When the Jets played salary cap roulette this off-season, incumbent starting RB Shonn Greene wound up as a cap casualty,
while the team traded a 4th-round pick to acquire Chris Ivory from the Saints.
The Jets continued to add to their backfield by signing Mike Goodson, which was quickly dampened by Goodson’s gun and drug charges. With Ivory slowed by hamstring issues and Goodson yet to report to the team, neither move has paid dividends.
Instead, the Jets have relied heavily on a familiar face; third year back Bilal Powell.
Powering Gang Green to 149 yards on the ground, Powell looked like the Jets most reliable offensive weapon in week 3 vs. the Bills. Ivory’s hamstring is considered to be a multiple week injury, leaving Powell with full control to carry the mail. Look for Powell to build off his strong week 3 performance with favorable matchups coming up vs. the Titans, Falcons, and Steelers.
The Bottom Heist: Averaging a respectable 4.3 avg and the beneficiary of a solid run-blocking offensive line, Powell is primed for a consistent workload in a shaky Jets offense.
When Mark Wahlberg’s character in the film “Ted” met his childhood idol Flash Gordon, he muttered these words:
“I thank you for saving everyone of us.”
The fantasy community shared a similar sentiment yesterday, at the hands of another Flash Gordon…
With Josh Gordon making his season debut yesterday in Minnesota, one would have thought that Emperor Ming was lining up upposite of Gordon in the Vikings secondary. Gordon pillaged the Vikings secondary for a gawdy 10/146/1 line and added 22 yards on the ground, for good measure. Making his season debut, coming off a 2-game suspension, Gordon has high WR2 upside playing in an offensive scheme largely dominated by a vertical passing approach.
As someone who has been an adamant supporter of a breakout year from “Flash,” I’m not shocked in the least bit that he wasted no time making a big statement. After the game he went on the record to say that the Norv Turner/Rob Chudzinski offense is “the best offense to be in.” No argument here.
With Brian Hoyer proving to be a possible upgrade over Brandon Weeden, Gordon would be a direct beneficiary of the Browns confidence throwing the ball downfield.
If Gordon can avoid off-the-field troubles and stay focused, he’ll be terrorizing the planet Mongo in an attempt to salvage the Browns season.
Take it away, Freddie Mercury.
James Starks – The last time I can remember James Starks being a relevant name drop was when my buddy Nano and I went down to this girl’s party in Newton, MA in 2010. While we ran the ‘ruit table, some herb was chatting about the University at Buffalo football program, pretty obscure, unless of course you’re the girlfriend of the logo designer for this site. Naturally, I knew saying “James Starks what up” to the kid, would provide him with an instant football orgasm. Sure enough, he talked about how much of a beast Starks was while at Buffalo. That year, while playing in relief of Packers starter Ryan Grant, Starks capped his rookie season with a Super Bowl ring and set the Packers rookie record for most rushing yards in a post-season game with 123. Three years later and Starks seems to be all the rage this week on the waiver wire.
After relieving concussed Eddie Lacy this week, Starks became the first Packers RB to rush for over 100 yards in a game since Oct. 10th, 2010. With the Packers bye week approaching in week 4, it looks like Lacy will sit out this week as Starks is primed to get the start in Cincinnati. While Lacy’s status remains hazy, look for the Packers to trend towards more of a time-share when both backs are in the lineup, to minimize the hits on their rookie.
The Bottom Heist: If Starks continues to perform, he will sculpt his own permanent role within the Packers offense, making him at the very worst, a top handcuff in a high-powered offense.
Jacquizz Rodgers – Much like Starks, and is often the case for off-the-radar fantasy backs, Rodgers’ value is contingent upon an injury to the Falcons starter, Steven Jackson. However, contrary to the situation in the Green Bay backfield, ‘Quizz has more than enough time to play himself into a role. For the last few years now, the pass-heavy Falcons have looked for Rodgers to be a dynamic threat in the pass game, coming out of the backfield. Not doing himself any favors with the opportunities he has been given, Rodgers maintains the shiftiness that many offensive coordinators covet from their scat back. For PPR and/or leagues that count return yards, Rodgers is a legitimate flex play for the interim. While the numbers haven’t been there in the early-going, the touches are firmly laid out in the on-deck circle.
The Bottom Heist: With S-Jax a candidate to return after ATL’s Week 6 bye, Rodgers has more than enough time to prove to the Falcons coaching staff that he deserves a role in the offense. He’s worth a look in 12+ team leagues.
Vick Ballard reportedly suffered a “freak” knee injury at Thursday’s practice. The injury is expected to sideline the second-year RB for the rest of the season. The injury comes just a day after the Colts announced their intentions to implement a time share between Ballard and Ahmad Bradshaw in the Indianapolis backfield. Obviously, Ballard’s injury crushes those hopes and boosts Bradshaw’s value going forward, assuming he himself can avoid injury.
The Colts coaching staff was apparently raving about Ballard’s pass-protection from their Week 1 win over the Raiders. However, Bradshaw has excelled in pass-protection throughout his time with the Giants and shouldn’t have any problems manning those duties.
Ahmad Bradshaw is in line for a heavy workload, following Vick Ballard’s season-ending knee injury.
Look for Bradshaw to shoulder the load this weekend vs. the Dolphins, with Donald Brown getting more involved on 3rd downs and occasionally spelling Bradshaw for a few carries.
Yesterday, Bradshaw’s value plummeted as much as anybody’s, with the announcement the team would establish a 50/50 timeshare moving forward. Not 24 hours later and Bradshaw has firmly grabbed the team’s lead role. Bradshaw will have back-end RB2 and solid flex value moving forward. Let’s just hope his feet can remain healthy enough to make it to the back-end of the season.
If you were anything like me last Sunday night, you were staring the bottom of your drink in the face, excited for one of the most explosive, young runners in football to take the stage in primetime. With the Cowboys’ front-four missing two of their starters, the stage couldn’t have been more perfect.
10 beers later, I had to wonder if it were the two fumbles or the booze, depicting David Wilson as a reincarnation of Rashaan Salaam circa 1995 (see ’95 fumbles total). Needless to say, Wilson’s 2013 debut was more prime-tim than primetime.
Wilson’s pathetic 7 rushes for 19 yards have pushed owners to hit the panic button more prematurely than Herb Donaldson on a goal line carry. Don’t get me wrong, anytime a top round pick puts up the same number of points as the temperature on a December day in Alaska, it’s pretty sobering. However, given the dynamic running-ability and acrobatics of the former Virginia Tech star, the odds were greater that he’d go off for 150 and 2 TDs, rather than putting it on the ground twice and riding the pine in his 2013 debut.
It’s not quite déjà vu, although Wilson also fumbled in week 1 of 2012, only to go 127 straight touches without coughing it up.
One year removed from being a 1st-round pick, let’s not forget the potential recipe for a breakout year. “D-dubs” is the cog in an offense that’s committed to establishing the run with no other serious suitors to tote the rock (if you picked up Brandon Jacobs this week, I hope you grabbed Reuben Droughns as a handcuff).
Fantasy analysts and noobs alike, we all knew coming into this year that Wilson was an unpolished, raw talent who hadn’t yet performed at a consistent level. Yet, Wilson still shot into the early rounds of drafts once Andre Brown went down with a fractured leg.
If you buy a new BMW, the second you drive it out the lot, it loses value. But, it seems some “tim”id fantasy owners don’t quite grasp the difference between paying a premium for a car and paying a premium for a player in fantasy.
If you spend a top 30 pick on a player (largely appealing because of the upside), you won’t know the value until you put some miles on it.
I live by the fantasy adage of never selling-low early in the season for a player you paid a premium for. Before you go overboard on David Wilson, remember, you could be unloading a 2014 1st-round pick in fantasy drafts.
Coming out of Sunday night’s win over the Giants, Dez Bryant was diagnosed with a sprained left foot. This provided fantasy owners with even more panic than his measley line of 4/22/0. Granted, Bryant was the victim of double-teams for a majority of the night.
Bryant’s MRI revealed a mild foot sprain and nothing more, a sigh of relief for owners who most likely acquired his services between picks 10 and 18 in this year’s draft. Despite a matchup with one of the NFL’s best secondaries next week in Kansas City, owners should feel comfortable deploying Dez. No stranger to warding off various injuries when taking the field, Dez will almost certainly improve upon a forgettable opener.
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