Were you one of those people who liked report card day back in school? I wasn’t but not for reasons that you might think. Being the youngest of five my parents really didn’t care what kind of grades I got because at that point they had seen it all. Even at a young age I had a thirst to learn and to know. I would pay attention to the things that I wanted to learn about and drift off when the class was talking something I didn’t care about. This happens in fantasy sports all of the time except now I am the teacher, which sucks a lot more than I thought it did by the way. But I realize now that people will often say I am wrong or stupid because of one piece of advice that may have gone wrong in a given day or week. They say that because this was the one piece of advice that they really cared about. But the fact is that I give out thousands of opinions and recommendations every single day. As much as I hate to admit it, I am not always right either.
So each week I will be going over all of my rankings, projections, lineup advice and strong opinions and letting the record speak for itself. Obviously this is a risky proposition considering if I am wrong too much it could be a severe hit to my career. But I have confidence because fantasy football is something that I love and have a desire to learn about every single day. So despite the risk, I accept this challenge.
Here is the second edition of Right, Wrong or Indifferent taking a look back at NFL Week 3:
I was as some would say “insanely” high on Matthews coming into the season. In fact, I had him firmly ranked as a low end WR2 as a rookie which just about never happens. But a slow start to the season had me pinned into a corner defending the Eagles WR so much so that I actually answered 29 questions last week involving CUTTING Matthews for various other players. Yeah, I literally just went through my notes and counted them…I am pathetic. But I stood firm in my belief that the talent Matthews possesses along with the opportunity within the Eagles offense would result in positive fantasy production. After all, the major obstacle with young players with this much talent is actually being on the field. Matthews had been in over 60% of the Eagles offensive snaps heading into this week.
I would say that 8-59-2 in week three would qualify as a breakout fantasy performance from Jordan Matthews. The good news for those that believed me and in Matthews is that Riley Cooper is struggling significantly with drops and in getting open. This will lead to even more opportunities for Matthews in the future. The entire basis for my success in fantasy football is the ability to form opinions based on significant data and insight into players skills and teams offensive schemes. Well that and the experience of sticking to those opinions even after the rest of the world has dismissed them as false.
The funny thing here is that in two of my fantasy football leagues I actually benched Jordan Matthews at the last minute Sunday morning in favor of Lorenzo Taliaferro. Although it didn’t work out necessarily it was genuinely the right move to make. Once Bernard Pierce was inactive it left Taliaferro as the primary ball carrier in Baltimore. If you are asking yourself, “what about Justin Forsett?” right now then you are obviously either not a listener of mine or do not comprehend what I say. Forsett will never be a primary feature RB in any offensive system in the NFL…EVER!! That is not to say he doesn’t have value or a role in the offense. Rather, he has a carved out permanent role that doesn’t change when another RB goes down. Taliaferro is Pierce’s backup plain and simple. Thus starting a guy who was going to touch the ball 15 times over a receiver who would at best touch it 5-6 (in my opinion heading in) was the right move.
All along I have said that Cruz was going to be fine and that his status as a WR2 in fantasy was secure. I understand all of the issue with Eli Manning and the Giants offense but Cruz is just simply too dynamic to not have in your lineup most weeks. I am glad the Giants finally got him the ball on shorter routes and let him use his legs to make the big play. The Giants play a lot of teams with terrible secondary’s this season and Cruz will likely chew a lot of them up.
I want to make my thoughts on the Tampa Bay running back situation perfectly clear here. I am in favor of Doug Martin as a RB2 in fantasy football. I do not like Bobby Rainey as anything more than a bye week FLEX position player. I stated this over and over this past week and was assaulted on Twitter as if I was wrong about Doug Martin. It is literally impossible to be wrong on something that never took place. What I did say time and time again was that I did NOT like Bobby Rainey much this week at all despite his great game in week two. In fact I went on a rant about it on my SiriusXM Show to the point that the company wrote up a blog and posted audio on it (something that never happens on our station BTW). Sure enough Rainey was a trainwreck against a soft Falcons defense this week and although I don’t completely blame him for the outcome, he did cough up the ball twice leading to points each time.
If there was a single player the defined why I believe in my system of valuing players it is Knile Davis. When the rest of the world and specifically the fantasy sports industry did not even know who this guy was, me and Ted Schuster were strongly recommending him as a must have handcuff for Jamaal Charles. At this point some are starting to wonder if Davis is actually a better fit for the Chiefs right now than Jamaal Charles. I am not going there whatsoever, but it just goes to show you how incredibly ahead of the curve we usually are with our player evaluations.
I can’t put Benjamin on this list every week but I am sure by now you get the idea. He is a major upgrade for the Panthers WR corps and hasn’t even started reaching toward his peak yet I was surprised how many of you were thinking of benching him this week so hopefully you listened to my repeated praise of Benjamin in this Sunday Night matchup.
This was one of the strangest games I have seen in a while. Neither offense looked as though they were interested in putting together drives. Instead, it was either hit on a huge play downfield or screw it, we’ll punt. On Friday night’s show I predicted this game would have more total points than any other this week. As it turns out the Giants scored four more points than the Packers & Lions combined this week. This obviously led to terribly weeks from Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Eddie Lacy, Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Joique Bell and Golden Tate.
At this point it is clear that QB Ryan Fitzpatrick prefers DeAndre Hopkins to Andre Johnson. Perhaps this stems from Johnson’s desire to leave Houston after the Texans brought in Fitzpatrick as their starting QB this offseason. I guess that I should have seen this one coming but admit I missed the boat. Johnson is still a very dynamic WR and one that is being astonishingly underutilized right now. I am going to downgrade him to a WR3 for now but if the trend doesn’t correct itself soon he would wind by being a bench player in fantasy.
Le’Veon Bell/Pittsburgh Steelers Offense
Who saw this one coming? The Steelers absolutely shredded the Panthers defense in the second half on Sunday Night and Bell has proven himself to be a stud yet again. He’s a top 10 RB no matter how much I doubt him. I am not going to overreact to Ben Roethlisberger or LeGarrette Blount but it is time for me to love Le’Veon Bell the way I do Antonio Brown.
I am getting tired of the 49ers and their running game. I invested heavily in them this year because of the immense value they presented in drafts. But that strategy at this point has been a miserable failure. What makes me irate about it is that they COULD be a very effective offense if they ran more read option and straight running plays. But instead the ‘Niners seem to want to fool everybody and be a pass happy offense. Jim Harbaugh can suck a bag of D’s!!
I publically stated many times this past week that the only Broncos worth starting were Manning, Ball, DeMaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas. As it turns out Sanders was the guy to have and sadly for me it killed me in more ways than one. You see, I am in 11 fantasy football leagues. I played Emmanuel Sanders in in eight of them this week. Yeah, that truly sucks but is part of the game. I urge everyone in multiple leagues that if you are facing a guy like this in so many leagues it is always worth entering at least one daily contest and use that player in order to hedge your bets. I didn’t do that this week and it crushed me in my seasonal leagues.
I have been high on Rudolph since June and couldn’t understand all of the hostility toward him this week. I figured that he would have a solid week against the Saints and then everybody would back off as per usual. Not only did he not have a good game but he wound up getting hurt and left the game in the third quarter. It has been reported that Rudolph needs surgery on his injured groin and thus he will be out at least six weeks. Thus my entire Kyle Rudolph empire is crumbling before my very eyes.
I had Brees as my #1 QB with a bullet this week and guaranteed everyone that he would throw for 300+ yards and 3 TD’s. I put him in every single DFS Playbook lineup I sent out as well. Though he started out shredding the Vikings defense, he hit the brakes in the second quarter and unfortunately that lasted until the very end of the game. The reason he isn’t in the “wrong” pile is that 293 yards and 2 TD’s isn’t exactly a terrible outing especially considering the other QB performances this week.
This one is super close to being in the “right” column but I will frankly admit that I was mixed on him in much of my advice this week. Sure I firmly recommended him over guys like Darren Sproles, Danny Woodhead and Matt Asiata but I also said to sit Miller in favor of Toby Gerhart, Stevan Ridley and Frank Gore. So although I was higher on Miller than just about anybody in the fantasy industry I can’t officially claim this as a win. Such is life I guess.
I thought Colston would have a solid rebound game this week for sure. But the fact is that until his first reception late in the third quarter he was on track for another scoreless effort. The second catch being a TD really saved his afternoon but in all this was a pretty scary game for those who took the Colston advice. We may have to rethink his status as a WR2 going forward now.
Here is a guy that some of you really got on my case about this week because I failed to have him in my top 50 PPR RB’s this week. I really liked Hill coming into the season but is anybody watching the Bengals or are you just reacting to them winning games early? Hill is absolutely not present on the field for them right now. He is not a factor in the passing game and isn’t getting goal line carries. I truly thought that he would be getting these short yardage touches but he just isn’t. At this point Hill is present on just 25% of the Bengals offensive snaps. With no receiving skills or goal line touches I am simply not considering him in PPR league formats right now. The late TD helped him and those who astonishingly started him may rejoice but it was a terrible play.