Last week I promised that I would dedicate the following week to subjecting myself to the save level of scrutiny I have spent the past two weeks bestowing upon the author of ESPN’s weekly fantasy football Love/Hate article. Well fast forward to today and it is now next week. You like how I did that. I didn’t need a flux capacitor, 88 MPH or 1.21 gigawatts to launch us into the future. Eat your heart out Doc. On a related note, did you hear they are doing a remake of Back To The Future with Will Smith’s son as Marty McFly. Donald Trump will be playing Biff Tannen.

Well I guess it’s time to see just how much I am going to ridicule myself. Without further adieu…

Quarterbacks

Russell Wilson – “Wilson gets the Indianapolis Colts this week. The Colts have given up an average of 297 passing yards per game in their first three games and at least one passing touchdown in each game, including two last week against the 0-3 Browns. Wilson is coming off of a 373 yard, 4 touchdown game and now has an average of 243 yards per game. I think we could be looking at a 260 yard, 2 touchdown game for about 20 fantasy points. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ran for a score as well.”

Russell Wilson was a top five quarterback in week four with 27.6 points. He threw for 295 yards, 2 touchdowns and he even ran for a score. Can’t say I am surprised. (1-0)

Eli Manning – “Coming off his best fantasy game of the season (22.6 points), Eli faces the Buccaneers in week four. In their first two games this year the Bucs have given up 670 yards passing. The held Mike Glennon (the guy in jeopardy of losing his job three games into the season to Mitch Trubisky) to just 12 points, but Case Keenum lit them up for 28.5 last week. Eli has a healthy Odell Beckham Jr ready to catch some touchdown passes and help Eli post another solid week.”

Coming off his best week, he topped it with 27.7 points. Manning threw for 288 and 2. He also happened to run one in. To this I can say I am surprised. (2-0)

Deshaun Watson – “The Titans have given up 7 passing touchdowns this season and an average of more than 20 points per game. They have given up 57 yards rushing to opposing quarterbacks, which is the fourth most. Watson leads all QBs in rushing yards with 124 and a score. The Titans just got manhandled by Wilson, and Watson just put up solid numbers against the Pats. I like the two directions of momentum.”

Yahtzee! This called helped me big time in DFS formats as Watson was the top QB in week four, scoring 33.7 points. He had 283 yards, 4 passing touchdowns and one rushing score. (3-0)

Cam Newton – “This is more of a long shot, but something tells me Cam has a shot to right the ship. At least for the week anyway. The Patriots have given up the most points to opposing quarterbacks so far this season. This includes the most post passing yards (1025) and touchdowns (8). If Cam can’t make it happen in week four, I think his owners are in for a long season.”

Cam Newton threw for 316 yards and 3 touchdowns. Seems he was able to take advantage of playing the Patriots. He scored 33 points, trailing only Deshaun Watson. And just to keep the theme alive, Newton rushed for a touchdown. Trade him now! (4-0)

My math isn’t too good, but I think that’s four out of four. Somehow every QB I recommended ran one in. I also managed to pick four of the top five quarterbacks for the week. Russell Wilson shouldn’t have been much of a surprise, but the other three are calls that definitely would have helped teams on the fence.

Running Backs

Ezekiel Elliot – “This is an obvious play here. He’s a must start, but I felt the need to include him in my list. The Rams have given up the most rushing touchdowns (5) this season and over 30 points per game to opposing running backs. If Carlos Hyde can manage 84 and 2, what can Zeke do?”

Did anyone doubt that Zeke was going to have a big game? Running for 85 yards and a touchdown, he added 4 catches for 45 yards and score. On that day he had 29.9 points, making him a top three RB. (5-0)

LeSean McCoy – “Another guy you are starting whether or not he’s listed here. While McCoy has had back-to-back subpar games, he gets Atlanta this week, another team that has given up over 30 points per game to opposing backs. Through the first three weeks McCoy leads all running backs in receptions (18). During that same span, the Falcons have given up the second most receptions to opposing running backs (26). While he might only rush for 50 yards, I see a touchdown and at least 6 receptions in his future as well. A receiving TD would be the icing on the cake.”

This one wasn’t all that on the money. McCoy rushed for 76 yards on 20 carries. He also had 3 catches for 32 yards. On the day he was over 100 yards, but he came up a touchdown short of me nailing the call. Although his 13.8 points in PPR formats was good enough for a top 25 RB. The reason this was a safer call for me to get wrong is because anyone that owns LeSean was starting him regardless of what I said. You never sit your studs. This one was a push. (5-0-1)

LeGarrette Blount – “I considered Wendell Smallwood here, but I think Blount is the play. The Chargers have given up the most yards rushing this season (411). While 171 of those yards did come last week against Kareem Hunt and the Chiefs, they have still allowed more than 100 yards in each game thus far. With Sproles out Smallwood’s role will undoubtedly increase, but I can see Blount, who is averaging 4.3 yards per carry to rack up 70 and a touchdown. My confidence is middle of the road on this call, but I wanted to throw it out there.”

I’m pretty happy about this call. Blount carried 16 times for 136 yards, averaging 8.5 yards per carry. He totaled 16.6 points. If only he was able to punch that one in from the two in the 4th quarter, he would have had a great day. I’m still calling this one a win, but it could have been glorious with a touchdown. As for Smallwood, he had a nice day himself scoring 17.9 points thanks to eventually running in the touchdown Blount couldn’t. I am tempted to take credit for two wins on this one, but I’ll settle for one. (6-0-1)

Javorious Allen – “This is a PPR only play. Pittsburgh held Isaiah Crowell and Dalvin Cook in check in weeks one and two, but Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen ran wild on them in three. Allen has had 5 catches in each of his last two games. The Steelers have allowed 23 receptions to opposing running backs. Only the Falcons and Saints have allowed more. Seems like a decent play.”

This one didn’t quite pan out as expected. Or did it? I did call this a PPR only play. Allen had 6 catches for 36 yards. Unfortunately none of them were for scores. Regardless, he produced more than the minimum of 5 catches and ended the day with 10.4 points. Double digit points are usually enough to not be considered a bad day when the player isn’t a top tier guy. (6-0-2)

Wide Receivers

Odell Beckham Jr – “I don’t think there’s much I need to say here to convince anyone to start him. Tampa has given up over 50 points per game to opposing wide receivers. I like Eli and I like Odell in this one.”

I’d have to say that 7 receptions for 90 yards is a solid day. It’s not quite an ODB superstar day, but he was really only missing a touchdown. Must have been that score Eli ran in himself. He should have thrown it to ODB. However, as I said with McCoy, no one was sitting a healthy Beckham. (7-0-2)

DeAndre Hopkins – “I doubt anyone is benching him, but I wanted to give him a shout out. While I’m a little concerned about the potential for Watson to spread out the targets after last week’s game, Hopkins has seen 37 of the teams 93 targets. The Titans have given up 42 receptions, 502 yards and 5 touchdowns to wide receivers year to date. I can see Hopkins with a line 6 for 65 and a score.”

Hopkins was the top wide receiver in week four with 26.7 points. He had 10 receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown. I predicted 6 for 65 which was an average of about 10 yards per catch. He bested my forecast with an extra 4 catches, but did average about 10 yards per catch. (8-0-2)

Alshon Jeffery – “The Chargers have given up 5 receiving touchdowns this season. That ties them with CardinalsTitans and Jets for the most. This call is based on him finding the end zone, but I like his chances. My confidence is a medium here however.”

Jeffery had only 3 catches for 29 yards, but one of those catches was a touchdown. I prefaced this call by saying it was based on him finding the end zone. Mission accomplished. (9-0-2)

Marqise Lee – “Marquise has failed to score a touchdown this season, but he does have back to back double digit fantasy point games. He’s gonna need a TD to justify this call. Luckily he faces the Jets who have allowed five to opposing WR.”

With just 2 receptions for 18 yards I really shit the bed on this one. I guess I should have known better than to trust a WR that has Blake Bortles throwing to him. (9-1-2)

Golden Tate/Marvin Jones – “One of these guys is likely to have good day. No team has given up more receiving yards (644) than the Vikings. The Vikes have also given up the second most points to opposing wide receivers with more than 40 per week.”

Golden Tate had just 3 catches for 29 yards and 6.1 points. Marvin Jones had 2 for 42 and 6.2 points. I’m not going to put all the blame on Matthew Stafford, but he did only go 19 for 31 and 209 yards. Either way this call was a bust. (9-2-2)

Robert Woods – “This is a low confidence call, but for some reason I like him. Perhaps it’s because the Cowboys have given up at least 40 points to wide receivers that last two weeks, including two touchdowns in each game. In week one they played an OBJ-less Giants.”

Two receptions for 17 yards. Sorry. (9-3-2)

Tight Ends

Travis Kelce – No brainer. Aside from the obvious, the Redskins have given up a league leading 250 yards to tight ends. Look for Kelce to bounce back after last week’s disappointment.

Looks like Kelce was able to bounce back with a trip to 7-111 and a touchdown. His 24.4 points were only bested by Tyler Kroft’s 24.8 points. (10-3-2)

Jared Cook – The Broncos have given up a touchdown to the opposing tight end the past two weeks. Tight ends have averaged 8.5 receptions for about 85 yards during those games. Cook has had at least 4 catches in every game this season. I can see 6 for 45 and a score. This is a risky pick, but I kinda like it.

Looks like my goose is cooked on this one. Cook only managed 3 catches for 46 yards. He needed another 2 receptions and a score to make this one a winner. (10-4-2)

Jesse James – I like his chances of scoring a touchdown.

No touchdown for James. He was only targeted 3 times. He did catch all three of them for 40 yards, but I guess three targets is all you get when Le’Veon Bell carries the ball 35 times for 144 yards and a 2 touchdowns. I think JuJu Smith-Schuster stole his TD. (10-5-2)

Not a bad showing on my end. For those interested in how the other guy did last week, well he had five good calls and six bad ones. These results only reflect players included in the “love” column.

How many of you Googled Back To The Future remake?

Let see what I can dig up for week five.

Quarterbacks

Aaron Rodgers – This one feels a bit dirty even suggesting. Rodgers is one of the clear top two quarterbacks. On the season he has 10 touchdowns, one interception and is averaging just over 20 points per week. In the past three weeks the Cowboys have given up just over 20 points to opposing QBs. Coincidence? Me thinks not. I feel like he’s looking at a 300 yard, 2 touchdown day. But like I said, I’m not sure who this advice is actually helping since no one is going to be sitting Rodgers. As far as DFS is concerned, I think his price tag limits your roster flexibility.

Carson PalmerCarson Palmer has as many interceptions (5) as he does touchdowns this season. That is not a promising statistic. How could I possibly be recommending him? In his last three games he has averaging 338 passing yards and 18 points. Last week Philip Rivers threw for 347 and 2 and the week before Eli Manning went for 366 and 3 against the Eagles. I like Palmer’s chances of having a good day in week five.

Brian Hoyer – Seriously? I think so. He’s facing the Colts. The Colts are averaging 297 yards to opposing quarterbacks. Hoyer is a low percentage play. He’s going to throw an interception, but if he can throw two touchdowns and 250, then I can see him with an 18 point game.

Josh McGown – The Browns have given up 9 passing touchdowns so far this season. That includes four to Andy Dalton last week. Can McGown come away with two touchdowns? Deshone Kizer has thrown 8 interceptions so far, so McCown and the Jets should have their chances on offense. I guess we’ll find out.

Jay Cutler – Hoyer, then McGown, and now Cutler? I’m not even sure my fingers will let me type this one out. Cutler has been nothing short of shitty this season, but if he can’t make things happen against the Titans he should re-retire. Through the first four weeks no team has given up more passing touchdowns than Tennessee (11). Opposing QBs are averaging 285 yards and 23.9 points.

Running Backs

LeVeon Bell – He’s LeVeon Bell. I could probably end it right there. Jacksonville has given up the second most rushing yards to date (591). They have also allowed 4.5 catches for 32.5 yards to opposing running backs. In PPR leagues that’s nearly 8 points right there.

Carlos Hyde – The Colts have given up a rushing touchdown to every opponent except the David Johnson-less Cardinals. Hyde is averaging 80 yards on the ground per game, while the Colts are allowing 83. He is also second in the league in red zone rushing attempts with 17. I can see Hyde having an 85 and 1 game with four catches.

Seattle – The Seahawks gets the Rams in week five. The Rams having given up the most points (32.9/game) and rushing touchdowns (6) so far. Opposing running backs are averaging 140 yards per game. The question is, who will be the lead back for Seattle this week. If it doesn’t end up being a legit timeshare, the player with the most opportunity is going to have a nice day.

Frank Gore – Ignoring last week’s matchup with the Cardinals since their running game is shit, the 49ers have given up 107 rushing yards per game. Gore is old and he’s not having a stellar season so far, but he’s got a decent matchup this week.

Wayne Gallman – Last week, in his only game action this season, Gallman carried the ball 11 times for 42 yards. That’s an average of 3.8 yards per game. For the last three weeks opposing backs have all managed more than 100 rushing yards per game against the Chargers. As a matter of fact, the Chargers have allowed the most rushing yards this season (611). Obviously there’s a lot of uncertainty with Gallman, but I can’t see why the 0-4 Giants don’t give him every opportunity this week.

Duke Johnson Jr – This is a PPR only play. In four games Johnson has 20 catches for 207 yards. That’s an average of 10 points per game. While he only has 10 carries for 57 yards all season, he does have 2 rushing scores.

Wide Receivers

Jarvis Landry/DeVante Parker – I can decide which of these two I want to go with this week. Both have potential. If it weren’t for Cutler I could see a big day for both. The Titans have given up 8 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers. I feel like both Landry and Parker have greater than a 50 percent chance of scoring. Parker is averaging 6 receptions per game for 76 yards, while Landry is averaging 8 for 55. Both players have scored double digit points in every game this season.

Larry Fitzgerald – The Eagles have given up 837 receiving yards this season. Only the Buccaneers have allowed more over their first four games. Look for Larry Legend (NFL) to put up some numbers this week.

Jaron Brown – Brown has averaged over 14 yards per reception this season. Coming off an 8 catch-105 yard game, I can see Jaron having another good game against the Eagles defense.

Nelson Agholor – Considering I am suggesting Palmer, Fitz and Jaron, I think it’s safe to say that I expect the Cardinals score some points this week. On the flip side, the Eagles are going to have to try and keep up. That will require them to throw the ball. I can see the Cards focusing on Jeffery and Ertz, and I can see Nelson flying under the radar.

Pierre Garcon – Indy!

Tight Ends

Austin Sefarian-Jenkins – The Browns have given up about 19.8 points per game to opposing tight ends. Ignoring the one game against the Colts (because the Colts are not good), they are averaging 24.6 points. They gave up two touchdowns to the Steelers, two touchdowns to the Bengals and 121 yards on 13 catches to the Ravens. In his two games this season ASF has 9 receptions for 77 yards. I think we’d all be happy with a 5 catch-50 yard-1 TD performance.

Hunter Henry/Antonio Gates – The Giants are an opposing tight end’s best friend. They have given up 309 yards and the most touchdowns (5). There are two things that scare me as far as Hunter is concerned. The first is that he has two goose eggs in the first four weeks. The second is Antonio Gates. Gates has 9 receptions on 17 targets for 76 yards and a touchdown. Henry also has 9 receptions, but has only seen 11 targets. I feel confident that a Chargers tight end is going to score a TD, but I cannot guarantee which one it will be. Henry is two for two on red zone targets, while Gates is one for three. If I had to pick one, I’d go with Jenkins. Actually leaning Gates a little bit over Henry.

Jesse James – This one just feels good to me.

See you next week!

 

 

Follow malamoney on Twitter at @malamoney.

  1. Roger that says:
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    Hey man!!

    .5 PPR league here’s my RBs : Gordon, hunt, mcaffery, Smallwood, Aaron jones, McKinnon,Rawls , and DJ on IR spot

    My WRs we start 3, can be 4 w/ flex:
    Keenan Allen, doug Baldwin, tyreek hill, hogan, Parker, Lockett, will fuller.

    My TE: Sefarian Jenkins

    QB already played on TNF Winston & got me 28 pts

    D/ST: Ravens D

    Kicker I’ll stream

    1.) ROS do you prefer my Gordon or deal him for either fournette or McCoy? Do you like McCoy or fournette over Gordon ROS?

    2.) since I have a lot of WR would you recommend dealing one or two of my WRs for a RB? Which WR(s) would you deal?
    Here are some RBs I’d consider dealing for: kamara, doug Martin, or Duke Johnson

    3.) hold onto my Ravens D for this week ? I think it may be an ugly game my opponent has raiders D so battle of the D’s from the same game lol! Or be risky & go for bears D?

    — thoughts on snead he’s sitting on the wire

    Lastly drop or hang onto Smallwood or Aaron jones to add McGuire, Jamaal Williams , Mckissic or even Marlon Mack or clement?

    Thanks man!

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Roger that:

      1. Fournette, McCoy and then Gordon

      2. That’s a tough one. Here’s why. Gordon, Hunt and McCaffrey are pretty much weekly starts. The rest of your RBs are mostly weekly matchup plays. I do like Doug Martin, but it depends on who you have to give up. I’d be more willing to move McCaffrey and a WR for a higher quality RB.

      3. Ravens.

      I’d probably hold both. Besides, it’s not like you are hurting at RB. Good luck!

      • Roger that says:
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        @malamoney:

        Thanks man! That’s an option too pairing CMC + one of my WRs, that honestly never crossed my mind . If I aim for a better RB if that’s the case go for any of these?

        Ajayi? Or too risky there?

        Demarco Murray? Or meh?

        Jordan Howard?

        Hyde ?

        Lynch?

        I would like CJA but I’m not trying for him that owner just lost Cook & he needs CJA

        — side note the lynch owner also owns Hyde, and Howard

        — Ajayi owner has fournette & Montgomery

        — Demarco Murray is that owners best RB, his other RBs are kamara, mixon, James white, and Dion Lewis

  2. Noam says:
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    Thanks Malamoney! Which two would you start? Thielen, Abdullah, Mixon, Howard?

    • Noam says:
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      @Noam: @Noam: PPR

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Noam: Thielen is one I’d start. The second is a tough call between Abdullah and Howard. Leaning Howard. Aside from week 2, he has been a solid start.

  3. Allan says:
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    Liking the column so far. Need some help. Playing that one guy in our league who never sets his lineup. So he’s got brees and his tight end on bye. Problem is it’s a ppr and he also has McCoy ajayi Beckham Hilton and fournette. It’d be real embarrassing to lose to him. I’ve already had Brady go this week.
    My team right now looks like this
    QB Brady
    RB Cohen Stewart
    WR Baldwin Cooper
    Flex Cupp
    TE Ertz
    D Vikings
    K Bailey
    Bench Gallman Smallwood Marshall Julio Ingram
    Available on wire are McKinnon Lacy Bernard Jaron Brown Hurns
    Thoughts?

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Allan: First off, this guy needs to be kicked out of the league. Not setting your lineup is total bullshit.

      However…

      I might be willing to take a shot with Gallman over Stewart. It’s risky, but other than week one when Stewart had a receiving TD, he hasn’t done much. Gallman put up 13 points last week.

      Personally I’d be starting Jaron Brown over Kupp this week, but I’m not sure who on your team I’d drop to grab him.

      • Allan says:
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        @malamoney: Yeah I couldn’t figure out who to drop either. Need all the rbs after losing Johnson and Cook both to IR. Oh and guy is out after this season.

  4. friar says:
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    Great column! I love the honest reflection of how your calls work out (and also the spot-on calls — keep it up!).

    I’m wrestling with a roster decision that, unfortunately, hangs more on the legal system than anything else. I don’t have Zeke, but picked up Morris early this week when it looked like Zeke might be re-suspended. With no decision from the court yet, I now need to drop someone in order to pick up a kicker for tomorrow. Morris is, I think, the obvious choice as the least likely to have value (and a bye in week 6 as well), but part of me wonders if he’s worth keeping since, as a bench player, his upside makes him more likely to actually make it into my lineup than some of the other guys on my roster. What do you think? Who should I drop?

    12-team, 0.5 ppr (start QB, 2RB, 2WR, TE, flex):
    QB: Dak, Cam
    RB: Miller, L Murray, Gallman, Collins, Allen, Morris, Woodhead (IR)
    WR: Jordy, Cooks, Fitz, Garcon, Tyrell Williams
    TE: Walker

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @friar: Thanks man. I think you’ve got to drop Morris. You can try dropping Morris and then grabbing him again next week. Many might not try and grab him going into a bye week. If Gallman and Murray end up being “the guy” for their team, then I’m not sure I would start Alf over either of them even if Zeke was suspended. And by “the guy”, I mean their lead back…

  5. Jason Morgan says:
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    Great post malamoney. I enjoyed when you put Berry in his place but you really did come full circle in these posts. Well done.

    Would you start Fitz and Jaron Brown both?

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Jason Morgan: Thanks. I’d be ok starting them both. Depends on the rest of your options, but it sounds ok to me…

  6. Corey says:
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    PPR pick one
    Buck Allen Wayne Gallman Jamaal Williams Blount

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Corey: Normally it would be Blount, but I don’t like him going up against Arizona. I really want to say Gallman because of the Chargers. Allen is going to have a floor of about 5 catches and 25 yards. So in PPR, that’s 7.5 points. The question is whether he can find the end zone and get up to 15 points or so.

      I guess the safe play is Allen, but the risk/reward play is Gallman…

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