“Off the Matt” Ca$h vs. Crash, Week 3 Quarterback/Tight End Plays
Week 2 Recap
Joe Flacco: 384/2/1
Carson Palmer: 185/4/1
Jordan Reed: 6/82/0
Vernon Davis: 5/62/0
Tom Brady: 466/3/0
Andy Dalton: 214/3/0
Heath Miller: 2/15/1
Austin Seferian-Jenkins: 2/29/0
Year to Date Totals:
Fantasy Ca$h Quarterbacks: 1131/9/4 (283 ypg)
Fantasy Crash Quarterbacks: 1101/9/2 (275 ypg)
Fantasy Ca$h Tight Ends: 19/220/1 (55 ypg)
Fantasy Crash Tight Ends: 7/60/1 (15 ypg)
Each week this article will focus on start/sit quarterback and tight end plays. Don’t expect to see obvious names like Luck, Rodgers, or Gronkowski…unless they are mentioned in the ‘crash’ section.
Russell Wilson vs CHI
Attention all elimination league players:
The Seahawks in Week 3 might be the safest game the gambling gods will bestow upon us this season. Something about Jimmy Clausen going into Seattle’s home-opener after a 0-2 start doesn’t sound like a happy ending for Bear fans.
Actually, Clausen isn’t even the biggest problem with the Bears right now. The fact that they are surrendering a league worst 39.5 point per game is the biggest issue preventing Fox and friends from busting into the win column. To the novice, one would look at the Bear’s passing defense and say, “they are only allowing 187 yards passing per game, looks like a tough matchup for Wilson.”
Not so fast my friend.
What those numbers don’t tell you is that the 187 yards per game is a function of being blown out early in the second half and the opposition running the ball to keep the clock moving. On the young season, they have allowed 35 of the 47 passes they have faced to be completed. If you don’t have a calculator handy, that is just under 75%. The next alarming stat is that they have allowed a league high seven touchdown passes compared to just one interception. One of the reasons they have struggled so mightily against the pass is that they get zero pressure on the quarterback. When I say zero, I am not exaggerating. They are the only team in the league yet to register a sack.
While Wilson has been somewhere between average to below-average to start the year, this will be a get well game for him and the entire Seahawk offense.
Blake Bortles @ NE
BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.
That is the sound of the garbage truck backing into Gillete Stadium during the second-half of Sunday’s game between the Jaguars and Patriots. Remember folks, stats all count the same whether it happens in a tied game or a 20-point blowout.
What encourages me most about Bortles potential for Sunday is the amount of times I anticipate him throwing the ball. Last week against the Dolphins, he chucked it 33 times and came away with 273 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns. I consider the Dolphins to have a stronger defense than what he will see this weekend against the Patriots. Thanks in large part to garbage time, Roethlisberger and Taylor both put up strong performances against the Patriots defense. I expect similar results from Bortles.
Kyle Rudolph vs SD
Although the Vikings’ passing game has got off to a slow start in 2015, Rudolph has been one of the more involved pass catchers. Through two games, he has accumulated 13 targets and has found the end zone once. As you will read in a few minutes, I expect the Vikings to pound the ball with Peterson and control the clock in this game. However, with the running game rolling, I look for Rudolph to get down the seam behind the sucked up Charger linebackers for a few chunk plays. The Chargers have struggled against opposing tight ends so far this season, allowing both Ebron and Eifert to find the end zone. I would not be surprised if Rudolph makes it 3/3 this weekend.
Eric Ebron vs DEN
Ebron feels a bit risky this week going against a Denver defense that has allowed only 134 yards passing per game. This is Denver’s first road game of the season and Stafford does traditionally play better at home, so I expect that number to double on Sunday.
Ebron is starting to show some of the flash that drew the Lion’s eye to making him their first round selection in the 14′ draft. The ten targets that he saw last week was a career-high and suggests that he is here to stay as an integral part of what can be an explosive offense.
Philip Rivers @ MIN
I have a few concerns about Rivers this week, but oddly my biggest concern doesn’t have anything to do with him or the Chargers offense. What I would worry about most if I was a River’s owner, will be the Chargers inability to stop the Vikings ground game; shortening the game leading to less opportunities for Rivers.
After only giving Peterson 10 carries in an embarrassing Week 1 performance, the Vikings got back to basics and pounded Peterson 29 times last week. With number 28 racking up 134 yards and the team coming away with a win, one would think this would be the recipe going forward. That recipe should taste extra sweet this week when the Chargers come to town. The Chargers sport a defense that has allowed 122 yards per game on the ground at a fifth-worst in the league 4.7 yards per carry carry. The Vikings will be running early and often in this one. I believe they will dominate the time of possession battle, causing Rivers to have fewer possessions which will lead to sub-par fantasy day.
Tyrod Taylor @ MIA
Coming off his top five fantasy finish at the quarterback position in Week 2, Tyrod Taylor looked the part of a serviceable fantasy quarterback. However, if it wasn’t for a big fourth quarter last week, the feeling might be different on Taylor entering Week 3.
Despite playing catch-up almost the entire game, Taylor still only ended the game with 30 pass attempts. What is even more concerning is the eight sacks that Taylor took. He looked lost in the pocket at times, and did not seem to trust his offensive line. The three interceptions he threw also demonstrated that he is a work in process. Keep in mind this was happened in the friendly confines of Ralph Wilson Stadium. It is always risky going against a quarterback who can make his fantasy day with one rushing play. Even so, I expect Taylor to struggle in his first road game as a starting quarterback.
Martellus Bennett @ SEA
Through two games, it appears the Seahawks secondary is missing the presence of hard-hitting safety Kam Chancellor. The defense notorious for stymieing tight end production has allowed 10 receptions for 150 yards and a pair of touchdowns to opposing tight ends. While there is still no decision on if Chancellor will play, defensive coordinator Kris Richard said, “It looks like he picked up right where he left off.” Even if Chancellor doesn’t suit up, Bennett should be on your bench.
This will be a tough matchup for Bennett. With Alshon Jeffery already listed as out and Eddie Royal as questionable, there won’t be any serious threats for the Seahawk secondary to be concerned with and will able to focus its coverage on shutting down the tight end who led the league in receptions last year. Oh yeah, by the way, Jimmy Clausen will be throwing him the ball.
Tyler Eifert @ BAL
Owners that took a late round gamble on Tyler Eifert of smiling like the butcher’s dog through two weeks. While it’s nearly impossible to bench someone as hot as Eifert, if you have a decent option this is the week to do so. The regression is bound to strike and this could be the week it happens.
As hard as it is for me to do so, I have to tip my cap to Dalton; who has played extremely well through two games. Baltimore has been a house of horrors for him in his first four seasons. With a record of 1-3, he has tossed seven interceptions compared to just four touchdowns in his four career games at Baltimore. I don’t expect Dalton to play well Sunday. To make it more difficult. the Ravens have been stingy against the tight end through two games, allowing only 30 yards. I look for the Bengals offense to take a step back in what is an early season must-win game for the 0-2 Ravens.
Combo Play: 3-88
See all those reasons above why Russell Wilson will have a good game? Now add in the fact that Graham hates his role with the Seahawks, and we have all the makings for a ‘get well’ game for Graham and the entire Seahawk’s offense. Seven catches and a few touchdowns will have Jimmy smiling again and happy to be a Seahawk.
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