By: Justin Lynch
With the NFL landscape starting to form, Lynch reviews the week.
We’re more than a quarter way through the season. I will try start to tweak the article as the way you manage your team changes throughout the season. For now, the regular format, with a slight variation, and a special bonus at the end.
With Coleman’s return, the question was whether or not Freeman would keep the starting role. The answer: a resounding yes. Freeman had 27-153-1 rushing and 7-44 receiving. He also has a receiving touchdown called back via the Dez Bryant rule, but he scored rushing two plays later to make up for it. Freeman runs hard and has slick agility, always seemingly gaining yards. Freeman looks like a top-tier back for the rest of the season.
Barnidge’s third straight week with a touchdown was highlighted by one of the craziest catches you will ever see, pinning the ball between his legs off a deflection before half-rolling into the endzone. But one play can’t land you in this category. Barnidge has 8-139-1 on the day, his season-high in receptions and yards. Barnidge might not be the name you want at TE, but with 22, 19, and 27 points in his last three games (PPR), he can’t be overlooked.
Snead’s receptions had gone up every week of the season until this week where he merely matched his week four result. However, Snead made up for it by finally breaking the century mark in receiving yards (141) and firmly placing himself as the number two receiver in New Orleans. Colston has done nothing this year and Cooks’ week was saved by a 50+ yard reception and a garbage time score. Snead is the under-the-radar guy you want in this Saints offense.
With McCoy potentially out until November and Boobie Dixon doing nothing in his absence. Williams should return next week and put up starting numbers. Williams scored in all four of the games he played in this year, and the offense looked lost (against Tennessee) without him this past week, though that might not have been the only reason. Williams is RB2 until McCoy comes back and we can reevaluate from there.
Winston simply can’t get him the ball. The reason Evans makes the list and not V-Jax is because you likely spent a much higher pick on Evans than you did Jackson. Maybe later in the season Winston will figure it out, but with Martin playing well and Seferian-Jenkins returning soon, the offense will likely look elsewhere before letting their rookie QB throw deep balls to Evans.
Jamison Crowder is showing that he deserves to play in this league, and though he won’t keep Jackson off the field when he returns, guys who run quick routes and are safety valves for QB’s tend to get a lot of targets. Jackson still the big-play threat, but Cousins isn’t a big- play quarterback. Expect Jackson to have minimal impact when he returns.
Since his superb week one, Witten has failed to score. In standard leagues he’s combined for 19 points in weeks 2-5, PPR leagues don’t treat him much better. Witten goes into the bye week, where he will get you zero points, and comes out on the other side with the Giants and Seahawks. Those teams have been relatively soft against TE’s so far, but they are also two teams that have the potential for drastic improvement. Brandon Weeden is going to be under center for all of it. Until Romo is back, I would hesitate before throwing Witten out there, who will likely slow down naturally as the season progresses due to his age.
1 Thing to Think About (Sorry)
Back-to-back 116-1 games might make you think he’s one to be desired, but I’m certainly hesitant on Hurns. Bortles is looking much better and Hurns is the go-to, plus the Jags will likely be down and need to pass in most games, but I don’t see Hurns as a viable starter for the rest of the year. With Robinson and the return of Julius Thomas, as well as a commitment to the run game, Hurns just screams inconsistency. Before you go trading for a Jaguars receiver, know what you’re getting into.
1 Concluding Thought
This probably won’t help you much in fantasy, but can we all agree Stafford is simply not good at football? I don’t think there is an argument over who you would rather have between him and the oft-critiqued Jay Cutler. Stafford got benched this weekend (for Dan Orlovsky) after a bad performance against the Cardinals. Yes, the Cards have a top defense, but Stafford is still a massive disappointment. The guy has Calvin Johnson as his top receiver. Without going into the fact that he also has Golden Tate, Eric Ebron, and Ameer Abdullah out of the backfield, Johnson should be enough for him to at least be decent. I won’t rant any longer as long as we all agree to make sure Stafford is owned in approximately 0% of leagues everywhere.
BONUS: Next week the Patriots play the Colts. If there’s one thing I know in life it’s this: Always start Patriots running backs against Indy.