Raise your hand if you benched Matthew Stafford this week. Don’t worry, my hand is raised too.
Before you destroy me for even owning Stafford, I got him in a late-round last year in a keeper league. I kept him for $4 of my $200 auction budget this season. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s continue.
I started Andrew Luck over him. The matchup told me to. It’s not like Luck did all that bad – he was the 9th best quarterback in Week 8. Stafford was facing a Seattle defense that gave up under 10 points to Aaron Rodgers, and under 20 to Tom Brady. They’ve been consistently one of the best defenses against opposing quarterbacks.
Looking back, I guess it only made sense for Stafford to light it up against the Seahawks. I mean, he’s gone against all logic this entire season. He’s made very little sense. He’d been playing sloppy, flinging passes around the field with poor mechanics.
Now, facing a top league pass defense, he puts up 33 standard fantasy points? To put that into perspective, Stafford put up just 2 fewer points against the Seahawks than the Packers, Rams, Panthers and 49ers did combined.
But enough with Stafford. What about the other guys on Sunday?
DMC goes for over 100.
Haters need to get over it. Darren McFadden is not a bust this season. When you’ve got this unbelievably skeptical eye on him at all times, bad things come from it.
You should always be concerned with how a fantasy player accumulates his points. A perfect example is Josh Gordon. Before this weekend, the previous three weeks showed Gordon grabbing just 7 receptions for 4 touchdowns. He was the third best fantasy wideout in non-PPR leagues over this period. But we all know that this output, with just over 2 catches per game, isn’t sustainable. He needs more targets and receptions.
But DMC? He touched the ball a total of 33 times yesterday. He’s a top running back through the air. To call him a bust right now, after finishing as the 7th best running back on Sunday, is unjust. If a DMC owner feels this way, buy low. He’s still effective in your lineup.
Ben Roethlisberger throws for 3 more touchdowns.
2012 may be Ben Roethlisberger’s best season at quarterback. Historically, Roethlisberger has been a mediocre start and a bye week filler. A lot of this has to do with his injury issues. This year, however, Ben is taking advantage of nearly every defense he faces. The scary part? He’s only had one AFC North showdown – an AFC North that now consists of some middle-of-the-road defenses. If Ben stays healthy, he is a must start in fantasy.
Jonathan Stewart is featured.
As I mentioned on Twitter, I didn’t see Jonathan Stewart as a good play this week. He did, however, perform better than I thought he would.
After reports surfaced that he would become the Panthers’ true feature back, Stewart touched the ball over 21 times (both rushing and receiving), and came up with 80 all-purpose yards. If the trend continues, he could become a decent fantasy play moving forward. He’s clearly the most talented back on the weak Panthers’ team.
Is Phillip Rivers droppable?
Do we blame the weather, or do we just blame Phillip Rivers? I’ll go with a little bit of both.
Rivers has now had three games where he’s scored six or less points. He’s clearly lost his edge. His receivers are beyond mediocre. He’s just…boring. Is he droppable? Well, if you need a bench spot and you have a good number one option – sure. You’re not going to get much for the guy at this point.
Tom Brady lights it up across the pond.
We all know Tom Brady is capable of throwing for over 300 yards and 4 touchdowns. What we didn’t know was that Brandon Lloyd could catch two in one game.
After a disappointing start to the season, Lloyd hauled in two scores on Sunday. Is it time to buy or sell?
Sell. Why? He not only had two touchdowns, but he also had just two catches. Brady is still loving on his tight ends and Welker. Brandon Lloyd is still a startable wide receiver each week, but I would not enjoy relying on him as anything more than a low-end WR2 in a deeper league.
Aaron Rodgers misses his receivers.
I wouldn’t look much into Rodgers’ performance this week against Jacksonville. They won the game, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters. Don’t panic over this depleted team. If Nelson misses any more time, and the Packers can’t get their running game together,then you may have something to complain about. For now, move on – it was just an unfortunate week.
Oh my, Vick Ballard.
His overtime touchdown looked like something out of a movie. It not only saved Arian Foster owners who were stuck with the stud running back on a bye, but gave Andrew Luck owners a chance to breathe.
Aside from that crazy play, there was a big takeaway from the game in Tennessee on Sunday: The Colts’ running back situation is a giant question mark.
I think they’ll continue to use both Ballard and Brown, making both tough calls each week in fantasy. If I had to choose one to own I’d choose Brown simply because he was the starter before he went down. Hold tight and wait this one out to see what they do moving forward. If you’ve got other options, go with them.
Matt Ryan continues his strong play.
One of the most incredible things about Matt Ryan’s 269 yard, 3 touchdown performance yesterday was that Julio Jones and Roddy white were targeted a total of just 9 times. Freaking Cecil Shorts had 3 more targets against the Packers this week then the Falcons’ receiving duo. There are few quarterbacks I’d rather own than Matt Ryan right now. He’s in the Rodgers, Brees, Brady, RGIII and Manning tier right now.
And he still gets that New Orleans’ secondary twice over the second half of the season.
Only Dez Bryant Could Do That.
I don’t know where I’d be or what I’d be doing if I were a Cowboys’ fan. And, from a fantasy perspective, I don’t know what I’d do if I had to consistently rely on a Cowboy for success.
Tony Romo’s 4 interception performance still yielded a decent fantasy score. Dez Bryant made some bonehead moves, nearly saved the day with a ridiculous touchdown and had an alright day, too. But the real beast of the Cowboys game was Jason Witten. 18 receptions for 167 yards? Are you kidding me?
So where do we go from here? Is Romo a bench guy? Is Dez Bryant a lock each week? Is Jason Witten back to his stud-like play?
I’d answer those questions this way: Yes, no, and yes. Romo is a matchup play – that’s all. Dez Bryant is still too inconsistent for me to feel great about him each week. Witten, on the other hand, has really turned things around since Week 4 against Chicago. Keep starting him.
Peyton Manning is playing MVP-like.
If you listened to me back in the beginning of July, you may be a Peyton owner. I was high on him. At one point, I had him as my 4th ranked quarterback in the pre-season. Sure, I’m lucky he’s been playing at such a high level, but at the same time, we have to remember – it’s Peyton Manning.
He had never finished as “unstartable” in fantasy, and since his rookie season, he’s never finished worse than 7th at the position. I get it, I get it – he’s on a new team, just had neck surgery and was a risk. But you could have gottenPeyton Manning.
As I mentioned earlier, Manning is in the top tier of quarterbacks right now. He’s scored 20 or more points every week but one. He’s turned the ball over just 5 times. He is, for all intents and purposes, back. The most exciting part of this is how relevant he’s making his entire offense. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are both great weekly starts, and Willis McGahee is continuing to outplay all expectations at his “old age”. The Broncos are exciting to watch.