Saturday, November 15, 2014

If You Enjoy Touchdowns Please Proceed

Everyone likes a great NFL kicker's duel.

The time and effort those "athletes" put in each week kicking the ball through those beautiful, oddly shaped goal posts is a work of art. When real and fantasy fans look up to see that 9-6 barnburner, it's like pure utopia.

Actually, as my kids would say, it's Opposite Day. There is nothing worse than a kicker's duel and I think if a game features only field goals it should be removed from history and those teams will only have 15 games on their record that season.  However touchdowns, and games that feature a lot of them, are fun. If you enjoy your fantasy athletes reaching pay dirt, continue reading. If you do not, go outside and kick a football.

New England Patriots (7-2) vs. Indianapolis Colts (6-3)

If you have a lot of players on these teams, you will most likely win your fantasy match-up. That doesn't mean, however, everyone is worth a start.

Tom Brady, QB, New England -- 2,393 yards, 22TDs, 1 richest wife in the NFL

If you need explanation, please resign from your league now.

Start % = 100

Andrew Luck, QB, Indianpolis -- 3,085 yards, 26TDs, 1 ghastly beard

Again, I know this is a fantasy advice site, but if you don't know to start Andrew Luck just pay your entry fee each year and go fishing on Sundays.

Start % = 100

 T. Y. Hilton -- WR, Indianpolis -- 56 catches, 937 yards, 3 TDs, 2 incorrect initials

His name is actually Eugene Marquis. Whatever, he's a stud. Sure he's hasn't scored at a Randy Moss-like level this year, but he's averaging more than 100 yards per game -- that's good!

Start % = 100 (unless you have Megatron, Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas)

Rob Gronkowsi, TE, New England -- 49 catches, 663 yards, 8 TDs, one million sick dance moves

While the talent level of his dance moves are debatable, it is true no one wants to tango with him on the field. Forget about the fact he might injure himself at the club tonight, it's worth the risk to start him.

Start % = 100 (unless you actually see him get hurt tonight while partying)

Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, RBs, New England -- 670 yards, 3 TDs, a ton of inconsistency

Ridley has rushed for 100-plus yards twice and less than 30 the same amount. Vereen has rushed for anywhere from four to 90 yards -- yeah, good luck with that.

Start % = 33

Trent Richardson, RB, Indianapolis -- 391 yards, 2 TDs, 1.5 disappointing seasons

So, he's not as awful as last year, but that's like saying Rocky V is not as bad as Rocky IV.

Start % = 20

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Indianapolis -- 421 yards, 2 TDs, 1.5 more yards per rush than Richardson

The final stat above is enough to start him over T-Rich.

Start % = 40

Good luck this week, and if you don't have anyone to watch during this potential high-scoring match-up, it's ok. Actually no it's not, remember it's Opposite Day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Can't wait until Sunday? Here's your fantasy guide to Thursday Night Football.

It's Tuesday night and you're already Jonesing for some NFL and fantasy action. Sure, Thursday Night Football might disappoint more than a Detroit Lions field-goal kicker, but it's still football.

You've probably already thought about starting some Dolphins or Bills over your normal starters just so you can watch them Thursday night. Don't do that. My Dad does that and I'm pretty sure it cost him a win last week.

But if they are your best guys (and I'm hoping they are not) you have to play them, and I'm here to break down the skill position players for the two teams who don't even have any viewership outside of their respective cities -- unless you count the Bills fans who realized -10 degrees is not fun and moved somewhere much, much warmer.

The bottom line is neither of these teams are going to produce many high-scoring studs this week, but there is always the potential for a surprise breakout and here is some info on possibly finding it.


Kyle Orton -- Buffalo

Start him if:  You drafted Nick Foles and now the free agent pool is littered with the likes of Geno Smith and Brock Osweiler.

Bench him if:  You drafted even a below-average QB.

Outlook: Decent five weeks averaging 2 TDs and less than 1 INT per game. But when tested in three games against good defenses (KC, Det and NE) he's thrown just 4 TDs.

Ryan Tannehill -- Miami

Start him if:  Your other quarterback is on a bye.

Bench him if:  Your other quarterback is not on a bye and healthy.

Outlook: 234 yards and 1.6 TDs per game actually isn't horrible. But in your 10 or 12-team fantasy league, that's well below average. 


Bryce Brown -- Buffalo

Start him if:  Fumbles are positive points in your league.

Bench him if:  Fumbles are negative points in your league (every league in the world).

Overall: He puts the ball on the ground nearly once every 40 carries -- and sometimes inside the one-yard line. 

Fred Jackson -- Buffalo

Start him if:  You love wondering if whatever nagging injury he currently has will hinder him enough to be worthless this week.

Bench him if:  You currently have two starting RBs on your roster.

Outlook: He hasn't rushed for more than 61 yards in a game (and that was week 1) although he has had more than 100 yards from scrimmage twice. But coupled with as many TDs as fumbles this year (2) you shouldn't be inserting him in the lineup over say, DeMarco Murray because he isn't on your local TV broadcast this week.

LaMichael James -- Miami

Start him if:  You're hoping to see him sport his old, awesome college helmet. Or, you handcuffed yourself after drafting Lamar Miller.

Bench him if:  You aren't desperate. He just came off the practice squad this week. That's the bad news, but the good news is it sounds like he is getting a lot of practice!

Overall: Not a great start here unless you were counting on Lamar Miller.

Lamar Miller -- Miami

Start him if:  You have another RB who could possibly get you negative points.

Bench him if:  You want to have a good chance to win.

Overall: It doesn't look like the injured Miller will play (or play much) with the short week. Even in the lineup last week he only garnered 10 yards on four carries.

Daniel Thomas -- Miami

Start him if:  You went to K-State.

Bench him if:  You went anywhere else.

Overall: Even with Miller ailing, the former Wildcat only mustered 14 yards on five carries to go along with a fumble last week against Detroit. It's always fun to start a guy from your alma mater, but don't count on anything special -- or possibly anything at all.


Brandon Gibson -- Miami

Start him if:  Wait, he's on your team?

Bench him if:  You have a full roster.

Outlook: He's on pace for one monster game this season with 11 catches for 110 yards so far!

Brian Hartline -- Miami

Start him if:  You enjoy being frustrated and keep hoping for that breakout game you know he is going to have soon.

Bench him if:  You don't have WRs on a bye and can afford a big game on the bench every once in a while.

Outlook: He's never been a big TD guy with a career-high four in his fifth season last year, and he's following that trend with just one so far this season.

Jarvis Landry -- Miami

Start him if:  You see the upside in a guy who has had his targets increased the past three weeks.

Bench him if:  You have enough guys who are number ones or twos on nearly any other team.

Outlook: If you are a risk-taker he could be a great fit for you, just know his best game was 6/75/1.

Mike Wallace -- Miami

Start him if:  You like TDs. He has scored in 2/3 of his games this season. 

Bench him if:  You already have two or three top-tier guys on the roster.

Outlook: He may not be catching the long bombs like in years past (his high for yards this season is 81 in Week 1) but he is catching TDs like Chris Carter and is always a threat to breakout for a deep one.

Sammy Watkins -- Buffalo

Start him if:  He's on your team.

Bench him if:  You like looking at large numbers on your bench.

Outlook: Yes, he's ailing a bit and last week's performance (4 catches, 27 yards) wasn't anything to write home about, but he still had 10 targets and is averaging 10 the past three weeks. Even though he is on the injury report every week, the rookie is on pace for 1,100-plus yards and nine TDs.

Robert Woods -- Buffalo

Start him if:  You're banking on Watkins being hampered by his groin injury.

Bench him if:  You like guys who produce 100-yard games. So far this season he hasn't had one.

Outlook: He's a decent flex option, but that's about it. If you are relying on him, you most likely don't have a winning record.


Scott Chandler -- Buffalo

Start him if:  You forgot to draft a TE and you snatched him up off the waiver wire, thinking you found a sleeper.

Bench him if:  You didn't do that.

Outlook: He's good in name, but on pace for less than two TDs this year. That's not going to exactly strike fear in to your fantasy opponent.

Charles Clay -- Miami

Start him if:  Chandler is your other TE.

Bench him if:  You don't want to be disappointed before the weekend even starts.

Outlook: He's been better the past two weeks combining for 110 yards and a TD, but the week before he put up 1/1/0.