Tuesday - Jan 22, 2019

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The Fire Sale – Week 3

It was a tough Week 2 with all of the injuries. If these star quarterbacks keep going down a certain former Heisman Trophy winner is going to get a call. That’s what we need. Seriously, aren’t we all sick of Matt Leinart at this point?

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You can ask me a fantasy question any time but I want to let everyone know that on Sundays during the season I’ll be available starting at 10:00 am ET to answer questions. Feel free to ask me lineup or DFS questions. I’m doing work for DraftKings this season as well.

Now on with The Fire Sale

Going Up

Marcus Mariota, QB Tennessee – Everyone was going nuts over Mariota last week but I’m going to talk about him this week.

Some might be down on Mariota after his rough outing on Sunday but it’s just the opposite for me. I’m more impressed with his performance against Cleveland than I was with his big game in Week 1.

Everything came easy for Mariota against the Buccaneers. On Sunday, he faced a much tougher pass defense. Mariota was running for his life. He was sacked seven times. Yet, Mariota kept fighting and almost brought the Titans back.

I mean we didn’t think Tennessee was going to the Super Bowl, did we? We knew Mariota was going to have some tough games. He still put up over 18 fantasy points in most scoring systems. Think of it that way. Mariota played a bad game and still got almost 20 fantasy points. A bad game with no interceptions.

I went out and got Mariota in most of my leagues thinking he might struggle against the Browns. I’m still high on him for all the reasons I was after Week 1. He’s talented. The Titans have weapons, no running game and an awful defense. Sure Mariota will have a couple of rough weeks but you add all that together and it equals fantasy success.

It was difficult to get Mariota last week. If anyone wants to part with him now, go get him. If he’s going to put up 18 points in a “bad” game, I can’t wait to see what Mariota does in some of his really big games.

Matt Jones, RB Washington – Today we like to overindulge in stats, numbers and anything else we can get our hands on. Sometimes we forget to just go by what our eyes tell us.

Jones is a stud. David Johnson is a stud. These two kids are going to be fun to watch but Jones, in particular, is an every-down back that looks special. He’s looked special since the first time we saw him in the preseason and he looked special on Sunday against the Rams.

Alfred Morris isn’t going anywhere this year. This situation kind of reminds me of Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde last season. A buddy of mine had Hyde last year and I remember he said to me, “I love Frank Gore but I wish he would get out of Carlos Hyde’s way in San Francisco.”

It’s not that guys like Gore and Morris aren’t good players. It’s sometimes you get a special player that trumps the good player you already have. Watching Jones run I see a future top-5 fantasy pick.

Again, Morris is still around so we have to be realistic. It was encouraging that Jones got two more touches and finished with 74 more total yards than Morris in Week 2. Morris is still the starter but it’s going to be hard to keep Jones off the field if he keeps playing like he did on Sunday.

Jones should be one of your top waiver wire targets this week if he’s still available.

Crockett Gillmore, TE Baltimore – Gillmore had a big game against the Raiders. Then again, tight ends having big games against Oakland looks like it will be a common theme this season.

TE_Crockett_Gillmore_BAL_1
Ravens TE Crockett Gillmore.

Crockett caught five passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Joe Flacco has no one to throw to right now outside of Steve Smith. Rookie receiver Breshad Perriman isn’t expected back until October, so Gillmore has a chance to establish himself as Flacco’s No. 2 option over the next couple of weeks.

The Ravens drafted Maxx Williams, but rookie tight ends not named Gronk just don’t make a fantasy impact. Flacco loves having his tight end security blanket. Gillmore has the size and athleticism to be that guy.

It’s too early to tell if Gillmore will become a consistent fantasy contributor or if he just benefited from playing the Raiders. I’m betting he continues to produce. Flacco has to throw to someone and it’s not going to be Kamar Aiken.

So you can start Kamar Aiken this week in DFS now.

About Thomas Casale

Thomas began playing fantasy football back when owners had to mail in their starting lineups and work out trades over the phone. He started writing The Fire Sale in 1998. Since then his articles have appeared on numerous web sites sites including Fantasy Sharks, USA Today and SI.com.