Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 14

Did you have Jordan Howard against the Niners last week? He accomplished something that hadn’t been done by a Bears running back since Gale Sayers. Not too shabby company to have in the 3 TD club.

A better question is, have you had ANY running backs against the Niners? They are allowing 148 yards per game against the run and don’t appear to be catching anyone anytime soon. Jets RBs should be encouraged by that this week.

Mail Time!

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RB 1 – Melvin Gordon. Carolina without Luke Kuechly is exactly what a defense would look like without Luke Kuechly, as they allowed 240 yards to a Seahawks team that had been STRUGGLING on the ground. Gordon also hasn’t been held under 65 yards rushing or 20 touches in his last 7 games. Solid play.

RB2 – Speaking of the Seahawks run game, I do love Thomas Rawls this week against the Packers. Green Bay has allowed more rushing touchdowns than anyone in the last 5 weeks and Rawls is back to Rawl’n. Safer bet would be Shady McCoy for his volume in the pass game, but he does play against the 5th ranked run defense…

TE – Tyler Eifert. He is either catching touchdowns or going over 90 yards receiving in 4 of his past 5 games and is heavily relied on with AJ Green out.

 

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I don’t like either one this week, but Rashad Jennings is the lesser of two evils with starter volume. Darren Sproles should never be relied on as an RB2.

 

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I’m not a meteorologist, Scott, but I do know that the Bills secondary is struggling with Ronald Darby hurt. 13 QB TDs (air and ground) in the last 5 games makes Ben Roethlisberger an attractive play, despite some inconsistencies on the road.

 

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QB – Can I choose someone else? Probably nerve-racking that Cam was benched last week but he’s still the safer play when you’re going up against either the Chargers or the Broncos. Joey Bosa is going to chase him, but you have to play Cam Newton when your alternative QB is going against the #1 pass defense.

 

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QB – Am I betting against Aaron Rodgers this late in the game? Yep. Philip Rivers has multiple TDs in 5 straight games and faces one of the worst secondaries in football (Carolina). If you’re in a win-or-go-home spot, you don’t want to leave your chances against the Seahawks in December.

RB – Not Darren Sproles

 

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You have to play Jay Ajayi against a Cardinals defense that looks like San Francisco’s when they play on the road. And as much as I hate picking against Pryor, Jamison Crowder has the better matchup.

 

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CARSON PALMER, Alli! I always read all-caps as yelling. As mentioned earlier, you don’t want to leave your game up to Super Mariota having to beat the #1 ranked pass defense in football. The Dolphins defense, on the other hand, is allowing 334 pass yards and 3 touchdowns in the last month (minus Jard Goff’s first start). Go with Carson and be glad.

 

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Goodness, Kirk! You know the rules!

Carlos Hyde. Sit Carlos Hyde. The pass-catching backs for San Fran are better built for playing the J-E-T-Sucks. You have stronger matchups across the board otherwise.

 

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Oh those are ugly options for an RB2. The theme of today is NOT DARREN SPROLES, so we’ll stick with that. And as we led off talking about the Niners defense, Bilal Powell has by far the best matchup. So there you go.

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Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 13

Tyreek Hill highlight? Tyreek Hill highlight.

Some of his success can be attributed to Special Teams coach Dave Toub (who helped make Devin Hester a household name), but the dude is pure speed. Expect him to be a consistent weapon as you (and the Chiefs) make the playoff push.

Mail Time!

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I’ll start with Thomas Rawls. I think it’s time the Seahawks let him off his leash, because you can’t trust anyone else on that side of the ball. The Panthers are also allowing nearly 400 yards rushing in their past 2 games…

Then I would start Todd Gurley due to the fact that Jay Ajayi has crashed to Earth faster than the first asteroid in Armageddon.

 

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Diggs is likely to play tonight. So Crabtree. 

 

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Dak is indeed the realness, but I would have a hard time sitting Matthew Stafford. Think about it this way. The Lions DON’T run the ball. Volume should be astronomical for him. I’m not really afraid of the Vikings entirely as a defense, but I do worry about Dez Bryant paired with Xavier Rhodes.

 

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It’s C.J. Fiedorowicz Time. He’s the 2nd most targeted receiver for the dreadful Brock Osweiler.

 

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Woof – Steve Sr. 

 

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See my response to Donald’s question. Stafford. You also don’t want to leave your do or die game to a Thursday Nighter.

 

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This will help you out better than any stats I can give you. It’s unlikely that Jordan Reed will play this weekend, per Adam Schefter.

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Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 12 (Thanksgiving Edition)

Rather than write something elaborate about what I’m thankful for in Fantasy Football this year, I’ll just leave this here…

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…and say Happy Thanksgiving.

Mail Time!

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TE – Have you seen how bad the Packers defense is? They are allowing the 5th most yards to TEs per game (72) and have allowed at least 60 yards and a TD to the position in each of the last 3 games. Trust in Ertz!

Flex – Tough call. The Mariota-Matthews combo is almost too hot to pass up. Despite the Bears being a dreadful football team, Tracy Porter just shut down Odell Beckham Jr. and has similar results against most #1 WRs. That, and the fact the Dolphins play the Niners, is why I would go with Jarvis Landry.

 

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First off, that is a really silly flex situation. Why not just have 2 QBs in your lineup? Regardless, you should play Kirk Cousins, because he’s thrown multiple TDs in 5 straight games.

Luck was officially ruled out yesterday. So there you go. And talk to your commissioner about that flex position. If you’re the commissioner, shame on you.

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I feel like your gut is telling Julian Edelman, and that’s what you should trust. The #TomBradyRevengeTour is clicking on all cylinders and with Gronk out, J-Edel is reeping all the benefits. Ya know, like 17 targets last weekend…

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RB – Especially in a PPR, Devonta Freeman. Even with Coleman returning, Freeman was getting the same amount of touches when his backfield-mate was and wasn’t in the lineup.

Flex – Kyle Rudolph has 2 TDs in his last 3 weeks and he’s basically the only Vikings red zone option. He’s the safer pick.

 

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Carr.

 

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1st – Jennings and I would say leave Benjamin in your flex. While the Raiders have improved in their secondary, that will still be the Panthers best shot at beating them. Start him for the potential of shootout.

2nd – Unless one of the guys is an absolute scoring stud, I’m always going to suggest taking the full-time bell-cow back over one that splits carries. Have to go with Jordan Howard’s volume this weekend.

3rd – While I like Jameis better overall, I like Carson Palmer’s matchup way more.

 

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Eli is playing Cleveland. That is all.

 

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WR – Crowder

RB1 – Shady

RB2 – Ware

 

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Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 11

A common question I have received this week has been, “Prosise or Rawls?” My question to those asking is, “Do you need wins now, or later?”

CJ Prosise provides a skill-set that is similar to Tevin Coleman. He runs very well in open space and is terrific pass catcher. As Thomas Rawls re-acclimates himself to being an early down running back, the confidence should be there for Prosise to take over on 3rd downs and passing situations. When Rawls is right, he’s an absolute beast and we saw that last season. But how sure are you that he is going to stay healthy, especially with an offensive line as bad as Seattle’s.

I would wait and see on Rawls and feel better about Prosise in the short term. If Rawls shows you something this weekend, by all means ride him down the playoff stretch.

Mail Time! 

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I don’t think either of your running back options are great, but you’ll want to go with Duke Johnson for the likelihood that the Browns will be playing from behind against Ben Roethlisberger, who has more wins against the Browns than any Cleveland starter has had since 1999. Wow, they suck…

As for Miller, it’s not a bad idea to keep Alfred Blue hand-cuffed. Running the ball and defense are the only things keeping the Texans ahead of their competition, because it sure isn’t their quarterback.

 

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I can’t pick against Tyler Eifert right now, as he is averaging 6 catches, 99 yards and a touchdown in each of his last 2 games.

 

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Flex: Against the dreadful Packers secondary, go with Jamison Crowder. He has also topped 100 in his last 4 games. This is where we are. Jamison Crowder is a viable Top-20 option now.

 

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Flex: Martysaurus Rex. Dislike him as a person, love him as a football player. He went over 100 yards in the 2 starts that Gronk missed early on and he is second among TEs in touchdowns. Without Gronk, he’ll be a target machine this weekend.

Pick 3: Kelley, Prosise, Riddick – it’s the Magic Number.

 

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Go with Kenneth Dixon. He seems to have finally separated himself as the #1 back in Baltimore. The competition going forward will be tough and his o-line sucks, but he’ll get better volume than most of the other options.

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Gio. Ryan Matthews is going to continue getting back most of the opportunities to score, and overall work for that matter.

 

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Rough doesn’t even begin to describe it…The heat check makes me really like Rishard Matthews (6 TDs in his last 6 games) and Mark Ingram simply for the fact he’s out-touching Hightower again.

 

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Houston defense makes me a little weary, but you have to go with the potential MVP candidate Derek Carr. Both QBs are going against strong defenses, which makes me lean toward the one with more firepower.

 

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I go with Michael Crabtree in Mexico City this weekend. He’s averaging 2 more targets than Amari Cooper per his last 3 games and topped 90 yards twice more than Cooper in that span as well.

 

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Cam Newton plays Tight End? – I’m just going to say Martysaurus Rex this weekend, unless you meant Greg, Son of Olsen. Which in that case, go with Greg, Son of Olsen.

 

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Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 10

I think you can now officially believe the hype on Melvin Gordon.

He has 120+ total yards in each of the last 3 weeks. Call it the “sans-Danny Woodhead Effect” but he is also getting at least 25 touches in each of his last 4 games. He’s coming off the best game of his career (261 total yards and 2 touchdowns) and should be hungry to eat against a Dolphins defense that has allowed 113 yards a piece to DeMarco Murray, Le’Veon Bell and Matt Forte.

 

Mail Time!

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Definitely NOT Allen Robinson. While he might be leaned on more with Allen Hurns banged up, I don’t trust the Jaguars offense as far as I can throw them. Kelvin Benjamin is the safest play. Despite not scoring a TD in his last 4, he’s still picking up at least 70 yards in each of those games and should thrive against a Chiefs defense that doesn’t move their cornerbacks with WR matchups. Also leave Matt Forte in, although I’m confused by that part of the question. Leave him in regardless.

 

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Yes, leave Zach Miller in, as he is a security blanket for Jay Cutler.

I do feel like there was a fire lit under Mark Ingram’s ass last week, despite the skew in production against San Francisco. Unfortunately, I like Tim Hightower’s game against the Broncos more than Ingram’s. The silver lining though: Broncos gave up 286 yards and 2 touchdowns to a similar tandem in Davonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. I also think you have to ride a hot RB until he slows down before resorting to Jordan Matthews.

 

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I think we’re learning now that Russell Wilson is simply a 2nd-half-of-the-season quarterback. We recall his gaudy numbers a year ago after his team’s bye week, but his matchup quite frankly sucks this weekend. The Seahawks are also a very different team on the road. Your safer bet is Carson Wentz.

 

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Can I say neither? The only plus among these two is the fact that Matt Asiata is a goal line back with Jerick McKinnon back. If you have to play either and there is nobody better on the waiver wire, play Asiata and pray to whatever omniscient being you worship.

 

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TE: Miller for the likely volume playing with Cutler.

Flex: If he plays, go with Doug Martin. Crowder is going to draw Terrance Newman in the nickel this weekend, and that will not be pretty.

 

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Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 9

Tim Hightower is one of the best stories in football for the past couple years. He was out of football completely for 4 years, joined the Saints last season and recorded 504 yards from scrimmage with 3 starts. Last week, Mark Ingram fumbled in the first quarter and Hightower took over for 100+ yards on the ground. If they’re willing to feed Hightower the rock for 3 quarters over a healthy former Heisman winner and regular starter, it’s hard to imagine the touches will dip too much.

Hightower says he didn’t feel comfortable in the system last year. He seemed pretty dang comfortable down the stretch when Fantasy owners needed him most, right?

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The Saints play the 49ers this week, who are giving up more rush yards than anyone in the league this season…1,136 to be exact. The Niners are on a record pace, and not in a good way. Hightower should be hungry to eat, regardless of his role on Sunday.

 

Mail Time! 

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Based on the potential for volume, I lean toward Charcandrick West. While Jacksonville is proven to be very good against pass catching running backs, the Chiefs offense goes through their starter.

When it comes to wide receivers in the flex, if I don’t seem them producing in the Top 25 at the position I can’t justify starting them. It’s hard to feel confident about Jordan Matthews against Janoris Jenkins. Mark Ingram’s time-share status makes it difficult to start over an expected full-time back like West.

 

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The Lions are too bad against tight ends to not start Kyle Rudolph.

 

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I am not an oddsmaker, so I never know what to do with questions like that. Ben Roethlisberger took more snaps each day leading up to his game against the Ravens and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette expects him to start, barring a random setback.

Have more Fantasy lineup questions? Don’t hesitate to ask on Facebook or Twitter

Michael’s Note: Now that the World Series is over, I should have more time to be more timely answering Fantasy Football questions and can include more content. Thank you for your patience during the Cubs’ historic run. 

Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 8

Prior to Arian Foster’s signing in the summer, Jay Ajayi seemed like potential breakout because of Adam Gase’s system and a lack of competition at the position. Then Foster happened, Ajayi reacted poorly, and Kenyan Drake had sleeper aspirations. Fast Forward to now >>>

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Foster has retired. Drake is…hey, where is Drake? And Ajayi has recorded back-to-back weeks of 200+ rush yards. If you saw that coming when the season started, STOP IT NO YOU DIDN’T! Ajayi is on a bye this week, but expect him to continue seeing 20 touches or more going forward.

Mail Time!

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RB – Frank Gore is going to be your guy this weekend. Outside of not trusting the Vikings offense, Frank Gore is the safe bet for his consistency…which bodes well against a very average run defense.

WR – Expect Vernon Hargreaves to cover Amari Cooper, which leads the one of the league’s touchdown leaders, Michael Crabtree, to eat against either Alterraun Verner and Brent Grimes.

 

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Sorry I was late on the Allen Robinson portion of your question. Randall Cobb will be your best choice, after the fact. He has seen double-digit targets in each of the last 3 weeks and won’t be drawing Desmond Trufant. Falcons-Packers has shootout potential too.

 

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Don’t love your options but Demaryius Targaryen has the best matchup and is far more talented than the either two, despite his numbers in the previous meeting.

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Don’t love your options either, but you’re leaning the right way…Jordan Matthews is your guy.

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