Fantasy Football 0

Week 16 RB/TE Start ’em Sit ’em

Here we are, folks! The dream we all dream of. This is our Super Bowl! It all comes down to some good old fashioned trash talk and 16 football games to decide whether or not you’ll be lifting that trophy.

How do you like the new digs? The Fantasy Fanalysts are here to help. Bring on the championship week AND look forward to the off season in preparation for 2019! Don’t forget to use the promo code TOP2 if you sign up for DRAFT! I dipped my toes in for the first time a few weeks back and I have been having a lot of fun!

Let’s talk some RB/TE Starts and Sits!

Running Back: Start ’em

CHRIS CARSON (SEATTLE SEAHAWKS)

Chris Carson has been THE MAN in Seattle. In the last five games, he has averaged a total of 98.4 yards and has scored a touchdown in four out of those five games! Granted, the yards average is slightly skewed by last week’s matchup against the 49ers. In every other week, he was a solid RB2. But, that’s exactly what you want from a guy that you either drafted late OR picked up on waivers!

Now, we have arrived at week 16 and the Seahawks are at home against the Kansas City Chiefs. On the season, the Chiefs are the worst defense against fantasy running backs. 173 yards and 1.3 touchdowns per game! Sometimes, recent weeks might tell a different story. Recent weeks only enforces the trend! Even teams that struggle at RB or were beset with injuries looked wonderful against the Chiefs run defense.

Chris Carson for the win!

KALEN BALLAGE (MIAMI DOLPHINS)

I understand. If you take away the 75 yard touchdown run in week 15, Kalen Ballage stat line would be 11 for 48. Mediocre at best.

I also understand that this is the Championship Week! Are you really going to trust your championship to a relative unknown? Probably not. Let’s be honest, though. You didn’t make it to the championship game having a need at Running Back. This pick is for those redrafters who are still paying attention to their leagues and want to win their consolation matchup. It’s also for the dynasty leagues where Ballage was dropped in week 3 when it was clear that he wasn’t going to be a part of the offense. Go pick up Kalen Ballage!

The Dolphins are at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The last time the Jaguars played an away game, they allowed 1 person to run for 238 yards and score 4 touchdowns. The Jaguars DO NOT CARE when they aren’t at home. This is a glory start and it’s going to feel SO good when you win your matchup because of Kalen Ballage.

Running Back: Sit ’em

JAYLEN SAMUELS (PITTSBURGH STEELERS)

If you’re in a Yahoo league and can start Samuels in your Tight End slot, you should ABSOLUTELY start him. He will be far better than 80% of ALL other tight ends.

Otherwise, stay away. The New Orleans Saints defense has been amazing lately. They have allowed 12 points per game TOTAL in the last 5 weeks. TWELVE POINTS PER GAME!!!! That’s not to the Running Back position. That’s to the entire opposing team!

Here are some scary numbers:

  • Tevin Coleman in week 12 – 8 rushes for 6 yards
  • Peyton Barber in week 13 – 14 rushes for 42 yards
  • Christian McCaffrey in week 15 – 15 rushes for 53 yards. Yes, he still had a good game playing quarterback for a snap and PPR leagues were beneficial.

If you are in a bind, Jaylen Samuels might get you 9 or 10 points. He definitely has a solid floor because Pittsburgh likes to use one running back. But this matchup is the scariest of the week, without a doubt.

ADRIAN PETERSON (WASHINGTON REDSKINS)

75% ineffective in the last 4 games. He was saved by the 90+ yard touchdown run in week 13, otherwise he’d be 100% ineffective. He’s tired and likely isn’t risking severe injury in a losing battle.

This week, the Redskins are playing an away game against the Tennessee Titans. The Redskins could really use a new QB! They might be looking towards a better draft position. I see very little chance of a positive outcome for the Redskins and, in particular, Adrian Peterson. Leave him on your bench OR just drop him all together since he won’t clear fantasy waivers until after his game starts.

Sidebar: Alex Smith’s contract had $71 million in guarantees. Derrius Guice’s infection sounds terrifying. Sorry, Washington. You might be at the bottom of the standings for a few more years.

Tight End: Start ’em

JARED COOK (OAKLAND RAIDERS)

The Raiders actually try when they play on their home field. In addition, they have a winnable matchup against the Denver Broncos. Yes, Denver is favored to win. This IS the Oakland Raiders that we’re talking about.

But, Denver was recently decimated by the Tight End position in week 14 when George Kittle caught 7 passes for 210 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. No, I’m not suggesting that Jared Cook will even sniff those stats. But between his usage and the positive matchup, we’re in the realm of 5 for 60 and a touchdown. Even 5 for 60 WITHOUT the touchdown will be a TE1 day in this wacky position. He’s a good player to have in your lineup this week.

BLAKE JARWIN (DALLAS COWBOYS)

Blake Jarwin is all alone. Geoff Swaim has already been declared out after missing the last 4 games with injury.

If you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of home games. Dallas is playing at home. Icing on the cake, they’re playing the Buccaneers. I will listen to the argument that the Bucs defense has improved since firing their Defensive Coordinator a few weeks ago. Indeed, in the last four weeks, the best Tight End performance against the Bucs was George Kittle in week 14 (6 for 48). The Cowboys are in a fight for their playoff seeding. After taking that brutal defeat at the hands of the Colts last week, they will be coming home with the desire to prove themselves in front of their home crowd. And while there is a new DC in Tampa, it’s the same players. They were beaten before, they can be beaten again.

Blake Jarwin will have a decent game.

Tight End: Sit ’em

VANCE MCDONALD (PITTSBURGH STEELERS)

Above, I wrote about the scary New Orleans Saints in the section about Jaylen Samuels. Copy and Paste here. I would imagine that either Antonio Brown or Juju Smith-Schuster will have a decent game. Jaylen Samuels will likely land in RB3 territory. I just don’t have a lot of hope for a high point total. I really hope that, like most fantasy championship matchups that I’ve seen, your Tight End position is filled with Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, or George Kittle.

For those sitting in the consolation bracket, you might have McDonald on your squad. You can cross your fingers for a lucky touchdown OR you can look elsewhere for a Tight End.

Good luck to each of you in week 16! GO GET THAT CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY! Get those bragging rights. Win your consolation bracket. I truly hope you wake up on the 25th with a special gift of a Fantasy Football Victory!

Here we are, folks! The dream we all dream of. This is our Super Bowl! It all comes down to some good old fashioned trash talk and 16 football games […]

Fantasy Football 0

Week 15 RB/TE Start ’em Sit ’em

There are only two weeks left, unless you’re in a league that oddly includes week 17 as your playoff finals. We are already underway after Damien Williams and Justin Jackson showed what they can do when they are designated as the lead RB for their team. I hope you had either of them in your lineups!

Meanwhile, Travis Kelce’s performance reminds me of the scene in Rocky IV when Rocky finally lands a punch on Ivan Drago that draws blood. Rocky returns to the corner where his trainer shouts, “He’s NOT a machine!”

On the Chargers side, I’ve heard several people talking up Antonio Gates as if he had an incredible night. 4 for 54, folks. It’s okay, but nothing worth bringing up at the water cooler.

Let’s discuss some starts and sits.

Running Back: Start ’em

DALVIN COOK (MINNESOTA VIKINGS)

The Vikings return home, licking their wounds, after being decimated by the Seattle Seahawks. They have fired their “Sean McVay 2.0” OC, John DeFilippo. The lone shining offensive star from that game was Dalvin Cook.

Now, the Vikings are in Minneapolis and they are facing the Miami Dolphins defense who is easily beaten on the ground. It’s quite possible that the Vikings stop trying to make Kirk Cousins a thing and focus on that electrifying piece in their backfield: Dalvin Cook. That dude is absolutely amazing when he’s healthy. Guess what? He’s healthy.

The Dolphins can be exposed on the ground. On the season, they are the 8th worst team against the Running Back position. While they have improved over the past few weeks, it can be explained. The Patriots had to keep up with the Miami offense last week while also suffering an identity crises at Running Back. Are they RBBC? It looks like it.

In week 13, they held LeSean McCoy in check, but allowed Josh Allen to rush for 135 yards. In week 12, Marlon Mack rushed for 85 yards, but it was 5.7 yards per carry.

If Dalvin Cook can touch the ball 15 times on the ground and another 5 times through the air, his big play ability will likely equate to 100 yards and a touchdown, if not more. Those are the kind of numbers that I can get behind.

DOUG MARTIN (OAKLAND RAIDERS)

When do you definitely want to start an Oakland Raiders Running Back in 2018?

  • When they play at home OR
  • When they play against the Cincinnati Bengals

They only get one of those as the Raiders are travelling to Cincinnati to face the Bengals. Defensively, this matchup is a dumpster fire. On the offense, you can safely start your Running Backs. Joe Mixon is going to light up the universe; he’s an auto-start. That brings us to Doug Martin.

Doug Martin has rushed for almost 100 yards and has scored 2 touchdowns in the last two matchups. He is still capable of giving you fantasy value. The Bengals are a perfect foe for your semi-finals roster. The Cincinnati Bengals are the worst team against the Running Back position. In week 13, Philip Lindsay rushed for 157 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. In week 14 (also known as “the week that Austin Ekeler looked tired”), Austin Ekeler rushed for 66 yards and scored a touchdown. These are numbers that you can believe in. Doug Martin will have a good game. If you’re in a really bad pinch or a deeper league, Jalen Richard should also have a decent game.

Running Back: Sit ’em

MARK INGRAM (NEW ORLEANS SAINTS)

Look at Mark Ingram’s performance since returning from suspension. One thing is clear: he is touchdown dependent in order to give you fantasy value. If you are in need of a “swing for the fences” player, this is your man. Keep in mind that he will not be fantasy relevant if he doesn’t score.

It gets worse. The Saints are travelling to Carolina to face the Panthers in a divisional matchup. It takes a special opponent (like the Bengals) for me to have confidence in a Running Back in an away game. To add fuel to this fire, the Panthers and Saints have always put on a show. Even though the Panthers have lost 5 in a row and appear to be falling apart at the seams, they will very likely show up for this divisional game in front of their home crowd who are hungry for a win.

Alvin Kamara is the lead back, Mark Ingram is picking up the scraps. If he scores a touchdown, your week is saved. This week, that is a huge If.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS BACKFIELD

What the heck is going on? Despite a positive rushing matchup against the Dolphins, Tom Brady threw the ball 43 times. The last 3 rushing touchdowns have been scored by James Develin. James Develin? James White had his expected PPR value game against the Vikings in week 13, but almost disappeared in week 14.  Sony Michel is getting the touches, but isn’t earning any value with them. It just hasn’t made sense.

But wait! There’s more! The Patriots travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers. On the season, the Steelers are the 6th best defense against the Running Back position for fantasy. Yes, they are on a 3 week losing streak and have allowed a rushing touchdown in each of their last 6 games. They are still holding the opposing Running Backs to low Yards Per Carry. So, let’s say the Patriots get to the goalline in a short yardage situation. Recent weeks have shown that they will give the ball to James Develin. Are you putting HIM in your starting lineup in the semi-finals? I didn’t think so.

Between the muddled backfield, the negative matchup, the away game, and the vultured touchdowns by James Develin, I just cannot get behind any Patriots Running Backs.

Tight End: Start ’em

KYLE RUDOLPLH (MINNESOTA VIKINGS)

We know he has the ability. The old OC just wasn’t giving him the opportunity. New OC, home game, and a positive matchup against the Dolphins leads me to believe that we will see a better game out of Kyle Rudolph.

I’ve already written about John DeFilippo above. We don’t need to rehash it here. Let’s just say that we could see a bit of a shake-up in who Kirk Cousins targets.

The Dolphins have been beaten by the Tight End position for the last half of the season! There are some obvious results like Gronk in week 14 or Ebron in week 12. But, there have been some other weeks that aren’t so obvious: Michael Roberts in week 7 or Jordan Thomas in week 8. In case those names are unfamiliar, they are from the Lions and Texans, respectively. My point is: You do not need to be a household name Tight End to have a great week against the Miami Dolphins defense.

Kyle Rudolph might even be on the free agent list in your league. If you aren’t fortunate enough to be a Kelce/Ertz/Ebron/Kittle owner and have been streaming the position, this is a great time to pick up Kyle Rudolph.

CJ UZOMAH (CINCINNATI BENGALS)

They’re playing the Raiders. The Oakland Raiders are the worst team against fantasy Tight Ends. CJ Uzomah has received 22 targets in the last 3 games. He will have the opportunity and Oakland knows how to allow production to the position.

Just like I said above, if you aren’t an owner of the big 4, you could do a lot worse than CJ Uzomah. You won’t feel very confident, but at least you’ll have the opportunity to do well.

Tight End: Sit ’em

TREY BURTON (CHICAGO BEARS)

Two weeks ago, I wrote that I had given up on Trey Burton until he proved otherwise. Well, the return of Mitchell Trubisky and the positive matchup against the Rams blinded me. I called Trey Burton a Start. Shame on me. Shame. On. Me. 2 catches for 22 yards.

The Bears might be playing at home this week, but they’re playing against the Green Bay Packers who, for all their faults, are the 3rd best team against fantasy Tight Ends. If you haven’t already, drop Trey Burton. Get that weight off of your shoulders.

Good luck to each of you in week 15! I usually say, “Unless you’re facing me.” However, I had a dreadful fantasy year in 2018. I am in exactly two playoff matchups this week. I guarantee that you aren’t facing me. I can say without any hesitation, “Good luck to you in Week 15!”

There are only two weeks left, unless you’re in a league that oddly includes week 17 as your playoff finals. We are already underway after Damien Williams and Justin Jackson […]

Fantasy Football 0

Week 14 RB/TE Start ’em Sit ’em

Like the rest of the fantasy universe, Derrick Henry was not in my starting lineup. He wasn’t even on my radar for this article. Why? Because he has stunk for the entire season. I wouldn’t have bothered entering him in my Sit ‘Em section because it was obvious.

I’ve heard a report that he was started in approximately 10% of leagues. I’m guessing that more than half of that 10% was on teams who threw in the towel early and walked away from their league leaving the same lineup that was in place in week 6.

If, by chance, you started Derrick Henry on purpose, not only have you likely won your week but you also win my Stupid Brave Award.

Let’s discuss some starts and sits.

Running Back: Start ’em

JUSTIN JACKSON (LOS ANGELES CHARGERS)

In week 13, the Chargers traveled to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is a team that is good and solidly in the playoff hunt. Justin Jackson rushed 8 times for 63 yards and scored a touchdown. This week, the Chargers stay home. The weather is nicer and they’re near the ocean. Oh, I almost forgot, they’re playing against the Bubonic Plague…..oops, I mean Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bengals have lost four games in a row. During that four week stretch, they have allowed almost 1000 yards and exactly 10 touchdowns either on the ground or specifically to the Running Back position. I’ll do the math for you: 250 yards and 2.5 touchdowns per game. In standard leagues (no PPR), that’s 40 points per game. That is a gigantic pie.

“But, what about Austin Ekeler?” says my doubting reader. Here is a direct quote from head coach, Anthony Lynn, “He’s [Austin Ekeler] wearing down a little bit. He’s a core special teams guy for us and he’s played a lot of running back for us. So he’s a little tired. You might see Justin (Jackson) play a little bit more.”

My case is closed. Justin Jackson will be an RB1 this week. I might create a strategy on my DRAFT drafts this week to leave my final RB slot open until the last pick and grab Justin Jackson. (Use the code TOP2 for a special gift for new users.)

JAYLEN SAMUELS (PITTSBURGH STEELERS)

The Steelers do not spread the ball around when it comes to running plays. On the ground, James Conner is responsible for 81% of the Running Back rushing yards (909 out of 1117). When you add in the passing work involving Running Backs, that 81% gets even higher!

Let’s stop pretending that Stevan Ridley will get a share. If Stevan Ridley was good, he’d still be on the Patriots, or the Jets, or the Falcons. Let’s collectively forget the 2012 season when Stevan Ridley was the RB10 overall. Trent Richardson was RB9 that year, are we talking about him anymore?

Jaylen Samuels will get the lion’s share of the running back work against the miserable running defense that is the Oakland Raiders. The Steelers have company in the AFC North and they are surging; the Baltimore Ravens are in the mix and even the Browns are still alive. The Steelers will need every win.

You get bonus points if you’re in a Yahoo league and can start Jaylen Samuels in your Tight End slot. Ridiculous? Without a doubt but, we’re here to win.

Running Back: Sit ’em

MARLON MACK (INDIANAPOLIS COLTS)

This is going to be a tough week for Running Backs who play for the Colts. Well, except maybe Nyheim Hines. The Colts travel to Houston to play the Texans who have won 9 games in a row and have a frightening defensive line. This is no time to be a hero, keep Marlon Mack on your bench.

The Colts will likely be playing from behind. They may have to abandon the run game early on. Marlon Mack is not a big man. He’s 2 inches taller and 10 pounds heavier than Nyheim Hines who most analysts consider a small back. Between his size and the abandonment of the run game, he will not have the opportunity to wear down the Texans defense. Find your points somewhere else.

JOSH ADAMS (PHILADELPHIA EAGLES)

This one is more of a “temper your expectations” call. You’re going to start Josh Adams. He’s clearly the lead back on a team that should be doing much better. Unfortunately, they will be traveling to Dallas to play a Cowboys defense that isn’t very fond of allowing fantasy points to opposing Running Backs. In the last three weeks, the Cowboys faced the Falcons, the Redskins, and the Saints. The running back position for three teams (including the powerhouse Saints), combined, gained just over 300 yards and scored 1 touchdown. That’s less than 13 points per game to the position in non-PPR scoring. Josh Adams gets slightly more than half of the touches for the position, so that equates to about 7.5 points. Does that sound like somebody you want in your playoff roster? I didn’t think so.

Tight End: Start ’em

Sigh, here we go again.

TREY BURTON (CHICAGO BEARS)

Hang on, I just threw up a little in my mouth.

If Mitchell Trubisky starts, Trey Burton should have a good game. The Los Angeles Rams can be beat at the Tight End position. We can likely point to the Rams positive pressure rate even when they aren’t blitzing. This would require the QB to find a quick target. It’s perfect for the Tight End.

Burton was occasionally good with Trubisky, but disappeared with Chase Daniel behind center, so if Trubisky is benched in week 14, DO NOT start Trey Burton.

JARED COOK (OAKLAND RAIDERS)

Who else are they going to target?

At least Oakland is playing at home. They try harder when they play at home and the Steelers CAN be beat through the air.

Tight End: Sit ’em

CHRIS HERNDON (NEW YORK JETS)

The Jets are playing an away game this week. They’re playing against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have allowed the 28th most fantasy points to the Tight End position (5.5 points per game). On the bright side, Herndon doesn’t share a lot of the workload at his position. He gets between 70-80% of the offensive snaps while the other Tight Ends get about 30% each. I suppose you could do worse than Herndon. The matchup is quite scary for me, so I say “Sit him.”

Good luck to each of you in week 14! Unless you’re facing me. In that case, I hope you bought Super Smash Bros Ultimate for your Switch. You’re having so much fun that you forgot to set your lineup!

It’s the playoffs. Yeah, right.

Like the rest of the fantasy universe, Derrick Henry was not in my starting lineup. He wasn’t even on my radar for this article. Why? Because he has stunk for […]

Fantasy Football 0

Week 13 RB/TE Start ’em Sit ’em

The days of my life are passing by much too quickly. I feel like we were drafting just a few weeks ago. Despite our best efforts, time runs wild and most of us are, all too swiftly, girding our loins for playoff battle in week 14. Possibly week 15 in smaller leagues. If you are a friendly and faithful reader, I hope you have already clinched or have an easy path in week 13. If you are my opponent, I hope you lose.

Let’s discuss some starts and sits.

Running Back: Start ’em

Before we move on, let’s pick some low hanging fruit. If you are the owner of Todd Gurley, Christian McCaffrey, Aaron Jones, or Philip Lindsay, Congratulations! You have likely won your week.

LAMAR MILLER (HOUSTON TEXANS)

You cannot deny that the Texans are on fire. After starting the season 0-3, the Texans are now on an eight game winning streak. One of the key pieces in that streak is Lamar Miller. He has scored a touchdown in 3 of his last 5 games. In that same 5 game span, he has only put up one clunker of a performance while playing the Broncos in Denver. The Broncos are better than average against the Running Back position.

We don’t have to worry about a tough defense this week. While the Browns have certainly looked better since the firing of Hue Jackson, they are still being gashed on the ground. In their last 5 games, they have allowed 590 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns. This does not include yards through the air to the Running Back position. (QBs have also been able to score on the ground against the Browns, so fire up your Deshaun Watson shares.)

ROYCE FREEMAN (DENVER BRONCOS)

I dug deep into the well for this one. I’ve already stated that Philip Lindsay is going to win weeks for owners. Against the Bengals, there will be enough production to spread the wealth between both Running Backs. The only cause for concern is that the Broncos are travelling to Cincinnati. Fear not! The Broncos have one of the top 10 jersey sales in the country. I am guessing that the crowd in Cincinnati will be sparse and somewhat Broncos friendly.

Royce Freeman is not a weekly start. He has been largely useless; he normally only provides fantasy value in the weeks where he scores a touchdown. This is a week where he will score a touchdown, though. Folks, the Bengals are really bad. In particular, they are bad against the run. They are the 2nd worst team on the season against the Running Back position. 8 of the last 12 touchdowns scored against the Bengals have been on the ground OR to the running back position. Many of those touchdowns were in short yardage situations. Guess who is stellar in short yardage situations? Royce Freeman.

You likely have better options. But, if you’re in a pinch, this is the player to start.

Running Back: Sit ’em

TEVIN COLEMAN (ATLANTA FALCONS)

What a disappointing season for Falcons fans. As if it weren’t bad enough, the Baltimore Ravens come to town on a hot streak. On the season, the Ravens are the second best against the run. On the season, the Falcons are second to last on the Running Back position. More negative news, the Falcons are trending down and could wind up last by the end of the season.

Sure, Tevin Coleman saved his week 12 by scoring that touchdown against the Saints. Without it, he would have scored 2.3 fantasy points (0.5 ppr).  In the two weeks prior to that, he scored a total of 18 points. One of their opponents was the Cleveland Browns. Read above if you haven’t already, the Browns are not good against the Running Back! If he cannot succeed against bad defenses, why should we believe that he will do well against a good defense? Sit him down! Put him to bed without his pudding.

Side note: He’s not doing himself any favors with his pending free agency. I’m currently glad that all of my dynasty trade offers to get Coleman were rejected earlier this season.

MARLON MACK (INDIANAPOLIS COLTS)

The Colts travel to Jacksonville to face the hapless Jaguars, it’s true. However, the Jaguars are still pretty decent against the run, particularly the Running Back position. They haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown to a Running Back since week 7 against the Texans (Lamar Miller). They allowed two rushing touchdowns last week against the Bills, but one was a QB play and the other was a Wide Receiver!

On the season, the Jags are the best defense against the Running Back position. The last time the Colts faced this running defense, Marlon Mack rushed 12 times for 29 yards. Andrew Luck will be passing the ball. I believe it’s more likely that Nyheim Hines gets a touchdown than Mack.

I haven’t even mentioned the short practice week that Mack has had because of the concussion protocol. It’s just not a good week to start Marlon Mack.

Tight End: Start ’em

JORDAN REED (WASHINGTON REDSKINS)

As much as I touted the Eagles defense against the Tight End position last week, I’m promoting a Tight End who is travelling to Philly. Colt McCoy knows who the best receiver on his team is. It is Jordan Reed. The Eagles secondary is destroyed by injury. Normally, this would help the Wide Receiver position. But the Redskins are not your normal NFL defense. Dealing with injuries of their own, their offense is makeshift. The lone shining light of health? Jordan Reed. (What has the world come to that Jordan Reed is an image of health for his football team?) He will do well this week. Start him and relax.

KYLE RUDOLPH (MINNESOTA VIKINGS)

I’m hesitant to name Kyle Rudolph here because I don’t like suggesting players who aren’t playing at home, much less suggesting two of them! However, Kyle Rudolph is coming off of a decent performance against the Packers. The Packers aren’t bad against the Tight End. This week, the Vikings travel to Foxborough to face the New England Patriots. The Patriots give up 15.6 points per game to the Tight End position and are listed as the fourth worst against the position. With Stefon Diggs still listed as questionable with his knee, the Vikings might be able to exploit that defensive weakness and give Rudolph some targets.

It’s a long shot, but I like it in week 13.

Tight End: Sit ’em

TREY BURTON (CHICAGO BEARS)

He is due for a good game. However, the Bears are starting Chase Daniel for the second week in a row. Last week, against Detroit Lions, Burton caught 4 of Daniel’s passes for 28 yards. 4.8 points (0.5 ppr) is okay for the Tight End position this season, but it will not win your week for you. I could argue that he had 7 targets. That is not a winning argument though:

Player Pass or Catch %
Chase Daniels 73%
Trey Burton 57%

 

Chase Daniel’s pass percentage vs Burton’s catch percentage would indicate that the problem did not lie with the Quarterback in week 12. Recent performance with Mitch Trubisky + last week’s performance against Lions means Trey Burton is on my bench until he proves worthy of a start. I am not rolling the dice this week, not even against the New York Giants.

JIMMY GRAHAM (GREEN BAY PACKERS)

That injured thumb isn’t doing him any favors. This week, the Green Bay Packers are at home against the Arizona Cardinals. Jimmy Graham will not be needed. Aaron Jones is going to enjoy a late Thanksgiving feast. Even if Jimmy Graham was healthy, I believe he would be game scripted out of a good performance.

The Cardinals are actually pretty decent against the Tight End position. This could be due to their weakness against the run. Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken! If you can win by running the ball, keep running the ball! Sorry, Jimmy Graham. Maybe next week?

Good luck to each of you in week 13! Unless you’re facing me. In that case, I hope your weekend to-do list has grown substantially and you neglect your fantasy teams. I am in more “win and you’re in the playoffs” situations than I care to admit. It will be a stressful weekend in the Marc house.

The days of my life are passing by much too quickly. I feel like we were drafting just a few weeks ago. Despite our best efforts, time runs wild and […]

Fantasy Football 0

Week 12 RB/TE Start ’em Sit ’em

Here we are in week 12. Some of our leagues have this week and next week before the playoffs. Some of us might get a bonus week of the regular season. Either way, week 12 is already underway! If you are a faithful and friendly reader,

I sincerely hope you are either facing the Kamara owner OR are lucky enough to have Zeke OR brave enough to have started Dak, Amari Cooper seems to be making quite the impact.

Let’s move on to why you’re here!

Running Back: Start ’em

MATT BREIDA (SAN FRANCISCO 49ers)

Matt Breida put our fears to rest in week 10 when he rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown and also added 4 catches for 31 yards and another touchdown through the air. In half point leagues, that amounted to almost 28 points. Week 11 was a bye week for the 49ers. Even if that week 10 performance didn’t completely calm your worries, the week of rest will.

The 49ers return from their bye week to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs are the 6th worst defense against the run. They have allowed 17 total touchdowns to the Running Back position. That’s the most in the NFL. They have allowed 1286 rushing yards. That’s the most in the NFL. Running Backs succeed when they face Tampa Bay.

You might be concerned that the matchup is an “away” game for the 49ers or that the team just isn’t that good due to the injury plague which is attacking their team. Please do not be concerned. The Bucs defense couldn’t stop a 2 year old in a power wheels car. Even if the 49ers lose the game Breida will score a touchdown.

MARLON MACK (INDIANAPOLIS COLTS)

Mark this day in history. I’ve never suggested a Colts Running Back in this section until today. This was a matchup that I simply couldn’t pass up.

Marlon Mack impressed in week 11 with 17 touches for 69 yards and a touchdown. It might not have lit the world on fire, but it was a sturdy RB2 week for the young Running Back. He is the lead back in Indianapolis gathering 61% of the offensive snaps in week 11. Jordan Wilkins has largely been relegated to Special Teams while Nyheim Hines still has his passing down niche.

As if the position clarity wasn’t enough, the Colts are at home against the Miami Dolphins. Much like the Bucs above, the Dolphins can’t stop the run. They have allowed the most rushing yards per game and are 4th worst against the position. When you combine Mack’s lead role with the opposing defense, you have a recipe for success.

Running Back: Sit ’em

LAMAR MILLER (HOUSTON TEXANS)

I made this decision before hearing the sad news about the passing of the beloved Texans owner, Robert McNair. Teams do strange things after terrible events like that. If you are going to go for the glory play by starting Lamar Miller, proceed with caution.

I know what you’re thinking and can hear the questioning of this decision: “Why is Lamar Miller here in the “sit ’em” list? He is the clear lead back on a winning team! They’re playing at home in week 12. The offense is still clicking even with the loss of the touchdown king, Will Fuller.” Lamar Miller is in this list because they are playing the Tennessee Titans. Sure, the Titans are nothing special as a whole. But their defense is still the 3rd best against Running Backs. Only the Baltimore Ravens have allowed less points to opposing teams over the entire season. Finally, Las Vegas has the over/under for this game at a paltry 41.5. There is only 1 game on the schedule with a lower over/under (I’m looking at you, snoozer Jags vs Bills game). There will not be a cornucopia of points in this game.

Since Miller is the clear lead back and they’re playing at home, we could see a touchdown from him and my sit recommendation is lost. Keep in mind that this is still a divisional matchup and the Titans are easily in the mix for a playoff spot in the relatively weak AFC. At the very least, you’ll need to temper your expectations for Lamar Miller.

RAIDERS BACKFIELD (OAKLAND RAIDERS)

Is Doug Martin healthy? Can Derek Carr back up his claim that he wants to ruin the Oakland Raiders draft position? In week 12, you don’t even have to think about it because………

The Raiders travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens. That alone should scare you away. Why are you still curious? Fine, I’ll explain.

The Ravens have the best defense against the Running Back position. Only the Saints have allowed fewer yards to the position and it’s not by much. To make up for their lack of effort (that’s sarcasm, folks), the Ravens have allowed 2 less touchdowns over the season compared to the Saints.  These stats include passing down work, so you can forget about Jalen Richard having a decent week, too.

This game is going to be a massacre of epic proportions. The Raiders don’t stand a chance. If they rush for more than 50 yards, I’ll eat a Brussel sprout, I won’t fry it either.

Tight End: Start ’em

VANCE MCDONALD (PITTSBURGH STEELERS)

Vance McDonald is a clear red zone threat, lately. And he’s a clutch player; He has caught 75% of his targets in the red zone. He has scored a touchdown in each of his last two games. Meanwhile, the Steelers travel to Denver to play the Broncos. These are the same Broncos that let Antonio Gates be the overall TE1 in week 11. Antonio Gates, readers. Look at your calendars, it’s not 2014 or before. Start Vance McDonald with confidence.

DAVID NJOKU (CLEVELAND BROWNS)

Yes, he’s questionable with a knee injury. If he doesn’t play, I would not recommend starting him in your fantasy league.

But, if he plays, he gets a juicy matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals who have been particularly giving on defense, lately. In particular, they enjoy allowing Tight Ends to get touchdowns from red zone targets (Mark Andrews, Logan Paulsen, Demetrius Harris). It’s easy to forget because the Browns have been somewhat forgettable this season, but David Njoku is 6’4″ tall. His height alone screams “THROW ME THE BALL AND THROW IT HIGH!”

Tight End: Sit ’em

ANTONIO GATES (LOS ANGELES CHARGERS)

(I still almost typed San Diego up there. Habits, am I right?)

Don’t chase the week 11 performance. This game will be the Melvin Gordon/Austin Ekeler show. The Chargers travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals who actually aren’t that bad against the pass. It’s possible that they appear good against the pass because their opponents don’t have to try to pass the ball. They can just plow through the Cardinals using the running game. When you have one of the best Running Backs in the league (Melvin Gordon), you use him.

EVAN ENGRAM (NEW YORK GIANTS)

Against my better judgement, I am including a second “sit” recommendation. This one leaped out at me, though. The Giants travel to Philly. The Eagles are pretty darn good against the Tight End position, allowing only 2 touchdowns to the Tight End position over the ENTIRE season.

In addition, Engram has been largely disappointing this season. The Giants need blockers up front and Engram doesn’t do that. I hope you have another option.

Good luck to each of you in week 12! Unless you’re facing me. In that case, I hope you are still suffering from Turkey and festivity hangover and your lineup still has the Rams and Chiefs players from last week!

Here we are in week 12. Some of our leagues have this week and next week before the playoffs. Some of us might get a bonus week of the regular […]

Fantasy Football 0

Week 11 RB/TE Start ’em Sit ’em

Week 10 surprised us all! Nick Chubb was the top RB for the week. Christian McCaffrey and Ezekial Elliot both had absolutely stellar weeks in difficult matchups. Eric Ebron scored a rushing touchdown (and two more through the air). Finally, Austin Hooper returned for a great week. Too bad he was on your bench.

The beginning of week 11 has been interesting after Thursday nights entertaining game. I sincerely hope you started Aaron Jones, Davante Adams, and Doug Baldwin! Your week is off to a good start, if you did!

And how about the upcoming Monday night game? I think my grandmother could see a snap in this game and walk away with 7.5 fantasy points (PPR, of course). Neither grandmother is with us anymore, so obviously I still believe they could get 7.5 points in that game.

Running Back: Start ’em

Alex Collins (Baltimore Ravens)

The Baltimore Ravens travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals. The same Bengals who have been absolutely skewered by Running Backs all season long. The Running Back position averages 32.8 points when facing the Bengals with almost 1600 total yards and 13 touchdowns. But wait! There’s more!!

Who will be under center on Sunday afternoon? If it’s Joe Flacco, he will be even MORE immobile than he is on a normal Sunday while nursing a hip injury. Necessity will force the Ravens into using their Running Backs. If it’s Robert Griffin III then they will want him controlling the ball. Take away his rookie season SIX years ago and you’re left with a TD:Int ratio that is almost 1:1. Against this Bengal defense, they won’t need him throwing the ball recklessly. Finally (and hopefully), they might go with Lamar Jackson. Again, they will need the youngster to control the ball and utilize the run game. I would love to see this dynamic and exciting QB get a chance against a suspect defense.

No matter who is “throwing” the ball, Alex Collins will have a career day. At worst, he will be an RB1.

Doug Martin (Oakland Raiders)

Speaking of defenses who are weak against the run, the Raiders travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals. Let’s think back to week 5 when the Cardinals let Alfred Morris look like a fantasy relevant Running Back. They have allowed approximately 1500 yards and 13 touchdowns to the Running Back position during this season.

Let’s not mince words, the Raiders are a train wreck. They’re going to lose this game. They are the odds on favorite to secure the 1.01 in the 2019 NFL Draft. HOWEVER, the Cardinals are in the same ballpark when considering team ability this year. The result? A close game filled with LOTS of running back scoring (Hello, David Johnson, and welcome to another stellar game!). Since the Raiders won’t be playing from too far behind, Doug Martin will see his fair share of work. He is averaging 13 attempts and almost 5 yards per run in the last 3 games. Throw in a few passes per game and you have yourself a decent fantasy week.

Running Back: Sit ’em

Jordan Howard (Chicago Bears)

Which Jordan Howard will show up this week? The one who scored 4 touchdowns over 3 games in weeks 7-9? Or the one that ran for 1.9 yards per carry and possibly lost weeks for his fantasy owners in week 10? He is so talented. I am quite confused by his usage. But the Bears are doing well either way, so we’re at that point where we won’t know HOW they will use him.

As if all that wasn’t bad enough for a fantasy week, the Bears are at home against a Minnesota Vikings defense who have been incredibly stingy to all Running Backs not named Alvin Kamara or Todd Gurley. I hope you aren’t going to argue that Jordan Howard is in the same tier as those two. (Psst, he’s not.)

Sit him. I’m sorry that you spent a second or third round pick on him.

Eagles Backfield (Philadelphia Eagles)

Josh Adams is emerging as the best back in Philadelphia, but it’s still a committee. In their last three games, the Eagles have used the three running backs in a 33.3/33.4/33.3 split, with Adams getting that slightly higher number of touches. (For the record, Wendall Smallwood appears to be the passing down back.) Based on this information, we couldn’t really trust one of them specifically in week 11. But wait! There’s more!!

Whether through necessity because they are playing from behind or strength of the opposing defense, Running Backs facing the Saints have not done very well. There are a couple of exceptions (Saquon, Gurley, Latavius), but the Saints have held opposing Running Backs to only a few points. This game won’t be any different. They’re playing in New Orleans and the scoring will likely be high. Both are a recipe for tempered expectations for the Eagles backfield.

Tight End: Start ’em

Vance McDonald (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Throughout the season, the Jaguars have been beaten through the Tight End position, particularly in the red zone. Vance McDonald has been getting a decent target share lately and has normally done well with it. If he can continue to be targeted 6 times per game against this defense who is on a decline, he might find the end zone. And in this 2018 Tight End position for fantasy, that’s all you can really hope for if you don’t own Kelce, Ertz, Kittle, or Ebron. (Let’s be honest though, Touchdowns are the reason Ebron is in the top Tight End discussion.)

Note for 2019, draft one of the top 3 or 4 Tight Ends early or don’t draft one until your last pick. I’d rather spend draft capital on the DEF position at this point. I’m exaggerating there, but Tight Ends are frustrating and almost impossible to predict.

Ricky Seals-Jones (Arizona Cardinals)

Speaking of impossible to predict……

I’m throwing RSJ into the mix because his role in the Cardinals offense has improved since Byron Leftwich took over at OC. His snap counts have increased. In week 10, he was targeted 9 times! And now, we’re reminded of the fact that the Cardinals are facing the Raiders. The Raiders defense is like Oprah: “You get a touchdown! You get a touchdown! You get a touchdown!” You could certainly do worse than selecting RSJ. Kittle is on bye this week, you might be forced into playing Ricky Seals-Jones. You’re allowed to be nervous.

Tight End: Sit ’em

CJ Uzomah (Cincinatti Bengals)

The Bengals are imploding. They just hired Hue Jackson. Finally, they’re facing the Ravens in a divisional battle. There is not much more to say when considering any Bengals pieces in week 11.

On the positive side, AJ Green is out. Therefore, CJ Uzomah could see his targets increase. Plus, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, Tight Ends that I place in the “Sit ’em” category tend to go off and have stellar games.

To sum it up, I hate the Tight End position.

Good luck to each of you in week 11! Unless you’re facing me. In that case, I hope your relatives from out of town have arrived and that you’re spending time with them instead of paying attention to your lineups.

Week 10 surprised us all! Nick Chubb was the top RB for the week. Christian McCaffrey and Ezekial Elliot both had absolutely stellar weeks in difficult matchups. Eric Ebron scored […]