Just because I work for RotoExperts and am a part of the RotoExperts Morning Show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports radio doesn’t mean that I consider myself to be an “expert.” In this industry, we are considered to be pretty good at what we do if we are correct about our predictions around 70-percent of the time. I don’t know about you, but if I went to a surgeon who was only right 70-percent of the time, I might be looking for a different surgeon, or at the very least making sure all of my affairs are in order. It’s for this reason that I have always considered myself to be an analyst. I take all of the information I have and make an informed decision, trying to take emotions out of it. I like to think that I help more people than not, but at the very least, I know that I have given my answer due diligence.
The Ravens first game without RB Ray Rice was a success to say the least. Bernard Pierce was less than impressive last season and didn’t exactly inspire confidence in Week 1, but he looked pretty good against the Steelers last week. Although I’m still not the biggest fan, a starting RB is a starting RB and he must be rostered. The same can be said for Justin Forsett, but the player to watch, especially long term, could be Lorenzo Taliaferro.
The Dolphins came into the game versus the Bills with a decimated linebacker corps and will leave with a weakened RB corps. Knowshon Moreno is expected to miss the next 4-8 weeks due to a dislocated elbow and Lamar Miller also had to leave the game with a sprained ankle. Miller’s injury is not expected to be serious but he could still be hampered a bit for the next couple of weeks. The Dolphins signed Daniel Thomas who they had released during their final cuts in August. Thomas is only a waiver pickup in deeper leagues or if you’re extremely desperate at RB.
As of this writing there is still no definitive word on how long Robert Griffin III will be out. We all saw the gruesome injury he suffered while scrambling from the pocket towards the sideline Sunday. An MRI Monday showed no fracture, so there is a chance RGIII could be back in 4-6 weeks, but that seems to be extremely optimistic. One has to wonder that if the final results state he will miss 8-10 weeks or more, whether the Redskins wouldn’t just be better off placing him on season ending IR. There is a saying in professional sports, “the best ability is availability” and he just doesn’t have it. As for Kirk Cousins, he may actually run the offense of new head coach Jay Gruden better than RGIII anyway. In the short term this may be a good thing for Washington.
I couldn’t have been more wrong about the Titans this week. Like many others, I thought they wouldn’t have a big problem scoring against the Cowboys. Well either the Dallas defense is better than we thought or QB Jake Locker and the Titans offense aren’t quite ready for prime time. Sure Delanie Walker lit up the Dallas secondary (that’s two straight weeks Dallas hasn’t been able to stop the opposing TE), but Justin Hunter was a non-factor. So much for that big day we thought was about to happen.
Quarterback Carson Palmer was a surprise inactive yesterday. Apparently, his shoulder might have a nerve issue. I’m certainly not breaking my FAAB bank to acquire Drew Stanton. The good news for the Cardinals is the return to prominence of RB Andre Ellington. He is back, healthy, and is once again a must start for owners. Wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd have to be dropped a few notches however until Palmer returns.
The news has just come out that the Vikings have reinstated RB Adrian Peterson and he will play this week. Now, I’m not here to discuss the morality of what he did, but this may not be the end of the story. The Vikings are going to take some heat for this decision and may have a change of mind as the week moves on. If Peterson does play however, this could virtually eliminate any fantasy value for Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon. Perhaps QB Matt Cassel will be able to complete passes to his team with AP back behind him.
As if the Saints didn’t have enough bad news after losing back to back games on the road due to field goals as the clock expired, we now hear that RB Mark Ingram will be out of action for at least a month with a broken hand. Ingram was off to a hot start, perhaps the Saints decision not to pick up the option year in his contract this off-season was the wakeup call he needed. Khiry Robinson should be the biggest beneficiary of Ingram’s absence and a possible pickup for your Fantasy team.
That was a pretty impressive win by the Bengals over the Falcons. Sure, you may think, why, Cincinnati was at home and it’s not like the Falcons are a great team, but would you have felt the same way had you known that WR A.J .Green would miss the majority of the game with a toe injury and not record a reception? The toe is not fractured and Green could play this week, but the team may elect to hold him out and use the Week 4 bye to give him almost three weeks to completely recover.
The return of QB Cam Newton was a success. He threw for 281 yards and a score and also rushed four times for 19 yards. More importantly, he looked good doing so. While I still don’t think he will end up being a Top 5 QB this season, maybe, just maybe, we were a little too quick to drop him in our rankings this pre-season. Stop me if you heard this before: RB DeAngelo Williams missed the game with a thigh injury but Jonathan Stewart wasn’t all the impressive with 37 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown.
At this point in time, it’s fair to wonder whether Bobby Rainey should remain the starting RB even when Doug Martin returns to health. Martin was terrible last year, yet we all gave him a pass and blamed it on a bad QB situation, even though Rainey and Mike James succeeded under the same circumstances. Now I know Martin has only played one game, but it wasn’t a good one, and Rainey once again looks good. He’s a must claim for me right now.
More bad news on the injury front for Fantasy owners. Running back Ryan Mathews will miss about 4-6 weeks with a sprained MCL. One would think that this would be good news for Danny Woodhead but it’s actually Donald Brown that I would look to be targeting now. Brown should get much of the rushing load while Woodhead once again will see a carry here and there but is mainly the receiving option out of the backfield. The Chargers passing game is looking quite healthy, however, as TE Antonio Gates is looking explosive again, WR Malcolm Floyd is healthy, and Keenan Allen had a solid game after a disappointing Week 1. The Chargers could be the Broncos main threat in the AFC West, not Kansas City.
It has always been my belief this season that the Texans won’t be anywhere near as bad as they were last year. Through two weeks so far the Texans are proving me right but here’s the problem for Fantasy owners, they are trying to win with defense and the running game. This of course is great news for RB Arian Foster, at least until he gets hurt. The bad news is for the passing game. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to be asked not to lose games. This could keep WR Andre Johnson’s numbers at a minimum to say the least.
Eddie Lacy owners should relax a little bit. Sure he has had two rough weeks in a row but life should get a bit easier after this week’s game versus the Packers. It’s a rough stretch but even if you were to deal him now, you would be selling low. The passing game is clicking but one thing to keep an eye on is the offensive line, at best it is average, and they aren’t the best at opening holes for Lacy or giving QB Aaron Rodgers time to throw.
Fantasy owners can breathe a sigh of relief, the ankle injury suffered by RB Jamaal Charles yesterday is not serious. Sure he may be limited for another week or two but at least it looks like he will play at this point in time. I would, however, pickup Knile Davis just to be sure. Davis was impressive taking over for Charles against the Broncos and somehow I just don’t see Charles remaining healthy for the rest of the year, I’m going to cover my bases here.
How many Fantasy owners wanted to throw up last night if they had WR Brandon Marshall on their team but sat him because of the reports that he would more than likely not play? Listen, I wouldn’t beat yourself up over this. You made the right call. Unless your other option was someone who was never going to see the field then we had to sit Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Everything pointed to them missing the game and I don’t like to gamble when it comes to setting my lineup. I don’t want to take a zero. Sure it didn’t work out this time, but perhaps the next 10 times it does. The odds were in your favor, but every dog has his day.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz