In the recent week, the values of the NFL have been questioned the most it has ever been in NFL history. This is the technology age, resulting in faster and quicker communication worldwide. However, this instant access to other people, brings up an issue never really dealt with in society.
It is something called cyber bullying. This new bullying tactic has brought bullying into the spotlight, and bullying is no longer tolerable. What used to be “men being men” or a “joke”, is now taken more seriously. This new thinking in society has made the Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin case blow up to the magnitude it did. The NFL is now being questioned by all around the game regarding their behind the scenes actions.
The biggest questions that pop up include “what really goes on in the locker room?” and “at what point is something no longer a joke?”. This scenario is going to change the way a NFL locker room operates. The same thing goes on with fantasy football. Overtime, new players develop and bring a “spark” to your team, such as Zac Stacy or Danny Woodhead did this year.
Conversely, the opposite happens. Players who you expect to come up huge for your team just don’t pan out.
Fantasy owners who drafted C.J. Spiller, or Doug Martin know this feeling firsthand. So all these unexpected fantasy players create a huge problem. At what point is it time to completely change your lineup and who you rely on? At what point is it time to “drop” your high draft picks who were busts?
These are decisions that are often difficult, but have to be made, similar to what the new NFL locker room will be.
Quarterbacks I love this week:
Josh McCown, Chicago vs. Baltimore: The Bears backup quarterback, has made an appearance in three consecutive games, while starting just two of them. Over this three game stretch, he has completed 42 passes, on 70 attempts for 538 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. The Bears offensive line has made colossal strides this season, and the emergence of Alshon Jeffery has made it that much more explosive.
The addition of Martellus Bennett at tight end helps too. They also have a great running back in the passing game with Matt Forte. This passing offense is dynamic, and very few offenses in the NFL have such great weapons surrounding their quarterback. That being said, McCown has still been shockingly good. He has been doing one thing Cutler hasn’t, which is making good decisions.
This decision making has helped him to stay on the field, and rack up good fantasy games. Brandon Marshal will also be there to make his not so good throws into receptions. McCown has potential to put up in the 20’s, but makes good enough decisions to ensure he gets in the double digits for fantasy points.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Detroit: This has been a very consistent fantasy year for Roethlisberger, but that seems to be overshadowed by the Steelers record and him wanting out of the Steel city. In standard scoring leagues, Big Ben has only scored in the single digits (in fantasy points) once.
However, he does have a relatively low ceiling, as he has been in the 20’s just one time. But he does have a favorable matchup. The Lions have averaged 26.4 points per game, good for seventh in the NFL.
Their ability to score points will make the Steelers have to throw to stay in the game. Detroit has given up 276 yards per game through the air this year, which is the sixth worse in the NFL. If they maintain that average, it would be 11 fantasy points, without his rushing yards and touchdowns.
Big Ben is a safe play this week, and he might be able to eclipse the 20 point mark this year.
Running Backs I love:
Rashad Jennings, Oakland vs. Houston: Since McFadden got hurt yet again, Jennings has averaged 95 rushing yards a game (2 games). He also has 9 receptions for 93 yards over the two games, which is unbelievable in a PPR format. He also has one touchdown. If we stuck to standard scoring, Jennings has averaged 17 fantasy points while having the starting role.
It looks as if McFadden will miss yet another game, and if Jennings can keep up his great play, he has potential to put up 20 points this week.
Andre Brown, New York Giants vs. Green Bay: It is safe to say that Eli Manning has been a turnover machine this season. In Andre Browns return, he had 30 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown— not to mention that was his first game back from injury. With a game under his belt and Eli’s woes, he should be able to see another 30 carries.
Even if he were to rush at an average pace, that amount of carries should make him a 100-yard rusher.
Throw in some catches and a touchdown, and you have a potential top 5 rusher this week. He might be able to eclipse the 20 point mark in a standard league this week.
Wide Receivers I love:
Alshon Jeffery, Chicago vs. Baltimore: McCown makes smart decisions, so he will not force the ball to Marshal if it isn’t there, which is something Cutler does not do. Since he will look at other guys, he might be able to get Jeffery more involved. Jeffery has been getting the targets and receptions, and has just missed out on a touchdown (had one called off last week).
He is due for one this week, especially on a team giving up a 100 yard game to at least one receiver in four of the last five games. He has the ability to reach the 16 point mark this week.
Torrey Smith, Baltimore vs. Chicago: Smith has been putting up career numbers this year, and has been getting massive targets (22 targets over last 2 games). The Bears’ secondary has been atrocious this year, and it will not get better for them with Charles “Peanut” Tillman out of the lineup for them. Smith’s deep play threat against a poor secondary should help him put up huge fantasy numbers this week.
John Carlson, Minnesota vs. Seattle: Carlson had a great first week as the #1 tight end, and this game, despite being against a top defense in the NFL is perfect for him. Why? Seattle will jump on Minnesota early, which will force them to throw.
Christian Ponder also loves to dump the ball off, and go to his check downs, which will be Carlson.
Quarterbacks I Hate:
Tom Brady, Patriots vs. Carolina: Tom Brady has had one of the worst fantasy seasons of his career. Now, he is playing against a very tough Carolina Panthers defense. In a smaller league, I would see who my other options are before starting him.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers vs. Saints: He has been very shaky and inconsistent the whole year. Last week, we saw how much he depends on Vernon Davis, as he struggled immensely(2 fantasy points). With Davis unlikely to suit up this week, Kaepernick may not be able to put up the fantasy points you need out of your quarterback.
Running Backs I Hate:
Danny Woodhead, Chargers vs. Miami: It brings me pain saying this, especially after being the one person to actually predict him breakout year, and him being such a key guy to my fantasy teams, but I have to “hate” him this week. Woodhead was having a subpar game last week, until he had a garbage time touchdown to salvage his day. The Chargers should be able to handle to Dolphins, which means the second half of the game will be dedicated to Ryan Matthews and the rushing attack.
Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati vs. Cleveland: Cleveland has been a fantastic rushing defense this season, giving up about 98 total rush yards a game, good for 6th best in the NFL. Cleveland has also been a top 10 receiving defense too, so “ Gio” Bernard will have his work cut out for him, not to mention having competition from Benjarvus Green-Ellis for carries. He has been improving so much, but with improvement comes some minor setbacks.
Wide Receivers I Hate:
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay vs. New York (Giants): Aaron Rodgers. Without Rodgers (nearly 2 games), Nelson has had a worry-some 9 catches for 96 yards, averaging 48 yards a game. The Giants have also only given up 1 offensive touchdowns in the last three weeks.
This is a week to avoid Nelson, especially when there are many good wide receivers this year.
Denarius Moore, Oakland vs. Houston: Despite having a pretty good year and clearly being the #1 option in Oakland, this is not the week to start him. The Raiders passing games is the second worst in yards per game, and Pryor is banged up. Further, Oakland runs the ball the 12th most in the NFL.
There is also a chance back up Matthew McGloin starts, which will be ugly for Moore owners.
Tight End I hate:
Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta vs. Tampa Bay: He has a foot alignment, and even if he plays (listed as probable), he has been held to under 30 yards 3 times in the last four games. Further, the veteran only has an upsetting four touchdowns, with half of them in the same game.
Despite the lack of depth at the position, one might want to search for a different alternative.
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