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Monday, October 16, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL FANTASY SPORTS BOSS: HOW I DEALT WITH THE LOSS OF AARON RODGERS

It was swift, stunning, and instantly nauseating.  Yes yours truly was a proud owner of Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and watched in horror as he was likely lost for the remainder of the season with a broken collarbone.  I drafted Rodgers in the third round of the Experts League this past summer and it marked the first time ever I owned him in this always cut-throat league.  I wanted to experience what it was like to own the best QB on the planet and for the first five weeks of the season it was as advertised.  Well here we are Monday morning and I no longer have Rodgers on my roster and also no longer have Carson Wentz who I drafted as a backup but cut back in Week 1 due to a roster crowing.  So with no backup on the roster and retreads such as Eli Manning, Jared Goff, and Blake Bortles starting back at me on the wire, I went ahead during the 1:00 games Sunday and made a buy low deal to acquire Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.  Fresh off a five INT game, all it cost me was the quickly fading Ty Montgomery.  Be that as it may, I still lost my game this past week to drop me to 4-2.  The problem is that I started 4-0 and now have dropped two in a row and lost my big QB advantage.  What was encouraging is that I lost by just five points despite Rodgers' loss as the rest of my roster played well.  Le'Veon Bell has become the monster I anticipated he would be and Zach Ertz continues to make me look smart for advising you all to draft him this summer.  My big breakthrough was another buy low trade I made leading up to Week 6 where I acquired both Mark Ingram and Aaron Jones for Golden Tate.  With Chris Hogan and Mike Evans I felt secure dealing away Tate and wanted to buy low on Ingram now that Adrian Peterson was shipped of town.  Well Ingram supplied 30 points as he scored twice, ran for over 100, and caught five balls.  He should be a borderline RB 1 the rest of the way and so I did well there.  I also avoided having Tate on my hands as he is now out weeks with a shoulder problem.  The bottom line is that even if you are a Rodgers owner like me, the season is far from over.  Do your due diligence and line up a replacement now.  There is still a long way to go.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 WRAPUP

-With five games in the books already, Atlanta Falcons ace wideout Julio Jones still has not scored a touchdown.  As excellent a player as Jones is, that has been the knock on him throughout his career with regards to never being a sizable TD guy despite a string of monster reception seasons.  Still Jones had a decent day Sunday in a loss to the Miami Dolphins as he caught 6 balls for 72 yards but he is falling well short of first round WR 1 status.

-Remember when we said right here on the site in a lengthy piece that Falcons QB Matt Ryan would go bust this season?  Well he has just six touchdown passes through five games and we will remind you the reason we had him down as a bust candidate was the change in offensive coordinator once Kyle Shanahan left to become the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.  During the team's loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Ryan completed 24-of-35 throws for 248 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT as his numbers are falling short of preseason expectations.  While we have been big Ryan boosters in the past, his draft price went above where it should have gone this season considering the OC changes.

-Finally Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi got back on track after three straight duds as he rushed for 130 yards on 26 carries.  The workload remains very high as head coach Adam Gase has not lost any faith in Ajayi and this was a nice sign going forward.  Still Ajayi always seems to leave you wanting more and the knee remains a long-term concern.  A sell high is not the worst idea.

-It looks like Jerrick McKinnon is finally ready to be an impact players after he failed to do much of anything when given the chance to fill in for an injured Adrian Peterson in the past.  McKinnon rushed for 69 yards and a score on 16 carries, while also adding 5 catches for 30 yards and another score in the win over the Packers.  In PPR leagues McKinnon has more upside as a RB 2 but even in standards it seems the workload will be there for him to be a low-end RB 2.

-Placed in an almost impossible situation taking over for the injured Aaron Rodgers early in Sunday's game, Green Bay Packers backup QB Brett Hundley was dreadful as he completed 18-of-33 throws for 157 yards with 1 TD and 3 INT.  This is what the Packers now have under center with Rodgers likely done for the year with a broken collarbone.  In other words, big trouble for Jordy Nelson and company.

-Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard is in the midst of a hot streak right now as he made it two big games out of the last three in rumbling for 167 yards on a crazy 36 carries, while adding one catch for another nine yards.  The workload was ridiculous but not unexpected with rookie QB Mitch Trubisky under center.  After a rough first few games, Howard is rounding into form as the first round pick he went for in most leagues.  With Tarik Cohen taking almost all the receptions however, Howard is squarely into top RB 2 status.

-Speaking of Cohen, he had an interesting game himself as he rushed for 32 yards on 14 carries, while adding 1 catch for 14 yards and also a passing touchdown.  Still a gadget player more than anything, Cohen stays in the RB 3 area code in PPR formats.

-It is really starting to get insane now with Houston Texans rookie QB DeShaun Watson who set the all-time NFL record for being the quickest rookie in history to reach 15 passing touchdowns.  Watson threw three of them on Sunday as he completed 17-of-29 throws for 225 yards with the three scores and one pick.  Watson also rushed for 24 yards on six carries and added a passing two-point conversion.  Incredible stuff for sure and Watson should be started in all leagues now.  Right now Watson also could be the biggest mid-season add of the season.

-Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins has now gone three straight games with 2 passing scores and he did it again on Sunday by completing 25-of-37 throws for 330 yards with the two scores and the pick in the win over the San Francisco 49ers.  While he still is trying to work through chemistry issues with the Redskins receivers, the fantasy football numbers are beginning to flow freely yet again.

-Alex Collins sure is exciting when he gets his hands on the football but Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh seems reluctant to completely take of the training wheels just yet.  Still Collins got the most carries on the team Sunday by rushing 15 times for 74 yards.  Collins did not catch a pass though as he clearly cedes that role to Javorious Allen.  Until Allen goes away, Collins is just a borderline FLEX play or RB 3/4.

-Boy it really has gone down the drain for Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery.  Already having missed a game, suffered broken ribs, and seen rookie Aaron Jones eat into his time, Montgomery rushed for just 28 yards on 10 carries, while adding one catch for 3 yards.  We already are at the point where Montgomery has to be benched everywhere and it could be getting closer to where he should be released since he still is not running well.  Even when scoring touchdowns the first three weeks of the year, Montgomery's average per carry was horrible and he remains a wideout trying to be a back.  No good.

-I guess a change of scenery (or offense) is what Adrian Peterson needed to put his name back on the fantasy football map.  Looking as spry as ever, Peterson rushed for 134 yards and two scores on 26 carries for the Arizona Cardinals in his debut.  It was really encouraging that the Cards used Peterson as a bellcow back right away and he looked tremendous.  Remember that Peterson has not played much the last three years due to suspension/injury and so his body probably feels pretty good.  If he was not picked up off waivers in your league, do so this week.

-Antonio Brown was back to his usual tricks after a quiet last couple of weeks; catching 8 balls for 155 yards and a score.  Still the best wideout in the game by a mile, Brown has no peer with Odell Beckham Jr. getting injured and Julio Jones still without a score.

-Things are getting pathetic with Los Angeles Rams wideout Sammy Watkins who caught just one pass for 11 yards in the team's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Watkins has just two catches total the last two games and has zero chemistry with QB Jared Goff.  This now makes it two stops in his professional career where Watkins has gone bust.  While we have given him a pass in the past due to the QB issues, perhaps maybe it is the player.

-Carson Palmer had it all working Sunday as he completed 14-of-22 throws for 283 yards with 3 TD and 1 INT.  Palmer was horrible for most of September but he has turned things around of late.  With Adrian Peterson now coming aboard to supply some help in the run game, Palmer is worth dusting off again.

-Rams running back Todd Gurley got off to a slow start Sunday but in the end rushed for 116 yards on 23 carries and caught one ball for 4 yards.  Not the best work by any means but Gurley now has three 100-yard rushing games.

-Larry Fitzgerald continues to defy age as he caught 10 balls for 138 yards and a touchdown Sunday in the team's win over the Tampa Bay Buc's.  With Fitzgerald still working as the number 1 wideout on the Cards, his status in PPR goes to borderline WR 1.

-Le'Veon Bell has fully rounded into shape after working off the holdout rust in September.  He was a monster in rushing for 179 yards and a score on 32 carries, while adding 3 catches for 12 more yards.  With David Johnson having suffered a serious injury at the start of the season, there is no doubting that Bell is the number 1 player in fantasy football.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: CONFIRMED AARON RODGERS SUFFERS BROKEN COLLARBONE

Updating an earlier item, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers could miss the rest of the season after it was confirmed he suffered a broken collarbone in Sunday's game versus the Minnesota Vikings.  We already have discussed the fallout here previously and so all the skills players on the Packers will face a sizable drop in value. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY FALLOUT: PACKERS FEAR BROKEN COLLARBONE FOR AARON RODGERS

Oh my goodness.  Week 6 in fantasy football has already been one of those earth-shattering weeks that makes everyone pay attention.  Of course we are talking about the fears that Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers QB suffered a broken collarbone early in Sunday's game versus the Minnesota Vikings.  Obviously this is as big as it gets in terms of star power/injury and if it is in fact broken, this would mark the second such occasions that Rodgers suffered that injury which brings back bad memories of Tony Romo during the last few years of his career.  With all signs pointing to Rodgers being out for awhile, the fallout is that wideouts Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, and Randall Cobb are ALL going to drop in value a full WR spot.  That means Nelson drops to WR 2 status, while Adams goes to WR 3, and Cobb to bench WR 4.  You simply can't replace Rodgers and the inexperienced Brett Hundley will have his hands full just grasping the plays.  Just a brutal turn of events for all Rodgers owners. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: AARON RODGERS CARTED OFF WITH SHOULDER INJURY

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was carted off to the locker room after suffering an apparently serious shoulder injury during the first quarter of the team's Sunday game versus the Minnesota Vikings.  Rodgers looked to be in immense pain and the fact he was carted off is telling.  A major separation could be a multi-week absence and obviously it doesn't get any bigger in terms of injury to a top-tier player.  Stay tuned. 
 

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WATCH: GAME-TIME CALL FOR WILLIE SNEAD (HAMSTRING)

New Orleans Saints wideout Willie Snead is expected to be a game-time decision Sunday for the team's game versus the Detroit Lions due to a stubborn hamstring strain that is still impacting him going into Week 6.  Snead has yet to suit up this season due to the being suspended for PED's and then for the hamstring which has made him virtually a non-story with regards to 2017 fantasy football.  While the numbers should flow eventually, it has been a long wait for any meaningful contribution from Snead this season.  


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WATCH: DeVANTE PARKER (ANKLE) OUT SUNDAY

Miami Dolphins big-play wideout DeVante Parker is expected to sit out the team's game Sunday versus the Atlanta Falcons due to the ankle injury he suffered in last week's game.  Having come off a string of impact games in terms of fantasy football, Parker's loss is a big one in a game against Atlanta that figures to feature lots of passing.  Kenny Still figures to be the one to pick up the slack while Parker is sidelined.  


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WATCH: BILAL POWELL (CALF) OUT SUNDAY

New York Jets running back Bilal Powell will be a no go on Sunday due to the calf injury he suffered in last week's game.  There was little chance Powell was going to be able to play against the New England Patriots Sunday given the fickle nature of calf injuries and so the returning Matt Forte and more alluring Elijiah McGuire will handle the workload against the brutal Pats defense in Week 6.  McGuire at the very least has some FLEX appeal but the return of Forte was an annoying development for his fantasy football owners. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 INJURY WATCH: MIKE WILLIAMS (BACK) TO BE ACTIVE SUNDAY

Los Angeles Chargers rookie wideout Mike Williams will make his NFL debut on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders after missing the previous five weeks and most of training camp with back trouble.  Williams was the Chargers' first round pick amid some heightened expectations coming into his rookie year but the early back woes severely set him back.  He now returns or an offense that has both Keenan Allen and Tyrell Williams ahead of him on the depth chart which limits Williams' fantasy football impact for now but longer-term in the year he could gain some serious value as the talent is not in question here.  On the potential alone Williams is worth adding.


PRE-ORDER THE EARLY OFFSEASON FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE

Yes we already are working on our 2018 Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide as our EARLY OFFSEASON EDITION comes out in mid-November, followed by our POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION out in mid-January.  Our yearly guides are always lauded for the literally hundreds of pages of information; including going a paragraph or more on over 600 players.  We also have updated position eligibility, compiled prime sleepers, busts, and rookies for 2018; not to mention our Injury Risk Pitchers To Avoid column.  If you want to pre-order your copy, use the PAYPAL button either below or on the homepage to order.  Yes Aaron Judge made the cover.  Enjoy.



2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 ISSUES: RETURN OF TY MONTGOMERY A PROBLEM FOR AARON JONES DAY

Boy has the running back storyline changed drastically in Green Bay.  We already discussed this past week who rookie Aaron Jones is set to take over the starting role on the team coming off a spectacular Week 5 performance but the expected return of previous starter Ty Montgomery complicates everything for all involved.  Montgomery is expected to wear a flack jacket to protect his broken ribs and figure he at least plays on third downs;, while Jones handles the majority of work on first and second.  That would mean Jones is the clear play here but Montgomery is now the one in position to steal carries.  Going against a stout Minnesota Vikings defense Sunday is another potential issue as well for both Montgomery and Jones.  So while Jones still retains RB 2 status in standard formats, his status in PPR is looking quite shaky for Week 6 since Montgomery will be the one hauling in most of the passes.  Adjust accordingly.  


Saturday, October 14, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: JOSE ABREU 1B CHICAGO WHITE SOX

One of the stranger developments in the fantasy baseball community during the last year or so has been the growing indifferent attitude many have when it comes to Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu.  It wasn't always this way of course as Abreu was a highly targeted sleeper when he first arrived from Cuba prior to 2014 and the hype went crazy when the guy went out and swatted 36 homers with a .317 average as a rookie.  Since that time however, Abreu has seen his name fade from discussions regarding the top first baseman in today’s game as he seemingly entered into the "old news" section. This tends to happen to players who don't steal bases like Abreu and who also don't exactly blow up any one category.  What we have with Abreu is a guy who is very good in four categories (runs, RBI, average, HR) but who for some reason saw his ADP slip into the second and even third round for 2017 drafts.  Those who took advantage of the discount got another vintage Abreu season as he hit 33 home runs, drove in 93, and batted .304.  Add in 95 runs scored and once again Abreu was tremendous in four categories like always.  Also while we always talk about the insane stability/dependability of Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, Abreu is pretty close when it comes to writing down in ink his expected yearly numbers.  Consider that Abreu has hit 30 or more homers in three out of his four MLB seasons; while at the same time never hitting less than .290.  We always love our sluggers to hit for average and power when it comes to fantasy baseball and you can argue Abreu does this better than Rizzo (higher lifetime batting average) for a cheaper draft price.  Ultimately Rizzo wins out due to the fact he steals a few bases each year (just six for Abreu in four MLB seasons) but the two sluggers are very similar.  So while Rizzo will go in Round 1 in most drafts this spring, the better value may very well be Abreu in Round 2. 

2018 PROJECTION:  .295 32 HR 101 RBI 93 R 1 SB