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As I've found out the last couple of weeks... it could be worse. My three teams went a combined 1-2 this past week to put my overall standings at 1-5, 4-2, and 1-5 (6-12 combined). Here's the breakdown:
In my first league (12-team standard), I had to go against the #1 team in the league. He was undefeated and remained undefeated. My team didn't play poorly, but his team crushed mine and put up the high score of the week (which he has done numerous times this year). A big part of the reason for his success is Tom Brady. But it goes beyond that. He has DeAndre Hopkins, Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, and Gronk, too. It was tough sledding for me even though I got a great games out of Blake Bortles and Emmanuel Sanders. I'd hoped the return of Marshawn Lynch would have helped me out more. Alas, it did not.
The Hogs Haven league (14-team PPR) is the only place where I'm finding some success this year. I was able to get a victory, but I have to admit it was more about my opponent having a terrible week than my team shining. I put up a really low score (lowest amongst the winners), but all you have to do is beat your opponent, right? For me, it was Cam Newton, Edelman, and Julio Jones leading the way. They made up a vast majority of my points.
My third league (10-team standard) was the most embarrassing. I lost to the only other guy who was 1-4 and now am officially in dead last. Not only did a lose, but he doubled me up. It was absolutely terrible. I had Drew Brees and Emmanuel Sanders show up and not a single other player. Even Adrian Peterson let me down. Plus, I ran into a buzz-saw. Chris Ivory, Blount, Forte, and the Eagles defense. It was brutal.
Let's see if my advice held up:
- Andrew Luck was great as expected. Crazy to think some people were really doubting him...
- I have to say, I think Blake Bortles may be the pickup of the year in a couple of my leagues. The guy is putting up legit points week in and week out. I predicted he'd have success against the Texans and low-and-behold... I even started him over Cam in one league and it paid off (even though I lost).
- I've been telling y'all Matt Stafford is awesome...
- Devonta Freeman has officially entered must-start territory. I'll probably stop including him in this article.
- Mark Ingram beasted as I said he would, he just did so with TDs instead of yards. Whatever works.
- I honestly don't know what's up with Eddie Lacy.
- I believe it was I who told you to sit Chris Johnson and that his previous level of success wouldn't be sustained...
- Glad I could really help you pick that sleeper Calvin Johnson.
- T.Y. Hilton showed up big with Luck being back... as expected.
- Roddy White managed a TD, but had he not, I would have been spot on. But he did...
- Travis Kelce did explode, he just missed the end-zone, though...
- Delanie Walker is so solid this year.
- Also, I saw Julius Thomas going ham coming from a mile away. Not sure why anyone would have bet against him. The Jags passing game is a big play in fantasy this year.
- Heath Miller is easy to predict. He simply needs Roethlisberger. If Ben plays, Miller's OK. If not, stay away.
- I was wrong about Charles Clay.
Week seven is huge for the Redskins as they are home against a beatable opponent in what basically amounts to a must-win for the team heading into their bye. Similarly, week seven is big in the fantasy world. This is the time of year when the teams on the bottom have their last chance at making a playoff push. Two of my teams are desperate. Here's some advice:
Cam Newton, CAR (vs Philadelphia Eagles) - Everyone saw what Cam did to the Seahawks last week. The Seahawks! In Seattle! It was big time. Cam is having an incredible year for fantasy owners and is definitely one of the better QBs in the NFL right now. The match-up at home against the Eagles is a great one. 275 passing yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 40-50 rushing yards
Carson Palmer, AZ (vs Baltimore Ravens) - His unpredictably incredible season continues... Palmer is at home and facing a Ravens defense that isn't like those Ravens defenses of years past that you remember. They're giving up a ton of points to opposing QBs this year... not that Palmer needs the help. 300 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs
Philip Rivers, SD (vs Oakland Raiders) - The guy is simply crushing everyone and you'd be crazy not to start him. He's fantastic at home and Oakland's passing defense isn't great (they have David Amerson...). In fact, the Raiders defense is noticeably worse on the road while Rivers is noticeably better at home.
Matt Ryan, ATL (@ Tennessee Titans) - The Titans defense is better than most people realize this year and they have the home-field advantage. While Julio and Freeman have been beasts, Ryan hasn't been as good as he has in the past. He's been fumbling a lot lately, too. Little Shanny's about to start giving the ball to Freeman more and Ryan less... 200-225 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Joe Flacco, BAL (@ Arizona Cardinals) - That Cardinals defense is nasty and they're at home (where they're especially nasty). Patrick Peterson is going to swallow up anyone he covers and the Ravens are severely lacking in receivers. No QB does well against the Cardinals. I wouldn't expect Flacco to change that in AZ (he's especially bad away from Baltimore). 275 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
Sam Bradford, PHI (@ Carolina Panthers) - Wow did Bradford look terrible last week against the Giants...! I mean, this guy is terrible. It's a good thing they run a million plays every game to keep his volume up, or he wouldn't even be considered in fantasy football. If you were going to start him this week... don't. The Panthers have an excellent defense and are at home. They don't let QBs succeed and Bradford is an INT machine. 225-250 yards, 1 TD, 2+ INTs
Todd Gurley, STL (vs Cleveland Browns) - Kudos to everyone who drafted Gurley and then patiently waited for him to get healthy and start contributing, because he looks like an absolute stud. For as good as Gurley has looked, that's as bad as the Browns rushing defense has looked. They've allowed the most rushing yards in the NFL this year and the game is in St. Louis. This is a no-brainer. 130 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 10-20 receiving yards
LeSean McCoy, BUF (vs Jax in London) - Healthy once again, McCoy figures to be leaned upon heavily with Tyrod Taylor and Sammy Watkins both out. Additionally, the Jags rushing defense has been an absolute sieve. He was great last week and looked like the guy who dominated regularly for the Eagles. This is a must-start player and situation. 90-100 rushing yards, 1 TD, 20-30 receiving yards
Justin Forsett, BAL (@ Arizona Cardinals) - Forsett was banged up last week and still put up 100+ total yards. That's three weeks in a row topping the 100-yard mark. While the Cardinals pass defense is outstanding, their rush defense is very average. Forsett's injury is worth watching this week, but he didn't get hurt any further last week and looked fine. 80 rushing yards, 1 TD, 30-40 receiving yards
LeGarrette Blount, NE (vs New York Jets) - The Jets are super tough against the run and Blount is still splitting time with Dion Lewis. You saw what the Jets did to Alfred Morris last week. Their defense is no joke. Avoid! They give up the least fantasy points to RBs in the league! 35 total yards
Chris Johnson, AZ (vs Baltimore Ravens) - Johnson has only gotten 25 carries the last two weeks combined. That's pretty low for a guy who supposedly is the guy in the Cardinal backfield. The Ravens run defense is decent and Johnson is older and relying on speed. He also fumbled last week and there are a couple other backs their chomping at the bit to get their chance after his miscue. 50 total yards
Melvin Gordon, SD (vs Oakland Raiders) - He's hurt and ineffective. Danny Woodhead has been much better and now even Oliver is taking carries. He's been a fumbling machine and is losing more and more opportunities because of it. 40-50 total yards
Jarvis Landry, MIA (vs Houston Texans) - This guy gets receiving yards, rushing yards, return yards, and potential scores all over the place. The Texans defense has been wildly underwhelming, the Dolphins looked rejuvenated last week, and the game is in Miami. 85+ total yards, 1 TD
Keenan Allen, SD (vs Oakland Raiders) - Philip Rivers and that Charger offense is rolling. It's a home game against a very beatable defense. With the yards and points that offense has been putting up, starting their WR1 is a generally good idea. Keep an eye on his injury status, but he's expected to play. 95 yards, 1 TD
Allen Robinson, JAX (vs Buf in London) - The Bills are an excellent match-up for opposing WRs this year and the Jags have been throwing a ton. Robinson is a deep threat which means even if he only catches 1-2 passes, he could put up enough points to justify the start. He's 4th in the league in TDs and 7th in targets... Stud. 95 yards, 1 TD
Andre Johnson, IND (vs New Orleans Saints) - Here's a sentence that is very weird to write. Andre Johnson benefits from Matt Hasselbeck being the QB rather than Andrew Luck. I don't know what it is. Old recognize old... or something like that. Johnson was much better when Luck was out and the match-up is tough against the Saints who do very well against opposing WRs. 20 yards
Leonard Hankerson, ATL (@ Tennessee Titans) - For starters, Hank's still banged up from that rib injury he sustained against the 'Skins two weeks ago. Additionally, in a road game, Hankerson has a very tough match-up. The Titans are doing extremely well against opposing WRs this year. Finally, go read what I wrote about Matt Ryan above. For me, that offense is Freeman and/or Julio... that's it. 30 yards
Jordan Matthews, PHI (@ Carolina Panthers) - You know who Matthews is going to face this week? Carolina CB Josh Norman. Go look up Norman's stats this year. He's picking off everything and has been an absolute blanket. Plus, the Panthers entire defense is very good and Sam Bradford has been straight doo-doo. Yes I just wrote that. 50-60 yards
Delanie Walker, TEN (vs Atlanta Falcons) - Walker owned the Dolphins last week and the Falcons match-up is even better. He's at home going against a defense that has been routinely beat by TEs this season. Remember Benjamin Watson last week? Career day. Plus, young QBs love their TE security blankets. 70 yards, 1 TD
Jimmy Graham, SEA (@ San Francisco 49ers) - He's simply too good not to start and if the Seahawks want to get back to their winning ways, they'll find a way to get him more involved. He's coming off of a great game and the '9ers, quite frankly, suck. 60+ yards, 1 TD
Jordan Cameron, MIA (vs Houston Texans) - Rejuvenation in the Dolphin offense? If we're to believe last week, then yes. Home game against an under-performing defense. I'll take those odds. They like him around the end-zone. 60 yards, 1 TD
Heath Miller, PIT (@ Kansas City Chiefs) - He's been terrible for a month, is on the road, against a defense that shuts down TEs much better than him, with an uncertain QB situation. You shouldn't need any more than that. 10-15 yards
Vernon Davis, SF (vs Seattle Seahawks) - He came back from injury last week! ... And didn't catch a single pass... He might not even be the best TE on a team that has Colin Kaepernick at QB... Ouch. Might get traded. 25 yards
Zach Ertz, PHI (@ Carolina Panthers) - The guy is decent and on the field all the time for Philly, but watch Sam Bradford play and you'll understand this advice. Also, the Panthers have two of the best ILBs in the world. It's going to be a long day for Ertz. 30 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.