|Fantasy Football: Week 3 waiver wire||09.22.15 at 10:13 am ET|
The waiver wire is pretty well loaded right now, especially at running back. The time to stock up on backs who can help you throughout the 16 game schedule is today. They will be picked off soon enough, so get some while you can. The key is to pick the back who suits your needs and scoring format. If you can play it long-term, then Matt Jones and David Johnson are the names to go after. If you need immediate help, then Devonta Freeman or Dion Lewis may be the guy. If you are worried about Eddie Lacy’s availability for the next few weeks, then James Starks is a good option. If you own C.J. Anderson, you can protect your flank by adding Ronnie Hillman.
I will be back later this week with a podcast and Friday we’ll have our usual starts and sits. Did you miss the Fantasy Football Hour on Sunday? Check it out and join us this Sunday at 8 a.m. on 93.7 WEEI if you are an early riser. I will have my Week 3 DraftKings worksheet posted on Wednesday at Rotobahn and I will be posting an expanded waiver wire this afternoon for those of you who play in large formats. To keep pace with all of my fantasy football content, follow @Rotobahn on Twitter.
Tyrod Taylor, Bills — 15 percent
He looked shaky at times and brilliant at others, but there are two major things working in Taylor’s favor in terms of fantasy value. First, he is a multi-threat quarterback with loads of talent around him. Second, he’s pretty well entrenched as the starter. He would have to implode to lose his job to E.J. Manuel or Matt Cassel. Taylor is Rex Ryan‘s guy. He’s a viable start on most weeks for as long as he has the job and is healthy. A must-add guy in big leagues and a solution for those who just lost Tony Romo.
Andy Dalton, Bengals — 30 percent
He’s playing solid football and you can’t hope for much more than that with Dalton. The thing is, with the weapons around him, decent football leads to very solid fantasy stats. Dalton can be a starter for you when you need him. He’s a streaming consideration in smaller leagues and a worthy QB2 in deeper leagues.
|Andy Dalton on Tom Brady and Deflategate: ‘I don’t know what to expect’||07.12.15 at 8:58 pm ET|
Speaking to WEEI.com Sunday after smashing two home runs in the celebrity All-Star softball game, the Bengals quarterback said it’s hard to guess what NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will do when he hands down his decision on Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate.
“I don’t know what to expect,” Dalton said. “I don’t know what all went on in those meetings so I’m going to let the league and his side handle all that.”
While other quarterbacks are relaxing and using the summer to recharge their batteries, Dalton said he sympathizes with Brady because it’s an unusual distraction he has to deal with in the offseason.
“For him, it’s another thing he has to think about right now,” Dalton said. “Hopefully at the end of this, he won’t have to worry about this anymore.”
Dalton has led the Bengals to the playoffs in each of his four seasons in the NFL but has lost in the first round each time. This past season, Dalton and the Bengals were 3-0 and the 2-2 Patriots were coming off a 41-14 loss in Kansas City. The 43-17 thumping on Oct. 5 at Gillette Stadium by a fired-up Brady left an impression on Dalton, as the Patriots used the meeting as a springboard to fourth Super Bowl title.
Dalton said Sunday it would be great to get another chance to face Brady. If that were to happen, it would be in the AFC playoffs since the Bengals are not on the Patriots’ schedule this season.
“It’d be great,” Dalton said. “He’s obviously a good player and they’re a good team. But you have to play those types of teams if you want to get where you want to go.”
As for his two softball home runs Sunday?
“It’s a lot of fun,” Dalton said. “It’s fun to be out here with everybody. You get to play a softball game. It’s pretty cool.”
|Colts overwhelm shorthanded Bengals, advance to play Broncos||01.04.15 at 4:10 pm ET|
The story remains the same.
For the fourth straight season, the Cincinnati Bengals reach the playoffs and for a fourth straight season, they are one-and-done.
Andrew Luck threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief and Adam Vinatieri kicked four field goals as the Indianapolis Colts beat the Bengals, 26-10, in an AFC wildcard game Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Colts advance to play Peyton Manning and the Broncos in the AFC divisional round next Sunday at Sports Authority Field in Denver. It will be the first time Manning has faced his former team in the playoffs.
Luck finished 31-of-44 for 376 yards for the Colts, who outgained the Bengals, 482-254.
The Colts took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 2-yard run by Boom Herron but the Bengals answered with their only touchdown of the day, a one-yard run from Jeremy Hill. Vinatieri hit two field goals to put the Colts up, 13-7, as the Bengals defense held Luck without a TD in the red zone.
The Bengals defense then gave their overwhelmed quarterback a fighting chance at halftime. Darqueze Dennard forced a turnover from Herron and converted it into a 57-yard field goal from Mike Nugent with 10 seconds left in the first half, closing the Indianapolis lead to 13-10 at the break.
But Dalton, who finished 18-of-35 for 155 yards, went three-and-out on his first three possessions of the second half, including the opening possession of the half when the Bengals had a chance at momentum. Luck found Moncrief on 36-yard connection in the third quarter and Vinatieri added two more field goals.
The remarkable losing culture continues with the Bengals. Their head coach Marvin Lewis falls to 0-6 in the playoffs. Dalton is now 0-4. And they haven’t won a playoff game since Jan. 1991, a string of seven straight losses in the postseason.
The Bengals have also never won a road playoff game, falling to 0-7 all time.
|Fantasy Football: Week 15 starts, sits||12.12.14 at 10:38 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 15 starts and sits! It’s high-stakes fantasy football in all leagues this week. A loss means a spot in the consolation round next weekend while a win earns you a trip to the bowl game … unless you play in a league that uses Week 17 (bad idea) for its big game. I’ve done my best to find some good talent that is not too obvious or obscure. I mean, if you have an elite quarterback, you don’t need me to tell you to start him. If you are looking for advice on players not listed in this space, you can check out my full lineup rankings over at Rotobahn. They are comprehensive and they are free of cost or obligation.
Don’t forget to tune in Sunday morning for another episode of the Fantasy Football Hour with my co-host Jim Hackett. If you have last-minute lineup concerns, you should check out my Sunday chat. It takes place right here at WEEI.com and it runs from 11 a.m. to noon.
If you want to keep track of all our fantasy football content, both here and at Rotobahn, follow me on Twitter. I send out links to all fresh articles and chats as well.
Jay Cutler, Bears vs. Saints
He’s got QB1 upside in all formats, but he’s always a potential adventure, and I am sure some of the Cutler owners out there are concerned about the loss of Brandon Marshall. It’s certainly not a positive, but the Bears have enough depth at the skill positions to weather the storm. I expect new starter Marquess Wilson to perform well, and Cutler still has Alshon Jefferey, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte to work with. The Bears’ starter can help you. He’s my 11th-ranked QB this week.
Mark Sanchez, Eagles vs. Cowboys
I am sure that last week scared some people off of Sanchez as a fantasy option. Even by my own math, there are about 12 options that I would rather use, but if Sanchez is your highest-ranked option, you need not worry too much. He’s more than capable of posting QB1-caliber numbers this week at home against Dallas. Collectively, the Eagles receivers are more talented than the Cowboys defensive backs.
He’s not a lock for a great performance, but he’s a viable play this week, and Odell Beckham gives him a weapon potent enough to score from any spot on the gridiron. Manning can help you this week if you need a quarterback in any league. You throw to beat Washington, and I suspect that is what the Giants will do … throw a lot and win.
If you are looking for a lock starter, then Manziel can’t help you. Guys making their first NFL start will always be a bit unpredictable, but there is a place for Manziel in a lot of lineups. I know I will have him active in a few leagues this weekend on teams where I have been streaming my quarterback all season long. To me, Manziel and his foot-point potential offer a higher floor and ceiling than most of the other streaming options such as Ryan Fitzpatrick, Joe Flacco or Kyle Orton. He should be good for decent numbers and has plenty of upside because he can score for you as a runner or a passer. It’s Johnny Football time, and he’s playable if you need him.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins at Patriots
New England is a tough matchup for Tannehill on paper. It goes something like this: The Patriots are outstanding at funneling the underneath routes to the middle of the field, which should limit the Dolphins in terms of moving the chains. The deep game is limited by Tannehill himself, as his deep-ball accuracy has been exceedingly poor. I’m not touching the Dolphins passing game this weekend if I can avoid it.
Andy Dalton, Bengals at Browns
He’s a one-trick pony right now going up against a deep defense that can handle Dalton’s single trick (A.J. Green) while slowing down the running game. Dalton will need to play well above average to post good numbers here, and I am not betting on that in such a crucial situation.
|Adam Schefter on MFB: ‘If you’re not going to give [Tom Brady] an A-minus, I don’t know who in football deserves an A’||11.07.14 at 1:28 pm ET|
ESPN’s Adam Schefter made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss Tom Brady‘s grade heading into the bye week and other NFL news. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
WEEI.com’s Chris Price graded Brady with a B-minus through Week 9. Schefter said that’s grading the QB very tough.
“I would say an A-minus,” Schefter said. “And I mark him down from the A just because he struggled early on, the Patriots struggled early on, and it wasn’t very Patriot- or Tom Brady-like. But over the last four or five weeks, he’s arguably been the single best player in the entire league, right? They’re sitting there where they are because he’s been so good. So, no he was not perfect and they still have some work to do, but he was mighty impressive over the last month or so.”
Added Schefter: “To me, it’s a case where at the very least he gets a B-plus, probably gets an A-minus. Look, if you’re not going to give him an A-minus, I don’t know who in football deserves an A.”
While Brady has shined of late, the quarterback situation in Cincinnati is more concerning. Andy Dalton was historically bad in the Bengals’ Thursday night loss to the Browns, completing just 10-of-33 passes for 86 yards with three interceptions, two sacks and a passer rating of 2.
“Last night was one of the worst quarterback performances I’ve seen in a long time. I think anyone would agree that it was one of the worst performances they’ve seen in a long time,” Schefter said. “He had lowest completion percentage in Bengals franchise history for a single game. And if you watched it, there was almost never — almost never — any hope that anything was going to go the Bengals’ way. It was, it was, wow, I mean, again, it was a startling performance on a number of levels, not for good reasons.”
NBC NFL analyst Rodney Harrison joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday to discuss Thursday night’s Bengals-Browns game and the state of the Patriots as the team goes into its bye week. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
The Bengals, playing at home against their AFC North rival, struggled all night during a 24-3 loss. Quarterback Andy Dalton completed just 10 passes for 86 yards and threw three interceptions. It was the fifth-worst statistical game for a quarterback since 1960.
Said Harrison: “First of all, if I was a member of that organization, I don’t know if I would’ve went on a limb and paid [Dalton] just based off of everything that’s happening in prime-time games as well as in the playoffs. But everyone acts like it’s a surprise of what’s going on with Andy Dalton and inconsistent play. Marvin Lewis, he has to take a big responsibility, but that’s something we can talk about later. But Andy Dalton, just his performances, the inconsistencies, and we’ve seen it from this team this entire year from the Patriots and the Bears and from the Indianapolis Colts shutting them out. From the tie with Carolina to last night, it’s just pathetic.”
Continued Harrison: “You look at Marvin Lewis, and I see this team last week, he was smiling, he was enjoying the victory. But they’ve been so inconsistent, and part of that is the lack of preparation with the players.”
While the Bengals battle their own problems, the Browns have moved to 6-3 and into a first-place tie in the AFC North.
“I don’t believe in the Browns like a lot of people,” Harrison said. “It’s easy to look at a team’s record and jump on the bandwagon. Just last week, or was it the week before, where they lost to Jacksonville, then everybody kind of jumped off the Browns. Then all of a sudden they’re back. Cincinnati, it’s one of those teams that’s hot and cold. I just don’t believe in the Browns right now. I like what they’re doing, I think Mike Pettine, I mean, he’s probably on pace to be Coach of the Year, not Bruce Arians. But I look at that team still far, far away now.”
|Fantasy Football: Week 5 starts, sits||10.03.14 at 8:59 am ET|
I’ll get to the starts and sits in a second, but I have to say that if the NFL wants to keep having Thursday night football, could they have both teams agree to play?
It’s now two weeks in a row that one team showed up and mopped the field with what looked like a JV unit. It seems like we keep getting low-quality football on Thursdays and it’s almost certainly related to the short week of preparation. And, in an era where player safety is supposedly of paramount concern, what’s the rationale for the short week? Not to mention that Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are about as compelling as another Derek Jeter retrospective. I never thought I would miss Mike Mayock.
So who do we want in our Week 5 lineups this weekend? Let’s endeavor to find out. As usual, I have avoided the exceedingly obvious choices. The most obvious selection below probably is Reggie Bush, who is included because his Week 5 situation is atypical. If the player or players that you want feedback on are not listed here, consult my full lineup rankings at Rotobahn. If you still have unanswered questions on Sunday, then head over to our chat, which starts at 11 a.m. every Sunday during fantasy football season. And, don’t forget to check out The Fantasy Football Hour. It airs each Sunday morning starting at 6:30 a.m., and you can listen to a tape of the show right here on WEEI.com if you are not an early riser.
To keep track of all our fantasy football content both here and at Rotobahn, follow us on Twitter.
He gets Odell Beckham, Jr. back this week, and they have righted the ship lately even without the highly regarded rookie. It’s a sweet home matchup with the Falcons, who can score the ball and who aid others in doing the same. Fire up all your Giants skill players.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Jaguars
He’s playing well, and this matchup is a slam dunk. Big Ben is a solid QB1 option with a cast of healthy targets led by scorching-hot receiver Antonio Brown.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars vs. Vikings
He should be playing from behind for much of the game, and we like the way he stays cool under pressure. This is crucial in Jacksonville, where quarterbacks face constant pressure. The good thing about Bortles is that he’s a rugged dude who gets you points with both his arm and his feet. If you need an option in a deep league, he can help you.
Andy Dalton, Bengals at Patriots
He’s playable in big formats, but I am not loving him on the road against a Patriots defense that projects to be fired up and ready to go. The Bengals are likely to be without Marvin Jones again after the tall receiver rolled his ankle in practice this week. Jones was supposed to return and bolster the Cincinnati receiving corps, but he’ll be limited if he can play. I see this game as a ground battle, so be careful with Dalton in smaller formats. You probably have better options.
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