Ravens @ Bengals
Safe Bets: The people in my league don’t subscribe to allowing a clean slate for those who’ve paid their debt to society, so they shamelessly refer to Joe Mixon as “Joe the Criminal”. All I can say it would be criminal for you to leave him on your bench this Thursday. His talent level is off the charts and the Bengals plan to feature him, so you should be calling Mixon’s number even against a stout Ravens defense. I can cautiously recommend AJ Green simply on pedigree alone, although I think he’s in for a down year overall. 4-65-1 is a reasonable line to expect. The Bengals have an improved defensive front, but Alex Collins has an improved “don’t give a shit” attitude when he carries the pigskin. The Ravens beat the putrid Bills like a red headed stepchild in the first half last week, hamstringing Collins’ upside. In what should be a tightly contested matchup, the Ravens’ featured RB should be more heavily involved on Thursday.
Hope For The Best: I don’t know what it is, but “Bengals vs. Ravens” conjures up images of “Rusted Rail Spike vs. Dense Wooden Beam”. It’s just always so ugly, and as such, it’s difficult to recommend either quarterback with full confidence. That said, I’d give the nod to Andy Dalton. Low end QB1 numbers seem achievable for a rejuvenated and refocused Red Rifle. On Baltimore’s side, the fact that Michael Crabtree managed to score in the midst of a colossal blowout portends positive signs towards his usage in this offense. He’s a WR3 with upside going forward.
Hell No: Many have suggested that Baltimore drafting Lamar Jackson last April lit a fire under Joe Flacco’s stagnant ass, and his performance this past Sunday would indicate that was correct. Joe is like the haggard career weatherwoman who just found out the network is bringing in a 21-year-old smokeshow from Arizona State as a broadcasting intern. He’s hitting the gym and applying massive amounts of foundation in response, but I think the bright lights on Thursday night will reveal the crow’s feet and blemishes that we’re all expecting to see.
This is the criminal’s backfield now, so Gio Bernard is a handcuff until proven otherwise. John Brown managed to haul in a touchdown last week, but the sledding will be tougher against the Cincinnati secondary. While Tyler Eifert miraculously made it through 60 minutes of football uninjured, he was largely unused in a tight contest, garnering only three targets from his burnt sienna signal caller. He’s boom or bust this week, but hey, that’s like 85% of tight ends in the league. Do you feel lucky?
Postgame Headline: “Frantic finish salvages ugly Thursday Night affair as Bengals claw Ravens 20-16”
Dolphins @ Jets
Story to Watch: I have to confess that I was entering this 2018 season on a bittersweet… nay, borderline somber note. On one hand football was finally returning, which is always a cause for jubilation. At the same time, there was serious concern that Isiah Crowell’s firm entrenchment in the Jets committee backfield would relegate the greatest hype video in NFL history to internet obsolescence. After the Jets’ 48-17 dismantling of the Lions, in which The Crow unexpectedly added 102 yards and two scores, it’s safe to say that we’ve been temporarily spared from that dismal fate. So take note of this PSA: I will post this clip every single week so long as Crowell draws productive breath as an NFL player
Safe Bets: As you might have surmised from my unsolicited fawning above for a journeyman running back, I’m a certified #CrowHoe. You don’t have to be 100% on board, but “Cro know u a bitch” if you don’t have him in the lineup against the Dolphins. I have a hard time relying on jackpot type players, but at a certain point you have the recognize talent for what it is. Kenny Stills is that type of guy, and he has the juice to break open any matchup. I’d keep him in the lineup until further notice.
Hope For The Best: While Robby Anderson got the glory (including one man-sized touchdown grab), I’m still buying Quincy Enunwa as the number one target in the Jets offense. He’s my preferred option in PPR. Ryan Tannehill didn’t have to do much against the hapless Titans, but he looked the part of a serviceable fantasy quarterback nonetheless. The sledding will be a lot tougher against the Jets, but I still think Tanny delivers at least two scores. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to the Dolphins backfield, but it feels like Kenyon Drake has the slight edge over zombie Frank Gore. This could be Drake’s season breakout, and by breakout I mean taking 50% of the carries for about 67 yards and a score. Bilal Powell got the start on Monday night, however the blowout win script certainly didn’t favor the multi-purpose back from a usage perspective. I expect a lot more involvement in what should be an ugly divisional game with the Fins.
Hell No: While a rookie winning on Monday Night Football to kick off the season is a nice story, Sam Darnold got a lot of help. We would talking about his debut much differently if Stafford wasn’t such an, ahem, generous competitor. I’m not banking on the results when Darnold’s defense doesn’t spot him a 21 point cushion to work with. I mentioned above that Frank Gore was a zombie, and that’s simply because his refusal to leave this mortal world is bordering on the supernatural. Unless something changes, though, he’s more of a nuisance than a fantasy option.
Postgame Headline: Darnold falters as Jets return to Earth in 27-17 loss to rival Dolphins.
Vikings @ Packers
Safe Bets: There’s a distinct possibility that Aaron Rodgers is dopesick coming off his legendary, drug-fueled performance last Sunday Night. The man was so high that he nearly cracked under the pressure of Michelle Tofoya softballs, but he nonetheless was able to hold it together enough to beat the Bears in the 2nd half. Provided he’s active and lucid enough after his opioid-induced coma this week, his 50-8 record at Lambeau means he’s likely in for another big night, Vikings defense be damned. I would feel similarly confident about Rodgers’ Minnesota counterpart in this one, as Kirk Cousins looked especially crisp during Week 1. Speaking of looking sharp, how about Dalvin Cook in the opener? The concerns over Latavius Murray have been greatly exaggerated, as Zimmer’s Vikes clearly plan to lean on the 2nd year FSU product. Davante Adams didn’t deliver the WR1 numbers you were looking for at his draft price, but he did manage to cross the pylon in the opener. He is the preferred target in what should be a high scoring offense. Fire away. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are both surefire starts in this divisional showdown, but I don’t know… there’s just something about Diggs that feels, off maybe? He is tremendously talented, but I worry that he’ll never string together the consistent WR1 numbers that you’re looking for in this offense. His deep scoring potential should keep him active in every lineup this week, though.
Hope For the Best: This will depend entirely on the script of the game, but I have a funny feeling about Latavius Murray this week. I’m calling for about 40 total yards and a goal line score. I’m less enthusiastic about Kyle Rudolph, who mercifully justified his “red zone reindeer” nickname with a late touchdown that salvaged an otherwise forgettable season debut. I anticipate he’ll receive more targets going forward, but he still looks like the odd man out in this high-powered offense. First time Jim Graham owners were introduced to a harsh reality that longtime Jim Graham owners have known for years: Jim Graham needs a touchdown to be relevant. A full game with a healthy Aaron Rodgers at least gives him a better shot at getting one.
Hell No: Fantasy analysts love to espouse the importance of volume and opportunity (and those are both indeed vital), but a player needs a modicum of talent in order to take advantage to begin with. It’s patently clear that Jamaal Williams doesn’t possess said talent, and he should be patently on your bench against a brutal Minnesota defensive line. Geronimo Allison may have cashed in last week, but he’s little more than a WR3/Flex dart throw in this one. I shouldn’t have to tell you that if DeShone Kizer is starting (god forbid) that you shouldn’t even think about it. In fact, you can simply replace “Meth” with “Kizer” in those “Not even once” drug prevention PSAs for the duration of his career. Words to live by.
Postgame Headline: “Vaunted Vikings defense punctured by drugged dynamo Rodgers as Packers win 31-28 shootout at Lambeau”
Texans @ Titans
Story To Watch: This isn’t so much of a story to watch as it is a therapy session for yours truly, but for the first time in 3 seasons, I’m finally rid of the disgusting Tennessee offense. I don’t know how it happened, but I somehow wound up with Marcus Mariota each of the past three drafts. This resulting shame saw me attempting to hide him deep on my roster, as if he were a disgraced family’s secret that was only talked about in hushed whispers around town. However, after finally releasing both Mariota and Delanie Walker (RIP) yesterday, I can emphatically announce that I AM DONE! It was cathartic to say the least, as though Gandalf himself broke Mariota’s crippling spell over me
I can breath the free air again, indeed. And yes, for those of you keeping score, that makes it two consecutive weeks with an LOTR reference. Let’s see if we can continue this all season.
Safe Bets: Lamar Miller, Deandre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson
Hope For The Best: Will Fuller, Dion Lewis, Corey Davis (if active), Jonnu Smith, Derrick Henry.
Hell No: If Marcus Mariota is unable to suit up, then clearly you shouldn’t be starting Blaine Gabbert. If Marcus Mariota is active, well, it should be painfully obvious how I feel about him.
Postgame Headline: “Watson gets Texans’ season on track with 29-16 drubbing of hapless Titans.”
Chargers @ Bills
Story To Watch: To say that the Bills made Nathan Peterman a sacrificial lamb would be an understatement. Lasting less than a full half against a ravenous Baltimore defense before being replaced by Josh Allen, it was as if the Bills sent Peterman up against a wall, had the firing squad unload their ammunition on the poor bastard to check for range and accuracy, and then brought in the guy they wanted to execute all along. Joey Bosa’s lingering foot amputation notwithstanding, the Chargers defense should feast on the rookie this week until they have their fill. The silver lining for Allen? He’s facing hilariously low expectations. During the Bills last meeting with the Chargers, the ousted Peterman lobbed 5 interceptions in the first half. Allen just needs to simply get sacked 9 times and leave the game intact for it to be considered an upgrade. Win-Win.
Safe Bets: Melvin Gordon, but that’s “highest usage % in the NFL Melvin Gordon” to you. Phil Rivers, Keenan Allen, and even Austin Ekeler (I’m predicting plenty of burn as the game gets out of hand) should pay out.
Hope For The Best: At least one fat guy touchdown is on the horizon for Antonio Gates. Mike Williams, and maybe Lesean McCoy (although that’s mostly based on nostalgia at this point) should both have decent outings.
Hell No: Josh Allen, Kelvin Benjamin, literally any other offensive player for the Bills.
Postgame Headline: “Chargers curb stomp helpless Bills in 33-10 rout.”
Eagles @ Buccaneers
Safe Bets: It took about 35 in game minutes against Atlanta for Doug Pederson to come to his senses, but Jay Ajayi was finally afforded the opportunity to be the bruising lead back that was advertised in the preseason. He’ll still be in a “timeshare” by definition, but Ajayi is the running back to start against Tampa Bay and beyond. Mike Evans torched Marshon Lattimore for a deep touchdown that reminded owners of the halcyon days of 2016, and there’s a chance that the 6’5” receiver finally has his groove back. The sky’s the limit for him against a secondary that just allowed 160+ yards to Julio Jones. Although Zach Ertz got off to a pedestrian start to the season, he also uncharacteristically had drops and exhibited all-around sloppy play against Atlanta. He’ll be back on the TE1 track starting this week.
Hope For The Best: There were times last Thursday when Nelson Agholor looked like he was going out of his way to reduce his yards per reception average. Tallying only 30 yards with 8 catches is a feat unto itself, but the important takeaway is that his role in the offense is secure. Until Alshon Jeffery returns, he’s a dynamite PPR play. It should be clear by now that Nick Foles has only two modes: Simple Jack or dad-dicking, super bowl MVP phenom. He is decidedly not the latter at the moment, but I think he’ll settle down and provide value in two QB leagues this Sunday. I’m less optimistic about Ryan Fitzpatrick, whose stat line against the Saints may have tricked you into thinking 2010 Mike Vick invaded his soul, body snatchers style. Although the Eagles defense will be a significantly harsher challenge, you have to put a few chips down on the guy who just hung dong on the Saints. Darren Sproles looked like his explosive, diminutive self last week. Even more importantly, he was heavily featured as a receiver out of the backfield and even handled a goal line touch (for some reason). He has major flex appeal in PPR formats.
(note: as of this writing, Desean Jackson is ‘cussed. If he manages to escape the protocol, there’s major revenge appeal for the former Bird.)
Hell No: While Corey Clement may be a Super Bowl hero, he’s firmly just a 3rd running back in 2018. Unless something changes in the rotation, you can’t start him. I’m equally down on Peyton Barber and Jacquiz Rodgers. “Starting an average running back against the Eagles” should be right up there with “Starting a ground war in Asia” on a list of famous bad ideas. With the Bucs deploying numerous three-wide sets against the Saints (with great success, I might add), the Tampa TE position becomes about as appealing as a pube-coated popsicle. That means OJ Howard has dart throw value only, and Cameron Brate, suffice to say, is in Shitsville™.
Postgame Thread: Foles improves, Fitzpatrick regresses as Eagles win on road 26-18
Panthers @ Falcons
Safe Bets: Look, you’ve been on the Cam Newton ride before. Namely, it’s going to take a 13 point outing here and there before you get the 38 point explosions. Luckily for you, Christmas comes early in Atlanta this Sunday. The Falcons’ defense suffered major blows when it lost both Keanu Neal and Deion Jones for the season, and the Panthers will be the initial benefactors of that misfortune. Christian McCaffrey in particular should have a banner day, as the Falcons’ linebackers sans Jones no longer have the foot speed to keep pace with quicker running backs in space. Julio Jones is the only Falcon that I’m starting with extreme confidence, but that’s more a function of him being Julio Jones than it is an endorsement of the erratic Falcons offense.
Hope For The Best: I’m beginning to seriously wonder if it was a case of mistaken identity when Matt Ryan was named the 2016 NFL MVP. Either that, or some huckster has been fooling us all along with forged documents and checks like Frank Abagnale and he simply doesn’t have the energy to keep up the ruse anymore. What an unparalleled, massive fraud this dude this.
He’ll deliver some garbage points, but you know where I stand with this guy. Okay, rant over. Devonta Freeman’s status is up in the air for Sunday, but if he’s active, I’d still give him the edge over Tevin Coleman. Both have their uses in what should be a high scoring game, however. I think Devin Funchess pops his touchdown cherry in this one, especially with Greg Olsen shelved yet again with a foot problem. Mohammed Sanu should pick up some chunk yards in this one once the Panthers get bored in the 2nd half.
Hell No: CJ Anderson certainly didn’t look like a guy who was going to eat into CmC’s carries against Dallas. I’m not starting him, but he’s one of the more valuable handcuffs in football.
Postgame Headline: Falcons hold off Cam’s late drive to beat Panthers 34-30
Raiders @ Broncos
Story To Watch: I’ve been watching football for nearly 25 years now, so I’ve seen my fair share of terrible games. Just to prove it, here’s a list of some of the putrid shit that I’ve endured…
- The Butt Fumble game
- Doug Pederson as the starting quarterback for the Eagles
- The Ravens-Giants 2000 superbowl (arguably the most boring super bowl in history)
- Peyton Manning getting shellacked 43-8 about 5 years ago (arguably the 2nd most boring super bowl in history)
- And, in a new addition to this list, Derek Carr’s MNF performance last week.
My god, what a disaster. It’s amazing that this guy was once seen as a quality quarterback, let alone a future star at the position. Carr threw the ball away at the slightest hint of pressure, as if he was yielding during a medieval duel. His reticence and trepidation toward taking the slightest risk manifested itself hilariously in the 4th quarter, when he attempted to throw the ball away on third down and instead got picked off by Marcus Peters in embarrassing fashion. That was like the football equivalent of JR Smith’s NBA finals blunder, which is saying something. He could bounce back, but that game was a confidence wrecker if I ever saw one.
Safe Bets: I’m not quite sure how Case Keenum’s passes find their intended targets. He arcs the ball so high and seemingly floats passes down the field – but hey, they reach the destination, one way or another. The Floater™ is another safe bet this week. Emmanuel Sanders looks revitalized after a lost 2017 season, and he should put up bankable numbers for the second time in two weeks. When it comes to Marshawn Lynch, well, let’s just say the man lives by a code…
Beast Mode practiced what he preached on Monday night with what was easily the most badass play of the week. That highlight alone is enough to warrant RB2 consideration weekly, regardless of opponent.
Hope For Best: If you’re buying Jared Cook’s 180 yard outburst last week, then clearly you’re new around here. The guy has been flashing this type of potential his entire career but has yet to deliver a season worth the hype. Still, he looked like a preferred option for his coward quarterback. There was quite a discussion around Philip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, but I’m of the opinion that there’s plenty of Raider ass whoopin’ for the both of them. They’re both decent flex plays in a game that Denver should control. Demaryius Thomas had an encouraging debut, although it looks like he’ll function as more of a safety valve than an over-the-top threat for Keenum.
Hell No: In case I left my feelings about Derek Carr open for interpretation, allow me to clarify: Do not play this coward. Gruden himself claimed that Amari Cooper was open and Carr simply didn’t get him the ball, which tells you everything you need to know about where the coach stands (whether or not Amari Cooper actually was open is dubious at best). Speaking of Coop, well… your team is clearly a nightmare if you need to consider starting him at Denver. My condolences. The suddenly geriatric Jordy Nelson is a pass for me as well.
Postgame Headline: Carr, Raiders struggle once again as Broncos nearly pitch shutout in 29-7 blowout.
Giants @ Cowboys
Safe Bets: It may have required a huge run to eek out a respectable stat line for Saquon Barkley, but that’s exactly what Saquon Barkley does. He wears you down until you get popped with the home run, and Dallas won’t be an exception to the rule. What a player. Odell Beckham Jr. proved that he was worth the fat extension and then some, hauling in a visually pleasing 11 catches for 111 yards against Jalen Ramsey and company. He’ll get his first touchdown of many this season in Big D on Sunday. If the season opener against the Panthers was any indication, then Ezekiel Elliott is the only Dallas player you can talk about with a straight face this year. The pedestrian offense will certainly hinder his production, but the Grim Reaper of Fantasy™ is still a man among boys out there. Nice game incoming.
Hope For The Best: I’ve been pretty clear about my feelings surrounding Eli Manning the past few years (I called him an actual turd last week, if memory serves), but this is a decent spot for him. Odell playing at this level is enough to keep the overrated quarterback on the fantasy radar for another season or two. Call it NFC East rival bias, but I don’t know how any educated football fan could consider Dak Prescott a decent quarterback. The fun thing about fantasy, though, is that you can absolutely suck ass on the field and still pay the bills in the virtual realm (just look at Blake Bortles in 2015). Dak is unequivocally one of these guys, and he’ll give you an ugly 18-21 points this week. Evan Engram failed to deliver on his ADP in the opener, but that will change this week. These NYG-DAL games are typically high scoring, so the 2nd year tight end should see his fare share of red zone action.
Hell No: Saquon’s usage against Jacksonville should put to rest any talk about Jonathan Stewart having tangible fantasy value. Allen Hurns just doesn’t inspire me. I wish I had more critical analysis to offer than that, but there it is. Improve your spirit, Hurns. Sterling Shepard looks great on the field, but I think his teammates are going to cash in the scoring opportunities here. Not a “hell no” per se, just a warning to temper expectations.
Postgame Headline: “Giants survive 27-26 as Eli and Dak trade turnovers in battle of (lack of) wits.”
Seahawks @ Bears
Story To Watch: I’m not sure if you paid any attention to the NFL news cycle this week, but apparently Mitchell Trubisky can’t go left. This is a problem not only for an NFL quarterback, but also for anyone hoping to be a productive human being in civilized society. If this twitter breakdown points to a glaring gap in Trubisky’s game, then you can bet that defensive coordinators already have hours of film on it. It will be interesting to see how the Seahawks look to expose the directionally challenged sophomore.
Safe Bets: Throughout his short and productive career, Jordan Howard has oftentimes resembled a runaway, barbed wire-wrapped bowling ball . This 2018 version of the bowling ball comes with pass catching ability, though, which can only make the Bears RB’s already significant value soar to new heights. Hauling in 5-5 targets is a positive outlook no matter how you slice it. Big game incoming. The Seahawks offensive line seems to be as atrocious as advertised, not that Russell Wilson seems to mind. Last week’s bout at Mile High proved that Russ will produce no matter what. He’ll produce this week no matter how often Khalil Mack gets in his face. Will Dissly looked like a younger, more powerful Jimmy Graham at times last week, and he is clearly Wilson’s number one option.
Hope For The Best: Show of hands: how many of you forgot Brandon Marshall was playing this season until you saw his highlight touchdown? Regardless of whether or not you acknowledge his existence, he’s in a prime spot now that Doug Baldwin is on the fritz. I’m still not a huge fan of the Seattle backfield just on principle, but if you need to invest in this lot out of necessity, I’d go with Chris Carson. I wouldn’t expect a game breaking day against the bears line, though. Trey Burton has better days ahead, and it starts this week.
Hell No: I’m staying away from Mitchell Trubisky given the game-changing discovery that he possesses the directional prowess of a toddler. Allen Robinson suffers the most from this imbalance, and I’ll need to see a bit more from the Bears offense until I can trot out the one-time pro bowl receiver. Tarik Cohen just doesn’t have a lot of viability outside of extremely deep leagues.
Postgame Headline: “Seahawks battle back to overcome Bears in 24-20 comeback.”
Lions @ Niners
Story To Watch: I generally give the benefit of the doubt to professional coaches and coordinators when it comes to in-game personnel decisions. In fact, one of my least favorite trends is how a fantasy twitter personality will loosen a vitriolic tantrum against a coach simply because his “guy” wasn’t featured enough in the gameplan. I’m sure you’ve seen something like this unfold recently…
That said, I basked in the glory of Matt Patricia’s very public undressing on Monday night. Patricia, the king of the Massholes, the guy who dresses like a bouncer at a place called Smitty’s, was publicly humiliated in his head coaching debut. Sure, Matt Stafford provided a very healthy assist in trying to pace himself for the season interception record, but Patricia was the primary recipient of the fattest of L’s on twitter. I… don’t really have a fantasy point here, come to think of it. It was simply schadenfreude of the highest order.
Safe Bets: Jimmy Garroppolo, Golden Tate, George Kittle
Hope For The Best: Marvin Jones Jr., Kenny Golladay, Matt Stafford, Alfred Morris, Marquise Goodwin
Hell No: Matt Breida, Kerryon Johnson, Theo Riddick, Legarrette Blount,
Postgame Headline: “Stafford only has three turnovers in 33-17 loss to Jimmy G’s Niners”
Patriots @ Jaguars
Story To Watch: Imagine my shock when I heard of Rex Burkhead’s questionable status after it was reported he entered the concussion protocol this week. I don’t know about you, but doesn’t it feel like this guy is either always hurt or always delivering 55 yards from scrimmage? We should know by now to avoid NE backfields, because no matter how much you like a guy, there are 17 running backs that Belicheck will deploy on a given snap. But no, this guy is different, they said. This guy is “good at the game”, they told us. This guy has something that sets him apart from the countless number of Patriots running backs who unceremoniously came and went within two years. Hmm, I wonder what it is? What is the unique characteristic that he possesses which makes him stand out at the running back position despite limited ability or pedigree? What exactly is it that makes him a fan favorite in the hotbed of diversity that is Foxborough? I can’t quite put my finger on it. Oh well, the mystery will have to be solved another day.
Safe Bets: With the aforementioned great white hope presumably sidelined at least for this week (in addition to the countless walking wounded that comprise the NE backfield), this is certainly James White’s time to shine. Unlike Burkhead, this guy is a former Super Bowl star whom Tom Brady trusts when the game is on the line. Love him in this spot. The usual suspects of Brady and Rob Gronkowski can obviously be trusted to pad your score for the duration of the afternoon, as well. Leonard Fournette is attempting to give it a go, and you pretty much have to play him if he’s active. At worst, he plods along for 49 yards. At best, he explodes all over your opponent’s face and you win your matchup. Easy call.
Hope For The Best: We were expecting big things from Chris Hogan, but the coronation will have to wait for another week. While things can’t get much worse for the presumptive “WR1” after his pedestrian opener, a date in Jacksonville doesn’t exactly improve matters either. The targets will be there, but you’ve been warned. If Blake Bortles is going to do anything this week, he’ll have to get it done while playing the role of garbage man. I think 242 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2-3 interceptions is attainable. To that end, Dede Westbrook is safer to trust than Keelan Cole, but they should both see volume against the Patriots’ suspect defense.
Hell No: If Fournette is active, then obviously TJ Yeldon can’t be deployed with confidence. He moves up a category if Len is on the shelf, however. I’m a wait-and-see if Sony Michel is on the field, too.
Postgame Headline: “Revenge has to wait for Jaguars as they fall to Patriots 27-19”
Browns @ Saints
Safe Bets: Obviously you can’t rely on 100+ yard, three touchdown games from Alvin Kamara every week. But then again, consider this: can you, though? As long as Al continues to see the lion’s share of the backfield touches with Ingram suspended, the sky truly is the limit for one of the most dynamic weapons in the NFL. Drew Brees didn’t show any signs of aging in shootout mode last week, quelling the notion that this would be the run-first offense we saw back in 2017. You should slam the fucking “start” button on Michael Thomas this week too, who delivered a mid-90’s esque WR1 statline of 16-180-1 against the Bucs. If he’s literally half as good against the Browns, that still means WR1 numbers. Jarvis Landry is honestly the only guy who is 100% “safe” on the Browns, at least while Tyrod Taylor is under center. Taylor’s vertically challenged passing approach lends himself to locking in on a single receiver at times, which looks to be Juice in the early going.
Hope For The Best: I’m dubious as to whether or not Josh Gordon will see the requisite targets to put up WR1 numbers, but you’ve gotta love his chances in the Superdome. He’ll presumably be shadowed by reigning defensive ROY Marcus Lattimore, but you may remember him more recently from getting destroyed by Mike Evans about 6 days ago. A deep bomb is possible. I ripped on Tyrod Taylor above, but he’ll be more than serviceable in what’s likely to be a bonanza of a ballgame. “Tuh-rod” is your streaming option Du Jour. I Like Carlos Hyde in this spot a lot, and I’ll echo what I attempted to impart last week: You need to get while the getting’s good with this dude. He’s like beautiful butterfly in the palm of your hand: one minute you’re examining this graceful beauty, and the next it could fly away, never to return. Such is the tale of Carlito “El Guapo” Hyde.
Hell No: The usage was there for David Njoku, but the production certainly wasn’t. As long as Tyrod’s spraying the ball all over the field, the tight end is little more than a boom-bust touchdown threat. Last week, I established in no uncertain terms that I was not a Duke Johnson Jr. guy. I will never join the cult, and I didn’t see anything in the opener to dissuade me of that sentiment. In fact, you might see me on the corner someday soon…
Postgame Headline: “Saints, Kamara rumble to resounding 36-26 win over Browns”
Enjoy the games, everybody. Let’s get out of here with a win.
— The BFG