Saturday - Mar 23, 2019

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Couch Tomatoes – Week 5

This game is all in the numbers — nothing more and nothing less. The numbers tell the story.

Another week, another whine festival … for what seemed like the 810th Sunday in a row, the sour grapes were flowing freely as the day wore on. It all started when I went to make Sunday lineup moves and realized that because of the London game, I was unable to replace Andrew Luck with Ryan Tannehill. Yes, I should have known, but three hours before normal game time here, it was disconcerting to say the least.

That ol’ rattlesnake chili did nothing for me luck-wise this week either. In fact, with Andrew Luck out and many of my studs looking like duds, I managed to have one of my worst weeks playing this game in 31 years. It was so bad that if I had been playing a weekly game Sunday I would have been asked if I needed a primer on fantasy football.

Last year found me inserting hope and prayer players in about Week 12. I already have a few this year and we are entering Week 5. Sheeesh!

If I had gotten two more rushing yards from Thomas Rawls I would have had a tie instead of a loss in an early divisional first-place matchup. All I could think of afterwards were the three or four losses he had right at the start of the game. Maddening! Absolutely, positively maddening!

Poor Bonnie had two teams that did not fare well either. I know her. With a couple more weeks like this one, she will hide the remote and we will be watching Madam Secretary and The Good Wife on Sunday nights in place of Sunday Night Football. Actually, that might not be a bad idea.

At least the Chicago Bears won. For this coming Sunday, I told Bonnie we will cook some baby back ribs and make some homemade salads. Maybe a back to basic week will help us snack wise, as well as football wise.

After five weeks, if some roster spot is not producing, quit holding on. Why handicap yourself? I made the playoffs just last year with a 1-4 team in a 14-team experts’ league. It can be done. All you need is a hard waiver wire push, a good trade or two and luck, both in general and if you have him, back on the field.

It was an illuminating week on the couch. It was a sort of a cold, cuddling friendly kind of … Yep, you are right Bonnie, we are here to talk football, not our sideline maneuvers.

I guess it could be worse. I could have Odell Beckham on my rosters. Up until now people have never talked about Odell Beckham and Allen Hurns in the same sentence. Their season stats are:

Odell Beckham   24 catches, 307 yards, 2 TD
Allen Hurns        22 catches, 314 yards, 2 TD

The Jordan Reed pool ended just a couple weeks after the big bounce of survivor pool wannabes. With a concussion and sprains to both an ACL and ankle, he ought to be on the shelf for a while.

Seattle is tough enough to beat with that 12th man fan noise, but when the referees go all out stupid at the end of a game with blowing a call, you really have to wonder.

Through four weeks, Julio Jones (38), Antonio Brown (34) and Keenan Allen (33) lead the NFL in receptions.

Somehow the San Diego Chargers slip through the cracks attention-wise east of the Rockies. Has anyone else noticed these interesting stat lines from last week’s game:

Danny Woodhead     8 rushes, 54 yards; 4 receptions, 84 yards
Melvin Gordon           12 rushes, 38 yards; 2 receptions, 8 yards

One other Chargers’ tidbit — When Malcom Floyd and Stevie Johnson both left the field injured, Dontrelle Inman came in and put up decent numbers (3 catches, 88 yards). I saw signs of Inman being a legitimate prospect at the end of last season. He might be a good sleeper pickup if you need a wide receiver.

WR_Dontrelle_Inman_SDC_1
San Diego WR Dontrelle Inman.

Besides Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones, Leonard Hankerson is looking good in Atlanta. His numbers last week (6 receptions, 103 yards, TD) were pretty impressive compared to the Jones/White duo’s combined six receptions for 46 yards.

When Tevin Coleman returns he will likely split the running back job with Devonta Freeman (14 rushes, 68 yards, 3 TD; 5 receptions, 31 yards), much like Terron Ward (19 rushes, 72 yards, TD; 1 reception, 18 yards) did last week.

Is that the Rex Ryan Balloon we see about to burst in Buffalo?

I’m still dwelling on Odell Beckham. Breaking down his numbers finds that he put up pedestrian numbers in Weeks 1 and 4 (10 receptions, 82 yards combined for both weeks) and he had a pair of strong games in Weeks 2 and 3, with a combined stat line of 14 receptions, 225 yards and two touchdowns.

Forget LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins Buffalo fans, you have a stat line of 14 receptions, 193 yards and a touchdown over the last two weeks from Charles Clay.

As C.J. Spiller galloped down the sidelines with a New Orleans win in one hand a football in the other, a loud whoosh came from the TV. Was that Hurricane Joaquin or Drew Brees owners exhaling?

With Lance Dunbar’s knee injury, will Christine Michael have a chance to get some playing time for Dallas

Let me see if I understand this. One week after being anointed the best team in the NFC West, the Arizona Cardinals went out and lost to the 1-2 St. Louis Rams at home. How did that happen?

Todd Gurley had a 161-yard game in his debut. Now the only question is this — how long will it be until he gives up his job to the next great St. Louis running back?

For a quarterback who many people passed on in the draft, Nick Foles is not doing too shabbily with 815 passing yards and a 5-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio?

Up in Minnesota, with Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright both hurting, Minnesota turned to that speedy wide receiver from the preseason, Stefon Diggs. He responded with a six-reception, 87-yard state line. It might be a good week to snap him up with Minnesota on a bye week.

Also, take a look at all the free agents just to see if someone in your league discards players on bye weeks. Being alert got me a top kicker this week — Stephen Gostkowski.

I sit here scratching my chin after noting that Cleveland is 0-3 playing it safe with Josh McCown and is 1-0 with that wild and crazy erratic guy Johnny Manziel at the helm.

The top 5 quarterbacks with the highest fantasy points per game averages are Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Andy Dalton, Marcus Mariota and Cam Newton.

While glancing at quarterback scoring, I could not help but gasp when I saw Peyton Manning at No. 30, with Colin Kaepernick and Johnny Manziel in the same scoring tier.

The running back scoring race has some surprises too. The top 5 are Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman (82 points in the last two games), Jamaal Charles, Dion Lewis and Mark Ingram.

There is at least is some normalcy when you look at the top 5 wide receivers — Julio Jones, Larry Fitzgerald, Julian Edelman, Antonio Brown and DeAndre Hopkins. The names are all familiar, but Fitzgerald, Edelman and Hopkins are all performing at much higher levels than anticipated.

Keep an eye on Carolina running back Cameron Artis-Payne after the bye week. Jonathan Stewart is approaching his annual breakdown point.

If you are still holding your arm up over the Andrew Luck question from last week — you can put it down. You should always read this to the end. If you had last week, you would have taken your arm down then.

Please feel free to email me at mnease23@yahoo.com and let me know whether you are enjoying this weekly feature. Please tell me why, or why not. Is this helpful from a players’ numbers standpoint?

About Mike Nease

Mike Nease is a member of the FSWA and has been playing the game since 1985, while also writing about it since 2001. Over the years he has sampled about all the playing scenarios that fantasy football offers, including re-drafter, keeper, dynasty, auction, IDP and salary cap leagues. He and his wife Bonnie reside in West Chicago, IL You can contact Mike at mnease23@yahoo.com anytime and during the football season follow him @mikeinsights.