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!

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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.

Follow me on twitter @thepprmonster and check me out on patriots.com radio every Tuesday and Thursday during the NFL season 4-6pm!

Fantasy Football Week 5: 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 here:

Commandment #10: Thou shall ALWAYS start thy Studs

QB: Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan

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

WR: Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown, Randall Cobb, Julian Edelman, A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton, Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas

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

WEEK 5 BYES:

Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, Jonathan Stewart, D/ST

Minnesota Vikings: Kyle Rudolph, Mike Wallace, D/ST

New York Jets:Brandon Marshall, Chris Ivory, Eric Decker, Ryan Fitzpatrick, D/ST

Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, Lamar Miller, Jarvis Landry, Rishard Matthews, Jordan Cameron

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 5!

“MUST PLAY”

  • Marcus Mariota TEN
    • TEN vs BUF Sunday 1PM
    • Mariota has been taking the NFL by storm this year, and he has a sweet match up coming off his bye week. Mariota has had multiple touchdowns through the air every week so far and no fewer than 18 points in any contest. His 8:2 TD:INT ratio is 5th best in the league (behind Brady, Palmer, Rodgers, and Dalton). Now he’s at home facing the Buffalo Bills who are allowing the 4th most points per week to quarterbacks at just under 20 per week. They’ve given up the 5th most passing yards (1218) and 2nd most touchdowns (10). Only Ryan Tannehill has failed to hit 15 points against this Bills defense this year.
  • Drew Brees NO
    • NO @ PHI Sunday 1PM
    • Last week we saw the Drew Brees we are used to seeing the last few years. Last week was just the 2nd time we’ve seen Brees go over 350 yards and pass for multiple scores without a pick. Brees is averaging over 280 yards per game versus the Eagles in his career with 2TDs per contest and few than 1 pick. The Eagles have allowed every QB (or combo in the Cowboys game that Tony Romo left) to hit 15 or more fantasy points. Philadelphia has let 2 of 4 quarterbacks pass for multiple scores, and have failed to have an interception against 3 QBs. If the Saints want to get back on track last week’s win was a great way to start and they should keep momentum against a team giving up over 21PPG in 2015 and against NFC opponents the Eagles are allowing 23PPG.
  • Justin Forsett BAL
    • BAL vs CLE Sunday 1PM
    • Forsett actually produced for his owners last week against the toughest defense he’s seen all season. He seemed to just rip off chunks of yards through out the night finishing with more yards on the ground in that game (150) than he had in his first 3 games in 2015 combined (124). Last year against the Browns Forsett combined in 2 games for 201 yards from scrimmage on 28 carries and 6 catches. This year the Browns are near the bottom of the league letting opposing backs to post over 28PPG (PPR) against them. Cleveland is 1 of 3 teams to have allowed over 500 rushing yards and in fact are the worst giving up 556 through 4 weeks. The Browns have allowed every team they’ve faced to have a RB hit for 16+ points in PPR scoring and have allowed 3 of 4 backs to hit better than 90 rushing yards. If Forsett is truly back this will officially be his coming out party.
  • LaGarrette Blount/ Dion Lewis (PPR) NE
    • NE @ DAL Sunday 425PM
    • The Patriots are on a tear this year. Leading the NFL in PPG at just under 40 per contest, and lead the league in yards per game with 446 each time they play; just 1 of 5 teams over 400YPG through 4 weeks. Blount got worked back in slowly his first game back in Buffalo a few weeks ago but looked true to form in the Patriots last game in week 3 against the Jaguars going for 92 total yards and 3 scores on 19 total touches. Dion Lewis has been on fire all year going for over 100 yards from scrimmage and/or 1 score in every game this year. Lewis’ value in PPR leagues is much higher as he’s caught at least 4 passes in each game on at least 5 targets. Even with Blount back since week 2, Lewis has gotten 13 touches in each game he and Blount have both suited up for. The Cowboys are allowing 33PPG (PPR) to running backs, 3rd worst in the NFL and just 1 of 3 teams allowing better than 30 per game to backs. Dallas has given up at least one score on the ground in 3 of 4 games this year and every team has had a back catch at least 4 passes each week for an average of 83YPG to running back. Both these guys should have big weeks along with everyone else for the Pats.
  • Rueben Randle NYG
    • NYG vs SF Sunday Night 830PM
    • Randle has scored in his last 2 games. Randle has outscored Odell Beckham in terms of fantasy points in the Giants last 2 games. Victor Cruz re aggravated his knee injury last week and that will keep him sidelined at least this week but likely longer and while he’s on the shelf Randle is the 2nd look for Eli. The 49ers are allowing just shy of 40 points per game to wide receivers and have let teams WR2’s post at least 9 points each of the last 3 weeks with 2 of those 3 going over double-digits. In their two away games this year the Niners have given up over 40 points in each game and 4 total TDs to wide outs. Giants offense should have a field day and ODB and Rueben Randle will lead the charge on Sunday Night.
  • Owen Daniels DEN
    • DEN vs OAK Sunday 425PM
    • Daniels has not reached 30 yards in a game yet this year. He has just one game this year with more than 3 catches. He’s ranked 21st among TEs to this point in the season. So why should you love Owen this weekend? Well to start while his grabs and yards aren’t special he has caught a touchdown in each of his last two games. Oh yeah and he’s getting the Raiders this week. How great is that for Daniels? Oakland is giving up 27PPG in PPR and 19PPG in standard scoring. They’ve given up the most touchdowns to TEs with 6; only one other team has allowed more than 3. Every starting tight end has gone for at least 80 yards (two 100-yard performances in 4 weeks) on no fewer than 5 catches and each one has found the end zone. Daniels isn’t a long-term guy to hold on to but he’s a great bye-week fill in option this week.

“OK”

  • Jay Cutler CHI
    • CHI @ KC Sunday 1PM
    • Even without Alshon Jeffery I still think Cutler can produce respectable numbers on the Chiefs on Sunday. Cutler has at least 1 touchdown every game he’s played this year. He’s gone for 225 of more in the 2 games he’s finished and before he got hurt against the Cardinals in week 2 he was 8 for 9 for 120 yards with a score. He’s only put up 14 points week 1 and 17 week 4; the two games he finished, but Cutler was  top 16 QB both those weeks. In a week like this one missing 4 teams to a bye, Cutler could realistically end the week as a low QB1. Cutler has thrown for 225+ yards and had multiple scores in 3 of his last 4 games on the road against AFC opponents while tossing just 3 total picks. Cutler has averaged 16 points per game in those 4. Kansas City is still giving up the most fantasy points to QBs at over 23PPG. The Chiefs have allowed the most passing TDs this year with 11 and are near the bottom of the league with just 2INTs through 4 games.
  • Alex Smith KC
    • KC vs CHI Sunday 1PM
    • Both quarterbacks in this match up have a good shot to toss multiple scores and keep the ball away from the other team. The Bears have allowed the 2nd most touchdowns to QBs this year at 10, and like the Chiefs, Chicago has just 2 interceptions on the year. Smith has 16 or more fantasy points in 3 of 4 games this year. Smith is a top 6 passer this year in terms of yards with 1110 through 4 games and his 88 rushing yards ranks him 7th among QBs. While Smith has just 4 touchdown passes this year, the Bears have allowed at least 1 score to quarterbacks in every game this year and multiple passing touchdowns in 3 of 4 games and only Derek Carr has failed to hit 16 fantasy point against Chicago this year.
  • Matt Jones WSH
    • WSH @ ATL Sunday 1PM
    • Either guy in the Redskins backfield; Jones or Alfred Morris, could have a huge day in Atlanta this Sunday. The Falcons are still the worst team at stopping running backs giving up 40 points per game. Atlanta has given up 7TDs on the ground, just 1 of 3 teams to allow 5 or more thus far. The reason I think Jones has the bigger game of the two Washington backs is because of his work in the passing game compare to Morris. Jones is better out of the backfield in the pass game and the 42 catches for 365 yards the Falcons have given up to RBs are both worst in the league. Jones has had just one big game, and I understand that but he will go off again and this game is aligned perfectly for Jones to have another huge day.
  • Devonta Freeman ATL
    • ATL vs WSH Sunday 1PM
    • No one is hotter as a running back right now than Devonta Freeman; hell no one in the NFL may be hotter than him. Freeman has found the end zone 3 times in each of his last 2 games on the ground while chipping in 5 grabs for over 50 yards in each of those contests. Without Tevin Coleman in the line up, Freeman has made the most of his chances but Coleman could return this week. Obviously Atlanta will work Coleman back slowly and ride Freeman but Devonta has a rough match up this week. The Redskins have let just one RB go over 50 yards on them; Lamar Miller had 53 yards on the ground week 1. No back has caught more than 4 passes or gone for 30+ yards via the air. Washington let just 1 touchdown past them by a running back, and their 13 fantasy PPG allowed in PPR leagues is tops, as is their sub-ten points per game in standard scoring. I can’t put Freeman as a “No Way” with how hot he is but seriously temper expectations for him in this one.
  • Terrence Williams DAL
    • DAL vs NE Sunday 405PM
    • Williams has had 7 or more targets in 3 of 4 games this year, and has gone for a score in two of his last three games. While Brandon Weeden is holding back the potential of not only Williams but every Cowboy in the passing game, Williams should have a good game this week and I can tell you why in two words: Garbage Time. Brady and the Patriots are going to have their way with the Cowboys and that means Dallas will be throwing a lot. Lance Dunbar is done for the year so his 6 targets per game need to go somewhere. Not only will Dallas be looking to come back but the Patriots pass defense isn’t good to begin with. A bottom 5 unit allowing  over 42PPG (PPR) to wide outs. Every team to have faced the Patriots had at least one WR find the end zone and every teams WR1; which is what Williams is for Dallas with Dez Bryant out, has caught at least 4 pass for 65 or more yards while averaging 19 fantasy points. If Williams has a big week or two this year, this should be one of them.
  • Antonio Gates SD
    • SD vs PIT Monday Night 830PM
    • Gates is returning at a great time for the Chargers. San Diego held it’s own without Gates the first 4 weeks posting 24 points per week and Rivers being able to throw for an average of 309 each game. Rob Gronkowski destroyed the Steelers with 94 yards and 3 scores week 1 and Vernon Davis followed up Gronk the following week going for 62 yards on 5 grabs. Gates is not only fresh but he’s putting up just under 5 grabs per game for 58 yards in his 6 career games against the Steelers scoring 4 total touchdowns. Gates has at least one score at home in 5 of his last 9 games and Gates has 6 career TDs on Monday Night Football.

“NO WAY”

  • Matthew Stafford DET
    • DET vs ARZ Sunday 405PM
    • This is Stafford’s slowest start since his rookie season. It’s the first time since his first NFL season that Stafford has had 5 or more interceptions in his first 4 games. It’s also the first time since his rookie year that Stafford hasn’t had a single 300-yard game in the first quarter of the year. Every defense Stafford has faced this year has been a top 8 unit in keeping QBs from scoring fantasy points and now he faces the Cardinals another top 8 team; top 5 to be exact. Arizona has held 3 quarterbacks this year to single-digit fantasy performances and has forced a turnover in 3 of 4 games this year by QBs. Only one quarterback has throw for over 200 yards on the Cards this year and just one signal-caller has multiple touchdown passes on the Birds.
  • Michael Vick PIT
    • PIT @ SD Monday Night 830PM
    • Vick hasn’t thrown for over 200 yards since September of 2013. Vick hasn’t posted a game of more than 16 fantasy point since September of 2013. The Chargers are allowing just 15PPG to QBs this year. They have given up fewer than 1000 passing yards and on the ground quarterbacks have done nothing. 8 rushing yards by QBs against the Chargers. San Diego has allowed 18 or fewer points in 3 of their last 5 Monday Night games, and the last time the Chargers had a MNF game at home they held Andrew Luck to just 7 fantasy points.
  • Melvin Gordon SD
    • SD vs PIT Monday Night 830PM
    • Gordon has been off to a slow start in his NFL career. Many people thought Gordon would have been off to the best start by a rookie this year with todd Gurley shelved to kick off 2015 but that hasn’t been the case. Gordon has failed to hit double-digit fantasy points in all 4 games this year. He’s only made it over 50 rushing yards twice; just barely in week 3 when he had 51 yards on the ground, and he hasn’t hit 100 yards in a game yet. Not only have Gordon’s rushing yards been down but he hasn’t found the end zone yet either and Danny Woodhead has been on the field for 23 more snaps. The Steelers have been surprisingly decent at slowing down RBs. They’ve given up 100 yards just once this year, and haven’t allowed a single touchdown to a back either on the ground of through the air. All of Gordon’s inability to produce so far this year all factored in with Pittsburgh being a top 5 unit against the run means Gordon will have a rough time getting going Monday Night.
  • Doug Martin TB
    • TB vs JAX Sunday 1PM
    • Some people may buy into Martin’s big game last week as he is showing signs of turning it around but I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid. Martin had over 100 yards rushing last week for the 1st time since week 17 last year and just the 3rd time since the start of 2013. Martin also found the end zone last week for the first time since week 13 last year and just the 4th time overall since the 2013 season began. Martin has 40 fantasy points this year (standard scoring) good for 10PPG but half of those total point came just last week and that was just his 3rd double-digit performance since the kick off of last year. While the Jaguars are just middle-of-the-road versus RBs on paper, when you break it down they’ve been better-than-advertised against backs. Take away the 4 scores LaGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis of the Patriots scored a few weeks back and the Jags have allowed just 1TD to RBs. Outside of Blount (78) no back has topped 55 rushing yards and not one has hit the century mark. Plus without those Pats back beefing up the season total of fantasy points against Jacksonville by RBs, no other back has had double-digits on the Jags. One final thought on Martin’s game last week in the words of the great LL Cool J: Don’t call it a come back.
  • Tavon Austin STL
    • STL @ GB Sunday 1PM
    • Spare me on Austin’s big game last week. That was last week and while history is something to always look at, when we dig it isn’t helping Austin’s cause. It’s the 3rd time in his NFL career that Austin has caught multiple touchdowns in a single game. The other two instances coming in his rookie season in 2013 and after both those game Austin had 30 or fewer receiving yards and didn’t contribute on the ground or in the return game either. The Rams are coming off a huge victory in Arizona to give their division rivals their first loss. The Rams have managed over 20 points just once in their last eight trips to Lambeau Field scoring an average of just 12PPG. The Packers are a top-tier unit a quarter way through 2015 giving up just 2TDs to wide outs this year. Green Bay has just let 2 wide receivers go over 80 yards in a game and only 3 WRs have managed double-digit points (PPR) against the Pack; Alshon Jeffery, Doug Baldwin, and Jeremy Maclin. If you used Austin last week, pat yourself on the back and move on because after a huge game Austin shows up very small.
  • Gary Barnidge CLE
    • CLE @ BAL Sunday 1PM
    • Some guy named Gary has looked like an unstoppable force the last few weeks, but let’s put that in perspective. He’s posted more yards in his last two games combined that he has in each of the last 4 seasons and his 2 touchdowns this year in 4 games have already tied a season-high and he’s just one score away from tying his career total in TDs which stands at 3 in his 6 NFL seasons. The Ravens have allowed just 4TDs in the last 5 seasons against the Browns; just 1 of those came since the start of 2012. This year Baltimore is tops against tight ends allowing them to score less than 3 points per game, and that’s in PPR leagues! 8 catches for 31 yards and 0TDs on the season! Will someone eventually have a decent game against the Ravens from the tight end spot? Yes. Will it be some guy named Gary? Not bloody likely!

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

Fantasy Football Week 4: 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 (BYE), Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers

RB: Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, Eddie Lacy, Marshawn Lynch, Adrian Peterson

WR: Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown, Randall Cobb, A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton, Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas

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

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 4!

“MUST PLAY”

  • Andy Dalton QB CIN
    • CIN vs KC Sunday 1PM
    • Other than Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady; who’s on a bye this week, Dalton is the hottest quarterback in the fantasy world. This Bengals offense is looking more and more legit as a top-tier unit as the weeks pass. Dalton’s 383 yards last week were a career high and normally I wouldn’t say someone can break the same record twice in consecutive weeks but Dalton has a great shot against the worst pass defense in the league coming in to Cincinnati on Sunday. Kansas City is in the bottom 5 in yards allowed to QBs, they have given up 10 passing touchdowns most in the league, and the Chiefs are just 1 of 2 teams to allow QBs to post 25+ points per week through 3 games.
  • Isaiah Crowell RB CLE
    • CLE @ SD Sunday 405PM
    • Crowell may not be high on the fantasy running back rankings right now; 50th currently, but he has such a soft match up this week he’s worth the risk as a flex play, even a RB2 if you’re missing LaGarrette Blount or Dion Lewis to their bye week. Crowell has minimal competition behind him, just Duke Johnson, as Crowell has gotten 37 rush attempts to Johnson’s 23 and Crowell is getting a carry on just under every other snap he’s been on the field. While Isaiah has just one double-digit game this season this should be number two. The Chargers are horrible against the run giving up over 32PPG to opposing backs, 2nd most. San Diego has allowed 4.9YPC which is also 2nd worst in the league. Every teams top back to face the Chargers this year has posted double-digit fantasy points.
  • Karlos Williams RB BUF
    • BUF vs NYG Sunday 1PM
    • We told you Tuesday that Karlos Williams had to be the first name off the waiver wire and with LeSean McCoy likely missing this one Williams is going to have his breakout party against the Giants. Even with McCoy in the line up Williams was averaging 62 yards per game and 1TD on less than 9 touches per game! He’s the only RB in the NFL to have scored a touchdown each week in 2015, and has double-digit points in PPR leagues each of those games. The Giants defense is bad all over but against RBs the G-Men are allowing the 3rd most fantasy points per contest at just over 30 per. If the Redskins Chris Thompson (who?!) can post 22 points (14 standard scoring) just imagine what Williams will do against a bad defense with a full work load.
  • Amari Cooper WR OAK
    • OAK @ CHI Sunday 1PM
    • Cooper was the first WR off the board in the NFL draft this year and he’s been showing why in 2015. After a pedestrian week 1; 5 carries for 47 yards, Cooper has been playing like what most of us thought he’d play like. Over 100 yards in both of his last two games; to put that in perspective what wide receiving studs haven’t his the century mark at least twice this year? Calvin Johnson (0), AJ Green (1), Julian Edelman (0), DeAndre Hopkins (1), TY Hilton (0), Randall Cobb (1), ODB (1), and Demaryius Thomas (1). Cooper is an up-and-coming stud and racing up the WR fantasy standings currently a mid WR2. Now he has a chance to race up those standing real fast as he faces a bad Bears secondary. Chicago is allowing the 2nd most touchdowns to WRs this year with 7, and they have let 5 of 9 WRs hit double-digit points (PPR) this year. Jermaine Kearse just caught 6 passes for 76 yards last week; both career highs for Kearse. If Jermaine can make the Bears look stupid just wait to see what Coop does this Sunday.
  • Marvin Jones WR CIN
    • CIN vs KC Sunday 1PM
    • If Dalton is one of the hottest QBs in football then why wouldn’t you want to use his wide outs in your line ups? Jones has scored in his last two games while averaging 71 yards per contest. This is the 3rd time in Jones’ career he’s caught a touchdown in consecutive games. The other 2 times that happened in the next game Jones has posted 6 catches for 85 yards in one and his insane game of 8 grabs for 122 yards and 4 scores. That’s and average of 7-103-2 or 22 standard fantasy points. Cincinnati faces the worst pass defense in the NFL in Kansas City this Sunday so I’m loving Jones and the whole Bengals offense, well almost the whole offense … more on that later. The Chiefs have been decimated in the secondary with injury and their best corner Sean Smith was suspended the first 3 games this year. Now Smith will be back and on AJ Green which means Jones will have super soft coverage all day. Great play in your line ups this week and a steal in DraftKings DFS line ups at just $3800.
  • Charles Clay TE BUF
    • BUF vs NYG Sunday 1PM
    • Clay has 17 targets this year, second most for the Bills behind … Percy Harvin?! Yes Harvin is leading the team in targets but Clay has just as many receptions as Harvin; 12, tied for the team lead. Clay’s 144 yards are second best on the team and his 2 receiving scores are tops for Buffalo so far. The Bills take on the Giants this week and Clay must be drooling getting ready for this one. New York is allowing the 2nd most points to tight ends this year and are just 1 of 5 teams giving up more than 20PPG to tight ends in PPR leagues. Every TE1 the Giants have faced this year have managed to catch at least 4 passes and none have accumulated fewer than 60 yards. The Giants let Jacob Tamme post 77 yards on them 2 weeks ago. Tamme hasn’t had more then 50 yards in a game since 2012 and those 77 yards were the third most of his career. If a guy like Tamme can look good against this defense than Clay could look like Gronk this week.

“OK”

  • Joe Flacco QB BAL
    • BAL @ PIT Thursday Night 830pm
    • Flacco’s thrown for more yards in his career against the Steelers than versus any other team. He has a 3:1 touchdown to interception ratio and is averaging 221 yards per game; his most against any NFC north opponent. In his last 4 games in Pittsburgh Flacco has thrown for 300+ yards twice and has at least 1TD pass in 3 of 4 and has just a single interception over the 4. This Steelers secondary is the worst Flacco has ever seen and the Steelers are currently allowing the 5th most points per game to QBs in fantasy football. They have given up 6 touchdown passes and have just a single pick thus far in 2015.
  • Danny Woodhead RB SD
    • SD vs CLE Sunday 405PM
    • While Melvin Gordon is the feature back in San Diego, Danny Woodhead has been holding his own. Woodhead has been on the field for 17 more snaps than Gordon this year. While Gordon does have 20 more rushes for 99 more yards, Woodhead is the only back for the Chargers to score this year. Woodhead also has caught 13 of his 15 targets for 120 yards and has caused 5 missed tackles this year; 4th best in the NFL. Much like the Chargers, the Browns are bottom 5 at giving up points to running backs allowing 30 per week. The Browns are also bottom 10 in passing yards allowed to RBs, and have allowed the most rushing yards this year with 464; just 1 of 2 teams allowing more than 400 through 3 games. PPR players are definitely playing Woodhead, and should, but if you own him in standard leagues you can start him confidently. Melvin Gordon also a great option at RB this week.
  • Rueben Randle WR NYG
    • NYG @ BUF Sunday 1PM
    • Likely no Victor Cruz again in this one, and last week Randle looked like the Randle we were expecting to see with Cruz out. Randle should see a fair amount o success this week in Buffalo. The Bills are very good defensively but if they are weak anywhere it’s against wide outs. Buffalo is giving up the 3rd most points to WRs through 3 weeks. The Bills have allowed the top two wide receivers from each team they’ve faced so far score double-digits in PPR leagues and 5 of those 6 WRs went for 8+ in standard leagues. While Eli Manning has just 4TD passes so far this year, he’s been getting better as the weeks pass. Randle is also a big boy at 6’4” so he will be seeing looks in the red zone.
  • Torrey Smith WR SF
    • SF vs GB Sunday 425PM
    • The Packers are going to smoke the 49ers. The 49ers will have to play catch up and throw the ball. I don’t think the Green Bay defense is on the same level as the Cardinals and the Pack won’t be able to force Colin Kaepernick into 4 picks. The Packers defense has allowed the last two WR1’s they’ve faced to accumulate 90+ yards and a score each, and even week one when the Bears Alshon Jeffery didn’t score he still caught 5 passes for 78 yards. Torrey may not be the Niners top passing option but he should see a fair amount of looks deep as San Fran is trying to keep this one just respectable in the end.
  • Ty Montgomery WR GB
    • GB @ SF Sunday 425PM
    • This play is based more on if Adams misses time. When Adams missed last Monday Night’s game, Ty Montgomery stepped in and didn’t seem to miss a beat with Aaron Rodgers and this Packers offense. While Montgomery had just 2 targets last week he caught both of them and found the end zone for the first time in his career. Cobb is obviously the star of this offense and James Jones has a history with Rodgers but Montgomery will still get his opportunities if Adams misses time again, and even if they say Adams will play how much can we trust him after leaving the last 2 games with the same injury? The 49ers are bottom 5 in giving up fantasy points to wide receivers and have let guys like Mike Wallace and Darrius Heyward-Bey have season-high games on them this year. How bad is San Francisco against WRs? Well the touchdown pass they let Heyward-Bey catch was the 1st time he’s scored since week 7 of 2013 and his 77 yards were the most he accumulated since week 13 of 2012! If you need a flier at wide receiver this week, Montgomery is a high risk, very high reward type guy.
  • Jordan Reed TE WSH
    • WSH vs PHI Sunday 1PM
    • When healthy it’s almost impossible to not have Reed in your line ups, especially PPR leagues. Reed has averaged 8 targets per game this year and has at least 6 catches and 63 yards in each game. He’s gone for double-digits each week in PPR scoring and has 8+ all three weeks in standard scoring. He’s a top 5 tight end in both scoring formats. While the Eagles do have a defense that has been taking care of business on TEs; giving up just 6 catches for 30 yards per game with no touchdowns this year, Reed is going to get his looks as one of Cousins top 2 targets.

“NO WAY”

  • Teddy Bridgewater QB MIN
    • MIN @ DEN Sunday 425PM
    • Ryan Mallett, Kirk Cousins, Nick Foles, hell even Colin Kaepernick; with one of the worst QB performances I’ve ever seen in my life, still has more fantasy points to date than Bridgewater. Teddy is the only QB to start all 3 games this year and be averaging less than 10PPG. His 2 points last week tied for his worst single-game in his short career and the last time he posted 2 points the following game he managed just 7 points with fewer than 200 passing yards and multiple turnovers. Now he heads into Denver to take on the best defense at stopping quarterbacks. Every team in the NFL has allowed multiple TD passes in 2015 … every team other than the Broncos. They have an insane 1:6 TD:INT ratio. They are giving up just under 6PPG to QBs. Let that sink in, single-digits to quarterbacks! I don’t see Teddy doing anything positive this week.
  • Justin Forsett RB BAL
    • BAL @ PIT Thursday Night 830PM
    • The Steelers are one of four teams to not have allowed a single touchdown to running backs this year. Pittsburgh also 2nd best having given up just 167 yards on the ground through three games. Take away Dion Lewis week 1 and the Steelers haven’t allowed a back to top 5 fantasy points in standard leagues. Justin Forsett has just one game with over 50 rushing yards and hasn’t hit 100 yards from scrimmage yet in 2015. He hasn’t scored a touchdown either on the ground or air. Even in PPR leagues where he isn’t as horrible he’s only putting up 13 yards per game on 4 catches. Most of us thought with Marc Trestman as the new OC in Baltimore we’d see Forsett become a mini version of Matt Forte. In his first 3 games under Trestman (2013), Matt Forte had 19 or more PPR points in each of his 3 games. Forte topped 50 rushing yards all three games, had a touchdown in 2 of 3 and was averaging 6 grabs for 45 yards. Forsett has been a huge disappointment this year and I can’t see him getting on track in this tough AFC north match up on Thursday night.
  • Jeremy Hill RB CIN
    • CIN vs KC Sunday 1PM
    • Hill owners are in a tough place. After getting benched after 2 fumbles just 2 weeks ago, Gio Bernard got the majority of carries both that week and this past week in Baltimore. While Hill had just 1 fewer carry than Gio last week, Gio out-rushed Jeremy 49 to 21. The worst part for Hill is that Bernard has already shown he can play in the NFL and handle a majority of carries in the backfield. Not only is Hill behind Gio on the depth chart but the touches Hill will get this week are going to be hard to turn into something against the Chiefs. Kansas City is tops in the league against the rush. They’ve given up just 13 points per game to running backs. They haven’t allowed a single touchdown to a RB, and no back has hit double-digit fantasy points on the Chiefs in standard scoring this year; only Lacy hit 10+ in PPR with 11 last week. With just 2 teams on a bye this week odds are you have someone better on your bench or you can plug in a waiver guy who has a softer match up and a better shot at posting legit points for your team this week unlike Hill’s average of 2.5 the last two weeks.
  • Alfred Morris RB WSH
    • WSH vs PHI Sunday 1PM
    • Morris has fewer fantasy points this year than Matt Jones and Chris Thompson; yes that Chris Thompson I mentioned earlier. Morris is still leading the Redskins with 199 rushing yards but that’s just 10 more than Matt Jones who has 13 fewer carries than Alfred to this point. Not only is Morris being out-shined by his rookie back up, but Jones has gotten more carries each of the last two weeks and has been on the field for 11 more snaps over the last 2 weeks. Jones is a much better pass-catcher and even though Jones has 2 fumbles compared to Morris’ none, Jones can just do so much more. Unlike Jeremy Hill who was supplanted by Gio, Morris has at least averaged over 3.0YPC each of his last two. The Eagles haven’t allowed a TD to a RB yet this year and are much more susceptible to backs catching out of the backfield which means good things for Jones owners.
  • Golden Tate WR DET
    • DET @ SEA Monday Night 830PM
    • Tate has been an enigma this year. He hasn’t hit over 80 yards in a game this year and averaging 55 yards per game this year. Maybe you’re thinking well Calvin Johnson is 100% so he’s stealing all the production right? Johnson has just one game of 80+ yards and one touchdown this year; this is only the 3rd year in Megatron’s career he doesn’t have multiple scores or a 100-yard game in his first 3, but back to the lecture at hand. Tate now has to try and turn it on against the Seahawks … in Seattle … on Monday Night. Not only does Seattle kill it at home but over the last 3 seasons they have played 4 Monday Night games and haven’t allowed a wide receiver to top 55 yards and it wasn’t just cupcakes they faced as the saw the Saints and Packers in those 4 contests. Tate isn’t a guy I’m dropping yet but he’s benchable during weeks of tough match ups and it doesn’t get much tougher than this.
  • Jordan Cameron TE MIA
    • MIA vs NYJ Sunday 1PM
    • Cameron hasn’t been doing much this year, but is that on him or this offense? The Dolphins are in the bottom 5 in the NFL in terms of points per game with just 17 per contest. That being said it’s no shock Cameron hasn’t found the end zone yet in 3 games; his 3rd longest draught of his career. He hasn’t his double-digits in standard scoring leagues and managed to hit 10+ just once (week 1) for PPR owners. The Jets are coming to town and they are a top unit at stopping tight ends. New York is 1 of 2 teams to give up fewer than 10 catches, 100 yards, and not allow a TE to score on them. No tight end has hit 40 yards against the Jets yet and they completely shut out the Colts TEs in week 2.

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

 

Fantasy Football Week 3: Must Play, OK, No Way (Start/Sit)

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 here at FFChamps.com:

Commandment #10: Thou shall ALWAYS start thy Studs

QB: Tom Brady, Drew Brees (Q), Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers

RB: Le’Veon Bell , Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, Eddie Lacy (Q), Marshawn Lynch, DeMarco Murray, Adrian Peterson

WR: Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant (O), Randall Cobb, A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton, Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas

TE: Martellus Bennett, Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Greg Olsen

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 3!

“MUST PLAY”

  • Derek Carr OB OAK
    • OAK @ CLE Sunday 1PM
    • The 26 point day Carr hung last week on Baltimore was a career high for him. His 351 passing yards were the most in a single game for him and the 23 rush yards he chipped in was just the 2nd time he’s gone for 20+ on the ground. Even after tearing up the Ravens the Raiders next opponent, Cleveland, has been giving up more points per game than their AFC north rivals. The Browns have allowed both QBs they’ve faced to pass for multiple scores and Cleveland as a unit has forced just a single interception by a quarterback thus far. The Browns let Ryan Fitzpatrick and Marcus Mariota both finish as top 20 QBs against them weeks 1 & 2 and Carr is a step up from both of those guys. Carr has a great shot to finish as a top 15 signal caller this week with low QB1 upside.
  • Eli Manning QB NYG
    • NYG vs WSH Thursday Night 830PM
    • After week 1 in Dallas I can’t tell you how many people asked me if they should drop Eli Manning. Don’t panic it’s just one week was my response and in week 2 Eli owners got a preview of what to expect the rest of the season. ODB showed up big, like he will most weeks. Shane Vereen has been a god send in the pass game and will continue to put up double-digit weeks consistently for PPR owners. On TNF Eli is averaging 250 yards and a touchdown per game. He’s also ran for 5 career TDs, 2 of those coming in 5 Thursday night appearances so there is a very good chance Manning finds the end zone with his legs too. In his last 6 match ups with the Redskins, Eli has went for over 225 yards 5 times including 2 games of 300+ and has 12 total TDs compared to just 5 picks.
  • Jeremy Maclin WR KC
    • KC @ GB Monday Night 830PM
    • This week a Chief’s wide receiver will finally find the end zone. It will be Jeremy Maclin. It will be more than once. Maclin has 16 targets in 2 career games against the Packers in the regular season and has caught 13 of those 16 while scoring twice (once each game) and totaling 131 yards. He also had a 73-yard performance against Green Bay in a 2010 playoff game. Overall Mac is averaging better than 5 grabs for just under 70 yards and a score on the Pack. If Doug Baldwin can post 7-92-1 there is no reason Maclin can’t match those numbers if not  do better across the board.
  • Pierre Garcon WR WSH
    • WSH @ NYG Thursday Night 830PM
    • While Garcon mustered just 23 yards last week against a tough Rams defense, he did catch 6 passes and score once. Garcon has always been more valuable in PPR leagues and that remains true in 2015 and with no DeSean Jackson, Garcon is the only true receiving threat outside of Jordan Reed for Kirk Cousins to look for. Since joining Washington in 2012, Garcon is averaging 12 fantasy points per game on the road versus NFC east opponents. He’s had at least 6 catches in 5 of those 8 contests and he’s gone for 85+ yards and a score in 2 of his last 3 Thursday Night tilts.
  • Brandon Marshall WR NYJ
    • NYJ vs PHI Sunday 1PM
    • The Eagles secondary was abused all year last year and not much has changed at the start of 2015. They let Julio Jones blow them apart week 1 in Atlanta to the tune of 141 yards on 9 grabs and 2TDs (Roddy White also had 4 catches for 84 yards). Last week in Philadelphia, even without Dez Bryant and Tony Romo for a good part of the second half of the game, the Eagles let Terrence Williams go for 84 and a score on 4 catches. Marshall may not be elite like Julio anymore but I still have faith that he can post better numbers than Williams. Marshall’s 163 yards in his first 2 games in the 4th best start to a season of his career and his 28 standard fantasy points after week 2 is the 3rd best start from a fantasy point perspective. Marshall averaging 10 targets per game in his career versus the Eagles as well. If the Eagles offense figures it out then the Jets will be in catch up mode which means points for Marshall. If the Eagles offense still sputters and the defense continues to do the same that means points for Marshall. Either way expect B-Marsh to post big numbers for your squad this weekend.
  • Kyle Rudolph TE MIN
    • MIN vs SD Sunday 1PM
    • Rudolph was highly-touted as the next big thing among tight ends last year. With the work Minnesota OC Norv Turner has done with tight ends that isn’t a shock. Rudolph only managed to play 7 games last year but was on pace to finish as the 14th best TE in fantasy, and maybe higher with a few big games. Rudolph has shown in the past he has a nose for the end zone, scoring 9 times in 2012 a career high. In that 2012 season Rudolph scored TDs in back-to-back weeks 4 times and HIs 2015 season is shaping up to be just as special. Bridgewater has targeted Rudolph 7 times in each of the first 2 games with Kyle hauling in 5 passes each week going for 53 yards week 1 and 30 and a score last week. Rudolph won’t ever be that TE to go for 100+ consistently, may never, but on an up-and-coming offense facing a Chargers team who’s allowed a TE to score on them each week in 2015 while averaging 11 points Rudolph is a great play for those streaming tight ends.

“OK”

  • Tyrod Taylor QB BUF
    • BUF @ MIA Sunday 425PM
    • Most quarterbacks with the ability to run can score fantasy points with their legs but they always tend to not be anywhere near decent in the passing game. Michael Vick is the ultimate example. Sure his stud year in Philly Vick seemed to know how to throw the ball but when he was in Atlanta he never hit 3000 passing yards and reached 20 passing touchdowns just once in 6 years. Taylor is on pace for just shy of 3500 yards and 32 touchdown tosses in his first season as a starter. Taylor has posted 15+ fantasy points in his first 2 starts this year and he won’t be slowing down. While the Dolphins will have the best defense on paper Taylor will face, they just let Blake Bortles post 21 points on them. Bortles also has a better-then-most ability to run and he scampered for 27 yards last week, and he isn’t as quick as Taylor. While trying to throw on Grimes and Co. will be tough, Taylor will use his legs for fantasy owners this week. 15+ points again for Tyrod, mark it down.
  • TJ Yeldon RB JAX
    • JAX @ NE Sunday 1PM
    • Yeldon may not be the most explosive or make the biggest highlight reel among rookie running backs this year, but he looks to be the one to get the most opportunities and touches. He leads rookie backs in carries (37), is 3rd among rookies in yards (121), and he has hauled in 6 passes for 29 yards. He’s been on the field for 73% of the Jaguars snaps, by far more than any other rookie, in fact he’s the only rookie RB to be on the field at the position more than his veteran counterparts. While Yeldon hasn’t found the end zone yet, that will happen this week. The Patriots have allowed the 4th most rushing yards in the league (244). They allowed over 80 yards to both starting backs they’ve faced and have also given up a TD each week (last week to another rookie in Karlos Williams). We will see Yeldon’s best game as a rookie thus far on Sunday, and he will reward his owners who have been patiently waiting for him to have that big break out game.
  • Dion Lewis RB NE
    • NE vs JAX Sunday 1PM
    • The Jaguars have played very well against running backs this year giving up fewer than 19 points per game (PPR) to RBs, which is top 10 through 2 weeks of the season. They’ve given up 166 total yards to backs on 48 touches and just 1 total score. This play is more about how great the Patriots offense is and how hot Dion Lewis has been. Lewis is currently the 5th highest scoring RB in PPR fantasy leagues. He’s posted better than 100 scrimmage yards in both his games this year and has caught at least 4 passes in each while be targeted no fewer than 5 times. While LeGarrette Blount will continually eat into Lewis’ touches in the rushing world, Dion will be the pass-catching back for the foreseeable future in New England. Lewis and the Pats rushing attack will have a difficult one with week with the Jaguars but Brady will find a way to get New England to score … a lot … again. Lewis may not find the end zone but in PPR leagues he’s definitely a great flex/RB2 option until he proves otherwise.
  • Giovani Bernard RB CIN
    • CIN @ BAL Sunday 1PM
    • Gio came in and looked real good in relief of Jeremy Hill last week after his case of the fumbles. While Hill will still get his touches, I’d expect a much shorter leash for him this week and more opportunities for Gio. Hill has 1 more carry than Bernard this year but Gio has 84 more yards (186-102) and Gio has caught all 9 of his targets for 41 yards. In his 4 career games against the Ravens Bernard has scored double-digits 3 times, has caught 5 or more passes 3 times, and has 2 total touchdowns. The Bengals can build a very nice cushion if they win this game (3-0 vs 0-3 for Baltimore) and after giving up 37 points to the Raiders the Bengals should be able to put a few into the end zone.
  • Larry Fitzgerald WR ARZ
    • ARZ vs SF Sunday 405PM
    • Where did this guy find the fountain of youth and how do I get there? Man talk about an oldie but goodie, Mr. Fitzgerald has been on fire! He’s a top 4 wide out in both standard and PPR scoring after 2 weeks with his 14 grabs for 199 yards and 3TDs. Now the Cardinals; man what a different team with a healthy Carson Palmer, take on division San Francisco in the desert this Sunday. This isn’t the same 49ers defense we’ve seen recently. They are decimated with retirements, players being released, and a whole new coaching staff is in charge. While Fitz had a down year against the 49ers last year; just 5 catches for 63 yards and no scores in 2 games, he had Drew Stanton in one game and Ryan Lindley for the 2nd. 2013 Fitz combined for 12 grabs for 230 yards and a touchdown against San Fran. I see more of the 2013 Larry showing up for this one.
  • Amari Cooper WR OAK
    • OAK @ CLE Sunday 1PM
    • After a coming-out party past week against a bad Ravens pass defense what will Cooper do for an encore? Cooper was targeted 11 times by Derek Carr last week, catching 7 balls for 109 and a score. Carr and Cooper can be a special young connection and they should continue to show why this week. With Joe Haden being locked onto Cooper this week I’m not expecting another dominating performance but he will be fully serviceable in your line ups. The Browns have already allowed 3 touchdowns to wide outs, 3rd most in the NFL, and outside an older Brandon Marshall, Amari will be the most talented and athletically gifted WR the Browns will attempt to cover this early in the year. Don’t pull out your hair if Cooper doesn’t hit 20+ points again this week but he should still see double-digits when the dust settles this week.

“NO WAY”

  • Sam Bradford QB PHI
    • PHI @ NYJ Sunday 1PM
    • Remember when Bradford went 10/10 in the 3rd preseason game in Lambeau Field with 3 scores? Remember how everyone started going nuts over him and the Eagles offense as a whole? My how the mighty have fallen. The Eagles offense is 28th in scoring with just 17PPG. Now after dropping to 0-2 they have to travel to New York to face the red hot Jets defense. Bradford has more turnovers than touchdowns in both week 1 and 2 this year and outside a really good 3rd quarter on Monday Night week 1 Bradford has looked lost. Not worth the play this week or the near future until he shows full command of this offense or the Eagles have an extremely soft match up.
  • Matthew Stafford QB DET
    • DET vs DEN Sunday Night 830PM
    • Stafford is currently on the mend after getting just beaten down by the Vikings last week. While he is questionable to play, odds are he does make the start but even then I don’t want him in my line up. While Stafford has top 250 passing yards each week, he has turned the ball over at least once in each game. Now he faces a Broncos defense that is tops in the league at stopping quarterbacks from scoring fantasy points on them. How efficient is Denver at doing that? Less than 3 points per game! Yes less than 3 points per game to QBs is what this Broncos defense is allowing. That would be stellar against any position but against quarterbacks its out of this world! They allowed a total of 308 passing yards in 2 games, tops in the NFL. They are also the only team to not allow a passing TD yet and have 4 interceptions which is tied for tops in the league as well and are 3rd with 7 sacks thus far. Even if Stafford plays he is going to be getting hit and under duress all night. Hell he may not even make it through the game. I’d rather take a chance on a guy like Blake Bortles or Ryan Fitzpatrick with much softer match ups.
  • Rashad Jennings RB NYG
    • NYG vs WSH Thursday Night 830PM
    • The Redskins defense has been beyond solid against the run in 2015. The are allowing the 2nd fewest fantasy points to opposing backs at just 10 per game in PPR scoring. Washington is 1 of 4 teams to allow under 100 total rushing yards over the first 2 weeks, they are 2nd best in the league with just 79 rushing yards allowed. Jennings had a nice week 1 with 52 yards and a score on Dallas but last week Jennings had 9 carries for just 12 yards. Jennings has hit 60 rushing yards just once in his last 10 games and has just one fantasy week of over 12 points (standard scoring) since week 4 of last year. Vereen may not be the main rusher or get the most snaps but he is the only Giants RB I trust this week and going forward.
  • Roddy White WR ATL
    • ATL @ DAL Sunday 1pm
    • Between 2006-2012 Roddy White was posting 6 games of 100+ yards per year. In 2013 and 2014 combined he managed just 4 total. We all know Julio is the man in the ATL now but White seems to be losing more and more value as the weeks go by. After a 4 catch and 84 yard performance to open up 2015, White didn’t get a single target week 2. Not one look against a Giants defense that is bottom 10 versus wide receivers and who are giving over 39 fantasy points per game to WRs. Now Atlanta is traveling to Dallas where the offense may be beat up but the defense is still going strong. The Cowboys are 1 of 6 teams to allow 25 or few points per game to wide outs, and 1 of 12 teams to allow 1 or fewer touchdowns to WRs in the first 2 weeks of 2015. So far Dallas has allowed just 1 wide receiver to accumulate double-digit points in both PPR and standard scoring and that was Jordan Matthews last week. Julio Jones should be able to reach that plateau as well but as for Roddy, leave him on the bench this week.
  • Charles Johnson WR MIN
    • MIN vs SD Sunday 1PM
    • Johnson is averaging just over 4 fantasy points per game … in PPR leagues! He’s had just 3 targets in each of the first 2 games of 2015, and managed just 27 yards week 1 and 10 yards week 2. In his last 7 games last year Johnson went for over 50 yards in 4 of those 7 games and scored 2 touchdowns over that span while getting just under 7 looks per contest. Not just Johnson is struggling, the Vikes WR corps as a whole is 1 of 3 teams to not have a single TD among them, also 3rd fewest yards with just 183. In standard scoring Mike Wallace is the highest ranked fantasy WR in Minnesota at 56th overall. I really don’t want any Vikings WRs in my line up until this offense clicks but if I’m chancing one it’s Wallace before Johnson.
  • Richard Rodgers TE GB
    • GB vs KC Monday Night 830PM
    • While Rodgers is on the best offense in the league and he scored last week on the Seahawks don’t take the chance on him this week. If he doesn’t score he hasn’t had more than 27 receiving yards this year and hasn’t had a game over 40 yards since week 8 of last season. Oh yeah and the Kansas City Chiefs are allowing just 3.5 catches per game for 32 yards and just 1 total TD. Chiefs are also bottom of the barrel against WRs so expect Aaron Rodgers to hit Cobb, Adams, and Jones a lot!

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

Fantasy Football week 2: Must Play, OK, No Way (Start/Sit)

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: Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers

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

WR: Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant (O), Randall Cobb, A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton, Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas

TE: Martellus Bennett, Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Greg Olsen

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 2!

“MUST PLAY”

  • Carson Palmer QB ARZ
    • ARZ @ CHI Sunday 1PM
    • Going back to last year Palmer has thrown 14 touchdowns to just 3 picks in his last 7 contests. He torched the Saints secondary for 3 scores on top of over 300 yards. Now Palmer leads the Cards into Chicago and while the Bears held Aaron Rodgers to just 189 yards, Rodgers still threw 3TDs and didn’t throw an INT while racking up 23 fantasy points. Green Bay may have better weapons as a whole but this Cardinals offense is more dangerous than most give them credit for, even with Andre Ellington to miss this match up.
  • Teddy Bridgewater QB MIN
    • MIN vs DET Sunday 1PM
    • Bridgewater had a bad start to 2015. He did complete 72% of his passes in San Francisco on Monday Night (23 of 32) for 231 yards. He did not throw a TD and did turn the ball over once. The Lions were able to take the ball away twice from Philip Rivers last week, but they allowed him to throw for over 400 yards and 2 scores as well. Last year one of Teddy’s first career starts came against the Lions in which he threw 3 picks and for 188 yards with no scores. Game 2 last year saw Bridgewater get better throwing for over 300 yards and 1 score with 2 interceptions. Bridgewater should take another step forward in the division match up.The Vikings as a whole on offense should take a step forward, and once Adrain Peterson gets rolling Bridgewater will be seeing more open lanes to thread the ball in than he ever has before. Big bounce back week for Teddy and the Vikes.
  • Carlos Hyde RB SF
    • SF @ PIT Sunday 1PM
    • Hyde was very impressive racking up 168 rushing yards on Monday night against the Vikings. His 2 trips to the end zone made his owners jump for joy. The biggest number I saw from Hyde’s stat line week 1 is 26. The 49ers are going to use Hyde as a bell cow and those 26 carries are proof. Well that and the fact that this San Francisco has a passing game that won’t be too useful most weeks, but more on that later. Last week the Steelers let Dion Lewis rack up 120 yards from scrimmage on them, Carlos Hyde is much more talented and much more used than Lewis.
  • Darren Sproles RB PHI
    • PHI vs DAL Sunday 425PM
    • Especially in PPR leagues, Sproles needs to be owned! Will he post 20 point games frequently like he did last week? Not likely but if the Eagles don’t get the middle of that line fixed so Demarco Murray can run wild I expect to see a lot of Sproles in 2015. He will be used heavily in the pass attack; his 9 targets and 8 grabs week 1 were both second on the team behind Jordan Matthews. While Murray does have the revenge factor on his mind, the Cowboys defense knows they have to stop him. Sproles could have a very similar game like he did in Atlanta; better than 100 scrimmage yards and 6+ catches.
  • Keenan Allen WR SD
    • SD @ CIN Sunday 1PM
    • He won’t have 17 targets again but still, Allen has to be in your line up. Allen’s value will never be higher than this first 4 weeks of 2015 without Antonio Gates in the line up. While none of the Raiders wide outs had big weeks against Cincinnati both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree had 8 targets a piece. Allen should have no problems getting double-digit looks once again week 2. In his only career game against the Bengals, Allen had 8 grabs on 10 targets for 106 yards. I’d expect similar numbers with maybe a trip to pay dirt. Allen should be hitting 10+ fantasy points in both standard and PPR leagues alike on Sunday.
  • Tyler Eifert TE CIN
    • CIN vs SD Sunday 1PM
    • Speaking of hitting double-digit fantasy points how about Mr. Eifert? This dude looked like Gronk in orange last Sunday in Oakland. 10 targets week 1 was second most among all tight ends. His 9 catches led all TEs and he was just 1 of 3 ends to have better than 100 yards receiving. Can’t forget his 2 trips to the end zone as well on his was to 22 fantasy points (31PPR). Eifert is going to be a special player all year and he should continue his torrid pace this week at home against the Chargers. San Diego let Eric Ebron go for 4-53-1 which doesn’t sound like a huge day but that was a career game for Ebron. First game with more than 40 yards, second career game with more than 3 catches and his 2nd career TD. Eifert should have a walk-in-the-park match up this week.
  • Jared Cook STL TE
    • STL @ WSH Sunday 1PM
    • Cook was by far the best receiving option for Foles and the Rams week 1 and I imagine him getting the majority of looks again this week. Tavon Austin did some electric things but had -2 yards on 2 catches so his presence in the passing game is nothing useful most weeks. Cook led Rams pass-catchers in targets (6), catches (5), and yards (85). Last week the Redskins let Jordan Cameron haul in 4 passes for 73 yards. Cook had 4 or more catches in each of his first 5 games last year and 8 or more targets in 4 of those 5. He never had fewer than 40 yards in those games while average 60 and in his match up with Washington last year Cook caught 4 balls for 61 yards and 2 scores. Oh and in his short career Nick Foles has 4TD passes against the Redskins, 3rd most versus any team.

“OK”

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick QB NYJ
    • NYJ @ IND Monday Night 830PM
    • Fitzpatrick had just 179 yards last week against the Browns but did manage 2 touchdowns against just 1 interception. The Colts defense is not as talented on the back end as the Browns, so I expect Fitzpatrick to have bigger numbers this week. I also expect the Colts to put a hurting on the Jets early and often which just means more throwing opportunities for Fitzpatrick. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are the best WR tandem Fitzpatrick has even thrown to, so I have more faith in Fitzpatrick this year than I’ve ever had. You aren’t starting Fitz if you’re in a 10 or 12 team single-QB league but for 14 or 16 team leagues or 2QB leagues, consider using Fitzpatrick this week.
  • Tevin Coleman RB ATL
    • ATL @ NYG Sunday 1PM
    • Coleman saw 20 carries on Monday night against the Eagles while Devonta Freeman got just 10 totes of the rock. Freeman got all the receiving work between the two (4 targets compared to 0 for Coleman) but I was happy with how much I saw Atlanta using Coleman. Coleman’s 80 rush yards last week were 7th most in the NFL and this week he faces the Giants who gave up 81 rush yards to the Cowboys last week. Coleman is a nice flex start this week or low end RB2 if you are waiting on Foster to return or had Andre Ellington go down for your team last week.
  • Donte Moncreif WR IND
    • IND vs NYJ Monday Night 830PM
    • This play is more based on Hilton missing the game and obviously we won’t have that info until sometime Monday so if you have Hilton and can scoop up Moncreif as a back up do it! Even if you don’t have Hilton, Moncreif will be useful in  game that the Colts are going to just dominate after being embarrassed week 1 in Buffalo. Even if Hilton plays Moncrief will still see looks but without Hilton, Moncreif could be this week’s Keenan Allen. Donte had 11 targets last week, 2nd to Hilton. Moncreif had 6 grabs for 46 yards, both second to Hilton as well and Donte was the only Indy pass catcher to score against Buffalo.
  • Terrance Williams WR DAL
    • DAL @ PHI Sunday 425PM
    • The Eagles are getting a huge gift no having to face Dez Bryant this week. Dez Bryant owners may be down but if you own Dez and Williams is still on waivers claim him. He won’t put up the numbers Bryant did last year on Philly; 10 catches 187 yards and 3 scores in 2 games in 2014, but Williams will post somewhere in the WR2 numbers. The Eagles improved their secondary this off season but still got beat up last week giving up 16 grabs for 246 yards and 2TDs to Falcons WRs Monday night, so expect Dallas to throw even without Bryant in the line up. In 2 career games in Philadelphia Williams has 8 catches for 90 yards and a score.
  • Brandon Coleman WR NO
    • NO vs TB Sunday 1PM
    • For all those who thought Josh Hill would be the biggest beneficiary with Jimmy Graham gone, doesn’t look like that will be the case. Coleman is 6’6” and the biggest red zone threat the Saints have and Drew Brees will use that to his advantage all year. This week against the Buccaneers expect New Orleans to tee off I mean if a rookie QB can post 42 points what do you think Sean Payton and Drew Brees will do at home in the dome? Tampa gave up just 7 catches to WRs last week to Tennessee but 2 of those went for touchdowns. Coleman a great candidate to find pay dirt once again.
  • Vernon Davis TE SF
    • SF @ PIT Sunday 1PM
    • I’m not a huge fan of Davis at this point in his career but he still has the physical tools and enough talent in the tank to contribute some weeks, and this should be one of them. While Kaepernick had a atrocious game on Monday Night (more on him later), the one positive to the pass game was VD. He led the 49ers in targets (6), yards (47), and was second in catches (3). Fully expect to see Carlos Hyde once again dominate in this offense in Pittsburgh but in the pass game look for San Fran to take a page out of the Patriots play book and use their tight end big time. Davis is no Gronk so don’t think Vernon will score 3 times but with how wide open Gronk was getting, look at the niners to try and exploit the Steelers in the same way with Davis this week. He won’t post Gronk numbers but if you stream tight ends, Davis definitely worth the look.

“NO WAY”

  • Colin Kaepernick QB SF
    • SF @ PIT Sunday 1PM
    • Last week Carlos Hyde ran for more yards than Kaepernick threw for; 168 on the ground for Hyde and just 165 through the air for Kaep. It’s not just that small smaple from 2015 that scares me about Kaepernick, in his last 7 games last year he threw for more than 205 yards just once and failed to even hit 200 pass yards in 5 of those 7 contests. He threw just 6TDs in those 7 games and had multiple passing touchdowns just once, and outside of a huge rushing day week 16 when he went for 151 and a TD, Kaep averaged just 32 yards with no scores in the other 6 games. Poor stat history the last 8 games he’s played, lots of turnover in San Francisco, and a road trip to Pittsburgh after an extra late Monday Night win against the Vikings is not a recipe for fantasy or real world success.
  • Blake Bortles QB JAX
    • JAX vs MIA Sunday 1PM
    • Bortles threw the ball 40 times last week and was only able to accumulate 183 yards. He had 2 interceptions including a pick 6 against just 1 touchdown pass. Now the Dolphins come into town with a better defense than Carolina especially in the secondary. Bortles has never thrown for 300 yards in a home game, and has failed to hit 200 yards in 5 of his 9 career games in Jacksonville. Miami help Kirk Cousins under 200 yards week 1 while picking him off twice. If TJ Yeldon gets going then maybe, just maybe, Brotles has an ok day but if the Jags don’t establish the run this week Bortles will have a miserable week 2.
  • Doug Martin RB TB
    • TB @ NO Sunday 1PM
    • Martin had a lot of hype coming into 2015 lots of people saying he should be closer to his rookie form than what we saw last year. One week down against a horrific run defense in Tennessee and Martin only pounded out 51 yards and added just 1 grab for 2 more yards. Jameis Winston will be going to Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the pass game a lot this year and if Mike Evans comes back this week that’s just another guy to steal away opportunity from Martin in terms of touches. Martin will still be the Buccs RB1 and will see more touches than Sims or Rainey but i don’t think that will be enough. The Saints did allow a few big plays to Andre Ellington and David Johnson last week so maybe Martin breaks off a big chunk but if the Saints dominate this one like the Titans did against Tampa last week, and let’s be honest New Orleans has Drew Brees and many more weapons than Tennessee, expect Jameis to be in throw-mode once again.
  • Joique Bell RB DET
    • DET @ MIN Sunday 1pm
    • Hyde went stupid on the Vikings rush defense so why do I hate Bell this week? For starters Ameer Abdullah got more touches last week … 3 more touches. Not a lot I know but it’s what he did with those touches. Abdullah rattled off 50 yards on the ground on 7 carries and added in 44 yards through the air on 4 grabs. Bell had 6 carries which went for a whopping 14 yards and 2 grabs to go for 27 more. Abdullah scored as well while Bell didn’t, and hell Theo Riddick found the end zone! That won’t change this week so keep Bell benched!
  • Bishop Sankey RB TEN
    • TEN @ CLE Sunday 1PM
    • Sankey’s 74 yards last week were a career high for him and the first time in his NFL  days he hit for more than 61 rushing yards in a game. However Cleveland has a much better defense as a whole than Tampa Bay. The other factor in this equation is Terrance West. While he only mustered 41 yards week week compared to Sankey’s 74, West actually got 1 more carry; 13 to 12. West will also get to face his former team in Cleveland and revenge games are alway big. Not saying West goes for 150 and 3 scores but I do think West has the bigger game of the two this week.
  • Devin Funchess WR CAR
    • CAR vs HOU Sunday 1PM
    • 1 catch for 9 yards in his NFL debut. Nothing about Funchess or this Carolina offense makes me want to rush and use any Panthers in my fantasy line ups this week or beyond. Funchess should improve as the year goes on being a rookie and all but when he doesn’t even start but Philly Brown and Ted Ginn do that’s not the best sign. I mean even Jerricho Cotchery (yeah he’s still around) managed over 40 yards and a TD. Houston was able to hold Chief’s WRs out of the end zone (again) last week and held their wide outs to a combined 8 catches for a whole 77 yards. Tougher match up for Funchess, no reason to play him and no reason to have him on your bench in a more shallow league.

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