Your Monday Night Football, #FanDuel #NFL week4 Retrospectacle…

NFL Week 4 Retrospectacle: Todd Gurley Proves He’s The Man in St. Louis

Oct 05 
NFL Week 4 Retrospectacle: Todd Gurley Proves He’s The Man in St. Louis

NFL’s Week 4 was one that lacked true elite options, as we wrote on FanDuel Insider in the build up to Sunday’s action. In retrospect, we found a new elite player.

St. Louis running back Todd Gurley, welcome to fantasy superstardom. Goodbye questions about his health and usage. And we hardly know ye, Tre Mason.

“What can you say about Todd? In the second half, he took the game over and we needed it,” head coach Jeff Fisher told Myles Simmons of the Rams’ official website.

Gurley rushed for 144 of his career-high 146 yards in the second half against a very good Arizona Cardinals defense, and has rushed to the top of one-week fantasy minds with his 17.1-point performance. He was leaving yards on the field late in the game to merely fall unchallenged in patches of green grass to stay in-bounds to run out the clock.

“It’s totally unselfish,” Fisher told Summons, “and beyond that, for a rookie to have the presence of mind to do that—that says a lot for his understanding of this game and putting games away.”

The football acumen is savvy and the performance was savage.

“That just shows you how unselfish he is, how much he really wants to win,” Rams defensive lineman Will Hayes told Simmons. “The average guy is taking the ball inside the end zone, and he [didn’t]. And that was big in itself because people don’t understand how big of a play that is. You run the clock out and the game is over with. He’s a stud.”

The best part of the performance for FanDuelers should be that Mason was a complete non-factor, rushing twice for minus-1 yard Sunday.

It was only a matter of time. You don’t reach up to draft a damaged-goods running back (knee ligament reconstruction) in the top 10 of this modern NFL that has devalued the feature back to just let him stand on the sideline.

Gurley clearly looks worth it now. Heading into Week 5 at the Green Bay Packers, he is a bargain you cannot refuse.

This Week 4 Retrospectacle takes an in-depth look at the rest of the studs, duds and significant injury impacts on one-week fantasy action, starting with the other back you probably have to slot in a majority of lineups going forward.

Studs

RB Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (35.4 points)

Tevin Coleman’s (rib) injury has been a blessing for Freeman, who has rushed for six touchdowns in the past two games of Coleman’s absence. Freeman went 14-68-3 on the ground and 6-81 receiving.

“Devonta is playing lights out,” Falcons wide receiver Roddy White told Michael Cunningham ofThe Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We’ve got to continue to let him play that way. Feed him the ball, feed him the ball.”

You can bet the Falcons are going to give Coleman one more week to rest next Sunday against the Washington Redskins, particularly with a Thursday tilt at New Orleans immediately following. The Redskins have the second-best run defense in football through four weeks, but no one will be sitting Freeman now.

“Opportunity is everything,” Freeman told Cunningham. “They don’t come around often. You’ve just got to take advantage of them when you get them. I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to play in the NFL.”

K Cairo Santos, Kansas City Chiefs (27.0)—You have to love when a kicker outscores all but one position player, right? See, kickers belong in fantasy football!

WR Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams (26.6)—Sometimes it takes three years for an NFL receiver to find his niche. Austin appears to have found his, finally. He ripped off 6-96-2 receiving and added 20 more on the ground Sunday, proving he’s more than a mere return specialist now. This is not just a flash in the pan, either. This is the start of something great. He leads the Rams in targets (20) through four games.

QB Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (26.22)—Here’s the thing about Rivers (358-3): He gets future Hall of Fame tight end Antonio Gates back from his four-game suspension next week. Rivers is going to be a solid value, especially until rookie Melvin Gordon (12-38 rushing) gets rolling.

WR Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (25.7)—You can be worried about Jackson’s advanced age and playing with a shaky rookie quarterback, but Jameis Winston has been so bad early, the Bucs get blown out and collect garbage-time numbers. It makes Jackson (10-147-1) an unpredictable play.

QB Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles (24.2)—He has been one of the worst dollars-per-point quarterbacks. However, the running game is so bad right now that the Eagles have to pass the ball. Bradford’s 270-3 might be the baseline in Week 5 against the New Orleans Saints.

RB Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (24.0)—We love him as the finisher in Hue Jackson’s power-running scheme, we just wish he hadn’t had his fumbling issues that opened the door for Giovani Bernard (13-62-1) to make this a true timeshare. Hill was outcarried and outrushed (9-40-3) despite the touchdowns, and the Seattle Seahawks defense is up next. Ouch.

WR Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars (23.1)—Blake Bortles (298-1) is showing improvement and Hurns (11-116-1) is right there with Allen Robinson (4-80). We cannot wait to see what this group can do once Julius Thomas (hand) returns from injury. Thomas should open things up for everyone because he requires attention. The Jags receivers do have some sleeper value to them, especially because they are weekly candidates for garbage-time numbers.

RB Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (22.8)—The Bucs finally got their running game going, which is a great sign for those interested in Martin (20-106-1) as a bargain against the Jags next Sunday.

RB Christopher Ivory, New York Jets (22.6)—The Jets offense looks a lot better under the new regime. It’s too bad Ivory is on bye in Week 5, though.

QB Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (22.36)—He returns from a sore shoulder with 359-2, which is a great sign, even if the throws were more to the backs and tight ends. The Saints are going to manage Brees’ shoulder strength in their game plan, which can keep him productive. This is also a fairly intriguing development for those hoping Andrew Luck (shoulder) can do the same.

QB Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns (22.24)—It was a strange week for the quarterbacks, as many of the top-priced guys were trumped by bargains. McCown was solid in this shootout, but we don’t expect it to continue against the Baltimore Ravens on the road next Sunday.

Duke Johnson, Jr., Cleveland Browns (22.1)—If Johnson pushes out starter Isaiah Crowell (12-63 rushing and 3-62 receiving), look out. Until then, Johnson is just a bargain for his passing-downs production.

QB Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (21.7)—He put together an impressive game-winning drive that can give him and head coach Jay Gruden confidence. Cousins can get forced into a Week 5 shootout against the high-flying Falcons, too. We should like Pierre Garcon (7-55-1) and Jordan Reed (5-37) in that one—maybe even Jamison Crowder (7-65) if DeSean Jackson (hamstring) remains out.

Atlanta Falcons Defense (21.0)—Dan Quinn has turned this unit around in a hurry. A matchup at home against the Washington Redskins should be another bountiful one, especially at a mere $4,500 for Week 5.

WR Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs (20.3)—We should be convinced that Alex Smith’s 2014 struggles to get the ball to wideouts was more a function of the receiver quality than the lack of arm strength. Maclin (11-148) looks just fine with Smith, even if the touchdowns might not come consistently.

WR DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans (20.2)—Like Maclin, Hopkins is the lone receiving threat on a team with a subpar quarterback. You have to love his high-volume production (9-157). The Texans should open it up Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts at home, especially if Arian Foster (8-for-10 rushing) is ready for a larger role.

Bums the Word

QB Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (10.32)—He might be 4-0 thus far, but it has been as ugly as 4-0 can get. Manning threw for just 213-2 and had two costly interceptions that allowed the Minnesota Vikings back into the game. Fire up the catcalls for the end of Manning again…until he lights up the Oakland Raiders for four touchdowns next Sunday.

RB Arian Foster, Houston Texans (3.0)—Even Alfred Blue (6-for-17) outproduced Foster in his return from a groin injury. Ouch. It sure doesn’t help he has just a few days rest before the matchup against the Colts. Expect a heavy, heavy dose of Foster in that one, though, making him an intriguing Thursday night play. The Texans can quietly tie for first place in the AFC South division with a victory.

RB Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles (1.7)—Three targets and no receptions. All of the Eagles’ backs are junk right now, DeMarco Murray (5.8) and Ryan Mathews (0.0) included.

RB Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers (2.7)—Week 1 seems really far away now. You cannot like him against the New York Giants’ No. 1-ranked rush defense next Sunday night.

WR Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons (1.8)—Worthless. Leonard Hankerson (6-103-1) is the top Julio Jones sidekick for Matt Ryan now.

WR Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers (2.7)—Colin Kaepernick’s struggles have really made mincemeat of Boldin, Torrey Smith (2-54) and TE Vernon Davis (inactive).

WR Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints (4.5)—We would blame Brees’ shoulder, but Willie Snead (6-89) looked just fine. Cooks (4-25) is one of fantasy’s biggest disappointments this season. He was supposed to be the answer to the loss of Jimmy Graham for Brees and the Saints.

WR Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (5.8)—He’s fine. This was a one-week hiccup with the Falcons so thoroughly in command Sunday against the Texans.

TE Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins (2.9)—He just missed a jump-ball TD. These struggles and a Week 5 bye for the Dolphins are good news. There is value to come midseason here.

TE Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (3.8)—So much for that Week 3 breakthrough. Olsen was right back in the tank, and he’s headed for a Week 5 bye, too.

Buffalo Bills Defense (3.0)—Overrated. It’s a popular chant wherever Rex Ryan is, apparently.

Arizona Cardinals Defense (1.0)—Despite this hard fall, the Cards are still the top-priced unit on the board for Week 5 at $5,200.

Injury Impacts

Raise RB Joseph Randle, Dallas Cowboys—The loss of Lance Dunbar (knee) to season-ending surgery would put more of the onus on Randle in the passing game. That should light up the fantasy scoreboard more for us. Randle is now the same price as the Eagles’ Murray ($7,400) and the better option in Week 5 against at the New England Patriots.

Love WR Hopkins, Houston Texans—Cecil Shorts dislocated his shoulder, per NFL insider Adam Caplan, which elevates rookie Keith Mumphery (4-56) and makes Hopkins even more high-volume than he was already.

In October, Anything is Possible

Baseball

Ken Rosenthal, in Just a Bit Outside, wrote: “OK, so we didn’t get chaos, entropy or any other form of Monday madness. There will be no game No. 163, no three-team tie, no pushing back of the postseason schedule. The outcomes of Sunday’s games neatly restored order, with the most deserving teams, the Rangers and Astros, claiming the final two playoff berths.”  But, what does it all mean this post-season?  Are the Royals back? Should everyone watch out for the Rangers?  Will the young Astros be intimated in Yankee Stadium?  Should we worry about the Mets?  Are the Cubs the most dangerous team?

Ken Rosenthal breaks all of those things down in his piece: Anything is Possible this Post-Season

rangers

Rosenthal writes:

Will I pick them to upset the Blue Jays? Probably not. But I would not be surprised if the series goes five games.

What I like about the Rangers right now is that their stars are performing at elite levels. Start with left-hander Cole Hamels, who threw a three-hitter Sunday to help clinch the AL West title. Hamels, thanks to the Rangers’ collapse on Saturday, will be available for Games 2 and 5 rather than 1 and 4 (the latter on short rest).

The Rangers have won the last 10 games that Hamels has started, not that it will necessarily matter against the Jays, whose .815 OPS against lefties led the majors. Both of the Rangers’ top starters, Hamels and Derek Holland, are left-handed, and uh, the Jays treat right-handers no better. Their .791 OPS against righties also led the majors, though Rangers righty Yovani Gallardo has pitched 13 2/3 scoreless innings against them this season.

The only way for the Rangers to stay with the Jays might be to slug with them, and suddenly that appears possible — Texas led the majors in runs per game after Sept. 1. Third baseman Adrian Beltre, who is dealing with a jammed index finger and sprained thumb on his left hand, has 38 RBI since that date. Prince Fielder, Shin-Soo Choo and even Josh Hamilton all look like forces again.

October is going to be a great month, after-all ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!  Just ask Ben Larson (h/t Dennis Wierzbicki):

A Cubs fan named Ben Larson, who is a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, emailed one of his professors to see if the teacher could do him a big favor by moving a midterm exam scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 8. As Larson explained over email, he and his family scored tickets to the one-game playoff against the Pittsburgh Pirates and planned to drive to the game. With the game on Wednesday, he wouldn’t be able to take a test Thursday.

Luckily the professor offered to come through for him:

Shoot, if we all had known our teachers would be this accommodating, how many of us would have tried to pull this maneuver?

We knew Cubs fans were loyal and sometimes a disgusting bunch, but one thing you cannot deny is their passion. This is awesome.

Your #DraftKings #NFL week 4 Recap of Craziness, Vines, GIFs and Tweets!

LEVITAN’S NEWS AND NOTES: OCTOBER 5TH

MONDAY DFS NEWS NUGGETS

by Adam Levitan

1. Seahawks rule Marshawn Lynch out for Monday Night Football

If you followed the news closely over the weekend, you knew there was a very, very strong chance Marshawn Lynch would sit out tonight’s game against the Lions. He didn’t practice at all and the Seahawks revealed that an MRI revealed “some findings.” Note that in Week 3, Thomas Rawls out-snapped Fred Jackson 34-21 and out-touched him 16-4. Sharp owners that understood Lynch’s status jumped on Rawls as a min-priced starter who projects for 15-20 touches against a run defense that has gone from elite to vulnerable very quickly without Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and DeAndre Levy. Per ESPN Seahawks beat man Sheil Kapadia, Rawls is “expected to get the bulk of the work” with 34-year-old pass-down back Jackson “rotating in.”

2. Scary stuff for impressive Jordan Reed

Whenever Jordan Reed is on the field, he is an impressive mismatch creator that puts up elite tight end numbers weekly. Unfortunately, it sounds like he’s going to be sidelined for a bit. Reed sustained a concussion against the Eagles Sunday, his fifth known concussion since arriving at the University of Florida in 2010. It’s a shame because Reed was on pace for 96 catches, 1,112 yards and four touchdowns on 136 targets. Note that Rob Gronkowski led all tight ends in targets last year with 130. If both Reed and DeSean Jackson (hamstring) can’t go at Atlanta in Week 5, Pierre Garcon will be a good bet for 10 targets. It’s also worth noting that fourth-round rookie slot man Jamison Crowder has seen 18 targets in the last two weeks, playing on 69.9 percent of the snaps during that span. Andre Roberts was a healthy scratch Sunday.

3. Chargers get banged up at wide receiver

San Diego got thinned out at WR Sunday as veteran streaker Malcom Floyd suffered a concussion and Stevie Johnson pulled his hamstring. They only had four wideouts active, so Keenan Allen and Dontrelle Inman had to close the win over the Browns out. The Chargers will get Antonio Gates back off his steroid suspension for Week 5 and Ladarius Green is realizing his upside, but expect this to be a Keenan Allen week. The Steelers secondary has no answer for a guy that is already averaging 11.5 targets per game. Allen won’t come cheap though — he is $7200 this week, the 10th-most expensive receiver on DraftKings.

4. Defensive leak trends continue

Certain teams can’t defend certain positions. Three of the most glaring examples this year are Raiders against tight ends, Colts against slot receivers (where Vontae Davis doesn’t go) and Giants against tight ends. The proof:

Raiders vs. TEs

Week 1: Tyler Eifert 9-104-2
Week 2: Crockett Gillmore 5-88-2
Week 3: Gary Barnidge 6-105-1
Week 4: Martellus Bennett 11-83-1

Colts vs. slot WRs

Week 1: Percy Harvin 5-79-1
Week 2: Eric Decker 8-97-1
Week 3: Kendall Wright 7-95-1
Week 4: Allen Hurns 11-116-1

Giants vs. TEs

Week 1: Jason Witten 8-60-2
Week 2: Jacob Tamme 4-70-0
Week 3: Jordan Reed 6-96-0
Week 4: Charles Clay 9-111-0


NFL WEEK 4 RECAP OF CRAZINESS IN VINES, GIFS, AND TWEETS!

Weekend Update: Another #Football Monday

Bullet Points

1. Nice way to get your 400th TD

So that’s what a walk-off homerun looks like in the NFL…Overtime lasted only 13 seconds.  That is 1 second faster than the previous regular-season-record-holder, when Chad Morton returned a kick-off 96 yards for the Jets to beat Buffalo back in September 2002.  The fastest?  That was also from a saint – Saint Tebow, when he threw to Demariyus Thomas to beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs, in only 11 seconds.  It was the first overtime touchdown pass of Brees’s career, and only the second ever by a Saints quarterback. Back in 1998, Danny Wuerffel and Cameron Cleeland combined for a 33-yard overtime touchdown that beat Indianapolis, 19-13, leaving the Colts’ rookie quarterback Peyton Manning still looking for his first NFL victory. That made the Saints head coach very happy — a fellow named Mike Ditka.


Getty Images

2. Texas Strong

In the history of word association, no one has ever confused “delusional” with Texas Longhorn fans.  Yet, here they are again.  Longhorn fan forgets when Colorado and Nebraska saved them, when they included them into the Big 8.  Longhorn fan believed that they were the gift of college football and their arrogance alienated Texas A&M to move to a superior conference – taking with them the status of #1 program in the state – Baylor and TCU might disagree – but the point is, for years Texas bullied everyone and their arrogance has finally caught up to them.  Texas thought they would always get the top recruits, the top coach and when they actually have a coach that is willing to rebuild their burnt-orange luster in the correct way – they lose their minds


3. It’s still about Jimmy’s and Joe’s, not X’s and O’s

In the beginning, all we heard was how the Chipster was going to revolutionize the game with his offense.  It’s hard to argue against that it didn’t work.  Chip did win 10 games in his first two years as a head coach in the NFL.  But now Demarco Murray is unhappy with his role  and there is nothing that says to me that Chip lasts past this year, if things continue.  For a fanbase that booed Santa Claus and has never been known as rational, as it looks today, will not be able to tolerate Mr.Kelly any longer.


4. Stone Cold Dan Quinn

It is a dangerous thing for a Saints fan to witness the difference Dan Quinn has made.  He has the entire city and more importantly, the team believing in themselves.  The Falcons already had the best wide receiver in Julio Jones, but now they seem to be able to run the ball.  Watching Devonta Freeman under Mike Smith, is not the same kid you see now.  When Devonta Freeman scored three touchdowns for the second consecutive week – Freeman became the first player since LaDainian Tomlinson to score 3TD’s in two straight games – L.T. had a 3-game streak in 2006 – but, what says more about it is, Devonta became the 1st Falcon, ever, with consecutive 3-TD games of any kind.  the Falcons are 4-0 and have such an easy schedule that it might remind Atlanta fans of baseball, waiting for the post-season to start.


#ByeFelicia

5. Squished Fish?

It’s no secret, I think Joe’s gotta go, and as bad he has been as a leader, a coach…I say it’s not all his fault.  I lay at least half of the blame at Steve Ross.  You Steve hired Joe and retained him last year.  Remember when you said you really like the way this team plays and where they are headed – and we said this:

Huh? say that again? A close win against the Vikings gives you this feeling that, this team, this coach, is headed in the right direction?  Is mediocrity a direction, and do you travel thru Miami now(not Dallas this year) to get there?  Standards have been lowered or the owner is still intoxicated from that win early in the year – at home – against the Patriots.  Bet we still see Philbin fired before the end of the 2016.

So now, after OVER-spending for $uh and giving Tannehill a huge contract extension – you think that Sunday’s performance was the final straw?  Mr.Ross, you can and should fire Philbin – but it still doesn’t change the mediocre empire you’re in-charge of until you fire yourself! —(UPDATE: PHILBIN HAS BEEN FIRED)

  • Joe Philbin must show fire, better leadership to save job. – the Miami Dolphins are sinking fast after a 1-3 start.  They entered the season with playoff expectations, but nearly all of that optimism is gone after three straight losses by a combined score of 91-48.  Can the season be salvaged?……(continue reading)

6. Squidward’s Folly

Xerxes, Where have you gone?!  It didn’t seem that long ago that people like Trent Dilfer and Ron Jaworski were annointing Kaepernick the greatest QB of all time – a game changer at the position, blah blah blah.  Maybe there was more to Harbaugh than just wins – or maybe Xerxes just decided that he was as good as all that press and no longer needed to study or look for his 2nd and 3rd reads, etc…Either way, this top-to-bottom-organizational-implosion is entertaining to watch – from Tomsula letting one fly in a press conference to the constant dumpster-fire that is the 49ers right now.