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Filling in for my podcast cohost, Mr. Behar, as he takes a much needed end of summer vacation – Tim.
We’re with you every Sunday to provide the Sunday Six Pack, an article featuring six of the biggest storylines heading into each and every week of the season. Keeping tabs on these events will keep you prepared and informed throughout the season – just don’t drive within six hours of reading this.
Can #1) Sunday Sammy vs. San Diego?
At DLF we may pride ourselves on taking a long term view, but we too seek advice from our friends at www.4for4.com to know what to do with our start/sit decisions. The most accurate guys in the business have Sammy Watkins ranked as a sure fire starter in all fantasy formats.
It feels like Sammy has been a part of fantasy football for a very long time – even the casual dynasty player has been talking about him for over a year. In reality he has only two NFL games under his belt. Should we play him this week?
The numbers say yes. He’s getting the targets, he making the most out of them and he’s clearly the best wide out on the team. Couple that with a decent match-up vs. San Diego and Sammy rates as a high end WR3 option this week.
Can #2) Hurry, Hurry start DeMarco Murray!!
Murray is on a roll coming off a gashing of the Titans in Nashville where he racked up over 170 totals yards and a TD. The risk of course with Murray is that he will put the football on the ground – a new problem for the journeyman back. Not to worry however as the Dallas staff won’t abandon their stud easily.
The Rams defense is atrocious against the run letting up nearly 350 yards so far this year with an average yards per attempt of 5.0. Murray should have a field day.
The combination of Murray’s skill, the match-up and the absence of several top studs makes him arguably the top start of the day. By any metric he has been a fantasy value given his redraft ADP and his typical price in dynasty trades.[inlinead]?
Can #3) Immovable Object vs. the Irresistible Force
What are you going to do with your Denver Broncos this week? Manning and company are heading to the hardest place to play football in the NFL. What should you do with each of the key skill position players:
Peyton – Bench him if you can. It’s not all together impossible that a dynasty team would have both Peyton and a player like Foles or Wilson. I’d take my chances with either of them if the option presented itself. Peyton will be fine, but other options could yield superior results.
Ball – Same thing. He’s riding the pine if possible (especially in PPR leagues). Injuries have promoted any number of backs ahead of him for week three – P.Thomas, K. Davis and B. Rainey to name a few. Avoid the Seattle run defense.
The Wide Outs – While it’s a subpar week for Thomas and Sanders, you’re probably starting them. They are just too good to end up on your bench. Same is true for Orange Julius.
Net/net: I’m banking on the Seattle defense to give the Broncos fits. As well, the rash of RB injuries leaves us with options all around the league – use one of them.
Can #4) All the yards and half the calories.
Giovani Bernard continues to delight fantasy owners by putting up numbers in spite the emergence of rookie RB Jeremy Hill. Don’t anticipate that the workload Bernard got vs. the Falcons will ever be replicated. The Bengals will look to get Bernard plus or minus 20 touches per game and ideally about a third of those will be receptions.
As mentioned, the Titans were manhandled by Dallas and there’s no reason to think this will change. AJ Greenshould play and, assuming he does, will stretch the Titans defense and leave Bernard and Hill to feast. It’s probably just about a coin flip on whether or not Bernard will outscore Demarco Murray this week.
Side note: Jeremy Hill isn’t a bad start either if you are stuck thanks to the likes of Peterson, Charles or Ingram.
Can #5) Sometimes nothing beats an old school Pats-BlueRibbon.
Despite a shaky Tom Brady, Julian Edelman has emerged as a go-to fantasy option. Edelman has a prime-cut match up vs. Oakland at home. Must start in all formats.
It’s not a stretch to say that Edelman is the Patriots receiving game. He leads the team in all major stats except targets and is far and away the leader in yards.
An argument can be made that Edelman is a solid buy right now. Edelman’s August ADP for dynasty start-ups was as WR#40 and player number 83. While you’re likely to pay a premium on that, why not test the market? Edelman is only 28 years old, is under a long term contract and doesn’t have anyone meaningful nipping at his heals. If you can get him, he’s a plug and play option for the next couple of years.
Can #6) Don’t panic. Just open another cold beverage and chill out.
This is the time when fantasy owners start to panic. Off to an 0-2 start, we nervously watch the week three stats and hope that the unthinkable third loss isn’t coming.
It’s perfectly fine to assess your team at this juncture of the season. In fact, I’d encourage you to do it. Just use appropriate metrics:
- Ignore win/loss. There’s too much schedule impact in that stat and especially with such a small sample size of games played.
- Look at the average points scored against you vs. the average for the league. This stat will give you an indication as to whether your team stinks or you’ve been unlucky. Example: I’ve been very unlucky in my main salary cap league. The top teams (myself included) are averaging about 106 ppg however my opponents have averaged 135 ppg. Of course I’m 0-2. But my team isn’t weak – no need to make a panic trade or do anything stupid. Just stay the course and the numbers will swing back my way. (I hope.)
- Assess your upcoming opponents. I have a few games coming against the weakest teams in the league. That gives me a degree of confidence about my shaky start. Not much I can do with this, but it makes me less nervous and more likely to do the smart thing and hold tight.
If you just have to do something, make it a line-up decision. Some of us just can’t help ourselves and we must do something to break the cycle of loses. Okay, but don’t screw your team up long term. If you have to do something just to feel good, bench a guy you normally would start and play someone else. At least this way you can revert back without any issues in week four.
Editor’s Note: Tim Stafford can be found @dynastytim on twitter and in the forums as dlf_tims.