Jay went all Beatles in his ranks this week. I’m going all early 80’s MTV and say this is a Good Bye “Week” to You. Yes, this is a gift, not a problem. We got this bro! Have a beer and listen to me ramble for a minute. I can’t believe I remember watching this video when I was seven years old. I can’t believe I remember videos. I can’t believe I went to the “they don’t show videos anymore card”. Should I talk about my first portable audio cassette player that only had fast forward and weighed five pounds? No, it wasn’t a Sony, and therefore I can’t call it a Walkman. I turned 39 earlier this month and I have to say, I’m ready for my mid-life crisis car with T-tops. Last week I got back into form after that miserable Week 2. Lamar Miller and DeAndre Hopkins both won their battles, and I rested easy for once. I take this very seriously, at least the analysis part, because I want to help you win your week. I’m working real hard to give you my best effort when it comes to the tough calls you have to make.
All evaluations are based on .5 PPR and ranks are from Fantasy Pros
James Jones (72) vs. Justin Hunter (74)
For this week’s wide receiver one-on-one, I’m taking a stab at the surprise kid from Oakland against the “catch the damn ball cause you are better than this” Justin Hunter. Hunter came into this year with a lot of sleeper upside and was drafted all over the place, and rightfully so. He’s big (6’4″) and closed out the 2014 second half with two really nice games of 100+ yards and TD catches. The biggest problem is that he’s never had a real quarterback to help him along. Sorry fans of Jake Locker, he’s just not good enough to cut it in the NFL. On the year Hunter only has 8 catches on 21 targets for 126 yards and ZERO TD’s. On the other side of this we have James Jones (15 rec for 189 and 2 TD), who has been a nice grab by the Raiders and the new favorite target of David Carr. Back in Green Bay, where he spent the first seven years of his career, he put up really nice numbers in a crowded receiver corps, peaking in TD’s in 2012 (14) and yards in 2013 (817). To find an equivalent today, he was the Harry Douglas of the Packers, chipping in every week and performing when needed because of injuries. This week, Hunter gets the Colts and their solid pass D against WR’s, while Jones gets the Dolphins who on paper look good against the pass but have two red flags for me. The first is that Carr might be the best QB they are facing so far, don’t get mad at me Pats fan. Secondly, they have given up big games to Julian Edelman and Sammy Watkins. As we say on the baseball side… cust kayin’. Bottom line, I like Hunter’s size and ability to get after it, but I hate the Colts at home and the fact that they haven’t given up any big games to wide receivers. TE’s and RB’s is a different discussion. I think Jones gets to the endzone and that’s the difference maker for me. The season is young, and I ain’t buying the Dolphins secondary as being this good when they have been burned twice against the two best receivers they have faced. Jones will make it number three. WINNER: JAMES JONES.
Here is one I didn’t think I would get to this early in the season, but the changes in the distribution in New York makes this one a battle. Going into the season, Bell was the favorite for the PPR format after putting up back to back 50+ reception seasons and scoring 8 on the ground last year. Ivory, on the other hand, was the talented back that no one has ever trusted as their primary back, even though he has never averaged less than 4.6 YPC in his career. He was a sleeper back in 2013 for Sky which reads to me like “Everybody Hates Chris”. Thanks for making me sad two years in a row Sky. This week, Bell gets the Jets and Ivory gets the Lions. Yup, an in-game battle here. The Jets and Lions are #1 and #2 for least number of rushing yards per game. They have both played the Packers and in those contests the flow of the game really gives us nothing to go on except that the Lions have a better pass D than the Jets. Hmm, will the Lions throw a lot this week? The one thing that bothers me is the Lions lost their defensive leader in the middle, Stephen Tulloch. How will that impact the rush D? With that being said, the Jets are the #2 rushing team in the league and Bell will always have to share with Reggie Bush, while Ivory only has old-and-done Chris Johnson to contend with. That’s the thing I can’t get behind. I see Ivory as the lead back in NY getting 20+ carries this week, and I’m not ready to bank on Bell getting 6 catches out of the backfield and 15+ carries. Last week, Ivory caught 4 balls out of the backfield for 50 yards and I’m hoping this is the start of things to come. He is averaging 4.4 YAFC (Yards After First Contact). Yeah, think about that one for a minute. Delicious… By a margin that is not as close as I thought before I started this, I got to give it up to Ivory. He is playing his way into relevance, and teetering on a high RB2 designation with a lot more to show us. Play Ivory with confidence and know that he will amass the most yards against the Lions of any running back up until this point. WINNER: CHRIS IVORY.
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