Another week, another set of burning Sunday morning questions for the BretskyBall staff. Our moderator did his best Kenbrell Thompkins impression and dropped the ball, however, and has failed to stir much controversy as the normally oppositional debaters, share a common opinion on each and every topic. Well, they do say great minds think alike…
Fantasy Football Week 3 – Decisions, decisions, decisions
In a PPR league: Julian Edelman (vs. TB) or Marques Colston (vs. ARI)?
The obvious choice is to lean to Edelman here a week after Tom Brady targeted the slot machine 18 times against the Jets. Edelman, of course, made PPR owners happy while snagging 13 of those passes, but put up a relatively disappointing 78 yards despite all that work. Rob Gronkowski‘s health heading into the game will be a slight factor here and if Brady is once-again without his beastly tight end, then you have to figure Edelman will again see a ton of targets. Still, the Bucs pass defense is much improved and with Darelle Revis now in the mix, Edelman could have his hands full against the top corner in the league now and again. Expect the Buccaneers to hold their own this week, much like they did against Drew Brees and the Saints in Week 2.
Speaking of the Saints, Colston is the way to would lean between these two for the week. Marques may very well get a healthy dose of Patrick Peterson this week, but beyond that, the Cardinals secondary is a bit banged up. Though the Saints’offense was flustered last week, we have supreme confidence in Drew Brees and Sean Peyton to put up points more often than not, so look for Colston to break through after a sluggish start to the season.
I would start Colston. Look, I know that Edelman had 1,000 targets last weekend while Colston had his turn on the wrong end of the Saints feast-or-famine offense catching four passes for 63 yards. Don’t expect Colston to stay there long, he has been too consistent for too long. Additionally, there has been some scuttlebutt that Darrell Revis may cover Edelman this weekend and with the other Patriots receivers being completely unable to catch a pass, why wouldn’t the Bucs’ best defender cover Tom Brady’s only option. Start Colston this weekend over Edelman, even in a PPR.
Flex play decision: Ryan Mathews or Torrey Smith?
Mathews actually has a pretty tough assignment here as the Titans have quite the strong defense this season. Yes, they let Deandre Hopkins bust loose for a big-gainer in a defeat last week, but overall, the unit has been nearly dominant. In Baltimore, Smith is yet to put up a monstrous game but has been quietly steady, posting 177 yards on 11 catches over his first tow games this season. With Ray Rice banged up, the Ravens could use a big play or two in the passing game to ease the pressure on the offense and, if Joe Flacco gives Smith a couple of opportunities down the field, he’s more likely than not to make a big play.
Matthews, widely picked to stink this year, has instead been in a bit of a career resurgence. Last week against Philly he had for 73 yards on the ground on 16 rushes, and also caught a pass for three yards. Of course, in typical Matthews fashion, he fumbled in the red zone. Torrey Smith, meanwhile, had seven catches for 85 yards, and that was following up a 4-for-92 yard effort in week 1. Smith has been exactly what everyone expected him to be, he just has not found his way into the end zone quite yet. Expect that trend to end sooner rather than later, especially with Marlon Brown easing some of the burden (and attention) with a a couple of solid performances. Go with Smith this weekend.
If Mendenhall sits this week, what is Andre Ellington’s role would be and where would you rank him in a standard league?
Regardless of whether or not Rashard Mendenhall is ready to suit up on Sunday, Andre Ellington is a name that fantasy owners need to get familiar with. In fact, earlier this week, we recommended passing on the “hotter” waiver wire commodity in James Starks to snag Ellington as the rookie’s role will begin to grow week after week. He’s already earned the job as the primary third down back and if Mendenhall were forced to miss time, Ellington become the starter. Of course, the Arizona offensive line makes it a challenge for any runner to be successfully consistently, Ellington offers enough upside that he’s worth an add in almost every league and, if given the chance to start this weekend, makes for a solid FLEX play against the Saints in a potential shootout.
This is an interesting question. Ryan Williams has been healthy scratch in each of the first two weeks and is out of the picture. Alfonso Smith has clearly become the third guy on the totem pole. Ellington, the second guy on said pole, has brought small doses of electricity to the Cardinals offense, something that Rashard Mendenhall has never been known for (Ellington’s Week 2 line: Four rushes for 20 yards, and two catches for 42 yards and a touchdown, all on only 18 snaps). The coach, Bruce Arians, has said that Ellington is someone who can carry the load. Now, the fragile Mendenhall has missed two practices. If Ellington starts this week, you have to love his opportunity, and he becomes an immediate plug n’play RB2. I would start him over James Starks, Daryl Richardson, or anybody around that tier if given the green light Sunday morning.