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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Quarterbacks
Your Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 3
QBs | RBs | WRs

Nobody needs to be told starting Cam Newton, David Johnson, or Antonio Brown 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 Newton’s bye week? Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because David Johnson 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 Brown and went RB-QB-Gronk in your first three rounds? You get the idea. Past results may not guarantee future success, but ignoring them entirely can ruin your Sundays in a hurry (maybe even your Mondays and Thursdays). Read on for a little history and, hopefully, a little sage advice.

Note: Fantasy points based on FF Today’s standard scoring system.

Bye Weeks: N/A

Marcus Mariota

Rinse and Repeat: Marcus Mariota tossed three TDs in his last meeting against the Raiders.

Grab a Helmet

Jimmy Garoppolo or Jacoby Brissett v. HOU (Thu): New England will trot out either the gimpy-armed Garoppolo Thursday night or the tenderfoot Brissett, a guy who would be making his first NFL start after a short week of prep and against one of the league’s very best defenses. Sounds like a recipe for disaster either way, right? It sure would be in the hands of anyone less capable than Bill Belichick, certified NFL alchemist. I don’t think I’m overstating the case when I say nobody in the history of the game (repeat: nobody) has consistently put his players in a better position to succeed than Belichick. We already know what Garoppolo can do but we didn’t just a couple weeks ago. Is it so hard to believe Brissett, who possesses ideal size/strength and a great arm, might enjoy similar success? If you need help at quarterback, believe in Coach B.

Derek Carr @ TEN or Marcus Mariota v. OAK: Last Thanksgiving, the Special Lady Friend and I braved a Music City monsoon to watch Carr and Mariota duel in Nissan Stadium. The two combined for 548 yards, six TD tosses, and 52.6 points in one of those games that means little in real life but plenty to fantasy aficionados such as ourselves, especially in Week 12. They face each other again this Sunday (same time, same place) and similar totals could be in the offing. Carr is off to a blistering start through two weeks (24.8 pts/game) and Mariota, fresh off a game-clinching TD strike in Detroit, gets to face Oakland’s defense, currently yielding over 400 passing yards per. That’s not a misprint and I doubt it’s what the Raiders’ brass had in mind when they invested heavily on stoppers this past offseason. I’m starting both in my 2-QB league.

Matthew Stafford @ GB: The Special Lady Friend is now Mrs. Shot Caller, thank you very much, and this year’s family football vaycay took us first to Lincoln, Nebraska (woe, Ducks!) and then to balmy Minneapolis, where we opened U.S. Bank Stadium. When I could hear myself think again, I logged some mental notes: 1) The Vikings’ defense is legit; 2) The Pack’s defense might be, but really misses cornerback Sam Shields. By the end of the contest, Minnesota had precisely one viable offensive weapon, Stefon Diggs, and he almost single-handedly ruined our Sunday night (9 receptions, 182 yards, and a score). A surprisingly stout Pack front seven may give Detroit’s makeshift running game fits, just as it did Adrian Peterson, but I suspect the Lions’ more-than-capable gunslinger, Stafford, will return the favor via air. Expect something in the neighborhood of 45-50 attempts, 300 yards, and a couple scoring strikes.

Grab a Clipboard

Sam Bradford @ CAR: The Vikes have won twice now with Shaun Hill and then Sam Bradford at quarterback and that should terrify opponents scheduled to face them in the coming weeks. Simply put, Minnesota has a championship-caliber defense. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of a pedestrian offense that got a whole lot more pedestrian Sunday night. Down went AD – who’s since elected to have season-ending surgery – and then down went Matt Kalil, protector of the brittle Bradford’s blind side. This is all in the wake of losing Teddy Bridgewater just prior to Week 1, the entire reason Bradford’s playing in Minny instead of Philly, mind you. But hey, it really is a beautiful stadium! Don’t expect the Panthers to lose track of the dynamic Diggs, as Green Bay continually did. He’s the only real playmaker left for the Vikes and will get all kinds of attention in Charlotte.

Tyrod Taylor v. ARI: The Bills cut ties with offensive coordinator Greg Roman last week, the NFL equivalent of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Rex Ryan promised he’d be “the first mother(tr)ucker to go” when the RMS Buffalo started veering toward the iceberg, but instead he’ll be the second…and probably a whole lot sooner than later. The offense is punchless. The defense is punch-drunk. The future is bleak (Arizona this week and New England in Week 4). Ostensibly, Ryan canned Roman because the latter wouldn’t or couldn’t find a way to get Sammy Watkins more involved. I’m going with “couldn’t” because Watkins’ surgically repaired foot has rendered him very ordinary so far. Ordinary ain’t gonna cut it against Patrick Peterson. Taylor was a sexy preseason pick but has quickly become an afterthought and I’m not expecting that to change in Week 3. Wait for something to change.

Alex Smith v. NYJ: On our drive up through Iowa and into Minnesota, we picked up the Chiefs’ broadcast on the radio. I was tickled to discover that KC’s play-by-play guy, Mitch Holthus, refers to Andy Reid as “Big Red.” Ha! I doubt “Big Red” found the Chiefs’ performance vs. the Texans nearly as amusing and he may not find this week’s against the Jets particularly hilarious. New York is giving up a staggering 11 yards per pass attempt, worst in the league, but 209 of their total 631 passing yards yielded have come on three long scoring plays, not exactly a KC specialty. Take those bombs away and that per-attempt average drops to 7.2, or exactly what Seattle is giving up so far this year. Smith is a good spot play when the matchup is favorable. I’ve got a hunch this one isn’t, so be careful with him Sunday.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers