We’ve made it to Week 5, and are officially into October. And we all know what that means, right? #OktoberFantasyFest, of course!
Is anyone unfamiliar with this latest trending hashtag? It represents all things Oc(k)tober: beer, brats, ball (of the American foot variety) and … and … boobs. That’s right; I said boobs right here in my column. Boobs. Hey, if the NFL goes all-out to put the cause on display front and center, to bring attention to the awareness of and raising funds for breast cancer via it’s wildly successful “A Crucial Catch” campaign—rumor has it that Lambeau Field’s frozen tundra will be dyed pink later this month—why can’t we?
Yes, many in the football world love the month as well. It even appears some tweeps are quite ready for the celebratory festivities. My good friend, @FFHottie, is encouraging others to plan ahead for this titillating display on October 13.
In all seriousness, we are 100% supporters, in order to heighten awareness. I know several women who champion the cause, being overcomers themselves. I know that Hottie’s mom is a breast cancer survivor, so is absolutely entitled to have fun with it.
Anyhow … It IS Friday, or as we know it: TGIFFF, Thank God It’s Fantasy Football Friday. So what are you looking for this week?
The Book of Eli
I have long been an Eli apologist, at least privately.
Hey, it’s not easy supporting that fake rapper, whiny face in public. But I’m coming out of the Eli Closet. My name is Jay, and I like Eli Manning. At least this week. Atlanta’s defense is porous, and they just lost their best defender, safety William Moore, until at least Week 13. They just gave up 8 for 132 to Jarius Wright. If you have Eli, Victor Cruz or Reuben Randle, start em. So, who’s with me?
Red Rover, Red Rover … Let Shady Come Over
Shady McCoy’s slow start is well-documented.
Through four weeks, McCoy is the 23rd ranked (PPR) RB in fantasy. He’s averaged less than 1.5 YPC the past two weeks. Right tackle Lane Johnson returns this week, to give the Eagles three of their starting five on the offensive line. I tried to pry McCoy away from a couple other owners this week with a couple of buy-low offers. So that should tell you I’m seeing some light at the end of the Shade. I say the slump is broken this week.
Is Megatron Just a Mega-Decoy?
Calvin Johnson’s knee injury has his owners playing He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not the past couple of weeks.
Week 4 saw Calvin rack up 2 targets, 2 catches for 12 yards. Teary owners are left wondering if he’ll remain a decoy in Week 5. Just know this. Last year, he followed up a 3 catches for 25 yards performance in Week 6 with these two stat lines: 9/155/2 and then the monstrous 14/329/1 game versus the Cowboys. So, yeah, I think Mega will be just fine. Will it be this week at home against Buffalo? The matchup is there, so if healthy … look out. And if not now? He must be salivating for Weeks 7 & 8, when the Lions get New Orleans then Atlanta.
Bye Week Bye Bye
I’m in a league where my two best players, on paper, are Demaryius Thomas and Andre Ellington.
Not only have both started slowly—D Thomas is the 56th ranked WR and AE is the 37th ranked RB—both have been a wee bit banged up, and both are coming off a bye. I’m hoping each has had time to heal, while coaches have had time to gameplan them back to stardom. My real expectation? I think Demaryius explodes back into relevance, beginning this week, even against a tough Arizona defense. On the other side of the ball, I am not as confident; Ellington may wait a week. Then his next four opponents? Washington, Oakland, Philadelphia and Dallas. There should be some running lanes for Andre.
Big Weirdo Is Big-Time
So you know one of Martellus Bennett’s nicknames is Big Weirdo, right? Yeah, I discussed this already.
He’s the top tight end in fantasy. In part, due to his targets; he’s targeted only behind Jimmy Graham amongst TEs, and he’s OUT-targeting his high profile, big play WR teammates in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Do I think he will continue at this red-hot pace? I think he’ll slow down, and this week—especially if Marshall is healthy—I think you’ll see the big WRs get the targets against that struggling Carolina D.
Me No Likey Committees
I’m watching the RBBC/tandem/timeshares in about a dozen cities, but most notably in Tennessee.
Has Bishop Sankey proven his dancing skills enough to carry the load for the Titans? He’s obviously the most talented in that backfield, and Cleveland gives up the 2nd most points to opposing fantasy RBs, but coaches have been hesitant to hand over the reins. I wonder if telling the coaches that he’d applied for next season’s Dancing With the Stars would help his cause? I think he goes off this week.
Me No Likey Committees, Part Deux
… and Baltimore.
OK, I’ll be honest. I have no clue what to think of the Justin Forsett/Lorenzo Taliaferro/Bernard Pierce triple-headed monster. We all thought Pierce would be the man, if and when Ray Rice (pre-issues) was done. Then this past week, he was a healthy inactive? Really? I guess one would have to say Forsett would be the one to watch this week, as he’s getting the #1 RB reps. The Colts have given up four rushing TDs, so the potential is there. I’ll take Forsett. Until I don’t.
Another Philadelphia player I’m watching is Jeremy Maclin.
To date, he ranks #6 in fantasy (PPR), thanks in great part to his #2 ranking in targets. Yes, even in Chip Kelly’s offense-on-steroids scheme, he trails only Jordy Nelson for targets. I say he slows up, as Nick Foles likely spreads the ball around, limiting his targets, and the Eagles want to get back to running the ball. Am I saying drop Maclin? Um, no. I just think he may cool off a bit on his fantasy numbers.
Will Brady Bunch Be Cancelled?
All eyes are on Tom Terrific and his—how can I say this nicely?—less than stellar fantasy production in 2014.
You know which QBs have more fantasy points than Tom Brady this year? EJ Manuel, who has already been benched. Geno Smith, who might soon be benched. Ryan Tannehill, who was discussed to be benched. And this is just in his division! He’s also behind Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr, Brian Hoyer and Jake Locker, among 28 he trails. I do expect Brady to come around a bit, but not this week. The Bengals are pretty stout on defense.
So what are we eating in Week 5? Breasts, of course! See what I did, there? Boneless chicken breasts … fried, baked or grilled. Beer, but it needs to be somewhat highbrow, ya know? Perhaps an Evil Twin Bikini Beer? Again, see what I did, there? Maybe a Haymarket Angry Birds Rye IPA, from Chicago’s own Haymarket Pub & Brewery? It’s all about the flavor with them. Or what about a nice Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen . This beer even encourages you to put a lemon wedge in first, before drinking. Yeah, I think that goes with breasts.
So enjoy the pink-out games, the beer, football and raised awareness about … yes, boobs. And may your fantasy football team have a knockout performance this week. And always remember to stay strong, show kindness and NO RAGRETS.
Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.