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Friday, September 30, 2016

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 4 QB RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 4 rankings based on opposing matchups.  

1.  Matthew Stafford
2.  Philip Rivers
3.  Cam Newton
4.  Drew Brees
5.  Andrew Luck
6.  Ben Roethlisberger
7.  Kirk Cousins
8.  Carson Palmer
9.  Matt Ryan
10. Blake Bortles
11. Derek Carr
12. Blake Bortles
13. Joe Flacco
14. Eli Manning
15. Brock Osweiler
16. Alex Smith
17. Dak Prescott
18. Sam Bradford
19. Trevor Siemian
20. Jameis Winston
21. Ryan Fitzpatrick
22. Brian Hoyer
23. Marcus Mariota
24. Tyrod Taylor
25. Cody Kessler
26. Blaine Gabebrt
27. Case Keenum
28. Jacoby Brissett


FANTASY FOOTBALL THURSDAY INJURY REPORT: RUSSELL WILSON READY TO GO, ANTONIO GATES NOT SO MUCH

Lots of injury news to get to as always so let's dive right in as fantasy football Week 4 gets ready to launch.

-As we have said all week, Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is expected to start Week 4 versus the New York Jets despite suffering an MCL sprain in his knee.  Wilson is as tough as they come and thus it is no shock he will be out there.  He has underperformed though this season with just 2 touchdown throws and he now gets a very good Jets defensive line that will attack one of the worst offensive lines in the game.  Bench Wilson outright.

-Both Jimmy Garappolo and Jacoby Brisett got in a limited practice on Thursday so at least one of them should be able to go Sunday versus the Buffalo Bills.  The smart money is that Brissett will be back in there as Grappolo still doesn't have full range of motion in his injured shoulder.  The injury makes Garappolo a risk against a Buffalo Bills defense that just got done intercepting Carson Palmer four times last week.

-Jonathan Stewart could be out another four weeks according to Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera so that means more of the two-headed attack of Cameron Artis-Payne and Fozzy Whittaker.  Artis-Payne got 3 more carries then did Whittaker (13-10) which means this is a strick timeshare best avoided.  Meanwhile those who own Stewart are getting royally hosed on the investment so far as his hamstring injury is worse then originally thought.

-A big scare developed late Thursday as Detroit Lions 400-plus yard instant star wideout Marvin Jones appeared on the injury report with a hamstring issue.  Jones hurt the hamstring in practice and this bears close watching in terms of practice tomorrow.  A late week hamstring injury is always a big deal and this could result in a close call for Sunday which then would mean the nearly invisible Golden Tate would get a chance to show he is still in the NFL.

-You can forget about New York Jets wideout Eric Decker playing Sunday against Seattle.  He is in a lot of pain with his shoulder and had an MRI on the joint Thursday.  We haven't gotten the results of the injury but Decker is as good as out.  Quincy Enunwa will step into a more prominent role and be a must start as Brandon Marshall figures to draw a bunch of coverage his way.

-Still no word on whether Jamaal Charles will debut Sunday as Andy Reid continues to throw cold water on his prospects.  Spencer Ware has been ordinary the last two weeks after his garbage time special in Week 1 so Charles has the chance to be the clear numbre 1 guy again if he can just get on the damn field,.

-Lots of trouble at tight end around the league as Tyler Eifert missed the Thursday Night Game and Antonio Gates will miss his second straight outing Sunday as he continues to battle a bum hamstring.  Gates looks shot and that would not be a surprise given his advanced age.  Hunter Henry remains a good alternative, as does Zach Miller of Chicago.

-Jimmy Graham did not practice on Thursday due to his knee but we don't know if it was a maintenance day off after his big game on Sunday or if he felt renewed soreness.  Either way Graham still has to do more to earn our trust as an every week guy again.

-Arizona Cardinals wideout Michael Floyd will be a go on Sunday as he practiced in full Thursday after being cleared from the concussion protocol.  Floyd remains quite inconsistent though and I wouldn't use him.

-Dez Bryant is out Sunday due to the fracture in his knee and that was a given from the moment the diagnosis was made despite any reports to the contrary.



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CINCINNATI BENGALS (-7.5) VS. Miami Dolphins:  Once again we reiterate that home teams in the Thursday Night Game cover at a very high rate and the Bengals looks like an extra good bet as they will be very focused coming off their ugly loss last week to the Denver Broncos.  Andy Dalton has played well all season drespite the light TD total and the Miami secondary has trouble with Cody Kessler of all people last week.  Also the Dolphins are down to their third-string center and without tackle Branden Albert whihc means the good Cincy pass rush will make it rough on Ryan Tannehill during the game.  THE PICK:  Cincinnati Bengals (-7.5) 


FANTASY FOOTBALL THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL WRAPUP: BENGALS/DOLPHINS

Yeah it was a blowout Thursday night as the Cincinnati Bengals did whatever they wanted to the Miami Dolphins.  Let's get to all of the relevant fantasy football happenings coming out of the game.


Andy Dalton:  22/31 for 296 yards with 1 TD.  Dalton has been light on the TD's so far this season but his yardage has been tremendous and the offense is in fine working order.  You always want to try and do better as your QB 1 but Dalton as your QB 2 in two passer formats is big-time.

Ryan Tannehill:  15/25 for 189 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  It is just not happening here as Tannehill took 5 sacks and threw another pick on top of the two last week.  Guy is a good athlete but with three good to very good wideouts at his disposal, Tannehill should be so much better. 

Jeremy Hill:  21 carries for 71 yards.  Hill appeared to hurt his shoulder early on but he was fine thereafter.  Decent but not great day and no scores hurts Hill more than most since he doesn't catch many passes.  Still just a starting RB 2 in standard leagues and borderline in PPR.

Gio Bernard:  10 carries for 18 yards to go with 3 catches for 24 yards.  Second dud in a row for Bernard who is being hurt by the comeback of Hill the last two weeks.  Even in PPR it is getting tough to start him.

Jay Ajayi:  6 carries for 33 yards.  So much for Damien Williams (2 for 9) getting the start.  The Miami backfield is the biggest joke in fantasy football and should not be touched under any circumstances.

A.J. Green:  10 catches for 173 yards and 1 TD.  The Dolphins had no answer for Green which was apparent from the start.  That makes it two video-game like outings in four weeks for Green who has been every bit the target fiend we said he would be with the lack of a supporting cast in the passing game.  Top-3 wideout this season.

Jarvis Landry:  7 catches for 61 yards.  Landry has just one catch at the half so this qualifies as a garbage-time special.  Hey as long as the receptions are there in PPR we are happy.

DeVante Parker:  2 catches for 20 yards.  Thought Parker would doso much better but the Cincy defense had its way with the Miami offense.  Nothing else the kid could have done as Tannehill had no time to get it to him down the field.  Waste of a week. 


Thursday, September 29, 2016

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PICK: BENGALS/DOLPHINS

CINCINNATI BENGALS (-7.5) VS. Miami Dolphins:  Once again we reiterate that home teams in the Thursday Night Game cover at a very high rate and the Bengals looks like an extra good bet as they will be very focused coming off their ugly loss last week to the Denver Broncos.  Andy Dalton has played well all season drespite the light TD total and the Miami secondary has trouble with Cody Kessler of all people last week.  Also the Dolphins are down to their third-string center and without tackle Branden Albert whihc means the good Cincy pass rush will make it rough on Ryan Tannehill during the game.  THE PICK:  Cincinnati Bengals (-7.5)  


FANTASY FOOTBALL ISSUES: JOSH GORDON ENTERS REHAB, DOUBTFUL FOR 2016 RETURN

Cleveland Browns wideout Josh Gordon was a popular sleeper in 2016 fantasy football drafts due to the fact that he was slated to be suspended for just four games to begin the year and then make a triumphant return to being a prime WR 1.  That was the dream for those who drafted Gordon but with things never go according to plan when it comes to the guy as we have seen countless times.  Now we getword Thursday that Gordon has entered rehab which was then followed by another report that he will never play another down for the Browns.  Obviously Gordon won't return in Week 5 and it is likely he won't be on the field for all of 2016 as well.  Gordon is already going down as one of the biggest "waste of talent" guys we have seen in awhile as he was a top five receiver on the field but constant drug problems have ruined a once promising career.  If you are a Gordon owner, feel free to cut him loose or hold for another week or so to see if the Brown even entertain the idea of moving him to another club.  Highly unlikely but still a smidge of hope to get something out of him this season. 


FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: MIAMI TRYING DAMIEN WILLIAMS AT RUNNING BACK FOR TNF

Another week and another different starting running back for the Miami Dolphins who will go with Damien Williams and not Kenyan Drake or Jay Ajayi for Thursday Night Football.

Analysis:  On and on it goes with this team and their pathetic running game.  Williams has some speed and did a decent job in the second half last week replacing Drake but who knows here.  Arian Foster could be back for Week 5 though which limits any upside. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL LINEUP NEWS: JARVIS LANDY/DEVANTE PARKER BOTH ACTIVE THURSDAY NIGHT

Both Miami Dolphin wideouts Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker are ACTIVE and will start for the team Thursday night versus the Cincinnati Bengals.  Landry was battling a sore shoulder and Parker a hamstring issue leading into the game but both were deemed well enough to give it a go. 

Analysis:  Nothing surprising here as both were expected to play.  Parker is starting to take off and realize the potential that came with being a first round pick prior to last seaso, while Landry remains one of the best PPR receivers in the game.  Both are worth using tonight against a Cincinnati Bengals defense that was torched by Trevor Siemian and the Denver wideouts last week. 


2016 FANTASY FOOTBALL UPDATED QB RANKINGS

Here are the updated QB rankings through 3 weeks of the season.

1.  Aaron Rodgers
2.  Cam Newton
3.  Ben Roethlisberger
4.  Andrew Luck
5.  Drew Brees
6.  Philip Rivers
7.  Matt Ryan
8.  Derek Carr
9.  Andy Dalton
10. Tom Brady
11. Carson Palmer
12. Russell Wilson
13. Eli Manning
14. Matthew Stafford
15. Carson Wentz
16. Jameis Winston
17. Blake Bortles
18. Kirk Cousins
19. Dak Prescott
20. Joe Flacco
21. Trevor Siemian
22. Marcus Mariota
23. Ryan Tannehill
24. Tyrod Taylor
25. Jay Cutler
26. Sam Bradford
27. Alex Smith 
28. Ryan Fitzpatrick
29. Brock Osweiler
30. Blaine Gabbert
31. Cody Kessler
32. Case Keenum

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 4 START/SIT: MIAMI/BENGALS

Our first START/SIT is on tap for Week 4 so let's check out who should be in or our of your lineup from the Miami/Cincinnati game.

START (most expected points first)

1.  A.J. Green
2.  Jarvis Landry
3.  Jeremy Hill
4.  Andy Dalton
5.  Ryan Tannehill
6.  Cincinnati Bengals Defense 
7.  DeVante Parker

SIT

1.  Brandon LaFell
2.  Gio Bernard
3.  Kenyan Drake
4.  Kenny Stills


FANTASY FOOTBALL STATUS REPORT: TREVOR SIEMIAN QB DENVER BRONCOS

When NFL training camps got underway this summer, it was widely assumed that veteran Mark Sanchez would earn the starting QB job with the Denver Broncos over the untested second-year man Trevor Siemian.  While Sanchez was far from dependable, his vast experience edge over the former 7th round pick out of Northwestern would surely win out.  Well as the preseason went along, it became clear that Siemian was the better passer and thus it was no surprise in the end when he was officially named the starter.  Still the designation carried zero fantasy football positivity as Siemian was way too green of a passer to defend on in our fake game and this despite the fact he was surrounded by big-time offensive talent such as wideouts Demaryuis Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and C.J. Anderson.

Fast forward three weeks and what we have now is a QB in Siemian who all of a sudden became a hot waiver target in fantasy football leagues all across the country.  That is what will happen when you go out and throw FOUR touchdown passes and 312 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals.  Showing big-time poise and accuracy in the pocket, Siemian looked like a young Peyton Manning as he helped both Thomas and Sanders go over 100 yards.  For the season now, Siemian has 5 touchdown passes and 3 interceptions and he has a great matchup versus the porous Tampa Bay Buc's defense this week.  Those in two-QB formats now should get the green light to start using Siemian, while those in single-passer leagues should bring him aboard as a backup.  Keep in mind that with Thomas and Sanders on the outside and Anderson's running keeping defenders honest, Siemian has one of the best setups in the game for a passer.  Completing 65.7 percent of his throws, Siemian's accuracy is his best attribute and helps overcome a moderate throwing arm.  Be that as it may, Siemian is no a story worth checking out this week and perhaps beyond.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: "NO CHANCE" ANTONIO GATES (HAMSTRING) PLAYS WEEK 4

It will be the Hunter Henry show again in Week 4 for the San Diego Chargers as a team source said there was "no chance" Antonio Gates would be able to go as he continues to battle a hamstring strain. 

Analysis:  Gates is older than dirt and his body has always been fragile.  Throw in the fact he is a perpetually slow healer and Gates' season is already beginning to look like a disaster.


FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: ERIC DECKER HEADED FOR MRI AS FEARS GROW ON SHOULDER

Updating an earlier item, New York Jets wideout Eric Decker is headed for an MRI on his injured shoulder amid growing concerns there could be some significant damage in the joint. 

Analysis:  Wow this is sounding pretty dire so it has to be something like a labrum tear which would finish decker for 2017.  Anyone who owns stock in Decker should already be going out looking for a replacement, while those who own Quincy Enunwa could see their guy's value soar.


FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 4 ISSUES: GROWING DOUBT ABOUT ERIC DECKER PLAYING VERSUS SEATTLE

NewYork Jets number 2 wideout Eric Decker gutted it out last week against the Kansas City Chiefs as he battled a sore shoulder that limited his practice reps and had his status at one point iffy for the game.  Decker showed clearly that he was not 100 percent when he caught just one pass in the game but the fact he was active dulled any lingering concern about the shoulder.  Well those who own stock in Decker are not out of the woods yet as the news came down on Wednesday that he has even MORE pain in the shoulder and that there is growing doubt he will be able to suit up against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4.  Decker is not expected to practice again on Thursday and already he could be headed for a game-time decision call or worse.  If Decker were to sit, Quincy Enunwa and new tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins would get more looks from embattled QB Ryan Fitzpatrick but either way this needs to be watched closely the next few days. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY FALLOUT: HAIRLINE FRACTURE THE LATEST MALADY SUFFERED BY DEZ BRYANT

Another year and another injury for Dallas Cowboys ace wideout Dez Bryant.  There was growing concern about Bryant over the last 48 hours after Bryant underwent an MRI on the knee he injured in last Sunday's night win over the Chicago Bears and the results were not immediately announced.  This got myself and many others to speculate something was found on the MRI and that is exactly what happened as it was revealed Bryant suffered a hairline fracture in his knee that will likely keep him out for Weel 4 and possible up to 3 weeks total.  No surgery is needed but the injury is anothe reminder of how fragile Bryant has becomes the last few years and it comes on the heels of him missing half of 2015 with a broken foot.  I told you all to avoid Bryant in drafts this season due to that injury risk and for the uncertain QB situation even before Tony Romo got hurt and this is why.  While the Dallas coaching staff is saying Bryant is not automatically out Week 4, we are hearing firmly he will in fact miss the game and the prognosis is 1-3 weeks total.  Meanwhile Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, and Jason Witten will all see an uptick in receptions; with Beasley especially becoming more of an instant fantasy football asset given his already firm rapport with QB Dak Prescott.  I myself got Beasley off the waiver wire this week and will be tempted to use him in Week 4 since we use PPR in the Experts League.  Either way those who do own Bryant and back down that injury road yet again early in the season.