The 3M Report: Week Six

Jeff Haverlack


I hope you enjoy this week’s 3M report.  Regular starter, Leo Paciga, is out with concussion related symptoms so I’ve come off the bench to fill in.  Little doubt that Leo will be back next week.  Let’s take a look at all the Mayhem, Magic and Mishaps from NFL week six.

The Jaguars’ season is over, as if it wasn’t before they took the field in week one.  But without high expectations heading into 2014, the big question remained just how committed Jacksonville’s ownership was to the idea of sitting Blake Bortles for the entire 2014 season.  With the season a washout and injury to veteran starter, Chad Henne, Bortles continues to start – and look more than serviceable.  Bortles is a statue in the pocket, in all the right ways.  He’s strong with a firm foundation until need exists for his better-than-advertised escapability. He completed nearly 70% of his throws on Sunday with anything but a star-studded cast around him.  Things are looking up J-ville, you’ve got your face of the franchise for a long time.  He’s going to be a good one.

I don’t necessarily understand or agree with the Ttians’ choice of trotting Charlie Whitehurst out while Jake Locker remains injured.  It’s no secret what Whitehurst is a career back-up.  Heading into week six, the Titans were 1-4 and with more holes than Kristen Stewart’s acting career.  The prototypically sized Zach Mettenberger is young, a sixth round rookie selection and in no way ready for NFL work – unless he is of course.  With the Jaguars coming to town, it seemed like this week could have been a great time to see what he could do as the starter.  I know, I know, it really doesn’t make any sense to make that decision, but would anyone have really been that opposed should that have been the case?  In that thought, there’s some justification for rolling the dice.

There seemed to be a lot of hype during Sunday’s performance of Titans’ back, Bishop Sankey.  Outside of two touches, the kid looks very undersized and headed for nothing more than the dreaded change-of-pace role.  There’s something I like about him, but he runs much smaller than his listed 209 pounds.

The Buccaneers are terrible.  When I look at their offense, I can’t lie, I find them intriguing.  I’ve always been a fan of Mike Glennon and acquired him in as many leagues as I could when he lost the starter’s role.  He’s a big quarterback, stands tall in the pocket, has a rocket arm and should be successful.  But how bad is a team’s defense that allows 38 unanswered points in the first half alone … and to Joe Flacco!  Doug Martin is a pedestrian runner who runs as if he’s afraid he’s going to get hit.  I wasn’t a fan of Martin’s game for the NFL and Bobby Rainey should be the starting back for this team.  But above all else, the Bucs have got to add defensive talent.  The ultra-talented and young Lavonte David can’t do it all and the team badly needs secondary help.  Let’s see if Lovie Smith spends a single pick in the 2015 draft on an offensive player?  He shouldn’t.

This year’s comeback play of the year can be handed out now.  It’s Steve Smith Sr.  The league obviously needs to institute new testing rules as it’s obvious that Smith is on some amount of ‘juice’ every Sunday.  Or it could be that he truly is just that good.  Having watched Smith play for many years, I was shocked to see how quickly he faded in his last year in Carolina.  Even in his thirties, he still appeared to possess that ‘it’ factor.  It turns out that the Panthers moved on from Smith not because of talent but due, instead, to locker room issues as they began a process of rebuilding.  I can’t fault them for this and Smith’s play this year has most certainly been magical.

[inlinead]Without a doubt, the mishap of week six was Peyton Manning’s pathetic numbers against the Jets of New York.  237 yards and three touchdowns?!!?  He can be dropped in all leagues.

In Atlanta, Antone Smith continues to be a mystery.  I have finally begun getting start-sit questions involving Smith this week and I begrudgingly gave the green light to start him in some situations.  Who is this guy?  Seriously, the 29 year old has come from nowhere and continues to be fantasy relevant almost every week.  If I had him on my roster, there’s no way I could start him because the week that I did would be the week he falls back into anonymity.  He did it again in week six.

I’ve never seen a player more up and down than Kirk Cousins.  Okay, that may be an exaggeration but it’s how I feel as I write this.  He looks extremely special one quarter and like Jimmy Clausen in the next.  I can’t figure him out.  He throws some of the nicest passes you’ll see on one drive and will follow it up with one of the worst interceptions you’ll witness on the next.  Contested interceptions when a quarterback is trying to make something happen is one thing, but 20 yard turnovers with no receiver within ten yards is hard to accept.  I really feel for fans of the Skins and I imagine each possessing a face of pure confusion, much like that of Eli Manning after another interception.

No doubt you’ll recall one of the biggest stories leading prior to kick-off of the 2014 season – that of the state of the Dallas Cowboys’ defense and how it may very well end up being the worst on record.  Most seem to have bought into the line of thinking … except for the Cowboys.  Not only are the Boys 5-1  but they are flying home on Sunday fresh off a huge win against Seattle.  The Legion of Boom couldn’t match the Cowboys’ offensive output and their defense was porous.  I should point out that defensively the Cowboys are anything but a juggernaut, floating just below middle-of-the-pack in most categories.  Good thing they don’t pay attention to others’ expectations of their performance.

I really appreciate the good guys in the NFL.  Very near the top of that list is the G-Men’s Victor Cruz.  His right knee injury, which just occurred as I write this, is certain to be a season ender.  Beyond the physical nature of the injury, whether you like the Giants or not, you shouldn’t consider yourself human if you felt anything other than significant sadness at the sight of Cruz being carted off.  It’s being reported that he tore his patellar tendon.  It’s a crushing blow for one the good guys in the game.

Branden Oliver.

I can’t get my head around the Cleveland Browns.  I don’t know how they’re doing it.  They’re near the bottom of the league in rushing and passing yardage allowed, are pedestrian in the passing game and Brian Hoyer isn’t your prototypical team-upon-his-shoulders type of quarterback.  What is known is that Isaiah Crowell looks the part of a great young runner and Ben Tate has been effective when healthy.  This speaks volumes about their offensive line.  But I still don’t get it.  When Josh Gordon returns in a few weeks, this team could be sneaky good.

Injuries continue to shape this year’s fantasy standings, regardless of the format you play in.  Calvin Johnson may miss multiple weeks, Jimmy Graham may not return until week nine, A.J. Green is down for an unknown amount of time, Victor Cruz is now done for the year and the list goes on.  Need I mention Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice? Injuries combined with overall strange scoring trends have made this one of the oddest fantasy years in recent memory for me.  I can’t recall a year where there have been so many players that have risen from obscurity to be fantasy performers.  Even in extremely deep dynasty leagues, there have been many gems found on the waiver wire.

I don’t like ties.  I’ve never liked ties.  The Bengals and Panthers played to what was the best tie game I’ve ever seen.  Cam Newton and Andy Dalton were slinging the pig all over the field, Giovani Bernard had his best game as a pro and Mohamed Sanu showed that he could step up in an offense missing both Green and Marvin Jones.  It was just a fun, fun game to watch.  In some small way, it was almost justice that it ended in a tie.  I’ll deny that if it is ever repeated.

Lastly, I don’t understand why or how Cordarrelle Patterson isn’t involved in the offense to a far greater level.  Norv Turner is far from a creative offensive mind (in my opinion) so I was intrigued to see how he would incorporate a player like Patterson into his scheme. The answer is now known:  not well.  Two receptions for 15 yards against the Lions in what was a closer game than the score would indicate is just a travesty.  The Vikings must find a way to get the ball into Patterson’s hands, it’s that simple.  To their credit, he did receive a season high eight targets but more must be done.  He’s too dynamic of a player not to touch the ball ten-plus times a game.

Follow me on Twitter:  @DLF_Jeff


jeff haverlack