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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

The Fantasy 6-Pack: Week 3
Paul Sandy
September 23, 2011
 

Quarterback

  • Lower your expectations for Tony Romo on Monday night. Romo is dealing with a fractured rib, a depleted WR corps, and a nonexistent running game. Making matters worse, he’ll go up against a Redskins defense that seems to have his shtick figured out. Washington has held Romo to a single passing touchdown in four straight games.
  • The blueprint for beating the Colts is pretty clear: Run the football. Opponents have attempted just 28 passes per game against Indianapolis. That’s the third fewest in the NFL. Owners of Ben Roethlisberger need to hope for a productive first half from the Steelers passer before Pittsburgh builds a huge lead. The Six-Pack doesn’t see it happening. Look for another ho-hum game with a single passing touchdown from Big Ben.
  • Panthers rookie QB Cam Newton was started in roughly 44% of fantasy leagues last week. That number ought to spike to at least 80% this week as the Panthers host the Jaguars. Newton has eclipsed 400 yards in two straight games and doesn’t seem like a guy who’s going to fade. Jacksonville has ceded two passing touchdowns in both games they’ve played this season. Look for Newton to find a way to post three total scores (passing and rushing). His yardage total may drop if Carolina gets a lead but the confidence you show in the rookie will be rewarded nonetheless.
  • As Colt McCoy shook hands with Kerri Collins at midfield after last week’s Colts/Browns contest, I swear he dipped his head and said, “Good game, dad.” Or maybe I misread his lips and he said, “Dude, you’re bad.” In either case, McCoy got the best of the Colts in Week 2. Up next, he has a home game versus the Dolphins. Miami has already allowed six passing scores this year and the third most fantasy points to QBs. They’ve been particularly vulnerable to TEs, which plays right into the hands of the Browns and McCoy. Look for a respectable stat line from the Cleveland tosser and don’t be afraid to start him in deep leagues or 2QB systems.

This Week’s Sleepers: Cam Newton, Colt McCoy, Matt Hasselbeck and Rex Grossman

Running Back

  • There’s an owner in one of my leagues who got ordained as a pastor simply by taking a class online. He did so for the sole reason of being able to write a weekly “Sunday Sermon” on the league’s message board. True story. This has me wondering if it’s possible that the Texans medical staff got their degrees in a similar manner.  Because everyone I talked to last week who had shares in Arian Foster suspected he was going to re-injure his hamstring. We all saw it coming; it’s stunning Houston’s team of quack doctors did not. If I seem bitter, it’s because I am. I’m a Foster owner but didn’t get Ben Tate. Now I’ll stop blubbering and tell you fortunate souls who did snag Tate to play him with complete confidence. New Orleans has a decent run defense but there aren’t a lot of teams out there that have proven they can stop Houston’s zone blocking scheme. Tate gets his 100 total yards and a TD this week.
  • Rashard Mendenhall has been a disappointment so far but there’s nothing wrong with him that a little Colts run defense can’t fix. The season is just two weeks old but Indianapolis has already given up four touchdowns and 276 yards on the ground. Mendenhall has the potential to go for 150 yards and two scores this week. If you’re desperate, you could roll with Isaac Redman as a flex option. He figures to chew up the clock in the fourth quarter and could post some useful numbers.
  • I have a feeling those know-it-alls who told everyone to stay away from Tim Hightower in fantasy drafts are going to be proven right. Hightower has been okay this year but I caught quite a bit of the Redskins game last Sunday. Rookie Roy Helu looked like a future stud. The dude has incredible vision and just glides on his runs. Many fantasy experts are predicting a timeshare in DC. Fools. All of them. Two things you need to understand about head coach Mike Shanahan: 1) He doesn’t have a soul, and 2) He doesn’t play the RBBC game—at least not for very long. He’ll pick one horse and ride him just you watch. Hightower went from potential RB1 two weeks ago to a low-end RB2 in the blink of an eye. Start him at your own peril against a good Dallas run defense this week.
  • Expect a heavy dose of Michael Turner on Sunday against the Buccaneers. Turner has four touchdowns in his last four games versus Tampa. He carried the rock 24 or more times in three of those contests. Although many fantasy pundits were predicting Turner would begin to fade this year because he’s getting old and Atlanta was going to throw more, that hasn’t come to fruition. Turner is averaging a meaty 6.9 yards per carry despite facing some sound defenses (Chicago and Philly). Tampa has allowed the seventh most fantasy points to RBs to date. Turner goes for a buck-twenty with a touchdown on Sunday.

This Week’s Sleepers: Ben Tate, Isaac Redman, LaDainian Tomlinson and Mark Ingram

Wide Receiver

  • Kansas City wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has averaged nine yards per game in his last three meetings with the Chargers. Nine freaking yards!? So far Kansas City’s entire team looks like it hit the snooze button on the 2011 season. The Six-Pack is revoking Bowe’s “must-start” card until further notice.
  • Get Bengals rookie wideout A.J. Green in your lineup for Sunday’s home tilt versus the 49ers. San Francisco has allowed the most fantasy points to WRs this year. What’s most shocking about that stat is they played the Tarvaris Jackson led Seahawks in the opener.  The 49ers have been especially vulnerable to the big play. They’ve already allowed four passing plays of 33 yards or longer, including two for touchdowns. Green has an excellent chance to catch another deep TD in this one.
  • If you’re in an ultra deep league and you’re scrounging around in the muck and the filth of your waiver wire for a halfway decent receiving option, pause for a moment and consider San Diego’s Patrick Crayton. He’s not sexy but the Chargers play the Chiefs and No. 2 WR Malcom Floyd appears likely to sit this one out. Crayton will be active for the first time this year on Sunday. Kansas City has been getting torched by opposing offenses and that will no doubt be the case against the high-voltage Bolts. Yeah, Crayton’s a Hail Mary. Yep, I’ll probably get ripped in the comments section for recommending him. Yes, I treated your sister well last night.
  • It’s hard to believe but Wes Welker has never caught a touchdown pass against the Bills. He needs to be in your lineup but history isn’t in his favor. On the bright side, this week’s Patriots/Bills matchup has a much different feel than those in the recent past. Buffalo looks capable of keeping up with New England and this could easily become a shootout. Such a scenario would help Welker’s cause.

This Week’s Sleepers: A.J. Green, Nate Washington, Julio Jones, Patrick Crayton and Kevin Ogletree

Tight End

  • Tight ends love playing the Dolphins as much as fat kids love funnel cakes. Miami has allowed the most fantasy points to TEs this season. Sure they played New England, which skews things a bit. But this is my column and if I want to cherry pick stats, I’ll cherry pick. Roll the dice with Cleveland TE Evan Moore, who has scored in two straight games and will make it three this week.
  • Panthers TE Greg Olsen is worth a start against the Jaguars, who didn’t have an answer for Dustin Keller last week. Keller posted 101 yards and a touchdown. QB Cam Newton hooked up with Olsen for 78 yards in Week 1 but Olsen’s numbers dropped to just 34 yards on Sunday against the Packers. Expect a bounce-back this week along with Olsen’s first touchdown as a Panther.

This Week’s Sleepers: Evan Moore, Greg Olsen and Brent Celek

Kicker

  • Chargers kicker Nick Novak hasn’t attempted a field goal this season but he’s worth a plug-and-play if you want a safe kicker. Novak should net you a minimum of seven points, mostly by way of extra points. San Diego is a lock to put up 35 or more points against the Chiefs. Look for five extra points and one field goal from Novak.
  • Tennessee’s Rob Bironas led all fantasy kickers in Week 2 with four field goals and two extra points. That’s 14 total points not including bonuses. Look for another strong showing from Bironas on Sunday against the Broncos. Denver has yielded the fourth most fantasy points to kickers this season, including double-digit efforts to both Sebastian Janikowski and Mike Nugent.

This Week’s Sleepers: Nick Novak, Jason Hanson and John Kasay

Team Defense / Special Teams

  • Last season Matt Cassel earned a trip to the Pro Bowl after he threw 27 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. You have to wonder if he peed on one of those Hawaiian tiki idol statues or insulted some volcano god while he was in Honolulu. Cassel’s luck since that trip to the big island has been abysmal.  He’s thrown just one touchdown compared to four interceptions . . . and now the Chiefs are without their best player, Jamaal Charles. Start the San Diego Chargers this week with confidence. While the Six-Pack doesn’t have lot of faith in the Chargers over the long haul, they’re a nice matchup-based play this week.
  • In three meetings with the Bears last season, the Green Bay Packers recorded 11 sacks, six turnovers and a touchdown. They also held Chicago to just 7.7 points per game. Although the Packers defense has been giving up loads of yardage and points so far this season, you have to like their chances of making some noise against this familiar division rival. Look for them to get in the head of Jay Cutler early and cause some sacks and turnovers.

This Week’s Sleepers: Carolina Panthers and San Diego Chargers

The Six-Pack

This Week's Six-Pack: Erdinger Oktoberfest

Brewed by: Erdinger Weissbrau, Germany

Price: $9.49

Appearance: This Oktoberfest is packaged in a standard brown longneck with a couple of German characters on the label. Cleavage is present but tasteful. The beer itself is lighter than I expected. It seems to me, classic Oktoberfest beers are more amber colored than this one. Erdinger resembles a hefeweizen—straw colored and cloudy. The head was foamy and had decent retention.   

Smell: The initial waft had hints of apple and pear. A few swirls revealed some wheat and bread tones. I’m confused but interested. Color and smell are not at all what I’d expect from an Oktoberfest.

Taste: This is not your garden variety Oktoberfest to be sure. It’s more accurate to call it a hefeweizen miscategorized as an Oktoberfest. Malts are supposed to be the star in an Oktoberfest. In this one, yeast is prevalent along with hints of banana and clove. Dry finish. Creamy mouthfeel.  Maybe . . . maybe . . . there are some traditional malt Oktoberfest flavors in the aftertaste but that’s a stretch.

Drinkability: Taste, smell and look resemble a hefe but it drinks a little heavier than your standard hefe. Goes down smooth though.

Last Call: I don’t know what to do with this. Oktoberfest beers are one of my favorite styles. Erdinger is sort of a bastardization of the traditional Oktoberfest—a little too gentile whereas I was expecting something more robust. For me, it’s a good beer that’s worth a pour. However, it’s a bad representation of Oktoberfest. I’m giving it three stars out of five. Rename it Erdinger Hefe and I’m all in.

Up Next: Brooklyn Lager

Past Beer Reviews


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