Almost 75-percent of the season is over in most Fantasy Football leagues. Injuries continue to wreck Fantasy teams (Ben Roethlisberger, Dion Lewis, Latavius Murray). The waiver wire is extremely thin, which leaves the trade route as possibly the best way to improve your team. Trading has become a lost art in season-long Fantasy sports. It used to be the most fun part of owning a team, but now it seems like the only offers I receive are ones in which the other owner is clearly trying to rip me off. Yeah, I know the idea is to win a deal, but when you start by offering me the third string RB on Chicago for a Top 10 WR in the NFL, I really don’t want to have much to do with you. I’m not saying you need to make your best offer right off the bat, but make a competitive one. An offer that at the very least will keep the lines of communication open, not one that makes me want to delete your request as soon as I receive it. One more note on trading. When it comes to dealing a legitimate superstar, unless you love the deal, don’t be afraid to let the rest of your league know that player is available. The last thing you want to hear is “well if I would’ve known he was available, I would’ve give you more”. That may or may not be true but why have that weighing on your mind.
When you look at the final numbers for Johnny Manziel from Thursday night, 15-33, 168 yards, and a score, you’re not impressed, but he did show some good signs. Do you want him starting for your Fantasy team down the stretch? No, of course not, but shouldn’t the Browns be starting him to get him experience, to find out what they have? Probably, but one thing Fantasy owners should be worried about is that Manziel did fail to get Gary Barnidge involved, as he only had two receptions for 35 yards.
If you have not already, it’s now officially time to get off the Eddie Lacy bandwagon. It’s just not working out. He’s only had 78 yards rushing over his last four games. That’s horrific. We certainly wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. We all remember that last year when he also got off to a slow start and were hoping that history would repeat itself, but that just doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Throw in the groin injury he suffered yesterday and it may finally be time to admit, it’s time to move on. If James Starks is still available in your league for some reason, go and grab him.
We don’t know how long Dion Lewis will be out for as of this writing. He has a knee injury and it could be severe. Assuming he will, at the very least, miss a few weeks, LeGarrette Blount’s value spikes up once again. Blount was supposed to be the starting RB coming into the season but his one game suspension opened the door for Lewis who took full advantage of the opportunity. The Pats are unlikely to rush Lewis back, as their playoffs tickets are punched as of yesterday, so Blount could run wild in his absence and becomes a solid RB2.
LeSean McCoy was none too happy with Ndamukong Suh yesterday after Suh fell on this shoulder following a tackle. McCoy left the game and didn’t return, although there were reports that McCoy did want to play again. That all being said, McCoy will undergo an MRI today to determine the severity of his shoulder injury, and his availability for Thursday versus the Jets is questionable at best. Karlos Williams returned from a concussion yesterday and played well (110 yards, two touchdowns). He is once again worth picking up if he’s available on your waiver wire.
It may not have been the prettiest of games yesterday, but the Jets did manage to beat the Jaguars. Ryan Fitzpatrick is in good shape, despite the hand injury, and he will start Thursday’s game against the Bills. There is some talk (from Fitzpatrick) that he could undergo surgery on his hand as soon as Friday. He and the Jets are trying to determine how long he would be out of action for after the surgery whether the extra three days because of the Thursday night game would enable him to miss only one game or two at most. The Jets are a banged up team, as Brandon Marshall (knee, ankle) and Chris Ivory (hamstring) are also nursing injuries that are slowing their play down. Geno Smith could be a pickup in leagues that start two quarterbacks.
Ben Roethlisberger will be lost to the Steelers and Fantasy owners for a “few weeks” according to the team. Pittsburgh plays Cleveland this week and they believe they can get by with Landry Jones as the starter. More importantly for Fantasy owners, Jones has made more use of his wide receivers in Roethlisberger’s absence than Mike Vick did, so there might not be a reason to panic here if you own Antonio Brown or Martavis Bryant. The problem may be that Pittsburgh has their bye next week and then we will be hoping that Ben is healthy enough to play.
I really can’t blame anyone for wanting to drop Matt Ryan at this point. Although Julio Jones has had an outstanding Fantasy season, Ryan really has been average at best. This is somewhat surprising, as the Falcons would seem to have the offense to almost score at will, but when teams take away Jones in the red zone, Ryan is having problems finding his alternate targets. Ryan has had what most would consider to be six good matchups in a row (HOU, WASH, NO, TEN, TB, SF), yet in those games he only threw seven TD passes. That is not getting the job done for his Fantasy owners. Couple that with the fact that Atlanta has a bye this week and it may be time to move on to Derek Carr or Blake Bortles.
Did the Colts pull a fast one on us this week? They announced late in the week that TY Hilton had suffered a foot sprain and was highly questionable for the game. The reports only got worse from there, as it was reported that Hilton would likely miss the game Sunday morning. Many Fantasy owners, especially those that didn’t have another late game option, took Hilton out of their starting lineups. Well, Hilton not only played, but played well. Perhaps he had a magical recovery, or perhaps the Colts told a little white lie.
The Cowboys’ season is all but over with their loss to the Eagles last night. They are 2-6 and would need a miracle run just to stay in the hunt. Why do I bring this up? Everyone is assuming that Tony Romo will return in Week 11. Well, that would be a little bit of a quick return from the kind of injury he suffered and if Dallas loses again this Sunday, they may feel it’s more prudent to hold him back an extra week or two to make sure he is 100-percent healthy. They will have two games in four days (Thanksgiving) when he returns and that may be asking a little too much of someone coming back from a broken collarbone with little or nothing to play for. Yes, he’s throwing the ball, but he’s not practicing or taking any hits yet. Proceed with caution here.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you, @georgekurtz.