The Sunday games are now in the books, here are my early week 8 takeaways...
(1) Ridley Poo- To the Ridley naysayers. Even in a maddening timeshare, he racked up over a hundred yards and a score. Made the point on the 2Mugs Podcast, that NE will want to run more in cold weather matchups, and the schedule is only tough on the ground in week 13 (MIA) and week 15 (SF). Other than that, it's a choice situation for Ridley...timeshare..or not. BTW, Gronk isn't letting fantasy owners down...in case you didn't notice. Pats go into a much needed bye getting healthier and scary.
(2) Mmmmm Ribs- So much for Trent Richardson not getting it done this week while nursing sore ribs, and Montario Hardesty being a nice pickup. He gashed the Charger defense for over 100 yards and a score. So start a team of grandmas vs. this joke of a defense.
(3) Speaking of Poo- Jets. I got nothing, people.
(4) Free of Staff Infection- Matt Stafford inexplicably got his mojo back...against Seattle??!! Yeah, away from Qwest Field, you can exploit certain matchups in this otherwise stellar Seahawk secondary. Our guy Ryan Broyles found the end zone, but the PPR gold went to Titus Young and Pettigrew, who benefitted from bracket coverage thrown the way of Megatron. All have value going forward, but temper expectations when the coverage is favorable for Calvin Johnson week to week.
(5) Right, Soft Schedule, Right- I have no explanation for why the Packers came up small vs. Jacksonville, I mean Gabbert outscored Aaron MF. Rodgers. Please use the obligatory "any given Sunday" excuse, and don't freak out over one underwhelming game. The Pats looked awful vs. the Jets last week, before tapping Royal ass in London on the Rams. Stink happens.
(6) Andy Reid- Is now 12-1 after the bye. Now fuck off.
(7) Sell! Sell! Sell! - Chris Johnson. Now. Do it. It gets "Sunday 3am ugly" after this week for CJDice-K, so holding on to him is an exercise in masochism.
(8) Cowboy Down or Up? - Honestly, is there a bigger fantasy mindfuck offense than the Cowboys as a whole? Forget that the Giants let them back in the 2nd half, I'd sell off every Cowboy skill player based on this game's output...even with that Cinderella "Non-TD" by Dez in the final seconds of the game. The first half Romo (3 picks) is the real Romo. Sell em' off, I tells ya'!
(9) The Light Had To Go On Eventually, Right?- Darren McFadden's numbers were fantasy salvageable because he catches passes out of the backfield and rushed for over 100 yds. The Chiefs were a get right opportunity for DMC, and he got things going with volume carries. He just needs to reward patient owners with more TDs. In the meantime, @ChrisWesseling favorite, Denarius Moore continues to flourish as Carson Palmer's favorite big play target. The ship has sailed on getting Moore on the cheap, but do your best to get him via trade.
(10) When Ronnie Brown is your leading WR- You lose to the Browns. Fire Norv Turner already.
(11) Whatever Happened to Baby Jamaal?- I wish I knew. The Chiefs are a hot mess, and if they trade away Bowe, they're untouchable for fantasy.
(12) Rummy on the Board-
The bye came at the best time for New England. Allows players like Hernandez, Gronk, Mankins, Chung and others to heal up after a big ego boost victory vs. STL. Feel free to make moves for NE players with motivated bye week sellers.
Felix Jones carries the rock like Big Ern McCracken in "Kingpin"...and that's why he fumbles.
RG3 had a down game, it happens. Better for a kid like Griffin to have a stinker once and a while, and bounce back like a champ, then end up like Cam Newton, asking reporters for suggestions on how to get better.
The Jonathan Stewart Express averaged less than three yards a carry vs. Chicago. Again, bad week for a sea change, Ron Rivera.
Sunday Night Football "40-Ounce"- Peyton Manning is back, and don't act like I never told ya.' Sure there was potential for re-injury to his neck (and still is), but his zip is coming back, and even 80% of Peyton is better than most of the QBs in the NFL. In fact, he's a top 5 option right now, and you were handily snatching him up as late as the 9th round in most drafts in August. His schedule looks great, Demaryius Thomas looks like his clear #1 WR, with Eric Decker a valuable (1b) in the mold of Wayne/Collie a few years back in Indy. Both are red zone threats as well, unlike players like Antonio Brown, who fooled a lot of fantasy owners into thinking his red zone TDs would increase exponentially. Wills McGahee's role is carved in stone and he's a valuable RB2 moving forward. Ronnie Hillman showed pop in relief of McGahee, and is worth a spec pickup if McGahee wears down over the stretch. There's no reason to doubt that the group as a whole can't keep up this pace.
As for the Saints? Ugh. The problem isn't the offense, as Brees can still hit his WRs with superb efficiency. The issue is their atrocious defense. You can run, pass and even shake them down for their milk money. Sure it sets up the Saints to have to play catch up, but it also puts Brees in a "pass-only" situation by half time, and against teams like Denver with a violent pass rush, could make life miserable for fantasy owners. Brees' numbers were decent last night, better if he hadn't thrown a pick (intended for Jimmy Graham) to Wes Woodyard. Graham, Colston and Sproles will see better days, but this defense will need to pitch in soon, or Brees could be up and down the rest of the way.
*Note to my loyal @2MugsFF brethren, Hurricane Sandy is due to have its biggest impact on Monday night, so I'll potentially be without power, and hence off grid for a few days. Follow @RyFo18 for any follow up waiver wire advice. Cheers!