It’s Week 7 and the Fantasy Football season continues to be one of the strangest in recent memory. I’m starting to think Roger Goodell is on the official board of The Football Gods, wearing a Bobby Valentine fake mustache and doing his best to puppet master not only the NFL but Fantasy Football as well.
Week 6 (welcome back Lamar Miller) was kind to some and brutal for others as season long scrubs, Matthew Stafford, Torrey Smith, Colin Kaepernick and Jonathan Stewart all cashed in their Zoltar tokens and said, “I wish I was Fantasy relevant again.”
Greg Olsen was tackled at the one yard line twice, giving Jonathan Stewart two gifts at the goal line. Google “Matthew Stafford meme” and tell me you’re comfortable with that guy leading your Fantasy Football championship run.
Last, let’s see how Colin Kaepernick does during the next five weeks where he faces the Seattle Seahawks twice, the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals.
No getting around it, Week 7 is going to be difficult for some owners because of the bye week. The Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers are all no-go’s this week, which means some serious talent will be sitting next to the Michigan Wolverine’s punter on the bench.
In addition to the usual cast and crew of bye week stashes, you may even find yourself holding onto the Denver Broncos DST and kicker Brandon McManus, depending on the depth of your league, making your waiver wire decisions that much more critical.
(Side note: Does anyone other than ex-New Jersey Men’s Warehouse salesman, Dean Blandino, actually think that was a catch by Golden Tate?)
Stefon Diggs, James Starks, Christine Michael, Ronnie Hillman, Brandon LaFell and other potential assets may be available for you to snag, but before you do, make sure you’re dropping the right guy. Making the wrong drop at this point in the season could make you look more foolish than the Indianapolis Colts’ Special Teams squad. (Obviously that’s an exaggeration. Nothing could be as asinine as that, except for Nicholas Cage.)
Still shaking your head at what took place during Week 6? Check out this week’s Monday Morning Hangover here
Take a quick look at the recommendations from previous weeks to see how we did:
Week 6 Players to Drop
Let’s get to it. Rip the Band-Aid off and take a look at the players to drop in this week’s Reaper Report!
As always, we’re playing by Talladega Nights rules here folks. If you ain’t first, you’re last!
Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
This is what it feels like to drop Peyton Manning.
Drafting Peyton Manning this season was a lot like when your friend asks you to help them move. They wine and dine you with promises of beer and pizza (Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas) but you know better. Then, at the last minute, they tell you everything is already packed (C.J. Anderson). You think okay, that’s actually not a terrible situation I’m walking into. Maybe this won’t be horrible and just maybe I can get a favor in return down the line. Unfortunately, in this analogy, you’re naive, the packaging has a bad toe and this plan sucked all along.
Over Peyton Manning’s last 10 regular season games, he has thrown 10 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. We’re currently in Week 7 and Peyton is on pace for his worst Completion Percentage, Yards Per Attempt and Quarterback Rating since his rookie season in 1998. The Denver Broncos have been unable to mask their passing game deficiencies with the run game as they did last season. Denver currently ranks 27th in rushing yards per attempt, 30th in rushing yards per game and is tied for 31st in rushing touchdowns. Until a legitimate running game is established, defenses can continue to put emphasis on pressuring Manning to make plays.
Like Peyton’s forehead, these statistics are looming over us, impossible to ignore. Looking at the schedule moving forward, much like picking the right college to attend, we have to take weather into account. (Side note: Kids, if you think I’m exaggerating on the effects weather has on you, let’s quickly check in on how Bills fans are doing here. The link is Not Safe For Work but it very clearly makes my point). Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos have games in Chicago, New England, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati remaining. The only positive outcome this could lead to for Peyton is some sort of winter parka commercial that airs in between Draftkings and Fanduel ads.
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
Marcus Mariota’s career looks promising. Unfortunately, for Fantasy Football owners, the remainder of the 2015 season does not. Mariota burst onto the scene with a four-touchdown first half in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and followed that up with two touchdowns apiece in Weeks 2 and 3. While this sounds promising, Mariota’s Quarterback Rating has actually steadily declined each week, 158.3, 96.3, 84.2, 68.1 down to 67.6 in Week 6 against the classy Miami Dolphins defense.
ESPN is reporting a possible Grade 2 MCL sprain for Mariota after taking a low hit in a shocking display of questionable sportsmanship by the Ndamukong Suh-led defense.
MCL sprains typically place a player on the sideline for several weeks. Given the investment the Tennessee Titans just made into making Mariota the face of the franchise, I would expect them to be overly cautious and wait until he is 100 percent healthy before returning. You’d have to be completely oblivious to throw your newly-minted star quarterback back into game action before his knee was ready, right, Washington Redskins?
The X-factor in this scenario is head coach and quarterback whisperer, Ken Whisenhunt. Whisenhunt seems to have a knack for turning QB’s into superstars so take my advice on dropping Mariota with a grain of salt.
Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley, Richard Bartel, Ryan Lindley again, Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton again, Charlie Whitehurst, Jordan Palmer, Jake Locker, John Skelton and Zach Mettenberger are perfect examples of what QB’s can do if they’re lucky enough to land in a Whisenhunt offensive scheme (Gross).
Marcus Mariota is most likely going to be a fine NFL QB for quite a while but the offensive wizardry of Whisenhunt, combined with a mediocre at best running game, combined with limited offensive weapons (Kendall Wright and Delanie Walker), now combined with a bad wheel … Looks like it’s time to say aloha to Mariota.
C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos
Oh, C.J. Anderson, what could have been… You were supposed to be the Terrell Davis in the John Elway remix starring Peyton Manning. The stars were aligned for Anderson coming off a monster second half, being named the starting running back in a Peyton Manning-led offense and being paired with running back guru, Gary Kubiak.
Every season there is seemingly at least one RB drafted in the first round of Fantasy Football drafts who ends up on the who to drop list; it never fails. This year’s Peyton Hillis award goes to C.J. Anderson.
Blaming the Denver Broncos offensive line seems like a convenient excuse for Anderson’s struggles. Insert Ronnie Hillman. While Hillman is the Nickelback of RB’s (he just won’t go away), he’s actually been productive thus far, boasting a 4.9 yards per carry average and logging his second 100-yard rushing game of the season in Week 6 against the Cleveland Browns.
Personally, I’m not buying Hillman as a stud going forward, as roughly 30 percent of his rushing yardage this season has come on two carries. Historically, Hillman isn’t a strong runner after contact which posses a potential problem for Fantasy Football owners given the offensive line struggles of the Broncos.
Prior to the season, I wasn’t only the president of the C.J. Anderson fan club, I was also a client, but the numbers are what they are. Through Week 6, Anderson has zero touchdowns, a 2.7 yards per carry average, is averaging roughly 47 total yards per game and roughly 34 percent of Anderson’s 280 yards this season have come on seven touches.
Much like a recruiting trip to the University of Louisville, it was a wild ride and was fun while it lasted but it’s time to move on.
C.J. Spiller, New Orleans Saints
I’m starting to wonder if the New Orleans Saints even realize they have C.J. Spiller on the roster. The plan heading into the season seemed as transparent as the plot of the movie Zombeavers (yes, it’s real). Trading Jimmy Graham and bolstering the offensive line meant consistent touches for Mark Ingram, more targets for Brandin Cooks and a reintroduction of a Darren Sproles type, C.J. Spiller.
If C.J. Spiller was going to have a breakout game this season it seemed destined to be against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6. Pass catching running backs have shined against the Falcons thus far; Darren Sproles in Week 1, Shane Vereen in Week 2, Lance Dunbar in Week 3, even Chris Thompson had six receptions in Week 5 for the Washington Professional Football Team. Spiller exited his juicy Week 6 matchup with four receptions for 17 yards and added one Fantasy point on the ground, rushing for 10 yards.
While Ingram has certainly been what Fantasy Football owners expected, neither Cooks nor Spiller have hit anything close to the ceiling some envisioned with this year’s Saints team. Spiller is barely on the stat sheet most weeks, averaging less than six touches a game. If we remove Spiller’s lone bright spot of the season, an 80-yard overtime touchdown reception to beat the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4, Spiller has amassed only 110 yards through five games.
Let someone else try and figure out when to play C.J. Spiller. He’s officially a player to drop moving into Week 7.
Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins
Alfred Morris has been a steady source of Fantasy Football production for the better part of the last three seasons. Alf has been one of the rare running backs who has avoided the dreaded RBBC (Running Back By Committee). His value comes in the form of a consistent workload each week, solid touchdown production and being loosely associated with the 80’s hilarious sitcom, Alf, a show that revolves around a short, weird looking, cat eating alien from the planet Melmac…. How the hell did this show even get signed off on?!
There were two knocks on Morris coming into the 2015 season: his complete irrelevance in the passing game (37 receptions in his first three seasons) and the evidence showing his improved effectiveness with former NFL player and current Subway spokesman, Robert Griffin III playing quarterback.
Worst case scenario about sums up the Fantasy Football season thus far for Alfred Morris and his owners as he has once again been eliminated from the passing game (four receptions through Week 6) and is now splitting carries with Marion Barber clone, Matt Jones. Given the history of a slight decline in performance with other quarterbacks behind center, it’s not a shock to see a slight dip in Alf’s production but this is certainly more than a dip as he’s the equivalent of the Best of Vanilla Ice album, unplayable.
Lastly, game flow has to be taken into account. Washington Professional Football Team Quarterback, Kirk Cousins is currently averaging 45 pass attempts per game while Morris is being given a mere 14 rush attempts per game. Head coach and more notably, brother of Jon, Jay Gruden has always been pass happy but he’s taking it to a new level this season, which is killing Morris’ value and your Fantasy Football team.
Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
Doug Baldwin stinks.
Honorable Mention: I’m giving these guys another week or so
- Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
- Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants
- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins
- Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions
- Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
- Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers
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