Matt Ryan – ATL vs. TB
After allowing the Redskins’ largest comeback in franchise history this past Sunday (24 points), it’s safe to say the days of Warren Sapp, Simeon Rice, Derrick Brooks and company feel like a distant memory. This Buccaneers defense is flat-out atrocious and a visit to Atlanta with Matt Ryan and the 6-1 Falcons isn’t going to stop the bleeding. Playing on the road the previous two weeks and managing only four TDs in Ryan’s last four games, a stop back at the Georgia Dome is just what the doctor ordered. It speaks volumes that over that same four-game span Julio Jones hasn’t topped the 100 yard mark in receiving, which bodes well for the chances of an imminent explosion from this high-powered passing attack. I expect Matty Ice to throw for 250+ yards and multiple scores in what should be a route of the hapless Bucs.
Cam Newton – CAR vs. IND
Coming off a season-worst performance against the Eagles on Sunday Night, Cam Newton and the Panthers look towards an impending matchup against the Colts to get things back on track on Monday night. Despite three Interceptions, Newton still managed to get 17 fantasy points in a lackluster effort. As a run-first oriented offense and Jonathan Stewart on the heels of a 125-yard performance vs. Philly, expect the Colts to try and stop the run-first. Combine that defensive game plan with a Colts secondary allowing 286 yards a game through the air and it’s a safe bet that Cam will improve on his 197 passing yards and one passing touchdown performance from last week.
Eli Manning – NYG @ NO
In what will be a homecoming of sorts for Louisiana natives Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle, Sunday has all of the fixings for a successful reunion in the Bayou. After averaging 22 fantasy points in weeks 2 – 5, Eli scuffled in weeks 6 and 7 against divisional foes Philly and Dallas. This week Eli is primed to right the ship against a New Orleans secondary, which has allowed a whopping 276 passing yards per game. With the Giants running-back carousel still in limbo, and a Saints defense that has allowed at least 20 + points in all seven games this season, fantasy owners can expect fireworks from the Giants passing game this week.
After plodding away for 106 yards on 22 carries and 2 TDs against the Bears last week, Brandon Jacobs is unlikely to be active for the Giants tonight. Proving he can still eat up yards (and with David Wilson sidelined for the foreseeable future) Jacobs was a popular pickup in fantasy leagues this past week. Nursing a hamstring injury that was sustained late in last week’s game, Jacobs is officially doubtful for tonight’s game vs. the Vikings.
Jacobs should remain on rosters in 10+ team leagues as their is no clear lead-back for Giants until Andre Brown and/or David Wilson return from injury.
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.