As usual in between advising the best players to pick up in your league off of waivers, til before we give you advice on who to start this coming week. Let’s do a little scorecard review of how our Week 4 Sit/Start advice went. We do this to show, that hey – sometimes you have the right rationale and things don’t work out, sometimes you make a great call, and sometimes – well you’re just wrong from the get-go.
We Told you so…
Start ’em RB Frank Gore: Again this was obvious, so it’s nice to see that less than a week after the Niners inexplicably cut his reps – that Gore returned with vengeance last Thursday Night. Finally getting 20 carries (and would’ve prob gotten more if the game was close) Gore went for 153 yards and a TD. Don’t make me call you out again Niners, use this man.
Sit ’em TE Jared Cook: Cook has talent and 4 catches for 45 yards is a decent average, but the Rams are a disaster right now. QB Sam Bradford’s regression is getting worse every time he takes the field – we can always debate the several reasons why, but you can no longer debate that he’s a struggling QB. Cook can only be a difference maker when the Rams have any other weapon for defenses to focus on, or when they don’t need him as an inline blocker. I just don’t see these two things happening very often in 2013. You can’t drop Cook, but he goes from being a weekly start to a matchup based play – and cross your fingers.
Start ’em WR Torrey Smith: 5 catches for 166 yards and a TD. Joe Flacco may have struggled with 5 INT’s, but Smith is approaching legitimate fantasy #1 WR status this season based on increased targets. Smith has had the physical talent since he entered the league, it’s just before this year Flacco divided his attention too many other places for a true breakout. Welp, with Boldin gone, and TE Dennis Pitta on I/R you can bet Flacco is going to turn to Smith whenever possible. So with a juicy matchup like this he was bound to produce.
Sit ’em TE Fred Davis: This was a layup too, Davis barely played and saw no looks in the passing game. The message is clear – he is on his way out in DC.
Start ’em – Cardinals Defense: This is what we figured would happen with Brian Hoyer’s debut last week. An ok defense vs a rookie QB should generate something like the Cardinals did – 10 Points Against, 2 sacks, and 3 turnovers forced.
Sit’ em – Cardinals Running Backs: Mendenhall fumbled twice (losing one) and managed just 21 yards on 12 carries. Change of pace back- rookie Andre Ellington had 29 yards on just 4 carries, but 25 of those came on one carry. The Cardinals offense is slipping down a similar spiral to that of division foe the Rams. They’re just beat up on the OL and it is hurting their running game.
Sit’ em – Chris Johnson: Johnson is always frustrating and tantalizing for fantasy owners. Gone are the days of him flirting with 200 yard days, and against good defenses like the Jets you have to expect him to struggle. 15 carries was good, but the 21 yards total he made off of them were not.
Start ’em – Dez Bryant and Tony Romo – Actually Romo’s 244 yards was a little disappointing, but hooking up with Dez Bryant for 81 yards and 2 TD’s proves that these 2 are weekly starts and among the top fantasy combo in the league.
Sit’ em – Lance Moore: You knew drafting Lance Moore would lend itself to some down weeks, due to the Saints spreading out the ball. What you didn’t know was that through 4 games he wouldn’t have a single good week. And to boot his last game he was inactive because of injury – Moore is probably not even roster worthy in average size 12 team leagues right now. It’s a semi-shocking development, but Moore cannot be counted on as even a WR4 right now.
Oops we missed…
Sit ’em All Browns except for maybe TE Jordan Cameron: We almost got away with this one, because we made an exception for Cameron (10 catches 91 yards 1 td)…while Willis McGahee (15 carries for 46 yards) and WR Josh Gordon (4 catches for 71 yards) had average or below days. But, Brian Hoyer burned us again. With 269 yards and, more importantly: no INT’s, Hoyer turned in an excellent fantasy day. It is very, very difficult to explain what is happening in Cleveland the last 2 weeks. I don’t want to say I’m buying it long term, but for now I am going to stop vehemently betting against them.
Start ’em WR Ryan Broyles: After talking about how the Lions were going to unleash him this week, and with the injury to Burelson ahead of him – things looked great for Broyles. The problem? Broyles was targeted just once – not caught just one pass (b/c he didn’t), that means they looked his way once. So, we were all duped…Broyles needs more time in this offense clearly to earn Matt Stafford’s trust and/or chemistry. You simply can’t play the promising 2nd year man right now in any format.
Sit ’em WR Alshon Jeffery: 5 catches for 107 yards and a TD. Just when I finally got tired of waiting for Jeffery to show up, he does it when I doubt him. Typical – I called it, reverse jinx. Anyway, I still love Jeffery but good luck figuring out when these type of games will happen – I don’t think the light is all the way on there yet.
Start ’em: WR Hakeem Nicks: With just 3 catches for 33 yards looked the worst I’ve seen him all season- probably in his entire career. We’ve noticed his limping since the preseason, but now on top of his awkward running he seems to have a minor case of the drops. The Giants have played in tons of garbage time and this was a matchup where the Chiefs were without their top CB Brandon Flowers…and yet still Nicks disappoints. I think Nicks may be playing his way out of New York right now, and maybe mentally he’s checked out to some degree.
Sit ’em RB Le’Veon Bell: Biggest miss of the week. I did not expect the rookie to turn in 2 TD’s during his opening game. 57 yards may not have seemed like he ran wild, but I give Bell credit as he ran hard and even caught 4 passes. He’s not a weekly lock to start in fantasy every week just yet b/c the Steelers OL is still very suspect and they will play tougher defenses…but, Bell is at least an option for his own team and fantasy owners going forward.
Sit’ em – Matt Schaub: Here’s the ultimate example of being correct in real life and wrong in fantasy. When it mattered most Schaub threw his 2nd INT of the day and cost his team the game. (Click on the youtubes for some clips of Texans fans burning his jersey afterwards) But fantasy owners won’t soon forget that against a good Seattle pass defense, with a banged up Andre Johnson, that Schaub threw for 355 yards and 2 Td’s to go with those 2 picks. Reality was not kind to Schaub, but fantasy owners have to respect the effort.
Start ’em – Doug Martin: Martin did get close to 30 carries, but managed a mere 45 yards on 27 attempts. The Cardinals simply did not respect rookie QB Mike Glennon, and stopping Martin became the top priority.
Start ’em – Mike Wallace: Wallace managed just 3 catches for 24 yards, and had a nice drop to boot. Wallace is constantly a WR1 tease, and it seems like only when he’s really upset is he part of the game plan and playing well. It may take the Dolphins awhile to figure out how to get the most from him week in and week out.
Some Examples of our “pushes”
Start ’em – Russell Wilson: It’s getting tougher and tougher to recommend Wilson as a weekly start. The OL has injuries, and he doesn’t have a lot of dynamic weapons either – the fact is in this game he was just not part of the plan of attack. Just 12 of 23 for 123 and an INT. Luckily for fantasy owners Wilson did get 77 yards rushing, which depending on your league’s scoring could have helped you salvage the day. In 4 games Wilson has only thrown for over 300 yards once – during the opening weekend…and has failed to hit even 150 yards – twice. Fantasy owners may have to rethink whether Wilson is a weekly start or part of a rotation with your other QB. The OL, the lack of passing weapons, the game plan committed to run 1st – these are all obstacles toward Wilson’s stats on a weekly basis.
Start ’em – Santonio Holmes: Holmes had one catch for 25 yards before leaving with a hamstring injury. So we get an incomplete here, and it’s too bad because it looked for a game and a quarter anyway, that Holmes was finally returning to borderline WR1 form.
Start ’em RB Darren McFadden: McFadden has the same story as Holmes, he had 6 carries for 29 yards (nearly a 5 YPC) before having to leave with an injury. Just like Holmes, he was on track to rebound after an injury filled career – and even if this turns out to be a minor thing you have to wonder how many games this year will have a similar storyline.
Start ’em – Steven Ridley: Ridley had 53 yards on the ground and 26 in the passing game. And it was it best game of the season by far….think about that….8 fantasy points in standard league non-PPR scoring was his best effort of 2013. To his credit he is running better (4.8 ypc) and getting carries taken away by committee (only 11 carries in this one), but think about why that is…The Pats have realized (finally) that Ridley is a limited, average NFL RB. It’s unlikely he will ever be a feature back for them again, and without 20+ touches a week fantasy owners will have to swallow that this guy is no longer the RB2 they thought they were getting. Ridley is an ok flex play, and we’ll have to see if his value goes even lower if Vereen makes it back in 2013. You could live with this performance, but be wary of him going forward.