In the wake of Steven Jackson’s departure from St. Louis, the Rams backfield has been a revolving door. But right now it’s a 5th round rookie out of Vanderbilt who is acting doorman. With a neck size second only to that of former Patriots linebacker, Ted Johnson, Zac Stacy is the St. Louis back you want to own. The RB position has predictably been thin this year, with supposed studs continuing to underperform. If you have moveable pieces on your roster, I would recommend stashing all the RBs you can get your hands on. With Stacy’s talent yet to be determined, his price tag is as cheap as they come for a starting RB in the NFL.
Recording an impressive 5.6 yard average in his first start last week vs. the lowly Jaguars, Stacy ripped off 78 yards on 14 carries. Head Coach Jeff Fisher endorsed Stacy as the featured back for this week’s matchup with the Texans. Owned in an inexplicable 3.6% of ESPN leagues and only 34% of Yahoo! leagues, Stacy should be considered a serviceable flex play moving forward.
After hauling in just 3 receptions for 30 yards over his first two games, Chargers rookie WR Keenan Allen has gone off for 11 catches, 195 yards, and a TD in his last two. With Philip Rivers performing more like the Rivers from 2010 than 2012, Allen could develop a prominent role within a revamped offense. Since Eddie Royal’s blazing start, he hasn’t recorded more than 3 receptions or 42 yards in his last three games, which paves the way for Allen to get more targets.
A deep sleeper in fantasy drafts this year, Allen is a legitimate threat for back-end WR3 radars, as long as Rivers continues to prove his worth. Owned in just 1% of ESPN leagues and 7% of Yahoo! leagues, Allen is one of the best buys on the wire.
Everyone has bad habits. Some people try to quit smoking, others try not to drink and drive more than a couple times a week, but for the Baltimore Ravens, it’s all about trying to rid themselves of light workloads for Ray Rice. For whatever reason, this seems to come up every year. If you watch the Ravens on tape, you’ll see their passing-attack is most balanced and fluid when Rice is involved. Across three games, Rice has only touched the ball 41 times. Apparently, Head Coach John Harbaugh took notice.
Harbaugh told reporters on Wednesday that the team would do everything in its power to get the ball into Rice’s hands more often. Citing the need to create more plays for the passing-game, Harbaugh hinted that Rice would have more opportunities as a pass-catcher moving forward. While Rice attempts to fully recover from a hip injury that kept him out of Week 3, the Ravens would be advised to cut back some of Bernard Pierce’s touches and let their workhorse do his thing.
With Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland desperate to keep his job, he went on a lucrative spending spree this past off-season. One of his many additions was former Jets TE Dustin Keller. But Keller didn’t make it out of the pre-season. He suffered a torn ACL, PCL, and MCL at the expense of a malicious hit by Texans Safety D.J. Swearinger. The gruesome injury paved the way for one of fantasy’s biggest surprises thus far: third year TE Charles Clay.
With the lone exception of targeting Jimmy Graham in the 3rd round of fantasy drafts this year, which has paid off for me thus far, Clay has validated a stance I’ve always taken on the Tight End position; don’t pay for it. So far, Clay has been this year’s version of Brandon Myers. Tallying 20 receptions for 245 yards and a TD has landed Clay in the top seven amongst the position, ahead of guys like Vernon Davis and Jason Witten. While I don’t expect Clay to outlast the likes of those guys, he has proved himself as a reliable target in an offense that has struggled to get Mike Wallace the ball.
The Bottom Heist: Until he strings together multiple underwhelming performances, he should be owned in all 10+ team leagues. He is currently owned in just 53% of leagues.
Going into last season, Bears rookie WR Alshon Jeffery was a trendy sleeper pick across fantasy drafts. In his NFL debut, he posted an impressive 3/80/1 line vs. the Colts. Unfortunately, Jeffery couldn’t build off his debut, as his Week 1 performance wound up being his most productive. With another year of seasoning under his belt, the second year South Carolina product has already made considerable progress.
Coming off his best game as a pro, Jeffery hauled in 5 receptions for 107 yards and a TD in last week’s loss to the Lions. While a chunk of that production came in garbage time, Jeffery has already shown signs of being a more consistent target in Marc Trestman’s first-year offense. Through four weeks, Jeffery has tallied a solid 18/211/1 line.
The Bottom Heist: Playing opposite Brandon Marshall would get just about anybody looks in the passing game. But at 6’3-215, Jeffery is a big target who will continue to get his opportunities from Jay Cutler.
Coming into fantasy drafts this year, C.J. Spiller was a consensus top 10 pick. Through four weeks, Spiller has netted just 230 yards on the ground and has been held without a touchdown. Now the Bills are just hoping he’ll be active for week five. The fourth year back out of Clemson missed Tuesday’s practice with an ankle injury he sustained in the 3rd quarter on Sunday vs. the Ravens. Spiller will most likely be a game time decision for Thursday’s night matchup at Cleveland. Spiller fantasy owners should follow his status closely up to Thursday night to determine whether or not to deploy the disappointing 1st round pick. While Fred Jackson recovers from a MCL sprain, fantasy owners should strongly consider giving him a start if Spiller is ruled out. Conspiracy theorists need not run their Tashard Choice opinions by me, you’d have a better chance starting Mike Alstott in the flex.
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