Thomas Casale
The Fire Sale - Week 7

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Well, we can all be thankful that the Eagles and Cowboys both won on Sunday to go 3-3. Now we no longer have to listen to delusional Giants' fans say, “We’re 0-6 but realistically we’re only a couple of games out of first place so we can still make the playoffs.” Playoffs? You’re talking about playoffs? I just hope you win a game.
 
Seriously, the mind of delusional sheep-like fans scare the hell out of me. The Giants are 0-6 and some of their fans aren’t concerned that they’re currently the second worst team in the NFL behind Jacksonville, but instead, they’re thinking they can somehow make the playoffs. To me that’s not being a fan, it’s being a complete and utter lunatic.
 
Being a real fan means more than getting a stupid tattoo and wearing a jersey. I have a stupid tattoo and a bunch of jerseys. Any idiot can go out and do that stuff. Being a real fan means you have to be realistic sometimes. The Giants have so many things wrong with them right now I don’t even know where they need to start fixing the problems. So again, if you’re thinking about the playoffs, you’re not a real fan, you need serious help.

Now on with The Fire Sale…

Going Up

Nick Foles, QB Philadelphia – I drafted Foles in a couple of those best ball leagues I’m in. I’ve been anti-Mike Vick for the last couple years and while I admit he’s played better than I thought he would in 2013, I stick to my guns that teams won’t win with Vick as their quarterback.

Vick is fine for our purposes as fantasy owners. I just don’t believe he sees the field and makes all the throws consistently enough to win in the NFL anymore. I know analysts talk about how bad the Eagles’ offensive line is, right? I made this point last year. Why is it that Philadelphia’s line gets better when Foles is the quarterback? I’ll tell you why: It’s because Foles reads defenses and gets rid of the ball quicker. Vick’s mobility is overrated when it comes to avoiding sacks. Mobile quarterbacks actually take a lot of sacks. You know who doesn’t get sacked a lot? Dan Marino and Peyton Manning.
 
I don’t know what’s going to happen when Vick is healthy but I liked what I saw out of Foles last year and I like what I’ve seen out of the six quarters he’s played this season, also. I mean he made Riley Cooper relevant. I’ve never seen Riley Cooper catch a pass before last week. My goodness, if he can do that the sky is the limit for Foles. Pick this kid up now, because if he remains the starter, Foles will put up big numbers in the Eagles’ offense.
 
Shane Vereen, RB New England – Vereen is eligible to return to the Patriots in Week 11 after their bye. I would suggest picking up Vereen over the next couple of weeks in leagues where he was dropped and stashing him if you have the roster room. Advanced Sports Logic’s The Machine is also high on him. If you go to that link and register on the site you can try out The Machine for the rest of October. I’ve used it in all my leagues this year and I like it.
 
Vereen was just on the verge of becoming a fantasy stud before getting injured. Rob Gronkowski will certainly help Tom Brady but I believe the player that’s going to make the biggest difference is Vereen. The Patriots can line Vereen up all over the place to create mismatches in the passing game and most importantly, Brady can use him as a security blanket.
 
The other thing you can do is offer a trade for Vereen. Say you’re an owner who has gotten off to a fast start and another owner who is struggling is hanging on to Vereen. Well, Vereen is doing him no good and you could certainly stash him for a playoff push. I would trade a guy like DeAngelo Williams for Vereen if I had depth at running back.
 
In one of my leagues I own Williams but don’t need to play him because I’m deep at running back. Williams is the epitome of an average fantasy player. He rarely scores and needs 20 carries to get 80 yards. I would much rather have Vereen for later in the season and give up Williams’ 12 points a week now.
 
It’s hard to predict injuries, as I’m sure Rob Gronkowski owners (also me) can tell you. However, I think Vereen is worth rolling the dice on because he’s going to have a huge role once he returns regardless of how well Stevan Ridley is playing. If you can get Vereen, do it. He’ll be well worth the wait.
 
Harry Douglas, WR Atlanta – See, if you wait long enough all of my guys end up having fantasy value sooner or later. Douglas is a receiver I’ve been high on ever since he came out of Louisville and I’ve pushed him about 10 times in 'The Fire Sale' whenever it looked like he may have a sliver of fantasy relevance. This time, however, Douglas actually has fantasy value in the real world and not just in my own head.
 
I obviously own Julio Jones in two leagues, so that explains his early departure this year. I picked up Douglas in all of my leagues though because not only is Jones out, but as I’ve written before, the Falcons have completely mismanaged Roddy White’s injury. White has since come out and said he should have rested his high ankle sprain instead of trying to play on it like everyone else on the planet, other than the Falcons’ medical staff, already knew. Now White has a hamstring injury too and his status for Week 7 is in doubt.

There’s a real opportunity for Douglas here. Some people think White is going to catch 10 balls a game now that Jones is out. I couldn’t disagree more, only because I don’t think White is going to be 100 percent healthy all year. Plus, if he continues to be injured and Atlanta loses a couple of more games, we’re getting to the point where White is going to sit now.
 
I’m surprised Douglas is owned in fewer than 60 percent of leagues. He’s caught at least four passes in three games this year and that’s with Jones and White in the lineup. If you need a receiver, I would go grab Douglas. Matt Ryan is going to have to throw to someone besides a hobbling White and a double-teamed Tony Gonzalez.



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