Hello everybody and welcome to “Drape Impost”, Razzball’s weekly in-depth look at international tax policy for home décor. Let’s take a look at Norway, who charge an exorbitant 18% on imported tapestries… *answers call from Jay* I’ve been informed that this will actually be another Deep Impact article, and also that “Drape Impost” will be a podcast series on NPR this fall. Slight change to go over for those of you who have been reading regularly: I will no longer be limiting the “Start” section for running backs to less than 10% ownership in the interest of covering players who are actually worth starting. For running back starts, we’ll increase the population to look at low-owned guys who are more likely to already be on deep rosters but are unlikely to be every week plays. I’m figuring it out as I go, folks, and I will still cover backs under 10% ownership in the “Stash Target” section for all you players who are scouring the wire for adds. For those of you who haven’t been reading, you should try reading some time. It doesn’t even have to be about football, expand your horizons friends. Well, expand them after checking out these names, of course.
Terrance West (RB, Baltimore Ravens, 19% owned) – People who stashed Kenneth Dixon as I suggested back in the preseason, and fans of schadenfreude in general, have to enjoy what they’ve seen so far from the Ravens backfield. West (3.6 yards per carry) and Justin Forsett (3.16 yards per carry) have been largely ineffective while evenly splitting the carries, with Forsett chipping in more in the passing game (11 catches to West’s four). So why recommend any starts from this backfield? Well, John Harbaugh has hinted that he’ll be making changes to the running game, and I don’t see that many options aside from a) activating Javorius Allen and seeing if he can do better (spoiler alert: he can’t); b) forgoing the run altogether and having the elite Joe Flacco 60 times a game; c) somehow rewriting the rule book to give teams a point for every rushing attempt that goes for two yards or less; or d) picking one of the two backs in the time share to get more touches to get them in a “rhythm” (I don’t necessarily buy this theory, but it seems to be pretty popular among players and coaches; West himself just said that he needs more touches to be successful). If Harbaugh goes that route, I expect West to be the early down back as he has been slightly more successful running the ball, with Forsett used as the passing down and change-of-pace guy. This is all pure speculation, but I feel good enough about it to play West this week.
Terrance Williams and Brice Butler (WR, Dallas Cowboys, 7% and 1& owned, respectively) – Well, it appears that Dez Bryant and Tony Romo will be reunited sooner than expected. Unfortunately for Cowboys fans, that reunion will take place on the sidelines. Dez has a hairline fracture in his knee and while the full extent of the injury has not been disclosed, it sounds like he’s a longshot to play this week against the 49ers. Cole Beasley and Jason Witten can’t catch all the passes, much to the chagrin of Klan fantasy leagues, so I expect Williams and Butler to get involved. Williams caught four balls for 88 yards last week even with Dez on the field, showing signs of life for the first time this year. Looking at the six games that Dez missed last season, Williams averaged 3.5 catches for 68 yards per game as the de-facto number one receiver, which are playable numbers in deep leagues, especially with bye weeks starting. Butler is the higher-risk play who would move up to the starting lineup if Dez doesn’t suit up. He missed most of last season with injuries but was useful in the last two weeks of the season, averaging 4 catches for 67 yards. He’s the more explosive player of the two and is more likely to break off the big play, but Williams has twice as many targets so far this year and looks like he is beginning to establish some rapport with Dak Prescott. I’d play Williams first, but if he’s already been snatched up and you really need the help, roll the dice on Brice.
Cameron Brate (TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 9% owned) – When I was in middle school, I discovered what girls were and decided that they were way more important than schoolwork. During science class, while trying to pretend to be a badass, I was explaining to one girl that I had figured out that I couldn’t possibly fail the class because my grade average was a C through three quarters, and as a result, I didn’t even have to try the rest of the year (what a badass can’t believe she didn’t fall head over heels right then and there). The teacher overheard this story, and felt the need to stop the lesson to inform me in front of everyone that actually, grades are calculated based on average points for the year and not an average of the letters, so I could indeed fail the class. Hell, I could even get held back if I did poorly enough. What is the point of this story? That sometimes I am wrong, and sometimes I am wrong in embarrassingly public fashion. This, friends, is one of those times. I have been banging the drum for Austin Seferian-Jenkins hard this season, and like so many breathalyzers at 4 AM before, he blew it. He was released after yet another DUI, and Brate ran with the starting tight end job quickly to the tune of five catches, 46 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, he got 10 targets and was a heavy part of the passing game. Sometimes, you don’t need to be the most talented guy at your position on the team, you just have to be smart enough to not drive drunk. Brate could be a solid play this week and going forward in the tight end wasteland. Pick him up and try to go easy on me in the comments.
C.J. Spiller (RB, Seattle Seahawks, 6% owned) – I think that all people who are firmly on board the Christine Michael hype train are ones who have not been burned by him before. I will admit that he looked great this past week, but I’d like everybody to spare me the, “he had such a great preseason and training camp, too!” story. Every training camp of this guy’s career, he has been touted as the next big thing, and then he proceeded to blow every opportunity given to him. Maybe he will really put it all together and be an every-down workhorse now. But to me, the Spiller signing says that they at least want a passing down option, and with C.J. Prosise in a cast for the foreseeable future, he’s not the guy to take that role quite yet. Spiller has a big name value but his useful fantasy years are far in his rearview mirror by now; significantly further than the police are in ASJ’s. I wouldn’t clear roster space for him except for the deepest of leagues, but there is opportunity here for him to contribute if Thomas Rawls stays on the sideline and Michael turns back into a pumpkin, especially in PPR leagues.
Kamar Aiken (WR, Baltimore Ravens, 25% owned) – This is a new addition to the weekly feature, where we’ll take a look at some droppable players that are owned in too many leagues. We’ll start this feature with a somewhat popular preseason sleeper, Kamar Aiken. I’m trying to figure out how a quarter of Yahoo leagues have this guy on a roster. Have that many people already given up on fantasy football after Week 3? His percentage of snaps has decreased from 53 percent to 34 percent, and has only 4 targets on the year. He’s as useless as a defensive scheme that puts single coverage on A.J. Green (I’m writing this during the first half of the Thursday night game and am pretty sure he’s going to break some records). Don’t even bother asking in the comments “would you drop Aiken for x?” because the answer is going to be yes (do feel free to ask me other questions in the comments though). Spiller? Pull the trigger. ASJ? Sure, as long as you’re going to be his sponsor, too. Clay Aiken? Is he still alive? If so, then make the move. Just wash your hands of this wasted draft pick and move on with your lives.