NFL Start These 11 Players In Fantasy This Week
Each week, Pat Mayo of
RotoExperts.com will be bringing you 11 fantasy football players with favorable matchups. Whether it’s a wide receiver facing a weak-kneed secondary, a running back taking on a dinged-up front seven, or a team defense preparing to eat a cupcake rookie quarterback, these are the guys who are poised for a big fantasy output this Sunday.
This week, he likes an emerging purple quarterback, and an old standby at tight end who may be available in your league.
1.1. Michael Turner
I’m not usually one to admit past mistakes. It would simply take up too much of my time. And that’s time I’ve already penciled in to my schedule for future missteps. Still, I owe The Burner an apology nonetheless. Preseason claims that Turner is slow, thick, burly, plump, rotund, portly, dumpy and certainly past his prime now looks a tad, ummmm … wrong. He’s been excellent to date and appears to have been a terrific mid-round steal for Fantasy owners. He’s trucked his way into the endzone the last four games and gets the Raiders in week six! Oakland is football’s bizzaro equivalent of Homer Bailey in terms of home/road splits. Sure it may be a tiny sample size, but at the Coliseum they’ve allowed a paltry 33.5 yards per game to running backs. On the road, 201. A visit to the Georgia Dome will only serve to expand that average.
2.2. Christian Ponder
Taking on the Redskins has been a magical Fantasy elixir for all positions, but quarterbacks have really torched them. They’ve allowed 1621 yards through the air - a league high - and 12 passing touchdowns, which all sets up for a big week from Ponder. The Vikings pivot has multiple scores in three of the last four games, and despite tossing two picks last week, has been exceptionally careful with the football. With Drew Brees, Jay Culter and Cam Newton on bye this week, Ponder is a quality, and available option to plug into your lineup.
3.3. Andrew Hawkins
Graphed out, Hawkins’ usage been a sinus curve of failure and success over the first five games. Last week, Andy Dalton tossed it up in Hawkins’ direction 13 times - the same number as A.J. Green – and it was his second foray into double digit looks this season. He’s clearly established himself as Dalton’s secondary read, and that may pay massive dividends against Cleveland. With Joe Haden returning from his four-game suspension, forcing it to Green every play may not be a viable option. Leaving Hawkins with plenty of opportunities to flash his game breaking speed.
4.4. Fred Davis
Expectations for Davis were probably too high entering the season. I mean, for all his potential this is same guy that thought the three-puff pass was sacrosanct in US law. It cost him the final four games of 2011 and flipped his political philosophy to a very Ron Swanson sounding, “Government is inefficient and should be dissolved”. He labored out of the gate adjusting to his new quarterback, but he’s started to snap out of it the last three weeks. Averaging just over 70 yards and five catches isn’t the upside you drafted, but the Vikings have been victimized by tight ends. Giving up a touchdown in four of five games.
5.5. Heath Miller
I’ve already outlined most of Tennessee’s problems on defense, but there’s a entirely separate level of ineptitude on display when it comes to tight ends. The Titans have given up eight scores to big men – four more than any other team. They’ve also allowed the most receptions and receiving yards. If that isn’t enough for you, Tennessee also tops the league in rushing yards against from tight ends – 5, to Aaron Hernandez. Miller has already crossed the plain four times this year and should add, at least, another Thursday night.
6.6. Vick Ballard
There is one thing working in Ballard's favor: Opportunity. Donald Brown had his knee scoped, and will be out the next 2-3 weeks. He was averaging 17 carries the past three contests, and now, those touches go to Ballard. This week he gets to put all that work to use against the feeble unit that is currently posing as the Jets run defense. Apparently “Gang Green” was named for the grass stains on their jerseys: the Jets have given up seven rushing scores and 145 yards a game to running backs.
7.7. Ben Roethlisberger
Big Ben was actually off to an incredible start before the Eagles derailed his momentum, tossing eight touchdowns the first three weeks. Thankfully, he’ll get back in endzone against the Titans. Everyone does. Tennessee’s ceded an NFL worst 12 passing scores and has allowed every QB they’ve faced to score at least twice. The reemergence of Rashard Mendenhall may pilfer the occasional goal line touchdown that Roethlisberger would normally have a hand in, but the Titans play such porous defense that the entire Steeler offense will have limitless opportunities for a giant game.
8.8. William Powell
Here’s what I know about William Powell. He’s a running back for the Cardinals with nine career rushing yards. Also, he plays the Bills this week, and has a good chance to see a substantial workload. The same Bills that have let running backs pile up 460 yards and five touchdowns the last two games. Of course, Arizona could go medieval on our asses, implementing the Fantasy torture better known as a running back by committee with Powell, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Alfonso Smith. Still, Powell’s name has been the one thrown around in early week chatter as the back who will get the first chance at the job. Powell’s definitely a risky proposition, and probably shouldn’t be used unless you’re team is suffering from the bye/injury virus. If that’s the case, there is upside to be had. And if preseason numbers are your thing, he scored three times and averaged 5.9 yards on 42 carries during the Cards exhibition schedule.
9.9. Jeremy Kerley
It’s simple with Jeremy Kerley: he’s the only receiver that Mark Sanchez considers passing to. Sure, Chaz Schilens will be in uniform, but he managed to make through the Monday nighter without an injury - a personal best. I don’t like his odds to make it two in row. The Colts have been a pleasant surprise so far, but their pass defense can still use improvement. Indy’s allowed seven receiving scores in five games. Since Kerley is essentially the only downfield threat that will get looks, through attrition alone he should post a usable Fantasy stat line.
10.10. Connor Barth
Barth’s ownership suggests he isn’t a reliable option, but that’s simply not true. The Bucs resident sissy – sorry, kicker – has posted double digit points in three of four games. And he won’t labor racking up another 10+ point performance against Kansas City. The Chiefs are sixth in field goals attempts against and Barth is no stranger to converting on his chances. He’s a perfect nine for nine on the year, making three from 50+.
11.11. Tampa Bay D/ST
This is an easy one. The Bucs have had two weeks to prepare for a Chiefs team that have determined their passing game functions better as a comedy routine than an NFL offense. In its past two games, Kansas City has handed a Retton of turnovers to the opposition, and that was with the semi-functional Matt Cassel under center. With Cassel likely sidelined with a concussion - or hurt feelings – Brady Quinn will start. Brady freakin Quinn. He of the career 5.4 yards per attempt, 52.5% completion percentage and more turnovers than games entered. I’d waged the turnovers only increase for KC now that Quinn has his finger on the button. Plus, he played at Notre Dame, which automatically disqualifies him from pro success.
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