“Around the Ben”: The Good, The Bad, and The Downright Horrible – Week 7
Week 6 was weird for a number of reasons. Most notably, Jimmy Graham 0 catches?!?!? Granted that was an anomaly in and of itself, but really??? Oh, well. It’s week 7, so back to business. For those asking, yes I am still sulking about the Falcons being off to a 1-4 start & Julio Jones out for the season, but at least there is still the possibility of a wildcard. The funny thing is whenever I make these rankings owners in the MLFF league I’m in usually steal all my pick ups. Not this week as I have a few tricks up my sleeve. As always I’ll be spot on for some players, and 180% the other direction on other players. If you like my approach please continue to read, leave a comment, or tell a friend about us. Even if you totally mock this article it won’t hurt my feelings.
Jay Cutler- The Cutler of old may be coming back as evidenced by his 4 TD & 0 INT line suggests over the past 2 weeks. This week he gets a soft Redskins secondary so a 300 yard passing game with 2 TDs should be in store. Start with confidence as Cutler is finally showing he’s comfortable in Chicago after the Bears changed head coaches.
Nick Foles- Every time Vick gets his glass bones injured, Foles steps in and looks better and better each game. The Cowboys are known to get gashed. With Desean Jackson a reliable deep threat, and LeSean McCoy a great short option this could be a great day for Foles. IN 2 starts he has yet to throw a pick. Sign me up as Vick’s time is running out.
Joseph Randle- I’ve been a big believer in Randle since he entered the league. His productivity in college bodes well for him. As long as he avoids an 11 carry for 17 yard campaign, Randle could be a decent option going forward. He might not be as physical as Murray, but he starts this week. I’ll go 95 rush yards/2 TD for him against the Eagles this week.
Harry Douglas- Julio Jones is out for the season, White also is out this week, leaving Douglas as top option behind Tony G. If he is still available on the wire snap him up as he could easily be in for a career day. The same Tampa Bay secondary gave up 296 yards passing and 3 TDs to Nick Foles. 100 receiving yards and a score should be a baseline rather than a ceiling this week.
Keenan Allen- Before the season started I predicted Allen would be top option in San Diego by season’s end. He may not be there yet. However, with Eddie Royal fading & the rest of the Chargers receivers not stepping up, Allen is seeing Phillip Rivers’ trust in him grow. Worth an addition going forward.
Good news made better: The Jags are coming to town!
Robert Griffin III- Starting him in fantasy is no longer a lock. Watching him play is painful, and if you have a better option seriously consider benching RGIII. Of course the potential for him to break out of his early season funk will be there against a mediocre Bears defense, but let’s see signs of improvement before calling him a lock for starting in fantasy. I’ll go 250 pass yards, 2 pass TDs, 1 INT this week, but no more.
Ray Rice- A week after showing signs of returning to his old self, Rice goes back under the rock he’s been hiding underneath and does nothing. The Ravens pass game is reeling as well as the running game. Let’s see what happens this week against a declining aging Steelers defense ranked 27th against the run.
Trent Richardson- The transition to Indianapolis hasn’t gone as smoothly as possible, and for the time being Donald Brown looks to be getting more carries each week. The match up is promising this week, but Richardson has to improve upon his yards per attempt rate if he wants to stave off Brown.
Lamar Miller- As an owner of Miller, I’ll admit this guy makes me want to punch a wall some weeks. Week 1 he rushes for 7 yards on 10 carries against the Browns, and last week 11 carries for 17 yards against the Ravens (the Ravens are great against the run). The Bills have been sneaky good against the run this season (currently ranked 10th) which given Miller’s inconsistency should lead to hesitancy before starting.
Nate Washington- Washington is waiting for the Locker to get healthy from his hip/knee injury as Ryan Fitzpatrick is raining on his parade. 4 catches for 45 yards does not inspire starter consideration. Keep him benched until Locker is back.
Ben Roethlisberger- Big Ben has always been middle of the pack as a QB who continually ends in the top 15 every season. It may not be pretty in Pittsburgh right now (even off times in the lockers are not fun there now), but Ben could still provide fantasy owners with a solid 200 pass yard 1-2 TD performance with the Ravens being susceptible to the pass.
Aaron Rodgers- Don’t worry it’s not his play that lands him here, it’s having 2 of his top 4 receivers Randall Cobb & James Jones that will not play due to being hurt. The Browns are no slouch defensively, and if Rodgers isn’t a little more cautious this week than normal than corner Joe Haden might get his hands on a pick. Expect a sub-par Rodgers day of 250 pass yards and 2 TDs against the Browns.
Matt Schaub- It’s never a good sign when your fans cheer when you get hurt. Last week’s injury could very well signify the beginning of the end of Schaub’s tenure as Case Keenum starts this week, and T.J. Yates will also get a shot should Keenum struggle. At any rate, it is time to bench Schaub for good, and possibly drop him if better options are out there. I don’t trust any Texans QB going forward.
Zac Stacy- Stacy is the real deal in St. Louis, and the match up against the Panthers leaves a good possibility for a rushing score. Solid play as a flex this week and going forward most weeks.
Le’Veon Bell- Bell has made a name for himself in the red zone, but not running between the 20s. That is going to be a bigger issue this week against Baltimore. The red zone carries will be there, but 0 scores and 50 total rushing yards will be the end result.
Willis McGahee- McGahee is best suited for a split carry load. The problem is the rest of the Browns running backs are nothing to write home about. It’s going to be a grit-it-out game against the Packers, and this short yardage back better hope he gets the ball inside the 5 yard line, or he may not score. With just 1 score to date its best to leave him watching from your bench.
Jarrett Boykin- With both Cobb & Jones are out its leaving room for another receiver to impact the game. The Browns and Packers should be close, and if the need for a hero arises, Boykin may very well rise to the occasion opposite Jordy Nelson. This might be nuts advertising him, but remember the QB. You could do a lot worse for a shot in the dark this week.
Alshon Jeffery- He looked like the real deal for 2 weeks, then last week against the Giants he disappeared. Unfortunately, that’s what the rest of Jeffery’s season may be like. Spoils one week, then barren bones the next. The upside here is the Redskins secondary so start with caution.
Dwayne Bowe- The Chiefs may have well just left Bowe on the bus thus far this season as he has done a whole lot of nothing. A change in QB and a fast paced offense should work in Bowe’s favor, except it hasn’t. The Chiefs may consider leaving him behind in K.C. against Houston (1st ranked defending opposing receivers) this week as the Texans aren’t gonna care he’s been down this season.
Vernon Davis- I should slap myself across the face for ever doubting this guy. Davis is going nuts on the field these days, and the Titans aren’t going to be able to slow him down. Another 100 yard receiving, 1 TD day should be in the bag.
Garrett Graham- I don’t like this guy this week. Case Keenum is making his debut, and the Chiefs are tops against tight ends. He may see a few dump off passes when Keenum is under duress, but that may be it.
Brandon Pettigrew- Matt Stafford has found a new red-zone target, and it’s not Pettigrew. He fell out of favor last season in Detroit, and is all but an afterthought in fantasy circles. Move along.
Paul Posluszny (LB)- This guy is nasty. Not only will he rip your head off to tackle you, he’ll take the ball, steal your Twinkies from the sidelines and keep running. His tackle numbers may not be the highest (54 thus far this season), but he also has a sack and 2 INTs, and one of the picks for a score. Keep starting him week in & week out.
Janoris Jenkins (CB)- This guy is talented, and is always a threat for a pick, but his stats his rookie season were padded by 3 defensive scores + 150 interception return yards. Opposing offenses have made adjustments this season. Jenkins will still be a ball hawk, but QBs want no part of him leaving Jenkins to get his stats in other less impactful ways.
Jason-Pierre Paul- JPP is beginning to be unfathomable to start. Fantasy owners keep starting him in anticipation of a break out performance this season, but JPP has been beyond bad this year. With only 1 sack and 15 tackles on the season, time for JPP to hit the pine.
Hope y’all enjoyed this week’s installment. Don’t forget to hit up my Twitter handle at MetalhammerBen, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, I and the rest of the crew of MLFS are here for you guys…and to make sure we help you dominate in all things fantasy.