If you’ve read any of my stuff with any regularity, you know I’m a sucker for a salty nickname. I especially love some of the more random, humorous or enigmatic names thrust upon NFL players, such as:
- Doug Martin: Muscle Hamster
- Kyle Orton: Uncle Rico
- Darren Sproles: Half-Size Hummer
- Martellus Bennett: Orange Dino
- JJ Watt: The Milkman
- Ryan Fitzpatrick: Fitzmagic … or Fitztragic (oft-times, changing from one play to the next)
I’ve had my fair share of nicknames over the years. When just a little tot, I apparently scooted my little body around the carpet at home … so naturally, I was Scooter. As a budding baseball star—a shortstop—in my teen years, I was deemed Hoover. Why, you ask? I apparently had the reputation of being able to scoop up everything in my general vicinity. And for those unaware, a Hoover is / was (?) a brand of vacuums. And, of course, I’ve recently been known as the FFDude, The Pool Boy and now #ClipboardJaysus.
Add one more to my growing list of monikers … Stat Nerd. Today’s TGIFFF (Thank God It’s Fantasy Football Friday) column is me going all fantasy football and statistics geek on you. Check it.
- Matty Ice … Ice Cold?
In the three outdoor road games Matt Ryan has played thus far this year, he’s thrown 5 TDs and 6 INTs.
Additionally, his completion percentage in those games is less than a 60% average. Where does he play this week? Outdoors. In Baltimore. With a severely banged up offensive line. Add in that the Ravens have given up only two passing TDs at home this year, and the 3rd fewest points in real football this year. So that Ice in Matty’s nickname just got a bit more chilly. He’ll face a stiff test to get it done. And yet … I’m going with my gut against the grain. I have this feeling he may just toss a couple of TD’s and 250 yards. Not an off-the-charts day, but certainly not a dumpster fire either.
- What up, Holmes?
If you know even a bit of Raider history, then you know that when the late Al Davis ran the team, the Raider Way involved speed at the wideout position to develop the vertical game.
The Raiders have employed Olympic sprinters (Willie Gault, former 400m Olympic medalist), college track stars (Jacoby Ford was a sprinter at Clemson) and guys living in the ‘hood outrunning the cops after ripping off the corner mart (we won’t disrespect anyone here by naming names). Bottom line: that have traditionally liked dudes with speed. Granted, some of these guys didn’t quite have the greatest hands in the world. But who’s counting? Speed kills, or so Mr. Davis wholeheartedly believed. Now along comes Andre Holmes, who is built more in the big-body and less burner receiver mold. Some within the Raider brass are comparing him to Brandon Marshall. Whatever the case, it appears Derek Carr has himself a legit #1 WR. Over his last two games, he’s had 9 catches, 3 TDs and is averaging over 23 fantasy PPG. Can he sustain this pace, Watson? I’m afraid he comes back to earth a bit.
- Justin Case You’re Hunting for a Sleeper
Staying with the young, big-play, big-build receiver theme, Justin Hunter is beginning to show signs that he can play in this league.
The past two weeks, he’s played over 93% of all Tennessee snaps and averaged nearly 15 fantasy points per game. On the year, the Redskins give up the 8th most fantasy points to WRs. If Checkdown Charlie—yes, I’ve just assigned my namesake, Clipboard Jesus a new nickname—doesn’t play, meaning Jake The Hurt Locker does play, Hunter’s chances for upping his fantasy numbers greatly increase. Until then, I’m afraid Justin Hunter is Justin Case.
- Justin Case You Want to Force It
So any guesses who the fifth correct name in this trivia question is? Name the five RBs who have scored at least 6 (standard) fantasy points per week thusfar this season. DeMarco Murray, Le’Veon Bell, Gio Bernard, Marshawn Lynch and—wait for it, wait for it—Justin Forsett.
Coming out of nowhere, literally, he began the year behind Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. Forsett is on the field for nearly 60% of snaps, has averaged 14.5 touches per game and sits at #8 for fantasy RBs. Can he keep this up? Well, um, the Atlanta defense has given up 11 rushing touchdowns to opposing RBs this year; that’s 4 more than another other team. So, I’d say there’s a good chance he scores, and big, this Sunday.
- Fun in the Sun in the Desert
Assuming Carson Palmer can stay upright for a full four quarters, the arrow for that offense sure seems to be pointing directly up, at that Arizona sky. It’s amazing these Cardinals—with all the injuries and in that division—are an impressive 4-1 and sitting in first place. On a related note, isn’t it ironic how well Bruce Arians is doing in his ‘retirement’? If you’re not familiar, definitely check this out:
And now we return to our regularly scheduled program. In spite of the fact that the Cardinals, employing three different starting QBs this year, still have not thrown an INT … Palmer absolutely makes that offense tick. His presence all the offensive weapons fantasy-relevant.
- Miller the Killer in South Beach?
Now that Knowshon’s No More Tears routine sadly will not be renewed for the remainder of this season, the Miami backfield should now wholly belong to Lamar Miller.
What will he make of it? Miller didn’t beat out Daniel Thomas last season when presented the opportunity. He’s averaging 16 touches per game, currently at #13 among fantasy RBs (PPR) at 75.3 total points. Those numbers would most certainly appear to continue trending up. I say he ends up a Top 12 RB on the year – both standard and PPR. And this week, at Chicago? Yeah, let’s go ahead and start off ROS with a bang by blowing up against the Bears. Lamar may found himself have a new nickname, Miller the Killer.
For my culinary friends, and in honor of National Pasta Day—what, you didn’t know that was today, October 17? I mark it on my calendar every year—I’m recommending you whip out your rigatoni, cavatappi, gnocci, rigate, rotini, tortellini or ziti. Or for those of us less refined, I’ll just take my Kraft Mac n’ Cheese in a box, microwave that bad boy and pop open a Bud Light.
So, whether you’re a ‘foodie’ or a ‘fast foodie’, until next week … stay strong, show kindness and have NO RAGRETS.
[NOTE: This week’s NFL and PPR fantasy stats courtesy of eDraft.com.]
Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.