BOSTON (CBS) – Each week 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Nick Cattles will bring you 10 things he noticed from the week in Fantasy Football, and how it will all help your team.
Not in any order of priority.
10) Roethlisberger Moving Forward – Yes, Big Ben has been known to play injured plenty of times before. He’s shown an innate ability to overcome physical adversity to lead his team to victories. However, this is fantasy and we’re not talking about wins, we’re talking about statistics. Proceed with caution with Roethlisberger, pay attention to all of his practice reports this week and stay away from him if you have a suitable backup. It’s playoff time, you don’t want a QB who’s at 50% determining your fate.
9) Rice Keeps Ticking – All the preseason talk about AP, Chris Johnson and Arian Foster managed to overshadow one of the best backs in the league before draft time. Well, Ray Rice has answered the bell and proved to owners he’s top-5 worthy in any league. Rice continues to march on, finishing with just shy of 150 total yards and a touchdown this past week against the sorry Colts defense. Rice is a beast and should be drafted next year within the top 3-5 picks.
8) Carolina Falling In Love With Newton – It’s tough…You pick a guy #1 in the draft and you bring in a new coaching system and you feel like you have to change things around. One of those changes in Carolina this season is the lack of rushing the ball with their two-headed monster in the backfield, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Yes, Cam Newton is an all-around special talent, but this past week against Atlanta, Williams and Stewart combined for 15 carries. This has really hurt Williams’ consistency, while Stewart’s been able to survive. Next year will be interesting with Williams on a big contract and Stewart set for Free Agency.
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7) Owen Daniels Might Be Worth It – Congratulations to Houston and to TJ Yates. It’s truly unreal that they’ve been able to win games with so many injuries. It’s not time to jump on the Yates bandwagon for fantasy purposes, but it might be time to consider rolling out Owen Daniels. With Andre Johnson incapable of staying healthy, the benefactor could be Daniels on checkdowns. This past week, he had 10 targets, for seven catches and 100 yards.
6) For Toby, It’s All About the Matchups – Toby Gerhart has given you decent points as a RB #2 if you’ve decided to play him recently. And, as long as AP’s out, he could give you some good point production off your bench. However, be careful…Gerhart has taken advantage of some favorable matchups so far and you shouldn’t be excited to play him versus tougher opposition.
5) The Most Underrated Top Fantasy Player – Even this writer has been guilty of underestimating this guy…Two years ago I didn’t believe that Maurice Jones-Drew would amount to much, not worth a first round pick. Well, that was obviously wrong. Mediocre offense, rookie quarterback be damned, MJD has been incredibly impressive this season. Last week was truly the cherry on top, as Jones-Drew finished with over 130 yards and FOUR touchdowns. Next year, slot him with Rice in the top five.
4) Down Went Charles and the Running Game Followed – Some teams are able to effectively run the football even after their “horse” goes down with an injury. One of those teams is not Kansas City. Yes, Matt Cassel got injured and Tyler Palko’s not going to help take pressure off that running game. But, even when Cassel was in, the Battle-Jones-McCluster trio just wasn’t good enough. Going to be interesting what Kansas City does next season with the returning Charles and a new Head Coach.
3) “What Did I Do Wrong?” – That’s the question that Pierre Thomas must be asking the New Orleans coaches. Thomas was playing pretty damn good throughout the first 8-10 games. He was receiving out of the backfield and also running the ball effectively. But, Chris Ivory came off the PUP list and when Mark Ingram sits, it’s now Ivory. You have to wonder if Thomas is going to be one of those guys who’s talented and will look to move on where there’s more opportunity.
2) Stay Away From New England’s Running Backs – You’re in the playoffs now if you’re reading this…Or, you are a fantasy fanatic who can’t get enough of this blog. If it’s the first, congratulations. If it’s the second, well, thank you and you probably need help! Anyway, to the point, if you’re in the playoffs you have to play guys that are going to get touches. Unfortunately if you own Benjarvus Green-Ellis, he’s not a guy you can trust at this point. Five carries is just not going to get it done, obviously. Stay away from this entire backfield, even if you’re reaching. There’s no way of telling who will get touches on any given Sunday.
1) Another Week, Another RB Injury – Just when you thought it couldn’t happen again, it does. This time it took until Sunday night, but nevertheless, it happened. DeMarco Murray, fractured ankle, is officially done for the season. It might be foolhardy of this writer, but Felix Jones is an option going forward in your playoffs. Dallas has Tampa Bay and Philadelphia the next two weeks, good matchups for Jones.