Tuesday - Oct 20, 2020

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Couch Tomatoes – Week 8

The Bears took the week off and as has become the norm, many of my fantasy players spent the weekend relaxing in the trainer’s room around the league, whether they had a game scheduled or not.

Speaking of being dinged up… Remember that little tiff that Toby and I had in Week 6? He decided that he just had to show me up so he jumped onto the floor and did that combination Limbo/Wave move. Well, guess what? That little varmint just got his little cottontail out of traction yesterday afternoon.

My only regret is not having gotten a picture of him in traction. He looked like a cross between road-kill and a rabbit pretzel. It was priceless!

When the veterinarian’s old van dropped Toby off at the curb, he hopped with a bit of a limp all the way to our patio door. As we greeted him he asked “What is for dinner? I’m starved.”

Good old Bonnie said “You are. I’m making rabbit stew in the crock pot for next Sunday’s games.” Toby gave her a stink-eye that would make a skunk blush and he just scowled and pouted. Bonnie finished seasoning the pork roast and dropping it in the pot so she could make her awesome world’s best pulled pork. It was sort of her way of putting Toby on notice.

She’s a tough old broad, kind of like Roger Goodell when he keeps beating on DeAngelo Williams for his unsanctioned honoring of the fight against breast cancer during the NFL’s breast cancer awareness month. Atta boy, Roger! Show him who is boss! We applaud you for the kindergarten approach you are using to keep the players in line.

Now, can you put your big boy pants on Roger, pull your head out of your rear canyon below the waist and talk with those referees who don’t seem to have a clue as to what the hell rules are. By the way, what is the definition of a catch?

Don’t be too harsh on these guys, Roger, they are human just like you and me. But dammit, keep these players in line. You don’t want the league to send a message of love and compassion. These guys are foooootball players, not wussies. Pink hair, special eye black—what the heck is that all about? Oh, lawdy!

There was a lot to see from the couch last week…

We will start with the last play of the week where we saw a play that pretty much represents my entire fantasy season in a nutshell. The Ravens had the ball down deep and QB Joe Flacco (my &*(^# guy!) drops back—I am tied 133-133 in a big game. A TD wins it. If he throws an incomplete pass, I at least tie. An interception costs me two points and I lost 133-131 on the freaking last play of the week. I complained to our commissioner that it was cruel and unusual punishment. He laughed. I cried. Bleeping Toby laughed too. Onward to Week 8 in this season of dreams…

Surprisingly, Oakland has given up more FPPG than any other team so far. To nobody’s surprise, they are followed closely by Detroit and San Francisco.

The top 5 scoring QBs on a FPPG basis are Tom Brady, Andy Dalton, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers and who would believe, Andrew Luck.

The unexpected leaders in passing yards/game through Week 7 are two of the old guys that are supposedly past their prime, Philip Rivers (350.3) and Tom Brady (342.3).

Tom Brady (16) and Carson Palmer (16) are tied at the top of the TD leader board.

On the other side of the QB spectrum, Sam Bradford (10) and Peyton Manning (10) are tied as the worst QBs with way too many completions thrown to opponents.

QBs leading the pack with hitting the ground with their backsides are Russell Wilson (31) Alex Smith (25) and Colin Kaepernick (25). They are all on the endangered QBs list. If you have one, you had better be looking for a backup. Of course, you Kaepernick owners have probably been doing that anyway.

What will happen when Aaron Rodgers faces the tough Denver Broncos pass defense? They are only giving up 14 FPPG. My guess is that Rodgers will prevail.

On the other hand, QBs want to play the Saints and Ravens who each give up a generous 25 FPPG.

After deleting the injured Jamaal Charles and now also Arian Foster from the list, the top 5 fantasy scoring RBs are Devonta Freeman, Le’Veon Bell, Chris Ivory, Matt Forte and Mark Ingram. Maybe Ingram should play all his games in England. For those keeping track, two out of the top 5 scoring RBs are now out for the season. Ivory is starting to hobble. Uh, oh!

Leaders in rushing yards/game are Todd Gurley (110.5), Le’Veon Bell (102.2) and Chris Ivory (102.2). Nobody expected Gurley and Ivory to be averaging more than 100 yards/game at any point during the season, let alone almost half way through it.

Pass receiving RBs are important this year with the RB pool being chopped up like so much firewood week after week. Danny Woodhead (37) and Theo Riddick (36) are the seven week leaders.

The TD race remained unchanged in Week 7. Devonta Freeman still leads the field with 10 TDs and no one else has more than six yet. Yes Toby, the guy held back a week and nobody made a move on his four TD lead. Toby keeps rubbing it in. In a stupid move, he drafted Freeman in the 8th round two months ago. He now has 178,000 followers on Flitter, sort of a Twitter for those among us that live underground..

The stingiest team in giving up RB fantasy points is still the Jets, who improved from 16 FPPG down to 14 FPPG over the last week.

Conversely, you have to love the 33 FPPG the Falcons give your RBs.

The top 5 fantasy scoring WRs are DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, Keenan Allen, Larry Fitzgerald and Brandon Marshall.

Julio Jones had three sensational games to start off the season with his 34-440-4 binge. Then he basically collapsed, at least by his standards, with a 24-290-1 October stat line. Is he healthy?

Keep an eye on the Buccaneers WR situation. With both Louis Murphy on IR and Vincent Jackson expected to miss a few weeks, it puts the burden on Mike Evans and an undrafted Division III rookie, Donteea Dye. Look for some signings and potential waiver pickup candidates here.

In overall pass receptions, the leading WRs are Keenan Allen (62) with DeAndre Hopkins (58) and Julius Jones (58) trying to keep up with his torrid pace. For those that remember Allen’s inconsistency at the start of last year, this must be great to see his current stats pace.

When it comes to receiving FPPG, the leaders are DeAndre Hopkins (110.90) and Julio Jones (104.3).

The Seahawks and Broncos are only giving opponents’ WRs 23 and 25 FPPG, respectively.

What you really want your WRs to do is to matchup against the Chiefs (48 FPPG) or the Ravens (46 FPPG). That is where you find fantasy gold.

After seven weeks, we still have a surprisingly large group of undefeated teams. At 6-0 we have Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, New England and Carolina. With the Denver vs. Green Bay game this week, at least one of these five teams will collect their first loss.

I foresee a painful game for Peyton Manning in a huge game that could validate either his remaining stature as a superstar, or that he is becoming just another athlete playing longer than he should have. I love the guy fantasy-wise, but I just hope he can leave the game without some horrid injury. I fear that his status cup is on the less-than-half-empty level.

When we play fantasy football, we are so busy with our teams that we sometimes forget about the football game as a whole. Be sure to remember that the answers to our fantasy football questions can usually be found within the numbers of the game. And if all else fails ask me or Toby. You can reach us at mnease23@yahoo.com. All fantasy football questions are welcome.

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.