|Notes and Observations, Week 3: Offense Struggles, Patriots Top Raiders 16-9||If the Playoffs Started Today – MLB Week 24||Connelly’s Top Ten: Average Patriots Make Sunday Boring||Week 3 Preview: Raiders at Patriots, Sept. 21, 2014|
The weather might be colder nowadays, but the fantasy football season is truly heating up!
Also hot are my recent picks, as my “guru-nicity” and “expert-itude” are finally shining bright, after yet another successful week of fantasy prognosticating. Feast your eyes on my Week 5 results…
Donovan McNabb: 16 for 21 passing, 3 TDs, no INTs, a near perfect 157.2 QB rating (that’s a stat line Momma McNabb has gotta be proud of)
Ahmad Bradshaw: Just 11 carries, but for 110 yards and 2 TDs, not to mention one 55-yard catch (these picks are on fire!)
Heath Miller: 54 yards through the air, including yet another TD (en fuego!)
Mike Sims-Walker: Didn’t play (you can’t blame me for this one, who knew he’d take Sunday off?)
Jerome Harrison: 8 carries for 21 yards and no TDs (can’t be perfect)
Ronnie Brown: 2 TDs on the ground w/ 74 yards, 3 catches for 14 yards, and 1 pass for 21 yards (lesson learned: never doubt the Wildcat)
Steven Jackson: 84 yds rushing, but no TDs and a lost fumble (not what you want from your 1st round fantasy “stud”)
Randy Moss: Just 1 grab for 36 yards, no end zone trips (Denver unfortunately did a very good job taking Moss out of the game)
Josh Morgan: Just 4 catches for 78 yards, no TDs (high hopes for him entering the season, doesn’t look like he’ll pan out)
Cadillac Williams: A dreadful 10 yards on 8 carries, and 3 catches for 8 yards (flat tire on the Caddy, might be a “clunker”)
I’ll chalk that up as a nice 7-for-9 week, leaving out the Mike Sims-Walker fiasco. I call it a fiasco because he screwed me over in two of my leagues with that last-minute “DNP.” Moral of the story: never be high on a Jacksonville wide receiver…they will break your heart like that girl you had a crush on back in gym class.
And so we turn our focus to Week 6, a week with lots of fantasy holes to fill, with the likes of Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Tony Romo, and Ronnie Brown chillin’ out as they enjoy their bye weeks. Here now, a look at five guys to turn to for hole filling, and five whose “holes” should be attached to your fantasy team’s bench come Sunday.
“Big Ben” has quietly turned himself into a top 5 fantasy quarterback so far this season. He’s coming off two games where he downright torched both San Diego and Detroit, and this week he gets to feast on the Cleveland Browns, the NFL’s 29th ranked total defense. Sunday will be ‘Berger Time in Pittsburgh.
Warner’s opponent this week, the Seattle Seahawks, may be coming off a game where their defense completely destroyed the Jacksonville Jaguars, but don’t look for the same to happen when the ‘Hawks D squares off against Warner and the Cards. Warner owns Seattle, throwing for 995 yards and 8 TD passes in his last three game against them. You can feel safe that the old veteran QB will continue his winning ways on Sunday.
The fact that Green Bay is facing the woeful Detroit Lions this week, leads me to believe that the hungry Grant will taste the end zone at least once this Sunday, and he may even eclipse the 100-yard plateau for the first time this season as well. Start Grant, watch the Packers get an early lead, then enjoy the “Ryan Grant Runs the Ball and Melts the Clock Down” Show.
Shame on me for not highlighting Cedric Benson’s achievements thus far this season. But if you look at the NFL ranks in both rushing attempts and yards, it’s Benson’s name you’ll see above everyone else’s, Peterson included. 111 carries and 487 yards on the ground have made Benson arguably the biggest surprise in the league this year, and his productive running has been what has led the Bengals to their improbable 4-1 start.
This week, C.B. gets to feast on the Houston Texans, who have let up more rushing TDs than any other team so far this year. If you haven’t been starting Cedric Benson all along, get your act together and start using him this week.
In the three games since returning from injury, Donnie Avery’s performance has improved vastly each time out on the field. With QB Marc Bulger getting healthier, look for Avery to continue to develop into a must-start WR each and every week, beginning this Sunday when he and the Rams face the Jaguars, a team that allows the most WR fantasy points in the league.
Brett Favre is going to act his age sooner or later this season, and this is the week I think the decline will begin. The Vikings will host Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, in a matchup to declare the “Manliest Team of Purple in the NFL.” Favre hasn’t faced the Ravens since his Packer days of ’05, when he went 14 of 29 for 144 yards and two picks. Favre will have a “sub-Favre-ian” performance on Sunday, which will surely leave all of his adoring fans weeping.
Can we just call it a career for L.J. yet or what? Give the starting job to Jamaal Charles already and let Johnson just ride off into the sunset. L.J. was atrocious against Dallas last week, rushing for just 37 yards on 21 carries. This week, he’ll face a Washington defense that has allowed only two rushing TDs all year.
And as a side note, Chiefs vs. Redskins? What’s the over/under set at for the number of Native American protesters outside the gates at this one, clammering for team name changes because they’re disrespecting their heritage? Say “No” to L.J. this week, say “No” to those absurd protesters, and while we’re at it, say “No” to drugs too.
With just 12 catches in 5 games, I think it’s high time we take T.O.’s name off the list of “elite” wide receivers in the NFL. This week, his Bills face off against a Jets squad that will be looking to get back on track, after losing to the Dolphins last Monday night. Cornerback Darrelle Revis will likely be locked onto T.O. for the entire 60 minutes, which should continue to render Owens useless in the Buffalo passing attack.
Carolina might have an unimpressive 1-3 record thus far, but their defense has been solid, ranking 2nd in pass defense in the league thus far. Bryant, who is battling a knee injury and has been limited in practice this week, hasn’t clicked with new Bucs starter Josh Johnson yet, losing more and more targets each week to tight end Kellen Winslow. If Bryant is healthy enough to get on the field Sunday, don’t expect much from him.
Shiancoe has caught touchdown passes in 3 of his last 4 games, building a strong rapport with QB Brett Favre each and every week. But the Baltimore defense have locked down opposing tight ends all season long, limiting them to one TD and just 11 catches in 5 games. I see this game as a defensive struggle with not a lot of scoring for either team. If you’ve got another TE option, use it… Shiancoe’s not your answer for Week 6.