn to Scott Tolzien. To be honest, my guess is that Tolzien performed better than Wallace would have. Tolzien went from the practice squad to throwing for 280 yards, so he could offer some hope if he remains the starter. He got the ball to Green Bay’s receivers. Jarrett Boykin went over 100 yards, while Jordy Nelson and James Jones combined for 10 receptions, so there were some positives for fantasy owners to take away from this game. On the Eagles’ side, the love affair between Nick Foles and Riley Cooper continued. Cooper went over 100 yards for the third time in four of Foles’ starts and caught two more touchdowns. I once said I never saw Riley Cooper catch a pass. I didn’t realize that was Mike Vick’s fault.

Rams – Colts
This has to be the most shocking outcome of the season. Not only that the Rams beat the Colts but that they dominated them from start to finish. How many people are going to put in ridiculous waiver requests for Tavon Austin this week? Austin caught two passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored on a 98-yard punt return. You know what though? Looking at it from a fantasy perspective, he was only targeted three times in the passing game and he caught two passes. Is he going to score from 81 and 57 yards every week or do you think that was more of a fluke? Hey, Trent Richardson rushed for five yards on two carries. Is he still an RB2? You know what, he is a RB2. He’s a RB2 on the Indianapolis Colts.

Jaguars – Titans
I must be the biggest jinx on the planet. I’m already on Tom Brady’s Christmas card list. After finally benching him he exploded for 46 fantasy points. Then after declaring Jacksonville would go 0-16, they win their next game. Oh well, at least I got 17 fantasy points out of Maurice Jones-Drew. But why am I watching Jordan Todman score? I’m telling you, fantasy football is more frustrating than gambling sometimes. Jake Locker is hurt again. Can we cross him off the list yet? Seriously, the guy is either hurt or playing below average. The entire world knew Minnesota and Tennessee reached for Locker and Christian Ponder in the 2011 draft. Let’s admit it and move on.

Panthers – 49ers
As fantasy owners we love offense, but sometimes it’s nice to see a great defensive game. There’s a big difference between a bad offensive game and a good defensive game and this was the latter. The Panthers sacked Colin Kaepernick six times and caused two turnovers, while San Francisco got to Cam Newton four times and also caused two turnovers. Carolina held the 49ers to under 200 yards of total offense and really harassed Kaepernick all afternoon. There weren’t many offensive fantasy statistics to take away from this game other than the Carolina backfield committee being in full effect. Jonathan Stewart got 13 carries for 41 yards, while DeAngelo Williams got eight carries for 46 yards and a touchdown. The only surprise was that Mike Tolbert saw just two carries.

Broncos – Chargers
When Julius Thomas scored on a 74-yard pass early in the game I thought it was Demaryius because they look almost identical on the field wearing the numbers 80 and 88. When I saw it was Julius I was so mad I started looking at possible trades for Demaryius. Then seven catches, 108 yards and three scores later from Demaryius, I reconsidered and decided he could stay on my fantasy team. It’s frustrating owning Bronco receivers sometimes though. I own Wes Welker in another league and I thought he got hurt. Speaking of spreading the ball around, Philip Rivers spread it around so much on Sunday he pretty much killed everyone’s fantasy value. In the future, just throw the ball to Keenan Allen and be done with it.

Texans – Cardinals
The Mad Bomber Case Keenum had a tougher time this week against an aggressive Arizona defense but he still managed to throw for three touchdowns. As I’ve said in the past, the best thing about Keenum is he gets the ball to Houston’s receivers. Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins combined to see 23 targets, catching 11 passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns against a stingy Cardinals pass defense. Andre Ellington continues to impress but the Arizona coaches continue to waste time by giving Rashard Mendenhall 13 carries. That almost came back to bite them in the butt because Mendenhall’s late fumble nearly cost the Cardinals a win.

Cowboys – Saints
Jerry Jones hired Monte Kiffin to fix the Cowboys’ defense. Let’s see how he’s doing. Dallas has allowed an NFL record four 400-yard passers this year (Drew Brees almost made it five by throwing for 392). The Cowboys set a franchise record for most yards allowed in a game (623) against Detroit, only to break that record two weeks later versus New Orleans (626). The Saints recorded an NFL record 40 first downs on Sunday night. Hey, that’s a heck of a hire Jerry Jones. The Saints lit up Kiffin’s defense, but if you couldn’t see that coming you’re probably not the most observant person on the planet. The Dallas defense is such a joke it made Mark Ingram look like Adrian Peterson. Dez Bryant caught one pass. It just goes to show that not all the bad coaches in Dallas are on the defensive side of the ball.

Dolphins – Buccaneers
Even when things go well for the Buccaneers they go bad this year. Tampa Bay got its first win of the season but lost running back Mike James with a fractured ankle. The Bucs are now down to Brian Leonard and Bobby Rainey at running back. Leonard will probably get first crack at replacing James and could be a decent fantasy play because of his receiving skills but he’s nothing special as a runner, that’s for sure. Rainey was a great college player at Western Kentucky, so he could sneak in there if Leonard keeps looking like Trent Richardson. Rishard Matthews had a career night catching 11 passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns. I thought the Bucs had an interesting defensive scheme to stop Matthews. They decided to leave him wide open all night long. Week 10 will be known as “Waiver Wire Bust” week this year. There were a bunch of players that had ridiculous weeks that we’ll likely never hear from again.

Tuesday Morning Buzz – Week 9, 2013

By: — November 5, 2013 @ 9:31 am
Filed under: Player Analysis

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.

C.J. Spiller

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.

Tuesday Morning Buzz – Week 8, 2013

By: — October 28, 2013 @ 11:59 pm
Filed under: Player Analysis

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

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.

Tuesday Morning Buzz – Week 7, 2013

By: — October 22, 2013 @ 8:44 am
Filed under: Player Analysis

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

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.

Tuesday Morning Buzz – Week 6, 2013

By: — October 15, 2013 @ 1:09 am
Filed under: Player Analysis

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

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.

Tuesday Morning Buzz – Week 5, 2013

By: — October 8, 2013 @ 9:57 am
Filed under: Player Analysis

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

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.

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