With another great week of football in the books, I welcome you all back to Fantasy Sports Island and hope that all of your teams are doing as well as they can. I myself have completely messed up with my teams this year and by that, I do not mean my teams aren’t successful; I just have a few too many. Every week I end up playing against players that I have in other leagues and I’m forced to root both for and against them. It’s a tough split, but I only have myself to blame. Luckily, in my four leagues I went 3-1 this week, only taking a loss in the league where I was on the bad end of a bye week spree. Now AP, Cam and Brandon Marshall are back and I’m ready to put my bye week woes behind me. No more of my opponents will get as lucky as Gary Barnidge this week.
Hopefully you guys are catching all of your fantasy wins with your hands like intended, and not your thighs. If not, that is exactly why I am here. Let’s get you some new gloves or at least some Stickum to ensure you get W’s with skill and not luck.
Hot Off the Wire
Willie Snead, WR Saints (29.2 percent owned in ESPN Format)
So I figured I’d start with an easy one. If you watch sports television or at least highlights, you already know about this man who is emerging as a top target for Drew Brees in this pass-happy offense. Twelve receptions for 230 yards over the last two weeks, and the only visible bright spot is when his team got blown out by the Eagles at home this past Sunday. He led all receivers with 141-yards and notched a 59-yard reception on that day alone. This man is not familiar with finding the end zone much, but his yards may be able to make up for it and in PPR leagues he will bring even more to the scoreboard. He has caught the ball no less than five times a game since week 2. Could be a savior in deeper leagues if he continues, and for those 10 and under, he still could be a great bye week cop-out, injury replacement or flex option. He has a favorable matchup today versus Atlanta.
Gary Barnidge, TE Browns (37.7 percent)
I already gave this guy a fair shout-out above with his play that should have been in the Lucky Top-Ten and not the actual Top-Ten. I also have to give credit to a friend of mine that pointed out his consistent success over the last three weeks. Over those three games in standard non-PPR leagues he has averaged 17 fantasy points, 107 yards and a TD. The thing I love about this guy is he is not just some redzone specialist that just gets used to cap off a good drive like we saw above. Instead he is one of McCown’s favorite targets to help get the ball down field. He and his QB have hooked up for multiple 25-yard plus gains this season making him a threat on any given play. The only shaky part of owning Barnidge is probably McCown himself, who doubtfully will continue to play like he did this past week. If you are like me and are stuck with the low production of a TE like Owen Daniels, this is the guy for you despite the risk from his QB.
Knile Davis (23.7 percent) and Charcandrick West, RB’s Chiefs (1.2 percent)
Now the obvious reason for this section is the fact that, as I predict every year, Jamaal Charles is out for the season again. Even the Chiefs were ready for this, having Knile ready to go should this come up again this year, and now it has. The only trouble now is: Will Knile be the number one? Or will West, who had more touches and yards last week, take over? The answer is simple: They will split the time. The only difference is that West has been much more fruitful as of late, which at this point gives him more value heading forward. Davis has only received two touches in the last three games, but that is bound to change being that he has filled in with Charles out before. It’s nearly too soon to tell as history would promote Knile, but recent weeks say West. My gut says go with Knile despite the last couple games, but both should be valuable players to have on the bench for now.
Colin Kaepernick, QB 49ers (44 percent)
Hey, I bet you guys all know this name, right?! Yeah, he’s that young guy who everyone thought was the next big thing since he’s mobile and went to a Super Bowl early in his career. No, not Russell Wilson — he actually won one! I’m talking about the guy who has decided to try to grow his hair like Wilson in hopes he’ll make it to a second Bowl, along with a J. Cole beard, maybe to help him actually “Work Out” in his team’s offense.
Okay, as much as I think he is a sub-par NFL quarterback, he actually does present some value Fantasy-wise, especially with the run game. He isn’t doing anything spectacular, but he has been pretty consistent, minus one game where Arizona tore him apart. Outside of that game, he has 4 passing TD’s and just one pick to go along with a rushing TD and a ton of yards. I can talk trash all day on this guy and the way he runs like an ostrich escaping poachers, but he actually is worth being on your roster, especially when he gets his Super Bowl redemption game this week against Baltimore. The Ravens are not fans of QBs of this type, or really any type, as they just got wrecked by Josh McCown. I like Kaep this week over most QBs.
Sit and Start
Josh McCown, QB Browns (Sit)
I’ll admit that McCown has already exceeded my expectations this year. Even the Browns have, just by having two wins in five weeks, but this week will be different for the dog pound. This week they play the undefeated Denver Broncos, whose defense has not been very nice to QBs so far this season. Out of the five passers they have seen, they have forced three of them (Flacco, A. Smith, Stafford) to throw multiple interceptions in their matchup. The only guy they didn’t pick off somehow was Teddy Bridgewater, but they did sack him an outstanding seven times. With an average of 16 PA, nearly 3 TOs and 4.4 sacks a game, this one isn’t even about McCown. He should sit solely because this defense is insane and it has already stopped much better offenses than the Brown’s have.
Marshawn Lynch, RB Seahawks (Start)
Sat out this past week mainly for precautionary measures and is back in pads this Sunday against the undefeated Panthers. Carolina has been absolutely demolished by the run game so far this season after their defensive POY, Luke Kuechly, went down with a concussion. Although he is cleared to play this week, he won’t be up to speed and he is just one man. Marshawn Lynch on the other hand is more than a man as we have seen in recent years. On top of Marshawn being a Beast, the O-Line of the Seahawks was good enough to get Thomas Rawls 169 yards last week, so I can only imagine what the starter will do back in his regular spot. Marshawn goes in the lineup this week.
T.J. Yeldon, RB Jags (Start)
Oh yes, the NFL’s sole every-down back gets some spotlight from me this week, especially when Jacksonville plays Houston this Sunday. The only word that matters in this week’s matchup is “Frequency” and that is something that T.J. has on this team. The fewest carries he has gotten all year is 11, and that came last week when he exited the game early with a groin injury. Don’t let the injury scare you, he said it was nothing serious, and in this position the Jags will need him every game. I’d say at most just keep an eye out and unless he becomes “Doubtful” you want him in your lineup. Houston has struggled this year in all facets, especially stopping the run game. On another note, Yeldon could be good trade bait at this very moment in time. Always sell high!
Allen Hurns, WR Jags (Start)
This guy should really be included in the “Hot Off the Wire” section at just 48.6 percent owned. A teammate of the guy above that has really benefitted from having attention taken off of him thanks to Yeldon and Allen Robinson. He quietly has put up two consecutive, identical weeks of 116 yards and a touchdown thanks in part to Bortles coming into his own. With 16 receptions over those last two games, I’m hoping he can get exactly 116 more this week when the Jags play a Houston defense that we have already outed today. Plus, he can do stuff like this, which makes a QBs life very easy.
Dion Lewis, RB Patriots (Start)
This man’s run game has been so-so but in combination with his receiving game he is a perfect fantasy running back. Against a sub-par Colts team, I expect Dion to add another 12-plus point outing as he has all season so far. Anyone that Brady throws the ball to is worth being in your lineup. Throw this man in your flex and watch the numbers pile up. Those of you that have him in a PPR league, congrats.
Danny Woodhead, RB Chargers (Sit)
Everyone around the league is saying that this guy is a must-start and I personally must disagree! Unless you are in a PPR league, where he actually has some value, he needs to be on your bench this week. With Melvin Gordon getting all of the carries, and now starting to challenge Woodhead for receptions as well, Dan Boy’s value drops drastically. He will still get his few receptions here and there but nothing like expected early in this season. The man had two TDs in week one and hasn’t found the end zone since. It pains me to tell you to sit him, because I love the guy and his work ethic, but he won‘t help your team to a victory this week against an undefeated Green Bay team that will have possession for most of the game. I really hope he makes me eat my words, but I don’t see it happening this week. He will definitely come up short (had to get a height joke in).
Thank you all once again for joining me on the Island today! I hope the insight helps you to yet another Fantasy Victory this week. This is where teams begin to pull away from each other and the real playoff picture starts to emerge. Make sure you have chance of winning your money back.
As always, feel free to hit me up on Twitter for any advice or questions. I am always willing to help out my fellow Island Go’ers!
Follow Daniel on Twitter, @TheRealMoebus