Bye Weeks: Green Bay, Carolina
Grab a Helmet
McCoy @ DEN: Is the honeymoon already over for Chip Kelly
in Philly? Do you ever really get one in that town? The naysayers
are in full “I told you so” mode after successive Eagle stumbles
and a date with Denver looming, but you know this Duck isn’t panicking.
Neither should McCoy’s owners. There are some perfectly good reasons
why he and the Birds have crashed back to earth the last couple
weeks. First, it hasn’t been weeks. The game against KC marked
Philadelphia’s third game in just TEN calendar days (rough). Second,
you can’t turn the ball over like the Eagles did last Thursday
night and win in the NFL. It doesn’t matter what type of offense
you run. Third, who cares so long as McCoy continues to lead all
running backs in points? He’s the perfect back for Chipper’s offense
and if he stays healthy, he’ll maintain that lead all year long.
Forte @ DET: A pair of Levis, a mug of Stumptown java, a Coen
brothers film, and Matt Forte. What do these seemingly disparate
things have in common? Consistent, reliable quality. Forte will
never be an elite touchdown-maker (the Bears have Michael Bush for
pile-pushing at the goal line), but he’ll always net a handful over
the course of the season and he’s about as predictable as they come
for rushing/receiving yardage at the position. In three weeks to
start the 2013 campaign, he’s garnered 15.1, 16.1, and 17.1 fantasy
points. That’s about as steady as it gets, folks. You’ll rarely
get a sublime stat line out of Chicago’s meal ticket, but you’re
also rarely at risk of getting burned by low single digits. He’s
always fared pretty well against the Lions so keep starting Forte
and be thankful for the consistent performances.
Consistency is Forte's game in 2013.
Richardson or Ahmad
Bradshaw @ JAX: I threw a couple bucks at both Vick Ballard
and Bradshaw in our August auction, hoping one of them would eventually
emerge as the lead guy in a solid Indianapolis offense. Imagine
how smug I felt when Ballard succumbed to a freak practice injury
after just one week, seemingly handing his running mate the gig.
Such hubris couldn’t go unpunished, of course, and the fantasy gods
wasted no time dealing me my immediate comeuppance: Indianapolis’
stunning trade for Trent Richardson last Wednesday. Making matters
murkier, Bradshaw went out and…had his best game of the season!
Against the Niners!! In San Francisco!!! All of this despite Richardson
poaching 13 carries. I can’t make heads or tails of it either, folks,
but I think it’s a job share for the short term and Indy is clearly
committed to the running game. Either back is worth starting against
the Jags’ league-worst run-stopping unit.
Grab a Gatorade
McGahee v. CIN: The Browns actually shocked the football world
twice this past week, first when they dealt Richardson and then
again when they marched into Minneapolis with a 3rd-string quarterback
(and that depleted RB corps) and dunked the Vikings, 31-27. Just
when you thought you had it all figured out, huh? I’m not getting
too excited about Brian Hoyer’s productive day as he did throw
three picks and presumably wasn’t promoted so he can ruin the
master plan by winning games. That said, his 54 pass attempts
tells me Cleveland will at least pretend to compete and will do
so via the air instead of the ground. Good idea. Here are the
Browns’ top rushers from last Sunday, in order of production:
1) Josh Aubrey (defensive back); 2) Chris Ogbonnaya (backup RB);
3) Josh Gordon (wide receiver); 4) Bobby Rainey (backup RB); 5)
Willis McGahee (starting RB). And they WON!
Bell v. MIN (in London): Bell, Montee Ball, and Eddie
Lacy were considered the rookie rock toters most likely to succeed
back in August. Through three weeks, however, the most productive
rookie RB has been…D) none of the above. There’s still a whole
bunch of football to be played and it would be foolish to call
the race for Gio Bernard this early. Nevertheless, none of the
other three have helped themselves thus far. Ball has acute fumble-it
is. Lacy runs so hard he’s a danger to himself and others. Bell
hasn’t played a snap. Though fantasy GMs and Steelers fans alike
have been anxiously awaiting his professional debut, they’d be
wise to consider the state of Bell’s team before getting too excited.
Pittsburgh’s offense is in disarray right now (poor line play,
lack of explosion on the flanks) and even a juicy matchup against
Minnesota’s below-average D doesn’t guarantee success. Wait and
see with Le’Veon.
Martin v. ARZ: Martin managed to avoid being sucked
into the vortex created by Josh Freeman’s death spiral,
but now that Freeman has lost his job to Mike Glennon, I’m
not sure he’ll be able to completely avoid the collateral
damage. Bad or inexperienced quarterbacks typically beget unproductive
rushing attacks and Glennon, already one of those things, might
very well be both of them in the short term. Despite getting way
more snaps than Freeman in the preseason (an obvious warning sign,
in retrospect), he wasn’t terribly productive and looked
like more of a long-term project than an overnight sensation.
If you don’t think opposing defenses are going to be daring
Glennon to prove himself, you haven’t watched enough NFL
football. Arizona’s run stoppers are already top-notch (3.2
yards/attempt and just 73.3/game) so consider doing what most
haven’t considered doing since Martin joined the club: planting
him on your bench.