Week 6 in the National Football League showed us that no matter how well your draft your team, to win in Fantasy Football you need a little luck and some waiver wire magic. Wide Receivers such as Justin Blackmon and Keenan Allen have emerged in the past two weeks, and should be viewed for the rest of the season as must starts. Rookie Running Backs Zac Stacy and Andre Ellington have also found success, and are great guys to have on your roster. Injuries to some big name players have opened the door for some new potential Fantasy studs. Guys like Jarrett Boykin, and Joseph Randle are names you should become familiar with. There is a lot to get to this week, so if you would like to know some more waiver wire wildcats, use any of the contact information below to find me. Twitter is the preferred method, and as such has spawned the new “Mailbag” section at the end. Thanks for continuing to read this weekly, it is beginning to take off! Now on to the business at hand….
The concept of this column is to highlight the past weeks most notable Fantasy performances from the most influential positions (Quarterback, Running Back, Wide Receiver, and Tight End). I will identify a player whom you would generally rely on as one of your starters that you Coulda started, but due to their lackluster performance should not have. Next will be a player who more than likely is on your bench or waiver wire that you Woulda started, and had you done so would have been rewarded with Starter-like numbers. And finally, I will list a player that if you could have had your pick of the entire NFL you Shoulda started, essentially the top performer at his position.
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Coulda thought that was the real Tony Romo, DAL Cowboys. (170 Yards, 1 TD/1 INT)
So you thought maybe this was the year Romo could escape controversy. He had been brilliant to start the season, culminating in a league best 500 passing yards with 5 TD’s just a week ago. That was enough to have you feeling great about starting him versus a weak Redskins secondary. But Tony, Oh Tony we knew this was going to come from you! More amazing then his regression, was the fact the Cowboys got nothing from the QB, lost DeMarco Murray and still walloped the ‘Skins. Just goes to show how bad a lot of peoples pre-season Super Bowl pick really is. Daniel Snyder must be so proud.
Woulda trusted Chip Kelley’s belief in Nick Foles, PHI Eagles. (296 Yards, 3 TD’s; 1 Rush TD)
No Michael Vick to orchestrate the Run’N’Gun Eagles offense? No problem, the second year Arizona grad is more than capable. With the weapons Philly has at Coach Kelly’s disposal, it would make you think even Ryan Leaf could have success in this system. Just shy of 300 yards, with count ’em 3 TD’s (not to mention 1 more on the ground) and it all came against a very formidable Buccaneers Defense. If Foles is still available in your league, he won’t be after this week. And rightly so.
Shoulda believed what I said about Andy Dalton, CIN Bengals. (337 Yards, 3 TD’s/1 INT)
If you are a regular reader of this column, then you will remember two weeks ago I said to stick with the “Red Rifle”. More than that, I said I would continue to “push his bandwagon” even if I was the only one left on it. I am happy he is finally beginning to support my defense, but owners of his should be more thrilled to see signs of life from AJ Green. If the two can get back on track, it is one of the more potent tandems in all of football.
Coulda been stunned by Willis McGahee, CLE Browns. (37 Rush yds, 0 TD’s)
Just a week ago, the former Hurricane looked like he was returning to his prime and had secured the lead back title in Cleveland. That momentum, coupled with a home affair against the 29th ranked Rush Defense, made McGahee a sure bet for Sunday success. It was the main reason I advised many to view him as a must start. But the impossible happened. Not that I got it wrong, but that the ground game never got going against the Lions. It wasn’t courage they lacked, it was a solid game plan that was missing. Do not panic if you own McGahee, he will still be a good source of production. After all, he is from the U.
Woulda went Back To The Future like Brandon Jacobs, NY Giants. (106 Rush yards, 2 TD’s)
Someone forgot to tell the bruising hybrid Full Back that this was 2013 and not 2008. It wasn’t so shocking to see the 22 hand offs he received, but rather the nearly 5 yards per carry he was able to maintain. If you took a gamble on him, kudos to you even though he was undoubtedly on your bench. This performance certainly has earned him a second chance at glory, but it is highly unlikely he can duplicate this effort. If you are a Giant fan, enjoy it for what it was.
Shoulda not had to face Knowshown Moreno, DEN Broncos. (42 Rush, 3 TD’s; 7-62 Rec)
This is a bit personal for me, as I was one of the many done in this weekend by Moreno’s gaudy numbers. For all the talk of a three-headed attack in the Bronco backfield, this is clearly becoming a one man show. Although it may have come at the expense of the Jaguars, the trust in featuring Knowshown in the Red Zone is a great sign for his owners. The 7 receptions for 62 yards was an added bonus you would be foolish to rely on, but the touchdowns should keep coming. Not a bad trade off considering how many trips to the Red Zone the Broncos make.
Coulda thought there was a new Torrey Smith, BAL Ravens. (1 catch for 12 yards)
“What happened to Torrey” was what @Thatdude2309 tweeted at me on Sunday. I mention that because it could not have been said much better. What did happen to Torrey Smith on Sunday? The Ravens have not had much success running the ball this year, but the one thing that had become reliable was Torrey. He had finally stepped up to become a true and dependable WR1, with receptions and yardage amongst the league leaders. The return of Jacoby Jones, as well as the emergence of Marlon Brown and Tandon Doss, means Joe Flacco has a few toys to play with. I think Smith goes back to where he was in seasons past, as that of a boom or bust guy. Now might be a great time to see what you can get for him in a trade. Speaking of Raven Receivers, now might also be a great time to take a flyer on Doss.
Woulda drafted and stashed Justin Blackmon, JAC Jaguars. (14-190 Yards, 20 Targets)
Since I referenced Ryan Leaf before, let us do so again. If Leaf had a receiver with the skills and ability of Blackmon, he would have had great success. Chad Henne is a better NFL Quarterback than Leaf. The moral? Justin Blackmon is that good! It is easy to get lost in Jacksonville, and missing the first four games did not help either, but do not forget how good he was coming out of Oklahoma State. He was the #5 overall draft pick for a reason, and this past week was not an aberration. Don’t think about it as the Jags being that bad, think about it as how much better he can make your roster. Get him if you can.
Shoulda tuned out my advice on Vincent Jackson, TB Bucs. (9-114 Receiving, 2 TD’s)
Let’s be realistic, VJax wasn’t exactly performing to what his expectations were. Throw in a rookie QB who looked awful in his debut, an injury to Mike Williams, and the circus environment that has befallen Tampa Bay, and you will agree I wasn’t unreasonable to suggest benching him this past week. That was before the old Jackson emerged and shredded the Eagles secondary. Maybe Vince and Brandon Jacobs ate the same meals this week. Whatever he did, it was enough to show why he should still be on your roster. Trusting Mike Glennon enough to do this again? Well, that is a different story.
Coulda believed it was opposite day like Jimmy Graham, NO Saints. (0 receptions for 0 Yards)
For a moment, just a moment, let’s take the chance to be astonished at Graham’s numbers from this week. I assure you this will never happen again. In fact, he already has three receptions in Week 7’s game, and the Saints are on a bye. There is really not much more to say about this, it happens. It does remind us though, that nothing in life is perfect.
Woulda had 10 more like Kyle Rudolph, MIN Vikings. (9 receptions for 97 yards, 1 TD)
The sports world poured out their sympathy for Adrian Peterson this past week, with the tragic news of his son being murdered. The Vikings faithful came with a flurry of energy to support their hero, and help lead the team to a victory. For the first few minutes it was great. Then slowly, the energy began to fade away from everyone wearing purple. Everyone except Kyle Rudolph that is. Hopefully he can use this game as a spring board to jumpstart the remainder of his season. This is the type of production many thought could be routine for him.
Shoulda not even bothered with Vernon Davis, SF 49’ers. (8-180, 2 TD’s)
This is the exact reason I will never again draft, trade, or roster Vernon Davis in any way, shape, or form. The potential is jaw dropping. He was Jimmy Graham before there was a Jimmy Graham (*Week 6 not withstanding). The problem I have with it? 7 of those catches and 171 of those yards all came in the first half. To me this does not mean he wasn’t needed in the second half, it means he is already taking off the next few weeks. I would be absolutely shocked if he did this again before the playoffs. Which is exactly why it is so frustrating, because he is absolutely capable of doing it again.
It’s time for Play ‘Em/Pass ‘Em!!! I envision that being said by all of you in a Pat Sajack, “Wheel of Fortune” type of way. While you are probably not, I can dream all I want. So let’s spin the wheel and see who are good plays for Week 7, and who are some guys you may want to avoid. My goal is to help your team not hurt it, so the following is just in general using the entire league. Do not forget: It is always easier for me, and more beneficial for you, to be asked to choose between specific players. You can do this by leaving your question in the comment section, emailing me at [email protected], or asking on Twitter.
Week 7 Byes for Oakland, and New Orleans.
Play ‘Em: Tony Romo, DAL (@ PHI) The bad game is out of his system. Look for a big bounce back against a division rival. The Dez Bryant/Terrence Williams combo is coming on strong.
Pass ‘Em: Sam Bradford, STL (@ CAR) He has been playing pretty well to this point, but the Carolina defense has been even better. He falters in a tough road matchup.
Play ‘Em: Marshawn Lynch, SEA (@ ARI) Lynch looked great last week and is starting to roll. Arizona defense is overrated and can be had. Seattle will pound the ground game.
Pass ‘Em: Zac Stacy, STL (@ CAR) Two consecutive weeks the Rookie has looked good running the ball. The Rams offense will be in complete disarray against the Panthers, and Stacy will follow suit.
Play ‘Em: Reggie Wayne, IND (vs DEN) One of the elite now in the 1k catch club, he doesn’t appear to age. A big game will remind Peyton what he left behind in Indianapolis.
Pass ‘Em: Andre Johnson, HOU (@ KC) In addition to worrying about the Chiefs staunch defense, Johnson has to worry about who will be throwing him the ball. Don’t expect much this week.
Play ‘Em: Antonio Gates, SD (@ JAX) We’ve already seen some huge games from TE’s this year, including some veterans. Sunday will be Gates day to join the party, and the Jags are great hosts.
Pass ‘Em: Julius Thomas, DEN (@ IND) He is still learning, the Colts Defense will be fired up, and problems with communication will ensue for the Broncos. Thomas suffers as a result.
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I have decided to add a new section to this column based on the overwhelming support I have been receiving from the Twitter community. Just since Sunday alone, I have amassed almost 75 new followers. I must say, it is truly humbling but very appreciated. I hope it continues to grow at the pace it is on, and that you all know I am always available to answer your questions. If you enjoy reading this column, don’t be stingy and share it with a friend. I consider it an honor to be trusted as an advisor. The purpose of this section is to highlight some of the advice I gave, good and bad, on Sunday leading up to kickoff via Twitter. If I missed one that you would like mentioned, please add it in the comment section. Keep in mind, as obvious as some of these may now appear, hindsight is always 20/20. Don’t stop asking your questions, and maybe next week you will be mentioned.
@chaz2lfdy Start Antonio Brown over Vince Jackson
@Dyl2Real Start Josh Gordon over Calvin Johnson
@davidmellem Flex Stevan Ridley
@jayfromSD Start Justin Blackmon over Eric Decker
@JayWhatsthewhat Start Doug Martin and Justin Blackmon over Bilal Powell and Danny Amendola
@sasquatch0925 Start Tony Romo over Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin, III
@mattburesh Start Justin Blackmon over Calvin Johnson
@RotoBlogs Flex Kenbrell Thompkins over Zac Stacy
@dunbar_dennis Flex Justin Blackmon over CJ Spiller
@ndk_524 Start Willis McGahee over Fred Jackson
@ray_tamu Start Keenan Allen over Julian Edelman
@the_rane_man Start Randall Cobb, Antonio Brown, DeSean Jackson. Bench Anquan Boldin
@JLundbladESPN Start Danny Woodhead, Stevan Ridley. Bench Darren McFadden
@4for4_Josh Start Kenbrell Thompkins over James Jones, Donnie Avery, TY Hilton
@Bryce_lilly Flex Eddie Lacy over DeSean Jackson, Anquan Boldin, BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Thanks again for the continued and growing support! If you like the column, please refer a friend – it will make the world a better place. Have a great week and good luck in your games!