Nobody needs to be told
starting Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, or Calvin Johnson is
a good idea. Duh, right? You can’t have studs at every position,
though, unless you’re in the shallowest of leagues. This
is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain
basement QB to use and which to ignore on Rodgers’ bye week?
Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because
Peterson is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know
which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since
you ignored Megatron and went RB-QB-Jimmy Graham in your first
three rounds? I’m your huckleberry. Past results may not
guarantee future success, but I believe ignoring them entirely
can ruin your Sundays in a hurry. Read on for a little history
and, hopefully, a little sage advice..
Note: Fantasy points
based on FF Today’s default scoring system.
Bye Weeks: Dallas, St. Louis
Grab a Helmet
Luck @ TEN: Numbers donít outright lie, but they sure do tell
a pretty misleading story sometimes. If all you did was check your
fantasy scoreboard last Sunday evening, youíd have guessed Luck
had a pretty solid day (23.4 pts). Youíd have guessed wrong. It
was easily one of his lousiest professional performances Ė against
one of the leagueís crummiest teams, no less Ė and came on the heels
of two three-TD, no-pick games. Indyís franchise field general doesnít
get much time to hang his head as the Colts are back in action Thursday
night against Tennessee. A non-existent running game and limited
options at the receiver position are troubling, sure, but I suspect
Luck will make amends in Week 11. The Titans suffered an unforgivable
loss to previously winless Jacksonville and will be without the
services of their own franchise QB the rest of the season. In other
words, theyíre reeling. Start Luck.
The Colts are looking to rebound of a terrible
loss to St. Louis.
Tannehill v. SD: I havenít had much to say about Tannehill through
25 NFL starts, but thatís not because I donít like him. I simply
donít know what to make of him. Sometimes, he looks like precisely
the type of QB Miami could build a winning program around. Other
times, he looks like the type of QB whoís marginal enough to get
you beat byÖthe other previously winless squad. Ugh. Thereís more
to that story, of course (team turmoil, bad offensive line, average
receivers), but Tannehillís inconsistency is one of the primary
reasons the Fish are spinning their collective wheels in 2013. Youíll
hafta live with the ups and downs for now, but a matchup with San
Diego (8.6 yards/attempt and 104.3 opposing QB rating, both worst
in the league) seems to promise more of the former than the latter
in Week 11. Miami could sure use some ups.
Keenum v. OAK or Nick
Foles v. WAS: The honeymoon continues for these two greenhorns,
an exhilarating yet scary proposition as we head toward the fantasy
playoffs. On the one hand, those of us who drafted guys like Josh
Freeman, Mike Vick, or (ahem) Aaron Rodgers, have a chance to remain
relevant with guys who barely were in September. On the other hand,
staking your playoff hopes on someone whose career starts can be
counted on both of those hands (or just one, in Keenumís case) sounds
downright dangerous. All QBs, even the really good ones, let us
down eventually and itís probably just a matter of time before one
of these guys does. Donít bet on it happening this Sunday, though.
The matchups are solid, they take care of the pigskin, and their
surrounding talent is above average. I sure wish Iíd stashed one
of them earlier this season.
Grab a Clipboard
Tolzien @ NYG: If backups are all the rage, why not backups
of backups? Tolzienís reasonably good impression of a functional
NFL quarterback in Week 10 (280 yards and a score) earned him
the Week 11 start and makes him the first Badger alum to start
for the Pack since the immortal Randy Wright back in the mid-80s.
His starting debut isnít likely to go as poorly as Wrightís did
(4 for 10, 75 yards, and a season-ending knee injury), but Iím
skeptical it can go as well as some are predicting. Tolzien posted
those numbers against a Philly squad ranked 31st in total defense,
for one thing. He also possesses below-average arm strength, below-average
size, and below-average athleticism, primary reasons he went undrafted
and has already played for three teams in as many seasons. Heís
got a puncherís chance thanks to those elite Green Bay receivers,
I guess, but it smells like a desperation play to this Packer
Smith @ BUF or EJ
Manuel v. NYJ: I recommended this same double sit-down
back in Week 3 when the AFC East rivals first met, but both ended
up performing admirably in that one, Manuel notching 20.2 points
and Smith 32.0 in the Jetsí victory. As it turns out, those are
still season-high (and thus career-high) totals for both players.
Why not an encore performance in the Sunday rematch? Anythingís
possible (see Tolzien, Scott), but I believe there might be some
mitigating circumstances this time around. Manuel will likely
be without his best target, Stevie Johnson, and didnít look comfortable
in his return from injury last weekend. Smith actually gets his
best target back (Santonio Holmes) but hasnít looked comfortable
for several weeks now and has thrown just a single TD pass since
October 7th. You might get lucky, but if your playoff hopes are
riding on them, youíre truly gambling.
Brady @ CAR: I know, I know, I know. You’re not sitting
down Tom Terrific in crunch time, especially not when he’s
coming off a 432-yard, four-score performance against the Steelers
and, following that, two weeks of R & R. I wouldn’t
either. That’s not to say you shouldn’t harbor some
legitimate misgivings about the future HOF’er. Even including
that explosive outing against Pittsburgh, Brady’s only averaging
a modest 18.5 points per game this season. How modest is that?
Geno Smith averages 18.6. Matt Schaub, before he got demoted,
averaged 18.4. There’s also this to consider: Carolina is
currently yielding just 15 fantasy points/game to opposing QBs
(first overall) and just got done suffocating one of the league’s
most dangerous, Colin Kaepernick, in Week 10. It’s Brady,
yeah, but if you ignore the name, the basic formula (modestly
successful QB + stellar pass-thwarting defense) doesn’t
add up to anything good. Just sayin’.