FIRST DOWN – SIT THESE STUDS
I know the saying ASYS, but this week I’m tossing out STS. It won’t be easy to Sit These Studs, but you should.
Marshawn Lynch @ Kansas City
Benching Lynch, who ranks 5th among RBs in fantasy points scored won’t be an easy thing to do. Especially with him coming off a four TD game where he scored 41.30 fantasy points. What you need to realize is that this game is in Kansas City and the Chiefs rank 28th in points allowed to RBs. Also, let’s not forget that from weeks 6-8, Lynch failed to crack double digits. In week 6 he faced a Cowboys team that in their three prior games were giving up the 10th most PPGs to RBs. His week 7 matchup against the Rams wasn’t a good matchup (Rams ranked 27th in PPG allowed to RBs). In week 8 he should have bounced back in a big way since he was facing a Panthers team that at the time ranked 2nd in PPG allowed to RBs. Lynch has also carried the ball 20+ times in his past two games. In 2012 he started the season by toting the rock 20+ times in five straight games. Since then the most he’s carried the ball 20+ times in a row is two games. He’s done that four times (counting the past two games). In two of those three previous times (both on the road) he failed to score, didn’t hit 20 carries in either game, and maxed out at 46 yards rushing. All told in those two away games his line was 27-69-0. In his third game he was at home and he was held to 17 carries for 54 yards but scoring 2 TDs did salvage his fantasy day. I know you won’t want to sit Lynch but do realize that if he hits 20 carries this week it will be the first time he’s done that for three consecutive games since early in 2012. It’s never easy to sit a stud, especially at the RB position, but this week it’d be the prudent thing to do.
Julius Thomas @ St. Louis
Thomas, like Lynch, is one of the top players at his position. He ranks 3rd in fantasy points scored among TEs and only Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski have scored more points than he has. Thomas is on pace for 68-752-21. Why in the world would you want to bench a guy like that? Because poor games happen, that’s why. This week the Broncos will be on the road in St. Louis and the Rams have played well against TEs this year, ranking 24th in PPG allowed to the position. So far only two TEs have notched a TD against the Rams and only one TE has logged more than 50 yards receiving against them. Kyle Rudolph (1-16-1) in week 1 and Cooper Helfet (3-61-1) in week 7, are the TEs to score TDs against the Rams. Helfet is the TE to log more than 50 yards receiving and also the only one to score in double digits against the Rams. Lastly, no TE has logged more than four receptions against the Rams either. Now add in that Thomas has had more than four catches just three times this year and you’ll see that he’s going to need to hit pay dirt to put up strong fantasy numbers for his owners. With Peyton Manning throwing him the ball he’s always going to have a shot at multiple TDs, no matter the opponent, but this week, against the Rams, I’m willing to bet against that happening.
SECOND DOWN – Garbage Time, Is Good Time
I’ve referred to Mike Glennon in this column as Garbage Time Glennon and while waiting for a player to score his points in the fourth quarter can be a bit nerve wrecking, at the end of the day as long as points get scored that’s all that matters. I think it’s probably safe to say that when you think of garbage time it’s probably easier to put your finger on a QB than it is other positional players. Cecil Shorts was a garbage time king last year. This year it looks like a rookie WR is going to dethrone him. Kelvin Benjamin has scored 7 TDs this year. That’s the most by a rookie thru 10 weeks since Marques Colston had 7 thru 10 weeks in 2006. Of Benjamin’s seven TDs, only two have come when tied or leading. The five he’s scored while trailing were when teams had leads of 7, 24, 31, 35 and 38 points. Five of his seven TDs have also come in the fourth quarter.
Here’s a list of non-QB that are tops in fourth quarter TDs this year:
|4th Quarter TD Leaders|
And here’s the list for QBs that are tops in fourth quarter TDs this year:
|4th Quarter Passing TD Leaders|
NOTE: Peyton Manning has just one fourth quarter passing TD this year.
THIRD DOWN – Steve’s Seven Sleepers
The Ravens, Cowboys, Jaguars and Jets 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 11||Week 10|
|QB||Brian Hoyer||QB||Zach Mettenberger||11.16|
|RB||Ryan Mathews||RB||Charles Sims||6.00|
|WR||Miles Austin||WR||Justin Hunter||2.70|
|TE||Kyle Rudolph||TE||Scott Chandler||4.70|
|DL||George Johnson||DL||Akiem Hicks||1.00|
|LB||Ryan Kerrigan||LB||Telvin Smith||6.00|
|DB||Andre Hal||DB||Will Hill||5.00|
What a pitiful week I had with my sleepers last week. All I can say is that it’s one week and I’ll put it behind me and move on to this week. After Zach Mettenberger’s start in the first quarter I thought things were looking good but it was all down hill from there. At one point the Titans went three and out on four straight possessions to start the second half. Yeah, that’s ugly. Unfortunately, when Mettenberger crashed and burned so did Justin Hunter. At QB this week I’m going with Brian Hoyer and I’m going to stack QB/WR by going with Miles Austin at WR this week. Charles Sims 6 points was better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick but still it wasn’t all that satisfying. What’s frustrating is that Mike James got two goal line carries and didn’t score on either. It sure would have been nice to have seen Sims get those carries and had he converted I’d be here saying his 12 points was a solid effort. As they say, it’s a game of inches. I’m still smitten with Sims and think he has a great matchup against Washington but rather than roll with him again I’m going with a player coming off injury. I don’t normally like to plug guys in off injury in the lineup but I think that Ryan Mathews has a nice matchup and I’ll roll the dice with him. At TE I’m tabbing another guy coming off of injury. Actually I should say a guy expected to come back from injury…in any event, Kyle Rudolph has a juicy matchup against a Bears team that ranks 1st in points allowed to TEs this year. If Rudolph suffers a setback and can’t go I’ll go for a much deeper play and sub in Lance Kendricks.
The defensive side of the ball was even worse than the offensive side last week. This week I’m looking to George Johnson to make me proud. At LB I could say I’m going with Chris Borland – he ranks 37th — but that wouldn’t really be fair because I’m sure he’s already been nabbed off of waiver wires. If by chance he hasn’t, go get him because Patrick Willis has been put on season ending IR. My sleeper this week is Ryan Kerrigan. As you should know, relying on a pass rushing OLB in a tackle neutral/heavy format is a risky proposition. At DB, Will Hill didn’t deliver but then again he only faced 38 tackle opportunities. Hill is someone I still like a ton going forward. Since he’s on a bye I’m tabbing Andre Hal who will be playing in place of the injured Kareem Jackson. If you don’t want to rely on a CB then give George Iloka a look because he has a very strong matchup this week.
FOURTH DOWN – TRENCH WARFARE
With Drew Stanton back under center I think it’s safe to say that the Lions would rather have Stanton try to beat them rather than let Andre Ellington be that guy. Stacked boxes from an already stout rush defense should worry Ellington owners this week.
Cardinals Rushing Offense
Lions Rushing Defense