One quick item of note before I get started. Due to volume and the number of articles that receive comments here on DLF, start/sit questions will likely only be answered up until Sat. night. Any questions after that should be asked in the chat room this week. We’re looking to really pack the chat room every Sunday AM in which we have the chats, so please show up there to ask your questions.
Oct. 1, 10:30 PM
Dez Bryant looks to be a “go” for Sunday but I remain concerned about his number of snaps and/or his ability to stay in the game. He’s a big receiver and that quad is can be much like a hamstring in the recovery. I’ll be sitting him. I’d recommend the same unless you have very little backing him up. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him deactivated before the game.
Beanie Wells is a “go” again. He’s going against the Giants which likely doesn’t bode well. I believe he’s no better than a higher end RB3 this week.
Kendall Hunter could get meaningful touches on Sunday and he’s looked far more dynamic and capable than the quickly-aging Gore. Think low-end RB3 for Hunter which equates to you playing him nearly as an emergency, but you could do worse.
Things that I’m watching this Sunday ….
Shanahan is up to his old tricks again and it’s no wonder so many don’t like playing for him. Using the media to light a fire under Hightower is what we’ve all come to expect and it’s quite likely that Torain will see at least some time this week. Torain is deserving of more touches than he has been getting, at least in my mind and I believe you’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the second half of the year.
I’m watching Flacco this week vs. that Jets secondary. This is going to be a great game and is worthy of watching even if you are without fantasy players in the game. This type of game is what Flacco needs in order to take that next step. He’s looking very poised and confident and a solid game solidifies his rank in the top ten within his position.
Matt Ryan needs to show up big for Atlanta against the Seahawks. Enough of this inconsistent and mistake-ridden play.
The passing of Mike Heimerdinger is sad news and I’m pulling for the Titans to play this game in his memory. Heimerdinger was a great spirit and a heckuva coach. He’s the type of coach that players like to play for in that he was a developer of men, not just a coach … and there is most certainly a difference. He was also a very creative coordinator that had the ability to play-call to the talent on his team to get the most of them. He will be missed.
Andy Dalton had a poor showing last week in San Francisco. How will the rookie respond? Through two weeks he had three touchdowns and no interceptions. Then in week three, no touchdowns and two interceptions. Those are the type of games that bring out the rookie in rookies in that it affects confidence. Will he stay tall in the pocket? Will he check down more? Will he hold the ball waiting for something more clear to open up? This is the new look Bills that he is up against but their secondary isn’t anything noteworthy.
Can Sam Bradford put his sliding team onto his shoulders and carry them to a win against the visiting Redskins? The Rams haven’t been able to keep Bradford on his feet and team brass failed him mightily in getting weapons for him to throw to. I just don’t believe he can put up noteworthy fantasy stats in 2011 with the talent around him. A returning Steven Jackson could be a boost!
Michael Vick is playing through his deep bone bruise on his non-throwing hand. I’m expecting to see Vick have more happy feet in the pocket than he has recently. It’s obvious Vick has lost confidence in his offensive line and the officiating in their ability to protect him. No better way for the elusive Vick to stay upright than to move from the pocket and pick up chunks of yards on his way to the sideline. Will be an interesting push-pull between his desire to not get sacked vs. his desire to protect his hand.
Arian Foster owners, what are you doing this Sunday? Play or sit? Foster is said to be getting a full workload but I feel there is little way that will happen. Still, you have to have him in your lineup just in case but the matchup vs. Steelers isn’t what the doctor ordered for a gimpy hamstring. He’s said to be fully recovered but feeling 100% and being fully recovered from a recurring hamstring are two very different things. Start him but it may be best not to watch.
James Starks. With Ryan Grant out, Starks is in for a full load and should be motivated to atone for his horrible week three. That said, Green Bay is a passing team and Starks could see as few as 12 carries or so. But I also look for multiple swing passes out of the backfield. The Pack still don’t take advantage of Starks’ exceptional hands as much as they should. With their spread receiver sets and Finley in the seam, Starks should be able to capitalize mightily on wheel routes and quick flares. We’ll see. Anything inside the five yard line though and you’ll be hearing chants of Kuuuuuhhhhhhn.
With Daniel Thomas grabbing some bench this week, how does Reggie Bush respond. We mentioned selling high on Bush before it was too late. Hey, Ken Kelly and I have him as well in the Dynasty Experts League (3-0) and we didn’t sell high on him either. We thought “before it is too late” was sometime around week four … not after week one. For his part, Henne hasn’t looked overly bad in 2011 and the Dolphins need to allow him to play without looking over his shoulder.
Well, that’s it for this week. Good luck to all you ballers tomorrow and join us in the chat room tomorrow AM if you can. I didn’t post about the chat, but I’ll be in there bright and early.
Sept. 30 10:00 AM
Seems that there is a lot of focus on Chris Johnson this week. Most believed that week 3 was going to be the week for CJ to break out of his slump and return to form. The fact that he didn’t, nor was even close to doing it, has sent a collective wave of panic across fantasy, at least for owners of Johnson.
Data continues to emerge showing what most of us that have looked at the situation closely already realize, the blocking has been sub-par and the running lanes non-existent. Worse than that in my opinion, but still related, is the fact that the stretch plays that were so successful in 2010 haven’t been close to effective. Those same stretch plays that allow CJ to use his patience to allow a crease to emerge, followed by his unrivaled burst through the hole into the secondary, have been doomed from the snap.
I fully believe that week four will be CJ’s best week to date, in that he now essentially should be back into game shape and his preseason is now over. This doesn’t guarantee anything other than Johnson should be individually prepared to take advantage of anything his offensive line or the defense provides him, but it can’t be done alone. The greater mystery and concern here is in the offensive line play and the changes that have taken place. Whether it is, indeed, the creativity of the offensive coordinator’s play calling or something more deeply rooted in the line’s desire to block for Johnson, fantasy owners just don’t care. Looking a bit deeper, body and conditioning aside, my biggest concern is in CJ’s body language which has visibly shown a level of frustration and and, perhaps even disengagement. My hope is that week four lifts the fog in its entirety.
I’ve heard some more vocal experts professing the need to trade away Chris Johnson in redraft leagues. I can see where they are coming from but I believe that would be a mistake. I’ll say this: If you are a middle-tier team looking to get over the hump, but not elite, I would move a second tier RB such as Ahmad Bradshaw, Jahvid Best, Beanie Wells or the like to nab Johnson. Remember, this is for you redrafters. Chris Johnson’s value couldn’t be much lower in redraft than it is now and if he returns to any form even remotely resembling 2010, he could put you over the hump.
Antonio Gates looks to be out until after the bye week.
Ryan Grant is as doubtful as they come for this week making Starks a very strong play at home vs. Denver. He’ll be very motivated after a dismal week three performance that included a fumble.
DLF preseason super sleeper Denarius Moore is turning up in start/sit questions and is now likely rostered in most all deeper dynasty leagues. Moore has emerged as a play maker for the Raiders and seems to have that “it” factor.
If you are an owner of Arian Foster, I think you have to sit him and Ben Tate one more week. If you’re a gambler, it seems that Foster will be starting this week but I fully expect coach Kubiak to play it safe with Foster at least one more week. More importantly is what the split will be going forward as Tate has shown himself capable. Remember Kubiak’s days in Denver aside Mike Shanahan and their constant rotation of running backs.
Dwayne Bowe put in a spirited performance this past Sunday leaving hope that perhaps he could remain viable going forward. I continue to believe that he’s no better than a lower end WR2 for the remainder of the year due to injuries and quarterback play, but you at least know he will be the focal point.
Curtis Painter is likely starting for the Colts. If you watched any of Painter’s games in the preseason, you need only know one thing – Painter stares down Reggie Wayne on nearly every passing snap. Look for Wayne to have targets in the middle teens potentially double digit receptions.
Matt Ryan vs. Seahawks or Joe Flacco vs. Jets. Ryan, Flacco, Ryan, Flacco …… Ryan. Ryan’s performance thus far has been disappointing and mysterious but he can see what is just underneath the surface. I professed that I thought Ryan was due to be considered a top five fantasy quarterback in 2012. Obviously not. Although, Seattle is a great place to make a bid for that if he was so inclined. Ryan it is for me this week.
Look for Steven Jackson to go this week. I’m not 100% confident but enough so to keep him in my starting lineup until I hear otherwise.
If I can take a tangent here just for a second and vent about something? The use of the phrase “You know …” in interviews, by radio hosts and in every day conversation has become maddening to me. There is one particular show that I simply cannot listen to because of the use of “You know…”. Occasional use, okay … two to five times in ever sentence, maddening. I realize this is MY issue and need to get over it.
I’d like to hear from all of you regarding your like or dislike of non-PPR leagues. Over the past few years I have found myself really liking leagues that allow you to use multiple strategies towards developing a championship team. One thing that is certain is that non-PPR leagues just do not provide wide receivers a level of impact that can be counted on. When a good game consists of five receptions for a receiver, not receiving points for each reception puts them at a significant disadvantage in the area of scoring potential, at least when compared to the running back and quarterback positions. For myself, I have no interest in joining new non-PPR formats. You?
Can you believe it’s week 4 already?
Not going to recap an ugly week, at least as far as I’m concerned. Nope, we’re keeping our eyes focused on the horizon here and trying to breathe some life into those of you that have a dismal start to the new year. It’s a long season, keep fighting.
Chris Johnson says he’s finally feeling like he’s back in shape. Oh, good to know. Now if there ever is a hole to run through in that offensive line, maybe he’ll be able to get through it. The going isn’t going to be any easier with Kenny Britt out for the year. Britt is a great buy low candidate for those of you wanting to take a little risk. He’s still only 23 and he should be back and ready to go by training camp.
I don’t normally share my teams in most cases but I’m going to make an exception and share one of them to make a point for those of you starting 0-3:
QB: Matt Ryan/Joe Flacco
RB: Chris Johnson
WR: Larry Fitzgerald
WR: Andre Johnson
FX: DeAngelo Williams/James Starks
FX: Kenny Britt/Dwayne Bowe/A.J Green
TE: Jermichael Finley/Dallas Clark
The wrong QB choice cost me one game and could have contributed to a W for one other if I had started Britt. Of course, I didn’t start Britt until he had produced two weeks in a row and played himself into my lineup in week three. Nice timing there Jeff.
Point is, two years ago this team scores a record number of points in our long running league and last year and thus far in 2011, it’s been a dog. Two years running this team was voted to be one of the strongest in the league and has under-performed. A team can look great, but simply not produce. But that doesn’t mean that you need to look for a tall building, you must stick with it. Every week is a chance to start a run. I’ll look for a building if I’m 0-6.
Antonio Gates owners should be getting worried about now, it looks as if age and too many years of being a stalwart have caught up with him. He appears to be out again in week four.
In Green Bay, James Starks laid an egg and Ryan Grant made his case to be the starter in week 4, at least until Grant was sidelined with a bruised kidney. Look for Grant to sit in week four and for Starks to smell opportunity at home against Denver. He’ll be in my lineup in all leagues and he should be in yours again this week. Hold your breath.
When was the last time Dallas Clark was outside the top 20 in his position? It’s not business as usual in Indi, but I still expected more … especially from Kerry Collins who played in a tight end friendly system in Tennessee. Kudos to the Colts for playing a spirited game t home against a much better Pittsburgh team.
Ryan Mathews is finally playing as expected, running hard and showing good patience and burst through the hole when it does appear. Being trusted more in the passing game, Mathews is emerging as an every-week starter. Week 4 at home vs. Miami should provide another good opportunity to build confidence. Again, hold your breath.
Is Torrey Smith going to be the best sell high candidate or the biggest mistake to those who do? You tell me!
More and more teams are playing games with their injury reports and getting their players involved in their intricate web of deceit. No better proof of that than in Arizona this past week and the status of Beanie Wells. But I said we weren’t looking into the past.
I don’t think you can play any Carolina running backs in week four. I don’t like the match-up with Chicago and I like even less the mystery that is the Panther’s backfield.
Yes, Ryan Fitzpatrick and that amazing Buffalo offense is for real and has fantasy starters at all positions. How long has it been since we could say that? Their game vs. the Bengals is going to be a good one. I like A.J. Green this and I smell an upset. On a positive note for the Bengals and Cedric Benson owners, it appears as though Benson is going to play at least one more week.
Speaking of Buffalo, let me also mention Detroit. Both 3-0 to start the season? Really? When was the last time that happened?
Chris Johnson owners have to believe that this will be the week that CJ gets it going. The Browns aren’t great against the run but can Tennessee generate enough passing offense to remove the extra man in the box to free up Johnson. One of these teams is going to be 3-1. My money is on Tennessee. Hillis will be back in the lineup for Cleveland.
The Rams seriously need to get Bradford more receiver help. It’s going to be a long season for one of the best young quarterbacks in the league today.
Jermichael Finley must be in your lineup every week. I just don’t see how defenses are going to be able to stop him consistently. He’s an immediate mismatch for every linebacker in the league and any safety help over the top is going to free up Jennings deep or Jordy Nelson underneath on a cross, Rodgers will continue to chew up yards. If Starks actually can garner carries this week, this could be his signature game.
I’ll be sitting Joe Flacco this week vs. the Jets (in favor of Matt Ryan) but I don’t think he makes for a bad play. The Ravens are playing well and I expect that the Ravens will use a lot of Ray Rice singled up out of the backfield to soften up the defense before going over the top. I think Rice will get 8+ receptions this week.
The Colts play the Bucs on Monday night. Second week in prime time for the Colts after playing Pittsburgh on Sunday night in week three. The schedule makers may have been banking on Peyton Manning being under center. Just a guess.
Darren McFadden continues to reward his owners week over week. How many of you bought low or sold low on DMc early last year?
Finally, hats off to Wes Welker for yet another phenomenal performance. In all likelihood, if you own Wes Welker, you got a “W” in week three. As expected and suggested here at DLF, Welker will compete to be the top scoring WR in PPR formats and potentially even non-PPR formats.
DMc and Welker both could have been had in the middle rounds of new dynasty drafts for those willing to take a bit of risk for a greater gain later. In our DLF Experts league, the DLF team is riding high with a 3-0 record with both Welker and DMc solidifying an already solid young group of starters.
Tell us about your season thus far, dreams of the championship game or tales of woe.