Halloween is a bittersweet time at The Shop. While I enjoy the neighborhood children who come by, one year I decided to give combs instead of candy and got my front windows blasted with eggs. Those little bastards were taxing me for my bad decision. Needless to say, I remain bitter because I was wiping off eggs on a daily basis until after Thanksgiving.
But, at the same time, it warms our hearts to see the little one in their costumes screeching “Trick or Treat” They all get candy and plenty of it. I’m getting too old to be putting a squeegee to windows in November two or three times a day every day. Lesson learned.
As we begin the stretch run of the fantasy season in leagues throughout the country, it seems a good time to be finding out who are Tricks and who are Treats in the NFL for fantasy owners moving forward this season. What is past is past. What is future is potential bank. A trick will take your money. A treat will make you smile.
||Randall Cobb (1)
|New York Giants
|New York Jets
||Darren McFadden (3)
||Doug Martin (4)
||Robert Griffin III
(1) – If he comes back in time, he won’t be the same with that particular injury.
(2) – If you’re playing a Jaguar, you deserve to lose.
(3) – Until he gets hurt.
(4) – Damaged goods.
- My man Megatron once again proved his cyborg status with 329 receiving yards Sunday against Dallas. Through eight weeks of the season, half of the league’s 32 teams don’t have a quarterback with a 329-yard passing day, much less a wide receiver.
- The NFC East is once again proving it’s the ugly cousin of NFL divisions. With Washington and Dallas losing Sunday, outside their own division, the NFC East has a record of 5-19 over Oakland, Minnesota, a Cutler-less Bears, Tampa Bay and St. Louis. Everybody wants the East for their homecoming game.
- What made the for my man Marvin Jones (no relation) is his four-touchdown game was that he was on the field only 18 plays. Note to defensive coordinators. When you’re on the field less than one out of every three plays, but catch passes on almost half the plays you’re on the field and half of those for touchdowns, you best keep your eyes open when you see Marvin coming.
- Remember Danny Amendola? In Week 1, he caught 10 passes for 104 yards. Since then, he has nine catches for 70 yards and, in the last two games he’s played, he’s caught five passes for 15 yards.
- The Rams have something in Zac Stacy. What he did to Seattle after contact was impressive. Most defenses aren’t as stout in terms of punishing running back as Seattle. If he’s available, you may want him for more than just depth purposes. That kid can play and, given his sketchy quarterback situation, he may be needed to carry the ball 25 times a game to move the offense.
THE RAZOR’S EDGE
10. Bowe Don’t Know – When you have a team that is 8-0, it’s typically because the team has been dominant. Kansas City has been and, the scuttlebutt around The Shop is that Jamaal Charles should be in line for MVP. Double his numbers through eight games, and mad respect follows. Dwayne Bowe was re-signed in the offseason to be a big-time player. Through eight games, he has just 26 catches for 302 yards and two TDs. The Chiefs are riding high, but their most expensive receiver isn’t playing like it.
9. Back Against the Wallace – Pops Watson is the official Shop historian. He pointed out before the Shop draft that Steelers receivers tend to suck out after getting paid by someone else. This list is pretty and pretty persuasive. As such, I had Wallace so low on my draft list he would have been a gift had he still be there when I was going to pick. Through seven games, nobody has been targeted as often at Wallace, but two other wide receivers have as many or more receptions and five players have as many or more touchdowns. When Wallace scores his next TD and you have him, it will likely be on your bench.
8. The Hits Just Keep On Coming – Jacksonville is halfway home to becoming the second defeated (the opposite of undefeated) team and, from the fantasy football perspective, there is no reason for confidence. London came calling and asked them to leave. Maurice Jones-Drew has his best rushing day of the season and it was just 75 yards on 19 carries. Even Justin Blackmon’s strong start has cooled off. At least they weren’t hurt fantasy owners this week and they won’t lose this week. Why? Because they’re (officially) on their bye week, at least for those who haven’t said, “buh-bye” already.
7. Schaub Can’t Make His Case – The Texans made the announcement Monday that Case Keenum will be their starting coming out of the bye, while pointing out that Matt Schaub is healthy. Whether that was intended to get a QB-starved team to cut a deal before the trade deadline or just to publicly drop Schaub’s pants is debatable. But the clear message is that the Texans are willing to start a QB simply because he didn’t throw a Pick 6 in his first start.
6. Shots Fired in Dallas – Around The Shop Monday, most everybody had an opinion on Dez Bryant’s petulant outbursts on the sideline, giving an earful to Tony Romo, the QB coach and even Big Daddy Jason Garrett. The opinion of the fellas was almost unanimous. Considering that we’re so close to Halloween, let’s just say Dez was being called a witch. We’re keeping in clean for the children. But, we know Dez. He’s Terrell 2.0-wens. Fortunately for him, he gets the ratty Minnesota defense this week and can try to post some Megatron numbers of his own, but he’s all about himself. He made that point many times in the Dallas loss to Detroit.
5. A Defense As Smooth As Obamacare Signups – For weeks, fantasy fans have been looking forward to seeing who Washington will play the next week in hopes they have guys on the other team. After finally looking like a defense that could do something against Denver, they gave up 35 points in the fourth quarter. Owners with San Diego players are smiling armed with knowledge that the Redskins are on the schedule next.
4. Fat Hand in a Little Glove – Tommy Boy of Boston continues to insist there’s no problem with his throwing hand, but, over the last four games, he has two touchdowns and passer ratings of 52.2, 74.7, 53.5 and 69.5. Those are Mark Sanchez numbers, not the Master of the Sweater Vest. If something isn’t wrong, you could fool us. His Week 10 bye can’t come soon enough, even thy finds to keep distance between themselves and the rest of the AFC East.
3. Lie, Cheat or Steel – Just when you thought Pittsburgh had changes its ways, the drop a loose deuce in, of all places, Oakland. That’s where good teams go to pad their record. Maybe I’m just bitter because people like Troy Polamalu, because hair that long is “bad for bidness.” But, when you score less than 20 in five games, including both of your wins, it doesn’t leave much margin for error.
2. You’re Going To Need A Bigger Boat – If not for Jacksonville, The Vikings may be the worst team in the NFL, even with the Chosen One Adrian Peterson on the roster. They’ve played three different quarterbacks and in three weeks and all of them have a nasty funk hanging around them. Considering that teams are putting nine in the box to stop Peterson, this could be an epically bad team and A.D. becomes the silk on a pig that is being fitted for an apple in its mouth.
1. Global Warming – Matty Ice is melting. Matt Ryan is a solid quarterback with an a very strong track record, but, without Julio Jones and a Roddy White of 2013 that appears to be a shell of his former self, unlike guys like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, who found ways to win with their junior varsity receiving corps, Ryan and the Falcons dropped to a brutal 2-5 record, their playoff hopes died with it. When Ryan is your leading rusher against Arizona with 13 yards, it’s time to wave the white flag. The South won’t rise again.