The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 3

Chandler Jones was all over Matt Cassel like Elvis on a pound of bacon this Sunday.

Chandler Jones was on Matt Cassel like Elvis on a pound of bacon Sunday.

Week 2 was nuts, both on and off the field. There were injuries all over, reports of domestic violence and child abuse and big upsets. Hop aboard and let’s take a nice ride down the stream!

New England Patriots: New England is almost universally 100% owned in leagues but if they happen to be on your waiver wire pick them up! They play Oakland this week, and after their huge game at Minnesota, I think we will see much of the same in against the Raiders.

Indianapolis Colts:  Andrew Luck and company head to Jacksonville, who, putting it lightly, have trouble scoring. The Eagles (14) and Redskins (18) have both put up double-digit fantasy points on defense against this squad. The Colts are about to enjoy their slice of the pie. The Colt defense is widely available and has looked improved. Playing against a bad offense should get them on track, I like Indy as a streaming option this week.

Houston Texans: After two big time performances, Houston should be owned in more than 63.5% of leagues (ESPN). Houston heads to the Big Apple and are seem ready to take a bite. The Giants have given up double-digit fantasy points to both opposing defenses thus far. Injuries, inconsistency and adapting to a new offense are the perfect ingredients for a Texans blowout. Bonus: Houston has a great week 4 matchup too so if you get them, you’ll want to keep them longer than just this week.

Dallas Cowboys: I know, the only thing you’ve heard all season about the Dallas defense is that it’s well, horrid. This pick is 100% matchup based. America’s team is playing the Rams who let Minnesota’s suspect defense walk all over them in week 1, including two picks (and one for a defensive score). The purple and gold also got to the Rams 3rd string QB five times in a 34-6 route. I think Dallas has a chance to rack up the points against a poor offense.

San Diego Chargers: Remember my opening paragraph? The NFL was weird last week; let’s focus on the Chargers on this one. So far San Diego has played the Cardinals and Seahawks. Both known for defense, yes, but each team can score. The Chargers defense has done well against both of them and I expect better production against the Buffalo. Sammy Watkins will get his share, but in the end I think San Diego has the last laugh. Can you believe the Chargers beat Seattle last week?!

There you have it! I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing weekly. Good luck.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/8k7DDm

Jared “Minnesota Nice” Hines is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Jared_Hines27!

Waiver Wire Wizardry: Pickups for Week 3

Kirk CousinsQuarterback:

Kirk Cousins (8% Y!): So first, if you have a weak stomach, please don’t watch RG3’s ankle injury. Unfortunately for RG3, he suffered a dislocated ankle and will be out a minimum of a month if not longer. If he needs to have surgery, then he could be lost for the season. In either case, Kirk Cousins needs to be owned as a QB2. In a pocket-passer style offense, Cousins is the much better fit than RG3 who is more of an option QB. Cousins came in yesterday and did a great job despite losing DeSean Jackson not too long after and of course, not having Jordan Reed on the field either. He threw for 250 yds and 2 TDs against Jacksonville and has a very nice matchup next week against a weak Eagles secondary. If Reed and/or Jackson are back for Week 3, Cousins could be bumped to a high-end QB2 and make for a nice DFS play.

Joe Flacco (35% Y!): Despite being given a huge contract last offseason, Joe Flacco is a much more valuable football QB than fantasy QB. But after seeing what he and the Ravens did to the Steelers on Thursday, I’m convinced he warrants at least QB2 consideration. Their play-calling on offense by Gary Kubiak helped them dice up Pittsburgh’s defense and it also showed just how many weapons Flacco has. Steve Smith has quickly become Flacco’s favorite target, and he has Torrey Smith, TD vulture Owen Daniels, Dennis Pitta, Bernard Pierce, and check-down machine Justin Forsett. Flacco is facing a rather tough CLE defense this week but the Browns’ secondary is beatable so I expect Flacco to be a QB2 this week and going forward and is going to be one of the better BYE week replacements.

Running Back:

Knile Davis (18% Y!): He is my #1 WW pick-up this week by far. Davis has always been talented for sure and could even contend for being the #1 RB on some teams but he was just stuck behind Jamaal Charles. That all changed Sunday when Charles went down with an ankle injury. Davis didn’t disappoint, having over 100 combined yards, 6 receptions, and 2 rushing TDs. Charles has a high-ankle sprain, which is usually a multiple week injury and if the Chiefs are smart, they will sit Charles until he is fully healthy rather than rush him back. Having Davis to take over for him in the mean time only helps the Chiefs to sit Charles. Davis is a MUST-OWN in all formats and in any size league. Put your house up for him, he is just THAT good.

Donald Brown (8% Y!): DISCLAIMER: I am not telling you to add Donald Brown because of his talent like Knile Davis, I am telling you to add him because of volume. Brown has never been impressive to me in his NFL career and he still wasn’t on Sunday. But with Ryan Mathews going down for a month or so with a knee injury, Brown is a must-add in most leagues. He is in a run-heavy offense and since Woodhead is more of a pass-catcher and not intimidating as a runner, Brown is going to pick up most of the carries. He will also get looks in the pass game but Brown is an almost-lock for at least 15 carries a game and could end up doing nicely as a RB3/FLEX until Mathews gets back.

Khiry Robinson (17% Y!): A breakout favorite this off-season and preseason, Robinson has unfortunately received minimal work so far through two weeks with Ingram doing so well as their lead RB. But, news just passed yesterday that Ingram will miss the next 4-6 weeks with a broken hand. That opens the door for Robinson to get a lot more looks and touches, especially in the running game. Pierre Thomas is a more of a passing-down back while Robinson is more of a hybrid between receiving and rushing. Robinson will see the majority of carries while Ingram is down and could be in line for high-end RB3/FLEX production if not better while in this role. He is my #2 WW pick up for this week.

Bobby Rainey (21% Y!): Despite facing a strong Rams run defense, Bobby Rainey shredded it for over 140 yards rushing on Sunday. Doug Martin did practice all week last week but on Sunday, suddenly was not playing. It leads to two hypotheses, that either his knee injury got worse all of a sudden, or that he is falling out of favor with the Buccaneers coaching staff already. Regardless of what it is, Martin should be considered questionable for week 3 against a juicy Falcons defense. If Martin doesn’t go or is limited, Rainey is a great add this week as the Falcons have been torched when it comes to their run defense. He didn’t have a particularly good season last season but under a new coaching staff and scheme, it’s looked to help him so far. Pick up Rainey and if he does start week 3, he is instantly a RB2 if not better considering what he did on Sunday and who he is facing.

Wide Receiver:

Mohamed Sanu (8% Y!): AJ Green re-aggravated his foot/toe injury Sunday and the Bengals’ official website is predicting he won’t be back until week 5 (week 4 is their bye week), which would mean he misses this Sunday’s match-up. In steps Mohamed Sanu, who had over 80 yards receiving and a TD on Sunday. With Marvin Jones still recovering from surgery, Sanu has been the #2 WR for CIN the first two weeks. But with Green out, Sanu steps into that #1 WR role and could have a great game against TEN, who lost their #1 CB this off season. He is a great DFS player as the #1 WR pick up and could put up a WR3 game if not better. Pick him up if you are dealing with an AJ Green or DeSean Jackson injury.

James Jones (21% Y!): Signed this off-season from GB, James Jones was originally thought to be their #1 WR. Last week, he did not have the kind of game you would expect from a #1 WR despite having a TD catch. This week, he was fed the ball and played like their #1 WR. He was targeted 14 times, had 9 catches for 114 yards and a TD. He is certainly the most talented WR of the bunch in OAK and should be the go-to/veteran guy that rookie Derek Carr continues to look towards in the passing game. OAK, after seeing what Jones and Carr did together in week 2, will work to get Jones a lot of looks again for week 3 and going forward. His situation warrants WR3 stats from here on in and has mid-WR3/FLEX status this week facing the Patriots even if he faces Revis because of how many looks Jones will get.

Miles Austin (9% Y!): Don’t pull a hammy reading this please, or otherwise you’ll jinx Austin. As both I and Ricky said on this past Sunday’s show, Austin was in line for a good game with Jordan Cameron being out and he didn’t disappoint. He had 10 targets, 6 catches, 44 receiving yards, and a TD. As long as Austin stays healthy, he has a good shot to put up these stats every week until Gordon and/or Cameron returns. Cameron suffered a re-aggravation of his shoulder injury and could be out for an extended amount of time to ensure that he doesn’t get rushed back too quickly. If that is the case, Brian Hoyer will continue to throw towards Austin and Andrew Hawkins (see below). CLE has looked really good on offense so far when compared to expectations. Hoyer has been stable, their running game has been solid, and their passing game will continue to improve, so Austin is a great add for this week, especially for DFS against a CB-needy Ravens team.

Andrew Hawkins (32% Y!): Through 2 weeks, Hawkins has 22 targets. That is good enough for top 10 in the NFL, and nothing more should be said. Hoyer loves throwing to Hawkins and it has shown in both targets and the stats that Hawkins has put up so far. Hawkins also has 14 receptions through 2 weeks and that is also good enough for top 10 in the NFL. In PPR, Hawkins is a must-add right now as his arrow will only go up as the weeks progress. Hoyer will continue to look Hawkins’ way and will keep putting up solid stats. Despite only having 70 yards and 6 catches in Week 2, Hoyer did miss Hawkins on some big throws that would’ve boosted Hawkins’ day exponentially. Go out and grab him as a WR4 in standard, but is a nice WR3/FLEX play in PPR moving forward.

Tight End:

Larry Donnell (21% Y!): I was skeptical to put Donnell on this list for last week because I was worried of a flash-in-the-pan performance from him and considering the NYG TE situation as well. But after two weeks of being the top receiver for the Giants, it’s time to add him before it’s too late. He has 12 receptions, 137 yards receiving, and 1 TD through two games, good enough for top 10 in TE so far. He will continue to be looked at by Eli until he can handle the west-coast offense better. He is a low-end TE1 going forward, making him a must-own in every format. This is not a fluke or flash-in-the-pan, he looks like the go-to guy for Eli.

Niles Paul (4% Y!): A little bit of the same scenario for Paul as with Donnell, I was worried it was a flash-in-the-pan performance he had week 1. But he also has Jordan Reed in front of him, but Paul has done well while Reed has been sidelined. And knowing Reed’s injury history, he could be out next week as well if the Redskins take the conservative path and let him be 100% again. If that is the case (and very well could be), Paul is a great DFS play this week and could put up another TE1 week on Sunday. Keep in mind, Kirk Cousins is the QB now, and both he and Paul were both 2nd stringers and practiced a lot together, so they may have a better connection then people realize. Grab Paul this week.

Owen Daniels (12% Y!): In a TE-friendly offense run by Gary Kubiak, you just can’t count out his main man Owen Daniels. That held true this past Thursday as Daniels caught all 5 of his targets from Flacco and secured two TDs as well. Kubiak just loves Daniels all the way back to their Houston days together and it could be a season of Daniels stealing looks from Dennis Pitta and also TDs as well. Daniels is not the #1 TE in Baltimore, but he could very much sap away targets and RZ looks from Pitta with Kubiak at the helm. You could find worse TE2 options going forward than Daniels moving forward. Kubiak’s TE-heavy offense is enough to keep Daniels relevant.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/LEFvnH

Doug Moore is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @DMM0822!

Eight In The Box: IDP Waiver Wire Week 2

Chris LongThe first week of play saw some significant injuries on the defensive side of the ball. I will be here each week to go over any injuries and what that means to those situations while covering potential beneficiaries on the IDP front.

Let’s get to it.

First, let’s cover some injury news:

  • Chris Long (STL DE): Long injured his left ankle when it got rolled early in the 3rd quarter. He wasn’t effective in the game and didn’t accrue any counting stats. William Hayes would fill in if Long is out for an extended period but he isn’t worth picking up at this point
  • Mike DeVito (KC DE): DeVito ore his achilles and is out for the rest of the year. He wasn’t a great option but it may affect Dontario Poe moving forward as DeVito was able to pick up blockers. The Chiefs signed Kevin Vickerson to replace DeVito but he isn’t worth your time
  • Jadeveon Clowney (HOU LB): Clowney tore his lateral meniscus and will miss 4-6 weeks of action (maybe more). This is a disappointment for anyone in big play leagues (1 pt per tackle vs 4+ pts per sack). His replacement is most likely Whitney Mercilus who has a first round pedigree but has been mostly disappointing over the past two seasons
  • Derrick Johnson (KC LB): This is probably the biggest injury for IDP’ers in week 1. Johnson is a solid 100 tackle LB that was probably the anchor of your defense. His probable replacements are Josh Mauga and James-Michael Johnson but neither are expected to do much.  Of more importance is that if your running back is playing against the Chiefs moving ahead his matchup just got a whole lot better.
  • Zach Brown (TEN: LB): Brown tore his pectoral and will miss the rest of the year. This will free up Zaviar Gooden who has the speed and skills to be of some value. Gooden will get the opportunity and is worth a speculative add in case he gets the job done. He will be competing with Wesley Woodyard for tackle opportunities but he has the edge.
  • Jerrell Freeman (ID LB): Freeman pulled his hammy. It’s too bad, as he was having quite the game prior to the injury. Even with D’Qwell Jackson next to Freeman in the middle he was able to rack up 7 tackles. Assuming this injury isn’t too serious Freeman should be a solid contributor.
  • Robert Mathis (IND LB): Mathis tore his achilles as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mathis struggles to get back to normal. Mathis tore his achilles working out on his own last week as he was on suspension. He is done for the year.
  • Dannell Ellerbe (MIA LB): Ellerbe injured his hip and was placed on injured reserve. His 2014 campaign is also over.
  • Koa Misi (MIA LB): Misi injured his ankle and it sounds like a high ankle sprain. He will be out for an extended period of time. The Dolphins LB core is depleted so it’s good news for the Bills coming to town next week. The Dolphins signed Kelvin Sheppard.
  • Vontaze Burfict (CIN: LB): The Bengals linebacker left early with a concussion. Everyone knows what that means by now; check the reports and see if he passes the protocol for next week. If he is out expect Vincent Rey and Emmanuel Lamur to benefit. Both players could have some fantasy impact.

Who’s on the wire?

DL:

  • Justin Smith (SF DE): Just keeps chugging away and ended the game with 2 sacks and 2 tackles. He is nothing special but in deeper leagues he is a solid option
  • Sen’Derrick Marks (JAC DT): Built upon his nice preseason picking up a sack. In leagues that require defensive tackles he is someone to get on your radar. Very disruptive up the middle.
  • Wallace Gilberry (Cin DE): Had a nice outing opposite Carlos Dunlap while picking up 1.5 sacks. With Michael Johnson now in Tampa, Gilberry has a chance to surprise. If he can hold off Marques Hunt he could be in line for 8-10 sacks.

LB:

  • Sio Moore (OAK LB): Lit up the stat sheet with 11 tackles and a sack. Some of it was helped by Nick Roach being inactive but I like Moore to keep this up. He is moving into his second year and has the potential for games like this all year long.
  • Jamie Collins (NE LB): He is taking on a full time roll and should continue the strong tackle numbers.
  • Emmanuel Lamur (CIN LB): Had a nice start to the year with 5 tackles, 6 assists and a pick. He received extra time with Burfict going out with a concussion but this should earn him more reps and worth a look in deep formats.
  • Jarvis Jones (Pit LB): Disappointed last year and has probably been forgotten in many leagues. In big play leagues he is worth a look as he has a chance for double digit sacks if he continues to develop.
  • Christian Kirksey (CLE LB): This is a speculative suggestion as he isn’t on the field much. I expect by the end of the season he will be worth a roster spot.
  • Keenan Robinson (WAS LB): Picked up six tackles and a fumble recovery in his debut as London Fletcher’s replacement in the middle for Washington. If you are looking for a high floor tackle guy Robinson may be a low cost option

DB:

  • Antoine Cason (CAR CB): Was busy with 9 tackles but he also picked off a pass.  The Panthers DL is gonna pressure the QB and Cason may be the beneficiary with quick tackle opportunities.
  • Donte Whitner (CLE S): Racked up a ton of tackles (12 solos) as he played the entire game. He should get a lot of opportunity in Cleveland and is worth picking up if available.
  • Leodis McKelvin (BUF CB): Had 13 solo tackles which will probably never happen again but he is just good enough to be close to the receivers and just bad enough to be targeted. That is the recipe for a great IDP season. If your league also awards for return yardage he is the punt returner, so you get a bonus there.
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (GB S): May not have played a ton of snaps but he was all over the place when he was in there. He picked up a sack and will be in line for more of that once he starts picking up more playing time. You may want to give him another week to see if it continues but if you have the space he might be a low cost stash.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/rc0Q1k

Shane Gallimore is a fantasy football contributor for The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Gally4!

 

The Fantasy Forecaster: Football 9/9/14

Ricky was joined by fellow TSS writer Doug Moore and they discussed the week that was around the NFL while taking your questions!

You can stream on-demand here.

You can also subscribe/download on iTunes here. Leave a rating, don’t be shy!

Make sure to follow Ricky (@rickygangster) and Doug (@DMM0822) on Twitter!

The guys will be back next week (September 16)! Get your questions in on Twitter using the #TSS tag.

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 2

I stream defenses. This is my approach.

This is what I am here for. Each week I’ll pick 5 readily available D/ST units that have an ideal matchup. The following options are owned in less than 60% (Y! and ESPN) of leagues. Happy streaming!

Texans D

The Texans D/ST leads the way this week, behind freak of nature J.J. Watt.

Week 2 Streaming Options:

Houston Texans: Out of my teams for the week, the Texans are the team owned in the most leagues so they might not be available in yours. If they are, pick them up. Last week they allowed 6 points to Washington while sacking RG3 three times. This week they get the homely Oakland Raiders. The Texans defense were one of the handful of teams to score a defensive touchdown in week 1. I expect similar results in week 2. Another big point total looks to be on tap.

Tennessee Titans: The Titans came out in week one and dominated the depleted Kansas City offensive line. Charles had just 19 rushing yards and they picked up Alex Smith three times. Add that to the four sacks in week one and it is no wonder why I have them as a target for my fantasy teams this week. The Titans get the Dallas Cowboys and if you saw them on Sunday afternoon, you know their team is a mess. Romo is not fully healthy and their line is having a hard time protecting him as well. Look for the Titans to have a huge game on Sunday afternoon.

Miami Dolphins: Brady and his wideouts couldn’t get anything going against Miami’s secondary. New England’s run game was awful as well, as the Dolphins looked motivated in their first divisional tilt of the season. By the end of the afternoon Miami had forced and recovered two fumbles and had sacked Brady four times while pressuring snap after snap. This week they get Buffalo. While Buffalo is excited about new ownership, I believe it will be Miami who will own the Bills on Sunday. Look for them to pressure Manuel a lot and keep those talented young burners on the outside quiet.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Yes, the Jags collapsed in week one, allowing 34 points to the Eagles on their way to an 0-1 start. Jacksonville’s story was a tale of two halves. They looked great in the 1st half but apparently decided to mail it in after halftime. After all that, they still had a pick, 2 fumble recoveries and five sacks against Chip’s squad. This week they get the Redskins and will look to pressure RG3 into making some bad decisions. The Jacksonville Jaguars are my deep defensive sleeper of the week!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs didn’t really have anything to be excited about in week one. The team played poorly as Carolina came in and took care of business with Derek Anderson as their QB. Tampa Bay looks to regroup and who better to do that against than Saint Louis? The Rams scored just six points in week 1 and have no viable option at quarterback. Tampa Bay will make the most of their opportunity and lay the smack down on the lowly Rams in week 2.

There you have it, five defenses that I believe have great potential as we head into week 2! Look for this article every Wednesday throughout the season. Good luck!

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/2t0GxO

Jared “Minnesota Nice” Hines is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Jared_Hines27!

Waiver Wire Wizardry: Pickups for Week 2

Jake LockerQuarterback:

Jake Locker (12% Y!): Despite having a few injury-riddled seasons since coming into the league as a top pick, Locker has been solid when healthy. Sunday was no different, as he threw for almost 300 yards and 2 scores against a pretty stout Kansas City defense. He worked well in a no-huddle offense and seemed to click well with Kendall Wright, Delanie Walker and Justin Hunter. His offensive line held up well well and kept Locker on his feet. As long as Locker is healthy, I think he is a QB2 option. Pick him up this week in 12 team leagues.

Ryan Tannehill (43% Y!): In a rather shocking upset on Sunday, the Dolphins beat the Patriots 33-20. Part of that should be attributed to Tannehill, who threw 2 scores (to Mike Wallace and Lamar Miller). He didn’t light the world on fire, but played considerably well against a revamped Patriots D/ST. Tannehill has a great matchup this week against the Bills, who allowed over 340 yards passing to Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears. If you’re looking for a widely available QB with upside, the Texas A&M alum may be your man.

Running Back:

Justin Forsett (8% Y!): As I stated in my article yesterday, Justin Forsett is my #1 claim of the week. Ray Rice has been released, Bernard Pierce had a horrible game Sunday and Lorenzo Taliaferro still isn’t quite ready to carry the mail. That leaves journeyman 29 year old Forsett, who had a great game on Sunday with 70 yards rushing and a score. Pierce’s benching hints toward Harbaugh leaning in the direction of Forsett for Thursday night’s start. Baltimore faces a Pittsburgh defense that gave up 183 yards rushing to the Browns on Sunday, so the Ravens will be looking to establish a presence on the ground. Forsett needs to be owned in all formats.

Chris Ivory (32% Y!): Chris Ivory is a player I thought was being overlooked because of the Chris Johnson signing. I figured and made a prediction from the start that Johnson and Ivory were going to be involved in a 1A-1B system for gang green. On Sunday, Ivory put up 100 yards rushing and a TD even with Chris Johnson starting the game. The Jets have a juicy matchup this weekend against Green Bay, who got terrorized last Thursday by the Seahawks. For now, I say Ivory is a high-end RB4 with upside. Why he’s unowned in so many leagues is beyond me.

Terrance West (30% Y!): Terrance West was drafted in the 3rd round by the Browns to back up oft-injured RB Ben Tate. Tate went down on Sunday with a knee injury (no surprise), leaving West as the top runner. He proceeded to gash the Steelers for 100 yards in relief. He showed great running ability and didn’t miss a beat after stepping in. Tate might be out this week and given his history could deal with injuries all season, which means West is in line for a lot of carries for Cleveland in the coming weeks. He is facing a Saints defense that gave up 123 yards rushing and the Browns are run-first squad. If Tate doesn’t play this week, West is a high-end FLEX play and needs to be owned across the board as the handcuff…or more.

Wide Receiver:

Allen Hurns (12% Y!): On Sunday’s pre-game edition of The Fantasy Forecaster I made the prediction that Hurns would go over 100 yards and find pay dirt; he did. Shameless self promotion. Hurns went a step further, producing not one but two touchdowns and looking like Chad Henne’s go-to deep option. Hurns, filling in for an injured Cecil Shorts torched the infinitely beatable Eagles secondary. Nonetheless, it was a terrific regulat season debut for the young wideout and I expect the Jaguars to find a role for him in the coming weeks, even if Shorts is able to play in week 2. Go grab Hurns if you need some depth at the WR position, he’s a WR4 or 5.

Greg Jennings (38% Y!): I can safely call him “Ol’ Reliable.” Jennings seems to always produce solid numbers despite competition, age, and poor QB play in Minnesota. Even in an offense with Cordarrelle Patterson, Adrian Peterson and Kyle Rudolph, Jennings found a way to have a great week. He hauled in 6 balls for 58 yards and a TD. He doesn’t have the same athleticism as he did when he was in Green Bay, but he is still a solid back-end option to roster. Jennings is a low-end WR3 moving forward who should be owned in most 12 team formats.

Steve Smith (41% Y!): Smith disappointed a season ago in Carolina, and looked to be nearing the end of a long, successful career. Part of the problem could have been that he was always being covered by the opponent’s best corner. However, Smith is now opposite Torrey Smith, who draws all the attention. He turned in a terrific game against a tough Bengals D/ST with 7 catches for 118 yards and a TD. He also had an absurd 15 targets. I love him right now as a mid-tier WR3 who could elevate to a FLEX role. He’s an add in all 12 team leagues.

Tight End:

Dwayne Allen (7% Y!): Dwayne Allen is a very athletic TE that suffered a freak-of-nature injury last season that put him on the IR and we never really got a chance to see him in action. But Sunday he had 4 receptions, 64 yards and a TD. His TE counterpart Coby Fleener struggled in the game and couldn’t catch his only red zone target. Fleener was targeted more, but Allen produced performed better and saw more snaps. The Colts have a matchup with the Philadelphia on Sunday, who let mediocre Marcedes Lewis catch 6 balls. He is a solid TE2 going forward. Allen is a player I am claiming in 14 team leagues.

Delanie Walker (49% Y!): Last season Walker put up very solid TE2 numbers and he kicked off his second season in Tennessee the right way with 3 receptions for 37 yards and a TD. With Jake Locker at QB, every receiver in blue gets a boost as opposed to last season with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm. Walker is a solid red zone target as well. He faces a Dallas  defense that gave up 2 scores to Vernon Davis on Sunday and should be started with confidence in all leagues. He is a consistent option and should be owned in 12 team leagues.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/HOkb9w

Doug Moore is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @DMM0822!

Going Crazy; Drafting A QB At #1 In Dynasty Rookie Draft

I have first pick in my dynasty league this year and I am thinking of doing something crazy. I am going to use that pick to take a quarterback.  Right now all of you dynasty players are thinking I am nuts. Most dynasty league rookie drafts have the first QB going around pick 15 and would never think of passing up on your RB or WR preference at the first overall pick.

Now this particular league has some quirks that increase QB value; you can read about the league setup here.

The league has 12 teams and we get to freeze 15 players every year This year a total of 27 quarterbacks were kept. Slim pickings in the draft, so in order to get a difference maker you have to take a chance on a rookie and hope he hits. So now are you starting to see why taking a QB at #1 overall isn’t such a farfetched idea?

Here is a list of the QB’s that led the last five league champions:

  • 2013 – Peyton Manning ($54)
  • 2012 – Tom Brady ($102)
  • 2011 – Drew Brees ($24)
  • 2010 – Drew Brees ($14)
  • 2009 – Drew Brees ($14)

You don’t see any mediocre guys on that list. As you can see having a marquee QB is essential to winning the title in this league. All the better if you can get one at a cheap salary so you can spend your cap space on studs elsewhere. The average price for the top five QB salaries is $56 out of a $250 cap. The salary of a first round pick is only $10. What a bargain if you can find the next stud.

So now the question becomes, which QB is the right one to take with this #1 overall pick? Obviously there are three choices:

  • Blake Bortles
  • Johnny Manziel
  • Teddy Bridgewater

Blake Bortles:

Bortles was the first QB drafted in the NFL draft. From all accounts he has the size (6 foot 5, 232 lbs) and tools to be a solid NFL quarterback.  He played at a smaller college and put up good stats:

  Passing Rushing
Season Team GP GS Att Comp Pct Yds TD INT Att Yds TD
2011 UCF 10 0 110 75 67.8 958 6 3 21 4 1
2012 UCF 14 14 399 251 62.9 3,059 25 7 87 285 8
2013 UCF 14 13 382 259 67.8 3,581 25 9 87 272 6
Totals 36 27 891 585 66.2 7,598 56 19 195 561 15

The knocks on him are that he didn’t play against top competition and when he did he struggled a bit. The offense they ran at UCF was also a quick-hitting one that didn’t require him to run through a progression. This can be worrisome at the pro-level.

Through two preseason games he has looked outstanding. He has gone through his progressions and made the proper reads and looks like he belongs in the NFL. He is passing the eye test but all of his work has come against 2nd and 3rd teamers so the hype should be tempered a bit. So far though (albeit in a small sample size) he looks like he belongs and with a two game total of 18-28, 277 yards (without throwing a pick or a TD) he has impressed.

The initial word out of Jaguars camp was that they were going to bring Bortles along slowly and start Chad Henne (who has also looked good thus far) so he can learn at the NFL level. Right now it appears he is ready and will probably get a shot at some point this season. The ceiling I see for Bortles is Roethlisberger. He is big and strong and can move well in the pocket. He can scramble when he needs to and has a strong enough arm to make all the throws, even while on the run.

Teddy Bridgewater:

Bridgewater was everyone’s first pick overall prior to the 2013 college season. He had received a lot of praise and was poised to be the first QB taken in the draft. Then the season and his pro-day happened and he fell in the draft. His career at Louisville was outstanding as you can see from his career stats:

  Passing Rushing
Season Team GP GS Att Comp Pct Yds TD INT Att Yds TD
2011 LOU 13 10 296 191 64.5 2,129 14 12 89 66 4
2012 LOU 13 12 419 287 68.5 3,718 27 8 74 26 1
2013 LOU 13 13 427 303 71.0 3,970 31 4 63 78 1
Totals 39 35 1,142 781 68.4 9,817 72 24 226 170 6

The major factor to his drop in the draft was a poor workout day where he was missing throws. However, the tape shows him make throws in games and he could very well end up being the best of this crop of QB’s due to his football intelligence and competitiveness. He landed in a great spot with Norv Turner molding him and getting him NFL ready. As a Viking fan I was extremely happy the they got Bridgewater as I see him as  a solid NFL QB that will make the right decisions and lead the team. I believe he will be a better NFL QB than fantasy QB. I think he has the highest floor but lowest ceiling of these three first round QB’s which generally doesn’t equate to a difference maker for your fantasy football team.

So far his NFL preseason results have been a mixed bag. His first game was average but the word out of camp is that he has struggled a bit with interceptions. This bit of adversity could be a blessing in disguise. It’s a good opportunity to see how much confidence he has and if he can turn things around. At the moment, Matt Cassel is in the driver’s seat for the starting job to begin the season but we all know what Cassel is about. This is Bridgewater’s job to take, now he just has to perform.

My comparison for Bridgewater is Russell Wilson. They are both very smart with the football can move in the pocket and make every throw while not having the cannon of an arm.

Johnny Manziel:

Johnny Football is the most polarizing player of these three.  People are either all in or all out.  There is no in between.  The detractors will point to him being undersized (6’-0”/210 lbs) and that he parties too much off the field.  His backers will say he is a fierce competitor and a winner on the field.  He is a mainstay of Sportscenter for all of his antics and off the field persona.  He is sensational in every aspect.  The question is whether or not that will translate on the field at the NFL level.

His college stats were the best of these three QB’s while he played against the toughest competition in the SEC:

  Passing Rushing
Season Team GP GS Att Comp Pct Yds TD INT Att Yds TD
2011 Manziel redshirted his freshman year and Texas A&M and did not play
2012 A&M 434 295 68.0 3,706 26 9 201 1410 21
2013 A&M 429 300 69.9 4,114 37 13 144 759 9
Totals 863 595 68.9 7820 63 12 345 2169 30

The biggest negatives on Manziel are his size and his dedication due to his off-field transgressions. His personality is not for the faint of heart and because people either love him or hate him there are a lot of people looking to bring him down with pictures or videos of his off the field exploits.

Make no mistake, when he is on the field he is electric. He can make people miss and extend plays. He has a strong enough arm to make all the throws. He is fearless and isn’t afraid of contact. There are some players that just suck you in when they are playing and he has this quality. You just have to see what happens – whether it’s good or bad – you have to watch.

Many have likened him to Brett Favre and I agree completely. I see a player that is a competitor willing his team to wins. I see him making electrifying scrambles to extend plays and incredible passes right on the money for game winning scores. I also see stupid forced throws into coverage for interceptions trying to make things happen. He will lose games and win games while running all over the field with an enthusiasm similar to Brett Favre.

My only concern is this competitiveness getting him in situations where he takes unnecessary hits and his body can’t withstand the punishment. If he learns to not take extra hits (like he did in the first preseason game with the slide after picking up a first down on a scramble) I believe he will reach his potential.

johnny_manziel_browns_jersey_switch_by_bucksfan5-d713ht3Who to take?

This is fantasy football. It’s supposed to be fun. Part of the fun is rooting and watching your players so that is a factor in this decision.  Another big factor is that I already have two quality QB so if this pick flops it won’t kill me but if it pans out I can trade one of those two expensive QB’s for other assets to help my team while I have a stud QB locked in at a low contract value.

For me, I am really choosing between Bridgewater and Johnny Football. I am removing Bortles from my decision because although he has the prototypical body and has shown well after two games in the NFL I just don’t think his upside is a difference maker. He has the potential to be a solid NFL quarterback and a 10-15th ranked fantasy QB; solid but obtainable almost every year.

So now do I go with the QB of the future of my favorite NFL team or the exciting Brett Favre clone to be?

I am a believer, I’m going Johnny Manziel. He’s exciting and dynamic. He could throw for 300+ yards or rush for 100 yards and 2 TD. He is a difference maker on the field.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a ton of risk that his off the field personality prohibits his on the field competitor from fulfilling his promise.  There is also a chance his body won’t be able to withstand the punishment his all-out style of play will take.

I choose to look to the positive. Fantasy football is a gamble. I am a gambler. I am all in on Johnny Football.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/QW6FgG

Shane Gallimore is a fantasy football contributor for The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Gally4!