Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fanatsy Football Week 4 Rankings

 By Michael H. Osinski
@mhosinskiLLP

 Trends emerge every season. I start looking at potential changes in my three teams lineups Sunday night. I don't pull any triggers until Tuesday, but I like to have more time to let the days games "flow over me" and have the thoughts marinate a couple days.

Nowhere in fantasy is their more overreaction than at the qb position. Bench Tom Brady! Play Sam Bradford! Should I drop RG 0 and 3 for Terrelle Pryor? Even this season when the pre-draft mantra was "Wait for a qb...it's way to deep to leap", your qb is still the most important spot on your roster. Why? Bigger numbers and the fact there is only 1.If one of your rbs or wrs has a less than par day, one of the others can pick up slack. But if Kaep lays an eggs vs. Indy, you lose most of the time.
The top 10 or so guys are generally the same week in week out. Match ups and other circumstances usually dictate the order. I rarely carry 2 qbs because I don't want to waste the roster spot until a week or 2 before the bye week. I have Vick in 2 league so I have no worries (outside of injury risk) until week 10 or so. Tannehill or Bradford will likely be available.

1. Peyton Manning(DEN): Until he shows otherwise, this is his spot. PHI won't challenge him any more than OAK did.
2. Tony Romo(DAL): Ask Schaub, Vick and Locker.
3. Drew Brees(NO): 8 straight 300-yd games. Make it 9!
4. Matt Stafford(DET): Big Ben had 400. And, DET throws more than just about anyone.
5. MikeVick(PHI): He is #2 in yds, has 180 yds rushing.
6. Matt Ryan(ATL): NE has put up good defense number...against NYJ, BUF and TB. Too bad Glennon didn't start last week (all rookie qbs).
7. Tom Brady(NE): Sunday night game is going to be fun, fun, fun.
8. RGIII(WASH): Were you watching OAK Monday night?
9. Russell Wilson(SEA): Efficient, even in less than par weeks.
10. Andrew Luck(IND): Not passing as much, but he draws JAX.
11. Colin Kaepernick(SF): Slumping a bit, but I think he starts running a bit more Thursday night.
12. Ben Roethlisberger(PIT): With that running game, he will have to pass.
13. Phil Rivers(SD): He will spend too much time on his back to keep up this hot streak.
14. Jay Cutler(CHI): I am beginning to believe.
15. Terrelle Pryor(OAK): Assuming his head is good, WASH defense has plenty of holes.

Just missed: Taqnnehill, Bradford, A.Smith

Running backs are driving everyone crazy this season. Ridley, Spiller, D.Wilson (and that's just my team!) Matt Forte gets goal-line carries the first two games, then OV (Original Vulture) Mike Bush has the coach give them to him. Beastmode hasn't been. The law firm has a new partner. TRich traded? Willis McGahee exumed? And what's up with Arian Foster? What exactly is a "Joique?"
Since most players anchor their team with early rb picks in the draft, a lot of teams that looked good after the draft are scrambling to pick up Bilal Powell and Jacquizz Rodgers. I am staying patient with my guys, though I am toying with the idea of playing Fred Jackson this week.

1. Jamaal Charles(KC): Even if the NYG wake up this week, JC gets his. And, Reid is using him a lot in the passing game.
2. Adrian Peterson(MIN): I know the stats after that first run this season. I also know last season he got better and better as season went on.
3. Alfred Morris(WASH): He'll get carries this week. Wash won't fall way behind early this week.
4. Doug Martin(TB): Glennon's new best friend.
5. LeSean McCoy(PHI): I'm not ranking him lower than 5 any week I can think of.
6. Darren McFadden(OAK): Bounces back nicely vs. bad WASH defense.
7. Matt Forte(CHI): Even without goal-line carries...
8. Bilal Powell(NYJ): He's gonna get 20-25 carries again.
9. Marshawn Lynch(SEA): This low just because it's HOU.
10. CJ Spiller(BUF): The explosion is coming.
11. Arian Foster(HOU): Only because it is SEA.
12. Reggie Bush(DET): Says he is healthy, but Joique is going to cut into his catches a bit.
13. Ray Rice(BAL): This assumes he is healthy enough to play.
14. Frank Gore(SF): This assumes he gets more than 11 carries.
15. Lamar Miller(MIA): Just a hunch.
16. Darren Sproles(NO): With Ingram hurt, he may see more carries.
17. Stevan Ridley(NE): Gronk back will keep linebackers out of his running lanes.
18. Knowshon Moreno(DEN): Someone has got to teach him how to play rock-paper-scissors.
19. Chris Johnson(TEN): NYJ good vs. run, but he is getting over 20 carries a game.
20. Trent Richarson(IND): He will move up next week when he has the offense down.
21. Ahmad Bradshaw(IND): He will move down next week when TRich learns offense.
22. Maurice Jones-Drew(JAX): As good as Indy was last week, Gore still did well with his carries.
23. Jason Snelling(ATL): SJax not back for a couple weeks.
24. Giovani Bernard(CIN): The law firm shares carries,but I like this guy.
25. Ryan Mathews(SD): He just seems better than Jacquizz, Joique, DRich, Pierce

Just missed: The guys listed with Mathewss plus Mendenhall and Fred Jackson.

WR is where all the fun has been. They yell at coach and get fed (Wallace, Brown). Julio Jones is on pace for 1,800 yards. Wes Welker has 4 tds. Of course there are some headscratchers (Bowe, Nicks). The NFL is a passing league and this is definitely the year the fantasy landscape is slanting. Next year's draft will have a whole lot more teams going WR-WR instead of RB-RB.

1. Dez Bryant(DAL): Same reason Romo is so high on qb list.
2. Julio Jones(ATL): Up here from about 5 because of Roddy White's ankle.
3. Demaryius Thomas(DEN): Eagles defense. Check. Peyton Manning. Check. 120 yards and a score or 2. Check.
4. Pierre Garcon(WASH): He's playing OAK.
5. AJ Green(CIN): CLE not a bad defense, but this is AJ Green.
6. Calvin Johnson(DET): Only because I think the guys above are all going to have monster games. And, Broyles is gonna get a look.
7. Wes Welker(DEN): Looks to be getting along with Peyton just fine.
8. Brandon Marshall(CHI): Needs a bounceback game.
9. DeSean Jackson(PHI): A slight downgrade playing DEN.
10. Victor Cruz(NYG): He is too good to be down too long.
11. Antonio Brown(PIT): Not like last week, but still good.
12. Josh Gordon(CLE): If they are really shopping him, he'll see a lot of targets.
13. Reggie Wayne(IND): It's JAX.
14. Torrey Smith(BAL): Quietly on pace for over 1,400 yards.
15. Andre Johnson(HOU): Assumes his wheels are good.
16. Anquan Boldin(SF): Kaep'smost reliable wr.
17. Larry Fitzgerald(ARZ): Seems low, but team is having trouble with pass protection.
18. Marques Colston(NO): Figures to be a fun game.
19. Stevie Johnson(BUF): EJ finding him often.
20. Eric Decker(DEN): 3 guys in the top 20. Wow.
21. Dwayne Bowe(KC): Falling until Alex throws downfield.
22. Cecil Shorts(JAX): Garbage time stats don't carry an asterisk.
23. Mike Wallace(MIA): Erratic, but can stretch the field.
24. TY Hilton(IND): Doesn't seem high given his big play ability and opponent.
25. Danny Amendola(NE): Would be higher if 100%, but he's been in full pads this week.
26. Vincent Jackson(TB): Falls a little with a rookie at the wheel.
27. Roddy White(ATL): He'll be back, but for now, he's here.
28. Hakeen Nicks(NYG): Ditto.
29. Chris Givens(STL): I feel a big game coming on.
30. Brian Hartline(MIA): Unsexy, but productive.

Just missed: S.Hill, Thompkins, Streater or D.Moore

Another part of the change in the fantasy landscape is the influx of new blood in the te position. In August it looked like a wasteland. Now, we are talking about the depth at the position in a manner similar to qb last year when the rookies all became viable plays. And, this week marks the return of Gronk.

1. Jimmy Graham(NO): Healthy again and on fire.
2. Rob Gronkowski(NE): He may still score 12 tds.
3. Julius Thomas(DEN): Some of the new blood. I was lucky, adding him 45 minutes before the season opener.
4. Jordan Cameron(CLE): More new blood. Not likely to see 3 tds again, but he gets targets.
5. Martellus Bennett(CHI): Throw last week out. The "Black Unicorn" scores again this week.
6. Jason Witten(DAL): You see Delanie Walker last week vs. SD? Witten is way better.
7. Vernon Davis(SF): This assumes he is healthy.
8. Coby Fleener(IND): JAX is good for everyone playing them
9. Heath Miller(PIT): Ben's security blanket is back.
10. Tony Gonzalez(ATL): Am I the only thinking he got 5 years older during the off-season?
11. Jared Cook(STL): Which one shows up this week?
12. Antonio Gates(SD): And he looks a couple years younger.
13. Brandon Myers(NYG): So slow, but has su7re hands.
14. Owen Daniels(HOU): Draws SEA. Sorry.
15. Jordan Reed(WASH): Looks like their te option going forward

Just missed: Clay, Chandler, Gresham

Obviously, your mileage may vary. Hopefully, you make good choices based on solid data. Or, just throw darts.

I spend a lot of time on defenses. I stream a new one each week. Mostly it works for me. Last season first look was always "who is playing KC?" This year I am always quick to see who JAX is playing, who Oakland is playing, who Seattle is playing, etc. Chicago obviously is always a good play, but you and I both know they are usually owned by as early as round 10 in a 12-team standard league.
That being said, here are your best plays on defense:

1. DEN: they get turnovers and PHI gives them. The game may go 34-27, but PHI figures to be good for 3 TOs (Bad for me...I own Vick in 2 leagues)
2. IND: they manhandled SF and they get JAX this week. And, with that running game, JAX may only get the ball for 20 minutes.
3. CHI: I may pencil them in at 3 every week just because of who they are. And, DET throws the ball around enough for 2-3 picks.
4. KC: I'm a bit scared of this one as who knows when NYG wake up, but KC has throttled DAL&PHI after drawing JAX week 1.
5. CIN: Solid anyway(they made Rodgers look pedestrian)...but they draw Brian "3 Picks" Hoyer.
6. ARZ: Had them lower originally, but with Glennon starting, they should look good. Peterson and The Honey Badger want to play Thursday they are so excited.
7. SEA: They are going to be top 10 every week...
8. NYJ: Don't get excited about Locker, SD secondary has been drilled 3 weeks running...
9. PIT: Just remember, Ponder is still QB. Even with his high score last week, he did not throw a TD pass.
10. MIN: Unless Bell is better than advertised, Big Ben will have to throw til he pukes...and 2-3 of those will be caught by guys in purple.
11. SF: Not so great against the run, but neither DRich or IP scares me. And the Rams are having trouble protecting Sam.
12. BAL: They get a rookie QB...enough said.
13. TEN: Ditto.
14. TB: Pretty good so far and ARZ having pass protection issues
15. STL: SF having issues on offense.

I stream a place kicker each week as well. I don't draft him until the last round. I did play Lawrence Tynes 5 times last season...but I generally play roulette. So, the first 6-7 guys here on the list are usually not available for me. That being said, a team in my league of record lost by 3 points because of Matt Prater's big Monday night. But then again, I lost by 15 and my kicker of the week (Zuerlein) had 1 point. I'm not using him this week. Ok...cuz I gotta pick someone...

1. Matt Prater(DEN)
2. Stephen Gostkowski(NE)
3. Sebastian Janikowski(OAK)
4. Garrett Hartley(NO)
5. Ryan Succop(KC)
6. Blair Walsh(MIN)
7. Robbie Gould(CHI)
8. Steven Haushka(SEA)
9. Adam Vinateri(IND)
10. Dan Bailey(DAL)
11. David Akers(DET)
12. Caleb Sturgis(MIA)
13. Nick Novak(SD)
14. Justin Tucker(BAL)
15. Greg Zuerlein(STL)