What a week... It's a little harder to get excited for Sundays when the 'Skins are on a bye, but that's just an added benefit of fantasy football. It feels great because I went 3-0 this past week in fantasy and I really needed those wins. My records as of now are: 7-3, 6-4, and 7-3 (20-10 combined). My standings in each league remain on track for the playoffs, too: 2/10, 4/12, and 2/14. Here's a quick recap of each of my match-ups:
In my first league I had a MNF comeback victory. My opponent was done for the week and I still had Cam Newton and LeSean McCoy. McCoy got the TD and though Newton was terrible, he put up a usable fantasy line. I was greatly helped by Mike Evans and the Packers defense.
In our Hogs Haven league I was dominant thanks to Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett. Between the two of them I got 6 TD's, 252 rushing yards, and 23 receiving yards. That's insane production from a RB duo. I'd go out on a limb here and say a lot of people lost to opponents starting Lynch this past week.
In my last league, I had the highest point total for any team over the course of the whole season. I destroyed my opponent, nearly doubling her points. Can you guess who led the way for me team? One part Aaron Rodgers, one part Marshawn Lynch, and a dash of Anquan Boldin. Now I know how all those Big Ben owners felt the last few weeks.
How'd you all do last week?
- I told you all to start Forsett. Glad I took my own advice on that one.
- Now you can see why I've been saying to start Russell Wilson almost every week (he was even the cover picture last week). The guy has a poor day throwing the ball (under 200 yards, 0 TD's, and 2 INT's) and still puts up a fine fantasy line with 107 rushing yards and a TD. His legs make him an incredibly valuable commodity in fantasy football and he's startable most weeks. Also, the Giants are bad.
- I was sitting there watching the beginning of the Panthers-Eagles game on MNF and thinking, "How the hell did I honestly recommend starting Newton?" Then I thought, "How the hell did I actually start Newton?" And now I know why. It was a forgettable night for Cam, but he still threw over 300 yards and a couple TD's. I really don't know if the mobility/running is coming back this year, though...
- Lesson of the week: always start Calvin Johnson.
- Kelvin Benjamin sure looked good in the second half against the Eagles. The guy is built to get TD's. I believe I called that one...
- I was wrong on Julius Thomas, though. When I put him in the "Sit 'Em" category last week, hopefully you didn't take that too literally. I thought he might have a below average (for him at least) day last week. He didn't, and 2 TD's later, I was wrong. Someone in the comments said it right last week: never sit Thomas.
- I won't take a W or L on the Delanie Walker projection. He got concussed... badly. He probably won't play this week. Prayers for Delanie.
- I told y'all to be weary of Randle and Beckham. I was half right. Turns out Odell Beckham is a stud.
- I'm disappointed in Martellus Bennett. I really expected better. My bad.
- Big Ben's human.
- Mark Ingram may not be.
- I told y'all to start Jeremy Hill, but I meant Terrence West.
- The whole Cleveland RB situation is a little confusing right now. West seems to be the main guy, but all three of their backs got TD's. I said don't start Tate, and that would have been smart if not for the TD run.
- You can drop Vernon Davis now. I did.
The Redskins are back this week! HTTR! Wouldn't it feel great to get fantasy wins and a Redskins win?
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (@ Tennessee Titans) - I know he came back to Earth a little bit last week, but Big Ben is still incredibly startable. He just came off of a monster couple of games and his schedule is still mostly favorable. The Titans are better than most realize against opposing QB's, but I don't care. Martavis Bryant is emerging and Le'Veon Bell is still a truck. I believe they'll roll over Tennessee and I think Big Ben will have a lot to do with it. 300+ passing yards and 2+ TD's.
Philip Rivers, SD (vs Oakland Raiders) - Wow, he sure has cooled off... After starting the season as a favorite for the MVP award, Rivers has been much more human the past three weeks and is coming off of one of the worst QB performances of the year. Perfect. No way does that happen two weeks in a row and the perfect opponent has arrived on the schedule. Rivers will get back on track against Oakland. 250 passing yards and 2+ TD's.
Robert Griffin III, WAS (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - If he's available in your league, go get him. Go ahead, I'll wait. This is the week Redskins fans. This is the week we've been waiting for. Weak opponent? Check. Home game? Check. A whole bye week to prepare? Check. Listen, the Bucs are garbage and the Redskins aren't. We're bad, but not Buccaneer bad. RGIII is going to shred these guys. Mark my words. 275+ passing yards, 2 TD's, and 40-50 rushing yards.
Eli Manning, NYG (vs San Francisco 49ers) - It's real simple, the 49ers defense is good and the Giants are really bad right now. Surely you saw that weak performance last week against Seattle and the going isn't getting a whole lot easier for the G-Men. Eli's in for another long day and will continue to miss Victor Cruz. 225 passing yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT.
Josh McCown, TB (@ Washington Redskins) - The Redskins defense isn't as bad as many people think. I believe they'll realize what worked against Dallas and what didn't against Minny and take advantage of this friendly match-up. McCown had a great fantasy line last week, but let's not forget that this is the same guy that was sat earlier in the year for Mike Glennon. And he's still on the Bucs. Plus, he hurt his back a little last week. Backs are tricky. 250 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and 10-20 rushing yards.
Alex Smith, KC (vs Seattle Seahawks) - It's the Seahawks. Legion of Boom. He has no great WR's. I want no part. 175 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and 10-20 rushing yards.
Mark Ingram, NO (vs Cincinnati Bengals) - Start him! Do it! Listen, don't be upset next week when you didn't listen to me here. I'm starting him... over Marshawn Lynch this week. Yeah, I'm that serious. Ingram is about to explode. He's been getting 25-30 carries in an explosive offense that has a QB that defenses have to prioritize. They're also at home in the dome in NO. The Saints are a million times better there. On top of that, the Bengals are terrible against the run. Everyone saw what the Browns trio did to them last week on TNF and Ingram will get the opportunity to do that by himself. Look at his last three weeks: 24 carries - 172 yards - 1 TD, then 30 carries - 100 yards - 2 TD's, and then 27 carries - 120 yards. The guy is as on fire as can be. Just trust me on this one. Start him. 120 rushing yards, 1 TD, and 10-20 receiving yards.
Alfred Morris, WAS (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - Match-ups against the Bucs are incredibly favorable for any team. This week they're going against a team that's rested, healthy, and coming off of a bye. The Redskins ground attack is obviously much better with RGIII behind center and the main man that benefits is Alfred Morris (and his fantasy owners). Gruden has been running more and more lately and he's developing as a HC right before our eyes. Enjoy this one, guys. 100 rushing yards, 1 TD, and 10-20 receiving yards.
Frank Gore, SF (@ New York Giants) - Catching a trend here with the Giants and Bucs? Gore was very good last week and the 49er offense really needs/revolves around him... still. The Giants are just about the best match-up you can get for an opposing RB. Multiple TD's isn't out of the question. 100 yards and 1 TD (possibly 2).
Darren Sproles, PHI (@ Green Bay Packers) - The Packers are better than their reputation against the run suggests. I expect the Eagles to focus on getting McCoy more involved this week and I expect a lot of passing for the Eagles trying to keep up with Rodgers. Sproles could always break off a long play, but he's inconsistent like that and lack of rushing opportunities will make him even more volatile. You know I value consistency. 30-40 total yards.
Andre Ellington, AZ (vs Detroit Lions) - The Lions have an excellent defense and are very good against the run. Their DL is a terror and the Cardinals have lost their QB Carson Palmer. They know they need to run the ball, but so do the Lions. It's never a good thing when your offense is forced to become more one-dimensional. He'll be seeing 8-9 in the box every play for the rest of the season. 70-80 total yards.
Julian Edelman, NE (@ Indianapolis Colts) - This is going to be a high scoring shoot-out and both QB's have been playing lights out the past month or two. I expect a ton of volume for Edelman as Indy tries to figure out some way to contain Gronk. He's coming off of a 10 target, 9 catch, 89 yard, 1 TD performance last week and Indy's defense is nothing special. You have to like the opportunity for touches this week. 90 yards and possibly a TD.
DeSean Jackson, WAS (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - This is the week the Redskin offense explodes. Jackson's been doing it all year, though. Regardless of QB, he's been remarkably consistent and puts up huge numbers. All it takes is one deep ball and he's been getting at least one at a historic rate. RGIII has the arm and Jackson has the speed. Get excited to see the connection between these two. 70+ yards and 1 TD.
Anquan Boldin, SF (@ New York Giants) - He's been resurgent lately and it seems that Kaep is looking for him more and more. I'd say Boldin is still the #1 there and the Giants could be in trouble with injuries in their secondary. He's had two straight weeks of 6 catches, 90+ yards, and 1 TD. I expect it to continue. 70+ yards.
Michael Crabtree, SF (@ New York Giants) - He has 1 TD in his last six games. I'm not exactly sure what's happened, but they're not throwing it to him and he's not producing. I don't think that offense is good enough right now to sustain two fantasy WR's and Boldin is my guy for now. 40 yards.
Larry Fitzgerald, AZ (vs Detroit Lions) - Good defense + no starting QB = tough day for the veteran Fitzgerald. He's not quite good enough to just go out every week and dominate with inferior QB play anymore and these aren't your dad's Lions. Their defense is legit and I don't trust Stanton to get the ball to Fitz enough to be viable. 40 yards.
Brandon Marshall, CHI (vs Minnesota Vikings) - The Vikings have a very good defense and the Bears offense has dropped off the map. He's been underwhelming and I don't know why this would be the week they'll turn it around. Green Bay humiliated them last week and Marshall has had some tension with Cutler lately. He did pretty well against the Packers from a numbers standpoint, but that was in a blow-out. I don't expect the Vikings to humiliate them quite so badly. You just can't trust the Bears right now. 50-60 yards.
Antonio Gates, SD (vs Oakland Raiders) - It's nice going against the Raiders. Gates is a TD machine and I expect Rivers and the Chargers to get back on track against the weak Raiders. I also just acquired him in a trade and am pretty excited about it. 60 yards and 1 TD.
Larry Donnell, NYG (vs San Francisco 49ers) - He seems to be the only semi-reliable thing on the Giants roster and remains an excellent TD/red-zone target. The 49ers will miss Patrick Willis and this is one area I think the Giants might be able to exploit. 60 yards and 1 TD.
Jordan Reed, WAS (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - You could have guessed this one if you've read the whole article. He oozes talent. The Bucs have been especially abysmal against TE's this year. Gurden/RGIII are about to open the flood gates. 50-60 yards and 1 TD.
Zach Ertz, PHI (@ Green Bay Packers) - He's just been a huge disappointment. He's been terrible over the past month and a half and the Packers are above average against TE's... especially on the frozen tundra. 20-30 yards.
Vernon Davis, SF (@ New York Giants) - He's done. It's been a horrible year. I dropped him and you should, too. 30 yards.
Heath Miller, PIT (@ Tennessee Titans) - It's not 2012 anymore. Time to move on. He's lost two steps. Seriously, he's played in 10 games this year and you'd have been disappointed in eight of them. Don't risk it. You can do better. 20 yards.
Please leave any fantasy related questions you might have in the comments section and I'll try to answer as many and as quickly as I can. It's fun to get everyone's perspectives on this week's matchups floating around down there and I'm always interested to see what kind of decisions different fantasy players have to make. These are just general ideas for standard leagues, but we can all give and receive advice for unique situations as they come up. Good luck!