11/11/14, Trending! Julio Jones, Le'Veon Bell, DeAndre Hopkins and more..
Tonight on the show, we were joined by our rookie expert Shawn Foss. Shawn has joined us on and off this year, and his input is always valued. We enjoyed a bomber of the Abita Select Imperator Black IPA, Revolution Fistmas and Continuum IPA from Saugatuck Brewing Company, all of them excellent.
We continued to track trends and drank for last week's misses while assigning Shawn to drink for the audience. This week we have Cam Newton scoring over 13.34 points and continuing his upward trend. Julio Jones will easily score 12 or more against the Panthers. DeAndre Hopkins we split on, Dave and Jason saying he'll go less than 10, Shawn says he'll be over 10. Le'Veon Bell has been trending down - Dave and Shawn say that he'll go over 12 points (Shawn says he'll get that with yardage alone), I say he'll stay under 12 points. Finally, Ahmad Bradshaw has been trending down, to everyone's surprise - but everyone also agrees that he will reverse the trend and score over 12 points this week.
This week we were treated to a Thursday night blowout that was especially kind to Julio Jones owners, and as is usual, a fantastic Sunday slate of games. Here's what we learned.
- It's going to be a looong time before we see RGIII again, which isn't a bad thing for the rest of the team. In two games, Kirk Cousins has 677 yards passing with 5 TD's to go against just 1 INT. Washington has put up 41 and 34 points with Cousins at the helm. It's clear that the rest of the fantasy players on that team are now in much better hands.
- Le'Veon Bell looks like he's settled in as one of the best RB's in the league. He's second in the league with 315 yards (behind Demarco Murray, who has 385 yds on an incredible 75 carries). Maybe most interesting is Bell's 81-yard run last night, which was the longest non-touchdown run in about 20 years in the NFL. It's also the longest run the Panthers have ever given up, as well as the longest run for the Steelers in 44 years.
- Three Quaterbacks caught passes yesterday. Russell Wilson caught a 17 yard pass from Jermain Kearse and Johnny Manziel had a long catch and run using some subterfuge which got called back. Most impressive was Andy Dalton's 18 yard TD reception from Mohamed Sanu , who is now 4 for 4 in his career for 166 yards and 2 TD's. Sanu has a perfect QB rating of 158.3 for his career.
- Devin Hester, you really are ridiculous. Hester saved a play by forcing and recovering a fumble from a defensive player who was returning an earlier fumble. He then took and end-around 20 yards for a TD and capped it off with a punt return for a TD, giving him 20 in his career, leaving him alone atop the NFL record books. That's quite a game that should remind Lovie Smith of his days in Chicago.
- Ted Ginn Jr. must love to see his name on the box score. He threw a 10 yard pass, had a 4 yard rush, a 3 yard reception and had 1 punt return for 8 yards. He's not getting much activity in any phase of the game, but he's certainly available for whatever the coaches ask of him.
- Stephen Tulloch has joined the ranks of Bill Grammatica and Kendry Morales by tearing his ACL while celebrating a sack of Aaron Rodgers . Tulloch was placed on IR on Monday and while I suppose as a Bears fan, it's wonderful to see a division rival be the victim of such a ridiculous circumstance. What did we learn here? Clearly nothing, players will always celebrate and get hurt, shit happens.
- Kelvin Benjamin is going to give Sammy Watkins a run for his money when it comes to the best rookie WR. Benjamin caught 11 passes on 11 targets and now has 19 for 253 yds and 2 TD's this season. He's turning into a must start every week, regardless of who is throwing him the ball in Carolina.
- It's good to be a 'kowski'. The only players that scored points in the Patriots - Raiders game had 'kowski' in their name. Sebastian Janikowski and Stephen Gostkowski had three field goals each, and Rob Gronkowski topped it off with a touchdown, with the extra point by Gostkowski of course.
- There's running back controversy in Baltimore, and it doesn't involve Ray Rice. Bernard Pierce is not fully healthy right now, and rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro had a great showing, gaining 91 yards on 18 carries and scoring a touchdown. Taliaferro was praised by his coach after the game and he could easily take over the starting role from Bernard Pierce in the next couple of weeks.
- Defense continues to be the most erratic position, but it's not without its favorites. Preseason favorites like New England, Houston and Cincinnati are all in the top 4 point scorers, but Seattle, the unquestioned #1 drafted D/ST is sitting at 26th right now, only scoring 14 points through three games. Some things never change, like people's ability to be wrong about fantasy football.
At drinkfive, we like to think that trends of at least three games or more are something that should be a reliable indicator of future performance. That’s all fine and good, but how about we actually predict if the trends will continue or not and put our money (or beer in this case) where our mouth is.
Here are the predictions we made on last week’s show:
Russell Wilson: Wk 7 @ STL - 37.12 pts, Wk 8 @ CAR - 14.46 pts, Wk 9 vs Oak - 10.26 pts
Wilson has been up and down all year, which way does he go?
Last week, Dave and I both stated that Wilson would resume his proper fantasy output and score over 18 points. He did just that, putting up 21.58 points in a rout of the Giants last week. His passing performance left much to be desired, but 107 yards rushing and a late score on the ground saved his fantasy day in a big way.
Emmanuel Sanders: Wk 7 vs SF - 10.10 pts, Wk 8 vs SD - 30.60 pts, Wk 9 @ NE - 15.10 pts
Sanders averaged 9.8 pts per game first 5 games, 18.6 per game in the last 3. Which one do we see going forward?
Dave and I both said he will continue to do well, scoring 15 points or more. In Week 10, Sanders had 8 rec for 67 yards and 2 TD, adding in a 5 yd rush, good for 19.20 points. Sanders now has 6 TD on the year and is clearly a perfect replacement for Eric Decker in the Denver offense. Sanders is officially a stud!
Kelvin Benjamin: Wk 7 @ GB - 12.10 pts, Wk 8 vs SEA - 9.40 pts, Wk 9 vs NO - 1.80 pts
Benjamin has the 16th most fantasy points this season, but will he rebound from this slump?
We also agreed that Benjamin would stay relevant and put up 8 or more points. Benjamin was having another terrible performance on Monday night football, with 1 catch for 13 yards going into the 4th quarter, but then scored twice and put up a 3 for 70 with 2 TD line, good for 19.00 points. Is this comforting as a fantasy owner? No, but then again, why do you care how they score the points, as long as it’s before the clock hits 0:00.
Alfred Morris: Wk 7 vs TEN - 5.40 pts, Wk 8 @ DAL - 14.50 pts, Wk 9 @ MIN - 22.90
Morris averaged 10.1 pts per game, first 6 games, and 14.3 pts per game last 3. He had a really rough stretch against SEA, ARI and TEN in there.
Morris was on bye Week 10, so we will follow up on this next week, but we both say he will score a solid 14 points or more.
Branden Oliver: Wk 7 vs KC - 7.80 pts, Wk 8 @ DEN - 6.30 pts, Wk 9 @ MIA - 2.60 pts
Oliver scored just 16.7 pts in the last 3 weeks after putting up 48.6 points in the previous two weeks. With Mathews coming back off the bye, is Oliver relevant anymore?
Oliver was also on bye Week 10 and both Dave and I see him continuing to fall into obscurity, especially with Ryan Mathews expected to return to the lineup against Oakland on Sunday.
Ertz is a great red zone target that isn't utilized. Will this change with Sanchez in?
This was the one prediction that we split on last week. Dave said Ertz will stay under 5 points, and I said he’d go higher. Looks like I’m drinking for this one – Ertz finished the game with 1 catch for only 17 yards. Clearly, no, Sanchez doesn’t change anything as it appears that Celek is his preferred TE.
Now let’s change gears and look at some trends that we can see after week 10 and make some more predictions. Remember, for all the ones we get wrong, we will drink five on the podcast. For all the ones we get right, you guys drink!
Cam Newton: Wk 8 vs Sea – 6.24 pts, Wk 9 vs NO – 13.34 pts, Wk 10 @ PHI – 15.84 pts
Newton is really a test of this trend theory. Everyone sees his play as being awful, but he’s actually trending up from his season low of 6.24 against the Seahawks. Newton also gets a bye coming up in Week 12, so is he going to stumble, or put it together for the rest of the season?
Julio Jones: Wk 7 @ BAL – 5.60 pts, Wk 8 vs DET – 5.80 pts, Wk 10 @ TB – 11.90 pts
Jones has really struggled this year compared to where his draft position was, making him a top 5 WR (preseason). Jones is still serviceable this season, but has just as many single digit games as he does double digit, which means he’s probably not as reliable as you’d like. Is this a product of Matt Ryan or Julio, and will he return to greatness or be cursed to NFC South obscurity?
Hopkins is stepping up (trying to anyway) as the number one guy in Houston. He’s trending up and has 3 100+ yard games under his belt this year and is averaging about 10 targets per game over the last 3 games. Will Hopkins continue his upward trend, or will the new QB in Houston ruin his party?
Le’Veon Bell: Wk 8 vs IND – 14.80 pts, Wk 9 vs Bal – 11.80 pts, Wk 10 @ NYJ – 6.90 pts
Bell has scored double digit points in every single week except for Week 10 now as the Steelers appear to have all but abandoned the run game. Now, these numbers aren’t disastrous, but he’s moved out of RB1 territory. Bell has only 21 carries over the last two weeks, after 24 the week before, two of those games being blowouts for the Steelers. With the passing game working so well lately, will Bell continue to be the odd man out on the Steelers?
Bradshaw is trending down, which was a surprise to me. He has 8 total TD’s this year, so he’s been putting up points and is clearly worth a start the rest of the year, right? With matchups against NE, Jax, Was, Cle, Hou and Dal to finish the year, it’s a mixture of good and bad run defenses. Bradshaw seems a bit too TD dependent, but can you really sit the top back on one of the best teams in the league?
Make sure to listen to our podcast to get our predictions and discussion of the trends into week 11 and we will recap the results next week.
Welcome back to another week geared towards cashing in on that huge pay day. Last week we had a decent lineup with every position getting into double digits, besides an under performing Greg Olsen (at least he's on bye this week so he doesn't have the chance to screw things up again). Looking ahead to this week we are investing in a QB/TE pairing to come through and playing a bargain basement RB to help us afford the finer things in life.
QB - Alex Smith, KC - $6,900 vs. CHI: Coming off a career high in yardage against Cincinnati, Smith now gets a home matchup against a weak Bears defense. This game has potential for a high scoring affair, which should add a higher point ceiling to Smith's already consistent floor.
RB - Le'Veon Bell, PIT - $9,000 at SD: This is the dream play of the week. With Roethlisberger still sidelined, Pittsburgh will be utilizing Bell heavily in the run game and with check downs. It doesn't hurt that the Chargers are giving up a league worst 4.9 yards per carry to opposing running backs so far this year.
RB - Anthony Dixon, BUF - $4,500 at TEN: The value is too good to pass up being able to play a starting running back for the minimum price in a decent matchup. Not expecting Boobie to break off huge chunks of yardage, but he will get a high volume of carries as well as all goal line work.
WR - Julio Jones, ATL - $9,200 vs. WAS: Julio didn't get many opportunities in a blow out game against the Texans in week 4 but he gets a nice matchup at home against the Redskins. Look for Atlanta to air the ball out frequently to avoid a Washington run defense giving up the second fewest yards per game this season.
WR - Larry Fitzgerald, ARI - $7,400 at DET: While Fitzgerald didn't find his way into the end zone last week, he still put up 7 catches for 99 yards against a tough Rams defense. He has a much better matchup this week against a Detroit defense giving up almost 300 yards per game to opposing receivers.
WR - James Jones, GB - $6,400 vs. STL: It looks like Davante Adams will be missing another week with his ankle injury, which means Jones will once again provide great value at his low price tag. Possibly a tough matchup in this one, but betting on the Green Bay passing game in Lambeau is never a bad thing.
TE - Travis Kelce, KC - $6,500 vs. CHI: Purely a pairing play to Alex Smith, albeit with one of the top tight ends in the game. Feels like a thunderstorm is brewing...
K - Stephen Gostkowski, NE - $5,000 vs. DAL: Why not go with the kicker averaging the most fantasy points per game the past 3 years in a row?
DEF - Broncos, DEN - $5,000 vs. OAK: Expecting the Denver defense to capitalize on a few Oakland mistakes and make their way into the end zone this week.
We're joined by fantasy football veteran and former drinkfive.com contributor Vince Foss as we discuss the very best plays moving forward into championship week. We'll analyze the matchups and go over recent NFL news and updates that can impact the production of your players.
For Fantasy Football team managers, playing in week 15 is all about making the right starts to get to the championship. Whether you fought hard to get into the playoffs from the bottom of the league or coasted into a bye spot early on, everyone is on an even playing field and (in most cases) only has one shot.
We'll be paying special attention to the players that you should and shouldn't start in week 15 and what matchups to keep in mind should you make the championship game in Week 16. We're joined by regular guest and drinkfive.com contributor Mike Mocerino.
Welcome back! We're joined this week by fantasy football veteran Matt Ellis to discuss the best starts moving forward into Week 13. This is the last week of the regular season of most fantasy football leagues, so put your best foot forward!