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Sunday Notes

Rams vs Saints

It's official. The Ram's 'Luck' is done.

Well it wasn’t the best weekend of football I have ever seen, but I can sure do my best to find the most interesting points from each game. We escaped with only one or two meaningful injuries, so count your blessings for that. One has to assume there will be about 5 or 6 tonight to compensate, so we’ll see. Let’s get to why you are here, if you have any questions about my notes feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to respond.

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Titans 27 – Colts 10

  • Javon Ringer is outpacing, outplaying, and outscoring Chris Johnson on a weekly basis. Time to take evasive actions if you were waiting for a cue.
  • Just when you wanted to drop him, Nate Washington reminds fantasy owners he is there. This game was against the Colts, don’t base anything off of it. He is still who we though he was, an average number 2 receiver.
  • Damian Williams is still a solid deep league play. He should have had a touchdown but just missed it. He seems to get the most red zone targets of anyone on the team, by far.
  • Donald Brown appears to be the goal line back, but Delone Carter was the better change of pace back. Going forward, Carter is the better play if Addai is out.
  • Colts worth starting (in this order): Pierre Garcon, and Dallas Clark. Time to move on, and good ‘Luck’.
Rams 31 – Saints 21
  • Don’t blame Pierre Thomas or Darren Sproles for their forgettable days, they were behind the entire day and there really weren’t any rushing opportunities. Both are startable for now, Thomas is startable while Ingram is out or limited.
  • Thus proving anyone and everyone can have a good day for the Saints, Lance Moore makes an appearance and was really the only Saint who returned benefit. Still a flex play at best.
  • Hopefully you didn’t give up on Stephan Jackson, he looked like the back of old, which is scary good going forward.
  • Brandon Lloyd made great catches and made A.J. Feeely look like a competent NFL quarterback (which he is not). When Bradford is back, this combination is going to be a thing of beauty.
  • Greg Salas continues to be a sneaky good play at flex. Bye-week fill-in only.
Giants 20 – Dolphins 17
  • Just so I covered it, Reggie Bush had a good day. Time to move on, don’t read into it too much. The Giants are spotty at best on defense and Daniel Thomas wasn’t there to take carries.
  • Steve Slaton looks like he is going to be the goal line vulture for the Dolphins. Really good deep league play moving forward.
  • Sadly, the Miami passing game is a mess. Davone Bess is a good PPR play, but outside of that not startable. Marshall is a guy you have to play but you are really praying for that one play to make his day.
  • Eli Manning looks incredible. Definitely playing at a high level right now. Nicks, Cruz, and Manningham are all good starts every week.
  • Nicks’ status for next week shouldn’t be in question, but his owners are going to be following the injury reports all weeks. Hamstring injuries are never ‘nothing’.
Vikings 24 – Panthers 21
  • If you played against Adrian Peterson this week, sorry.
  • Christian Ponder doesn’t hurt the value of any Vikings, but he sure doesn’t make it better. Percy Harvin is the only receiver who should be considered as a start, but he is by no means a must-start.
  • And the shift in power to Jonathan Stewart continues. The workload is still about 70-30 but the production isn’t even close. Williams isn’t startable.
  • Shockey had his first touchdown of the year. A one yard catch. His only one of the game. Don’t go hunting for him.
Ravens 30 – Cardinals 27
  • Nothing to say about the Cardinals other then Kevin Kolb isn’t good, and was over hyped. 10 for 21 is not the line of a viable NFL quarterback.
  • Joe ‘Cool’ Flacco is ‘Mr. Inconsistent’. In the first half he was dreadful, hardly looked like he was playing in the pros. The second half was a different story and he was unstoppable. Point is, Flacco is a ‘box of chocolates’.
  • Ray Rice had three touchdowns, which is why Flacco had none. Nothing significant about that. Just the way the game played out.
  • Anquan Boldin is putting together good games. Bump up his value and get him in your line-up.
  • Baltimore is trying to feed Torrey Smith the ball, they really are. Other teams have figured out his speed and don’t let him run freely anymore. Tough match-ups ahead, hard to see a situation in which you start him.
Texans 24 – Jaguars 14
  • Not foreseeing a situation in which I’d start anyone in the Texans passing game until Johnson is back. Walter is the ‘best’ start of the bunch, but even Daniels is struggling. Hopefully Andre Johnson is back in the next two weeks.
  • I’ll just repeat this again, in a redraft, Arian Foster has to be a top-3 pick.
  • Ugh. Blaine Gabbert is awful.
  • You’re starting MJD, obviously, and sitting every other Jaguar. They aren’t even fun to watch.
Bills 23 – Redskins 0
  • Fred Davis had a decent day.
  • Not convinced John Beck is better then Rex Grossman, but Washington is stuck with Beck by default at this point.
  • Buffalo’s defense isn’t elite by any means, the Redskins just looked that bad.
  • Ryan Torain led the team in rushes. DeMarco Murray easily out rushed the Redskins after his first two official rushes. We aren’t being Shannahaned any more, they are just bad.
  • Why did Scott Chandler have to have two touchdowns? People are going to mistake this for him being a good fantasy player. Drop that thought out of your head, go back and look at his previous weeks. Not a good pick-up.
  • C.J. Spiller is still being used as a receiver, but he isn’t in on enough plays to be startable.
  • Stevie Johnson has a slight edge in value over David Nelson, but both are mediocre plays while Fred Jackson is healthy. Jackson is the Bills offense for now and he hurts everyone’s value.
Lions 45 – Broncos 10
  • If Tim Tebow isn’t the worst NFL quarterback to play the game, he certainly is in discussion for top-5. His throws are so far off you don’t know who he is throwing to sometimes.
  • Tebow and Moreno had equal rushing games.
  • Everyone on the Lions except Pettigrew and Burleson posted great games. Not much to think about, could have been anyone. If you can sell high on anyone (except Calvin Johnson), now would be the time to do so.
  • Morris and Williams split carries for the Lions, Morris looked an NFL running back, Williams looked like a practice squad guy.
Pittsburgh 25 – Patriots 17
  • Welcome back Kevin Faulk who is likely the back to own now in New England. He is a Belichick favorite and will at least share a large split of the workload. BJGE is still an alright option.
  • Tight End split in New England pops it’s evil head again. Gronkowski easily led the team in targets, catches, and yards.
  • Branch is still a viable flex play.
  • There is definitely a split in carries for Pittsburgh between Mendenhall and Redman even though Isaac Redman is awful. Don’t even consider starting him.
  • Five Steelers had good receiving days. Remember who they were playing. You are starting Wallace every week. Brown and Sanders are flex plays.
  • Ben Roethlisberger was gimpy again, he is not over his foot injury that had to of been re-aggravated in this one. He’ll play through it either way.
49ers 20 – Browns 10
  • Montario Hardesty left early with an injury. Assuming Hillis returns, Hardesty is 100% drop-able. Chris Ogbonnaya is next on the depth chart, but hopefully you don’t have to scavenge that deep.
  • Regression for Greg Little but progression from Benjamin Watson. Watson continues to be one of the sneakier fantasy plays all year that no one really talks about.
  • It’s still humerus how much the 49ers do not want Alex Smith throwing the ball. Mind boggling they let him have the ball if they don’t trust him.
  • Kendall Hunter didn’t have a big part in the running game as was once expected, Gore appears to have the full workload again. Good news.
  • Michael Crabtree’s stock is skyrocketing right now. He is a borderline must-start. Seriously.
  • Braylon Edwards looked good. Need to see one more good game in a row to recommend anything.
Bengals 34 – Seahawks 12
  • Watching Andy Dalton and AJ Greene play pitch and catch is going to be one of America’s best past times in years to come. Really great combination, great drafting Cincinnati.
  • Bernard Scott did as well as expected. You can drop him now.
  • Charlie Whitehurst had the start at QB for Seattle, but he was so bad they just decided to put Jackson in anyways.
  • Marshawn Lynch hopefully is hurt, if not there is no excuse for averaging under 2 yards per carry.
  • Sidney Rice, Ben Obomanu, and Doug Baldwin are all risky flex plays with big upside (in that order).
Eagles 34 – Cowboys 7
  • In case you missed the memo, Jeremy Maclin is the best receiver in Philadelphia.
  • LeSean McCoy is a top-3 back in the NFL, I have no idea how so many people missed that in preseason rankings.
  • They are designing runs for Vick again, scary actually. Hope he can stay healthy.
  • The Eagles figured out how to play together, on offense and defense. Really optimistic about everyone moving forward.
  • Brent Celek is relevant again? Cautiously optimistic on this one.
  • Dallas as a team gets a break for this performance, Philadelphia could have beaten anyone last night.
  • DeMarco Murray was great again on limited action. He only had 8 carries but managed 74 yards on them. Game just never allowed for running situations.
  • Not buying Laurent Robinson at all. His touchdown came in garbage time against soft coverage.
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Santana Moss

Broken hand for Santana Moss. Anthony Armstrong and Jabar Gaffney stand to benefit the most.

Well, I apologize for no Stock Watch article for week 8. I was under the weather and needed a break. But, good news is I feel better today and I have some great questions from the readers. Really enjoy getting so many questions each week as they give me unique opportunities to analyze different situations. Half of the questions I get are extremely in-depth and very situation dependent. The ones that aren’t are used for this article as the long ones would just be too much reading. This week surprisingly didn’t have too many common questions. The most asked about player was Jabar Gaffney but even he had limited questions.

So I am under the assumption week 8 is a boring week in comparison to week 7. Good news, I think. Let’s jump into those questions for week 8!

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Heath Miller or Jake Ballard at TE? – BigHurtPR
I like Ballard this week. Miami is a pretty embarrassing football team and possession is going to be the name of the game. But in all honesty, both are decent plays this week, just giving the edge to Ballard.

I have Blount, Tolbert, Steven Jackson, and Peyton Hillis – Are any of these worth Dropping for Brandon Jacobs who is a free agent in my league? It is a ppr league – Nick
Jacobs isn’t worth adding. Bradshaw may have worked the system in New York to where he has even more snaps then usual when Jacobs returns. You just have to wait and see if there is any value in him before you give up someone valuable for him. So just sit on the guys you have and worry about the bye-week when it happens.

So you think Michael Jenkins is worth more than Torrey Smith?
Actually, yeah. It’s tough to judge if Ponder is going to stay this good but if he does Jenkins actually has some value.

Hey Bro! Would you start BGE or Gore this week? BGE vs Pittsburgh, Gore vs Cleveland. Thanks bro! – Martin
Definitely Gore. Start your studs every week even if the match-up is a bit off. Pittsburgh is still a good defense, not the best anymore, but not a favorable match-up by any means.

What do you think about me trading Jonathan Stewart for Marshawn Lynch and Colt McCoy? – Isaac
It’s alright. Rather have J. Stew over either considering Lynch isn’t exactly a lock to be healthy this season (back injuries don’t go away) and McCoy hasn’t been anything special, just average at best.

Would you take Torrey Smith over Reggie Wayne this week? Thanks. – Shane
Yes I would. Really like Smith this week. My guess this is that he will have his final ‘breakout’ game this year. This isn’t a traditional safe pick, but it isn’t like Reggie Wayne is going to give you a great fantasy day anyways.

Greetings, who do I start: Pierre Thomas or Mark Ingram (at STL)… (non PPR)? – Alberto
Still sticking with Ingram in non-PPR leagues. Thomas more a higher value in PPR formats but Ingram should get the bulk of the carries and, in theory, goal line situation priority.

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Sunday Notes

Matt Ryan

Somehow, Matt Ryan was able escape the dreaded high ankle sprain.

This season is getting out of control and fast. There have been so many injuries that it is extremely unlikely after week 7 you aren’t hurting with depth problems. Thankfully week 8 isn’t as painful when it comes to bye-weeks and thankfully a lot of key players had byes. Going into next Sunday the injury reports are going to be crazy and if there was ever a week to check for updates daily, it is this week.

With all that being said, there was football played. It wasn’t the most entertaining day of football, and when it was entertaining you can bet there was a rookie involved. O how the league has changed.

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Browns 6 – Seahawks 3

Game Studs: N/A

  • These teams suck.
  • Marshawn Lynch hurt his back in warm ups, consider him week-to-week
  • Montario Hardesty had 35 touches. He is startable until Peyton Hillis is back, but it isn’t like anyone is going to shine for either of these teams.
  • Greg Little is the only receiver worth starting for either of these teams (this includes Sidney Rice).
Falcons 23 – Lions 16
Game Studs: N/A
  • Michael Turner continues to be slightly above average.
  • Matt Ryan still needs Julio Jones as a deep threat.
  • Keiland Williams and Maurice Morris split the carries and did equally as well. Give Morris the slight edge, but neither are great starts regardless.
  • As previously stated on this blog, Calvin Johnson’s fantasy floor is 100 yards. That is insane.
  • Brandon Pettigrew continues to be apart of this offense and is still a solid plug-n-play during bye-weeks.
  • Titus Young and Nate Burleson combined for 1 yard on 1 catch. Both are risky plays at best.
  • Matthew Stafford hurt is knee. Hopefully it’s minor as he was able to play on it.
Texans 41 – Titans 7
Game Studs: Arian Foster, Matt Schaub
  • A healthy Arian Foster is a first overall pick in all fantasy leagues next year. If he was the lone workhorse, his stat-line would of looked like this: 40 rushes for 219 yards with two touchdowns and 5 catches for 119 yards and a touchdown. As it were, Ben Tate had 15 of those rushes for 104 yards.
  • Ben Tate is a reasonable flex play in bye-weeks.
  • Matt Schaub owners need to heed warning. His day was heavily set-up by the run and were it not for Arian Foster it would have been a sub-par fantasy day.
  • Jake Locker sighting. 100% completion rating for his NFL career so far.
  • Chris Johnson couldn’t find running room in this game at any point. You aren’t benching Johnson, but you can’t feel great about having him in your line-up week to week.
  • It’s time to cut ties with Nate Washington. Welcome to Dumpsville.
Broncos 18 – Dolphins 15
Game Studs: Tim Tebow
  • Another manage expectations warning here about Tebow. He looked awful, and I mean awful, for 55 minutes.
  • You are starting Tebow most weeks. He draws the Lions next week who surprisingly aren’t great against the run, this plays right into his game.
  • Willis McGahee hurting is hand is why you saw so much of Knowshon Moreno. Don’t go running to Moreno just yet, Tebow has the goal line rushes and McGahee has to be ruled out for Moreno to be worthy of an add.
  • Demaryius Thomas is a decent add this week, but don’t go blowing all of your FAAB budget on him, he had a really good match-up this week and we still don’t know where he sits on the depth chart.
  • Matt Moore is an improvement over Chad Henne.
  • Try out Daniel Thomas or Reggie Bush if you need five to seven fantasy points for a week. You aren’t going to get much more then that.
Jets 27 – Chargers 21
Game Studs: Mark Sanchez
  • Tolbert is ‘the guy’ if you were picking between him and Ryan Matthews.
  • Welcome back Antonio Gates, time to get him back in your line-ups.
  • Phillip Rivers has to dial up Vincent Jackson more often to be successful. Football has become a throwing league and quarterbacks need deep threats to be successful. You aren’t going to get it done with Malcolm Floyd and Patrick Crayton.
  • Mark Sanchez continues to be a sneaky good play week-to-week.
  • Shonn Greene is heavily benefiting from the new ground and pound system the Jets have put in place. He is a borderline top 20 back.
  • Don’t overreact to Plaxico’s three touchdowns. He is still a flex play at best and Holmes is the receiver to own and start in New York.
Bears 24 – Buccaneers 18
Game Studs: Matt Forte
  • Roy Williams found the end zone, but the Bears passing game is a complete mess and in standard 10 team leagues shouldn’t be considered fantasy relevant.
  • Something about Matt Forte being the Peyton Manning of the Bears.
  • Josh Freeman has really regressed as an NFL quarterback. His fantasy line was alright, but he looked bad and rushed too many decisions.
  • Earnest Graham may have played his last NFL game. Anything involving an Achilles tendon is scary and almost impossible to come back from. Kregg Lumpkin, a favorite of mine, stands to see a gigantic spike in workload. In PPR leagues, he is a must add if Blount is out any more games.
  • Mike Williams is officially fantasy relevant, again.
  • Not buying into the Dezmon Briscoe hype, so don’t come to me if you are expecting advice to start him.
Panthers 33 – Redskins 20
Game Studs: Cam Newton, John Beck
  • Just gonna say it, John Beck doesn’t hurt Redskins receivers but please don’t start him.
  • Santana Moss broke his hand, so he is likely out for a month. Jabar Gaffney stands to see an increase in workload but Anthony Armstrong is the better add here. Armstrong won’t find himself double covered like Gaffney.
  • Ryan Torain, two carries, minus five yards. Yikes. Remember when I said Torain doesn’t touch the ball if  Hightower is available? Well, I was right.
  • O wait, Hightower hurt is knee, if he is out next week Torain should be started. Probably.
  • Fred Davis a great play while Cooley is out.
  • Standard Cam Newton is awesome comment.
  • Jonathan Steward had another goal line carry, and scored. He is clearly outproducing DeAngelo Williams and the Panthers must know it. They are basically splitting carries but the production isn’t even close.
  • Jeremy Shockey is getting more looks then Greg Olson. No idea what to make of that situation, still sticking with Olsen for now but Shockey is becoming start worthy.
  • Carolina is a run first team, remember that.
Chiefs 28 – Raiders 0
Game Studs: KC D/ST
  • Jackie Battle did about as well as expected, still like him going forward.
  • Dwayne Bowe is a must-start.
  • Steve Breaston is close to one.
  • What do you get when you cross Kyle Boller with Carson Palmer? The worst quarterback performance I have ever seen.
  • Heyward-Bey was the only receiver to eclipse 30 yards and should be seriously considered for starter status, especially if Palmer can find his stride.
  • Darren McFadden left with an injury which give the work load to Michael Bush. If McFadden is out for any extended period of time, Bush is a top 20 play.
Steelers 32 – Cardinals 20
Game Studs: Ben Roethlisberger, Kevin Kolb
  • Ben Roethlisberger may have finally found his stride. He looks confident in his throws and that is huge.
  • Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown are great plays moving forward if Hines Ward is kept out of play for any amount of time.
  • Welcome back to reality Rashard Mendenhall. He looked lost on the field. Isaac Redman clearly outproduced him in limited touches.
  • Kevin Kolb looked great against arguably the best pass defense in the league. Top-15 play moving forward.
  • Beanie Wells is hurt. We knew this was going to happen. Consider him week-to-week. Alfonso Smith would be the play I’d think, but not worth an add.
  • Early Doucet is getting enough looks to be started during bye-weeks.
Cowboys 34 – Rams 7
Game Studs: DeMarco Murray
  • Here is where I get to tell you not to start thinking you have the best back in the NFL. Murray had a great day no one can deny that, but he went against one of the worst defenses in the league. He was running around guys who didn’t have jobs last week (literally). Consider him a top 15 play but don’t go buying unless you are desperate.
  • Tony Romo really needed to have a much bigger day to silence the critics, but to his defense, they didn’t need him to throw much.
  • Miles Austin was unable to break free, which is unlike him.
  • Dez Bryant is clearly happy with being the number two receiver with his talents. It is impossible to double cover Austin, Witten, and Bryant.
  • Steven Jackson looked good. Caddy Williams only has value if Jackson gets hurt again, which is very possible.
  • A.J. Feeley isn’t on Kyle Bollers level of bad but he is about on par with Curtis Painter.
  • Brandon Lloyd is definitely going to be the target of choice. Once Bradford is back Lloyd is going to be a great play.
Packers 33 – Vikings 27
Game Studs: Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Adrian Peterson
  • James Starks is clearly outproducing Ryan Grant and is the back to start in Green Bay.
  • James Jones found a way to make catches again. At some point he is going to disappear and I don’t want anything to do with it.
  • Jermichael Finley just isn’t as much apart of the offense as he once was, hard to argue with benching him at this point.
  • Christian Ponder looked great for his first start. He was the reason the Vikings almost came back.
  • Adrian Peterson would like everyone to remember he is in a class of his own. Due to the offense he is attached to, his production is ever so slightly limited. If he ever found himself on a top team, he could easily break the single season rushing record.
  • Percy Harvin will likely sit week 8 due to a reoccurring rib injury.
  • Michael Jenkins and Christian Ponder have a good chemistry.
  • Visanthe Shiancoe is getting enough targets to be considered during bye-weeks.
Saints 62 – Colts 7
Game Studs: Drew Brees, Darren Sproles, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham
  • Lone bright spot for the Colts was Delone Carter who changed tides and outproduced Donald Brown. It remains to be seen if Addai will miss time, but my hunch is he won’t. Reports are that Addai re-aggravated his hamstring injury. Since the score wasn’t close, we don’t know if he was available to come back in.
  • Curtis Painter was two kinds of awful. Watching him gives you even more appreciation for Peyton Manning.
  • Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon had similar days, but Garcon had more opportunities had he and Painter been able to connect more.
  • Drew Brees had a dream fantasy day.
  • Mark Ingram actually had a good day on the ground. Sproles is still ‘the guy’ though. Ingram got a lot of touches towards the end (same with Pierre Thomas) when the game was completely over.
  • Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, and Darren Sproles appear to have a huge hold on the targets for the Saints. Any other player is a complete wild card to get over two catches.
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Howard Dean

BYAH: Throwing in ones towel in a political election after having five too many drinks.

Continuing the trend of trying new things here I have made the executive decision (it wasn’t overturned by the way) to not only list players who have a rising stock, but those who have a declining stock. This is, the week 7 stock watch for Daily Fantasy Football. BYAH.
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Tony Romo
Tony Romo – QB | UP
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The Cowboys should have beaten the Patriots but there was some bad play calling at the end. Romo will have a fantastic week against the Rams proving he is still an elite quarterback.

Eli Manning
Eli Manning – QB | DOWN
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After three consecutive weeks of great production Manning was useless in week 6 as a fantasy player. His inconsistency makes him a difficult start from week to week.

Earnest Graham
Earnest Graham – RB | UP
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Is Graham the next coming of Christ in Tampa Bay? Probably not, but he sure makes them forget about LaGarrette Blount.

Dexter McCluster
Dexter McCluster – RB | DOWN
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Well the hype is gone and the job is Jackie Battles. Keeping McCluster on your fantasy team is a personal choice but he has no real purpose anymore.

Greg Little
Greg Little – WR | UP
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With one game as a ‘starter’ under his belt he backed up all the pre-week chatter and he is very much a real fantasy asset moving forward.

Denarius Moore
Denarius Moore – WR | DOWN
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His production has literally disappeared. His only hope is that Carson Palmer brings a complete change to the team.

Fred Davis
Fred Davis – TE | UP
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Davis was already getting a lot of looks but with Cooley out his looks are only going to go up and nothing is more important to a new QB then a tight end.

Scott Chandler
Scott Chandler – TE | DOWN
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He has 8 catches in his last five games. Time to cut ties with the early waiver wire favorite.

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Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow is the poor man's Cam Newton.

The way this week has worked out has certainly benefited those who had been most affected by bye-weeks. Names like DeMarco Murray, Montario Hardesty, Tim Tebow, Jackie Battle, and Eric Decker certainly have the potential to save your week. However, this isn’t a waiver wire pick-up article but what I like to call my ‘Wednesday Countdown’ where I list:

  • 5 Studs
  • 4 Duds
  • 3 Sleepers
  • 2 Deep Sleepers and
  • 1 Food for Thought
I will be keeping track of my stats on a weekly basis.
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Studs
  1. Tony Romo
  2. Darren McFadden
  3. Matt Forte
  4. Ray Rice
  5. Miles Austin
Duds
  1. Jason Witten – For everything the Ram’s don’t do they make up for in tight-end coverage. St. Louis is the number one ranked defense against the position meaning Tony Romo will likely be airing it out to Miles Austin and Dez Bryant.
  2. Vincent Jackson – Revis Island and he is @NYJ.
  3. Larry Fitzgerald – Steelers secondary is still elite and Kolb has been a big disappointment all year.
  4. Steven Jackson – Dallas hasn’t given up more then 84 yards, on the ground, this year.
Sleepers
  1. Jackie Battle – Oakland has a porous rushing defense and he looks to be the workhorse in Kansas City.
  2. Steve Breaston – He has emerged as a solid number two. In case you can’t tell, I believe in the Chiefs this week @ Oakland.
  3. DeMarco Murray – Dallas is going to ground and pound it in the second half after they go up big on St. Louis; the Rams have had little success stopping the run at all giving up over 130 yards on the ground in four out of fives games.
Deep Sleepers
  1. Damian Williams – His redzone targets have gone up which is a product of teams covering Nate Washington. Williams could easily get 4 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown this week against a Mario Williams-less Texans defense.
  2. Christian Ponder – Welcome to the NFL Christian Ponder. Your first task, the Green Bay Packers. Good news for fantasy owners as he will likely be playing catch-up the entire game. I foresee a lot of dump offs to Shiancoe and Peterson.
Food for Thought
  1. What happens when Tim Tebow fails? Rumors at the start of the season were that Tebow was 4th on the Broncos depth chart (behind Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn, and undrafted rookie QB Adam Weber). Clearly the Broncos were on to something but it is time to find out how right they were. Putting your fantasy season in the hands of a barely viable NFL quarterback could come back to haunt you. The decision to stick with Tebow will either really hurt you or at the most keep you in matches; make no mistake, Tim Tebow will not win you matches from week to week. In my mind, Tim Tebow is roughly the 10th most valuable fantasy quarterback going forward. So odds are if you picked him up Tebow is your guy. Good luck to those that are going to stick it out with Tebow, I’m rooting for you.
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Stud: More then 15 points
Dud: Less then 10 points
Sleeper: More then 8 points
Deep Sleeper: More then 6 points

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Results (weekly | yearly)
Studs: 2/5 | (5/10)
Duds: 1/4 | (3/8)
Sleepers: 1/3 | (3/6)
Deep Sleepers: 0/2 | (0/4)
Alright so yeah. Last week was pretty bad for me. Feeling confident about my picks this week.

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NFL Week 4 Sunday Recap


Well what a crazy Sunday it has been. Great chance your team had a ton of fantasy points. A couple sleepers came almost out of no where and a couple studs disappeared. Spoiler alert: Andre Johnson owners may have two ‘bye-weeks’ this year.  Let’s try and make sense of this seemingly dizzy to understand day.

Bears 34 – Panthers 29

Game Studs: Matt Forte, Cam Newton

Absolutely brilliant day from Matt Forte. Over 200 yards on the ground silences the critics who said the Bears can’t run the ball. O and he added 4 catches for 23 yards with a huge TD on the ground. I’ll say this, Matt Forte owners could possibly have the steal of the year and he is an absolute must start match-up proof stud. He was the only one worth starting on the Bears and it showed. Cutler looked pedestrian, again, against a lackluster Carolina defense. Tough to start Cutler unless you are in a really deep league.

How about Cam ‘won’t do *crap’ Newton. Another 30+ fantasy day. Guys, get him in your line up, I’m buying at his current price. He only had 400+ yards in the air and 70+ on the ground. Another surprise was DeAngelo Williams who basically doubled his yearly stats on the first drive. Finally he is starting to pay off for his off season contract. Not a great day, but his 82 rushing yards were best on the team and he was the back of choice as he out carried Steward 10 to 8. Breakout game could be ahead, definitely a buy low scenario. And some guy named ‘the real’ Steve Smith had 8 catches for 181 yards without a TD. Keep starting Smith as Brandon Lafell looked awful dropping passes in the numbers and no ability to break tackles. Final note on this game, Greg Olson is still a solid TE1 option as he posted a respectable 5-50-1 scoring line. Not a ton of upside, but the consistency is there.

Bengals 23 – Bills 20

Game Studs: Andy Dalton, Fred Jackson

No more undefeated teams in the AFC, and props to the Bills for their solid start, but they really under performed this one. Andy Dalton and AJ Green really have great chemistry with both posting solid lines. A couple of concerns with Dalton so I’m still not buying on him. Dalton is inaccurate, it’s a fact. He was 18-36 with 2 INT’s and could have had a couple more easily. Von Miller gave Dalton hell all day. Jermaine Gresham posted a decent game (40-70-1) proving he is worthy of a look if you need help at the TE position. So I’m buying Green/Gresham and selling on Dalton. Benson had a great day yards wise but really need to see him start to hit pay dirt; can’t complain about a 100+ game on the ground though. Benson is a decent low-end RB2 high-end flex play but no real upside, yet.

Bill’s looked fantastic at making the Bengals defense look great. The seemingly top offense in the AFC through three weeks looked dumb-founded by the pass rush of the Bengals. Fitzpatrick was unable to find the end zone (no INT’s either) and only Fred Jackson produced quality numbers. Jackson found the end zone, but was unable to eclipse 100 total yards (66 on the ground 32 in the air).  This game was a definite reality check for Bill’s owners but don’t be too concerned. Bengals defense looked fantastic against the pass the first three weeks against lesser opponents. Perhaps they are for real. Hard to run when you can’t threaten with the pass. I’m still starting Jackson, Fitzpatrick, and Stevie Johnson on a weekly basis. And finally, Chandler doesn’t score a TD. He is only worthy of a start in deep leagues.

Titans 31 – Browns 13

Game Studs: Matt Hasselbeck

It’s official, the Titan’s are for real. If I told you the Titan’s could put up 31 points and Chris Johnson accounted for none of them you would call me crazy.  Titan’s didn’t even look stellar by any stretch. Hasselbeck was 10/20 with 220 yards 3 TD’s and an INT.  Time to reiterate the obvious, Titan’s are a legit contender with Hasselbeck at QB. He isn’t a great start on any given week, but he doesn’t hurt the value of those around him. Going into this game it was an awful match-up for Nate Washington, and it showed. The new no. 1 at Tennessee hauled in 2 grabs for 62 yards. CJ2K has arrived and he had his breakout game. Before today he didn’t have 100 total yards and he finally was able to break (barely) 100 yds on the ground against a respectable Browns defense. No Titan’s receiver had over 2 catches. Consider it a product of only 10 completions. Jared Cook was the only worth mentioning name with a TD, he is still a decent low end TE1.

The Browns looked flat on their feet the entire game. This stat is not a joke, Colt McCoy through the ball 61 times. You are not going to win a game with 61 attempts (he actually completed 40 of them). His 40 completions awarded him another 300+ game in his arsenal but a lot of his yards came in garbage time. Even though he had 40 completions no player had over 6 completions with Ben Watson having his loan TD. It could have been anyone, Brown’s offense is pretty tough to predict and justify a starting spot for anyone. Hillis looked slow, not that anyone is saying he’s lightning fast either. He had a boring 10 rushes for 46 yards and 5 catches for 23 yards. If you started Hillis in a PPR league it wasn’t awful. If you have Hillis I would make sure to grab Monterio Hardesty off the waiver-wire. He could easily replicate Peyton Hillis week by week and has less of an injury risk. One of the better hand-cuffs in the league.

Lions 34 – Cowboys 30

Game Studs: Calvin Johnson, Tony Romo.

Oops. If you benched Romo you are paying for it. Hurt or not, he out performed every prediction with flying colors. It doesn’t seem to matter Miles Austin is out as both Jason Witten and Dez Bryant posted good numbers. Bryant may have only reeled in 3 catches, but two of them are TD’s so I’ll take it. Did I mention how great Romo looked? Start him until he can’t physically throw a football anymore. Not even going to talk about Felix Jones, he looked average. Keep starting him at flex.

Lions, oh my. Calvin Johnson had another 2 TD game. Seriously, this guy could score if Revis cloned himself and they doubled him up. Megatron is the best WR in the nfl. Stafford looked shaky and young. He made questionable calls and it feels like only time until he has another major injury. At some point you have to sell high, but if he makes it through the entire season you could win your league quite easily. Those of you with the Stafford-Megatron combo are loving it. Looks like Jahvid Best still can’t replicate his only good game of his career (week 1 of last year). If there is a great name on the waiver wire I’d look that way. Brandon Pettigrew looks good for 6-60 every week. If you have a bad TE you may want to pick him up.

Chiefs 22 – Vikings 17

Game Studs: Ryan Succop?

It’s sad when the strongest performer in a game is the kicker. He punched in 5 field goals from decent lengths. Matt Cassel found the end zone, some how. He looks average on a team who needs someone to step up. Clearly Cassel is on the outs in KC if they win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes (did you see how upset he was on the sidelines with the coaching staff?).  Dwayne Bowe is finally paying off his value. 5 catches for 100+ yds and the lone TD for KC. He is officially a borderline must-start on a weekly basis. There were no KC running backs worth mentioning, they were all ineffective against Jared Allen and the Vikings.

McNabb, where you been man? He actually looked like an NFL quarterback. While he was only 18-30 with just over 200 yds (2 TDs-1 INT), he managed the game well and kept his team in the game. Looks like we can start some Vikings not named Peterson from now on. Speaking of Peterson, he was held under 100 total yds. Sadly neither Harvin or Shiancoe found the end zone. I’m still starting both but don’t expect a TD every week. If I had to pick one, I’d start Harvin over Shiancoe.

Reskins 17 – Rams 10

Game Studs: N/A

Well here is an easy game to review. Neither of these teams wanted to win this game. Rams just can’t do anything on offense and the Redskins don’t know how to finish the game. Grossman tries really hard to ‘share’ the ball to opposing defenses. The Rams decided to accept his help on two occasions. Grossman looked bad against a very favorable match-up. Officially downgrading all Redskins until further notice. Ryan Torain took over as the ‘best’ running back in Redskins, but that means nothing. His appearance means if you can pick up Torain on waiver-wire do so and trade him away immediately. Santana Moss probably the only receiver worth owning had his game saved with a great looking touchdown. Other then that he was hardly involved and when he was the passes were miss timed.

And the Rams. What can I say about the Rams. It’s clear Sam Bradford is missing something very important, a no. 1 receiver. It’s hard to get the ball to anyone without a serious threat. Mike Sims-Walker is a solid player but doesn’t have an ability to take the top off the defense. Even with Amendola back I’m selling on Bradford and the Ram’s receiver’s in all formats. Also, Jackson still looks bothered by his leg. Don’t sell on him yet, but another bad week and we could be seeing a running back by community setting which benefits no one.

49ers 24 – Eagles 23

Game Studs: Alex Smith, Frank Gore, Michael Vick

Yup. Alex Smith appears on the ‘stud’ list. Seeing a flaw with this system. Or maybe not. Smith had one of his best pro days and he did it by spreading the ball out. Eight receivers had at least one catch and six had at least two. A page straight out of the New England team manual. Frank Gore didn’t start the game at running back but he sure finished it. In a game where he was supposed to be limited he managed 139 total yards and looked fast. Gore owners should still handcuff him with Kendall Hunter as he is another huge injury risk.  But I’m buying if anyone is selling. Gotta love someone who can break 125+ on the ground hurt, can’t wait to see him 100%.

Dream team, dream team, where art thou dream team? O I know, in last place in the NFC East with a 1-3 record. It’s hard to blame Vick for this loss but he really went into hibernation in the 2nd half. He failed to get his team in the end zone after putting his team up early. The Eagles need to do a better job of setting up the pass with the run. LeSean McCoy had 9 runs for 18 yards, what? McCoy’s day wasn’t all bad, he had a goal line ‘catch’ for a TD which gave him fantasy value, but at the rate the Eagles are going they are going to give McCoy more runs. He only has 3 stud performances out of 4. Not bad. It’s hard to say who had a better day at WR for the Eagles (Jackson or Maclin) both have a legit argument for the title but it doesn’t matter in the end. Jackson had more yards but Maclin had better catches and TD that got called back. Start both with confidence every week.

Saints 23 – Jaguars 10

Game Studs: Jimmy Graham

The Jaguars seem to have given up on the year. Blaine Gabbert might be a good quarterback down the road but he should be a developmental project. Having him as the QB removes all value from Mike Thomas and Mercedes Lewis. Maurice Jones-Drew didn’t post great fantasy numbers but he looked good from a game perspective. 11 carries for 84 yards would look a lot better with a touchdown but as an MJD owner you have to be happy he is still performing in this offense. I’m selling on all Jag’s except MJD.

Well the Saint’s came marching in and the Saint’s did exactly what they had to do to win. Clearly the weakness in the Jaguars is their LB core and Jimmy Graham exploited it all day long. His stat line was extremely attractive (10-132-1). Could have a new super star in the making there. Try and buy if you can. Has Darren Sproles become the no. 1 back in New Orleans? It seems like it. He only had seven carries but he made every one of them count. He clearly doesn’t need 20 touches a game to be effective. He had 131 totals yards and added a touch down through the air. Absolute PPR stud. If you have the luxury of picking a Saints RB every week I’d roll with Sproles who should get looks in the red zone.

Texans 17 – Steelers 10

Game Studs: Arian Foster

Arian Foster finally looked like a first rounder and it’s about time. Ben Tate is simply licking his chops waiting for his chances but if Foster plays at this level every game he should carry at least 90% of the work load. Foster had 30 attempts for 155 yards and a TD. Now, expecting 30 touches every game is naive but between 23-25 should be a safe bet. Get him in your line-up. Other then Foster, the Texans were drained when Andre Johnson left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury. It looks bad. He fell after a catch, untouched, and he looked like he was really uncomfortable. Hamstrings are tricky and I’d expect him to miss 1-2 weeks to let his hammy heal. The Texans can’t afford to lose him. Fantasy owners will have to downgrade their Texans not named Arian Foster if he is out for any significant time. I’m not buying Jacoby Jones or Kevin Walter as a serious threat. Schaub finished 14-21 for 138 yards and a touchdown to Owen Daniels.

Despite only 10 points I am in no way worrying about the Steelers. Obviously Rashard Mendenhall doesn’t look like the work horse of before, but his TD looked promising and it was the lone bright point for the Steelers. Mike Wallace was on pace to surpass 100 yds and tie the record for most consecutive games with that many yards but he was silent in the second half, as was the entire Steelers passing game. If Big Ben doesn’t play next week (50/50 right now) downgrade all Steelers by a slim margin.

Giants 31 – Cardinals 27

Game Studs: Hakeem Nicks, Eli Manning, Beanie Wells

Boy o’ boy do we have drama. Victor Cruz decides he is down, puts the ball on ground, and the Cardinals scoop it up. If you haven’t seen the play look it up. Referee’s declared he went down like a returner in the end zone. I don’t think we were watching the same game as him. This led to a quick 29 yard TD catch by Nicks which is the only reason either Nicks or Manning are ‘studs’ for this game. Pure dumb luck. Bradshaw and Jacobs saw a 60/40 (respectively) split and Jacobs found the end zone. Both are solid plays with the potential for a big game any given Sunday.

The Cardinals can thank Beanie Wells for being in the game at all. He had a career esque game and hasn’t posted a game under 90 yds on the ground yet when he has played. Hamstring injury or not, he is a must start every week in all formats. There is no one to steal touches from him, I repeat, he is the feature back and his only downside is his long history of injuries. Ride the wave while it’s high in Arizona. Kevin Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald have great chemistry. To be fair, any decent QB could have great chemistry with Fitz, he is simply a mismatch for any secondary. Kolb is a high end QB2 match-up dependent but Fitz is a top 5 play always.

Falcons 30 – Seahawks 28

Game Studs: Michael Turner, Tarvaris Jackson

Apparently Tarvaris Jackson can play. He is still the widely inconsistent QB we have all come to know, but a 3-2 TD/INT ratio ain’t bad when you pad it with  319 passing yards. Having Sidney Rice back, and healthy, is a luxury most QB’s would love. Seven Seattle receivers had at least 3 catches. Color me surprised. Baldwin and Rice both posted great fantasy days with Rice catching a deep pass. I would start both regularly (Baldwin more of a flex guy).

The only true downside to Michael Turner is his lack of catches. He really has no part of the passing game, unlike most backs now a days. This downside can be overlooked if he keeps scoring (two in this game). Matt Ryan was a plus and boy does he love Julio Jones. Atlanta gave all their arms and legs for Jones, but he has looked well worth the investment. Julio hauled in 11 catches for 127 yards.  He outed Roddy White who ‘only’ had 6 catches for 78 yards. Both Jones and White are top 20 receivers (White a top 10) and are must starts.

Packers 49 – Broncos 23

Game Studs: Aaron Rodgers, Kyle Orton

It’s unfair to put Orton in the same category as Rodgers as Rodgers has the fantasy game of the year. Four passing touches and two on the ground. O and he also had over 400 yards passing. First player in history to complete this monstrous accomplishment. He spread the ball around well, and made the Broncos look stupid. Exploiting a bad defense is a specialty of Rodgers and at this pace (averaging roughly 333 yards a game) he will have the greatest fantasy year ever (Cam Newton may have something to say about that). James Starks did well in the absence of Ryan Grant but we still don’t know who the feature back going forward is going to be. My hunch says Starks.

The fantasy community was banking on garbage time points for the Broncos and they really didn’t come. Denver only managed 6 points in the second half as Green Bay didn’t relax one bit. Orton posted an average day with 273 yards with 3 TD/3 INT. Surprise of the day for Denver was Willis McGahee who managed over 100 yards on the ground on only 15 attempts. Moreno was a no show with 4 yards on 2 attempts. Eric Decker showed he should be owned and started in all leagues. Two touchdowns and 56 yards in the air (on 5 grabs). Not a stellar day, but he has showed immense consistency in this offense. Brandon Lloyd had a decent day. He posted 8-136-0 which didn’t kill you if you had him in your line up.

Patriots 31 – Raiders 19

Game Studs: Wes Welker, Tom Brady

Biggest thing to take from this game was Steven Ridely as the premiere back in New England. A change is in the air. The ‘Law Firm’ BenJarvus Green-Ellis had most of the touches but was unable to outproduce Ridely in yardage. Both had a touch down (Ridely’s much more impressive) but going forward I like Ridely to start stealing more and more touches. Pick him up, wait maybe one more week, and profit. Brady and Welker were great again, and show no sign of slowing up. Rob Gronkowski was silenced by the Raiders. One catch for 14 yards is awful. For now mark it down as an oddity. He is still the TE of choice in New England but with Hernandez back it’s a tight 1-2.

As for the Raiders, it was a bad performance fantasy wise. Darren McFadden was held to 75 yards on 14 touches against a defense which isn’t great against the run. The lone Oakland passing touchdown belonged to Denarius Moore. Without that touchdown he wasn’t getting many looks. Quiet expectations there for the time being. It should be noted Maryland product Darrius Heyward-Bey led the teach in receiving not Jacoby Ford who failed to even get one catch. Strange situation in Oakland WR wise. Hard to predict week to week who will lead the time.

Chargers 26 – Dolphins 16

Game Studs: N/A

Chad Henne left the game early for the Dolphins which gave Matt Moore the ball which is not a good sign. Hopefully Henne is full strength next week but we should know more by Thursday. If Moore is the QB it will be tough to recommend Brandon Marshall as anything more then a Flex play. Combined the two QB’s didn’t eclipse 200 yards. Lex Hilliard stole a touch down from Reggie Bush who saw almost all the action on the ground. He didn’t post great numbers but he is the RB to own in Miami for the time being. Rookie sensation Daniel Thomas still lurks.

Somehow Phillip Rivers eclipsed 300 yards (barely, 307) but the Chargers really didn’t need much from him. The game flow never really lead to Miami doing much of anything and all Rivers had to do was not give the ball away, which he did not. He ended up with one touch down hauled in by Vincent Jackson who still looks like an absolute stud. McMicheal was hurt in the game which is bad news for the Chargers. Kory Sperry stands to see more work if he can’t go but don’t expect much out of the 3rd year man out of Colorado State. Deeper leagues may want to pay attention to injury reports and respond accordingly.

Ravens 34 – Jets 17

Game Studs: Baltimore D/ST, Jets D/ST

Starting with Mark Sanchez, to put it blunt, he looked awful. He was inaccurate, and had no response to an injury ridden Ravens secondary. He finished 11 for 35 for 119 yards and an interception. All other Jets looked bad as a result of Sanchez who seems unable to pass with pressure. No Jet had over 37 total yards and no touch downs. On the positive side, the Jets defense actually looked better then the score indicated. Rex Ryan drew up some great blitzes and the defense made some great plays. Jets D/ST, as expected, is always a great start.

As was said about the Jets can be said about the Ravens. Joe Flacco only barely out produced Mark Sancehz as he was 10 for 31 for 163 yards and a pick. He looked early and often for his rookie receiver Torrey Smith but they were unable to connect on any of their deep attempts. The Ravens really need an upgrade at receiver. All words aside, I still like Lee Evans and Torrey Smith going forward. Anquan Boldin is going to draw all the attention from no. 1 CB’s and most teams are not as well equipped as the Jets. Ray Rice had 66 yards and a score from the three yard line which saved his day. Nothing to worry about here, no passing game leads to low production from your backs.

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That’s all the analysis for today. Check back tomorrow for waiver pick-ups and the Monday night game analysis.

*A stud is any player with 20+ points in standard leagues

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