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Coach’s Kid & Point Shaver

September 17, 2009 Leave a comment

The “Coach’s Kid” is a player who most people would never expect to do well but ends up turning in a good game. If you put him in your lineup, people will ask: Why is that guy even in the lineup? He is terrible. Maybe he is the coach’s kid.

This week, the “Coach’s Kid” is RB Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG) @ DAL. Bradshaw had a respectable showing in week 1 (71 total yards on 15 touches), and now he is up against a DAL team that let the RBBC in TB run all over them (31 carries for 174 yards and 2 TDs). I think both RB Brandon Jacobs and Bradshaw will have solid games, as NYG will look to run the ball quite a bit against their division foe.

The “Point Shaver” is a good player who, for some unknown reason, fails to perform this week. Much like a stud basketball player mightmiss a few free throws at the end of a meaningless game to put some extra cash in his pocket.

This week, the “Point Shaver” is RB Matt Forte (CHI) vs. PIT. Do you see a trend here? Last week, I picked a RB who was playing against PIT. Basically, any RB that is playing against PIT is going to disappoint. And Forte disappointed last week against GB. So he will have a tough time against PIT this week.

How did I do last week? I suggested sitting RB Chris Johnson, who managed just 6.8 points. And I recommended starting RB Mike Bell, who put up 143 yards, but also lost a fumble, so he had 12.3 points. I call those both wins for me.

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Yes… No… Maybe?

September 17, 2009 Leave a comment

“Yes… No… Maybe?” is my version of the start-sit post. For the most part, I avoided the obvious (i.e. “Start Adrian Peterson and Drew Brees!”) and tried to focus on the fringe players. Beginning next week, I will recap how I did the previous week. So, eventually, when it turns out I am wrong all the time, you can pull a Costanza and just do the opposite.

And, just in case you are confused by the obvious nature of the post, here is a key:

Yes = Start these players. They have a high likelihood of performing well.
No = Sit these players. The risk is too high that they will struggle.
Maybe = Start these guys if you do not have better options. They could do well. Or they could fail.

Yes

QB Trent Edwards (BUF) vs. TB: Last week, QB Tony Romo put up a career-high in passing yards against TB. I doubt Edwards will replicate that effort, but he should have a good game. He has the weapons and TB is vulnerable.

RB Ray Rice (BAL) @ SD: OAK was able to push the SD DL around last week and managed to put up some rushing yards. BAL is a better running team, so Rice should get plenty of work. RB Willis McGahee and RB LeRon McClain could steal his TDs, but that is no reason not to use him. He should have around 100 total yards again.

RB Fred Jackson (BUF) vs. TB: Jackson did very well last week in place of suspended RB Marshawn Lynch, and he should have another solid outing against TB, who is not nearly as strong on DEF as most people think.

RB Clinton Portis (WAS) vs. STL: Portis is probably a must-start guy each week, but there are rumors that hsi touches are going to be limited and RB Ladell Betts is going to get more work. But RB Julius Jones went nuts on STL last week, so Portis should have a big day.

WR Louis Murphy (OAK) vs. KC: Yes, I know he has the fat caveman throwing him the ball. But there are just not many other options in OAK outside of TE Zach Miller (here’s a free one: Start Miller, too). Murphy was inches away from scoring 2 TDs last week and should have another good day against a KC pass DEF that struggles.

NO

QB Jay Cutler (CHI) vs. PIT: I doubt Cutler wil blow up and have 4 INTs again — although it would be awesome if he did — but I would consider other options this week. PIT is very good on DEF and could give him troubles, just like GB did with their version of the 3-4.

QB Matt Schaub (HOU) @ TEN: Schaub struggled last week against NYJ, and TEN is just as good or better than NYJ against the pass. TEN does not have a shutdown CB like NYJ has in CB Darrelle Revis, but I think they will contain Schaub enough to make him bench-worthy. Plus, I think his ankle is still bothering him.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson (SD) vs. BAL: LT is banked up with an ankle injury and is expected to be a game-time decision. Even if he does play, I have very little confidence that he will have a good day against the BAL DEF.

RB Steve Slaton (HOU) @ TEN: This was a tough one. Partly becuase I have him in one of my leagues. But also because, last year, he was the only RB to put up over 100 yards rushing on TEN. And he did it twice. So he is a lock to have a good game again, right? I wish. I think he will struggle. He is a borderline “no/maybe” though. Start him if you are really desperate.

WR Devin Hester (CHI) vs. PIT: But for one blown coverage last week in the GB game, Hester did nothing. I do not think PIT will blow coverage and let him get behind them, even without SS Troy Polomalu.

MAYBE

RB Pierre Thomas (NO) @ PHI: Thomas claims to be healthy and ready to go. If this is true, he should get enough work against PHI to make him worthy of a start. I think RB Mike Bell will continue to get some reps as they ease Thomas back in, but Thomas will be the man once he is 100%.

RB Darren Sproles (SD) vs. BAL: I am not sure why I hate Sproles. I was not high on him coming into this year. And now, even with LT hurt, I am still not all that high on him. He is very involved in the passing game, which is great. But he simply is not an every-down RB. However, with LT out, he makes a good start if you do not have other options. But I think BAL will do a better job of containing him than OAK did.

RB Kevin Smith (DET) vs. MIN: Smith could have an okay day, because he is involved in the passing game. And that is the only reason he is a “maybe” and not a “no”. MIN is just too stout against the run. But this has “trap game” written all over it… MIN has all the hype, and DET has not won a game in a long time. Who knows a good bookie? I just got paid…

RB Willie Parker (PIT) @ CHI: I am not a fan of FWP this year. He looked very marginal in week 1. And the PIT OL is not great. But CHI is without MLB Brian Urlacher, which makes him slightly more attractive.

WR Laurent Robinson (STL) @ WAS: Robinson had a solid week 1 and led the team in targets. And he had a couple red zone looks. STL is gonna be losing so they will have to pass. Which makes him a sneaky WR3 play this week if you need help.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Or, if you have other start-sit dilemmas, leave a comment and I will respond.

[Pre]Week 1 Watch List

September 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Here are some guys to keep an eye on as the season starts:

QB Mark Sanchez (NYJ): Will he follow in the footsteps of QB Matt Ryan and post respectable numbers? Or will he struggle and sit on the waiver wire all year?

QB Matt Stafford (DET): Stafford was (not surprisingly) named the starter over QB Daunte Culpepper. Although the DET OL is not great, Stafford does have WR Calvin Johnson to throw the ball to. But I suspect he will also throw the ball to the other team quite a few times.

RB James Davis (CLE): Davis is available in many leagues, and could get a significant amount of touches in CLE. RB Jamal Lewis will likely start the season at RB, but I expect Davis to get some carries and eventually take over.

RB Willie Parker (PIT): Allegedly, he is the starter, the full-time RB, and the goal line back. Does any of this matter? It could. FWP is on the downside of his career, but he is not quite done yet. The PIT OL is suspect, but they do like to run the ball. If FWP can stay healthy, he is a great value.

RB Michael Bush (OAK): Bush is a very talented RB, but is stuck in a RBBC in OAK with RB Darren McFadden and RB Justin Fargas. If Bush could get more touches, he could be productive. But we will have to wait and see how they use him.

RB Jamaal Charles (KC): Many expect a (slight) resurgence of RB Larry Johnson this season. Which could happen. But given his past, I am not all that confident. Which means Charles could be in a position to get some extra touches. Especially if KC is losing and has to throw the ball often.

WR Chris Henry (CIN): He caught a TD in each preseason game. I know it is only preseason, but I am excited about Henry. Let’s see what he can do when it counts.

WR Marko Mitchell (WAS): I wrote about this super-duper-hella-deep sleeper a week or so ago. And he has not shaken that status yet. But he could end up being productive, if the other WRs in WAS cannot get the job done. Keep an eye on him as the season goes along.

TE Anthony Fasano (MIA): Fasano had a solid year in 2008, and now he is no longer sharing time with TE David Martin, who was placed on IR. He could increase his yardage totals, although I would be surprised if he matched or exceeded last year’s TD total.

TE Jermichael Finley (GB): Finley was a focal point of the GB offense in the preseason. But he is still listed as the backup behind TE Donald Lee. Either way, the guy is super-talented and creates mismatches when he is in the game. So I expect GB will find ways to get him involved.

Coach’s Kid and Point Shaver

September 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Each week, I will write (new) a post called “Coach’s Kid and Point Shaver” that will highlight two players:

(1) The Coach’s Kid — This is a guy who is usually buried on the bench because he has no reason to be in your starting lineup. But this week, you decide to play him. And when he appears in your lineup, everyone will look around and ask, “What is he doing in the lineup? He must be the coach’s kid… What other explanation is there?”

(2) The Point Shaver — This is a player who should perform very well. He has the talent and the skills. And everyone expects him to showcase his talent. But for some unknown reason, he fails to meet expectations. Keep an eye out for shady characters lurking in the shadows. And try to figure out what you are going to tell your wife when she asks where all your money went.

So, here are my picks for Week 1.

Week 1 Coach’s Kid: A couple years ago, RB Mike Bell was in DEN. One RB in a line of many who had temporary success, only to quickly disappear into obscurity. But he resurfaced in NO. And with RB Pierre Thomas nursing a knee injury, Bell looks to get a bunch of touches. And, even better yet, he will get all these touches against DET. Who, by the way, is still terrible. Put Bell in your lineup, like a proud daddy would put his lanky, uncoordinated kid on the field.

Week 1 Point Shaver: I expect RB Chris Johnson to have a very big year in TEN. Unfortunately, he starts out his soon-to-be-big-year against PIT. Who, by the way, is still very good on defense. Johnson will get a bunch of touches, but could struggle to put up too many yards. And I expect the TEN-PIT matchup to be somewhat low-scoring. I have a hard time advising you to bench Johnson, but you should lower your expectations.

Week 1 Rankings

September 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Week 1 rankings are posted. They are a little early. But I am leaving for vacation and wanted to make sure I got them posted.

Check them out.

QB Rankings

RB Rankings

WR Rankings

TE Rankings

Week 16: Start/Sit (Thursday Edition)

December 17, 2008 Leave a comment

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I was very busy preparing for an Arbitration (stupid “job”) and I am leaving tomorrow for the holidays, so needless to say, Fantasy Funk took a backseat… But I thought I would throw something together for the Thursday night game.

Colts @ Jaguars

START:

Peyton Manning: He is playing at a very high level.

Dominic Rhodes: Should fill in for Addai and play well against a suspect defense.

Reggie Wayne: Has not produced as expected lately, but he is a must-start.

Dallas Clark: Do not expect numbers like last week, but he is almost always worth a start.

Maurice Jones-Drew: Fred Taylor is out, so MJD will get all the work.

SIT:

Joseph Addai: He is still beat up and Rhodes is out-producing him. Officially, he is listed as “questionable”.

Marvin Harrison: If you are still playing at this point in the season, you should have better options. And he is listed on the injury report as “questionable”.  UPDATE: Harrison did not make the trip to Jacksonville, so he is out.

Anthony Gonzalez: See Harrison, Marvin. UPDATE: With Harrison out, Gonzalez makes a better play. But I still do not expect much from him.

David Garrard: The Colts are pretty solid against the pass, despite last week. And Garrard does not have Calvin Johnson to throw to.

Fred Taylor: He is on IR. So at least I am guaranteed to get one right.

Dennis Northcutt: The Packers made him look good. The Colts will not allow him to repeat last week’s surprise performance. Although, if you are desperate, I suppose someone in Jacksonville has to catch the ball.

Week 14: Sit

December 4, 2008 Leave a comment

Here are some players who have less-than-ideal matchups. I would probably sit these guys, unless you have no other (reasonable) options.

QB David Garrard (JAX) @ CHI: Chicago’s pass defense is not that great, but Garrard has just been too inconsistent this year.

QB Daunte Culpepper (DET) vs. MIN: Not even against his former team… Although he did have his best game last year (when he played for the Raiders) against the Dolphins…

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (CIN) @ IND: Indy is tough against the pass.

QB Donovan McNabb (PHI) @ NYG: The Giants are just too good.

QB Ken Dorsey (CLE) @ TEN: I never thought I would have to actually write that.

QB Matt Schaub (HOU) @ GB: He is expected to start, but it’s hard to say how he will play. I would stay away.

QB JP Losman (BUF) vs. MIA: I do think he will connect with Evans on a long TD, but I also think he will connect with a few Dolphins.

QB Shaun Hill (SF) vs. NYJ: I don’t like his chances.

QB Matt Hasselbeck (SEA) vs. NE: Didn’t this guy used to be a Pro Bowler?

QB Marc Bulger (STL) vs. ARI: Not even against Arizona.

QB Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) vs. DAL: He “tweaked” his knee in practice this week, and simply has not played all that well this year. Dallas is not great on defense, but… well, I don’t really know. I just do not get a good feeling about this one. Which sucks, because I have to start him in one of my leagues…

QB Jason Campbell (WAS) @ BAL: No way.

QB Jake Delhomme (CAR) vs. TB: Tampa may have the most underrated defense in the NFL.

QB Jeff Garcia (TB) @ CAR: Did anyone else get a little creeped out when they watched the highlights on ESPN and saw Garcia slap Chucky on the butt?

RB Cedric Benson (CIN) @ IND: Indy is weak against the run, so if you are desperate, throw him in. But the kid simply is not very good.

RB Jamal Lewis (CLE) @ TEN: No.

RB Reggie Bush (NO) vs. ATL: He has practiced “fully” this week, but I still think he will struggle.

RB Ryan Grant (GB) vs. HOU: I want to say “start” him, but his thumb injury worries me. As does the emergence of RB Brandon Jackson.

RB Ronnie Brown @ BUF: He will do pretty well, but I think (hope?) you have better options.

RB Julius Jones (SEA) vs. NE: No go.

RB Maurice Morris (SEA) vs. NE: Named the starter. Does that even matter?

RB Marion Barber (DAL) vs. PIT: Pittsburgh + Injured toe = Bench.

RB Clinton Portis (WAS) vs. BAL: I love me some Portis (does that sound weird to anyone else?), but this matchup is too tough, especially given his healthy concerns and how poorly the Skins are playing.

RB Willis McGahee (BAL) vs. WAS: I have no idea what is going on in Baltimore.

RB Jonathan Stewart (CAR) vs. TB: Injury issues. Plus the DeAngelo factor.

WR Devin Hester (CHI) vs. JAX: What happened to the most feared return man in football?

WR Chad Johnson (CIN) vs. IND: I still laugh every time I see “Ocho Cinco”…

WR TJ Houshmandzadeh (CIN) vs. IND: Indy is pretty solid aginst the pass.

WR Braylon Edwards (CLE) @ TEN: Never again.

WR Justin Gage (TEN) vs. CLE: They will be running the ball a lot. And you do not get points for blocking.

WR Laveranues Coles (NYJ) @ SF: Too inconsistent.

WR Jerricho Cotchery (NYJ) @ SF: See Coles, Laveranues.

WR Wes Welker (NE) @ SEA: He is not listed on the injury report, but I have a hard time believing he will be 100% after the vicious hit he took last week. But if anyone can do it, I suspect it is this guy. So start him at your own risk.

WR Torry Holt (STL) vs. ARI: He is old.

WR Roy E. Williams (DAL) @ PIT: I really thought he would come on in Dallas. But I guess not.

WR Santana Moss (WAS) @ BAL: Tough matchup. And Campbell is not playing well.

WR Mark Clayton (BAL) vs. WAS: Do not let last week fool you. He is having a very average year.