Hogs & Dogs – Week 3
We’ve seen plenty of bad days in fantasy sports, but not many can compare to this weekend’s slate of games. Game after game, player after player, we saw fantasy and NFL player’s seasons coming to a screeching halt. Another San Diego Charger was lost for the year in Danny Woodhead. Adrian Peterson suffered another knee injury. Jonathan Stewart and Doug Martin both pulled hamstrings and have no set timetable to return. Injuries are something that everyone must take into account (whether you’re running a real team or a fantasy team) as they are bound to happen throughout the season. It’s how you rebound and adapt to these types of injuries and setbacks that make you great at what you do. But all of these injuries happening in one week can be absolutely devastating and week 2 was riddled with injuries. Bloody Sunday wreaked havoc across most lineups this past weekend in what is shaping up as another strange year of fantasy. The way things are going, I may have to eat my words and finally accept that the running back position is a dying fantasy asset and the changing of the guard has taken place as wide receivers overthrow running backs. Maybe. But if there is a hill I will die on, it is the running back position. We shall see. With that, here is our week 3 installment of Hogs and Dogs, where we like to discuss the not-so-obvious starts, sits, hots, and colds, with a bit of a contrarian deep-dive view.
Derek Carr – Carr has continued to improve his decision making and ability to read the defense now into his third year. After last week he is now your number four ranked quarterback on the season, behind the likes of Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, and Cam Newton. Newton and Brees aren’t surprising but Ryan obviously is. The reason Ryan isn’t on this list is because after this week’s game against New Orleans, his schedule is barbarous. So the quick advice for Matt Ryan owners: sell now or after the New Orleans game as the Falcons then have to play Carolina, Denver, and Seattle before things lighten up again. Back to Carr, who has shown the ability to go through his reads quickly and make some big throws to the sure handed Crabtree and big play ability Cooper. It also helps that the Raiders defense is continuously getting gashed, putting the Raiders in a bunch of shootouts. Start Carr with confidence going forward as he looks to be in the QB1 discussion for most of the season, although his schedule before the playoffs could be rough with the likes of Denver, Houston, and Carolina.
Melvin Gordon – I know I heavily faded the Charger offense last week and that was before they lost another trusted target in Danny Woodhead. The Chargers seem to always have an above average amount of injuries to their players. Maybe it’s the warm weather year round? Who knows, but Phil Rivers lost another favorite target of his for the season in Danny Woodhead. Somehow, he still looked the part on Sunday and it appears that they may be able to piece together a somewhat decent offense. Melvin Gordon has lost significant carries to Woodhead between this year and last, but he should now slide into an every down role and not have to worry about anyone pilfering his touches while also seeing an increase in targets. Gordon’s stock is way up.
Charles Sims – Lots of running backs went down last week, but no team was in better position to replace their starter than the Bucs, who have a solid three down back in Chuck Sims. A favorite of Doug’s, Sims will finally have his chance as the Muscle Hamster is expected to miss at least three weeks with a hamstring injury. This is an up and coming Bucs offense and Sims looks ready to handle the backfield until Martin comes back (and beyond, if he goes bonkers in Martin’s absence). He has shown an ability to slip through holes in the defense even at his size (6’0”, 215 lbs.) and a knack for catching the ball. Hopefully you handcuffed him to Martin and if you have Sims you could probably fetch a decent return from the Martin owner. If you’re worried about his upcoming schedule (Los Angeles, Denver, Carolina), you can try and sell high on the optimism. His ability to catch the ball does not have me completely worried about these defenses, so I will be holding until we hear more about Martin’s injury and his possible return date.
Dwayne Washington – Well it appears my Zach Zenner preseason prediction is not likely to come true. Washington looks to have an increased role with the loss of Ameer Abdullah Medulla Oblongata. Though Detroit worked out their old friend Joique Bell on Tuesday, it does not appear that he left with an offer, which is good news for Washington who comes in at 6’2”, 226 lbs. and ran a 4.44 40 at his pro day. His size-speed combo has us drooling, but he struggled mightily with ball security and injuries in college and at times would just run up his blocker’s backs. If he can sort these things out, he has the tools to be an effective and even above average back in the NFL. He’ll slide in as the Lions big back and should see a good amount of work as Theo Riddick is more of a passing down back. Expect 10-15 carries this weekend. Scoop him up in all leagues!
Allen Robinson – It was a tough game last week against the Chargers and their up and coming secondary, that shut down the Jaguars for most of the game. The Jags get the Ravens this week, who just let Corey Coleman torch them; meaning Robinson should be able to find even greener grass. Some Robinson owners may be looking to sell if they are getting nervous about the Jacksonville offense that can’t seem to get much going right now (see: T.J. Yeldon). Robinson shows up as a Hog on this week’s list because he is certainly going to rebound and he is an immediate buy now. There aren’t many other great players out there that you could be able to steal from an anxious owner (as I just did yesterday). If you can get him for even quarters on the dollar you have to pull the trigger because he will bounce back in a big way.
Kirk Cousins – Captain Kirk is not living up to the high bar that he set for himself after a good finish to last season. A late round QB pick for some in drafts this year, Cousins has disappointed not only fantasy owners, but also some in the Redskins’s locker room (ahem, Pierre Garcon). He salvaged his day against the Cowboys with some chunk yardage, but he still managed to look like Matt Ryan and throw a redzone pick. He only has one passing touchdown through two games and at this point is droppable in standard leagues. The Redskins have the Giants this week who just completely shut down the high-powered Saints offense. Cousins is not even a buy low for me, and the only bright spot coming out of that Washington passing attack is Josh Doctson, who got some redzone looks and could quickly be bumped up the depth chart if they decide to cut ties with cry baby Garcon. Deep leagues should give Doctson a look.
Eddie Lacy – Though many believed Large Edward’s resurgence was going to be because of his rigorous P90X offseason training, some did not hold the same sentiment. That would include the guys here at Gurus, who were optimistic of him heading into the season, but for different reasons. This Packers offense was supposed to return to form, and maybe it still can, but through two weeks things are not looking too good in Packerland. Realistically I could have put their whole offense here this week, but Lacy seems to be struggling the most aside from Rodgers’ ball security issues. Losing Josh Sitton right before the season doesn’t help his case, but Lacy has the ability to both bowl guys over, and slide through creases in the defensive line, neither of which he has done much of quite yet. He is a dynamic player, but the P90X was certainly a farce, and until the Packers can figure out their offensive woes, I’d be cautious starting him as anything more than a flex option.
Spencer Ware – All good things must come to an end, right? Reports are saying that Jamaal Charles is expected back this week and the expectation is that he will take the reins back from Ware. That’s not to say it is the right decision, but as we discussed on this week’s podcast, Andy Reid notoriously likes to rely on just one guy, which surely puts a smile on us fantasy owners. Not to take anything away from Ware, who has played well the past two weeks filling in for Charles, but Jamaal Charles is a superstar and the knee surgery does not scare me away since he has already gone through this before. Ware may still see some goal line touches from time to time, but after a series or two of Charles looking comfortable, the Kansas City backfield should be firmly in his grasp.
Buck Allen – Allen filled in admirably last year for Justin Forsett when he went down with a broken arm, and all signs pointed to him becoming the potential lead back for Baltimore this year. Allen showed some promise, but never projected to be anything special, just an above average back with decent size and speed who could catch the ball. I also thought he made Forsett expendable with that ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Boy was I wrong. The Ravens brought in Terrance West (?) and drafted Kenneth Dixon (!) and muddied the backfield even further. The Ravens must not like what they’ve seen from Allen as he has been a healthy scratch through two weeks and they have given the keys of the offense to Forsett and Terrance West, who I still believe is a below average talent. Kenneth Dixon will be back in a few weeks which will likely further plummet Allen down the depth chart. Don’t sleep on my man Lorenzo Taliaferro, either, who currently resides on the PUP. Allen’s days may be numbered in Charm City.
Markus Wheaton – Sticking with the AFC North and inactive players, Markus Wheaton looks to be losing out on most of his chances with Pittsburgh. Eli Rogers and Sammie Coates have complimented Antonio Brown well through two weeks, and Le’Veon Bell will be returning next week. That means that Markus Wheaton will have to compete for touches with AB, Sammie, Eli Rogers, Le’Veon Bell, DeAngelo Williams, and Jessie James. Good luck carving out a role in that. I was sleeping on Wheaton this year with how well he finished last year, especially against the Seahawks, but seeing as though we are already two weeks in, I think it will be a while until, and if, he can carve out a role with that offense.
There you have it. Week 3 Hogs and Dogs are in the book! Make sure to check the article before you make those lineup adjustments before this week’s games. Seeing as we want to get this article out to you before the Thursday night game, a lot of things can certainly change before Sunday. Make sure to email or tweet us your questions before game time so we can lend that helping hand. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tweet us at @TFFGurus, @DaFantasyFather, and @TheFantasyBoys. Make sure to check back on Thursday for Doug’s DraftKing Picks. Happy hump day.