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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL TRADE DEADLINE: MORE ACTIVITY THAN USUAL

The NFL deciding to move back the trade deadline in 2016 finally showed some intriguing results this season as there were a few big trades done leading up to the 4:00 PM cutoff.  The fun started with the Miami Dolphins trading running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles and included the Buffalo Bills shockingly adding wideout Kelvin Benjamin from the Carolina Panthers.  Let's take a look at these happenings and of course the latest Ezekiel Elliott happenings.

Jay Ajayi:  The first place Eagles made a big and bold move early Monday by picking up running back Jay Ajayi from the Miami Dolphins for just a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.  Clearly Dolphins head coach Adam Gase had no use for Ajayi and his disdain for the running back goes back to the start of last year.  That was when Gase suspended Ajayi after he was beaten out by Arian Foster to begin the season as the starter and with the running numbers falling way below expectations, the move was made.  Prior to the deal, Ajayi struggled in all but two games for the Dolphins as the struggling O-line failed to open holes and the numbers dipped sharply compared to a year ago.  This after Ajayi went as a late first-round pick in many drafts this past summer.  So now we have to grade Ajayi on his new locale and on that front things are looking up.  The Eagles' O-line is much better at opening up holes in the run game and that alone will boost Ajayis numbers.  Of course LeGarrette Blount remains and GM Howie Roseman proclaimed late Monday that he remains the starter.  That will likely just be until Ajayi gets a hold of the offense and so overall his stock is moving upwards to high-RB 2 status instead of the low-RB 2 tier he resided in with Miami.

Kelvin Benjamin:  The real shocker was the Carolina Panthers dealing top wideout Kelvin Benjamin to the Buffalo Bills for 2018 third-and-seventh-round picks.  Benjamin is a pending unrestricted free agent which likely was the impetus for the deal but his status as a WR 2 doesn't in moving to Buffalo.  However Bills QB Tyrod Taylor will benefit for sure, while Panthers wideout Devin Funchess is now the top dog in the team's wide receiver hierarchy. 

Ezekiel Elliott:  Already the first of two appeals was denied for Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott on Monday and the second one will likely be rejected as well.  The next phase would then be Elliott challenging to the Second Circuit Court which will continue this nonsense.  Elliott really needs to get the suspension over with so that he is there for the Cowboys the last few games of the season when a division title could be on the line and also to return for the fantasy football playoff weeks for his owners.  This saga shows no signs of ending anytime soon. 


2017 NFL TRADING DEADLINE FALLOUT: EAGLES NET JAY AJAYI FROM MIAMI

The Miami Dolphins pulled off a shocker Tuesday when they traded running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.  Ajayi joins a crowded backfield in Philly that includes LeGarrette Blount and Wendell Smallwood and so on the surface this is not such a great deal for his fantasy football value.  Prior to the deal, Ajayi was hot and cold in terms of weekly numbers and he will retain downgraded RB 2 status.

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL MONDAY NIGHT WRAPUP: CHIEFS/BRONCOS

The Denver Broncos should have been all over the Jimmy Garappolo talks because it is clear they don't have a competent QB on the roster.  Meanwhile the Chiefs have some kicker to go with an explosive offense and terrific defense.

-Boy has Broncos QB Trevor Siemian hit the skids.  A decent start to the year has descended to where he is no lock to start going forward as he completed just 19-of-36 throws for 198 yards with 1 TD and 3 INT's.  Paxton Lynch is unlikely to be much better so a championship-caliber defense is going to waste.  Meanwhile Alex Smith was a inaccurate in completing just 14-of-31 throws but he tossed a TD and didn't throw an interception.  This is more the Alex Smith from the previous decade but he still is worth an every week start given the tools around him.

-Kareem Hunt is human after all.  The prized Chiefs rookie back rushed for just 46 yards on 22 carries as he experienced what Ezekiel Elliott did a few weeks prior in getting shut down by the tremendous Broncos run defense.  Hunt did add 3 catches for 22 yards but overall it was a rare non-impact outing.  No reason to worry though.

On the other side, C.J. Anderson rushed for 78 yards on 15 carries, while Devontae Booker (6 for 40) picked up a score.  Feel free to drop Jamaal Charles who lost a fumble and rushed for 39 yards on 8 carries.  Too many mouths to feed here.  Also Anderson and Lamar Miller might be the most boring backs in the league.

-Demaryuis Thomas continued to waste away in the awful Denver passing games.  He had his usual five catches (for 66 yards) but did not score again.  A true WR 1 with an even decent QB, Thomas remains in WR 2 purgatory. 

As far as the Chiefs receivers, tight end Travis Kelce remains an impossible matchup for defenses as he hauled in 7 balls for 133 yards and one TD.  Tyreek Hill was back to frustrating his owners in catching just two passes for 38 yards.  He is simply a younger DeSean Jackson. 

-Finally, a shout out needs to go to rookie Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker who put up 21 points in nailing all five of his field goals.  What a find this guy has been and he is getting a ton of chances which is fantasy football gold. 


Monday, October 30, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL TRADE DEADLINE MOVES: 49ERS GET THEIR FRANCHISE QB BY ACQUIRING JIMMY GARAPPOLO

The New England Patriots finally found an offer they liked for top backup QB Jimmy Garrappolo and it was a second-round pick from the San Francisco 49ers that got it done as the teams agree to a deal late Monday night.  Garappolo will now become the new franchise QB for the winless 49ers who have been desperately searching for a passer for years.  The 49ers already cut loose veteran Brian Hoyer (who could catch on quickly in Green Bay) and now the Pats have moved both Garappolo and Jacoby Brissett this season as the Tom Brady Show will continue on uninterrupted for a few more seasons.  While Garrappolo has to learn the offense, he should garner some fantasy football attention in two passer leagues and his arrival also will be a boost to the skills player on the 49ers offense. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL ISSUES: JAMEIS WINSTON INJURY/INEFFECTIVENESS HURTING MIKE EVANS

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be without QB Jameis Winston for Week 9 as he is still being bothered by an ongoing shoulder problem that clearly hurt his play in this past Sunday's game.  Winston performed horrible in the team's loss to the Carolina Panthers as he tossed 2 interceptions without a scoring pass and looked inhibited throughout the game.  In addition, Winston's brutal play put a major hurting on the production of ace wideout Mike Evans who caught just one pass in the first half this past Sunday and then added some garbage time receptions to carve out a semi-useful day (5 catches for 60 yards).  The fact of the matter however is that Evans' numbers are down sharply this season compared to his monster 2016 and if Winston is out for Week 9, his production will likely take a hit again with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center.  While we don't suggest running out to sell Evans, talking up his name brand to a less-than-tuned-in fantasy player could be a decent way to get out from the trouble.  Either way, Evans has not lived up to his first round value halfway through the season. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY REPORT: LOTS OF ANKLE INJURIES ABOUND

-Fantasy football owners of Miami Dolphins wideout DeVante Parker should finally get their man back for Week 9 as his ankle injury is almost healed up according to the team.  Parker was starting to put things together in September before the ankle injury wiped out the month of October for him but he remains filled with potential going forward with QB Jay Cutler.

-Speaking of Cutler, he should return in Week 9 as well and that is great news for owners of Parker, Jarvis Landry, and running back Jay Ajayi. With Matt Moore having performed terribly in Week 8 as he took down the Miami skills position players with him, things should look up across the board with Cutler back in the saddle.  Also Cutler himself is worth a look this week given how many teams are on a bye since he draws the awful Oakland Raiders defense.

-Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette will return in Week 9 after missing a game with a sprained ankle.  Fournette missing time is a constant reminder of how often he was injured in college but he is having a spectacular season when on the field.  He remains a top RB 1 no matter the matchup.

-New York Giants wideout Sterling Shepard practiced on Monday and looks set to return from his own ankle injury.  Shepard is a tremendous buy low candidate given that he will be the top target of QB Eli Manning going forward along with rookie tight end Evan Engram so try and steal him away.

-Buffalo Bills tight end Charles Clay did not practice on Monday and it will be tough for him to get back for Week 9 from his knee injury.  Given that the Bills play on Thursday, look for a Week 10 return.  Prior to the injury, Clay was playing well but he is an iffy weekly fantasy football guy.

-Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman is dealing with a minor shoulder ailment according to the team which is why Tevin Coleman got such a long look in Sunday's win over the New York Jets.  Freeman has been terrific all year when on the field though and he remains a top RB 1.  

2017 

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 8 WRAPUP

-It was baby steps for Cleveland Browns QB DeShon Kizer as he completed 18-of-34 throws for 179 yards with one rushing score.  The big takeway is that Kizer did not turn the football over and at least that represents some progress.  He remains with zero fantasy football value.

-Case Keenum will now take a seat next week for Teddy Bridgewater but the perennial backup really played well in place of Sam Bradford since Week 2.  Sunday was another solid game as Keenum completed 27-of-43 passes for 288 yards with 2 scores and 1 INT.  Given that Bridgewater is not a big numbers guy at QB, you could make the case that Keenum deserves to stay in there.

-Adam Thielen finally hit the end zone as he caught 5 balls for 98 yards and 1 score.  Outside of scoring touchdowns, Thielen has been terrific this season as he builds off his big second-half performance in 2016.  He is already moving into WR 2 territory and in PPR leagues there is no doubt Thielen has been gold.

-Jerrick McKinnon continues to produce in place of injured rookie back Dalvin Cook as the speedster rushed for 50 yards and a score on 14 carries, while adding 6 catches for another 72 yards.  Solid work for McKinnon who still has to split reps with Latavius Murray but his RB 2 value is set in stone.

-Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston went bust Sunday as he was completely overwhelmed by the Carolina Panthers defense in completing 21-of-38 passes for 210 yards with 0 TD's and 2 INT's.  While Winston has thrown for a bunch of yardage this season, he has very turnover-prone and overall has failed to come through as the popular sleeper he appeared to be during the summer.  In fact in single passer leagues, Winston needs to be benched.

-Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton was just all right Sunday as he completed 18-of-32 throws for 154 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  Newton has really run hot and cold this season in any given start and he remains toward the bottom of every-week starter status in 12-team leagues.

-Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy remains an ageless wonder as he was a monster for a third week in a row in rushing for 151 yards on 27 carries and a score, while adding 6 catches for another 22 yards.  It was an insanely productive game for McCoy as he remains as good a run/receiving back as there is in the entire league.

-Rookie QB C.J. Beathard doesn't seem to be the answer for the San Francisco 49ers as he completed just 17-of-36 throws for 167 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT's in the team's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.  The 49ers may have to turn back to Brian Hoyer for next week but either way you want to own no one from this mess of an offense.

-New England Patriots QB Tom Brady successfully dealt with the elements Sunday by completing 32-of-47 passes for 333 yards and 1 TD in the team's win over the Los Angeles Chargers.  By now we know that nothing bothers Brady and so a little wind and rain certainly was not going to deter him.  Again with Aaron Rodgers out of commission, Brady is the top fantasy football QB by a mile this season.

-Rob Gronkowski is healthy at least for now and so the numbers flowed like usual in an excellent sense Sunday as he caught 5 balls for 57 yards and a touchdown.  Gronk will always play pitch-and-catch with Tom Brady and Sunday was no different.  Of course every Gronk owner has to weigh selling high off a game like this since the next injury is always right around the corner.

-Very quiet for most of the 2017 fantasy football season, Philadelphia Eagles wideout Alshon Jeffery finally did something of note Sunday as he caught 2 balls for 62 yards and on score.  The development of Nelson Agholor has really hurt Jeffery's numbers overall however and he barely has WR 3 value at the moment.

-It was a mixed bag day for Patriots wideout Chris Hogan who caught 5 balls for 60 yards but left early with an injured shoulder.  Hogan has been beat up of late but the Pats have a bye next week which will help the recovery.  Be that as it may, Hogan has been a solid WR 3 in fantasy football with 5 touchdown grabs but also with light yardage.

-San Francisco 49ers wideout Pierre Garcon suffered a scary neck injury Sunday in the team's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles after crashing into one of the latter team's assistants during the second quarter.  Prior to the injury, Garcon grabbed just two balls for 17 yards and he is being dragged down by the complete incompetence of the 49ers offense.  Garcon should not be owned or used anywhere.

-Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller will miss the remainder of the 2017 season after he dislocated his knee during Sunday's loss to the New Orleans Saints.  Miller did not catch a single pass in the game and in deeper formats where he may be owned, obviously cutting the guy loose is the only option.

-Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan got back on track after a quiet last month as he completed 18-of-29 throws for 254 yards and two scores in the win over the New York Jets.  The offense clearly is a work in progress for the Falcons under Steve Sarkisian but hopefully this is a sign Ryan is ready to have a good second half.

-New York Jets big-play wideout Robby Anderson scored again Sunday among his 6 catches for 104 yards and a score in the team's loss to the Falcons.  While you never want to grade Anderson as more than a WR 3, he has at the very least earned solid status on that tier.

-On the road Indianapolis Colts wideout T.Y. Hilton remained a complete abomination as he caught just two balls for 15 yards in the team's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.  Hilton has always struggled badly on the road and been a star at home on the fast turf and this season has been no different.  With QB Andrew Luck likely out for the season, Hilton is nothing but a WR 3 only at home.

-The one Colts offensive player who has been a stud this season has been tight end Jack Doyle who caught 12 balls for 121 yards and a score.  Doyle is quietly having a fantastic seasons and has made good on the sleeper upside he brought to the draft table this summer.  With QB Jacoby Brissett constantly in search of his safety valve, Doyle has moved to TE 1 status.

-Bengals RB Joe Mixon continues to disappoint as he picked up just 18 yards on 11 carries Sundya in the team's win over the Colts.  The running numbers simply have not been there but Mixon at leats added 3 catches for another 91 yards to save the day for his PPR owners Sunday.  There were comparisons to Ezekiel Elliott coming into the season but Mixon has been nothing but a RB 3 in all leagues.

-Doug Baldwin may have some company in terms of being the top wideout target of QB Russell Wilson in the form of the emerging Paul Richardson.  Richardson has picked up steal of late and was big on Sunday in catching 6 balls for 105 yards and 2 scores.  While he is not dependable enough to be more than a WR 3, Richardson should not be on the wire any longer.

-Tyler Lockett got in on the fun for the Seahawks in the receiving game as well Sunday in catching 6 balls for 121 yards. We would place Lockett firmly behind Paul Richardson in the Seattle receiving hierarchy though but a heavy bye Week 9 should get him noticed. 

-Will Fuller is some kind of crazy scoring machine at wideout for the Houston Texans as he was up to his old tricks Sunday in hauling in 5 balls for 125 yards and two more touchdowns.  Already with six scores on the year, Fuller needs to be utilized everywhere.

-It is beyond insane what Texans QB DeShaun Watson is doing right now.  The rookie from Clemson is putting forth the best rookie passing debut ever as he completed 19-of-30 throws for 402 yards with 4 scores and 3 INT's.  While the INT's are a negative, Watson has been the pickup of the season by a mile so far and is already putting forth top five numbers at the position.  Wow.

-Not to be outdone, Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson continued his monster pace of late by completing 26-of-41 throws for 452 yards with 4 TD's and 1 INT.  Wilson had a rough start to the season but he has arguably been the most productive passer in fantasy football the last three games. 



Sunday, October 29, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 8 RUNNING BACK RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 8 running back rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Le'Veon Bell
2.  Kareem Hunt
3.  Ezekiel Elliott
4.  Melvin Gordon
5.  Jordan Howard
6.  LeSean McCoy
7.  Mark Ingram
8.  Devonta Freeman
9.  Carlos Hyde
10. Jay Ajayi
11. Joe Mixon
12. Alvin Kamara
13. Doug Martin
14. Jerrick McKinnon
15. Chris Thompson
16. Christian McCaffrey
17. Dion Lewis
18. LeGarrette Blount
19. Lamar Miller
20. Ameer Abdullah
21. Jalen Richard
22. C.J. Anderson
23. Bilal Powell
24. James White
25. Tevin Coleman
26. Wendell Smallwood
27. Latavius Murray
28. DeAndre Washington
29. Duke Johnson
30. Theo Riddick
31. Tarik Cohen
32. Matt Forte
33. Frank Gore
34. Mike Gillislee
35. Robert Kelley

  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WATCH: JAMEIS WINSTON ACTIVE SUNDAY

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston is officially active Sunday and will start despite being listed as questionable with a shoulder injury.  Winston will take on a resurgent Carolina Panthers defense Sunday and with a shoulder that could lead to an early exit based on a single hit, he is quite the risky start this week in fantasy football terms. 


Saturday, October 28, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: JONATHAN LUCROY CATCHER FREE AGENT

Boy did that go all wrong.  When it came to the always shallow catcher position leading into 2017 fantasy baseball, one of the more trusted/stable options seemed to be Jonathan Lucroy.  Habitually hitting .280-plus with solid power and even a few steals thrown in as a bonus, Lucroy looked to be a nice investment for all those reasons and for being able to hit in an offensive haven in Texas with the Rangers.  Well it looked like all those years of catching caught up to Lucroy in 2017 as he was simply abysmal at the dish as he hit all of .242 with 4 homers in 281 at-bats with the Rangers before they shipped him off to the Colorado Rockies at the July 31 deadline.  While Lucroy's average perked up after the deal (.310), the power remained absent as he hit just 2 more home runs in 142 at-bats.  Combined together, Lucroy hit a composite .265 with all of 6 home runs despite playing in arguably two of the very best offensive parks in baseball.  Those are some scary numbers to say the least and it speaks to how Lucroy could very well be on the fast track toward decline.  Before you jump fully into that line of thinking however, it needs to be said that Lucroy's advanced numbers tell a bit of a different story.  For one thing, Lucroy's .286 BABIP was unlucky and way down from his .322 mark the year prior (hence the average hit).  Also Lucroy vastly improved his strikeout rate in going from 2016's 18.4 K/9 to a tiny 10.6 K/9 last season.  Drawing walks at a very good 9.6 BB/9 rate further validates the notion that Lucroy was simply unlucky when it comes to the offensive side of things.  If Lucroy in fact were to be declining, his strikeout rate would rise (indicating a slower bat), and the walks would dip as well (impatience setting in).  There was none of that last season though and so Lucroy stands a decent chance of posting a comeback campaign in 2018.  Just take into account Lucroy’s future ballpark as he makes his way into free agency. 

2018 PROJECTION:  .278 10 HR 70 RBI 65 R 2 SB  

Friday, October 27, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 8 QB RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 8 QB rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Drew Brees
2.  Philip Rivers
3.  Carson Wentz
4.  Tom Brady
5.  Dak Prescott
6.  Cam Newton
7.  Kirk Cousins
8.  Jameis Winston
9.  Russell Wilson
10. Andy Dalton
11. Ben Roethlisberger
12. Alex Smith
13. DeShaun Watson
14. Matt Ryan
15. Matthew Stafford
16. Derek Carr
17. Case Keenum
18. Tyrod Taylor
19. Josh McCown
20. Jacoby Brissett
21. Trevor Siemian
22. C.J. Beathard
23. Mitch Trubisky
24. DeShon Kizer

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL THURSDAY WRAPUP: DOLPHINS/RAVENS

Well I guess that's why Matt Moore has always been a backup.  It was a downright hideous performance by the Miami Dolphins Thursday night versus the Baltimore Ravens, with the latter's defense pitching a shutout and garnering two pick-sixes.  Hope you had that unit!  Anyways where is what else came out of the game from a fantasy football standpoint.

-As we noted, Moore was miserable as he completed 25-of-44 throws for 176 yards with the tow INT's returned for scores.  There is a chance Jay Cutler might be able to return for their next game and that needs to happen for the sake of the Miami skill players.  Meanwhile it was a rough night for Ravens QB Joe Flacco who endured a cheap and hellacious hit from Dolphins LB Kiko Alonso that could net a suspension.  Once Ryan Mallett came on for Flacco, it was all running game from that point onward.

-Speaking of the running game, Alex Collins reminds me so much of a young Jamaal Charles with his explosion and dancing feet.  Collins is really picking up RB 2 steam now as he rushed for 113 yards on 18 carries, while adding two receptions for another 30 yards.  Now Javorious Allen got 17 carries himself for 55 yards which means there is a still a decent division between the two.  At the very least, Allen is the receiving back as he plays on third downs which makes Collins more for the standard league crowd.  Still Collins looks like the real deal and that Irish Step Dancing is really doing its thing (check out CBS News on that story). 

In terms of Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi, he went bust in very ugly fashion again as he rushed for just 23 yards on 13 carries as the Ravens stacked 8 in the box.  While he added four catches for 18 yards for the PPR crowd, Ajayi has clearly dropped to RB 2 status and is only there on the count of workload.  Since he went in the first round of many drafts this summer, Ajayi is a huge bust so far this season. 

-Not much was happening in the receiving game for both teams but Jeremy Maclin made the most of his 3 catches for 53 yards by scoring a touchdown.  I personally picked up Maclin an hour before the game in place of Jermaine Kearse given all the injuries on the Baltimore receiving corps and was proud of myself for the 14-plus points he netted.  Still after the big first quarter there was the potentil for more if Flacco hadn't gotten hurt.  Meanwhile Ben Watson caught the Ryan Mallett TD pass but only netted 2 catches for 6 yards. 

On the Miami side, Jarvis Landry went bust as he caught 5 passes for 33 yards but Kenny Still continued to show a rapport with Moore by hauling in 5 for 65.  Still this Miami offense is a mess. 


Thursday, October 26, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 8 ISSUES: JuJu SMITH-SCHUSTER BECOMES MAJOR PERSON OF INTEREST WITH MARTAVIS BRYANT SUSPENDED

The ongoing saga between the Pittsburgh Steelers and wideout Martavis Bryan reached a new low on Wednesday when the team informed their big-play threat he would be suspended for Week 8 for conduct detrimental to the team.  Bryant has been popping off on social media regarding his limited involvement in the Steelers' offense to this point and even went so far as to mock rookie wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster.  With Bryant on the sidelines for Week 8, it is Smith-Schuster who all of a sudden becomes a person of interest in the fantasy football world.  With Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell continuing to draw most of the opposing defensive attention, Smith-Schuster will draw single-coverage to exploit in the passing game.  While Smith-Schuster has only contributed some sporadic catches to this point, he should surely see his usage go up beginning in Sunday's game.  At the very least, Smith-Schuster should be picked up where available given the fact we are in a big bye week and also for the upside the rest of the way if the Steelers do trade Bryant.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL STATUS REPORT: JAMEIS WINSTON QB TAMPA BAY BUC'S

When it came to 2017 fantasy football drafts this past summer, a popular name among the QB fraternity that kept popping up was undoubtedly Tampa Bay Buccaneers third-year passer Jameis Winston.  Whether it was the exposure to Hard Knocks, the plethora or receiving talent on the team, or simply the fact he presented a nice value play price at the draft table; Winston was a guy that many targeted in their drafts during August.  All of the previous reasons listed for being interested in Winston were certainly valid and the pedigree was undeniable as the former number 1 overall pick in the the 2015 NFL Draft.  And those weapons?  With DeSean Jackson signing as a free agent and the drafting of O.J. Howard joining ace wideout Mike Evans and red zone super target tight end Cameron Brate, Winston was the envy of many passers around the league. As a whole however, Winston has been a bit up and down like he was his first two years in the league but some numbers do stand out among the following:

10 TD
4 INT
63.0 %
1,643 yards

First of all, the TD/INT ratio is not great and interceptions have been a problem for Winston since coming into the.  He has a bit of an elongated release and Winston also tends to think he can make every throw on the field.  While you love the confidence, it can get him into trouble with turnovers.  Now 10 TD's in 6 games is pretty good but at that rate he would fall below 30 which would be a mildly disappointing considering the weaponry.  Perhaps the best aspect of Winston's seasons has been the yardage as he has thrown for over 300 yards in 4 of his six games (with one being an early exit due to injury).  Right now Winston is a bit beat up as he deals with a a shoulder problem but he is a go for Sunday and the numbers overall should merit him top 10-12 status in fantasy football.  So while some Winston owners may admit they are feeling letdown in their investment so far, the overall picture is still very good. 




Wednesday, October 25, 2017

2017 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS 5-2 IN EXPERTS: HOW TWO TRADES SAVED MY SEASON

Two weeks ago things couldn't have been going any better for yours truly in the Fantasy Sports Boss Experts PPR League.  I sat in first with a perfect 4-0 record and had the best QB in the game (Aaron Rodgers), best running back (Le'Veon Bell), and best performing tight end (Zach Ertz).  Throw in a nice start to Ty Montgomery and things were as good as can be.  Fast forward two weeks later and all hell broke loose as Rodgers was lost with a broken collarbone, Montgomery was dealing with broken ribs and being overtaken by rookie Aaron Jones, and I had dropped two games in a row to fall to 4-2.  Instead of panicking though, I made three trades to stabilize my team prior to and during live games in Week 6 which has so far saved my season.

The first move I made was prior to Week 6 when I dealt Golden Tate for Mark Ingram and Aaron Jones.  Now keep in mind Ingram was playing a part-time role previous to Week 6 with Alvin Kamara and Adrian Peterson around but once Peterson got dealt, I figured there was a nice buy low opportunity.  The fact I was able to net Jones as well in sensing Montgomery was done as the starting running back was icing on the cake.  Of course Tate then goes out and gets hurt but even if he didn't I won that deal by a mile as Ingram has reeled off two 100-yard rushing games in a row, plus three scores, and a bunch of catches.  Jones meanwhile in Week 7 ran wild to fully secure the starting role for the Packers at running back.  At the very least now I have three very good backs with the bye weeks arriving in full force.

The next move I made was literally minutes after Rodgers broken his collarbone in Week 6.  I dealt Montgomery for Ben Roethlisberger from an owner who already had Drew Brees.  He needed a back and figured to take a shot to see if Montgomery would be viable again.  While that hasn't worked out for me, Big Ben went out and threw for two scores this past Sunday.  Another buy low made good. 

Last but not least I also moved my fourth wideout Randall Cobb to a WR-needy team flooded by injuries prior to Week 6 and got back the Denver Broncos defense.  I had no use for Cobb and that was especially true with Rodgers out.  Of course at the time of the deal Rodgers was healthy but I needed help on defense and got on paper the best unit (right Ezekiel Elliott?).  While the Denver defense has been leaky so far to a point, I am happy with the move. 

So overall I need to improve my wideouts behind Mike Evans (Chris Hogan, Jermaine Kearse) but everything else looks good for now.  Tried snagging Andy Dalton off waivers this week since he was going against Indy but no dice.  Picked up New Orleans defense since they get the Chicago Bears and will bench Denver for this week.  So at 5-2 I am happy but man what this team would have done with a sound Rodgers. 


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 8 WAIVER WIRE ADDS

Josh Docston:  The Washington Redskins have given up on the Terrell Pryor experiment at wide receiver and they are now fully deploying 2016 first-round pick Josh Docston in response.  While Docston caught just three balls Monday night, he has tremendous athleticism and the promise to be an impact player the rest of the season once he gets on the same page as QB Kirk Cousins.

Josh McCown:  Unbelievably, New York Jets QB Josh McCown is worth adding as the journeyman passer comes off a FOUR TD game Sunday (3 passing, 1 rushing.  While McCown throws a lot of picks, he also has 10 passing scores and over 1,500 yards.  He gets the always shaky Atlanta Falcons defense as well this week to possibly keep the fun going.

Case Keenum:  If you are in need of a streamable QB this week, the Minnesota Vikings' Case Keenum is a great bet since he will get to exploit the brutal Indianapolis Colts defense.

Marlon Mack:  Yes it seems like the Colts' Marlon Mack has been on this list all season but the loss of Robert Turbin for the year has opened up even more carries for the promising rookie.  With Frank Gore finally looking to be on fumes, Mack should be firmly added everywhere.

Dion Lewis:  Yes the New England Patriots' backfield as a crowded mess but Lewis has now emerged as the most potent fantasy football-scorer from the bunch.  Lewis is adept both at running and catching the football and so those in PPR needs to be especially aggressive here.

Jalen Richard:  With Marshawn Lynch earning a one-game suspension for Week 8, the diminutive but speedy Richard figures to be the main runner/receiver out of the backfield.  Again those in PPR should be especially interested.

Kenny Golladay:  Now that Golden Tate is out for a few weeks with injury, rookie Kenny Golladay should see a vast uptick in targets from QB Matthew Stafford.

Kenny Stills:  Clearly Miami Dolphins wideout Kenny Still has a nice rapport with QB Matt Moore after the two connected for two passing scores this past Sunday.  With Jay Cutler out weeks with a bunch of broken ribs, Still is worth a long look.

New Orleans Saints Defense:  With the New Orleans Saints defense getting the awful Chicago Bears offense this week, they are the easy call for being the top streaming unit.  Count on a turnover or two from rookie QB Mitch Trubisky helping the cause.



2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL MONDAY NIGHT WRAPUP: EAGLES/REDSKINS

It was a passing feast Monday night as the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles squared off in their always entertaining rivalry.  Here are the fantasy football items that came out of the game worth discussing. 

-One of the early front-runners for fantasy football MVP in 2017 undoubtedly is Philadelphia Eagles sophomore QB Carson Wentz.  From the very start of the season, Wentz has been completely locked in with his passing and the numbers are flowing at a monstrous rate.  Monday night was no different as Wentz completed 17-of-25 throws for 268 yards with 4 TD and 1 INT.  Now up to 17 passing TD's on the season, Wentz is a locked-in top five QB in all fantasy football formats and the good times will continue next week when he goes against the San Francisco 49ers. 

On the other side, Kirk Cousins was excellent himself as he completed 30-of-40 passes for 303 yards and 3 touchdowns with 1 pick.  Cousins has been tremendous since some initial issues getting on the same page with his new wideouts the first two games of the year but once again he is getting the job done for his owners. 

-With there being so much precision passing, the running games did little in this one.  Chris Thompson led the Redskins with 38 yards on just 7 carries but he did his thing in the passing game as always by hauling in 5 balls for 26 yards and a score.  Thompson has become a supreme RB 2 in PPR formats with his great pass-receiving ability but the guy can run a bit too. 

For the Eagles, Wendell Smallwood returned from a two-game injury absence to rush for 25 yards on 8 carries and added two catches for 14 yards.  LeGarrette Blount did nothing himself in rushing for 29 yards on 14 carries but both guys will likely work in tandem going forward.  That means each is also a clear RB 3.

-Zach Ertz has been a true gem of a tight end this season as he hauled in his fifth score of the year Monday as part of his five-catch day for 89 yards.  This has arguably been the best value play call I have made all season as I started pegging Ertz in July as a terrific buy at an annually frustrating position to figure out.  And Ertz had company in terms of tight ends hauling in a bunch of throws as counterpart Jordan Reed finally broke out by catching 6 passes for 64 yards and 2 scores.  Hopefully this is an indication Reed is finally healthy but figuring him to ever be sound physically is like a running joke. 


Monday, October 23, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 7 INJURY REPORT

As always injuries are taking a big chuck out of fantasy football rosters on a weekly basis and so let's check in on all the latest carnage to come out of Week 7 and their ramifications.

-Despite once again receiving the lion's share of carries in Week 7 over the hard-charging Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans running back DeMarco Murray remains a health mess.  Already dealing with a hamstring injury, Murray is now also battling a shoulder problem that cropped up in Sunday's game.  While he has a past that includes a slew of missed games, Murray has soldiered on this season in playing through the pain.  That is bad news for Henry owners who are still waiting for their guy to get a shot.  That wait will go on.

-Jay Cutler is down for a few weeks with cracked ribs and so capable backup Matt Moore moves into the QB driver's seat.  Moore threw for two scores to Kenny Stills to lead a comeback win for the Miami Dolphins over the New York Jets Sunday and he has decent ability to make himself worth of QB 2 consideration in two-passer formats.  In fact Moore has better accuracy than Cutler and could serve as a boost to Stills, Jarvis Landry, and DeVante Parker.

-Titans rookie wideout Corey Davis will practice soon as he eyes as possible Week 9 return.  The season has been a big bust so far for the 2017 first-round pick but Davis is worth holding onto given his massive potential. 

-Again with the Titans, tight end Delanie Walker escaped with just a bruise to his ankle according to head coach Mike Mularkey and he should be fine to go in Week 9 after the team comes back from the bye.

-Speaking of DeVante Parker, he will try to return to practice this week after missing two games with a bum ankle.  Parker has flashed big-play ability in limited time this season and so his solid WR 3 status remains solid.

-The loss of Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer from a broken left arm for the remainder of 2017 is absolutely horrendous news for wideouts Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown.  Drew Stanton is a terrible passer with no arm and already we saw how the offense grounded to a halt once Palmer went out Sunday. 

-The Green Bay Packers are hoping QB Aaron Rodgers returns Week 15 from a broken collarbone but that overly optimistic scenario can't come soon enough for fantasy football owners of wideout Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, and Randall Cobb who all went bust Sunday in an ugly loss to the New Orleans Saints.  Backup QB Brett Hundley seems ill prepared for the task at hand and Nelson catching just one pass shows how you bad the loss of Rodgers is for the team's skill players.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 7 WRAPUP

-As the legal saga continues between the NFL and Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, the player himself continues to churn ahead quite literally.  Elliott reminded his fantasy football owners what they will lose if he in fact is suspended as rushed for 147 yards and 2 scores on 26 carries, while also adding one catch for 72 big yards.  Obviously Elliott's owners need to enjoy this for however long it lasts but on talent alone there are few peers here in the game.

-Despite some truly end-of-times fog Sunday night, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady shrugged it off to complete 21-of-29 throws for 249 yards with 2 TD's in the team's win over the Atlanta Falcons.  None the worse for wear, it is the same old story of excellent from Brady who is the best fantasy football QB in the game with Aaron Rodgers sidelined.

-Doug Baldwin had his ace game going for the first time in awhile as he caught 9 balls for 92 yards and a TD.  It was a relatively quiet September for Baldwin but October has been better despite the fact he has been dogged by injuries.  He remains locked in as a low-end WR 1.

-Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson had a relatively effortless day Sunday as he completed 27-of-39 throws for 334 yards and 2 touchdowns.  The New York Giants defense had no answers for Wilson moving out of trouble and completing deep throws down the field.  Like with the rest of the Seattle offense, things have drastically picked up in October.

-Le'Veon Bell is insane right now as the Pittsburgh Steelers running back is producing video-game numbers all over the field.  His latest gem came Sunday in the form of rushing for 134 yards on 35 carries, while adding 3 catches for another 58 yards.  We still do worry about the crazy workload here which could cause Bell trouble in December but for now the guy is producing at a fantasy football MVP level.

-Dak Prescott has really elevated his pure passing game this season despite out concerns and he showed it again Sunday by completing 16-of-25 throws for 234 yards and 3 touchdowns over the San Francisco 49ers.  He also added a fourth score on 26 yards rushing.  We admit we told you all to avoid Prescott this season as he was not one to throw down the field as a rookie but he has refuted the suggestion he was not capable of doing so.  In fact Prescott is performing like a top five fantasy football QB right now.

-Once again when called on in a pinch, Miami Dolphins QB Matt Moore delivered.  Moore came on in relief of an injured Jay Cutler Sunday and completed 13-of-21 throws for 188 yards and two scores in a comeback win over the New York Jets.  With Cutler out for a few weeks, Moore will get the chance to show he should remain the starter.  While he has no fantasy football value of yet, that could change if he keeps up the type of production from Week 7.

-For a guy who is known for a bunch of catches and few scores, Dolphins wideout Jarvis Landry is doing what he can to change that narrative.  Landry caught another touchdown Sunday as part of his 7-catch day for 93 yards.  The overall story remains the same though with Landry being a supreme WR 2 in PPR formats and a WR 3 in standards.

-DeMarco Murray made it onto the field Sunday when it looked like he would sit with a stubborn hamstring strain and he played well enough in rushing for 59 yards on 18 carries, while adding 3 catches for another 17.  The big thing here is that Murray continues to neuter the fantasy football value of backup running back Derrick Henry, relegating the latter to RB 4 status. 

-Kudos to anyone who picked up Kenny Stills for Week 7 to fill-in for injured players or for bye reasons.  Stills quickly became Matt Moore's favorite target Sunday and overall caught 6 balls for 85 yards and 2 scores.  Stills has made a career of hot-and-cold production so depending on him week-to-week is tough but he clearly had something going with Moore.  He is worth another WR 3 try this week.

-Eric Decker literally was a complete zero Sunday as he failed to record a single catch versus the Cleveland Browns.   This after Decker was coming off his best game of the season in Week 6.  While Decker has ability, the whole Tennessee passing offense is a joke right now. 

-Speaking of Tennessee jokes, QB Marcus Mariota has simply been abysmal this season as he completed 21-of-34 passes for 203 yards with no scores and no picks.  The numbers are obviously not there and so Mariota can't be used anywhere until things get straightened out. 

-While the early years were filled with disappointment, the second phase of New Orleans Saints wideout Ted Ginn's career have been terrific.  Ginn has found a home in New Orleans and he was big Sunday in catching 7 balls for 141 yards.  With Michael Thomas getting double-teamed on the other side, Ginn has been able to get open down the field for big plays.  He absolutely is a top WR 3 until otherwise.

-Life without Aaron Rodgers became very real for wideout Jordy Nelson Sunday as he caught just a single pass for 13 yards.  With raw backup Brett Hundley struggling with accuracy, Nelson was a complete non-factor in fantasy football and he, Davante Adams, and Randall Cobb are in serious fantasy football trouble right now.  Not good.

-Maybe one week of big-time production was all Arizona Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson's body could handle.  After a shockingly great debut with the Cards last week where Peterson rushed for over 100 yards, he came back to earth with a thud in picking up just 21 yards on 11 carries.  Even worse, the loss of QB Carson Palmer for the rest of the season will stack the box for Peterson which quickly will relegate him to RB 3/4 status. 

-For all the warranted pub Tampa Bay Buc's tight end Cameron Brate has gotten this season, rookie O.J. Howard is starting to make a big impact as well.  Howard grabbed six passes for 98 yards and two scores Sunday in the team's win over the Buffalo Bills and the nice game could mean he is ready to be a fantasy football asset. 


Sunday, October 22, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY FALLOUT: CARSON PALMER SUFFERS BROKEN ARM SUNDAY

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer might have played his final snap of the 2017 season after suffering a broken left arm during the team's Sunday loss to the Los Angeles Rams.  The typical recovery period is about 8-10 weeks and so Palmer is likely not going to play again since it will be almost impossible for the Cards to stay in any sort of playoff contention.  Also the return of David Johnson may not happen as well since it would be pointless for the Cardinals to being their All-Pro back for meaningless games.  Meanwhile the end could be very near for Palmer who was inconsistent before getting hurt this season and the Cards will surely look to move on.  Finally, the loss of Palmer is horrendous news for the owners of wideouts Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown who will now have to try and manage to catch balls from the awful Drew Stanton. 




2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WATCH: MELVIN GORDON (SHOULDER) TO START SUNDAY

Joining wideout Keenan Allen in dealing with a shoulder injury, Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon will suit up and start Sunday for the team versus the rough Denver Broncos defense.  Gordon has been nicked up for a large segment of the season so far but he has played every game and performed like the first round pick he was in almost all fantasy football drafts this summer.  The Broncos defense is beyond brutal on backs however (as Ezekiel Elliott) and so if you have a solid alternative, that may not be a bad idea. 

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 1 INJURY WATCH: KEENAN ALLEN (SHOULDER) TO START

Despite drawing a concerning late-week questionable tag, Los Angeles Chargers wideout Keenan Allen will be able to suit up and start Sunday versus the Denver Broncos.  Allen injured his shoulder in practice Thursday but apparently it improved enough for him to give it a go.  Overall Allen has been solid but unspectacular this season in fantasy football with just one score but he should be a decent slot target with Broncos QB Aqib Talib possibly being on Tyrell Williams on the outside. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 7 INJURY WATCH: LEONARD FOURNETTE TO SIT OUT, CHRIS IVORY BECOMES MAJOR ADD

There is already big news coming down the pike for fantasy football Sunday and the day has just begun.  That news centers on super Jacksonville Jaguars rookie back Leonard Fournette sitting out Sunday's game versus the Indianapolis Colts with persistent pain in his sprained ankle.  Fournette has been a monster from the get-go this season and it neck-and-neck with Kareem Hunt as the best rookie runner in the game.  Both guys have been top five fantasy football running backs without debate but Fournette's past with injury problems at LSU are following him to the NFL as he will now miss his first professional game.  The big fallout here is that the very capable Chris Ivory becomes a huge get from the waiver wire if he is still available as he will get to feast on the always brutal Colts defense.  Ivory also is learning some new trick as he comes of a 9-catch game last week.  Already having proven himself to be a solid power runner, there are a lot of things working in Ivory's favor in terms of a potentially big day in fantasy football.  Stop reading this and go pick up Ivory pronto. 


Friday, October 20, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL CRISIS POINT: DeMARCO MURRAY RB TENNESSEE TITANS

Hope you listened.  Back in the summer and in the pages of our 2017 Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Football Draft Guide, we suggested in very strong terms to avoid Tennessee Titans running back DeMarco Murray and went so far as to call him a major draft bust despite coming off a monster comeback campaign the year prior when he rushed for 1,287 yards and caught 53 passes.  As good as those numbers were, Murray scared the heck out of us on a number of fronts.  The first being that Murray has had a ton of mileage already on his legs as an annual workhorse since coming into the league.  Now at the scary age of 29 when most backs begin to decline, Murray has struggled badly with injuries this season to the point he may sit in Week 7 with a bum hamstring that has bugged him for awhile now.  In addition, the presence of second-year back Derrick Henry behind Murray is a big problem for him as well since the Titans front office drafted the Heisman Alabama power runner and thus have an itch to play him.  With Henry having outplayed Murray so far and possibly looking at the chance to be the bellcow back in the latter's place this week, a complete hierarchy change could be in order.  This is no surprise to our staff since we sounded the alarm on Murray back in the summer and anyone who owns shares in Henry have to feel good going forward with their guy.  As for the Murray owners, well you SHOULD have listened. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 7 THURSDAY NIGHT: CHIEFS/RAIDERS

In what turned out to be an extremely wild finish, the Oakland Raiders saved their season with literally a last-second win over the Kansas City Chiefs.  Let's get to all the latest:

-It was a shootout in every sense of the word as both Alex Smith and Derek Carr tossed three touchdown passes to their fantasy football owners off to a nice start in Week 7.  As far as Smith is concerned, he now has a staggering 15 touchdown passes and ZERO interceptions on the year as he completed 25-of-36 throws for 342 yards.  We have never seen this type of production from Smith before who in his previous 10 seasons was nothing but a backup QB in single passer formats in terms of fantasy football.   Of course Smith gets the Denver Broncos defense next week which will be the ultimate test of his monster season.

Derek Carr meanwhile refuted those who said he played tentatively last week as he completed 29-of-52 passes for 417 yards with the three scores.  It was a very encouraging outing by Carr who clearly was not inhibited by the back injury suffered in Week 4.  Put him back in for next week.

-Marshawn Lynch didn't do his fantasy football owners any favors by getting ejected in the first half and honestly he has been beyond ordinary in his return.  DeAndre Washington rushed for a score but he was mostly ineffective.  On the other side, Kareem Hunt still has yet to have a dud of a week as he rushed for 87 yards on 18 carries; while adding 4 catches for 30 yards.  PPR gold.

-There we go Amari.  Earning and deserving of plenty of fantasy football scorn after the last two weeks of brutal production, Cooper exploded on Thursday night by catching 11 balls for 210 yards and two scores.  This is the type of ability that Cooper has always hinted at and Michael Crabtree going in and out with injury helped matters.  Exhale Cooper owners. 

Speaking of Crabtree, he hit paydirt himself on the game-winning score and overall grabbed 3 catches for 24 yards.  Not the greatest night obviously but the score saved Crabtree's owners.

Meanwhile Tyreek Hill continued the redemption theme of the night as he put weeks of inconsistency behind him by catching 6 balls for 125 yards and a score.  Hill took a vicious hit for the second week in a row and the injury risk remains very high due to his slight frame.  All Hill owners might want to sell high here. 


Thursday, October 19, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 7 RUNNING BACK RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 7 running back rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Le'Veon Bell
2.  Ezekiel Elliott
3.  Kareem Hunt
4.  Leonard Fournette
5.  Melvin Gordon
6.  Devonta Freeman
7.  Todd Gurley
8.  Mark Ingram
9.  LeSean McCoy
10. Jordan Howard
11. Adrian Peterson
12. Carlos Hyde
13. Jay Ajayi
14. Doug Martin
15. Jerrick McKinnnon
16. C.J. Anderson
17. Chris Thompson
18. DeMarco Murray
19. Christian McCaffrey
20. Tevin Colemna
21. Joe Mixon
22. LeGarrette Blount
23. Alvin Kamara
24. Orleans Darkwa
25. Derrick Henry
26. Ty Montgomery
27. Marshawn Lynch
28. Javorious Allen
29. Duke Johnson
30. Frank Gore
31. Mike Gillislee
32. Aaron Jones
33. Dion Lewis
34. Matt Forte
35. Isaiah Crowell
36. Jamaal Charles
37. Bilal Powell
38. Eddie Lacy


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 7 ISSUES: ANDREW LUCK UNLIKELY TO PLAY IN 2017 MEANS FURTHER STRESS OF T.Y. HILTON OWNERS

The setback suffered by Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck reportedly on Wednesday pretty much puts the final nail in the 2017 coffin for the franchise passer with regards to playing at all this year.  Clearly the invasive shoulder surgery Luck underwent this past offseason was much serious than let on initially and the Colts also cleared erred in not placing him on PUP to at least begin the year in no doubt an attempt to save hope and help ticket sales.  Well the fact of the matter is that the writing has been on the wall for awhile and so with no Luck serving as a beacon of hope, the high frustration level with ace Colts wideout T.Y. Hilton will likely continue.  While Hilton has had some big games at home this season, his overall production has been way down as Jacoby Brissett simply doesn't have the arm strength and accuracy to unleash his wideouts true game-breaking abilities.  A WR 1 in standard leagues coming into the year, Hilton is barely a WR 3 in all fantasy football leagues right now and that will continue the rest of the way.  Things are a bit better for fellow wideout Donte Moncrief and in particular tight end Jack Doyle considering all of the short throes Brissett makes but both guys are backups at best.  So now we can say the Colts' season and the numbers for Hilton are just completely going down the drain. 


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 7 QB RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football QB rankings for Week 7 and with Aaron Rodgers nothing but a memory.

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


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: CHARLIE BLACKMON OUTFIELDER COLORADO ROCKIES

You can search far and wide but you are unlikely to find a player who has had such drastic but at the same time extremely productive numbers over the last five seasons than Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon.  While he has maintained the team’s leadoff spot since becoming a regular back in 2014, what Blackmon has done with his offensive numbers has been nothing short of incredible.  When Blackmon first grabbed hold of a regular major league gig with the Rockies and eventually the leadoff spot, he showcased tremendous speed and decent power.  The 2015 season was the high point of this kind of statistical achievement as Blackmon set a career-best in steals with 43, while also swatting 17 home runs.  It was at the end of that season however where the shift we referred to earlier began to take shape.  With most of Blackmon’s fantasy baseball owners expecting around the same type of numbers the following year, the guy instead upped the power quotient to 27 home runs but then declined sharply in steals with just 17.  It was more of the same in 2017 as well but at an even more sharper divide as Blackmon set his career-high in home runs with a massive 37 but declined yet again in steals with just 14.  In between, Blackmon also recorded personal bests in runs (137), RBI (104), and batting average (.331) to put himself in the running for fantasy baseball MVP.  It was a beyond spectacular year for Blackmon and with two seasons of high-power/moderate-stolen bases to his name, those are the new norms we should expect going forward.  Now the 37 homers were clearly in outlier territory but 30 is entirely within the realm of possibility here given the home ballpark in Coors Field and for the fact Blackmon has grown into more power as he ages (turning 32 in July).  In actuality, Blackmon’s numbers are worthy of late first round consideration since five-category monsters like this are very rare in today’s fantasy baseball.  So while you can price in a slight regression in numbers, Blackmon will still be worth whatever the cost at the draft table this season. 

2018 PROJECTION:  .317 29 HR 100 RBI 119 R 15 SB  

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 7 WAIVER WIRE ADDS

It is already Week 7 in fantasy football and so here are the prime adds for the upcoming slate of games. 

Jared Goff:  Everyone who just lost Aaron Rodgers for the season should have the Los Angeles Rams QB squarely in their sights going forward.  Goff now has an 8/3 split in TD/INT and clearly is leaps and bounds ahead of where he was performance-wise as a rookie in 2016. 

Darren McFadden/Alfred Morris:  We keep hearing conflicting reports about whether it will be McFadden or Morris who will be the starting or primary ball carrier for the Dallas Cowboys while Ezekiel Elliott serves his six-game suspension (we think).  Both guys have seen better days but both also will likely be quite spry given the lack of work they have had the last season-plus.  Throw in the best offensive line in football opening up holes and they each should be added. 

Orleans Darkwa:  While Wayne Gallman was all the rage in this space a week ago, it is now Darkwa who needs to be owned in the New York Giants' backfield.  Darkwa rushed for 117 yards on 21 carries and has averaged 8.6 and 5.6 each of the last two weeks. 

John Brown:  While he is still too hit-or-miss for my taste, the Arizona Cardinals now have some balance in their offense after Adrian Peterson came on board and run wild in his debut.  Brown is a big-play guy all the way and is especially valuable in PPR formats. 

Austin Hooper:  It looks like Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan is shoring up some chemistry with Hooper after the two hooked up for seven catches last week.  While Hooper carries potential, he has not gained much consistency just yet.  The best could be yet to come though. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL MONDAY WRAPUP: TITANS/COLTS

Fantasy football Week 6 wrapped up with the Colts taking on the Titans in a matchup where the backup running backs caught more attention that the starters.  Only one came through.  Let's get to all of it. 

-Leading into the game, there was a ton of focus on Titans backup power back Derrick Henry and Colts backup Marlon Mack due to promises by their head coaches to get each more involved over a fading/aging veteran ahead of them on the depth chart.  Well in the case of Henry it more fruit as the second-year former Heisman winner rushed 19 times for 131 yards and a score, while also adding one catch.  While DeMarco Murray also scored, he received just 12 carries for 40 yards and continues to deal with a bad hammy that could blow on any one play.  Clearly the Tennessee coaching staff thinks a changing of the guard is in order at least in terms of running the football and that is the right call since Henry is the better player on that front now and with much fresher legs.  Murray will still have a role as the primary receiving back and get 10-12 carries a game so don't drop him just yet.  But it Henry is available on your waiver wire, go get him.

On the other side, it was still all Frank Gore as the ageless one kept Mack glued to the bench as he rushed for 49 yards on 10 carries.  Mack only got two measly carries for 18 yards in a complete no-show outing.  Not that you should have started Mack anyways but those who ran to the wire to pick him up last week now realize this is not gong to happen anytime soon.

-Marcus Mariota made his return Monday night and looked pretty good in going 23-for-32 for 306 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  The numbers have not been flowing at a high rate this season for Mariota and he remains anchored into a run-heavy offense that could continue to make that a challenge but at least he looked good physically.  Meanwhile Jacoby Brissett continues to show some ability in completing 21-of-37 passes for 212 yards and a score.

-Jack Doyle has predictably become a safety valve for the raw Brissett and delivered a nice outing Monday night by catching 7 balls for 50 yards and a score.  Over the concussion that had hiss status a bit murky, Doyle should be owned everywhere given his very good pass receiving skills.  There was also a Donte Moncrief sighting as he grabbed 5 balls for 67 yards.  Still Moncrief should really not be owned unless/if Andrew Luck gets back.

On the Titans' side, Eric Decker caught 7 balls for 88 yards in showing a good rapport with Mariota.  With the Titans still absent Corey Davis, this is all Decker's show in terms of the team's wideout production. 


Monday, October 16, 2017

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

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


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 WRAPUP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sunday, October 15, 2017

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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



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

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


Saturday, October 14, 2017

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

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

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

Friday, October 13, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 RUNNING BACK RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 6 running back rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Kareem Hunt
2.  Leonard Fournette
3.  Todd Gurley
4.  LeVeon Bell
5.  Melvin Gordon
6.  Jordan Howard
7.  Devonta Freeman
8.  Jay Ajayi
9.  DeMarco Murray
10. C.J. Anderson
11. Aaron Jones
12. Lamar Miller
13. Alvin Kamara
14. Marshawn Lynch
15. Mike Gillislee
16. Doug Martin
17. Duke Johnson
18. Ameer Abdullah
19. Jerrick McKinnon
20. Carlos Hyde
21. Javorious Allen
22. Mark Ingram
23. Tevin Coleman
24. Chris Thompson
25. Andre Ellington
26. Elijiah McGuire
27. James White
28. Frank Gore
29. Adrian Peterson
30. Derrick Henry
31. Isaiah Crowell
32. Latavius Murray
33. Wayne Gallman
34. Marlon Mack
35. Samaje Perine


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL THURSDAY WRAPUP: PANTHERS/EAGLES

The Eagles are soaring under a massive breakout from QB Carson Wentz, while Christian McCaffrey is further solidifying his PPR abilities.  All of that and more as we check out the fantasy football news to come out of Thursday's games.

-Boy are the Eagles going placed with Wentz.  The second year QB is in the midst of a tremendous season that has him now in the top ten among all passers in fantasy football.  Wentz is now up to 12 touchdown passes on the year as hew threw three more Thursday night as part of his 16-of-30 evening for 222 yards.  While he did lose a fumble and has been hit a lot behind a leaky offensive line, Wentz is clearly the real deal.

Meanwhile Cam Newton was coming off two monster games in a row but struggles Thursday in throwing three interceptions.  For the night Newton was 28-of-52 for 239 yards with 1 TD and the 3 picks, plus 71 yards rushing and another score.  The two touchdowns and rushing yards saved the day for Newton but losing points with the picks hurt.  At the very least, Newton looks healthy now and that's all you can ask for.

-While Christian McCaffrey remains a complete non-factor when it comes to running the football (sorry standard league owners), he has become a PPR maven as he caught 10 balls for 56 yards and a score.  While he did get 4 carries, they went for just 8 yards as McCaffrey is a zero on that side of things.  Now up to two scores on the year, McCaffrey remains a very good RB 2 in PPR but a bench guy in standards. 

The reason McCaffrey is not getting more carries is because of the continued presence of veteran back Jonathan Stewart.  If Stewart has more games like Thursday night, that could change.  Stewart wound up rushing for a laughable -4 yards on 8 carries but he was not helped by his O-line which got run over by Fletcher Cox and company.  Right now Stewart is starting to look old but the current arrangement should remain in place. 

-On the other side of the running back ledger, LeGarrette Blount got the lion's share of work with Wendell Smallwood out and he was solid in rushing for 67 yards on 14 carries and a converted two-point conversion.  Nothing flashy as always but Blount remains a RB 2 in standard leagues.

-Nelson Agholor is really starting to take off after struggles finding his way the last two seasons.  Agholor had another big game Thursday night as he caught 4 balls for 55 yards and a score.  It seems Wentz is preferring Agholor over Alshon Jeffery (4 for 71) but at the very least he is now graduating into firm WR 3 status. 

Joining Agholor in the end zone was tight end Zach Ertz who only managed two catches for 18 yards but BOTH went for scores.  This was the first time Ertz didn't catch at least five passes this season but he obviously made up for it with the scores.  Outside of Travis Kelce, there has not been a better tight end in fantasy football this season.

-Kelvin Benjamin had his best game of the year as he caught 9 passes for 99 yards.  Benjamin has been a health mess the last couple of seasons but he is looks spry now.  The talent has always been there and so the rest of the season could be  very promising. 


Thursday, October 12, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 ISSUES: TY MONTGOMERY COULD BE GOING BUST RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES

When it comes to the world of fantasy football. things tends to change at a rapid pace.  A player can be a star one week and then out of a job the next.  Such a scenario is now unfolding in Green Bay where incumbent starter Ty Montgomery might have seen his starting role go up in smoke due to suffering broken ribs at the start of the team's game versus the Chicago Bears back in Week 4.  With Montgomery unable to go the following Sunday, that opened the door to impressive rookie Aaron Jones to rumble for 125 yards and a score on just 19 carries in the team's comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys.  Right away the talk began in terms of Jones remaining a big part of the offense even when Montgomery comes back but now that chatter has gone up another notch on Thursday.  It was early in the day when reports indicated Jones will remain the starter even if Montgomery were to be healthy; with the latter coming in on third down passing plays.  This would be a devastating blow to Montgomery's fantasy football outlook as Jones will take a a tremendous chunk of prospective numbers.  So Montgomery in essence is going from a solid RB 1 who played well in a PPR sense the first three weeks to someone who is worth dropping on the wire.  All in the span of two weeks.  Meanwhile Jones is becoming a major person of interest and could carry immense RB 2 value the rest of the season.  Incredible.  


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT ROUGNED ODOR 2B TEXAS RANGERS

Once again showing the fluky nature of the batting average category in fantasy baseball, we present to you the 2017 version of Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor.  Considered almost a sure thing as the next superstar middle infielder coming off a monstrous 2016 at the age of only 22 (33 HR, 88 RBI, 14 SB), Odor was being drafted as high as the third round given the remaining upside to an already potent bat.  What happened next was a haul of numbers that were almost impossible to believe were from the same person in terms of the mostly extreme positives but one giant negative.  As far as the positives were concerned, Odor once again was a power-hitting dynamo who also flashed some speed as he smacked 30 home runs, drove in 75 runs, and stole 14 bases.  Getting a 30/14 split in the home run/steal categories from a second baseman is always gold when it comes to fantasy baseball and again the extreme youth of Odor made it extra special what he was accomplishing.  Unfortunately what caught most of the attention was Odor's hideous .204 batting average that caused much consternation to his owners and it was another reminder this category gets over-emphasized way too much by the fantasy baseball community.  In terms of the number itself, Odor arguably was the most unlucky everyday hitter in the entire game last season as his .224 BABIP is simply hard to believe.  Very rarely does a BABIP go that low and it is especially fluky when you consider guys with good speed like Odor possesses usually can beat the curve to a point.  As a result, Odor's .204 average needs to be COMPLETELY thrown out.  Yes his 24.9 K/9 was ugly but that number went up as the season went along which would tell you the kid was hacking more and more due to having to look at the surface average on a daily basis.  What we must do here is focus on how Odor is still a baby as he turns just 24 in February and already has two 30-homer seasons under his belt.  There will be a sizable average correction coming and when combined with a likely drop in draft position this spring, Odor can turn out to be a mighty value play.
2018 PROJECTION:  .267 32 HR 84 RBI 86 R 11 SB

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL STATUS REPORT: TYLER KROFT TE CINCINNATI BENGALS

When ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday that Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert may be facing season-ending back surgery, those in the fantasy football community immediately began to ponder what this meant for backup Tyler Kroft.  Having missed the last three games with no return on the horizon, it certainly looks like Eifert stands a good chance of going under the knife and that means Kroft's already intriguing fantasy football upside becomes much more prominent.  Kroft has managed to become an instant weapon in the Bengals' passing attack; catching a total of 13 passes for 124 yards and 3 scores in place of Eifert the last three weeks and it looks like QB Andy Dalton is trusting in him more and more as the season goes on.  So while Kroft was looked at as a placeholder for those dealing with the numerous injuries that have befallen the tight end position this season, he now could be knocking on top ten status with Eifert out of the way for the remainder of 2017.  If Kroft is still available on your league's waiver wire, pick him up immediately as he at the very least can be a terrific backup and someone who can easily help in a pinch.  Meanwhile Eifert should be cut in all leagues as he was not even playing well before the back flared up again.  


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 QB RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 6 QB rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Tom Brady
2.  Aaron Rodgers
3.  Drew Brees
4.  DeShaun Watson
5.  Kirk Cousins
6.  Cam Newton
7.  Matt Ryan
8.  Carson Wentz
9.  Matthew Stafford
10. Jameis Winston
11. Marcus Mariota
12. Carson Palmer
13. Philip Rivers
14. Ben Roethlisberger
15. Alex Smith
16. Jacoby Brissett
17. Derek Carr
18. Trevor Siemian
19. Case Keenum
20. Josh McCown
21. Brian Hoyer
22. Jared Goff
23. Blake Bortles
24. Joe Flacco
25. Eli Manning
26. Jay Cutler
27. Kevin Hogan
28. E.J. Manuel
29. Mitch Trubisky
30. Matt Cassell

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: FREDDIE FREEMAN 1B ATLANTA BRAVES

Oh what might have been.  After years of very good production that hinted at a possible blockbuster campaign being on the horizon, Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman looked to be on his way toward an MVP season as 2017 got underway.  Freeman burst out of the gates by cracking 9 home runs and batting a scorching .381 in March/April to begin all the fun and May was going swimmingly with 5 more long balls before disaster struck in the form of a fractured left wrist from an HBP.  The break kept Freeman out from May 18 all the way to July 4th; in the process stunting what was shaping up to be some truly monster offensive numbers.  What is crazy is that despite missing all that time, Freeman still ended up with 28 home runs and a .307 average in 514 at-bats.  On a per game basis, few hitters were more potent than Freeman was in 2017 and as an added bonus; he gained third base eligibility for those whose qualification number was 15 games or below.  Overall  the offensive production last season was no shock as Freeman swatted 34 home runs the year prior and that just so happened to coincide with the Braves finally giving him some protection in the lineup.  The talent was never in question here and so now at the age of 28, more bonanza numbers are going to be on the way for Freeman in 2018.  What really makes Freeman a complete hitter is the fact that he draws walks at a high rate (12.6 BB/9) and keeps the K’s down (18.5 K/9) to help supply the string of .300 averages with all the pop.  Add in a surprising 8 steals last season and Freeman is as good of a second round pick as you are going to get this spring. 
2018 PROJECTION:  .310 36 HR 95 RBI 109 R 7 SB 


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL STOCK WATCH: ADRIAN PETERSON GETS NEW LIFE IN ARIZONA

Almost from the start, Adrian Peterson looked like a square peg in a round hole on the New Orleans Saints offense.  With Mark Ingram still a big part of the plans and rookie pass-catching back Alvin Kamara quickly becoming a Sean Payton favorite, Peterson had virtually no role as he barely got any carries the first four games of the year.  Sensing this, Peterson then began complaining of his role on the team as his fantasy football value dropped off the map.  Enter in the RB-needy Arizona Cardinals who acquired Peterson on Tuesday to help make up for the ongoing loss of David Johnson.  With Chris Johnson showing he is finished, the Cards now bring Peterson in to try and see if he there is any gas left in the proverbial tank.  While on the surface this move is a boost to Peterson's fantasy football value given the fact he will now have a clear path to a high amount of carries, the O-line in Arizona is a joke and the former All-Pro looks pretty shot himself.  Yes Peterson is worth a waiver add this week given the fresh start but don't expected miracles with this.