Happy Black Friday everyone! Hopefully none of you guys got trampled getting all those deals, but come on, a $300 big screen TV is worth just about whatever it takes to get. If you’re like me and would rather not get run over by a shopping cart stampede, Cyber Monday is where it’s at. You can’t beat sitting on your butt and buying random items you don’t need just because they’re cheap. I may be a day late, but as tradition dictates, I like to give thanks to something every year. This year, I want to give my thanks to my man Jon Gruden for being the commentator on Monday Night Football. I mean, can you imagine Chris Collinsworth or Phil Simms getting that privilege? It’s bad enough we all had to sit through Rams v. 49ers this year, can you imagine it with one of them giving the play by play? Sorry, Halloween is long over. I shouldn’t subject anyone to such scary thoughts. Anyway onto the interesting guys of the week. Hope everyone’s still got a shot in their matchups after all the Thanksgiving Day games…
Brandon Marshall – It’s not a good feeling when a guy you drafted to be your WR1 hasn’t put up double digits since Week 5. I seriously doubt you want to trust him anymore this season, but a matchup against the Patriots should be some good medicine for his woes. The Pats don’t really have a secondary except for Malcom Butler and Devin McCourty, and they’ll be putting up way more than enough points to force New York into throwing early. This should be a recipe for that WR1 value you’ve been waiting for, but Ryan Fitzpatrick’s abysmal play move him more in the WR2 territory. As much as you have reason to doubt me on this one, I think he’s a solid play.
James Starks – Let’s be honest, Starks’ value is pretty over-inflated from his past two games. The Packers will probably be getting blown out for the rest of the season, and I doubt he’ll have an opportunity to be used much in the rushing department. He’s got some decent value as a pass catching back, but a 30 yard walk in touchdown isn’t going to happen again soon. He probably has done enough to warrant being in your lineup with the upside he’s shown, but more as a Flex instead of an RB2.
Dion Lewis – The question of the week… When’s Lewis going to be worth starting now that he’s healthy? Bill Belichick can’t even answer a reporter’s question straightforward, so do you really expect much clarity on this issue? It’s looking like you’re just going to have to wait for him to pass James White on the depth chart for him to be more than a stash. He stilled showed that impressive elusiveness on his limited touches against the 49ers, but I’d give him another week or two on your bench for the backfield to sort out more.
Devante Parker – Has the last two weeks been legit? After the 4 points in the three weeks prior to this outburst I’d say this is a bit more in the fluky nature. The thing is, you’re not just trusting Parker to get open and make plays, you’re also trusting Ryan Tannehill to actually get him the ball. Not an ideal situation. He’s still worth firing up for the next two weeks as a WR2 since he’s going up against some of the league’s worst passing defenses. Just don’t count on that production to continue when he actually goes up against some more legit cornerbacks.
Carlos Hyde – The 49ers offense has looked anything but competent this year. Nothing receivers and a quarterback that can only run the ball are going to hurt you a tad. Regardless, Hyde retains his value from extremely high usage and motor whenever he’s healthy. Chip Kelly recently touted him as the “main focus on offense” this week, and that should ease any concern you had of starting him. He hasn’t scored a touchdown since starting out hot in that department, but he’ll be a solid RB2 play for as long as he can fight off the injury bug.
Rob Kelley – Even though Kelley gained most of his yards on a single play last week, he ran with anger on all the other carries. He was repeatedly hit at the line of scrimmage and turned absolutely nothing into a few yards almost every time. It’s safe to say it doesn’t look like he’s giving up the No. 1 role any time soon. Pencil him in as a weekly back end RB1, just don’t count on a 3 touchdown outburst every week.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I’m out on vacation this week, but if you leave a comment I’ll do my best to get back at you.