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Friday’s First and 10 – Week 9

Week 9 of the NFL season comes on the heels of All Hallow’s Eve. Baby Andy Reid CostumeFor those who have lived under a rock or have not discussed with their pagan friends, All Hallow’s Eve is, naturally, what we now know as Halloween. And what’s more Halloween-y than picking between tricks or treats? This week’s fantasy football week will provide a bit of both. So in the spirit of TGIFFF (Thank God It’s Fantasy Football Friday) and #Halloween, don your best football-inspired costume and get ready for the weekend.


  1. RGIII: TREAT

The Washington versus Minnesota game poses many questions with regard to one Robert Griffin III. How can he perform in his first game back, under duress from a surprisingly solid Vikings D (against QBs)? Will he have his trademark contribution to the Washington running game? rgiii subwayHow many Subway commercials will we have to/get to see him and his lovely dreads? Perhaps the greatest recipient of his return would be his boy Pierre Garcon. RGIII loves him some Frenchy. In the past five games, Garcon has averaged less than five targets per game from Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy. In the previous 15 games with RGIII at the helm, he targeted Pierre a whopping 10.3 times per game. So … fantasy owners, get PG into your lineups, especially in PPR leagues.

  1. Which Vick Will You Get?: TRICK

So any guesses which Vick will come to the ole ballpark Sunday? The crazy, whoop—whoop—whoop, scrambling style of old? Or the stumbling, fumbling, bumbling, negative fantasy points version, affectionately known as 2014 Mike Vick. In a week full of bye hell—when QBs like Rodgers, Stafford, Cutler and even Ryan and Orton are all riding your fantasy pines … AND Romo is iffy—many are looking for replacements this week. Yours truly is in this bind. I went out and was forced to pick up Vick in a league where Ryan is sitting and Romo is hurting. I’m praying to the #FantasyFootball god—in this case, that fantasy god unfortunately looks like Rex Ryan —that the Vick of old gets me points with his legs and doesn’t gift-wrap more than four fumbles for Andy Reid’s boys. I’m asking a lot; in fact, I’m sorta spooked to do it. Anyone else feeling risky?

  1. Rams RBs: TRICK

Week 8 saw the snap count for Ram’s RBs as follows: Tre Mason (19), Benny Cunningham (18), Zac Stacy (15). The Jeff Fisher School of Belichick Trickery left us hanging. Only one week after the Tre Mason Show launched, when Mason had an 18/85/1 statline versus the Seahawks, the Rams went back to a true, equal three-headed monster. Or, more appropriately said, a three-headed lamb, as none of the three eclipsed 35 total yards last week. So, the trick here will be to know which of the backs takes the lead role. Bonus trick? Is anyone daring enough to start any of them versus the Niners Sunday? Friends don’t let friends start Rams RBs against San Francisco.

  1. Giants and Colts: TREAT
USA Today
USA Today

There’s a young Amish man residing in Indianapolis these days. He’s on top of the (fantasy football) world. [To date, Andrew Luck ranks as the top scoring player in all of fantasy.]

Reuters
Reuters

There’s a bewildered-looking, big-city boy relentlessly striving for respect … not just in fantasy football, but in his own family. [To date, Eli Manning is the 16th-rated fantasy QB.] Having said that, this game could be a fantasy treat. The Colts defense just gave up 639 yards and 51 points last week to the Steelers. That’s scary! And their top corner, Vontae Davis, is almost assuredly at less than 100%, potentially opening up the secondary for some bigger hits in the passing game. So, Eli and Luck—it’s a given Amish Andrew will find Hilton and his teammates with relative ease—should be happily passing out Halloween prizes for each of their fantasy recipients. This game should be a treat, so get your Colts and Giants into your lineups.

  1. Brady versus Manning: TREAT

Not only are these two legitimate household names—beyond the world of sports—each are legendary winners and leaders on the field. Both guys rank in the Top 10 (real football) in passing yards, completions, TD passes and QB rating. With regards to fantasy, over the past four weeks, they are the top two fantasy QBs in football, averaging 27.1 (Brady) and 26.1 (Manning) points per game. There’s not much terrifying about playing these two, even with potentially inclement weather in Foxboro Sunday afternoon. It’s pretty safe to say we should see a fantasy treat in this one.

  1. Tony Romo: TRICK or TREAT?

Will Tony Romo treat America’s team with his presence? Or will he trick us and pull a ghost-routine, by not showing up. Literally. A skeletal look at Romo’s surgically-repaired yet re-injured back may be the most talked about national health crisis since Obamacare. If Romo doesn’t go, the ‘Boys will be led by no-longer-whippersnapper, Brandon Weeden. Talk about scary. Reminder: Weeden was let go by the Browns. Need I say more? To be fair, BWubs—yes, I just gave a slow, over the hill, redheaded backup QB a trendy nickname … because, as we all know, everything’s bigger in Texas!—looked serviceable in his 12 plays on Monday Night. Yet, if the Cowboys hopes are in the hands of said BWubs, I’m not starting any Dallas players not named DeMarco or Dez. Are you brave enough to do so?


Eats

In case I’ve not made it clear, today is Halloween, or Stuff Your Face With Everything Chocolate Day. And here in the United States, we don’t do anything half-assed, of course. So that means there should be enough sugar-coated treats floating around every household in America to feed … Honey Boo Boo. So, splurge on those super-sized leftover candy bars, assuring yourself to a sugar-induced stupor that should last you until our eating binge holiday … Thanksgiving.

Being high on sugar or chocolate is no excuse to not stay strong, show kindness and have NO RAGRETS.

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


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

Tuesday’s Takeaways from the Trenches –- Week 2

I hope you had a six-pack handy while watching relevant names like Jamaal Charles, AJ Green, Knowshon Moreno, DeSean Jackson and RGIII all going down with (what look to be) significant injuries.

cry-babyIf you don’t drink, Sunday may have been a good day to start. Or at least grab your baby blankie, curl up in the corner and suck your thumb.

I don’t recall seeing such consistently low fantasy scores—across the board—in a very long time. In one of my competitive money leagues, the total points scored by BOTH TEAMS was 150. Three teams eclipsed that mark in Week 1. Yes, individually.

Stats That Make You Go Hmmmm – The following head-scratchers are based on PPR scoring.

  • QB: Geno Smith, Derek Carr and Kirk Cousins all finished with more fantasy points than Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan. Yeah, next beverage on me if you saw that coming.
  • RB: Silas Redd, third on the Redskins depth chart, finished with more fantasy points than Matt Forte or Eddie Lacy (as well as the injured guys – Charles, Knowshon and Ryan Mathews).
  • RB Part Deux: Three of the top five fantasy RBs this week were not in the Top 30 RBs picked in fantasy drafts this year: Darren Sproles, Knile Davis and Ahmad Bradshaw.
  • WR: Sammy Watkins (25.70) had as many fantasy points as Percy Harvin (10), Cordarrelle Patterson (9.60) and Kendall Wright (6.10) combined.
  • WR Part Deux: Parity. Good stuff from Jon Kelly.

  • TE: Of the Top 5 scoring TEs this week (Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham, Delanie Walker, Niles Paul, Owen Daniels), only Graham finished in the Top 13 TEs drafted this year.

Quick Hits

  1. What’s In a Name? A guy named Orleans Darkwa, fourth string on Miami’s RB chart, finished ahead of Reggie Bush, Shane Vereen, Shonn Greene, Toby Gerhart and Chris Johnson in PPR leagues. I did draft him in my ‘Florida-Teams-Only Backup RB’ league. Unfortunately, I had him sitting on my bench behind Jordan Todman and Jorvorskie Lane.
  2. Back To the Future: Big production from Antonio Gates, Darren Sproles, Ahmad Bradshaw and James Jones. What year is this anyway .. 2012? During that season, each of these seasoned vets finished Top 20 in fantasy scoring at their positions
  3. Not So Instant Replay: Did I miss something? I thought the NFL implemented instant replay on all scoring plays? How was Percy Harvin’s 51-yard touchdown run against the Chargers NOT overturned? See for yourself here. Fortunately for the NFL, this blown call didn’t affect the outcome of a Chargers victory. The same cannot be said for me losing to @FFRittle in a money league; I lost by 4 points. That play alone gave him 11 points. I’ve officially submitted a grievance to the NFL, my league commissioner and to my local Congressman. And worst of all, now I have to wear one of Rittle’s infamous neckties this coming Sunday.
  4. You’re My Favorite Mom: James Jones may well be the best receiver in Oakland. Really. He put up a 9/112/1 line and 24 fantasy points against the Texans Sunday. I think one of my favorite lines of the weekend, though, goes to @ErinSharoni on the CBSSports.com Fantasy Football Today Podcast, when she said that being the best WR in Oakland is like “telling your mother, ‘You’re my favorite mom.’” Love. It.
  5. Someone Forgot the Crazy Glue in Oakland: Speaking of James Jones, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one player fumble twice on one play. Just Raiders being Raiders, I suppose.
  6. Good Lordy, It’s Jordy: Quick! Who tops the fantasy points leader board after two weeks? Wait for it … wait for it. In full PPR scoring leagues, one Jordy Nelson has 53.20 points on 18 catches, 292 yards and a touch. To quote Puddy, Elaine’s boyfriend on Seinfeld (but when he’s not playing some ancient animated warrior in Mr. Peabody & Sherman), “I did NOT see that coming!
  7. I’ve Fallen And Can’t Get Up: After Week 2, the NFL announced that each team could add another roster spot … not for players, but for medical staffers. Personally, I have Charles, Knowshon, Cameron and AJ Green. On the same team. You’ll never believe who didn’t win his matchup this week! I’m thinking one could field a pretty darn good fantasy team—on paper—of guys who are hurt/out/injured/suspended. RGIII or Carson Palmer at QB. Charles, Knowshon, Mathews and Mark Ingram as backs. AJ Green, DeSean, and Alshon at receiver. And the Jordans (Cameron and Reed) at tight end. It’s only Week 2. Just keepin’ in real.

Shhhh … Let’s Keep It Our Little Secret – I can admit it. I was wrong.

  • Yes, I said Tony Romo and Tom Brady would show up and put up numbers. Um, well, you see, it’s like this. I was right about the Cowboys and Patriots showing up. That counts for something, right?
  • I sat Brandon Marshall. I’ll give myself a partial mulligan here; who knew about the severity of that ankle injury? Dude came to PLAY. I can assure you I won’t be Forgetting Brandon Marshall now.
  • Stevan, Stevan, Stevan. When Ridley comes to play, doesn’t fumble, gets the carries, runs hard, doesn’t fumble, Hoodie calls his number, breaks tackles, doesn’t fumble and scores touchdowns … … he’s pretty good. Oh, did I mention he needs to not fumble?

My Arm CAN Reach Around To Pat Myself On The Back – I’m also not very humble. I’m the MAN!

  • I picked Delanie Walker to have a big game. A 10/142/1 line isn’t bad, especially when the rest of the entire Titans roster stunk up the joint.
  • I told everyone that listened—all 7 of you, thank you for listening—to pick up Bobby Rainey. Did my crystal ball tell me that Dougie Fresh Martin would not even suit up? Hey, I’m no David Blaine.
  • When Dez Bryant puts his pacifier away, he’s a beast. I said he’d come back strong and, well, even when it’s the Titans D, this is a pretty good line: 10/103/1.

So, remember. Lick your wounds, dust yourself off and don’t look in the rearview. Unless you won. Then gloat as loud as you can. Until this time next week, when we do it all over again.

Meantime … stay strong, show kindness and NO RAGRETS.


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