FIRST DOWN – QUARTERBACK TRICK OR TREAT
It’s October 31st so I figured why not go the Halloween theme route this week. First up on first down is Trick or Treat. Here we’ll tackle a couple of QBs in an effort to help you figure out if they’re worth investing in for the rest of the season.
Trick: Carson Palmer
Palmer has played in four games this year and he’s averaging 20.01 PPG. Peyton Manning is averaging 24.937 PPG. So why do I have Palmer as a trick? Honestly I do think that he has value as a stream option at QB but my issue is if you want to ride him the rest of the way. Taking a look at his schedule he has the following matchups to close out the season; @DAL, STL, DET, @SEA, @ATL, KC, @STL & SEA. Dallas and Atlanta have given up the most 20+ point games to QBs of that bunch with 3 each. The Rams and KC have done that twice but week 2 was the last time the Chiefs have given up 20+ and since the most points scored against them was 16.20 by Philip Rivers. Seattle has also given up 2 but none since week 2 and every week since week 3 they’ve given up fewer and fewer points to QBs. The Lions have given up one such 20+ point game to a QB. Like I said, I think you can pick your spots with Palmer, but no way you should ride him to the end.
Treat: Kyle Orton
Orton isn’t going to throw 4 TD passes every week like he did last week. However, he should be in games more often than not that will yield plenty of garbage time points. After his bye this week he faces KC, @MIA, NYJ, CLE, @DEN, GB & @OAK. Denver and Green Bay are playoff weeks for fantasy owners and Orton could easily be looking at 2 plus quarters per game of garbage time. As shown above in Palmer’s write-up, KC isn’t the best of matchups an neither are the Dolphins (2, 20+) but the Jets (6) are a fantastic matchup. The Raiders aren’t as great a matchup as you’d think but Orton can still put up solid numbers against that team in week 16. The Browns are a team that actually haven’t given up a single 20 point game to a QB this year. So, if Orton’s matchups are so similar to Palmer’s you are probably wondering why Palmer’s the trick and Orton’s the treat. It all comes down to perspective. People are bound to think that Palmer can be a plug and play QB, but not Orton, no one would trust him in that role…and they shouldn’t. But as a streaming option in the right matchups, that’s what makes him a treat!
Since you were a good little trick or treat’r here are some tricks and treats at RB and WR.
Trick: Marshawn Lynch
Lynch has a very tough schedule from weeks 11-16 where five of his six matchups are against teams that rank 27th or worst in PPG allowed to RBs.
Treat: Ronnie Hillman
Hillman has simply looked fantastic and I’ll say that I was wrong about him. I’ll be shocked to see Monte Ball get anything more than a complimentary type role going forward. With Ball, Hillman could turn back into a pumpkin but I’d be willing to bet on the glass slipper fitting and not coming off.
Trick: Donte Moncrief
Moncrief’s 7-113-1, 12 target game probably has many salivating and expecting more. In dynasty leagues, that’s a valid way to feel but in re-draft leagues, not so much. Reggie Wayne is said to be day-to-day and when he’s ready to go he’ll be back on the field. If anything, it’s Wayne that’s the treat. Of course the trick could also be on Hakeem Nicks if Moncrief overtakes him for the Colts #3.
Treat: Allen Robinson
Robinson plays on a horrible Jaguars team but being horrible means that there will be plenty of passes thrown. Robinson has done well to garner 63 targets so far this year. That’s a pace of 126 targets and that includes a season low of 3 targets in week one. Over his past four games he’s on pace for 148 targets. He clearly has much more value in a PPR league. How much value? How about high-end WR2 type value! His pace over his last four games has him at 88-1045-8 which would be good for 240.4 fantasy points. Last year, those points would have ranked him 13th among WRs in fantasy scoring. That’s one heck of a treat!
SECOND DOWN – EAT A SNICKERS!
I’m sure we’ve all seen the “Eat a Snickers” commercials, but if you haven’t go ahead and click the link, watch it and then get back to this. If you’ve seen them, let’s go. Now instead of Betty White playing “Mike,” imagine that she’s playing Brandon Marshall. Marshall clearly isn’t playing like Brandon Marshall can or has in the past. Season to date he has 34 receptions for 384 yards and 5 TDs. Extrapolated out he’s on pace for a 76-768-10 line. Reception and yardage wise they’d be his lowest totals since his rookie year. I am a Marshall owner, and yes, I’d like to have him “Eat a Snickers!” I know that most have lost hope and are ready to drop and/or bench the “former” stud WR. Don’t do that! He has a bye this week so I’m sending him a case of Snickers in hope that he’ll eat them and start turning the 9.7 targets/game he’s averaging over the past three games into fantasy points. We hate it when our star players don’t play due to injury but then when they do, we hate that they don’t perform. I truly think that Marshall’s ankle injury has been a large reason for his struggles this year. I also think the bye week will be a blessing in disguise for him. I’d also like to point out that over his last three games he’s on pace for 80-1045-0. Last year, only 19 WRs had 80 or more catches and only 21 had 1045+ receiving yards. What I’m saying is that Marshall’s floor is still acceptable due to the upside he presents. Don’t get caught with him having a big game on your bench. Oh, and if you’ve been whining about Marshall’s or Calvin Johnson’s or AJ Green’s lack of production, Eat a Snickers because you sound like Betty White!
THIRD DOWN – Steve’s Seven Sleepers
The Falcons, Bills, Bears, Lions Packers and Titans are all on a bye this week. Check out my seven sleepers that I think can help you cover a bye week issue. To qualify the player can’t rank in the top-36** at their respective position based on the season long rankings in the Huddle IDP Expert League. I thought it’d be nice to show how my sleepers did the previous week so you’ll also find last week’s sleepers with the amount of points that they scored. I also want to add that I’m trying to target players that should be available on waivers.
*Top-12 for QB & TE. **Top-15 for QB & TE.
|Week 9||Week 8|
|QB||Brian Hoyer||QB||Andy Dalton||24.04|
|RB||Charles Sims*||RB||Bryce Brown||1.50|
|WR||Jordan Matthews||WR||Jermaine Kearse||3.50|
|TE||Clay Harbor||TE||Jermaine Gresham||7.40|
|DL||Dontari Poe||DL||Michael Johnson||4.00|
|LB||James Thomas||LB||James Thomas||13.00|
|DB||Major Wright||DB||Alterraun Verner||17.00|
Another hit at QB last week with Andy Dalton scoring 24.04 fantasy points. If you get anything from this sleeper section this year it should be that the #ZeroQBTheorem is real. This week I like Brian Hoyer, Teddy Bridgewater and Andy Dalton, but I’m going with Hoyer. Most are probably gun-shy due to his recent less than stellar play but he’s at home this week and I see him putting up his second multi-TD passing game of the season.
I’m going to take my Bryce Brown love to the grave (it’s Halloween after all). Brown clearly didn’t perform well this week and was out-carried by Anthony Dixon. However, for what it’s worth, Brown was the starting RB. Hindsight is pretty valuable and I should have realized that a lack of practice could very well limit Brown early. I still think he’s the one to own on the Bills and coming out of the bye next week don’t be shocked to see him plugged in as my sleeper RB again. But for this week, I’m rolling with Charles Sims*. The asterisk is that if he isn’t active and can’t play I’m subbing in his teammate, Mike James as my sleeper. I also like Jeremy Hill this week but I think it’s doubtful he’s on your waiver wire. Jonas Gray is another RB I like, but I think that game flow dictates that the Patriots have to air it out and that makes him to risky to rely on as a sleeper for me.
I got another swing and a miss with Jermaine Kearse…I’m not going back to that well but you just know that means he puts up 20+ points this week. Instead I’m going with Jordan Matthews. Matthews is facing a Texans team that ranks 6th in PPG allowed to WRs. Add in that Matthews has been targeted an average of 8 times per game over the Eagles past five games and I see little risk in running with him this week.
At TE, Jermaine Gresham had a respectable 7.40 points. This week I’ll roll the dice with Clay Harbor who faces a Bengals team that’s given up double digits to an opposing TE six times this year.
Michael Johnson had a great matchup but continually got run right by the QB, taking him out of many a play. I like Dontari Poe’s matchup this week and think he offers plenty of upside but relying on him is a risky proposition.
Filling in for the injured Paul Posluszny, James Thomas had a respectable 13 fantasy points. He didn’t quite live up to my expectations but his upside was limited by seeing so few tackle opportunities against the Dolphins. He did play 100% of the Jaguars defense snaps, so that’s a plus. You know what else, I’m going back to him this week and so should you.
Alterraun Verner has been pretty solid this year but in week 8 he had his best fantasy performance of the season. This week I’m staying in Tampa and going with Major Wright, who because of the trade of Mark Barron, is in line for an increased roll and that should generate decent fantasy production.
FOURTH DOWN – TRENCH WARFARE
What happens when you pit strength against strength? We’ll find out some Sunday after the Cowboys and Cardinals face off. Until that happens here’s a look at the Cowboys run offense and the Cardinals run defense. The Cardinals look like they have a crack in their armor on runs over left tackle but will the Cowboys be smart enough to try and exploit that weakness, that’s the question.