Hello Daily Norsemanites!
First off, I just want to say that I'm very excited to get started here at Daily Norseman. I've long admired this site, its writers and followers and it's an honor to whip up some words for you all!
This first installment will be a bit longer than normal, just laying the land for this week and moving forward. Each week I hope to point out a group of attractive plays, some scary ones and also some tidbits on sneaky pickups and things to watch for.
*Ownership percentages are from Yahoo leagues.
Feeling Good Feeling Great, Feeling Great Feeling Good How Are You?
(These guys, whether highly owned or not are ones I feel the good feels about this week.)
Joe Flacco (63%)
I don't love Flacco. He's inconsistent, rookie burner WR Breshad Perriman still isn't back from injury but he does still have that arm and Steve Smith who's determined to scorch the earth on his retirement run. Last week, JJ Zachariason, Steeler aficionado and numberFire Editor-In-Chief doled out a shocking tidbit on his QB-streaming Living The Stream podcast. Every QB dating back to week 7 last year that has faced the Steelers has finished as a top-10 weekly QB in standard leagues. All except Alex Smith and Nick Foles (because they're them) has thrown 2-3 TDs during that span as well. This is an occasion that I feel good about using Flacco.
Derek Carr (53%)
Carr was knocked out of the first game of the season, but upon returning has put up 665 yards against the Brownsand Ravens the last two weeks. Removing week one, his passing yards per game would slot second behind Tom Brady. He's looked like a different player this year, improving on his deep ball and (at least for the time being) showing better pocket presence than in college. His immediate and strong rapport with rookie-route-running-savant Amari Cooper has proved to be lucrative. The Bears are in a tailspin, and are auctioning off players left and right. The Carr should keep it rolling this week.
Melvin Gordon (96%)
Melvin's ability was very much on display in college, but so far in the NFL he's been bottled up pretty well thus far. This week though he has a great matchup versus the Browns. Latavius Murray just gashed the Browns to the tune of 139 yards and a TD last week, and the Browns are dead last in the NFL against the rush. Look for the Chargers to exploit the run defense, start the former Badger.
Karlos Williams (76%)
I'm hoping that if you drafted LeSean McCoy that you grabbed Karlos Williams when he started vultering goal-line touchdowns, or at the latest before last week when he rumbled his way to over 100 yards and a TD against theDolphins. If not, perhaps there's a chance he's still on your waiver wire, and if so get him right now. Owners are rewarded this week, as McCoy is being held out to heal up and thus "Los Getaway Kar" is loose. Wiliams hasn't seen a game yet this year that he hasn't scored in and the Giants are ceding the fifth most points on average to ball-rushers. Do it.
Marvin Jones (50%)
Marvin has been a tantalizing tease for the majority of his pro career thus far. In 2013, his "I've arrived" season he compiled 712 yards and 10 TD's. Since, he hasn't been able to stay on the field. But today is a new day and he's doing it again, scoring in the past two games. With AJ Green drawing opposing teams top CB's, and Mohamed Sanu now in his rear-view mirror, Marvin should continue to be fantasy relevant as a strong WR3. Kansas City is 28thagainst the pass and was just torched by the Packers. Yes, Aaron Rodgers has something to do with that, but Andy "Red Rifle" Dalton is hot right now, so Marvin is a good bet for 60-80 yards and perhaps another trip to the endzone.
Martellus Bennett (96%)
Tyler Eifert, Crockett Gilmore, Gary Barnidge. What do these guys have in common? They are all Tight Ends who have shredded the Oakland Raiders defense this season. As a whole they've given up 305 yards and FIVE TD's to the position. Something has to give at some point, and their Defensive Coordinator has to make some sort of adjustment, but until they do, keep attacking. Martellus "Black Unicorn" Bennett may be the best the Raiders have faced thus far this season (if not Eifert) so I'm expecting a very good afternoon. I'd expect a GREAT afternoon, but with Jay Cutler ailing there's still a chance Jimmy Clausen will be
throwing frantically-heaving passes his way.
Jordan Reed (87%)
Kirk Cousins doesn't play the Quarterback position well, but one thing Kirk does do is like him some Jordan Reed. Reed has been targeted 26 times through the first three weeks and has turned those into 241 yards and a touchdown. For anyone watching last week's Thursday game, if Kirk was indeed better at his job Reed would have 350+ and 2-3 touchdowns. That said, Reed has always looked like a special player when healthy, so while he is, enjoy his services. (I must mention, there is a potential hurricane that may wreak some havoc on this game, so pending that, his outlook would be dampened some.)
Hold Up, Hey
(As Nate Dogg said (RIP), you may want to hold up on these guys this week, as their tasks may prove too daunting.)
Ryan Tannehill (86%)
Tannehill has a lot of nice weapons at his disposal. Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, Greg Jennings, Rishard Matthews,DeVante Parker and Jordan Cameron. Try to imagine what kind of numbers Tom Brady could put up with that group...sheesh. Many thought that in year two with his offensive coordinator, that Tanny would take off. Not just yet. You can read Cian Fahey's Twitter timeline for more on that. His week four opponent, the New York Jets are the fourth stingiest against the pass. Reunited again, Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie are back to their Jetty ways. Tannehill has a nice blend of weaponry and athleticism (legs=loot for QB's in fantasy) but this week is just too fearsome for me.
Mike Evans (98%)
Evans got back on track-ish last week attracting 17 targets from rookie QB Jameis Winston. He converted seven for 101 yards. As a whole, Evans seems back. This week though, he draws the Pantherse budding star CB Josh Norman. In similar "shadow" roles vs DeAndre Hopkins and Allen Robinson this season he's shut them both down. Hopkins managed 5/53 against him while Robinson was quieted with 1/27. Fittingly enough, as I researched A-Rob's stats I saw a comment from during that game saying "Is Allen Robinson playing?" Josh Norman will do that. I'm most likely not sitting Evans unless I've got another strong option, but I'm definitely tempering my expectations.
Mike Wallace (74%)
The Broncos secondary is legit scary. They rank first in the NFL in passing yards allowed at 176 ypg. Aqib Talib andChris Harris are one of the best starting Cornerback duos out there, and their third, Bradley Roby is coming on like gangbusters as well. There may be some temptation with Wallace, as he's been the most consistent Vikingsreceiver, and there's a decent shot both Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright will be out, but I just can't give the green light here.
Rishard Matthews (66%)
Thus far Rishard has been a great find in fantasy land. He's managed to elevate himself above the "mouths to feed" situation that is the pass-catching group in Miami. Rishard and Jarvis Landry have been the two-headed receiving monster thus far, leaving scraps for Greg Jennings, Kenny Stills and training-wheeled DeVante Parker but will run into the two-headed ballhawk of Revis and Cromartie this weekend. With New York giving up just 191 yards a game aerially, I don't see Matthews accumulating his third straight 100 yard game this weekend.
Jeremy Hill (99%)
Man, if you've got either of these orange-clad Running Backs in this section, you're probably not the owner of a great record so far. Jeremy Hill had all of the buzz, all of the hype of being a top five back this year. He looked the part down the stretch in 2014. But here he sits, 27th in RB points after three weeks and losing touches (12 to 13 respectively last week) to Gio Bernard who hasn't had a buzz like this since he was an impressive rookie on Hard Knocks. This week's opponent, the Chiefs sit 14th against the run but 28th against the pass, so expect the Bengals to attack via the air to try and snag victory. There may be brighter skies down the road but I'm off the Jeremy hill this week if I've got anyone else that's startable.
CJ Anderson (96%)
You know it's not swell when your first round pick is telling you to drop him from your fantasy team. Ok, that's more related to the crap players put up with from egg-avatar Twitter users, but the fact remains that Anderson has been an utter disappointment so far. CJ is RB 71 (!) in Yahoo leagues at this time. Playing through injuries has not yielded positive results and his health in general is a touchy subject with his head coach. His opponent, the Vikings have ramped things up on defense the last two weeks, giving up a total of 128 yards on the ground. Mr. Anderson is going to need Neo-like moves to get out of this Viking Matrix. Proceed with caution.
Dance, Magic Dance
(You'll want to do a magic dance when inserting these guys in your lineup, but the risk/reward could be a week-winner.)
Maxx Williams (8%)
This one's for deep leagues or the Gronk owners while he parties on his bye week. Ravens starting Tight End up to this point has been Crockett Gilmore, but he's out for tonight. Second round pick (and Golden Gopher) Maxx Williams elevates to the starting lineup. Bringing a blend of size and a solid catch radius, his first game could be fruitful. The Steelers pass defense is gross (as detailed in the Flacco spin.) I'd much rather trot out Maxx this week than also-rans like Jared Cook or Owen Daniels.
Michael Vick (17%)
No, this is not the Mike Vick that's going to trot out for the Steelers tonight. (Sorry for bringing that up, by the way, but that is the Vick engrained in our minds.) That said, old Vick still has better legs than the majority of NFL QB's, so he's always a good bet for 2-5 rushing points. He also has two guys that are arguably at the pinnacle of their respective skill positions in Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown to get the ball to. Lastly, the Ravens are 29th when it comes to pass yardage yielded. If you've been starting Sam Bradford, or lost Big Ben to injury, worse, you could do.
The Purple Play
(Here I'll try and recommend the best Vikings player in terms of fantasy each week.)
This week is a tough one to recommend a Vikings player in fantasy leagues. Pretty much the only one you start with gusto is Adrian Peterson (but you're doing that every week anyway.)
Teddy Bridgewater is likely going to have a rough go of things via the pass game versus the Broncos defense. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware prey on Quarterbacks on a weekly basis, the latter being fourth in the league in sacks with 3 ½ (just ahead of Everson Griffen, by the way.) As I mentioned in the Mike Wallace blip, this secondary is scary. Teddy's been managing games thus far this season, and there's no reason to trot him out this week.
That said, if you're starting a Viking this week, I'm going with Tight End Kyle Rudolph. Based on what I've said, Teddy's not going to get a lot of time to throw, so quick decisions will need to be made. Rudolph could be a frequent target for Teddy as he works the short stuff, and as always, in the redzone.
Rudolph hasn't lit the world on fire thus far fantasy-wise (5, 9, and 1 points in standard leagues) but if you want a non-All Day-Viking to watch with Fantasy-eyes on Sunday, it's Rudy.
I'm Very, Very Sneaky
(Here I'll try to provide some sneaky pickup ideas, potential trade notions, etc.)
- The last couple weeks were probably the best for a tactical strike on picking up Chargers Tight End Antonio Gates, but if he's out there in your league, grab him. He completes his four game suspension this week and posted 800 yards and 12 TD's last year. Well known Chargers beat guy Kevin Acee said on twitter regarding TE usage when Gates returns: "Will be stunning if Green gets more touches than Gates in even one game."
- If you've got the roster spot, it's possibly time again to add Cowboys Running Back Christine Michael. The Cowboys made a trade for him for a reason, and he's been teasing his talent to this point, but it sounds like he's gotten some first-team reps in practice and coaches are saying he'll get a shot to mix in.
- Another very deep league add would be Bears Running Back Jeremy Langford. The Bears have been trading players from the past regime and seemingly building for the future and Matt Forte has even been mentioned to be on the block. Langford stole one goal-line touchdown week 2 and would likely get the lions-share of the carries if Forte were moved.
- Two potential plays due to injured starters are Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls and Panthers RB Cameron Artis-Payne. Marshawn Lynch is very iffy for Monday night and Jonathan Stewart has missed practice this week as well. Owners of the starters or RB-needy teams should add either if you've got the ability. Friday practice participation will be key.
- Colts Tight End Dwayne Allen hasn't been practicing this week, which makes the other half of the TE duo in Indy, Coby Fleener, intriguing. Generally you shy away from that TE situation, but if Allen is out, Fleener becomes a potentially nice play.
- Lastly, if anyone dropped suspended Steelers Wide Receiver Martavis Bryant at any point these last few weeks, sprint to the add button. He was a monster the last half of 2014 and needs to be owned.
Song of the Day
(I'm a music nut and fancy acquiring new stuff on the daily. I like a wide variety: Hip-hop, EDM, 80's, and I can't turn down a catchy pop song with a saucy beat. You may not like my flavor-of-the-day choices, but maybe you will!)
Feel free to hit me up on Twitter or in the comments section with any trade advice, sit/start questions or any general Vikings banter.
Thanks for reading!