Alex Smith Better than Eli Manning?
Rather nice week with a 3 for 4 showing, as we blew away Cam Newton versus Andrew Luck and even called Bilal Powell over Maurice Jones-Drew. The one bad one, well, it was truly bad. Then again, who saw Hakeem Nicks putting up a fat zero, or the Giants sharing their backfield with the Panthers defensive line? I’ll still take the 3 for 4 accuracy any day of the week.
Quarterback Points Allowed
|1||Dallas Cowboys||SAD||29.0||16||San Diego Chargers||DAL||21.7|
|2||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||ARI||23.0||17||Cleveland Browns||CIN||14.0|
|3||Kansas City Chiefs||NYG||21.9||18||Seattle Seahawks||HOU||15.1|
|4||Oakland Raiders||WSH||27.3||19||Cincinnati Bengals||CLE||16.0|
|5||Denver Broncos||PHI||21.2||20||Jacksonville Jaguars||IND||12.9|
|6||Indianapolis Colts||JAC||21.4||21||Chicago Bears||DET||10.4|
|7||Washington Redskins||OAK||21.4||22||New Orleans Saints||MIA||14.5|
|8||New England Patriots||ATL||20.4||23||New York Jets||TEN||12.7|
|9||San Francisco 49ers||STL||20.2||24||Houston Texans||SEA||8.2|
|10||Pittsburgh Steelers||MIN||19.1||25||Tennessee Titans||NYJ||13.8|
|11||Philadelphia Eagles||DEN||16.2||26||St. Louis Rams||SAF||16.9|
|12||Buffalo Bills||BAL||20.7||27||Atlanta Falcons||NE||9.5|
|13||Minnesota Vikings||PIT||11.0||28||Arizona Cardinals||TB||14.4|
|14||Detroit Lions||CHI||15.1||29||Miami Dolphins||NO||9.8|
|15||Baltimore Ravens||BUF||18.8||30||New York Giants||KC||11.4|
HOLD ‘EM OR FOLD ‘EM
Originally, we were going to talk Terrelle Pryor or Eli Manning... but it sounds as though Pryor won't play, and Matt Flynn doesn't belong in a Week 4 starter conversation. So, we'll take the QB Manning is facing, Alex Smith. Can't believe it's Smith versus Eli? Well, as mentioned in the lead in, who would have said Powell was a better play than MJD? Yet, here we are, finding Smith as the better play.
The Giants defense is abysmal, and they simply can't stop the pass. Or, do you need to see more tape of Aaron Ross giving up touchdowns? As the third most favorable matchup, the Giants present Smith with his best opportunity for production this week, and don't be surprised if he gets Dwayne Bowe more involved, which would only help him reach high-end QB2 status.
As for Manning, if you haven’t noticed, the Giants offensive line might as well be nonexistent. Through three games, Manning has nearly as many hits as he did through half of 2012. To make matters worse, the Chiefs currently rank as the toughest matchup for QBs. Sorry Eli, but get the ice bath and Ben Gay ready – it’s going to be a long day. Don’t be surprised if Manning doesn’t even crack the Top 15.
Running Back Points Allowed
|1||Oakland Raiders||WSH||23.7||16||St. Louis Rams||SAF||25.7|
|2||Indianapolis Colts||JAC||19.7||17||New England Patriots||ATL||14.7|
|3||New Orleans Saints||MIA||17.9||18||New York Jets||TEN||16.7|
|4||Pittsburgh Steelers||MIN||22.9||19||Cleveland Browns||CIN||14.6|
|5||Kansas City Chiefs||NYG||19.4||20||Philadelphia Eagles||DEN||21.1|
|6||Jacksonville Jaguars||IND||16.7||21||New York Giants||KC||13.4|
|7||Dallas Cowboys||SAD||14.5||22||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||ARI||13.6|
|8||Chicago Bears||DET||25.0||23||Atlanta Falcons||NE||15.5|
|9||Minnesota Vikings||PIT||22.5||24||Buffalo Bills||BAL||11.1|
|10||San Francisco 49ers||STL||20.6||25||Seattle Seahawks||HOU||14.9|
|11||Washington Redskins||OAK||12.1||26||Arizona Cardinals||TB||14.6|
|12||Denver Broncos||PHI||17.2||27||Cincinnati Bengals||CLE||13.7|
|13||Baltimore Ravens||BUF||17.1||28||San Diego Chargers||DAL||10.0|
|14||Houston Texans||SEA||10.1||29||Detroit Lions||CHI||9.6|
|15||Miami Dolphins||NO||15.9||30||Tennessee Titans||NYJ||9.3|
HOLD ‘EM OR FOLD ‘EM
I’ll be the first to admit that Darren Sproles has disappointed… a bit. Sproles currently ranks as the 28th RB in standard leagues and 18th in PPR. That’s a bit of a drop for RB1 status in PPR leagues and mid-level RB2 in standard under Sean Payton. Nevertheless, it hasn’t been terrible thus far, and I’m still starting him over Ryan Mathews. Or, has Mathews done anything to make you think differently? I surely don’t think so. In fact, Mathews ranks 27 and 31 in standard and PPR leagues, respectively. Apparently, just staying healthy wasn’t his only issue.
The numbers back up the play as well. While the Dolphins are 3-0 and allowing a respectable 17.9 FPPG to running backs, they faced the Colts pre Trent Richardson and the Falcons without Steven Jackson the past two weeks. The metrics behind their defense account for that, and it’s why they rank in the Top Five for easiest opponents. As for the Cowboys, they’re at the exact opposite end: third toughest. The Cowboys held the Chiefs run game (see: Jamaal Charles) to seven points. Mathews is no Charles, or even half of him. Don’t let the early-season disappointment or number of Saints offensive weapons sway you, Sproles is the better play.
Wide Receiver Points Allowed
|1||Oakland Raiders||WSH||35.4||16||Seattle Seahawks||HOU||18.8|
|2||Dallas Cowboys||SAD||29.8||17||Pittsburgh Steelers||MIN||22.8|
|3||Washington Redskins||OAK||27.0||18||Jacksonville Jaguars||IND||17.5|
|4||San Francisco 49ers||STL||29.2||19||Cleveland Browns||CIN||23.0|
|5||Denver Broncos||PHI||31.7||20||New York Jets||TEN||18.6|
|6||Indianapolis Colts||JAC||23.3||21||Minnesota Vikings||PIT||13.0|
|7||New England Patriots||ATL||30.0||22||Cincinnati Bengals||CLE||21.6|
|8||Buffalo Bills||BAL||27.4||23||Chicago Bears||DET||15.8|
|9||Kansas City Chiefs||NYG||25.8||24||New Orleans Saints||MIA||14.1|
|10||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||ARI||18.1||25||Tennessee Titans||NYJ||21.9|
|11||Baltimore Ravens||BUF||31.3||26||Atlanta Falcons||NE||17.0|
|12||Houston Texans||SEA||12.8||27||Arizona Cardinals||TB||15.3|
|13||San Diego Chargers||DAL||28.1||28||St. Louis Rams||SAF||19.4|
|14||Detroit Lions||CHI||29.2||29||New York Giants||KC||17.8|
|15||Philadelphia Eagles||DEN||26.3||30||Miami Dolphins||NO||16.6|
HOLD ‘EM OR FOLD ‘EM
Larry Fitzgerald didn’t look too hobbled last week, even though he didn’t practice much, and you can likely expect him to be ready for Week 4. You can also see that Fitz loves having a competent QB for the first time since Kurt Warner. Nevertheless, Fitzgerald takes a back seat to Pierre Garcon this week.
Even if Fitz is ready and close to 100 percent, the Bucs pass defense is their one bright spot. Much of that likely has to do with Darrelle Revis, who will get Fitzgerald duty. Meanwhile, Garcon has the enviable matchup with the Raiders. Similar to their opponent, the Redskins, the Raiders are awful against the pass and receivers. The Raiders have allowed 320 yards per game to receivers (let that sink in for a minute), and that includes a league-high 18.0 receptions per game. PPR gold! Garcon will feast on this secondary, while Fitzgerald will struggle to reach WR1 numbers against a secondary allowing just 169.5 WR receiving yards per game. It may sound crazy, but on teams deep at receiver, Fitzgerald might be benchable.
Tight End Points Allowed
|1||Washington Redskins||OAK||9.8||16||Detroit Lions||CHI||8.8|
|2||Oakland Raiders||WSH||11.0||17||Philadelphia Eagles||DEN||7.9|
|3||Indianapolis Colts||JAC||9.1||18||Seattle Seahawks||HOU||5.5|
|4||Dallas Cowboys||SAD||12.7||19||Baltimore Ravens||BUF||5.8|
|5||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||ARI||18.9||20||Houston Texans||SEA||3.2|
|6||Kansas City Chiefs||NYG||11.5||21||Arizona Cardinals||TB||13.9|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||STL||7.5||22||Minnesota Vikings||PIT||6.1|
|8||Denver Broncos||PHI||6.5||23||Cleveland Browns||CIN||5.7|
|9||Buffalo Bills||BAL||11.8||24||Tennessee Titans||NYJ||4.7|
|10||New York Jets||TEN||11.6||25||Cincinnati Bengals||CLE||3.7|
|11||New England Patriots||ATL||9.3||26||Chicago Bears||DET||5.3|
|12||Jacksonville Jaguars||IND||6.7||27||Atlanta Falcons||NE||1.9|
|13||New Orleans Saints||MIA||13.1||28||Miami Dolphins||NO||4.8|
|14||Pittsburgh Steelers||MIN||17.2||29||New York Giants||KC||3.3|
|15||San Diego Chargers||DAL||8.8||30||St. Louis Rams||SAF||5.0|
HOLD ‘EM OR FOLD ‘EM
Looking out for the bye week blues here. Those with Greg Olsen or Jermichael Finley are already looking for fill ins. Granted, Finley could have missed this week anyway, but in any case, we need a substitution. Some might find Kyle Rudolph appealing, as they hope Rudy can find the end zone as he did in Week 2. There is a better option out there, though, and his name is Coby Fleener.
Rudolph has two points in each of the other games where he didn’t find pay dirt. The Steelers also rank well against the tight end position, allowing 6.1 FPPG and coming in as the ninth toughest matchup. Plus, the game is in London. How many times have we seen dismal offensive outputs from both teams overseas? Seriously, why do they enjoy watching this subpar version of the NFL?
As for Fleener, he also has two stinkers and one good game, but the matchup is significantly better. The Jaguars defense is extremely weak and is the third best matchup for tight ends. The Jags are allowing 50.7 YPG to opposing tight ends, and Fleener has seen five red zone targets already. Fleener doesn’t need a bevy of targets to have value this week, just one, and it’s highly likely it will come with a scoring opportunity.
(Reminder: You’ll notice the rankings are not in exact order of points allowed. Other metrics are calculated in along with just straight points. It allows for better analysis so one off-week doesn’t skew the opponent difficulty too greatly.)
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