There is only a month left before the fantasy playoffs. This is
no time to let down or rest on your laurels. Do the work. Prepare
for this weekend as always and begin your “homework”
for the playoff run.
The greatest homage we can pay truth is to use it.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
When the Pats blow out opponents by 11
points or more LeGarrette Blount is averaging 15.2 FPts/G.
True. In typical Bill Belichick fashion, Blount’s usage is seeming
at the “whim of a mad man” (sorry for the “Speed” reference). In
three games he has posted 27.2, 22.4 and 18.9 points and in four
games 7.4 points or less. Here’s a hint as to when to use Blount.
When the Patriots have won by 10 points or less Blount averages
7.7 FPts/G. When the Pats blow out opponents by 11 points or more
he is averaging 15.2 FPts/G. They are only favored by a touchdown
over the New York Giants this weekend. This could change for the
better, however, after the recent season-ending injury to Dion
Lewis, but nothing is guaranteed. We will have to wait and see
how the “mad scientist” uses running backs Brandon
Bolden and James
White this Sunday.
2) The San Diego Chargers average
punt return this season is 0.027 yards (one inch).
Of the 36 times their opponent has punted the ball, San Diego
has returned just eight of them for a net of one yard. The Chargers
are one of eight teams without a punt return or kickoff return
for a touchdown. Add in just seven turnovers and 15 sacks and
it’s easy to see why they are one of the worst fantasy D/ST in
the league averaging just 3.4 FPts/G. Keep away from them along
with Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, Oakland and Washington –
the six worst D/ST in the league.
Over the last two seasons, Tannehill had made steady improvement
and was a rising star on draft day, but he appears to have peaked
and is likely to regress in a number of categories by the end
of the 2015 season. Although he’s on pace to set a personal mark
for passing attempts and passing yards, his completion percentage
is down and he’s likely to throw less touchdowns and more interceptions.
He’s averaging 21.1 FPts/G, good for just 17th among quarterbacks
and down from his career-best mark of 21.7 a season ago.
4) The Packers’ James
Jones continues to be the most efficient wideout … and underutilized.
Back in Week 5 I noted that Jones was averaging a league-leading
2.65 fantasy points per target. He’s still on top of the charts
with 2.27 PPT. Then No. 2, Travis
Benjamin, has dropped significantly to No. 22. The six most
efficient receivers after Jones are; Sammy
Watkins (2.15), Tavon
Austin (1.88), Allen
Hurns (1.68), Martavis
Bryant (1.63) and Larry
Fitzgerald (1.60). Position points-leader, Julio
Jones, is a volume producer with 138.9 fantasy points on 119
targets (1.16 PPT).
5) If one of your players has let
you down over the first three quarters, you still shouldn’t turn
the channel if they play for one of six teams; Atlanta, San Diego,
Indianapolis, Houston, New England or Buffalo.
True. These teams have scored at least 11 touchdowns on offense
over the final 15 minutes. No other team has more than nine touchdowns.
Don’t touch that dial!
One of the striking differences between a cat and a lie is
that the cat has only nine lives.
– Mark Twain
1) Being a backup running back means
you can’t be a fantasy asset.
The backup running back in Buffalo averages 2.7 FPts more than
the starter. Talk about using limited opportunities to the fullest.
Williams is averaging a stunning 14.8 FPts/G in the five games
he has played while starter LeSean
McCoy is averaging 12.1. McCoy has touched the ball 107 times
and Williams just 56 times. Even if McCoy were completely healthy
in Week 10 which is unlikely due to a shoulder strain, Williams
would still be a viable fantasy option.
2) Being a backup running back means
you can’t be a fantasy asset - part 2.
The Chargers’ backup running back Danny
Woodhead is ranked 17th at his position in fantasy points
per game (11.7) well ahead of rookie starter Melvin
Gordon (5.9). Woodhead has the trust of his quarterback and
with the Chargers’ receiving corps in shambles, is Rivers’ favorite
target - even ahead of Antonio
Gates. Woodhead is averaging 8.3 targets per game over his
last three contests.
3) The Jacksonville Jaguars are once
again at the bottom of their division with a 2-6 record therefore
starting quarterback Blake
Bortles must be having a bad season under center.
Actually, Bortles is playing at a top-10 fantasy level despite
going through the hardest portion of his schedule. Through eight
games, including contests with Carolina, New England and the New
York Jets, Bortles is averaging 24.4 FPts/G (up significantly
from 16.5 ppg last season). He’s cracked the 30-point mark in
three of the past four games. Over the next seven weeks he’ll
face five teams ranked 21st or worse in yielding points to opposing
quarterbacks. I’m high on Bortles as long as the “Allen Brothers”
Robinson and Allen
Hurns) stay healthy.
4) Being touchdown dependent is a
Only if you aren’t scoring touchdowns! Cincinnati tight end Tyler
Eifert has only caught 37 balls (11th –best among TE) for
434 yards, but he’s third in fantasy points due to a league-leading
nine touchdown receptions. More importantly, among those with
at least 10 red zone targets, he’s No. 1 in completion percentage
at 76.9 percent (10-of-13). When Andy Dalton throws him the ball
near the end zone, he catches it, and that’s a very good thing.
Peterson and Marshawn
Lynch are great options near the goal line.
Not so much. In the past, fantasy owners could rely on Peterson
and Lynch to score when given the opportunity to take it in. In
2015, that is more myth than fact. Among 25 running backs with
more than a dozen red zone attempts, AP and Lynch are ranked 20th
and 21st, respectively. Peterson has scored in just three of 29
attempts and Lynch is 2-for-19. That’s about 10 percent of the
time for the two stars. There are eight players who score at least
20 percent of the time when handed the ball in the red zone; Jeremy
Williams and Blount.
Steve Schwarz served as the fantasy sports editor of The Sports Network and is the 2014 FSWA Football Writer of the Year.