Week 6: Moving Forward
Oct 8, 2013
More articles from Rick Olson
They haunt your roster every week. The players who are either over-delivering or under-achieving. You never know whether to sit them, start them or trade them. Whether looking at this week or the whole season, there are players on all our rosters just like those described above. Let’s take a look to see if we can shed some light on what to expect from them in the weeks to come.
Tony Romo - The granddaddy of overachievers in Week 5. Romo threw for 508 yards and five touchdowns with a passer rating of 140.0. Though this week can certainly classify as an anomaly it is by no means any reason to worry at all about Romo. His numbers had been very good prior to this week, averaging a little over 250 yards passing with 2 touchdowns.
There is hardly a fantasy football scoring format that he isn't currently in the top-10 among fantasy quarterbacks and because of this deserves a spot on almost every roster. Will he have another week like this last one? Probably not. Does that matter? No. Put him in your line-up with confidence every week.
Jay Cutler - He had his best statistical week of the year last week against the New Orleans Saints with a passer rating of 128.1 due to 358 yards passing and two touchdowns. Much like Romo, Cutler has been very consistent so far this season averaging 273.6 yards per game and two touchdowns. With upcoming games against the Giants, Redskins and Packers he is looking to put up even better numbers in the next month.
If he is your starter then breathe easy for a bit and enjoy October. If he is your No. 2, play the match-ups and appreciate having such a good bye week fill-in.
Eli Manning - Yuck. That's all I can say about his year so far. He's had two bad games not even worth mentioning and three good games that ended up just ok because he gave up at least a touchdowns worth of points, or more, in interceptions. This inconsistency has landed him outside of the top-20 for fantasy quarterbacks in most formats. Frustrating does not even begin to describe this situation for most owners of Eli. He is averaging a very respectable 296.4 passing yards per game. He is also only averaging a very un-Manning like 1.6 touchdowns a game and worse yet, 2.4 interceptions per game.
We all know there is great fantasy potential with Eli but until his offensive line can give him the time that he needs to throw and his receiving corps can give him consistency, I would make sure I had a strong back-up and play the weekly match-ups.
Philip Rivers - Or as I like to call him Rivers Phoenix because he has risen from his own ashes! This guy is hot. A mere afterthought in most drafts this fall, Rivers has averaged 322 yards passing per game and 2.6 touchdowns and he does not seem to be slowing down. After the first three games this season I was cautioning people to not go over the top with their expectations, but now five weeks into it, I am telling you to get him on your roster and start him now.
The only threat to take away from his fantasy numbers this year was Ryan Mathews who suffered a concussion early in the game on Sunday. I have been stating all season that Mathews' health will not hold up and I am stating now that this is the start of his health issues this season.
His main backup, Danny Woodhead , is a pass-catching running back who will only help Rivers' game. At this point, with a proven passing game and a pass catching running back getting most of the snaps, the future looks very bright for Rivers.
Arian Foster - He had a great Week 4 but has been very pedestrian the other four weeks. One thing you must remember though, is that thoughts on Foster are all relative to his draft position and your frustration levels.
If you look at it from an outsiders view, which mine truly is as I do not own him in a single league. His numbers are solid, consistent numbers. They are not the video game numbers that you are used to from Foster but they are consistent. He is averaging 78 yards rushing per game and 25.2 yards receiving. So, he is averaging over 100 yards total per week, what more could you ask for?
Couple that with the fact that he is getting more rushing and passing attempts each week and subsequently getting better each week and that all adds up to him being just fine. By the time your playoffs roll around he will be one of the horses on your roster leading your teams' charge.
Ray Rice - I've got two pieces of good news for Rice owners.
1) He just had his best week, 74 yards rushing, 28 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
2) He's not Maurice Jones Drew.
Sorry Rice owners, after averaging 40.8 yards rushing and 18 yards receiving per game this season, I don't have much more for you.
If there is a silver lining, it is that he saw the most snaps that he's seen this year and his injured hip held up. He may come around yet, but if you have any better option I would leave Rice on your bench for now and make him prove it.
Maurice Jones-Drew - Ah, the butt of my last joke and the running back for the joke of a team that is the Jaguars.
I don't mean to be harsh but I have to be honest. They are horrible and the only people worth owning on that team are Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts. The Jaguars are playing from behind and chucking the ball up in the air so much that the law of averages dictates they will score fantasy points every week.
MJD is looking old and slow and his numbers prove it. Averaging 41.6 rushing yards per game and 8.2 receiving yards with only one touchdown all year there is nothing good to see here.
If you can find a Jaguars' fan in your league who believes in buying low then trade him immediately. If not then I hope you have found a backup at this point, you'll need it.
Trent Richardson - Richardson really has us scratching our heads. I can't see any reason why he is not great. He is a top-10 running back with all the tools you would want in a ball carrier. H e got traded to a much better team where opposing defenses can't load the box on him anymore. His very capable back-up got hurt guaranteeing him even more of the lion's share than he was already receiving and yet he averages 51.2 yards rushing and 11.4 yards receiving per game. To top it off, he has only found the end zone twice all season.
I don't get it. I want to tell you to not worry. I want to tell you he will finish inside the top-10 by year's end. The numbers tell me different though, and we are at a point in the year where it's time to let go of hunches and past performance and turn your predictions over to the current year's stats, and the current year's stats are telling us that it might be time to panic on Richardson.
Give him another week or two but keep him on a very short leash.
Alshon Jeffery - If I told you that a Bears receiver has caught 15 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns in the last two games alone you would say congratulations Brandon Marshall . You would be wrong.
Jeffery has given us two big games to get excited about but if you look at this 2nd year wide outs season you would see that he is averaging 5.6 receptions a game and more importantly nine targets per game. T hat is what you want out of a receiver on your roster. The last two games were not anomalies, they were big target numbers finally catching up with an emerging talent.
You can confidently expect good fantasy production to continue for Jeffery.
Hakeem Nicks - It is really easy to hate on Nicks' fantasy value but he has actually put up three respectable games this year. The problem with Nicks is going to be consistency. He is always a risk for getting injured and missing time. Put that together with the undeniable futility of the team that he is on and you have a recipe for many weeks of disappointment throughout the season.
He is averaging 93 yards receiving per game and 5.25 catches. That is where numbers lie, however. He has only played in four games and has had two really good ones. This makes the numbers look way better than they are.
Consistency is so important in fantasy football and Nicks' numbers are so up and down that it makes him a very tough play every week.
Marques Colston - Meh. That's how I feel watching him. That's how I feel looking at his stats. He is consistent, I'll give you that, but for the No. 1 wide receiver on one of the greatest passing teams in the league with Drew Brees throwing to you, I just expect more.
You will not get more with Colston, however. He may be the top wide receiver on the team, but he is not the No. 1 or even No. 2 receiving option. Those honors would go to Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles .
Due to those two guys gobbling up the majority of passes and Brees' ability to distribute the ball, you are seeing Colston's ceiling and it is consistent, but certainly nothing to write home about.
Tony Gonzalez - The only tight end to make this article, primarily because the tight end position this year is fairly cut and dry. Guys are either completely going off or they are a week-by-week matchup play.
Gonzalez is different, however. Here is a guy who is one of the most amazing talents the position has ever seen on a strong passing team and yet through the first three weeks he had completely underachieved to the agony of many an owner,
Then he comes out and just crushes his last two games, 22 receptions for 246 yards and two touchdowns. So the question is what are we seeing this year with Gonzalez? Pretty simple really, we have a man who was going to retire and decided to come back. He has all the skills still, but was behind physically and mentally at the start of the season. He is now back in shape and ready to play.
The worst is behind for Gonzalez owners, pat yourself on the back for staying calm and making it through and enjoy the rest of the ride. He is going to have a top-five season.
Thanks for reading and good luck!