For most of you reading this article it’s on to the second
round of the playoffs. Congratulations on your survival and advancing
to the semi-finals.
Weather could be a factor this weekend with cold mid-December
weather making a few games a concern. Early forecasts say a frigid
10-degrees in Green Bay and below freezing in Baltimore Thursday
night, Kansas City and Pittsburgh. And while it will be a lovely
61-degrees in Los Angeles for the Vikings and Chargers, the winds
could be blowing around 20 mph. which isn’t good for the
“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty
is telling the truth to other people.” - Spencer Johnson
1) Le’Veon Bell won’t be disciplined for bowling
after being ruled out for Week 14 with the flu.
The team didn’t want him to infect the rest of the roster,
so staying away was always the plan. And bowling really doesn’t
require much energy anyway. In addition, it’s likely the
Jets will try to trade Bell in the offseason and a suspension
might lower his value. Bell should be ready to go Thursday against
the Ravens, but it’s a tough matchup. Baltimore ranks ninth
in RB fantasy points allowed (16.4 FPts/G).
2) Jameis Winston also leads the league in QB fantasy points
since Week 12.
Fact. Despite leading the league in interceptions over the past
three weeks with five (he also leads that category for the season
having thrown 23 interceptions) he also has been on a tear the
last three games. It’s the difference between real life
football and fantasy football. Turnovers lead to losing, but it
also leads to passing the ball while attempting a comeback. Winston
ranks fourth this season producing 26 FPts/G. Ben Roethlisberger
led the league in interceptions in 2018 and finished third. Philip Rivers led the league in picks in 2016 and finished eighth. Blake
Bortles threw 18 picks in 2015 and still finished fourth. Interceptions
don’t mean much for fantasy owners.
3) Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson rank 18th, 19th
and 20th, respectively since Week 12.
True. It’s why fantasy owners need to go with the hot hand
and the best matchups over “names.” Would you believe
Mitchell Trubisky and Ryan Tannehill ranked second and third,
behind Winston and ahead of Lamar Jackson and Drew Brees? Tannehill
plays the New York Giants (ranks 26th in opposing QB fantasy points
allowed) and could be a great streaming option.
4) Joe Mixon has finally returned to a playable level.
After producing just 8.91 fantasy points per game over the first
seven contests, Mixon has exploded for almost double that number
averaging 17.4 fantasy points the last half dozen games. That’s
above the level he was producing in 2018 (16.7). Unfortunately,
he’s facing the New England Patriots this weekend who rank
No. 1 against opposing running backs.
5) The three most unlikely receivers in the top-10 since Week
12 are; A.J. Brown, D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson.
Fact. Brown has done well since the quarterback change (8.81
with Marcus Mariota and 14.4 with Tannehill) and been particularly
strong over the past three games (21.5 FPts/G). Moore has three
touchdowns and 282 yards the past three games and Anderson has
posted back-to-back 100-yard games and is averaging 20.2 since
“Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood
by haste and uncertainty.” – Tacitus
1) It’s pure coincidence that the Patriots videographers
used the same excuse in 2019 that they were told to give, if caught,
back in 2007 during “Spygate.”
Hahaha! If you believe that one I have a fair trade for you to
consider … Lamar Jackson for DeSean Jackson. Deal? It’s
also just a coincidence that the Patriots team of “filmmakers”
aimed the camera directly at the Bengals coaches who were sending
in signals (for almost eight minutes). Want to guess who the Patriots
play this weekend? According to Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs’
Rule No. 39 … There is no such thing as a coincidence.
2) Odell Beckham Jr. loves Cleveland.
Ho-ho-ho! The man needs the spotlight and is realizing it doesn’t
come to Ohio. The rumors have been flowing this week that he has
been telling every opposing player he wants out. He’s looking
at career lows for fantasy points (12.0) a 1/3 drop from his previous
three seasons in New York when he produced at least 18 points
each year with Eli Manning. He’s playing at less than 100-percent,
but even a healthy OBJ would probably put up lower numbers in
Cleveland than New York because the Browns have more mouths to
feed (Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Jarvis Landry and David Njoku).
3) Eli Manning is a Hall of Fame quarterback.
Not for me and certainly not for fantasy. We can debate his election
to the Hall of Fame at any time. It’s his two Super Bowl
MVPs and wins vs. his modest 116-117 career record. It’s
his mediocre career 84.1 QB rating. But for fantasy owners he’s
really only had two decent seasons (2011 and 2015). Even then
he finished seventh and 10th respectively. Longevity should not
equal a gold jacket. Superior play should. On the other hand,
the Giants’ quarterback, whether it’s Eli on rookie
Daniel Jones has a favorable schedule down the stretch against
Miami and Washington if you are in need of another option due
to injury or unfavorable opponent.
4) Arizona’s Kyler Murray isn’t the guy to lead you to the fantasy
It could be the “rookie wall,” but Murray hasn’t
thrown for 200 yards in three games. It could also be that the
Cardinals faced San Francisco, the Rams and Pittsburgh …
all teams playing top-10 pass defense. I tend to believe the latter.
He’ll face Cleveland in Week 15 at home where he is averaging
22.8 FPts/G and Seattle in the fantasy finals and both are middle-of-the-road
defenses against opposing fantasy quarterbacks.
5) Carson Wentz proved Monday night that he can win and produce
numbers even without any wide receivers.
I’d have to say no. Wentz produced most of his points while
Philadelphia was in “desperation mode.” They face
Washington who probably doesn’t have the firepower to get
two touchdowns ahead of the Eagles. I expect the 6-7 Eagles, who
are still fighting for a division crown, to use Miles Sanders
and Boston Scott in an effort to disguise the fact that they have
absolutely no receivers available. DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery,
JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Nelson Agholor are unlikely to be active,
leaving the team with Greg Ward as the only wideout on the current
roster. They will likely activate practice squad guys like Marken
Michel (Sony’s brother), Marcus Green and Robert Davis.
It’s OK to say “Who?” I did too. How many times
can Wentz find a double-teamed Zach Ertz? It’s probably
best to stay away from Wentz this Sunday.