Saturday - Sep 26, 2020

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Deeper & Down

Danny Amendola, (WR, St. Louis) 10% owned

Nmandi Asomugha – despite rumors and excited stories coming out of camp otherwise – did not roam the field in search of his prey. Instead he stood firmly, entrenched, fortified on the right hand side of the field. All of which was absolutely fine against Tennessee in the first half as that is eaxctly where Nate Washington was. In the second half, coaches Jeff Fisher and Mike Heimerdinger pulled an absolutely stunning move that completely threw oakland with it’s complexity to get around this fiendish ploy of Oakland. You guessed it … they moved Washington over to other side of the field.

Sure enough Stanford Routt bit on a Vince Young bootleg and Washington caught arguably the easiest touchdown of the entire weekend. True story.

With Mark Clayton figuring to receive the full ire of Asomugha, and with Sam Bradford‘s newfound best friend Michael Hoomanawanui out with a high ankle sprain, Amendola becomes the comfort blanket “du jour” for the foreseeable future.

He’s already shown sticky hands, and St. Louis has already felt comfortable enough to let both Bradford throw the ball and to move Amendola around the field to cause problems. Bradford attempted 55 passes. That’s the 3rd highest in franchise history – a franchise that had “The Greatest Show on Turf” and THAT passing offense. Rookie QB, Game one of the season. In fantasy circles we love that.

If you have any doubts about him ability-wise, just Google “Amendola 36-yard catch 2010” and see for yourself. He looks over his right shoulder once, makes a perfect route adjustment, then doesn’t look around again until he’s just about to catch the ball over his opposite shoulder. To cap it all off? He then shows great positional awareness to double tap inbounds. All of this whilst he is falling out of bounds.

He was targeted six times, Mark Clayton will get locked down by a rather angry Asomugha (at least for one half!), and he’s the next best thing to a tight end the talented rookie quarterback in St. Louis has.

He is 10 percent owned, and rising …

Mike Thomas (WR, Jacksonville) 9% Owned

Regular readers will no doubt have heard much of what there is to say about Thomas before and wouldn’t have been surprised to see him ascend the depth chart to become a starter (much like I said about both Thomas and Sammie Stroughter about the same time last season!)

If the Jaguars start using Marcedes Lewis as the tight end they have always threatened, then between Lewis and Mike Sims-Walker finally getting the coverage he deserves (if he stays healthy is another matter entirely, of course), then David Garrard should be able to employ the shifty and speedy pass to Thomas effectively against a very ordinary San Diego defense.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that Jacksonville did not travel well last year. Time and tide wait for no man and in the ever shifting tides of the NFL I believe that Jacksonville will actually be useful in the passing game as more than an afterthought this season. With games against San Diego, Philadelphia and Indianapolis looming large they will have to.

Peyton Hillis, (RB, CLE) 5% Owned

faces Kansas City this weekend, and while riding high on a win over perennial contenders San Diego and while reinvigorated with a good young crop of defensive players being mentored by Romeo Crennel back in his defensive coordinator guise, it is still Kansas City.

Hillis has stepped admirably – in a manner of speaking – into the void left by Montario Hardesty’s injury (don’t say I didn’t warn you about Hardesty back in July!) His fumble was terrible, but when you’re a back that’s been on the bench for a while you tend to need to “knock the rust off things” a little bit.

Here’s hoping that was the thing and the rust well and truly cleared.

As pickups go, most people will be keyed in on Brandon Jackson and all power to them, so you may yet steal him away. The reason why I’d choose Hillis over Jackson is because the Packers may yet trade or pick up another running back. They may even activate James Starks off the Physically Unable to Perform list around Week 6 pending positive progress on his hamstring injury. In Hillis’ case, Hardesty is due back sooner … no, wait … he’s on Injured Reserve, he’s not coming back! Hillis has a productive running back by committee role sewn up in an offense that will feature plenty of short passes and misdirection to enable him to get outside. With a good stable partner in Jerome Harrison and behind some very useful offensive linemen, you should be interested!

If you don’t get Jackson, don’t be down. I think Hillis will be the better pickup over the course of the season.

Tony Scheffler (TE, Detroit) 5% Owned

Initially, head coach Jim Schwartz wanted Scheffler in as a player he could use to create mismatches and take advantage of any rolling coverage to Calvin Johnson. I still like that to be true when Matthew Stafford is back under center in three weeks (give or take a week).

In the meantime, however,  Shaun Hill will utilize an easy read in his first start for Detroit under center.

Ultimately, there isn’t much to elaborate on here. I could tell you he has soft hands and gets up in traffic well, but you saw that in Denver. I could tell you that the offense will be simplified to bring Hill along with the playbook and being a starter again after a layoff, but you probably already guessed that, too.

If you’re looking for a few extra points this week in your matchup, I think you could see Scheffler take advantage of a soft Philadelphia center, especially if Stewart Bradley misses the game whilst recuperating from last week’s nasty concussion. The last time Bradley went down for the Eagles it was a disaster for them.

Fun fact of the week:
Brandon Pettigrew (18 percent) is still more widely owned than Scheffler (5 percent).

It’s a mad, mad, mad world.

Weekend Update: September 17th

Davone Bess (WR, MIA) 10% Owned

Hartline is in the Sparano Kennel and Bess has been practising opposite Marshall at #2 as well as in the slot. A favourite here last season – especially in PPR leagues (7 targets & no drops last week)

Stephen Williams (WR, ARI) 0% owned

With Early Doucet sidelined by the dreaded Sports Hernia, Steve Breaston gets a big uptick and Williams who was mentioned earlier here (see below) in the week gets bumped up to WR#3. Something ARi haven’t been shy about using in the past. A stash at this point – but one with huge upside in dynasties and some value for Larry Fitzgerald owners.

Dishonorable Mentions

Calvin Johnson: 
It’s not your fault, I don’t blame you. I don’t! I do, however, think you won’t ever be doing that again in a hurry, either.

Pierre Garcon:
Et tu, Brutus? You, on the other hand, I feel just fine in blaming you for those drops against Houston. Let’s hope Peyton Manning is more forgiving…

Dallas coaches:
All credit to Washington, but let’s be honest – considering how many offensive weapons are on their roster – just how long can Jason Garrett and Wade Phillips continue to be employed in Dallas? Blame the offensive line if you will (and it’s not great right now), but with that much talent you adapt. They must have something on Jerry Jones and it must be worth 20-to-life given the length of rope they seem to have.

It was a push between Jimmy Raye (49ers), and Brian Schottenheimer and Rex Ryan (New York Jets) here, lest Dallas fans think I’m being prejudiced.

One offensive coordinator cannot be understood in game, a triflingly small matter and of no consequence, I’m sure! The other has communication problems with his head coach who apparently couldn’t understand why Shonn Greene didn’t get more touches in the second half. Despite the fact he could’ve asked him at any point in the second half seeing as how he’s not only in the same building, but he works under you and is only a few feet away. Simply awesome.

however trumps the 49ers and the Jets to the ‘Wooden Spoon’ by virtue of doing the same thing consistently badly enough for longer.  Garrett really needs to find a Plan B that works. He’s had long enough to think of one and relying on the talent of your roster to help you out won’t always work …

The Cardinals Front Office:
Not really anything dishonorable here in the slightest, not unless you include daylight robbery. You always hope to find a diamond in the rough in amongst the undrafted free agents, but it’s not always the case. This year Arizona snagged not just one but two UDFA gems in Stephen Williams (wide receiver) and Max Hall (quarterback). Throw in the high draft picks already helping to produce in Dan Williams (nose tackle) and Daryl Washington (inside linebacker), and I think this is a year that they’ll remember upstairs in Glendale for quite some time.

Oh and for whatever it’s worth: for any Individual Defensive Players fantasy leaguers out there, go grab Melvin Bullitt before any other owners realize Sanders is likely done in Indianapolis.

Kudos also goes to the two HC Mikes – Coaches Tomlin and Smith for showing us two very different ways in which a coach can call a timeout. For effort, Mike Smith – easily. For style though? It’s Tomlin by a huge, huge distance (if you haven’t seen them try and find them – it’s worth the effort)

Have a great week!

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