24 Hours 'Til Sunday — Andy Richardson
Posted Nov. 10 at 05:22 AM
It's that time of year again -- which is to say, whenever I get around to it -- that I provide a brief overview of how my teams are doing. If you're reading this for advice or insight, it would be nice to know all of my teams aren't godawful and so forth. Fortunately most of them are doing well, and let's be honest, I wouldn't mention them at all if they weren't.
My six teams where I set the lineups and make moves each week are 7-2, 6-3, 6-3, 5-4, 5-4, and 2-7. The winners have a lot of players in common: Matt Ryan, Alfred Morris, Victor Cruz, Julio Jones, Eric Decker, Jason Witten. Our wide receiver picks did well this year, Morris has also panned out (though he doesn't score enough lately). The loser, I admit, I was worried about after the draft. My top three picks were Calvin Johnson, Steven Jackson, and Jordy Nelson. Traded Nelson before he broke out. Megatron and Jackson don't score. Aaron Hernandez got hurt. And I lost games by 1, 3, 4 and 5 points in the first six weeks. Poor draft, to be sure, but an unlucky team too.
My team in the Index Auction league we purchased back in May is poor. A quick glance at the running back corps -- Steven Jackson, Beanie Wells, Jonathan Stewart, Evan Royster -- makes that clear. The rest of the roster is fine, but you can't win with running backs that don't score, especially in non-PPR.
Gotta mention that 7-2 team, where picking 12th, I had a near-perfect draft. Here it is: DeMarco Murray, Julio Jones, Victor Cruz, Doug Martin, Eric Decker, Matt Ryan, Jason Witten, Alfred Morris. Murray has been a bust, but Morris saved me. Very little decision-making required with that team each week.
My evolving philosophy based on these teams is that 1, it's important to have an elite quarterback. The guys that put up monster numbers are just too much of an advantage. You don't have to use a first-round pick on one. But you do need to hit on someone like Matt Ryan or maybe even Andrew Luck if you don't. If you drafted Romo or Vick as your starter, you're not getting the consistency you need to win. And 2, use early picks on running backs instead of wide receivers. There is too much depth at wide receiver to use your early picks on the likes of Megatron and Nelson. Get Decker later and you'll be fine. Although granted, Cruz and Julio have worked out fine.
Anyway, that's the rundown. My season is going fairly well. Hope yours is too. On to the games.
Falcons at Saints: Saints might win this game, which I thought even before Roddy White's quote this week about the Falcons having the pedigree to go undefeated. Unbeaten teams usually say stuff like that right before they lose. Both offenses should be very good here. I don't like running back committees so won't recommend a Saints runner, but the matchup is fine.
Bills at Patriots: Stevie Johnson isn't healthy and doesn't have a great recent history. For the most part, Buffalo's offense should be OK, in defeat. New England should run at will and pass well too. I'm starting Aaron Hernandez but will be monitoring those early inactives just in case. I am also using Shane Vereen in a league where McFadden is hurt and Morris is on his bye. Buffalo's run defense is that bad and Vereen should get 1/3 of the work. Good desperation choice I think.
Broncos at Panthers: How quaint all the criticism (mine included) of John Elway kicking fan favorite Tim Tebow to the curb for Peyton Manning seems right now. Tough to admit that Elway was smarter than me about anything, but there it is. Denver's offense should roll onward. For Carolina, I like Newton, Smith and Olsen, in defeat.
Lions at Vikings: Kyle Rudolph and Christian Ponder went from sneaky sleepers to unrosterable pretty quickly, didn't they? Yikes. Percy Harvin probably won't play and definitely can't be used. Adrian Peterson, that's it. For the Lions, they should be fine. This should finally be the week Megatron scores again. Adrian Peterson will be fine even as the focal point of the defense, can't bench him.
Giants at Bengals: The Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks stuff is the same as ever. They're banged-up, they're limited or missing practices, they'll probably play. Good matchup for both offenses. Not worried about Manning and Cruz, although they have cost me a couple of narrow losses lately. Should bounce back here.
Raiders at Ravens: I still like Marcel Reece better. Taiwan Jones will start and be the main runner, it appears, but I think he'll need a breakaway to have a good game...he's not gonna be a 20-carry, 100-yard back. I'm starting Reece in a PPR league. Baltimore's offense should be good.
Chargers at Bucs: Both offenses should be pretty good here. Worse matchup for the running backs, but obviously you can't bench Martin and I'd use Mathews here too. Picked up Danario Alexander in dynasty but wouldn't actually use him this week, with Robert Meachem likely to stumble around as the starter for another week or two.
Titans at Dolphins: Jake Locker returns, and it's a good matchup. Wouldn't use him, but I guess there's some appeal. Will be difficult for Tennessee to run (though I would not bench non-dancing CJ). Tennessee's defense is real bad and I'd use Bush, but would not want to chance Daniel Thomas (although I started Vick Ballard and am using Marcel Reece, so clearly I do take chances at the position sometimes). It's a week to use Brian Hartline, I think.
Jets at Seahawks: This should be the death-knell for New York's season and maybe the Sanchez era. Hate to say it, but New York won't run the ball, and Sanchez will struggle needing to do it all. I like Dustin Keller here and think I'm using Kerley somewhere, but it's mostly because they should account for virtually all of the team's production. Love Marshawn Lynch this week, I'm thinking about replacing Peterson in my SuperLeague lineup for him.
Cowboys at Eagles: I suspect Tony Romo and Michael Vick are big parts of losing fantasy teams everywhere, as they are on their own teams. Not like they're the only problem, of course. As noted in the Weekly, these games haven't tended to be shootouts, and neither offense is playing well. I want no part of a Dallas running back, even after the Saints ran all over the Eagles, and am lukewarm on Eagles receivers, too. Dallas receivers, I'm benching Dez Bryant. Can't trust him.
Rams at 49ers: I am using Danny Amendola in the league where I can't use Harvin. Risky, but it all sounds good for him playing and catching a bunch of short passes. Scoring, probably not as likely. St. Louis' offense in general should do little or nothing in this game. For San Francisco, Michael Crabtree has a really nice history in the series.
Texans at Bears: Obviously both defenses look pretty good. Don't know anybody with the roster options to seriously bench Foster or Forte, nor should they, but the matchup is poor. Not crazy about Marshall or Andre, but again, they're elite players and both teams are softer against the pass than the run, so.... Last week I complained a bunch about all the Denver, New Orleans, and Dallas games in primetime. Here's a legitimate awesome matchup between two playoff teams and Super Bowl contenders who don't face each other often and don't play in primetime as much. Schedule-makers got it right, watch this game and enjoy it. Oh, Owen Daniels is iffy, but I'm not sure if James Casey will be a full-time replacement, and he doesn't have TE eligibility in my leagues anyway. I guess if you're desperate at running back you can consider him if Daniels is ruled out, perhaps he catches 4-5 passes.
Kansas City at Steelers: The schedule-makers counter the great Sunday matchup with this thing. Ugh. Teams played a 13-9 game just last season, hey, let's put them on Monday night. Steelers should roll. Redman is the only Steelers running back I would use, though I think Dwyer is better. No Antonio Brown, so Emmanuel Sanders should be good. Forgot to mention in the Weekly that Steelers playcaller Todd Haley might have some animosity to work out, so maybe a few more deep throws to Mike Wallace this week.
Enjoy the games.
Posted by Roy Sherman | Nov. 10 at 06:18 AM
Andy, I've spent most of this week trying to figure out how to free up cap room to upgrade my backup QB while Rodgers in on a bye, that I didn't think about the match-up of Forte against the Texans defense. Most weeks, starting Lynch and Forte would be a no-brainer, but I have Leshoure as my backup that could possibly fill in for Forte this week. What do you think?
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Nov. 10 at 06:25 AM
I think it would be OK. If it's a PPR league, we have Forte slightly higher. But I like Leshoure this week. Tough matchup for Forte and Leshoure definitely is more likely to score.
Posted by Roy Sherman | Nov. 10 at 07:02 AM
Thanks Andy. Our league is .5 PPR, and the custom scoring profile has them tied at #10 on the list.
Posted by Scott Anderson | Nov. 10 at 09:08 AM
Andy, your teams sound like mine - 7-2, 6-3, 5-4, 4-5. Ridley, Morris, Cruz & Decker everywhere. One league (very deep) where I've got McFadden & Morris I am starting S. Jax AND Richardson - no choice (Though I also have Hillis, Turbin, Battle.). My questions are: 1. Reece, Dwyer or Maclin (non-PPR; Maclin is KILLING me.), 2. Rudolph or Pitta (I know). Thanks as always.
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Nov. 10 at 09:27 AM
Scott, I like Reece. He is pretty much guaranteed to have a timeshare role, with passing downs and goal line chances, and Dwyer doesnt have a defined role. Avoiding Eagles receivers right now makes sense. At TE, I think Rudolph has taken 3 zeroes in the last six weeks. Cant be used. Pitta or somebody off waivers has to be better.
Posted by L.B. Graham | Nov. 10 at 09:53 AM
Andy, with Harvin out, I need to play two of the following in my WR2 & Flex positions: Nicks, Titus Young and Bradshaw. Which two would you play? (Not a PPR league.)
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Nov. 10 at 10:25 AM
I would be using both Giants in what looks like a really good matchup. I like Nicks first, presuming he is active of course. Bradshaw and Young are close for me. Maybe one guy will be inactive, making your decision easy.
Posted by George Taylor | Nov. 10 at 12:23 PM
Andy having been a fanatic subscriber for many years I have to ask why has the Index weekly write-ups turned into nothing more than a compiling of statistics and the obvious injuries and misses on the insider stuff we used to get? Example, I get home from work just at kickoff of Thursday and find out early in the game the Jennings is missing his lead blocker FB Greg Jones(a big reason for MJD's success)and upon further research discover he has missed the last 2 games(not saying Jennings is MJD, but having Jones would make a big difference). This is the kind of stuff that has been missing from the Index(and by Index I mean paid content), not sure if this should be addressed by you or Ian. No real line-up questions this week already got toasted using Luck and Jennings based on rankings.
Posted by Brett Watts | Nov. 10 at 01:00 PM
What do you expect from Beanie Wells down the stretch? He comes back week 12 as we all know. He is on waivers right now in a league and I know my savvy league mates are getting ready to pick him up. Is it worth dropping Dwyer right now to grab him for more starter options going forward? I have CJ2K, McGahee, LeShoure, and Joique Bell as well. Arizona's schedule looks tough and that O-line still looks shaky. It sounds like Mendehall will be the lead back "when healthy". When is that?
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Nov. 10 at 01:39 PM
George, the only thing different in the Weekly this year from last year is that we're publishing on Wednesday rather than Thursday, because of the season-long Thursday night games. We watch all the games, gather the same information, and produce it the same way as ever, obviously (we hope) better than ever. In the case of Jones/Jennings, I'm not sure Jones is much of a difference-maker. Jennings was at 3.8 yards per carry against Detroit (no Jones), 3.5 yards per carry against Green Bay (Jones there for some of game), 2.1 yards against Oakland (Jones all game). He only played a third of the offensive snaps against Oakland, despite being healthy. In that game Jennings had just 44 rushing yards but 58 yards receiving; it's that full-time workload that makes him a viable fantasy starter, we've noted he hasn't been as effective a runner this season. Biggest issue against the Colts, I think, was not Jones' absence but his lack of use; just 11 carries. They fell way behind, but we figured he'd be involved as a receiver; instead, just one pass thrown his way. As for Luck, he had a pretty good fantasy day with the 2 rushing touchdowns...20-plus points in my leagues. Still, sorry Jennings didn't work out. Him getting just 11 touches, to me, was the big problem there.
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Nov. 10 at 01:45 PM
Brett, Wells will reportedly be the unquestioned starter in Week 12. Dwyer seems -- seems -- to be behind Redman, and Mendenhall "when healthy." Nobody knows when Mendenhall will be back; team isn't saying. Could be Week 11, but.... Wells will be playing behind a poor line in a bad rushing offense, but I'd be more apt to start him than Dwyer who could be behind 1 or 2 players. I'm not a big Wells fan but two weeks from now he'll be starting, Dwyer might be in a three-man committee. If it were me, though, I'd drop Bell for Wells instead. Bell won't move past Leshoure, whereas Dwyer *might* move past Redman, and we have no idea when Mendenhall will return; I mean, Achilles, not exactly a sprained ankle.
Posted by PETER DEBIASE | Nov. 10 at 08:28 PM
Andy: A couple of lineup questions this week. Team 1: Redman or Denarius at Flex (non ppr)? Team 2: Starting North-South CJ & Lynch @ RB, Decker & Denarius @ WR and Ridley @ Flex. Dez is my only other option @ WR or Flex. I don't think he was 100 % healthy last week so he acted mainly as a decoy. He's not on the injured list this week and Philly is the most overrated defense in the NFL, so I'm debating. What do you think? Thanks much.
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Nov. 11 at 04:34 AM
Peter, I like Redman over Moore on Team 1. Team 2, I consider Moore and Bryant similar. Baltimore has allowed only 6 TD passes this season, so I could make a case for Bryant. I am benching Bryant in a league (for Julio, Wallace, and Reece in the flex). Considering him over Reece but will probably leave him on the bench. Don't feel like I can trust him.
Posted by Clayton Barnett | Nov. 11 at 06:20 AM
You haven't steered me wrong yet this season, but now is the time I must produce! While a win would be nice the key for me is to put up points as I have the lead for the playoff spot decided on power rankings... PPR league, need 2 RB 2 WR and a FLEX QB: Drew Brees RB: Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, Fred Jackson, Daniel Thomas WR: Roddy White, Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Danny Amendola TE: Tony G My thoughts? I am driving myself crazy. The tag team of Bush & Thomas is viable but lame. Fred Jackson has caught 5 or more passes past three games, and always has a chance to score. I see PT Cruiser having a better game due to the shootout, and the same goes for Lance Moore. I'd love to start Danny Amendola, but vs the 9ers and first game back, sounds too risky. Please help.
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Nov. 11 at 07:22 AM
Definitely Bush. The Titans are really bad. I know he and Thomas are kind of splitting work there but I'd personally use Bush and sit Thomas. For the second running back spot I'd be looking at FJax or Thomas, and if it were me I'd probably take my chances with Thomas. Both games should be pretty high-scoring, but the NO offense seems like a better investment. At WR I would use White and Colston for sure. Given the likely gameflow, I think you can use Moore, too. I am starting Amendola myself in a PPR league (over Harvin), but I'd be using Moore instead if I had that choice. Good luck.
Posted by Adam Bjork | Nov. 11 at 08:09 AM
Andy, Did you catch Marshall Faulk's take on Ronnie Hillman this morning? The index's position on Hillman has been that he won't make a splash until next season. If you look at Denver's week 14-16 schedule they have Oakland, Baltimore and Cleveland. He is available in two of my leagues, would you consider him for a roster spot? Would drop Romo, Freeman or Kendall Hunter in a league I have Matt Ryan.
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Nov. 11 at 08:56 AM
well you don't need 3 quarterbacks. Hillman is worth a flyer but I don't know that Denver is going to suddenly run a lot more those games. I would not drop hunter for him.
Posted by Adam Bjork | Nov. 11 at 09:38 AM
Romo is week 16 vs NO and Freeman is week 15 vs NO. which one do you drop?
Posted by PETER DEBIASE | Nov. 11 at 09:51 AM
Glazer reporting that McCoy was in bad shape all week and was IVd all week and will be IVd before today's game and his PT will be monitored.
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