Remember last week when I forgot to crowd source for Tough Calls™ and there weren’t any scenarios to advise upon? Well, yeah, I’m still an idiot. Now you’ll just have to be like the rest of my friends who make me feel super cool when they text me throughout the week asking what I think about starting Julius Thomas this weekend. However, random internet person, you are not my friend (yet! winky face) so you’ll have to settle for sending your questions to my email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeting them to @4thandGyas. Unless of course you are one of my friends and are reading this article, but based upon the stats I’ve seen for this thing I would assume that is not the case. Except you PJ, I know you’re out there. Love you, man.
Thursday Night Start/Sit
We’re going to switch things up a little bit this week and start with the Thursday Night game, or as Rog-Bot would call it, “Player Safety Day”. Get it? Because having teams play on Sunday and then again four days later is completely contrary to Goodell’s claims that the league is dedicated to player safety. In things that really matter news, today is my friend Sergio’s birthday and although I’m going to spend quite a bit of money today, the biggest sacrifice I’ll make is not sitting down to watch this game. So I get to talk about it as much as I want!
Let me tell you a little story: Once upon a time there was a little kingdom in the AFC East that suddenly looked ready to overtake the biggest ruling power in the region. This little kingdom had a new King that everyone loved and admired who promised to finally defeat King Brady and Grand Vizier Belicheck who had controlled the region with iron fists for over a decade. The new King declared all-out war, marching on King Brady’s castle with every available man in his army. Calmly, slowly but surely, King Brady and his Grand Vizier Belicheck wiped out the new King’s forces in a crushing defeat. The little kingdom was left devastated, broken, and waiting desperately for the next King who would finally bring them victory against their oppressive adversaries. Who is this story about? Every new coach in the AFC East since 2004. They show up promising to beat the Patriots and then get crushed and turn into just another coach leading a mediocre AFC East team that won’t sniff the playoffs. This week we can insert Dan Campbell as the new King. He’s 2-0 since taking over for the recently fired Joe Philbin and has Dolphins fan all in a frenzy. Lest we forget that he’s faced the Titans and hapless Texans in those two weeks, but hey, a win’s a win, right? The point here is that you shouldn’t get too excited and think that this is the year when an AFC East squad will finally rise up and dethrone the Patriots. It never works out. And now we’re actually going to talk about some fantasy football since that’s what you’re here for he he…
START: Tom Brady, Dion Lewis (if he plays), Danny Amendola (for a flex), Gronk, Lamar Miller, Jarvis Landry, Stephen Gostkowski
SIT: Brandon Lafell (too much potential to get burned by low playing time due to high number of dropped passes last week), Jordan Cameron, Greg Jennings, Rishard Matthews, Ryan Tannehill, Aaron Dobson (hopefully this wasn’t even an option for you)
Five Guys You Have To Start This Week
- Mark Ingram, Saints. Ingram is a guy who I drafted with sort of a low expectation for his season. It took him a few years after entering the league to establish himself as a legitimate starter, but he’s finally shaken off the committee New Orleans placed around him. Ingram has only failed to reach double-digit fantasy points once in seven games. Start the man.
- Antonio Brown, Steelers. For the first time since Ben Roeslithberger was injured in Week 3 against the Rams, Antonio Brown had over 100 yards. Over 50 yards, for that matter. It seems as if Landry Jones remembered that Brown plays on his team, and with a high possibility that Big Ben returns for Pittsburgh’s showdown with the division-leading Bengals, Brown has to be in your lineup this week.
- Justin Forsett, Ravens. Forsett is one of two players in Baltimore that I don’t absolutely hate, the second being the incomparable Steve Smith Sr., and he has a chance to really explode this week. In case you missed the Chargers vs. Raiders game last week, this is all you really need to see: Expect Forsett to rack up both rushing and receiving yards this week when the Chargers come to town.
- Cam Newton, Panthers. Newton will have another chance to bolster his MVP campaign when he faces the Colts on Monday Night Football. I believe that Cam will put on a show in that game for two reasons: 1) He was absolutely built for the spotlight and 2) The Colts are a dumpster fire.
- Devonta Freeman, Falcons. Tampa Bay is 9th in the league in overall rushing defense, but I don’t think that’s going to be enough to stop Devonta Freeman. Since Week 2, Freeman has scored at least one touchdown (scoring three twice) every week except this past Sunday when he still had over 100 yards.
Five Guys I Wouldn’t Start This Week Because Eh…
- Derek Carr, Raiders. People who stashed Carr away and took a chance on him because Romo or Roeslithberger aren’t exactly hurrying back to the field are riding high after his master class against the Chargers last week. However, don’t fall into the trap of starting him against that Jets defense. It’s still very much a dominating force. I know the Patriots just hung 30 on them, but as kindly as I can put this, your team is not the Patriots. Make the wise choice here.
- Andrew Luck, Colts. In the same way that Cam Newton is wired to make things happen on big stages, Andrew Luck loves throwing interceptions when the world is watching. This will be the Colts’ third nationally-televised game in eight weeks and spoiler alert: they’ve lost the last two. Save yourself the headache and sit Luck.
- Arizona Defense, Cardinals. The Cardinals defense is terrifying, but for some reason has struggled on the road so far this season. This game in Cleveland is a perfect set-up for Arizona to inexplicably give up 400 yards to Josh McCown and two touchdowns to Travis Benjamin. I say better safe than sorry on this one. Negative points from a defense can leave you with slim-margin loss on Monday.
- Alshon Jeffery, Bears. Jeffery looked great in Chicago’s overtime loss to Detroit before their bye week, grabbing eight catches for 147 yards and a touchdown. However, this 4-2 Vikings team has been absolutely mauling quarterbacks and punishing receivers all season. Teddy Bridgewater has been unimpressive more often than not this season, but the Vikes keep winning because it’s really hard to score points when your quarterback is spending most of the game picking chunks of turf out of his facemask.
- Brandin Cooks, Saints. It’s okay to let go, people. I know it hurts, I know you’re holding on to hope, but Brandin Cooks is not the player he was last season. He flashed 107 yards and a touchdown in Week 5, but just because a guy stops hitting his girlfriend for a week and buys her flowers doesn’t make him a good boyfriend. Stop letting Brandin Cooks hit you! You’re better than that.
Get to the Waiver Wire! (You Know Whose Voice)
- Darren McFadden, Cowboys. Jamaal Charles is on IR, Arian Foster is on IR, Karlos Williams is hurt, and you need a running back to sneak in your lineup when Demarco Murray has a bye week. A combination of Jerruh Jones’ vote of confidence and Dallas’ monstrous offensive line makes a relatively positive outlook for McFadden. Come on, you’ve got a bench spot to spare.
- Michael Crabtree, Raiders. I was checking the recent transactions in one of my leagues and saw that someone released Michael Crabtree. That is absolutely preposterous. Crabtree is a legitimate flex receiver, even a WR2 in certain matchups, and you should take him if the rest of your league is completely disrespectful and left him out there on the wire.
- Alfred Blue, Texans. This one’s a flyer because hopefully people who drafted Arian Foster were smart enough to handcuff him with Blue, but I’ve seen him on enough free agent lists to throw it out there. My pitch here is basically, well, somebody has to run the ball in Houston unless they opt out of this season, which is probably their best option at this point.
- Marvin Jones, Bengals. There’s a stigma in the fantasy world that Bengals receivers and Andy Dalton aren’t very good plays, but the Red Rifle is smashing that to pieces this season. Jones is a phenomenal flex option, scoring 20 points twice this season and going double-digits four times in six games, and can keep you afloat when you’ve got a star on a bye.
- Cincinnati Defense, Bengals. Defenses tend to get dropped on bye weeks because their value isn’t held in high esteem for most fantasy owners, but Cincy’s unit is one worth holding on to. Grab them now and you won’t have to find another defense all season.
Our Fantasy Victory this week won’t warrant its own section, but we did go 3-1 despite a cornucopia of injuries and bye weeks within various starting lineups. Not to mention that we’ve got two teams sitting at 6-1 including the MasterDebaters who are playing for a nice little pot of money. Come on boys, Daddy needs a new pair of shoes! Be sure to catch the Patriots/Dolphins tilt tonight at 8:30 pm EST, it should be a fun one to watch. Thursday night is always weird. Don’t forget to contact us by email or Twitter if you’re stressing about whether to start Stafford or Cutler this week. Until next time!