After the RotoExperts Weekend Show, Saturday 7AM-10AM EST on SiriusXm channel 210(shameless plug), I was talking with Tony Cincotta (host). We were chatting about everything from family, work and vacations to, of course, Fantasy Football. Tony and I both play in a wide variety of leagues, but eventually we started talking about Daily Fantasy Leagues. We both believe this is where the future of Fantasy sports is heading. It’s not that we don’t love traditional leagues. My home league is going on year 26 and draft day is one of my favorite events of the year, but let’s face it, as a society we are an impatient bunch. No one wants to wait 4-6 months to find out if they won or not; they want to know now. I enjoy the daily games as well, although, I don’t play as much as I should because I usually just don’t have time to put the work in, and I don’t want to just put names on my roster without doing the research. There are times, however, when I do want to play, usually because I’m going to be home that night watching the games, and if I don’t’ have time to do my homework, I’m not afraid to take Cincotta’s lineup or check in with the Daily Fantasy Rundown on RotoExperts.com to see who they predict will have the best stats that day. I regard Tony as one of the best in the business and DFR is a must for me also, as even if I didn’t have the time to put the work in, I know they did and I trust them. I think you should too. Here’s what caught my eye in Week 8.
Is WR Wes Welker an afterthought now in the Broncos offense? Is he no longer a must-start? It’s certainly starting to look that way. Perhaps the concussion and suspension at the beginning of the season has hurt more than we first expected. Emmanuel Sanders has burst upon the scene and from the first game of the year and has looked like he has played with QB Peyton Manning for a decade. This could also be about matchups, as WR Demaryius Thomas also got off to a slow start before exploding over the past couple of weeks. Tight end Julius Thomas has been quiet now for back to back games. This could all be just a sign that Manning is taking what is given to him, rather than forcing the ball to any one person. This could also be a sign that Welker (free agent) will be playing elsewhere next season.
Yes, we are all being driven crazy about the situation with WR Calvin Johnson. He was a Top 5 pick in most drafts, who has now missed three games and was invisible for two others. I understand your frustration (I don’t own him in any league), but I still wouldn’t panic that much. Detroit keeping him out of the lineup Sunday is actually a good thing. They have a bye this week, which should give him almost three weeks to get fully healed. I’d rather buy then sell at this point in time.
The Rams took a big hit to their offense on Sunday when they lost WR Brian Quick for the season with a dislocated shoulder and torn rotator cuff. This is an offense that is already without its top two QBs in Sam Bradford and Shaun Hill, can’t make up their mind as to who should start at RB (Zac Stacy, Benny Cunningham, Tre Mason) and now really doesn’t have anyone to throw the ball to. I think I’ll be staying away from the Rams players for the rest of the season.
The Titans are another team that is a bit of a mess. They decided to replace QB Jake Locker and go with rookie Zack Mettenberger for the rest of the season. He showed some promise in his debut but will still have quite a ways to go before the Titans know whether or not they have found their franchise QB. As for the running game, they are still wondering whether Bishop Sankey is the man for the job. Sankey has failed to rush for more than 61 yards in any game this season and seems to be a forgotten man once the team reaches the red zone. Still, he’s the starter, as Shonn Greene has gotten himself into some legal troubles, and his playing status is in question at this point in time.
There is an awful lot of noise going around that the Bucs might be willing to trade WR Vincent Jackson. With his contract, that would seem unlikely because the team would probably have a choice to eat some money and get a decent pick in return, or just dump his salary. Neither situation may be enough to tempt the Buccaneers. One player they would like to trade may be RB Doug Martin. He has been a disappointment to put it nicely, and Charles Sims is close to being ready to play. Once again, however, what return could Martin possibly warrant?
The Seahawks may have won the game versus Carolina on Sunday, but they are still a mess. Yes, the defense stepped up, maybe for the first time this season, and looked like the Hawks from last year’s Super Championship team; but the offense looks completely out of sync. They didn’t seem to have a tough time moving the ball versus the Panthers, but once they got into the red zone there were mistakes galore. Quarterback Russell Wilson missed a wide open receiver for a TD, RB Marshawn Lynch had a TD pass go through his hands that was then picked off, and there was a fumbled snap. These mistakes turned what should have been a blowout into a close game, and they have to be rectified immediately.
Well, if it’s not WR Calvin Johnson that is killing your Fantasy team, perhaps it’s A.J. Green. He has also missed three games and most of another one. Now unlike Johnson, he doesn’t have a bye next week but is still expected to play. The problem is that Green’s injury (toe) may linger with him all season. Sure, he will have some good games but he may also have some where he is nowhere near full strength. Let’s just hope he can remain in the lineup.
Did the Jaguars give the keys to QB Blake Bortles one season too soon? The two pick-sixes he threw yesterday were his third and fourth of the season. Does this mean he should hand the keys back to Chad Henne? Probably not. Henne is certainly not the QB of the future and the Jaguars as a team aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. As long as playing Bortles at this point in time and having him go through the growing pains of a starting QB doesn’t hurt his confidence, then he should keep the job. Hopefully the entire offense will grow together.
How did the Patriots and QB Tom Brady go from looking like a team that couldn’t get out of its own way in that Monday Night game versus the Chiefs, to a team that looked like they couldn’t be stopped versus the Bears on Sunday? Is it all because TE Rob Gronkowski finally looks to be back at full strength? That could be, but it also doesn’t hurt that WR Brandon LaFell is giving Brady the deep threat that he has been missing, and the offensive line has finally figured out how to keep Brady off of his back. Remember just a few weeks ago when we were wondering whether we should release or bench Brady? Now they all seem like must starts. Ahhh, good times.
The Jets are really a running joke here in New York. Will head coach Rex Ryan be fired this week? Does it matter? Who will start at QB? Geno Smith threw interceptions on his first three possessions of the game Sunday. Michael Vick came in for him and led the Jets to 23 points. However, he also turned the ball over three times (2 fumbles, INT). At this time, Ryan hasn’t announced who will start next at QB, but does it really matter?
I was worried coming into the game Sunday about starting QB Carson Palmer. We received so many questions about whether or not we should start him over someone like Matthew Stafford (with Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush inactive) or Matt Ryan (terrible OL). Palmer had his own issues, though; the team admitted they were trying to protect him last week both by running the ball more often and limiting some of his throws until his arm strength returned. Well, everything looked good versus the Eagles, including WR Larry Fitzgerald. Could the Cards actually be the favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl?
It’s a good thing that the Browns beat the Raiders this week. If Cleveland would’ve lost to another winless team, all we would be hearing about is Johnny Manziel. Hoyer is not someone who should be started in Fantasy, at least not until WR Josh Gordon is eligible to play once again. Then life becomes much more interesting in Cleveland, at least on the offensive side of the ball. What has happened to RB Isiah Crowell?
How many of us have QB Ben Roethlisberger on our roster but didn’t start him yesterday due to either having a better option or because the Colts were ranked so highly against the pass? I’m one of those guys, as I actually started Joe Flacco over him; yeah, that’s about 50 points I lost. Luckily for me, I’m still going to win that matchup but I’m sure there are just a few who would be on suicide watch right about now. Fifty points from one player on the bench can haunt an owner for a while.
What do we make of the Saints and their performance against the Packers? Tight end Jimmy Graham was invisible in the first half but had five receptions for 59 yards and a score in the second half. Running back Mark Ingram had 172 yards rushing, that’s not a misprint. Wide receiver Brandon Cooks hauled in a couple of bombs (also dropped one) and this offense looked like the only thing that could stop them was themselves, or maybe it’s just that dome. I’m curious to see how they do on the road this week versus Carolina.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz