“Off the Matt”: In Question, Week 8 (Key Injury Advice)
In fantasy football there are certain rules to live by. For example, some fantasy players will follow the old adage to “never bench your studs.” After week 7 I am adding another rule to my fantasy commandments.
Rule 4-8-C: Upon finding a picture like this do NOT under any circumstance put individual into line-up.
I trusted you Derek Carr. I trusted you with my first ever recommended start on this fine site. How was I repaid? A stat line of 178 / 0 / 0 left myself and any poor soul that turned to Derek Carr feeling [insert best Russian accent] unsatisfied much like Teddy KGB from “Rounders” after Mike McDermott stuck him for 30K.
Week 7 was not a complete bust though. Here is how the rest of the recommended plays shook out. All point totals represent standard scoring.
Jerick McKinnon – 10.1
Bernard Pierce – 8.1
Davante Adams – 8.1
Derek Carr – 7.3
James Jones – 3.5
Jermaine Kearse – 5.0
Travis Kelce – 3.3
Not the greatest debut, but just like a corner who got burnt for a 50 yard touchdown I will have a short memory and move onto week 8.
Keep in mind this article isn’t about stating the obvious. Sure, it would be nice to recommend the likes of Jordy Nelson and Matt Forte as replacements but that is not realistic.
C.J. Spiller (Out), Fred Jackson (Out), Khiry Robinson (Out), Pierre Thomas (Out), Reggie Bush (Doubtful), Trent Richardson (Questionable), Shane Vareen (Questionable), Darren Sproles (Questionable)
Unless you have been living in the poorhouse pictured above for the past week; (very shaky Wi-Fi / satellite signals) you have surely heard that C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson are both going to be out for a while. Another backfield duo that will be sidelined week 8 is Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas. Reggie Bush has not practiced all week and his doubtful tag is looking optimistic at best. Even if Bush goes it will be in a limited capacity and you should look for another option. Shane Vareen coming off his monster 23.4 point performance last week is the biggest name on this list. Vareen’s name popped up on injury reports after missing Friday’s practice with an illness. Despite missing practice Friday it is looking like Vareen will be good to go.
Plan B: Names like Anthony Dixon, Bryce Brown, and Travaris Cadet have been popular adds this week. If you have stock in either of the Bills or Saints backfield the move makes sense, but I would look for other options. There has been much speculation this week about how the Bills backfield situation is going to pan out. Last week when talking about McKinnon vs Asiata I said that talent always wins out. Using that same line of thinking if I had to choose one to roster I would go with Bryce Brown; however, this week with a very tough match-up vs the 8th ranked run defense of the Jets he would not crack my line-up. On the other hand, a name I am dying to get in my line-up is Tre Mason. After seeing Tre Mason’s first NFL touch, I promptly stood up and said…
Shortly after that I logged into my various fantasy leagues and sent in good portions of my FAAB to acquire Mason.
Last week, Mason played very well against the 6th best run defense in the league going for 85 yards on 4.7ypc. You would think a performance like that would land the rookie the lead role going forward. However, Jeff Fisher came out this week and cast a rain cloud over the Tre parade with this press conference quote. I don’t put much stock into what coaches say during the week, but I could have done with out that statement. Even so, I feel good rolling with Mason today.
Hopefully Mark Ingram owners were patient with the former Heisman trophy winner while he was injured. Your patience will pay off today as I am predicting Ingram finishes in the top 10 at his position. The stage is set for him to have a big game. First, and most importantly he won’t be competing for carries with Thomas and Robinson. Here is a quick stat for you:
– Since 2013 Mark Ingram has received more than 12 carries a whopping 4 times. Here are the results.
11/10/13 vs Cowboys: 14 / 145 / 1
12/22/13 @ Panthers: 13 / 83 / 0
1/4/14 @ Eagles: 18 / 97 / 1
9/7/14 @ Falcons: 13 / 60 / 2
Quick math says that is an average of 15.6 fantasy points per game in which he gets 13+ carries. If things already weren’t good enough, into town strolls the 31st ranked run defense of the Packers allowing 147 yards per game. In an attempt to keep Rodgers off the field the Saints will try to control the clock, thus meaning even more work for Ingram. There is no such thing as a lock in fantasy, but if Ingram doesn’t come out of this game with 100+ yards and a touchdown I will be surprised.
Reggie Wayne (Out), A.J. Green (Doubtful), Calvin Johnson (Questionable), Vincent Jackson (Questionable)
Another week, another questionable tag for Calvin Johnson. With the Lions having the always formidable “Bye” week on the schedule next I can’t see why they would bring Johnson back for this game if he was anything but 100%. We already saw the Lions deploy him as decoy on one occasion this year and if he is active for this game it could be a repeat performance.
Plan B: If you are in a tough spot at wide receiver I recommend looking at targets. As long as the ball is going your guy’s way there is always a chance for points. With that said Allen Robinson is the man you want (especially ppr). Since week 3 he has had no less than 7 targets in any game, and at least 5 receptions in every game except last week (4). He found the end zone for the first time last week and I look for him to continue to build on his stellar production today.
Vincent Jackson is on the injury report as questionable. He practiced late in the week so it looks as if he will play. If for some reason Jackson is out I really like Louis Murphy. Even if Jackson does play Murphy is a sneaky play in deeper leagues. Last time out, in a beat down at the hands of the Ravens Murphy lead the team in receptions and yards, and this was with BOTH Jackson and Evans in the line-up. In his 3 games with Tampa Bay Murphy has churned out 9.9 / 9.5 / and 13.2 fantasy points. The match-up vs the Vikings isn’t ideal but its apparent that Murphy and Mike Glennon have some chemistry.
With Reggie Wayne out and teams rolling more coverages towards the piping hot T.Y. Hilton the opportunity is going to come for someone to break-out. Hakeem Nicks might seem like the obvious choice, but for me I am looking at Donte Moncrief as a break-out candidate today. While it is hard to be too excited over someone with 9 career catches, I feel good rolling the dice on Moncrief who has a dynamic skill-set and can create potential match-up problems for the defense. Speaking of match-ups, I will keep my fingers crossed that Moncrief gets a piece of #22 in black and gold pictured to the left.
All Detroit Lion Tight Ends (Out), Jimmy Graham (Questionable)
Although Jimmy Graham put up a zero in the stat column last week fantasy owners can smile at the fact that he made it through the game without further injuring himself. All signs point to Graham playing tonight, but it would be smart to roster a tight end from the MNF game to avoid taking a zero in case Graham is a late scratch. Cowboy tight end Gavin Escobar would fit that role nicely.
Plan B: If you are a Larry Donnell or Vernon Davis owner you might be looking for a viable option to get you through the bye week. In week 7 Jermaine Gresham led all tight ends in targets (12) and receptions (10), the depressing part was that he only accumulated 48 yards on those catches. His 16 grabs over the past two games is all the evidence needed to prove that he has carved out a bigger role in this offense with A.J. Green sidelined. When you are this far down in the rankings finding a tight end who will more than likely haul in 4-5 passes seems like a pretty good option.
Now that I have made my selections I have completed a quick Google search to abide by rule 4-8-C from the fantasy commandments. Upon further review no subjects fall into 4-8-C and all recommendations can be played with confidence.
14 hours of football–here I come.