Bye Weeks: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San
Grab a Helmet
Jackson v. NYG: So maybe Chip Kelly’s offense wasn’t QUITE
ready for primetime. I’m willing to admit, at the very least,
that it’s not guaranteed to be successful with just any assortment
of players and will clearly need the right bodies to reach its
full potential. Whatever the Eagles lack along the lines or under
center, however, Jackson is definitely the right body at wide
receiver. His speed and overall elusiveness is ideal for the spread
scheme and the numbers bear this out. Despite one sub-par game
(6.2 points in Week 3) and two virtual no-shows (55 total yards
in Weeks 4 and 7), he’s still the fourth most valuable wideout
in the league through seven weeks. Bear in mind he’s also been
forced to work with two very different quarterbacks and is really
the only target opponents must game plan against. Live with the
ups and downs and keep starting Jackson. He’s a potential 15+
fantasy points every time he steps on the field...
Nelson or Jarrett
Boykin @ MIN: ...So’s Nelson and maybe even Boykin so
long as he’s starting. Very few quarterbacks or teams can absorb
the loss of three major targets, but Aaron Rodgers is one of those
quarterbacks and Green Bay is apparently one of those teams. The
Pack entered last weekend’s tilt with the Browns minus Randall Cobb
and James Jones and then, to add injury to injury, lost Jermichael
Finley in the fourth quarter after a scary collision with Browns’
DB Tashaun Gipson. Rodgers’ final numbers? 260 yards on 25-of-36
passing and three TD strikes. Just another day at the office for
one of the game’s best, it seems. Nelson was solid if unspectacular
(42 yards and a score) while Boykin was both solid AND spectacular
(103 yards and a score). Expect good things from both men come Sunday
night in the Metrodome.
Nelson: Rodgers' Number 1 target.
Beasley @ DET: Marshall, Wayne, Hilton, Johnson (Andre), Hopkins,
Allen (Keenan) and Smith (Torrey). That’s the short list of start-worthy
wideouts who will be sitting on the sidelines this coming weekend,
meaning you might be looking way off the beaten path to find some
points at the position. If so, take a look at Beasley, one of the
stranger providers of late. He’s an undersized, undrafted free agent
who played for June Jones at SMU and he’s somehow managed to carve
out a significant role in a Dallas passing game that features the
elite Dez Bryant, the solid Miles Austin, and a great up-and-comer,
Terrance Williams. In his past three contests, Beasley has garnered
16 targets, 14 of which he’s snagged to the tune of 144 yards and
a score. That’s almost seven points per contest, not bad for a guy
who probably went undrafted in every single fantasy league in existence
back in August.
Grab Some Wood
Thompkins v. MIA: Tom Brady’s surprise favorite target in
the early going has seen his production taper off considerably
the last several weeks, culminating in easily his worst performance
of the 2013 campaign, a two-catch, 16-yard effort against the
Jets last Sunday. That’s the second 1.6-point outing Thompkins
has recorded in the past three weeks and was probably a direct
result of Rob Gronkowski returning to the Patriots’ fold. We can’t
completely write the kid off, of course. He commanded so much
attention in the beginning because he ran good routes and possessed
some real ability. Nevertheless, he seems to be a less of a focus
with Gronk back on staff and has even (apparently) fallen behind
fellow rook, Aaron Dobson, in the New England WR pecking order.
Wait until he shows renewed signs of life before taking a chance
on the Patriots’ young pass-grabber.
Wallace @ NE: At least Thompkins has the youth excuse to explain
away his uninspiring production the last several weeks. What’s
Wallace’s excuse? I was casually scanning the FF Today wide receiver
rankings recently and was shocked to discover the former Steeler
speed-burner is ranked only 50th at the position in total points.
50th as in the very last guy on the first page. More shocking
still were some of the names listed above him: Robert Woods, Stevie
Johnson, Jeremy Kerley (!), Brandon LaFell (!!), Marvin Jones
(!!!), Brian Hartline, and Brandon Gibson (!!!!). These last two,
of course, are Wallace’s teammates in Miami. I wonder how much
longer the Dolphins’ brain trust is gonna be able to justify Wallace’s
multi-million dollar deal when he’s the third most productive
pass-catcher on the squad. Whoops, make that the fourth most.
Even Charles Clay has scored more points this season.
Rice @ STL: At least Wallace shows up on the first page! Finding
Rice requires a “Next Page” mouse click. Once you
get there, prepare to be unimpressed. Save for a 79-yard, two-touchdown
performance in the Week 3 win over Jacksonville (Jacksonville!),
Rice has managed just one other double-digit outing this season,
an 11-point effort in his very last game, the Week 7 win over
Arizona last Thursday night. The Hawks are a fairly run-heavy
team, I’m aware, but they paid Rice a bunch of money in
2011 to be the go-to guy in the passing game. So far in 2013,
he’s not even the second fiddle. Both Golden Tate and Doug
Baldwin have outscored him and Rice even has the benefit of having
scored more touchdowns than either teammate. If you like gambling,
plug him in against St. Louis on Monday night. If you need a sure
thing, look elsewhere.
Good luck, folks!