Okay, look people, let me explain myself before everyone jumps on my case for not doing a Quarterback Weekly this week. First of all, “Weekly” is a loose term which more accurately means “whenever Gyasi gets around to it”. Am I bummed that I didn’t have time to write about Derek Carr and Blake Bortles reminding fans why they were drafted and maybe debunking the whole “sophomore slump” thing just two games into their second pro season? Yes, yes I am very disappointed. I even had a title and everything- Quarterback Weekly: Sophomore Supremacy! There was going to be completely legitimate statistics and completely arbitrary opinions and I’m telling you guys, this was really stacking up to be some of my finest work. I’m talkin’ internship at ESPN qualifying kind of finest work, but sometimes life doesn’t go as planned and you’re standing on the field at Petco Park holding a giant check and waving to the crowd instead. Nobody likes it, but it JUST HAPPENS, OKAY? So suck it up and move on, already. It’s Fantasy Thursday and boooy do we have a lot to discuss. So enough humble apologies, forward!
Five Guys You Absolutely Need To Start This Week
- Tom Brady, Patriots. Some of you probably got scared off by the Bills defense and sat Brady last week. It’s okay, you don’t have to lie, I totally understand. But look, don’t overthink this, okay? Tom Brady. Jaguars. You know where this is going.
- Andrew Luck, Colts. Now I know what you’re probably thinking, “But Gyasi, didn’t you write a bunch of mean stuff about Luck and his affinity for throwing interceptions in Quarterback Weekly?” Well it looks like the joke is on you because there was no QW this week! Bottom line here is that Luck is frustrated and the Titans defense is second-rate on a good day. Here comes the Luck you’ve been waiting for.
- New Jersey Defense, Jets. The Jester’s demolition of the Browns and Colts were far from flukes. When you combine Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie with of the league’s most dominating defensive lines, you get a fantasy defense you HAVE to start against a defective offense like the Eagles.
- Jimmy Graham, Seahawks. Jimmy Graham has been very vocal about his frustration with the role he’s played since his arrival in Seattle. Although he’ll never be Gronk, the guy does have a point. Expect Darrell Bevell to open the offense up against a Bears defense that gave up 112 yards and 3 touchdowns to Larry Fitzgerald last week.
- Jason Witten, Cowboys. Whether it be Brandon Weeden or Matt Cassel, someone not named Tony Romo will be under center for the Cowboys this Sunday. You can profit from the fact that they will almost definitely be searching for a big target to feed the ball to in order to get a little more comfortable out there. Witten will happily be that guy.
Five Guys I Wouldn’t Start This Week Because Eh…
- Eli Manning, Giants. I personally don’t allow anyone who plays in New York on my fantasy teams, but should you employ these men then heed my words. Thursday Night Football against the Redskins is the perfect place for Eli to lay a ginormous egg, which he has been known to do all the time. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
- Joe Flacco, Ravens. Keeping with the QB theme, Flacco is a dangerous play this week that will most likely have you wishing time machines were as accessible as iTunes. Flacco’s thrown for two more interceptions than touchdowns this year and the Bengals will be looking to establish early dominance in the AFC North. Baltimore’s only got one legitimate receiver and the guy’s 38 years old. Don’t talk yourself into this, I’m begging you.
- Le’Veon Bell, Steelers. I know, I know, you think I’m crazy. However, this is Bell’s first game back from suspension and you can hardly expect him to be completely in form. Not to mention that he’ll be facing a Rams defense that held Marshawn Lynch (yeah, THAT Marshawn Lynch) to 73 yards and no touchdowns, including a pretty big stuff in the backfield to seal the game. You can do whatever you want, but I’m just trying to help.
- Demarco Murray, Eagles. Anyone who watches football knows that Murray has struggled since starting his first season in Philadelphia. I don’t know if the problem is his own or the play-calling, but I do know that Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams are not the solution to the problem. Expect another no good, very bad day for Murray this Sunday against the Jets.
- Travis Kelce, Chiefs. Nobody views the Packers as a defensive team, probably because their star linebacker spends so much time flipping his luscious hair, but these guys are not giving up a whole lot through the air. Martellus Bennett and Jimmy Graham, two guys I’d say are pretty darn good at what they do, managed only 55 yards and 11 yards respectively against this Green Bay defense. Bennett did add a touchdown, but it makes his day look a lot better than it really was. And after all, Kelce may really be no more than a “fake Gronk heada$$” as Von Miller so eloquently stated.
GET TO THE WAIVER WIRE! (this must be read in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice)
- Stevie Johnson, Chargers. Stevie Johnson is a mystery to me. The guy’s got so much talent, so much ability, but he’s been unable to find a consistent home since leaving Buffalo. Philip Rivers clearly doesn’t mind at all because Johnson’s gone for 11 catches, 127 yards, and 2 touchdowns in his first two weeks as a Charger. Sounds to me like the flex man you’ve been searching for.
- Donte Moncrief, Colts. With T.Y. Hilton caught in-between injuries and double coverage, Andrew Luck has turned to Moncrief while waiting for Andre Johnson to make his as-advertise impact. Moncrief went for 122 yards and a touchdown last week and Tennessee is currently giving up about 20 points a game to opposing receivers. It’s almost too easy.
- Anquan Boldin, 49ers. Boldin has become something of an afterthought after he left Baltimore for greener pastures in San Francisco. However, Boldin’s as meticulous and reliable as he’s ever been, and performances like his 6-catch, 60-yard, 1 touchdown day last week should be something of a norm.
- T.J. Yeldon, Jaguars. Yeldon has been handed the ball 43 times in his first two pro games which means that Jacksonville is investing in the future right now. I’m not saying he’ll have another 70 rush yards this week against New England, but I do think that down the stretch you’ll be glad that you stashed Yeldon early.
- James Jones, Packers. Jones is back in Green Bay after a short stint with the Raiders, and so far it’s been just like old times for him and Aaron Rodgers. Some folks in your league may not yet be savvy to Jones’ resurgence so grab the 80 yard, 3 touchdown receiver while you can.
Before we move on to this week’s Tough Calls ™ there’s something I have to get off of my chest. I’m sure you remember Austen, who provided the content for last week’s tough calls? Well, Austen took my advice like any sane person would and you know what? Austen got burned. He benched Roeslithberger in favor of Phil Rivers and kept Allen Robinson on the sidelines while lo and behold, they both exploded on Sunday! I have only this to say: I can’t see the future, okay? I can only make a prediction based on common sense, matchups, player history, average performance, my incredibly enlightened opinion, etc. So if you take my advice and it doesn’t work out just know that I probably did whatever I told you to do and also missed out on a bunch of points. We love this game for the fact that we never know what’s coming next and sometimes you just have to accept that. Moving right along…
This Week’s Tough Calls™
Rashad Jennings or Gio Bernard? – Alan, the U
This is a really good problem to have, first of all. Bernard had 63 yards on 8 carries last week in a change-of-pace role behind Jeremy Hill, who was benched during the game but will be back this Sunday. Rashad Jennings saw a major jump in production from Week 1 (9 carries, 12 yards) to Week 2 (13 carries, 52 yards, 1 touchdown). Ultimately it seems as if Jennings will have more opportunities to carry the ball, especially around the goal-line. New York’s growing confidence in Jennings gives him the edge here.
Kendall Wright, Devante Adams, or Michael Crabtree (PPR scoring) – Nich, ATL
Being in a PPR (points per reception) league can really change the way you make decisions, believe me, I know. My gut tells me Adams here, who had 9 receptions for 92 yards against the Seahawks last week. Crabtree has built a rapport with Derek Carr, stockpiling 9 receptions, 111 yards, and a touchdown in Oakland’s win over Baltimore. In the case of the first two, their production improved in Week 2, but Kendall Wright dropped from 101 yards and a score to 17 yards on two catches. With Green Bay facing Kansas City’s very stingy defense this week, I’m going to go ahead and recommend Crabtree in this situation. Adams wouldn’t be a horrible choice, but he could turn in a very disappointing effort. Cleveland’s defense should be very accommodating to the Crabtree-Carr connection.
Adventures in Dynasty
This week, as I notched my first win as head coach of the Eiffel Hightowers, I realized that the whole Dynasty mindset had really messed with me during the draft. Scrolling through my bench I saw young player after young player who had yet to prove anything in the NFL. I’m talkin’ guys like Dri Archer, Tavon Austin, Tyler Lockett, heck, even Jarryd Hayne’s down there! The combined youth on my roster and the fact that everyone’s roster is so big pretty much guarantees that most of these guys will be with me for years to come so I really hope they all turn out to be Hall of Famers down the road. Because if not, boy I am screwed. I don’t want to get too introspective just yet though, I’m still basking in the glow of a 105-83 victory.
Fantasy Sob Story of the Week
Notching three victories this week it looked like we were all set for our first Fantasy Victory of the Week. That is, until this morning when I heard about an absolutely terrifying Monday Nightmare. A co-worker of mine, Katie, is doing a fantasy football league for the first time and asked me to be her allotted consultant. I agreed, of course, and didn’t even ask for any kind of payment for my coveted services. I’m a man of the people, what can I say? So anyway, as I left work on Monday I asked Katie how her team was doing and she replied that they were only down by 4 with her kicker left to play. It sounded like a pretty routine victory to me and I thought nothing of it. I went home, watched the Jets pull Indianapolis limb by limb, and loved every second of it. As Katie and I ate lunch today I asked if her kicker had come through, already knowing that he hadn’t because there’s no way she had drafted the Jets’ kicker. Sure enough, she had lost by three points because the Colts managed just one touchdown, and Katie experienced her first Monday Nightmare. Gut-wrenching.
That tear-jerking anecdote brings us to the end of yet another edition of Fantasy Thursday! While you pray for Katie’s team go ahead and send in your own fantasy dilemmas so that you don’t end up the way Katie did. As always, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the tweeter-box @4thandGyas. Don’t forget to set your lineup(s) by 8:30 pm EST if you have any Giants or Redskins on your roster and catch the divisional matchup on NFL Network to kick off your football week. Until next time!