YOUR NFL FANTASY FOOTBALL CONSULTANT: WEEK 4, 2013
Last week my recommended signing for you, Detroit running back Joique Bell, had a huge game, totalling 132 yards and scoring two key touchdowns in the Lions 27-20 victory over the discombobulated Redskins. Detroit starting RB Reggie Bush guarantees that he’ll play this week, making Bell a less tempting fantasy choice though I’m inclined to think that Joique will continue to receive ample touches throughout the season. The big story in the NFL right now is the backwards futility of Super Bowl contending teams San Francisco (1-2), Atlanta (1-2), Green Bay (0-3), Washington (0-3), or the New York Giants (0-3). In Fantasy football it’s more of the same with quarterbacks Vick, Rodgers and Peyton Manning ruling the roost. The stock of tight ends continues to rise as Jimmy Graham and Cleveland’s Jordan Cameron have outscored any wide receivers.
START: Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia. By this point it should be clear to you that all Eagles offensive starters are going to rack up some serious fantasy numbers. Philly have not fixed their defense, and Chip Kelly’s frenetic pace of play on offense means that Vick, McCoy and receiver DeSean Jackson are all in the league’s top-25 for Fantasy scoring. Stock up on Eagles before their value rises even more.
ADD: Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals. After a stunning performance in last week’s monumental victory over Green Bay, this Bengals 2013 second round pick –the top running back drafted last year, appears poised to steal the starting role from BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Bernard’s touches have grown from 5 in Week 1 and 9 in Week 2 to a total of 14 last week. He has a touchdown in each of the last two games. Green-Ellis only had 10 touches against Green Bay. Expect Green-Ellis to be phased out throughout the course of the season.
ADD: Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Atlanta Falcons. Amassing over 750 yards last year in a secondary role, including 402 yards receiving and 53 catches, Rodgers is a true scat-back. Along with Jason Snelling, he has now stepped in to fill the injured Steven Jackson’s role at running back in Atlanta: last week Rodgers had 20 touches for 93 yards, though he was unable to find the end zone. His eighteen carries were a career high. This is an exciting player who will see his workload continue to increase as Atlanta’s downfield passing attack increases in effectiveness. Keep a close eye on Jackson’s recovery.
DROP: San Francisco Defense: Cornerback Tarell Brown, who mistakenly voided out two thirds of his 3-million dollar contract by missing “voluntary” offseason activities in July, drew 3 of the team’s 6 defensive penalties in last week’s loss to the Colts. San Fran’s best pass rusher Aldon Smith, after playing in the loss, has been sentenced to a month of rehab for repeated DUI violations. Their best player, Patrick Willis, hurt his groin and will miss tomorrow night’s game against the Rams. Formerly number one, this defense is officially in shambles.
DROP: Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Off to an 0-3 start in a season of high expectations, the struggling Bucs have opted to bench Freeman in Week 4 in favour of 73rd overall draft pick Mike Glennon. Stripped of his captaincy in preseason, racked by inconsistency and looking, frankly, like a panicked rookie in the pocket, Freeman’s days in the NFL are clearly numbered. If you made the mistake of drafting him in any of your fantasy leagues -like i did, it’s time to unload him now at any cost.
DROP: Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders. When the Oakland Raiders called an unprecedented two halfback passes against Denver on Monday night it wasn’t so much a reflection on the mediocre Raider passing attack (Terrelle Pryor was 19 for 28, after all) as much as a commentary on their complete inability to run the ball. Racking up a grand total of just 9 yards on a dozen carries, McFadden’s only real Fantasy strength is the lack of a real backup in Oakland. Nevertheless, expect Rashad Jennings, whose 4.3 career average is as good as McFadden’s, to see more carries throughout 2013.
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