Author: Chuck White

Who are the biggest fantasy football surprises so far?

A lot of weird things have been happening this season in fantasy football. Just a quick sample…

  • A defense is in the top 10 overall points.
  • Andy Dalton wrecks good defenses regularly and the leader in points wasn’t slated to be the starter.
  • Andrew Luck still and will always play a big part in who succeeds and doesn’t in fantasy.

But the biggest surprise? Devonta Freeman

That’s right — Devonta Freeman leads the NFL in fantasy football points and he is the biggest of this year’s fantasy football surprises.

Coming into the season he went un drafted or super later because Tevin Coleman was suppose to start and they would split carries. Coleman was hurt to start the year. The first two weeks he was quiet but the last four weeks Freeman hasn’t scored less than 25, while topping 30 twice. It helps that Atlanta was hot as they were during the start of the year but they look too be cooling off a little and he still is putting up a lot. Has someone as low as he was in the rankings to start the year ever finished with the most points?

Andy Dalton is the second overall leader in points. He’s had his moments throughout the seasons but nothing like this hot streak he’s been on. Dalton hasn’t put up less than 18 and had 26 and 21 against the stout defenses of Seattle and Buffalo. He went in the late rounds of most drafts so now our top two fantasy players were completely under the radar in August. With Dalton there’s going to be a lot of questions if he can keep this up into December.

Carson Palmer is fifth for quarterbacks and sixth overall. Coming off of an ACL tear last year noone though of him as a top quarterback. Blake Bortles is right behind him at sixth for quarterbacks and seventh overall. People thought he would improve but no one expected him to account for every Jaguars touchdown.

The Broncos defense was drafted and was supposed to be a top defense, which it is. But already having 10 points and four touchdowns is crazy. They’re eighth overall! One week they had nine points, but besides that they haven’t had less than 17. This could be one of the best fantasy defenses in history.

Josh McCown is the 15th ranked quarterback, even though he missed the first two weeks. Drew Brees is 17th and Peyton Manning is 28th. Chris Ivory and Doug Martin have been very good, but Chris Johnson is the biggest surprise with running backs. He wasn’t even on a team until August and has had three decent starts with Ellington out. Jeremy Hill hasn’t lived up to his early pick and Danny Woodhead has been taking carries from Melvin Gordon.

Travis Benjamin, another likely undrafted players, is fourth among receivers. How about James Jones? The Packers pick him last minute and he doesn’t need any time at all to regain his chemistry with Aaron Rodgers. Gary Barnidge is the easy pick for tight end. He’s scored at least once over the last four weeks.

The waiver wirer is one of the biggest parts of keeping your fantasy team up to speed. Every year this happens, it just feels like this year it’s even more than usual.

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Who should the New York Mets want in the World Series?

The New York Mets are in the World Series for the first time since 2000. They’ve relied on some timely hitting but mostly a very solid pitching staff that was able to shut down the Cub’s big hitters. With the Royals vs. Blue Jays set for Game 6 in the ALDS on Friday night, which team is a better matchup for New York?

I think the answer is somewhat easy, but unlikely to happen at this stage. It’s Toronto. First off the bullpen of the Royals is extremely tough. Herrera, Davis and Hochevar have been great all postseason.

If Kansas City makes it past its starting rotation, which has been hittable, it’s tough to hit the bullpen. They types of hitters the Royals have verse the Blue Jays is another factore. Players like Zobrist, Escobar and even Morales don’t depend on power constantly.

Yes, Toronto has their times as well, but they’re mostly a home run team, just like the Chicago Cubs were. And what stops power hitting is power pitching and that’s what the Mets have in Degrom, Harvey and Syndergaard. Their bullpen is made to shut down teams like Toronto as well.

Unfortunately, it will take a big comeback for the Mets to get Toronto, but the Blue Jays did just win three straight to overtake the Rangers. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

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Fantasy Football Week 7: Start Em’ Sit Em’

Martavis Bryant made a big return in week 5, Stafford finally got going along with Megatron. Devonta Freeman is a must start at this point, but he really has been the last few weeks. Here are Week 7’s picks.

Start Em’

via sportingnews.com

via sportingnews.com

QB: Carson Palmer

Palmer is one of the best fantasy and real QBs in the NFL this season. He hasn’t scored less than 16 in any week and is 5th for QB points. The Cardinals play a Ravens team this week that was absolutely torched by Derrick Carr, Colin Kaepernick and Josh McCown this season. They are a bad defense and Palmer will have a big game.

QB: Eli Manning

Eli had a very rough outing verse the Eagles last Monday night but things should be different this Sunday. They play Dallas at home and look for him to get back on track.

via foxnews.com

via foxnews.com

RB: Chris Ivory

He’s had back to back 20 plus point games and you know the Jets are going to need to run the ball a lot against the Pats to keep Brady off the field.

RB: Lamar Miller

The Dolphins finally committed to the run under their new coach, and it worked with Miller looking good (like last year). They face a Texans squad who has struggled with the run for the most part and should keep pounding the ball.

via bleacherreport.com

via bleacherreport.com

WR: John Brown

Brown, like his QB Palmer, will benifet from playing againts that weak Raven’s secondary. He also had a huge 196 yard day last week so look for him to stay on fire.

WR: Mike Evans

Evans has been quiet most of the season but I think he finally gets into the end zone this week against the Redskins. Washington allows a ton of TDs to opposing WRs and this is the week he breaks out.

TE: Charles Clay

After a few quiet weeks he is due for a score or two, and will face a Jaguar team that can get beat by tight ends. If Watkins and Harvin can’t play he is the Bill’s top option.

Sit Em’

via nfl.com

via nfl.com

QB: Joe Flacco

The Ravens are not a good option for anyone for fantasy numbers at this point. Maybe save Steve Smith. But this week Flacco faces a top pass defense with the Cardinals and plays worse on the road.

QB:Colin Kaepernick

Kap had a nice week last week and even the week for before. But he has shown all year he can’t do much against a blitz and he gets Seattle this week. Seattle isn’t doing as much damage on D this year, but they still will get to him.

via bleacherreport.com

via bleacherreport.com

RB: Carlos Hyde

Hyde’s only had two good weeks this week and just like Kaepernick, he won’t be able to get much this Thursday night.

RB: Alfred Morris

The Bucs have gotten better against the run each week and Morris has been loosing carries each week. Look elsewhere.

WR: Brandon Cooks

Cooks has one game this season with over 10 points. Vonta Davis will probably be covering him most of the game.

 

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The Western Conference playoff spots are up for grabs

The Western Conference is not just top heavy, it’s heavy throughout it’s entirety. But this is nothing new. The Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma Thunder, and Golden State Warriors look like they will be at the top, barring injuries. The last three spots could be wide open, with really good teams clawing over them.

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Memphis won 55 games last season and added Matt Barnes, seemingly a perfect player in their grind and grit ways. They even have been playing him at the 4 by the freshly resigned Marc Gasol a little during preseason. They won 55 games last year and have everyone back, but it’s not a given that the same will happen. They play an older style of ball and teams like the Pelicans could take their spot. They still are a lock to make the playoffs however. In a league where three-point shooting is gaining more and more value, they are made with defense and post presence.

Speaking of New Orleans, they could take another leap this year. Last season they got valuable playoff experience and it’s not out of the question that the league’s best player is going to continue to improve as well. If Davis, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson grow as a core the Pelicans will make the playoffs and improve on last season’s 8th seed.

Reke

The Mavericks will start either Zaza Pachulia or Samuel Dalembert at center this season. It will be hard to overcome the Deandre Jordan debacle. They have Javale McGee as well, but we know how that goes. The health of Chandler Parsons and Wesley Mathews will shape their season and Dirk will probably get less and less usage to stay healthy and rested. It’s tough to imagine them returning the playoffs with Deron Williams leading the way. Unless he undergoes a giant comeback, he’s a step to slow.

The Blazers, who lost Mathews and Aldridge will probably be a lottery team this year. The Nuggets are very interesting, they could sneak into the playoffs or into the lottery. Jusuf Nurkic showed a lot of toughness at Center last season and Danio Gallinari is supposed to be back into form after back to back ACL injuries. They shipped of Ty Lawson and drafted Emmanuel Muddiay. If Faried can be consistent on offense, the Nuggets will cause some trouble but not enough to make the postseason.

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The hottest team toward the end of last season was the Jazz, led by Rudy Gobert, the Stifle Tower. Utah is a popular pick to make the postseason and for good reason. Gobert, the young Frenchman, dominated the second part of 2014 defensively and on the glass. Hayward and Favors are their go to guys on offense but Gobert turned the team around last season. We will see how Trey Burke improves this year, or if Donte Exum, their 2014 Australian lottery pick, sees any meaningful time. Utah will be in the thick of the hunt for the 8th seed during the Spring.

The Pacific Division has three separate teams that likely won’t make the playoffs, but have rosters that could hang around for a while in the hunt. The Kings will be one of the more interesting stories in the West. Cousins took a big step last year and is one of the league’s top 10 players. Willie Cauley-Stein from Kentucky was thier lottery pick and could form a giant 1-2 punch downline with Cousins eventually. Rudy Gay is still there and their free agent pick-up Rajon Rondo will run the offense. It could go very bad or very good with the personalities of Cousins and Rondo working together. Oh yea, George Karl is still thier head coach after a summer of feuding with Boogie. This will be fun.

102014-NBA-lakers-julius-randle-moves-to-basket-ahn-PI.vadapt.620.high.83

I’ve already covered how the Lakers will be playing small ball and embracing threes finally. Julius Randle has been playing a Lamar Odom type role, handling the ball. He’s had a great offseason. Kobe looks good but it’s only preseason. Roy Hibbert will finally bring some defense to the team. Still, in this conference who knows how good they will look. I think they can stay close in the race and hover around 44 wins.

The Suns brought in Tyson Chandler and traded a Morris brother this summer. They took a step back after 2013 and could do that again this season. Chandler is old and Brandon Knight is not as good as Dragic. They won’t make the postseason.

The race for the last three, and really the last seed, will be one of the better subplots throughout the NBA season. All these teams could realistically make a run with some luck.

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Week 6 fantasy football advice: Start ’em and sit ’em

Week 6 fantasy football is about to get crazy. Josh McCown was back at it again last week, setting the Cleveland Browns franchise record for yards and leading all quarterbacks is fantasy points. Tyrod Taylor and the Buffalo Bills offense clearly isn’t the same without Sammy Watkins. There are some juicy matchups going into Week 6.

Start ‘Em

QB: Blake Bortles

Aug 14, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) throws a pass during the first half of a preseason game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 14, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) throws a pass during the first half of a preseason game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Besides Week 1, Bortles has no less then 15 points any other week. He’s starting to become a must start every week. The Texans allow 23 points per game to fantasy quarterbacks, so he’s worth a start this week.

QB: Colin Kaepernick

Kaepernick has been pretty bad most of this season, but had a good showing Sunday night against the New York Giants. Now he faces a Baltimore Ravens defense that is getting destroyed by every quarterback they play not named Michael Vick. Last week Josh McCown had a giant day, this week Kaepernick can do the same.

RB: Mark Ingram

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 1.34.34 PM

This ones about the matchup as Mark Ingram faces off against an Atlanta Falcons defense that’s allowed nine touchdowns to running backs.

RB: LeGarrette Blount

The Patriot’s game plan when they play the Colts is usually a run-heavy one. If that stays true for the matchup this Sunday night then Blount will be the main beneficiary of it, as he was last January during the playoffs.

WR: Anquan Boldin

via nfl.com

via nfl.com

As I said before, the Ravens defense is a liability at this point. Boldin also had a good fantasy week last Sunday and will receive most of the targets from Kaepernick. He has 37 targets this season while no other teammate has more than 25.

WR: Mike Wallace

Yes, Mike Wallace can still be effective. He scored a touchdown and had 80 yards last game and the Chiefs secondary he’s playing this week gets beat a lot. He is worth a start.

TE: Julius Thomas

BucsJulius990_0

Thomas only played a full handful of snaps last week and caught both of his two targets. Jacksonville should be able to move the ball against the Texans, and Thomas should get a lot more targets now that he’s been a full go all week.

Sit ‘Em

QB: Josh McCown

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 4.52.56 PM

McCown has had some impressive weeks recently but you can’t even think about starting him this week against the Broncos defense. They are shutting down every quarterback they play.

QB: Mike Vick

It looks like Ben Roethlisberger will be out at least another week, but don’t try and get cute by thinking Vick’s going to do some damage. Especially not against the Arizona Cardinals.

RB: Jonathan Stewart

via usatoday.com

via usatoday.com

Stewart has yet to get into the end zone this season and been underwhelming overall all for fantasy owners. It won’t get much easier against the Seahawks this Sunday.

RB: Jeremy Hill

He’s losing out on the majority of carries to Gio Bernard and the most damage he has been doing is in short yardage red zone situations. He’s not worth the risk.

WR: Andre Johnson

052715-NFL-AFC-South-colts-pi-6-ssm.vadapt.620.high.43

His two-touchdown Week 5 performance wasn’t a fluke, but it won’t happen again anytime soon. Johnson still hasn’t gotten in sync with Luck yet, who should return this week.

WR: Jarvis Landry

The Dolphins best receiver is a victim of being on a horrible team. He could be worth starting in PPR leagues but it will be tough for him to find the end zone.

TE: Charles Clay

Clay is coming off a dud last week. Now he will face the Bengals, who shut down tight ends and Tyrod Taylor may miss the game with a knee injury. Not a good combination.

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