It's Week 5 of the NFL season, and I am in a little bit of a quandary in the WTO Laid Back league.
How many of you are dealing with having a team of underperformers?
I drafted the evil temptresses that were DeMarco Murray and Doug Martin to be the focal pieces of a triumvirate of running back talent that I would start every week (aside from Week 5), along with C.J. Spiller or Fred Jackson. Like most of you who follow fantasy football or the NFL know, there were some early warning signs which I chose to ignore. First, rookie running backs (think Doug Martin of Tampa Bay) rarely make a splash. I am always preaching history to everyone as after 20 years of fantasy football I have seen almost everything once.
Rob Stewart is... The Fantasy Oracle
Second, I really expected the Dallas Cowboys would be more balanced on offense and let DeMarco Murray carry the ball twenty times or more per game. I should have realized Jason Garrett wanted to have Tony Romo wing the ball all over the place to what appears to be a talented group of receivers (or in the case of Monday night a talented group of Chicago defenders). Those two players along with facing teams that are scoring big every week (a league worst 123.89 points against per week), leave my Oracles in seventh in total points and at 1-3 overall.
My whole draft strategy was to give away week 5 with Murray and Martin on a bye week and just be strong every other week. At 1-3, a loss this week will make things real difficult, so I am searching the waiver wire, trying to make trades, you name it.
My opponent is expected to score about 120 points based on projections, which seems to be the norm against my defenseless team. The league average is just over 100 points a week for added perspective, and undefeated Mitchell Wilston has faced opponents who are averaging less than 76 points a week against his team. I want his schedule!
I have heard people complain about Ryan Matthews, Chris Johnson, Cam Newton and Matthew Stafford. Since they were expected to put up big numbers, you can see if anyone believes they will rebound and offer you fair value in a trade or simply ride it out. Most offers you will receive will be low-ball offers and, more times than not, accepting one of these offers hurts your team more than it helps it in the long run.
This week in the WTO Laid Back league, the Oracles face Brian "Fish" Ferry, Jon "Houshmanzadeh" Sitler faces "Mountain Man" Derek Farr, undefeated Cody "Nightmare on Elms Street" takes on Allen "Wingnut" Seybert, Wilston will lose his unblemished record against Jacob "Where's Perryman, "The Gambler" Josh Cotton battles "Big Bossman" Bob Patchen, and defending champ Brian Hagberg goes against John "Foosball" McAfoos.
Last week's scores were as follows: Patchen(2-2) 134.34, Oracles (1-3) 100.14; Ferry (2-2) 106.16, Sitler (1-3) 84.98; Wilston (4-0) 96.60, Cotton (1-3) 59.06; Elms (4-0) 145.00, Farr (1-3) 117.92; Hagberg (2-2) 124.88, Seybert (1-3) 90.76, and; McAfoos (2-2) 131.76, Perryman (2-2) 121.06.
BYE WEEK TEAMS: Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, Tampa Bay
HOT WAIVER WIRE PICKUPS: Brandon Bolden, Jackie Battle, Brian Hartline, Domenik Hixon, James Jones, Davone Bess and Scott Chandler. I also advise grabbing Stephen Hill as someone in NY has to catch the ball and even tough Hill is a week away, he will be targeted several times a game when he returns. Another sneaky play is to grab and stash Tim Tebow as change is in the air in the land of the Jets.
SURPRISE STAT OF THE WEEK: Stevan Ridley and Brian Bolden each ran for more than 100 yards in New England's thrashing of the Buffalo Bills. The last time the Patriots accomplished that feat was November 23, 1980 against the BALTIMORE COLTS, yes the Colts were in Baltimore then. The running backs were Don Calhoun and Vagas Ferguson.
FANTASY STAR OF THE WEEK: Tom Brady against the Bills defense as he threw for 340 yards and 3 touchdowns while rushing for another touchdown.
BILLS (2-2): They play the vaunted 49ers defense and don't be too quick to bench the Bills running back tandem because if the 49ers have one weakness it is runs right up the gut. I see C.J. Spiller breaking a long one in this game, but still see the Bills losing 23-10. Consider Randy Moss against Buffalo as his history against Buffalo is ridiculous and he is due.
STEELERS (1-2): Off the bye week, they play in the Pennsylvania Bowl and I like Mike Wallace to score on a bomb and Antonio Brown to abuse the candy bar known as Brandon Boykin. Look for Big Ben to throw for 300 yards and three scores. The running game will do very little, even with the return of Rashard Mendenhall. The Steelers defense makes a solid play against the turnover prone Eagles.
BROWNS (0-4): Look for a 31-17 Giants win over the improving, but still inexperienced Browns. Expect Trent Richardson and Greg Little to score. Little is dropping passes at an alarming rate (on a pace for 30) but I expect he will score on one of his many targets.
FANTASY BUST: The bust tag has been spot on and this week the whammy goes on Brandon Marshall. He looked like a beast Monday night but Chicago will run the Jaguars into oblivion this week and not need to put the game in Jay Cutler's hands and will limit Marshall's opportunities.
FANTASY START: Last week's call of Aaron Rodgers getting back on track was right on as he finished second only to Tom Brady in fantasy points scored. This week I love Matt Ryan as he will continue to show the world he is elite.
ELIMINATOR PICK (1-0): Nothing says easy pickings like the Browns on the road. N.Y. Giants all the way.