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Saturday, September 30, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 4 TIGHT END RANKINGS

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

1.  Travis Kelce
2.  Zach Ertz
3.  Rob Gronkowski
4.  Jordan Reed
5.  Kyle Rudolph
6.  Delanie Walker
7.  Coby Fleener
8.  Jimmy Graham
9.  Charles Clay
10. Jason Witten
11. Evan Engram
12. Hunter Henry
13. Ed Dickson
14. Julius Thomas
15. Tyler Kroft
16. Ben Watson
17. Marcedes Lewis
18. Jared Cook
19. Cameron Brate
20. Zach Miller
21. David Njoku
22. Ryan Griffin
23. Eric Ebron
24. George Kittle
25. Antonio Gates


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: CARLOS CARRASCO SP CLEVELAND INDIANS

It seems like each and every spring we generally say the same thing about Cleveland Indians hard-throwing pitcher Carlos Carrasco that basically centers on "if only he can stay healthy, ace status in fantasy baseball is very possible."  That phrase still applies to Carrasco in looking ahead to 2018 as he once again showed tremendous ability the year prior in registering a 3.29 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 226 strikeouts in 200 innings (10.17 K/9).  Carrasco has more than solidified himself as one of the very best strikeouts artists in the game in having reached the 200-K mark twice in the last three seasons but he really sets himself apart when combining that with spot-on control with as shown by a tremendous 2.17 BB/9 in 2017.  Pretty much everything checks out with Carrasco's ace qualifications when it comes to the pitching numbers but he can't fully get to anchor a fantasy baseball staff until he quits getting injured so often.  Having one of the more violent deliveries no doubt causes much of the physical trouble for Carrasco and that is almost impossible to tinker with given the fact he gets such good results from that approach.  With last year being the only time Carrasco has gone past the 185 inning mark, it needs to be accepted by prospective owners that you will not be getting a full season of work here.  Be that as it may, Carrasco is an easy top ten power ace when you examine him on a per start basis and so he is arguably the top SP 2 pitcher in all of fantasy baseball for 2018.  While Carrasco has the results on paper to qualify as an ace, you are running a big risk for your overall staff if he fronts a fantasy baseball rotation given the dicey health.
2018 PROJECTION:  14-7 3.24 ERA 1.12 WHIP 203 K 

Friday, September 29, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WATCH: WHOSE LOOKING UP/DOWN

Friday is injury watch day in fantasy football as we look toward who will go and who will sit in Week 4.  Let's see who is looking up and looking down as we get set to cement rosters choices.

TRENDING UP

Sammy Watkins:  Despite battling the effects of a concussion, it looks like Los Angeles Rams top wideout Sammy Watkins is a go for Sunday.  We always have to worry about the health of Watkins but this doesn't seem like it will be a problem.  What is really nice to see if the rapport Watkins has with QB Jared Goff as his fantasy football value is on the clear upswing.

Cam Newton:  Newton is no longer on the injury report for the Carolina Panthers which obviously means he will start Sunday versus the New England Patriots.  Off to a terrible start to the year, Newton should not be started in any single-QB league.

Jay Ajayi:  Despite being listed as questionable on the injury report, Jay Ajayi will start for the Miami Dolphins.  We keep hearing persistent reports that Ajayi's chronic knee injury is flaring up again and that is a big worry going forward.  However he has a dream matchup against the New Orleans Saints Sunday which gives him a nice chance to put an ugly Week 3 behind him.

Jack Doyle:  No issues for Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle and his previously injured foot as he was removed from the injury report Friday.  Doyle had a nice Week 2 before a lost Week 3 due to the injury but he has some lower-end PPR value as an outlet for QB Jacoby Brissett. 

Kelvin Benjamin:  It looks like all systems are a go for Panthers wideout Kelvin Benjamin which is a big shock considering how bad things looked initially when he injured his knee last week.  This is a big win for Cam Newton owners as well. 

Isaiah Crowell:  Also removed from the injury report Friday was Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell who was complaining of shoulder soreness the past few days.  Crowell has been a big disappointment thus far but he still is in line for bellcow work so be patient. 

TRENDING DOWN

Willie Snead:  Having already missed the first three games due to a PED suspension, Saints wideout Willie Snead is unlikely to debut Sunday due to a hamstring problem.

Doug Baldwin:  Just as the Seattle Seahawks pulled out of their offensive malaise last Sunday, there is a decent chance top wideout Doug Baldwin won't play in Week 4 due to the groin he strained in Week 3.  Baldwin has been listed as a game-time call but the Seahawks play Sunday night which makes him too much of a gamble to go with.  If Baldwin were to sit, QB Russell Wilson has to be knocked down a bit in terms of expected output Week 4 as well. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 4 WIDE RECEIVER RANKINGS

Here are the 2017 fantasy football wide receiver rankings for Week 4 based on opposing matchups.

1.  Antonio Brown
2.  Julio Jones
3.  A.J. Green
4.  Odell Beckham Jr.
5.  Brandin Cooks
6.  Michael Thomas
7.  Mike Evans
8.  Stefon Diggs
9.  Dez Bryant
10. Tyreek Hill
11. Devante Parker
12. Keenan Allen
13. DeAndre Hopkins
14. Emmanuel Sanders
15. Doug Baldwin
16. Demaryuis Thomas
17. Sammy Watkins
18. Larry Fitzgerald
19. Golden Tate
20. Alshon Jeffery
21. Chris Hogan
22. Jarvis Landry
23. Michael Crabtree
24. DeSean Jackson
25. Adam Thielen
26. T.Y. Hilton
27. Martavis Bryant
28. Amari Cooper
29. Pierre Garcon
30. Kelvin Benjamin
31. Allen Hurns
32. Rishard Matthews
33. Jamison Crowder
34. Eric Decker
35. Jeremy Maclin
36. Terrell Pryor
37. Tyrell Williams
38. Kenny Stills
39. Marqise Lee
40. Willie Snead


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WRAPUP: PACKERS/ BEARS

-Make it four brilliant games out of four to begin the season for Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers who had the most of his 179 yards passing by tossing four touchdowns.  Overall Rodgers was 18-of-26 and came out early in the blowout which hurt the yardage total some.  He gets the secondary challenged Dallas Cowboys next week which should certainly add to the fun.

Meanwhile on the other side, it could be time for a change as Mike Glennon was brutal in completing 21-of-33 for 216 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT's.  It looks like Brock Osweiler for the Houston Texans 2016 all over again as the Bears opened up the vault this past winter for the guy and he seems like he can't operate as a starter.  Rookie Mitch Trubisky has a world of talent and big-time accuracy but the suspect receiving corps of the Bears making quarterbacking the team quite the challenge.

-The Packers are losing players left and right as they went into the game without their two starting tackles and by the end of it, lost their top two backs and second-best wideout.  The real scary one was Davante Adams taking a shot to the helmet that knocked him out and required removal via stretcher.  All reports are good so far though so Adams luckily avoided disaster.  Not so lucky was Ty Montgomery who broke some ribs on a first quarter carry and was done for the day.  No word on whether Montgomery will try a flak jacket but this is a brutal blow to his fantasy football owners who were enjoying a big start to the season. 

Following quickly behind Montgomery on the injury train was backup RB Jamaal Williams who suffered a knee injury which led to fellow rookie Aaron Jones getting play.  Jones was decent enough in rushing for 49 yards and a score on 13 carries and he is worth adding for Week 5 if you are a Mongtomery owner as yours truly is. 

-Jordan Howard hit paydirt with a score for the second week in a row which saved his night but overall he was ineffective running the ball in picking up just 53 yards on 18 carries and adding two catches for another 10.  So far just one good game out of four for Howard who really is testing the patience of his owners.  His counterpart Tarik Cohen did his PPR thing catching four balls for 22 yards and rushing six times for 24 more but he is not doing enough to justify a starting spot right now. 

-All Jody Nelson does is catch touchdowns.  Simply put, no receiver is better at it than Nelson who caught 4 balls for 75 yards and two scores and narrowly missed a third.  The bets news as well is that there were no problems with his previously injured quad.  Nelson also received some help from tight end Martellus Bennett who cauled in six passes for 39 yards.  Very modest yardage numbers but Bennett still works as a low-end starter in PPR.  Finally Randall Cobb returned from a one-week absence by catching four passes for 44 yards and a score.  Cobb should step up into more receptions if Adams has to miss next week's game. 


Thursday, September 28, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 4 RUNNING BACK RANKINGS

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

1.  Kareem Hunt
2.  Todd Gurley
3.  Ezekiel Elliott
4.  Le'Veon Bell
5.  Leonard Fournette
6.  Jay Ajayi
7.  Dalvin Cook
8.  Devonta Freeman
9.  LeSean McCoy
10. Ty Montgomery
11. Melvin Gordon
12. Jordan Howard
13. Joe Mixon
14. Chris Carson
15. Carlos Hyde
16. Christian McCaffrey
17. Tarik Cohen
18. C.J. Anderson
19. DeMarco Murray
20. Chris Thompson
21. Mike Gillislee
22. Isaiah Crowell
23. Lamer Miller
24. Marshawn Lynch
25. Tevin Coleman
26. Jonathan Stewart
27. Bilal Powell
28. Jacquizz Rodgers
29. Frank Gore
30. Ameer Abdullah
31. Derrick Henry
32. Duke Johnson
33. LeGarrette Blount
34. James White
35. Wendell Smallwood
36. Mark Ingram
37. Theo Riddick
38. Paul Perkins
39. Samaje Perine
40. Alvin Kamara
41. Javorious Allen
42. Chris Johnson
43. Gio Bernard
44. Terrance West
45. Orleans Darkwa


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 4 QB RANKINGS

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

1.  Aaron Rodgers
2.  Tom Brady
3.  Drew Brees
4.  Matt Ryan
5.  Russell Wilson
6.  Kirk Cousins
7.  Marcus Mariota
8.  Dak Prescott
9.  Carson Palmer
10. Andy Dalton
11. Jay Cutler
12. Philip Rivers
13. Carson Wentz
14. Jameis Winston
15. Trevor Siemian
16. Matthew Stafford
17. Alex Smith
18. Ben Roethlisberger
19. DeShaun Watson
20. Derek Carr
21. Cam Newton
22. Tyrod Taylor
23. Blake Bortles
24. Eli Manning
25. DeShon Kizer
26. Case Keenum
27. Jared Goff
28. Joe Flacco
29. Mike Glennon
30. Brian Hoyer
31. Jacoby Brissett
32. Josh McCown


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: JAMES PAXTON SP SEATTLE MARINERS

When it came to putting together sleeper lists for 2017 fantasy baseball, there was almost no doubt that Seattle Mariners emerging power lefty James Paxton was a fixture on most of those compilations.  While Paxton's injury history was quite scary and pronounced; the stuff screamed out "future ace" which made many in the fantasy baseball community reach for him in drafts last March.  Having logged a 3.79 ERA and bumped his K/9 to a career-best 8.70 in an injury-interrupted 2016 campaign, Paxton looked to be on the verge of stardom.  And stardom Paxton reached from the jump in 2017 as he logged a silly 1.34 ERA in April and then was at an even better 0.84 in May before the injury big reared its ugly head again with a scary left forearm strain.  Fears of needing Tommy John surgery were thankfully unfounded and so Paxton returned in June to pick up where he left off.  While Paxton hit the DL yet again in August (this time for a pectoral strain), he ultimately finished with a terrific 3.12 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and a career-best 10.18 K/9.  The strikeout rate really stands out here as it marked the fourth straight season of improvement in that category for Paxton and 147 K's in 130 innings qualified him as a supreme power arm.  With ratios that also check out for front-of-the-rotation status, Paxton has every box checked but the one for health.  And that ultimately is the issue with Paxton who simply can't make it through a season without at least one DL stint.  It is possible that the extreme velocity Paxton throws with (average fastball of 96.0) doesn't allow him to make more than 5-7 starts in a row before trouble begins to brew and so that needs to be taken into consideration when cutting the check at the draft table this spring.  You always want to construct a roster with as little health volatility as possible and so Paxton would appear to be a no-go using that as a strategy.  However the talent is so impressive here that an exception needs to be made when it comes to Paxton.  In the end you want to draft Paxton as your SP 3 in order to protect yourself from the inevitable injuries.  Anything higher than that level makes Paxton a bit too much of a risk.
2018 PROJECTION:  14-8 3.05 ERA 1.12 WHIP 177 K  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: MADISON BUMGARNER SP SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

Each season in fantasy baseball there are a few days during the six-month slog where almost everyone involved in the game stops and takes notice of a certain gigantic news item.  Such a scenario didn’t get any bigger in 2017 when it was revealed on April 21st that San Francisco Giants ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner would miss 3 months after suffering a serious shoulder injury during a dirt bike accident.  Universally considered a top five starter in all of fantasy baseball, Bumgarner’s loss was astronomical to say the least.  While he did return on July 15th, Bumgarner’s owners received just 17 total starts for the cost of a Round 2/3 pick.  Clearly rusty upon returning to action, Bumgarner’s composite 3.32 ERA was his highest since 2012 and the strikeout rate tumbled from 2016’s 9.97 to last year’s 8.19.  Throw in a lucky .272 BABIP (adjusted FIP of 3.94/ XFIP of 4.07) and Bumgarner was far from his past ace levels.  Be that as it may, we will give Bumgarner a complete mulligan on 2017 given the insane misfortune quotient and instead bank on the extreme durability/consistency.  Still just 28-years-old, Bumgarner can very easily go back to his mid-2.00 ERA/240-K tier as long as he kicks the biking for good.  While there has been legitimate concern about the insane amount of innings Bumgarner has already thrown in his career, look at it as a bit of a blessing the fact he tossed just 111 frames last season.  Likely feeling refreshed from the light workload, count on Bumgarner moving right back to his ace self once again. 

2018 PROJECTION:  17-5 2.75 ERA 1.04 WHIP 225 K  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WATCH: MATT FORTE (TOE) TO MISS WEEK 4

Aging and increasingly ineffective, New York Jets running back Matt Forte will miss Week 4 with the toe injury he suffered last Sunday.  With Forte's being out, the Jets will now go to a two-man running back committee which will include Bilal Powell and Elijiah McGuire.  It seems the Jets coaching staff has an affinity for McGuire who truth be told has been the most effective back so far for the Jets but Powell has some RB 2 appeal this week in PPR formats.  As far as Forte is concerned, it was minor miracle he made the opening day Jets roster but he has almost zero value the rest of the season.  Cut him loose.  


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL STATUS REPORT: WENDELL SMALLWOOD RB PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

                                                        

When Philadelphia Eagles scatback Darren Sproles went down with not only a torn ACL but a broken wrist Sunday versus the New York Giants, immediate attention turned to third-string back Wendell Smallwood in terms of becoming an overnight hot pickup for Week 4 in fantasy football.  The second-year man out of West Virginia has flashed big-time ability going back to his rookie year but he was left to pick up scraps left over from Sproles and goal-line back LeGarrette Blount at the onset of the season.  With Sproles now out of commission, the lion's share of touches suddenly has become available and Smallwood figures to be the main guy to pick up the slack which made him worthy of being the top pickup off waivers this morning.  With Eagles OF Frank Reich confirming Smallwood is in line for a big jump in workload beginning this Sunday, those who especially take part in PPR formats might see a nice value play develop the rest of the season. 

In terms of numbers so far this season, Smallwood is averaging a modest 4.2 per carry (79 yards on 19 rushes), while he also has caught 3 passes for another 11.  Count on a big jump in receptions as Sproles was heavily used on that front and Smallwood also should get the majority of carries between the 20's.  While Blount will continue to serve as the goal-line back which hurts Smallwood in standard formats, he should be able to get enough work to eek out RB 2 value there.  In PPR formats the ceiling goes to high RB 2 status.  So hopefully you got Smallwood on waivers this week as he is looking like a swell in-season add.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL CRISIS POINT: LeSEAN McCOY RB BUFFALO BILLS

I warned you.  Those who read our 2017 Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Football Draft Guide or saw my numerous posts during the course of the summer knew full well that Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy was firmly on my DO NOT DRAFT/BUST lists.  While I have all the respect in the world for McCoy's career, I wanted no part of him in drafts for numerous reasons despite the Bills coaching staff vowing to give him a very high workload.  The biggest issue of course was the fact that McCoy was 29 and thus very close to the scary age of 30 where most backs tend to decline and quite sharply I might add.  Also I was afraid of McCoy not being able to hold up physically under such an expected heavy workload given his smallish frame and of course age.

Fast forward to present day and McCoy just came off a second straight game where he did nothing on the ground in rushing for 21 yards on 14 carries versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.  This after McCoy picked up only 9 yards on 12 carries against the Carolina Panthers in Week 2.  While McCoy did go for 110 yards in the opener against the New York Jets, it has all been downhill from there to say the least and already McCoy is nicked up with wrist and groin problems.  Clearly McCoy is struggling to run the football and that is a big problem for those who own him in standard leagues.  Mike Tolbert has played well behind McCoy and is a big goal-line threat as well.  In PPR formats McCoy has managed to catch 18 passes to help keep his stock afloat but he is nothing but a RB 2 right now given the lack of rushing numbers.  Of course many will say McCoy is too talented to struggle like this and that is true.  However there is an increased risk of injury every week moving forward and so McCoy is a red flag on this alone.  Throw in the running problems and so far 2017 is going bust.  Like I said it would.  


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: DYLAN BUNDY SP BALTIMORE ORIOLES

While he entered into the 2017 fantasy baseball season at the very young age of 24, Baltimore Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy was already a forgotten man by many given the stutter steps and setbacks along the way in his development.  Already with a Tommy John surgery under his belt, Bundy struggled to get his career back from on track from 2015-16 as the Orioles even toyed with the idea of converting him to a reliever.  Despite all that, Bundy was handed a starting rotation spot to begin the year and the rest as they say was history.  Opening up like gangbusters with an ace-like April (1.65 ERA, 0.98 WHIP), Bundy showed the raw power stuff that made him such a highly touted prospect in the first place.  Even more encouraging was the fact Bundy was generating a high number of strikeouts; which further added to the growing hype.  Unfortunately the fun didn't last as Bundy hit the skids badly once the weather began to heat up; pitching to horrid ERA's of 5.93 and 8.41 in June/July.  That drastic dip caused Bundy to get sent to the waiver wire in many leagues and it also generated more talk that he would never fulfill expectations.  While Bundy did post a big comeback in August (2.00 ERA, 45 K's in 36 IP), he hit the skids again with a 7.53 ERA September before he was shut down for good in the middle of the month with a hamstring injury.  So while Bundy's season was one big roller coaster with regard to drastic fluctuations in the numbers, the total sum was decent as he finished with a 4.24 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.  When digging into the advanced metrics however, the story becomes much less interesting.  For one thing, Bundy's 8.06 K/9 was not all that impressive considering his once potent minor league rates in that category.  Secondly. Bundy's .273 BABIP was quite lucky and when adjusted,. his FIP (4.38) and XFIP (4.77) ERA's are turn very ugly.  Finally, Bundy's 1.38 HR/9 is a big problem in the AL East and his launching pad home ballpark and that makes any one start he makes risky since it could blow up at a moment's notice through 2 or 3 bad pitches.  When you add all of this together, Bundy looks like a very shaky place to put your fantasy baseball dollars for 2018 and we didn't even touch on his smallish frame leading to more injury issues.  Way too many headaches to concern yourself with here.
2018 PROJECTION:  14-10 3.85 ERA 1.19 WHIP 165 K 

Monday, September 25, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WEEK 3 INJURY WATCH

As always we have a full plate of fantasy football injury news to digest so let's get to all the carnage. 

-Prior to the season starting, Philadelphia Eagles scatback Darren Sproles said 2017 would be his final year in the league.  That is what makes Monday's news that Sproles not only broke his arm this past Sunday versus the New York Giants but that he also tore his ACL.  Sproles is done for the year now and unless he changes his mind, done for his career as well.  What a terrible way for one of the best "short" running backs in NFL history.  And no I am not overstating Sproles' talent and career. 

As a result of Sproles' absence, Wendell Smallwood is expected to get the lion's share of carries for the Eagles.  That can be a very productive spot in PPR formats but keep in mind LeGarrette Blount will remain the firm goal-line back which hurts Smallwood's impact in standard formats.

-Minnesota Vikings QB Sam Bradford has now missed two games and counting with his knee injury and he is no cinch to go Week 4 as well.  Luckily for the Vikes and the fantasy football owners of wideouts Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, backup Case Keenum played great in Week 3 as he completed passes all over the field versus the Tampa Bay Buc's.  With Keenum looking much more comfortable in the offense, Diggs and Thielen should still be started as a firm WR 3's. 

-Seattle Seahawks wideout Doug Baldwin strained his groin Sunday which capped what was a big game buy the team's top receiver as he caught 10 balls for 105 yards and a touchdown.  Baldwin underwent an MRI on his groin but no results have been announced yet.  The Seahawks front office say it is a minor deal and so Baldwin has a decent shot of going Week 4 if the MRI comes back clean.

-Kelvin Benjamin avoided disaster with the knee he injured in Sunday's Carolina Panther defeat against the New Orleans Saints.  No structural damage was found in the knee which means Benjamin actually has a shot to play in Week 4.  While it is unlikely Benjamin has enough time to be ready, he should be back by Week 5.  In the meantime it is now or never for Devin Funchess who is the clear top target of struggling QB Cam Newton with both Benjamin and Greg Olsen out. 

-Washington Redskins rookie back Samaje Perine suffered a bruised hand and nothing more that forced him out early in Sunday night's win over the Oakland Raiders.  Perine will be just fine for Week 4 but Chris Thompson is the one to own in the Redskins' backfield. 

-Jordan Howard was removed from the injury report by the Chicago Bears on Monday after he posed a big outing Sunday despite a shoulder that is less than 100 percent.  Howard will be good to go for Week 4 as he looks to build momentum after a tough first two weeks of the season. 



2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 WRAPUP: 4:00 GAMES AND LATER

-For the third time in three weeks, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was terrific; this time completing 28-of-42 throws for 313 yards with 3 TD's and 1 INT.  While the Pack was without Randall Cobb and the offensive line is becoming a big problem, Rodgers keeps on going as the best QB in fantasy football along with Tom Brady.

-A new OC was a blessing for Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green who was quiet the first two weeks of the year before busting out by catching 10 balls for 111 yards and 1 TD in the loss to the Packers.  We all knew it was a matter of time before Green got going and he is there now as a top five wideout in fantasy football.

-It looks like new Bengals OC Bill Lazer wants Joe Mixon to be his starting running back as he gave the rookie 18 carries which turned into 62 yards.  Mixon added 3 catches for another 39 yards in what on paper was a nondescript outing but in the long run could be swell for his fantasy football value.  We all know Mixon is the best back on the Bengals roster and he has game-breaking ability to be a true star.  Buy low if you can.

-Jordy Nelson was back in action after suffering a quad injury last week and didn't miss a beat as he caught 6 passes for 52 yards and two scores.  There is not a better red zone wideout in all of fantasy football than Nelson as he continually showed on a weekly basis.

-Chris Carson remained the Seattle Seahawks' feature back Sunday in the team's loss to the Tennessee Titans as both Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy not receiving a single touch.  Keep putting Carson out there as a RB 2 and cut loose Rawls and Lacy everywhere.

-Geronimo Allison took advantage of an uptick of playing time with Randall Cobb out as he caught 6 balls for 122 yards in the Packers' OT win over the Bengals.  While Cobb is expected back next week which severely limits Allison's upside, keep him in mind if the opportunity presents itself again.

-We are running out of superlatives for Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Kareem Hunt who now has three rushes of over 50 yards in three games in the league.  Hunt rushed for 172 yards and a score on just 17 carries Sunday, while also adding one catch for another 11 yards.  Capable of even more in the passing game to go with all the rushing numbers, Hunt is proving to be the gem value of the year so far in fantasy football.

-It was the bad and turnover-prone Philip Rivers Sunday as the Los Angeles Chargers QB tossed three picks in a terrible loss to the Chiefs.  Overall Rivers completed just 20-of-40 throws for 237 yards with 0 TD's and the 3 picks.  Simply put, Rivers was among the biggest busts of the day.

-Kirk Cousins is rounding into shape after a tough first two weeks as he tossed three touchdowns in a statistically perfect outing Sunday night versus the Oakland Raiders.  Cousins completed 25-of-30 throws for 365 yards and the three scores in the game but he gets the tough Chiefs defense next week so tread a bit carefully in that game.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 WRAPUP

-Maybe Blake Bortles just plays well overseason.  One of the most maligned QB's in the entire NFL, Bortles came up aces Sunday in London as he completed 20-of-31 throws for 244 yards and 4 touchdowns.  He hooked up three times with Marcedes Lewis and also got one to Allen Hurns in a spectacular performance.  The question is how many in the fantasy football community started Bortles?  The answer is likely not many and that should continue despite the big game.

-Speaking of Lewis, he caught four balls overall for 62 yards and the hat trick of scores.  Lewis has always been a solid red zone target but he has never gained much traction as a fantasy football starter during his entire career.  That won't change now.

-Joe Flacco looked like he had a nice matchup as a QB 2 in two passer leagues Sunda but he was taken out of the game early after he completed just 8-of-18 throws for 28 yards and two picks.  It was a brutal outing all the way around and speaks to the fantasy football limitations he carries each season.

-Prior to the season I said that Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton was garbage and a major bust pick.  Only three weeks into the season and Newton has been horrendous like I said he would be.  Sunday versus the New Orleans Saints Newton completed just 17-of-26 throws for 167 yards with 0 TD and 3 INT's.  Unsightly QB play for sure and I would not object to dropping Newton in any league.  He is more name brand than actual producer.

-For the second week in a row, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady was unstoppable and likely will be the player of the week in fantasy football.  He completed 25-of-35 throws for 378 yards and 5!!!!! touchdowns in the comeback win over the Houston Texans.  Brady has been some kind of ridiculous the last two games and he again shows no signs of ever slowing down.

-Despite Kareem Hunt getting all the rookie running back hype, don't overlook the spectacular start to the career of the Minnesota Vikings' Dalvin Cook who rushed for 97 yards and a score on 27 carries; while also catching five passes for another 72.  The Vikes have stayed true to their word in using Cook as their bellcow and he is a clear RB 1 in all formats.

-The Garbage Time Special was in play for Miami Dolphins wideout DeVante Parker who had two catches for three yards going into the fourth quarter of the team's loss to the New York Jets.  Parker wound up catching 8 passes for 76 yards and one score.  Parker has hinted at big-time ability but he has to get going earlier in games to be more than a WR 3.

-Jameis Winston is off to a rough start as he threw three picks Sunday in an ugly loss to the Minnesota Vikings.  Overall Winston completed 28-of-40 passes for 329 yards with 2 TD and 3 INT, with a lot of numbers coming in the second half when the Buc's had to pass almost every down.  Despite the ugly game, I am still very high on Winston and think he will be fine overall.

-So many early large deficits in Sunday games which necessitated lots of passing by the losing team in the second half.  That allows for numbers padding like with what took place with Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey who caught 9 balls for 101 yards in the loss to the Saints.  From the beginning of the year we have said McCaffrey should only be used in PPR formats and that remains true given the presence of Jonathan Stewart.

-On paper there was not a more attractive matchup for a running back than what Miami Dolphins' Jay Ajay had facing the 30th ranked Jets defense.  Well Ajayi managed just 16 yards on 11 carries; while adding two catches for another 9 yards.  All week we heard about Ajayi's knee still being a problem but he suited up anyways.  Those concerns have to be growing now seeing how poorly Ajayi played.

-Devonta Freeman continues to show how underrated he is as he rushed for 106 yards and a score on 21 carries, while also adding 3 catches for another 32 yards.  Freeman should be talked about as one of the best RB 1's in fantasy football and despite the presence of Tevin Coleman, is still getting a high workload.

-C.J. Anderson were likely not happy to see him rush for just 36 yards on 8 carries, while adding 2 receptions for 7 yards.  In other words it was a no-show performance as Anderson split work with the rising Jamaal Charles.  Charles outplayed Anderson and so already the latter looks like a busted pick like he as in 2016 and 2015.

-Despite another ridiculous antic, New York Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. showed his breathtaking talent as he hauled in 9 balls for 79 yards and two scores.  Of course Beckham made a fool out of himself by pretending to be a dog on all fours and lifting a back leg to pee but that is par for the course with the guy.  At least he is healthy now and a firm top tier WR 1.

-It is amazing how there is never any in-between with Patriots wideout Brandin Cooks who went nuts to the tune of catching five balls for 1331 yards and 2 scores Sunday.  This after Cooks was a no-show the first two weeks of the season.  This is standard operating procedure for Cooks who will always test the patience of his owners.

-We really are starting to see the emergence of second-year Giants wideout Sterling Shepard who caught 7 balls for 133 yards and a score Sunday in the loss to the Eagles.  Already one of the best route runners in the game, Shepard will only get better from here on out.  He very well could continue being the number 2 guy over Brandon Marshall.

-While the Giants had a gut-wrenching loss to the Eagles, QB Eli Manning did his part in completing 35-of-47 throws for 366 yards with 3 TD and 2 INT's.  The Giants protection has been brutal this season which has hurt Manning more than anything but at least the passing offense seems to be back in sync now.  Still Eli should be just a QB 2 for the time being.

-Yes once again I remind you that I said to avoid all the other high-priced tight ends this summer in the draft and instead go with Zach Ertz.  Ertz has been a receiving monster in all three games for the Eagles so far; including Week 3 when he caught 8 balls for 55 yards and a score.  He gets a nice matchup versus the Los Angeles Chargers next week so the fun should continue.

-The change to Jacoby Brissett at QB has done wonder for Indianapolis Colts ace wideout T.Y. Hilton who caught 7 balls for 153 yards and a score in the team's win over the Cleveland Browns.  While it is tough to trust Hilton with Andrew Luck out, at least things are looking up.

-Speaking of Brissett, the former Patriot completed 17-of-24 throws for 259 yards with 1 TD. while adding two scores on the ground on his 4 carries for 14 more yards.  There is no reason to pick up Brissett in any leagues as he is still a shaky passer but at least the Colts skill guys should be looking a bit better with him under center over Scott Tolzien.

-It is about time owners of Jordan Howard in fantasy football got something for their money.  Howard rumbled for 138 yards and 2 scores on 23 carries, while adding 5 catches for another 26 yards.  This is a big outing for Howard in that it should re-establish confidence in him and also because it shows he can be effective while injured as he battles a sore shoulder.





2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: KELVIN BENJAMIN SUFFERS KNEE INJURY, QUESITIONABLE TO RETURN

Carolina Panthers ace wideout Kelvin Benjamin is questionable to return to the team's game versus the New Orleans Saints due to a knee injury sustained in the first half.  With Greg Olsen out for 6-8 weeks with a broken foot, there is now a severe lack of receivers for QB Cam Newton which greatly hurts his already shaky value.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: DARREN SPROLES EXITS WITH WRIST INJURY

Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles went down after a hit to the wrist/knee and remained on the field for a few minutes before going to the sidelines.  He was in noticeable pain after the hit and went down like a ton of bricks upon impact.  An update is expected shortly.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: JEREMY MACLIN EXITS WITH POSSIBLE HEAD INJURY

Baltimore Ravens wideout Jeremy Maclin was tended to by trainers after his head bounced off the turf on an interception return by the Jacksonville Jaguars during their London game.  Maclin went down in the second quarter and was woozy walking to the bench after being tended to on the ground for a few minutes.  He then went back to the locker room for testing.  He is unlikely to return.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 INJURY WATCH: ROB KELLEY TO SIT OUT SUNDAY WITH BROKEN RIB

                                                          

ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that Washington Redskins running back Rob Kelley will not be able to answer the bell Sunday, meaning rookie Samaje Perine will handle the majority of rushing attempts for the team versus the Oakland Raiders.  Chris Thompson will also be heavily involved in the passing game as well so both guys are worth using in standard/PPR respectively.  As far as Kelley is concerned, he practiced leading up to the game but apparently is still feeling too much pain to give it a go.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 INJURY WATCH: DeMARCO MURRAY LIKELY TO BE ACTIVE, DERRICK HENRY EXPECTED TO DRAW MAJORITY OF CARRIES

                                                          

It is looking like a bit of an ugly situation in the Tennessee Titans backfield Sunday as starter DeMarco Murray is expected to at least be active and play a limited role which of course will muddy up the outlook on backup Derrick Henry who was all the waiver wire rage the last few days.  Henry is the much better fantasy football option this week given the fact Murray is hobbled and has been ineffective thus far but his presence will really make this one big question mark for all involved.  If you don't have a good third back and are holding Henry, then go that route.  This may not go as smoothly as all Henry owners might have thought just a few days ago.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 INJURY WATCH: JORDAN REED TO BE GAME-TIME CALL

                                                               

Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed will be a game-time decision for the team Sunday as he  continues to battle a litany of injuries that include a fractured toe and a chest problem that cropped up last week.  There is a big risk here that even if Reed suits up, he will be used sparingly so the better option is to go elsewhere if you can.  That is always tough to do at the shallow tight end spot but that unfortunately is the situation that is presenting itself this week with Reed.  We have more than reached the point now with the guy where he is simply not worth the aggravation anymore.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 INJURY WATCH: MELVIN GORDON (KNEE) TO START FOR CHARGERS

                                                          

San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon will start Sunday for the team versus the Kansas City Chiefs despite drawing a concerning questionable tag with a knee problem.  Gordon is already paying off nicely as a mid-first round pick which is no small feat in this year where DeMarco Murray and Jordan Howard are already going bust.  He has a tough matchup against a swarming K.C. defense but the usage is always high here which helps across the board.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 INJURY WATCH: JORDY NELSON (QUAD) STARTING FOR PACK SUNDAY

                                                            

Green Bay Packers wideout Jordy Nelson will start for the team Sunday versus the Cincinnati Bengals as he avoided missing any games with the quad injury he sustained last weekend against the Atlanta Falcons.  With Randall Cobb likely a no-go with a shoulder problem, count on Nelson and Davante Adams to get a ton of looks from QB Aaron Rodgers.  Clear WR 1 production on tap for Week 3.  

 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 WIDE RECEIVER RANKINGS

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

1.  Antonio Brown
2.  Julio Jones 
3.  Mike Evans
4.  Jordy Nelson
5.  Odell Beckham Jr.
6.  A.J. Green
7.  Michael Thomas
8.  Keenan Allen
9.  Tyreek Hill
10. Brandin Cooks
11. Kelvin Benjamin
12. Michael Crabtree
13. Davante Adams
14. Devante Parker
15. DeAndre Hopkins
16. Amari Cooper
17. Dez Bryant
18. Golden Tate
19. Doug Baldwin
20. Alshon Jeffery
21. Martavis Bryant
22. Emmanuel Sanders
23. Terrell Pryor
24. Stefon Diggs
25. Chris Hogan
26. Larry Fitzgerald
27. Demaryuis Thomas
28. J.J. Nelson
29. Jarvis Landry
30. Tyrell Williams
31. Rashard Higgins
32. Jeremy Maclin
33. T.Y. Hilton
34. DeSean Jackson
35. Danny Amendola
36. Jamison Crowder
37. Adam Thielen
38. Jermaine Kearse
39. Marvin Jones
40. Devin Funchess


Friday, September 22, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 START/SIT

Already Week 3 in fantasy football and so let's check out who made the START/SIT cut with an eye on less obvious choices (since we all would start Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Le'Veon Bell etc.).  

START

Derrick Henry:  Even if DeMarco Murray does in fact suit up, Henry is expected to receive a heavy dose of carries in a starter's role.  It is only a matter of time before Henry pushed the aging Murray aside and it start this week.  

Jay Cutler:  We just got done seeing Derek Carr toss three touchdown passes versus the 30th ranked NY Jets defese and a fresh Jay Cutler should be able to be in the same statistical ballpark.  

Trevor Siemian:  Ride the hot hand as Siemian already has six touchdown passes on the season.  With to excellent receivers at his disposal, the nice run should continue versus an average Buffalo defense.  

Marshawn Lynch:  While the numbers have not exploded just yet for Lynch, he draws a Washington Redskins defense that made Todd Gurley who like he was back in 2015.  

Isaiah Crowell:  The Cleveland Browns have underutilized Crowell thus far and so count on them giving their best offensive player a heavy workload this week against a soft Indy defense.  

Javorious Allen:  Those who especially take part in PPR formats should like the heavy workload (no Terrance West) and an annually poor Jacksonville defense to face off against.  \

Davante Adams:  With Randall Cobb likely out with a shoulder injury, Adams will get a ton of looks from QB Aaron Rodgers like he did a week ago.  

Eric Ebron:  Having scored last week and now entering into a shootout, Ebron is ready to continue the climb to upper-tier status which his natural ability has hinted at.  

SIT

Cam Newton:  Yes Newton draws the always awful New Orleans Saints defense but this marks his first game without stud tight end Greg Olsen and he is also quite banged up.  No thank you.  

LeSean McCoy:  Fresh off a horrible dud in Week 2, McCoy gets the Denver defense that just destroyed Ezekiel Elliott.  

Chris Carson:  Now the undisputed bellcow back for the Seattle Mariners, look for Carson to keep things moving in a positive direction against the so far shaky run defense of the Tennessee Titans.  

Dez Bryant:  Yet another brutal matchup for Bryant who now draws Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals in coverage.  

Doug Baldwin:  With the Seattle Seahawks passing offense in a major rut, Baldwin is not a good option to start unless we see signs of this changing.  




2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: JOE MAUER 1B MINNESOTA TWINS

Well perhaps Joe Mauer is not done after all.  Seemingly a forgotten man for the better part of the last 2-3 seasons in fantasy baseball due to non-existent power, increasing injuries, and the loss of catcher eligibility; the veteran first baseman has been about as hot a pure hitter as there is in the game in September.  Hitting nearly .400 for the month, Mauer has upped his season average to .311 which is the highest he has been this late in the year since 2013.  While Mauer still has very little power (just seven home runs), those who need a late season boost in the batting average department can't do any better than this guy.  With 68 RBI and 65 runs scored, Mauer can also help a bit in the runs/RBI department as well.  Yes at the age of 34 Mauer's best days are still clearly behind him but he is refusing to go quietly by the looks of it.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 INJURY WATCH: NO TYLER EIFERT (BACK, KNEE) SUNDAY

                                                           

As expected, Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert will miss Week 3 with a combination of back and knee pain.  Eifert has only four catches through two games and will be evaluated again in order to try and get him back on the field for Week 4.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 INJURY WATCH: NO SAM BRADFORD FOR SUNDAY

                                                         

It appears as though Minnesota Vikings QB Sam Bradford will miss his second consecutive game this Sunday due to the knee pain that flared up prior to last week's contest.  Once again Case Keenum will start and so this is very bad news for Vikings wideouts Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs who can only be classified as WR 3's this week.  Bradford is being aimed to return in Week 4 but it is a reminder that relying on him to stay healthy is always fool's gold.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 RUNNING BACK RANKINGS

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

1.  Le'Veon Bell
2.  Jay Ajayi
3.  Kareem Hunt
4.  Devonta Freeman
5.  Ezekiel Elliott
6.  Ty Mongomery
7.  C.J. Anderson
8.  Dalvin Cook
9.  Melvin Gordon
10. Leonard Fournette
11. LeSean McCoy
12. Mike Gillislee
13. Marshawn Lynch
14. Isaiah Crowell
15. Derrick Henry
16. DeMarco Murray
17. Javorious Allen
18. Tarik Cohen
19. Christian McCaffrey
20. Jacquizz Rodgers
21. Jonathan Stewart
22. Chris Carson
23. Tevin Coleman
24. Ameer Abdullah
25. Lamar Miller
26. Frank Gore
27. Chris Thompson
28. Joe Mixon
29. Jordan Howard
30. Mark Ingram
31. Darren Sproles
32. Samaje Perine
33. James White
34. Theo Riddick
35. Chris Johnson
36. Duke Johnson
37. Bilal Powell
38. Rob Kelley
39. Alvin Kamara
40. Giovani Bernard

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 WRAPUP: RAMS/49ERS

So fantasy football Week 3 is underway as the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers engaged in a wildly entertaining scoring bonanza.  Let's see what fantasy football-worthy items came out of it.

-It really looks like Jared Goff is figuring it out.  After a comically inept rookie year, Goff has now been excellent in two of his three starts in 2017 as he completed 22-of-28 throws for 292 yards with 3 TD's and 0 INT's versus the 49ers.  With Sammy Watkins joining Robert Wood, Cooper Kupp, and Todd Gurley; Goff has quite a nice array of weapons and so fantasy football-worthy numbers are likely to continue.  Hitting hard outs and deep passes with aplomb, Goff should be owned everywhere.

On the other side, Brian Hoyer ended the two game TD drought for the 49ers by completing 23-of-37 throws for 332 yards with 2 TD, 1 INT, and a scoring run.  Hoyer has had big games in the past for the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears but he has been stuck in backup/fringe starter mode since entering the league.  You can classify Hoyer as a better Josh McCown but that doesn't make him worth owning in anything but the deepest of two-QB leagues.

-Todd Gurley for fantasy football MVP?  If there was an early front-runner, it would have to be Gurley who is up to six touchdowns on the season after rushing for 113 yards and two scores on 28 carries, while also catching five balls for another 36 yards and a third score.  Clearly new head coach Sean McVay has worked wonders opening up Gurley's skills from 2015 and so he looks set to take the league by storm.

Don't look now but 49ers running back Carlos Hyde is having his best start to his pro career as well as he rushed for 84 yards and 2 scores on 25 carries, while adding 3 catches for another 10 yards.  Hyde battled through a hip injury to have back-to-back monster weeks and so much for the talk that Kyle Shanahan wanted him off the team over the summer since he was a poor fit on paper for the offense.  With a 2017 draft price that fell quite a bit due to unmet expectations the previous two seasons, Hyde looks like a steal right now.  Health is always dicey though so selling high has to be a part of the thought process of his owners given what has taken place and his history with getting knocked out.

-Sammy Watkins has always had insane physical talent but lacked a QB who could get him the football down the field during his years in Buffalo.  Maybe the development of Goff is changing that trend as Watkins caught 6 balls for 106 yards and 2 scores.  Watkins absolutely has WR 1 ability in all fantasy football leagues if Goff can continue his development and if he can avoid his annual foot problems.  He did get some help from Robert Woods who caught 6 balls for 108 yards.  Another former Bill, Woods is more of a WR 4/5 who will likely have wildly inconsistent numbers.

The 49ers really only have one decent receiving option and that is the underrated Pierre Garcon who caught 7 balls for 142 yards.  In all fantasy football leagues Garcon is a firm WR 3 but he carries moe value in PPR formats.  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WATCH: WHOSE UP AND WHOSE DOWN

Another day full of injury news in fantasy football and it is only Week 3.  Here is what you should know:

TRENDING UP

Danny Amendola:  For the second straight day Amendola practiced for the New England Patriots which means he is likely a go for Week 3.  The only thing up for debate is whether or not the Pats will give Amendola a full allotment of snaps or instead limits his usage so he does not get injured again.

Jordan Reed:  While he was listed a "limited," Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed got some work in during practice on Thursday.  Head coach Jay Gruden doubled down on his notion that Reed is in quite a bit of pain which could limit his snaps if he does suit up and that could make him a risky play.  Also there is a high probability that Reed could also be forced out of the game early like he was in Week 2 with more aches and pains.

Jarvis Landry:  Landry successfully returned to practice Thursday which means he is likely good to go for Week 3.  Coming off a huge Week 2 debut with Jay Cutler at QB, Landry is a near WR 1 in PPR formats and a firm WR 2 in standard leagues.

Odell Beckham Jr.:  It looks like the New York Giants will give more snaps to Odell Beckham Jr. in Week 3 as he has pronounced himself as being in much better shape after his Week 2 debut.  Great news here as Beckham's owners have been let down by his production thus far.


TRENDING DOWN

DeMarco Murray:  It is starting to look like it will be Derrick Henry getting the start for the Tennessee Titans Sunday as DeMarco Murray missed practice again on Thursday with a sore hamstring.  Always a slow healer and with a ton of mileage on his body, Murray was a sizable bust candidate coming into the season for all those reasons and the Tennessee front office has always been wed to Henry who they drafted.  With Henry showing RB 1 ability in spurts going back to last season, this could be the start of at least a strict timeshare of even Henry taking over the top spot.

Tyler Eifert:  You can rule Eifert out for Week 3 as expected as he battles both back and knee injuries.  Eifert has been beyond frustrating to own over the years and so even cutting him loose is not a bad idea.

John Brown:  It looks like John Brown will not be able to answer the bell for the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3, which is great  news for those who own J.J. Nelson who had a big Week 2.  This is a prime chance for Nelson to cement his status as the new big-play wideout for the Cards and so his stock is pointing upward.

Matt Forte/Bilal Powell:  This is not injury related but we already have reached the point where both Forte and Powell can be released.  The New York Jets want to take a long look at Elijiah McGuire and so there will be a three-headed committee in the backfield.  No thank you.




2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 QB RANKINGS

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

1.  Aaron Rodgers
2.  Matthew Stafford
3.  Matt Ryan
4.  Tom Brady
5.  Drew Brees
6.  Derek Carr
7.  Kirk Cousins
8.  Big Ben
9.  Philip Rivers
10. Jameis Winston
11. Jay Cutler
12. Dak Prescott
13. Cam Newton
14. Russell Wilson
15. Marcus Mariota
16. Andy Dalton
17. Trevor Siemian
18. Carson Palmer
19. Carson Wentz
20. Alex Smith
21. Sam Bradford
22. Joe Flacco
23. Eli Manning
24. DeShon Kizer
25. Jared Goff
26. Tyrod Taylor
27. DeShaun Watson
28. Jacoby Brissett
29. Blake Bortles
30. Brian Hoyer
31. Josh McCown
32. Mike Glennon


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WATCH TRENDING DOWN: RANDALL COBB WR GREEN BAY PACKERS

                                                       

While the MRI conducted on his injured shoulder came back negative, Green Bay Packers wideout Randall Cobb did not practice on Wednesday which was a bad sign for his availability versus the Atlanta Falcons.  While Jordy Nelson did return to practice Wednesday from his quad injury (a nice surprise), Cobb not being able to go is a bit of a red flag.  Of course it was injuries that destroyed Cobb's 2016 season where he fell off the fantasy football map and a strong start in Week 1 and most of Week 2 is now being undermined.  Right now consider Cobb 50/50 to go and so Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison would stand to benefit the most from his absence.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING INJURY NEWS: ROB GRONKOWSKI (GROIN) DID NOT PRACTICE WED.

                                                       

Contrary to previous reports, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski did NOT practice on Wednesday due to the groin injury he suffered in last Sunday's game.  Earlier in the day there were reports that Gronk joined wideout Danny Amendola is returning to the practice field but only Amendola made it out there.  As always with Gronk, his injury status remains very hazy and subject to change.  This is one of the biggest injury watches of the week to keep abreast of and Gronk is just one of a ridiculous amount of tight end health woes leading into Game 3.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING INJURY NEWS: COREY DAVIS (HAMSTRING) ALREADY RULED OUT FOR WEEK 3

                                                          

Wanting to take no chances with his second hamstring injury since turning pro, the Tennessee Titans announced on Wednesday that rookie wideout Corey Davis would not suit up for the team's game in Week 3.  The Titans want to make sure Davis allows the injury to completely heal before he goes back out onto the field and so those who own stock in Davis will have to wait for an encore to his enticing Week 1 outing where he caught six passes and showed game-breaking ability.  If it is possible, Davis is worth holding onto through the injury.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY STATUS TRENDING NEUTRAL: JORDAN REED TE WASHINGTON REDSKINS

                                                 
   
Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed already has 11 catches on the season through two games but according to manager Jay Gruden, he can hardly get out of bed in the morning as he battled both a fractured toe and a chest injury.  While he is considered day-to-day despite missing practice on Wednesday, Gruden's words are concerning here to say the least.  We all know this is what you get when you draft Reed; who has incredible receiving skills but a body that continues to betray him.  Monitor Reed's status tomorrow and have a replacement handy just in case.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY STATUS TRENDING UP: DANNY AMENDOLA/ROB GRONKOWSKI

                                                     

Both New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and wideout Danny Amendola practiced on Wednesday; very good signs in terms of their availability for Week 3.  Both Gronk and Amendola remain as injury prone as it gets but they get a Houston Texans defense that is already banged up and which has been shredded by the Jacksonville Jaguars of all teams.  Both are must starts if they get the green light to play.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 INJURY STATUS TRENDING DOWN: TYLER EIFERT (KNEE, BACK) UNABLE TO PRACTICE WED., UNLIKELY TO GO SUNDAY

                                                         

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert was a no-go in practice on Wednesday and his status for Week 3 is considered iffy at best due to his battling neck and back pain.  With just four catches in the first two games, Eifert has been a colossal bust thus far and is continuing a frustrating trend which began in 2015.  I said on Sunday that we are already reaching the point where dropping Eifert is not the worst idea in the world and replacing him with a Evan Engram, Jason Witten, or an Eric Ebron is looking like a smart move.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 ISSUES: ORLEANS DARKWA A SMART ADD WITH PAUL PERKINS IN EPIC SLUMP

When it comes to the 0-2 New York Giants' pitiful start to the 2017 season, much of the negative attention has been paid to the downright hideous offensive line, the fact Brandon Marshall has just two catches, and the questions that Eli Manning is finished being an effective passer.  Lost in the shuffle however has been the complete ineffectiveness of running back Paul Perkins who is averaging just 1.86 yards per carry through games.  That number is so bad that it is almost impossible to believe and so it makes total sense that reports are beginning to make the rounds that backup Orleans Darkwa could get more of a look in Week 3 versus the Philadelphia Eagles.  This is no shock to yours truly as I have said since right after the opener that Darkwa was worth adding given the fact he had a nice preseason and has done some nice things in the past when given a chance to carry the football.  With Darkwa averaging 5.2 per carry in limited time so far, the numbers bear this out.  So wherever Darkwa is available, the proactive move would be to pick him up and bank on him getting the majority of carries going forward.  Possessing good speed and also soft hands to help in the passing game, Darwka could be a nice value play going forward.  


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: MARK MELANCON CLOSER SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

When free agency kicked off last winter, no team was more determined to add a closer than the San Francisco Giants.  Having made a mockery of the ninth inning the year prior, the Giants opened up the vault to bring aboard All-Star closer Mark Melancon to great fanfare.  Unfortunately Melancon quickly fell into the plague that is closing games for the Giants as he endured an injury-marred campaign and was hit hard to the tune of a 4.50 ERA and 1.43 WHIP.  As far as the injuries were concerned, Melancon hit the DL twice for forearm pain and then eventually was forced to throw in the towel on the year in succumbing to surgery at the start of September to repair the pronator muscle to finally address the issue. While Melancon is expected to be ready for spring training, there is a long injury history here that becomes more scary now that he will turn 33 in March.  In addition to the ill health, Melancon doesn't carry with him a great margin for error due to the fact his fastball average is only in the 92 range which is quite low for a closer. With that velocity having dipped from around 94 a few years ago, any further erosion there will make Melancon so much more prone to getting hit.  While it is easy to be impressed with what Melancon has done in terms of closing games from 2014-16, the most recent developments are scary enough to make him one to avoid if possible next spring.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 WAIVER WIRE ADDS

Already we are looking toward Week 3 in fantasy football and so here are the prime pickups.

QB

Trevor Siemian:  If he wasn't picked up prior to Week 2, the scorching Siemian should be added pronto as he is now up to 6 touchowns in just two games.  Having showcased some big accuracy and terrific timing, Siemian is worth adding on his potent receivers alone.

Jay Cutler:  Yeah him again.  Cutler looked pretty good once the training wheels were taken off at halftime of his team's win over the San Diego Chargers.  Cutler himself has two prime targets in Jarvis Landry and Devante Parker and he gets a leaky New York Jets defense in Week 3.

Chris Carson:  My last pick in the Experts League draft was this emerging rookie for the Seattle Seahawks.  With Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, and C.J. Prosise unable to produce and stay healthy, Cason ran 20 times for 93 yards in Week 2.  Adept at also catching the football, Carson has big RB 2 potential.

Darren Sproles:  Despite the ageless Sproles saying this is his last NFL season, the Philadelphia Eagles are apparently going to ride him hard as he got 44 snaps Sunday.  Always an electric runner/receiver, Sproles is a must own in all PPR formats at the very least.

Chris Johnson:  With Kerwyn Williams already showing he should not be an NFL starting running back, it is up to old veteran Chris Johnson to carry the load.  While the old pure speed is a thing of the past, Johnson is still adept and quick enough to be worth a RB 3 add.

Chris Thompson/Samaje Perine:  With Rob Kelley dealing with a broken rib, it will fall to Thompson (receiving) and Perine (running) to pick up the slack.

Danny Amendola: With Amendola ready to return in Week 3, it looks like he will go back to the slot where he had a monster Game 1.

J.J. Nelson:  I am not as high on Nelson as others since John Brown may return in Week 3 but there is no doubt he has some WR 4 skills.

Evan Engram:  With the slew of tight end injuries diluting the position in Week 2, the very athletic Engram is worth picking up.  I think Engram has the chance to be a very good top-level receiving tight end and soon.

Miami Defense:  Yes they draw the New York Jets.  That's all you need to know.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL MONDAY NIGHT WRAPUP: GIANTS/LIONS

It was another ugly game by the NY Giants, while the Detroit Lions look like they may be going places this season.

-While the yardage numbers were nothing to write home about, Lions QB Matthew Stafford packed in his fantasy football points anyways as he completed 15-of-21 throws for 122 yards and two scores.  Stafford is always criminally underrated and now he pilots an offense with three big wideouts, an emerging tight end, and a very good pass receiving back.  He wound up being the last starting QB selected in our Experts League draft and that again goes to show you how the fantasy football community doesn't like him as much as they should.

Meanwhile Eli Manning looks like he is toast as he is now into a second straight season of poor accuracy and struggles to throw down the field.  Some of the blame goes to the shaky Giants O-line but Manning was brutal last night in completing just 22-of-32 for 239 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  It is simply not happening here anymore.  Cut him loose.

-Odell Beckham Jr. made his return to the Giants and did what he could at less than 100 percent; which in this case was catch 4 balls for 36 yards.  Not great obviously but at least he is back on the field.  Better times are ahead.  However the same can't be said of Brandon Marshall who should be cut everywhere as he caught just one pass for 17 yards.  Marshall has two catches on the season now and is way out of sync with Manning.  Also his terrible 2016 could have been an omen that he too is toast.  Picking up the slack from the two wideouts was tight end Evan Engram who is going to be a big-time player real soon.  Engram hauled in four balls for 49 yards and a TD and outside of Beckham, might be the best receiving weapon the Giants have.  With all the tight end injuries out there, Engram should be the top pickup as a replacement option.

-On the other side, Kenny Golladay faded back into oblivion as I said he probably would in catching one pass for 8 yards.  This is what happens when you are the third wideout on your team; with the numbers fluctuating wildly.  This makes it tough to depend on Golladay as even a WR 3.

Golden Tate was quiet himself in catching four passes for 25 yards and Marvin Jones' only catch went for a 27-yard TD.  Eric Ebron caught the other Stafford TD pass and had a nice night with four catches for 42 yards and a score.  I always have sung the praises of Ebron who is a freak of an athlete and he too should be added if you have injuries at the position.

-Ameer Abdullah was solid Monday night in rushing for 86 yards on 17 carries, while Theo Riddick did his receiving thing with 3 catches for 17.  Paul Perkins for the Giants?  Try just 10 yards on 7 carries which is downright pathetic.  I said from the beginning that Orleans Darkwa was a good pickup as a hedge against Perkins and I think he is the guy to own from here on out.


Monday, September 18, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL ISSUES: WEEK 2 ONE BIG HORROR SHOW FOR TIGHT ENDS

Wow Week 2 in fantasy football outdid itself in terms of injuries and this after number 1 overall player RB David Johnson went down in Week 1.  No less than FOUR top 7 fantasy football tight ends came up lame on Sunday with varying degrees of severity.  As is his habit, it starts with the New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski who is no stranger to injury leading the list and he was joined by Jordan Reed, Tyler Eifert, and Jimmy Graham.  The worst though was Carolina's Greg Olsen suffering a broken foot which will keep him out for months.  Let's check in on each and find out who could be possible replacements.

Gronk:  Yeah here we go again.  Already with serious back and knee surgeries on his resume, Gronkowski came down with a groin injury that the team says is not serious.  Gronk was seen riding the stationary bike on the sidelines after coming out of the game which was encouraging and the Pats seem to be hinting he will be able to go in Week 3.  Of course any Gronk owner has to know this is what they signed up for and at the very least Dwayne Allen should be on their rosters as insurance.

Jimmy Graham:  Already a virtual no-show in the passing game through two games, the Seattle Seahawks' Jimmy Graham is questionable for Week 3 with an ankle injury.  With just 4 catches in two games, Graham has zero value now in fantasy football and honestly since leaving New Orleans, his career has been in a bit of a downward spiral both in production and in health.  While the name brand is still big enough, we actually have reached the point already where Graham could be too much trouble to deal with.

Tyler Eifert:  Call Eifert "Baby Gronk" when it comes to his habit of getting hurt.  Like with Gronk, Eifert has had multiple surgeries in his past that seems to have robbed him of some athleticism and now he already has back and knee problems flaring.  Like with Graham, Eifert is not producing either as he has just 4 catches as well and he is surely not going to suit up Week 3 at the very least.  Again it is all about numbers here and Eifert has not produced there both in 2016 and now so far in 2017.

Jordan Reed:  Reed is being listed as day-to-day with a chest injury but alarms began to blare again when he was seen walking into the tunnel during the team's win over the Los Angeles Rams.  I said from the start of the season to trade Reed if you are an owner before more health trouble arrives and this was after he revealed a fracture in his toe. The fracture alone is a problem in that Reed's stride will be impacted which could lead to leg/knee injuries and now the chest is an issue.  Get out now.

Greg Olsen:  Obviously the big one is Greg Olsen missing the next 6-8 weeks after suffering a broken bone in his foot Sunday for the Carolina Panthers.  What was shocking here is that Olsen is incredible durable unlike the other guys on this list but he couldn't escape the bug that was going on around the league's tight ends on Sunday.  Holding a spot for Olsen in non-IR spot leagues is going to be a challenge with the byes coming up and so even cutting him loose is not out of the question.  However the talent is so good here that this would be a tough pill to swallow.

Some possible replacements for these Pro Bowlers should include David Njoku, Evan Engram, Jared Cook, and Eric Ebron.  Tight end is not as important a position in fantasy football like QB, running back, or wideout but still the owners of the five above are feeling pressure to keep their teams above water.



2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 WRAPUP: 4:00/8:30 GAMES

-While there was a bit of nerves concerning Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi when it was revealed during the week he had been battling knee soreness for awhile, the power back looked like he didn't have a care in the world Sunday as he rushed 28 times for 122 yards, while adding two catches for four more.  While the workload was a bit insane and concerning, Ajayi is the clear bellcow back for the Dolphins who is a top RB 1 in standard formats and a mid-tier RB 1 in PPR due to a light catch haul.

-Despite the continued presence of the capable Tevin Coleman, Devonta Freeman continues to produce big numbers on a weekly basis as he rushed for 84 yards and two scores on 19 carries, while also adding two catches for another 16 yards.  The 19 carries was a very nice sign that Freeman is still the clear leader in the Atlanta Falcons' backfield and he remains a RB 1 everywhere.

-Aaron Rodgers has almost no one left to throw to but it doesn't seem to matter as he completed 33-of-50 passes for 343 yards with 2 TD and 1 INT.  With the Packers having fallen behind by a large margin early, it was a fantasy football setup made in heaven as Rodgers was continually forced to throw.  With both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb getting injured though, you have to wonder if at least a bit of numbers slippage will ensue.

-Jason Witten remains the clear safety valve for QB Dak Prescott as he caught 10 balls for 97 yards and a score in the team's loss to the Denver Broncos.  If you didn't know any better, you would think it was 2010 and Witten was  his 80-catch self.  The future Hall of Famer is one of the all-time great receivers at any position and he seems to have enough juice left in the tank to help for at least one more season.

-Samaje Perine inherited the carries lost when Rob Kelley broke a rib but he was just all right as he rushed for 67 yards on 21 carries.  Chris Thompson had a monster game as the receiving back in this one and so a clear committee is in order going forward while Kelley is out.  Perine has upside no doubt but in a passing offense like the Washington Redskins run, he is nothing more than a RB 3.

-Carlos Hyde may finally be living up to the hype he had coming out of college as he was unstoppable Sunday against a usually stout Seattle Seahawks D-line.  Hyde rushed for 124 yards on 15 carries, while also adding 3 catches for another 19.  There is some Mark Ingram here when it comes to Hyde in terms of developing into an effective receiver at the NFL level and that has elevated his status overall.  While he still gets hurt all the time, Hyde is looking like a big value play at this point in the season.

-The Seattle Seahawks offense is a mess due to a horrid offensive line and tight end Jimmy Graham has been one of its victims as he caught just one ball for one yard Sunday.  With Russell Wilson not having any time to throw, Graham all of a sudden is being marginalized.  Bench Graham for Week 3 to see if the Seahawks can work things out.

-Todd Gurley answered his critics at least for one week as he rushed for 88 yards and a score on 16 carries Sunday, while also catching 3 passes for 48 yards and another score.  Gurley finally showed some burst and wiggle which had been absent since 2015 but the talent has always been there.

-Chris Thompson is begging to be added in PPR formats as he was terrific for a second week in a row to begin the season as he caught 3 passes for 29 yards; while adding 3 carries for 77 yards and two scores.  While he won't be running much, Thompson is one of the best receiving backs in the NFL and so he should be added if still available.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 WRAPUP 1:00 GAMES

-It was another ugly week for Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton who completed just 20-of-32 throws for 228 yards with zero scores or picks.  While it was nice for Newton not to turn it over, he remains nothing but a backup fantasy football QB like I said he was prior to the season beginning.  As overrated as it gets.

-We pity anyone who had to go against New England Patriots QB Tom Brady this week.  Coming off a dud of an opener, a pissed off Brady was all that was needed for a monster day and that is what he provided as he completed 30-of-39 passes for 447 yards and 3 scores.  It was close to perfection for Brady who once again can never be doubted.

-Despite having motivation on his side in playing his former team and the Pats scoring a ton of points, New England Patriots WR Brandin Cooks went bust as he caught just 2 passes for 37 yards in the win over the New Orleans Saints.  Cooks has made a career of being grossly inconsistent and he has had two underwhelming outings to begin the season.  All those glowing preseasons projections of Cooks being a WR 1 are not looking silly.

-Maybe the Mitch Trubisky Watch is already on.  You can't blame Chicago Bears fans from dreaming of such a thing after seeing Mike Glennon complete just 31-of-45 throws for 301 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT.  Glennon also lost a fumble as he was completely overwhelmed in the blowout loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  While we don't expect such a move yet, Glennon should be avoided everywhere.

-J.J. Nelson stepped up for the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday as he caught five balls for 120 yards and a score in the team's late win over the Indianapolis Colts.  With Larry Fitzgerald drawing defensive attention, Nelson took advantage of single coverage to have the nice outing.  Now in terms of fantasy football, Nelson has some WR 3 appeal given the always dicey health of John Brown but ideally you want him as a bench option to fill in when the byes arrive on the schedule.

-Just when everyone was ready to bury Cardinals QB Carson Palmer, the veteran went out and completed 19-of-36 throws for 332 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  The completion rate was not great and we are still not comfortable using Palmer in terms of starting for any fantasy football team but at least he is mounting a bit of a comeback.

-After a quiet opener where he no doubt worked off rust from being suspended, Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Martavis Bryant was back to his big-play self as he caught three passes for 91 yards and a touchdown.  We think Bryant will be extremely up and down on a weekly basis which can be annoying but he should have a spot as a fringe WR 3 guy going forward.

-While J.J. Nelson had a nice day receiving for the Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald went the other way as he grabbed just 3 balls for 21 yards.  It was pretty much a bust of a day for Fitzgerald but those are few and far between for the veteran.  Keep the faith.

-Already banged up with wrist and groin injuries, Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy was a dud Sunday as he rushed for just 9 yards on 12 carries, while salvaging something out of his day by catching 6 balls for 34 yards.  Nothing was doing on the ground for the Bills and McCoy and so you have to wonder if the injuries were a factor.  We have said repeatedly that if you own McCoy, the best thing to do is sell high as the heavy workload and age could conspire for more trouble ahead.

-Kerwyn Williams was a hot pickup this week as the projected replacement for David Johnson as the starting running back for the Cardinals but he was ineffective Sunday in rushing for 22 yards on 9 carries.  Look for Chris Johnson to be the starter going forward as he outplayed Williams and thus carries some RB 4 value.

-Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt is 2/2 in terms of producting RB 1 numbers to begin his career after rushing for 81 yards and two scores on just 13 carries Sunday, while adding 3 catches for another 28 yards.  Basically Hunt is a must start each and every week and those who snagged him in the late middle rounds before Spencer Ware got hurt could have the value play of the year.

-Jack Doyle figured to be the biggest beneficiary of the dink-and-dunk Indianapolis Colts offense with Andrew Luck out and he showed this by catching 8 balls for 79 yards in the team's loss to the Arizona Cardinals.  Be that as it may, you don't want to own Doyle unless his QB is Luck as his upside is very limited.

-Donte Moncrief is showing that we may all have overvalued him the last few seasons as he caught just 2 passes for 18 yards on Sunday.  This was the second dud in two games for Moncrief who should be cut in all formats.

-Already banged up coming into the game, Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard was seen with a sling on his right arm after the team's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday.  Howard rushed for just 7 yards on 9 carries after being questionable all week with a shoulder injury and the easy projection is that he hurt it more in the game.  This would mean rookie Tarik Cohen would be more involved then ever before next week.

-After a quiet Week 1, Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco got into the swing of things in Week 2 as he completed 25-of-34 passes for 217 yards with 2 TD and 1 INT versus the Cleveland Browns.  We all know by now that Flacco only has value in two QB formats and even there he is as boring as it gets.

-Terrance West was supposed to at least split carries with Buck Allen in going forward with Danny Woodhead being out but that is not what happened Sunday as he rushed for just 22 yards on 8 carries.  While West did add two catches for another 23 yards, it is clear he is behind Allen in the running back pecking order for now.  West can be safely dropped as a result.

-Speaking of Allen, he had a nice game in rushing for 66 yards on 14 carries, while also contributing 5 catches for another 35 yards and a score.  It is obvious that Allen is the guy to own in terms of fantasy football and in particular he carries nice RB 2 value while Danny Woodhead is out in PPR formats.

-Mike Evans picked up right where he left off last season in terms of being a receptions hog; catching 7 passes for 93 yards and a score.  Typical Evans who was well worth the mid-first round price he cost at the draft table.

-While the encore is never as good as the original, Bears running back Tarik Cohen got his numbers in terms of fantasy football Sunday as he rushed for 13 yards on 7 carries, while adding 8 receptions for another 55 yards.  Cohen is a PPR guy all the way but we have to see what the status is of Jordan Howard and his shoulder injury in terms of if he can be useful in standard leagues in Week 3 also.

-It was ugly yet again for Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles Sunday as he completed just 20-of-34 passes for 223 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT's.  This is typical Bortles who is truly brutal and needs to be on every waiver wire.

-I mentioned it from the beginning of the season that Derrick Henry is a major threat to DeMarco Murray and his standing as the Tennessee Titans' starter and it took only two weeks for there to be a changing of the guard.  Having been drafted by the current coaching staff and front office, Henry rushed for 92 yards and a score on just 14 carries, while Murray got just 9 carries for 25 yards.  There is a ton of mileage on Murray and so this is a situation which needs to be looked at closely.



2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING INJURY NEWS: GREG OLSEN SUFFERS BROKEN FOOT SUNDAY

Updating an earlier item, the Carolina Panthers have revealed that star tight end Greg Olsen suffered a broken foot in the team's Sunday game versus the Buffalo Bills.  While no word has been mentioned yet about how long Olsen will be out, count on it being December before we see him again.  This is a monstrous blow to Olsen's fantasy football owners as he went a moderately high pick as a top three selection from the shallow tight end position.  It will be tough to carry Olsen that long on your bench and so cutting him is not out of the realm of possibility here.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 BREAKING NEWS: GRONK EXITS WITH GROIN INJURY

Another year and another injury for New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski who suffered a groin injury during the second half of the team's game versus the New England Patriots.  As always the talent is first rate here but Gronk simply can't stay on the field long enough to justify his annually high draft cost.  An update is expected after the game but already we have to think Gronk is questionable for Week 3.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 BREAKING NEWS: COREY DAVIS EXITS WITH HAMSTRING INJURY

Having battled a hamstring injury that caused him to miss the entire preseason, Tennessee Titans rookie wideout Corey Davis was forced out of the team's game Sunday with a new injury to the area.  Davis is being listed as questionable to return but it likely is that he is finished for the day given the history.  


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 BREAKING NEWS: GREG OLSEN SUFFERS NON-CONTACT FOOT/LEG INJURY

Here we go again.  This time it was Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen who suffered a non-contact injury to his foot/leg that already has him ruled out for the remainder of the game versus the Buffalo Bills.  Olsen was in visible pain after going down in the first half and he will now head for testing to see if his ACL is intact.  We already have seen Allen Robinson and Julian Edelman go down for the year with non-contact ACL years and so Olsen is in serious risk right now.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 BREAKING NEWS: JEREMY MACLIN QUESTIONABLE TO RETURN AFTER SUFFERING STINGER

Baltimore Ravens wideout Jeremy Maclin suffered a shoulder stinger after catching an early pass in the team's game versus the Cleveland Browns and is questionable to return.  Anyone who started Maclin today are already behind the eight ball if he can't get back out onto the field but we will update his status if there are changes.  


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 BREAKING NEWS: JESSE JAMES HAVING FOOT LOOKED AT

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James lasted all of one play Sunday before heading to the sidelines to have trainers look at his foot.  No word yet on the severity and his status the rest of the game versus the Minnesota Vikings.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 INJURY WATCH: JORDAN HOWARD (SHOULDER) ACTIVE SUNDAY

As expected, Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard is active and will start for the team versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Howard was previously listed as questionable with a sore shoulder but he did enough during the week to get the call.  He likely will cede time to rookie Tarik Cohen however and that hurts Howard in PPR formats.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: CASE KEENUM STARTING FOR VIKES

Updating an earlier item, the Minnesota Vikings will go with Case Keenum at quarterback versus the Pittsburgh Steelers as starter Sam Bradford's knee did not respond in warmups.  As stated earlier, both Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen need to be downgraded this week, while the Steelers defense gets a late boost.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 BREAKING NEWS: SAM BRADFORD LEAVES WARMUPS EARLY, LIKELY OUT FOR GAME

Minnesota Vikings QB Sam Bradford is unlikely to start Sunday versus the Pittsburgh Steelers as he was forced to leave warmups early and did not drop back once as he tested his injured knee.  Reports are that Bradford won't get medical clearance to make the start and so backup Case Keenum will likely get the nod.  This of course would be bad news for Vikes wideouts Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs who both excelled in Week 1 with Bradford.  Both would have to be downgraded to WR 3's and even running back Dalvin Cooks could have a tougher day as he faces more stacked boxes at the line of scrimmage.  


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 INJURY NEWS: SAM BRADFORD TO BE GAME-TIME CALL

Fantasy football owners of Minnesota Vikings wideouts Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are on the edges of their seats Sunday morning as they await word on whether or not QB Sam Bradford will be able to make the start versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Bradford will be a game-time call as he deals with yet more left knee trouble which has already been repaired twice for ACL tears.  If Bradford were to sit out, backup Case Keenum would get the call and his limited game would severely hurt Diggs and Thielen to the point both would be firm low-end WR 3's.  This unfortunately has been the story of Bradford's career in that he flashes big potential but whose body ultimately lets him down.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 INJURY NEWS: JORDAN HOWARD (SHOULDER) TO START WEEK 2

Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard will be active and start Sunday despite being listed as questionable for Week 2 with a shoulder injury.  Howard's status was never in any doubt as John Fox loves to toy around with the injury report but his fantasy football standing is very much up in the air all of a sudden as rookie Tarik Cohen comes off a monster Week 1 debut.  Also Howard draws a tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers run defense so there are a few negatives to riding him this week.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 DEFENSE RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 2 defense rankings based on opposing matchups.

1. Seattle Seahawks
2.  Baltimore Ravens
3.  Arizona Cardinals
4.  Oakland Raiders
5.  Denver Broncos
6.  Los Angeles Rams
7.  Carolina Panthers
8.  New York Giants
9.  Los Angeles Chargers
10. Tennessee Titans
11. Kansas City Chiefs
12. Philadelphia Eagles
13. Jacksonville Jaguars
14. Minnesota Vikings
15. Pittsburgh Steelers
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
17. Dallas Cowboys
18. Detroit Lions
19. Chicago Bears
20. Washington Redskins


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL STOCK WATCH: REX BURKHEAD RB NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Well Week 1 certainly didn't go as planned for anyone who was holding stock in New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead.  The hype machine had gotten a bit out of control when it came to Burkhead during the preseason as there were many reports that the Bill Belichick favorite would be heavily involved both in the running and passing game.  And it looked to be a development that was coming true at the start of the Pats' opener versus the Kansas City Chiefs when Burkhead started and caught a pass on the opening series.  That would be pretty much the high point for Burkhead in that one however as he played only TEN snaps for the entire game while James White and Mike Gillislee handled the majority of work in the backfield.  What happened next was a mass exodus of Burkhead from the rosters of most of his owners which would be a more than understandable reaction considering how crowded the Patriots' backfield is.

Well it certainly looks like things could be changing for Burkhead for the better however this week as the absence of Danny Amendola due to injury is expected to open up possible slot appearances by the former.  Already having shown himself to be a very good pass receiver, Burkhead now takes on some upside in PPR formats for Week 2.  Of course this being the Pats, nothing is every guaranteed but at least Burkhead has some semblance of value again.  A stab in deeper formats is warranted, especially for those David Johnson owners who need some PPR help.


Friday, September 15, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 TIGHT END RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football tight end rankings for Week 2 based on opposing matchups:

1.  Rob Gronkowski
2.  Travis Kelce
3.  Zach Ertz
4.  Jimmy Graham
5.  Greg Olsen
6.  Kyle Rudolph
7.  Jordan Reed
8.  Coby Fleener
9.  Martellus Bennett
10. Charles Clay
11. Eric Ebron
12. Delanie Walker
13. Jason Witten
14. Cameron Brate
15. Austin Hooper
16. Jesse James
17. Hunter Henry
18. Jack Doyle
19. Jared Cook
20. Evan Engram
21. Julius Thomas
22. O.J. Howard
23. George Kittle
24. Antonio Gates
25. Zach Miller


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 START/SIT

With fantasy football Week 2 kicking off tonight (Bengals-Texans), let's see which prime players make the START/SIT cut.

START 

Ty Montgomery:  The Atlanta Falcons are fresh of letting Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen run all over the field in Week 1 and now they get the speedy Montgomery who presents his own set of problems.  The Packers are giving Montgomery full run as the starting running back and so this is a prime matchup well worth taking advantage of.

Tom Brady:  When Tom Brady gets pissed off, look out.  It will be Brady out for blood this week against a New Orleans Saints defense that just got torched by Sam Bradford.  

Alex Smith:  Those who play in two-QB formats should dial up Smith again as he comes off a 4-TD performance in the opener.  The Eagles have a stout front 7 but their secondary remains a major problem spot.  

Oakland Defense:  Any defensive unit that gets to face the New York Jets offense is a must start.  

Mike Gillislee:  Count on Gillislee getting another bunch of chances to score in an expected shootout versus New Orleans.  

Leonard Fournette:  With the Jacksonville Jaguars clearly choosing to ride Fournette heavily, he stands a great chance of running for 100 yards again versus a soft Tennessee front seven.  

Todd Gurley:  If ever Gurley is going to get going this season, it will be against an annual terrible Washington Redskins defense.  

Randall Cobb:  Jordy Nelson is the obvious START call among the Green Bay wideouts but we would give Cobb a strong look as he is 100 percent healthy and performing like the top WR 2 he was prior to 2016.

Chris Hogan:  With Danny Amendola likely out with a bad knee and concussion issues, dial up Hogan again as he surely will be more heavily involved in the high-scoring game versus the Saints. 

Eric Ebron:  Flat out, the New York Giants defense can't stop receiving tight ends and so this would be a prime week for Eric Ebron to get going.   

Jeremy Maclin:  While he was quiet in Week 1, count on Maclin making his presence felt against a Cleveland secondary that was demolished by Antonio Brown last week.  


SIT

Dez Bryant:  Coming off another lost battle versus New York Giants CB Janoris Jenkins, Dez Bryant now gets arguably the best cover corner in the game in Denver's Aqib Talib.  

Ben Roethslisberger:  The Cleveland Browns got some good push on Big Ben last week and the Minnesota Vikings D-line is even more potent.  Could be a big trouble spot for the Steelers passing game.  

Dak Prescott:  The Denver Broncos defense gave up 3 passing scores to Philip Rivers last week and so I can't see them giving up back-to-back generous numbers to the opposing passer.  Prescott is a dicey pure passer as it is to make this an even more scary matchup to avoid.  

Corey Coleman:  While he had a nice Week 1, I would move away from Coleman this week against a Baltimore Ravens defense that shut out Andy Dalton and A.J. Green from hitting paydirt.  

Pierre Garcon:  Look for Richard Sherman to shadow the 49ers' Garcon which makes him a no-go even in PPR formats.  

Jonathan Stewart:  The Bills have a decent run defense and they completely bottled up Matt Forte and Bilal Powell last week.