Hogs & Dogs: Week 9
Hello mates, welcome to week nine of the fantasy season! The season is flying by per usual, and hopefully these articles along with our other TFFGuru weekly information, has helped push you and your team to a winning record. The injuries continue to pile up across the league as more and more starters go down, especially at the running back position, in favor of the backup’s backups at this point. Just look at Tampa Bay, where Doug Martin, Charles Sims, and now Jacquizz Rodgers are all banged up. Their fourth and fifth string running backs will be headlining their backfield and more than likely some teams’ lineups this weekend. It might just be time to start grabbing those handcuffs that we really hate taking up our bench spots. Injuries happen, so might as well be as best prepared as possible. This week’s installment is wide receiver heavy! Here we go!
This installment is our Wednesday special, our weekly start and sit article that we like to get out to you before Thursday night’s game. While discussing starts and sits in Hogs and Dogs, we also like to sprinkle in some buy lows, sell highs, and contrarian views that might not exactly mesh with what the majority of other experts are saying. We want to give you a different perspective on the NFL while also delivering some helpful advice that can translate to your league.
Cole Beasley – Deep league play here, Beasley has been one of the most consistent wide receivers so far this year. There hasn’t been a more perfect WR3 as Beasley averages 9.00 points per game. Keep in mind that also comes with a floor of roughly 7.00 points per. He’s seeing about 7 targets per contest, but he catches most of them and does a lot of his damage after the catch. Similar in some ways to fellow small white guys Wes Welker and Julian Edelman, Beasley can really get you some points in PPR leagues. Dez Bryant’s return does not scare me off too much here as each week the Cowboys are opening up the offense more and more for Dak. He’s the clear number two option in Dallas and if you need that perfect WR3, Beasley is your guy. Fire him up this weekend against Cleveland.
Allen Hurns – I was not a huge fan coming into the year and expected major regression across the board for both Hurns and AR15. Many shared this opinion as Blake Bortles is just not a good quarterback, but I’m starting to come around on Hurns as he has really impressed me these past few weeks. The firing of the offensive coordinator in Jacksonville should invigorate the team for at least a game or two and if I own Hurns or ARob, I’m certainly firing them up this weekend. I know this might appear as a bit of a contrarian play with the game being at Kansas City, but I’m willing to take my chances, especially on a week filled to the brim with byes. KC has also allowed the eighth most fantasy points to wide receivers this year, so what might not appear to be a good matchup on the surface certainly has the makings of being a big game for Jacksonville’s outside weapons.
Amari Cooper – Something that is echoed throughout the fantasy community and something we preach to our followers, subscribers, listeners, and readers, is to start your studs. That is no different here even with the Raiders facing off against the vaunted Denver defense. Derek Carr has proven he can handle this offense and take control when he really needs to, and Oakland has shown that they really have some big brass balls and love taking chances this year under Jack Del Rio. Cooper has been on a rollercoaster ride this year with highs of 17.70, 23.80, and 28.30 and lows of 2.90, 4.80, and 6.20. This has been nauseating for fantasy owners, but we all know that the talent is certainly there. Though some might suggest fading Cooper this week, I highly suggest starting him with confidence for his primetime showdown with the Broncos. Aqib Talib is still dealing with a back injury and we know that Cooper should see some of him on Sunday night. He’ll be able to take advantage in a game where I think Carr throws the rock at least 40 times. Start with confidence.
Kyle Rudolph – The ole reindeer, Kyle Rudolph has finally put himself together a decent season. The news from today of Norv Turner resigning should not affect Rudolph much as that offense has mostly been coached by Pat Shurmur this season anyways. At a position where consistency is hard to come by, Rudolph has remained consistent. Only one week so far this year has he scored below 2 points, and only two weeks has he scored below 4 points. He is seeing almost 8 targets per game on a team that tries to limit Sam Bradford’s passing attempts. He and Stefon Diggs are the only two relevant fantasy players in that offense and both should be started every week. Keep in mind that Rudolph and the Vikings are playing Detroit at home, a team with a porous defense that sieves points to tight ends. Expect him to remain Bradford’s blankie, and get you at least 10 points this weekend.
Carolina – Go get them. Go get them now. My colleague Mr. Trotta touched upon them in his waiver wire piece (go read it for some deep adds and stashes). That bye week really helped them, and if that defensive line can continue to get pressure – shouldn’t be hard given their talent – it can make up for their lack of skill at the defensive back position. Shaq Thompson also looked very good in this one, though it’s not known how long he’ll be sidelined with a knee sprain. They haven’t lived up to what many were expecting after last year, delivering only one double digit performance before week eight. They also just held one of the most potent offenses in the league, Arizona, to just twenty points and sacked Carson Palmer eight times. Next up they get the Rams and Case Keenum (woof) and then the Chiefs, who have a mostly conservative play call.
Jeremy Maclin– A Dogs group filled only with receivers this week, Maclin leads the way because he has been the biggest disappointment of the group. One might go as far as to call him a bag of smashed apples. A favorite of many last year because he was one of the best WR2s in fantasy, Maclin has let down a lot of owners this year. We as owners have given him chances all year long and he was even a Hog this year in week 7 when they played the Saints. He racked up a whopping 40 yards that day. He simply cannot be trusted as more than a WR3 at best, which is unfortunate because he is definitely talented. Kansas City simply likes to spread the ball around this year, which decreases Maclin’s fantasy value but increases the likes of Tyreek Hill, Spencer Ware, Chris Conley, and Travis Kelce. He’s currently on pace for 69 catches (ayyy), for 859 yards and 5 touchdowns. You should have better options this week, even with Kansas City playing Jacksonville.
Sterling Shepard – Things have not been going well for the Shepard and his flock. Maybe the week off helped, but it’s very hard to put Shepard into my lineups this week with the duds that we have gotten out of him and Eli Manning over the past couple weeks. I really like Shepard and think he’s got potential to be a great receiver in the NFL, but with how poorly Eli has been playing and inconsistency across the Giants’ receiving corps, it will be hard to trust him until he puts up at least two good games in a row. His first three games resulted in 12.43 points per game. Since week 4 he has put up 2.53 points per game. He also has not topped 40 yards since week 3. The Giants face two tough defenses in Philadelphia and Cincinnati over the next two weeks, so for now it’s best to let Shepard ride the pine. The bye week may have helped New York work out some kinks, but I have to see it to believe it.
Marvin Jones – The streaky Starvin Marvin is streaky yet again. Since his outburst in week 3 against Green Bay, where he went for 205 and 2 touchdowns, Jones has not surpassed ten fantasy points. His targets have also been down over that five week span, garnering only six per game, opposed to the ten that he was getting the first three weeks. Add in the fact that Jones has been dealing with foot issues for a good amount of the year and you have your perfect sell high candidate after week three. He was being talked up as a WR1 at the beginning of the year, but with his lackluster performances over the past five weeks, he has shaped into more of a low end WR2. He has 37.10 points over those five weeks, good for about 7.42 per game. Anquon Boldin, Golden Tate, and Eric Ebron have all started to see more targets. I’m staying away from Jones and most of the Detroit offense this week against a vaunted Minnesota defense that looks to rebound after last week’s loss to the Bears.
Doug Baldwin – Baldwin’s true colors are starting to show through. Baldwin, along with the entire Seattle offense, have really struggled to get anything going as of late. The offensive line is in shambles, Russell Wilson can barely move around, and the receivers have yet to do much. Baldwin’s last big game, as with Jones, came in week three when Seattle faced the elite San Fran defense. He put up 27 points that day but since then has not surpassed 6.90 points. Facing New Orleans Swiss cheese defense he was only able to muster 51 yards on four catches. At best Baldwin is a WR3 for me this week with the news that Wilson shed his knee brace. To me this means he should be able to be more mobile back there which is where the big plays and breakdowns in the opposing secondary come from. Buffalo is known to take chances and go hard after the quarterback, so if Wilson can squeeze out of some plays he should have a lot to work with downfield. I’m not a huge fan of Baldwin but if you’re in a pinch this week, I understand. Keep an eye on Tyler Lockett this week as a Hail Mary play.
Devante Parker – Rounding out this wide receiver heavy set of Dogs is Devante “Peter” Parker. Parker had some lofty expectations being drafted in the seventh to ninth rounds on draft day this year. That has not worked out favorably for owners. Parker barely tapped double digits in points this year with 12.60 and 11.10 in weeks two and three respectively. Over his last four he has been targeted 3, 3, 7, and 4 times. Yikes. He might be locked in Adam Gase’s doghouse for the year with those types of numbers. Over the same time frame he has averaged 3.45 points per game and has stayed under 70 yards receiving in all but one game this year. For someone who should have been getting peppered with targets, especially on a comeback, garbage time team like Miami, Parker has been a real let down. He’s someone who I think is droppable in most leagues. Even Kenny Stills has more value at this point.
And that does it. Good luck this week friends. Remember to send us your lineup questions on Twitter @TFFGurus, @TheFantasyBoys, and @DaFantasyFather, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help you, and if you can’t get enough of the Gurus be sure to check out Trophy Time, our twice a week podcast that you can find on iTunes, Google Play, etc. Also, if you have a player that you want to be covered in Hogs & Dogs please email or tweet us that player. I’d love to tackle a player or situation each week that either slipped my mind or I wasn’t going to originally include. So send in your conundrums and we’ll try to include some info for you! Finally, make sure to check out our Facebook page, The Fantasy Football Gurus.