MACK’S SUNDAY SAUCE: NFL FANTASY FOOTBALL INSIGHTS (WEEK 3)
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This is Mack’s Sunday Sauce comin’ at ya! Always fresh, never stirred, where I’m here to give you your weekly dose of anything goes, no filter FANTASY FOOTBALL advice.
The first few weeks in fantasy football are always tough. Players that were drafted in the second round prove to be ‘fourth rounders’ and players drafted in the fourth round prove to be ‘second rounders’. One thing I will say is this, don’t give up on your studs after two weeks. People lose faith in player’s way too fast. Loyalty sometimes helps win championships. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely times a player needs to be pulled and benched. But, what I’m essentially getting at is: DON’T GET CUTE IN FANTASY FOOTBALL! Andrew Luck is out, and TY Hilton has had a slow start. Just when one is ready to give up on him, he’ll catch a deep ball for a TD, even with Jacoby Brissett under center! So, let’s take a look at some key games in Week 3 and the fantasy impact each games brings to the table. And while the sauce is always delicious, sometimes you just gotta’ go with that seven layer cookie from 18th Avenue in Brooklyn of a gut!
Sunday – 1:00pm – TB @ MIN: The big bad Vikings defense is quietly giving up the 8th most fantasy points to QB’s through two games. Jameis Winston posted meek numbers in his season opener, but frankly, the Bucs had a big lead against the lowly Bears and Winston didn’t need to do much. Heading to Minnesota should be more of a test for him, and Winston should be ready to step up and have a decent day in fantasy. BOLD STATLINE PREDICTION: 284 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT. Duty calls for Mike Evans as well, who will be squaring up with Vikings stud CB Xavier Rhodes, but is anyone sitting Evans? Definitely not! Many thought that the Bucs had a massive goal line threat with Cameron Brate emerging in 2016, but then they went and drafted OJ Howard to complement him. Both had quiet openers, and this will become a “wait and see” game on who Winston ends up favoring, and who accrues the upper hand in fantasy (and on the depth chart). Jacquizz Rodgers may win the starting job over Doug Martin before he is even fit to play, but the matchup doesn’t make Rodgers an RB2 this week. His snap count alone makes him flex worthy, but he is not a pass catching back, and seems to be more valuable in non PPR formats. One of the biggest themes of this game is whether or not Sam Bradford will play. If he does, Stefon Diggs will be a WR2 and Kyle Rudolph a TE1. If Bradford sits, it’s easier to still start Rudolph, while Diggs falls into boom or bust flex consideration. Dalvin Cook has 191 rushing yards through the first two games of his NFL career. While TB looked decent limiting an injured Jordan Howard, Cook looks explosive and may carry a bigger than expected load if Bradford sits. With the thin depth at RB in 2017, Cook is a top 15 back in all formats and earns RB2/Flex earnestness after just two NFL starts. Go ahead and plug away young Dalvin. BOLD STATLINE PREDICTION: 15 carries, 84 yards, 1 TD; 3 receptions, 27 yards.
Sunday – 4:25pm – Cincinnati @ GB: The 0-2 Bengals head to Lambeau for an early season clash with the 1-1 Pack. Everyone is going to expect Green Bay to dominate. What can we say about Andy Dalton after two weeks in 2017? He looks atrocious! With that, don’t be surprised if he goes off this week! THAT’S FANTASY FOOTBALL BABY! I like him to bounce back this week and play up to his challenger Aaron Rodgers. The Packers secondary has indeed had a better start than last season, but still seemed to get exploited by a high powered Falcons offense last week. AJ Green has been quiet for his standards, but he has remained a focal point of the offense and will be looking to find ‘pay dirt’ on Sunday. BOLD STATLINE PREDICTION: 7 receptions, 115 yards, 1 TD. The RB committee situation gets worse and worse in the NFL for fantasy football enthusiasts. The Bengals are just as bad as New England in this case, running with three RB’s and not really giving any of the three true fantasy value. Early drafted Joe Mixon can barely be flexed, and Gio Bernard only really has PPR value at this point. Jeremy Hill was a pure bred early down starting RB for quite a few seasons, and they may have given up on him too quickly in Cincinnati. I wouldn’t start any of these three unless you are in a 14 team deep league. Banged up Tyler Eifert is having early season injury issues, and has struggled through his first two starts. I would monitor his status, but you may want to look elsewhere this week anyway, on top of all of this, GB has given up the second least fantasy points to tight ends so far this season, shutting out Jimmy Graham and Austin Hooper for 25 yards combined through two games. On the other side with Rodgers, Jordy Nelson owners must be happy that he is not injured, and Ty Montgomery is looking like he’ll be a top 10 back this year. Davante Adams stepped up against Atlanta when Randall Cobb and Jordy got banged up, and is getting better and better with time. He has WR2/Flex consideration weekly. Cobb is in the same boat as Davante when healthy, but is getting more and more ‘boom or busty’ later in his Packer tenure.
SNF – Sunday Night Football – Oakland @ WAS: It is a new era for Oakland Raider fans. After watching the Raiders lose for years, they have finally become an exciting team with a more than decent squad for fans. This week, they are headed to Washington to play on Football Night in America. What to expect? Most likely a shootout and a nice chunk of scoring in fantasy football with two mediocre defenses facing off. Off the bat, I wouldn’t start either of these D/ST units this week. Derek Carr’s rapport with Michael Crabtree is rapidly growing, and Crabtree looks like the Texas Tech legend from college. He has surpassed Amari Cooper in the rankings this week, but both are solid WR2’s for this SNF clash. Don’t bench Cooper because Crabtree is shining right now. Marshawn Lynch seems like he was a score in a lot of drafts, as the 5th/6th rounder may end up a top 12 RB in fantasy football. Washington has been under average against the run, while Todd Gurley and LaGarrette Blount had nice fantasy days against them so far this season. They are giving up the 7th most points to RB’s in fantasy through two weeks. Don’t sleep on Beast Mode! BOLD STATLINE PREDICTION: 17 carries, 78 yards, 1 TD. On the other side, Kirk Cousins has had a slow start linking up with Terrelle Pryor and Jamison Crowder so far this season. And I think it’s becoming a theme this week on THE WRECKORD. Don’t give up on these guys! You sit them, and they score. You heard it here first. Their only downfall is a healthy Jordan Reed “vulturing” TD’s and yardage. All in all, I like Kirk and his receiving committee this week.