Fantasy Football Metrics

Week-4: Fantasy Quick Recap for Waivers, Trades, Trends, and Sleepers… (Update 11:30am ET)

Twitter @FFMetrics

*See IND-TEN notes for add item if you read before 11:30am ET…

A quick 3-4 bullet point blast of key Fantasy items we see from each game in Week-4, plus notes on the teams coming off a BYE…

 

NYJ-DET

 – This is not the beginning of the Eric Ebron era. He did score a TD, so this is the week he will be called a Fantasy ‘sleeper’, and a crafty pickup, and the football media will take one more weak run at calling the Lions offense the Saints 2.0…complete with Ebron=Graham, Riddick=Sproles. Trust me…no. I was watching that Ebron TD live, and that ball was about to pop out…again, every Ebron catch is like him trying to juggle hot frying pans.

 – Everyone has QB issues in Fantasy. You either have one RB problem, or two. Nobody is happy with any RB they have outside of about 4-6 of them in the NFL. And many of those ‘safe harbors’ are potentially at risk ahead. It’s a scary RB world. As much as Joique Bell has been a dud of late, he has faced CAR (that one time they were good) and NYJ in recent weeks. It has been bad schedule alignment. It’s mostly schedule=good ahead. I’m a soft buyer on Joique…and for many he might be headed to waivers, so we might get a look for free. Great depth, great BYE week option in the era of awful RB opportunities to chase.

 – Calvin Johnson was awesome opening week, and since then he has averaged: 5.9 FF PPG (10.5 PPR) on 4.7 rec. for 59.0 yards and 0.0 TDs per game. Antone Smith has more TDs than Calvin Johnson this year. I’d be a buyer…why not? He’s nicked up, but we’ve seen this before…only for him to ‘pop’ again. The Lions are 3-1, and thus the team’s motivations are positive.

 – The Lions-DST has Kyle Orton this week…and that’s a good thing.

 

NYG-WAS

 – Andre Williams got most all his action in junk time. No way he unseats Rashad Jennings in Coughlin’s heart…not yet.

 – Odell Beckham Jr. will likely play Week-5 or Week-6. I’m not sure it’s going to mean a ton for FF purposes. With the offense clicking now, I don’t think they will force him in. When he does arrive, he will chop into Rueben Randle quickly.

 – I’d ‘sell high’ Larry Donnell, if you were otherwise good at TE. He’s going to be solid, but next week with a 3 catch for 27 yards and no TDs…and you’ll be in a panic…and he’ll have no value. Teams will start to focus on him now. 

 – Kirk Cousins: One huge stat game, and one awful one. Which QB is Cousins? Since the 1st-quarter of the PHI game, where Philly let him work until they figured him out, he is 37-68 (54.4%) with 2 TD/5 INT. So you tell me?

 

CAR-BAL

 – If you are in complete despair at RB, I guess Darrin Reaves works. He is a very underwhelming, tweener-bodied RB. He’s no Fozzy Whittaker, but then again…who is? Only in complete desperation do I make a Carolina RB play.

 –  I’m not a big believer in Joe Flacco for FF, but IND-TB-ATL lurk ahead. Which may mean Torrey Smith might get a target or two…if Steve Smith allows it.

 –  Owen Daniels had the second most targets for the Ravens in Week-4, in his first game after Dennis Pitta was lost. He is a viable ‘desperation’ Fantasy TE.

 

TB-PIT

 – What did I say about Mike Glennon? Gritty performance at Pittsburgh, coming off the national TV embarrassment…winning it with a two-minute drill, 3rd-down pass for a game-winning TD. He starts the rest of the decade for Tampa. Mike Evans is gone 2-4 weeks, and that chips into Glennon’s upside for Fantasy, but he’ll be solid regardless. Glennon could be a top-10 Fantasy QB if all his weapons were healthy.

 – To me, Austin Seferian Jenkins is one of the three best pickups of the week…to be used as a TE2 investment in redraft, or desperation TE1 in like a 16-team league.  CFM’ers probably already have him in Dynasty mode. With Evans gone, and V Jax with wrist issues…ASJ is a weapon, and had seven targets with Glennon in this game…and a near-miss TD.

 – The first game without Ryan Shazier and Jarvis Jones: IDP Lawrence Timmons grabbed 10 tackles, 7 solos in Week-4.

 

TEN-IND 

 – We do realize we are hailing the Colts for beating two of the three worst teams in the NFL the past two weeks…JAC and TEN?  

 – Hopefully, you got Bishop Sankey in redraft when we shot the flare on it two weeks ago…his time was coming. It’s here. There is no turning back…he is potentially going to be a top 15-20 Fantasy RB from here on in…maybe top-10. Partially on talent, and partially on the Titans have little else that works. CLE-JAC-WAS-HOU ahead.

 – That schedule stretch makes the Titans-DST a deep sleeper. They’ve played all top notch QBs the first four weeks, with three of the games on the road. Now they face teams that pick high up in NFL Drafts, and three of four of them at home. The Titans have a great D-Coordinator, and respectable D-talent. This could be a mild surprise ahead.

 – I’m done with Hakeem Nicks, unless I’m desperate.

 – IDP D’Qwell Jackson had a nice run the couple of weeks, but IDP Jerrell Freeman is set to return Week-5…I like both, but Freeman better.

 – (ADD) I am moving from fair value on T.Y. Hilton, and likely sporadic output guy, to I am a buyer…buying into consistency ahead, especially for a PPR. He’s a guy I pay fair or slightly better money for today, betting on the come…the passing game is hot, the schedule is great, and Hakeem has had 3rd-wheel impact. 

 

DAL-NO

 –  I’m also mostly done with Marques Colston…unless I have no other choice. Unlike Hakeem Nicks, Colston is still (inexplicably) a top target of his QB.

 – Drew Brees has yet to register 3 passing TDs in a game so far this season.

 –  I guess the Dallas-DST needs to be on the ‘sleeper’ board: Fitzpatrick-RWilson-Eli-Cousins-Palmer-Bortles ahead. They might work here and there within that. I don’t trust them at all, but the schedule is forgiving.

 – Kenny Stills starting to emerge as Colston fades is something to consider in deeper leagues. It’s not crazy that Stills might be a solid Flex every week coming up soon. This is an early FF-entry point.  

 

JAC-SD

 – Denard Robinson was getting much love Week-4…as I suspected a few weeks ago that this takeover was possible. Robinson is now on par for touches with Toby Gerhart. There is no need for a pounding RB, when you’re always down by 10-20+ points in games…so Denard may be the RB of note here. My preferred would be none of the above. This is a god-awful team.

 – I don’t think Clay Harbor will be a thing despite his eight catches Week-4. I have always liked Harbor, I just know this passing game will be dysfunctional. He’s a long-shot in a super deep league where you are desperate at TE.

 – Donald Brown didn’t do much in this game, but he’s the guy to have ahead. He’s going to get 15+ touches a game. However, this week against the Jets will not be good. Watch for him to possibly be cut in dome 12-team leagues after Week-5…just in time for Week-6 at Oakland.

 

MIN-ATL

 –  Make it four weeks in-a-row for IDP Robert Blanton with six or more tackles in a game. He led MIN in tackles Week-4, and is averaging 7.5 tackles per game this season.

 –  Jerick McKinnon looked great, but if I know the NFL…this is a Matt Asiata led split with McKinnon. It will be a split that ebbs and flows with the strength of opponent…and will drive you crazy. Don’t all RB situations drive you crazy now?

 – Devin Hester got his ‘earned’ extra touches (7 targets) in Week-4. Antone Smith still stuck with just four…and another long TD. The possibility that Antone becomes a 10+ touch a game guy is moving closer…I just know ATL will be always be cute running out all their RBs ‘to keep them fresh’. Fresh and non-productive is no way to go through life son…

 

BUF-HOU

 – Kyle Orton starts now, and that’s a good thing for Sammy Watkins. It also means good things for opposing DSTs, and the end of Doug Marrone’s employ before season’s end…which was coming one way or the other.

 – Fred Jackson averaged 3.5 targets per game in Weeks 1-2, and 8.5 targets Weeks 3-4. You want to get excited by that, but now with a QB change…everything changes potentially.

 –Buffalo RBs have Detroit and the NY Jets in their next four weeks of schedule…not good.

 – I’m now becoming a rabid DeAndre Hopkins fan. I didn’t time it right, but I also didn’t buy into the early hype last year, so I’ve never overpaid either. I like him in 2013, but didn’t see him as high impact right away. I’m looking for an entry point now for Dynasty, as an investment. I don’t trust Ryan Fitzpatrick, but I love what Hopkins is doing. I’m willing to pay slightly above market for Hopkins now, I’ve been so impressed. 

 

GB-CHI

 – Eddie Lacy still does not look good. He should have two TDs though in Week-4, one got called back. He’s as a good as any RB hopeful out there…in this era of RB despair. He’ll get the touches.

 –  I’m not in love with how Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery work together. I love Jeffery’s talent, but they never really seem totally on the same page. I’m not a seller, I’m just a little leery of getting to overblown on Jeffery with Cutler.

 – The next WR name lurking in the shadows, getting ready to take-off is Davante Adams. This is the entry point for a sit on as an investment ahead. I’m not sure if it is 1-2-3 weeks away, but an Adams pop is about to happen.

 

OAK-MIA

 – Jarvis Landry is getting more QB attention than Davante Adams right now, but you have to consider the delivery system. You take Landry, I’ll take Adams the rest of 2014. If I’m right, operating as a 3rd-WR in his group, Adams will be nice. Landry will have a bunch of 2-5 catch for 30-50 yard games with no TD…with an occasional 6-8 catch effort. Adams will push towards being old James Jones for Rodgers. 

 – I will only say this between 3-27 more times the next 7-10 days: If Matt McGloin starts for an extended period of time (due to Derek Carr injury), Andre Holmes is going to be a huge shock FF-play with him. Those two are joined at the hip a la Foles-Cooper initially, back in the day. I’m unsure what the status of Derek Carr is…or how Matt Schaub plays in…and what the new coach will do.

 – I think Lamar Miller is running the ball better than I have seen him in his career…not just because he had 2 TDs against OAK, anyone can do that. He’ll split time with Knowshon Moreno, upon Moreno’s return, but I am a believer in Miller pre-Moreno. 

 

PHI-SF

 – I am warming up to the possibility Jordan Matthews is going to start PPR breaking out ahead. The 2 TD Week-4 was not a sign to me. This past week with how he was used, coming off the 2 TD week…that has me moving toward belief that the time is nigh.

 – The more I watch IDP Bradley Fletcher, the more impressed I am. Fletcher and Cary Williams are two excellent CBs. One of the reasons why Andrew Luck had less than 100 yards passing entering the 4th-quarter of their game in Week-2, and the reason Cousins started to get shut down from the 2nd-quarter on was this CB duo. The 49ers had the ball for approx. 35 of 45 minutes through three quarters of play, and got the ball on multiple turnovers, and scored only 23 points going into the 4th-quarter. The Eagles are the #1 scoring Fantasy DST in Fantasy right now, and are doing it missing their best defender: Mychal Kendricks.

Now the genius of our early Philly-DST call is ready to kick in: S. Hill-Eli-BYE-Palmer-Fitzpatrick-Cam over the next six weeks. Usable every one of those weeks, except the BYE obviously. When Kendricks returns, and the O-Line is back…this team is headed for a collision course with Seattle for NFC dominance. Week-14 vs. SEA @ PHI is going to be insane!!

 –  I still feel Colin Kaepernick is headed toward top-5 Fantasy QB status in a 4-pts per pass TD league…possibly #1 overall. He is unleashed running the ball again: 64-54-58 yards rushing his last three games.

 

NE-KC

 –  Are the Patriots done? I don’t know…remember when Dallas got embarrassed by SF on opening day…now everyone thinks they are headed for the Super Bowl? Remember, when Atlanta was unstoppable after they thumped TB…or when TB was never going to win again after that? I’ve been saying it since that PHI-NE preseason game…’it’s over’ in the sense that the Pats are not to be totally feared. They are just a good team anymore.

I will say that it looks pretty bad on the field so far…in that I see the players sleepwalking every game this year. Little/no emotion or enthusiasm. The Pats are an 8-8 team in a division that is allows them to win 10 games again this year.

 – I don’t buy Brandon LaFell at all. Activity in a blow out, and a fluky moment for a long TD when it didn’t matter much. About the only team LaFell would start for in the NFL is KC…yet, he is a key cog for the Pats. That’s why this team/franchise is dying. Are there any WRs available who played at Rutgers recently that the Pats can grab to help upgrade things?

 – Travis Kelce went to the next level in this game…several designed screens for him. He is now going to push as a top 5-8 TE for Fantasy for sure.

 –Get off the Patriots-DST NOW!! Not just because of last night. No one really expected it to be that bad, and they really aren’t as bad as what happened on MNF. The schedule ahead: Dalton, Orton, M.Vick, Cutler, Peyton, BYE, Luck, Stafford, Rodgers, Rivers.

DEN:

IDP Danny Trevathan is expected to start Week-5. He’s a top-10 IDP linebacker…

CIN:

Marvin Jones comes back this week. Don’t go too crazy for him, but markdown Mohammed Sanu for sure.

SEA:

Zach Miller is going to miss time…Luke Willson is someone I keep swinging and missing at, as a player who could start seeing 3-5 targets, and making some kinda FF-impact on his athleticism. He gets another chance to shine now.

STL:

Facing a beat up O-Line, with slow Nick Foles…IDP Robert Quinn might have a coming out party for 2014 this week. He’s done almost nothing, statistically, so fear this season.

CLE:

One of my favorite sleeper plays…the Browns-DST for the next several weeks. they have an excellent schedule stretch unfolding.

ARI:

You could do worse than John Brown as a Flex-type option. The Cardinals are hell bent on getting him touches…more than the Vikings are with Cordarrelle Patterson, so you have to respect it.

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM

 **If you enjoy the free content on Fantasy Football Metrics.com please consider making your next Amazon purchase through our website/link partnership with Amazon. You’re going to buy something at Amazon anyway, there is no extra charge — help give us a little love! Feel free to save/bookmark this link in your favorites and you will have it for all future Amazon purchases. Thanks for your consideration! Link – Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more **

 

2014 Week-4 Dynasty-Fantasy Recap: Eagles vs. 49ers (9/28/2014)

Twitter @FFMetrics

I’m going to write extensively about Nick Foles here.

Shocker, I know.

Some of you may be saying, “Oh, God…more Foles talk.” I know…but if you think that, you probably don’t own Nick Foles for Fantasy. Those who do, which is many FFM’ers, have their heart beat linked to every Foles throw. 

Some of you might think, “Oh, God…more Foles spin/excuses on the way.” We have a football media that is ‘out’ for Nick Foles…there is no other way to put it. I don’t mean they have special meetings about it; at least I don’t think they do. They probably, definitely, most likely do not have those meetings. It’s not a conscious plan…it’s a subconscious subversion. Nick Foles is not supposed to be ‘good’. Therefore, everything he does is seen through that prism. They LOOOOOVVVVE Kirk Cousins, so they built altars to him before Thursday Night, and then are left to make excuses the next 3-10 days after. 

I am the only thing you got that’s ‘fair and balanced’ on Nick Foles. The leader of the rebel opposition. Have to undue what they’ve done. My work is not done yet…like predicted last week, there would be one more swipe at him when he had a bad game in a loss. Here it is.

If you took every national football analyst that you see on TV or hear on the radio, or have major written pieces on their company’s website…and you privately polled them on this question: “If you were a new NFL GM, and you could start with one of these two QBs, which would it be…Foles or Cousins.” I dare say the answer would have been 90%+ Cousins pre NYG game on Thursday Night, and about 70%+ today. I ___ you not. I am not skewing those numbers to be cute. I honestly believe that. If you asked about Foles vs. Blake Bortles…it would be 95%+ Bortles. You know it, and I know it. The thing is…those same people, who constantly get 90% of QB evaluations wrong, have a large, never-ending microphone. Many of you spend more time listening (collectively) to their words through the week, on the pregames, and during the games…then you communicate with your ‘significant other’ all week. Scratch it out on paper, I bet it is true. It is for me. 

They are infiltrating your ears. It sinks in. You are eternally pleased with Andrew Luck…and were ‘sure’ on Kirk Cousins. You still really don’t trust Nick Foles. Foles has to prove it to you every throw. Because of that media bias jammed into your ear holes…you watch his games in angst: every great pass he makes brings only mild relief, with no real joy. Every incompletion is a sphincter pucker…and every INT (the rarity) is “Oh, Lord, I knew Mike Ditka, Phil Simms, Cris Collinsworth, Terry Bradshaw, et al were right all along.

Matt Stafford had a similar stat line in Week-3…you don’t really care. Matt Ryan laid a similar egg in Week-2…doesn’t matter. When Foles does it…it’s a secret ‘tell’ that he really is bad…like ‘they’ all said.

Let’s look back at this game as see if it was really all that bad…

 – A couple of Foles-things to consider:

1) In large part because of the defensive and special team scores, the Eagles had the ball for approx. seven minutes in the 1st-half. You can do the math on how long SF held possession (23 minutes). When the Eagles did have the ball, they barely could sustain a drive. Foles’s fault? Let’s see with #2…

 2) On their five drives in the first half…only one drive lasted longer than 1:30. Why? Two possessions ended on turnovers (one fumble, one interception). One drive stalled with a deep hole off of offensive penalties. Foles threw a pick…a deep ball where he was hit as he threw, the ball went well short and was intercepted.

3) The Eagles came out in the 3rd-quarter, first possession…and it ended right away on a Zach Ertz fumble. In large part due to this fumble, the Eagles held possession for approx. two whole minutes in the 3rd-quarter.

4) After three quarters, the Eagles had approx. nine minutes of offensive possession…on eight drives. The 49ers 35+ minutes, and the Eagles about nine minutes. That’s surreal.

How do you get in any type of rhythm when you never have the ball, but mostly have the lead? When you do have the ball, you cannot run it at all, and your O-Line is falling apart with injury…plus Foles gets lit up after every other throw.

How good is the Eagles defense to have a time of possession assault, and still only allow 26 points on the road?

Still, with six minutes left, down by five points, starting at their own nine-yard line. Foles embarks on a 86-yard drive, going 6-for-9 with 84 yards passing…and gets the ball to the six-yard line. Four chances to get six yards, and maybe the win. Foles goes 0-for-3, and essentially game over. What happened? I was ready to write a long article about ‘the drive’. I watched these plays back…there was not an Eagles receiver open anywhere. I mean not even close. Foles was basically throwing balls away…as he rolled out because the O-Line jailbreak that was taking place all game. Including a no-chance final throw he had to make because possession would flip anyway. 

The Eagles actually got the ball back with 1:23 left…and I thought, “They are going to pull this out, aren’t they.”. Nope, another blocking penalty to start the drive. The punt return on this last drive got called back for a penalty, then the first offensive play got called back. Deep in a hole, no timeouts…Foles’ final passes was heaved in desperation resulting in a final pick. Foles had two INTs, neither were ‘bad’ decisions. One was where he was hit on the throw, the other was the last play heave. I logged every throw…41 official throws, I counted two throws were I thought that wasn’t a great decision…but nothing blaring.

This was just one of the most bizarre games I’ve ever seen. The Eagles had one drive over 2:30+…and had only 17+ minutes of possession…most of it on the 2nd to last drive. However, for most of the game they led the 49ers. This was not a normal game by any means.

If there is hope ahead…it is with the fact that Lane Johnson is back from suspension, to help patch the O-Line back up. I see no reason to worry about Foles’s abilities from this game…not at all. His health, yes. The running game, maybe. His talent…no way. He was one play away at the end from having a Joe Montana tome written about him.

Everybody’s new golden boy, Tony Romo, had a similarly bizarre game flow against SF…and he had 1 TD/3 INTs against the 49ers, but he’s now great, and Foles is the worst…because football memory only lasts a week.

 –  What’s wrong with LeSean McCoy (10 carries for 17 yards)? I have no idea. It has to be mostly/all O-Line related. There is no reason for him to crash so fast. He was fine the first two weeks of the season, and now Trent Richardson disease has hit him. All you can do is play him, and pray. The Rams have not been great against the run this year…this is a favorable matchup ahead.

My fear for him is: 5.0 catches per game in Weeks 1-2, and 0.0 catches Weeks 3-4. Teams are attacking the Philly RB swing pass. Expect to see more decoy swings and screens pump fakes, followed by a wheel around deep ball throw. Less PPR action for McCoy of late…might be a trend.

 – I said last week, not to get your hopes up on Jordan Matthews (4 rec. for 28 yards on 7 targets) just yet. Last week, it was Foles making use of the forgotten man in coverage. I am ready to move off that position after this game showed me a little more evidence of Matthews settling into the NFL. More and more Matthews is becoming a real, desired target…and is looking good doing it. He is the future at WR. The last two weeks he has 8.0 targets per game. I think his first push forward, past Riley Cooper, is about to happen (if it hasn’t already).

I wouldn’t swear to a Matthews mini-breakout for PPR about happen, but I would begin taking a position if I had WR despair, or room for an investment to see what happens heading into his Week-7 BYE. There may be more time, but one more big target game with nice output, and then a FF-feeding frenzy is coming.

 – I would not fight you if you thought Colin Kaepernick (17-30 for 218 yards, 2 TD/1 INT) would be a better QB than Foles the rest of FF-2014 in a 4-points per pass TD league, because of Kaepernick’s elevated running totals, and rising pass attempts. The major FF-issue with Kaepernick in 2014: He faces Seattle in Weeks 13 and 15.

 – Something that is not helping the Eagles…is their TE #2 and #3: Brent Celek (0 rec., 2 targets) looks awful. James Casey (not Ertz) was in on one of the final shots at the end-zone on the Eagles long drive that stalled at the end. Casey, and Celek are just not athletic enough to get open in an obvious passing down in short quarters.

 –  IDP Michael Jenkins (7 tackles, 6 solo, 1 PD, 1 INT+TD) has picked off passes in the last two games, and has five passes defended in the last three games to go along with 17 tackles. He does a little bit of everything. His numbers are elevated as Mychal Kendricks (DNP) got injured…which may just be coincidence.

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM

 **If you enjoy the free content on Fantasy Football Metrics.com please consider making your next Amazon purchase through our website/link partnership with Amazon. You’re going to buy something at Amazon anyway, there is no extra charge — help give us a little love! Feel free to save/bookmark this link in your favorites and you will have it for all future Amazon purchases. Thanks for your consideration! Link – Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more **

 

You Cannot Beat NFL Coaching Logic…

Has there never not been talk this season about keeping Rob Gronkowski healthy the whole year coming off his 800 injuries the past two years? He’s been smartly limited on snaps all season for that very reason. 

Of course Gronk was just in, scoring a TD…in a 41-7 game with 8 minutes left. Why wouldn’t he be? 

Please, I beg of you people reading…if you really exist, and my life is not an elaborate hoax like that old Jim Carrey movie ‘The Truman Show’, please stop reading my work. It makes no sense. 

I would run Antone Smith more, and Cordarrelle Patterson, and I would rest my always injured, franchise TE in a 41-7 blowout. BUT what do I know? I am absolutely not in tune with NFL coaching. I don’t ‘get’ the NFL…so save yourself. Run. Don’t read any more work here. You’re only encouraging me, and hurting your FF-self. I know absolutely nothing. Seriously, read what I write about…it is insanity. 

The next thing you know the Chiefs franchise QB will still be in after Gronk scored a TD for an Patriots team that has already conceded the game by bringing in the backup QB. Oh wait, I spoke too soon…

 

You Might Get a Chuckle Out Of This…

If you have DirecTV, and you are watching Monday Night Football. Hit the info button while on the game’s channel (206).

Does ESPN know how to sell the sizzle of a football game or what? That show description has me on the edge of my seat. If you don’t have Direct TV…sorry.  

 

2014 Week-4 Dynasty-Fantasy Recap: Redskins vs. Giants (9/25/2014)

Twitter @FFMetrics

I felt pretty satisfied after this game…and amused. The entire week’s lead-in was a mass football media build up of Kirk Cousins (19-33 for 257 yards, 1 TD/4 INT) as Washington savior, coming off his 400_ yard effort against Philly. I was a lone voice not only saying ‘beware’, but that there was huge trouble with his no-read passes…and flimsy arm-strength. What happened? The Giants jumped several routes, Cousins started falling apart, and then the media afterwards were stunned by their own revelation that “Cousins sure does stare down his receivers a lot.” Where were they the whole week?

I tell you it’s because rare is national media analyst that really is studying these games, and I understand why. It takes a ton of time to study these games, and re-study, and log it all in…and to also then try to have half-a-life outside of football. If I were a multi-millionaire ex-something, I would not spend 15 hours a day watching tape every day, all week…making notes, and never seeing the sunlight. I’d probably watch some highlights, and run with it. No one is ever going to follow up or double-check anyway…just say what everyone else says, and you can all be wrong or right together. Keep the cushy gig as long as you can.

As history always dictates. There are people working tirelessly, passionately in their basements dedicated to defeating the institution some day. The institution is not going to allow it to happen by any means necessary. You were duped on Kirk Cousins because every single football person magically had the same opinion on Cousins…until they didn’t after this game. Some of you were left holding the FF bag on it this week.

 –  Rashad Jennings (13 carries for 55 yards) was everyone’s FF-savior in Week-3, and now you step back after Week-4…and look at a RB who less than 65 yards rushing in three of his four games played this season. Andre Williams (16 carries for 66 yards and 1 TD, 1 target) had more touches in Week-4, but more so because of the blowout that was occurring. You have to believe in Jennings…how many Fantasy RBs are left that you CAN count on?

 – Don’t forget Odell Beckham Jr. (DNP) probably comes back this week. If that means anything to you. I think he steps in and cuts Rueben Randle’s (8 rec. for 89 yards on 10 targets) recent run right in half either Week-5 or 6, and then from then on in. He won’t really effect Victor Cruz (6 rec. for 108 yards on 10 targets). I’m suspicious of Beckham’s abilities…great athlete, but I’ve seen radical up & down as a WR in his college scouting…mostly down. See more detail on that at College Football Metrics.com.

 –  Likely you are thinking, “So if Kirk Cousins sucks…what do I do with Pierre Garcon (2 rec. for 28 yards on 6 targets) and/or DeSean Jackson (1 rec. for 9 yards on 4 targets)?” I don’t think you have to panic. Cousins makes safe throws. timing throws…he’ll get the ball to those guys OK. It won’t be as dynamic, but some simple bubble screens and slants…point is they will get touch counts more favorable than not. Cross your fingers, and bite your nails…but they won’t be as bad as Week-4, and they weren’t as good as they were Week-3.

 –  IDP Keenan Robinson (13 tackles, 7 solo, 1 INT, 1 PD) just gives 110% every play. That guy is going to be a solid IDP option for many just because he is around the action so much.

Let’s watch IDP CB David Amerson (8 tackles, 6 solo) as well. With DeAngelo Hall gone, Amerson takes on a bigger role for the team…and he was a play-maker at NC State. He will get tested a bunch ahead.

 – What can I say about Larry Donnell (7 rec. for 54 yards and 3 TDs on 8 targets)? Remember, when Antonio Gates had 3 TDs in Week-2, and everyone went bananas. Check out his numbers since. Teams are going to move to take out Donnell now…and he is not that good, where he will be able to dominate and overcome. He is a ‘sell high’, if you really can trade up at TE…which there are not many options to do such a thing. This is a nice moment for Donnell, it’s not long-term, high-level activity…just useful on and off this year.  

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM

 **If you enjoy the free content on Fantasy Football Metrics.com please consider making your next Amazon purchase through our website/link partnership with Amazon. You’re going to buy something at Amazon anyway, there is no extra charge — help give us a little love! Feel free to save/bookmark this link in your favorites and you will have it for all future Amazon purchases. Thanks for your consideration! Link – Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more **

 

“A George Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand…”

 Twitter @FFMetrics

Monday mornings during the football season usually means stats review in the morning. Updating our system, looking for trends, changing projections for the future…looking ahead to Week-5. However, 2+ hours in, and I have not touched a box score, or looked at a database printout.

Normally, between stats reviews, I am start re-watching games from Sunday. I begin making notes, so I can begin the process of crafting crazy game recaps. I haven’t watched a game back yet. I haven’t made a note. I haven’t touched the computer where I re-watch games on Mondays. I’ve done nothing today like I have the last four Mondays. 

I woke up this morning. Grabbed a cup of coffee, and walked around like a zombie. My comatose state brought on by mostly Jerry Jones. During the destruction of the Saints last night, as the camera panned to him for the 8,000th time, Jerry was grinning like an evil villain from my worst nightmare…as my Fantasy Sunday took it’s final swirl around the toilet bowl in a Saints flop against Dallas.

That’s all I see when I walk around today…Jerry Jones and his wicked, creepy grin.

He should be happy. His team is 3-1. On a bell curve, most of FFM’s Fantasy teams are now 2-2. Jerry Jones is smarter than I am, so he gets to smile like that…at least for this week.

I can take losses when my FF-opponent pulls a Larry Donnell event out of his/her rear end, and my group does well too, but ran into a buzz saw. I hate when that happens, but I understand it. We’re all going to lose 3-6 times a year, and make the playoffs, so let’s not go crazy after a loss…is my normal feeling. This week seems different. I am more in a funk after a bad week than normal. Part of it was that my usual group was a belly flop. Where I had Andrew Luck…winner. Where I had Nick Foles…loser. My great grandfather always said if your Fantasy QB scores less than 8.0 points, you’re not going to win. Sage advice.

Nick Foles has been fine for three of four weeks, and this 49ers game was bizarre in the sense of three defense/special team scores along with limited/no time of possession in the first half. I can rationalize a ‘one off’ stat performance. Foles is not why I am unfocused, and down in the dumps. He didn’t help matters though.

The real reason that I am walking around wondering why I do this anymore: Antone Smith and Cordarrelle Patterson. Names you know well, and you know where I am going. I am going to add in Pierre Thomas as well. I’m also going to lump in Thomas Morestead (Saints punter).

There is no value in identifying talented players with a magical computer to watch them not be used by their teams. I would have been better off quietly losing at Fantasy Football for the last 5+ years, and not knowing who Antone Smith is…rather than pour thousands of man hours, risk money, family, and carpal tunnel to be driven ‘mad’ by Antone Smith. Smith is just a symbol for the insanity growing in my mind…the poster boy for everything that does not compute for me.

Smith has now touched the ball 13 times this season, and has three TDs. Runs from 38 and 48 yards, and a screen pass TD for 54 yards. He has 10 carries this season…for 111 yards (11.1 ypc). Four of his 11 carries are for 10 or more yards.

Over the past two seasons, in his last 19 touches (13 carries, 6 catches), Smith has five TDs (a 26.3% probability of a TD on every touch). On those 19 touches he has amassed 339 yards…17.84 yards per touch with a 26.3% chance one will go for a TD.

Smith has 3 TDs in 2014, one of the league leaders. On every TD he has scored this season, they have occurred in the 3rd-quarter. He has busted these long TDs, and then pretty much never saw the field/a touch again in the game.

What am I supposed to with that?

How do I shut off my brain to that? How do ignore that for Fantasy Football, and bench him saying, “You know he won’t get touches.” Every week, I say to myself, “This might be the week.” I con myself, and incorrectly so.

The Atlanta Offensive Coordinator spent this past week praising Devin Hester, and howling how he (Hester) has earned more touches after his one good game. There were zero words about Antone Smith earning anything. He just quietly scored another long TD. In Smith’s last 14 NFL carries, he has had runs of 38 or more five times.

With Antone there is a 35.7% probability (based on Smith’s last 14 rushing attempts) that the play will result in 38 or more yards. On seven of his last 14 carries, there is a 50% probability that the play will result in nine yards or longer.

This is not to mention all the long TDs/plays Smith had in the preseason.

Yet, Smith has not earned any more playing time like Devin Hester has…or Jacquizz Rodgers and Devonta Freeman, for that matter. In the Atlanta-Minnesota game from Week-4…Smith was the 4th of the four RBs to enter the game. Combining touches (rush + rec.), Smith had the least amount of any Atlanta RB this week…and once again out-gained them all.

Steven Jackson has 54 touches this season for 106 yards and 1 TD. Smith has 13 touches for 192 yards and 3 TDs.

Apparently Smith has not done enough to earn any more playing time like Devin Hester has, or Steven Jackson, or Jacquizz Rodgers, or Devonta Freeman.

What am I supposed to do with that?

Do I come on this week, and tell you to pick up Antone Smith as a sleeper? Then he gets four touches…and maybe doesn’t have a long TD (rare, but possible), and you wind up taking a zero for FF in Week-5 from him? You’re better off with Matt Asiata in Week-5. You’re better off with Justin Forsett. You’re better off with Jacquizz Rodgers.

Where do I go from here? I have computer model based on finding talent. It finds it, and then it never plays. So what’s the point?

Cordarrelle Patterson is a decoy. Norv Turner is quite proud that he uses Patterson as a decoy.

When Fantasy adds ‘decoy’ to the starting lineup after ‘Flex’, I’m probably going to kick some ass all over the Fantasy universe.

Bad matchup losses, I can live with. Watching Pierre Thomas not get used for Travaris Cadet as the Saints get crushed last night was icing on the cake. Thomas has been a successful workhorse for years. Yet, Cadet was playing ahead of him last night…and saw more touches…as the Saints got rolled. Later, in the Saints Sunday night game, with an emerging chance at a historic/epic comeback…on 4th and 5 +/- yards around mid-field, Sean Payton removed Hall of Fame QB Drew Brees, and ran the worst fake punt in the history of fake punts. Spoiler alert, the play was tipped with a player in motion, then the one receiver option was covered, and the punter was sacked.

I swear to you the following is true: I watch a ton of football on Sunday…all day, all games at the same time…or solo game focus like Sunday night main events. When that fake punt was run, and flopped, I literally sat with jaw-dropped, staring blankly at the TV. I didn’t move for what seemed like minutes, but was probably 5-10 seconds. I could not believe what I just witnessed. I was numb for maybe the first time in my life. 

Should I expect the Saints will use Pierre Thomas next week, or will they get the punter more pass-attempts?

Should I expect Cordarrelle Patterson to ever get a carry again, despite being the greatest rusher in the history of football (statistically)…or be the world’s greatest, most hilarious decoy?

Why would I expect the second greatest rusher in NFL history (statistically), Antone Smith to get more than four carries in Week-5?

I feel like my mind is slipping away. I have a computer model built on finding players who are going to be successful…and then they are…and they aren’t used. Perhaps, I’m the fool. Perhaps, this website and computer scouting was all a bad idea. Perhaps, I should not take independent stances on players anymore. It’s safer with the herd right now. I’m looking over the football landscape, and wondering what path to take…do I follow player talent, or do I chase the crowd? Even my computer can tell you that what worked in the NFL this past week was Larry Donnell, Matt Asiata, Ryan Tannehill, and Steve Smith. What didn’t work is Cordarrelle Patterson, Pierre Thomas, Ladarius Green, or Nick Foles.

The independent me got crushed Sunday, and I’m not sure it won’t happen again this Sunday…because I don’t know whether to start Cordarrelle Patterson or Antone Smith or not. I really don’t know at this point. I really just need a day off to gather up myself, but right now…I don’t even know what to predict.

My Monday has become the following one minute clip…and the final ten seconds is me talking to my computer today, or possiblly vice-versa. I don’t know anymore. Independent George is dying…

 

You think we’re all going ‘mad’ now? Wait until Fantasy analysts start taking about this ‘Antone Smith kid‘, and they they start beating me with a higher ranking on Antone week-to-week. My life makes no sense this Monday morning. It really doesn’t. 

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM

 **If you enjoy the free content on Fantasy Football Metrics.com please consider making your next Amazon purchase through our website/link partnership with Amazon. You’re going to buy something at Amazon anyway, there is no extra charge — help give us a little love! Feel free to save/bookmark this link in your favorites and you will have it for all future Amazon purchases. Thanks for your consideration! Link – Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more **

 

Week-5: Fantasy Early Waivers and Trades Ideas…

Twitter @FFMetrics

 – It’s hard to read anything into a game with Jacksonville because they are a total NFL outlier. Every opposing team just toys with them. So if you wonder if Clay Harbor is something to consider at TE…who knows? Probably not. Every week is more bizarre than the next with Jacksonville. Is Keenan Allen back, now? Hell, if I know? Everybody spanks the Jags in new and unique ways.

 –So you’re likely freaking out over Nick Foles.

Was it this past week everyone was declaring Aaron Rodgers dying-dead? We’re all burying Tom Brady too…until about midnight eastern tomorrow. We live in a one-week football cycle. Go trade Foles for Matt Asiata if you want.

It was not the Eagles finest hour. However, consider with all the defensive/special teams scores (three of them), the Eagles had the ball for 12 of the first 50 minutes of the game. They barely had time on offense. I think the Eagles at various points in the game were down 3, 4, or 5 of their planned O-Line starters for the season. It is legit to be afraid for Foles going forward with the O-Line issues…unless you think LeSean McCoy is a 1+ yards per carry guy because he is getting too much sleep, and not because of the O-Line.

If you want to be scared on Foles, be scared that he is going to get knocked out of a game coming up soon with the hits he’s taking.

Last week: Rodgers dead and Cutler MVP…this week the reverse. Crazy things can happen in a one-week bubble. If you want to throw the prior three weeks of Foles out, and just believe in Week-4′s results…you go ahead.

 – I would be in a more in a mild panic on LeSean McCoy…because unlike Foles, he has been bad for two weeks in-a-row when the O-Line injuries started accelerating. 39 yards rushing on 29 carries the last two weeks.

Whereas, Antone Smith had 48 yards on his last carry of the week…another long TD run this week…to go along with all his other long TDs this season. Smith is now ahead of McCoy in Fantasy scoring…and closing in on the top-20 RBs YTD.

 – Like I feared…no follow-through for Jordan Matthews. It’s an entire 2014 fear…Foles spreads it around too much for FF-reliability on any Eagles’ target. Smart for NFL, bad for FF.

 – Cordarrelle Patterson

What are you going to do? This is killing you…the last two weeks. Give up if you desire.

It’s one thing if a guy you/we pick sucks…you could be all ‘you suck at evaluating talent, R.C.’ That may be correct, but it is not so on Patterson. You know, and I know this is something special waiting to get touches.

Every other time the guy rushes the ball, he breaks a long TD (technically every four carries, like Antone Smith). But Norv Turner just cannot figure out how to get him the ball. Actually, he is in love with using CP as a decoy…because Norv Turner is awful at what he does. Every coach who got Darren Sproles after Norv (Sean Payton and Chip Kelly), made him work like a potential Hall of Famer. Norv was awful in Washington as head coach, and ran an awesome Chargers team into the ground after that. They write poems today about how the new SD coaching staff saved Philip Rivers’ career…what they don’t do is complete the sentence. They saved Rivers…from Norv Turner’s affect. Then the Browns fired Norv after one whole year as an Offensive Coordinator after the 2013 season. So of course he cannot figure out how to get Cordarrelle Patterson the ball. Why should we have thought differently?

In other news, Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall hooked up for another TD for the nine millionth time, as did Rodgers-Jordy-Cobb…who could have ever seen that coming? They should use those guys as decoy if they ever want to get anywhere in the NFL. 

I believe in talent, and that the coaches will use it…and I know that can be a black hole with the likes of Norv, Mike Smith/Dirk Koetter, the Jaguars and Raiders franchise, and Todd Haley, et al. BUT Patterson is sensational. I’m going to be on that where I can. I will buy all your Patterson discounted stock. Your top priority in Dynasty life is to try to get this guy at a discount…if it presents itself.

Quit him if you wish. Bench him if you got better. I can’t blame you, but I’m not giving up if I can help it.

 – Are you selling Calvin Johnson too? Patterson is running about 3.0 PPG behind Calvin’s pace this year.

 – If you are going to anoint Jerick McKinnon…are you also anointing Jarius Wright? Keep in mind this was a game against a non-existent Atlanta defense. I really like McKinnon, our #2 ranked ‘speed-RB’ from the 2014 NFL Draft, but I’m afraid he is either (a) Stuck in a time-share, or (b) I so special that Norv Turner uses him as a decoy.

 – IDP CB Bradley Fletcher…7 more tackles this week along with 2 PDs, and he made some more great coverage plays again Week-4. He has three straight weeks with two PDs in each game. He has averaged 8.0 tackles per game in his last two contests as well.

 –  After a great 2013, IDP Eric Reid has gone M.I.A.: 5 tackles and no PDs TOTAL in the past three games.

 – OK, Eddie Lacy bounced back with a TD. I got all excited about him last week, me and every football person on the planet, but guess what…he looked terrible again in this game. I think it is the O-Line, but he looks just like Trent Richardson, and I hate to make that comparison, but it fits.

 –  Bishop Sankey is about to take over in Tennessee…and I have no idea what that will mean for FF. Tennessee is chasing Oakland and Jacksonville for worst conceived teams in the NFL.

 – I was surprised Lorenzo Taliaferro took so many carries this week (14). Justin Forsett was the lead back. Bernard Pierce was nowhere to be found. Pick one at your own risk. Forsett is the safe bet, Taliaferro is now the upside bet. 

 – Andre Holmes + Matt McGloin is magic…let me repeat. Andre Holmes is magic with Matt McGloin. If Derek Carr is out, and McGloin (not Matt Schaub) is in…then Holmes is a hot pickup. Trust me…for however long iMcGloin stays in.

 – Jarvis Landry is becoming a thing for Ryan Tannehill. Deeper PPR re-draft leagues, he’s going to be the #2 target the rest of the way potentially.

 – Andre Williams had his first great game of the season, but it was almost all garbage time. I don’t think it is time yet, but as always…I worry for Rashad Jennings because Williams is a talent.

 – I think Mike Evans is done for a few weeks. Vincent Jackson doesn’t look right: The redraft pickup of the week (besides Holmes with McGloin) is Austin Seferian-Jenkins. I really liked what I saw with his work with Mike Glennon. Remember: (1) Glennon is really good. (2) ASJ is really good. (3) Glennon made Tim Wright look better than Tom Brady does. Because Glennon is a smart QB…he can throw over the middle, and work the TE.

 –  Fred Jackson had six catches in Week-4…and eight catches last week. Jack him up in PPR, apparently.

 – Marques Colston looks absolutely horrible, horrible, horrible. I am done even thinking, “Well, maybe…” in any waiver week.

 – Reminder, the Browns-DST is a great pickup this week…but you should have done it Sunday before anyone else figured it out. 

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM

 **If you enjoy the free content on Fantasy Football Metrics.com please consider making your next Amazon purchase through our website/link partnership with Amazon. You’re going to buy something at Amazon anyway, there is no extra charge — help give us a little love! Feel free to save/bookmark this link in your favorites and you will have it for all future Amazon purchases. Thanks for your consideration! Link – Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more **

 

Why are Graham and Brees Still Playing???

Thank you God that they are. A few more garbage Brees to Graham moments, and I might can get over 50% win percentage across the land. I think Brees needs to hit Graham or Cooks for a TD for that to happen…

Feel free to risk your entire franchise down by 17 with 3-4 minutes left…as long as it benefits me for Fantasy. 

 

Jerry Jones Nightcap…

It happens 1 or 2 weeks a year, but across the FFM land…I am tracking an overall losing FF week in all leagues we’re associated with, and I am not happy at all. Furious, actually. I have a lot Nick Foles led bludgeonings…which is a shame because this day didn’t start out so bad. 

However, a lot of the early  good-feeling was because I also have plenty of Jimmy Graham, along with several Brees-Graham with some Khiry or PT. So a lot riding on Sunday Night Football…and I felt great about it. 

I thought the Eagles/Foles looked bizarre. Now, I’m watching the end of the Saints era unfolding right before my eyes. My largest bet of the week is completely DOA (Saints). Never go against Colin Cowherd, I should have known better. 

As Demarco Murray scored another untouched TD, they panned the camera up to Jerry Jones who has an evil ‘S’ eating grin, and high-fiving all the executives/relatives around him. I deserve that look etched into my soul. It is the perfect cap to this not-good day.

As I re-read this to get ready for publish, Jimmy Graham just lost a fumble. I’m done. No ‘early waiver’ piece tonight, because my mind is not in a good place to assess Sunday after the FF-tsunami that hit me from 4pm ET on.

Good luck for those who did not listen to anything produced on FFM this week. I may or may not be at work tomorrow.

 

I’m Sitting Here…

Watching Antone Smith not get the ball most of the game…and then runs for a 48-yard TD,

In the same game, the Vikings just cannot figure out how to get Cordarrelle Patterson the ball. You’re going to email me all week telling me CP’s killing you. 

I’m sitting here watching this in absolute disbelief wondering why NFL O-Cs refuse to get their historic, proven play-makers the ball.

It’s difficult watching a game trying to hope both teams lose.

#FREECORDARRELLEPATTERSON

 

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