Nobody needs to be told starting
Russell Wilson, Todd Gurley, or Antonio Brown is a good idea.
Duh, right? You canít have studs at every position, though,
unless youíre 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 Wilsonís bye week? Letís
talk. Looking for solutions at running back because Gurley 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-RB-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: Atlanta, Dallas, LA Chargers, Tennessee
Mitchell Trubisky has posted 300+ passing
yards and 45+ rushing yards in three straight games.
Grab a Helmet
Trubisky v. NYJ: I was dubious of Trubiskyís staying
power coming off that gigantic performance against the bumbling
Bucs defense back in Week 4. Yet, here we are, weeks later and almost
halfway through the 2018 campaign, and only two QBs are better on
a per-game basis. You read that right and one of them is currently
on clipboard duty (Fitzmagic). It isnít always pretty and heís lucky
defenders canít catch, but Chicagoís main man appears to be a must-start
option you definitely didnít overpay for back on draft day. I know
my brother sure didnít, which is one reason heís undefeated (the
other being Todd Gurley) and has wrapped up bragging rights for
another year. I promised Iíd give him a Shot Caller shout-out if
he won our recent grudge match, soÖthis oneís for you, Little Bro.
Well done. Now, try not to screw it up, would yaí?
Winston @ CIN: Fitzmagicís otherworldly start was obviously
unsustainable, so it was asking a lot of Winston to match his teammateís
production fantasy point for fantasy point coming off that three-game
suspension. Iíll be danged if he hasnít done exactly that, and then
some. In two starts since reclaiming his job, the Bucsí controversial
slinger has averaged 34.4 points/game, almost 3 more than Fitz did
in his four starts. Itís a small sample size, sure, and heís turning
the ball over at an alarming rate (six picks in two games and change),
but Tampa doesnít have a functional running game or defense, so
itís Winston or bust the rest of the way. I love this Sundayís matchup
against a demoralized Cincy squad that has been blistered by opposing
QBs to date (27.6 points/game). For that matter, Iím pretty high
on the guy Winston squares off against, Andy Dalton.
Goff v. GB: Nobody can stop the Rams these days and that
has pundits dusting off superlatives last used to describe the í07
Patriots and the í13 Broncos. The difference between those teams
and this Los Angeles one? Those teams were each led by the unquestioned
QB1 (Tom Brady and Peyton Manning) while this oneís helmed by the
current QB8. Eighth overall is no slouch, in Goffís defense, but
two straight pedestrian performances have folks worried. They neednít
be this coming weekend with a well-rested Pack bunch visiting Tinseltown.
Green Bay has enough firepower to force LA out of Todd Gurley-and-a-cloud-of-dust
mode but not enough defense to actually stop the Rams from doing
what theyíve done to every comer so far: whatever the heck Sean
McVay wants them to. I suspect McVay will want more of Goff and
his receivers against a very susceptible Pack secondary Sunday.
Grab a Clipboard
Osweiler @ HOU (Thu): Osweiler has been shockingly
serviceable in two games of relief duty for the dinged-up Ryan
Tannehill, but heís beguiled before. Remember that time Houston
inked him to a 4-year, $72-million contract? Yikes. The question
isnít so much IF the Brock Star will disappoint but WHEN and Iíve
got a feeling it could be as early as this Thursday against the
very team that once considered him worth 72 large. The Fish will
be playing on the road on a short week (rarely a recipe for success)
and, to make matters worse, will be down several key players in
this tilt. Kenny Stills (groin) has been ruled out and, perhaps
even more importantly, Miami just placed explosive WR Albert Wilson
(hip) on injured reserve. That leaves Danny Amendola, Jakeem Grant,
DeVante Parker, and Leonte Carroo to catch passes. Yup, youíre
thinking what Iím thinking. Steer clear.
Wentz @ JAX (London): The battle of supposed Super
Bowl contenders that havenít looked like Super Bowl contenders
for at least a month takes place this coming Sunday in London.
Maybe a change of scenery will shake them out of their respective
slumbers? Phillyís never played internationally, but Wembley Stadium
has been a virtual second home for the Jaguars of late (three
wins in three consecutive seasons). They say defense travels and
if thatís the case, Wentz could be in for a rough day. The Jags
are yielding a mere 17.5 points/game to opposing QBs, second best
overall, and seem likely to turn this into a low-scoring slugfest
with the newly acquired Carlos Hyde taking some pressure off a
struggling Blake Bortles. Iíll put it this way: Ainít no way Iím
waking up at 6:30am PDT to find out. Give Wentz the week off if
you can afford to.
Newton v. BAL: Eric Weddle, Baltimoreís stud safety,
called Cam Newton a “fast dinosaur” earlier this week.
Uhhh…say again? His point, I think, was that Newton is a
unique (nearly extinct?) quarterbacking specimen who’s more
inclined to run people over than zing passes by them. He’s
not wrong, of course, but it seemed like one of those compliments
that doesn’t sound entirely like a compliment and may, just
may, have been intended to get inside Cam’s head. “Oh,
you think I’m just a glorified running back, eh?”
Pre-game flattery often carries an edge, so it’ll be interesting
to see how this affects the way Newton attacks the Ravens. I’m
not sure it’ll matter, frankly, as they rank No.1 overall
against opposing QBs (16.9/game). The Panthers are catching points
at home, which you should absolutely take, but that doesn’t
mean Cam is a recommended play. Sit the big guy down.