Truth is, I used to be a Mark Sanchez apologist, and perhaps I still am. As a Jets fan coming off of two AFC Championship games, he was easy to like. Then, we got to know the real Mark Sanchez. Dancing with his pants off, the butt-fumble… need I go further? But overall, the Jets weren’t exactly a catalyst for his success. I blame them. Now, Mark Sanchez is born again with renewed hope as a follower of the Chip Kelly system, and I’m buying into it.
Full disclosure, I don’t think we see a far departure from the Sanchez we knew in New York, but I think we see improvement. He will still throw interceptions. He will still struggle in some situations, and I truly believe he will once again dance without pants, but I think the Eagles give him an excellent chance to succeed, like they did with Nick Foles. Sanchez might not be able to throw a football over them mountains, but he might be the Pedro to Nickfoleon Dynamite. A solid one-two punch.
Mark Sanchez (33%) v CAR: If you saw Sanchez on Sunday, you saw an above average quarterback. He looked poised in the pocket and made some very good decisions. He also showed that he can still put some touch on his throws with a gorgeous TD pass to Jordan Matthews. On the other side of the ball, Carolina’s secondary is seriously underperforming, which should give the Eagles wideouts some separation. As mentioned above, Chip Kelly gives Sanchez the opportunity to thrive in his offense. I consider him a high-floor stream this week.
Joe Flacco (67%) v TEN: Flacco is a great matchup play this week. Tennessee has a mediocre defense and coverage is one of their weaker areas. Baltimore is coming back home off of two division losses and looking to get back on track. I really feel a blowout coming here with Flacco leading the charge. Consider him a high-upside stream option for the week. (Since Flacco is widely owned, below is an extra stream.)
TB QB (?) v ATL: *TBD* When doing my research, I really liked Glennon in this spot, but Lovie Smith has decided to continue his poor coaching style and not name a starting quarterback for this week’s game. I really don’t know who the better QB is in Tampa, but when each player splits 1st team reps, it doesn’t set either of them up for success. I think any offensive player vs the Atlanta defense has upside, so if you’re in a jam, you can stream one of these guys last minute. *Note: As I’m writing this, it appears McCown is the guy. Keep tabs on this as Sunday approaches and don’t assume anything until you see it official!*
Mychal Rivera (22%) v DEN: Mych, or Mike, or Myche? He’s been trending upward lately. I guess that’s what you say when a seemingly nameless TE gets two touchdowns in one week… But really, he has been. Some evidence of why that’s occurring can be found in his “Routes Run” stat (available at profootballfocus.com). He’s run his highest number of routes over the last two games, more than doubling his routes run from Week 7 to 8, and that’s shown through in his target numbers. He went from 1 target in Week 7, to 11 targets in Week 8, to 9 targets in Week 9 (oh, and 2 TDs). Perhaps this is happening because Sparano is settling in? Or Carr is realizing that Rivera is an asset? No matter what the reason, let’s hope it continues. The Broncos just got embarrassed in New England in case you were sleeping, so expect a lot of passing from Oakland to keep up. Rivera still isn’t safe, but consider him high upside.
Defense & Special Teams
Miami (62%) @ DET: The matchup doesn’t look great, but a good defense is a good defense, period. Miami’s pass rush is arguably the best in the league. I’ve liked this defense since I recommended streaming them in Week 2, and quoting myself from Week 4 “the (DL) combo of Mitchell/Odrick/Starks (throw Wake in there too!) will wreak havoc on any QB in the pass game.” (Read: Philip Rivers. Sorry, Jay). I wouldn’t expect another 20+ point performance, but consider this a safe play.
Matt Bryant (17%) @ TB: There are a bunch of good kicker matchups this week, but all those guys are over 50% owned, so here’s the best bet. Tampa Bay is letting up the 5th most field goals to opponents in the Red Zone, and the 4th most field goals when you push opponents out to the 30-yard line and in (extra points for our kickers!). Consider Bryant a safe kicker stream this week.
Week 9 Recap:
RCL/Yahoo Standard 0.5 PPR Scoring
Eli Manning: 359 yds, 2 TD, 1 rush, 18 yds, 1 FL = 22.16 pts (6th QB)
Blake Bortles: 247 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT, 4 rush, 10 yds = 17.88 pts (13th QB)
Teddy Bridgewater: 268 yds, 1 TD, 3 rush, 20 yds = 16.72 pts (14th QB)
Jace Amaro: Not even targeted. Stay far away from Amaro. Mystery solved.
Coby Fleener: 11 tgts, 4 rec, 77 yds, 1 TD = 15.70 (4th TE)
MIN: 26 PA, 5 sack, 1 INT = 7.00 pts (T-14th DST)
Billy Cundiff: 1 20-29, 2 40-49, 1 PAT = 12.00 pts (5th K)
Mike Nugent: 1 30-39, 4 PAT = 7.00 pts (T-8th K)
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