“Off the Matt” Ca$h vs. Crash, Week 4 Quarterback/Tight End Plays
Week 3 Recap
Russell Wilson: 235/1/0
Blake Bortles: 242/2/1
Kyle Rudolph: 2/14/0
Eric Ebron: 5/61/0
Philip Rivers: 246/1/1
Tyrod Taylor: 277/3/0
Martellus Bennett: 4/15/0
Tyler Eifert: 0/0/0
Year to Date Totals (six starts):
Fantasy Ca$h Quarterbacks: 1608/12/5 (268 ypg)
Fantasy Crash Quarterbacks: 1624/13/3 (271 ypg)
Fantasy Ca$h Tight Ends: 26/295/1 (49 ypg)
Fantasy Crash Tight Ends: 11/75/1 (13 ypg)
Derek Carr @ CHI
After a disastrous Week 1, Carr has looked like the breakout candidate that many predicted him to be the past two weeks. In Week 2, he finished as the fifth best fantasy quarterback. He followed that up Week 3 with another strong performance that landed him inside the top 10. Despite a hot-hand, and a dream matchup, many pundits are still ranking him outside of the top 10.
Facing the Bears provides Carr with a great opportunity to crack the top 10 for a third consecutive week. I went into detail last week about how terrible the Bears defense, particularly their pass defense. Here we are, one week later and not much has changed. My favorite stat on the Bears passing defense is that they are surrendering a touchdown pass once every 7.6 pass attempts.
Carr to Cooper is quickly becoming one of the best young tandems in the league. I expect them to continue their solid play, and cash in verse a defense that hands it out like it’s the first of the month.
Andy Dalton vs KC
I feel like a scorned woman when it comes to Andy Dalton. I want to trust you Andy, but I can’t help but think of those dark nights I laid holding my pillow thinking about what you did to my bank account. Let’s be honest, Andy Dalton has had his fair share of awful games in which he robbed the Bengals (and my wallet) of any chance of winning. For whatever reason, I have a curse over Andy Dalton that when my buck gets behind him he does something like…
Anyways, it’s time to move on and give Dalton another chance to win my heart back. The timing couldn’t be better as the Chiefs come to town fresh of a Monday night thrashing by the arm of Aaron Rodgers who hit them up for (channeling inner LeBron)
But five touchdown passes.
There are some major problems in the Chief’s secondary and I expect Dalton to exploit the matchup problems that Green and Co. will present.
Speaking of the Bengals offensive weapons, maybe Dalton deserves a pass for last season. When you take into consideration that A.J. Green was banged up for a good portion of the season, and “Touchdown Marvin” missed the entire season, one could begin to understand why Dalton struggled last year. When you add in a legitimate weapon at tight end in Tyler Eifert, as well as a dynamic change of pace back in Gio Bernard and this is one of the most well rounded offenses in the league.
Charles Clay vs NYG
One of the bigger surprises of the season thus far is the impressive play of quarterback Tyrod Taylor. One of the main beneficiaries of Taylor’s quality play has been tight end Charles Clay. Through three games, Clay’s production is trending in the right direction. He has increased his fantasy points each week, including a 14-point performance in Week 3. Another good sign is that his targets have increased each week. With LeSean McCoy unlikely to play and Sammy Watkins questionable there could be even more targets available for Clay who is facing off against a defense that has allowed more receptions to tight ends than any team not named the Oakland Raiders.
Speaking of the Raiders….
Martellus Bennett vs OAK
Oh how the matchup can make all the difference in the world. Last week, Bennett popped up in my column as a ‘crash’ playing in Seattle. This week however, there is no matchup out there juicier than what the Oakland Raiders provide against the tight position.
Through three weeks, the Raiders have allowed 21/305/5 to opposing tight ends. I could maybe allow a pass if they had faced a gauntlet the likes of Gronk, Graham, and Kelce over that stretch. As you can see below this was not that case.
Week 1: Tyler Eifert – 9/104/2
Week 2: Crockett Gillmore – 5/88/2
Week 3: Gary Barnidge WHO? – 6/105/1
If Gary freakin’ Barnidge cuts up your defense, it might be beyond repair. I am talking about the same Gary Barnidge that has been in the league since 2008. The same Gary Barnidge, who over that eight-year career has never had a season with more than 13 receptions. Get the point?
Bennett has started the year off slow, failing to score more than five fantasy points in each of the last two weeks. While the return of Alshon Jeffery could eat into his targets, it should benefit him over the long haul, as he should find more room to operate in opposing secondaries. I don’t trust Clausen at all, but this matchup is too good to pass up.
Eli Manning @ BUF
Through three weeks anyone who made the decision to roster Eli Manning as their starting quarterback has to be feeling fine, but far from great. He has averaged 255 yards passing per game and has thrown for four touchdowns. One bright spot is that he is one of only three quarterbacks on the season to not throw an interception.
To this point Eli has played it close to the vest, which had led to a healthy 65% completion percentage, and mediocre seven yards per pass completion. On the year he has only attempted 10 passes that have traveled 20+ yards. In my humble opinion it will be another day of dinking and dunking for Manning going against a fearsome pass rush, as well as a ball-hawking secondary that has already pulled down five interceptions on the season. With a low ceiling in line for Week 4, I would look other places than Eli Manning.
Andrew Luck vs JAC
Chuck Pagano was quoted Wednesday saying that he was “supremely confident” that Luck would play this Sunday. That level of confidence has shifted to “absolutely confident” in a media session on Friday.
Who knows what that actually means, but either way if you own Luck he needs to be on your bench this Sunday. Although Luck has only been sacked five times on the season the constant hits he is taking are starting to add up. Assuming Luck does play this week, I fully expect the Colts to do their best to protect his shoulder. The Jaguars do a decent job of rushing the passer. Despite rarely blitzing, they have racked up six sacks. This could mean an extremely run-heavy game plan as well as quick, short passes that would get the ball out before the rush can get to him.
Luck has been a major disappointment to fantasy owners who spent a first-round pick on him. Look no further than the number of interceptions he has thrown if you want to find a singular stat that sums up his season to this point. Just how bad are his seven interceptions? Well, to put it in perspective only two other quarterbacks have thrown five. He is a prime buy-low candidate, but don’t expect him to get things turned around this week.
Kyle Rudolph @ Denver
I am not going to crown the Bronco’s defense after just three weeks, but what they have done to this point is impressive.
Vs. Pass: 176 yards per game / 11 sacks / 6 interceptions / 1 touchdown
Vs. Run: 83 yards per game / 3.5 yards per carry
So my question, how are the Vikings going to move the ball?
The Vikings will do everything they can to get the run game going. With as tough as the Broncos have looked upfront that will be no easy task. If the run game stalls out and moving the offense falls on the arm of Teddy Bridgewater we could end up with a repeat performance from their opening game at San Francisco.
The Broncos haven’t exactly been kind to opposing tight ends. They have allowed 13/211 and are one of six teams in the league who have yet to allow a tight end touchdown.
Eric Ebron @ SEA
Anyone watch that “2-minute drill” that Matt Stafford ran against the Broncos on Sunday night? Boy, that was sad. Anyways, Stafford as well as pretty much the entire Detroit offense has been a letdown so far this season. One of the few bright spots to this point in the year has been marked improvement by second year tight end Eric Ebron.
The momentum that Ebron has built to this point in the season is about to run smack into the middle of a brick wall, and by brick wall I mean Kam Chancellor and the rest of the Seattle defense. Up until last week, Seattle had been charitable to the tight end position. While shutting down Jimmy Clausen is nothing to write home about, I do expect the defense to continue to improve, especially verse the tight end.
A Seattle home MNF game is never a good thing for the opposition. The crowd, as usual will be electric and Matt Stafford will be in for a long night.
COMBO PLAY: 14-85
The Chiefs actually have respectable numbers against opposing tight ends. They have allowed 11/93/1. They have yet to face a top-tier tight end this season, so the numbers may be a bit misleading. With the monster performance that A.J. Green had last week fresh in everyone’s mind, Eifert should find himself in some great matchups against a beat-up secondary.
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