W.9.R. — Week 9 Reactions
– I wonder how many more 100+ yard games Demarco Murray will have to post before head coach Jason Garrett tells Felix Jones to go back to being a kick returner/offensive specialist. Murray is clearly the Cowboys best running back, looks like an All-Pro with the rock, and still has major upside.
– Donald Brown was the leading fantasy scorer for the Colts against the Atlanta Falcons. I know, I can’t believe it either. I feel like I’m watching Nightmare on Painter Street, every time the Colts’ offense tries to get past the first down marker.
– Julio Jones showed how good he truly can be. Or was it that the Colts’ secondary was just that bad?
– Jordy Nelson’s touchdown catch was an example of good hands, and excellent awareness. Nelson has caught a touchdown in five games this season, and has shown flashes of elite talent at times. The best part about the confirmed touchdown though, was the fact that knucklehead Mike Pereira was dead wrong with his analysis.
– Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan truly despises fantasy owners. The funny thing is that the hatred is only hurting his team. He coaches Washington as if they’re some kind of pee-wee team, where it’s okay to rotate players. How are you supposed to establish any kind of continuity with that mentality. This week Shanny will defy his words about Roy Helu and let Ryan Torain run wild.
N.N. — News Nuggets
According to the San Francisco Chronicle running back Frank Gore insists that he’ll be ready to play Sunday against the New York Giants.
“I’ll be all right,” Gore assured. When asked if he’ll be able to participate in Wednesday’s practice, Gore said, “I think I will be. I feel all right now.”
Gore had a clean X-ray, after suffering a sprained ankle against the Redskins last week. Gore has rushed for 100+ yards in each of the last five games, and has found the end-zone in four of those games. He’s averaging 97.7 yards, and just under 20 carries per contest this season. The Giants defense is surrendering 127.1 yards per game on the ground.
Meanwhile, according to Newark Star-Ledger Giants’ running back Ahmad Bradshaw will not suit up on Sunday due to the nagging stress fracture in his foot. This will be the second game in a row Bradshaw will miss.
The good news here though is that he picked the right week to warm the bench. The 49ers are the best run defense in the NFL, and haven’t even surrendered a rushing touchdown. DJ Ware and Brandon Jacobs will pick up the slack in his absence, but are not recommended fantasy starters.
According to the St Paul Pioneer Press Vikings’ quarterback Christian Ponder is more excited than worried about his match-up against the undefeated Packers on Monday night.
“Undefeated team, at their house, in Lambeau, historic Lambeau, on Monday night, there’s a lot of things to get excited about,” said Ponder, whose Vikings are 2-6. “But you have to treat it like any other game…It will be an electrifying atmosphere, but the crowd’s not playing.”
Head coach Leslie Frazier is confident that his rookie signal caller will be able to handle the pressure just fine.
“I’ve got a feeling whatever we tell him, he’s still going to be able to handle the situation,” Frazier said. “He’s shown an ability to not let the moment overwhelm him…He has a way about him for being able to handle situations. Now, of course, we’ll do some things to prep him, but I’ve got a feeling he’ll be able to absorb it.”
The Vikings are coming off their bye week, and have had plenty of time to identify the weak spots in the Packers defense, which are about as blatant as Jerry Sandusky’s past behavior. Green Bay is one position away from being at the bottom of the barrel against the pass, as the secondary has played soft this season when the lead is theirs. This may be one of the weeks remaining fantasy owners should consider starting Ponder.
According to JSOnline.com Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers has not lost his willingness to run when plays break down this season, even coming off a concussion-riddled 2010 campaign. But does his coach think it’s alright?
“Absolutely, I don’t mind,” coach Mike McCarthy said when asked Monday about Rodgers’s willingness to run. “When he runs out there and there’s nobody there, that’s a positive. So it’s good defensive recognition on Aaron’s part and just taking advantage of how they’re playing our receivers.”
“It’s great to have a quarterback that’s smart and doesn’t force the ball and also is elusive and moves around the pocket well,” offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said.
As if his 2,619 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, and a 129.1 quarterback rating weren’t enough for fantasy owners, add in 127 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The bottom line is that Rodgers is in full fledge fantasy beast mode, and I don’t know if there is a defense that can stop him right now.
According to the Seattle Times the Seahawks’ offense has been less than proficient this season, but head coach Pete Carroll remains optimistic, even in spite of realizing that his offense has logged more penalties (29) than points (28) in the last three games.
“We’re coming around,” coach Pete Carroll said, “and we can see it. The change is happening right before our eyes. So we just have to demonstrate a patience in the sense, in an impatient world, that allows us to make the right decisions and stick with the stuff that we’re doing.”
The Seahawks biggest issue seems to be inconsistency at both the quarterback and running back position. Tarvaris Jackson is so erratic at times he makes the Jaguars’ offense look like the Packers. And Marshawn Lynch only shows up with his lunch box when he feels like it. The only player at this point that is even worth considering as a starter on a weekly basis is wide receiver Sidney Rice, and that’s even a stretch. The Seahawks play the Ravens this week.
And according to the Houston Chronicle it’s looking more and more like wide receiver Andre Johnson is going to miss yet another week thanks to his nagging hamstring injury, even though Johnson has been feeling pretty good.
“I’m almost full speed,” Johnson said. “Everything’s been going pretty positive. I’m excited about it. I feel pretty good.”
Although he hasn’t felt the pull on the back of his hamstring, Johnson hasn’t practiced all week, and according to coach Gary Kubiak on Friday he will not play against Tampa Bay, his sixth consecutive missed week.
Look for Arian Foster to be a major part of the Texans’ passing attack. The Buccaneers’ secondary is capable of shutting down both Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones, and tight end Owen Daniels won’t be able to produce on his own.
W.10.F.H.S. — Week 10 F.I.R. Hot Sheet
The weekly hot sheet is intended to give fantasy owners a quick reference guide/card to help with the filling of starting lineups. It is in Google Docs format, and is provided below. This will be a feature that will be provided every week. If there are any enhancements you would like to see, please send any suggestions, I’m always looking to improve and provide the best material.
T.F.G. — True Fantasy Gold…& Fool’s Gold
Vincent Jackson’s performance last week against the Green Bay Packers was a flashing reminder of how not to win fantasy football championships. The funny thing is that just in Week 9 alone Jackson carried many teams to victory by himself, literally.
Now, I’ve always been a big fan of consistency. It keeps me away from all the big glamorous stats a lot of players inconsistently put up on a regular basis, with the exception of course of Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has been consistently great all season. So in an effort to help identify some of those who have been true fantasy gold I’ve done a little digging. Here’s what I found. Note: All research is based on PPR formats:
3) At wide receiver Greg Jennings, Jeremy Maclin, and Deion Branch all stand out for various reasons. Jennings has posted four games of 20.9 points or more, and hasn’t dipped below 13.5 in a single game. Maclin has been unfairly labeled as a fantasy stud thus far. He posted a 42.2 point performance in Week 2, and a high of 17.4 since. His overall numbers are an illusion to how truly average he has been for much of the season. And Branch has been nothing but a tease. He scored 16.3 and 20.9 to begin the season, and since then he’s had four weeks with 9.9 points or less.
2) At quarterback I found it interesting how much Tom Brady has cooled off since his early season heroics. Brady started the season with 36.98, 29.22, and 31.98 in consecutive weeks. Since then he has posted three games between 15 and 18 points, and two games between 20 and 23 points. I guess we can stop claiming he’s some kind of immortal fantasy God.
I wasn’t surprised to see that Colt McCoy has yet to go over the 20 point mark. The Browns’ offense is, well, the Browns’ offense. I was, however, surprised to see that the always highly hyped Michael Vick has recorded three games with less than 20 points, including two games with 12 points or less. Huh. Who would’ve thought such a quarterback could be so wildly inconsistent?
1) At running back the biggest disappointment I was able to find was not Titans one dimensional runner Chris Johnson, but the Steelers nimble baller Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall has all the tools to be an elite runner, and is on a team most running backs would love to run with, yet he has scored 20+ points just once, and has given fantasy owners point totals of 4.50, 7.60, 8.50, 4.70, 12.20, and 12.50 in other weeks. Johnson himself has yet to dip below the 8.1 point mark.
Even before his foot injury Raiders’ running back Darren McFadden was either hit or miss. Sure he had two 30+ point performances in the first three weeks, but beyond that his point totals of 16.6, 16.3, 8.8 and 16.6 don’t exactly add up to the classification of elite, as many claim him to be.
I’ve been most impressed with Darren Sproles. Not only is he undersized, but he plays on an offense that features two other running backs that have the ability to be great NFL runners, and behind a quarterback who leads the NFL in passing yards. Yet, Sproles has recorded five games of 20+ points, and hasn’t finished a game in the single digits. Like Rodgers, not only has he been great considering his preseason expectations, but he has been consistent.
J.O.W. — Joke of the Week
Four NFL Football fans want to find out who is the most loyal to their team, a Chicago Bears fan, a Green Bay Packers fan, a Detroit Lions fan and a Minnesota Vikings fan.
They climb to the top of a high mountain. The Bears’ fan, wanting to prove he is most loyal, yells at the top of his voice, “This is for the Chicago Bears!”, and jumps off the mountain. The Lions’ fan, not wanting to be outdone by his rival, also yells at the top of his voice, “This is for the Detroit Lions!”, and jumps off the mountain. Now the Packers’ fan, knowing in his mind that he is the most loyal, yells at the top of his voice, “This is for the Green Bay Packers!”, and pushes the Vikings’ fan off the mountain.
Thanks for reading!
Eric Huber is a staff writer for Fantasysharks.com.