Less than a week after posting about the erratic play at the tight end position, this happens.
If you missed my “Really Neat or Take a Seat” article from last week, I was clear and open about my opinion regarding tight ends. You play them by matchup. You have to be honest with yourself when it comes to which matchup is favorable, and which matchup is not.
For instance, you may have thought Dwayne Allen was a good play this week against a struggling Jacksonville defense. But, in reality, Jacksonville has been a top team against Allen’s position. It showed again this week, as Allen had just two catches for 31 yards on Thursday Night.
It’s why my love for Greg Olsen was at an all-time high going into Sunday. Denver’s defense has been bad against tight ends. Sure, the tight ends they’ve faced have been high caliber ones, but you can’t just deny the fact that they ranked in the bottom three against the position.
We’re at a point in the season where matchups go from mysterious to obvious. We’ve got a larger sample size of each team, and we’ve seen how they’ve performed through more than half of the NFL season.
Why not take advantage?
There were 15 total touchdowns scored by 12 different tight ends on Sunday. The majority of them, aside from Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez and Dallas Clark, faced defenses that were ranked in the bottom half of the league against tight ends.
Play matchups with tight ends. I can’t stress it enough.
Here’s some more that I learned from Week 10:
Where did Reggie Bush go?
Reggie Bush fumbled the ball early in the game and was benched in the first half as a result. It was a shame, as Bush’s Dolphins had a juicy matchup against the Titans. In fact, ESPN had Bush projected at 23 non-PPR fantasy points (although, as we all know, their projections are pretty horrendous).
My takeaway from the Bush benching is that it may force him to take his game to a beginning of the season level. They’ve got a great matchup against Buffalo next week, and I think Bush could have a monster day, even with Daniel Thomas in the rearview.
Carson Palmer continues his garbage time adventures.
I have to mention this every week because it continues to blow me away. If you watch Carson Palmer, you see a slow quarterback who, at times, makes some nice throws. I mentioned it yesterday on Twitter, but it’s as if Palmer is playing football underwater.
His first half numbers are always average, and then when Oakland starts to lose any sort of potential, Palmer steps up and gets 20 second half fantasy points.
If the Raiders are facing a good team with a moderate defense, Palmer is going to shine. Oakland will lose a lead, and rely on nothing but the air attack during the second half. Palmer is not a “must start” because of his actual skill set, but he is most definitely a top backup to have in fantasy football.
Matthew Stafford loves the fourth quarter.
Just like Palmer, Matthew Stafford loves to get fantasy points in garbage time. In fact, Matthew Stafford has only thrown 35 passes this season when the Lions have been ahead in a game (Palmer is at 25). To put that in perspective, Tom Brady has thrown 194 passes while his team has the lead.
It’s clear that guys like Stafford and Palmer are becoming good plays because their defenses are poor and their weapons are great. I, of course, like Stafford more than Palmer moving forward, but he really needs to get his first half act together.
Late-round quarterbacks continue to step up.
Joe Flacco, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Dalton, Carson Palmer and Sam Bradford were all top-10 quarterbacks yesterday.
Draft your quarterbacks late.
Woah, what happened to the Giants?
Eli Manning has thrown as many touchdowns as you and I have over the last 3 weeks. I don’t know about you, but I can’t trust a guy averaging less than 5 fantasy points per week at the quarterback position.
Many people were speculating that Eli’s performances prior to his game against the Bengals were poor because of the defenses he faced. Two weeks ago, Dallas’ defense stopped him. Last week, the Steelers did the same. But they were both formidable opponents.
The Bengals, though?
It’s a good thing Eli has a bye this week because you won’t be forced to start him. He does, however, have some nice matchups coming up against Green Bay, New Orleans and Washington. He could be a good “buy low” player.
Michael Turner is frustrating.
Of the three “aging” backs entering 2012 – Steven Jackson, Frank Gore and Michael Turner – it seemed people were most concerned with Turner because of his body of work – and rightfully so.
Turner had plenty of opportunities to get into the end zone against New Orleans this week, and simply failed to do it. The fact that he’s entering the stretch of the NFL season where your body is hurting most, I feel very pessimistic about his fantasy value. It could be a time to snatch up Jacquizz Rodgers or Jason Snelling.
Philip Rivers throws the game away.
He had such a promising first half, and then literally threw the game away in Tampa Bay. The one shining star for the Chargers was the resurgence of Denario Alexander (maybe not a resurgence considering he’s never been “there”). He will surely be a hot pick up this week off the wire, and I’d target him for wide receiver help.
Were the Panthers that bad, or was Denver’s defense that good?
Both. Denver’s defense is stepping up big, but the Panthers’ offense needs help. I’d continue to use Denver’s defense in fantasy considering their upcoming schedule is so favorable, too.
And for those of you who started Denver’s defense and special teams this week, feel fortunate that Trindon Holliday didn’t get called for this fumble. (Oh, and also, I’m featured in that article – see what I did there?)
Marcel Reece is the guy to own in Oakland.
Not only did the Raiders feature Reece the most in the backfield, feeding him 13 carries, but they also love using him in the passing game. If Goodson and McFadden continue to be sidelined, Reece becomes a nice RB2 play, especially in PPR leagues.
Being an Eagles fan would be difficult.
I was very vocal about staying away from Michael Vick this year. His 2010 campaign has skewed the way we all look at him from a fantasy perspective, and his inconsistency is not something you want on your fantasy team. It’s as simple as that.
If Nick Foles continues to quarterback the Eagles, I see it being an advantage to most offensive Eagles’ personnel. DeSean Jackson may suffer a bit given his big play ability, but it appears as though Jeremy Maclin will benefit. LeSean McCoy may be relied upon more as well. He’s easily the most underutilized talent in the NFL.
Danny Amendola may be my new favorite non-Steeler.
If you didn’t watch the rollercoaster game between the 49ers and Rams, then you missed the gutsy performance Danny Amendola put on. He is, without a doubt, one of the toughest players in the NFL. And he continues to be an absolute monster in PPR leagues. He’s back, folks.