Tuesday, September 17, 2013

FAABulous: Fantasy Football Pick-ups Week 3

RG III (left) and Aaron Rodgers had two very different Sundays, but for fantasy .. not quite. (msn.foxsports.com)
FAABulous will recap the week of football activity and point fantasy owners where to spend their hard earned (not really) FAAB or waiver priority. Players will be owned in at most 50% of Yahoo! FFL. This is the one time where mo' money probably wouldn't mean mo' problems.

From a football perspective, you'd much rather wake up Tuesday morning and be Aaron Rodgers as opposed to Robert Griffin III. Rodgers led the Packers to their first win of the season by crushing the Washington football club 38-20. Griffin, however, struggled to get anything going for the second straight game, only to see his defense struggle again and put Washington FC in a deep hole. One team kept their division title hopes alive, while the other couldn't be plummeting any faster.

In fantasy however, the difference isn't so vast. In that game Rodgers hurled 4 TD passes and set a franchise record for a single game of passing at 480 yards (beating out .... Matt Flynn's previous franchise record!). Griffin playing the catch up game tossed he second straight 300+ yard passing game and 3 TDs of his own. Overall, for what looked like an absolute beatdown on Sunday turned into only an 11 point difference between Rodgers (34.90 points) and Griffin (23.90 points) in standard Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

In fact, RGIII ended up with the 4th best QB fantasy performance in Week 2. "Beating" other QBs that actually won their games like Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Peyton Manning. Yes, for this seemingly out of nowhere performance we can thank garbage time.

Piling up stats in garbage time is no secret amongst fantasy players. Just ask Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson owners last year. There's a certain art to owning a player or players on a bad team, that you know once that defecit grows to double digits, the running and gunning come out. There's really no definitive way to assume a player will garner a lot of garbage time points, but so far RGIII has mastered it.

From Grantland's Bill Barnwell:
The final scores from these past two weeks undersell just how little Washington has had to offer in its opening contests of 2013. Washington was down 24-0 at the end of the first half against the Packers on Sunday, and the Eagles took it to the woodshed with a 26-7 halftime lead last Monday; that's a 43-point halftime gap over the first two games of the year.*

*Also, that 7 points that Washington scored against the Eagles was a defensive touchdown. So Washington's offense has been in a 50-0 hole.

Out of that mess came two very solid RGIII fantasy performances. While no one will mistaken these past two weeks as RGIII playing well, it's worth noting that even though Washington FC might be heading for a rough year, it doesn't mean that the team will be dragging down RGIII or Alfred Morris - for that matter - with them. There's still a lot of fantasy value to be had when you treat your gameplan like Richard Sherman treats, well ... everyone. Aside from the growing injury concerns in the nation's capital, I still view RGIII as a worthwile fantasy play moving forward. It's clear that he is not able or not comfortable running like he used to, but it's also clear that the NFC East has a collection of the worst defenses in all of football. With a slate of games that are sure to be high scoring against poor defenses, RGIII - even without running - could easily finish a top 10 QB barring injury/benching by cashing in on the seemingly gigantic amount of garbage time that will be coming his way. As the season progresses, his health should improve making a top 5 ranking in reach, but Washington as a whole look to not be a competitive team this year.

It may not be pretty on Sunday's, but Tuesday morning is what we're all shooting for.

Eddie Royal has 5 touchdowns already. (wtnh.com)

Among the large amount of significant Week 3 injuries, let's see who is worth our time. Onwards!

Eddie Royal, WR - SD (23%) @ TEN

Sure it was easy to ignore Royal's Week 1 performance, and many people did. Week 2 however caught the attention of everyone. Three touchdowns albeit against the horrid Eagles' secondary established Royal as at least a fantasy bench option moving forward. We've seen the situation before where a breakout game ultimately leads to nothing, but Royal has always had an ability to be productive. He had 91 receptions for 980 yards and 5 TDs in 2008, but since then he hasn't really had steady opportunities. What he's getting in San Diego is just that. New head coach Mike McCoy might not have been counting on Royal when he took over the job, but injuries to Malcolm Floyd and Denario Alexander have given Royal a window of opportunity to succeed. Also, don't sleep on the San Diego offense, McCoy was the offensive coordinator for the Broncos the last two years where he built a highly effective offense behind two of the most drastically different quarterbacks you can find: Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning.

Ryan Broyles, WR - DET (25%), Nate Burleson, WR - DET (10%) +Washington Redskins 

Wide receivers against Washington! All of them! Broyles should make his season debut this week, and I'd expect him to get used to suiting up moving forward.

Isaiah Pead, RB - STL (14%) +Dallas Cowboys 

Daryl Richardson owners, just go get him.

Percy Harvin, WR - SEA (31%) Injured

Word is the medical staff in Seatlle is doing some interesting stuff. Harvin indicated that a Week 7 return isn't out of the question. Seems like a great time to stash him in case. Sure, this could be just a super competitive athlete's optimism, but who knows? If you're looking for an immediate impact guy, Doug Baldwin (8%) is always underrated.


James Starks, RB - GB (10%) +Cincinnati Bengals 

I said it before in my running back preview, but when it comes to the Packers, I just do not trust them to run the ball affectively. Eddie Lacy suffered a concussion on a finable hit by Washington safety Brandon Merriweather. There'd probably be a lot more bad blood going around if Merriweather didn't get some of his own comeuppance by later suffering a concussion of his own trying to take down Starks in a similar manner. There's certainly not much to work with based on Lacy's touches so far this year. It's difficult to judge him on the 14 carries he had against Seattle, and one 10 yard carry on Sunday doesn't make things any clearer.

If you need a Packers RB, then Starks is your guy. Just keep in mind that his breakout performance took place in 2010's postseason. He's failed to impress since then, and his performance on Sunday was against a clearly overmatched defense who were already defeated once he touched the pigskin. Depending on how long Lacy is out, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Packers dial up Willis McGahee or Michael Turner. He's taken your FAAB money before. Don't let him do it again.

THE 1%

Andre Ellington, RB - ARZ (1%) @ NO

Rashard Medenhall has probably exceeded expectations thus far for fantasy owners, but Ellington has impressed Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians. It appears Ellington has already taken over as the third down back in Arizona, and the rookie 6th round pick is inching closer to Mendenhall on the depth chart. It would probably take an injury for Ellington to displace Mendenhall, but that's never out of the question.


I don't envision this being a recurring section, but for everyone wondering why the Patriots don't go get Brandon Lloyd, well here's a fun fact about what he's up to.

Brandon Lloyd - WR, FA (2%)

Free agent WR Brandon Lloyd stars in an upcoming zombie movie called "After Effect."
Advice: Maybe now we know why Lloyd has rejected inquiries from at least six NFL teams, including the desperate Patriots. He landed a role in this direct-to-DVD movie as Sargent Chuck Lloyd. The movie stars Daniel Baldwin. Lloyd is just 32 years old and posted a 70/966/5 line last year, but he appears done with the NFL.

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