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2014 EYE IN THE SKY NFL SCOUTING REPORTS

Once again in 2014 (come September), we are bringing you in-season NFL Team Reports from our "Eye in the Sky" correspondents. These reports represent a local point of view which isn't readily available on the web. We remind everyone, the views expressed within these reports contain speculation as well as fact. It's just another extra bonus from FFMastermind.com to keep all fantasy football fanatics well informed.


BUFFALO BILLS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


MIAMI DOLPHINS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


NEW YORK JETS
10/29/2014

Okay this is getting boring. Seriously. The pain is starting to subside and is being replaced with general boredom. How can this team be so bad? If anybody says they predicted this they are lying. It is just horrendous. At 1 and 7 the New York Jets are looking at a real nice pick in next year’s draft. They have given no indication that they can improve at all.

QB Geno Smith was so bad that the 3rd of his three 1st quarter interceptions literally looked like he was throwing with his eyes closed. It’s somewhat sad to watch a young man become so unraveled. One thing I was right about is when people were calling for QB Michael Vick from the get go, I said he won’t be much better and he wasn’t. He turns the ball over with the same regularity as Geno. You can tell me he hasn’t had the reps, but what do reps have to do with dropping the football when someone barley taps your wrist with a pinky. This is nothing new with him. Of course he’s capable of big plays or a big game, but he’s brittle and prone to giving it away.

I wonder if QB Matt Simms is in on the fix or will he ruin it for Vick and Geno if he ever gets the chance.

The defense has let up more passing than most any D in the league. If you have a quarterback on a bye and your backup is playing the Jets, start him happily.

RB Christopher Ivory and PK Nick Folk are the only positives.

After GM John Idzik’s bold move to trade for WR Percy Harvin last week, he should follow it up by trading some picks to get QB Johnny Manziel (assuming Cleveland is committed to QB Brian Hoyer). Why the heck not? Give ‘em whatever they want. It could not be worse. It would at least give the fans some potential to be excited about.

Sorry, but what can be written in a report like this?
And Rex? I’ve rooted like hell for the guy, but he won’t be around when this is said and done. If he advised Idzik not to worry about the cornerback position this summer then he should be gone. So should Idzik for that matter, for listening. We don’t know that to be the case, but if…

There is money to be made by opening a Jet-Therapy clinic. Probably could have been done a long time ago.

Enjoy your football weekend.

John Caldara


BALTIMORE RAVENS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


CINCINNATI BENGALS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


CLEVELAND BROWNS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


PITTSBURGH STEELERS
10/29/2014

The 5-3 Bumble Bees, err, Steelers wearing their hideous striped throwback uniforms ended the 5 game winning streak of the 5-3 Colts with a shocking 51 to 34 victory at Heinz Field. A 28 point second quarter put the Steelers up by 25. QB Andrew Luck of course did not give up. He led his team to 10 points in the last 5 minutes of the half and pulled them to within 8 points in the third quarter. A safety on an intentional grounding as Luck laid in the end zone after tripping over his offensive lineman ended the Colts momentum and the Steelers added a fourth quarter touchdown to put the game away.

Next up is an almost must win against bitter divisional rival the 5-3 Ravens. The Ravens are coming to town after a tough 27 to 24 loss and season sweep by the 4-2-1 Bengals. The Ravens were done in by a questionable offensive pass interference penalty on WR Steve Smith during what would have been an 80 yard touchdown pass with under a minute remaining. The Ravens dominated the Steelers in Baltimore 26-6 on Thursday night in the second week of the season. Both the Steelers and Ravens have already lost twice in the division. The Steelers will officially retire only the second number in franchise history on Sunday, the #75 of DT Joe Greene. No one has worn the number since Greene retired. The only other number retired by the franchise is #70 worn by DT Ernie Stautner.

QB: Where did that come from? QB Ben Roethlisberger exploded with a franchise record 40 completions in 49 attempts for 522 yards and 6 touchdowns. Roethlisberger is the first QB in franchise history to throw a 6 touchdown passes in a game and the first in league history with a pair of 500 yard passing games in his career. He joined QB Tom Brady, QB Joe Montana and QB Terry Bradshaw as the only QBs with 100 wins in their first 150 starts. Roethlisberger was named AFC offensive player of the week for his efforts. Alas I did not think he should be in a fantasy lineup last week. Not that I was alone. No one can expect Roethlisberger to repeat his performance. The Steelers did jump to 3rd in the league in total offense and 4th in passing offense. Roethlisberger is suddenly second in the league in passing yards behind only Luck. The emergence of rookie WR Martavis Bryant and Roethlisberger’s improved rapport with WR Markus Wheaton were good signs. The Ravens are better against the run than the pass. They only have the 22nd ranked pass defense, although they are good at keeping the ball out of the end zone with the 2nd ranked scoring defense.

RB: Another day, another 100 yards from scrimmage from RB LeVeon Bell. He carried the ball 24 times for 92 yards and added 6 receptions for 56 yards. Once again though he did not score. The only blemish so far on his record is only getting a pair of touchdowns so far this season. I continue to believe that trend will not continue. Matchup does not affect Bell’s fantasy status, he simply gets too many touches to not have in a lineup. RB LaGarrette Blount had a costly third quarter fumble with the Steelers driving and up only 8. Luckily the team survived. Blount finished with 6 carries, 2 receptions and 32 total yards. FB Will Johnson made a rare contribution with 33 yards and a pair of first downs on his 2 receptions.

WR: I was wrong about the receivers behind WR Antonio Brown. Last week I was willing to give up on the lot of them for fantasy purposes. Only Bryant held any promise on the field for me, and that was in the future not now. Oops. In only his second game active Bryant exploded for 5 catches for 83 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He has 3 touchdowns in 2 games. HC Mike Tomlin said at his weekly press conference that Bryant’s role will only increase. Wheaton ran good routes and was on the same page as Roethlisberger. What brought that on? Wheaton caught 5 passes for 56 yards and also got into the end zone. WR Lance Moore pitched in with 2 catches for 33 yards. That is probably about his weekly ceiling. WR Darius HeywardBey lost a third quarter fumble on his only reception, a 16 yarder. Even with the improved play of his compatriots Brown still dominated statistically. He caught 10 passes for 133 yards and a 2 touchdowns. He added 5 yards on the ground. Brown remains the only sure thing from a fantasy perspective despite last week’s offensive explosion. He is a weekly top 3 receiver. Bryant is a big gamble worth a shot for the truly desperate especially in non-PPR leagues because of his big play ability and prowess in the red zone.

TE: The problem with TE Heath Miller catching 7 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown is that hardly anyone was likely to have him active. You really can’t count on him going forward with just 2 big scoring days under his belt in 8 games. There are too many 2 or 3 catch games where he is needed more as a blocker. That said there are 6 teams on bye this week. Miller’s playing time is not in question and at worst provides a fantasy team a punchers chance at a big week.

K: Opportunities for PK Shaun Suisham were limited to extra points. At least he got 7. Suisham is tied for 6th among kickers in scoring. He really is not a bad play any week. The 6 teams on bye make him a no brainer this week.

DEF/ST: The defense had a strange day. They pummeled Luck repeatedly, constantly blitzing to get pressure. Yet they couldn’t stop him or WR TY Hilton from making big plays and had trouble matching up against big rookie WR Donte Moncrief. They did get a pair of big scoring plays and held on for dear life. CB William Gay led team in tackles and had a pick 6. S Troy Polamalu and LB James Harrison had sacks. LB Ryan Shazier was eased back from injury with LB Vince Williams splitting time. Williams was surprisingly effective. CB Antwon Blake had a fourth quarter interception. Blake was in the game after the benching of CB Cortez Allen. After signing an extension Allen has been especially awful. Tomlin did not rule out his getting playing time against the Ravens, but it wouldn’t be shocking if he was inactive even with CB Ike Taylor not ready to return. NT Steve McClendon is expected back. The Steelers defense has been better for fantasy purposes than I would have ever expected of late. Not that I would want to have to have them in my lineup this week particularly. Only having 26 teams playing this week does limit options.

Rick Moses


HOUSTON TEXANS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
10/28/2014

Hey there Colts' fans! Here are some thought on the Colts' 51-34 thrashing at the hands of the Steelers, snapping their 5-game win streak

Injuries – When CB Vontae Davis left the game in the first quarter, the entire tenor of the defense changes and clearly they struggled all day with the fast Steelers' receivers. His replacement was CB Josh Gordy, who was also in and out of the game, so he was not at full strength. After giving up only 4 passing TDs to receivers in 7 games, they were torched for 6 TD passes and well over 500 passing yards! They lost an important defensive leader for the middle portion of the game in the veteran DL Cory Redding, although the line play was consistent both before and after he left. Their next best lineman DL Ricky Jean-Francois also left the game with a hand injury during the second half. They also lost one of their leading tacklers in LB Erik Walden midway through the game and he did not return. WR Reggie Wayne sat this one out, and RB Trent Richardson was dressed but never saw the field with a hamstring injury. WR TY Hilton (6-155-1) had a huge statistical game, but the guy I was more impressed with was rookie WR Donte Moncrief (7-113-1) who clearly leapfrogged over WR Hakeem Nicks (1-27) for the #3 role, and surely will start across from Hilton next week if Wayne cannot give it a go. Nicks was just a little out of sync with Luck all game and never did do much with his targets. RB Ahmad Bradshaw carried the load and simply was not able to get enough touches due to the large hole dug by the Colts early, although he did add 7-52 in the air to his 6-35-1 rushing line. He was effective, but underutilized this game.
QB Andrew Luck was battered and rushed constantly all game, making nearly every throw under duress. While he was only sacked twice, he was hit almost 20 times, including a safety that squelched the late rally. Despite looking harried and attacked, he still managed a very fantasy friendly 400 yards passing with three scores, and 3-26 on the ground. He did toss two INTs, one of which was returned for a TD in the first half to extend the lead, and the final one in desperation time in the final moments. He is still the best fantasy quarterback in the NFL
right now, averaging over 30 PPG.

The opportunistic defense blocked a punt and forced a few second half turnovers to get the team right back into the game from a 42-10 hole. They closed to 42-34 with the ball in the 4th quarter, but gave up a safety and a late TD pass to end the hopes of a miracle comeback. Kudos to the defense for playing hard on a day on which they simply did not have an answer for anything the Steelers threw at them, and to the offense for chipping away at the huge deficit and giving the team a chance to win.

That is all for now from the Crossroads of America. I will be back later in the week to preview the Colts trip to the Big Apple for MNF next week as they face the well-rested Giants and Eli Manning. Until then, friends, remain…..COLTSTRONG!!!

Chris Rito


JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


TENNESSEE TITANS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


DENVER BRONCOS
10/29/2014

San Diego 21 Denver 35

Denver (6-1) extended its lead in the AFCW to 1.5 games with an emphatic 35-21 win over San Diego (5-3). WR Emmanuel Sanders (9-120-3; 1-6-0) caught three touchdown passes from QB Peyton Manning (25/35-283-3-0), and all nine throws Manning sent his way plus adding a rushing attempt for 126 yards from scrimmage. RB Juwan Thompson (7-24-2) did a good imitation of a fullback while adding two short rushing scores. RB Ronnie Hillman (20-109-0; 3-29-0) had 138 yards from scrimmage for his third straight 100-yard game. WR Demaryius Thomas (8-105-0) became the first Bronco in history to record four straight 100 yard receiving games. Outside of LT Orlando Franklin’s penalties, this was the offensive line’s best game of the year. K Brandon McManus (0/1; 5/5) pulled a 53-yard attempt just wide; his other miss this season was from the same distance, against Arizona. San Diego decided early on to force Manning to work downfield but don’t assume WR Wes Welker (2-5-0) is losing his effectiveness (except for fantasy) in the slot because of his stats. Teams know that to beat Manning they have to drop more defenders and Manning naturally gravitates to the outside where he finds man coverage. CB Chris Harris and S Rahim Moore each intercepted Philip Rivers once, and LB Von Miller extended his sack streak to five games. The 14-point victory is Denver's biggest over San Diego since 2005. Denver held San Diego to 61 rushing yards compared to last year when the Chargers pounded out 177 yards on the ground. Over their four-game winning streak, the Broncos have allowed only 191 rushing yards, or 47.75 per game, but another nine penalties (71 yards) are too many. RT Paul Cornick is a better run-blocker than the struggling Chris Clark who he replced. He traps, pulls, and moves quickly to the second level. Hillman provides speed, Cornick provides power and Manning handles the passing. RB Ronnie Hillman has more rush yards before contact (176) than RB Montee Ball has rushing yards (172) this year on the same number of carries (55). Ball is reportedly progressing, and may practice on a limited basis prior to the New England. Ball will provide a change of pace that could prove essential and relagate Thompson to a number three running back role. RB Kapri Bibbs, an impressive young runner, was promted to the 53 man roster to prevent Buffalo from signing him to their depleted roster. He needs to develop the receiving and pass protection aspects of his game as well as the NFL body that John Fox talks about. The question is "what happens when Bell returns?" since the Broncos like RB CJ Anderson too; but can the Broncos afford to carry five running backs?

DENVER @ NEW ENGLAND

Denver has won four straight, the last two against defenses decimated by injuries. They have a mini-bye before they head to New England and there is reason for cautious optimism as they begin a three game road trip (NE, OAK, STL). Over their four-game winning streak, the Broncos have allowed only 191 rushing yards, or 47.75 per game, but gave up another nine penalties to San Diego. Denver's improving defense has held their last four opponents to 15-of-53 on third down attempts. Between Hillman’s attacking runs and Cornick’s blocking, Denver isn't just a passing team anymore. Denver is favored by 3 points on the road, but hasn't won at NE since 2006. A Denver win would increase their chance at the #1 seed in the AFC to 91.3%. It will take a total team effort: Denver 28- NE 27. Every Bronco game should be an Orange Sunday.

FANTASY OUTLOOK
QB Peyton Manning is a #1 quarterback RB Ronnie Hillman is a #1 running back RB Juwan Thompson is touchdown vulture WR Demaryious Thomas in a #1 wide receiver WR Emmanuel Sanders is a #1 wide receiver WR Wes Welker is a #4 wide receiver with risky upside TE Julius Thomas is a #1 tight end PK Brandon McManus is a back up this week
D/ST is a low end #1 defense. NE/Denver have been been known to shred each others defense.

"Win the Super Bowl or Bust."

Charles Rives


KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


OAKLAND RAIDERS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


DALLAS COWBOYS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


NEW YORK GIANTS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

The report for this week has not yet been released.


WASHINGTON REDSKINS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


CHICAGO BEARS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


DETROIT LIONS
10/28/2014

Lions report, week 8 review
Lions 22, Falcons 21

QB: This was very similar to the week 7 win against the Saints with QB Matthew Stafford lighting it up in the second half after a sluggish first half. If you are a Stafford owner it’s a good thing if the Lions fall behind early in games because Stafford often seems to be at his best when playing from behind. He ended this game completing 24 of 47 passes so his completion percentage was a little lower than you would like, although three clock stopping spikes hurt that a bit. He piled up 325 yards and 2 TD passes. His 59 yard TD to Golden Tate was a thing of beauty as Stafford unleashed an absolute laser from his own 40 yard line that zipped past a befuddled Falcons safety and hit Tate perfectly at the goal line. Stafford has not been playing perfectly by any means but he is doing enough to win games and he is money in the clutch. He did throw an interception late in the first half but that was due to the receiver slipping on the poor Wembley Stadium field. The Lions scored points on all of their possession in the second half and that is how you rally from a 21-0 deficit. This offense was missing a lot of pieces on Sunday so we could be in for more consistent play in the second half of the season as the bye week allows injuries to heal. One other area that was better this week was Stafford not getting sacked even with 47 attempts.

RB: This was a case where the game flow affected the workload of the backs. Falling behind meant the Lions would have to throw the ball a lot, and they clearly liked what they had with RB Theo Riddick against the Atlanta linebackers as Riddick caught 8 passes out of 12 targets for 74 yards with a TD catch as well. Riddick played some receiver in college so this is the role the Lions thought he could fill. If and when the Lions get their full arsenal of skill players back from injuries following the bye it is hard to see Riddick getting that many targets in a game but he has earned playing time, perhaps at the expense of RB Reggie Bush? Bush ended up listed as doubtful Friday and was inactive with his ankle injury. RB Joique Bell had 14 carries for 39 yards and 2 catches for 22 yards as he provided the tough yardage. Bell was in for 46 snaps to 31 for Riddick. Even FB Jed Collins carries the ball twice on third and short and converted both. That has to be worth something if you play in a fullback fantasy league right? An overall total of 23 carries for 60 yards on the day is only 2.6 yards per carry as the Lions continue to struggle to run the football consistently.

WR/TE: I thought there was a chance, but we found out around 8:00 am ET that WR Calvin Johnson would be inactive once again. You have got to believe he will be back at 100% in week 10 after Detroit’s much needed week 9 bye. With Calvin out it was the WR Golden Tate show again as this guy is having a big time breakout fantasy season. Tate had a huge number of targets (15) and caught 7 passes for 151 yards with that 59 yard TD catch. WR Corey Fuller and WR Jeremy Ross each had three catches. Neither one of these guys really did enough to get on the fantasy radar and they will likely to back to fantasy irrelevance with Calvin’s impending return. Also needed are reinforcements at tight end. TE Kellen Davis was just signed on Monday and ended up playing 47 snaps on Sunday. He had two targets but couldn’t hang on to either one as it was obvious there was no chemistry between him and Stafford. All three of the injured tight ends could return after the bye.

K/DST: Everybody probably saw what happened at the end of the game with PK Matt Prater making a 48 yard field goal to win the game at the buzzer, after the Lions had Prater set up for a 43 yard field goal and somehow got a delay of game penalty. The Lions have been having problems with field goal kicking all season long so it just added to the insanity of this comeback that Prater was able to win it, especially after missing on the kick that didn’t count due to the delay penalty. He went 3 for 3 on the day, with the other two made kicks coming from under 30 yards. On defense the Lions shut Atlanta out in the second half after a shaky first half. The Lions held Atlanta under 300 total yards and had a turnover that nearly became a pick six, plus added two sacks. However DT Nick Fairley hurt his knee and could be out multiple weeks.

This week the Lions along with five other teams have a bye so I will be back next week to preview the week 10 game against Miami.

James Hintz


GREEN BAY PACKERS
10/28/2014

Week 8 Review: The Packers got dumped by the New Orleans Saints 44-23. Not much went right with either the offense or the defense. In a rare turn of events the Packers scored more field goals (3) than touchdowns (2). QB Aaron Rodgers threw for 418 yards, had 2 interceptions, completed 86% of his passes, threw for 1 touchdown, and ran for another for a passer rating of 93.8. Six different Packers caught passes from Rodgers but it would be his tight ends that contributed to the loss as two very catchable TD passes were dropped. I am sure Rodgers would trade a few yards for touchdown catches. Also, Rodgers second half effectiveness was limited by an injured hamstring. RB Eddie Lacy got 13 carries for 59 yards – 4.5 yards per carry – and added another 123 yards on 8 receptions – but no touchdowns. RB James Starks had 2 carries for 5 – 2.5 yards per carry average – and no touchdowns. TE Andrew Quarless caught 2 passes for 19 yards – but dropped one of those potential TD passes. TE Richard Rodgers caught 4 passes for 58 yards. But it was OLB Julius Peppers – playing as a tight end – who was targeted once in the end zone – and dropped the pass. WR Randall Cobb had 5 receptions for 126 yards and 1 touchdown. WR Jordy Nelson had just 3 receptions for 25 yards but no touchdowns. WR Davante Adams had 7 receptions for 75 yards but no touchdowns. K Mason Crosby connected on 3 field goals and 2 extra points for a total of 11 points. He had a perfect day. The Packer defense allowed 193 yards rushing and 302 yards passing for a total of 495 yards. They had 2 sacks, 4 tackles for loss, 3 quarterback hits, 1 pass defended, and 1 fumble recovered. The Packers were playing without CB Sam Shields and S Morgan Burnett. This defense did not play very well at all allowing the Saints to march in and score on 8 of 10 drives.

Week 9 Preview: The Packers have a bye week and given that Aaron Rodgers injured his leg, it could not come at a better time. Projected season updates for significant fantasy Packer players are as follows: On the year Rodgers would have 4184 yards, 38 touchdowns, completion rate of 67.6%, and a passer rating of 114.8 – which has him holding steady in every category except passing touchdowns – which is down this week. Nelson is down a little and would have 100 receptions and 1474 yards and 12 touchdowns. Cobb would have 80 receptions for 1156 yards and 18 touchdowns. Touchdowns and yards are up for Cobb. WR Davante Adams would have 48 receptions for 526 yards and 4 touchdowns which have him improving in number of receptions and yards. RB Eddie Lacy would project to have 210 carries for 854 yards and another 418 receiving and score 8 touchdowns. That would give Lacy 1272 total yards at this time. This has him improving in yards but otherwise holding steady. Crosby would have 116 points on the year. If the Packer offense sputters like it did against the Saints, Crosby’s opportunities could go up.

I hope you have some non-Packer players ready to step in for next week on your fantasy team. Next week I will discuss how the bye week went for the Packers and review the next game against the Bears.

Mike Hankes


MINNESOTA VIKINGS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


ATLANTA FALCONS
10/28/2014

Well, the Falcons came out this week and played physical inspired ball for the first half with a 21-0 lead at halftime….but then, the bottom fell out and they lost 22-21 on a last second field goal, dropping them to 2-6….they can talk all they want about not being out of the NFC South race….but let’s be honest, they almost have to run the table at this point…

1. QB Matt Ryan – Ryan was 20-27 for 228yards with 2 touchdowns that went to 2 players, RB Davonta Freeman and TE Bear Pascoe that helped no one, and had one interception, and was sacked twice and hit 5 more times. Like most of the team, had a good first half, but was pressured a lot and struggled in the second half.
2. Falcons Running Backs – RB Steven Jackson came out of the gates strong and put up a decent 12 point fantasy day, with 60 yards rushing and a score. As I mentioned earlier, RB Davonta Freeman scored on a 7 yard reception, his only one of the day and had 3 rushes for 5 yards.
3. WR Julio Jones – Jones was shut down this week with only 4 catches for 58 yards.
4. WR Roddy White – White had a decent game in PPR formats, definitely better than te guys I started, Michael Floyd and Julian Edelman, getting 5 catches for 66 yards.
5. PK Matt Bryant – Only 3 extra points this week, so a total of 4 in the last two games.
6. Defense – The Falcons allowed 22 points, all in the second half, 385 yards of offense and we able to get one interception of QB Matt Stafford.

Luckily, the Falcons have a much needed bye after their London trip and return on November 9th against the Bucs in Tampa.

Bryon Bonafede


CAROLINA PANTHERS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


ARIZONA CARDINALS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
10/29/2014

So that’s what a game with 6 times more fumbles than touchdowns looks like. Seattle survived in Carolina, but it really was not much more than that. And that game has looked the same each of the past three years. Despite LB Luke Kuechly looking somewhat pedestrian, Seattle nearly lost the game. Next week Oakland comes to CLink with a linebacker who is looking like he wants to be rookie of the year. LB Khalil Mack will be challenging Seattle’s line off the edge and if they play the way they have the past couple of weeks he will likely disrupt the passing game.

QB-
The drama and rumors of drama have been a distraction, but QB Russell Wilson plays on. He should have had a second passing touchdown instead of an interception which would have totally changed how this game played out. But he was just slightly off all day. And that was enough for the final pass of the first half to go through RB Marshawn Lynch’s hands and into Panther CB Josh Norman’s hands for an interception. That also kept Wilson’s fantasy numbers low with 199 passing yards for 1 TD and 35 yards on the ground. And again Seattle lost the battle for time of possession. Certainly they should win it this week against the Raiders who are almost the worst rushing team in the league and nearly there for scoring too. If anything is certain this year, it is that every team is giving Seattle their best shot and Seattle has not proved to be up to the challenge most of the time. The hated Raiders will come at Seattle with all they have and Seattle should knock them to the dirt. But will they? Wilson has proven to be too valuable in these situations to bench, so he should be a started by fantasy owners.

RB-
The trade deadline came and went and BeastMode remains where he belongs. RB Marshawn Lynch has been the target of plenty of rumors by the media which will likely make him even less talkative when the time comes again. Maybe he will change his ‘I’m all about that action, boss’ to nothing but a gleaming gold grin next time. The 12s are good with that so everyone else should be too. An errant pass cost fantasy owners a precious touchdown that would have pulled Lynch’s performance last week out of the dumper. This week he faces Oakland who is doing only one thing well this year - stopping the run. But Lynch is a stud and this is one of the two weakest teams that Seattle will face from here out, so he must be started. RB Christine Michael doubled his carries to 4 in the second game he has suited up for this year. RB Robert Turbin held to his 2 carries. Both remain watch list only kind of guys however, two weeks ago Turbo was in 4 times as many plays as Michael and last week they were almost even. The emergence of Michael foretold in the preseason may finally be happening. He is not a beast like Lynch, so when he breaks one it will be by avoiding tacklers. And that will happen soon.

WR- WR Doug Baldwin had 6 receptions on 8 targets for 61 yards. He should have more this week and is certainly a WR2. WR Jermaine Kearse had only 2 targets but was still the second receiver in total yards with 22 and has played over 90% of the snaps the last two weeks. Kearse is a good sleeper this week against Oakland. I have picked him up off the waiver wire to start while my other players are on a bye and recommend you do the same.

TE- TE Luke Willson scored last week and TE Cooper Helfet declined from his fantasy bubble the week before. Both only caught 1 of their 4 targets. Willson has definitely retaken his place for those who wish or need to gamble on the tight end fantasy points. But he remains only that even though this position has provided a touchdown for two weeks in a row.

K-
There was a 58 yarder and a 29 yarder for PK Steven Hauschka last week along with the PAT and he was robbed of at least a point at the end of the first half. He remains top 5 if not top 10 and should be started.

D-
The news of CB Byron Maxwell’s return was incorrect last week and he may or may not be back this week. This puts a lot of pressure on the secondary to perform and Oakland’s best chance may be to exploit the Legion of Boom - such as they are today. But Oakland’s line has to give QB Derek Carr time and DE Cliff Avril is definitely having some really good games. I will keep him as my IDP recommendation this week even though his IDP fantasy points have not really reflected his impact on the field lately. He has had plenty of ‘almost’ sacks, but almost fantasy points don’t count. DE Bruce Irvin was my sleeper pick going into this season and watching him on those last two plays last week certainly show why. Where is that motor on every down? Maybe we will see it this week?

The Seattle D as a whole put up an average game last week. Unfortunately for those who drafted them early, that was their best fantasy score of the year. And it was ultimately inflated by Irvin’s two sacks on the final two plays. Seattle should stop the Raiders on the ground, but can they stop them through the air even in CLink? They could not in preseason. Still, I am starting the Seattle D, but it is not a sure thing.

Prediction:
Oh, Seahawks. It is hard to pick against them, but they keep winning ugly or not at all. This should be the blowout game of the week and Seattle should score 30+. But I said something similar last week too. I think Oakland is coming to CLink at the worst possible time. The ‘Hawks need to make a statement at home after losing there against the Cowboys a couple of weeks ago and they have had another week to shake off the effects of WR Percy Harvin.

Seattle: 34
Raiders: 10

What’s Next? Go ‘Hawks!

Rick Watts


ST. LOUIS RAMS
10/28/2014

CRUSHED! A week after upsetting the Seahawks, the Rams travel cross state and get pummeled by the Kansas City Chiefs 34-7. St. Louis scored on their opening drive but then failed to score another point the rest of the game. Last week the St. Louis special teams provided key plays in the victory. This week the special teams cost the Rams dearly as the Chiefs returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown and never looked back. Adding insult to injury, St. Louis suffered numerous injuries to key players. LT Jake Long tore his ACL and is out for the season. WR Brian Quick injured his shoulder and is also done for the year. The Rams are 2-5 and head to San Francisco to take on the Niners fresh off their bye. Let’s take a look at the week 8 Fantasy production with week nine potential.

QB: QB Austin Davis (15-160 with 1 touchdown and 1 interception) had another low yardage game and was under pressure for most of the game (sacked 7 times). Davis has talent but can’t succeed with that kind of pressure. QB Shaun Hill continues to ride the pine as the sub. San Fran is 8th against the pass allowing 221.1 yards per game. The Niners have allowed 13 touchdowns while collecting 7 interceptions and 12 sacks in seven games. Week 9 Recommendation: Davis will be working behind a retooled line with Long out and is missing his leading receiver so it will be a challenge to muster 200+ passing yards and 1-2 touchdowns. Davis should be on the bench unless you are desperate like I am!

RB: RB Tre Mason (7-32 rushing and 1-1 receiving), RB Benny Cunningham (4-27 rushing and 1-8 receiving), and RB Zac Stacy (5-17 rushing and 3-20 receiving) were in full blown RBBC mode and had hardly any success moving the ball. The Rams running game is a mess and the Fantasy value for each of the backs is nil. San Fran is ranked 4th against the rush at 84.9 yards per game and has surrendered only 5 rushing touchdowns. Week 9 Recommendation: Until Fisher decides on one lead back, I can’t recommend starting any of the Ram running backs. Unfortunately, you probably drafted Stacy in the first few rounds (like I did) and might need to ride him. Hopefully you took my advice and picked Mason as insurance.

WR: WR Tavon Austin (2-7 rushing and 2-12 receiving) continues to disappoint with his lack of explosive plays. WR Kenny Britt (2-52) had one long catch and that was about it. WR Brian Quick (1-10) injured his shoulder and is out for the year. Stedman Bailey (2-33) should take over the starting spot for Quick and could be productive going forward. WR Chris Givens (1-12) is at the bottom of the depth chart. WR Week 9 Recommendation: Like the running back position, I can’t recommend any one player to provide decent Fantasy production. I have a sneaky feeling that Bailey could take advantage of his opportunity to start.

TE: TE Jared Cook (1-11) is not playing up to his big contract and has been very disappointing overall. TE Lance Kendricks (1-1 and 1 touchdown) scored for the third game in a row but only had that one catch. TE Corey Harkey was relegated to his blocking duties. Week 9 Recommendation: The offense has been so bad lately I can’t recommend any tight end but I have to play Cook in my dynasty league. Hopefully you have better options.

K: PK Greg Zuerlein (1 extra point 1 missed field goal attempt (38)) has struggled lately and not just with the field goal attempts. It was his miss-hit kickoff that allowed the Chiefs to return the second half kick for a touchdown. I don’t know what is going on with Greg but he really needs to improve. Week 9 Recommendation: The dominos keep falling as Greg “the EGG” has been very disappointing.

DEF: The defense got run over again and is second to last in the league against the rush. DB Lamarcus Joyner (9 solo tackles and 1 assist) and CB E.J. Gaines (7 solo tackles and 1 assist) led the Rams in tackles. LB James Laurinaitis (6 solo tackles and 1 assist) and LB Alec Ogletree (4 solo tackles and 1 assist) were a little better but are still missing impact plays. DE Robert Quinn (5 solo tackles 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble) had a good game and is starting to get rolling. DT Aaron Donald (1 solo tackle) had a quiet game which happens from time to time with rookies. Week 9 Recommendations: The Rams acquired SS Mark Barron from Tampa Bay and he should help the depleted secondary but not this week. Quinn is finally putting up numbers similar to last year so ride him all the way. Laurinaitis and Ogletree need big games to contain San Fran quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the Niner rushing attack.

A week after the big upset of Seattle, the Rams hit rock bottom with a brutal loss and numerous key injuries in Kansas City. The playoffs are a dream and the upcoming schedule is vicious so Coach Fisher and his team have their work cut out for them. My Fantasy teams mirror the Rams as I have many of them on my teams so I hope your teams are doing better than mine. Thanks to Gru and his family for the great time in Cabo San Lucas! Looking forward to our upcoming “football trip” in San Fran. Love and Blessings to my Family. Miss you Pops. Aloha!

Layton Pang




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