Sorry for not being able to share with you the pearls of fantasy wisdom (or idiocy, depending on which pieces of my advice you chose to take) for week 3. I was on my honeymoon so I think I can be excused. But I’m back for week 4, with your fantasy recipes for glory (or disaster, if one of my key predictions fails and you get shafted as a result) and victory (or humiliating defeat, depending on…well, you get it).
Standard disclaimer, you don’t need me to tell you to start Peyton Manning, so that is not what this column is about. It’s about filling your flex spot, 3rd RB or WR, or your quarterback in the event you missed out on the top 6-8 and have to choose between two guys with potentially similar output. Get it? Got it? Good.
If you got ’em, start em:
QB: Jay Cutler – Is it because he’s actually looked pretty good this season so far? Well, that’s part of it, but the Bears also have Detroit this week. The Lions have a pretty solid D line, but a dodgey secondary. I don’t see them doing much on the ground, so that leaves one other option. You could hit a jackpot of 25-30 points here.
RB: Frank Gore – Yeah, there was that little melt down on the sidelines in the second half of the Indianapolis game, but he did average 8 yards or so on his 11 carries. And while the Rams have some talent on defense, utterly incompetent defensive coaching and game planning leave them vulnerable to massive games by opposing backs, whether their good, bad, ugly, or whatever. And Gore is still good. He could go for 180 and 3 tds. More likely is about 125 and one or two scores.
RB: Bilal Powell – You know, either he’s not as crappy as people say, or the Jets offensive line is better than anticipated… or both. Not only is timeshare mate, Chris Ivory, dealing with a hamstring issue, Powell has outperformed him anyway. The Titans are, believe it or not, NOT the world’s best rushing defense, nor are they a threat to break the game open and force the Jets to abandon the run. 15 carries for 75 yards and maybe a score is a good bet. He also chips in a few receptions here and there, so if you’re in a PPR league, consider him.
WR: Lance Moore – As streaky as they come, he’s WAY overdue for a monster game. I’ve said it before, wide receivers are divas, by in large, and tend to pout if they don’t get balls thrown their way. Moore is not without talent, and after a completely anonymous beginning to the year, look for Drew Brees to get him involved.
WR: Pierre Garcon – They’re playing the Raiders. Ok? That should really be enough for you. That said, the silver and black have been a little better than many thought so far, but Garcon can be a challenge for even high end defensive backs, and the Raiders don’t have anyone in that category in my opinion. And eventually, RG3 is gonna break out, right?
TE: Brent Celek – He’s always been a pretty good player, but in the Chip Kelly system his opportunities are multiplying. Plus, Denver might score 60 against the porous Philly D this week and if they want to keep up, they’ll need to throw.
If you’re streaming defenses, and by some miracle Kansas City is still available, they’re going against a Giants team that just got shut out by Carolina. And the Vikings have the Steelers, who haven’t been able to do anything in terms of moving the ball. Need a kicker? If Kai Forbath misses out again for the Skins, his replacement John Potter should be available in about 84012564% of leagues, and kicking for a team that will put up some points.
If you can, sit ’em:
QB: Andy Dalton: That Cleveland defense is tough. And Joe Haden is every bit the man to contain AJ Green. Cincy should win this game, but it will likely be The Law Firm and/or Gio Bernard who get most of the scoring glory. Don’t just cut bait on Dalton though. This is just not a good matchup, and he’ll pay nice dividends for you moving forward, especially when you consider in what round you probably got him.
RB: Daryl Richardson/Isaiah Pead: Whoever starts for the Rams (D Rich has a foot issue), it won’t matter. You want no part of them. The Rams may be able to move the ball a little bit against an Aldon Smith-less 49er defense, but it won’t be on the ground.
WR: Wes Welker. Just kidding. Checking to see if you’re still paying attention.
WR: Julian Edelman: Listen, he’s done a nice job in a role he really isn’t equipped to fill. There’s a good chance that Rob Gronkowski may be back this week, and if he is, Edelman will slip out of the number 1 target for Tom Brady role he inherited, back into a more appropriate complementary role he has excelled in for a while now.
TE: Kyle Rudolph: Remember how he scored like a zillion touchdowns last year? So do the Vikings opponents. They’re watching him now in the red zone, so AP is getting the carries he should be getting anyway, and Ponder has shown some reasonably good scrambling ability recently as well.
Yup, it’s getting tougher. The bye weeks are here and it’s going to be tougher to pick your guys. I hope the above advice is helpful to you, and if you think I screwed the pooch on any of them, feel free to leave your opinion in the comments.