So I know you’re all wondering – what do these Razzball guys really do with their lives!? Spoiler! You already know if you read Basketball. Oh well…
If you don’t read/play Fantasy Basketball – give it a chance! Start up an RCL League! If you haven’t played it much, it’s the perfect blend of Fantasy Football and Baseball. “Wait – why is JB shamelessly pandering?! I thought he was gonna tell us about his life fighting crime!” Whilst I keep the rogue streets of North Cackalacky free from the seedy (pork)underbelly of crime, I have unfortunately shifted my sleep schedule. I had to buy a blast shield for my windows. It was like I was in the Peach Trees Mega Block when Judge Dredd came. Fortunately Michael Caine IS NOT my butler and that scene from Batman Begins didn’t happen where Bale goes – “Bats are nocturnal!” I woulda just slapped that foo’. Long, disheveled and borderline lunatic rantings aside (those last couple of sentences could’ve been from a Tehol article… Never go full Tehol!) – my point is I’ll be getting to your LSDs closer to noon than right away. It also means I’m writing this up on my Palm Pilot while staking out the mean streets of the Triangle on Saturday Night. So if anything changes dramatically on Sunday Morning, I’ll get to it before kickoff!
Looking back at last week’s picks, Jacquizz Rodgers was a win in PPR and I said was a must start in those leagues nabbing 6 catches and 88 total yards and Coby Fleener went off for 5 and 77 and a touch. But man… My sleeper WRs… Yikes! DeAndre Hopkins, Jason Avant, and Santana Moss all just had brutal games. I guess the moral of the story is to use all my non-WR advice… Speaking to that, Dwyane Bowe finally had a good game, but in my defense he only had 3 for 24 before a late meaningless touchdown with the Chiefs up big and a bad missed tackle for the TD. Andre Johnson also had a great game for being banged up and getting the Sherminator… Wait that’s Matt Ryan not Richard Sherman! At least I was right on Joique Bell, Eddie Royal, and Kyle Rudolph having bad games. Pretty clear cut 5-5 week. Let’s get it back to a winning record with who I like in week 4 and their % started in ESPN and Yahoo, respectively (NOTE – these are not always recommendations for 1-for-1 swaps, just guys I like who are understarted and guys I hate overstarted):
Kendall Wright (3.7%, 7%) I feel like coming into the year Jake Locker was mocked for being so inaccurate that his O-coordinator had to hold a private meeting about dribbles on the toilet rim. Spring for the urinals, Titans! Anyway, with Locker doing his best 85-year old retiree impression and hurting his hip, it opens the door for Ryan Fitzpatrick who used to be a pretty good QB back in the day! With the Chiefs coming into town, I doubt Chris Johnson can get much done (see below) and Fitz will have to move the ball. Factor in that Kenny Britt is coming off a broken rib (but will play) and all those plays Locker could make with his legs Fitz won’t be able to make and will be solely relying on his arm. I just have a feeling on this one, especially in PPR, as Wright already has a solid 30 targets in 4 weeks and is off three straight double-digit PPR weeks.
LeGarrette Blount (6.4%, 20%) I’m not usually one to buy into the hot waiver wire guy that suddenly is in the fantasy starting conversation, but I’m putting it in my pipe and smoking it this week. With Stevan Ridley officially ruled out (and, let’s be honest, Ridley owners are probably happy about that) and Brandon Bolden a gimpy questionable (had to leave Sunday Night Football last week for a bit getting hit on that knee again), all signs point to the Pats offense going Blount, Blount, Pass against the Bengals. I think he indeed gets solid work, the Pats get enough offense to move the ball, and Blount is the only healthy runner.
Eddie Lacy (62.7%, 53%) Breaking my usual parameters and picking a pretty big-name guy, I decided to go with one no-brainer start because there’s absolutely no scenario where Lacy shouldn’t be in your starting line-up. Now, given a lot of the leagues that ESPN and Yahoo sample for their figures are probably dead leagues/have dead owners (well, not literally I hope), there’s probably people forgetting how good Lacy is going to be the rest of the way. He looked down-right fantastic against the Niners to me (even though the stat line didn’t reflect it) and got hurt very early in week 2. Missing a game and then a bye week might have people sleeping on him, and I luckily bought him low in a few leagues. Great matchup against the Lions = welcome back Lacy.
Andre Ellington (1.0%, 6%) You’re digging deep here, like The Core deep, but I have a feeling on this one. As much as it pains me to say this and possibly jynx it, I think my Panthers get up big in this one and the Cardinals abandon Rashard Mendenhall and the through-the-tackles run game (the Panthers D-Line and Luke Kuechly is as real as it gets up the middle) and go to swings and Palmer check downs to the more explosive Ellington. I don’t see any way the Cardinals front gets push on our front 7. Ellington has 13 targets in the past two weeks and I think gets an expanded role. A nice deep PPR flyer – I’m actually playing him over Ryan Mathews this week (see below) where my options are slimmer than the Bills receiving corps we saw in the 4th quarter on Thursday.
Dallas Clark (2.3%, 5%) I’m going deep again; I think Dallas Clark is an overlooked fantasy asset in deeper leagues this week. After that big 12-target opener and going 7 for 87, he disappeared against the Browns, then 4-46 and 4-34 the past two weeks. I give you a brief recap because lost in the noise of the past two weeks is 16 targets, so throwing out the grinder against the Browns, he has 28 targets in the other three games. Then we get to the matchup where Miami has given up THE MOST points to opposing tight ends. All is ripe for a nice game a bit off the radar.
SON OF A BENCH
Andrew Luck (37.5%, 41%) Lost in the whole “Luck vs. Russell Wilson” debate in Sunday’s epic throw down is how good Wilson’s defense is behind him. Then again, the Colts D has looked legit too. So much good defense! Ugh – low scoring. I could see this being a lot slower than fantasy owners of Colts/Seahawks would hope for. I’d go with deeper options at QB.
Chris Johnson (92.5%, 77%) It’s tough to bench a big-name guy like Johnson, and for all the flack he got last year and thus far this year, in the right matchups he can still shine. Too bad for CJNoK, this isn’t a good matchup. The Chiefs come into town giving up the third fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs and I think that trend continues. Only a bench in 10-teamers or 12-teamers with a stacked bench, but there should be a lot more scenarios where you let him ride the pine than the % numbers indicate.
Ryan Mathews (30.7%, 46%) A lot of owners have jumped ship, but Mathews is still started in way too many leagues. As mentioned above, I’m rolling out Ellington ahead of him in the 14-team Spadora on Sports League this week (if you live in the northeast, check your sports radio listing for my fantasy segment at 10:40 AM on Saturdays!) where my team is one of the biggest shockers to be 2-2 this side of the Jets. Mathews’ has a bum hammy, who knows if it could flare up with an oddly timed 11:35 kickoff with the Oakland A’s going all Moneyball again, it’s just too big a question mark and too low of an upside for me to want to play him.
Dwayne Bowe (45.7%, 66%) I’m going double or nothing on this one baby! As mentioned above in last week’s recap, Bowe had another Turd Ferguson of a game until a meaningless touchdown late in a blowout win salvaged his day. Damn you, fantasy gods! The Titans actually haven’t given up a WR TD in the past two weeks and give up the 8th-least fantasy points to opposing wide outs. I think it’s another clunker for him.
Vernon Davis (80.4%, 70%) I might be crazy – but I think the 49ers blow out the Texans in this one for some reason. Just a gut feeling. And with VD with a bad hammy, I don’t think the Niners let him overextend himself late. It doesn’t help he only had 2 for 18 last week (sure, one was a TD, but yeah) and Houston gives up the third least fantasy points to opposing TEs. I’d go with deeper options this week if you can manage having two TEs on your roster, with guys like Charles Clay or Dallas Clark.
If you have any last second decisions, shoot some comments below or tweet me @jbgilpin - and remember I’m going to be a little slower getting to them but I’ll get to everything well before kickoff! Good luck in week 5!