Fantasy Football Position Streaming
Written By: Josh Crocker – Follow Josh on Twitter @jccrocker
Let’s just take a second and congratulate Matt Ryan on his ascent from the trash heap. As of the writing of this article he was just a hair above the 50% threshold. He has had a great first 2 weeks and is poised to have a great 3rd, although I’m writing before the Monday night game.But, if you’re a Ryan owner and you’re thinking about starting him against CAR I would say it’s a bad idea. The Falcons did hand the Panthers their only regular season loss in 2015, but even in that triumphant scenario Ryan had 19.1 fantasy points. In a seemingly more likely outcome in Week 14, Ryan had 11 fantasy points in a resounding loss to their division rivals. In week 5 the Falcons face Denver which is going to be really tough. Ryan’s rightful place for now is back on the trash heap in free agency. Don’t let him clog up your bench and prevent from picking up a Jordan Howard, Kenyan Drake, or even Adam Humphries. Let one of your league mates make that mistake and they may just drop something that’s worth picking up in the meantime.
– Flacco vs Oakland –
Flacco disappointed people who put him in their starting lineups against Jacksonville. He threw a couple of picks, which Flacco is known to do, and he also lost a possession to a special teams turnover. But, he dropped back 40 times and that volume is going to continue to make Flacco hard to ignore, especially when he plays a team like Oakland that allowed Brees to throw for 419 yards and Ryan to throw for 396. Mariota wasn’t so able to take advantage of the match-up, but there is no “exotic smash mouth” being run in Baltimore. Flacco is going to fill the air with footballs, as he does.
In what the odds makers think will be a 46.5 point contest, the Ravens are expected to get about 25 points. That should be enough to support Flacco’s value if the Ravens make it into the end-zone through the air, or if Flacco makes it again on his feet like he did in week 3. The key will be turnovers again. This time Flacco is at home and favored. I’m hoping that turns into a better script where he’s able to take higher percentage shots instead of having to reach for questions game winning shots.
– Tannehill vs CIN –
It’s fair to say that nearly all NFL offenses run through the QB but it’s especially true of Tannehill in a Miami offense without a clear #1 RB. Besides that, what the CIN defense seems to do best is stop the run. I haven’t seen CJ Anderson have a more blah performance than he did last week facing these Bengals. And so, the Broncos were forced to throw a little more and Emmanuel Sanders got 13 targets and lead the day. Now the Bengals have got the Dolphins and Jarvis Landry. If they couldn’t cover Sanders, I think Landry is in for a big day. The Dolphins bring more vertical threat to the table, and as little faith as I have in Tannehill’s deep ball I’d say he flings it better than Siemian. It’s true that the Bengals won’t have to be preoccupied with the run in the same way that they were against Denver, but overall I think this Miami offense gives a defense more trouble than the Broncos did. I think it’s fair and accurate to say that the Bengals are good run stoppers and they’re very good at stopping a team’s WR1. So, the Dolphins might not do anything on the ground, and if the Bengals choose to scheme away Landry, then Parker, Stills, Dion Sims, or a combination of the 3 see more targets. Even in the games where the Cincinnati defense has looked good the QB’s have escaped with 18.1 (Fitzpatrick) & 21.3 (Roethlisberger) fantasy points.
The over under is not very encouraging with the Dolphins only expected to score 18.5 points. But, the Dolphins’ last two games have been over 50 combined points and one was against a solid New England defensive unit. Obviously in making this pick I’m saying that I think it’s more of a high scoring Dolphins game than a low scoring Bengals game. If the Miami attack is significantly throttled back by the Bengals, Tannehill will at least be at the center of whatever offense they’re able to put up.
– Alex Smith @ Pittsburgh –
In 3 weeks of Alex Smith we’ve seen 31 fantasy points against San Diego, 3.6 against Houston, and 13.2 against the Jets. In week 1 Smith had the script fantasy owners needed. The Chargers were up early and the Chiefs had to climb back into the game. Week 2 was a low scoring game and defensive struggle. In week 3 the Chiefs had some special teams help and Fitzpatrick was so bad that they didn’t need to do much on offense. In week 4 against the Steelers I think we’ll see a script that’s a lot more like the Chargers game. If the Steelers are able to move the ball against the Chiefs it may force Smith to try to keep his team in the game, throwing over 40 attempts as he did in week 1. There is also some precedent for this pick in the fact that Pittsburgh allowed 21.3 fantasy points to Dalton and most recently 25 against Wentz, teams with above average defenses like the Chiefs.
Vegas pegged this game as having more scoring potential than most of the slate with a 47.5 over under. Pittsburgh is favored to win by 5, but I don’t hate it because you aren’t going to get Smith out of his shell with a positive game script. It’s going to take the Chiefs fighting back from behind, and maybe the lack of any other options to get Smith to air it out, but he can do it.
– Hoyer vs Detroit –
Please believe me when I tell you that this pick is not about Brian Hoyer. The Lions have allowed 35.5 fantasy points to Andrew Luck and 26.4 to Aaron Rodgers. They were able to keep Mariota to 16.6, but that offense is 31st in points and 20th in yards, and Mariota himself has something to do with that. Looking deeper into the Lions defense, the Lions are what we call a “funnel defense” and are much tougher against the run allowing only 14.3 fantasy points to RB’s (per team /per game/ 26th most in the league) while at the same time allowing 28.5 to QB’s (2nd most). I think this is fine with the Bears and Alshon Jeffery, who will be without Jeremy Langford. I’d really like to see Jordan Howard get a big workload, but in this situation it just makes a lot more sense to me that the Bears won’t be leaning on Howard except in clear running situations and to keep the defense honest, and will be passing most of the time. After all, that is what they were doing even when Cutler and Langford were healthy.
At 46 points and only a field goal of point spread it looks to me like the stage is set for Hoyer to do what Hoyer does. As much as I truly do believe that Hoyer is a trash bag he had over 20 fantasy points 4 times in 2015. At home and against a poor pass defense he’s serviceable.
Trap Game of the Week:
Trevor Siemian vs Tampa
I get this pick. I looked at it myself. I would much rather write about Trevor Siemian than Brian Hoyer, but the problem with this match-up is that while the Bucs have a poor passing defense they also have a poor rushing defense. Siemian put up 11 fantasy points against the Colts because the Broncos are a run first team, and when they can the will. It could happen, Siemian could go for 30 against Tampa, but I think what happened against the Bengals was that they weren’t getting anywhere with the run, and had to pass. I don’t see that happening against the Bucs.
Written By: Josh Crocker – Josh can be found on Twitter @jccrocker