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The Weekly Barometer – Week 4

I don’t even know anymore. This week, E.J. Manuel,
Geno Smith

Christian Ponder

Jake Locker

, and
Brian Hoyer

are among the top-12 highest scoring fantasy QBs. After almost three years without a hundred yard rushing performance, Packers RBs have pulled it off in back-to-back weeks. The second highest scoring WR and TE both came from a Browns team starting their third string QB. Nine of the top twenty wide receivers on Thursday and Sunday are owned in less than 10% of leagues.

Fantasy football is insane and no practical application of logic can adequately prepare you. To those of you who lost because you foolishly started the likes of
Mike Wallace

Randall Cobb

, and
Victor Cruz

when obvious fantasy studs like Ted Ginn,
Brandon LaFell

, and
Stephen Hill

were just sitting there in free agency, you really only have yourselves to blame.

I get bagged on a lot by real life friends and coworkers at my day job whenever I give less than stellar fantasy advice. After all, I’m paid literally dozens of dollars to supposedly be an expert on this stuff. I can’t wait to see what shifts I’ll be working in the wake of my recommendation to my boss that he start
Eli Manning

(3 standard league points) over
Tom Brady

(15 points) last week.

The thing is, I stand by my logic. Eli is a high volume passer with elite targets who was facing an injured secondary, and
Tom Brady

and his seemingly incompetent rookie receivers were hosting a Bucs defense that defended
Drew Brees

surprisingly well in Week 2. Sometimes sound logic loses out and all you can do is sit back and say, “Well that was crazy.” I wish there was a way to know with certainty how everyone will do, but fantasy football wouldn’t really be any fun if that was the case.

But that’s enough preemptive apologies and transparent pleading to keep my work schedule intact. Let’s get to the nobodies who went off and the somebodies who slacked off in Week 3 and try to figure out what you should do with them. I can’t guarantee that following my advice will make you win, but I can guarantee that this column will make you able to rationalize disastrous decisions well enough to put Walter White to shame.


Brian Hoyer

(Week 3 at Minnesota: 321 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INT)

He unexpectedly won the real life game and posted a respectable fantasy total despite being the third string QB and taking over an offense that just traded away its best player. Unfortunately, despite a win and a high volume of yardage and touchdowns, his passing efficiency was terrible and he offers zero in the way of rushing. He hasn’t made a definitive case for his claim to Cleveland’s starting job, and even if he did, I would be ambivalent about claiming him off waivers.


Geno Smith

(Week 3 vs Buffalo: 331 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INT, 14 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD)

Not to be a total wet blanket on what was a very good game for a guy making only his third career start, but he was picking on a bad, injured secondary. Smith,
Santonio Holmes

, and
Stephen Hill
who were
collectively focused and playing to the fullest of their abilities was an extremely rare occurrence that nobody can expect to happen with any consistency. The skills and collective talent of the supporting cast are there, so he’s worth watching, but in 12-team leagues there are still plenty of backup QBs I would rather have.

Watch Closely

Colin Kaepernick

(Week 3 vs Indianapolis: 150 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 20 rushing yards)

Yeesh. It was to be expected that he would struggle mightily against the Seahawks, but two weeks in a row of this is brutal. Look, he won’t have to travel to Seattle again this season, and Sunday’s tilt against the Colts probably displayed his receiving corps at its most depleted. It’s a good chance that whoever owns him in your league is 1-2 and stinging from a second straight loss right now. Go get him. Jim Harbaugh is too good at this coaching thing to stay this bad for long, and
Vernon Davis

is close to returning from his hamstring issue.

Buy Low

Russell Wilson

(Week 3 vs Jacksonville: 202 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT, 14 rushing yards)

In today’s league, passing for four touchdowns is only good enough to make you the No. 8 fantasy QB on the week. Crazy. Regardless, four touchdowns is the kind of gaudy figure that can help you get great returns in a trade.
Russell Wilson

is a winner and a fantastically efficient real-life quarterback, but I couldn’t be less enamored with him as a fantasy player. The passing volume is well below average, and he isn’t running enough to make up for it. Even the four touchdowns were kind of a fluke occurrence brought on by
Marshawn Lynch

repeatedly getting brought down an inch short of the goal line.
Zach Miller

picking up Lynch’s goal line slack is not going to be a common theme going forward.

Sell High

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