Welcome back to the Rookie Report. Another exciting week of NFL action is in the books, and it was comeback city. The Bills, Browns, Giants and Panthers all put up comeback victories and the Rams and Bucs nearly did the same. Sammy Watkins, Kelvin Benjamin and Odell Beckham Jr. were all big parts of their teams’ wins, and several other rookies made big contributions in week 5 as well. Will week 6 be more of the same?
Let’s talk about what to expect this weekend…
Rookies to Start:
RB Branden Oliver, SD (Wk. 6: @Oak.): Oliver exploded on to the scene last week with over 160 total yards and a TD against the number one run defense in the league. The Raiders are not close to number one. In fact, they allow the 5th most fantasy points to opposing RBs. Oliver is a top-15 RB play this week and a must-start.
RB Andre Williams, NYG (Wk. 6: @Phi.): The Giants have been committed to the run game since they started turning their season around, and with Rashad Jennings likely out this week, Williams will assume the lead back role in a matchup against a less than daunting Eagles’ defense. The BC product should be a low level RB2 this week. I’d prefer Oliver to Williams this week, but both have solid upside.
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR (Wk. 6: @Cin.): Kelvin is going to be heavily involved as usual, and is pretty much a must-start every week because of his role in the offense. With that said, the Bengals’ defense is tough and should be eager to wash away the memory of last week’s game against New England. Kelvin is still a high ceiling option, but he’s got a lower floor this week than usual.
QB Blake Bortles, JAX (Wk. 6: @Ten.): The Titans aren’t as good a matchup as you’d think for Bortles, but it’s a better matchup than Pittsburgh, especially if the Jags’ run game is more effective this week. I see Bortles as a mid-range QB2 in 12 team leagues.
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN (Wk. 6: vs. Car.): The Bengals’ entire team should rebound this week, and they should lean even more heavily on the run game than usual this week with A.J. Green dealing with a toe injury. The Panthers allow the 6th most points to opposing RBs at just over 20 per game, so there’s a chance for both Gio and Hill to be good this week. Hill still likely needs a TD to provide good value, but he’s a pretty decent flex option this week.
RB Bishop Sankey, TEN (Wk. 6: vs. Jax.): I’m getting the impression that Ken Whisenhunt must hate Bishop Sankey. After vowing to use Bishop more this week, he still finished with just 8 carries in a game the Titans led until the final minutes. With the miserable Jags up next, Sankey has a great shot to finally break out, or he could see less than 10 touches again. Play him at your own risk.
RB Lorenzo Taliaferro, BAL (Wk. 6: @TB): Lorenzo has a plus matchup this week with Tampa, but the Ravens have been sticking to the committee approach, and Forsett remains the top option due to his prowess in the passing game. There is still a decent role for Taliaferro, and head coach John Harbaugh said this week he wants to give Taliaferro more carries, but until he takes more of a lead role he’s just a flex option.
WR Mike Evans, TB (Wk. 6: vs. Bal.): If Evans plays, the matchup isn’t as tough as you might think. The Ravens have allowed over 1,000 receiving yards to opposing WRs through 5 games. Vincent Jackson is limited in practice this week with an injury of his own. Evans is capable of 80+ yards if he suits up. Glennon has given this passing offense new life.
WRs Allen Robinson & Allen Hurns, JAX (Wk. 6: @Ten.): Cecil Shorts and Marqise Lee might both be out this week. Robinson remains a higher floor option than Hurns and is likely to haul in at least 5 catches, but Hurns has more upside. Both players have a shot at a decent week, and are WR3/flex options.
WR Odell Beckham Jr., NYG (Wk. 6: @Phi.): The Eagles allow the most WR points in the league, and Beckham should play more snaps this week after his strong outing a week ago. Despite that, Rueben Randle is seeing 10 targets a game and Larry Donnell should be more involved this week after getting shut down against Atlanta. There’s still a ton of upside, but there’s certainly risk. I think he could steal some of Victor Cruz’s work if Cruz keeps dropping passes.
TE Eric Ebron, DET (Wk. 6: @Min.): Megatron will either be limited again or out altogether this week, and the Lions will need Ebron to step up in passing game. He’s still a matchup nightmare, and the tight ends gave the Vikes fits last season. I think Ebron is a good bet for a TD and could be worth a streaming play.
Rookies to Sit:
QB Teddy Bridgewater, MIN (Wk. 6: vs. Det.): The Lions allow the fewest points to opposing QBs in the league. Teddy’s been good so far, but with Megatron, Joique and Reggie Bush all battling injuries, this likely won’t be a blowout and won’t have much garbage time passing for Minny. I expect a bump in the road this week for Teddy. He’s a really low end QB2 at best.
QB Derek Carr, OAK (Wk. 6: vs. SD): Don’t even think about playing Carr. The Raiders’ offense has been a total dumpster fire so far, and with Tony Sparano now in charge they are likely to run the ball more often, further limiting Carr’s upside.
RBs Isaiah Crowell & Terrence West, CLE (Wk. 6: vs. Pit.): With Ben Tate back from injury, West and Crowell are limited to change of pace work, and there isn’t enough to go around to make either of them a trustworthy flex play. I think Crowell is a guy to hold on to in case of another Tate injury, but for now you have to keep him benched.
RB Alfred Blue, HOU (Wk. 6: vs. Ind.): Arian Foster is back in business for now, putting up his best game of the season in week 5 against Dallas. Until he gets hurt again, Blue won’t see enough work to be a viable flex option.
RB Darrin Reaves, CAR (Wk. 6: @Cin.): Reaves seems like the best bet to play this week out of he, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, but this matchup is imposing. I wouldn’t have faith in a big game out of Reaves. The Panthers just haven’t committed to the run so far.
RB Jerick McKinnon, MIN (Wk. 6: vs. Det.): The Lions run D has been stout all year, allowing less than 3 yards a carry, and McKinnon is still playing second fiddle to Matt Asiata. He’s too much of a risk to trust this week.
RB Carlos Hyde, SF (Wk. 6: @StL.): Frank Gore’s resurgence over the past couple weeks is really hampering Hyde’s upside. His role should increase later in the season when the team tries to keep Gore fresh headed into the postseason. For now, his change of pace role makes him too much of a risk to trust. Believe it or not, the Rams are in the top 10 in the league at limiting opposing RB points.
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF (Wk. 6: vs. NE): Okay, benching Watkins after his 2nd best yardage game of the season probably sounds crazy. I don’t think it is. While it’s true that Orton at QB helps Sammy’s numbers, he draws Darrelle Revis this week, and the Pats defense allows the 3rd fewest WR points in the NFL. There’s very serious bust potential for Watkins this week.
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI (Wk. 6: vs. NYG): It might bite you in the ass to sit Matthews this week if he finds the end zone, but the Eagles continue to target Riley Cooper more than they should. Add in the solid defense the G-Men have been playing against the pass, and I just don’t want to rely on Matthews in anything but the deepest PPR leagues.
WR John Brown, ARI (Wk. 6: vs. Was.): The Redskins’ defense isn’t particularly good, but since Palmer went down, Brown hasn’t been much of a factor. He shouldn’t be a consideration unless Palmer is back under center, and even then only as a roll of the dice flex option.
TE Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, TB (Wk. 6: vs. Bal.): With Mike Evans possibly back this week, ASJ loses a lot of the appeal he had last week. He only caught one pass for 11 yards last week. The Ravens allow less than 5 points a game to tight ends. I doubt ASJ gets to 5 this week.
Rookies on Bye: WR Brandin Cooks, NO
Deep League Sleepers:
QB Zach Mettenberger, TEN (Wk. 6: vs. Jax.): Jake Locker’s injury situation bears watching this week. There has been talk in the media this week that the Titans may turn to Mettenberger soon, and it could even be this week if Locker isn’t able to play. Mett led the NFL in passing yards in the preseason, and would face a soft Jaguars’ defense in his first start. He’d be at least a low end QB2 if he gets the nod.
RB Storm Johnson, JAX (Wk. 6: @Ten.): Johnson was impressive in his first NFL action, rattling off a Jags’ season best 20-yard run against Pittsburgh. Head coach Gus Bradley said this week that the running back position will be an open competition going forward, and they’d ideally like a 2-man rotation. Bradley openly praised Johnson this week, and he could have first crack at being part of the backfield tandem. He’s a roll of the dice flex play in deeper leagues that could pay off big this week. He should be comfortable playing with his college QB Blake Bortles.
RB Juwan Thompson, DEN (Wk. 6: @NYJ): Thompson shouldn’t be anywhere near your lineup this week against the Jets’ stout run D, but with Montee Ball out for multiple weeks the backfield workload bears watching. CJ Anderson was inactive last week and Ronnie Hillman is still just a change of pace guy. Anderson is expected to get the bulk of the carries, but keep an eye on the situation.
WR Davante Adams, GB (Wk. 6: @Mia.): I have a gut feeling that this is the week Davante finds the end zone. He’s playing a ton of snaps as the WR3 in Green Bay, and it’s only a matter of time before he finds a big game. I like his chances this week with Brent Grimes covering either Jordy or Randall Cobb.
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ (Wk. 6: vs. Den.): The Jets are desperately in need of playmakers right now, and Amaro has the talent to be just that. It’s only a matter of time before they fully unleash him. The Jets should be playing from behind all day this week, so they should be throwing a bunch. I like Amaro in 2-TE leagues.
That’s it for this week. Hopefully you find something useful in there for your fantasy teams and are able to pick up a W in week 6. As always, good luck, trust your gut, and have fun. It’s just a game.
Week six in the NFL is full with a tough docket of games. Expect to see low scores in confidence pools and teams struggling to find production with big name players on the injury report. When looking over the betting lines there is not much that I like this week, so I will be sitting this week out. If I were to pick some games to wager on this weekend though, I think the following offer the most promise.
Denver's high powered offense is going up against a weak Jets' secondary favored by 10 points. Since the Jets can't put up a lot of points this number is probably realistic, however I don't like such a high number for a road team with their starting running back out.
The New England Patriots are -3 at Buffalo against the Bills. After looking impressive last week against the Bengals, logic would say they should have an easy time with Kyle Orton and the Bills. If the Bills get the running game going though, they might be able to keep this one a little too close for comfort. I feel a little bit better about betting the over in this game at 45 points. New England put up 43 on a tough Bengals defense last week and might have finally put some things together on offense.
The Ravens and Packers are both favored by 3.5 on the road. The Packers seam to be gaining momentum, so i would feel ok about taking them against the Dolphins. The Ravens however are facing a Tampa Bay Bucs team that is playing hard for coach Lovie Smith. Lovie coached teams always seem to play tight games and spoil bettor's weekends.
The Game I like the most this week would be for the Pittsburgh Steelers to bounce back on the road against the Cleveland Browns. The Steelers are 1 point dogs and I like them to outright win. A home team should automatically get 3 points if they are indeed the favorite. So the Browns only getting one point is a sign that I want to jump on the Steelers.
Good luck this week betters! I will be sitting on my money this week but maybe I will regret it.
Each week in the NFL brings new surprises and disappointments to our fantasy teams. Staying ahead of this stuff is one way to forge and maintain a quality team and get them to the all-important playoffs! Here are some important blurbs along with their associated analyses that may clue you in on some important information before your opponents!
Joe Flacco secured a spot in the record books when he passed for 5 touchdowns faster than any other QB in NFL history. He may have thrown some more later in the game if it hadn't devolved to a blowout against the Bucs, finishing with a score of 48-17. Including this week's stats (21 for 29, 306 yards, 5 passing TD's), Flacco is now the #8 fantasy QB overall in standard scoring leagues. Looking ahead to his Week 7 match-up with the Atlanta Falcons, Flacco provides a tantalizing value for a QB that is still only owned in 51% of Yahoo leagues. The Falcons have consistently had one of the worst passing defenses in the league so far this season, allowing an average of 278 yards per game so far. Interestingly enough, they've only allowed 6 TD's through the air this year though.. I believe this can be explained by the 12 TD's that they have given up on the ground - seems it's no problem for teams to pass the football down to the redzone against the Falcons, and then most of them tend to run it in. So, will Flacco finish the year as a top 10 QB? With Torrey Smith's breakout game last week will the Smith & Smith combo stay productive on a weekly basis? Is Flacco a good play in Week 7 against the Falcons, or will most of the TD's stay on the ground?
Andre Holmes had a standout performance against the San Diego Chargers (who had previously had one of the league's best passing defenses and been one of the more consistent fantasy defenses) with 4 receptions for 121 yards and 2 TD's. With that game, he leads the Raiders with 20 targets over the last two games. New interim head coach Tony Sparano seems to have put a spark into the Raiders' offense and Derek Carr has been playing fairly well by limiting turnovers (though he could have a better completion percentage - last week he was only 18-of-34). The other relevant receiver from the Raiders is James Jones, who caught 5-of-7 targets for 56 yards and 1 TD in Week 6. He has quietly put up consistently good numbers all year, cementing him as the #24 WR overall in standard scoring leagues while only being owned in 38% of Yahoo leagues. The only receiver who has performed better overall while being owned by less teams is Malcolm Floyd at #20 overall and owned by only 24% of teams. Pretty impressive performances by each of them so far this season and they don't look to slow down anytime soon. Both are solid grabs on the waiver wire this week before people realize what's going on!
Knowshon Moreno just went on the IR, after apparently tearing his ACL during the game against the Packers in Week 6. We knew that he was a dicey start, but didn't catch anything about this while watching the game until it popped up on Twitter. Ouch, Knowshon.. Well, moving on - right? With Moreno out for the year (and maybe moving on to a new uniform next season), Lamar Miller will keep his spot as the Dolphin's lead back. He's been no slouch in that role, either, grading out as the #14 RB overall in standard scoring leagues with 400+ all-purpose yards and 4 TD's so far. Owned in 88% of Yahoo leagues, you probably can't scoop him up of the wire at this point but he should be an every-week RB2 start now - especially going up against the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars in Weeks 7 and 8, respectively. Both teams are giving up over 100 yards rushing per game.
So we are through 5 weeks of NFL action and other than the defending super bowl Champs, it has been anything but normal. We have two undefeated teams in the NFC South after not being able to produce a team with even a .500 record the previous season. The defending back to back NFC Champions are 2-3 and are currently just above the bottom of the division. We also have a potential division and playoff threat in the Detroit Lions, that are now looking to repeat the perfect 2008 season!
Unlike those Kittens in Honolulu Blue, there has been no let down this season in the amount of great memes out there. I am back with a bunch of my favorites from the last few weeks and I hope you enjoy!
Did anyone see the QB and Kicker this past week for the colts..... Remind you of anyone?
Speaking of old QBs.... This new Cowboys QB could've gone state for sure...
And this one lost his job to a guy that would be a backup on any other team...
and how about that elite RB Joe Flacco...
...and since Halloween is right around the corner, here is an Idea for Kaepernick this year...
Speaking of Halloween here is a pic of my favorite costumes in Miami...
To put an end to poor attendance the Dolphins have hired....
Let's see how that pans out.