Fantasy Football: Week Three, Hail em’ or Bail on em’
Determining which players to play in your fantasy football lineup on a weekly basis can make you feel like Brett Favre in his prime waffling days. You've got so many things to consider and calculate.
First of all, the match-up, you've got to determine which players have favorable match-ups facing a weak or injury riddled defense. Of course, there are some players you're going to play week in and week out no matter what, your Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady's of the world.
Second, the numbers, you've got to crunch the numbers of how your players perform at home or away, vs. certain teams, and how the opposing defense fairs against specific positions. For example, if one team has a stellar secondary that typically shuts down opposing wide receivers, you probably want to avoid wide-outs playing that defense.
Finally, your gut and a little bit of luck. Sometimes there's no rhyme or reason for a decision you make, you just have a feeling in the pit of your stomach that says, "this is my guy this week, he won't fail me." That can be against conventional thinking or what the "experts" are saying and you're just hoping you get lucky and hit it big that week.
Come to think of it, playing fantasy football is a lot like going to the casino and playing poker. You're playing directly against an opponent, you try to get yourself in the best possible position to be successful, and you take some risks. In addition, sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind and go for it with something that's not particularly strong on paper.
With that, let's get into some players this week that you should hail and some you should bail on in week three.
- Hail: Carson Palmer (ARI)-
A lot of us had high hopes and expectations for Carson Palmer to bounce back after a sub-par 2016 campaign. So far it hasn't gone so well... However, I believe this week presents an opportunity for him to get back on track. The match-up is the Dallas Cowboys who shut down the New York Giants at home in week one but allowed four touchdowns to the Trevor Siemian lead Denver Broncos away from Jerry World. Monday Night Football, the big stage, at home in Arizona, call me crazy but I'm going to say Palmer hits it for a couple touchdowns and 300+ yards in his first strong fantasy outing of the season.
- Bail: Russell Wilson (SEA)-
Over the past couple of seasons we've kind of become accustomed to Russell Wilson getting out of the season's gate slowly. For instance, last season over the first seven games of the year he only had thrown five touchdowns and three of them were against a run down New York Jets secondary. This season he has only 1 touchdown pass in the first two weeks and an overall completion percentage of 56%. It's not all on Wilson, the offensive line in front of him has been in shambles and has him running for his life on a consistent basis. Also, here's another fun fact that'll deter you from starting Wilson this week. If you're curious how he's fared against the blitz it hasn't been good, since 2015 he's currently ranked 19th in the league. He's got the mobility to make plays outside the pocket but when you're constantly on the move, it's hard to get comfortable and get into any kind of rhythm.
- Hail: Isaiah Crowell (CLE)-
Coming into this season the Isaiah Crowell train had been gaining steam. He finished last season strong and as the number one running back racking up 952 yards on the ground at a 4.8 yards per carry. However, so far this year he's struggling mainly because the Browns have been playing from behind but also because he seems a bit distracted with his contract situation. But no matter, he told Head Coach Hue Jackson that he wants the ball more and feels like he can really help this team win. Frankly, with the limited amount of play-makers that Cleveland has I'm going to continue to believe in him especially against a very sub-par Colts squad.
- Bail: Jordan Howard (CHI)-
The rise and fall of Chicago Bears running backs over the last few years since Matt Forte left the team has been consistent to say the least. Jeremy Langford was supposed to be the next big thing, then Howard took over the mantel, and now it's looking like Tarik Cohen is about to Wally Pipp him in the Bears backfield. Howard's dealing with a shoulder injury right now and is questionable to play this week. Cohen, on the other hand just looks like a different type of animal out there from an athletic standpoint. With the injury in mind, Cohen has out touched Howard 40 to 29 on the season but TC has been much more productive with his touches as well. You add all this up and I'm no math major but that equation doesn't play out in Jordan Howard's favor.
- Hail: Rashard Higgins (CLE)-
This is an odd week, I feel a little bit strange doing it but I'm going with not just one but TWO Cleveland Browns skill players this week! I'm not sure what this world is coming too, but I'll tell you what, I've got a couple of ex-college baseball teammates and their dad who would be proud of me for the recognition (Shout out Matt, Brian and BJB). Like I said with Crowell, the Browns are facing a pretty bad Colts defense and the secondary has been especially bad. Here are some numbers to back that up, the Colts are suseptable to the deep ball, they've allowed 14 deep completions over the first two weeks. Another reason I'm on the Higgins bandwagon is motivation, when a player is driven by motivation I believe anything is possible. He was signed off the practice squad a day before their week two game and came out with seven catches on eleven targets for 95 yards. For Rashard the motivation is simple, "I told myself I didn't want to get cut anymore, that was the worst thing ever, I don't want that to happen again." he said in an article on Cleveland.com.
- Bail: Alshon Jeffrey (PHI)-
This one is pretty simple, the Philadelphia Eagles are facing the New York Giants this week and if there is one strength of the Giants at this point it is there secondary. They have a good amount of depth and two studs right at the top of the depth chart in Janoris "jackrabbit" Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers Cromartie. I believe this is going to be a low scoring, tough nosed, grind it out NFC East division game. Therefore, I'm not expecting a lot of production from Jeffery, I'm bailing out on him for this week.
- Hail: Jack Doyle (IND)-
We've been all over this match-up between the Colts and the Browns today and it continues here with the tight end position and Jack Doyle. First of all, you've got to love the match-up with the Browns defense in this one simply because this position completely and utterly dominates them. Get this, the Browns so far this season are allowing the most fantasy points, most receptions, most scores, and third most receiving yards to tight ends. Also, Jack Doyle seems to have found a nice little groove with new QB Jacoby Brissett because last week he looked for him early and often. He was able to hauling in 8 passes for a cool 79 yards. I like Doyle's chances of getting in the end zone this weekend.
- Bail: Martellus Bennett (GB)-
Man, I was trying so hard to be a believer that Bennett would be a big play threat at tight end that the Green Bay Packers have been missing. I know it's still early but over the first two games he really hasn't been part of the offense and when he had chances to make plays last weekend, he dropped the ball on three separate occasions. Again, I'm hoping he'll get in sync with Aaron Rodgers, somewhat like how he and Jermichael Finley were early in both of their careers. But facing a tough Cincinnati defense this week I don't like his chances of breaking out just yet.