The hits and misses keep on adding up through the first 5 weeks of the 2016 Fantasy season. We continue to have underperformers whose hope is slowly dying and overachievers whose confidence is flying high. It finally time to cut bait on the dead weight?

Remember, in most leagues there are only 7 regular season weeks left and the time to make moves is dwindling away. Fantasy Football is a “what have you done for me lately” activity and one constructed of streaks. We are high-powered place holders, with a zero investment vision for the future. In layman’s terms, tell those stiffs to take a hike!

The world of sports media can be a beautiful thing when all parties are involved and engulfed in a stern debate. As always, I look forward to your opinions and feedback. You can tweet with any questions (@TCutillo23) and leave your comments below. For my statistical hounds out there I will put last week’s stats in parentheses so you can see how I performed. Here are my picks for week 6………….

Stars for Week 6  (Last Week…5 out of 8…..62.5%)

QB: Carson Wentz (@WAS), Andrew Luck (@HOU), Russell Wilson (ATL)

RB: LeSean McCoy (SF), Giovani  Bernard (@NE), Matt Forte (@ARZ)

WR/TE: Will Fuller (IND), Brandon Marshall (@ARZ), Jeremy Maclin (@OAK)


Stiffs for Week 6  (Last Week….6 out of 6….100%)

QB: Ryan Tannehill (PIT)

RB: Theo Riddick (LA), Jeremy Hill (@NE)

WR/TE: Jeremy Kerley (@BUF), S. Shepard (BAL), D. Baldwin (ATL)


Sleepers: (Last Week…1 out of 3)

Colin Kaepernick (@BUF), Sammie Coates (@MIA), Justin Forsett (LA)

Bust Alert: (Last Week….0 out of 2)

Matt Ryan (@SEA), Ryan Matthews (@WAS)


Week 6 Triple Threat…….

Alex Smith (@OAK) I know Alex Smith is the king of Dink and Dunk, but this week he will polish off the rifle. There aren’t many games where the Chiefs decide to throw downfield on a consistent basis, but this week they are facing a secondary that Guerilla Glue couldn’t even hold together. This is my pick for shootout of the week and Smith will be on the winning side of it.

LeSean McCoy (SF) – Guess who’s back. Shady’s back. LeSean was thought to be dead and washed up in the eyes of Chip Kelly, but this year he is proving otherwise. LeSean showed flashes of the Shady we had come to expect, but not at a consistent level. This year he has that extra step back and the elusiveness he showed in his first years in the league is reborn. He continues to be a top Fantasy RB this year and with the rash of injuries we have witnessed, could very well finish in the top 5.

T.Y. Hilton (@HOU) – Hilton may very well be Fantasy Football’s #1 WR. He is the only player that has been targeted 10 times or more through the first 5 weeks of the season and his speed is second to none. The Colts haven’t necessarily been explosive on offense this year, but a matchup with a team that seems to be leaking oil is just another chance for T.Y. to shine.

***As always you can stop by my FB page (FantasySportsAddcition) or Tweet me @TCutillo23 for questions or some nice fantasy debates. I can also be heard weekly via the internet stream Live at WengRadio every Monday at 4:00pm EST for a weekend sports wrap. But most importantly, you can catch me here at PI!

***For Fantasy Purposes, all my articles are predicated upon a PPR based system…


To win a fantasy championship, you need to be active on the waiver wire.  You need to know which players are truly waiver wire gems and which ones are a flash in the pan that you should pass on.  There are a few fundamental questions you should ask yourself before making moves:

  • What are my positional needs?

If you already have 6 RBs on your roster, you probably don’t need to pick up another.  Be aware of your depth.  Look at your players’ upcoming bye weeks so you know how your lineup will shake out in those crucial weeks.

  • What do I need from this player addition?

Obviously, we need that player to perform, but you need to understand if you have a short term or long term need.  If you just need a bye week replacement at QB, Brian Hoyer may be better for Week 6.  If your QB goes down for the year and need someone more steady, you may want to look at Alex Smith.

  • Do I have any dead weight?

If you have players on your roster that aren’t performing, and you don’t expect them to turn it around, then cut them.  Take a flyer on a high potential player, someone coming back from injury in a few weeks, or a backup RB in case of injury.

Here is what I see on the Waiver Wire landscape going into Week 6…


Waiver Wire – Buy or Pass


Sammie Coates – Coates is usually good for a big play or two, but has problems with drops dating back to college.  He’s a decent add on a potent Steelers passing attack, but he’s not a PPR machine.

Chris Hogan – Now that Tom Brady is back, the whole offense gets an upgrade.  He won’t have big games every week, but in that passing attack you can never count one out.

Jacquizz Rodgers – He went over 100 yards without Doug Martin active and looks to get work whenever Martin is out.  I expect Rodgers to fill Sims role as the receiving back even when Martin plays.

Jeremy Kerley – I’ve never been a Kerley fan, but he’s getting utilized in San Francisco.  Kerley (8-102-1 on 14 targets) has scored in 2 straight games and seems to have decent chemistry with Blaine Gabbert.  The only problem is the 49ers are toying with the idea of bringing Colin Kaepernick back as the starter.

James Starks – Lacy went down with an ankle injury but it’s not believed to be serious.  If you’re a Lacy owner, this should be your reminder that you need to roster Starks no matter what.  When Lacy doesn’t play, Starks always gets the full workload.

Eddie Royal – Alshon Jeffery is struggling and Royal is benefiting.  Royal’s worth a look in PPR leagues.

Tyrell Williams – I like Williams if you need a steady WR4.  He’s had at least 60 yards in 4 of 5 games and 5+ catches in 3 of 5.

Brian Hoyer – Hoyer has been great in his short stint as the starter and Cutler may not get his job back.  I don’t trust Hoyer as my starter for the year, but I like Hoyer if you need a fill-in for a week or two.

Donte Moncrief – He was supposed to be the 2nd receiver on a potent Colts offense, but suffered shoulder injury in Week 2 with the initial prognosis of 4-6 weeks.  He’s now 3 weeks in and could be nearing a return shortly.  If you’re in need at WR and he’s unowned, keep him on your radar because you won’t want to miss out on his production come Week 8 through the fantasy playoffs.

Justin Forsett / Dwayne Washington – The Detroit Lions have Theo Riddick, but they don’t really want to use him as an every down back.  You can take a flyer on Washington hoping that he comes back from injury and takes the lead RB job.  The Lions also just signed veteran Justin Forsett which is intriguing.

Quincy Enunwa – Like Tyrell Williams, he’s a steady WR4.  He’s had at least 50 yards in 4 of 5 games and is averaging nearly 8 targets per game.

Tavon Austin – Austin has big play ability, but the Rams offense is a mess.  He’s seen at least 8 targets in 4 of 5 games and chipped in 20+ yards rushing in 2 of 5.  He’s not a great option, but you could do worse to round out your bench.


Cameron Meredith – He’ll have a decent game or two, but I’m not wasting my time.  Of everyone on the pass list, he at least has a shot to be decent.

Dontrelle Inman – Week 4’s “one week wonder” fell back to earth with 1 catch in Week 5.

Adam Thielen – And for the surprise of the week, Adam Thielen (7-127-1 on 8 targets) led the Vikings in receiving with Stefon Diggs absent.  Thielen isn’t worth your time; Diggs will be back soon enough.

Oakland RBs (Excluding L. Murray) – In Latavius Murray’s absence, the workload was split and nobody stepped up.  DeAndre Washington (9-23), Jalen Richard (8-31), and Jamize Olawale (6-22-1).  There’s too much uncertainty in this backfield outside of Murray.


Week 5 – Aerial Attack

Tom Brady / Martellus Bennett – Welcome back Tom Brady!  He looked in midseason form on Sunday going 28/40 for 406 yards and 3 TDs with no picks.  Brady loved his TEs in this one as Rob Gronkowski (5-109 on 7 targets) went over 100 yards and Martellus Bennett (6-67-3 on 8 targets) scored 3 TDs.  Chris Hogan (4-114 on 5 targets) also went over 100 yards.

Ben Roethlisberger / Sammie Coates – The weather is getting colder in Pittsburgh so Big Ben pulled out his Coates in this one.  Ben was 34/47 for 380 yards with 4 TDs.  Sammie Coates (6-139-2 on 11 targets) dropped a ton of crucial passes but managed to catch 2 TDs.  He better work on his drops if he wants Roethelisberger to continue to look his way.

Derek Carr / Amari Cooper – Carr (25/40, 317 yards with 2 TDs / 1 Int) went over 300 yards against the Chargers and finally found his #1 WR for a solid game.  This was Amari Cooper’s (6-138-1 on 12 targets) best game of the year with his 1st TD and topping 100 yards for only the 2nd time.  Michael Crabtree (3-47-1 on 7 targets) also scored again.  I said last week to buy low on this guy; this week may be your last chance.

Brian Hoyer / Cameron Meredith – And just like last week, of course everyone expected this…  This time it was Cameron Meredith (9-130-1 on 12 targets), not Eddie Royal (7-43 on 9 targets) who shined for his QB.  Brian Hoyer may have won the QB job outright, even when Jay Cutler comes back from his thumb injury.  Hoyer was 33/43 for 397 yards with 2 TDs and no picks.  Hoyer has thrown for over 300 yards with 2 TDs and no Ints in his last three games!  He has a juicy matchup against Jacksonville this week, but then they are @GB and home against Min before his Week 9 bye.

Philip Rivers / Travis Benjamin / Tyrell Williams – Philip Rivers (21/30 for 359 yards with 4 TDs / 2 Ints) continues to impress and had his 3rd straight 300 yard game and has thrown 4 TDs in 2 of his last 4 games.  Travis Benjamin (7-117-0 on 11 targets) and Tyrell Williams (5-117-1 on 6 targets) both had 117 yards receiving with Williams also snagging a TD.  Rivers will spread the ball around and remain a QB1 for this year.  As for the WRs, you never know which one will put up stats.  Dontrelle Inman (1-3 on 3 targets) disappeared after last week’s 100 yard performance.

Andrew Luck / T.Y. Hilton – Andrew Luck abused the Chicago Bears secondary for 322 yards and 2 TDs.  T.Y. Hilton (10-171-1 on 11 targets) has scored in 3 straight games and received at least 10 targets in each game this year.

Brandon Marshall – Marshall (8-114-1) saw a whopping 15 targets against a subpar Steelers defense and scored a TD.  He’s now scored in back-to-back games and has seen his targets increase each week.  The recent spike is due to Eric Decker being sidelined, but he’s seen at least 8 targets in every game.

Greg Olsen – Greg Olsen (9-181-0 on 13 targets) helped Derek Anderson in the passing attack this week with Cam Newton out.  Olsen is without question a top 3 TE.

Larry Fitzgerald – With Drew Stanton under center, I didn’t expect a big game from Fitzgerald (6-81-2 on 8 targets) and boy was I wrong.  Fitz scored twice and now has 5 on the season.  On the downside, he’s yet to top 100 yards receiving.


Week 5 – Ground Breakers

David Johnson – On Thursday, David Johnson (27-157-2 and 3-28 on 6 targets) showed why he was such a high draft pick.  This was his first 100 yard game, but he does have 5 TDs on the season.

Ezekiel Elliott – This guy seems to be on this list every week!  Elliott (15-134-2 and 3-37) had another big game and now leads the NFL in carries and rushing yards.

Le’Veon Bell – Bell (20-66-0 and 9-88 on 11 targets) had a tough time in the running game, but showed up as a receiver.  Bell gets one of the biggest workloads in the leagues so he’ll always put up stats one way or another.

LeSean McCoy – McCoy (18-150-0 and 2-8) had a big game against a tough Rams defense.  The Bills are now hitting their stride; they have San Francisco at home and are at Miami the next two weeks.

Theo Riddick – Riddick (11-49 and 6-33-2 on 6 targets) was mediocre but did catch 2 TDs and led the team in carries.  Riddick is the only back making a fantasy impact right now, but Zack Zenner (7-9) did steal some carries.


Injury Report (And Replacements)

Trevor Siemian (Shoulder) – Siemian is expected to return for the Broncos Week 6 game at San Diego on Thursday.  I don’t think I can start him this week, but he does have a juicy matchup.

Tony Romo (Back) – Romo is undergoing another MRI on his back and it’s possible that he returns after the Cowboy’s Week 7 bye.  There’s also talk that he may not even get the starting gig back, but Jerry Jones denies those rumors.

Cam Newton (Concussion) – Cam is questionable for Week 6 with a concussion.

Carson Palmer (Concussion) – As of now, Palmer is still listed as questionable for Week 6 with a concussion, but he’s expected to clear the NFL’s concussion protocol on Tuesday.

Eddie Lacy (Ankle) – Lacy was having a good game before he injured his ankle in the 3rd quarter; he’s questionable for Week 6 vs. Dallas.  The injury is not serious, but James Starks is always a must have for Lacy owners.

Jeremy Hill (Chest) – Hill reinjured his shoulder/chest and did not finish the game on Sunday.  He’s questionable for Week 6 at New England but initial reports are that he’s expected to play.  Bump up Giovani Bernard a few spots.

Latavius Murray (Turf Toe) – Murray missed Week 5’s game and the work was split between DeAndre Washington (9-23 and 5-29), Jalen Richard (8-31 and 6-66), and Jamize Olawale (6-22-1).  Murray is questionable for Week 6 vs. Kansas City but the team is hopeful he can play.

Doug Martin (Hamstring) / Charles Sims (IR – Knee) – Both Doug Martin and Charles Sims missed Monday night’s game against Carolina and Sims was placed on IR.  Jacquizz Rodgers (30-101-0 and 5-28 on 6 targets) led the way in Week 6.  Rodgers is the new Sims.

Rashad Jennings (Thumb) – Jennings is still questionable to play this week.  In his absence in Week 5, Orleans Darkwa got 7 carries, Bobby Rainey got 5, and Paul Perkins got 2.  Rainey also caught 6 balls and has become the new Shane Vereen.

Jonathan Stewart (Hamstring) – Questionable for Week 6.  In Week 5, Cameron Artis-Payne (18-85-2) and Fozzy Whittaker (5-45) shared the workload.

Arian Foster (Hamstring) – Questionable for Week 6.

Jeremy Langford (Ankle) – Langford has missed the past 2 weeks and may not have a job when he gets back.  Jordan Howard has back-to-back 100 yard games and has been giving the Bears a chance to win.

Thomas Rawls (Lower Leg) – Rawls is out for Week 6 vs. Atlanta.  Christine Michael will continue to fill in.

Randall Cobb (Neck) – Cobb took a nasty hit to his head/neck on Sunday.  He’s listed as questionable, but appears to be okay and expects to play Week 6 vs. Dallas.

Steve Smith (Ankle) – Smith left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury.  He’s questionable for week 6.

Dez Bryant (Knee) – Bryant is questionable for Week 6, but there’s a good possibility he sits this one out.  Dallas has a Week 7 bye and they do not want to rush back their star receiver.  Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, and Brice Butler will need to fill in if he’s out again.

Eric Decker (Shoulder) – Decker is questionable for Week 6.  Quincy Enunwa would get the start opposite Brandon Marshall.

Stefon Diggs (Groin) – Diggs missed Week 5 but will hopefully be recovered from his groin injury after his Week 6 bye.

Mike Wallace (Undisclosed) – Wallace got crumpled on the last play of the game on Sunday.  He’s questionable for Week 6.

Terrance Williams (Shoulder) – It’s believed that Williams suffered a sprained AC joint.  He’s optimistic that he won’t miss any time, but we’ll have to see how he progresses at practice this week.

Gary Barnidge (Ankle) – Barnidge suffered an ankle injury, but it doesn’t appear to be serious.  He’s questionable for Week 6.

Tyler Eifert (Back) – Eifert is questionable to make his season debut in Week 6 at New England.


Words of Wisdom

When it comes to lineup decisions, play your studs.  You should only utilize matchups and surrounding circumstances when comparing two players on a similar tier.  I’m not starting Terrance West @NYG over Mark Ingram vs. Carolina.  West may still put up better stats at the end of the day, but you drafted Ingram for a reason.  I’d rather lose with my studs than take a chance on a lesser player having a good day because of matchup.

Week 6 is right around the corner with the San Diego Chargers hosting the Denver Broncos on Thursday.  It should be a good one!


So what have we learned now that we are a quarter of the way through the NFL season?

  • Passing OffenseMatt Ryan and Drew Brees lead the two most prolific passing offenses in the league, averaging over 300 yards per game. Ben Roethlisberger is tied with Ryan for the league lead in passing TDs with 11 (Brees has 10).
  • Rushing Offense – You can believe that Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL in rushing (412), but Isaiah Crowell is a close #2 with 394 yards and 3 TDs! Melvin Gordon leads the league with 6 rushing TDs.
  • Receiving – It’s not a stretch to see Julio Jones leading the league in receiving yards with 488, but Marvin Jones is a close #2 with 482. A.J. Green leads the league in receptions with 32 and is 3rd in yards with 468.  Five receivers are averaging a TD per game (A.Brown, Nelson, Crabtree, K.Benjamin, A.Robinson).   Greg Olsen and Jordan Reed are top three in receptions and yards for TEs.

Now here’s the rest of the week 4 fantasy recap…


Week 4 Aerial Attack

Matt Ryan / Julio Jones
– What a day!!!  Ryan topped 500 yards passing and Jones topped 300 receiving!  Jones (12-300-1 on 15 targets) put up the first 300 yard receiving day since Calvin Johnson did it in 2013. Matty Ice was 28/37 for 503 yards with 4 TDs and 1 Int.  Matt Ryan is having a career year, but remember it’s only been 4 games.  He won’t keep up this pace, but could be a top 5 QB this year.

Ben Roethlisberger / Antonio Brown – Ben and Brown rebounded well from their blowout loss to the Eagles last week and manhandled the Chiefs.  Ben was an efficient 22/27 for 300 yards and 5 TDs.  Brown (4-64-2 on 5 targets) didn’t have his typical workload, but he made his looks count with 2 TDs.

Derek Carr / Michael Crabtree – Carr is continuing to progress in his 3rd year in the league.  Carr only put up 199 yards passing, but he threw 4 TDs with no Ints and three of them went to Crabtree.  Crabtree (7-88-3 on 12 targets) has been the best WR on the Raiders this year, but I sure am not giving up on Amari Cooper.  If anything, I’m trying to buy low on him.

Brian Hoyer / Eddie Royal – Of course everyone expected this…  Eddie Royal (7-111-1 on 7 targets) led the receivers on this day.  In place of Jay Cutler, Hoyer was 28/36 for 302 yards and 2 TDs.  I like Royal as a waiver wire pickup this week.  Kevin White was placed on IR, the Bears are going to need to throw no matter what, and Alshon Jeffrey is not a poster child of health.

Philip Rivers / Dontrelle Inman – Inman (7-120-1 on 11 targets) was the main cog in the passing game this week.  Rivers was 28/43 for 321yards with 2 TDs and 1 Int.  It appears that any of Inman, Travis Benjamin (4-48-0 on 7 targets), and Tyrell Williams (5-40-0 on 8 targets) can be the go to receiver in any given week.

Andy Dalton / A.J. Green – Green (10-173-1 on 12 targets) put up a monster night on Thursday and won many fantasy games for his owners.  Dalton was 22/31 for 296 yards and a TD.  Right now, A.J. Green is in the top 3 WR conversation, not Odell Beckham.

Russell Wilson / Jimmy Graham – There was a Jimmy Graham (6-113-0 on 8 targets) sighting this week, practically his first since becoming a Seahawk.  Wilson was 23/32 for 309 yards and 3 TDs.  If Graham is healthy and they continue to target him in the passing game, he’ll be a TE1.  I need to see a few more games like this to believe.

John Brown – What a coming out party for John Brown.  Brown (10-144-0) led the team in targets with 16 while Larry Fitzgerald (5-62-0) and Michael Floyd (3-36-1) had 7 each.  Fitzgerald is clearly Carson Palmer’s #1 target, but not so much when Palmer’s not under center.  Brown and Floyd will have a few big games, but a lot of duds too.

Steve Smith – Is this a sign of things to come?  Smith (8-111-1 on 11 targets) showed up in a big way and wants to pick up where he left off in 2015.  He’s a good waiver wire add if available because he’s proven he can be a game-breaker.

Jordan Reed – Reed (9-73-2 on 10 targets) was the man for the Redskins this week and is pushing to be the #1 TE in fantasy football.


Week 4 Ground Breakers

Le’Veon Bell
– Welcome back Bell!  And he paid dividends to his fantasy owners that have waited him out.  Bell (18-144-0 and 5-34 on 6 targets) led the running attack as DeAngelo Williams took more of a reserve role.  Bell’s electric!!!

Ezekiel Elliott – Elliott (23-138-1 and 1 catch for 19 yards) had another big game and it looks like he’ll live up to his potential as a top 5 RB.

DeMarco Murray – Murray (25-95-2 and 2-24) didn’t go over 100 yards but came close and scored 2 TDs.  Murray is showing that he still has something left in the tank and has been a solid RB1 so far this year.

Terrence West – West (21-113-1) was the lead back in week 4 and performed well.  Justin Forsett was inactive for the game and the team has since cut him.  Kenneth Dixon will be returning from injury and it will be interesting to see how this backfield plays out.  West is a low end option because of lack of job security.  Dixon (and Buck Allen) has a lot of hype, but I don’t think I can trust this backfield until the Ravens find a true lead back.

Jordan Howard – Howard (23-111-0 and 3-21 on 4 targets) seems to have filled the role of injured Jeremy Langford pretty well.  Howard got all the rushing load other than 3 carries to recently signed Joique Bell.

Isaiah Crowell – Crowell (15-112-1 and 3-22 receiving on 4 targets) led the browns in rushing again this week.  “The Crow” has had two 100 yard games and scored a TD in 3 of 4.  The Browns stink but somehow Crowell is still putting up stats.

Matt Jones – It was clearly Jones’ backfield in week 4.  Jones (22-117-1 and 2-21) carried the ball 22 times while Chris Thompson and Rob Kelly combined for 4.  I still don’t feel that his job is secure, but it was nice to see Jones have a good day and he keeps the starting gig another day.

Melvin Gordon – This guy is a TD machine in 2016 after not scoring a single one in his rookie year.  Gordon (19-36-2 and 6-43 on 7 targets) wasn’t very efficient with only 36 yards on a big workload, but it was nice to see him also used in the passing game.  He’s a solid RB2.

John Kuhn – Didn’t expect to see him on the list did ya?!?!?  Kuhn had a whopping 3 carries for 5 yards and 2 catches for 7 yards.  Why is he on this list???  He punched in 2 TDs on the ground and one in the air.  Don’t expect a repeat performance this year, but he could cut into Mark Ingram’s short yardage/goal line work moving forward.


Injury Report (And Replacements)

Cam Newton (Concussion)
– Cam is questionable with a concussion he suffered on his short yardage TD run.  If he’s not cleared to play, Derek Anderson will be under center.

Carson Palmer (Concussion) – Palmer suffered a concussion and is already ruled out for week 5.  Drew Stanton will start against the 49ers.  I’m benching Larry Fitzgerald in my lineups where possible, but I think Michael Floyd could put up some stats with Stanton this week.

Latavius Murray (Toe) – It’s doubtful that Murray suits up this week.  Look for DeAndre Washington to lead the backfield against San Diego and he’s a decent bye week replacement.

Doug Martin (Hamstring) – It looks like Doug Martin will be held out of action until after the Tampa Bay’s week 6 bye. Charles Sims will carry the load and Jacquizz Rodgers will also chip in.

Rashad Jennings (Thumb) – Jennings is still 50/50 to play this week.  Orleans Darkwa was the lead back last week, but boy did Paul Perkins look good!  It will be interesting to see how this backfield looks in a few weeks, but I’m staying away for now.

Jonathan Stewart (Hamstring) – Questionable for week 5.

Arian Foster (Hamstring) – Questionable for week 5.

Dez Bryant (Knee) – Bryant is expected to miss week 5 and is week-to-week with a hairline fracture.  Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, and Brice Butler will likely be the WRs for Dallas.

Eric Decker (Shoulder) – Decker is questionable for week 5.  Quincy Enunwa would be the beneficiary if he doesn’t play and is a decent play against a poor Steelers pass defense.

Tyler Eifert (Back) – Just as Eifert was making progress to make his 2016 debut, he came up lame with a back injury at Monday’s practice.  His status for week 5 is up in the air again.  My patience as an Eifert owner is wearing thin!!!

Antonio Gates (Hamstring) – Gates is back at practice and it looks like he has a good shot at playing this week.  TE Hunter Henry will take a hit in his production if Gates returns.

Zach Miller (Ribs) – Questionable for week 5.


Words of Wisdom

We’re almost a third of the way through our fantasy seasons, but now our team depths will come into play with bye weeks coming in full force.  There are four teams on bye in week 5 (Sea, NO, Jax, and KC) and six teams on bye in week 8.  It’s extremely important to bolster your bench depth before you’re players are off.  It’s great to have speculative picks on your team for those boom or bust players, or backups waiting in the wings, but it’s also important to have some depth with players that actually get playing time.  Look for one week injury replacements if possible, like Orleans Darkwa (12-48-1) this week in place of Rashad Jennings.  And sometimes we have to start a team’s #2 RB in our fantasy lineups due to our injuries and bye weeks.  Here are a few #2’s to consider simply because they get some guaranteed volume:

  • Tevin Coleman (Devonta Freeman)
  • Matt Asiata (Jerick McKinnon)
  • Giovani Bernard (Jeremy Hill)
  • Duke Johnson (Isaiah Crowell)
  • Bilal Powell (Matt Forte)
  • Derrick Henry (DeMarco Murray)
  • DeAndre Washington (Latavius Murray)
  • Wendell Smallwood (Ryan Mathews)


Good luck in Week 5!!!

Week 3 ended with a bang on Monday night as the Falcons and Saints combined for 77 points and plenty of fantasy matchups were decided.  Julio Jones (1-16) and Brandin Cooks (2-13) sure didn’t help their teams.  On the other hand, Drew Brees threw for 376 with 3 TDs, Devonta Freeman had 217 combined yards with a TD, and Tevin Coleman scored 3 TDs on 89 combined yards.  Those are some big fantasy games!  The other huge NFL game this week, as far as fantasy impact goes, was the Eagles drubbing of the Steelers.  The Philadelphia defense held the mighty Steelers to 3 points in this one.  Antonio Brown (12-140 on 18 targets) had the only respectable game for the Steelers.  Carson Wentz looked spectacular with his first career 300 yard game, including a 73 yard TD pass to Darren Sproles.  And the kid still hasn’t thrown an interception as a pro.  It’s getting sunny in Philadelphia!

And now onto the rest of the week 3 fantasy recap…


Week 3 Fantasy Highlights

Trevor Siemian (Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas)
– Siemian looked like a long time pro in this one throwing for 312 yards and 4 TDs.  His top WRs benefited from the performance with Sanders (9-117-2) and Thomas (6-100-1) both going over 100 yards and combining for 3 TDs.

Matt Stafford (Marvin Jones) – Stafford has started out 2016 looking pretty good.  He threw for 385 yards with 3 TDs / 1 Int.  Marvin Jones (6-205-2) was the beneficiary in this one going over 200 yards receiving.  Jones is filling in the shoes of Megatron nicely!  I’d hold on to both of these players until it falls apart.

Aaron Rodgers (Jordy Nelson) – Rodgers threw 4 TDs but for only 205 yards.  He hooked up with Nelson (6-101-2) on 2 of them.  This tandem may be getting back to form.

Terrelle Pryor – Terrelle “Triple Threat” Pryor put up stats passing, rushing, and receiving.  In the passing game, he completed 3 of 5 for 35 yards, but caught 8-144.  He chipped in 4 carries for 21 yards and a rushing TD.  He’s an okay low-end receiving option, but don’t expect many big games, especially with Josh Gordon returning soon from his suspension.

Carlos Hyde – Hyde (21-103-2) finally went over the century mark this season and doubled his TD total on the year to 4.  He will have up and down games that will likely drive you nuts all year.  With that said, he’s still a solid RB3 and can easily fill in during bye weeks.

Jeremy Hill – Hill (17-92-2) was the only bright spot for the Bengals when they played a tough Denver defense.

DeMarco Murray – Murray (16-114-1) went over 100 yards but still gives up a decent amount of carries to Derrick Henry (10-45-0).  I think this is what we’re going to see as far as the workload split until later in the season when Murray may slow down.

Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas was up early in this one and Elliott (30-140-0) ran it home.  He also had 2-20 in the receiving game.  He’s living up to his RB1 status.

David Johnson – Johnson (19-83-2) is also living up to his first round status with 2 TDs and also caught 3-28.

LeGarrette Blount – Mr. Consistency???  Blount (24-105-2) had another game with 20+ carries and has scored a TD in every game.  Ride him while he’s hot (and before Dion Lewis returns from IR)!

LeSean McCoy – McCoy (17-110-2) looked good this week and has been chipping in 3 to 4 catches per game which helps in PPR leagues.

Todd Gurley – This isn’t quite a highlight, but it’s hope.  Gurley (27-85-2) scored 2 TDs and the Los Angeles Rams put up 37 points.  If the offense can continue to give him this volume, he’s sure to break a few big runs.  As of now, he’s a low-end RB1 with all the upside in the world.  I would not sell low on him.

Allen Robinson – Robinson (7-57-2) had his first decent game of the year.  He hasn’t gone over 75 yards receiving in a game this year, but should be fine as a low-end WR1 / high-end WR2.

Doug Baldwin – Baldwin (8-164-1) had a great game and was targeted 10 times.

Mike Evans – Evans (10-132-1) had a productive day and will continue to be one of the most targeted WRs in the game.

T.Y. Hilton – Hilton (8-174-1) finally woke up in this one.  He was targeted 11 times and looks to be the main beneficiary with Donte Moncrief out.

Jimmy Graham – Is this a return to fantasy relevance???  I sure hope so and so do Seahawk fans.  Graham (6-100-1) was targeted 9 times in the game.  I’m going to wait and see if there’s a repeat performance before I believe.

Cameron Brate – Brate (5-46-2 on 10 targets) has taken over at TE for the recently released Austin Seferian-Jenkins.  Jenkins has since signed with the New York Jets.  I like Brate to be a solid bye week replacement at TE this year.  As for Jenkins, he always shows flashes but just can’t get it together; I’m not buying.

Zach Miller – Brian Hoyer targeted Miller (8-78-2) 9 times in the game and he also got 2 TDs.  He’ll have a few big games but he’s not consistent enough to start on a weekly basis.

Kansas City Chiefs Defense – The Chiefs intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick 6 times even though they didn’t get any sacks.  They only gave up 3 points to the Jets and scored 2 DTDs.


QB Disasters!

Ryan Fitzpatrick
– 6 Interceptions! 6 Interceptions???  Yes, 6!  The Jets couldn’t get anything going in the game and the offense was shut down by the Kansas City Chiefs defense.  He’ll bounce back but he’s only a low-end QB2.

Carson Palmer – While he was respectable with 287 passing yards, 0 TDs and 4 Ints will get you on this list.  He’ll rebound but don’t expect the same career year as 2015.

Cam Newton / Kelvin Benjamin – Cam Newton was sacked 8 times and threw 3 Ints with no TDs.  Benjamin was blanked and only had 1 target against the vaunted Minnesota Vikings defense.  They’ll both bounce back.


Week 4 Injury Replacements

Jeremy Langford
– Langford is out 4-6 weeks with a severe ankle sprain and Jordan Howard looked good as his replacement in week 3.  He had 9 carries for 45 yards and 4 catches for 47 yards.  Ka’Deem Carey has his own hamstring injury but could get some work if active.  Howard is the running back to own while Langford is out and should be a hot waiver wire pickup.

Thomas Rawls – Rawls is expected to be out for “a few weeks”.  If you’re a Rawls owner and don’t already have Christine Michael, you’re probably too late.  In his absence in week 2, Michael (20-106-2) ran for over 100 yards with 2 scores.  He looks to carry the load until Rawls returns.

Chris Ivory – In his first game back from an undisclosed injury, Ivory injured his knee and ankle in this week’s game.  He’s questionable and we’ll have to see how his practice week progresses.  If he’s out, T.J. Yeldon should carry the load against a weak Indianapolis Colts defense.

Shane Vereen – Vereen was placed on IR and will be out the next 8 weeks at minimum.  If Rashad Jennings doesn’t return to action this week, Orleans Darkwa (10-53-1) will likely be the lead back.  Paul Perkins and the flashy Bobby Rainey could both get some carries.

Ryan Mathews Wendell Smallwood (17-79-1) carried the load after Mathews left the game after only 2 carries.  Kenjon Barner (8-42-1) chipped in as well and Darren Sproles (6-128-1) was used in the passing game.


Words of Wisdom

Through 3 weeks of the fantasy season, we now know where our teams’ strengths and weaknesses are.  Bye weeks will be starting in week 4, and depth at all positions is so important.  All fantasy players will be tested to roll out competitive lineups with the off days and injuries already piling up.  Week 4 will have the return of Le’Veon Bell from suspension.  And we expect Tom Brady and Josh Gordon to infuse fantasy teams in week 5.  Be active on the waiver wire but don’t just waste pickups on every one week wonder.  Remember, that free agent pickup could win you a fantasy championship!


As we sit at week 3, the Stars and Stiffs Report is here to point out the guys who you should feel safe about starting and the ones who are better off left at the bar until closing time. After the battles along the lines over the last 2 weeks, there is plenty to be concerned about heading into week 2.

Last week we saw the shootout of the week totaled 29 points and still haven’t seen Allen Robinson step onto the field the way we remember. Guys like Matt Forte and CJ Anderson have shown the RB position is not dead, while Kelvin Benjamin shows us it is still a pass first league.

The world of sports media can be a beautiful thing when all parties are involved and engulfed in a stern debate. As always, I look forward to your opinions and feedback. You can tweet with any questions (@TCutillo23) and leave your comments below. For my statistical hounds out there I will put last week’s stats in parentheses so you can see how I performed. Here are my picks for week 2………….

Stars for Week 3 (Last Week…4 out of 8…..50%)

QB: Ben Roethlisberger (@PHI), Andrew Luck (SD), Matt Ryan (@NO)

RB: Eddie Lacy (DET), David Johnson (@BUF)

WR/TE: Jordan Reed (@NYG), Michael Crabtree (@TEN), Eric Decker (@KC), A.J. Green (DEN)


Stiffs for Week 3 (Last Week….3 out of 6….50%)

QB: Sam Bradford (@CAR)

RB: Jeremy Hill (DEN), Frank Gore (SD)

WR/TE: Desean Jackson (@NYG), Torrey Smith (@SEA), Sammie Watkins (ARZ)


Sleepers: (Last Week…2 out of 3….75%)

Cruz (WAS), P. Dorsett (SD), Matt Ryan (@NO)


Bust Alert: (Last Week….2 out of 2….100%)

Jeffery (@DAL), M. Wallace (@JAC), T. Austin (@TB)


Week 3 Triple Threat…….

Ben Roethlisberger (@PHI) Big Ben still remains a hot commodity in the fantasy world due to the offense he runs. He continues to get stronger with age and shows he can make the best of anything that may be thrown his way. Rodgers, James and Coates are all becoming relevant due to the arm of Big Ben. The Yellow and Black show comes to Philly and the fireworks are already being planned.

Ezekiel Elliot (CHI) – The Dallas Cowboys haven’t blown anyone away this year, but they still have an exceptional running game partly due to the man they call Zeke. Since Zeke decided to use his time to study defenses instead of rolling some professional sized blunts, the offense has rolled along. He is the most important part of the offensive side of the ball and this week he will show the Bears why is he was picked as the early favorite for ROY.

Julio Jones (@NO) – Does he have a bad ankle? Does he have a bad hip? Does it really matter? Year after year we constantly debate on who the best receiver in game is, when all along it has been Julio. This guy runs like a cheetah and catches the ball effortlessly. He wins Fantasy Championships!

Remember, he came very close to 2000 yards receiving last year. This may be the year he hits the mark!

***As always you can stop by my FB page (FantasySportsAddcition) or Tweet me @TCutillo23 for questions or some nice fantasy debates. I can also be heard weekly via the internet stream Live at WengRadio every Monday at 4:00pm EST for a weekend sports wrap. But most importantly, you can catch me here at PI!

***For Fantasy Purposes, all my articles are predicated upon a PPR based system…



Welcome to the third edition of The Fantasy Factor. The Fantasy Factor was unveiled in week 1 and continues to recap all the intricate details of the week’s Thursday night game. Historically, the Thursday night game has not been very fan friendly towards the fantasy world, but it still offers us a decent gauge of what to look for in future weeks. However, after witnessing many individual offensive explosions in the first two games, we were actually ready for a letdown. In this segment, I hope to enlighten you on some interesting facts, as well as some hard thought out analogies to give you a smile going into the weekend. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Coming into Thursday night’s game all eyes weren’t on the new look 2-0 Texans, but instead on the rookie debut of NE Quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Last week against the Dolphins, Jimmy G was moving the ball with ease until a shoulder injury forced him to the locker room and left the NE faithful with the thought of a rookie running the show until Tom Terrific was able to play. That thought was turned into a reality and Brissett played the game that was mapped out for him all week. Only 19 pass attempts and a 27 yd rushing TD was all that was in the cards to keep the rookie safe.

The Texans on the other hand were a 2-0 team still looking for an identity. Brock Osweiler was brought in to Houston to be the franchise QB they needed to excel them into the next step. He was an unproven commodity and commanded a steep price in order to get him out of Denver. The thought was with a stout front line that includes Wilfork and Watt, the Texans just needed a game manager to succeed. It is only a few weeks into the season, but Brock has at the very least given them a solid presence behind center.

The following highlights are what I think were the most important fantasy factors to take away from last night’s game:

I. New England Players Will NOT be Fantasy Relevant under Jacoby Brissett. 

The Pats are 3-0 and just wiped the field with the Texans, who couldn’t of beat a high school JV team last night. However, it was the way in which they won that should concern Gronk and Edelman owners. The game-plan was a simplistic outline of short throws and 39 rushing attempts all to keep rookie in complete control of his offense.  Jacoby Brissett threw for just 103 yards in a very simplified offense. As of now, NE will be a sad place for fantasy players with only the occasional big play from time to time…..The following is the breakdown….

J. Edelman 4 38 9.5 0
M. Mitchell 1 27 27.0 0
D. Amendola 2 23 11.5 0
M. Bennett 2 10 5.0 0
C. Hogan 1 3 3.0 0
J. White 1 2 2.0 0
R. Gronkowski 0 0 0 0


II. Bill Belichick had DeAndre Hopkins in his Pocket.

As Brock Osweiler frequently dumped the ball to tight end Ryan Griffin, who led the team with 10 targets, it was clear that New England was not going to let Hopkins beat them. They bottled him up most of the night and left the underneath routes open on a consistent basis. Even the few catches that Deandre did make were in traffic and required some magic. Here is how Hopkins has fared over the years against Mr. Belichick…..

2013 – 2/77……….2015 – 3/52……….2016…….4/56 = 9/185

It will be interesting to see if owners panic enough to sit their stud receiver in any future match-ups…Stay tuned!

III. Lamar Miller is the Bell Cow Back in Houston.

When Lamar Miller was signed in the off-season, the comparisons to Arian Foster type stats were running rampant. Knowing his athletic ability and knack fro being a very capable pass catching threat, I was one of those people hyping him up in the draft. You will read on many sites about Miller not yet averaging better than 3.8 yards per carry in a game and how is numbers are way down. However, in fantasyland we hold a very different perspective. Usage is always a top priority and based on the first 3 games of the season (28 touches per game), Miller has left his owners with no reason to panic.

IV. There are Plenty of Targets to go Around in Houston

Coming into this year, many owners were worried there may be a cut in production for DeAndre Hopkins with the growth of Jalen Strong and the drafting of Will Fuller. As we go into the first part of the season it looks as though there is no reason to worry.

DeAndre Hopkins – 27 Targets and 16 receptions

Will Fuller – 25 Targets and 12 receptions

LeGarrette Blount Will Quietly be a Solid RB2 in 2016. 

With the suspension of Tom Terrific, the Pats needed to find themselves a rock they could lean on in 4 games. They needed someone to take the load off of Jimmy G and now Jacoby Brissett. LeGarrette Blount has always been known for being a workhorse in the back field, but Bill Belichick hasn’t leaned on a RB since the Corey Dillon days. This year looks to be different.

So far he is averaging 25 carries a game, a 4.0 average per carry and just under 300 yards. Obviously anything can change when Tom Terrific returns, but a high powered running attack is something he probably would welcome with open arms.

This was the first dud of the Thursday night telecasts, but it still gave us an opportunity to see how the Pats would run their system. We learned they will be conservative and also that Brock maybe arrested at the end of the season for stealing so much money. Either way your opinion sways on the games, it will keep us watching and allow me the opportunity to give you the weekly Fantasy Factor!

As always, you can stop by my Facebook page (Fantasy Sports Addiction) or tweet me (@TCutillo23) for questions or some nice fantasy debates. I can also be heard weekly  via the internet stream live at WENG RADIO every Monday at 4:00 P.M. ET for a weekend sports wrap. But most importantly, you can catch me here at Pi!

For fantasy purposes, all my articles are predicated upon a PPR-based system.

Here we are. Week 2 is in the books and you’re already reevaluating how your team is constructed. Is it time for a trade or do you stand pat and wait for your players to perform? In the average fantasy season, you only have 13 weeks to shine. Obviously you do not want to cut bait too soon, but if you wait too long, odds are you already passed on a few stars that are shining for another team. This week showed us that the fantasy football gods continue to be unpredictable and leaves us scratching our heads as we shake our Magic 8-Ball for answers.

Let’s take a look at the recap below:

Standout Stars


  • Newton…………353 yds 4 TD/1 INT
  • Ryan……………..396 yds 3 TD/1 INT
  • Rivers……………220 yds 4 TD


  • Forte……………..100 yds, 3 TD….2 rec, 9 yds
  • Bernard…………17 yds….9 rec, 100 yds 1 TD
  • Williams………..94 yds…4 rec, 38 yds 1 TD


  • Diggs……………….9 rec, 182 yds, 1 TD
  • K. Benjamin.…..7 rec, 108 yds 2 TD
  • T. Benjamin……6 rec, 115 yds, 2 TD

Last week’s picks: 4 out of 8, 50%


Substandard Stiffs


  • Luck……………….197 yds, 1 TD/1 INT
  • Wilson……………254 yds
  • Winston…….….243 yds, 1 TD/4 INT


  • Foster…………….9 yds…(Injury)
  • Martin……………23 yds…(Injury)
  • Bernard…………25 yds….2 rec, 5 yds


  • Moncrief…………1 rec, 9 yds (Injury)
  • J. Brown………….1 rec, 14 yds
  • G. Tate…………….2 rec, 13 yds

Last week’s picks: 3 out of 6, 50%

Surprise Performers (Sleepers)

Stefon Diggs – Diggs came into his own as a rookie last year and compiled 85 targets in 13 games. He was up and down as rookies usually are, but showed flashes of a true #1. It looks like he has turned those flashes into a reality and is going to make 2016 the year he puts it all together. Through his first 2 games this season he has a line of 16/285/1. In a PPR league he has compiled 50 fantasy points and is sitting in the top 15 for WR’s. In an offense that will be looking for options without AP, Diggs looks to produce WR1 numbers for the foreseeable future. Congrats to the owners who took a chance on him in the later rounds.

Travis Benjamin – When Benjamin signed as a free agent in the offseason, he was being talked about as an underrated option in San Diego. Now that Allen and Woodhead are out for the year, he becomes the main target for Phillip Rivers. He has the speed and deception to be a great asset, but will have to prove he can put up WR1 numbers before he inserted into weekly lineups.

Last week’s picks: 2 out of 3, 75%

Statistical Busts

Devonta Freeman – If you are anything like me, you have reservations for players who come out of nowhere in year 1 and have a risk of the sophomore slump in year 2. Freeman was that guy for me. He took the NFL by storm and looked like the next Priest Holmes, but he slowed down after the first 8 games and came into 2016 with alot of questions. With a head coach who already mentioned the words of RBBC, his future outlook doesn’t look promising. He honestly may struggle to finish in the top 20 this year. A total of 50 yds rushing and 3 catches in 2 weeks isn’t going to cut it.

Allen Robinson – The milk carton, “Have You Seen Him” award this week goes to ARob. This is a guy who was picked to be one of the top WR’s in fantasy this year. Instead he has been stuck in neutral as his QB looks like he studied the motions of Jay Schroeder over the summer instead of John Elway. The Jacksonville offense is very talented and hasn’t even touched on their potential yet this year. ARob has lived in garbage time over the last 2 weeks and is hungry for a main course. I still think he will get his numbers, but I can’t lie and say I don’t a bad feeling going forward. Hopefully, this isn’t one of the guys that falls from fantasy grace this year. Keep hope alive my fellow owners.

Last week’s picks: 2 out of 2, 100%

Week 2 Thoughts and Theories

-It’s time to worry about Jamal Charles – Jamal Charles continues to work his way back from a torn ACL and the fact that he hasn’t been able to play yet is concerning. There wasn’t much info coming out of camp until the last few weeks when we started to hear whispers about him not being ready to get on the field. You know it is serious when his doctor was quoted as being concerned. Unfortunately, I see this playing out like the Dion Lewis situation. He could go back under the knife to see what is going on. In that case he may not be back until week 10. Either way this is a mess for fantasy owners who drafted in early August.

Carson Wentz is a winner on the NFL field, but not a relevant fantasy QB. In the world of fantasy we always look at stats and not win/loss percentage. We want to see who can throw up the most points instead of concerning ourselves with who wins the game. Carson Wentz has been stellar in his first 2 weeks as a rookie, but his line of 468 yds and 3 TD’s isn’t going to make him a weekly starting option. He is definitely an Alex Smith prototype.

Adrian Peterson’s best days may be behind him – When people asked me who my choice for biggest bust of 2016 was I told them AP. Most were shocked and couldn’t believe I was down on the electrifying RB. I was really concerned with how much tread was on the tires and thought this was the year he would be taken off the field on third downs more frequently. Unfortunately for AP owners, my prediction came true for the first 2 weeks and now he is on the shelf with no timetable for a return. Jerick McKinnon is the man to own in Minnesota going forward.

Giovani Bernard continues his PPR dominance. – Last year we seen the rise of Gio in an offense that loves to throw the ball. Sure Jeremy Hill will score on the goaline, but in a PPR league Gio will continue to see 8+ targets a game helping him stay among the top pass catching backs in the league. Start him as a FLEX with confidence.

My Skinny Post for Week 2

The injuries continue to mount for the Chargers, as they must have been breaking mirrors in the offseason; two starters in two weeks seems like a new form of the Madden curse … Cam Newton and Kelvin Benjamin are clicking more than a dollar store cap gun. These guys are taking over the offensive side of the ball while Benjamin flips everyone off who said he was an out of shape replacement players in the summer … The Atlanta Falcon’s backfield continues to be unsettled as the whispers of the dreaded abbreviation RBBC is being flashed with every other carry. Freeman owners can now panic … Melvin Gordon proves to be one of the biggest steals in the draft. The Bob Marley throwback has piled up 177 yards from scrimmage and 3 TDs in two weeks, which are RB1 numbers. Congrats if you were the owner who dropped the chicken wing in round 12 to draft him … Eddie Lacy continues to move like he is running a marathon in the streets of Boston and their record snowfall. Has anyone one else found the weight he supposedly lost in the offseason? … Mark Ingram is starting to play like the guy we all knew he was. All hype and no game in an offense that treats him like the unwanted child in a dysfunctional family ….  Arian Foster once again is injured after two games. This is what happens when you pound your body with cheeseburgers all offseason and try to hang with well conditioned athletes … Looks like Pete Carroll may actually be Sleepless in Seattle as he tries to figure out why his offense is moving the ball at a slower speed than Rob Ryan’s fastest time in the 100 yd dash … Speaking of Ryan, looks like the Buffalo Bills have been torn apart by the huge ego and arrogant preaching of Rex. This may actually be where Fantasy players go to die. You have been warned.

Now, it’s onto Week 3.

As always, you can stop by our Facebook page (Fantasy Sports Addiction) or tweet me (@TCutillo23) for questions or some nice fantasy debates. I can also be heard weekly  via the internet stream live at WENG RADIO every Monday at 4:00 P.M. ET for a weekend sports wrap. But most importantly, you can catch me here at Pi!

For fantasy purposes, all my articles are predicated upon a PPR-based system.

It sure was an interesting week 2 in the NFL.  As fantasy players, we need to realize that it takes more than one game to understand how teams (and players) are trending.  Jameis Winston scorched in week 1 with 4 TDs and 1 Int, but week 2 brought expectations back in check with a 1 TD / 4 Int performance.  Theo Riddick had over 100 combined yards and 2 TDs in week 1 vs. 65 all-purpose yards and 0 TDs this week.  On the flip side, we questioned Giovani Bernard after week 1 in regards to his workload (5 carries and 4 targets) for 30 yards.  Hello week 2 where Gio had 9 catches for 100 yards and a TD.  And we were ready to write off Dez Bryant after the loss of Tony Romo and his limited use (only 5 targets) in the first week of the season.  The Cowboys weren’t going to let their biggest weapon go unnoticed as Dez had 7 catches on 12 targets for 102 yards.  The point here is that you cannot get too high or too low on a player at this point of the season.

And now onto the week 2 fantasy recap…

Week 2 Fantasy Highlights

Cam Newton (Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen)
– This highlight goes to the core of Carolina Panthers passing attack.  Newton had 353 passing yards with 4 TDs and 1 Int.  Benjamin stat line was 7-198-2 and Olsen was 5-122-1 (17 targets combined).

Ryan Tannehill (Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker) – This highlight goes to the Miami Dolphins passing game.  Tannehill put up 389 passing yards with 2 TDs and 2 Ints. Jarvis Landry had 10-137 and DeVante Parker had 8-106; both on 13 targets each.  There will be some big weekly performances by those two receivers, but the passing attack in general is below average.

Matt Ryan – Matty Ice has put up back to back 300 yard passing games.  Only 4 yards short of 400, Ryan put up 396-3-1 and has 5 TDs to 1 Int this season.  We know he CAN do it, but will he continue for a full season?  Wait and see…

Philip Rivers – Without Keenan Allen, Rivers still had a respectable day.  He was an efficient 17/24 for 220 passing yards, 4 TDs and 0 picks.  While these aren’t huge numbers, it’s nice to see that the Chargers still have a passing game.

Matt Forte – Thursday night, Forte had 30 carries for 100 yards and 3 TDs.  He’s been a stud so far this year, but he’s 30 years old and has had a ton of volume over the past few years.  I expect a 2nd half decline so start to position yourself to sell high in the upcoming weeks.

Melvin Gordon – Gordon had another good game rushing for 24-102-1.  That’s 3 rushing TDs on the season after 0 his entire rookie year.

LeGarrette Blount – Blount had another stellar performance rushing 29 times for 123 and a TD.  He’s carried the load through two weeks with 52 carries.  Remember, Coach Belichick can throw a curve ball at any given time and go with another running back based on game plan; you just never know.

Isaiah Crowell – “The Crow” had 18 carries for 133 and a TD.  Don’t get too hyped up because of his 85 yard scamper.  If you remove that, he had 17 carries for 48 yards.

Corey Coleman – Rookie WR Corey Coleman was targeted by Josh McCown 8 times and caught 5-104-2.  It was a nice coming out game, but the Browns may be forced to start their 3rd different QB in 3 weeks.  I cannot trust this passing game until McCown returns.

Marvin Jones – Marvin sure wasn’t “Starvin’” this week when he went 8-118 on 11 targets.  He’s become Mathew Stafford’s go to weapon now that Calvin “Megatron” Johnson is gone.  Golden Tate only caught 2 balls on 9 targets.

Mike Evans – Evans had a whopping 17 targets in this game but only managed 6-70-1.  Tampa Bay was down big to the Arizona Cardinals as Jameis Winston put the ball in the air 54 times.  Evans should do more with his looks moving forward, but I still don’t feel that he’s an elite fantasy receiver.

Sterling Shepard – Rookie WR Sterling Shepard caught all 8 of his targets for 117 yards.  Victor Cruz also had 8 targets in the game as they vie for the attention of Eli Manning opposite Odell Beckham.

Stefon Diggs – With QB Sam Bradford at the helm in week 2, Diggs blew up.  On 11 targets, he put up 9-182-1.  Even with back to back 100 yard games, it’s hard for me to trust this passing game.  Diggs has shown flashes of what he can do, but this is a defensive team with a run first mentality.

Dennis Pitta – After a few injury plagued seasons, it appears that Pitta has returned to fantasy relevance.  He was targeted by longtime teammate Joe Flacco 12 time and caught 9-102.  If he’s on the field, Flacco looks for this guy.  In 2012 when he last played 16 games, Pitta caught 61-669-7.

Denver Broncos Defense – Denver’s defense lit it up against the Colts.  The defensive unit scored 2 TDs, had 5 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 fumble recovery.  It was a great game, but you cannot predict defensive touchdowns from week to week.


Week 2 Fantasy Games to Forget

Russell Wilson
– Wilson wasn’t 100% in this one with a sore ankle he injured against Miami.  Regardless, he played in the game and only put up 254 passing yards with no TDs or Ints.  The Seattle Seahawks usually improve as the year goes on, but maybe they’re slipping as one of the elite teams. The Los Angeles Rams beat them in this one 9-3 and no TDs were scored in the game.

Andrew Luck – The Colts signal caller couldn’t overcome the vaunted Broncos defense.  Luck passed for 197 with a TD and a pick.  Chalk this one up to a poor matchup and look for him to turn it around.  His next three matchups are against the Chargers, Jaguars, and Bears.

Carlos Hyde – The 49ers stud running back had a tough matchup against the Carolina Panthers in this one.  He carried the ball 14 times for only 34 yards and 3 catches for 18 yards.  He knows that he has to improve and carry this team.  Luckily, there really isn’t any other pedigree RBs on the roster.

Todd Gurley – In some fantasy drafts, Gurley was the first overall pick this year, but his stats look like he shouldn’t even be rostered.  He followed up his 47 yard rushing performance with 51 yards this week. And he’s not getting anything in the passing game with only 1 catch each week.  Bottom line, this guy is a mega-talent and he’s getting a good workload (18 carries per game) each week.  Once Jared Goff takes over at QB mid-season, that should be just the injection the team needs. Buy low on this guy, now!

Sammy Watkins – Granted, Watkins was questionable leading up to this game with his foot injury.  But he was NFL active and likely active in your fantasy lineups.  Sammy only caught 2-20.  Overall at the end of the year, his numbers will look good, but there will be many ups and downs through the season.

A.J. Green vs. Antonio Brown – I’ll just lump these two together since they both did nothing in the same game.  Green had 2-38 and Brown had 4-39.  This was just a slight bump in the road for two of the best fantasy receivers in the game; no need to worry.


Fantasy Position Battles

David Johnson (Chris Johnson)
– Chris Johnson actually led the team in rushing in week 2 with 16-54-1. David Johnson had 12-45-0 but added 3 catches for 98 yards.  The Arizona Cardinals were up big in this one and that’s why Chris Johnson got so much work.  There is no battle here so don’t overreact.

Devanta Freeman (Tevin Coleman) – Freeman led the team in rushing with 17-93-0 while Coleman had 12-46-1.  Freeman still has an edge in this one, but may not live up to his early round draft pick value.  We’ll have to monitor this week to week until a trend appears in the RB usage in Atlanta.

Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams – Usually we look at running back position battles, but there was an interesting one this week at receiver with the San Diego Chargers.  Who will try to replace Keenan Allen who was lost for the year last week with a torn ACL?  Travis Benjamin (my sleeper this year) was 6-115-2.  Tyrell Williams had 3-61-1.  Now Danny Woodhead and his 81 receptions are lost for the year with a torn ACL.  I like Benjamin more this year, but the team needs Tyrell to step up too.  Both should also put up good stats moving forward.


Week 2 Injuries (and Week 3 Replacements)

Jay Cutler
– Cutler left Monday night’s game against the Eagles with a thumb injury.  He originally sustained it in week 1 and it’s now believed he has a torn ligament and will miss some time.  It’s unknown if he’ll need surgery, but he’s expected to be out for some weeks.  Brian Hoyer replaced him Monday night, but should not be relied upon in fantasy.

Jimmy Garoppolo – He suffered a sprained AC joint in his should and is very questionable for week 3.  The Patriots didn’t sign any QBs as of yet, so it looks like they’ll go with Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett for now.  Even if active, Jimmy may serve as the backup QB in the game.

Josh McCown – McCown finished the game in week 2 but has a shoulder injury that will likely keep him out for this coming week.  Cody Kessler could get the start.  Downgrade the Browns WRs but Duke Johnson may come up big if Kessler checks down to his RBs.

Adrian Peterson – Peterson went down with what looked like a horrible season ending knee injury.  It turns out that it’s a torn meniscus and he’s not even ruled out for week 3 yet!  His return will depend on the severity of the injury and the course of treatment.  It’s possible that he plays this week, but more likely that he misses a week or two of action. I expect Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata to split the work about 70/30 in favor of McKinnon until AP returns.

Rashad Jennings – Jennings injured his thumb in week 2 and Shane Vereen got his share of carries.  We’ll have to wait and see if Jennings will play this week and if he’ll be limited at all.  Vereen and Orleans Darkwa could pick up the work if Jennings is unable to go.

Danny Woodhead – Woodhead is out for the year with a torn ACL.  Melvin Gordon may get a slight uptick in work, especially in the passing game.

Jonathan Stewart – Stewart left week 2 with a hamstring injury and will miss a week or two. Fozzy Whittaker rushed for 100 yards and had 3-31 receiving.  Fozzy and Cameron Artis-Payne will fill in for Stewart, but they’re low-end flex plays at best.

Thomas Rawls – Rawls left the game on Sunday after 7 carries for -7 yards with a leg injury.  He was ineffective before he left so the Seahawks may go back to Christine Michael as their starter this week.

Doug Martin – Martin left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury and is slated for an MRI.  If he needs to miss time, Charles Sims and/or Jacquizz Rodgers would likely fill in.  Sims is intriguing since he’s already a reception machine and adding rushing stats will only help his value.

Ameer Abdullah – Abdullah suffered what appears to be a foot sprain as X-rays confirmed no broken bones.  It’s unknown if or how much time he may miss.  If Theo Riddick takes over, he becomes an intriguing play (like Charles Sims) if he can add some running work to his pass catching prowess. Dwayne Washington or Zach Zenner could get some work too.

Arian Foster – Foster is already showing up on the injury report; this time with a groin injury.  He’s day-to-day and it’s unclear if he’ll play this week.  If he misses time, Jay Ajayi and/or Kenyan Drake would fill in for Foster.

Eric Decker – Decker made it through and finished Thursday’s game, but sustained a shoulder injury at some point.  I expect him to play.

Brandon Marshall – Marshall suffered a sprained MCL in his knee and is questionable for week 3.  When he went down, it looked like a season ending injury.  He may miss week 3 so stay tuned.  If he doesn’t play, Quincy Enunwa would be a sneaky fantasy play.

Donte Moncrief – Moncrief left Sunday’s game with a head/neck/shoulder injury.  He’s slated for an MRI to get some clarity on the issue.  He’s questionable for week 3.  If he misses time, Phillip Dorsett may get some extra looks from Andrew Luck.


Words of Wisdom

We’ve now seen 2 week of football.  Some guys are overperforming and others underperforming compared to their draft slots and expectations.  Start to look for a panicky owner who is 0-2.  Ask the owner of Todd Gurley if he’s looking to trade him.  Hunt down the owner of Le’veon Bell and sell him DeAngelo Williams.  The key to winning in fantasy is to stay one step ahead of the game, and your competition!

cam 2

On the verge of Week 2, the Stars and Stiffs Report is here to point out the guys you should feel safe about starting and the ones who are better off left at the bar until closing time. After one of the most exciting opening weeks in fantasy history in the books,, there is plenty to be concerned about heading into Week 2.

Guys like OBJ and Dez Bryant,  who didn’t perform well last week, will still get their numbers going forward. However, if you are a Jamaal Charles or Sammy Watkins owner, now is the time to be concerned. The constant fear of injuries always exists, but when guys coming off of a specific procedure either can’t get on the field or admit still being sore, the feeling of nervousness is definitely warranted. Now that we have hard evidence to go off of from Week 1, it makes the decisions a little more simplistic for Week 2.

The world of sports media is a beautiful thing when all parties are involved and engulfed in a stern debate. As always, I look forward to your opinions and feedback. You can tweet me (@TCutillo23) with any questions and leave your comments below. For my statistical hounds out there, I will put last week’s stats in parentheses so you can see how I performed.

Here are my picks for Week 2:


QB: Matthew Stafford (TEN), Joe Flacco (@CLE), Eli Manning (NO)

RB: Rashad Jennings (NO), David Johnson (TB)

WR: Doug Baldwin (@LA), Emmanuel Sanders (IND), Alshon Jeffery (PHI)

(Last week: 5 out of 8, 63%)


QB: Jimmy Garoppolo (MIA)

RB: Arian Foster (MIA), Ryan Matthews (@CHI)

WR: Desean Jackson (DAL), Jordy Nelson (@MIN), Vincent Jackson (@ARZ)

(Last week: 4 out of 6, 66%)


Tevin Coleman (@OAK), Travis Benjamin (JAC), Cole Beasley (@WAS)

(Last week: 3 out of 4, 75%)


Jameis Winston (@ARZ), Todd Gurley (SEA)

(Last week: 1 out of 2, 50%)


Joe Flacco (@CLE) – Joe Flacco has looked pretty good as he comes back from an ACL injury and the Ravens have a lot of firepower on offense that can help him ease back in. This week, the road goes through Cleveland, who couldn’t get pressure on the QB even if they tried. It will be a long day for the Dog Pound as they will have nightmares of purple and black running through their minds all week. Get Flacco in your lineup now!

CJ Anderson (IND) – Did anyone expect CJ Anderson to come out on Thursday night against the Panthers and command the ball for the entire game? We heard whispers of Kubiak naming him his workhorse, but it was hard to imagine it being true. Well, it definitely looks to hold merit and CJ has gone from mid-to-late round draft status all the way up to RB1 material. It looks as if the receivers will be taking a step back this year and the running game will be the featured play of the week.

Are you still worried about Devontae Booker? Since he showed he could of been the lead spokesmen for “I can’t believe it’s not butter” on his first carry, I think CJ owners can feel safe.

Last week, the Lions erupted for 448 total yards and four total touchdowns from their running backs against the hapless Colts defense. This leads me to believe Mr. Anderson will bring it once again and show everyone why he will be a top RB1 option this year.

Odell Beckham JR. (NO) – Did you see last week’s game between the Saints and the Raiders? If you did, you know it had enough offense to keep even Mike Martz happy. There are two things that weigh heavily in the favor of OBJ this week; he wasn’t on his game in Dallas last week and the Saints secondary couldn’t stop the Little Giants team led by Ed O’Neil.

Amari Cooper showed off his skills last week to the tune of 6/137, which is just a starting point for OBJ. And to make matters worse, the Saints will be without their top CB, Delvin Breaux, as he broke his fibula last week and is lost for the season. If you haven’t realized it already, OBJ should explode this week and make his last game a distant memory.

As always, you can stop by my Facebook page (Fantasy Sports Addiction) or tweet me (@TCutillo23) for questions or some nice fantasy debates. I can also be heard weekly  via the internet stream live at WENG RADIO every Monday at 4:00 P.M. ET for a weekend sports wrap. But most importantly, you can catch me here at Pi!

For fantasy purposes, all my articles are predicated upon a PPR-based system.



Now that we had time to digest the ups and downs of week 1 of the NFL season, we need to look at the fantasy impact moving forward.  This means going beyond just the stats and looking at how situations have changed over the past week.  Can we now answer any questions we had going into the season?

Week 1 Fantasy Highlights

A.J. Green – He put up a monster day with 12 catches for 180 yards and a TD.  He’s happy to have a healthy Andy Dalton back and this should be a top QB/WR combination for the rest of the year.

Drew Brees (Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks) – This highlight goes to the New Orleans passing attack in general.  Brees had 423 yards passing and 4 TDs with Snead (172 yds) and Cooks (143 yds) combining for 315 yards and 3 TDs.

DeAngelo Williams – This guy just keeps running.  At age 33, he was the leading rusher in week 1 with 146 yards and 2 TDs, and chipped in 6 catches for 28 yards.  Bell will be back in week 4, but DeAngelo has 2 more weeks to be a RB1.

Antonio Brown – This guys is just consistently great; 8 catches for 126 yards and 2 TDs.  He was taken #1 overall in fantasy drafts for a reason.

Jordan Matthews – Rookie QB Carson Wentz looked to Matthews 14 times as he hauled in 7 catches for 114 yards and a TD.  Hopefully they will maintain this chemistry moving forward.

Matthew Stafford – After a terrible preseason and the loss of Megatron, Stafford actually looked good this week.  He passed for 340 yards and 3 TDs, but more importantly was a leader out on the field.  Let’s see if he can keep the streak going.  I expect the same old Stafford by season’s end.

Larry Fitzgerald – Larry is still the #1 target for Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals.  He had 11 targets in the game and caught 8 balls for 81 yards and 2 TDs.  Palmer consistently looked for him in clutch situations.  Michael Floyd will show up for a few huge games and John Brown has always been overhyped.  Larry Fitz is my guy!

Carlos Hyde – I was intrigued by Hyde in the offseason.  He’s put up some big games but hasn’t been healthy or consistent throughout his career.  Chip Kelly is in town and the 49ers are going to run a lot of plays.  Hyde got 23 carries and scored 2 TDs; I expect him to be heavily involved in the offense all season.

Jason Witten – While his numbers weren’t eye-popping, it was nice to see Witten get looks from rookie QB Dak Prescott.  Witten caught 9 balls for 66 yards on 14 targets.  For how low Witten was drafted in leagues, he’s a great target if you’re in need of a TE.

Players Returning From Injury

Kelvin Benjamin – He sure looked good on Thursday night (6-91-1) and looks to be Cam Newton’s favorite target once again.

Jordy Nelson – In Nelson’s first game back from last year’s season ending knee injury, he fared decently well.  Jordy had 6 catches and a TD, but only 32 yards receiving.  He doesn’t quite look to be his old self and might not get the separation that he used to, but Rodgers will still look his way often (9 targets).

Victor Cruz – It appears that Victor Cruz is past his nagging injuries (for now) and was able to log significant snaps for the Giants.  Cruz caught all 4 balls thrown his way including a TD.  The takeaway here is that he’s on the field and getting snaps.

New Player Additions

Marvin Jones – Jones was targeted by Stafford 10 times in week 1 as he ended the day with 4 catches for 85 yards.  Golden Tate had 7 targets so Jones is already gaining the confidence of his QB.

Will Fuller – This rookie shined in his first NFL game.  He caught 5 balls for 107 yards and a TD.  The most interesting thing is that he had 11 targets so Osweiler is looking his way.  Hopkins had 8 targets in the game.

Mohamed Sanu – Matt Ryan looked pretty comfortable with Sanu as he caught 5 balls on 8 targets for 80 yards and a TD.  With Julio Jones getting double coverage, Sanu may be just what the Falcons and Matt Ryan needed.

Dwayne Allen – This is a stretch to put in the new additions section, but Rob Chudzinski the Offensive Coordinator is a new addition to the Colts and he loves utilizing the TE.  The Colts’ TEs had 7 catches on 10 targets for 88 yards and 3 TDs.  Jack Doyle caught 2 of the TDs, but Allen played the majority of snaps and is the guy to benefit.

Running Back Battles

C.J. Anderson – Anderson had a full workload with 92 yards on 20 carries and a TD.  With Devontae Booker fumbling early in the game, C.J. looks to run the show here.

Devanta Freeman (Tevin Coleman) – Freeman had a poor outing with only 20 yards on 11 carries.  Tevin Coleman had 8 carries and was more active in the receiving game, and that’s not the split Freeman owners want.  We’ll have to see how this plays out in the upcoming weeks.

Justin Forsett (Terrance West) – At this point, I’ve had enough of the Baltimore Ravens backfield.  Justin Forsett had 10 carries and 41 yards while Terrance West had 12 carries and 32 yards.  I don’t know who will come out on top of this one, but will any of them really help our fantasy teams???

Spencer Ware (Charcandrick West/Jamaal Charles) – With Jamaal Charles sidelined, Ware shined carrying the ball 11 times for 70 yards and a TD as well as catching 7 balls for 129 yards.  Charcandrick West was supposed to garner quite a few carries (only got 3), but Ware was an absolute beast in this one.  Ware looks good to start until Charles is active.

Matt Forte (Bilal Powell) – Matt Forte got 22 carries to Bilal Powell’s 4.  Powell may pick up a few more in the coming weeks, but this is not a timeshare.

Ryan Mathews – Mathews had 77 yards and a TD on 22 carries.  Darren Sproles was 2nd on the team with 5 carries and Kenjon Barner got 4.  Mathews is poised for a heavy workload as long as he stays on the field.

DeMarco Murray (Derrick Henry) – Murray got the majority of work for the Tennessee Titans with 13 carries and 7 targets (77 total yards).  Derrick Henry had 5 carries and 2 targets (44 total yards).

Christine Michael (Thomas Rawls) – While Christine Michael got the start, it was pretty much a timeshare and Thomas Rawls is slated for more work next week.  I don’t expect either of them to be a true workhorse and it’ll be a committee moving forward, with Rawls having the edge.

LeGarrette Blount (NE RBs) – With Belichick you never know, but in this one Blount rushed 23 times and no other RB came close.  He’s the guy in running situations but not passing downs.

Matt Jones (Chris Thompson/Rob Kelley) – Jones couldn’t get anything going against the Steelers and I don’t know how long he’ll hold onto the starting job.  Jones had 7 carries for 24 yards; Chris Thompson had 4 carries for 23 yards.  Rob Kelley is also in the mix if the team decides to make a change.

Week 1 Injuries (and Week 2 Replacements)

Keenan Allen – Allen suffered a torn ACL and is out for the year again.  Travis Benjamin was one of my sleepers entering the year and I like him that much more now.  Tyrell Williams appears to be the guy to replace Allen.  Gates and Woodhead might pick up a little extra work but they’re always involved.  Dontrelle Inman should get some action too.

Demaryius Thomas – Suffered a hip injury on Thursday against Carolina.  While originally thought to be serious, Thomas is actually questionable for week 2.  If Thomas doesn’t play, there isn’t a must play fantasy pickup for him.

Sammy Watkins – He reinjured his foot in Sunday’s game and has a game on short rest on Thursday.  Tyrod Taylor doesn’t pass enough to make Watkins’ replacement relevant, if he doesn’t play.

Russell Wilson – He injured his ankle against Miami but is expected to play in week 2.  This injury will probably limit his mobility and may take some time to fully heal.  Trevone Boykin is the backup and the whole offense would take a hit with him under center.

Robert Griffin III – He is on injured reserve and out for 8+ weeks with a fractured bone in his shoulder.  Josh McCown – He will replace RG3 as the Cleveland Browns QB.  This actually improves the value of Gary Barnidge and Duke Johnson as RG3 wasn’t a “check down” type of QB.

Week 1 Concerns

Cam Newtown – How much of a beating can Cam take?  Cam isn’t in this section because he won’t put up stats.  He’s here because he took a beating from the Denver Broncos in week 1 and I can’t imagine him staying healthy all year.  When he plays, he’s a beast.

Todd Gurley – While many people may be worried about Gurley, I’m not so concerned.  Yes, the Rams offense looks bad.  Really bad!  The offense was bad last year and he still excelled.  Don’t put too much weight into one game, but this situation is worth monitoring.  He may not be the best RB in the league, but he’s still a solid RB1 and I expect him to improve.

Words of Wisdom

Do Not Overreact!  We’re only one week removed from our drafts and a good or bad week 1 performance should not greatly change our rankings.  Over the next couple weeks, we need to determine which performances are smoke and mirrors and which ones are a sign of things to come.  Only time will tell!

Reported by

John Kocur (Sports Writer)