Week 4 of the NFL season is oh so very close and yes, if you are 0-3, you are also very close to throwing pieces of furniture around your living room. Take that anger and focus it on doing something worthwhile, like digging a hole on your back yard just to see what’s down there. It’s more dirt. I have so many leagues that I’ll just pretend that the ones I am 3-0 in are the ones I really tried in. Cuz they are!
It looks like there is a good chance that the NFL season will get beefed up to an 18 game season, which will have a lot of ramifications for our precious fake football. More injuries, more RBBCs, more teams playing for nothing toward the end, and most importantly, more games for us! I completely understand that 18 games are too many, but it’s hard for me not to be just a little excited at the prospect. I’m a small, selfish man! But, that’s crazy future talk! We have a whole bunch of actual games today!
You may have noticed that picking wide receivers this season has been intolerably difficult, but of course that has always been the way of things. Austin Collie leads receivers in fantasy points this season. Enough said. Oh wait, there’s more. You can’t rely on receivers. You can’t rely on any NFL player of course, but receivers, especially the free agent pick up kind, are not going to get you 100 yards and a TD every week. Even Miles Austin had a huge dud last week. There is usually more than one receiver on a team and if the defense, even the crappy ones, decide to take that receiver out of the game, they can do it. That’s why we can’t overreact to down games from receivers. We need to look at situation and talent more than anything.
But what about all my awesome running backs I drafted who suck/are hurt? Good question. The way running backs are going this season it is difficult to look back at draft strategy and say, well, I should have gone with this position or that position early or late or whatever. There is no rhyme or reason to injuries and just a little hum to how a player is used. It’s still too early to make any declarations, but I believe the tenet that, your in-season moves are what win championships, holds true. Trades, pickups and who you start and sit are how you win week to week. Yes, a great draft can make up for a lot, but the chances of all your players remaining healthy are slim to none. You’ve got to work at this game. Sadly. Because I hate work. I rather write about fantasy football and be poor.
With all the byes, injuries, and tough matchups there are only a few players that actually seem ready for stable, productive games. This isn’t really breaking news, but I’ll give you my wish list for this week:
Arian Foster: With an injured AJ and a poor Oakland rush D we should see a ton of Foster, which is Texan for RB.
Cedric Benson: CedBen has been quiet this season because the Bengals think TOcho Stinko is the next big thing. They ain’t. If they had the good Manning throwing their way they would be fine, but they don’t. The Bengals need to get back to their running ways which did the trick last season. The Browns are decent in rush D, but not dominant.
Kevin Walter: I really don’t like Walter. He’s just not a great talent. But he does have good hands and while Foster is running the ball I think Walter will get the critical receptions while Jones or AJ is being covered by Asomugha.
Aaron Hernandez: The Dolphins don’t feel any great urgency to cover tight ends, and with Welker and Moss there will be a good reason this week. Hernandez can’t be covered by a linebacker, at least not effectively and with his open field ability you will get your yardage from him.
Shonn Greene: Yeah, I know, but Greene is still good, they just don’t let him get into the rhythm he needs. I think the Bills are bad enough that Ryan will want to get Greene more involved and give him a confidence boost. Yes, LDT will get work too, but I think we see Greene get a TD this week.
Zach Miller/Louis Murphy: DHB was a late addition to the injury report with a strained groin. The Texans are the worst pass defense in the world. That makes the Murphy, Miller Duo a good one in fantasy world. Murphy does have a clavicle injury, but looks like he’ll be ok to go.
Ryan Mathews: You pretty much have to start him anyway, but thankfully he has a nice matchup against Arizona. This is kind of the make or break game for Mathews in my mind. If he gets hurt or can’t convert, I’m not going to be happy with him at all.
Mark Clayton: I’ve had trouble warming up to the Ravens’ castoff, but Bradford is playing too well and targeting him too often not to be high on him playing Seattle at home and possibly without Steven Jackson.
Michael Crabtree: I don’t think he is a must start, but with the new OC and a team desperate for a win I think Crabtree will see many more targets. His upside is much higher this week than it has been and Atlanta’s pass D ranks 19th in our rankings.
Beanie Wells: My Beanie love has been well publicized, by me. His early injury and surgery was a kick in the crotch, but he showed last week that he’s healthy again. The Chargers aren’t horrible and they could get up on the Cardinals, but he is one of the few weapons the Cardinals have right now. He’ll get his work and I think he’ll make it count.
Ronnie Brown: I mentioned his nice end of the season schedule last week, but New England ain’t all that good either. I’m looking for a decent game out of him. He continues to get some wildcat work near the goal line which I also find appealing.
My ultimate lineup, if I had unlimited cash in FanDuel would be —
But all of you who play our Weekly Contest know that it just never turns out that way. We get around 100 entries each week and nobody has yet to get the highest possible scoring trio at QB/RB/WR. Last week Miles Austin seemed like a sure bet and he sunk many an entry. I know I had him on every single FanDuel team I had going, which makes me want to diversify more, but then it’s harder to win all of your duels! Decisions!
Oh, and we need to fill out our 2nd Razzball FanDuel League of the week. I finished 5th last week and plan on upping that to #1 this week!
When you see players like Roy Williams and Brandon Lloyd go off it is hard not to question your philosophy in who to start and sit. I know in answering your stat/sit questions I try my hardest to go with the player that I feel has the best odds of playing well. Someone like Miles Austin last week against Houston, his odds had to be 99.9% to have a startable game. He did not. But would I have ever recommended starting Brandon Loyd over him? Nope. I got some guff last week for recommending certain running backs over Hillis. And I learned from his game against the Ravens, but in that same situation I would do the same thing. You pretty much have to go with the stats, situation, health, etc.. of the player. I don’t know how often I’m wrong vs. right, but I do spend an ungodly amount of time trying to stay on top of what is happening in the NFL. Go with the odds first, but also don’t give up on your gut. Take both into account. I try to stick with the odds, but will go against them in my own teams if my gut is leaning me in a different direction, which depends on the percentage of fried food stuffs in my gut. You are going to feel like crap if it doesn’t work out either way you do it!
Good luck all.