Tuesday - Jan 15, 2019

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The Nuthouse Storylines

Welcome to the regular season version of the Nuthouse. Sorry about missing last week, I was still detoxing from my main auction draft and a sports week that included visits to Yankee Stadium, the U.S. Open and the opening NFL game between my beloved Super Bowl Champion New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. Heck of a week for yours truly.

 

And yes, tough guys, I do recommend attending the U.S. Open. Tennis is for sissies, you say? That’s what I thought, until I attended the Nadal-Querrey match – very cool atmosphere. Expensive, but cool nonetheless. So there.

 

One last thing before the actual fantasy talk – have you seen the

Chris Cooley fantasy draft? I demand you watch it – easily the most humorous thing involving fantasy football in years. Not only do Jason Campbell, Fred “Love Boat” Smoot and Colt Brennan know absolutely nothing about fantasy football, Cooley’s wife and her friend are making better picks than them! Fantastic. The only thing missing from this draft was a team co-owned by me and

Ben Ice. Watch the video and then imagine Ben and I making picks while ostracized in the corner, giggling like schoolchildren at everyone’s picks and high-fiving ours while getting disgusted looks from the hot chicks and Fred Smoot. But I digress. Got to keep it quick, so here are some storylines for this week:

 

The Buffalo-Jacksonville game may be very telling:

I know you can’t take a lot out of the first couple of weeks of an NFL season, but some times things are glaring, like how bad

Jacksonville’s offensive line is hurting. Here comes a

Buffalo team that’s been waiting to make a playoff move for a couple of years now. If the Jags can win solidly, then David Garrard, MJD and Fragile Fred owners look to be salvageable. Maybe even Matt Jones and Reggie Williams become viable. On the

Buffalo side, if they repeat last week’s performance, Lee Evans becomes a WR stud and the D/ST becomes a real player with that schedule. Trent Edwards could even be a viable No. 2 QB. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, just like we may be with this guy …

 

Is Matt Forte for real?

In one game, Forte did something Cedric Benson and his first-round pedigree never could – find a hole and cut up into it hard for chunks of yardage. He may not be able to do it against

Carolina, who kept Tomlinson under 100 by only one yard (but he didn’t control the game). However, after this game he’s a legitimate solid RB2 for a few weeks. Look at the schedule –

Tampa and Philly won’t be easy, but they’re not insurmountable. Then

Detroit and

Atlanta before

Minnesota ruins the run. Yet this is still the Bears offense, and Kyle Orton is still the running back. We will need a quarter of the season to determine how good this could get for Forte owners.

 

The Colston effect:

How will the Saints offense run without its top wideout? Which waiver wire wonder will emerge is Colston’s absence? Does this increase or decrease Shockey’s value? All interesting questions. I think the key to this whole puzzle is how Sean Payton decides to use Reggie Bush. If he moves him out to the slot for a good amount of snaps and runs with Pierre Thomas or, hold your breath, Deuce McAllister, then the dynamic changes. But for now, expect to see David Patten receive the lion’s share of passes to WRs, with Devery Henderson serving as the designated bomb-catcher. If not doubled to death, Shockey could start putting together some 8-10 catch performances over the next few weeks.

 

Cutler and a new Three Amigos?

This week is a question of validity for

Denver against

San Diego. Sure, they dropped 41 last week, but it was against the woeful Raiders. I mean, they still haven’t found DeAngelo Hall’s jock – it’s … gone. Brandon Marshall returns from suspension to join Darrell Jackson and sleeper-turned-household-name Eddie Royal. If they put up similar offensive numbers against the Chargers, it’s a strong bet that Cutler will finish the season as a Top 5 QB. Have you seen his schedule after the Week 8 bye? Another interesting question is whether Eddie Royal will get the same amount of targets and plays ran for him now that

Marshall is back.

 

Time for your close-up, Mr. Cassel:

Nobody here is surprised that Randy Moss’ back acted up as soon as Tom Brady’s season was pronounced DOA. Hey, maybe it’s sympathy pains. But has there ever been a completely unknown like Matt Cassel in fantasy sports since, well, Tom Brady? Fortunately for

Cassel, I don’t think he’ll be counted on anything other than making the safe throws to Moss, Welker, etc. The Patriots are three-deep at RB, and I think you’ll see them all. Not only that, but while the Jets have a pretty good secondary, they aren’t the best against the run.

New England will be in this game, you’ll see.

 

Are the glory days of the

Bengal offense over?

We know about

Cincinnati’s troubles off the field, but now the offense that was once beloved in fantasy football seems to be petering out. The media says Carson Palmer hasn’t been the same since his injury – I say neither have his offensive line or his running backs. With Chad Ocho Cinco Johnson playing with one shoulder, Housh is the only guy you can trust on a weekly basis (and he’s got bad hamstrings). The schedule does them no favors either – before their bye, the Bengals have games with the Giants,

Dallas and

Pittsburgh. This could be the end of an era in

Cincinnati.

 

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