Monthly Archives: September 2017
Week one is finally in the rear view mirror, and hopefully you’ve made your mid-week waiver / free agent pick ups. Here’s some advice, albeit amateur, for week two flex and deep league sit and start candidates.
Jared Goff, QB – LAR: Sure, I could be dead wrong about Goff, but I think last week was an idea of Goff’s ceiling and Washington presents his second straight favorable match up as they allowed 18.9 points to Carson Wentz and the Eagles. While he’s not likely to put up monster numbers, I think he could be a sneaky play for quarterback needy teams.
Joe Flacco, QB – BAL: It was an uninspired performance from Flacco last week as he made his first appearance in 2017 against the Bengals. This week he draws the porous secondary of the Browns and can be expected to put up 12-17 points even as he’s working back into game shape.
Ty Montgomery, RB – GB: While I’ve been a detractor of Ty Montgomery the starting NFL running back, the truth is that Atlanta was particularly bad against Chicago last week when it came to stopping the backs in the passing game. Expecting this game to be a shootout, Montgomery should do some damage through the air this week.
Mike Gillislee, RB – NE: Of course this play may not be as attractive if you’re in a PPR league and have a deeper bench, but it’s clear that Gillislee is going to touch the football inside the 20, and the NE offense has to prove they can score through the air before I downgrade him in terms of points per touch. I doubt he’ll see 3 TD’s again this week, but 60 yards and a TD is a realistic expectations against a bad Saints defense.
LeGarrett Blount, RB – PHI: Blount wasn’t super effective in terms of YPC last week but he was the defacto red-zone back scoring a TD to salvage a mediocre day. Kansas City did some damage in New England last week, but they conceded 3 short yardage TD’s against a similar back. Expect pay dirt for Blount this week.
Ted Ginn Jr, WR – NO: While Willy Snead is sidelined for his suspension, Ginn will remain the 2nd option in the offense behind Michael Thomas, and this weeks matchup against the New England Patriots offers a particular big game potential. Ginn has the kind of speed that NE defensive backs had trouble with last week; expect Sean Peyton to exploit it once or twice for big gains.
Cole Beasley, WR – DAL: Yes, Dallas plays against Denver this week, but as a slot receiver, Beasley could be in for a lot of work as Dallas will likely find itself in need of short gains to keep the chains moving.
Chris Hogan, WR – NE: It’s a risk, for sure, to play any New England pass catcher after the dud at home last week, but New Orleans passing defense isn’t exactly great, and Hogan should get more work with Danny Amendola likely sidelined due to his concussion. If this game goes the way I expect (a shootout) then Hogan presents an opportunity for points off the bench.
Rob Gronkowski, TE – NE: Normally, I wouldn’t have to suggest to start the big man, but after a disappointing first week, there may be some on the fence about starting him over potential bench options. Don’t. Similar to the Hogan blurb above, New England is going to throw the ball, and Gronk could see 15+ targets in a game like Sunday’s.
Jesse James, TE – PIT: Week 1’s top TE, James hasn’t got the track record of the other top 10 TE’s but what he does have is red zone targets. Minnesota’s defense is above average, but if the Steelers find their way into the red zone, James is going to be the top target for Big Ben.
Trevor Siemian, QB – DEN: Siemian had a nice week last week, against a defense many pegged as a top 10. This week he’ll come up against a Dallas defense that absolutely trashed Eli Manning and the Giants. Unless you have no other options, Siemian is likely to come back down to earth this week.
Deshone Kizer, QB – CLE: Much like Siemian, Kizer managed to put together a much better week one showing than many expected. Don’t get too excited tho, as Cleveland draws Baltimore in week 2, who made a better quarterback look awful (Andy Dalton). Baltimore’s defense is the real deal and Kizer is still a rookie.
Terrance West, RB – BAL: I drafted West myself as a late round starter, and much like the other backs in the area (Paul Perkins, Rob Kelley, etc) I’m only starting West when it makes sense. After Cleveland held Le’Veon Bell and company to less than 60 total rushing yards, I’m looking elsewhere for my flex.
Isaiah Crowell, RB – CLE: I’m a fan of The Crow, but this week he draws a short stick as they run into what looks like a buzzsaw in the Ravens defense. Only the passing backs produced last week and Crowell is a north south runner that will likely find running room hard to come by.
C.J. Anderson, RB – DEN: This week’s production relies heavily on how Siemian is able to move the ball through the air. Dallas’ defense was relentless against the run in week one, and while Anderson is a much more talented back than Paul Perkins, it will likely be a less than stellar game for the back.
Terrelle Pryor, WR – WAS: The offensive woes that plagued Washington in the preseason are still present after a tough week 1 which saw an unfamiliar unit continue to struggle. While Pryor certainly had his moments, the Rams secondary should keep Cousins from gelling just yet with his new toy. Expect another frustrating week.
Sammy Watkins, WR – LAR: I was convinced that the trade would be good for Watkins as he’d no longer be the only passing game weapon in a more balanced offense, but it’s clear that Cooper Kupp has earned the trust of Goff and the coaching staff.
Eric Decker, WR – TEN: Maybe it was a lingering injury, maybe it was his lack of rapport with Marcus Mariota, maybe we’ll never know. What we do know is that Jacksonville was not kind to wide receivers last week and Mariota was targeting Davis and Matthews a whole lot more than Decker. Not the match-up to gamble on his red zone presence.
Jason Witten, TE – DAL: While his performance in week 1 was a nice surprise, Witten is going to get the Denver treatment in week 2. If Gates and Hunter (who wasn’t targeted once) couldn’t do better than 2 for 18 yards, then Witten may be worth staying away from.
Travis Kelce, TE – KC: In much the same way that Gronkowski and Reed get far more hype than a TE is worth, Kelce was a no-show against a New England defense that could stop a runny nose. This week he faces a Philly defense that only allowed 5 catches for less than 40 yards to top 3 TE Jordan Reed.
(I won’t dignify kickers and D/ST – if you are streaming them, chose the best matchup [SF, CLE, NYJ, CHI] and if you drafted high, then play your guys).
While week 1 featured several stellar performances by high-profile rookies, it also featured some dream killer injuries along the way. I’ll be brief, but below are the highlights of the Fantasy Seasons kickoff week.
Rookie Running Backs Shine
The incoming group got off to a blazing start in the NFL opener in New England as Kareem Hunt stepped into the void following Spencer Ware’s injury and dropped almost 250 total yards and three touchdowns. His 41 points in standard leagues paced the NFL.
Also turning in solid performances were Leonard Fournette (124 yards, TD) and Dalvin Cook (137 total yards), Deshone Kizer (239 total yards, 1 Passing and 1 Rushing TD) , Tarik Cohen (110,1 TD), Kenny Golloday (69 yards, 2 TD), Cooper Kupp (76 yards, 1 TD) and Corey Coleman (53 yards, 1 TD).
Major Injury Woes
The injury to David Johnson (dislocated wrist) was a huge blow to fantasy teams as Johnson was, for all intents and purposes, the #1 pick in fantasy this year. At this point he’s expected to miss 8-12 weeks which would put his return right at the fantasy playoffs with no promises on what he may be able to produce.
Also injured: Allen Robinson (ACL injury, placed on IR), Danny Woodhead (Hamstring Injury, no timetable), Kevin White (Shoulder Injury, placed on IR).
Struggling to Get Going
While there were many players who surprised in week one, the more important story line are the players who failed to meet expectations.
Tom Brady: Brady’s value skyrocketed in the preseason thanks to a strong supporting cast, but an 8 point week 1 in a blowout loss against KC was not what owners were hoping for.
Russell Wilson: This was supposed to be a bounce back year for Russell but less than 200 yards against a GB defense that wasn’t the stingiest last year was awful for the former top 5 QB.
Le’Veon Bell: While David Johnson had an uninspiring week one prior to his injury, Bell had a disastrous one. 47 total yards and a 3.2 YPC line isn’t good enough for a player many believed was the best player in fantasy.
Joe Mixon: Maybe it’s not fair to read into his first NFL action, but Mixon’s opening stat line was borderline embarrassing as he managed only 9 yards on 8 carries. After a strong preseason saw Mixon jump up rankings, this should temper the expectations surrounding him for a bit.
Adrian Peterson: While I wasn’t very high on him coming into the season simply because of the crowd already in the NO backfield, I didn’t expect him to struggle in the run game to the tune of 6 carries for 18 yards. While Mark Ingram wasn’t impressive either, it appears that Peterson will play third fiddle to Ingram and rookie back Alvin Kamara going forward.
Brandon Marshall: With OBJ missing Sunday nights game, many expected Marshall to be heavily targeted, but he turned in a dud with only one reception on the final drive of the game.
Jamison Crowder: A popular preseason pick to elevate his game, Crowder’s struggles in week one may have been because Cousins couldn’t seem to hit open receivers. Still, it’s not encouraging going forward.
Martavis Bryant: It shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that Bryant hadn’t played much football in the past two years, but his 2 catches for 14 yards certainly contributed to fantasy losses in week 1.
Miami vs. Tampa Bay Postponed
On the eve of the NFL season, two major news stories dropped. First, the NFL announced that due to the likely event of a south Florida landfall of Hurricane Irma, the week 1 game between the Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been rescheduled for their mutual bye week (week 11).
While the impact is severe for teams featuring high picks on Miami’s RB Jay Ajayi or Tampa’s Mike Evans, the truth of a week one postponement is that your roster should feature plenty of stop gaps.
Ezekiel Elliott Suspension Upheld
What felt like a decision that would surely be overturned or at least downgraded several games suddenly turned into a real problem for gamblers who selected Zeke early in drafts hoping that he’d win his appeal and play a larger number of Cowboys games. Now, Zeke will miss the 6 games of the original suspension, albeit starting in week 2. If you paid a premium for Elliott, you’d better hope to stay afloat as his talent is undeniable as soon as he comes back.
From here, Darren McFadden is a solid 6 week starter, but keep an eye on Alfred Morris. Morris was the more effective runner in the preseason from what little I saw, so I could see a shift to a committee approach should McFadden struggle.