|Fantasy Football: Draftkings values divisional round||01.15.16 at 8:29 am ET|
It’s been a week of loss, with David Bowie and Alan Rickman both leaving us too soon at age 69. Bowie once said, “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” I think that aptly describes the Patriots’ remaining action this season.
With all the injuries and uncertainty, it’s tough to reckon what’s going to happen. That being said, with a potential trip to Denver and then to San Francisco if things break well, it’s not going to be boring by any stretch. It may be a bit ugly at times, but not boring. When you look around the NFL playoffs this week, one thing that you might notice is that a lot of the remaining teams play the run well. Heck, it’s really all of the teams save for Green Bay.
Another thing you will notice is the lack of running backs with name recognition. The list of the injured is a bit mind-boggling.
Yes, a serious dent has been left at the position. And, as I mentioned, the teams remaining handle the run very well as a group. For these reasons, I think you need to be very careful about over-investing in your ground game when you put your lineups together for the divisional round this weekend.
Let’s take a look at the best options available at each position.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals vs. Packers, $6,500
He’s the sixth-ranked quarterback by price this week, but he is the top guy on my board. While there certainly are reasons to start other quarterbacks (differentiation), Palmer is screaming value and upside at his current price.
|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 starts, sits||09.18.15 at 11:20 am ET|
It’s time to take a look at some starts and a few sits for Week 2. As usual, I have made an effort to avoid the calls that anybody in their right mind already would have made. If you want some help with your Week 2 DraftKings lineup, you can download my free worksheet at Rotobahn. I also will be posting my top DraftKings plays right here at WEEI on Saturday. I will tweet the link to that article as soon as it’s posted. Follow @Rotobahn on Twitter to keep pace with all of my fantasy content both here and at my site. It’s all free, so dig in and enjoy.
The WEEI Fantasy Football Hour will be back this Sunday on 93.7, so tune in if you are an early riser. For those who roll out of bed a little later, I will post the link to the show on Twitter so you can listen at a time of your choosing. All right, let’s get into the starts and sits.
Sam Bradford, Eagles vs. Cowboys
I was very concerned about Bradford going into the season. I still am. The thing is, I am very willing to bet on him for 60-minute increments. In short, if you own him, you probably ought to be starting him. He will be one of my recommended DraftKings plays in Saturday’s DraftKings article. The only way Bradford fails this week, for fantasy purposes, is if his team does it all via the ground, which is not entirely out of the question. Apart from that, he should drop very strong numbers on Dallas.
Marcus Mariota, Titans at Browns
As I told you before the draft, I really like this kid. He plays the game with smarts and precision. Will he be a weekly starter this year? I think so. And, if you don’t have a lock starter at quarterback this week, I think you start Mariota and feel good about your chances. Just don’t look for last week’s numbers, because Cleveland is not the pushover that the Buccaneers are. Expect fringe QB1 stats and hope for more. And, if they let him run this week, you could get that.
|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.
|Fantasy Football: Week 1 starts, sits||09.11.15 at 11:11 am ET|
In the afterglow of a Patriots victory, it’s time to look at some starts and sits for Week 1. As always, I’ve tried to avoid the obvious choices and I’ve found some players who could be on the edge of lineups depending on your league’s size and requirements. If you have questions about players not listed in this space, check out my lineup rankings at Rotobahn. I update them every Saturday with a quick take or “skinny” on most of the significant players.
I’ll be back Saturday with a look at this week’s best plays on DraftKings. On Sunday, Jim Hackett and I will host the year’s first regular-season version of the Fantasy Football Hour. We kick off things at 8 a.m. Sunday morning on 93.7. Join us!
If you do not already, follow @Rotobahn on Twitter to keep track of all new content and rankings updates.
Sam Bradford, Eagles at Falcons
Yes, I have my doubts about Bradford completing a season. Heck, I have my doubts about Bradford getting through September. Still, I’m willing to bet on him for 60 minutes in a sweet matchup. Bradford should post QB1 numbers in all formats this week. He’s in a great offense, and the Falcons have a lot to prove defensively.
Cam Newton, Panthers at Jaguars
Newton has issues with his receivers after the loss of Kelvin Benjamin for the season, but I like him in this matchup. The Jaguars are nothing special defensively, and Newton will take yards with his feet as he always does. By the end of the day, the numbers should be there. He can start for you this week if you need him.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals vs. Saints
He’s at home and it’s a solid matchup. Like Bradford, Palmer is a shaky bet to remain healthy for 16 games, but I like his chances on Sunday in a game that should feature a fair amount of points. The Cardinals should have their big three receivers healthy and ready to go, but they have the depth to play without Michael Floyd (hand) if need be. Palmer can start for you in 12-team leagues and give you QB1-type production.
|Who will be the next over-35 quarterback to win a Super Bowl?||05.26.15 at 11:16 am ET|
Last season, Tom Brady entered into select company on a couple of levels. He wasn’t only the third quarterback to win four Super Bowls as a starter, joining Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw — he became the fifth quarterback to win a Super Bowl after his 35th birthday, joining Johnny Unitas, Roger Staubach, Jim Plunkett and John Elway.
In truth, this could be considered a pretty good time to be an older quarterback. This season, six projected starters will be 35 or older (Peyton Manning, Brady, Drew Brees, Josh McCown, Carson Palmer and Tony Romo), and while it’s early to handicap the field, it seems to be a safe bet that at least four of them will make the postseason. But which one of them has the best chance of joining Brady in that exclusive company and being able to boast of winning a ring after his 35th birthday?
Here’s a look at the field:
Peyton Manning: Despite the fact there was talk he wouldn’t return for an 18th season, Manning is back in camp with the Broncos. After seeing how he struggled to the finish line last year with Denver, there are questions about his health, as well as a few members of his receiving corps. At 39, he’s slated to be the oldest position player in the league this season, and if he wins a Super Bowl this year with the Broncos, he’d be the oldest quarterback in NFL history to win a title.
Drew Brees: The Saints’ signal-caller turned 36 in January, and while he’s talked about playing into his 40s, he shown little sign of slowing down. He led the NFL in several major passing categories in 2014, including passing yards (4,952, first), completed passes (456, first) and passing yards per game (309.5). Despite the fact that New Orleans was 7-9 last season and underwent some serious personnel changes in the offseason, as long as he stays healthy, Brees will certainly be able to keep the Saints competitive for the foreseeable future.
Josh McCown: Truthfully, we’re just including him on this list because he’s become the default starter for the Browns this season. McCown, who will turn 36 in July, has had some nice moments for the six other teams he’s played for over the course of his career, but at this stage with Cleveland, is a longshot at best to become the next plus-35 quarterback to win a title.
Carson Palmer: The former Bengal, who will turn 36 in December, was looking good as a possible darkhorse last season, as he led the Cardinals to a 6-0 start. Then, he wrecked his knee and had to watch the rest of the season from the sidelines. If he stays healthy this year, it’s reasonable to think that Arizona has progressed to a point where it can be a serious playoff threat in the NFC West.
Tony Romo: Well, he’s certainly not lacking for confidence when it comes to the 2015 season. The Cowboys quarterback, who celebrated his 35th birthday last month, was able to get the first playoff win of his career last year against the Eagles, and if a catch is truly a catch, then there’s the very real chance that Dallas pulls the upset on Green Bay in the divisional playoffs and is going against the Seahawks in the NFC title game. If the Cowboys can keep the running game moving after losing DeMarco Murray and Romo is truly over any past late-season or playoff meltdowns, then Romo has a chance to join fellow Cowboy Staubach and the rest of the over-35 crowd that took home a title.
|Fantasy Football: Week 10 waiver wire||11.04.14 at 9:58 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 10 waiver wire. We’re knee deep in the bye week crunch and I am sure many of you are in win-now mode. Let’s see what we can do to help. Based on the ownership rates on Yahoo!, there’s significant hope because I see big names available in most small to midsized leagues. As always, if you play in a deep format, head on over to Rotobahn later today for my expanded waiver wire. I’ll have more options at all the positions plus some recommendations for defensive pickups and even a kicker or two.
As always, 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.
Mark Sanchez, Eagles — 5 percent
This is the obvious move and I suggest you make the ex-Jet a priority this week if you have any QB needs. If it helps, think of it as drafting Chip Kelly’s quarterback rather than Mark Sanchez. As mediocre as the former Trojan has been at times, he’s a functional NFL QB and the Eagles offense is a fabulous fantasy platform.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals — 61 percent
He’s been consistent and his surrounding talent is now fully healthy. Palmer can help you as a weekly starter in most leagues, so go get him if he is available. Arizona hosts St. Louis this week.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins — 57 percent
He’s past his bye and posting good numbers most weeks. Tannehill also has a solid cast of developing weapons like our guy Jarvis Landry. Tannehill does have a relatively weak matchup in Week 10 at Detroit — the good news is he’ll have to throw the ball.
Kyle Orton, Bills — 9 percent
He’s been good so far and he can help you during the bye weeks as a solid stop-gap option. He has weapons to work with — primarily rookie sensation Sammy Watkins, who has been unleashed by the veteran quarterback in recent weeks.
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