By Julian Martinez
Quarterback: A New Mexico product who might be worth the pickup this week
The first quarterback I would like to encourage picking up is Blake Bortles. It is easy to ignore a player who is having success in Jacksonville, but Bortles has turned into a solid Fantasy contributor. He has the weapons around him, such as, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, who allow him to make big plays down the field. It also helps Bortles that he has Julius Thomas back and the two were able to connect on a touchdown in this past weekend’s match-up against Houston. Bortles is a Top 10-ranked quarterback and yet there is a high probability that he is still unclaimed in your league.
Now let’s talk about that product from New Mexico.
Landry Jones, the former Artesia Bulldog and Oklahoma Sooner, came off the bench this past weekend to relieve Mike Vick of quarterback duties in Pittsburgh’s victory over the Cardinals. Against the Cards’ imposing defense, Jones threw for 168 yards and found Martavis Bryant, who was playing his first game of the season, in the endzone twice.
It has been talked about that Ben Roethlisberger could return to action soon, but returning this week is a bit optimistic. This leaves Jones as the likely starting quarterback against a Chiefs defense that has not been able to stop their opponents’ passing attack all year. I would strongly consider streaming Jones for this savory match-up.
Running Back: Lacy or Anderson, who the bigger bust?
It feels a little redundant to bring up C.J. Anderson’s name at this point in my articles. The only reason I do it now is that, in past weeks, I advocated you simply move him to your bench but now it’s time to move him off your roster. Anderson struggles are well documented, but this past week he couldn’t muster anything against a putrid Browns run defense and, to make matters worse, Ronnie Hillman appears to be the preferred back after going over 100 yards for the second time in Denver’s last three games. Trade him, drop him, just make sure Anderson is not on your roster by the end of the week.
In my mind, though, he is not the biggest bust of the Fantasy football season to this point. Right now, it has to be Eddie Lacy. Lacy is fully healthy right now and that’s why it so bewildering to see him lose touches to James Starks.
Starks is trending in the right direction, but Lacy can’t seem to get things going. Lacy got off to a slow start last year too, but this time it doesn’t appear the Packers are waiting around for him. I recommend keeping him around, unless you get an offer that blows you away, but keep in mind that when the Packers return from their bye week they’ll face an unfavorable match-up against the Denver Broncos, which probably will warrant benching Lacy.
A couple names to look into coming off this weekend’s set of games are Danny Woodhead and Theo Riddick.
Woodhead is the beneficiary of his teammate Melvin Gordon’s inability to hold onto the ball. Following Gordon’s second fumble of the day against Green Bay, it was a firm mixture of Woodhead and Branden Oliver in the Chargers’ backfield. Gordon will undoubtedly work his way back onto the field, but Woodhead, who has the trust of the Charger coaching staff, should be at minimum a FLEX option in standard leagues and a RB2 in PPR.
As far as Riddick goes, this may be a good time to snag him. Joique Bell is done and Ameer Abdullah has not been able to live up to the hype. In fact, Abdullah’s own struggles not to turn the ball over appear to have given Riddick the opportunity to become a viable option out of the Lion backfield. Riddick is already a good play in PPR leagues, but at this pace his playability in standard leagues may be going up. Riddick is only owned in 25 percent of leagues.
Wide Receivers: A couple sleepers I Dig(gs)
The Cincinnati offense has been really good all year, in particular quarterback Andy Dalton, who is currently ranked number one at his position, has been outstanding. Naturally, with good production in the passing game comes a few viable options at the wide receiver position. This is the case for Marvin Jones.
Jones, who missed all of the 2014 season has come back in 2015 and has looked good, if you exclude his performances in weeks one and four. This past week against Buffalo, which is ranked one of the elite defenses in the league, Jones was able to reel in nine catches for 95 yards and a score. Jones is owned in less than 30 percent of leagues, but is listed in the Top 30 of the position.
So now let’s address the pun to introduce the wide receiver section this week.
As an individual who invested draft picks in several leagues on Charles Johnson, the Minnesota passing attack has been somewhat frustrating to pinpoint. Yet, Stefon Diggs is a name that perks up my ears a bit. Diggs racked up 129 yards on nine targets against the Chiefs and reports run rampant of the chemistry him and Teddy Bridgewater have formed since Johnson went down with a rib injury. Diggs is at least worth the stash heading into this week waivers, as his league ownership is not even at five percent.
Does the prospect of landing a starting wide receiver from the New England Patriots interest you? If it does, then this might be your last week to jump on Brandon LaFell. LaFell has been on the PUP list with a foot injury all of this season, but he faces the possibility of returning this week. LaFell was one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets last season, as he caught 74 receptions for 953 yards and seven touchdowns. Having chemistry like that bodes well for LaFell upon his return, especially on the Brady Revenge Tour 2015. LaFell’s ownership sits around 20 percent.
Tight End: Can we finally name a Jimmy Graham-replacement in New Orleans?
Benjamin Watson has been in the league a long time. I remember when he was playing for the New England Patriots back in 2005, but here in 2015 he is still a relevant name playing for the New Orleans Saints. Watson has 10 receptions, 127 yards, and touchdown on Thursday night against the then-unbeaten Atlanta Falcons. This next match-up against Indianapolis may prove a little tougher, but Watson is still a name to consider. Worst case, you pick him up and he gives you boom-or-bust value, but if this big week six against the Falcons was an indicator of bigger things to come, then you made a steal at the position heading into week seven.
A name I will throw out to people this week is Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Seferian-Jenkins had a big week one against Tennessee, but fell victim to a shoulder injury in week two that caused him to miss the last three Tampa Bay games. Tampa will be coming off the bye week, though, and Seferian-Jenkins would be right on schedule to return from injury based off the initial timetable this injury was given. He’s a big target that Jameis Winston should view as a catch-up advantage week-to-week. Luckily for you, there was probably a lot of owners who dropped him due to the injury, so take advantage.
Kicker and DST: A Few Notes
If you own the St. Louis defense, then you will probably be happy to know that their schedule will be favorable moving forward. Coming off the bye, the Rams defense will face Cleveland, San Francisco, and Minnesota. All three of these match-ups should be cake for this defense that remained consistent despite having to face some of the leagues best offenses prior to their bye.
There is a new kicker for New Orleans. Following two missed field goals, the Saints decided that Zach Hocker was not the kicker they desired. So naturally New Orleans signed Kai Forbath, the former Washington Redskins kicker. Forbath should benefit from the dome settings that New Orleans plays under and showed decent field goal range at points in his Redskin career.
Bye Week Teams:
Green Bay Packers