It’s crunch time and the last of the bye weeks. I trust
your roster is set to produce at peak efficiency for the final
few weekends and into the playoffs. If not, don’t be afraid
to trade depth in exchange for a better starting lineup.
The man who fears no truth has nothing to fear from lies.
- Thomas Jefferson
Big Bears Backup: Jeremy Langford has rolled
up 50.4 fantasy points as a starter the last two weeks.
While DeAngelo Williams combined for 224 yards and three TDs during
his two-week replacement of Le’Veon Bell to start the season
for the Pittsburgh Steelers and then sat for a long time, the rookie
Langford (324 yards and three TDs in Weeks 9 and 10) won’t
go back to sitting on the bench like Williams even if Forte is ready
to go on Sunday. The difference is that Williams, at 32-years-old,
is not the future in Pittsburgh, but with Forte in the final season
of a four-year $30.4 million contract and less than 25 days away
from his 30th birthday, Langford (a fourth-round selection who is
signed through 2019 at an average salary of $705,000) could be a
more cap-friendly future for the Bears running game.
Manning’s performance on Sunday was the worst of his career.
True. The only two times he threw for fewer yards (5-for-20 for
35 yards and 4 INTs) were in games he was only playing in the first
series to keep his start streak alive after his team had clinched
a playoff berth. Manning has thrown four or more interceptions five
other times, but in those cases passed for at least 285 yards and
a touchdown. Fantasy owners were forewarned of this season’s
poor production by the way he finished 2014, so it shouldn’t
come as a complete surprise that the end of Manning’s Hall
of Fame career is just a couple of months away. Even when he gets
healthy he can’t be counted on to produce starter-worthy numbers.
3) There is almost no statistical data
to help us evaluate Denver’s Week 11 starter - Brock
Osweiler’s career to date consists of a total of 54 passes
(24 last Sunday) for 305 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
He only played one full season at Arizona State where he threw for
4,036 yards and 26 touchdowns (13 INTs). The good news is that he
has a couple of pretty good wide receivers and faces a Bears’
defense that has just five interceptions this season while yielding
17 touchdown passes. He should have low-end starter value in fantasy
leagues this Sunday.
As the starter, Edelman produced 61 receptions for 692 yards and
seven touchdowns on 88 targets. That’s 1.28 fantasy points
per target. Amendola has posted 40 receptions for 403 yards and
two touchdowns on just 48 targets. That’s 1.11 per target
in a part-time role and is higher than the Patriots’ other
option - Brandon LaFell (.8 FPts/T). Amendola may not be equal value
to Edelman, who wasn’t quite the equal to Wes Welker, but
he’s still going to produce as a starter. He is owned in less
than 50-percent of all fantasy leagues, so make sure to place your
5) Eagles Week 11 starting quarterback
Sanchez can be a viable fantasy option.
That’s not to be confused with a viable winning option for the Philadelphia
Eagles and their fans. Sanchez has proven that he can post numbers
in a Chip Kelly offense, but he’s also shown he will make a critical
mistake when the team needs him most. The frequent mistake at crunch
time won’t change the fact that, for fantasy owners, he averaged
21.3 fantasy points per game last season in nine games. The Eagles
new starting quarterback is owned in less than 20 percent of all
leagues and will be a more reliable fantasy option than unknown
Brock Osweiler. In fact, 21.3 ppg is better than Matt
Ryan (20.9), Ryan
Tannehill (20.8), Matthew
Stafford (20.3) and Russell
Wilson (20.1) are averaging this season.
History is strewn thick with evidence that a truth is not hard
to kill, but a lie, well told, is immortal.
– Mark Twain
1) The recently fired Rob Ryan has been
a good defensive coordinator in the past.
A lie well told. Ryan has been a poor DC since 2004 after four successful
years as linebacker coach for the Patriots. His defensive teams
in Oakland (2004-08), Cleveland (2009-10), Dallas (2011-12) and
New Orleans (2013-15) were almost always below average. In fact,
his teams have finished in the bottom half of points allowed in
10 of 12 seasons. His 2015 Saints are particularly bad allowing
a league-worst 31.5 ppg this season. He’s a media creation
with his flowing hair, his scowl and a familiar last name, but you
should always start your fantasy players against a Rob Ryan defense.
2) The Indianapolis Colts will struggle
without their star quarterback Andrew
The Colts are 2-5 under Luck and 2-0 with 40-year-old Matt Hasselbeck
under center. Want more? Luck’s completion percentage is 55.3
percent while Hasselbeck’s is 63.2 percent. Luck has 15 touchdown
passes and 12 interceptions. Hasselbeck has three touchdown passes
and no interceptions. Luck’s QB rating is 74.9, Hasselbeck
has a 95.0 rating. The Colts face the Falcons, Buccaneers, Steelers
and Jaguars over the next four weeks and three of the four are in
the bottom half of the league in passing yards allowed and touchdown
passes allowed. Hasselbeck could be a viable fantasy option in all
four games if needed.
This is a false statement. Over the past three games Freeman has
posted just 13 fantasy points in each and has failed to run for
a touchdown after rushing for nine in the first six games. There
are 10 running backs who are averaging above Freeman’s level over
the past three contests led by Charcandrick
West (23.2), Adrian
Peterson (19.6), Langford (18.3) and Todd
Gurley (17.5). While Langford’s value for the remainder of the
season is to be determined, the other three backs are trending in
the correct direction.
Cooks’ rise in production of late can be directly related
to the improved play of his now healthy quarterback Drew Brees.
Brees leads the NFL in fantasy points over the past three games
(36.5 ppg) and Cooks is averaging 18.9 ppg over the same span. He’s
scored five times after reaching the end zone just once in the first
5) As the eighth overall selection in
the 2013 draft, Tavon
Austin has been a complete disappointment.
A half-truth. I would agree that his first two seasons left a lot
to be desired, but in 2015 Austin is finding a way to produce despite
subpar quarterback play. He’s averaging 9.9 points per game
this season and 11.4 ppg over his last three games. He’s had
to use his running ability to produce at this level and his 225
rushing yards leads all wideouts by a huge margin. Hopefully, the
recent change at quarterback in St. Louis will help Austin’s
receiving numbers, but as long as Coach Jeff Fisher gives him the
opportunity to run the ball he should continue to be a WR2.
Steve Schwarz served as the fantasy sports editor of The Sports Network and is the 2014 FSWA Football Writer of the Year.