I wanted to have this article written before the game on Thursday, but an impromptu beer class where you could sample 20 beers for $30 dollars altered my plans. Much like my beer class, sometimes we have grand plans for fantasy football that are instantly altered . You thought Terrelle Pryor would have a great matchup against the Redskins but you started Kaepernick because all the signs were pointing towards Pryor not playing, now Kaepernick finishes his night with 13 fantasy points and the Oakland Raider’s have once again changed their story that Pryor may be able to play. Sometimes you are just going to have a great opportunity that you can’t pass up like my beer class, and other times you are just going to have to go with the flow and only have one option at your disposal. You may get screwed over, but luckily you have 8 more players who can carry the load. So without further ado, I would like to introduce my Start-Sit column titled “Let The Big Dog Eat” –“Cage The Pup”.
Let The Big Dog Eat: Quarterbacks
Ben Roethlisberger vs Vikings: The dismal Vikings are currently allowing 315.7 passing yards a game, and Roethlisberger threw for 406 yards against a tough Bear’s D. It looks like Le’Veon Bell may play in week 4, but even if the Steelers somehow manage to get some kind of ground game going, look for Ben to throw several bombs to Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. Now that Health Miller is back as well, Big Ben has a nice big end zone target. Not only is he a great bye week play if you own him, but he needs to be seriously considered as your starting quarterback with this juicy matchup.
Tyrelle Pryor/ Matt Flynn vs Redskins: Tyrelle Pryor and Matt Flynn have a big date, and from what I hear, they are definitely going to get a kiss at the end of the night. The Redskins have pretty much the worse overall defense in the NFL, ranking 31st in their pass and rushing defense. Pryor can put some passes together and he has moves like Jagger, so he should be able to absolutely torch this defense on the ground and in the air. The only issue is that the Raiders have been flip flopping on whether he will start or not. I would rather have Pryor than Flynn, but I honestly would start a kid in high school against this defense. Whoever starts at QB will have a huge day, so keep an eye one Pryor’s condition throughout the weekend.
Cage The Pup: Quarterbacks
Matt Ryan vs Patriots: The Falcons may not be in as much trouble that people think, but the will find themselves against the wall in this matchup against the Pats. Mr. Belichick is going to find a way to shut down Julio Jones and make Ryan make plays to his other receivers. Tony Gonzalez is showing his age, Harry Douglas isn’t doing much of anything, Roddy White is still a decoy until he goes off, and an average running attack should find themselves struggling this weekend. The Patriot’s have the 6th ranked pass defense only allowing 188.30 yards a game, so if you have a quarterback on your bench with a better matchup, use him.
E.J. Manuel vs Ravens: Baltimore’s defense is ranked 22nd against the pass allowing an average of 269.70 yards a game, but some of that has to do with Peyton Manning’s 462 yards in week one. The Ravens are ranked 4th for rushing yards allowed, and they have shut down some strong runners such as Trent Richardson, and Arian Foster. Manuel has some super high projections, but I think the Ravens are going to punish him if he tries to run, and if the entire Baltimore defense plays the way they did against Houston, you are looking at a pretty ugly game.
Let The Big Dog Eat: Running Backs
Bilal Powell vs Titans: Even though he was handed the rock 27 times, Powell looked great against the Bills with 149 yards averaging 5.5 yards a carry. The Titans do have a top 15 run defense, but there is just something about the Jets this year that makes me believe in these guys. He may not get handed the ball 27 times again, but if Geno Struggles, look for Powell to try and put the team on his shoulders.
*I originally had Ahmad Bradshaw as my other starter until he was recently ruled out*
Cage The Pup: Running Backs
Knowson Moreno vs Eagles: I think the committee effect has finally revealed its three headed monster, and Moreno will slowly start to be a nonfactor again. Even he ends up getting the majority of the carries, Peyton will be absolutely destroying the Eagle’s defense.
Arian Foster vs Seattle: Houston does not look like the same team we saw last year, and Arian Foster is no different .Many people were afraid the Texans have overused Foster, and right now Ben Tate is looking like the better back. If Foster is going to have a total resurgence this season, it won’t be in week 4. With half the carries of foster in Week 1, Tate out rushed foster 57 yards-55, with 9 carries in Week 2 Tate outrushed Foster’s 19 carries 93 yards- 79 yards, and Week 3 showed a close time share with Foster rushing 12 times for 54 yards, and Tate rushing 9 times for 36. He may have been your #1 overall back, but this week he should ride the pin.
Let The Big Dog Eat: Wide Receivers
Davone Bess vs Bengals: I was a huge fan of Bess after watching him in the Vikings game, and I think with the Bengals focusing on Gordon and Cameron, Bess should have a great day. He receives a lot of looks, and he seemed to be the go to guy on third down. Strong flex option.
Torrey Smith vs Bills: He has been receiving the yards, just not the touchdowns. Look for that to change against the 20th ranked Bill’s pass defense, and if Ray Rice is still less than 100 percent, Smith could finish the day with over 100 yards and a touchdown.
Cage The Pup: Wide Receivers
Julian Edelman vs Falcons: The Falcons have an awful pass defense, but with the prospect of Gronk making a return, Edelman will begin to be phased out of the offense. He received less targets than Aaron Dobson, the same amount as Kenbrell Thompkins, and one less than Brandon Bolden. Brady will get the job done on the regular football field, but his receivers are not going to be making the impact that fantasy owners were hoping for.
Santonio Holmes vs Titans: I just can’t buy into him yet. Even with his great game, I still see better chemistry between Geno and Stephen Hill. If Holmes has another good game then maybe he is worth a start, but remember how Eddie Royal started off the year.
Let The Big Dog Eat: Tight End
Heath Miller vs Vikings: Even though it was the Antonio Brown show against the Bears, Miller tied for the third most targets. It will be interesting to see how the run game goes with Bell back, but they will continue to air it out against the Viking’s 28th pass defense. Miller and Big Ben have a good rapport, and Ben will look to him when they are close to the end zone.
Jared Cook vs 49’ers: I wish I would have had this list out for the Thursday night game, but I was unable to.
Let The Big Dog Eat: Defenses
Colts vs Jaguars: The Colts are playing the Jaguars.
Saints vs Dolphins: The Saints have the 4th best pass defense and 20th rush defense. I think this is the time where we will see what Lamar Miller is made of, and Tannehill will have a bland performance.
Cage the Pup: Defenses
Tennesse vs Jets: Tennessee doesn’t have a bad defense, but with momentum on their side, The Jets should have a good day. The are running the ball well, and if Geno Smith can connect with Stephen Hill for a couple of deep passes, the Jets will be able to hang a lot of points up on the board.
Bills vs Ravens: The Bills are finding some fantasy football love this week against the Ravens, but I don’t know what the hype is about. The Bills are 1-2, Ray Rice will be back in the game, and Torrey Smith will burn anyone on the Bills defense all day long. Look for the Bills to score between 2 points and -2 points against the Ravens.
Categories: Fantasy Football