As always, there’s a ton of information out there this morning. We’re not going to waste your time by repeating the news and notes about who’s in or out this week, since that’s really not what you visit us for. We’re also not going to do another article on starts or sits this week – we already have our weekly personalized lineup advice for you as part of the premium content package. Again, there are 100 places you can go for game day reports, so we’re doing something different on Sundays for our premium content subscribers. The Sunday Morning Huddle goes through each game and states what we’re looking to see from a dynasty perspective. We pick one player from each team who have our eye on and describe why their weekend performance is a key one for them in relation to their dynasty value.
San Diego at Tampa Bay
In the off-season, the Chargers gave Robert Meachem a four-year, $25.9 million contract with $14 million guaranteed. So far, that investment has resulted in 12 catches for 189 yards, two touchdowns and missed playing time with injuries through the first seven games of the year. It’s safe to say Meachem has been a total bust so far. With the Chargers attempting to get Danario Alexander involved in the offense, it’s time for Meachem to do something.
For the Bucs, who else can you focus on other than Doug Martin? In his last two games, he’s posted 386 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Throw in another seven catches, 100 yards receiving and another touchdown and you have a player who has overtaken everyone to become the RB1 in many scoring formats for the year. What can he do against the Chargers today?
Tennessee at Miami
After a lengthy absence, Jake Locker is going to be under center for the Titans, who have fallen on hard times of late. Locker hopes to spark an offense that will need to score points since their defense has been terrible for most of the season. If Locker can do something positive, it should give Titans fans (and his dynasty owners) some hope for the future.
The carry distribution between Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas should be something to watch closely today. It seems as if the Dolphins are trying to get a good look at Thomas to see just how valuable Bush may be to the team. After all, he’s a free agent at the end of the season. With this becoming more and more of an even time share, the short-term value of Bush is taking a serious hit.
Buffalo at New England
Some teams like to stand by their quarterback when times are tough and not publicly say they’re looking to draft their replacement. Other teams are the Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick is basically a lame duck at this point, so let’s see how he responds this week after the brass of the Bills have basically said he’s not the answer.
With Brandon Bolden out with injury and now suspended for a month for using PEDs, this is a great opportunity for Shane Vereen to continue to carve out a permanent role in the offense as a change of pace back behind Stevan Ridley. The Bills rushing defense hasn’t exactly been stellar, so there should be plenty of chances for Vereen and Ridley today.
Oakland at Baltimore
With Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson hobbled, there has never been a better chance for Taiwan Jones to make a name for himself if they don’t suit up, as expected. The Ravens haven’t been, well, the Ravens on defense so far this season, so this matchup isn’t as bad as it may seem on paper. While he’ll likely share touches, this should be a great audition for Jones.
The Ravens have vowed to get Jacoby Jones more involved in the offense this week. Baltimore has struggled to really find a true identity on offense and seem to get stagnant at times. Jones certainly has explosive ability, but has never been able to show that consistently. Let’s see if the Ravens hold true to their word and involve him a little more.
Denver at Carolina
If I was to tell you there was a Denver receiver on pace for 92 catches, 1,166 yards and 14 touchdowns, would you immediately think it was Demaryius Thomas? You’d be wrong – it’s Eric Decker. For all the talk about Thomas and Peyton Manning, Decker sure has had a fantastic start to the season for the Broncos as well. He’s been a very consistent player as well, with double digit fantasy points in PPR leagues in each and every game this year.
Cam Newton hasn’t been Cam Newton so far this season. It’s easy to put him in the crosshairs for two reasons. First, the pressure is mounting on him to perform better both on and off the field. The second is it’s just nauseating to talk about the Panthers and their running game any longer.
NY Giants at Cincinnati
Eli Manning has been awful in his last two games, throwing for 317 total yards and two interceptions. Owners of Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks need a healthy and rejuvenated Manning this week.
For the Bengals, AJ Green didn’t score in week one. Why is that significant, you ask? Well, it’s the last game he didn’t score in as he has now posted at least one receiving touchdown in seven straight games, begging some people to start asking if he’s not the new overall WR1 in dynasty leagues. Can he make it eight in a row?
Detroit at Minnesota
For the Lions, Calvin Johnson scored a touchdown in week three. Why is that significant, you ask? Well, it’s the last game he did score in. He’s battled nagging injuries and some poor play of Matt Stafford, but it’s begging some people to start asking if he’s not the new overall WR2 in dynasty leagues. Can he get a hot second half of the season started today?
Percy Harvin is out this week, so the pressure is squarely on Adrian Peterson today. However, we all know how good he is. The player with the most to lose this week in terms of dynasty value is Christian Ponder, who has really struggled of late. He needs to play well this week and it’s not going to be easy without Harvin.
Atlanta at New Orleans
After a white hot start to the season, Tony Gonzalez has really cooled off as he’s posted just 11 catches for 107 yards and no touchdowns over his last three games. Dynasty teams who are out of the race surely hope he posts a good game so they can move him and get some type of value before he retires off their rosters.
It’s now or never for the Saints today and they’re going to be without Darren Sproles yet again. The three headed monster at running back will be interesting to watch, but this game is all about Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham.
NY Jets at Seattle
It’s easy to pick Mark Sanchez. It’s easier to pick Shonn Greene. Let’s go with Clyde Gates who had no fewer than 11 targets in the last game for the Jets. New York is desperate for someone to step up at receiver. It’s a huge longshot to think that person could be Gates, but at least it’s a shot.
The rookie quarterback who has the most touchdown passes this year is actually Russell Wilson, who has 13 and looks like he’s improving each and every week. Let’s see what he can do at home against a pretty good pass defense.
Dallas at Philadelphia
Tony Romo, it’s time for you to step up.
Michael Vick, see the write up above you.
St. Louis at San Francisco
On paper, this looks terrible for the Rams offense. It’s just tough to imagine Sam Bradford, Steven Jackson or Daryl Richardson having much success on the road against the 49ers. Let’s go with Chris Givens, who is starting to emerge in St. Louis.
For the 49ers, let’s focus on Randy Moss this week. Is he ever going to be integrated into this offense or is he just going to be a well known decoy this year?
Sunday Night Football
Houston at Chicago
This is a huge test for Matt Schaub, Arian Foster and the rest of the Texans offense. Andre Johnson is starting to wake up from his early season slump with 17 catches on 20 targets over the past two weeks – they’re going to need that Johnson and more to make a dent in the defense of the Bears.
For the Bears, doesn’t this feel like a night where Jay Cutler could be great or terrible, with virtually no chance of anything in between?
Monday Night Football
Kansas City at Pittsburgh
ESPN must wish they could flex this game out for basically any other contest this week. The Chiefs have been just horrible this year as they haven’t led at any point in any game during regulation. Jamaal Charles is being underutilized and his dynasty owners are starting to get worried. His lack of touches and the Chiefs struggling this badly does not bode well for his short term value.
For the Steelers, let’s focus on Emmanuel Sanders who will get the start for Antonio Brown this week. Sanders has been a forgotten man in dynasty circles and this will be a great chance for him to get back on the map.
Have a great weekend of football!