Week #10: Lead Story & First Fantasy Thoughts
Philadelphia Eagles HC Doug Pederson made some comments today that were fairly obvious. First, he acknowledged he needs to focus more on running the ball and having rookie QB Carson Wentz throw less the rest of season. Pederson also said RB Darren Sproles will be the lead back moving forward. DUH. Over the past two weeks, although he's scored twice, RB Ryan Mathews has gotten the short end of the stick with regard to touches, barely playing 10% of the snaps in each game. If I were the head coach, I would not only start Mathews, but run him at least 18 times per game as long as the team doesn't fall behind. Sproles is a solid third down back, but he's also 33 years old. He wears down quickly, as evidenced by his game on Sunday against the Giants, catching just three of nine targets and rushing for only 57 yards on 13 carries. Bottom Line: The Eagles are losing due to poor play from Wentz, and stupid play-calling from Pederson. Case in point. Late in the first half on Sunday the team had a fourth and a long one inside the 10 yard line of the Giants. Instead of kicking the easy FG and getting to within one score, Pederson not only gores for it, but tries to run Sproles into the Giants front line of scrimmage. Terrible mistake. The team fails and then is forced to try for a TD late in the game when down by 4 points, when they should have been down by one point. Pederson seems to think he not only has an experienced QB, but also a OL as good as the Cowboys. That is two very poor assumptions. Hence, another loss by the Eagles. As a Giants fan, I'm happy. As a fantasy owner of Mathews, I'm furious. As a result, I plan to bench Mathews moving forward, as he's clearly just a risky flex play dependent totally on scoring TDs. You'd be smart to the do the dame if you have good depth.
In addition to this news, several injuries were updated on Monday...
Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith (concussion) will start on Sunday in Carolina, according to HC Andy Reid.
New York Jets HC Todd Bowles called QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (knee) "day to day" with a sprained MCL.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Spencer Ware (concussion) remains in the league's concussion protocol.
Tennessee Titans HC Mike Mularkey says rookie RB Derrick Henry (calf) has a calf strain, one that could cost him up to two weeks of action.
Kansas City Chiefs HC Andy Reid says WR Jeremy Maclin (groin) could conceivably miss more time with a groin injury, but he is listed now as day-to-day.
Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (leg) is listed as day-to-day, per HC Bill O'Brien. The team will know more by the end of the week if he will play this week.
Tennessee Titans HC Mike Mularkey says TE Delanie Walker (groin) came through the game on Sunday OK, and the team will monitor him this week.
Multiple NFL sources said Sunday that Denver Broncos CB Aqib Talib (back) won't play until after the team's Week #11 BYE to give his back time to heal.
Snap Count Watch Update:
Philadelphia Eagles tailback offense snaps on Sunday: RB Darren Sproles played 60 of 75 snaps, RB Ryan Mathews played 8, RB Kenjon Barner played 3, and rookie RB Wendell Smallwood played 4.
New York Giants tailback offense snaps on Sunday: RB Rashad Jennings played 37 of 64 offensive snaps, RB Paul Perkins played 22, RB Bobby Rainey played 5, and RB Orleans Darkwa played 0, but saw 19 special teams snaps.
New York Giants tight end offense snaps on Sunday: TE Will Tye played 46 of 64 snaps, TE Jerell Adams played 14, and TE Larry Donnell played 0 snaps.
We are staying on top of all the injuries around the league on a daily basis. As injury news breaks on the site, we’ll post it on Premium Injury NFL Quick Bits, so check that link often throughout your day! We will also e-mail you should the injury news be deemed serious when it’s released.
By Michael Nazarek
After another big game on Sunday, Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota has broken into the top 120 fantasy QB for the 2016 season. On average, Mariota is producing 22.8 fantasy points per week. Over his past five games, Mriota has produced 32, 32, 21, 23, and 33 fantasy points, for a whopping average of 28.2 points per game. Only QB Tom Brady (29.8) and QB Drew Brees (29.6) are averaging more points per game over that period of time. Bottom Line: Mariota is SCORCHING HOT! He's not only making good decisions (just one pick on Sunday ovder those five games), but he's very efficient in the red zone with ZERO turnovers! Best of all, his schedule moving forward is very favorable for the high production to continue. Outside of a week #14 date against the Broncos, the Titans play GB, IND, CHI, KC, JAX, and HOU over the other six weeks. In other words, if you own Mariota, you should be starting him most weeks, unless your other QB is Brady or Brees.
I must give credit where credit id due. Miami Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi has shockingly impressed me over the his past three games. All Ajayi has down is rush for 529 yards and 4 scores with 5 catches to boot. In PPR leagues, he's scored 34, 29, and 22 points over that period of time. And this comes from a back that was benched for having an attitude problem in week #1. Simply amazing! Granted, the first two games came against weaker run defense, but Ajayi rushed for 111 yards and a score against he top ranked New York Jets run defense this past Sunday. Moving forward, the Dolphins' schedule is far from a tough one on the ground with only a week #13 games against the Ravens as being labeled at "tough". In other words, Ajayi should continue to produce solid, if not great, numbers most weeks. And you now what that means for his fantasy owners, right? You must HOLD him, START him, and SMILE when he comes up big! NO SELLING HIGH HERE!
Through the first nine weeks of play, there is only one rookie wideout, whom has played at least eight games, who ranks in the top 40 in terms of average points per game. Believe it or not, his name is Saints WR Michael Thomas, and he actually ranks in the top 10 with a stunning 16.8 points per game in PPR leagues. The next best rookie is Giants WR Sterling Shepard with a solid 11.3 points per game, ranked #44. Bottom Line: The Saints love their big bodied rookie wideout, and he's come up big in 2016, especially over the past six weeks with three games of more than 20 points! QB Drew Brees loves him and calls him a central part of the passing game. Did you know that Thomas actually has more fantasy points than WR Brandin Cooks? Yup, he has two more. Bottom Line: Even though the Saints have many weapons, Thomas is producing every week, so hold and start him each game he's healthy and plays. Just like Ajayi, there is no need to sell high here! Start him and watch the points roll in!
I just want to inform everyone about the FFMastermind.com Edge Podcast show that I will host this TUESDAY night at 11 PM eastern/8 PM pacific. Co-Host Chris Rito joins me this week, as we discuss week #9 and preview week #10 of the NFL season. Click the link below to listen LIVE or download an archived version from the site or on I-Tunes. See you Friday!