Ezekiel’s Kingdom (2017 Fantasy Team)

Ezekiel's Kingdom

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The Walking Dread

20160830_164304

2016 Fantasy Football Team

Fantasy Football Week 7: Monsters & Mortals

Every week we see some guys go above the call of duty for our fantasy teams. Some guys just seem to know we need a big week and they show up in a BIG way for us. These guys are straight up MONSTERS! Then again for every player posting 35 points we have a guy we expect to kick ass and take names who lays a goose egg by all accounts. This guy is a lot of times the solo reason we drop a fantasy match up, and so they are known as MORTALS! Every week after the dust clears on Sunday night I will post my list of weekly Monsters and Mortals. A few names at each position who have either exceeded our expectations at ffchamps for the week, or who we expected a great deal from but fell flat on their face like a dad on America’s Funniest Home Videos (the good old school AFV, the ones hosted by Bob Saget) after taking a wiffle ball bat to the nuts.

So without further ado I present your week 7 Monsters and Mortals.

MONSTERS

QUARTERBACKS

  • Ryan Tannehill MIA
    • 18/19 for 282 yards, 4TDs 0INT 27 fantasy points 
    • Tannehill scored almost all his fantasy points in the first half as he guided the Dolphins to 41 points before halftime. In the last two weeks under interim head coach Dan Campbell the Dolphins have score 38 and 44 points respectively while giving up just 36 combined points in those 2 games. Over the last 2 weeks Tannehill is throwing a touchdown once every eight pass attempts and this offense is on fire; both the pass and run. Sometimes coaching changes inspire and this is looking like one of those times. If Tannehill can keep scoring and lead this Miami team to an upset win Thursday night in Foxboro, everyone will look at the Dolphins in a whole new light.
  • Kirk Cousins WSH
    • 33/40 for 317 yards, 3TDs 0INT, 15 rush yards, 1TD 1FUMB lost 28 fantasy points 
    • Cousins got his come back on this weekend as he lead the Redskins back from a 17-point halftime deficit throwing for 218 yards and all 3 of his touchdowns in the 2nd half. It was Cousins’ first game this season with multiple touchdown passes; his first multiple touchdown pass game since week 6 of 2014. There was some talk of Robert Griffin III possibly coming back and playing soon if the Redskins couldn’t turn it around. Kirk Cousins must have been listening because he not only looked good in the come back but managed to get the come back complete throwing a TD pass to Jordan Reed with under 30 seconds left in the game.
  • Tom Brady NE
    • 34/54 for 355 yards, 2TDs 0INT, 15 rush yards 1TD 29 fantasy points
    • Tom Brady has thrown for multiple scores in his first 6 games this year; his 2nd longest streak of 2 or more touchdown throws per game since he opened 2007 with 10 straight. He’s gone over 300 yards in 4 of 6 games this year with 3 of those games Brady hitting 350 yards. He has just 1 pick still and he has scored at least 22 fantasy points in every game this season. The 355 yards are a career-high against the Jets and his first 300 yard game against his hated rival since 2012.

RUNNING BACKS

  • Marshawn Lynch SEA
    • 27 carries for 122 yards, 1TD 18 fantasy points (18 PPR)
    • The Seahawks exploited the 49ers in one way Thursday night and that was with Marshawn Lynch. Lynch’s 27 carries were the most for him in the regular season since week 2 of the 2013 season when he ran 28 times. It was Lynch’s first 100-yard game of the season and his 122 yards were the 2nd most in his career against San Francisco and his best output versus the Niners in a Seattle jersey. Lynch has 100+ yards in 7 of 12 career games against San Fran (including playoffs) and in 2 games he missed the century mark he still went over 90. Lynch has a history of dominating San Francisco and he just had another BeastMode performance in primetime.
  • Lamar Miller MIA
    • 14 carries for 175 yards, 1TD, 3 catches for 61 yards, 1TD 35 fantasy points (38 PPR)
    • Miller’s magic number was 14. He needs at least 14 carries to get going. Miller got 14 or more carries each of the last 2 weeks under new head coach Dan Campbell who said they needed to establish the run. Well Miller was given his opportunity the last 2 week and he’s made the most of it. Over 100 rushing yard each of the last 2 weeks. A rushing score each of the last 2 weeks, and he posted a career-high in receiving yards and his first receiving TD since week 1 of last season on Sunday against the Texans. This offense is primed for a 2nd half break out.
  • Todd Gurley STL
    • 19 carries for 128 yards, 2TDs, 4 catches for 35 yards 27 fantasy points (31 PPR)
    • Gurley has gone for 120+ on the ground in each of his last 3 games. He found the end zone for the first time in his career this weekend; twice, and had more catches and receiving yards in this game than his first 3 NFL games combined. Gurley’s schedule shows just 3 more difficult opponents the rest of the season but even tough match ups don’t look like they will be tough for Gurley.
  • Darren McFadden DAL
    • 29 carries for 152 yards, 1TD, 2 catches for 10 yards 22 fantasy points (24 PPR)
    • Say What?! Darren McFadden with a champ performance this week looking like his old self. You know; his old self when he was actually on the field. This guy had the talent and potential but couldn’t stay healthy. Now McFadden has the best offensive line in front of him he’s ever had and he got 19 more touches than the rest of the Cowboys running backs combined against the Giants. McFadden’s 152 yards were the 4th most in a single game of his career and his first 100-yard game since week 2 of 2013. The Cowboys backfield could see a new face emerge each week but after a performance like this it’s hard to imagine McFadden not getting the majority of opportunities after a big game like this.
  • Danny Woodhead SD
    • 5 carries for 26 yards, 0TD, 11 catches for 75 yards, 2TDs 21 fantasy points (32 PPR)
    • Woodhead obviously isn’t going to make his bread-and-butter via the run as he managed a team low 26 on the ground; although the Chargers accumulated just 90 total rush yards as a team, but in the pass game Woodhead killed it. Team high 11 catches on 12 targets (2nd on team behind Keenan Allen) with the 2nd most receiving yards while finding the end zone twice. Woodhead leads the Chargers backs in total yards from scrimmage and is the only San Diego running back to find the end zone this year; scoring 4 total times in 2015.

WIDE RECEIVERS

  • Jarvis Landry MIA
    • 5 targets, 5 catches for 83 yards, 2TDs 20 fantasy points (25 PPR)
    • Landry hauled in his first 2 receiving touchdowns of the season to already go along with a punt return score and a rushing TD last week. This dude is a swiss army knife of a player and as mentioned with Tannehill and Miller; this offense is starting to click! Landry already has two game over 80 receiving yards this year with one going over 100; he had just 1 such game last year without a single game hitting the century mark. His 20 standard points and 25 PPR points are also a career high for Landry. Even in games when he isn’t getting a ton of targets (just 9 targets last 2 weeks combined) he’s still producing for his team and fantasy owners (60+ yards from scrimmage and a score each of last two weeks) alike.
  • Mike Evans TB
    • 12 targets, 8 catches for 164 yards, 1TD 22 fantasy points (30 PPR)
    • Last year Mike Evans had a huge performance against the Redskins going for 209 yards on 7 grabs and 2 scores. This year against Washington Evans caught 8 passes for 164 yards and a score. It was his first TD of 2015 and his 2nd game over 100 yards not to mention the 8 catches are also a season-high. The 146 yards Evans accumulated were the 2nd most in a game in his career. Evans scored a touchdown in 4 of 6 games after he faced the Redskins last year and I’m sure his owners would love to see him go on a nice little run like that again here in 2015 but Evans has 5 tough match ups in his next 7 games so temper expectations for now until he gets on a hot run like he did last year as we entered the midway point.
  • TY Hilton IND
    • 15 targets, 4 catches for 150 yards, 2TDs 27 fantasy points (31 PPR)
    • Hilton had 15 targets which was encouraging in itself for as bad as the Colts offense looked for almost the first 3 quarters of this game but then he finally came through for his owners with a Hilton-esque performance late. Hilton scored 2 long touchdowns in the late 3rd quarter with an 87-yard score with less than 4 minutes left in the quarter then took the final play of the 3rd to the house for a 46-yard score. Hilton tends to do things like that for his owners; score long touchdowns when he has a poor performance in the catch department. It was his fewest grabs of 2015 but his first game of 100+ yards this year and his first game over 100 since week 14 of last season.
  • Amari Cooper OAK
    • 6 targets, 5 catches for 133 yards, 1TD 19 fantasy points (24 PPR)
    • Through his first 6 professional games Amari has 3 contests in which he was able to surpass the 100-yard mark. This year he has more 100-yard games than Odell Beckham Jr, Larry Fitzgerald, AJ Green, Calvin Johnson, or Demaryius Thomas. What makes Cooper’s performances even more impressive? Not just the fact that he’s a rookie but the fact that 5 of his 6 match up this year already have been against top 10 teams versus the pass (at the time of the game). Kid is special and we should only see Coop get hotter as he and Carr continue to build a chemistry.

TIGHT ENDS

  • Eric Ebron DET
    • 5 targets, 5 catches for 89 yards, 1TD 14 fantasy points (19 PPR)
    • Ebron was looking like he was taking the next step forward in his career at the start of the season going for 60+ yards or a touchdown in 3 of his first 4 games before he was injured. This was his first game back and man did he look great; catching every one of his targets while going for a career-high 89 yards and scoring his 3rd TD of the season.
  • Jordan Reed WSH
    • 13 target, 11 catches for 72 yards, 2TDs 19 fantasy points (30 PPR)
    • We always say Reed is a top-tier talent at the tight end position when healthy, especially in PPR leagues and boy did he look impressive in his first game back from a concussion. Reed lead the Redskins in targets, catches, and yards in this game and he now has 60+ yards in 4 of 5 games this year. Reed already has tied a career-high with 3 scores this year.
  • Rob Gronkowski NE
    • 16 targets, 11 catches for 108 yards, 1TD 16 fantasy points (27 PPR)
    • Gronkowski already has 3 games of 100+ yard and has at least 50 yards in every game in 2015. He’s scored a touchdown in 4 of 6 games this year and he is now tied with Tyler Eifert for the league-lead in touchdowns among tight ends with 6. This Patriots team will just continue to score all year meaning Gronk will continue to be the best TE in the NFL and fantasy football.

KICKERS/DEFENSE

  • Jaguars D/ST: 4 sacks; 2INT, 2FUMB recovery, 2TDs
  • Rams D/ST: 4 sacks, 4FUMB recoveries, 1TD
  • Dolphins D/ST: 4 sacks, 1INT, 1TD
  • Giants D/ST: 1 sack, 3INTs, 1FUMB recovery, 2TDs
  • Blair Walsh MIN: 5/5 FGs; 2 50+

MORTALS

QUARTERBACKS

  • Colin Kaepernick SF
    • 13/24 for 124 yards, 0TD 0INT 4 fantasy points
    • Seattle owns Colin Kaepernick. If anyone was going to pull the NFL version of Pedro Martinez it should be Kaepernick talking about the Seahawks being his daddy. In 7 career games against his NFC west rival, Kaep has managed to throw for more than 200 yards just once which was his first contest with them in 2012. Since then he’s thrown for 175 yards or fewer with an average of 140YPG and a 2:8 TD:INT ratio. Even his legs are useless when Seattle is his opponent. Kaepernick ha averaged 59 rushing yards per game versus all his other competition while he can only manage 30YPG with the Seahawks. We knew he’d have a poor performance; his 3rd straight regular-season tilt with Seattle without a touchdown while producing his 2nd lowest passing yardage and not having a single rush yard definitely qualifies as poor.
  • Landry Jones PIT
    • 16/29 for 209 yards, 1TD 2INTs, 1FUMB lost 6 fantasy points
    • In his first career start Jones turned the ball over three times while leading the Steelers to just 13 points. Since Todd Haley has became the Steelers offensive coordinator the Steelers have scored 13 or fewer points just 9 times in 55 games and in 2 of those games Haley didn’t have Ben Roethlisberger at the helm. Jones did manage to throw for a late touchdown to who other than Martavis Bryant; all of Jones’ 3TDs the last 2 weeks went to Bryant. It’s very likely that Roethelisberger is back next week when the Steelers face the undefeated and current AFC north leading Cincinnati Bengals.
  • Matt Cassel DAL
    • 16/26 for 221 yards, 1TD 3INTs 6 fantasy points
    • We didn’t expect Cassel to be an upgrade over Brandon Weeden and we were right. Cassel has thrown for 3 or more interceptions in 3 of his last 6 starts. He was abused by the Giants this weekend turning the ball over 3 times, with one leading to a score. Cassel won’t have many good game as a fill-in for Romo and Dez Bryant owners should realize that Bryant won’t go off with Cassel like he would with Romo. Look at Antonio Brown’s struggles without Big Ben in the line up. As of now this was the Cowboys last game this season against a soft opponent versus quarterbacks now Cassel and the Boys face 5 tough and 4 neutral match ups to close out the fantasy football season.
  • Sam Bradford PHI
    • 26/46 for 205 yards, 0TD 1INT 6 fantasy points
    • In the immortal words of Bob Barker in the classic film Happy Gilmore: “This guys sucks!” For real Bob this dude is a waste of space in the fantasy football world and in the Eagles fan’s minds. Bradford has more picks than touchdown passes heading into his bye week. Against the Panthers this week he failed to throw a TD but threw a pick; first time since week 4 of 2012 Bradford had a game without a passing strike while throwing at least one interception. He doesn’t seem to be grasping the offense, or maybe it’s the still bad offensive line, or maybe it’s Chip Kelly trying to pass the buck constantly. Whatever it is Bradford is useless at this point and he’s dragging down the rest of the Eagles fantasy playmakers a la Jordan Matthews. Don’t be shocked if Mark Sanchez gets to start in the next few weeks if Bradford continues to look this bad.

RUNNING BACKS

  • Carlos Hyde SF
    • 11 carries for 40 yards, 0TD 4 fantasy points (4 PPR)
    • Since scoring 30 fantasy points (standard) in week 1, Hyde has scored a combined 39 fantasy points over the last 6 weeks. Hyde has 55 or fewer rushing yards in 5 of 7 games this year and he scored all 3 of his touchdowns in 2 games. This week against the Seahawks I can’t put 100% of the blame on Hyde as Kaepernick and the entire offense managed just 142 total yards. The Seahawks own the 49ers and Hyde has gone cold over the last month plus. Yes he is one of those rare backs who gets almost every touch for his team but he just can’t seem to make the most of his opportunities.
  • LeGarrette Blount NE
    • 3 carries for -3 yards, 0TD 0 fantasy points (0 PPR)
    • This should really be all the Patriots backs combined. As a team the Patriots managed a whopping grand total of 16 yards on the ground with Tom Brady rushing for 15 and the only score. Blount owners had a great match up two weeks ago with the Colts, a team Blount owns, but this week Blount fell back to earth against the leagues best run defense in the Jets. Brady threw the ball over 50 times so Blount should be fresh for Thursday night’s match up with the Dolphins. Also a fun fact; Blount has 4 career games against the Jets in which he’s ran 13 times for 12 yards and no scores. If you had Blount in your line up this weekend I hope you don’t use him in week 16 when these teams meet again in New York.

WIDE RECEIVERS

  • DeAndre Hopkins HOU
    • 12 targets, 6 catches for 50 yards, 0TD 5 fantasy points (11 PPR)
    • Every stud has his down day; this was Hopkins time. He had double-digit targets for the 7th straight game (all this season) 9th of his last 10 dating back to last year. While it was Hopkins lowest output of yards and second lowest output of catches this season, the last time he went for fewer than 60 yards he went on a streak of 4 games in a row with over 100 yards while scoring 3TDs in that span. Hopkins has a meeting with Tennessee next week before his bye than has 4 of 6 games with cake match ups. He will be just fine; no need to panic if you own Nuke.
  • Golden Tate DET
    • 2 targets, 2 catches for 14 yards, 0TD 1 fantasy points (3 PPR)
    • After a career season last year in receptions and yardage, Tate has been off to an extremely slow start this year with just one game of double-digits in standard scoring league and in PPR formats his best week is 16 points. He hasn’t had a streak of 3 or more games with double-digit points (PPR) this season; last year Tate had 13 of 16 games with double-digits while having a streak of 9 straight games with 10+ points. In his last 5 meetings with the Vikings, Tate has gone over 45 yards just once and has just a single score in all those games while averaging less than 5PPG in standard scoring; 9 per game in PPR leagues. Tate and the Lions have a nice match up next week with the Chiefs but then he faces 3 tough match ups and just 1 easy one in the 6 weeks after his bye.
  • Odell Beckham Jr NYG
    • 6 targets, 4 catches for 35 yards, 0TD 3 fantasy points (7 PPR)
    • Some games are flukes for players which can go positive or negative and it affects studs to waiver wire pick ups. This week it was a negatively flukey game for Beckham. When guys like Orleans Darkwa and Dwayne Harris have more yards than you then you know it’s just a down week. The Giants defense and special teams took control against a beat up Cowboys offense starting their 3rd quarterback this season. Beckham should bounce back quickly as he faces 4 soft match ups in his next 6 contests. The only other 2 times Beckham had 30-35 yards in a game he came back the following week with over 120 yards on at least 7 grabs both times. He should rebound just fine next week against the Saints.
  • Jordan Matthews PHI
    • 7 targets, 3 catches for 14 yards, 0TD 1 fantasy point (4 PPR)
    • It was his worst offensive output as a pro in a game that he has caught at least one pass. Matthews hasn’t looked like the guy who broke onto the scene last year with 872 yards and 8TDs. Sam Bradford is slowing him down and without a legit threat on the outside; I mean come on Philadelphia Josh Huff, Riley Cooper, and Miles Austin on the outside?? Why?? how can Matthews succeed? Won’t be happening with how bad this offense is playing. If they don’t come out of the bye week on fire offensively than Matthews becomes droppable without thinking twice.

TIGHT ENDS

  • Jimmy Graham SEA
    • 5 targets, 2 catches for 31 yards, 0TD 3 fantasy points (5 PPR)
    • Russell Wilson hit Graham with a 23-yard strike early and after his 8 catch 140 yard performance last week, it looked like the Seahawks were finally integrating Graham more into their plans. Then again maybe not. After that early grab Graham was only targeted 4 more times. Seattle will always run the ball, especially when they are ahead early and Marshawn Lynch was doing to good of a job to not be given the rock near 30 times. While Graham won’t always have weeks like this his owners have to realize that unlike being in New Orleans there is always the possibility of a very down week like this in Seattle.
  • Julius Thomas JAX
    • 5 targets, 1 catch for 4 yards, 0TD 0 fantasy points (1 PPR)
    • It was an easy match up on paper. Thomas looked hot last week. Bortles has been looking good all year. Sadly for Thomas owners the stars didn’t align this weekend as he hauled in just 1 pass for a measly 4 yards. Bortles only completed 13 passes and Thomas did still have the 3rd most targets on the team so while he laid an egg this week don’t expect him to be held down often the rest of this season.
  • Greg Olsen CAR
    • 5 targets, 3 catches for 65 yards, 0TD 6 fantasy points (9 PPR)
    • Cam Newton threw for just 197 yards and completed a dismal 14 passes. Olsen had the 2nd most targets, 2nd most catches, and lead the Panthers in yards on Sunday night. Slow day through the air offensively but it’s apparent Olsen still Newton’s go-to guy.

Fantasy Football Week 7: Must Play, OK, No Way

Like many fantasy football experts out there last year I wrote a weekly article with starts and sits for the upcoming week. Even as I write my own starts and sits I still like to look around the fantasy football writers landscape and one thing I always notice that I have never liked is the title “Start em or Sit em” or any variation of that title. After think long and hard about it this offseason I’m going to do something a little different for my starts and sits in 2015. A new lay out because sometimes just start and sit don’t tell the full story.

Instead of just a “start” and a “sit” section I will break down players into three different categories this season: “Must Play,” “OK,” and “No Way.”

“Must Play”

Player appearing in this section are guys I will be starting if I own them no matter what and you should too. These players are the ones I feel most confident, outside our stud list on ffchamps, in placing into my line up and not looking back.

“OK”

Guys I feel like could contribute to your squad for the current match up, but if you decide to play them temper your expectations because  while they have the potential to have a huge week they will need some things to go their way to live up to it. These guys will be more of a flex play or QB2/RB3/WR3.

“No Way”

Basically the “sits” of the new format. Guys who I wouldn’t put into my line up even if I was in bye week hell. I’m avoiding them at all costs for the week.

Also don’t ever forget one of our biggest rules at FFChamps.com:

Commandment #10: Thou shall ALWAYS start thy Studs

QB: Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Carson Palmer, Aaron Rodgers (BYE), Matt Ryan

RB: Le’Veon Bell, Matt Forte (BYE), Eddie Lacy (BYE), Marshawn Lynch, Adrian Peterson

WR: Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown, Randall Cobb (BYE), Julian Edelman, Larry Fitzgerald, A.J. Green (BYE), T.Y. Hilton, DeAndre Hopkins , Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas (BYE)

TE: Martellus Bennett (BYE), Tyler Eifert (BYE), Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, Greg Olsen

WEEK 7 BYES:

Chicago Bears: Jay, Cutler, Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett

Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton, AJ Green, Gio Bernard, Jeremy Hill, Tyler Eifert

Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, D/ST

Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, James Starks, Randall Cobb

So without further ado let’s take a look at who is a “Must Play,” who’s just “OK,” and who is a “No Way” for week 7!

“MUST PLAY”

  • Blake Bortles QB JAX
    • JAX vs BUF Sunday 930AM (London)
    • “From the University of Central Florida, standing six foot five inches tall, your 5th highest scoring fantasy quarterback in 2015; BLAKE BORTLES!” Blake has been killing it this year. Double-digit points in his last 5 games, and over 20 in 3 of those 5. He’s thrown multiple touchdowns in 4 games this year; last season Bortles had just 2 games with multiple scoring passes in 14 attempts. Last week we saw how much better Julius Thomas can make this offense and Bortles has to be loving just another weapon to the Allen’s: Hurns and Robinson. The Bills are allowing QBs to average over 18PPG on them and they have given up the 3rd most passing touchdowns (13) in the NFL this year. Buffalo has allowed 5 of 6 QBs to pass for multiple TDs on them this year and every quarterback managed to hit double-digit points to this point.
  • Philip Rivers QB SD
    • SD vs OAK Sunday 405PM
    • After a 500 yard performance what could Rivers do for an encore this weekend against the Raiders? Rivers has at least one TD pass in every games this year and has multiple strike in 5 of 6. The Raiders have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in 4 of their 5 games this year. Oakland has allowed at least one passing TD to AFC west QBs in 18 of their last 20. Rivers has thrown at least 1 touchdown pass against the Raiders in 16 of 18 career games and hasn’t had a game without a scoring strike since 2007. Don’t expect Rivers to drop back damn near 70 times again but he will be throwing enough with the Raiders being a bottom half team at stopping the passing game, and with the Chargers o-line unable to get a push in the rushing game, expect Rivers to put this team on his back for most week the rest of the way.
  • Latavius Murray RB OAK
    • OAK @ SD Sunday 405PM
    • The Chargers have given up the 2nd most rushing yards in the NFL this year (733) and 3rd most rushing touchdowns (6). San Diego is also in the bottom 10 in receptions and receiving yards allowed to backs and are worst in the league having given up 3TDs via the air to backs this year. Latavius Murray has had a good season overall to this point despite playing down the last few weeks before his bye. Murray has one game over 100 yards on the ground this year and 2 more where he had at least 80 yards from scrimmage.This is his 1st career appearance against the Raiders and in his 5 career games versus AFC west competition he is averaging over 12PPG (PPR) with 2 rushing scores over those 5 games. San Diego is bottom 2 against the run but top 2 against the pass. Oakland will have to rely on a heavy dose of Murray to win this week and I believe that will be their game plan coming in since the Chargers have allowed 4 of 6 starting backs to hit the century mark on the ground and every RB1 they’ve faced has hit at least 94 scrimmage yards and 5 of 6 RBs scoring a TD.
  • Todd Gurley RB STL
    • STL vs CLE Sunday 1PM
    • What do the following names have in common: Eddie Lacy, Demarco Murray, Lamar Miller, Mark Ingram, and Marshawn Lynch. Give up? All theses guys have played in more games than Todd Gurley and all have fewer rushing yards. 3 of those 5 guys have played every game for their team and still haven’t been able to accumulate more than Gurley’s 316 rushing yards. Gurley has played in 3 games but the 1st game he didn’t have many touches and just 9 rushing yards; the last 2 games Gurley played (weeks 4 and 5) he lead all backs with 49 carries for 307 yards. He was also 2nd in yards after contact (Le’Veon Bell 1st) and 5th in forcing missed tackles. This kid is the truth! Those numbers he’s posted came against the Packers and Cardinals, both teams in the top half at stopping the run; while this week Gurley faces the Browns a team in the bottom 5 in fantasy points allowed to RBs this year. The 887 yards that Cleveland has given up on the ground is by far the worst in the NFL, over 100 more yards than the 2nd worst Chargers. I mean if a guy like Dexter McCluster can rush for 98 yards; a career high and most since 2011, just imagine how bad Gurley will tear them apart.
  • Martavis Bryant WR PIT
    • PIT @ KC Sunday 1PM
    • Bryant played in his first game of 2015 last week and man did he make some magic happen for his owners. He was catching passes from the Steelers 3rd string QB and Bryant was able to torch a very good Cardinals secondary for 137 yards and 2 scores. Now Bryant has the pleasure of taking on the Chiefs aka the WORST  defense at stopping the passing game. Kansas City has allowed at least 1TD to an opposing wide receiver in 5 of 6 games, and the one game no wide out scored on them they allowed the top 2 WRs go for better than 60 yards including one over 100. Some people may be hesitant with Landry Jones in at QB to use Bryant but after last week why would you even have pause? Last week Bryant caught 5 of Landry Jones’ 8 completions for 81% of Jones’ total passing yards (136 of 168) and both his touchdown passes. When you may be missing Alshon Jeffery, AJ Green, Randall Cobb, or Demaryius Thomas you need to take a chance on someone having a big game to replace your stud and Bryant could be that guy.
  • Brandin Cooks WR NO
    • NO @ IND Sunday 1PM
    • There has been lots of head scratching and questions about Cooks this season.  He’s had just one game with 100+ yards and has scored just once in his first 6 games in 2015, but Cooks got off to a slow start last year as well. Cooks didn’t have a game with more than 80 yards in 2014 until his 7th game. He scored 2 of his 3 touchdowns between weeks 8 and 11 (when he got hurt and missed the rest of the season) and he had his two highest yardage outputs in that same range after week 8. Cooks had 3 single-digit games and 3 double-digit games (PPR) in his first 6 weeks both last year and this and in 2014 he posted 20+ in 2 of his next 3 games. If Cooks is going to replicate his 2nd half run of 2014 this year, this is the week to get hot. The Colts are giving up the 5th most fantasy points to WRs; including the 2nd most TDs with 9 through 6 games. In Indianapolis the Colts have allowed at least one 100-yard receiver and at least 1TD to a wide out in each of their 3 home games this year and in their last 5 games, Indy has allowed every teams top 2 wide receivers to go for double-digits in PPR formats. Start Cooks with confidence this week; Willie Snead should also pay off big this Sunday.
  • Antonio Gates TE SD
    • SD vs OAK Sunday 405PM
    • Gates is a great option at tight end most weeks but especially this coming Sunday. Not only is Gates on a team that will be passing first, but he is still at least in the elite conversation at the position and when you have every week starters like Eifert and Bennett off this weekend a guy like Gates on your team is huge. Oh and he’s playing the Raiders who are still the worst team in the league at stopping tight ends. Oakland is still the only team to be allowing more than 20PPG (PPR) to tight ends this year. In 4 of 5 games this year the Raiders have allowed at least 80 yards and 1 score to the opposing starting TE; including two games over 100 yards. Gates has played in 2 games this year and has 9 catches for better than 90 yards in both and has scored twice. Gates also has a good history versus the Raiders going for at least 50 yards and/or 1TD in 7 of his last 10 contests with Oakland.

“OK”

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick QB NYJ
    • NYJ @ NE Sunday 1PM
    • Just like Rodney Dangerfield, Ryan Fitzpatrick gets no respect. While Fitzpatrick isn’t blowing the doors off defenses like Andy Dalton or Carson Palmer, he has been extremely consistent (like always) while playing on what could be the quietest top 10 offensive unit that I can remember; 8th in yards per game and 7th in PPG. Fitzpatrick isn’t going to throw for 300 yards frequently; just 10 games of 300+ in his career, but he will still get you fantasy points. Multiple touchdowns in 4 of 5 games this year and just 1 game with more than 1 pick. Fitzpatrick may have beaten the Patriots just once in seven chances but he is averaging 291 yards per game with 2TDs per contest as well. The Patriots have allowed multiple passing scores in 3 of their last 4 games and QBs are averaging 16PPG in Foxboro this season. If you need to replace Dalton or Rodgers this weekend, you could do a lot worse than Fitzpatrick in a game that will require him to throw as the Patriots will still put up better than 30 like virtually every week this year.
  • Eli Manning QB NYG
    • NYG vs DAL Sunday 425PM
    • Eli had one of the worst games of his career last week in Philadelphia. The stats may not have been his worst but he just looked lost. It was the 6th time since the start of 2010 he’s thrown for under 200 yards and multiple interceptions. The last 5 times he’s posted those numbers he’s had multiple TD strikes in 3 of the 5 following weeks; at least 1TD in each of those 5 games, and went over 250 yards in 3 of 5 with just 1 game under 200 yards. So Eli will already be looking to bounce back big, but he has the Cowboys on his home turf this week and when he played Dallas the first time this week I think we wall remember his poor mental decisions as that game closed. More reason for Eli to have a big game. Manning is already averaging a stat line of 253-2-1 in 22 career games with the Cowboys and in his last 5 home meetings with Dallas, Eli has thrown for multiple TDs four times and has gone over 300 yards 3 times. Dallas may have just allowed 9 passing touchdowns this year but they have just 2 interceptions (2nd fewest in the NFL) and 3 of the last 4 QBs have gone for at least 275 yards and all had multiple TDs.
  • Demarco Murray RB PHI
    • PHI @ CAR Sunday 830PM
    • Demarco Murray finally put together a game last week that his owners have been expecting since week 1. It was Murray’s first 100-yard rush game in an Eagles uniform and he’s now scored on the ground in 2 straight weeks. For as bad as Murray has looked at points he does have 4 games with double-digit fantasy points (PPR) in 5 played including 18+ in 3 of those contests. While Murray has scored 20+ in each of his last two games, they were against two bottom 10 teams versus RBs so what can we expect this week against the Panthers? Carolina is definitely better at stopping backs than both the Giants and Saints (Murray’s last 2 opponents) but the Panthers are still just middle-of-the-road giving up 26PPG (PPR). When taking on backs who can catch out of the backfield the Panthers don’t seem to have an answer. They let Doug Martin, Charles Sims, Mark Ingram, and Khiry Robinson all rack up double-digit points. Marshawn Lynch was able to score his first TD of the year on the Panthers as well; that coming last week. Murray has multiple catches in every game this year and four or more catches in 3 of 5. Murray is getting hot and he showed last year when he gets hot he’s hard to stop. The Panthers can stop the pass and I expect that which means a heavy does of Murray.
  • LeSean McCoy RB BUF
    • BUF @ JAX Sunday 930AM (London)
    • Shady came back early from his hamstring issues last week with Karlos Williams on the shelf and all of McCoy’s owners collectively held their breaths as Shady got his first touch. Then he ripped off better than 30 yards and continued strong the rest of the day. McCoy posted his best day as a Bill last week against the Bengals; 90 yards and a score on the ground while catching 2 balls for a few extra yards, and now McCoy faces a much softer rush defense in the Jacksonville Jaguars. Teams are running against the Jags the 7th most in the league, and have allowed the 3rd most rushing TDs and 2nd most total TDs to running backs this year. The last 4 starting RBs to face the Jags have scored double-digit fantasy points (PPR). Hell the 2 of the last 4 2nd string running backs scored double-digit points as well. Without Karlos Williams in the line up, McCoy will see virtually all the Bills rushing attempts this weekend and having Tyrod Taylor back can only help.
  • Stefon Diggs WR MIN
    • MIN @ DET Sunday 1PM
    • Diggs has been getting hot the last few weeks. He’s been Teddy Bridgewater’s favorite target the last 2 games getting 19 total targets over that period; only Mike Wallace also have double-digit targets over that period. Diggs is a rookie out of Maryland with hands, speed, and strength. He’s gone for 87 yards and 129 yards respectively in hist first 2 NFL games. The first game between the Lions and Vikings this year Diggs did not play in but he has to be licking his chops knowing the Lions are giving up the 6th most points per game to WRs at over 41 per contest. In 3 games at home this year, Detroit has allowed at least one WR to catch a touchdown pass on them while allowing 8 of 12 wide outs who caught at least one pass to go for 50+ yards. Diggs doesn’t have a big body of work to this point but if Bridgewater continues to look towards Diggs like he has the past few games this kid could be special the rest of the way and into the future.
  • Julius Thomas TE JAX
    • JAX vs BUF Sunday 930AM (London)
    • Thomas was back in the Jags line up 2 weeks ago but didn’t do much catching just 2 passes for 20 yards; however last week Thomas lit it up on the field catching 7 passes for 78 yards and a score. He lead Jacksonville in targets with 13 and with defenses having to key in on Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson as well as keeping rookie running back TJ Yeldon honest, Thomas will see plenty of open looks this week and throughout the rest of 2015. This week Thomas happens to get the Buffalo Bills who have allowed the 6th most catches (34) and 4th most TDs (3) to tight ends as well as 323 yards through 6 games. The Bills have allowed 4 or more catches to starting TEs in 4 of 6 games this year and 3 of 6 TEs have went for double-digits in PPR formats. Thomas will get his looks again and with Allen Robinson banged up, Thomas could see an increase from his 13 targets last week.

“NO WAY”

  • Sam Bradford QB PHI
    • PHI @ CAR Sunday 830PM
    • You’d think after seeing the Eagles win 27-7 last Monday Night that the offense is coming along, and in some ways they are but Bradford isn’t progressing how Philadelphia fans or fantasy owners would have liked at this point. Bradford has had maybe a game and a half total out of 6 games that he’s looked good. He has 9 picks already this year; 2nd most in the NFL and 2nd most in his career through his first 6 games in a season. He has multiple picks in 4 of 6 games this year and his 4 games giving away the ball more than once is already tied for a season-high. Bradford’s 13.8PPG is 5th worst among QBs who have started at least 5 games this year. The Panthers defense has been playing at a high-octane level this year and their secondary may be the most underrated in the league. They are one of four teams to have more interceptions than touchdowns allowed to QBs and they are tied for the league-lead with just 5 passing TDs allowed through 6 weeks of NFL action. They’ve forced at least 1 turnover by a QB in all but one game this season.
  • Any Chiefs RBs
    • KC vs PIT Sunday 1PM
    • We still don’t have a clear idea of who is going to take over this spot with Charles down. Both West and Davis looked extremely bad last week. Yes they faced a top 10 unit at stopping RBs from scoring fantasy points, but this week the face the Steelers who are a top 5 defense vs backs this year. The Steelers are one of two teams who haven’t allowed a single touchdown of any kind to a back. Stay away from this backfield until we have a clearer picture as well as a softer match up.
  • Ameer Abdullah RB DET
    • DET vs MIN Sunday 1PM
    • The Minnesota Vikings have allowed just 2 running backs to go for double-digits; that’s standard and PPR scoring. Carlos Hyde went off week 1 and since then the Vikes have gotten their rush defense together and just one back (Ronnie Hillman) has gone for over 100 yards since the opening week on Minnesota. Abdullah was off on a tear in the preseason and he had a great game week 1 going for just under 100 yards from scrimmage and a score. Since then Abdullah has 199 yards from scrimmage in 5 games; that’s fewer than 40 total yards per game. Oh and he’s found the end zone just once in those 5 weeks as well. We saw Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, and Golden Tate seem to get the Lions offense back on the rails last week so once teams have to stop what this passing attack can be than maybe Abdullah can get going but until then I don’t trust him. He’s already faced Minnesota this year and Ameer managed a whopping 18 yards on 7 touches. I’ll take my chance with him on my bench this week.
  • Kendall Wright WR TEN
    • TEN vs ATL Sunday 1PM
    • Wright has had 2 big games this year; going for over 100 yards and a score week one and finding the end zone again in week 3 to go along with 95 yards. He totaled 11 catches between those two performances as well. However in the 3 games he didn’t score or go for over 95 yards, Wright has combined for 9 catches for 80 yards and no touchdowns. Wright has had more than 6 targets in a game just once in 2015; he had 20 games out of 30 in 2013 & 2014 with more than 6 looks. Now the Titans may be without Marcus Mariota for this one with Atlanta and Zach Mettenberger will fill in if Mariota can’t go. Mettenberger had legit playing time in 6 games last year and went for double-digits 4 times; however 3 of those 4 games came against 3 of the worst pass defenses of the year. This week the Titans passing game has a tough competition with the Falcons. While Atlanta is horrific against the run, they are actually a top 5 unit at stopping wide outs. The only touchdown and 100-yard game the Falcons have allowed on the road to WRs both came to Odell Beckham Jr. New QB and facing a team that can stop the pass but not the run, hmmm … yeah, avoid Wright this week.
  • Torrey Smith WR SF
    • SF vs SEA Thursday Night 830PM
    • This year Torrey Smith has been to wide receivers in fantasy football what Jeremy Hill has been to running backs: a headache! Now you didn’t draft Smith anywhere near where you took Hill but still Smith has had easy match ups; i.e. week 4 against the Giants who are a bottom 10 team against WRs and Torrey managed just 5 points in that one. He’s putting up 2 points in a game or 20. He’ all over the board but don’t let last week fool you. He was taking on a bottom 5 team in the Ravens and that game was also a revenge factor. While the Seahawks don’t seem to be playing defense like we’re used to seeing the last few years, they are still a top all teams at slowing down wide outs having allowed just 1TD in 6 games while also leading the league with just 724 yards given up to WRs.

Follow me on twitter @thepprmonster and let me know how you like the new format!

Fantasy Football Week 6: Monsters & Mortals

Every week we see some guys go above the call of duty for our fantasy teams. Some guys just seem to know we need a big week and they show up in a BIG way for us. These guys are straight up MONSTERS! Then again for every player posting 35 points we have a guy we expect to kick ass and take names who lays a goose egg by all accounts. This guy is a lot of times the solo reason we drop a fantasy match up, and so they are known as MORTALS! Every week after the dust clears on Sunday night I will post my list of weekly Monsters and Mortals. A few names at each position who have either exceeded our expectations at ffchamps for the week, or who we expected a great deal from but fell flat on their face like a dad on America’s Funniest Home Videos (the good old school AFV, the ones hosted by Bob Saget) after taking a wiffle ball bat to the nuts.

So without further ado I present your week 6 Monsters and Mortals.

MONSTERS

QUARTERBACKS

  • Andy Dalton CIN
    • 22/33 for 243 yards, 3TDs, 0INT 21 fantasy points
    • Dalton has multiple touchdown passes in 5 of 6 games this year. He’s gone over 18 points each week this year, and over 20 in 4 of 6 games. He’s on pace to shatter every passing record he has so far in his career, and this Bengals offense has looked legit since day 1. Even if you scooped up Dalton as a Ben Roethlisberger or Tony Romo owner, it’s going to be hard to sit Dalton once those boys are back in action.
  • Andrew Luck IND
    • 30/50 for 312 yards, 3TD 0INT, 35 rush yards 27 fantasy points
    • Luck made his first start in 3 weeks and he rewarded his owners patients with a huge first game back. Luck threw the ball 50 times; which sounds like a lot until you read about Philip Rivers. Luck also posted his first game over 300 passing yards and his first game with 3+ touchdowns on Sunday night. Last year Luck had 300+ yards in 4 game through week 6 and 3+ TD passes in 4 of those 6 as well. Luck and the Colts offense still has as many weapons as most elite units out there and Luck will be going on a tear now that he’s back and healthy. This was Luck’s 6th career game with exactly 3 touchdown passes. In the 5 games after he had 3TD passes in the past Luck has averaged 340 yards and 3TDs with just 3 total picks in those 5 contests. Luck has a very favorable match up with the Saints in week 7; expect those numbers to repeat in Indy this coming Sunday.
  • Philip Rivers SD
    • 43/65 for 503 yards, 2TD 0INT 28 fantasy points
    • The Chargers couldn’t get anything going in the run game on Sunday so Rivers decided he’d just go ahead and set some personal records and put the team on his back. San Diego backs carried 21 total times for 60 yards. Career bests in completions, attempts, and yards, Rivers didn’t have much of a choice. It was his 4th career game with at least 50 pass attempts; Rivers is 1-3 in those games, and this year Rivers already has 3 games with 40 or more pass attempts in 2015 which is 2 away from a season-high and he’s got another 10 to go with a bad run blocking offensive line.
  • Matthew Stafford DET
    • 27/42 for 405 yards, 4TDs 1INT, 6 rushes for 37 yards 33 fantasy points
    • Stafford put up his first 300 yard game in 2015; ok it was a 400 yarder but still you can’t hit 400 without passing that 300 barrier. Stafford posted over 20 fantasy points this season and it was his first game with over 30 in almost 3 years to the day. The Lions passing attack has faced 4 of the toughest pass defenses in their first 5 games but the road ahead looks much less bumpy with Stafford getting to face 5 cupckaes over the next 9 games.

RUNNING BACKS

  • Devonta Freeman ATL
    • 13 carries for 100 yards, 1TD, 8 catches for 56 yards, 1TD 27 fantasy points (35 PPR)
    • Freeman had his 3rd straight performance of 30+ points (PPR) on Thursday Night. Since 2006 only 4 players have had 3 straight games (PPR) with 30+ points: Le’Veon Bell (2014), Chris Johnson (2009), LaDainian Tomlinson (2006; he did it in 7 of 8 games), and Steven Jackson (2006). Not even Adrian Peterson in his years of greatness has accomplished that feat. Freeman is on pace of 435 points in PPR formats, which would be the 2nd most since 2006 and just the 3rd season of 400+ points in that span (LT & Steven Jackson in 2006). No doubt the best waiver pick up of 2015 and if he posts another 30-burger next week he would join Tomlinson as the only players to have 4 straight games of 30+ points.
  • Lamar Miller MIA
    • 19 carries for 113 yards, 1TD, 2 catches for 5 yards 17 fantasy points (19 PPR)
    • I was down on Miller this week because of how he was playing and the tough match up. When I said to sit Miller I said he needed 14 or more rushes to have a chance to be effective and today was the first game of the year that Miller was alotted more than 13 rushing attempts. It was just the 2nd game in Miller’s career he’s gone over 100 yards on the ground and scored a touchdown.
  • Jonathan Stewart CAR
    • 20 carries for 78 yards, 2TDs, 1 catch for 8 yards 19 fantasy points (20 PPR)
    • And that’s another back I hated this week that had an oddly good week, but honestly who would have though Stewart would have had his best week of the season, and best in terms of fantasy points since week 16 last year against the toughest defense he’s faced in 2015. It was Stewart’s first 2 rushing touchdown game since 2009, and he got 20 touches for the first time in a game this year.
  • Chris Ivory NYJ
    • 20 carries for 146 yards, 1TD, 3 catches for 50 yards 25 fantasy points (28 PPR)
    • Last week Ivory set a career high in rushing yards. This week he posted his 3rd best single game rushing performance and for the first time in his NFL days, Ivory had back-to-back weeks with over 100 yards on the ground. Ivory is on pace for career highs across the board, both in the rushing and passing game. Ivory has 90+ rushing yard in 3 of his 4 games played this year, and at least one score in 3 of 4 as well. Ivory with a tough match up in Foxboro against the Patriots next week, but after that he has 5 easy match ups in his next 8.
  • LeGarrette Blount NE
    • 16 carries for 93 yards, 1TD, 1 catch for 11 yards, 1TD 22 fantasy points (23 PPR)
    • Blount continues to tear apart the Colts. While he didn’t reach 100 rushing yards this time, his 93 are beyond respectable and once again he found the end zone. Blount has scored at least one touchdown against the Colts in 4 of 5 career games and in the 3 games he’s faced Indianapolis wearing a Patriots uniform, Blount has scored multiple touchdowns every time. Sunday night was the first time in his career that Blount caught a touchdown pass and Blount has 22 of his 37 career scores in a New England uniform.

WIDE RECEIVERS

  • Calvin Johnson DET
    • 9 targets, 6 catches for 166 yards, 1TD 22 fantasy points (28 PPR)
    • Megatron is back! After 3 straight games under 80 yards, Johnson broke his 4th longest streak of games without a 100-yard day; going for his most yards in a single game since 2013. It was Johnson’s 10th career game with 160+ yards. After dealing with Johnson’s and the Lions offensive woes, Calvin rewarded his owners for their patients with a huge day. Detroit has faced 4 tough opponents in their first 5 weeks of play but they have just 3 more tough match ups in their next 10 games. Let’s hope this is the first step in the right direction for the Lions offense and Calvin Johnson.
  • DeAndre Hopkins HOU
    • 15 targets, 10 catches for 148 yards, 2TDs 26 fantasy points (36 PPR)
    • He’s done it again! Double-digit targets? Check. 8 or more catches? Check. Over 100 yards? Check. Find the end zone? Double check. Hopkins is already more than half way to a new career high in yards, is just 25 catches away from a new receptions personal-best, and is 1 touchdown shy of tying his career-high of 6TDs for a year. Even if he was selected late int he 2nd round, Hopkins could be paying the biggest dividends for his owners this year. Just sit back and enjoy as he is going to do something extremely special this year.
  • Martavis Bryant PIT
    • 8 targets, 6 catches for 137 yards, 2TDs 25 fantasy points (31 PPR)
    • Welcome back Martavis Bryant! Little Bryant made his presence in his first game of 2015 felt in a big way finding the end zone twice and going for over 100 yards. He had just as many targets as Antonio Brown but his fantasy day with a whole lot better (as you will see later in the article). Bryant caught just 1 pass for 1 yard from Michael Vick until he was injured and then caught 5 of Landry Jones’ 8 completions for 81% of Jones’ total passing yards (136 of 168) and both his touchdown passes. When Ben Roethlisberger returns this offense will be damn near impossible to stop.

TIGHT ENDS

  • Benjamin Watson NO
    • 12 targets, 10 catches for 127 yards, 1TD 18 fantasy points (28 PPR)
    • No one saw this coming. It was Watson’s 3rd career 100-yard game and first since he had exactly 100 in week 13 of 2010; with the 127 yards a career high. His 10 catches tied a career high as well and has weeks with back-to-back touchdowns for just the 2nd time in the last 8 years. The last two times Watson hit the century mark he combined for just 36 yards in his next 2 games. This was a great performance we didn’t see coming but don’t expect an encore next week.
  • Gary Barnidge CLE
    • 9 targets, 3 catches for 39 yards, 2TDs 15 fantasy points (18 PPR)
    • It was the first games since week 2 that Barnidge had 3 or fewer catches and was held under 75 yards. Even with the Broncos defense suffocating Gary for just 3 grabs and 39 yards, Barnidge found the end zone twice for the Browns only offensive scores of the day and Mr. Barnidge has 12+ points in standard scoring in each of his last 4 games including catching at least one score in each of those games. Some names will just be on this list damn near every week: Andy Dalton, Devonta Freeman, DeAndre Hopkins, and it looks like some guy named Gary will be another one.
  • Julius Thomas JAX
    • 13 targets, 7 catches for 78 yards, 1TD 13 fantasy points (20 PPR)
    • Thomas showed today why he is such a valuable piece to any offense. He lead the Jaguars in targets, was 2nd in catches and was one of three Jags to have better than 75 yards in the receiving game. Thomas has scored in 18 of his 28 games played since 2013 started and if the past is any indication than Thomas should find himself in the end zone frequently the next few weeks as Thomas likes to score in the beginning of his year scoring in 9 of 10 games in his first 5 contests each of the last 2 seasons.
  • Jimmy Graham SEA
    • 12 targets, 8 catches for 140 yards, 0TD 14 fantasy points (22 PPR)
    • There’s the Jimmy we’re used to seeing. A guy getting a majority of targets and given the ability to take over the passing game, and he did. It was the first game this year that Graham had double-digit looks, and it was just his 3rd game with 12+ targets since week 3 of 2013. We know the Seahawks offense isn’t the Saints and Graham may not have the same opportunities he did down in New Orleans but if Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson take away anything from today’s game plan it should be to target their best player, Jimmy Graham, way more than they have in the first quarter of this season.
  • Greg Olsen CAR
    • 11 targets, 7 catches for 131 yards, 1TD 19 fantasy points (26 PPR)
    • Cam Newton completed 20 passes and Olsen caught 7 of those. Olsen was the only Panther to snag more than 3 passes and no other pass-catcher for Carolina managed more than 25 yards through the air. Olsen once again has proven that he is the only reliable and useable Panther on a weekly basis not named Cam. Olsen has two games with 130+ yards and at least one score in his last three games, and his two games over 100 yards this year are just 1 away from his season high of three games over the century mark.

KICKERS/DEFENSE

  • Saints D/ST: 5 sacks, 3FUMB recoveries, 1TD
  • Broncos D/ST: 4 sacks, 1INT, 1FUMB recovery, 1TD
  • Dolphins D/ST: 5 sacks, 2INTs, 2FUMB recoveries, 1TD

MORTALS

QUARTERBACKS

  • Marcus Mariota TEN
    • 21/33 for 219 yards, 1TD, 2INTs, 2FUMB lost 4 fantasy points
    • After not having a turnover in his first 2 games, Mariota has at least one turnover in each of his last 3 games and has multiple turnovers in 2 of those 3 games with 7 total give aways over that period. He has under 220 passing yards in his last two games. Mariota has not faced a single tough match up yet this season and won’t see a difficult game until week 10, so if he can’t get back on the winning track in the next few weeks against lesser opponents then when the rookie faces legit secondary competition he is going to have some really horrific numbers.
  • Peyton Manning DEN
    • 26/48 for 290 yards, 1TD 3INTs 9 fantasy points
    • Another week, another pick-6 thrown by Peyton. He’s thrown a touchdown to the opposing team every year this season, and has at least one pick in each of his first 6 games of the season for the first time since his sophomore campaign in 1999. The Broncos are 6-0 but the defense has bailed out Peyton every single week, and if Peyton doesn’t hit Emmanuel Sanders on a long touchdown after he threw one to Cleveland his stat line would look a whole lot worse. Peyton’s 7TD passes through 6 games is the 2nd worst in his career and fewest since he was a rookie in 1998; hell Peyton had 7TD passes the opening night of the season just 2 years ago and he’s posted 7 passing touchdowns or better in 4 weeks or less every year he’s been with Denver to this point. Once the Denver defense has a bad game we will see what exactly Peyton has left in the tank and my guess is he’s riding on fumes.

RUNNING BACKS

  • Adrian Peterson MIN
    • 26 carries for 60 yards, 1 catch for -3 yards 6 fantasy points (7 PPR)
    • Peterson having a slow day against the Chiefs isn’t shocking but Peterson having his worst rushing day since week 17 of 2013 is. It was just the 2nd time in Peterson’s career he’s had 25 or more carries in a game and had 60 or fewer yards, although the 1st time it happened in 2009 Peterson at least scored that day. Kansas City is still a top unit against RBs; take away the 102 yards and 4TDs the Bengals back combined for a few weeks back and KC is allowing an average of just 60 rush yards per game without a touchdown allowed. Peterson will be fine with 3 easy match ups versus just 1 difficult one in his next 6 games.
  • Alfred Morris WSH
    • 11 carries for 21 yards, 0TD, 1 catch for 11 yards 3 fantasy points (4 PPR)
    • Morris had a tough match up with the Jets but the Redskins didn’t have Matt Jones in this game so Morris basically was the guy to shoulder the entire workload. Morris had had 12 or fewer carries in 3 of his last 4 games; the only time in his career he’s had 12 or fewer attempts in 3 games in a 4 game stretch. Morris already had two games this season with single-digit carries; entering 2015 Morris had just one game in his career with less than 10 attempts and that game didn’t come until his 45th career start. Morris’ 21 rushing yards we’re the 3rd most the Jets have allowed this year.
  • Charcandrick West/Knile Davis KC
    • Combined for 14 carries for 46 yards, 2 catches for 18 yards, 1FUMB lost West 1 fantasy point (2 PPR); Knile Davis 2 fantasy points (3 PPR)
    • No one can replace Jamaal Charles … hell two guys can’t replace him. This backfield looks to be a headache the rest of the way without a true RB1 who wants to take control. It could happen at some point but the Chiefs face 3 tough run defenses in their next 4 contests.
  • Chris Johnson ARZ
    • 14 carries for 40 yards, 0TD1 catch for 5 yards 4 fantasy points (5 PPR)
    • After having 70+ rushing yards in each of his last four games, including 2 of 100+, Johnson fell back to the ranks of the mortals. He still had by far the most carries for the Cardinals; the rest of their running backs combined for 4 carries, and should have the majority of touches the rest of the season. The Cardinals have been an offensive juggernaut scoring just under 40PPG before their game with Pittsburgh last week in which they managed just 13 points.
  • Melvin Gordon SD
    • 7 carries for 29 yards, 0TD, 1FUMB lost 0 fantasy points (0 PPR)
    • GOOSE EGG! After getting a lot of praise of how he’s been improving the last few weeks Gordon came back and dropped a 0 week for his owners. He fumbled twice; just losing one, and wasn’t seen much on the field after that happened. Rivers threw the ball 65 times as the run game didn’t get rolling at all for the Chargers. The Chargers we’re without 3 of their starting offensive linemen in Lambeau and it showed as they got less push in the rush game than usual, and they are bad when they are at full strength. Gordon will have some useful weeks the rest of the way but he’s a flex play at best until he shows some positive consistency.
  • Eddie Lacy GB
    • 4 carries for 3 yards, 0TD, 2 catches for 17 yards 1 fantasy point (3 PPR)
    • He was supposed to be healthier. He was supposed to have a good match up with San Diego. The Packer score a ton of points at home. Almost all those things came to fruition, the only problem is the big game for a running back came from James Starks! Lacy had just 6 total touches accumulated 20 yards. Starks just 5 more total touches with 11 but he was able to put up over 100 on the ground and he found the end zone twice, once by land and one by air. If you’re a Lacy owner you should be scared. Over the last 3 weeks Lacy has been on the field for 18 more snaps than Starks (100 to 82) but has 38 fewer rushing yards despite having 11 more carries. Starks also has 5 more targets in the passing game catching 2 more balls for 17 more yards than Lacy and Starks has 2 total TDs over those 3 weeks while Lacy hasn’t found the end zone since week 1. We knew Lacy would start slower than most elite back but this is getting ridiculous.

WIDE RECEIVERS

  • AJ Green CIN
    • 7 targets, 4 catches for 36 yards, 0TD 3 fantasy points (7 PPR)
    • Green wasn’t needed much as the Bengals took down another opponent. While Green owners are upset with his poor production in what was a juicy match up, Green isn’t the type of talent to have another game this bad again next week. In fact Green has had back-to-back games with 3 or fewer fantasy points just once in his career; that coming weeks 16 & 17 in 2011 in Green’s rookie season.
  • Kendall Wright TEN
    • 5 targets, 4 catches for 34 yards, 0TD 3 fantasy points (7 PPR)
    • Mariota’s poor day trickled down to basically everyone on the Titans outside of Delanie Walker. Although this was the 3rd game this year that Wright has had 5 or fewer targets, and his 4th game with 4 or fewer catches. Wright is much more useful in PPR leagues but he hasn’t had back-to-back weeks with double-digit points since weeks 12 and 13 in 2013 and Wright has 4 difficult match ups in his next 7 games without an easy opponent in that span. The good news is Wright is still leading Tennessee is targets with 31 this year.
  • Antonio Brown PIT
    • 8 targets, 3 catches for 24 yards, 0TD 2 fantasy points (5 PPR)
    • Brown’s owners are probably rooting harder for Big Ben’s return than Roethlisberger owners. Brown has had 3 straight games with under 50 receiving yards, this being his 3rd of the batch and worst. Brown has been targeted 9 or fewer times in the last 3 games; the first time since weeks 13-15 in 2013 Brown has failed to have double-digit targets 3 in a row. No one is suffering more with Ben on the sidelines than Antonio Brown.

TIGHT ENDS

  • Martellus Bennett CHI
    • 11 targets, 6 catches for 59 yards, 0TD 5 fantasy points (11 PPR) 
    • None of your major tight ends had an extremely poor day. Bennett managed just 5 points for his standard owners but he still was tied for the most looks with Alshon Jeffery with 11 targets against the Lions on Sunday. While the Bears posted 34 points this week, their most since week 15 of 2013, they need to get healthier and they have a bye this coming week which will do wonders for guys like Bennett who are still hobbled right now.

Fantasy Football Week 6: Must Play, OK, No Way

Like many fantasy football experts out there last year I wrote a weekly article with starts and sits for the upcoming week. Even as I write my own starts and sits I still like to look around the fantasy football writers landscape and one thing I always notice that I have never liked is the title “Start em or Sit em” or any variation of that title. After think long and hard about it this offseason I’m going to do something a little different for my starts and sits in 2015. A new lay out because sometimes just start and sit don’t tell the full story.

Instead of just a “start” and a “sit” section I will break down players into three different categories this season: “Must Play,” “OK,” and “No Way.”

“Must Play”

Player appearing in this section are guys I will be starting if I own them no matter what and you should too. These players are the ones I feel most confident, outside our stud list on ffchamps, in placing into my line up and not looking back.

“OK”

Guys I feel like could contribute to your squad for the current match up, but if you decide to play them temper your expectations because  while they have the potential to have a huge week they will need some things to go their way to live up to it. These guys will be more of a flex play or QB2/RB3/WR3.

“No Way”

Basically the “sits” of the new format. Guys who I wouldn’t put into my line up even if I was in bye week hell. I’m avoiding them at all costs for the week.

Also don’t ever forget one of our biggest rules at FFChamps.com:

Commandment #10: Thou shall ALWAYS start thy Studs

QB: Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Carson Palmer, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan

RB: Le’Veon Bell, Matt Forte, Eddie Lacy, Marshawn Lynch (Questionable), Adrian Peterson

WR: Odell Beckham Jr. (Questionable), Antonio Brown, Randall Cobb, Julian Edelman, Larry Fitzgerald, A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton, DeAndre Hopkins , Julio Jones (Questionable), Demaryius Thomas

TE: Martellus Bennett, Tyler Eifert, Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, Greg Olsen

WEEK 6 BYES:

Dallas Cowboys: Joseph Randle, Jason Witten

Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr, Latavius Murray, Amari Cooper

St. Louis Rams: Todd Gurley, Tavon Austin, D/ST

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Doug Martin, Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson

So without further ado let’s take a look at who is a “Must Play,” who’s just “OK,” and who is a “No Way” for week 6!

“MUST PLAY”

  • Andy Dalton QB CIN
    • CIN @ BUF Sunday 1PM
    • Dalton is your top scoring fantasy quarterback through 5 weeks. Let that sink in; Andrew Dalton has more fantasy points that Rodgers, Luck, Brady … everyone! Dalton is 2nd in the league in TD pass with 11 and has at least one in every game and his 2 picks through 5 games is tops. Dalton has gone for over 300 yards in each of his last 3 games; 2nd longest 300-yard streak in his career (had 4 straight in 2013), and after looking good against a good Seattle secondary now Dalton gets the Bills. Buffalo has given up multiple passing scores to 4 of 5 quarterbacks this year; just rookie Marcus Mariota failed to throw for a TD on Buffalo, and every QB has scored at least 10 fantasy points against the Bills averaging just under 18 per contest. Dalton is averaging almost 24PPG in 2015.
  • Mark Ingram RB NO
    • NO vs ATL Thursday Night 830PM
    • Ingram has been killing it this year. He is 1 of 6 backs to have scored double-digit points (PPR) in 4 games this year; Freeman, Forte, Charles, Woodhead, and Dion Lewis are the other 5. We knew Ingram would be a beast when healthy, and he has been, but the best surprise is his work in the pass game. His 24 receptions so far this year are more than CJ Spiller and Khiry Robinson combined; 23 between the two. Ingram has had multiple receptions in every game this year and has gone over 70 yards from scrimmage 4 times including two 100-yard games and one when he hit 99. The Falcons are still giving up the most fantasy points per game to RBs at over 36 per contest (PPR) while having allowed the most rushing touchdowns by backs with 8; the 9 total TDs to backs thus far is also the most in the NFL. Ingram is inching closer as the weeks go by to achieving stud status here at ffchamps.com!
  • Devonta Freeman RB ATL
    • ATL @ NO Thursday Night 830PM
    • Thursday Night football is going to feature two top 5 backs in Freeman and Mark Ingram and both these guys should be able to post points! Freeman is the only non-quarterback to have scored at least one touchdown in at least 4 games this season. Freeman is one of two running backs to have more than one game with multiple touchdowns this year; Jeremy Hill being the other. Freeman has averaged 29 touches per game over his last 3 contests and has scored at least 32 points (PPR) in all 3 of those games. The Saints are bottom 10 against RBs giving up 27PPG and last week New Orleans let both DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews go for over 70 yards on the ground and each found the end zone. I wouldn’t care if Freeman was playing the 1985 Bears defense, as Gary Barnidge proved last week against the Ravens, a hot player can stay hot no matter how good the defense and the Saints defense is nowhere near good.
  • Mike Wallace WR MIN
    • MIN vs KC Sunday 1PM
    • Wallace seemed to get back on track two weeks ago against the Broncos going for 83 yards and a score on 8 grabs against the best defense against WRs. This week, coming off the bye, Wallace has the worst pass defense in Kansas City. The Chiefs have given up the most catches (86), yards (1143), and TDs (11) to opposing WRs. No other team has allowed 1100 yards or double-digit touchdowns to wide outs yet.  7 different receivers have scored on the Chiefs this year and 3 of those players scored multiple times in their team’s match up with KC. In his last 2 games against the Chiefs Wallace has caught 8 passes for 88 yards and a score. If the Vikings passing attack takes off this is where it starts and Wallace will be the benefactor of the air game on Sunday.
  • Brandon Marshall WR NYJ
    • NYJ vs WSH Sunday 1PM
    • Marshall has been a monster in 2015. He has double-digits in every game this year in standard scoring systems and has gone for no fewer than 18 points in a game in PPR formats. He’s caught at least 6 passes in every game and has gone over 100 yards in his last three; the first time in his career he’s had 3 straight games over the century mark. While the Redskins aren’t too bad against versus wide receivers; middle of the pack at 20th, they have given up points at times. Washington has only allowed one game of 100+ (Rueben Randle with 116) but the Skins have allowed a TD by a receiver in 4 of 5 games this year. They’ve allowed multiple WRs to catch a touchdown in 2 of their last 3 games. 3 wide outs have gone over 65 yards on Washington when the Redskins are on the road while just one has passed that 65 yard threshold in Washington. This game is in New York and Marshall and the Jets are coming off their bye while the Skins are coming off an away game that went to overtime. Advantage Marshall.
  • Emmanuel Sanders WR DEN
    • DEN @ CLE Sunday 1PM
    • Manny posted his first 100-yard game in 2015 last week; his first game over the century mark since week 12 of last year. While the Broncos haven’t had that same potent offense we saw the last few seasons, Sanders has been consistently good in 2015. He has 6+ catches in 4 of 5 games this year with no fewer than 65 yards in a game with 3 games over 80. Manny has 2TDs in his first 5 games in a season for the first time in his career, and he has had 14 or more fantasy points (PPR) in 4 of 5 games this year. In his last 2 games in Cleveland Sanders has posted 12 and 17 points in PPR formats, going over 50 yards both times and scoring in one of them. Cleveland has let a wide receiver score in 4 of 5 games this year and at least 1 wide out has gone over 75 yards on the Browns secondary in each of the last 3. The Broncos don’t have the same offense but they are getting better as the weeks go by and this is a juicy match up for Peyton and co in the passing attack.

“OK”

  • Teddy Bridgewater QB MIN
    • MIN vs KC Sunday 1PM
    • The Vikings are in the bottom 10 in points scored this year and the offense has looked sluggish overall but this will be their breakout week as an offensive unit. Bridgewater has just 3 total touchdowns through 4 games; by far the worst among QBs to this point, but  the Chiefs are giving up more points to QBs than anyone else this year. Kansas City has given up 13 touchdowns to QBs in the air; most in the league, while having just 2 picks to this point which is the 2nd fewest in the NFL. Take away the Texans week 1, and the Chiefs have allowed at least 18 points to their opposing QB for the week. Of those 4 QBs, 3 have throw for multiple scores and just one of them threw an interception (Peyton week 2). From his 5th game on last year Bridgewater scored double-digit points in 8 of 9 contests including averaging 18PPG against AFC competition. If you need a QB to stream this week Teddy is a good flyer to take.
  • Joe Flacco QB BAL
    • BAL @ SF Sunday 425PM
    • Flacco doesn’t have an impressive stat line through 5 games this year at 1262 yards with 6TDs and 5INTs, but Flacco has still scored 20+ points in 3 of 5 games and has found the end zone twice on the ground. Flacco has played in 2 career games versus the 49ers and has 448 yards with 4TDs and no turnovers in those games; one being Super Bowl XLVII (47). San Francisco is allowing the 5th most fantasy points per week to QBs at just under 20PPG. The Niners have given up over 200 yards every game this year, 300 in 3 of 5, and over 400 yards last week to Eli Manning. Flacco may not have the best talent to throw to without Steve Smith in the line up but he put up 24 last week passing to Kamar Aiken and Marlon Brown. He may not get you 24 again but he should be able to give you something respectable in that 14-18 range.
  • Duke Johnson Jr. RB CLE
    • CLE vs DEN Sunday 1PM
    • The Broncos are a top squad on the defensive side of the ball, especially against the pass, but stopping running backs is their achilies heel. Denver is giving up the 8th most PPR fantasy points to backs at over 28 per contest. While the have given up 4 touchdowns on the ground (good news for Crowell) but Denver is getting killed via the pass to RBs and that’s where Duke Johnson will excel and make his money this weekend. Denver has allowed the 2nd most catches to running backs and the most TDs in the air to backs with 2. Johnson has caught 6 or more balls in each of his last 3 games, has went over 50 yards in 2 of those 3, and score once. In the last 3 weeks Johnson has been on the field for 134 snaps compared to just 91 for Crowell. Johnson has the opportunity, the match up, and is playing with confidence. Great chance for a break out week against the Broncos this Sunday afternoon.
  • Andre Johnson WR IND
    • IND @ NE Sunday Night 830PM
    • Andre didn’t have a big game until last week. In fact Johnson didn’t even had a medium-sized game until last week. His 77 yards last Thursday night were 26 more than he had in his first 4 games as a Colt combined. He found the end zone twice as well in that game; his first times scoring in an Indy uniform. Granted that game was against his former team in his former stadium of employment, so revenge factored in, but that could have been the spark to ignite the Andre Johnson powder keg. Not only that but the Colts will be in New England on Sunday Night and what happened the last time these two teams met in Foxboro; something about deflated footballs and the Patriots getting called out because of Colts defenders which lead to the Brady drama over the off season. Think Tom Brady forgot about that? Think Bill Belichick will brush it off? Hahaha get ready for the Patriots to hit the gas and forget about the brakes! The Colts will be in comeback mode all night and Johnson should benefit. The Pats have allowed 8 wide outs to catch a pass on their home turf this year, 5 of those 8 have gone for over 50 yards and at least one WRs has scored on New England in Foxboro this year. Maybe Andre doesn’t find the end zone but with the beatdown the Patriots will apply there will be no shortage of opportunity for Johnson and the Colts receiving corps this week.
  • Dwayne Harris WR NYG
    • NYG @ PHI Monday Night 830PM
    • Harris is a flyer this week and a guy that should be added if your and Odell Beckham Jr owner since he is banged up and with his status up in the air for a Monday night showdown in the division, if Beckham doesn’t play you will want a back up and Harris is a great choice this week. Harris has had 2 solid weeks the last two getting 6 and 8 targets respectively. His 8 looks last week were a career high as well as his 6 catches for 72 yards. Harris has a small sample-size but Eli Manning is playing great and the Giants will be throwing the ball this week; and the rest of this year for that matter. Harris is the Giants WR3 and anytime Beckham or Randle is out of the line up Harris will get his chances. Harris faces a bad Eagles secondary this week. Philadelphia is in the bottom 3 in points allowed to wide outs this year at 46PPG (PPR). Philly has allowed the 3rd most receptions (83), 3rd  most yards (1084), and 4th most TDs (7) this year. The Eagles have allowed at least 1TD by a wide receiver in each of their home games this year and just last week in Philly both Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead of the Saints caught at least 5 passes and both went over 100 yards. If Beckham and Randle both play than Harris’ value isn’t as high but if one of them misses expect Harris to have a great chance at a career day.
  • Jacob Tamme TE ATL
    • ATL @ NO Thursday Night 830pm
    • Last week against the Redskins Tamme lead both teams with 8 catches and 94 yards. A Falcons tight end hasn’t posted better than 90 yards in a game since Tony Gonzalez did it in week 5 in 2013. Last year no Atlanta tight end managed to hit 35 yards in a game. If Tamme can continue to build a connection with Matt Ryan he will have another tool to use that he hasn’t had since Tony Gonzalez retired. With Julio still banged up Tamme could see some extra looks this week against a Saints defense allowing the 4th most fantasy points per game to TEs so far in 2015. Take away Austin Seferian-Jenkins who got hurt in the game vs the Saints and New Orleans has let every starting TE hit at least 60 yards on at least 4 catches. The Saints have also allowed a TE to score a touchdown on them in 3 of 5 games this year. Normally I don’t expect much from Tamme or any Atlanta tight end but this week Jacob has a great chance to build on a great week 5.

“NO WAY”

  • Josh McCown QB CLE
    • CLE vs DEN Sunday 1PM
    • McCown has 813 passing yards the last 2 weeks; most in the league. He set a career high with 457 yards last week, but don’t expect anything near that this week against the Broncos. Denver has the best defense at stopping quarterbacks letting them average just 9 fantasy points per game. Single-digit points to QBs is unreal and Denver has at least 1 pick in 4 of 5 games this year. No quarterback has passed for 300 yards yet and none have multiple touchdowns in a single game. McCown hasn’t had a streak of 4 games with over 300 yards; he’s already at 3 straight heading into this week, and I can’t see him setting that career mark this weekend against the best defense in the NFL. If you rode McCown any of the last 3 weeks enjoy what he did for you but it’s time to sell high.
  • Jonathan Stewart RB CAR
    • CAR @ SEA Sunday 405PM
    • Stewart came into 2015 super hot after ending 2014 as one of the best fantasy backs. Stewart cooled off real fast and has been cold all season. You’d think the Panthers losing Kelvin Benjamin that running the ball would be their best friend and it has been to an extent but all that leg work is being done by Cam Newton. Cam has led the team in rushing yards in 2 of 4 games this year and has both rushing scores for the Panthers in 2015. Stewart has eclipsed 60 yards on the ground just once in four chances; and just barely at that with 62 in week 2. He hasn’t scored double-digit points yet this year in standard and just barely once in PPR. The Seahawks are the only team to allow fewer than 12PPG (standard) to RBs and they are 1 of 3 teams to have still not allowed a single touchdown to backs in 2015. Stewart’s been bad this year and the Seahawks are coming back home off abad loss in Cincinnati, good luck Carolina!
  • Lamar Miller RB MIA
    • MIA @ TEN Sunday 1PM
    • Miller is 1 of 6 starting backs from week 1 who have played every game for their team and still have failed to score a single touchdown; Melvin Gordon, Marshawn Lynch, Jonathan Stewart, Alfred Morris, and CJ Anderson. Miller has gone 3 straight games with fewer than 40 rushing yards and he’s had just 7 carries in each of his last 2 contests. Miller needs the ball a lot to get going; he’s scored 10+ points in standard leagues 8 times in 14 chances when getting at least 14 carries, while averaging just under 12 points in those games and scoring under 8 points in just 3 of those 14 games. The problem is Miller isn’t getting the touches; he’s had 13 or fewer carries every week this year. Not only that but now he faces the Tennessee Titans who have the 2nd best defense against RBs. The Titans are allowing just 14PPG (standard) to backs while allowing the 3rd fewest rush yards through 5 weeks. Take away Frank Gore’s huge game in Tennessee and the Titans have let a combined 5 backs post a combined 11 points in PPR scoring! Miller hasn’t been getting it done and until he does, or until he has an easier match up, leave him on the pine.
  • Rashad Jennings RB NYG
    • NYG @ PHI Monday Night 830PM
    • The Eagles have been shutting down opposing backs this year. No back has scored double-digits on the Eagles in standard leagues and just once in PPR formats have the Birds let a RB hit 10+ points (Bilal Powell in week 3). The Eagles haven’t allowed a single touchdown to a RB this year, and only 2 backs have been able to rush for better than 60 yards with none topping 80 on the ground yet. Jennings has just one game over 50 rushing yards this season. In 3 career games against Philadelphia, Jennings has just 1 scores and averages just over 50 yards on the ground per game. While Jennings has put up over 30 yards per game in the air in those 3, with Shane Vereen in the mix now Rashad hasn’t and won’t see as many opportunities in the pass game. With ODB and Randle in doubt out wide I have to imagine more chances for Vereen to see the field in this one, and besides Vereen has just 79 fewer yards on the ground this season compared to Jennings with less than half the carries while Vereen has 9 more catches than Jennings for almost 100 more yards in 2015. If any back goes big on Monday Night it will be Vereen, so if you own Jennings leave him on the bench.
  • Stevie Johnson WR SD
    • SD @ GB Sunday 425PM
    • Did you see what Gates did in his first game back? Exactly. Even if Johnson was in his prime and 100% healthy I’d still sit him this week. Johnson hasn’t had more than 3 catches, a score or double-digit fantasy points since week 2. The Packers defense has been playing very well this year overall and against wide outs they are allowing the 3rd fewest points this year. Oh and did I mention that Gates guy is back?
  • Any Panthers WRs CAR
    • CAR @ SEA Sunday 405PM
    • Outside of Cam Newton and Greg Olsen, and they are iffy in this match up as well, no one in a Carolina uniform should be in your line up. The Panthers wide receivers  have failed to have a single 100-yard game this year between all of them and none of them have had more than 4 catches in a single game. The Seahawks have given up just 1TD to a wide out in 5 games this year and have allowed just 2 receivers to go for 75+ yards; AJ Green had 78 last week and Randall Cobb had 116 a few weeks back. No one on the Panthers wide receiving corps is a quarter of the player of either Green or Cobb and Seattle has allowed just 9 touchdowns to WRs in their last 26 games at home.
  • Heath Miller TE PIT
    • PIT vs ARZ Sunday 1PM
    • In his career Miller has caught 44 touchdowns; 41 of them coming from Ben Roethlisberger. Miller has caught just 1TD pass from a QB not named Roethlisberger since 2006 (a 7-yard strike from Charlie Batch in 2012). The Cardinals are allowing fewer than 9 points per game in PPR leagues; under 4 per game in standard scoring, while being 1 of 11 teams to allow under 200 yards in 2015 to TEs and 1 of 4 teams to have not allowed a single touchdown to a tight end yet either. Arizona hasn’t given up more than 8 points (PPR) to any tight end this year and Miller has just 2 games over 8 points this year but none with Vick at the helm.

Follow me on twitter @thepprmonster and let me know how you like the new format! And catch me every Tuesday and Thursday from 4-6pm on Patriots.com radio!

Fantasy Football Week 5: Monsters & Mortals

Every week we see some guys go above the call of duty for our fantasy teams. Some guys just seem to know we need a big week and they show up in a BIG way for us. These guys are straight up MONSTERS! Then again for every player posting 35 points we have a guy we expect to kick ass and take names who lays a goose egg by all accounts. This guy is a lot of times the solo reason we drop a fantasy match up, and so they are known as MORTALS! Every week after the dust clears on Sunday night I will post my list of weekly Monsters and Mortals. A few names at each position who have either exceeded our expectations here at ffchamps for the week, or who we expected a great deal from but fell flat on their face like a dad on America’s Funniest Home Videos (the good old school AFV, the ones hosted by Bob Saget) after taking a wiffle ball bat to the nuts.

So without further ado I present your week 5 Monsters and Mortals.

MONSTERS

QUARTERBACKS

  • Josh McCown CLE
    • 36/51 for 457 yards, 2TDs 0INT, 3 rushes for 12 yards, 1TD 33 fantasy points
    • McCown posted a career high in yards on Sunday with his 457 he dropped on Baltimore. Not only that but McCown has thrown for at least 340 yards and 2TDs each of the last 3 weeks, just the 2nd time he’s done that in his 13 year NFL career. The Ravens defense has given up just 4 games of 400+ yards in the last 10 seasons; McCown’s 457 was the 2nd best in that time period. I have no idea what the members of the Cleveland passing game are drinking before games but they should keep doing it.
  • Blake Bortles JAX
    • 23/33 for 303 yards, 4TDs 1INT, 1 rush for 21 yards 29 fantasy points
    • Bortles has looked like he’s taken the next step this year in just over a quarter of the season. He’s passed for over 240 yards in his last 4 games; he had multiple 240+ games in a row just once last year and it was just 2 games and neither of those games he hit 300 yards. Bortles has also had multiple passing scores in 3 of the last 4 and at least 1 touchdown through the air in all 4. He had just 2 games all season in 2014 with multiple passing strikes and his 10 total TDs in 5 games this year are just 1 behind his 11 total touchdowns he accumulated as a rookie last year. This offense as a whole is looking better and once Julius Thomas is fully integrated from his injury they should become even more potent.
  • Eli Manning NYG
    • 41/54 for 441 yards, 3TDs 1INT, 1 rush 11 rush yards 28 fantasy points
    • Eli posted his best fantasy week since week 1 of 2013 on Sunday Night. It was his 6th career game over 400 passing yards and he’s had at least one such game each of the last 4 years. Eli is 1 of 6 quarterbacks in 2015 to have double-digit passing touchdowns through 5 games (Rivers needs 2 on MNF to become the 7th), and Manning is just one of two to have 10+ touchdown throws with 1 or 0 picks; Tom Brady is the other. Manning gets divisional opponents in 3 of the next 6 games; in 2014 Eli had multiple passing scores in 4 of 6 versus the NFC east and went over 300 yards in 3 of those 6 while averaging 21 fantasy points per contest.

RUNNING BACKS

  • Justin Forsett BAL
    • 21 carries for 121 yards, 1TD, 4 catches for 49 yards 22 fantasy points (24 PPR)
    • After a horrendous start it seems like the Forsett train has gotten back on the rails. Forsett found the end zone for the first time in 2015 this week and has gone over 120 rushing yard in the last two weeks. For as great as Forsett played last year he never had back-to-back games with 120 on the ground. For as long as Steve Smith is out, Forsett will be and must be the center-piece for this Ravens offense.
  • Thomas Rawls SEA
    • 23 carries for 169 yards, 1TD 22 fantasy points (22 PPR)
    • No Marshawn, no problem. Thomas Rawls came in 2 weeks ago for Lynch and played great, and while he got slowed down last week Rawls had a huge opportunity once again on Sunday in Cincinnati and took full advantage. No other back had more than 2 carries for Seattle and the didn’t need to. Rawls showed vision, burst, and shiftiness all while accumulating more rushing yards in this game than Lynch has ever had in a single game since joining the Seahawks in 2010. Don’t let him sit on your waiver wire for a second longer if he is still out there.
  • Doug Martin TB
    • 24 carries for 123 yards, 2TDs, 3 catches for 35 yards, 1TD 33 fantasy points (36 PPR)
    • Martin posted back-to-back 100 yards rushing games for the 2nd time in his career and first time since weeks 7 and 8 in his tremendous rookie season in 2012. It’s the first time he’s had multiple scores in a game since week 11 of 2012 and just the 2nd time he’s had 3 or more TDs in a game; other was his monster 4 score game in Oakland 3 years ago. Not only did Martin post a huge day but Charles Sims still managed 51 yards on the ground and 85 through the air. When Jameis Winston doesn’t turn the ball over, this Buccaneers offense actually looks better than ok under the rookie QB. If they can continue to use Martin (and Sims) in this capacity they may make some noise in the NFC south before years end.

WIDE RECEIVERS

  • DeAndre Hopkins HOU
    • 14 targets, 11 catches for 169 yards, 0TD 16 fantasy points (27 PPR)
    • Hopkins is one of the best wide outs in the NFL right now posting 100 yards for the 3rd straight game on Thursday Night. Hopkins was leading the league in targets with 60 before week 5 kicked off and added another 14 looks against the Colts. He’s had 13 or more targets in 4 of 5 games with no few than 11 in any of his 2015 contests. He’s scored double-digit fantasy points every week in PPR leagues and in 4 of 5 for standard owners. D-Hop will continue to post WR1 numbers all year. Just imagine how scary he could be with a legit QB throwing him the ball.
  • Andre Johnson IND
    • 7 targets, 6 catches for 77 yards, 2TDs 19 fantasy points (25 PPR)
    • In his first game back in Houston since joining division-rival Indianapolis this off season Andre came back big. Before the season started you probably thought Andre will be a beast with Luck throwing to him. Before week 5 Andre had 7 grabs for 51 yards and no scores in the first month COMBINED! Leave it to the revenge factor (although Johnson had no ill-will revenge in mind) to jump-start someone’s season. Johnson accumulated 151% of his season yards against his former squad and found the end zone for the first time since week 17 of last year and it was Johnson’s first game with multiple scores since November of 2013.
  • Allen Robinson JAX
    • 9 targets, 7 catches for 72 yards, 2TDs 19 fantasy points (26 PPR)
    • Allen Hurns has been on fire; and that fire continued with another 100 yard performance and score against the Buccs this week, but Robinson has still been the favorite target of Blake Bortles and Sunday Robinson had another big one. It was his second game this year with multiple touchdowns and his 4th straight game was at least 4 catches for 65 yards on at least 9 targets. As I mentioned with Bortles earlier this team seems to be coming into their own offensively and as long as Robinson and Hurns stay healthy for Blake this Jaguars offense will be a force to be reckoned with as the year continues.

TIGHT ENDS

  • Gary Barnidge CLE
    • 10 targets, 8 catches for 139 yards, 1TD 19 fantasy points (27 PPR)
    • What an odd day for fantasy tight ends. Barnidge benefitted heavily from McCown’s career day. Bardidge had as many catches Sunday in 4 quarters as the Ravens allowed in their first 16 quarters of the season with 8. Baltimore had given up just 31 total yards before Gary came along and he posted that plus 108 more yards in one day’s work plus he scored the first TD on the Ravens in 2015 and just the 2nd TD they have allowed to a tight end since week 12 of last year.
  • Tyler Eifert CIN
    • 12 targets, 8 catches for 90 yards, 2TD 21 fantasy points (29 PPR)
    • Eifert is 1 of 2 tight ends to have a touchdown catch in at least 3 games this year; Barnidge is the other, and Tyler is the only tight end in the NFL to this point to have multiple games with multiple touchdown catches. Not only is Eifert the real deal but this Bengals offense as a whole is playing insanely well. Eifert is now the number one tight end in the NFL in terms of fantasy points and touchdowns and is top 5 in catches and yards as well. Special year for this guy, if you own him let him keep racking up points and an otherwise unstable position.

MORTALS

QUARTERBACKS

  • Peyton Manning DEN
    • 22/35 for 266 yards, 0TD 2INTs 6 fantasy points
    • Manning has started this season with at least 1 interception in each of his first 5 games, just the 4th time in his 18-year career he’s had a streak of 5 or more games throwing a pick and his first time with such a streak since 2007 (the other 2 instances were his first 2 seasons in the league in 1998 and 1999). As noted before if the Broncos can’t establish a running game, Peyton is past the point of putting the team on his arm and throwing his way to a win at will. Manning has 2 games this year without throwing a touchdown pass. He has had just 2 such games in his 3 years with the Broncos before the start of the year and at one point Manning had at least one touchdown pass in 44 straight games. I said before the year start that Eli was the Manning to own in 2015 and so far it looks like that was a good bet.
  • Brandon Weeden DAL
    • 26/39 for 188 yards, 0TD 1INT, 18 rush yards 6 fantasy points
    • If you listened to the show last Thursday or the podcast you heard Bill and Kevin go back and forth as to who was going to have the bigger week, Michael Vick or Brandon Weeden. Bill took Vick and Kev too Weeden. Vick hasn’t played yet but I think it’s safe to say #BillWinsThisRound. Seriously though how screwed are the Cowboys without Romo? Even if they had Dez in the line up how much better would Weeden be? He’s useless in fantasy every week until he actually shows up with more than 13 points; and yes that was his high in 3 1/2 games so far this year.

RUNNING BACKS

  • CJ Spiller NO
    • 3 carries for 10 yards, 0TD, 3 catches for -8 yards 1 fantasy point (4 PPR)
    • The main question to ask about the Saints backfield is this: Is CJ Spiller playing that bad or is Mark Ingram playing that good? It’s a combination of both. Spiller was brought in to be the pass-catching back and he does have 10 catches in the last 3 weeks for over 100 yards and the game-winning score against Dallas last week. But 71% of those yards came on one play and honestly Spiller hasn’t seemed to settle in down in the Big Easy yet. The Saints offense isn’t what it’s been the past few years and Mark Ingram has been the best we’ve ever seen in the passing game. Ingram already has 24 catches in 5 games this year; his career-high in a season to this point is 29. Ingram hasn’t had 150 yards through the air or a TD via the pass before 2015 either. While he hasn’t caught a passing score yet this year he is already well past 200 receiving yards. The Saints offense on a downward slope plus Ingram playing so well means Spiller won’t be getting many touches and the one’s he get he hasn’t been doing much with to begin with.
  • Ronnie Hillman DEN
    • 7 carries for 21 yards, 0TD, 1 catch for 5 yards 2 fantasy points (3 PPR)
    • It wasn’t just Hillman who did nothing in the Denver backfield Sunday. CJ Anderson also managed just 22 yards on the ground and a total of 3 fantasy points (5 PPR) against the Raiders. Kubiak was supposed to come in and make this Broncos run game even better than it was last year when it ended the season as the 11th best rushing attack in terms of fantasy points scored. Denver barely has 350 rushing yards as a whole in 2015 through 5 weeks; ranking them 30th in the league and just 4 teams have fewer than 400 yards on the ground to this point. It’s not just the Denver run game that hasn’t been playing well under Kubiak (but more on that later) but if Denver can’t establish a run, Peyton isn’t the guy who can win games all by himself at this point. It’s going to be a long 11 games for Broncos fans to close out 2015 if they don’t establish a ground game.

WIDE RECEIVERS

  • Donte Moncrief IND
    • 3 targets, 1 catch for 3 yards, 0TD 0 fantasy points (1 PPR)
    • Moncrief had at least 7 targets in each of the first 4 weeks while posting no fewer than 7 points in standard leagues and double-digits each week for PPR players. Moncrief was supposed to be the 3rd look for Andrew Luck; or Matt Hasselbeck, but he ended up playing better than Andre Johnson throughout the year and was getting the love from his QB. Andre went off this week and if he can continue to play at half the level he was on in Houston than Moncrief will lose some value. Johnson was brought in to be the Robin to TY Hilton’s Batman and it looks like it may start swinging that way going forward.
  • Jordan Matthews PHI
    • 7 targets, 5 catches for 44 yards, 0TD 4 fantasy points (9 PPR)
    • Sam Bradford had over 300 yards in the air and the Eagles posted 39 points so you’d think the one solid offensive piece in Matthews would have had a big game. Not so much. Matthews had fewer targets than Riley Cooper and he watched Brent Celek and Josh Huff score on the 2 touchdown passes that Bradford threw for. Matthews had his 3rd straight week of 50 or fewer yards. Definitely a downer but he still has at least 7 targets per game and last year when he had three straight games with 50 or fewer yards he came back big with a 138 yard performance and found the end zone twice that day. Although the Eagles have a better-than-avaerage defense to face in the Giants next week they do have 4 easy match ups in their 6 coming off their week 8 bye.
  • Amari Cooper OAK
    • 4 targets, 4 catches for 47 yards, 0TD 4 fantasy points (8 PPR)
    • We didn’t imagine Amari posting big numbers on the best pass defense this week and he didn’t. Like every stud out there, everyone will have bad weeks and this just happened to be one of Cooper’s slow days at the office. On the bright side he did catch all 4 of his targets and he has just 1 tough match up in the next 7 after Oakland’s week 6 bye.

TIGHT ENDS

  • Coby Fleener IND
    • 3 targets, 2 catches for 9 yards, 0TD 0 fantasy points (2 PPR)
    • We knew with Dwaye Allen back Fleener’s production would take a hit, but to go from 4 grabs for 51 yards 2 weeks ago and 9 for 83 and a score last week to the big fat goose egg is beyond bad. Not that Allen had a much better game with just 1 catch for 21 yards; but this was the Andre Johnson show. Fleener will be a risky play anytime both he and Allen are in the line up together and if Andre Johnson can keep playing near the level he showed on Thursday night then Fleener’s value will be non-existent for most games the rest of the way.
  • Travis Kelce KC
    • 6 targets, 3 catches for 35 yards, 0TD 3 fantasy points (6 PPR)
    • While Kelce had his worst game since week 16 of last year he has a nice future ahead. With Jamaal Charles likely done for the year with a torn ACL Kelce is going to see a good portion of the 7 targets per game Charles was getting. Kelce is in for a great year and, while Charles’ injury will kill his owners, Kelce’s owners will see a boost in production. Kelce already has 3 games with 5+ catches this year; he had just 4 games with 5+ grabs last year. Will Kelce have a few stinkers in the year but for the most part he will be the guy you drafted.
  • Owen Daniels DEN
    • 0 targets, 0 catches for 0 yards, 0TD 0 fantasy points (0 PPR)
    • Daniels failed to catch a pass against the worst team at stopping tight ends this year. The Raiders were giving up 27PPG to tight ends and Daniels laid a goose egg! Barnidge destroys the one defense that was literally allowing tight ends to do nothing while Daniels literally did nothing against a defense that has been giving up points to tight ends like they were running an all-you-can-eat buffet; take as much as you want. Some days are just wacky and unpredictable and week 5 of the 2015 fantasy season falls under that category without question.

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