“Off the Matt” Ca$h vs. Crash, Week 8 Quarterback/Tight End Plays
Week 7 Recap
Eli Manning: 170/0/0
Carson Palmer: 275/2/0
Travis Kelce: 6/73/0
Delanie Walker: 7/55/0
Josh McCown: 270/0/0
Matt Stafford: 256/2/0
Benjamin Watson: 4/59/0
Jordan Reed: 11/72/2 (more receptions than Tampa Bay had allowed to tight ends in the previous five weeks combined.)
Year to Date Totals (total starts):
Fantasy Ca$h Quarterbacks (14): 3838/23/15 (274 ypg)
Fantasy Crash Quarterbacks (13): 3528/23/7 (271 ypg)
Fantasy Ca$h Tight Ends (14): 79/801/4 (57 ypg)
Fantasy Crash Tight Ends (14) 48/381/5 (27
Matt Ryan vs. TB
Calling Matt Ryan at bust at this point in this season would seem a bit strong. Last season, Ryan averaged 293 yards per game. Seven games into the 2015 season, Ryan is averaging 286 yards per game. The yardage is not the problem. The glaring number in his stat line is the nine touchdown passes he has tossed. If Vegas was booking odds on the number of three touchdown pass games Matt Ryan would have by November 1st, I don’t think anyone out there would have taken under 0.5.
Kirk wants to know if Ryan owners like this matchup?
Joe Flacco vs. SD
There is nothing eye-catching when you glance at Flacco’s season long numbers, or his middle of the pack fantasy quarterback ranking. Through seven games, he is having a mediocre season, averaging 265 yards a game and has tossed just one more touchdown than the eight interceptions he has thrown. However, when you dust off the outer layer of mediocrity, there have been some bright spots and big weeks for Flacco. On the year, Flacco has finished as a top 12 quarterback for the week on three separate occasions, proving that in the right matchup he can make a splash in fantasy lineups.
This week playing at home, against the Chargers presents the right kind of matchup. The Chargers biggest weakness defensively is their inability to stop the run. They allow a league worse 5.3 yards per carry. In order to try to control the oppositions running game, the Chargers have been sliding an extra man into the box. This leaves the back-end of the defense incredibly vulnerable. Last week, Derek Carr completed 77% of his passes against this defense. It was like a flashback to his Fresno State days with receivers running wide open down field.
The Ravens have faced a brutal schedule. This is their first of three consecutive home games. I expect them to come out and play well, while the Chargers start out slow as west coast teams coming to the East Coast for a [1:00] start often do. I wouldn’t want to roll with Flacco every week, but he has shown this year that he is capable of QB1 numbers and I anticipate that type of performance this week.
Ben Watson vs. NYG
Ben Watson narrowly missed out on a big game in Week 7. He was a matter of inches away from scoring a touchdown in his third consecutive game, you know the saying though. His 59 yards receiving marked his second highest total of the year. Watson has been effective on his limited targets. He is converting 76% of his targets into receptions at an 11-yard per reception clip. The matchup against the Giants screams success. No team has yielded more receptions to the tight end than the Giants. With Willie Snead looking more and more like a flash in the pan, Brees might start to look away from him, which could translate into more targets for Watson. Right now, target volume is the only thing keeping Watson away from being dependable TE1.
Martellus Bennett vs. MIN
Speaking of targets, there is no shortage when it comes to Martellus Bennett. Over the last three games, he has been targeted 13, 11, and 11 times. Last week, the Vikings struggled containing Eric Ebron. He was targeted five times and ended with 5/89/1 including a 55-yard reception on a busted coverage. While I don’t expect a 100% catch rate from Bennett, there does appear to be some confusion in the Vikings secondary with regards to tight end responsibility. Another high target game from Bennett could produce some nice results for fantasy owners.
Russell Wilson @ DAL
The Seahawks are seven games deep and Wilson has only one game in which he has thrown for multiple touchdown passes. Well, how about yardage, does he at least have a 300-yard game? Yeah right, he has only broken 251 yards passing once this season. Okay, no problem he is still making up for it on the ground though right? Noooope. He has had one game all season in which he has rushed for more than 55 yards, and to top it off he has zero rushing touchdowns. Looking at this matchup against Dallas one would think there could be hope as the Cowboys have been torched a few times this season. Here is the problem; the Cowboys have found a pass rush. They have racked up 10 sacks over their last three games and that is bad news for the Seahawk’s offensive line who has allowed Wilson to be sacked four or more times in six games.
Lack of opportunity is another reason I am staying away from Wilson this week. Last week, against the Giants the Cowboys showed that they wanted to get back to the ground and pound that lead them to their successful 2014 run. They ran the ball 41 times and controlled the time of possession [38:00] – [22:00]. Eli attempted a season low 24 pass attempts. I know it is hard to bench Wilson because of his ground game potential, but if you have an option you are even considering using I would go that route.
Derek Carr vs. NYJ
Not this week, Derek. The Jets defense is going to feel like he playing against 15 players after facing the ultra-soft Chargers last week. One of the reasons that their passing defense is so good is because of how they are able to control the opponents running game. Check out these numbers against the opposition’s running backs over the last three games.
That is barely two yards per carry. It becomes difficult to get a passing game rolling, especially play-action passing when there is no threat of a run game. Also, with Cooper taking a trip to Revis Island it will be up to the other receivers to make enough plays to get Carr the numbers. I don’t see it.
Eric Ebron @ KC
Cool your jets on Ebron. Last week, he did end up with an impressive line, but as mentioned above 55 of those yards came on a broken coverage in which no one was with in 20 yards of him when he caught the pass. He has only garnered more than five targets once this year and is still third in line when Stafford drops back to pass. The matchup is also an issue. The Chiefs have allowed the fewest receptions, and the third fewest yards to the tight end position. With the flashes that Ebron has shown, he wouldn’t be a bad guy to have on your roster. As for the prognosticators who have Ebron slated to be a top ten tight end this week—it seems a bit lofty.
Richard Rodgers @ DEN
The return of Davante Adams could put the lights out on the Richard Rodgers party. Party might be a loose term. Maybe like a 90-year-old birthday party. At any rate, Rodgers never eclipsed 45 yards in any game. The return of Adams adds another weapon for A-Rod to look at ahead of Rich-Rod. Going forward, Rodgers will be completely dependent on scoring a touchdown in order to put up worthwhile fantasy numbers. As for his matchup this week, he faces the Broncos who have allowed only two receiving touchdowns to tight ends. It will be a tall order for him to find the end zone this week.
Combo Play: 14-85
What can I say about the Bengals offense that hasn’t already been said? This is a legitimate offense that is probably only behind the Patriots in terms of firepower. Most offenses are lucky to be able to support four relevant fantasy options. The Bengals are able to arguably support six viable fantasy options. One of those weapons is tight end Tyler Eifert. While Eifert’s yardage outputs have been average at times he has done a great job finding the end zone, something he has done three times over the past two games and a total of six times on the season. The Steelers could not slow down Gronkowski or Gates when they matched up. While Eifert is not in that class of tight end yet, he is on his way.