Hogs & Dogs – Week 2
Well last week certainly was not my best showing in terms of the Hogs and Dogs predictions. But hey, you win some you lose some, right? It also was a bit tricky not having any real information or film to work off other than last year’s. Last week had its ups and downs, as I hit decently on Sterling Shepard and Michael Crabtree (thankfully their touchdown grabs saved me), and completely whiffed on Jordan Matthews and Kelvin Benjamin as I mentioned on this week’s podcast. As the season goes on, the predictions and projections will get stronger as we all get a better feel for the players’ situations, talents, and rapport with their team.
If you have listened to the podcast from this week, you are probably already aware of a few of the names that I’ll be covering. Obviously things can change heading into the weekend, but if you’re looking for a reliable start/sit, hot/cold, buy/sell weekly article, it doesn’t get better than some Hogs and Dogs. It’s about time you started doing some in depth listening and reading with the Gurus. We have articles coming out almost daily, so do what you can and carve out some time every day for your friends over at TFFGurus. Let’s see if we can do better this week with some hoggies and doggies.
Robert Woods – This is a very intriguing play for me as Woods has flown under the radar for most of his career. Now that Chris Hogan has moved on, Woods was going to assume a decent amount of that offense, though they don’t throw as much as most teams. With the Bills on a short week and Sammy Watkins and Charles Clay both banged up, Woods would not be a bad flier as a WR3 as he looks to get on the same page as Tyrod Taylor. Recently embarrassed Darrelle Revis could be looking to get back into the swing of things after last week’s performance, but with few other healthy options in the passing game, I think Woods can still get his.
Emmanuel Sanders – Another injury concern here as Demaryius Thomas is dealing with a hip ailment that could cause him to miss a bit of time. As we mentioned in the podcast this week, Sanders appears to have the inside track on becoming Trevor Siemian’s favorite receiver per se. The fact that Thomas might miss some time, especially with a young developing quarterback who needs to get reps, only bolsters Sanders’s value at this point. He appeared to be Siemian’s favorite target last week vs. Carolina and Sim should only continue to look his way this week, especially if DT has to sit this one out. The Colts have a horrible defense, again, so fire Sanders up as a high end WR2 this week. I would not be surprised to see him come alive against one of the most beatable secondaries in the league.
Phillip Dorsett – Going wide receiver heavy this week with the Hogs and Dogs! I targeted Dorsett in a lot of my drafts because he’s young, I like the talent, and I think he has the potential to be even better than T.Y. Hilton. I put him in a similar class with John Brown and Tyler Lockett. These are the players you want to stretch the field and take the top off the defense, something our Patriots have been lacking for years. But on Sunday, Dorsett showcased an ability to also make intermediate catches and do something with the ball in his hands. He was extremely quick out there and I think Luck will only look his way more often as the season progresses. As much as I love me some old man Frank Gore, I think the Colts offense will be in a healthy dose of shootouts this year, which only plays into Dorsett’s value. This week could be a tough one against the Broncos and their tough defense, but if I have Dorsett and I’m willing to take the chance this week. If he does end up having a sub-par game (which he probably will, now that he’s in this article) then I’ll definitely be targeting him with some trades. Their schedule only gets easier from here.
Gary Barnidge – Gary the barn burner will be looking to rebound after a putrid performance from him and his team last week. But a bit of a blessing came in Sunday’s loss to the Eagles, as RG3 got hurt yet again. Obviously this not a blessing for RG3, but we know how well Barnidge played last year when he had his trusty friend, Josh McCown, under center. Last year Barnidge finished with 79 receptions for 1,043 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. In the eight games that McCown started last year (AKA half the year), Barnidge caught 46 balls for 641 yards and 6 touchdowns. Meaning that in his other 8 games he only scored 3 touchdowns. I know these numbers are not drastic, but Barnidge clearly played better with McCown vs. without McCown. You can fire him up this weekend as the TE1 that you drafted him to be.
NY Giants’ Offense – This one is all encompassing, as pretty much anyone you have this week from the Giants should be started against the Saints, especially their receiving threats. OBJ you are obviously starting, but from there most of the offense is up in the air. If you remember last year, these teams combined for 101 points in the Superdome in an absolute thriller of a game. The Saints’ defense actually looks even worse than it did last year and they also just lost Delvin Breaux for six weeks after he broke his leg. This game should be bit lower scoring since the teams will be outside, but I am still expecting huge numbers from the Giants’ offense. I’m not expecting much from them in the running game as Rashad Jennings didn’t get much work in week 1 and Shane Vereen is not an every down running back. I wouldn’t be against starting Vereen in your flex because of his pass catching ability or Victor Cruz after he looked somewhat healthy last week. Sterling Shepard is a must start as well. Unfortunately, I don’t think either tight end can be trusted to get the majority of the work so Tye or Donnell would be an extremely risky play.
Jameis Winston – As much as I like Winston and have him on a few teams, it is going to be difficult to put him out there this week against Arizona. After a somewhat surprising loss to the Patriots, the Arizona defense will be amped up and looking to make a statement. The Buccaneers unfortunately are the ones who have to face that. I would not be surprised if this game were a blowout as the Cardinals look to show the rest of the NFC what they are made of after Sunday night’s game. They have an invigorated pass rush with Chandler Jones and Robert Nkemdiche, and solid defensive backs in Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson. Unfortunately, I think this game spells trouble for Jameis, especially if Peterson can shut down Mike Evans. I’m reluctant to start Winston this week.
Devonta Freeman – I know this may seem early to already be bashing a guy that we bashed all offseason, but it appears our worst fears came true on Sunday, as Tevin Coleman and Freeman basically split touches. Freeman rushed 11 times for 20 yards and caught 4 passes for 20 yards on 36 snaps. Coleman rushed 8 times for 22 yards and caught 5 balls 95 yards on 32 snaps. This is shaping up to be yet another split backfield. I would not lose hope yet as a Freeman owner, being this early, but there is definitely cause for concern. Some may see Freeman as a buy low candidate after that first week, but I’d much rather be looking at getting Dez, Adrian Peterson, or Brandon Marshall rather than Freeman. Being an owner of a few shares of Tevin Coleman, I would love to see him take over the backfield and relegate passing downs to Freeman, but I’m not sure that’s happening quite yet. If Freeman disappoints for another week or two then I would be very worried as an owner. The Falcons also have a rough schedule coming up after the Saints as they face the Panthers, Broncos, and Seahawks. I’d be very skeptical if I were a Dev Freeman owner right now.
Charcandrick West – West was the first guy called upon last year once Jamaal Charles went down, but now he finds himself possibly third on the depth chart once Charles returns. Spencer Ware put on a show on Sunday and we all know how Andy Reid really likes to rely on just one back (probably because it makes things easier for him). Reports on Charles’ return are unclear, but unless something drastic happens to Spencer Ware, it looks like West will be taking a backseat. This is unfortunate as I like West as a player more than Ware, but I’m not the coach and we obviously saw what Ware could do on Sunday. I really don’t see any reason to hold onto Charcoal West as he should assume third string duties once Charles comes back, either this week or next.
Kevin White – This one is pretty simple. White must first show me he can play and play well, before I consider starting him. I’m holding in one deeper league because of the potential, but short of that I believe White can sit safely on your waiver wire or your deep bench. It also doesn’t help that he has to play with a knucklehead of a quarterback in Jay Cutler, who probably isn’t going out of his way to help White or instill confidence in him. He was the cause of an interception last week when he ran the wrong route and had another ball go through his hands on a key third down. White needs to find a way to make Cutler comfortable throwing the ball to him. Once he can do that, he should be making his way into starting lineups. I just think that might be later in the season than some hoped for. White needs to make something happen for me before I bite on him.
Chargers’ Offense – Figured since I went with an all-encompassing team above, I might as well do the same down below. The loss of Keenan Allen for this team is Yuge. Yuge. I’d say this loss is comparable to what happened to the Packers last year once Jordy went down. There is no replacing Allen outright, and it will take weeks before this team can find a way to patchwork the receiving corps to even come close to what they lost in Allen. Allen was Rivers’ most trusted receiver and just like we saw last year when he went down with an injury, I think the Chargers will struggle mightily. Rivers was a top 5 quarterback last year for the first half of the season, but once Allen went down that whole offense went down too, and Rivers was a completely different guy in the second half and looked lost at times with his man Keenan. The slack will be picked up by Danny Woodhead Tyrell Williams, amongst others, but Rivers has fallen out of startable territory for me as an owner. Until Rivers can show he can live without Allen, I’m steering clear of the bolo tie.
And there you have it, your week 2 Hogs and Dogs. With the article coming out on Wednesday, be aware that things can drastically change as the week goes by. Keep an eye on those injured players and injury replacements prior to game time; a lot can change in four days. Make sure to also give our podcast, Trophy Time presented by The Fantasy Football Gurus, a listen on iTunes or Google Play. Best of luck this week! Boom.