Andy Behrens at Yahoo Sports Fantasy Minute 3 hrs ago
Look, dud performances are gonna happen, even with the game's best players. You can't write off a proven fantasy asset just because he's coming off a quiet week. Here are three guys who struggled in the fantasy semis, poised to turn it around in title week...
Matthew Stafford – The last time Stafford faced the Bears defense, he passed for eleven zillion 390 yards and a pair of scores. The December version of Chicago's D is far less engaged than the group he already torched. Start Stafford with confidence.
Tre Mason – If you somehow squeaked into the championship matchup with Mason in your fantasy backfield, you cannot sit him now — not against a Giants defense that ranks 30th against the run. Let's remember that Mason had respectable weeks against a few of the league's best run Ds, including the Seahawks, Broncos and Niners.
And if you need a flex play for trophy week...
Then Fred Jackson
Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 1 day ago
First, the frightening news: DeMarco Murray, the NFL's leading rusher, is undergoing surgery Monday to repair a broken bone in his left hand. His status for Dallas' Week 16 home matchup with Indianapolis is not yet known. The injury occurred late in Sunday night's win at Philly, and postgame X-rays revealed a broken fourth metacarpal.
Now, the less frightening news: Recovery time for this surgery is not long at all — days, potentially, not weeks. So when we say that Murray's status for Sunday is not yet known, that's another way of saying he might play . The injury is to his non-dominant hand, which has to help. (Of course he still has to use the left hand in the normal course of business, catching passes and holding off defenders. But the right hand would presumably be worse.)
Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 2 days ago
Only one man in a Cleveland jersey had any success stopping Jeremy Hill on Sunday, and he wasn't actually an employee of the Browns.
Hill seized the lead role in the Cincinnati backfield this week, then feasted on the road, in a division matchup. The rookie rushed for 148 yards and two scores on 25 carries, adding four receiving yards on one reception. Giovani Bernard was invited to the party, too, gaining 103 scrimmage yards on 18 touches. But Hill absolutely dominated the rushing workload in the first-half, when the game was still competitive. He needed only two quarters of play to reach the 100-yard plateau.
(If you need more details on Rodgers' no-good fantasy day, Scott Pianowski has you covered.)
Michael Bennett said of San Francisco losing top two running backs: "I don't even know who No. 38 is.'' For the record, Alfonso Smith.
EARLY ADDS FOR CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK
Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 6 days ago
Please remember, friends, that the players we discuss in this feature are FLIERS. Hail Marys. Emergency options for desperate owners. No one is claiming these guys are must-add, must-start fantasy assets. They don't get the green light in 8 and 10-team leagues. Here, we try to assist deep league managers with dire needs.
For fantasy purposes, Thursday's game between the Cardinals and Rams could be a deep well of sadness. It certainly doesn't have a shootout vibe.
Arizona has allowed just 18.3 points per game on the season, the third lowest number in the league. St. Louis stopped giving up points two weeks ago, pitching back-to-back shutouts against Oakland and Washington (winning by a combined score of 76-0). These defenses have each forced 23 takeaways on the year, tied for seventh-most in the NFL. The Cards rank sixth at defending the run, the Rams tenth. Both Ds have had success hunting quarterbacks, combining for 66 sacks on the season (31 for Arizona, 35 for the Rams).
TE Jared Cook, STL (30 percent owned, 13 percent started)
Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 8 days ago
Only a small number of people within the Cleveland Browns organization have a good read on Johnny Manziel's readiness to start, his practice habits, and his viability as an NFL passer. And an even smaller number of people within the organization actually have a say regarding the team's Week 15 starter.
But you certainly don't need to be a team or league insider to know that Sunday's quarterback, Brian Hoyer, was kind of a mess. He was brutally inaccurate against the Colts, going 14-for-31 with just 140 passing yards, zero TDs and two picks. Hoyer has thrown one touchdown pass and eight interceptions over his past four games, losing three times.
If Cleveland won't turn to Manziel now , with the quality of the team's quarterback play at a ruinous level, then it's tough to imagine it happening this season.
According to at least one national reporter, the Browns are in fact prepared to make a switch:
Had a source connected to the Browns QB decision estimate there is a 99% chance Manziel starts Sun. Maybe even 99.5%
Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 12 days ago
If, like me, you assembled a fantasy portfolio that left you unusually vulnerable to a DeMar DeRozan injury, then you've no doubt already scooped up this first dude...
PG/SG Greivis Vasquez, Tor (33 percent owned)
Vasquez has started three straight for the Raps, with impressive enough results. He's averaging 16.0 points, 5.7 assists and 2.0 threes per night, with a steal in each game. At 30-plus minutes per, you'll enjoy Vasquez. His numbers may not quite reach 2012-13 levels, but he'll be plenty useful across multiple categories. DeRozan is likely down for 4-5 weeks, so Vasquez is something better than a short-range pickup. He has a pair of four-game weeks upcoming, too.
SG/SF K.J. McDaniels, Phi (43 percent owned)
OK, it's a little weird that McDaniels remains so widely available. We've written him up before, as has pretty much everyone else. It's tough to argue with his recent production:
SF/PF Nikola Mirotic, Chi (28 percent owned)
SG Ben McLemore, Sac (31 percent owned)
Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 13 days ago
In 2013, the Chicago Bears ranked second in the NFL in scoring, averaging 27.8 points per game. This year, in the same system with the same head coach and the same skill players and many of the same faces on the O-line, Chicago has averaged just 21.1 points per game. The team has not yet topped 28 points in any week . The Bears currently rank No.18 in the NFL in yards per play (5.3).
Chicago's starting offense is the second-most expensive unit in the league, so its performance to date has to be considered a colossal disappointment. (For comparison's sake, the cap total for Denver's starting offense is roughly $6 million lower than Chicago's.) The team's defense has been hilariously bad as well, so it's not as if only one phase is a problem. But in a salary cap league, you just can't whiff so miserably on your biggest investments. The Bears have fielded a not-quite-league-average offense at a staggering price.
Andy Behrens at Yahoo Sports Fantasy Minute 13 days ago
If the Dallas Cowboys are any sort of serious Super Bowl contender, they'll put up 50-plus points against the Bears. Because that's what legit offenses do.
Chicago's defense is heavily damaged at the moment, and it's a unit that struggled even when operating at full strength. The Bears allow the most standard fantasy points to opposing QBs, the second-most to tight ends and the eighth-most to wide receivers. Thursday's game could get ugly — perhaps as ugly as last year's contest at Soldier Field, a decisive win for Chicago. In this matchup, even the fringy Cowboys like Jason Witten and Terrance Williams deserve a long look.
Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 16 days ago
On a day when three different quarterbacks threw five or more touchdown passes, our headliner is a rookie reserve whose team just lost 26-10. Such is the power of Johnny Manziel.
Cleveland head coach Mike Pettine pulled starter Brian Hoyer early in the fourth quarter on Sunday, his team trailing at Buffalo, 20-3. Hoyer had just thrown his second interception of the game and fifth in the past two weeks. Manziel's first series was a crisp eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive, punctuated by this 10-yard touchdown scramble by Johnny himself. His second series was ... um ... somewhat less impressive. It featured this bit of hilarity, ruled an incomplete pass. Still, Johnny's final passing line was a perfectly respectable 5-of-8 for 63 yards, and he found Josh Gordon for his longest completion of the day.
So now the critical question is this: Who will get the start behind center for the Browns in Week 14?
Pettine declined to fully endorse either QB in his initial postgame comments:
Andy Behrens at Yahoo Sports Fantasy Minute 21 days ago
Beware, gamers. This year, the Thanksgiving slate is loaded with turkeys. Here are three names to avoid on Thursday ...
Jay Cutler at Detroit – Despite a messy season in reality, Jay has actually delivered top-8 fantasy QB numbers to this point in the season. But you'd be wise to seek alternatives this week. Jay had five giveaways against the Lions last season, and Detroit's defense has been stingy to opposing quarterbacks this year, yielding the second-fewest fantasy points to the position.
Michael Crabtree vs. Seattle – The Niners and Seahawks are likely to give us a tremendous game on Thursday, but not for fantasy purposes. Crabtree is not to be trusted. He's owned in 87 percent of Yahoo leagues, but he's a dicey start against Seattle. He's played nine career games against the Seahawks (postseason included), and he hasn't yet scored a touchdown. Anquan Boldin has been a more bankable fantasy asset to this year, and it's not close. Seattle is giving up the fewest fantasy points to opposing wideouts this year, so the matchup is horrendous.
But that's enough bad news. Here's a Thursday play you can trust ...