5:38 pm, October 15th, 2012
RotoExperts.com will be bringing you 11 immediate reactions from the weekend that was in Fantasy. Whether it’s a waiver commodity you need to jump on early, or an emerging trend you need to know about, they’ve got you covered. This week, Scott Engel tells you we never should’ve questioned Aaron Rodgers, why CJ Spiller is a good buy low option, and what formerly marquee player is fading into flex status.
1.1. Aaron Rodgers: Lesson learned
After two rather quiet outings against the Bears and Seahawks a few weeks ago, Fantasy owners were starting to panic about Aaron Rodgers. Smart players, though, bought low on him. Rodgers responded with seven TD passes in Weeks 4 and 5, and then put the ultimate exclamation point on his “shaddup about my perceived struggles” run with six TD passes against a standout Houston defense. Lesson learned? Never doubt your proven superstars based on one or two quiet games.
2.2. Andy Dalton has arrived
You may have missed it or you are just overlooking it, but Andy Dalton is playing well enough right now to consider him over the likes of guys such as Tony Romo and Cam Newton. On Sunday, he came through with his third 300 yard, three TD game of the season. Dalton’s accuracy has certainly improved, and while it has helped that he has faced the Browns twice and the Redskins once, those are the teams a passer needs to establish himself against to get the respect he deserves.
3.3. Fading into the Flex
There has been a new RB emerging in St. Louis. Daryl Richardson looks like he is earning a possible time share with Steven Jackson. Richardson outrushed Jackson, 76-52, showing off electric speed against a usually stout Miami run defense. Jackson, who was once a Fantasy stalwart, has slipped into mediocrity and is now more of a flex option. Meanwhile, Richardson adds another needed dimension to a Rams offense struggling to find playmakers and could see increased work going forward.
4.4. Shonn Greene has peaked
Greene had a landmark day against an awful Colts defense, rushing for 161 yards and three scores. If you believe that Greene has suddenly re-emerged as a viable Fantasy player, I will gladly trade him to you. Oh wait, I didn’t draft him at all. And I missed out on a total of 15 points in my league between Weeks 2 and 5. The Colts defense is embarrassing. Greene will not have another outing like that this year and you need to trade him in the next five minutes or less if you can.
5.5. Bigger than Megatron
It’s official. Calvin Johnson is no longer the best WR in Fantasy Football. A.J. Green has passed him (Victor Cruz is a tight second). I dubbed Green “Minitron” last season because I said he had the potential to be another Johnson. Green now has six TDs and three 100-yard games in his last four outings and no defense can fully contain him. Megatron has one TD catch this year and Green was closing in on him before the season started, so this statement is no major leap.
6.6. Turn off your Hartline
Brian Hartline was shut out by the Rams, as their improved secondary completely kept him in check. Hartline served notice to the league recently that he could be a potentially outstanding playmaker, and opponents responded by giving him more defensive attention. Hartline will not get enough help in the Miami passing game to draw defenders away from him, and he has not proven to be up to the task of responding to increased coverage. So while you should not cut him, you have to leave Hartline on your bench in the near future.
7.7. Another Lesson: Don’t be teased
Dennis Pitta scored 18, 14 and 16 points in PPR leagues to open the season. Fantasy players were starting to talk him up as a top TE, but Pitta was shut out in his fourth outing and has 55 yards with no TDs in his past two games. Nothing in Fantasy Sports is absolute, but this was a reminder that a previously unproven player with a limited ceiling needs to perform well for an extended period before he is regarded among the best or as a must-start.
8.8. For real?
Is this the true Dez Bryant we had heard about for so long, yet only saw in glimpses? Bryant came through with what may have been a pivotal performance in his career progression at Baltimore. He caught 13 balls for 95 yards and two TDs. Bryant’s performance was impressive because of the healthy number of possession grabs he made. It was a very encouraging day for Bryant overall, and if the Cowboys continue to run the ball well, a more balanced attack will mean Bryant will have more chances to show he is finally improving and making major strides.
9.9. Brandon Lloyd has been a disappointment
Brandon Lloyd has not been terrible, but he has not lived up to expectations. Many of us Fantasy experts thought the Tom Brady to Lloyd connection was a missing piece in the New England passing game. But the Patriots offense has rolled along without him as a major downfield playmaker. Lloyd has one 100-yard game and one TD catch this year. With so many other options on an offense that now features an improved running game, Lloyd is not going to make large contributions on a consistent basis going forward. What you see may be what you get this year.
10.10. Marshawn Lynch is in the crosshairs
Opposing defenses are keying on Marshawn Lynch regularly, and have held him to two TD runs this year. The Patriots limited him to a season-low 41 rushing yards in Week 6. Lynch is running hard, but he is seemingly facing more tacklers every week. Russell Wilson, however, made New England pay with three TD passes, and if he keeps improving, Lynch will see more openings and scoring chances.
11.11. Aaron Rodgers owners, meet C.J. Spiller’s owners
We just finished telling you that you should not worry about your proven superstars. Well, there are other guys who may be less proven, who you should not worry about, either. C.J. Spiller has shown us enough to trust that he can explode any time he touches the ball. Spiller had scored five Fantasy points in the previous two games before he totaled 110 yards from scrimmage and scored on Sunday at Arizona. Spiller will continue to be a consistent big-play threat and a must-start in all leagues.
Join Scott “The King” Engel and Jake “All in Kid” Ciely for LIVE Gameday Chats Powered by Google+ Hangouts on RotoExperts.com every Sunday from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm ET. Click here for more info.