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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 4 QB RANKINGS

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

1.  Aaron Rodgers
2.  Carson Palmer
3.  Cam Newton
4.  Andrew Luck
5.  Matt Ryan
6.  Peyton Manning
7.  Tyrod Taylor
8.  Russell Wilson
9.  Derek Carr
10. Andy Dalton
11. Drew Brees
12. Philip Rivers
13. Eli Manning
14. Joe Flacco
15. Ryan Fitzpatrick
16. Sam Bradford
17. Ryan Tannehill
18. Alex Smith
19. Kirk Cousins
20. Brandon Weeden
21. Michael Vick
22. Colin Kaepernick
23. Teddy Bridgewater
24. Jay Cutler
25. Matthew Stafford
26. Blake Bortles
27. Nick Foles
28. Ryan Mallett
29. Luke McCown
30. Jameis Winston

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: MARSHAWN LYNCH LIKELY ANOTHER GAME-TIME CALL

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is set to be a game-time decision for the second week in a row due to the hamstring injury he suffered in last week's game.  Prior to rushing for only 14 yards in that outing, Lynch was very questionable with a calf problem.  Tomas Rawls will start in Lynch's place again if he can't go. 

Analysis:  We don't like what we are seeing out of Lynch so far as his body seems very beat up which could be due to the very heavy usage he has had to deal with over the last five years with the Seahawks.  The problem for al Lynch owners is that the Seahawks play on Monday night which means you better own Rawls in order to protect yourself against him missing the game. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: DEMARCO MURRAY (HAMSTRING) DOES SOME WORK IN PRACTICE WED.

Philadelphia Eagles running back DeMarco Murray took part in some portions of practice on Wednesday as he tries to return to the field for Week 4 after missing last week's game with a bum hamstring. 

Analysis:  This is a tough one as Murray was reportedly all set to go in Week 3 before a late scratch due to the hammy.  Ryan Matthews was terrific in starting in Murray's place last week and he should be added in all formats where available.  Murray needs to get back on the field in order to fight back against his well-deserved bust of the season label. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: VICTOR CRUZ OUT FOR WEEK 4 AFTER SUFFERING CALF SETBACK

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz suffered a setback in practice Wednesday with his calf injury and will not play in Week 4.  Cruz has missed the first three weeks of the season with the calf that he first injured over the summer and that comes on the heels of him being out since Week 6 of last season with a torn up knee. 

Analysis:  Unbelievable.  Cruz just can't get a break and now there is no telling how long he will be out with this.  Week 4 is out and Week 5 should be iffy as well since calf injuries are very tricky.  While we have not reached the point of cutting Cruz outright, we could be getting there soon. 


 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: ANDREW LUCK SUFFERED INJURY IN TENNESSEE GAME THAT THREATENS HIS WEEK 4

A late-breaking report coming out of Indianapolis suggests that Colts QB Andrew Luck suffered an apparent shoulder injury in the Tennessee Titans game that could threaten his availability for Week 4.  Luck did not throw any passes in Wednesday's practice which was telling but the team maintains that he should be able to go.   

Analysis:  Well that is big.  Nothing came out of the Tenn. game regarding any Luck injury so this is shocking to say the least.  An update will have to be given by the team as a result but if he is injured badly enough, it just adds to a very rough start to the season for Luck who was the top pick in many leagues. 

 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL TREND/MIRAGE: DEREK CARR A NEW QB ASSET?

Another week gone by in fantasy football and another week where we dissect player performances in order to determine if they are a Trend or Mirage.  Let's get to this week's subjects.

Derek Carr Has Now Graduated To An Every Week QB Starter:  Not enough was said regarding the very solid rookie debut that Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr had in 2014.  On a truly brutal team, Carr tossed 21 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions on a team that had zero offensive weapons.  Fast forward a year later and the Raiders have given Carr some shiny new toys led by WR's Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree.  Carr has the Raiders at 2-1 and he has thrown five touchdowns and only one interception.  Over the last two weeks Carr has thrown for over 300 yards and looked very comfortable in the pocket.  His rapid release and strong arm make Carr a guy we would use every week in two QB formats and stream in single passer formats if you don't have a top guy.
VERDICT:  TREND

Ryan Matthews Stealing More Carries From DeMarco Murray:  By now it is well known that the ugly stat of the year is the 11 rushing yards total through two games for top free agent prize RB DeMarco Murray for the Philadelphia Eagles.  Echoing what we said we were concerned about in the summer in terms of Murray being a big injury risk off his monster usage in 2014, he missed Week 3 with a hamstring injury that put Matthews in the driver's seat.  Matthews wound up rushing for over 100 yards and caught a touchdown pass as the Eagles picked up their first win of the season.  Quite a contrast between the two for sure.  So now does Matthews eat into the Murray workload when the latter returns.  Ultimately Matthews was too good to keep him on the bench and with the light usage he had in Weeks 1 and 2.  While Murray is the clear starter, Matthews deserves some more looks.  Bad news for Murray. 
VERDICT:  TREND

Antonio Brown Will Not Be A WR 1 With Michael Vick At QB:  Talk about a tale of two halves.  With Ben Roethlisberger at the helm in Week 3, Antonio Brown went wild in catching 11 balls and running all over the field.  After Michael Vick came into the game, Brown did nothing.  So with Big Ben out at least a month with his injured knee, is Brown done as a WR 1 until Roethlisberger gets back?  There is no doubt Brown and Vick were not on the same page once the latter came into the game but the Steelers wideout is impossible to cover and he runs the best routes in the game.  Plus the Steelers are expected to throw hooks and screens to Brown this week which will get his hands on the football often.  While the deep ball may not be there with Roethlisberger out, Brown should still get enough catches to maintain his WR 1 status.  After all if DeAndre Hopkins can be a WR 1 with Ryan Mallett at QB, Brown will be fine.
VERDICT:  MIRAGE

Chris Johnson is Back to Being a Weekly Fantasy Running Back:  One of the more shockingly strong performances in Week 3 was the 110 rushing yards and two touchdowns put up by veteran back Chris Johnson for the Arizona Cardinals.  With Andre Ellington still out and David Johnson not yet ready to take the starting job, Johnson was given the lion's share of work again and responded nicely.  So is Johnson at least a firm RB 2 going forward?  Ellington is expected back in Week 4 which means he will get about half the workload alone and David Johnson is likely going to get more work as the season goes on.  We think Chris Johnson could have his moments but Week will likely just be his season's high point.
VERDICT:  MIRAGE

Marshawn Lynch Is Too Beat Up And Wearing Down To Be A Top Back Anymore:  First it was a calf problem and now a bum hamstring can be added to the Lynch ledger this season.  I between Lynch ran for all of 14 yards in Week 3 as Tomas Rawls ran well in his place.  Pete Carroll has said that Lynch should be fine for Week 4 but he clearly is running poorly and health likely has a lot to do with it.  We don't have to remind you of the fact that no running back has been ridden harder than Lynch over the last five years and at his advancing age, wear and tear are a major issue.  Sort of like we are seeing from LeSean McCoy in Buffalo, there are only so many carries a back can handle before they start to stumble.  We may not be for sure there yet with Lynch but at the very least he could be a dicey start the next few weeks due to his health. 
VERDICT:  TREND

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL MONDAY NIGHT WRAPUP: JAMAAL CHARLES/AARON RODGERS REAFFIRMS DOMINANCE

Monday night brought a close to fantasy football Week 3 as some big-name players did their thing.  With that said, here is what took place from the game between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs. 

Aaron Rodgers:  24/35 for 333 yards and 5 TD's.  Absolute domination from Rodgers who has swatted away the challenge of Andrew Luck prior to the season.  In fact it is a complete non-debate between the two as Rodgers is off to a ridiculous starts.  What is very encouraging is that Rodgers threw 34 passes which helped him have such a monstrous game.  While the Packers don't throw as much as many other teams, Rodgers is number 1, there is a giant space, followed by whoever is number 2 in fantasy football.

Alex Smith:  24/40 for 290 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  Really getting tiring watching Smith dink-and-dunk everything.  This was complete garbage-time numbers out of Smith who did most of his work when the game was a blowout.  Even in two-QB formats, Smith is putting himself out of contention for a spot.

Jamaal Charles:  11 carries for 49 yards with 3 TD to go along with 5 receptions for 33 yards.  Nice to see Charles get all the goal-line work and not Knile Davis.  There is not a more explosive running back in fantasy football and while the carries are beginning to pile up, Charles is showing no signs of a drop-off a la LeSean McCoy.

Eddie Lacy:  10 carries for 46 yards to go with 3 catches for 41 yards.  Not much happening here as the Packers didn't overwork Lacy who is battling ankle issues.  He got off to a slow start a year ago as well before exploding the rest of the way so no worries yet. 

James Jones:  7 catches for 139 yards and 1 TD.  Unbelievable.  Jones was almost out of the league after getting cut by the Raiders and Giants and now this.  That is now four touchdowns in three games for Jones.  Those who snagged Jones after Week 1 have a heck of a value on their hands. 

Randall Cobb:  7 catches for 91 yards and 3 TD.  Cobb was a bit on the quiet side the first two weeks before going to town on the Kansas City defense.  The slot dynamo may not catch the 100 balls we said he could accomplish if all went right, 90-plus seems his destiny.

Jeremy Maclin:  8 catches for 141 yards and 1 TD.  Maclin finally broke the ridiculous non-TD streak among the K.C. wide receivers and like Alex Smith, he got most of his numbers when the game didn't matter.  Still they all count just the same and in PPR formats, Maclin looks like a top WR 2.

Travis Kelce:  6 catches for 80 yards.  Kelce is doing his thing as a top five fantasy football tight end through three weeks of the season which is what we expected him to be.  Nothing to see here except another firm step in his development. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 4 WAIVER ADDS

Waiver day is here as we once again try to stay on top of all the latest injuries muddling up the fantasy football tiers.  Let's see who makes the cut this week. 

Ty Montgomery:  Davante Adams lasted a handful of plays before his ankle acted up again Monday night which means it might be time for him to miss a game.  That means the rookie Montgomery will get to build off a nice fourth quarter in Week 2 and a solid performance against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday.  Any receiver with Aaron Rodgers as their QB is worth a very long look. 

Karlos Williams:  LeSean McCoy will take a seat in Week 4 in order to try and get his problematic hamstring right which means the rookie Williams will get the lion's share of carries.  Williams already has a touchdown in each game for the Bills and he goes up against a poor New York Giants this Sunday. 

Leonard Hankerson:  With Roddy White being pushed almost completely out of the passing picture this season for the Atlanta Falcons, the speedy Hankerson moves up to the number 2 spot alongside Julio Jones. 

Ryan Matthews:  There is guarantee the slow healing DeMarco Murray will be ready to go in Week 4 after he sat out this past Sunday with a hamstring injury.  Matthews was very good in his place, rushing for over 100 yards and collecting a receiving score.  The veteran has had some big moments on the odd times he is healthy over the years and could be in the RB 2 conversation in Week 4 if he starts again. 

Thomas Rawls:  If you didn't know any better, you would have sworn you were watching Marshawn Lynch Sunday afternoon rush for over 100 yards.  No it wasn't Lynch but instead Thomas Rawls who appears set as the backup over Fred Jackson.  Lynch is now dealing with an injured hamstring and calf so Rawls could get his first start if his teammate is slow to respond. 

Eric Ebron:  The Detroit Lions seemed to make a concerted effort to get Eric Ebron more involved in the passing offense this season after his uneventful debut as a rookie in 2014.  With two touchdowns in three games, Ebron is becoming a trusted outlet for Matthew Stafford. 

Alfred Blue:  There are rampant reports that Arian Foster will return to the Houston Texans this week and reclaim his starting running back role but in case he doesn't, Blue is coming off a monster game in Week 3 where he ran wild on the Tampa Bay Rays.  Even as insurance for all Foster owners, Blue should be added. 

Derek Carr:  By now if you haven't added Derek Carr, than you are missing out on an ascending QB who is coming off a quietly very solid rookie campaign in 2014.  Now surrounded by big-time receiving threats led by Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, Carr is looking set for a breakthrough season. 

 

Monday, September 28, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: LeSEAN McCOY TO SIT OUT WEEK 4

Updating an earlier item, Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy is expected to sit out in Week 4 due to the persistent hamstring injury that has shown little improvement since it first started up in the summer.  Karlos Williams will get the start versus the New York Giants. 

Analysis:  This is exactly what we reported earlier in the day so no shock there.  Williams is worth a long look as he goes up against a leaky Giants defense in Week 4.  So far McCoy has been a sizable bust to say the least. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 INJURY REPORT: BIG BEN THE BIGGEST BLOW

Week 3 brought a whole new set of injury concerns that are muddling fantasy football leagues, as we start with the biggest.

-By far the biggest headline injury news of the day was the MCL knee injury suffered by Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday.  In a bit of good news/bad news, no damage was found to Roethlisberger's ACL which would have finished him for the season.  However there is significant bruising in Big Ben's knee and he is expected to miss 4-6 weeks as a result.  This is a titanic blow to Roethlisberger's fantasy football value as he was performing like a top 3-5 QB this season with his vast array of offensive talent.  The fallout now is a big one as the ghastly Michael Vick is now under center which is bad news for Antonio Brown.  Brown did nothing once Roethlisberger went out of the game Sunday and his standing as a WR 1 is called into question.  While I wouldn't rush out to deal Brown, I would listen to offers as it could be Week 12 until we see Roethlisberger again.  You can't wait that long to remedy this. 

-Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is very beat up right now as he came into Week 3 with a calf injury that had him a game-time call.  While Lynch did play, he did nothing in the running game before exiting with a hamstring strain.  No word on the severity of the strain but head coach Pete Carroll said he expects Lynch to play in Week 4.  However Lynch could need a week to rest up as he is clearly operating at less than 100 percent.  We also could be seeing wear and tear developing on Lynch who has been a high usage guy for years and his hard-charging style only lasts so long.  Thomas Rawls ran for over 100 yards in Lynch's place in the win over Chicago and he would be the handcuff.

-Big problems for Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy who is still hobbled from a persistent summer hamstring injury.  With McCoy doing nothing in the running game and backup Karlos Willimas clearly the better player right now, Rex Ryan could sit his veteran in order to get him healthy.  Just a brutal start for a guy who was a first round pick and who we all expected would get fed a ton of carries by Ryan.  McCoy could be fading quickly right before our eyes after Chip Kelly ran him into the ground. 

-A calf injury took out Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins after he managed just one catch in the route of Miami.  Watkins was seen in street clothes during the second half of the game but Ryan didn't give an update afterwards.  Check back later on Monday for more clarity but with the game a blowout, it is likely the Bills were just being cautious. 

-Arian Foster is expected to return in Week 4 from his preseason groin injury.  He joins a Houston team that just saw Alfred Blue run wild over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Still Foster is the clear starter in Houston but his days of 25-plus carries are over.  Blue will get 8-10 carries a week in spelling the veteran which could knock Foster to clear RB 2 status. 

-While New York Jets running back Chris Ivory did suit up in Week 3, he did not play a single snap as Bilal Powell got most of the work in the team's backfield.  Powell did not do much on the ground but he was an asset in the passing game.  Ivory said afterward he was ready to play but head coach Todd Bowles thought otherwise.  Look for Ivory to return to his starter's spot this week and go back to being a solid RB 2.

-Andre Ellington is expected to return to the Arizona Cardinals for Week 4, capping the potential of Chris Johnson moving forward.  Johnson is coming off a big Week 3 outing but Ellington figures to get his share of carries and receptions. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: ALSHON JEFFERY (CALF) TO RETURN FOR WEEK 4

Chicago Bears ace WR 1 Alshon Jeffery is expected to return for Week 4 as he reportedly has felt little pain in his previously injured calf.  No word yet on if Jay Cutler or Jimmy Clausen will be under center however. 

Analysis:  It is nice to hear that Jeffery will return but if Clausen is at QB he will struggle to do much.  Classic case of a receiver who will be hurt by his incompetent quarterback. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: LeSEAN McCOY (HAMSTRING) COULD BE SAT DOWN

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy admitted to running on "one and a half legs" Sunday as he picked up all of 16 yards on the ground in a listless outing against the Miami Dolphins in Week 3.  With Karlos Williams being the much more productive back in that game and prior, head coach Rex Ryan might sit McCoy down in Week 4 in an attempt to get him healthy.

Analysis:  Williams is a guy who will be a popular pickup this week as he run well when given the chance and McCoy has been nothing short of a disaster through three weeks.  I warned you all prior to the season regarding the risks McCoy brings as he looks like he has lost a step and his body could be betraying him. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWES: JEREMY HILL/GIOVANI BERNARD NOW IN 50/50 TIMESHARE

While Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said Jeremy Hill was not going to lose carries to the more explosive Giovani Beranrd after fumbling twice last week, his usage of his two backs in Week 3 said otherwise.  Berard was in on 51 snaps to only 26 for Hill and for the second week in a row was the much more productive back.  A team official suggested early Monday that in fact a timeshare system is in place and that the Bengals want to ride the hot hand of Bernard. 

Analysis:  Those in PPR formats should run out and pick up Bernard if he is available.  Remember that Bernard was a highly sought after commodity prior to last season before the emergence of Hill but the latter has been a disaster thus far.  Bernard could very well be carving out a majority share with the Bengals going forward. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 WRAPUP

LeGarrette Blount:  Veteran power back LeGarrette Blount quieted any Dion Lewis talk Sunday as he rushed for 78 yards on 18 carries and 3 touchdowns in the rout over the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Blount even caught one pass for 14 yards as a bonus.  A long favorite of Bill Belichick, count on Blount getting all the goal-line work going forward, along with the majority of carries.  Downgrade Lewis. 

Tom Brady:  Only two touchdowns from Tom Brady?  What a bum.  So high is the weekly bar for Brady that the 2 touchdowns he tossed Sunday could be seen as disappointing against the awful Jacksonville Jaguars defense.  Brady completed 33-of-42 passes for 358 yards and the 2 scores and he is now up to a 9-0 TD/INT ratio on the season.  No QB has been better. 

Alfred Blue:  Lots of unexpected running back outings this week and that included the 139 yards on 31 carries with 1 touchdown from Alfred Blue of the Houston Texans.  Blue ran all over the terrible Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense but keep in mind that veteran Arian Foster is expected back in Week 4.  However the Texans will surely give Blue some work even when Foster returns as the latter can't handle a full load physically anymore.  Don't go crazy picking up Blue this week. 

Darren Sproles:  With DeMarco Murray a last minute scratch for the Philadelphia Eagles, the team turned primarily to ageless Darren Sproles to carry the running game.  Sproles did not do much though as he rushed for only 17 yards on 11 carries, while catching 4 passes for 19 yards.  It was a nothing performance from Sproles as the Eagles once again could get nothing going on the ground.  Bad news for when Murray gets back. 

Devonta Freeman:  All Devonta Freeman owners are now hoping rookie RB Tevin Coleman takes his time in returning from his broken rib.  Freeman went nuclear Sunday in rushing for 141 yards on 30 carries and scoring 3 touchdowns, also chipping in with 5 catches for another 52 yards.  This was Priest Holmes or Marshall Faulk in his prime numbers as Freeman clearly is making a statement that the starting running back job should be his.  I would be shocked if there was Freeman owner out there who lost in Week 3.  Remember those who purchased our draft guide had Freeman as a big sleeper candidate this season, pointing out that he can both run and catch the football.  Yes sir. 

Adrian Peterson:  Yeah once again we remind you how we said not to panic after Adrian Peterson's Week 1 no-show.  Peterson as a monster for the second week in a row on Sunday as he rushed for 126 yards on 20 carries and 2 touchdowns as he was his power running best.  He did not catch as pass which was a bummer but Peterson is in midseason form already. 

Brandon Marshall:  Any worries we had over Brandon Marshall going to the New York Jets and their shaky stable of quarterbacks has been unfounded as he had another big game Sunday by catching 10 passes for 109 yards and a score.  Marshall and Ryan Fitzpatrick have formed a big bond already this season and Marshall has been right back to his old WR 1 self. 

Bishop Sankey:  Another pathetic game from Tennessee Titans second-year running back Bishop Sankey as he rushed only 5 times for 10 yards while catching two passes for another 31 yards.  Clearly the Titans have no faith in Sankey and we have reached the point now where you can cut him loose in all formats.  No sense waiting on something that might never develop. 

Mike Evans:  After being one of the biggest fantasy football goats of Week 2 with zero catches, Tampa Bay Buc's wideout Mike Evans was back in fine form Sunday in grabbing 7 passes for 101 yards.  Alas Evans has yet to score and he will likely not come close to the 13 TD's he had as a 2014 rookie with Jameis Winston at QB. 

Julio Jones:  There is nothing that is stopping Julio Jones from being the most dominant wideout in the NFL this season, especially now that Antonio Brown no longer has Ben Roethlisberger throwing him passes for at least a month.  Jones was unstoppable again on Sunday as he caught 12 passes for 164 yards and 2 scores.  For the season Jones has 34 catches and 4 touchdowns.  Pure domination no matter how you look at it. 

Matt Ryan:  Another big passing day for the Atlanta Falcons and QB Matt Ryan as he completed 24-of-36 passes for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns to go with 1 2-point conversion.  Ryan continues to be allowed to throw all game long and he torched a Dallas defense that was very stout the first two weeks . Fears of pass-happy offensive coordinator Dirk Kotter's departure have been overblown as Ryan continues to serve as one of the best values in all of fantasy football. 

Joseph Randle:  So this is what those who drafted Joseph Randle as a fifth round sleeper anticipated.  Randle was a major part of the Dallas offense from the get-go Sunday, finishing with 87 yards and 3 touchdowns on 14 carries.  Still despite all the scores, Darren McFadden also picked up a touchdowns, and Lance Dunbar led the way in the receiving game.  Surely a big game from Randle but his situation will be fluid from week-to-week due to the presence of McFadden and Dunbar.  In PPR formats Randle is on the border of RB 2/3 territory but in standard he makes it as a 2.  Still we have to get touchdowns out of Randle for him to earn his keep which puts pressure on him to make the most out of his carries. 

Steve Smith:  Whether you like his personality or not, there is no debating the fact that Baltimore Ravens wideout Steve Smith has had a career worthy of Hall of Fame consideration.  The guy has never shown any signs of slipup whatsoever despite being in his late 30's and he did it again on Sunday by catching 13 passes for a crazy 186 yards and two touchdowns.  With the Ravens having a big shortage of pass receiving options, Smith should remain a major PPR monster on opportunity alone. 

Keenan Allen:  For the second time in three games, Keenan Allen went wild in the receiving game as he caught 12 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns.  This was similar to what Allen did in Week 12 which he followed by somehow catching only two balls last week.  Philip Rivers has rediscovered his 2013 love for Allen but the imminent return of Antonio Gates could put a cap on outings such as this. 

A.J. Green:  Oh my goodness was A.J. Green a monster on Sunday as he caught 10 balls for 227 yards and 3!!!! touchdowns in the Cincinnati Bengals' win over the Baltimore Ravens.  There was nothing the Ravens could do to stop Green and it was a reminder of how great a WR 1 the guy is.  I say reminder because Green had a down 2014 due to injury and the new emphasis on the running game.  No such worries this season. 

Amari Cooper:  The Oakland Raiders look like they have a potent offense to be reckoned with this season and that has a lot to do with the drafting of rookie Alabama wideout Amari Cooper.  For the second week in a row Cooper was tremendous, catching 8 balls for 134 yards in the team's win over the Cleveland Browns.  Cooper caught 7 passes last week and looks ready to be the next WR 1 star in both standard and PPR formats. 

Latavius Murray:  We are seeing the emergence of Latavius Murray as he rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries Sunday, also throwing in one reception for 10 yards.  Murray is the rare workhorse back in today's NFL and he got stronger as the game went on.  With the awful Chicago Bears on tap next week, Murray is slated for another monster game next week.  His immense speed and acceleration make Murray a big play waiting to happen and he also is capable of more in the passing game.  This is one stock on the rise. 

Gary Barnridge:  The fluke performance of the day came from well-traveled Cleveland Browns right end Gary Barnridge who caught 6 balls for 105 yards and a touchdown in the team's loss to the Oakland Raiders.  The Browns were forced to throw on almost every down in the second half which is why Barnridge got so much action.  Don't even bother picking him up as this is just a one-week wonder. 

Andre Johnson:  A truly remarkable star from Sunday was the fact that Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Andre Johnson was held without a single catch in the team's win over the Tennessee Titans.  With the Colts having to throw often in mounting a second half comeback, Johnson failed to catch a single pass from Andrew Luck which is beyond startling.  Clearly age is an issue now as Johnson has lost a ton of speed and he is quickly getting pushed way down the Colts wide receiver depth chart.  Feel free to cut him loose as painful as that is for me to say. 

 Colin Kaepernick:  One of the worst passing games of the season was put forth by San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaeperick Sunday as he threw four interceptions to the Arizona Cardinals defense.  Overall Kaepernick completed 9-of-19 passes for 67 yards and the four picks.  We have said for years even going back to the instant hysteria Kaepenick created a few years ago that he is grossly overrated and now he is one of the worst overall QB's in the game.  Should not be touched in any fantasy football league. 

Chris Johnson:  A turn-back-the-lock game for Chris Johnson Sunday as he rushed for 110 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns, while also catching 1 pass for another 40 yards.  Johnson showed some good toughness on his two scores by scoring from in close which he had struggled with in the past and the big game could keep him useful going into Week 4 despite the return of Andre Ellington. 

Larry Fitzgerald:  With Steve Smith a fellow aging veteran having a big game Sunday, it was only fitting that Larry Fitzgerald continue his renaissance.  Fitzgerald has been one of the biggest stories of the early fantasy football season, looking like a 25-year-old again with monster games the first three weeks.  The latest was Fitzgerald catching 9 passes for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns which followed the 3 scores he had a week ago.  Clearly it looks like Fitzgerald is back to being a WR 1. 

Tyrod Taylor:  The Buffalo Bills might really have something with Tyrod Taylor at QB as he engineered another big game on Sunday in a win over the Miami Dolphins.  Taylor completed 21-of-29 passes for 277 yards and 3 touchdowns as he showed terrific accuracy.  He is entering into the every week usage realm which is shocking just to even type. 

LeSean McCoy:  It is painful watching LeSean McCoy play now for the Buffalo Bills as he has been hobbled all three weeks with a persistent hamstring issue.  McCoy was almost a complete no-show Sunda, rushing for only 16 yards on 11 carries while also luckily catching a touchdown pass on his only catch.  He admitted after the game that he is playing on "one and a half legs" which makes him a weekly risk.  We have said numerous times over the winter and into the season that Chip Kelly might have known what he was doing in dumping McCoy on the Bills.  For one, guys with McCoy's slight frame wear down quicker than bigger backs and the insane workloads he had the last two seasons with the Eagles also ends careers early.  Evidence so far is clear that something is wrong. 

 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: NO DAMAGE TO ACL FOR BEN ROETHLISBERGER

Updating an earlier item, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has no damage to his ACL and instead just suffered an MCL injury to his knee in Sunday's game that will keep him out for a month. 

Analysis:  This counts as a bright side for Big Ben owners as he would have been out for the season if the ACL was torn.  While it stinks to lose him for that long, at least Roethlisberger will be back at some point.  It could be a tough going for Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell during that period.

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: SAMMY WATKINS DONE EARLY WITH CALF INJURY

Buffalo Bills wideout Sammy Watkins did not come back out to the field for the second half of the team's blowout game against the Miami Dolphins due to a calf injury that had him in street clothes.  No word on the severity of the injury but the Bills were up by a wide margin which could have played a role in him not returning to the game. 

Analysis:  No surprise that Watkins left early as the Bills surely were being cautious.  Of course we do have to check back on Monday to see how potentially serious it is. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: MARSHAWN LYNCH DONE EARLY WITH BUM HAMSTRING

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch was forced out of the team's Week 3 game versus the Chicago Bears with a sore hamstring and will not return.  Lynch was limited coming into the game due to a calf injury that had him a game-time call.  The hamstring issue was a new ailment that cropped up during the game and he now be reevaluated again on Monday. 

Analysis:  Lynch was better off sitting out as he did nothing today against an awful Chicago defense.  Only picking up 14 yards on 5 carries, Lynch was the biggest bust of the day.  He is as tough as they come though so counting him out for Week 4 would be foolish.  However we do have to start thinking that all of the pounding Lynch has taken over the years could be starting to affect his health. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: BIG BEN OUT AT LEAST A MONTH WITH POSSIBLE MCL TEAR

Updating an earlier report, indications are that Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger will miss at least a month with a feared torn MCL in his knee.  Roethlisberger was rolled up from behind by offensive lineman Alex Barron in the third quarter and was carted off the field for testing that showed the MCL damage.  Michael Vick is expected to start in his place but the Steelers have reportedly already been in touch with Christian Ponder. 

Analysis:  Well there you go.  Just a gut shot for all Big Ben owners as he was lighting things up all season prior to the injury.  You also have to factor in that Antonio Brown will not see nearly as many catcher as he did with Roethlisberger.  A bad deal all the way around. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: BEN ROETHLISBERGER FORCED OUT WITH KNEE INJURY

In what looked like a very ugly scene, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was forced out of the team's game Sunday in the third quarter with a knee injury.  Roethlisberger was run into by offensive lineman Alex Barron and his knee buckled awkwardly.  He was soon carted off to the locker room for testing. 

Analysis:  My goodness.  This could be absolutely devastating for all Roethlisberger owners as the guy has been as good as anyone in the game to this point and to a lesser extent, Antonio Brown will be hurt as well.  Michael Vick is now in under center and we all know how ugly that can be.  Stay tuned as this could be very bad. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: DEMARCO MURRAY (HAMSTRING) TO GET FULL ALLOTMENT OF CARRIES SUNDAY

Philadelphia Eagles running back DeMarco Murray is expected to get a full allotment of carries Sunday despite being limited during the week due to a strained hamstring. 

Analysis:  Good to hear but against a tough New York Jets defense Murray could have another horror show of a day.  Those in PPR at least have gotten good receiving numbers out of Murray but standard league owners are getting royally hurt this season.  Could be another tough go. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 WIDE RECEIVER RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football wide receiver Week 3 rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Antonio Brown
2.  Julio Jones
3.  Emmanuel Sanders
4.  Randall Cobb
5.  A.J. Green
6.  Demaryuis Thomas
7.  Calvin Johnson
8.  Julian Edelman
9.  DeAndre Hopkins
10. Jordan Matthews
11. T.Y. Hilton
12. Brandon Marshall
13. Jarvis Landry
14. Mike Evans
15. Allen Robinson
16. Amari Cooper
17. Jeremy Maclin
18. Larry Fitzgerald
19. Steve Smith
20. Davante Adams
21. Brandin Cooks
22. John Brown
23. Terrance Williams
24. Donte Moncrief
25. Keenan Allen
26. Sammy Watkins
27. Michael Crabtree
28. Vincent Jackson
29. Doug Baldwin
30. Golden Tate
31. Leonard Hankerson
32. Anquan Boldin
33. Kendall Wright
34. Stevie Johnson
35. James Jones
36. Allen Hurns
37. Andre Johnson
38. Torrey Smith
39. Roddy White
40. Mike Wallace

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: MARSHAWN LYNCH "FULLY" EXPECTED TO PLAY SUNDAY

A source connected close to the Seattle Mariners front office said late Saturday night that running back Marshawn Lynch is "fully" expected to play Sunday versus the Chicago Bears.  Lynch apparently felt good enough during a workout Saturday in terms of his injured calf that the coaching staff feels confident he could put in a good day's work against the woeful Bears. 

Analysis:  I never thought Lynch would sit this one out or any game for that matter since it is not in his Beast Mode nature.  He gets a dream of a matchup against the Bears who are the worst team in the NFL.  Enjoy Lynch owners. 

 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 INJURY REPORT: DREW BREES OUT, DEMARCO MURRAY IN, AND CHAOS REIGNS

Week 3 in fantasy football is getting set to launch with the packed Sunday schedule and of course there are a ton of injuries worth discussing.  Let's get right to it.

-The biggest news item of the week of course is the fact that New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees is sitting out with an injured shoulder. While the rotator cuff was not torn in the hit that caused he discomfort in Week 2, Brees had trouble generating velocity on his throws when he tried to practice on Thursday.  That led to the rare occurrence of Brees sitting out, the first such time during his illustrious tenure in New Orleans.  Luke McCown will get the start but he is more known for his commercials this season which are a hit and not for anything he has ever done on the football field.  The Carolina Panthers defense needs to go right at or neat the top for Week 3 as they should feast on McCown and the suddenly shaky Saints offense.  Meanwhile as far as Brees is concerned, we warned you about the decline he has been on, throwing for fewer touchdowns each of the last four seasons.  Now without Jimmy Graham and losing his ability physically, this could be quite ugly for Brees.

-After an early week hamstring scare, it appears as though DeMarco Murray will start at running back for the Philadelphia Eagles.  By now it is well known that Murray has only 11 rushing yards combined through the first two games which is beyond hideout.  That is more an indication of how bad the blocking has been for Murray who is habitually engulfed by defenders as soon as he touches the football.  Murray has caught 9 passes and scored twice which is very good from a PPR angle but the running numbers are terrible to say the least.  Things don't get any easier this week as the rough New York Jets defense will be standing in Murray's way toward progress.  I am not high on Murray for Week 3, especially with a balky hamstring.  The physical issues are nothing new for Murray who was about as injury prone as a runner could get going into 2014.  He managed to play all 16 games for the first time in his career though but that only made him a bigger risk for 2015, especially considering all the pounding he took with the 400-plus touches last season.  This is another thing we warned you all about during the offseason so shame on your if you paid the sticker price.  Murray's value was so scary that in our Experts League, he went early in Round 3. 

-Big day for Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch on Saturday as he will attempt to test out his injured calf that has him potentially as a game-time call.  This was a late week development that suddenly has Lynch's owners scrambling and for good reason.  The matchup is as good as it gets this week as the awful Chicago Bears defense comes to town but Lynch apparently was hurting quite a bit Friday.  Lynch is as tough as nails though and I can see him trying to gut this out.  If he can't wind up going, veteran PPR friend Fred Jackson will step in and immediately be a big-time play.  Watch this closely and at the very least all Lynch owners need to have Jackson on their roster.

-New York Jets running back Chris Ivory is another game-time call but he looks like an even worse bet to play than Lynch due to a groin problem.  Even head coach Todd Bowles suggested as much, which means Bilal Powell becomes quite interesting.  Powell has shown flashes of ability in the past both in the running and receiving game and he would make a good RB 2 play against the awful Eagles defense.  Count on Ivory sitting out as he did next-to-nothing on the field and he tends to be a slow healer.

-Andre Ellington is doubtful for the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3 which is no shock as the PCL sprain in his knee was a 2-4 week deal.  Chris Johnson will start in his place but rookie David Johnson is getting more play as the weeks goes on.  David Johnson has decent PPR potential which makes him the own to own but an Ellington return in Week 4 muddles this messy situation. 

-The Dallas Cowboys are now pointing toward Week 7 as a possible return for Dez Bryant and his broken foot.  Take that with a grain of salt as we have heard a million different return dates for Bryant but either way he is not a factor for awhile. 

-Houston Texans RB Arian Foster is out again for Week 3 but he is being geared toward a return in Week 4 from his groin injury. 

-Same deal with New York Giants WR Victor Cruz who seems all set to go in Week 4 in his return from a calf injury.  That means Reuben Randle, who had a big Week 3, is downgraded some. 

-Todd Gurley and Tre Mason split first-team reps in practice on Friday as both will share the carries in Week 3.  Gurley is set to debut and he gets a great initial matchup against the poor Pittsburgh Steelers defense.  While Mason has proved capable of being more than a backup, this is going to be Gurley's team in short order and his explosive ability reminds me of Jamaal Charles. 

-Houston Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins looks like he can start Week 3 as he went through the concussion protocol successfully.  His big-play ability is a must-start in fantasy football despite a terrible QB situation this season. 



 

FANTASY BASEBALL STAT OF THE DAY: SCOTT KAZMIR WITH THE LATE FADE YET AGAIN

The ERA of Houston Astros SP Scott Kazmir in September this season?  6.20!  Once again and forever Kazmir turns into a pumpkin when the games matter the most.  Pitching with a slight frame makes Kazmir the classic wear down starting pitcher which was something I warned you all about all season long.  The fact he missed some time with injury earlier in the year just delayed the fade from August to September. 

 

Friday, September 25, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 TIGHT END RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 3 tight end rankings based on opposing matchups. 

1.  Rob Gronkowski
2.  Greg Olsen
3.  Travis Kelce
4.  Tyler Eifert
5.  Jimmy Graham
6.  Jason Witten
7.  Jordan Reed
8.  Martellus Bennett
9.  Delanie Walker
10. Kyle Rudolph
11. Ladarius Green
12. Jared Cook
13. Heath Miller
14. Jordan Cameron
15. Crockett Gilmore
16. Vernon Davis
17. Zach Ertz
18. Charles Clay
19. Larry Donnell
20. Eric Ebron
21. Owen Daniels
22. Dwane Allen
23. Richard Rodgers
24. Scott Chandler
25. Ben Watson
26. Gavin Escobar

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 RUNNING BACK RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 3 running back rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Adrian Peterson
2.  Marshawn Lynch
3.  Jamaal Charles
4.  Le'Veon Bell
5.  Latavius Murray
6.  LeSean McCoy
7.  Jeremy Hill
8.  Jonathan Stewart
9.  Justin Forsett
10. Matt Forte
11. Chris Ivory
12. C.J. Anderson
13. Mark Ingram
14. James Starks/Eddie Lacy
15. Lamar Miller
16. Carlos Hyde
17. Melvin Gordon
18. Frank Gore
19. DeMarco Murray
20. Dion Lewis
21. Danny Woodhead
22. Doug Martin
23. T.J. Yeldon
24. Shane Vereen
25. Alfred Morris
26. Joseph Randle
27. Matt Jones
28. Bishop Sankey
29. Ameer Abdullah
30. Giovani Bernard
31. Isaiah Crowell
32. David Johnson
33. Devonta Freeman
34. Chris Johnson
35. LeGarrette Blount
36. Tre Mason
37. Rashad Jennings
38. C.J. Spiller
39. Todd Gurley
40. Darren Sproles
41. Duke Johnson
42. Ryan Matthews
43. Karlos Williams
44. Ronnie Hillman
45. Lance Dunbar

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL WRAPUP

The Giants and Redskins kicked off fantasy football Week 3 so let's get right to the latest coming out of that game.

Eli Manning:  23/32 for 279 yards with 2 TD.  For all the criticism that Manning has gotten through the first two weeks (and deservedly so) due to his gross clock mismanagement, the fact of the matter is that Manning has not thrown one interception in three games and has scored very well the last two games.  With Victor Cruz getting set to return to join Odell Beckham Jr. and the suddenly unleashed Reuben Randle, Manning should continue quietly being a mid-tier QB 1.

Kirk Cousins:  30/49 for 316 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT.  Cousins was solid in completing over 70 percent of his passes coming into the game but struggled throughout this one.  Running a bit too hot and cold for me, Cousins is really best left as an option in two-QB formats. 

Matt Jones:  11 carries for 38 yards and 1 fumble.  I wouldn't call Jones a one-week wonder as he lost a fumble at the goal line and if he scores there it is a slightly different narrative.  What is key here is that Jones got five more carries than the fading Alfred Morris (6 carries for 19 yards).  Those who snagged Jones on waivers this past week did well there as I think he will be more of an asset than a liability the rest of the way despite his awful team.

Shane Vereen:  6 carries for 23 yards and 0 receptions.  Not even one catch for Vereen which was a downright shocker and a big blow for his fantasy football owners.  The unexpected is part of the deal in fantasy football and boy was that part of the deal with Vereen in this one.  He will get his fair share of passes from Manning but the game-plan was to go down the field which left him on the outside looking in.

Jordan Reed:  6 catches for 96 yards.  Reed is right at the top of the tight end receiving numbers which is not a shock since the guy is a terrific athlete who has great hands.  Health is the bottom line here as when Reed has it, he performs like this. 

Pierre Garcon:  5 catches for 64 yards.  Garcon will never go near his 113-catch 2012 campaign as that died with Robert Griffin as a franchise QB for the Redskins.  Ideally you want Garcon just as your bench wideout but he has done enough in the past to make hay as a WR 3.

Jamison Crowder:  6 catches for 45 yards.  Big speed here as the rookie seems like he is ready for a bigger role in the passing offense.  Needs to do it more before we invest here.

Reuben Randle:  7 catches for 116 yards and 1 TD.  Finally Randle decided to show up this season and with great results.  The guy is very capable of doing this on a more consistent basis but the return of Victor Cruz in Week 4 will cap the potential a bit. 

Odell Beckham Jr.:  7 catches for 79 yards and 1 TD.  A bit of a slow start for Beckham but his explosiveness can only be held down for so long.  Again getting back to Cruz, that will only help Beckham in terms of opening up some more of the field to operate. 

Larry Donnell:  3 catches for 32 yards.  Donnell has not done much of anything thus far and by now you can drop him if there are better options available.  Did some nice things a year ago but he seems to be fighting the football more this season.

 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING CLOSER NEWS: GREG HOLLAND TO UNDERGO TOMMY JOHN SURGERY

Kansas City Royals closer Greg Holland will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery that will keep him out for most of the 2016 season as well after it was discovered he had a major tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.  Wade Davis is currently closing in Holland's absence and he is the favorite to open 2016 in that spot for the team.

Analysis:  Wow.  So that explain a ton here in terms of Holland not looking right for most of the season.  Unsure why it took so long to discover this when it was obvious something was amiss.  Be that as it may, scratch Holland off your early 2016 lists and elevate Davis to top five closer status.  He really is that good. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: INCREASED CONCERN CHRIS IVORY (GROIN) WILL SIT SUNDAY

There is increasing concern in the New York Jets headquarters about whether or not RB Chris Ivory will start in Week 3.  Ivory is dealing with a groin injury that was still a big issue as of Thursday and head coach Todd Bowles hinted he could go down as a game-time decision.  Bilal Powell would likely replace Ivory as the starting running back if he can't go. 

Analysis:  This is the knock on Ivory as he just can't ever stay healthy.  He has proven to be a heck of a standard league talent but his battering-ram approach leads to more than a few injuries.  All Ivory owners need to back themselves up with Powell and fast. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: DREW BREES (SHOUDLER) EXPECTED TO START WEEK 3

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees is expected to start in Week 3 despite still dealing with discomfort in his throwing shoulder.  Brees has maintained all along that he would play and he is expected to try and practice on Friday. 

Analysis:  Brees is ultra tough and extremely durable so no surprise there.  However he looked very labored last week after the hit that injured the shoulder, struggling to throw deep and gain velocity on his passes.  That makes him an iffy start even if he does go.  All in all we are looking at the decline of Brees right before our eyes. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS : DEANDRE HOPKINS LIKELY TO PLAY WEEK 3 DESPITE CONCUSSION

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is expected to suit up in Week 3 due the concussion he suffered in last week's game.  Head coach Bill O'Brien painted an optimistic picture of Hopking during his meeting with reporters on Thursday and said he expects his star wideout to be out there.

Analysis:  Great news for Hopkins owners as the young receiver is truly blossoming into a star.  Hopkins has incredible athleticism and ability to become a perennial WR 1 in fantasy football and all he has to do is stay healthy.  Have Cecil Shorts ready however just in case. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 QB RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 3 QB rankings based on opposing matchups. 

1.  Aaron Rodgers
2.  Andrew Luck
3.  Tom Brady
4.  Carson Palmer
5.  Matt Ryan
6.  Russell Wilson
7.  Peyton Manning
8.  Ben Roethlisberger
9.  Philip Rivers
10. Eli Manning
11. Cam Newton
12. Ryan Tanenhill
13. Drew Brees
14. Andy Dalton
15. Sam Bradford
16. Teddy Bridgewater
17. Tyrod Taylor
18. Marcus Mariota
19. Kirk Cousins
20. Alex Smith
21. Nick Foles
22. Ryan Fitzpatrick
23. Matthew Stafford
24. Joe Flacco
25. Colin Kaepernick
26. Jameis Winston
27. Blake Bortles
28. Derek Carr
29. Branden Weeden
30. Josh McCown
31. Ryan Mallett
32. Jimmy Clausen







 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL RUNNING BACK HOT ZONE: RYAN MATTHEWS READY TO STEP INTO DeMARCO MURRAY VOID

Week 3 in fantast football is already close to starting with Thursday night's game and that means now is the perfect time to take a look at all of the latest happenings in the world of the running back.

LEVEL 4

DeMarco Murray-Ryan Matthews-Darren Sproles:  Wednesday saw Murray exit practice early with a hamstring injury that was concerning enough to need an MRI.  As of this writing there has not been any update but Matthews would step in if Murray can't go.  By now we all know how bad the Eagles offense has been, with the offensive line downright comical with their lack of blocking.  As a result Murray has all of 11 carries in two games as he holds the title of the biggest bust of the season thus far.  Things are not going to get any easier for either Murray or Matthews this week against a very stout New York Jets defense that just got done handing it to Andrew Luck Monday night.  Both Murray and Matthews are low-end running back 2's at best.

Le'Veon Bell-DeAngelo Williams:  The most skilled player in fantasy football returns to the field this week as Le'Veon Bell is back from his two-game suspension.  He steps right into a matchup against a St. Louis Rams defense that was ripped apart by rookie Matt Jones last week.  Bell is a dynamic PPR weapon and in standard he excels as well with his top-notch running/receiving skills.  As far as Williams is concerned, he can be cut loose as he figures on not getting more than a few carries. 

James Starks-Eddie Lacy:  Lacy came out of his Sunday night contest against the Seattle Seahawks with an injured ankle but no breaks were found and there is word he could give it a go.  The veteran Starks is waiting in the wings though to get the start and he would be a useful RB 2 due to his ability to both run and catch the football. 

Tevin Coleman-Devonta Freeman:  The running back arrangement where Coleman would run it and Freeman would catch it lasted only one-plus game as the former went out with a busted rib.  That means Freeman will get to do both duties and he has some intriguing ability worth checking out this week. 

LEVEL 3

Alfred Morris-Matt Jones:  Jones in Week 2 picked up where he left off during the summer as he was lighting things up with his running and receiving.  He went nuclear with 2 touchdowns and over 120 yards rushing last week, while Alfred Morris seemed to take a backseat.  The Redskins plan to run it all game long which means both Jones and Morris will continue getting a ton of work.  Obviously Jones has the higher upside and he works very well in PPR formats. 

LEVEL 2

Justin Forsett-Lorenzo Taliaferro:  Not good news for all Forsett owners as the current plan has the Baltimore Ravens using the hulking Taliaferro as the goal-line back.  Forsett will still make hay in PPR formats due to his receiving but his hit in standard league is substantial. 

Chris Johnson-David Johnson-Andre Ellington:  With Ellington out a few more weeks with a bum knee, CJ2K and David Johnson will likely split work.  David Johnson has the higher upside and head coach Bruce Arians said he will be used more and more.  It looks like a deal where David Johnson will eventually be the most valuable back in the offense, capable of getting goal-line work and also catching throws out of the backfield. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: MRI ON TAP FOR DEMARCO MURRAY'S HAMSTRING

Updating an earlier item, Philadelphia Eagles running back DeMarco Murray will head for an MRI on his newly injured hamstring.  No word has been released by the team about the potential severity. 

Analysis:  Oh no.  It didn't take long for the oft-injured Murray to get hurt again.  This is definitely a threat to his Week 3 availability so Ryan Matthews should be kept on close watch. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: DeMARCO MURRAY INJURED HAMSTRING IN WED. PRACTICE

A truly brutal start to his season has only gotten worse for Philadelphia Eagles running back DeMarco Murray after he was forced to leave practice early on Wednesday with an apparent injured hamstring.  No update has been given yet on how severe the injury is but Ryan Matthews would start in Murray's place if he can't go against the New York Jets. 

Analysis:  Here we go.  We told you prior to the season to avoid Murray like the plague as any running back who has had 300-plus carries one year has been terrible the next.  That includes drastically reduced numbers and the increased risk of injury which we have already seen both sides of with Murray in 2015.  No one has been a bigger bust than Murray this season and it really has not been his fault as the Philly scheme and offensive line is pathetic.  All Murray owners need to go out and grab Ryan Matthews as insurance but the matchup versus the Jets is tough. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: JASON WITTEN (ANKLES, KNEE) EXPECTED TO PLAY IN WEEK 3

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is expected to play in Week 3 despite suffering two sprained ankles and developing a sore knee in last Sunday's win over the Eagles.  Witten did take part in practice on Wednesday which in and of itself was a very positive sign for his availability. 

Analysis:  Don't forget that this is the same guy who has not missed a game since he was a rookie and who played days after rupturing a spleen.  The bigger story is how Witten is already the leading receiver among tight ends as the Cowboys have thrown the football much more often than last year when they relied on the running of DeMarco Murray.  He figures to still be a high-volume target with Brandon Weeden under center. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: LAMAR MILLER (ANKLE) SITS OUT WED. PRACTICE

Miami Dolphins running back Lamar Miller sat our practice on Wednesday due to the sprained ankle he suffered in last Sunday's game.  Miller has said he will be fine and ready to go for Week 3 but head coach Joe Philbin was a bit more cautious when meeting the media. 

Analysis:  It seemed like it was just a minor deal in terms of Miller's ankle injury severity so if I were a betting man I would say he would go Sunday.  However Miller will likely be less than 100 percent and truth be told he has not played well in either of the first two games. 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING CLOSER NEWS: DARREN O'DAY TO CONTINUE CLOSING WITH ZACH BRITTON DEALING WITH LAT STRAIN

With Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton dealing with a strain in his lat muscle, Darren O'Day successfully closed out the team's victory Tuesday night.  O'Day will continue closing for as long as Britton is out, with manager Buck Showalter labeling him day-to-day as of his Wednesday meeting with the assembled media. 

Analysis:  Pick up O'Day right away as he has dominant stuff and could grab a few saves that could make the difference in your league down the stretch.  We think O'Day could be a big closer somewhere else if given the chance but the Orioles will likely wed themselves to the terrific Britton.  The Orioles have no reason to push Britton since they are out of it which means O'Day could even finish the season as the stopper. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: TUESDAY

Mitch Moreland:  3/4 with his 23rd HR while hitting .285.  Moreland is one of those classic cases of a guy who is having a big year but who no one will still want in 2016.  Call it the Jermaine Dye Syndrome. 

Cory Spangenberg:  2/3 with his 4th HR while hitting .269.  Spangenberg has 4 homers and 9 steals in 268 at-bats which comes out to around 9/19 at second base with a full allotment of at-bats.  Not bad and worth monitoring. 

Chris Heston:  4.1 IP 2 H 0 ER 5 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.51.  This is a young pitcher.  This is a young pitcher who is dead ass tired.  Any questions? 

Tyson Ross:  6 IP 4 H 2 ER 2 BB 11 K with an ERA of 3.17.  It took five and a half months but the 2014 Tyson Ross finally showed himself. 

A.J. Pollock:  2/4 with his 18th HR while hitting .321.  I have run out of drool and superlatives for Pollock who was my slam dunk sleeper pick of the season.  Who else championed him as much as I?  No one.  Your welcome.

Paul Goldschmidt:  2/4 with his 30th HR while hitting .318.  Now up to 102 RBI.  He is very good.

Robbie Ray:  6 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.53.  Ray has put himself on the fantasy baseball map this season but ideally you really want to avoid guys who have a mediocre K rate and pitch in a home run ballpark. 

Kris Bryant:  2/4 with his 26th HR while hitting .278.  Just a few months ago Bryant was hitting .245 and striking out a ton.  That was the extent of his major league struggles.  First round 2016 here we go. 

Jake Arrieta:  9 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 11 K with an ERA of 1.88.  The icing on the cake of what has been a ridiculous season for the NL Cy Young favorite.  Coming into the season Arrieta was on the doorstep of being a fantasy baseball ace but now he is on the doorstep of being a top 5-7 starter period. 

Ervin Santana:  7 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 4.31.  He is still garbage. 

Kyle Seager:  1/3 with his 25th HR while hitting .276.  Said prior to the season that one of the safest predictions in fantasy baseball was Kyle Seager hitting 25 home runs.  Everything else now is just a nice bonus. 

Robinson Cano:  2/4 with 2 home runs (19 for season) while hitting .283.  Could have simply been the stomach issue all along that made Cano so awful the first half of the season?  Since the All-Star Break Cano is up to 13 home runs with a .329 average.  In other words vintage Robinson Cano.  Still you should be able to get him in Round 2 next season. 

Jesus Montero:  2/5 with his 5th HR while hitting .228.  Barely hanging on as a major league hitter.  Less than that in fantasy baseball. 

Hisashi Iwakuma:  7 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 10 K with an ERA of 3.67.  The WHIP is now down to 1.05 as Iwaukuma continues to pitch like an ace since the Break. 

Jay Bruce:  1/4 with his 25th HR while hitting .231.  The most boring 25 home runs in the game. 

Wilin Rosario:  2/3 with his 6th HR while hitting .267.  The rare case of wanting a hitter to get out of Coors Field just so he can start playing every day. 

Mike Trout:  1/3 with his 40th HR while hitting .293.  Hey we will gladly give up some steals for this kind of monstrous power.  Check another achievement off the list and Trout is not even in his prime. 

Albert Pujols:  2/4 with his 36th HR while hitting .238.  Very impressive power from Pujols this season as he holds onto to a decent chunk of his previous value.  Just don't look at that nasty average. 

Chris Carter:  1/3 with his 20th HR while hitting .187.  Adam Dunn is smiling somewhere. 

Hector Santiago:  5 IP 4 H 2 ER 5 BB 4 K with an ERA of 3.47.  Wow has Santiago been about as bad as a pitcher can be since July.  His recent past in the bullpen has not allowed Santiago to yet have the stamina to pitch a full major league season and it is showing. 

Lance McCullers:  7 IP 4 H 3 ER 0 BB 9 K with an ERA of 3.22.  Tremendous rookie season from McCullers who seems poised to be yet another 180-200 K power pitcher to join the ranks. 

Daniel Norris:  5 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K with an ERA of 3.88.  Now that Norris in a pitcher's park from the homer haven in Toronto, we are including him on the 2016 sleeper grouping. 

Cody Asche:  3/4 with 2 home runs (11 for season) while hitting .249.  Every hitter has their day in the sun.

Matt Moore:  6.2 IP 7 H 2 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 6.48.  Always liked the strikeout ability of Moore but his injuries and horrific control is just not something you want to take bother with. 

 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING CLOSER NEWS: WADE DAVIS GIVEN CLOSER ROLE FOR ROYALS

Wade Davis has been named the new closer for the Kansas City Royals, a move made easier with the current elbow trouble and poor season from incumbent Greg Holland. 

Analysis:  Davis is long overdue to be a closer somewhere and if he excels as expected throughout the postseason, he could have the job all his own in 2016.  Holland meanwhile has been very mediocre in 2015 after a Craig Kimbrel-like dominant campaign in 2014.  Throw in the elbow trouble and Holland is a shell of his former monster closer self. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY FALLOUT: AUSTIN SEFERIAN-JENKINS STORY INTERRUPTED FOR 6 WEEKS

All offseason we spoke about the intriguing sleeper potential of second-year Tampa Bay Buc's tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkings.  Immense in size and possessing good speed, Seferian-Jenkins was in a tremendous spot being a tight end on a team breaking in a rookie QB in Jameis Winston.  Often rookie QB's throw to their tight ends as a safety value measure and Seferian-Jenkings was that guy in Week 1 when he snagged two touchdown passes from Winston.  After a shaky Week 2, it was revealed on Tuesday that Seferian-Jenkins will be out the next 4-6 weeks due to a strained shoulder suffered in that game.  Brandon Myers will replace Seferian-Jenkins in the lineup but those who took advantage of the sleeper potential of the Buc's tight end are left in the lurch.  Since Seferian-Jenkings was not a household name, the best bet is to cut him loose and pick up someone from the wire.  Some names who could help and be on your league's wire include Kyle Rudolph, Eric Ebron, and Crockett Gilmore. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: DREW BREES 50/50 TO PLAY IN WEEK 3

Updating an earlier item, New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees is about "50/50" to play in Week 3 according to a team source but he got some positive news Tuesday when Dr. James Andrew reaffirmed the diagnosis of no rotator cuff tear.  Brees was instructed to rehab the shoulder and it would all depend on his pain threshold whether he will be put there in Week 3.

Analysis:  Keep in mind that right before Brees signed with the Saints years ago, he suffered a devastating shoulder injury that could have ended his career.  Thus there could be some residual issues going back to that injury at work here which is making Brees uncomfortable.  Right now I would lean on saying Brees will play given how durable he has been since signing with New Orleans but his status is right near the top as far as importance this week. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: JASON WITTEN COULD SIT WEEK 3 DUE TO ANKLE

The Dallas Cowboys have yet another injury on offense to worry about, this time with tight end Jason Witten who is iffy to play in Week 3 with two sprained ankles and a sore knee.  Witten said he was in quite a bit of pain during his meeting with reporters on Tuesday and Gavin Escobar would be next man up if he were to miss the game.

Analysis:  Witten has been tremendous the first two weeks with a high volume of receptions that turned back the clock to his dominant PPR days.  His loss would be big but with Brandon Weeden at QB his numbers would still take a hit.  Stay tuned. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL TREND/MIRAGE: DREW BREES/ANDREW LUCK/AND MORE

Our new weekly feature "Fantasy Football Trend/Mirage" was an instant hit and we are back for our second installment where we take a look at unexpected positives and negatives in terms of performance from key players.  Last week said more trouble lay ahead for DeMarco Murray and that is exactly what happened in Week 2.  Let's see who is on the docket this week.

Andrew Luck:  My goodness has Luck and the Indianapolis Colts been bad.  After a listless opener versus the Buffalo Bills, Luck was truly horrendous Monday night against the New York Jets as he tossed three interceptions and lost a fumble.  Now through two weeks, Luck has three TD's and 5 INT's and 1 lost fumble.  Needless to say there is major trouble for Luck and Colts right now.  Not what was expected from a guy who was the number 1 pick in many formats.  There is a bright side on the horizon though and that comes in the form of the Tennessee Titans.  The Titans just got done getting torched by Johnny Manziel of all people in Week 2 and Luck should be able to dissect their defense this week as well.  Luck is way too talented and has too many offensive weapons to continue struggling like this.  Now would be a good time to try a BUY LOW here as the upside is still tremendous.
ANDREW LUCK AS BUST VERDICT:  MIRAGE

Carson Palmer:  Tom Brady is tied for the NFL lead in touchdown passes with 7.  Tied with him?  Try Arizona's Carson Palmer who has come back from his torn ACL to post tremendous numbers through the first two weeks of the season.  Palmer dissected the Chicago Bears in Week 2, throwing four touchdowns.  With Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald, and John Brown as good a receiving trio in the game, Palmer will continue to pile up the numbers.  Keep in mind that before the torn ACL last season, Palmer had 11 TD and 3 INT in only 6 games so this is a clear trend.
CARSON PALMER AS TOP TEN FANTASY QB VERDICT:  TREND

Julio Jones:  We said over the summer that Jones would lead the NFL in catches if he stayed healthy and through two games we are right on target with 22 catches for 276 yards and 2 scores.  The Falcons are not only throwing to Jones downfield, they also are getting the ball to him on swing passes which add to his totals.  120 catches very possible.
JULIO JONES LEADING NFL IN RECEPTIONS VERDICT:  TREND

Justin Forsett:  Forsett was a very popular PPR pick this season due to the fact running back-reception heavy Marc Trestman was now the new offensive coordinator.  Forsett himself was coming off a big 2014 where he emerged as a top back who can both run and catch the football.  Only two weeks into the season however, there is major trouble in the form of Lorenzo Taliaferro.  Taliaferro was used around the goal-line last week in his first game action of the season and that apparently will be the trend going forward.  That means Forsett loses a ton of value in standard formats and a sizable amount in PPR as well.  While we did worry about investing in Forsett coming off 2014, that was only for buying into a career year and not for what is now transpiring. 
JUSTIN FORSETT AS A TOP RB 2 VERDICT:  TREND

Mike Evans:  After missing Week 1 with a hamstring injury, Mike Evans came back in Week to begin building chemistry with rookie QB Jameis Winston.  Well one game later and Evans still has a bagel in the receiving column as he was shut out by the New Orleans Saints of all teams.  With Winston looking to throw short to his backs and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Evans and to a lesser extent Vincent Jackson will have a tough time accumulating yardage and touchdowns.  After catching 13 touchdown passes last season, Evans may not even reach double-digits.
MIKE EVANS AS A WR 1/2 VERDICT:  MIRAGE

Jimmy Graham:  When Jimmy Graham was traded from the New Orleans Saints to the Seattle Seahawks, it was easy to see that the star tight end was going to be faced with a drastic reduction in catches and yardage.  In Week 1 though Graham bucked that thinking by catching 6 balls from Russell Wilson.  Unfortunately that line of production did not carry over as Graham caught only one pass against the Green Bay Packers Sunday night.  While I still think Graham will be a top five tight end in fantasy football, his numbers from week-to-week will be quite unstable.  But you knew that going in.  I hope.
JIMMY GRAHAM INCONSISTENT TIGHT END VERDICT:  TREND

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: DREW BREES HEADED FOR SECOND OPINION ON SHOULDER

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees was headed to see Dr. James Andrews in order to get a second opinion on his injured shoulder.  Brees hurt his throwing shoulder in Sunday's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but initial reports of a torn rotator cuff were unfounded.

Analysis:  Brees labored badly the second half of the Buc's game, showing little zip or accuracy in his throws as the shoulder no doubt was an issue.  If the second opinion confirms the first, Brees could still play in Week 3.  If not than all bets are off.  Either way the Saints passing attack looks like it is in its worst form in the Sean Payton-Brees era. 

 

Monday, September 21, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 WAIVER ADDS

It is already time for waiver day when it comes to looking ahead to fantasy baseball Week 3.  With that said, here are the prime adds to keep you on top of the competition.

Matt Jones:  All summer we kept hearing reports out of Washington taking up the explosive play-making ability of rookie running back Matt Jones for the Redskins.  While veteran workhorse Alfred Morris remained, Jones had the type of game-breaking ability both in the running and receiving game that would make him impossible to play.  Well it took only two weeks as Jones ran wild against a tough St. Louis Rams defense last Sunday, rushing for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns on 19 carries while also catching 3 passes for another 23 yards.  Morris is still in the picture but Jones is basically taking over right before our eyes.  Among the best Week 3 waiver investments in terms of potential high-end impact the rest of the season.

Ty Montgomery:  Another rookie here as Montgomery is the next man up in the depleted Green Bay receiving corps.  With Jordy Nelson out for the season and Davante Adams limping, Montgomery came off the bench to catch four passes for 37 yards against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday.  Anyone who catches passes from Aaron Rodgers has potentially tremendous value and Montgomery fits that mold right now.

James Jones:  The two touchdowns Jones caught in Week 1 in coming off the street to re-sign with his old friends in Green Bay were no one-game fluke as he caught another one last Sunday.  All Jones does with the Packers is catch touchdowns and that should remain true with Nelson out and Adams hurting. 

Lorenzo Taliaferro:  We have a new goal-line back to take a look at and this time it is the hulking Lorenzo Taliaferro who stole a touchdown from starter Justin Forsett last weekend.  While Taliaferro should be ignored in PPR formats, feel free to add him in standard setups.

James Starks:  With Eddie Lacy hobbled by an ankle sprain, veteran backup James Starks is ready again to step in.  Starks is old hat at this with the Packers, seemingly with the team forever in that capacity.  If Lacy misses Week 3, Starks can help both in the running and receiving game. 

Travis Benjamin:  Four touchdowns in two games should get anyone's attention, even if that player is on the awful Cleveland Browns.  Benjamin seems to have a nice rapport with QB Johnny Manziel and the latter should still be under center this week off the team's win Sunday. 

Devonta Freeman:  With Tevin Coleman out this week with a busted rib, second-year back Freeman will move into the Atlanta starting lineup.  Freeman has shown that he can both catch and run the football and the opportunity for a nice amount of work in Week 3 is likely. 

Mark Sanchez:  While Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said he is sticking with Sam Bradford this week, another brutal outing like he engineered in Week 2 will get him fast-tracked to the bench for the veteran Sanchez.  Sanchez did a nice job filling in for Nick Foles last week and that alone makes him a good hedge add in two-passer leagues going forward into the season. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: RAMS RB TODD GURLEY (KNEE) TO BE GAME-TIME DECISION IN WEEK 3

St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley will be a game-time decision for Week 3 according to multiple reports.  Gurley is making his way back from a torn ACL suffered at the end of his final collegiate season in 2014. 

Analysis:  Here we go.  Get ready for some fun as Gurley is about as explosive a runner as one can get.  Of course he will be handled with kid gloves early on but by November he could be the new Jamaal Charles. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: JAY CUTLER OUT 2 WEEKS WITH STRAINED HAMSTRING

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will miss the next two weeks with a strained hamstring according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.  Cutler first hurt the hamstring during the team's loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday and was replaced by Casey Clausen who will start in Week 3. 

Analysis:  This is really only a story in two-QB formats but Cutler once again is annoying his fantasy football to no end with either injury or poor performance.  At this point, the Bears are so bad that Cutler should be cut in all formats. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: T.Y. HILTON (KNEE) TO PLAY MONDAY NIGHT

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton will play Monday night despite still dealing with some pain in his knee. 

Analysis:  This is what we have been hearing since Wednesday so it is no surprise.  It is not an ideal matchup though for Hilton who will see a ton of Darrelle Revis as the number 1 receiver for the Colts.  Ultimately I would sit a hobbled Hilton this week and go back to there for Week 3. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: TEVIN COLEMAN (RIBS) ALREADY BEING RULED OUT FOR WEEK 3

An official connected to the Atlanta Falcons front office has said that the team already is ruling out rookie running back Tevin Coleman for Week 3 after he suffered a broken rib during last Sunday's game.  Devonta Freeman will start in Coleman's place and the official also said the rookie could miss additional games depending on how much pain he is in.

Analysis:  The Falcons have the luxury of Freeman who is a solid runner and an excellent receiver.  Coleman was quite impressive in Week 1 before suffering the break though which means in standard formats he should be held onto to. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: JEREMY HILL TO CONTINUE RECEIVING LION'S SHARE OF CARRIES FOR CINCY

Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill is still expected to get the lion's share of carries by the team for Week 3, despite being benched last Sunday due to fumbling twice.  Head coach Marvin Lewis said pretty much those very words during his Monday press conference and thinks Hill's fumbles are a mental issue. 

Analysis:  We figured as much as Hill is a tremendous back who shouldn't lose his job for one off day.  However I still would add Giovani Bernard, especially in PPR formats, due to his big game in Week 2 in Hill's place.  Bernard has an electric element to his game that the more powerful Hill does not have and he is the much better receiver.  Something to watch in Week 3. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: DENARD ROBINSON LIKELY OUT A MONTH WITH MCL SPRAIN IN KNEE

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson will likely be out the next month due to an MCL sprain in his knee.  Robinson was seen on crutches at the team facility on Monday and tests further revealed the scope of the injury. 

Analysis:  Get used to seeing a whole bunch of T.J. Yeldon who was solid on Sunday in the win over Miami.  Robinson did some nice things replacing the ineffective Toby Gerhart last season, showing tremendous speed and good receiving ability.  However his slight frame makes him very prone to injury like we have seen from Andre Ellington.  Cut him loose as Robinson doesn't have enough of a role to hold onto. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: CARLOS HYDE ALSO DEALING WITH THIGH CONTUSION

San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde had a concussion scare that turned out to be nothing on Sunday but he also is dealing with a thigh contusion that could jeopardize his Week 3 availability.  Hyde will likely be limited or miss practice early in the week but will then likely give it a try for Friday.

Analysis:  Uh-oh.  A thigh is always a tough injury to deal with so this bears watching.  We thought we were out of the woods with Hyde in terms of the concussion scare but now this.  Hyde has tremendous power running potential but he can't help you if he is on the bench. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 INJURY REPORT: PACKERS RUNNING OUT OF OFFENSIVE PLAYERS, DITTO FOR DALLAS


It was a day filled with injury carnage in fantasy football Week 2 and some very big names were included in this unfortunate group.  Let’s get right to it.

 

-Obviously by now the news has sunk in that Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo suffered a fractured left clavicle in Sunday’s win over the Philadelphia Eagles and the initial estimate is that he will be out for 8 weeks.  The Cowboys put Romo on the IR with a designation to return but we are looking at possibly as late as the first week of December before we see Romo again.  This is devastating news for all Romo owners as the perennially underrated fantasy football passing star will be very tough to replace at this stage of the game.  The waiver wire is not pretty as the usual names such as Alex Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kirk Cousins, and Colin Kaepernick are likely the best options there.  I would check out Marcus Mariota over all of those names if he is also in that group but obviously you will be looking at a steep drop in numbers from what Romo supplies.  Perhaps the best idea is to try and buy low on an Eli Manning who is surrounded by offensive talent and is playing well outside of the last two minutes of the fourth quarter.  Andy Dalton is also an option to try and trade for as he is off to a good start and he likely won’t cost much to acquire. 

-The Green Bay Packers are starting to rival the Cowboys in terms of big-name offensive players going down.  The Cowboys have lost Romo and star wide receiver Dez Bryant, while the Packers went into Week 2 already without their top wideout in Jordy Nelson.  Sunday night was a disaster for the Pack outside of the fact they beat the Seattle Seahawks as both star RB Eddie Lacy and developing wideout Davante Adams went out injured.  The bigger concern obviously is Lacy who was carted off with an ankle injury and didn’t return.  X-Rays were negative in terms of any break but a dreaded high ankle sprain is still on the table which is a multiple-week absence.  James Starks is the must add handcuff and the veteran back is capable of being a RB 2 who can help both in the running and receiving game without lighting things up in either column.  Meanwhile Adams went out himself with a first-half ankle injury but he was able to return later but still quite hobbled.  Ty Montgomery is the next man up and he made some big catches down the stretch of the game Sunday night.  Adams is not as much of a concern right now as opposed to Lacy and unfortunately this is part of the deal for the former Alabama star who has been dealing with rampant injuries since college. 

-Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford could sit out in Week 3 after taking some huge shots in Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings.  Stafford got X-rays on his ribs and chest after the game and head coach Jim Caldwell was not sure of his QB’s availability going forward.  The Detroit Lions offensive line is a joke and Stafford will be running for his life all season as a result and thus be in position to get hurt often.  We have now been disappointed in Stafford’s numbers for two straight seasons coming into 2015 and so he should not be counted on for anything but backup status.

-Rookie Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman went off on a cart of his own early in the team’s win over the New York Giants on Sunday and didn’t return.  Coleman suffered rib injuries but not update was given after the game.  By the looks of how much pain Coleman was in, he is very iffy for Week 3.  That means Devonta Freeman will be the main ballcarrier next week and maybe beyond.  Freeman both can run and catch the football so he has some intriguing short-term appeal in PPR formats. 

-Yet another back went down Sunday afternoon in the form of the Miami Dolphins’ Lamar Miller.  Miller sprained his ankle which was the icing on the cake of a miserable afternoon for him running the football.  Miller said after the game he was “all right” and that he will play next week.  Still there is big concern about Miller even away from the injury as the Miami line has been terrible at opening holes and his numbers are suffering as a result. 

-The one knock on Dolphins tight end Jordan Cameron has been his inability to stay healthy and that was on display again Sunday when he exited with a strained groin after catching 3 passes.  Cameron will be evaluated again on Monday but his status for Week 3 is not looking good considering how slow of a healer he has been in the past.  Eric Ebron , Crockett Gilmore, or Austin Seferian-Jenkins are all solid replacements.

-Carlos Hyde gave his owners a big scare after he was removed from the team’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers after taking a shot to the head.  Hyde did not suffer a concussion as feared and thus he should be able to be out there for Week 3. 

-Look for Jimmy Clausen to start Week 3 for the Chicago Bears after Jay Cutler was knocked out with a strained hamstring  The bottom is already falling out on the Bears who seem ready to challenge for the number 1 pick in the 2016 draft.  Alshon Jeffery sat out Week 2 with a strained calf and he could miss Week 3 as well. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: CHIP KELLY PONDERING SWITCH AT QB

After an epic disaster of an offensive showing Sunday in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly is reportedly considering starting Mark Sanchez in Week 3 over Sam Bradford.  Bradford tossed two interceptions and lost a fumble in the loss to the Cowboys and seemed indecisive with his reads throughout the game.  In addition, Kelly is considering some other changes on offense without specifics. 

Analysis:  Somewhere Evan Mathis is smiling.  The Eagles neglecting their guard positions that turned out to be their biggest problem since they can't block anybody.  Things could get worse before they get better, especially with Sanchez' turnover-prone history. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 WRAPUP

DeMarco Murray:  We have to start with what is going on with Philadelphia Eagles running back DeMarco Murray which defies almost any form of reason.  Now through two games of the season, Murray has a grand total of 11 rushing yards after he picked up only 2 on 13 carries in a disastrous outing Sunday.  The Eagles' offensive line is a complete joke and the offense as well which is not allowing Murray any bit of breathing room to run.  The 2014 Offensive Player of the Year had the best line in football in front of him last season and a year later he is running behind arguably the worst and it shows.  Murray is a complete disaster right now and is the slam dunk biggest bust of the season through two weeks.  We said all winter long and through the summer to avoid Murray at all costs but mostly that had to do with his injury history and the guarantee of his numbers declining going to Philly and their multiple-back attack.  There is nothing good to be said about the unit as a whole outside of Jordan Matthews as Sam Bradford was pathetic as well Sunday.  All Murray owners are in a real bind now as you almost have to start him in thinking it can't get any worse but also the reality is that he is hurting you.  Just a complete joke of a situation. 

Steve Smith:  It appears as though Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith simply doesn't age.  Despite approaching 40 and proclaiming this to be his last NFL season, Smith is still in top form as he caught 10 balls for 150 yards in Week 2.  As intense a player as I have ever seen, Smith's top route running and toughness make him a weekly handful for any DB.  His WR 3 value coming into the season might be selling him short. 

Sam Bradford:  Speaking of Bradford, he was brutal Sunday as he completed only 23-of-37 passes for 224 yards and 1 TD with 2 INT.  He also included a lost fumble as well.  After a rough first half last week, Bradford played very well in the second half versus the Atlanta Falcons but he was simply horrendous throughout the Dallas contest.  There are now growing concerns about Bradford's ability to pilot the Eagles' offense and the unit s as whole is one big mess.  For now all Eagles players not names Jordan Matthews might have to be sat down for a stretch. 

Derek Carr:  One guy who is really starting to take off under center is Oakland Raiders second-year QB Derek Carr.  Blessed with a strong arm and a lightning release, Carr completed 30-of-46 passes for 351 yards and 3 touchdowns against a tough Baltimore Ravens defense.  Few realize just how solid Carr was as a rookie last season and now that he has some weapons to throw to in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, it appears as though he is challenging to move into the QB discussion.  While Carr is not there yet, he is doing his best to approach that class. 

Lorenzo Taliaferro:  Look away Justin Forsett owners.  It appears as though the hulking Lorenzo Taliaferro will be the red zone running back for the Baltimore Ravens as that is how he was used in Sunday's loss to the Oakland Raiders.  He stole a fourth-quarter TD from Forsett and was used primarily from in close.  Meanwhile Forsett did his work between the 20's and on third down.  This is very bad news for Forsett owners, especially in standard setups.  While Forsett can still be a decent RB 2 in PPR formats due to his receiving ability, his status in standard formats is looking bleak. 

Crockett Gilmore:  If you weren't too familiar with Baltimore Ravens tight end Crockett Gilmore prior to Week 2, now you will as he caught 5 passes for 88 yards and two scores Sunday.  With the Ravens having an extreme dearth of receiving weapons, Gilmore has put himself behind only Steve Smith in the attention meter from Joe Flacco.  An unfolding story worth checking out. 

Ben Roethlisberger:  It was another referendum on how dominant the Pittsburgh Steelers passing game has become over the last two years as Ben Roethlisberger threw for 369 yards and 3 touchdowns in a cakewalk win over the San Francisco 49ers.  With Le'Veon Bell coming back next week to add yet another weapon to Big Ben's arsenal, expect plentiful passing scores weekly.  Overall Roethlisberger could be a top 3-5 fantasy football passer this season.

Antonio Brown:  As if there was ever any doubt about Antonio Brown being the best wide receiver in fantasy football, he proved that yet again Sunday by catching 9 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown.  Brown already has 18 catches through two weeks as he aims for another 100-plus reception season.  He should get there easily. 

Matt Jones:  Look out in the Washington backfield.  A week after veteran Alfred Morris had a big game in a losing effort for the Redskins, rookie back Matt Jones went wild Sunday in rushing for 146 yards and two touchdowns, while also chipping in three catches for 23 more yards in a wild win over the St. Louis Rams.  Morris did get 18 carries himself but he wound up with only 59 yards and of course he has zero ability in the passing game.  The Redskins clearly understand their best chance to win will be when they run the football all day as they did in this one.  Jones has been talked up all summer both by the coaches and on this site as he can do it all.  Absolutely add Jones in all formats as he could easily lead the Redskins in rushing this season given his big-play ability. 

Jeremy Hill:  Lesson learned for Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill on Sunday as he was benched after fumbling twice.  The power back only ran for 39 yards on 10 carries and the two fumbles which put Hill squarely on the bench.  Giovani Bernard benefitted from Hills off day but expect the former LSU star to be back as the dominant carries guy next week.  Hill does not have a history of fumbling and so consider this a one game anomaly. 

Giovani Bernard:  Speaking of Bernard, the speedster had a huge day in Hill's place by rushing for 123 yards on 20 carries while also catching 3 passes for another 16 yards.  With Hill being benched for fumbling, Bernard reminded us all why he was such a sought after first/second round pick a year ago before he was eventually overtaken by Hill in the Cincy backfield.  Bernard is very capable of being a RB 1, especially in PPR formats as he showed today.  Still we don't see a change yet happening.  Bernard remains a low-end RB 2 in PPR formats only. 

Carson Palmer:  What a start to the season for Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer who is now up to 7 passing touchdowns through two games after he tossed four in Sunday's win over the Chicago Bears.  Coming back from his second torn ACL in his knee, Palmer has looked as good as ever this season, taking full advantage of the impressive receiving talent he has.  Overall Palmer completed 17-of-24 passes for 185 yards and the four scores.  He is clearly in the QB 1 realm as long as he stays this hot.

Larry Fitzgerland:  It was a vintage day for Larry Fitzgerald who was on the receiving end of three Palmer touchdown throws.  Overall Fitzgerald caught 8 balls for 112 yards and the three scores as he reminded all of us that he is not yet done as a prime fantasy football receiver.  At the very least, it looks like Palmer looks Fitzgerald's way first over John Brown and Michael Floyd around the red zone.  It could be the start of a mini-comeback campaign for Fitzgerald this season. 

Adrian Peterson:  We told you all not to sweat the slow start for Adrian Peterson last week as he profiled him in the TREND/MIRAGE feature.  The argument we had was that Peterson would be just fine as soon as he works off the rust.  Well it took only the one week as Peterson rushed for 134 yards on 29 carries Sunday, while also grabbing two passes for another 58 yards.  Nothing more to discuss here as Peterson will be a top five back the rest of the season. 

Odell Beckham Jr.:  The Giants made sure to get Odell Beckham Jr. more involved in Sunday's game and it was mission accomplished there as he caught 7 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown.  Beckham flashed his amazing athletic ability by taking one deep and than showing acceleration taking it to the house on the run after the catch.  Beckham Jr. remains a top five fantasy football widoeut. 

Travis Benjamin:  Perhaps the biggest statistical surprise this early in the season is the fact hat Cleveland Browns wideout Travis Benjamin has four receiving touchdowns after he caught two more scores Sunday in the team's win over the Tennessee Titans.  Benjamin overall caught 3 passes for 115 yards and the two scores and he is starting to take on decent enough value in standard formats only. 

Julio Jones:  I said over the summer that if he stayed healthy, Julio Jones would lead the league in receptions.  Well he made major inroads there on Sunday as he caught 13 passes for 135 yards and a near-touchdown when he was down at the one on a deep throw.  Jones is virtually unstoppable right now and the Falcons are using short throws to take advantage of him running after the catch.  That allows Jones to pile up the receptions and 100-plus seems certain there. 

Calvin Johnson:  Megatron was in fine form on Sunday as he caught 10 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown in the team's loss to the Minnesota Vikings.  After a quiet opener, Johnson was back to his dominant self in Week 2.  Johnson was a bit of a riddle this summer in terms of draft value as he came off a down 2014 and has been quite injury prone since 2012.  As long as he stays healthy, Johnson should be just fine by the looks of it.

Tom Brady:  Another week and another ridiculously great passing performance for New England Patriots QB Tom Brady.  Brady completed 37-of-59 throws for 466 yards and 3 touchdowns on Sunday as he now has 7 scores through two weeks which ties Carson Palmer for the NFL lead.  Right now Brady is playing as well as a QB could play and it is amazing what he is doing when you consider we though he would be suspended the first two weeks of the season.  What is really key here is that Brady is throwing a ton of passes which puts him right there as one of the most effective fantasy football QB's in the game.  As great as Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson are, they won't throw it anywhere near as often as Brady which lessens their margin for error each week. 

Marcus Mariota:  It was going to be an interesting day for Tennessee Titans rookie QB Marcus Mariota Sunday as many would tune in to see if he could duplicate his crazy good debut in Week 1 when he threw four touchdown passes in the first half.  While Mariota did not throw for another four scores, he did throw two more as he completd 21-of-37 passes for 257 yards.  He also ran for 19 yards on 3 carries.  Better yet, Mariota has yet to throw a pick through two games which could be the biggest positive of all.  Right now Mariota should be added in all formats and those who take part in two-QB setups could start him next week.