Andrew Luck

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

 

When giving advice on who to play I prefer not to say ‘Start player x’ or ‘Sit player y’ because I don’t know who everyone has on their bench.  Telling you to sit a borderline QB when all the options available to you in your league are worse doesn’t do you much good.  So instead I’ll make references to the classic spaghetti western.  Assume the players who aren’t mentioned here should produce within their usual point range.

 

 

 

Feel free to ask questions about your specific scenario in the comments section below and I’ll try and answer before game time.  Make sure you include league type, number of players, etc.

 

Legend:

 

Gold – These players have shovels in hand just itching to get their hands on the treasure.  I’m predicting they exceed their usual fantasy production by 25% or more.

 

Good – These players should provide owners with 10-15% above their usual fantasy production.

 

Bad – These players will likely produce 10-15% less than their usual fantasy points.

 

Ugly – These players are in the noose on their tip-toes trying to balance on the cross.  They’ll be lucky to hit 75% of their usual production.

 

Tuco’s Folly – You, and many fantasy experts, may see this player as a valuable asset.  I do not.  Start these players and you may end up drawing against Blondie and Angel Eyes with no bullets in your gun.

 

Mexican Standoff – If you’re in a no-win situation this week, take a chance and draw these players into your lineup they may just save your fantasy week.

 

Week Seven

It’s a tough week with six teams on their bye, most with what you would consider stud RB’s including big names like Jamaal Charles and LeSean McCoy.  Between that and the current RB injury situations I imagine many of you are seeking RB help.  I’ll try and provide at least a couple of suggestions.

 

 

Tennessee Titans @ Buffalo Bills

Weather concerns: A chance of showers before noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 56. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Home Field advantage: Average

 

Good - C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson: The Bills RB match up is close to gold this week but the timeshare situation dampens that somewhat.  Spiller is the preferred start but Jackson could do some damage as well.

 

Good - Ryan Fitzpatrick, Stevie Johnson, Kenny Britt , Nate Washington: All have favorable matchups so expect a little better than usual production if you start any of them, especially from the Bills.

 

Mexican Standoff - Matt Hasselbeck: It should be a favorable matchup but he hasn’t produced much so far.  If you need a QB badly and he’s available you could take a shot with Hasselbeck for one last hurrah before Jake Locker returns.

 

 

Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts

Weather concerns: None

Home Field advantage: Good

 

Gold - Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne: Luck and company should do very well against the Browns despite Joe Haden’s presence in the secondary.  TY Hilton, Donnie Avery and Coby Fleener are usually borderline fantasy options but I’m comfortable taking a chance with any of them this week if you’re in need.

 

Good - Trent Richardson: The Colts have done OK against the run until last week when they got gashed by the Jets.  Double-check the injury reports but Pat Angerer and Dwight Freeney are both likely to suit up so Richardson, who is himself banged up, won’t have near the success Shonn Greene had last week.

 

Mexican Standoff - Monterio Hardesty: Richardson is listed as questionable right now, so you could take a gamble with Hardesty.  He performed well last week when Richardson came out and could provide you with some bye week/injury replacement production.  As mentioned the Browns running game has a favorable match up against the Colts D.

 

Tuco’s Folly - Josh Gordon: Gordon’s done more already than I expected from him all season, but he seems to be getting a little too much love because he’s caught 3 TD’s the past two weeks.  Remember that was with injuries to Cleveland WR’s Travis Benjamin and Mohamed Massaquoi.  Both are slated to play this week and both were ahead of Gordon with respect to playing time.  But hey, even a blind dog finds a leg to hump once in awhile, so Gordon may be the beneficiary of broken coverage again this week.

 

 

Washington Redskins @ NY Giants

Weather concerns: None

Home Field advantage: Average

 

Gold - Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Martellus Bennett: The gang should have a field day.  The Skins are giving up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks and receivers in the NFL.

 

Good - Alfred Morris: The supposedly fearsome Giants front four has been surprising soft in the running game and the Redskins rookie has looked good so far this year.  Temper expectations a bit however, because Chris Canty is playing – albeit in a limited rotation – and there’s a pretty good chance the G-men get out to a big lead and Washington has to abandon the run.

 

Mexican Standoff - David Wilson: It’s sounding like Bradshaw will start but who knows how long he’ll stay in.  But Andre Brown is probable coming off injury and the Giants vs. Skins run D is not a great match up.  This is a huge gamble, but if the Giants get out to a comfortable lead it is the perfect time to try and keep Bradshaw healthy and see what the Wilson can do.

 

 

New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Weather concerns: None

Home Field advantage: Average

 

Gold - Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Lance Moore: Look for a big game against the Bucs secondary this week, especially with Graham out.  Brees will be airing it out as usual and with no Graham those additional targets have to go somewhere.

 

Good - Drew Brees, Josh Freeman, Doug Martin - More so Brees, who would be gold if not for Graham’s injury.  Freeman barely makes the ranking here so don’t expect much more than his usual production.  Martin looks like he has re-established himself as the #1 RB and should have a big week.

 

Ugly - Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram: Who would have thought after last year’s disaster against the run the Bucs would be in the top ten for least fantasy points given up on the ground?  The Saints sit near the bottom in fantasy production from their running game so if you have any other viable option I’d suggest sitting your Saints RB’s if you’ve not already made other arrangements.  Darren Sproles would be the exception as he should have a good game catching passes out of the backfield.

 

Mexican Standoff – David Thomas: Thomas should catch a few passes for you if you’re desperate for a tight end since Graham won’t play.  There’s always a chance he nabs a touchdown with the defensive focus on the wideouts too.

 

Tuco’s Folly - LeGarrette Blount:  Don’t let last week’s stat line against the Chiefs fool you.  He only had two carries before the final drive.

 

 

Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers

Weather concerns: None

Home Field advantage: Average

 

Good - Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart: These players barely made the list, so don’t expect too much more than usual but the match ups are in their favor.

 

Bad - Cam Newton: As a passer he would fall in the Ugly category but with the Cowboys in the bottom half of the league with respect to fantasy points on the ground against their D, Newton should be able to be productive in the run game.

 

Ugly - Steve Smith, Brandon Lafell, Greg Olsen: This is not the week to start any of the Carolina receivers or Olsen if you can help it.  Dallas ranks third against the pass for fantasy purposes.

 

Mexican Standoff – Felix Jones: If you were able to pick up Jones this week put him in your lineup if you need a RB.  Demarco Murray is out, the match up for Jones isn’t too daunting and as a starter he should put up decent numbers.

 

 

Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans

Weather concerns: None

Home Field advantage: Average

 

Note - Terrell Suggs: He was surprisingly activated by the Ravens this week, and many are suggesting he’ll play.  I don’t believe he’ll see the field unless there are injuries to other members of the defense.  After last week’s devastating injury news I think the Ravens activated Suggs as a morale boost, to get him on the sidelines to help pump up his team mates.

 

Gold - Arian Foster: You’re going to start Foster regardless but I felt I should point out the great match up since it may ease your mind a bit if you are having trouble filling your RB2 slot this week.  Surprisingly the Ravens have not been their usual stellar selves against the run.  While Ray Lewis was struggling against the pass before he got hurt he was very effective against the run and now he’s out for the season.  Expect more than the usual output from Foster this week.

 

Good - Joe Flacco: Before Aaron Rodgers went wild last week Flacco would not have been on this list.  It could have been a one-off but the Texan’s showed some chinks in their armor and Flacco should be able to exploit them although I don’t expect anything close to what the Packers did.

 

Bad - Ray Rice, Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson: I’m certainly not suggesting you sit Rice, just pointing out that it is not a good match up for him.  But 10% less than his usual numbers is still better than most.  As for Schaub and Johnson, although the Ravens aren’t as fearsome on D as they have been in the past, they are still not a good match up passing-wise for Houston.  Losing Webb hurts the Ravens but Smith is a pretty adequate replacement, and as mentioned above, Lewis was not real effective in pass defense.  Johnson’s another guy you probably don’t want to sit as he can still go off for a huge game at any time, but if you’re deep at wideout you might consider it.

 

 

Green Bay Packers @ St. Louis Rams

Weather concerns: None

Home Field advantage: Good

 

Bad - Alex Green, Steven Jackson, Brandon Gibson - All these players face less than promising match ups but should be able to at least come close to their usual production.  Just don’t be looking for a home run amongst any of them this week.  With Jackson, while his matchup got better when Green Bay NT B.J. Raji was ruled out for this week, he still has to contend with Daryl Richardson for carries.  Neither one is a very good play this week in my opinion.

 

Mexican Standoff – Chris Givens: Not a great match up but Givens has shown some production, exceeding 50 yards receiving in the last three games and seeing a decent number of targets.  If you need a WR this week you could do worse.

 

 

Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings

Weather concerns: None

Home Field advantage: Good

 

Bad - John Skelton, Christian Ponder, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts, Percy Harvin, Kyle Rudolph: Yes we can expect a low scoring, low fantasy output from both offenses this week.  Other than Fitzgerald I wouldn’t start any Cards in this game if I can help it.  The Vikes match up got a little better when Arizona FS Kerry Rhodes came up lame and won’t play.  I’m still not optimistic though.

 

Mexican Standoff – William Powell: Another popular name on waiver wire recommendations this week.  I fully agree you should grab him if you are in desperate need of a RB as he will start for the Cards this week and for at least the near future if he is capable.  But this week is a poor match up - actually every week is a poor match up for the Arizona ground game, their offensive line is truly offensive and their QB’s can’t keep defenses honest.

 

 

NY Jets @ New England Patriots

Weather concerns: None

Home Field advantage: Good

 

Gold - Stevan Ridley: Depending on the Pat’s game plan Ridley should run all over the Jets.  Expect a banner day.

 

Bad - Shonn Greene: Last week was the definition of the term ‘one-off’.  Expect the New England run defense to keep Greene in check.

 

 

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Oakland Raiders

Weather concerns: None

Home Field advantage: Average

 

Not much of note for this game, expect average performances across the board.

 

Tuco’s Folly - Brandon Myers: I’m seeing his name on a lot of waiver wire pickup lists for this week.  I don’t get why he’s the flavor of the week.  With so many teams on a bye you may need a warm body at TE.  If you do grab Myers I fully expect you to drop him next week when your usual TE returns.

 

 

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals

Weather concerns: None

Home Field advantage: Average

 

Good - Andy Dalton, AJ Green: A bit of a surprise to see the Bengals listed here, but this isn’t your father’s steel curtain.  Dalton and Green should have a good day, with the rest of the receiving corps maybe bettering their usual numbers slightly.

 

Bad - BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Jonathan Dwyer: Neither side has a quality match up here, I can’t see either team having a lot of success on the ground.

 

Tuco’s Folly - Baron Batch: You may read elsewhere Batch is worth picking up because of Mendenhall’s injury issues.  He’s not.  Dwyer’s starting.

 

Mexican Standoff – Chris Rainey, Cedric Peerman: Rainey is easily the most talented of the healthy RB’s and the Steelers should have given him the start in my opinion.  It’s a gamble but he may still surprise you and the Steelers.  In Peerman’s case, he performed well last week catching eight passes.  He is a third down journeyman running back but if Brian Leonard is out as expected – he’s listed as doubtful right now – he could have another solid game, especially in PPR leagues.

 

 

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears

Weather concerns: None

Home Field advantage: Good

 

Bad - Mikel Leshoure: Bears are too good against the run to predict much excitement from Leshoure or any other Lions backs.

 

Mexican Standoff – Tony Scheffler, Joique Bell: Brandon Pettigrew is probable, but Scheffler has produced some even with Pettigrew in the lineup, like his 81 yards last week.  If Pettigrew is out Scheffler is a quality play this week.  If you are in need of a TE you could do worse than Scheffler even if Pettigrew plays.  As mentioned, Detroit’s run game has a bad match up, but Bell is a Sproles-type out of the backfield.  He’s worth a shot if you need a running back, especially in PPR leagues.

 

 


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Comments (7)add comment

steve_oshp said:

steve_oshp
Update No big surprises with the late game inactives, but of note both the Pat's starting safeties are out. Slight improvement in the chances for the Jets run and pass games, but I think I'd still stay away.
October 21, 2012
Votes: +0

Steve Braun said:

steve_oshp
Update CB Chris Gamble is inactive for Carolina. Dez Bryant's prospects just went up
October 21, 2012
Votes: +0

Steve Braun said:

steve_oshp
Update Todd Heap is inactive for Arizona. TE Rob Housler could provide you with Bye week/injury replacement if you're desperate, he should be available in your league.
October 21, 2012
Votes: +0

Steve Braun said:

steve_oshp
Update Massaquoi is out for Cleveland, Josh Gordon's chances improve. Still a gamble IMO but he will see the field more.
October 21, 2012
Votes: +0

Steve Braun said:

steve_oshp
Thanks Thanks for the feedback ynotzz, hopefully it helps you out this week
October 21, 2012
Votes: +0

ynotzz said:

ynotzz
... great stuff! thanks!
October 21, 2012
Votes: +0

Steve Braun said:

steve_oshp
Update For the Lions-Bears game Monday:
Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 63. South wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Adjust passing offense expectations slightly.
October 21, 2012
Votes: +0
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