2017 EYE IN THE SKY NFL SCOUTING REPORTS
Once again in 2017 (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.
The report for this week has not yet been released.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The report for this week has not yet been released.
The report for this week has not yet been released.
The 2-0 Steelers beat the 1-1 Vikings at Heinz Field by the score of 26-9. The Vikings were forced to play QB Case Keenum after QB Sam Bradford was ruled out due to a knee injury. The results were predictably not pretty for the Vikings. Next up are the 0-2 Bears at Soldier Field. The match up looks like a good one for the Steelers with the usual caveat that QB Ben Roethlisberger and the entire team under HC Mike Tomlin have a tendency to play much better at home than on the road.
QB: No changes from a fantasy perspective for QB Ben Roethlisberger. He completed 23 of 35 passes with 2 touchdowns against the Vikings. If he is your starting quarterback then there is certainly no reason for him to be out of your line up this week.
RB: After complaining about touches in the opener, RB LeVeon Bell had nothing to complain about against the Vikings. The results were not spectacular. He had 27 carries for 87 yards and 4 catches for 4 yards. The fact that he held up so well under the workload is obviously a good sign after he sat out the entire preseason. A breakout for Bell against the Bears is a distinct possibility especially considering their multiple injuries at inside linebacker, obviously he should be in all fantasy lineups just like any other week.
WR: Targeted 11 times against the Vikings as in Cleveland when he caught every one for 11 receptions, WR Antonio Brown managed just 5 catches for 62 yards. A rare off day. WR Martavis Bryant picked up the slack down the field with 3 catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. He added an end around for 7 yards. WR Eli Rogers and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster were also utilized more than in the first week. Rogers had 4 receptions for 43 yards and Smith-Schuster a touchdown on a shovel pass among his 3 receptions for 16 yards. The match up against the Bears seems especially good for Brown, the consensus top fantasy wideout. Bryant's big play ability also makes him difficult to ever sit down. He is a top 20 receiver weekly and should be active.
TE: Injuries have this position in flux. TE Vance McDonald was inactive last week because of a back injury. He is likely to return yet has not caught a pass this season. TE Jesse James had 4 catches for 27 yards, a basically normal game if he doesn't get into the end zone. He is questionable with an ankle injury and practiced on a limited basis on Thursday. There are no viable fantasy options this or probably most weeks.
K: In the second week PK Chris Boswell got his opportunities and cashed in with 14 points. He kicked 4 field goals and a pair of extra points with no misses. Boswell looks borderline fantasy startable in a 12 team league. If you have problems at kicker give him a look.
DEF/ST: The defense got a major break with Bradford being inactive. OLB Bud Dupree and ILB Vince Williams had sacks. There were no interceptions with the Vikings being very conservative on offense. OLB TJ Watt suffered a groin injury early. DE Stephon Tuitt due to his bicep injury and S JJ Wilcox a concussion were inactive. Wilcox will be back. Watt and Tuitt are questionable. The defense has started the year with three excellent match ups against the Browns, Bradford-less Vikings and Bears. They are a top 5 or at least 10 defense for another week before the schedule gets tougher.
The Texans put every big offensive body they had on the OL in their close win last Thursday night in Cincy. Sans hold out LT Duane Brown and injured RG Jeff Allen, C Nick Martin led basically a seven man OL. What they lacked in talent they somewhat compensated with numbers. Look for more of these odd man lines this Sunday in New England. You can be sure the Patriots will have some answers for their pass rushers.
The QB Deshaun Watson era has begun. He is not ready. However, he does seem to have a certain something that gives the team a chance to succeed. He was only a ‘DB with bad hands’ away from a pick six or two last week. Be sure you pick up the Patriots D for this weekend. QB Tom Savage has adapted well as possible to his role as the back-up. He is a good guy and with a decent OL he might make a good NFL QB.
WR Jaelen Strong and WR DeAndre Hopkins were basically the only passing options last week. Hopkins played a great game and Strong was waived. There may be a TE and / or additional WR available this week. It was fun watching Hopkins and Watson playing catch; Hopkins is playing borderline dirty which will make him a great receiver. Soon! That chemistry is developing.
Rookie RB D’onta Foreman and RB Lamar Miller are the running story with the Texans. Those guys somehow need to meld with that OL. It’s a stretch to say it’s a work in progress. Look for Foreman to get more work this week than last.
OLB Jadeveon Clowney and DE J.J. Watt are on the field playing together now. Hopefully they will be fun to watch in the coming weeks. The D will need to force some turnovers and put pressure on the QB this week in New England for the Texans to have a chance. We’ll see.
Special teams unit PK Ka’imi Fairbairn is impressing and yet to miss a kick. Until the O settles down I don’t know how many opportunities he will get.
The Texans were fun to watch last week. The Pats in New England should be a different story unless the D plays out of their minds. I look for the O to be more effective but I wouldn’t start any Texans on my fantasy team. I’d watch them for another week before putting my toe into the water. Your best bet is to get a scoring opportunity from the Pats on a pick 6.
Hey there Colts’ fans! Here are my thoughts on this weekend’s must-win game as the 0-2 Colts host the 0-2 Browns:
Roster: The Colts elevated RB Matt Jones from the practice squad this week and placed him on the active roster; he will serve as the #3 back this weekend and likely will get some time, perhaps even at the goal line or some limited short yardage packages. To make room for Jones, the team waived backup OL Ian Silberman as the line gets a few bodies back this week. Other than that, the only moves were a shuffling of some bodies on the practice squad with WR Matt Hazel and WR Cyril Grayson being added and a few guys released. Hazel did catch his first NFL pass in the opener in garbage time, but this is a depth move only.
Injuries: The reason for the move to activate Jones this week is the absence of rookie backup RB Marlon Mack. Mack injured his shoulder previously and was downgraded as the week went on, missing practice entirely on Thursday and Friday before being ruled out today. Another key rookie contributor will also be out this weekend as CB Quincy Wilson follows up his first NFL start last week with an “inactive” designation this week. Wilson injured his knee late in last week’s game and did not see the practice field all week. Hopefully, the secondary will not take too big of a hit as they hope to get Pro Bowl CB Vontae Davis back in the lineup this week after missing over a month with a groin injury. He has taken limited work with the first unit at practice, but Coach Pagano has not yet made a final determination on his status. My guess is that he will play in at least a limited capacity at best if motivated by Wilson’s inactivation, but he officially is listed as doubtful so the odds are not good. And of course, starting QB Andrew Luck and OC Ryan Kelly will again be out of action with no timetable for the return of either to the practice field of the starting lineup. Backup WR Chester Rogers had slid down the depth chart and is out this week with injury anyway. OL Jack Mewhort, LB Antonio Morrison and rookie DE Tarrell Basham each had full practices this week and will be 100% for Sunday.
QB: There is a lot to like about the physical and mental tools of QB Jacoby Brissett, although I don’t think he qualifies as a fantasy starter just yet. This week he might be a good value play in two quarterback leagues, or if you want to load up on studs at other positions he might not hurt you much as a dirt cheap DFS option. The Browns have given up solid but unspectacular days thus far to higher-volume passing attacks, but also faced two sedentary passers. Their aggression may be used against them by a mobile passer, so an average day by Brissett could be augmented by some ground numbers. I expect him to not throw a ton, but to be serviceable as a mid-range #2 this week.
RB: The Browns did not cede much to the shiftier backs or on the outside, but were repeatedly gashed up the middle by a more power running attack. This actually serves a guy like the veteran RB Frank Gore well, so perhaps this might be Gore’s best output thus far. With good inside runners like RB Robert Turbin and Jones coming off the bench, I suspect that there might be a rotation of fresh strong backs to challenge the Browns front seven. Gore should have the most volume and is likely the only guy you would consider starting as a low-end #2 or a solid flex option, but I have a hunch that the plunge to paydirt may go to one of the other two and render them all on the cusp of fantasy utility as individuals.
WR: This might finally be the week in which WR TY Hilton can get downfield. While the offensive line has not improved, the loss of two big disrupters on the Browns’ defense might allow Brissett to look a bit deeper this week. They have not given up much to receivers so far, but what they have given up has almost all gone to the #1 options on the outside. Hilton makes a mid-range #2 this week, and Moncrief is a #3 at best. While WR Kamar Aiken has been getting a lot of love from Brissett, he is still not a safe enough fantasy roster add, and certainly not yet a starter.
TE: The Browns are again getting crushed by pedestrian tight ends, allowing two scores in week 1 and 13-121 in week 2. With Brissett’s comfort level with the tight end patterns and Doyle’s likely ability to get free against backup Browns’ linebackers, Doyle should have a field day and is a solid #1 in PPR formats. I can see him having another 7-8 catch day again this week with a solid shot at a score as well.
K: The Browns have only allowed two FGAs thus far in 2017, and allowed the 5th fewest last year as well. They very consistently have allowed around 8 fantasy PPG on the road during the last few seasons, and such a score would make PK Adam Vinatieri likely not a fantasy starter in most weeks. I don’t think he would hurt you this week, but likely you can stream a better guy or find a DFS option with higher upside. Until this offense turns around or Luck returns (or both), he likely is droppable.
D: Deshone Kizer presents an interesting challenge to the Colts’ defense this week as they typically have not fared well against mobile options in recent years. And some of his best receiving weapons will be the backs, a position group that matches up favorably against this scheme. While the Browns are without many of their better weapons and they have a rookie passer with some tendency to force the action, I suspect that their offense will be better at protecting the ball this week after last week’s sloppy effort. I do like the Colts D to be better than most expect fantasy-wise this week, but admittedly they are a somewhat risky play as a streaming option (although likely available on the waiver wire). The unit has scored better on the road in recent years as well.
Overall: The Browns are favored on the road for the first time in years and for one of the few times since returning to Cleveland in 1999. While both sides are banged up and missing some stars, there are several things going in the Colts’ favor this week. First of all, they are playing at home. And if anything, their confidence is trending upward after a solid 3 quarters of play last week (before peeing away a potential win); on the other hand, the Browns are likely a bit shaken because they played terribly from start to finish last week on the road after a solid home opener. Finally, the scent of desperation is stronger for the Colts. They have to defend their home turf (and perhaps their beloved coach’s job), and the Colts simply have 2017 expectations much higher than those of the rebuilding Browns. I think the Colts will get it done this week in a fairly humdrum game 24-17, thus avoiding cataclysmic meltdown among the public in the heartland.
That is all for this week from the Crossroads of America. Good luck in your fantasy matchups this week, and remember to stay…..COLTSTRONG!!!
Dallas 17 Denver 42
Denver dominated on both sides of the ball, from a 78-yard march to their first touchdown to Aqib Talib's 103-yard dash to a pick-six in the final minute of the game,defeating the Cowboys 42-17. QB Trevor Siemian set the tone and only an interception and a strip-sack-fumble marred his day (22/32-231-4-1;5-14-0). Denver demolished Dallas' run game and made them one-dimensional. The Broncos converted on 9/15 third downs, including two for touchdowns, while holding Dallas to 3/14. RB C.J. Anderson posted his sixth100-yard rushing game of his career (25-118-1; 3/3-36-1). RB Jamaal Charles contributed over 5-yards per carry (9-46-0; 1/1-6-0). WR Demaryius Thomas (6/8-71-0) and WR Emmanuel Sanders (6/8-62-2) lead the passing attack while TE Virgil Green (2/3-11-1) contributed a touchdown to the scoring. K Brandon McManus was 6/6 PATs, but missed his second field goal of the season. LT Garett Bolles-lower-leg bruise is week-to-week.
Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills
QB Tyrod Taylor and WR Jordan Matthews are poor bets for success against the Broncos even with OC Rick Dennison's use of high efficiency West Coast concepts. Due to natural regression and the departure of Anthony Lynn, Buffalo won't match its league-leading rushing attempts, but will increase RB LeSean McCoy's role as a receiver. Dennison's outside-zone running scheme carries over some concepts from Lynn's scheme, but increases usage of a fullback; with more runs from under center, McCoy has less freedom to dance than when taking hand offs out of the shotgun. Dennison's scheme requires McCoy to follow blockers more, resulting in fewer yards per carry. Denver is favored by 2.5 points in its first road game of the season. QB Trevor Siemian is hot. RBs C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles are an effective combination at running back as are WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders at wide receiver. The tight ends are a key element to the Broncos success. Despite injuries, the defense is dominant. The Broncos have been successful in early East Coast games, but can't afford to overlook the 1-1 Bills. Denver 21 Buffalo 17.
Broncos signed former Seahawk, NT Ahtyba Rubin, 31 (6'2, 33) and placed DE Jared Crick on IR (back surgery). Rubin started the last two years for the Seahawk's, who used concepts (under-front) similar to the ones the Broncos use. Second-year NT Kyle Peko is back on the Broncos’ active roster, to bolster the defensive line. Rookie NT Tyrique Jarrett was waived.
QB Trevor Siemian may be worth 14-15 points
RB C.J. Anderson may be worth 13-16 points
RB Jamaal Charles may be worth 5-8 points
RB De'Angelo Henderson may be worth 0-2 points
WR Demaryius Thomas may be worth 9-15 points
WR Emmanuel Sanders may be worth 8-14 points
WR Cody Latimer may be worth 0-1 points
WR Isaiah McKenzie may be worth 0-1 points
WR Bennie Fowler III may be worth 1-7 points
WR Jordan Taylor may be worth 0-1 points
TE Virgil Green may be worth 2-3 points
TE Jeff Hueruman may be worth 0-2 points
TE A. J. Derby may be worth 1-4 points
PK Brandon McManus may be worth 7 points.
DST may be worth 5-12 points.
Good luck this week!
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
The report for this week has not yet been released.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
The Los Angeles Chargers are now 0-2, something that most of us here in San Diego think is pretty funny. The Chargers have long had the unflattering name “Chokers” due to their propensity to lose the close one’s in predictable fashion. And last week, that’s exactly what happened, due to a missed field goal in the closing seconds. This week, the 2-0 Kansas City Chiefs come to L.A., a town that couldn’t care less about the Bolts and in fact doesn’t even want them. Can the Bolts right the ship? And are there solid fantasy options on the Chargers team? This review will be a review of the 19-17 loss to the Dolphins, as well a preview of this weekend’s game against KC.
QB: Last week Chargers QB Philip Rivers was 31/39 for 331 yards passing, 1 TD and no interceptions. The KC defense is so-so and Rivers is probably underrated with plenty of excellent passing targets. Plus, there’s no doubt he and the Bolts are hungry for a win in their “Fight for LA” (LOL). Consider Rivers a top 10 option and possibly a top 5 option.
RB: The bad news is that RB Melvin Gordon carried only 9 times for 13 yards with 1 rushing TD. The good news is that he caught 7 passes, mostly short or shovel passes, for 65 receiving yards. Add it all up and it was a respectable fantasy day for Gordon. Like Rivers, consider Gordon a top 10 option and maybe a top 5 option. RB Branden Oliver carried 3 times for 31 yards and no TDs. Oliver should be avoided due to lack of opportunity.
WR: L.A. WR Keenan Allen remains healthy and looks good. He’s also getting plenty of looks from Rivers. Last week, Allen caught 9 for 100 yards but no TDs. I’d consider Allen a top 10 wideout this week. WR Tyrell Williams caught 4 for 54 yards. Like Allen, Williams is on the field a lot, but at this stage he looks like a decent fantasy WR3 to me. WR Travis Benjamin is explosive and is always a threat to score on a deep pattern on any given week. Last week, Benjamin caught just one pass for 11 yards. Benjamin is a boom/bust player who will likely only be on the field for a limited number of plays, most games. While he can always surprise, I don’t like the risk of starting a player who’s usually on the bench. Same goes for WR Dontrelle Inman. Solid player, but he’ll mostly be riding the pine and should be avoided.
TE: We finally got a good game out of TE Hunter Henry. See, I told you to be patient with him. Last week, Henry caught 7 for 80 yards but no TDs. TE Antonio Gates was 2-11, but one catch was for a TD. Consider Henry a fantasy TE1 and Gates a TE2 who is always a threat to score.
PK: Chargers PK Younghoe Koo kicked one and missed 2. He also had a couple of extra points. Koo is not kicking well and his confidence has to be shaken. He may be 1 miss away from being released. Avoid.
DEF: The Los Angeles defense isn’t bad per se, but I think it’s fair to say that they are not playing up to expectations. Last week, they had 2 sacks, no INTs and no forced fumbles against aging Miami QB Jay Cutler. I don’t like their chances this week. Not against the undefeated Chiefs at least.
That’s my report for week 3. As you might guess, we here in San Diego have a love/hate relationship with this team. We respect the players, but loathe the owner and the decision to move to L.A. Will they finally win a game, or go 0-3 in their Fight for L.A. We’ll find out soon enough.
NEW YORK GIANTS
The Giants lose their home opener to the Lions 24-10. Big Blue continues to struggle mightily on offense as they drop to 0-2. The G-Men travel to Philly to play the Eagles this Sunday in an early game. This is never an easy road game but it is setting up as a must win to get the team back on track.
QB Eli Manning was beaten up as his offensive line struggled in pass protection but still managed to complete 22 of 32 passes for 239 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception and a passer rating of 87.9. He was sacked FIVE times.
* Eli is facing an Eagles pass defense that is ranked 16th in the league. They have allowed 2 TD passes and an opposing passer rating of 89.8. They also have 8 sacks and 1 interception. Eli might be running for his life so until his pass protection improves keep him on the fantasy bench as he will have 210 yards and 1 TD.
RB Paul Perkins continues to struggle behind shoddy run blocking as he had 7 carries for 10 yards. He also had 2 catches for 12 yards. If he doesn’t start showing improvement, his reps will decrease. RB Shane Vereen had 6 carries for 28 yards and 3 catches for 27 yards.
* The running game faces a Philly rush defense ranked 14th in the league allowing 4.9 yards per carry and 88 yards per game. They have allowed 2 TD’s. Perkins cannot be trusted until his production improves. Vereen makes a fair flex play in deeper PPR leagues. Count on 5 receptions and a combined 65 yards.
WR Odell Beckham Jr had 4 receptions for 36 yards during limited duty. WR Sterling Shepard had 2 grabs for 23 yards. WR Brandon Marshall had one catch for 17 yards.
* Beckham Jr is almost fully recovered from his ankle injury so expect a full workload as the team needs a spark. He should have 7 catches for 100 yards and a TD making him a top 10 receiver this week. Production with other receivers will be tough to predict so leave Shepard and Marshall on your fantasy bench.
TE Evan Engram had 4 catches for 49 yards and a TD. TE Rhett Ellison had 2 receptions for 21 yards.
* Engram is rapidly becoming a favorite of Eli so if he is cleared from concussion protocol he makes a nice sleeper play.
Three sacks with a fumble recovery is decent home fantasy production. They currently are ranked 22nd against the run, 9th against the pass.
* This defense is very good but can’t stay on the field forever. They should exploit QB Carson Wentz for a few sacks and turnovers making them a top 10 play this week.
PK Aldrick Rosas had 1 FG and 1 extra point.
* Keep him on your fantasy bench.
That’s all for now and good luck in Week 3!
Lions report, week 3 preview
Falcons at Lions
QB: The Lions were able to control the ball on Monday against the Giants and QB Matthew Stafford was a game manager for a night, throwing for just 122 yards, including just 15 yards in the second half. He did have 2 TD passes so he still gave you some fantasy points, and remember the Lions won by 14 points. Stafford is known for his late game heroic comebacks, but that was not necessary on Monday as the Lions worked the clock once they were up by 14. I think this week’s game script will look a little different with the high powered Falcons offense in town. This could be more of a shootout, and I like Stafford this week. I’m expecting 250 yards and 3 TDs.
RB: The Lions emphasized the running game on Monday, with mixed results. RB Ameer Abdullah got a somewhat heavy workload, running 17 times for 86 yards. The average of 5.1 yards per carry looks nice, but there were still a lot of zero and negative runs in there, leaving Stafford to bail them out on third and long. Abdullah limped off late and RB Dwayne Washington had been dinged earlier, so RB Theo Riddick carried the ball 7 straight times with the Lions running out the clock as was the only guy left. It’s worth noting that Abdullah had 17 carries to Washington’s 3 and Riddick’s 2 until Riddick got those 7 additional carries at the end after Abdullah left. Abdullah looks to be good to go this week, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see RB Zach Zenner active over Washington. I’m still waiting for the backs to be more involved in the passing game. I’m looking for 100 total yards from Abdullah this week.
WR/TE: Obviously with the Lions “parking the bus” to borrow a soccer term, there wasn’t much to go around for this unit. TE Eric Ebron emerged from the witness protection program with 5 for 42 and a TD. WR Marvin Jones only caught one pass but it was a sweet 27 yard TD. WR Golden Tate added 4 for 25 and rookie WR Kenny Golladay showed he will be inconsistent as he followed up a big week 1 with a dud in week 2. It looks like this group will be tough to project from week to week. Tate torched the Falcons in London four years ago but I’m not sure how relevant that is.
K/DST: It took a crazy ricochet off the crossbar but PK Matt Prater connected on a 56 yard field goal on Monday. Rookie PR Jamal Agnew had the play of the game with a 88 yard punt return for a TD. DE Ziggy Ansah added three sacks as this defense is looking improved and scoring a lot of fantasy points so far in 2017. Atlanta will be a tougher test, especially with rookie LB Jarrad Davis in the concussion protocol. I would suggest waiting to see if this Lions defense is worth picking up.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
Week 2 Review: Injuries came front and center in this game. WR Jordy Nelson was injured early and did not register any stats. WR Randall Cobb had 6 receptions for 60 yards and a run for 10 yards to give him 70 yards total for the night. But he had a reception negated because the refs called a rub penalty on the play. I didn’t like the call, but it would have boosted Cobb’s yardage total tremendously. Cobb was injured later in the game and had to leave. The offense started the game without their starting offensive tackles. So OT Kyle Murphy and UDFA OT AD Adam Pankey took over in their place. It took them until about mid way thru the 2nd quarter to play at an acceptable level. I was aware that OT Bryan Bulaga had problems, but I did not know about OT David Bakhtari having issues. None of this helped the offense. QB Aaron Rodgers was getting yards, but few points. He completed 66.0% of his passes for 343 yards, 2 touchdowns, and one interception. He also had 8 yards rushing on 2 carries – all for 351 yards and a 90.7 passer rating. Rodgers was also sacked 3 times. WR Davante Adams had 8 receptions for 99 yards and 1 touchdown. WR Geronimo Allison had 3 receptions for 24 yards. WR Trevor Davis had 1 reception for 8 yards. TE Martellus Bennett had 5 receptions for 47 yards. TE Richard Rodgers had 2 receptions for 22 yards. TE Lance Kendricks had no receptions. RB Ty Montgomery had 6 receptions for 75 yards and 1 touchdown. Montgomery also had 10 carries for 35 yards and 1 touchdown. That gave Ty a total of 110 yards and 2 touchdowns on the day. He is turning into a very good player for the Packers and should be elevated in fantasy status. K Mason Crosby had a grand total of 4 points – a 28 yard field goal and 2 extra points. On defense, the stat line looks like this; 55 total tackles, 3 sacks, 4 tackles for loss, 6 hurries, and only 2 passes defended. Notice the lack of turnovers. In fact they have only one fumble recovery on the year so far. And while a respectable 252 yards were thru the air this week, an unacceptable 141 yards were given up on the ground. I think I would hold off anointing the Packer defense as fixed.
Week 3 Preview: Next week the Packers play the Cincinnati Bengals in Green Bay. So far this year Cincinnati is lousy on offense – ranking 22 or worse in every offensive category. Cincinnati is better on defense with the number one pass defense in the league after week two. They are number 5 overall in the NFL – but only 31 against the run. The Packers are close with a number 7 defensive ranking. So far the Packers have played two top 10 NFL defenses and gain yards against them. So it would look good for the Montgomery and the Packer running game and for Rodgers getting passing yards. Season ending projections would look like this after only two games: QB Aaron Rodgers – 5232 passing yards, 264 rushing yards, 24 passing touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. His interceptions come early in the year but taper off later. He will finish with around 7 interceptions. WR Davante Adams – 88 receptions, 1168 yards, and 8 touchdowns. WR Randall Cobb – 120 receptions, 1160 yards, and 0 touchdowns. RB Ty Montgomery – 232 rushing attempts, 712 rushing yards, 16 rushing touchdowns, 80 pass receptions, 912 receiving yards, 8 receiving touchdowns. That is a total of 1624 and 24 touchdowns from scrimmage. Like I said, it is early. TE Martellus Bennett – 64 receptions, 720 yards, and 0 touchdowns. He and Rodgers are taking their time trying to figure each other out but expect better numbers as the season progresses.
Recommendations: I would start QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Davante Adams, WR Randall Cobb (pending injury clearance), and RB Ty Montgomery. You may wish to consider, TE Martellus Bennett, K Mason Crosby, or the Packer defense. WR Jordy Nelson looks to be out until further notice. It is rare to come back in just one week from pulled quads. If both Cobb and Nelson are out, expect WR Geronimo Allison to get some balls his way. He could be worth a start. Next week we will review week 3 and preview week 4 vs. the Bears. Fantasy wise there are some things to like about the Packers, NFL wise there is some work to do – good thing they are scored differently.
The 1-1 Arizona Cardinals finally outlasted the Indianapolis Colts 16-13 last week in OT. The game never should have been that close. The Cardinals and the Colts played poorly. I would have to say that the Cardinals played down to their opponent. QB Carson Palmer had an okay day, going 19-36 for 332 yards and 1 TD and 1 INT. The running game didn’t really get going but RB Chris Johnson had 11 carries for 44 yards. He needs to do better than that. The shining offensive star was WR JJ Nelson with 120 yards and 1 TD.
This week, the Cardinals play Dallas on Monday Night Football.
QB: Carson Palmer needs to open in Arizona in a zone. Accuracy and Tenacity! QB Carson Palmer needs to be more accurate than he was in Detroit or Indy. That happens and the Cardinals will have a chance in this game. Look for the Cardinals to get WR Larry Fitzgerald more involved and hopefully WR John Brown will be back on the field (hope hope). Palmer needs a big game.
RB: RB Chris Johnson should have the biggest load of the Cardinals RBBC outlook. You will see RB Chris Johnson, RB Kerwynn Williams, RB Andre Ellington, and perhaps even RB Elijhaa Penny and we could see RB DJ Foster however I think that’s a week away at least. RB DJ Foster needs to learn the offense. Start RB Chris Johnson here.
WR: WR Larry Fitzgerald is closing in on 200 games in a row with a reception. He has 197 so far. He needs a LOT more than one reception this weekend. Other than Fitzgerald there are health questions with the rest of the Cardinal starters. WR John Brown, who knows. WR Jaron Brown is Questionable, and WR JJ Nelson is Questionable. Yipes! Monitor for their health. Start Larry!
TE: Stay away!
Outlook: I think this will be a tough game for both teams. If the Cardinals don’t turn over the ball, they can stay with the Cowboys. I look for a 24-21 Victory from the Cardinals, but I think I may be optimistic. This one could be a classic field position. The Cardinals defense needs to control WR Dez Bryant, TE Jason Witten, and RB Z. Elliott. Enjoy the game!
It is one thing to start slow and another thing to be … this. SF only had RB Carlos Hyde as a real threat and almost won it with just him. Seattle’s offense can be better and it would start with benching or trading… more on him later.
What is up with QB Russell Wilson. Coming into the season he looked fast and decisive. Now it looks like his first read is always covered and he does not get much more time than that. Seattle only won this game because Wilson willed it so with a Houdini act and a pass to the guy with the injured hand.
Honestly the line seemed better than last week. When your standard is trying to be at the top of the bottom 5 in the league, they were ok. I feel bad for C Justin Britt because I have liked him from the start and he seems to be centering for a group that just can’t get it together. San Fran had like one good defensive player healthy. How will this line perform against Tennessee. They are a real defense, though maybe a step down from Green Bay. 12 points may be too much to ask next week.
I never expected much from RB Eddie Lacy and I hope you listened to me. I nabbed RB Chris Carson off waivers in my league and started him. I am going to hold him but he definitely has lots more value right now for a trade than he might have later. Lacy seems angry. If he uses that anger to get better, fine. If not he is done. RB Thomas Rawls was ready to go and did not get the rock. He remains iffy. RB CJ Prosise dropped the rock when it mattered most. Disappointing. I am expecting Carson to keep getting the ball and push for 100 every week.
Nine targets each for WR Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett and both caught 6. Not great but more than half of what the rest of the team caught. Tennessee should hold them to less. That is not good. I would not start any Seahawk receiver in this one.
Turn out the lights the party is over. TE Jimmy Graham looks done. How did he go from looking so sharp over the summer to looking like crap. TE Luke Willson looks better than Graham on any down. Seattle should trade the dead weight to someone who plays against the Saints twice a year for anyone who will actually play with some effort.
Two FGs and a missed XP for PK Blair Walsh. Other than that the defense was the highlight of the game. He should be in the 7-9 fantasy point range again next week while this offense keeps falling on its sword.
I keep saying it is a special year. But where was DT Sheldon Richardson? Against San Fran’s guards he should have had a field day. But no. Two, count them, two assisted tackles on the day. Where is the Pro Bowl caliber disruptive force in the middle? Watching Hyde run past and waving goodbye? DE Michael Bennett had a great game. He looked like he was a step slow over the summer but not against the 9ers. A sack, three tackles and a pass defended is pretty good. LB Bobby Wagner remains my IDP pick with 7 tackles, an interception and 2 passes defended. The LOB is crazy good this year with CB Shaquill Griffin and CB Jeremy Lane trying to outplay each other as the 4th best of the group.
Tennessee is buttering their bread on turnovers and explosive plays. Seattle can take both of those away and needs to turn it around on them. I think this defense is better than Jax by a longshot and Tennessee will struggle. But so will Seattle. I look for another long low scoring game. But with so many on Seattle’s offense underperforming I cannot keep picking them to win. Pick the under!
LOS ANGELES RAMS
RUN OVER! After an impressive opening day victory, the Rams allow the Redskins to run for over 220 yards and get upset 27-20. Los Angeles came out flat and trailed 20-10 at halftime but battled back to tie the game at 20 before surrendering the last touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Rams need to bounce back quickly as they head to 0-2 San Fran for a Thursday night battle. The Niners lost a close game in Seattle so HC Sean McVay will have to regroup his team to get the victory. Let’s take a look at what Rams players did for Fantasy teams against the Redskins and possibilities against the Niners.
QB: QB Jared Goff (15-25, 224 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception) was under pressure most of the day and played decently with the exception of a terrible game ending interception where he locked onto Kupp the whole time. Jared is much improved from his rookie year but needs to continue to develop in this offense. San Fran limited Russell Wilson to 198 passing yards and one touchdown while collecting 3 sacks. On a short week on the road, look for a conservative passing attack from McVay that could limit Goff’s production. I think 225-250 yards and 1-2 touchdowns is a good baseline. More importantly, Jared needs to protect the ball and not turn it over.
RB: RB Todd Gurley (16-88 and 1 touchdown rushing and 3-48 and 1 touchdown receiving) had one of his most productive games since his rookie season and scored his first receiving touchdown of his career. It was not a perfect game by Todd; however, as he fumbled twice (losing one). His use in the passing game continues to add fantasy value and his decent rushing game was encouraging. San Fran allowed Seattle rookie Chris Carson to rush for 93 yards so hopefully Todd has another productive day. The best way to control a game is rushing successfully and I think Todd gets his first 100-yard rushing game in over a year while still contributing in the passing game. I am predicting 125-140 yards from scrimmage with two rushing touchdowns.
WR: WR Sammy Watkins (2-30) and WR Cooper Kupp (3-33) both had quiet games while WR Tavon Austin (2-3 rushing and 1-5 receiving) and Robert Woods (1-8) were almost non-existent. Still looking for Watkins to show out his talent and validate the high draft pick the Rams gave up acquiring him. Kupp is Goff’s security blanket so he will always be involved in the passing game. I think both of these receivers catch at least 4 balls for 40-75 yards each and I think Watkins will get his first Ram touchdown. Austin and Woods should remain on your Fantasy bench.
TE: TE Gerald Everett (3-95) is becoming the receiving threat the Rams drafted him to be while TE Tyler Higbee (no receptions) provides the blocking. If Everett can continue to put up these kinds of numbers, he could develop into a viable Fantasy tight end, especially with the numerous injuries around the league.
K: PK Greg Zuerlein (2-2 field goals (32 and 40) and 2-2 extra points) was solid again and should be good throughout the year in this new offense. 2-3 field goals and 3-4 extra points are realistic goals and he always could boom a 50+ yard field goal.
DEF: After a dominant debut, the defense was embarrassed in week two as they could not stop the run. DB Lamarcus Joyner (8 solos and 1 assist) had another productive game and gave great effort throughout. LB Alec Ogletree (7 solos, 4 assists, and 1 sack) and LB Mark Barron (10 solos) bounced back from their quiet week one. LB Robert Quinn (1 solo, 1 assist, and ½ a sack) got to the quarterback again and looks good at his new position. DT Aaron Donald (1 solo and 1 assist) returned to the lineup but admitted after the game that he played poorly. Look for DC Wade Philips to have his squad ready for redemption after their lackluster week two performance. The Ram run defense better be improved, as Niner running back Carlos Hyde ran for 124 against the Seahawks. Ogletree, Joyner, and Quinn should be starting IDPs with Donald a possibility in leagues requiring D-linemen. Keep an eye on Barron who has potential as an IDP.
The Rams blew a great opportunity to go 2-0 and need to step it up against an improved Niner team. This Ram team is improved from last season; however, what matters most are wins and losses. It felt like 2016 all over again as both my Fantasy team and the Rams lost! The word for both of those teams is PATIENCE. It is a long season so just try to improve week by week and success will start to increase. Love and blessings to my family. Miss you Pops! Aloha!
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Saturday, September 9th, 2017
OK, the big day has come and gone; your draft is over. You assembled an impressive roster thanks to a lot of time, energy and research dedicated to that task.Tweets by @FFMastermind