It was an interesting week of football to say the least. We saw Odell Beckham Jr. be the player that every owner thought they were getting. We saw Drew Brees break the record for the most 400 yard passing games by one player (the previous record was 14 that was held by Peyton Manning). But we expect the stars to shine. What about the little guys who may be trending up. Are they just legit or are they on a streak? Let’s take a look.
Marcus Mariota: After getting off to a slow start to begin the season, Mariota has become a fantasy star the last two outings. He has combined for 57 standard league points in the last two outings. With that said I am not really buying into him for a few reasons. He still plays on a run first offense led by Demarco Murray. Besides Murray and Delanie Walker, he does not have top tier weapons. He still has mental lapses when he plays. And lastly, his last two games came against two of the worst pass defenses in the league. He can be a matchup play from time to time, but not a QB1 right now.
Lamar Miller: Miller is in an interesting situation. He has all the talent in the world. You saw that on display last night when he racked up 149 rushing yards and 29 receiving yards and two touchdowns combined. That is why owners drafted him as a fringe first round pick (I drafted him 8th overall in front of Adrian Peterson; dodged a bullet there). But he has been relatively disappointing. But you have to stick with him, even with a pretty bad run blocking offensive line. There’s been only one game when he had less than 20 total touches. The volume is there, and he will be a low end RB1 with a high ceiling for rest of the season.
Jay Ajayi: Ajayi was a player that was played only if your team was filled with bye week players and had no other option. Well he came away with 205 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. Go figure. But I don’t trust him yet. That backfield is still a mess on a very bad team. And if he does become the lead running back, the dolphins will be losing more times than not. So they will be throwing the ball way more than running the ball most times. Ajayi is nothing more than a low end flex.
Golden Tate: Biggest bust of the fantasy season thus far had a breakout performance. He had eight catches for 165 yards and a touchdown. I personally need to see more before I trust Tate again. The Lions have been making a concerted effort to get him the ball. Running diverse routes and even making him even a running back. But one game does not negate the huge sample size that we have seen throughout the season.
Calvin Johnson surprised the world with his retirement during the off-season. Still young and dominant, if it wasn’t for injuries, we would probably still see number 81 terrorizing defenses. But his retirement forced the Lions to find a new lead dog in the passing game.
Everyone thought that would mean more touches and targets for Golden Tate. He has been in the system for a few years, and everyone thought it was his time. Except for me. I knew Golden Tate is not a number one receiver. He is a good number two, at least I thought he was. Through four games; he has 14 catches for 95 yards and no touchdowns. He has basically been invisible. But Marvin Jones can’t say the same.
Jones stats through four games is 23 catches for 482 yards and two touchdowns. I had a feeling he was the wide receiver to own, and I was correct. Why? Jones is more of Calvin Johnson then Tate is. Jones can go up and grab the ball in one on one coverage. He is a bigger body, more explosive, and the typical target Stafford likes to throw to. He was always a gifted wide receiver. He was just Hampered by injuries and lack of opportunities; it is Jones’ time to shine.
You should be starting Jones every week. Match-ups against teams like the Broncos, I would understand you to be hesitant. But his floor is high, his ceiling is even higher. As for Tate; he is almost worth dropping. I’m sure it hurts taking him in the 3rd or 4th round and dropping him so early. But if there are other options out there (like Terrelle Pryor) it might be about that time.
It happens every year. In fact if it doesn’t happen to you, consider your lucky. The injury bug bites and infects all. Within the first two weeks, I’ve lost the following players to injury all on one team: Danny Woodhead, Zach Ertz, Jamaal Charles (granted i drafted him injured), and Julio Jones is even fighting off some injuries. But I know someone else in another league who has lost AP, Keenan Allen, Danny Woodhead, and Zach Ertz. That is brutal. I’m going to go through which players you should be concerned about for at least the near future.
Danny Woodhead: It pains me to say this because he is so talented. But you can drop Danny Woodhead. His season is over after tearing his ACL Sunday afternoon. He should be ready to go by the beginning of next season because the injury happened so early into the season. But start looking for replacements and trade for Melvin Gordon if you can.
Adrian Peterson: So at least we know what is wrong with him now. AP has a torn meniscus in his right knee. Not nearly as serious as Woodhead’s injury, but no one knows how much time he will miss. He has not been ruled out of next week’s game. If he gets partial surgery he will be back in about 4 weeks. If he gets the full surgery he will be out for about 4 months. Big difference there. If you own AP you need to own Jerrick Mckinnon. If you don’t own AP, Mckinnon he is worth a waiver claim anyway.
Arian Foster: Foster suffered from a groin injury during the game after giving it go with a previous hamstring injury. He is considered day to day. Don’t be surprised if he plays this week. Also don’t be surprised if the oft-injured Foster either reaggravates this injury or stumbles upon on another one. Foster owners should already have Ajayi by now.
Jonathan Stewart: Stewart also injured his hamstring this past weekend. It also not thought to be serious, he will probably miss at least one game. Pick Up Fozzy Whittaker as a one week replacement. But, when stewart comes back, he will take back is regular role.
Try to persevere through the rough week that was fantasy football.