GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE
Might as well lead with the Hollywood breakup level divorces of two guys who were off the board in just about every draft before the first round was half over…
LeSean McCoy, Eagles
McCoy’s 192 rushing yards through four games rank him behind, amongst others, Knile Davis, Chris Ivory, Justin Forsett, Khiry Robinson, Terrance West, Trent Richardson, Steven Jackson and Bobby Rainey. Worse, 149 players average more yards per carry than McCoy’s 2.7. Still, he’s LeSean McCoy and you have to believe that eventually the Eagles’ offensive line will get healthy and figure things out and McCoy will be back to his old self… just in time to face two of the five toughest run defenses in the league during the fantasy playoffs.
If you’re 1-3 or 0-4 thanks to McCoy’s struggles, or if you think you can still trade on his name value to bolster your roster, this may be the time to divest. Your trading partner will think they’re buying low; you’ll be getting out before things go from bad to worse.
Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs
Charles returned from his high ankle sprain to drop three TDs on the Patriots on Monday night—and it’s very possible the uncertainty of his injury and availability forced you to leave those three TDs on the bench. Also, you may have noticed Charles grab his hamstring after his third TD. He returned to action for at least a few snaps in the fourth quarter, but it was a scary moment for Charles owners who just got their stud back back.
You could grapple with the ankle and hammy and whatever else Charles will pick up carrying the Chiefs’ offense… or you could sell high on the heels of his hat trick, knowing that no back will face a tougher schedule the rest of the way. If you’re thinking of moving Charles—like McCoy, you’re not giving him away; you need plenty in return—you’ll want to move now as his next two months include a bye and four games against elite run-stopping defenses like the Niners, Jets, and Seahawks.
ONE NIGHT STANDS
Louis Murphy, WR, Buccaneers
Mike Evans will miss the next two to four weeks with a groin injury, and the initial reaction is to be excited for Vincent Jackson’s prospects for the next month. You can also be excited about Murphy’s prospects for the next week or two, especially Week 5 against a Saints defense that’s allowed 10 different receivers to score and/or top 60 yards already this season—at least two a game. If your lineup will be missing Evans, or you have another short-term need at wide receiver, Murphy might be your elixir.
Darin Reaves, RB, Panthers
It’s not always pretty at closing time, and here’s your fantasy football equivalent. With DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert all injured it will be Reaves getting the touches against Chicago this week. The good news is that Carolina coach Ron Rivera said Reaves had only one mental error in the 43 snaps he played last week against the Ravens. The bad news is that Reaves gained just 26 yards on 12 carries while adding another 11 on three receptions. The Bears aren’t a cupcake matchup, but they are giving up 4.4 yards per carry—almost a full yard more than Baltimore—so there’s at least an opportunity for the undrafted rookie free agent to have success here.
Kenny Stills, WR, Saints
After being embarrassed in Dallas in prime time, the Saints return to the friendly confines of the Superdome to face a Bucs defense that’s allowed more fantasy points to wide receivers than any other. Stills remains behind Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks in the passing game pecking order, but he’s still seen a dozen targets over the past three games—turning them into nine catches and 125 yards. The past two games have seen Tampa Bay yield multiple fantasy helpers to opposing wideouts, and with Stills being a popular Drew Brees deep threat it won’t necesarily take a ton of targets for him to help you this week.
CATCH ‘EM ON THE REBOUND
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Vikings
After seeing Patterson rush for 102 yards in the season opener it appeared Norv Turner’s plan to get him the ball was in play. However, with Adrian Peterson out of the lineup Peterson hasn’t taken the leap forward in touches many expected; he’s had just one carry in three games while seeing a total of 16 targets. Simply put, that needs to change because this offense won’t get three touchdowns from Matt Asiata and 100-plus rushing yards from Jerick McKinnon on a weekly basis. Patterson has flashed improvement as a receiver, and with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback the time has come for Norv to unleash the same approach that made Josh Gordon the NFL’s leading receiver last year. Patterson’s low-end production drops his price tag dramatically; bet on the upside happening sooner rather than later.
REKINDLE AN OLD FLAME
Marvin Jones, WR, Bengals
It’s easy to forget about Jones, who has yet to play this season after breaking his foot during the preseason. But he was a top-24 fantasy WR in 2013 as AJ Green’s wingman, and he’s on pace to return to the lineup in Week 5 after practicing twice with the team during Cincy’s bye week. As a red zone favorite (10 TDs) he can help with the team’s issues in that area, and even if he doesn’t fully reclaim his WR2 job from Mohamed Sanu he should still approximate the five targets per game that made him a fantasy success last season. One more weapon for the undefeated Bengals makes them that much more difficult to defend, and you can bet Jones isn’t at the top of the list opposing defensive coordinators create when talking about stopping Cincy. That means opportunity, and if you beat your league to the punch you can take advantage.