The election is finally over. As someone that doesn’t want to pay my cable company for DVR (they charge an additional $15! I’ll just play on my phone for two minutes, thank you very much.), I couldn’t be happier that there are no more political ads. They just don’t make sense to me. You’re going to spend $300 million dollars? Let’s get some production value! Not just a slide show with a stark narrated voice.
Unfortunately, another facet of entertainment that gets overdone isn’t over, and I think is more annoying. As I mentioned as my “down” call on the Razzball Fantasy Football Podcast, I am so ready for Sportscenter and all other media outlets to stop talking about how bad the Philadelphia Eagles are. We get it. They’re terrible.
Maybe if I were a Giants or Cowboys fan it would bring me some joy, but camon already! I don’t remember media coverage ever being this heavy on a losing team. Can you think of anything like this in recent years, Razzball Nation?
I must admit I might be a little biased too. I was high on DeSeasn Jackson entering the year (which hasn’t been that bad a call), and have a 5-4 fantasy team with Vick, Jackson and Maclin every week starters. Imagine that team if the Eagles were better. Get on with it, sports media; let’s talk about something else (dammit, now I’m, perpetuating it)!
Looking at last week’s picks, it was one of my strongest weeks with Russell Wilson having his second career 3 TD game, Joique Bell got passes early and rushing work late (re-read what I wrote last week; it was eerily exactly what happened), Andre Roberts had yet another strong game in one of the most under-the-radar fantasy campaigns, and Jermaine Gresham has his first 100-yard game. Only guy I was wrong on as a sleeper start was Louis Murphy, who I reached too far on for a sleeper call.
For my benchers, Eli Manning, Ahmad Bradshaw, Dez Bryant, and Jermichael Finley all had under 5 fantasy points in standard scoring. Pretty solid week, huh? I again was only off on one guy, with Torrey Smith scoring a TD and having a pretty nice game.
Here’s five guys not started in enough leagues and five guys started in too many leagues that should be benched, along with their % started in ESPN leagues and Yahoo leagues, respectively. And remember, these picks are not always suggestions for direct 1-for-1 swaps if you own players in both sections, but merely picks for guys not started enough and started too often.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati (18.5%, 19%) It’s been a surprisingly consistent year for Dalton, which kind of surprised me looking at his numbers. He’s had a TD every week since week 1, and has only been under 220 yards once. Yea he’s not a barnburner, but with Aaron Rodgers and RGIII on byes, give me someone like Dalton as a number one fill-in. The Giants secondary has been somewhat better than many thought, but I think Dalton leads the Bengals to a much-needed win in this game at home. I’m starting Dalton with confidence if I don’t have one of the top QB options.
Shane Vereen, RB, New England (10.3%, 2%) In week 4 we saw the Patriots absolutely gash the Bills run D for 243 yards and 3 TDs, and there’s no reason to expect the same won’t happen again this week. Only difference is Brandon Bolden has been suspended, leaving the Pats backfield with only three options instead of four (whew!). Woodhead will get his few touches to change things up, but I see Ridley and Vereen both going off. As a sneaky flex play, I like Vereen for a 70-yard day with a probable score.
Malcolm Floyd, WR, San Diego (44.6%, 52%) Not exactly a sleeper with those high(er) percent start numbers than my normal calls, but I was shocked to see that Floyd is started in right around half of fantasy leagues. He’s going to go off this week. The Bucs pass D has been atrocious, and this game is going to be pass heavy. The Chargers are going to have their hands full on D with Doug Martin leading the way, and I think San Diego’s efforts to stop the ground game will open up the pass for Freeman to Williams and Jackson. The Chargers will need to throw as well, and I think this opens up into a shootout. Give me Floyd for 80 and a touch.
Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina (20.8%, 24%) The Broncos D has been solid, but their Achilles heel has been against the TE, giving up the third most fantasy points to the opposing big guys. Olsen has fallen off a bit, but the Panthers are going to have to have success in the run game to keep this close, opening up a few play action plays. Also, Olsen lines up wide as much as any other TE. I think he gets a lot of work today.
Super Deep: Jerome Simpson, WR, Minnesota (0.8%, 1%) Very tough to have any trust in a Minnesota WR not named Percy Harvin, but with the aforementioned stud out today, I think Simpson has the best shot to get the work today against the Lions. Simpson had his best game all year against the Lions, and while Christian Ponder has been brutal lately, I think the Lions can win this one pretty easily, giving Simpson and Ponder a good shot at some junk time work. If you’re desperate, Simpson has a whole lot of upside for a guy abandoned on almost all waiver-wires.
Son of a Bench
Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City (87.6%, 70%) You’ve got to give it to the Steelers D, who have resurgently returned to their Curtain status. It’s to the point now that if you’ve got a guy you have any doubts about, you have to think about benching them. I’m fairly surprised at how many owners are still sticking with Charles, who after three straight brutal games, is now going against even a tougher defense than any of those opponents in the last three. I know it’s tough benching a playmaker of his caliber, but you definitely need to weigh your options.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, New York Giants (85.3%, 75%) I’m sticking with Bradshaw in back-to-back weeks here. I’m not as worried about any last minute benching news, but more worried about effectiveness after two straight brutal games. Eli and that passing attack have collapsed, leaving Bradshaw with virtually no room to get things going on the ground. As mentioned above, I think the Bengals play hungry in this one desperately needing a win, and limit the Giants run game, winning the line of scrimmage.
Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia (53.4%, 54%) Again perpetuating my pet peeve as I wrote in the open, unless you’re in a 2 QB league (which I am and have to stick with him), you have to bench Vick this week. The Dallas D has 1 – playmakers in the pass rush and 2 – a much improved secondary from years past. That’s a recipe for disaster. I could see Vick getting sacked 8 more times with three or four turnovers.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia (57.3%, 69%) The theme continues, with Jackson another bench for me. Take out that one deep TD last week, and he was a non-factor last Monday Night. Of course you can’t play revisionist history like that, but my point is I don’t think the Eagles get a deep TD in this one with that strong pass rush and solid secondary. I’m leaving Jackson out where I can.
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco (79.3%, 72%) Here’s an interesting stat for you. In per game numbers, Davis against non-NFC West teams in six games:
3.8 rec 56.7 yards 0.7 TDs
Per-game numbers against division rival NFC-West teams in two games:
1.0 rec 17.0 yards 0.0 TDs
Rams today. Yeah. Bench.
If you have any last second decisions, shoot some comments below or tweet me @jbgilpin. Good luck to everyone today in week 10!