Bill Belichick does not like you.
Don’t think so? Surely you winced in pain on Sunday as LeGarrette Blount, who walked away from his previous job less than a week earlier, came back home like the prodigal ron and was rewarded for his return with a season-high 12 carries for 78 yards along with his first two scores since mid-September. That’s a kick in the crotch of any Fantasy owner who gleefully picked up Jonas Gray off the waiver wire, or the owner whose faith in Shane Vereen (especially in PPR formats) had never flinched.
Yes, Bill Belichick does not like you.
Oh sure, he’ll give you Tom Brady’s gaudy stats. In fact, Belichick will give you a stretch of passing fancy from Tom Terrific, enough to lull you into believing every week is going to feel like 2007 again, albeit without Randy Moss. Just when you haphazardly plug Brandon LaFell or Julian Edleman into the lineup…..BOOM! Belichick goes run-heavy and leaves your head spinning while you ease the pain of a three-catch, 35-yard outing from one of the Pats wideouts, a pain that not even Vicodin can make go away when your opponent starts Robert Woods as a last-ditch option at his WR3.
Blount’s arrival and subsequent “breakout” game was like putting out fire with gasoline (lots of it, considering how cheap gasoline is today) in a RBBC situation that sure as hell didn’t need one. Whereas Gray’s coming-out party versus the Colts two weeks ago provided a scenario that many astute Fantasy owners saw coming, having Blount arrive had to feel like a sickening thud to your head with a sledgehammer.
Consider this a severe RBBC warning from the RotoExperts.com weather service. The forecast calls for a heavy downpour of confusion for those in the area of Blount, Gray and Vereen. Gale force winds of chance will be followed with strong gusts of uncertainty when it comes down to who gets the bulk of the carries on a weekly basis. Low-lying areas in standard leagues may want to take caution, while those in PPR leagues are advised to seek shelter in the form of other pass-catching backs.
This storm is expected to continue for some time, with fierce precipitation arriving in time for the playoffs. This is a dangerous storm, perhaps more dangerous than a similar deluge which has left Detroit’s backfield drenched all season long. While Blount’s availability is at 32 percent in polled leagues, you are advised to stay in your cars and not step out for fear of falling into high water. Please check for later updates throughout the week and/or into game time. The forecast is subject to drastic change.
For those of you not affected by the Belichick Vortex, there’s better news for you
Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders: This is perhaps the last chance you may ever get Murray on the cheap, which is why I’m discussing him again. Had the Chiefs not delivered a concussion-producing hit on him in the second quarter of last week’s game, Murray may have gone for over 200 yards rushing, as he had already produced 112 yards and a pair of scores on just four carries. His ownership has rocketed from two percent to 26 percent of polled leagues, numbers that will continue to climb. He’s expected to pass the league’s concussion protocol later this week, which makes Murray a very strong RB2 when the Raiders take on the Rams. Murray could put together a strong enough finish to place him among the top 15-20 RBs available for next year’s draft; if he’s still sitting around in keeper/dynasty leagues, remember to say a prayer of thanks when gathered around the table this Thursday, but only after you picked him up.
Jonathan Grimes, RB, Texans: How about handcuffing the handcuff to the handcuff here? Seriously, do you trust Arian Foster’s health at this point? Saying he may be available this week against the Titans is like saying you won’t stuff yourself at the Thanksgiving dinner: we go in with that belief, but after (fill in the number most comfortable to you) trips to restock your plate, that plan is gone. Alfred Blue is a good low-end RB1 considering the Titans are 30th in Fantasy points allowed to backs, but if Foster can’t go, Grimes will get his share of touches, as the Texans will revert back to their ground-pounding ways now that Ryan Fitzpatrick is back at QB. Grimes is a deeper league option, but should be on your radar if Foster misses a third straight game.
Donte Moncrief, WR, Colts: The giddy feeling we got after Moncrief’s 7-113-1 performance against the Steelers in week eight was replaced with a void befitting a summer fling gone wrong, as Moncrief had two catches for two yards in his next two games. His 4-38-0 line in last week’s win over the Jaguars comes with the caveat that he’s beginning to get more snaps than the fading Hakeem Nicks, which is a trend you have to like as the Colts gear up for the postseason. Moncreif’s ownership, which peaked around 20 percent of polled leagues after the Steelers game, is back to three percent, which means he’s a good snatch and stash if you have room on your roster for a speculative option that could pay off once the Colts officially put the gifted rookie into the third wideout spot for the long haul.
Boobie Dixon, RB, Bills: So much for #FreeBryceBrown. Dixon is now the RB2 for a Buffalo team that likes to distribute carries liberally, and his touches will stay on the rise as Fred Jackson continues to recover from his groin injury. Dixon has rushed for 151 yards on 31 carries the last three weeks, translating into a nifty 4.87 yards per carry average. He showed his getaway skills on a 30-yard touchdown run in Monday’s rout of the Jets, which gives owners more reason to like him. Dixon is a great handcuff for Jackson owners and stands a good chance to rise into a low-end RB2/Flex role if something happens to Jackson.
Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars: The pickings are very, very slim when looking for wideouts that could be contributors down the stretch, which is why Lee (owned in one percent of polled leagues) is interesting. Lee has the upside to be a John Brown-caliber wideout in that he can cause damage with limited touches, a sign of that which was seen in Sunday’s loss to the Colts when he ripped off a 37-yard catch. The Jags still don’t have a clear-cut top target at wideout, which means Lee still has a chance to overtake fellow rookie Allen Hurns and Cecil Shorts for opportunities. My guess is that he can, which makes him an option in deeper leagues and daily money leagues as well.