As we begin this week’s column, you need to know … Joe Flacco just threw another touchdown. Much more on Flacco Time later. Who knows? By the time I finish writing this, maybe he’ll throw another. Or two.
SPECIAL NOTE: In today’s edition of the Takeaways, keep an eye out for quotes or phrases used in the classic film, The Princess Bride, sprinkled throughout. Take notes, kids, because at the end of this column, there will be a quiz. And you just may get lucky and win yourself a prize.
Six-Week Report Cards
Six NFL weeks should be enough time for experts and prognosticators alike to develop a legitimate understanding of the powerhouses and the push-overs in the league, right? In just six short weeks, we’ve witnessed enough to draw a few conclusions. Hear me out, as I attempt to make sense of it all, using these examples:
- In the AFC East, the Dolphins beat the Patriots, the Bills beat the Dolphins, and the Patriots beat the Bills. Conclusion? The J-E-T-S, not having yet lost to any of their division rivals, must be the class of the division. Don’t let the facts (namely that they’ve not played the rest of the division) get in the way of this masterfully crafted hypothesis.
- In Week 1, EJ Manuel’s Bills beat Jay Cutler’s Bears.
In Week 2, Cutler’s Bears defeated Colin Kaepernick’s Niners. In Week 4, Kaep and the 49ers overcame Nick Foles and the Eagles. Conclusion? According to the Transitive Property of Equality, EJ Manuel is a better QB than Nick Foles. Right? Even while riding the pine, having been benched in favor of the NeckBeard himself, Kyle Orton? Makes sense to me.
- And for a mind-blowing display of dizzying intellect, follow along now, won’t you? And don’t get lost. In Week 2, the Bengals took care of the Falcons. Subsequently, as the season has progressed, the following scenarios have played out: Atlanta beat the Saints; the Saints beat up on the Vikings; the Vikes handled St. Louis; the Rams squeaked past Tampa Bay; the Bucs bested the Steelers; Pittsburgh clawed past the Panthers; and, of course, Carolina tied the Bengals this past Sunday. Conclusion? It’s obvious; all NFL teams—other than the Jags and Raiders—are equal.
Stats That Make You Go Hmmmm
You want crazy stats? As you wish …
- QB: The Top 5 fantasy QBs are Cam Newton (he was obviously using his 50/50 hindsight), Flacco, Kaepernick, Tom Brady and Derek Carr. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. No Peyton. No Rodgers.
- QB Part Deux:
Matthew Stafford finished the week behind the likes of Glennon, Bortles, Orton and Geno, at #25 on the list, just ahead of Charlie Whitehurst. [Those that read my stuff know I could not make it through a column without mentioning my namesake, #ClipboardJesus.] Anyone think Calvin makes a difference in that Lions offense?
- RB: Week 6 RB rankings shaped up with regular, expected names topping the list. Names like Forte, Arian, DeMarco, Gio. However, coming in at #7 was Theo Riddick, who finished ahead of names like Le’Veon Bell, Eddie Lacy, LeSean McCoy and Andre Ellington.
- RB Part Deux: Combined, Eddie Lacy (4.0), Frank Gore (3.8) and Shane Vereen (1.7) had less than 10 fantasy points on the day. Fozzy Whittaker, Dexter McCluster, Darren McFadden and Trent Richardson all scored more than 10.
- WR: Your #3-5 WRs this week? Andre Holmes, Mohamed Sanu and Brandon LaFell. Any given Sunday, people. Holmes finished the week with 28.1 points, nearly doubling his season total through five weeks (31.8). Hello, Derek Carr.
- WR Part Deux: Robert Woods came in at #7 with 22.8 points, outscoring the combined totals of Roddy (7.0), Emmanuel Sanders (6.8), Jeremy Maclin (3.6), Percy (2.9) and Welker (1.8). Yeah. Saw that coming.
- TE: One stat here is enough. The Jets Jace Amaro was the top TE play in Week 6, with 22.8 points. Prior to this week, his single-game high score was 10.8, and he’d not scored a TD all year. Geno to Jace? I smell a new trend.
1. #IGotPercy’d: After five weeks of erratic fantasy play from Sir Percy, I am officially the President of the #IGotPercy’d Support Group.
In Week 6, it wasn’t missed calls (see Week 2) or penalties negating a big offensive day (see Week 5). This time around, Percy unveiled his new magic act—The Incredible Disappearing Percy—by netting a preposterous negative 1 yard on 6 touches. Inconceivable! And no, that is NOT a typo, my friends. A guy who was drafted in the Top 25 WRs, Harvin currently sits outside the Top 65 WRs, averaging less than 10 fantasy points per game. And that’s in PPR! Drop Percy in all leagues and tweet me for local chapter meeting locations. Meetings take place weekly on Sundays, just after #IGetPercy’d again, where we discuss the topic: “Life is pain. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
2. Carrying the Load: Last year, the Bills coaching staff warned (or was it boasted?) that they’d run CJ Spiller until he threw up. I’m no puke professional, but I’m pretty sure CJ’s barf-to-target ratio was pretty low, as far as those ratios go. On the flipside, DeMarco Murray has been the very definition of a workhouse this season.
I’m not sure if he’s upchucking on the sidelines between series or not, but on the year, he has touched the ball on over 41% of ALL Dallas offensive snaps. [By comparison, Matt Forte is at 34% and Le’Veon Bell is at 30%.] He’s on pace to finish the season with more carries (424) than Larry Johnson’s record of 416 in 2006. So, on behalf of fantasy owners everywhere, DeMarco, get some rest. If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.
3. No Moral Victories: Hey, Jags and Raiders fans. You will win a game this year, I assure you. And although there are no moral victories in the NFL, you showed up. I mean, it’s not as if the Titans and Chargers, respectively, said, “I just want you to feel you’re doing well. I hate for people to die embarrassed,” and let you stay close. You played hard and with heart; and—from the all-important fantasy perspective—showed promise for next week and beyond.
Guys like Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson (mancrush alert) and Storm Johnson from Jacksonville, as well as Derek Carr and Andre Holmes for Oakland. There could be a bright-ish fantasy future ahead. We want you to feel you’re doing well.
4. #WeAllGotFlacco’d: Really? Anyone see this coming? No one will accuse Flacco of doing things slowly now, will they? Joe Flacco had as many TD passes in the first half—FIVE!—of Week 6 as Aaron Rodgers had before everyone started R-E-L-A-X’ing (Weeks 1-3). That’s only two TD passes less than Matthew Stafford has … on the year! So what happened? The Bucs defense happened for Flacco. But what to do with him moving forward? Tread with caution. Week 7 at home against Atlanta looks good, but don’t look for this sort of production on any regular basis. Or … get used to disappointment.
5. Welcome Back, Cameron: It’s been said, “There’s not a lot of money in revenge.”
But there is pride in revenge. Pittsburgh beat Cleveland in Week 1; in Week 6, the Browns got said revenge, handily taking down the Steelers, 31-10. The fourth overall TE selected in fake football this year, Jordan Cameron, showed back up in a big way, even with limited targets. His 3/102/1 line won some folks their fantasy weeks. Or, in the case of one fantasy football writer who left Cameron sitting on his bench, lost a fantasy week. Oh well, revenge cometh again next week.
6. Teammates Top the Top 15: Check out the Top 15 fantasy scorers (PPR) through six weeks. Only one Bronco made the list, which is surprising to me. Omaha, Omaha. The 2nd QB on this list? Anyone want to make a guess, after Amish Andrew Luck? Peyton? Rodgers? Nope. Cry Me A Rivers, Philip Rivers comes in at #6 overall. And four sets of teammates make the list.
- Packers: Jordy (#4), Randall (#13) and Aaron (#14). No shockers there.
- Colts: Andrew Luck (#1) and … TY Hilton (#12). Really, Hilton? Yeah, those 40 catches help.
- Bears: Matt Forte (#3) and … Jay Cutler (#15). Go smoke your cig now, Jay.
- Steelers: Really? I guess that defense IS that bad, and fantasy isn’t reality, as Antonio Brown (#5) (mancrush alert) and Le’Veon Bell (#9) make the list.
Shhhh … Let’s Keep It Our Little Secret
Soooo, I was wrong.
- From the Department of Redundancy Department, I was unequivocally incorrect about Mr. Percy Harvin. I predicted he would go off against Dallas at home. There’s only one word for my gaffe here. Hell, no!
- I thought Wes Welker might have a big game, against some previously suspect slot corner coverage from the Jets. Welker’s 1 for 8 yards didn’t really do the trick. Perhaps some Molly is in order?
My Arm CAN Reach Around To Pat Myself On The Back
Yessssss, I was right!
- I predicted a breakout game for Shady McCoy (mancrush alert), and it FINALLY happened. All my attempts to buy-low on acquiring him are shot.
- I thought Gio Bernard would—how exactly did I say it?—have a “huge game.” 22 touches for 157 yards and a TD. Yeah. That’s a pretty fair day at the office.
OK, so did you catch all of my The Princess Bride references? BE THE FIRST TO TWEET ME WITH THE EXACT NUMBER OF REFERENCES (@FFHottieAsst), AND WE’LL SEND YOU A PRIZE. No, it’s not a collector’s edition #ClipboardJesus bobblehead. I’m keeping that one enshrined in my trophy case. But do go watch this flick again; it’s well worth your time. It will help you stay strong, show kindness and have NO RAGRETS.
Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.