Right, Wrong Or Indifferent?: Lessons From Week 17
Glenn Colton takes over the weekly recap of Jeff Mans' prognostications to make us all better in NFL Week 17 in this week's Right, Wrong or Indifferent?
Another week means another opportunity to sit in judgment of Jeff Mans! I have poured over Jeff’s rankings and opinions and, well, let us see how he did. Oh, and as usual, I will pepper this piece with a few of my own masterpieces and pieces of [use a word for dung] from the past week.
Here is the 2015 Week 17 edition of Right, Wrong or Indifferent:
Rashad Jennings: Maestro Mans was dead on when he penned: “The Giants have finally been giving Jennings the ball instead of the other two turds here in New York. Jennings has had more than 50 percent of snaps in each of the last three games and has reached double digit FD points in each. The Eagles have been getting punished by the run recently and are giving up the third most rushing yards per game over the last three, and fourth most on the season. The Eagles are also without their only true run stopper in Bennie Logan which should make sledding even easier for Jennings this week.” One has to wonder why the Giants waited until their season was in the toilet before letting their best back be their best back. Jennings, as Jeff predicted, was great Sunday as he rushed for 170 yards and a TD and added two bonus receptions. This is a situation to watch for 2016 as Jennings could be very valuable if they actually use him.
Jordan Matthews: Mr. Mans was spot on regarding Jordan Matthews. Jeff wrote: “Here is the deal folks. If you think that ODB is going to go off that means you should feel the Eagles are going to score some points too and keep the Giants passing. Have you been paying attention to what Jordan Matthews has done of late? He is averaging nine targets, seven receptions, 132 yards, and a touchdown in each of his last two games. He's also scored a TD in four of his last five games. The Giants are dead last in the NFL in passing yards given up and have allowed the fourth most fantasy points to WR's this season. Matthews is also just 57 yards short of 1,000 on the season.” I admit it, I did not believe. I just did not know if the Eagles would show up at Chip Kelly's professional wake or not. Well, Matthews did as he registered seven catches, 54 yards and two TD. Matthews could be a fantasy force next year.
Zach Ertz: Jeff is looking good here as he continues to show the love to Zach Ertz: “Ertz is a terrific TE play this week. There is not a hotter TE in the game right now as a matter of fact. He has 37 targets, 26 receptions and 298 yards with one TD over his last three games. That averages out to 9-99 which would instantly make him a 3x value guy even without getting into the endzone.” Nine catches for 152 yards from a TE – I will take that all day and twice on Sundays!
Jeremy Hill: OK, one for me. I reasoned that the Bengals, with a banged up QB in a must-win game, would try and ground and pound as much as they could. Thus I was very high on Jeremy Hill. Yeah me! Hill rushed for 96 yards and a TD (and threw in two catches for 19 more yards) and provided nice value for those who jumped on his reduced price tag. I think Hill could be an undervalued play in playoff fantasy football and will likely own a few shares in both daily and full playoff contests.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: Well, now for the other side of the coin. This Mans prediction hardly came to pass: “The Jets are playing for a spot in the AFC playoffs and the only thing standing in their way is a win against their former coach in Rex Ryan. This will be a competitive game and that means the Jets will have to do what they do best and that is throw the football. During the Jets' five-game winning streak Fitzpatrick has thrown 13 TDs against just INT. He's also averaging 305 yards passing in that span as well. The Bills DST ranks fourth worst in Football Outsiders DVOA this season.” Well, Jeff, I was right there with you. I believed Fitzmagic would make the playoffs for the first time in his career but I too was wrong. Fitz was awful Sunday throwing for just 181 yards and two TDs while serving up three killer picks. Fitz will go back to being a QB2 in 2016 fantasy football.
Brian Hoyer: I think Jeff got twisted around a bit when he wrote: “If you are going low on QB this week you might as well go way down because the skill level and expected results are just about even. Hoyer is back under center for the Texans and that should be great news for this offense most importantly DeAndre Hopkins. The Jaguars are bleeding points to QBs this year, having given up the fourth most fantasy points to the position. The Jags have also given up the second most passing yards over the last three games and fourth most for the whole season. If the Jags offense can score on this Houston defense it will put pressure on Hoyer and company to keep throwing and scoring which will help him return 3x+ value at least this week.” 249 yards with one TD and one INT is not a big game by anyone’s standards. Frankly, I get why Jeff was bargain hunting here but there are just too many good QBs to risk a week on Hoyer. No chance I play him in any playoff fantasy football format.
Brice Butler: Jeff booted this grounder when he said: “I am ending the regular season by using one of my favorite underdog players in Brice Butler this week. He is ONLY a tournament option but was a big favorite of Cowboys QB Kellen Moore last week racking up nine targets, four receptions and 74 yards. Moore is playing for his NFL life right now and likely to make this a showcase game for himself. Butler has great size and speed that allows him multiple ways of getting into the end zone. The Redskins secondary is banged up a will likely be rested at point of this game as well.” Four catches for 60 yards when Washington turned off the gas in the second half is just not good. Butler is a work in progress and is not likely to be more than the Cowboys WR4 at best in 2016.
Titans DST: In all fairness, I have to look in the mirror and scold myself at least once. I really thought the Titans would take advantage of the Josh Freeman/Ryan Lindley show. I mean really! These guys were sitting on the couch two weeks ago. But no, the Titans managed just one sack and one turnover. Wash, rinse, repeat: bad defenses are bad defenses. Bad defenses are bad defenses . . . .
Cameron Artis-Payne: Jeff noted: “With both Jonathan Stewart and Fozzy Whittaker out for Week 17, it leaves just the rookie Cameron Artis-Payne and short yardage guy Mike Tolbert to carry the rock for the Panthers. The Panthers run the ball more than any other team in the league and thus the touches will be there. Artis-Payne is averaging 4.5 yards per carry and has fresh legs late in the season. He's the perfect low end RB for this week.” 61 total yards a TD and a catch are not bad but the risk that Cam steals the TDs came to pass and makes this a push. Artis-Payne is not someone I play in playoff fantasy even if Stewart stays on the bench as Cam will be taking more into his own hands in the playoffs.
Tre Mason: Jeff was pretty high on Tre Mason: “Todd Gurley is out with a foot injury this week leaving Tre Mason as a minimum priced starter in a premium matchup. The Rams run a heavy run-based volume offense and also like to target the RBs out of the backfield. The 49ers have given up the fifth most rushing yards per game and the most fantasy points to RBs this season.” 44 yards is just not getting it done against the Niners but the TD saved the day. It was a run-pass option so Mason owners are lucky he ran with it rather than throw a pick, but I digress. Mason goes back to hoping for a trade to a new team in 2016 as he has no chance of unseating Todd Gurley.
Now on to playoff fantasy football!