NFL Week 10 Fantasy Mailbag

Last week was quite the 4-touchdown party for quarterbacks and their fantasy owners. Marcus Mariota did his best “Breesus” impression with 4 touchdown passes against the awful New Orleans pass defense. Derek Carr went Air-Oakland, with the help of Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, with 4 TDs and 301 yards in a losing effort to Pittsburgh. Then the tables were turned for Aaron Rodgers, as he had to throw 4 TDs to keep pace with Cam Newton and his 4 total touchdowns (3 passing, 1 rushing).

A week ago, Cam Newton was being compared to Colin Kaepernik by their stats and win loss record.

As we all know, the big difference between the two is the record. For fantasy owners, it’s also the touchdowns and rush yards. Before the season started, people avoided Newton in their drafts like the plague after his #1 receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, was ruled out for the year with an ACL injury. If you were like me (perhaps drafted Peyton Manning and traded him for Tony Romo after Week 1), you are so glad Newton was available on waivers even after Week 2.

Despite throwing interceptions in 6 of his 8 games, Newton has thrown multiple touchdowns in 5 of them and has added 5 rushing touchdowns as well. This week, Newton can keep things rolling against a Titans defense missing their top 2 corners.

Quick Hits

  • #BORTLEKOMBAT! (Blake Bortles) is currently rolling. He’s thrown multiple touchdowns in 6 of his last 7 games and goes up against the a Baltimore defense that has coincidentally given up multiple pass touchdowns in 6 of its last 7 games. After throwing 381 yards and 2 touchdowns against the vaunted Jets secondary, you should feel a lot better starting Bortles for the rest of his schedule.

BortleKombat

  • Every week we like to bring up how bad the Browns run defense is. Last week they seemed to hold the combo Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard in check, although it just set up a killer 3 touchdown performance from Tyler Eifert. Alas, they have still allowed 1,700+ yards rushing and DeAngelo Williams is next in line to eat. In 3 starts this season, Williams has at least 25 touches in each. There seems to have been an overreaction to an ache in his foot, because he appears set to go Sunday. That’ll happen when you go from 3 carries per game to 27 for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns. Williams is also dishing the pain too.

DeAngelo block

  • The biggest benefactor to the “Tom Brady Revenge Tour” (besides his fantasy owners) is probably Julian Edelman. Edelman has caught exactly 1/3 of his career touchdown total this season (7). He also leads the league in red zone targets. This week Edelman faces a Giants defense that has allowed 8 touchdowns to opposing receivers over the last 5 weeks.

Mail Time!

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 10.28.34 AM

I feel this deserves some public attention, since Craig has tried to pull this a few times now. What are your thoughts on someone asking their opponent for Fantasy advice the same week they play them?

Anywho…

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 10.28.57 AM

Nice save. TJ Yeldon is an easy pick for me. He has a touchdown or 100+ rushing yards in 4 straight games and Baltimore’s defense is a tire fire right now.

Patriots running backs not named “LeGarrette Blount” are too much of a gamble for me at this point. You’re left wondering who will get Dion Lewis’s touchdowns, especially in the red zone. James White had the opportunity in this situation before and squandered it. Brandon Bolden did get a receiving touchdown a week ago, and has more experience with Bill Belichick. Brandon LaFell finally had a nice game a week ago with 102 yards, but I still feel better about Edelman, Gronk and Danny Amendola before him.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 10.29.20 AM

Sure, you’ve got back-to-back weeks of 300 yard games from Ryan Tannehill…but he hasn’t thrown a single touchdown pass in either of those games. Derek Carr is also coming off of back-to-back 300 yard games, but has 8 touchdowns to show for it. The Vikings are the best pass defense on the road, but matchups don’t really worry me after Carr lit up the Jets too weeks ago for 333 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 10.29.35 AM

The return yards makes Ted Ginn Jr. a start for me in this group. Ameer Abdullah is swiftly fading away with the rest of the Lions backfield. Then I’m left with a choice between Martavis Bryant and Danny Amendola…Ben Roethlisberger or not, Bryant’s chances to score are a lot better than Amendola’s based on the receiving groups alone. If Antonio Brown isn’t getting the ball thrown up to him, Bryant is. Amendola has to share balls with Edelman, Gronk, LaFell, a second no-name tight end (probably, and whoever fills in for Lewis. Bryant is better bet.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 10.30.08 AM

You’re right about Sammy Watkins, and I also don’t like him against Darrelle Revis in primetime.

If Allen Hurns is healthy, play him. #BORTLEKOMBAT is going to have flawless victories against the Baltimore secondary all day. Then you’re left with two Kansas City players against the best defense in football. In this situation, I go with the running back who is guaranteed touches. If the Chiefs offense has any chance at production against the Broncos, it’s going to be Charcandrick West trying to impersonate Jamaal Charles in Week 2 (125 rush yards, 1 TD).

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 12.11.34 PM

QB – Yeah…ouch. I feel for Marcus Mariota’s wellbeing against the Panthers. You will get plenty of volume out of Brian Hoyer though. Bill O’Brien still hates his run game without Arian Foster, which has turned into a chuck fest for the Texans offense that’s usually playing from behind. You also have to feel better about DeAndre Hopkins and Nate Washington catching passes over the whoever is doing it in Tennessee.

WR – Now that James Starks is officially the starting RB, you have to play him. The Lions have given up the most rushing touchdowns in the league.

Have more lineup questions? Feel free to ask on both Facebook and Twitter! Also, don’t hesitate to post any questions for next week’s Mailbag. Good luck this weekend! 

NFL Week 8 Fantasy Mailbag

What happens when you fire Joe Philbin, play the Titans and Texans in back-to-back weeks, and hand Lamar Miller the ball?

(The “Hard Knocks” Texans seem so long ago don’t they?)

In just two weeks, the Miami Dolphins look like the team their roster suggested they would be before the season even started. Miller had just 37 carries over the first 4 weeks of the season for 131 yards and no touchdowns. He has more than doubled that production in his last 2 games with 288 rush yards and 2 touchdowns on 33 carries (plus 61 yards and another touchdown receiving). The Dolphins also became the first team since at least 1940 to score 4 touchdowns of 50+ yards in the first half against Texans. Not a shabby start to the head coaching career for Dan Campbell.

The Dolphins head to New England tonight for what could be a shootout with Tom Brady and the Patriots. Don’t slow your roll yet on Miller as the Patriots are allowing 110 yards per game rushing. Now proceed to point and laugh at whoever dropped him in your fantasy league.

Quick Hits

  • The Cardinals running back situation seems pretty clear now with Zombie Chris Johnson ranked second in the league in rushing. Okay he’s more of a “Dawn of the Dead” zombie that runs. Fast…If you took my advice last week, you played Todd Gurley in DFS against the worst run defense in the league. The Browns have allowed more than 1,000 yards rushing on the season (132 more than the Chargers), and Zombie Chris Johnson should eat.

Chris Johnson

  • While the Chargers seem to have nearly given up on running the ball, the biggest benefactor of that trend has been Keenan Allen. Allen now leads the league in receptions with 62. Allen owners know that his point production is a little inconsistent, but he gets 12 targets per game. When Philip Rivers locks in on Allen, oh does he lock in…3 times this season, Allen has recorded 130+ yards and averages 13 catches in those games. His matchup against the Ravens smells like one of those games as Baltimore allows 214 yards and 1.6 to wide receivers each week.

Keenan Allen

  • While the sexiest tight end name in the game is Gronk, Greg Olsen is no slouch either. Olsen has 65+ yards and/or a touchdown in 5 of his 6 games this season. He’s gone for 130+ yards twice this season, and was targeted by Cam Newton 11 times in both of those games. I expect Newton to bounce back from a 3 interception game and to make Olsen a priority in order to do so. Olsen has already accounted for 21% of the targets each week and only trails Gronk for the most plays of 20+ yards this year.

Olsen

Mail Time!

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 10.11.35 AM

WR – I really like Jeremy Maclin this week against the Lions in London. Detroit is allowing 206 yards and 1 touchdown per game to wide receivers and Maclin is the only reliable receiver in Kansas City. In 3 of his last 4 games, Maclin averaged 7.5 catches and 106 yards.

RB – The guy I’m not picking of your group is James Starks. Ronnie Hillman is finally getting a majority of the first team reps in practice and THE DUKE is the back to have out of Cleveland. Johnson Jr. is the pass catching back and you have to expect the Browns to be playing from behind against Arizona…which means they’ll be passing. Starks is also banged up, a backup, and going against the best defense in football.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 10.12.57 AM

A very close call. As much as I like Martavis Bryant with Ben Roethlisberger coming back, I like Stefon Diggs more against the Bears secondary. In 3 games played, Diggs has more targets, caches and twice as many yards as Mike Wallace. Go with the clear #1 WR the Vikings has as the Bears will be doing whatever they can to keep Adrian Peterson in check.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 10.13.20 AM

I’m going to let this slide this week, but this^ is too many questions. Try to limit it to 2 going forward. Love ya, Emmet. 

Trade: Hard to pick a winner without knowing the needs of each team involved, but I am going with whoever received Tannehill in the deal. Tannehill is trending way up with Philbin off his back, and Eddie Lacy is losing more and more touches to Starks. This weekend will be the most telling on what Lacy is this season with Starks hurting. If Starks gets more work than Lacy again, I feel bad for anyone who picked the former Bama back way too high this year.

Flex 1: The Duke for for the reasons I gave Bucy. Tavon is boom or bust regardless of the matchup as Gurley is now the entire offense and Nick Foles sucks.

Flex 2: Not a great week for Jeremy Hill going against the Steelers. Pacing will probably make Gio Bernard the better option for the Bengals, but at least you know Hill will get touches. He also has the most touchdowns from within the 5 yard line. Moncrief has a bad matchup against the Carolina secondary.

(See, I’ve already answered 3 questions for you and there are 2 left. I’ve got shit to do, homie)

QB: Roethlisberger. Ed Werder of ESPN has him going and so should you with ALL of his scoring options available.

Flex 3: Woodhead

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 10.13.46 AM

You’ve got a solid matchup for Delanie Walker this week against the Texans defense. Whether it’s Mariota or Mettenberger under center, he’s their favorite target regardless. Watson has had a nice couple weeks, but Drew Brees has way more options to keep up with a tough Giants receiving corps.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 10.14.13 AM

Larry Donnell isn’t a great option, but at least he’s done something in the last 6 weeks. Jordan Cameron hasn’t recorded more than 30 yards since Week 2. I won’t trust him until I see him do better than that again.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 10.14.36 AM

I think you answered your own question, Donald. Tyler Eifert is a big reason for Andy Dalton’s success this season and I don’t see him slowing down anytime soon. Eifert has as many red zone targets as AJ Green. Also, look at what Pittsburgh gave up to Gronk and Travis Kelce combined: 19 catches, 259 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Have more lineup questions? Feel free to ask on both Facebook and Twitter! Also, don’t hesitate to post any questions for next week’s Mailbag. Good luck this weekend! 

NFL Week 2 Fantasy Mailbag

Week 1 is in the books, and we’re off and running! 

Tyler Lockett return TD

The return of the NFL to your Sundays, and big return touchdowns from Tyler Lockett (SEA), Jarvis Landry (MIA) and Tavon Austin (STL), had everyone buzzing after the weekend. Top receivers like T.Y. Hilton (IND) and DeSean Jackson (WSH) had Fantasy managers all over the waiver wire for suitable replacements. If you had Peyton Manning, have you already tried handcuffing him in a trade for someone who you feel confident about throwing further than 10 yards?…I did. 

Quick Hits 

  • If you haven’t traded Peyton yet, because you couldn’t or you want to hold out hope, picking up Marcus Mariota certainly seemed like the sexy move after his NFL debut with the Titans. Mariota became the first rookie to post a perfect passer rating (158.3) and the second to throw 4 touchdowns in his debut. Fran Tarkenton was the first in 1961, but Mariota accomplished the feat in just the first half…I wouldn’t expect the the same dominance against the likes of Joe Haden and the Browns defense this week, but Super Mariota is worth having on your bench. 

  • Hard not to feel good about the offense that takes on that Buccaneers defense after you saw what a rookie quarterback and Bishop Sankey did to them. At home, Drew Brees, Brandin Cooks, and maybe even Brandon Coleman will eat the Tampa secondary alive. Mark Ingram owners should also be excited for the matchup after seeing his usage in the passing game last week. CJ Spiller is set to return, but Ingram shouldn’t lose too many snaps after leading all running backs in receiving yards with 98 on 8 catches. 
  • It’s scary to think Julio Jones is getting better, right? The Falcons WR, who ran a 4.3 40-yard dash on a broken foot in his draft combine, proved Monday Night how essential he is to the new Atlanta offense with 9 catches on 11 targets for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jones would have been closer to 200 yards had two of his big plays not been called back on holding calls. Expect another big week out of him against the Giants after they allowed the 2nd most pass yards in their season opener. 

Mail Time

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.43.15 PM

I know Donte Moncrief became a favorite pickup for many after Hilton went down in Week 1, and I get it. Moncrief has all the measurables, the speed, and the quarterback that make him viable as Hilton’s replacement. However, I don’t love him against the Jets and Darrelle Revis. In two games against Revis, Hilton recorded just 4 catches for 60 yards. That doesn’t spark much excitement from me for Moncrief…While the Rams defensive line is indeed terrifying, their secondary allowed the 3rd most catches to wide receivers last week and that bodes well for Washington’s new #1 WR Pierre Garcon. During his string of starts in 2013, Kirk Cousins targeted Garcon an averaged of 12.2 times over 5 games. Moncrief still has to share balls with Andre Johnson, Phillip Dorsett, Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen. Rashad Jennings made things murkier after throwing his quarterback under the bus, while also losing touches to Andrew Williams and Shane Vereen. I like Tevin Coleman most longterm, as he separated himself as the more reliable back from Devonta Freeman. For Week 2, Garcon is your best option.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.43.52 PM

To answer your first question, go Matt Ryan for sure. I know the Bears secondary looks very tempting, but the Giants look even worse with their unit. If the Tony Romo was able to shred them without Dez Bryant, imagine what Ryan will do with both Jones and Roddy White healthy….

Your first option at running back should be Latavius Murray. The Ravens defense got worse against the run losing Terrell Suggs, and Murray was used like an every-down back and useful in PPR catching 7 passes against a better Bengals D….Sankey looked great last week, but when has he proven that he can be consistent on the pro level? CJ Anderson is banged up and Ronnie Hillman certainly emerged as a threat to take touches away. Joique Bell also didn’t do anything to quiet the Ameer Abdullah fan club…Only because the matchup isn’t great for Anderson do I recommend Sankey over him, but it’s very begrudgingly. The Browns may be harshing his mellow very quickly.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 1.37.36 PM

See my previous answer about the latter 2 and just go with TJ Yeldon. The Jaguars offensive line graded out in the Top 3 for run blocking last week and Alfred Morris burned the Dolphins defense for 125 yards.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.44.55 PM

One can assume LeGarrette Blount is going to get feature back duties this weekend returning from suspension, but when could you ever assume anything with Bill Belichick running backs? Blount also comes back against a scary Buffalo front 7…Danny Woodhead, on the other hand, took more than half of the Chargers snaps last weekend, scored 2 touchdowns, and was the second most targeted player for Philip Rivers. Rookie Melvin Gordon may get more work in his second start, but I trust Woodhead’s opportunities over Blount’s…especially in the red zone.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.56.00 PM

The most reliable player in this scenario is CJ Anderson, and that’s scary. With talks that both Todd Gurley and Tre Mason being ready to go this weekend makes Benny Cunningham a lot less valuable. I would recommend Lockett if you got return points for him, but he still needs to grow in the Seattle passing attack with Doug Baldwin and Jermain Kearse well ahead of him.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.46.47 PM

After taking more snaps than Joique Bell and proving he’s a much better home run threat, Ameer Abdullah made a lot of people right about him. He also has a better matchup going against the Vikings than Woodhead does against the Bengals. I would like to see Abdullah pickup where Carlos Hyde left off last Monday Night.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.46.23 PM

The one person benefiting from Peyton Manning’s short pass strategy is Emmanuelle Sanders. Especially in PPR, he’s a must play. Second, I trust John Brown against the Bears secondary. Larry Fitzgerald will get most of the attention leaving not much to take on Brown’s speed downfield.

In regards to James Jones, he caught 4 passes and scored 2 touchdowns last week against Alan F’ing Ball (who wanted know part of covering inside the end zone) and a struggling Kyle Fuller. There’s a reason Jones was available for the Packers to pick him up before the season started, and I don’t think his skills are suddenly back to 2012 quality. Rodgers makes him a better player, but Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery are younger…and possibly more viable.

Have more lineup questions? Feel free to ask on both Facebook and Twitter! Also, don’t hesitate to post any questions for next week’s Mailbag. Good luck this weekend!