3:04 pm, October 1st, 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 about a wide receiver flex option you should snap up quickly, and a marquee running back you can buy low on.
1.1. Peyton pays off
You have heard all the talk about how Peyton Manning does not have the arm strength he once did. Well, ask the Raiders defense if that has really sapped his effectiveness in a major way. Manning made the ultimate statement to Fantasy owners this week, showing us all that he still has a lot of other tools that make him better than a lot of other Fantasy QBs. Manning still reads defenses at a lightning pace and retains his All-Pro accuracy. He knows his new limitations and makes all the right throws within his “decreased” abilities. He completed an amazing 30 of 38 attempts for 338 yards and three TDs. Don’t sell high on Peyton. You don’t need the No. 1 player at a position to keep winning, he’ll do just fine.
2.2. Mike Likes Alfred
Fantasy players have long derided Mike Shanahan as an indecisive dolt who hurts their outlooks. Well, Shanny is very hard to satisfy, but once he finds his bellcow, he rides with him. It may take a long time for Shanahan to settle on a true No. 1 RB without pulling him, and now he has found his man in Alfred Morris, who has rushed for four TDs already and registered his first 100-yard game of his career on Sunday. Morris is the new, updated version of Olandis Gary/Mike Anderson. A guy who will be fed the ball regularly and has an unusually firm grip on a job under Shanahan. Of course, he could just be a one-year wonder like those guys, too. But unless he suddenly starts developing a fumbling problem, Morris is here to stay as a Fantasy starter. Stop the sell-high talk.
3.3. Overrated Raider?
Darren McFadden has stayed healthy, but his mediocre production has been injuring Fantasy owners everywhere. He rushed for only 34 yards on 13 carries on Sunday, and other Oakland RBs seemed more involved in the passing game. McFadden adjusting to new blocking schemes, and the Raiders have a bad defense and depleted passing game that does not help matters, either. Some guys, though, can’t be kept down for too long, because they are too good. Acquire McFadden now while his current owner may be frustrated with him.
4.4. Crazy James
James Jones is one of the most maddening players in Fantasy Football. He is wildly inconsistent and unpredictable. Whenever you start him, he lays an egg. Whenever you bench him, he sparkles. Hopefully, you took a shot with him against that terrible Saints defense, as he scored twice. Why do they even call it a defense? With Greg Jennings hurting and Jordy Nelson drawing lots of defensive attention, plus Jermichael Finley being way overrated and unreliable, Jones still is a daring matchup play with some promise. Go with him in Week 5 against the Colts.
5.5. Marques Colston lives!
He was driving his Fantasy owners crazy, underperforming, dropping passes and making us all worry about a foot injury. Then the Marques Colston we all know and love showed up at Green Bay. Colston caught nine passes for 153 yards and a TD, making several key grabs to keep the Saints in the game. Unfortunately, the Colston we all know and love does not show up often enough, because Colston has trouble avoiding injuries. Sell on him now before you are dealing with him being a game-time decision or not producing up to expectations at some point in the weeks ahead.
6.6. Mike Tolbert: The Sequel?
Everyone wants Ryan Mathews to fully live up to all the hype. That he’ll become both a Fantasy superstar and a workhorse for the Chargers to ensure that he does. Well, put on your Chuck Muncie specs and realize that it may not happen like you want it to. Mathews is not durable and the Chargers need to make sure they don’t overwork him to keep him contributing as they hope. That means Jackie Battle is now apparently in line to play the old Mike Tolbert role. That is, to steal goal line carries and get lots of inside work. Hopefully, that means Mathews stays healthy, and if he does, you get very nice numbers as he makes the most of his monitored touches. Meanwhile, Battle is worth a pickup and flex consideration going forward.
7.7. Return of the Titan
Just when you thought you were about to toss him into the pile with your old Playboys, Chris Johnson arose from the Fantasy dead. Of course, it was in what was apparently the toughest matchup possible. The Texans hadn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher since the middle of last October. But when Matt Hasselbeck took over at QB for Tennessee, suddenly the defense could not load the box against the run anymore, they had to respect the pass. Plus, Johnson ran with more confidence and authority this week. So you can clean him up and start considering him for starting status again, although we will need to see more than one quality outing before we consider him a lineup lock again.
8.8. No. 1, meet No. 2
Ever since Anquan Boldin left town, Larry Fitzgerald has been searching for a real dance partner. Enter Andre Roberts, who after a 118-yard, two TD performance on Sunday, has now scored four times in four games. Last year, many Fantasy types lauded Roberts as a potential sleeper. He disappointed in 2011, but now it just turns out those predicting his rise were simply a year too early. Roberts is not flashy or sexy. All he does it get open and catch the ball. The Cardinals will continue to throw a lot, and you will continue to rely on Roberts a lot as a WR3.
9.9. Duper, Clayton and Hartline?
For the first time since the Dan Marino days, it looks like the Dolphins have a real QB in Ryan Tannehill. It’s going to be awhile before he starts getting on local car commercials with ‘ol Dan in South Florida, but Tannehill is no Cleo Lemon or Sage Rosenfels. And he needs a go-to guy as he develops. That man is already clearly Brian Hartline, who obviously just needed someone more competent than Chad Henne to get him the ball. Two weeks after a 111-yard breakout performance, Hartline set the new Dolphins single-game receiving record with 253 yards, which came on 12 catches, with a TD. Hartline may have soared past the Marks Brothers in team annals. He’s also now firmly entrenched as a must-start WR3 in Fantasy. As Tannehill progresses, Hartline will thrive.
10.10. Turnaround Turner
Everyone was so quick to write him off entering this season, but the Falcons have stuck with Michael Turner, despite the Fantasy players sitting in section 410 all calling for the Jacquizz Rodgers era to begin. Turner told those guys to shut up and put their placards down with a 103-yard rushing performance that also featured a 60-yard TD reception on a screen pass. The odds of us seeing that type of scoring play again are about as much as seeing Bruce Springsteen playing to a half-empty arena. Turner isn’t quite done, and before you go trading him away too fast, think about how scarce overall quality is at RB right now. Turner will still score consistently even if the yardage totals are sometimes mediocre.
11.11. Runnin’ Pats
For the first time in 32 years, the Patriots had two 100-yard rushers in a game on Sunday, when Stevan Ridley (22 carries, 106 yards, two TDs) and Brandon Bolden (16-137-1) pulled off the feat at Buffalo. Ridley regained the confidence of Fantasy owners who watched him statistically shrivel in Week 3, and he will continue to score on a frequent basis. Think BenJarvus Green-Ellis with more yardage from the statistical perspective. Bolden is a nice, nifty complement for the inside running of Ridley and will get some goal-line work as well. Consider him a viable flex option going forward. But both RBs will underwhelm in weeks when the Patriots simply empty the passing buckets.
The RotoExperts Xclusive Edge Fantasy Football package is all you need to set the best lineups every week on your way to a title. In-season and lineup ranks, statistical breakdowns, comprehensive player analysis, injury reports and LIVE chats three times a week, including a three-hour session on gamedays. Click here to learn more.