Tag Archives: Kirk Cousins

Takeaways from the Trenches –- Week 5

They say time flies when you’re having fun. Well, my mom has said it for years. And I’d bet she got it from her older—MUCH older and MUCH wiser—sister. And SHE likely got it from her boyfriend’s grandmother, who … well you get the picture. I’m not sure anyone knows where that phrase originated.


But I’m here to say that fantasy football season time flies as well … even when NOT having fun. Or at least when not winning, which I’m experiencing far too often this fake football season. We just completed Week 5 already.

Really, doesn’t it seem like just yesterday we were gearing up to avoid the pointless Bob Costas and Hines Ward halftime editorial perspectives on opening night? I mean, come on, I have nothing against either guy—in fact, I’ve long been a huge Costas guy, and Ward was an on-field fav—but, truthfully, what do they bring to each broadcast? Serious question here. If someone knows, please tweet me.

In the meantime, let’s look at some high-or low-lights from Week 5. Some of these PPR stats are downright sick, I tell you. Sick, as in not good. Not sick, as in very cool.

Stats That Make You Go Hmmmm

  • QB: So yeah. Austin Davis, Brian Hoyer and Kirk Cousins (against Seattle!) all finished with more Week 5 fantasy points than Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan. Just as we all thought.
  • QB Part Deux: In fact, both Davis and Hoyer EACH had more fantasy points than the combined total put up by Nick Foles and Matthew Stafford.
  • RB: Ladies and gentlemen, I present your leading fantasy RB for Week 5 (PPR). One Branden Oliver finished with 34.2 points on 114 yards rushing, 68 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns. Paging Donald Brown. Paging Donald Brown.
  • RB Part Deux: Oliver, undrafted out of Buffalo (college) after breaking James Starks school career rushing yardage record, scored more fantasy points than the combination of LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Giovani Bernard and Alfred Morris.
  • WR: Three of the Top 10 WRs this week were Kendall Wright, (who scored more in Week 5 than combined prior three weeks), Brian Quick and Travis Benjamin.
  • WR Part Deux: Taylor Gabriel, who cannot be higher than fifth in the ‘looks’ pecking order for Cleveland, finished with more fantasy points than Antonio Brown, Wes Welker, DeAndre Hopkins, Marques Colston, Julian Edelman and Steve Smith, Sr. Oh yeah, and more than Percy Harvin. [See below.]
  • TE: Showing up in your Top 10 fantasy TE list for this week? Timothy Wright and Jim Dray, both backup TEs on their respective teams (NE and Cleveland). Yes, I love fantasy football. Really, I do love fantasy football. I keep convincing myself.

Quick Hits

  1. Happy Fun Time with Tom and Bill: Have you witnessed a more annoying, yet comical, presser than Coach Belichick reminding the Boston media who the Patriots next opponent is?

    Repeatedly? On every question? In his monotone drone? I may be getting this wrong, but I’m pretty sure The Hoodie was trying to let everyone know the Bengals were coming to town. I think. And then, Brady’s SNF touchdown celebration (Is that what that was?) took me right back to 7th grade. From an outsider perspective, anyhow, those two seem like such polar opposites. I can just hear one of their conversations now.

TomTerrific: Hey, Coach, how’s it hanging?

Hoodie: We’re on to Buffalo, Tom.

TomTerrific: Whatevs. Have you seen the forecast yet?

Hoodie: [pause] Tom, you know we don’t focus on anything but the gameplan. It’s the Patriot way.

TomTerrific: Chillax, Coach. I just mean, will it be cold enough for me to wear my new Uggs? They’re totes amazeballs.

Hoodie: [irritated glare] We’re on to Buffalo.

  1. Getting Percy’d: I’m starting this new phrase, which of course means getting ripped off, hoodwinked, swindled, victimized, bamboozled. You may recall me lamenting that in Week 2, I lost a matchup due to my opponent unfairly receiving touchdown points on a long run, when Percy Harvin actually stepped out of bounds. In other words, I got Percy’d. But I’m not bitter.

    Well, it happened again in Week 5, when … not one, not two, but three times, Mr. Harvin scored on touchdown receptions. And all three were nullified by penalties. I’m sure I’m not alone here, but I lost a matchup where, this time, I owned him, and obviously didn’t receive those points. I’m starting a Percy Support Group. Won’t you join me?

  2. Have You Lost Faith in Jesus? Clipboard Jesus, that is. Charlie Whitehurst entered the Titans game versus the Browns in the 2nd quarter when—shockingly!!—Jake Locker got dinged up. His first three plays from scrimmage produced this stat line: 2 completions for 86 yards and 2 touchdowns.
    AP Photo/Mark Zaleski
    AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

    I think many believers had hands raised and were singing his praises. He didn’t make any game-changing mistakes on the stat sheet; yet he also wasn’t able to keep the Browns from changing water into wine … or more specifically, a 25-point deficit into victory. And now, rumblings in Nashville are that—assuming The Hurt Locker can’t go Sunday—the Titans may give rookie Zach Mettenberger a look against Jacksonville. Clipboard Jesus, let someone else take the wheel here. Believe me, there are an infinite number of puns to include in one short paragraph here. So many puns; so little space in this story. 

  3. Throwback Top 10: A quick look at the Top 10 fantasy RBs (PPR), through Week 5, provides a couple of major surprise performers from the “After the Top 4” bunch (DeMarco, Forte, Le’Veon, Marshawn); you’ll want to sit down to hear #5, #6 and #8 on the list. That’s right folks, Justin Forsett, Ahmad Bradshaw and Fred Jackson occupy those spots. [Honestly, I’ve discount double-checked this three times to confirm accuracy, because I find it hard to believe.] They all three are part of a timeshare backfield, and their average age is 30—otherwise known as the fated cutoff point for NFL RBs. Granted, receptions play a huge role in all three cases, but it’s still something to watch for. As the season progresses, will the name backs—I’m looking directly at you, Charles, McCoy and Lacy—rise to the top of fantasy lists? Or will it be next man up, in other NFL cities? Speaking on behalf of old guys everywhere, here’s your reminder: Don’t count out the old guys.

Shhhh … Let’s Keep It Our Little Secret

I’m man enough to admit when I got it wrong.

  • I said a Week 5 matchup with the Rams would be Shady McCoy’s slump-buster. Boy was I wrong. He barely topped the 10 point mark (PPR), essentially with volume (28 touches). But he’s still averaging less than 3 YPC and remains outside the Top 25 of fantasy RBs. At this point, you have to wonder if he can be counted on as a reliable RB2. Scary to think, much less, type that last sentence.
  • So, I wasn’t alone on this one! I thought Bishop Sankey would dance like a star against the Brownies. As my friend @RotoPat said, “Did I say more touches for Bishop Sankey? LOL. Whoops. I meant fewer touches for Bishop Sankey. Sorry about that. Love, Whiz.” Seriously, 8 touches, and playing less than 1/3 of the snaps? That’s not gonna cut it for your most talented back. You listening to me, Tennessee Titans? I speak for all of #FantasyFootball Twitter.
  • Jeremy Maclin entered Week 5 as the 6th rated fantasy WR, averaging right at 18.3 points per game. I thought he’d slow a bit, with more target distribution from Napoleon Dynamite’s twin. I was wrong, and I’ll give the fantasy gods their due here for consistency. Maclin finished Week 5 as the 6th rated fantasy WR, and scored right at 18.6 points.

My Arm CAN Reach Around To Pat Myself On The Back

I also pump my chest when I’m right because I’m the MAN!

  • I will quote myself here; I said Demaryius Thomas “explodes back into relevance” in Week 5. Yeah. 8/226/2 isn’t a bad line. And 42.6 (PPR) fantasy points isn’t bad either. And it could have been even more explosive. Thomas had a 77-yard TD called back due to penalty.
  • I predicted that Martellus Bennett’s fantasy value would slow, and I said it would be due to lowered targets. Shazam! Although playing 86% of the snaps, he was only targeted five times, resulting in three catches. He’d averaged 9 targets per game through four weeks. His 4.7 fantasy points were well below his 20.6 average. Sorry, Big Weirdo.
  • So I picked Justin Forsett to have a good game versus the Colts. Fantasy owners like me were pleased with his 13 touches for 97 yards and a touchdown. Oh yeah, the 22.7 fantasy points didn’t suck either. Now, will it last? I have to ask, ya know, “Justin case”.

So, yeah, fun can come in many forms. In my case, I’ll say I’m having fun getting my ass kicked in a couple leagues. Yeah, that’s fun. But at least I always do my best to stay strong, show kindness and NO RAGRETS. You should too. Until next time …

[NOTE: This week’s NFL stats courtesy of ProFootballFocus.com. Fantasy stats courtesy of eDraft.com.]

Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.

Tuesday’s Takeaways from the Trenches –- Week 3

Week 3 provided more fantasy ulcers, and literal pulling of hair and / or teeth (whichever happens to be your anger method of choice). Mine happens to be hair, which I yanked compulsively when Antonio Brown caught his second touchdown of the game Sunday night.

The League - FX
The League – FX

Just last year, 2013, I played in six fantasy football leagues. I had a winning record in all six, never lost two weeks in a row, made the playoffs in all, went to the championship in five and won four. Yes, my name last year was legally changed to The God. Or to others, LSP, which obviously stands for the Luckiest Sumbitch on the Planet. It was the perfect fantasy storm for me.

This year? Let’s just say I have already experienced a three-game losing streak, and have lost a game in every other league; I’m beyond lucky to have only one losing record. Now Week 4 hovers like a dark cloud of doom, with key players on bye weeks and longer term injuries looming with evil laughter. Here’s looking at you, Jamaal Charles, Arian Foster, AJ Green, Percy Harvin and Dennis Pitta. That’s a pretty decent lineup … all sitting on my bench for Week 4. I’m feeling like the perfect storm is about to rain all over me.

But quickly, before I jump off the fantasy bridge, let me shoot you some knowledge, fantasy football Week 3 style.

Stats That Make You Go Hmmmm

To quote one of my favorite old-school movies, Chevy Chase in Vacation, “This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy.”

  • QB: Kirk Cousins and Austin Davis had more fantasy points than Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford.
  • QB Part Deux: Rodgers and Stafford finished at number 28 and 32, respectively, amongst fantasy QBs in Week 3. Both played the full game, so no injuries to blame. That’s right; rookies Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater outscored both, despite not starting or playing full games.
  • RB: SIXTY RBs outperformed LeSean McCoy in fantasy points on Sunday. You read that right. SIXTY. On a day when the Eagles put up 30 offensive points. Yikes.
  • RB Part Deux: Also, Shady, the reigning NFL rushing leader, rushed for 22 yards, and was outgained by THREE different guys on each of the following teams: Jacksonville, Buffalo, Tennessee and the Rams.
  • WR: Houston’s Demaris Johnson (11.6 pts), 4th string journeyman, outscored the combination of Megatron (8.2) and Randall Cobb (2.9). Wow.
  • WR Part Deux: Arizona speedster, not abolitionist John Brown (17.2), scored more than Jordy (5.9), Cordarrelle (5.4) and Percy (4.2) combined.
  • TE: One stat is all you need in the TE bullet point from this week. The Saints’ 3rd string TE, Josh Hill, outscored some guy named Jimmy Graham 10.8 to 5.4. Commence weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Quick Hits

  1. Will the Bishop Finally Trump the Field? Titans rookie Bishop Sankey—the first RB taken in this year’s NFL draft—finally got some quality snaps, carries and bit of production. His 70 total yards on 11 touches won’t scream “Bonanza!” to anyone, but he was their best offensive option Sunday against the Bengals. Hopefully for the Titans, he can continue the positive work. They need it.
  2. Kickers Are People, Too? A couple weeks back, I pondered aloud—or at least in my laptop for all of you to read—if kickers are people, too. I came to the conclusion that they are, and can certainly help win, or in many cases, lose your fantasy week. Case in point. This week, I started the trifecta of Mason Crosby, Shayne Graham and Phil Dawson. (In three leagues, obviously. I’m not in some bizarro “Three Kicker” league. Though I’d bet there’s one out there somewhere.) Anyhow, between the three of these generally highly productive kickers, I got a total of 5 points.
  3. Fireworks Bring an End to Summertime. The Philadelphia versus Washington game featured four of the top six fantasy WRs from Week 3, in Jeremy Maclin, Pierre Garcon, Jordan Matthews and DeSean Jackson. A fun game to watch, but defenses optional apparently.
  4. From Hitman to Touchdown Maker. Jacksonville wideout Allen Hurns showed up on the scoresheet again this week. In three weeks, the rookie now has three touchdowns on seven catches. Can it last? I have my doubts, but if you’re in a TD heavy league, certainly worth watching.
  5. foxsports.com

    Who’s Feelin’ Lucky? Someone in Indianapolis, that’s who. After three weeks, one Amish Andrew Luck leads all of fantasy scoring. Now, about that facial furniture you got going on there, Andrew.

Shhhh … Let’s Keep It Our Little Secret

I can admit it. I was wrong.

  • I said to start your Saints. Pretty much all of them. Brees showed up, to the tune of 293 yards passing with 2 TD’s. Beyond that? No one with a Saints jersey finished in the Top 65 scoring.
  • Now, I didn’t say to sit DeMarco Murray or anything, but I also didn’t think he’d maintain his pace. I was wrong. He had 100 yards rushing, 31 yards through the air and a touch. Well done, DMurray. I have you in several leagues, so feel free to keep proving me wrong.
  • Well, Colin Kaepernick’s tats came to play … and against a fairly stout Arizona D. Well done, bro. I didn’t think you’d show up like this. Passing: 245 and a touchdown; Rushing: 54.

My Arm CAN Reach Around To Pat Myself On The Back

I’m also not very humble. I’m the MAN!

  • I said to temper expectations on James Jones, Darren Sproles and Andre Johnson. They say even a broken clock is right twice a day.
  • I thought Jeremy Maclin would kick it, old-school, Sunday against the Washington football team. Um, yeah. I’d say he did. Eight catches for 154 and a touch. You did Show-Me. See what I did there? He attended U of Missouri.
  • Knile Davis is the ultimate handcuff in the NFL. Presuming Charles didn’t go—which he obviously didn’t—I did figure roughly 100 total yards and a score for KD. His line? 132 yards rushing and a touchdown. Not bad for a fill-in against that Miami D.

Well gang, they say half the battle is showing up. So, I guess I’ll show up again for Week 4. Reluctantly, I’ll set my lineups. I’ll brag. And I’ll pout. I’ll try to get someone to take Stevan Ridley or Hakeem off my hands via trade, and effort to find a replacement for Dennis Pitta. My work is cut out for me. Good luck to you this week as well.

Meantime … stay strong, show kindness and NO RAGRETS.

[NOTE: This week’s Half-Point PPR scoring stats courtesy of NFL.com.]

Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.

Friday’s First and 10 – Week 3

After two weeks of fantasy craziness, we find ourselves here again on Friday.

Falcons-Bucs Disaster

After last night’s Thursday Night Football debacle–I’m not sure anything was INSIDE those Bucs helmets–we need the weekend to restore the sanity. (If there is such a thing as fantasy football sanity.) Anyhow, it’s TGIFFF: Thank God It’s Fantasy Football Friday. So let’s get to it.

1. Start Your Saints

Let’s see. Sean Payton’s bunch is 0-2. Drew Brees is presently not in the Top 12 fantasy quarterbacks. The Vikings—sans AP—come to town. Who ya gonna start? Your Saints. Pretty darn near all of them could bust out. Breesus, Colston, Cooks, obviously Graham. BUT, this game could be a blowout, early, allowing the Saints running game to thrive. Hello, Pierre Thomas? And definitely Khiry Robinson.

2. He’s Not My Cousin(s)

Last year when RG III was deactivated for the final three games of the season, Kirk Cousins stepped in and started those three games. He had 20 fantasy points at Atlanta, then 11 versus Dallas, then -2 at the Giants. And you likely know he had a good showing (250 yds, 2 TD’s, 16 fantasy points) in Week 2, filling in after RG III again went down. But I’m not yet buying in. Perhaps this week versus the Eagles, but not for the long haul.

3. AE versus the Niners

I know Andre Ellington is bravely battling a nagging foot injury. I know that I believed all the preseason hype and drafted him in multiple leagues. I’ve also silently wondered if he’s just a bit fragile? Now that Jonathan Dwyer is out of the picture, I guess this Sunday is a good test, going up against the not-as-feared-but-still-solid San Francisco defense. I really, really want him to be more Jamaal Charles, and less CJ Spiller (in terms of fantasy relevancy). Speaking of Charles …

4. JC Superstar Is Into Condos?

Not condos. Timeshares. My bad. But you get me. I’m hearing that if Jamaal Charles plays this week, it could be on a timeshare basis with Knile Davis. I’m more than anxious to see if the consensus top fantasy back drafted—as well as the far-and-away top scoring RB last year—would really be placed into a shared scenario?

5. Half-Size Hummer

So I read in GQ  that Darren Sproles doesn’t like to be called Super Smurf. Instead, he likes nicknames Tiny Tank and Half-Size Hummer. In any case, I don’t know that the average fan realizes he only had 25 snaps Monday night. Granted, they produced crazy output (178 total yds and a touchdown). This week should be another stellar day versus the Redskins D. But I do wonder if he can produce at this rate over the full year.

6. Andre the Giant(-killer)?

In this day of the big-name, big-body, and at times big-ego wide receiver, it can be understood if one overlooks Andre Johnson. He’s even gotten lost on my radar. He doesn’t pound his own chest, but the dude has been a beast his entire career. A consistent beast. Over the past 5 years, he’s averaged over 100 catches a year—despite getting up in years (33), and some of the revolving QB scenario in Houston over that time. He’s started out well this year, averaging 14 fantasy points per game, with new QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Can he keep it going? For my money, Andre IS the giant to have another consistent season. But … this week against the Giants? Feeling Houston may go run-crazy with Arian Foster.

7. Show Me in the Show-Me State

DeMarco Murray has had quite the start to this fantasy year. He leads the league in rushing and is a Top 4 fantasy back. He’s the most consistent piece of the Cowboy offensive puzzle thus far. Yet, the Rams give up the 23rd most fantasy points to RBs and likely will be keying on stopping him. I wouldn’t be shocked if he doesn’t put up quite the numbers this week as we’ve seen in the first two.

8. What the Kaep?

Admittedly, I’ve not been on the Colin Kaepernick train. Not last year, when he finished Top 12. Not this pre-season. I avoided drafting him. Maybe it’s those McDonald’s ads he and Joe Flacco did? Come to think of it, I’ve never owned Flacco either. Truthfully, it’s more of a gut, a fantasy eye-test for me. I like his real game, just not his fake game so much. Too inconsistent for me, in a very deep position. And really, on a team that wants to run the ball. I’m anxious to see if he can put up fantasy numbers against a pretty athletic Cardinals D. I have my doubts.

9. Old School Super-Chargers

Antonio Gates has us partying like it’s … well, 2004. A decade ago—over a 4-year span—Gates averaged nearly 1,000 yards receiving and over 10 TDs per year. Pretty good numbers in the pre-Gronk / pre-Graham era. Last year, he came out a-blazin’ as well. In weeks 2-5, he averaged almost 20 fantasy points per game, but fizzled to less than 7 points per games in the final seven games. So what does 2014 bring? I’m holding on to Gates for a few more weeks—perhaps through Week 8 at Denver—then selling high.

10. Hoodie Jonesin’ for a Blowout

So James Jones has been a nice surprise for the Raiders and for fantasy owners to start this year, landing in the Top 10 scoring receivers in PPR leagues. But … in Foxboro? When Belichick can scheme to take away the opponent’s top threat? Wait, is Jones their top threat? Either way, I think fantasy owners are in for a letdown in production this week. After all, being the best receiver on the Raiders is like being the most handsome guy in an empty room. Thank you, @DaveRichard.

Week 3 eats? I’m going wings, wings, wings. BBQ wings. Boneless wings. Come on, do boneless wings really exist? Spicy wings. Hot mustard wings. Oh yeah … and your favorite American beer. My choice this weekend? Yuengling. America’s oldest brewery, established in 1829. Check one out, and let me know.

Enjoy the football, wings and beer—and may your fantasy team’s Sunday games NOT resemble the Buccaneers performance last night—and stay strong, show kindness and NO RAGRETS.

Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.