Under Further Review – Week 7

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.

We’re rounding out back to NFL.com this week, and see how Michael Fabiano is doing.

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  • Eli Manning (vs. 13th) – Eli’s history against Dallas is good; multi-TD historically
  • Carson Palmer (vs. 32nd) – Ravens have allowed the most fantasy points per game against QBs
  • Cam Newton (vs. 19th) – If he can torch Seattle, he can destroy Eagles
  • Phillip Rivers (vs. 21st) – High scorer particularly during home games; Raiders Defense have allowed 17+ points to QB when on the road
  • Ryan Tannehill (vs. 25th) – Tough to trust, but against a defense that has allowed 19 pts to opposing QBs


  • Sam Bradford (vs. 4th) – Despite being statistically good, Bradford has looked bad, and will now face a much tougher secondary
  • Matthew Stafford (vs. 8th) – Stafford’s history vs. Vikings is average at best with 6 TD in the last 5 home games against Vikes.
  • Colin Kaepernick (vs. 7th) – Kaepernick hasn’t been good in the last two years vs. Seattle throwing for 1 TD and 3INT in last 3 home games.
  • Joe Flacco (vs. 17th) – Bad road QB vs. tough Zona defense
  • Josh McCown (vs. 3rd) – Rams defense has not allowed more than 13 fpts against QBs

My take: Fabs was about 60% correct last time we looked at his call (week 1). There isn’t a lot of surprises on his start calls (granted we’re not always looking for the shock value). I assumed that Start/Sit columns usually point to players who are non-obvious starters. Out of the list of recommended starts on Tannehill and Eli are “risky” calls. As for the sits, I’m glad Fab’s also see that the Vikings defense are above average. I have heard casual players telling me that Vikings are average. However, if you looked at their games this year, the purple people have really not given up a lot of fantasy points to opposing teams outside of week 1. Finally, Josh McCown continues to fall in the sit recommendation columns. Regardless if he is good or not, the man is still putting up points. Now he gets to play the Rams, the same team that crumbled against Michael Vick…AT HOME! Chalk me as a non-believer in the Rams



  • Todd Gurley (vs. 31st) – Cleveland struggling stopping the run….is a GROSS understatement
  • Mark Ingram (vs. 23rd) – Despite not putting up yards, he still got the TD calls. Colts are much softer defense than atlanta
  • Latavius Murray (vs. 32nd) – Despite his latest fumbling struggles, Latavius Murray is a start against literally the dead last team vs. the run
  • Frank Gore (vs. 16th) – he seems to finally hit his stride and paying off patient fantasy owners. He’ll get a chance against the Saints who were torched by many RBs
  • Lamar Miller (vs. 26th) – Here’s to hoping that Dolphins continue to rely on the run game. This is a good matchup


  • Melvin Gordon (vs. 10th) – Has Gordon finally lost the trust of his headcoach? Fab’s is expecting Woodhead to be the primary back with Oliver to split time. Split time yuck
  • Carlos Hyde (4th) – Dealing with injury and now running against one of the stingiest defense, no thanks
  • Joseph Randle (vs. 12th) – Smoke out of camp about Christine Michael, where there is smoke here is fire
  • Ameer Abdullah (vs. 17th) – Another rookie dealing with the fumblitis and fumble into a full blown (and ineffective) RBBC
  • Dion Lewis (vs. 3rd) – The talent is good, but the matchup is really bad.

My take: Chances are that at least half of the calls will be at best okay calls, but at this time it’s really hard to see any of the start calls to be bad (again, didn’t go out on a limb with the calls). Lamar Miller is the one I’m most nervous about. Sometimes the Fins are defense agnostic, i.e. they’ll be good or bad regardless of defensive matchups; weird…
As for the sit calls, I still want to believe in Melvin Gordon. He may be a sneaky GPP play since everyone would rather be on the Woodhead train. It’s risky for me to like Gordon more than any other, I agree, but I will anyways. Jets have definitely been one of the stingiest defense against the run, however Chris Thompson, a pass catcher/do-it-all type, was able to put up some points before being knocked out with an injury. My best guess here would be that if Patriots use Dion Lewis in the same manner, he could have a good game. The Linebackers will be busy doubling Gronk, which leaves Dion a lot of room to run/catch out of the backfield



  • Martavis Bryant (v. 32nd)
  • Jeremy Maclin (v. 15th)
  • John Brown (v. 31st)
  • Jarvis Landry (v. 20th)
  • Mike Evans (v. 13th)
  • Antonio Gates (v.32nd)
  • Jason Witten (v. 30th)
  • Delanie Walker (v. 27th)


  • Allen Robinson (v. 18th)
  • Julian Edelman (v. 7th)
  • Amari Cooper (v. 2nd)
  • Jordan Matthews (v. 5th)
  • Brandin Cooks (?)
  • Zach Ertz (13th)
  • Ben Watson (v. 11th)
  • Jordan Cameron (v. 22nd)

I got lazy, because the article needed to be published. Generally I would say Fabiano took more chances with WR calls. Some of the start calls, such as Mike Evans and Maclin, were gutsy calls since they were facing somewhat highly rated secondary. Particularly Evans who has not shown anything aside from one good game so far. The sit calls were not as bold. Perhaps Allen Robinson and Jordan Cameron were somewhat risky, since Bills aren’t exactly stopping the pass and Cameron faces number 22nd against TE.


The quarterback start calls were generally not great this week for Fabs. This was a week of high scoring games, and only Ryan Tannehill (27 pts) exceeded, and maybe super exceeded the expectations. As of this writing Carson Palmer is not stellar against this sieve-like secondary. Which surprises me, as I bought in a lot of Carson share this week. His sit calls were stellar. I think Michael hit on every single one as bad plays for this week. While he didn’t exactly go out on a limb with his sit calls, I think he can basically call bingo this week. Stafford (18 pts) was the only one that I would say was a miss call.

The start calls, I think Michael hit on all, but one with Lamar Miller (35pts) and Todd Gurley (27 pts) finishing #1 and #2 respectively atop the RBs this week. Frank Gore (7 pts) really suffered from a negative game script, big time.  I was really hoping the Melvin Gordon (2 pts) would be wrong, but hey seems like Chargers may finally lost their patience with the young rookie (in addition to MG dealing with a low-ankle sprain).

The WR was a bit more interesting. As I mentioned before the results were clear, Fabs took a shot at a couple of names, but was still mostly guided by statistics of fantasy points against WRs. Martavis Bryant (11 pts), Jarvis Landry (20 pts), and Mike Evans (22 pts) all made their fantasy owners happy. This, in a week when Nate Washington and Stefon Diggs outscore Julio Jones and Megatron. Mike’s sit calls were also predicated on defensive stats calls, and therefore missed out on Allen Robinson (15 pts). But for the rest of his sit calls, he was spot on.

Overall, I give Fabs a B+ this week in his calls. If you followed his sit calls only, you were rewarded more times than not.

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