TFG Fantasy Club: Week 2

TFG Fantasy Club is a weekly email exchange between TFG editor Melissa Jacobs and TFG Fantasy contributor Pat Fitzmaurice covering all the hot button fantasy issues, with a few added surprises. Look for special guests to pop in occasionally, and feel free to chime in below.  

9/9 1:56 PM

Hi Pat,

A big high five to both us for correctly selecting Jacksonville’s Allen Hurns as the rookie WR who would have the best debut? Oh wait, what happened to that article? Dammit.

I don’t know about you but I’ll let some other owner blow their auction dollars on Hurns.  Loved what I saw Sunday, but with Cecil Shorts III (said in fancy British voice) possibly back I’m not ready to be all in…yet.

Gosh, so much to cover. Let’s start with Monday night in rainy Arizona. Is John Brown really the new Larry Fitzgerald? I know Brown was an Arians favorite headed into the season but I didn’t expect him to be targeted more than Fitz. How do you see it shaking out between Fitz, Brown and Michael Floyd? Arizona has a seemingly explosive offense so all three may have value.

Over in Denver should we be concerned about Demaryius Thomas’s hands issue? It really felt like he was targeted about 7,433 times. Thomas is such a physical talent but I wonder if Peyton’s patience wears thin especially when Wes Welker is back in the mix. Week 1 was disappointing, no doubt, but Thomas is obviously a guy you’re starting so I just hope he’s not the WR equivalent of Chris Johnson from a couple years ago. 4 catches and 48 yards from your WR1 isn’t going to land you anywhere but the toilet bowl.

Did Week 1 strongly impact your views either way on any receivers?

Good “catching” up,


Allen Hurns for Offensive Rookie of the Year!

9/9 3:29 PM

Hi, Melissa.

I’m a little surprised you didn’t mention Michael Crabtree. He’s been dealing with a calf injury, but you’d think the combination of a trip to Dallas (his hometown) and a matchup against the woeful Cowboys defense (not to mention those spiffy blue kicks he was wearing) would have been a sure recipe for 100 yards and a TD. But then again, the big early lead for San Francisco didn’t really work in Crabby’s favor, and it was his misfortune that Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin reaped the early spoils.

Strange indeed that Demaryius did so little with the 11 throws sent his way, but I’m not worried. He only had two games last season with fewer than 50 receiving yards. There are bound to be a few games like that every year even for the crème de la crème.

Is Larry Fitzgerald still among the crème de la crème? Monday night’s performance makes you wonder. Fitz was pretty much invisible throughout, while Michael Floyd looked very much like a go-to receiver. There’s basically nothing to dislike about Floyd’s game, and he seems to have grown out of the knuckleheadedness that he was known for during his days at Notre Dame. So maybe Floyd starts to squeeze Fitz out of the picture? There have been traces of fantasy slippage from Fitzgerald the last few years; maybe this is the year the bottom falls out. And maybe Brown accelerates Fitz’s slide. Brown looks like quite a find, doesn’t he? I mean, Jonathan Brown this year, Tyrann Mathieu last year — the Cardinals are staking an ownership claim on the third round of the NFL Draft.

Week 1 didn’t do all that much to change my perception of the aide receivers, though I may have underrated Reggie Wayne and the aforementioned Boldin. Looks like the old guys can still play. And, oh yeah … Allen Hurns. I still like Marqise Lee more, but Hurns is legit. The Jacksonville passing will keep him from turning into a reliable fantasy contributor this year, but it looks like he’ll be around for a while.

So it’s au revoir to Ray Rice. Don’t let the door hit you, Ray. What do you think about the Baltimore backfield post-Rice, Melissa? Seems like there’s a gold rush to grab Justin Forsett off the waiver wire, but he’s an overaged scatback. Bernard Pierce? Lorenzo Taliaferro? Who do you like? And based on what you saw from your 49ers on Sunday, do you think Carlos Hyde is going to start to marginalize Frank Gore this season?

It’s great to have meaningful NFL games back, isn’t it?


9/9 9:24 PM

Good evening Pat,

I’m not too worried about Crabtree, though he may have been slightly overvalued on draft day.  By the looks of it, he received tight coverage (by Dallas standards) and as you mentioned, he played with that calf injury. Perhaps Crabtree was used as more of a decoy last Sunday. Moving forward I’d still expect him to be a 5-9 reception/50-100 yards type of player. (Or am I just being a hopeful 49ers fan and not a real fantasy analyst? No, I swear, the answer is no.)

As for the 49ers backfield situation, it does seems like Frank Gore’s ticking clock has been sped up by the rookie. Hyde looks awesome, basically like a faster version of Gore. But Gore still adds value as a blocker and he’s still one of the league’s finest inside runners. Hyde will cut into Gore’s carries somewhat and pick up all those of recently released LaMichael James, but the elder is still no. 1.

Over to the other Harbaugh, despite what you said, Justin Forsett is my favorite waiver pickup this week. Sure, it’s hard to fully gauge his aptitude given that we’ve only seen him in small doses over the years, but he looked like a legitimate starter last week. PPRers have to be salivating at those five catches. Harbaugh says it will be a spilt situation with Bernard Pierce but I believe Forsett gets the bulk of the work against a Steelers team that got pounded on the ground last week.

Ok, I wasn’t sure how to bring this up but I have to admit something: Matthew Stafford looked awesome and not in that won’t look awesome in two weeks way we’ve grow accustomed to. Some of his throws were jaw dropping. Almost as jaw dropping as the debut of his new svelte physique. Am I crazy to think that a spring of Pilates and a new offensive coordinator are Stafford’s ticket to greatness on a consistent level?


9/10 1:10 PM


Can you believe how different Stafford looks now? I almost didn’t recognize him in his postgame interview — that familiar fat face is gone. Maybe a gang of Oompa Loompas took Stafford to the same place where they dejuiced Violet Beauregarde.

The new physique can’t hurt (unless, of course, there’s some sort of weird Tiger Woods effect, and getting buff completely destroys Stafford’s constitution). But I want to see if the man of 1,000 arm slots is as dedicated to cultivating proper mechanics as he was to reshaping his body.

I can’t back you on Justin Forsett as a fave waiver-wire pickup, Melissa. He might have been the man of the moment on Sunday, but he’s undersized, over-aged, and he’s never had more than 118 carries in any season. He might make an effective bye-week spackle back in a deep PPR league, but that’s about it. I’m more intrigued by another Baltimore back, Lorenzo Taliaferro, who looked terrific in the preseason. Terrence West and Isaiah Crowell of the Browns are both intriguing, too, although Ben Tate isn’t going to miss as much time as originally feared.

Are there any Week 2 angles you’re particularly interested in, Melissa? I’m anxious too see how the Patriots look against the Vikings this week. The Dolphins flat-out bullied the Pats in Week 1. Was it just a matter of being flat, or does New England have fatal flaws? The offensive line looked terrible, the run defense was steamrolled, and dare I say that Tom Brady looked like a mere seatholder for Jimmy Garoppolo. (Just kidding — Brady has been very good to my fantasy teams over the years, so I’m not going to worry about last week’s Scott Zolak imitation just yet.)



9/9 2:27 PM


I know “Tom Brady Looks Like a 37-Year Old Quarterback” has been the top overreaction story of the week. Pretty ridiculous given that Tom Brady actually looks like a 38-year old quarterback. Pat, your loyalty here is commendable. But there are a couple of concerns beside the senior status. Last year it was Brady’s receivers who brought him down by dropping pass after pass in the early season. Last week, it was Brady missing his receivers. Sure, his “arsenal” of weapons would make Peyton Manning quit but Brady doesn’t help matters by morphing into a statue in the pocket.  Last year Brady had only two games with more than two touchdowns, and he had five with fewer than 200 yards. Unless Rob Gronkowski, who looked about 70%, heals fast, or Brady realizes picking up his feet is part of playing quarterback in 2014, I fear this may be the beginning of the end.

Carson Palmer is a terrific pickup for anxious Brady owners. To forget about the existence of Larry Fitzgerald and still put up 300 yards and two scores against a decent Chargers defense is telling. Palmer is particularly attractive this week against the Giants.

Tony Romo and Jay Cutler have continued their parallel destinies as, to honor my Frozen-obsessed 3-year old, football’s version of Kristoff and Hans. Will either ever be truly good or truly evil, or does owning either just commit you to an emotionally draining magic (or tragic) carpet ride?

For Week 2, I’m just looking at guys we’ve made snap judgments on either way to see if they move the needle in a different direction or at all – guys like Josh McCown (product of Trestman only?), the aforementioned Hurns (good injury replacement or more?), Cody Latimer (nonexistent). Will Fitz and Victor Cruz get more looks?

Still some shaking out before we can get temporarily cozy with our rosters, huh?


The pressure’s on Brady

9/9 3:41 PM

Indeed, Melissa. We’ve just pounded out the rugs after a long offseason, and it will take time for the dust to settle.

I’m anxious to see if Geno Smith and the Jets’ Chris-Chris RB Combo can show as well against the Packers in Green Bay as they did in a home game against the Raiders? I want to know if Knowshon Moreno can keep on truckin’. Can the Rams or Buccaneers get anything going on offense when they face each other this week? Will Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde play hot knives opposite the butter of the Chicago run defense? Will the Titans’ young receivers light up the Dallas secondary? Will Jamaal Charles rev up the jets after an unproductive start? Will Julius Thomas add to his TD count? Will Cordarrelle Patterson continue to electrify?

Bring on Week 2!

By the way … this football conversation included references to Oompa Loompas and “Frozen.” Think anyone can tell that we’re parents?

Until next time, Melissa.