This week we had a big show, jam packed with good info. To start off, we changed it up and drank wine. No, no, that would never happen on this show. We did start right off with this weeks' waiver pickups. We then drank for last week's trends and predicted some new ones.
Ryan Tannehill has been trending up and Dave and I both think that he will score over 20 points this week. John Brown now has the official drinkfive.com fantasy fool's gold stamp - both of us think he will stay under 8 points. LeSean McCoy is heading up, we both say he'll score over 12 points. Dave added a bet for next week's beers - McCoy points for Jason vs Jordan Matthews points for Dave. Good luck buddy! Next is Frank Gore who has really been struggling. Dave and I both say that he'll score under 8.5 points. Dave went a step further saying that he'll never score over 12 points in his life again. Finally, Tim Wright is the biggest pickup of the week for Tight Ends, according to Yahoo stats. We both think he's fool's gold, Dave predicts, rather specifically, that he will be between 6.1 and 8 points, and I am going to go under 6.1.
To wrap up the show, we did the third quarter check in on the top 10 WR's and RB's. We compare them to their ADP, and then look at where the top 10 ADP wound up. After week 4 and 8, it looked like the WR's were a better value at the top of the draft. This time around, the RB's look way more consistent. Listen to the show for our take on this and check back after week 16 to get a final report card.
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:
Matthew Stafford: Wk 8 @ ATL – 20.90 pts, Wk 10 vs MIA – 18.10 pts, Wk 11 @ ARI – 6.32 pts
Over the last three weeks, Stafford has gone up against one poor defense and two excellent ones. Stafford isn’t really putting up the numbers this year that we’ve come to expect out of him, but his team is also rather weird (as is tradition in Detroit) and he’s had some injury issues to the WR group. Stafford might have another tough matchup on Sunday in New England, but his matchups for the rest of the season look awesome. Home vs CHI, TB and MIN, then @ CHI for week 16.
Dave predicted he would go over 18 points, Jason said he’d stay under 18. Stafford and the entire Lions team really struggled against New England. Detroit did not score a TD, Stafford was held to 264 yds passing, completing 18 of 46 passes (39%) and 1 INT. Stafford only scored 11.36 points in a standard league, and Dave will drink five!
Golden Tate: Wk 8 @ ATL – 21.10 pts, Wk 10 vs MIA – 10.90 pts, Wk 11 @ ARI – 4.90 pts
OK, so this one should be obvious, right? Tate obviously did well with Megatron out, and now that he’s back he’ll be on the back burner. But then why did he get 13 targets Week 10? So then you say: “Yes of course, it’s because Stafford has been struggling”. But then does that mean Tate will rebound? As I said earlier, the Lions have a rather cushy schedule going forward, including next week for Tate, since Calvin Johnson will be spending the weekend on Revis Island. We’ll have to see if said island is a retreat or a place with no refuge. The latter ought to benefit Tate a lot.
Like with Stafford, Dave predicted over 12 points, Jason stayed under 12. Tate struggled like everyone else on the Lions last week, catching only 4 out of 11 targets. Those 4 receptions for 97 yards, plus a 13 yard rush put Tate up to 11 points. Dave definitely needs to drink for this one, but I can raise my glass with him since it’s nearly a push.
Torrey smith has put up his 4 highest scoring games during the last 5 games he’s played. Of course, the odd game out was a goose-egg, which nobody likes to see. The question here is definitely about Torrey’s trend though, will it continue in the double digits, or will he lost ground to Steve Smith like at the beginning of the season. Steve has really struggled, putting up less than 10 points over the last 3 games (combined total!). There’s no lack of targets for Steve Smith, which isn’t great for Torrey, but Torrey is finding the end zone and is amazing at drawing DPI penalties, which means that Flacco will keep throwing it deep to him, at least a couple of times per game.
We both agreed on Smith for Week 12, both of us predicting he will score 10 or more points. I suppose we’ll need to raise our glasses for this one. Smith secured 5 out of 6 targets for 98 yards, giving him 9.8 points total. He’s 0.2 points shy of our prediction, so let’s just call this one a social. Torrey seems to be resuming his role as the deep/intermediate guy in the offense, but is still splitting targets with Steve Smith, 6 targets for each on Monday night.
Andre Ellington: Wk 9 @ DAL – 19.40pts, Wk 10 vs STL – 10.20pts, Wk 11 vs DET 6.60 pts
Ellington has had a few rough matchups the last couple of weeks, and his schedule does not get any easier. While Ellington IS the de facto #1 RB on a team that is 9-1, he is clearly not matchup proof like a Demarco Murray or Jamaal Charles. Ellington has matchups coming up @Sea, @Atl, vs KC, @ Stl and vs Sea. There’s only one defense that’s not in the top 10 in there. Just for icing on the cake, he faces San Francisco in week 17 for those of you who are still going then. If your trade deadline hasn’t passed yet, this may be a guy to consider selling.
Boy, I’m on a roll for Week 12. Dave predicted that Ellington would go over 11 points, I said he’d stay under 11 against a tough Seattle defense. Ellington had a tough day, gaining only 24 yards on 10 rushes, adding 5 receptions for 39 yards. Ellington’s 6.30 points is well below the projection, so Dave, drink five more!
Mark Ingram: Wk 9 @ CAR – 23.00pts, Wk 10 vs SF – 13.90 pts, Wk 11 vs CIN – 9.70pts
Ingram has been the beneficiary of injuries to other RB’s on his team and it’s translated directly into touches. Ingram has averaged 26 carries per game over the last four games and he’s definitely produced during that time. The problem here may lie with the team. When the Saints are winning, they are running the ball a lot more effectively, though clearly they will run the ball whether or not they are winning. Assuming Robinson and Thomas are out again this week, Ingram will see his usual workload facing a Ravens defense that gives up the fewest points to opposing RB’s. The rest of Ingram’s schedule is much kinder, with games @ Pit, vs Car, @ Chi and vs Atl in week 16.
Ingram was just as disappointing as Ellington and also had to go up against a good defense. We both predicted that Ingram would go below 14 points, but c’mon Ingram, couldn’t you have just gotten into the end zone and put up 9 points? I don’t take this stuff personally at all…that’s what I have to tell myself anyways. We’ll assign the listeners to drink for this one since Ingram managed only 4.20 points, well below the recent average.
Martellus Bennett: Finally, on the spur of the moment last week, we looked at Martellus Bennett’s downward trend. We both said that he’d stay under 7 points, a good bet with the Bears’ recent struggles. Bennett wound up with just 4 receptions for 37 yards and is firmly off of the TE1 fantasy radar.
Now let’s change gears and look at some trends that we can see after week 12 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!
Ryan Tannehill: Wk 10 @ DET – 11.28 pts, Wk 11 vs BUF – 16.80 pts, Wk 12 @ DEN – 27.6 pts
We tend to always look at the downward trends, but let’s start off with an upward trend. Tannehill has gotten through a tough stretch and had a great showing last week against a tough Denver defense. Tannehills remaining schedule is split. This week he faces the Jets, then has to face Baltimore and New England, before getting Minnesota in Week 16. Our question, though, is for Week 13. Will Tannehill score 20 or more points (yahoo projection)? The Jets are giving up 21 points/game to opposing QB’s.
John Brown: Wk 10 vs STL – 13.30 pts, Wk 11 vs DET – 6.90, Wk 12 @ SEA – 6.10 pts
Brown has really been flashy for the Cardinals, but not consistent at all. He is very touchdown dependent so far this year. With Fitzgerald out of the lineup, it was expected that Brown would pick up the slack, but that wasn’t the case last week. Brown has a plus matchup this week in Atlanta, but then faces KC, @ STL and SEA to finish off your fantasy season. This guy has fool’s gold written all over him. We’ll set the over/under at 8 points.
LeSean McCoy: Wk 10 vs CAR – 7.70 pts, Wk 11 @ GB – 10.60 pts, Wk 12 vs TEN – 19.10 pts
McCoy has definitely not lived up to his expectations this season. He had an ADP of 1, but is 14th overall for RB points. McCoy struggled at the beginning of the year with a constantly changing offensive line, it has really solidified in the last few weeks. McCoy is trending up, but has not broken 20 points in a single game all season. With Sproles in there vulturing touchdowns and Polk spelling him, is McCoy ever going to return to his former status as the top back in the league? This week he faces Dallas on Thanksgiving, a team with a vastly improved (though still middle of the pack) run defense. We’ll set the over/under at 12 points.
Frank Gore: Wk 10 @ NO – 14.30 pts, Wk 11 @ NYG – 9.40 pts, Wk 12 vs WAS – 1.60 pts
Gore is pointed in the wrong direction. Though he’s had plenty of work the last three weeks, 55 carries total, he’s only managed 212 yards in that stretch which is good for only 3.85 yards per carry. Getting a solid 18+ carries per game should spell success for a back like Gore, but the 49ers offense has really struggled lately. Gore plays host to Seattle this week, and has games coming up in Oakland, Seattle and home against the Chargers. We’ll set the over/under on Gore at 8.50 points.
Tim Wright: Wk 9 vs DEN – 0.00 pts, Wk 11 @ IND – 6.20 pts, Wk 12 vs DET – 15.60 pts
Wright had a great game against the Lions, outscoring even the great Gronk. Why do I include a player such as Tim Wright in this list? Frankly, I don’t like starting tight ends that are going to catch a TD or do nothing, so why is he relevant? He is currently the most picked up TE in yahoo leagues. If you need to pick up a TE, you probably need to win since it’s Week 13. Tim Wright cannot be relied upon to be the guy who helps you win. Instead look elsewhere for guys like Kyle Rudolph, Jordan Cameron or Delanie Walker if you have to fill a need at TE. We’ll set the over/under at 6.10 points for Wright.
Make sure to listen to our podcast to get our predictions and discussion of the trends into week 13 and we will recap the results next week.
The injury carousel continues to spin round and round in the NFL, flinging people off without care for their superstar status. This week wasn’t quite as bad as week two, but let’s take a quick look at the newest injuries to hit the NFL.
Ben Roethlisberger(Replacement: Michael Vick) – Roethlisberger went down and you could hear a pin drop in downtown Pittsburg for a few moments. I know the majority Steelers crowd in St. Louis fell silent when Ben was grabbing his knee in the third quarter. Mike Vick will take over the team in the meantime, and just needs to find safe ways to get the ball to the many superstars that make up the supporting cast of the Steelers. Ben has an MCL sprain and bone bruise and the current, not at all official timeline, is looking like it will be 6 weeks before he can return. Hold on to him in redraft leagues if you can afford the bench spot.
Marshawn Lynch(Replacement: Thomas Rawls) – Lynch left the game after only 5 carries, but let’s be honest. The Seahawks practice squad might have been able to beat the Bears this past Sunday. Lynch’s status for Monday night’s game with the Lions will be updated later in the week (they have an extra day to tell us). If he doesn’t go, it looks like undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls will handle the bulk of the work. Rawls had 18 carries for 109 yards against the Bears, and the Lions aren’t much better. This is a situation to monitor, as the extent of Lynch’s injury is still unclear.
LeSean McCoy(Replacement: Karlos Williams) – McCoy still managed to score a touchdown, but reports out of Buffalo all continue to state that McCoy is not fully healthy. With their offense rolling, this is shaping up to be the week that they sit down McCoy so he can finally get as close to 100% as possible. Karlos Williams has been great in his place, averaging a whopping 7.8 yards per rush attempt over the first three games and scoring a TD in each of the three games so far this year. Williams is the clear replacement and can be slotted in as a starter on your team right away, as long as McCoy is out.
Chris Ivory(Replacement: Bilal Powell) – Ivory suited up for Sunday’s game, but didn’t see any action. His groin injury is not supposed to keep him out of the Week 4 matchup with the Dolphins, but him being a no-show in week 3 has me skeptical about starting him in week 4. Bilal Powell is a plodding replacement who hasn’t seen the end-zone yet, so leave him towards the bottom of your waiver list if you need to pick up a replacement RB this week. Ivory will probably be a game time decision – just remember that his game time is 3.5 hours earlier than normal!
Demarco Murray(Replacement: Ryan Mathews) – Murray surprised a lot of people by being inactive for Sunday’s game, and it almost seems like it helped the Eagles. Ryan Mathews finally got their running game going, and is clearly a better fit in their system, compared to the workload dependent Murray. It’s hard to say where this situation is headed. If Chip Kelly is smart, he will probably wind up splitting the carries between Murray and Mathews in an attempt to take some of the pressure away from Murray. If Murray is out again, Mathews is a high-end RB2. If they both play, they are probably both more like a higher end RB3.
Davante Adams(Replacements: James Jones, Ty Montgomery) – Adams gave it a go on Monday night and only lasted for two targets on the first drive before exiting the game. Ty Montgomery and James Jones both caught a TD in the game, and it doesn’t look like there is a reason to keep pushing Davante Adams if he is injured. The Packers would be making a mistake if they kept forcing Adams out there with two other players having so much success. Do not start Adams this week, even if he’s a go!
Sammy Watkins(Replacement: Percy Harvin) – Watkins has been hobbled with injury, but it hasn’t slowed the Bills down one bit. Watkins suffered a calf strain, and Coach Ryan has stated he might miss week 4’s game. Harvin has been productive and startable every week, and is still only owned in 55% of Yahoo leagues! Watkins owners shouldn’t panic yet, he’s had a history of injuries leaving him a bit banged up, but he should be back to himself in a week or two. Watkins is a dynamic receiver and will return to form later this year, but for now, look to Percy Harvin for your production from the Bills WR’s.
Andrew Quarless(Replacement: Richard Rodgers) – Quarless got his first two catches of the season on Monday night, and then promptly exited the game with a sprained MCL. Quarless will be out 4-6 weeks and was never a fantasy option in the first place, and neither is Rodgers. Go look elsewhere for tight end help.
Vernon Davis(Replacement: Vance McDonald) – Davis didn’t play much in the blowout loss against the Cardinals, but suffered a knee injury all the same. This isn’t likely a long-term injury, but it’s also not likely that he’ll be fantasy relevant any time soon. The 49ers are receiving favorable comparisons to dumpster fires and toxic waste dumps. This injury shouldn’t affect your team unless you’re in the deepest possible league.
Josh McCown should return to Cleveland’s lineup this week, and he can slight right into your lineup if you have someone on bye, or a big name that has been struggling. The Steelers gave up 301 yards and 4 passing TD’s to Derek Carr last week – McCown has the potential to put up at least 300 yds and 3 TD. Ryan Tannehill’s resurgence may be short lived, and after a bad game last week he now has to face Philadelphia. The Eagles have held all of their opponents except Kirk Cousins and Matt Cassel to under 19 fantasy points. We suggest starting McCown over Tannehill.
LeSean McCoy is reportedly just fine and will start on Thursday night against the Jets. Don’t let the difficult matchup or injury deter you – the Buffalo run game has been outstanding most of the year, and the Jets have had a hard time stopping anyone over the last three weeks. In Denver, you may be tempted to go ahead and start C.J. Anderson after seeing Ronnie Hillman’s 7 carry, 1 yard performance, but stay away! Starting a Denver RB this year gives you a 90% chance of a headache, and unless it’s a pork headache, you don’t want any of that.
James Jones needs to find his way into your lineup this week. His ecr is a lowly 33, but we’ve got him as your #19 WR this week. The Packers passing game seems to finally be back on track, and with a cupcake matchup this week against Detroit, I expect the aerial attack to continue to do well…the ground game is another matter. DeSean Jackson is back in the lineup in Washington, and he’s on the WR3 radar for some people, but we say sit him. He’s a deep threat receiver in an offense that only has short and medium passes, and his floor is just way too low to start him this late in the fantasy season.
Crockett Gillmore could be a decent fill in TE this week, as he was on bye last week and might still be available on your waiver wire.Gillmore could wind up being one of the top pass catchers over the rest of the season in Baltmore, after Steve Smith Sr. was put on IR.
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!