|Fantasy Football: Week 3 starts, sits||09.25.15 at 10:56 am ET|
It’s time to take a look at some starts and sits for Week 3. As I always say, I do my best to avoid the really obvious choices, and if you need ranking advice on a player not listed here, you can hit Rotobahn for my full Week 3 positional rankings. I will be updating all of the rankings Saturday as more injury information becomes available, so check back if you have a player with a questionable tag.
Jim Hackett and I will be back Sunday morning from 8-9 a.m. on 93.7 with the Week 3 edition of the Fantasy Football Hour. Tune in if you haven’t already. And, if you still need lineup advice on Sunday morning, feel free to attend our Week 3 chat at 11 a.m. right here on WEEI.com. There will be a link to the chat on the home page, usually an hour or two ahead of time, so get those questions in early!
If you are a daily fantasy player, look for my Week 3 DraftKings article, which will be posted tomorrow.
The 49ers are not a soft defense, but it’s a home game for Arizona and the offense is really on a roll. Michael Floyd will add an element now that he’s nearing full health, and they have a ground game with or without Andre Ellington. Palmer’s looking like a very solid weekly option and he’s very playable this week against the 49ers.
Marcus Mariota, Titans vs. Colts
The Colts look vulnerable through the air, and that’s not the only way Mariota can score fantasy points. I expect him to start running more as he gets more comfortable. The rookie has six touchdown passes and no picks through two games. He’s got plenty of upside this Sunday.
Nick Foles, Rams vs. Steelers
Foles is not an exciting option for sure, but I like his chances of posting a solid stat line against the Steelers, who have been thrown on in both games this year. He might be able to help you if you’re in a jam in a deep league or 2QB format. I also like the game script here. The Steelers get Le’Veon Bell back, and they are going to put up a lot of points. That should force the Rams to throw the ball rather than play conservatively.
|Fantasy Football: Week 2 waiver wire||09.15.15 at 10:44 am ET|
The Week 2 waiver wire is all about having the right focus when you play in smaller leagues. You want to go after the guys who can help you the most long term — the guys who have a chance to be weekly starters. In future weeks, I will focus more on short-term moves and bye-week replacements, but you need to think long term this week and perhaps next week as well. Do not pass up on a guy like Duke Johnson to take a one-week player like DeAngelo Williams. Don’t keep some second-rate backup quarterback on your roster like Jay Cutler if you have a chance to add Marcus Mariota.
It does not matter whether you won or lost last week, you need to be aggressive Tuesday when you place your claims or make your bids. Find the dead wood on your roster and get in on the action. This is a time to get rid of second kickers and defenses (if you have not already) so you can stack upside options. If you are in a bind and don’t know who to cut, drop Jim Hackett and myself a tweet and we will give you our quick take.
As always, the percentages listed next to each player is the percent that he is owned in Yahoo! leagues, which tend to be 10-team leagues. If you play in a big format, you’ll want to head over to Rotobahn later in the day when I will be posting our expended waiver wire for big leagues.
Be proactive today!
Marcus Mariota, Titans — 46 percent
He was outstanding in Week 1 with four touchdown passes and he didn’t even run much. That’s going to change going forward. What we learned is the rookie can post a big game without using his feet. As I said in August, Mariota has QB1 upside. He should be a priority add in all leagues. Go get this guy.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals — 65 percent
Palmer is not owned in too many leagues. He’s a weekly starting option, so he should be owned in all leagues. Go get him if you need some more upside at the QB position and you can’t get Mariota.
|Chiefs QB Alex Smith: QBs ‘particular’ about their footballs||05.13.15 at 9:26 am ET|
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said Tuesday that while he has yet to check out the specifics of the Wells Report and Deflategate, he knows that signal-callers can be “particular” when it comes to the state of the football and how it’s broken in.
“As far as breaking a ball in, I’ve never heard a quarterback ever altering the inflation of a football,” he said. “But certainly some quarterbacks prefer brand new balls and some guys prefer them to be worn in a little more. It’s kind of team to team, quarterback to quarterback.”
“I like them right out of the box,” Kansas City backup QB Chase Daniel said. “That’s just how I throw them. That’s how I have my entire life. I just haven’t paid much attention to it.”
Smith and Daniels are just the latest current quarterbacks to weigh in on the situations. Peyton and Eli Manning have acknowledged fellow QB Tom Brady as a friend, but mostly steered clear of any sort of definitive statement. Meanwhile, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick gave a clear defense of Brady via Twitter late last week, saying, “Let it go and let Tom be great.”
|Fantasy Football: Week 6 waiver wire||10.07.14 at 9:52 am ET|
What a difference a week can make, huh? Well, maybe not for Calvin Johnson owners like myself, but for Patriots fans, a week has cured a host of ills. Now it’s time to cure some fantasy football ills. This is a week to really focus on free agency, because things are coming into focus now. The good options are drying up, but you still can get impact talent if you act now, especially in smaller formats.
The ownership percentages are listed for each player. These rates of ownership are based on Yahoo! leagues, which tend to be smaller and more representative of the 10-team leagues most of us play in. Obviously, these numbers are mostly for perspective. What really matters is which players are available in your particular league, and you’ll need to do the legwork on that. If you play in really big leagues, as I tend to do, you should head on over to Rotobahn this afternoon and check out my expanded waiver wire. The expanded edition gives you about twice as many options. To keep pace with all WEEI and Rotobahn fantasy football content, including Sunday chats and The Fantasy Football Hour with my good buddy Jim Hackett, follow me on Twitter.
He’s clearly the guy to go after if you are lucky and he’s still available. With the addition of Odell Beckham, Jr., Manning now has a very nice array of targets. The Giants can create mismatch havoc against most secondaries, and the pass protection has improved as well. And, as I’ve said each of the last few weeks, the schedule is mostly friendly. Manning could post QB1 numbers going forward.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals — 30 percent
He’s been dumped in a lot of leagues, but he may be back this week, and we’ve seen how much the Cardinals need their veteran signal caller. Palmer is past his bye and has really good matchups the rest of the way with a few exceptions. I’m looking to add Palmer in all leagues where I need some QB help.
Alex Smith, Chiefs — 45 percent
There are a lot of good matchups left on the schedule, but be wary of Smith’s bye week. It’s this week. If your QB2 needs are further ahead, Smith makes sense. He’s got a solid weekly floor even if he doesn’t post a lot of huge numbers.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins — 35 percent
His schedule is nothing scary for the next few weeks and he performed well going into Miami’s Week 5 bye. Tannehill’s an option to consider in all formats as a QB2.
|Fantasy Football: Week 5 waiver wire||09.30.14 at 10:57 am ET|
Welcome to the morning after, folks. In the words of John Winger, “and then depression set in.” It was a long weekend for Boston fans. First, they had give begrudging respect to Derek Jeter for three days, which is stomach-turning enough. Then there was Monday night’s debacle in Kansas City. Hopefully Gronk’s late touchdown did something for some of you. Hopefully a few of you listened to me and stashed Jerick McKinnon, who saved my bacon in a few leagues. No matter what your weekend was like, Rotobahn’s here to help pick up the pieces. Let’s get to work.
The ownership percentages are listed for each player. These rates of ownership are based on Yahoo! leagues, which tend to be smaller and more representative of the 10-team leagues most of us play in. Obviously, these numbers are mostly for perspective. What really matters is which players are available in your particular league, and you’ll need to do the legwork on that. If you play in really big leagues, as I tend to do, you should head on over to Rotobahn Monday afternoon and check out my expanded waiver wire. The expanded edition gives you about twice as many options. To keep pace with all WEEI and Rotobahn fantasy football content, including Sunday chats and The Fantasy Football Hour with my good buddy Jim Hackett, follow me on Twitter.
There is some good news. The Week 5 byes are not as painful as last week’s losses. Only Oakland and Miami have the week off. Not too many fantasy studs on those two powerhouses. Oakland doesn’t even have a coach right now after mercifully canning Dennis Allen on Monday night. The rumor mill is spitting out Tony Sparano‘s name as a possible replacement. Yikes.
As I said last week, buy Eli now because the Giants have some solid matchups the rest of the way and they should get rookie WR Odell Beckham Jr. soon — perhaps this weekend in a sweet home matchup with the porous Falcons defense.
Alex Smith, Chiefs — 42 percent
The Chiefs were searching and grinding for a few weeks — trying to get the new offensive line in sync. It would appear that they’ve turned the corner and are back to taking good care of the ground game and of Alex Smith. Smith can help you in most leagues as a matchup play. He’s got a very interesting matchup at San Francisco this week.
Joe Flacco, Ravens — 39 percent
He’s a guy you can throw in there anytime you need him. The Ravens are throwing the ball well now that Gary Kubiak‘s system is beginning to take hold. Flacco can be your backup in any format.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars — 18 percent
He’s a foot-points guy. I love those foot points. Bortles also plays for a team that will be throwing in the fourth quarter almost every single week. The game doesn’t seem too big for the rookie and he can help you as a matchup play or QB2. He’s playable this week in a home matchup against the Steelers, who can’t stop much these days and who do not have Ike Taylor at corner for the foreseeable future.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals — 33 percent
Arizona’s starting quarterback is a viable fantasy play, whether it be Palmer or Drew Stanton. Palmer is the guy worth owning in smaller formats and he could return as soon as this week. HC Bruce Arians has Arizona moving in the right direction. Palmer should be a solid matchup play the rest of the way, though he might not be able to help you this week. His return may be one more week away. We’ll know more once practice reports start coming out.
|Bill Belichick is getting his team ready to face an ‘explosive’ 1-2 punch in Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis||09.24.14 at 9:07 pm ET|
Bill Belichick was paying close attention to the back who picked up the slack.
With Charles sidelined by a high ankle sprain, Knile Davis ran 32 times for 132 yards and a touchdown.
“I think they’re different skill sets, but they do the same things with them so the same plays look different depending on who is carrying the ball,” Belichick said of Charles and Davis. “Davis is strong — they’re both very fast — Davis is strong, 230 pounds, whatever he is and he breaks tackles, he’s got good lower body strength, hard guy to bring down. You see that on some of his kickoff returns from last year, too, where he just runs through arm tackles and all that.
“Charles has good playing strength, too, but he’s more elusive, great quickness, acceleration. They’re different, but they’re both very good. They both can hit the homerun ball. They’ve both got great long speed, they have that in common, but their styles are a little bit different but they’re both very dangerous — strong guys, strong runners.”
If Charles doesn’t go, Belichick will also have to be ready for former Jets tailback Joe McKnight, who chipped in with six catches and 64 yards. There’s also veteran receiver Dwayne Bowe and explosive tight end Travis Kelce.
FOXBORO — Having the best turnover differential in the NFL is something the Patriots have a lot of satisfaction in.
The Patriots defense has forced eight total turnovers in the first three games – six interceptions and two fumbles — and along with two giveaways by the offense, New England is tied for the league-lead in turnover differential at plus six with the Bengals.
“For the defense to get a turnover that can be huge for the offense and it’s something that we take pride in. Get the ball to the offense,” defensive end Chandler Jones said.
The defense’s eight forced turnovers are tied with the Bears for the most in the NFL.
“That is a credit to the defense working together and also credits the coaches and their game plans and play calling,” Jones said. “Coach [Matt] Patricia and Coach [Bill] Belichick do a good job of calling blitzes and when to drop into coverage — things of that nature to confuse the offense a little bit or even the quarterback.”
While Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has thrown three interceptions so far this season, he’s known as being a game-manager and not turning the ball over much – not throwing more than seven interceptions in each of the last three seasons.
Smith is in his 10th season in the league, spending his first seven with San Fransisco, so the Patriots know they will have their work cut out for them Monday Night on the road.
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