Under Further Review is a new series that we’re starting in FakePigSkin.com to take a look at the calls of the weeks by big websites, such as NFL.com, CBS.com, Yahoo.com, and ESPN.com. Before anyone thinks this is an attempt to paint the big names in a negative light, it isn’t. We all make bad calls and good calls from week to week. This article is to look into the expert’s process and reasoning. Sometimes good process ends with bad results, and other instances bad process result in good outcomes. I will be doing some initial predictions about which calls will most likely come true or not. While these articles are released as a hindsight article, it is up to you to believe whether I made these calls before I knew about the results or not.
This week we’re reviewing NFL.com’s call
Starts at QB
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- Matt Ryan: Fab’s cited a shootout game
- Bradford: Same as above
- Romo: History vs. G-men are good
- Eli: Calls it a boom/bust, but Eli averages 300 pass yards vs. NFC east rivals, and 22 scoring
Sits at QB
- Sit of the Week: Jay Cutler – bad history vs. GBP and turnover % is high
- Colin Kaepernick: Has a bad finish and avg. 15 pts/game
- Cam Newton: No receiving weapons
- Joe Flacco: Road contest vs. AFC opponents are bad
- Alex Smith: Same as Kaep
My take: There is very little I disagree with Mike Fabiano this week. However, I do think Tony Romo and Cam Newton will be bad calls. Dez has a poor week 1 start in the last 3 years, so it will be up to the other weapons to elevate Romo’s value. Without Demarco, I think Romo will try to do too much and end up costing the game. On the other side, Cam Newton may be without Kelvin Benjamin, and his remaining options are putrid, aside from Olson. Still, Cam still has a healthy set of legs and a run game to lean on. He won’t be asked to do too much, or need to against JVille. I think if the team nears the RZ, Cam will take it in for 1-2 TD along with one passing TD.
Starts at RB
- Doug Martin – Admits it’s a bold call, but cites Tenn awful run D last season as reason
- Latavius Murray: Missing Vontaze and competition will allow him to flourish
- Jonathan Stewart: Cites JStew’s YPC last year and less competition
- Andre Ellington: Saints inconsistent and weak defense, will ignore Chris Johnson
- Joseph Randle: Unless DMC starts hot, expects Randle to be the bell cow
Sits at RB
- Frank Gore: Noted that Bills has toughest ground D
- Tre Mason: Seattle’s run D
- Melvin Gordon: Tough Lions D and split workload
- Joique Bell: SDC is tough at home against run
- Crowell: Jets only allowed 3.06 ypc last year
Somewhat hard to argue with Fab’s for his line-up. However, everyone he listed as starts, aside from JStew, I’ve been pretty much down on during the offseason. I don’t believe in Latavius and Jo Randle’s talents, and I still maintain that Doug Martin is an average, not great, back. This will be the game for them to prove me wrong. I think they all face a middle of the pack run D, so it’s a decent gauge. As for the sits, Fabs cites all the last year run defensive stats. Chances are that 2 or 3 of those calls will be wrong. I’m willing to bet that Crowell and Gore will be the wrong calls here. For one thing, Crowell doesn’t have to worry about the Jets DL that is without Sheldon Richardson, a hurt Wilkerson, and a rookie Williams.
Starts at WR
- Jordan Matthews: Soft defense against receivers against Falcons
- Davante Adams: Being No. 2 in a high profile offense vs. a weak Chicago D
- Jarvis Landry: Redskins allow 26.46 points to WRs in 2014 (nonPPR)
- Allen Robinson: Calls him a Flex and cites that Panthers on the road gives up quite a few TD to WR
- John Brown: Saints lost Keenan Lewis and Jairus Byrd will not play, very cake matchup
Sits at WR
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- Brandon Marshall: will be met with Joe Haden
- Sammy Watkins: Indy stout pass D and Tyrod’s inexperience
- Vincent Jackson: Titans surrendered just one TD catch in six of eight road match
- Steve Smith: Broncos secondary is good
- Torrey Smith: No trust in Kaepernick
Fabs named all the guys that I slot in in my DFS lineups for his starts. I really can’t disagree with any of the ones he called out. But that makes me nervous because most likely 1-3 of them will fail to impress. As for his sits call, the Vjax one is the only contrarian I can see. Perhaps he’s citing a stat that is irrelevant, especially if Titans were giving up chunks of yards on the ground. As mentioned above, I’m not a believer in a bounce back muscle rodent, so I think Jameis will sling it like it’s 1999.
From the QB, Fab’s did an okay job with his QB start call, going 60/40. Matt Ryan broke the top 12 QB performance of the week, while Romo and Brady finished top 10 and better. He stated that Eli would be a boom/bust play, and for sure it was a lot more bust than boom. His sit calls were almost all on point as well, as Alex Smith is the lone QB that finished in the top 4 positions. The rest (Cam, Flacco, Cutler, and Kaep) were very good calls to sit.
As far as the RBs go, the calls for starters all were okay as low to mid end RB2s. If you were debating between Fab’s calls or another RB, you’re more likely to have had a good result from sticking with his calls. The sits were on point. None of the players did anything of significance in their week 1 matchup. So maybe Fab’s really knows his rush D statistics or is very well versed in shared carries
Finally, his WRs were decent as far as starts go. I would’ve been all aboard all his start calls, but as we know ARob got Norman’d and Adams while good, is a big disappointment for those who thought he was going to be Rodgers’ new boo. As for the sits go, only Marshall destroyed any kind of expectations. All other calls were spot on.
I would say in the first week, Fab’s gets a B for his start calls and A- for his sit calls. If you took his advice, you’re more likely to have had a good week.