Peyton Manning vs The Browns
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far way, the idea of having Peyton Manning against The Raiders would have the fix for a sure fire win. Instead, Manning was the source of many daily bets lost and many yearly teams left scratching their heads. The Raiders were supposed to be so good against the run that they figured to put The Broncos offense completely into the hands of Manning for the day. Oakland did exactly that and yet, Manning still couldn’t deliver. How many more times are we going to sit a viable player in the hopes that Peyton stumbles and falls face first into the fountain of youth? If Manning goes for back-to-back stinkers against the likes of Oakland and Cleveland, there would not be buyer to sell Manning to. Peyton has to do BIG things here to make up for last week’s turd-bomb and keep any hope alive of finishing the season as a QB1.
Calvin Johnson vs The Bears
The fumble on the goal line last week was the very last thing that fantasy owners needed from Calvin. Instead of a touchdown to put owners up for a win, they instead suffer a fumble lost for negative points. Calvin continuously finds himself on the wrong end of these kinds of plays (the touchdown on his butt ruled not a touchdown) but it’s still a reflection on him for not doing what owners expect. To further our angst with Johnson, the Lions are so bad that Matthew Stafford got benched for Dan Orlovsky for the majority of the second half last week. Do you think that makes the outlook for Calvin better or worse moving on in 2015? With bad luck, bad quarterback play, and the potential of knee and ankle issues all playing a role in his decline, Johnson could find himself barely making the top ten when Dez Bryant and Alshon Jeffery return. Anything short of a vintage MEGATRON day would be yet another negative against Johnson.
DeAndre Hopkins vs The Jaguars
Risers and Fallers has historically been a hater of anything and everything to do with The Texans. Save for Andre Johnson, all of their players have seemed flukey, injury prone, or too easily replaceable to invest heavily in. Well, while enjoying a crow dinner, DeAndre Hopkins has turned into a top-five receiver. The funny part about it is that Hopkins has put up the quietest 150-yard receiving games that anyone has ever seen. Yet it’s RnF that seems to be paying the most attention. He has turned into a monster in the receiving game as his value currently surpasses Antonio Brown, Calvin Johnson, T.Y. Hilton, and 95 percent of the other options at his position. There isn’t a lot separating Hopkins from the number one spot, given Julio Jones‘ injury, a huge game against the lowly Jags would really pad his case. Owners need for Hopkins to go off big so he’ll finally have earned his name being mentioned with the best of the best.
Travis Kelce vs The Vikings
After week one, owners thought that they had the new number two tight end to own. With the downfall of Jimmy Graham‘s value, Kelce was the popular pick to replace him behind Rob Gronkowski. Five weeks in, it looks like it could be old man Antonio Gates looking to claim the number two spot while Kelce falls potentially outside the top five. With the return of Gates, the amazing play of Tyler Eifert, Julius Thomas returning from surgery, Gronk continuing to look as though he belongs on Olympus, and Cutler helping Martellus Bennett‘s case, Kelce is slowly slipping out of favor. Actually, with Alex Smith‘s new found ability to find wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, Kelce may be falling out of favor on his own team.
Sadly, one owner’s loss could be another’s benefit as Jamaal Charles is done for the year with another ACL injury. All of those high percentage, short, and over the middle targets could quickly find themselves directed towards Kelce. If he can’t live up to the preseason breakout billing with what should figure to be an added workload, Kelce simply will never become the TE we hoped he’d turn into. This week carries a lot of weight as to what direction Kelce’s value swings.
Chris Ivory vs The Redskins
Watching Ivory play Miami was like watching Jerome Bettis play the Lollipop Guild. It was all broken tackles, extended plays, and extra yardage. The entire Dolphins defense, all eleven combined, looked mismatched against the one man at running back. Ivory has a ton of value on the line as back-to-back games looking like an unstoppable bruiser would send him even further up the charts. The Redskins had looked decent against the run until Devonta Freeman completely burned them last week. The door appears open for Ivory to stake his claim as a legit RB1 in fantasy as his fate is completely in his hands. Anything short of 100 yards and a touchdown here would be viewed as a let down and he’d remain in RB2 territory. Ivory could establish himself as one of the better running back keeper options for 2016 in this game alone.