Tag Archives: LeSean McCoy

Fantasy Football Mid-Season Awards, from Guest Writer Tyler Dalton

Pool-PartyI was tired, packed around a bunch of college students, and worst of all, I needed another beer. The neighborhood I resided in was throwing a pool party just a few days before school started to celebrate another completed summer, even though most of the people there were at the pool every day.

I preferred to think of it as a celebration after my local fantasy draft.

My league is a tight knit group, so it wasn’t shocking that two of my friends were in the corner of the pool shouting at each other. Was it over a girl? Was it over a spilled drink? No, it was about Arian Foster. My friends were living the college version of The League, the show that used to be funny but now serves up only a few cheap laughs. What started as a conversation between a couple of friends quickly sucked in half of our league.

The debate raged on, including topics such as Julio Jones’ ability to bounce back, and how Cam Newton would produce with hardly any weapons. Insults were dropped, glares were given, and plenty of girls “couldn’t even.” What was fun at the time became totally irrelevant once opening night was upon us.

See, no matter how you feel about your team, the countless mock drafts, endless research, bookstore trips to check out every fantasy football magazine you can find, fan forums, and everything in-between are enough to make any normal person feel crazy. Because you just can’t predict fantasy football. Your sleepers will hit the snooze button and your busts will bust out to personal highs.

In honor of that craziness, I present my mid-season awards. We’re going to laugh at our pain, crown our achievements, and maybe we’ll even escape our regrets.

Every year, some no-name players bust out for a couple scores one week,and everyone flocks to the waiver wire, fully knowing there’s a pretty good chance that will be their best performance all season.


This year, that honor goes to Allen Hurns. His 100-yard game and two scores left owners swooning over a potential breakout player in Jacksonville, a place where it just doesn’t happen very often. How quickly Hurns fell into disappointment, not even coming close to his opening weekend numbers for the next seven weeks.

The next player I would like to mention is sort of like a newer Adam Sandler movie; you have no idea why you’re there, you probably panicked, and now you’ll have to live with the regret, probably forever.


Say hello to Doug Martin. Despite his drawbacks, he was still picked high in the 2nd round, at least according to his average draft position. With quite an established medical report, and the mess that was going on in Tampa Bay, I wanted no part of him. Unfortunately, some people had to fall into that trap. Hopefully you owners dug yourselves out in time. Hopefully. “Why do we fall down? To get back up.” I’m pretty sure that was in a Batman movie and also probably some other places, point being … just be Batman.

How about a positive award? How about a mid-to-late round guy who is bringing you a lot of fantasy success?

USA Today
USA Today

You can go many ways here, but how about we highlight Greg Olsen. The former Miami product never seems to get enough love. Which is weird because Cam Newton can’t throw the ball to invisible bodies, and Olsen is actually a pretty talented player. He’s on pace for a career year in every category, and has developed quite the buddy-cop chemistry with Cam. Pretty excited about this duo in Lethal Weapon 5.

I can’t think of a better player for my next award than Tom Brady. I’ll give you a little while to guess what it is. By the way, after seeing Gone Girl and Fury, I have to tell you that I have pretty high expectations for films for the rest of the year. I also like to sneak in Hawaiian rolls with some slices of ham to the movies.

Associated Press
Associated Press

Okay, anyway, the award that I’m giving to Brady is for being that guy who you don’t give up on; you stick it out. Or, the guy you traded for because some other owner gave up on him. Either would suffice here. Now, as far as my knowledge of the American Revolution, it really only comes from my middle school textbook. Along with that Mel Gibson movie and one of those Assassin’s Creed games. Brady’s season went from the Battles of Lexington and Concord to straight stabbing Red Coats with the American flag. He’s dropping bombs like on Bunker Hill. Anyway, if you’re still reading, Brady is on fire now. Every Sunday in Foxboro is like the 4th of July.

My last award goes to the flash-in-the-pan guys. The “I need to score a touchdown” or “I was worthless this week” guys.

New York Post
New York Post

Larry Donnell, Terrance Williams, Kendall Wright, Stepfan Taylor, Eddie Lacy, and well, pretty much whomever is on your team that frustrates you every week. This award is for the people. The people who maybe almost did major damage to a pool table after a bad shot because they saw Donnell goose-egg after his outrageous game the week before. This also goes out to the guy, who is my neighbor, who was drunk one night and said his only problem was drafting LeSean McCoy first overall. Just let it out guys.

Tyler Dalton is a guest contributor at The Scoop. He spends his nights in Tuscaloosa, either writing, or in a bar quoting Arrow. Obviously, he’s living the life. Outside of Alabama losing, his usual stress comes from setting his lineup in a million different fantasy leagues and a fridge with no beer. By the time you’ve read this he’s probably tweeted. You can follow him on Twitter @tylerd91.

A note from Fantasy Football Lead, Jay Marks (@FFHottieAsst): I became aware of Tyler from his days of stellar writing for TopTeamFantasy. Since then, I’ve chosen to remain friends from a distance, due to his blatant Crimson Tide devotion. And the fact that I don’t live in Alabama.

Takeaways from the Trenches –- Week 6 (AND A CONTEST!)


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.
    Associated Press
    Associated Press

    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:
    Associated Press
    Associated Press

    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.

Quick Hits

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.

Associated Press
Associated Press

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.

Associated Press
Associated Press

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.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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.

Twentieth Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox

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.

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

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

Friday’s First and 10 –- Week 6

On Tuesday, we’ll be more than a third of the way through the fantasy football season. And what do we have to show for it?


For starters, we have J.J. Watt with more RECEIVING touchdowns than Keenan Allen, Anquan Boldin, Dwayne Bowe, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Emmanuel Sanders, Percy Harvin and Wes Welker. (Hint: those last eight guys are on the field for the specific purpose of SCORING RECEIVING TOUCHDOWNS.)

And, in standard leagues—yes, I’m bemoaning the struggles of my favorite mancrush … again—LeSean McCoy has been outscored by pedestrian running backs Matt Asiata, Knile Davis, Chris Ivory, Antone Smith, and Bobby Rainey. And even Trent Richardson. Pick it up Shady, or I may have to shift my mancrush allegiances. There are other fish in the sea, ya know.

But for now, Thank God It’s Fantasy Football Friday. On this TGIFFF, I’m looking forward to some things.

  1. Percy’d Again?

Dallas plays in Seattle Sunday, with Tony Romo attempting to NOT wilt under the 12th Man’s Spells and transform into Turnover Tony. But I’m more concerned with Percy Harvin, and his impact on MY fantasy world. I love me some Harvin, but have been Percy’d two out of five weeks already this year (as I outline here: #IGotPercy’d). So, what happens this Sunday? Will I be snake-bitten again by another Percy performance? I predict a big game for Percy; I’m calling for a long TD catch & run, and TD another on a running play. Dear fantasy football gods, I don’t want to be Percy’d again. I’ll be eternally grateful.

  1. Ball Buster

Now that Montee Ball is down for the count for a couple weeks, who will Peyton trust to occupy his office on Sunday? The most popular waiver wire replacement pickup was Ronnie Hillman—and he should, indeed, get the bulk of the early game looks, with C.J. Anderson sprinkled in. Having said that, this game has more of a Peyton to Demaryius and Emmanuel sort of feel to it. After all, the Jets yield the 6th most fantasy points to WRs on the year. But humor me here. I wouldn’t be at all shocked to see short Wes Welker completions take the place of the running game a bit, especially since Jets slot corner Kyle Wilson, who will likely line up across from Welker on most routes, has allowed 10 completions on 12 pass attempts this season.

  1. What Can Brown Do For … You, Versus the Browns?

I referenced earlier in this column, that I’m considering transferring my mancrush allegiances away from one Shady McCoy. Potential suitors include Percy Harvin, Brandon Marshall, Andre Ellington, the youngster Allen Robinson and Antonio Brown. Brown tops all fantasy WR scoring so far this year, and in that Pittsburgh offense, shows no signs of slowing his pace. After all, other than Heath Miller every third week, no other Steeler pass-catcher is showing up on the stat sheet. Big Ben has targeted Antonio 23 more times than any other Steeler WR (Markus Wheaton). Factor in that the Browns pass defense is 28th in the league, and Joe Haden is hobbled? You’ve got yourself a potential Brown-anza, my friends. AB could literally go off for another 200 yard and 2 TD game.

  1. Hurt Locker, ClipboardJesus or The Whiz Kid?

Jake The Hurt Locker Locker is still banged up. If you read my stuff at all, you know I’m a cult Charlie Clipboard Jesus Whitehurst follower. But he and his hair need to remain on the sidelines with said clipboard. So is it Zach The Whiz Kid Mettenberger’s shot this Sunday versus the Jags at home? Yes, I just gave him that nickname; let’s see if it sticks. The Titans are winless since Week 1, so why not give the kid a shot. And wouldn’t Jacksonville, at home, be the right opportunity for him to grow up? Reports have Jake sitting this one out, with Charlie getting the start. If Clipboard Jesus doesn’t work miracles for the Titans, I’d say we’re gonna see The Whiz Kid.

  1. Red Rover, Red Rover … Let Shady Come Over [IE: Ditto]

Shady McCoy’s slow start is well-documented. Through four weeks, McCoy is the 26th ranked (PPR) RB in fantasy. He’s averaged less than 3 YPC on the year. Right tackle Lane Johnson returned this week, to give the Eagles three of their five starting five on the offensive line. I continue to try and pry McCoy away from a couple other owners, with 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. What, you’ve read this before? Cut n paste works here, baby.

  1. Tears for Fears?
CBS Sports
CBS Sports

It’s being reported that Knowshon is nearing (?) a return to the field from a dislocated elbow; perhaps we’ll even be treated to one of his famous tear episodes? As well as his on-the-field know-how and veteran presence on display? Fantasy owners are left hanging, though, as Lamar Miller has performed admirably with Moreno on the shelf, averaging 14.95 fantasy points (standard) over his past two games—after only 8.55 per game in the first two. Will a timeshare be in effect? Will Knowshon revert to his 19.4 from game one? I think if healthy, Knowshon wins back the fantasy points battle.

  1. Cat Fight

The Bengals play the Panthers in the infamous Ferocious Cat Bowl. What, you’ve not heard of this? I read it was a thing. Of course, I wrote it down, then I read it. But still. One thing I’m watching in this matchup? Assuming A.J. Green sits out to rest his ailing Green Toe—see what I did there?—whose fantasy value increases? I picked up Mohamed Sanu in a couple leagues. BUT, I really think the Bengals lean on their run game, especially since Carolina gives up the 7th most fantasy points to opposing RBs. So, I’m looking for a huge game from Giovani Bernard. And to a lesser extent, Jeremy Hill, as well.

  1. Battle of the Pretty Boys?

I asked a female football fan this week what she thought of Jay Cutler and Matt Ryan. You know, from a … not strategic, on the field perspective. She called them both—and I quote—pretty boys. Whatever the case, I find this Bears at Falcons Sunday tilt incredibly enticing, fantasy-wise. Chicago’s defense yields the 8th most points to opposing WRs. And other than the Packers, they’ve not played anyone with WR weapons like Julio and Roddy. Meanwhile, Atlanta’s defense gives up the most points to opposing RBs. Hello there, Matt Forte. I will say I think Martellus Bennett continues a slow slide, not keeping up his early season gaudy fantasy numbers. So, my fake football friends, crank up your Falcons and Bears skill position player options. Forte. Brandon and Alshon. Julio and Roddy. And, of course, the pretty boys Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler. It should be a field day for fireworks and fun.

  1. Where Does It Hurt?

Like you, I’m keeping my watchful eye out for the other injury-riddled guys—and their replacements.

  • Will Megatron play? If not, how does this affect Matthew Stafford (likely down) and Golden Tate (likely up)?
  • The quarterback situation in Arizona remains a bit of a mess. Carson Palmer looks to be out (at least) another week, and Drew Stanton doesn’t look to be ready from his concussion. So, Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd get to run routes for Logan Thomas, he of the 1-for-8 passing and two sacks taken on ten dropbacks in relief last week. It seems we’ve heard this one before for Fitz and company.
  • The Bucs WR corps are banged up. Mike Evans looks good to go, as does Vincent Jackson, this week, though neither are at full strength. They’re going against a Ravens defense giving up only four passing TDs through five weeks. This bodes not so great for Mike Glennon.


I’m doing nachos, fajitas, soft tacos and Coronas Sunday. Why? Because I can’t go more than a couple days without eating Mexican-American / Tex-Mex food. And, hell, we’re into Week 6 now. I’m going through withdrawals.

Besides, a wise man once said that Mexican food and beer help you stay strong, show kindness and have NO RAGRETS. Nope, that wise man was not the Dos Equis Man.

[NOTE: This week’s NFL stats courtesy of ProFootballFocus.com. Standard fantasy stats courtesy of FantasyPros.com.]

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

Friday’s First and 10 – Week 5 – A Crucial Catch Edition

We’ve made it to Week 5, and are officially into October. And we all know what that means, right? #OktoberFantasyFest, of course!

Associated Press
Associated Press

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.

Eric Hartline/US Presswire
Eric Hartline/US Presswire

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.

Paul Sancya/Associated Press
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

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.

Jennifer Stewart/USA TODAY Sports
Jennifer Stewart/USA TODAY Sports

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.

AP Photo/AJ Mast
AP Photo/AJ Mast

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.

Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun
Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun

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.

War Eagles

Another Philadelphia player I’m watching is Jeremy Maclin.

Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

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.

SAD-TOM-BRADYYou 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.

10. Eats

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.

[NOTE: This week’s NFL stats courtesy of ProFootballFocus.com. PPR 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.