Fantasy Football Week 10 Fill-Ins

With  the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins all on byes, and guys like Run DMC, Percy Harvin, and Antonio Brown all banged up, owners everywhere are going to need a quick-fix for week 10.  Well do not fret, because I have a list of players who should help your team towards victory this weekend, and I will break them down by position.

Quarterback: Notable one’s out this week- Aaron Rodgers and RG II

wikipedia.com

Ryan Tanehill (owned in 10% of leagues, started in 3.5%)

  • facing the Titans in week 10, who allows the 30th most points in fantasy to opposing QBs (19.3 ppg)
  • Titans rank 27th, allowing 274 passing yards/game
  • Titans: rank last in NFL allowing opposing QBs an average rating of 108.4
  • also rank 22nd in NFL with only 14 sacks

Running Backs: Notable one’s out this week- Trent Richardson, Darren McFadden (questionable) and Alfred Morris

Marcel Reece and Taiwan Jones (owned in 0.2 and 2.6 percent of leagues)

  • If Run DMC and Goodson are no-gos (which seems likely) the duo will get the start against the Ravens
  • Ravens: give up the 26th most points to opposing fantasy RBs (19.6 ppg)
  • rank 28th in the NFL, allwoing 139.5 rushing yards/game
  • have allowed 9 rushing TDs to opposing RB this season (tied for 24th in NFL)

Jaquizz Rodgers(owned in 11.5% of leagues)

bleacherreport.com

  • Although he may not be the starter, Atlanta has made it clear that they want to involve Rodgers in the offense
  • Week 10, facing the Saints who: have conceded 9 rushing TDs (24th in NFL)
  • rank last in NFL, allowing 176.5 yards/game on the ground
  • rank 31st in fantasy, giving up 24 points a game to opposing RBs
  • rank 29th in passs defense (311.4 yards/game) since Rodgers is a dual threat

Wide Receivers: Notable one’s out- Larry Fitzgerald, Jordy Nelson and Percy Harvin (questionable)

Emanuel Sanders (owned in 2% of leagues)

  • if Brown is a no-go, Sanders will see an increase in action
  • Facing KC in week 10 who: ranks 20th against receivers, allowing 21 ppg to WRs
  • ranks 29th in NFL, allowing 17 TDs to WRs

    patriotsdaily.com

Devon Bess (owned in 10% of leagues)

  • for same reasons as Tanehill listed above

Tight Ends notable ones out- Jermichael Finley and Cody Fleener

Brandon Meyers: (owned in 10.4 % of leagues)

  • Meyers currently is the 8th ranked TE in fantasy
  • facing Baltimore in week 10 who: ranks 16th in fantasy against opposing TE
  • has allowed 90+ yards to opposing TE 3 times this season

Kickers: notable ones out- Phil Dawson and Mason Crosby

Justin Tucker

  • facing Oakland in week 10 who ranks 30th in fantasy to opposing kickers allowing 11.4 ppg
  • has allowed double digit points to kickers in 5 out of the 8 weeks
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Doug Martin Explodes, but can he maintain?

Martin walked off the field Sunday with every right to be this excited.
Usatoday.com

For those of us who were able to watch or those of us stuck watching the stat line Sunday when the Bucs took on the Raiders, we all somehow saw Bucs rookie running back, Doug Martin, absolutely go off.

Martin finished  Sunday’s game with 251 yards on the ground and four touchdowns (70, 45, 67, and 1 yard runs).

Martin set many records during his brilliant performance, such as compiling the most rushing yards ever in a game in Bucs history, becoming the first player ever in NFL history to score three touchdowns on runs of 45-plus yards, and putting together the fourth best fantasy football performance since 1970.

Martin’s 51 points (standard scoring leagues) on Sunday is tied with Corey Dillon’s 1997 performance, and only behind Clinton Portis (54 points), Shaun Alexander (52 points), and Jerry Rice (52 points).

In fact, Martin is now the #1 RB in fantasy (1point ahead of Foster).  But, can he maintain this level of play?  I am of course no referring to Sunday’s performance, and I do not expect him to continuously put up over 50 points, but can he keep himself in the mix of the top RB?

I say why not?  Some may argue that with Carl Nicks out, Martin will not have the same blocking, but I say that it didn’t seem to bother him Sunday.  It’s also worth noting that not only Martin, but also Freeman and the Bucs offense as a whole is on fire!

The Bucs currently have the 9th total overall offense, averaging 376.6 yards of offense a game, with 131 (9th in NFL) of those coming on the ground and the reaming 245 (12th in NFL) through the air.  They are also 5th in the NFL in scoring, averaging 28.3 ppg that puts them ahead of New Orleans, New York and Atlanta.

With that offense so hot, teams cannot just key in on Martin, or Freeman will burn them deep.  Martin’s schedule also speaks well to his chances, as 5 of his 8 remaining games are against teams that rank in the bottom half of the NFL in rush defense.

Do not be shocked to see Martin as a top 5-7 RB come season’s end.

Andre Johnson, RG III and other Top Surprise and Let-downs in Fantasy Football

When calculating top surprises and top let-downs it is important to understand exactly what the formula is. However, unlike all those dreadful math classes you took throughout school, this formula is easy to understand.   In fact, it’s quite simple, the equation is as following: expectation vs. actual output.

To make it even simpler, when determining a surprise or a let-down I look at what was expected from them entering the season, and what have they actually done.  There are some players who have underperformed significantly, however it may have been due to injury (Greg Jennings) so players like that are not on this list.

With that being said, let’s get into it:

boston.cbslocal

Surprises

5. A.J. Green– We all know Green’s expectations, especially after a strong rookie campaign where he caught 65 passes for over 1,000 yards and 7 TDs (with a rookie QB).  However did we know he would be this good, this quickly? He currently:

  • 9th in NFL in receptions (44)
  • 8th in yards (636)
  • 1st in TDs (7)
  • 6th in rec yards/game (90.9)
  • Currently tied for 1st as top WR in fantasy (with Victor Cruz), with the Green coming off of a bye week, and Cruz yet to have his

Tied for 4th:

Alfred Morris- Like I have said before with him, he’s a rookie and a Shanahan RB, two things I rarely ever trust.  Yet he has defied my doubts and made me a believer, he currently:

  • 3rd in NFL in YDS (717)
  •  4th in NFL in RUSH YPG (89.6)
  •  3rd in NFL in TD (5)
  • 5th overall RB in fantasy
  • He’s also coming off back-t0-back 120+ yard rushing games

Adrian Peterson- We all know how good All Day AP is, but are we forgetting the fact that he is only mere months removed from major knee surgery to repair not only his ACL, but also his MCL? Despite all those obstacles, AP has managed, though eight games, to:

  • 1st in NFL in YDS (775) 
  • 1st in NFL in RUSH YPG (96.9) 
  • 9th in NFL in TD (4)
  • 2nd RB in fast, only behind Foster

3. Heath Miller– Like I said before, he’s a good TE there is no denying that, but when is the last time he’s been relevant in fantasy?  Well regardless of his past-seasons offensive slumps, this season, through eight weeks Miller is:

  • 5th in the NFL in TD (6)
  • 9th among TE in receiving (336)
  • 5th among TE in receptions
  • 2nd in TE in fantasy with 69 points, ahead of Gonzales, Graham, Davis and Witten

2. Stevan Ridley- Who has more fantasy points 8 weeks into the season, Ray Rice or Stephen Ridley?  Trick question, through 8 weeks the highly sought after Rice and little-known Ridley have the same amount of fantasy points (100).  Not only is this a huge surprised because it’s Ridley second year, but he’s also a New England RB, and NE isn’t known for their run game, however, thus far Ridley is:

  • 4th in NFL in YDS (716)
  •  5th in NFL in RUSH YPG (89.5)
  • 3rd in NFL in TD (5)
  • 3rd in Fantasy with 100 points for RBs

1.RG III- How can you argue? He still leads all of fantasy in scoring, and has put up pretty phenomenal numbers on his way to doing so, thus far the rookie sensation is:

  • 5th in NFL in CMP% (66.8)  
  • 7th in NFL in RAT (97.3)
  • 2nd in NFL in rush TD (6) also 17th in rushing yards, ahead of Richardson and Forte (476)
  • 1st in all of fantasy, 1 point ahead of Rodgers, despite RG III missing time against the Falcons

Let Downs

Johnson won’t have much to celebrate soon if he doesn’t turn things around (boston.com)

5. BenJarvus Green Ellis– Once the Law-firm was traded to the Bengals; he was expected to be The Man.  However, he hasn’t quite lived up to his expectations,

  • Ranks 21st in NFL rush (436)
  • Tied for 25th in TD (2) which is as many as Tom Brady has
  • Has yet to rush for 100 yards in a game this season
  • Scored double-digit fantasy points twice
  • Currently 24th overall RB in fantasy

4. LeSean McCoy– After scoring 20 total TDs and accumulating over 1,600 total yards a season ago, and being ranked the #3 overall fantasy player heading into this year’s draft, McCoy currently ranks:

  • 15th in NFL rushing (506)
  • Tied for 25th rush TD (2)
  • Ranks 12th in fantasy RB
  • 47th overall fantasy player

3. Phillip Rivers- granted he lost Vincent Jackson, but he still has Gates, Floyd, added Meachem, and has Mathews, yet Rivers has not had a good fantasy or NFL season at all, he currently ranks:

  • 24th in fantasy QBs, behind guys like Kolb, Wilson, Bradford, and Ponder
  • 24th in NFL passing (1,646)
  • Tied for 12th in TD (10)
  • 5th in INT (9)
  • Has 2 games with under double-digit points, and only 1 game with over 20 points

2. Calvin Johnson– Megatron, the #6th overall ranked player heading in the draft, average draft position was 7.5 overall, and coming off of an historic year a season ago, with over 1,600 rec yards and 16 TD, Johnson currently ranks:

  • 12th in NFL rec (41)
  • 7th in rec yards (638)
  • Tied for 82nd in TD (1)
  • Ranks 18th in WR for fantasy
  • 3 double digit games thus far, but has 4 games with 9 points or under

1. Andre Johnson– Regarded as a top-10 player pre-draft, Johnson has not even come close to living up to what is expected from him, Johnson currently ranks:

  • 32 in NFL rec yards (444)
  • Tied for 51st  in rec TD (2)
  • 32nd in rec (34)
  • 37th WR in fantasy, behind guys like Santana Moss, and Josh Gordon
  • 5 games with 8 points or fewer

Josh Freeman: Fluke or For Real?

mkrob.com

After naming him one of my biggest sleepers of the entire 2012-13 NFL fantasy season, Tampa’s quarterback Josh Freeman has been on a tear as of late.  Since Freeman is generally a back-up in most leagues (owned in 72%, only started in 15% of leagues) many owners are now wondering if they should give him a shot in the starting line-up.  However, before they come to a conclusion on such a question they need to think of one thing, is Josh Freeman for real? Or is this just a fluke?

I am of course referring to Freeman’s play over the last three weeks against the Vikings, Chiefs and Saints

It all started against the Chiefs in week 5, where Freeman threw for 328 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception on 15 of 26 passing.  While the Chiefs team as a whole has been nothing to write home about this year, their pass-defense holds some validity thus far, as they rank 13th in the NFL only allowing 224.5 passing yards/game.

The subsequent week, Freeman exploded against the Saints, out-slinging Drew Brees, as he threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns.  Freeman also managed 13 yards on the ground, and was only sacked twice.

Then this past Thursday, Freeman had his third-consecutive 3-touchdown performance against a solid Vikings defense.    The Vikings rank 12th in the NFL against the pass, 11th in points allowed with 20.8 ppg, and ranked 12th against opposing fantasy offenses.  Yet none of that mattered to Freeman as he threw for 262 yards and three more touchdowns on his team’s way to victory over the Vikings, 38-17.

Nonetheless, can this continue?

Yet, I have a better question, why not?

I believe Freeman is more than capable of continuing to put-up similar numbers throughout the rest of the season.  Maybe he won’t be tossing-up three touchdowns and 300+ yards every game, but there is no reason he can’t be in that ball-park.

Over the next three weeks, Freeman and the Bucs will face the Raiders (22nd in NFL in pass defense 254.7 yards/game , 27th in points allowed/game with 28.5, and aren’t exactly takeaway threats with only 7 takeaways thus far and rank the 30th defense in fantasy) the Chiefs (rank 26th in fantasy, only 6 takeaways as a team so far, and rank 30th in NFL with 30.5 ppg allowed) and the Chargers (rank 25th in NFL allowing 265.8 passing yards/game,  and 16th with 22.8 ppg allowed)

Has Reggie Bush Fallen Off?

(NyDailyNews.com)

The other week I wrote an article answering the question, Is Reggie Bush a legit stud?  I answered yes few weeks ago and I am sticking to it event though Reggie has had some less-than-stellar performances in the past few weeks. Since rushing for 171 yards and two touchdowns in week two versus the Raiders, Bush has since rushed for a combined 193 yards and one touchdown in his last four games, so what gives?

We all know Bush went down with a knee injury in week 3 versus the Jets, but not before he rushed the ball 10 times for 61 yards.  Since then he just hasn’t seemed himself.  Is it still because of his knee or is there something else that’s keeping his numbers down?  In fact there is something affecting his numbers; his quarterback.

With a rookie quarterback under center teams will force that rookie to beat them, not the weapons around them.  Teams have been doing this by stacking up eight men in the box, forcing Tannehill to throw.

The Palm Beach Coast quoted Anthony Fasano on Tuesday saying that he still expects teams to put eight defenders in the box with the idea that they’ll stop the run and take their chances against the pass.

However, a positive note is the Bush is feels otherwise, and still believes that the rushing title is still within his grasp.  Another plus is that Miami’s next opponent, the Jets, rank 28th in rushing, allowing 150.5 yards per game, and gave up 185 on the ground to the Dolphins in the teams’ first meeting, even with Bush exiting the game early.

So while I am sticking to my guns that Bush is still a fantasy stud, I am going to pump the brakes a little on my prediction of his numbers come seasons end.

Prediction:

255 rushes- 1,050 yards 8 touchdowns

20 receptions- 350 yards 1 touchdown

What We Learned In Week 6…

With week 6 now in the books, many things where brought to light during the course of play such as:

(buzzfeed.com)

Trent Richardson left Sunday’s game with a rib-injury.

During Sunday’s game against the Bengals, Trent left the game with a rib-injury and did not return.  Since Richardson is owned in 100% of ESPN leagues and started in 98.6% of them, many owners where affected by his injury.  However, owner’s stress-level should have come down a little after John Clayton reported that the rookie sensation should play this Sunday against the Colts.  Clayton also reported there was no broken bones, just cartilage damage, and Richardson is day-to-day but is likely to play.

DeMarco Murray left Sunday’s game with a foot-injury.

Amidst a strong game vs. the Ravens, Murray left with a foot-injury, and did not return, leaving Felix Jones to take over in the backfield.  ESPN.com reported that Murray is likely out this upcoming week against the Panthers, and that the team is likely to evaluate him on a week-to-week basis.

If both Murray and Richardson are no-gos this week, look out for:

Felix Jones- why not? He’ll be the only option and after a strong performance last week even when Murray was still in, Jones is likely to get most of, if not all, of the touches.  He also is facing the Panthers in week 7, who has conceded the 27th most point to fantasy RBs with 21.8 ppg.

Vincent Ballard- who? He is Donald Brown’s replacement, with Brown out for another week or two after getting knee-surgery last week.  Though Ballard struggled against the Jets (25 rushing yards and 17 receiving), so did his entire team.  One promising thing is that despite his ineffectiveness, he got the majority of the carries and touches.  This week he faces the Browns who rank 20th vs. opposing RBs in fantasy, and 25th in the NFL, allowing 131.ypg on the ground.

Lewis won’t be making any more tackles like this this season, after a torn triceps will sideline him for the remainder of the 2012-13 season (tigertownson.com)

Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb are out for the season.

These injuries could be detrimental to the Ravens and owners who have them.   Since they are owned in 100% of leagues, that means a lot of owners out there are affected, likely someone reading this.  With the Ravens loosing their leader in Lewis and their top corner in Webb, it might be time to start looking for new defenses to start in week 7 since the Ravens will be taking on the Texans effective offense that ranks 10th in total offesne (363 yards/game) and 5th in scoring with 28.8 ppg.

Other Defenses to look for:

Vikings: Currently a top-10 defense in fantasy and facing the Cardinal’s in week 7, an offense that ranks 30th in the NFL with 283.0 ypg and tied for 26th with 18.3 ppg.

Daryl Richardson is getting more and more action for the Rams

Steven Jackson’s back-up Richardson is getting implemented into the offense more and more as the weeks come. After amassing 99 total yards last week versus the Dolphins, whose run-defense is highly underrated, and rotowire.com reporting that Jackson’s contract has been restructured to let him walk at the end of the season if he wishes, is it possible that Richardson will start seeing even more action?  I believe so, and for those in need of a back-up RB or possible flex in deep leagues, I would recommend scooping Richardson before others become aware of him.

Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers look to be back to normal

After Manning’s neck-surgery, and ranking Rodgers my biggest let-down thus far, these elite QBs look to be back to their old ways.  After 41 points through his first 3 weeks, Rodgers has since scored 89 points in the last three weeks.  He went from #19 QB in fantasy, to now being ranked #2.  He also went from not even being in the top-10 in QB rating, to now being ranked #1.

Manning has also been on a tear since his shaky start versus the Falcons.  After that 3-int performance, in Manning’s last 4 games he has thrown for 1,314 yards in addition to his 11 Tds and 1 int.  During this hot-streak, Manning has moved up the fantasy rankings, now the #3 QB in fantasy football.

Matt Ryan and Kevin Kolb, my week 6 man crushes

One is more obvious then the other.  One has had a great regular season career, while the other has yet to play in more than 9 games in one season. However I love Matt Ryan and Kevin Kolb in week 6 of fantasy football, and here’s why:

Ryan looks to keep his strong play up (blogs.ajc.com)

Matt Ryan:

Ryan, in standard scoring leagues, is currently the second ranked player overall in fantasy, 6 points behind Drew Brees.  He is also second in the NFL in passer rating, third in passing yards, fifth in completion %, and second in touchdown passes.  So why wouldn’t I love him each and every week, and why week 6 more than others?

Well one major focal point in fantasy sports is your players match-up, and this week Ryan’s match-up is a great one facing the Raiders.  The Raiders:

  • ranks 31st in fantasy against QBs, allowing 22.0 ppg
  • rank 25th in overall defense in the NFL, allowing 411.0 ypg
  • rank 28th in pass defense, allowing 283 ypg
  • ranks 30th with 31.5 ppg allowed

Ryan is also playing at home this weekend, where he has been historically good, where through his career,including this season, Ryan has thrown 54 TDs vs. 19 INT

Kolb will look to have a strong week 6, versus a week opponent (doubletakedebate.com)

Kevin Kolb:

Kolb is not your prototypical fantasy stud, however he has somethings working for him entering week 6.  For starters, whether he performs poorly or not, he is going to air the ball out, a lot.  That’s because the Cardinals have no real run-game to speak with Williams and Wells out with injuries for some time.  Kolb also had 7 Tds vs. 2 Int in 4 and a half games this season. It also doesn’t hurt that he is still throwing to Larry Fitzgerald, and the emerging Floyd and Roberts.  Also, like Ryan, Kolb’s match-up this week is a dream-come-true for owner sof Kolb as he faces the Bills who:

  • rank last in points allowed to opposing QBs (22.8 ppg)
  • rank 24th in the NFL in passing yards allowed/game with 277 yards.
  • ranks 31st in the NFL in total defense, allowing 449.4 ypg
  • rank 31st in NFL allowing 35.2ppg