Doug Martin Living Up to the Hype
First, let me say congratulations to all of the Fantasy Baseball winners out there. A long season has finally come to a successful conclusion for you. Fantasy Hockey is about to begin (Wednesday) with Fantasy Basketball not far behind. See, the fun never stops. As for football, just about a third of the Fantasy season is done now, and if you are still winless, I am not going to sugarcoat things; you’re in trouble. Should you give up? No, but it may be time to start making those moves that you have been thinking about. Personally, if I’m going to go down, I’m going to go down fighting.
I know everyone is panicking about Antonio Brown with Mike Vick at quarterback. Let’s remember one thing before doing something we might regret later. If not for that dropped pass by Brown, we wouldn’t be talking about any of this. Plus, Vick will have more than just three days to prepare for this week’s game. Note to the Steelers - let’s not forget that you have LeVeon Bell. You might want to give him the ball once or twice on third and two.
[caption id="attachment_98913" align="alignright" width="336"] Doug Martin is involved in all phases of the Bucs' offense this season. Photo Credit: Chris Moccio[/caption]
Here is hoping that you started Justin Forsett this week. True, his big game was versus a subpar Steelers defense, but still it was nice to see him finally look like the back he was last season. At the very least he has bought himself more time for Fantasy owners. The bad news is that he may be only player startable on Baltimore, as WR Steve Smith may be out of action for a little while with four broken bones in his back. The injury sounds worse than it actually is, though, (easy for me to say) as he can return as soon as he feels he can play through the pain.
How did that nice early game in London treat you? It sure didn’t treat Miami all that well, as they lost again and fired coach Joe Philbin. Miami is on bye this week, but we will be watching for any changes the new coaching staff decides to make.
Chris Ivory and Eric Decker both returned and both scored for the Jets. They have recovered from their respective injuries anyway, but the week off can only help. Ivory runs like a man possessed by the way. If he can stay healthy, and that’s a big if, as he is heavy contact back, he will end up being a Top 10 Fantasy RB by the end of the season.
Well, the Colts lucked out (get it) with their win Sunday. Matt Hasselbeck certainly wasn’t great (far from it) but got the job done. Everyone is going to be asking the same question this week. Will Andrew Luck play Thursday? We more than likely won’t know until game time. Perhaps the Colts did hold him out yesterday because they have a short week and wanted to make sure he is completely healthy for Thursday. Perhaps he is hurt more than the Colts are admitting to. Best guess is he will play Thursday, but if he is out long term, it does look like you will need someone other than Hasselbeck to anchor your Fantasy team.
Well, Tyrod Taylor was due to lay an egg eventually. Maybe some of us jumped the gun when we started thinking he was a Top 10 QB. Well, that could be, but before we all hop off of this bandwagon let’s remember he was without his top WR in Sammy Watkins and top RB in LeSean McCoy, that’s bound to hurt anyone.
I know everyone is going to be asking whether to claim Ted Ginn this week. Sure, he had two TD receptions yesterday, but they were his only two catches of the day, and he only netted 18 yards. Let’s slow our roll a little bit. Sure, it’s okay to go for him if you have a dead spot on your roster, but don’t expect him to continue to have big games. Also, Carolina is on bye this week.
Guess who benched Doug Martin this week? Yeah, I did and I knew I’d pay for it as soon as I did it. Yay me. I’m an optimist, though. Perhaps this is a signal for us Fantasy owners that he is about to live up to his draft hype.
Jordan Reed left yesterday’s game after suffering a concussion. What a shame. When healthy, Reed is a Top 8 TE, but he just can’t stay on the field for any length of time. As of this writing, it is unknown if he will be able to play this week. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson (hamstring), however, has a better than average chance to return to action.
Jay Cutler was a surprise starter, and while it didn’t lead to a Chicago victory, it did lead to TE Martellus Bennett having a big game. If Bennett is on the waiver wire in your league, you can feel free to pick him up, and from this point, he may once again be a Top 5 TE. As for Alshon Jeffery, however, he missed the game with a hamstring injury. Maybe he plays this week, maybe he doesn’t. I own him in two leagues. In one league, I’m weak at WR so I will have no choice but to start him, but in the other I do have better depth and will take a wait and see approach.
That sound you heard yesterday was every Tevin Coleman owner weeping. Three more touchdowns for Devonta Freeman. I’m not saying that Coleman will never see a snap again. In today’s NFL, most teams believe in the two back system and the Falcons certainly do. But he was Wally Pipped, and will now play second fiddle to Freeman. Someone else who has either lost or is about to lose his starting job is Roddy White. He only has two receptions since Week 1. Don’t be stubborn here; White was a risky prospect coming into the season and that risk is not paying off. Leonard Hankerson seems to be the clear-cut choice as the #2 receiver on Atlanta after Julio Jones.
The good news is that Arian Foster returned to game action. The bad news is that he was extremely limited as the Texans got their doors blown off by the Falcons and were forced to throw the ball early and often. Life will get back to normal Thursday versus Indy and Foster will once again be a must start.
Is Melvin Gordon a bust? He had a good matchup versus a shaky Browns run defense but only managed 38 yards on 12 carries. Danny Woodhead had 54 yards on eight carries. So not only is Woodhead the third down back and used more in the red zone, but now he is doing more with his early down touches also. No one is saying that Gordon is done as far as his career, but as far as his effectiveness for your Fantasy team this season, you may need to start looking in another direction.
What should be done with WR Davante Adams? He missed the game yesterday with an ankle injury. The bigger concern, however, should be that even when he returns he will no longer be the WR2. That job belongs to James Jones, who is now a must-start each week. Not only is he compiling TD receptions, but also yardage, as Aaron Rodgers is really starting to enjoy having the old veteran around. As for Adams, I wouldn’t drop him, but he’s not a start either, assuming you have a more reliable alternative.
We all saw yesterday why Todd Gurley was the first running back taken off the board in the draft. When healthy, he has the size and speed to be a special back. The matchup versus the Cardinals didn’t look like a good one for Gurley, but he was a beast in the second half, ripping off several long runs. Will he be lights out for the rest of the season? Probably not, as the team still has OL issues and lacks quality QB and WRs, but he will be a force to be reckoned with and should be started now without any concern for his health.
Yes, I’ve about given up on CJ Anderson. I’m not dropping him, but he is no longer a must start for me. Should you trade him? As always, that will depend on what the return is, but I have my doubts that you would get much for him.
Cowboy fans can complain about Brandon Weeden all they want, but the truth is, it’s been the defense that has let them down the past two weeks, but let’s face reality here. The Cowboys are without their top QB, top WR, third down back that actually led the team in receiving, top four defensive lineman, top two linebackers, and top cornerback. Sure, they will get a few of them back, but overall, no team can survive that amount of carnage in the salary cap era. Losing your QB alone puts you behind the eight-ball, and guess who comes to town this week after their bye week? New England.
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