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Do As I Say, Not As I Do — Week 4 Audibles

“Do what I say not as I do.” as the old adage goes. I see some things this week that I like. I don’t always act on those things, but I have the guts to put it out there, and what makes it worth it for me is knowing that it’s a good start, or a good acquisition for later in the season.

This game that I enjoy has me watching more college football, analyzing more recorded NFL games, and doing more research than ever. These are all good things.

I Say–Start ’em

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense vs. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts looked good enough to beat Pittsburg last week. Wait just a minute here. Their defense looked good enough. Pair this with the questionable injury status of ineffective QB- Kerry Collins, and you get a scaled down playbook with rookie Curtis Painter. Painter looks better than Collins but ultimately his inexperience is evident.

The offensive line did a pretty good job of keeping both signal callers upright allowing only one sack. Tampa Bay shut down Michael Turner last week holding him to 20 yards on 11 carries, while recording four sacks that forced two fumbles, and an interception. The value here is in the turnover department and I’m a buyer this week. They will stack the box and get after either Painter or Collins. I certainly don’t care which one, as they both don’t deserve mention.

My game of musical defense continues as I am starting Tampa Bay this week.

Washington Redskins WR- Jabar Gaffney

The Rams have given up an average of 252 yards in the air per game this season. Despite your thought that the running backs will take center stage this week, the Rams game plan will focus on trying to slow down Tim Hightower and Roy Helu to make Rex Grossman beat them with his arm. Before you laugh me out of town, He will.

Sometimes you have to be careful about what you ask for. Gaffney is available in a pretty good percentage of leagues and has averaged 13.5 yards a catch on 12 catches. He is a strong play in my opinion. The recommendation comes on his steady number of targets, seven per contest. He will most likely draw Rams CB Justin King who has struggled. The Rams may turn to newly acquired CB Rod Hood, who is an upgrade, but is coming off an ACL injury a year ago. This is a desperate move from a desperate team. The Redskins come off a short week but it doesn’t matter much here.

I’d start Gaffney as a WR3 this week  or an exceptional flex play. I have better options this week, but if you need some help this is your guy.

I Say– Grab him now

New England Patriots RB – Stevan Ridley

Forget the preseason hype, Ridley ran over scrubs. I said it and I am the same guy who loved BJGE in the preseason. The problem here lies in that BJGE doesn’t catch the ball. I don’t know if it’s Rickey Dudley “skillet hands” syndrome or if he never learned to catch as a child. I don’t care and I’m telling you all that when you read the box score on Monday’s that you see a goose egg or one catch for 5 yards in the receiving column. So what you have is a guy that runs right?
Not so fast.

The “Law Firm” of BenJarvus Green-Ellis has averaged 3.59 yards per carry and some might say that this up tempo, pass happy offense that is the Patriots has failed to control the time of possession this season. Look for more clues when they increase Ridley’s carries this week. Anyone in the fantasy world can look at last week’s data and tell you that Ridley had a nice 7.0 yard per carry average on 6 carries. Big deal right?
I
t actually is and here’s why.
 

BJGE only got 10 carries, Danny Woodhead had 6 carries, and here comes Ridley out of no where with six carries and not in garbage time. He makes the most of the opportunity. Look for some more carries this week with the same results.Ridley is more elusive than BJGE, and can catch. As the seasons change and it gets nasty in New England and elsewhere, the pass happy Patriots will rely on the ground game more.

Bill Belichick doesn’t care about Tom Brady‘s statistics, He simply wants to win.

Last time I checked the game is about clock management and time of possession when you have the lead. The last loss to the Buffalo Bills was an awful reminder that they didn’t control much. It simply isn’t enough to score when teams have that kind of big play ability. So you can chase the numbers and get yourself a back or you can see something progressing and go on your gut. My gut is
tremendous right now, no pun intended.

I realized that my last back, Monterrio Hardesty, is a one week starter and second fiddle to Peyton Hillis. As long as Hillis is healthy, he gets the rock.  Cleveland is a season or two away from a team that I can plug in players from. There is very little consistency.

I needed some upside and I see it in Ridley. While you can chase Steve Slaton to Miami and realize he’s third on the depth chart, or pick up Kendall Hunter who has some upside limited by his crappy quarterback. The fact is simply that the Patriots have better personnel surrounding Ridley, and the sum of the parts make him a much more attractive prospect to me. You can either wait until he does something or speculate from your information that he will.

I grabbed him in two leagues already and will stash him for later.

I Say– He’s not quite dead yet

Minnesota Vikings QB- Donovan McNabb

Eat your Chunky soup baby. McNabb has had a rough go of it lately. The fact that he hasn’t done much doesn’t mean he is done. McNabb has started to develop chemistry with wide receiver Michael Jenkins, and found Visanthe Shiancoe in the end zone last week paired with a 61.1 percent completion tells me that it is taking some time to get in synch.

You have to realize that he’s was slapped around by the Redskins’ organization after being ejected from Philadelphia. He was told he couldn’t do it anymore. His strength of schedule is pretty weak this year. This week he goes into Kansas City and should post better numbers. He is two seasons removed from 20 passing TDs. My thought this season was to use him as a one week bye fill-in because he probably won’t throw a bunch of interceptions. Head coach Leslie Frazier is looking at Mcnabb’s mechanics and making some changes. I don’t think having speed like Percy Harvin, Adrian Peterson, and Bernard Berrian hurts his value much. The Vikings need to get it together and you certainly can’t tell me it’s all McNabb who has been running for his life.

Okay, so I do have him on one roster and while most scoff, I am nostalgic. When Mike Vick takes the big hit, then I grab Vince Young as a freebie. (Bench player for one week fill in bye.)

For what it’s worth, I am still waiting to find the next Chris Johnson. I’m not talking about the one from this season who has been stinking up the place. Chris Johnson  from last year, you know the guy with the wheels that broke long runs. Chris needs to call running back Ronnie Hillman from San Diego State University. This kid is unbelievable to watch. He has that top end speed reminiscent of Marshall Faulk and the vision to boot. Chris has that speed, I think his vision is clouded by money, women, 22-inch rims on his Impala, and gold grills. I for one need him to find game shape, and speed sooner rather than later if I hope to make a run. Thanks for the read folks!

Questions/ Comments/ Concerns to michaelfsarmento@gmail.com

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