Fantasy Thursday Week 6: Hey, Look, Tight Ends That Can Catch!

It’s been a wild week, folks. There were three overtime games on Sunday, a would-be overtime stunner on Monday, and Peyton Manning threw two interceptions! Well, I guess the interceptions thing is normal, but a lot of mind-boggling stuff went down, I promise! It was also a crazy week for us here at 4th & Gyas as we had some friends visiting from out of town. We were having so much fun that there was no Tough Calls™ included in last week’s Fantasy Thursday (as you might have noticed). But worry you not! The weekly crowd-source yielded more dilemmas than an episode of Kicking the Kardashians or whatever that worthless show is called. We’re even featuring a change of format that will include trades and outlooks for guys coming off of injuries. It’s kind of like when your iPhone gets a system update, only ten times better, because here you’re not being brainwashed by a mega-corporation who wants you to buy a new phone every six months even if the one you have is perfectly fine. Moving right along…

We’re going to move through the initial lists very quickly because I want to redeem myself and answer all of the questions we got for Tough Calls instead of choosing the best ones like I usually would. There were some really great ones last week and I’m convinced that somebody’s fantasy season went down in flames because I forgot to hold up my end of this whole relationship. Shame on me. This week I’ll get back to ruining fantasy seasons the way I usually do, by second-guessing my gut feelings and then giving you bogus advice. KIDDING, folks, every word posted here is considered a million times over before it ever makes it to your loyally reading eyeballs.

Five Guys that You Have to Start This Week

  1. Tom Brady, Patriots. Tom’s pissed. Luck’s Colts have never lost to Brady’s Pats by less than 21 points, including playoffs.
  2. Antonio Gates, Chargers. Gates’ 2-touchdown performance in that excruciating loss to the Steelers shows that he is still Rivers’ best friend in the red zone.
  3. Arian Foster, Texans. Foster (currently questionable) did most of his damage in the passing game last week. Jacksonville gives up about 60 receiving yards per game to running backs.
  4. James Jones, Packers. Aaron Rodgers just won’t stop throwing touchdowns to James Jones. Ride that wave until it closes out, brah.
  5. Arizona Defense, Cardinals. Through 5 weeks, Arizona’s defense has 11 interceptions, 2 recovered fumbles, and 4 touchdowns.

Five Guys that I Wouldn’t Start This Week Because Eh…

  1. Antonio Brown, Steelers. This hurts me to say, mainly because two of my four teams feature Brown, but 8 catches and 87 yards in two games is not the droid you’re looking for.
  2. David Johnson, Cardinals. The rookie may have scored twice last week, but he only saw carries because the game was far, far out of reach.
  3. Isaiah Crowell, Browns. Crowell has been a nice flex find, but not against a Broncos defense that limited Latavius Murray to 39 yards on 13 carries last week.
  4. T.Y. Hilton, Colts. Bill Belicheck loves taking away what an offense loves the most, the same way he probably enjoys taking toys and candy away from small children.
  5. Julius Thomas, Jaguars. Thomas is still recovering from a hand injury that kept him out of the first four games of the season. Among other things, hands are used to catch footballs. An injured one threatens his fantasy output.

Get to the Waiver Wire! (In the Key of Ah-nold)

  1. Willie Snead, Saints. With 89 and then 141 yards on 12 catches in the past two weeks, Snead is clearly growing in popularity with Drew Brees. Brees is a good person to be popular with.
  2. Theo Riddick, Lions. Riddick is a bit of a stretch, but Jamaal Charles just tore his ACL and an average of 5 catches per week sounds great for a PPR flex right about now.
  3. Gary Barnidge, Browns. Barnidge’s last three games: 6 catches, 105 yards, 1 touchdown. 6 catches, 75 yards, 1 touchdown. 8 catches, 139 yards, 1 touchdown.
  4. Charles Sims, Buccaneers (Bye week). Sims has added at least 30 receiving yards to his production on the ground in each of his last three games, hauling in a touchdown in two of those three games.
  5. Charcandrick West, Chiefs. With Jamaal Charles down, somebody must fulfill his role in Andy Reid’s reluctant-to-throw offense. Better to pick West up just in case he turns out to be the guy.

This Week’s Tough Calls™

You, the readers, didn’t fail to come up with a plethora of scenarios to be examined, explained, and generally extradited (I know that one was a reach, give me a break) for this week’s edition of the authoritative fantasy column in America. Thank you very much, and more importantly, you’re welcome. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Jeremy Maclin vs. Jordan Matthews vs. T.Y. Hilton. Start 2, Sit 1. – Jeremy, the Bed Across the Room

First of all, I’ve got to assume that somebody else out there in wiping their forehead in relief that this didn’t turn into a game of {Fornicate with} one, marry one, kill one, am I right? Anyways, I’m going to give T.Y. the “sit” here. In 5 games against the Patriots, he’s never scored a touchdown. Conversely, premiere Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara is out this week and Maclin should see plenty of targets in Jamaal Charles’ absence.

Julius Thomas’ season outlook? – Mitch, Wherever There Are Wings

This one’s tough, mainly because Thomas has spent the majority of this season injured and it’s his first year as a Jaguar. Of course, he was a target-gobbling touchdown machine in Denver, but he’s in a new offense that he hasn’t had the same time as everyone else to get comfortable in. Not to mention that Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, and T.J. Yeldon already see the majority of Blake Bortles’ passes and it may be difficult to crash that wedding just as Bortles is hitting his stride (4 touchdowns thrown last week). Two targets against Tampa Bay this past Sunday is obviously nothing to project a season with, but at least he caught both passes. Ultimately I’d say this is a classic wait-and-see case. Don’t depend on Thomas to be an immediate contributor, but he will see Tennessee’s defense twice after Jacksonville’s Week 8 bye, as well as Baltimore (just gave up 500 passing yards to Josh McCown), Indianapolis, Atlanta, and New Orleans, which is to say that there’s definitely an opportunity to take advantage of some less-than-scary defenses.

Trade/Keep: Mike Evans, Calvin Johnson, Marshawn Lynch – Mitch, Taking Pictures at the Beach

As far as Mike Evans goes, it’s unlikely that anyone will want to trade for him unless you sweeten the deal with a productive receiver or reliable back who you probably don’t want to give up. Never ever trade Calvin Johnson for the simple reason that Matthew Stafford is going to throw him the ball when he doesn’t know what to do, which is pretty much every snap he’s taken this season. Marshawn Lynch will return to the lineup sooner than later, healthy and non-talkative as ever, and I wouldn’t trade him unless you’re in need of a starting receiver and someone is willing to send a guy like Emmanuel Sanders your way.

What does Jamaal Charles’ injury mean for the Chiefs backfield? – Mitch, DeAndre Hopkins’ Jock

At the core, what Charles’ injury means for fantasy owners is to STAY AWAY FROM KANAS CITY’S BACKFIELD AT ALL COSTS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. Without their clear starter, it really frightens me what sort of horrifying running back carousel might emerge from Andy Reid’s team. We’re talking about the same team that has somehow managed to render one of college football’s most effective running backs of the past 5-10 years completely useless. Just imagine what they can do to your fantasy team. *Shivers*

Should I start Antonio Brown? – Mitch, Reading About the True Jewish People

In a word, no. As always, it’s more complicated than that and this is the part where I provide hard-hitting stats and analysis. In his first three games of the season, with Big Ben throwing him the ball, Browns stats were otherworldly and read as such: 9 catches, 133 yards, 1 touchdown. Game 2: 9 catches, 195 yards, 1 touchdown. Game 3: 11 catches, 108 yards. In two games with Vick as his QB, Brown has only managed 8 catches for 87 yards, not even enough to mimic just one game with Ben under center. Brown’s decline puts fantasy owners in a tough situation because they drafted him in the first round and don’t want to sit him just in case this week is “the week” where he and Vick figure it out. I’m sorry to have to be the one to say this, but Arizona’s defense is the most terrifying thing in the NFL and not a bounce-back site for any receiver.

Should I pick up Christine Michael? – Mitch, Not On Instagram

If you’ve got a guy like Jerick McKinnon chillin’ in the dregs of your bench, I say sure, why not? However, there’s not guarantee for Michael to be a breakout player just because the Cowboys feature what is probably the NFL’s best offensive line. The reality is that he’s seen two carries in five games and gained five yards in total. If the Cowboys believed that Michael was good enough to be their starter then he would have been their starter. I’m not saying that Michael won’t ever be productive, but don’t set your expectations high and cost yourself some games waiting for him to show up.

Will We See Thomas Rawls Again This Year? – Mitch, Sending Wedding Invitations

This is probably my favorite question so far, one #Attaboy awarded to you, Mitch! I’m compelled to say yes because hamstring problems and running backs rarely have short term relationships. Even if Lynch does manage to start this Sunday, the Seahawks will probably want to limit his carries and ease him back into the offense to avoid aggravating his injured ligaments. If Seattle manages to pull off another long winning streak like the one it managed after starting 3-3 last season, Rawls will most likely be the primary option towards the end of the regular season.

Philip Rivers or Drew Brees? – Tim, His Room

I’m going Drew Brees here with no hesitation. Brees is heading into a Thursday Night matchup with Atlanta that will more than likely become a good, old-fashioned NFC South shootout, while Rivers is headed into Lambeau where…that is not likely to happen, to say the least.

Leonard Hankerson or Donte Moncrief? – Nich, A-Town

Both of these receivers are legitimate flex options this week and the question of which is better is not easily answered. Hankerson averages more yards, but Moncrief has caught a touchdown in three out of five games. Hankerson is facing a pretty bad Saints defense, but Moncrief will likely be left open by the Patriots defense as they focus on Hilton, Johnson, and Gore. Personally, I’d go with Hankerson.

Marshawn Lynch, LeVeon Bell, Mark Ingram, Arian Foster. Start three. – Alan, The U

Don’t you hate it when you have four best friends, but only three extra tickets to a sporting event or movie? But then really do you even have four best friends because they seem to be in your neighborhood an awful lot but can’t seem to text or call you…sorry guys. Not the place. Anyway, I’m sitting Marshawn out of this bunch. If he does play this Sunday and his hamstring doesn’t hold up, you might be looking at a big fat zero from your RB1. Not to mention that Lynch has averaged 42.7 yards with no touchdowns in two games against the Panthers.

Give yourself a big ol’ pat on the back because you just made it through our longest Tough Calls™ segment ever! I won’t lay it all out here, but I do have to give a huge shoutout to my big bro Jay Glover who called me this week to run a trade by me before pulling the trigger. It’s nice to be getting some respect around here, ya know?

Fantasy Sob Story of the Week

So there I was, 3-1 and facing off against the other 3-1 team in my division. This was Todd Babinec’s Moustache’s chance to assert dominance in the Lost Canyon Hidden Thimbles. It was not meant to be, it seems, as Jamaal Charles tore his ACL and TBM took a 72-78 loss that could come back around to haunt us later.

Thursday Night Start or Sit

Due to the extensive nature of this week’s Tough Calls ™ and the fact that I played about two hours of basketball earlier today, we’re going to do our first-ever Start or Sit Lightning Round. This is your at-a-glance guide to Thursday night’s game and how it (should) affect your fantasy team. When we say Lightning Round, we mean business around here.

START: Mark Ingram, Drew Brees, Willie Snead, Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, Leonard Hankerson (pending rib injury)

SIT: C.J. Spiller, Brandin Cooks, Saints D/ST, Ben Watson, Roddy White

Well would you look at that, we made it through another Fantasy Thursday! There was a lot to think about this week, so don’t beat yourself up if you need to take a second, listen to the Bill Simmons Podcast, and really contemplate some deep football questions before returning your job or class or whatever it is that you’re supposed to be doing right now. Remember that the comments section is always open and waiting, as well as our mentions on Twitter @4thandGyas and our inbox at Enjoy tonight’s game between the Saints and Falcons, two usually exciting rivals in the suddenly-not-sucky NFC South. My buddy Buuck, huge Saints fan, is in town so I’m excited to watch the game with him and reminisce about playing spike ball indoors. Until next time!





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